Archive for the 'Corbyn' Category


LAB voters have become much less enamoured with their leader since GE2017

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

The stance on antisemitism, Brexit or are other factors at play?

The chart above shows the net satisfaction ratings for Jeremy Corbyn from Ipsos MORI in every published poll since the last general election. Note how this was remaining relatively solid until April this year when there was a dramatic drop which has remained.

The trend refelects as well with Labours position in the national voting polls. From the general election until mid March Corbyn’s team were doing pretty well with leads over the Tories in most of the public surveys. Then it shifted down in late March where it has stayed

One of the dangers in polling analysis is to equate correlation with causation but two main political developments have had happened in the period: the increased clamour within the LAB movement over the party’s Brexit position and and, of course, antisemitism.

The latter became headline news towards the end of March when Corbyn’s approving comments on what was clearly an antisemitic mural was highlighted and sparked off demonstrations against the party and him. Since then we have had the efforts by LAB to narrow the definition of antisemitism which has produced a huge negative response from the Jewish Communities and others concerned with the issue.

We saw in the May local elections in London that the party did very badly in areas with largest Jewish communities and, in spite of a strong polling position in the capital failed to take a single Council.

I’m far from convinced that LAB would win a general election if it were to be called in the coming months.

Mike Smithson


To force an early election Jezza needs CON defectors – but would Tory remainers really back him?

Monday, July 2nd, 2018

During the weekend the Labour leader was talking about forcing an early election over Brexit. What he didn’t say was exactly how this would come about because as things stand at the moment the Commons electoral arithmetic is very much against him.

While Labour has sometimes acted as though it won in June last year the fact is that the party ended up 56 MPs behind the Conservatives. The total of non conservative MPs is simply not enough to give it a majority over the Conservatives and the DUP if ever it came to a confidence vote on the floor of the House of Commons.

Unless we get a mad rush of by-elections in Tory seats which the party loses there is nothing in the foreseeable future that’s going to change the basic elecroral facts.

Under the Fixed Term Parliament Act the only way that an opposition can force an early election is by moving a vote of no confidence in the government which is not rescinded within 2 weeks.

The only source of MPs to top up the anti-Conservative contingent to secure a majority is the Conservative Party itself. Corbyn requires Tory defectors and those most probably would come from the small but loud force of remainers.

Only problem here is that the likes of Ken Clarke and Anna Soubry are not likely to be enamoured by the considerable equivocation that the LAB leadership under Corbyn has shown over Brexit.

So Corbyn’s own position on the referendum outcome could hinder any effort to bring the government down and cause an election that he wants.

Mike Smithson


Opposition leaders who like Corbyn lose their first General Election hardly ever make it to Prime Minister

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

The task for Corbyn is to emulate Ted Heath

One of the relatively unusual features of last year’s general election was that the losing main party leader did not quit or was forced out of his job in the aftermath of defeat.

This was in the sharp contrast to:

Ed Miliband (GE2015)
Gordon Brown (GE2010)
Michael Howard (GE2005)
William Hague (GE2001)
John Major (GE1997)
Neil kinnock (GE1992)
Michael Foot (GE1983)
James Callaghan (GE1979)
Edward Heath (GE1974 – Oct).

In fact it has become almost the norm that if you lead your party into a general election defeat then you have to go. Kinnock was the last exception to the rule following the Tory victory at GE1987 and he, of course, went on to lose GE1992

Corbyn was helped last year by the fact he appeared to have done so much better than the opinion polls but LAB still lost the election and was further behind the Tories in terms of seats than Gordon Brown seven years earlier.

The only first time election loser main party leader in modern times who went on to become a prime minister is Edward Heath. He replaced Alec Douglas-Hume in the aftermath of Labour 1964 election victory but had only been in the job about 9 months at the time of the 1966 general election.

Four years later he became the only opposition leader in modern times to secure a working majority from a party that had a working majority.

On Betfair Corbyn is currently rated as having a 13% chance of becoming next PM but is favourite.

Mike Smithson


There’s a Sheffield rally style hubris around Jeremy Corbyn and Labour should be afraid

Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

Picture: From Saturday’s Times

Never get high on your own product.

Ever since Labour’s sensational and better than expected general election of last year I’ve felt Corbyn’s been a bit hubristic. First there was him telling Michael Eavis that he would be PM by Christmas 2017 and now there’s JezFest that could cost see Labour with a million pound loss.

Despite the result last June Corbyn finished with fewer votes and seats than the Tories and it should be remembered that many observers said it was the worst Tory campaign in history.

Hubris leads to bad political decisions such as in the targeting of seats, assuming some seats are in the bag when they aren’t and targeting seats that were never in play.

Two examples I can think of is following their surprise victory in the 1999 European elections the Tory party assumed they had 100 gains in the bag for the 2001 general election and that turned out to be a very dangerous assumption.

The other one is Labour in 2015 thinking everyone who voted Labour in 2010 were in the bag, whilst the events in Scotland rendered that extremely flawed, without the eight Tory gains from Labour in England and Wales David Cameron wouldn’t have a won a majority.



Polling boost for TMay as she takes a “best PM” lead amongst young voters for first time since GE2017

Monday, May 21st, 2018

Corbyn could be losing his advantages with the youth vote

The narrative that started following the shock general election result last June was that Corbyn and his party had managed tap into the youth vote who were turning out in greater numbers than at recent elections.

Much of this can be seen in looking at the age splits to leadership ratings and who would make the best prime minister findings from different pollsters since the election. Certainly up to now Labour and Corbyn have continued to attract the support of the young in greater numbers than the Conservatives.

But the detailed data from the Observer Opinium poll paints a very different picture. In every published survey since the election Opinium had found that the Labour leader had clear leads amongst the young segment to the “best PM” question when the options are TMay or Corbyn.

This had been narrowing, as can be seen in the chart, but Corbyn had retained a constant lead amongst the young until this latest one.

Now Theresa May is the top choice for the 18-34 year old segment with a lead of 4%. Quite why this should be is hard to say given that young voters are much more likely to be pro the EU and hostile to the referendum outcome.

It could be that Corbyn and his party are continuing to be damaged by the equivocation over Brexit and the ongoing difficulties in relation to antisemitism.

As we say with all polling analysis we need to look at further surveys before coming to firm conclusions but this is one to watch.

Mike Smithson


Corbyn’s Opinium net approval ratings trail both Cable and May by 10 points

Saturday, May 19th, 2018

The May Opinium poll for the Observer is just out including what is the only leader approval ratings series from any UK pollster.

The latest numbers are in the chart and TMay’s -8% is exactly the same as last month. Corbyn has improved a point to -18% whiule Cable sees his number move from -18% to -8%.

Opinium’s best PM ratings follow the trend of other pollsters with 36% saying they would prefer TMay as PM, against 23% for Corbyn. Mrs. May’s lead is up 1.

The voting numbers are CON 43 (+3) LAB 39 (-1) LD 6 (-1) UKIP 4 (-1)

Mike Smithson


Corbyn’s approach to Brexit risks alienating the enthusiastic young backers of a year ago

Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

But there are no signs that he cares

The above article is one of a number that have been appearing recently from people who backed Corbyn’s LAB at GE2017 about his approach to Brexit. In many ways why should they be surprised because the manifesto on which the party fought the election was explicit. Labour was for Brexit.

    One of the paradoxes of the surprise failure of TMay to retain the CON majority and the Labour recovery was that the party’s position on leaving the EU was totally at odds with a large proportion of those who voted for it – particularly the young.

We see in the consistency of responses of GE2017 LAB voters to the regular YouGov tracker that about 70% of them think that voting to leave the EU was wrong yet team Corbyn/Milne/McDonnell are pursuing a very different course.

The question is whether the red team can continue with their approach while retaining the voters of 2017. This from Rosie McKenna should be concerning the party.

“I’m a working class kid from a council estate, so Jeremy Corbyn’s promises and policies really spoke to me; the importance of a welfare state taking care of the most disadvantaged in society, funding for our national health service, and ensuring that education is free and accessible to all. They still do.

And yet. Young people like me have never been more disappointed in, and let down by the Labour party than we have post-Brexit. My generation voted overwhelmingly and enthusiastically to Remain – by margins of 4 to 1. We don’t just see the EU as a necessary evil, but a fundamental good. A champion for peace, prosperity and freedom of movement in a continent too often scarred by war and inequality.

Because let me be clear: there is nothing socialist about Brexit. The Labour party – my Labour party – shouldn’t be championing a right-wing Tory Brexit..”

Is pressure going to make a difference? I doubt it. Corbyn has had a fixed view for decades and on this we have learned is that he doesn’t change his mind.

The questions are whether, when and where this is going to have an impact electorally. The failure of the party to gain a council in London on May 4th has been put down to the antisemitism issue which might be masking supporters concerns about Brexit policy.

Lewisham could be interesting.

Mike Smithson


Hard to see how insulting key groups of voters helps LAB’s cause – but hey, the Gammon insulters don’t seem to care

Monday, May 14th, 2018

Mike Smithson