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Reports of 20 dead after what appears to be terrorist incident at Manchester concert

May 23rd, 2017




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Marf on GE2017 looking a bit more competitive and TMay’s “social care” turnaround

May 22nd, 2017

As well as what’s being described as a U-turn over her manifesto pledge on social care there’ve been two new polls during the day all showing LAB making progress.

The one that has shown the biggest move is the YouGov Wales poll for ITV. The figures, if repeated, suggest that LAB’s lead over CON is now greater than it was at GE2015 in the Principality.

The one national poll so far has been ICM which is showing a similar picture of LAB progress but still a long way behind.

The betting markets have been relatively stable.

Mike Smithson




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TMay U-turns on her controversial manifesto social care policy

May 22nd, 2017

Delete Strong & Stable replace Strong & Swerving

With just two weeks and 2 days of campaigning left Mrs. May has u-turned on one of the flagship policies in her manifesto – the plans for social care.

This follows a sharp move in some polls although even on present numbers she is sure of a substantial working majority.

In all the time I’ve been writing about politics (my first election was GE1970) I cannot recall a time when a major party has has to go back on a manifesto pledge in such a short period.

    The real damage from this is what it does to the Theresa May brand. Her strong and stable image was resonating well as the polls have shown. People want a competent leader even if they don’t always agree with the policy platform.

I agree with the Guardian’s Andrew Sparrow that the best thing to be said about this is that she has moved quickly which should mitigate some of the damage.

Mike Smithson




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Survation phone poll has CON lead down 10 points in a week to 9% now

May 22nd, 2017

Tory “squeaky bum time”? Maybe not yet

Since TMay launched her CON manifesto last Thursday we have had just three published polls where all or part of the fieldwork took place afterwards – the Sunday Times YouGov, the Mail on Sunday Survation online poll and now, this morning, a Survation phone poll for Good Morning Britain.

We’ve seen the same direction in all of them – a narrowing of the Conservative lead. This latest Survation has with changes on last week CON 43% (-5); LAB 34% (+5); LD 8% (NC); UKIP 4% (NC).

The Good Morning Britain polling series itself is highly unusual in that it covers all of the UK and not just England, Scotland and Wales. All the Northern Ireland responses were for “other” parties.

What might concern the TMay team is that that the margin over LAB that Survation is showing is getting closer to the 6.5% that David Cameron’s party achieved two years ago. If this snapshot is what happens on June 8th then there will be a CON victory with a comfortable margin but not a landslide.

This comes just as millions of electors receive their postal voting packs.

On Saturday night I “sold” the Tories on spread-betting markets at 393 seats which I’m feeling comfortable with at the moment.

There are just two and a half weeks to go which includes the bank holiday weekend and school holidays when many people will be away.

Mike Smithson




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The first post-referendum Premiership season ends with teams from REMAIN areas dominating

May 21st, 2017

Mike Smithson




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CON drops 9 seats on the spread-betting markets following the first post manifesto polling

May 21st, 2017

Spread betting is the form of gambling for those with deep pockets that are ready to take big risks and are attracted by the idea that the more you are right the more you win.

Unfortunately the converse is the case. The more you are wrong the more you lose so developments like the latest post-manifesto polling are being keenly watched by spread betting punters.

For most of the campaign the Conservative spreads have been hovering around the 400 Mark suggesting a massive majority of 170 or more.

That’s now moved a notch backwards following the publication overnight of the Survation and YouGov polling. The latter survey was carried out on Thursday and Friday so only partially reflected the post manifesto reaction.

My guess is that the downward trend could continue if other polls indicate the same trend. If not then we could see a reversal.

Mike Smithson




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Suddenly this election becomes a lot more difficult to call – maybe not a CON landslide after all

May 21st, 2017


Sun

Will TMay get her landslide or could the result be a lot tighter?

The launching of the Conservative manifesto on Thursday has changed the whole narrative of this election.

From a situation where the only real outcome that appeared possible was a very substantial Conservative majority, certainly more than 100, we now have the first post manifesto polls with the gap closing sharply.

It was very bold of the Prime Minister and her team to include items within the manifesto that were not going to appeal to large numbers and would be controversial. The thinking appeared to be that having this there with the specifics spelled out would make things easier to enact and implement after the election.

What were particularly bold were the measures that seemed to hurt that key Conservative voting group, the oldies – a segment who have been sheltered from many of the welfare cuts that younger generations are having to deal with. This was a very clear signal from Mrs May that she was going to be different.

The exemption of Scotland from the ending of winter fuel allowance for wealthy pensioners looked very tricky. Also closing down other areas of public spending such as free school meals for the for the 4-7 year olds hasn’t polled very well at all.

    Maybe this is all part of Lynton Crosby’s cunning plan? Those 20%+ poll leads could have impacted on turnout and he needs the perception to be that this is close.

    The message that’s going to key voters in the marginals is that if the Tories lost just six seats then Mr. Corbyn could end up as PM. But Project Fear GE2017-style needs the numbers to back it up.

It has been widely assumed for months that Mr. Crosby has some hard-hitting ads such as reminding voters of the Birmingham IRA bombings all ready for this moment. These will of course highlight the stances at the time of Mr. McDonnell and Mr. Corbyn.

At least the final two and half weeks are going to be much more interesting than appeared likely.

Mike Smithson




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UPDATED With postal voting just starting CON lead drops

May 20th, 2017

Still to come YouGov for S Times and Survation for MoS.

Mike Smithson