Should you believe the polls? – Election Daily podcast

Jonathan Freedland and Owen Jones are joined by Stephen Bush of New Statesman to discuss YouGov’s bombshell poll projection

A projection of a hung parliament from pollsters YouGov has dropped like a bombshell into this election campaign. But is it plausible? We hear from Martin Boon, director of rival polling firm ICM who describes it as ‘brave’.

Joining Jonathan Freedland and Owen Jones in the studio is New Statesman’s political commentator, Stephen Bush.

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Corbyn’s extraordinary fightback proves election campaigns do matter | Jonathan Freedland

The winners and losers are always decided long before the contest is even announced, the received wisdom has it. But what if it’s wrong?

Jeremy Corbyn has already smashed several core tenets of conventional Westminster wisdom – starting with the previously firm belief that a backbench member of his wing of Labour could never become party leader. Now he is testing yet another: the established view that campaigns don’t matter.

Received opinion among political cognoscenti has long been that the three or four weeks of official electioneering rarely make much difference. There can be gaffes and shock polls and big rallies, but in the end the voters tend to do what they had planned to do in the first place. Comparison of pre-campaign polling with the final outcome has, in the past, broadly suggested that everyone could have saved themselves a lot of time and energy: if we’d voted on the day the election was called, we’d have arrived at the same result.

Related: Jeremy Corbyn treated unfairly by press, says David Dimbleby

There can be no denying that Labour’s manifesto has helped the party’s chances, while the Tories’ hurt theirs

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Corbyn’s extraordinary fightback proves election campaigns do matter | Jonathan Freedland

The winners and losers are always decided long before the contest is even announced, the received wisdom has it. But what if it’s wrong?

Jeremy Corbyn has already smashed several core tenets of conventional Westminster wisdom – starting with the previously firm belief that a backbench member of his wing of Labour could never become party leader. Now he is testing yet another: the established view that campaigns don’t matter.

Received opinion among political cognoscenti has long been that the three or four weeks of official electioneering rarely make much difference. There can be gaffes and shock polls and big rallies, but in the end the voters tend to do what they had planned to do in the first place. Comparison of pre-campaign polling with the final outcome has, in the past, broadly suggested that everyone could have saved themselves a lot of time and energy: if we’d voted on the day the election was called, we’d have arrived at the same result.

Related: Jeremy Corbyn treated unfairly by press, says David Dimbleby

There can be no denying that Labour’s manifesto has helped the party’s chances, while the Tories’ hurt theirs

Continue reading...

Jeremy v Jeremy – Election Daily podcast

Owen Jones and Jonathan Freedland are joined by the Observer’s Sonia Sodha to discuss how the party leaders fared in their televised battle with Jeremy Paxman and a studio audience. Plus: whatever happened to the ‘Brexit election’?

Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May were grilled by a hostile Jeremy Paxman and faced awkward questions from a studio audience on Monday in the biggest television event of the election so far. The prime minister, who has refused to take part in a straight debate format, came under pressure to explain cuts to police numbers and NHS “efficiency savings”.

Joining Owen Jones and Jonathan Freedland in the studio on Tuesday to discuss it all is the Observer’s chief leader writer Sonia Sodha.

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The state of the race – Election Daily podcast

Ten days before the general election, Jonathan Freedland and Owen Jones discuss the state of a race in which the Conservatives’ poll lead has narrowed amid policy U-turns and a brief suspension of campaigning

With 10 days until polling day the Conservatives are attempting to reboot their election campaign after a U-turn on a key manifesto pledge, the prime minister’s uncertain appearance in a BBC interview and rumours of infighting among her staff.

Meanwhile, as Labour closes the gap in the polls, Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott continue to face questions over their views on the Northern Ireland conflict in the 1980s.

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The Trump handshake: how world leaders are fighting back | Jonathan Freedland

Emmanuel Macron and others have noted that US president’s handshake is a claim to superiority, and are fighting him in kind

They say the handshake originated as a gesture designed to prove that both participants were unarmed. But Donald Trump has rewritten that rule along with all the others. In the hands of the US president, the handshake is a weapon.

And now, thanks to the newly elected president of France, we have confirmation that the rest of the world’s leaders are fighting back. Emmanuel Macron’s admission that his white-knuckle clinch with Trump – in which the two men appeared to be engaged in a squeezing duel that saw the US president break off first – was “not innocent” is hardly a surprise. His thinking was plain to see, as he crushed Trump’s hand until the latter’s fingers seemed to quiver for mercy.

Related: What is it with Trump and handshakes? This is getting awkward | Moustafa Bayoumi

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It’s a delusion to think that the terror attacks are just about foreign policy | Jonathan Freedland

When it comes to violent jihadism, the motives are many – American and British military intervention is just one of them

For most people, in most places, something like normality resumes. This weekend Britons might be planning a barbecue, watching the FA Cup Final or just hoping to soak up some sun. In Manchester, in a show of almost comic defiance, the Great CityGames are going ahead, so that today, Deansgate will be converted into a sprint track and there’ll be pole vaulting in Albert Square – just days after it was packed for a hushed vigil.

But I can’t help thinking of what it’s like inside those homes where normality vanished on Monday night. I keep thinking of the parents who thought life was just ticking along, and who are suddenly having to contemplate a future without their son or daughter.

[Jihadism] is an ideology that can rage against western inaction as much as action

Related: Theresa May wants to tackle online extremism. Here’s how to do it | Charles Arthur

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Security set to dominate campaigning after Manchester attack – Election Daily podcast

Jonathan Freedland and Owen Jones are joined by Helen Pidd in Manchester and Ian Cobain to reflect on the terror attack that halted the UK general election campaign

The worst terrorist attack in the UK for more than a decade halted the general election campaign as politicians united to condemn the murder of 22 people at a pop concert in Manchester.

Jonathan Freedland and Owen Jones are joined from Manchester by Helen Pidd, the Guardian’s north of England editor; and Ian Cobain, a senior reporter and author of recent books on Britain’s security services.

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Troops on the streets create unsettling terrain for our democracy | Jonathan Freedland

We need our election to go ahead undisturbed, lest we give the murderers behind the Manchester atrocity even the scent of victory

The prospect of nearly 1,000 troops emerging from their barracks and on to the streets of Britain will be a shock to the system. Other countries may be used to the sight of soldiers outside palaces and parliaments, at stations or large venues, but not Britain. This, remember, is a country that prides itself on the fact that most of its police are armed with nothing more than a stick.

Related: Manchester reminds all parents of the never-ending dread of losing a child | Gaby Hinsliff

Related: The rule of law applies to everyone. Even Manchester hate peddlers like Katie Hopkins | Hugh Muir

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Theresa May’s social care wobble – Election Daily podcast

Jonathan Freedland and Owen Jones are joined by Zoe Williams in the first of our daily podcasts in the run-up to election day. As the Conservatives rethink their unpopular social care plans, the polls are narrowing.

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In the first of our daily election podcasts, Jonathan Freedland and Owen Jones are joined by columnist Zoe Williams.

With the Conservatives on the defensive, polls are narrowing and their showcase policy on social care has been stuck with the label ‘dementia tax’. Today Theresa May ‘clarified’ that the policy would include an overall cap on costs. After a major wobble and a manifesto U-turn, could there yet be a twist in the tale of this election?

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