Our thoughts this morning are with the people of Nice after another terrifying attack in France

July 15th, 2016


After an extraordinary political week tonight sees a bumper crop of local by elections

July 14th, 2016

Wibsey (Lab defence) on Bradford
Result of council at last election (2016): Labour 49, Conservatives 21, Liberal Democrats 10, Independents 6, Green Party 3, United Kingdom Independence Party 1 (Labour majority of 8)
Result of ward at last election (2014): Labour 1,467 (42%), United Kingdom Independence Party 1,355 (39%), Conservative 499 (14%), Liberal Democrat 191 (5%)
Referendum Result: REMAIN 104,575 (46%) LEAVE 123,913 (54%) on a turnout of 67%
Candidates duly nominated: Angharad Griffiths (Lib Dem), Joanne Sharp (Lab), Richard Sheard (Con), Jason Smith (UKIP)

Newquay, Treviglas (UKIP defence) and St. Teath and St. Breward (Ind defence) on Cornwall
Result of council at last election (2013): Independents 37, Liberal Democrats 36, Conservatives 31, Labour 8, United Kingdom Independence Party 6, Mebyon Kernow 4, Green Party 1 (No Overall Control, Independents short by 25)
Referendum Result: REMAIN 140,540 (43%) LEAVE 182,665 (57%) on a turnout of 77%
Result of wards at last election (2013)

Newuay, Treviglas
United Kingdom Independence Party 266 (30%), Conservative 237 (27%), Liberal Democrat 218 (25%), Labour 156 (18%)
Candidates duly nominated: George Edwards (Ind), Julian Grover (Lab), Carl Leadbetter (Con), Paul Summers (Lib Dem)

St. Teath and St. Breward
Independent 628 (51%), Liberal Democrat 388 (32%), Conservative 204 (17%)
Candidates duly nominated: Dominic Fairman (Lib Dem), David Garrigan (Lab), Eddie Jones (Ind), William Kitto (Ind), Jeremy Stanford-Davis (Con), Susan Theobald (Ind),

Marchog (Ind defence) and Y Felinheli (Plaid defence) on Gwynedd
Result of council at last election (2012): Plaid Cymru 37, Independents 19, Llais Gwynedd 13, Labour 4, Liberal Democrats 2 (No Overall Control, Plaid short by 1)
Referendum Result: REMAIN 35,517 (58%) LEAVE 25,665 (42%) on a turnout of 72%
Result of wards at last election (2012)

Marchog: Emboldened denotes elected
Independents 365, 247 (58%)
Labour 218, 43 (34%)
Non Party Independent 76 (7%)
Candidates duly nominated: Dylan Fernley (Ind), Luke Tugwell (Lab)

Y Felinheli: Plaid Cymru elected unopposed
Candidates duly nominated: Gareth Griffith (Plaid), Andrew Kinsman (Con)

Barnsbury (Lab defence) on Islington
Result of council at last election (2014): Labour 47, Green Party 1 (Labour majority of 46)
Result of ward at last election (2014): Emboldened denotes elected
Labour 2,110, 1,948, 1,910 (56%)
Conservatives 710, 604, 594 (19%)
Green Party 467, 447, 327 (12%)
Liberal Democrats 400, 309, 286 (11%)
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition 100 (3%)
Referendum Result: REMAIN 76,420 (75%) LEAVE 25,080 (25%) on a turnout of 70%)
Candidates duly nominated: Robert Capper (Ind), Rowena Champion (Lab), Bradley Hillier-Smith (Lib Dem), Ernestas Jegorovas (Green), Edward Waldegrave (Con)

Forest Gate North (Lab defence) R on Newham
Result of council at last election: Labour 60 (Labour majority of 60)
Result of ward at last election (2014): Emboldened denotes elected
Labour 2,324, 2,126, 2,120 (58%)
Green Party 562, 559 (14%)
Conservatives 548, 490, 480 (14%)
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition 222 (6%)
Liberal Democrats 206 (5%)
Christian People’s Alliance 174, 146 (4%)
Referendum Result: REMAIN 55,328 (53%) LEAVE 49,371 (47%) on a turnout of 59%
Candidates duly nominated: Anamul Islam (Lab), John Oxley (Con), James Rumsby (Lib Dem), Elisabeth Whitebread (Green)

Astley (Con defence) on North Norfolk
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 33, Liberal Democrats 15 (Conservative majority of 18)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Conservative 734 (56%), Green Party 344 (26%), Labour 233 (18%)
Referendum Result: REMAIN 26,214 (41%) LEAVE 37,576 (59%) on a turnout of 77%
Candidates duly nominated: Pierre Butofoker (Lib Dem), Jo Copplestone (Con), Mandy Huntridge (Green), David Ramsbottom (UKIP), Callum Ringer (Lab)

Bryam and Brotherton (Lab defence) on Selby
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 22, Labour 8, Independent 1 (Conservative majority of 13)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Labour 648 (44%), Conservative 480 (33%), United Kingdom Independence Party 345 (23%)
Referendum Result: REMAIN 21,071 (41%) LEAVE 30,532 (59%) on a turnout of 79%
Candidates duly nominated: Bryan Sage (Con), Steven Shaw-Wright (Lab), Chris Whitwood (Yorkshire First)

Trowbridge, Grove (Ind defence) on Wiltshire
Result of council at last election (2013): Conservatives 59, Liberal Democrats 26, Independents 8, Labour 4, United Kingdom Independence Party 1 (Conservative majority of 20)
Result of ward at last election (2013): Independent 842 (86%), Liberal Democrat 142 (14%)
Referendum Result: REMAIN 137,258 (48%) LEAVE 151,637 (52%) on a turnout of 79%
Candidates duly nominated: Chris Auckland (Lib Dem), David Halik (Con), Shaun Henley (Lab), Phillip Randle (Green), Simon Selby (UKIP), Robert Wall (Ind)

Compiled by Harry Hayfield


Theresa May’s new government, we’re nearly there

July 14th, 2016

This is shaping up to be quite the egalitarian government, hardly any former public schoolboys and schoolgirls there.



Theresa May’s new cabinet so far, the night and day of the long kitten heels?

July 14th, 2016

The new government by Mrs May is so far appearing to be very different from that it was before, which seems very appropriate on Bastille Day.  If you’ve been a follower of UK politics for the last decade, that George Osborne is now on the backbenches it seems weird given his past dominance, in fact it is the first time since July 1992, that Gordon Brown or George Osborne hasn’t been either Shadow Chancellor or Chancellor.

It does appear that Mrs May’s is intent on delivering on her promises, in Justine Greening, we now have our first comprehensively educated Education Secretary. Justine Greening is recently came out, it is an indication how far the Tory party have moved on from their section 28 and opposing equal age of consent legacies.

As someone who is wishing Mrs May well, I do wonder if she has overdone the sackings, she only has a majority of 12, and as Lyndon Johnson observed, it is better to have the bastards inside the tent pissing out, than outside pissing in.



Corbyn the early favourite in the Labour leadership contest – but Owen Smith strong

July 14th, 2016

2016 LAB Leadership Contest – Latest from Betfair

Above is updating live betting from the Betfair exchange on the fight for the LAB leadership which has been totally overshadowed by events in the Tory party and the new PM. To recap in case you haven’t noticed

On Monday Angela Eagle held a launch event only to find that almost the entire media walked out in the middle to cover the Andrea Leadsom (remember her?) announcement that she was quitting the CON race.

On Tuesday Labour’s NEC decided to allow Corbyn to be on the ballot without having to find 50 MPs to nominate him.

Yesterday Owen Smith entered the race and has quickly moved to second favourite.

It is very important to note that there are two sets of betting markets – those on the current contest and those on who the NEXT party leader will be. The former features Corbyn the latter doesn’t. So those betting on next leader would find that their wagers still stand even if Corbyn holds on. In the graphic above I focus on the former – Corbyn’s battle to survive.

There’s been quite a spurt of betting on the relatively unknown Owen Smith who appears to have a well organised campaign in place. He is now totally overshadowing Angela Eagle who triggered the challenge in the first place.

Smith has made demanding another Brexit referendum a key policy point. This is something that distinguishes him from Corbyn and could resonate with Labour party members who split 90% for REMAIN on June 23rd. Corbyn’s ambivalence during the campaign has been one of the factors driving the move to oust him.

The list of runners has not been finalised and it could be that there is just one anti-Corbyn contender.

Mike Smithson


On a momentous day in British politics the latest PB/Polling Matters TV Show

July 13th, 2016

A new Prime Minister and what now for Labour?

UPDATE: The audio podcast version


So the changeover begins

July 13th, 2016
  • 6132016164227


  • h1

    Welcome to a new era in the Conservative party: The post-Bullingdon period

    July 13th, 2016

    Theresa May to become Britain s prime minister   YouTube

    May’s cabinet should give us a pointer to the direction the party will go

    One of my favourite quotes from the former CON leader, William Hague, is that the Tories are an absolute monarchy, moderated by regicide”. For there’s no doubt about the level of power and influence the leader has over policy, preferment, and the whole direction of the party. Unlike Labour there is no powerful NEC to get in the way. The leader is everything as we’ve seen decade after decade.

    So today marks a massive change the full extent of which will take weeks or months to become apparent.

    What strikes me is that for the past eleven and a half years the blue team has been in the hands of men mostly from the same social backgrounds who went to the same elite schools and then onto Oxford. Several, Cameron and Osborne, were members of the infamous dining group known as the Bullingdon Club. Boris Johnson, who was never part of the Cameron ruling clique, was also a past member.

    Inevitably their social attitudes had a huge impact on policy development, reaction to events and who got which jobs. Cameron is said to have outsourced most of the ministerial appointments to Osborne which put him in a very powerful position and was known to be the preferred successor.

    That all changed in the early hours of June 24th. There is little doubt that the new leader is going to be very much in charge of who gets which jobs and although she went to Oxford University is from a very different social background. Her school became a comprehensive while she was there and it was great to see the current head being interviewed the other day.

    Judging by what she has said so far the Tories could be pitching for working class votes in a way that was difficult under the outgoing team. This could have implications for both Labour and UKIP whoever those parties choose as next leaders.

    Mike Smithson