Thursday, July 23, 2015

Katastrophe for Kendall as Ipsos-Mori poll reveals that more people think Corbyn is cut out to be Prime Minister

We have that rarest of rare beasts today - a post-election voting intention poll.  I really had to study the datasets to work out which figures were the headline ones, because Ipsos-Mori have introduced quite an elaborate set of turnout filters as an interim measure while the inquiry into the polling disaster in May is ongoing.  But as far as I can see, the correct Scottish subsample figures are : SNP 43%, Conservatives 27%, Labour 13%, Liberal Democrats 10%, Greens 6%.  Not really a hell of a lot of use, because the Tory showing is totally implausible, but at least there's no hint of the SNP's mammoth lead over Labour being whittled away.  At GB level, there might possibly be a sign of a small Farron bounce for the Lib Dems, because this is the first time that any firm has had them in double figures since the general election.  However, they've only increased from 9% to 10% since the last Ipsos-Mori poll, so it's far from conclusive evidence.

What I find really amusing about this poll is the way it utterly pulverises the credibility of Liz Kendall, the woman who has been lecturing Labour on how she, and she alone, knows the secret of connecting with the public and winning a general election.  It turns out that, in fact, a bigger percentage of the public think Jeremy Corbyn would make a good Prime Minister than think the same about Kendall.

Percentage who agree that this person has what it takes to be Prime Minister :

Andy Burnham 27%
Yvette Cooper 22%
Jeremy Corbyn 17%
Liz Kendall 16%

It's true that that there are slightly more people who say that Corbyn isn't cut out to be Prime Minister than say the same about the other three candidates, but emphasis is very much on the word 'slightly'.

Percentage who do not agree that this person has what it takes to be Prime Minister :

Jeremy Corbyn 36%
Yvette Cooper 34%
Liz Kendall 30%
Andy Burnham 27%

When it's so much of a muchness, you can understand why Labour members are thinking to themselves "if it doesn't make much difference anyway, we might as well vote for what we really believe in".  I'm sure that supporters of the 'mainstream' candidates would argue that these figures are misleading, because the public will only get to know the new leader properly after the contest is over.  But past history tells a different story - both John Smith and Tony Blair had exceptionally good personal ratings before becoming leader.  Kendall supporters keep telling the party to "get real" - well, perhaps the best place to start in that endeavour is to recognise that none of the four candidates are likely to beat the Tories in 2020, and that the definition of insanity is choosing a leader who will embrace Tory policies in futile pursuit of a victory that is never going to come.  What can and should be achieved is effective opposition to Tory policies in the here and now.

*  *  *

Tony Blair, the flag-waving British Nationalist who attempted to bomb Iraq back to the Stone Age, has popped up again with some wonderfully self-aware comments about the SNP's "caveman" nationalism -

"When they talk about it being new politics, it is the oldest politics in the world. It’s the politics of the first caveman council, when the caveman came out from a council where there were difficult decisions and pointed with his club across the forest and said: ‘They’re the problem, over there, that’s the problem.’"

You know, it's just possible that the caveman was observing a New Labour strategy meeting on the other side of the forest, in which case he had an excellent point.


  1. A tory figure of 27% doesn't seem completely outside the realms of possibility. The natural response to lefty separatism is right wing unionism. The two are exact opposites. A rise in one could well fuel an increase in the other.

    And with the tories performing competently in government, the generation that came of age post Thatcher/Major can actually see that you can have a tory government without the sky falling in. Meanwhile all the olds still nursing grievances from the eighties are starting to peg it.

    1. "A tory figure of 27% doesn't seem completely outside the realms of possibility"

      Fancy a small wager on the Tories getting more than 25% of the vote at next year's election? I shall of course require your real name and contact details.

      Face it, my friend, even if the bet was on 20%+, you'd still be guaranteed to lose. The world just stubbornly refuses to work the way you think it should.

    2. Because someone has to do it, I do feel obliged to point out that the Scottish figures in the MORI poll are based on the sample of a whole 63 people:

      Con 17 (27%)

      Lab 8 (13%)

      Lib Dem 6 (10%)

      SNP 28 (43%)

      Green 4 (6%)

      Obviously it's pretty meaningless using so few people and the Conservatives are often over-represented in Scottish sub-samples for technical reasons and the SNP under-represented in phone polls. At most you can pick up the odd slight hint which proper all-Scottish polls would be needed to confirm.

      One thing I would take from this poll would be about likelihood to vote (LTV). The above figures are based on those who said their LTV was 9/10 or 10/10. If you look all those 77 who gave a Party preference[1]:

      Con 21 (27%)

      Lab 15 (19%)

      Lib Dem 6 (8%)

      SNP 30 (39%)

      Green 5 (6%)

      So part of Labour's problem may be that even their remaining voters are less enthusiastic than those of the other Parties. We've seen this in other polls, but presumably it's made worse by Labour voters not knowing who their new leaders will be either in Scotland or the UK.

      On a wider note, the leadership ratings are always going to be fairly meaningless at this stage. Any leader has up to five years to establish themselves and most people either will how no opinion yet or just be repeating what they've go from the media. Both Kendall and Corbyn have particularly high levels of DKs, but to most ordinary people they're all fairly obscure.

      [1] In the last year we've seen LTV at much higher levels in Scotland than England and Wales in polling - something confirmed by turnout at the election. In this poll it's about the same which may also indicate a slightly odd sample - or again reflect Labour reluctance.

    3. "On a wider note, the leadership ratings are always going to be fairly meaningless at this stage."

      Come on, they're not "meaningless". That's the defence I would have expected to hear from the supporters of the candidates. Quite clearly there are a decent number of people in the sample who have seen enough of the candidates to form an opinion, and that opinion is not hugely positive. There were people in 1992 who had seen enough of John Smith to form an opinion, and there were people in 1994 who had seen enough of Tony Blair to form an opinion. In both cases, that opinion was far more promising.

      As for the small size of subsamples, there are only so many times I can make that point without it becoming monotonous. I'd have hoped people are taking it as read by now.

    4. Aldo Superbo

      55 Union Street

      Edinburgh South

      I bet............3 pence :0)

  2. The Tories look unrealistically high, Labour unrealistically low, and the SNP and Lib Dems too low and too high respectively (though perhaps not impossibly so).

    Totally off-topic, but I see that Liz Kendall is reportedly being badgered by the Labour establishment to drop out to give the gruesome twosome the best chance of defeating Corbyn. Why is this? I thought it was a transferrable vote, which surely means that the anti-Corbyn vote can't be "split" regardless of how many candidates are on the ballot?

    1. In theory that's right, although I suppose the argument might be that not everyone bothers filling in their lower preferences, so in practice the anti-Corbyn vote might be less split if Kendall drops out.

      In the archives of this blog, there are comments from people at the time of the 2012 local elections insisting that they were just going to give their first two preferences to the SNP candidates and leave it at that. I tried to persuade them that it couldn't possibly harm the SNP if they used their lower preferences on the Greens or whatever, but to no avail. It was almost a role reversal on the arguments I've been having with people recently about "tactical voting on the list" (sic).

    2. In fact I distinctly remember people saying it would somehow "dilute" their vote for the SNP if they used their lower preferences. It's scary to see how voting systems can be so totally misunderstood.

    3. In our council election there was only one SNP candidate and he was going to get elected, so it wasn't much of an issue. But then the Tory councillor resigned and we had a by-election. As the SNP had been third the previous year it was very unlikely that the party was going to take the seat.

      I specifically asked our branch convener which of the two parties who were in with a shout would be the preferred win for our sitting councillors. Obviously I was going to vote SNP at 1, but I also had a chance to influence the final run-off between Tory and LibDem. So which would be better for our councillors (who were and are in coalition with the LibDems, with the Tories in opposition)?

      He refused to answer. SNP policy to vote a straight SNP ticket and not even talk about voting for anyone else.

      I thought it was silly, but did as he suggested anyway. As it happened the Tory needed very few votes to get to 50%, and got these from the SNP second votes even though the vast majority of SNP second preferences had gone LibDem.

      I don't know if it was just him, or if there is really a party edict to that effect.

  3. The current panic in the UK MSM and the Labour Party over Corbyn reminds me very much of the UK establishment's reaction to the poll putting Yes ahead about a week or so before the referendum. The Guardian are running article after article putting the boot into him.

  4. I find myself not caring who becomes leader of the Red Tories. There was not a single Labour MP that came out in support of Scots Indy, so a plague on all their houses!

  5. The Tories on 27%?

    The Parliamentary side of my furry arse they are.

    1. I can believe that. The Red Tory voters could easily vote for the real Unionist Party now that we are at the tickly bit of Scottish politics.

    2. Glasgow Working ClassJuly 26, 2015 at 12:15 AM

      Cannot believe the blue Nat sis fucked the Cal Mac workers around for ages.
      BLUE Tartan Tory Nat sis fucked with the lives of the Calmac Workers prete ding they had to put the ferries out to tender. There is clearly dead brain cells in the Nat sis ideaology. Fuck the workers but Wull Yem Wallace First.

  6. The comments from the criminal at large must surely be spoken with first hand knowledge of the caveman pointing the club. I assume he is trying to explain why he arranged for Iraq to be attacked.

    1. Glasgow Working ClassJuly 25, 2015 at 11:21 PM

      Blair was right. Nationalism is for Cavemen. And he attacked the Islamic Cavemen. Well done Tony Boy.

  7. Glasgow Working ClassJuly 25, 2015 at 11:17 PM

    Still waiting for firm Nat sis proposals. Musical chairs and the Fox are not helpful. But do keep it up and be exposed as the hypocrital fraudsters you are.

  8. Glasgow Working ClassJuly 26, 2015 at 1:19 AM

    Nat sis into stats and no progressive policies. It will be your demise. Dwell on your glorious nothing. AND you offer nothing at all.

  9. Someone's been at the sherry again.