Newslinks for Wednesday 11th December 2019

Conservative lead narrows in final YouGov MRP poll

“Boris Johnson is to launch a final assault on Labour’s heartlands as a survey shows that he can no longer be sure of securing a Commons majority in tomorrow’s election. The polling model that accurately predicted the election outcome two years ago suggests that the Conservatives are on course to win 339 seats, Labour 231, the Liberal Democrats 15 and the Scottish National Party 41. Although that would give Mr Johnson a majority of 28, the poll’s range of possible outcomes stretches from 367 Tory seats to only 311. “Based on the model we cannot rule out a hung parliament,” Anthony Wells, YouGov’s director of political research, said.” – The Times

  • Party still on track for majority – FT
  • Johnson ‘pleads for every vote’ – The Sun
  • Corbyn ‘in front of Johnson’ for marginal visits – The Times
  • Tories confident they can break through the ‘red wall’ – FT

More:

  • Raab tops list of big names who could be toppled – The Times
  • Goldsmith says ‘sense of hopelessness is gone’ – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: Lord Ashcroft in Comment: Labour support solidifies as expectations grow of a Tory win. My final election dashboard.

Farage urges tactical voters to back his party

“He has been warned he risks going from ‘hero to zero’ if there is a hung parliament but Nigel Farage appeared in no mood for compromise on Tuesday – despite a second prospective Brexit Party MP standing down. Already accused of splitting the Leave vote in Labour constituencies, the Brexit Party leader doubled down by urging Tory leavers to vote tactically for his party in more than 100 constituencies where the Conservatives “have not won in living memory and are not going to win in this election”. It was a bold move considering that the former Ukip founder remains under pressure to stand down his remaining 217 candidates by the very Brexiteers he is now desperately trying to win over with his party languishing on 3 per cent just days before the polls open.” – Daily Telegraph

  • But party founder backs Tories and accuses him of ‘ego trip’ – The Sun
  • ‘Workington Man’ still doesn’t know who to vote for – The Times

Analysis:

  • ‘Knife-edge’ exit poll could get result wrong – Steven Swinford, The Times

>Today: Daniel Hannan MEP’s column: If you can’t get to a marginal seat, try some telephoning. But please – don’t hang back.

NHS 1) Voters tire of ‘Get Brexit Done’ pledge…

“Voters are tiring of Brexit as concern about the NHS grows, polling for The Times suggests — which is a blow for Boris Johnson’s campaign strategy. He is increasingly mistrusted by voters, while Jeremy Corbyn’s ratings have risen in the final days of campaigning. The YouGov poll found that 59 per cent of voters now see the prime minister as untrustworthy, up five points in two weeks. On the same measure, Mr Corbyn has enjoyed a four-point fall, with 51 per cent finding him untrustworthy. Health is now level with leaving the EU as the main issue in the election, as voters reject the Tories’ attempt to put the focus on “getting Brexit done”. At the start of the campaign Brexit had a 28-point lead as the most important issue but it has faded in importance. Now 51 per cent of voters cite it as a key issue, down from 68 per cent at the beginning of November.” – The Times

  • Prime Minister vows to pump ‘record cash’ into Health Service… – The Sun
  • …and puts plan for 50,000 nurses in the spotlight – Daily Mail
  • Sterling slips as poll raises spectre of hung parliament – FT

Comment:

  • Labour must focus on brutal cost of underfunding the NHS – Gaby Hinsliff, The Guardian
  • If you love the Health Service, you must back Johnson – Dr Max Pemberton, Daily Mail
  • We would all be ‘socialist workers’ under Labour – Daniel Finkelstein, The Times

>Yesterday:

NHS 2) …but Corbyn savaged over Welsh Labour’s health record

“Jeremy Corbyn was today torn apart over Labour’s “bad record” on the NHS in Wales – as A&E waiting times continue to fail to meet targets. The Labour leader was skewered over his party’s record in Wales – where they are in power – during a fiery appearance on BBC Breakfast this morning. Presenter Louise Minchin ripped apart Mr Corbyn on waiting times, forcing the lifetime socialist to admit things were not good enough under their watch. She said: “It’s got a really poor record, you’ll be aware of that. Failed to meet key targets in A&E for at least a decade. A&E waiting times in September were the worst on record.” The far-left leader admitted it was “bad”, but insisted it wasn’t Labour’s fault as they had lost funding.” – The Sun

  • Mother accused of ‘political photo’ from A&E ‘is Labour supporter’… – The Sun
  • …but source now says ‘she was hacked’… – The Guardian
  • …which could be related to her ‘receiving death threats’ – Daily Mail

>Yesterday:

Johnson pledges to ‘get tough’ on serious criminals…

“Boris Johnson has said the criminal justice system “isn’t delivering” as he promised tougher sentences for terrorists, sex offenders and violent criminals if the Conservatives are re-elected. The Prime Minister’s pledge comes amid growing anger in government following a series of high profile failings in which criminals freed early went on to commit further offences. Joseph McCann was this week jailed for life with a minimum of 30 years after he was mistakenly freed from prison to go on a rampage in which he raped or sexually assaulted 11 women and children. Meanwhile, Usman Khan, the London Bridge killer, was released automatically from jail halfway through his 16-year term for terrorism without any Parole Board assessment of his threat to the public and was then allowed to travel to London without an escort.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Identities of 20 violent crooks admitted to the UK under Labour exposed – The Sun
  • Facebook slams Patel’s call for ‘back door’ into encryption – Daily Mail

Editorial:

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: Five videos that show how much the Conservatives’ online campaign has improved

…amidst reports he could axe DfID

“Britain’s foreign aid department could be axed if Boris Johnson wins the general election. Officials have been asked to consider what to do with the Department for International Development (Dfid) in a shake-up of Whitehall after polling day. The department, which controls most of Britain’s £14billion aid budget, has faced frequent criticism for waste and muddle since it was set up by Labour in 1997. The Tory manifesto commits the Conservatives to keeping the controversial target of spending 0.7 per cent of Britain’s income on aid while also doing more ‘to help countries receiving aid become self-sufficient’. But Mr Johnson has long argued that the cash might be better targeted if managed by the Foreign Office.” – Daily Mail

  • Morris faces scrutiny over parliamentary question – The Times

>Today: Ryan Bourne’s column: Johnson’s policy prospectus is tainted by interventionism, statism, collectivism – and could be a lot worse.

Ruth Davidson: Why I’m confident the SNP won’t win big tomorrow

“Nicola Sturgeon slips in the bath and that is an indyref2 trigger. There is no scenario yet invented – political, economic, philosophic, artistic or psephological – wherein the First Minister will not declare that independence is just over the next hill and has never been closer or more attainable. But as for the SNP returning 50 seats this week, a possible outcome the nationalists have been all too keen to talk up? I will happily wager to strip naked on the banks of Loch Ness and subject myself to a Hogmanay wild swimming session should such a result occur, safe in the knowledge that my modesty (and others’ eyeballs) will remain unmolested. And here’s why.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Nationalist domination in Scotland is under threat – John Lloyd, FT

Momentum ‘smear group’ with thousands of members revealed

“More than three thousand hard-left members of Jeremy Corbyn’s Momentum campaign are part of a private messaging group that discusses how best to smear Boris Johnson’s partner, the Chief Rabbi and individual Tory candidates, it emerged last night. The group – set up by staff of Momentum and involving activists working directly with Mr Corbyn’s team and Labour HQ – have also used the secret forum to discuss strategy on how best to inflame tensions among ethnic minorities. And the dossier leaked last night also reveals how the leftie mob plotted to politicise major events such as the London Bridge attack. They produced a 13-page dossier titled “Tory cuts let attacker free to kill” in order to ensure they used the horrifying terror attack to damage the Tory election campaign.” – The Sun

>Yesterday: Roderick Crawford in Comment: Will you really trust Corbyn to control what you can see and do on your mobile and laptop?

Ex-Labour MPs launch anti-Corbyn ad blitz…

“Former Labour MPs are launching an advertising blitz to urge Brits to not vote for Jeremy Corbyn. The group has placed adverts in newspapers across the country warning voters “Jeremy Corbyn: not fit to be Prime Minister”. In a blistering attack, they accused the hard-left party boss of having sided with Britain’s political enemies “from the IRA to Russia”. And they warn Mr Corbyn’s failure to stamp out the anti-Jew racism in his own party makes him unfit to lead Britain. The group of MPs are all part of the new anti-extremism group called Mainstream. Two more former MPs – Jim Dowd and Tom Levitt – are the latest MPs to sign up to it.” – The Sun

>Today: Left Watch: Read the Jewish Labour Movement’s submission on anti-semitism in their party

…as shadow minister brands him ‘unfit to be Prime Minister’

“A Labour frontbencher has apologised after saying in a leaked recording of a phone call to a Tory friend that Jeremy Corbyn would not win the election. Jon Ashworth, the shadow health secretary, told a Tory activist that the situation in Labour’s heartlands was “dire” and “abysmal”. In a recording obtained by the Guido Fawkes website he said that his friend should “stop worrying” about the prospects of a Labour election victory because “it’s not going to happen”… During the call, which was made just over a week ago, Mr Ashworth said that the civil service machine would “pretty quickly move to safeguard security” in the event that Mr Corbyn were elected.” – The Times

  • Victims of IRA terror campaign urge voters to block Corbyn – The Sun

Comment:

  • If this is Labour in opposition, what would they be like in power? – Ian Austin, The Sun

>Today: ToryDiary: Unfit for office. But worse even than Corbyn are Labour’s moderates – who are willing to put his anti-Jewish racism into power.

Swinson in final tactical voting plea

“Jo Swinson has accused Boris Johnson of showing “an empathy bypass” in his attitude to other people, as the Liberal Democrats made a final push to persuade traditional Labour supporters to vote tactically and deny the Conservatives a majority. Speaking to the Guardian during a campaign rally in Bath, Swinson said her party could confound gradually falling national poll ratings to spring a series of surprises in up to a dozen or so Conservative-held seats, if the anti-Tory vote coalesces. The Lib Dem leader said the task of denying Johnson a majority was all the more urgent following his much-criticised ITV interview in which the prime minister repeatedly refused to look at a photo of Jack Williment-Barr, the four-year-old boy pictured sleeping on the floor of an overstretched A&E unit in Leeds.” – The Guardian

  • She ends the campaign even less popular than Corbyn – Daily Mail

News in Brief:

  • There is a quiet Tory revolution underway in Wales – Roger Awan-Scully, The Spectator
  • Even if the Tories win, they face trouble ahead – Ed West, UnHerd
  • The ghost of busses past – Graham Stewart, The Critic
  • It’s time to look again at the BBC licence fee – Emma Revell, CapX
  • How Macron bungled his pensions reform – Anne-Elisabeth Moutet, Reaction

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Author: Conservative Home


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