Archive for the 'UKIP' Category


When ComRes tested impact of prompting for UKIP the views of women barely changed. Male support however jumped by 8%

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

Two pollsters, three polls, and UKIP shares between 16% and 24%

With all eyes on UKIP polling shares following their by election successes the online survey by ComRes for the Indy on Sunday and Sunday Mirror carried out a test to see whether, as many purple enthusiasts argue, their shares are understated by firms that don’t specifically prompt for the party.

So the ComRes sample was split in two with the first using the conventional approach and the second including UKIP in its main party prompts.

The problem with this is that the sample sizes became so small, down to 782 in one case, that the margin of error increases substantially especially when trying to analyse the UKIP voting subset.

In fact the difference between the two approaches can almost all be explained as standard margin of error.

    With that caveat a big move was apparent between the two ComRes polls. The views of women barely changed when UKIP was prompted – men, however increased their support by 8%

Read into that what you will! Maybe prompting says more about how men and women respond to online polling than it does about UKIP support.

Another difference was that non-2010 voters amongst UKIP support amounted to 7% in normal poll, but 13% in the prompted one.

Meanwhile the latest YouGov, with a later fieldwork period than ComRes, has UKIP down 3% from dizzy heights of last week to a more normal looking 16%.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Marf on the morning after at Number 10

Friday, October 10th, 2014

morningafter (1)

  • If you would like to purchase one of Marf’s prints or originals, please contact her here.

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    Henry G Manson: Words and the world of workers – how Labour should respond to UKIP

    Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

    LAB Poster (1)


    The debate about UKIP is hotting up in Labour circles. UKIP are demonstrating they can get past Labour’s defences in a lot of traditional working class communities in a way the Tories never could. A few years ago the purple party were dismissed as ‘the BNP in blazers’ and a party with an appeal limited to southern leafy shires. Not now.

    Now UKIP are genuinely challenging in northern towns like Rotherham and Grimsby and have made enormous progress in Heywood and Middleton from a standing start. Should Labour retain the seat it will be down the wisdom of picking a working class NHS worker from the area and crucially for going for the shortest election period possible – not something that can apply to next May. UKIP aim to be seen as the main opponent of Labour in most of the north of England after the general election and their electoral threat extends to seats in Plymouth, Southampton, Dudley and other areas too.

    The Fabian Society’s Marcus Roberts has twinned up with UKIP expert Rob Ford to look at how UKIP can harm Labour and what it could do about it. It’s a report worth reading carefully. One bit that caught my eye was in some of the failings of how Labour’s politicians talk:

    Arguments about political messaging often break down into two categories: soundbites or stories. The New Labour tradition, and that of Clinton Democrats in the USA, is to favour soundbites with short, pithy lines to take that encapsulate big arguments. In contrast, politicians like Labour’s Jon Cruddas, or Obama Democrats, favour a narrative approach in which a bigger argument is made with more words to explain where a problem comes from, how it effects people today and what the future looks like after it has been addressed.

    Journalist John Harris is blunter still. Writing in the Guardian today about Farage’s appeal he talks of ‘a great visceral roar of dissent and defiance, channelled through a party whose leader instinctively understands politics’ more emotional aspects while the people at the top of supposedly mainstream parties have no clue…Whereas modern politics is fronted by androids who talk in borderline riddles – “One nation”, “the big society” – Ukip’s thinking is presented in appetisingly straightforward terms. ’

    It would be easy to land this at the feet of Labour’s general election co-ordinator of 2010 and today, Douglas Alexander. Schooled in the era of New Labour where it was privately proclaimed that disaffected Labour supporters would ‘have nowhere else to go’. The party is paying the price for excessively focusing on a narrow strip of Tory-Labour swing voters in southern marginal at the expense of the new ‘swing voters’ for Labour to appeal to swinging from either voting for Labour, to UKIP or to not voting for anyone at all.

    In Douglas Alexander’s defence, since the lacklustre European Election campaign there has been a more attacks on UKIP, however there has been so far only a limited amount offered to appeal to these defecting voters and the tone just still isn’t right. This problem goes beyond one individual and applies to all those schooled in the New Labourism and perhaps what’s worse it applies to some in the next generation who have chosen to model themselves on that.

    Roberts makes a spirited case for Labour become more of a social movement again. He’s right but that’s going to be something that takes some time and not prioritised in the run up to a general election. However some of the policy ideas in the pamphlet could work in the coming months.

    Drawing on the ‘blue Labour’ thinking of Maurice Glasman (but diluted to taste) it includes more housing for local people, ending child benefit being sent overseas, greater emphasis on contribution within social security payments and ‘fair movement’ rather than ‘free movement’ across the EU. Now these are all good ideas but they’re still a touch defensive if you ask me. Labour needs something positive too and in plain language to appeal to workers and not just play catch-up with UKIP.

    Kevin Maguire has written about a six point pledge for workers that’s now doing the rounds which as luck would have it would appeal to both Labour’s core voters and to those considering UKIP. These pledges include 1) Pay – a fair rate for the job 2) Law – a defined and fair working week 3) Employer – decent treatment at work 4) Dialogue – the right to be heard 5) Guarantee – rights that are honoured and secured and 6) Enforcement – representation to make your rights count. If Labour backed these and issued them on a ‘workers’ pledge card’ it could challenge the other parties on its own turf.

    There are a growing number of answers emerging for how Labour should respond to UKIP, but most of them seem to be happening outside of the official Labour Party channels at the moment. Will the party’s election team get the message in time? As the new Fabian research suggests the outcome of a growing number of seats and the election itself could depend on it.

    Henry G Manson


    Voters think Lib Dems will fade away within ten years but UKIP is here to stay

    Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

    In the last few weeks, YouGov polled the following question about the Lib Dems and UKIP

    “Which of the following comes closer to your opinion about the future for the Lib Dems/UKIP”


    As we can see the voters think going forward that UKIP will be more relevant than the Lib Dems.

    I suspect the current Westminster VI polling is driving this, as the Lord Ashcroft marginal polls showed, the Lib Dems are doing better than national polling suggests, more so than normal, the next election will be about seats won, rather than the national share of the vote.

    So the Lib Dem relevance will still be important in UK politics, I and others have speculated that Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems might be the only constant in government this decade. I expect both the Lib Dems and UKIP are here to stay.

    History has also shown that writing off the Lib Dem isn’t wise, as they following video shows, a week later after this intervention, the Lib Dems gained Eastbourne from the Tories in a by-election.



    As long as we see polling like this it increases the chances of tactical voting against UKIP

    Sunday, October 5th, 2014

    Whilst the polling on this question has improved slightly for UKIP since May, it still represents a problem for the party. I’ve noted in the past that in politics, sometimes perceptions matter more than the facts, and unfortunately they are perceived as the party of fruit cakes and loonies and closet racists mostly.

    Given the large number of Labour voters in Rochester & Strood, it will be interesting if the Tories try and push the meme with Labour supporters, as I have noted in the past, the danger for the Blues it might alienate the Kipper votes they also trying to win over.



    After all the hype from UKIP about the 5pm defection – it’s all about the defector who defected in the morning

    Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

    Memo to Nigel: I don’t think the journalists who have been dragged to Gloucestershire will be impressed. You should always under promise and over deliver.




    Will UKIP overshadow Cameron’s big day?

    Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

    As the focus is on a defector, Dave is set to make the NHS the centre piece of the election.

    Coupled with the seven day a week GP promise announced yesterday, it is clear what the Tories will be focussing upon. I suspect the NHS will form a key part of the election battle. It will be risky business for both the Blues and Reds. David Cameron will constantly have the breaking of his “no more top down reorganisation” promise being referenced by his opponents, whilst the Blues will undoubtedly mention the events in Stafford and the Labour run NHS in Wales.

    This may also be an attempt to blunt any UKIP defection. Nigel Lawson famously said ”The NHS is the closest thing the English have to a religion.” Cameron may well argue, that whilst UKIP talk about all things Europe, he is talking about the things matter to key voters.

    One of David Cameron’s most impressive achievements was to make the Tories the most trusted with the NHS. He may well be attempting a repeat performance.

    On the defection front, The Times are reporting (££)

    Nigel Farage stoked rumours of further defections to Ukip last night by announcing a mysterious event timed to coincide with David Cameron’s conference speech.

    The Ukip leader would meet “somebody of interest” today in Bristol, sources said. The party promised to reveal the news this morning before holding a press conference just before evening news bulletins.

    As Corporeal noted on twitter yesterday.

    Unfortunately Ladbrokes have pulled their next MP to defect market, but William Hill have on how many MPs will defect.

    Note, the terms of this bet How many sitting MP’s will defect to UKIP between the dates of the Clacton By Election and the UK General Election due in May 2015.

    So any MP who defects today won’t count for the purposes of this bet.



    Tory MP Mark Reckless defects to UKIP

    Saturday, September 27th, 2014

    Not the start Cameron wanted before the Tory conference



    UPDATE III – constituency phone polling by Survation in Rotherham, Boston & Skegness and North Thanet