Archive for the 'UK Elections – others' Category


The EP2014 election is so tight that what could be decisive is how many Ukip supporters mistakenly vote for “An Independence from Europe”

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Standby for a row if AIFE’s total is bigger than Ukip’s losing margin

With YouGov’s final EP2014 poll showing Ukip with a lead of just 1% it is possible that what stops Farage’s party from winning on votes will be the spoiler party “An Independence from Europe – UK Independence Now”.

The consensus of election experts that I contacted yesterday reckoned that simply by being top of the ballot and having “UK Independence” in their description (see picture) could give it a vote share of 2% or more which, if YouGov’s final poll is right will be enough to swing the result.

Back in 2004 in a SW Euro seat a candidate calling himself a “Literal Democrat” appeared on the ballot above the Liberal Democrat candidate. The former picked up nearly 5% of the vote which was several times more than the losing margin. The Lib Dems tried to get the result over-turned in the High Court but lost.

Over the past fortnight Ukip have been acutely aware of the problem and has been taking active campaigning steps to alert potential voters of the problem. Nigel Farage spoke at the weekend of postal voters who had contacted the party to say they had got it wrong. He was hugely critical the Electoral Commission for allowing AIFE to be created in this manner.

If it should happen that Ukip is deprived is deprived of victory then expect a huge row which will go on for months.

Unlike the Literal Democrat AIFE is a legitimate party and was formed by ex-Ukip MEP and deputy leader, Mike Natrass, after he’d been de-selected.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Concern about ballot form confusion could be behind falling off of Ukip in most EP seats Betfair markets

Monday, May 5th, 2014


The 2014 Rallings and Thrasher local elections forecasts: LAB to make 490 gains

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

For two decades Professors Rallings & Thrasher have been producing forecasts ahead of the May local elections based on their local by-election model. Usually these are “revealed” at a special briefing at the Institute of Government organised by the Political Studies Association which is what I’ve been attending today.

This is an event that the party spinners absolutely hate because they feel they are being set targets that they might find challenging to meet. The LAB view is that they are not going to make anything like the 490 seat target.

The figures are in the charts above. Last year they overstated CON (+3), LAB (+9), LD (+3) while understating what UKIP achieved by 11.

This year it is different though it is important to note that although UKIP is projected to win more votes the LDs will win get more councillors elected.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


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