Archive for the ' General Election' Category


Get ready for another CON by-election defence if the Heathrow expansion is given the go-ahead

Monday, October 17th, 2016


Zac’s 23k majority looks strong

One of the most predicted by-elections of this parliament, at Zac Goldsmith’s Richmond Park, looks set to come about if the government, as expected very shortly, announces that it is going ahead with the expansion at Heathrow.

Zac, of course, was the Tory candidate in May’s London Mayoral election and would likely have resigned his seat then if he’d beaten Sadiq Khan. That wasn’t to be but Zac’s long-standing threat to resign if LHR3 goes ahead remains. He reiterated it again over the weekend and there can be little doubt about his intentions.

Such has been the high possibility of a by-election there that the Lib Dems already have a candidate in place and much groundwork has been done for a campaign. Other parties the same.

What we don’t know is whether Zac himself would fight the seat as an independent. He’s said to be hugely popular locally and saw a huge increase in his vote at GE2015. His majority was 38.9% which looks impregnable.

Large parts of his seat used to be in Lib Dem hands and the party has a strong organisation. So we could have a three way fight with Zac facing the reinvigorated Lib Dems and an official Conservative candidate. This could be very hard to call.

I’d think that the official Tory would be third.

Mike Smithson


A couple of general election betting markets

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

Next GE

Ladbrokes have a market up on if the Tory or Labour share of the vote will rise or fall at the next general election. On the Tory front it is no bet for me simply because whilst the Tory party is doing well at the moment the Brexit negotiations do have the potential to tear asunder the Tory Party like the Corn Laws did a couple of hundred years ago, which could potentially boost UKIP.

On the Labour front if Jeremy Corbyn remains Labour leader at the next general election, then the 4/6 seems the best option, even if pay out is nearly four years away, however the only way I can see Labour’s share of the vote rising at the next election is if Jeremy Corbyn isn’t the leader and he isn’t replaced by someone from the Corbynite left.

In that case, it might be more prudent to wait until the bookies open up their markets on ‘Labour leader at the general election’ markets where there could be potential value.



Round up of 65+ polling on the man 56% of his backers think is going to lead LAB to a GE victory

Sunday, September 4th, 2016

Different pollsters, different questions same picture

A few days ago I Tweeted a 65+ breakdown from a recent poll and found myself being attacked for highlighting a small sample subset with all the inherent possibilities for distortion. Fair enough.

So I’ve gathered the oldies data from the latest polling and put in into one chart with comparison on TMay. What’s striking is how similar the picture is from each of the surveys. The oldies simply haven’t taken to the party leader who is of their generation but they are strongly for the new Tory leader.

Note the the surveys ask different questions. ComRes and the PB/YouGov polling used the favourabilty format. Ipsos MORI sticks to its satisfaction question that it has used since the 1970s while the Times YouGov Scotland poll has the well/badly format.

The voting numbers show a very similar pattern. Labour under Corbyn is struggling most with older voters who, as we all know, are the most likely to turnout.

Another issue with the 65+, segment is that its importance ratchets up with each election because increasing life expectancy.

Mike Smithson


Just imagine if this story happened during the general election campaign and not in the silly season 4 years before a general election

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016


Whatever the rights and wrongs of this story, perceptions can sometimes matter more than the facts. Either Jeremy Corbyn and his team didn’t know about Richard Barbook’s background or they didn’t care about it, either option is pretty damning about the political nous of Jeremy Corbyn and his advisers.



This is why Mrs May will be unlikely to hold an early election

Monday, August 29th, 2016

Con Majority

Boundary changes resulting from cutting the number of MPs from 650 to 600 could exacerbate Labour divisions as well as boosting the Tories.

The Guardian are reporting that leading psephologist and former Tory MP Lord Hayward has looked at the forthcoming boundary review/reduction in the number of MPs,

Two hundred Labour seats – more than 85% of the party’s total – could be affected by the review of parliamentary boundaries due next month, according to a detailed analysis of the review’s likely impact.

Up to 30 Labour seats could disappear altogether, says Lord Hayward, an analyst widely regarded as an expert on the boundary review, while the rest will see their composition altered in some form.

Although the changes will also affect the Conservatives, Hayward, a Tory peer, said his analysis of demographics in the UK concluded that Labour is over-represented.

“The party that will suffer most is the Labour party because such a high proportion of their current seats are well below the required quota, particularly in Wales, the north-east and parts of the M62 corridor,” he said.

The changes, initiated by David Cameron, which will cut the number of MPs by 50 to 600, aims to ensure that each person’s vote is of similar value by equalising the number of registered voters in each constituency to within 5% of 74,769. A higher proportion of Tory seats are currently within the range, so only between 10 and 15 of the party’s seats are expected to disappear.

MPs of all parties face the prospect of battling it out with colleagues to retain a seat, but anxieties will be particularly acute within Labour, where anti-Corbyn MPs fear that the necessary reselection contests could be an opportunity to reshape the parliamentary party in Corbyn’s favour, if he retains the leadership. “This will have implications for large numbers of Labour MPs who may well have to compete against each other for reselection,” Hayward added.

I suspect this will be main reason Mrs May decides against an early election, notwithstanding the intricacies of the Fixed Term Parliament Act, an early election will deny her and the Tories a boost from the boundary review.

Although some might argue the cherry on the parfait will be the potential of many Labour MPs facing re-selection because of the boundary changes, it will be like the mandatory re-selections that many close to Jeremy Corbyn have been arguing for.

My own view if that does happen, it might force Labour MPs opposed to Corbyn to do something more radical if they are likely to be replaced to someone more politically in tune with Jeremy Corbyn, and that will split the Labour party further and wider than we’ve already seen.



From Labour’s conference problems Mrs May might infer Labour couldn’t cope with a snap general election

Friday, August 26th, 2016

If Labour cannot properly organise a conference with a year’s notice, surely they couldn’t cope with a snap general election?

In the past 24 hours, Labour’s annual conference has been thrown into doubt, as Labour were snubbed by G4S, the firm Labour had been boycotting until recently. Conor Pope of Labourlist writes

Concerns are mounting over whether Labour conference – due to open in less than a month – will go ahead after a major security company rejected a late offer to cover the event.

Labour approached G4S, which has provided security numerous times previously, earlier this week in an effort to solve the crisis that has thrown the annual conference into doubt. However, the company says it does not have sufficient time to make arrangements ahead of the September 24 start date. Working with G4S would have meant reversing a decision by the NEC earlier this year to boycott the firm.

A spokesperson for G4S yesterday said: “Safety for delegates and our staff is our priority and at this late stage and with our teams committed elsewhere, we are not in a position to step in and provide security for the conference.”

The only company to put in a bid for a security contract with Labour is Showsec – although an ongoing trade union dispute has led GMB to threaten to picket the party conference if such a deal goes ahead. Many party members and trade unionists would refuse to cross a picket line, throwing the conference into further chaos.

Another option, bringing in local police to provide security, also appears doubtful. As well as being incredibly costly, Merseyside Police are likely to be unsure about taking on the task at such short notice – a Liverpool FC home match on the day of the leadership contest announcement could also put pressure on the local police service. A spokesperson for Merseyside Police said that them stepping in is “not an option at the moment”, as they have not been approached by Labour.

The problem has heightened tensions across the labour movement, with leaked letters between GMB and Unite chiefs revealing growing unhappiness.

Whilst many will say if Labour cannot organise a conference, what hope is there that they could ever run a country, but perhaps Theresa May might infer something else, Labour had a year to plan for a conference, and they are spectacularly failing, how would Labour cope if she called a snap general election?

With the lead the Tories have over Labour, and her substantial leadership ratings lead she has over Jeremy Corbyn, coupled with the wider mess Labour finds itself in the moment, she might deny it, but she should be contemplating an early general election. Especially given Iain Duncan Smith making noises that he might plague Theresa May’s premiership in the way he plagued John Major’s premiership, increasing the notional majority of 16 she has in the House of Commons might be advantageous for Mrs May in the long term.


PS – G4S became the second major public service company this week, after Virgin Rail, to pretty much to tell Jeremy Corbyn to stick it, a harbinger that they think they he will never become PM?


As LAB members prepare to vote a reminder of the demographic splits at GE2015

Friday, August 19th, 2016

GE2015 result MORI
Ipsos MORI

And the Sept 2015 LAB leadership result



UKIP slips to just 6% with Ipsos MORI as CON moves up 9% to 45%

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

May moves to a staggering 68% net satisfaction lead over Corbyn

An amazing phone poll just out sees some dramatic changes. CON up to 45% but probably the most significant is that the leader-troubled UKIP is down to just 6%. This is a phone poll which has a record of chalking up small figures for the purples but this is staggering. The LDs get hit as well as the Tories move forward under the new leader.

The leader satisfaction ratings are equally amazing with May now a net 68% better than Corbyn who, of course, was rejected by 80% of his MPs a few weeks back. These are the figures for just LAB voters.

What this means, I guess, is that the media clamour for an early election will increase – something I don’t think she will entertain.

Mike Smithson