Not the likeliest outcome, but…

Recently the conversation around UK politics and what to expect between now and 2020 has included an increasing amount of “it’s not the likeliest outcome but…” talk. Some will no doubt liken this to giving oneself a free bet, and look like a hero if it comes in but be able to say it wasn’t actually your prediction if it doesn’t. If that’s your view then fine. But sometimes the whole point is that some extreme outcome is even being discussed as a serious possibility.

So when Glen O’Hara at Oxford Brookes, not someone prone to hyperbole, talks about 1931 (when Labour dropped from 287 seats to 55) in a remotely serious way, you really ought to listen. Glen reconsiders what we should expect for Labour going forward, after it successfully but underwhelmingly defended Stoke, and ignominiously lost Copeland to the governing party.

What actually happens depends on how the present uncharted territory turns out. The swing since 2015 (or rather, since 2016) has gone in the “wrong” direction, but should we expect it to mean revert, or continue, or just go sideways until 2020? That’s the question, the answer requires a degree of extrapolation, so the real question is how best to do that…

There will be another by-election in Manchester Gorton in the coming months following the sad loss of Gerald Kaufman (there’s a nice BBC video obituary). The huge majority that he won in 2015 puts Labour in an excellent starting position. Stephen Bush is pretty confident of a Labour hold.

As I write in my first look, only the Lib Dems look evenly remotely threatening, and they don’t even start in second place, having lost their deposit last time while Labour took about two-thirds of the vote. Then again that was the situation once upon a time in Bermondsey…

And finally, Roger Scully has a presentation on Welsh views of immigration.

I’m not aware of any imminent GB polls (though maybe there’ll be a pleasant surprise!) but we should be getting the final LucidTalk Stormont poll sometime today, ahead of Thursday’s election.

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