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Nighthawks is now open

April 8th, 2014

Home of the web’s best political conversation

Why not relax and spend the night on PB Nighthawks.

If you’re a lurker, why not delurk Tonight, as delurking will make you Smile.

The round up of recent events (click on the links below, and it will bring up the relevant link)

  1. A note of caution about resignation polls: while 62% of voters think Maria Miller should stand down, 52% think the same of Nick Clegg, 47% of Michael Gove and 46% of Ed Miliband
  2. Maria Miller could cost Tories election if she stays, say MPs. A quarter of all Conservative MPs in the most at risk seats at the next election say Maria Miller must resign for the sake of the party’s chances at the next election
  3. A reminder of what moves polls.
  4. Miliband’s moment of decision, does he call for Maria Miller to go?
  5. Britain will be best performing of largest economies in 2014, IMF predicts. International Monetary Fund concedes it was overly pessimistic last spring when it warned chancellor to ease austerity measures
  6. Moving power closer to you – Miliband’s £20 billion boost for cities and regions
  7. How Danny Alexander is manoeuvring to succeed Nick Clegg. The ambitious Lib Dem is positioning himself as the “continuity candidate” in a future leadership contest.
  8. If Scotland leaves, we can blame Heath, Letwin, Cameron and Labour 
  9. Lord Robertson is trying to bully Scots into voting no in the referendum. The former defence secretary and Nato chief’s claims that a Scottish break from the union will imperil the west are part of an anti-democratic campaign that is backfiring
  10. The key Brexit question: who will our new pals be? 
  11. Italian Far-Right Lega Nord Activists Almost Drown Attempting Stunt To Prove How ‘Easy’ Illegal Immigration Is
  12. Benefits sanctions show this government at its Kafkaesque worst.Ideological convictions about why people are unemployed have created a bureaucratic nightmare that manufactures injustice and mistakes
  13. House Of Commons’ Champagne Bill In Huge Rise Under Coalition
  14. Windfarms can reduce house prices by up to 12%, says LSE. Findings contrast with earlier study – and will fan homeowners’ demands for compensation when windfarms are approved
  15. How the Liverpool Supporters’ Union proved it’s possible to change football for the better. 
  16. Tomorrow is the 601st anniversary of Henry V being crowned. 
  17. In May 2016, the movie event of all time: Captain America will take on Superman and Batman.



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If LAB does come top in the Euros then EdM should send a thank you note to Tony Blair

April 8th, 2014

Polling+station+cyclist (1)

58% of the electorate will have local elections as well on May 22

In all the time that Tony Blair led the LAB party there was only one set of national elections where victory eluded him – the 1999 and 2004 contests for the European Parliament.

He didn’t like that in the least and ahead of the 2004 contest he went to extraordinary lengths to win.

    First he changed what had been the standard practice and decided to put back the local elections for a month so that turnout would be boosted.

    Then he introduced, against much opposition, an all postal vote election in large parts of England.

    On top of that he did a deal with the then independent Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, to be the official party candidate even though another person was in place.

All this was to no avail and on June 10th 2004 the Tories came out top on votes.

The mass postal voting was not allowed to be repeated but Blair’s timetabling change, which was highly controversial at the time, has remained ever since.

And if, and it looks touch and go based on current polling, LAB does come out on top then EdM can thank Tony.

For 58% of voters nationally on May 22nd will have local elections on the same day. These are concentrated in areas of Labour strength and this should help the red team get its vote out for the Euro election,

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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UKIP is taking SIX times as many votes from the Tories as it is from Labour

April 8th, 2014

In no way are the purples as big a threat to LAB as CON

There’s consistent talk at the moment of UKIP being a bigger threat to LAB than CON. This is a point that Mr Farage wants to hammer home on virtually every occasion.

Yet quite simply this is not supported by the data. Just look at the chart above based on data from the month’s biggest poll, the Populus/FT March aggregate with a sample of 16,424

Because of the sheer size of the aggregate sample we can draw firmer conclusions from the subset findings than in individual polls with samples between one and two thousand.

The chart shows the breakdown of the current UKIP vote based on the responses of 1,368 current UKIP voters to question of what they said they did last time. As can be seen the lion’s share belongs to those who voted CON at the 2010 general election. They comprise just under 44% of the total while 2010 LAB switchers represent just over 7%.

It is true that UKIP gets a lot of support from the C1,C2 and D demographic groups but not, if you analyse the data, from that many who voted Labour in 2010.

Things could change but for the moment it is the blue team which has been most hit by the rise of Farage’s party.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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PB Nighthawks is now open

April 7th, 2014

Home of the web’s best political conversation

If you’re wanting some Happy Mondays, why not relax and spend the night on PB Nighthawks.

If you’re a lurker, why not delurk and Step On to PB as a poster.

The round up of recent events (click on the links below, and it will bring up the relevant link)

  1. Can Farage convert short-term popularity into long-term gains?
  2. Most supporters of the UK Independence party say they will stay with the anti-EU party after European elections in May, according to a poll, dealing a blow to Conservative hopes to win them over for the general election in 2015.
  3. Big catch for Tory reconciliation team as rebel gives up anti-Cameron fight
  4. David Cameron in retreat over Maria Miller’s expenses as he accepts that the parliamentary standards committee may need to be reformed
  5. Online political ads test boundaries while electoral law lags behind. There is no requirement for parties to declare responsibility for campaign material circulated on the internet
  6. Labour risks being a one-trick party on the cost-of-living crisis. If he is to woo the squeezed middle, Ed Miliband’s economic vision must go beyond just one issue
  7. Why Miliband is sticking to his “cost-of-living” attack, A few months of wage rises won’t be enough to repair the severed link between growth and earnings for most. 
  8. Has the Labour Party shaken off complacency? If we want to win, we must
  9. Police Federation in turmoil as chiefs resign
  10. A referendum on Europe would undermine our constitution (and yes, we do have a constitution)
  11. UK becoming ‘more local and global’ – Ipsos MORI carried out a survey of the UK public exploring their views on identity
  12. When Eric Pickles calls Britain a Christian nation I side with the atheists. If my religion is reduced to a form of state triumphalism then political correctness seems a far better option
  13. ConHome use a piece by SeanT to write “Scottish independence would be a disaster for Labour, but a death blow to the Conservative Party” (Hat-tip TheUnionDivvie)
  14. Tipping point online, tripping point offline? - Mark Shephard and Stephen Quinlan of the University of Strathclyde analyse the social media engagement of the Yes Scotland and Better Together campaigns.
  15. YouGov asks Would Bez of the Happy Mondays make a good
  16. Law set to give Attorney General power to edit online news archives in the run-up to trials
  17. Boeing 747 forced to make emergency landing because of overheating cows
  18. The Vikings were feared for a reason.  Ignore recent revisionism. The Norsemen carried out atrocities to equal those of the German SS
  19. Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of the 1974 Eurovision song contest, held in Brighton.
  20. Which ABBA won with Waterloo, here’s their performance from that night.

TSE



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The money goes on Scotland voting for independence and YES reaches its highest point on Betfair

April 7th, 2014

YES remains the value bet

There’s been quite a rush of money going on YES for the Scottish IndyRef over the past few days so much so that the price on the Betfair exchange is quite a lot tighter.

When I recomended three weeks ago that YES was the value bet the price on Betfair represented an 18% chance. This morning the this moved to a 24.4% chance although it has eased a touch since.

My reading is that this will get tighter as we get close to the September date.

Next week I’m off to Edinburgh once again for a session with researchers at the Scottish Parliament. On my last visit, in February 2013, I was asked to make a prediction and said it would get very tight with a gap within 5%. Well that is almost there.

Hopefully I’ll get a better picture of opinion north of the border during my trip.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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CON has a good chance of coming out top on votes: holding and winning seats is going to be a lot more challenging

April 7th, 2014

The Tory vote will be boosted by UKIP returners and fewer 2010 CON don’t knows

At the end of last week Ladbrokes put up a GE2015 market on whether the Tories could come out with most votes but be behind on seats.

The price when I got on at was 8/1 which seemed a good value bet. I am increasingly coming to the view that this might happen.

As we get closer to May 7th 2015, election day, I think that two things will happen that will boost the blue vote total from current polling levels: a significant proportion of the CON-UKIP switchers will return as will many of the GE2010 CON voters who are currently saying “don’t know”.

Labour which has lost far fewer voters to UKIP also has a smaller pool of 2010 voters now saying don’t know to tap into. Its major challenge is hanging on to the 2010 LD switchers who who represent about 18% of current LAB voters. My view is that they will largely remain.

    So all this could bring the Tories very close to LAB or even ahead on national vote share. The real problem is going to be on winning seats.

For on a uniform swing almost all the potential Tory gains up to a lead of 7% come from Lib Dems and those are going to be much harder to achieve than the simple mathematics suggest. Almost the entire campaign effort of the yellows will be focused on defending what they’ve got and there will be few easy pickings for the blues. This is reflected in the single constituency betting markets.

My reckoning is that even with a national vote lead of 4% the Tories would struggle to come out with most seats.

The result is that there’s a pretty big window for the Ladbrokes CON win on votes but LAB get most seats bet.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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The Tories slip back sharply in the latest PB YouGov Weekly Average as UKIP jumps 2pc

April 6th, 2014

The budget bounce appears to be over

The LDs move into double figures for the first time



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What’s striking about the Maria Miller polling is that CON voters are as hostile to her as everyone else

April 6th, 2014

The Mail on Sunday ratchets up the pressure on Maria Miller

Very often the most important factor in polling is not the data but how it is used. There can be few better examples than today’s Mail on Sunday coverage of its Maria Miller polling. The paper, like the Telegraph and the Times yesterday, is after her and Miller’s survival chances won’t be helped.

The key numbers from the Survation poll are in the chart. Generally whenever a politician comes under pressure and we get questions like this then the polling is split on party lines. Those sampled tend to respond in line with their allegiance and are generally less ready to condemn one of their own than the public as a whole.

Not so with the Miller numbers. On two of the three questions Tory voters are more hostile than the overall sample.

    Even the question here about Cameron standing by her sees CON voters being more harsh than the overall sample.

I can’t recall this ever happening before and that can only add to the pressure on the culture secretary.

If this media pressure is maintained then it won’t be long, surely, before she’s gone.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble