Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

Bruges Group Blog

Spearheading the intellectual battle against the EU. And for new thinking in international affairs.

No swing to Labour


There's been much talk of a swing to Labour in recent months - the Tories, by some measure appear to be 20 points behind. We must ask ourselves, what's behind this polling and how is it being conducted. There are some worrying signs.  

From our statistics, one thing is for sure: There is no "swing to Labour" - or at least, not a significant one.

So how come the Polls consistently show a huge lead for Labour ?

Because a very large number of people are polling Undecided / Don't Know / Won't Vote.

And for some reason the the media seems unwilling to mention that.

Occasionally a Professor of Politics might say: "The Undecideds have a plurality."

In plain English "Undecideds outnumber Labour".

Why does this matter? Surely the Conservatives are going to lose large, one might suggest?

It matters because the Left would have people believe there is a "swing to Left-leaning policies". ["Left-leaning" meaning policies that are collectivist / socialist so necessarily authoritarian - requiring more government, more taxes and less liberty.]

It matters because those currently 'Not Voting' might be persuaded to vote.

So the Question becomes: "What would persuade the Not Voting to Vote ?"

If we look at the last 5 by-elections it should be clear that it is 2019 Conservatives who have deserted - and Labour has gained no votes overall.

So hardly a ringing endorsement for left-leaning policies.

Across the 5 Constituencies, 108,000 voters stayed at home (versus 2019)

The Conservatives lost 105,000 votes.

Labour lost nearly 9,000 votes - including over 7,000 in Somerton & Frome - as 4,000 of them switched to LibDem.

In fact all Parties lost votes versus 2019 - except Reform, which gained 5,500, in the 4 constituencies in which they stood.

(A host of "by-election "independents" gainedanother 5,000.)

Obviously a handful of ex-Conservatives might have switched directly to Labour - but from having canvassed thousands of voters, that number is usually tiny.

Most individuals "swinging" from one election to another are "to" or "from" Not Voting.

But the big picture should be clear.

Labour have gained few, if any voters.

Ex-Conservatives are disillusioned with what currently is on offer.

Is it really likely that those ex-Conservatives want: more immigration? More "government" ? Higher taxes and a more costly Net Zero? Less Freedom of Speech?

Surely getting those ex-Conservatives out to vote will need most, if not all of those unwanted matters addressed - and convincingly ?

If not, the choice for those ex-Conservatives may be between staying at home and voting for Reform UK.

[ Note on Polling methodology.

Digging into the guts of Polls reveals practices that could shave a few % off right-leaning Parties and Policies.

Questions may include:

"How likely are you to vote ?"

Those scoring themselves less than "certain" have their responses downweighted.

Currently that would suppress Conservative responses.

Downweighting some responses may also explain those Polls claiming a loss of support for Brexit.

Sometimes a top-line Question on Party support obscures minor parties under "Others" - presenting the choice as between Cons., Labour, LIbDem, Others".

Some Polls state that they ask profiling questions that some might consider intrusive. e.g. Income, ethnicity, "gender" - perhaps even sexual orientation.

One suspects that Left-leaners might be more compliant than Right-leaners.]

One thing is clear, numbers don't lie:

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Director : Robert Oulds
Tel: 020 7287 4414
Chairman: Barry Legg
The Bruges Group
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Founder President :
The Rt Hon. the Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven LG, OM, FRS 
Vice-President : The Rt Hon. the Lord Lamont of Lerwick,
Chairman: Barry Legg
Director : Robert Oulds MA, FRSA
Washington D.C. Representative : John O'Sullivan CBE
Founder Chairman : Lord Harris of High Cross
Head of Media: Jack Soames