Category Archives: Polls

ICM reports another gigantic lead

As ICM reports another gigantic CON lead Number 10 moves to squash the “snap election” speculation

Report from the Political Betting Website, here

ICM/Guardian poll
CON 45% (+1)
LAB 26% (-2)
UKIP 10% (-1)
LD 9% (+1)
GRN: 4% (-1)

This morning there have been two significant announcements from number 10. Firstly article 50 will be invoked next week on March 29th. Secondly it is being made very clear that there will be no general election. This is how the Guardian is reporting the latter:

“…In the past Theresa May has said repeatedly that she has not plans to call an early general election, but this morning her spokesman was firmer, saying: “There is not going to be one [an early general election]. He also appeared to rule out any election before 2020, the date when the next one is due under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, saying that any election outside the FTPA timetable would be early…

Before the announcement Ladbrokes were offering just 5/1 on a general election taking place on May 4th – day of the local and mayoral elections.

No doubt the prime minister’s team have looked fully into the legal aspect of the fixed term Parliament Act that was part of the Coalition agreement in 2010 to see if there is a way round. But quite simply the prime minister’s power to select election dates has now been taken away although there is a process within the act for creating an early election. The ability of earlier PMs to go to the country when it most suited them is no longer there.

The way that some people have been talking and reporting this suggests that they haven’t quite caught up with the change in the law that took place as part of the Coalition agreement with the Lib Dems seven years ago

The article 50 timing announcement is not really a surprise. This was always going to be the case once the legislation went through Parliament unamended as happened last week.

The ICM poll is simply totally awful for Mr Corbyn’s Labour but no doubt the old stubborn bed blocker, without the self-awareness to realise HE is a large part of the problem, will just stick it out.

We await the May elections to see if the polling is reflected in a substantial number of Labour losses. That might just trigger pressure on the leadership but the way the party is structured these days Mr Corbyn seems secure.

Wheels Come Off The UKIP Bus?

Wheels Come Off The UKIP Bus?

Ouch.  Labour will have winced when they saw this week’s ICM poll which has the Conservatives up six points and now a clear four ahead of Labour territory.  That’s very close to being “majority” numbers.  But within usual polling “margin of error” it’s not as exciting as all that.  Could easily be a blip which corrects next week.

Much more interesting is the long-term fall in UKIP polling.  Many have said that as the General Election looms the Purple People Eater would lose it’s mojo as voters begin focusing on who will run the country and who are just a sorry mess of a party apparently dominated by bigots, racists and conspiracy theorists.

In this poll UKIP drop to 9% – their lowest rating in over a year.  When you factor in the first-past-the-post system and the natural squeeze by the serious parties it all suggests a pretty grim outcome for Farage’s “pint of beer and a fag” collective.  People’s Army begins to look a bit like “Crazy People’s Damp Squib.”

UKIP will respond by ramping up their usual arrogance, shout factor and obligatory fury.  More and more people will be called “bien pensant” and “liblabcon.”  Wider and wider swathes will be castigated as “the establishment.”  Until it’s just Farage, Carswell and some blokes in black leather uniforms proclaiming: “Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer” to an audience of six angry white men and a cat.

With a bit of luck.

YouGov Polling, 3rd October 2014

YouGov Polling, 3rd October 2014

poll

So – About That Polling…

So – About That Polling…

I’ve often said that when the economy seemed to be turning, public opinion would turn with it.

Labour, UKIP and assorted other lefties have been convinced they are “winning the argument” about this and that for some time now.  I’m sorry to burst your bubble guys, but it’s an illusion.

Labour have a grass roots support which never leaves, but is shrinking as state dependency shrinks and unions falter.  Outside of that, I’ve yet to meet anybody who finds the idea of Prime Minister Miliband exciting.  Their policy of opposing every cut and using cheap rhetoric to spin their message has never really worked – it appears to because they are the first party of choice for those who don’t like what the government is doing and want to protest about it.  And while the government is faced with difficult choices and a horrible situation, they were always going to be unpopular.  We knew all this before the election.  We said as much.  But when things begin to turn, most normal folk are quick to revise their views and fair enough to reconsider their judgements.

UKIP’s activists are absolutely sure that everybody loves them.  They genuinely believe that the general public adore them and wait on their announcements with baited breath.  Nigel Farage looks rakish with his pint and fag in hand, sure.  Most people are pretty tired of the EU, with good reason.  But I suspect that come the general election, outside of their supporters who hang around the online message boards writing SHOUTY things with a fevered neolithic tunnel vision , they may not get the breakthrough they hope for.

Polls come and polls go.  There are outliers and there are rogues.  But there is also a pattern and when that pattern is repeated week after week, it becomes hard to ignore.  Particularly since some of the pollsters were very accurate at the last election – even when everybody thought they were wrong.  For months now we’ve seen the Labour lead narrowing as the recovery appeared to begin.  We’ve seen the early UKIP surge lose its momentum and, though they remain slightly ahead of the Liberal Democrats, they don’t seem to be gaining any more ground.

But David Cameron and his team appear to have gained a fresh momentum.  The Prime Minister has taken a strong stance on many issues.  Not everybody agrees with him, as with Syria, but it is wrong to think that is a disaster.  I believe people admire a strong and clear position, a view well-argued and honestly held.  They also appreciate the holder of that view to acknowledge if they lose the argument and be led by that.  It is the mark of a strong leader to know that not every argument can be won.

So, with a quiet optimism beginning to show in some corners of the country, with economic figures stubbornly continuing to improve, the public’s feelings about their parties has, according, to polling, continued to shift.  And then today, this:-

UPDATE: CONSERVATIVES AND LABOUR NECK-AND-NECK

Thu September 19, 6 a.m. BST

Latest YouGov / The Sun results 18th September – Con 36%, Lab 36%, LD 10%, UKIP 12%; APP -21

No doubt things will shift around again as circumstances continue to change.  But it’s hard to deny that in the middle of a difficult parliament and in the face of some controversial decisions and policies, being neck and neck with the cynical opposition is no mean feat.  In my view this is because we all like a grumble, and we all have policies we are unsure about – but people do understand the need to live within our means and the need to reform these clunky, expensive, bureaucratic and in some cases broken areas of government expenditure.  So when it starts to deliver results, we are willing to take another look at the decisions that led here.

Election Looms Closer

Election Looms Closer
Every hour or so something new and interesting happens.  Here’s a selection of news snippets that have appeared today.

“Nobody Knows Where That Figure Came From”

The Latest ComRes Poll

ComRes: ITV News/Indy May 2 May 1
CONSERVATIVES 37% 38%
LIB DEMS 26% 25%
LABOUR 29% 28%

The latest RNB Poll

RNB Poll May 2 Mar 4
CONSERVATIVES 37% 39%
LIB DEMS 26% 20%
LABOUR 28% 31%

*Hat Tip Political Betting


Financial Times Endorses The Conservatives

After ‘voting’ Labour at the last four elections the Financial Times has endorsed David Cameron’s Conservatives:

“Britain needs a stable and legitimate government to navigate its fiscal crisis and punch its weight abroad. On balance, the Conservative party best fits the bill.”

*Hat Tip ConHome

Developments

Developments

A few polls from Saturday night.  As is becoming increasingly common – they’re all over the place.  But there is a pattern and that is Labour – Grim, Lib Dem – Stall or falling, Conservatives – Bounceback!  The MORI poll is particularly interesting and the other parties will be praying its an outlier and not representative of what the public really think.

YouGov Daily Poll – S. Times Apr 24 Apr 23
CONSERVATIVES 35% 34%
LIB DEMS 28% 29%
LABOUR 27% 29%
BPIX/YG Mail on Sunday Apr 24 Apr 17
CONSERVATIVES 34% 31%
LIB DEMS 30% 32%
LABOUR 26% 28%
MORI – News of the World Apr 23 Apr 19
CONSERVATIVES 36% 32%
LIB DEMS 23% 32%
LABOUR 30% 28%

ICM Sunday Telegraph Apr 23 Apr 18
CONSERVATIVES 35% 33%
LIB DEMS 31% 30%
LABOUR 26% 28%

*Hat Tip – Political Betting – for the polls and figures.

Blast From The Past

Blast From The Past

Tony Blair came back today to call for a fourth term Labour Government <shudder>.  Cue mixed emotions from all sides.  The general opinion seems to be: “Everybody hates him, nothing he says will help Labour.”  I’m not sure that’s right.  Certainly, activists on both sides can be found who hate Blair with a passion.  Back when he left government he was utterly reviled by many. 

But time heals all wounds, they say.  Since then Gordon Brown has demonstrated quite admirably that somebody could indeed be more unpopular than Tony Blair.  The man is so widely disliked that the Blair years almost look like dreamy, happy days.

Of course, the anti- Iraq war campaigners will always hate him.  But I suspect there is a large portion of the public who voted for him in three elections – who watched him today and found they still rather liked him.  Whatever else you can say about him, he is a good performer and an excellent orator.  I’m sure there are Labour supporters, Lib Dems and even Conservatives who found him a comforting and enjoyable presence on their TV screen.

Will he give Labour back a few of the lost poll points that have seen them between 7% and 10% behind the Conservatives in the last week?  Maybe.  A point or two.  Briefly.  Nothing permanent though because in the end it is not Tony Blair who is going to be elected following an unlikely Labour victory.  It’s Gordon Brown.  And that’s scary.

While we’re talking about Blasts From The Past, Hat-Tip to ConservativeHome today where a commenter produced an newspaper article from 1979.  It’s interesting to see that in the run up to that famous election Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative’s opinion poll lead had dropped precipitously from plus 20% to minus 1% – actually putting Labour as odds-on winner.  And you know what happened next, right?  Worth remembering, before we get too wrapped up in anything that polls say.

paper
Click on the image to see it full size.

The article is particularly interesting in its coverage of the Lib Dems – who appeared to be calling for much the same things all those years ago as they still call for now.  It’s good to know they haven’t gotten disillusioned yet.  I suspect they’ll be reliably calling for the same things still in another thirty years time.  The Conservative in me rather likes the reliable tradition that is being established.

The Small Print (legally required during election campaigns.)
Published by Mrs D N Clark on behalf of Steve Tierney of 111 High Street, March, Cambs PE15 9LH.

Don’t Believe The Hype

Don’t Believe The Hype

It’s amazing how powerful the media actually is.  I keep talking to people who ask me: “So how do you feel about a hung parliament?”  When this first started a couple of weeks ago I used to set out my reasoning as to why the supposition was extremely unlikely to actually occur.  But it’s becoming such a common question now that I’ve taken to just smiling and saying: “We’ll see.”  It’s quicker.

But the fact is that a few sections of the media decided “hung parliament” and a “close race” made a much better story this close to a general election and began to run with it.  And based on what?  A few poll results from YouGov, primarily.

So if you, dear reader, are one of this crowd who honestly believe a hung parliament is likely i’d ask you this: how often in the last year have you changed your mind about who you will vote for?  There are no doubt some people who do change their minds – but most people out there, most people you meet, know who they are going to vote for and its the same party they were going to vote for this time last year.  And yet these polls are so volatile.  Does this really reflect the nature of British voters?  I don’t think so.

The fickle and elusive “swing voter” is out there, sure, but generally people are more solid in their voting intentions.  They may decided not to vote at all – but people rarely change parties.  Labour have driven people away by failing to meet their promises, by not doing the things in their manifestos and by generally running the country into the ground.  But even that took over a decade!  Meanwhile, we Conservatives lost some people over Lisbon last year and the Lib Dems are sometimes not quite militant enough even for their zany members and shed voters to the Greens.  But for the most part, we are still voting for the people we wanted a few months ago.

So how do you explain a drop in a poll from 14% lead to 3% lead?  Some people harp on about “moving too far from the core voter” while others lay the blame at the door of the cabinet, or David Cameron.  Some actually think people might be starting to like Gordon Brown as leader.  (There’s a first time for everything.)

I suspect the truth is much more simple.  It’s all some clever gloss and make-up to present a more exciting story than the actual truth.  The reality is that the Liberal Democrats are going to lose seats because people don’t believe they actually stand for anything.  Labour are going to lose seats because – well, look what they’ve done. I have faith in the British people and my bet is still on a solid Conservative majority.  And a good job too, because any other result would be disastrous for the United Kingdom.

If you still want to lay your faith in the poll figures then lets look at yesterday’s numbers:

ICM
Conservatives 40%, Labour 31%, LibDems 20%

Opinium
Conservatives 39%, Labour 28%, LibDems 16%

YouGov
Conservatives 37%, Labour 32%, LibDems 21%

The first two, if correct, lead to a Conservative majority.  Even the third could lead to a majority depending on which seats change hands.  None of them lead to anything very pleasant for the Labour party.  Deservedly.

Once you’ve mulled over these three polls from professional pollsters and the fact that they so dramatically disagree with one another than you might ask yourself why the only poll anybody in the media seems to want to talk about is YouGov.  Weird that, huh?