Archive for January, 2013

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The PB local elections special with Ukip strong in one of tonight’s seats

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Harry Hayfield previews the contests

Woolaston and Stourbridge Town (Dudley) Result of most recent council election (2012): Labour 41, Conservatives 30, Greens 1 (Labour overall majority of 10) Last Local Election (2012): Lab 2,714 (39%), Con 2,238 (32%), Lib Dem 913 (13%), UKIP 718 (10%), Green 393 (6%) Labour GAIN from Conservative  

 

The electors of Stourbridge must be thinking there’s a great deal of déjà vu going on. Back in 1997, they were part of the hotly contested Stourbridge constituency where Warren Hawksley MP was beaten by Debra Shipley as part of the Labour landslide. She was re-elected in 2001 but stood down for the 2005 election which saw the election of Lynda Waltho as the MP (but only by 407 votes), so it was perhaps no surprise that in 2010 the Conservative candidate Margot James gained the seat with a majority of 5,164.

And the local elections of late have seen a very similar pattern. In the local elections held on the same day as the 2010 general election, the Conservatives won the Woolaston ward (Con 36%, Lib Dem 30%, Lab 25%), held onto it in 2011 (Con 39%, Lab 33%, Lib Dem 14%) and lost it in 2012 (Lab 39%, Con 32%, Lib Dem 13%). This pattern is rather similar to what happened in Leashowe at the start of the month, so what’s going to happen this time? Well, UKIP will want to be managing their challenge clear but following Cameron’s speech last week on an in/out referendum will the wind, that had seen UKIP go from 6% in 2010 to 10% last year, be taken out of their sails or will Labour show that to rule them out of Stourbridge is a bad mistake

 

Bryncoch (Bridgend) Result of most recent council election (2012): Labour 39, Independents 10, Liberal Democrats 3, Plaid Cymru 1, Conservatives 1 (Labour overall majority of 24) Last Local Election (2012): Lab 313 (74%) Lib Dem 109 (26%) Labour HOLD

 

Bryncoch is one of those wards that has managed to more or less survive some forty years of local government reorganisation. Back in 1973, the ward was made up of Bryncoch North and South (which elected two Labour councillors) with moderately healthy majorities. In the 1976 local elections, an Independent gained one of the seats despite Labour polling six hundred more votes than Plaid across the wards. The ward disappeared at the district level but reappeared at the county level where Labour ruled the roost with majorities of between three hundred and six hundred until the unitary authority of Bridgend was established in 1995 when in 1999 the first contested election was held. Labour held on but only won by 80 over a Plaid Cymru candidate.

The writing was on the wall for Labour as in 2004, they lost it to an Independent by 101 votes when Labour lost control of Bridgend by six seats thanks in part to losing a large number of seats to the Liberal Democrats. However, this was just a temporary setback as in 2008 (when Labour across Wales were being hammered) Labour retook the ward (thanks in part to a split Indpendent opposition) before resuming their natural dominance in the local elections last year. However, that doesn’t mean that Labour can rest on their laurels. In Neath South, just before Christmas last year, Labour held on to the ward despite the Liberal Democrats polling (from a standing start) 25% of the vote. Is the love affair in the South Wales valleys demonstrated in 2012 over already or will Labour bounce back from that drop and show that Wales and Labour are are much entwined as strawberries and cream.

 

 

 



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Clegg says he intends to stay leader and Ladbrokes make him odds on FAV to hold seat

Thursday, January 31st, 2013



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LAB YouGov leads seems to be settling down at about 9 percent – a notch down on before the Cameron referendum pledge

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Day to day movements in the polling are being watched very closely at the moment following the Cameron EU speech eight days ago. The latest, this morning, has CON 33: LAB 42: LD 10: Ukip 7.

This was designed to unify the Tories as well as to create a very sharp divding line between the blues and the other parties.

    Tory strategists were telling me on the day that it might take 10 days or more before we would see its real impact and we are getting near that point.

The problem, of course, is that other events intervene particuarly the GDP figures and the big boundaries vote on Tuesday.

YouGov is, of course, only one pollster and we’ve had just one phone survey since last week.

There was also this regular YouGov question in today’s poll.

Mike Smithson

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The Marf appeal – more than half way there

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Thanks to all who joined me in helping Marf

On Monday I reported how for the past five years PB has been enriched by the work of Marf – the site’s cartoonist. Unfortunately the only way we’ve been able to help her financially is though encouraging people to buy originals or prints of her work and allocating part of the proceeds when we’ve had a PB appeal.

Now Marf is having to replace much of her technical infrastructure and I’d love it if PBers were able to contribute £1,500 towards the costs. Well the good news is that we are over half way there.

Also some PBers have helped Marf by purchasing prints and originals

If you haven’t done so yet please use the donate button below.





Mike Smithson



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How to predict the YouGov daily poll BEFORE you go to bed

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

If it’s good for the blues you’ll get this before midnight

If it’s not then you’ll have to wait till 6am for this

Funny that.

Mike Smithson

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The YouGov LAB lead moves to 9 percent exactly one week after Cameron’s big EU speech

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Was that the referendum bounce that was?

At 8am last Wednesday morning we were glued to our TV sets for Camerons’s long promised speech on UK’s relationship with the EU. The promise of an in-out referendum was a big one and something that will could dominate the #GE2015 election campaign.

Initially the polls barely moved but then over the weekend we saw a shift back to the Tories that must have been encouraging. Yesterday’s poll had the Tories continuing to make progress.

The latest survey, just out, has a more familiar look to it. CON 33: LAB 42: LD 11: Ukip 8

The changes, of course, are all within the margin of error, but the move back to “normality”, if that is how we can describe it, will be worrying to the blue team.

The whole point of the referendum promise was to unify the party and deal with an issue that many were arguing was crucial.

We have, of course, seen other events in the past week – notably the GDP figures – and the EU referendum promise seems a long time ago.

Mike Smithson

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After the boundary vote LAB gets tighter on the #GE2015 markets while CON eases

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013



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The boundaries: At least, either way, it will all be over tonight

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Unless there is some remarkably bad management by the LAB and LD whips then the plan to reduce the Commons to 600 seats and bring in new boundaries will be defeated later on today.

Thanks to Anthony Wells for noting that “the government has tabled a counter amendment that would reject the Lords amendment, and adopt the Boundary Commissions final recommendations without the need for further votes in the Commons and Lords”.

THe original plan was for the boundary proposals to come to the House for ratification in October.

What is interesting is that this has never taken off as a big story. Clegg made his announcement during the Olympic and that got over-shadowed.

Mike Smithson

For the latest polling and political betting news