Archive for the ' General Election' Category


Today should have been a day for Jeremy Corbyn to shine and embarrass Cameron and the Government. He failed

Monday, March 21st, 2016

Today is a further example of why the Tories think they have 2020 election won. Corbyn simply isn’t up to the job of Leader of the Opposition.

This last tweet, hat tip to FrancisUrquhart of PB.



The Tories are very lucky the Lib Dems didn’t accept George Osborne’s coupon deal

Sunday, March 20th, 2016

British politics today might have been very different if the Lib Dems had accepted Osborne’s deal

The Mail on Sunday are serialising the memoirs of David Laws, the former Liberal Democrat cabinet minister, in it he reveals that

The Tories secretly tried to form a 2015 Election pact with the Lib Dems to keep the Coalition going, according to David Laws.

He says George Osborne proposed a so-called ‘coupon election’ deal with the Lib Dems, whereby up to 50 Tory MPs would have been written off, ordered to make way for Lib Dems.

If the deal had gone ahead, Clegg would still be in Downing Street in a ‘Coalition Mark II’.

And it would have made David Cameron’s outright victory last May impossible. Osborne told Laws: ‘We should be thinking of a deal in 2015 where we don’t fight each other in our key seats… a ‘coupon Election’.

‘We wouldn’t stand in places like Taunton and Wells and you wouldn’t stand in some of our marginal seats.’

Laws and Clegg turned the deal down because the Lib Dems would be seen as Tory ‘lapdogs’ – and it could spark a ‘riot’ among Lib Dem activists. Laws’ account confirms rumours in 2011 and 2012 that Cameron and Osborne wanted a Con-Lib pact to avoid defeat.

Right-wing MPs claimed it was a Downing Street plot to merge the two parties and water down traditional Tory policies. No 10 denied such a move had been made.

The term, ‘coupon election’, dates back to 1918 when Coalition leaders Lloyd George and Bonar Law regained power by using coupons to endorse coalition candidates.

The Lib Dems might think in hindsight they should have taken the deal and ended up with around 45 MPs instead of the 8 they currently have, but Laws is right, the Lib Dems would have been portrayed as Tory lapdogs for a generation.

What this coupon deal would have done is energised a lot of the non Cameroon Tory right to defect to UKIP, from the Parliamentary party to the voluntary party as it would have confirmed their worst fears about Cameron and Osborne. Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless wouldn’t have been the only Tory MPs who defected to UKIP in the last Parliament. I’m fairly certain this deal would have seen UKIP end up with more than just one MP at the last general election. This deal would have also upset and annoyed  Tories activists and members in the Lib Dem held seats the Tories were hoping (and did gain) in 2015.

George Osborne’s reputation is at an all time low, stories like this, how he nearly denied the Tories a majority, prevented the Lib Dem wipe out and boosted UKIP will not help his reputation recover. Even if he denies it and says it is a Lib Dem fantasy, you can believe it is something Osborne would have offered.



LAB close the gap by 5 points with ComRes online to just 9% behind

Saturday, March 12th, 2016

CON 38%-3
LAB 29%+2
LD 7%-2
UKIP 16%+1
GRN 4%+1

The Boris versus Dave findings


An encouraging finding for Cameron and one which could be crucial that CON voters are twice as likely to say they trust the PM more than the Mayor to do what is best for Britain (54% say they trust Cameron more v 27% who trust Johnson more).

EURef findings but no voting intentions


ComResRes voting intwntion numbers have in all case but one come from its phone polling.


Mike Smithson


The detailed data that suggests that Corbyn’s own generation, those of 65+, appear to have given up on Labour

Sunday, February 14th, 2016

Pensioners are the fastest growing age group

The figures above speak for themselves. They are based on a subsample of 471 which gives us a greater level of confidence.

Those within this segment are more likely to be on the register and much more likely to vote.

Mike Smithson


Those who actually vote are getting older and this has big political implications

Thursday, February 4th, 2016


New report warns that policies will be even more geared to the oldies

The chart above is from the Intergenerational Fairness Foundation (IF) a think tank researches fairness between generations. It believes “that, while increasing longevity is welcome, government policy must be fair to all generations – old, young or those to come.”

As a result of medical advances and having healthier lifestyles we are living longer. This combined with a far lower participation level in the political process amongst the younger age groups is driving the trend towards the average age of those who actually vote going up.

Developments such as individual voter registration are exacerbating the age balance movement and, inevitably, policies become geared to voters rather than those groups who are less likely to participate.

This is all good news for the Tories. Indeed one of the reasons for the GE2015 polling fail was that the very old age segments were not featured strongly enough.

Buzzfeed which has an interesting report on the issue notes:

“The report, released on Thursday, said young voters had already suffered the “systematic removal of their welfare protections” – such as housing benefit, unemployment benefits and maintenance grants – to fund £5 billion of “universal benefits” for the old.

To counter Britain’s changing age profile, older people must be encouraged to vote in the long-term interests of their children and grandchildren, it said.”

This is not a new issue but it is not one that is going to go away.

Mike Smithson


Leader ratings side by side: How JC’s doing against DC generally & with party supporters

Monday, January 25th, 2016

The next general election, of course is unlikely to be between Corbyn’s LAB and Cameron’s CON. The latter has made his exit intentions partially clear though we don’t know whether it’ll be before the election or afterwards.

There’s doubt on the Labour side as well. Interestingly in recent days PB’s two LAB post writers, Henry G and Donald Brind, have both suggested that they don’t thing Corbyn will be there at the election.

Whatever the chart above can only be interpreted as bad news for Corbyn. He’s doing significantly worse than Miliband and we all know what happened there.

Of real concern should be the ratings from those who voted for Miliband’s LAB last May.

Mike Smithson


The pollsters got the big picture at GE2015 absolutely right provided you ignore the rubbish voting intention numbers

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016

The polling inquiry should have considered alternatives to standard voting intentions

While everybody else has been obsessing about voting intention numbers I’ve been looking at how the pollsters did with their lead rating last May and the big picture is in the chart above. This shows the percentage in each of the samples that gave positive ratings to Mr. Cameron and Mr. Miliband.

In the final few days five pollsters asked leader rating questions and the results are featured above. Although their question formats were different the overall trend from each was very similar. Amongst all sampled Cameron had leads of 7% to 20%.

The final two column clusters look at the proportion of declared LAB and CON voters in the specific polls were prepared to give their man positive ratings. Here the LAB voter responses to Miliband are in a fairly narrow range from 68% to 76%. Cameron’s, meanwhile ranged from 81% to 96%.

    That Miliband was trailing across the board amongst those saying they would vote for him is very telling. Clearly the Labour vote was less committed to their leader and, I’d argue, less likely to turn out and vote.

This mismatch between the voting numbers and leader ratings has happened before and when it has the leader ratings have proved the best prediction. In a third of the six general elections in the past 24 years the voting numbers have been wrong. In all elections since 1979 the lead numbers have got it right.

My mistake was not to have produced this chart last May. I’ve learned.

Mike Smithson


Online v Phone at GE2015: Looking at all the polls it’s hard to conclude anything other that the phone ones “won”

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

A possible guide to EU referendum polling?

As we all know with the final polls there was very little difference between those that carried out their fieldwork by phone and those that did it online. But this was very much out of keeping with what had happened throughout the formal campaign.

The chart above illustrates this graphically. 70% of the phone polls had CON leads against just 26% of the online ones. At the same time 56% of the online surveys reported LAB leads against just 10% of the phone ones.

Given the general election outcome it is hard to conclude other than the phone pollsters “won”.

Mike Smithson