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  United Kingdom General Elections: December 12th, 2019 (search mode)
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Author Topic: United Kingdom General Elections: December 12th, 2019  (Read 70401 times)
EastAnglianLefty
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« on: October 29, 2019, 08:31:05 am »

There will be a few amendments that are in the works to lower the voting age, give voting rights to Uk residents who are eu citizens and to cap election spending. I think the former would have the most chance of passing, but it would be opposed by the government.

Sam Gyimah to stand in Kensington.

Will this help Labour or Tories?

No.

It does help the Lib Dems, who had previously selected a follower of Lutfur Rahman as their candidate there, but probably not enough to matter very much.
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EastAnglianLefty
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« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2019, 12:45:03 pm »

There will be a few amendments that are in the works to lower the voting age, give voting rights to Uk residents who are eu citizens and to cap election spending. I think the former would have the most chance of passing, but it would be opposed by the government.

Sam Gyimah to stand in Kensington.

Will this help Labour or Tories?

To the extent it helps either, presumably the Tories, because the ultra-Remainer typically Tory voters who voted Labour as a backlash against Victoria Borwick in 2017 will mostly vote for him, and Labour can't win Kensington without them. In extremis, maybe he could win the seat through the middle. I don't know enough about the Tory candidate to say; if she's a strong Leaver, Gyimah has a chance. She has apparently stumbled around totally unwinnable seats for the last couple of elections (South Down in 2015 and South Shields in 2017), so she may just be loyal footsoldier type.

This isn't really true. Remainer Tories in Kensington were never going to vote Labour, because nobody in their family has done that since 1832. We are talking about a very posh, very wealthy and implacably anti-Labour demographic.

The reason they lost in 2017 was that a) some of those Remainer Tories voted Lib Dem (as was the case in a fair swathe of well-off west London); b) more of those Remainer Tories didn't vote; c) there are fewer of those Remainer Tories than there used to be, because they're being outcompeted in the property market by oligarchs and have to move to Chiswick instead and d) turnout in the Labour-voting estates went up, as has been the pattern for a little while now.

The following article takes a pretty solid go at putting forward the case for Gyimah, but it's notable that it only really addresses the posher half of the seat. Unless we start seeing active evidence that he's making inroads in the more down-at-heel bits of North Kensington, I struggle to see his path to victory.

https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/staggers/2019/10/sam-gyimah-standing-kensington-can-he-win
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EastAnglianLefty
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« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2019, 04:34:56 pm »

There will be a few amendments that are in the works to lower the voting age, give voting rights to Uk residents who are eu citizens and to cap election spending. I think the former would have the most chance of passing, but it would be opposed by the government.

Sam Gyimah to stand in Kensington.

Will this help Labour or Tories?

To the extent it helps either, presumably the Tories, because the ultra-Remainer typically Tory voters who voted Labour as a backlash against Victoria Borwick in 2017 will mostly vote for him, and Labour can't win Kensington without them. In extremis, maybe he could win the seat through the middle. I don't know enough about the Tory candidate to say; if she's a strong Leaver, Gyimah has a chance. She has apparently stumbled around totally unwinnable seats for the last couple of elections (South Down in 2015 and South Shields in 2017), so she may just be loyal footsoldier type.

This isn't really true. Remainer Tories in Kensington were never going to vote Labour, because nobody in their family has done that since 1832. We are talking about a very posh, very wealthy and implacably anti-Labour demographic.

The reason they lost in 2017 was that a) some of those Remainer Tories voted Lib Dem (as was the case in a fair swathe of well-off west London); b) more of those Remainer Tories didn't vote; c) there are fewer of those Remainer Tories than there used to be, because they're being outcompeted in the property market by oligarchs and have to move to Chiswick instead and d) turnout in the Labour-voting estates went up, as has been the pattern for a little while now.

The following article takes a pretty solid go at putting forward the case for Gyimah, but it's notable that it only really addresses the posher half of the seat. Unless we start seeing active evidence that he's making inroads in the more down-at-heel bits of North Kensington, I struggle to see his path to victory.

https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/staggers/2019/10/sam-gyimah-standing-kensington-can-he-win

It's kind of crazy to deny that a bunch of (obviously not all) Remainer Tories voted Labour in Kensington in 2017. The factors you cite happened, too, but turnout was up overall, and swings like that against the national grain don't just happen because of organization. Tory Remainers voting Labour was the only reason it was competitive in the first place: Borwick, as an ardent Leave campaigner, was a dreadful fit for the constituency, and many Tory Remainers who had only ever voted Tory before abandoned her - some, yes, for the Lib Dems, but a larger share for Labour. Obviously many Tory Remainers stuck with the Tories anyway in 2017 (if they hadn't, Borwick would have gotten around 20% of the vote instead of over 40% of the vote), but Tory Remainers who voted for Borwick are probably mostly going to vote for another Tory this time around, too, especially one who is less strongly associated with the Leave campaign than Borwick was (although apparently the new candidate writes for "BrexitCentral.com", so maybe she's not much of a shift from Borwick ideologically).

I'd invite you to check the 2014 and 2018 local election results. In almost every ward, there's a notable lack of Lab-Con swing, with the only difference being slightly higher turnout in 2018 (primarily but not exclusive to Labour's benefit.) And that was after not just Brexit but the Grenfell Tower fire. We are talking about a remarkably inelastic electorate, on both sides of the divide.

Yes, of course there will be a few voters who switched directly from the Conservatives to Labour (and with a 20 vote majority, more or less any group can be crucial.) But they're a very small part of the picture and the sorts of voters who are most likely to switch don't live in Kensington in large numbers. Dent Coad won in 2017 because it's a seat where Labour can be competitive when we turn our vote out successfully and the Tories don't (had it existed in 1997 and 2001, we'd have won it then too). Direct switchers are very much a third-tier factor there.
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EastAnglianLefty
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« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2019, 04:52:20 am »

In Northern Ireland, the UUP claim that they don't want any pacts with the DUP (which in fairness were not the greatest deals in the world for the former) potentially damaging Nigel Dodds in N Belfast, Emma Little Pengelly in S. Belfast and reducing chances of picking up Fermanagh and South Tyrone (one would hope that the DUP being completely craven bastards would also imperil them, but this is nothing new).

Other questions will be whether Collum Eastwood stands in Foyle, Naomi Long stands in W Belfast and whether Lady Hermon stands again in N Down.

I presume this is a typo for East Belfast - hard to see anything making West Belfast even vaguely interesting.

Interestingly for South Belfast, the SDLP candidate abandoned the party whip over their link-up with FF, whilst the Alliance candidate was formerly the UUP/Conservative candidate in 2010.
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EastAnglianLefty
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« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2019, 05:54:05 pm »

SF standing down in N Down is a bit odd, as whilst it saves them 500 it doesn't help Hermon win and it probably increases their chances of shedding votes to a dissident candidate in Foyle and hence letting the SDLP back in.

As for Belfast East and South, I think it both were entirely within the city limits then the Alliance would take them both, but in East they'll probably trail enough from Dundonald that they won't be able to catch up in Belfast itself. South is probably their best prospect, but candidate quality probably gives the SDLP an advantage. A lot also depends on how much the Green vote does or doesn't get squeezed.
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EastAnglianLefty
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« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2019, 12:36:56 pm »

YouGov Scotland poll is dire for Labour, now fourth behind the Nats Tories and LibDem. oh how the mighty have fallen

My understanding is that it was a subsample ergo it has less significance than a Yougov poll for Scotland

It's also worth noting that the Labour gains in Scotland were completely unheralded in 2017 - eg some of the media seriously tried to portray Glasgow East as a Tory vs. SNP duel. It's not yet clear whether this was simply a more extreme example of having missed the Labour surge, or whether there's a specific issue with Scottish polling.
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EastAnglianLefty
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« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2019, 08:31:55 am »

BXP support has been on a pretty clear downward trend anyway and it's likely they'd have been below 5% by polling day anyway. This may increase the chance that they become totally irrelevant in all but a handful of seats, as was the case in 2017.
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EastAnglianLefty
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« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2019, 08:54:45 am »

Farage is famously not actually particularly good at the hard graft of electioneering, he's very much a front man. On the rare occasions UKIP ran a competent campaign, it wasn't down to him. So his absolute authority over BXP is unlikely to make it as effective as it could be.
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EastAnglianLefty
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« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2019, 04:03:03 am »

It's clear Labour has pissed off a fair number of people who voted for it in 2017 and this is not consequence-free. That said, we got a fair amount of votes in 2017 from people who felt they had to pick the lesser of two evils and from people who didn't trust Corbyn but figured he wasn't going to win, so they could safely park their vote with us. I haven't seen any studies on what proportion of our vote that was, but the extent to which those voters are willing to do the same again is likely to be quite important.
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EastAnglianLefty
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« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2019, 01:00:35 pm »

More polls...

Survation: Con 35, Lab 29, LDem 17, BP 10, Greens 1, Others ?*
ICM: Con 39, Lab 31, LDem 15, BP 8, Greens 3, SNP 3, Others 1

*Note that Survation polls include Northern Ireland, so mentally change those figures to 36, 30... for comparative purposes.

It's certainly tightening up.

YouGov have just reported a 14 point lead for the Tories, so some of it is just about the differing house effects of the various pollsters.
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EastAnglianLefty
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« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2019, 02:19:11 am »

Again, to equate Corbyn himself with Ruth George, the individual pro-Remain Labour MP in question, is disingenuously misguided.

When the time comes, Duffield, George and all the other Remainer Labour MPs will do what Corbyn tells them to or face instant deselection.

One of the underconsidered stories of the past few months has been how few Labour MPs actually got triggered. None of those triggered can be considered a particularly strong Remainer, with the possible exception of Hodge (who was primarily triggered for being a strong critic of Corbyn and who comfortably won the reselection ballot.) Several of those triggered, on the other hand, were on the more Brexit-y wing of the party. There are other things at play besides that, of course, but some conclusions can still be drawn.
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EastAnglianLefty
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« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2019, 02:51:09 pm »

One of my friends was an organiser in a marginal Labour lost to the Lib Dems in 2010. When the ballot boxes were opened, initial sampling suggested that they'd done enough to hold on. It wasn't until the postal votes were mixed in that they realised they were in trouble, because those had been returned in the middle of Cleggmania and the Lib Dems far outperformed the score they got on the day.
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EastAnglianLefty
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« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2019, 11:46:44 am »

I spent polling day in Cambridge in 2017. By mid-afternoon I was quietly confident we'd done enough to hang on there, but it's an atypical seat and I still expected heavy losses. When our committee room stood down for the evening, my partner and I went for a quiet half and contemplated a hefty Tory majority. I was driving her home and some other activists home when I heard the exit poll, and everybody burst out laughing when we heard it, because it was so hilariously awful for the Tories. We still didn't believe it for another couple of hours, and when I drove home from the count at about 2AM, the BBC coverage on the radio was still portraying seats Labour ended up holding with majorities of 5,000+ as potential knife-edge marginals.
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EastAnglianLefty
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« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2019, 04:58:13 am »


Chuka Umunna is a single person, as much as his baffling political transgressions over the past few years might suggest otherwise. Tongue

I agree with the bulk of your argument, though: A LD surge that takes out BoJo is a particularly deranged fantasy. A net loss for the LDs compared to their current total but not their 2017 result is basically guaranteed, as far as I'm concerned.

Meant Gyimah, embarrassingly enough Tongue

I find it hard to imagine them not making it to the mid-20s or so on present numbers; if they win 12 seats on 7%, they should win 24 seats on 14% (which is on the lower end of current polling) assuming their vote stays as efficient as it was in 2017; if anything given that their gains are among strong Remainers, who tend to be a pretty geographically concentrated demographic, I'd expect them to get *more* efficient. (I'd bet on ~30 seats or so, I think).

But I can't imagine the world that some Labour supporters/the editors of the New Statesman seem to be suggesting where they're on 14 seats but are taking Esher & Walton, Wokingham, and Chingford & Wood Green. Surely some Lib Dem seats will come in constituencies without prominent Tories running?

One of the issues here is that you're confusing what seats they're actually targeting - Chingford & Woodford Green is a Tory v. Labour contest, though possibly you're mixing it up with Hornsey & Wood Green?

Another is that the polling doesn't show them winning Esher & Walton, it shows them getting reasonably close and potentially being in reach if they can squeeze the Labour vote more effectively.

And the third reason is that if they're consolidating affluent remainers in southern England so effectively but doing poorly elsewhere, it may mean that they're losing several seats they already hold - several of their MPs have quite small majorities and are in fairly leave-y territory.
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EastAnglianLefty
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« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2019, 09:16:50 am »

Speaking of that, what Lib Dem seats are in danger of flipping? Because looking at their 2017 seats I am not sure how many are actually in danger. My extremely uninformed ratings would be something like this, italics for leave seats:

Bath: Safe LD
Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross: Safe LD
Carshalton and Wallington: Tossup

East Dunbartonshire: Safe LD
Eastbourne: Tossup
Edinburgh West: Safe LD
Kingston and Surbiton: Safe LD
North Norfolk: Lean Tory
Orkney and Shetland: Safe LD
Oxford West and Abingdon: Safe LD
Twickenham: Safe LD
Westmoreland and Lonsdale: Safe LD

So of their 12 seats in 2017 Lib Dems won 4 Leave seats. Of them the Caithness Sutherland and Easter Ross seat should be safe, considering it's an SNP vs Lib Dem battle (or possibly a 3 way with the Tories?) I don't think Brexit will influence much that seat

As for the other 3, 2 of them are pure tossups with only North Norfolk being an unlikely hold. In a worst case scenario they would lose 3 of their seats, which considering they probably make more than 3 pickups elsewhere (NE Fife and Richmond Park are essencially Safe LD now) it would still be a positive for them, even if the result would still be a massive disappointment.


I don't think you can realistically say that anybody with a majority under 1000 is safe. I would in particular note that the SNP seems to be doing better than in 2017 (and in the case of Edinburgh West, they also won't have the backlash from Michelle Thomson to deal with this time round.) Farron will probably do better this time, as he will have been able to devote more time to constituent service, but I wouldn't guarantee it. And Moran will probably be OK, but the Tory floor in the seat is pretty high and the poor level of LD-Labour relations may mean she struggles to get the levels of tactical voting she got last time, so it's at risk if the LDs underperform their current polling and the Tories overperform theirs.
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EastAnglianLefty
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« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2019, 03:29:54 pm »

I genuinely cannot tell what is supposed to be funny about that.

Loans to rent? That is absolutely the worst idea ever. And it's so LibDem. Let's help people by further burying them under our Thatcherite delusion. Have any LibDems, like, ever met a poor person before?

In particular, it is very easy for unscrupulous landlords to withhold security deposits, so effectively their flagship offer to renters is actually a subsidy to landlords.
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EastAnglianLefty
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« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2019, 04:11:19 am »

I have been reading through the Tory manifesto and there strike me to be some quite severe inconsistencies on immigration policy, perhaps even deliberate ones:

They say the want an "Australian-style points system" where there is no preference on country of origin but rather only on points allocated based of education, english skills, criminal record etc. But they also say that they will bring down overall immigration numbers (p.20). And they state that immigrants entering will need a clear job offer.    

But that is not how the Australian system (or the Canadian one for that matter) work at all. Points-based Systems work on the principle that a job offer is not contingent for immigrating - those with a job offer and sponsored by their employer have already proven that their skills are needed - the Tory plans seem to impose double requirements - that defeats the entire point behind a points-based system.
Also Points-based systems do not decrease the numbers immigrating - quite the opposite - Australia and Canada have far higher immigration per capita then Britain does. Some 30% of Australias population is born abroad.
My hunch is that they are (or they are banking on voters) confusing it with Australias policy of mandatory offshore detention for asylum seekers - but that has nothing to do with a points-based system.

They also want to stop people with criminal records (p.21) entering and also ban people from entering with EU national ID cards that can be forged easier than passports. But this cannot be enforced de facto. Ireland would still be obliged under EU law to accept EU citizens with criminal records and ID cards. Anyone could then freely pass on into NI and then into GB without any Border Checks.

This is not thought out.

You're assuming the aim is a coherent policy. That's not the case (and we essentially already have a points-based system.) The aim is to sound tough on immigration. Whether the policy actually works is not a relevant question as far as the Tories are concerned.

ICM today had the Tories ahead by 41-34 (the latter is the highest Labour score in any poll for quite a while) Together with the Welsh survey, a modest encouragement for them that things could yet move further.
One thing I noticed about that poll is the regional crosstabs show this vote in the South East
Conservative: 44%
Labour: 36%
Lib Dem: 15%

Seems like Labour is way to high there

I also noticed some weird regional crosstabs in other polls. Like the tories were leading in London in one and Scotland in another. Another one had Labour at 66% in the North East. They seem to be all over the place.

Regional subsamples aren't demographically balanced, often have pretty tiny sample sizes and shouldn't be taken seriously. It's safest to ignore them.
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EastAnglianLefty
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« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2019, 05:21:06 am »

I'd argue the focus on Labour anti-semitism is perfectly proportionate - quite aside from the various horrorshows with e.g. holocaust deniers in the party, there are still way too many people who clearly have antisemitic attitudes to some degree (thinking in particular of the people who can't discuss it for two sentences without mentioning Israel). It's bad and we deserve the kicking we've been taking for it.

There is an issue in that racist attitudes in other parties don't receive sufficient attention, but I don't think we should be getting an easier ride to compensate.
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EastAnglianLefty
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« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2019, 05:01:48 pm »

The Tories are generally the party of the motorist - they've kept fuel duty frozen whereas it went up sharply under Labour; they tend to be the keenest supporters of road upgrades and they're usually the least interested party in public transport.

We don't have a lot of carbon-intensive heavy industry, but campaigns against onshore wind turbines and solar farms are usually Conservative front groups and they were the only people who were even vaguely keen on fracking.

They don't go in for much in the way of global warning denial (although there is a bit of that on their fringes) but they're certainly the option of choice for those who prioritise things remaining as they are over climate mitigation efforts.
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EastAnglianLefty
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« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2019, 08:24:22 am »

Yes, it is *possible* the polls could be currently understating the Tories and Opinium turn out correct. Everything is possible, including Liverpool FC not ending their 30 year title drought from their present league position.

<prays>

But seriously, the reason for my scepticism is that almost nobody *on the ground* thinks that is the case. In contrast to 2015, when Tories genuinely thought the polls showing Labour slightly ahead were wrong (and said so)

This is very true. One important caveat is that people on the ground are now much (rightly) more hesitant to say that they know what's going on, and those who are still willing to opine tend not to be those who are best informed. Anybody making definitive statements at this point in time has forfeited the right to be taken seriously.
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EastAnglianLefty
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« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2019, 04:42:43 am »

Particularly since as the polls stand, the major change from 2017 to 2019 is in the pattern of Labour and LD support. How evenly or unevenly that LD support is distributed will make a lot of difference - indeed, that probably applies even if they've been squeezed down below 10% by polling day.
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EastAnglianLefty
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« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2019, 09:00:50 am »





Morning Poll roundup. I'm interested in the London poll, because it seems to confirm that the city will go one way (ousting tories) whereas the country may go another. The pollster even says in their article that we have reached the point where the numbers don't really matter (the safe seats are confirmed as safe), it's more local factors like candidates and targeted issues in the swing seats.

I don't think that does show them going different ways. That would be a 5pt swing towards the Tories nationwide and a 2.5pt swing in London.
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EastAnglianLefty
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« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2019, 07:26:22 am »

TBF, Salisbury the town is a lot less strongly Conservative than Salisbury the constituency.
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EastAnglianLefty
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« Reply #23 on: December 04, 2019, 10:53:47 am »



YouGov's got an interesting chart out. While the numbers look bleak for Labour, remember that voters cast ballots on more issues than Brexit.

Given that the Lib Dems have dropped Revoke as a policy because it's turned out be extremely unpopular on the doorstep, there are reasons to doubt the accuracy of this finding.
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EastAnglianLefty
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« Reply #24 on: December 05, 2019, 04:27:53 am »

Have Jews historically been a strongly Conservative demographic, or was there a big swing to the Tories due to Corbyn among them?

Thinking about them as a single demographic was probably somewhat misleading historically and may still be to an extent.

The largest Jewish communities in Britain have always been in London (there are a couple of wards in Bury and Salford where the Jewish vote is significant, but even there it's not massive and after that the next biggest community is probably Gateshead, where it's never been electorally significant.) In London the Jewish vote was historically most notable in inner east London, where it was very working-class and very Labour (or Communist, way back when.) As is the case with all the other communities in inner east London, their grandchildren and great-grandchildren are these days more likely to live on the fringes of London or in the commuter belt and they're much more middle-class and accordingly rather less Labour.

The north London Jewish communities are rather more middle-class and much more concentrated (although there too there has been dispersal of the community, especially to Hertfordshire.) Historically they were always relatively Tory, but have been very much more so in recent decades (though probably not significantly more than non-Jews in similar demographic circumstances.)

Then you've got the Haredi communities (generally more interested in local than national politics) and small numbers of Jews scattered across the country (who are somewhat understudied and may or may not perceive their Jewishness in the same way as residents of, say, Finchley.)

A lot of the shift in support up until 2010 and possibly 2015 is probably best explained by the shift in the demographic make-up of the Jewish community/communities. Studies suggest we lost a lot of support under Miliband (caveat: polling of particular communities tends to be bad even by the standards of British polling) and this has often been linked to Labour's recognition of Palestine - whether this is true, or whether the Jewish voters most exercised by that are also the most likely to have been swinging away from Labour anyway is perhaps still an open question. Since 2015 support has dropped, but the change has been as much qualitative as quantitative - there is a significant difference between people not voting Labour and believing that Labour actively hates them.
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