Developments this afternoon show that Yvette Cooper is still very much in the LAB leadership race

May 27th, 2015

At current prices she’s the value bet

This afternoon it’s been announced that a further six MPs have come out and said they are backing Yvette Cooper – a move that reminds me of Henry H Manson’s words on the site ten days ago about her having the best organised campaign.

This fits with an article that Isabel Hardman of the Spectator wrote yesterday about Yvette’s effort.

“…But even while she has been rather quiet about what she thinks, Cooper has been phenomenally well-organised. Her leadership campaign,..is already up and running in the country, not just in Westminster, with the first Yvette4Leader meetings in the diary and regional organisers in place already. Given the party is now electing its leaders through one member one vote, that sort of outreach operation to the party membership is even more important than before.”

Wirh second preferences likely to be very important then Yvette looks set to benefit more than either Mr. Burnham or Kendall.

I’ve taken some of the very good prices for Yvette on Betfair getting one on a 7/1.

Mike Smithson


It looks as though Cameron will try to get referendum out of the way as soon as possible

May 27th, 2015

It’s Queen’s Speech day and the first time that Cameron had been able to act free of the restrictions of coalition.

Judging from the headlines a key measure that the new government will seek to bring in quickly is the referendum on whether Britain should remain part of the EU. LAB had already said it will back the plan and the only change it might seek is on the extension of the franchise to 16-17 year olds.

From what’s come out overnight the planned question will involve voters choosing Yes to stay in and No to leave.

From a political perspective Cameron is trying to get this dealt with as soon as possible on the parliament. The referendum itself creates uncertainty and having the vote sooner rather than later minimises that.

The out campaigners have already indicated that they’d prefer a longer period before this comes to the crucial vote.

Which way will it go? The best stay betting price is 4/11 from Ladbrokes while Hills have 9/4 on leave.

Mike Smithson


PB Nighthawks is now open

May 26th, 2015

Home of the web’s best political conversation

Why not relax, and converse into the night on the day’s events in PB NightHawks.

If you’re a lurker, when it comes to your lurking, why not, Give It Up, Get Down Tonight and get posting.

The round up of recent events (click on the links below, and it will bring up the relevant link)

  1. Antifrank looks at 2020: the geography of Labour’s next campaign
  2. Liz Kendall: full story of the outsider who became the Labour leadership candidate with the ‘mo.’ As the Blairite challenger picks up the backing of Chuka Umunna, who is Liz Kendall?
  3. All of the leadership candidates are good, but there’s something about Mary
  4. Ryan Coetzee’s take on what went wrong for the Lib Dems in the general election
  5. The problem for Labour isn’t toxicity, it’s credibility
  6. Labour’s saviour may never reach Downing Street
  7. Cameron tries to bring the campaign into government
  8. Nicola Sturgeon: Hard for SNP to get Tory concessions
  9. UKIP’s Suzanne Evans calls for cross-party alliance to create EU referendum ‘no’ campaign
  10. Welsh first minister attacks Labour’s strategy in Scotland: Carwyn Jones says Scottish Labour failed to learn from party’s fight against rising nationalism in Wales, and might struggle to recover
  11. Alistair Carmichael’s political survival has become a matter of principle
  12. We need a truly proportional voting system
  13. Labour’s Tom Watson steps into limelight
  14. Oops… Anti-gay Westboro Baptist church blames Ivory Coast for Ireland’s gay marriage result
  15. Vindication at last for those of us who drink nights and work days
  16. Dawn of the cyborgs: how humans will turn themselves into gods


Ladbrokes saying that LAB leadership now a 2 horse race between Burnham & Kendall

May 26th, 2015

I’m not sure that Yvette can be written out so easily

I’m very mindful when considering the LAB leadership battle of the comments in the recent post from Henry G Manson who has built up a good reputation for his reading of Labour.

Just over a week ago Henry observed that Yvette Cooper not Burnham should be the favourite. I am very cautious about ignoring his advice on these matters.

But there’s little doubt that the momentum is with Kendall at the moment and that is being reflected in the betting.

We are a very long way from the end of this race – September 12th – and an awful lot can happen in the intervening period.

Mike Smithson


The widespread assumption that Dave won’t lead CON into the next election might be wrong

May 26th, 2015

How much should we attach to the famous Landale interview?

Whenever people discuss the next election they will invariably point out that the Tories will not, unlike 2010 and 2015, be led by David Cameron.

All this is based on the televised kitchen conversation that the PM had with the BBC’s James Landale in March a week or so before the official campaign began.

    My reading after watching the video again is that this was not a firm commitment to stand aside and that we cannot necessarily conclude that a new person will lead the Tories in 2020.

A key factor, of course, is that Cameron’s comments were made when virtually nobody, himself included I guess, thought a Tory majority was possible. Now that he has pulled that off he’s in a much stronger position within his party and the country. Cameron is now what he wasn’t in 2010 – an unequivocal winner.

Of course there is a lot that could go wrong in the next five years. The EU negotiations and referendum won’t be an easy ride but I wonder whether having tasted a clear victory on May 7th will have impacted on Cameron’s career planning. He is, after all, a relatively young man and would only be 53 at the next election.

If you are prepared to lock up your stake for 5 years then the William Hill 16/1 that he’ll cease to be CON leader in 2021 or later looks a value bet.

Mike Smithson


After the IndyRef experience it’s going to be harder not to allow 16/17 year olds to vote in the EU referendum

May 25th, 2015

When Alex Salmond pushed through his measure to allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote in last September’s IndyRef in Scotland it was only a matter of time before this became an issue for the whole of the country.

With constitutional change, like Scotland going independent or Britain leaving the EU, there’s clearly a strong argument that those who will be most affected, the young, should be able to participate in the decision.

    After their apparent reversal on having an EU referendum at all Labour clearly wants to be seen to be doing something that means this is not all a Tory measure.

The big risk to Cameron is that the referendum bill could get clogged up in the House of Lords where it is in the minority. A concession, using the Scottish precedent is possible although it will be strongly opposed by some sections of the blue team.

The polling suggests that the older you are the more you oppose Britain remaining in the EU.

Mike Smithson


New research finds that the Tories took a third of the ethnic minority vote at GE2015

May 25th, 2015


The million minority voters that put Cameron into Number Ten

One million ethnic minority votes helped put David Cameron into Downing Street on election night, according to a major new piece of research into attitudes among minority voters released today.

While LAB remains ahead with minority voters on 52%, the research finds that the gap between the two main parties is shrinking dramatically. One third (33%) of ethnic minority voters supported the CON in 2015, a stronger result than ever before for the party, which has historically struggled to appeal to non-white voters. LDs and Greens took 5% of the ethnic minority vote, with 2% voting for UKIP.

The new study, the largest survey of ethnic minority attitudes to be published in the 2015 election cycle, provides surprising new insights into the political views of ethnic minorities in Britain. Conducted by Survation for thinktank British Future, it surveyed 2,000 ethnic minority respondents across Britain straight after the election from 8-14 May.

Translated into votes(1), based on an estimated 3 million ethnic minority taking part in the election, the results equate to 1.6 million votes for LAB, with CON securing one million ethnic minority votes for the first time in the party’s history. The Lib Dems and Greens both secured 150,000 ethnic minority votes, with UKIP on 75,000.

The research also reveals interesting differences in party support by ethnic group, showing much higher support for CON among Asian voters than other ethnic minorities:

Asian: 50% LAB , 38% CON

Black: 67% LAB , 21% CON

Mixed race: 49% LAB , 26% CON

Sunder Katwala, Director of British Future, said:

“Ethnic minority votes are more ‘up for grabs’ than ever before.

“While David Cameron clearly took a lot of votes from the Lib Dems in the election, he also seems to have extended his party’s appeal to ethnic minority voters too.

“Labour remains ahead with minority voters, but the party may have won too many of its minority votes in the wrong places electorally – doubling majorities in heartland urban seats that were already safe but slipping in the southern marginals.

“But in places like Watford, Swindon and Milton Keynes, Conservatives can be increasingly confident of their appeal to aspirational ethnic minority voters.

“The middle-England ‘Mondeo Man’ of the 2015 election could well be a British Asian.”

Different faith groups also gave very different responses, with ethnic minority Christians and Muslims preferring Labour to the Conservatives but Hindus and Sikhs* preferring the Conservatives to Labour:

There were also significant differences by region, with the gap between Labour and Conservative support very small in the south and much larger in the north of England:

England: 53% LAB, 33% CON
South: 43% LAB, 40% CON
Midlands: 60% LAB, 28% CON
North: 60% LAB, 26% CON
London: 54% LAB, 34% CON

Omar Khan, director of the Runnmyede Trust, said:

“These findings confirm that Labour remains the preferred choice among BME voters, but also that the Conservative party has made a breakthrough in winning around a third of those votes, nearly matching their overall national vote share.

“The research also offers new evidence on what we know about voting patterns among different ethnic groups and in different areas in modern Britain.

“Labour’s vote share looks to have held up best in the top 75 most diverse seats in the UK, where half of BME people live. But with more and more BME people moving outside the major cities the conservatives appear well placed to make further gains in 2020 and beyond if they can respond to ethnic inequalities and realise BME aspirations while in government.”

The contents of this post are from the write up on the Survation site.

Mike Smithson


Marf celebrates gay marriage with a cartoon …

May 24th, 2015