Archive for the ' General Election' Category


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


The Maggie Thatcher 1979 experience: Why leader and “best PM” ratings are not necessarily the best guide to how people will vote

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

CON GE2015 hopes are too reliant on Miliband’s poor ratings

The Times is leading on polling about Ed Miliband’s PM ratings which are not good for Labour. There is no doubt that on almost every measure when put up against Cameron he does worse – sometimes by quite a margin.

But you have to put these sorts of numbers into context. The PM ratings trend chart above is from the last general election that the Tories were returned to power with an overall majority – May 1979.

As can be seen as polling day, May 3rd 1979, got closer Callaghan’s lead on this measure got wider.

    At the time I was an editor with BBC News and remember vividly how much reliance senior Labour people were placing on the polling gap between Callaghan and Thatcher. This was the straw that the red team was clutching to.

Time after time we were assured that the polling clearly showed that Mrs. Thatcher was unelectable and I have to admit that I found this convincing.

As we all know the Tories won an emphatic victory with an 8% lead on votes and an overall majority of 44 seats and went on to secure majorities in the next three general elections. They remained in power for eighteen years.

Mrs Thatcher, however, continued to trail in the MORI “best PM” ratings for another year until Jim Callaghan stepped down.

Mike Smithson

Ranked in top 33 most influential over 50s on Twitter


Ladbrokes open betting on all 57 LD seats and make the yellows favourites to hold on to 35

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

It’ll be interesting to follow the changing prices

This afternoon Ladbrokes put up betting markets in every one of the 57 seats that the Lib Dems will be defending at GE2015.

In 35 of them, all but one of them defences against the Tories, the Ladbrokes opening prices make the LDs favourite and in a further three Clegg’s party is join favourite.

From a quick look down the list the MPs most likely to be still there on May 8th next year are Tim Farron who is priced at 1/20 to hold on to Westmorland & Lonsdale and the Scottish Secretary, Alistair Carmichael, who is at 1/100 to hold Orkney & Shetland. This far out you can get a better financial return putting your money in the building society!

All the party’s cabinet ministers, including Danny Alexander in Inverness/Nairn are priced as odds on favourites.

    Where the yellows face the reds as their main opposition Ladbrokes have in all the seats bar Simon Hughes’ Bermondsey made LAB the favourites. It is hard to argue with that.

It is amongst this group where you can get the longer odds and our friend Shadsy has just tightened the 8/1 that I put £100 on in one seat to 4/1. I’m not revealing which one because I hope to get good value from other bookies.

The best advice here is to use what local knowledge of the seats that you have.

I have bet against the LDs in three seats and on them in three others – all the prices were longer than evens.

Mike Smithson

Ranked in top 33 most influential over 50s on Twitter


If you are betting on cross-over in Q1 2014 then there are only four more YouGovs remaining

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

How the budget moves fit with the overall trend

Quite a few PBers, I know, have been betting on the PaddyPower market on when there will be a crossover in the five times a week YouGov polls for News International.

Given what’s happened since the budget then their hopes might be riding high but time is running out. For there to be a CON lead only four more surveys remain. Is that going to happen?

Clearly the daily ratings can always be affected by an outlier which is why I maintain the PB Weekly YouGov averages.

    Has the move to the Tories run out of steam or will it have an ongoing impact?

A key driver of current ratings is that far fewer 2010 CON voters now say they don’t know or will not vote. In fact in today’s poll CON and LAB are running almost neck and neck on these measures after a period when the red team was doing better. There are also far fewer 2010 CON to UKIP switchers – down at just 12% this morning.

My guess is that in the short to medium term we’ll the Tories will be rataining more of its 2010 vote which will underpin a better polling position.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble