Friday, May 1, 2015

Miliband crosses the Rubicon : now for the consequences

Just a quick note to let you know that I have a new article at the International Business Times about Miliband's declaration last night that he would be prepared to put the Tories in power to avoid working with the SNP.  You can read it HERE.  (It's also on Yahoo HERE.)

21 comments:

  1. We are about to see a different sort of binary politics at Westminster.
    Instead of Labour vs the Tories it is going to be the Scottish party vs the English one and the implications of that for the "union" are profound.

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  2. James, what do you think of the Scottish Sun's predictions that the SNP will take 47 seats and Labour 9, including Glasgow South West (Ian Davidson keeping his seat) and West Dunbartonshire? They also predicted Mundell will keep his seat, same with Murphy, and the Tories will take Berwickshire.

    http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/6436512/Our-forecast-for-every-sear-in-Scotland.html

    I really, really hope Davidson doesn't keep his seat. It's alright if we lose Rutherglen/Motherwell etc like the poll says, we can't win them all, but my god we can't let that horrible man back into mainstream politics.

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    1. I'm a bit sceptical, not least because they're taking into account bookies' odds. Without wanting to make the likes of Neil Lovatt cry, the notion that bookies' odds are in any way useful for prediction purposes has taken an absolutely pounding in this campaign - the polls have been leading the way, and the odds have been catching up later.

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    2. Take predictions with a pinch of salt. Emma Harper looks to be in a very decent position to beat Mundell. I think there is a good chance Davidson will get beat as well.

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    3. Not sure what bookies the Sun are using, because Ladbrokes have Glasgow SW (Davidson) as SNP 1/7, Labour 4/1.

      http://sports.ladbrokes.com/sports-central/election/

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  3. I am sure there will be many within the Labour party who will be very unhappy with Miliband should he let Cameron continue as PM because of his dislike of the SNP, especially MPs who are hoping for ministerial positions and salaries. They will probably replace Miliband with someone more accommodating as quickly as they can. Then, if the numbers are right, a motion of no confidence in the government will get Cameron out of Number Ten.

    Perhaps, in the end, Miliband's apparent obstinacy may benefit the SNP and the independence movement.

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  4. Think Ed's statements last night had a lot more to do with the returns from internal polls and focus groups in the marginals showing fear of the SNP was likely to cost him the election.

    Try to soothe the concerns of that electorate at all costs then deal with any damage done by later reneging on his commitment to eschew the SNP. Back-to-the-wall crisis management.

    'Course could be entirely wrong about that, and he really does mean it. But to believe that would mean believing Ed tells the truth, and there is little evidence to accuse him of that.

    Still, did channel truthful Ed and had him offer summary of his plans for Scotland

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    1. Well, just read James' article in IBT and see his thoughts similar in many respects - perhaps it is the case that fools seldom differ rather than the alternative.

      I just find it unimaginable that a career pol like Miliband would refuse the crown under any conceivable circumstance.

      I guess case by case, vote by vote, could offer plausible deniability of any agreement in the eyes of the gullible, but I doubt they've thought that far. Issue would be to stem the hemorrhaging of support in the marginals. Period.

      He had to do what he had to do. The damage done to Labour's relationship with the Scottish electorate may be irreparable.

      Certainly it will be if he actually is true to his word and imposes an apartheid on Britain's largest ethnic minority, by barring their duly elected representatives and the embodiment of their express will, from participation in the legislative process.

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  5. This website seems interesting:

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/interactives/uk-general-election-predictions/

    "Analysis and modeling by Chris Hanretty of the University of East Anglia, Ben Lauderdale of the London School of Economics and Nick Vivyan of Durham University, using data supplied by YouGov. More information and results are available at electionforecast.co.uk."

    Despite Ashcroft's poll result for Dumfries swinging to the SNP they've still got the SNP 3% behind the Tories in their predictions, but I saw a screenshot of their predictions on twitter yesterday and they had Galloway going to the Tories. It was quite striking - a band of Tories from Galloway to Berwickshire, yet now I look at their predictions Galloway's lost to the SNP.

    They're predicting a disappointing 32% for the SNP against the Lib Dems' 43.5% up in Shetland/Orkney (hopefully Danus can stand next year and unseat Tavish Scott) and they're also predicting a fascinating 38% win for Labour over the SNP's 28% in Dunfermline and West Fife, yet Kirkcaldy would go to the SNP. There's of course the obligatory Rutherglen/North East Glasgow Labour holds too.

    In any case, I hope they're wrong and the SNP just edge it in the borders, north east glasgow and the northern isles. I'll keep a bottle of champagne in the fridge in case Carmichael falls.

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    1. I wonder if they are weighting by country of birth. Yougov have way to many English people in their 'Scottish' panel.

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  6. I think we are inching towards a Grand Coalition, and Milliband is preparing the groundwork for it by proposing with the Liberals a cordon sanitaire around Scottish and Welsh Nationalists.

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  7. I'm not sure why people are paying such attention to what Miliband said. All it is, is what he's said before, but he said it more forcefully. It's all posturing, but from his point of view very sensible posturing. As well as keeping his support in relatively safe seats in England onside, he's aiming it at the marginals where considerable fear has been stirred up by the Conservatives, of the SNP.

    And what I say is good luck to him. The last thing most of us want is another heartless Conservative government in for 5 years, even if it does stoke up Indy Ref 2 fever. We'll manage that without, and be in a better financial position than after another 5 years of sumb as well as heartless, economy-stripping austerity.

    Meanwhile the SNP can really go to town on it, but what has Miliband lost in Scotland? Another 2% to the SNP vote, so up from 50% to 52%? Perhaps more even to start with as I daresay Labour's internal polls show a different picture, perhaps even more pessimistic for them in Scotland. For Miliband, it's bye bye Scotland, hello Number 10.

    This is yesindyref2, for some eason my backup computer which has to use firefox shows this as "Anonymous".

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    1. Yesindyref2 I agree.

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    2. Perhaps what's prompted such a strong reaction is not so much the substance of his statement, but that he put it in such a quotable manner: "I would rather not form a Labour government than deal with the SNP..." when he could just have stared insincerely at the camera again and told English voters again, "No deals with the SNP of any, any, any kind."

      He really has given the SNP not only a quote to use on doorsteps for years to come, but also relentlessly over the next few days. But given that his performance was so over-rehearsed we have to assume his comment was deliberate. Hard to see what he gains from that wording, though, and of course it's fun to picture the faces of Murphy, McDougall & co. as those words came out.

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  8. James are there any more Scotland wide polls expected before Thursday?

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    1. There might be another YouGov, but there won't be any others. The lead times involved in conducting Scotland-only polls (~5 days) are too long.

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    2. How do we know that other polls aren't already underway, though? I'd be surprised if at least one newspaper didn't want a Scottish poll for the eve of the election (or even for Thursday morning).

      There's definitely a YouGov coming (unless it's an internal poll).

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    3. Can we expect a YouGov exit poll for Scotland once the polls close?

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    4. No particular reason why there should be a Scottish exit poll - the UK exit poll(s) will be enormous enough to give an exact seats projection for the SNP.

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  9. What do you think the impact will be of Milibands repeat statement?

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    1. On the polls/election?

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