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After all the hype from UKIP about the 5pm defection – it’s all about the defector who defected in the morning

October 1st, 2014

Memo to Nigel: I don’t think the journalists who have been dragged to Gloucestershire will be impressed. You should always under promise and over deliver.

 

TSE




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Cameron’s speech: the reaction

October 1st, 2014

It would appear tax cuts, the NHS, don’t let Labour ruin it and vote Nigel and get Ed is the Tory strategy for 2015.

 


 

The vote Nigel get Ed meme is interesting, in the recent Lord Ashcroft national poll, UKIP voters preferred a Tory government to a Labour government by 27% to 23%, it may not be the panacea the Tories hope it will be, but if it is a close election, every vote helps.

All of this could well be overshadowed by any further defection(s) tonight, but in the medium to long term, it should shift some votes to the Tories, if it doesn’t then I’m not sure what else there is left for the Tories to do to retain power in May 2015.

TSE



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As Dave’s big speech begins – Rumour has it the third defection is expected at 5pm

October 1st, 2014

TSE



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Will UKIP overshadow Cameron’s big day?

October 1st, 2014

As the focus is on a defector, Dave is set to make the NHS the centre piece of the election.

Coupled with the seven day a week GP promise announced yesterday, it is clear what the Tories will be focussing upon. I suspect the NHS will form a key part of the election battle. It will be risky business for both the Blues and Reds. David Cameron will constantly have the breaking of his “no more top down reorganisation” promise being referenced by his opponents, whilst the Blues will undoubtedly mention the events in Stafford and the Labour run NHS in Wales.

This may also be an attempt to blunt any UKIP defection. Nigel Lawson famously said ”The NHS is the closest thing the English have to a religion.” Cameron may well argue, that whilst UKIP talk about all things Europe, he is talking about the things matter to key voters.

One of David Cameron’s most impressive achievements was to make the Tories the most trusted with the NHS. He may well be attempting a repeat performance.

On the defection front, The Times are reporting (££)

Nigel Farage stoked rumours of further defections to Ukip last night by announcing a mysterious event timed to coincide with David Cameron’s conference speech.

The Ukip leader would meet “somebody of interest” today in Bristol, sources said. The party promised to reveal the news this morning before holding a press conference just before evening news bulletins.

As Corporeal noted on twitter yesterday.

Unfortunately Ladbrokes have pulled their next MP to defect market, but William Hill have on how many MPs will defect.

Note, the terms of this bet How many sitting MP’s will defect to UKIP between the dates of the Clacton By Election and the UK General Election due in May 2015.

So any MP who defects today won’t count for the purposes of this bet.

TSE



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UKIP down 2 in this month’s ComRes phone poll for the Independent

September 30th, 2014

The fieldwork was Friday to Sunday inclusive, so some of it was conducted during Mark Reckless’ defection and Brooks Newmark’s resignation. There’ll probably be relief at Tory HQ, given that and the the polling was conducted in the aftermath of the Labour conference that they are up 1% and not down a significant amount. As with most other pollsters, there’s been no bounce for Labour post their conference. As ever, conference polling can be erratic, and we should wait until the after the conference season before reading too much into the polls.

On dealing with ISIS

Some 45 per cent of the public trust the Prime Minister to make the right decisions on tackling the jihadist group, but only 28 per cent trust the Labour leader to do so.  Although 49 per cent do not trust Mr Cameron to make the right judgements on  the issue, some 63 per cent do not trust Mr Miliband. Four in 10 (41 per cent) of Labour voters trust Mr Cameron to make the right decisions on Isis, but only 18 per cent of Conservative supporters trust Mr Miliband.

Some 48 per cent believe that taking part in such action will make Britain safer in the long term, while 42 per cent disagree. Men (53 per cent) are more likely to agree that such action will make the UK safer than women (41 per cent).

Only 38 per cent agree with the statement that the situation in Iraq and Syria is “none of our business and we should stay out of it,” while 56 per cent disagree.

TSE



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Marf on Theresa May’s new anti-terrorist measures

September 30th, 2014

If you would like to purchase one of Marf’s prints or originals, please contact her here.



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Memo to the Tories: Never hate your enemies. It affects your judgement

September 30th, 2014

Since the defection of Mark Reckless to UKIP, I’ve not been surprised at the opprobrium heaped at Mark Reckless from the Tories, mostly because of his timing and his assurances that he wouldn’t defect.

The above tweet, shows the depth of the anger, the thing that should concern the Tories, is the anger and hate is flowing from the very top of the party.

Last night it was reported that David Cameron had used some very salty language when talking about the defector Reckless 

The Prime Minister toured the regional receptions getting steadily more pumped up in his anger about Reckless’s duplicity. Rumour is rife the words ‘effing Reckless’, ‘fat arse’ and ‘dick head’ were blurted out in various versions of a tub-thumping turn by Cameron. The Tories are going to fight Rochester hard – that was very clear by the time the PM arrived at Conservative Home’s late night reception for the 1922 Committee. By then Dave was in full blown Mr Angry mode, telling activists and media types that Reckless would be punished.

Boris Johnson, last night chipped in with a speech, that was largely reported as him saying  ‘Tories who defect to Ukip are kind of people who have sex with vacuum cleaners’

There’s a danger these could be seen as attacks on UKIP voters, the voters the Tories need to win to ensure they win the Rochester & Strood by election and the 2015 General Election.

Ken Clarke’s comments yesterday will not have helped either, he said Farage had “absorbed the BNP vote” and “taken on board BNP followers. He said there was “a nasty undertone” in Farage’s movement. “He does attract elderly male people who have had disappointing lives,”

That said, were another Tory MP defect either today or tomorrow, thus overshadowing David Cameron’s speech, then I expect the opprobrium heaped upon them, will be on another scale than that which has been aimed at Mark Reckless so far.

So my advice, Keep Calm Dave, and focus on winning.

TSE



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Lord Ashcroft tells the Tories that first time incumbency bonus is not a right – its something that has to be earned

September 30th, 2014

Why things might be very different on May 7th next year

One of the great hopes that the Tories have clung onto as their polling deficits continue is what’s known as “first time incumbency bonus” – the extra benefit that those MPs defending their seats for the first time have experienced in the past. The chart above shows the average increases in CON votes shares last time based on different categories of seat.

As can be seen new candidates seeking to retain CON seats saw the smallest increases while first time incumbents saw the largest. But will the same happen next May?

In his now large number of single constituency marginal polls Lord Ashcroft has sought to test the impact of incumbency by asking a two stage voting intention question. The first being the standard one and the second asks respondents to think specifically above their own seat and what they might do.

In his report on the latest batch of CON-LD battles the first question results in the LDs being on 20% and the Tories on 36%. The second question responses take this to 32% each which represents a swing of just 2% from LD to CON since 2010.

That’s a colossal turnaround and one which keeps yellow hopes alive. But for Tory incumbents there’s been a very different experience with in some seats no increase being found at all. This is from Lord Ashcroft’s analysis.

“… Historically, MPs standing for re-election after their first term have enjoyed a bigger (or suffered a smaller) swing than their party more widely. My constituency polling, with its two voting intention questions, has allowed us to see to what extent the supposed incumbency advantage is taking effect. Reviewing the results of my seat-by-seat surveys published since May we find that while the Lib Dem vote climbs when voters in Lib Dem seats are asked to think about their local area, this is not always the case for the Conservative vote in Conservative seats. Indeed in the last group of Conservative-held marginals I surveyed in July, the Tory vote fell on the “own constituency” question more often than it rose.

So what is going on? Much of the discussion about this subject effect seems to assume that the incumbency effect is something that just happens to a politician. But it is not – it is something he or she creates (or doesn’t). Incumbency is not so much an advantage in itself as an opportunity to build a profile, make a reputation, and achieve the things that will ultimately be rewarded on election day. I suspect new MPs, knowing they will have a battle to hold on to their often marginal seats, have in the past worked harder than most, thereby creating what has become known as the “first-time” effect. I further suspect that some have registered the existence of the phenomenon without having understood the reasons for it, and now think it will be bestowed upon them gratis by a benevolent electorate. The MPs who enjoy the biggest boost from incumbency will be the ones who earn it.

I’d add another big reason. The Tories are currently the main party of government and there’s data to suggest that incumbency is less of a benefit.

Whatever wise words from Lord A.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble