This morning’s Times has their regular YouGov polling figures, a chance to see if the ongoing row over anti-Semitism in the Labour party has had any actual impact outside the Westminster bubble. Asked if Jeremy Corbyn is doing a good or bad job as Labour leader, 56% now think he is doing badly (up from 37% back in December), 31% think he is doing well (down from 45% in December). It’s a big drop, but since the question was last asked at the tail end of last year one cannot necessarily assume it is due to the anti-Semitism row, many other things have happened in the last three months.

More importantly, it doesn’t seem to have had any real effect on voting intention. Topline vi figures remain neck-and-neck, with Labour actually a couple of points up on last week’s poll (though the change is well within the normal margin of error) – CON 42%(-1), LAB 41%(+2), LDEM 7%(-1).


183 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 42%(-1), LAB 41%(+2), LDEM 7%(-1)”

1 2 3 4
  1. @Andrew M

    “A good leader with the look of a PM in waiting (such as Kier Starmer, David Miliband or, if he was still around, Tristram Hunt) would be 20-30 points ahead now.”

    ——

    God, Miliband couldn’t even beat his brother.

  2. @Pete

    Pride quotes the following from the report….

    “A report produced by the Conservative Party in 2007 – endorsed by Cameron – called ‘Freeing Britain to Compete‘ recommended that a vast range of regulations on the financial services industry should either be abolished or watered down, including money-laundering restrictions affecting banks and building societies. The report also saw “no need to continue to regulate mortgage provision“, saying it is the lender, not the client, who takes the risk.

    Here are a few gems – direct quotes – taken from the report:

    “The (Labour) government claims that this regulation is all necessary. They seem to believe that without it banks could steal our money ……………

    We need to make it more difficult for ministers to regulate, and we need to give the critics of regulation more opportunity to make their case against specific new proposals………

    We recommend deregulating venture capital fund raising, and investment for professional investors………

    A Conservative government should relax banking regulation, allowing a new breed of venture/micro-credit institutions…………….

    Competition is the customers’ main ally. It is competition which keeps the bank honest ……………………

    We see no need to continue to regulate the provision of mortgage finance, as it is the lending institutions rather than the client taking the risk………..

    Our aim is to liberate the economy from the burden of unnecessary regulations……………

    Before imposing traditional ‘heavy’ regulation, government should always consider whether the ends could be achieved by less burdensome means, such as through competition, incentive schemes, or self-regulation…….

    The regulatory burden should be measured and reduced year on year…………
    Greater use should be made of “codes of practice” rather than direct regulation………..

    From its first days in office, a Conservative government should challenge the public and press assumptions that encourage excessive regulation, and explain the likely effects of and reasons for its regulatory reforms………

  3. @Pete

    The report is quite startling. It clearly has issues with the idea of having regulation at all.

    “We should be very sceptical of why we need a fifth layer of “protection” in the form of regulation…”

  4. Another Redwood corker from the report…

    “Competition is the customers’ main ally. It is competition which keeps the bank honest and the pie free of nails. A competitive marketplace soon spreads the news that the brewer has watered the beer. Our competitive market is allied to a vigilant press and consumer groups, who would highlight such tricks should any wish to highlight them.”

    This is classic Libertarian koolaid, completely bonkers, unaware of how banks could conceal their actions from consumer and press scrutiny, until it was too late.

    This idea of leaving it to word of mouth is massively, fundamentally flawed. Sure, after a restaurant gave you food poisoning, you might let other people know, but it’s a bit late for the people who already got food poisoning innit. This is why you need proactive regulation.

    Especially because a company might have a good record but suddenly go bad.

  5. Andrew Myers: Sorry, this post is so wrong I’m going to have to go through it line-by-line.

    “I also don’t buy this notion of Corbyn being constantly attacked by the media. In the 2017 GE he had virtually a free run.”

    Er… that’s a pretty bold take. You must never have heard of this paper called the Daily Mail. It’s quite famous and influential.

    “No scrutiny whatsoever of his spending plans for example.”

    There was plenty scrutiny of his spending plans. It just turned out they were really quite popular with the British electorate.

    “The Paxman interview was so biased against May and for Corbyn it was embarrassing.”

    Or, maybe Corbyn just outperformed her.

    “Had there not been the remainer surge in the South, I doubt he would have increased Labour’s seat count at all.”

    Here is a complete list of all the seats Labour won in the Midlands and the north, where they were supposed to get hammered. Many of this seats voted for Brexit, too, by margins of up to 60-40.

    Bury North
    Colne Valley
    Crewe & Nantwich
    Derby North
    High Peak
    Keighley
    Leeds North-West
    Lincoln
    Sheffield Hallam
    Stockton South
    Warrington South
    Warwick & Leamington
    Weaver Vale

    “A good leader with the look of a PM in waiting (such as Kier Starmer, David Miliband or, if he was still around, Tristram Hunt) would be 20-30 points ahead now.”

    Honestly, I’m as Blairite as they come, and even I concede that this isn’t true. The “metropolitan elitist” tag that would follow particularly the latter two around like a bad smell just wouldn’t be particularly helpful. And you wouldn’t have hundreds of thousands eagerly taking to the streets and flooding cyberspace to preach the word of Tristram Hunt. He might be ahead, but 20-30 points, come on now.

    Oh, and bonus point for spelling Keir’s name wrong.

    “I doubt we will be seeing PM Corbyn any time soon.”

    You haven’t reckoned with the next Tory leader. Whoever it is, he or she is likely to be even less suited to the job than Theresa May. There’s only so much a man can take before the implementation of Gulags, or whatever the redtops are screaming about, becomes the less unattractive option.

  6. Good post Polltroll. Bizarre that anyone seriously thinks Labour would be 20/30 points clear under a different leader. It’s as if folk want to ignore Labour’s biggest increase in the share of the vote in last year’s General Election since 1945.

  7. @ MIKE PEARCE / POLLTROLL

    If there were a snap election, Labour would (in my view) win by a significant landslide.

    The Tories know this, hence why they’ve fallen in line for now.

  8. If the Corbyn Fan Club (which is rapidly taking over this forum) want to believe that he will romp home and become the UK’s most successful PM ever then please be my guest.

    There has only been one sensible comment amongst all the hot air and that is from Jonesinbangor who points out that we don’t know who will be facing who.

    As for those who don’t believe anyone else would be ahead, well I have news for you:

    Blair was up to 39 points ahead in 1996
    Cameron was 28 points ahead in 2008
    Even Miliband Jr was 16 points ahead in 2012

    Anyone who thinks JC will romp home with any sort of majority whilst being behind in the polls is, with the greatest respect, somewhat deluded.

  9. CAREFREW, yes Redwood comes across as quiet mad.

  10. AM, how far we’re Labour behind when the last election was called?

    Mind I take issue with anyone thinking I am Corbyn fan, I’m certainly not a Corbyn fan. I like some if not most of his policies, I cannot take to him.

  11. Pete – apologies for causing offence! On policy, it might come as a surprise but so do I. My issue is that I don’t trust him, he is surrounded by idiots and JMcD is extremely dangerous.

    I never believed the polls last year. I thought that the real lead was in high single figures. It was eroded at the end by false promises to students and tactical voting by remainers.

    I think that assuming that the same dynamics will be in place next time is an unwise strategy but we shall see.

  12. POLLTROLL

    “Oh, and bonus point for spelling Keir’s name wrong.”

    Well, it was at least a step up from Ken or Keith.

    I seem to be a natural spotter of spelling errors [not a great ability I am aware] and do find incorrect spelling of political names hard to understand.

    If [for example] someone is interested enough to comment on Leveson or Osborne, I would have thought that they would have noticed they are not called Levinson or Osbourne – variations which appear here reglerly.

    Apropos de rien, my view on Corbyn and PM was that chance went once the exit poll shifted to the Tories. At that point a slightly higher number of seats for Labour and they may well have sneaked some sort of majority.

  13. “PETE

    Redwood comes across as quiet mad.”

    Noisy mad sometimes. Though not when singing in “Welsh”.

  14. AM, no need to apologise, I wasn’t that offended.

    Pretty sure there wasn’t that much difference in the student vote than previous elections, so not sure any promise, false or not, made a difference.

  15. PETE

    Thanks.

    But the record shows that Labour was in Government when the Gordon Brown/ Ed Balls Tripartite “Risk Based” Financial Regulation system failed to detect the biggest ever Banking risk in UK-a risk which crystalised-because no one knew who was supposed to do what.

    The record also shows that George Osborne introduced the Financial Services Act 2012.

  16. ANDREW MYERS

    @” JMcD is extremely dangerous.”

    Yep-noisy mad or quiet mad.

    And he does both-the latter in public & the former in private ( for YouTube sometimes )

  17. As others have noted, in many areas of economic management, Redwood is quite mad. Little is said of his current support for hard Brexit, suggetsing how good this would be for the UK, even while he writes investment reports for his private employer suggesting their clients should steer clear of the UK.

    One day it’s like we’ll be reading the words of Redwood in relation to Brexit, and thinking how mad he was on that too.

  18. @Colin

    The record also fails to show Tories going “OMG, what are you doing, don’t you realise there could be a crash?!” Instead they’re publishing reports suggesting regulation is fundamentally pointless, except as a kind of “comfort blanket”, and we should leave things to competition.

    And Osborne’s later regulations show that things were insufficient before New Labour.

  19. @COLIN

    “Yep-noisy mad or quiet mad.”

    ——

    Oh God he’s not written a report has he?!

  20. Redwood is the closest the Tories have to Corbyn IMO though thankfully never likely to become leader.

    I will never forget his attempt many years ago to sing the Welsh National Athem where he obviously didn’t have even a hint of a clue about the words.

    If anyone hasn’t seen it and fancies a laugh I am sure the video still exists on You Tube or somewhere.

  21. COLIN, very true and thank goodness Labour we’re in power, as it looks like it would’ve been far worse if Cameron and co had been in charge.

  22. “If [for example] someone is interested enough to comment on Leveson or Osborne, I would have thought that they would have noticed they are not called Levinson or Osbourne – variations which appear here reglerly.”

    ——-

    Yes, but autorichtig isn’t always interested enough to get it right though. You can tell if someone has gotten it right in the past whether they really know how to spell it. Those of us who are promiscuous with our devices are subject to different autocorrect “personalities”, so it’s a bit variable.

  23. @Colin

    “But the record shows that Labour was in Government when the Gordon Brown/ Ed Balls Tripartite “Risk Based” Financial Regulation system failed to detect the biggest ever Banking risk in UK-a risk which crystalised-because no one knew who was supposed to do what”

    ——-

    Yes, if it were true that it were our tripartite system that was the main culprit, we would be the only ones to take a real hit. But the banking crisis hit numerous countries with different regulatory systems.

    Consequently, this highlights the limitations in regulations that depend on scrutiny, since banks can be good at hiding stuff, and it’s why you need regulations that structurally limit the damage. Which is what we used to have, Thatch got rid of, and Osborne kinda had a go at trying to refashion.

  24. JIB

    “The Tories know this,hence why they’ve fallen in line for now”.

    It’s not that they’ve fallen in line it’s because there in Government a position they want to maintain until 2022.
    Much is made of divisions in the Tory party but there have always been different factions in the party which occasionally boil to the surface especially since brexit won the day, however it would be wrong to think those divisions would reach a point that they would vote themselves out of Government.
    Those who think that Corbyns boast of being in power by Christmas the last one or the one to come are going to be very disappointed, if we’re talking of divisions within a political party’s the rift in the Labour Party amongst its MP’s seems at times to be like open warfare it’s not often you see MP’s from the same party appearing in the press and on the news openly criticising there leader as we’ve witnessed lately over the Jewish question and dealing with Russia.
    I can’t predict who will win the next GE but I doubt if the words landslide will be used to describe the victor.

  25. “Redwood is the closest the Tories have to Corbyn IMO though thankfully never likely to become leader.”

    ——-

    Oh, I thought we’d been told it was Trump who was like Corbyn. Or was it that Venezuelan chap? It’s hard to keep track…

  26. Please,the argument that Corbyn should be 20% ahead really is nonsense. With the fairly recent demise of UKIP and the continued collapse of the LibDem vote, voters are split fairly evenly between Lab and Con. That’s over 80% – which is quite remarkable, and means both Lab and Con are going to find it hard to break ahead in any significant way.
    So it really is pointless to compare how previous opposition leaders were doing at this point in the election cycle before, this is obviously new territory.
    Is it also possible to drop this whole theory that Corbyn’s support is mostly down to young, naive idealists or an obsessive group of left-wing die-hards? He’s on around 40%. I’m sure not all of those will be young dreamers or Lenin-bearded vegetarians. Most of them will be just boringly average ‘normal’ voters (whatever that means).

  27. @Pete

    “as it looks like it would’ve been far worse if Cameron and co had been in charge.”

    ——–

    They would have had a uni-partite regulatory approach that worked so well everywhere else, and we could have staved off collapse with consumers telling each other the banking “beer” had gone bad.

    “Oh look, Barclays is seizing up! Better tell Geoff!”
    “Geoff’s busy telling Samantha that Lloyds is in trouble too!”
    “They’re all seizing up, they no longer trust each other”
    “Let’s tell someone else, that’ll change everything!”
    “Warn them that it’s too late?”
    “Yes. So they know the beer has gone bad.”

  28. @Turk

    I agree with you really.

    There won’t be an election until 2022, and by then both JC and McD will be considerably older. Brexit will be complete. Who knows.

    A very different place to 2018.

  29. TOM PRICE

    Absolutely. It’s tiresome reading so much anti Corbyn stuff. Folk go out of their way to discredit him.

    JONESINBANGOR

    I would love to agree with you but cannot. If we had a snap Election I reckon we would be in hung Parliament territory again.

  30. CARFREW, 11:18, quality post haha.

  31. @Tom Pride – “Please,the argument that Corbyn should be 20% ahead really is nonsense. With the fairly recent demise of UKIP and the continued collapse of the LibDem vote, voters are split fairly evenly between Lab and Con. That’s over 80% – which is quite remarkable, and means both Lab and Con are going to find it hard to break ahead in any significant way.”

    Nonsense it certainly isn’t. Have a look at polls around this time in 1990. Two main parties on c85%, 25 point Labour Lead.

  32. @Andrew Myers
    I’m presuming your comment is tongue in cheek, considering what happened at the 1992 election?

  33. Some real polling news foks.

    Number Cruncher Politics (AKA Matt Singh – famous for getting the 2015 GE result correct) has done an online VI poll using a different sampling technique:

    https://www.ncpolitics.uk/2018/04/voting-intention-conservatives-in-the-lead.html/#more-2970

    Con 43
    Lab 38
    LD 8
    UKIP 3
    GRN 3
    SNP 4

    This new method is supposed to contact more voters who are harder to reach and less politically engaged.

    I’ve checked and NCP don’t seem to members of the British Polling Council, but the tables are here:

    h ttps://www.ncpolitics.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/voting-intention-2018-04-07.pdf

    A quick look through the tables vs You Gov (where I’ve got data to hand) revealed some big changes in the regional breakdowns:

    London – NCP (YG)

    Con 41 (35)
    Lab 44 (49)
    LD 6 (10)

    Mean error 5

    South

    Con 51 (51)
    Lab 28 (31)
    LD 9 (9)

    Mean error 1

    North

    Con 39 (33)
    Lab 49 (54)
    LD 6 (6)

    Mean error 3.7

    Scotland

    SNP 46 (37)
    Con 22 (26)
    Lab 16 (27)
    LD 13 (6)

    Mean error 8.3

    ————————————————–

    The Scotland and London samples do look to be very, very different.

    I would like to hear people’s view on this new direction for NCP, especially @AW and @Roger Mexico.

  34. Cameron and Osborne flip flopping 10 years or so ago is of minimal significance to the Electorate. Even in 2010 when I tried to tell people in my NEast constituency whose savings were saved by Brown/Darling voting Tory that they would have let Northern Rock fall (they said it was right after all later) I was told ‘so what’ (more or less).

    People don’t remember opposition positions during parliaments by and large, it is the mood music they create that matters.

  35. @ Tom Pride – not at all – I am suggesting that it is totally possible for two parties to control over 80% of total VI and one of them to be 20 points plus ahead of the other, which is where you need to be in opposition to all but guarantee a win at a subsequent GE.

    In the example I give I suspect Kinnock would have gone on to win the 1992 election had Thatcher stayed in situ, given that even to her most loyal supporters she had gone completely mad by then!

  36. If those London figures in the YouGov poll are close to being accurate then it’s going to be a bad night for the Tories. The most intensive media-orchestrated smear campaign against Corbyn and Labour since the GE and the Labour party went up 2 points and the Tories down 1!

  37. If those London figures in the YouGov poll are close to being accurate then it’s going to be a bad night for the Tories in theo local elections. The most intensive media orchestrated smear campaign against Corbyn and Labour since the GE and the Labour party went up 2 points and the Tories down 1!

  38. @CMJ

    Number cruncher was correct in 2015 … but was he in 2017? I seem to remember that he was not. He also called the EU Referendum for Remain. I’m not knocking him. His assessment in 2015 was impressive.

  39. @PETE

    “Carfrew, 11:18, quality post haha.”

    ——–

    Thanks Pete. Of course, we haven’t mentioned the craziness of thinking consumers have the even the time to monitor the provenance of everything they are buying, just in case it’s screwed up in some way. Especially not in tHe brave new world of holding down three zero hour joblets. To read Redwood’s report, he goes on about the burden on business of regulation.

    It seems to elude him that regulation can often be quite efficient. It’s quite efficient if we don’t have to worry so much about food poisoning because some health and safety peep has done regular checks. It’s efficient if we don’t have to check if a factory pollutes, etc. etc. then I can spend my time doing more useful things, like playing with synths and horrifying everyone with Redwood quote, which is something we don’t see enough of.

  40. ANDREW MYERS

    [Labour] played a blinder in 2017 GE managing to pull in virtually all the Remain vote. With a deal crystalised they would have nowhere to go though. The options would be copy the Tories or offer the implementation of a bad deal.

    Except Labour didn’t “pull in virtually all the Remain vote”. According to the Ashcroft poll taken during the EU Ref, the 7097 Remain voters in the sample[1] voted as follows:

    Con 24%

    Lab 50%

    Lib Dem 14%

    SNP 6%

    Green 2%

    Plaid 1%

    Other/Refused 2%

    So rather than virtually all, it was barely half.

    It can’t be said too often, but the last election was not all about Brexit, particularly for Labour voters for whom it was not even the most important topic. So they are unlikely to change their opinions, even if there is miraculously a perfect solution to Brexit that everyone loves. Which I somehow doubt.

    Indeed by that logic, if such a solution were found, it would be Leave voters who would be more vulnerable to changing their voting intention as their main worry no longer existed.

    But most voters at the last election were concerned with other topics, such as the NHS, as well or indeed primarily. At the start of the campaign talk of Brexit dominated (as was intended), but as other topics came to the fore Labour’s rating rose. As did Corbyn’s when the broadcasters were forced to deal fairly with all Parties once the election was called – though the Press continued as rabid as ever.

    And that should be a warning to the Conservatives. Because if they continue to rely on Brexit and Evil Corbyn as their only two selling points, they may find it is even less efective than it was last year.

    [1] The sample wasn’t weighted by Leave/Remain so there were actually more Remain voters, which is quite common in polls (Leave voters seem to be less likely to be members of pollsters’ panels). That said it is very possible that more Remain that Leave voters actually voted last June. 1.35 million more people voted in the Referendum than a year later, and in addition changes due to deaths and new voters should favour Remain because of age differences.
    Equally the overall vote – Con 41%, Lab 38% – doesn’t quite match the GB vote, but it’s not far enough out to suggest big differences and in any case there’s nothing to say that the internal breakdown of the Remain vote would be unrepresentative.

  41. I haven’t looked very hard for reports elsewhere, but the Graun are salivating over the prospect of launch of a new party, designed to break the mould of UK politics, or in other words to split the Labour vote and let the Tories in. Some telly mogul is giving them 50 million quid apparently.

    From the description it sounds like they are going to be a sort of pro Brexit, anti immigration, slightly more right wing and slightly less liberal libdems, a sort of orange book ukip.

    Unless this is a wind up they forgot to publish last Sunday it’s difficult to imagine how positioning themselves behind this lot will endear their readership, already weary of their relentless assaults on the old man from the allotment, to them further, but their fanatical Blairism seems to lead them to lay down with some very peculi*r people these days.

    Presumably Neil Hamilton will be looking for a new source of funding before long, perhaps they could try to attract him to lead them into their brave new abyss.

  42. CatManJeff

    Matt Singh’s description of his methodology is very interesting:

    https://www.ncpolitics.uk/2018/04/we-did-a-poll-heres-why-and-what-we-found.html/

    Indeed he seems to be as much interested in trying out new methods as the results, especially in trying to do something that YouGov has tried to do over the last few years and include more of the politically disengaged. He has used a longer survey period (9 days) albeit over Easter and clearly tried to get an initial sample that matched the demographics, so as to minimise the need for weighting (which is very light).

    That said there are some oddities in the tables:

    https://www.ncpolitics.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/voting-intention-2018-04-07.pdf

    As well as the regional ones you picked up – which might be explained by smallish sub-samples, though London in particular looks strange – there are other queries. There isn’t the gender gap we have seen in most recent polls with men favouring the Tories and women more Labour. The Conservatives also seem to be just ahead among 2017 non-voters as well which is unusual. I wonder as well if there is too much contribution from them.

    There are a few other things as well to do with Remain/Leave but nothing massive. But this isn’t actually a poll that differs significantly from the run of other polls (unlike say the Survation ones), so that’s not to be expected.

    I would expect Matt Singh to follow the BPC rules and there doesn’t seem a problem in single-person consultancies joining (Nick Moon is a member for example). The members list on the BPC site seems out of date anyway (of which more later).

  43. @Andrew Myers.
    If it’s alright with you, I’ll claim your (albeit very ancient) example of an opposition being 20+ points ahead but then going on to lose the next election, in support of my argument that an opposition needing to be 20+ points ahead to order to go on and win the next election is nonsense. Ta.

  44. Pete.

    My recollection is that Remainers told us all this during the Referendum campaign and we voted Leave anyway.

    I’ve never heard of a single person voted who to Leave the EU contingent upon the UK getting a two way trade deal with the USA on the welfare of chickens farmed in the United States. I can’t recall ever having met anyone who voted Leave contingent on any trade deals at all.

    When we leave the Protectionist Customs Union we can in any event abolish tariffs unilaterally on anything we like without permitting the sale of chlorinated raw chicken

    In any case, there’s no reason to believe that that US is going to insist on being able to sell chlorinated chicken in the UK, and even if it did, no one here’s obliged to buy it.

    The people who told this Opinion Poll firm this, are already buying chlorinated chicken, in in the UK in any case. Chlorinated chicken is already present in many processed foods imported from outside the EU.

    The chlorinated chicken issue however is entirely a chicken welfare matter. It’s nothing to do with food safety at the point of consumption. The purpose of chlorination is to make the chicken safe to eat, if its’ been reared in conditons in which salmonella etc is more likely to thrive, e.g. in the United States.

    The chickens are chlorinated after they are dead and dismembered.

    Some people might actually welcome chlorinination when they understand what it actually means.

    We’re not all rich liberals who can afford tp pay top wack for chicken products.

    Many people already chlorinate their own chicken by washing it in tap water, and nearly all of us chlorinate our salads by the same method. If we don’t, we’re risking food poisoning from the salad items. Most stomach ulcers are caused by contaminated salad products.

    On any case I don’t see these rich pro EU liberals bothering much about the egg laying chickens, the pigs, veal and foie gras etc etc etc, reared within the EU. The treatment of animals in some EU countries is far worse than it is in the USA and a lot of the food that comes through some EU countries is smuggled in via them, from non EU countries where conditions are even worse.

    If these people polled had any idea what they are talking about they would realise that the logical ouctome to what they are suggesting is to Leave the EU and never trade with anyone.

    Furthermore I don’t see them refusing to go on posh foreign holdays all over the globe and coming back boasting that they’ve been eating the local meats reared and killed in terrible conditons, including dogs, horses and and monkeys heads.

    The scandal a few years ago over horse meat in processed food was entirely an EU originated one.

  45. Th small revival in the past week might however be due to the small anti Semitism blip affect having subsided.

    The fact is, however, as I have been saying for at least six months, people are now entrenched in two camps. There are FAR fewer ‘floating’ voters than there were.

    Who, for example is ‘floating’ between the Tories and Corbyn?

    Poll after Poll shows Corbyn having reached his glass ceiling and that’s all there is to it. These poll figures are identical to the raw data surveys just prior to the 2017 election.

    It was turnout adjustments that got it wrong in 2017, not the raw data.

    The 2022 election will be decided on who’s voters are more likely to turn out.

    How many Tories are likely not to bother voting if they think Corbyn might win? They are near certain to be outnumbered by those who say they are Labour but presented with a real possibility of a Corbyn victory, will either vote Tory or not vote at all.

    Considering it’s now nearly a year into this Parliament, and nearly 8 years into this Tory Government, the Tories are doing astonishingly well in the polls. You have to scour the polling data running back into history to find a governing party doing so well at the same point, let alone going on to lose the next election. I can’t find one instance of it happening

    And Party in government for so long, in any major country in the world is doing anything near as good as this.

    The next test will be the Local Elections. Labour will do well. But especially outside central London, they won’t do near as well as people think.The Lib Dems will do much better than people think.

    Incidentally, when it comes to this anti Semitism row, doesn’t anyone ever consider the possibility that some voters actually ARE anti Semitic and swing over to Corbyn because they think he is as well.

    This is a fatal mistake that liberals always make.They hear of views they don’t like, and arrogantly assume that everyone else thinks the same as them. The trouble is, they never learn.

  46. Depending on its positioning, a new party could just as easily split the centre-right vote. Or do nothing significant at all.

  47. @TED

    If Mr Franks’ new party was as you believe it will be, it’d be the answer to my prayers.

    Centre or mildly centre-left, pro-business and not obsessed (one way or the other) with Brexit?

    Yes please!

    I’ve always thought of myself as a Eurosceptical Orange Book LibDem so it would be right up my alley.

    Of course it’s extremely unlikely that it would get anywhere, and I agree that the main consequence would be to help the Tories by dividing the left (again). But I’d be willing to give such a party my vote, in the vague hope that this time things might be different.

    A hung parliament in 2022 represents the best chance yet for PR I think, and if it wasn’t for FPTP such a party would probably thrive.

    However, from the Guardian’s short report I am not sure that the party (if it ever actually becomes a political party) would be quite as you describe.

  48. theexterminatingdalek: I haven’t looked very hard for reports elsewhere, but the Graun are salivating over the prospect of launch of a new party, designed to break the mould of UK politics, or in other words to split the Labour vote and let the Tories in. Some telly mogul is giving them 50 million quid apparently.

    From the description it sounds like they are going to be a sort of pro Brexit, anti immigration, slightly more right wing and slightly less liberal libdems, a sort of orange book ukip.

    Why would the Guardian salivate over that?

    As for being pro-brexit, the party looks to be a waste of space in a very crowded market and rather short of any USP. It looks equally likely to split the tory vote.

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