Looking at the raw data of opinion polls is very interesting. YouGov are especially impressive. They tell us that LibDem support has collapsed, that UKIP has about twice their support and that the Conservatives and Labour are running neck and neck. This is fabulous news for the Conservatives who should be doing far worse at this stage of the electoral cycle.
However the raw data does not reflect what happens on election day, for lots of reasons. Firstly the UK is not one homogeneous constituency, it is 650 separate ones, each with local issues, personalities and changing demographics. Many people vote tactically. Then there is the way people balance self interest against tribal loyalty on polling day. And of course there is the inevitable cycle of protest votes and mid term blues that greatly skew by-elections.
So there is a whole science to interpret, understand and discuss what is really happening below the raw data. This science is called Psephology. And we are very lucky that Steve Fisher, Associate Professor in Political Sociology and the Fellow and Tutor in Politics at Trinity College, University of Oxford is now blogging his analysis. You can follow him on on Twitter @StephenDFisher. His latest blog predicts Con : 337 Lab : 265 LD : 21 Con majority of 24. But that was based on Labour polling 38%. And now they are polling 33/34 %. So Labour are in huge electoral trouble.
But it gets even worse. Over very recent weeks we have seen two huge shifts away from Labour. Firstly in Scotland, where they have 40 seats. By gross mismanagement they have become extremely unpopular, nearly as toxic as the Conservatives in the region. With a huge shift to SNP. This is not some overnight whim, it is a massive change in public opinion. For decades you could put a red rosette on a chimpanzee in Scotland and they would get elected to Westminster, as we have seen many times. At the 2015 General Election Labour will be very lucky to retain 20 seats, and this alone could decide the election.
The second slow motion train crash for Labour is the North of England. Here the metropolitan, middle class Labour party has totally lost any connection with their traditional blue collar support. Instead it is now UKIP that resonate best with the politics of a great swathe of voters and we are seeing it reflected in huge swings to UKIP at every electoral opportunity. Events in Rotherham have further alienated these voters, to many the Labour party has become toxic. The North will now definitely return UKIP MPs, it is just a question of how many. Anything from 5 to 50! Whatever, it will take a huge chunk out of Labour’s capability to get an majority.
If I know this and can write about it then you can be sure that every Labour MP knows it, so there is a lot of dissatisfaction being voiced by them in Westminster, often now in public and to the press. There are reports of open revolt and of plots for a coup d’etat, hardly surprising when they are just a few months away from electoral meltdown.
So how did Labour get into this disastrous situation at such a critical time in the electoral cycle? The answer is one man, Ed Miliband, who is such a disaster that he now receives huge ironic cheers from Conservative MPs every time he stands up in Parliament. They know full well that Miliband is ensuring a Conservative election victory.
Miliband became leader against the wishes of party MPs and of party members in the country. He is a trade union placeman and he owes his position to the power and patronage of just one man, Len McCluskey of the Unite union. So if you listen to what Len says on any issue you know that is what Miliband would deliver if he was Prime Minister. And this really is not what the vast majority of people want.
Ed Miliband is intellectually very clever, of that there is no doubt, in fact some would say that he verges onto the autistic spectrum. His personality seems to be based around control freakery, the condition known as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), which is exactly what a leader does not need. He very quickly alienates other intelligent people, which is why you won’t find any in the shadow cabinet. Clever Labour MPs, like Alan Johnson, refuse to work with him. And we end up with ineptitudes like Ed Balls in senior positions, further dragging Labour down by being utterly useless at their jobs.
A huge problem for Labour is that they won’t tell us their policies. Obviously this is because these come from Red Len and will be unpopular. So we have the amazing sight of rich middle class metropolitan elites espousing the outdated politics of class warfare instead. The incongruity is immense. For example Miliband is promising to punish people who achieve in life with a Mansion Tax, but already he and his ministers have allocated the proceeds of this to over ten different areas of spending. It is a shambles and the voters of Britain can see that it is a shambles.
So Ed Miliband, purely on the strength of his own inability, is leading the Labour party to electoral oblivion, which has to be a very good thing for the best interests of Great Britain. In fact if he stays in charge (which we all hope) we could see UKIP emerge as the opposition party. For all their nastiness, xenophibia and bigotry nobody can deny that Farage is an incredibly effective politician.