I wrote about this in my last post – exploring what, if anything, we could tell from the polling about whether Boris Johnson would get the blame if Brexit did indeed end up being delayed past the 31st October.

With the government now pushing for an election in December the issue has now arisen again, with lots of people dragging out a ComRes poll from the 16-17th October that asked how people would vote in an election if Britain had NOT left the European Union on 31st October, showing Labour one point ahead. Some people are sharing it with excitement, others with dismay. Both should probably calm themselves.

As a general rule, you can only usefully ask people a polling question if they actually know the answer… and most of us aren’t actually very good at predicting how we will respond to hypothetical situations. If you take this specific question, it was asking people to imagine quite a lot. How had the delay come about? Had the government fought it, or gone along with it? How had the government explained and reacted to the delay? Given the dates of the fieldwork, many respondents wouldn’t even have known about the deal. All of these things will impact how the public react and whether they blame the Conservatives or not… but were impossible for respondents to know.

In short, polls measure current public opinion. They can’t predict the future. While you can ask respondents to predict their own future opinions, they aren’t necessarily very good at it.


1,004 Responses to “A reminder that hypothetical polling questions are a bit rubbish”

1 18 19 20 21
  1. POLL ALERT Ipsos Mori

    CON 41 (+8)
    BXP 7 (-3)

    Sub-total 48 (+5)

    LAB 24 (uc)
    LDEM 20 (-3)
    Green 3 (-1)
    NATS 5 (uc)

    Sub-total 52 (-4)

    Leader approval ratings

    Boris +2 (+20)
    Corbyn -60 (uc)
    Swinson -12 (-5)
    Farage -22 (-16)

    Well I guess it is Halloween so maybe that is why “dying in a ditch” is making Boris so popular ;)

    https://www.ipsos.com/ipsos-mori/en-uk/conservatives-strengthen-position-latest-ipsos-mori-political-monitor

  2. redrich

    I’m going to see Palace play you lot on Boxing Day. Hoping to complete a rare double…

  3. @NickP

    Went to see the home game with a Palace friend – it was painful (Palace fully deserved to win). On current form you should be able to bank the points.

  4. Hal
    “If TBP don’t stand in many seats, could that lead to a revival of UKIP?”

    Not in my opinion. Yet another leader has just resigned. They’re a busted flush, for now at least.
    ——————————
    LeftieLiberal
    “The turnout of younger voters could be critical in this election.”

    I’ll hope for snow then. They won’t turn out if the weather’s nasty.
    —————————-
    All
    I asked this before, but missed an answer if there was one. Does anyone know what checks are carried out on voting registrations? I seem to remember the form was pretty simple and didn’t require any proof of id, but I could be wrong. In other words, could at least some of these registrations be ‘ghosts’?
    —————————
    Pam
    Welcome to the AVUKPR forum!

  5. B4B’s tactical voting turns out to be even more Vote LDEM (and ABL) than I’d thought (I didn’t check every seat):

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/oct/30/tactical-voting-could-deliver-remain-victory-in-election-study

  6. NICK P
    April 1969 Selhurst Park.
    Palace promoted, winning v Fulham, I think on the final day of the season to go up to Division One.
    Happy days on the old Holmesale Road End.

    Wilson was in power. Heath led the Tories who also ran the GLC and ILEA
    Corbyn’s hero was a Cabinet Minister but about to change his name to Tony, from Amthony W. Benn, and i was about to start my two years of O Level preparations up the road at Crown Point.

  7. @ GARJ – If Tories are miles ahead then it comes from Leave voters uniting behind Boris as SUM(Leave) has been fairly stable. You then reach a point where BXP become such a clear “wasted vote” that they potentially “do a UKIP” and sink to sub 5% (see lead up to GE’17)

    The focus then shifts to ensuring the Remain side is divided and does not do “pacts” (and with BXP VI dropping then certainly no need for pacts on Leave side that might encourage pacts on Remain side)

    I understand the issue of becoming over confident but HOPEFULLY Boris doesn’t risk any “own goals” in the manifesto (eg dementia tax2, big hike in upper rate tax threshold, etc) and makes sure he turns up for TV debates etc (and gets Corbyn and Swinson to talk about Brexit policies)

    Unite the Leave vote + Divided the Remain vote = Decent Majority

  8. @PeteB

    There’s a good chance of at least some of the registrations being duplicates of the “Did I register to vote? I can’t remember. Best do it again to make sure.” sort.

    Some of them probably will turn out not to be valid, as well, but I wouldn’t expect a lot of that by comparison.

  9. @redrich

    Not as big as it would appear if you look a bit further back. Wild swings are nothing new for Bristol West. In 2010 it was LD majority of over 11,000. Thangam’s majority in 2015 was only 5,600 (over a green candidate in second).

    Electoral calculus presently has the seat as 29.8% lab, 28% green and 23.7% for LD.

    @Hal

    The die in ditch ones yes, but many of the others I’m not so sure. Perhaps I’m overvaluing the clout of farage but my impression is that he pulls far more of the vote in than UKIP did alone.

    As said though, he probably doesn’t want to stand aside in seats, ego too large.

  10. just had a conversation in our office about the upcoming election.
    I was staggered how ill informed seemingly intelligent people were about tactical voting.
    It is this lack of awareness about how the first past the post system in this country works will I’m afraid make sure that Johnson is returned to Number 10 with a majority.

  11. REIVER97
    “Brexit Party vote predictably collapsing back into the tory fold. Rather less predictably, the LibDem vote appears to be slipping in the same direction.”

    Those who would not countenance voting Lib since their role in creating this mess by going into coalition with the hated Tories and then not winning enough seats in 2015 to block Cameron’s referendum might not be so surprised if it turned out a lot of Swinson’s support has been coming from Tory remainers rather than Lab. My feeling is that there’s a lot more going on which hasn’t been understood. The libs usually start higher and drop back during the campaign – Cleggmania anyone? – and Swinson doesn’t strike me as someone who voters will warm to as they become more familiar with her over the coming weeks, but then what do I know?

    On the other hand it’s probably MoE stuff and my sense is it will all go all over the place before the kids start opening their advent calendars.

    I really can’t see Johnson standing down twenty of his candidates to give Farage a clear run, which is what Brexit Co Ltd seem to be angling for, although since they’re both mad as hatters and neither should be trusted to run a whelk stall my hunch is there will be a lot of blustering from both, especially on days when that blonde woman Johnson’s been discussing information technology with and giving loads of taxpayers’ money to for service provision sticks her head above the parapet to raise her media profile and tries to get on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here (as she did yesterday, though few seemed to take any notice).

    There was a small piece in the Graun yesterday reporting that UKIP have just lost another leader, they really are quite careless with them, so that’s probably goodnight from them at least as far as this election’s concerned.

  12. REIVER97
    “Brexit Party vote predictably collapsing back into the tory fold. Rather less predictably, the LibDem vote appears to be slipping in the same direction.”

    Those who would not countenance voting Lib since their role in creating this mess by going into coalition with the [email protected] Tories and then not winning enough seats in 2015 to block Cameron’s referendum might not be so surprised if it turned out a lot of Swinson’s support has been coming from Tory remainers rather than Lab. My feeling is that there’s a lot more going on which hasn’t been understood. The libs usually start higher and drop back during the campaign – Cleggmania anyone? – and Swinson doesn’t strike me as someone who voters will warm to as they become more familiar with her over the coming weeks, but then what do I know?

    On the other hand it’s probably MoE stuff and my sense is it will all go all over the place before the kids start opening their advent calendars.

    I really can’t see Johnson standing down twenty of his candidates to give Farage a clear run, which is what Brexit Co Ltd seem to be angling for, although since they’re both [email protected] as [email protected] and neither should be trusted to run a whelk stall my hunch is there will be a lot of blustering from both, especially on days when that blonde woman Johnson’s been discussing information technology with and giving loads of taxpayers’ money to for service provision sticks her head above the parapet to raise her media profile and tries to get on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here (as she did yesterday, though few seemed to take any notice).

    There was a small piece in the Graun yesterday reporting that UKIP have just lost another leader, they really are quite careless with them, so that’s probably goodnight from them at least as far as this election’s concerned.

  13. @Carfrew

    Of course there’s a rather large conundrum in the suggestion that higher taxes are required to redistribute wealth and deliver more public investment etc. That conundrum is that it tends to be raised taxes that spark dissatisfaction and protests. In such situations governments are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

  14. test

  15. REIVER97
    “Brexit Party vote predictably collapsing back into the tory fold. Rather less predictably, the LibDem vote appears to be slipping in the same direction.”

    Those who would not countenance voting Lib since their role in encouraging Brexit by going into coalition with the Tories and then not winning enough seats in 2015 to block Cameron’s referendum might not be so surprised if it turned out a lot of Swinson’s support has been coming from Tory remainers rather than Lab. My feeling is that there’s a lot more going on which hasn’t been understood. The libs usually start higher and drop back during the campaign – [email protected] anyone? – and Swinson doesn’t strike me as someone who voters will warm to over the coming weeks, but then what do I know?

    On the other hand it’s probably MoE stuff and my guess is it will go all over the place before the kids start opening their advent calendars.

    I really can’t see Johnson standing down twenty of his candidates to give Farage a clear run, which is what Brexit Co Ltd seem to be angling for, my hunch is there will be a lot of blu stering from both, especially on days when that woman Johnson’s been discussing information technology with and giving loads of taxpayers’ money to for service provision sticks her head above the parapet to raise her media profile and tries to get on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here (as she did yesterday, though few seemed to take any notice).

    There was a small piece in the Graun yesterday reporting that UKIP have just lost another leader, they really are quite careless with them, so that’s probably goodnight from them at least as far as this election’s concerned.

  16. does anyone know the number of undecided or refused to say in the IPso /you gov polls

  17. I though the Liberal Democrats position of definitely Remain was politically clever and i though they could do really well , even end up as Her Majesty’s opposition, BUT they are basically saying they will ignore the result of the Referendum.

    I’m not sure how the message “we will ignore the democratic vote” will play with people who vote.

    Is this the reason they are dropping in the polls?

  18. @Steve

    If he gets a national election result like the current polling, it would take a highly implausible amount of tactical voting to stop him getting a substantial majority, of the sort that would neglect the reasons why Labour and Lib Dem are separate parties in the first place.

    But remember that people don’t need to know what tactical voting is to – in effect – vote tactically. Labour and Lib Dem have largely different target seats, and won’t waste effort campaigning in the ones they can’t win. This alone will probably help to separate the non-Tory parties vote between seats quite a bit better than any actual tactical voting could do.

    Turnout, where the current “don’t knows” in polling go, where Brex decides to stand candidates, whether anyone really messes up in the campaign, also more likely to be significant than tactical voting as such.

  19. @ leftieliberal

    I have just registered to vote as I have changed address so that maybe one reason for the initial surge.

    I think younger voters may vote mainly Lib Dem or Greens in this election. just not sure where the second green MP may be elected

    Caroline Lucas may also be under pressure from Labour.

  20. Greens might do reasonably well in Sheffield Central, although it would take a political earthquake for them to win. The constituency has a lot of student voters and voted strongly Remain. I know nothing about how well-regarded Blomley (sitting Lab MP) is, but the local Lab council appears to have been trying to make itself unpopular lately. Sheffield’s Green Lord Mayor became Yorkshire’s first Green MEP in the last EP elections.

  21. I thought the Liberal Democrats position of definitely Remain was politically clever and I thought they could do really well , even end up as Her Majesty’s opposition, BUT they are basically saying they will ignore the result of the Referendum.

    I’m not sure how the message “we will ignore the democratic vote” will play with people who vote.

    Is this the reason they are dropping in the polls?

  22. @ PETE B – An upper estimate (IMO) of Tactical Voting in GE’17 was 6.5million (about 24%), short read with info on full source:

    https://news.sky.com/story/general-election-2017-6-5-million-voted-tactically-on-8-june-10998890

  23. @John Duffy

    does anyone know the number of undecided or refused to say in the IPso /you gov polls

    About 16/18% don’t know, 2% wont say 10% wont vote.

  24. Re their latest poll not sure why IPSOS Mori only prompted 50% of the sample by showing them the Brexit Party as an option, the other 50% were not shown TBP, anyone know?
    The only reason I can only think of is they will produce some sort of report shortly to say what difference prompting makes

  25. @ Somerjohn

    Yes, she made good points but I was riled by the misleading view that the Spitfire was designed “to kill Germans.” Its first use was over Dunkirk to attack German planes bombing British troops. It was then used to destroy German fighters & bombers engaged in attacks on London, etc.

    It was based on R J Mitchell’s earlier entries of a seaplane for the Schneider Trophy, for which it established world records, leading to its adoption as a fighter plane.

    The story is told in Leslie Howard’s last film, The First of the Few.

    It carried a small bomb load but don’t think it was much used as a tactical fighter-bomber. You would need to ask an expert!

  26. @John Duffy

    In the YouGov: 16% don’t know, 2% refused, 9% would not vote. Slightly more uncertainty from younger voters but not a lot.

    In the IpsosMori: 6% don’t know, 1% refused, 9% would not vote. No real differences between demographics.

    Quite a big difference in DKs there between the two samples, but no idea if it means anything important…

  27. can anyone tell me how many undecided or d/ks were in the ipso qand yougov poll.

  28. The LDs are victims of their own foolishness.

    1 Permitting a GE when they only have one recognisable policy (revoke A50), and where the sails of the one policy have always been pretty flimsy (requiring a LD majority); could only ultimately lead to disappointment.

    2. The Tories would never have believed they could politically suggest a “notwithstanding the FTPA” motion. This had to be advanced by other parties first. This GE is therefore the LDs baby.

    3. Not accounting for the fact that the BXP vote would melt away.

    4. Training their guns on Lab rather than the Tories, when it was always clear that without a strong Labour performance the LDs would have no future in the next parliament.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the LDs end up polling less than 15%.

  29. @NeilJ

    “Re their latest poll not sure why IPSOS Mori only prompted 50% of the sample by showing them the Brexit Party as an option, the other 50% were not shown TBP, anyone know?
    The only reason I can only think of is they will produce some sort of report shortly to say what difference prompting makes”

    I think the recent era, certainly since the 2010 GE, and including the two subsequent referendums, has been something of a crisis for political opinion polling. Anthony has touched on the multiple post-mortems that have been conducted, including the changes introduced to address the failings, and I understand why pollsters are defensive about the stinging criticisms some eminent people have made of them (see David Lipsey article below), but we’re seeing some extraordinary differences between pollsters in both the methodology they adopt and results they generate.False recall mitigation, to prompt or not to prompt, differential turn out calculations, panel or telephone, face to face or on line – the divergence and unsuccessful search for accuracy goes on. Fairly fruitlessly too. Our fascination with them is akin to an obsession with fantasy football results.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/25/dirty-little-secret-opinion-polls-general-election-why-wrong

    So my conclusion about the current polling is that the Tories are ahead, but by what margin who knows, and how much these intermittent snapshots are telling us about the future is very dubious. Hence my total scepticism about GE result predictions based on what thepolls are telling us now. Garbage in and garbage out (GIGO) is one the of the very basic rules of IT and statistics in general. Polling addicts ignore this rule at their peril.

    :-)

  30. @CARFREW

    There is also the elephant in the room, of the difficulty of doing a load of state-funded R&D only for the current system to allow the global multinationals to co-opt the benefits, build the factories overseas, take the profits offshore while keeping on hiking prices on essentials. Which is a bit of a disincentive.

    I agree but I work in the semiconductor design industry and the problem we have facedis that semiconductor manufacturing has a high capital cost so for some countries helping start up that is difficult to do main because of the fact that capital cost are seen as having no return in the UK so they went to Taiwan now the real issue is that cost of a new node development is US$1B you have to have deep pockets and long RoI times however we are a big financial engineering centre in the UK and so guess what we decide that it is easier to gather capital and nickle and dime that rather than make things

    So we choose what we want to be good at and then attempt to protect it so the GFC of 2008 was a huge transfer of loss form the private sector to the public sector because that was our big industry
    If it was Telecoms now I suspect we would have done the same for that In the US when their auto industry was ailing the got a set of loans to help them out so we can do support and we do do support it is not enough and it is not consistent.

    The exportation of jobs in my mind is part of growing the economy world wide. it is like a fiscal transfer. Not every country is going to be able to build cars as an example but you could regionalisation make sure that every region could build cars and that would be seen as a better solution and as you can see that is what happens in EU whereby car companies build cars for export out of the EU and have a big enough market within the EU and it could use the reduced trade barrier to allow JIT solutions to work across border it therefore creates a integrated system that allows investment.

    Will Africa have mass transit production (EV cars) yes I suspect that will happen as some point I believe as they grow they will be able to control their own sphere of influence better and barter that influence and access to there markets.

    I believe that localisation and fiscal transfars and dare I say migration will have to happen keeping it as local as possible and yet get economies of scale are important to get the investment to fund these thing There is a key roll for the sate and I do not believe that the approach for say USA is what is needed for Africa but each region need to find an approach that is appropriate for their people and region

    I think that the EU amongst many regions have got it righter than most look at inequality metrics and they are not exceptionally bad.
    UK is indeed the worst. Ireland as an example uses it tax system such that pre tax they have high inequality but when you take take into account the inequality comes down to the EU median which is not bad for a tax haven.

    In concluding I don’t have all the answer as economies mature they either they move from goods and commodities to services, IAs I have said most service do not travel well so much of it is servicing locally. you can see this slowly happening even in Africa

    @STEAMDRIVENANDY
    Of course there’s a rather large conundrum in the suggestion that higher taxes are required to redistribute wealth and deliver more public investment etc.

    Indeed that is part of the problem, We need to find a global or regional approach to taxation whereby capital gains is properly taxed at source and we need in truth some enlightenment (i.e less greed) or I think no matter what we are all screwed

  31. @JamesB

    And the SNP overturned some whopping majorities in 2015 – but given the general favourable nature of the seats demographic to Lab would be surprised if they lost it.

    Not sure what Electoral Calculus was showing prior to the ’17 campaign – but it would probably have shown a greater than Con 78 majority. Be interesting to see what it predicts in a couple of weeks – especially in relation to Green vote.

  32. I wonder if the experiment in only showing half those polled The Brexit Party is anything to do with reports that they are likely to only put candidates up in a restricted number of seats. It is going to make polling difficult if it does happen.

  33. Latest Suravtion polls tabs are also out, headline VI posted by others

    https://www.survation.com/archive/2019-2/

    They ask about tactical voting at the end (Q65 onwards) and phrase it in two formats: To STOP party X from winning and to HELP party X win.

    The overall numbers include VI for party X and it’s a bit of a muddle to work through the x-breaks but highlights of the STOP side:

    ABL (ie would vote for someone else to stop LAB)

    BXP: 80% (net +69%) – important given where CON need tactical vote help
    LDEM: 39% (net -7%) – some might find that surprising high, but clearly not every LDEM voter is signed up to the Socialist Utopia and would prefer Boris Brexit to PM Corbyn.

    ABC

    LDEM: 68% (net+39%)
    LAB: 67% (net +47%)

    Both quite high so clearly work to do for Boris in ensuring ABC voters see that LAB and LDEM have very different policies on Brexit and domestic issues to “discourage” tactical ABC voting.

    They also ask AB-LDEM and that’s a fairly predictable response.

    NB “Framing” of question applies so these numbers will be on the high side for sure.

  34. @CIM

    The DK are actually rather important, if they are DK & WNV then it give you a clear view of what is going on If they are DK will decide later then you have the could have the issue that the pooll in GE2017 had

    Labour I believed gathered up the DK WDL votes or the unsures as one could call them. These are different from the switcher ( iam voting for X but am not sure )

    I suspect one of the rather interesting problems is that voters are more sophisticated now and polling has not caught up with us.

    It is why I am gambling that BXP will get squeezed quickly and yet LD will be squeezed slowly and much later

  35. @RAF

    I think you are missing why the LD did this.

    1. They have run out of options

    The could either have a GNU with Corbyn but to do that you needed to get the Tories to agree to that and they would not

    They could have a GNU with a grandee but again you need the Tories and they wanted a deal hence we went the legislative route

    They could have kept hoping for people to vote against the WA but it got a second reading so essentially brexit was going to happen although it would soft and Johnson pulled the bill because I believe he does not want the WA to actually go through modified (I actually believe he pulled it because he does not want the WA at all but that is another story)

    All of these option were actually blocks

  36. @redrich

    “If I remember the Imperial Indian Air Force was deployed in Egypt / East Africa and ME at that time – there weren’t any units deployed in the UK (I’m a political not a military historian so I may be wrong).”

    I’m not a poltical or military historian tho I read a fair amount of former (and Brit/Euro/Russian novels 1800-1920!)
    I don’t know about Africa/ME. But Indian Air Force used as you might expect in Burma.

    @ LeftieLiberal
    “The Battle of Britain Historical Society has a slightly different take on the ‘Big Wing’ controversy:”

    Thanks. I read your link. Seemed to rely on Bader’s testimony to a large degree?
    The problem with the Big Wing was that it took too long to assemble the 4 or 5 squadrons in formations & they might miss the action, remembering that the air engagements lasted for a v short time. Also if they moved in formation then the chances of engaging the enemy were reduced over individual squadrons.

    Park’s view was that by using Radar & Civil Observers (“Stuffy” Dowding’s system) you could get individual squadrons up quickly & high & maintain constant attacks, thus breaking up the German formations.
    It seems proven that when the Big Wing was used offensively in attacking France in 1941 (when L. Mallory had command) that the results were disastrous.

  37. Trump endorses Johnson/Farage axis: will this cause a leap in the VI figures for all other parties?

  38. @RAF

    I think you are missing why the LD did this.

    1. They have run out of options

    The could either have a GNU with Corbyn but to do that you needed to get the Tories to agree to that and they would not

    They could have a GNU with a grandee but again you need the Tories and they wanted a deal hence we went the legislative route

    They could have kept hoping for people to vote against the WA but it got a second reading so essentially brexit was going to happen although it would soft and Johnson pulled the bill because I believe he does not want the WA to actually go through modified (I actually believe he pulled it because he does not want the WA at all but that is another story)

    All of these option were actually blocked so they are left with basically the idea that they need to win the remain vote in order to make progress.

    Now basically if you cannot have remaining in the EU then the next best thing strategically is as hard a brexit as possible. That could force a realignment of the voter allegiance so looking at what she has done

    She has demonised Corbyn as a leader and anti semitic.( note she has not said Labour is anti semitic)

    She has looked to get the liberal wing of the Tory party Woolaston etc)

    She will attack Boris stating that he will be leading Brexit Party lite and go for a no deal, which I believe given what happens post election and the issues that remain is highly likely

    If she is successful then Labour would have 150-160 seats and LD will be on 40-50 and the SNP will clean up.

    The push is to get past the SNP in the numbers game, deplete Labour and get them infighting allow Tories to own Brexit and continue the move to the right and then try and surplant labour and The Tories as a centrist party. The alternative is that she believes that in a hung parliament she get an opportunity to put the 2nd referendum on the table if she allow Corbyn to get a deal and then breaks the coalition after the vote

    I believe it is bonkers, I would have called Boris’s bluff and pushed the WA through and point out he has his bill and now he should go an negotiate the FTA since that would be where no deal versus a deal means you have lots of control because Johnson problems will start immediately as they start a trade talks since we ill most probably need a extension and that needs to be negotiated and with that a GNU might be the best time to influence things and get a vote to either rejoin or accept the deal.

    When I do a decision tree and look at likelihood I am not sure what else she can do in truth as each of the option to remain seem far fetched (In TREVOR WARNE postulation territory)

  39. I’m Posting too Much: Will Stop

    @NORTHERNRURALMODEOMAN
    Agree.

    @RAF
    Swinson is out of her depth? Blundered.
    The infuriating thing is that intransigent Old Labour Corbyn so resistant to any pacts. This is normal for Old L but the times are not normal. The Green vote helped Lab last time. Why would they repeat the gift.

    Eg, there have been some truly remarkable if unnoticed Green local election gains in Brady’s heartland (2017, 2018) in his vulnerable Altrincham and Sale Tory seat. He will get in on a split opposition vote.

  40. The difference between the d/ks in ipso and you /gov to me is significant 10% .This may explain the difference in polls.I used to be on the yougov panel but always classed myself as D/K as i am left of centre and would only vote for the Lab,Libs or Green, nearly always voting Labour. I not sure if the other poll giving the Tories a 17% lead also had a high number of D/Ks.IMHO d/ks is often the place tactical vote are.
    Could be very wrong , but everybody should consider D/Ks they are voters too.

  41. “but given the general favourable nature of the seats demographic to Lab would be surprised if they lost it.”

    I’m not sure the demographic is that favourable. It’s certainly not very tribal and my impression is that quite a lot of the ‘aura’ that existed around corbyn/momentum amongst the younger followers here has evaporated. Thangam has also been relatively uncommitted in her remain support, largely out of necessity being a whip, but it’s a harder sale for her and line of attack for her opponents.

    Other things to take into account are the EP election vote share across the whole county (green 35%, LD 26%, Lab 14% on a respectable 47% turnout) and that the labour mayor seems to be making a fair effort to be neither green nor particularly left wing, or endear himself to the demographics in most parts of bristol west. There’s also little risk of a CON/BXP win in the seat which may be a factor.

    I’m not saying it’s certain, but right now I’m seeing this seat as quite a tough three way fight, I’d be very surprised if thangam retains anything like her current majority.

    Re electoral calculus, they’ve changed their model quite considerably since 2017 I think so comparison of past predictions may be of limited value.

  42. @J S-B
    I’m beginning to think there might be more Villa fans on here than Scots!

    Another one here (3rd generation AFAIK).

  43. So the question is… How many of these Villa fans are Mercians?

  44. @PTRP @RAF

    She also can count. Once the SNP had expressed their willingness to go for an early election. Tories+SNP = overall majority, so she lost her bargaining power. The same applied in turn to Corbyn. In the end it was the first party to break from the opposition consensus (the SNP) that dictated events.

    Let’s look at this from the SNP’s viewpoint (three options):
    1) Boris wins an overall majority, Brexit happens and the SNP use it in their bid for independence.
    2) Corbyn needs the 50+ SNP MPs for a government, and he has already promised Scotland another referendum.
    3) There is another hung Parliament and the 50+ SNP MPs will form a coherent block to push for another referendum as a condition for their cooperation.

    Essentially, an election is a win-win for the SNP, especially if they can eliminate one of the two major parties in Scotland.

  45. @ RAF – Just FYI, LDEM abstained in the GE vote and at only 19 MPs then their vote was irrelevant.

    https://commonsvotes.digiminster.com/Divisions/Details/734

    If you want to “blame” anyone for allowing Boris to have the GE that he has wanted since day1 on the job then start with SNP, then move on to Corbyn.

    1/ SNP wanted the GE and CON+SNP = majority

    2/ Corbyn then had to be seen to back it rather than look like a coward, (note that 11 LAB MPs voted “Noe” and 104 abstained so not every LAB MP was as st00pid as Corbyn)

    The final vote was 438 v 20

    If LDEM MPs had voted noe then it would have been 438 v 39

    So don’t try and blame Swinson or LDEM for handing Boris an early Xmas present!

  46. @LEFTIELIBERAL

    She also can count. Once the SNP had expressed their willingness to go for an early election. Tories+SNP = overall majority, so she lost her bargaining power. The same applied in turn to Corbyn. In the end it was the first party to break from the opposition consensus (the SNP) that dictated events.

    I don’t agree the first group to defect was the 21 Tory rebels and this happened well before the WA.

    The tory rebels went for a legislative approach rather than a GNU from that each side was plying a card with an eye on the election.

    1. Labour knew they would need SNP support even if it was only nod rather than a confidence and supply

    2. LD knew that hey needed to set their USP as the remain party and also had to show that they would not enable Corbyn

    3. SNP said they would support Labour in GNU and would be happy with Corbyn as the leader

    Those position were set before the WA was even seen as a possibility.

    With many of Tory 21 wanting to be Tories and moreover wanting just the idea of a no deal off the table they pushed for the minimum that they could do to get at least the WA approved. I think the tory rebels & ERG basically both backed down to vote for the WA since it does not get you to a FTA at all and the most likely outcome is still a WTO which apparently everyone wanted to avoid

    Essentially, an election is a win-win for the SNP, especially if they can eliminate one of the two major parties in Scotland.

    That I agree, but in truth I think all sides in the remain alliance were never going to be on the same page
    and obviously your point are correct but I suspect it was Tories rebels that broke the alliance form then they did not have enough to do what was necessary to stop no deal.

  47. @TREVOR WARNE

    Without the Tory rebels agreeing to GNU of any kind we end up winding down the clock anyway since the WA was pulled and it was pretty clear that to get another extension there needed to be a change

    So the first rung on the ladder has to be the Tory rebels does it not. Going the legislative route rather than the GNU route was the huge decision.

    The second rung on the ladder was essentially removing the WA bill since it left all side running down the clock and no one wanted to be blamed for running down the clock where as I suspect Johnson would not have minded that because he could blame everyone else for him withdrawing his bill

    ;-)

    The rest is falls in to place since SNP have nothing to lose if Brexit is bad then they can point to Tories and a referendum will be a lock next time

    As you said Labour had no choice but to support it since the alternative is to have an election you did not vote for and the whole chicken argument is headlines in the Sun and the rest of the press

    In the end as I said I would let the WA go as is and use watch him have to sign it and then go into trade negotiations and the issue of an extension coming up in July. My belief is that basically we would have a deal on security and the like and the reest would be essentially WTO so the argument really about AA becomes some what mute as it would most probably cover thing such as security and the like.

    It is why I believe that many of the rebels have resigned since I suspect they have realised they have pushed through no deal no matter what

    So I don’t believe that SNP did anything st00pid, nor do I think that labour did any st00pid I suspect if they did not vote for an election you be saying they were st00pid because they could not count

  48. “(I actually believe he pulled it because he does not want the WA at all but that is another story)”
    @passtherockplease October 31st, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    Are you @DANNY in disguise? :-)

  49. RobbieAlive: Yes, she made good points but I was riled by the misleading view that the Spitfire was designed “to kill Germans.”

    To be accurate, her phrase was “a plane whose purpose was to kill Germans.” Provocative wording, I agree, and counter-productively so as the emotional response should have been predictable. Her point would have been better illustrated by Marston’s Lancaster Bomber bitter than by a defensive fighter, but she was giving an example of exhibits in an exhibition: Spitfire ale was there, not Lancaster bomber.

    Her letter was about how our perceptions of Germans and Germany remain dominated by WW2, and the effects and distortions that flow from this. I think it’s useful to be provoked into pondering why our cultural values allow us to think it’s OK, and a bit amusing, to name beers after killing machines.

    I’m not sure many Brits would be thrilled to hear that a German brewery had launched beers called the Messerschmitt and Focke-Wulf, or U-boat.

  50. @CROSSBAT11
    So my conclusion about the current polling is that the Tories are ahead, but by what margin who knows, and how much these intermittent snapshots are telling us about the future is very dubious. Hence my total scepticism about GE result predictions based on what thepolls are telling us now. Garbage in and garbage out (GIGO) is one the of the very basic rules of IT and statistics in general. Polling addicts ignore this rule at their peril.

    Tend to agree

1 18 19 20 21