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Do the 212 “at risk” Labour MPs want a new leader?

May 30th, 2008

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    What will YouGov do for Gord’s survival chances?

The above is what happens when you key in the C47-L23-LD18 general election vote shares from today’s Daily Telegraph YouGov poll into the Anthony Wells commons seat calculator.

If you do the same with the Martin Baxter calculator at Electoral Calculus you get even worse projections for Labour – CON 452: LAB 138: LD 32 seats. Martin’s website conveniently lists the outcome for every single seat in the country – something that a number of the threatened MPs might find themselves having a sneaky look at this morning.

Whether these are accurate projections for the general election who knows? Their central importance will be the impact they have on the mood of the parliamentary Labour party as MPs return to Westminster after what used to be called the Whitsun holiday.

Of course there are likely to be other surveys this weekend and it’s possible that the overall picture that they paint might not be so gloomy. But YouGov, which was severely attacked by the party in the run up to May 1st, saw its reputation being enhanced by its London Mayoral election performance.

Also in MPs minds will be the Crewe and Nantwich by election result showing the massive increase in Conservative votes – from 14,162 in 2005 to 20,539 last Thursday. Labour MPs at their most pessimistic might also recall that here the polls underestimated by a considerable degree the Tory gap over Labour.

I’ve never been any good at predicting what Labour MPs will do and will refrain from doing so again. But my bets at 6/1 and 5/1 a fortnight ago that Gordon will not survive the year look promising. You certainly can’t get those prices today.

Mike Smithson






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