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Wings Over Scotland

Are you ready to be heartbroken? 98

Posted on April 23, 2013 by

An alert reader pointed us this morning to an Ipsos Mori poll from last week that seemed to escape most of the media’s attention. As well as mirroring numerous recent surveys showing Labour’s lead over the Conservatives collapsing, it asked a rather more specific question.


Long-time readers may recall a piece this site wrote back in September 2012 about the “Kinnock Factor”, a well-documented phenomenon in British politics by which the electorate, when it comes to the crunch of a general election, invariably rejects parties whose leaders it doesn’t like – even if the party itself is well ahead in the polls.

And in that context, Ipsos had nothing but bad news for Ed Miliband.

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Miliband speech changes everything 31

Posted on October 03, 2012 by

Ed Miliband’s address to the Labour conference yesterday was billed as one which would completely alter the public perception of the party leader, and revolutionise whether voters saw him as a potential future Prime Minister or not. As you can clearly see from these two snapshots from a Scotland On Sunday poll on the subject, the strategy has been a spectacular success.

This image was from Tuesday morning, before the speech:

And here’s one from a few minutes ago, with the public having had a good 20 hours or so to digest both the speech and the media’s mostly-glowing reaction to it:

Go back to your homes and prepare for the next Labour government, readers. No rush.

The Kinnock Factor 15

Posted on September 18, 2012 by

Barely a day’s gone by since we started this site on which we haven’t cursed our failure to save an opinion piece we read in one of the English broadsheet newspapers a few months before the 2011 Holyrood election.

Labour were riding high in the polls, and the more exciteable elements of the Unionist press in Scotland were even tentatively talking of an absolute majority. But the column we read in the Telegraph, or the Times, or perhaps even the Mail On Sunday, by a writer whose name we can’t recall a syllable of, was having none of it.

It confidently predicted an SNP victory, despite them being something like 12/1 against with the bookies at the time, on very simple grounds: no matter what the polls say, when it comes to the crunch voters never elect the party with the worst leader. The most famous UK example is Neil Kinnock, but our infuriatingly-unknown author pinned the same label on Iain Gray, and was proven right in the most spectacular manner. We may have forgotten his name, but we’ve never forgotten the lesson.

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