The British Election Study have released their data from the election campaign waves today – one large wave straight after the election was called, a wave of daily rolling polls from throughout the campaign itself and a third large wave conducted straight after the campaign. All three of these datasets were collected online by YouGov (the face-to-face element of the BES is still to come). If you’re au fait with stats software like SPSS, Stata or R the raw data is available for download on the British Election Study site here.

There’s already some analysis of the data by the BES team here (a longer version of the article you may have seen on BBC this morning), focusing on how people changed their votes between 2015 and 2017, and between the beginning and end of the election campaign.

The article breaks down 2015 vote by Remainers and Leavers. Looking at how 2015 voters who backed Leave ended up voting in 2017, the Conservatives kept the vast majority of their 2015 leave voters and picked up over half of the 2015 UKIP vote (as well as a chunk of Labour Leavers). The collapse of UKIP wasn’t all to the Conservatives’ favour though, 18% of UKIP Leavers ended up moving to Labour.

Turning to the Remain vote, Labour were the clear victor: around a third of 2015 Tories who voted remain drifted away from the party, either to Labour or to the Lib Dems, but Labour also picked up a chunk of the 2015 Lib Dem vote and most of the 2015 Green vote. Of course, while this is easy to view through the prism of Brexit, that doesn’t necessarily mean Brexit was the main driver (to give an obvious example, yes – a large proportion of Green Remain voters moved to Labour… but a large proportion of the 2015 Green vote had already moved to Labour before the referendum, presumably as a result of the direction Jeremy Corbyn had taken the party).

More interesting is the movement during the campaign itself. 19% of people changed how they would vote between the start and the end of the campaign. This is not in itself unusual – in 2015 the figure was 17%, and according to the BES team it was higher in 2010 and 2005. The difference in 2017 is that this movement was overwhelmingly in favour of the Labour party, whereas at previous elections the churn largely cancelled itself out. Hence during the campaign we can see significant numbers of Tory votes, Lib Dem voters and, most of all, don’t knows moving towards Labour, but very little movement away from Labour.

In terms of explanations for the movement – while the voters Labour attracted during the campaign were those you’d expect to be the most receptive (that is, tending to be opposed to a hard-Brexit and left-leaning), the most obvious movement was on leadership ratings, that sharp collapse in Theresa May’s ratings and the steady increase in Jeremy Corbyn’s, and those people who moved to Labour during the campaign were also those who displayed the biggest increase in their perceptions of Jeremy Corbyn.

Ed and Chris’s full article is here.


372 Responses to “British Election Study release their campaign data”

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  1. I’m surprised there has been no analysis of the effect of three terrorist attacks on the GE campaign and possibly the result. It’s totally unprecedented for an election campaign to have three attacks.

  2. With apologies to Waterhouse & Hall:

    It isn’t Jeremy Corbyn. It’s just a fellah.

    Back to lurking :-)

  3. @CambridgeRach

    True. Anthony pointed out at the time that while they weren’t tracking VI that much during the campaign, they did track approval regularly and you could clearly see an impact as the first event occurred, with Labour and Corbyn’s steady rise in approval going into reverse temporarily.

  4. @Donald

    “He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughy boy!!” Etc.

  5. Carfrew

    Most people seem to forget that the election campaign started off with the Westminster terror attack. Not sure if the election had already been called or it was soon after

  6. @CambridgeRach

    Must admit I thought the first event was a few days into the campaign, checking Labour’s momentum resulting from the manifesto leak etc. but maybe I’m mis-rememberimg…

  7. Carfrew just checked, the Westminster attack was a month before May called the election. Don’t know why I thought they were closer together.

  8. The Tory campaign wasn’t brilliant, but neither was it the unmitigated disaster it’s been made out to be by some. The Tory vote rose significantly on 2015, and held up (and increased a little more) throughout the campaign – despite the foibles and embarrassing mishaps. It was only in the last 2 weeks that their VI looked like is was beginning to slip. At nearly any other election in recent times this would have been celebrated as a major achievement. The only problem was that Labour and Corbyn did even better.

  9. CARFREW
    “. Was Labour’s improvement really down to Brexit, or the increase in Corbyn’s ratings once people got to see more of him, plus positive response to the manifesto?”

    Beyond this set of specific policy issues the growing evidence,, partly that of the polls, but more generally that of discourse and public and “institutional” and responsesthat of informed commentary to policy management by the Tory party in government – for example that of expert cross-party opinion and the review of facts in Parliamentary Migration Advisory Committee and in HOC Home Affairs Committee hearings – has been that of the ungrounded adoption of protectionist and anti-migrant rhetoric and policy statements and proposals,including those underlying the Government’s position in Brexit negotiations, which are contrary to the country’s economic interests and, increasingly to public awareness and opinion. This has also increasingly appeared to demonstrate incompetence and specifically a failure to have maintained and to base policy on research, both on the domestic aspects of migration (where studies done during 2015 and 2016 in the context of EU derived benefits in the demographic, production and employment basis of membership and on the domestic function of migration in social and economic development were significanly in favour of remaining in the EU, and were largely neglected in the campaign) and more widely in the loss of research capacity in international relations. Both signalled a failure of competence and a loss of direction in government.
    This is not the widely touted loss of trust in the establishment experienced also in the rest of Europe and the US – it is an evidence-based sense of a clapped out and incompetent government and of a poliitical philosophy which must be replaced.

  10. PETE B
    “So there was not a movement of support away from the Conservatives at all.”

    In % terms, compared to their polling numbers at the start of the campaign, they lost support, which almost entirely went Labour’s way. At the point the GE was called there was widespread expectation of a humungous landslide. In the end they even lost the majority. I dont think you can realistically say that doesnt represent a movement away from the Conservatives. Reality is it was a disastrous showing by TM that puts her party in a far worse position than before.

    CARFREW
    “Was Labour’s improvement really down to Brexit, or the increase in Corbyn’s ratings once people got to see more of him, plus positive response to the manifesto?”

    I dont think it was actually either of these. The big shift was primarily due to the implosion of the Tory campaign and strategy coupled with some staggeringly awful policies like the dementia tax and taking away children’s free school lunches.

  11. Election Campaign

    Let me say that i do not regard the Tory campaign as anything other than as one that never got off the ground. TM was not presidential and was found to be shy and limited publicly.
    Having said that, and as i annoyed many during the campaign by pointing out, the Tory shield wall held very well and in the abstract the tories would have settled with 42% at the start of it.
    But it has almost become almost the blairite orthodoxy that TM lost the campaign and Corbyn did not win it. I disagree.

    a. Corbyn was an excellent campaigner honed by doing exactly that for the previous 2 years;
    b. His poor image prior to the campaign allowed for an exaggerated bounce when the public decided that he wasnt that bad after all;
    c.the Labour campaign was fresh, well directed and planned. The big meetings, the launch of the leaked uncosted manifesto was skillful. The ancillary use of the social media was ground breaking at least in the UK. The Tories were fighting the last campaign whereas Labour moved on and ambushed them;It also motivated the ground war workforce which was crucial. Jezza was the inspiration for this group.
    d. The manifesto and associated promises offered a lot to the many and to all social groups. It was the sort of manifesto that only a party that was sure it would lose could produce. However,it took nerve not to produce the usual blairite pap and jezza deserves credit. It also contrasted with the tour of the dungeon being offered by the Tories.
    e. where Jezza was fortunate was that the electorate is very volatile at present and perhaps more importantly there are voter groups that have emerged since the refereendum who have come out to vote and will vote it seems for the party that gives them what they want. In addition he was able to harvest the anti brexit southern AB vote
    f. He was also fortunate in that the electorate does not seem to respond to the dog whistle of the establishment. Project fear has weakened the power of the threat campaign. Thus Jezza was able to brush off the I*A and trident,the monarchy and te**r**m wheres he would not have been able to do 5 years previous.

    All in all my summary is that TM did not achieve her majority not because a large %of the electorate did not support her policies but because those who did not co-allessed with those who liked a genuine
    Labour manifesto and an affable leader and responded to a well run and innovative campaign.
    If he had exhibited political cowardice and put forward blairite agenda TM would be sitting on a 150 majority today.

    However, it should be remembered that even as i praise him it should be remembered that he did actually lose. Only blair has won for labour since 1975!

  12. BALDBLOKE

    “The big shift was primarily due to the implosion of the Tory campaign and strategy coupled with some staggeringly awful policies like the dementia tax and taking away children’s free school lunches.”

    This is demonstrably wrong; or at least a gross oversimplification.

    Per the BES analysis (from what I remember – read it last night), Labour made gains from all parties over the course of the campaign. A Tory implosion doesn’t square with either that or their eventual 40%+ vote share.

    The only sensible explanation is that something caused proactive movement to Labour from both Cons and minor parties. It being Brexit doesn’t square with Labour making gains from Lib Dems, besides a few tactical, whilst advocating a pro-Brexit position.

    As far as I can see, through my slightly red lens, the gains Labour made were due to:

    a) The public already knowing all Corbyn’s worst traits (they were ‘costed in’);
    b) Labour being seen, by the end, as a viable alternative government.

    My explanations for the gains might be wrong – but I’m afraid your own can’t possibly be right, or at least don’t reflect in any way the evidence we have to hand.

  13. S THOMAS
    “It also contrasted with the tour of the dungeon being offered by the Tories.”

    That make me laugh.

    “Only blair has won for labour since 1975!”
    Quite. Something Corbyn’s Labour would do well to remember.

  14. Kester.

    I think you are right with your a and b.

    Perhaps, though, LD leaning remainers for whom Brexit was the biggest issue decided Labours implied softer Brexit was better voting for than a wasted LD vote in most seats.

    Also, I do think the narrow Brexit focus cost the Tories some traction.

  15. @Carfrew

    “it’s a stretch to say Remainers suddenly came over to Labour due to Brexit, when in the campaign you clearly saw a rise associated with Corbyn’s ratings etc.”

    Let me explain a concept to you called ‘critical thinking’.

    In the BES piece that we’re supposed to be discussing, chart one shows the answer to the question “as far as you’re concerned, what is the SINGLE MOST important issue facing the country at the present time?”

    See the really, really big word? Now, I know you think it says ‘Evil Blairites’, but actually it says ‘Brexit’.

    That means the electorate was really interested in Brexit. Not how vividly the light shines from Corbyn’s fundament.

    See the much smaller, but more visible words around it? They’re the other things the electorate say they were interested in.

    Can you see two words that aren’t there? ‘Jeremy’ and ‘Corbyn’? (they are actually in the cloud, but they’re really small)

    That means one of two things. One is that the entire electorate is deliberately lying about how much they now love Jez now the MSM and the PLP have stopped being quite so evil. I appreciate that that is your explanation, but I prefer the second one – which is that they actually considered the issues stated to be more important than the godly magnificence of Jeremy and the wicked conspiracy to obscure it.

    Now, let’s explain to you another concept in polling – the ‘post-hoc rationalisation’.

    What the electorate tend to do is choose a leader who is right about everything, ever, and then decide that all the things that the leader says is what they wanted all along and that anyone who dissents is a heretic unbeliever. Oh, hang on, my mistake. That’s what *you* seem to think they do. Most people don’t do that.

    What they tend to do is they consider the stances on issues that matter to them most and then decide that the leader who they feel most closely represents those stances is the one that they like the best.

    What all the evidence suggests is not what you want it to show, which is that the electorate suddenly said ‘Wow, Jez is great after all now everyone is no longer engaged in a massive conspiracy to do him down by reporting the things he does and says’.

    What seems to have happened is that the Labour-voting electorate looked at Labour’s policies, and particularly their stance on Brexit, and said ‘wow, this manifesto isn’t bad, perhaps Corbyn might be worth a punt’, and that is what the evidence very strongly shows.

    The good news is that this still shows that Labour did well! They put out a manifesto that people liked and voted for! Jeremy Corbyn gets loads of credit! He’s really great!

    The bad news is that when you say “it’s a stretch to say Remainers suddenly came over to Labour due to Brexit”, you’re wrong. Occam’s Razor makes it the clearest answer from the data we have.

  16. Alec
    Loved your spinning of the good manufacturing PMI yesterday, good try.
    I would just point out that while the EU economies are on the whole doing better than the UK at the moment, in most cases it is that they are catching up on growth having been tardy behind the UK after 2008.
    I would also point out that there are signs that the growth in the EU is losing a little momentum now. I would argue we are at slightly different points in the economic cycle.

    Carfrew
    Nice try, but waaaasy off base unfortunately.
    Sea Change actually posted
    ” People have pointed out that Labour MPs were openly campaigning on the canceling of historic student debt (videos available) and Corbyn’s statement that he would “deal with it”.

    It wasn’t a nice try it was correct.

    More importantly wasn’t that a great win and what a way to finish it!!! Looking forward to Friday’s cricket.

  17. @S THOMAS

    overall I agree with the conclusion but

    a. Corbyns success was dictated on two things, an end to Labour infighting whereby the the labour right used the media to effectively create a party in chaos and therefore the issue was to move on to comparing May to Corbyn, which ironically was the aim of the Tory campaign

    Imagine if you still had Labour MP resigning live on the BBC. The election stopped all of that. the Blairites did not want to be blamed for the labour loss and paradoxically meant the one advantage the Tories had of the opposition being in more disarray than themselves was lost

    If you take the idea that corbyn had been campaigning for two years. basically you would have said that he had failed until the election if you look at the council results for example he was no where near the figures 41%. Labour unity was biggest difference in the run up to the election for both parties.

    b. I think that actually those that cared would not vote for him those that didn’t looked at policy. It would be clear that a well in the top five reason for voting Tory would have been Corbyn himself and indeed in some Labour constituencies which moved the labour Walsall North being an example Corbyn did not play well.

    c. Both manifestos were uncosted indeed one of the more interesting part of the change in the media was how the Tories manifesto was as well scrutinised as Labours. The IFS pilloried both I do not remember that even being a statement in GE2015. I think the broadcast media grew some balls basically and held both side to account better.

    d. It is funny, The leave campaigned offered sunny upland and unicorns and own, Cameron promised sunny upland and unicorns and won. Trump offered sunny upland and unicorns and one. Remain offered on vision of the future, May offered no vision of the future Clinton offered no vision of the future. All three losing campaigns were sold on predication of people wanted a safe solution. This form of incrementalism lost. it was a failure of the incumbency, you can offer change since you are the government and if you do you can only get away with it for so long

    e. I don’t think the electorate is as volatile as people suggest
    two narratives are at play here. There is a strong social conservative versus social liberal battle going on. view on hanging seem to mirror views on brexit. I am always minded by the fact that whilst the Tories are credited with gay marriage over half of all Tory MPs voted against it. I find it laughable that the Scottish Tory leader seeks to portray the DUP as a threat to her rights hwereas her own party’s MP if left to their own devices would not have given it ito her either.

    f. Agreed but this was always about what vision that people ant to project. it is often a combination of negativity and positivity. In GE2015 Miliband was seen as unelectable as Corbyn (which is interesting how the world changes) My view is that we have that view in mind despite having no evidence of the same. The point of the situation is that orthodxy has not really delivered and incumbency is often blamed. I think it is classic oppositions do not win elections government loses them.

    The tories won the popular vote by 2.4% paradoxically the fact that they got 42.4% of the vote is not the story here it is that labour got 40%. The fact that satisfaction of our current situation is at a all time low often means that most elections and referenda could be seen in that light

    Lord Ashcrofts book on the EU referendum had this commentary on the situation:

    “whatever was printed on the ballot paper the question large numbers of voters heard and the answer they gave had nothing much to do with the European Union … ultimately, the question many saw was: ‘Are you happy with the way things are and the way they seem to be going?’ And their answer was: ‘Well, since you ask … no'”.

    This I believe was an election where a significant proportion of the population said they were not happy with the way things were going.

  18. I think too many people take “Brexit” as a literal policy stand point. It isn’t. It’s a token, a symbol, for over-all world view. There was an interesting poll (which I now cannot find) that illustrated this perfectly; remainers were more likely to have positive thoughts about the internet, about feminism, about LGBT rights and were generally more metropolitan. Brexiters were more likely to be culturally conservative, value the imperial history of Britain, etc. The thing they were closest to agreeing on was their uncertainty on the benefits of capitalism and globalism.

    This, alongside the pretty obvious lack of a vision for what Brexit means or entails (both when the Ref was held, during the election, and generally) suggests that Brexit and Remain are more about your underlying values than the EU. This issue is just the current dichotomy those values are being viewed under. That’s why so many Remainers can feel comfortable voting for Corbyn’s Labour; the party may not have a cohesive position on the EU but they do embody metropolitan values much more than the Tories. And the creation of two camps (Brexit and Remain) benefited the two main parties as it could be used to mirror their opposition to each other (to the detriment of LD, Greens and UKIP).

    Brexit is a complicated and complex issue, but many Brexiters want to reduce it to “Leave means leave” or “Brexit means Brexit”. But as we keep seeing with issues like Euratom, there are layers that many average voters would never have known about, let alone consider when casting their vote. So the Brexit position is not one of clear policy (the multiple No True Scotsman’s of different Brexiters positions shows this as well) but one of ideology / values. And that’s fine. But it completely changes how we should consider VI and party affiliation.

  19. @Chris Riley

    Thanks for the childishly patronising spiel, but I’ve said myself in tha part that people ‘say’ they’re very interested in Brexit.

    As we have seen before, people may be fooling themselves. They even fool themselves over who they voted for. Or, they are ‘shy’ about things. Don’t want to give a selfish reason. So additional indicators ideally are required.

    Secondly, as several have said, Brexit was likely already priced in anyway, it’s the changes during the campaign that need explaining,

    So just because people are interested in Brexit, that doesn’t mean that Corbyn’s sudden rise in approval is die to Brexit, or that the positive polling on tuition fees is due to Brexit.

    When it comes to critical thinking, you have issues with correlation and causation etc.

  20. The BES makes clear the fundamental mistake May made in calling the election; she saw Tories on 45%, Labour on 25% and assumed that meant Labour voters had swung to the Tories. In reality, they’d mostly swung to Undecided, and swung back from there once Corbyn proved himself. Combined with Labour picking up enough of the UKIP votes, and crushing the Greens, they were able to close the gap. The trade in remain Tory/leave Labour voters cancelled each other out, and Lib-Lab tactical voting did the rest.

    The British polling habit of removing undecideds from the headline figures artificially bumps up leads; in the US they only remove “refuse” and “wouldn’t vote”, and report the Undecideds separately. This seems to me a better way to show the data, as it gives you an idea of the uncertainty of the poll; The polls at the start of the campaign showing a 20 point lead were actually more like a 15 point lead with 20 undecided.

    My lesson from the election is to pay more attention to undecideds.

  21. @ToH

    “It wasn’t a nice try it was correct.”

    ———-

    It may have been correct, my point was that it was a straw man. The statement does not prove dodginess as claimed. Corbyn did say he’d deal with it but didn’t leave it that ambiguous, he gave more explicit info about what he meant, showing that he didn’t mean clear are the debt. Not dodgy at all.

    Furthermore, as I said, most weren’t influenced by it anyway.

    Thirdly, the statement wasn’t necessrily correct, since as I pointed out he used the plural and thus far only one example has been posted.

    Fourthly, even worse, Sea Change was posting in the context of explaining Corbyn’s rise, as if the idea that people fell for clearing all the debt was a factor, quoting on the matter. But as I pointed out, polling indicates most weren’t taken in by the idea all the debt would be cleared.

    So your quibble is most unhelpful. You just repeated Sea Changes assertion ignoring all the counters. Cricket was good though.

  22. @Baldbloke

    “I dont think it was actually either of these. The big shift was primarily due to the implosion of the Tory campaign and strategy coupled with some staggeringly awful policies like the dementia tax and taking away children’s free school lunches.”

    —————

    Already dealt with. You’d expect a poor campaign to collapse the Tory vote ahead of boosting Labour’s, but Tory vote, although it reduced, didn’t exactly implode. Some of the “losses” we’re polling errors anyway.

    Secondly, it’s a real stretch to say that issues with Dementia tax caused people to like policies on tuition fees.

    Thirdly, as I’ve said, you can even argue that the Dementia tax issue may have ultimately helped the Tories once they u-turned, since it may have stoked fears Lacour might do worse.

  23. “If you take the idea that corbyn had been campaigning for two years. basically you would have said that he had failed until the election if you look at the council results for example he was no where near the figures 41%. Labour unity was biggest difference in the run up to the election for both parties”

    ———

    Indeed that helped, but don’t ignore the fact that prior to the election Corbyn had to keep his powder dry on policies, since if in opposition it’s easier for the governing party to act to steal or neuter them. This will artificially depress his vote.

  24. CHRIS RILEY

    “‘Wow, Jez is great after all, now everyone is no longer engaged in a massive conspiracy to do him down by reporting the things he does and says’.”

    V. droll.

    The arguments/debate over “reasons” seem a bit like trying to figure out whether one footy team won a match because they payed well or the other team played badly.

    In reality it’s all part of the same thing But one, of a number of reasons, that some of the electorate looked at Labour/Corbyn [or Corbyn/Labour if you prefer] has to have been the Tory manifesto.

    It was shockingly empty, and common sense therefore suggests that the electorate must therefore have been tempted, after its damp squib release, to look at the more positive alternative that Labour had already produced.

    I am also tempted to think that, although [more’s the pity] the electorate can’t make voting decisions as a bloc, some sort of group intuition may be at play in these situations.

    So it could just be that, paradoxically, for a significant number of voters, the fact that there was “no chance Corbyn could become PM” mantra, gave them the freedom to vote Labour – and therefore reduce the prospect of five years of Tory domination.

    But, however one tries to analyse this stuff, in the end it is all both complex and interlocked.

    [And Labour lost.]

  25. @Chris Riley

    “The bad news is that when you say “it’s a stretch to say Remainers suddenly came over to Labour due to Brexit”, you’re wrong. Occam’s Razor makes it the clearest answer from the data we have.”

    ——–

    You’re in marketing and are making typical marketing errors. Here you are misusing Occam’s razor. The simplest explanation is not that people were concerned about Brexit hence unaccountably suddenly liked policies on tuition fees.

    The simplest explanation is that they just liked the policy on tuition fees. Did you study hard science? Because your making errors even the average hard scientist would not make. (An Oxford interview tests one’s abilities in this regard way beyond the errors you are making too.)

  26. @Paul Croft

    “V. droll.”

    ——–

    And flawed. You keep saying “droll” in response to comments to me, even when they are wrong. Like Colin’s comment about being serially offended. Not only was this not true, it was a projection because he keeps complaining of being hounded and stuff when someone just politely differs. And then leaves it even as he carries it on.

  27. @Carfrew

    The simplest explanation is that there is no simple explanation. People changed their minds for a variety of reasons – Brexit, Manifestos, seeing Corbyn in action not through the filter of the right-wing press, who they thought had the nicest haircut, fake news, May not showing up to the debates, etc etc.

    Trying to reduce it to one reason is doomed to failure; better to say that the campaign as a whole went better for Labour than expected, and worse than expected for the Tories, and there were a lot more undecided voters at the start of the campaign than people gave credit for.

  28. @Paul Croft

    “In reality it’s all part of the same thing ”

    ——-

    People have been at pains to point out that it probably isn’t. That Brexit is not likely responsible for things like positive polling on tuition fees etc.

    And yes, it is tricky to attribute, as in footy, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

    This is why people like to do it, because it’s a challenge.

  29. @Barny

    “The simplest explanation is that there is no simple explanation.”

    ——–

    Very zen!! But sorry, have to disagree, people liking a policy because they liked it is pretty simple.

    Anyway, Einstein said one should be going for the simplest explanation possible, but no simpler.

  30. @Carfrew

    I do agree that a lot of people like the idea of scrapping tuition fees – this is demonstrably true, as the Lib Dems found out to their cost.

    I don’t agree it was the main reason for the swing to Labour though.

  31. @Barny

    I agree it wasn’t the only reason. It’s just an example. There were other popular policies, and then there was the rise in approval of Corbyn himself as he got unfiltered exposure in the campaign.

  32. CAMBRIDGERACHEL & CARFREW

    Agreed that there were 2 terrorist attacks during the campaign, each of which were followed by short suspensions of campainging.

    What I don’t recall is any recent polling on the police cuts issue [1], over which May & Corbyn differed to put it mildly. I find it hard to believe that those different perceptions had no influence on VI.

    [1] Sources:

    On 2017-05-26 the Torygraph reported General Election 2017: Labour cut Tory poll lead to five points as Theresa May hits out at Jeremy Corbyn over speech on Manchester. Unfortunately, that’s a “premium” article and the 2 visible paragraphs don’t name the pollster. A Torygraph subscriber might be able to tell us more.

    On 2017-06-05 CNBC reported After London attack, May faces election heat over police cuts. That mentions an early June ICM poll.

    The most recent poll on police cuts I can spot is from Opinion Matters, as reported in the Evening Standard on 2012-04-12: Police cuts will see crime and terrorism grow, says public poll.

  33. Good morning all from a quite miserable Devon,

    I’ve had a bit of a break but lurked occasionally.

    I think Carfrew is broadly right – JC played a blinder and the public increasingly liked him. I seem to recall that I was very early in saying that JC had started well and TM was having a ‘mare’.

    The Tory campaign and May’s personal performance were both shockingly bad.

    Carfrew is correct to say that the Tory vote held up: I suspect they were just as appalled with the Conservative campaign as everyone else: they just voted the same way but less enthusiastically. I have not met a single Tory voter who was not extremely displeased with Crosby et al.

    Furthermore, the LibDems blew it, and Farron laid an egg. This happened early on, and quickly established that the LDs were not going to gain momentum. JC and Labour were the clear beneficiaries.

    TM’s performance was dismal, and when the whole country and every professional comedian was laughing at the ‘strong and stable’ mantra repetition, she continued to use it. Unbelievable.

    Back to sweeping up autumn leaves in the garden…

  34. CAMBRIDGERACHEL & CARFREW

    Agreed that there were 2 terrorist attacks during the campaign, each of which were followed by short suspensions of campainging.

    What I don’t recall is any recent polling on the police cuts issue [1], over which May & Corbyn differed to put it mildly. I find it hard to believe that those different perceptions had no influence on VI.

    [1] Sources:

    On 2017-05-26 the Torygraph reported General Election 2017: Labour cut Tory poll lead to five points as Theresa May hits out at Jeremy Corbyn over speech on Manchester. Unfortunately, that’s a “premium” article and the 2 visible paragraphs don’t name the pollster. A Torygraph subscriber might be able to tell us more.

    On 2017-06-05 CNBC reported After London attack, May faces election heat over police cuts. That mentions an early June ICM poll.

  35. @Carfrew

    Yep, I agree that was also a factor, but you can’t deny the Tory mistakes had a huge impact. The undecideds broke almost entirely for Labour, and that wasn’t just due to their good campaign. Tory mistakes included:

    May focusing the campaign on herself then refusing the debates
    The dementia taxing, lunch snatching Manifesto
    Brexit means Brexit means nothing
    Fields of wheat
    Fox hunting
    A bizarre failure to talk about the economy
    Massive overconfidence.

    Things like this were big stories every day, and have a big impact on how people vote, however much they may claim to vote for noble reasons afterwards.

  36. PS to my previous post…..

    The most recent poll on police cuts I can spot is from Opinion Matters, as reported in the Evening Standard on 2012-04-12: Police cuts will see crime and terrorism grow, says public poll.

  37. Other non-Manifesto/Corbyn reasons for voting Labour:

    “Corbyn will never win, so it’s safe to vote for him to keep the Tory majority down”.
    Strong and Stable and Strong and Stable and Strong and Stable…
    “I don’t like that Corbyn, but I like my local MP”
    Anyone But Tories
    The weird Scottish 4 way tactical voting shenanigans
    Terrorism/police cuts
    Tim Farron (sigh)

  38. @Barny

    That’s the thing. We’ve been discussing the question of the impact of the Tory campaign ,it’s like you’re not addressing the points already made. Did Tory errors really have a ‘huge’ impact? And in which direction? I would argue, for eggers, that errors on dementia tax may actually have helped, especially once Corbyn heightened it with the garden tax. Corbyn made errors too.

    It’s clear the Tory campaign didn’t have that much impact, because Tory vote held up quite well once you allow for polling errors. Also, as I explained, it might be more likely to stop many voting Tory rather than drive them suddenly into the arms of Labour.

  39. @Barny

    “Corbyn will never win, so it’s safe to vote for him to keep the Tory majority down”.
    Strong and Stable and Strong and Stable and Strong and Stable…
    “I don’t like that Corbyn, but I like my local MP”
    Anyone But Tories
    The weird Scottish 4 way tactical voting shenanigans
    Terrorism/police cuts
    Tim Farron (sigh)”

    ————

    Yes, one can invent many reasons BUT… they all fall foul of the test that they don’t adequately explain why people would like the policies like tuition fees!!

    If someone goes into a shop, you van invent all sorts of scenarios. Maybe they were escaping the rain. Maybe they wanted to buy some cheddar. But if they come out with a bag of sweets, one has to seriously entertain the possibility it was prolly for the sweets.

  40. @Carfrew

    I’m looking at it from the point of view of the undecideds, who broke almost entirely for Labour. Part of that is down to the Labour campaign, but part due to the terrible Tory one.

    Farron’s inability to make the campaign about anything other than his own hang-ups meant there wasn’t really anywhere else for those who disliked the Tory message to go.

    Polls are also self-fulfilling – as Labour went up they became a more viable option to vote for, and voters who would have swung Lib Dem instead went for Corbyn.

    I’m not saying the Labour Manifesto and Corbyn’s performance didn’t matter, just that the Tory calamities played a large part in pushing the undecideds into their hands. Those who has already decided to vote Tory vote held up, but the undecideds didn’t.

  41. @Barny

    “I’m not saying the Labour Manifesto and Corbyn’s performance didn’t matter, just that the Tory calamities played a large part in pushing the undecideds into their hands. Those who has already decided to vote Tory vote held up, but the undecideds didn’t.”

    ———–

    I know you’re saying that Barny, it’s just that you’re ignoring my counters to it. Just because Tories run a sub-optimal campaign and do the dementia tax, does not mean people will suddenly like Labour’s policy on tuition fees. And if the campaign was that bad you’d see Tories losing loads of votes. But they didn’t do that badly.

    And you can say Farron ran a bad campaign but the alternative is that people are still annoyed with LDs and anyway the trend was to not split the vote any more, hence Greens returning to Labour also etc.

  42. MILLIE

    Yep a fair summation. Where Corbyn looked relaxed and was enjoying the campaign May looked miserable and deeply uncomfortable.
    The Labour campaign was far more invigorated than the Tories. They lost the election but won the campaign.

  43. @BBZ

    “What I don’t recall is any recent polling on the police cuts issue [1], over which May & Corbyn differed to put it mildly. I find it hard to believe that those different perceptions had no influence on VI.”

    ——–

    Wasn’t there any? Yes, that’s a bit odd if the case. The approval graph did show Labour taking an initial hit but then recovering and maybe police figures played a part in that…

  44. While happy to sit on the fence in the debate over Corbyn vs Brexit as main causative factor, one observation does occur to me.

    Before the campaign started, May benefited from substantially positive coverage in traditional media. She was successfully portrayed as principled, dignified and above the squabbling indulged in by her team. She appeared almost a quasi-Queen.

    Corbyn suffered from the opposite effect: successfully demonised as a loony leftie who ploughed his own unrealistic, dated furrow, unsupported by his MPs.

    At that time, the polling was around 45 Con, 25 Lab.

    Once the campaign started, the Tories sought to capitalise on May’s perceived strengths. But of course they were just that: a perception. She turned out not to be what people thought, at all.

    The same process happened with Corbyn, but to opposite effect.

    I’d suggest that in ‘normal’ times, when people aren’t much focused on politics, the images and messages hammered home by popular newspapers dominate. Once a campaign starts, people start to pay more attention, to watch what politicians say and do on TV, and – and this is the 2017 biggie – to be influenced by social media and what ‘real people’ think. We are all susceptible to groupthink and the herd mentality.

  45. @Mike Pierce

    “Yep a fair summation. Where Corbyn looked relaxed and was enjoying the campaign May looked miserable and deeply uncomfortable.

    The Labour campaign was far more invigorated than the Tories. They lost the election but won the campaign.”

    ———-

    Have to say on reflection Millie and Barny are prolly right that Farron did lay a bit of an egg, because the issue over the gay thing isn’t just any old error but rather strikes at a core tenet of liberalism.

    Thing about the campaign is that it’s time limited and Corbyn was coming from quite some way behind. So it was a huge ask to win in the time frame, especially with events derailing things, and he effectively won after the event.

    (But then one all has to factor in things like how resources may have been funnelled into safe Blairite seats etc…)

  46. There is a comprehensive report on the effects of Brexit – one year on – which includes a piece by John Curtice. His ending:

    “The general election was, then, more of a Brexit election than immediately meets the eye. Many a Leave voter switched to the Conservatives, while
    Remain voters were more inclined to back Labour than their Leave counterparts. As a result, the Conservative party in particular won over voters
    it would not normally be expected to reach. The question that now faces the party is whether it can keep them as it tries to negotiate Brexit against the
    backdrop of a hung parliament, in which there will be pressure on the Prime Minister to soften her vision of what Brexit should mean.”

    http://www.centreonconstitutionalchange.ac.uk/sites/default/files/news/One-year-on.pdf

  47. Well, this thread seems to be more about Carfrew than anything else! It does get extremely tedious…

    How about a “10 posts in 24 hours” limit AW??

  48. @Sam

    That Brexit has a major impact is not in dispute. Whether it was responsible for people suddenly liking Corbyn and his policies during the campaign itself however is summat else, though one is open to new info.!

    That report is 32 pages, don’t suppose you could highlight where it might indicate that Brexit was responsible for the rise of Corbyn and policies during the campaign could you?

  49. I think there is some revisionism going on here, but also some sensible and practical points being made.

    It does seem rather clear that Tories lost the campaign, even if they won the election in terms of seats and votes. The fact that the undecideds broke decisively to Labour and the Tory lead slipped between the start and end of the campaign is all we need to know to state as a fact that Labour outperformed Conservative during the campaign itself.

    Beyond this straightforward statistical judgement, it’s abundantly clear, and pointless to try to argue against, that May was severely damaged by the result while Corbyn’s image and authority was greatly enhanced. So – Labour won the campaign, by a clear and decisive margin.

    Tory supporters are now claiming, with some justification, that their vote % represents a historic victory. This can’t be dismissed lightly, but equally, context is required. It’s difficult rating their 2017 performance against their performance in previous elections, because the circumstances in 2017 were unique to 2017. Most notably, we saw the collapse of the UKIP vote and no real recovery in the Lib Dem vote, and even the withdrawal of UKIP candidates expressly to favour Cons in key seats. In assessing this ‘historic’ performance, we could readily slip into the level of discussion of what the Tory result should have been in such circumstances.

    One way to analyse the 2017 result, clearly caveated with the fact that this represents a deeply simplistic analysis of the UKIP vote, is to compare 2017 to 2015 and the Lab and Con+UKIP vote shares. Lab moved +9.6% from 30.4 to 40.0%, while Con+UKIP slipped by -5.3% from 49.5 to 44.2%, a swing to Lab of nearly 7.5%. In historic terms, this is a massive swing.

    I also don’t feel that the evidence is there to claim that the Tory campaign was anything other than a disaster. You simply don’t call an unnecessary election without securing your objective, and the fact that May has destroyed her reputation within her own party tells us that they had an horrific campaign.

    I think that the other element that some people are forgetting about when discussing how well the Tories actually did, is what happened to political discourse during and as a result of the campaign. With reference to the terror attacks mentioned upthread, this gives us a good taste of how the debate shifted because of the election.

    When the attacks happened during the campaign proper, I suspect everyone assumed that this would be good for May and the Tories, and stern sounding mantras about being tough on security would cut through and stymie Corbyn’s Labour. This simply didn’t happen – in fact, quite the reverse.

    Instead, in his first major political statement after the Manchester bombing, Corbyn took the immensely courageous and controversial decision to come out publicly and attack the serving PM and former Home Secretary on security, police numbers and austerity. There isn’t a single ‘normal’ politician from the Blair/Cameron school of politics as a form of marketing that would have thought this a good idea, yet it worked brilliantly. Even to the extent that when the London Bridge attack took place, the media ran straight in with the story of police numbers and security.

    The campaign decisively shifted the entire terms of debate into one that is now focusing on the impacts of austerity (note the political response to the Grenfell Towers disaster) and not one focused on ‘fiscal responsibility’, whatever that means.

    Long term, that is just the kind of shift that Labour needs, but I think the political outcomes are also improtant in any discussion over who did well or badly in the election.

    This

  50. @AndrewIII

    How rude. Anyway, I post in phases. Get stuck into something tricky then retire for a bit. Some times can’t be done quickly. Others post more consistently every day on Brexit and stuff. Also, although not necessarily all challenging directly, lots of peeps are challenging my argument. Rude to ignore them.

    Good job AW doesn’t have a rule about making too many errors in posts, you might fall foul of that, e.g. the repeated errors over the Tuition fee thing the other day.

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