Archive for the 'David Cameron' Category


Gloomy numbers for LAB, Corbyn & even Cameron in latest ComRes online poll

Saturday, February 13th, 2016

Dave’s favourability ratings drop 7


ComRes online poll for IoS S Mirror VI
Con 41% +1
Lab 27%-2
LD 9%+2      
UKIP 15%-1
GRN  3%=

Just one in three thinks Dave will get good EU deal


Mike Smithson



William Hill makes it 7/1 that Cameron will step down this year

Saturday, February 13th, 2016


A good bet not?

William Hill say political punters have been backing David Cameron to stand down as Tory leader either this year or next, in anticipation of either a defeat or only narrow win in the EU Referendum, which has to take place before the end of 2017.

Hills currently offer 7/1 that Cameron will stand down this year, and 10/1 that he’ll go next. It is a 4/11 chance that the Referendum produces a ‘Stay’ result, 2/1 that ‘Leave’ wins.

In a comment that echoes what many on PB have been saying Hill’s spokesman Graham Sharpe said: “Punters have obviously noticed that the odds for Cameron to stand down are rather longer than for a ‘Leave’ vote in the Referendum and are gambling that defeat in the Referendum would mean he would feel obliged to resign sooner rather than later, as we already know he won’t be leading his Party into the next General Election”.

On the face of it this seems a good price but several hurdles have to be surmounted. The referendum has to take please during 2016; LEAVE has to win, Cameron has to resign in the wake of the defeat.

It is that last element that I’m not convinced of.

Mike Smithson


YouGov has LEAVE lead up to 9% in survey taken immediately after this week’s key referendum talks

Friday, February 5th, 2016


On Betfair REMAIN drops a notch to a 66.7% chance


So far in the referendum campaign members of the YouGov have been tending to be more in favour of BREXIT than those most other online firms and certainly there’s a massive gap between YouGov and the EURef phone polls.

However the events of this week and the coverage they’ve been getting have not been good for Cameron’s position on the vote that is reported to be being planned for June 23rd.

The YouGov polling took place in the immediate aftermath and later surveys will indicate whether the impact has been sustained.

The betting reaction has been relatively muted as seen in the latest Betfair data.

I’ve yet to place a referendum bet.

Mike Smithson


The EURef campaign looks set to come down to Cameron versus the Tory press

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016


Can Dave really win the argument in the face of this?

Thanks to Guido for his collage of today’s front pages of the Tory papers following the negotiations on Britain’s future relationship with the EU.

This must be the worst set of front pages for Cameron since the media turned on him in July 2007 at the start of Gordon Brown’s honeymoon as Prime Minister. Then the following two months became a nightmare and in September his Ipsos-MORI ratings dropped to a position that is worse than what Corbyn is experiencing at the moment.

This comes as the BREXIT campaign remains all over the place without a leader and two competing organisations still fighting over which should be the official one for the referendum campaign.

It also comes at a time when few major figures in the Tory party have been ready to put their heads above the parapet and say they are backing LEAVE.

    Maybe this level of hostility will cause some senior Tories to conclude that their political careers would be better served by opposing the PM rather than supporting him.

Yesterday, of course, Theresa May indicated her backing for the deal – a move that was seen as a blow for the BREXIT effort.

It has always been said that Cameron is at his best when his back is to the wall. That theory will be tested in the next few months.

Today’s PMQs should be interesting.

Mike Smithson


It’s not inconceivable that in a year’s time there’ll be a new CON leader and Prime Minister

Monday, January 11th, 2016


A referendum BREXIT vote would surely be the end of Cameron

There’s is a widespread view that if the EU referendum goes against Cameron then his position will no longer be tenable. If that happens then we could only be months away from the first Conservative leadership contest since 2005 in which the party would not just be choosing a new leader but the next prime minister.

With the plan apparently for the referendum this year and the tightness of the online referendum polls if not the phone ones then there must be a chance that the country will vote for BREXIT during 2016. On Betfair this is currently rated as a 32.7% chance.

Assuming that Cameron goes into the campaign with a package that he’s recommending then his position will look very precarious if the country votes for LEAVE. Alex Salmond, after all, stood down as SNP leader immediately after the IndyRef defeat in September 2014 and Cameron would surely do the same.

In this context it is perhaps worth reminding ourselves how CON leadership contests operate. Essentially the decision is made in a postal ballot of party members from a short list of two that is determined by the Parliamentary party. The latter holds a series of ballots a process that in the past has thrown up big surprises.

Back after the party’s 2001 general election defeat the hot favourite was Michael Portillo who by a whisker missed the final cut. The two that went to the membership were Iain Duncan Smith and Ken Clarke with the former securing an easy victory.

Given that this is how it works it is surprising how little polling interest there’s been. The only tests of the opinion of party members are the monthly surveys carried out by ConservativeHome the latest of which is featured above.

In the following post to be published this afternoon Tissue Price looks at the betting and gives his thoughts.

Mike Smithson


What all CON ministers have been wanting: A definitive guide to where their party voters stand on the EURef

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

Now they’ve got the freedom this should help them make up their minds or not

The other big political development this week has been the move to allow CON ministers to speak out on either side in the EU referendum campaign. Some of them, no doubt, will consult the polls to see how their general elections voters are viewing thinfs.

If CON ministers are doing this, however, they’ll find it very confusing. The chart is restricted solely to CON voters at the last general election and shows how each of the four main pollsters had the split in their latest round of polling to the question “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?” This is, of course, the precise wording that will appear on the ballot.

As can be seen there’s a massive split between the phone surveys and online.

At the general election phone and online pollsters performed equally badly so there’s no help there.

At the Scottish IndyRef in September 2014 the phone firms just had the edge. In the previous national referendum, the May 2011 one on AV, the phone firms won by a huge margin.

Mike Smithson


Keiran Pedley asks Is 2016 the year David Cameron loses the Conservative Party?

Monday, January 4th, 2016

Cameron European

After a turbulent year the Prime Minister enters 2016 stronger than ever writes Keiran Pedley. But will it last?

In many respects 2015 was a year of contradictions.

On the one hand, it was the year of the political insurgent. UKIP won the best part of 4 million votes at the General Election (though failed to make the breakthrough in seats it had hoped for), the SNP won 56 of 59 seats at Westminster and Jeremy Corbyn swept away the New Labour establishment to become leader of the Labour Party.

Of the above, the SNP surge in Scotland is of most lasting political significance. We had a good idea it was coming but the rise of the SNP in Westminster has changed British politics forever. It is hard to see Labour governing again without some form of SNP consent, yet to be successful Labour will need to ‘sell’ such an arrangement to English voters in a way it failed to do so last May. Perhaps ‘Tory fatigue’ will eventually sell it for them but we cannot assume so. Most importantly of all, whilst the SNP is so dominant north of the border, the question of Scottish Independence can never truly be settled.

Cameron supreme

On the other hand – despite the political upheaval mentioned above – it seems the more things change the more they stay the same. David Cameron now leads a majority Conservative government he would scarcely have dreamed of this time last year. The key to his success? A clear and consistent message based on strong leadership, economic competence and security. Whether good or lucky (you choose) Cameron has restored his fundamental appeal to his party (that he is a winner) and can seemingly choose the timing of his departure at some point this parliament. Meanwhile the fundamental ‘rules’ of how elections are won – in marginal seats on leadership and the economy – appear intact.

Trouble ahead

Yet, as ever in politics, we should not get too carried away. Cameron’s legacy is far from secure. The next stage of his premiership will be dominated by efforts to renegotiate the terms of Britain’s membership of the E.U. and the resulting referendum campaign. Although the timing of such a campaign is not set, the current assumption is that Cameron’s renegotiation will be completed by this February’s European Council meeting; with the referendum itself to follow at some point this year. The timing of the referendum may change – Cameron has until the end of 2017 to hold one – but if it is held this year 2016 may prove to be the most turbulent year of Cameron’s leadership of the Conservative Party to-date.

Assuming – as most do – that Cameron campaigns for ‘remain’ he should be fairly confident of victory. Low public expectations on what his renegotiation will achieve – 74% think little or nothing at all – should perversely help him as anything he does deliver will be presented as victory. Polling on the referendum outcome itself is ambiguous. Telephone polling shows strong leads for ‘remain’ but online polling shows a close race. However, it is reasonable to suggest that if the Prime Minister backs ‘remain’ then ‘remain’ will prevail. It is not clear that the ‘leave’ campaign can answer the question of ‘what comes next’ in the event of withdrawal and the public currently sees withdrawal as more risky then remaining by a margin of 45% to 36%. This perceived risk of withdrawal is only likely to grow once the Prime Minister recommends ‘remain’ and the business community backs him. The ‘leave’ campaign has it all to do.

Divided Conservatives

If Cameron can be confident that he will carry the referendum vote he can be far less certain as to how his party will react. It is safe to say that the Conservative Party has never settled its position on Europe and the referendum campaign promises to be a divisive one – with several Cabinet ministers expected to campaign to ‘leave’.  Even more importantly, there is strong grassroots support for ‘leave’ among Conservative supporters. 71% told the influential conservativehome website in November that they would vote to leave.

The real risk for David Cameron (and perhaps more so George Osborne) is that in winning the E.U. referendum they lose the Conservative Party. With strong grassroots support for ‘leave’ it is surely inevitable that a ‘big beast’ such as Boris Johnson or Theresa May will throw their weight behind the ‘leave’ campaign. A limited renegotiation followed by a vote for ‘remain’ may not concern the general public too much but cries of ‘betrayal’ will be strong within the Conservative Party. This will provide a major headache for Cameron in his remaining years as Prime Minister (perhaps even a leadership challenge) and could prove fatal to George Osborne’s chances of succeeding him. After all, what is the use of being a ‘winner’ if your supporters cannot agree on what ‘victory’ is?

So far David Cameron and George Osborne have emerged unscathed – even strengthened – during a period of intense political change in the UK. However, if the E.U. referendum does come this year that may all be about to change.

Keiran Pedley is an elections and polling expert at GfK. You can follow Keiran on twitter at @keiranpedley


Tim Montgomerie’s right: Current government policy decisions are driven by need not to be unpopular on EURef day

Friday, January 1st, 2016

Everything for the next few months is about the EU vote

One of the great problems with referenda is that by the time we get to polling day the issue might have moved on from the issue on the ballot paper to a vote of confidence in the incumbent government. Arguably the AV vote in 2011 became about Nick Clegg.

This has always been a big danger for the REMAIN campaign and is an explanation of why Cameron has been so keen to get it over quickly. I also think that there’s a lot in Tim Montgomerie’s argument. What we are seeing is a government in almost pre-election mode wanting to remain popular.

Will it work? The latest polling suggests that the battle could be tight.

Mike Smithson