Archive for the 'London and local elections' Category


Why I think you should be laying the 1/8 favourite for Barnet Council

Sunday, March 25th, 2018

Are Labour’s hopes to take Barnet going to get trimmed?

London was horrific for the Tories in last year’s general election, seats like Tooting which were a Tory target saw Labour win with a majority of over fifteen thousand. In Battersea, where there was a near eight thousand Tory majority became a Labour gain. Overall there was a Tory to Labour swing of 6.3% in London, which was three times the 2.1% swing in Great Britain as a whole.

With Labour only needing a net gain of two seats to win a majority in Barnet you can understand why Labour are the 1/8 favourites to take Barnet with all 63 seats in the council up for election in May. But I’m going to advocate why Labour might not win a majority in Barnet in May despite the Tories only having a majority of one*.

The Parliamentary seats that encompass the Borough of Barnet are Hendon, Finchley & Golders Green, and Chipping Barnet last year saw Tory to Labour swings of 2.8%, 4%, and 6.9%, which for the most part were well below what we saw in London, and at the 2015 election all had smaller majorities than the Tory majority in Battersea.

Now why didn’t these three seats fall to Labour? It might have something do with the borough of Barnet ‘continuing to have the largest Jewish population in the country.’ From my viewpoint the perceptions around Jeremy Corbyn and some Corbynistas by the Jewish community is extremely negative, and who can blame them for voting to stop Labour winning.

(The larger than average swing in Chipping Barnet could be explained by the MP Theresa Villiers being a prominent Brexiteer, the MP for Hendon also backed Leave, but he wasn’t quite as prominent as the former cabinet minister.)

If this market was on Betfair, I’d be laying Labour to win a majority on Barnet Council for the reasons above, but since only Ladbrokes are offering a market on this council I’m going to back the Tory Majority and No Overall Control options which is effectively laying a Labour majority in Barnet.

With 39 days to go until voting day there’s plenty of time for Corbyn’s past and current day approach to antagonise Jewish voters further. One of the world’s leading experts on Adolf Hitler could also intervene, again, not necessarily to Labour’s advantage in Barnet, as in the tweet below.

I suspect perceptions of anti-Semitism will trump any antipathy towards Leave/The Tories in this part of London for Jewish voters. The contrast to 2014 when Labour were led by Ed Miliband, who was of Jewish heritage, is stark.


*Note, the Tories lost overall control of the council earlier on this month when a councillor resigned the Tory whip over re-selection issues. For the purposes of this piece I’m using the 2014 results as the benchmark.


TMay in third place as “best PM” in latest YouGov London poll

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

Best PM?
NOTA 36%
Corbyn 31%
May 24%
Cable 9%

London Local elections voting
CON 28
LAB 54
LD 11

London GE voting intenton
LAB 53%
CON 33%
LD 8%

With the votes in London at the May local elections likely to dominate coverage a new YouGov poll QMUL has bad news for the Conservatives.

The numbers in the local elections voting suggests that the Conservatives could be facing the loss of several key Boroughs to LAB and having tough fights to hold onto to 2 SW London Boroughs where the LDs are the main contender.

I’m highlighting the best PM figures because they show a great lack of support for all the main party leaders although in this case Corbyn has the edge over May. The striking figure, though, is the numbers who simply don’t know which exceeds the totals for all three mentioned.

The data shows that just 59% of GE17 LAB voters were ready to back Corbyn and 69% of CON one Mrs. May.

Mike Smithson


London Local Elections 2018 : By-Elections Review and Forecast

Thursday, December 21st, 2017

Harry Hayfield looks at the capital’s by-election and has a forecast

Since the local elections in 2014 in London, there have been a total of 75 by-elections to the 32 councils in the capital and overall those by-elections have shown that the mainstream parties are clawing back support from the smaller parties.

And yet, despite this there has been very little actual change with only six seats changing hands, those seats being:

Stepney Green on Tower Hamlets (Lab GAIN from Ind), Hampton Wick on Richmond upon Thames (Lib Dem GAIN from Con), Heaton on Havering (Lab GAIN from UKIP), Roding on Redbridge (Lab GAIN from Con), Eltham North on Greenwich (Con GAIN from Lab) and Kenton East on Harrow (Con GAIN from Lab)

Therefore based on that you could say “Ah, there is a small swing from Lab to Con, Con to Lib Dem and Lab to Lib Dem, therefore Labour will have a poor set of results in Inner London with the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats gaining, but a very good set of results in areas where the smaller parties did well”, however those changes mask a multitude of swings (some of which are very interesting indeed)

Barking and Dagenham: No by-elections held, Likely Lab HOLD
Barnet: 3% swing from Lab to Con, Likely Con HOLD
Bexley: 5% swing from Con to Lab, Likely Con HOLD
Brent: No swing, Likely Lab HOLD
Bromley: No by-elections held, Likely Con HOLD
Camden: 2% swing from Con to Lab, Likely Lab HOLD
Croydon: 5% swing from Con to Lab, Likely Lab HOLD
Ealing: No by-elections held, Likely Lab HOLD
Enfield: 3.5% swing from Con to Lab, Likely Lab HOLD
Greenwich: 3.5% swing from Lab to Con, Likely Lab HOLD
Hackney: 7.5% swing from Green to Lab, Likely Lab HOLD
Hammersmith and Fulham: No by-elections held, Likely Lab HOLD
Haringey: 0.5% swing from Lib Dem to Lab, Likely Lab HOLD
Harrow: 1.5% swing from Lab to Con, Too close to call between Lab LOSS to NOC and Lab HOLD
Havering: No by-elections held, Too close to call between Con GAIN from NOC to NOC (No Change)
Hillingdon: 2% swing from Lab to Con, Likely Con HOLD
Hounslow: 2% swing from Lab to Con, Likely Lab HOLD
Islington: 4% swing from Lab to Lib Dem, Likely Lab HOLD
Kensington and Chelsea: 1% swing from Lab to Con
The by-elections held in Kensington and Chelsea were both before the Grenfell Tower disaster, so whilst the by-elections are suggesting a likely Con HOLD, I believe it is far more likely to be a Con LOSS to NOC but this is dependent on whether the Liberal Democrats stand in the elections or not and whether Labour stand down in favour of any local independents standing on a fire prevention ticket
Kingston upon Thames: 2% swing from Con to Lib Dem, Too close to call between Con LOSS to NOC to Lib Dem GAIN from Con
Lambeth: 9% swing from Lab to Green, Likely Lab HOLD
Lewisham: 0.5% swing from Lab to Con, Likely Lab HOLD
Merton: 4% swing from Con to Lab, Likely Lab HOLD
Newham: No swing, Likely Lab HOLD
Redbridge: 7.5% swing from Con to Lab, Likely Lab HOLD
Richmond upon Thames: 18% swing from Con to Lib Dem, Likely Lib Dem GAIN from Con
Southwark: 0.5% swing from Lab to Lib Dem, Likely Lab HOLD
Sutton: 3.5% swing from Lib Dem to Con, Likely Lib Dem HOLD
Tower Hamlets: 4% swing from Ind to Lab, Likely Lab GAIN from NOC
Waltham Forest: 4.5% swing from Green to Lab, Likely Lab HOLD
Wandsworth: 4.5% swing from Con to Lab, Likely Con HOLD
Westminster: 2% swing from Con to Lab, Likely Con HOLD


Labour holding up better in London where there are fewer UKIP voters for CON to squeeze

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

LDs hoping for gains in the capital

There’s a new London poll from YouGov out in the Evening Standard which tells the story of GE2017 in a very different way from what we’d been getting used to.

The big national voter movement, as has been widely observed, has been from UKIP to CON. That means that the CON performance is very much linked to how many UKIP votes there were last time.

In London, of course, UKIP has always struggled and at GE2015 secured just 8% of the vote which was the same as the LDs. So although we see the Tories rise in this latest poll the picture is nothing like elsewhere.

The big movement has been to the LDs who are hoping to pick up some of the seats lost at GE2015. Their CON targets are Twickenham, Kingston and, of course, holding on to Richmond Park won in December’s by-election. They are also hoping that Simon Hughes can win back Bermondsey and Southward from LAB and they are putting a big effort to unseat Labour’s ultra-Leaver, Kate Hoey in Vauxhall.

Labour could be in trouble in the east of London in constituencies where UKIP had higher GE2015 shares offering the prospect for the CON advance. Eltham and Dagenham & Rainham look like possibles. The big question for the blues is whether their gains can offset possible losses to the LDs.

Mike Smithson


The country’s leading psephologists bring more bad news for Corbyn

Sunday, April 2nd, 2017

Whilst the primus inter pares of psephologists gives his analysis

For a sitting government to make gains and the main opposition to lose seats in local elections is rare, and speaks volumes about the appalling nature of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. Perhaps losses this year and next year might persuade his more passionate supporters to realise their man is the electoral equivalent of Ebola. For those who want a strong Labour party of a strong opposition, it might be best if Labour get absolutely shellacked in these local elections and the elections in 2018.

The Lib Dem fightback we’ve been seeing most Thursday nights since last June will continue this May as well, if Rallings and Thrasher are correct, if I were a Tory MP in the South West I might start to get a little nervous and pressure Mrs May to come up with plans and policies to help retain those seats, given the smallness of her majority she might have no choice if she wishes to govern properly.

As for UKIP, we appear to have seen peak UKIP, unless Mrs May’s Brexit deal is a Brexit lite deal which could re-energise UKIP, but with Arron Banks setting up The People’s Front for UKIP The Patriotic Alliance, it might not matter.



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.


YouGov London poll boost sees even UKIP & CON voters warming to Sadiq Khan

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016


What is it about the London Mayoralty that gives incumbents good ratings?

When Boris Johnson was Mayor of London he always manage to secure better poll ratings than just about any of his Tory colleagues. For almost his entire 8 years at City Hall his leadership ratings remained positive and so it has been so far with Sadiq Khan who was elected in May.

Before Boris the Mayoralty was held by Ken who, certainly for the first few years, achieved good polling numbers.

The latest YouGov London polls finds 58% saying Khan is doing his job well compared with 14% saying “badly”. Extraordinarily more than half (51%) of CON GE2015 voters say Sadiq is doing well and 21% badly. Both of these sets of numbers are markedly up on what Khan was polling in July.

Even London Kippers seem more happy with their Mayor with 24% saying he’s doing well compared with 14% in July.

Khan’s ratings amongst Londoners compare with the net minus 20% that Corbyn gets on the “well/badly” assessment. Those who voted LAB at GE2015 split 42/40 – hardly a ringing endorsement.

Inevitably Khan is being talked of as a possible future LAB leader.

Mike Smithson



We mustn’t let the focus on Scotland and London over-shadow the poor CON performance in the English locals

Sunday, May 8th, 2016

And the LDs are making progrsss

The narrative on election night tends to be set by what happens overnight Thurs/Fri and little attention has been paid to the outcomes in the English local council elections where the Tories, as can be seen, came well below expectations.

At the top is the picture I took last month of the Colin Rallings showing the projections he made with Michael Thrasher based on their by-election model.

For the Tories to have losses at a time when they are facing a LAB party led by Corbyn undercuts what many in the blue team have been saying about the new LAB leader.

As well as the local councils the Tories suffered losses on the London assembly as well losing the mayoralty.

The Lib Dems are delighted with the progress. Their 370 seats is six times that achieved by UKIP and not far from half the Tory total.

Labour losses were not on the scale projected.

Mike Smithson