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Starmer downplays expectations ahead of elections as poll suggests Tories set for Hartlepool win – politics live Starmer downplays expectations ahead of elections as poll suggests Tories set for Hartlepool win – politics live
(32 minutes later)
Poll ahead of crucial byelection follows attempts by Labour to attack Tories over lobbying and cronyismPoll ahead of crucial byelection follows attempts by Labour to attack Tories over lobbying and cronyism
Prof Jane Green, co-director of the British Election Study, has posted a thread on Twitter this morning with evidence that makes the Survation Hartlepool poll (see 9am) very plausible. It starts here.
Using British Election Study figures, Green says 84% of people who voted for the Brexit party in the European elections in 2019 voted for the Conservatives in the general election that year. In seats where no Brexit party candidate was standing at the general election, 91% of the Brexit party vote at the European election went to the Tories.
Here is more from Sir Keir Starmer’s interview on the Today programme. As well as arguing that turning around Labour was always going to take more than a year (see 9am), he also described how he saw the main differences between Labour and the Conservatives.
Starmer rejected claims that under Boris Johnson the Conservative party has become more similar to Labour. When Mishal Husain, the presenter, put it to Starmer that Johnson’s policies on issues like climate change and public services showed the party had changed, Starmer replied:
Husain then cited policies like the proposed corporation tax increase, levelling up, infrastructure spending and moving civil servants out of London as evidence that the Conservatives had changed. Starmer replied:
(Quite how deep, sincere or long-lasting the Tory shift under Johnson will turn out to be is a fascinating question, but it was perhaps surprising that Starmer did not acknowledge that there has at least been some change. Johnson’s Conservatism is not the same as David Cameron. Paul Goodman, the ConserativeHome editor, posted an interesting article on this topic on his website at the weekend._
Starmer claimed he wanted to be like Joe Biden in making vast, transformational changes. When asked if Biden, and the big plans he was putting to Congress, were “the model” for Labour, Starmer replied:
But Starmer refused to be drawn on how much borrowing he would sanction to pay for a transformational agenda. Husain said Biden had two plans each worth $2 trillion. She said she thought Starmer stood for fiscal responsibility. In response, Starmer said the current economic model was not working.
Starmer said Labour would have a fully-costed manifesto at the next election. Asked if he would spend “whatever it takes to transform the economy”, he replied:
Here are some more tables from the Survation poll in Hartlepool. The data tables are here (pdf).Here are some more tables from the Survation poll in Hartlepool. The data tables are here (pdf).
Polling is never 100% reliable as a guide to the outcome of elections, byelection polling is even more difficult and this poll is based on a sample of just 517 residents. The 17-point lead it is giving the Conservatives does look, superficially, unrealistic. But, as Damian Lyons Lowe from Survation explains in his analysis, Hartlepool is a seat that would probably have flipped to the Conservatives in the 2019 general election, along with other so-called “red wall” Labour heartlands seats mostly in the north, had it not been for the fact that the Brexit party got more than 25% of the vote in the town in the general election - its third best result in the UK - partly because its leader, Richard Tice, was standing there. Lyons Lowe says:Polling is never 100% reliable as a guide to the outcome of elections, byelection polling is even more difficult and this poll is based on a sample of just 517 residents. The 17-point lead it is giving the Conservatives does look, superficially, unrealistic. But, as Damian Lyons Lowe from Survation explains in his analysis, Hartlepool is a seat that would probably have flipped to the Conservatives in the 2019 general election, along with other so-called “red wall” Labour heartlands seats mostly in the north, had it not been for the fact that the Brexit party got more than 25% of the vote in the town in the general election - its third best result in the UK - partly because its leader, Richard Tice, was standing there. Lyons Lowe says:
Good morning. There are now less than 48 hours to go until polling opens for “Super Thursday”, a bumper day of elections in which every adult in Britain will get the chance to vote for either the Scottish parliament, the Welsh Senedd, city or metro mayors, councils (the local elections combine this year’s and last year’s, which were cancelled because of coronavirus), the London assembly, police and crime commissioners - or a new MP in Hartlepool.Good morning. There are now less than 48 hours to go until polling opens for “Super Thursday”, a bumper day of elections in which every adult in Britain will get the chance to vote for either the Scottish parliament, the Welsh Senedd, city or metro mayors, councils (the local elections combine this year’s and last year’s, which were cancelled because of coronavirus), the London assembly, police and crime commissioners - or a new MP in Hartlepool.
Political parties will perform better in some of these elections than in others, but attention is likely to focus overall on Scotland, and on whether Labour is making any sort of comeback under Sir Keir Starmer, and in relation to the second question, the result in Hartlepool will be crucial. It will also be the only major result available on Friday morning (most of the counting is on Friday and Saturday), which means it will frame the narrative going into the weekend.Political parties will perform better in some of these elections than in others, but attention is likely to focus overall on Scotland, and on whether Labour is making any sort of comeback under Sir Keir Starmer, and in relation to the second question, the result in Hartlepool will be crucial. It will also be the only major result available on Friday morning (most of the counting is on Friday and Saturday), which means it will frame the narrative going into the weekend.
And this morning a poll suggests the Conservatives are on course for a historic win. Governing parties very rarely gain seats in byelection, but a Survation poll suggests the Tories have a 17-point lead in the seat that has always been Labour since it was created in its current form in 1974.And this morning a poll suggests the Conservatives are on course for a historic win. Governing parties very rarely gain seats in byelection, but a Survation poll suggests the Tories have a 17-point lead in the seat that has always been Labour since it was created in its current form in 1974.
Starmer has been giving interviews this morning, and he has been downplaying expectations. This is what he told the Today programme.Starmer has been giving interviews this morning, and he has been downplaying expectations. This is what he told the Today programme.
I will post more from his interviews, and from the Survation poll, shortly.I will post more from his interviews, and from the Survation poll, shortly.
There is not much in the diary today because parliament is in recess, and the government is in purdah mode ahead of the elections. Here are the items on the agenda.There is not much in the diary today because parliament is in recess, and the government is in purdah mode ahead of the elections. Here are the items on the agenda.
9.30am: The ONS publishes reports on coronavirus infections in school, on Covid and older workers and on compliance with self-isolation.9.30am: The ONS publishes reports on coronavirus infections in school, on Covid and older workers and on compliance with self-isolation.
12pm: Downing Street is expected to hold its lobby briefing.12pm: Downing Street is expected to hold its lobby briefing.
Also, Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, is hosting a meeting of G7 foreign ministers at Lancaster House.Also, Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, is hosting a meeting of G7 foreign ministers at Lancaster House.
Politics Live has often been wholly or largely focused on Covid this year, but this week I expect to be concentrating mostly on the elections. For global coronavirus news, do read our global live blog.Politics Live has often been wholly or largely focused on Covid this year, but this week I expect to be concentrating mostly on the elections. For global coronavirus news, do read our global live blog.
I try to monitor the comments below the line (BTL) but it is impossible to read them all. If you have a direct question, do include “Andrew” in it somewhere and I’m more likely to find it. I do try to answer questions, and if they are of general interest, I will post the question and reply above the line (ATL), although I can’t promise to do this for everyone.I try to monitor the comments below the line (BTL) but it is impossible to read them all. If you have a direct question, do include “Andrew” in it somewhere and I’m more likely to find it. I do try to answer questions, and if they are of general interest, I will post the question and reply above the line (ATL), although I can’t promise to do this for everyone.
If you want to attract my attention quickly, it is probably better to use Twitter. I’m on @AndrewSparrow.If you want to attract my attention quickly, it is probably better to use Twitter. I’m on @AndrewSparrow.