Archive for the 'Podcasts' Category


NEW Bonus PB/Polling Matters podcast: Reviewing the weekend’s polls

Sunday, June 4th, 2017

On a bonus episode of the PB/Polling Matters podcast, Keiran is joined by Ben Walker from to discuss the weekend’s polls as the campaign enters the final week.

Ben is part of a team of students that run the Britain Elects twitter account and website that collects polling data and local election results. It’s an invaluable tool now followed by more than 129,000 people on twitter. A real accomplishment and it was a pleasure to have Ben on.

Listen to the episode here

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NEW PB/Polling Matters podcast: That latest YouGov forecast, pollster wars & TMay’s lost momentum

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

On this week’s episode of the PB/Polling Matters podcast Keiran is joined by Chris Curtis from YouGov and Adam Drummond of Opinium to discuss the latest polling and General Election campaign developments.

Chris Curtis explains the background to this week’s controversial YouGov model seen in the Times that has suggested we might be facing a hung parliament. Curtis explains what is behind the model, its limitations and how we should read it.

Later in the show, the panel discuss why pollsters have such differing opinions on the state of the campaign and what May must do now to regain momentum and avoid the keys to Number 10 slipping through her fingers. Meanwhile, the team also unveil new polling on who voters trust most to negotiate Brexit and who they think will win.

Listen to the show here

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NEW PB/Polling Matters podcast: Explaining the Labour ‘surge’ and predictions for June

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

On this week’s PB/Polling Matters podcast, Keiran is joined by Matt Singh and Leo Barasi to discuss the tightening polls and what might happen in June. The team discuss whether Labour’s recent poll surge is ‘real’ and what might be behind it. Matt unveils his analysis of what will happen in June based on his model. A model which succesfully predicted the 2015 General Election when all of the polls said the race was close.

Later in the show, Keiran unveils new Polling Matters / Opinium polling that looks at how opinions of the main party leaders have changed since the election began. Also included in the survey is a question about who voters would trust to negotiate Brexit – May or Corbyn – with numbers trended from when the question was last asked in June.

One not to miss. Listen to the show here

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NEW PB/Polling Matters podcast: Discussing today’s GfK / Business Insider survey results

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

On this week’s PB/Polling Matters podcast Keiran is joined by Adam Bienkov and Adam Payne from Business Insider UK to discuss today’s GfK/Business Insider poll results.

The panel discuss the scale of the Conservative lead, what’s happened to the Lib Dems and why Jeremy Corbyn’s approval ratings are improving (and why it probably won’t matter). They also discuss what’s behind May’s approval rating plus interesting findings from the survey that suggest Tony Blair is less popular than Jeremy Corbyn.

The discussion finishes with analysis on what British politics may look like after the General Election is over for all sides.

Listen to the show here

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Labour’s Brexit dilemma: the right policy led by the wrong people? Plus Kasich 2020 rumours

Sunday, May 7th, 2017

Despite Labour voters support for a second referendum on EU membership, the party’s support for Brexit is probably the right policy writes Keiran Pedley. The Conservatives are vulnerable if Theresa May cannot negotiate a deal but not if Labour looks ‘pro-Brussels’.

As June the 8th rapidly approaches, many have criticised the Labour Party’s approach to Brexit. With the Prime Minister solidly in favour of a so-called ‘hard Brexit’ and the Liberal Democrats the unapologetic party of Remain, Labour has seemed lost.  Many pro-European Labour supporters have expressed exasperation that the leadership will not pursue the Blairite ‘second referendum’ policy and Labour as a whole has been criticised for having no real answer on the biggest question of the day.

On this week’s Polling Matters podcast we looked at the numbers on this issue. As part of our Polling Matters / Opinium series we repeated the question on whether there should be a second referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU once the terms are known. After a slight shift in opinion in March, we can see that public opinion remains (pardon the pun), solidly against – yet Labour voters are solidly for.

Q. Once we know what terms the government has negotiated, should there be a second referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU, where voters can choose between leaving under the terms negotiated or remaining in the EU after all?

Among all Remain voters Leave voters
Dec 16 Mar 17 May 17 Dec 16 Mar 17 May 17 Dec 16 Mar 17 May 17

Should be










Should not be










Don’t know 15% 10% 11% 14% 10% 11% 10% 6%



Labour voters

Dec 16 Mar 17 May 17
Should be




Should not be




Don’t know




If, as we all expect, the Conservatives are returned to power with an increased majority in June then whoever leads the Labour Party in the future will be faced with a real dilemma. There is likely to be a clamouring for a change in Labour policy on Brexit and we should expect someone to stand for the Labour leadership on the basis that a second referendum should be ‘on the table’. It may very well be the entire basis on which a candidate for the leadership challenges Jeremy Corbyn should he choose to try and hang on. Perhaps a change of policy is a good idea. If Brexit goes badly, then Labour can differentiate from the government by being the party offering a way out of a disastrous Brexit?

I’m not so sure. There is no real evidence from the past few months to suggest that a difficult Brexit will do anything other than increase support for the government and harden anti-EU sentiment. I am far from convinced that Labour will benefit from being positioned as the ‘pro Brussels’ party during exit negotiations. There is a prevailing mood in the public to ‘get on with it’ now and I see no real electoral dividend in fighting the tide. Indeed, the numbers above show that 1 in 4 Remainers (26%) do not want to revisit the question of EU membership along with 1 in 3 Labour voters (31%). Perhaps there was a time for the ‘2nd referendum’ idea to take root but that time appears to have passed.

A far better policy for Labour now would be to support Brexit but to insist that walking away with no deal would be a disaster. To position Labour as the party that wants a positive relationship with the EU in a post Brexit world and to say clearly that a ‘no deal’ scenario would represent a failure of leadership on the part of the Prime Minister. This strategy puts the Conservative Party’s reputation for competent leadership and economic stability on the table rather than make Labour look like it is siding with the EU against Britain. Labour could say that any decision to re-join the EU would be subject to another referendum, that one would not take place during the first term of any future Labour government but that it could be on the table in the future.

If this sounds like I think the current policy is broadly right it’s because I think it is. In my view, Labour’s problem isn’t that its policy on Brexit is wrong, the problem is that this election is about ‘who negotiates that Brexit?’ and the public are quite clear that person should be Theresa May and not Jeremy Corbyn. Nevertheless, just because Britain is leaving the EU, that does not mean voters want bad relations with Europe, nor does it mean that issues around funding for schools, hospitals and social care have gone away. Labour can get back in the game. It just needs strong leadership and a sense of direction to do so.

Meanwhile in America

As American politics is dominated by the ongoing row over healthcare you may have missed the most recent episode of David Axelrod’s podcast ‘The Axe Files’. On this week’s episode, Axelrod interviews Ohio Governor John Kasich, who offers the worst ‘non-denial denial’ on the prospect of him running for President in 2020 that you are ever likely to hear. Could he run against Donald Trump in the Republic primary? Here is what he said:

On his support in the country:

“What I have found is that when I travel around on this book or when I travel around period people come to me and many of them are almost begging me to run again…”

When pressed on 2020 he goes on:

“My folks advise me because my inclination is to say ‘I’ll never run for anything again’ ok and they say ‘why do you say that John, you don’t know what the future is going to be’ and they’re right. So. I don’t know. Am I planning on for it? No. Do I have a political organisation still active? Yes. Why? Because I want to have a team of people that can help me to have an effective voice…It’s extremely difficult to maintain a voice if you don’t’ hold an office…’

Not exactly squashing it is he? More here.

John Kasich is 50/1 to be the GOP nominee in 2020 by the way. I am taking that.

Keiran Pedley is a regular contributor to and editor of the PB/Polling Matters podcast. You can listen to this week’s episode below:

Keiran tweets about politics and public opinion at @keiranpedley


NEW PB/Polling Matters podcast: Firing the starting gun, Brexit rows & where is the LD surge?

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

On this week’s podcast, Keiran is joined by Adam Drummond of Opinium and Adam Payne of Business Insider UK to discuss the political state of play as the General Election campaign proper kicks off.

The panel mull over the latest developments in the campaign, including Theresa May’s comments about EU interference in British democracy and Tim Farron’s recent run-in with a Leave voter on the stump. Topics discussed also include the lack of a Lib Dem surge in the opinion polls and whether the polls might be wrong again (and how). The podcast also unveils the latest Polling Matters / Opinium survey looking at the appetite (or lack thereof) for a second referendum on EU membership. Could this be why the Lib Dems struggle or is Adam Payne’s alternative suggestion the real reason?

Finally, the panel also look ahead to the local elections on Thursday and discuss the potential impact of turnout on the General Election result in June.

Listen to the podcast here:

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This week’s PB/Polling Matters podcast on Theresa May’s snap election

Friday, April 21st, 2017

With a snap general election announced, Leo Barasi is joined by Progress deputy editor Conor Pope, and political consultant Laurence Janta-Lipinski, to talk about the state of the parties and the race ahead. The Tories seem to be on course for a guaranteed landslide but does that mean they won’t be able to scare potential voters about a Corbyn government? What policies and arguments can Labour offer to fight back? How far can the Lib Dems go? And is it all gloom for Ukip?

Keiran is on holiday.

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This week’s PB/Polling Matters Podcast: The LD fight back and where they go next + the latest Ashcroft poll

Thursday, April 13th, 2017


On this week’s PB/Polling Matters podcast, Leo is joined by Lib Dem writer and campaign strategist Mark Pack to discuss the Lib Dem fightback and the new Polling Matters / Opinium survey on the party’s prospects. The Lib Dems seem to be recovering in the polls, but how high can they go, where should they look for new voters, should they change leader and can they win the Gorton by-election?  Later in the show, Leo and Mark discuss the new poll from Lord Ashcroft and what it says about the challenges the government will face in negotiating a popular Brexit deal. Keiran is on holiday.

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