Archive for the ' General Election' Category


Labour’s “crutch” remains: The 2010 LD-LAB switchers are still on board and their numbers aren’t diminishing

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

There hasn’t been much movement between CON & LAB

The Populus aggregate data for March featured in the chart above sets out clearly that the big voter shift since 2010 hasn’t changed. Ed Miliband’s LAB is very reliant on those LD voters from last time who switched in the first year of the coalition staying on board.

They make up such a big part of its current supporters base and represent a shift to LAB that is equal or greater than the increase in the CON vote between 1997 and 2010.

    The leading psephologist, Professor John Curtice, describes them simply as Labour’s “crutch” which, of course they are. Without the LD switchers the red team would be in a sorry state with only a year to go.

The data comes from the aggregate of all Populus samples last month but it is still relevant. My own calculations based on the firm’s April polling suggest that they are still there.

This simple fact combined with the general election voting patterns that make the “system” so favourable to Labour leave the Tories with a massive challenge.

Mike Smithson

Ranked in top 33 most influential over 50s on Twitter


If LAB does come top in the Euros then EdM should send a thank you note to Tony Blair

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Polling+station+cyclist (1)

58% of the electorate will have local elections as well on May 22

In all the time that Tony Blair led the LAB party there was only one set of national elections where victory eluded him – the 1999 and 2004 contests for the European Parliament.

He didn’t like that in the least and ahead of the 2004 contest he went to extraordinary lengths to win.

    First he changed what had been the standard practice and decided to put back the local elections for a month so that turnout would be boosted.

    Then he introduced, against much opposition, an all postal vote election in large parts of England.

    On top of that he did a deal with the then independent Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, to be the official party candidate even though another person was in place.

All this was to no avail and on June 10th 2004 the Tories came out top on votes.

The mass postal voting was not allowed to be repeated but Blair’s timetabling change, which was highly controversial at the time, has remained ever since.

And if, and it looks touch and go based on current polling, LAB does come out on top then EdM can thank Tony.

For 58% of voters nationally on May 22nd will have local elections on the same day. These are concentrated in areas of Labour strength and this should help the red team get its vote out for the Euro election,

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


The Tories slip back sharply in the latest PB YouGov Weekly Average as UKIP jumps 2pc

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

The budget bounce appears to be over

The LDs move into double figures for the first time


Worrying GE2015 and Euro numbers for the Tories in latest Survation/Mail on Sunday poll

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

Last week the Survation GE2015 gap was just 1% – now it’s 7%

Survation finds 6% CON drop for EP2014 as both UKIP & LD get boosts

On the Euro polling the big difference between Survation and ComRes was on the timing of the fieldwork. All of the Survation work took place after the Clegg/Farage BBC TV debate.

As can be seen the firm reports big changes compared with a week ago with the Tories as the main loser.

I’m hoping that there’ll an EP2014 question in the YouGov Sunday Times poll due out overnight.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Farage’s performance last night makes it much harder to keep him out of the GE2015 debates

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Unless Dave agrees he’ll be accused of running scared

The big consequence of last night’s widely perceived victory by Farage in the debate with Clegg is that it’s going to be a lot harder keeping the UKIP leader out of the leaders’ debates at GE2015.

Quite simply Clegg is now not in a position to object while Ed Miliband has already indicated that he wouldn’t oppose such a move.

So the ball will be in Cameron’s court and it will be a tricky one to play.

The initial plan was to rely on Farage’s exclusion because UKIP is not likely to be deemed by the Electoral Commission a “major party” at the general election. This means that the broadcasters don’t have to pay the purples the same attention as that given to the old three parties.

But after last night that is going to be a lot harder to sustain even if, as is highly likely, the EC refuses to give a party that didn’t win any MPs at GE2010 that status. Of course in the meantime UKIP could have won a parliamentary by election.

    So the PM would have two choices. To go ahead with debates on the same basis as 2010 with the leader perceived as the loser last night included but the “winner” not there or to oppose the whole concept of debates

Whichever way he plays it Cameron will be accused time and time again of running scared of the UKIP leader and using the Commission as an excuse. That could become an issue itself in the run up to polling day.

Whatever it gives UKIP a great peg to argue on which will reinforce its argument about the whole system.

The genie is now out of the bottle.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Ever so slightly the two most important measures for GE2015 have edged to the Tories in March

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

But there’s still a long way to go

As regulars will know my analysis of the GE 2015 outcome is mostly focused on two key polling measures – the proportion of 2010 CON voters now saying UKIP and the 2010 LD who say they’ll vote Labour.

These have to decline if the blues are to have any chance whatsoever of remaining in power on May 8th next year.

    For the polling of the past four years has seen very little switching between the two main parties. Rather it is the impact of other movements which are driving the numbers and underpinning the LAB lead.

Thanks to the new Populus monthly aggregate we are able to track the changes with big overall samples. The movements above might seem slight but they are based on a month’s polling and from the blue perspective are in the right direction.

We mustn’t forget the massive challenge that the Tories face with the inherent advantages that LAB enjoys. The latter’s vote is more lumpy across the seats with, traditionally, better performances where it matters.

Mike Smithson

Ranked in top 33 most influential over 50s on Twitter


Tories the main winner, UKIP the main loser in the March 2014 Populus monthly aggregate – sample size 16k

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

LAB share down on the month but only by 0.5%

Today sees the second of what looks set to be a great resource right through until the general election – the Populus/FT monthly aggregate based on all the firm’s twice-weekly surveys with an overall sample size of more more than 16k.

Having a sample on that scale means that the cross-tabs are more meaningful with much smaller margins of errors than we get with individual polls.

Thus two key pointers that I’ll be looking at will be the make-up of the UKIP vote – will we find that the proportion of 2010 CON voters is still about 45% compared with 8% for 2010 LAB ones giving the lie to current UKIP assertions that they are taking support equally from the reds and blues.

I’ll want, as well, to see if there is any erosion in the proportions of 2010 LD voters now saying Labour.

For comparison this is the trend in the PB YouGov weekly average.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Getting on for a third of all votes at GE2015 could be tactical: Not FOR a party but AGAINST another one

Monday, March 31st, 2014

CON has most positive votes and the fewest tactical ones

The chart above is based on the finding new form of questioning which has just been tested by Opinium for its latest Observer poll.

After the main voting intention question the firm asked “You said that you would vote [Party] if an election were held tomorrow. Would you say that this is because you’d want to vote for [Party] or because you’d want to vote against someone else?”

For those who indicated that there choice was wholly or partly negative this was followed by a second question “You said that you’d vote [Party] mainly/partly to vote against someone else. Who would you want to vote against?”

I find this an interesting approach which gives us a sense of the motivations of many electors. I’d have preferred it if the phrases “in your constituency” could have been included because as the Ashcroft marginals polling has found getting the sample to focus on what they are doing in their specific seats can change voting intentions.

I’ve not looked at the details of which party people would be voting against because the sub-sample sizes are too small to come to meaningful conclusions. But the vast bulk of the tactical LAB votes are against the Tories. No surprise there.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble