UKIP is not winning the 2010 Tory vote like it did in Clacton
Reckless has nothing like the personal support as Carswell
The outcome could be on a knife-edge
I’ve become totally absorbed by the Rochester by-election the outcome of which, either way, will have a dramatic affect on the political environment in the six months to the May 7th general election.
Over the weekend I’ve had a look again at the only poll so far which was from Survation. This had UKIP’s Mark Reckless with an 8.7% margin a large part of which was made up of non-voters from 2010 and a disproportionate number of those saying they voted for “others”.
In fact if standard ICM methodology, rather than Survation’s, had been used with the same data then the main two protagonists could have been almost level pegging with Labour not far behind. This is because ICM discounts the views of non-voters from last time by 50% and also re-allocates part of the “will vote -won’t say” segment to the party they supported last. Also 2010 “others” would have been scaled down.
UKIP, of course, gave Reckless a free ride in 2010 so there’s no 2010 data relating to the party to link back to.
Lord Ashcroft, who hasn’t polled this yet, is much closer in his approach to ICM and when he does he’ll be naming the candidates in his survey.
Survation was first off with a Clacton poll and followed that up a fortnight ago with its Rochester survey. Apart from the voting ones questions were almost identical allowing us to compare the two sets of data to identify the differences.
The key ones to me are how much worse Reckless’s defection is viewed in Rochester compared with Carswell and how in Rochester the Tories are hanging on to much more of their 2010 vote. The comparisons are shown in the two charts and do not look good for UKIP.
I still think that Reckless is favourite but nothing like the 78% chance that he’s being rated at on Betfair.