Archive for the 'London and local elections' Category


New London poll finds Sadiq Khan heading for a first round victory in his re-election bid

Tuesday, December 11th, 2018


He is well positioned to win a 2020 contest

There’s a new YouGov/QMUL poll London Mayoral poll just out that has Sadiq Khan on 55% against just 27% for his Tory opponent Shaun Bailey. The voting system, it will be recalled is based on the supplementary vote so that a contender needs to win 50% only first round to be sure of victory.

If indeed at the 2020 election Khan ends up according to the poll then he will secure a second term without the need of the supplementary vote.

At the last election in 2016 all the pollsters did extremely well with all being within a point in their final surveys.

In recent times London has been strongly a Labour City so this survey does not come as a surprise except, of course, that between 2008 and 2016 the Mayoralty was held by the Conservative Boris Johnson.

Khan is also showing an improvement in his YouGov well/badly rating. In September he was on a net plus 4 and is now a net +11. Then, a major issue was knife crime in the capital for which he was coming under fire.

Khan is a very strong odds on favourite with the bookies and it is hard to see him failing to win.

Mike Smithson


Take Khan to the bank

Sunday, December 2nd, 2018

The tip I’m about to give is not particularly exciting, or thrilling and it certainly won’t get you rich overnight seeing as the potential payday in question is top price 2-5 and 542 days away at the time of writing this article.

But it is highly likely to win, more than the implied 71.4% that the odds suggest.

The bet is Sadiq Khan to win the London mayoral election in 2020. Unlike many long term political bets (Tory & Labour leader say) where there is no set time and date for the race, we know the London mayoral election will take place on or before the 7th May 2020. So there is no issue that a contest will take place.

We know too that it is highly, highly likely Sadiq runs. Here he is confirming in June that fact. It was more or less confirmed back in September.

Now there is a non zero chance he won’t run, perhaps an unexpected vacancy will arise in the labour leadership that he feels is too good an opportunity to miss will arise (It probably won’t, and he probably won’r run if it does).

Also actuarial and health concerns are present for everybody – but Khan is healthier than the average 48 year old, his London Marathon time of just over 4 hrs 19 mins is nothing to be sniffed at (I say this as someone who runs a few times a week). Also, being a good muslim he doesn’t drink. The essential point is his morbidity and health risks are surely no more than a couple of % and most likely considerably lower given his fitness and clean lifestyle.

Taking all this into account and being the incumbent, fiercely pro EU (A fact that means he has pretty much zero chance of being ‘primaried’ by anyone else within Labour) and not seen on any particular side of the Labour ideological wars (Think Corbyn/Blair) means the probability he runs must be at or over 95% or so.

So if he is running come March 7th 2020, what is the chance he wins ?

Well back in 2016 he achieved 44.2% on first prefs, rising to 56.8% on 2nd prefs. But what has happened to London since then – do we expect him to do better or worse ?

Brexit happened, and Brexit has been devastating for the Tories in particular in London. Labour tallied up 54.6% to the Tories 33.2% in London in 2017. And what of the 2018 local elections, Labour achieved 43.9% to the Tories 28.8% – but don’t forget the mood music at the time, Labour was engulfed in an antisemitism row that most likely lost Barnet for them, also the Labour expectations were set ludicrously high – taking Westminster was probably never on for example; though they did win the popular vote in Wandsworth. Still 28.8% for the Tories was a very poor showing indeed.

There won’t be an antisemitism row around Sadiq Khan come 2020 (That’s a very Corbyn/ Labour leadership specific issue), and the solidly red areas of Labour can count more so than in local elections or general elections with huge weight of Labour vote. The Tories do not really have any Islingtons or Hackneys where the vote will be weighed stonkingly in their favour.

Meanwhile Shaun Bailey is still going to find an anti-Brexit backlash in the capital – I can’t see Theresa May coming up with a deal to satisfy pro EU Londoners any time soon.

Now you might believe that Bailey is a better candidate than Khan, but the simple fact is he is highly unlikely to win, London is right now a Labour city.

I’d make Khan around a 1-10 shot at this point – and that is why at 2-5, he is an excellent bet to continue his mayoralty to 2024. It could just set him up well if there is a Labour leadership contest after that too if he fancies a return to Westminster…


Pulpstar is a longstanding contributor to PB.


When some men want to be humiliated and embarrassed they hire dominatrices whereas Nigel Farage is considering running for London Mayor

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

The Financial Times are reporting

Nigel Farage is weighing a bid to become mayor of London, in an attempt to push the Conservative party into third place in the British capital.

Mr Farage, who lives in Bromley in south London, quit as leader of the UK Independence party in July 2016, weeks after the UK voted to leave the EU. He is still a member of the European Parliament, but will lose his position when the UK leaves the EU next March.

Mr Farage — who has stood unsuccessfully for parliament seven times, but has been elected three times as an MEP — said that the London mayoral election in May 2020 would be an opportunity to “make arguments” on a high-profile platform.

“I have been encouraged to [stand] by a group of people, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to,” he said. “I haven’t said no to it, I’m thinking about it.”

“The Tory party are very actively aware that if I did stand, they would probably come third, and they are afraid of that,” he added.

One senior Conservative official said that Downing Street was already braced for electoral embarrassment if Mr Farage entered the contest.

One ally of Mr Farage said that more Londoners had voted for Brexit than for Mr Khan, despite the city’s pro-EU reputation.

Apart from Scotland I cannot think of anywhere less suited for Nigel Farage to do well in than London so I’m expecting the seven times failed Parliamentary candidate to match that record in the London Mayoral election.

Assuming no change of government in 2020 we will have had ten years of Tory government, of various shades, and we’ll be midway through the Parliament so that’s when governments have been historically unpopular so there is the potential for the Tories to finish third. But I don’t expect it will be UKIP, in 2016 UKIP polled just over one tenth of what the Tories did in the first round, so that’s a very low base for Farage to start from.

The Tory candidate will be someone who isn’t seen as a heavyweight politician so there’s a chance for Farage to outshine them, though several people I respect have a lot of good things to say about Shaun Bailey.

However I don’t think Farage’s brand of politics are suited to London and there’ll be a real desire to ensure Farage doesn’t make it in to the final two. The supplementary vote, like the alternative vote system, allows for tactical voting against a particular candidate in the first round. It will be very easy for the Tories to portray themselves as the stop Farage side.

Farage’s friendship with Donald Trump and Trump’s history of antagonism with Sadiq Khan havethe potential of working against Farage in a city that seems vehemently opposed to Trump. It isn’t difficult to envisage Trump intervening on Farage’s behalf during the London Mayoral election and the situation developing not necessarily to Farage’s advantage.

I don’t think UKIP have the resources nor the infrastructure to run a proper London Mayoral campaign, just look at how few candidates they put in the 2017 general election.

Also it is a fundamental misreading of electoral physics to compare a low turnout London Mayoral election with several candidates conducted under the supplementary vote to a higher turnout referendum with a binary choice option.

So from a betting position I’d definitely be laying Farage to win the Mayoralty and laying him to finish second. I’m hoping for some bookies to price up Farage actually not standing, I’ll be looking to back Farage not standing.



The 2018 London Local Elections : The religious factors analysed

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

On Thursday Willesden Green (a place well known to fans of DangerMouse) returned three Labour councillors in the election that was deferred from the local elections, but in doing so completed those local elections and allowed us to make the following analysis. Normally I do so with a commentary of my own, but given the subject matter I shall let the figures do the talking and allow other members to form their own opinions.

Harry Hayfield


Nearly two years before election day the Tory party is going to select their London Mayoral candidate this summer

Monday, June 4th, 2018

Conservative Home reported earlier on this week that

The Conservative candidate for mayor of London will be chosen this summer, during a three-month campaign culminating in a selection in time for the Party’s annual conference.

The newly-agreed timetable provides for nominations in June, hustings and other campaigning during July and August, followed by a vote in September.

I do think Sadiq Khan is vulnerable, particularly on crime, he might blame Tory austerity but the counter argument might be that the perception is crime didn’t surge under Boris Johnson, particularly knife crime that a heavyweight Tory could exploit but I don’t think a heavyweight Tory will stand.

The things in Sadiq Khan’s favour will be is that London is seriously pro Labour, last month in the locals Labour recorded their best result since 1971 and there’s still the fallout from the Brexit referendum which I expect will be sub-optimal for the Tories.

The next Mayoral election should take place  whilst the UK is still in the transition phase so I’d expect Brexit to still be a factor in this election.

Assuming we don’t fall out of the EU with no deal then the post transition deal will still be being negotiated and that could lead to politics being even more polarised.

I’m also not sure of the wisdom of the Tory party selecting their candidate so far in advance. Labour tried the same approach for the 2012 Mayoral election when they selected the UK’s leading Hitler expert in the autumn of 2010 but an early selection didn’t ensure Ken Livingstone’s victory in May 2012.

A 40% return in less than two years seems like the best option, I expect the only way this doesn’t pay out if Sadiq Khan doesn’t stand, he might have loftier ambitions, especially if the Tories maintain (or extend) their polling lead which leads to Corbyn becoming vulnerable.



The London election polling test finds that LAB was overstated by 4 points in the final polls

Friday, May 18th, 2018

What does this say about current national polling?

It is not often we get a real election against which we can compare final polls and this month’s London elections provided one such opportunity.

The LAB/CON/LD shares in the final polls from YouGov and Survation are shown in the chart and compared with the overall result.

As can be seen both pollsters had LAB at 51% which compared the 47% that actually happened. Survation got the Tories spot on while YouGov understated the party by 2 points.

Both pollsters understated the LDs – YouGov by 2 points and Survation by a point.

London Borough councillors are elected by block voting. This means that voters could cast as many votes as there were seats in their wards. In most cases this meant three. The vote totals in the chart totals reflect the total number of votes cast for that party in London on May 3rd.

It will be recalled that Survation did best at GE2017 last June.

Mike Smithson


Heidi Alexander: Could she be the LAB mayoral nominee in 2020 so Sadiq can return to the Commons to challenge Corbyn?

Thursday, May 10th, 2018

There’s a fair bit of speculation doing the rounds about why ex-Lewisham E MP and former shadow health secretary, Heidi Alexander has quit her seat for a job with Sadiq Khan at City Hall.

One theory that has been put to me is that she is being lined up as Labour’s candidate for the next London Mayoral election in 2020. This would free up Sadiq and allow him to seek a return to the Commons. Alexander has never been a Corbyn fan while Khan has had many differences with his leader.

In London Khan has retained positive leader ratings for two years and is rated by London voters far more favourably than Corbyn is nationally.

On the face of it this sounds plausible which does not mean that it is right. The question for punters is could there be a betting opportunity at longish odds?

Two markets standout – the 2020 London Mayoral election and Corbyn’s successor. In the former I have not seen Alexander listed as an option from any bookie though that could change. Another bet could be to lay (bet that he won’t do it) Sadiq Khan on the Betfair exchange. He’s currently rated as the 67% favourite.

For next LAB leader you can get 25 to 30/1 on Betfair.

Mike Smithson


The last LE2018 post: How the main academic election predictions did

Tuesday, May 8th, 2018

A key part of election analysis each year are the two academic seat projections which seek to project party Council gains and losses. These play a big part in setting the media narrative over party expectations.

Professions Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher have been doing this for years and their projections are based on what has been happening in the local council by-elections in the run up to polling day.

The other is from Oxford Professor Stephen Fisher who is a key member of the general election exit poll team. He runs the Elections etc site and this was his post
when he made his predictions last week. It should be noted that he allowed wide ranges of possibility in his calculations. He had the LDs, for instance, at -335 seats to +169.

“…my forecasting models this year are based on changes in the gaps between polls shares. For the Conservatives, who have traditionally faced many contests with the Liberal Democrats, their leads over both Labour and the Liberal Democrats matter. For Labour, the model is primarily based on the Labour lead over the Conservatives. Meanwhile, for the Liberal Democrats, their changing opinion poll performance relative to the Conservatives, but not Labour, has historically been correlated with headline local election seat changes.”

What made it more difficult this year was that a large number of wards were electing up to 3 councilors rather than the standard practice in many parts of 1/3 of the councillors being up at a time.

All three of the councils that the Lib Dems gained had all the councillors up for election which actually makes life so much easier for campaigners. Just about the same campaigning effort is required in winning a single seat as a multi member election.

The LD Council gains of S Cambs, Richmond and Kingston all had all seats up last Thursday and are in areas where there’s LD organisational strength both in the area and nearby.

The Tory activist and long standing PBer, Sean Fear in his observations of Wandsworth where he was working has spoken of the apparent lack of campaigning experience of the many LAB volunteers.

People who are well managed and know what they are doing can make a huge difference in the run up and on polling days particularly in local elections where turnout levels are low.

Mike Smithson