Archive for the 'Coalition' Category


Why framing constituency battles on choosing individual MPs is the best defensive strategy for the LDs

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

The widespread presumption that the election is about parties is not always applicable

There is an almost total obsession that the vote on May 7th is about parties reinforced by the fact that almost all the polling asks WHICH you will be supporting rather than WHO.

In fact for many voters the primary consideration is who will be their representative at Westminster not the party brand.

This is why incumbency can be so important and the relationship that individual MPs have with their constituents can make a difference.

Nowhere will this so central than in Lib Dem defences where all could turn on the perception of the individual seeking to be returned again.

Much has been made of the Ashcroft constituency polling where a second candidate specific question is put. What could also be relevant is in the chart above which is part of the 30k sample BES polling.

This features the views of constituents split by which of the main three parties currently holds the seat. The two columns in each segment show the views of supporters of the incumbents’ party and opponents.

This is a similar picture to the YouGov polling for Nottingham University from 2013 which had net satisfaction levels that those sampled had with their local MP broken down by which party held the seat.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


A leading academic forecasting model gives Farage just a 2% chance in South Thanet – Betfair punters have it at 60%

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

It was Tim Montgomerie in today’s Times who alerted me to the forecast for Farage’s South Thanet that has been produced by the 2015 UK Parliamentary Election Forecast – a collaberation between dons at UEA, LSE and Durham. For anyone betting on single seats their site is a gem with percentage probabilities for each party in every single seat.

Except that some of the forecasts just don’t feel right given everything that we know. The Farage battle is a case in point.

    True the headline Ashcroft polling from December had UKIP 1% behind. But the purples were 5% before the reallocation of 2010 CON DKs

That was before Christmas and things have moved on – notably a decline in UKIP poll shares generally.

My view of the seat is as recorded in previous posts. I think Farage has got a battle on his hands and both Labour and the Tories will do everything to generate anti-UKIP tactical voting to their candidates. This is a very tight three way marginal.

My money’s on both the Tories and LAB because of the odds I got – but, realistically, this is a gamble that I won’t be too upset about if I lose.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


All CON lead polls are from firms which’ve been tested in a GE unlike all but one of those with LAB leads

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Something to make the blue team happy – perhaps?

Make of this what you will and it might just be a huge coincidence but there appears to be a split between the pollsters that have been tested in a general election and those that haven’t.

The pollsters with asterisks next to their names in the chart were all regular pollsters in the run-up to GE2010. The ones without them weren’t.

Some of the firms classified as untested were around in 2010 but in a different form from their current operation. Thus Populus was the regular pollster for the Times five years ago but then it was a phone firm. Today’s Populus online polls are therefore treated as a newbie.

Same goes for TNS. Its new poll series is online which is totally different from its face to face operation which it still continues with for some its surveys.

I am treating ComRes as two separate polling series-the phone surveys which it now does for the Mail which was about pre 2010 and the online ComRes political polling which started after GE2010.

The Lord Ashcroft National Poll started about a year ago while Survation entered the political polling arena at the January 2011 Oldham East & Saddleworth by-election.

Looking at the chart the only established pollster recording a LAB lead is Ipsos-MORI which I now just call Ipsos. YouGov, Opinium, ComRes phone and ICM are the other four pollsters which have surveyed previous general elections.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


The Telegraph’s big political news..about Jack Straw and Sir Malcolm Rifkind

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Both are former Foreign Secretaries


Local By-Election Results: February 12th 2015

Friday, February 13th, 2015

Bar Hill on Cambridgeshire (Con Defence)
Lynda Harford (Con) 787 (46% +1%)
Martin Hale (UKIP) 251 (15% -7%)
Fiona Whelan (Lib Dem) 238 (14% +6%)
Alex Smith (Lab) 235 (14% unchanged)
Claudia Roland (Green) 200 (12% +3%)
Conservative HOLD with a majority of 536 (31%) on a swing of 4% from UKIP to Con

Oswestry East on Shropshire (Con Defence)
John Price (Con) 629 (47% +3%)
Claire Norris (Lab) 247 (19% -4%)
Duncan Kerr (Green) 231 (17% no candidate in 2013)
Amanda Woof (Lib Dem) 218 (16% no candidate in 2013)
Conservative HOLD with a majority of 382 (29%) on a swing of 3.5% from Lab to Con

Mark Hall on Harlow (UKIP Defence)
Danny Purton (Lab) 586 (43% +8% on 2014)
Mark Gough (UKIP) 353 (26% -12% on 2014)
Jane Steer (Con) 334 (24% +4% on 2014)
Murray Sackwild (Green) 55 (3% no candidate in 2014)
Lesley Rideout (Lib Dem) 47 (3% -5% on 2014)
Labour GAIN from UKIP with a majority of 233 (17%) on a swing of 10% from UKIP to Lab


The CON candidates who, allegedly, will be left out in the cold

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

This is from Mark Pack.

In this context “Non-target” means either ‘we’re not going to win’ or ‘we think this is super-safe’. Some are blindingly obvious others are less so.

Ben Adams – Stoke-on-Trent North
Bim Afolami – Lewisham Deptford
Festus Akinbusoye – West Ham
Heidi Allen – South Cambridgeshire
Valerie Allen – Sefton Central
Sue Arnold – Walsall South
Liam Ascough – Stoke-on-Trent Central
Andrew Atkinson – Wrexham
Anwen Barry – Arfon
Peter Bedford – Bolsover
Huw Bell – North East Fife
James Bellis – Vauxhall
James Bird – Birmingham Hall Green
Will Blair – Holborn and St Pancras
Alex Boulter – Birmingham Selly Oak
Miles Briggs – Edinburgh South
Louise Burfitt-Dons – Nottingham North
Alexander Burnett – West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine
Kim Caddy – Streatham
James Cartlidge – South Suffolk
Jo Churchill – Bury St Edmunds
James Cleverly – Braintree
Rebecca Coulson – City of Durham
Peter Cuthbertson – Darlington
James Daly – Bolton North East
Chris Daniels – Stockton North
Dehenna Davison – Kingston Upon Hull North
Keith Dewhurst – Cynon Valley
Oliver Dowden – Hertsmere
Sarah Downes – Bassetlaw
Spencer Drury – Eltham
Luke Evans – Birmingham Edgbaston
Chamali Fernando – Cambridge
Peter Fortune – Lewisham East
Lucy Frazer – South East Cambridgeshire
Fraser Galloway – Paisley and Renfrewshire South
Nusrat Ghani – Wealden
Laetitia Glossop – North Durham
George Grant – Bradford West
Fiona Green – Wythenshawe and Sale East
Charlotte Haitham-Taylor – North West Durham
Ed Hastie – Neath
Darren Henry – Wolverhampton North East
Garry Hickton – Nottingham East
Claire Hiscott – Bristol West
Kevin Hollinrake – Thirsk and Malton
Paul Holmes – Mitcham and Morden
Marc Hope – Central Ayrshire
Sajjad Hussain – Oldham East and Saddleworth
Russell Jackson – Lewisham West and Penge
Ranil Jayawardena – North East Hampshire
Meirion Jenkins – Bridgend
Gillian Keegan – St Helens South and Whiston
Seema Kennedy – South Ribble
Resham Kotecha – Dulwich and West Norwood
Pearl Lewis – Hayes and Harlington
Michelle Lowe – Coventry North East
Alan Mak – Havant
Robert Manning – Manchester Withington
Lindsay McCallum – Ross, Skye & Lochaber Conservatives
Robert McIlveen – York Central
Johnny Mercer – Plymouth Moor View
Huw Merriman – Bexhill and Battle
Amanda Milling – Cannock Chase
Dom Morris – Exeter
Stefan Mrozinski – Tottenham
Kieran Mullan – Birmingham Hodge Hill
David Nicholls – Clwyd South
Luke Parker – Brent North
Lindsay Paterson – Edinburgh West
Suria Photay – Wolverhampton South East
Alex Pierre-Traves – Leeds West
Beth Prescott – Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford
Mina Rahman – Barking
Paul Ratner – West Bromwich West
Alastair Redman – Argyll and Bute
Katie Redmond – Luton South
Bill Rees – Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney
Joe Rich – Stoke-on-Trent South
David Roach – East Lothian
Dean Russell – Luton North
Molly Samuel-Leport – Walthamstow
Matthew Scott – Leyton and Wanstead
Olivia Seccombe – West Bromwich East
Isabel Sigmac – Birmingham Ladywood
Matt Sleat – Sheffield South East
Matthew Smith – Bethnal Green and Bow
Ann Steward – North Norfolk
Rishi Sunak – Richmond (Yorks)
James Symes – Ealing Southall
Ross Thomson – Aberdeen South
Kelly Tolhurst – Rochester and Strood
Clark Vasey – Birkenhead
Mark Vivis – Chesterfield
Matt Warman – Boston and Skegness
Christopher Wilford – Poplar and Limehouse
Evonne Williams – Derby South
Tom Williams – Warley
Simon Wilson – Leeds North East
Mike Wood – Dudley South
Scott Wood – Sedgefield
Jacob Young – Redcar

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


A bit of cheer for LAB as TNS Scotland poll has party just 10% behind

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Even though they are behind this poll will come as a relief to LAB

Just out from TNS is the latest Scotland poll. The main GE voting figures are in the chart above and as can be seen the red team trail the nats by 10%.

But that will cone as a huge relief given some recent Scottish polls. ICM’s most recent effort had it at 17%, Survation 20%, YouGov 21% with the Ipsos-MORI landline poll a wallowing 28%.

TNS looks like progress then? Well yes and no. There is no post IndyRef Scottish GE15 survey to compare with. The gap is the same as Panelbase in early January for the Sunday Times.

This TNS survey is carried out face to face but with online completion so that responders are able to give their views with a level of secrecy without interviewer bias.

Note that this methodology is NOT the same as the firm is using for its new series of GB GE2015 polls which are all online.

This latest Scottish poll follows three standard GE15 polls. Populus online had LAB 1% ahead, the Ashcroft National landline poll had CON 3% ahead while YouGov had a 1% CON lead.

If Scotland finishes up on May 7th with an outcome similar to TNS then Labour can expect to lose far fewer seats than the Ipsos-MORI Scottish national and Ashcroft landline single seat Scottish surveys have pointed to.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Lord Ashcroft finds errors in his Doncaster N, Thanet S & Hallam polling. Clegg 3% behind

Saturday, February 7th, 2015

So good news for Miliband & Farage – bad news for Clegg

Betting update