New poll says Conservatives could win 366 seats at election


Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party are on course to win up to 366 seats at the general election on December 12, according to a massive new piece of polling analysis. 

A major piece of work conducted for the Best for Britain pro-EU campaign group suggests the Tories could end up with a majority of 82. 

It also suggests Jeremy Corbyn could finish with just 199 seats – a number which would be even lower than Labour’s disastrous result under Michael Foot in 1983 when the party finished with 209 MPs.

Such a result would represent a huge victory for Mr Johnson and provide him with the stable foundations necessary to implement his Brexit deal and deliver his manifesto pledges. 

But the data also highlights the result on polling day remains on a knife-edge with Mr Johnson’s hopes pinned on holding and gaining seats in increasingly marginal areas. 

As a result, Best for Britain has identified 57 seats where it believes a small number of pro-EU voters could make the biggest difference and potentially scupper a Tory majority by voting tactically.

The group said if Remainers are prepared to ‘hold their nose and vote for the party with the best shot of beating the Tories’ then Mr Johnson could still be deprived of overall victory.

A new piece of polling analysis for the Best for Britain group suggests Boris Johnson, pictured on the campaign trail in Cornwall today, could end up with 366 MPs on December 12

A new piece of polling analysis for the Best for Britain group suggests Boris Johnson, pictured on the campaign trail in Cornwall today, could end up with 366 MPs on December 12

Jeremy Corbyn, pictured at a campaign event in London this morning, could be on course to win just 199 seats at the election

Jeremy Corbyn, pictured at a campaign event in London this morning, could be on course to win just 199 seats at the election 

The Best for Britain data suggests that tactical voting could play a major role in the outcome on December 12

The Best for Britain data suggests that tactical voting could play a major role in the outcome on December 12

Boris Johnson rejects Labour’s NHS claims

Boris Johnson has denied Labour claims that the Tories plan to offer up the NHS to US companies after Brexit today, branding it ‘nonsense’ and an attempt to deflect attention from Jeremy Corbyn’s own problems. 

The Prime Minister lashed out after Mr Corbyn staged a stunt claiming to reveal sensitive documents about US-UK trade talks, after he was left reeling by Britain’s chief rabbi saying he is not fit to become PM.

The Labour leader said the leaked 450-page trade document showed the NHS could be undermined in talks with the US over a post-Brexit trade deal.

But the documents are from more than a year ago – well before Mr Johnson became PM, and only includes officials rather than ministers.

Speaking on a visit to Penzance in the Tory marginal seat of St Ives today, Mr Johnson said:  ‘It’s total nonsense.’ 

The polling analysis was conducted by Focaldata and is based on a sample size of almost 40,000 British adults with the fieldwork conducted between October 15 and November 24.

It is the first piece of complex UK-wide election modelling to adjust for the impact of the Brexit Party not standing candidates in 317 Tory-held constituencies. 

The predicted Tory figure of 366 MPs is based on the Conservatives receiving the support of roughly three-quarters of the Brexit Party’s vote share in areas abandoned by Nigel Farage. 

In the non-tactical voting scenario, Labour would win just 199 seats while the Lib Dems would also go backwards, finishing with 17 seats. 

Meanwhile, the SNP would win 44 seats, Plaid Cymru would win four and the Greens would win one. 

Labour won 262 seats at the general election in 2017 and if the party was to drop to 199 MPs it would represent an unmitigated disaster for Mr Corbyn. 

Nicola Sturgeon sets out SNP manifesto demands

Nicola Sturgeon today demanded £4 billion in extra funding for the NHS in Scotland as her latest price for supporting a minority Labour government. 

The SNP leader has already said Jeremy Corbyn would have to promise to allow a second referendum on Scottish independence next year and to scrap the UK’s Trident nuclear deterrent to get her support. 

And this morning she went even further as she launched her party’s general election manifesto in Glasgow by calling for a massive increase in the NHS budget north of the border. 

Ms Sturgeon reiterated her willingness to strike a ‘progressive alliance’ after the election to ‘lock the Tories out of government at Westminster’. 

But in an embarrassing moment for Mr Corbyn, Ms Sturgeon said she was ‘not a fan’ and that if she was asked to choose a Labour leader ‘it would not be Jeremy’.  

She insisted she is only open to propping him up in order to oust Boris Johnson and to scupper the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal which she said would be a ‘nightmare for Scotland’.  

The Lib Dems won 12 seats in 2017 but the party’s MPs numbers swelled in recent months to 20 after a series of defections from other parties. 

The numbers seemingly paint a gloomy picture for the Remain-backing parties in the UK. 

But Best for Britain said the statistics show that if 4,000 or less pro-EU voters use their vote tactically in the 57 seats identified by the group then the Tories could be dragged back to just 309 seats. 

That would leave Mr Johnson a dozen seats short of a working majority. 

In the tactical voting scenario, Labour would win 244 seats, the SNP would win 52 seats, the Lib Dems would win 21 seats, Plaid would win four seats and the Greens would win one seat. 

Best for Britain estimates that the election could be swung against the Conservatives by as few as 117,314 pro-EU voters using their vote tactically.  

Best for Britain CEO Naomi Smith said ‘Our data shows that tactical voting will be decisive at the upcoming election.

‘Even with the Brexit Party collapse, there are still lots of seats in play for Remainers.

‘This is crucial as it means they could be won by pro-EU parties if voters hold their nose and vote for the party with the best shot of beating the Tories.

The polling data is bad news for Jo Swinson, pictured on the campaign trail in Glasgow today, with the Lib Dems predicted to either lose seats or make only marginal gains

The polling data is bad news for Jo Swinson, pictured on the campaign trail in Glasgow today, with the Lib Dems predicted to either lose seats or make only marginal gains

‘Having updated our recommendations just as the first wave of postal votes land on doorsteps, we’re confident that this election is up for grabs. We can stop Boris Johnson, and stop Brexit.’

The non-tactical voting scenario put forward by Best for Britain suggests Labour, the Lib Dems, SNP, Greens and Plaid Cymru would hold a combined 265 seats. 

But the group said many of the seats the Tories are predicted to win are ‘vulnerable’. 

It said that at the beginning of the election campaign there were 131 seats where the margin of victory was predicted to be less than 5,000 votes. 

But now there are 165 such seats across the UK. 

Best for Britain said in 27 seats it would take less than 2,000 tactical votes to prevent a Tory candidate from winning. 

Focaldata founder Justin Ibbetts said: ‘There are 14 Conservative held seats where the margin of victory is lower than two per cent. 

‘Clearly this election is on a knife-edge, where even small changes in the number of votes each party wins could swing key seats.’

Jeremy Corbyn’s dodgy NHS dossier: Labour leader presents year-old preliminary trade talk documents that have been floating around on Reddit as ‘proof’ the health service is for sale. So what do they REALLY say?

Jeremy Corbyn was today accused of a ‘desperate’ attempt to deflect from his anti-Semitism crisis by using Theresa May’s early trade talks with the United States to blast Boris Johnson for planning to sell the NHS to Donald Trump.

At a press conference, the Labour leader brandished over 400 pages of unredacted minutes from a series of meetings between UK and US government officials from July 2017 to July 2018.

He hailed the spool of International Trade department documents – labelled ‘official sensitive, UK eyes only’ – as proof the Prime Minister had put the health service on the table in a post-Brexit free trade agreement.

But he was met with a rigorous rebuff from the Conservatives, whose International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said: ‘The NHS will not be on the table in any future trade deal and the price that the NHS pays for drugs will not be on the table. 

‘This sort of conspiracy theory fuelled nonsense is not befitting of the leader of a major political party.’  

The roundtable meetings outlined in the papers took place during Ms May’s premiership and were only preliminary discussions to lay the groundwork for any future trade talks once the UK left the EU.

Ms May’s withdrawal agreement also tied the UK into a ‘single customs territory’ which would have hamstrung any trade deal with the US for the two-year transition period, meaning nothing concrete could have been agreed.

Mr Johnson has since overhauled the cabinet, replacing the ministers and vowing to never involve the NHS in a bargain with Washington.

Yet as election campaigning was ramped up, Mr Corbyn used the previously ‘secret document’ – which only mentions the NHS a handful of times – as ammunition to tear into the Conservatives for putting Britain’s health service at risk.

Except the papers were not so secret, as it was revealed after the press conference that the full documents had been uploaded to online sharing platform Reddit at the end of October. 

During the ITV leaders debate, Mr Corbyn said he had only seen the redacted papers, despite the fact they were publicly available on the internet after being posted by a user called ‘gregoratior’.

Scroll down to see what was really agreed in the US-UK talks 

Mr Corbyn used a campaign event in London today to claim the Tories are planning to 'sellout' the NHS to the US in trade talks

Mr Corbyn used a campaign event in London today to claim the Tories are planning to ‘sellout’ the NHS to the US in trade talks 

Mr Corbyn said: 

‘Labour has been warning that NHS services will also be on the table in trade talks for a sellout deal with Trump… the documents show Trump was right. 

‘These documents make clear that for the US – to quote page 41 of the third meeting report – ‘everything is included unless something is specifically excluded’. 

‘They want ‘total market access as the baseline assumption of a trade negotiation’.’ 

The document said: 

‘The US thinks the NCM (non-conforming measures) approach incentivises freer trade, because the assumption is that everything is included unless something is explicitly excluded… 

‘The NCM approach makes total market access the baseline assumption of the trade negotiations.

[NCM approach is where everything is up for grabs in a trade deal unless specifically blacklisted by one of the parties.] 

On the next page, which is not mentioned by Mr Corbyn, the top US negotiator says: ‘The US is focused on locking-in existing market access and does not expect new market access in a specific sector to be an outcome of any FTA negotiation.’ 

What this means:

The US want to go into trade negotiations with the NCM pproach, meaning that items are taken off the table, rather than starting from scratch and adding different elements.

But that does nothing to prevent the UK ruling out including a particular sector in a deal, such as healthcare. 

And it specifically states that the US is not looking to gain access to sectors which are currently not on the market, such as the NHS.

Mr Corbyn said:   

‘The US and the UK have already finished the discussion on lengthening patents for medicines. Longer patents can mean only one thing: more expensive drugs.’

The document said:  

‘Patent law is largely delivered by the European Patent Office, which is unaffected by Brexit.’

What this means: 

The document suggests that the UK’s current patent regulation will not change post-Brexit as it is regulated by a non-EU body.  

Mr Corbyn said:

‘We have now got evidence that under Boris Johnson the NHS is on the table and will be up for sale.’ 

The document said: 

‘Nursing was the other profession that the US was interested in… The US were interested to know if it would be really problematic for the UK to act in this area – they were sensitive to the particular sensitivities with the health sector in the UK.’

What this means:

The government insists this passage demonstrates that the US already knows the UK will not accept unfettered access to the NHS. 

Mr Corbyn said:

‘On behalf of the Conservative government, officials reassured their US counterparts that the US should expect the UK to be a ‘liberalising influence’ and that together they could ‘fly the good flag for services liberalisation’.’ 

The document said: 

‘The US explained that the conversation on services could be positive and the success of a UK-US conversation on services could be an example to other Member States and non EU countries. They could fly the good flag of services liberalisation…

‘The UK explained… it had a very open system already and the US should expect the UK to be a liberalising influence.’ 

What this means:

At a meeting on July 25 2017, the US team did say that together their country and the UK could promote services liberalisation, however the comment was made in comparison to the liberal trade policy currently enjoyed among EU member states, which does not compromise the NHS.  

Labour’s Barry Gardiner said: 

‘One of the things that undermines our NHS in trade talks is a negative list system.’

The document said: 

‘The US explained the negative list approach was very important to the US… He asked what the UK’s current thinking was on approach.

‘The UK explained that it was too early for that specific conversation.’

What this means:

No cast-iron guarantees have been made to adopt a negative list system in future trade talks, with the UK team of the mindset that these are only preliminary talks.

Negative lists are the bottom-up process of ruling out sectors and industries that are on the table.

Mr Corbyn said:

‘Have a look on page 42 and 43, where the US even agrees to share its public lines to help our government with its media narrative.’

The document said:

‘UK to discuss internally with central US team regarding joint press statement and launch of JES on publication.’

What this means: 

A November 2018 meeting where both parties discussed economic analysis – with no mention of the NHS or pharmaceuticals – ended with an agreement to set up a joint press statement when the Joint Economic Study was published. 

Mr Corbyn said: 

‘You may want to look at how Trump’s America absolutely refuses to mention climate change in the deal, see the second meeting on page 17.’

The document said: 

‘The US responded emphatically that climate change is the most political sensitive question for the US…

‘US stated this ban (on mentioning climate change in trade deals) would not be lifted any time soon.’ 

What this means: 

A UK delegate asked if environmental protection initiatives could be weaved into a future trade deal, but this was effectively stonewalled by the US.

Source link World News

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