#Nigel4Newark: the Pros and Cons of Running

The UKIP leader says he will “think very hard” about standing in Newark but appeared cautious last night, asking is it the right seat for me?” Guido gives you the pros and cons facing Farage.

Pros

  • CLICK TO ENLARGEAnalysis by the Election Data website (right, click to enlarge) looking at Mosaic demographic data, past voting behaviour and self-reported political affiliation suggests that Farage would be well received in Newark. The overwhelming majority of the constituency is seen as “receptive” or “fairly receptive” to UKIP, with some areas “very receptive”. Only the town centre are voters described as “unreceptive”.
  • UKIP’s support in the seat has multiplied in the last four years. In 2010 the UKIP candidate polled just 3.8%. As George Eaton notes in the 2013 county council elections the party won 17.1% in Newark and Sherwood. The by-election will come off the back of a Tory humiliation in Europe.
  • Mike Smithson makes a convincing point for the pro camp: the last Tory by-election hold while in government was William Hague at Richmond in 1989 – 25 years ago.
  • Farage has hinted that he wants to run in a by-election before 2015. How many more by-elections will there be in UKIP-friendly Tory seats in the next year?

Cons

  • Patrick Mercer had a majority of 16,152. It is a fairly safe Tory seat.
  • The Tory candidate Robert Jenrick has been putting in the groundwork over the last few weeks in anticipation of a by-election and the Tories are quietly confident their man is the real deal. Though his website needs some work.
  • Farage told BBC News last night his main reservation is that he is not a local candidate, admitting “I haven’t particularly got connections with the local area”. Given UKIP’s Tory opponent has been parachuted in, might UKIP gain from running a candidate from within the constituency instead?
  • The establishment media is with one voice telling Farage that if he does not run in Newark then he is a bottler. His enemies seem awfully keen on Nigel running. The Tory stooges at the Times have put it on their front page, as have the Telegraph. Are they setting a trap?

Or does he who dares win…

Hacked Off Seek EU Diktat to Force Through New Press Laws Watson Backs Brussels Directive on Media Ownership

After Sajid Javid signalled that he wanted to put the issue of press regulation “to bed”, Hacked Off last night called for an EU directive to force through new laws and overrule the Culture Secretary. Evan Harris and Natalie Fenton, two of the group’s directors, endorsed a new campaign aiming to secure a petition of one million signatures and seek a diktat from Brussels to set limits on media ownership at a European level.

The campaign, which has the somewhat sinister name ‘Reclaim the Media’, is backed by the Green MP Caroline Lucas, the National Union of Journalists, the Trades Union Council and Labour’s Tom Watson, who was due to chair last night’s meeting but failed to attend after he was “unavoidably detained in his constituency”Evan Harris’ face told you everything you need to know about the prospects for Hacked Off’s latest doomed venture…

Click to enlarge.

MediaGuido was particularly interested by a series of graphs provided at the meeting. Reclaim the Media’s campaign for plurality focuses on the Murdoch and Rothermere titles, despite their own evidence showing that it is actually the BBC that enjoys unrivalled dominance in the news industry. Confused Labour MP John McDonnell suggested the motives were personal: “there are thousands of asylum seekers locked up because the government is pandering to the racism of the Daily Mail”, adding that MPs were “petrified by the bucket of sh*t that The Sun pours on you”. Yet according to their own evidence it isn’t the Mail or the Sun that threaten press plurality, it is the BBC…

UKIP Stealing 1 in 5 2010 Labour Voters

Labour are getting spooked by the rise of Red UKIP. Ed’s British guru Lord Glasman used his interview with the Sunday Times to warn middle-class metropolitan Miliband that he is haemorrhaging working class votes to Farage:

“This is a long-term trend since 2001, in terms of the working-class vote just declining quite dramatically. The Labour middle-class vote held up [in 2010]. It was the working-class vote that died. These are often people who are earning, who have jobs, but they don’t see Labour as representing their interests. There was possibly an assumption at first that [the rise of Ukip] would just work against the Tories. But there is a view that says that after the European and local elections are over, there could be a swing back to the Conservatives of Ukip voters. But will there be necessarily a swing back to Labour from the Ukip voters?”

Do the numbers back him up? 

YouGov’s poll this weekend found that almost one in five of Labour’s 2010 voters said they would be voting UKIP on May 22. One in ten Labour 2010 voters said they would vote UKIP in 2015. That said UKIP is still hurting the Tories and LibDems far more. Just 46% of Tory 2010 voters are sticking with Dave for the Euros. The same number have defected to UKIP…

GRAPH:  BBC Mind Share v Public Market Share

BBC-PAPER-CHARTFor years the BBC has explained its disproportionate consumption of the Guardian newspaper compared with public market share by arguing that it needs to buy more broadsheet papers than popular ones to best provide news for licence fee payers. It is not an issue of left-right bias, they claim, rather a distinction along broadsheet-popular press lines. Guido has analysed new figures released by the BBC to see whether this excuse stands up to scrutiny.

Methodology: By dividing a) each paper’s percentage share of the total papers purchased by the BBC , with b) each paper’s percentage share of the public market, we get c) the BBC mind share / public market share ratio. This tells us how greater or smaller BBC consumption is proportionally compared to public consumption.

Results: As the graph above shows, BBC consumption of the Independent is proportionally over 11 times that of the public market share. Next follows the Guardian at almost 5 times. BBC consumption of the Telegraph is proportionally just 1.7 times that of the public, and consumption of the Tory establishment’s Times newspaper is proportionally just 2.5 times as much as the public. The left-wing broadsheets have a far higher BBC consumption ratio than their right-wing rivals.

However, the popular press is where the BBC really gives the game away. Proportionally its consumption of the Mail is half that of the public and its consumption of the Sun is just a third that of the public. These are by some distance the two best-selling newspapers among the general population. Yet BBC consumption of the Mirror is proportionally double that of the Sun and 1.5 times that of the Mail.

Conclusion: This analysis shows that while the BBC is right that it makes a distinction between low circulation broadsheets and the popular press, there is a left-wing bias that extends to all papers. Among broadsheets, the BBC’s consumption of the Guardian and Independent is proportionally considerably higher that of the right-wing broadsheets (Times and Telegraph). Among the popular press, the BBC’s consumption of the Mirror is proportionally considerably higher than the Mail and the Sun. The numbers clearly show that the BBC’s newspaper purchasing patterns are not determined along a broadsheet-popular divide, they are determined on a left-right political bias.

Two Thirds Say Standards Committee Should Be Abolished

69% of the public agree with Guido that MPs should not be allowed to sit on the committee that judges whether politicians are guilty of fiddling their expenses, according to a Survation poll for Breitbart London. 47% say Maria Miller makes them less likely to vote Tory in 2015, 55% say Dave has handled it badly and the same number say Miller is the worst expenses cheat since 2009. But you keep on fighting for her, Prime Minister…

What the Public Thinks About Each Party Leader

Big exclusive polling by the Daily Politics today. Who do you most trust to manage the economy? Cameron/Osborne 58%, Miliband/Balls 42% – damning for Labour. A glimmer of hope for Ed that he is seen as less weird than Farage, but a very small silver lining. Here is what the people think:

Click to enlarge.
Via Populus / Daily Politics.

Pundit’s “Budget for the Old” Wins Youth Vote Weird Ed Has Lost Younger Voters Since Budget

If you read the pundits, for example  and , the budget was aimed at older voters to counteract UKIP’s attraction to older more traditional small ‘c’ conservative voters. This is the pundit’s explanation for the poll lead collapse by Labour – now down to just 1%. Pundits claim Osborne has cunningly found granny’s political g-spot.

Has he really? Here is the move post budget in Tory support:

tory-budget-poll

Younger voters up 5%, middle years up 3%, grey-haired support unchanged for the Tories. Whereas for Ed Miliband:

lab-budget-poll

Labour has actually gained older voters perhaps nostalgic for the Kinnock type socialism now offered by Miliband. Weird Ed has lost 6% support from young voters, slightly less from middle age voters and gained 2% more support from aging lefties. Don’t think this is a random poll error – the YouGov results above are based on combining 8 polls to give some good sample sizes. Pundits will no doubt mull this over and recalibrate their musings. Guido has a working hypothesis, backed up by some data: Ed just isn’t cool. He’s an uncool weirdo that younger voters don’t want to be associated with, he has loser written all over him. 51 per cent of 18-24 year olds describe Ed Miliband as weird, the percentage of the Shadow Cabinet that agrees is even higher…

‘Weird Ed’ Problem is Not Going Away

After four years as leader the British public still thinks Ed Miliband is a weirdo who was the unpopular bed-wetting swot that got bullied at school and picked last for sport teams.

All vote winning qualities…

Buzzfeed’s YouGov poll today shows Ed is seen as by far the weirdest party leader, with 51% of 18-24 year olds describing him as weird. That’s 50% weirder than Cameron. YouGov find that 29% think Ed Miliband is doing well as Labour leader, 60% badly, a negative net score of minus 31% compared to David Cameron’s minus 9%. As Guido wrote last week, these are not the numbers for a Prime Minister in Waiting, and the public literally laugh at Labour’s ideas.

The weirdo evidence is compelling…

Long Term Economic GraphOBR Forecast 0.2% Surplus in 2018/19

The deficit will be 6.6% this year and 5.5% next year. That’s £108 billion this year, then £95 billion and £75 billion over the next two years. The OBR now forecasts a small surplus of 0.2% in 2018/19. Guido thinks these revised numbers will yet again be revised, but they’re strong enough to dangle in front of the voters in 2015.

Chuka Umunna Economics 101

Chuka Umunna seemed to have had some difficulty with the basic facts during his interview on the World at One this lunchtime. Somewhat worryingly for a shadow business secretary, Chuka reckons:

“Most of our thirteen years in office we didn’t have a debt, er, a deficit, because we hadn’t had the financial crash.”

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Allow Guido to explain slowly. As this handy graph from the Spectator shows, the last government spent more than it was bringing in from 2002 onwards.

defici

Chuka’s claim that Labour did not run a deficit for most of its time in power is patently untrue…

H/T @roxley

Percentage of Indian MPs Facing Criminal Charges by Party

Guido India would never run out of copy…

Leaked Tory Candidates List Confirms Dave's Women Problem Less Than 1 in 3 Names on the List are Female

Guido has obtained the top-secret Conservative Party parliamentary candidates list – and it doesn’t look like the Tories’ “women problem” will be going away. As Guido revealed in yesterday’s Sun, less than a third of the names on the list are women, just 31%. This despite Cameron’s promise to get more women on board and him privately blaming Tory associations for not selecting female candidates, though actually it is CCHQ who have approved twice as many men as women for selection. Even then the overwhelming majority of safe seats which have already chosen candidates have been won by men. Labour’s Michael Dugher is scornful, he tells Guido: “Female Tories will still be in a minority and David Cameron has broken all his promises to do anything about it.” Stay tuned for more revelations from the leaked Tory candidates list…

Government of the Etonians, by the Etonians for the Etonians

tory-etonian-manifesto

The FT has a great spot this morning:

“There are six people writing the manifesto and five of them went to Eton; the other went to St Paul’s,” one Conservative MP in a marginal constituency told the Financial Times. A senior minister said the make-up of the prime minister’s team was a bad advertisement for social mobility.

The authors of the next Tory manifesto are, according to the FT; Cameron himself, Jo Johnson, Ed Llewellyn, Dave’s old school friend and chief of staff; Oliver Letwin, minister for government policy and Rupert Harrison. The male-only team are all former Etonians, except in a nod to social mobility George Osborne, who was educated at St Paul’s in London, has been allowed to join the Eton Fives team. Floreat Etona!

Misery Index: Get Happy

You might be reading this with the ground floor of your house underwater but it doesn’t matter: you are officially the happiest you have been this parliament. Today’s unemployment figures provide a statistical anomaly of seeing the rate rise 0.1% even though the actual number has fallen by 125,000. Choose which stat you want to use as per partisan preference. 

There has been a small increase in Retail Price Index inflation, though the small fall in the Public Sector Net Cash Requirement provides some cheer. As you can see from the chart to the right, seasonally adjusted public sector debt aside, there is a clear trend of a decline in misery since February 2011…

N.B. stats bods can check Guido’s adding up here.

Q4 GDP +0.7%

Everything you need to know about today’s GDP figures in one place:

  • GDP increased by 0.7% in Q4 2013 compared with Q3 2013.
  • Output increased in three of the four main industrial groupings within the economy in Q4 2013 compared with Q3 2013.
  • Output increased by 0.5% in agriculture, 0.7% in production and 0.8% in services.
  • However, output decreased by 0.3% in construction.
  • In Q4 2013 GDP was estimated to be 1.3% below the peak in Q1 2008.
  • From peak to trough in 2009, the economy shrank by 7.2%.
  • GDP was 2.8% higher in Q4 2013 compared with the same quarter a year ago.
  • GDP is estimated to have increased by 1.9% in 2013, compared with 2012.

The ONS’ conclusion: growth is not strong but the economy seems to have “a better tone” than previous years.

Everything is ‘Better Than You Expected’, Blanchflower

David Blanchflower, Gordon Brown’s favourite former appointee to the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, has come as close as his arrogance allows him to admitting he was totally wrong about everything. Back in 2009 the out-of-luck economist gazed into his faulty crystal ball and predicted that unemployment would top 5 million if the Tories came into power. In 2010 he forecast that unemployment would surge past 3 million to 3.4 million and in 2012 he predicted unemployment would go up the day before it dipped below 8%. So today’s painful admission that UK unemployment is ‘falling surprisingly fast’, which ‘is welcome good news and better than I had expected’, is a bit of an understatement. Better than expected… to the tune of millions of jobs.

 

End of Ed’s “Cost of Living Crisis”

At the beginning of the year Guido predicted that the data would soon show that Ed’s “Cost-of-Living Crisis” was at an end. Today inflation fell to 2%, hitting the Bank of England’s target for the first time in four years and last month saw reported UK wage growth hit a six year high. Wage growth is set to outstrip inflation and with that the end of the rationale for Ed Miliband’s “Cost-of-Living Crisis”. The public are increasingly confident:

icm-confidence

All Ed’s slogans turn to dust “too far, too fast” was demonstrated to be wrong and Labour MPs think “One Nation Labour” is vacuous. Back to the drawing board…

Saturday Seven-Up

In the last 7 days 68,743 visitors visited 174,969 times viewing 282,820 pages. The top stories in order of popularity were:

If you want to see a round-up of the stats for 2013 with fireworks, take a look here.

You’re either in front of Guido, or behind…

Labour’s Gym Spin Machine Needs to Row Back

Top Labour thinker Luciana Berger has already been widely derided for her spandex-clad election winner that she unveiled last night:

“Millions of people across the country will want to kick-start 2014 by getting fitter and more active. There is a real risk however that many people will be put off from keeping to their New Year’s resolutions by soaring gym charges and David Cameron’s failure to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.”

Berger went on to claim: “A yearly pass now costs £368 on average, an increase of £15 since 2010”. Before this intervention is allowed to shift the entire political narrative, it should also be pointed out that it’s complete nonsense.

An increase of £15 since 2010 constitutes a 4.1% rise. However, if subsidised costs had risen in line with CPI over the same period (10.5%) a pass would cost an average of £390. So in fact that is a real terms cut of £22 in gym membership costs since 2010. Not only was Berger’s intervention completely vacuous, it was just plain wrong. Roll on 2014.

Top Ten Stories of 2013

2013

WATCH: Sun’s Footage of Terrorist Attack Aftermath 245,343
Rolf Harris Arrested By Operation Yewtree Police 206,236
Sunday Sleaze Special 122,034
Exclusive: Cops Trying to Remove Private Eye From Shops 61,394
WATCH: Serbian PM’s Full Frontal No Knickers Flash Interview 46,115
Leveson Effect: Can You See What It Is Yet?
[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Alan Sugar on Jeremy Corbyn:

“It’s clear you alluded to students refunds to get votes from young impressionable people. You are a cheat and should resign.”

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