The 650

The 650 | 8th June 2017

How Labour could confound the polls

While (almost) no one expects Labour to win a majority, a hung Parliament could give Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn the chance to form a coalition government.

After all the excitement about a Labour surge, the pollsters have released their final numbers – and it’s not exactly red roses.

On the eve of the election, YouGov gave the Tories a lead of seven points and ICM gave them a lead of 12. But Survation put Labour just 0.9 percentage points behind the Tories.

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The 650 | 8th June 2017

View from Hull West: Can an Apprentice winner sink Labour in Alan Johnson’s old seat?

Hull West and Hessle, according to the Guardian profile of Alan Johnson, its former MP, is the “city centre and fishing port of an isolated, rather grim east coast town”.

Things have changed since, not least the departure of Johnson, a titan of Labour’s year in government. His departure the end of an era for Hull politics, with the last of the city’s three biggest postwar parliamentarians all having retired (Hull North stalwart Kevin McNamara stood down in 2005, as did John Prescott in 2010).

With such a gap being left by Johnson’s departure, many opportunists are presenting themselves to fill the void left by the ex-Home Secretary. One stands out: the independent candidacy of ex-Apprentice winner Michelle Dewberry. Her campaign seems an exercise in vanity at first glance. Dewberry is front and centre of the campaign, and has been criticised for saying she had “designed” her principles.

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The 650 | 2nd June 2017

It’s no fluke poll – Labour is heading for a landslide in Wales

Last week’s Welsh poll showing a substantial revival in Labour fortunes was, we now know, not a fluke. Nor was it as some people – including me – suspected at the time, largely down to pangs of sympathy for the party after the untimely passing of Rhodri Morgan.

Today’s latest Welsh Political Barometer poll confirms the Labour fightback in the staunchest of its bastions.

This has been an erratic election in Wales: the first two polls of the campaign showed clear Conservative leads, and indicated that the Tories were on course for an historic electoral breakthrough. But the last two polls have given Labour substantial leads. The Welsh polls have followed the broad direction of travel seen in the Britain-wide surveys, but with more exaggerated movements in both directions: going sharply further to the Tories at the start of the campaign, and strongly back to Labour in the last fortnight.

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