Archive for the 'Coalition' Category


The seven minutes that put Kamala Harris back into the Democratic nomination race

Monday, May 6th, 2019


For this Trump called her “nasty”

While most of us in the UK have been sidelined by the local election results, Gavin Williamson and the ongoing talks on brexit there has been a big development in the race for the Democratic nomination for next year’s White House election.

The early favourite, and my 66/1 pick from January 2017, Kamala Harris had been edging down in the betting somewhat since launching her campaign in January. We haven’t really heard from her in a big way on the issue of the day which is of course Mr Trump.

Last week she participated in a hearing of a Senate committee at which the Trump’s  Attorney General, William Barr, was giving evidence. You should know when watching the clip that each senator on the committee is given exactly 7 minutes in which to carry out his or her cross-examination. So time is very precious.

You can see how Barr tries to run down the clock and seeks to eke out the seconds but the the non-aggressive but persistent way Harris dealt with him has been widely acclaimed. She didn’t lose her cool, she continued her forensic questioning, and the overall impact was to raise even more questions over Barr and his role for the President.

This was of course all carried live on TV and has been repeated endlessly since. This has helped her move up in the polling and in the betting she’s a solid third favourite behind the 76 and 77 year old Biden and Sanders. The former remains favourite but is doing far worse in the early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire.

Harris looks set to be in a good position for the first TV debate of the primary campaign which start next month.

Mike Smithson


A big loser from the locals is Change UK who decided to sit these elections out

Friday, May 3rd, 2019

It’ll be the LDs who’ll find it easier to present themselves as the voice of Remain

The New Statesman’s Stephen Bush’s analysis sums up the post-local elections challenge for ChangeUK which, of course, did not participate yesterday.

“….the reality is that if any party can now pivot to being the natural choice for Remainers who want to send a message at the European elections on 23 May, it is going to be the Liberal Democrats. What they need to do is show that they bring something to the table in any alliance with Vince Cable’s party – an ability to win parts of the country with no Liberal Democrat tradition, or in heavily Labour areas, perhaps.

As for Cable himself, the scene is set for a glorious exit from the role of Liberal Democrat leader whatever happens at the European elections. It also ensures that the race to choose his successor this summer may now get one of the most precious of third-party commodities: a degree of attention from the media…”

At the Euro elections on May 23rd there was always going to be a level of friction between the parties wanting to present themselves as the authentic voice of Remain. The impact of the overnight results and the Lib Dems doing far better than any of the predictions suggest that they were going to find it easier for their message to resonate with those opposed to Brexit

The outcome gives the Lib Dems a credibility that they haven’t had since going into coalition with the Tories on May 11th 2010. Labour’s very public divisions and internal fights over Brexit make their pitch for this slot quite challenging. For Corbyn’s party to end up as a seat loser in the same local elections that the Tories have lost 1000 plus seats raises questions over the electability of the red team.

Mike Smithson



The Tories and LDs doing better than the polls on the Projected National Vote Share

Friday, May 3rd, 2019

Corbyn’s LAB doing worse than EdM’s party four years ago

The local results are coming in thick and fast and the LDs have just ABOUT achieved the 500 gain projection that Tory analyst, Lord Hayward, predicted at the weekend. The total will change as further councilS complete their counts.

Looking at the big picture the main surprise has been how poorly LAB has performed in a set of elections when the Tories could lose a thousand seats. That the red team has not made progress should be a cause for concern.

Clearly Brexit is a factor but there is also the LAB leader, Mr. Corbyn who only six weeks recorded recorded the worst Ipsos-MORI satisfaction rating for an opposition leader that it has ever found.

Mike Smithson


The LDs – putting the coalition years behind them

Friday, May 3rd, 2019

The counts start this morning in thousands of more seats

In many ways this is all going to what had been expected. Rallings and Thrasher had predicted 400 LD gains while Tory elections expert, Lord Hayward, had put it at 500. We’ll have to see how this goes.

A key measure will be the national equivalent vote share projection which will probably come out in the coming days.

Mike Smithson


LDs the main gainers but there are a lot more results to come

Friday, May 3rd, 2019

Because the majority of results will be not Known until perhaps mid-afternoon it is hard to draw conclusions so far on this year’s local election results. The councils that have counted overnight have been more in the north of England where Labour has been struggling more than in the south.

The Lib Dems have been making a number of gains but their best prospects will be in the councils that are counting during the daytime.




Local election night – the results trickle in with the LDs and Greens gainers in vote terms

Friday, May 3rd, 2019

LAB the biggest losers so far

We must remember that the majority councils are not starting their counts until the morning.

Mike Smithson


If winning the Euro elections had been a good general election predictor William Hague would have become Prime Minister in 2001

Thursday, May 2nd, 2019

Instead Blair got 413 MPs and the Tories 166

This is starting to feel a bit tiresome those people taking European election voting intention polls and seeking them to apply to a general election. Sure the Tory shares down to 13% are terrible but history suggests that this is not a guide to any General Election outcome.

Go back and look at the 2001. Two years earlier William Hague had secured most seats in the EU parliament for his Tories and made a big deal of this.

That barely mattered barely two years later. At the General Election the number of CON seats increased by just one.

Hague quit as leader the following day.

Yet we keep on seeing these projections. Five years ago UKIP, then without Tommy Robinson as a prominent party figure, came top in the Euro elections with the Tories in third place. Some excitable people were predicting all sorts for the party. It didn’t happen. At the 2015 general election UKIP lost one of the two seats that it had secured a year earlier as a result of the defection.

There are several big differences between the Euro and general elections. In the latter the turnouts are generally about twice as large and of course they electing the Parliament that will govern the country perhaps for the following five years. The Euro Parliament might have some powers that impact on life in the UK but you’d be hard pressed to be specific.

Mike Smithson



Before we get too excited at this stage before the 2014 Euro elections Farage’s party was on 38% – 20 points ahead of Cameron’s Tories

Saturday, April 27th, 2019

Wikipiedia table of polling for the May 2014 Euro elections

Lots of polling excitement tonight with surveys showing UKIP with a apparently avery large lead over the Tories and level pegging with LAB when the samples were asked how they would vote in next month’s euro elections.

It all looks a bit gloom and doom for the Tories but if you check back to what was happening at this exact point  5 years ago  UKIP were on 38%  with the Tories on 18%. Those are far worse figures than what we’ve seen tonight.

Sure the Tories should be concerned but gap behind Farage’s party is less than it was at this stage five years ago.

Mike Smithson