Archive for the 'Coalition' Category


As we edge toward a possible general election the latest Commons Seats spreads from SportingIndex

Thursday, October 3rd, 2019

This is how the market’s seeing the coming battle

So far I’ve only had one bet a buy of GRN seats at 1.5.

SportingIndex link_

Mike Smithson


New YouGov polling finds firm backing for final Brexit decisions to be made by a referendum

Thursday, October 3rd, 2019

Not a good polling backdrop for “People versus Parliament”

In the panel above from new YouGov polling published this afternoon there is clear support for a final referendum on a deal or if nothing can be agreed a no deal.

This fits in with other polling that we have seen from other pollsters. It is going to be hard politically to drive through something based on the June 2016 referendum. That was then this is now and voters know much more about what is involved.

Whatever it is clear that Cumming/Johnson will do anything to avoid taking such a step.

Mike Smithson


LAB close the gap by 4 with Opinium

Saturday, September 28th, 2019

More to follow


September 2019 Local By-Election Review

Friday, September 27th, 2019

Votes Cast, Share, Change (in votes and seats)
Conservatives 9,961 votes (34% unchanged on last time) winning 9 seats (unchanged on last time)
Liberal Democrats 8,000 votes (27% +12% on last time) winning 4 seats (+2 seats on last time)
Labour 7,914 votes (27% -7% on last time) winning 6 seats (+1 seat on last time)
Scottish National Party 1,202 votes (4% unchanged on last time) winning 0 seats (unchanged on last time)
Green Party 1,170 votes (4% -1% on last time) winning 0 seats (unchanged on last time)
Independent candidates 655 votes (2% unchanged on last time) winning 0 seats (-2 seats on last time)
Local Independent candidates 23 votes (0% unchanged on last time) winning 0 seats (unchanged on last time)
Other Parties 638 votes (2% -2% on last time) winning 0 seats (-1 seat on last time)
Conservative lead of 1,961 votes (7%) on a swing of 6% from Con to Lib Dem
United Kingdom Independence Party did not field any candidates (-1% on last time)

Conservatives GAIN Penrith South on Eden from Independent
Conservatives GAIN Ryhall and Casterton on Rutland from Independent
Liberal Democrats GAIN Middleton, Cheney on South Northamptonshire from Conservative (6.5% swing from Con to Lib Dem)
Liberal Democrats GAIN Vivary on Somerset West and Taunton from Conservative (11.5% swing from Con to Lib Dem)
Labour GAIN Icknfield on Luton from Conservative (1.5% swing from Conservative to Labour)
Conservatives GAIN Sweyne Park and Grange on Rochford from Residents

Harry Hayfield


Johnson’s “Surrender Bill” rhetoric – cutting through ?

Friday, September 27th, 2019

A guest slot by Egg

To call it the surrender bill, do you have to truly believe we can pressure the EU into an exit favourable to us by threatening EU with No Deal, or use it with ulterior motive? And is it really a differential, or does it preach to the perverted and those already on board? Let’s get to the bottom of these questions.

First lets analyse why its important to leave No Deal on table in the negotiation. Facing the break of four decades of shared sovereignty, in the space of a few weeks now the two sides will confront decisions that will frame relations for years to come, choices made may determine whether Brexit becomes hostile divorce or a more managed break that keeps a path to reconciliation open. So No Deal on table for negotiation is not intended as an end, but an end to achieve a means that is the best possible deal. With No Deal on the table it means the backstop and the financial settlement are still seriously on the table too to be definitely settled. And only if UK is serious about no deal can it additionally keep benefits to Britain through “mini-deals” on the table and in discussion. Contrary to EU spin, Mini Deals are alive and well, merely renamed as arrangements (such arrangements already put in place covering fish and flying rights with medicine and money to follow.) But is it clear to voters what we are actually agreeing in these mini deals? To what extent are opposition from Farage to Starmer probing them? How much do you know about the agreements already made? For example, EU are gagging for fishing access to UK waters, how much have we surrendered already in that mini deal?

If you logically move this forward, to get the best deal for UK you have to push the deal making to the very point EU membership still has irreplaceable benefits only available to members, and to reach there you need to seriously engage in negotiation. But are we? Because without a serious negotiation what actually is happening, the threat of no deal is forcing UK to surrender too, on financial payments, fishing rights, backstop, etc as we try to mitigate the decoupling.

Because however we approach negotiation we can’t escape the No Deal reality is EU managing implementation of rules that can cause huge disruption to UK trade, such as customs checks or providing authorisations. For example EU has particular sway in the area of agricultural trade. UK exports face 100 per cent checks under EU law after Brexit. But, for this point even to be reached, Brussels must first authorise the UK as “competent” to export to the EU, a decision that might take a day or “maybe a lot longer” depending on the state of relations; by holding back on this authorisation decision, the EU could completely halt Britain’s sales of beef, sheep meat and dairy to the bloc. The challenge EU are meeting well so far in negotiation is taking advantage of all that leverage without doing further harm to EU interests. This is the reality of keeping no deal on the table rather than admit it has to be a deal Brexit for UK: we are actually empowering the EU in the negotiation.

And it has been pointed out again and again, the original campaign in 2016 and the narrow win was not founded upon a No Deal Brexit. It was achieved promising a deal Brexit and all the security that comes with that.

If I were LOTO and asked Boris at PMQs if he truly believes we can pressure EU into a deal favourable to us by threatening them with no deal, and Boris said yes, I would be lost for words. Maybe laugh at the certainty repeating that will eventually destroy him. It’s not just factually preposterous, defying what is actually happening and will continue to happen in any real negotiation, with a bit of work I can also expose it as a lie. Leave no deal on table, you leave yourself open to suspicion you may go for a No Deal Brexit in order to save Brexit from undergoing a second ref, but take no deal off the table you are almost certainly surrendering to the certainty of second ref, where we leave with a deal or not leave at all. For a leaver to leave themselves in that position, a deal they can’t sell or even regard as Brexit, that would be the ultimate ‘surrender’. And that’s the truth why what takes it off the table is being called the Surrender Bill.

This is the anatomy of keeping No Deal on the table. Correct me where I’m wrong.

1. It’s a lie that it provides finality, a ‘clean break’, when it would do nothing of the sort.
2. It’s a lie No Deal on the table favours us, and not EU in negotiation.
3. Its a lie to claim no deal is viable option for UK, the actual truth is it’s said to avoid admitting the only choice is a deal Brexit or no Brexit at all.
4. And as Boris would say the real kicker, are those now calling others surrender monkeys themselves surrendering ground in negotiations, such as the mini deal on fisheries?



These perceptions of Johnson could be critical in an election campaign

Thursday, September 26th, 2019

The above detailed data from today’s YouGov/Times poll should be of concern to the PM’s advisors as they wrench up the election rhetoric.

The worst figures, I’d suggest, are on his perceived competence and whether he’s regarded as honest. On the first measure just 33% think he is competent against 50% who don’t. The honesty split of 22% honest to 52% dishonest and the fact that barely half of CON voters were ready to say “honest” opens up possible lines of attack.

Also worrying are the views of him being in touch with ordinary people something that can be a good pointer, That half the sample think he’s putting on an act and is not authentic is striking and represents a real weakness in his position.

We are going through interesting times and Johnson tough response to the Supreme Court raises questions.

The full survey data can be found here.

Mike Smithson





If this YouGov polling is correct then tactical voting looks set to play a big part in an early general election

Monday, September 23rd, 2019

As a general rule I really don’t like surveys on things like tactical voting because we are asking a pollster to do something that’s highly complicated and we should retain our sectptism.

A concern on the polling above is that members of the YouGov panel might have a tendency to be more politically involved than the norm and therefore, possibly, more likely to state that they would use their vote in a tactical way.

The first polling to feature in the panel above seeks to find out what LAB and GRN voters would do in seats where the Tories are slugging out with the LDs. The second panel seeks to established what LD voters voters would do where the battle in their seat is perceived to be between Labour and the Tories.

One danger is that these are based on perceptions of the likely main battle in each seat and things might have changed dramatically since baseline of GE2017. LAB has lost a lot of support as have the Tories. The LDs, meanwhile, have seen their polling shares get to nearly three times the last general election level. There might be what in 2017 were CON-LAB marginals where the LDs would now fancy their chances.

On the basis of the above LD voters seem less likely to contemplate voting tactically then LAB ones.

Mike Smithson


Labour’s leadership machinations could be a pointer that an early change is being planned

Saturday, September 21st, 2019

So far I have not been tempted to take the Betfair 26% that Corbyn will step down as LAB leader during 2019.  But an early exit for Mr Corbyn is how some of the machinations ahead of the party conference both last night and this morning are being interpreted.

Why the party had to change its position on a move that seemed to be about abolishing the role of deputy leader as a means of clipping Watson’s wings we do not know.  It appears as though the position of Tom Watson was threatened in the first place because there was the possibility that he would, by being deputy, be the default temporary leader when Corbyn goes.

Something has been going on for the motion to have been published in the first place and then replaced by what appeared to be  much more apparently moderately sounding one. Maybe this is a common tactic. The first with the the deputy job being abolished was published in order to test the waters. Given that it has received such a negative response then maybe that has driven the decision to change it into something that appears more acceptable.

The fact is that this month Corbyn enters his fifth year as Labour leader which apart from Nicola Sturgeon makes him one of the most long-lasting leaders in the UK.  In the sametime period the Tories  have gone from Cameron to to Theresa May and now to Mr Johnson while the LDs have gone from Tim Farron to Vince Cable and now to Jo Swinson.

Whatever it is hard to see how  Corbyn could stand aside with all the talk of an imminent general election in which the LAB leader himself could play the key part in triggering by moving a confidence vote under the FPTP Act procedures.

If there is a general election then whether Corbyn will be lead could be an issue. After all the LAB leader is the next PM, elections permitting, in waiting and what has happened has raised doubts. Maybe this blunts the Corbyn negative factor.

Mike Smithson