Might The Polls Be Wrong?

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Every poll published so far in the British General Election campaign has shown Labour well in the lead, with margins of between roughly 15 and 25 per cent over the hapless Tories. Some of these have been MRP mega-polls with over 20,000 people contacted. The Tories are in full retreat, restricting campaigning to seats with large Tory majorities only. The Prime Minister has been arguing against giving Labour a so-called ‘super majority’ – not the most exciting rallying cry you will ever hear from a politician. We haven’t seen such poor leadership in Britain since Lord Raglan in the Crimean War, no offense to Rishi Sunak intended.

In theory Labour should be swept into power with a majority of at least 150 seats, with the Tories hanging on to become the Opposition with perhaps as few as 60 seats, just ahead of the LibDems, whose leader has stopped falling in the water and has taken to bungee jumping. That nice man Nigel Farage is predicted to win in Clacton but the latest MRP poll suggests that his party Reform will only win seven seats.

However the polls could be wrong! There is little public enthusiasm for Labour and their with respect charmless leader, Sir Keir ‘von’ Starmer, although the good news is that he should be able to get a refund from his charm school. The trend of recent polls has actually been downwards for Labour, by around four points a week. Given their with respect dodgy policies on Europe, VAT on school fees, immigration, tax and gender reassignment I’m not surprised.



Four points a week is a fairly steep decline. I suspect that the polls are accurately reporting the trend – a series of even inaccurate polls can pick up a trend. After Nigel Farage made some sensible comments about the Ukraine War to the BBC’s Nick Robinson, a Remainer, the polls also suggested a drop in support for Reform of about three points.

There are however several points to make. Firstly, polls are a snapshot. If support for a particular party is increasing or decreasing the trend will have continued after the fieldwork for the poll was done. In the case of the mega polls the fieldwork may have started a week before publication.

Secondly, polling organisations tend to be left-wing. They have a poor record when it comes to recording support for conservative parties such as Reform.

Thirdly, Reform is a comparatively new phenomenon. Even if they are trying to be accurate, which most aren’t, polling organisations don’t have enough data. How do they allow for shy Reform supporters for example?

Fourthly, nearly all polling these days is done either online or over the phone. When were you last spoken to in person by a polling organisation? Human experience tells us that it is much more difficult to lie face to face.

Finally, although the overall sample size in the mega-polls is large, typically above 20,000, the sample per constituency is necessarily small. MSM predictions of super majorities in this election might be based on samples of only a few dozen voters in any particular constituency.

Turnout

Much will turn on turnout tomorrow. Overall turnout has already been depressed because of delays with postal votes, which on balance will probably hurt the Tories and Reform more than Labour, given the age profile of their support. The Post Office reports to the Cabinet Office, who are backing Labour, and may have been ordered to slow postal voting down.

All polls show a large number of ‘don’t knows’. It is an open question as to how many of these ‘don’t knows’ are actually ‘do know but won’t tells’. I suspect that there is a large body of Reform voters out there who are unwilling to tell the pollsters for whom they are intending to vote.

If turnout for in-person voting tomorrow is high Labour will be in trouble. I will get an anecdotal indication of turnout when I walk down to vote in the morning. If I have to queue to get in Labour will be in deep trouble!

Weather forecast for across the UK tomorrow is fairly good, although the north will apparently be fairly windy. That may be down to an SNP party political broadcast of course!

Tactical voting

Another known unknown is tactical voting. I suspect that a lot of Reform voters in the south will support their local Tory, especially if he or she is a proper Tory, like Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg. If he or she is a rubbish candidate like Jeremy Hunt, no offense intended, then they will either vote Reform or stay at home in despair.

Equally I expect a large number of Tory voters in the north to vote Reform. Overall, there are so many variables that the result is difficult to predict. I suspect that it will be a Labour government, but possibly a minority government only with another election later in the year, as in 1974.

The smear operation against Reform

Working through a production company, no doubt with the discreet backing of the Election Commission, which wants Britain to be run from the Cabinet Office (in other words, since Labour’s Shadow Cabinet are house-trained even before they enter the house, they’re backing Labour) Channel Four News filmed an actor named Parker mouthing off about the Prime Minister. The MSM made a huge fuss about supposed racism in the Reform Party, ignoring the fact that Parker just rolled up to the Reform office in Clacton. He isn’t even a Reform Party member, let alone a candidate.

It looks as though the smear was organised by the Tories, who have most to lose from the boost in Reform’s support. Rishi Sunak wasted no time in leaping onto Parker’s reported comments, without once acknowledging the possibility that Parker, an actor, had been paid to say them.

For my part I doubt that Parker is a racist. He’s just a white man pretending to be a racist. Apart from anything else, calling the Prime Minister an ‘f…ing P..i’ is just silly. Rishi Sunak is of Indian extraction, although not, I suspect a dual national, since his parents were from East Africa. So far as I know Rishi has never even been to Pakistan.

It was such an obvious smear that it may actually have increased Reform’s support. Careful questions will need to asked after the election of Parker, Conservative Campaign HQ and the Electoral Commission. The Commission itself is a useless quango, if that is not a tautology with respect, and should be abolished.

The debate debate

Last Thursday’s debate debacle for Joe Biden was both predictable and predicted. I have been saying for some time that poor old Joe has gone ga-ga. It was also predictable that having blown up his campaign he is staying in the race.

The Democrats are frantic to get rid of him, but they are finding that getting rid of Joe Biden is not as easy as disposing of poor old Seth Rich. I suspect that he will still be nominated at the Convention in Chicago next month. He may not however make it through to the election in November. One more performance like that and he may find Section 4 of the 25th Amendment being invoked, in which case Kamala Harris would be sworn in as President.

It’s a problem that the Democrats should have confronted early last year or late in 2022, when evidence of Joe Biden’s increasing senility emerged. I have no sympathy for them.

The Supreme Court ruling

I respectfully welcome the Supreme Court’s ruling on presidential immunity, which is consistent with its previous caselaw. The ruling has already impacted the dodgy prosecution in New York, since part of the prosecution case rested on actions Donald Trump took as President. Boomps-a-daisy!

 I really don’t see President Trump being sent to jail and if he were I expect swift appellate intervention. Since President Trump was denied a fair trial,  constitutional guarantees of due process kick in and the Supreme Court will have the final say. I also suspect that the intelligence files on Judge Merchan are building.

Severn Valley Railway

Congratulations to Jonathan Dunster and the team at Severn Valley Railway on last weekend’s 1940s event. Apart from anything else it provided an opportunity to renew an acquaintance with one of my favorite actors, Guy Siner, Lt Gruber from ‘Allo ‘Allo.

Lady of Legend

Star attraction, pun intended, was Star Class GWR 4-6-0 Lady of Legend. She may look like an early 20th century engine (the great George Jackson Churchward designed them in 1906) but Lady of Legend is a new build! She’s only a few years old. She looks wonderful, though, a fitting tribute to her designer and builders. I am sure that the King would approve!

July 4th

Happy July 4th to all y’all!

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