Archive for July, 2014

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What I cannot understand given their age profile is the lack of concern by UKIP voters about pensions and health

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

The table above is the latest issues polling by YouGov broken down by concerns for the country and for responders own families.

Given thatb the age profile of kippers is tilted to the higher end of the range their views on the lack of importance of, say, education is understandable. But what about health and pensions?

The detail from the poll shows that the 60+ group have the highest concern levels about these areas yet the UKIP voters don’t seem to worry about them that much.

    Could it be that those oldies currently backing Farage’s party are in good health and are reasonably well off.

This aspect of UKIP concerns has been showing for a long time. Today’s poll is not a fluke and is in line with what we’ve seen over the past year or so.

This has political implications. Chancellor Osborne has made a big move on pensions and the signs are that the Tory offer on this will feature strongly at GE2015. But if kippers aren’t that interested will it make any difference?

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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PB Nighthawks is now open

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Home of the web’s best political conversation

On A Night Like This, why not relax, and converse into the night on the day’s events in PB NightHawks.

If you’re a lurker, I Want You, to delurk.

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

  1. Britain has very little to fear from the ECHR. So why are so many Tories so afraid of it?
  2. Without older voters the Greens have little hope. Are the Greens set to become the latest party of significance? Their lack of support among older voters is pegging them at 5 per cent.
  3. Something amazing has happened to the Labour Party
  4. Lib Dem report calls for party to restore activist morale. The report said the Liberal Democrats made a mistake by placing themselves ‘as the direct opponents to Ukip’
  5. Your problem Prime Minister, is blowing in the wind.
  6. Could Ed Miliband’s Wife Turn Out To Be His ‘Secret Weapon’?
  7. Benefit sanctions hit most vulnerable people the hardest, report says. Claimants not told about hardship system and sanctions imposed when they were not at fault, DWP study finds
  8. Israel has discovered that it’s no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media. All you now need is a mobile phone and a Twitter account to hold power to account, and help change history
  9. EU free movement rules being exploited by drugs runners and human traffickers, says Government study
  10. Whitehall review into freedom of movement lands blow to Eurosceptics aiming to make radical changes to migration rules
  11. Bill Clinton accused of having a busty blonde mistress code-named ‘Energizer’ by his Secret Service detail who hide the woman from Hillary
  12. Selina Scott to decide whether to stand as an MP in next 48 hours
  13. 58% of British people who are very interested in cricket say that Alastair Cook should resign as England captain
  14. MH17: five of the most bizarre conspiracy theories. From Zionist plots to the Illuminati, some wildly imaginative alternatives are being promoted by the likes of Russian TV
  15. Thomas the Tank Engine had to shut the hell up to save children everywhere. Classism, sexism, anti-environmentalism bordering on racism: any parent who discovered these hidden lessons will be glad the show’s star just quit
  16. Today is the 716th anniversary of the Battle of Falkirk, when Edward Longshanks went all Malleus Scotorum forcing William Wallace to resign as Guardian of Scotland.


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Lord Ashcroft’s latest round of marginals polling finds that UKIP is hurting LAB more than CON

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

UKIP in lead in two of the seats polled

But there is good news for Ed Miliband

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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Polling UKIP: The recent record shows that YouGov got closest with ICM in second place

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

With so much variation in the UKIP share in recent polls it is perhaps worth recalling that the firm that got it most right the last time they were tested, the May 22nd Euros, was YouGov.

The figures are in the chart above and it is interesting that YouGov and ICM, the ones that did best on May 22nd, are continuing to show UKIP with smaller shares for the general election compared with other pollsters.

Later this morning Lord Ashcroft is publishing his latest CON-LAB marginals poll. This covers 14 CON held constituencies and has a sample of 14k.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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Tories drop 5 and UKIP up 3 in this week’s Ashcroft national poll

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Yet again the Ashcroft national phone poll has surprised us. This time with a 5% drop in CON support, 2% drop for LAB and a 3% increase for UKIP. Last week the Ashcroft figures were Con 32%, Lab 36%, Lib Dem 7%, UKIP 14%, Green 6%

This compares with the earlier Populus online phone poll that had the LAB lead moving from zero to 5%. Both are featured in the chart above.

The Ashcroft changes are bigger than the margin of error and this is his first national poll since the re-shuffle.

It is perhaps worth emphasising that neither the Ashcroft national poll nor the Populus online one have been tested at a general election.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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My anaylsis of 100+ polls shows that the 2010 LD voters who’ve switched to LAB are sticking and that’s bad news for the Tories

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Curtice is right: LD switchers aren’t going back “any time soon”

In a broad-ranging interview just published Britain’s leading political scientist, Professor John Curtice made these observations about Labour’s polling position and GE2015.

“..basically the reason why the Labour party is in the lead is because of the loss of Liberal Democrat support to Labour. It goes all the way back to 2010 and it’s not obvious that it’s going to go back anytime soon…

..I see no reason why the general election should result in a transfer of voters back from Labour to the Liberal Democrats unless there is a severe decline in Labour’s ability to offer anything. Because in a sense those Liberal Democrat voters that are going to Labour are primarily there because of push rather than pull..”

This has prompted me to look at the polling in more detail and to produce the trend chart above showing the monthly average in the twice-weekly Populus polls of 2010 LD voters now saying that they’ll vote Labour.

I chose Populus because there are at least 8 polls a month with an aggregate sample of more than 15k and it presents its data in a manner which makes this analysis easier. While YouGov polls show the proportion of LD>LAB switchers they exclude the don’t knows and refusers. I wanted to show the switchers as a proportion of all those who voted Lib Dem in 2010 including the large numbers of those who have still to make up their minds.

The Populus series started just over a year ago and there have been about 100 polls each of which has been analysed.

At GE2010 the Lib Dems secured just under 24% of the GB vote and a quarter of that represents a large slice of the electorate. Because of the importance of this to the general election outcome I plan to continue collecting data and producing regular reports right up to polling day.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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Lord Ashcroft’s latest round of CON-LAB marginals polling would be even more informative if the candidates were named

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

Are the blues getting a first time incumbency bonus?

I got into a good natured Twitter exchange last night with Lord Ashcroft about the seats that will be included in his next round of marginals polling due to be published in the next few days. In fact I needn’t have bothered because on the Saturday after the May 22nd local elections he said the following to a ConHome conference:

“This is the first in a series of similar surveys I will be conducting in the run-up to the election. In the next few weeks I will be publishing a poll of our battleground with the Lib Dems, and then Labour’s battleground with the Lib Dems. We will return regularly to each group of seats to track progress over the year.

So it’s pretty clear that the constituencies being polled will be the same as those in May.

Intriguingly Lord Ashcroft promised some surprises in his latest round and more, but no doubt, we’ll have to wait for publication before we know what those are.

One feature I really hope that Lord Ashcroft will incorporate is to name the candidates in each seat in the voting intention question. Many Tory hopes are being placed on first time incumbents in the key seats being defended doing better than national or regional swings and including their name could help measure this.

In almost all of the 14 seats the Labour and Conservative candidates are in place and it would not take much to incorporate their names.

In some of the seats Labour had taken the Broxtowe approach and chosen the ex-MP who lost in 2010 and it’s a moot point whether this will, in part, neutralise the effect.

I’ve no doubt that Lord Ashcroft is looking at his methodology with each new poll and I do hope that at some stage the named candidate approach will be incorporated.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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The Sunday Times YouGov findings on the reshuffle, Michael Gove, free schools, the “bedroom tax” and leaving the ECHR

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

Are the Tories still seen as the “nasty party?

The Gove move and his policies

The bedroom tax and the LDs

Support for leaving the ECHR on the decline