Archive for the 'Theresa May' Category


If the Windrush affair has an impact in the polls expect it to be seen most in the leader ratings not voting intention

Thursday, April 19th, 2018

Could it reverse TMay’s steady recovery since GE2017?

Above is a chart based on Opinium’s net approval ratings for the PM since GE2017. I choose this pollster because it is one of just two that just about always every month publish the latest leader ratings which gives us enough data points for analysis. I wish other firms would follow this lead.

As can be seen TMay made something of a recovery in the immediate post-election period until October when the Opinium fieldwork took place shortly after her disastrous and highly publicised conference speech.

During 2018 there has been a recovery and in the past two months she has had better net ratings than Corbyn.

This week’s news has been very much about TMay because it was on her watch as Home Secretary between 2010 and 2016 that the changes took place which are now causing so much concern.

Mike Smithson


If TMay and Corbyn are still there at the next election then Windrush & antisemitism could still be dogging them

Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

These are leadership more than party issues

What a dramatic few days for both the prime minister and the leader of the opposition. Two huge issues continue to dominate the news which are big negatives for each of them respectively.

The Windrush affair, which is being juxtaposed with the meeting of Commonwealth leaders, is a reminder of how Theresa May handled things when she was in the Home Office from 2010 to 2016. It was under her watch that the law was changed making life a lot harder for those who been in the UK for decades who have to prove their right to be in the country.

We have heard tear jerking stories from one elderly immigrant after another and no doubt there are others in the pipeline. All is made much harder for them because the onus is now on them individually to prove their status which in many cases is simply not there.

The anti-semitism issue within Labour stepped up a notch last night with the debate on the issue, which had been tabled opportunistically by the Tories in the Commons. Again we heard tear jerking stories from several Jewish Labour MPs which were more powerful because on the face of it Mr Corbyn appears to have done very little to change the environment in the party.

Whatever Corbyn needs to find some way to assuage some of the fears of the Jewish community and from what we’ve seen since he became leader he appears to lack the ability or inclination to do that.

Both of these issues are about race and both highlight, I suggest, blind spots in Mrs. May and Mr. Corbyn.

Let’s see how PMQs goes today.

Mike Smithson


The commentators blaming TMay for the Windrush affair are right – she not ARudd but should be carrying the can

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

This could be very dangerous for the woman who lost the Tories their majority last June

As those who watch politics closely will know who it is very common for ministers to blame the previous administration when things go wrong on their patch.

There’s a problem though, as the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, found yesterday when under pressure in the Commons, if the person she wanted to blame was her boss the Prime Minister.

We had this ridiculous situation where the Home Secretary was telling MPs that the problem was caused by the Home Office. That, surely, was Mrs Rudd’s way of getting over the fact that this wasn’t her fault but her predecessor.

A huge problem for the Government and particularly the PM is that the public is very much on the side of the immigrants. YouGov yesterday found 78% saying they should be allowed to stay against 9% that they shouldn’t.

All this comes at a time when the Tories have Mr Corbyn over a barrel following his response to Salisbury and Syria. He is very much on the wrong side of public opinion.

    My sense is that Mrs. May is pushing her luck at the moment: agreeing to the Syria attacks without recalling parliament, her handling of immigration while Home Secretary and of course the divides within her party over Brexit. Her Salisbury boost in the polls has fizzled out.

Remember it only requires 48 CON MPs to send letter to Graham Brady for her to face a confidence vote. On Betfair it 3/1 that she won’t surive 2018.

Mike Smithson


TMay’s decision to back the Syria raid without Commons approval was in the face of public opinion

Monday, April 16th, 2018

Will there be a price to be paid?

Survation in the Mail on Sunday is the only polling that we’ve seen which took place after the British raid on chemical facilities in Syria and the key findings are above.

This happened, of course, without any parliamentary vote the decision being made by the prime minister using the powers in the Royal Prerogative.

On the face of it it was a very brave decision by Mrs May to join the action with the United States and France without recalling Parliament and securing the backing of MPs.

It will be recalled that four and a half years ago there was a vote in the Commons on a similar issue which went against any action. Unlike May over the weekend Cameron was not ready to act without a parliamentary vote.

Ever since the Iraq war in 2003 the British Public appears to be very nervous about foreign interventions and given that we know how that turned out this is probably understandable.

    What is intriguing about the current situation is that it highlights the leading characteristics of both the prime minister and the leader of the opposition.

The former is ready to do what she perceives to be right and is ready to face any consequences.

Mr Corbyn, on the other hand, is a long standing opponent of all foreign interventions and this puts the spotlight on his reaction. Is it tenable for the main alternative to the current prime minister to hold such views and doesn’t it expose him to attack?

Parliament returns today after the Easter break and we all get a greater sense of the political impact.

Mike Smithson


Theresa May now level-pegging with “Don’t know” as to who would make the best PM

Saturday, April 14th, 2018

Corbyn, as almost ever, trails behind

This polling, from the latest YouGov, rather sums up British politics at the moment. When respondents were asked who would make the best prime minister 37% said Mrs May which is exactly the same number who said they didn’t know

Neither of the main party leaders is able to show widespread support. On the party splits just 70% of current Labour voters opted for Mr Corbyn. Mrs May gets 90% of Tory ones.

Of course it is likely that at least one of these leaders may not be the party’s flag bearer at the next general election which, if it follows the time table in the Fixed Term Parliament Act, will not happen for at least four years.

Corbyn, as has been observed, is struggling in the standard leader ratings when voters are asked to rate who they find the most favourable or are satisfied or give their approval to. But, as has been observed many times because Corbyn is so overwhelmingly popular amongst LAB’s membership his position within the party is totally secure.

The same cannot be said for Mrs May who has defied gravity, apparently, and is still there after her general election loss of the Conservative majority 10 months ago. Her great strength is that not one of the alternatives commands anything like the support that would be necessary.

The voting intention numbers in this latest poll see both the Tories and LAB on 40% with the LDs up 2 to 9%.

Mike Smithson


For the first time since GE2017 Corbyn has slipped behind TMay in the leader ratings – can he recover?

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018

How YouGov’s party leader favourability tracker has changed since TMay called GE2017

The chart shows the trend in TMay’s net favourability lead over Corbyn since she called the election jut over a year ago. The figures are calculated by taking the PM’s net rating and subtracting Mr. Corbyn’s net figure.

As can be seen this really tells the story of British politics over the past year – from a position where Mrs. May was totally dominant to the turnaround at the general election on June 8th and now the small recovery for the Prime Minister.

The reason why this is important is, as I have argued strongly, that leader ratings are historically a better guide to electoral outcomes than standard voting intention polls.

There are several types of leader ratings. Whether the name person is doing well or badly: Ipsos MORI asks how people are satisfied with the individuals; and Opinium has led the way with approval ratings. The new DeltaPoll goes with well/badly

My favourite is favuorability which YouGov run alongside their well/badly ratings.

We also have “Best PM” ratings which I believe are less important because there is a huge incumbency advantage to the PM.

After spending almost all the period since the general election with a net lead over Mrs. May the PM is now ahead. The big question for Labour is whether their man can recover.

Mike Smithson


Moggsy edges up to a new high in the next CON leader betting

Thursday, April 5th, 2018

For the tihrd month in succession ConHome has him as favoured next CON leader

We have not looked at this betting market for some time – who is going to be the next Conservative leader after Theresa May – and the latest ConHome survey with Rees-Mogg once again the favoured choice of members is a good peg.

You should note that this is NOT an opinion poll and cannot be compared with, say, the recent YouGov LAB members’ survey. But CONhome will point to its success with its approach at the 2005 leadership contest.

As can be seen in the chart of Betfair exchange trades the JRM phenomena matches with survey. It now looks as though he’s heading to get his own LBC show which will give him even more of a public presence.

    The only problem about being the long-term betting favourite for CON leader is that there is a history of them not making it.

Everything, of course, depends on when there is a contest which is linked to Mrs May’s chances of surviving beyond Brexit something that is looking more likely following what seems to be an assured performance over the Salisbury incident.

If she is still there by the end of 2019 then my guess is that she could hang on. And when it does happen the winner will be someone who at the moment is not getting that much attention.

Mike Smithson


Suddenly TMay’s survival chances look a lot stronger

Tuesday, March 27th, 2018

There’s a Betfair market that hasn’t attracted much attention or liquidity on which of May/Corbyn/Cable/Sturgeon will be the first leader out. I think it would have been better to confine it to the PM and LOTO.

What’s been striking is how over the past fortnight Mrs. May, who looked a basket case earlier in the month rated as an 80% chance of being first out, is now at 50%. Meanwhile Corbyn, who was at 2% has now edged up to 18%.

    While Corbyn has had all the problems with his less than convincing responses to the anti-antisemitism charges Mrs. May appears to have found a new sense of purpose following Salisbury.

Quite simply she is looking stronger while Corbyn looks vulnerable. The only caveat here is that the thousands of Corbyn cultists within Labour are going to ensure that their man will remain.

TMay, on the other hand, could be out in a very short period if 48 CON MPs write letters demanding a confidence vote.

The fact is that the PM survived, against all expectations, in the job when things were going terribly and has now entered a more confidence phase. In the current context even if 48 CON letters were sent you could see her surviving the MP ballot.

Meanwhile Corbyn’s relationship with his MPs is almost as bad as it has ever been.

My view is that May is now a greater asset to her party than Corbyn.

Mike Smithson