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This might be reading it all wrong but the LAB vote share is the big interest tomorrow in Sleaford and Hykeham N

December 7th, 2016




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Trump the Time magazine “Person of the Year” – it is hard to disagree

December 7th, 2016

Notice that’s he’s described as President of the “Divided States of America”



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Day 3 of the Supreme Court hearing opens with the Government’s Betfair chances down to lowest level yet

December 7th, 2016

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You can watch live here.

In the Commons today there is the debate on the Labour motion on the triggering of Article 50 and its neat amendment by the Government to accept the principle but links in a statement on the referendum outcome itself.

Whether TMay is able to set the process of extraction going by her self-imposed end March deadline isn’t clear. Her problem remains that a sizeable group of her own backbenchers are against her and that she does not have a Commons majority for doing it her way.

Mike Smithson




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Thurday’s Sleaford and North Hykeham by-election – A certain CON hold or could we see a surprise?

December 6th, 2016

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An opportunity for UKIP’s Doctor Nuttall?

While there’s been a huge amount of focus on Richmond Park the by-election in Sleaford and North Hykeham has received far less attention – both from the parties themselves and the media.

The result from last time makes it difficult to see other than a CON hold on a very much reduced turnout. The fact that it is happening in December so close to Christmas is surely going to depress the number of voters who will bother to vote and this, just conceivably, could lead to a shock. The UKIP betting price has moved in although Betfair makes the Tories a 1/9 shot. UKIP latest are 21/2 while the LD are 44/1.

Surprisingly LAB, second last time, are right out of it in the betting.

The LDs, flush from their Richmond Park gain, have been active but nothing on the scale of their operation for last Thursday’s contest. UKIP have been working hard too in what will be the first electoral test under Dr. Nuttall’s leadership. On paper this should be ideal territory.

Ladbrokes have a 2nd place market up offering:-

2/5 UKIP
4/1 LD
8/1 CON
10/1

Labour being pushed to fourth would be bad news for Corbyn’s party.

Mike Smithson




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The polls did NOT get BREXIT wrong: Only 41% had REMAIN leads. 59% didn’t

December 6th, 2016

Is it too much to expect Britain’s PR people to check simple facts?

One of the enduring myths from June 23rd was that the polls got it wrong. Some did but most in the official campaign period didn’t as shown in the chart.

That esteemed body that allegedly speaks for PR people, the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA), has announced it is holding an inquiry into polling specifically referencing GE2015 and the June 23rd referendum. Certainly the former was a big polling fail and there has been a major inquiry into what went wrong and many pollsters have made changes. Quite what PR men can add to the serious examination that has taken place is hard to say.

But the suggestion that keeps on getting repeated is that the polls got BREXIT wrong. This is rubbish as I keep on repeating. There were more LEAVE lead polls carried out during the official campaign period than REMAIN ones. The figures were 14 REMAIN leads, 17 LEAVE leads and 3 polls had it tied.

It is certainly true that two or three of the final polls were off the mark but the overall picture was reasonably good.

A big factor was postal voting which started more than three weeks beforehand and represented maybe a fifth of all votes. The greater the time gap between the act of voting and being polled is bound to increase errors.

Mike Smithson




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Taking stock of 2016. What do you think were the biggest events of this extraordinary political year?

December 5th, 2016

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Take the survey in advance of this week’s PB/Polling Matters Podcast

Ahead of this week’s PB/Polling Matters podcast the team have come up with a short survey so that readers of PB can give their thoughts on the biggest winners, losers, shocks and moments from the past year.

Also, perhaps controversially, there is a question in the survey on who people think has been the PB poster of the year.

To take part please click here.

Results will be read out on this weeks show which is due, as usual midweek.

PS. All answers will be anonymous unless you leave your name. Then we may read out the best comments on the show. It’s up to you.

Keiran Pedley



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Tonight’s local by-election

December 5th, 2016

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Carnoustie and District (SNP defence) on Angus
Result of council at last election (2012): Scottish National Party 15, Independents 8, Conservatives 4, Labour 1, Liberal Democrat 1 (Scottish National Party majority of 1)
Result of ward at last election (2012): Emboldened denotes elected
Independents 483, 1,750 (51%)
Scottish National Party 582, 1,029 (36%)
Labour 274 (6%)
Conservatives 271 (6%)
Liberal Democrat 41 (1%)
EU Referendum Result: REMAIN 32,747 (55%) LEAVE 26,511 (45%) on a turnout of 68%
Candidates duly nominated: David Cheap (Ind), Mark McDonald (SNP), Beth Morrison (Lib Dem), Derek Shaw (Con), Ray Strachen (Lab)



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The Article 50 Supreme Court case betting moves a notch to the government on the first morning – but still behind

December 5th, 2016

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Whether you can read anything into this I doubt

If you’ve got lots of time on your hands you can watch the case live here.

The best comment so far is “OJ Simpson it ain’t”. This is all dry legal argument and will go on like this for most of the week. The verdict’s not expected until the new year.

Mike Smithson