Archive for the 'Corbyn' Category


Both main party leaders have seen their ratings decline since the last conference season – Corbyn’s more May’s

Thursday, October 4th, 2018

Corbyn needs to turn things round for LAB to have a chance

The end of the Party Conference season is a good time to look back at the past year through the prism of the Ipsos MORI leader satisfaction ratings. This is part of the longest running polling series in the UK and is now in its fifth decade.

As can be seen from the chart both leaders have experienced a marked decline in the levels of satisfaction over the past year but the one that has suffered the most is Mr Corbyn.

It’s very easy to seek to correlate numbers like this with specific events and I am a great believer in the maxim – don’t confuse correlation with causation. But there’s little doubt that things turned for the Labour leader in March which saw the Salisbury attacks and Corbyn’s responses to that together with the emergence of anti-semitism as a big issue in the Labour Party.

At the moment it looks as though Corbyn will be the one of the two who will still be in place at the next general election with a large consensus within the Conservative Party that Mrs May will step down at some stage after Brexit next year.

We should expect any new leader and Prime Minister to get something of a ratings honeymoon as all the focus will be on him or her for the first few months. Remember what happened in 2007/8 to Gordon Brown during his first few months at Number 10.

I don’t need to remind PBers that I put a lot more trust in ratings than I do in voting intention polls when you are actually asking respondees not for an opinion but an indication of what they might do in a few years time.

Mike Smithson


Polling boost for beleaguered Theresa as the Tory conference opens in Birmingham

Sunday, September 30th, 2018

Her party retakes the lead with Opinium

Opinium fieldwprk Sept 26-29
CON 39+2
LAB 36-3
LD 9=

It used to be one of those rock solid polling rules that LAB would always get a boost in its polling position in surveys taken at the end of its September conference and before the Tory one started. After all the media focus has been on the red team and during the week the general perception was that Labour had had a much better than expected conference. The policy ideas paraded for the first time seemed to have been well received.

Well not so the latest poll from Opinium for the Observer which sees the blues team re-take the lead which must come as a relief for TMay after she faces her conference in Birmingham in the most difficult of circumstances.

    Boris, as seen on the Sunday Times front page, is on the war-path and no doubt will get acres of coverage over the next four days but he’s nothing like the star that he was.

Yesterday the YouGov/Times poll found 57%, more than any other contender, think the ex-Mayor would be a poor leader, Gove had a negative rating of 56%, with Hunt 47%, Rees-Mogg 40% with Javid at 30%. The same poll found that 55% of CON voters want TMay to lead the party into next general election. 33% thought she should go earlier.

One thing I’m very confident of for this year’s conference – if there is a sign behind TMay when she’s making her big speech the letters will remain in place!

Mike Smithson


The polling suggests that Corbyn’s onto a winner backing onshore wind power and solar

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

YouGov August 2018

The Tories are vulnerable on energy policy

Today is Corbyn’s big speech and amongst the ideas he’ll proposing are a big promotion of solar power and onshore wind. The latter is in sharp contrast to the Tories which have sought to curb the development of this as an energy source by making it more difficult.

Polling from YouGov only last month suggested that the public is supportive. It found that 62% said they would like to fit solar panels and 60% would install an energy storage device. An even greater number – 71% – said that they would be interested in joining a community energy scheme if government support was there.

The big trend here is that renewable energy is now becoming much more financially viable with costs being cut sharply.

Last month in a PB Video Analysis Robert Smithson looked in depth at the economics in a video that has now has nearly 100k views. This is worth looking at if you haven’t seen it.

The economics of Hinckley Point could come back to haunt the Tories.

Mike Smithson


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


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


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


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.



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.