Monday, November 23, 2009

James Macintyre Predicts Labour Victory

I have to say I am most amused by all the reaction to the Ipsos MORI poll showing a 6 point Tory lead. From the way left of centre pundits have reacted, you'd think all lefty Christmases had come at once. There's talk of hung Parliaments, even of a Labour victory. Labour's cheerleader in chief, James Macintyre has gone into overdrive, predicting a small Labour majority. Quite why the New Statesman relies on two political correspondents who are so woefully out of touch with political opinion is anyone's guess. But we should let them keep taking the pills. Here's what Jimbo wrote this morning...

Then only days later a poll in yesterday's Observer (carried out at the same time as the Guardian poll) shows that Labour has closed the gap to only 6 points (with 31 per cent against the Tories' 37).It is the poll Gordon Brown has been waiting for. Suddenly and belatedly as usual, it has become conventional wisdom to talk of a hung parliament. Now, some of us have been arguing this is likely for months, and my colleague Mehdi Hasan and I went into it in some detail back in June, when Mehdi was if anything surer (I thought then and -- shock horror - still think now -- that a small overall majority for Labour is the most likely outcome). Indeed, yesterday's poll and the apparent trend reminded me that, after I dared to suggest in my new year predictions (some wrong, some right), that the two main parties' positions in the polls would switch by the end of this year Iain Dale, the aimiable and popular partisan Conservative blogger, reacted with "cackling laughter" and said "In your dreams, sunshine".

In fact, private polling commissioned by Number Ten is today showing just that.

Actually, I have always felt a hung parliament was a real possibility after the next election, and it is only latterly that I have swung to the view that a reasonable Tory majority is the most likely outcome.

Strangely enough, even if this isn't a rogue poll (and I'd bet money that it is) David Cameron won't be unhappy. He doesn't want his troops to take anything for granted, and polls like this will help people redouble their efforts.

I really do think we need to think of a nickname for James Macintyre. His views and predictions are so bizarre that they encourage us to think of him as the British equivalent of Comical Ali. No serious political journalist I know thinks a Labour victory is a likely outcome of the next election. Either he knows something the rest of us don't or he's playing the role of a partisan hack rather than a political journalist. And not for the first time.

25 comments:

quietzapple said...

I still think labour will get a substantial majority, as i have been saying for nearly 3 years.

There are many positive reasons FOR labour, and there remains the fundamental defect in the Tories that Europe divides them, no amount of sloppy papier mache will avail . . .

http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/2351

Part of a trend, this poll.

john.fowler said...

Quackintyre

Old Slaughter said...

You don't need our help.

'Comical Ali' will do just fine.

Shinsei said...

According to Jackie Ashley in the Observer two weeks ago she claimed that private polling done by the Labour Party showed them falling to only 120 seats at the next election.

Jabba the Cat said...

Macintyre has had his head up his ass so far he cannot see daylight as long as anyone can remember so it is prudent to ignore anything he has to say...

quietzapple said...

Aaaahhh . . . just like the old days before the Tory Trolls on the Dully Tele started actually believing they would win.

When old does start calling me "Comical Ali" they really do feel they are on the ropes . . .

ROFLMA&SO!

Paddy Briggs said...

You will find out in the early hours of Friday 7th May. Not before. Remember the oldest, trueist adage of all - a week is a long time in politics. And if a week is a long time then 6 months is an eternity. Pointless to speculate now. Nobody knows. Bah humbug!

Chris said...

Those of us who came remember the Major Government from 1992 would see a Poll reducing the Labour lead down to single figures and some would interpret that as the light at the end of the tunnel.
There has been a lack of bad news for the Government of late - Europe doesn't excite the average voter whereas it touches the G Spot of the political class.

Received wisdom is that Governments recover towards an election but one can never underestimate Gordon Brown's ability to make a complete SNAFU of matters.

One advantage of losing the elction from our point of view would mean that the tradition of Tory Leaders who lose an election immediately standing down would mean and an end to the Cameroon project and we the member might get our right of centre party back but I accept that is the only silver lining on what would be a very dark cloud

Stepney said...

I normally call him Junior when I write comments on his blog.

He's like the little boy in the gang who can't run as fast as the others, throws like a girl and can't come out to play after 6 in the evening.

His only recourse is to make things up, tell tall tales and exaggerate.

Junior.

Kind of fits doesn't it?

Old Slaughter said...

Quietzapple:

Unless you are James MacIntyre you are flattering yourself. I was calling you nothing.

However, your habit of referring to anybody that disagrees with you as a 'troll' is somewhat revealing. When added to the fact that all of your comments are supportive of the party regardless, your earnestness is somewhat suspect.

Never much for debate this New Labour crowd. Slander and smear yes, debate, why bother? He knows he's right and will call you names to prove it. Pathetic.

brian said...

If Labour do sneak in they may still come second in England. They would have to reply on the votes of Scottish and Welsh MPs. Given the absence of an English parliament, England may not accept the Labour's right to rule on English only affairs.

The Conservative party need to start making noises about how the use of such mps for English only matters is totally unacceptable. They need to do this loudly and often, so the English public are made aware of the democratic deficit they could suffer come a labour victory.

David said...

In the last election they had less votes in England than the Tories but still had more seats.

The time has come to redraw the boundaries and get rid of the small inner city seats that always vote labour.

John said...

A Parliamentary System relies on people punishing the incompetent. The expenses scandal shows that all three parties are incompetent so the electors are dithering, not knowing who to punish. Hasn't the time come for all the smaller parties who work on the basis of policies to join together in a single message: Tory, Labour and Lib Dem, I will not vote for them again!

Parallax said...

Hopefully Iain won't mind this small bit of self-promotion, but the link below is genuinely relevant to the issue.

http://j.mp/69WX9n

The Parallax Brief is in absolute agreement with Iain on this matter. There are genuine methodological explanations for a good portion of the 6 points, and, indeed, other corroborating evidence to suggest this poll shouldn't be taken as seriously as silly James McIntyre suggests. It is more likely that both polls simply scored some extra points for Labour as a result of its Glasgow by-election win.

We will need to see more polls to determine if this is a permanent or temporary gain, so it's certainly not sweaty palms time for the Conservatives yet.

Ian said...

Using my private prediction model, I still give the Tories a lead in the region of 70-80 seats. Nothing to worry about.

The MORI poll doesn't use political weighting for various reasons, so is more variable from poll to poll. In particular, if lots of Labour voters are out on the streets where they weren't before (Christmas shopping for the client state, perhaps) then you get a big swing to Labour with MORI.

Ben said...

If the poll reflects a genuine swing in opinion, it could be accounted for by a) perceptions of backtracking over the Lisbon treaty and b) metropolitan sneering at the Norfolk conservatives. Both will have done some damage.

Johnny Norfolk said...

"James Macintyre Predicts Labour Victory"

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha .


Just how many deluded supportes do Labour have.

strapworld said...

You talk about Cameron's troops!

I doubt, after that excellent man was called a Turnip Taliban by some idiot at Conservative Central Office, that many 'troops' will want to help this conservative would be administration.

I just cannot understand the logic of Cameron wanting to give local people more say, yet wants to impose his own candidates on local associations. That must have created so much ill will that I am afraid that he will find that his 'troops on the ground' will be few and far between.

Goodwin said...

I believe Dave has blown it over ("cast-iron") Europe. Clearly the treaty issue is dead but being governed by Europe with the huge bill that goes to pay for the privilege sticks in the craw. We need a vote to indicate just what we think our relationship would be (the "in Europe but not governed by" argument). On top of that I believe few Brits feel any empathy for Dave who they perceive as being an upper class rich twit. He certainly leaves me stone cold and despite being a life-long conservative have absolutely no idea who I'll be voting for at the next election. For the first time I'll probably not bother unless there is a "none of the above" category to show my disgust at all of them. In such a situation Labour has always been better at turning out the apathetic vote. My money is on them getting back with a small majority. God help us all and last one out turn off the light please ...

quietzapple said...

It is rather too unkind to blame Chameleon for withdrawing his promise for whatever sort of EU referendum he promised.

Now I doubt he could govern with less than a 100 majority unless he held an in or out referendum, too many "bastards" as John Major used to call them . . .

But if he promised such a referendum at this stage of the electoral process he would have either have to expel Clarke & Heseltine and others or promise to let them campaign on conscience (and better sense)

If he waits until shortly before the election, which he may clearly be about to lose, it will be clear that he is forced into prevarication, indecision, Because the Tories are Daffy on the EU.

No win, no win situation, as I have previously animadverted.

Irene said...

"Mystic Mac"

see Tory Bear.

Sinbad the sailor said...

Big mistake "Cast Iron" being made of "Custard" ..smooth, sickly & running with the flow

Won't make any difference to the chances of a Tory MP being relected around here due to FPTP but in other marginals its going to come back to haunt Dave

Stephen Gash said...

The simple fact is, nobody trusts the Tories and they offer nothing to English voters.

Only in the last few days it was announced yet another cancer-treating drug was being denied to cancer patients in England. This drug will indubitably be given free on Scotland's health service, along with the 15 others denied to English patients.

The Tory response to complaints about the Anglophobic discrimination is to yap "Little Englander" like a demented poodle.

They actually believe yapping in this manner will stimulate hardpressed English taxpayers to vote for them.

Martin Bell has started an alliance of independent candidates. I think a significant number will vote for independents who campaign on local matters.

Tory MPs in England (are there any anywhere else) have been completely useless to their constituents. What have they said about the 40% hike in English council tax while Scotland froze its council tax for four years?

"Oh no! We musn't jeopardise the Union by making sure our constituents get a good deal like the Scots!"

Now around 40% of Tory candidates have the gall to say they "are relaxed about Scottish independence".

They should be demanding it and calling the SNP bluff.

They should at the very least demand an English Parliament.

They should also start recognising the English are pissed off, or else the Tory Party will be pissed off at losing the next general election.

Precisely what do the Tories offer the English as English people?

Answer? Nothing!

Jabba the Cat said...

@ Ian said...

"Using my private prediction model, I still give the Tories a lead in the region of 70-80 seats. Nothing to worry about."

I'll go with that...

Hurf Durf said...

Qomical Quacksapple.