The first voting intention polls published since the election was called were in this morning’s papers: Survation for the Mail, Ipsos MORI for the Standard and YouGov for the Times. Topline figures were

Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% (tabs)
Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% (tabs)
YouGov – CON 36%, LAB 21%, LDEM 18%, BREX 13%, GRN 6% (tabs).

There’s quite a spread between the results – Ipsos MORI have the Conservatives up above 40, their highest in any poll since August. YouGov and Survation have them in the mid-thirties. Labour’s support varies between 26% in Survation down to 21% in YouGov. All three have the Lib Dems between 18%-20%. This means while the Conservative lead varies, there is a consistent Conservative lead across the board as we start the campaign.

It’s worth noting that that Tory lead is largely down to a split opposition. Even in the MORI poll the Conservatives have lost support since the election (in the YouGov and Survation polls they’ve lost a lot of support). This is not a popular government – in the MORI poll, their satisfaction rating is minus 55 – it’s just that the main opposition have lost even more support. The healthy Conservative lead is down to the fact that the Conservatives are retaining the bulk of the Leave vote, while the remain vote is split between Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the Greens, the SNP, Plaid and so on.

For as long as this is the case, the Conservatives should do well. If it should change they’ll struggle. If the Brexit party manage to get back into the race and take support from the Tories it would eat into their lead. The other risk for the Tories is if the Remain vote swings more decisively behind either Labour or the Liberal Democrats (or that there are signs of more effective tactical voting, winning seats off the Conservatives despite a split vote). Essentially Boris Johnson needs to keep the Leave vote united and the Remain vote divided.

It is also worth considering how the Conservative lead might translate into seats. In 2017 the Conservative lead over Labour was only two and a half percentage points. You would therefore expect an eight point Conservative lead to translate into a majority, and a fifteen or seventeen point lead to be a landslide. In reality that Survation poll could easily be touch-and-go for a Tory majority and, while the bigger leads would likely get a Tory majority, it may not be landslide territory.

The reason that the Conservatives translated votes more effectively into seats in 2015 and 2017 was to do with the distribution of the vote. The Conservative re-emergence in Scotland meant that Tory votes up there were no longer wasted (but Labour votes increasingly were), the collapse of the Liberal Democrats in the South-West meant that the Tories vote there returned more MPs. If at the coming election we see those trends reverse, and the Conservatives lose seats to the SNP in Scotland and the Lib Dems in the South, then suddenly their votes won’t be translated so effectively into seats, and they’ll need to win more seats off Labour to make up for it.

Right now we have little evidence of how uniform or not the changes in support are, of whether there is evidence of tactical voting (Survation have released a couple of constituency polls they have conducted for the Liberal Democrats showing them doing very well in individual seats, but I don’t think it’s too cynical to imagine that the Lib Dems may have selectively published seats they are doing particularly well in). In the fulness of time I expect we will see the publication of MRP models along the lines of those YouGov conducted in 2017 that may give us a better steer, but I’ll come to that another day.

In the meantime, as we cross the starting line the Conservatives have a clear lead in the polls, but how it translates into seats is unclear. In the polls with the smaller Tory leads, it may not produce a majority at all. Equally, their lead is dependent upon the Leave vote remaining relatively united, and the Remain vote remaining divided, if that changes, the race could end up being far closer.


515 Responses to “The first polls of the campaign”

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  1. As predicted – https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/nov/02/fracking-banned-in-uk-as-government-makes-major-u-turn

    Fracking was never going to be a great win for the UK, and now the realisation has dawned on HMG. With a far too complex base geology and an extremely densely populated country, England was never a great option for fracking.

    Apart from the idea of making a major and highly political policy announcement in an election campaign, it’s another example of the Conservatives wanting to sing along to the tunes of big business rather than voters.

    As an issue, fracking was creating some concern in a handful of Con held seats, which some believed could have electoral consequences. This move, while providing an opportunity to recycle some of Johnson’s embarrassing past statements on fracking, should help to neutralise this problem for Cons, to an extent.

    However, unlike in Scotland and Wales, where fracking is banned, in England this is a moratorium. While the way this has been framed suggests that it is unlikely that fracking could ever be resumed, this isn’t the same as an outright ban.

    Conservative opponents will therefore still be able to use the threat of fracking as a doorstep issue in certain seats, with some justification, and also point to the timing of this announcement with suspicion. Fracking suspended indefinitely six weeks before a GE but not comprehensively banned outright? Another do or die, dead in a ditch, l!e in front of the bulldozers moment?

    Johnson has a problem with trust, so this announcement might not kill off this issue as the government would hope.

  2. I noticed this morning’s news talking about fracking, and compared policies for labour to ban it while for tories to temporarily suspend it.

    But the interesting point was Boris Johnson being quoted as saying he would frack every rock in the country, (something like that).

    I wonder if it will become a problem for him in the campaign if every time he says something, the opposition quotes him having said just the opposite in the past.

  3. @Danny

    I wonder if it will become a problem for him in the campaign if every time he says something, the opposition quotes him having said just the opposite in the past.

    It would be a problem if the opposition gets a platform to publicise the quotes. Johnson’s main weakness is a lack of trust generated by his history. Even his current supporters don’t trust him. He performs badly under hostile interviewing (so this will be minimised as far as possible by Conservative HQ).

    The good thing for him is that the public media is overwhelmingly either in his favour or deferential. Social media will be the only way to get this across to many people, and who trusts social media?

  4. carfrew

    I think that’s what most people miss when they yearn for a “centrist consensus” – there never was one. In lots of ways both Thatcher & Blair were infiltrators in Conservative & Labour parties – what we are seeing now is a choice again.

    If people really liked Thatcher & Blair free market, privatised, outsourced, low tax world, they should vote Lib Dem – but I’m happy to vote for Labour who want more central planning, intervention and safety nets. Might mean higher taxes though. But hopefully better services and infrastructure.

    God knows what the neo Tories want – a return to a feudal system?

  5. just a quick word for those doing predictions based on Welsh seats. At least 34 will be won by Tories or Labour; maximum LD is 2 (0 or 1 are possible); maximum PC is 5 (3 or 4 are also possible) but PC will not go below 3. (for the numbers to add up up 1 seat is a PC/LD marginal)

    1 of their seats is solid as long as people still spk Welsh and the other two are only vulnerable to a massive Labour wave; 2017’s wafer thin majority in Arfon will resort to type now with a comfortable PC win.

    The problem the Tories face in south wales is that many of their target seats are also quite Remain (Bridgend, Gower) and this may play badly for them.

    And finally there is a nasty scandal breaking around Secretary of State Alun Cairns https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-50255710 in the Vale of Glamorgan where his majority is about 3.5% so they could even be in trouble in a seat they hold. He is already very very unpopular with PC voters (and they are third) so if they tactically vote Lab he could be in trouble

  6. Dunham- are you sure your prediction is not a little bit partisan? I think that’s closer to your wish list than a prediction.
    I agree that the Tories are likely to lose 10 in Scotland but in England I see no evidence of their vote sliding. I believe more of the BXP vote will revert to Tory as we get closer to the election. This assumption of mine could be wrong but in the past we have seen the right wing vote strong at EU elections and revert to Tory at General.

  7. @PETE B

    For those who are motivated by such things, it may not matter too much if immigrants are 2nd or 3rd generation, particularly if they don’t speak English very well and stick to customs from their ancestors’ countries. I am not saying that I agree with this, or that it is logical.

    I am surprised that there is many second or third generation immigrant that go through the school system unable to speak english very well, The majority of these communities actually work in the area and speak english. There is a particular issue with wifes being brought from places like Pakistan who have no english and a strict muslim background but the numbers are actually very small.

    I gave the numbers for Rotherham because it is clear that it is not the number of people but the criminal activity of a group of pakistani descendant that were convicted of grooming,

    What I find sad was that my point for each and every town was the lack of skills compared to bristol, I suspect that is the biggest hindrance for each town and immigration or the lack of immigration will not change that issue. But as you say it does not have to be logical it just has to be a reason

    Some of his actions have made me wonder if his real goal is to destroy the Conservatives.

    I think most parties are formed to enhance what the believe are missing priorities in policies. I believe the BXP are a party trying to find niche beyond the issue of the EU, they started out being on the right wing of the Tory party but I suspect they are now trying to court the same Labour leavers that Johnson is after as well as those in the Tory party that are on the right.

    I suspect they are trying to get RedKippers and BluKippers as they were formerly known so I am not sure they want to take over the Tory party per se. I suspect the real issue is that without policies they can do the leave campaign projection of policies to suit all

    @DUNHAM111

    I believe that the alliance is targeting N belfast and I would have given it to them since they were pretty close last time

    @SAM

    The point of the WA for the EU was for Johnson to put is crappy idea on an internal border rather than an external one I think that it will be easier to deliver since as you can see that there is limited ports of entry and it would be less politically siginficant to have extra infrastructure at the ports. Simply put the porblem was better constrained and cheaper to implement

    But as my friend in Irish civil service wrote to me “it is still a pile of sh1t approach but it is their pile of sh1t”

    It is worth looking through the proposal Johnson originally made to understand what may happen

    @STEAMDRIVENANDY

    It’s not Parris’s influence via his Times column that matters, it’s what his move and the many others says about the Tory Party.

    I think that the Parris joining the LD will have little effect on issue, it is a bit like when Tristan Hunt left the labour party to join the V & A museum. It caused a ripple at the time but I suspect it points to his understanding that his views are now of little relevance in the Tory party. as I was pointing out to DANNY, and it appears to be somewhat lost on commentators here other than TREVOR WARNE, this is a reshaping of the Tory party to match their voting intention but primarily to match their members.

    What I find interesting is that move to the left has been well documented in terms of the Labour party but the move to the right has not been touched upon at all. This is a purge which one could say much more brutal than anything done in Labour as I can see it

  8. Steamdrivenandy,
    “It wouldn’t surprise me if LD have a whole list of defectors who they’ll announce one by one on a daily basis, hoping to build a groundswell.”

    I dont know if that is credible, but it would make for quite an extraordinary campaign.

    Just imagine some tory candidates announcing after nominations have closed they are moving to the libs!

  9. A lot of optimism from our LoC posters that we’re going to see an even bigger polling turnaround than in the last election, which in itself was probably the largest polling turnaround in 50 years. We’ll certainly have an interesting campaign if their predictions turn out to be correct.

    ALEC

    It’s worth bearing in mind that pensioner disposable incomes have outstripped those of working households, reforming NI so that it’s payable on all income (including pensions and investments) has become a matter of simple fairness. The average full-time worker pays nearly as much in NI as they do in income tax, for people on lower incomes it represents the largest chunk of their taxes. The NI threshold is £8600-odd, so it would only be better off pensioners who would be subjected to it. It can’t be right that someone making £30000 a year from property gets a £2600 reduction in their tax bill as a 65th birthday present from the government. When you factor in employer’s NI then there’s about £9000 of tax levied on someone working for that income, compared to just £3500 on our 65+ landlord.

    Anyway, as you say it’ll be a brave party who tries to make those changes, but as the population ages and the tax base narrows it will become a necessity.

  10. Hulagu,
    “He [johnson] performs badly under hostile interviewing”

    He was questioned on the TV yesterday. I cant remember what it was now, but I thought his normal waffly style started to come across as evasive as he refused to answer the question as stated. Others come back with a quick clear reply which however answers a different question and so avoids answering. But because of his habitual delay it made him look evasive. Couple that with a track record of completely contradictory statements, and it could go badly.

    The essence of his WA is that far less is agreed in it than the May deal. It got more support by offending fewer people, but only because it decided even less, not because it was a compromise solution. If someone starts working at everythig which is undecided – and contrasting his policy with Farage’s view – he could have some rather sticky moments.

    Farage seems to be on a ‘destroy the conservatives’ campaign. He righly regards them as his chief political enemies. If farage’s true aim in joining the movement against EU membership was to achieve a career goal of becoming prime minister, this would be the way to make it happen. Brexit becomes useless to him as a tool to create a party and achieve high office, if it actually happens.

  11. @DANNY
    People here are sceptical about the Danny theory of conservative strategy, but Parris was one of the first people to say he saw no good outcome for the tory party following the referendum result. I think he said he and some mates strategised all possible outcomes from that point, and none of them were good.

    I think the problem you have with your conspiracy is that there are many conservatives here that support brexit and want it to happen. at the referendum over 64% of Tory voters voted to leave, *0%+ of Tory member voted to leave over 50% of them want a no deal. it is not that I do not agree with you that some people think that the EU vote has left us with only bad options (I agree with that and most remainers do).

    However no matter how you try and square it, I don’t think Johnson is arguing with his cabinet as to how to get out of going through with brexit. There is a mix of motivations that means that brexit is going to happen and Tories want to win the election

    Just think about it if there was a great conspiracy then you would see a lot of MP resigning form all parts of the party. What you are seeing is the the same flight of ‘moderates’ that occured when the blairite could not get Corbyn out. They are leaving the party because they don’t want to be blamed and they have absolutely no influence.

    Whist I think there are people in the Tory party that believe this is going all a bit a bit ‘Pete Tong’. There are those that are flexible in there policy and want to just win

  12. Surely the problem for the Brexit Party is that virtually all their potential candidates will be unknown quantities, starting from square one. Sure they have a high profile leader but will that motivate potential voters enough to have much effect. Or, will their potentials understand that the Tories are the only Leave supporting party with any chance of forming a government?

    Maybe the Brexit Party might fight on a platform that suggests giving them a chance to influence matters in a hung parliament, but that will only work if there are constituencies where they stand a chance of winning. Are there any?

  13. @ ALEC
    “As predicted – https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/nov/02/fracking-banned-in-uk-as-government-makes-major-u-turn

    Hopefully HS2 is next.

    Electric on existing commuter lines first, not some technocrats’ express.

  14. @PTRP

    Re Belfast North, Alliance got 5% last time they have no chance. Their targets are Belfast East and South.

    As to SF the seat would be in play in any event. The almost certain presence of a UUP candidate makes it highly likely to change hands.

    Belfast South is the interesting one for me as it’s a three/ four way where tactical voting could come into play. If it reverts to the SDLP (and in deference to this site there’s little polling evidence of their revival but I have a sneaker for it) then the six elects more nationalists than unionists to Westminster for the first time. Not a big deal in practice (although it’s 1 more remain vote) but quite a metaphor for what Brexit has done to the politics of NI.

  15. danny: Just imagine some tory candidates announcing after nominations have closed they are moving to the libs!

    After nominations close, the LD candidate will be in place, so this would not be welcome to the LD’s. Tories could use it as a spoiler in LD/Lab marginals to knock the LD’s out of contention, but to what benefit?

  16. @PETERW
    Their targets are Belfast East and South.

    yes you are right I got my seats mixed up….which is bad since I lived just of the lIsburn road……

    ;-)

  17. @DANNY
    @SAM

    <i.The essence of his WA is that far less is agreed in it than the May deal. It got more support by offending fewer people, but only because it decided even less, not because it was a compromise solution. If someone starts working at everythig which is undecided – and contrasting his policy with Farage’s view – he could have some rather sticky moments.

    I think you have actually nailed the problem with the WA
    it does not really solve the big issues for the UK it kicks the can down the road to post election. As I believe some said in the past Johnson is doing a May in that she made this about her competence and brexit. I believe that the the one advantage of her campaign is that no one actually cares about competence now.. So just getting brexit done is the new mantra and If I was Johnson I would visit as many hospitals and schools as possible and avoid any interviews at all.

    I would want the debate to be shallow lacking

    @GARJ

    A lot of optimism from our LoC posters that we’re going to see an even bigger polling turnaround than in the last election, which in itself was probably the largest polling turnaround in 50 years. We’ll certainly have an interesting campaign if their predictions turn out to be correct.

    I think the issue has always been that those that are LoC have a love hate relationship with Corbyn there are those that do not want to vote for him because of some of the policies (my ones are that spending a huge amount of money in purchasing the Utilities is not really worth it regulation would suffice in my view. The railways are leased and so when the leases lapse they come back under government control I suppose it is pragmatic but for example the big push on EV and Green new deal for me is a big thing and constitutional reform is another. so I know there is a lot of people who were in the don’t know column so I expect that people who think that Labour will do well believe two things firstly that under 40s will vote Labour as they have done that they will vote smart as again they did and there will be a squeeze on the Liberal and greens. it is plausible and the point is that it does not take much to have a hung parliament which is where I believe is LoC best chance to have of getting what it wants.

  18. @Alec
    Matthew Paris has been a Lib Dem since the 1980s but like Pirates of the 1600s, he only flies the Jolly Roger flag when he believes that it is absolutely safe to do so because victory is nigh. Very many other Lib Dems inside the Tory Party are now flying The Jolly Roger flag at long last. Expect others to do so very soon.
    They may indeed be right that relative victory is at hand. Over one hundred seats and one more heave next GE with possibility of holding balance of power even this time round.
    Quite a comeback from 2014 and 2015.
    Big Jo to get 6 million votes is my best guess pre-her narrative emerging with the public.

  19. My take is the biggest two players in this GE are Big Bad Jo and Nimble Nigel. If Jo cuts through and locks the Unionist (anti-SNP) vote in Scotland AND holds on to the clear Remain means Remain vote in England, Wales and Scotland THEN Corbyn will have led Labour to their Waterloo. If Big Jo becomes the next toxic leader in the style of Ed Miliband, Kinnock, William Hague, Michael Foot, Nick Clegg circa 2015, Henry Bolton, then the Lib Dem vote could be swallowed by Labour. Is The Labour message credible to Remain voters? I do not know.
    If Nimble Nigel can get in the debates, then Boris is weak in a multi-hander. He is much better in speeches and off the cuff street interviews. Corbyn is not great in multi-handers. One good night for Nigel and Brexit could get towards 20% in some polls. At which point Tories could melt down. Boris had a certain win with a pact. Without one he is politically naked and vulnerable fighting on at least two fronts.
    Nimble Nigel’s weakness has been lack of finance for a truly national campaign, lack of data and ground game, not focusing on 40 winnable seats (as Lib Dems always do). But Nigel has now had over 8 million people who have voted for him (in some guise) since 2009. Either local, Euro Poll, by-election, Westminster. They have not done it every election nor yet altogether at the same time. But if you have done it once, it is not unthinkable. The LBC audience reach and the prestige of US President recognising him as a top statesman makes him a bigger player than 2015. He starts at base rate of 4 million votes (2014, 2015) and could get 8 million.
    My guess is that Big Bad Jo will get 6 million votes or more. Nimble Nigel the same. I do not expect with Brexit Party standing in every seat that either Labour and Conservative will break 10 million. I could see one slipping into the 7 million range. This makes hundreds of seats real contests where the 5% local candidate vote factor may be crucial.

  20. Steamdrivenandy,
    “Surely the problem for the Brexit Party is that virtually all their potential candidates will be unknown quantities, starting from square one”

    Thats pretty normal though. The only local politician I have usually ever been aware of is the incumbent MP.

    Passtherockplease,
    “There are those that are flexible in there policy and want to just win”

    The bit of strategy where we seem to most disagree is my contention there is no good brexit. If Brexit goes badly, whoever implemented it will be blamed. The worse it goes, the worse the blame.

    The reason conservative MPs must oppose Brexit is because they lose if it happens.

    This is twofold. There is no reason for leavers to support them on the basis of their belief in brexit if it has already happened. Thats most of their supporters right now. There is no reason for either leavers remainers or neutrals to support them if brexit proves to have been a disaster.

    Con MPs understanding that to achieve brexit is to lose, they have to oppose it. Simultaneously they must be seen to support it but for brexit to be prevented by circumstances beyond their control.

    Quite possibly con MPs who believe in the Uk being outside the EU would still want it to stay in, because it can then be used as a campaigning issue by them to win elections.

    Brexit from start to finish has been an issue used by every faction for political advantage, with precious little to do with the merits of being in or out.

    Jonesinbangor,
    isnt the article you posted over fracking only saying the same thing, trhat the government is introducing a moratorium not a ban?

  21. In Scotland, if the ABSNP voting patterns hold from last time it’s not difficult to see parties both winning and losing seats in Scotland. This is because it is clearer this time who the main challenger to SNP is in a lot of seats.

    E.g.: Tories could lose Gordon, Ochil and perhaps Stirling whilst winning Inverness, Argyll & Bute and the two Ayrshire seats where there is still significant LD and Lab votes to squeeze.

  22. @DANNY

    The bit of strategy where we seem to most disagree is my contention there is no good brexit.

    NO I AGREE WITH on THIS POINT ARRRGH read my post again.

    If Brexit goes badly, whoever implemented it will be blamed. The worse it goes, the worse the blame.

    I AGREE WITH THI POINT, FFS I am a remainer

    The reason conservative MPs must oppose Brexit is because they lose if it happens.

    Yes they may lose in the long term but in the long term lots of other things could happen. By right Labour should have lost after 2003 Iraq invasion went wrong but they did not we acknowledged it was bad but hell 67% of people supported it.

    So just because you and I think that it is barmy and some Tory MP think it is barmy they are in a minority of their party.

    Simply put there is not enough Tory MP, Members or Tory voters that think that brexit is bad. Every poll shows it and the resignation are proving it. The fact you have a premise about brexit does not means that other agree with it Parris agrees with it I suspect Morgan and Rudd agree with it but other are prepared to go with the flow at best and are happy to l1e at worst that is where we are at

    Brexit from start to finish has been an issue used by every faction for political advantage, with precious little to do with the merits of being in or out.

    I have been saying this for ages, I pointed out that Ashcroft basically said the referendum for many people was about the state they felt the country was in rather than anything about the EU

    I think that you misunderstand what I agree with and what I don’t the basic premise you have is that you believe that Tories as a organisation know that brexit will be bad, my view is that even if they did they want to be in power and that not being in power is no help to them

  23. @Nick P

    Yes, I think the gradual loosening of the grip of mainstream media and the rise of social media, blogs etc., is allowing a return to a broader range of views in politics, like we had in the days when more people participated in politics locally, went to political events etc.

    My own view, is that there might be a centre, but it doesn’t necessarily reside within any particular party or ideology. I think many people like some liberalism, but not necessarily ever more of it, and the same applies to socialism, conservatism, greenism etc. etc.

    They want the best bits of each, whereas activists and politicians might keep pressing for more and more of their favoured ideology regardless and to restrict other ideologies. Ideologues might want to keep privatising stuff, or keep nationalising stuff, but the centre would be nationalise some bits, keep others private, depending on what works best. Ideologues might keep pressing for trade more often than others, but the centre might be to be more judicious, promote it where it’s useful and restrict it more where it’s harmful than currently might be the case.

    What’s handy about this way of looking at it, is that it doesn’t favour a particular party or ideology. (Regarding what the Tories want, I’m not sure either. It’s possible some of the Remainers think Boris et al still want lots of free trade, but aligned more with the Anglosphere than the EU?)

  24. @SteamDriveNandy
    “Surely the problem for the Brexit Party is that virtually all their potential candidates will be unknown quantities”
    …………………….……………………………..
    It really ought to be a big problem but it is not and reveals the really big problem in UK politics (or at least non-M25 English politics).
    Even the poster who has least respect for me on this site (it may be a fierce competition) would concede I am active enough to have a good chance of knowing my local candidates for Parliament and my local councillors. However, the big two parties centralising candidate selection has meant I literally have no idea who the Walsall North Labour Party candidate is and no idea who the Walsall South Conservative candidate is. Ditto Aldridge-Brownhills Labour, and the many constituencies which straddle where I live, work, shop, invest, worship, do sport etc. Locally Lib Dems candidates not a clue (although I do know their candidate in Chelsea and other London seats).
    What I do know is that local councillors have almost zip chance of being on the candidate list let alone the candidate. This disconnect between Conservative and Labour West London Central Offices and grassroots activists and voters is a chicken which will soon come home to roost. There are activists and councillors (in confidence) who will not be voting for their party across the West Midlands.
    There is no local media anymore. Local papers gone.
    Having googled it Walsall South which any local Walsall councillor could win for the Conservatives against Valerie Vaz has I think a lady from Gravesend! Probably she would do well in Gravesend but it is a seat the Tories have needlessly thrown away.
    I can not find the Walsall North Labour candidate after a long google search in a knife edge marginal. Maybe they can not find Walsall on a map.
    So although Brexit Party have issues, lack of candidate profile in local constituencies is not one in our anonymous candidate era.
    The parties believe everyone is on Twitter and Facebook. Or everyone will vote for Boris or Jeremy or Nigel or Jo or Leave or Remain.

  25. carfrew – my mate who is a leaver (and stinking Tory) says he voted leave because he believes in free trade and believes the EU is protectionist.

    Which I suppose they are, by definition.

  26. @JONATHAN STUART-BROWN

    I agree that this is rather open however the point that both BXP and LD have to do is persuade the target audience that the other party cannot be trusted

    So for BXP They need to point to Johnson and say is untrustworthy and that we will end up with BRINO he would have to attack the fact that the WA even if signed leaves a rush to get a deal done and either means an extension well beyond 2020 or ‘capitulation’ like he did with the WA sort of thing

    Jo has to persuade enough remainers that just cancelling brexit is OK poticially and or persuade remainer that Labour approach of provisioning a second referendum with remain on the ballot is not really remain and Labour are untrustworthy

    I think that both have positives to their arguments and decided negatives. The timeline for post WA either means NO deal or BRINO in my view those are the only ones that can be done quickly and I think that the EU would not be frightened of No deal since they can defend their markets better so Farage is key issue is actually will the Tories do what is ‘right’

    I think Jo position is much more tenuous, Politically she can get away with cancelling brexit because most know she will not be PM so it is how she can sell that labour are not prepared to support remain and I think that this is much harder to counter. They are offering a referendum on the deal.

    If I was having to sell one or the other I would be more comfortable selling you can trust Boris look at what he did to the unionist……
    Rather than you can’t trust Jeremy he will never give us a people’s vote

    secondly she does not need to be toxic just insignificant and I think that will be the big difference between Farage and Jo. He has more media presence.

    As to the numbers I think Tories have a small majority less than 10 based on polls but I must admit that is a guess and if I was betting

    Tory Majority of greater than 20 10%
    Tory Majority of 10 or less 50%
    Hung parliament 40%
    Labour Majority 0%

  27. @JONATHAN STUART-BROWN

    I agree that this is rather open however the point that both BXP and LD have to do is persuade the target audience that the other party cannot be trusted

    So for BXP They need to point to Johnson and say is untrustworthy and that we will end up with BRINO he would have to attack the fact that the WA even if signed leaves a rush to get a deal done and either means an extension well beyond 2020 or ‘capitulation’ like he did with the WA sort of thing

    Jo has to persuade enough remainers that just cancelling brexit is OK poticially and or persuade remainer that Labour approach of provisioning a second referendum with remain on the ballot is not really remain and Labour are untrustworthy

    I think that both have positives to their arguments and decided negatives. The timeline for post WA either means NO deal or BRINO in my view those are the only ones that can be done quickly and I think that the EU would not be frightened of No deal since they can defend their markets better so Farage is key issue is actually will the Tories do what is ‘right’

    I think Jo position is much more tenuous, Politically she can get away with cancelling brexit because most know she will not be PM so it is how she can sell that labour are not prepared to support remain and I think that this is much harder to counter. They are offering a referendum on the deal.

    If I was having to sell one or the other I would be more comfortable selling you can trust Boris look at what he did to the unionist……
    Rather than you can’t trust Jeremy he will never give us a people’s vote

    secondly she does not need to be toxic just insignificant and I think that will be the big difference between Farage and Jo. He has more media presence.

    As to the numbers I think Tories have a small majority less than 10 based on polls but I must admit that is a guess and if I was betting

    Tory Majority of greater than 20 10%
    Tory Majority of 10 or less 50%
    Hung parliament 40%
    Labour Majority 0%

  28. our public schoolboy team just lost

  29. Oh dear, so no Cricket and Rugby World Cup double triumph this year. A poor game played entirely on South Africa’s terms and they duly won comfortably. Off to watch the round ball version of Football this afternoon. Train soon then a few pre-match tinctures in the Holte pub with the usual crowd before, I hope, a win against the mighty Liverpool. Age old Saturday afternoon ritual and I’m looking forward to it. Football; always has and will be my first love.

    @GarJ

    “A lot of optimism from our LoC posters that we’re going to see an even bigger polling turnaround than in the last election, which in itself was probably the largest polling turnaround in 50 years. We’ll certainly have an interesting campaign if their predictions turn out to be correct.”

    You’re sort of making the case against your argument in your own words. The fact that an even bigger polling turnaround than the one required this time occurred only 2 years ago proves two things. The volatility of the electorate and the unreliability of opinion polls.

    Accordingly, it’s perfectly possible for such a turnaround to occur again.

  30. I suspect Boris was intending a very credible hugger mugger photo call with the England Rugby team this week. Their limp loss is his lost PR feelgood opportunity.
    Of course he can always bounce back and announce he is a lifelong Liverpool FC fan!

  31. @Nick P

    “our public schoolboy team just lost”

    Expect vicious backlash very soon.

    I’m off to the Soccer (sic)!

    :-})

  32. @passtherockplease
    Excellent post.

  33. @NICKP

    I think South Africa just out played them and they were chasing the game. This year there has been big interest in Rugby from the black population because of the fact that captain is black. As anyone who know South Africa will tell you Black normally don’t have any interest in Rugby they are Football mad though

    In fairness I was surprised that they won myself but I don’t know much about Rugby

    I did note that Matt Dawson saying that no one in the SA team would make it in the England team which I can say from their performance today was complete rubbish.

    lastly as an English person and help in representative basketball I would note we seem to take pride in complete strangers who have nothing in common with us just because the come from the same geographic location and yet we seem to be happy rubbish same people who come form the same geographic location in the next breath

    Anyway I did not kick any penalties or score any tries nor did I knock on or any of that rubbish. So I am left in awe of the physicality and the skill of both sides.

    Congratulations to South Africa

  34. @crossbat11
    Football; always has and will be my first love.
    …………………….………..
    Confession time. I fell in love with the M5. I thought it would last forever. I left the M5 for a younger model, the M40, in 1990. It was my fault. The romance has gone out of the relationship with the M40. We often avoid each other. I am on constant look out for a new motorway. I may soon be on Victoria Derbyshire to discuss my addiction.

  35. @ RAF

    Workington poll is small sample but it does look typical of that part of the world. Number 53 Labour defence and it’s at risk.

    What’s interesting in the tables (again small samples but look believable) is a) the number of 2017 Lab voters who are now saying they will vote Tory (15%) and BXP (10%) and b) the number of Lab 2017 undecideds. The lowest group of 2017 Lab switchers is to LD (5%).

    Personally I think most of those undecideds will be back in the Labour camp but it still puts them only level with Tories assuming no other movements (BXP to Tory for example) and that all of them do.

    In terms of the Lab to Tory vote- what possible reason other than Brexit could there be for these people to have moved across?

    As with the 1980’s where Tories found an issue to dip into the core Labour vote in the South and Midlands (Sale of council houses, tax cuts), they have now found another issue that works for the North.

    If you believe that Survation poll, Labour backing remain any more than they have done will not save this seat.

  36. Too wet for the allotments today, so just for amusement my own first estimate of seat outcome in MOG’s game:
    Con 350
    Lab 195
    LD 35
    SNP 47
    Grn 2
    PC 3
    DUP 9
    SF 8
    Ind 1
    Conservative majority 50, but working majority 58 assuming SF don’t sit again.

    Well done South Africa, one game too many for England sadly.

  37. Wiki are keeping track of leader approval ratings and an important one to watch in next batch of polls will be Farage.

    IF (big IF) Leavers turn against him then BXP VI will probably follow and we’ll be into a UKIP’17 scenario (and more chance of pulled or paper candidates) but IF (equally big IF) his approval ratings stay around here, or go up then that will be a real problem for Boris.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leadership_approval_opinion_polling_for_the_2019_United_Kingdom_general_election

    NB Some of the graphs are out of date but it’s easy to copy+paste the data and start keeping track of any “trend” (remember Corbyn had a huge turn around in approval ratings going into GE’17)

    PS Historically there is quite a high correlation between leader approval ratings and VI. All parties seem to putting a lot of emphasis on their leader (and the failings of the other leaders). Having 4 (+NATS) leaders is somewhat different to historic “two horse races” so I’d keep a close eye on the Remain/Leave x-breaks.

  38. Garj

    These pages speak eloquently of the dreary prospect that would await us.

    But I agree-it could happen. Not confident at all that Johnson can pull this off.

  39. @Garj – yes, I agree entirely regarding differential taxes on pensioners.

    I’ve said for a very long time that the shrinking of the tax base is our biggest problem, as it loads higher burdens onto those already paying.

    Personally I’m not in favour of the drive to lift the tax threshold, but would prefer a lower threshold and a much lower starting rate, as I don’t think it’s a good idea to create a client group of low earners willing to vote for big spending but not paying income tax, and I also favour broader taxation of assets, inheritance, etc, with consequent reductions in rates on income based taxes.

    But I wouldn’t say this six weeks before an election…..

  40. YG article and poll:

    “Leave voters don’t blame Boris Johnson for missing Brexit deadline”

    https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2019/11/01/leave-voters-dont-blame-boris-missing-his-brexit-d

  41. SDA
    Re Brexit Ltd candidates, from experience many voters turn up at the polling station and ask us to tell them which one is nice Mr Farage’s lot, often they are confused because his name isn’t on the ballot paper. We’re not allowed to tell them, so they often get quite agitated and sometimes even aggressive and abusive, which is the closest I get to being abused politically and ironic because I’m being strictly neutral.

    I’m not making any predictions as they will only be wishful thinking. My gut feeling is that the Tories will win, whether by a handful of seats or a landslide I have no idea. I hope to be wrong.

  42. @SHEVII

    Agreed with your prognosis. The one thing that could be said is that these types of seats will be tight.

    @SAM

    This is pretty interesting with respect to ASDA

  43. @ Alec & Garj

    Apologies for intruding a personal note.

    Agreed. As a well-off pensioner the deductions from my income are ridiculously low. No NI, ISAs, allowances for interest & dividend payments, v low dividend tax, freebies. I should be paying considerably more.

    But as you say,no party is going to go for increased taxes on 65+ in this election.

    The other grossly unfair element in the tax system (you may disagree) is the £40+ billion cost of pension tax-relief, which is massively skewed towards those most able to save for pensions. During my later career, all my pension contributions were 40% relieved: the enusing pensions are taxed at 20%!

    Reform here would be a better bet for Labour, but given how dim the electorate is about the incidence of Inheitance Tax, I’m sure this would be twisted by the Tories & media into a reform hitting everyone.

  44. @Danny
    As I understand it from people who have worked with Farage since 1990, since 1997, since 2004, and more recently, he started off just wanting the Conservative Party to reform. To be out of the EU so that no minister ever has to be told, ‘You cannot do that minister because it is illegal under EU law’. He wanted low to zero business regulations, very low tax, to get the economy moving. 99.9% of time and money spent on recruitment could be done away with if you can hire and fire easily. Employers take a chance. People get chances instantly and easily and regularly. New businesses can take off and become big employers. Now you can think this as nonsense or embrace it, but it was Farage’s view and still is.
    He never wanted to be in the limelight but the backroom fixer and string puller.
    Over time and frustration with a series of duff leaders, he decided to temporarily give it a go. But his only desire was to be a back bench MP saying what he thought. Influencing the government but not in daily detail and Red Box management. Not 24-7 scrutiny of his family and private life.
    Now his frustration, distrust and anger with Tory Party and their tame media attacks on him has grown into pure rage. But his baseline is still that he will be an MP, keep his media work and private life, if the Tories will deliver No Deal Brexit and real UK independence. He does not want to be PM (which Boris and many other Tories do) but he wants a Thatcherite economic policy and smaller government. He and Boris are ironically very close on being liberal on social, moral, religious, law and order issues. Neither are close to the hardcore Brexit Party and Leave vote on these but so far it has been moot while leaving the EU dwarfs all.
    In so far as Farage ever wants to be PM, it is for a day or a half-day a month. He would happily do a Deputy PM (for prestige) role if he did not have to do much more than a media interview every two weeks with no scrutiny in between. He is the classic 19th hole golf club semi-retired Chairman not a CEO. But he really sincerely wants the UK out of the EU. He really detests the organisation. He likes flying and fishing.
    He might be better off having a hobby such as being a football fan, and following Villa for example would take his mind off a lot of things which agitate him about being in the EU.
    So far he has led the most successful pressure group of the last 70 years. If we left the EU on No Deal, he would settle for that.

  45. Correction to my numbers i should have said SNP 50.

  46. Survation Workington tabs (opens up excel sheet):

    https://t.co/kN9O8YJhpl

    Small poll, etc, etc but they ask some additional questions (eg for voters not stating party X as their VI then would you consider voting for them (ie gives us an idea of potential tactical voting))

    Would consider (net)

    CON: 41% (-10%)
    LAB: 25% (-44%)
    LDEM: 29% (-37%)
    BXP: 29% (-32%)

    Best PM (worth checking the x-breaks on that one!)

    Boris: 52%
    Corbyn: 11%
    Swinson: 11%
    DK: 25%

    Most important issue: Brexit
    Best policy on Brexit: Boris

    PS Electoral Calculus see CON winning but by a smaller margin (2.8%) than the Survation poll (11%)

  47. @TOH

    Your original numbers add up correctly to 350. If you want to increase SNP by 3 you need to adjust others accordingly. Cheers.

  48. @ JSB

    “The romance has gone out of the relationship with the M40.”

    You’re right. The M40 was great at the start, particularly on romantic dark nights before it had overhead lights and you couldn’t see another car for miles.

    I’ve recently had to resort to the A34 on occasions (or rather A3400, but I’ll always think of it as the A34). Sometimes the old ones are the best.

  49. I take your point about anonymous candidates JSB. I do happen to know our LD candidate as we’ve exchanged occasional emails.

    Our Hard Remain Labour sitting MP is giving up and I have no idea who the replacement candidate is, or who is the Tory candidate. As Labour won by just 30 votes or so in 2017, tactical voting has to be the way and I hope the LD candidate forgives me. Having said that, he could well vote Labour himself in the circumstances.

    I’d have a much lighter heart voting Labour if it wasn’t led by Corbyn and his acolytes.

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