Archive for September, 2018


The harsh truth for LAB is that the next General Election is in May 2022 and only the Tories have the power to hold it earlier

Thursday, September 27th, 2018

Even if there is a total CON Brexit collapse there is still the Fixed Term Parliament Act

Ever since June 9th last year politics has been going through rather a strange phase. The biggest losing party, LAB, acted as though it was the winner and the main winning party, CON, acted as though it had lost.

Mr Corbyn was celebrated almost wherever he went and Mrs May has had to cope with endless speculation about her future. Both are still there.

Corbyn’s speech yesterday was designed very much to give the appearance of an alternative government in waiting but however things go it is hard to see him achieving his reported objective of getting to Number 10 by Christmas this year.

There is a assumption, seen in the betting, that a general election might happen quite soon the only problem is that Labour has little power to influence this.

Under the terms of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act there are only two ways that a general election can happen before May 2022: a vote in the Commons backed by two thirds of all MPs or the government losing a no confidence vote that isn’t rescinded within 14 days.

The former requires the backing of the Tories while Labour simply has not got the MP numbers to achieve the latter even assuming that all the other GB parties lined up behind.

    It is just about possible that a first no confidence vote is passed by the Commons but the prospect of PM Corbyn would surely bring back almost all CON MPs to rescinding it within the 14 day period.

Mrs. May’s decision to take the advice of David Davis and call the 2017 general election three years is going to remain very strongly within the collective memory of the party for years. It is hard to envisage her or her successor being ready to take such a gamble again.

Mike Smithson


The betting chances of LAB winning the next election edge down to the lowest level since GE2017

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

Given that one of the ongoing themes of Labour’s conference has been the hope that there can be another GE soon I thought it might be useful to look for the first time at next general election betting. By the time we get to polling day – sometime between now and May 2022 – this market will see a large amount of activity. The only reason to be betting now is if you think the odds on your selection will tighten.

I don’t think there’s value in either price.

For all the problems within the Conservative Party those gambling on the outcome of the next election are putting their money on the blues to win most seats.

Corbyn supporters, no doubt, will remember how poorly the party was rated ahead of the last election and are hoping that with the increased coverage that a general election campaign gives that they could do a repeat of 2017.

Maybe they could but I always think you should not look at the next contest through the prism of the last one. A big reason reason at the general perception last year was the perception that the Tories were going to come in with a big majority – an element that was driven by the pollsters understatement of the Tories two years earlier.

I don’t bet at this stage because you could be locking up your cash for several years.

Mike Smithson


It’s the WH2016 voter segments that said they were backing Hillary but abstained that the GOP should worry about

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

We all recall how in much of key state polling at WH2016 that Clinton was overstated thus giving us a very false impression of what was going to happen.

Much of this was not down to switching but to ostensible Clinton backers not bothering to turnout. Their problem was the candidate.

One of the insights I got from this excellent analysis of November’s US Midterm elections by NBC’s, Chris Matthews, is what this group of voters will do in the Midterms exactly six weeks on from today.

He’s suggesting that after watching Trump for nearly two years there will be no abstentions in November. The occupant of the White will be the turnout driver.

This sounds very plausible to me in the key races.

Mike Smithson


The polling suggests that Corbyn’s onto a winner backing onshore wind power and solar

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

YouGov August 2018

The Tories are vulnerable on energy policy

Today is Corbyn’s big speech and amongst the ideas he’ll proposing are a big promotion of solar power and onshore wind. The latter is in sharp contrast to the Tories which have sought to curb the development of this as an energy source by making it more difficult.

Polling from YouGov only last month suggested that the public is supportive. It found that 62% said they would like to fit solar panels and 60% would install an energy storage device. An even greater number – 71% – said that they would be interested in joining a community energy scheme if government support was there.

The big trend here is that renewable energy is now becoming much more financially viable with costs being cut sharply.

Last month in a PB Video Analysis Robert Smithson looked in depth at the economics in a video that has now has nearly 100k views. This is worth looking at if you haven’t seen it.

The economics of Hinckley Point could come back to haunt the Tories.

Mike Smithson


NEW PB / Polling Matters podcast: Poll trends that will shape the future…education, Brexit and the politically homeless with Paula Surridge

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

On this week’s PB / Polling Matters podcast, Keiran Pedley is joined by Paula Surridge (Senior Lecturer in Political Sociology at the University of Bristol).

Keiran and Paula discuss the big trends shaping British politics, such as age, social class and education and the impact they could have on British politics in the future.

Paula gives her view on whether Labour would benefit from explicitly campaigning for a second referendum on Brexit and whether there is appetite for a new political party (and what kind). Keiran and Paula also take some listener questions on a range of subjects.

Follow this week’s guests:


How the Labour conference reacted when Sir Keir Starmer said Remain should be an option in any public vote

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

Mike Smithson


PB Video Analysis: The Changing Nature of Work

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

In the old days, careers would be long, mortgages cheap and job titles easy to understand. But the nature of working is changing. Our grandparents would struggle to understand what we do… YouTuber, anyone?

Income inequality has risen. Job security has disappeared. Is this the result of rapacious capitalists? Is it because of globalist politicians and George Soros? Or are there fundamental forces at work: do the people who employ us just know too much about our economic output?

Computers, the Internet and smartphones have combined to allow the value of our economic output to be constantly measured. This brings insecurity and inequality. Politicians have tried to legislate the effect of employers having ever greater knowledge, but to no avail. The veil of ignorance, once discarded, can never be worn again.

In this video, I’m talking about the changing nature of work.

Robert Smithson

Robert tweets as ‘@MarketWarbles’


Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, faces a second accuser

Monday, September 24th, 2018

By far the biggest political battle in US politics at the moment is the effort by the Republicans to ensure that Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court vacancy, Brett Kavanaugh, gets approved.

Because of the power of the court and the fact that members are appointed for life this has the potential of having an impact in the US that could last decades. The Democrats are doing everything to try to stall the process while the White House is pushing to get this through as quickly as possible.

Things have been made more complicated by accusations against Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct nearly forty years ago. The person involved is due to appear later in the week and now another woman has come forward.

From what I can see the only betting market on whether Kavanaugh gets approved is from PaddyPower which has it at 5/6 with way.

The Republicans have 51 of the 100 seats in the Senate so the approval requires all to back him. It is being suggested that one or two GOP Senators might not go with the White House.

Mike Smithson