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OFFLINE   Moses #61

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 01:01 PM

The change in Labour's fortunes also co-incided with some positive news on the economy, and there is no doubt that the PM's performance in recent months has improved.

I've read quite a bit that suggests that in tough economic times, the UK public are less likely to want a Tory Government, especially with a lot of people of voting age who still remember the ruthless spending cuts and privatisation agenda of Margaret Thatcher.

OFFLINE   Cyril Washbrook #62

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 07:13 PM

New Populus poll shows the Tory lead down to three points. However, it should be noted that regardless of which polls get the most attention, the overall corpus of polling shows the Tories with a clear lead still.

I really can't bring myself to support anyone in this race. I wouldn't support Labour - I find it difficult to see how another five years of clumsy paternalism could be good for the country, and neither do I accept for a minute the scare campaigns that the Tories are all Thatcherites - they aren't. But at the same time, I am somewhat concerned that the Tories may seek to adopt over-ambitious repayment schedules on government debt - hence the reluctance to put forward more details with respect to spending cuts - which could adversely affect the British economy. I'm also a bit torn and baffled by the notion of what exactly Cameron means by a big society but with a small state.

Ugh.

OFFLINE   tamago_otoko #63

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 07:26 PM

You may not support anyone, but who do you think will win, Cyril?
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OFFLINE   Moe #64

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 11:29 PM

You may not support anyone, but who do you think will win, Cyril?

My money's on a hung parliament, there are only so many 'swing' seats. The Lib Dems will grow a bit with a protest vote, and Labour voters who won't go Tory, and then the Tories won't be able to take enough off Labour for outright control.

Perhaps having no clear winner might help get some decent electoral reform done.

OFFLINE   Blue Mountains #65

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 10:08 AM

Perhaps having no clear winner might help get some decent electoral reform done.

well the 2015 election will be held under the new Preferential Voting system -Instant Run-Off Voting (IRV), just like us in the most lower houses.
Lies to tell small kids: milk feels pain

OFFLINE   Cyril Washbrook #66

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 07:19 PM

9.4 million watched the first leaders' debate in British political history.

The first-ever televised debate between party leaders in the UK proved to be a ratings success, with yesterday's broadcast rating as the top show of the day.

An average of 9.4 million viewers watched the 90-minute debate on ITV1, which featured Labour's Gordon Brown, the Conservatives' David Cameron and the Liberal Democrats' Nick Clegg.

http://www.mediaspy....-draws-a-crowd/

OFFLINE   Cyril Washbrook #67

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 07:40 PM

You may not support anyone, but who do you think will win, Cyril?


We're most likely looking at a hung parliament - clearly my comments in this thread from last year were presumptuous - but after the first debate, who knows. The LibDems got an extraordinary bounce in the latest YouGov tracker - it's gone from C37-L31-LD22 to C33-L28-LD30. The bounce is likely to fade to some extent, but either way it does add another factor of unpredictability (for the record, such a result would see Labour have the most seats, about 50-70 seats short of a majority).

The question then is what happens in the eventuality of a hung parliament. It's much easier to see a Labour/LibDem agreement than a Tory/LibDem agreement (N.B.: a coalition is a very unlikely possibility, IMHO). But at the same time, given the number of possibilities about the final result, there's a lot still up in the air - with respect to who gets the most seats, or how far the Tories are from a majority (if they obtain a majority), what the popular vote split is, whether the LibDems have to evoke their Southport procedures... etc.

well the 2015 election will be held under the new Preferential Voting system -Instant Run-Off Voting (IRV), just like us in the most lower houses.

No, IRV has been floated as a possibility as part of a review into the electoral system - there have been no conclusions one way or the other.

OFFLINE   Cyril Washbrook #68

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 02:48 PM

For the first time in two decades, a national poll puts a party other than Labour and the Conservatives in front. That first debate was absolute dynamite. From Anthony Wells:

There is a BPIX poll in tomorrow’s Mail on Sunday which has topline figures of CON 31%(-7), LAB 28%(-3), LDEM 32%(+12). That’s the biggest drop for Conservatives so far, and the biggest surge for the Lib Dems – and it puts the Liberal Democrats up in first place. The Lib Dems were in equal first place in a poll back in 2003, but I think you need to go back to around 1982 to find polls with them (or their predecessor parties) consistently in first place (Update – Tom in the comments has flagged up one poll from 1985 that had the Alliance ahead).

As with ComRes today and YouGov yesterday, all three parties are within 4 or 5 points of each other, so realistically if the polls remain like this it shouldn’t be a surprise to see polls with any of the three parties in the lead.

There is also a OnePoll survey in the People, that shows CON 27%, LAB 23%, LDEM 33%. I have still not confirmed whether these polls have any proper attempt at sampling or political weighting, and would treat it with great scepticism.

For those who are wondering, the BPIX toplines would translate to the LibDems having about 120-130 seats, Labour having about 260-280 seats, and the Tories having about 210-230 seats. All hail the first past the post electoral system. Posted Image

Today's YouGov tracker has C33-L30-LD29. The corpus of polling as a whole suggests that it's now a really close thing between the parties, which would mean Labour having a plurality of seats in a hung parliament.

OFFLINE   Cyril Washbrook #69

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 01:11 AM

It's been really fascinating to see how the media have reacted to the shifting events of the last week or so. Shouting matches, accusations of a right-wing conspiracy, smears against the Lib Dems... almost a blood sport. Long article on TSR:

Tempers have flared over the British media’s approach to the country’s upcoming election, after the resurgent Liberal Democrats accused sections of the press of running a smear campaign against the party, and news organisations openly went at loggerheads over their various forms of coverage.

The Lib Dems surged in the polls after Nick Clegg’s widely-praised performance in last week’s first-ever televised leaders’ debate. But in the last week, both Clegg and his party have increasingly found themselves put under the blowtorch in the media.

Among the developments feeding the controversy over media coverage:

http://www.mediaspy....ction-coverage/

OFFLINE   Cyril Washbrook #70

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 09:31 PM

Counting begins tomorrow morning Australian time. Polling stations close at 10pm BST/5am WST/6:30am CST/7am AEST. If you're looking for live coverage, the BBC has live rolling updates on its website, with video and audio of all key election events. Alternatively, if you want the actual continuous video and are around for that, the BBC coverage is being streamed on America's C-SPAN3. This will be available via the C-SPAN website.

------------------

On the election itself... it's difficult to know what's going to happen tomorrow, but the most likely result is that one way or another, David Cameron will be Britain's next PM.

There are many factors of uncertainty, not least the unpredictability created by the FPTP voting system. A uniform swing calculation suggests that the Tories will find it difficult to come close to or secure a majority, whereas the model created by FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver (who has done some outstanding work on US electoral politics and election modelling) is more aggressive in predicting Tory and Lib Dem gains. I think it's important to factor in these sorts of considerations, especially given that recent polling has shown extremely solid Tory leads (speaking of which, the question there is whether the polls are representative of the electorate - opening yet another can of worms). I disagree with those commentators who say that a hung parliament is a foregone conclusion.

Once you've got the actual result out of the way, there are the political sources of uncertainty, regarding who's going to negotiate with whom and under what circumstances. We know that by convention, the Queen will invite the sitting PM to try to form a government first, if we see the emergence of a hung parliament. That's crucial: it puts Gordon Brown in a privileged position in the event of a hung parliament. But what happens from there will depend on factors such as each of the parties' negotiating position, their willingness to work with other parties, the demands made by the Lib Dems, and of course the exact numbers in the Commons. On the latter point, a small Tory plurality makes a Labour-Lib Dem agreement more likely, whereas a large Tory plurality makes a Tory-Lib Dem agreement more likely, and an even larger Tory plurality makes a Tory-UUP agreement more likely, depending on how successful the Tory-UUP pact ultimately proves to be.

In order, my view of the most likely results:
1. Large Conservative plurality, 300-320.
2. Conservative majority. (N.B. 326 seats needed for a majority.)
3. Moderate Conservative plurality.
4. Labour plurality.

By extension, I also view a Conservative-led government - either a minority government with the agreement of the Lib Dems and/or the UUP and/or other members of the new Commons, or an outright government with a majority of seats in the Commons - as the most likely outcome. But as mentioned, there's still uncertainty in there.

OFFLINE   tamago_otoko #71

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 09:46 PM

So, it's quite possible this election could mirror the results of Tasmania's not long ago. Conservatives win a majority of votes, a plurality of seats, but not enough to govern in their own right, and Labour do a deal with the third party to retain power. Sounds remarkably similar.

I do think Labour will be hit hard, but it does seem that there's a distinct possibility that the gains won't be channelled enough to the Tories to give them power. It will be very interesting to watch
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OFFLINE   Cyril Washbrook #72

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 09:55 AM

Exit polls suggest that the Tories are on track to fall about 20 seats short of a majority, and that the Lib Dems are in for significant disappointment, with their seat allocation remaining stagnant. Still far too early to see how the actual result will turn out, but there are early signs that the Lib Dems may suffer a swing against them in the south west.

Peter Robinson (DUP), Northern Ireland's First Minister, has just lost his seat of Belfast East with a 22.9% swing against him. Robinson and his wife, also an MP, were embroiled in a major scandal earlier this year, as you may recall; it was revealed that Iris Robinson had been having an extramarital affair with a 19-year-old and had been arranging substantial unauthorised financial assistance to her lover's business. Iris Robinson resigned in January.

OFFLINE   TGIF #73

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 10:03 AM

Although the fact that the exit poll contradicts just about every other poll in the last few weeks, particularly RE the Lib Dems, makes it a bit unclear. I think based on those results they would actually *lose* seats which doesn't sound right at all.

Most confusing.

OFFLINE   Cyril Washbrook #74

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 10:15 AM

Although the fact that the exit poll contradicts just about every other poll in the last few weeks, particularly RE the Lib Dems, makes it a bit unclear. I think based on those results they would actually *lose* seats which doesn't sound right at all.

Most confusing.

It's not totally out of kilter, although if true, it suggests that the Lib Dems recorded at the lower end of the polling range - 25-26% rather than 28-29%.

The swing in the north east, one of Labour's heartland regions, is currently trending much higher than the overall exit poll numbers. Exit polls show 5.5% swing to the Tories; in the north east, so far we're seeing an 8.4% swing to the Tories and 6.7% swing to the Lib Dems.

Meanwhile, over at the BBC, Jeremy Paxman is relishing his prerogative to cut off interviewees even more often than he usually does on Newsnight.

OFFLINE   TGIF #75

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 10:21 AM

I am looking forward to video highlights of his grumpiness. His interview with George Galloway at the last election was a beautiful thing.

OFFLINE   Cyril Washbrook #76

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 10:24 AM

I am looking forward to video highlights of his grumpiness. His interview with George Galloway at the last election was a beautiful thing.

Andrew Neil has also been giving a very robust performance tonight.

OFFLINE   TGIF #77

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 10:26 AM

I am opening up C-SPAN as we speak!

OFFLINE   Mike #78

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 03:49 PM

I am opening up C-SPAN as we speak!


How sad for you! :mischievous:

So looks like Cameron will get through by the skin of his teeth, great work Britain here's to an embarrassing 5 years.

OFFLINE   Cyril Washbrook #79

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 04:07 PM

I'm glad to see the Tories secure a sizeable plurality of seats; I couldn't bring myself to support Labour, and in my view a Tory-led hung parliament would result in the best outcome in terms of Britain's future direction. I don't for one second buy the contemptuous "great work Britain" snark, just as I didn't buy for one second the notion that the Tories are a bunch of society-wrecking Thatcherite ideologues. Either way, there's still a long way to go - as I mentioned before, the sitting PM still has the prerogative to form the government, which means that Gordon Brown will have the first shot. This is complicated, however, by the fact that Labour and the Lib Dems will probably not win a joint majority of the constituencies.

A bit of a pity about the Lib Dem vote fizzling out badly - in electoral terms, they are likely to do worse in this election than last time.

OFFLINE   Mark #80

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Posted 07 May 2010 - 04:22 PM

David Cameron makes Tony Abbott look intelligent, so it could be a fun parliament :D