h1

It could be that GE2015 is determined by Scottish IndyRef NO voters who are currently undecided about GE15

December 22nd, 2014

The above stats are tucked on one of the spreadsheets for the latest Scottish poll from Survation for the Daily Record.

What is striking is the very different don’t know levels on Westminster voting intention between those who voted YES in the referendum and those who VOTED NO.

My reading is that a significant proportion of these DKs are possibly considering tactical voting. Do they support the party in their constituency which is most likely to stop the SNP or do they follow their normal party allegiance?

It has been a pointer in the past that high level of tactical voting are seen amongst segments of the electorate who say don’t know to the voting question. It’s likely will be in the heat of the election in the final few days, I guess, when they come to their decisions.

The proportion of 1 in 5 of the NO voters from last September is a very significant part of the Scottish electorate. Do they stick with their normal allegiance or do they try to stop a party they do not want to get elected?

That is the classic tactical dilemma for a lot of voters and my guess is that we will see more such voting at next May than ever before.

In many ways a lot depends on how the SNP and the moves on greater devolution are perceived in the coming months.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble





h1

Blow for Jim Murphy as first Scottish poll following his election has LAB trailing by 24 points

December 22nd, 2014

Survation Record poll shows scale of his challenge

With LAB’s fortunes on May 7th so tied up with how the party performs in what was its Scottish stronghold there’s a big blow this morning with the publication of the December Scotland poll for the Daily Record.

If this were to be repeated at the General Election then the red team would almost be wiped out north of the border and the SNP would take in excess of 50 of Scotland’s 59 seats.

It goes almost without saying that losing 30+ MPs in Scotland makes LAB’s overall General Election challenge even greater and would almost certainly rule out the possibility of an overall majority. It would also put the SNP in a very strong position at Westminster in discussions over the post election government.

There is a smidgeon of positive news for LAB in the poll as the Record reports:

“…30 per cent of Labour voters and 37 per cent of Tory voters said: “ The Scottish Labour Party will be more successful now Jim Murphy has been elected leader”. Only three per cent of Labour voters and eight per cent of Tories said that the party would be less successful.

There is also evidence of a soft side to the SNP vote. Asked if they would seriously consider voting for another party 21 per cent of those intending to vote SNP say they would seriously consider voting Labour”

Previous Scottish polls with figures like these have failed to budge the Scottish single seat markets. Last week the SNP was only down as favourite to win 4 seats currently held by LAB. This suggests a lack of confidence on the ground.

The next big Scottish polling news will be the promised Lord Ashcroft single seats surveys with their two-stage voting question that asks voters to focus on the constituency and the candidates who might stand. Will incumbency temper some of the SNP surge and could we see tactical pro-union voting?

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




h1

The polling data on immigration is perhaps more nuanced than many think

December 21st, 2014

YouGov on views of who should be allowed in



h1

BES study shows that voters in LD seats have far more trust in their MPs than those in LAB or CON constituencies

December 21st, 2014

A bit of Xmas cheer for the LDs

Earlier in the month a big divide appeared between the huge joint university initiative, the British Election Study, and Lord Ashcroft’s polling of individual CON facing LD held seats. The former pointed to disaster while aggregate data from latter’s latest batch found that the yellows were 9% ahead.

    The reason, of course, is that you get very different responses in these seats when you ask voters, as Lord A does, to think specifically about the candidates who will stand locally and the generic national voting questions.

This was very much reinforced by the above BES data from Nottingham’s Prof Phil Cowley, on the differing responses when you ask whether people trust their own MPs. The actual question was how much trust responders had in MPs ‘in general’ and how much they have in the MP ‘in your local constituency’. The response were on a seven point scale, from 1 (no trust) to 7 (a lot of trust).

The chart shows views of those in LAB/CON and LD-held seats and highlights the split between those who say they will vote for their incumbent (supporters) and those who won’t (opponents).

As can be seen there was a markedly different response pattern from those in CON and LAB held seats and those in LD ones. Even opponents in the latter had a net negative of just 4.4%.

Another interesting finding was whether voters knew the name of their MP. Of those with Labour MPs, under 70% knew his/her while for Tories, the figure was just over 70%. But of those with LD MPs, the name recognition level was 82%.

The Lib Dems look set to lose a lot of MPs on May 7th but not on the scale that poll ratings of 6% suggest.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


.



h1

First poll of the weekend from Opinium sees LAB lead move to 7%

December 20th, 2014

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

LAB lead now 7% with Opinium

YouGov has LAB 2% ahead with, as per usual, CON in the 30s

We are almost there – the final polls of the 2014. Generally there’s a complete break over the holiday period and the polling schedule returns to normal in the New Year.

Tonight I’m only aware of Opinium for the Observer and the usual YouGov for the Sunday Times. I’ve heard some rumours about one set of data but I’m not reporting anything till things are published.

This post will be updated as the numbers come in.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




h1

It could be that telling the pollster that you’ll vote GREEN is a polite way of saying don’t know

December 20th, 2014

Look at the very high proportion of non-voters

With Green growth being the polling story of the week I thought the time was right to look at where expressions of support for the party are coming from.

The chart above shows the breakdown from the last batch of Lord Ashcroft’s marginals polling where there’s a big enough sample to look at subsets.

For me the striking feature is the large number who did not vote for any of the main three parties at the last election.

I remain of the view that lack of a past voting history is not a good indicator that people will turnout at the General Election.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




h1

Local By-Election Results : December 18th 2014

December 19th, 2014

St. James on Kingston upon Thames (Con defence)
Result: Conservative 1,123 (43%), Liberal Democrat 865 (33%), Labour 355 (14%), UKIP 206 (8%), Green 71 (3%)
Conservative HOLD with a majority of 258 (10%)

Ollerton on Nottinghamshire (Lab defence)
Result: Labour 1,171 (56% -2%), Conservative 533 (26% +4%), UKIP 347 (17% -3%), Liberal Democrat 24 (1%, no candidate last time)
Labour HOLD with a majority of 638 (31%) on a swing of 3% from Labour to Conservative



h1

New polling suggests that voters are becoming more comfortable with multi party government

December 19th, 2014

Warnings about the dangers of hung parliaments might have less resonance

One of the reasons why the LDs went into coalition in 2010 because they wanted to show that multi-party governments were possible. This followed an intensive end to the GE10 campaign when much of the Tory focus was designed increase worries and about what having an inconclusive outcome might mean.

Well four and a half years in the coalition has survived and there appears to be not too much appetite for single party government judging by the record polling lows for the aggregate CON+LAB share, now down to about 60% with the phone pollsters.

This is reinforced this morning by polling that suggests that voters prefer a multi-party political system, and not one dominated by the traditional big two parties. It was carried out by ComRes for the Electoral Reform Society.

The survey, which covered the 40 most marginal Conservative-Labour constituencies (ie. the areas where the traditional two-party battle ought to be fiercest) found that:

  • 67% believe the rise of smaller parties such as UKIP and the Greens is good for democracy (against just 16% who support the opposite)
  • 51% believe it is better to have several smaller parties than two big parties (against 27% who oppose)
  • 50% believe the era of two parties dominating British politics is over (against 32% who oppose)
  • The same poll showed that people are comfortable with the implications of a multi-party system, and prefer parties to work together in the common interest rather than continually attack each other:

  • 78% believe the Opposition should work with the government on issues they agree on
  • 54% believe Parliament works best when no party is too dominant so that cross-party agreement is needed to pass laws
  • Mike Smithson

    2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble