Archive for the 'Coalition' Category


Ex-Brown spinner Damian McBride reckons 200 LAB MPs will revolt to oust Corbyn

Thursday, January 7th, 2016


Any questions for a PB/Polling Matters podcast he’s recording tonight?

The former Gordon Brown aide, Damian McBride has added his thoughts about Labour’s leadership situation in an article in the Times. An extract appears above.

McBride, probably more than anyone, knows about attempted coups in the party and was instrumental in fending a few off while working at Number 10 for Gordon Brown. His views and insights on this and other matters are well worth listening to.

I am pleased that he’s agreed to take part in a PB/Polling Matters podcast. with Keiran Pedley. This will be recorded tonight and he is on the lookout for questions that might be put.

Any thoughts please post them below.

Mike Smithson


Now Labour’s divisions are being talked about as being “a Political Civil War”

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

Statement from Labour First

The fallout over the “Revenge Reshuffle” goes on

What a day. First there was the news that Cameron is to allow ministers freedom to campaign for LEAVE in EURef campaign… and Corbyn’s reshuffle is sending our reverberations that look set to make any form of reconciliation in the party nigh on impossible.

From the information that’s coming out the notion of a “revenge reshuffle” came from Corbyn’s close advisors while the leader was on holiday in Malta. It is that term and all it say that’s driving this.

All is not helped by the fact that 93.5% of Labour MPs did not support the eventual winner in the leadership contest. The numbers alone point to a massive divide.

It’s very hard to predict where this will go. We don’t even know yet what is in the reshuffle.

Mike Smithson


LAB’s one big hope is that the Tories will tear themselves apart over the EU

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015


What’s the post EURef blue team going to be like?

The Tories have a long history of tearing themselves apart over Europe. Who can forget how in the weeks after John Major’s sensational election victory in 1992 huge fault lines started to develop in the party. It wasn’t helped by “black Wednesday” – that extraordinary day when Britain could not sustain the value of sterling on the foreign exchanges markets and the country had to leave the ERM.

How lucky Tony Blair was a couple of years later to take over the red team when the Conservatives, the party ostensibly in power, had to try to get business through when so many of its MPs we so ready to rebel.

The events of the 1992-1997 parliament destroyed the Tory’s reputation for more than a decade and half.

Next year’s referendum isn’t going to create a sense of blue unity whatever the outcome. If it goes for LEAVE it’s hard to see Cameron surviving. If it goes for REMAIN the hard line Euro sceptics are never going to forgive him and everything he said and did during the campaign will be subject to the most intense scrutiny.

For the latter, of course, a defeat means that the chance of realising their dream, a UK free from Brussels, will be even further off than it has ever been.

The fact that Labour is so split and divided at the moment is going to make matters worse. CON dissenters will have less to fear about rocking the boat because the alternative, Corbyn-led LAB, is perceived as being so piss poor.

There’s nothing that Corbyn has done in his 100+ days as leader to suggest he’s got the political wherewithal to exploit the likely blue divisions.

Whatever an interesting UK politics year ahead.

Mike Smithson


As well as poor Corbyn leader ratings Labour has been struggling in local by-elections

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

LAB’s performance in local by-elections since the new man came in


The following, produced by Luke Akehurst for Labour List, shows “the change in Labour vote share in all the council by-elections where there has been a Labour candidate (and there was a Labour candidate in the previous contest so a comparison can be made) since the leadership election in September)”

la3.png  406×676

Mike Smithson


As Cameron struggles to make progress with the EU talks two new referendum polls have LEAVE moving up

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015


Based on this it is too close to call

Above is my latest table of EURef polls showing the two that were published overnight from Survation and ICM. Both show LEAVE making progress.

What we really need are some more phone polls which have suggested a very different outcome from the online surveys which predominate. There are three December phone polls to come and I’m hoping that ComRes, ICM for the Guardian and Ipsos-MORI will have included referendum voting intentions – after all we could just be months away from the actual election.

The decision by the House of Lords yesterday not to back voting for 16-17 year olds means that organisationally an early referendum, maybe summer 2016, is possible.

Cameron is clearly central to the outcome and his apparent struggle to make progress with his EU partners is going to make it difficult for him. I believe that whatever Dave recommends will win.

Mike Smithson


Corbyn has the best satisfaction ratings of any leader in today’s Ipsos poll

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

Farron ahead of Cameron

UKIP drops to just 7%


The tax credits defeat happened because the Tories are still paying a price for not winning a majority in 2010

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015


The UK politics version “A peerage is for life not just for a parliament”

Whenever I see animal welfare posters like the one above I think of the Coalition agreement of May 11 2010 – the day that David Cameron became PM after reaching an agreement with Nick Clegg and his team.

For in recent days there’s been some comment that the Liberal Democrats are in a very strong position with 100+ peers in the House of Lords – a total that is disproportionate to the 8 MPs they were left with after the general election in the House of Commons.

During the five years of the Coalition the total number of Liberal Democrat peers just about doubled. This was because of the section of the agreement on House of Lords reform.

The idea was that during the last Parliament the upper house would be reformed and made into an elected chamber. In the meantime it was agreed that the proportion of Lords that a party had would be linked to their national vote sshares at the 2010 election.

The thinking at the time was that these new peers would really be temporary appointments whose role would terminate once a new structure had been put into place. After all both coalition partners, in public at least, had committed themselves to creating this.

As we know that all didn’t happen following the commons rebellion by Tory backbenchers in July 2012. The process for extra peers, however, remained, and the yellows saw a huge expansion in their numbers in the House of Lords. They are there for life and not just for a parliament.

Without them the Tories would have escaped unscathed from last night’s voted on Mr Osborne’s tax credits changes.

Mike Smithson


Hillary moves much closer to the nomination following Joe Biden’s announcement that he won’t be running

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

hillarstar (1)

Latest Betfair trade: Clinton 83.3% chance

Next year’s White House race looks a lot clearer this evening following Joe Biden’s announcement within the past hour that he will not run for the Democratic nomination.

There are other runners still in the race including the Vermont socialist Senator, Bernie Sanders but it’s hard to see how they can mount a challenge that puts Hillary at risk. Sanders who is in his mid 70s has been polling well, although Hillary is a head by quite a margin in the national surveys.

This news from Biden comes on the eve of Hillary’s appearance before the Senate Benghazi committee which has been investigating the circumstances in which four American diplomats were killed while Hillary was Secretary of State.

There’ve been accusations from the Democrats that the Republican dominated senate has pursued the investigation for partisan reasons and as a means of undermining the Clinton campaign.

It is very hard to see, now, another candidate being able to come forward to take on the task of competing against Hillary Clinton.

Mike Smithson