Archive for the ' General Election' Category


LDs up 3 to 12 – the big mover in this month’s ComRes phone poll for the Independent

Monday, December 15th, 2014

CON/LAB/LD all up – UKIP/GREEN down

The LDs will be delighted with this poll even though they are only half the level that they got at GE2010 – but this is a bit of progress. UKIP and the Greens are down while LAB and move up.

It should emphasised that the long-standing ComRes series of phone polls for the Independent is completely separate from the monthly online surveys from the Indy on Sunday.

Tonight’s poll also found that those sampled rejected Osborne’s plan to cut public spending faster in order to run a budget surplus by a margin of 2-1. Some 30% of people agree that government spending should be reduced until the deficit is cleared and the budget in surplus, even if this means severe cuts to public services, but 66%t disagreed.

By a margin more than two to one, people do not trust either David Cameron or Ed Miliband to cut public spending without harming services like the NHS, as both promise to do. The two leaders have identical scores: 28% say they trust them to achieve this, while 67% do not.

And from Survation a non-surprise from Dave’s Witney

My only comment on this is what a wasted opportunity. What we want is data on marginals and Scotland where there has been an absence of constituency polling.

UNITE want to draw attention to their TIPP campaign which is why they’ve funded this. But why not go for seats that would be newsworthy?


Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


The SNP is betting favourite to win in just 4 of the 41 LAB-held Scottish seats. See chart

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

However upbeat the Nats might appear they don’t seem ready to bet


Will Jim Murphy arrest Labour’s slide in the Scottish polls or will it get worse? Enter the competition

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

What’s the December Record/Survation poll going to show?

There’s little doubt that the biggest uncertainty about next May’s general election is what’s going to happen in the 41 seats that Labour currently holds in Scotland. If recent polling turns out to be right they could be left with barely half a dozen of them – an outcome that could have a catastrophic impact on the party’s hope to return to power.

It is in this context that the new leader of Scottish Labour, Jim Murphy, takes on his new role watched by an ever attentive Scottish media. How will the new man impact on the polls?

My understanding is that fieldwork for the December Daily Record Scotland poll by Survation will start this week and its findings will be eagerly awaited.

    What is your guess of what the poll will show? Last month it was SNP 46, LAB 24, CON 17, LD 6. What will be the change in in terms of number of percentage points to the SNP lead to two decimal points?

The precise figure will be calculated from the pollster’s detailed data. If you think that Labour will be in the lead then enter a minus number for the SNP margin.

The three closest entrants will receive the new excellent new e-books by PBer Andy Cooke, the Fourth Lectern and the Fifth Lectern. These are a fascinating counter-factual about what could have happened if UKIP had had a lectern in the 2010 TV debates.

Thanks to Nojam for once again producing a competition widget. My rulings on all matters associated with the competition are final

The competition closes at 2200 tomorrow.


Is there anybody brave enough to risk hard earned cash on what the next government will be?

Friday, December 12th, 2014

See how Betfair punters are confused

I’ve gone on any other.


The media narrative turns against the purples as the prospect of getting more MPs grows

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Whatever happens over Hamilton it will be wrong

The former Conservative MP for Tatton who lost out to Martin Bell in 1997 has been much in the news of late as he has tried to be selected for a winnable seat for UKIP at GE15. The latest development, according to a report on the FT’s front page, is that spread-betting multi-millionaire and second biggest donor to the party, Stuart Wheeler, has threatened to turn the tap off if Hamilton doesn’t get selected.

In the past week Hamilton’s efforts to be the Boston & Skegness candidate and now Basildon are said, according to reports, to have been thwarted by what are being described as “dirty tricks”.

A senior party member told the FT: “This is all to do with Nigel’s ego. He thinks he may not win in Thanet South [the seat for which he has been selected], so he is determined to bring Neil down. He cannot bear the thought Neil might be an MP but not Nigel.

This is the first general election, of course, where UKIP has a serious prospect of picking up some MPs and inevitably there’s a huge amount of media interest particularly when someone as well-known as Neil Hamilton is in the frame.

These latest developments come in a month when things have been tougher in the media for the party and its leader and it could be like this right up to May 7th.

The Hamilton case is difficult to resolve. Facing a crucial election UKIP desperately needs the resources that Stuart Wheeler is able to bring but it cannot be seen to be giving in to a major donor.

Mr. Wheeler used to be a big donor to the Conservatives. Maybe he could return.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Latest polling from Thanet South has Farage trailing the Tories by 5% – yet in the betting he’s a 62% chance

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

A case methinks of hearts over heads

As a general rule political betting prices and polling tend to run in parallel particularly in the constituencies.

So when earlier this month Lord Ashcroft published his latest round there was a rush of activity when apparently obvious bargain appeared. One such one was Nigel Farage’s Thanet South where following the numbers being available the UKIP price of 2/5 eased to 5/6. An earlier Ashcroft poll had had Farage with a 3% lead. The latest put the Tories 5% ahead.

Yet in the past fortnight we’ve the the UKIP price getting a bit tighter and is now 8/13 making the seat just about the only one in the country where betting and the polling are showing a very different picture.

    My expectation is that the Tories will mount a tough campaign against Farage with a message that what the area, with all its economic problems, least needs is a part-time MP.

    No doubt the blues could make constant references to Farage’s voting and attendance record in Brussels. Maybe even there’ll be references to his Euro-expenses.

But Farage is party leader and will surely get a boost from that. He’ll be the one on the TV every night and also, if they are held, appearing in at least one of the debates.

In spite of the polling I’d still rate his chances quite highly.

I’m on the Tories here at 11/4 in a bet I got on just after the Ashcroft poll came out.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Why UKIP is set to damage Tories a lot more than LAB at GE2015

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

LAB lost much of its traditional support long before the UKIP surge

Today I’m off to London for a big event in Westminster to promote the GE2015 British Election Study – a huge academic imitative involving the universities of Manchester, Oxford and Nottingham that in the coming months will become an essential resource to all who follow politics closely.

The rise and rise of UKIP is going to be a big focus and this afternoon we are going to be told that Farage’s party will inflict much more damage on the Conservative Party in the 2015 General Election than on Labour.

One interesting insight, from Professor Geoff Evans, from the University of Oxford (Nuffield College) and a Co-Director of the BES, is that many of Labour’s core supporters had already deserted their party between 2001 and 2010 as a reaction to Tony Blair and New Labour and have since moved to UKIP.

However, while much of this damage has already been done to Labour, the switch from the Conservatives to Ukip is still happening.

“BES data shows quite clearly that it’s the Conservative Party who need to worry most about the threat of Ukip – because those people who supported Labour have in the main, already made the switch.

“New Labour’s move to the liberal consensus on the EU and immigration in 2001, 2005 and 2010, left many of their core voters out in the cold a long time before UKIP were around.”

Also at the event, Professor Ed Fieldhouse from The University of Manchester and fellow BES Co-Director will show, using BES data, that Ukip and the Greens are disadvantaged because their supporters have less like-minded friends.

The smaller parties, he argues, have fewer fellow travellers to discuss their politics with and are therefore less likely to hear positive messages of support about those parties.

No doubt I’ll be posting later.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


UKIP move up 3 to 19% in latest Lord Ashcroft phone poll

Monday, December 8th, 2014

LAB 31-1: CON 30=: LD 8+1: UKIP 19+3: GRN 5%-1

How the alternative vote would have impacted on voting

Tories now level-pegging in England