Starmer is doing well, everywhere except defending women’s rights

by Rob Marchant

The best part of two years ago at Uncut, we set out eight things that then-incoming leader Keir Starmer would need to fix, in order to get Labour’s rusty ship back in seaworthy condition, after the battering of the Corbyn years.

Three were a slam-dunk: the party quickly got a new General Secretary after the terrible Jennie Formby; Starmer has ignored Momentum, while they have split and withered on the vine; and the NEC has been wrested away from the Corbynites. So far, so good

Four more were more tricky areas and were never going to be resolved quickly, but Labour has still made progress.

On antisemitism, there is clearly still work to do. The antisemites are not all gone: there are eminently reasonable, moderate Jews on the liberal-left who do not yet see the party as detoxified, and not without reason. The party’s bungling of Corbyn’s suspension did not help. On the other hand, the relationship with the Jewish community has undoubtedly improved, for example, to the point of Dame Louise Ellman feeling that she could rejoin.

On the others: Unite’s stranglehold on party funding has not yet been broken, although the union’s own money problems and a less Labour-centric General Secretary at the helm means that it certainly has reduced its influence and may well reduce further. The Scottish party is not rebuilt but, in Anas Sarwar, it has its first credible and effective leader in years. It has allowed a number of people who left over antisemitism to rejoin, but of those who left to form Change UK and stood against Labour in the 2019 election, none have so far rejoined. This seems tragic, given the unique circumstances of their leaving: they were principled resignees not political opportunists.

All this is cautiously good news: even if all the damage of the Corbyn years has yet to be undone, solid, if sometimes frustratingly slow, progress is being made back towards sanity.

It is only on the eighth and final point, where we come to the ‘D’ in Labour’s report card: “Get the party into a sensible place on trans self-id”. And that is not just because there is a clear moral imperative to defend the hard-won rights of women, now under attack. It is because it has the same potential to corrode the party and its public image as antisemitism did during 2015-20.

It is, in short, the new antisemitism.

If you think that a stretch, first bear in mind that Starmer’s first-ever conference as leader last September was very nearly derailed by car-crash interviews with David Lammy and Starmer himself, when asked basic questions on womanhood and women’s rights.

But if there were a point in time which would underline to Keir Starmer precisely why he can no longer afford to sit on the fence in the debate between women’s rights and trans rights, it was surely this last weekend.

First he was warned in no uncertain terms, by probably the biggest beast in the Labour jungle, his predecessor Tony Blair, that the public was not on his side and found “bonkers” the favouring of phrases like “pregnant people” over “women”.

The Times also accompanied the Blair interview with an important investigative piece by Janice Turner, which revealed how Labour politicians at local and national level are being bullied and disciplined internally for such heinous crimes as standing up for women-only spaces (horrors!), or saying that biological sex cannot be changed (a seemingly uncontentious statement of scientific fact for most of us).

Finally, we had the spectacle of Yvette Cooper floundering on Sunday, when asked about the torrent of abuse received by Canterbury MP Rosie Duffield, who is reportedly thinking of quitting the party over her lack of support from the leadership.

Instead of simply saying, “Rosie has the right to say what she has said and there are legitimate differences of opinion on this subject”, Cooper vacillated, prevaricated and fumbled her way to a criticism of the abuse but without any hint of support for her female colleague’s right to speak. A woman complicit in the silencing of another woman.

She may not realise it, but this is exactly how the Corbyn front bench reacted on antisemitism, thereby further enabling it. Decry the violent threats, yes. But don’t actually counter the criticism they get from the bullies. The former “legitimate criticism of Israel” has been allowed to morph into “legitimate criticism of bigotry” as the flimsy defence.

Only this time, it’s not just Corbynites joining in. The battle lines are non-factional and cut right across the party; but the bullying tactics are just the same.

In the end, one may feel a little sorry for Cooper: perhaps she is just holding the Shadow Cabinet line under collective responsibility, to sweep this under the carpet. But this comes from the top, and Starmer has no such excuse. His failure to support Duffield and other women around the country is leading them to be hounded and witch-hunted for their sex and their dissenting views, in exactly the same way as some sorry excuses for party members once did with Jewish colleagues.

Starmer’s path to power has recently started to look somewhat clearer as Johnson implodes. But, with every day he fails to take decisive action on this, it blurs over again.

In fact, this is about the only issue – with the possible exception of defence policy – where the Tories are getting things right and we, instead of supporting a sensible, bipartisan view, gift it to them. That is, there is not only a whiff of moral cowardice about this issue: it’s politically stupid, too.

But women are watching. It does not require a supercomputer to work out the potential impact of alienating 51% of the party membership, let alone the population.

And, as the bullying in local parties continues, they will not forgive Starmer’s silence. Just like the Jewish community did not forgive Corbyn’s.

Rob Marchant is an activist and former Labour party manager who blogs at The Centre Left


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21 Responses to “Starmer is doing well, everywhere except defending women’s rights”

  1. Pat says:

    Interesting analysis, thanks. I hope Starmer will change tack – Wes Streeting’s recent foray into this topic was less hidebound and dogmatic than I would have expected from him. Perhaps the light at the end of the tunnel is not a train. Clearly Starmer needs to make a fresh start on this issue and the best way to begin is to offer support to Duffield.

  2. Anne says:

    Don’t agree with you Rob. I live in the ‘north’ and if you mention this subject to people here they probably would not know what you are taking about. Agree there are anomalies in this area, and perhaps what is required are better explanation and definitions from the scientific/medical communities that is acceptable to all. Regarding women only spaces – some have strong views on this, but often circumstances and economics play a part. For example some Parish councils are replacing their male/female toilets with one unisex toilet.

  3. steve says:

    It’s all very odd. The Labour Party appears to exist solely to keep a Westminster elite and their ‘communication consultant’ hangers-on in clover.

    Surely, the only people who actually vote for this dysfunctional outfit are those who haven’t yet realised that a rotten lot are hiding behind the Labour Party badge.

  4. David Bradley says:

    The Labour party is unfortunately fast becoming the party of the thug the party conference before the pandemic you had a M.P and a journalist both needing bodyguards the party conference after the pandemic you have a M.P feels unsafe in going due to online threats from transgender campaigners.
    Then we have Angela Rayner labelling of Tories as ‘scum’ now you may not like Tories M.P and even hate what thay stand for but remember this they have been democratically elected to parliament just as any M.P has and no the word scum is not a word used on the street I am working class through and through and a 30 year union member if I walked into my local and called someone sucm i would be asking to be punched in the mouth big parts of the Labour party needs to grow up and start talking and acting like adults then we would see a proper opposition party looking like a government in waiting instead of the shower they are now, all they do now make a clown electable

  5. Tafia says:

    Rob Marchant, bang on the money with this. The way Labour has stood back and let Rosie Duffield be pilloried by the woke-Left without defending her and stamping on them is pure cowardice and there is no other word for it. Druffield was and is telling the truth – and she has basically cast adrift by the leadership and openly shunned by fellow colleagues for doing so.

    An article that demonstrates all that is wrong with modern ‘woke’ Labour. It has become a reactionary party obsessed with race and gender Hansel & Gretel nonsense. It is pure self-indulgent middleclass metropolitan rubbish. Starmer knows it (despite the pretence otherwise by being stupid enough to be photographed ‘taking the knee’ and wringing hands over slavery 200 years ago and other rubbish etc and then completely contradicting that position by flanking himself with union jacks. You are one or the other – if you ride two horses you will be torn in half at some stage.) but is too frightened to say anything one side of the fence or the other, his party strategists probably know it and the electorate and media openly mock it for the joke it is. The Tories are quite happy to let you go this way as they fully intend to weaponise it at the next general election and watch you publicly self-destruct over it.

    Come the next General Election, if anyone in Labour thinks they are going to win an election arguing over whether Bert with a knob and beard has the right to self-identify as a woman then they are seriously seriously deluded.

    Someone who has transitioned from one gender to the other (you can only change gender – you cannot change sex) has – by virtue of the surgeons scalpel, earned the right to be that gender. Someone who still has the physical attributes of the sex they were born, is that still that gender as well, irrespective of outwards appearance or self-opinion. A man in a skirt is a drag artist – not a woman.

    Scotland is considering bringing in all women rail carriages. When one of their politicians was asked to theoir fsce on TV how they expected rail staff to ‘police’ it if an individual who is clearly male turns round and claims to self identify as a woman, they stopped dead in their tracks (no pun) and refused to answer.

    Meanwhile, a convicted rapist who self-identifies as a woman and was thus imprisoned in a womens prison, went on to rape another woman – a fellow inmate, had their sentence increased last year, and continues to self-identify as a women and thus is now back in a womens prison. a proven wolf, comically placed in a sheep pen for eating a sheep, who ate another sheep and so has been put back in the sheep pen with more sheep to eat, for even longer.

    Women – those who are women by sex and those who have undergone full gender re-assignment, have the right to women only places.

    About 2 years back, I worked at a place where there was a women transitioning from female to male (quite rare apparently – the bulk go the other way). She/he was at the hormone stage taking female hormone suppressants and male hormones. She/he had started to develop facial hair and was becoming ‘chunkier’ etc but had not yet undergone constructive surgery etc. Quite interesting to talk to actually. She/he said the hardest thibg she/he was encountering was actually trying to behave like men do when there were few to no women about – the language, coarse jokes, coarse behavious, tribal nature of friendships and just how boisterous and aggressive they were with each other. She/he was finding that the hardest thing to cope with. That and the attitude of the east europeans (who constituted a large perrcentage of the workforce) and were openly hostile towards him/her.

  6. Tafia says:

    And that’s before we get to the latest ‘woke’ garbage of the school in Lancashire banning non-vegetarian school meals and asking parents that provide packed lunches to only give their kids ‘meat-fee’ to bring in, and the utter half-wittery that gender campaigners came out with this week of dropping the terms mother, father, mum, dad etc and replacing them with ‘grown up’ – and several Labour MPs endorsed it!!

  7. Anne says:

    A good article on this subject written by Sarah Ditum in The Sunday Times (20th Feb 2022). Also in the news is swimmer Lis Thomas a transgender women swimmer who has won a 200 yard freestyle race in the US. Unisex toilets aside how is this situation which has arisen in women’s sport correct? Don’t we punish by banning athletes who take drugs? Many women athletes, both at club level, and international work very hard to increase speed and strength in a legitimate way. This is not a level playing field. Many sports women will be very uncomfortable with this situation, There has to be better clarity from both sport and medical people.

  8. John P Reid says:

    tafias monthly polls while showing the labour lead wasn’t as big as thought
    Will now show the pollsters are taking into account shy Tories either those not telling that
    They’re either saying they’re abstaining or voting Libdem Reform protest but will come beck to The Tories at the election and really gonna Vote Tory when push comes to shove, let alone saying they’re labour when really they wouldn’t vote labour if they thought labour would hold the balance of power or form a minority government
    Anyway Mays Council election could change things and had the Birmingham by election taken place 5 months earlier the Tories would’ve had a chance of wangling it

  9. Carol says:

    I am a wanna vote Labour person but on the basis of this article won’t, again, be voting Labour. I want Labour to address the economic realities. Something that would get my vote would be a massive commitment to resolve the housing crisis. A crisis which is economically destructive, is holding young people back, because without a secure home they can’t afford to take on responsibility, causes ill health etc. So I will give my vote to someone else next. Who I give the vote to will depend on what is offered locally. Last time it was the SDP.

  10. Tafia says:

    Monthly polling figures for February.

    Across February there were 23 polls relesed during the month at various times by all the major polling agencies.

    Polling average was (figure in brackets compared to last month).

    Con 33.6% (+1.4%)
    Lab 39.7% (-0.4%)
    LDem 10.2% (-0.4%)
    Grn 5.7% (+0.2%)
    Rfm 3.2% (-0.4%)
    Oth 7.7% (-0.1%)
    Ave Lab lead over Con for Feb: 6.09% (-1.76%)

    A month of two halves that the all-up monthly total fails to reflect (but probably will next month). Labour’s lead of the last couple of months over the Tories starting to drop as the month ground on.

    Tory support swung between 32-35%, Labour’s between 37-42% and the LDems between 8-13%/ Labour managed to hit the magic 40% ten times during the 23 polls and on one occasion showed a 10% lead (Redfield & Wilton, 07 Feb). Labour led in every poll with leads of between 3% – 10%.

    Obviously, the Russian invasion in the latter stages of the month will eventually filter through to the voter – and indeed the drop in the Labour lead later in the month may well be an early indication of this as voters are exposed more to government spokespeople in the media. The medium and long term impact to the voter of the sanctions imposed on Russia – even higher energy prices, even higher inflation, food infaltion, shortages of aluminium products – including even cooking foil, shortages of some foodstuffs such as sunflower oil etc etc will at some stage dawn on them and that in turn will affect their voting intentions – but which way? Some forecasters are now saying inflation across the west could now hit 12-15% by years end as western economies re-adjust to the new realities and compete against each other for resources and products in short supply. Shoud that be the case, then our Chancellor and his counter-parts across the free qorld will quickly find themsleves shredding their budget forecasts.

    If a General Election were conducted on these FEBRUARY figures and using the new boundaries, would result in a hung Parliament of L308, C253, SNP57, LD8, PC4 G1, NI18, with neither side being able to form a majority government and Labour almost certainly unable to form a ‘rainbow alliance’ and having to rely on the SNP, which remains politically unthinkable due to the intransigence of SNP demands and the fact t would be political suicide for either side – Red or Blue, to yield to them in order to gain power.

    Comparisons
    General Election 12 Dec 2019:
    UK TOTAL – Con 43.6%, Lab 32.2%, LDem 11.6%, Grn 2.7%, Oth 9.9%
    GB ONLY – Con 44.7%, Lab 33.0%, LDem 11.8%, Grn 2.8%, Oth 7.7%
    UK lead Con over Lab: 11.4%
    GB lead Con over Lab: 11.7%

    Polling figures for 2021 (256 polls)
    Con 40.3%, Lab 35.2%, LDem 8.4%, Grn 5.7%, Rfm 5.7, Oth 4.7

    Polling figures for 2022 (50 polls)
    Con 32.9%, Lab 39.9%, LDem 10.4%, Grn 5.6%, Rfm 3.4%, Oth 7.8%
    Lab lead over Con 2022: 7.8%

    Polling figures for February (23 polls)
    Con 33.6%, Lab 39.7%, LDem 10.2%, Grn 5.7%, Rfm 3.2%, Oth 7.7%
    Lab lead over Con Feb: 6.1%

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    SCOTLAND

    There were no political or referendum opinion polls released during February.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    WALES

    There were no political or referendum opinion polls released during February.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    NORTHERN IRELAND

    There are Stormont elections in May, although they might be called earlier of Stormont cannot find some way to limp on until then. One poll was released during the month giving Stormont voting intentions

    (figure in brackets is the shift since last polling in January)

    DUP: 19.4% (+2.4%)
    SF: 23.2% (-1.8%)
    UUP: 14% (-)
    SDLP: 11% (-1.1%)
    APNI: 15.6% (+1.6%)
    TUV: 6.4% (-5.6%)
    GRN: 6.3% (+3.3%)
    PBP: 2.3% (+1.3%)
    Oth: 1.8% (-1.2%)

    (2017 first preference %:-)

    DUP: 28.1%
    SF: 27.9%
    UUP: 12.9%
    SDLP: 11.9%
    APNI: 9.1%
    TUV: 2.6%
    GRN: 2.3%
    PBP: 1.8%
    Oth: 3.6%

    There was no IndyRef polling released during the month.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    REPUBLIC OF IRELAND

    I include the Republic because they are the only foreign country with a common land border with the UK and also share a common heritage. In addition, what goes on in Dublin also has an effect in Belfast & London and vice-versa all around.

    There were three polls during the month that averaged as (comparison to last month in brackets):

    SF: 33.0% (-0.5%)
    FF: 19.7% (-1.8%)
    FG: 21.0% (-1.5%)
    GP: 4.7% (+1.7%)
    LP: 3.7% (-0.3)
    SD: 3.7% (+1.2)
    S-PBP: 2.3% (-0.2)
    AÚ: 1.7% (+0.7)
    Oth/Ind: 10,2% (+0.7%)

    (General Election 2020)
    SF: 24.5%
    FF: 22.2%
    FG: 20.9%
    GP: 7.1%
    LP: 4.4%
    SD: 2.9%
    S-PBP: 2.6%
    AÚ: 1.9%
    Oth: 13.5%

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    FRANCE (Presdential elections 10 & 24 Apr, 2022)

    There are now 38 declared candidates at this stage, not including the incumbent Macron, with the same five as last month clearly ahead of the herd, and only two of those five will reach second round run-off.

    So far, of the 38 declared candidates, only 11 have gained the necessary signatures to the first round ballot. French Presidential elections are a cumbersome affair and to be listed on the first-round ballot, candidates need to secure 500 signatures (often referred to as ‘parrainages’ in French) from national or local elected officials from at least 30 different departments or overseas ‘collectivities’, with no more than a tenth of these signatories from any single department. The signatures are submitted to the Constitutional Council, which is the sole authority to designate participants.

    During January there were 59 Polls averaging:

    ( Top 5 – Left-Centre-Right-Nationalist-Gaullist)
    (figures in brackets last month’s comparison)

    Melenchon: 10.6% (anti-EU)(+1.1%)
    Macron: 24.7% (pro-EU)(+0.6%)
    Pecresse: 14.7% (EU-sceptic)(-1.7%)
    Le Pen: 16.7% (anti-EU)(-0.2%)
    Zemmour: 14.6% (anti-EU)(+1.8%)
    33 Others: 18.7% (-1.7%)

    ( my blog sgould you wish to follow it http://thepeoplesflag.blogspot.com/ )

  11. Ann Onnimus says:

    Does it make you feel better to know you’re on the same side as Putin? https://www.politico.eu/article/putin-jk-rowling-proof-west-cancel-culture/

  12. Tafia says:

    The floundering response to the genitalia question came after a caller asked Sir Keir about trans women in sports, referencing US swimmer Lia Thomas. Ferrari asked for clarification:

    “NF: So a woman can have a penis?

    KS: Nick I’m not… I don’t think we can conduct this debate with…

    NF: Sorry have I offended you?

    KS: No no no I just… it’s just…

    NF: A woman can have a penis?

    KS: I just don’t think that discussing this issue in this way helps anyone in the long run. What I want to see is a reform of the law as it is but I’m also an advocate of safe spaces for women and I want to have a discussion that is… anybody who genuinely wants to find a way through this I want to discuss that with. I do find that too many people in my view retreat or hold a position which is intolerant of others – and that’s not picking on any individual at all – but I don’t like intolerance, I like open discussion.”

  13. Tafia says:

    And Sky’s Kay Burley rinsed the crayon-muncher Rayner over it this morning.

  14. John P Reid says:

    It use to be said

    The loony left would say
    The Conservatives are wrong on austerity
    The Tories are fascists

    the public would say

    Well I know the tories aren’t Fascist so maybe I’m wrong in thinking
    That the conservatives are wrong on Austerity

    Now replace the word Tories with men and the word Fascist with women
    To get why the public doesn’t trust labour

    I hope there a analysis of the council elections in. A Few weeks

  15. ad says:

    “But women are watching. It does not require a supercomputer to work out the potential impact of alienating 51% of the party membership, let alone the population.”

    My understanding is that men are even more likely than women to think this self-ID thing is crazy. So 51% may underestimate the scale of the problem.

    Who thinks it a good idea to attack the Tories for dishonesty, and then declare that there is no biological difference between the sexes?

  16. Tafia says:

    OPINION POLLING FOR MARCH 2022

    Across March there were 24 polls released during the month at various times by all the major polling agencies.

    Polling average was (figure in brackets compared to last month).

    Con 35.0% (+1.4)
    Lab 38.7% (-1.0)
    LDem 9.6% (-0.6)
    Grn 5.8% (+0.1)
    Rfm 3.6% (+0.4)
    Oth 7.3% (-0.4)
    Ave Lab lead over Con for March: 3.68% (-2.41)

    Labour’s lead of the latter parts of last year and earlier this year continued to drop as the month wore on.

    Tory support swung between 33-37%, Labour’s between 35-42% and the LDems between 7-12%. Labour managed to hit the magic 40% eight times during the 24 polls and on two occasions showed a 7% lead (SavantaComRes, 04-06 Mar, and Survation 28-30 Mar.). Labour led in every poll except one – which was tied ( Kantar, 17-21 Mar, 36% each) with leads of between 1%-7%.

    The Russian invasion of Ukraine is obviously putting Boris in the spotlight front and centre and the public appear very supportive of the money and weapons he has given on our behalf so far and very supportive of the sanctions programme. Quite what their opinion will be later on in the autumn as the inflation caused by the war and sanctions starts to pile in on top of what’s already hitting their pocket from the ‘covid unwind’ will become apparent around Nov-Dec as that starts to hit. The first tranche of ‘PartyGate’ Fixed Penalty Notices have now been issued, but the public appear for the most part to be totally disinterested in the affair anymore – bored rigid by it would be a more apt description, and any firm opinion either way appears to be split for the most part along party lines.

    There are local elections in parts of England & Wales due in early May and so far what little polling has been carried out specifically for these shows 37%-33% in Labour’s favour -which the Tories, as government of the day and in mid-term, will be more than satisfied with should the actual vote reflect that. There are also local authority elections in Scotland, but there is no polling available for those and they have the added dynamic of the SNP who intend to finish Labour off in some areas.

    If a General Election were conducted on these MARCH figures and using the new boundaries, it would result in a hung Parliament of L292, C272, SNP55, LD7, PC4 G1, NI18, with neither side being able to form a majority government and neither side able to form a coalition government without the SNP, which as I have said before, remains politically unthinkable due to the intransigence of SNP demands and the inescapable fact that it would be political suicide in the eyes of the voter for either side – Red or Blue, to yield to the SNP in order to gain power and equally politically suicidal for the SNP to back down from it’s present position in order to power-share in a Westminster they are determined to leave and a United Kingdom they couldn’t care less about. There are also too many core differences now between the parties that are ‘red line’ and with no middle ground.

    Comparisons
    General Election 12 Dec 2019:
    UK TOTAL – Con 43.6%, Lab 32.2%, LDem 11.6%, Grn 2.7%, Oth 9.9%
    GB ONLY – Con 44.7%, Lab 33.0%, LDem 11.8%, Grn 2.8%, Oth 7.7%
    UK lead Con over Lab: 11.4%
    GB lead Con over Lab: 11.7%

    Polling figures for 2021 (256 polls)
    Con 40.3%, Lab 35.2%, LDem 8.4%, Grn 5.7%, Rfm 5.7, Oth 4.7
    Con lead over Lab 2021: 5.1%

    Polling figures for 2022 (74 polls)
    Con 33.6%, Lab 39.5%, LDem 10.1%, Grn 5.7%, Rfm 3.5%, Oth 7.6%
    Lab lead over Con 2022: 5.8%

    Polling figures for March (24 polls)
    Con 35.0%, Lab 38.7%, LDem 9.6%, Grn 5.8%, Rfm 3.6%, Oth 7.3%
    Lab lead over Con Feb: 3.7%

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    SCOTLAND

    There were two Holyrood polls released during March. They averaged (const/list) as follows:-

    SNP: 44/34%, SCon: 19/19%, SLab: 22/20%, SLD: 8/8%, SGP: -/12%, Oth: 7/7

    (HOLYROOD 2021 – SNP: 47.7/40.3%, SCon: 21.9/23.5%, SLab: 21.6/17.9%, SLDem: 6.9/5.1%, SGrn: 1.3/8.1%, Oth: 0.6/3.4%).

    There were two IndyRef polls released, averaging:

    Yes: 44.5%, No: 47.5%, DK: 8.0%
    (Y:48 N:52)

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    WALES

    There was one Westminster poll released during March, (figure in brackets compared to last polling in December)

    Lab: 41% (-), Con 26% (-), PC: 13% (-), LDem 7% (+4), Grn 4% (-2), Rfm 6% (-1), Oth 3% (-1)

    (GE2019 – Lab 40.9%, Con 36.1%, PC 9.9%, LDem 6.0%, Grn 1.0%, BXP 5.4%, Oth 0.7%)

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    NORTHERN IRELAND

    There are Stormont elections in May. One poll was released during the month giving Stormont voting intentions (figure in brackets compared to last month):-

    DUP: 19% (-0.4)
    SF: 26% (+2.8)
    UUP: 13% (-1.0)
    SDLP: 11% (-)
    APNI: 16% (+0.4)
    TUV: 9% (+3.6)
    GRN: 2% (-)
    PBP: 2% (-0.3)
    Oth: 1.8% (+0.2)

    (2017 first preference %:-)

    DUP: 28.1%
    SF: 27.9%
    UUP: 12.9%
    SDLP: 11.9%
    APNI: 9.1%
    TUV: 2.6%
    GRN: 2.3%
    PBP: 1.8%
    Oth: 3.6%

    There was no IndyRef polling released during the month.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    REPUBLIC OF IRELAND

    I include the Republic because they are the only foreign country with a common land border with the UK and also share a common heritage. In addition, what goes on in Dublin also has an effect in Belfast and in London and vice-versa all around.

    There were three polls during the month that averaged as (comparison to last month in brackets):-

    SF: 33.0% (-)
    FF: 19.7% (-)
    FG: 21.3% (+0.3)
    GP: 4.3% (-0.4)
    LP: 3.7% (-)
    SD: 4.0% (+0.3)
    S-PBP: 3.0% (+0.7)
    AÚ: 1.7% (-)
    Oth/Ind: 9.3% (-0.9)

    (General Election 2020)
    SF: 24.5%
    FF: 22.2%
    FG: 20.9%
    GP: 7.1%
    LP: 4.4%
    SD: 2.9%
    S-PBP: 2.6%
    AÚ: 1.9%
    Oth: 13.5%

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    FRANCE (Presdential elections 10 & 24 Apr, 2022)

    The entry requirements to be included on the first round ballot paper saw only 14 candidates make the grade, of which only 12 have declared to stand and they will appear on the ballot. Of those 12, five are way ahead of the remainder in polling. Only the top two from the first round will progress to the second round and the winner of that will be the next President of France.

    Almost certainly, the two final candidates will be Macron & Le Pen – who were also the two finalists in the last election in 2017. In that one, Macron beat Le Pen by 66% to 34% on a healthy 75% turn-out. This time however, it is going to be far far closer and going into the final week of polls they are near neck-and-neck for declared second round preference and it looks as though Macron is only going to hang on by the skin of his teeth and could even possibly lose depending on which way Melenchon’s voters jump – anti-nationalist or anti-EU. Unlike last time out where they were fairly ambivalent towards him, he is now extremely unpopular with the ‘blue collar’ working class as is the EU which he ‘champions’.

    During March there were 76 Polls averaging:

    ( Top 5 – Left-Centre-Right-Nationalist-Gaullist)
    (figures in brackets last month’s comparison)

    Melenchon: 13.1% (anti-EU)(+2.5)
    Macron: 29.2% (pro-EU)(+4.7)
    Pecresse: 10.9% (EU-sceptic)(-3.8)
    Le Pen: 19.7% (anti-EU)(+3.0)
    Zemmour: 11.3% (anti-EU)(-3.3)
    7 Others: 15.8% (-2.9)

    http://thepeoplesflag.blogspot.com/

  17. Old liberal says:

    Sir Kier Starmer is hardworking and clever .
    He has however zero political skills and is too old to acquire them .
    In by elections the Labour Party has lost votes in nearly every one . Batley was held because the Greens did not stand .
    If a seat held by the conservatives became vacant with a 1000 majority with Labour in second place would Labour win ?
    I am not a labour supporter but it would benefit the country if he went .

  18. Tafia says:

    Monthly Figures For March

    Across March there were 24 polls released during the month at various times by all the major polling agencies.

    Polling average was (figure in brackets compared to last month).

    Con 35.0% (+1.4)
    Lab 38.7% (-1.0)
    LDem 9.6% (-0.6)
    Grn 5.8% (+0.1)
    Rfm 3.6% (+0.4)
    Oth 7.3% (-0.4)
    Ave Lab lead over Con for March: 3.68% (-2.41)

    Labour’s lead of the latter parts of last year and earlier this year continued to drop as the month wore on.

    Tory support swung between 33-37%, Labour’s between 35-42% and the LDems between 7-12%. Labour managed to hit the magic 40% eight times during the 24 polls and on two occasions showed a 7% lead (SavantaComRes, 04-06 Mar, and Survation 28-30 Mar.). Labour led in every poll except one – which was tied ( Kantar, 17-21 Mar, 36% each) with leads of between 1%-7%.

    The Russian invasion of Ukraine is obviously putting Boris in the spotlight front and centre and the public appear very supportive of the money and weapons he has given on our behalf so far and very supportive of the sanctions programme. Quite what their opinion will be later on in the autumn as the inflation caused by the war and sanctions starts to pile in on top of what’s already hitting their pocket from the ‘covid unwind’ will become apparent around Nov-Dec as that starts to hit. The first tranche of ‘PartyGate’ Fixed Penalty Notices have now been issued, but the public appear for the most part to be totally disinterested in the affair anymore – bored rigid by it would be a more apt description, and any firm opinion either way appears to be split for the most part along party lines.

    There are local elections in parts of England & Wales due in early May and so far what little polling has been carried out specifically for these shows 37%-33% in Labour’s favour -which the Tories, as government of the day and in mid-term, will be more than satisfied with should the actual vote reflect that. There are also local authority elections in Scotland, but there is no polling available for those and they have the added dynamic of the SNP who intend to finish Labour off in some areas.

    If a General Election were conducted on these MARCH figures and using the new boundaries, it would result in a hung Parliament of L292, C272, SNP55, LD7, PC4 G1, NI18, with neither side being able to form a majority government and neither side able to form a coalition government without the SNP, which as I have said before, remains politically unthinkable due to the intransigence of SNP demands and the inescapable fact that it would be political suicide in the eyes of the voter for either side – Red or Blue, to yield to the SNP in order to gain power and equally politically suicidal for the SNP to back down from it’s present position in order to power-share in a Westminster they are determined to leave and a United Kingdom they couldn’t care less about. There are also too many core differences now between the parties that are ‘red line’ and with no middle ground.

    Comparisons
    General Election 12 Dec 2019:
    UK TOTAL – Con 43.6%, Lab 32.2%, LDem 11.6%, Grn 2.7%, Oth 9.9%
    GB ONLY – Con 44.7%, Lab 33.0%, LDem 11.8%, Grn 2.8%, Oth 7.7%
    UK lead Con over Lab: 11.4%
    GB lead Con over Lab: 11.7%

    Polling figures for 2021 (256 polls)
    Con 40.3%, Lab 35.2%, LDem 8.4%, Grn 5.7%, Rfm 5.7, Oth 4.7
    Con lead over Lab 2021: 5.1%

    Polling figures for 2022 (74 polls)
    Con 33.6%, Lab 39.5%, LDem 10.1%, Grn 5.7%, Rfm 3.5%, Oth 7.6%
    Lab lead over Con 2022: 5.8%

    Polling figures for March (24 polls)
    Con 35.0%, Lab 38.7%, LDem 9.6%, Grn 5.8%, Rfm 3.6%, Oth 7.3%
    Lab lead over Con Feb: 3.7%

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    SCOTLAND

    There were two Holyrood polls released during March. They averaged (const/list) as follows:-

    SNP: 44/34%, SCon: 19/19%, SLab: 22/20%, SLD: 8/8%, SGP: -/12%, Oth: 7/7

    (HOLYROOD 2021 – SNP: 47.7/40.3%, SCon: 21.9/23.5%, SLab: 21.6/17.9%, SLDem: 6.9/5.1%, SGrn: 1.3/8.1%, Oth: 0.6/3.4%).

    There were two IndyRef polls released, averaging:

    Yes: 44.5%, No: 47.5%, DK: 8.0%
    (Y:48 N:52)

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    WALES

    There was one Westminster poll released during March, (figure in brackets compared to last polling in December)

    Lab: 41% (-), Con 26% (-), PC: 13% (-), LDem 7% (+4), Grn 4% (-2), Rfm 6% (-1), Oth 3% (-1)

    (GE2019 – Lab 40.9%, Con 36.1%, PC 9.9%, LDem 6.0%, Grn 1.0%, BXP 5.4%, Oth 0.7%)

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    NORTHERN IRELAND

    There are Stormont elections in May. One poll was released during the month giving Stormont voting intentions (figure in brackets compared to last month):-

    DUP: 19% (-0.4)
    SF: 26% (+2.8)
    UUP: 13% (-1.0)
    SDLP: 11% (-)
    APNI: 16% (+0.4)
    TUV: 9% (+3.6)
    GRN: 2% (-)
    PBP: 2% (-0.3)
    Oth: 1.8% (+0.2)

    (2017 first preference %:-)

    DUP: 28.1%
    SF: 27.9%
    UUP: 12.9%
    SDLP: 11.9%
    APNI: 9.1%
    TUV: 2.6%
    GRN: 2.3%
    PBP: 1.8%
    Oth: 3.6%

    There was no IndyRef polling released during the month.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    REPUBLIC OF IRELAND

    I include the Republic because they are the only foreign country with a common land border with the UK and also share a common heritage. In addition, what goes on in Dublin also has an effect in Belfast and in London and vice-versa all around.

    There were three polls during the month that averaged as (comparison to last month in brackets):-

    SF: 33.0% (-)
    FF: 19.7% (-)
    FG: 21.3% (+0.3)
    GP: 4.3% (-0.4)
    LP: 3.7% (-)
    SD: 4.0% (+0.3)
    S-PBP: 3.0% (+0.7)
    AÚ: 1.7% (-)
    Oth/Ind: 9.3% (-0.9)

    (General Election 2020)
    SF: 24.5%
    FF: 22.2%
    FG: 20.9%
    GP: 7.1%
    LP: 4.4%
    SD: 2.9%
    S-PBP: 2.6%
    AÚ: 1.9%
    Oth: 13.5%

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    FRANCE (Presdential elections 10 & 24 Apr, 2022)

    The entry requirements to be included on the first round ballot paper saw only 14 candidates make the grade, of which only 12 have declared to stand and they will appear on the ballot. Of those 12, five are way ahead of the remainder in polling. Only the top two from the first round will progress to the second round and the winner of that will be the next President of France.

    Almost certainly, the two final candidates will be Macron & Le Pen – who were also the two finalists in the last election in 2017. In that one, Macron beat Le Pen by 66% to 34% on a healthy 75% turn-out. This time however, it is going to be far far closer and going into the final week of polls they are near neck-and-neck for declared second round preference and it looks as though Macron is only going to hang on by the skin of his teeth and could even possibly lose depending on which way Melenchon’s voters jump – anti-nationalist or anti-EU. Unlike last time out where they were fairly ambivalent towards him, he is now extremely unpopular with the ‘blue collar’ working class as is the EU which he ‘champions’.

    During March there were 76 Polls averaging:

    ( Top 5 – Left-Centre-Right-Nationalist-Gaullist)
    (figures in brackets last month’s comparison)

    Melenchon: 13.1% (anti-EU)(+2.5)
    Macron: 29.2% (pro-EU)(+4.7)
    Pecresse: 10.9% (EU-sceptic)(-3.8)
    Le Pen: 19.7% (anti-EU)(+3.0)
    Zemmour: 11.3% (anti-EU)(-3.3)
    7 Others: 15.8% (-2.9)

  19. Tafia says:

    OPINION POLLING FOR APRIL 2022

    Across April there were 21 Westminster polls released during the month at various times by all the major polling agencies.
    Polling average was (figure in brackets compared to last month).
    Con 34.0% (-1.0)
    Lab 40.0% (+1.3)
    LDem 9.8% (+0.2)
    Grn 5.3% (-0.5)
    Rfm 3.1% (-0.5)
    Oth 7.8% (+0.5)
    Ave Lab lead over Con for April: 6.00% (+2.32)

    Labour started the month much as last month, then once they got their teeth into ‘PartyGate’, Rayner’s legs etc etc they managed to open quite a lead at one point, however the Tories recovered sharply in the final week of the month and everybody finished not far off where they started.

    Tory support swung between 33-36%, Labour’s between 36-43% and the LDems between 8-11%. Labour managed to hit the magic 40% thirteen times during the 21 polls and on one occasion showed an 11% lead (DeltaPoll, 13-14 Apr). Labour led in every poll with leads of between 3%-11%.

    If a General Election were conducted on these APRIL figures and using the new boundaries, it would result in a hung Parliament of L311, C258, SNP47, LD10, PC4 G1, NI18, with neither side being able to form a majority government and Labour needing a coalition of minimum of the LDems and Plaid – however the LDems demands that we re-enter the EU – including the adoption of the €uro and preferably without even a referendum & the current voting system scrapped and replaced with PR, combined with Plaid’s demands of far greater devolution for Wales up to the same level as Scotland, make the liklihood of a stable coalition remote at best and Labour would probably choose to limp on with a minority Government.
    Comparisons
    General Election 12 Dec 2019:
    UK TOTAL – Con 43.6%, Lab 32.2%, LDem 11.6%, Grn 2.7%, Oth 9.9%
    GB ONLY – Con 44.7%, Lab 33.0%, LDem 11.8%, Grn 2.8%, Oth 7.7%
    UK lead Con over Lab: 11.4%
    GB lead Con over Lab: 11.7%

    Polling figures for 2021 (256 polls)
    Con 40.3%, Lab 35.2%, LDem 8.4%, Grn 5.7%, Rfm 5.7, Oth 4.7
    Con lead over Lab 2021: 5.1%

    Polling figures for 2022 (95 polls)
    Con 33.7%, Lab 39.6%, LDem 10.1%, Grn 5.6%, Rfm 3.4%, Oth 7.7%
    Lab lead over Con 2022: 5.8%

    Polling figures for April (21 polls)
    Con 34.0%, Lab 40.0%, LDem 9.8%, Grn 5.3%, Rfm 3.1%, Oth 7.8%
    Lab lead over Con Apr: 6.0%

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    SCOTLAND
    There were three Westminster polls released during April. They averaged as follows:-

    SNP: 43.0%, SCon: 20.3%, SLab: 25.7%, SLD: 6.3%, SGP: 2.0%, Oth: 2.7%

    (GE 2019 – SNP: 45%, SCon: 25.1%, SLab: 18.6%, SLDem: 9.5%, SGrn: 1.0%, Oth: 0.8%).

    There were also three Holyrood polls released during April. They averaged (const/list) as follows:-

    SNP: 45.3/33.7%, SCon: 20.3/19.7%, SLab: 23.7/22.3%, SLD: 7.3/8.0%, SGP: -/11.3%, Oth: 3.4/5.0%

    (HOLYROOD 2021 – SNP: 47.7/40.3%, SCon: 21.9/23.5%, SLab: 21.6/17.9%, SLDem: 6.9/5.1%, SGrn: 1.3/8.1%, Oth: 0.6/3.4%).
    There were three IndyRef polls released, averaging:
    Yes: 41.3%, No: 46.7%, DK: 12.0%
    (Y:47 N:53)

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    WALES

    There were no polls released during the period.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    NORTHERN IRELAND

    There are Stormont elections in May. The system they have to use is that the government is formed from the largest party one side of ‘the divide’ in a power share with the largest party from the other side. They are unlikely to achieve much – the power share will still be the usual terrible twins of Sinn Fein and the DUP , however for the first time Sinn Fein will be the lead – and not only that, will be the largest party both north and south of the border. It will almost certainly not sit though because the DUP are currently refusing to sit until the EU-UK Northern Ireland Protocol is scrapped and without the largest Unionist party, the terms of the Good Friday Agreements mean that it cannot form a government and therefore cannot sit. Two polls were released during the month giving Stormont voting intentions (figure in brackets compared to last month):-

    DUP: 20.1% (+2.1)
    SF: 26.5% (+0.5)
    UUP: 13.8% (+0.8)
    SDLP: 10.1% (-0.9)
    APNI: 14.4% (-1.6)
    TUV: 7.2% (-1.8)
    GRN: 3.7% (+1.7)
    PBP: 2.1% (+0.1)
    Oth: 1.8% (+0.2)

    (2017 first preference %:-)
    DUP: 28.1%
    SF: 27.9%
    UUP: 12.9%
    SDLP: 11.9%
    APNI: 9.1%
    TUV: 2.6%
    GRN: 2.3%
    PBP: 1.8%
    Oth: 3.6%

    There was no IndyRef polling released during the month.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    LOCAL ELECTIONS – ENGLAND, SCOTLAND & WALES

    There are local elections in parts of England, Scotland & Wales in early May and so far what little polling has been carried out specifically for these shows 37%-33% in Labour’s favour -which the Tories, as government of the day and in mid-term, will be more than satisfied with should the actual vote on the day reflect that.

    In England for some reason (but not the devolved home nations) local elections – despite the fact they are about councils and thus local services, usually reflect people’s national thoughts and as a result most voters in England tend to vote over issues that have absolutely nothing to do with councils and indeed councils can do absolutely nothing about. Already doorstep returns suggest the two main issues will be the ‘cost of living crisis’ & ‘PartyGate’ – two issues that councils are powerless to do anything about. They are also plagued by ultra-low turn outs – the last time this set were held was in 2018 and the turn-out was 34.6%. Time before in 2014 it was 35.5%.

    The prediction is that Labour will gain around 20 councils and are not expected to lose any. The Tories might gain and lose a few councils, but their net total is expected not to change much, if at all. The LDems should pick up the new Somerset Unitary Authority. Overall this would be a good result for the Tories from their perspective, and Boris Johnson personally, given the Tories’ problems with ‘Partygate’ and other mid-term woes. Labour are predicted to gain around 800 seats, with the Tories losing a similar number. That may be disappointing for the Tories, but it is nowhere near catastrophic and does not indicate a meltdown in Tory support nor a ground shift in the electorate. This is the mid-term of the Parliamentary cycle and the voters always take this opportunity to give the sitting government of the day a well-aimed kick up the arse.

    Councils predicted to change hands will centre around:-

    Predicted Tory gains: Elmbridge, Havering, North Yorkshire (new), Pendle, Vale of Glamorgan, Worcester
    Predicted Tory losses: Barnet, Harlow, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Southampton, Thurrock, Wandsworth

    Predicted Labour gains: Barnet, Blaenau Gwent, Bolton, Bridgend, Burnley, Crawley, Cumberland (new), Denbighshire, Flintshire, Harlow, Kirklees, Merthyr Tydfil, Milton Keynes, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Plymouth, Rossendale, Sheffield, Southampton, Wandsworth, West Lancashire, Wirral, Wrexham

    Predicted LDem gains: Somerset (new)

    Predicted Plaid Cymru gains: Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Ynys Mon (Anglesey)

    Westmoreland & Furness (new) will almost certainly be NOC

    (*Note that there are four new Unitary Authorities this year: Cumberland, North Yorkshire, Somerset, and Westmorland & Furness. )

    In Scotland the latest scant polling specific to the local elections has the SNP on 44%, Labour on 22%, Tory on 21%. and LDem on 8% This is a huge increase in SNP share of nearly a third since the last time these councils were contested 4 years ago and appears to be mostly at Labour’s expense. Scottish local elections are run using a form of proportional representation similar to that used in their Holyrood elections which makes it more difficult to estimate the composition of councils in Scotland but it looks like it will be a very very good night for the SNP and further cement their grip on power in Scotland.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    REPUBLIC OF IRELAND

    I include the Republic because they are the only foreign country with a common land border with the UK and also share a common heritage. In addition, what goes on in Dublin also has an effect in Belfast and in London and vice-versa all round.

    There were two polls during the month that averaged as (comparison to last month in brackets):-

    SF: 33.5% (+0.5)
    FF: 17.0% (-2.7)
    FG: 21.5% (+0.2)
    GP: 3.5% (-0.8)
    LP: 4.0% (+0.3)
    SD: 5.5% (+1.5)
    S-PBP: 2.5% (-0.5)
    AÚ: 2.5% (+0.7)
    Oth/Ind: 10.0% (+0.7)

    (General Election 2020)
    SF: 24.5%
    FF: 22.2%
    FG: 20.9%
    GP: 7.1%
    LP: 4.4%
    SD: 2.9%
    S-PBP: 2.6%
    AÚ: 1.9%
    Oth: 13.5%

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    http://thepeoplesflag.blogspot.com/

  20. Tafia says:

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    SCOTLAND (first preference)
    SNP 34.1% (+1.8%)
    LAB 21.8% (+1.6%)
    CON 19.7% (-5.6%)
    LDEM 8.6% (+1.7%)
    GRN 6.0% (+1.8%0

    Total Seats (1227 across 32 councils)
    SNP 454 (+23)
    LAB 281 (+19)
    CON 215 (-62)
    LDEM 67 (+20)
    GRN 35 (+16)
    IND 152 (-15)

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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