What are the lessons from the OES call-back poll?

What are the lessons from the OES call-back poll?

How did you actually vote in the by-election (Populus) CON 2010 % LAB 2010 % LD 2010 %
Conservative 49 0 3
Labour 5 91 29
Lib Dem 33 5 55
UKIP 9 1 7
BNP 2 1 0
GREEN 1 2 4

Is UKIP starting to benefit from the coalition?

The Tory peer and benefactor, Michael Ashcroft, funded a call-back poll in Oldham E and Saddleworth and the key voter churn figures are featured in the table.

This showed the proportion of Lib Dem general elections voters switching to Labour at 29% of the total – a figure that is almost exactly in line with recent national polls. The 7% of yellows going to UKIP seems quite high.

The Tory vote did fall sharply but not all because of blue-yellow switching. UKIP picked up nearly one on ten of Tory general election voters. A third of all Tory voters from last May moved to the Lib Dem.

Interestingly Populus asked why those who had voted tactically had actually done so. Fewer than one in ten said it was because of the Lib Dem campaign but 65% said it was because of the result of the last election. Whatever they said I reckon a lot of the awareness of the general election result – Woolas by 103 votes – was down to the famous bar-charts.

Could the blues have won if they’d tried harder? Lord Ashcroft, in his commentary, reckons not.

Mike Smithson

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