Archive for May, 2013

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PB Night Hawks is now open

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Home of the web’s best political conversation

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

If you’re Hungry Like The Wolf for news on politics and betting, you’ve come to the right place on Planet Earth for political betting.

If you’ve always been a lurker, and have The Reflex not to post,  Nighthawks gives you an opportunity to delurk, don’t worry, you won’t become Wild Boys or Wild Girls after posting.

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

 

TSE

 Note: Mike Smithson is currently on holiday



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Who would take over as Labour Leader if Ed fell short?

Friday, May 31st, 2013

 

I expect Labour to win most seats at the next general election and for Ed Miliband to be Prime Minister. The bookies make it the most likely event but not a certainty. They price it as a 1/2 shot that Labour will return the most MPs at the next election and 4/6 that Ed Miliband makes it to 10 Downing Street. This is not a universal view by any stretch of the imagination.

So what happens if Labour falls short in 2015 and doesn’t win most seats – the bookies make this a 1 in 3 chance after all. Well in a nutshell, Labour’s leader wouldn’t last long. There’s a big value bet to be had in this eventuality.

The Labour leadership contest that would follow any failure to win the most seats would be too early for some of the young guns elected in 2010. Instead the main battle would likely be between Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper (or Ed Balls again) and possibly Jim Murphy or Caroline Flint from the right of the party.

I’d back Burnham to win either eventuality and would make him even money favourite to be next leader in those circumstances. As a double (Labour not win most seats, Burnham win) you’d be looking at a double around 3/1. Instead the odds of Burnham being next leader are an eyewatering 25/1 with Ladbrokes.

The only question some may ask is ‘would he stand’? I’m almost certain of it. He stood in the last Labour leadership contest and grew week by week into the contest. Since then he has adapted well to the challenges of Opposition and is now arguably Labour’s most effective Shadow Minister.

His supporters on the green benches are growing and growing and his opposition to the Coalition’s Health and Social Care Act is a lesson to his colleagues as to how to hold the government to account and cut through with the public. His support for the Hillsborough Justice for the 96 campaign has allowed people to see a side of Andy Burnham that most politicians struggle to show.

Burnham’s popularity in the party grassroots is high. He’s from an ordinary background and is earthier than Ed Miliband’s. If Ed were to fall short then the party would likely be looking for someone earthier who could connect better with voters. When I speak to members and ask who they’d like to speak at a constituency dinner, Burnham’s name now comes top every time.

Andy would get some trade union support too. Unison would likely be the first in the queue, although in this context I’d expect the leadership context to be a short affair where union backing and resources would be less of a factor.

Yvette Cooper, the current 5/2 frontrunner in the betting, would have a real fight on her hands. She is in a difficult brief and while she is still popular, I feel the pendulum has swung towards Burnham. In Andy’s favour is the fact that health is much more likely to feature as part of Labour’s attack on the Conservatives over the next two years than Home Affairs is.

I largely expect Labour to win a majority and certainly most seats, but if you accept that this is not nailed on, then backing Burnham to be the next Labour leader at anything over 8/1 is one hell of a covering bet.

Henry G Manson



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If there were a Newark by-election…

Friday, May 31st, 2013

The major breaking news this lunchtime is Newark MP Patrick Mercer resigning the Tory whip following an investigation by the Telegraph and Panorama.

In his statement, Mercer says

“I am taking legal advice about these allegations – and I have referred myself to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.

My thoughts on the immediate consequences for this are at first, there’s probably one less letter demanding a leadership vote in the Tory party now which will bring a smile to David Cameron’s face, but we could have a by-election, and would that bring a smile to Cameron’s face?

Now if there were a by-election in this seat, here’s the result last time

Could UKIP take this seat?

Here’s the result from the local elections, from Newark East and Newark West from the locals this year, as we can see the Tories held the seats, but both UKIP and Labour were up and the Tories and Lib Dems were down.

Newark East

and Newark West

Tim Shipman tweets

and


 

You can get odds of 7/2 with William Hill for UKIP to win a by-election in his parliament.

TSE

Note: Mike Smithson is currently on holiday



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Ipsos Mori Issues Index for May

Friday, May 31st, 2013

The Ipsos-Mori issues index for May is out now, the fieldwork finished nearly a fortnight ago, on the 19th of May.

To put the current month’s index into context, here is the long term trends over the last sixteen years.

As Mike tweeted last night


Given the current increase in support for UKIP, here’s how the Common Market/Europe/Euro/EU ranks over the last sixteen years.

 

TSE

 

Note: Mike Smithson is currently on holiday



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Local By-Election Preview : May 30th 2013

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

 

Fazeley on Lichfield (Con Defence)

Last Local Election (2011): Conservative 46, Labour 10 (Conservative majority of 36)
Last Ward Result (2011): Con 758, 595, 460 (60%) Lab 512 (40%)

Fazeley, a small town (and not to mention, civil parish) is located on the outskirts of Tamworth and as such as been part of the electoral ding dong that has become the norm in the south of Staffordshire, north of Warwickshire and north west of Leicestershire.

Back in the 1970′s, Lichfield and Tamworth was famed for being the key battleground. In 1970, the Conservatives gained the seat from Labour (for the first time ever) with a majority of 4% on a swing of 6%.

A Liberal candidate at the February 1974 election prevented Labour gaining it, which they did ay the following October election (recording a 2% swing over the two elections) but the Conservatives retook it in 1979 on a 5% swing to Con before the constituency was renamed Staffordshire Mid in 1983.

At the 1997 general election it was brought back into Tamworth constituency (just in time to see Brian Jenkins hold the by-election gain of the previous year) where it resides at the moment (and with Tamworth being the sort of seat that Labour have to gain to get an overall majority, it’s electoral ding dong battle is set to continue) and yet this is in direct constrast to it’s local election results.

In 2003, the ward was a ding dong (2 Lab wins and 1 Con win) with the two party virtually tied, but in 2007 the trend was clear as the Conservatives gained one seat in the ward (and opened up a 8% lead) and in 2011 (thanks in part to no Liberal Democrat candidate) their lead extended to 20%, but with the same allocation of councillors.

Which poses the question, with just the Conservatives and Labour standing again this time in a straight fight, will Labour be able to gain the ward and thus demonstrate that the potential for a gain in Tamworth is there or will the Conservatives hold it and show that in a two horse race, the Conservatives cannot be ruled out of anything

Candidates duly nominated: Doug Pullen (Con), Dave Whatton (Lab)

 

Harry Hayfield



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Great Britain as a multi-party state

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

 

If the opinion polls hold up then at the next election we’ll have four parties polling at least 10% of the vote for the first time in almost a century (the last and only time it previously occurred was in 1918, with the two Liberal factions alongside the Conservatives and Labour all achieving double figures, with 1922 being the only other election to come close).

So what would this new state of affairs look like? In deference to Harry Hayfield’s article I’m shying away from declaring this a four-party system, it’s certainly a rarity for four parties to have this kind of vote and what you call this state of affairs is not hugely relevant.

In some way, it might not look much different, the likelihood is that UKIP’s realistic potential is in low numbers of seats, the Lib Dems will fall back and the make-up of the House of Commons will look more like a two party system than it has for many years.

This is going to lead to further talk about a change in the voting system, but little action. More than ever the two largest parties will want to hang on to their inbuilt advantages and talk about the issue being settled for a generation. Where I think there will be shifts is in a re-visiting of House of Lords reform, not least as a way of deflecting talk of wider reform but also while the opportunity is there for it to be done in a way that suits them reasonably well.

The battle for media attention will intensify, and a shift away from front-bench spokesman (particularly opposition ones and minor roles) and towards party leaders and small cadres covering everything and fighting for airtime.

In this crowded marketplace, the struggle for policy ownership is going to be fiercer and less meaningful. The media will enjoy asking front-benchers if their policy isn’t really the same as what another party will announce, and then watch them try and make chasms out of split hairs.

Plagiarism accusations will be thrown around, along with hints that (for one example) some Tory backbenchers prefer UKIP policy. With a competitor close by there’s less room for straying before questions about defection are asked at every turn and if not outright defection, then the possibility of joint candidates will be brought up.

Ultimately the feel is far more important than the reality, the general public’s knowledge of individual policy is small, it’s something they pay little attention to, and even less about whether someone else had the idea first. What will be much more important is the impression they choose to give (and the media take on that) whether the Conservatives will continue to distance themselves from UKIP or claim them as pointless imitations.

In seat numbers the House of Commons will have a more traditional two party dominated look to it than it has in a long while while vote-wise it’ll be more spread than ever; and while how we are governed will be defined by the seats, how it is covered and talked about will change with the votes.

 

Corporeal



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YouGov polling on how Ed Miliband compares to Gordon Brown

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

There’s some polling by YouGov for The Times (££) which has attracted headlines such as “Voters trust Miliband less than Brown”, but analysing the figures the results aren’t as bad for Ed and Labour as it first appears

The Brown figures are from May 2010, shortly after polling day, whilst Ed’s figures have just been carried out.

Here are the results

More voters thought that Mr Brown cared about ordinary people (50 per cent versus 36 per cent for Mr Miliband); tried to do the right thing (56-39); or had a clear sense of purpose (51-27). The former Prime Minister also scored higher than his successor in terms of being trustworthy (34-29), decisive (36-19) or competent (42-28).

But when asked “Is Ed Miliband a better leader than Gordon Brown?” we get the following response.

The splits by of those planning to vote Labour in 2015 is 50 to 16, in Ed’s favour, for those planning to vote Lib Dem it is 34 to 24 in Ed’s favour, and those planning to vote UKIP in 2015, the split is 28 to 15 in Ed’s favour (the Conservative figure isn’t available in the Times’ articles)

From the Times’ article

Anthony Wells, of YouGov, said that the discrepancy between Mr Miliband being viewed as a better leader while appearing to trail Mr Brown in many respects could be explained by the timing of the previous questions. Voters, particularly those who had just backed Labour in May 2010, were likely to be better disposed towards Mr Brown in the aftermath of his defeat than when they looked back now…..the answer to a direct comparison showed that voters “clearly connect better to Ed Miliband than Gordon Brown”

However, if the next election is to be fought on competence and trustworthiness, the poll shows that

42% rate him (Ed Miliband) as incompetent, and 28% rate him as competent, 40% rate him as untrustworthy whilst 29% rate him as trustworthy.

The attribute ascribed to him by most voters — 57 per cent — was that he dithered.

From what I can see, there has been no equivalent polling carried out for David Cameron, so we can’t make any comparisons.

Ed can console himself, that with Ipsos-Mori, the gold standard of leadership ratings, he’s consistently led David Cameron for quite some time.

The Times piece also says Mr Miliband is aiming to use the next two months to show how he would “change the direction of Britain so it works for the many”, it will be interesting how this will change his ratings and the voting intention (if at all)

 

TSE

Note: Mike Smithson is currently on holiday



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PB Night hawks is now open

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Home of the web’s best political conversation

As we enter the Twilight Zone of Wednesday, why not relax, and converse into the night on the day’s events in PB Night Hawks.

If you’ve always been a lurker, Get Ready for This thread, as it gives you an opportunity to delurk, I’m hoping there will be No Limit to the number of lurkers delurking.

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

 

 

TSE

 Note: Mike Smithson is currently on holiday