New Survation Scottish poll finds No would have a 6% lead if there was another IndyRef

November 17th, 2014

Survation’s NO lead could be good news for LAB

Polls focused solely on Scotland have been very rare since the country voted to remain in the UK on September 18t. So a new one is special particularly because of the apparent impact that the referendum has had on opinion north of the border.

Thankfully the Daily Record has commissioned the joint top most accurate IndyRef pollster, Survation, to carry out regular surveys the first one of which appears in the paper this morning.

The data appears to be being released in two parts the first of which relates to views now about the IndyRef and how people would vote if given another opportunity. The result is in the Tweet above – after excluding don’t knows the split was 53-47 to NO which was exactly the same as Survation’s final poll on September 17th. The view of independence appears not to have changed.

    This contrasts sharply with the Ipsos-MORI finding three weeks ago that YES has more support than NO. Has there been a real change or is it just different polling approaches?

We don’t know but it was that Ipsos-MORI poll that alerted us to a massive surge in SNP support.

Those sampled by Survation were asked when if ever there should be another IndyRef. This was the outcome.

So getting on for three in ten of Scots don’t want another vote ever which is twice as many who want another referendum immediately.

Hopefully we’ll see the latest Scottish GE2015 voting intention data later on this evening if indeed that question was asked. A huge issue is whether it will show the splits that Ipsos-MORI recorded three weeks ago suggesting that LAB could lose to the SNP almost all the 41 Scottish seats it currently holds.

The impact of that polling was to throw into doubt Labour’s ability to secure an overall majority on May 7th.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Now the focus is on post-Rochester. Will there be more defectors and if so how many?

November 16th, 2014

Westminster twlight


How voting patterns can be very different depending on the tactical situation in each constituency

November 16th, 2014

What will this mean with the UKIP surge next May?

The chart above seeks to look at the mean vote changes of the main parties in different categories of seats based on which came first and second in 2005 and in doing so gives an interesting picture of what happened with, perhaps, some pointers to next May.

The LAB vote showed the largest range with, interestingly, the biggest drop-off in support in those seats where it didn’t matter – those where the Tories were in first place over Labour in 2005. Notice how in that segment the LDs enjoyed their best performances – where it had no impact on the overall election outcome.

    Could it be that the UKIP surge will be like the Cleggasm movers of 2010 – with the purples doing best in terms of votes in the seats least likely to change hands?

In seats where the yellows were fighting Labour there was no sign of any anti-Labour tactical voting from Tory supporters. In LD/LAB seats both the Tories and Labour did better than average whereas in LAB/LD seats the vote share for Clegg’s party rose by only 0.4 percent – half the national average.

In CON-LD battle-grounds there doesn’t seem to be much evidence of any new tactical voting by Labour supporters to stop the blues making progress.

All of this, was, of course, then. It could all be very different on May 7th as is being suggested in Lord Ashcroft’s constituency polling.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Some relief for LAB/Ed with ComRes online as lead moves up to 4%

November 15th, 2014

LAB 34%= CON 30%-1 UKIP 19%= LD 8%+1 GRN 3%-1

So only very slight movement well within the margin of error in voting intentions.

The findings from the poll that I’ve highlighted in the chart are on perceptions of Dave which I think get to the heart of the challenges for both leaders. People can’t imagine Ed at Number 10 while Dave is not seen as someone who stand up for working people. Also the perception is that a CON government will cut a lot more than a LAB one.

All of this is what is likely to play in the election campaign.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


As the Rochester campaign moves into its final frenetic days your chance to predict the outcome in a PB prize competition

November 15th, 2014

Please enter your prediction on the embedded form below.

The winner will receive a copy of the new book edited by Philip Cowley and Rob Ford Sex Lies & The Ballot Box” which was launched earlier this month and has attracted a fair bit of publicity.

I am grateful to Nojam.com for helping create a competition entry system that allows everything to take place on the PB page whilst retaining our existing comments structure. This is the first time we’ve tried embedding the Nojam interface. I think it works well.

As usual my ruling on all matters concerning the competition is final.

Entries will close after Homeland tomorrow night at 2205.

Remember the post-Rochester PB gathering

Next PB gathering Friday Nov 21 - the day after the by-election. It will be in the usual place - Dirty Dicks pub opposite Liverpool Street station London from 1830. Note that the pub is likely to be very crowded with its normal clientèle on Friday night but that we have a special area set aside. This is on the first floor tight at the back. Thanks again to Fat Steve for making the arrangements.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


David Herdson on Saturday: Harriet Harman could become LAB’s Michael Howard?

November 15th, 2014


The risks of an election can be avoided by not holding one

Sixty thousand tweets of support for Ed Miliband this last week may have put a dampener on speculation about his leadership survival prospects, though not as much as the definitive statement from Alan Johnson ruling himself out of any future contest. For all the goodwill in the country, those who have the Labour leader’s future in their hands remain the MPs and shadow ministers at Westminster.

For the reality remains that as long as Miliband’s personal ratings remain so poor, and as long as the direction of travel in Labour’s polling is southward, he is only one blunder or comment or interpretation from ‘another leadership crisis’ in the reporting of the media.

That may not matter as far as his future as leader goes: Labour has little history of ditching its leaders and the very fact of the tweetfest shows the instinctive loyalty of many of his supporters. On the other hand, that it was felt necessary is also telling. Even so, talk is easy; action is much harder and in the Labour Party, the rules make it nigh-on impossible to shift a leader through the formal procedures, if he’s intent on staying.

The formal rules, however, are not the be all and end all, though they do frame the context in which the debate about Miliband’s future should be seen. It’s generally accepted that had David Miliband resigned at the same time as James Purnell, in June 2009 when Labour was sinking to less than 16% in the European election, he would have had no choice but to go. Being party leader is not enough: you have to be able to put a government together (or be capable of doing so as Leader of the Opposition).

The problem, for any group seeking to mount a coup is that it’s not enough to engineer Miliband’s removal; they’d need to be reasonably sure that the outcome would be sufficiently beneficial to make the disruption worth it and elections are inherently uncertain processes, as well as being, in Labour’s case, expensive and time-consuming.

There is, however, a loophole to be exploited. Labour doesn’t demand a leadership election be held at the earliest convenience in the event of a vacancy; it could be deferred until the summer, with the result to be announced at the party conference. In the interim, the Deputy Leader would step up to the top job. In other words, all it would take for Miliband to be deposed is for enough shadow cabinet members and/or MPs to believe it necessary, and for the NEC to be squared about the timetable thereafter.

The benefits of such a manoeuvre are obvious. For the party, it would save the best part of two months’ infighting and hundreds of thousands of pounds in printing and postage and provide an image of unity. For the other potential leadership candidates, Harman is, at 64, enough of an old pope for young cardinals to vote for. Even were she to win the election, she’d be unlikely to serve more than a term and a half. The Burnhams, Coopers and Umunnas would still stand a chance of their bite at the cherry. In addition, while she undoubtedly has her critics, she wouldn’t be quite the generic politician as Clegg, Cameron or Miliband are. Her gender alone would mark her out, should she choose to mention it.

Do I expect Labour to dump Miliband? No, I don’t – but he is currently skating on very thin ice and the wrong mis-step at the wrong time would prove terminal, so nor would I rule it out entirely. If so, Harriet could be the man.

David Herdson

Harman is available at 40/1 to be next Labour leader and 80/1 to be next PM


The Tories the big movers in the first week of GE15 Commons Spread betting

November 14th, 2014

Those who “bought” CON on Monday are into profit already

It had been a long time coming but the opening of GE15 commons seats spread betting market from Sporting Index was a big moment in the betting build up to next May.

To me it is the finest form of political betting because you “trade” commons seats as if they were stocks and shares and the more you are right the more you win. Alas the more you are wrong the more you lose.

The potential for spread betting is shown vividly by what could have happened to CON buyer between last Monday and today. If they had bought then at the opening level of 279 seats they could have sold this afternoon and made a profit of whatever their unit stake was. This is because the current SELL price is 280 so they’ve made a gain of one unit. They could cash in today and take their profit.

With all spread betting there is a gap between the BUY and SELL and the Tories have more than made that up since Monday.

Clearly there has been a mood change driven mostly by the Ipsos-MORI poll which had LAB 3% behind. Although the direction of travel has been supported by Ashcroft, ICM and YouGov the online poll from Populus had LAB’s lead remaining on 2% this morning.

The Ipsos-MORI poll was helped by the firm’s rigid policy of basing headline numbers on those certain to vote. Amongst all the in the survey LAB and CON were level.

Labour has been a loser as well, surprisingly, as the SNP. Punters don’t quite seem to be buying to the SNP surge narrative.

  • Cautionary note. Spread betting is high risk high reward but the potential for substantial losses are there. Be careful and take notice of the downside risk of any bet.

    Mike Smithson

    Ranked in top 33 most influential over 50s on Twitter

  • h1

    The LD gain a seat from LAB but lose one to CON in this week’s round of local elections

    November 14th, 2014

    Queen Edith’s on Cambridge (Lab Defence)
    Result: Liberal Democrats 933 (36% +1%), Labour 790 (31% -9%), Conservatives 614 (24% +5%), Green 222 (9% +3%)
    Liberal Democrat GAIN from Labour with a majority of 143 (5%) on a swing of 5% from Labour to Liberal Democrat

    Brent (Con Defence) and Littlebrook (Lab Defence) on Dartford
    Result: Conservatives 579 (45%), Labour 402 (31%), UKIP 316 (24%)
    Conservative HOLD with a majority of 177 (14%)

    Result: Labour 358 (47%), UKIP 220 (30%), Conservatives 172 (23%)
    Labour HOLD with a majority of 138 (17%)

    Alport and Derwent on Derbyshire (Con Defence)
    Result: Conservatives 1,118 (45% +3%), UKIP 715 (29% +4%), Labour 656 (26% +2%)
    Conservative HOLD with a majority of 403 (16%) on a neligible swing from Con to UKIP

    Bolney on Mid Sussex (Con Defence)
    Result: Conservatives 261 (43% -24%), UKIP 187 (30% +17%), Liberal Democrats 161 (27% +7%)
    Conservative HOLD with a majority of 74 (13%) on a swing of 21% from Conservative to UKIP

    Douglas on Wigan (Lab Defence)
    Result: Labour 874 (59% -19%), UKIP 452 (31%), Conservatives 80 (5% -3%), Green 37 (3%), Community Action 29 (2%)
    Labour HOLD with a majority of 422 (28%) on a swing of 25% from Labour to UKIP

    Bulmershe and Whitegates on Wokingham (Ind defence from Lib Dem defection)
    Result: Conservative 726 (35% +10%), Labour 498 (24% -5%), Liberal Democrats 448 (22% -15%), UKIP 275 (13% +8%), Green 105 (5% +1%)
    Conservative GAIN from Liberal Democrat with a majority of 228 (11%) on a swing of 7.5% from Labour to Conservative

    Harry Hayfield