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After the Mayoral poll fiasco, I only pay attention to Yougov. Why waste time on the others?

"Why waste time on the others?"

A valid point perhaps, but you know that Labour are really in the poo when even ICM polls are giving the Tories healthy double-digit leads.

We need to give some attention to contering the Lib Dems, or they could split the anti-Labour vote and reduce, or even deny(?) the majority we need. Our message could be only we can from an alternative Government to Labour

I think Labour are 7% actually. At least that's what the Guardian are saying and I seem to recall that last month's ICM/Guardian had a Tory lead of just 5%.

I meant "form" an alternative Government..

O/T but have you seen this video:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7408464.stm

Now if she's just a hard-up homely single unemployed mother, why is Timpson not laughing his head off and telling her that if she's unemployed it's because Pembrokeshire booted her out of her last job last year?

I should of course have typed down 7%!!

The frontpage link was missing the word "ahead" which caused me momentary concern!

These polls are all the more remarkable when you reverse the Tory and Labour ratings. Using Electoral Calculus and putting Labour on 41% and the Tories on 27% gives a Labour majority of 130. Goes to show just how disgracefully gerrymandered the British electoral system is and how well the Tories have to do to get anywhere near government.

Good news for Nick Clegg.

Now if she's just a hard-up homely single unemployed mother, why is Timpson not laughing his head off and telling her that if she's unemployed it's because Pembrokeshire booted her out of her last job last year?
Not quite sure what your point is, he was obviously just being polite and leaving to John Sopel to point out that she was rather spinning her origins somewhat.

I think the Lib Dem vote can only improve as Labour crumble in the north.

Who knows, Labour in 3rd place at the next GE? One can only dream!

Some very interesting comments on Labour Home on the topic of Crewe and Nantwich "Final Push"! I think it is really starting to sink in that they are going down...gluggg...gluggg...glugggg!!!

All polls are showing an increasing trend towards the Conservative party.

Every newspaper are reporting a growth in their polls towards Cameron and the Tories. I do believe, however, we are at the point of no return for the Labour party.

Did you read the reports that three major Trade Unions are considering pulling support from Labour and creating a new party? That would be a major blow to Brown.

Daniel, that would also kill the Labour Party. They are only being saved from bankruptcy by the unions now that personal donations have all but dried up.

Timpson is leading in the polls by 8% and should ignore the Labour mud-slinging. The media is fisking Tamsin Two-Names' statements already.

ComRes also has us 13 points ahead in C&N

According to the Independent, no actual numbers released yet AFAIK

Paul J - One of the problems with uniform national swing calculations such as those used by Electoral Calculus is that they tend to break down when the swing is large. We saw that in 1997 when Labour did much better than predicted by UNS. Part of the reason for that is that tactical voting changes. In 1997 and, to a lesser extent, at every election since, there has been an anti-Conservative tactical vote. If that breaks down at the next election or even turns into an anti-Labour tactical vote, the figures would look very different.

I don't agree that the boundaries are gerrymandered, although it does appear that way until you start analysing the figures in detail. Yes, there is room for improvement in making constituency sizes more equal. But the biggest factors in the results you see from Electoral Calculus and other such calculators are due to tactical voting and differential turnout (the latter meaning that Labour voters don't bother to vote in safe seats whilst we Conservatives do).

There is, in fact, an excellent article describing the situation in detail on Electoral Calculus.

The election is two years away - its hardly in the bag. Although the poll results are staggering; it is a clear case of governments losing rather than opposition winning. The crewe campaign should show how dirty labour is going to fight, it clings to power and wont let go - the front bench better make sure there is no dirt to be found.

Hubris is a deadly quality.

Steve Garner - the Guardian's figure of -7% for Labour is the change from the last ICM poll for the Guardian. The -2% figure shown above is the change from the last ICM poll published, which is somewhat more recent than their last poll for the Guardian.

The report that Nick Clegg would give immediate support to the Conservatives if there was a no overall majority at the next general election looks like a shrewd move on his part. This might encourage some floaters to vote for the Lib-Dems thus boosting his apparent support. Or am I being too Machiavellian?

Good news for Nick Clegg? Slightly less disasterous new, remember he needs 26% just to stand still. Do a Blair, promise a compromise, promise prop representation, take the landslide, & like Blair did to Paddy - hang him out to dry. Pointless Party.

Guess what everybody: there's a new ComRes poll that has put us with a 13% in C&N! Double figures for a Labour stronghold! See here: http://politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2008/05/19/comres-reports-a-13-lead-in-crewe-nantwich/

Good news for Nick Clegg? Slightly less disasterous new, remember he needs 26% just to stand still.
Surely, to stand still he needs around 67 seats - incumbents start off with an advantage, if support is concentrated then a drop in total national percentage vote can still translate into more seats as happened in 1997 for the Liberal Democrats, in 1983 a surge in support for the Alliance compared to the Liberal Party in 1979 actually made little difference in terms of seats.

A party can get 30% of the vote and only 30 seats and then at the next election get half that vote and double the number of seats - distribution of the vote makes a big difference.

When a party gets more seats than before generally the party leader is acclaimed regardless of whether there was any increase in the vote - when the Liberal Democrat vote largely collapsed in 1997 Paddy Ashdown was still acclaimed because they got 46 seats and on a tiny increase in the vote in 2005 and yet a gain of 32 seats Michael Howard was acclaimed as a hero in 2005.

All people remember about the 1924 General Election was the Zinioev letter and a Labour defeat - that Labour's vote actually increased both in real and percentage terms is not generally remembered because they lost seats.

Similarily in 1951 Labour got the highest proportion of those eligible to vote in any General Election since before Universal Suffrage, and highest percentage of the Popular Vote they ever got and yet it is generally only remembered as the election in which the Labour government fell. Harold Wilson in 1964 won with about the same vote that Labour got in 1959, in February 1974 he was acclaimed for getting Labour back into power when actually Labour's vote in the General Election was it's lowest since 1931.

In 2005 under Tony Blair Labour get a similar proportion of those eligible to vote to Michael Foot in 1983 and the lowest percentage of the Popular Vote Labour has had since 1992, the 4th lowest Labour vote since 1931 and yet he was hailed for winning a 3rd successive General Election.

If the main 3 party vote was to continue to fall then a party could win a majority at a General Election on even less than 30% of the vote at some point.

Okay, the Liberal Democrats need 23% to stand still according to Electoral calculus. Point is, they are way off that - we are squeezing their vote. Previously they benefited from tactical voting with Labour, they cannot rely on that now, so look to do the same with us.

The point I'm making, and its am important one, is that Tony Blair did a deal with Ashdown pre-97, promising proportional representation and seats at cabinet in order to get him to go for tactical voting against the Conservatives at the 1997 General Election. The aim was never to go through with this - They knew they would get a large majority - Paddy was duped in a plan designed to do maximum damage to the Conservative Party (Paddy thinks he's bright, but he is no match for anyone with real brains you know). Anyway the landslide, coupled with the tactical voting would damage the tory party machine so badly it couldn't get back into power for decades, to Labour's obvious advantage. And thats exactly what happened. Remember Tony Blair was the man who said his aim was to destroy Conservatism for ever. Now the roles are reversed?

With the current boundary changes, calculus predicts:

Party 2005 Votes 2005 Seats Pred Votes Pred Seats
CON 33.24% 208 41.18% 353
LAB 36.21% 347 28.01% 220
LIB 22.65% 66 18.65% 42

Sorry, typepad doesn't like tabs:

Party Perct Seats
CON 41.18% 353
LAB 28.01% 220
LIB 18.65% 42

"Hubris is a deadly quality"

But positivity isn't!

One caveat however regarding C&N - As I kept on saying with the London Mayoral, it just depends on what happens on the day (and there of course it worked brilliantly). We must get our voters out on Thursday!

Yes! it is likely that the Tories will win the Crewe & Nantwich Bye-Election, but does it really matter much? At a time when British sovereignty is threatened with extinction by the EU and "the enemies within", we need political and ethical giants not the pygmies we actually have on offer.

Clegg might be pleased but 22% when the government is at it's lowest point for decades is hardly reason to feel smug! Clegg is under just as much pressure as Cameron to deliver on policy.

If NuLab bring back Michael F.and the LebDims Ming's we could be in trouble.

Tony Blair did a deal with Ashdown pre-97, promising proportional representation and seats at cabinet in order to get him to go for tactical voting against the Conservatives at the 1997 General Election. The aim was never to go through with this
It wasn't a formal deal, as has been confirmed by both - Tony Blair promised to setup a commission to look again at proposals for PR which resulted in the Jenkins Commission which came out with a modified version of Labour's 1994 Plant Report - AV Plus although where there was dispute is that this was shelved and never put to a referendum.

Both Tony Blair and Paddy Ashdown have said that Tony Blair wanted to include Liberal Democrats in the government up to cabinet level from the start, but that the size of Labour's majority and the hostility of John Prescott especially (who has said that he told Tony Blair that the moment a Liberal Democrat entered the cabinet was the moment he walked out) mean't that Tony Blair abandoned the idea.

Yet Another Anon | May 20, 2008 at 12:02

Interesting - wasn't aware of the Prescott bit, but sure the size of the majority was the main driver. Point remains that once you build a certain gap up, the lib dems have to go tactical with the leader to survive. It's not at all good for democracy.

So Labour lurch, admittedly chaotically, to the left and their support collapses. The LibDems move decisively to the right and their's is bolstered. A useful indicator as to the drift of the electorate in all of this.

One cannot underestimate how popular David Cameron now is with people who would not automatically be Tory supporters.

Granted, much of it is down to Brown's own ineptitude, but more and more people are beginning to see DC as the real deal.

Clear indication of this for me was when I was speaking to a colleague today. A swing voter, he was walking in London at lunch and coincidentally bumped into DC.

I was expecting him to say the usual - how he should have sworn it him etc, he's just as bad as the other lot etc - but he said he actually stopped and said "Good luck" to DC and reported that our man said "thank you" back.

DC stopped to buy a Standard and got "undying support" from the seller, and so much for the 'Toff strategy' working with the ordinary man!

Things are a-changing.

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