As Labour members outnumber Labour MPs by a factor of well over 100, I think it is true that *more* people will know a Labour member than know a Labour MP. But that is very different from *most* people knowing a Labour member.
Labour members are still a tiny portion of the overall population (less than 1%) and they are unevenly distributed socially, geographically and demographically (they tend to be older, more middle class, more big city resident, etc):…
In addition they will tend to self-segregate into like minded social groups (birds of a feather flock together) and don't have much incentive to seek out interaction with those beyond those groups (though the ones who actively canvass will of course have such contact)
By contrast, constituency service is a core part of MPs jobs, one they spend c.60% of their time one, and one brings them into contact with a broad spectrum of people in their seats.
That won't mean Lab MPs in total have contact with more voters in total than members (because members outnumber them 100 plus to 1) but it does mean the average Labour MP with have contact with a *broader range* of people than the average member.

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More from @robfordmancs

24 Sep
Was reminded today that its been a while since I did one of these. Eve of Labour conference seems a good point to take another look. Starmer was announced as leader on 4th April 2020, so we are now (again) 17 months in...
More don't seem to have done a leader approval for Sept 2021 yet (maybe they're holding it back for conference next week) but August's figure for Starmer was -26, while September's (related but somewhat different) satisfaction rating was -25. I'll use the -26
Here's Starmer ranked relative to earlier oppo ldrs on MORI data:

Corbyn: -38
IDS: -37
Foot -35
Starmer -26
Hague -21
Howard -20
Ed M -18
Kinnock -13
Cameron -4
Smith +4
Blair +22
Read 9 tweets
21 Sep
Good article. Tom's right that the idea of "noble suffering" is probably one reason people don't like quick fixes, but I think another is that people often enjoy feeling superior to others. Make e.g. getting thin or quitting meat easier takes one route to that away.
Status seeking is a pretty universal behaviour, but in its pure form is usually seen as negative. The attraction of difficult but virtuous causes to status seekers is thus obvious - they get the kick of feeling superior but with a useful moral justification.
This is less charitable than Tom's "noble suffering" mechanism but it also has different implications - on Tom's account, if you convince people that it is not the thing itself (burgers, flying) that is bad but its effects, their opposition disappears.
Read 8 tweets
17 Sep
I know I'm late to this but highly recommend "Baron Noir" for anyone into political drama - best I've watched since Borgen - brilliantly drawn characters and gloriously French. Everyone smokes, "militant" is thrown around as a term of praise, wine at lunch, strikes & marches
The main characters draw standing ovations with bombastic speeches about "La France", everyone sleeps with everyone else, gleeful use of petty corruption and organisational hijinks ( the scene with the two competing student activist groups is just marvellous) and...
when the French President proposes point blank refusing to pay EU sanctions for spending too much money, his advisor turns to him and says "who do you think you are, Mrs Thatcher?"
Read 5 tweets
16 Sep
Like my department colleague Martin, it is very frustrating to have this misinformation circulating. I am currently preparing first year lectures, which will be delivered in person, and MA statistics classes, which will be delivered in person.
The Uni is looking to enable such teaching to be delivered simultaneously online (via cameras, synchronous Zoom etc). I'm not sure this is a good idea, but it is very clear & obvious that the bulk of teaching is going to be in person
So it is a bit depressing that alarmist articles about teaching being shifted entirely online, which are wholly incorrect, are still being cited by specialist education journalists who could, with one email or phone call, establish that such stories are incorrect.
Read 4 tweets
15 Sep
This is puzzling - Labour ShadCab agreeing the election came the week after the SNP (&LDs) announced their intention to table an early election bill via a front page splash in the Observer
Did the SNP intend to withdraw their support for an early election so soon after very publicly backing it? In which case what was the purpose of the early election bill & front page announcement?
If this was always meant as w feint, why did they not communicate this to Labour earlier? Did they not think their Early Election bill, which shifted the votes needed from two thirds to a simple majority, would impact on Labour’s thinking?
Read 10 tweets
11 Sep
Inclined to complain to @Ofcom about this headline - this level of statistical ignorance, from a journalist of this profile, represents a risk to public health.
I have deleted my original thread on this as I had misunderstood the error Peston made here. It was a different, more subtle error than the one I had assumed. Therefore, I will just let the experts who have been discussing this speak for themselves:
Given the gravity of the issue - vaccine effectiveness - and the prevalence of misinformation and hesitancy, it would really be helpful if @Peston and his team at @itvnews and @itvpeston would take care to speak to experts first before publishing alarmist speculation.
Read 7 tweets

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