Archive for September, 2010


++++ICM have CON 35:LAB 37: LD 18++++

Thursday, September 30th, 2010
Poll Date CON (%) LAB (%) LD (%)
ICM Guardian 29/09/10 35 37 18
ICM/Guardian 15/08/10 37 37 18
ICM/Guardian 25/07/10 38 34 19
ICM/Sunday Telegraph 24/06/10 41 35 16
ICM/Guardian 20/06/10 39 31 21
ICM/Guardian 23/05/10 39 32 21
ICM/Sunday Telegraph 13/05/10 38 33 21

Labour take 2 point lead in first post EdM phone poll

There’s a new ICM poll in the Guardian which once again is showing a very different picture of public opinion from that which we see in the News International daily poll by YouGov.

The shares are with changes on last month CON 35 (-2): LAB 37 (nc): LD 18 (nc).

The Lib Dems will be relieved that the pollster that came top in the general election polling accuracy table should have them at levels which are markedly different from the daily polls. Yes support is down since the 23.6% at the general election but the fall-off in support has apparently been halted.

The Tories might find this worrying – they are two points down on the general election and this is the party’s worse showing from the firm since the election.

Labour will be absolutely delighted.

One interesting point picked up by Julian Glover in his report: “only 50% of Tory supporters want their party to rule alone, while 41% want coalition with the Lib Dems, which suggests Cameron will face little dissent from the grassroots at conference next week.”

One big caveat: polls during the conference season tend to be very much influenced by which party was on most recently. We need to wait for a further month before we get a good gauge of opinion.

Mike Smithson


Boost for Cameron in first “Best PM” poll

Thursday, September 30th, 2010
Best PM ? All voters% CON voters% LAB voters% LD voters%
David Cameron 40 97 5 13
Ed Miliband 24 1 68 4
Nick Clegg 8 1 4 55
Don’t know 28 2 23 27

But is it just because EdM is relatively unknown?

We now have the first data from YouGov of responses to the “Who would make the best PM” question since Ed Miliband’s election.

This is one of those questions where the incumbent has a big advantage and even 5% of Labour voters rated Dave over Ed.

The interesting split is amongst Lib Dems where just 4% of backers of Nick Clegg’s party rated Ed Miliband against 13% for Cameron.

Still this is early days and it took David Cameron some time to get close to Tony Blair on this question after his election as Tory leader in December 2005.

Ed Miliband’s challenge is that he is much less known to the wider public than the other two leaders – this will change with time. But Labour might have been hoping for a bit more progress amongst Lib Dems.

Mike Smithson


Who’ll win the “Battle of the Balls?”

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Daily Mail

Could Labour be heading for a second family crisis?

After Labour’s conference in Manchester was overshadowed by the aftermath of the battle of the brothers the media are now turning their attention to another potential family drama at the top of the party – which of husband & wife, Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper, will end up as shadow chancellor?

For it’s not so long ago that Yvette was being strongly tipped as a leadership contender and she’s reported to have stepped aside to let her husband, Ed, take on the fight. Now the two are the leading contenders and betting favourites for the key shadow chancellor’s role.

Here, though, the choice is for the party leader, Ed Miliband, provided the two both win places in the elections for Labour’s shadow cabinet.

According to the Mail a ” source close to Ed Miliband last night said the new leader was leaning heavily towards appointing Miss Cooper…” Certainly that seems to make a lot of sense and if the EdM’s speech is anything to go by there is a policy difference between him and the shadow schools secretary.

Placing Ed Balls is going to be tricky for the last thing EdM wants is a rival power force to his leadership at the top of the party. He knows only too well what Ed Balls can be like.

After having had their appetites whetted by the Miliband vs Miliband saga parts of the media would love to develop a second family drama – this morning’s Mail coverage is a case in point. It’s report suggests that Yvette might once again step aside.

My money’s on Ed Balls not getting it.

  • The General Election of 2010. The book by Dennis Kavanagh and Philip Cowley, the eighteenth in a series going back to 1945, is published today and I’m planning a review over the weekend. I got an advance copy on Wednesday and it’s a riveting read offering detailed analysis, new insights and information about what happened. Forget the Blair and Mandelson works – this is easily the best political book of the year.
  • Mike Smithson


    The Tory lead moves up after EdM’s speech

    Wednesday, September 29th, 2010
    Poll Date CON LAB LD
    YouGov/Sun 29/09/10 41 39 12
    YouGov/Sun 28/09/10 41 40 12
    YouGov/Sun 27/09/10 39 40 12
    YouGov/Sunday Times 24/09/10 39 38 15
    YouGov/Sun 23/09/10 41 37 13
    YouGov/Sun 22/09/10 43 36 14
    YouGov/Sun 21/09/10 39 39 13
    YouGov/Sun 20/09/10 42 38 11
    YouGov/Sunday Times 17/09/10 41 39 13
    YouGov/Sun 16/09/10 41 38 12
    YouGov/Sun 15/09/10 42 39 12
    YouGov/Sun 14/09/10 40 39 12
    YouGov/Sun 13/09/10 41 38 12
    YouGov/Sunday Times 10/09/10 42 38 14
    YouGov/Sun 09/09/10 42 37 14
    YouGov/Sun 08/09/10 43 38 12
    YouGov/Sun 07/09/10 42 38 13
    YouGov/Sun 06/09/10 42 37 13
    YouGov/Sunday Times 03/09/10 42 37 12

    Was the Labour lead a one-day wonder?

    The latest daily poll is out and shows the Tories edging up and Labour not getting any boost from Ed Miliband’s speech.

    It is is almost always the case that parties see a boost in their support in the first polls after their leader’s conference speech. That’s not happened.

    This is probably down to the news narrative over the past couple of days which has focussed on David Miliband and, of course, what he said to Harriet Harman during yesterday’s speech.

    We should be getting an ICM poll this weekend

    Mike Smithson


    Is EdM going to be ruthless with more of the old guard?

    Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

    Smarkets Shadow Chancellor Odds Potential Win
    Ed Balls 55.00% £10 wins £18
    Yvette Cooper 42.00% £10 wins £23
    Any other Labour MP 28.00% £10 wins £35
    Andy Burnham 20.00% £10 wins £50
    Alan Johnson 9.00% £10 wins £111
    Liam Byrne 5.00% £10 wins £200

    Smarkets Foreign Secretary Odds Potential Win
    Andy Burnham 30.00% £10 wins £33
    Any other Labour member 26.67% £10 wins £37
    Yvette Cooper 25.00% £10 wins £40
    Hilary Benn 22.00% £10 wins £45
    Ed Balls 20.00% £10 wins £50
    Alan Johnson 10.00% £10 wins £100
    Sadiq Khan 10.00% £10 wins £100
    Shaun Woodward 5.00% £10 wins £200

    Smarkets Home Secretary Odds Potential Win
    Andy Burnham 39.00% £10 wins £25
    Sadiq Khan 36.00% £10 wins £27
    Any other 30.00% £10 wins £33
    Ed Balls 28.57% £10 wins £35
    Douglas Alexander 24.00% £10 wins £41
    Yvette Cooper 18.00% £10 wins £55
    Alan Johnson 15.00% £10 wins £66
    John Denham 10.00% £10 wins £100
    Hilary Benn 5.00% £10 wins £200
    Peter Hain 5.00% £10 wins £200
    Shaun Woodward 5.00% £10 wins £200

    Who’s going to get the top shadow jobs?

    What a day and with so much now being resolved we can focus on who is going to get the top jobs in Ed Miliband’s team following the shadow cabinet elections.

    What’s voted upon is who should be in the shadow cabinet NOT which portfolio they should hold. That is decided by the leader.

    And for me the most striking story of the day has been EdM’s sacking of veteran MP and uber-loyal Brownite, Nick Brown as chief whip.

    What this says is that now he’s been elected he’s very much his own man and my sense is that those of his generation, those in their late 30s and early 40s, might do well. I’m betting that Ed Balls won’t be shadow chancellor.

    Smarkets have a good range of markets and the betting exchange seems to be attracting more business and, with it, more liquidity.

    Mike Smithson


    HenryG’s top tips for EdM’s successor

    Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

    So who’ll be “The Next Leader Of the Next Generation?”

    Hats off to Ladbrokes for being first off the mark to price up a market on the next Labour leader after Ed Miliband. Given Labour’s loyalty to its leaders it’s quite likely that Ed Miliband will be leader for the next two general elections. His successor is likely to be a new MP. Not only are political leaders younger, as Michael Crick astutely pointed out recently, young candidates have a great chance of winning leadership contests.

    Ed Miliband highlighted the generational shift that’s underway in the Labour Party. Let’s look at some of the new MPs on the block and consider which have it in them to go all the way. The Ladbrokes market has a number of runners listed who are not even MPs. Let’s scrub them out. Instead I want to pick out 4 candidates that are already making heads turn across the Labour movement:

    Rachel Reeves 20/1 Reeves is as sharp as a tack and has put in some robust performances on the banking reform and the case for a financial transaction tax and. Most recently she has worked on the impact of the budget across lower income groups. She is well connected across the Labour movement and will be a significant figure in years to come. Reeves is an economist by background and it is for this reason that I think her skills and interests will lead her to become a future Labour Chancellor/Shadow Chancellor and not as Leader.

    Stella Creasy 50/1 Creasy is popular on the Blairite wing of the party and has worked on new methods of public involvement in democracy and decision-making. She is however an ‘insider’ politician having worked as a researcher for a series of MPs and has the ‘wonkish’ tendencies which the party is turning away from. Although the Blairite wing of the party is in crisis and may never recover, she’s worth a small stake.

    Chuka Umunna 12/1 Umunna () is already joint 4th favourite to be next leader and the same price as Ed Balls. He is articulate, telegenic and will prosper under Ed Miliband. Linked to the leftish Compass group but admired by those to the right of him he has star quality. He has already appeared on Question Time and so far he’s managing the hype well. He has yet to built any profile within the trade union movement – time will tell if that’s a good or bad thing. This guy is a classy performer. I’d say his true odds should be closer to 5/1.

    Lisa Nandy 50/1 Nandy () is a battling North West MP in the style of Barbara Castle and Gwyneth Dunwoody. She has fierce style that will benefit her whilst Labour is in opposition and has an authenticity that money can’t buy. Nandy is swiftly becoming a darling of the grassroots and trade union movement. Although only an MP since May she won a coveted place on the platform at the Tribune rally this week – the most important fringe meeting at any Labour conference. She represents by far the best value on Ladbrokes’ list and has every chance of being Labour’s first elected female leader. She should be nearer to 8/1.

    It’s always important to factor in the length of time you’ll be holding your betting slip for, as well as the odds you get in these types of bet. On one hand these markets don’t appeal. However there is some good value out there. Lisa Nandy at a huge 50/1 and Chuka Umunna at an attractive 12/1 are the stand-out bets and already the best prospects for Labour’s Next Generation.

    HenryG Manson


    Can Labour/EdM really ditch Iraq so easily?

    Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

    Channel 4 News

    Will the sore continue to fester?

    The beaten brother in Labour’s leadership election, David Miliband, is expected to make a statement today that could see the end of a front-line role in British politics.

    Certainly the way that the coverage of his bother’s maiden speech developed into the story of his reprimand to Harriet Harman for clapping the statement that the Iraq war was a mistake was a good illustration of what’s likely to happen if he stays. If DM was in EdM’s shadow cabinet then every little split, real or not, would be magnified.

    But how damaging will a DavidM departure be? Isn’t there a danger of it being referred to time and time again as evidence of Ed’s desire to take Labour in a different, “leftwards”, direction? You can hear the refrain – “he couldn’t even keep his own brother on board”.

    And what about the new leader’s Iraq position? Can it be dismissed as opportunistic and a crowd-pleaser and is it really going to convince potential Lib Dem switchers?

    During the leadership election campaign it might have gone down well with some of Labour’s electorate but EdM really didn’t convince when put under pressure on the issue during the many hustings meetings. Just remember the exchanges during the Question Time leadership debate less than a fortnight ago.

    Those like Diane Abbott who were against the Iraq War all along are not going to be satisfied.

    The DavidM situation also means that his position on the war is going to be probed and probed whenever he does TV interviews and no doubt Tory HQ is working out ways to exploit it during Cameron’s conference speech next week.

    What a dramatic conference season this is turning out to be.

    Mike Smithson


    Was this afternoon the end of DM’s political career?

    Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

    FT blogs

    There are a number of reports that beaten leadership contender, David Miliband, has left Manchester and is on his way back to London. There’s a strong suggestion that he hasn’t filled in his shadow cabinet papers which have to be in by 5pm tomorrow. If so then it would appear that he’s backing down from front-line politics.

    The day must have been very challenging with the big story this evening being the comments he was seen to have made to Harriet Harman when she applauded his brother’s comments about Iraq being wrong.

    Mike Smithson