Archive for the ' General Election' Category

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The 22 LAB targets/seats that political scientist, Rob Ford, says could be put at risk by the Green surge

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

Now Miliband might have to secure GREEN-RED tactical voting

The leading political scientist, Rob Ford of Manchester University, has an analysis in the Observer this morning about the dangers of the current Green party surge to Labour’s GE15 chances.

The 22 seats, some of them currently LAB held some are targets, are shown above and where on the basis of detailed analysis Ford thinks that Labour might have problems. He writes:-

“..Labour have performed strongly in such seats in local elections and constituency polling by Lord Ashcroft, and until recently considered many to be very strong pick-up opportunities. The rise of the Greens puts them back at risk, as the disaffected and often idealistic voters Labour had won back may now see the Greens as a more potent outlet for their disaffection than Labour, as well as a closer fit with their social values. Labour often requires a large swing to overcome well entrenched and well organised Lib Dem incumbents, so even a relatively modest leakage to the Greens could make life difficult…”

My main observation is that we shouldn’t at any stage in the next 101 days underestimate the effectiveness of the big party machines in the key marginals. In most key seats they’ve got the databases and experienced foot-soldiers to help curb seepage of support. The same applies to the Tories where seepage to UKIP could give seats to LAB.

But there’s little doubt that if the Greens retain a large amount of current support then it will have an impact and LAB will struggle to make the gains that appear to be possible.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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Latest polls bring just a little bit of relief for LAB but it’s going to be a struggle to win most seats

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

But still this battle is mighty tight

At the end of a week that has seen the worst LAB polling shares since GE10 the latest two polls from Populus and YouGov will come as something of a relief. As can be seen leads of 4% and 2% are recorded.

Ed Miliband’s prospects are so tied up with Scotland and the overnight local by-election news form a ward within Gordon Brown’s constituency won’t have helped things.

On the polling I don’t know what’s coming up this weekend apart from the usual YouGov Sunday Times survey.

The betting, meanwhile, reflects the polling.

LAB & CON still level-pegging on Sporting Index spreads
Mid-points
LAB 282
CON 282
LD 28
UKIP 8.5
SNP 32 -new high

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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Ipsos-MORI phone poll has SNP with 28% lead in Scotland

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Are we seeing “shy unionists” like shy IndyRef NO voters?



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Delaying till after the election the Chilcot report on Iraq is good news for Labour

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Reminding voters of the conflict not good for the red team

At PMQs today EdM opened by asserting that his party wants to Chilcot Inquire report to be published as soon as possible. Maybe but the he last thing, surely, that Labour wants in the run-up to May 7th is something to remind voters of the Iraq War although Ed has said that he personally was opposed. The war. it will be recalled, started almost 12 years ago.

LD leader, Nick Clegg, has probably most to gain from anything that reminds voters of the build up to the conflict and why the Blair government went ahead. The yellows, as we know, were most strongly opposed and much of their success at GE2005 in attracting LAB defectors can be attributed to that stance.

In the current political climate the biggest priority for the yellows is to retain LAB tactical voters of previous times – something that’s been particularly difficult because of the coalition.

The problem for Clegg is that it is hard to see how the current development about the inquiry can be sustained though I do like the “sexed down” phrase that the Lib Dem leader is using.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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So far at least the post-IndyRef SNP surge has barely been seen in Scottish local by-elections

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Just compare that with the UKIP experience in England

Yesterday I attended the annual media briefing by the respected elections analyst and former Conservative MP Robert Hayward. It was a packed and thought provoking session which will be reflected in the media in the coming weeks.

There are a number of slides that he produced that I’ll be publishing here the first of which appears above – what has happened in local elections in Scotland since the SNP post referendum polling surge started.

We all know that the big move to UKIP in the polls in England has been reflected in the Thursday local council by-elections that we feature every week. Farage’s party is performing extraordinarily well and the results add credence to the very high shares it is getting in the national opinion polls.

So given the dramatic changes in Scotland that have appeared in the polls since September 18th you might have expected a similar pattern in local elections. Rob Hayward’s chart above suggests that it hasn’t so far.

At the session I raised a point that Antifrank has been making on his blog and in his comments on PB – that the SNP is only the favourite in the betting to take five or six Scottish seats off LAB in the general election on May 7th. If activists on the ground thought that they were in with a shout to take seats then they’d be betting on it.

Maybe there’s a natural reluctance to gamble before we see the promised single constituency polling from Lord Ashcroft. I understand that but if the Scottish polls are correct then there’s money to be made a good odds in a number of seats.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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Another Scottish poll gives a little bit of cheer to LAB but not that much

Monday, January 19th, 2015

Survation for the Daily Record
SNP 46%-2
LAB 26%+2
CON 14%-2
LD 7%+2
UKIP 4%=

On what is set to be a very big polling day the first news we have is of a Survation poll in Scotland for the Daily Record. The numbers are above and show that the SNP still has a very big lead over Labour which would cause Miliband’s party to lose a massive number of seats.

Scotland is so important to this election because of the scale of the seats that could change hands if things follow current polling movements. Whatever the Labour party will feel happy at least that this poll is in the same direction as the Panelbase Sunday Times one yesterday.

The former has a 20 point margin while the latter a 10 point one. That of course makes quite a difference in terms of how many of the 41 seats that Labour will be defending it can hold.

Hopefully it will not be too long before we see the Lord Ashcroft single constituency polling from Scotland. A hope for Labour and the LDs, which have 11 Scottish MPs, is that in the seats that they hold then there will be a pro unionist tactical vote for the incumbent. Ashcroft might indicate whether that’s happening.

Later today we should see several big national polls which will indicate how the overall national picture for the election is looking.

Later this morning there should be Populus followed in the afternoon by the Lord Ashcroft weekly national poll which last week was showing Cameron’s party with a 6 point lead. In the evening I’m hoping for one of the main phone calls as well as the usual YouGov.

The betting markets moved sharply to the Tories last week and this has largely been sustained.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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Bet on the coalition of your choice with your money back if it’s a minority government

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

Interesting offer from Betfair Sportsbook

Betfair Sportsbook, the traditional bookmaker wing of the betting exchange, looks as though it is getting serious about the coming general election and has been putting some interesting markets up. One which several spotted was 4/9 on Nick Clegg retaining Sheffield Hallam which was far better than what was offered elsewhere. Sadly that’s gone but there are other interesting wagers.

I like the above coalition market because of the detail in the market rules “Market will only be active in the event of a declared coalition government after the 2015 General Election. In the event of a minority government or government forming, all bets will be void.”

So you get your money back if a minority government emerges.

My current view is that Scotland won’t be as bad for Labour as it looked before Christmas, and it will be the red team that is in the best position to form a coalition…

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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With the TV debates making the news Andy Cooke’s counter-factuals make a good read

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

Fun reads for a long plane or train journey

Andy Cooke, a longstanding PBer and contributor has written two Kindle counter factuals starting starting with the premise of what would have happened if UKIP had been part of the leaders’ debates at GE2010.

The first “The Fourth Lectern: What if UKIP entered the 2010 General Election Debates?” poses the question of if it had happened earlier, in the dying days of a Labour Government? What if four-party politics had taken hold in the last election, in the last moments before the campaign began? What if the BBC, in attempting to close down arguments over whether the SNP and Plaid Cymru should be in the debates without excluding the Liberal Democrats, accidentally opened the door to UKIP?

The campaign would have been rather different. Election night more so. And the aftermath?

Andy has a follow-up The Fifth Lectern: After ‘The Fourth Lectern’ – what happens next?“.

The first costs just 99p, the second £2.99.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble