Archive for the ' General Election' Category


The August ICM poll sees reverse cross-over with LAB moving from a 1% deficit to a 7% lead

Monday, August 11th, 2014

And the inevitable “what if Boris was CON leader” questions

Tonight’s big polling news is that Labour has moved up sharply in the monthly ICM phone poll for the Guardian. In July EdM’s party was 1% behind. Now they are 7% ahead.

I must admit that I’m rather surprised by these latest findings and was expecting both main parties to be just about level-pegging. We’ll have to wait till the full data is out before we can work out what’s happened.

ICM tends to find UKIP with lower numbers than other firms partly because of its turnout filtering which scales back by 50% the value of responses of non-voters from GE2010.

Because of ICM’s long-standing reputation as the “gold standard” its finding are taken more seriously than just about any other pollster and inevitably tonight’s numbers will hearten EdM’s team as they go into next month’s conference season.

There were the inevitable BoJo questions with the inevitable findings. The LAB lead drops to 3% with the Mayor as the leader and he’s by far and away the most popular choice as Dave’s replacement.

The real problem for Cameron is that time is running out for the Tories.

Mike Smithson

Ranked in top 33 most influential over 50s on Twitter


Another cross-over gets reversed – but could ICM, expected tonight, have a consecutive CON lead?

Monday, August 11th, 2014

This could be a highly unusual polling day for the two firms to be reporting both had the Tories in the lead last time out. A couple of hours ago Populus online moved from a 1% CON lead on Friday to a 4% LAB one now.

Later in the day I’m hoping that we should see the ICM Guardian poll which in July had CON 34. LAB 33, LD 12, UKIP 9. I’ve not had confirmation yet that this will be out but this is the normal point n the month when it appears.

Over the past four months we have see a handful of cross-overs but none have been sustained to the next poll from the same pollster. Could it just happen with ICM?

And how are we going to define a cross-over?

Mike Smithson

Ranked in top 33 most influential over 50s on Twitter


We have cross-over with Populus online. CON 36% LAB 35%

Friday, August 8th, 2014

But Tories need bigger margin to ensure most seats

And the fundamental problem for the blues remains:

Populus following usual bad for LAB on Fridays


Remember when the Tories “won” England at GE2005: Ahead on the popular vote but 92 behind on seats

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Labour’s other crutch: First past the post

Britain’s leading political scientist, Professor John Curtice, has taken to describing the phenomenon of the 2010 LD to LAB switchers as Labour’s “crutch” for without this massive influx of support EdM’s party would be in a sorry state.

I’d suggest that there’s another crutch that is equally if not more valuable – the way the electoral system works. Nothing, I think, better illustrates this than the GE2005 results for England’s 529 seats.

The popular vote split CON 35.7%, LAB 35.5% and the LDs on 22.9%. In terms of seats the split was LAB 286, CON 194, LD 47, OTH 2. Thus LAB secured 54.1% of the English MPs with 35.5% of the English vote.

Of course the boundaries were a factor but not as big a one as many Tories believe as I’ll explore in a further post. What’s relevant looking at at GE2005 in England is that the areas covered by Labour’s 92 vote surplus very much make up the battlegrounds for GE2015.

It was the English seat split that made a huge contribution to LAB 2005 and there’s a possibility that the same a similar dynamic could happen again.

My best GE2015 bet is still LAB most seats – CON most votes.

Mike Smithson

Blogging from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble for more than a decade


UKIP soar 4 points in this week’s Ashcroft national poll

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Populus Green total half that of Ashcroft

After a period in which UKIP has been edging down across the polls there’ll be some relief at Farage Towers that today’s Lord Ashcroft poll has them at 18% – up 4 on a week ago.

The chart shows the comparisons with the Populus online poll published earlier.

The bigger picture is that another month has gone by and LAB is maintaining a lead albeit a small one. Twice since the Ashcroft poll was started in May it has shown Tory leads.

As can be seen from the Electoral Calculus projection LAB’s 33% would give EdM a 34 seat majority. UKIP’s 18% = ZERO seats.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Mr Rentoul might not like this but the polling shows that Ed Milband has a special appeal to 2010 LD-LAB switchers

Monday, August 4th, 2014

In two massive rounds of polling the numbers have barely shifted

In an article last month the Indy on Sunday political editor and Blair biographer, John Rentoul, wrote:

“My view, and this cannot be based on opinion polls, is that when the voters come to choose they will shy away from the prospect of Miliband as prime minister, just as they shied away from Neil Kinnock in 1992.”

But John the unique polling resources that are available to us ahead of GE2015 mean that we do have the hard numbers on which such assertions can be supported or refuted. The scale of what Lord Ashcroft is producing at regular intervals from the marginals and the way that the data is presented allows us to isolate key sub-groups of voters and establish their views with a degree of confidence.

The chart above is based on two 14k samples from CON-held LAB-CON marginals which were polled in April and in July.

This is supported by other large sample polling that Lord Ashcroft has produced in the last year or so.

    What this is all supporting is the notion that Ed Miliband has a special appeal to that critical section of the electorate who’ve switched from LD to LAB since 2010.

Looking in detail at the polling there is no other section of the electorate who are as positive about Ed Miliband. His level of support from the 6% of voters who have moved is a fair bit greater than CON voters with David Cameron.

Unless these numbers start to move my firm view is that most of the 2010 LD to LAB switchers will remain and that makes it very hard for the Tories to win a majority.

Mike Smithson

Ranked in top 33 most influential over 50s on Twitter


UKIP drops to its lowest point since February 2013 with Opinium

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

For the past two years or so the fortnightly Opinium survey for the Observer has been one that has had some of the highest shares for UKIP – even, at times, into the 20s. This has happened even though Opinium doesn’t prompt for the purples and has them categorised as “some other party”.

The firm’s high UKIP shares have been seen in both Westminster voting intention polls and in the Euros.

Thus the final Opinium poll ahead of the May 22nd EP elections the firm had the party on 32% – which was five points more than actually happened.

So the fact that, as seen in the PB polling average for July reported on by David Herdson in the last thread, the firm is showing UKIP on the decline is noteworthy. You have to go back as far as February 2013 to find an Opinium Westminster poll with UKIP at a lower level than tonight’s 15%.

A challenge for the party is that it is finding it a lot harder to get media attention as during the build-up to May 22nd. Then, of course, UKIP had been classified as a “major party” by OFCOM which meant that it got substantially greater coverage on radio and TV.

The Tories, in particular, will be hoping that Farage’s party gets squeezed much further as the focus will all be on the LAB-CON ahead for GE2015.

By 63% to 19% those polled by Opinium said they want NO to win the Scottish IndyRef.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


The PB July Polling Average: Gravity finally catches up with UKIP

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

Con, Lab and LD all up, but so are Others

So perhaps UKIP does need the oxygen of publicity after all.  After recording a record score in June, Farage’s party is the biggest loser in July; indeed, the only loser.  That June figure surprised many who thought that the absence from the papers and TV screens of what’s still in many ways a minor party would inevitably lead to a drop in vote share.  It didn’t then but two months after the European elections, the boost that gave them may finally have worn off.  July’s figures were:

I say ‘may’ as there are two caveats.  The first is that UKIP had a particularly bad ICM poll in July – down seven points – and due to ICM’s accuracy in 2010 and their only carrying out one poll a month, that one poll accounts for half the overall drop by itself.  Even so, while no other pollster recorded such a dramatic fall, they all recorded a fall of some sort.  The second is that even if some of UKIP’s share has drifted, not all of it has: 13.2% is still better than at the same time last year or for that matter, for most of the period between the annual elections.

The flip side of those facts is that while the big Westminster three have had a good month compared with June, none of the figures is much to write home about.  Labour remains below 35% for the third successive month, the only three such this parliament.  The Tories are still stuck in the 31.5±1% range that they’ve occupied for over a year now and which remains well below what they need if they want to prevent Labour gaining an overall majority, never mind keeping power themselves.  Finally, the Lib Dems might be the biggest gainers of the month but only with their second-worst monthly score.

    In fact, it’s Others who remain on the charge: the implied figure of 11.2% is not only a record high and the fifth consecutive monthly increase but is more than the share that Others including UKIP achieved in 2010.

Does this represent a sudden surge of enthusiasm for the smaller parties?  It seems unlikely, given that with the exception of the SNP and Plaid, they’re nigh-on invisible outside election times – and it’s not the nationalists who are responsible for the increase.  Far more likely is that it’s just the latest manifestation of the general disillusionment with politics in general, with UKIP both becoming more establishment in their own right, and being subject to greater scrutiny by the media and attacks by their opponents.

Of themselves, voters for the genuinely minor parties (i.e. excluding parties with low shares due to only contesting one region), rarely make any direct impact.  Few seats are within the reach of the Greens, for example.  One key question is whether people now saying they’ll vote for them will actually do so after the effects of a full election campaign are felt (or for that matter, whether they’ll vote at all).  The related question is how the parties attract them back: a task that may well call for different techniques from those previously employed to target voters swinging between the big three.

David Herdson