Wednesday 31st May 2017
Whoever invented 7-way debates must have either known they'd never need to take part in one or be a complete masochist, because they rarely turn out well for anyone.
Tonight's is such a mess I can't even be bothered to recap it. It is notable, though, that the Tories seem better prepped on staying calm and their figures than the others-Amber Rudd is the only one who doesn't start shouting at one point. It's also obvious that it really seems to be the terrorism thing that trips Corbyn up-when that's brought up, as my parents point out, his voice immediately descends, his eyes dart, he's less sure of himself. Granted, he and Rudd are really the only people that don't descend into chaotic yelling halfway through. Two of the people yelling, Wood and Robertson, we can't even vote for.
Of course, the talk on Twitter seems to be whether or not the audience are a representative sample, given the left-wing bias that seems to be there. It isn't just Twitter-it turns out to be making the headlines of some papers, and even more eyebrows are raised when it turns out the organization that put the audience together, ComRes, are the same ones currently predicting a 100-seat Tory majority.
One thing that does seem to get applause, quite continually and surprisingly, are mentions of Brexit, of separating ourselves from the single market. (At one point, while Farron's speaking, he's being cheered. The second he gets onto the single market, the cheering dies away. It's bizarre.) Maybe Crosby's right to have the Tories putting it front and centre for the last week. One thing the debate does seem to do for the Tories-as two of them did in 2015-is the "coalition of chaos" thing, in which Cameron was basically able to stand aside, point at Miliband and say, "Look at these harpies beating up this idiot." As, if the Tories lost, it would likely be a hung parliament, Rudd's allowed to do exactly the same thing here.
Meanwhile, if I worked at YouGov-well, I'd know what they're thinking. They're continually producing projections that are completely at odds with everyone else's. While last time, all the polls turned out to be wrong-apart from Crosby's internal polling by Jim Messina-they all had the parties within, at the most, a couple of points from each other. This time, they've got differences of 12 points between them.
It's pretty hard to know what to think, but this is Jim Messina's-the Tories' current pollster and the one who helped them win in 2015-response.
Spent the day laughing at yet another stupid poll from .@yougov. Hey .@benleet do you want to bet for charity? I'll take the over.— Jim Messina (@Messina2012) 31 May 2017
And he-the guy who won Barack Obama two election victories-is not exactly risky with his reputation.