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Sorry Cleo but the last three opinion polls (ICM, MORI and Yougov) have given Labour a lead of 6 to 9%. That's a clear trend!

As for "backstabbing", spare a thought for loyal candidates in target seats who were knifed by CCHQ in favour of Cameron cronies such Rehman Chishti, a Labour candidate at the last election.

I've never seen any alternative strategy from DC bashers on this site.

Trends develop over months not three weeks.

Stop the back stabbing. Give the wets a free ticket to join the parties they would be happier in. Finally stop giving the electorate a false choice.

The alternative strategy is Europe, immigration, grammar schools, vouchers. The ever successful core vote strategy.

Bill, wets are just drys with a sense of strategy

Cleo, Europe and Immigration ( if coming from the centre) are vote winners. Grammar schools and vouchers are certain loosers.

Cleo

From a democratic let alone an historic view (which may mean nothing to many given the deliberate trashing of our history) Europe is crucial to our country if not our elections at this moment. (But I would not expect the latter point to resonate with those who think they know about politics (too many having studied it at university but know zilch about history).

Immigration is I believe currently the number one issue with voters.


Re grammar schools: far more democratic than Eton but still got got me to Oxford and a better college than "Dave".

No Olivepeel.

Then and now, wets represent privileged intellectual incoherence.

"Tapestry, "others" includes UKIP, BNP, English Democrats, Respect, Greens, Plaid Cymru, SNP, SDLP, DUP, UUP etc. 11%, given the dissatisfaction with the three main parties, is perfectly reasonable. Get real!"

I'm afraid Tapestry is a lost cause when it comes to the logic of polls and by elections.He seems to think the BNP will get the same share of the vote at a GE as they get at a by election like Sedgefield, without having the faintest idea of the special dynamic of a by election.Minor parties can throw everything at a by election because they can pull activists in to deliver leaflets, knock on doors etc.
Additionally, voters are not voting for a government. This has been explained to Tapestry several times ut something stops it sinking into his/her skull...

Dismayed, I would be amazed if Labour won back any of those.

"The polls are STILL not borne out by any local election results, guys. Caution!"

I notice even DC has started mentioning local election results as some sort of guide to future electoral performance.Most unwise,Even Hague managed to take 600 seats from Labour only 12 months before the 2001 Labour landslide.

Election results are no guide to subsequent general elections.Look at the similarity between the 2004,2006 and 2007 local election results and the stark contrast to the party's standing in the national opinion polls.Differential turn out is the elephant hiding in the bushes,,,,

ICM opinion poll
April 2003
Labour 42%
Tories 30%
12% labour lead
(local election results 2003 share of vote )
Labour 30%
Conservaties 35%
5% Tory lead

ICM poll
April 2004
Labour 40%
Conservatives 31%
9% Labour lead
(local elections 2004)
Labour 26%
Conservatives 37%
11% Tory lead

ICM Poll
April 2006
Labour 32%
Conservatives 34%
2% Tory lead
(local elections 2006)
Labour 26%
Conservatives 39%
13% Tory lead

ICM Poll
April 2007
Labour 30%
Con 37%
Tory lead 7%
(local elections)
Consevatives 40%
Labour 27%
Tory lead 13%

I give up. Please can you recommend a place where skulls could be thinned.

Just to perplex you further, BNP activists in Sedgefiled are convinced ballot boxes were tampered with. 15 out of 16 were not properly sealed so that someone could have gained access to the boxes pre-count.

The canvas returns from BNP and from other parties gave BNP about 18% of the vote not the 9%.

If true Labour were hit harder with only 41%, as were Conservatives down a fraction. Estimating, it seems that about 3 labour voters went to bnp for every 1 conservative.

As for your assessment of the significance of 'other' parties, I hope you are right - but suspect you are wrong. Polling has been variously giving 'others' around 15% for a while. Why would this fall to 10% circa just when Brown takes over from Blair?

It could be a while before the next election (Labour's finances permitting) but popularity can hardly be improved when people like the veritable Iain Dale wander around attired thus.

There have been so many comments on this site I now cannot find the one that caught my attention. It read to the effect that now Cameron has the PR in place we just need the policies. Surely this is the wrong way round and illustrates the problem. "Just need the policies"? No. No. When we have the policies in place, only then do we JUST need the PR!

Tapestry: repeat after me, then 5 times each morning:

voters behave differently in by elections..

the governing party's support always dips in by elections..

the swing against Labour in Sedgefield was much lower than previous parliamentry by elections..

the governing party's support always dips in by elections.
almost always - there were a couple of by elections in the late 1990's in seats the Conservatives held in the 1997 General Election which Labour came very close to taking in by elections, equally the Conservatives improved their support in a couple in the early 1980's, in the case of safe Labour seats it seems to be a given that the number of Labour votes drops substantially in by-elections not only when Labour is in government, but even for example in the 1990's when Labour got huge swings in Conservative strongholds whereas seats such as Wigan, Bootle, Rotherham etc.... saw majorities plummett with turnout falling away only for the majority to be even bigger than before at the following General Election.

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