We use cookies to help improve and maintain our site. More information.
close

December 03, 2019

What to look out for in the last week of the compaign

In some respects, the UK election is one of the most boring we can recall. Not that we know the outcome. It is quite possible that this election will get less boring in the final stretch. A lot of people have an interest in making the election more exciting than it is - journalists naturally, but also the parties themselves. Nothing motivates supporters more than the fear, or hope, of a narrow outcome.

So, what do we know? An ICM poll last night saw the gap between Tories and Labour closing by 1pp, to 7pp. The various poll trackers are showing a gap of around 10/11pp. We noted a comment by Stephen Bush in the New Statesman that we are a normal-sized polling error away from a hung parliament. We don’t think this is so.

What we do know for sure is that Labour has been gaining at the expense of the LibDems. The LibDems are suffering the classic squeeze of the small party in a first-past-the-post system. The LibDems are currently at 13% - which is more than the 7% or so they got at the 2017 elections. We expect more LibDem voters to switch, but we should not underestimate the residual anti-Corbyn sentiment in that group.  

We have to be careful in how we think about statistical error. The narrow statistical error in a poll-of-polls is probably quite small, given the large combined sample size. The two sources of error that are hardest to account for are asymmetric mobilisation and first-past-the-post idiosyncrasies. The second is the Donald Trump effect - he lost the US national vote in 2016, but won the presidency.

The aforementioned ICM poll also said that around 8 out of 10 Tory voters are certain to vote, but only 7 out 10 Labour voters. The big YouGov poll last week told us that the Tories have a good chance to capture traditional Labour constituencies in the North. Those numbers are consistent with a survey by the trade union Unite, which showed that a large number of traditional Labour voters are undecided because of Brexit. That information, too, has to be treated as a rallying call. We heard of another poll showing that the Tories hold a very strong lead over Labour among working-class voters.

What we need to look out for in the last few days of the campaign are signs of two types of shifts happening. The extent to which centrist voters in the south are ready to support Jeremy Corbyn in order to defeat the local Tory candidate. And the extent to which the Tories attract the working-class voters of the north. It is our best guess that the rise in Labour support in the headline polls reflects the former, but not the latter. 

Our conclusion from these observation is that further shifts in the LibDem vote are unlikely to be decisive. What Jeremy Corbyn needs to achieve in the next 10 days is to mobilise reluctant pro-Brexit Labour voters in the north. 

There is not much the Tories can do. They have consolidated the pro-Brexit vote. They will need to keep the high degree of mobilisation of their voters. The Tories have concentrated most of their campaign funds on the final stretch for that very reason. Based on what we know, we conclude that we are still not anywhere near to hung-parliament territory right now.

Show Comments Write a Comment

December 03, 2019

Trump threatens tariffs on French luxury exports

Donald Trump did it again. This time France, not Germany, becomes the target of his punitive trade policy. Trump threatened to slap a 100% tariff on French luxury goods as tit-for-tat for the digital tax France is levying on Internet giants such as Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook. 

Champagne, handbags, porcelain, cheese, or yoghurt are among the French product that are at risk of a US tariff. As well as threatening levies on new categories of imports, the US administration said it would consider whether to impose fees or restrictions on French services, writes the FT. The new tariffs will not be imposed until after a public comment period that includes a hearing in Washington on January 7. There producers and consumers of the affected goods can argue on the tariffs. 

Emmanuel Macron imposed a 3% digital service levy as a way to ensure services are paying taxes where they are consumed, after attempts to agree on a common approach within the EU failed. The French tax applies to any digital company with revenue of more than €750m, of which at least €25m is generated in France. Macron took the case to the OECD for it to work out a multilateral solution. Other countries with similar taxes, like Italy, are likely to be investigated by the US administration as well.

Trump uses the threat of tariffs to get what he wants without actually having to implement them. His threat to impose tariffs on EU cars worked well for him because German car makers ended up increasing their investment and employment in the US. This transfer of production and know-how cannot apply to French goods, though. Sparkling wine outside the Champagne region cannot be called Champagne, and what would be the appeal of a French cheese produced in Oregon? In that sense the French brands are much more vulnerable to these threats than the German brands, which are globally more mobile.

Show Comments Write a Comment

This is the public section of the Eurointelligence Professional Briefing, which focuses on the geopolitical aspects of our news coverage. It appears daily at 2pm CET. The full briefing, which appears at 9am CET, is only available to subscribers. Please click here for a free trial, and here for the Eurointelligence home page.

 

Recent News

  • March 11, 2020
  • While Italy is in lockdown, Germany allows football matches
  • Ireland grand coalition
  • May 31, 2019
  • Salvini’s frightening strength
  • The significance of Corbyn’s latest flipflop on the referendum
  • August 20, 2018
  • ... and a subtle shift in EU policies towards both Russia and Turkey
  • Nothing to celebrate about the end of the bailout programme
  • Support for Brexit holding up
  • November 09, 2017
  • From street protests to road closures
  • What Russia wants
  • January 31, 2017
  • Project fear against Italexit
  • On how not to frustrate Brexit
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • June 29, 2020
  • Édouard Philippe - mayor or prime minister?
  • Sir Humphrey, R.I.P.
  • October 17, 2019
  • A dangerous game for the EU
  • After Brexit, get ready for a German EU budget rebate
  • February 04, 2019
  • Watch out for the resurgence in Tory unity
  • The gilets-jaunes' effect on the European elections
  • What did he possibly mean by that?
  • May 25, 2018
  • Rejected by US, Germany is turning towards China...
  • ...and France is turning to Russia
  • UK ties Galileo to security partnership
  • Germans are discovering miniBoTs
  • September 14, 2017
  • Bravo Mr Juncker
  • ... what he said about the labour market
  • ... and what his speech means for Brexit
  • January 05, 2017
  • French Socialist primaries - old wine in new bottles
  • Le Pen's hard ecu
  • Will Tusk get a second mandate?
  • Themes of 2017
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • July 14, 2020
  • Why the far-right might win in the end
  • December 02, 2019
  • Will pension reform protests spiral out of control?
  • Malta's PM resigns over murder case
  • April 24, 2019
  • May's final and biggest gamble
  • Will the EP be Brexit's great parliamentary beneficiary?
  • Can Loiseau fight the far right given her past?
  • September 12, 2018
  • It is easy to criticise Chequers but very hard to come up with an alternative
  • February 05, 2018
  • How big is Germany's external surplus, really?
  • Macron's first election test
  • Coeure's endorsement of a fiscal union
  • July 03, 2017
  • Can Greece exit its programme without a credit line?
  • The softening Brexit
  • Macron's state of the nation address
  • November 28, 2016
  • And now what Monsieur Fillion?
  • The inescapable logic of an interim agreement
  • On Germany's foreign policy post-Trump
  • How to lose against the populists
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • September 14, 2020
  • There is no silver bullet for the second wave
  • March 16, 2020
  • Why many of the Covid-19 statistics are misleading
  • September 17, 2019
  • Beware of the diplomacy of humiliation
  • Germany’s climate hypocrisy
  • March 18, 2019
  • May's deal still on the table. Don't rule it out.
  • EPP decision on Fidesz still open
  • On the defeat of liberalism
  • September 21, 2018
  • SPD ministers want to continue grand coalition
  • March 28, 2018
  • The real reason for the sanctions against Russia
  • Wishful thinking: Brexit edition
  • Wishful thinking: Future of euro edition
  • Wishful thinking: Italy edition
  • October 02, 2017
  • Catalonia recalls EU and eurozone instability
  • French trade unions increase pressure over labour reforms
  • Watch out for a political accident in the UK
  • Municipal elections boost Portugal's Socialists
  • April 10, 2017
  • Nein, nein, nein, und nein
  • Sounds like a bad Brexit story, but ain’t
  • On how not to exit the euro
  • October 17, 2016
  • Ceta is dead for now
  • L’après-Hollande, c'est Hollande
  • SPD against Russia sanctions
  • Nissan to join customs union and other fanciful tales
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • May 29, 2020
  • Why it is not €500bn
  • Is reshoring the answer to this pandemic?
  • January 22, 2020
  • Erdogan and European Libya diplomacy
  • On the importance of mutual recognition agreements in the Brexit trade talks
  • September 17, 2019
  • Beware of the diplomacy of humiliation
  • Germany’s climate hypocrisy
  • May 10, 2019
  • Target2 debate raises legitimate questions with unsatisfactory answers
  • No more German questions please
  • January 04, 2019
  • Will the AfD become the Dexit party?
  • Romania's corruption problem in the spotlight of its EU presidency
  • August 28, 2018
  • Urban politics and national crisis - the Irish case
  • How anti-semitism became one of the main issues in British politics
  • April 23, 2018
  • More bad news for the SPD
  • Will Theresa May accept a customs union? The Times says yes. We think so too.
  • A comeback for Marine Le Pen?
  • December 21, 2017
  • Catalonia votes
  • A deputy prime minister resigns
  • Will Gibraltar result in another Irish fudge?
  • Blood, sweat and tears
  • August 21, 2017
  • Soft, getting softer
  • Tsipras' chances of a boost
  • On the fallacy of a middle-ground option for the eurozone
  • April 19, 2017
  • Shadows of money
  • Breppe Grillo vs Eurointelligence
  • December 19, 2016
  • Inside the customs union, outside the single market
  • Back to the future in Italy
  • The lessons from Fillon's first gaffe
  • Montebourg - a bit of everything
  • The Maastricht error
  • If Paul Romer is right...
  • August 22, 2016
  • Gold for Brexit
  • EU and Turkey talking past each other
  • Switzerland is the next migrant transit country
  • On the death of neoliberal economics
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • September 09, 2020
  • Breaching the law, but only a little
  • August 18, 2020
  • A new wave of Covid-19 measures
  • What is Keir Starmer's position on Brexit now?
  • July 28, 2020
  • Travel restrictions are back
  • The EU is about to lose the young generation
  • July 07, 2020
  • Europe on brink of serious conflict with China
  • Erdogan's Libya strategy gains support at home
  • June 17, 2020
  • Dijon violence and the politics of law and order
  • A Franco-German divide on holding Turkey accountable over Libya
  • May 29, 2020
  • Why it is not €500bn
  • Is reshoring the answer to this pandemic?
  • May 10, 2020
  • On court rulings and folk economics
  • EU regions - some far better on Covid-19 but not on downturn
  • April 22, 2020
  • Can we afford a second lockdown?
  • EU to help hardest-hit tourism sector
  • April 07, 2020
  • Austria and Denmark - first to exit after Easter
  • All change in the UK
  • Eastern Europe’s unnoticed economic shock
  • March 23, 2020
  • Orbán seeks to extend his powers
  • UK as the double counterfactual
  • March 09, 2020
  • Lockdown measures are not working
  • Will the ceasefire hold in Idlib?
  • February 24, 2020
  • Coronavirus comes to Europe
  • Municipal elections - a precursor for Le Pen?
  • Germany and France get involved over Idlib
  • February 13, 2020
  • Macron's small steps environment policies
  • On the loss of judicial or central banking independence
  • February 02, 2020
  • Is Sinn Fein the Irish anti-establishment vote?
  • Don’t assume that nobody will follow the Brits
  • January 24, 2020
  • Is Germany anti-semitic and racist?
  • Did the Greek financial crisis play a role in Brexit?
  • January 15, 2020
  • Philippe's not-so-generous compromise offer
  • What is Erdogan up to in Libya?
  • When it is noise and not a signal
  • January 06, 2020
  • A decade that started with a bang
  • What to expect of Spain's next government
  • Divide et impera: Macron's pension reform strategy
  • December 23, 2019
  • What’s behind the NordStream2 sanctions
  • An important ruling by the Dutch constitutional court
  • This time Popolare di Bari brings EU bank resolution into question
  • The reversal of the eurozone external balances
  • No Christmas truce in France
  • Brace for Erdogan's foreign policy ambitions
  • On the decline of the centrist left
  • December 16, 2019
  • What the failure in Madrid says about multilateral governance
  • December 12, 2019
  • Greta is right - the EU’s fight against climate change is most likely a PR exercise
  • December 09, 2019
  • The next three days
  • December 06, 2019
  • First strike day with high turnout - what next?
  • The arguments in favour of an Italian veto
  • December 04, 2019
  • Towards a European green new deal
  • Nato summit on Turkey amid disunity
  • December 03, 2019
  • What to look out for in the last week of the compaign
  • Trump threatens tariffs on French luxury exports