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  • Re: » Blog Archive » From loser to leader – and beyond

    Betfair already has a market up for next GE.

    Perhaps surprisingly, Con is favourite to win most seats.

    At GE 2017, Con got 56 more seats with a 2.4% lead.

    Does anyone yet have the figures for (assuming UNS):

    - Con lead needed for Con maj
    - Lab lead needed for equal Con/Lab seats (it must be a Lab lead I think)
    - Lab lead needed for Lab maj
    What likelihood is there of the boundary changes going through before the next election? Does it merely depend on the date of the election or does the current make up of parliament make it unlikely the boundary changes will progress. Anyone have a view?
    I think the changes will be less beneficial for Tories than they would have appeared to be and with 50 less seats there will be some MPs that will have real concerns about themselves being shuffled out of Parliament or end up in a far less favourable seat, there's not a chance of it passing.
    I think this is completely wrong. There are now fewer Tory MPs to placate, and the loss of the majority just shows how vital boundary changes are for the party's future, so it's more likely it will go through. The extension of the parliamentary term means they can even use the Parliament Act.

    They can buy the DUP off with peerages.
    The DUP will want more than a few peerages, indeed I think they'll block the boundary changes as they are poor for the Ulstermen.
    I note that the idea that the boundary changes are for anything except party advantage is no longer concealed.
  • Re: » Blog Archive » Why TMay must stay – for now

    I'd like to share some thoughts on Labour.

    Firstly, Jezza needs to stay for the next 2 or 3 years. We need Strength and Stability during this time of uncertainty with the government, and it would not be right to change leader with the chance of another election in the autumn or next spring.

    Secondly, the PLP and wider party needs to come together. This works both ways, with those on the right of the party giving Corbyn credit for what he has achieved and the Corbynites acknowledging that others are not 'Red Tories'.

    Thirdly, it is clear that we are now unashamedly a Socialist Party, not Social Democrats, and that is where we should stay in order to keep our 40% and build on it.

    Fourthly, we need a shadow cabinet that includes three strands:

    * Current members who had a good campaign, such as Thornberry and Gardner
    * Big beasts currently on the back benches, such as Cooper and Benn
    * Potential future leaders, who can prove themselves over the next couple of years then be ready to take over from Jezza. Clive Lewis plus ??? from the soft - left. They need to have the popularity and personality of Corbyn without the baggage that lost us some voters.

    Anyway, that's my two-peneth.
    Yes. Sage advice.
    Makes sense.
  • Re: » Blog Archive » Another day of the polls tightening but only YouGov has TMay n

    (deleted, misunderstood the point)
  • Re: » Blog Archive » Suddenly this election becomes a lot more difficult to call

    Polls and door-knocking results are out of sync.....

    Except they aren't entirely. People are rightly cautious about anecdotal canvass reports in principle, but they readily believe reports that support what they think is the narrative.
    Journalists also think it's a better story if they find a canvasser who says it's a disaster, everyone hates Corbyn, than a canvasser who says it's not wonderful but OK.

    I make no special claims for my canvass experiences, which were certainly wrong in 2015, but I do tell the truth. I've divided my time between Nottingham North where I live (apparently safe Lab, but overwhelmingly the WWC that May is wooing), Nottingham South (key Tory target) and Broxtowe (Labour target in a better year). Some general points:

    1. 2015 Labour voters are generally still Labour. Corbyn divides them - some love him, some dislike him, many are worried that he won't win. Very few are actually defecting, and since the manifesto launch that's almost dried up.

    2. 2015 Tory voters are generally still Tory. Some of these give "Corbyn" as the reason, but when you engage with them they usually turn out to have voted Tory since 2010. Like Plato here, they often say they voted for Blair, but in the same spirit that I say I was once a communist - it's not influencing their current thinking. However, a journalist could easily get the impression that there are lot of potential Labour voters only deterred by Corbyn. Not so, in my opinion - which is good for the Tories becuase their vote is nice and solid. (But see below.)

    3.2015 LibDem voters no longer see the point in these seats where the LibDems are not in contention at all. For a while they were splitting 50-50 Lab/Con. This week they've shifted to be mostly Lab.

    4.2015 UKIP voters have mostly given up on UKIP. Up to last week, they were nearly all going Tory or abstaining. As Brexit recedes in the campaign this is starting to change, and ex-Lab UKIP voters are coming back to Lab, mainly because they like the manifesto and dislike the Tory one.

    I was told yesterday, but cannot verify it, that other canvassers are starting to find Con-Lab switchers in non-trivial numbers. The reasons are mostly manifesto-linked, plus a perception that Corbyn is not the shambling monster depicted by the media and is seen to be rather good at actual campaigning.

    Summary: the Tories will win a medium-sized victory on current showing. However, neither a Tory landslide or NOM can be entirely ruled out.
  • Re: » Blog Archive » The poll finding that sums up GE2017 & why it’ll be a CON land

    Who wants to make foxes a protected species?

    And who wants to make them extinct in the UK?

    Those are basically the options if we properly ban hunting. Foxes are a major pest to free range poultry farmers; they are allowed to, and will, kill them brutally to protect their birds. If they're not 'cultivated' for hunting they will soon die out.
    This is all nonsense. Hunting accounted for (and to the extent the law is evaded still accounts for) only a small percentage of fox deaths. It's a sport, not a serious means of fox contol.