Harry Hayfield’s Local By-Election Preview: July 17th 2014

July 17th, 2014

Oban North and Lorn on Argyll and Bute (SNP defence)
Result of last election to council (2012): Independents 15, Scottish Nationalists 13, Conservatives 4, Liberal Democrats 4 (No Overall Control, Independents short by 4)
Result of last election in ward (2012): Emboldened denotes elected
Scottish Nationalists 410, 707 (31%)
Independents 421, 807, 125, 361, 222, 58 (55%)
Liberal Democrats 188 (5%)
Conservatives 332 (9%)
Candidates duly nominated: Gerry Fisher (SNP), Kieron Green (Lab), John MacGregor (Ind), Marri Malloy (Ind), Andrew Vennard (Con)

Mabe, Perranarworthal and St Gluvias on Cornwall (UKIP defence)
Result of council at last election (2013): Independents 37, Liberal Democrats 36, Conservatives 31, Labour 8, United Kingdom Independence Party 6, Mebyon Kernow 4, Greens 1 (No Overall Control, Independents short by 25)
Result of ward at last election (2013): UKIP 413 (29%), Conservatives 410 (28%), Liberal Democrats 331 (23%), Independent 160 (11%), Labour 129 (9%)
Candidates duly nominated: John Ault (Lib Dem), Linda Hitchcox (Lab), Karen Sumser-Lupson (Mebyon Kernow), Pete Tisdale (UKIP), Peter Williams (Con)

Colehill East on East Dorset (Lib Dem defence)
Result of council at last election (2011): Conservatives 30, Liberal Democrats 6 (Conservative majority of 24)
Result of last election in ward (2011): Emboldened denotes elected
Liberal Democrats 1,066, 765
Conservatives 668, 667
Labour 200
United Kingdom Independence Party 175
Candidates duly nominated: David Mattocks (UKIP), Barry Roberts (Lib Dem), Graeme Smith (Con)

Hookstone on Harrogate (Lib Dem defence)
Result of council at last election (2014): Conservatives 34, Liberal Democrats 15, Independents 4, Liberal 1 (Conservative majority of 14)
Result of last election in ward (2011): Liberal Democrats 1,153 (54%), Conservatives 708 (33%), Labour 257 (12%)
Candidates duly nominated: Pat Foxall (Lab), Phil Headford (Con), Alan Henderson (UKIP), Clare Skardon (Lib Dem)

Ledbury (Con defence) and Leominster South (Con defence) on Herefordshire
Result of council at last election (2011): Conservatives 30, Independents 14, It’s Our County 9, Liberal Democrats 3, Labour 1, Greens 1 (Conservative majority of 2)
Result of last election in ward (2011): Emboldened denotes elected
Conservatives 1,403, 1,129, 1,033
It’s Our County 1,287, 1,013, 809
Liberal Democrats 526, 456, 437
Labour 481
Candidates duly nominated: Allen Conway (Con), Paul Stanford (UKIP), Terry Widows (It’s Our County)

Leominster South
Conservatives 787, 427
Independents 660, 233
Greens 268, 240
Labour 247, 160
Candidates duly nominated: Jennifer Bartlett (Green), Emma Pardoe (Lab), Angela Pendleton (Ind), Liz Portman-Lewis (UKIP), Wayne Rosser (Con)

Airfield on King’s Lynn and West Norfolk (Green defence)
Result of council at last election (2011): Conservatives 42, Labour 13, Liberal Democrats 3, Independents 3, Green 1 (Conservative majority of 22)
Result of last election in ward (2011): Emboldened denotes elected
Conservatives 782
Greens 386
Labour 354
Independent 283
Candidates duly nominated: Jonathan Burr (Green), Geoff Hipperson (Con), Sebastian Polhill (Lab), Bob Scully (UKIP)

Cowley on Oxford (Lab Defence)
Result of council at last election (2014): Labour 33, Liberal Democrats 8, Greens 6, Independent 1 (Labour majority of 18)
Result of ward at last election (2012): Labour 626 (52%), Green 276 (23%), Conservative 196 (16%), Liberal Democrats 115 (9%)
Candidates duly nominated: Artwell (Non Party Independent), Hazel Dawe (Green), Katherine Harbourne (Con), David Henwood (Lab), Ian McDonald (UKIP), Prakash Sharma (Lib Dem)

Church Hill on Redditch (UKIP defence)
Result of council at last election (2014): Labour 17, Conservatives 9, United Kingdom Independence Party 2, Independent 1 (Labour majority of 5)
Result of last election in ward (2014): UKIP 665 (35%), Lab 615 (32%), Conservatives 433 (23%), Greens 80 (4%), Liberal Democrats 79 (4%), Independent 26 (1%), Independent 14 (1%)
Candidates duly nominated: Isabel Armstrong (Ind), Lee Bradley (Green), David Gee (Lib Dem), Len Harris (UKIP), Kathy Haslam (Con), Nina Wood-Ford (Lab)

* Apologies for the lack of local authority information. On Monday something went wrong with my internet connection which was only rectified late last night. Normal service will be resumed next week.


Latest from the “Polling Observatory” is that there’s been a slow decline in CON prospects but GE2015 still too close to call

July 17th, 2014

CON and LAB movements not going with historical trends

Each month political scientists at a group of universities put out a GE2015 forecast under the rather grandiose banner of “The Polling Observatory” which is based on current polling and historical polling experience. The latest is in the chart above.

A can be seen CON and LAB are close but things do need to be moving more the blue way given what’s happened in the past. This is from their latest report:

“This movement reflects the fact that Labour are holding their support, where the historical record suggests we should be expecting declines at this point. In contrast, the forecast for the Conservatives is on a downward slope, indicating that they are not making the gains that history would typically expect. Our colleague Steven Fisher has found similar trends in his model, which also builds on historical polling data. If the current poll lead continues into the autumn, the Conservatives may well need to start worrying – the accuracy of polling as a predictor of the general election outcome steadily increases as we enter the last six months…

.. The relative stasis in the polls is partly because the structural weaknesses of parties and leaders (Miliband’s poor ratings, the damaged Tory brand, and the Liberal Democrat betrayal) are all priced in to the polling numbers we have been seeing. This means that axioms such as that ‘oppositions need to be further ahead at this stage’ or that ‘governments will always be rewarded for a growing economy’ may not necessarily come to fruition given the listlessness of the polls.

… A polling swing back would provide the Conservatives with a valuable morale boost, but thanks to the disadvantages of the electoral system, Cameron’s party still have a lot to do even if the tide of public opinion starts to turn in their favour.”

In my view we really need to wait until the IndyRef and the party conferences have come and gone. What will be the numbers look like in late October and early November.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


First post-reshuffle poll has the public backing Cameron over Gove

July 17th, 2014

What’s marked here is the readiness of those polled across the spectrum to back Cameron. Also note the contrast between the Gove doing good job numbers and the reshuffle finding. You would expect them to be closer.

My view on this remains – it was a smart move by the PM which will, at the margin, have a positive electoral impact in the blues favour.

Meanwhile Clegg’s got a Twitter hit on his hands


PB Nighthawks is now open

July 16th, 2014

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If you’re Under Pressure tonight, why not relax, and converse into the night on the day’s events in PB NightHawks.

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The round up of recent events (click on the links below, and it will bring up the relevant link)

  1. PMQs: Miliband sends his MPs off for the summer, each with their own personal rain cloud. Cameron misrepresented Harman’s words, but ensured Labour’s humiliation was complete
  2. Reshuffle 2014: the fallout
  3. Mrs Gove goes on the warpath, as Michael plots his media career
  4. If Gove is the most unpopular politician, why have the Tories made him minister for TV? The man charged with wooing voters is more likely to repel them.
  5. An untested and unready Ed Miliband faces Cameron’s redrawn Tory ranks. Labour must match the prime minister’s ambitious statement of intent if it is to avoid joining the coming battle outflanked
  6. Senior Tory councillors lining up to call for the cuts to stop
  7. MEPs could veto ‘anti-European’ Lord Hill, David Cameron’s choice for Britain’s EU commissioner. EU president warns that Lord Hill is a radical Eurosceptic and says MEPs could vote to reject him in September 
  8. Farage has vision for Britain, admits top target Tory. Laura Sandys, the MP who holds the seat Nigel Farage most wants, says the Ukip leader has a vision for Britain that goes beyond material wealth 
  9. TV debates and “game changers” Independence Referendum, most current polling suggests that for the result to be anything other than a resounding vote to remain part of the UK, the Yes campaign will need a “game changer”.
  10. ‘Diversity’ has come to take on almost the opposite of its literal meaning 
  11. Britain First Fail Dismally In Attempt To Get Leader Arrested, Say He’s Been Arrested Anyway
  12. Christie to Test Presidential Hopes in Iowa Trip
  13. ‘Jihadi Vogue’ magazine lampoons Iraq’s Islamic State warriors. Spoof publication is part of growing satire campaign of Islamic State online propaganda
  14. Witness to a shelling: first-hand account of deadly strike on Gaza port. There is a deafening explosion, then a second. Four children are dead. Four survivors reach the safety of our hotel
  15. Israel and Hamas clash on social media
  16. Man arrested after stabbing watermelon in ‘passive-aggressive’ manner
  17. 33 “Sherlock” Puns That Will Tickle Your Punny Bone
  18. Friday is the 724th anniversary of The Hammer of the Scots becoming The Hammer of the Jews, with Edward I issuing the Edict of Expulsion.


How the Evening Standard is reporting the July 2014 Ipsos-MORI poll which has no change in LAB lead

July 16th, 2014

This is from Joe Murphy’s Standard report:-

” Ipsos MORI found just 22 per cent of the public say they like Mr Gove, while 54 per cent dislike him. A derisory 11 per cent think he has what it takes to be a prime minister, while 66 per cent say he does not.

The findings come from the final opinion poll taken before yesterday’s dramatic reshuffle when Mr Gove was demoted from Education Secretary to a new role combining Chief Whip and as “Minister for TV and Radio”.

It will fuel the belief that the minister was downgraded for becoming “toxic” to voters, but also beg a question whether he is the right person to front the Tory pre-election campaign.

Mr Gove’s ratings are worse than other big hitters whose jobs have involved them in major controversies. His policies at Education were liked by 25 per cent but disliked by 51 per cent — a two to one margin against.”


On a uniform swing Nicky Morgan’s Loughborough goes LAB even if CON win most votes nationally

July 16th, 2014

Ladbrokes make it LAB 10/11 and CON 10/11

The above table is based on the Electoral Calculus projection of what happens on national vote shares of CON 36, LAB 35.6, LD, 12, UKIP 9.

The seat highlighted is Nicky Morgan’s Loughborough which as can be seen would go LAB even though EdM’s party would be behind on national vote share. This would be the 316th LAB seat leaving the party ten short of an overall majority.

Morgan, who yesterday took over Michael Gove’s job as Secretary of State at Education, is the Tory cabinet minister who is most vulnerable at the election. Her seat is so on the margin that currently Ladbrokes have both CON and LAB as 10/11 joint favourites.

My purpose is to highlight the challenge facing the Tories because of the way the electoral system works. If by any chance the above national vote shares happened and the swing was the same in every seat LAB would come out with 28 more MPs than the Tories.

    In fact the Tories would still be losing seats to LAB even if they had a 6% national vote lead.

A part of this is down to the boundaries but not that much. The main reasons why the system appears to work so much in favour of the red team are much lower turnout levels in heartland seats and that the party finds it much harder to get its vote out in constituencies where the result is a foregone conclusion.

All of this can be upset by incumbents, particularly first time ones like Morgan, performing better than the national swing. Tory supporters shouldn’t rely too much on that. Some of the Ashcroft polling has shown that there is disproportionate LD-LAB switching in key battlegrounds.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Extraordinary. Gove was killed by Lynton Crosby’s private polling of teachers

July 15th, 2014

This matches YouGov polling pre-GE2010 and 2014


The re-shuffle continued:-

July 15th, 2014

John McTernan sums this up brilliantly