40 points

20170610 0200 ab0528h BBC Owen Smith
If we’d put a better performance in during the Euro referendum, the Labour Party and the country might never have been in the situation we are today.
Ditto the local government elections – now hundreds of Labour Councillors are not serving people and adding value like they could be.
So bad that we were over 20 points behind.
A Labour Government looked at least 10 years away.
May decided a fresh mandate was more valuable than the guarantee of Conservative rule in 2022-25.
Proclaiming that you couldn’t be sure of Corbyn not winning, it has now become obvious the only person to believe that was May herself – cos she was terrible.
Meanwhile at the fourth attempt, Jeremy found a line and length and Owen Smith has said he doesn’t know what he has, he wished it could be bottled up and shared around.
Perhaps he saw what I saw on Thursday night, something those who, like me, worked with New Labour never saw.

We are back at 40.0 points – even if that’s minus 2.4.
(The largest gain in share of vote since Clem Attlee in 1945.)
Yes we didn’t win.  Including Mansfield.
But we need to reflect and learn from what’s happened.
And be prepared to be as generous as Owen Smith. 

We have moved on

anti DUP tweet a0441h
A recent anti-DUP tweet. 
A disappointing reaction to the DUP becoming a much stronger part of the Conservatives who vote in the Commons are the tweets and posts highlighting connections to the Ultras during the troubles.
I can acknowledge the fury of those who support Jeremy after the hatchet jobs launched by many papers on condoning violence intended to put people in fear of what they normally do (especially Daily Mail which ran 13 pages on Wednesday) – some of which we saw in the streets on election day.
But if we are the people of hope and not hate, we have to acknowledge just what people went through, and how good it was and is that an agreement was reached.
Made even more tangible cos enemies as bitter as Ian Paisley and Martin McGuiness can come together, and become the chuckle brothers.
Not saying concerns shouldn’t be expressed about LGBT issues, and Jonathan Powell expressing concerns for the future of N. Ireland is cautionary.
Just saying leave the seventies attitudes where they belong.

That exit poll

We hadn’t been clear what final opinion polls (that ranged from a Conservative lead of 13 points to a Labour lead of 1 point) had meant.  Was it the abuse shouted in the morning or the wave of determined voter turnout in the afternoon & evening in The Meadows?
The exit poll said the latter.  Pleased to say I still didn’t react, although the BBC Radio Nottingham has my colleagues bouncing as we watched it on a big screen at the Nottingham count.   I did though give a TV interview – hey, not used.

Polls tell too wide-ranging a story

20170608 0200 ab0524h Gn poll of pollsSaw how opinion poll firms have underestimated Conservative leads over Labour in the run-up to the day.
Also seen stuff, which kinda evokes a football pundit’s psychology that somehow suggests optimism can cost you the result.
The main problems with this election’s polls is the range of findings, including the “final” polls.
-13, -12, -10, -8, -7, -7, -4, -1 and +1.
The Guardian/ICM shows a 12 point Conservative lead. Given the Conservatives won by 6.5 points last time, any seat that Labour won last time by 5.5 points is at a tipping point. Chances are 50-50 of a win or defeat.
After assessing national changes in political mood, you look for what else has changed since 2 years ago?
– the relative degree of local campaigning (including in recent local elections);
– the relative changes in the strengths of the candidates (incumbency tends to be a first time effect, although there are noticeable differences with some MPs; but also newness and mishaps;
– changes in smaller parties or independents, standing or not standing;:
– changes in big local issues (not so many around this time?);
– changes in demographics (registration, students, new estates etc.; and regional variations).
So, given a 12 point deficit, you can make a judgment about where the marginal seats really are with knowledge of the majority last time and local circumstances.
Except,
– a 3 point shift in the national lead of 3 points, and your initial chances of winning go from evens to 19 out of 20;
– another poll out reported a lead for the Conservatives of just 1 point; which completely throws any of the above careful calculations.
The marginal seats in the Nottingham / Derby area run from Nottingham South, to Gedling, to Derby North, to Erewash, Broxtowe, Sherwood and Amber Valley.
For what it’s worth, the Guardian/ICM poll has surprised me because it shows no movement when Theresa May has had a terrible week, all coming from decisions made some time previous.
And I am predicting Labour gains (as I did on 5th June.)