Archive for the 'Coalition' Category


Both Tories and UKIP go for the tactical vote in their final push in Rochester

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Will by election voters want to stop UKIP or give Cameron a bloody nose?

After a campaign that seems to have been going on forever we are now into the final day of the Rochester and Strood by-election effort.

The polls and PBers in the prediction competition all go for UKIP by a double digit margin and anything less than that will be spun as some form of victory by the blue team.

All the polls show that the Tories have won the battle for those who voted for the party in 2010 when Reckless was the candidate. UKIP, however, has built a coalition based on the balance of the Tory vote, ex-LAB and LD ones together with a sizeable slice of non voters from last time.

I’m told that the Tories have not given up hope and their final message is in the top Tweet above. It will be interesting to see if this resonates as much as Tory strategist hope it will. Do the good citizens of the area really wanting to wake up on Friday with a UKIP MP?

    We do know from by-elections past that there can be big swings in the final 24 hours and a huge effort is being put in.

The first target is keeping the Tory loyalists on board. Then there are the other party switchers to Reckless. The latter might not be persuaded to switch to CON but if they go back now to their own allegiance or simply not vote then that will be a plus. The second target group are those planning to vote LAB whom the Tories think might come on side.

The Reckless approach is also strongly tactical – trying to encourage ANTI-CON voters to give Cameron a bloody nose. The really surprising feature of the election is that LAB party HQ decided right at the start not to put central resources in.

So what’s going to happen. It is very hard to argue against the polling but I wonder whether the margin of victory might not be as large as the surveys suggest and that it could be a lot tighter.

Whatever the outcome will have a huge impact on the political climate in the run-up to next May.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Opinium poll that “slipped out” has CON ahead with the LDs down on 5%

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

The above are voting intention details from the Opinium poll that featured on the previous thread. It is not part of the the Observer series and wasn’t intended for publication.

    Whatever at this stage so close to the election and only a couple of days away from a crucial by-election the news that the Tories have made such an improvement and that the LDs have dropped to 5% is striking.

The CON lead news follows the latest YouGov out this morning that also had the Tories ahead albeit by just 1%.

A factor with Opinium is that it is the only online firm that doesn’t have any political weighting – either by party ID or past vote and is thus liable to much bigger fluctuations.

The big picture at the moment is that the two main parties are very close – LAB is clearly suffering from the seepage of support in Scotland.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


The LD gain a seat from LAB but lose one to CON in this week’s round of local elections

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Queen Edith’s on Cambridge (Lab Defence)
Result: Liberal Democrats 933 (36% +1%), Labour 790 (31% -9%), Conservatives 614 (24% +5%), Green 222 (9% +3%)
Liberal Democrat GAIN from Labour with a majority of 143 (5%) on a swing of 5% from Labour to Liberal Democrat

Brent (Con Defence) and Littlebrook (Lab Defence) on Dartford
Result: Conservatives 579 (45%), Labour 402 (31%), UKIP 316 (24%)
Conservative HOLD with a majority of 177 (14%)

Result: Labour 358 (47%), UKIP 220 (30%), Conservatives 172 (23%)
Labour HOLD with a majority of 138 (17%)

Alport and Derwent on Derbyshire (Con Defence)
Result: Conservatives 1,118 (45% +3%), UKIP 715 (29% +4%), Labour 656 (26% +2%)
Conservative HOLD with a majority of 403 (16%) on a neligible swing from Con to UKIP

Bolney on Mid Sussex (Con Defence)
Result: Conservatives 261 (43% -24%), UKIP 187 (30% +17%), Liberal Democrats 161 (27% +7%)
Conservative HOLD with a majority of 74 (13%) on a swing of 21% from Conservative to UKIP

Douglas on Wigan (Lab Defence)
Result: Labour 874 (59% -19%), UKIP 452 (31%), Conservatives 80 (5% -3%), Green 37 (3%), Community Action 29 (2%)
Labour HOLD with a majority of 422 (28%) on a swing of 25% from Labour to UKIP

Bulmershe and Whitegates on Wokingham (Ind defence from Lib Dem defection)
Result: Conservative 726 (35% +10%), Labour 498 (24% -5%), Liberal Democrats 448 (22% -15%), UKIP 275 (13% +8%), Green 105 (5% +1%)
Conservative GAIN from Liberal Democrat with a majority of 228 (11%) on a swing of 7.5% from Labour to Conservative

Harry Hayfield


Local By-Election Preview : November 13th 2014

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Queen Edith’s on Cambridge (Lab Defence)
Result of last election to council (2014): Labour 25, Liberal Democrats 14, Independents 2, Conservative 1 (Labour majority of 8)
Result of last election in ward (2012): Labour 1,084 (40%), Liberal Democrats 963 (35%), Conservatives 513 (19%), Green 172 (6%)
Candidates duly nominated: Rahima Ahammed (Lab), Andrew Bower (Con), Joel Chalfen (Green), Viki Sanders (Lib Dem)

Brent (Con Defence) and Littlebrook (Lab Defence) on Dartford
Result of last election to council (2011): Conservatives 31, Labour 9, Ratepayers 4 (Conservative majority of 18)
Result of last election in ward (2011) : Emboldened denotes elected

Conservative 1,152, 1,129, 1,115
Labour 779, 638, 616
English Democrats 252, 211, 193
Candidates duly nominated: Shan-E-Din Choycha (UKIP), Rosanna Currans (Con), Mark Maddison (Lab)

Labour 585, 504
Conservatives 256, 233
English Democrats 226
Candidates duly nominated: Sonia Keane (UKIP), Calvin McLean (Con), Daisy Page (Lab)

Alport and Derwent on Derbyshire (Con Defence)
Result of council at last election (2013): Labour 43, Conservatives 18, Liberal Democrats 3 (Labour majority of 22)
Result of ward at last election (2013): Conservatives 1,558 (42%), UKIP 936 (25%), Labour 894 (24%), Liberal Democrats 295 (8%)
Candidates duly nominated: David Fisher (UKIP), Mike Ratcliffe (Lab), David Taylor (Con)

Bolney on Mid Sussex (Con Defence)
Result of council at last election (2011): Conservatives 45, Liberal Democrats 8, Labour 1 (Conservative majority of 36)
Result of ward at last election (2011): Conservative 745 (67%), Liberal Democrat 217 (20%), UKIP 148 (13%)
Candidates duly nominated: John Allen (Con), Simon Hicks (Lib Dem), Anthony Williams (UKIP)

Douglas on Wigan (Lab Defence)
Result of council at last election (2014): Labour 62, Independents 11, Conservatives 2 (Labour majority of 49)
Result of ward at last election (2012): Labour 1,774 (78%), Independent 324 (14%), Conservative 172 (8%)
Candidates duly nominated: Margaret Atherton (Con), Damien Hendry (Green), Michael Moulding (Community Action Party), Maggie Skilling (Lab), Derek Wilkes (UKIP)

Bulmershe and Whitegates on Wokingham (Ind defence from Lib Dem defection)
Result of council at last election (2014): Conservatives 44, Liberal Democrats 7, Independents 2, Labour 1 (Conservative majority of 34)
Result of ward at last election (2012): Liberal Democrat 976 (37%), Labour 750 (29%), Conservative 660 (25%), UKIP 137 (5%), Green 106 (4%)
Candidates duly nominated: Munir Ahmed (Lib Dem), Greg Bello (Lab), Peter Jackson (UKIP), Alison Swaddle (Con), Adrian Windisch (Green)

* I apologise for just the bare bones this week, but in-between clutches going on cars, tractors reversing into community benches, rehearsals for a Gilbert and Sullivan production and my grandmother needing hot water bottles to ease her back, this week has been rather go, go, go, go, go, go and go. Hopefully, as there are only three by-elections next week, I may have a chance to summarise them properly.


Just when it looked as though LAB had got through its leadership troubles Ipsos-MORI has worst poll for party since GE10

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014


Extraordinarily both CON and LAB fall to new lows on the Betfair GE2015 market AT THE SAME TIME

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Another hung parliament is looking even more likely

The two charts above represent betting developments that have never happened before. Both the chances of a CON and a LAB majority at GE15 on the betting exchange have moved to new lows together.

This is a odd phenomenon. Normally if the blues collapse then the reds soar and vice versa. Now, with less than six months to go, both appear to have deep problems which will make it harder to put up convincing cases to the electorate next May.

With LAB it’s the continued angst about the leadership while amongst the Tories it is the opening up yet again of the European fault line that has been so corrosive for nearly a quarter of a century.

    All of this coupled with the rise of UKIP and the Greens make the general election even harder to predict. The public don’t like split parties or apparent weak leadership and we are in a remarkable state of flux.

The opportunity is surely there for UKIP or the Greens but neither have leaders capable of resonating amongst voters groups outside their own bases.

Add onto all of this we have the challenges created by the first past the post voting system in each of the 650 constituencies. We could see many MPs being returned with fewer than 30% of the votes in their own seats.

Watch this space!

Reminder. Next PB gathering Friday Nov 21 - the day after Rochester. Usual place - the Dirty Dicks pub in Bishopsgate opposite Liverpool Street station in London. From 1830

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


After tonight’s events in the Commons the question that must be asked..

Monday, November 10th, 2014


The Rochester leaflet that points to how CON will try to make the economy centre stage at GE15

Monday, November 10th, 2014

And the polling that suggests they’ll struggle with UKIP voters