Posts by Ben Austin

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  • Hard News: Interesting Britain!, in reply to Neil,

    Oh I think it's without doubt Jeremy was anti EU/EEC and that wasn't an uncommon position for a man of his age and beliefs (my local Labour MP is the same). His brother is also extremely anti and as I had an unsolicited shouting match about the EU with him 22/6/16 I can personally attest that he is a very angry, shouty man.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1007 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Interesting Britain!,

    I can't see ordinary travel being massively affected. I travelled from UK to EU mainland as NZ citizen for a few years and it wasn't particular hard. I've also travelled extensively in EU as a UK citizen and the main problem / delay has always been the London airport queues.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1007 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Interesting Britain!,

    To make it clearer - Labour and all competent political parties in the UK try to get as much information about voters and households as possible in their areas (council areas, Westminster, assembly etc). Where possible they knock doors regularly and also call or send surveys out to voters. This means that they will have vast amounts of data about voters in areas they control or are strong in. In the bits of London I'm familiar with, those being strongly Labour inner city boroughs/constituencies, they apparently aim for 3 visits a year to everyone (whether they achieve that is another thing entirely). If it is a target/election maybe more.

    During the ref campaign and in the preceding months they were asking, where possible, further questions about the EU. So they often had very useful data about that as well and almost certainly could have used that more effectively to target. This in fact is what they did in Scotland during the IndyRef.

    They couldn't share that data with other parties or Stronger In, but they could give general indications as to how things were going and where they were targeting. By this I mean at the local party would probably choose to focus on 1-3 wards during the final weeks and on the day, to get out the vote.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1007 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Interesting Britain!,

    Regarding Labour during the Referendum. Regardless of what Corbyn thought pre Ref and regardless of whether the Labour Party thought it a good idea (who would think they would?), he was useless.

    I had a lot to do with Labour In and the amount of stonewalling emanating from Labour HQ was amazing. They could barely run a national campaign and this seems to be down to the leadership of the party. So it came down to local Labour organisations. Some ran great campaigns, some didn't. The latter were the ones who needed a strong national campaign to support them.

    I'll also note that most of the prominent left sceptics of the EU came on board with Remain during the campaign as they largely accepted it was the lesser of two evils. There wasn't a prominent left case for leaving articulated to the voters.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1007 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Interesting Britain!,

    The Lib Dems did not go in with a straight reject the referendum and remain position, but like most elections, ended up seeming like that was what they were doing for various reasons that relate to it being a snap election, unclear messaging, media inattention and all the usuals.

    Going back to Vauxhall constituency - we did run a strong Remain/anti Brexit message there against Labour's hard brexit/ukip friendly Hoey and it was working well enough right up until Labour gained momentum. We ran this locally as Hoey was one of the very few extremely Leave Labour MPs. The vast majority being for Remain (her colleagues in Lambeth being ultra Remain then and now). We know this because we knocked on thousands of doors and this came up again and again. However by election day these mainly soft/ex Labour voters largely seem to have bought into the Stop the Tories/manifesto and went back, despite personal distaste for Hoey. The youth / 25-40 surge probably would have also done the job for her as well.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1007 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Interesting Britain!, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Apparently some internal polling a couple of days out indicated to the Conservatives that things were going badly wrong, but that didn't seem to change much from them.

    What surprises me the most is Scotland. Obviously not living there is a handicap, but I hadn't realised that the SNP had such feet of clay. Most of us south of the border were thinking a bad night for them would be 45-7 MPs and a good night would be they took the remaining 3 seats. Now even the Lib Dems have 4 Scottish MPs and it is likely that the next Lib Dem leader, if Farron resigns, will be a 38 year old ex minister who grew up on edges of Glasgow.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1007 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Interesting Britain!,

    In any event, we finished up canvassing last night and were sitting in a Brixton pub at ten when the exit poll was announced and there were audible gasps and then cheering. My group were shocked. We had thought that we'd be wiped out everywhere in the UK but we were placed at 14 (seem to have ended up with 12).

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1007 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Interesting Britain!,

    I must say I am totally shocked by this result. Did not see it coming at all.

    That being said, this last week whilst canvassing in Lambeth it really did feel like the Conservatives had screwed it up. Met a few elderly ex Labour voters who had swung Conservative then were swinging back. The Labour manifesto also was ringing true with younger voters (30s-40s) - especially that £10 per hour minimum wage - that means a lot to traditional Labour voters in inner city London.

    Whereas a couple of weeks back there were masses of undecided ex Labour voters trying to decide what to do.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1007 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Brexlection,

    Well, quite. Although there is a lot of speculation that a lot of the stabilising in support will largely end up stacking votes in safe Labour areas, not marginals.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1007 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: The Brexlection,

    In electoral news, yesterday 4PM was the deadline for candidate nomination, so the news is now full of amusing stories of crazy candidates or incompetent local parties who didn't file in time.

    More seriously, the Times today reports that the Conservative Party central HQ have managed to filter out a lot of the hard core EuroSceptics from new candidate selection. This being pretty big news as quite a few people retire at each election and of course due to IMMINENT LANDSLIDE a lot of new people might get in. Which would be slightly encouraging from an outsider's view if at least the parliamentary Conservative Party didn't go full Ultra Brexitteer.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1007 posts Report Reply

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