Monday, December 9, 2019

Gina Miller blasts Mike Smithson's letter-writing antics for the Lib Dems as "extraordinarily scandalous"

More details have been coming to light of the downright lies that the Liberal Democrats have been telling Scottish voters in highly deceptive "letters" that were supposedly written by self-styled "polling and elections expert" Mike Smithson (in reality a former Lib Dem county councillor and a former Lib Dem parliamentary candidate).  Here are some of the gems -

"The election in Edinburgh South is between the SNP and the Liberal Democrats."

REALLY?  Edinburgh South is held by Labour, and is the safest seat in the whole of Scotland.  The SNP were in second place last time, the Tories were third, and the Lib Dems were in a distant fourth with a miserable 3% of the vote.  The YouGov projection model suggests that the Lib Dems will finish fourth again this time.  Even if Smithson thinks YouGov have got it wrong, his claim that Labour won't even be in the running looks risible.

"The majority of voters in Scotland want the UK to remain in Europe and want Scotland to remain in the UK."

No, they don't.  It doesn't work that way for the simple reason that Remain voters are disproportionately likely to be pro-independence, and Leave voters are disproportionately likely to be anti-independence.  Only a minority of voters take a dual pro-Europe, anti-independence position - a significant minority, admittedly, but a minority nonetheless.

"Support for Labour and the Conservatives has nosedived in Scotland."

Labour, yes, but support for the Conservatives appears to be roughly where it was two years ago - at most there has been a drop of three percentage points, which is scarcely a nosedive.

"Support for the Liberal Democrats is growing in Scotland."

No, it isn't.  Polls show their support has slipped over the course of the campaign.

"Only the Liberal Democrats can gain seats from the SNP in Scotland."

"Seats"?  Seats plural?  We know that North East Fife is a possibility, but what other seats are they going to gain?

"In constituencies right across Scotland the only way to stop the SNP winning is for Conservative and Labour voters to vote tactically for the Scottish Liberal Democrats to stop the SNP."

Rubbish.  Of the 59 Scottish constituencies, there are five, or perhaps six at the most, where the Lib Dems are likely to be the SNP's main opponents.  If the Lib Dems want to encourage unionist voters to throw their votes away in the other 53 or 54 seats, we should probably just let them get on with it.  But the snag is that they're sending very similar letters to pro-European voters in Tory-Labour battleground seats, making the bogus claim that the local battle is between the Tories and the Lib Dems.  That's a classic case of putting party before country, because splitting the Remain vote in those crucial seats could help Boris Johnson be re-elected with a thumping majority.  It's no exaggeration to say that Smithson, ostensibly a lifelong Europhile, could end up being responsible for a Hard Brexit if he succeeds in deceiving people.  It's little wonder that Remain activist Gina Miller blasted his letter-writing antics as "extraordinarily scandalous and misleading to the public".

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I have three new constituency previews in today's edition of The National - this time it's Moray, West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine, and Rutherglen & Hamilton West.


  1. Mike Smithson PopsDecember 9, 2019 at 5:57 PM

    So? I don't remember you ever doing an analysis of the Ross, Sky & Lochbar constituency. And what did you ever get elected to anyway.

    Really, the reason that you're so chippy is that you know you'll never run a major British blog.

    1. If the Tories can't win something as blue as the Sky, they might as well just pack up and go home. And I've had many a pint in the Lochbar.

    2. Mike Smithson PopsDecember 9, 2019 at 6:55 PM

      We'll see who's laughing when the Liberal Democrats take Glasgow North East, where they are the favourites to oust the SNP.

    3. All eyes are on Orkney and Shetland where only the Liberals can oust Labour and keep the SNP out. Vote Conservative tactically to stop Green interference in the Northern Isles.
      Nurse! My pills, please.

  2. Major British blog..


    You're are a major brit-nat rocket!

  3. A hard brexit is best. Gina Miller is a filthy rich bitch who the Scottish Nat sis would associate themselves with. The Scottish Nat sis voted against giving the Scottish people a say on the EU. Hopefully all the liar MPs who said they would respect the referendum result will be looking for a job come Friday.

    1. It's like that film where the mother and daughter got accused of kidnapping a girl and making her work unpaid as a servant

  4. I see he also sent one to the Tory/Labour ultra-marginal of Chipping Barnet, in which he claimed that the seat was a contest between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats (who got 5% in 2017).

    Does anyone know if Mr Smithson's letters are being sent to seats where neither Labour nor the SNP are in contention? Are there any cases in which it's the Conservatives who bear the brunt of his hallucinations? If not, that might give a hint as to what the Lib Dems are up to here.

    1. We used to send letters to people telling them about their neighbours activities. People were very interested. Quite the eye opener for them.

  5. 'Only a minority of voters take a dual pro-Europe, anti-independence position - a significant minority, admittedly, but a minority nonetheless.'

    A pro Remain, anti-independence position seems the natural majority in Scotland. Are you seriously suggesting a minority of voters in Scotland would choose to be in the EU and in the UK if those options were presented to them?


    1. It's simply a statement of fact, so of course I'm seriously suggesting it. The evidence is there in the crossbreaks of every poll that has asked both questions. Facts are chiels that winna ding, ScotBrit.

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