2 days to go
YOUGOV DECLARES HAMPSTEAD AND KILBURN ‘SAFE’ FOR LABOUR
YOUGOV published its final poll this evening and is now predicting a tighter victory for the Conservatives nationally than it did on November 27. It also shows that it’s much more than likely that I’ve just written thousands of words updating this blog, only for Hampstead and Kilburn to produce a very one-sided, unexciting result. Hey, we’ve all got to scratch a living…
Labour’s Tulip Siddiq is in strong command, according to the analysis, even if this was all drawn together before Channel 4’s latest attack on her screened earlier this evening.
Like the last poll, it is the Conservatives who are forecast for a second place finish. Remember the Lib Dem literature has gone to great lengths to say the constituency is a two-horse race between themselves and Ms Siddiq. Actually, as we’ve noted before, they usually use Jeremy Corbyn’s name rather than Ms Siddiq’s on their leaflets and fake newspapers.
On the left is where things stood two weeks ago, on the right is tonight’s data release.
There is better news for the Lib Dems in Two Cities.
Last time, it wasn’t wholly clear just how far Chuka Umunna had established himself as the leading contender trying to stop Westminster CIty Council leader Nickie Aiken winning the seat for the Tories. YouGov now put him ahead of Labour in that race. A ‘likely Conservative’ win has become a ‘lean Conservative’ chance too. Adding Labour and Lib Dem votes together here, as in Finchley and Golders Green, would surely have guaranteed a Tory defeat; there could be a split vote inquest over that if the Tories end up with only a slight majority in the Commons and it turns out every seat really did count in the Brexit endgame.
Elsewhere, former Camden councillor Siobhan Baillie, a Tory, is no longer forecast to win the knife-edge contest in Stroud we’ve been keeping an eye on. Theresa Villiers, meanwhile, the Conservative candidate in Chipping Barnet receiving aid from Hampstead and Kilburn members is also on course to lose according to these charts. Sanjoy Sen, the former Tory council election candidate, has moved from ‘toss up’ to a ‘lean’ defeat to Labour in Alyn and Deeside.
Bassetlaw? That all seems so long ago already. ‘Likely Conservative’.
CHANNEL 4 TAKE ON TULIP SIDDIQ AGAIN
CHANNEL 4 News had another bite at one of Tulip Siddiq’s achilles’ heels this evening with a fresh report on how much help she may or may not be getting from Awami League supporters in the UK. The Awami League is her aunt’s party in Bangladesh, where Sheikh Hasina has been accused of a poor human rights record and torture.
Channel 4 challenged Ms Siddiq during a confrontation in Fortune Green in 2017 about what she was doing as an MP to condemn the situation in Bangladesh and help free a vanished lawyer. The exchange later saw Ms Siddiq apologise for “off hand” comments made to one of their reporters and it was probably one of the only times we’ve seen Ms Siddiq look out of control of a situation since she first announced she was running to be an MP. She insulates herself well against possible flashpoints.
The relationship with her aunt – the picture with Putin! – has always been a sore point however and it’s perhaps been a little surprising, given how far those polls show she is ahead, that none of her opponents have made more of it. One of her previous opponents told me that for all the analysis and theories we write about in the CNJ and on here, nothing is more relevant to her victories than the outside help she can bring in at the crunch. The seven minute Channel 4 News report had a camera locked onto her campaign office apparently monitoring who was coming in and out, a chasearound with her chief of staff Oliver Denton Lieberman and footage of Ms Siddiq at events thanking Awami League members for helping her to become an MP.
None of it, the programme stressed for legal cover, broke any law.