Monday, March 25, 2019

Chuka Umunna's group face wipeout in any snap general election

I know it's a bit cheeky of me to say this, given that it's only a week since I wrote an entire blogpost about a subsample, but don't pay too much attention to the excitement over the Ipsos-Mori subsample putting the SNP on 55%, Labour on 15% and the Tories on 12%.  Once undecideds and unlikely-to-votes were removed, the sample size was a tiny 60, and the results won't have been properly weighted anyway.  Of course if there had been a sustained pattern of subsamples putting the SNP well over 50%, then it might be significant, but that simply isn't the case.  High 30s and low 40s has been much more common.

What is more meaningful and interesting about the poll is the Britain-wide result, and in particular Ipsos-Mori's decision to follow the practice of Opinium and ComRes by including the Independent Group as an option on a standard voting intention question.  As has been the case in the Opinium and ComRes polls, the Independent Group performed significantly worse than in polls from other firms asking hypothetical questions that make a song and dance of reminding respondents that there is a new kid on the block.  But at least Opinium and ComRes have put the Independent Group somewhere between 4% and 8%.  Ipsos-Mori, by contrast, have them barely troubling the scorer.

Britain-wide voting intentions (Ipsos-Mori):

Conservatives 38%
Labour 34%
Liberal Democrats 8%
SNP 5%
Greens 4%
Independent Group 2%
Plaid Cymru 1%
Brexit Party 1%

We don't have to look far for an explanation for the divergence - Ipsos-Mori polled by telephone, whereas Opinium and ComRes used an online panel.  It's an open question as to whether telephone or online data collection produces more accurate results at present (online polls surprised everyone during the EU referendum by being closer to the final result), but it seems intuitively likely that telephone would at least be superior when it comes to testing support for the Independent Group.  Online panels are likely to have a disproportionate number of politically-engaged respondents who are more aware of the new proto-party's existence than the average person on the street.

So if the Independent Group really are on 2%, it's not hard to see how a snap general election would pose an existential threat for them - and that could be exactly where we're headed.  The theory seems to be that if parliament coalesces around a softer Brexit as a solution to the current crisis, the anti-Europeans on the Tory benches will sabotage it by bringing about an election - either by the direct means of voting against the government on a no confidence motion, or more likely by a show of strength that demonstrates the government will no longer be able to govern without their help.  Which could leave Chuka and co making panic-stricken do-or-die overtures to potential defectors - but how many Labour or Tory MPs are really going to throw their careers away a few weeks before an election that could secure their positions for another five years if they just sit tight?

This may prove to have been one of the most ill-timed breakaways in political history.


  1. Aye James, but what does seem to be a trend is Labour falling to less than 20% this month. Began in around February it seems, and they're only on >20% for 1 poll this Month (23%), with an average of ~17%. The 15% in the MORI above isn't strange at all in that respect.

    The Tory share seems very low by recent standards so worth keeping an eye on going forward. After all the world is watching them making the grandest fuck up of everything in recent British history. Also, 12% Tory is perfectly fine for Scotland as standard; that would be the level if 2017 voters were abandoning them.

    But aye, not enough to go on for now. Labour are taking a decent hit and losing to the SNP mainly. How well the Tory vote holds depends on how much more they can fuck up in the next wee while.

    We might expect poll shifts now as the population is paying attention as England's big day approaches (chickening out delays aside). For much of Engxit they've been, understandably, largely tuned out.

    1. Chuka Umunna's group deserve to face oblivion next time round. Their cover version of "Blanket on the Ground" was terrible.

    2. They should release there own version of Its Raining Men. It could only be better than Fat Spice"s effort. Spicy .spicy. fat Spicy Fat Test.

  2. Don't think will see any big swings to be honest. May is seen as unpopular and a piss poor PM, but Corbyn is even more unpopular and people think he would be even worse as a PM. Labour are neck and neck in polling at best. The Conservatives are actually probably further ahead as UKIP/The Brexit party are neither in the position to field anything but a handful of candidates in a snap election, so a chunk of the vote that is going to UKIP in polling would go to the Conservatives.

    If you are a centre right Con voter who thinks that the party has gone too far to the right you are not going to switch your vote to Labour under Corbyn, your vote goes to Lib Dems, so no big swing there.

    The Watsons / Starmers of the Labour party know this, that's why they are pushing for a second vote. They know an election will result in Labour being propped up by LD/SNP both of which would want a second ref as a condition for their support. Might as well get ahead of the curve and have one now (and seen to be forcing the Conservatives into something they do not want) rather than having one after an election (and been seen as being have forced to hold one by the LD/SNP)

    Whilst I agree with James that a second ref looks unlikely now, it might suddenly seem more attractive if the chance of a GE is on the cards.

    1. In England there is unlikely to be any big swings for reasons you specify. However, these don't apply in Scotland, which is ripe for large swings.

      For example, the Tory vote could collapse to 12% simply if brexit goes ahead. After all, if you voted Tory because you wanted brexit, and brexit is legally underway, then no need to vote Tory any more.

      Then we have other reasons like Labour leading Scotland to a Tory brexit...The Tories making an utter fuck up of said brexit... Scotland wishing to remain in the EU....

    2. Any GE would be before Brexit. If we do leave before 12/4 then there will not be a GE. But agree you would expect SNP to gain some seats, which is one of the reasons Labour can't get a majority in an Election.

      As I said an election now more than likely results in a second ref. For Labour to get a majority (and stop a second ref) it needs to be taking big gains from Conservatives in England/Scotland and SNP in Scotland neither that looks likely.

    3. Scots MPs are no real use to English Labour anyway due to EVEL.

      Corbyn can't make any changes to any domestic policy (NHS, education, policing / courts / laws, agriculture, fisheries, infrastructure...) in England unless he wins a majority there.

      If he has a majority of MPs only through seat gains outside of England, he's a total lame duck. How could he be PM when he's not PM of England? How can a Labour MP be Education Secretary when they can't implement any education policy at all? Impossible.

      Scots can't really elect UK governments anymore. Not fully functioning ones. England has taken control of Westminster and made it officially England's parliament, relegating Scots voters to second-class, inferior citizens.

    4. skier, if you feel inferior it is down to your state of mind! You can seek help.

    5. But if Labour did have a majority could it not simply repeal EVEL? This is a UK matter not an English one, so Scottish Labour MPs could vote on it.

    6. If Labour repealed EVEL, it would never be elected again. Imagine voting to give the SNP a veto over English education when English MPs can't vote on Scottish Education...

      The English right-wing press would tear Labour apart and English people would, rightly, be fuming at the unfairness of Scots MPs voting on English matters.

      I think EVEL absolutely must stay. It's undemocratic for Scots MPs to vote on English matters.

      What we need however is a one nation one vote UK Senate which deals with reserved matters and all 4 nations have a veto. Just like the democratic European Union has.


      Hey GWC, it's you that's inferior / second class, as you want to be in the UK, ergo support having such status.

    7. Cordelia loves being a servile and obedient colonial. One day its masters might even pay attention to its bowing, scraping and grovelling.

    8. skier, it was you who said you were inferior.

    9. No, no, I didn't. I didn't mention me at all. It's just you can't read the language of the country you like to shine the shoes of.

      Here it is for you again in plain English; the language of English people:

      "England has taken control of Westminster and made it officially England's parliament, relegating Scots voters to second-class, inferior citizens"

      Which is factually correct.

      'inferior' obviously means 'of lower rank:', i.e. because their vote has less worth.

      But rather than try to counter my argument, you merely try to deflect as deep down you know how pathetic it is that they force you to sit outside the door and you keep meekly accepting it. Have some baws man. FGS.

    10. You did. 'inferior citizens'. You wrote it.

    11. "Vote unionist & Tory and you can lead the UK!" lol.

      Brit jocks go right out and do that, electing more Tories than they've done in a decade. Yet the English MPs make them sit outside the meetings while they pish themselves lacking at how gullible the brit jocks are.

      At least the DUP have some baws; rifling through the English pockets while holding a gun to their heads. That's proper British unionism.

    12. The DUP are right to extract a few extra bob. What they do with it is another thing. A new banner fur ra ludge maybe.

    13. What an obedient colonial lickspittle Cordelia is.

  3. Meanwhile in another place.

    Did the head of Stonewall Scotland just perjure himself? Telling a deliberate lie while under oath is a bad thing and somewhat frowned upon in legal circles.

    Marsha Johnson of the Stonewall riot was a Drag Queen. A Homosexual man in a frock. He never claimed to be anything else yet post mortem he is used by the tranny fannies to justify their attempted reign of terror.

    What could be more homophobic than to deny a fag the right to define their own sexuality?

    1. From Wikipedia:

      "Johnson variably identified herself as gay, as a transvestite, and as a queen (referring to drag queen)"

      At the time, "transvestite" was the term used for what today we would call transgender.

      You were saying about deliberate lies?

  4. ^^^^ Perhaps use of the word 'fag'?

  5. TIG = lololololololololololololol

    What a sad end for such overweening egos as Umunna, Berger, and Leslie.

  6. #BetterTogether2

    Britain Elects

    "The government have handled Brexit well"

    Agree: 7%
    Disagree: 81%

    via @ComRes

  7. I see the BBC etc are all increasingly hopeful that the Tories & the DUP will get together to vote for a brexit deal that the population hate, with 4/4 home nations having previously rejected proposals for it at the ballot box in 2017.

    That would solve everything!

    If it passes, the Tories, with the backing of only a minority of the population in 1/4 home nations, can then get on with ending devolution in the other 3/4, as required for subsequent trade negotiations, which will, erm, 'unite the country' and lead us to the sunlit uplands...

    ...In the land of fairies and unicorns.

    Screwed. So utterly screwed.

  8. To little to late. The Moggs etc might come on board, the DUP might come on board, but there are are a group of hardcore Brexiters who never will and a group of pro EU MPs that never will.

    Anyone who thinks Mays deal will actually pass is away with the fairies and unicorns.

  9. The UK is really a semi-dictatorship.

    I mean how the fuck else do we end up in a situation where the PM can make such a complete mess of everything and MPs can't do much if anything about it? Even now, MPs 'taking control' seems to mean they just have a wee discussion which May can just ignore anyway.

    How on earth is this a democracy? We just have one mad nutter in the No. 10 bunker directing imaginary armies of pro-deal PMs when brexit cliff day has reached the end of the street.

    So, so screwed.

  10. Of course the process that is happening now is quiet normal. Legislative bodies (UK Parlient/ Scotish Parliemnt etc ) cannot directly tell the Government what to do. They can only vote for or against or amend bills that are placed in front of them. For example the Scot Conservatives cannot force the Scot Government to place a bill saying that there should not be an 2nd Indy Ref. They can only vote against a bill saying there should be a second ref.

    So perfectly democratic and normal for the Government to be able to ignore the indicative votes.

    Having said that what the Government cannot do is ignore amendments to bills. Anthing that will have any sort of majority would easilly be added to the political declaration. As the EU have said there is nothing in the withdrawal agreement that stops the UK joining the customs union single market etc. It would just get added to the political declaration through an amendment.

    The only things that could not happen in the above way is revoking article 50 or a straight remain / leave referendum.

    Far from being a semi dictatorship what is happening is probably one of the ultimate forms of democracy, Parliament taking control from the Goverment. Something that happens very rarely.

    1. So what you are saying then, is that the UK parliament is just utterly incompetent and unfit to govern Scotland?

      That's actually just as bad, if not worse. If May can be readily overruled by anyone with a better plan, and that's not happened in 3 years, we're utterly fucked.

    2. That aside, why is May alone, according to the BBC etc, the person that decides on a Section 30 if the UK's not a semi-dictatorship?

      If a Section 30 is not automatic, the cannot be a democracy.


    3. It could not of happened any time over the last three years because any amendments that come of it need to be attached the the meaningful vote. But agree could of happened any time since the first MV. Would have to ask the various MPS in parliament (including SNP MPS why have not tried before this.)

      May along can't do anything. Unlike many countries (France in the EU for example) were the Head of State can override the legislative body via decrees she does not have the power. Technically I believe the Queen can, but the last UK Head of State who tried lost his head, so she might not want to go down that route :)

      As much as we might want to call May a dictator, she has less powers than many EU and world leaders, in that she cannot bypass the legislative body.

      Anyhow away from that, looking like come the end of Monday could well be looking at SM/CU which as has been mentioned on here before would be perfectly manageable a not a huge disaster,indeed some both in Scotland and the rUK would prefer that than full EU membership if they had that choice.

    4. skier, the UK Parliament does not govern Scotland. Scotland has a Parliament and local authorities. This has probably passed you bye during your incessant rants.

    5. So May cannot refuse / delay a Section 30 in any way if Holyrood formally requests one?

      This is surprising.

      Obviously if May could delay or refuse a Section 30, the UK would be a dictatorship as that would be an unelected (in Scotland) politician overruling democracy by decree.

      Forgive my asking, it's just the BBC is insisting the UK is a dictatorship, as are various UK cabinet ministers.

    6. May personally cannot block or pass anything she does not have that power. Unlike countries such as France who's president can be a dictator and override/bypass the countries legislative bodies, UK is far more democratic in that respect, realized long ago that letting one person (the President in Frances case) have that power is closer to being an dictatorship.

  11. Opinium survey came out yesterday..did you see it. GB wide. No northern iIrelan as usual.

    1. That's an appalling thing to say about Welsh people. No-one is beheaded in Wales for driving on the wrong side of the road. No-one.

    2. The Welsh have only single track roads due to English neglect. The Taff's do not know if they coming or going.

    3. But that's why we're #bettertogether as obedient colonial subjects...

    4. You should be sectioned then you can pretend your Anthea Redfern.

      You'll all be sorry when my beloved Yaxley-Lennon is running the country!
      (Sounds of sobbing and retching)"

    6. Now your getting worried. You should be. The M Pp s were crap last night so it's the job of our servicemen to restore order. That's one area the nat sis and the commute pals in Labour and the child molester party didn't manage to take down they did the rest. Haha. I laugh when they go on about it. We list! Haha. Right. Oh yeah that's why they still need us to sort it out for them. Them! I wouldn't give them a penny and there begging four it all the time. John Pa Junkers. Eat this Shahs my. Robert the Mugabe there ed find ed HH I see his and handouts. Test.

    7. Cordelia there, showing its usual high-dosage incoherence. I hope it didn't hurt itself on the way back to the sobbing cupboard and its bizarre jackbooted fantasies.

    8. Wow! Cordelia must have gone beyond the prescription stuff. Maybe she knows Ross Thomson - "Pizza for Thomson".

    9. “You might very well think that - I couldn't possibly comment.”

    10. I don't understand anything that Muffit TT Muffin just said

    11. That'll be because Cordelia stayed up all night downing Domestos and snorting Vim again. The higher it is, the less coherent its ravings.