Archive for July, 2013

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PB Nighthawks is now open

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

 

Home of the web’s best political conversation

If you’re going to be up, All Night Long, why not relax, and converse into the night on the day’s events in PB NightHawks.

If you’re a lurker, Hello,  why not delurk tonight, if you do delurk, I’m sure you’ll be Dancing on the Ceiling in excitement.

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

  1. Boris Johnson will not stand for parliament at the next election
  2. Hopi Sen looks at the polls 22 months from a General Election
  3. Did Grant Shapps admit breaking employment law today?
  4. High Court quashes Health Secretary’s ‘unlawful’ downgrade for Lewisham hospital – in move that has repercussions for future NHS shake-ups
  5. The narrowing polls are a worry – but worse, Labour MPs fear there’s a sense of “drift”
  6. Pop music producer Pete Waterman is a surprise inclusion on a new taskforce set up to maximise the economic benefits of the High Speed Two (HS2) rail project.
  7. A summer bounce! Cameron, Osborne and May soar up the conhome cabinet league table
  8. We LibDems haven’t chosen our strategy. The voters have chosen it for us.
  9. Nick Clegg: election manifesto will set out priorities for coalition talks
  10. Michael Gove - Free schools are a success – but will Ed Miliband dare admit it?
  11. Luddites! Nick Clegg mocks Tory right-wingers resisting green energy boost
  12. Two BNP activists arrested over ‘pay peanuts, get monkeys’ leaflet
  13. IMF finds $11bn black hole in Greek finances and warns of new write-off
  14. New US Ambassador To London, Says British Defence Cuts Of ‘Critical Concern’
  15. David Cameron gave romantic music mixtape to G8 leaders
  16. How the man from the Pru turned an economic drama into a Labour crisis
  17. The reasons why the Romans still fascinate us
  18. Spin Doctor Who? Peter Capaldi favourite to replace Matt Smith as the BBC’s new Time Lord
  19. “F**k off, you c**t!” “Your mum sucks c**k!” A morning in the life of a teacher

 TSE



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The national press will be much less influential at GE2015 than in previous elections

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Look how the industry has declined

The ground war is going to matter much more than the air war

We spend a lot of time on PB trying to assess the impact of specific developments or stories on voting behaviour.

One factor that we should bear in mind is that the national media is in a sharp decline. For every five people that bought a daily national paper when the coalition was formed just four do so today and who knows what the above table will look like in May 2015.

Combine the falling sales with the rise of the pay wall and it’s not hard to conclude that the press is not going to be as influential as in previous times.

There’s another aspect to this: declining audiences for TV news.

Given the continued ban on TV election advertising, which I think is wrong, and the challenge facing the campaigns as they strive to get their messages over is enormous.

    All this means in electioneering terms is that the ground game is going to be even more important. It becomes the prime way of getting your message across

But how are the parties with the it declining memberships going to resource that? Pushing envelopes through the doors of every residence in a 70,000+ voter constituency requires a lot of foot soldiers

Mike Smithson



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The immigration poster that symbolises the Dave’s dilemma. Moves to win back UKIP switchers risk alienating 2010 LDs

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

How the two key swing groups reacted to the campaign

As we keep on saying two big things have happened to voters since GE2010: The switch to Labour by 2010 LD voters following their party’s coalition deal with the Tories and the shrinkage of the CON vote as a result of the UKIP surge.

Being seen to be tough on immigration has been part of the Tory response – hence the poster van campaign. The YouGov polling above shows how current UKIP voters are responding to the move. But look at the 2010 Lib Dems. They take a very different view.

At GE2010 about one in four of all votes were for the LDs. Since then a large proportion have switched to LAB which adds to the challenge for the Tories.

    Ultimately Lynton Crosby has to find a way stemming the flow to UKIP while trying to minimise the level of LD>LAB switching.

Measures like the van poster might help with the former but make the latter harder.

This one will continue to be great to watch.

Mike Smithson

For the latest polling and political betting news




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This month’s ComRes phone poll for the Indy has the Tories closing the gap to just 3%

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

The Tories surge as the UKIP decline continues

The latest ComRes phone poll for the Independent is out and is in line with the trends we’ve been seeing over the past weeks: the Ukip decline and the Tory recovery. The figures and changes on last month are in the chart above.

A 4% increase is outside the margin of error which suggests that real movement had taken place. The poll is not that far off the 36-36 ICM survey a couple of weeks back.

ComRes phone operates in a totally different way than ComRes online and I treat it as a completely separate polling series. It has tended to show the blues in a better position and other firms.

Asked whether Britain is better off with a coalition than it would have been if the Conservatives or Labour had won the last election outright, 29% agreed and 57% disagreed.

73% told the firm that they’d want one party to win an outright majority in 2015 rather than have another coalition, while 19 per cent disagree.

In the event of a hung parliament after the next election, a majority of Lib Dem voters 53% would prefer to see their party go into coalition with Labour rather the Conservatives, while 39% disagree.

The public as a whole appear more opposed to a second Lib-Con coalition than to a Lib-Lab one. Women (45%) are more likely than men (37%) to prefer the Lib Dems to enter a coalition with Labour.

Mike Smithson

For the latest polling and political betting news




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Poor “best PM” ratings: How Ed Miliband can take some comfort from Mrs. Thatcher

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Putting those “best PM” ratings into context

Polling day came a few days later May 3rd 1979. The Tories won an emphatic victory with an 8% lead on votes and an overall majority of 44 seats and went on to secure overall majorities in the next three general elections. They stayed in power for eighteen years.

Mrs Thatcher, however, continued to trail in the MORI “best PM” ratings for another year until Jim Callaghan stepped down.

Mike Smithson

For the latest polling and political betting news




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The Tory Keogh report offensive appears to have had no impact on the “best party on NHS” ratings

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

One of the big apparent “wins” for the Tories before they broke up for the summer recess was their response on the Keogh report on hospital failings which had happened on Labour’s watch. This it was hoped would help the party eat into the traditional LAB lead that they have on the NHS.

The CON attack was high octane and certainly LAB, with its less than convincing shadow health minister Andy Burnham, were put on the defensive.

The view, certainly from the right wing pundits, was that this was a win and a demonstration of what the Lynton Crosby approach could do.

Today we see the first YouGov best party on the NHS tracker since then and, as can be seen all parties move up 2 so the LAB 12% lead remains.

It doesn’t appear as though the blue message has got through.

As I’ve been arguing the NHS is one of those areas where the Tories are almost bound to come off second best. Far better to stick to areas of strength like the economy and immigration.

Mike Smithson



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Latest GE2015 betting

Monday, July 29th, 2013

Overall majority



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Populus online has CON closing the gap to just 5 pc – but are Tory members raising their expectation too high?

Monday, July 29th, 2013

Meanwhile nearly 2 in 3 CON members believe that Dave can hang on

Remember that July 5 years ago when the betting was on a CON landslide