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Rishi Sunak heading for likely defeat, and he's just thrown his legacy away | John Curtice analysis

May 31, 2024
I think probably, like most people, one picked up Vibes around lunchtime and certainly when he received a request from Steven Swinford at the time to write something on the basis that he wasn't quite sure at the time exactly what he was going. but uh uh S I felt enough about it to suggest that I might find time to write something which, because I was running around London, wasn't that easy, so in the end,


tell me how difficult these things can be. Sometimes I spent 15 minutes sitting in Victoria. train station where of course you have good wifi connection, yes, very very quickly, I wrote about 400 words on the topic, fantastic stuff and um, a lot of Glee on social media about the actual choreography of the ad, soon will not be drowned out by the DARS labor anthem?
rishi sunak heading for likely defeat and he s just thrown his legacy away john curtice analysis
Things can only get better when Steve Bray from the G of the Downing Street gates attacks him and when you look at that, look at the frame, did you think to yourself? This is either a big mistake or you think, well, the guy has Goonies. go for it, even if it's a little embarrassing, well look, I've been on the record for a long time, Henry said so. I thought I was going to go on November 14, so I should first put my hands up and say, well, that's one. I was wrong, but equally, of course, that leads me to question the wisdom of the Prime Minister's decision.
rishi sunak heading for likely defeat and he s just thrown his legacy away john curtice analysis

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rishi sunak heading for likely defeat and he s just thrown his legacy away john curtice analysis...

I have long taken the view that you know that you were probably headed for


in the next general election and that therefore, from your personal point of view, the wisest course of action was to take advantage of the two years that your Prime Minister has and use them to surpass what would have been his


, which is legislation that could pave the way to ending tobacco smoking in the UK, which would be more than most Prime Ministers could achieve , while he decided to go to the country early, but actually at a very difficult time because the extension will not happen until next Thursday, but the house will be on vacation next week, so we had a particularly short war period and as As a result their tobacco legislation was now removed, that you know, raises questions about how much they were really thinking about the consequences of, uh, what they were. decide to do and the fact that certainly no one could find the prime minister and the umbrella, I mean, inevitably you know, and I don't want to repeat the Labor Party's campaign lines U uh, but it's not surprising that Labor says, "Well , here's a man who has a plan but apparently he doesn't have an umbrella you know, it gets hard now at the end of the day I mean, these are nice, I mean, well, I mean, if this matters and this kind of thing,


will matter because it reinforces in the minds of the electorate an impression that they already have, I mean, rain drenching alone in Downing Street is not going to determine the outcome of the election, John, but I would say that I am referring to those moments outside Downing Street with the lecturer and with the famous The number 10 on the black door doesn't happen very often and so they go down in history and for Steve Bray to drown out those words and things can only get better.
rishi sunak heading for likely defeat and he s just thrown his legacy away john curtice analysis
It doesn't look good. you do and you, as you say, I guess it sums up a government that is really running out of roads, well, you know, if in fact that is Electric's perception that this is a government that is running out of roads, a government whose competence they then doubt. Sure this provides a visual image that helps reinforce that impression, but I think visual images work when they are consistent with an existing impression that people have and then it becomes a visual image that conveys what they have already been thinking, so I know. It is something that will help some people reinforce their view of the Prime Minister.
rishi sunak heading for likely defeat and he s just thrown his legacy away john curtice analysis
Okay, let's shift gears a little. Let's move on to John and talk about you as a person. What does this announcement mean for your own plans? I mean, I bumped into you once or twice, I think it was at the RSA last time and I was having lunch and I said it, John and you said hello and then you went back to that laptop of yours, you never put it down, it's completely glued to you, when do you do it? relax, when will you get a chance to breathe? I'm guessing you didn't have any plans for the 4th of July, you weren't planning on going on vacation, you're probably just thinking about September or November for the election, right?
Well, for reasons that have more to do with my wife's career and employment than mine. We actually booked last weekend for two weeks in the second half of August, so luckily I'm not. I'm not stuck on that account, so, I mean, otherwise, a lot of academics have been writing pretty furiously for some weeks and months trying to get things out before the election and, in my case, the most recent thing is that We are working on British social attitudes, which of course is an annual National South survey that we were writing with a view to publishing at the end of June, which, from our point of view, was relatively quick, and within AD. choice um one of my jobs this weekend is to finish very, very quickly a couple of chapters so that we can publish them in the middle of June instead of towards the end, so that's the most immediate impact um otherwise um yeah, I'm I have to readjust my diary a little bit, okay, as I mentioned before, you become a very familiar face in the broadcast media, both radio and television, because of course, right now you and I are talking and I can see you on Zoom, so this will be cropped and posted on social media and you will be even more recognizable.
Do you like fame or do you think? Oh, I'm an academic, please, I'm not a celebrity, yes, there are quite a few I that feels like it, I mean, certainly, when I occasionally read reports in the newspapers that John Curtis says blah blah blah , and apparently the fact that he said it means that it has some peculiar residence or predictive power. I'm going, you know, this is nonsense. What is it like to be recognized and stopped on the street? I'm sure that happens quite a bit. I mean, a lot of people looked at you and said and thought, "He, you, you, you, you." I mean, most people are perfectly kind and and I'm extremely grateful and willing to do that, of course, these days.
It's actually a selfie rather than being asked to sign something, which in some ways is a lot easier. Yeah, um, I live with it, Henry, there's no point in being rude to people. If they want to come, you know, to be honest, most people, if they come up to you, they say you know you think what you're doing is good or we enjoy, we do whatever, um, certainly the thousands of people who have a different vision. just don't bother stopping me, yeah, and what's a Curtis kind of selfie and, I mean, how, yeah, but one thing I want to ask you, okay, is what first got you into politics because, I think you grew up. in the western country.
It is not like this? I was born and raised in Cornwall. um short answer, I don't know Henry, all I can tell you is that my first memory is the death of Hugh Gates Scho in 1963 and, after the subsequent labor leadership contest, how Wilson Of course I won. Then I remember the 1964 election where, of course, the polls closed at 9:00 instead of 10:00 and my parents allowed me to at least watch the first hour of television on election night, but don't ask me. Where did the original spark come from? Ah, she's fine, but she's a spark that burned long and, indeed, furiously.
Let's talk about some substance again. um because there are some pretty big ways in which this election will be different from the last one. Let's talk about limits. changes and voter identification as well because some campaigners and activists were very concerned about the impact it could have on the recently concluded local elections, given what happened there, what do you think could happen in this more substantial election? Well, let's take the boundary review first. um, the boundary review is not particularly important um, it is true that if you take the bcre electoral geography for 2019, the Labor Party's job is to win an overall majority which is already very, very difficult in the 2019 electoral geography, which requires about 12%.
This increases that figure to between 13 and 14%, but is less dramatic than some previous ban reviews for basically two reasons: one is that, in recent years, some of the more traditional patterns of population movement in the UK have tended to be out of the inner-city cities of the south-east, which are sort of Labor constituencies, towards suburban and rural Britain, which is more conservative, that pattern has to some extent reversed. London in particular has been gaining population, actually gaining parliamentary consistency at this limit. London, of course, has now become a predominantly Labor city, secondly, as the Conservatives won a number of red wall seats, so they tended to be electorates with relatively small constituencies and, as a result, some of these electoral districts have been swallowed up by an enlargement. or the defunct North West Durham, for example, Conservative party chairman Richard's seat is split four ways, eh, and that also refers to the way in which the only big effect, which is the reduction of seats in Wales 40 to 32 will also probably affect the Conservatives more than Labor because the Tory seats they won in North East Wales last time are particularly marginal so it hasn't proven to be as important as it actually would have been if the frontier vision had been originally realized as it should have been. before the 2015 election, yes, sorry before, before we continue, you wonder if it could help or hinder the smaller parties, the Greens, well, you know, Brighton Pavilion they had for quite a while with Sarah Lucas, she will resign and then you have Bristol Central KLA Dena.
For the greens, this change in limits could help. Well, certainly Bristol Central in the local elections, the Greens were way ahead and of course they sign now to find the largest party on Bristol City Council, but of course in a sense that's just that. The vision of prohibition may have helped them gain a bit of Bristol, where they are particularly strong. Of course the problem in Brighton is that Caroline Lucas is starting to go down and Boom the local government backdrop for the Greens. is not so conducive because having some responsibility in the management of Brighton Council, which has sometimes proven to be particularly costly for them, reviews linked to Democrats are never a good idea because they depend so much on the personal vote of their MP in their elections . particular constituencies, you know, limited review in theory makes it reduce the number of Lib Dem seats, but generally what happens is that when we have a local MP who found that their constituencies moved a little bit, they work very hard at that moment.
That's new for their electorate and maybe they will wait in the end, but yes, it is more difficult for Democrats because they depend a lot on particularly isolated sectors in terms of voter identification, while this has become an issue of some partisan dispute and The truth is that at the end of the day, because ultimately it is impossible to prove or disprove how much it impacted. That means it is capable of being an area where people can follow their preconceptions and then necessarily find the debate determined by the evidence that now the Electoral Commission in last year's election Local elections kept a record of the number of people who entered to a voting station and then did not have the corresponding voter ID and subsequently did not return to vote, if I remember correctly, that was about 0.2% of the elections. and therefore, as a result, you can argue that maybe it didn't make much difference, on the other hand, others argue that, but wait, people were also standing outside the voting station saying: Do you have your voter ID? and then, um, those people were there.
They don't necessarily get counted by the electoral commission if they don't come back and then others say, oh wait, the problem is that because people knew there was going to be a voter ID and they didn't have it, they didn't bother to go to the station. poing first of all, all that can be said is that last year participation was down, a couple of points from last year, this year it's pretty much the same as last year, it's very very It's difficult to prove what impact it has had. I mean, I think the unfortunate thing about voter ID is that the way it was introduced is that it seemed to make it easier for older people to comply with voter ID requirements than it was. for the younger ones, essentially because the younger people's travel passes didn't count, on the other hand, I think one of the things we also need to remember is that older people are less


to haveThey may not only have bothered to renew their last passport, so they might be John's final thoughts, John, what are you most looking forward to over the next five weeks and a half?
Bottom line, well, I guess probably the most important political theory would be the leaders' debates if they happen, but the history of the leaders' debates is one of constant calls from the party behind it, which in this case they are the conservatives and often a lot of detours and maneuvers by the party in front to try to avoid them. Well, we'll wait and see what happens this time, um, maybe there's a good chance they will happen, uh, there'll just be a couple of them that will provide us with some theater, right? Do they really move the dialogue, John?
So, John, do they really move the In 2010, the dialogues were well remembered, particularly that first debate in which U Democratic leader Nick C did particularly well, although in fact, at the end of the campaign, all that rise Liberal Democrat had disappeared, but it certainly affected the pace of that one. campaign, um, but not necessarily, you know, they get to be very boring, Henry, sometimes they do, sometimes they don't, sometimes they don't, okay Professor SN Curtis, have a great weekend if you have time, thank you very much for joining us radio times

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