Archive for June, 2014

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The ComRes phone poll for the Indy and YouGov complete the biggest polling day since GE2010

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Only Ashcroft has CON in the lead

The one thing that is absolutely certain about GE2015 is that it will be the most polled general election ever.

Today we’ve had four full national voting intention polls which I don’t think has happened since May 5th 2010. Just keeping up has been challenging and interpreting the data even harder.

The LAB lead increased with Populus but has dropped with YouGov and ComRes and there’s been crossover with Ashcroft.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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A Juncker boost for DC? Latest Ashcroft phone poll sees the Tories back in the lead

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Even though LAB would be behind on they’d be top party



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The polls might be pointing to a comfortable LAB majority – but punters aren’t convinced

Monday, June 30th, 2014

LAB’s chances now rated at below 30%

We’ve not looked at the overall GE2015 betting markets for some while but over the three and a half months since the budget there has been a steady decline in LAB prices with a tightening of both the hung parliament possibility and a CON majority.

Check on the chart above to see how things have changed since the budget. A LAB majority down from nearly 40% to 29.8%; CON majority up nearly 5% to above 44% and the Tories rated by the markets as a 25.6% chance.

Just to note that these are calculated by taking the last traded price on Betfair and expressing it as a percentage.

For value Tory punters can do far better by going onto the single constituency markets. Labour punters are best served by risking their cash on the national outcome.

I’ve not yet gone in but if the LAB majority price edges a bit down further we’ll reach a stage where it is a really good value bet.

Upcoming polling: This afternoon there’ll be the Lord Ashcroft phone poll followed by another phone poll later in the evening. Tomorrow sees Lord Ashcroft publishing his LAB-LD marginals survey.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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Monday morning polling round-up with worrying figures for LAB in ComRes marginals poll

Monday, June 30th, 2014

If this was the only marginals polling about LAB would be pressing the panic button

In the second in the ComRes series of ‘Battlebus’ polls of the 40 most marginal LAB-CON constituencies, Labour holds a 5% lead over CON. At GE2010 the two parties were tied on 37% across these 40 seats. 25 of the seats included currently have CON MPs – the other 15 LAB ones.

When analysing all poll findings from the marginals the key thing is the comparison with what happened in the same seats at GE2010.

    So although this is positive for LAB and shows improvement on the May poll the swing of 2.5% on the last general election is nothing like on the scale required and on these figures they would struggle to get most seats.

The swing is far lower than that coming out of current national polls or what other recent surveys of the marginals have found. With an online sample of 1k it is not on the same scale as the Ashcroft 26k sample phone polling of LAB-CON marginals.

Latest Electoral Calculus projection: LAB majority 48(+20)

Some positive polling news for the LDs on students

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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Exactly 9 months tomorrow the 2010-2015 Parliament will be dissolved triggering the formal start of GE2015

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

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Are we ready for a five and a half week long campaign?

We’ve all known for four years that the Fixed Term Parliament Act lays down that the next general election will be held on May 7th 2015.

One thing a lot of people have missed is that the formal campaign period will be far longer than we’ve seen in the past. The 2013 Electoral Registration & Administration Act 2013 extends the length of the statutory timetable for from 17 to 25 working days. Add on all the public holidays and weekend days and you get to five and a half weeks.

    That is a lot longer than we are used to and adds a new unknown into this election

My guess is that the parties will defer things like manifesto launches until after Easter Monday which takes place on April 6th.

A key factor during the campaign period is that the broadcasters are under strict rules and those parties designated as being “major” will get guaranteed air-time. Those that aren’t won’t.

This could make a huge difference to UKIP which enjoyed “major party” status in the run up to the Euros on May 22nd. Although it topped the national vote share on that day there is no guarantee that a party which failed to win a single seat in 2010 will be officially designated a major party for the general election.

Winning a by-election between now and then could make a big difference to its case.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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LAB jump 4% to take 9 point lead in first post Juncker voting intention poll

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

The comparisons in the chart are from Survation poll taken in the days after the May 22nd Euros.

The fact that this poll coincides with a week that saw the Coulson verdict and the Cameron stand-off in the EU over the presidency doesn’t necessarily mean that these events have impacted on voting plans.

    We have always got to be careful not to confuse correlation with causation. We need more polling before we can start to draw any conclusions.

But Labour will be mighty pleased with these numbers particularly after the ongoing attacks that have been coming from all sides, even Miiband’s own party, about his leadership. If EdM is a drag on his party then that isn’t showing up in the voting intention polls.

To the EU referendum voting question Survation found 47% saying they’d vote to leave and 39% saying stay.

Recent research from Manchester Uni found Survation as the most UKIP friendly pollster with shares for the party averaging 4.4% higher

Some points from S Times YouGov carried out before Survation

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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Latest projections from Oxford’s Stephen Fisher have the battle getting tighter

Saturday, June 28th, 2014



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David Herdson says “Britain’s EU exit is now when, not if”

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

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The Juncker class are the problem not the solution

The nomination of Jean-Claude Juncker as next EU Commission President has moved Britain substantially closer to leaving the Union.  On the one hand, Britain was marginalised in a process that has traditionally been built on consensus; on the other, the attitude of the Euro-elite – including Juncker – to the European Parliament election results has been to ignore the opposition to the EU direction of travel and carry on as normal.

The justification from Juncker and his allies is a simple one: his party group won the election and therefore as their nominee, he has the right to the job.  It’s an argument the Socialists back, though as the only other group who could benefit from it, their support is hardly disinterested.  Even so, they’re both wrong.  The EPP did not win the election.  They might have ended with most seats but were 155 seats short of a majority; in terms of dynamics, they went rapidly backwards.  If the leaders were really taking account of the EP results, they would nominate someone pledged to reform rather than more of the same but it’s clear that’s not what they want.

Consequently, both the fact of Juncker’s nomination and the reasons for it mean that Cameron’s stated objective of achieving EU reform is now very visibly more difficult than ever.  Not only will there be little support for it from the Commission or many other leaders but it will be a tougher domestic sell too: if he can’t win this fight, how can he win the much more difficult one he’d like to take on?  It’s a question UKIP will no doubt keep raising and which could well make a small but not insignificant impact at the 2015 election – which of course Cameron has to win if negotiations are even to start.

There have always been three likely medium-term routes to UK exit.  The first is that a Cameron-led government negotiates but fails to convince the UK electorate in the ensuing referendum; the second is that such a government fails to even win an agreement it can itself back (or which the Tory Party and MPs force it to refuse to back), and so supports Out; the third is that Labour form the next government, for both the Tories and the country move to even more Eurosceptic positions during that parliament and then for the Tories return to office in 2020 with EU exit on their platform.  All three have become more likely these last few days to the extent that I’d make it odds-on that Britain leaves sometime within the next decade.

The analysis, vision and principles that Cameron laid out in his speech on the EU in January 2013 remain as valid now as then, particularly his explicit rejection of the ‘ever closer union’ commitment.  What’s clear is that the European Council has, by nominating someone so bound up in and committed to the EuroProject as Juncker, chosen to reject both that alternative route and the surge of opinion across the EU opposed to the status quo that the Juncker class represents.

If that is so, then there doesn’t seem any obvious reason why they should change their mind or attitude after 2015.  As such, reform may be all but impossible.  In which case, British exit is merely a question of when, not if.

David Herdson