Here are the mid-week polls so far:

Kantar – CON 45%(+8), LAB 27%(nc), LDEM 16%(-1), BREX 2%(-7)
YouGov/Times/Sky – CON 42%(-3), LAB 30%(+2), LDEM 15%(nc), BREX 4%(nc)
ICM/Reuters – CON 42%(+3), LAB 32%(+1), LDEM 13%(-2), BREX 5%(-3)
Survation/GMB – CON 42%, LAB 28%, LDEM 13%, BREX 5%

A few things to note. Kantar and ICM have now removed the Brexit party as an option in the seats where they are not standing, which will have contributed to the increase in Conservative support and decrease in Brexit party support (YouGov had already introduced this change last week).

The Survation poll is the first telephone poll that they’ve conducted in this election campaign (all their other recent polls have been conducted online), hence they’ve recommended against drawing direct comparisons with their previous poll. The fourteen point Tory lead in this poll is substantially larger than in Survation’s previous poll, which had a lead of only six points, but it’s impossible to tell whether that’s down to an increase in Conservative support or the different methodology. At the last election their two approaches produced similar results, with their final poll being conducted by phone.

Finally, Kantar’s polling has received some criticism on social media for their approach to turnout weighting, with “re-weighted” versions of their figures doing the rounds. The details of this criticism are wrong on almost every single measure. It’s very easy for people to retweet figures claiming they show the turnout figures from Kantar, but it takes rather longer to explain why the sums are wrong Matt Singh did a thread on it here, and RSS Statistical Ambassador, Anthony Masters, has done a lengthier post on it here.

In short, the claims confuse normal demographic weights (the ones Kantar use to ensure the proportion of young and old people in the samples matches the figures the ONS publish for the British population as a whole) with their turnout model. Secondly, they compare youth turnout to early estimates straight after the 2017 election, when there have been subsequent measures from the British Election Study that were actually checked against the marked electoral register, so are almost certainly more accurate. Compared to those figures, Kantar’s turnout levels look far more sensible. The figures do imply a small increase in turnout among older voters, a small drop amongst younger votes, but nowhere near the level that has been bandied about on social media.

However, if we leave aside the specific criticisms, it is true to say that turnout has different impacts on different pollsters. In the 2017 election many pollsters adopted elaborate turnout models based on demographic factors. These models largely backfired, so pollsters dropped them. Most polling companies are now using much simpler turnout models, that have much less of an impact, and which are based primarily on how likely respondents to the poll say they will vote.

Kantar is the exception – in 2017 they used a model that predicted people’s likelihood to vote based on both how likely they said they were to vote, but also their past voting and how old they are. Unlike many other companies this worked well for them and they were one of the more accurate polling companies, so they kept it. That does mean that Kantar now have a turnout model that makes more difference than most.

Looking at the polls at the top of this post, factoring in turnout made no difference to the lead in YouGov’s poll (it was a 12 point Tory lead before turnout weighting, a 12 point Tory lead afterwards). The same is true of Survation – their poll would have had a 14 point lead before turnout was factored in, and a 14 point lead afterwards. In ICM’s poll, without turnout the lead would have been 7 points, with turnout it grows to 10 points. With Kantar’s latest poll, the tables suggest that the turnout weighting increased the Tory lead from 10 points to 18 points.

Hence, while the specific claims about Kantar are nonsense, it is true to say their turnout model has more impact than that of some other companies. That does not, of course, mean it is wrong (turnout is obviously a significant factor in elections). However, before going off on one about how important turnout weighting is to the current polls, it’s rather important to note that for many companies it is contributing little or nothing to the size of the Tory lead.

1,091 Responses to “Latest voting intention and the impact of turnout”

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  1. So LAB manifesto due at 11am and seems they’ve dropped “Carbon Neutral by 2030” conf policy. What other promises and pledges been dropped and how much will the remnants cost the average tax payer?

    Anyway a pre-joke that’s going around based on LAB’s “Manifesto of Hope” . There are two types of LAB voter

    1/ Hope LAB deliver EVERYTHING in their manifesto

    2/ Hope enough LDEM MPs are elected in other seats so that they can stop McDonnell doing anything in the LAB manifesto (apart from the 2nd ref bit)

    and since this a polling site you can work that split out from the x-breaks in opinion polls (make an adjustment for cognitive consistency inflating the Corbyn approval numbers IMO) ;)

    NB Manifesto launch was when the polls turned last time (some “leaks” started the turn a little earlier) so the LAB and CON manifestos will be an important “event” that MIGHT (or might not) make a difference. “all to play for”

  2. PS I’ll be looking at LAB manifesto for bits CON can “-lite” en up and include in their manifesto (or just adopt-lite at a later date)

    I’ll happily admit, in advance, they will have some OK stuff in there and once we’ve left the EU then I wouldn’t rule out voting LAB if they drop the Loony Left stuff and CON continue with Osborn[1] style ne0liberalism

    [1] I note he’s voting for LDEM, along with Blair I expect. LDEM = party of the ne0liberal elite (and those, who like Swinson, will benefit from a huge effective pay rise from her policies – you know the one I mean!!)

  3. AW advises us to look at trends over time with any of the pollsters rather than a single set of figures. I have been following the ComRes polls and the trend is interesting. There have been five polls since the 30th October and the net movement for the parties is as follows using the latest poll:

    Cons 42% (+6)
    Lab 31% (+2)
    LD 15% (-2)
    BXT 5% (-6)

    So, the two largest parties have been gaining at the expense of the smaller parties. The Conservative gain has been steady, they have gained every time, and are showing 40% or more on the last three polls. The 11% lead is the highest so far.

    The last YouGov in contrast showed the Tory lead dropping 3 to 12%, the next one will be interesting.

  4. Why won’t the government release the Russia report? James O’Brien asks the experts.
    James O’brien.

  5. @ UKELECT – Thanks for the link. I like the fact their numbers have:

    “Brexit-specific tactical voting enabled. Candidate-specific settings”

    Gives me something to play with before 11am ;)


    PS There is potentially a bit of “gr0upthink” going on such that several models are coming up with similar numbers.

    I’m sure most folks respect a “central” number will have a large confidence range around it and that once we get some good, new MRP analysis (eg YG) then it’s not unreasonable that most of the better models will have dealt with the BXP “pulled candidates” issue etc in a similar way (really didn’t have much impact on seats) but that the “lumpiness” (or not) of BXP and LDEM VI (ie “tactical voting” or not) is.. well… “tricky” to factor in and will make a large difference to seats.

  6. The 737 Max situation is fascinating and horrifying in equal measure. It provides a stark warning of the danger of regulatory capture, where the relationship between a company and its supposed regulators becomes too close and cosy.

    But as Peter Cairns has pointed out, the airline business is effectively a duopoly. That it is at least that, and not a monopoly, is down to that great example of the benefits of joint European action: Airbus.

    Airbus was created as a last-ditch attempt to harness the excellence of European (above all, British) aviation technology in a common venture that could have the scale to compete with the dominant American industry. Individual European nations and companies had tried and failed, despite some excellent products and modest successes (Viscount, Caravelle, F27 & 28, BAC-111). Without Airbus, the consolidation of the US industry into a single player, Boeing, would have rolled on and given the world an effective monopoly.

    Inevitably, the UK blew hot and cold on the Airbus venture and eventually BAe sold out in favour of co-operation with the USA on military aviation (F-35). But at least our involvement left us as the base for Airbus wing production and much of the R&D. Post-brexit, the survival of those key technologies in the UK will depend on the kindness of what we are bent on turning into a competitor.

    Incidentally, I think Peter’s characterisation of the the A320neo as ” in many ways … the same thing, a new bigger engine on an old plane” is a little misleading. The difference is first that the 737 is in origin a completely analogue 1960s design (with a 1950s fuselage, from the 707/727). The A320, by contrast, is a 1980s design that was new from the ground up and, crucially, designed around computerised flight control systems. It also has higher wings than the 737, leaving more room underneath for larger engines. Boeing could only accommodate the latest big engines on the MAX by moving them forward, which is the origin of the fundamental stability problems ACAS was designed to mask.

  7. Sorry, MCAS not ACAS on the 737.

  8. Redrich

    Glen O’Hara – a historian who comments on politics from the vantage point of insider knowledge – stated this week that *everyone he has spoken to* — I presume who have knowledge of Scotland — is saying that the Conservatives in Scotland are not just chipper, they are bullish, and that 9 Tory seats are being talked about.

    He has not commented on Labour in Scotland.

  9. Redrich he posted on 18 Nov:

    “Everyone, without exception, says Scottish Tories are more than chipper – they are bullish. We shall see. Say nine or ten holds is very different to only five. ”

  10. Passtherockplease, (Peter Cairns)
    “The scary part of this is that the Ethiopian jet had MCAS but did not have some of the warning and backup systems ”

    Well maybe, but the bottom line seems to have been that if you realised the computer system was operating wrong, all you could do was switch it off and try to fly manually. Boeing told pilots to do this after the first crash. Problem was, it was physically impossible to do this because enormous strength was needed to crank the controls manually.

    The wikipedia article suggests the plane is very behind the curve in safety systems. It has two computers and various duplicate systems, but they dont check each other to confirm they agree. All a pilot can do is try to use the alternate if the first fails. Wiki said airbus planes are designed for computers to check each other, and with triple redundancy on critical systems, so the computer can make a 2 of 3 decision.

    The computer had no way to know the sensor had failed so it was doing the wrong thing and should have allowed pilots to overrule. But it was also a deliberate design policy to take away pilot’s freedom to fly manually, because of this problem of trying to make the plane qualify as identical to its predecessor, which could only be done if the computer was an integral and unremoveable part of the system. Also, it looks as though the plane was inherently unstable in certain conditions and Boeing reckoned it could not be flown safely without the computer. So you couldnt allow it to be switched off.

  11. I`ve just trawled down the thread [it was not visible to me for most of yesterday] and am amazed at the ignorance of David Carrod.

    And adding to his wrong comment about which armies were fighting at Culloden, I am pretty sure DC didn`t know where Hadrian built his wall, from comments he made some weeks ago.

    If David was an early school leaver not having gone on to further education and being uninterested in UK affairs, these lapses could have been forgiven. But he is a professional, and sufficiently interested in politics to come on UKPR and argue his cases.

    So it is quite likely that his lack of knowledge about the UK is shared by many in his region, yet these are the people contemplating and bullying through their constitutional decisions for the UK.

    As readers here doubtless expect, I blame our UK media for this sad state of affairs. Producers who can think that sacking the Spurs manager takes precedence in the news over Wales` football win. And that England cricket is more important than GB`s Davis Cup result.

    Is it really just the coverage of possible rapes that will get a fair share of the news for Scotland?

  12. I have spoken to people who live slap-bang in the centre of Scotland (Perthshire – one of the biggest counties) – within easy reach of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow – who say that the conservatives are campaigning actively there and sending out electoral literature.

  13. The Other Howard,
    “AW advises us to look at trends over time”

    The comres you cite, in absence of any other information, suggests BxP support bleeding rapidly to con, but lib support bleeding more slowly to lab.

    If we extended this trend over time, then both lib and BxP would end with zero support, con inherit 47% and lab 46%.

    Which actually seems to be what happened in 2017. Hung parliament to be expected.

  14. This from Lord Ashcroft’s latest poll – just before the ITV “debate”.

    “Just under half (47%) of respondents said they had definitely decided how they would vote on 12 December. Those leaning towards the Conservatives were the most likely to say they had decided (68%), with only just over half (54%) of Labour leaners and only 37% of those most inclined to the Lib Dems saying they had made up their minds. Seven in ten 2017 Conservative leavers said they had definitely decided, compared to just 48% of Tory remainers. Labour remainers were slightly more likely to say they had finally decided (46%) than Labour leavers (42%).”

  15. Following the “debate”, a YouGov poll found,”Among those who haven’t yet made up their minds how to vote on 12 December, Corbyn was judged the victor by 54 per cent to Johnson’s 38 per cent.”

  16. The Ashcroft poll found,”As last week, the most frequent answer when we asked what specific election stories people had noticed in the past few days was “none”. Notably, public spending promises, Labour’s free broadband policy, floods and the NHS were all mentioned more often than Brexit.”

  17. Sam,
    yougov poll top this thread had much the same results, that more con/leave have definitely decided, implying there is still a pool of uncertain remainers not being counted in the headline figures.

    Likelihood is however, they will go back to labour/remain, based on what they chose last time.

    This was the case already when BJ started saying he wanted an election. A conservatives lead, but the implication it would melt away during a campaign.

  18. I wonder what folks thoughts are on Johnson’s supposed blurting of a favourable incorrect figure for the impact of the NI reduction i.e the £500 saving being presented as something that is intended immediately, rather than an aspiration over an unspecified time period.

    Is it another of Johnson’s part truths/part lies blurted out whilst under pressure or a cynical announcement that he was looking for a suitable opportunity to unveil? Surely if it’s the former then it does call into even more question his suitability as PM and if the latter then it’s yet another example of cynical campaigning, like the renaming of the Twitter account.

    And how many voters, if asked would now say that Tory policy is to reduce NI by £500 at their first budget?

  19. Today’s Labour manifesto so far what we know:

    320,000 climate apprenticeships helping reduce global warming and increase good jobs
    6 years free adult education for *all* + scrap uni tuition fees for all straight away
    Extra £26bn for NHS bringing great health services to all
    £845m for child mental health services for children with mental health issues – an important policy
    Free broadband for all whether poor or not
    Bigger house building program than Tories – straight away in brownfield sites – making houses affordable

  20. Prof Howard

    “the conservatives are campaigning actively there and sending out electoral literature.”

    Wow, fancy! Anyone would think there is a general election going on or something.

  21. Danny

    All the pro-Tory signals from Lib Dems are designed to pick up votes from Pro-Remain Tories. They may well lose to Labour however.

  22. Alex Salmond charged in court with 10 offences of sexual assault on women whilst being 1st Minister.

  23. @Trevor Warne You mention forecasting group think. Based on 2017 I think that is a real danger. There are many adjustments that you can make to forecasting methods (various weightings) and it is easy to adjust forecasts to achieve a result closer to consensus. That’s not necessarily happening at the moment, but in 2017 I certainly became concerned close to the election that the UK-Elect forecasts using default parameter values, and taking account of trends, were suggesting a very narrow Conservative win – or even a hung parliament. I was also well aware that the other forecasts were mostly indicating a very substantial Tory majority. I decided that perhaps my weightings were wrong and adjusted them to produce a result most (but not all) of the way back to the pack. As a result UK-Elect was still one of the more accurate forecasters, but should have been much better.

  24. @ProfHoward

    Many thanks – Scotland looks interesting, in the sense it may be paralleling England with the smaller parties being squeezed due to a constitutional issues – the difference being in Scotland its independence rather than Brexit, and SNP/Con as opposed to Lab/Con.

    I’ve spoken to couple of people (Lab activists) who claimed Lab are starting to pick up support from younger voters (tired with the focus on constitutional issues). However, I have yet to find any other evidence that could support this.

  25. Bantams – I had not realised there were allegations from quite so many women about sex assault from Mr Salmond.

    Scotland’s former First Minster while holding that office.


    In terms of the media there’s a serious danger the Labour manifesto will be relegated to second place in the news today.

  27. Not necessarily bad news for Labour tho Bantams – such a lot of negative news from the Anglo-Scot establishment lately: Royals/Tory PMs/SNP FMs.

  28. In terms of the media there’s a serious danger the Labour manifesto will be relegated to THIRD place in the news today.

  29. Yes I think Labour would have preferred sex predators off the news for the day they were launching.

  30. @Prof Howard

    “All the pro-Tory signals from Lib Dems are designed to pick up votes from Pro-Remain Tories. They may well lose to Labour however.”

    I heard Swinson and Davey yesterday, and I think the Lib Dem Brexit position is unravelling apace. This isn’t surprising because it was utterly misguided in the first place. Intoxicated with hubris after the Euro elections, they thought they were going to transplant Labour and monopolise the Remain vote, thereby catapulting them to main Opposition status at any future General Election. Maybe at the most hallucinatory phaset of this hubris, Swinson actually thought that she had a chance of becoming PM, I don’t know, but the claim now looks risible and foolish, as does the commitment to revoke Article 50 should they win the election. What on earth were they doing with such silliness as policy and, more worryingly for them, what strategic geniuses in their electoral high command conceived it in the first place?

    Wiser heads should have prevailed after the Euro elections. Labour polled 14%, the Tories 9%, both a long way adrift of the Lib Dems, but did anyone serious in the Lib Dems actually think any of this one-off voting was going to replicate itself in a General Election? General Elections are different worlds and drifts, maybe even headlong rushes, back to the two main parties were inevitable. I know FPTP is hideously unfair to the Lib Dems, but they have to adapt to optimise the system as best they can until and if it is changed. They haven’t and I fear they are now falling between two stools. We’ve now got the incredible position of the Stop Brexit party insinuating that there might be circumstances where they’d put Johnson back in Downing Street after December 12th. Qualified to the nth degree I accept, but implied by Davey last night. As I say, extraordinary nonsense from the most overtly Remain party on offer. Run that past me again Mr Davey and Ms Swinson. How does false equivalence work between Johnson and Corbyn? Johnson will take us out of the EU if he wins and Corbyn is pledged to a Second Referendum with Remain an option. How in God’s name does lumping them and their parties together as equally unacceptable work if stopping Brexit is your raison d’etre at this election? The stupidity of the politics involved is mind-boggling to me.

    Here’s how I think they should have played it instead. Once Labour had pivoted to pledging a Second Referendum (and I give the Lib Dems credit for forcing Labour’s hand on this by dint of their performance at the Euro elections – even I voted for them!!), they should have then campaigned on a purer version of that pledge, but qualified it by saying, if they couldn’t form a Government themselves (stop laughing at the back there) they’d support a Corbyn led administration in a hung Parliament, confidence and supply only given policy by policy and with a Brexit second referendum taken as read. Maybe also some co-operation in terms of election strategy too. Stopping Johnson being the glue that binds. They could even outline how they’d box a Corbyn minority government in.

    Yes, yes, I know. Danger of driving soft Tory remainers back into Johnson’s clutches because of association with Corbyn, but’s nothing is easy and straightforward in politics. Hard choices have to be made, but burning all boats before the blo*dy show has even started is the politics of insanity. The Lib Dems slow deflation in the polls is testimony to their terrible mistake.

  31. DAYWEL: ‘I`ve just trawled down the thread [it was not visible to me for most of yesterday] and am amazed at the ignorance of David Carrod.
    And adding to his wrong comment about which armies were fighting at Culloden, I am pretty sure DC didn`t know where Hadrian built his wall, from comments he made some weeks ago.’

    I know exactly where Hadrian’s Wall is, I’ve walked along it.

    The phrase ‘south of Hadrian’s Wall’ is a meant to be a generic term to denote England, rather than an exact geographical reference to the England-Scotland border, which is further north.

    I was talking to a chap from the Highlands a few years ago, and mentioned that I’d been on business to Scotland several times, including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dumfries, Ayr, Stirling and Dundee.

    No, he said, those places are in England. The real Scotland doesn’t start until you get north of Aberdeen.


    Thanks for the party political broadcast. One of them caught my eye:

    Bigger house building program than Tories – straight away in brownfield sites – making houses affordable

    What’s your definition of ‘straight away’? In the best case scenario a housing development takes three years from inception to the houses actually being ready to move in to, and that’s assuming the site is relatively straightforward, planning and construction go without a hitch, and that the developer is experienced and already has the site and finance in place. Given the need to pass legislation, identify and/or acquire sites, and employ the right people, then Labour would be lucky if a single one of these homes were complete before the next election.

    That’s not to say that it isn’t needed, but timescales are long in property. Aside from that, the issue is more to do with availability of land. There isn’t that much brownfield left in areas of high demand, so if all Labour did was crowd private developers out by compulsorily purchasing their sites then the first thing we’d see as a result of this policy would be a big drop in housebuilding.

  33. Redrich

    Until we see a Full Scottish poll, then no one has much of a clue as to the relative strengths of the parties.

    The last one we had was from YG 23-25 October.

    Hints can be sought in YG crossbreaks

    YG Scots crossbreaks (in lieu of actual Scots polls)
    Average of Last 6 (N=983 : last 3 based on constituency VI : changes from Previous 14 in brackets)

    SNP 42.6% (0.6)
    SCon 24% (3.3)
    SLab 12.4% (0.2)
    SLD 12% (-1)
    BxP 5.4% (-0.7)
    Grn 3.3% (-1.4)

  34. For those interested here’s the BBC Alex Salmond link!


  35. @ UKELECT – Thank you the back info on GE’17. The big “miss” by most folks back then was the “youthquake” and lack of Brexit impact (IMO). That resulted in LAB winning loads of “uni town” seats and CON not winning the seats they needed in LAB-Leave.

    Via a great team effort on UKPR some folks mentioned the issues early on and then once we saw YG MRP model (and before that the manifestos, Mayb0t no show, etc) then the risk of a CON minority govt became real (but beyond saying CON might have won 300-400 seats it was only with hindsight that we could really see what happened – “perfect storm”)

    Anyway, back to GE’19 then I’ve done a first sift of your numbers on the “interesting” seats and you certainly have some differences to my model (and Electoral Calculus, Gina and B4B’s MRPs) – ie this is not a case of groupth!nk getting the some aggregate numbers.

    Hopefully we can discuss prediction models further but I’ll be trawling through LAB manifesto for the next few hours.

  36. **Labour to give Public Sector workers a 5% pay increase**

  37. @CB11

    Good morning to you.

    I think both the LDs and Labour have made significant strategic errors since Easter. Labour should have moved quicker to 2nd ref position – they allowed the LDs back in the game. They should have agreed to GE earlier – it could have been done with legislation with a specific date. Going past the 31st Oct deadline far from hurting Johnson, has strengthened him and actually hastened the demise of the Brexit Party. Also Corbyn visibly became associated withe wranglings in parliament – undermining any perception of him as an insurgent / anti-establishment figure.

    On LD side – as you say buoyed by their Euro’s success, they thought they could make serious gains. This was based on the assumption that the BXP would be polling around 10% – helping Lab to hold on in many marginals and for them to win seats in the South, with a hung parl likely. The collapse of BXP has left this in tatters – and it looks like a similar process of polarisation of the electorate to the two main parties (largely driven by brexit) is occurring as it it did in ’17.

    The big question is, due to their respective miscalculations is their now sufficient time for remain voters go to drift to Lab to prevent an overall Tory majority.

  38. LAB manifesto finally makes it to their website.

    Clearly a lot of stuff has been chopped in order to make it less unbelievable.

    They don’t seem to want to bribe the “grey” vote with freebies – tactical mistake given the demographics of the marginal seats. Pub service workers bribe a good one though – well played.

    Letting down Green VI risky in % terms perhaps but from a seat perspective then I doubt it will make much difference and LAB are still “Greener” than LDEM and CON.

  39. @Oldnat

    Until we see a Full Scottish poll, then no one has much of a clue as to the relative strengths of the parties

    Thanks – its very frustrating that we haven’t had much to go on.

  40. The Economist is tweeting a poll they commissioned with Survation for Great Grimsby. They have the Tories with a 13% lead over Labour, a seat Labour has held for 74 years.

  41. Other eye catching policies:

    ** windfall tax on oil companies **

    ** free personal care for all elderly**

    **corporation tax to go back to 26%**

    **class sizes restricted to max 30**

    **EU free movement rights to be protected if leave (sounds like a pro Single Market policy) to pick up wavering remain voters**

  42. All this talk about the Tories saying how well they are doing in Scotland falls within the Old Git Theory of Vacuousness: this theory states “a political statement which would never be phrased in the opposite sense can be taken to have no substance”.

    Thus, when a politician states “I want the best for all people in this country” one thinks “would he ever say “I want the worst for all people in this country”. Self-evidently he wouldn’t, and the statement is thus meaningless. On the contrary, if he says “I will raise the standard rate of income tax 1p to pay for xyz” it is believable, since the opoosite would more normally be heard.

    So, would a party spokesman ever say “we’re not doing very well in Scotland” (or wherever)? Never. Therefore the statement that they are doing well can have, with equal likelihood, one of two meanings:
    a) they are doing very well;
    b) they aren’t.

  43. Nuvva poll, Ipsos Mori for the Evening Standard:

    Conservatives, 44 per cent (up three points since last month)
    Labour 28 per cent (up four)
    Liberal Democrat 16 (down four)
    Brexit Party three per cent (down four)
    Green Party three (unchanged)

    After allowing for seats where the Brexit Party is not standing.

    Link to the article below, lots of other stuff:

  44. @Crossbat

    Yes, Swinson has been a disappointment so far. There seems to be a pressure in politics these days to have a female leader if your Party has not already had one, but you still need the best person to lead. I’m not convinced BTW that Ed Davey would have been better, but then I don’t think that the Lib Dems have had a really good leader since Charles Kennedy, Tim Farron could have been if he not had issues with sexuality and IMO Vince Cable would have been had he stood for leader in 2007 (or even against Ming in 2006).

    My own suspicion is that because the Lib Dem Party Conference immediately preceded the Labour Party conference, Swinson was afraid that if she retained the previous Party position on a second referendum, that Labour would trump her by coming out for Remain in a second referendum the following week (which would be popular with the majority of Labour MPs and members). This would then put her in a position where she had to support a minority Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn.

    When Labour retained their ambiguous position on Brexit, it was apparent that going for Article 50 revoke had been unecessary, but it was too late to change back.

    As I have said before it is always easier to start with a soft position in politics, then harden it later, than vice versa. Perhaps it is a consequence of going straight into Parliament without having served an apprenticeship in local politics (although Charles Kennedy did too) that caused her misjudgments.

  45. Grimsby is a very leave seat – has been very marginal in times past. Tories would hope to win this sort of seat if they can get the brexit vote behind them.

  46. 2c on LAB manifesto on Brexit (p89-92, all of 3 pages so 2min read)

    1/ Final Say – NO, it would 2-0 or 1-1

    2/ 3mths to re-re-re-negotiate (fair enuf), next 3mths for a ref (v.unlikely it could be done that quickly). Probably talking a year of continued higher polarised uncertainty[1]

    3/ The ref would be:

    A/ Remain with NO SAY
    B/ Remain with a SAY

    4/ Loads of utter rubbish about what EU does/doesn’t have control over, ignorance of what is in the current WA, lying about being able to take “No Deal” of the table (it is the default, always will be and is more likely in a hung parliament), etc.

    5/ They toned down selling NHS to Trump and have dropped the l!es about drug prices but what a lot of b*llox on the rest of it.

    Good luck selling that tosh on the doorsteps of Leave voters in Midlands, North and Wales. Either LAB HQ are st00pid or they hope Leave voters are.

    [1] Fully prepared to accept Boris’s deal is not a “deal” but the range of final destination outcomes would be much narrower and hence, although some uncertainty would continue into 2020, possibly beyond, it wouldn’t be as polarised as “No Deal” to “Full Remain” – so business could start re-investing in UK with some clarity and certainty of what the final arrangements would be.

  47. Hung parliament (probably[1]) = crash-out No Deal

    See p85 of LAB manifesto:

    “ the early years of a UK Labour government we will not
    agree to a Section 30 order..”

    So SNP will not back LAB and hence unless LAB+(LDEM/2) > 323 then anything other than a CON majority will mean no govt can form so we hit the 31Jan’20 default.

    [1] LDEM/2 = assume as per Ed Davey comments that LDEM would abstain to allow PM Corbyn to become PM. It’s a narrow window in the v.v.unlikely area of outcomes but IF LAB won 300 seats and LDEM 40 (then add Green, PC but not SNP) then you MIGHT get that outcome. LDEM could then end PM Corbyn at any time via backing CON in a VoNC (although obviously Corbyn could then flip to SNP for support). Messy, risky – not totally impossible though.

    Alternative, more likely, is LAB break the manifesto promise and agree to whatever Nicola demands (section 30 instantly) in return for SNP MP votes.

    So Scots have a simple choice. If you want Indy vote SNP (as SLAB is the same thing). If you don’t then vote SCON (or SLD where they are the better ABSNP option)

  48. @Trevor Warne I would be very interested in your view on which UK-Elect constituency forecasts are most dubious and why. It may well be that further adjustments need to be made to the forecasting model and weightings.

  49. @ BANTAMS – Farage might ruin it on a split vote but if CON don’t win Great Grimsby then they ain’t winning the GE.

    Most folks will have it in/near their “top 10” targets and assume SNP+LDEM will take at least 10 seats from CON.

  50. @Crossbat

    In support of my argument, here is this editorial in today’s Independent

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