Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Newsnight.. what was the point of that?

Newsnight have had their favourite pollster and focus group sessions again at the Tory party conference. I suppose it fills the time but its utterly pointless.

A group of Mancunians managed to conclude that they hate toffs.
George and Dave are toffs, so they hate them. The do nothing Tories who have no experience of real people's lives are not getting anyone's votes.
Mind you they weren't too keen on Labour either, and less keen on Brown as PM.
But the conclusion was the Tories have not sealed the deal and there is an awful lot of work to do to convinve people to vote for them.

Well, who'd have thought that entrenched Labour controlled seats aren't keen on conservatives.
Amazingly in Kensington and Chelsea they don't think much of wealth redistribution either.

The pollster talked about how Obama had won votes from the Republicans to win the election.
But did he? Didn't he win back Democrats who had gone over to the Republicans, youth voters, African American and minority unregistered voters, floating voters and brand new, never voted before voters. He did not, for example , have to convince Alaska to vote for him. They didn't and never have. Palin land has been Republican since .. forever.
He did need, and got, Florida.

Dave doesn't have to win Manchester from Gerald Kauffman with his 53% of the vote to the Tories 10%. The Tories are in third place here. A long way behind Lab and Lib.
He does have to win in Stafford where the vote split 44% lab to 37% Tory. That is the battleground. Instead we had people who are never going to embrace a posh toff, son of Thatcher, banker's friend tell us .. well tell us exactly that.

I don't remember if Newsnight did the same shtick at the Brighton conference, but Brighton is Labour anyway. So, apart from a little hint of bias about how the Tories aren't going to make many inroads what was the point of it?


Budgie said...

What is the point of the BBC? No broadcaster can be impartial because it must be run by humans who are innately limited in their experiences and hence biased, no matter how hard they try. Sell the BBC off split in to at least two using the subscription pay to view model.

Eckersalld said...

Quite a large chunk of us Mancs may not like the Tories, but we're not terribly fond of Labour either.

I should expect some cherry picking went on.

Old BE said...

Are these the same Brighton and Pudsey focus groups or new ones for Manchester?

Bill Quango MP said...

Budgie. It wasn't so much that it wasn't impartial but that it was portrayed as as something it wasn't. It came across as floating voters who need to be persuaded by the Tory brand are unconvinced. About 10% of the focus group were listening to the Cameron message.
But they aren't floating voters and aren't necessary. My point was if the Newsnight guru had gone to a marginal the piece may actually have had some relevance.

Actually that came across. One guy said he wanted an Obama figure to take over the Labour party. It was a semi disillusioned group who were fed up with Labour, couldn't see the Libs doing any business and left without a real choice.
Old Tory voters, sick of the Major bust and boom, interest rates, europe infighting and sleaze
went to Tony Blair or went nowhere at all.
That's what this group sounded like to me, but the conclusion drawn by Newsnight was Dave has a lot of problems convincing ordinary voters. Not the same thing at all.

Bill Quango MP said...

BE. So there was a Brighton one?

Brighton is Labour in all three wards. As a town it has a totally different mix to a typical south east centre.
Its has its own stockbroker / media / tech jock belt and very high property prices due to do fast train links to London and good quality of life in a costal setting.
32,000 students, many living all year round.17% - some 5% higher than national average.Unemployment is much higher than average as is the gay population, as is drug dependency.
It is possibly the only place in the UK where the Greens may gain a seat.

Did the focus group reflect that? Knowing the beeb, I expect it did.They must have thought they had found the mother lode of focus groups.

Old BE said...

The point about the focus group series (that I have seen) they have been doing through the conferences is that they have picked two seats which "the Tories must win if they are to form a government". I am not sure if the focus group you are talking about is the same as the ones they have been showing recently.

Houdini said...

Manchester, or at least much of it's surrounding areas, will vote Labour regardless, much like my area of North Wales, so there is limited scope for a pollster... unless they have an agenda of course. Pssstt, it is also why the Tories are there now; to gain a profile. Everyone hates toffs in Labour, unless they are one and support Labour. How many working men is there in the PLP anyway? Most of them are toffs who love socialist ideology, and will always do right up until it affect their bank balances.

As to Obama...did anyone actually see his share of the vote? The BBC called it a massive share...but he was only a few small percentage point swing off losing! He is not the winner this Government and the puppet BBC would have you believe.

On another note, today I converted a Labour mong to Cameron and Osborne, seriously, by asking how he would bribe them seeing as they stinking rich? He actually said he couldn't, unlike those bastards in Labour...yeehawwww, a convert to common sense! I also convinced him, with the same basic logic, that that was why the HoL worked and why it doesn't now.

Are you proud of me?

roym said...

aside from bashing the beeb, this post throws up a real endemic issue. the cons need to win stafford so they'll focus there and the other manchester wards can go hang. doesnt seem right to me. shouldnt every vote count?

Bill Quango MP said...

BE: if you are right about the focus groups in marginals then i must send Paxo an apology. However, I didn't think this one was.

As governments like to say about drug users, prison re offending and abused people
If we can save just one then its worth it.

It is a serious issue, but not sure what the answers are. Lots of minority parties in a coalition?
Opposition MPs having to be appointed to cabinet on the basis of % share of the vote?
As for bashing the beeb it should be noted that Newsnight, which we regularly bash, has a very difficult remit.
Going out every day with economics and politics stories {like this blog!}and a changing news agenda throughout the day as stories break.
Unable to get the people that they want to talk to them so having to settle for Kevin Maguire or Amanda Platell.
The prepared pieces like these focus groups have to be done in advance plus they must have a load of other pre recorded slot in filler pieces.
"In case of emergency break story."
Not a show where there is too much time for lattes and ameretti biscuits I would have thought. High pressure I'm sure.