Since TIG was formed the Tories have enjoyed leads of between 4% and 11% in the standard voting intention polls

March 15th, 2019

Assessing the impact new group after its first month

It is now almost a month since Chuka Umunna and others made their much publicised departure from LAB joining the new the Independent Group. The Wikipedia table above shows that’s happened in the standard voting polls since.

These are separate from the surveys where there has been a special prompt for the new grouping which has produced some quite dramatic outcomes. In many ways responses have been dependent on the format of the question that it is put in the online surveys.

In the standard polls the interesting column in the table is the “others” one. This is where you would assume those who planned to vote for the Independent group at the next election would make their choice. As can be seen the “others” figure has not been unusually inflated with the exception of the two YouGov polls where Nigel Farage’s new Brexit party has been included in the prompts.

TIG is not yet a political party and we really have no idea how it sees itself developing. But we have one and possibly two sets of major elections coming up in the next few weeks and the question is whether TIG will seek to put up candidates.

If it was following the SDP model of the early 1980s it would be flooding the local elections and picking up seats and certainly participating in the Euros if those in fact take place.

A problem about TIG not being an official party is that it makes it harder to participate in elections. Certainly independent group candidates could stand but there would be no logo attached alongside the candidate’s name as you would see in relation to other parties.

We’ve also had Tom Watson’s new grouping within LAB which might have had an impact in stemming the flow of defectors though what Watson’s objectives are in the long-term we do not know.

Chuka and his colleagues need to decide pretty quickly what they are trying to do to avoid just being a historical footnote.

Mike Smithson