Archive for the 'Theresa May' Category


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


If its Corbyn versus May again next time my money would be on the Tories

Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

Tories now back as odds-on favourites

We could be more than four years away from the next general election and it is possible that neither Corbyn or Theresa May will be leading the parties by then. But if the two were to be the main party leaders next time, whenever that is, my money would be on the Conservatives.

    Firstly it is always the case that we look at elections through the prism of what happened last time rather than what is actually happening at that moment. The assumption would be that message Mrs May would campaign as poorly as in 2017 and that Corbyn would campaign as well.

One thing’s for sure that if May is still heading blue team, which she wants to do, then she is going to perform a lot lot better than she did a few last year. What happens with failure is that it causes a lot of soul searching and you are able to look at the future more critically to work out the lessons to be learnt.

Labour, of course, lost the last general election even though their performance was substantially better than most of the polls were suggesting. But in terms of the red team seat haul compared with the Tories Corbyn’s Labour did worse than Gordon Brown 7 years earlier. Yet Corbyn was almost declared the de facto victor and this appears to be impacting on LAB thinking.

Last time the Tories had great plans to undermine Corby by highlighting some of his controversial past positions on things like Ireland and the wars Britain had been involved in. That didn’t have the desired potency because for many voters it was all about things a long long time ago.

Next time Corbyn’s approach to Russia and the Salisbury attack will be fresher in people’s minds and will be used more effectively.

One little bit of data should be worrying LAB. For the first time since the general election Opinium this week found Corbyn trailing Theresa May in its leader approval ratings.

The Tories have now moved to odds-on favourite to win most seats at the next election.

Mike Smithson


Theresa May may well yet achieve her ambition of leading her party at the next election

Friday, March 16th, 2018

There’s no talk now of letters calling for a confidence vote

One of the features about the current Russia crisis is what it is doing to perceptions of Theresa May. The latest polling overnight showing her getting huge backing from voters for the way she is handling things reflect how her approach is very much resonating with the public mood.

I thought yesterday her walk-about in Salisbury contrasted so much with some of the awful public appearances at the general election campaign less than a year ago when her discomfort with people became so clear and was almost certainly a factor in why she didn’t win a majority.

She’s helped, of course, by the fact that Jeremy Corbyn is having a bad crisis having got the public mood wrong and looking isolated even within the parliamentary Labour Party.

    It has become just a touch harder to see Labour, under Corbyn, winning the next general election and him becoming Prime Minister.

When the overnight YouGov/Times poll asked about the response of the party leaders, 53% think TMay has responded well to the incident, 23% badly; 18% think Corbyn has responded well, 39% badly with saying 43% don’t know.

If it continues in this vein then this is only going to reinforce Theresa Mays position even more. In a sense she has looked even more prime ministerial well Corbyn has looked less.

To think that only a few weeks ago there was renewed speculation about the number of CON MP letters calling for a confidence vote in Mrs May going to the 1922 committee chairman Graham Brady.

This could all carry Theresa May through unchallenged as Conservative leader to way beyond Brexit and who knows she might even now make it to the next general election.

  • The YouGov the voting intention figures were CON 42%(+1), LAB 39%(-4), LD 7(=).
  • Mike Smithson


    So crunch day on Russia for the PM

    Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

    It is now Wednesday and the Russians have not done what was demanded of them by the PM over the Salisbury attack and so it is up to her and the government to announce what they are doing.

    We all know that you don’t make a threat unless you are ready to follow it through otherwise you just look a push-over.

    My sense is that she had thought that through before her statement to the Commons on Monday and that there will be a series of measures coming which could have an impact on the UK because of the likely Russian response.

    Clearly given what is being said in Moscow about Russia Today, the TV station based in London, we get a sense of the likely reaction from Moscow and Mr Putin.

    The World Cup which starts in less than 3 months could be an area for action and this in a way adds to the overall difficulty for the British government. Assuming there is no pull out there must be huge concerns about sending the English team and all the associated media and hangers on as well as potential supporters. But ordering a pull out would have it own huge disadvantages.

    The biggest political loser so far in this crisis, I would suggest, is Mr Corbyn whose equivocal response on Monday appears to have been a mistake and raises a lot of questions about him and some of the aids who advise him

    PMQs today should be interesting

    Mike Smithson


    PaddyPower makes it 3/1 that TMay won’t survive beyond the end of March

    Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

    And it’s 2/1 that there’ll be a general election this year

    A spokesman for the bookie said: “Theresa May’s time as PM has been a constant case of one step forward followed by several steps backwards – and that’s just her political viewpoints. The pressure is ramping up on May, and the odds are shortening that she’ll be ousted, prompting another General Election and – likely – another Brexit Referendum.”


    2/1 General Election to be called in the UK in 2018

    5/2 DUP to remove support for Conservative Government

    3/1 Theresa May to be removed as Conservative Leader in Q1 2018

    5/1 EU Referendum to be held in 2018

    Not sure that I find any of these attractive though there might be something in the DUP bet.

    Mike Smithson