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The Ashcroft phone poll, like Populus this morning, has CON trailing by 5%

November 24th, 2014

But these are the most dramatic figures of all

This is starting to get serious for the blue team

As usual at 4pm on Monday Lord Ashcroft publishes his latest weekly national phone poll and today’s show the LAB lead moving to 5%.

The followed this morning’s Monday Populus online poll that had Lab 36 (=) Con 31 (-2), LD 9 (=), UKIP 15.(+1) So both today’s surveys have comfortable margins for EdM’s team which if it wasn’t for the current problems north of the border would point to a solid majority on May 7th.

It’s that Scottish uncertainty that is dominating things. LAB needs to have bigger GB leads than 5% to be sure of a majority without his current total of 41 Scottish MPs.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble





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How online polls are producing higher LAB and UKIP shares while phone surveys are best for the LDs and Greens

November 24th, 2014

CON is about the same under either approach

After my post last night on how there is a big gap between phone and online polling on the CON+LAB aggregates I decided to take this a bit further looking at how each party fared under each approach.

The results, based on the last public polls of nine firms, are featured in the chart above. Essentially LAB and UKIP do better with the online polling while the LDs and Greens come out with better figures in phone polls.

Tory shares show very little variation between the two approaches.

ComRes which carries out monthly phone and online GE2015 surveys has been included in each category. The ICM figures are based on the Guardian poll while its online Wisdom Index for the Sunday Telegraph has not been included because it is not a voting intention poll.

I plan to update this monthly to see if the same pattern continues. Looking back over previous months it appears that the current picture has been operating for some time.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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Daily Express reporting new poll with UKIP in second place

November 23rd, 2014

No other details known at the moment

UPDATE

2nd Update 0430

The poll appears to be based on a subset of Sun readers from a YouGov poll which so far had not been published.

Sun Readers are not representative of the electorate as a whole

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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Here’s a funny thing. Polls that carry out fieldwork online are 3-9 points more favourable to the “big 2″ than phone surveys

November 23rd, 2014

The big methodology difference is in sampling. The phone firms used randomised dialling and theoretically anybody with a landline, and now mobile, can be included.

Online polls are generally carried out amongst members of a polling panel who perhaps are slightly different from the electorate as a whole in they’ve signed up in the first place and are doing the survey for money.

It was only when I was looking through recent findings from the different firms that I found the split featured in the chart above.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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The NT should repeat “This House” – a taste of what happens when you have a minority government

November 23rd, 2014

This should be screened again before May 7th

Suddenly people are talking about a possible minority government after the general election because of the way the maths appear at the moment. With the polls looking so tight with UKIP and the SNP expected to have much bigger contingents at Westminster it’s quite likely that neither LAB or CON will secure a majority and a future coalition very difficult to achieve.

Last year I wrote enthusiastically about James Graham’s “This House” chronicling the period 1974 until Mrs. Thatcher’s victory in 1979. It enjoyed a second sell-out run at the Olivier at the National Theatre and was also part of the NT Live when productions are screened to cinemas and other venues throughout the UK.

It is set in the whips offices of both Labour and Tories from the February 1974 election being called through to 1979. We watch first the period when Labour tried operate without a majority and then as it tries to govern with a majority of 3 after the October 1974 election.

Death, defections and by-elections soon whittle that down to zero and the play portrays some of the apparently crazy measures taken to keep the ship afloat when Labour didn’t have the numbers. The need to bring even critically ill MPs into the Palace of Westminster for major votes is a major part of the drama.

The Callaghan government, of course, fell on March 28th 1979 when it failed to win a confidence motion by the smallest of margins – just one vote. The SNP voted with the Tories.

It’s wonderfully funny but also very contemporary illustrating the huge difficulty party managers have in working with “the odds and sods” – the other parties who might help.

    Given the current political numbers I’ve suggested to the NT that it should screen it again in the run up to the general election. It could be highly relevant

It would be a reminder of the huge challenges of minority government which, I’d suggest, are much greater now than in the 70s.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Mike Smithson

For the latest polling and political betting news




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Marf on a great PB gathering at Dirty Dicks and the Saturday night rolling polling blog

November 22nd, 2014

dirtydicks (1)

Thanks Marf for capturing the spirit of last night’s PB gathering at Dirty Dicks in the City of London. This was the best attended PB event that we’ve ever had and it was great to compare notes and betting strategies with fellow PBers.

The pub was absolutely packed with Friday night drinkers that our little corner felt very over-crowded at first but it worked well and I, for one, had a great time.

We had people with five different party allegiances there and the conversation and company was very civilised. It really is good to meet fellow PBers face to face.

The first poll out tonight looks set to be Opinium for the Observer followed by YouGov. I’m expecting a UKIP boost.

LAB lead with YouGov Sun/S poll

Tories slip back 4 & LAB retake lead with Opinium

CON & LAB level pegging with YouGov/S Times

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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Latest betting prices – GE2015 and possible UKIP defections

November 22nd, 2014



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David Herdson on Saturday: We might have passed peak UKIP?

November 22nd, 2014

Is the message from Rochester that 2015 will be ‘close but no cigar’ for Team Farage?

Politics can be a contradictory old business. In many ways, UKIP has been the Party of the Year for the second year running. The SNP might dispute that but the reality is that the SNP lost their big vote in September while UKIP won theirs in May, becoming only the third party since WWI to win a national election. To add to that, they gained over 160 councillors at the local elections, have polled in a comfortable third place all year (apart from with ICM – a notable exception), and have, of course, made the Westminster breakthrough. Indeed, in winning Rochester and Strood, they become only the fourth party since WWII to gain two Commons seats in the same parliament, never mind the same year.

And yet those achievements can be misleading. In reality, 2014 was a year of consolidation, not one of advance. Last year marked their promotion to politics’ second division; this one has seen them maintain that status and the victories in Clacton and then again this week doesn’t change that. The gains in the Euros, locals and – to an extent – by-elections are a feature of those cycles operating over four or five years. Their polling, in the low- to mid-teens, is only marginally up on twelve months ago and is of a level that would not return a significant number of seats at a general election given their vote distribution.

It is a measure of how high expectations are about UKIP’s performance that the result of a win in a seat they didn’t even contest last time is being described as disappointing, particularly given the effort put in by the Conservatives. On the other hand, the narrative in politics is often about momentum, and UKIP winning by a smaller margin than any of the polls found has checked theirs a little.

In so doing, it also gives a bit of a pointer towards next year. We know that the Ashcroft poll found that voters in the constituency were likely to swing back to the Conservatives come the general election (all else being equal), and that UKIP undershot the lead Ashcroft reported for the by-election. Those two facts combined make it less likely that there’ll be any more defectors (or at least, any more who plan on standing again), and less likely that UKIP will make as many gains as they would have come May had they met expectations. Indeed, the two are not unrelated.

Part of this is because UKIP is riding two horses in opposite directions. On the one hand, those politicians most likely to defect are still Conservatives. On the other, UKIP is increasingly chasing the Labour voter, perceiving – probably rightly – that there are now more soft votes in the red column than the blue one. However, the net result of that contradiction is the sort of awkward and unconvincing speech Mark Reckless gave after his win where he tried to proclaim himself the voice of White Van Man. To nail that strategy, what UKIP really needs is a Labour MP to defect. I’m not holding my breath.

David Herdson

p.s. The Lib Dems dodged a bullet on Thursday. It might have been their worst-ever share of the vote, but it could have been worse still. One factor in the demise of the Owenite continuity SDP was when it finished behind the Monster Raving Loony Party in the May 1990 Bootle by-election; something which did much to destroy claims to be taken credibly as a serious party. At that election, the Loonies won 418 votes; in Rochester, the Lib Dems won 349.