Archive for October, 2015

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Antifrank on the impact of the big Lords Individual electoral registration vote

Saturday, October 31st, 2015

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It could be more significant than tax credits

The House of Lords revolt on tax credits has got a huge amount of attention.  Less newsworthy, because it didn’t succeed, was an attempt in the House of Lords to delay the introduction of individual electoral registration by 12 months beyond the government’s proposed timetable.  The implications of that vote, however, may be more far-reaching.  What effect will it have?

This post is going to be both long and technical.  That is unavoidable, I’m afraid.

What’s new?

As a nation, we are moving to a system where each voter is personally responsible for registering to vote individually.  The initial gathering of the data was undertaken in 2014, but no names were removed from the register for the general election this year without it being positively verified that it was correct to do so.  The verification process is ongoing and by June this year the number of unconfirmed entries had been reduced from 6 million to 1.9 million.  The process of automatically removing unconfirmed data is to take place next.  Originally it was scheduled for the end of 2016 but the government chose (as it was entitled to do under the legislation) to bring this forward by 12 months by statutory instrument.  It was this statutory instrument that was at the centre of the debate this week.

The government’s decision was against the advice of the Electoral Commission.  Leaving the politics to one side, the question is whether it is more important to have an electoral register in December 2015 with as little inaccurate data as possible or to have an electoral register which is as complete as possible.  The Electoral Commission preferred the latter, given where the data verification exercise is at present.

What is the significance of the December 2015 date?  In the short term, there is a round of elections taking place in May 2016.  These will be conducted on the December 2015 electoral register.  There is, however, a much more important use of this particular electoral register – it will be used as the foundation of the Boundary Commission’s work for the 2020 constituency boundaries.  As such, it will have a direct impact on the next election.

Who is at risk of dropping off the register?

Irritatingly, despite providing a report of nearly 60 pages, the Electoral Commission did not deign to publish the detailed data on the verification process by council, which was up to date as at June 2015.  To their great credit, Hope Not Hate elicited this from the Electoral Commission and published it themselves in an appendix to their own report.

As can be seen, the rate at which the electoral register is being cleaned up is progressing at quite different rates both between regions and within regions.  One can accept that it is harder for inner city London councils (with young and highly mobile populations) to verify their data than rural councils (with older and more settled councils) and still wonder why Hackney had 22.9% of their data unverified while Islington and Tower Hamlets had 6% and 8.2% of their data unverified respectively.  There seems no good reason why Oxford should have only 6.8% of their data unverified while Cambridge had 17% of their data unverified.  Lincoln, a council that has a fair sized student population, has only 0.35% of their data unverified.  Council incompetence or lethargy seems to be playing a very substantial part in failing to get the data cleared up.

Hope Not Hate rather breathlessly describes the potential impact of bringing forward individual electoral registration as “the greatest disenfranchisement in British history”.  Is that true?  This is where it gets complicated.

What might this mean in practice?

Here’s the position as it stood in May 2015 (the voter figures are Hope Not Hate’s), with the rough seat allocation for a 600 seat Parliament that this would produce:

Boundary Review

The right hand column is rough and ready, but suitable for present purposes.

The effect of differential drop-off between regions is outweighed by wider population movements.  Scotland actually increases its seat count even as Parliament shrinks, despite the high drop-off of unregistered voters, presumably because of the increase in voter registration prompted by the referendum campaign.  The north east is looking at a sharp drop in its seat count despite having the best clear-up rate.  So the effect as between the regions is not all that great, if truth be told.

It’s a different story when we come to look at intra-regional trends.  This is especially important in London.  Six London boroughs have unverified records of 10% or more.  At the other extreme, Richmond-upon-Thames has only 0.96% of records unverified.  There seems no doubt that inner London boroughs are finding this a tougher exercise.  These boroughs are solidly Labour, so if their representation is weighted down, this is bad news for Labour.

Barking & Dagenham, Camden, Greenwich, Hackney, Haringey, Islington, Lambeth, Lewisham, Redbridge, Southwark and Tower Hamlets, are currently covered by 31 contiguous constituencies, all of which are held by Labour.  On current numbers of registered voters, they would be reduced to 24 constituencies.  This would be a dramatic shrinking in the weighting of these constituencies within London, all of which would be felt by Labour.

The effect outside London would be less stark because the bulk of the worst-performing councils for registration reconciliation are in London.  The same effect can be seen on a much lesser scale in Birmingham, the greater Manchester area and Sheffield, which may result in Labour losing a seat or two in each of these localities.

Some university towns would find themselves attached to slightly larger constituencies than they otherwise would have been (though Durham, Exeter, Lancaster and Bath & North East Somerset don’t seem to have had the same problems that Cambridge had in tracking down student records).  This would make a handful of constituencies a little harder for Labour to take.

Taken as a whole, the effect of bringing voter reconciliation to a halt in December is unlikely to be conclusive of the general election even on the basis of the June figures.  It may put Labour at a disadvantage of an additional ten to fifteen seats – a handicap, but not a noose around their necks.

That is not the end of the story though.  The data clean-up process is continuing.  Let’s assume for now that it will continue on the same course up to the cut-off date.  From July to December 2014, 3.1 million records were cleared up, resulting in a further 1.7 million people being verified as being on the electoral roll.  From December 2014 to May 2015, 1 million more records were cleared up, resulting in a further 460,000 people being verified as being on the electoral roll.  The rate of clear-up is slowing down and proportionately fewer records are being verified as being correct.

In the final phase if the course does not change, we might expect a further 500,000 records or so of the remaining 1.9 million unverified entries to be cleared up, resulting in perhaps a further 200,000 people being added to the electoral register.  If so, that means that at the cut-off date 1.7 million records will drop off the register (only 300,000 of those being verified as incorrect).  This final batch of verified data will be disproportionately in the areas which are currently lagging, flattening the current favour towards rural areas and against urban areas.  New voters will be added to the register, particularly in university towns.

If this trajectory is followed in the final clean-up, my educated guess is that the additional disadvantage that Labour would be under would be fewer than ten seats.  So not all that dramatic, really.

What can Labour do about this?

But the future is not yet written.  Similar alarms were posted before the general election about voter registration.  In the end, we saw a huge surge in registration, with more than 2 million registrations in the last month before the deadline.

With organisation, voter registration could be boosted again.  If Labour were really organised, they could turn individual electoral registration to their advantage, bolstering the size of the electorate in the seats where they most need it and enthusing younger voters.  That is after all Labour’s electoral strategy under Jeremy Corbyn, isn’t it?

Jeremy Corbyn has just set up a new grouping, Momentum.  One of its aims is to “Organise in every town, city and village to create a mass movement for real progressive change”.  If it’s looking for somewhere to start, campaigning to get voters through the process of individual electoral registration might be a very good place indeed.  Over to you, Mr Corbyn.

Antifrank



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David Herdson writes: Ed Miliband: my part in his downfall

Saturday, October 31st, 2015

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Did I win the Conservatives the election?

A year ago today I received an unsolicited e-mail from an extremely senior Conservative election strategist, asking if I ever came to London as he’d be interested in picking my brains. Unsurprisingly, I said ‘Yes’.

The approach wasn’t completely out of the blue. A few months earlier, he was a speaker at the 2014 Yorkshire Regional conference and at the end of the session, I door-stepped him in order to hand him a short paper I’d put together on and idea I’d had for taking the fight to Labour, namely calculating the cost of all Labour’s additional spending commitments, dividing the result by the number of households in the country and labelling the result their Family Tax. Although the name wasn’t adopted (I still think it’s a good one), the idea did briefly see the light of day but a twenty-first century version of 1992’s tax bomb it wasn’t.

But that wasn’t why I’d been invited to London. Instead, we had a long, wide-ranging discussion that covered a lot of the political scene and ended with a plan for me to be more involved as the election approached. Unfortunately, I had to pull back on this when my wife was seriously injured in a car crash in December.

In the interim, however, he asked me about my thoughts on how I saw seat numbers going in Scotland. This was about two months after the referendum but only shortly after the SNP’s surge in the polls had become apparent (the SNP and Labour were still neck-and-neck in early October: only at the end of the month did they pull far clear). In retrospect it’s clear that what became the centrepiece of the 2015 Conservative strategic case was taking shape in the minds of those responsible for delivering it.

But polling is, as is frequently noted here, a snapshot not a projection. To get a projection you need to analysts which, I assume, is where I came in. I suggested that current polling figures suggested a seat split of SNP 43 MPs, Lab 11, Con 3 and LD 2, and while I (inaccurately) predicted a small swing back to Labour before the election, I reckoned on the SNP keeping a comfortable lead in both votes and seats. In the end, of course, it was much more than ‘comfortable’ but at the time, many commentators were still struggling with the idea that Labour could be shifted from their ‘natural fortress’ in any meaningful sense. After all, the SNP had been predicting Westminster breakthroughs for decades without making good.

What I believed – and said – was that this time was different. This time the SNP would not only break through but finish on top and consequently, Labour would be hit by big losses.

Probably Ed Miliband would still have finished up in the pockets of Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon in street-side posters up and down the country whatever I’d written; a campaign and a strategy that almost certainly made the difference between an outright majority and another hung parliament. But who knows? Certainly not me. It would of course absurd vanity to believe I won the Conservatives their majority but just to play a small part in an election where CCHQ pitched their message and strategy close to perfectly was a privilege.

David Herdson



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Tonight’s PB quickie poll and this week’s local elections results

Friday, October 30th, 2015

Risedale on Barrow in Furness (Lab defence)
Result: Labour 428 (53% -24%), United Kingdom Independence Party 193 (24% +1%), Conservative 187 (23%, no candidate in 2015)
Labour HOLD with a majority of 235 (29%) on a swing of 12.5% from Lab to UKIP

Shenfield on Brentwood (Lib Dem defence)
Result: Conservative 852 (57% +19%), Liberal Democrat 483 (33% -11%), United Kingdom Independence Party 85 (6% -8%), Labour 49 (3% -1%), Green Party 16 (1%, no candidate in 2014)
Conservative GAIN from Liberal Democrat with a majority of 369 (24%) on a swing of 15% from Lib Dem to Con

Congleton East on Cheshire East (Con defence)
Result: Conservative 700 (37% -2%), Liberal Democrat 542 (28% +18%), Labour 409 (21% +1%), United Kingdom Independence Party 266 (14% -3%)
Conservative HOLD with a majority of 158 (9%) on a swing of 10% from Con to Lib Dem

Euxton North on Chorley (Lab defence)
Result: Labour 697 (57% +12%), Conservative 443 (36% -1%), United Kingdom Independence Party 76 (6% -13%)
Labour HOLD with a majority of 254 (21%) on a swing of 6.5% from Con to Lab

Peterborough West on Peterborough (Con defence)
Result: Conservative 1,174 (46% +4%), Labour 742 (29% -2%), United Kingdom Independence Party 415 (16% -3%), Liberal Democrat 103 (4% -4%), Green Party 94 (4%, no candidate in 2014)
Conservative HOLD with a majority of 432 (17%) on a swing of 3% from Lab to Con

Hellingly on Wealden (Con defence)
Result: Liberal Democrat 875 (70% +35%), Conservative 222 (18% -30%), Independent 154 (12% -5%)
Liberal Democrat GAIN from Conservative with a majority of 653 (52%) on a swing of 32.5% from Con to Lib Dem

October Summary
Conservatives 16,465 votes (27%) winning 10 seats (unchanged)
Labour 14,138 votes (24%) winning 8 seats (unchanged)
Scottish National Party 11,524 votes (19%) winning 6 seats (unchanged)
Liberal Democrats 7,714 votes (13%) winning 3 seats (unchanged)
United Kingdom Independence Party 3,167 votes (5%) winning 1 seat (unchanged)
Green Party 3,029 votes (5%) winning 1 seat (unchanged)
Independents 1,908 votes (3%) winning 2 seats (unchanged)
Plaid Cymru 780 votes (1%) winning 0 seats (unchanged)
Other Parties 1,481 votes (3%) winning 0 seat (unchanged)

GAINS
Scottish National Party GAIN Midstocket and Rosemount from Con on Aberdeen
Labour GAIN Banbury, Grimsbury and Castle from Con on Cherwell
Non Party Independent GAIN West Side and Ness from Ind on Western Isles
Liberal Democrats GAIN Aird and Loch Ness from SNP on Highland
Conservatives GAIN Goldsworth West from Lib Dem on Woking
Conservatives GAIN Tottington from Lab on Bury
Conservatives GAIN Shenfield from Lib Dem on Brentwood
Liberal Democrats GAIN Hellingly from Con on Wealden

Results compiled by Harry Hayfield



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Corbyn’s LAB closes the gap once again in the October ComRes/Mail phone poll

Friday, October 30th, 2015

This may ease some jitters within the red team

After the GE2015 polling disaster ComRes was the first firm to announce radical changes in its weightings to deal with the apparent problem of the Conservatives being understated. The result is that its polls have broadly shown bigger CON leads than those from other firms. So today’s numbers will give the red team even more comfort.

Con 38% (-1)
Lab 33% (+3)
LD 8% (-1
UKIP 10% (-2)
Green 3% (-1)

The tax credits’ findings from the firm are not good for Mr. Osborne and show, I’d suggest, how he failed to make a substantive case when announcing them. The Tory position has not been helped by analysts suggesting that the impact on many families will not be alleviated that much by his new National Living Wage.

Mike Smithson





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Frank “Houdini” Field leads the fight against MP deselection

Friday, October 30th, 2015

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But Donald Brind wonders if this is a battle Labour should be having now?

Labour’s veteran maverick Frank Field has put himself in the vanguard of MPs getting ready to fight deselection. There could be no better leader for those fearful about the perceived threat from Corbynistas in their constituencies. In his 36 years as MP for Birkenhead he has survived three attempts to oust him.

The most serious was in 1989, a battle I covered for the BBC. We had ourselves an exclusive. We were pretty sure that Paul Davies, a Transport and General Workers’ Union shop steward representing low paid workers at Arrowe Park hospital was set to beat Field. But I had been told by a senior Labour official that Neil Kinnock had made it clear he wanted deselection blocked. That’s what we reported — and so it turned out. Davies won at the local meeting but his victory was overturned by the National Executive.

Jeremy Corbyn is no Neil Kinnock. He has rejected the idea of mandatory reselections but it is inconceivable he would intervene to overturn a decision by a local party. And the transformation of the Corbyn leadership campaign into Momentum , led by long term advocate of mandatory reselection, Jon Lansman has got a lot of Corbosceptic MPs worried. Frank “Houdini” Field told the New Statesman

“..If candidates are picked off they will stand as independent Labour, cause a by-election immediately and a whole pile of us will go down there to campaign for them. They can’t expel 60 of us. Momentum ought to know that they’re not the only pair of wide eyes in the business. We’re not powerless…

..Those of us who are not going to let Momentum win have a trump card on our side, which is that we would probably win the by-election.”

It sounds like a perfect example of the conjugation “we organise, they conspire”. Those who have spoken out like Field, Mike Gapes and Emma Reynolds are best seen as getting their retaliation in first. My guess is that their fears are exaggerated.

I believe Denis Healey’s judgement that an MP who works hard and is trusted as a human being “by active members of his local party can normally rely on personal loyalty to override differences on policy” still holds good. Healey is quoted in Andrew Adonis’s 1991 book Parliament Today which notes that even after the introduction of mandatory re-selection in 1981 only a handful of MPs were forced to step down. And anxious MPs should be largely reassured by the granular assessment of Momentum by the New Statesman’s Stephen Bush.

“In some parts of the country, there are undoubtedly organised leftwing factions attempting to infiltrate Labour. But, says Bush, “they are hugely outnumbered by new members with a much broader range of opinions.”

Richard Angell of Progress, another lobbying organisation within the party, takes a measured view of Momentum, suggesting it remove worries about its role by being more open and transparent.

My key point is that this is not a battle the party should be having now.

The raft of new selections cased by boundary revisions are unlikely before 2018. MPs who didn’t back Corbyn have plenty of time to earn the “personal loyalty” that Healey talked about. So too does George Osborne have time to recover. But his arrogance and tactical ineptitude have given Labour the opportunity to show it can be an effective force at Westminster.  The campaign against the cut in tax credits was spearheaded by Jeremy Corbyn’s closest allie, the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, a model of calm and reasonableness.

I particularly enjoyed three contributions to that victory . McDonald’s number two Seema Malhotra presented the case against the tax credit cut in the Commons last Thursday. She was subjected to a series of interruptions from Tory MPs but she had a handy put down — the exact number of their constituents who would be hit by the cut. Who, she asked, were they speaking for — their constituents or their party?
And in the Lords on Monday Baroness Hollis and Baroness Smith of Basildon the Labour leader in the upper house were simply magnificent.

Frank Field is set to play an influential role in the future of welfare policy as chair of the social security select committee. My hope is that he and others will shut up about deselection and concentrate on the day job of holding to account a Tory government that is weaker than it looks. That will be good for Jeremy Corbyn’s credibility as leader but also for their own reputations in their constituencies.

Donald Brind



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Local By-Election Preview : October 29th 2015 – 3 Con, 2 Lab and 1 Lib Dem defences

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

Risedale on Barrow in Furness (Lab defence)
Result of council at last election (2015): Labour 27, Conservative 9 (Labour majority of 18)
Result of ward at last election (2015) : Emboldened denotes elected
Labour 1,474, 1,361, 1,310 (77%)
United Kingdom Independence Party 438, 348 (23%)
Candidates duly elected: Michael Cassells (Lab), Carole Friend (Con), Colin Rudd (UKIP)

For such a Labour heartland, Barrow and Furness’ constituency results have been, of late, anything but a heartland. At the 1992 general election John Hutton won the seat with a majority of 3,578 (6%) which as a result of the Labour landslide in 1997 rocketed up to nearly 15,000 (30%) and it only slowly started to fall as Labour’s popularity waned and then came the kicker.

The Boundary Commission said that Barrow and Furness should increase it’s land area and that meant taking in land from Westmorland and Lonsdale (a Conservative / Liberal Democrat battleground), in order words let in more Conservative voters and whilst in 2010 the new Labour MP John Woodcock held on with a majority of 5,208 (12%) the introduction of bits of Westmorland and the collapse in the Lib Dem vote meant that in 2015 he only just scraped home with a majority of 795 (2%) meaning that whilst Barrow district will elect Labour councillors forever and a day, Barrow constituency is back into it’s usual pattern of a Conservative / Labour battleground

Shenfield on Brentwood (Lib Dem defence)
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 23, Liberal Democrats 10, Labour 2, Independents 2 (Conservative majority of 9)
Result of ward at last election (2014): Liberal Democrat 892 (44%), Conservative 783 (38%), United Kingdom Independence Party 282 (14%), Labour 81 (4%)
Candidates duly nominated: Cameron Ball (Lab), Alison Fulcher (Lib Dem), John Hamilton (Green), Jan Pound (Con), Peter Sceats (UKIP)

Since 2003, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have been involved in what might be deemed an unruly brawl over this Essex council. First the Lib Dems were the largest party, then the Conservatives gained control and built up a very impressive majority of 19 in 2008 but then the Lib Dems started to make their presence felt and in 2014 (against the national trend) managed to force the council into a state of No Overall Control (helped by the Independents making four gains).

Sadly for the Lib Dems that was a one off as this year the Conservative took back control but in an age of Lib Dems fighting back and as we have seen twice this week threatening to expose the lack of a Conservative majority in the Lords, how long will it be before Brentwood goes back to No Overall Control and Tim Farron is able to travel to Essex after a set of local elections and announce (for the first time in nearly 11 years) “Liberal Democrats : Winning Here”

Congleton East on Cheshire East (Con defence)
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 53, Labour 16, Independents 11, Liberal Democrats 2 (Conservative majority of 24)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Emboldened denotes elected
Conservatives 2,969, 2,603, 2,361(39%)
Labour 1,506, 1,438, 1,340 (20%)
United Kingdom Independence Party 1,290, 1,055 (17%)
Independent 1,067 (14%)
Liberal Democrats 736, 666, 658 (10%)
Candidates duly nominated: Dawn Allen (UKIP), Geoff Baggott (Con), Robert Boston (Lab), Denis Murphy (Lib Dem)

Cheshire East is rather a strange beast of a council. Created by the merger of Crewe and Nantwich, Congleton and Macclesfield, you would expect it to be a Conservative heartland and yet in some parts of the council, the results are a lot closer than you might think (and this is one of them). I admit that a 9% swing from Con to Lab to gain this ward is a little unlikely, but when you consider that to win Congleton constituency Labour need a 16% swing and to gain Macclesfield a 15% swing, 9% seems very easy in comparison but that’s because there was an Independent polling 14% who is not contesting this by-election which poses the question: “Can UKIP pick up those Independents?” If not, Con hold with a stonking swing from Lab, but if they can, then Lab gain Congleton East?

Euxton North on Chorley (Lab defence)
Result of council at last election (2015): Labour 31, Conservatives 14, Independents 2 (Labour majority of 15)
Result of ward at last election (2014): Labour 692 (45%), Conservative 570 (37%), United Kingdom Independence Party 289 (19%)
Candidates duly nominated: Tommy Gray (Lab), Alan Platt (Con), Christopher Stuart (UKIP)

I know that being made Deputy Speaker is a great honour and I am sure that he will carry on being Deputy Speaker until he stands down from Parliament, but I miss Lindsay Hoyle popping up every so often in that broad Lancastrian accent and bringing the Government of the day to account but I dare say that the borough of Chorley quite likes have a Deputy Speaker as it’s member of Parliament and if the recent elections in Chorley are anything to go by, the electors of Chorley don’t seem to mind either.

After all, back in 1992 this was a notional Conservative seat and although not as safe as it was when Lindsay Hoyle gained the seat in 1997, the fact that he recorded a Con to Lab swing of 1.78% (when Lancashire as a whole recorded a 1% Con to Lab swing) does suggest that Labour should be fairly confident of holding what is a marginal on the council.

Peterborough West on Peterborough (Con defence)
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 27, Labour 12, Independents 7, Liberal Democrats 4, United Kingdom Independence Party 4, Liberals 3 (No Overall Control, Conservatives short by 2)
Result of ward at last election (2014): Emboldened denotes elected
Conservatives 1,553, 1,482 (42%)
Labour 1,137, 1,050 (31%)
United Kingdom Independence Party 702 (19%)
Liberal Democrats 290 (8%)
Candidates duly nominated: Alex Airey (Green), Lynne Ayres (Con), John Myles (UKIP), Malcolm Pollack (Lib Dem), Mohammed Sabir (Lab)

Peterborough at the general election was a disaster for Labour. They only needed a swing of 5.41% to gain the seat (not impossible given some of the pre-election polls) and what happened? They only managed a 3.37% swing. And yet in 2014, when this ward was last contested Labour came within 4% of winning the popular vote (Con 33%, Lab 29%, UKIP 16%) so what happened? Well, I don’t have a clue but if Labour cannot figure out what happened (and fast) when Peterborough votes next year (when they are defending six seats and were 8% behind the Conservatives in the popular vote) then the Conservatives could well be celebrating a rather unexpected gain in the East of England.

Hellingly on Wealden (Con defence)
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 50, Independents 5 (Conservative majority of 45)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Emboldened denotes elected
Conservatives 1,722, 1,599 (48%)
Liberal Democrats 1,253, 1,145 (35%)
Independent 608 (17%)
Candidates duly nominated: Paul Soane (Ind), David White (Lib Dem), Alex Willis (Con)

Wealden, in the rolling countryside of East Sussex, has been slowly changing from a council with an effective opposition to a Conservative one party state. Back in 2003, there were 15 Liberal Democrat councillors but every four years that figure declined. They lost three in 2007, nine in 2011 and were wiped out in this year’s local elections.

If ever a Lib Dem fightback was needed it was here and interestingly, we have (for the first time in quite a while) a complete match with the last election (no additional parties, no parties taking a breather) meaning that if the Liberal Democrats do fightback to win a seat here we shall be able to see exactly where that support has come from (and give a clue to potential Liberal Democrat gains across the south coast next year).

Harry Hayfield



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The latest PB/Polling Matters Podcast on Polling Matters – Tax Credits, Lords reform and George Osborne

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

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What’ll happen to the Lords,tax credits and George Osborne?

Polling Matters returns. Keiran, Rob and James discuss the implications of the tax credits row for the House of Lords. What do the public think about welfare? What do they think about the House of Lords and has George Osborne damaged his chances of becoming Prime Minister this week?

Remember tonight’s PB gathering in London: All invited

Details and map can be found here.



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Jeb Bush’s bid for the GOP nomination looks even more in doubt after a clumsy performance in latest primary debate

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

Rubio heading to 40% in the nominee betting

The clip above gives a taste of the overnight third Republican debate. Bush, who not too long ago had been touching evens in the nomination betting, was under huge pressure to assert himself and take on the young Senator from Florida his own state, Marco Rubio.

He did it in such a cack handed manner and unfortunately for him Rubio was waiting with a solid response. Bush bombed.

The other big losers were CNBC who’ve been widely criticised for their poor management of the event which wasn’t good for anyone – the contenders or the audience.

Trump did OK, Carson was at times totally incoherent while Cruz and Fiorina came out reasonably well but they are still a sideshow to the main action.

The clip that’s getting all the US media attention is the Rubio-Bush one and that can only be bad news for the brother of the last Republican to win the presidency.

This is all preparing the ground ahead of the primaries which begin in about 90 days. I think that Rubio justifies his favourite position but don’t rule out Trump. Cruz is one to keep am eye on.

I personally like Fiorina but she has struggled to gain traction.

Mike Smithson