As far as punters are concerned the Tories are strong odds-on to win the Batley and Spen by-election

As far as punters are concerned the Tories are strong odds-on to win the Batley and Spen by-election

On July 1st LAB go into their second difficult northern by-election defence at Batley & Spen and following the loss of Hartlepool on May 6th the Tories are strong favourites to take the seat. Generally, government parties have trouble with by-elections like this where the main opposition party is defending a seat held at the previous general election. Until LAB lost Copeland in 2017 this was almost something that just about never happened. But it says something about current UK…

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CON lead slips to 13% with YouGov that has the Greens in third place ahead of the LDs

CON lead slips to 13% with YouGov that has the Greens in third place ahead of the LDs

But YouGov continues to have the best blue ratings I always like to look at recent polls in context by using the Wikipedia table above. As can be seen YouGov continues to find the biggest leads for the Tories with most other recent polls having the margin in single figures. Opinium, the top pollster at GE2019 is due to report next on Saturday night. The challenge for the Greens under FPTP is that it is hard to convert a 9%…

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Theresa May is right to slam Johnson and his ministers for maintaining travel bans

Theresa May is right to slam Johnson and his ministers for maintaining travel bans

BoJo’s predecessor takes on the government on the key issue of the day In all the years I have been following and writing about politics I cannot recall a speech from an ex-PM like the above one from TMay. Remember she was not attacking another party but the current Tory government for maintaining the rigid travel bans when other countries are loosening up. All the evidence is that the vaccination programme has been a great success in protecting the vulnerable…

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An LD Chesham & Amersham share of 40%+ would shake Tory complacency

An LD Chesham & Amersham share of 40%+ would shake Tory complacency

Viewing this by-election through the prism of Hartlepool could be a mistake While almost all the media focus has been on the July 1st Batley and Spen by-election there’s been hardly any coverage of the Tory defence in Chesham & Amersham where they are defending a 29.1% majority. It is as though the lessons of Hartlepool are being applied in this part of southern England where so many things are different. There’s a good analysis of what’s going on and…

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Keir Starmer now slumps to Corbyn levels in the latest Ipsos leader ratings

Keir Starmer now slumps to Corbyn levels in the latest Ipsos leader ratings

Yesterday in an interview Starmer was asked whether he could name his party’s candidate in next week’s Chesham and Amersham by-election. He couldn’t and another indication of how badly things are going for him. This morning Ipsos has published a series of charts on the various leader ratings that it runs and the above chart compares how he and Corbyn rated for satisfaction after 14 months in office. Starmer has slumped to a new low of minus 29% which compares…

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Favoured Voters

Favoured Voters

What’s the difference between bribing voters and fulfilling electoral promises to them?  Outright bribery is now illegal but politicians still promise the earth and try to deliver. How else will they win re-election, after all. The Americans have a down to earth name for it: pork barrel politics. The Italians have an even better description: “clientilismo” – the dispensing of favours, money, jobs, projects to a party’s supporters largely for being a supporter, the public purse seen primarily as a source…

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NIMBY Rishi

NIMBY Rishi

“Fatta la legge. Trovato l’inganno.” (A law is made. A way round it is found.) Sicilian in origin, apparently. Fancy that. Still, who could have thought that barely days after the G7 announcement for a minimum global tax rate for large companies, it would be one of the architects of the proposal who, according to this report, is seeking to get an opt-out for financial services because the proposed tax changes might affect affect global banks headquartered in the U.K….

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Fighting COVID – is striving after perfection the enemy of the good?

Fighting COVID – is striving after perfection the enemy of the good?

I live in Bedford which over the past few weeks has been singled out as a COVID hotspot and each day, later in the afternoon, I almost always check out the latest data for the borough which is all on the excellent government COVID website. One of the statistics I look at is the total number of deaths which is defined as “Number of deaths of people who had had a positive test result for COVID-19 and died within 28…

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