Labour has many things to worry about at the moment – losing its deposit in Richmond isn’t one of them

December 2nd, 2016

Like in previous tight CON-LD fights LAB got squeezed. So what?

A lot of tosh has been written today about Labour’s loss of deposit for coming in under 5% in Richmond Park. That its vote total of 1,515 was lower than the 1,600 party members it has in the constituency has provided fuel for those wanting to attack the leadership on this.

What people haven’t appreciated are the sheer dynamics of a by-election like this. Once it becomes in that over-used cliche “a Two horse race” then the other contenders are going to be squeezed and many Labour activists and members found themselves voting for the one most likely to beat Goldsmith.

The hugely intensive leaflet and post board campaigns with lots of visible on the ground activity were all designed to highlight to LAB voters that the only way to use their ballot effectively was to go with the Lib Dem.

The Yellows were helped to a degree by the nature of Zac’s Mayoral campaign in the Spring. This made beating him even more important than just getting one over on the Tories. LAB voters were also prepared to hold their noises and ignore the coalition ears which is still held against Farron’s party.

The Richmond Park result is as worrying for LAB as Christchurch was in the 1992-1997 parliament where the red team was squeezed even more than overnight – it means nothing.

Mike Smithson


By-Election Results both local and Westminster: December 1st 2016

December 2nd, 2016

It wasn’t just in Richmond Park where the yellows had success

Richmond Park (Ind defence, elected as Conservative) to Westminster Parliament
Result: Liberal Democrat 20,510 (50% +31%), Independent 18,638 (45% -13% on Conservative), Labour 1,515 (4% -8%), Loony Party 184 (0%, no candidate in 2015), Independent Conservative 173 (0%, no candidate in 2015), Christian People’s Alliance 164 (0%, no candidate in 2015), One Love Party 67 (0%, no candidate in 2015), Non Party Independent 32 (0%, no candidate in 2015)
Liberal Democrat GAIN from Independent with a majority of 1,872 (5%) on a swing of 22% from Ind to Lib Dem

Southbourne (Con defence) on Chichester
Result: Liberal Democrat 646 (58% +16%), Conservative 289 (26% -22%), United Kingdom Independence Party 132 (12%, no candidate in 2015), Labour 53 (5%, no candidate in 2015)
Liberal Democrat GAIN from Conservative with a majority of 357 (32%) on a swing of 19% from Con to Lib Dem

Ferndown (UKIP defence) on Dorset
Result: Conservative 2,046 (57% +12%), United Kingdom Independence Party 1,092 (30% -14%), Liberal Democrats 260 (7%. no candidate in 2013), Labour 190 (5% -6%)
Conservative GAIN from United Kingdom Independence Party with a majority of 954 (27%) on a swing of 13% from UKIP to Con

Grange Park (Con defence) on South Northamptonshire
Result: Conservative 244 (58% -13%), Labour 105 (25% -4%), United Kingdom Independence Party 49 (12%, no candidate in 2015), Green Party 20 (5%, no candidate in 2015)
Conservative HOLD with a majority of 139 (33%) on a swing of 4.5% from Con to Lab

Whitechapel (Ind defence, elected as Tower Hamlets First) on Tower Hamlets
Result: Independent 1,147 (45% +5% on Tower Hamlets First), Labour 823 (32% +6%) , Conservative 217 (8% unchanged), Liberal Democrat 173 (7% unchanged), Green Party 170 (7% -6%), United Kingdom Independence Party 34 (1% -3%)
Independent HOLD with a majority of 324 (13%) on a swing of 0.5% from Ind to Lab

Myton and Heathcote (Con defence) on Warwick
Result: Conservative 488 (54% +10%), Liberal Democrat 228 (25% +10%), Labour 194 (21%, no candidate in 2015)
Conservative HOLD with a majoruty of 260 (29%) on no swing between Con and Lib Dem

Compiled by Harry Hayfield


The LDs overturn Zac’s 23k majority with a lead of 1,872

December 2nd, 2016

Sarah Olney (LD) 20,510 (49.68%, +30.41%)

Zac Goldsmith (Ind) 18,638 (45.15%)

Christian Wolmar (Lab) 1,515 (3.67%, -8.68%)

Howling Laud Hope (Loony) 184 (0.45%)

Fiona Syms (Ind) 173 (0.42%)

Dominic Stockford (CPA) 164 (0.40%)

Maharaja Jammu and Kashmir (Love) 67 (0.16%)

David Powell (ND) 32 (0.08%)

LD maj 1,872 (4.53%)

Zac’s gamble fails

That’s a fantastic result for the yellows and a tragic result for Zac Goldsmith who, of course, was beaten in the London Mayoral race last May.

The seat has, of course, been LD territory in the past and the party has flung everything at it. This has been a huge campaign which I said at the start was an absolute must win for them.

The result cuts Theresa May’s majority by 2 to a theoretical 10.

There was much scepticism when the LDs produced vote projections in the past few days showing they were in the lead. Well these have been proved right.

Mike Smithson


At the moment (0043 GMT) punters think that the LDs will win

December 2nd, 2016


Tonight’s local and Westminster by-election preview

December 1st, 2016


Richmond Park (Ind defence, elected as Conservative) to Westminster Parliament
Result of Parliament at last election (2015): Conservatives 331, Labour 232, Scottish National Party 56, Northern Ireland Parties 18, Liberal Democrats 8, Plaid Cymru 3, Green Party 1, United Kingdom Independence Party 1 (Conservative majority of 12)
Result of constituency at last election (2015): Conservative 34,404 (58%), Liberal Democrat 11,389 (19%), Labour 7,296 (12%), Green Party 3,548 (6%), United Kingdom Independence Party 2,464 (4%)
EU Referendum Result (Borough): REMAIN 75,396 (69%) LEAVE 33,410 (31%) on a turnout of 82%
Estimated Vote in constituency: REMAIN 72%, LEAVE 28%
Candidates duly nominated: Zac Goldsmith (Ind), Alan Hope (Loony), Ankit Love (One Love), Sarah Olney (Lib Dem), David Powell (Non Party Independent), Dominic Stockford (Christian People’s Alliance), Fiona Syms (Independent Conservative), Christian Wolmar (Lab)

Southbourne (Con defence) on Chichester
Reult of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 42, Liberal Democrats 3, Independents 3 (Conservative majority of 36)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Emboldened denotes elected
Conservatives 1,994, 1,865, 1,847 (58%)
Liberal Democrats 1,437, 914, 878 (42%)
EU Referendum Result: REMAIN 35,011 (49%) LEAVE 36,326 (51%) on a turnout of 78%
Candidates duly nominated: Jonathan Brown (Lib Dem), Rebecca Hamlet (Lab), David Harwood (Con), Patricia Hunt (UKIP)

Ferndown (UKIP defence) on Dorset
Result of council at last election (2013): Conservatives 26, Liberal Democrats 12, Labour 5, United Kingdom Independence Party 1 (Conservative majority of 8)
Result of ward at last election (2013): Emboldened denotes elected
United Kingdom Independence Party 2,222, 2,027 (44%)
Conservatives 2,187, 2,085 (45%)
Labour 567, 466 (11%)
EU Referendum Result (County): REMAIN 191,792 (43%) LEAVE 249,517 (57%) on a turnout of 76%
Candidates duly nominated: Jason Jones (Lib Dem), Andrew Parry (Con), Peter Stokes (Lab), Lawrence Wilson (UKIP)

Grange Park (Con defence) on South Northamptonshire
Reult of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 35, Liberal Democrats 4, Independents 3 (Conservative majority of 28)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Emboldened denotes elected
Conservatives 1,459, 1,032 (71%)
Labour 584 (29%)
EU Referendum Result: REMAIN 25,853 (46%) LEAVE 30,771 (54%) on a turnout of 79%
Candidates duly nominated: Andy Clarke (Green), Rose Gibbins (UKIP), Andrew Grant (Con), Ian Grant (Lab)

Whitechapel (Ind defence, elected as Tower Hamlets First) on Tower Hamlets
Result of council at last election (2014): Labour 20, Tower Hamlets First 18, Conservatives 4 (No Overall Control, Labour short by 2)
Result of ward at last election (2014): Emboldened denotes elected
Tower Hamlets First 2,139, 2,117, 2,088 (40%)
Labour 1,359, 1,190, 1,188 (26%)
Green Party 703 (13%)
Conservatives 409, 405, 345 (8%)
Liberal Democrats 358 (7%)
United Kingdom Independence Party 199 (4%)
Trade Unionist and Socialist 139 (3%)
EU Referendum Result: REMAIN 73,011 (68%) LEAVE 35,224 (32%) on a turnout of 65%
Candidates duly nominated: Shafi Ahmed (Ind), Emanuel Andjelic (Lib Dem), Will Fletcher (Con), Victoria Obaze (Lab), Martin Smith (UKIP), James Wilson (Green)

Myton and Heathcote (Con defence) on Warwick
Reult of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 31, Labour 9, Independents 3, Liberal Democrats 2, Green Party 1 (Conservative majority of 16)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Emboldened denotes elected
Conservatives 1,286, 1,252 (44%)
Independents 440, 370 (15%)
Liberal Democrat 431 (15%)
Green Party 427, 383 (14%)
United Kingdom Independence Party 374 (13%)
EU Referendum Result: REMAIN 47,976 (59%) LEAVE 33,642 (41%) on a turnout of 79%
Candidates duly nominated: Parminder Birdi (Con), Kelvin Lambert (Lib Dem), John Sullivan (Lab)

Compiled by Harry Hayfield


New entrant Ed Balls moves immediately to 3rd place in latest YouGov favourability ratings

December 1st, 2016

Both Theresa May & Corbyn see drops

Here they are – the latest YouGov favourability ratings, the polling where the site has chosen who/what should be included.

The first time we did this was in August and since then all the UK politicians have seen net drops. Ed Balls, included after his Strictly successes, was not part of the August list.

In the summer TMay was still enjoying her honeymoon and had a net +12%. That’s now down to +5% with 46% favourable to 41% unfavourable. Boris has seen a decline from -5% in August to -13% now (38-51). Meanwhile, just on his heels, comes Strictly star Ed Balls with 32-47%. So he’s in negative territory but nothing like as bad as Mr. Corbyn who has 26-51 representing a net move since last time of minus 10.

Tony Blair might be thinking of some sort of UK come-back but his ratings, 14-74 are awful and he is only just ahead of Putin and Trump.

Donald Trump gets the best numbers from GE2015 UKIP voters who split 45% to 49%. They also have the most favourable view of Mr. Putin.

Mike Smithson


Whatever the outcome tonight Richmond Park could herald a political period where BREXIT is more important than parties

December 1st, 2016


Would the Tories stand aside in a seat where UKIP was 2nd behind LAB

Today’s Richmond Park by-election highlights a very new development in British politics where the main issue of the day, BREXIT and its implementation, have become more important than parties.

UKIP’s decision to stand aside in Richmond Park as well as the similar move by the Greens on the other side of the argument could mark something very different from what we are used to.

At GE2015 UKIP was runner up in 120 seats most which were held by Labour. If one of those came up could you see the Tories being ready to stand aside to give UKIP a better chance of defeating LAB?

It makes a lot of sense just as in Richmond Park where Greens decided to back the REMAIN contender most likely to beat the pro BREXIT incumbent. One of the stories of the campaign has been the pressure on LAB following its decision to field a candidate in a seat where they’ve failed to do better than third for several decades.

A poor LAB vote share would focus fresh attention on the decision and could impact on future contests.

The winner tonight, whoever it is, will have done so partly because other parties didn’t put up a candidate. I hope the victor acknowledges this in his/her speech.

Mike Smithson


The Lib Dems could be making a massive mistake claiming they’re on target to win Richmond Park tomorrow

November 30th, 2016

The Guardian

What would be good result getting very close will be seen as a failure

The big news on this final day of campaigning in the Richmond Park by-election is that the Lib Dems are claiming that they are ahead.

According to data made available to the Guardian the party’s current projection is:

Goldsmith 45.8%
LIB Dems 47.2%
LAB 6.2%

As I’ve argued previously you should treat all data like this as coming from a partisan source and should be regarded with great scepticism. We are being told this for a reason.

I must admit that I am somewhat astounded. If they come very close tomorrow then that could be seen as a failure not a good result given that Zac is defending a 23k majority.

We also know that MPs who resign to fight by-elections have a very good track record with only one failure in the last third of a century. Zac has a huge incumbency benefit.

There’s also the issue of credibility in the future. If the LDs lose then this will be quoted back at them for decades.

Maybe the idea is to fire up their huge activist base for the critical get out the vote operation but surely the same could be achieved by simply suggesting that this is very close.

Mike Smithson