Sunday, 10 November 2019

War of the worms

I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.

In fact, we might just be seeing the start of this trend now:

The Conservative worm appears to be taking a rest, while Labour's is - perhaps - starting to wriggle energetically upwards.

There seems to be a ceiling on support for the Conservatives - in 2017 it was in the mid 40s and now, critically, it is several points lower (due to disillusionment over Brexit, disenchantment over social problems, the rise of the Farage and the Brexit Party, and Johnson being more of a 'difficult' figure to voters than May was).

Meanwhile, Labour's potential will be starting to think seriously about who they want to vote for and - possibly reluctantly at first - opting for Labour.

Importantly, this will create a new narrative - that the Conservatives are 'stalled' and Labour are starting to ;close the gap' and the 'Corbyn effect' is starting to impact on the campaign. That will mostly be twaddle but the media like to sound like they know what is going on and sound clever (like me).  The result will be that they actually start to create the effect they are trying to discern.

This might sound like grave hypocrisy from someone who frequently scorns polls, but the point is not the individual numbers or even where the aggregate lies, but the trend. Pollsters - unless they are completely useless - will tend to pick up shifts of opinion - and how the polls actually can influence the public's perception of what is going on.

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