Archive for the 'UK Elections – others' Category


First post Easter Euros poll sees almost no change

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

The LDs back in double figures

This morning’s Sun sees the first post holiday weekend Euros poll from YouGov and the only changes on the the last survey are all within the margin of error. LAB no change, UKIP and CON both down one with the LDs back up one at 10%.

Clegg’s party will be relieved that the negative reaction to the debates with Farage seem to be fading and that a 10% share should not produce the wipe out of their MEP contingent in Brussels that many have talked about.

At this stage it is hard to draw any conclusions about the impact of the UKIP £1.5m poster campaign which has just been launched.

The purples are relying very much on their big billboard campaign across the country which is the same approach as five years ago when they came in second place on votes with a share of 16.5%.

    The same poll suggests that the Euro elections are special and that UKIP will be down to 12% at the general election.

The Westminster voting intentions are LAB 37, CON 35, LD 10 and UKIP 12.

Voting for the May 22nd local and Euro elections will start for those registered for postal votes in less than a fortnight.

The big long term question is whether UKIP will be able to carry over the momentum of a big Euro election performance into the general election – something they’ve not been able to achieve in the past.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Newly published Ipsos-MORI polling finds fewer voters hostile to LAB than the other main parties

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

And there’s a whiff of good news for the LDs at the Euros

What I’ve found to be a fascinating piece of polling for the British Future think tank has just been published by Ipsos-MORI.

Rather than the conventional voting intention questions interviewees were asked for views of the four main national parties and whether they’d consider voting for them in both general elections and the Euros, general elections only, the Euros only, or whether they’d never consider voting for them.

    The big message is that there fewer anti-LAB voters out there than those opposed to the other three parties.

I’ve tried to extract the headline figures in the interactive chart above. Note that the don’t knows are excluded from the chart. So in the case of the Tories 26% said they’d vote for them in both elections, 7% said GE only, 3% said Euros only with 26% saying don’t know.

What’s not surprising is that UKIP do well for the Euros with 14% saying they’d consider supporting them in both sets of elections and a further 12% saying the Euros only.

Interestingly, given the way that the Lib Dems are planning to fight the May Euros 8% said they consider going yellow for those elections only. Clegg’s gamble on there being a specific niche market for being “the party of In” appears to be supported by these figures.

There’s lots of other data in the polling which I’ll probably return to. This post is about the headline figures.

  • Ipsos MORI interviewed 2,244 British online adults aged 16-75 between 6-11 December 2013. Interviews were conducted on Ipsos’ online panel. Data are weighted to the profile of the population.
  • Mike Smithson

    2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


    There’s no way that UKIP should be betting favourite to win most votes at EURO2014 based on current polling

    Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

    It’s even possible that they’ll struggle to retain 2nd place

    It’s not often that we see such a mismatch between the betting on an election just three and a half months away and what the pollsters are telling us. That’s what’s happening with the May Euro elections where the UKIP winning most votes prices remains strong even though there’s little polling evidence to support it.

    There’ve only been three published polls so far this year. The Tories have been in the range of 22% to 25%; Labour 32%-35% with UKIP at 20% with ICM and 26% with Survation and YouGov.

    In the chart I’ve illustrated the latest best bookie odds on the parties based on an implied probability and provided a means of comparison with the ICM EU elections poll for the Guardian that came out last night.

      Polling for the Euros is notoriously difficult because turnout, 35% last time, is so low. We haven’t seen the ICM data yet but my reading is that the UKIP share has suffered as a result of the harsh turnout filtering that the pollster applies.

    Basically the value of responses of those who didn’t vote last time are discounted by ICM by 50% so if there were a lot of non voters in the UKIP count then the purple share would have suffered.

    On election day itself there will be a big divide between those areas where council elections are taking place at the same time and those where they are not. With the former you’ll see quite extensive Get Out The Vote operations driven by activists and the councillors whose seats are at stake. In the latter there’ll be much less local activity and this will be reflected in turnout rates.

    UKIP’s second place in the 2009 Euros came after the intensive media coverage driven by several weeks of Telegraph’s extensive and almost daily revelations about MPs expenses. We can’t assume that the same will happen again particularly as are seeing UKIP under much greater media scrutiny.

    Last May, after the UKIP successes in the locals, I put a large bet on at 10/1 that the Tories would win most votes in the Euros. That price has come in a fair bit and I still consider it the value bet.

    Mike Smithson

    Ranked in top 35 most influential over 50s on Twitter


    Half of those who told YouGov that they’ll vote UKIP in the May Euros supported the Tories at GE210

    Thursday, January 16th, 2014

    UKIP only 2% behind LAB amongst those certain to vote

    UKIP WAS included in YouGov’s opening prompt


    The European Parliament elections: The nonsense voting system that the coalition should have scrapped

    Thursday, January 16th, 2014

    The weird system made for the party machines

    Today we have, see above, the first YouGov poll for the big UK election this year that takes place on May 22nd when 73 UK MEPs will be elected to the European Parliament.

    The election is conducted in a total of 12 electoral regions. In eleven of them the party-list proportional representation system is used while in Northern Ireland it is by STV.

    What this means is that, as in the ballot paper from London for last time above, you vote for a party not an individual MEP. The votes are counted and the number of MEPs each party will get in each region is allocated according to a complex system.

    Who gets to become an MEP from each party is determnied by their ranking on the party list. So if UKIP get two seats in London the top two on the list go to Brussels.

      I loathe this because there’s almost no link between voters and the individuals elected. When polled far fewer than 5% of us can name any of our MEPs.

    Because the key element in becoming an MEP is getting high on a party regional list the individuals concerned really don’t have to sell themselves to the electorate at large. The key element is working the party selection process and there’s little accountablity to voters.

    I know that the coalition was looking at ways of changing this so voters would choose individuals not parties but nothing came of it.

    Is it any wonder that the turnouts in these election are very low? Last time it was under 35% and my guess is that it will be about the same again.

    So a key element is the polling is is turnout filtering which is notorously difficult when such a small proportion of voters take part.

    Take these early polls with a pinch of salt.

    Mike Smithson

    Ranked the 33rd most influential person aged 50+ on Twitter


    The factors that drive much of the pro-LAB bias in general elections could work for the Tories in the May Euros

    Friday, December 27th, 2013

    Don’t write off the Tories to win most votes

    We all know that the electoral system for Westminster seats seems to produce an outcome that is more favourable to LAB than the other parties. A big part of the reason for this is illustrated in the chart above. Labour has far fewer wasted votes.

    Thus looking at the first two columns – a much smaller proportion of LAB votes were “wasted” in seats where the party finished 3rd. A second factor is that turnout levels in seats won were markedly higher in CON seats than LAB ones.

      For traditionally LAB has found it much harder getting its vote out where it doesn’t matter – its heartlands and Tory ones. LAB voters are less likely go to the polls if they don’t see their vote making a difference.

    It should all be different next May’s Euro elections. The closed party list electoral system and the fact that the GB is split into 12 massive multi-member “constituencies” mean that the Tories could be helped more.

    Higher turnout levels in CON areas and votes not being “wasted” in 3rd place seats should give the blues more bangs for their bucks.

    Last night’s Survation poll had the party just 1% behind UKIP and 8% behind LAB. My guess is that the the three parties could be a lot closer together and I wouldn’t rule out the Tories winning most votes overall.

    Mike Smithson

    Blogging from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble since 2004


    Remember the 2009 Euro elections when ICM was the pollster most out with UKIP

    Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

    After last night’s ICM poll which has UKIP down to 7% with the CON and LAB level-pegging it is inevitable that people will focus on the firm particularly its record with Farage’s party.

      There’s little doubt at the moment that the main differences between the pollsters is what they are recording for UKIP. If they find Farage’s party getting a high share then the Tories are doing worse.

    The chart above shows the UKIP shares in the final polls before the June 2009 elections. As can be seen all the firms, bar one, did pretty well with UKIP. ICM was the exception.

    Although the firm has the best record of all for general election polling its performance at the 2009 Euro Election was not very good. It had with comparisons on the actual outcome CON 30 (27.7): LAB 24 (15.7): LD 18 (13.7): UKIP 10 (16.5): GRN 9 (8.6): BNP 1 (6.2).

    So not only did ICM undershoot the UKIP share by 6.5% it also had the party in fourth place when, in fact, it finished second.

    Interestingly given the current argument about prompting parties in polls ICM did prompt for all the parties. See the polling data here.

    The latest Westminster poll with the Tories level pegging is the best position for the blues since the ICM survey just before Osborne’s 2012 budget. That had the Tories 3% ahead.

      Interestingly in that ICM March 2012 survey the firm recorded a UKIP of just 1% which then was out of line with other pollsters.

    So what is the “true” position at the moment? This is very hard to say. This is the overnight YouGov poll when the fieldwork took place on Monday.

    I will be looking further on UKIP polling, particularly the new Populus online survey, in another post.

    We should be getting the July Ipsos-MORI poll in the next two days.

    Mike Smithson

    For the latest polling and political betting news


    Final vote tally from last month’s locals shows UKIP in second place in seats contested

    Saturday, June 29th, 2013

    Thanks to Andy JS who has done a brilliant job collecting and recording the data from each of the 2,208 seats that were fought on May 2nd.

      In addition to the numbers I’ve included as an option on the chart’s dropdown the shares from the ComRes local elections poll. Compared with the overall vote totals this overstated LAB and UKIP but understated CON and the LDs.

      These figures differ considerably from the notional national vote extrapolations put out by the broadcasters and Professors Rallings and Thrasher on the night and on the following two days. They were serving a different purpose trying to relate the elections to a general election.

      The reason that Labour appears to have done so poorly in these figures is down solely to the nature of the seats contested. These were very much in Tory territory – mostly the shire counties – where you would expect the blues to do well.

      Mike Smithson