Archive for the ' General Election' Category


After an extraordinary and dramatic political year so little has changed in the battle between CON & LAB

Monday, January 16th, 2017

The main moves – UKIP down LD up

After this morning’s YouGov poll came out I was asked on Twitter for the comparative numbers for a year ago and other points during 2016. The data is in the chart above and shows quite extraordinary that Labour and the Conservatives have almost the same numbers this month that they had a year ago.

This is a period which has seen the election of a Muslim mayor in London, Brexit, and, of course, a new UK PM, the victory by Donald Trump in the White House Race.

ILooking at the polling numbers between now and the year ago the only real change has been that the LDs have progressed quite nicely and UKIP has Fallen. At one stage Farage’s party, as it then was, touched 20% but things started to decline after the referendum. It remain to be seen whether under its new leader UKIP will reach the heights again.

The big factor in domestic politics has been the time has marches on. We are now one year closer to the May 2020 General Election date that is laid down in the fixed term Parliament Act. The time margins for a LAB recovery are now much narrower.

In the coming months so much depends on how to Theresa May’s government is seem to have handled the extraction process from the European Union. On that we will get the prime minister’s speech tomorrow. Then hopefully within next week we should see the Supreme Court ruling on Article 50.

Mike Smithson


A measure of the anti-elite backlash will be when when a non-dark blue educated leader becomes a GE winner

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

It is not hard to spot the trend here

General Election Winning party leader Alma mater
1945 Clement Attlee University of Oxford
1950 Clement Attlee University of Oxford
1951 Winston Churchill Non graduate
1955 Anthony Eden University of Oxford
1959 Harold Macmillan University of Oxford
1964 Harold Wilson University of Oxford
1966 Harold Wilson University of Oxford
1970 Edward Heath University of Oxford
1974 Feb Harold Wilson University of Oxford
1974 Oct Harold Wilson University of Oxford
1979 Margaret Thatcher University of Oxford
1983 Margaret Thatcher University of Oxford
1987 Margaret Thatcher University of Oxford
1992 John Major Non graduate
1997 Tony Blair University of Oxford
2001 Tony Blair University of Oxford
2005 Tony Blair University of Oxford
2010 David Cameron University of Oxford
2015 David Cameron University of Oxford

Can the Oxford stranglehold continue?

It is 81 years since a party led by a grad of a university other than Oxford led his/her party to a general election victory. This table shows what happened in the intervening period

You have to go back to the 1935 to find an election winner, Stanley Baldwin, who was a graduate of a university other than Oxford. The only non-dark blues GE winners, Churchill (1951) and Major (1992)did not go to university.

Jim Callaghan and Gordon Brown are not in the list because they didn’t lead their parties to general election victories.

Mike Smithson


CON slips 3 and LAB drop to 24% in new YouGov Times poll

Monday, January 2nd, 2017


The squeeze on LAB from Yellow and Purple continues

Unlike the last last parliament when there was at least one poll every single day for more than four years surveyd are now few and far between at the moment. The only regular (monthly or more) Westminster voting polls are coming from just four firms – YouGov, ICM, Opinium and Ipsos MORI. At least individual polls are not having a greater impact.

The big picture is the continuation of the sorry state of Labour which is being squeezed by both UKIP and the LDs. Both have very clear visions of Europe which Team Corbyn has been unable to articulate.

We saw at GE2015 in Scotland how a party can totally collapse. At GE2010 LAB has 41 MPs north of the border. Now it has just one and LAB is now in third place in Holyrood surveys.

Mike Smithson


The winners under First Past The Post should rigidly adhere to election spending laws

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016


The chart above is self-explanatory and illustrates clearly how well the electoral system treated the Tories at the last election and how hard it was on the smaller parties particularly UKIP.

General elections are won in the marginal constituencies where clearly the parties focus their resources both financial and people.

But the law lays down very strict spending limits on how much can be spent by each party within each seat. Parties shouldn’t be able to buy victory simply because they’ve got most money.

After the election each candidate and his/her agent have to sign a declaration of expenses. A false declaration is a criminal offence.

So free resources that don’t cost money such as enthusiastic volunteers for clearical tasks, delivering and canvassing are at a premium. If you start paying for items like this during the official campaign period then it can eat into the maximum that’s allowed.

Earlier in the year Channel 4’s Michael Crick ran a series of reports suggesting that the Tories in some of their key targets and defences might have gone over the limit. This is now being investigated by the Electoral Commission and we await its report.

In these days hidden campaigning such as use of social media and the phone plays a huge part and tracking expenditure can be harder but it is right that limits should be adhered to.

Mike Smithson


Signs are that 2017 could be a big Westminster by-election year topping even 2016

Friday, December 23rd, 2016

We know of two already and 2017 hasn’t even started

One of the big trends in recent times, as the chart shows, has been for a big increase in by-elections caused by other than the death or health of the sitting MP. This year there’ve been seven contests with five of them in the “other” category. Ogmore and Toting were caused by the sitting MP either switching to the Welsh Assembly or becoming Mayor of London. Two of the other three were linked to BREXIT while the final one related to the government’s decision on Heathrow.

Looking to 2017 there are signs that we could have another big year. The creation of the big combined authority elected mayors provides opportunities for other sitting MPs as well as twice-failed LAB leader contender, Andy Burnham.

Also we have the trials and tribulations within Labour following the Corbyn re-election with reports that other MPs are ready to step down and create by-elections like the upcoming one in Copeland.

We still don’t know what the Electoral Commission is going to do following the Michael Crick Channel 4 Tory GE2015 expenses investigation. Whether that leads to by-elections is hard to say but certainly there’s an expectation within UKIP that Nigel Farage might be able to have another stab at Thanet South. LAB and the LDs have similar hopes.

A betting market on the total number in 2017 might be a good idea. I’d go for 7+.

Mike Smithson


Opinium has the CON lead over LAB down by 5%

Saturday, December 17th, 2016


Which party REMAIN and LEAVE voters now say they will vote for at the next general election

Friday, December 16th, 2016

One of the irritating things about current polling is that not all firms are providing a breakdown based on referendum vote. This seems odd given that what people did on June 23rd says more about them politically than just about anything else.

One pollster that does so in every survey is YouGov and the splits in the chart above are based on its latest poll. My plan is to track these numbers on a regular basis.

Currently amongst REMAIN voters LAB is getting most, with CON second and the LDs third on 18% – suggesting that there is scope for expanding that if the yellows are able to sustain the current momentum.

Amongst LEAVE voters CON gets the lion’s share most probably because of UKIP-CON switching since the referendum. The blues are the party of BREXIT.

Mike Smithson


A Richmond Park by election polling boost for the LDs from Ipsos MORI: up 4% to 14%

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

From today’s Ipsos MORI phone poll for the Standard
Con 40 (-2)
Lab 29 (-4)
LD 14 (+4)
UKIP 9 (+2
GRN 3 (nc)

Yellows getting biggest support in Southern England

TMay heading for cross-over perhaps in her satisfaction ratings

Fewer people think government doing good job on BREXIT