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New ComRes poll finds LAB catching up with the Tories as the one best described as “The Nasty Party”

September 22nd, 2018

A new ComRes poll commissioned by Jewish News has found the CON lead over the label ‘the nasty party’, memorably coined by TMay at the Party’s 2002 Conference, is now being challenged by Corbyn’s LAB. The poll found that while 34% said they thought the Conservatives are ‘the nasty party’, almost as many – 31% – said the same of LAB.

The poll also found that fully twice as many British voters – 48% – think Labour was a more decent party when Gordon Brown led it than it has become under Corbyn’s leadership (24%).

Voters were asked whether Labour is doing enough to tackle antisemitism within its own ranks. In March 2017, 18% thought the Party was doing enough, while today’s poll has that at just 19% – suggesting that despite Jeremy Corbyn’s claimed determination to root out the problem, the public see no difference over the past 18 months.

When asked whether, as some of his supporters suggest, Jeremy Corbyn is the target of a concerted smear campaign, or whether he is unwilling or unable to act decisively against antisemitism in his Party, voters split by a ratio of 2:1 (45% to 27%) in favour of his being unwilling or unable to stamp out the problem.

Mike Smithson





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The biggest US midterms battle: Beto O’Rourke’s Texas effort to unseat Ted Cruz

September 22nd, 2018

The Senate race that could deprive the Republicans of their majority

Of all the elections that are taking place across the US in November the one that’s attracting the most attention is the effort by Beto O’Rourke to take the Texas Senate seat held by Ted Cruz. Overnight there was the first TC debate as featured in the video clip above.

What looked like a certain hold by the Republican is now being rated as a toss-up following an energetic and focused campaign by the Democrat who is raising a huge amount of money. The outcome could be crucial to US politics during the second half of Trump’s tenancy at the White House. Currently 51 of the 100 US Senators are Republicans and Texas could well be the state that determines the outcome.

The polls are now sending out mixed messages and while Cruz still remains the strong odd-on favourite it’s not going to be as simple for him as it first appeared.

Like in all elections the critical factor is going to be turnout and the excellent fundraising figures are a guide to the broad support that the Democratic contender is getting.

Because of the way the Betfair Senate majority market is defined the best bet, I’d argue,is to “lay” (bet that it won’t happen) a Republican hold.

Mike Smithson

Follow @MSmithsonPB



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TMay hasn’t had front pages like this since she made the fateful decision to call GE2017

September 22nd, 2018


Mike Smithson




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TMay ends the week extending her satisfaction margin over Corbyn

September 21st, 2018

The latest numbers in what is by far the longest series of leader ratings in British politics, the satisfied/dissatisfied figures from Ipsos-MORI, are out and show TMay just about holding steady but with a sizeable drop for Corbyn. Fieldwork took place before yesterday’s EU summit in Salzburg.

As can be seen both are in negative territory but Corbyn’s on net minus 42% while TMay is at minus 33%. To put that into context – in July 2017 Corbyn was on a net minus 1 while TMay was on minus 25.

What’s really good about these numbers is that the pollster has been asking the same questions in the same manner for nearly five decades so we can make historical comparisons.

    Amongst LAB voters fewer than half, 48%, say they are satisfied with Corbyn compared with 44% saying dissatisfied. This might not fit with the narrative that his supporters try to generate.

By comparison the beleaguered Mrs. May has 56% of CON voters giving her a positive rating with 35% negative.

In all likelihood Corbyn will still be there at the next general election whilst TMay probably won’t.

Mike Smithson




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NEW PB / Polling Matters podcast: Chequers is dead, so should Labour offer a ‘people’s vote’?

September 21st, 2018

As Labour heads to Liverpool, Keiran Pedley and Leo Barasi look at the polling and ask whether it is in Labour’s interests to offer another vote on Brexit. They lay out the case for and against and debate what happens next.

Follow this week’s guests:





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While the nation faces huge and historic issues over Brexit Labour gathers in Liverpool to talk about itself

September 21st, 2018

Today’s Times column by Phillip Collins hits the nail on the head about Labour and its current state.

“..The issues of the hour are historic. Are any of the half-formed answers to the Irish border question at all practicable? Will the strong desire of the European Union 27 to agree a deal quieten the opposition to Mrs May’s besieged plans? Is it really worth risking exit without a deal for the distant and unlikely prize of winning a second referendum? Is there not a danger that thwarting the first referendum would result in civil disobedience? Is that not a democratic outrage? Never mind all of that. Let’s talk about the contemporary criterion for conference motions.

The Labour Party has decided it need not pay attention to the historic turn of events…The Labour leadership isn’t interested in Europe. All it has ever wanted is to take back control of the Labour Party. Which is what the Labour conference will essentially be about. All conversations in the party since Tony Blair left office have been, in one way or another, about which faction is the rightful owner of the party heritage…”

Meanwhile this from the latest polling ought to be worrying the red team.

Mike Smithson




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Salzburg: Betting across a range of relevant political markets has hardly moved

September 20th, 2018

Punters are hanging on to their cash

Given the enormity of what’s happened at the EU Salzburg summit I though it useful to look at reaction across a range of market on the Betfair exchange:

Next UK General Election most seats

It was CON 50% chance to LAB 45% on Betfair 24 hours ago and the position hasn’t moved

UK to leave the EU by 29/03/2019

This was a 63.5% chance 24 hours ago and is now a 62.5% one.

Year of next UK General Election

2019 was a 31% chance 24 hours ago and still is. Favourite remains 2022 at 36%

Theresa May Exit Date

2019 still the 52% favourite and hasn’t moved.

Prime Minister after Theresa May

Johnson remains joint 14% favourite with a Mr. Corbyn.

Mike Smithson




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TMay heads back from Salzburg looking more isolated than ever

September 20th, 2018

And the time is running out

It is becoming harder and harder to work out how Britain’s exit from the EU will work out. Theresa May looked absolutely furious in post-event press conference and that is understandable given the amount of political capital she has personally invested in the Chequers plan.

Maybe thigs appears so difficult and so bad on both sides that the meeting in November will take on a different tone. Maybe. Maybe it won’t.

Her next major challenge is going to be her conference speech in 3 weeks time and how she copes with that could determine a lot.

What must have been disappointing for her is that there had been some positive indications from Brussels to the Chequers plan and she must have really been hoping for something vaguely positive from these latest meetings.

But Theresa May is a tough one and she’s usually resilient it is just that the current challenge facing her looks insurmountable.

Mike Smithson