Archive for the 'Labour' Category


These, I’m told, are part of Labour’s new message

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016


The LD demand for a 2nd EURef could have similar potency as being totally opposed to the 2003 invasion of Iraq

Friday, November 18th, 2016

YouGov: LDs could edge in front of LAB if it was only party with such a promise

We all remember how in late 2002 and 2003 that the IDS-led Tories gave their backing to Blair’s invasion of Iraq. The Charles Kennedy-led LDs were the only national party to oppose and this stance stance helped them to their best ever performance at GE2005.

We’ve now got a similar situation with BREXIT. May’s Tories have totally dished the idea and Labour’s position, like all things these Corbyn/McDonnell days, is ambivalent. The LDs are saying that there should be a second referendum when the actual terms are agreed.

This, it might be recalled, was the Boris Johnson position in February when he finally came out and chose to back LEAVE.

In some new polling published overnight YouGov has tested the proposition in the form set out in the chart above and the results should provide encouragement to Farron’s party.

Amongst 2016 REMAIN voters the split was
CON 24
LAB 23
LD 42

This is all hypothetical, of course, and there are a host of objections you can make to such findings.

In the big battle for Richmond Park, a week on Thursday, the LDs are going very strong on BREXIT in an area where this idea should go down well. Whether it will be enough to shift the incumbent MP with a big majority I do not know.

Mike Smithson


ComRes Indy/SMirror poll finds sharp rise in the economic trust lead for May/Hamond over Corbyn/McDonnell

Saturday, November 12th, 2016


In March the LAB pair were a net 16% behind CON leadeship – that’s now 33%

Ahead of the Autumn statement, May & Hammond are seen as much more trusted on the than both Corbyn & McDonnell and Cameron & Osborne.

    The brutal fact is that the twice elected leader hasn’t got an earthly with numbers like these. The vast influx of new members into the party since GE2015 have made the main opposition party unelectable

As is repeated so often an opposition leader and party cannot be behind on both personal ratings and the economy.

Ahead of Hammond’s first autumn statement more than half of sample say that the government should delay major spending decisions until after the UK has agreed the terms of leaving the European Union, while three in ten think the government should go ahead with these decisions (53% v 30%).

A majority say that the government should prioritise increasing public spending over the next few years rather than cutting it (53% v 23%).

There are gloomy view about the world with Trump as president.


Mike Smithson


Labour’s “cunning plan” for the Richmond Park by-election

Thursday, October 27th, 2016


Don Brind says its to inflict misery on Zac by helping him get re-elected

“The man’s a disgrace. His office is just along the corridor from mine and I never see him. He obviously doesn’t want to be an MP.

The thoughts of a veteran MP provide the perfect justification for Labour fighting the Richmond Park by-election despite the call from an interesting trio of young MPs for Labour to stay out of Zac Goldsmith’s “vanity project”  Shadow Business Clive Lewis, shadow Treasury minister Jonathan Reynolds, and backbencher Lisa Nandy argue in Labour List the Tory could be unseated is Labour stay don’t contest the west London seat.

Theresa May has sought to neutralise Goldsmith’s protest against the Heathrow decision by not putting up a Tory candidate and the Labour trio argue “the fight will come down to a two way contest between him and the Liberal Democrats, whose vote will be split with the Greens and Labour, “If there is any chance of kicking Goldsmith out of Parliament, the vote against him must not be split. That’s why we think Labour should consider not standing a candidate in this by-election.”

There is a special contempt for Goldsmith within Labour ranks following his nasty and divisive campaign against Sadiq Khan for the London Mayoralty. As the New Statesman’s George Eaton memorably observed “There’s one thing worse than losing, it’s losing with dishonour.”
But for Goldsmith now the one thing worse than losing is winning – but with a dramatically reduced majority. He would denied to freedom his fellow old Etonian David Cameron has achieved for himself by quitting Witney. He would be a lame duck MP, the modern equivalent of Peter Griffiths, who won Smethwick for the Tories with a racist campaign in 1964. He was branded by Harold Wilson as “a parliamentary leper.”

The idea of a “progressive alliance” with Liberal Democrats and Greens favoured by Lewis, Nandy and Reynolds is, for the moment at least, a minority cause within Labour. The Liberal Democrats are scorned for their role in Coalition with the Tories and it’s noted that some leading Greens backed the green-tinged Goldsmith for Mayor.

    The problem for Goldsmith, of course, is that his stance on Heathrow is matched by Lib Dem opponent Sarah Olney but her anti Brexit views are much closer to the almost three in four local voters who backed Remain.

So Labour’s “cunning plan”  is for her to lose but not by much. And it looks like a reasonable bet Expect to see Lewis, Nandy and Reynolds given top billing in her election material.

The famous Baldrick line was deployed by Jeremy Corbyn used at Prime Minister’s questions — Theresa May’s cunning plan, he said was to have no plan. As May observed Baldrick was played by Labour supporter Tony Robinson who supported Owen Smith for the leadership. Robinson tweeted he is still a Labour member. “Haven’t left, active member for 40 yrs. But if David Davis needs any help with Brexit Baldrick stands ready to serve.”

Donald Brind

Catch up on the latest PB/Polling Matters podcast


Smith backer, Don Brind is amused to find himself on the same page as arch Corbynista Paul Mason

Monday, October 17th, 2016


Labour needs a leader who can connect with working class voters

“Don’t forget, It was Godfather Two that won the Oscar”. That was the cheering thought offered to a bunch of Saving Labour stalwarts who gathered to reflect on their failure to avert Jeremy Corbyn’s second leadership landslide. The unanimous view was that Labour still needs saving from electoral disaster through a change of leader. The Godfather analogy inspires the hope that the next time will be more successful.

There was innocent amusement that Paul Mason, one of the Labour leader’s loudest cheerleaders, has been outed as Corbyn doubter. He will be appalled to hear that he is set to become a Saving Labour icon on the basis of a secretly videoed conversation released by the Sun He is heard opining that Corbyn was out of touch with working class people – that he has “no cultural references to the way they live.”

Mason and his allies set out to shoot the messenger, denouncing the Sun for invading his privacy. He did not deny that he likes the look of Clive Lewis as a replacement for Corbyn. He joins a growing list of people, including Kieran Pedley, Owen Jones and myself who see the potential of the Shadow Business. As a reserve Army officer, who served in Afghanistan and a former BBC journalist Lewis, secretary doesn’t lack confidence. But he does need to remember that the world is full of EFLs – ex-future leaders of their party.

In the meantime, Labour’s man of the moment is Keir Starmer. The Shadow Brexit Secretary teamed up with Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry to set out 170 questions on how the government will handle EU negotiations which one veteran Labour researcher declared it was “the best bit of opposition we have done in the past five years.

It helped Jeremy Corbyn to turn in his second impressive performance in a row against Theresa May at Prime Minister’s questions. Labour is on the front foot because Leave campaigners never had a plan and May – the Remainer who didn’t campaign — still doesn’t have one.

The most notable effect of the referendum vote is the slide in the value of sterling to a 168-year low. Devaulation is always a mixed blessing – good for some parts of the economy and bad for others — but where to look for the political fallout? My hunch is that, with 40 per cent of shopping basket products being imported, it is rising inflation that be the focus of voter impatience with what Jeremy Corbyn rightly described as “shambolic Tory Brexit.”

Donald Brind


My 100/1 tip to win the 2020 London Mayoral election

Sunday, October 16th, 2016

My betting tip if Sadiq Khan is hors de combat from the next Mayoral race.

Assuming the unelected PM doesn’t change her mind, the next general election will be on the same day as the London Mayoral election, Sadiq Khan has a choice to make, will he stand as London Mayor in 2020 or will he stand as an MP in 2020?

I know some say Sadiq Khan would be better of waiting until 2025 to become an MP again, but he might conclude, not without merit, that by 2025 there might not be a Labour party worth saving, 2020 would be the best and only time for him to win the Labour leadership. Of course there is the possibility with the current make up the Labour membership and the trend of the NEC becoming more in Corbyn’s image, that Khan might be replaced as Labour’s candidate to be Mayor.

So if not Sadiq Khan who could be the Labour nominee? Step forward the former Labour and Respect MP, George Galloway, his brand of politics seems to be more in tune with the current Labour party, a rapprochement with a Jeremy Corbyn led Labour party looks plausible. Galloway is definitely on team Corbyn, during the recent Labour leadership contest, he tweeted ‘If you try to bring down Corbyn you’ll have to get around me first. Me and millions like me. Real Labour.’

It isn’t just to the hard left George Galloway appeals to, who can forget when George Galloway was the guest of honour at Grassroots Out rally during the campaign to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union, Galloway does have an appeal across the political spectrum, so you can see why a Jeremy Corbyn led Labour party may wish to see Galloway as their candidate for London Mayor.

At the time of writing George Galloway was 100/1 with Ladbrokes to win the Mayor of London race in 2020, I’ll be placing a small stake, hopefully by May 2020 people will be saluting my courage, my strength, and my indefatigability for proposing such a bold tip as George Galloway winning the London Mayoralty in 2020.


P.S. – In an alternate universe George Galloway’s the current leader of the Labour party, had he not been expelled from the Labour party in 2003, he might have been the the left wing candidate that Labour MPs lent nominations to, to widen the leadership debate in 2015, instead of Jeremy Corbyn.


Jeremy Corbyn has appointed Sir Keir Starmer as Shadow Brexit Secretary and the Tories should be worried

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

Jeremy Corbyn has just brought a bazooka to a water pistol fight

Whilst the focus might be on the appointment of Diane Abbott as Shadow Home Secretary I think Jeremy Corbyn has pulled off a master stroke by appointing former Director of Public Prosecutions, Sir Keir Starmer, as Shadow Brexit Secretary.

David Davis doesn’t exude confidence as Brexit Secretary, and he has been very publicly slapped down by Mrs May a few weeks ago, and the complexity of Brexit, Sir Keir’s agile legal and forensic mind, coupled with his experience as a barrister, it won’t be tears for Keir’s supporters, but tears for David Davis’ supporters. Jeremy Corbyn might have just brought a bazooka to a water pistol fight. With Brexit going to dominate for a least the rest of this Parliament Corbyn is right to bring in the very best to cover this important role as the government introduces the ‘great’ repeal bill.

If the rumours are true that Seumas Milne is going to be replaced by Damien McBride then the Labour leader’s performance should improve as I’m not the only who thinks Seumas Milne has been an utter disaster as an adviser to Corbyn. Whilst many will focus on the manner of McBride’s resignation when he worked for Gordon Brown, it is a Westminster bubble story, David Cameron brought a criminal into Downing Street, and that didn’t stop him winning a general election.



The big trend: CON and LAB are still failing to win voters from each other

Saturday, October 1st, 2016

Big Ben

The two big parties are left scrapping over the also rans

One of the more remarkable features of the polling in the last parliament was the almost complete inability of both Labour and Conservatives to win voters from each other. Vote shares may have gone up and down but it was gains from and losses to the Lib Dems, UKIP, the Greens and SNP (and non-voters) that was responsible; the direct swing between the big two was negligible.

As then, so now. All three polls released this last week tell the same story. ICM record 3% of the Labour vote from 2015 going to the Conservatives, with 3% of the Tories’ general election vote going back the other way; BMG’s figures are almost identical; YouGov have the Tories doing a little better, gaining 6% of Labour’s former vote while losing only 2% of their own but even there, that amounts to a swing of only a half per cent. We’re talking tiny numbers.

The current very comfortable Conservative leads are instead based on two different aspects. Firstly, the Tories are doing better at holding on to their own vote. ICM and YouGov record the Blues as keeping between 72-75% of their 2015 voters, against Labour’s 60-67% (this includes those who say they don’t know or would not vote). And secondly, the Conservatives have done better in the net swings from the lesser parties and in particular, from UKIP.

In fact, the notion that many Corbyn supporters have that the increase in the Conservative lead over the summer can be put down to the leadership challenge is at best only partly true. Labour’s introspection no doubt caused it to miss opportunities but the Labour share has drifted down only very slightly.

    Of far more significance since June has been what looks like a direct UKIP-Con swing, presumably off the back of both the end of the EURef campaign and the change in Conservative leader.

What looks to be the case is that Britain is a very divided country with the concept of the traditional swing Lab/Con voter close to extinct and instead, three distinct broad groups (with subdivisions but let’s keep this simple): those who would vote Conservative, those who would vote Labour and those who would vote neither (who, outside of Scotland, we can more-or-less ignore).

So while there’s barely any defecting between the Tory tribe and the Labour lot, they do potentially meet when they go walkabout elsewhere, to UKIP, the Lib Dems or (most frequently) to none of the above.

What that suggests is that the big boys, but especially Labour, need the also-rans to be performing fairly strongly. Without those parties being attractive enough to their rival’s supporters, the negative campaigning of old will be far less effective as voters might be disillusioned but find no real alternative home.

Interestingly, the Lib Dems have been performing fairly strongly against the Conservatives in local by-elections recently but this hasn’t made its way across into the national polls. All the same, that the party seems capable of big swings across the country suggests at least a willingness by Conservative voters to consider them again; a willingness that might translate into Westminster voting given the opportunity.

The Lib Dems will no doubt hope that the opportunity will come in Witney. That might be a little too early but with Con and Lab unable to take support from each other, with a far-left Labour and a Tory government engaged in debates about Europe, if they can’t take advantage in the next two years, they never will.

David Herdson