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Marf on MPs with 2 jobs

February 25th, 2015

  • If you would like to purchase one of Marf’s prints or originals, please contact her here.
  • Marf is speaking at an event tonight in London on freedom of speech and political cartoonists

    Changes in latest YouGov just published 2230
    CON – 33% (-2)
    LAB – 33% (-)
    UKIP – 15% (+1)
    LDEM – 8% (+2)
    GRN – 6% (-1)




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    The MPs second job issue could have salience

    February 25th, 2015

    Cameron’s right but it’s a hard sell

    Ed Miliband, inevitably given what’s happened this week, made MPs outside interests his primary focus at PMQs. The Labour approach is to control second jobs and there is a vote tonight on the issue.

    The question this far out from an election is whether this might resonate as we saw with the expenses saga ahead of 2009. For the Tories to be seen to be blocking it might not be good electoral politics.

    On this I believe the Cameron approach is correct – MPs with outside interests do add to the overall quality of MPs and the house would be poorer if it was confined to career politicians. Judging by the polling I am in the minority.

    No doubt Labour will try to keep this going and I expect a commitment to ban MPs second jobs in the Labour manifesto.

    Mike Smithson

    For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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    There’s no clear picture in England where 532 of the 650 Westminster seats are located

    February 25th, 2015

    How many of the CON 2010 gains can be retained?

    At the end of last year I started monitoring England only data from the main pollsters partly in response to the very different political environment that’s developed in Scotland.

    All the phone pollsters are providing this in their regular datasets as well as Survation and Opinium. It would be great if YouGov and Populus could follow suit.

    For if, as expected, LAB suffers major losses to the SNP in Scotland then it will have to offset them elsewhere if it is to have any chance of coming out top on seats. It does have a handful of targets in Wales but the big battleground is England where it lost 90+ seats at GE2010.

    For the Tories the main objective is to hang on to as many of those 2010 gains and hope to pick up seats from elsewhere particularly Lib Dem ones in England.

    So England is crucial but so far at least the polling is not providing us with anything like a clear picture. The chart shows the range – from the blues being 6% behind in England to them being 4% ahead.

    The big figure to bear in mind is the 11.4% vote margin that the Tories had in 2010. They are sone way from replicating that performance.

    Mike Smithson

    For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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    Tonight’s cartoon from Marf (on Sir Malcolm of course) and the evening polling thread

    February 24th, 2015

    Two polls due this evening. Survation for the Mirror and the usual YouGov. They’ll be posted here as soon as they are out.

    Last month Survation had CON 31, LAB 30, LD 7, UKIP 23, GRN 3. Last YpouGov had CON & LAB tied.

    UPDATE LAB moves from 1% behind to 6% ahead in tonight’s Survation/Mirror poll


    Thee was a slightly smaller lead, check the third box on the chart, when sample was asked “The General Election is on 7 May 2015. Thinking specifically about your constituency and the parties and candidates likely to be in contention, how do you think you will vote on 7 May”

    Whatever a really good poll for LAB from one of the pollsters that last month had the Tories ahead

    UPDATE 2 CON 2% ahead in latest YouGov poll

    Mike Smithson

    For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble



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    Turnout’s going to be higher surely on May 7th – but how much higher?

    February 24th, 2015

    SPIN opens its GE15 turnout market with 70% the mid-point

    Sporting Index, which is sponsoring PB’s GE15 coverage, has put up a range of new spread markets including one on the turnout level. The opening spread is 69.7% – 70.3% making a mid-point of 70%.

    If you think that it is going to be higher then you bet on 70.3% and for every percentage point above that level you will receive your initial stake level. So if it was 73.3% and you had bet £50 then you’d win 50 times 3 = £150. If, however, it was 66.3% then you’d be out by a gap of 4 so you would lose four times £50 £200.

    With spread bets the more you are right the more you win. Alas it works the opposite if you’ve got it wrong

    On this market my sense at the moment is that the opening range is on the high side and that it will be sub-70%. There is a tendency to regard every forthcoming general election as “the most important ever” perhaps over-stating how many voters will actually bother to record their choice.

    We saw a big uplift in 2010 but I don’t expect a similar jump this time although I think it will be higher.

    One technical factor that might help a higher level is the cleansing of the electoral rolls that has been taking place.

    Mike Smithson

    For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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    Anybody thinking of betting on the Greens ought to listen first to this interview with the party leader

    February 24th, 2015



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    Betting that Farage won’t do it in Thanet South is starting to look like a good proposition

    February 24th, 2015

    If the edge is coming off the purples Farage might fail

    I’ve just caught up with the excellent BBC2 programme that was screened on Sunday night – “Meet the Ukippers” which focuses on Thanet South where Nigel Farage is the party’s candidate. It’s really worth watching and gives a great flavour of the battle that is going on.

    The big news story from the programme was the expulsion from the party of a local UKIP councillor for some comments she made about black people. For me, however, the most revealing aspects was the high level of hostility that the UKIP/Farage campaign is attracting.

    If ever there was a contest that looked set for tactical voting it is this one. The question is which of Farage’s main opponents stands the beat chance? The Tory candidate is a former UKIP leader which might count against him.

    Looking at the polling the really remarkable feature is how close LAB was rated there in the earlier surveys which makes the 11/1 on the party a very attractive bet.

    I’m already on both the Tory candidate at 9/2 and 6/1 on LAB and have now taken some more on the red team at what seem to be great odds.

    The well funded Al Murray campaign might not attract voters to the Oxford-educated comedian but it stokes up the pot and has the potential to hurt Farage.

    Mike Smithson

    For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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    Another phone pollster, ComRes, has UKIP declining. CON lead up from 1 to 2%

    February 23rd, 2015

    So the second phone poll of the day is out and, like Lord Ashcroft this afternoon, shows UKIP on the decline. But unlike Ashcroft ComRes has the Tories up more than LAB and last month’s lead moves to 2%.

    On quite a few Mondays now we seem to have two phone polls. One from Ashcroft and one from either ICM or ComRes. A pattern seems to have developed that the two move in opposite directions.

    Whatever the battle looks exceedingly tight with the two main parties increasing.

    Mike Smithson

    For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble