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Labour needs to take 69 of these seats to secure a majority

April 11th, 2014

Your guide to the LAB targets

Thanks to the compiler of the @election_data Twitter feed for this latest map showing where they key LAB targets are located.

For details of the seats themselves check out the UKPollingReport LAB target list with the names of the seats, their ranking, which party is defending and the size of the majority.

The seat that is on the margin is Peterborough which doesn’t appear to have a betting market. The seat closest to it in terms of the size of the majority is Calder valley where PaddyPower make the Tories the odds on favourite to hold on.

Mike Smithson

Ranked in top 33 most influential over 50s on Twitter





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Local By-Election Results : April 10th 2014: Full round up

April 11th, 2014

Some good UKIP perforances in terms of votes but no seats

Belle Vue on Cumbria (Labour Defence)
Result: Labour 565 (46% -20%), Conservative 435 (35% +1%), UKIP 234 (19%)
Labour HOLD with a majority of 130 (11%) on a swing of 11% from Labour to Conservative

Flint, Trelawny on Flintshire (Labour Defence)
Result: Labour 350 (39% -33%), UKIP 261 (29%), Independent 242 (27% +8%), Conservative 54 (6%)
Labour HOLD woith a majority of 89 (10%) on a swing of 31% from Labour to UKIP

Coal Ashton on North East Derbyshire (Conservative Defence)
Result: Conservative 518 (46%), Labour 409 (37%), UKIP 193 (17%)
Conservative HOLD with a majority of 109 (9%)

Wantage, Charlton on Vale of the White Horse (Independent Defence, Elected as Conservative)
Result: Conservative 591 (42%), Liberal Democrat 542 (38%), Labour 155 (11%), Greens 124 (9%)
Conservative HOLD with a majority of 49 (4%)



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The jobs of one or more of Dave/Ed/Nigel/Nick could be on the line if the May 22nd elections don’t meet expectations

April 11th, 2014

Collage-DC-EM-NC-NF (1)

This could be a very dangerous period for all 4 leaders

On May 22nd there are the Euro Elections and as well, for 58% of voters nationwide, local elections. This will be the biggest electoral test before the May 7 2015 general election. The outcomes could impact on the futures of all four main party leaders.

Parts of the Conservative party have never been reconciled to David Cameron and he’s still blamed in some quarters for failing to win a majority in 2010. It is not beyond the bounds of probability that what is perceived as a dismal failure next month, say coming a bad third in the Euros and losing a lot of council seats, could spark off leadership speculation. If UKIP tops the Euros then panic could really set in.

The Tories have shown in the past that they can be totally ruthless with failing leaders.

Their coalition partners, the Lib Dems, face the possibility of losing all their MEPs as well as another wallop of council seats. They could even come behind the Greens to take fifth in the Euros. Nick Clegg’s debate performances with Farage have not helped his position and it was noticeable that there were leadership rumblings in the weekend press.

It is striking how much the yellows are talking down their elections hopes.

That’s in sharp contrast to UKIP which is riding high and there are massive expectations. Nigel Farage has set coming top in the Euros as his objective and this is what the party expects him to deliver. His dictatorial style of leadership is fine if the party is winning but what happens if it comes second or even third?

On the face of it Ed Miliband is the safest of the four but there are large parts of the movement that have never come to terms with his shock victory over his brother in the 2010 leadership election. Consistent poll leads a few points south of the 40s are creating a sense of uneasiness. A poor set of results on May 22 could provide the peg for a challenge.

My guess is that we are so close to the general election that all four will survive – but I’m not betting on it.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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Local By-Election Preview: April 10th 2014

April 10th, 2014

Belle Vue on Cumbria (Labour Defence)
Result of last election to council (2013): Labour 35, Conservatives 26, Liberal Democrats 16, Independents 7 (No Overall Control, Labour short by 8)
Result of last election in ward (2013): Labour 760 (66%), Conservatives 393 (34%)
Candidates duly nominated: Christine Bowditch (Lab), Nigel Christian (Con), John Stanyer (UKIP)

Trying to get a majority on Cumbria County Council could be compared to trying to get an ice cube to remain frozen in a desert. Since 1993 there has only been one overall majority election on the council (1997) but every other election has seen a hung council. In 1989, the Conservatives had a lead of three over Labour which became a Labour lead of 12 following the 1993 disaster for the Conservatives, however unlike most councils in 1997 where there was a Conservative recovery in Cumbria Labour piled on the pressure gaining five seats (four of which came from the Conservatives) and gaining overall control. It didn’t last long as in 2001, Labour lost control (four losses) as the Conservatives started attacking the Liberal Democrats and Independents. However, that was quickly reined in by the Liberal Democrats in 2005 who gained Westmorland and Lonsdale in the general election. It was the 2009 elections that really put the brakes on majority control as Labour lost eight seats, the Conservatives gained six, the Liberal Democrats gained five, the Independents gained three and even a local Independent gained a seat (Omsgill) on a 19% swing away from Labour. Last year’s elections saw things return to some sense of normality as Labour recovered the majority of it’s 2005 and 2009 losses (with the Liberal Democrats sighing a massive sigh of relief as they remained unchanged) but with this by-election being a fight between a rock solid Labour core (which elected a Labour councillor in the disaster of 2009) and two parties on the right Labour have to lot to win or a lot to lose.

Flint, Trelawny on Flintshire (Labour Defence)
Result of last election to council (2012): Labour 31, Independents 23, Liberal Democrats 7, Conservatives 7, Plaid Cymru 1 (No Overall Control, Labour short by 4)
Result of last election in ward (2012): Emboldened denotes elected
Labour 578, 570 (72%)
Independent 303 (19%)
Liberal Democrats 143 (9%)
Candidates duly nominated: Paul Cunningham (Lab), Swapna Das (Con), Nigel Williams (UKIP), John Yorke (Ind)

If Cumbria is impossible to get a majority on, then in theory Flintshire should be easy for a majority to be created and yet in recent years Labour have come off the worse. When the authority was created in 1995, Labour romped home polling 51% of the vote and getting an overall majority of 22 (Lab 47, Ind 15, Lib Dem 5, Con 2, Plaid 1, Others 1) a result that was little changed in 1999 (Labour polling 48% and a majority of 14) and repeated in 2004 (Labour polling 44% and an overall majority of 3) however in the 2008 elections, things went badly wrong for Labour. Their vote collapsed by 14% (polling just 30%) and their overall majority was wiped out with a staggering 15 net losses. This allowed the Independents to take the lead (polling 34%) and left the council in a situation of No Overall Control (Ind 26, Lab 21, Lib Dem 12, Con 9, Plaid 1). Naturally Labour recovered in 2012 but despite making 10 gains and going back to their 2004 level of support they were unable to retake majority control of the council. However with UKIP contesting this by-election (where they have gone from 5% in 1999 to 17% in 2009) as well as Mr. Yorke who has contested this ward since 2008 (polling on average 20% in 2008 and 2012), could the Conservatives overtake the Liberal Democrats on the council?

Coal Ashton on North East Derbyshire (Conservative Defence)
Result of last election to council (2011): Labour 34, Conservatives 17, Independents 2 (Labour overall majority of 15)
Result of last election in ward (2011): Emboldened denotes elected
Conservatives 730, 680
Labour 546, 543
Liberal Democrats 198
Candidates duly nominated: John Allsop (Con), David Cheetham (Lab), Charles Watson (UKIP)

North East Derbyshire is a true Labour heartland, which just goes to show how bad the poll ratings were for Labour back in 2007. In 2003, Labour had an overall majority of 19 on the council (Lab 36, Con 8, Lib Dem 5, Ind 4) which collapsed to just 5 in 2007 as Labour lost 7 seats to the Conservatives (+2), the Liberal Democrats (+2) and the Independents (+3) which as we know was the last election that Tony Blair fought as Prime Minister before he stood down a few weeks later and Gordon Brown was appointed Prime Minister in his place. Four years later and with a deeply unpopular coalition government in place, Labour reaped the benefits recovering all but two of their 2007 losses, the Conservatives gaining seven (with the Lib Dems being wiped out) and the Independents losing five, so therefore logic would suggest that with UKIP fielding a first time candidate in this ward, Labour’s majority could well reach 17.

Wantage, Charlton on Vale of the White Horse (Independent Defence, Elected as Conservative)
Result of last election to council (2011): Conservatives 31, Liberal Democrats 19, Labour 1 (Conservative overall majority of 11)
Result of last election in ward (2012): Emboldened denotes elected
Conservatives 1,235, 1,179, 1,131
Liberal Democrats 940, 754, 714
Labour 442, 428
Candidates duly nominated: Kevin Harris (Green), Julia Reynolds (Con), Jim Sibbald (Lib Dem), Nathan Sparks (Lab)

Vale of the White Horse has been a right old Lib Dem sob story of late. Back in 2003 it was controlled by the Liberal Democrats (along with Windsor and Maidenhead, Watford, Three Rivers, Waverley, Uttlesford and Milton Keynes) creating several Liberal Democrat pockets in what should be rock solid Conservative areas. Well, as you might expect the Conservatives were not going to take this challenge lying down and in 2007 robbed the Lib Dems of control in Milton Keynes, and gained control of Uttlesford, Waverley and Windsor and Maidenhead, leaving just the Vale of the White Horse in Lib Dem hands. That was until 2011 when the Conservatives pounced on their coalition partners inflicting fifteen net losses (with the Conservatives picking up 14 seats and the other one going Labour) leaving just Three Rivers and Watford in Lib Dem hands north of London. So will the Conservatives be able to continue this dominance at this by-election or will the Lib Dems recover from what has been in their own words a nightmare since 2010?

Harry Hayfield



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Ipsos Mori April Political Monitor is out

April 10th, 2014

UKIP gets a surge from the debates whilst the the Lib Dems take a 4 point hit.

Labour will be delighted that the budget bounce other pollsters have shown hasn’t happened here as their share of the vote is up 2 and their lead has doubled from 3 to 6.

Nick Clegg and ultimately David Cameron must regret having the debates as UKIP appear to have used the debates to time a surge in the polls for next month’s Local & European elections perfectly.

There’s also a boost for George Osborne whose approval is the best for a Tory Chancellor since ┬áNigel Lawson in 1987, which was followed by a Tory landslide a few months later.

Dave will be delighted that whilst the polling was conducted when Maria Miller was in the news the Tory drop was only 1 point and his lead over Ed in the leader ratings has widened.

The fieldwork was Sat to Mon.

TSE



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Labour’s “crutch” remains: The 2010 LD-LAB switchers are still on board and their numbers aren’t diminishing

April 10th, 2014

There hasn’t been much movement between CON & LAB

The Populus aggregate data for March featured in the chart above sets out clearly that the big voter shift since 2010 hasn’t changed. Ed Miliband’s LAB is very reliant on those LD voters from last time who switched in the first year of the coalition staying on board.

They make up such a big part of its current supporters base and represent a shift to LAB that is equal or greater than the increase in the CON vote between 1997 and 2010.

    The leading psephologist, Professor John Curtice, describes them simply as Labour’s “crutch” which, of course they are. Without the LD switchers the red team would be in a sorry state with only a year to go.

The data comes from the aggregate of all Populus samples last month but it is still relevant. My own calculations based on the firm’s April polling suggest that they are still there.

This simple fact combined with the general election voting patterns that make the “system” so favourable to Labour leave the Tories with a massive challenge.

Mike Smithson

Ranked in top 33 most influential over 50s on Twitter




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Cameron’s handling of the Maria Miller affair: Across the board voters were not impressed

April 9th, 2014

The above poll, by ComRes for ITV News, was taken this afternoon after the news of Maria Miller’s resignation was announced and shows what voters thought of David Cameron’s handling of the expenses issue.

The numbers speak for themselves.

But with all such polling the question is whether and how it will impact on voting intentions. My guess is that it will help Farage’s party. Notice how UKIP voters are the most negative to the PM.

Mike Smithson

Ranked in top 33 most influential over 50s on Twitter




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New culture secretary Sajid Javid now 33-1 for next CON leader

April 9th, 2014

Sajid Javid on Feb2014 inflation of 1.7   25Mar14    YouTube

The first of the CON 2010 intake into the cabinet

What a morning and it’s quite hard keeping up with developments.

There’s no doubt that ex-banker, Sajid Javid, is one of the most able CON MPs to be elected at GE2010 but the big surprise is the Cameron has replaced Miller with a man. At one stage this morning you could have got 3/1 against that eventuality.

Sajid is seen very much as part of Osborne clan and no doubt the chancellor played a key part in the decision.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble