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Are Labor and the Conservatives both disintegrating?

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King of New Orleans Donating Member (991 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 07:42 PM
Original message
Are Labor and the Conservatives both disintegrating?
A poll by the firm Populus show Labor with 30% the Conservatives 28% the Lib Dems at 28% other parties at 14%. The first article says Blair is "poised" for a 3rd win but I've never seen LD polling that high and with the others at 14% that means the two biggest parties are down to 58% of the vote.,90...

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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 04:39 AM
Response to Original message
1. Too early to tell, but I doubt it
The LD and 'other' votes are high, but they won't necessarily last - both are benefitting from recent publicity from the local, European and 2 by-elections we had in the last couple of months. There is definitely an idea of 'momentum' in British politics - plenty of people only consider voting for a party when they see enough other people voting for it that it doesn't look so ridiculous.

There's a site which attempts to track UK opinion polls, and translate them into seats in parliament - .
If you click on 'opinion polls', you get a history of the main 3 parties' polls over the last 18 months or so. There was a point about September 2003 when all three parties were on about the same vote (probably when the Hutton Inquiry was starting to hear evidence), but it didn't last.

If you click on 'battlemap', you can translate poll numbers into predicted seats (it's not a sophisticated formula; the details are on the site). Note that 'power-use' says you need to adjust for the 'other' vote; eg for this '30,28,28' poll, adjust the Labour and Conservative numbers as 30 * 93.6 / (30+28+28) and 28 * 93.6 / (30+28+28) respectively, giving roughly 32 and 30, before using the grid. This gives Labour 349, Tory 174 and Lib Dem 92 - still a Labour majority in Parliament.

So I don't think Labour will panic yet. It's only if they start to reguarly poll less than the Tories that they might fall apart - if that meant a fight between Blair and Brown, or others, anything could happen. But looking at that website grid, it looks as though Labour need an (adjusted) vote of 30% or below (say 28% in real figures), or to trail the Tories by a point, just to lose their majority. They'll still be the largest party in parliament almost whatever happens.
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King of New Orleans Donating Member (991 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thanks for the site
It's very interesting. I have read enough to know that the Cons apparently have to actually poll 4-6% ahead of Labor for a chance to win. Though I do wonder if the high numbers for LD and the rest will throw that math off.
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D-Notice Donating Member (820 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-04 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I'm more interested
in how Jack Straw'll do - he's Blackburn's MP, which has a high proportion of Muslims

Will he take a wack over Iraq?

Hey that rhymes! :-)
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Capt_Nemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-01-04 08:32 AM
Response to Original message
4. I have a slightly different prediction for the next general election
Edited on Sun Aug-01-04 09:14 AM by Capt_Nemo
The 20%, 25% voters Labour lost from its warmongering will never, EVER,
come back as long as Labour is "New".
You know, that quarter of votes Labour lost (see by-election results) is made up of people that
believe that aggression is a war crime and therefore Labour's leader
is a war criminal, which is far worse than being a pathetic creep
like Howard. To think that these people will go back to Labour
to avoid the tories come to power is absurd.

Meanwhile the swing voters New Labour captured from the Tories will
be reluctant to go back to the Conservatives as long as no one calls them on
the huge debt on their credit cards. They'll never admit it but they
came to realize that New Labour's economic and public services polices
are designed with them in mind (screw the lower middle classes...)
while avoiding the Tory pitfalls of free market fundamentalism.
One can say that this constituency never had it so good.
Labour will have some losses to the Tories in the South and rural areas,
but that will only represent a slight rise of Tory vote in the low

LibDems will have a good shot at capturing all the dissent, dissatisfaction
and revolt, but have to keep an eye on fringe movements and single
issue parties that could torpedoe their high hopes.

Bigots, racists, nostalgics of the empire and other assorted tossers will
vote for UKIP and BNP.

So in the end I predict the following result:

33% Tory

28% Labour

26% LibDem

13% Other

(my estimation comes from roughly applying the percentage swings
in each party vote in the latest by-elections relative to
the latest general elections (urban vote): Tory -3%, Lab -25%, Lib + 15%.
One should also note that the latest regional, council, or whatever
they're called, elections signaled that in the rural areas there will
be a rise in Tory vote)

BUT, now comes the 1st past the polls system!
And this means that the result I predicted will produce a parliament
in the threshold between the narrowest Labour majority and hung parliament.

Anyway I think that such outcome, if not optimal, could, if well handled by progressives,
be advantageous to them.
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