Archive for the ' General Election' Category

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Kippers least likely to have felt the recovery – Tories the most likely

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

No surprise there then but a big challenge for the coalition

The chart is based on aggregate data for Populus polls last month and is broadly in line with what we seen from other pollsters. Those currently saying they’ll vote UKIP have the most negative views about the recovery.

Given that both coalition partners will be trying to claim credit for what’s happened this message is going to be hard to get across to the biggest group of swing voters.

The Tories used the Rochester campaign to test some of the messaging that we are likely to see next May though clearly that was a by-election when the government of the country was not at stake at GE15 it it will be very different.

The art is not to over-claim but try to get over that they know what they are doing and any change could be dangerous. They have a “plan” as ministers keep on saying.

The Tories must be encouraged by the way that Osborne’s ratings have progressed so much in the past year but whether he is able to find the formula that resonates with Kipper switchers is far from clear.

The Labour rhetoric is likely to acknowledge that there has been a recovery but for the few not the many.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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Scoping the scale and geography of Labour’s Scottish collapse – hopefully we’ll get some constituency polling this week

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

One of the big unknowns about GE2015 is how Labour is going to fare in Scotland where at GE2010 it retained 41 of the 59 Westminster seats. Clearly anything that could erode that total could have massive impact on the overall outcome.

There have only been three Scotland only polls in the past eight weeks all of them suggesting that EdM’s party is in serious trouble and could possibly lose a lot of seats while it is making inroads in England and Wales.

There’s little doubt that the IndyRef had changed the political weather there – the big question is what will be the impact on individual seats?

    There are so many different areas for analysis. Is the SNP explosion an even all Scotland experience or are there certain types of seats, those where IndyRef YES did particularly well for instance, where the SNP is making the most progress?

Thankfully Lord Ashcroft is including some Scottish seats in his programme of single constituency polling the next batch of which is expected to be made public in the next few days. I don’t know whether the Scottish dimension will be looked at in this round but it is coming.

One feature of the Ashcroft constituency polling is the two stage voting intention questioning which we’ve talked a lot about here. After the standard one a second constituency specific question is put and this can produce very different outcomes. Elements like the incumbency impact or tactical voting can show up.

One seat I’m really hoping to see included is Danny Alexander’s Inverness which in the past had been a four way marginal with the winner securing not much more than a quarter of the vote.

Whatever I’m hoping that our understanding of the coming election will be greatly enhanced by the next round.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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Labour’s Scottish crisis is masking what could be even more significant – the Tory collapse in England

Monday, November 24th, 2014

By my reckoning this is an 8.5% CON-LAB swing

A great feature of the weekly Ashcroft National Poll is that it shows a separate voting split for England where 533 of the 650 constituencies are including the vast bulk of the marginals.

This was “won” by Cameron’s Conservatives overwhelmingly in 2010 making net gains of more than 90 and forming the bedrock of their overall positive outcome. The party secured 39.2% of the English vote against Labour’s 28.1. The poll today has LAB with a 6% lead in England thus suggesting an 8.5% swing to it from the blues since the last general election.

This is far far larger than anything we have seen for quite some time in the full GB polls.

One factor is that it is in England where UKIP has prospered most and, indeed, Farage’s party has 22% in today’s survey.

What strikes me is that the inclusion of Wales and mostly Scotland in the GB figures mean that the UKIP surge has been understated in the part of the UK where 95% of the LAB-CON marginals are.

Whatever it is good to have a weekly source of England only voting shares.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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The Ashcroft phone poll, like Populus this morning, has CON trailing by 5%

Monday, November 24th, 2014

But these are the most dramatic figures of all

This is starting to get serious for the blue team

As usual at 4pm on Monday Lord Ashcroft publishes his latest weekly national phone poll and today’s show the LAB lead moving to 5%.

The followed this morning’s Monday Populus online poll that had Lab 36 (=) Con 31 (-2), LD 9 (=), UKIP 15.(+1) So both today’s surveys have comfortable margins for EdM’s team which if it wasn’t for the current problems north of the border would point to a solid majority on May 7th.

It’s that Scottish uncertainty that is dominating things. LAB needs to have bigger GB leads than 5% to be sure of a majority without his current total of 41 Scottish MPs.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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How online polls are producing higher LAB and UKIP shares while phone surveys are best for the LDs and Greens

Monday, November 24th, 2014

CON is about the same under either approach

After my post last night on how there is a big gap between phone and online polling on the CON+LAB aggregates I decided to take this a bit further looking at how each party fared under each approach.

The results, based on the last public polls of nine firms, are featured in the chart above. Essentially LAB and UKIP do better with the online polling while the LDs and Greens come out with better figures in phone polls.

Tory shares show very little variation between the two approaches.

ComRes which carries out monthly phone and online GE2015 surveys has been included in each category. The ICM figures are based on the Guardian poll while its online Wisdom Index for the Sunday Telegraph has not been included because it is not a voting intention poll.

I plan to update this monthly to see if the same pattern continues. Looking back over previous months it appears that the current picture has been operating for some time.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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Daily Express reporting new poll with UKIP in second place

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

No other details known at the moment

UPDATE

2nd Update 0430

The poll appears to be based on a subset of Sun readers from a YouGov poll which so far had not been published.

Sun Readers are not representative of the electorate as a whole

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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The NT should repeat “This House” – a taste of what happens when you have a minority government

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

This should be screened again before May 7th

Suddenly people are talking about a possible minority government after the general election because of the way the maths appear at the moment. With the polls looking so tight with UKIP and the SNP expected to have much bigger contingents at Westminster it’s quite likely that neither LAB or CON will secure a majority and a future coalition very difficult to achieve.

Last year I wrote enthusiastically about James Graham’s “This House” chronicling the period 1974 until Mrs. Thatcher’s victory in 1979. It enjoyed a second sell-out run at the Olivier at the National Theatre and was also part of the NT Live when productions are screened to cinemas and other venues throughout the UK.

It is set in the whips offices of both Labour and Tories from the February 1974 election being called through to 1979. We watch first the period when Labour tried operate without a majority and then as it tries to govern with a majority of 3 after the October 1974 election.

Death, defections and by-elections soon whittle that down to zero and the play portrays some of the apparently crazy measures taken to keep the ship afloat when Labour didn’t have the numbers. The need to bring even critically ill MPs into the Palace of Westminster for major votes is a major part of the drama.

The Callaghan government, of course, fell on March 28th 1979 when it failed to win a confidence motion by the smallest of margins – just one vote. The SNP voted with the Tories.

It’s wonderfully funny but also very contemporary illustrating the huge difficulty party managers have in working with “the odds and sods” – the other parties who might help.

    Given the current political numbers I’ve suggested to the NT that it should screen it again in the run up to the general election. It could be highly relevant

It would be a reminder of the huge challenges of minority government which, I’d suggest, are much greater now than in the 70s.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Mike Smithson

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Latest betting prices – GE2015 and possible UKIP defections

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014