Archive for the 'Coalition' Category


ICM phone poll for Guardian has it at 51% NO to 49% YES – too close to call

Friday, September 12th, 2014

At current odds the value bet is on YES


Local By-Election Preview : September 11th 2014

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Castle on Carlisle (Lab Defence)
Result of last election to council (2014): Labour 29, Conservatives 19, Independents 2, Liberal Democrats 2 (Labour majority of 6)
Result of ward at last election (2011): Labour 539 (42%), Liberal Democrats 438 (34%), Greens 135 (10%), TUSC 90 (7%), BNP 84 (7%)
Candidates duly nominated: Robert Currie (Con), Richard Hunt (Green), Lawrence Jennings (Lib Dem), Fiona Mills (UKIP), Alan Taylor (Lab)

Carlisle was never really a Lib Dem bright spot even at the best of times, but Castle has been a tale of woe upon woe upon woe. Between 2003 and 2010, this was a Lib Dem heartland in Carlisle with the Lib Dems racking up well over 60% of the vote on some occasions, however that all came to a crashing stop in 2010 as they held the ward by a mere 14 votes and then the losses started coming. In 2011, Lab gained the first seat on a swing of 16.5% swing from Lib Dem to Lab, in 2012 the second seat was gained on a swing of 29% and this year the third seat was gained on a swing of 13.5% but with the added embarrasment for the Lib Dems of slumping into fourth place behind the Conservatives with UKIP gaining second place from a standing start.

Castle on Cumbria (Lab Defence)
Result of council at last election (2013): Labour 35, Conservatives 26, Liberal Democrats 16, Independents 7 (No Overall Control, Labour short by 8)
Result of ward at last election (2013): Labour 460 (41%), Liberal Democrats 263 (24%), UKIP 227 (20%), Conservatives 120 (11%), Greens 45 (4%)
Candidates duly nominated: James Bainbridge (Con), Neil Boothman (Green), Lawrence Jennings (Lib Dem), Alan McGuckin (Lab), John Stanyer (UKIP)

If the Castle ward on Carlisle has been a disaster, then the county ward has been a complete nightmare for the Lib Dems. In 2005, they held the ward with a majority of 84 (4%) against Labour on 40% and the Conservatives on 16%. As part of the famed Labour collapse of 2009, they held the ward with a majority of 127 (10%) because the Lib Dem vote also fell some 10% thanks to first time candidacies from the Greens and the BNP and so there was always going to be a chance that Labour would gain the ward in 2013 and they did on a 14% swing from Lib Dem to Lab (which the Lib Dems coming just a mere 36 votes ahead of UKIP (who polled 20% from a standing start) and with the same five parties standing in the by-election as stood in the county elections a mere 15 months ago will UKIP take advantage of their publicity post Clacton and be able to put themselves forward as the new alternative to Labour?

Collingham and Meering (Con Defence) and Ollerton (Lab Defence) on Newark and Sherwood
Result of last election to council (2011): Conservatives 22, Labour 15, Independents 6, Liberal Democrats 3 (No Overall Control, Conservatives short by 2)
Result of ward at last election (2011) : Emboldened denotes elected

Collingham and Meering
Conservatives 1,095, 1,092
Liberal Democrats 579
Candidates duly nominated: Sara Chadd (UKIP), David Clarke (Ind), Kieran Owen (Lab), Richard Shillito (Con)

Labour 1,056, 997, 906
Conservatives 562, 464
Independents 467, 312
Candidates duly nominated: Mary Brown (Con), Mortiz Dawkins (UKIP), Michael Pringle (Lab)

Ah, Newark and Sherwood, part of the constituency of Newark which saw the first Conservative by-election HOLD whilst in government since 1989 (when a certain William Hague was elected) where UKIP threw everything bar the kitchen sink at it and came up some seven thousand short of winning (despite carrying the local count area in the European elections), so it’s understandable that UKIP might have felt a little disappointed with that but here are two prime UKIP areas just begging to be GAINED. A Conservative heartland (where the Conservative vote is weighed) and a Labour heartland (where in the last by-election a few years ago, Labour held the ward without an election). Will the UKIP magic hold here or will we see an electorate starting to tire of UKIP, after all for the electors in Collingham this will their third election in 18 months (Counties 2013, Euros 2014, Newark by-election)

Beckton on Newham (Lab Defence)
Result of council at last election (2014): Labour 60 (Labour unopposed in the council chamber)
Result of ward at last election (2014): Emboldened denotes elected
Labour 1,789, 1,778, 1,713
Conservatives 1,033, 731, 615
Christian People’s Alliance 242, 204, 180
Candidates duly nominated: Syed Ahmed (Con), Mark Dunne (TUSC), Jane Lithgow (Green), David Mears (UKIP), Kayode Shewodo (Christian Peoples Alliance), David Thorpe (Lib Dem), Tonii Wilson (Lab)

Even during the darkest times of Labour local election bloodbaths, Newham has always been a pinnacle of Labour dominance. Never falling below fifty councillors (the lowest was 54 in 2006), Labour have dominated this part of London with only occasional opposition from the Christian’s People Alliance (3 seats in 2006) and Respect (3 seats in 2006) with both parties repulsed in 2010 and so therefore you would assume the perfect place for UKIP to come storming in. Or at least they would do, if it wasn’t for the fact that UKIP have a definite problem when it comes to London. In London as a whole in the European Elections, UKIP polled a respectable 17% (+7% on 2009) however that 17% covered a multitude of sins. Hackney saw UKIP poll 5% (unchanged on 2009), Havering saw UKIP poll 44% (+17% on 2009) and in Newham they polled 8% (+2% on 2009) suggesting that in Labour dominated areas UKIP are flogging a dead horse.

Abingdon, Dunmore on Vale of the White Horse (Lib Dem Defence)
Result of council at last election (2011): Conservative 31, Liberal Democrats 19, Labour 1 (Conservative majority of 11)
Result of ward at last election (2014): Emboldened denotes elected
Conservatives 951, 831
Liberal Democrats 868, 673
Labour 249
Green 236
Candidates duly nominated: Margaret Crick (Lib Dem), Michael Gould (Lab), Christopher Parkes (UKIP), Andrew Todd (Con)

And whilst we are on the subject of horses, the Vale of the White Horse is exactly a Liberal Democrat glory area either. From a Lib Dem majority of 7 in 2003 to a Conservative majority of 11 in eight years (encapsulating the net loss of 10 Lib Dem councillors) the Euros weren’t that encouraging either as the Lib Dems polled 14% of the vote (just 2% ahead of Labour and 3% ahead of the Greens) which was a full 6% lower than they polled in 2009 which itself was 3% lower than in 2004 suggesting that there has been a long and steady decline in Lib Dem fortunes in this part of Oxfordshire.


Survation Indyref poll gives Better Together some good news

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

The Survation poll for the Daily Record is out now. The majority of the polling was conducted after the YouGov poll that had Yes ahead was published, but before Cameron, Clegg and Miliband had their sojourn in Scotland.

No, will be delighted that it would appear that the tipping point for Yes that YouGov and TNS-BMRB published in the last week, has not materialised with Survation, and the lead is the same as it was before the debates. There have been 55 indyref polls this calendar, and only one has had Yes ahead, which should reassure anyone at Better Together who was experiencing squeaky bum time

Yes can take some comfort with the fact that it would only take a 3% swing for them to win.

The next indyref poll scheduled is the YouGov poll for The Times tomorrow night.

For me this is without doubt the most exciting time in British politics since the election that never was, with eight days to go, I still am unsure who will win.

The data tables are available here





It looks as though we’ll get an IndyRef poll from the firm that got the AV referendum right to within a fraction of a percent

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Look at the record from 2011

Members of YouGov’s panel believe its polls


It really is squeaky bum time: TNS has the gap down to just one percent

Monday, September 8th, 2014


YouGov’s weekend figures echoed in new face to face poll

The YES and NO campaigns in the Scottish IndyRef are running neck-and-neck after a dramatic swing over the past month, according to the much anticipated new poll from TNS which does its fieldwork face to face.

This is the first Indyref poll for more than a month that is not online and gives us something solid in itself as well as a bench mark to assess other polling.

The figures are sensational and add to the growing view that the outcome on September 18th is going to be touch and go.

    What we need now are properly constructed telephone polls like the brilliant one that ICM did for the 2011 AV referendum that got the outcome absolutely bang on.

Details from the TNS poll.

  • A surge in the number of those who say they are certain to vote
  • A strong move towards Yes among women
  • An increased likelihood to vote Yes amongst those under 55
  • Among all adults aged 16+, 39% said they would vote No (down from 45% a month ago) and 38% backed a Yes vote (up from 32% a month ago). While there has been evidence to suggest that women were more reticent about voting Yes, this appears to be changing and the gender gap narrowing. 41% of women surveyed in this latest poll intend to vote No, but this figure was 49% a month ago, and the proportion of women who intend to vote Yes has increased from 27% to 35% (compared to the proportion of men who intend to vote Yes increasing from 38% to 41%).

      Older people aged 55+ are now the only age group where No voters are in the majority – 49% say they intend to vote No compared to 31% voting Yes.

    Amongst those aged under 55 years, the Yes vote has achieved a significant upturn in the last month – from being 8 percentage points behind the No vote, this position has been reversed and Yes now have a 9 percentage point advantage over the No vote.

    TNS surveys over the past six months have consistently shown that 70%-75% said they were certain to vote. This has leapt to 84% in the latest poll. This increase is evident across the population, but is especially pronounced among women and those aged 16-34 years.

    Among those who say they are certain to vote, No and Yes are tied on 41%, compared with 46% and 38% respectively in the previous month. With the increase in the numbers intending to vote, the proportion of “Don’t knows” has risen from 16% to 18%, implying that around 600,000 people are determined to vote but have not yet made a decision.

    Leaving to one side the questions about how people would vote, we also asked who they thought would win the referendum. Interestingly, 45% of all voters said No would win and 31% backed Yes. Among No voters, 70% thought their side would win, while 56% of Yes voters thought that they would prevail.

    Mike Smithson

    2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


    At last..a non-internet Scottish IndyRef poll

    Monday, September 8th, 2014

    TNS-BMRB due to be published a day early

    One of the features of the referendum polling is that so much of it has been Online. Survation, Panelbase and, of course, YouGov poll in this way. In addition the ICM polls that we see are the same – unlike the firm’s long-standing phone poll series for the Guardian.

    The problem that online polling creates is that there is a level of self-selection in who takes part. The very fact that you are on a political polling panel suggests that you’ve got a greater than normal interest in the area and, I suggest in the case of the referendum, greater engagement.

    This has the potential to make samples non-typical of the overall audience that they are supposed to represent.

    The other pollster that does monthly Scottish polling is TNS-BMRB operates in a manner that makes it less vulnerable to this problem. Its main concern is not politics but consumer research much of which is carried out face to face. Added on to these surveys are political questions.

    So it is being argued that this approach gives them access to views of a wider segment of voters.

    What we have seen with the firm that its polling has generally produced more don’t knows than anybody else. Their last poll, at the start of August had YES 32: NO 45: DK 23.

    The firm’s latest referendum finding will be published overnight.

    Mike Smithson

    2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


    Rupert Murdoch hints that tonight’s YouGov IndyRef poll has NO and YES even closer

    Saturday, September 6th, 2014


    Local By-Election Results : September 4th 2014

    Friday, September 5th, 2014

    Carfax on Oxford City (Lab Defence)
    Result: Labour 168 (44% +12%), Liberal Democrats 101 (27% +4%), Greens 63 (17% -9%), Conservatives 24 (6% -12%), United Kingdom Independence Party 24 (6%)
    Labour HOLD with a majority of 67 (17%) on a swing of 4% from Liberal Democrat to Labour

    Folkestone, Harvey Central on Shepway (Con Defence)
    Result: United Kingdom Independence Party 287 (28%), Conservative 224 (22%), Liberal Democrats 198 (19%), Labour 196 (19%)
    United Kingdom Independence Party GAIN from Conservative with a majority of 63 (6%)

    Old Dean on Surrey Heath (Lab Defence)
    Result: Labour 290 (44%), Conservatives 196 (30%), United Kingdom Independence Party 171 (26%)
    Labour HOLD with a majority of 94 (14%)