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The locals – how the forecasters did

May 4th, 2019

The actual was CON -1334, LAB -83, LD +703

The above table was produced by Oxford Professor, Stephen Fisher, and published on his site on the day before the locals. Now we know the results it’s very useful to see how conventional forecasting methods compared against what actually happened and is a good reference for the future.

The first two columns are by Stephen Fisher himself. It should be noted that Steven is one of the country’s leading political scientists and key member of the team behind the general election exit polls that have proved so accurate in recent elections.

The big message from this, I would suggest, is it put into context  Labour’s poor performance in the elections. All the expectation were that the party would make gains possibly quite substantial. Not even Fisher’s range embraces going into negative territory which is what happened.

To come out with seat losses at this stage in the Parliament against all the predictions and the polling raise a lot of questions about how Corbyn’s team is actually doing at the moment. Even Lord Hayward, the Conservative’s polling expert, had LAB gaining at 300.

I get a sense that the activist base is finding it hard to cope with the direction of the party under Corbyn and the knowledge that he’s here to stay for as long as he likes almost irrespective of how LAB performs at elections.

One point from Fisher is that the areas covered by this year’s local elections voted Leave by 56% to 44% at the referendum.

Mike Smithson