Posts Tagged ‘1992 election’

Labour: on the verge of a historic victory, or partying like it’s 1992?

08/04/2015, 02:50:35 PM

by Rob Marchant

The short campaign has finally kicked off. Not that that usually makes much difference, and particularly not when we have all known the date of the election for the last four years. Perhaps fittingly, no party’s campaign has so far exactly knocked Britain off its feet.

In polling, Tories and Labour have been showing as neck and neck for some time, with each main party in turn delighted when a poll says it is a couple of points ahead. But within any measure of what statisticians call “standard error”, these polls tell us little.

In other words, any difference of this size – a few per cent – could just as easily be explained by the inaccuracy of polling as a predictor per se, as by a meaningful trend. In this strange, Alice-in-Wonderland world where the tossed coin seems to land on its side, we have to make our judgements using less obvious, but no less compelling, means.

Turn, for example, to that more traditional signal of electoral success, the bookies, and the story is a little different. It’s true that they are – by a rather small margin – predicting a Labour minority government as the most likely outcome from a number of difficult-to-predict outcomes, but now look at the party with most seats. It’s the Tories, odds on, by a mile. The next PM? Cameron, odds on, by a mile.

Now, on the back of the TV debates, Labour has had a welcome uptick in Miliband’s personal approval rating, it’s true. But this really needs to be seen in context: it is rather the difference between the cataclysmic (-46% a month ago) and the merely bad (-29%, against Cameron’s -2%).

And there has also been a positive story for Labour in the English marginals, according to Lord Ashcroft’s polling. But the story in Scotland is the opposite: even if it might not end up quite as badly as the Daily Mail might gleefully be predicting, it will certainly be bad.


Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious StumbleUpon

Harriet should know better. Loose lips sink ships – and election prospects

17/07/2014, 09:51:16 AM

by Kevin Meagher

Is Harriet Harman the victim of an unfair Tory attack for seeming to suggesting that middle-income earners should pay more tax?

No, she is not. Neither, for that matter, has she been misquoted. She did say that middle-income earners should pay more tax. Labour’s deputy leader was guilty of a clumsy circumlocution, telling LBC radio on Monday that:

 “I think people on middle incomes should contribute more through their taxes”.

Let’s be clear, if she was making a general point about the desirability of a progressive taxation system, then fine. Indeed, she seems to have meant:

“I think people on middle incomes should contribute through their taxes”.

But that’s not what she said. She is guilty of committing an unforced error, using unforgivably loose terminology in a broadcast interview. For a senior frontbencher of her experience it was an amateurish thing to do and has played straight into the Tories’ gleeful hands.

Last night she wrote to David Cameron accusing him of telling fibs:

“You claimed at Prime Minister’s Questions today that ‘yesterday Labour announced – in an important announcement – that it is now their policy to put up taxes on middle income people’. This is not true. It is a lie.”

Tory party chairman Grant Schapps has also been busy. He has written to everyone he has an email address for, launching a poster campaign that the Tories must have been itching to release.

Tory poster


Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious StumbleUpon