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A 5 Point Lead…. May 26, 2017

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.

Thanks to Dermot O’Connor for the news ...

CON 42%(-5)
LAB 34%(+5)
LDEM 9%(+1)
UKIP 4%(-2)

This one AFTER the bombs!

CON 43%(-1),
LAB 38%(+3),
LDEM 10%(+1),
UKIP 4%(+1) – a Tory lead of just five points.

UK Polling Reports Take

With Corbyn due to make a speech on The Manchester Bombing and it’s connection with UK foreign policy, it will be interesting to see if the gap widens again as surely the Press will be going hell for leather even more to get at him.


1. CL - May 26, 2017

– If the swing to Labour were uniform across the country, May would lose seats in the House of Commons, with the Tory majority falling to two from 17, the Times said.-

If the surge to Labour continues Sinn Fein may have to take its seats in the Commons.


2. sonofstan - May 26, 2017

If over the next few days, it begins to appear possible that Labour might win, there’ll be a sea change in attitudes. I know a lot of Labour voting types who are stuck in the ‘Corbyn is unelectable’ mindset and use this as their excuse for not being particularly engaged. Now they’ll have to either say ‘I want a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn’ or admit that the prospect scares them and scuttle off to the LDs. If this polling boost is sustained, then we’ll have the first serious left/ right contest since……? actually I don’t know when, as, in ’83, it was a foregone conclusion, and since then, it’s been Labour in the Thatcherite jet stream versus the original article.


WorldbyStorm - May 26, 2017

Well one way or another this leaves the centre and right in the LP looking like utter wreckers.


ivorthorne - May 26, 2017


They really do look bad now, don’t they?

Let’s not forget though, that there are those in the centre and the right of the LP who both thought Corbyn was unelectable AND they are utterly against what he stands for. They may have used talk about winning elections to appeal to their colleagues but the truth is that they want a slightly less nasty, somewhat more liberal version of typical Tory policy rather than substantial change. In this respect, these people may have achieved their aims.

The polls tend to inflate Labour figures. Their supporters in polls are less likely to turn up on election day but there’s no denying that conventional wisdom is out the window these days. Who will turn up on election day is unknown. The normal adjustments made by polling companies may not be accurate.

Corbyn is still 6/1 with the bookies to be PM but those look like good odds given recent trends. You’ll still probably lose your money, but those odds will be 3/1 in a week at this rate!

Interesting article here:



Michael Carley - May 26, 2017

My decision to join Labour on Monday almost looks like foresight.

There will be a left-right fight and it’s about time.


sonofstan - May 26, 2017

Labout much more visible here this time with a local, Asian, candidate – you wouldn’t know Steve Baker (Tory, hard Brexiter) was running


3. irishelectionliterature - May 26, 2017

I wonder did the Tories believe they were unassailable in the polls and just assume they were going to get a massive majority.
May has been less than impressive and then you had things like Fox Hunting which along with other policies scared people into the reality that the Tories would do as they pleased if they got in.
There’s a bit to go yet and I’m sure we’ll hear the “Coalition of Chaos” line a lot more add to that we’ll also see a rerun of the SNP backing Labour in Government scare story as the Tories whip up anti Scottish sentiment again.


ivorthorne - May 26, 2017

May needs this election now for multiple reasons. Right now, UKIPers are dust. By stealing their clothes, the Conservatives steal their votes. This gives them an advantage in certain constituencies even where Labour’s vote has remained stable.

Once negotiations get going, it’ll become obvious that the Conservatives cannot deliver what the UKIPers have wanted. In that circumstance, UKIP will take 4-5 percent from the Conservatives and that will advantage Labour in some constituencies.

If the Cons get their majority victory now and see out a full term, people will have, mostly, forgotten the concessions they’ve made during the negotiations. Hell if the economic forecast is particularly bad, they can announce a second referendum on the final deal.

Whatever the deal is, the Conservatives will be punished. Getting the election out of the way now means that the punishment will be further away and mitigated to the greatest extent possible by time.


4. FergusD - May 26, 2017

Last night I briefly turned to “Newsnight” on BBC2. Who did I see being interviewed by Kirsty Wark but Charles Clarke, former Blairite minister. Clarke was having a go at Corbyn’s yet to be given speech on foreign policy. This has been published in advance I think, everyone seems to know it. Corbyn makes a link between UK (and US etc) foreign policy (creating chaos in the Middle East and Libya) and terrorism and mass migration. Clarke, of course, tried to rubbish that, but then he is a real war monger. Going on about an existential clash between themmuns and our civilisation. Wark egging him on. Couldn’t watch much of it, vomit inducing.

Clarke was a right yob in the BLP and government and a yob in the National Union of Students in my time. Where did they dig that has been out from? The BBC, Wark included, are such naked Tory sycophants it must be obvious to everybody by now.

Mind you the “Corbyn was an IRA bomber” slurs don’t seem to be helping the Tories.


5. roddy - May 26, 2017

Where was JC based in his “bombing days”? Was he in the”engineering dept” or did he drive lorries laden with mortars?!


6. Joe - May 26, 2017

Remember when jc took the early lead in the polls when he was standing for Labour leader and then kept that lead and we all waited for the bubble to burst but it didn’t and SoS came on here with a bemused “he can’t actually win it, can he?” . He can’t actually win it, can he?


7. Dermot O Connor - May 26, 2017

Christ, just heard Friday’s ‘Newstalk’. In the second half hour, PK interviews some English bobblehead about Manchester. Pat raises the issue of Labour’s surge in the polls, expresses the default bourgeois disbelief (along with the Englisher). Ignores the fact that Labour has been closing the gap for WEEKS.

Uh, maybe Labour is rising because Labour was asking for 10,000 extra police? And being MOCKED for it?

No, our English expert says, because more police wouldn’t make a difference. What’s needed is intelligence, not police. (false choice fallacy).

YET, within FIVE MINUTES of that statement, he goes on to describe the importance of police having good community relations with minority groups, and knowing about what’s happening on the ground, following up on warnings, etc.


Extra police are BAD if Corbyn wants them,


they’re good.



Also, re: Lab’s surge: English bobblehead & Pat say: “You can’t believe the polls anyway”. Funny how this skepticism was absent 2 weeks ago regarding the 25% tory ‘lead’, which WAS believable, apparently.

Polls = reliable when it’s an insider leading,


Polls = unreliable when it’s an outsider, or something, something something.

Class example of Petitio Principii (begging the question). The media are getting really good (or bad) at it.

Why the anti-Corbyn animus in Irish media anyway? Given the danger to Ireland from the Tory Brexiteers, you’d think they’d regard ANYONE other than T May as a possible improvement? I guess being a D4 Tory is just in their bloody DNA at this point.


ivorthorne - May 26, 2017

The left in Ireland support Corbyn (generally). Irish Labour really, really hate him. He makes a mockery of their “realistic”, “”responsible” policies.

The Irish media dislike Corbyn because they see him as legitimising the Left when they’ve tried to marginalise them. If Corbyn successfully implemented his policies in the UK, the same sort of policies the likes of AAA-PBP have been promoting – then they’d look foolish. It is hard to claim TINA when someone implements an alternative.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - May 26, 2017

“The Irish media dislike Corbyn because they see him as legitimising the Left when they’ve tried to marginalise them. ”

It’s a great question DOC and I think that’s the answer IT.

There’s also the mini-me attitude of some in the Irish media as regards the UK, following their cues from ‘bien-pensant’ thinking there.


Dermot O Connor - May 26, 2017

Haha! Mini-me!

Oh god, yes. There’s a whole cohort (esp. in the Indo) who read reactionary rightist tripe from US sites, and milquetoast liberal tripe from the US/UK, and re-write it for the Irish market.

It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it.


It’s not a tough job, it’s a piece of piss.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - May 26, 2017

Can’t disagree 🙂


sonofstan - May 27, 2017

Mind you, they’re not the only ones having to deal with cognitive dissonance. We’re all going to have to revise our previously low opinion of the British electorate is Labour do win.

Liked by 1 person

8. roddy - May 26, 2017

Another reason freestate Labour and the media hate Corbyn is because of his positive relationship with SF for decades.


9. Dermot O Connor - May 26, 2017

Craig Murray on the May police cuts:


And the final shot is a pretty telling tweet from a BBC shillbot, copying out tory PR, with a fantastic reply:


10. sonofstan - May 27, 2017

The Lunnun E’nin’ Stannah leads with ‘The Race is On’ and sub heads with Labour narrow gap. You’d almost think the editor of such a reliably Tory rag had a bone to pick with the PM.


Dermot O Connor - May 27, 2017

If you missed Sam Kriss’s piece on the Standard, you may enjoy.



11. CL - May 27, 2017

“Jeremy Corbyn is correct in saying that there is a strong connection between the terrorist threat in Britain and the wars Britain has fought abroad, notably in Iraq and Libya….
Emotional outpourings, sincere or not, are politically convenient for governments because they divert attention from failed policies that may well have helped promote terrorist movements….
It should be firmly said that, if Saddam and Gaddafi had not been overthrown, it is unlikely that Salman Abedi would have been in a position to slaughter people in Manchester.”-Patrick Cockburn.


CL - May 28, 2017

“It is necessary at this point to emphasise once again that explanation is not justification….
The venom and hysteria with which Mr Corbyn is accused of letting the bombers morally off the hook has much to do with the General Election, but may also suggest a well-concealed suspicion that what he says is true….

Downplaying the religious motivation and saying the killers “have nothing to do with real Islam” may have benign intentions, but has the disadvantage of being glaringly untrue. All the killers have been Muslim religious fanatics….
It might be more useful to say that their vicious beliefs have their roots in Wahhabism, a very small portion of the Muslim world population living in Saudi Arabia. Of course, this would have the disadvantage of annoying Saudi Arabia, whose rulers Britain and much of the rest of the world are so keen to cultivate.”
-P. Cockburn


12. roddy - May 27, 2017

Unfortunately a poll tonight gives Torys a 12 pt lead.


Ed - May 27, 2017

There were meant to be 5 (!) polls released today, so they’ll probably give a spread, best to work out the average between them I think. But if you’re talking about the same one I saw cited earlier, even that isn’t bad for Labour at all: it has them up 4 points to 34% and the Tories down 2 to 46%, so still 6 points closer than the last one. The polling companies have different ways of weighting the sample to try and account for how likely voters are to turn out; apparently that company does it in a way that assumes Labour supporters are less likely to vote, so if the turnout is higher than expected, Labour could do better than they’re predicting.


Ed - May 27, 2017

Just had a check there – YouGov, who were the ones with the poll showing a 5 point lead for the Tories, now give them 7 points; that boost for the Tories is still within the margin of error. Another polling company has them on a 6 point lead (also 6 points lower than the last poll by the same company). Haven’t seen the other two polls that were meant to come out with yet. There’s definitely an upwards trend across them all it seems.

Still remains to be seen what impact, if any, Corbyn’s speech yesterday will have on Labour’s poll ratings; but for what it’s worth, most of the political journalists I saw commenting on it reckoned he had handled it very well and thought it would either do Labour no harm or might do them a bit of good. There was another poll done by YouGov yesterday asking people if they thought terrorist attacks in Britain were linked at least in part to Britain’s wars in the Middle East, and there was a crushing majority in favour (53% to 24% I think). All the anti-Corbyn hacks have been reduced to pretending he said that British foreign policy could excuse the Manchester bombing, which of course he explicitly did not say. If people actually get to hear what Corbyn said about terrorism (and that’s a big ‘if’ of course), it could do Labour a power of good; the idea that the ‘war on terror’ has been a failure is only controversial in a tiny circle of journos who staked their reputation on supporting the Iraq war and will never admit they were wrong.

I said it earlier on another thread but I’ll say it again: Corbyn and his team really have been playing a blinder since the campaign started, it’s been their finest hour by far since he became leader. Deciding to use the first public appearance after the Manchester attack to denounce the ‘war on terror’ was a really brave move; even people who were sympathetic to Corbyn were very doubtful about whether it was the smart thing to do when it was being flagged up the night before. But touch wood, it seems to have worked. Whatever happens in the next 10 days or so, they deserve huge credit for the way they’ve handled things.


WorldbyStorm - May 27, 2017

Very much agree, thought the speech was excellent and highly impressed by how professional the campaign is (with one caveat – I like Diane Abbott but she’s not great in this particular crucible). They are definitely playing a blinder.


Ivorthorne - May 28, 2017

I think the speech is a damage limitation speech rather than a vote getter. Corbyn is portrayed as weak on defence and his stance on terrorism etc. Is mischaracterises so I wouldn’t expect a bounce. It’s just a reassurance.

Liked by 1 person

Iceman - May 28, 2017

Corbyn apparently refusing to confirm she will be home secretary.
How could she be after Manchester? Lovely lady but a one person wrecking ball that single handedly represents the idea labour cannot rule …which given the strong performance of others is the lie


WorldbyStorm - May 28, 2017

There’s a place for that sort of warmth in politics, Mowlam exemplified it, albeit it’s an acquired taste. But she’s moving from not great to problematic at a fair clip in terms of her pronouncements. They’re just too off the cuff.


13. Jolly Red Giant - May 28, 2017

I remember only a short few of weeks ago all the pessimists on here predicting a disaster for the LP, a massive landslide win for the Tories and the chicken-little sky is falling in on the back of racism and xenophobia.

It would be interesting to see what the polls would be if the vast majority of Blairite MPs weren’t trying to shaft Corbyn and actually campaigned on the LP manifesto, rather than refusing to mention it and campaigning solely on ‘their personal record’ as Blairites.


Joe - May 28, 2017

Well, let’s not get carried away. All polls still showing a Tory victory, just disagreeing on what the margin will be. But if the trend continues then we could have a good day or even a great day on election day.
If Labour comes a close second, it shows that the Brexit vote wasn’t the end-of-the-world that some people made it out to be. The suggestion that it doomed Britain to Tory rule for generations doesn’t seem to ring true now. People can be won over by good arguments for social democracy. Labour can win power in the UK – if not this time, then maybe the next time.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - May 28, 2017

JRG, you yourself wrote the following only a few short weeks ago…

“The likelihood is that the Tories will win the election in Britain – although it is far from guaranteed. ”

That’s not exactly bursting with optimism. But I imagine none of us would disagree at the time you wrote it – even while holding out a tiny grain of hope that during the campaign things might improve.

As Joe rightly says the Tories almost certainly are going to win this election – would that it were otherwise – and due to the nature of the UK political system, and with the loss of Scotland to the SNP (not that that would gift the LP a victory were it otherwise at this point), will be in a commanding position to further rewrite the electoral map in England to their advantage etc. These links are useful for considering likely outcomes as matters stand – and it’s also very important to keep in mind that the Tory percentages are also up on 2015, substantially so. And worst of all even as the percentages are better for the LP it may be that the actual votes pile up in the wrong places due to FPTP.





Joe is correct that it’s not the end of the world. It’s still a hell of a challenge, shorn of Scotland and with a dominant Tory part, albeit one with some of the gloss taken off it, it’s not all rosy in the garden. I think none of us would think the LP was, even in the worst reading and with the polls further against it, a beaten docket. I wrote myself that there was no alternative UK wide formation and hence the idea of it being superseded was so much hot air from the liberal media in the UK.

And finally, as SoS notes, is there anyone here who would be upset at a Labour win? I’m a former member and if I were in the UK I would still be a member despite everything, there are actual members here on the site, etc. If there’s one thing we want it is for it to win this and every election and for JC to be the PM. Why would we want it otherwise? He’s someone we like and admire, it’s a party that for all its faults still has genuine left social democratic strands to it.

Liked by 1 person

Joe - May 29, 2017

Shorn of Scotland? That’s not set in stone. Scotland can be won back to social democracy.


WorldbyStorm - May 29, 2017

I wonder, while agreeing nothing is set in stone. The SNP Is only this weekend saying it wants to work in a progressive alliance and that’s clever politics, why vote BLP when you can vote SNP as.local de facto proxy and one that speaks rhetorically (and sometimes not entirely rhetorically) a fair bit of social democracy itself. Its not an absolute comparison but there us a dynamic where more local parties supplant pre existing ‘national’ parties around national ruptures, ie SF in 1917 on as against the HR party etc etc. That’s very difficult to combat, particularly when devolution giftsa platform to more local parties in local parliaments. Again as you say its not inevitable but a further thought, the BLP revival is not at all in evidence in Scotland. Surely if it had the potential to do so it would be.


Joe - May 29, 2017

The Tories were written off in Scotland for twenty years but are apparently now making a bit of a comeback. Labour can too. I confidently predict (!) that Scotland will end its dalliance with narrow nationalism and return to the embrace of internationalist British social democracy in the not too distant future. England too. And Wales.
The other constituent part of the UK will remain mired in narrow nationalism in perpetuity.


WorldbyStorm - May 29, 2017

Possibly – twenty years, I’d think the lp might see some return before then though independence may preempt that. But how much of a return?


ivorthorne - May 29, 2017

I’d hold off on making any predictions! There are too many balls in the air right now.

The Tories’ policies will get a backlash but in the recent past, that has been directed towards foreigners, domestic leeches etc. A hard right turn is as likely to occur as an upsurge in international socialism.

The Tories may be getting more popular in Scotland but that is itself a reaction to the Independence movement, Brexit etc.


EWI - May 29, 2017

Shorn of Scotland? That’s not set in stone. Scotland can be won back to social democracy.

Given how Tory victories or any Blairite return in the BLP squelches ‘social democracy’ dead, you must surely be referring to either a Corbyn victory or an SNP victory at referendum.


EWI - May 29, 2017

confidently predict (!) that Scotland will end its dalliance with narrow nationalism and return to the embrace of internationalist British social democracy in the not too distant

There’s a lot of assumptions to unpack in that medley of reasoning, not least the puzzling claim that Scotland can’t be a social democracy but that the UK – the same construct that still harkens to empire – is destined to be such. Really?


sonofstan - May 28, 2017

Yes, and I for one will be devastated if Labour win because being right on the internet is all I care about

Liked by 3 people

GW - May 28, 2017

GW – very happy to be proved wrong in this case JRG. It’s still a way to go – but if Labour can come in with a Tory majority of less than fifty and the Blairites seen off, it will be a significant (unforeseen by me and others) victory for the people working with Corbyn in the UK.

No Tory majority would be even better but I daren’t hope on that scale.

We’ll see in a couple of weeks.

A smallish majority might even create problems holding the Tories together pushing through Brexit – a hypothesis asserted by some British Trotskyists.

We’ll see sometime in the next decade if we’re still around.


WorldbyStorm - May 28, 2017

One thing I’d add is, and I’m always dubious about personality in politics, but there’s an intrinsic decency (not obviously in the ‘decents’ sense of the term) about Corbyn. Even where one might disagree with a stance of his it is clear he’s someone who is principled. For all Nick Cohen’s fulminations (and I see today he’s giving out about – of all people – Andy Burnham as an example of the BLP ‘giving in’ to extremists it is clear he’s actually more cautious and more considered than his enemies give him credit. I think that has resonated (and by contrast there’s an interesting piece in the Observer today about how damaged May has been by flip flops etc).

Nothing would please me more to see him as PM. But as you say GW there’s things we daren’t hope for even well before that. If he can keep the BLP on the road as a going concern, if he and they can minimise May’s majority, if they can keep the BLP positioned on genuine social democratic ground those three will be such huge achievements given all else, well, I won’t be happy, not with the Tories in power, but I’ll know that given how serious the situation there’s something salvageable from the wreckage. And if this comes to pass it will be very much his and his allies doing. They deserve tremendous credit for that.


Ed - May 29, 2017

I posted this response to your seemingly invincible self-satisfaction on a previous thread JRG; in case you missed it, or chose to ignore it, I’ll post it again:

Seriously JRG, if you’re trying to ride on Corbyn’s coat-tails so you can indulge in some entirely unearned smugness, you can f**k right off. I really, really, hope that the current polling figures hold up for the election in less than a fortnight’s time, or even that the gap narrows a little. But if that happens, the credit belongs entirely to Corbyn and his allies; you can keep your hands off it. I can remember you ‘crying’ that the Brexit vote was going to be a disaster for the Tories, rapidly resulting in a split and a Labour victory bringing Corbyn to power; and I can remember you ‘crying’ about how Corbyn had ‘dug himself a hole’ by not following the brilliant and inspired Lexit line of your comrades.

As things stand, it still looks as if Brexit will be May’s salvation; the Tories have taken enough UKIP votes by adopting their programme to get themselves a majority on June 8th. The main political effect of Brexit has been to unify and strengthen the right-wing bloc on a radicalized platform; almost certainly that will be enough to compensate for May’s incompetence and the unpopularity of much of her policy agenda. In the light of recent polls, the view I’m hearing from a lot of pro-Corbyn leftists here is ‘you know, this suggests it actually would have been possible for someone like Corbyn to win, if it wasn’t for Brexit’. Corbyn and his team have been playing a blinder since the election was called; whatever the final result turns out to be, they’ve given it their very best shot and the campaign has been a credit to them on every front. They’ve made the very best of a bad situation not of their own making. Please keep your mitts off that achievement and don’t try using it to justify more hollow, self-aggrandizing bombast.


Jolly Red Giant - May 29, 2017

looks like someone got their knickers in a twist 🙂


Ed - May 30, 2017

No attempt at a reply so? Can’t say I’m surprised: it’s a pattern. You pop up with some coat-trailing about how brilliant and inspired your own analysis is and how superior it is to everyone else’s; you make no attempt to engage with the responses you get, either you come out with more hollow boasting or you just move on and repeat the same schtick next time. If you can’t see how wearisome this is, I don’t know how to explain it to you.

I can tell you this: every single left-winger I know who lives in Britain—not to mention the British-based people who post here—has been struggling to keep hold of their optimism since last summer’s referendum. We’ve had the Tories soaring in the polls to unprecedented heights on a toxic platform; Labour in disarray and Corbyn under siege; political debate dominated by questions of immigration and national identity to the exclusion of anything to do with class or economics; and some truly horrifying stuff appearing in the Tory press (qualitatively worse than before). It’s been a bloody grim year to observe at close quarters, I can assure you (and the friends who’ve shared my dismay at all of this include former members of your own party, for what it’s worth). All the while, you’ve popped up here to tell us that up is down and black is white; we should all be delighted at the outcome of the referendum and doing a little jig in celebration. It gets very, very tiresome after a while.

Labour’s campaign and its rise in the polls are the first few rays of sun-shine on the British political scene since last June, but it’s happened in spite of Brexit, not because of it (and it still looks as if Brexit will deliver a Tory victory in spite of all their other weaknesses). As I’ve said, Corbyn and his team deserve enormous credit for this turnaround; whatever happens next week, the left should be in a stronger position thanks to their work. It’s not your achievement (it’s not mine either, of course); it doesn’t vindicate anything that you’ve said; and I’m sure immigrants who’ve spent the last year worrying about what the future holds for them in Britain will really appreciate your snide comments about ‘chicken-little sky is falling in on the back of racism and xenophobia’. Classy.


Michael Carley - May 30, 2017

I can tell you this: every single left-winger I know who lives in Britain—not to mention the British-based people who post here—has been struggling to keep hold of their optimism since last summer’s referendum.

Damn right: we are now drawing some hope from the way that Corbyn and the people around him (Seumas Milne is definitely owed an apology by a lot of people) have managed to salvage something both for the Labour party as an electoral organization, and for the movements generally, but we should not pretend it is anything other than a salvage operation.


14. roddy - May 29, 2017

Sometimes i get the feeling that certain people south of the frontier secretly crave to be “a constituent part of the UK” again.


Joe - May 29, 2017

Ah now. I’d like to live in a social democracy. One world, no borders.


15. roddy - May 29, 2017

I see Ken Loach has endorsed “narrow Nationalism”.He has callled for voters to endorse SF’s John Finucane!


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