First of all, a quick note to let you know that I have a new article at the TalkRadio website, which was inspired by an exchange I saw on Twitter last week between two passionately pro-independence young people who have become disillusioned with politics of late. The article argues that it's vitally important that the pro-independence movement gets out and votes SNP on June 8th. You can read it HERE. (You'll probably be able to spot that it was written before the events of the weekend.)
The promised firecracker of a Welsh poll from YouGov certainly didn't disappoint - it shows a complete transformation in the fortunes of the parties, with Labour not merely regaining the lead, but opening up a commanding advantage.
Wales-only YouGov poll :
Labour 44% (+9)
Conservatives 34% (-7)
Plaid Cymru 9% (-2)
Liberal Democrats 6% (-1)
UKIP 5% (+1)
Greens 1% (n/c)
The fieldwork dates were from Thursday (the day of the disastrous Tory manifesto launch) through to yesterday. Taken in conjunction with the GB-wide YouGov and Survation polls we saw at the weekend, plus a new GB-wide ICM poll released today showing the Tory lead dropping six points, I think we can safely say there is now ample evidence that the manifesto cost the Tories a shed-load of voters. What we don't know yet is whether the partial and vague U-turn today will be enough to reassure those voters and bring them back into the fold. (There's also a possibility that they'll be reassured on the specific policy but have new doubts about Theresa May's credibility as a leader.) I have absolutely no idea what the effect will be, so all bets are off until we see at least one poll that includes fieldwork from today onwards.
Incidentally, in spite of the ICM poll showing a hefty swing away from the Tories, it still puts them 14% ahead, which is a bigger lead than in the YouGov and Survation polls. But the difference might be partly explained by the fact that ICM appear to have too many Leave voters in their sample - 49% of respondents recalled voting Leave, and only 40% recalled voting Remain. The poll is correctly weighted to recalled voting from the 2015 general election, but I'd have thought EU referendum vote is just as important a predictor of how people might act now.
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For some unknown reason, I'm on the Tory mailing list, and today I received an email from Theresa May informing me (as a presumed Tory supporter) that if she loses just six seats, Jeremy Corbyn will become Prime Minister. That is absolute and complete rubbish - she's knowingly lying to her own supporters. It's true that Corbyn could theoretically become Prime Minister without Labour becoming the largest party, but at an absolute minimum he would need the combined forces of Labour, the SNP, the Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru, the Greens and the SDLP to outnumber the Tories (and in reality it would probably take more than that, because I doubt if the Lib Dems would back him). That would require the Tories to lose significantly more than six seats.
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LAST CALL TO REGISTER TO VOTE : Please check your broom cupboards and attics for anyone who may not have registered to vote - they now have only a few hours left to do so. It's really quick and easy to do it, but if they miss the deadline they'll be powerless to stop the Tories in June. The estimates for the number of people who still haven't registered are absolutely terrifying, and they are disproportionately people who would be likely to vote against a Tory government. If you find someone who needs to register, send them to this link, and they'll be sorted in a matter of minutes.