One week to go

London-based journalists seem to have a new hobby – getting out of the Westminster bubble. Of course, geography is hardly the only degree of separation between the capital and the provinces, but it’s a good thing to do.
For those that can’t make it to the Potteries or the Lake District, the numbers can paint a picture. I’ve written a guest article for the Fabian Society profiling the two constituencies.
Most analysis before and after by-elections tends to be far too “face value”, missing the quirks of the contests. I suspect that people are overestimating how much trouble Labour is in in the by-elections, but underestimating how much trouble the party is in overall. That doesn’t mean they’re safe in either – they’re not – but the suggestions that Copeland is already lost are probably overdone. Alistair Meeks has one of the more sensible takes on the expectations game.
In local by-elections, the Lib Dems have generally been on the attack, but this week they have three wards to defend. There are six local by-elections for seven seats today (and oddly, one tomorrow). Andrew Teale has the usual preview.
And finally, the latest instalment of Polling Matters features Harry Carr from Sky Data and covers immigration, leader ratings and the US.

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