?Undecided voters lean *heavily* Tory when we take into account demographic data like age and education. And these voters are projected to swing more than 160 seats(!!!) at the next General Election, slashing Labour's lead. So how did we get here? 2/
I am not sure of the methodology, but anyone around the median age for a PB’er will have lived through the decade when Mrs T seemed universally unpopular, lost every by-election going and shedloads of councillors, seemed always massively behind in the polls, yet come the election Labour never seemed to win. Until 1997.
I suspect this analysis is closer to the money than the projections of the Tories being reduced to a rump of seats, much as I would love to see the latter as their entirely deserved fate.
The vested and self-interest driving support for the Tories is always there, underneath, and currently they might as well rename themselves the Pensioners’ Party. One recent poll had support for them among the youngest voting cohort down to 2%.
I don't bet -- my wife's a Methodist! -- I've just been coming here for aeons as I think Mike (and many other) 's insights are um, deeply insightful. But if I did bet, I'd see considerable value in some markets at the moment. In my view:
• Tory majority at next GE is 10% to 20%;
• Labour majority at next GE is 40 to 45%; and
• Hung parliament at next GE (=SKS as PM, almost certainly) is 40 to 45%.
In other words, it's about 50-50 whether 1992 is the closest recent-time precedent for where we are now, or whether 1997 is.
The biggest factor is that there are still 2 years to go.
Labour is entirely capable of imploding in that time. When you add in the uncertainty around the Don't Knows, the strong likelihood of a partial swing-back to the party of Government over the next part of the electoral cycle, SKS's perceived lack of charisma (and as Mike would doubtless say, leader ratings count for a lot!) -- any fatalism amongst Tory backbenchers seems a bit premature just yet.
The difference is that there are now no true believers in the brilliance of the current incarnation of the Tory party.
And there's no equivalent of the SDP to split the anti-Tory vote.
But you're probably correct about the vested interest vote. And of.course one person's vested interest is another's matter of principle.
None of us are wholly objective.
Polling suggests, however, that the oft-seen suggestion that the SDP split the ‘anti-Tory vote’ was, certainly in 1983, wrong, since under a forced choice more of their voters would have backed the Tories without a third party to vote for. I suspect the false narrative persists because it gives the left a handy scapegoat for their own self-inflicted fiasco.
Looking at the first stories that came my way this morning (including the Times one linked above), I think we are in for a very shitty year of manufactured mini-stories-becoming-faux-scandals in our media, and it's tough to be interested.
Time for a reboot, and I'm very tempted to take a break for the start of the year.
So have a good few days (or weeks), all.
And we have local elections this time, so it's time to ask our local politicians about active travel and similar.
It does rather smack of double counting to allocate the DK this way AND have swingback. Surely these DK are the mechanism of swingback?
Starmer shouldn't be complacent though, and to be fair shows no sign of being so.
Best of luck, all.
New patterns, and a couple of new activities coming my way I think.
I appreciate the point on the demographics of this group, but it isn't entirely clear to me that the high number of undecided voters is bad for the reds rather than blues.
Surely a bit of double counting there. If the polls narrow it will probably be because of current waverers saying they will vote Tory.
Great first post.
The one thing that could be terminal for the Tories is a new insurgent party on the Right (that's what did for them in the 2019 euros) but if that doesn't materialise, or Reform fades, then this analysis could come true.
At least on a personal basis!
The enormous majorities forecast for labour recently were always, surely, unattainable.
What we can hope for, and perhaps reasonably expect, is a higher standard of behaviour of parliamentarians, both inside, and outside the chamber!
Edit - I see Kamski has made exactly the same point!
But the key observation might be that private education goes beyond traditional public schools, through tutors who are represented on pb, to ad hoc after-school establishments often based in former shops, which around here are mainly used by the Labour-leaning Asian community, and that is without counting specifically Muslim religious education.
Otoh, last night's Only Connect makes me think you can tell a school is posh if the teachers are called beaks.
Paradoxically, in electoral terms, as well as to end the old school tie domination of many lucrative and influential professions, it might be better for Labour to completely ban private education rather than make it 20 per cent more expensive.
Isn't there a double counting risk in that at least some of the polls already adjust exactly to deal with the point you make?
I'm not saying there won't be swingback - there will almost certainly be swingback as a reversion to the mean point (the scope for Tories to drop further is less than potential to come off the floor). I'm just not certain you've identified an additional and separate point here - although I accept I don't know current pollster methodologies inside out.
This neo-socialist thinking (which I know is just an devil's advocate argument you're suggesting, not putting forward as your personal view) to target the bourgeoise is a very old one, and we know where it leads.
So it was the initial publish that caused the blip.
Can’t be worse than the one just gone !
I see the slavery reparations story is moving up a gear. More descendants of slave owners are to be targetted for reparations. No blame is attached to the descendants however.
This story is given some prominence as it’s a well known actor however it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
1) Sunak to still be PM
2) Russia Ukraine War to be an ongoing stalemate, with positions not far from where they were in Jan 2022.
3) President Xi to be deposed in China, and China driving world economic recovery.
4) Biden to announce he will run again. He seems to be enjoying himself. Trump to disappear further down his rabbit hole, and looking unlikely to be the Republican nominee.
4) Musk to step back from Twitter, under threat of losing control of Tesla.
5) UK inflation to drop, but still be 5% by year end. GDP to hover around the zero mark, with neither significant growth nor major recession, buoyed by significant consumer spending. BoE base rate 4.5% at year end.
6) May local elections to be poor for the Tories, but not a wipeout, and lacklustre for Labour. A good night for LibDems and Greens.
7) The most certain of all: NI to remain fossilised in pointless deadlock, with no Stormont government nor real progress on the NIP.
The assumption behind this analysis is that all expressions of "Don't Know" can be disregarded. They will vote Conservative as they did last time and not vote for Labour or sit on their hands. This is despite large numbers of similar previous voters happily stating they will vote Labour.
I think we can say some of them will revert to their previous positions. We don't know if it's a few or most. On current polling information, a 50 seat Labour majority is the worst case for that party and as unlikely as the headline figure of 519 Labour seats.
Based on current polling. As always, the polling can shift. (But not necessarily to Labour's disadvantage).
I would say current polling is more like 1995 than 1990. Relevant to this analysis perhaps because relatively few of the 1995 "Don't Knows" reverted to the Tories in 1997.
For that reason, I think Labour will have good local elections in 2023 from a relatively low base. Tories also have a relatively low base but numerically will probably still lose a lot of seats as we're looking at a LOT of small seats in district councils in this round - they still won 40% of seats up in 2019 on 28% of the vote and still run a lot of the councils up this year. That isn't great when budgets are very tight for local authorities, and they'll almost inevitably be cutting services AND raising Council Tax close to the cap at the worst possible time in the electoral cycle - a tough time to defend when in control.
I am not very good at this game but I'm glad I'm big on Biden, put it that way.
Dr. Foxy, it'll certainly be an interesting year if Xi is deposed. I'd be surprised, but there we are.
And it's hard to see what a good government would do about those, or where we would get a good government from.
"The opposition are mediocre and won't solve the problems we created" isn't the best of election pitches.
1. Ukraine stalemate to continue throughout the year with little change.
2. Inflation to remain above 5% by year end.
3. Trump still to be be the leading GOP POTUS candidate by year end.
4. May local elections to be a record loss for the Tories.
5. …despite which, Sunak to still be PM at the end of the year.
6. Labour polling lead to continue in to 10% - 20% range through the year.
7. FTSE100 at 6,500 by year end.
8. Australia to win the Ashes this summer.
9. France to win the RU world cup.
10. England to win the Women’s Football World Cup.
Zelensky certainly can't negotiate this side of the Ukrainian Presidential Election which is scheduled to be in April. That is going to be a very uncertain prospect and not just because of disruption from the SMO. In 2019 Zelensky was elected on the back of the money and TV channel (1+1) of Igor Kolomoysky. VZ and IK used to be very tight (Zelensky's production company laundered about $30m of Kolomoysky's ill-gotten through Belize and Panama - Paradise Papers). However, once he was President, Zelensky did a total Johnson on Kolomoysky stripping him of Ukrainian citizenship and exiling him to Cyprus.
Starmer has to rule out the single market and customs union to win back the redwall seats without which he can't become PM
I thought the economy would do for the Conservatives but reading today's posts that appears not to be the case. Brexit, taxation, Starmer's ineptitude and public schools seem to be the drivers for the inevitable Conservative victory.
It's very, very S
I see sarcasm is going strong at the start of the year. You do realise that it completely goes over the head of one poster don't you?
We're currently at about 1/3 of the public thinking this whole Brexit thing is a good
idea. The numbers might stick there, or they might continue to drift down. But there is a threshold where the question can't be avoided any more. What's unclear is where that threshold is.
It's time for someone to come in and smash up the Treasury, fire all of the "we know best" mandarins who couldn't grow a whelk stall let alone an economy and refocus the whole energy of the state into making the economy grow and for the UK benefit from the growth rather than the Saudi Arabian wealth fund or Tencent.
If Labour really want to do this, it does not need to be in a manifesto either way, Chancellors tinker with tax all the time.
I think the people power protests that brought an end to zero covid, then the current chaos leave Xi looking very weak.
Predictions for 2023? I agree with the Co-founder of OpenAI (tho of course he is hyping his own product)
“Prediction: 2023 will make 2022 look like a sleepy year for AI advancement & adoption.”
The Labour LOTO after Starmer therefore will not have to concern herself with Brexit. It will have once and for all been "done" by Sunak, or by Johnson.
It's actually easier for the UK to go back to FoM because that can be done within the visa regimes of each party. It might actually happen once people recognise the debilitating and now largely unavoidable costs of Brexit.
I don't see the Treasury as a brake on growth, that is more down to short termism by management and excessive financialisation by speculators with very short term horizons. They can add liquidity, and do asset stripping but our teenage scribblers have no long term vision. They just want a quick buck and get out.
Is there any way of it all being over by Saturday that doesn't involve nuclear war?
Other than 3 I think I agree with your predictions. As for Major regime changes this year, well there’s no big general election in the US or a big European power - nothing in Germany, Italy, UK, France.
In terms of “democratic” elections the big one to watch is Turkey in June. Erdogan is behind in most of the polls to various possible runoff candidates. But everyone expects him to win by fair means or foul. Still, it could set up some tricky scenarios over the summer particularly given the West relies on Turkey for support over Ukraine. Other than that, only really Pakistan of geopolitical importance.
The vulnerable dictatorships to watch are of course Iran and Belarus. My sense is that Iran has managed to ride out the recent wave of unrest. Belarus though… it feels a case of when not if.
As a wild card if Russia really goes South, keep an eye on the balance of power in Syria.
It is often suggested that state funded schools should no longer be able to prioritise admissions on faith grounds. This would also be hugely expensive as introducing such a policy would almost certainly lead to the closure of all Roman Catholic schools and possibly some others as well.
A New Chat Bot Is a ‘Code Red’ for Google’s Search Business
A new wave of chat bots like ChatGPT use artificial intelligence that could reinvent or even replace the traditional internet search engine.
The treasury is rammed with those same kind of people who can't see beyond tomorrow's GDP figures and short term optimisation strategy. Which is why London gets £22bn in public transport investment but the North got HS2 cancelled at £17bn. Or why why RR are now basically funding their whole nuclear play from the US rather than relying on the treasury to do what's right, or Moltex finding more luck with Canada than our own treasury. Projects that don't move their numbers in their broken models get chopped and foreign investors, usually state backed, pick up the pieces and future UK productivity and profit is offshored.
You may know about healthcare issues, you have never dealt with the treasury first hand. It's a fucking nightmare.
One comment I noted which explains the contrast between Erdogan’s apparent omnipotence in foreign affairs to the extent of being able to bully Putin, and his fragility at home:
“In contrast to authoritarian states such as Venezuela, Russia, and Iran, Turkey lacks sizeable reserves of natural commodities, whose windfall would help Erdoğan weather a post-election storm“
A key point about Turkey since it lost the Ottoman Empire: it’s resource-poor and beholden to global markets.
It won’t stop the tech tho. The potential is too great, profits too big, benefits (and pitfalls) too mighty. Has humanity ever resisted innovation? How many societies are like Bhutan?
I fear in 2023, I may become a substantial bore on what actually happened in the 1997 GE, and that Con abstention was the single biggest driver of that result
In all the vote flows and counter flows that happened, it is difficult to make a case that GE 1992 Con -> GE 1997 Lab constituted more than around 12% of the GE 1992 Con vote (perhaps around 1.5m of the 14m source votes possible) and a little below 10% is realistic.
Where as, with the turnout drop, it is difficult to make a case for GE 1992 Con -> GE 1997 DNV was less than 15% of the 1992 Con vote, and perhaps it could be as much as 18%.
So, those DKs might simply be Tory false hope if they cannot be enthused.
If Labour want something chunky to get their teeth into, it's this. We need to start being capitalists again, and as the Tories aren't capable of saying no to their spiv patrons then it falls onto Labour to rebuild our economic way of life.
But maybe you'd prefer if I didn't critique Starmer or Labour at all and just talked about how brilliant they are.
Which is why Starmer will do the sensible thing and ignore topics such as Brexit because keep quiet avoids encouraging 2019 Tory voters from going out and voting Tory again.
1. Protect the triple lock
2. Flights to Rwanda
3. Terminate the NIP
4. Pull out of the ECHR
5. Remove all speed bumps
6. Reintroduce imperial weights and measures
7. Pledge a referendum on capital punishment
We are not going to sign any major trade deals as counterparties either aren't interested (US) or will fuck us harder than a "stepmom" on you know where (Australia). Most of the New Truss Trade Deals rolled over the existing EU - Counterparty deal to continue applying to the UK.
So we don't rejoin the CU but do a customs deal like Turkey has. We don't rejoin the EEA but mutually recognise that we remain dynamically aligned and drop the barriers. We don't allow free movement, but we open the door to people who want to come here to work in the jobs that we can't fill. That will be the Starmer compromise. Fulfilling Brexit - we left the EU - and working to deliver the benefits of Brexit by not crippling the economy as the Tory brexiteers have done.