Opinium’s Tory lead down from 26% at the start of Starmer’s LAB leadership to 3% tonight

August 1st, 2020

This is the closest for LAB in any poll since GE2019

follow site In the first poll by Opinium after Starmer became LAB leader the Tories were on 55% and LAB on 29%. Tonight’s weekly poll from the firm for the Observer has CON 41: LAB 38: LD 6%. That is a remarkable change in less than four months and will be seen as a real vindication of Starmer’s approach to the job since he became leader on April 4th. Of course in April it was in the early days of lockdown and there was a general public mood to back the government. That has faded sharply and tonight’s figures in a general election would almost certainly lead to a hung parliament.

click here Of course as well there isn’t an imminent general election and anything can happen between now and May 2024 which is the latest it can be held.

Ordering Tramadol Online Uk Opinium was the most accurate pollster at GE2019 and is the only firm to do regular approval ratings. This post will be updated when the leader ratings are published.

Mike Smithson Posted in General Election, Keir Starmer here | No Comments »


Schools reopening has to be at the heart of the Covid plan. Everything else is ad hoc tinkering

August 1st, 2020

As ever, there’s a lack of strategic thinking to the government’s response Lockdown began in the UK on 24 March because the governments mandated it but not really because they chose to. There were many reasons propelling politicians to that decisions, from the mounting numbers of Covid-19 cases and deaths to the examples being set abroad. What’s easily forgotten though is the extent to which the lockdown was in no small part a legal regulation of something that was already happening organically. In truth, it was the advice to isolate if anyone from their household had Covid symptoms, combined with the number of cases (and, no doubt, additional suspected false-positives), that was bringing the country to a halt.

Order Tramadol Online Canada At the heart of that process was education. Schools need a certain number of teachers and other staff in them to be safe. Without that number, they can’t operate – or at best can only operate for a restricted number, although the logistics of doing that are difficult. As soon as some schools in an area began closing, that created a snowball effect as parents (including teachers at schools that were still open) found themselves unable to go to work as they had no childcare alternatives.

here go For over three months, many of those parents have tried to juggle home-working with childcare and many have succeeded to a degree but it’s very far from a sustainable, never mind an ideal situation. In truth, the return of anything close to a normally-functioning economy must have as a pre-requisite a functioning educations system.

Buy Real Tramadol Online There are, of course, other essential reasons why the schools need to re-open, not least their primary purpose of educating the nation’s children, which they’ve not been able to do to anything like their usual standard due to remote operation – a legacy that will probably literally last a lifetime. If the schools cannot fully re-open, the life-chances of this generation will be blighted still further.

Order Tramadol Mexico Similarly, being confined to a small household is a danger for some children in vulnerable circumstances. Lockdown, furloughing and redundancies bring stress and mental health issues which, for some, will come on top of pre-existing conditions. A return to normality will, for them, not just be a matter of education and social interaction but of safety.

Tramadol 50 Mg Buy Uk However, as the initial lockdown period proved, society and the economy are also integrated with the education system to such a degree that its return ought to be at the heart of the return-from-crisis plan. Which begs the question why it isn’t.

enter If anything marks the return from lockdown it’s just how unconnected any plan has been. The individual measures generally make sense on their own – reducing restrictions on social interactions, reopening outdoor venues first, and so on – but there seems to be no appreciation of any interactions between these decisions. To the extent that there’s been prioritisation, it’s been based on local practicalities, not national priorities. That has to change. As Prof Whitty said this week, England has probably reached the limit of how far restrictions can be eased cumulatively, consistent with keeping a lid on new Covid-19 cases. Given the rise in cases over the last fortnight or so, you’d have to think that the limit might have been exceeded. And what’s true in England is true in Scotland too. While Nicola Sturgeon likes to pat her administration on its back, the truth is that cases are rising there too, and the death total is still worse than just about everywhere else in Europe. Having marginally better outcomes and considerably better communication skills than London is nothing much to write home about.

Tramadol To Buy Online Uk If that is the case though, there ought to be a discussion about priorities and necessities. So far, the government has been remarkably adept at responding to whoever is currently shouting the loudest, while – as mentioned – attempting to incrementally unroll the restrictions. That’s not sustainable.

source site Therefore, it should make sense to begin with those things which have to be done – essential services (which includes education) – and to then move out as far into wider society and the economy as is consistent with not letting the pandemic run out of control. That will mean some shops, businesses and entire industries not operating or, at the least, operating very differently to normal. But is there an alternative? I don’t see one. In an ideal world, the government would already have been putting plans in place to enable schools to be up and fully running again in September, which unlike some plans speculated upon, cannot involve mass isolations off the back of single cases, otherwise we end up back where we were in March – but does include enough staffing capacity to cope with staff illnesses and isolation. It will not be simple. But case numbers overall are low enough to at least give it a try. Unlike the US, where Trump is attempting to force schools back because of the same economic imperative but where case numbers are still at or near their peak, Britain has a chance. Maybe that means keeping clubs, theatres and sports venues closed. Maybe it means reshutting restaurants, or restricting numbers within them (which might amount to the same thing in practice). But if so, it’s a price that should have to be paid.

David Herdson

follow site Posted in Coronavirus | No Comments »


Disastrous favourability ratings for Johnson in Scotland but a glimmer of hope for Starmer

July 31st, 2020

go to site

source Regular PBers will know that at this stage before a general election I take much more notice of leadership ratings than voting intention polls. With the former those sampled are asked for simply an opinion whereas with voting questions they are asked to predict what they might or might not do in 3/4 years time when they could not even turn out. When tested in real elections such as 1992 and 2015 the leader ratings have got the outcome right while the voting polls have been wrong. This evening sees the first Scottish favourability ratings from YouGov since Keir Starmer was elected Labour leader in April. That he should be, even by a single point, be in net favourable territory is probably a good sign because if Labour is to recover at all then it has to make progress in winning back some of the Scottish seats that it has lost since 2010. Then it had 41 Scottish Labour MPs – that figure is now down to one. Scotland has also played a big part in Conservative fortunes taking 13 seats at 2017 general election out of the 59 total north of the border – a figure that dropped to just six at GE2019 under Johnson.

Tramadol Uk Online So the fact that the national Conservative leader has a net rating here minus 51 should be a matter of real concern and suggests that he might be in some trouble in trying to hold the 6 next time.

Mike Smithson

Purchase Tramadol Discount Posted in Leader approval ratings, Scotland | No Comments »


WH2020: We need a market on who will President on January 21st – the day after inauguration

July 31st, 2020

Could Trump get away with sitting tight and refusing to budge? Following his Tweet yesterday suggesting that the Presidential election on November 3rd should be postponed there has been a huge amount of speculation about what Trump will do if if he doesn’t win re-election which based on current polling looks very unlikely.

follow site This is from Susan Glasser in the New Yorker: So, sorry, we cannot just ignore it when the President threatens to cancel an election. This is the kind of statement that should haunt your dreams. It is wannabe-dictator talk. It is dangerous even if it is not attached to any actions. And those who think that some actions will not follow have not been paying attention. My alarm stems from having covered Russia when Putin was dismantling the fragile, flawed democratic institutions that the country had established after the fall of the Soviet Union. It stems from reading history. It stems from having watched the past four years in America, where, day by day, the unthinkable has happened and been justified, rationalized, and explained away.

There are real concerns that Trump will refuse to accept the result and sit tight. What he does have which could put them in a very powerful position is controlling the levers of power right up to 9 am on January 20th which is the inauguration day. Until that moment he remains Commander-in-Chief.

We are already seeing some of the lengths that he is going to at the moment sending federal troops to various cities to underpin his position. The questions are would he dare to force himself on the nation for another 4-year term and what can be done to stop him?

What is interesting is how his moves are creating new political movements the most striking one of which is the Wall of Moms which was set up in Portland as a line of defence against rampaging federal forces.

An interesting bet in this context would who will be president on January 21st the day after the inauguration. So far I’ve not seen this put up by any bookie but my guess is that the odds on that happening would be better than those on Trump winning the election itself and that is very scary.

Mike Smithson


The Pandemic: Millions of people in the north affected by new lockdown restrictions announced by Tweet

July 31st, 2020

Starmer calls the manner of the announcement a “new low”

An estimated 4m people living in large parts of the North wake up this morning to find that a new range of lockdown restrictions has been implemented. The areas covered include Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and parts of Yorkshire.

The measures make it illegal in the areas covered for people from different households to meet indoors and have been brought in because of a rising number of COVID cases there.

The manner of the announcement, by late night Tweet, has drawn the wrath of LAB leader Keir Starmer. He Tweeted:

No one would argue with putting in place local action to reduce the transmission of coronavirus. But announcing measures affecting potentially millions of people late at night on Twitter is a new low for the government’s communications during this crisis. When the government ended the daily press conferences, they said they would hold them for “significant announcements”, including local lockdowns. It’s hard to imagine what could be more significant than this. For all the bluster, government has failed to deliver a functioning track and trace system that would spot local flare ups like these. The people of Greater Manchester now need urgent clarity and explanation from the government – and there must be proper support for those businesses and people affected by any lockdown.

The areas covered by this latest development include many of the seats gained by the Tories last December in the general election and which Labour dearly wants to win back.

HealthSec Matt Hancock said “We take this action with a heavy heart but unfortunately it’s necessary because we’ve seen that households meeting up and a lack of social distancing is one of the causes of this rising rate of coronavirus and we’ll do whatever is necessary to keep the country safe.”

Mike Smithson


Senior Republicans not enthused by Trump’s postpone the election move

July 30th, 2020

The only way that Trump’s controversial postpone the election move could become a reality would be if senior Republicans were ready to go along with it. So far that backing seems to be absent.

Under the heading “Trump floats a ‘delay’ in the election. None of his usual allies are on board” the New York Times reports that top Republicans quickly rejected the move.

Never in the history of the federal elections have we not held an election, and we should go forward,” said Representative Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader..Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, dismissed Mr. Trump’s suggestion in a TV interview said: “ Never in the history of the country, through wars, depressions and the Civil War, have we ever not had a federally scheduled election on time, and we’ll find a way to do that again this Nov. 3,”

That really rules it out. Trump is going to get nowhere if figures like McConnell are rubbishing idea.

On Betfair it is now a 64% chance that the Democrats will retake the White House on November 3rd

Mike Smithson


His Highness, King Donald the First, the Great Usurping Caesar, violator of the constitution is now talking about delaying the election

July 30th, 2020

Donald Trump’s tweet is quite interesting for those of us betting on this year’s Presidential election. Quite frankly it would require an act of Congress to change the date of this November’s election from the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. It would require all 50 states to go along with this, which I cannot see happening.

If there’s no election Trump’s mandate expires next January and Nancy Pelosi would take over. I suspect this might be more of a ploy do discredit the result of November’s result, absent a Biden landslide, to allow Trump to try and ignore the result, but as above, Nancy Pelosi would take over the Presidency on January 20th.

So if I had to bet, I’d bet on November’s election to take place on time.

Of course today’s tweet might be a giant dead cat, so large you can see it from the moon. TSE


65 years of Tory Prime Ministers – their educational backgrounds

July 30th, 2020

And EVERY LAB winner of a general election majority winner went to Oxford

One of my little obsessions over the years has been the very narrow base from which political leaders come from in the UK. The table above shows the educational backgrounds of every Tory PM since Churchill stood aside in 1955 and as can be seen all but one of them went to Oxford – the exception being John Major who did not go to university.

Labour doesn’t do any better. Only three leaders have ever led their party to general election majorities and all of them went to Oxford. There was Attlee at GE1945 and GE1950, Wilson GE1964, GE1966, GE1974 Oct and of course Tony Blair at GE1997, GE2001 and GE2005.

Keir Starmer went to Leeds University but did a post-grad degree at Oxford.

Non-Grad James Callaghan lost to the Tories at GE1979. Gordon Brown who was LAB leader from 2007-2010 did not go to Oxford but never won a general election.

The extraordinary thing is that the last CON PM who didn’t go to Oxford was Baldwin at GE1935. The nearest the light blues have got to Number 10 in recent times was Cambridge grad Michael Howard who lost to Tony Blair at GE2005.

Will this trend continue?

Mike Smithson