Saturday, 24 October 2009

Brown The "Useless Weirdo"

Sometimes Guido can be refreshingly pithy. His latest piece of pith is a fine example:
On his blog Bad Al Campbell argues that Dave hasn’t sealed the deal with the electorate thus; “December 5, 1996, Gallup poll. Labour 59. Tories 22. Now that’s what I call a lead. And they’re nowhere near it, because they have not sealed the deal, because they’re not serious on policy, because they haven’t changed much, and because a lot of people don’t really like them.”

Bad Al is really grasping with this line of spin. Labour are 19% behind in the polls; suggesting that if people don’t really like the Tories, they must despise Labour. The voters have come to a settled view of Gordon – that he is a useless weirdo. You can’t spin your way out of that…

"Useless weirdo," lol. A fine pith-making effort. I love it.

There is one other thing this particular blogpost throws up, however: the polls from those days, as psephological guru Mike Smithson has pointed out on until he's blue in the face, were unreliable, heavily weighted as they were in favour of Labour because of poor practices. Polling methodologies have changed beyond all recognition and for the better since then with the result that they are now, by and large, completely reliable sources that quite accurately reveal voting intentions. Campbell either knows this and is being dishonest or he doesn't and he's being stupid. Either way, he's a damn fool for making the comparison at all.

If you want to know more about why you should be careful with historical polls, Mike Smithson explains here.

Fact is, a 19% Tory lead according to modern polling techniques means a sub-200 seat wipeout for Labour if that was repeated at the general election. And it's a reliable poll. Campbell can't spin his way out of that reality, either.


  1. Add the fact that UKIP have taken a few percent of the Tory vote and it shows how many people around the country are actually prepared to accept a tory government. Whilst the UKIPers, Libertarians et al may favour their own party they will accept the tories...the alternative doesn't bare thinking about. And I speak daily to people from all over the country and from Haverfordwest to Sunderland, they all are itching for a change. Overwhelmingly most of them are pensioners and they've seen their savings wiped out by Brown. And pensioners are the group most likely to vote.

  2. Fascinaing stuff, UB. You should blog something about that.

    I'm certain now that the Tories would have to start murdering puppies or some such before the next GE to lose it. Guido is right - people haven't just had enough of Brown, they're ready to vote for Cameron. All they need is a little more persuasion and for Cameron's front bench to start pulling their weight and pushing their own policies more forcefully.

    A landslide is within their grasp. Some might say that that's not good for democracy. I disagree: they'll need that kind of comprehensive mandate and ringing endorsement to - no more and no less - save an economy and a society that could otherwise simply disintigrate...

    ...Alistair "David Kelly" Campbell's lies, spin and self-satisfied prejudices notwithstanding.

  3. A landslide is probably necessary because otherwise there's a danger of him getting ousted at the following election for doing the right thing on the economy.


Any thoughts?