Tag Archives: voters

Starmer gets approval rating boost – courtesy of Tory and Lib Dem voters

Keir Starmer: if Tories and Liberal Democrats like him, he’ll be electoral poison for Labour.

How humiliating for new New Labour leader Keir Starmer.

A survey by Tory-run pollsters YouGov has given him an approval rating of +23 – higher than that of Boris Johnson – partly courtesy of people who vote Conservative or Liberal Democrat and have a vested interest in duff Labour leadership.

It is no reason for anybody associated with Labour to feel proud – and certainly doesn’t bode well for the party’s election chances.

New Labour leader Keir Starmer has been given a boost thanks to YouGov polling today that shows he has a net approval rating of +23, which is higher than that of Boris Johnson.

Asked whether they thought Keir Starmer was doing well or badly as leader of the Labour Party, overall 40% said “very well” or “fairly well” and 17% said “very badly” or “fairly badly”.

More Conservative voters said he was doing well than badly, at 34% and 25% respectively. Lib Dem voters were very positive about Starmer, with a higher percentage saying well (63%) compared to Labour voters (54%).

Source: Approval rating of +23 gives boost to Keir Starmer – LabourList

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If people in ultra-Tory Esher and Walton are abandoning the Conservatives, what’s happening elsewhere?

Dominic Raab: Former Tories in his own constituency are abandoning him and his party.

Here are members of the public in Esher and Walton, the constituency where Dominic Raab has been the MP since 2010, telling the world they won’t be voting Tory any more.

If ultra-Tory Esher and Walton is sick of the Conservatives, what does that say about the rest of the UK?

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Brecon and Radnorshire: Where did all the voters go?

A voter’s plea: But have we really seen the end of the flood of leaflets that Jane Dodds and the Liberal Democrats used to bludgeon the electorate of Brecon and Radnorshire?

So you think last night’s Brecon and Radnorshire by-election result was a disaster for Labour? Well, you’re right – but probably not in the way you think.

Looking at the figures, we can see that although the Liberal Democrats enjoyed a slight boost, of around 1,700 votes, that’s nowhere near the numbers they were getting when Roger Williams was the candidate back in 2005 and 2010.

When he lost in 2015, Mr Williams’s vote fell by 37 per cent. Yesterday’s result clawed back only 13.8 per cent of that loss.

It seems the Liberal Democrats managed to retain their core vote – possibly due to the almost fascistic fearmongering of the campaign (“Only the Liberal Democrats can beat the Tories here!” – and the like); some of their supporters who went to Chris Davies in 2015 may have come back home; and – yes – some Labour supporters may have lent Jane Dodds their vote to get her past the line, in the belief that a bad MP is better than a diabolical one. We shall see.

But the Liberal Democrats are still damaged. Even allowing for the fact that the by-election attracted 17 per cent fewer voters (nearly 10,000 people) it is clear that they have not regained the popularity that consistently won Mr Williams more than 17,000 votes before their calamitous coalition with the Conservative Party between 2010 and 2015. And the toxicity of Ms Dodds’ campaign won’t improve their reputation.

And remember: Plaid Cymru and the Green Party chose not to field candidates in this election. Last time they both stood candidates for election, they netted 3,028 votes between them. It seems, even with such a huge campaign, Ms Dodds could not have beaten a criminal without their help.

The Conservative vote, on the other hand, collapsed. It is true that some of the pro-Brexit vote went to the Brexit Party and if that organisation had not stood a candidate for election, Chris Davies may have been returned to Parliament – but his criminal conviction for dishonesty seems to have stuck in voters’ collective craw and they couldn’t find it in themselves to hold their noses and vote for him; they would have choked on it.

So, while turnout was down by 17 per cent, Mr Davies lost more than double that proportion of his voters – 38 per cent. Some undoubtedly went to the Liberal Democrats (or back to them; ideologically, the two parties are very close), and I think some just stayed away.

But if the Tory vote collapsed, Labour’s evaporated. The party attracted less than a quarter of the electors who supported it in 2017. Where did they all go?

Well, some certainly went to Jane Dodds, along with disaffected Conservatives. And obviously Labour will know that it cannot count on the support of people who say they are Labour but consistently “lend” their votes to the Liberal Democrats – they are themselves Liberal Democrats and should not be treated otherwise. Some will have gone to the Brexit Party, heaven help them.

And the rest? I think they stayed at home. Having seen the huge weight of resources that the Liberal Democrats were pouring into the constituency, and noted the “Project Fear” tone of the campaign, they decided to keep their powder dry and wait for a better chance to get their candidate in.

I can’t say I blame them.

Now the focus will shift to Jane Dodds. Having made any number of castle-in-the-air promises, she has to keep them. Waiting for Ofcom to make good on its demand for better broadband in Brecon and Radnorshire by next March and then claiming it as a success won’t work, because we all know about that particular cheat now. She has to do some real work.

That doesn’t mean marching up to Boris Johnson, wherever he is, and saying “stop playing with the future of our community and rule out a no-deal Brexit”, as she claimed yesterday. He would simply brush her off and carry on doing whatever he damn well pleases because he’s the prime minister and she’s a nobody.

No – Ms Dodds will need to show she can be a good constituency MP before she can presume to have any effect on the wider issues.

I think she’ll mess it up because she simply doesn’t have the chops for it – and her party’s policies won’t do anything for the people of Brecon and Radnorshire.

If you don’t believe me, watch this:

From the tone of her campaign, we can see that Ms Dodds is a typical Liberal Democrat – an unprincipled political opportunist who’ll jump on any vote-grabbing bandwagon but won’t follow through with genuinely progressive work.

She’s going to fall flat on her face, isn’t she?

And we’ll all be watching when she does.

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New voters – since 2016 – are overwhelmingly pro-Remain. Why can’t their wishes be acknowledged?

“Today’s 18, 19 and 20-year-olds were not allowed to vote in 2016. 84 per cent of them want to remain in the EU,” tweeted Labour’s David Lammy.

“To ignore these young voices, who have the most to lose from Brexit, would be nothing less than a betrayal,” he added – and This Writer agrees.

Theresa May [has been] warned that Brexit will “betray an entire generation of young people” as a new poll showed teenagers who have now gained the vote back staying in the EU by more than five to one.

The YouGov survey found that 84 per cent of 18, 19 and 20-year-olds — too young to take part in the June 2016 referendum — support remaining in the European Union, with just 16 per cent opting for Leave.

People aged 20 to 24 who were able to take part in the Brexit referendum voted by three to one to Remain.

The analysis suggested the Leave majority of 2016 would be wiped out in January 2019, two months before the UK is due to quit the EU. The calculations were also based on elderly people, who mostly voted for Leave, dying.

Source: Brexit news latest: Theresa May warned as new poll shows teens who can now vote overwhelmingly back staying in EU | London Evening Standard

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Conservative MP faces claims he helped Ukip candidate target Labour voters | Politics | The Guardian

Claims that UKIP is just a wing of the Conservative Party intended to distract Labour voters away from their natural constituency are correct, it seems.

The UKIP candidate in this story had known the Conservative candidate for 30 years and was clearly on extremely good terms with him. The suggestion that they were sharing information in order to beat Labour is an offence against democracy.

If the allegations are true, is this an isolated case? If not, then the election result is thrown into doubt.

However: We have a Conservative Government. Even if half the seats in the country were won by illegitimate means, nothing would be done about it.

Hampshire constabulary are looking into claims that Royston Smith, the new Conservative MP for Southampton Itchen, handed the constituency’s Ukip candidate intelligence and a specially designed leaflet to help him target potential Labour/Ukip swing voters.

Former Ukip candidate Kim Rose claims that two months before polling day Smith handed him an envelope marked confidential containing about 55 pages with maps, local election results broken down by area and addresses for traditional Labour voters who had indicated to Tory canvassers they were likely to support Ukip.

Labour lost the seat to the Conservatives by 2,316 votes after holding it for 23 years. Rose says he used the detailed information to instruct his campaign and claims he can thank it for many of the 4,000 votes he took from Labour.

The former Ukip candidate also claims that the new Conservative MP, whom he has known for about 30 years, handed him a leaflet template attacking Labour’s record on immigration that he recommended Rose distribute in the areas of the constituency he highlighted as being home to potential Labour/Ukip swing voters.

Smith admits to giving Rose documents and advice for his campaign, but denies giving him canvassing data. He also denies giving the Ukip candidate the anti-Labour leaflet, though the Conservative party admits that the leaflet came from somebody working in the constituency’s Conservative campaign and said they were investigating.

Source: Conservative MP faces claims he helped Ukip candidate target Labour voters | Politics | The Guardian

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The youth vote is important – meaning the Coalition is in trouble

The results: The Observer published the results of the Opinium poll in graphic form, making it easier for all of us to digest. The rise of actress Emma Watson as an opinion-former after her speech on feminism to the United Nations shows the influence of high-profile celebrities who take an interest.

The results: The Observer published the results of the Opinium poll in graphic form, making it easier for all of us to digest. The rise of actress Emma Watson as an opinion-former after her speech on feminism to the United Nations shows the influence of high-profile celebrities who take an interest.

A BBC report today (December 27) suggests that the votes of people aged 18-25 are key to success in the general election next May.

This will be terrific news for the Labour Party, as an Opinium/Observer poll on the views of people aged 17 to 22 has given Labour a 15 per cent lead over its nearest rival – on 41 per cent, compared with the Conservatives on 26 per cent, the Greens on 19 per cent and the Liberal Democrats on just six per cent.

But these polls never compare like for like, and the poll quoted by the BBC, carried out by Populus for the thinktank Demos (who the BBC describes as left-leaning, although some may dispute that), suggests that 44 per cent of young people have not decided which way they’ll vote. The difference is that these are people aged 18 to 25.

Both polls show around three million young people will be eligible to vote in May, but present a spread of information about their preferences that suggests no British political party has entirely claimed their loyalties.

For example, the Opinium poll shows 62 per cent of young people said they believed the UK’s membership of the EU was a good thing, including 57 per cent of Conservative-inclined voters, with only 14 per cent disagreeing.

Asked how they would vote in an in/out referendum, as proposed by David Cameron, 67 per cent said they would vote to stay in, while only 19 per cent would opt to leave. Among all voters, the split is close to 50-50 (according to The Observer).

This suggests that a more strident anti-EU message from the Conservatives, to counter the threat of Ukip, would drive away more young first-time voters, the paper stated.

No party leader fared well in the Opinium poll. Only 13 per cent said they approved of Nigel Farage, against 64 per cent who said they disapproved, giving him a net approval rating of -51 per cent, worse than that of Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg, who scored -44 per cent. Ed Miliband scored -18 per cent and David Cameron -6 per cent.

The Populus poll, quoted by the BBC, asked young people to name the issues that most concerned them, and found that 69 per cent said the cost of living, 62 per cent affordable housing, 58 per cent unemployment and the same proportion said the NHS. These are all issues on which the Coalition government can be said to have made the situation worse.

Exactly 50 per cent were worried about online privacy, with 45 per cent concerned about the environment, and 43 per cent worried about immigration. Tax avoidance only bothered 37 per cent and Britain’s future in the EU concerned just 34 per cent (indicating that Opinium’s finding is more or less correct).

At first glance, it seems the BBC’s report was commissioned in response to The Observer’s, reinforcing suggestions of right-wing bias in the Corporation. The indication of the number of potential voters who are still undecided tends to support this.

But the findings about young voters’ concerns suggests that any such intention has been foiled, as both polls clearly show young voters are dissatisfied with the Coalition parties and want a change.

Perhaps the most striking information for Labour – and an indication of where it has gone wrong over the past two decades – is the suggestion in the Populus poll that more than half of young people would be more likely to vote if there were more working-class candidates.

The party’s continued insistence on marginalising such members in favour of people from the same background as every other party – university graduates who have gone on to work in politics or finance – is harming its appeal to voters, it seems.

Now, why would a party leader with such low ratings as Ed Miliband be ignoring this?

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