Archive for May, 2019

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The Campbell expulsion from LAB – the ramifications continue

Tuesday, May 28th, 2019

The problem is that people’s Brexit position has become more important than party loyalty

Mike Smithson


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Alastair Campbell purged from Corbyn’s LAB for backing the LDs in last week’s election

Tuesday, May 28th, 2019

So the ramifications of Thursday’s election continue

Almost all parties haw a rule about members publicly backing other parties in elections and LAB is no exception. Already we’ve seen the Tories take action Lord Heseltine for his public support for the anti-Brexit LDs in last week’s elections.

Now Corbyn’s LAB has moved against Campbell who played such a key role in Labour’s three successive general election victories from 1997 to 2005.

A real issue within Labour which undoubtedly depressed turnout for the party last week is that the Corbyn/Milne approach to Brexit is very different from the vast bulk of Labour supporters. On Thursday Labour did far worse than just about all the polls were predicting and came in third place well behind the LDs. That wouldn’t have happened if the leadership had reflected the party support base on the key issue of the day.

The problem with this action is that it drives the narrative of LAB being a party that is totally split on the issue and voters don’t like divided parties.

Campbell himself is taking legal advice. This is not the end of the matter.

Mike Smithson


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And so to next week’s Peterborough by-election

Tuesday, May 28th, 2019


Ordnance Survey

TBP’s first Westminster seat?

When earlier in the year Peterborough’s former MP was jailed over a speeding points issue a recall petition was initiated which ended with her losing her seat. The campaign to secure the requisite 10% of voters was backed by both the Tories and LAB and the total required was surmounted by a big margin.

The by-election takes place a week on Thursday and this has the possible rarity of being in a seat which flips between CON and LAB with majorities in the hundreds. Unlike most recent Westminster by-elections this is a tight marginal.

Also after the Euros result yesterday it looks ideal territory for Farage’s Brexit Party. Given the way the two “main” parties are perceived at the moment on Betfair TBP is rated as a 77% chance to succeed.

Although the LDs do hold a few council seats in the city this does not look like obvious territory for them although they are campaigning hard on their opposition to Brexit. ChangeUK is giving this one a miss. The LDs main hopes are pinned on the recall petition currently under way in Brecon and Radnor – a seat they held until GE2015.

With two elections so close to each other my guess is that turnout will be right down even below last Thursday. You can see voters there being election weary especially when faced with fifteen candidates on the ballot paper.

It should be noted that the vote splits from last Thursday’s election above are for the borough which is wider than the parliamentary constituency.

Mike Smithson


 



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At last “deal of no deal” looks to take centre stage in the CON leadership contest

Monday, May 27th, 2019

Hunt’s move could put BoJo on the spot

The Telegraph is reporting what could prove to be a big move in the race to become TMay’s successor – he’s raised the issue of a possile no deal which he describes as “political suicide” for the Tories. Frontrunner Johnson has already declared that he’d leave with a deal or not.

According to the Telegraph Hunt said that “any Prime Minister who tries to take Britain out of the EU without a deal will trigger a general election and risk the “extinction” of the Conservative Party. He warned that Brexiteer leadership candidates risk putting Britain’s “first Marxist prime minister” in Downing Street by Christmas as he accused them of offering a “prospectus for disaster”.

This sound like a smart move with the race about to get under way and will likely put BoJo under scrutiny for all the issues that a no deal Brexit could throw up. Johnson needs to be put under pressure defending his position.

Hunt can portray himself as the serious one going deep into the issue about something which has never really been explored in depth – what a no deal would actually mean. He could portray Johnson, for instance, as someone ready to risk the economy for his own political ambition.

Will it help him? Maybe because at least he goes into the race taking the opening initiative.

In the betting Hunt is currently at a 6% chance compared with BoJo’s 36% one.

Mike Smithson


 



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The first consequence of the Euros – LAB appears to be edging closer to a second referendum

Monday, May 27th, 2019

It was inevitable after their drubbing in the Euro elections that LAB was going to have to look at its current policy of ambiguity when dealing with Brexit and the second referendum question.

Remember LAB was at one stage odds-on favourite to come top in the UK Euro elections and even in the run up last week was odds on to beat the LDs to second place.

What is clear is that LAB was not even a close second to Cable’s party and, of course, it lost the former stronghold of London to the LDs.

So something has to give and assuming that McDonnell is talking for the leadership as a whole then it looks as though we could see a change.

One thing about the Tory performance is that MPs would be reluctant to give their votes to a general election. After TMay’s experience at GE2017 the party has little stomach for doing other than trying to see the parliament out till 2022.

Mike Smithson


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How the final polls did against the actual results – party by party

Monday, May 27th, 2019

As can be seen from the charts above the biggest problem the pollsters had was with LAB which had a huge range in the final polls. Partly, I suspect, this was that Labour supporters had not finalised their decision to vote tactically when they were being questioned.

It is well know that a significant proportion of voters really don’t make their minds up until the last moment. This is why Ipsos MORI generally try to ensure that its final poll before an election involves fieldwork carrying on until latish on the Wednesday evening.

Matt Singh of NCP explained in last week’s PB/Polling Matters Podcast how his final numbers had been impacted by a large proportion of his sample doing the online questionnaire on the the Saturday.

Mike Smithson


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The overnight figures don’t look good for many of the pollsters

Monday, May 27th, 2019


BBC

We’ve now got all the regional results in England and Wales with Scotland to be finalised and the Northern Ireland county to take place in the morning.

The numbers in the BBC table above speak for themselves. In a later post we’ll look in detail at how the final polls did against the outcome but it is clear that those pollsters that had LAB in the low or mid-20s haven’t come out of this well.

Now I must work out how much I’ve won!

Mike Smithson


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The Tories get wiped out in the East Midlands, Yorkshire & The Humber, The South West, and Wales

Sunday, May 26th, 2019

TSE