Archive for the 'Corbyn' Category

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New ComRes poll finds LAB catching up with the Tories as the one best described as “The Nasty Party”

Saturday, September 22nd, 2018

A new ComRes poll commissioned by Jewish News has found the CON lead over the label ‘the nasty party’, memorably coined by TMay at the Party’s 2002 Conference, is now being challenged by Corbyn’s LAB. The poll found that while 34% said they thought the Conservatives are ‘the nasty party’, almost as many – 31% – said the same of LAB.

The poll also found that fully twice as many British voters – 48% – think Labour was a more decent party when Gordon Brown led it than it has become under Corbyn’s leadership (24%).

Voters were asked whether Labour is doing enough to tackle antisemitism within its own ranks. In March 2017, 18% thought the Party was doing enough, while today’s poll has that at just 19% – suggesting that despite Jeremy Corbyn’s claimed determination to root out the problem, the public see no difference over the past 18 months.

When asked whether, as some of his supporters suggest, Jeremy Corbyn is the target of a concerted smear campaign, or whether he is unwilling or unable to act decisively against antisemitism in his Party, voters split by a ratio of 2:1 (45% to 27%) in favour of his being unwilling or unable to stamp out the problem.

Mike Smithson




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TMay ends the week extending her satisfaction margin over Corbyn

Friday, September 21st, 2018

The latest numbers in what is by far the longest series of leader ratings in British politics, the satisfied/dissatisfied figures from Ipsos-MORI, are out and show TMay just about holding steady but with a sizeable drop for Corbyn. Fieldwork took place before yesterday’s EU summit in Salzburg.

As can be seen both are in negative territory but Corbyn’s on net minus 42% while TMay is at minus 33%. To put that into context – in July 2017 Corbyn was on a net minus 1 while TMay was on minus 25.

What’s really good about these numbers is that the pollster has been asking the same questions in the same manner for nearly five decades so we can make historical comparisons.

    Amongst LAB voters fewer than half, 48%, say they are satisfied with Corbyn compared with 44% saying dissatisfied. This might not fit with the narrative that his supporters try to generate.

By comparison the beleaguered Mrs. May has 56% of CON voters giving her a positive rating with 35% negative.

In all likelihood Corbyn will still be there at the next general election whilst TMay probably won’t.

Mike Smithson




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Labour’s Oldies’ headache: Turnout levels reverting to GE2015 levels

Monday, September 17th, 2018

And will young voter enthusiasm be retained?

Unlike Alastair Meeks on the previous thread I am far less certain that Labour, certainly under Corbyn, have a good chance of winning most seats, let alone getting a majority at the next election.

The boundaries, the lack of any discernable progress in Scotland and the ongoing blowback from Corbyn’s cack-handed handling of the antisemitism issue are going to make it hard.

This thread is about another potential challenge – the changes in turnout levels between the last two election shown in the above chart. These were, of course, the reason why many pollsters got GE2017 wrong. Quite simply their turnout modelling was linked back to GE2015. As can be seen there was a huge increase in levels in the younger age groups which was combined with reduced turnout rates in the older ones.

This has been put down to a keenness at the time for younger voters to respond Labour, its manifesto and leader. There was also the Conservatives manifesto with, of course, Nick Timothy’s dementia tax. It was that move three weeks before polling that saw the huge turn around in the Tory standing, partly driven by lower oldie turnout that led to its failure to hold onto its majority.

But that is all history. A big question for the next election is whether turnout levels are set in strone or could we see a reversal back to GE2015? If older turnout levels return this is not good news for LAB. More oldies casting their votes means bigger CON shares.

At the younger end of the voting spectrum we cannot assume that Labour and Corbyn will retain the attractiveness of last time and retain the turnout levels that we saw in June last year. Certainly the latest polling suggests an easing off.

    The weekend’s Opinium poll for the Observer had just 38% of 18-34 year olds approving of Corbyn compared with 33% saying they disapproved. This compares with just 15% of oldies(65+) approving of Corbyn with a whopping 70% disapproving.

It is the same pattern with recent leader ratings from other pollsters.

Mike Smithson




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Et tu, John? Is another JC set to get stabbed in the back by a close ally?

Monday, September 17th, 2018

The truly great, such as Caesar & Thatcher, are removed from power by their allies stabbing them in the back, is Corbyn about to join that club?

The Sunday Times reports

While those who are aware of the discussions say there is no imminent threat to Corbyn, they claim it is the first time that senior party figures have begun to question whether he is the right person to lead Labour into the next general election.

A source said: “John McDonnell is a pragmatist and is hell-bent on getting Labour back into power. He doesn’t want anything to get in the way of that. While he is not actively agitating against the Labour leader, there are people around him who are starting to raise questions about the future of the leadership and whether some of the shine is beginning to fall off Corbyn.”

Another source added: “While it is unclear whether McDonnell wants the leadership for himself, some within the party are convinced he is on manoeuvres and has been remoulding himself as the voice of reason.”

Corbyn provoked further fury within the party last week when he said he would not protect colleagues facing the threat of deselection by hard-left activists.

However, McDonnell is said to have privately told colleagues that he is not in favour of the mandatory reselection process, in comments which have been interpreted by some as part of his charm offensive to win over Labour MPs.

A Labour MP said: “Even moderate Labour MPs are coming around to McDonnell. I have heard Labour MPs say recently that they think McDonnell would be preferable to Corbyn.”

All of this chimes with what I have been saying for a while, Labour’s obsession with Israel and Palestine seems a political waste of time when all that energy could, and should, be focussed on attacking the government on any number of matters.

How much have you heard Labour banging on about the problems with Universal Credit or the train system in recent months? Those are but two areas where the government is vulnerable. The leadership and members seem more obsessed with the Middle East than Middle England, focussing on the latter helps wins general elections in this country, not the former.

I suspect John McDonnell is one of the few Labour MPs Corbyn will willingly stand down for, particularly as McDonnell doesn’t bring as much baggage on Middle Eastern matters as Corbyn.

Political authority is a lot like virginity, once it is gone then it is difficult to get back, if McDonnell’s close allies are questioning his leadership then we are closer to the end of his leadership than the beginning of it. It will be very hard for the Corbyn cult to dismiss John McDonnell as a Blairite agitator.

At the time of writing you could get between 14/1 to 20/1 on John McDonnell being Corbyn’s successor.

TSE



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Surely Labour MPs won’t go quietly with deselections set to become a reality

Friday, September 7th, 2018

Boris Johnson’s divorce proceedings may dominate the news but the most important political news in the last 24 hours is the first step in the deselection of two Labour MPs by supporters of Jeremy Corbyn. I expect these two won’t be the only ones.

What makes this rather surreal, if not the feeling of a The Day Today sketch, is that Press TV from Iran covered the events in Enfield North. Given Corbyn’s former associations with Press TV, their covering this story makes for a fascinating subplot that people like Tom Watson have picked up on.

Surely this is a tipping point for Labour MPs, or will they just quietly go into the night? If they don’t go quietly then I’d expect mass resignations/defections from Labour to the much discussed new centrist party. The revelation today about ‘Labour stands accused of failing to tell MPs when they have been threatened with violence’ won’t help either.

I think Joan Ryan has summed it up beautifully. Whilst the government is screwing up things like Brexit to Universal Credit this is what Labour are focussing upon, whilst the mantra is that oppositions don’t win elections, governments lose elections, oppositions might need to put some effort in.

TSE



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No surrender to the IHRA

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018

When I look at the way Labour are handling the who anti-Semitism story I end up sounding like the late great Fred Trueman, ‘I don’t know what’s going off out there’.

After the events yesterday I would have drawn the line under the whole affair and moved on to targeting the many areas the government are screwing up. But those eight MPs coupled with those that abstained will ensure the story continues and Labour, including their leader, will be perceived as being on the wrong side of anti-Semitism.

I wonder if some in the Labour party are of the same mindset as former Corbyn adviser Steve Howell, as exemplified in the tweet below.

Perhaps the Tories should consider the following attack lines.

TSE



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Chris Williamson’s odds to succeed Corbyn move from 100/1 to 33/1 in a week

Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

Why I’m not jumping aboard on this betting bandwagon

The major betting news today is the odds of Derby North MP Chris Williamson tumbling from 100/1 last week to 33/1 today.

My primary reason for not backing Williamson is that if someone from the Corbynite wing of the party succeeds they will need explicit public and private support of Jeremy Corbyn.

From my vantage point I’d expect the likes of John McDonnell, Richard Burgon, Rebecca Long-Bailey, et al to receive the support of Corbyn before Chris Williamson does.

Whilst Williamson might adore Corbyn it doesn’t seem entirely mutual, as evidenced with which the ease Chris Williamson left the shadow front bench when Williamson got himself into trouble with his plans to double council tax.

The other primary reason for my decision not to bet on Williamson is the problem with Amber Rudd would have faced before her Windrush problem, the size of their majority. A little over a 2% Labour to Tory swing would see Derby North turn blue, just like it did in 2015.

Having a leader with a smallish majority would see them targeted by their opponents in the mother of all decapitation strategies. It would see them spending less time nationwide as they focus on holding their seats. It turns out size does matter.

You can get 40/1 with Bet365 and on the Betfair exchange on Williamson succeeding Corbyn if you disagree with my assessment.

TSE



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The affairs of state. How the personal can become very political indeed

Saturday, September 1st, 2018

Love him or loathe him, Alex Salmond is one of the towering political figures of the age.  He has taken the cause of Scottish independence from a fringe idea to one of the great themes of Scottish and indeed British politics.  With a ready wit and an unsurpassable sense of his own importance, he has assembled an army of Nats on and offline, all straining to be unyoked from the United Kingdom.

This last week, Scottish politics has been convulsed by allegations of sexual misconduct against him.  These allegations, which Alex Salmond vehemently denies, have led to him taking legal action against the Scottish government that the party he led for so long runs and resigning from that party in order that he might clear his name.

To be clear, Alex Salmond has every right to assert his innocence and he must be presumed innocent unless proven otherwise.  It is easy to understand why he might feel aggrieved that the complaints are being investigated in the full glare of publicity, with his name being dragged through the mud in the meantime.  But this story potentially matters.

For this particular incident has echoes of the politics of a former age, also involving a nationalist movement. In the 1880s, Westminster politics were overshadowed by another nationalist figure: Charles Stewart Parnell. He was instrumental in pushing the cause of Irish Home Rule to the centre of British politics. As a result of his efforts, the Irish Parliamentary Party were kingmakers.

The Liberal party split as a consequence and Parnell worked closely with Gladstone to construct a form of Home Rule that could command broad support in Ireland and was acceptable to the rest of the country. The outlines of a potentially lasting settlement were visible.

This came crashing down when he was cited as co-respondent in a divorce case. The ensuing scandal made him unacceptable both to the Catholic church that formed a central support of Irish nationalism and the non-conformists who comprised much of the Liberal party.

The Irish Parliamentary Party split, with supporters and opponents of Parnell feuding. With the loss of his talents, the cause of Irish nationalism was set back a generation. By the time it re-emerged, attitudes on all sides had hardened.Ireland lives with the consequences of that to this day.

As even Nicola Sturgeon would probably accept, Alex Salmond is still by some way the most prominent nationalist politician of the age. The Parnell precedent shows the potential impact on the cause of a long-running squalid sideshow.

We have already seen Alex Salmond launch a crowdfunding campaign for his legal fees to demonstrate that he has popular support, and the risk of factions forming looks substantial. So the stakes are potentially high.

Right now, it’s far from clear that this is going to come to anything.  Alex Salmond’s innocence may be quickly established beyond all doubt.  This is something for a watching brief, no more at present.

If this went somewhere, what might it mean?  The cause of Scottish independence is too well-entrenched now to disappear indefinitely.  Even if the SNP’s formidable discipline were to break down and we were to see an outbreak of savage infighting, its ideas would remain, seeking new political outlets.  It might, however, take time for those new political outlets to emerge, just as it did at the beginning of the 20th century in relation to the politics of Irish Home Rule.  In that time, the political landscape might change dramatically.

The politics swirling round another individual are similarly important.  Jeremy Corbyn has unleashed a new interest in unabashed and updated social democratic policies.  He has enthused a new generation with retail socialism.  In the process, however, he has also attracted a torrent of hostility from those who are repelled by the numerous unsavoury connections that he has made and his questionable actions over the years: his approval ratings, never good, are once again abysmal. 

He is getting in the way of the social democratic intifada that he claims to seek to lead.  But no other figure inspires anything like the same level of loyalty on the left.  He is both indispensable to Labour and a huge impediment.  How this is resolved may change the course of future British politics.

They say that great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people.  Sometimes, however, people and events can have effects that change the course of history.  When a person is so important to a cause, the impact of that person being laid low can be profound.  However regrettable it might be, there are far more small minds than great minds.  So it follows that people, and their personal attributes, can sometimes really matter.

Alastair Meeks