Final UK Election Polls: YouGov Still the Outlier, Predicts Tories Get Only 302 Seats

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In about 24 hours, we’ll have a much better idea whether the Labour’s momentum, created by a combination of a strong manifesto and a remarkable metamorphosis in Jeremy Corbyn’s stumping skills, will have lain waste to what was envisaged as a romp for Theresa May that would strengthen her hand as Prime Minister.

As we said two days ago, the majority of polls show a comfortable Tory win. But the majority of polls and bookies also predicted in the Brexit vote that Remain would win, with the final estimates a 4% to 6% majority, versus the 2% loss that resulted.

The reason to give the outlier YouGov poll more weight is that it was one of the few to call that Leave would prevail. Their polls this week have shown Labour continuing to gain ground on the Conservatives. Keep in mind that 323 seats is a currently a majority once you allow for the abstention of Sinn Fein’s 5 seats:

Interestingly, the Torygraph and YouGov are very close in their reading of the popular vote split, pegging the Conservatives at 42.9% versus 37.2% for Labour, but they come up with a different result in terms of seats won. This is a similar view to the one taken by the Financial Times early this week, that of the 100ish seats that are up for grabs, Labour hadn’t made headway in the midlands or north:

According to a latest forecast by the University of East Anglia’s Chris Hanretty, the Conservatives are on course to gain a majority in Parliament.

Thanks to seat gains in the North of England and Scotland, Mrs May would benefit from a swing of 45 seats – and end up with 375 MPs in Parliament.

45 seat gains would see the Tories end up with a majority of 100 in Parliament, with May’s 375 MPs dwarfing the 275 MPs of all the other parties.

These seats would come at the cost of both the SNP and Labour, with Jeremy Corbyn left on 198 seats after losing a total of 34 MPs.

New Statesman also throws cold water on the YouGov prediction:

In recent days, I have been speaking to Labour candidates, including those defending small majorities in marginal seats, as well as to activists. The picture emerging is bleaker than the polls would suggest and the mood is one of foreboding: candidates expect to lose scores of seats on Thursday. There’s a sense, too, that two campaigns have been conducted simultaneously: candidates with majorities under 10,000 are trying to hold back the Tory tide, while Corbyn is, as some perceive it, already contesting the next leadership contest – one in which, at present, he is the sole candidate….

The problem is that the party’s vote share is heavily concentrated in safe seats and it is overly reliant on young people actually turning out to vote.

Yesterday Bloomberg similarly argued that Labour was vulnerable and May’s campaign was targeting its weak spots:

But an analysis of the prime minister’s campaign stops shows the path to re-election still runs through the Brexit heartlands with the Conservatives gunning for traditional Labour seats where voters supported to leave the European Union.

Leeds, Halifax, Bolton, Mansfield, and Tyneside North. These are unusual places for a Tory leader to focus on. After the terror attacks, May was back on the stump in northern England three days before Thursday’s vote. Specifically Bradford South, a place that last elected a Conservative in 1918. That is the surest sign yet that she remains confident she can still score a historic win despite the polls showing her lead eroded.

As we can see below, in seats where the two main parties finished first and second in 2015 the battle is being fought mainly on Labour’s turf.

Put in a slightly more Labour-positive way: the Conservatives believe that they can swing votes based on Brexit, even though May started campaigning on it in a somewhat credible manner this week. The Bloomberg model’s mainstream scenario predicts a gain of a mere 7 seats for the Tories. Its upside scenario was an increase of 48 seats, and a downside of a loss of 17 seats, which would put them at 313 seats, less than a majority.

Interestingly, long-standing Brexit champion Ambrose-Evans-Pritchard depicted Labour as the better choice for Brexit than the Conservatives, but recoiled from the idea of pinko Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister:

Some might even think it preferable that such a Labour Party should win. The centre-Left would then ‘own’ Brexit. Labour would have the excruciating task of negotiating withdrawal from the EU…

The distinction between Brexiteer and Remainer would fade away. Battles would rage but chiefly on the terms and methods of restoring British independence. The great rump of the country would be aligned on the same side in defence of the national interest…

Once the honeymoon with Brussels had expired – within days – Labour would discover that overtures of goodwill count for little. Brexit has its own logic. The €100bn bill for reparations would remain. Powerful EU interests are already angling to carve up the putative carcass of the City of London. They do not want a friendly settlement to intrude.

Personally, I favour Labour’s pledge to “immediately guarantee existing rights for all EU nationals living in Britain”. As the Manifesto states, these people are part of our society and “should not be used as bargaining chips”….

To the extent that Labour would have to rely on Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish National Party, I say all the better – cognisant that few Telegraph readers will agree…

Labour has pledged to uphold this devolution accord as far as possible, subject to limits required for UK trade talks with the rest of the world. Theresa May is missing a trick – or worse – by trying to snatch these powers for Westminster…

Yes, Labour’s stated refusal to walk away from a bad deal amounts to capitulation in advance. It more or less invites torture. Yet is this really different from Theresa May’s position? While she vows defiance, we have yet to see evidence that Downing Street is preparing a credible ‘Plan B’ that would make this plausible.

The danger is that the Tories will bluster and bluff for months before surrendering, like the derided Alexis Tsipras in Greece. This is the worst outcome.

We’ve pointed out the disturbing parallels to the 2015 Greek negotiations repeatedly, with the UK, like Greece, playing a game of chicken on the bad assumption that the other side would change course.

But Evans-Pritchard can’t abide Corbyn. He’s a “neo-Marxist” who would “usher in the first radical-Left government in a major democracy since World War Two.”

And finally, I’m not sure if the Daily Mail is useful as an indicator of just a source of comic relief. It’s hard to tell from the US, I’m not getting a Daily Mail UK edition, but its UK tab downplays the election to a remarkable degree. The lead articles are about the terrorist attacks; two of the less prominent ones make a pitch for Brexit and restricting freedom of movement, but got hardly any comments. After yet more attack stories (it takes remarkable creativity to find so many ways to flog it) we finally get to a small format election piece (Labour REFUSE to back May’s bid to rip up human rights laws to tackle terrorism (and here are TEN reasons why they are wrong) which got 1.7K comments. Finally we a large format story which isn’t pro-May and manages to again ring the changes on the terrorism theme: PIERS MORGAN: Theresa May’s savage police cuts and weakness with Islamist extremism have made Britain a dangerous place – I wouldn’t trust her to protect me from an angry wasp, let alone a jihadi terrorist which as of this writing got 2.9K comments. But not to worry, Morgan isn’t pumping for Corbyn:

Let me be very clear: I wouldn’t trust Corbyn to keep this country remotely safe. His record in voting against all new terror legislation, his nauseating sucking up to terror groups in the past, and his openly stated refusal to ever use our nuclear deterrent if he ever had to, all make him a walking defence liability of epic proportions.

It would be quite the spectacle to see conventional wisdom defeated yet again in the UK with a Labour win. I trust that faithful readers will keep us updated in comments as results come in.

Update 1:30 AM: A cheery note from Bloomberg: even if the Tories win, May’s days as Prime Minister could be numbered:

Senior Conservative ministers and candidates are privately furious at the way the party has mismanaged the campaign, after its poll lead over Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party collapsed from more than 20 percentage points seven weeks ago to as little as one point now.

The upshot is that even if she is returned as prime minister on Thursday, May will face immediate demands from her own team to change the way she runs the government, according to Tory ministers, candidates and party officials, who asked not to named discussing internal affairs….

“Even if she wins a comfortable, if not overwhelming, majority, it’s difficult to see May leading the Tories into the next election,” said Tim Bale, professor of politics at Queen Mary University of London. “I’m not sure the party would want to risk her against a Labour leader who might look more like an alternative prime minister than Jeremy Corbyn does.”

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  1. bun

    one thing that many do not realize is that those polling figures fold in models for who might actually get out to vote. They are not polling levels of support – they are trying to guess the result. a crucial distinction if one cares about what policies the populace prefers.

    There was only one poll I saw where the outcome was given assuming everyone would vote – essentially measuring support. in that poll Labour scored much higher.

    Its really hard to get a read on the popular sentiment there, when all the papers have been so brutal against Corbyn, even the Guardian and Independent, which are supposed to be lefty-ish. anyone from Britain tuning into this post?

    It really bugs me that Corbyn’s detractors back-stabbed him because they said he was terrible, but now that it has been made crystal clear that he is not only not terrible that he can be very inspiring, they will still say “told you so” after they worked so hard to ensure their leader was dug into a deep hole. If Labour lose, it would be great if those leftover blairites are the first to be tossed out…

    My only prediction is that we’ll know one way or another tomorrow night :-)

    1. Will S.

      they will still say “told you so” after they worked so hard to ensure their leader was dug into a deep hole

      I wonder if this is what would’ve happened to Bernie Sanders had the DNC not put its thumb on the scale and (assuming) he won the primary…

      1. SpringTexan

        Yes, it is. And, had Sanders gotten the nomination, Bloomberg would have run, and Trump would STILL be president. Exactly.

        But they are still battles worth fighting, and I have immense respect for Sanders and Corbyn (and John McDonnell).

        1. Big River Bandido

          Bloomberg, had he run, would have gotten zero traction. Certainly no one inclined to vote for Bernie Sanders would ever have voted for Michael Bloomberg.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      Yes, its something that people often forget is that those figures are not ‘raw’, they are based on assumptions of turn-out, not to mention assumptions about population structure that are not necessarily true (an example would be the question of whether college students are registered in their home towns or college towns).

      The big issue though with any first past the post system is that geographical spread of your support is almost as important as your absolute vote. And this tends not to favour Labour as their vote is over-concentrated. They have also historically not been as good as the Cons or LibDems at focusing on marginals. It seems to me that the key to a good day for Labour is getting the youth vote out in marginal constituencies, and trying to turn as many centrist Lib Dem type voters into anti-Tory votes. Ironically, the latter is more likely if people think Corbyn will certainly not win.

      Incidentally, the fact that May is campaigning so hard in fairly strong Labour seats does remind me a little of Hilary spending so much time trying to ‘turn’ safe Republican States. Lets hope anyway.

      Anyway, we’ll all know in 24 hours.

    3. UserFriendly

      On YouGov’s model:

      We did not do constituency-level polling but modelling. Our MRP approach uses big data resources from many sources in addition to the survey questions. We try to understand the demographic/psychographic make up of each constituency and map our survey data onto that. Our research can tell us the voting intention of a voter who is aged A, has an income of B, education level of C and has attitudes to various issues of D, E, F and G. Our national sample will have lots of these people. We can project likely constituency level outcomes based on the profile of each place.

      This MRP approach is still being tested but as it happens it was accurate in its first big test, predicting a ‘Leave’ win in last year’s referendum. We will find out tomorrow which method came closer, but, at this stage, we have a longer track record of how our traditional methodology works.

      1. Terry

        They’re on the right track but the trouble is ALL these surveys that measure attitudes do it wrongly. They use the long discredited rating (Likert) scale approach (asking how much you identify with a particular attitude on a scale of 1 to 7 or whatever).

        The choice modelling and math psych literature has long shown how poorly these numbers predict the trade-offs people have to make in real life when they can’t have all their attitudes satisfied.(Even if YouGov use dichotomous agree/disagree questions they don’t know know the trade-offs.)

        If YouGov got people to do a choice model they’d not only know this, but understand how strongly those attitudes are held – on a mathematically meaningful (probability) scale. Knowing the trade-offs is crucial in understanding important decisions like whether to turn up to vote in the first place. McFadden predicted whether people would actually take the BART light rail in San Francisco before it was built because he understood this – and the 2000 Nobel was his.

        Big data models like YouGov’s work really well….until suddenly they don’t, because they fail to spot the changes in how an individual weights competing attitudes in making a discrete (voting) decision.

        I’ll shut up now about YouGov’s limitations – kudos to them for at least understanding what the problem is with conventional polling and trying to address it.

          1. Terry

            If true, it means Labour has begun to recover in Scotland but The Tories could probably (just) govern with Democratic Unionist support – ugh.

            Though that would probably blow up her government pretty sharpish during the BREXIT negotiations.

            The Home Secretary may lose her seat!

          2. Terry

            Gedling predicted as LABOUR HOLD in exit poll; Broxtowe on the other side of Nottingham is very similar to Gedling and is predicted to be a LABOUR GAIN from the CONSERVATIVES

            1. Terry

              Broxtowe stayed Conservative – just – and I’ve decided I like the MP. She is being interviewed on the BBC and has pretty much said May has to go, said the campaign was “awful” and more or less said half the parliamentary conservative party are right wing lunatics!

              She has pointed out that Nottinghamshire has been totally weird and has encapsulated pretty much all the phenomena (weird swings) that we’ve seen nationally.

    4. Jim Jordan

      From a quick glance I can already see one inaccuracy in Hanretty’s map. He lists the Copeland seat in Cumbria as a potential Conservative gain. The Tories already captured this one earlier this year after the sitting Labour MP resigned.

      1. Terry

        These maps usually take the last general election result as the “baseline”, particularly since a by-election gain mid-parliament is frequently reversed at the general election unless the new MP rapidly makes a big splash for locals and it was an ultra-marginal anyway. But yeah, just saying potential Conservative gain without a footnote is likely to mislead.

  2. Terry

    Two campaigners knocked on my door yesterday, one Tory one Labour. I live in Gedling – the top Labour marginal seat on the Tories’ hit-list in the East Midlands. But the small suburb in which I live is true-blue Tory. When I told the Labour guy that my parents are on holiday and I had proxy votes from them for Labour he opened up a bit. (I had to tell him my Directorship of a Public Preferences company and own election model/prediction meant I couldn’t professionally tell any party of my own vote.) I suggested he can’t be making much headway in these few streets – he said he had more support than expected, and people were citing the Labour candidate’s attention to constituents, how he responds to their letters etc. That candidate (Coaker) does indeed – he and I had a little ‘discussion’ on email a while back when he was one of the former members of the Shadow Cabinet who ‘spontaneously’ resigned in the attempted coup against Corbyn but he’s known to be a good campaigner.

    The Tory candidate has been labelled as not A list by others in the know, and it is interesting how many resources the Tories have poured into this suburb – they really need to be concentrating on the population centre of the seat – which bucked the trend and stayed Labour in the recent local elections, despite Labour losing horrifically across the rest of Nottingham. So my side bet on Coaker retaining his seat:

    (1) Is looking promising;
    (2) Would, if proven corrrect, and even allowing for the local effect, indicate the polls suggesting large Tory majorities are wrong. Coaker simply can’t stem the tide if the Conservatives get a landslide or ‘merely’ large majority. They have to take Gedling if May’s strategy is to work. BTW it’s also been mentioned by bookies as a seat to watch. I bet when the odds were 9/4 but they’ve improved for him since.

    I’ll try to get some thoughts from the party representatives outside my polling station later on what turnout is looking like. It’s currently raining hard here – not good for Labour – but nationally it’s predicted to be a mixed day in terms of weather.

    On a more general note – YouGov’s strategy of concentrating on individual seats is (IMO) the correct one. It’s just a pity they don’t do what I did and do a choice model among individuals in key seats.

      1. Terry

        Will do my best. The party hacks at the polling stations will try to stay tight-lipped but my card to play is telling them who I am and that I’m representing 3 voters in my household so they have updated info for their databases! (They knew how each of my parents voted in some past election – no doubt because my parents were unaware they have no obligation to talk to these people.)

        Meanwhile, I’ve put up a follow-up post (needed to do a screenshot from wikipedia so can’t put it directly in here) on Gedling – it’s a fascinating constituency due to the Lib Dem and UKIP potential influences on the outcome.

      2. Terry

        PS incidentally that YouGov poll predicts Coaker will retain Gedling.(I forgot to highlight in the screenshot that last time he bucked the national swing against Labour under Milliband and had a swing towards him – though I think that was the election he was helped by the Tory candidate making a crass statement that Nottingham’s notorious high crime rate (in my youth it had the unofficial title of “Crime capital of Europe” or something) was due to criminals ‘around here’.

        Echoes of the ‘deplorables’ and Clinton abound…..!

        1. a different chris

          >Nottingham’s notorious high crime rate


          1. Terry


            The candidates in the PM’s constituency never fail to amuse.

            The “Give Me Back Elmo” party candidate can be seen in the picture here.

            The Monster Raving Loony Party are still around too.

      3. Terry

        Labour held Gedling and Coaker increased his majority. Turnout went up 4% (big jump, but then again it went up all over the place – the young finally turned out.).

        UKIP vote collapsed – not sure yet if they stayed home or went to other parties – if they did, they heavily split Labour (where many came from) – which was the Tory mistake in the campaign, thinking UKIP people were all rightwingers they could take for granted. Many are just like Clinton’s “deplorables” who lost their jobs when the colliery shut.

      4. Terry

        But the Conservatives took Mansfield from Labour. Mansfield was Labour since 1923 and has never before elected a Tory, and is the next but one constituency just north of Gedling. This was a BREXIT issue – the collapse in UKIP looks very similar to the gain in the Conservative vote. This is what May counted on happening across the North (but didn’t in any quantity that mattered) – former Labour voters who’d shifted to UKIP in protest against the elites and then moved across to the Conservatives. Mansfield is a very run down former mining area.

        (On the other hand Labour took Canterbury down in true blue Kent – had been Conservative since the first world war. That’ll be a student vote – big uni there.)

      1. Terry

        No problem. No canvassers at the polling station (3.30pm) – the parties must already have an idea of turnout and have either moved them to more marginal ones within the constituency or have hastily sent them out door-knocking (see below).

        Conservative canvasser called an hour ago to check whether we’d voted and when I said yes, asked if for them. Hmm, not very organised if yesterday’s canvasser failed to get it noted that our house has two Labour voters and a “won’t tell” so should be avoided. She didn’t even check which of the two male family members I was. Perhaps I’m reading too much into it but a Conservative canvasser really shouldn’t be needing to check up on people round here if they’re confident of taking the seat.

  3. Jo Head

    View from U.K. At the end of the day Corbin got support from finding the mythical money tree and promised lots of freebies and lower taxes. Having claimed the manifesto was fully funded it left out the cost af all the renationalisation contained in it, that would be paid for by more borrowing.
    Despite above, the key issue is who would make best prime minister, May has consistently won on this score. Add to that Labour always have a stay at home tendency with a bigger percentage of non voters should result in about 80 seat majority for Conservatives.
    Conservatives have had shambles of campaign, if they had avoided that they would be getting 130+

    1. JA

      The Labour manifesto was fully funded, no need to resort to the Tory magic money tree that is only shaken for wars and bankers. Quantitive easing anyone?

      As for cost of renationalisation, the most important, rail, when the current rail ‘franchises’ expire, they wont be renewed and automatically come back into public ownership. Plus, the private rail franchises are massively subsidised, much of which goes straight to shareholders, another saving.
      Labour has not promised lower taxes, just higher taxes on people earning more than £90,000 (or similar threshold) about 3X the average national wage.
      May has been anything but prime ministerial – and she knows it by hiding from the public and TV audiences.
      Only the very rich or stupid would vote Tory. For everyone else, it would be a nightmare of poorer health service, poorer education, slashed pensions, more bombing in the middle east, the list is endless.

      1. juliania

        Thank you, JA! I can’t imagine anyone staying home and not voting on those issues, important to the general public as they are. And thanks to all Brit posters for your information. I see all the US media care about is ‘must-must-see-we-order-you!’ on Coney. Huge headlines on my deliberately soundless tv tuned to NBC – I was hoping for French ladies’ tennis semi-finals but maybe it’s raining there as well. (Those Antarctic ice sheets)

        I am noticing NBC reporters stick their chins out – wow, Coney’s doing that as well – look at that chin. You must have to have a good chin to be FBI director. (Congresspeople keep their chins tucked in.)

    2. a different chris

      >May has consistently won on this score.

      Huh? When has she “won” anything national? I am not a denizen of your fair country but even I know that you don’t become Prime Minister like you become POTUS. You win your district and then chat up all the other people in your party, correct?

      >Conservatives have had shambles of campaign

      That’s like saying some soccer team that sucks made a “shambles of a game”…. of course they did, that’s because they suck and when you take the field (pitch?) there is nowhere to hide.

  4. gonzomarx

    The Mail has be rabid in its coverage. Yesterday it gave over 13 pages in its print edition attacking Corybn, Abbot, Mcdonnell and Labour.
    One of the reasons labour has improved in the polls is due to fair coverage laws that come into play for broadcast media when an election is called.
    I have taken the day off to get out the labour vote. First time for a political party.
    Tories must be stopped.

    1. paul

      So much for JC being unelectable, the daily heil doesn’t think so.

      I can still remember when Gordon brown crumbled beneath about 10% of the media assault that Corbyn has endured.

      The Tory ‘resurgence’ in scotland is largely a product of considerable wishful thinking and spending. If they get more than 6 seats out of 59, I will be surprised. With the collusion of the media, the Tories have been rebranded as the party of Ruth Davidson,not Cameron/may/Osborne.
      They have attempted to mobilise the unionist/orange order vote and cannibalise the remaining scraps of flesh on scottish labour’s(who have been the most resolute opponents of Corbyn) carcass.

      Sent in my postal vote last week,SNP of course. they will be a better ally of Corbyn than many in his party.

      Whatever the outcome, Corbyn has proved the venal,bourbon bedwetters wrong.

      1. vlade

        I’d not count your chicken yet. The polls and results (not to mention anecdotes) are so unstable, that I can easily see anything from Tory landslide (Say Tories around 47-49, vs. Labour at 30) to Labour neck to Tories in seats (and winning the popular vote).

        I called Brexit right, I called Trump right, and I called Dutch elections (as in it being a non-event) right (all evidenced here at NC)

        I don’t dare to make any prediction on the UK elections today – it’s just too messy. Basically, IMO it depends on the turnout, and the large question is – will young turnout it the key areas? And, something that I could look up, and may be able to call the election based on that, but can’t be bothered, is there enough young people (and by that I mean <30) to matter in those key areas?

        1. Terry

          is there enough young people (and by that I mean under 30) to matter in those key areas?

          Probably not – but the turnout issue is not just about the young people if this election turns out to hinge on BREXIT – there are a LOT of annoyed REMAINers out there whose attitudinal profiles suggest they would definitely turn out. These people are not piled up in Labour areas but a lot are older in Tory areas not currently considered competitive. Add them to the model and everything is still up for grabs…..provided BREXIT is a big enough issue across the country. I believe it is and YouGov are picking that up to some degree with their examination of individual seats. What they’re missing is insights into individual people (which no conventional poll can provide).

          1. vlade

            I saw some state-transition poll, which was looking at brexit/remain voters who voted before and their likelihood of changing. The result was still mostly Tory victory, as they scooped the UKIP vote. LibDems were unchanged (they lost and gained about the same), and Labour suffered defection to Tories.

            1. Terry

              I saw the same model. Whilst I don’t disagree with the broad state transitions – my data show more REMAINers moving to LEAVE than vice versa – there are two things it is missing and which my choice model shows:

              (1) 5 million people who never voted in the referendum who split 3.5m REMAIN, 1.5m LEAVE and say they’d vote in a hypothetical rerun. A large number of these would vote in a rerun (as is clear if you have the power to see how strong their attitudes are, and how similar/strong these are to people who DID vote).

              (2) This consolidation of the LEAVE vote has actually been a consolidation around SOFT BREXIT – lots of HARD BREXIT 2016 voters are still LEAVE but now value the single market a lot more. The big debate since the referendum (that should, of course, have happened before it, not after) has changed the LEAVE profile. Indeed in a hypothetical rerun in March/April this year REMAIN would have won (by 51% ironically). A more specific “EU vs HARD BREXIT” question would have given a larger REMAIN majority. (There are also non-trivial numbers of LEAVE supporters who say they won’t vote again on this issue.)

              As I state elsewhere, the big unknown here is to what degree this election becomes something of a “BREXIT referendum rerun”. If BREXIT is a non-issue then my choice model survey is useless.

        2. paul

          I’m not counting any chickens,the paucity of reliable information makes that impossible.
          However, I do think it’s undeniable that JC has done far better than was ever predicted.
          Whether that is reflected in our bizarre voting system,heaven knows.

          1. vlade

            If Tories end up with 47-30 landslide, then it’s we would know two facts:
            – May can’t put on a good show, but it doesn’t stop Tories from winning a lot
            – Corbyn can put on a good show, but it doesn’t stop Labour losing a lot

            In other words, May would be seen as a hinderance, but not a critical one (likely causing problems for her in the future), but the question for Labour would be – given that they (would) score badly with Corbyn putting on as good a show as possible, and (as reported) good manifesto, why would they be still be losing votes?

            So May may stay, but it would not strengthen Corbyn IMO – in fact, I suspect that it would likely embolden the anti-Corbyn wing saying that he had his chance to run the election as he wanted, but still didn’t deliver. And, ultimately, it’s not the style that counts, but the result.

            1. Terry

              I agree with your take on the two facts entirely. However, we need to remember that all such discussions will be dependent on the numbers of seats the parties win – nobody will really care much about the raw numbers of votes/national vote share, given that the link between it and seat distributions has almost completely broken down these days.

              I’m splitting hairs I know, but just like Trump’s victory in the electoral college vs the popular vote, these days it’s all about targetting specific voting groups and the fact FPTP can’t deal with the multi-dimensional nature of voting issues – identity politics, economic issues, BREXIT etc.

              1. vlade

                If Labour gets 30% of vote, most of it will be in large cities. So they are going to lose a lot of seats. I could easily see Labour getting 30% of vote and only about 150 seats.

                I can’t see how Labour could get 30% and have much more than 200 seats. Which would be about the defeat that was predicted/expected in April. But since then the situation changed as in the expectation is now for a much closer thing.

                Seats matter, but so do expectations.

      2. SpringTexan

        But apparently there’s some dark money being poured into Labour in Scotland?

        1. paul

          The dark money (and the media) is all on the Tory side.

          That’s what I meant by wishful spending, they don’t have that many voters to spend it on. Plenty of scottish labour types (including their hapless leader) have helped by suggesting it’s better to vote Tory rather than snp.

          It absolutely beggars belief.

    2. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, Gonzo. Good luck.

      For readers outside the British Isles, is what Gonzo is talking about and you are missing.

      The Daily Heil / Fail is owned by a French citizen / tax exile masquerading as a peer of the British realm and edited by a fanatical Englishman who owns an estate in the Scottish Highlands. Both characters receive EU farm subsidies for their estates.

      The paper has a sister arm that organises conferences and exhibitions, often sponsored by the paper, and another that publishes magazines. Much of those businesses depend on (certain) UK firms and consumers prospering, mainly from international engagement. Brexit would not seem to be in the commercial interest of the wider (Daily Mail and General Trust) group and the real estate interests of the owner and editor.

      The owner’s grandfather was a(n open) Nazi sympathiser. The owner’s father allowed the paper to spout the family values and patriotic stuff well known to US readers, but cheated on his bubbly English wife with a Korean younger model.

      Apparently, about a quarter to a third of the readers lean towards Labour. If one can bear reading the reader comments, that seems to be the case.

      1. Anonymous2

        Yes, this all concurs with my understanding. My impression FWIW is that the editor has a pretty free hand, as the proprietor takes the view he should leave running the paper to a professional. Much though I dislike Dacre in many ways, it is pretty clear he knows how to command his readership’s attention, mainly by giving them something to be angry about each morning.

        It is said that Lord Rothermere was unhappy with Dacre’s anti-EU bias but too reliant on his ability as an editor to intervene.

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you.

          Cameron also asked Viscount Rothermere to intervene. When Dacre found out / was advised by his boss, he went ballistic.

          You are right about Dacre’s ability and the owner’s reliance on that. It was the same with their predecessors.

          When I was a lobbyist from May 2008 – April 2014, the Daily Mail was the paper feared / loathed by the City. It’s populist touch is too powerful even for the masters of the universe who can, in theory, withhold advertising and bring the ‘paper to heel, as has been done to the Daily Torygraph / Dreadnought and the Guardian.

      2. gonzomarx

        Thank you Colonel,
        Been out all morning knocking on doors in my north east constituency and will be again this evening.
        Response has been ok so far, only 2 non labour and those that are not Corbyn fans are voting for the local MP.
        A lot depends on who the UKIP vote breaks for and turnout (with rain in places). Personally I think there are a few UKIPers who only voted once, in the Referendum and won’t again but we will see

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you, Gonzo.

          At the office (in the City), most people who talked about the election appeared to have voted on their way to work. Two said that, like me, it makes no difference how they voted in their constituency.

      3. fajensen

        The owner’s father allowed the paper to spout the family values and patriotic stuff well known to US readers, but cheated on his bubbly English wife with a Korean younger model.

        Isn’t it always exactly so? I believe that we often assign great value and significance to virtues we lack ourselves, the scarcity or unnaturalness of a virtue creates its value to us, basically.

    3. fajensen

      The Mail has be rabid in its coverage. Yesterday it gave over 13 pages in its print edition attacking Corybn, Abbot, Mcdonnell and Labour..

      Another reason could be that! Anything the Daily Mail is aggressively selling is not always likely to be doing “the cause” a favour, maybe rather the opposite. Above a certain threshold, the shrill howling just becomes a profound annoyance.

      Kinda when the much reviled Tony Bliar was trotted out to support “Remain” and “Hillary the Inevitable” was rammed down everyones throats on all channels, it probably had the net effect of energising the opposition to go out and vote.

  5. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, all.

    On the map displayed above you can see a constituency marked as a swing to other. That is my district, Vale of Aylesbury, the middle of Buckinghamshire. The swing is to UKIP. The district has been Tory since the Rothschilds owned it on behalf of the Liberals in the late 19th century. There was a boundary change in 2010, with well to do Princes Risborough going to Wycombe, resulting in UKIP giving the Tory parachutist David Lidington, a cabinet minister, a scare.

    There has been no Labour representation of any sort in the area since 1987, before I became eligible to vote, so I have never voted in my life. My parents have not voted since the EEC referendum in 1975.

    There was a brave and lonely Labour supporter holding a placard on the main road through Aylesbury town centre yesterday evening. I last saw a Labour campaigner in 2010, about 7 am at the railway station on election day. A Labour leaflet was dropped in the post, along with others, last week-end. UKIP campaigned in 2010 and 2016, but that was it. The Liberals have not bothered to campaign since 2010 and just put one sign on the main road come election time. If one did not follow the MSM, one would not know there is an election going on. There is no campaigning in the area. The Tory will win comfortably.

    Lots to chew over lunch today with another Naked Capitalism contributor and colleague…

  6. jabawocky

    I think the campaign has shown that Corbyn has the right manifesto, but is the wrong leader. It seems likely that a leader with less baggage and the same manifesto could have dumped it on the tories: the trouble is that only Corbyn had the guts to go with that manifesto. So at the very least Labour should have learnt a lesson.

    1. SpringTexan

      I don’t think so. Corbyn won as leader when no one thought he could. Anyone who could run on this manifesto, e.g. John McDonnell, would be equally attacked.

  7. Eustache de Saint Pierre

    In light of the Bloomberg article, & a probable attack on Corbyn if he loses, we might end up with two extra versions of ” Game of Thrones ” .

  8. John Hope

    My wife has voted Tory and I have voted Labour – the first time in 46 years of marriage that we have voted differently . My two middle aged sons have both voted Labour . We all voted Brexit. I have no evidence, but I rather suspect there will be similar stories around the country . So many of us just want something beyond TINA . The issue as I see it is that too many of us cannot imagine something beyond TINA . For my part I have developed a series of talks called Money in the 21st Century having spent a good deal of my spare time over the last eight years to the task of understanding just how money works and then making it known to others who find themselves overwhelmed by the relentless propaganda of the MSM and then lo and behold an alternative manifests itself ; the question is – who has the power to make the changes necessary to implement it. Will it happen this time around . No-one knows at this moment, but as all the comments above demonstrate we soon will and I think we will all be surprised – at least to some extent – by the outcome.

  9. a different chris

    >These are unusual places for a Tory leader to focus on.

    I know nothing about how this election will go, I do feel compelled to point out that this is the mirror-image of Clinton’s “suburban Republicans” gambit and with luck it will meet a similar – not identical, again I think the best thing would be for weakened Conservatives to own Brexit until the end – fate.

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you.

      Tory (and perhaps Orange Order) ownership of Brexit would be ideal, if not painful and funny, to watch, reminiscent of John Major’s Tories owning what became known as Black / White / Golden Wednesday in mid-September 1992. If Labour could stand still / not do worse and Corbyn could hang on and drive the Bourbon bedwetters and traitors out, he could capitalise within less than five years.

      As I type, some colleagues are speculating about Amber (Augusta) Rudd taking over from Treeza Mayhem and laughing at Diane Abbott’s lack of numeracy. I imagine that they missed the car crash interviews with Alex de Piffle Johnson, Michael Fallon and Andrew Mitchell.

  10. /lasse

    Viewed from an ignorant distance the British constituency is remarkable versatile, recently in the Brexit referendum more that half of them where racists rednecks and now maybe more than 40 % of them are looney revolutionary leftist that want to turn UK to an marxist terrorist loving state. All the time there is nearly half of them want to throw a spanner in the works for the well-groomed blairites and torys.

    If Corbyn match poll expectations, is it then game, set, match Corbyn vs blairites?

    1. vlade

      yes, except that depending on the poll you choose the match could go to eithet corbyn or blairites

  11. ChrisAtRU


    Throwing in my lot with #Survation in an act of irrational exuberance no doubt, but I must! These are Upsy-Down-Town times! Leave was supposed to win … #HRC was supposed to win … yet here we are.

    Guardian reporting queues of students waiting to vote in Oxford. I’ll take that as a positive harbinger of a healthy youth turnout.

    Come on, the UK!! Get in, Jezza!

    Be back later to celebrate with the commentariat!

    [ Hopefully … ;-) ]

    1. SpringTexan

      Doubt we can celebrate more than damage done to the Tories, but if I’m wrong:
      1) my schadenfreude about the unspeakable May will be immense:
      2) and I will do several happy dances in incredulous celebration.

      Don’t think it will happen, but would love to be wrong. But in any case, Corbyn has stood up to a lot and May has NOT helped herself be Margaret Thatcher redivivus.

      1. ChrisAtRU

        I was still delirious in the aftermath! May’s odious coalition with #DUP will be disastrous. If there is such a thing as election/referendum fatigue, Brits will suffer it in spades. Quite possible there’ll be another GE before years’ end. #JEZZA

  12. purplepencils

    Quite a number of my friends are from safe Tory seats and have given up on voting (the mysterious and apparently soluble young). Others are simply refusing to vote because they can’t stand the options. I think less than half of those I’ve asked are voting today. I’m heartened by tales of queues at universities though…

    I don’t think I could bear to stay up for the results! It would be too depressing to watch the Tories win.

    The rumbles that May is going to be replaced are getting louder. I think the Guardian also ran a piece about how May won’t survive this even if the Tories win. Not hard to imagine. I’ve spoken to some Tory sympathisers (hah, supporters…) and they are quite grumpy about her lacklustre performance.

    1. SpringTexan

      Part of her lacklustre performance is the occasional honesty about more cruel Tory plans.

      I’m terrified for the NHS if the Conservatives continue in power; in fact, I think it’s toast.

  13. gonzomatrx

    Just voted, the local poll staff in my ward said turn out was high and earlier when knocking out was told the constituency postal vote was very high.

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, GM. Speaking of postal votes, what happened to them in Plymouth? If Treeza Mayhem had to visit that marginal a few times, that can’t have been good for the “lower than vermin”.

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you, Gonzo. I hope you can put your feet up and enjoy. I have a bottle of Chateau Kirwan ready :-).

            1. Terry

              This is really driving a final nail in the coffin of the uniform swing.

              Labour underperforming relative to expectations in North-East with swings to the Conservatives but are quietly confident about taking some Conservative seats that are supposedly a lot safer for the Tories.

  14. Dead Dog

    Thank you to all the comments here.

    All the polls were wrong about Trump. I was even tempted to lay some money when offered about 5 to 1 odds.

    If Corbyn gets close, it will send a message about the dangers of neglecting the working class to all politicians, including our own corrupt Labour party here in Australia.

    Heck, I’ll pop a frothy one at anytime of day if they beat the Tories and can form a government.

  15. Anonymous2

    One commentator has suggested the UK will need to have another election shortly.

  16. Terry

    Boris is on the march! Tweeted “Mayday!” to his sister and there is briefing against May.

  17. Terry

    Best quote of the night apparently is in The Times:

    “It’s as if Theresa May looked at Hillary Clinton’s campaign and said ‘Yes that looks great, let’s copy it'”

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