Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Satisfaction ratings

I have been reading an article by Alex Andreou called "Jeremy Corbyn: A Disastrous Year" to which I will be referring again.

One of the extraordinary thing it quotes is the satisfaction ratings found by MORI and other pollsters for the PM and leader of the opposition.

No, I have not forgotten what went wrong with the opinion polls in the 2015 general election and the 2016 referendum, and I have not started regarding opinion polls as gospel, but what 2015 and 2016 told us is that tells us is that opinion polls cannot be relied on to correctly predict the outcome of any electoral contest which appears to be close.

But properly conducted opinion polls are still better than assuming that what your mate down the pub says is always representative of the entire country. When the polls all say that someone is going to get well and truly hammered in an election or referendum, it probably really does mean that they are in big trouble with the voters.

Most Conservative Prime ministers would be happy with the figures in the chart below comparing their satisfaction rating with those of the opposition leader if they represented the whole electorate. These are the figures for LABOUR VOTERS (or at least, people who were!)

I can imagine how the PM and her team responded to these figures:

But although a certain degree of satisfaction would be entirely forgivable. there can be no room for  complacency, which would be very bad for both the country and the Conservative party. We need to recognise the mistakes the Labour party are making and make sure we do not fall into the same traps.

As Alex writes,

"Labour is a party plagued by Magical Thinking. Reality has disappeared from view. Oblivion beckons."

"What has been genuinely interesting, and an education personally, is to be suddenly on the "wrong" side of the divide. I was vaguely aware of the right wing's tendency to dismiss the left as naive and the left's propensity for asserting moral superiority and labelling the right as evil. But when those same tropes seamlessly extended to a contest which objectively involved two shades of the left, I experienced how truly ineffective such attitudes are as instruments of changing anyone's mind."

"Most of Corbyn's support has spent the last couple of months maligning the vast majority of Labour MPs as useless, evil, Tory-lite, war-mongering, corrupt, neoliberal, feckless liars. The same MPs for whom most of them voted a year ago. Remember those comments. When Corbyn appoints his Shadow Cabinet, all The Sun will need to do, all Theresa May will need to do, to discredit them completely, is quote their own colleagues. You live by the meme, you die by the meme."

"If Lynton Crosby had managed to run a campaign which planted the idea in public consciousness that 80% of Labour MPs are utter scumbags, it would be held as the most devastating smear exercise in modern politics. If the Tory PR machine had managed to reduce 13 years of a Labour government to the single issue of the Iraq war and paint that in the most inflammatory way, we would protest day and night that this isn't so."

Quite. Let's make sure we don't fall prey to any of the same mistakes or allow ourselves to get similarly out of touch with the people of Britain.

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