The LibDem Surge is Real – and SW Surrey is Winnable!

 

For the second time this month, a ComRes opinion poll has Liberal Democrats on 20% (the party has not been this high with this pollster since 2010).   A projection by the website Flavible Politics based on this poll, indicates a total of 83 seats for the LibDems at the next election – including (among many more) SW Surrey, Guildford, Mole Valley, Woking and Eshar & Walton)..

(1 – SW Surrey; 2- Guildford; 3- Mole Valley; 4- Woking; 5 – Esher & Walton)

Other polling companies also reflect the LibDem surge. The poll tracking website Britain Elects has a graph that shows the rapid increase in LD support since the May local elections – with the most recent polling suggesting the start of a Swinson surge – just as the Boris bounce appears to have peaked.

The most important polls are not opinion polls, but those at the polling booth – and across the country, in local by-elections since May 2nd, LibDems have taken more votes in total then either the Conservatives, or Labour, as shown in the aggregate totals collected by Election Maps UK:  While the LD share of the vote has gone up by 11%  from the previous results in these wards, the Conservative share has dropped by 4% – and Labour by 8%.

At the parliamentary level, we gained one MP in the Brecon by-election – and six more who have joined us from other parties, in just the past few months. While both the other major parties are hopelessly divided, Liberal Democrats are clearly united and enthusiastic. They have the momentum, and with the wind at their back, a win in South West Surrey, which a short while back seemed impossible, now appears to be increasingly plausible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can LibDems Take South West Surrey from Hunt?

Lord Ashcroft polls has released a post-election poll of voters’ intentions for the next General Election. Based on his results, Flavible Politics has produced a map of likely results by constituency – and this shows Waverley as a LibDem gain:

Not only SW Surrey either, but also Guildford, Woking, Mole Valley, Esher & Walton and Reigate in Surrey (and a very narrow loss in Elmbridge), and eighty more gains across the country.

Is this even credible? At first glance, clearly not – but let’s look a little deeper.

In the local elections for Waverley borough three weeks ago, the Conservatives took only 38.7% of the total votes cast, against 27.3% for the LibDems, 20.5% for the Farnham Residents Association, 6.8% for Labour and 4.1% for Greens.  But there was in effect a “progressive alliance” between the LibDems, Greens and Labour, taking the total progressive vote to 39.2% – just a fraction behind the Conservatives.

Then, in last week’s EU elections, Liberal Democrats topped the poll on 35%, followed by Brexit on 28.8%, Greens on 14.5%, and Conservatives on only 11.5%! Conventional wisdom is that the EU results were distorted by the dominance of Brexit, but – “it ain’t necessarily so”. Lord Ashcroft’s poll, on which the projection is based, did not only ask about future voting intention, it also enquired about, and analysed, past voting history, in the last general election, as well as last week for the EU.  His analysis showed that while yes, some of those who has switched from Labour or Conservatives to LD, or to Farrage’s Brexit, would return to their original party for a general election – not all of them would. Hence, Conservatives would not recover to their earlier level of support – and Liberal Democrats would retain a substantial share of their newfound (or newly returned) supporters.

If this projection turns out to be sound, that would create the extraordinary situation where nationally, just 4% would separate four parties:

Of course, it’s not that simple: what voters tell pollsters they will do, and what they actually do, are often very different – especially when the next general election could be a long way off. Circumstances will change, new events will get in the way. But what is surely true, and will remain so, is that we are in a period of remarkable fluidity in British politics, where extraordinary developments have come to seem almost commonplace: who would have predicted just three months ago, that we would end up with 16 MEPs?

The idea of Liberal Democrats wining SW Surrey in the next general election may well be just too fanciful to be taken seriously – but the possibility of getting at least much closer, is surely not.

 

 

British Voters Support UBI (But don’t want to pay for it)

The first independent, UK-specific opinion poll on UBI (Universal Basic Income) that I have seen, shows that a plurality of voters would support its introduction, with 48% “in favour” and just 25% against. However, there’s a catch: the degree of support drops sharply, when asked whether they would be prepared to pay for it, either by way of increases in tax, or by cuts to existing welfare programs.

The research was conducted by Ipsos Mori and the Institute of Policy Research at the University of Bath. by the Institute of Policy Research at the University of Bath. The university’s Dr Luke Martinelli describes the result as “surprising”, as there has been so little public debate about the idea until very recently.

There’s little point in paying too much attention to the detailed numbers. Voters are not really able to make an informed opinion without more information. The degree of support or opposition would likely change, depending on the proposed level of UBI payment proposed, and the associated cost.  However, the mere fact that a substantial proportion of voters have expressed for the idea in principle, shows that this is an idea that merits further serious debate.

Further debate, and research, is needed. We need greater definition of just what is meant by “basic” income. Would in include housing costs? Who would qualify – all citizens, or adults only? If children also qualify, at what level? What existing benefits would it replace? What would it cost?

To estimate the cost, we need to know more about how potential recipients would respond. Would a significant number of people simply choose not to work, so reducing the government tax take, as some opponents fear? Or would the removal of the existing disincentive for benefit claimants to find part-time work, lead to more people supplementing their basic income payments with part-time work, or risk-taking in setting up new businesses? Supporters argue that this could expand the economy and the tax take – making the project affordable.

Fortunately, the work has begun. There have been a number of experiments and research studies already, in many parts of the world (in both rich and poor countries). The SNP government in Scotland recently announced its own plans for an investigation. Politically, the Green Party has incorporated the principle or a UBI in its formal policy platform. It is time for other parties to join the debate.

 Related posts:

European support for EU surges in wake of Brexit vote

Support for the EU among its citizens has jumped sharply since the Brexit vote, even as Europeans expressed doubts about Brussels’ handling of migration, trade and the economy.null

Countries including Germany, France and even the UK all reported a big rise in the number of people with a favourable view of the EU as the bloc’s reputation recovered from a series of crises in recent years.

Britain’s vote in June last year to leave the EU has helped coalesce support for the bloc among the 10 countries surveyed, according to the analysis by Pew Research Center, which surveyed just under 10,000 people.

More at Finacnial Time

SHOCK POLL: 62% of ANC voters disapprove of Zuma

‘Zuma’s current approval rating is the lowest score ever for any of the country’s democratically elected presidents’

Some 62% of ANC voters polled by Ipsos disapprove of President Jacob Zuma while only 18% support him, suggesting that his continued presidency is exacting a heavy price on the party’s electability.

The poll, done in conjunction with eNCA, surveyed 3 500 adults between 21 April and 22 May this year.

eNCA reported: “Zuma’s current approval rating is the lowest score ever for any of the country’s democratically elected presidents.”

Source: : RDM 

“Schulz’s SPD ahead of Merkel’s CDU in third poll” – POLITICO

Center-left party records best DeutschlandTrend result in a decade.

German’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) has overtaken the conservative Christian-Democrat CDU for the first time in ten years in the DeutschlandTrend poll published by broadcaster ARD Friday.

The survey indicated the SPD, which picked former European Parliament President Martin Schulz as its candidate for chancellor in the September 24 vote, would win 32 percent of the vote if elections were held today, just ahead of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU on 31 percent.

Source: – POLITICO

“The Greatest Threat to World Peace”: USA?

As an outsider, I prefer not to comment too directly or too often on US internal politics, but Donald Trump’s plans to ramp up military spending and resume the nuclear arms race are not just domestic affairs – they concern us all.

This map, based on 2013 data from a global poll conducted by WIN/Gallup International and designed by reddit user Loulan, is disturbing. It shows that outside North America and the United Kingdom, by far the majority of countries polled saw the United States as the greatest threat to world peace.

The 2013 Gallup report is one of an annual series that polls mostly questions relating to happiness and optimism, but in that year included the question on threats to world peace. The press release for the global reports stated

The US was the overwhelming choice (24% of respondents) for the country that represents the greatest threat to peace in the world today. This was followed by Pakistan (8%), China (6%), North Korea, Israel and Iran (5%). Respondents in Russia (54%), China (49%) and Bosnia (49%) were the most fearful of the US as a threat.

It’s not surprising that Russia, China Bosnia, other Muslim nations and Latin American countries regarded the USA as the greatest threat. Note though, that that view is also shared (albeit to a lesser degree) by Germany, Sweden, Finland and Australia.

The data is admittedly now three years out of date. Since then,  the USA and Iran have reached a degree of rapprochement, and Putin’s military adventures in the Ukraine and elsewhere may have switched American and British views of the greatest threat, from Iran to Russia. On the other hand, a belligerent Trump’s rise to the presidency will not have reduced concerns around the world about the American danger to global peace. If his plans to vastly increase military spending,  resume the nuclear arms race, revoke the Iran treaty and challenge China in the South China Sea become reality, the rest of the world will have even more cause to be concerned. What the world need for greater peace, is more diplomacy, not more arms – yet Trump is planning to cut funding for his foreign service.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has told reporters that Trump’s budget proposals are “dead in the water” and will never be approved by Congress.

We should all pray that he is right.

See also:

A world map showing who every country thinks is the biggest danger to world peace (Gay Star News)