Archive for June, 2019

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Gove moves into second place as CON MPs prepare to vote for a fifth time

Thursday, June 20th, 2019



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Johnson’s first battle as PM with the BXP looks set to be at Brecon & Radnor within a week of him getting the job

Thursday, June 20th, 2019

Farage’s favourite pollster, Survation, has already been active

At 5pm today the six recall petition centres across the B&R constituency will close their doors and late tomorrow morning the sitting CON MP will learn whether or not 10% of those on the electoral roll have signed the petition demanding his recall. If the total tops the required number then the Speaker will be informed formally and a vacancy will be declared.

The petition follows the conviction of the CON MP for expenses fraud – one of the three stated factors in the recall legislation that bring one into effect.

It is expected that the by-election will take place on July 25th or a week later on August 1st. The result of the Tory leadership  election is due in the week of July 22nd so Johnson’s first by-election test be shortly afterwards.

We do know that Survation, which has carried out a lot of constituency polling in the past for Farage, has been running a survey in B&R  no doubt to test the water. The seat was broadly in line with the overall UK result at the Referendum so not as clear cut a leave seat as Peterborough.

Given BXP’s strong Westminster polling position it clearly will want to contest the seat a move that could split the Tory vote and could make the task of LDs, who have been campaigning hard for weeks, a bit easier.

But will Farage want to do something that would undermine arch-Brexiteer Boris so early on in his new job? My guess is that he’s no alternative. BXP needs to fight battles like this and do well in order to keep the momentum going.

The result of the petition is expected tomorrow. The by-election campaigning will start immediately afterwards.

Mike Smithson


 

 



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This is a good moment to recall the MP stage of the 2001 Tory leadership election when Portillo missed the cut by just one vote

Wednesday, June 19th, 2019

How IDS got into the members’ ballot with fewer than a third of the MP votes

The very first time the CON leadership election procedure that we are seeing at the moment was used was in 2001 in the aftermath of Tony Blair’s second successive landslide general election victory.

The longstanding favourite and the person expected to take the crown was Michael Portillo who had lost his Enfield seat at GE1997. He returned to the Commons in a by-election and seemed on course for to become leader in 2011. I’ve long felt that if he had he would have given Blair a run for his money in 2004.

The Wikipedia panel above shows the dynamic of that election process. As can be seen Portillo came top in the first two rounds of MP voting but then lost it at the final MP hurdle by a single vote.

In the membership ballot IDS easily out did the pro-EU Ken Clarke.

That Duncan Smith became leader after getting fewer than a third of the MP votes always meant he would struggle with the parliamentary party. Two years later he lost a confidence vote and was kicked out of the job.

Michael Portillo left politics and developed a successful career in TV.

Mike Smithson


 



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Now we are down to the final 4 and CON MPs reject the contender deemed to have “won” last night’s debate

Wednesday, June 19th, 2019



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YouGov snap CON debate poll gives it to Stewart amongst all voters by a big margin

Wednesday, June 19th, 2019

This raises doubts over BoJo’s ability to win converts

YouGov has published what appears to be the only poll carried out on last night’s CON leader debates. The main details are in the YouGov table above.

While there’s little doubt that the member for Uxbridge does well with Tory voters but the party is going to need much more than them in a general election and that presents something of a dilemma.  That just 7% of Remain voters gave their debate verdict to Johnson is very telling and should be worrying  as it seems set to choose Johnson.

Tony Blair was a hugely successful general election campaigner because he was able to reach voters that other LAB figures had been able to get through to. He won three general election working majorities on the trot.

One of the things that’s always trotted out in relation to Johnson is his success in London. A big factor that helped that, I’d suggest, was that each time his LAB opponent was Ken Livingstone and in 2008 when he first won the London mayoralty Cameron’s Tory party was on a roll.

By May 2008 Brown’s LAB had really run out of steam and the Tories looked as though they were heading for a Commons majority.

Maybe this YouGov poll will help keep Stewart in the race in this afternoon’s ballot of MPs

 

Mike Smithson


 

 

 



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From a media perspective Team Boris will regard last night as job well done

Wednesday, June 19th, 2019

He’s helped by the size of the field

The Boris plan of refusing almost all media invitations meant that last night was the first time anybody had seen him facing scrutiny since TMay announced that she was going. But the nature of the programme with the BBC feeling it had to bring in questions from studios all over the country meant that the time spent with the overwhelming betting favourite was very limited.

I found him less than convincing and he could be vulnerable in one to one probing. Issues were allowed to hang that should have been probed a bit further because the programme operated on the BBC principle of being fair to all five.

We did get a glimpse of what will become a big narrative when the prospect of UK farmers facing huge tariffs for when their produce is exported to the EU on a such a scale that is going to make it very difficult.

What we need to hear is what the presumptive PM is going to do about those sections of the UK economy that could be ruined in the event of no deal. Johnson needs to be pressed hard.

I was impressed by Stewart’s response afterwards to what clearly was a lacklustre performance. The format didn’t suit him at all and his admission could help him keep in the race after tonight’s vote.

There’s a lot of betting going on and the amount wagered on the Betfair exchange is now above £7m.

Mike Smithson


 



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If punters have this right the big loser in the CON debate was Stewart – down from a 9% chance to a 4% one

Tuesday, June 18th, 2019


Betfair exchange via Betdata.io

For those who didn’t watch just check out the comments on the previous thread.

Overall I don’t think it has changed much. For me the most impressive performers were Hunt and Javid. Stewart didn’t meet expectations and hence his decline in the betting.

Mike Smithson


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Raab out – Stewart the big gainer

Tuesday, June 18th, 2019