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. jimjam

    One out of three wasn’t bad.

    Anyway that makes things even worse for the Tories – they don’t even need the members to get it wrong for them, they can manage it on their own……..

  2. @ Turk

    “the shear gullibility of some sections of the voting public that swallowed his narrative that all Labours policies would be funded by the rich without a single cost to anybody else in the form of tax rises or loss of jobs.”

    You could well be right, but it sounds very similar to the much used argument that “we ended up with Brexit because stupid people believed leaving the EU would be easy and we’d get lots of money for the NHS”. I think both arguments are similarly condescending, and whether the claim is true (in either case) is yet to be tested.

    Perhaps another way of putting it is that it’s a lot easier to sell a positive vision than the status quo, as many have said before on this forum. Brexit, Trump and Corbyn offered a different vision, against the status quo of Remain, Clinton and May. Whether what they were offering is realistic is at least being tested with Brexit and Trump, it will be interesting to see in the fullness of time. But it’s not really that surprising that people prefer a positive vision, and I don’t think they should be called stupid or gullible for doing so. It’s up to the politicians to offer something that is both attractive and achievable. If they don’t, it’s not the people’s fault for voting the ‘wrong’ way.

    Discuss.

  3. @ CR

    I also think it surprising that these dark complaints of underfunding are coming from the one or other of the female MPs with Liverpool/Merseyside constituencies.

    Luciana Berger increased her majority from 24k to 29.5k
    Louise Ellman increased her majority from 24k to 36k.
    Maria Eagle increased her majority from 27k to 32k
    Marie Rimmer increased her majority from 21k to 24k
    Angela Eagle increased her majority from 16k to 23k

    None were exactly marginal with few MPs nationally with such large majorities in 2015 and they certainly dwarf Margaret Greenwood’s majority in Wirral West with her vulnerable 417.

  4. Sue – I can’t find anywhere but I think you might be able to help me – how many LP MPs are Progress members?

  5. carfrew

    “if they do a proper contest it’ll prolly be decided by the members”

    Yeah, prolly.

  6. @ Jim Jam

    ‘Sue – I can’t find anywhere but I think you might be able to help me – how many LP MPs are Progress members?’

    Funnily I was looking for one myself not long ago. I know that I had a list at one point and it was fewer than one might imagine…. however, they tend to be the more high profile members of the PLP. IIRC it was in the order of 30/40. The total membership is only a few thousand.

    If I manage to find one, I will post it for you.

  7. @” Laszlo seems to have dramatically changed his views since earlier this year. I did wonder if the account has been hacked”

    This is so typical of the Corbyn supporter here. :-)

    I have fundamental differences with Laszlo-but they would persuade me , should I ever begin to think of JC as “authentic”, that I must stop immediately & think about Laszlo’s doubts.

  8. @Alan

    Yes, insufficient data can also require turning to gut-feeling etc. instead. Regarding opening up models, agreed there are the advantages you state. I have a reservation in some cases, where one might prefer to keep control if others are likely to co-opt summat and/or mess it up, and it’s hard to find a way to stop that.

    That’s what’s cool about the GPL though, it contains a safeguard against such things.

  9. @Turk

    “Where the Tories misjudged the election campaign was they tried to inject a sense of realism regarding the countries ability to pay for dispite the so called austerity cuts a properly funded welfare state and thought the public would agree to it.”

    ———

    Obviously there are some who are happy with continued Austerity. But it was originally sold as a quick way to restore our fortunes. If after seven years, not only is Austerity to be contjnued but ramped up, coming after peeps houses and stuff, people are likely to start wondering if Austerity is really the best way.

  10. 52% of UK voters want the future UK-EU relationship to be in the single market but with limits on free movement.

    (via @ComRes) https://t.co/850XrVHCNV

  11. Colin

    Laszlo is a very naughty boy for casting nasturtiums and you should not be supporting him in any way.

  12. @Syzygy – “Try telling that to the successful candidates in marginal seats like Brighton Kemptown or Sheffield Hallam who were left unfunded but ended up with majorities of 9k and 2k respectively (and unseating Nick Clegg).”

    This line from your post may offer some insight into what was really going on with party decisions on constituency support. If these seats genuinely were seen as marginal, then clearly the party had got the judgement wrong. One ended up as safe Labour, the other a reasonably big winning margin, even without (apparently) any national support.

    While there may well have been some residual Blairite shenanigans, it’s abundantly clear that Labour didn’t grasp the situation on the ground, and thus misdirected resources. Indeed, similar critiques have been levelled at Momentum, who also misread the movement in some seats, and sent people to places where in hindsight they weren’t ultimately needed. Labour also made a big mistake in Scotland, where more resources could have lead to another crop of gains from the SNP, and possibly left Labour as Scotland’s second party, if only they had realised what was happening.

    This didn’t just happen to Labour, however. The Guardian produced an excellent graphic which showed the spread of target seats for both Lab and Con as measured by where their front benchers had appeared. A clear pattern emerged from both parties. The seats that changed hands or ended up as very close results were described as the ‘front line’, and the analysis showed that Cons had been attacking seats well beyond this front line that they lost pretty decisively, leaving genuine toss up seats undefended, while Lab were defending far too deep,believing seats closer to the front line were already lost and trying to hold seats well behind the actual front line instead of advancing deeper into blue territory.

    The 2017 election was actually a really good example of the fact that political parties themselves often don’t really know what is actually going on, so sometimes I think we can misread some of their targeting decisions.

  13. TURK

    @” Where the Tories misjudged the election campaign was they tried to inject a sense of realism regarding the countries ability to pay for dispite the so called austerity cuts a properly funded welfare state and thought the public would agree to it.”

    It is to hoped that the next Con. Manifesto & Campaign will benefit from the disasters of the last one. Effective Communication, Engagement with voters, etc etc should be easy. It can hardly fail to improve next time.

    What may need a little more analysis is how in God’s name they allowed a proposal that wealthier pensioners forgo Welfare Benefits they don’t need , and their benefciaries contribute to their old age care costs , instead of less fortunate taxpayers – to lose them votes……………….and then see Corbyn get away with successfully attacking this proposed redistribution from the wealthier to the less wealthy.

    This must rank as one of the most astounding pieces of political ineptitude ever.

  14. PAUL CROFT

    Even Laszlo is entitled to his opinions I feel.

    I just get a bit nervous when signs of the Venezuelan tendency appear here.

  15. “while Lab were defending far too deep, believing seats closer to the front line were already lost and trying to hold seats well behind the actual front line instead of advancing deeper into blue territory.”

    ———–

    Well that’s the question. Was it conspiracy, or cock up? If defending too deep just happened to protect favoured MPs despite being in safer seats.

    Especially because from early in the campaign it was clear Corbyn was making significant progress, so why be quite so defensive?

    This is without considering things like the leadership being locked out of the HQ on election night, oh, and the small matter of the rebellion previously immediately following the referendum etc. with Tories in disarray.

    It’s not like they don’t have previous.

  16. COLIN

    Funny you should mention that country: we had a power outage last night, which was quickly dealt with following a call to the national grid helpline.

    An incredibly efficient and friendly bloke came out and sorted it within an hour [despite it turning out that it was down to our faulty dishwasher] and i thought how right ole Rich was: this country is getting more like Venezuela every day.

    Re Laszlo, my own assumption is that he has experienced some negative stuff which has subsequently coloured his own views.

    Which it does tend to do…

  17. @ Colin

    What fantasy do you have about CR and my capacity to stop anyone expressing their opinion? Girl power or some other bit of nonsense?

  18. @CARFREW
    IMO it was cock up. The polls, whilst drifting towards Labour, were a bit reassuring but even the consensus amongst the polling geeks here expected something between a landslide and a comfortable Tory majority (with some outliers) IIRC [email protected] would have the definitive view I think.
    As previously stated, in my very tight marginal our canvass returns pointed to it being very tight. It turned out to be a walkover because (because of defending too deep) we didn’t do much canvassing amongst the ones who turned out to be Con-Lab switchers or previous DNVs

  19. @ Carfew

    ‘Well that’s the question. Was it conspiracy, or cock up?’

    I think Guymonde offers a persuasive explanation about the canvass returns. It would have produced skewed results if only former known Labour voters were canvassed.

    It is also true that there was a belief that in those constituencies with a significant Ukip vote, large Labour majorities of anything up to 8k would be vulnerable.

    I don’t know whether it was cock-up or conspiracy…. and in some sense it doesn’t matter because the Labour leadership seems to be content to let it go as cock-up. However, there is no doubt that a large proportion of the membership and a number of left wing MPs are certain that it was intentional and a set-up.

  20. ON

    Yes, the past tense would have been better. A work colleague today reminded me that a few days before the election I’d predicted a hung parliament (I’d forgotten doing so, it felt like wishful thinking at the time). I’m still not fully convinced that the Tories weren’t trying to lose deliberately, and less sure than previously that brexit will actually happen in any sense other than giving up our voice at the table.

  21. Alec

    “Labour also made a big mistake in Scotland, where more resources could have lead to another crop of gains from the SNP”

    But if the other parties had also known “what is actually going on” than their strategies might also have been different, and with a different result.

    Idly speculating that a change in one aspect of a complex dynamic isn’t very useful. Indeed, in a very complex dynamic, we can’t tell whether the SNP’s strong advocacy of EU/EEA was a long term strategic mistake or a masterstroke!

    The limited information that the BES analysis for Scotland gives us doesn’t provide that many clues as to how additional SLab resources would have brought them increased gains.

    Maybe SLab could have taken an ABT instead of an ABS approach? Or targeted the Yes/Leave or No/Remain voters more specifically (but gaining the support of both simultaneously is probably beyond the scope of any resource based approach).

  22. Cambridgerachel (and someone else),

    thanks for the comres link re 52% wanting single market but with limits on free movement. However, they also have another 18% who want to be in the single market on current terms, so thats 70% want to be in said market.

    In the last thread someone asked for stats supporting my argument that a majority wants a soft brexit. I think my own figure from memory not dissimilar to this was a yougov one from the recent past.

    Pete B,
    “There will be trouble if they do.”

    Thats the thing though, there is going to be trouble whatever they do. The referendum was really a draw. There was no clear result to implement.

  23. Danny

    Unfortunately I don’t know any details about that poll

  24. R Huckle,
    “I think the argument must be that Brexit stopped the Tories winning a majority and if Brexit had not been an issue at all, the Tories would have won the election by a large percentage.”

    if the referendum had gone the other way, there would have been no election and a tory government with its modest majority. But what would have happened if brexit had not been an issue and we still had an election?

    It might have depended on whatever the tories chose as their manifesto, because the one they used was a gift to Corbyn. He succeeded in motivating the left to vote and likely would still have done so, so he could have won outright in the absence of brexit, fighting on the ground he wanted to fight on.

    One element of the tory loss was because austerity has become discredited by the passage of time and failure to deliver. This is likely to continue to count increasingly against the government, and might have been expected to produce a conservative result worse than 2015. Although, absent Brexit, the economic outlook would have been better.

    Sea Change,
    “The worst Tory campaign in living memory”
    But it wasnt. In the last thread Syzygy argued that the election was called because of conservative internal splits and May wanting more maneuver room, even to cancel Brexit. I dont buy that. She went in guns blazing for hard Brexit and would have used a majority to push this through. She held the election because she wanted a confirmation that the nation supported hard Brexit, and it voted against her manifesto position. The nation does not want hard brexit, and polling supports this conclusion.

    The campaign was not inept because it tested the view of the voters and the politicians will react accordingly now. Or not react. But the bigger mandate would have given her political cover against a bad outcome from brexit because she had asked the people and they had agreed.

    She is no worse off now regarding brexit cover than previously, still arguably better off. Any time labour intervenes and defeats some government proposal will be pointed to in the future as why Brexit failed. if it works well, the conservatives will happily accept credit and not need a scapegoat. But the election has already provided considerable political insurance. Labour will be forced to take a stance.

    The strategy of calling an election is working well.

  25. I have posted for some time that only one issue mattered at this election, which was Brexit.

    I agree with those above who argue that labour did not stand on a remain position, but nonetheless its voters were massively remain inclined. This is not a coincidence. Even if you argue this is correlation not causation, because people inclined to left policies also happen to be remain inclined, and they in fact chose labour because of its other policies, its still making a distinction with little value. The people who did end up voting labour are remainers, and the people who did end up voting tory are leavers. If this is simply correlation it implies that socialists are inherently EU supporters, and presumably labour must act accordingly.

    Labour was the only viable alternative to hard brexit tory if this mattered to you as a voter. Perhaps more of a vote against the conservatives position than for any clear remain policy by labour. Might be difficult for polling to pick this up as motivation, if respondents are asked to choose from a list of labour policies which they liked. Because labour’s formal position on Brexit is not clearly a remain one.

    As to leadership, the polling shows sharp division by party affiliation whether you think a leader is good or not. A donkey will get good ratings if he is your donkey. Some voters like corbyn and always have. A lot more seem to show a correlation between now choosing to vote labour and now thinking he is a good leader. The correlation/causation issue applies equally to whether corbyn himself was a deciding factor in attracting voters or whether Brexit was.

    Carfrew,
    “It also probably helped ensure it WASN’T so much about Brexit. Because the potential loss of the family home to care costs probably rather eclipses whether we can return to Imperial measures. ”

    I dont agree. The manifesto prepared the ground for further austerity caused by Brexit. It was there so that conservatives could in the future say they had warned voters what might happen if hard Brexit goes forward. I will not go so far as to argue that the manifesto showed conservatives belive Brexit will cause recession, but they certainly believe it is one possible outcome and they needed to guard against future voter backlash in this eventuality. They needed to present to voters that the cost of returning to imperial measures might indeed be the loss of the family home.

  26. SYZYGY
    Thanks for the courtesy of your response to my post on the previous thread which of course was esoteric in subject matter- Kenyan land enclosure -but contained a question of social science methodology applicable to the of research assesssing change in behaviour and attitude at individual household and community levels in response to radical economic change. An aspect of this was your interest in what the concerned social groups do with surpluses A salient question asked at the IAIA symposium I referred you to was that of how a social impact assessment would provide the data permitting guidance and instruments in assisted social change – in that context in involuntary resettlement. However this would apply to policy formulation and management in migration, as,for example,, in the deployment of a Migrant Fund or in Milleband’s explicit use of positive discrimination in educational provision to ethnic minority groups. A further aspect is how this is used or appears in election campaigning or a manifesto, especially where a party is campaigning on the basis of an informed programme and on appealing to an informed electorate in the context of a perceived failure or breakdown of government,in respect,, say, of Brexit, migration or Grenfell.

  27. According to some reports in the media, Labour are talking to Tory MP’s who support continued membership of the EU single market, with a view to tactics in the HoC in the Autumn.

    Is it possible that enough Tory MP’s vote or abstain, enabling votes against the Government, causing real problems with the Brexit negotiations ?

    At the Labour annual party conference, i could see votes being passed regarding Brexit, that Corbyn/McDonnell don’t agree with. Labour might end up with a position on Brexit that is closer to what most backbench MP’s want and Corbyn would have to go along with it.

  28. Good Morning All from Bournemouth East, which is No 75 on Labour’s target seat list for the next GE (in 2022).
    R HUCKLE: I think that K Starmer’s team may well put down motions on the EEA and Single Market, in order to appeal to Tory Remainers.

    CARFREW. Labour List- a ‘Blairite’ type of group- said Labour should be organising ‘defensive lines’ deep into Labour territory. Even Bolsover was under threat a month before polling day.

  29. sue

    “However, there is no doubt that a large proportion of the membership and a number of left wing MPs are certain that it was intentional and a set-up.”

    Mmm…… Mandy Rice-Davies springs to mind.

    I’m far more inclined to go for Guy’s analysis being – broadly – what really happened. It would also seem very probable that there would be isolated examples of local squabbles, leading to anecdotes, leading to conspiracy theories.

    What is far more important is – what happens next.

  30. SYZYGY

    @” Girl power or some other bit of nonsense?”

    More than a few shoulder chips on view there Sue ?:-)

  31. PAUL CROFT

    @”this country is getting more like Venezuela every day.”

    My remark was a reference to a certain attitude to political opposition-a flexible idea of the democratic process.

    The effect on electricity supplies, food ,toilet roles etc comes later.

  32. CL 1945

    @” I think that K Starmer’s team may well put down motions on the EEA and Single Market, in order to appeal to Tory Remainers.”

    All this nonsense is beginning to resemble a group of inebriated football supporters before a match -2-1 in Extra Time-nah 2-2 in Extra Time then a penalty shoot out………….who are we playing again?

  33. Good morning,

    I sometimes wonder whether butterfly theory might apply to election campaigns.

    I am reminded that many Tory leaning commentators on this site took the view early in the campaign that Labour had ‘gone too early’ and the Blues would train their big guns on JC as the election approached.

    But in fact, JC had gained crucial momentum and credibility.

    An example: at an early stage of the campaign, the Tories revealed they wanted a fresh vote on hunting. This was both unnecessary and a certain vote-loser.

    It seems to me that this was a significant moment. It immediately motivated Labour supporters and ‘don’t knows’, but perhaps more importantly, it sapped confidence in the Tory ranks, as it revealed very clearly that the campaign team were inept.

    I think there are certain ‘triggers’ in political life which seem relatively inconsequential at the time, but may later be seen to have been significant turning points. And, of course, several independent triggers occurring in a short period can add up to a major shift.

  34. @Danny

    “I dont agree. The manifesto prepared the ground for further austerity caused by Brexit. It was there so that conservatives could in the future say they had warned voters what might happen if hard Brexit goes forward. I will not go so far as to argue that the manifesto showed conservatives belive Brexit will cause recession, but they certainly believe it is one possible outcome and they needed to guard against future voter backlash in this eventuality. They needed to present to voters that the cost of returning to imperial measures might indeed be the loss of the family home.”

    ————

    Yes, I wasn’t saying it was the REASON they did it. Just that raising the spectre of what Labour may do, may have been an unintended consequence.

  35. “Yeah, prolly”

    ———-

    Yeah, very droll.

  36. @Chrislane

    ” Labour List- a ‘Blairite’ type of group- said Labour should be organising ‘defensive lines’ deep into Labour territory. Even Bolsover was under threat a month before polling day.”

    ———-

    Yes, I’ve been wondering too about what Guymonde said. One can understand sentiment a month before, it’s how things unfolded that’s the issue.

  37. COLIN

    “The effect on electricity supplies, food ,toilet roles etc comes later.”

    What’s a toilet role? [Not sure I want to know….]

    Re Venezuela, I realise it’s a really serious situation and I have a close, classical guitarist, friend in Caracas, from back in the 70s so have always had a personal interest.

    My comment was just to highlight how silly hyperbole can be come – as in Rich’s comment about the UK becoming more like Venezuela every day.

  38. carfrew,
    “Yes, I wasn’t saying it was the REASON they did it. Just that raising the spectre of what Labour may do, may have been an unintended consequence.”

    I think what they achieved was raising the PROMISE of what labour might do, ie as a better alternative.

    Paul Croft,
    “My comment was just to highlight how silly hyperbole can be come – as in Rich’s comment about the UK becoming more like Venezuela every day.”

    We in the Uk are very very complacent about democracy. All that keeps the democratic process working in the Uk is good will, no legal framework at all.

    Millie,
    “It seems to me that this was a significant moment.”

    I’m in favour of hunting, but this did not change my own view on the election one bit. I doubt it made any difference. But it does matter to some people, and therefore I see two alternatives why it was included. One, to slip it through on the back of Brexit. Two, as a spoiler to reduce the chance of conservative re-election. But I think as a package the conservative manifesto was well crafted to carry out a particular job of testing the nations view on hard Brexit, and it achieved what it set out to do. It was quite deliberately set out to dispel any idea that hard brexit was the key to eden.

  39. Seems like there is a new you gov poll out, not much change from last time.

    Lab 44 +1
    Con 41 –
    Dems 7 +1
    Others 9 –

  40. MILLIE

    @”An example: at an early stage of the campaign, the Tories revealed they wanted a fresh vote on hunting. This was both unnecessary and a certain vote-loser.”

    Agree entirely.

  41. I think the Tory manifesto was a bit simpler than the artful pulse taker being suggested.

    The calculation was that they could mop up their base (fox hunting), UKIP voters (brexit means brexit) and centrists (social care policy) – not realising that some of each group would be repelled by some of the other bits.

  42. IDS explained the Tory manifesto perfectly in a interview, what he said was…..

    “What we are trying to get away with…….”

  43. P

  44. hi all i very rarely post due to health issues -just lurk
    a question -just came across this poll by accident but only on a tweet
    cant find it anywhere else
    is it valid?
    lab 44 +1
    con 41-
    ldem 7+1
    other 9-
    july 31-aug 1
    if it is valid why is it not readily available or publicised?
    i could be completely muddled on this as can view screens easily but does it mean other polls are available somewhere

  45. sorry poll already posted
    re tory manifesto my feeling is actually v little thought planning or costing went into it
    the ge was called suddenly to the cons surprise but they were so confident of their lead they rushed out a very shallow manifesto and then to their surprise again lab produced a pretty detailed one with lots of popular ideas

  46. @Danny

    “We in the Uk are very very complacent about democracy. All that keeps the democratic process working in the Uk is good will, no legal framework at all.”

    …. except the Representation of the People Acts and their amendments.

    The ECHR guarantees many of the other rights that are necessary for a functioning democracy — freedom of speech and the right to a fair trial being foremost.

  47. @Danny – “I have posted for some time that only one issue mattered at this election, which was Brexit.”

    I think on this, and many of your recent posts, I fundamentally disagree. Yes, the campaign really was inept. No, it really wasn’t just about Brexit.

    If you actually go back to the campaign itself, you should recall numerous media reports about how the government was desperately trying to keep the focus on Brexit and leadership, while Labour and events were conspiring to shift the focus very successfully onto austerity and public services. In terms of the Battle of the Battlegrounds, Labour won hands down.

    The upshot is not some pre ordained Conservative ‘Cunning Plan’ as you seem to suggest, but ne almightly Tory [email protected] that has left them weakened and wallowing about without definitive power and at the mercy of internal factions and external opponents. There is no good arising for May from this election, and to pretend otherwise is, I feel, frankly completely daft.

    Everything about the Conservative election and campaign was ill judged – even the vote on hunting. That specific issue didn’t sway many votes directly I would imagine, but I can tell you that it will have added to the mood that the Tories were ditching their shallow skin of decency that they formed under Cameron and were returning to the same old party of yesteryear. It formed a special kind of mood music for many voters, and Labour used this to ask voters if these really were the people you wanted negotiating Brexit.

    I’ve been around on this board for too long now, and I regularly see memes from all sides of the debate claiming there to be some magnificently intelligent guiding hand behind all manner of apparently adverse outcomes, and that party X or Y is secretly just where they want to be when all others things they’re stuffed.

    The reality is, and I’ll say this time and time again, that politicians and managers of all parties are very often completely wrong, misjudge the public, and make catastrophic errors of judgement. There is no secret plan. It’s all partially informed guesswork and a wing and a prayer which sometimes works but sometimes goes very badly wrong.

    This time, the Tories got t very badly wrong, and they will pay the price over Brexit. No other assessment of the 2017 election is valid, in my view.

  48. carfrew

    “Yeah, very droll.”

    Thankyou.

  49. @Oldnat ““Labour also made a big mistake in Scotland, where more resources could have lead to another crop of gains from the SNP”

    But if the other parties had also known “what is actually going on” than their strategies might also have been different, and with a different result.

    Idly speculating that a change in one aspect of a complex dynamic isn’t very useful.”

    I disagree, Idle speculation can be highly informative.

    While I would agree that other parties could have adjusted their strategies if they had known what was really going on, that wasn’t relevant to my point. Had Labour got better canvassing on the ground from key Scottish seats, then without any adjustment to their campaign message they might have been able to target more resource to a number of seats where they ran the SNP very close indeed without strong local ground campaign.

    That’s all – nothing more technical than that.

    @Szygy and others – it wasn’t the Guardian, but the BBC – see here – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-40222733

    It’s not quite s I recalled it, but well worth a read.

  50. “Surely it would be far better to try and bring the sides together, to facilitate talks and to encourage the right-wing opposition to stop these protests on the streets,”

    Chris Williamson, a shadow home office minister and – it says “a key ally of J Corbyn” – interviewed on Newsnight,

    He also refused to say whether his political philosophy was closer to Blair or Chavez/Maduro.

    Whilst I can see that is, perhaps, a sort of “it depends” question, I would have thought there were ways of explaining what it depends on, rather than just equivocating.

    On the other hand, even had he tried to give a lengthy and intelligent response, Evan Davis clearly wanted him to choose one or the other, only allowed about 30 seconds for a reply and interrupting during that.

    I think that, if I was a politician, I would be asking if I was going to be given sufficient time to answer questions and, if not, simply decline to do so.

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