Monday, November 23, 2009

So What Does Labour's Private Polling Really Say?

Jackie Ashley, Guardian, November 8th
Some Labour people may think I'm sounding too gloomy, but those who have been privy to recent private polling are a lot more than gloomy. This suggests that Labour could return to the Commons with just 120 MPs or thereabouts, taking the party back to 1930s territory. As ministers look for jobs to keep themselves going after politics, a Miliband move to Europe looks sensible.
James Macintyre, New Statesman, November 23rd
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...

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


Now they can't both be right. One of them is making it up or Downing Street it spinning it both ways within two weeks. I know which my money is on.

UPDATE: I will let a professional have the last word. Read what Anthony Wells of UK Polling Report has to say HERE.

24 comments:

quietzapple said...

Iain, is it not the oldest trick in your trolling to make out that your opponents' position is lost?

I've not read Clausewitz (sp?) but I bet it is in Machiavelli's prince too.

try:

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

Part of a trend.

You have plenty of other irons, and you might well hold Spelthorne. Opposition become you.

Tom said...

Is Number Ten allowed to commission private polling for political party purposes???

Events dear boy, events said...

Interesting. I have made one with what Ashley said two weeks ago with what she said today.

Michael Heaver said...

Can't believe one poll has got the Labour boys and girls in such a tizzy.

titus-aduxas said...

"Tom said...
Is Number Ten allowed to commission private polling for political party purposes???"

So, who financed it, then? The taxpayer?

James said...

No change here then, Can't wait for you eat your words at the nexrt GE.

Plato said...

Private polling tells you exactly what public polling does.

Just because its not published doesn't change what people think.

They really don't like Gordon and want Labour out.

Simples

Old Slaughter said...

Not sure anyone would take your bet Iain.

Frugal Dougal said...

Post-1992, when all the polls predicted a Labour victory, I don't think too much should be read into them.

M said...

I would suggest that this is Labour re-positioning itself so as to appear to be the underdog at the UK general election - same as they did recently at the Glasgow North-east by-election.

At Glasgow they succeeded in fooling the voters into thinking that it was an election for the Scots Parliament instead of Westminster and that they (Labour) were the underdogs needing votes to oust the SNP.

What was also interesting was the fact that they were very successful in suppressing any debate whatsoever on their track record at Westminster since 1997 by spreading numerous scare and smear stories on a daily basis.

I would be very much surprised if they don't try the same tactics at the elections for Westmnister.

Never underestimate Gordon Brown for it is he who has spent most of his political life successfully de-stabilising his opponents.

Man in a Shed said...

Labour have to over come the idea that they are flat lining to have any chance of getting donations in or their activist base out.

The rejoicing at the one off poll results is very convenient for them.

The question is how much to you trust what you are being told right now ?

Madasafish said...

James Macintyre is right. He always is..Sure as the sun rises in the West and sets in the East. And just as reliable.

sommiewoman said...

I still cannot believe the hysteria over ONE opinion poll.

Well done Labour and the Observer - you've created utter panic in the Tories.

golden_balls said...

two posts in a row about this new poll !

do i sense the Tories dream of a landslide election is no more ?

You have a huge mountain to climb to even muster a majority of 1 so i'm not that suprised.

On a side note i always thought iain you would want to serve in a well hung parliament old joke but it made me smile.

quietzapple said...

' . . . Iain Dale, the aimiable and popular partisan Conservative blogger, reacted with "cackling laughter" and said "In your dreams, sunshine".'

http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/public-accounts/2009/11/160-labour-fight-poll-begins

Events, dear boy, Events . . .

Aye We Can ! said...

"M" makes the point well, but you Iain, like most southern observers were too quick to dismiss the Glasgow North by-election as having "Scottish only" implications. Of couse it is harder to extrapalate from Scottish by elections, but look at the background to the by-election, look at the figures. They are remarkable with labour outpolling its nearest rival by 3 to 1, taking 60% of the vote in a 13 candidate contest.

This tells us something I think - the potential effectiveness of the "underdog" repositing, illustrated perfectly in last week's Labour PEB.

And if it worked in Scotland where labour is anything but the underdog, indeed is the the establishment, it might just work elsewhere.

G'Funk said...

"Now they can't both be right. One of them is making it up or Downing Street it spinning it both ways within two weeks. I know which my money is on."

I don't get it. You seem to have based this supposition on the two quotes preceding it, which are opinion pieces from commentators and not based on any information released directly from Downing Street.

Bit of a cheap shot at the Government, really. It's not as if there aren't plenty of genuine reasons to criticise. Of course, that's the overall problem with politics from both sides of the divide ... points for points sake, rather than offering criticism where it's due.

Toque said...

If there is a slight Labour majority it will be one built on Scottish and Welsh MPs and unfair constituency sizes.

A recipe for public unrest (in England) and possible constitutional meltdown.

trevorsden said...

I can only assume that statisticians from Hadley CRU are responsible for Labours private polling.

They have manufactured a hockey stick graph to put in front of Brown to compliment the Vallium.

quietzapple said...

Of course the underdog effect may help, but, on the whole, people like the assurance of a Government they feel they know.

This is generally believed to come into effect towards the actual election, and any opposition which has an unsettled feel, such as one which is split on Europe, may well lose its buggins' turn advantage.

sarah said...

iain - get a thread about this -

http://www2.politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2009/11/23/pb-angus-reid-poll-has-labour-down-to-22pc/

Dreamer said...

it seems that your blog is read by a lot of Labour party activists judging by the comments here.
Wasn't there another poll after the conference season that made the fightback look so good. that one fizzled out too. Is this one a blip or rogue poll or will future ppolls confirm the trend. Too early to say I suspect, but lets let the Labour party have it's brief moment in the sun, it's not like they get much to calibrate these days

Bond007 said...

Toque "If there is a slight Labour majority it will be one built on Scottish and Welsh MPs and unfair constituency sizes.

A recipe for public unrest (in England) and possible constitutional meltdown."

isn't that what we have at the moment?

Hurf Durf said...

Le sigh. One poll is not a trend, quackzapple. You should know that by now.

Also, Macintyre is a moron.