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The GE2019 podcast from Keiran Pedley – now with Ipsos MORI

November 14th, 2019

Keiran Pedley, familiar to PBers through his longstanding PB/PollingMatters podcast series is now doing a general election series for the pollster, Ipsos MORI, with home he works. Each week he’ll inviting a range of figures to add to our understanding of what’s happening. This is the first.

I am sure we all wish Kieran the best of luck.

 


Mike Smithson





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Just six months ago Betfair punters were making LAB the favourite to win most seats

November 14th, 2019

How things can change rapidly in politics

The above betdata.io chart shows how views of the general election “seat winner” market have changed so much in the past six months. On May 12th Corbyn’s party was rated as a 48.1% chance ahead of what was then TMay’s Tories.

This reflected the polling. The Tories failed to record a single polling lead between April 5th and May 30th.

That was all a time when the party was totally divided by Brexit and the repeated failed attempts to get the withdrawal agreement passed by the Commons. It was in that context that TMay quit as leader thus opening the way for Johnson.

Her real problem is that the repeated failed commons votes highlighted the huge divisions within her party and generally voters don’t warm to parties that are split.

That Johnson’s party should now. if punters have got this right, be a 94% chance of coming out as seat winner with a 62% chance of a majority is, in many ways, a testament to his ruthless approach and the continued divisions with the official opposition.

If this turns out to be right then LAB would be heading for a fourth successive general election defeat.  The last time LAB suffered a fourth consecutive defeat paved the way for Tony Blair.  Somehow I don’t see a figure like that emerging after December 12th.

Mike Smithson




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Prof John Curtice does not make a prediction – Summing up where we are

November 14th, 2019

Punters give Johnson a 62% chance of a majority



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It’s Johnson’s bad luck that the floods have happened in Yorkshire home of many of his GE2019 target seats

November 13th, 2019

So another day goes by and still the misery continues for many families in South Yorkshire who have suffered because of the flooding. These are situations which are very tricky for a PM because just about nothing he can do or say is going to resonate well.

This has also played havoc with the carefully worked out programme for the campaign itself. I don’t know what was on the Cummings PR grid for this week because it has been totally sidelined.

Given we are just a fortnight or so from the postal ballot packs going out and four weeks away from the big day the question is whether the Tories will be hit at the ballot box by the flooding.

No doubt there will be a detailed analysis on this from Prof John Curtice in his planned definitie book on GE2017.

Will this impact be confined to Yorkshire or will the TV pictures have been seen nationally on social media and have a wider effect?

A problem he has is that he is barely better than TMsy when confronted with “ordinary people”. He’s awkward, lacks empathy and doesn’t respond well to being attacked.

What is ironic, of course, is that seats like those in the Doncaster area were among the prime targets identified to Tory planners as possible gains from Labour.

Mike Smithson




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Tories trading today at record highs on the Commons Seats spreadbetting markets

November 13th, 2019

With nominations for GE2019 closing at 4pm tomorrow we are just four weeks away from polling day. Postal voting is likely to start perhaps a week and a half later depending on the local authority.

The Tory polling position is nothing like as dominant as it was at this stage in 2017. Indeed four weeks ahead of that election ICM had CON 49%, LAB 27%, Farage’s party 6%, LD 9. TMay’s team was totally dominating the narrative and LAB looked doomed.

Then, of course, came the Tory manifesto with its dementia tax plan and the whole mood of the election totally changed. But just because the narrative changed last time round does not mean it will be the same.

My view is that the final week is going to be crucial because the country could be then so much closer to Brexit actually happening. A majority for Johnson would ensure that the referendum would be honoured while if he fell short then Brexit would be in doubt. If LAB is still some way behind in the polling then the possibility of Corbyn being PM would be far less.

This is likely to matter most in those seats where Remain came out top. Will Tory-voting remain backers stick with their party? The question then is whether possible CON losses in Remainia will be more than offset by gains from LAB.

Mike Smithson




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Now five of the top 6 in the Democratic nomination betting are septuagenarians – the other’s 37

November 13th, 2019

Is the party really going to choose an old’un to fight the 74 year old

We have not looked at the WH2020 nomination recently but the latest development is that Wall Street multi-billionaire, Michael Bloomberg (77), has started registering to ensure that he’s on the primary ballots in some states. On top of this there’s a lot of betting interest in Hillary Clinton (72) although she has not said that she is running.

They join septuagenarians Bernie Sanders (78), Joe Biden (76) and Elizabeth Warren (70) who are competing hard to get the nomination to fight Trump next November.

As a septuagenarian myself, I was born three weeks before Trump, I think that this is crazy. The party’s flag carrier needs to be as different from the incumbent President as possible and on top of all his other troubles Trump’s age is showing.

The Democrats seem to do best at re-taking the White House when they go for a young and less known nominee. Look back at John Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and, of course Barack Obama.

So I am not convinced that a septuagenarian will make it this time. I’m on Pete Buttigieg and my most recent bet, £8 at 770/1, was on Amy Klobuchar. The latter is still in there and is beginning to get more attention after taking effective swipes at Buttigieg.

Looking forward I now plan to be in California, the biggest state of all, for its primary on March 3rd. With Texas voting as well that day there are so many delegates at stake that we could have a clearer view of the likely outcome.

  • Betting trend chart of Betfair market from betdats.io

    Mike Smithson




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    Farage looks set to lose his BBC Election Question Time slot following BP’s candidate withdrawal move

    November 13th, 2019

    It is being reported in the Times and other papers that Farage could lose some of his key TV debate slots following his move to pull BP candidates in Tory seats.

    Although Farage is not standing in the election and is not an MP he was allocated the same number of TV debate slots as Jo Swinson including the Question Time special when it was planned that he, Swinson, Corbyn and Johnson would be the line-up.

    Farage had “earned” his slots as a result of his party’s performance in the Euro elections in May but that looks as though it is being reviewed because there will now only be BP candidates in non-CON held seats. Clearly moving from a leader who could theoretically win the election and become PM to one where that is no longer possible changes his status.

    It could also impact on the number of party election broadcasts that BP is allocated.

    One of the reasons why the main head to head events on both ITV and the BBC are restricted to just Corbyn and Johnson is that including Swinson would have made it harder not to have Farage as well. This is now being tested in the courts by the LDs

    Meanwhile YouGov has changed its methodology so that the only option put to poll respondents will be those parties that are standing in their seats. This gives a boost to the Tories in the pollster’s latest survey for the Times.

    Mike Smithson




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    What might mess up Tory strategy – Brexit is a much much bigger deal for CON voters than LAB ones

    November 12th, 2019


    Lord Ashcroft polls

    Why Brexit is much less of an issue for the red team

    We have covered this before on PB but it is worth looking again given the proximity of the third general election in four and a half years.

    On the day of GE2017 the CON peer and pollster, Lord Ashcroft, sought to try to establish why people had voted the way they had and carried out a large sample survey.

    A key question was asking those sampled what was the main factor in determining their votes. The outcomes for the main parties are featured in the chart above.

    As can be seen 48% of Conservative voters named Brexit as the prime influencer whereas just 8% of Labour once said the same. That is a huge difference.

    From this, I’d suggest, it is possible to deduce that Brexit is much less an issue amongst those who voted for Corbyn’s party than those who backed Theresa May’s. We don’t know whether we would get the same gap 30 months on but my guess is that this continues to be an issue that concerns the blue team much more than voters of the red one.

    On top of that of the 8% LAB voters saying Brexit was the key factor then quite a lot were like me, tactical voters.

    One thing that we have heard repeatedly since that election is that about two-thirds of Labour MPs represent constituencies that voted Leave in the referendum a year before. The significance of this is put into context by this polling.

    If LAB voters, as it appears, are much less inclined to say that this is the issue that affected their vote then the challenges facing remain LAB MPs in seats which voted Leave are that much less.

    Mike Smithson