Archive for June, 2019


Corbyn plummets to record low in latest Ipsos-MORI leader satisfaction ratings

Thursday, June 27th, 2019

Hardly gives confidence if there is an early election

With all the focus on the CON leadership we haven’t looked at the official opposition for a while. Well the latest Ipsos-MORI polling gives us a peg.

One thing this pollster has been doing for decades is always asking leader rating questions in its regular political poll. Today’s numbers show just 18% of the sample saying they’re satisfied with the LAB leader and 75% saying they’re not sets something of a record.

These are terrible figures driven partly, I’d suggest, by the fact that the leader has a very different view of Brexit from the vast bulk of LAB voters and MPs. But he’s the leader and wields a lot of power.

On top of that we have the festering row over antisemitism not helped by the latest news about Chris Williamson –  the Derby North MP  suspended after saying LAB had “given too much ground” in the face of the criticism over antisemitism.

Mike Smithson


The most accurate pollster at the Euros has Hunt rated better than Boris when compared with Corbyn

Thursday, June 27th, 2019

New Ipsos-MORI focuses, inevitably, on the CON leadership race. These are some key findings:

  • Both Hunt and Johnson have improved since May in terms of the proportion of people agreeing they ‘have what it takes to be a good Prime Minister.’
  • 31% agree that Hunt ‘has what it takes’ (+12 points since May) and 34% agree that Johnson ‘has what it takes’ (+9 points).
  • However, more disagree that Johnson has what it takes (53%) than Jeremy Hunt (42%). This means that overall Johnson has a ‘net agree’ score of -19 and Hunt -11. This is because a greater proportion ‘don’t know’ how to rate Hunt (10%) when compared with Johnson (3%).
  • Amongst Conservative supporters, their scores are also similar. 53% of Conservative voters agree Hunt ‘has what it takes’, 24% disagree (net score +29) and for Johnson 59% agree and 28% disagree (net score +31).
  • When asked who would make the most capable Prime Minister, both Hunt and Johnson convincingly lead the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
  • When asked to choose, 51% of Brits choose Johnson and 33% choose Corbyn as the most capable PM. This is a gap of 18 points. Likewise, 52% of Britons choose Hunt as most capable PM and 29% choose Corbyn. This is a gap of 23 points.

On voting intention Tories take the lead, BXP drops 4 to 12% nd LDs up 7 to 22.

CON 26 (+1) LAB 24 (-3) LD 22 (+7) BXP 12 (-4) GRN 8 (-1)

Mike Smithson



Warren consolidates her position as the main challenger to Joe Biden in the first of the Democratic nominee debates

Thursday, June 27th, 2019

Beto failed to help his bid

Overnight we have had the first of the Democratic debates held in Miami in the possible swing state of Florida which the party needs to win next year if it is to have a chance of beating Trump.

The Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren , had a big boost before the debate started with a new Economist YouGov poll having her at 19% just 6 points behind the front-runner Joe Biden. This is the closest she has got to the former vice president so far in this campaign.

The general view was she performed confidently and well underpinning her position in both the betting and the polling. She is going to be a formidable opponent.

There are so many contenders for the Democratic nomination that the first debate has had to be split up into two phases. This was the first and tonight we will have the second in which Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders will be on the platform.

Such was the range of people on the stage last night that someone like myself who closely follows US politics could barely name more than half of them.

A big loser, I thought, was Beto O’Rourke, who came to prominence in last November’s midterm elections when he came close to un-seating Texas senator Ted Cruz. He simply wasn’t distinctive enough in such a large field to make an impression.

Warren’s performance and new polling position puts extra pressure on Joe Biden during his debate tonight.

One thing that the event did show is that having so many different contenders on the stage is really quite ridiculous and unmanageable. The party and the TV networks need to find a mechanism to hone it down to only those with a real chance.

Mike Smithson



Johnson edges back to being an even stronger favourite on the Betfair exchange

Wednesday, June 26th, 2019 chart of movement on the Betfair exchange

His “bus painting hobby” has moved the agenda on

Maybe because we are getting closer to the ballot packs going out and Johnson appears to have survived the Camberwell apartment crisis but we are now seeing a move back to him and away from Hunt in the next CON leader betting.

Essentially there’s little more in the story and Johnson’s “painting model buses” interview, however bizarre, has been his dead cat on the table. Things have just moved on.

Things could still go wrong but he is being ably advised.

I just wonder whether the emotional strain of first his marriage break-up and then the highly public spat with his girl friend is going to show at some stage. Just having no permanent home must add to his stress levels.

Mike Smithson


YouGov finds just 28% wanting a no deal against 43% wanting to remain

Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

I like this YouGov approach to discerning public opinion on Brexit – set out the four main option and get people to rank them.

The results, which have just been published, are in the table above.

The numbers broadly speak for themselves but notice the gender divide.  Women are less likely to make no deal their top choice than men.

Mike Smithson


Tonight the fight for the WH2020 Democratic nomination moves to the debate stage with Biden leading in the betting followed by Warren

Wednesday, June 26th, 2019 chart of movement on the Betfair exchange

Tonight in the US the fight for the Democratic nomination for next year’s White House Race moves to a new stage with the first TV debate between the wannabe nominees.

Because so many figures within the party have put their names forward the debate is going to be spread over two nights and tonight’s line up includes Elizabeth Warren heading a group of ten. Joe Biden, the current favourite, will feature on Thursday night.

To qualify to appear the Democratic party has insisted that each nominee must be able to demonstrate they have 65,000 individual campaign donors including at least 200 each in 20 States. The alternative is to have at least 1% support in at least three polls.

With so many people there this is being quite a high bar but clearly one that is necessary given the numbers.

If any of the outsiders are to have an impact then they need to do well in their first debate

Generally the American public only starts getting interested in the fight once the debates have started and the premium that those contenders currently with high name recognition have in the polls will be less of an issue.

As the betting chart shows Biden has remained pretty consistent but we have seen a solid move to Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren in recent weeks. Her rise has been mainly at the expense of 77 year old Bernie Sanders who competes for the left wing base.

I remain totally unconvinced of the 76 yer old favourite who has a reputation for being gaff-prone, something reinforced by his comments about working with segregationists during his early career. His phraseology was awkward with his attempts to respond to criticism barely convincing.

Mike Smithson


Johnson appears to be planning to ignore parliament if it sought to block a no deal Brexit

Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

Dangerous stuff from the wannabe PM


Meanwhile in the leadership battle in the party that won four times as many MEPs and more than twice the CON vote last month

Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

Inevitably the Tory leadership contest is totally dwarfing coverage of other political developments including the battle for the leadership of the party that totally out-performed the Tories in last month’s Euro elections. Yet given the parliamentary situation the outcome of this postal members’ ballot could be crucial.

Last night I attended a hustings in London, sponsored by the New Statesman and hosted by its political editor,  Stephen Bush. There are two candidates both of whom were ministers during the coalition government – Jo Swinson and Ed Davey – the latter having been in the cabinet.

The question which caught them both to when they were asked over what they were most illiberal. It was a bit like the famous question to TMay during the GE2017 when she was asked what the naughtiest thing she had ever done. Perhaps that could be asked to Boris whenever he gets pinned down.

Both were impressive in different ways and clearly the process of doing successive hustings meetings in different parts of the country has honed up their skills. Whatever this is good training for general elections.

I continue to be a Lib Dem member and would be happy with either of them and find it very difficult to choose,  The challenge for Davey, who is someone I have known since before he became an MP, is that there is clearly a feeling within the party that the next leader should be a woman. He does, however have the most experience.

The LDs are going through something of a renaissance simply because, unlike LAB and CON, they have a clear view on the overwhelming main issue of the day – Brexit.  The “Bollocks to Brexit” slogan from last month might have been unedifying but at least it was clear.

Swinson is the favourite having tighter odds on Betfair at the moment than Boris has in the CON leadership betting.

Mike Smithson