The Invisible Tories 346

UPDATED Good Morning Britain trumpeted its latest poll today showing a net increase in the Tory lead since last week of four points, to 45% to 31% over Labour.

As you know, opinion pollsters do not just take the raw figures provided by respondents, they weight those respondents to provide a representative sample by age, gender, location, past voting history etc.

But when you drill down into the headline results from the weighted samples, they make no sense at all. For example Survation in this poll have the Conservatives sweeping up Labour in London by 46.8% to 41.2%. In 2017 the Conservatives got hammered in London by 33.1% to 54.5%. Survation are showing a swing from Labour to Conservative in London of 13.5%. That is absolutely massive, and nobody believes that is happening on the ground. The Tories could well lose several more seats in London.

Similarly in Scotland, Survation show the SNP vote down nearly nine per cent compared to 2017, at 33.2%. Again, nobody believes for a moment the SNP vote is really as low as that.

Of course I understand that the sub sample for each area from which these results are calculated is very small. But expecting that a number of sub-samples, which at the regional level are self-evidently nonsense, chance to balance out into an accurate national picture when you add them all up, is ludicrous. I am only looking at one poll here, and not particularly picking on Survation for any reason. But I hope this demonstrates that opinion polls should be viewed with extreme scepticism.

Original Post:

I live in a marginal constituency, where the excellent Joanna Cherry of the SNP has a lead of just over 1,000 over the Tories. If the most recent opinion polls are correct, the parties’ standings at this moment are similar to the result last time, the momentum is with the Tories and this should be a key Tory target. Yet I have not received one single Tory leaflet (and I live on one of the main residential streets) nor have I seen one single Tory campaigner, including when I have been out delivering leaflets for Joanna Cherry myself. Nor have I seen one single Tory poster in a house.

It is not just on TV that the Tories have been skipping interviews and debates, they seem to have eschewed any semblance of a ground campaign too, in what presumably is a key target seat for them. Boris Johnson is not popular with any of the local residents I have spoken to, and there is no enthusiasm at all for Brexit in this part of Edinburgh. In short, I am absolutely unable to square the opinion polls with the evidence of my own eyes and ears.

What is your experience?


Unlike our adversaries including the Integrity Initiative, the 77th Brigade, Bellingcat, the Atlantic Council and hundreds of other warmongering propaganda operations, this blog has no source of state, corporate or institutional finance whatsoever. It runs entirely on voluntary subscriptions from its readers – many of whom do not necessarily agree with the every article, but welcome the alternative voice, insider information and debate.

Subscriptions to keep this blog going are gratefully received.

Choose subscription amount from dropdown box:

Recurring Donations



Account name
Account number 3 2 1 5 0 9 6 2
Sort code 6 0 – 4 0 – 0 5
IBAN GB98NWBK60400532150962
Bank address Natwest, PO Box 414, 38 Strand, London, WC2H 5JB

Subscriptions are still preferred to donations as I can’t run the blog without some certainty of future income, but I understand why some people prefer not to commit to that.

346 thoughts on “The Invisible Tories

1 2 3 4 5
  • Gerald Fords dog

    The polls are merely an up front declaration of election tampering by the security state? Few of the polls have made sense to me and the way that weighting is carried out seems almost bizarre. One polling firm weighted that the under 25 vote would be down by 30+% when we know that of 1.4 million people registering to vote since the election was announced 2/3rds were under 25. It’s all a bit fishy to me BUT I would expect the polls to be wrong as they were last election. They seem to me to be used as a psychological tool to persuade people that the Torys are heading for a landslide and Labour aren’t worth the candle. This does not tally with the way the torys are acting and the way the establishment is coming out full force against labour, a party they see as an existential threat to their closed neoliberal shop. The only poll worth listening to is the EXIT poll.

    • Bayard

      “They seem to me to be used as a psychological tool to persuade people that the Torys are heading for a landslide and Labour aren’t worth the candle.”
      I would have thought that Tory voters are much more likely to believe the propaganda that the MSM and the polls are putting out, after all, everyone is more inclined to believe what they want to hear, and if they thought that their party was headed for a landslide, they’d be less inclined to go out and vote, wouldn’t they, especially if it was raining? OTOH, Labour voters are much more likely to be sceptical of the polls, since everyone is less inclined to believe what they don’t want to hear, and so be more likely to go out and vote.

  • MBC

    I am in Edinburgh South and am getting Tory, Lib Dem and a lot of Labour stuff, all through the post. Very few posters up on windows in Bruntsfield and Morningside. Those that you do see are either Labour or SNP. You never see Tory posters up here, ever, and I’ve lived here 30 years. These shy folk are the love that does not dare declare its name.

    Ian Murray is defending a 15,000 majority over the SNP, whose vote slipped in 2017 compared to the 2015 result when the SNP ran Murray close. In 2017 the SNP were second and the Tories running them close in third place.

    What we activists reckoned happened was that there was a Corbyn bounce in 2017 when folk who had leant the SNP their votes in areas like Gilmerton and the Inch, were inspired by Corbyn and Momentum to vote Labour again, ignorant of the fact that Murray can’t stand either. But Murray was also getting tactical votes from centrist Tories in places like the Braids who liked his robust stand in defence of the union. We expect they will go back to voting Tory, fearful that his seat might assist a Corbyn government (even though they must know that he hates Corbyn and vice versa).

    • N_

      The “centrist Tories” (reading this as non-hang’em and flog’em Tories – a small minority among Tories) will still have smoke coming out of their ears when they hear Jeremy Corbyn promise to increase social provision so as to help the homeless and the poor. They think why should they work to support “scroungers” and “women who have babies so as to get council flats”. That’s even if most of their own wealth they haven’t “worked” for but have either inherited or received from the advantageous sale of houses, houses which have only increased in value because of the increasing success of moneylenders in pushing up demand.

      Two personal stories. Several years ago when the English football team were knocked out of an international competition at an advanced stage, there were nationalistic idiots out on the streets swarming the town in England where I was living. That night, someone set fire to a car and rolled it into the front door of a Pakistani British family who lived opposite me in a suburb that was hardly known for its violence or rowdiness. Fortunately nobody was physically hurt, although a lot of damage was done to the house.

      Yesterday in some chat room where I occasionally waste time online, an elderly disabled working class pro-Leave guy from the North of England, who had previously said he had become fed up with all politicians and was planning to abstain in the general election, started laying into me, which he had never done before (up until then we had always been polite to each other), shouting out his fantasy that I don’t pay any tax, that I’m on welfare etc. (Neither of these is true, but more importantly he has no good reason to believe either of them – he was just imagining stuff. He was thinking up reasons to justify emotion. Welcome to how democratic politics and crowd psychology really work.)

      My point with both of these stories is that the gutter-press media, whether we are talking about sport or politics, can and do REALLY FIRE PEOPLE UP. I have met Daily Mail-reading and Daily Express-reading morons who have pictures in their minds they got from a single article describing how supposedly welfare claimants (or prisoners, or immigrants, or “asylum seekers”, or whoever) have 10 children and get given £1000 a week, free television sets, etc. etc. etc. One elderly Scottish (pro-Union) lady I know has told me several times about a cartoon she saw several years ago depicting illegal immigrants following a sign they saw saying “Claim Social Security – This Way”.

      I’m not trying to argue that there isn’t massive Tory vote fraud going on. I’m just adding some colour to how working class, lower middle class and middle class Tory “minds” work.

      • Dungroanin

        Until the fat lady sings… the whole propaganda, dodgy polls and msm lying is aimed at making people defeatist and not bothering to vote or vote Labour.

        Everyone on line is getting masses of tory adverts.

        It is gaslighting the whole country.
        Fight it!

        • Ken Kenn

          Totally agree.

          Newsnight Emily Whateverhernameis was almost saying to Barry gardiner – what are you going to do when you lose.

          Truth is – if Labour wins – she loses.

          It’s only a bit that she’ll lose but she has worked hard for it sitting in her chair night after night.

          She should try being a female carer.

          Ignorance doesn’t cover it.

          Then again the BBC don’t do thinking or empathy.

          A higher turnout suits Labour and the establishment know it.

      • Mighty Drunken

        This is why British politics won’t be “fixed” until the newspapers report the news with a level head. The Daily Mail is called the Daily Hate with good reason and it does effect the psychology of the country.

        I witnessed a discussion which shows how the indoctrination has created people with no compassion, A women who works for the NHS was saying how awful a case was she had seen. They were an Eastern European couple who had recently come to the UK. The women had become pregnant and the new farther had a low paid job, they had no money. As they were so destitute, social services had put the new born as “at risk” and are thinking about taking the child away.
        The other women (who I will label as Mail reader) was blaming the unfortunate immigrant couple, “They shouldn’t have got into this position”, “They should return home”.
        NHS: Ah, but they can’t go back to their country of origin because the child is “at risk” and therefore cannot get a passport.
        Mail reader: Well the man must be working illegally, he would be getting social security, etc.
        NHS: I don’t think so.
        Mail reader: Well its probably better that the child is taken away!

        What I find ironic is that “Mail reader” is well off, but has never worked a day in her life. Her husband has a well paying job and they do quite well out it. There is a certain cognitive dissonance going on with many people, who when they see or hear of somebody down on their luck and destitute they will invent any reason to blame that person.

  • Lilli

    I am very concerned that the narrative is being set up as cover for the Tories cheating and stealing the election. The BBC are already talking like the Tories have won and let’s be clear here that the current Tory Government and their leader are setting new levels of dishonourable, deceitful behaviour with an unprecedented level of lies and evasion of accountability or responsibility. We need independent observers brought in for this election.

    • Scotty13

      An ‘independent observer’ in a GE in the UK is an oxymoron to beat all other oxymorons.

      • Loony

        Obviously there the postal vote will be rigged. After all British courts have previously opined that the postal voting system “is an open invitation to fraud”

        Why not take a look at some of the individuals involved in past instances of postal voting and see if you can spot any kind of pattern regarding their political affiliations.

      • George McI

        The text before your link is simply copied and pasted from the link. Either you have no ideas of your own or you ARE the Jerusalem Post.

        • Antonym

          Giving some verbatim data without covering them with an own twist is no good? Sorry, I am not from that club. Discuss the message, not the messenger please.
          Here is my own twist separated: Corbyn promises to immediately recognize a Palestinian state, so why wouldn’t the Palestinians return him that favor?

  • michael norton

    i have not seen one poster near where i live, I do not think many are interestede, they think Democracy has almost run its course.
    More than three years have passed since the Brexit vote, yet we are still in the European Union.
    I know most people are very, very displeased, with almost all politicians.
    Most think they are all deceivers/feather own nest types.

  • N_

    It might be useful to compare swings in areas where Idox opens and checks the postal votes and swings in areas where they don’t.

    Who the hell are Idox anyway? I see they have military contracts too. Were they, or any company that’s now within the Idox Group, involved in the London mayoral elections of 2008 and 2012?

    • Dungroanin

      Who the hell are Idox? They are a part of this Borg setup:

      ‘Godin co-founded CGI (short for Conseillers en Gestion et Informatique, later freely translated as Consulting to Government and Industry) in 1976 with André Imbeau, who has kept a relatively low profile during his career at the company (the long-time CFO is now vice-chairman).’

      ‘But the company’s influence extends even farther. Through a multitude of contracts with the RCMP, Canada’s Department of National Defence, the U.S. Department of Homeland Defense and all three branches of the U.S. military, CGI has become deeply embedded in the overt and covert activities that governments direct against enemies throughout the world.’

      Scary, No?

      • N_

        Thanks for this. CGI are big in Scotland, I see, where they “provided ‘the majority of electoral services’ (in) the 2014 (independence) referendum“. Independence supporters may wonder whether CGI helped bulk up the Unionist vote. Fair question. But let’s not stop there. A lot can then be learnt from the SNP government giving them a big new contract in 2015. Apparently “the manual counting of ballot papers can take anywhere between three and four days. [you what??? – note added] Through the use of an e-counting solution developed by CGI’s Glasgow-based partner Idox, scanning ballot papers takes hours and calculations take just minutes and will improve accuracy and auditability of results.” Yes, the state (“public authority”) is about backhanders and lies, backhanders and lies.

  • Greg Park

    Invisibility was apparently the core Tory strategy for this election. The plan being to keep well away from situations where they might be confronted about the last 9 years. Applying not just to politicians on TV but also their miniscule army of canvassers. The idea for the bulk of the campaign was to rely purely on the BBC and press to keep the focus tightly on Brexit, taxes and smearing of Corbyn.

    But The Times reported last week that Cummings had always planned a last minute facebook advertising blitz, starting today. Something as purely negative and as wholly dishonest as his Waterloo strategy in the final week of the 2016 referendum campaign, likely even worse. Up until this week the Tories had spent just a fraction of what Labour has on social media ads. Even was than the lib dems. But that is now about to change. An avalanche of Tory lies, dirt and slime is to be pumped into facebook users’ consciousness from now through polling day.

    • Greg Park

      The last minute blitz strategy stems also from the knowledge that a third of Labour voters in 2017 only made up their minds in the final week.

    • N_

      From that article:

      A series of supposedly independent groups have registered as third-party campaigners, allowing them to spend thousands of pounds outside party structures. One, called 3rd Party, is run by Vote Leave’s former chief technology officer, Thomas Borwick. It has taken out ads on Facebook urging people to ‘vote Green’ and ‘support your local Green candidate’. The technology magazine Wired said that the adverts appeared to target voters in Southampton, Manchester, Plymouth, Oxford, Sheffield, Brighton, Cambridge and Bath. The Cambridge Green Party said that 3rd Party’s adverts were a ‘malicious cyber disinformation campaign’ designed to sow division. The Green Party’s elections head, Chris Williams, said that it had ‘no knowledge’ of 3rd Party or its aims.

      Fascinating what Williams is saying! That’s the first time I’ve heard a politician condemn as “malicious” those who are encouraging people to vote for his party. I haven’t had time to look at “3rd Party” – are they really trying to turn people OFF of voting Green? Or does Williams have reason to believe that a court case may ensue?

      We can change perspective on this. The “Brexit Party” play flopped. The “Independent Group for Change” play flopped. The “Liberal Democrat” play hasn’t got anywhere. There is no play to the left of Labour, whether as ballot box rivals or as abstentionists. The “Green” play will probably flop too. Especially when those with some brain cells start throwing cowpats in the faces of those who consider for one moment switching from Labour to Green. The whole positioning of (one face of) “Green” politics towards winning votes from those who are or were leftwing is fake, and always was – beginning, as it happens, in Germany.

      • FranzB

        “The technology magazine Wired said that the adverts appeared to target voters in Southampton, Manchester, Plymouth, Oxford, Sheffield, Brighton, Cambridge and Bath.”

        In respect of Oxford, I suspect 3rd Party haven’t done their homework. In Oxford East (Annaliese Dodds) the greens will very much be an also ran, In Oxford West the Greens aren’t running. They’ve stood down to give Layla Moran the best chance of beating the Tories (who won in 2015). If the Greens had run they might have taken lib dem votes and let the Tories in.

    • N_

      Eugenics Cummings is doubtless a big influence on the Tory campaign, but his main experience has been in referendums which are different insofar as “every vote counts”, unlike in FPTP. The guy running the Tory campaign is Isaac Levido. Levido gained a “surprise victory” for the Liberal-National government in Australia in May this year. That’s why the Tories hired him. His use of Facebook in the last few days was crucial. I strongly suspect that a lot of the voter information he used in his Facebook campaign came from the cyberattack that Australian political parties were subjected to in February. Cummings has called Levido “100 times better at running campaigns than me”.

      Meanwhile in Britain, Labour were subjected to two big cyberattacks four weeks ago. Coincidence?

    • Dungroanin

      Greg et al,
      I believe the FB and social media targeted ads changing peoples minds is a FAKE narrative.

      The fact that Integrity Initiative Codwalldr ‘broke’ the SCL/CA/AIQ was the warning signal for me.

      It is a ‘cover story’ to explain all the fake postal ballots.

      Just like the referendums.

      Many of the ‘players’ are Canadians funny isn’t it given the deepstate borg conglomerate CGI is also Cannuk? No?

    • George McI

      “The idea for the bulk of the campaign was to rely purely on the BBC and press to keep the focus tightly on Brexit, taxes and smearing of Corbyn.”

      That would explain so much i.e. that the BBC are now little more than the publicity wing of the Tories.

  • Man with a Plan

    Here in the Vale of Glamorgan I have seen Labour canvassers only. Although I did see Alun Cairns in our street delivering flyers one Sunday afternoon. He is a very good runner so he was making a fair pace, accompanied by his son and nobody else. We have had hardly any Conservative literature although we have see Labour, Green and independent.
    Where I do see him a lot is on facebook. Stilted little speeches from people gazing into the far distance (or perhaps a carefully worded flip chart to read off).
    The fact he approved Ross England as Tory candidate for the Welsh Assembly, after the latter had caused a rape trial to be re-run has been absent from his campaign, what a surprise.

  • Dungroanin

    I posted this a while ago Richard Murphy pit it on his site and do so again to try and help us understand wtf they are doing.

    Additionally I came across useful studies that explain the why? & the how? Of the fake polls.

    1. Why? – it seems close polls INCREASE turnout.

    So the purpose of the Opinium/YouGove/Survation type gross distortion is to LOWER the turnout.

    It is good to get that proof.

    2. How? – it is the self selected group of recipients and their repeat inclusion, and ‘secret’ weighting formulae by the pollsters that delivers that result.

    ‘A extremely essential and timely piece of research by Thiemo Fetzer (University of Warwick) illustrates some of the technical issues that arise using the example of the British Election Study, which is an important point of reference for much UK political science research. The analysis suggests that repeat participation in the BES panel may systematically skew the implied Leave/ Remain split in favour of Leave. ‘
    I ask one further question that has been nagging at me for months – why try and lower the turnout?

    The only reason I can think of is that it makes it easier to ‘fix’ the result.

    Ballot stuffing – the lower the turnout the fewer fake ballots needed to skew the outcome; and so the lower the chance of being caught out by a suspiciously higher turnout!

    It’s my theory, I have no proof of the illegality, just circumstancial evidence, that the vector for the ballot stuffing is postal votes. But that makes me a conspiracy theorist.

    Until the detailed data is handed over by the Electoral Commission and examined by scientific methods and experts – you may want to consider me a conspiracy theorist too – when I say that was how the brexit referendum was ‘fixed’ (and i think the Scottish one too), going by the suspiciously high turnout in certain counting areas – in excess of 80% even in some.

    Can we rely on the supposed integrity of the privatised Electoral Commission at such a crucial election without independent oversight?

    • N_

      “Experts”, lol. Against the idea that “All politicians are the same, so why vote?”, my grandfather always used to observe “You can say that, but remember: Tories always vote“.

      Besides, the large poll gap is in favour of the Tories which gives additional grounds for believing that its tendency to reduce turnout is skewed towards reducing Labour turnout. The idea is that if you think you’re going to lose, why go to the polling station and spend time making an “X” with a pencil (or pen, if you’ve got any sense) that you would normally spend picking your smartphone?

      Another point: much of Tory campaigning is basically telling people not even to listen to Labour. “Corbyn” this, “Corbyn” that, “Corbyn” the other. For example the Daily Express ran a “poll” on whether readers thought the “health negotiations” documents brandished by Jeremy Corbyn were real or fake. They claimed more than 80% thought the documents were “fake”. In other words, that’s what they were telling people – that the documents were forged. Never mind that the government had already admitted they were genuine, and that people who actually pay to attention to what the two sides are saying are aware that there is no dispute between the two sides as to the genuineness of the documents. (“Fake” documents can’t “leak”.) For Daily Express readers the documents were “fake”, and therefore anything Labour say about them on the assumption they’re genuine isn’t worth listening to.

  • Mary

    The Tory stooge who was my MP is now an Independent. No Tory literature. Much from the LDs. No canvassers. Hardly any placards.

    Nobody wanted this ridiculous election especially with its timing so near to Christmas. I think it has blighted trade and business. The shops and the high street are empty of people.

  • Dungroanin

    And right on cue the Groaniad publishes a snapshot of the latest ICM poll – still showing a substantial tory lead.

    But no link to their data set.

    ICM website itself is only going up to their previous poll!

    Tell me they aren’t playing fast and loose

    Meanwhile enjoy Bozo pocketing a ITV reporters phone instead of looking at a photo of a child in a hospital floor!

    Cummings defends by suddenly inventing the abolition of TV licence charge !

    The wheels on the bus go flying off, flying off!

    • N_

      Labour need to make some news, even if it’s someone throwing a rock at Jeremy Corbyn’s head. They must make some news and fast.

      • Dungroanin

        That was it. So far today. But the msm does not run it. Craigs tweeting about it. LKoftheCI/Peston/Mair/Guardian are in lockdown and plain lying – they have published enough fake news on that single incident to lose them their NUJ membership and have them dragged infront of Leveson2 and offcom and a libel court. Their ‘careers’ are OVER.
        just look at the comments and replies they are getting !
        Many sobbing curled up in their safe rooms tonight – they have to face tomorrow,wednesday, thursday and FRIDAY 13th yet.

        • N_

          I don’t use Twitter. I hope people there are recalling that Johnson is on record as calling for the NHS to stop being free and for it to introduce charges for, among other services, taking children to hospital in ambulances. (Source: his article in the Spectator, 1995.) And not just once or twice either. This piece of Tory sh*t has hated the NHS all his life. What kind of scumbag blows his top at the thought of a sick child getting driven to hospital in an ambulance without their parents having to pay? The kind that’s currently the Tory prime minister.

          Like all Tories, Johnson spits when he thinks of working class people getting health treatment “for nothing”. In 2004 he was comparing the NHS to the Soviet Union. That’s how Tories think. Similarly they use words such as “Corbynista” and “Maomentum” – note the foreign references. It’s a banal observation but no less true for it: Tories think they own this country.

          How about a poster with 5 top Boris quotes about the NHS?

          • Dungroanin

            You don’t have to use tweeter to look at it.

            E.g if you hit the little Twitter icon at the top of the story it will take you to Craigs feed. Click on one of these and it’ll expand with the replies.
            If you type in Laura keunsberg tweet in search or google it’ll get you to her feed.

    • Los

      Their Observer Poll was massive Outlier.

      And today they are advising people vote LibDem in Kensington when Labour won it last time by 20 votes.

      There are some reasonable journalists there, but the fish rots from the head down.

      That and Andrew Rawnsley’s column had comments turned off yesterday when he wrote a very negatiev article.

  • Peter

    Craig: “… For example Survation in this poll have the Conservatives sweeping up Labour in London by 46.8% to 41.2%.”

    There is not the remotest chance that the Tories are making significant gains in London. A yougov poll from a week ago had Labour up 8pts giving them a 17pt lead over Cons.

    ‘Remain’ voting Labour London is not going to suddenly decide Bozo is their man.

    Imagine if on Friday morning we find Jeremy Corbyn preparing to enter Downing Street.

    That is entirely possible despite the media’s full scale attempts to convince us that this is virtually impossible. Note however though, that the whispers have started about how Labour might remove Corbyn as the price of government in a hung parliament – Establishment connivance and wishful thinking but an acknowledgement that the vote may be tighter than they want us to think.

    In the week before the last election day the media were arguing about whether May would get a 50 or a 100 seat majority – I think they’re just playing the same game now.

    If on Friday morning we are awaiting Corbyn’s arrival in Downing Street the media and the pollsters will have deep and troubling questions to answer (media has already) – and those questions must be asked and they must be answered, concluding with real and effective remedies.

    • Michael

      I agree the media needs reform, especially the BBC and its political editor the dreadful Kuennsberg, but we can bet on two things. If the Tories steal the election it will never happen, and if Labour win and do it it will be called the Red Purge.

  • bj

    The pollsters are called ‘pollsters’ for a reason.
    Any institution shaping opinion is a horse put before the cart of war.

    • N_

      You’re not suggesting (*shocked*, I tell you!)…that “-ster” in “pollster” is a morpheme connoting unscrupulousness, dodginess, and dishonesty, as it does in “huckster”, “shyster”, “bankster”, etc.? Wait until I tell the bearded Brompton bike-riding California-loving saddo “tech” freaks at my local hipster cafe!

    • Los

      PollGate. Boris Mugabe will walk away with 100% of the Vote once the ballot papers are counted.

  • N_

    Has any reporter asked Boris Johnson whether he personally has ever been treated on the NHS during the whole of his stinking Tory excuse for a “life”?

    • Dungroanin

      Yes – he sqid he trode on a piece of glass from a broken wine bottle when he was dancing and had to go to A+E.

    • Michael

      All the people who want the NHS sold off will soon call for an ambulance if their life’s in danger. Or firemen, or the police. They just don’t want to pay taxes for them. They call them dreamers who demand they be funded properly.

  • Laguerre

    I was very glad Craig did this piece, and particularly the update. Although I have no ‘on the ground’ experience, it had become increasingly obvious that the polls no longer represent what people are thinking, but are trying to mould opinion.

    There is a second question, and that is betting odds. People will tell you “Bookmakers are usually more accurate than polls” : Curiously, last week there were reports of a lot of bets on Corbyn (but the odds didn’t go down). And the week before that an article telling us that the bookies were changing their way of calculating the odds, because certain factors were not being weighed properly. It all sounded very much like poll weighting. And it seemed to me that Cummings et al were hardly likely to have left bookies odds untouched, if they’re doing the polls. Of course they’d have to guarantee the bookies that they weren’t going to lose. At any rate a question to investigate.

    • N_

      A lot of bets on Corbyn (but the odds didn’t go down)” – can you give more details please. In what exact market were the bets placed? (Labour majority? Labour most seats? Corbyn next PM?) And did the “lot of bets” amount to a lot of money? (One large bet that moves the market will usually have more effect than 10 smaller bets of 1/20 the size, for straightforward book-balancing reasons.) If this is true, what may have happened to stop the market moving is that a lot money was consequently staked, perhaps within seconds, on the other side. Note that a lot of City boys get into these markets in the last 10 days.

      Less than £20 million has been staked on Betfair in the most seats and parliamentary majority markets combined. A million is nothing for City boy types.

    • Dungroanin

      Cummings must be placing the bets with their war chest to keep them looking favourable. Is the only logical answer.

  • Doug

    Polling: Are tories and their cronies trying to influence, and take advantage of, quick profits from the stock markets/money markets?

    • Los

      Perhaps they have secret polls they are not publishing and are massively shorting the markets, like some hedge funds were accused of doing last time.

  • Hans Adler

    My analysis/prediction

    I can think of two ways in which the current situation makes sense. Here is the more interesting one:

    Ever since the times of Tony Blair, certain people in the two major parties have been colluding with each other in an attempt to solve the ‘problem’ of a strong party representing normal people. Years ago, there had been an agreement between these Tory and Labour insiders that in the unlikely event that the Brexit referendum has the wrong result, a centrist Labour election victory would be manufactured so that Labour can cancel Brexit. However, the manipulation of Labour’s internal election rules that was supposed to guarantee a centrist Labour leader actually got Jeremy Corbyn elected, and Jeremy Corbyn did not even commit to canceling Brexit. Ever since then they have been trying desperately to get back on track with the original plan. This is why Theresa May didn’t actually prepare Brexit at all. This is also why a second referendum can’t be allowed – the real problem is that if the same result comes out, Labour can’t ignore it.

    The current emergency plan is to manufacture a Labour election win, but claim foul play because supposedly the Tories were clearly in the lead. There will be another, very serious attempt to finally get rid of Jeremy Corbyn. This is the tricky part, as so much has been tried before. It could go as far as murder, but that would create a martyr. More likely they will base a new coup attempt on accusations of anti-semitism and election fraud. Even if they can’t get rid of Jeremy Corbyn, there is a good chance that Brexit will still be canceled, and Labour will be discredited in the eyes of many of its traditional voters.

    • Dungroanin

      No Hans,

      My post above explains academically what and why of the polls.

      A HARD brexit was long planned in case the UK veto became irrelevant in EU emerging tax regulation and the City couldn’t get enough of their bought EU politicians in power and dislodge Mutti. They got Macron and few others in but FAILED with Merkel.

      The Blairites would have been elected to deliver that HARD brexit and the sell off of the NHS – to show in history that Labour had dismantled what it set up post war.
      Like they did with Education , pfi and a host more privatisations once they were handed the hat by the tories in 79.

      These are the real FACTS.

      • Dungroanin

        97 obvs, 79 was the other way round (as was ’10).
        Ping pong – different cheeks same arse.

    • Bayard

      “More likely they will base a new coup attempt on accusations of anti-semitism and election fraud.”
      or we could have A Very British Coup.

  • John Goss

    Tonight my MP Steve McCabe knocked on my door just as my wife arrived home. He asked me if he could rely on my vote. Certainly I said and directed him to the Labour poster in my window. I invited him in but he did not want to lose the group that was out with him. He had probably forgotten the work I have done previously on his and Fiona’s behalf although I have only been out once for him in this campaign. For all our differences, especially concerning Julian Assange, Steve McCabe is a good constituency MP. He is regularly consulting constituents about local issues and has built up a lot of kudos together with inheriting a chunk of constituency kudos from Lynne Jones when the boundaries were changed making Northfield a vulnerable seat.

    Like you I have had not a single leaflet from the Tories or any other party. Of course they have MSM to pedal their lies for them. I also explained to him that the reason I have not been working on his behalf is because I have been concentrating on marginals. He asked where. I told him Redditch, Nuneaton and last Saturday Dudley North (it’s a goodish hill to cycle up past the TV transmitters and Dudley Golf Course). He asked how the campaigns were going. I told him honestly that I did not know whether it was the areas I went to but the Labour vote seemed to be holding up quite well. Dudley North is the constituency which traitor and career politician Ian Austin has tried to diss. Melanie Dudley, a local woman, is hoping to retain it despite the nastiness of Austin who made a nice little living from Labour before trying to bite off the nipple of his nurse. So it’s:


    or if you prefer the modern sloganising


    My own experience has been positive for Labour. The only problem is (as ever) getting the voters to commit to their doorstep promises. The Tories do not have this problem.

  • John Goss

    I just got this positive message from an over fifties supporter on Labour FB page.

    “I have voted Labour but now Corbyn is in charge my wife and two children are also voting Labour so that is four from this house.”

  • Leonard Young

    The media are pursuing two themes, and both of them are shockingly fixed, manufactured and artificial. One is, as Craig says, a wilful shutting out of anti-Tory comments, articles and opinions, and the other is the entirely manufactured anti-semitism fiction, about which not only has not a single piece of actual evidence been presented by the press, but for example Radio 4’s World at One devoted almost the whole 50 minute programme to it last week and again, NOT ONE actual evidenced example was reported on.

    This reminds me of a similar media fix when a crocodile-teared junior Labour executive member went round the radio stations complaining that Corbyn had “abused” her, when it turned out that she merely objected to the voting method for executive positions. This is simlar to the “brick through the window” trope of Angela Eagle and Owen Smith during the Labour Leader election.

    Vox pops are a golden opportunity for media manipulation and should have no place on a news report.

    Despite Craig’s partial optimism that all is not quite lost, I have absolutely no faith in a turn-around to this election, and the reported huge numbers of young voters registering is not going to make the slightest difference. The reason being that even if they were not born in the period, they have been utterly Thatcherised. They have cowed under to the reality of living in thousands of tiny bedsits (for that is what they are), now called “Studios” that are less than a third of the size of similar accommodation in the 1980s, while paying over half their disposable income for these virtual cells.

    We live in a property inflation society, supported by a fluff economy where PR, advertising, legal and media jobs are apparently more important than making useful things and the fact is that even Labour supporters aspire to get on the property inflation ladder as soon as possible. This is enabled by another artificial methodology: absurdly low interest rates which enable people to buy ridiculously over-sized cars which they park outside their “studios”, but discourage saving except through the acquisition of yet more inflatable property.

    We are about to enter into an irrecoverable era of permanent Toryism.

    • John Goss

      As to the contrived anti-Semitism without any examples it is commonplace when certain people with power feel threatened or intimidated. Jeremy Corbyn is not racist in any way and will not tolerate racism. Shulamit Aloni, former Israeli cabinet member, summed it up when she said:

      ” ‘Anti-Semitic’ It’s a trick. We always use it to stifle legitimate criticism of Zionist Israel.”

      Jeremy Corbyn has been critical of Israeli human rights abuses against Palestine. But he has been particularly supportive of the Jewish community in the UK. You do not need to be a genius to work out what is happening. However Corbyn is well supported by the Jewish community here and throughout Europe it is only certain individuals like Rabbi Mirgis promoting these lies. This is quite long but worth reading regarding Jeremy Corbyn’s support from the Jewish people.

    • Brianfujisan

      Cheers for the Reminder of that Ruth.. I read that a few years ago.. Makes the blood Boil.

  • Bayard

    Down here in West Wales, there are two marginal Tory constituencies, one with a majority of only 304, yet the Tory campaigning has been very lacklustre. We have been visited by Jeremy Corbyn, but, as far as I know, no Tory bigwigs have come to help their beleaguered MPs, certainly not Brave Sir Boris. Very many fewer signs on the roadside than two years ago, too.

    • N_

      Very interesting (and encouraging) if the Tories aren’t campaigning much in Preseli Pembrokeshire.

      I looked at some of the Welsh polls. Two that stand out are the YouGov ones with data collected 10-14 Oct and 31 Oct – 4 Nov. They gave the Brexit Party voteshares across Wales of 14% and 15%. No way! (True that BXP scored 33% in Wales in the May EU election, but that was an EU election with a 37% turnout and this was 5-6 months later.)

  • A-Million-Miles-Away

    Have been told that some traditional tories, who know Johnson as a lying, cheating, Psyco, are saying “Never Boris”. For a self proclaimed historian and leader, Johnson’s inability to distinguish between Balfour Declaration issues and Auschwitz ovens is most troubling. Corbyn deserves some sympathy votes to compensate for the anti-Semite farce.

  • N_

    But expecting that a number of sub-samples, which at the regional level are self-evidently nonsense, chance to balance out into an accurate national picture when you add them all up, is ludicrous.
    In itself it isn’t. (Cf. the law of large numbers.) But when we have good reason to think many of the subsamples are biased in the same direction, then it is.

  • N_

    Fascists of the Zionist type tried to disrupt a Jeremy Corbyn rally in Bristol today, failing dismally.

    Quite a good day for Labour – Boris Johnson shown up as deceitful, dodgy, narcissistic, “let the proles eat sh*t and stop expecting proper people to allow their sick brats to lie on beds when they go to hospital – they’ll be wanting free gruel next” Tory scum; focus on the NHS. But not quite a Gillian Duffy moment. 59 hours until the polls open.

  • Mary

    ‘The BBC’s Chief Political Editor, Laura Kuenssberg, has been caught out spreading an outright lie about a Labour activist supposedly ‘punching’ an advisor to Tory Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

    Earlier today, Boris Johnson was roundly criticised after grabbing a reporter’s phone off of him after being confronted with a shocking picture of a 4-year old boy with pneumonia who was forced to lie on the floor of Leeds General Hospital A&E for hours.’

    It only takes one incident like this one today for the wheels to start coming off , especially with so few days left before voting day.

    • Los

      It’s a deliberate distraction, and the distraction is specifically LauraK’s behaviour, not the incident she was reporting on.

      In an attempt to (rightly) manufacture outrage about her reporting, she has willingly thrown herself under a bus to deflect for the benefit of the Dear Leader.

  • Reg

    The problem with Craig Murrays analysis (that is no doubt conducted in good faith) is this, the two areas he chose (Scotland/London) are not representative of the UK as London, Scotland and NI are the only regions that voted remain (EU referendum: The result in maps and charts below). London and Scotland are also very different economically and socially from England and Wales. Labours 2017 manifesto respecting the referendum result allowed it to (mostly) neutralise Brexit as an issue and allow its socially progressive agenda to cut through and would have led to a labour victory if the Blairite PLP were not more intent on attacking Corbyn than attacking the Tories and their record. Even then all six labour seats lost in 2017 were to leave voting constituencies (labourlist). I have no doubt that the Conservatives will lose seats in London and Scotland, to Labour and the Lib Dems in London and to the SNP in Scotland due to the Conservative shift to a harder Brexit and Labour shift to Remain. However Labours shift to remain will gain Labour few seats in London as the most pro remain Labour seats were the better off like Richmond who are unlikely to vote labour, but might vote Lib Dem against the pro leave Zac Goldsmith (as this has happened previously in a bye election), see “EU referendum: The result in maps and charts”.

    The problem being 84% of the UK population is in England (Scotland is only 8% of UK population), with the vast majority of Labour target seats voting leave, so Labour cannot win with a pro Remain agenda. So Labour may pick up a few seats in London, will not pick up seats from a far more remain SNP in Scotland, and lose far more seats in England and Wales that tended to (apart from a few metropolitan gentrified areas) vote leave.

    Another problem in not facing down Integrity inspired smears, such as on anti sem, and constantly giving ground, such as allowing Chris Williamson removal on spurious grounds this has given credence to smears by the yellow press, just as attacks by Kinnock on the left wing in the labour party only gave credence to attacks by the right guaranteeing two election defeats for labour.

    From this I suggest a significant Tory majority is practically guaranteed. Corbyn should of purged the Blairites as a labour victory is all but impossible with a significant proportion of Labour MPs who would rather a Tory victory than win with a left agenda under Corbyn. Labour Remain supporters have also sabotaged any chance of a Labour victory. Corbyn should of supported mandatory reselection, and failing that should (as Galloway has suggested) of engineered a vote with a 3 line whip to remove the Blairites, and withdrawn the whip from any defying it and barred any labour MPs from standing again, (as Boris has done).

    Remain was a strategy by the Blairites (to drive a wedge between Corbyn and the membership) to guarantee Labour lost the election so they could use this to remove Corbyn and continue to stuff their pockets (expenses, consultancies revolving doors with business and the EU), as Blairite policies are not popular and the labour membership was foolish enough to fall for it. After all Chucka Umuna previously supported coming out of the single market to restrict free movement, suggesting Blairite support for remain was entirely cynical. So its not just the polls this time as other data and my experience seems to confirm the polls, a few pro remain supporting metropolitan areas in England surrounded by pro leave non metropolitan areas. The EU election results confirmed this, with the uneven distribution of Remain supporters meaning the majority of constituencies that voted leave are far more damaging to Labour than the EU referendum results of 52-48% would suggest.

    Longest odds I can see on the Tories getting a overall majority with the bookies is 80% (3-5% for labour), with Labour the shortest odds of mealy getting the most seats 9% (95-97 % for the Tories).

    “EU referendum: The result in maps and charts”

    “The six seats Labour lost on June 8 – and every one of them in a Brexit town”

    • Bayard

      On a much simpler, macro level, very little has changed since the election two years ago, except that things have either remained the same or got worse for the majority under a Tory government, and that government has signally failed to take us out of the EU, so, Brexitwise, Labour are in roughly the same position, but the Tories are in a worse one, having pissed off Remainers and soft Leavers.
      How is this going to change the vote from a hung parliament last time to a “significant” Tory majority this time?

      • Bayard

        Well, yes, that is what I meant by Tories having pissed off the soft Leavers, but yes, Boris is a worse liability than the Maybot, so that’s even less chance of the phantom “significant” Tory majority.

      • Reg

        You stated ” Labour are in roughly the same position, but the Tories are in a worse one, having pissed off Remainers and soft Leavers.”, untrue as supporting a second referendum with the choice that is stay in the single market with the 4 freedoms and EU state aid rules under a EEA, Norway type agreement, or stay in the single market with the 4 freedoms and EU state aid rules by remaining in the EU, with most of the Labour cabinet campaigning to stay in the EU is not respecting the referendum, as Labour pledged to do in the 2017 manifesto, I could not vote for either choice in a referendum. So the Tories will lose a few seats in London to conservative remainers, so what? The vast majority of Tory seats voted leave as remain was concentrated in London, Scotland and NI, so can form a majority without them, and even then those few London seats that the Tories will lose will flip mainly to the Lib Dems that support the Tory austerity agenda, as they did in 2010. I suggest you look at the BBC map of the results of the EU referendum that I posted above and compare it to the results of the 2017 election (below) to confirm the vast majority of Tory seats voted leave, so Boris has more to gain than lose by supporting leave. It does not matter if Boris failed to take the UK out of the EU, as he can blame that on Parliament, this is why Tory support has significantly increased since Theresa May officially stepped down in June. Labours Brexit position has significantly impeded Labour cutting through on austerity.

        “Election 2017: The result in maps and charts”

        “Theresa May officially steps down as Tory leader” 7 June 2019

        • Bayard

          1. This election is not all about Brexit. Even the referendum wasn’t all about Brexit: a large part of the Leave vote was an anti Tory Government vote.
          2. Most people, rich and poor, vote tribally. That’s why there are safe seats. You have to care a lot about Brexit to go against your voting tradition and most people don’t. The ones you see on social media and the MSM are the strident minority.
          3. Tory Remainers are far more likely to be pissed off with the Tory party with their “definite and probably hard” Brexit strategy than Labour Leavers are with Labour’s “let’s have another look at it, it could go both ways” strategy. After all, with the Tories, the Remainers have no chance, with Labour, both sides have some chance.
          4. An awful lot of Leavers don’t like what’s on offer from the Tories, they wanted a softer Brexit. When you talk about “respecting the referendum”, what about them? How is it “democracy” if we are being offered what only a minority of voters actually wanted?
          5. Whether we are or are not in the EU is well down the hierarchy of needs compared with things like housing, health and having a job. In this respect, the Tories are in a much worse position than they were two years ago, four years ago or nine years ago. The poor, on whose votes they rely are worse off and thus less likely to vote for them.
          6. It really doesn’t matter if the Tories increase their vote share, if those votes are all in Labour safe seats in the North. UKIP is an excellent example of how you can get millions of votes and not win anything.
          7. Senior Tories are saying “don’t vote for us”. That wasn’t happening last time. Last time they kept a united front.
          8. We shall see who’s right in a couple of days, anyway.

          • Reg

            It does not matter what you believe should be important, it is what other voters believe is important. The fact remains Labour lost the last election. The polls were wrong the last time, but not by enough to give Labour the most seats never mind a majority. The other fact is that all 6 labour seats lost in 2017 voted leave, so a significant % of the population believe Brexit is important, it does not have to be their sole concern to have a significant impact.

            Do not quote Maslow at me, like its even relevant.

            Don’t use the phrase ‘a softer brexit’, it indicates you do not have a clue how the EU or a EEA framework actually works (like most remainers). By a softer brexit do you mean the four freedoms (including free movement of capital that makes economic stability and progressive agenda impossible, which is why Keynes restricted this at Bretton Woods after seeing the effects on Germany in the 30s) and EU state aid adjudicated by the Courts of Justice of the European Union? Does it mean being part of a customs union with the EU? Does it mean joining Schengen and adhering to the convergence criteria of the Stability and Growth pact?

            Who cares what has beens like Kenneth Clark and John Major said? I would suggest statements by non entities held in derision like Major will actually increase the vote for the conservatives.

            The point is this, Labour lost the last election, so has to increase its vote significantly in Labour target seats which are mainly leave voting seats, so have to convince a significant number of leave voting conservatives to vote labour, this would be possible with the 2017 Labour manifesto that promised to respect the referendum, but is proving impossible with the PLP actively sabotaging the chances for a labour victory by shifting Labour to a pro remain position and attacking Corbyn. Remain supporting conservatives are very much in the minority and concentrated in London, so Boris has much more to gain than lose in shifting to Leave, as reflected by the increase in support for the conservatives since Theresa May stepped down as indicated by the polls and the shorter betting odds for conservatives getting the most seats or getting a majority after June.

            You have it the wrong way round it does not matter if Labour increase their majorities in remain supporting London if they loose leave supporting Northern seats, remember the Tories do not need that many more seats to form a majority as they have the largest number of seats already.




    • Pigswill

      Reg, it’s “should have”, not “should of”. Had plenty of Tory brochures through my door, but, then, I am a multi-millionaire! Well, I will be when I win the lottery – then I’m leaving this lousy country – I’ll watch it fall apart from the comfort of a luxury apartment somewhere in the south of France. 🙂

    • Dungroanin

      Reg ,

      The EU vote earlier this year is NO guide to the general election.

      I mean the tories were trashed! Why you ignore that ?

      Yes so were Labour.

      But the party that got 30 odd percent and smashed that election did so with 5.5 million votes.

      FIVE AND HALF million – thats ALL.
      Not 17 million.

      Most of the Labour and Tories didn’t turn out. As they didn’t in the Brecon by-election won by Libdems – may be the shortest minister of parliament.

      • Reg

        What you are saying is profoundly misleading. in the EU elections the Brexit Party got 31.6% of the vote, and the Brexit party will not be standing against seats held by the Tory party at the General election, so most of this will go to the Tories, especially as the Brexit party have collapsed in the polls. The labour party have moved towards remain since the 2017 general election and its vote has collapsed since Boris has moved in a more hard Brexit position, while the polls have moved in the conservatives favour since Theresa May stepped down in June, (see FT below). Your suggestion that the Labour Party ‘smashed it’ with 14.1% 3rd behind the newly created Brexit party that didn’t have a manifesto with 31.6% of the vote is frankly absurd (BBC below), as is the suggestion at the time that coming third behind the Brexit party means the Labour party should adopt a more pro remain position.

        I ignored the collapse in the results for the Tories in the EU Parliamentary election as this happened under Theresa May at a nadir of support for the Tories on the 23 May (see FT and BBC below), that has recovered with Boris who took a more pro-Brexit position and took over on the 23 July, so is irrelevant. Bookies (see below) longest odds on the Tories gaining the most seats is odds on 20-1 (95%), and have been shortening since June, (see below). The danger is not so much that pro Brexit labour supporters will vote Tory, but they will stay at home or register a protest vote, rather like the EU election.

        All that remain supporters have done is guarantee another 5 years of Tory government, well done.

        “European Election 2019: UK results in maps and charts”

        “UK general election poll tracker” FT

        • Dungroanin

          ‘Your suggestion that the Labour Party ‘smashed it’ ‘

          I DID NOT SUGGEST THAT WAS LABOUR. I suggested it was the Brexit party.

          And I also suggest that they represent the totality of the people who can be relied on to vote for a HARD brexit across the WHOLE country was 5.5 million – nowhere near the 17 million fantasy from 2016 you lot keep moaning about.

          And most of these 5.5m will revert to their traditional parties as they did when they were Ukip.

          It is ALL over and the shitfest that was the referendum is going to be one of our watergates of the coming Labour government.

          Many a private jets will be heading to hellholes without extradition treaties in Friday the 13th !

          You packing?

          • Reg

            Your suggestion that only 5.5 million would vote for a hard Brexit is without evidential foundation. If a large section of those voting Brexit support restricting free movement (as this was one of the central issues), they are de facto supporting a hard brexit as a Norway style EEA agreement requires conforming to the four freedoms including freedom of movement. For myself restricting freedom of movement is not the central problem with EU/EEA membership, freedom of capital and EU state aid rules are, but I do understand why for some people restricting freedom of movement is important as it has been used by successive government as part of a panoply of strategies to control wages in a neo-liberal attempt to control inflation. Relatively free movement is possible without these negative effects on the low paid but it requires a government less committed to crushing the poor, and after 13 years of New Labour increasing inequality followed by 9 years of Tory government it is not surprising that many do not support free movement.

            For example Iceland has a government less committed to crushing the poor, is part of Schengen and remains one of the most equitable OECD countries. But remember their approach to the financial crisis would not have been allowed as a EU member. The EU has been quite adapt at creating hell holes such as in Greece.

            We you please stop using meaningless terms like ‘soft brexit’, and use the correct terms single market including EU state aid rules the restriction on budgets in the stability and growth pact and a customs union.

            There is no incoming labour government and this is the fault of Labour Remain supporters who refused to respect the results of the referendum, and have guaranteed 5 more years of Tory government, well done. So do not give me this nonsense of a post Brexit hell hole as the hell hole is one of a Tory victory guaranteed by Labour remainers.

  • Kathy

    In Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk I have just received a leaflet from John Lamont the current conservative incumbent begging for a vote as ‘It’s going to be very close here’. SNP 36.6% Con 36%.
    Lamont really has the wind up now.
    He has voted for Brexit at every opportunity in the recent Commons votes.

    That’s one more vote for the SNP then. Only the SNP can stop Brexit.!!!

1 2 3 4 5

Comments are closed.