Saturday, November 30, 2019

Britain's favourite impartial Liberal Democrat election expert Mike Smithson is BACK - and he's writing letters again

Thanks to Tris of Munguin's Republic for alerting me to this.


It's truly inspiring that an impartial "polling and elections expert" would take the time to write letters to ordinary voters up and down the country, with no particular motive other than a simple urge to share his expertise with those less insightful than himself.  He would never dream of telling you how to vote, in spite of the fact that he's a current Liberal Democrat party member, a former Liberal Democrat county councillor, and a former Liberal Democrat candidate for parliament.  It's just pure coincidence that the "information" he provides is invariably that some disaster would befall the voter if they do anything other than vote Liberal Democrat.  And nobody should be cynical about the fact that the microscopically small print at the bottom reveals that the letter was in fact published and promoted on behalf of the Liberal Democrats.  They're simply providing an invaluable public service without the slightest thought for their own advantage.

The wording is very similar to the letter Smithson put his name to in the 2017 election, but I notice it's less constituency-specific - it just uses language like "in this area", whereas last time it was spelling out "voters who want to stop the SNP in East Dunbartonshire should vote for Jo Swinson and the Liberal Democrats".  In one sense that's lazier, but it's also probably a sign that he's just agreed to let the party use a general template anywhere they want - in other words his advice to voters is whatever the Liberal Democrats want it to be.

Smithson never had that much credibility as an "expert" to begin with - he's made a series of near-comical howlers over the years, including confident predictions that Kitty Ussher would become leader of the Labour party ("remember you read it here first!"), that the Liberal Democrats would hold the Gordon constituency in 2015 (they lost to the SNP by almost 9000 votes), that the Fixed Term Parliaments Act made early elections nigh-on impossible (that's been proved wrong twice in the space of two short years), and worst of all that the Lib Dems would be making a historic error if they did anything other than go into coalition with the Conservatives in 2010.  But to the extent he's got any reputation left to defend, he seems happy enough to squander it completely by being seen to once again pump out industrial-scale propaganda for his own political party, and indeed by allowing that party to put words in his mouth.

You can tell from the framing of the letter that it's matched to the profile of the individual voter - if they're a natural Tory they'll be told that "the data" shows they have to vote Lib Dem to stop Corbyn, and if they're a natural Labour supporter they'll be told "the data" shows they have to vote Lib Dem to stop Johnson and a Hard Brexit.  Essentially if you don't vote Liberal Democrat in this election, you're anti-science.

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I have two more constituency profiles in today's edition of The National - this time it's Dumfries & Galloway and Cumbernauld, Kilsyth & Kirkintilloch East.

23 comments:

  1. Polling expert? He just leeches off opinion polls conducted by others.

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  2. They'll have to put a lot of these through letterboxes in East Dunbartonshire now or keep Swinson off the telly, she's going down like a lead balloon round the doors

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  3. The Liberals in their various disguises are just the back up Tory party. In times of crisis they will back the Tories and Tory policies. They are a middle class lot like the Blairites and the Scottish Nat sis. The working class are their enemy who must be kept in their place.

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    1. The working class seem to be swinging behind Labour to stop the rich Tory brexit. They may succeed, just as they did in 2017.

      I guess they're listening to you about the liberals and shifting to Labour, which for many working class seats, is the far better option to stop brexit in England.

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  4. Tonight's polls all showing Labour closing the gap in England. Looks like they are now comfortably into the low 30's. We could see 35%+'s in the next few days.

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    1. Most of the polls have the Tories in mid 40s and around a 10% lead .Still can't see past a Tory majority.
      Corbyn is not popular especially among the northern English working classes who see him as from the southern elite

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    2. I'm not sure which polls you are seeing which have the Tories in the 'mid 40's'. If that was the case, they'd be averaging 45%. They are flat-lining at 42%, as per 2017.

      Labour still have some way to go, but there does seem to be a tactical vote developing as per 2017. This time it's running maybe 4 days behind what it was then though. We'll see in the next 5 days. If Labour are hitting 35-38 by then in polls, Johson's in trouble.

      A check of the what subsets are available for Scotland and no sign of any Labour surge here this time. Tories look to be on for the same % share as 2017 though as things stand. They would still lose seats though as long as SNP voters turn out.

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    3. These polls
      CON: 45% (+2)
      LAB: 32% (+2)
      LDEM: 15% (-1)
      BREX: 3% (-)
      via @DeltapollUK,
      Chgs. w/ 23 Nov

      Westminster voting intention:
      CON: 43% (-)
      LAB: 34% (+2)
      LDEM: 13% (-)
      GRN: 3% (+1)
      BREX: 2% (-2)
      via @YouGov, 28 - 29 Nov

      CON: 46% (-1)
      LAB: 31% (+3)
      LDEM: 13% (+1)
      BREX: 2% (-1)

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    4. To be clear, Labour don't have even the remotest chance in hell of winning, but if they come close to 40%, Johnson can wave goodbye to a decent working majority, particularly as the DUP - formerly the NI branch of the Tories in effect - are now Johnsons's sworn enemy.

      I'll pish masel laughin if that happens. It would be the best outcome for all if England can only achieve brexit by becoming an independent country.

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    5. Sorry bottom poll is Opinium for the Observer

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    6. You are just selecting those that fit what you are saying. You need to look at all of them. Also the changes. You highlight a Labour surge (+2,+2,+3) but Tory stall (+2,-,-1) even in the polls you show for example.

      Absolutely fuck all has changed since 2017, both in terms of what's on offer by all parties, the deal on the table and leave/remain vote shares. It would therefore be a miracle if the outcome of the election is significantly different. All I can see is UKIP had its name changed to Brexit. We can forget 1997 'things can only get better' landslides.

      On the face of it, I think the Tories probably will pull off a majority, but a weak one, utterly incapable of doing anything but plunging the UK even deeper into the shithole they've led it into. Certainly with absolutely zero hope of making it through the many years of tough trade negotiations ahead.

      In Scotland, there has been a Lab to SNP swing associated with a 5% rise in indy support to 50/50, mainly in response to the English stalemate on brexit. That could result in the SNP gaining some ground.

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    7. I only selected the polls that are out tonight .I get what your saying I do think the Tories have hit a ceiling at around the low 40s.
      I don't have at hand Corbyns personal ratings for 2017 but the Mail and Sun have done a job on him he is now viewed as a Hamas IRA supporting Grandpa by the demographic that voted Leave in the North of England.So my hunch is that this will prevent Labour getting much more than the mid 30s
      My concern in Scotland is that we don't get the SNP vote out .Believe it or not out canvassing today at one door I got asked "what election"? .
      There can be no complacency we need everyone out on polling day as we will have our work cut out getting the vote out .On the plus side I get the feeling Unionists are not to keen on Boris and Corbyn and might stay at home

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  5. Is that not illegal given the man makes a living from betting on election results?

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    1. You got a point there .Never thought about it like that

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  6. I knew it was bad when this was even getting called out in the Political Betting comments.

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  7. The good thing is that if Labour get in with SNP support then any Brexit deal is going to be the softest of soft. With the SNP front and center in any negotiations there is no way its going to be anything else. So Full freedom of movement and customs union at the very least.

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    1. And of course wouldn't apply in Scotland unless Scots voted for it in a Remain vs leave (with proposed deal) new referendum.

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  8. I see Mikey small is now openly campaigning for labour this election. And s macdonald is still a sad little integrity initiative loving dingledangle. The man is not and never has been interested in independence for Scotland. Paycheques from MI5 on the other hand...

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  9. Has anyone else asked the question as to why the "terrorist" was shot dead by the police when he already been subdued by the three men with the narwhal tusk and fire-extinguishers?

    Also will it have any effect on the election? The rancid J Cox (No campaigner and wife of nonce ISIS lover) being stiffed didn't prevent a leave vote. The 2017, "attack," didn't save the former Home Secretary. What, if anything, will this one do?

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    1. He had on a dummy suicide vest but the bizzies did not known it was dummy so they shot him. Saves the taxpayers money in the long run.

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  10. I don't know what "squeaky bum" means.

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    1. Just say "GWC". You'll be fine.

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  11. I can't bloody find it but someone posted a pic of a leaflet with him ( exact same guy) on it, it was a Tory one saying he had been SNP but sick of them going on about independence so he is voting Tory now, seriously, saw that on twitter! I will try to remember who posted it...what the hell!

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