Archive for the 'Corbyn' Category


On Betfair punters make it a 20% chance that Corbyn won’t last the year

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

Corbyn’s constant changes of his story have made matters worse

One betting market which we’ve never reported on has been the Betfair’s year of Corbyn’s departure. This isn’t so surprising for following his reelection by a whopping margin 2 years ago the Labour leader has looked totally secure. This of course has been helped by the overwhelming support he appears to have from the membership and there has been virtually nothing his detractors can do to shift him.

That might be changing because of the manner that he and his team have dealt with the Daily Mail revelations about what he did in the Tunis Cemetery 4 years ago.

The current explosion in news coverage on this should have come as no surprise to Corbyn and his team. This has been known about ever since he wrote in the Morning Star about his visit in 2014 when he was not Labour leader and probably never even had any thought that stage that such a position would be possible.

During the GE2017 campaign the Tory attack dog and then cabinet minister, Michael Fallon, sought to highlight what top Corbyn and done during his Tunis visit but the story did not seem to have legs. That, however, you should have been a warning to Labour’s press team and Corbyn himself that it could blow up again. For that Morning Star column made clear that he was doing more in the cemetery than just honouring those who had been killed in the Israeli air raid.

So why oh why was the first reaction from the party that the visit had been confined to the air raid victims?

What’s giving this legs this time has been the photographs from 2014 which have been available on the internet all this time. It becomes very difficult stating that you don’t think you laid a wreath when there is a picture of you doing it. So the story changed to the now ridiculed quote on the Metro front page above.

My guess is that he’ll still be there at the end of the year but the chances of him not making it have risen. I’m on at 7.4 on Betfair. This is currently 5.

Mike Smithson


Corbyn got through GE2017 without his back-story becoming an issue – 14 months on things are different

Monday, August 13th, 2018

Where the danger to Corbyn really lies

Ever since his surprise victory in the 2015 leadership contest Corbyn’s detractors have consistently argued that his backstory and some of the relationships and things he has done over the past 30 years would be a major encumbrances in an election campaign.

In spite of considerable efforts by the Tories and part of the national media somehow this didn’t resonate fourteen months ago but a direct consequence of the anti-semitism role within the party is that he is now being looked at a lot differently and that could be very dangerous.

    He’s simply not been able to shake off the antisemitism charge something that hasn’t been helped by the party’s controversial attempt to narrow the definition of what antisemitism is.

The latest Tunis story is a case in point. This has been reported on and looked into quite considerably in the past and somehow it never seemed to resonate. But that has changed.

Corbyn’s approach to this is becoming very familiar. He always admits that he has been in the presence of what can be seen as difficult situations but has always been able to convince that he personally was not directly involved.

But although anti-semitism might seem to be at the heart of his problems at the moment the underlying issue is that he is pursuing a policy on Brexit which is very much alien to large parts of Labour supporter base. Will he survive? On the face of it he’s in a strong position because the party members are said to be totally on side and it is hard to see him losing a contest.

My view is that the danger to him could come from some of the major trade union leaders and the shadow chancellor John McDonnell. If they decided that his past was becoming too much of an embarrassment for the party then you can see them putting heavy pressure on him to go.

Mike Smithson


This poll just about sums Brexit up – 60% don’t care what happens over Brexit they just want it to be over

Saturday, August 11th, 2018

This is good news for TMay

I’m starting to like some of the original output from DeltaPoll – the new pollster established a few months ago with Martin Boon, ex-ICM and Jo Twyman ex-YouGov at the helm.

In this question which came out during the week I think they’ve touched the mood of the nation. This seems to have gone on for so long and people are just bored.

Notice in the splits that Remainers are less likely to take this view but then that is understandable.

It is against this background, I’d suggest, that TMay’s Chequers strategy might eventually resonate. Her plan is essentially BINO, Brexit in Name Only, and is designed to honour the referendum result while causing as little damage as possible to the economy.

A lot now could depend on Labour and how influential Corbyn remains within the party. His strong pro-Brexit stance is very much out of line with his party supporters but he has held to it until now. The party conference, however, could be interesting with a big move going on to get backing for another referendum.

The antisemitism row has clearly weakened him and whether he can continue to stick with his policy on that and hold firm on his Brexit approach is very much a moot point.

Mike Smithson


YouGov finds that just half of those who voted LAB at GE2017 choose Corbyn as “Best PM”

Friday, August 10th, 2018

The detailed data from the latest YouGov Times poll shows that when asked just 50% those sampled who voted Labour at the last election chose Corbyn in response to who would make the Best PM.

This is the worst polling for the LAB leader since the election and has Corbyn showing the same sorts of ratings from past party voters as Ed Miliband was getting ahead of GE2015.

This is all a long way from the post-GE2017 polling when Corbyn’s support on this question amongst who had voted for the party was touching 80%.

It comes at a time when his leadership has been under sharp scrutiny over the bespoke antisemitism policy that has caused so much anger in the Jewish communities and amongst Corbyn’s own MPs.

The strongest thing in Corbyn’s favour at the moment is that his supporters control just about all the lvers of power within the party and of course he continues to have the strong backing of members.

He isn’t going anywhere and it is hard to see him and close adviser, Seumus Milne climbing down on the definition of antisemitism.

Mike Smithson


Tonight’s YouGov has the worst LAB voting figures and the worst Corbyn best PM rating since GE17

Thursday, August 9th, 2018

It is hard to conclude other than that the ongoing row within Labour over anti-semitism is taking its toll.

It is a general rule that parties that appear to be split lose support from voters and the news from the red team has been negative for months.

This has manifested itself in so many different stories that have kept LAB+antisemitism in the headlines.

Corbynistas say that anti-semitism is being used as a smear against the leader. Maybe there is an element in this from some quarters but that evades the question of whether the party has got this right.

Mike Smithson


Analysing the weekend’s extraordinary Twitter storm targeting LAB Deputy Leader, Tom Watson

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018

One cultist alone sent 613 Tweets

There’s a great analysis published overnight on the tech site, GizmodoUK on the extraordinary effort over the weekend against Labour’s elected deputy leader, Tom Watson.

This is from the site’s analysis:

“In the hour from 7pm-8pm, including retweets, 29,844 #ResignWatson tweets were sent. Excluding retweets, there was 6149 unique tweets sent in the space of an hour.

Over the course of the entire 32-ish hour timeframe that the hashtag existed, 89,373 tweets were sent including retweets, or 74,745 once you exclude retweets.

What’s perhaps important though is the number of unique people using the hashtag: For slightly misleading context, as of January 2018, Labour reportedly had around 552,000 members.

According to our research, this tweetstorm involved 12,195 unique twitter accounts which seems… actually quite impressive. Though to be clear and tediously reiterate again, there are an absolute shedloads of health warning on comparing these two numbers: Namely that there’s no way to know how many people using the hashtag are members (Corbyn does appear to have significant support on even further left, among people who are members of the various Communist parties and the like). And of course, as previously noted, some tweets on the hashtag were supportive or neutral of Watson. So measuring the depth of feeling is pretty much impossible…”

This is how it broke down by the hour – chart from Gizmodo.

Inevitably, Russian bots became involved.

The fact that this can be achieved so quickly is now part of the social media world in which we live. So far Mr. Watson remains and as I pointed out yesterday he was elected in a members’ ballot and has a personal mandate. There is very little that Corbynistas can do about it.

The great thing is that it is possible to carry out analysis like this which allows us to put it into context.

Mike Smithson


Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson feels the heat after publicly attacking Jezza on antisemitism

Monday, August 6th, 2018

Corbynistas are now fighting the man who triggered the 2006 move against Blair

Perhaps the biggest development within Labour’s antisemitism row over the weekend has been the assertion by the deputy leader, Tom Watson, that he does not follow the Corbyn line.

Of all the people within the movement Watson is in a unique position because he owes his role within the party to his own mandate. He was elected deputy leader in 2015 at the same time as Corbyn won the leadership.

Corbyn is simply not in a constitutional position to sack him and Watson can remain pretty much as long as he wants. The same rules that make it so difficult to oust a party leader within Labour apply also to the deputy.

This doesn’t, however, mean that he is immune from a social media onslaught as the Tweet above suggests that he has had to endure following his remarks.

For in a biting observation over the weekend Watson warned that LAB will “disappear into a vortex of eternal shame and embarrassment” if it failed to resolve the row on antisemitism. He told the Observer that Labour should adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism in full – something Mr Corbyn is refusing to do.

    Watson was always regarded as one of the key figures behind Gordon Brown and older PBers might recall the part he played in September 2006 in getting Labour’s three-times election winner, Tony Blair, to commit to an exit time-table.

Team Corbyn underestimate Watson at their peril. It is not good for them that he and Corbyn are not on the same page.

In the betting punters rate it as a 64% chance that Corbyn’s exit will be 2020 or later.

Mike Smithson


That John McDonnell feels that he has to post this says a lot about the state of Labour

Thursday, August 2nd, 2018