April 28, 2017
On the coming Tory landslide
This is another good example of smart polling. Martin Robbins and Martin Baxter took a recent UK opinion poll, but added extra information to create a model which takes into account Brexit support, how people voted in 2015, and turnout estimates on a constituency level. They conclude that the Tories are headed for a landslide - not the 30-40 seat majority some of the pollsters are forecasting, but something in the order of 150. Perhaps even more shocking is that, in this model, the share of the LibDems declines from 9 seats to only 6. Labour would be left with 150 MPs, much worse than the headline numbers suggest. This would go so far that Labour leadership candidates like Clive Lewis could no longer be challengers, because they would no longer be MPs. Their conclusion is that there is no polling evidence for the much-talked-about Remain surge. This election currently looks good for the Tories and for nobody else.
Sebastian Payne makes the point in an FT article that, even if the campaign by Gina Miller in support of tactical voting pays off, and raises the LibDems from their current position of 9 seats to 20, it would not dent the overall Tory majority. And then he makes the important point that tactical voting works in both directions. Brexit supporters of other parties might support a Tory pro-Brexit candidate. Separately, we note a comment from Klaus Dieter Frankenberger in FAZ, who reflects the German position well. Germany does not want to give the UK a sweetheart deal, but Germany is very keen to avoid a breakdown. Both sides should be guided by the intention to achieve a close relationship, he writes. This would require a softer version of a Brexit than previously suggested by the Tories. And he writes that the agreement with the UK could become a model for an association agreement with Turkey.