Archive for the 'Coalition' Category


England ONLY data from latest ComRes poll shows that the Tories have massive struggle south of the border

Monday, December 15th, 2014

At GE2010 CON led in England by 11.2%. Now just 1%

Given that Scotland is operating totally differently at the moment I have been trying to identify the England only poll shares from the main surveys.

The chart above is from yesterday’s IoS/S Mirror poll by ComRes and has the Tories just 1% ahead in England. That is ten points short of what the blues got at the last election.

What’s happening in Scotland is disguising the huge challenge in England where the swing required is now in excess of 5%.

Of course it looks as though LAB will lose seats in Scotland but last time the Tories made net gains of 92 in England alone which was the bedrock of Cameron being able to lead a coalition. These 92 seats form the main target list for Labour.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Headline figures of many polls feature views of many more men than women and this could be skewing results

Monday, December 15th, 2014

Fewer women say they are certain to vote and they are more likely to be undecided

Just look at the chart which is based on the Populus November aggregate data with a very large overall sample from 9 separate polls.

As can be seen male voters account for more than 50% of each party’s support with, not unexpectedly, UKIP showing the biggest divide. What is striking is that although the overall sample is weighted properly for gender balance when it comes to the output figures there are 11 men for every 9 women.

The happens because women’s certainty to vote figures are lower and they are more like to be undecided about their party choice.

This is a common feature with online polls generally while the phone surveys tend to be more balanced. YouGov doesn’t weight for certainty but does have significantly more female don’t knows.

    Given that we know that in general elections male and female turnout levels are roughly the same isn’t there a case for gender weighting of the final figures?

Polls that are male heavy might not be as good snapshots of opinion as those that have a better balance.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


As Scottish LAB prepares to unveil its new leader YouGov has the SNP 20% ahead

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

The impact this could have on overall GE2015 outcome

Remember YouGov’s much hyped poll before the IndyRef


Local elections results. GAINs for Plaid Cymru & UKIP from Ind and for the LDs from LAB

Friday, December 12th, 2014

South Kintyre on Argyll and Bute (SNP defence)
Result: SNP 942 (62% +37%), Liberal Democrats 214 (14%, unchanged), Conservative 203 (13% -33%), Labour 156 (10%, no candidate last time)
SNP HOLD on the first count with a majority of 728 (48%) on a swing of 18.5% from Lib Dem to SNP

Gatehouse (Lib Dem defence) and Southcourt (Lab Defence) on Aylesbury Vale
Result: Liberal Democrat 295 (36%), UKIP 267 (32%), Conservative 113 (14%), Labour 113 (14%), Green 28 (3%), Independent 12 (1%)
Liberal Democrat HOLD with majority of 28 (4%)

Result: Liberal Democrat 429 (42%), UKIP 266 (26%), Labour 175 (17%), Conservative 112 (11%), Green 33 (3%)
Liberal Democrat GAIN from Labour with a majority of 163 (14%)

Toton and Chilwell Meadows on Broxtowe (Con defence)
Result: Conservative 952 (55%), Labour 454 (26%), UKIP 340 (20%)
Conservative HOLD with a majority of 498 (29%)

Trelech on Carmarthenshire (Ind Defence)
Result: Plaid Cymru 598 (68% +33%), Independent 181 (21%), Liberal Democrat 96 (11% -3%)
Plaid Cymru GAIN from Independent with a majority of 417 (47%), no swing calculable

Kingsway on Halton (Lab Defence, unopposed in 2011)
Result: Labour 537 (73%), UKIP 164 (22%), Conservative 22 (3%), Liberal Democrat 11 (2%)
Labour HOLD with a majority of 373 (51%)

Stamford North on Lincolnshire (Ind Defence)
Result: UKIP 400 (32%, no candidate last time), Labour 268 (21% unchanged), Conservative 261 (21% -11%), Lincolnshire Independents 199 (16%, no candidate last time), Liberal Democrat 142 (11%, no candidate last time)
UKIP GAIN from Independent with a majority of 132 (10%) on a swing of 5.5% from Lab to UKIP

Elgin City North on Moray (Lab Defence)
Result: SNP 728 (38% -5%), Independent 472 (24% +15%), Labour 287 (15% -15%), Conservative 273 (14% -4%), UKIP 81 (4%, no candidate last time), Green 77 (4%, no candidate last time)
SNP HOLD on the fifth count with a majority of 256 (14%) on a swing of 10% from SNP to Ind

Bransgore and Burley on New Forest (Con defence)
Result: Conservative 834 (77%), UKIP 171 (16%), Labour 74 (7%)
Conservative HOLD with a majority of 663 (61%)

Washington East on Sunderland (Lab defence)
Result: Labour 775 (38% -3%), Conservative 595 (29% +4%), UKIP 506 (25% -1%), Green 93 (5%, no candidate last time), Liberal Democrat 52 (3% -2%)
Labour HOLD with a majority of 180 (9%) on a swing of 3.5% from Lab to Con

Cox Green on Windsor and Maidenhead Royal (Con defence)
Result: Conservative 738 (51%), Liberal Democrat 315 (22%), UKIP 278 (19%), Labour 124 (9%)
Conservative HOLD with a majority of 423 (29%)


How the whole political scene is changing – CON+LAB heading for record low

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

It’s hard to work out the long term consequences

The overriding theme of this week’s British Election Study conference was that things are changing quite dramatically and we really don’t know where this will end.

Thus the certainty that existed about what will happen in Scotland in May has fallen apart in the past few weeks putting into serious doubt Labour prospects nationwide. 30+ losses from its Scottish bastion are going to be hard to offset elsewhere.

In England particularly UKIP has become a dominant presence and nobody now talks of it all frittering out in the run-up to next May. The big question is what this all means in seats and the prospects for the big two parties in the traditional LAB-CON battlegrounds.

    One thing I’m certain about is that we can no longer think in terms of a uniform national swing covering England, Wales and Scotland. We have to get more specific which is why I’m very keen on seeing the pollsters produce England only VI data.

Lord Ashcroft is already doing this in his weekly phone poll and I’m hopeful that some of the other firms will follow suit. A couple of those I spoke to at Tuesday’s BES launch seemed quite receptive to the idea.

What is interesting in all of this is how the “system itself” is now being described as “not fit for purpose” though what can be done about this is hard to say.

Three and a half years ago we had a referendum on the voting system when the main argument for retaining first past the post was that it would help prevent further coalitions. How dated that looks now.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


The British Election Study – the big new resource for GE2015 watchers

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014


Dave said to be coming under pressure to abandon the coalition now

Monday, December 8th, 2014

Good idea or not?

A short-term problem is that if the coalition broke down in circumstances like this then the blues would be seen as the “guilty party” and there might be a price to pay.

Getting commons business through without the LD vote might be very tricky and the government could look a shambles like the final days of the Callaghan government in 1979.

A bigger longer term issue is that given electoral situation it s hard to see the Tories in a position to govern alone. Coalition or other possible arrangements are the most likely post-GE15 outcome. To have broken off from the yellows might not send a good message to other post-election partners like the DUP. It would also make any post election deal with the LDs more difficult to achieve

The LDs would likely benefit if the blues were seen to do the dirty on them.

Clearly the next few months are going to be difficult for all but staying together might be the lesser of two evils.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


LAB down 2 seats, UKIP -0.5 as CON moves up on the GE15 spread markets

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Punters think this’ll help the Tories

The above prices were fixed this morning and have remained all day. Interesting that UKIP edges down a touch as well as LAB.

This election remains a very difficult contest to call and it is hard to make a case to buy or sell at any of the above levels.

Scotland is the dark shadow hanging over LAB while UKIP over CON. The Tories are also vulnerable to LAB and the polling suggests that they are making less progress in LD-held seats than they might hope.

And can the LDs, down to 6% in some national online panel polls, really be considered a prospect to get into the 30s in terms of MPs?

I’m also struggling with the UKIP and SNP totals

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble