This morning the Communication Workers’ Union released a Survation constituency poll of Hartlepool, the first one we’ve seen (earlier in the campaign figures were released from a Focaldata MRP of the North, but you can’t really use MRP for a by-election – it doesn’t pick up the unique circumstances). Topline figures with changes from the last election were are CON 49%(+20), LAB 42%(+4), NIP 2%(+2), GRN 1%(+1), LD 1%(-3), ReformUK 1%(-25).

I should start by saying that constituency polling is difficult. It is mostly done by telephone and often has small sample sizes (in this case, the sample was 500, but the actual voting figures are based only 302 who gave a response). Its track record has sometimes been patchy. Nevertheless, it’s the best evidence of where the race stands that we are going to get. What can we tell?

The Conservatives are ahead (though the two main parties are within the margin of error for a sample of 302). Compared to the general election the poll suggests an 8 point lead from Lab to Con, significantly better than how the Conservatives are doing in national polls.

It would be extremely unusual for a governing party to gain a seat in a by-election. There have been only two instances in the last fifty years (Copeland in 2017 and Mitcham & Morden in 1982). Few governments poll ahead of their last election performance mid-term anyway, and if anything they do worse than that in by-elections.

The reason the Tories are doing better in Hartlepool than nationwide appears fairly straightforward, and doesn’t offer any obviously transferrable lessons. In Britain as a whole the Brexit party got 2% at the 2019 election. In Hartlepool they got a very healthy 26%. That vote has almost completely vanished, presumably to the benefit of the Conservatives.

As ever, by-elections are extremely unusual beasts that do not necessarily tell much about national politics. Maybe if the actual by-election turns out like this it will be a steer on how other seats with a high level of Brexit party support in 2019 may go… but then, come the actual by-election we’ll have a glut of other data from the local, Scottish, Welsh, Mayoral and London elections due to be held on the same day, so hopefully we won’t be trying to desperately read too much into one single by-election.

Also worth noting that – given this poll was commissioned by the CWU – it also asked about some of the issues that they are concerned about like broadband, Royal Mail privatisation, nurses pay. The answers in Hartlepool were as you’d expect from national polling (people like free stuff & nurses. They don’t like privatisations). It doesn’t tell us anything particularly useful about why Labour aren’t doing better. Don’t assume because the CWU chose to ask about those issues that they are necessarily ones that are driving support in Hartlepool. Maybe people in Hartlepool care more about Corona, or crime, or Brexit, or economic regeneration, or taxes…

Finally, before this poll there was also significant social media buzz about the Northern Independence party having an impact, not least because their candidate is Thelma Walker, a former Labour MP who resigned over the party’s refusal to re-admit Jeremy Corbyn. Realistically a party that hasn’t even been registered yet may be very pleased indeed if they manage to get third place, but nevertheless, the poll suggests they are not significant players here.

UPDATE: The tables for the Survation poll have appeared, and worth adding a further caveat. At the last election the Brexit party got 26% of the vote. Among people who took part in the poll, only 3% recalled voting for the Brexit party. This does not *necessarily* mean its a duff sample – there will undoubtedly be issues of false recall, of people re-aligning their past vote to match with present circumstances (especially since the Brexit party has rebranded itself into ReformUK and no longer exists in its old form), but it should be an extra reason for caution.


There were two Scottish Parliament voting intention over the weekend, one from Panelbase, one from Survation. Topline figures are that both show the SNP continuing to cruise towards victory and on the edge of winning a majority. Both show a tight race for second place between the Conservatives and Labour.

However, these were also the first two to measure support for Alex Salmond’s new list only party, Alba. The Panelbase poll showed them at 6%, the Survation poll showed them at 3%. To understand the significance of these we need to explore the nuances of the Scottish Parliament electoral system.

The Scottish Parliament elects members using an additional member system. 73 MSPs are elected in constituencies using first past the post, a further 56 are elected on a proportional regional list system. The regional list seats effectively operate as a “top-up” to the constituency seats already won, so that overall the seats won should be proportional to the list vote. For example, if party A won 6 constituency seats, but got 10% of the list vote, they’d be awarded another 7 list seats so they had 10% of the total seats. It’s more complicated than that because it’s done by region, meaning there is an effective threshold to get any seats at all, but we’ll come to that.

Crucially people cast two votes – you don’t have to cast your constituency vote in the same way as your list vote, you can vote for different parties.

The SNP did extremely well at winning constituencies at the last election (59 out of 73). This meant that that despite winning 42% of the list vote, they didn’t receive many list seats, because they had already won almost their fair share through constituency seats. Compare this to the Scottish Greens – they don’t win any constituency seats (they barely stand), so there is nothing to set against their list vote and their list vote of 7% translates into 6 seats.

Therefore, the Alba argument goes, SNP votes on the regional list are “wasted” votes, that are unlikely to return MSPs. If a significant chunk of SNP voters voted Alba instead, it would return more pro-independence MSPs.

So far, so good. However, because the Scottish system uses regional lists, there’s an effective threshold to get any seats at all (about 5-6%). There is also already a second pro-independence party, the Scottish Greens. That means in practice Alba could have a positive or negative impact on the number of pro-Independence MSPs elected. If they get over 5% in a substantial number of regions, and do so by taking SNP second preferences, rather than taking votes who would otherwise back the Greens, they will increase the next number of pro-independence MSPs. If they get under 6% in most regions, they are unlikely to win any MSPs at all. If they get under 6%, but in doing so, take votes from the Scottish Greens, they could even reduce the the number of pro-independence MSPs.

Hence, in judging the impact of Alba, the thing to look at is the level of Alba and the Scottish Greens in the list vote, and whether each is above or below that threshold of around 5-6%. The two polls so far paint contrasting pictures – in the Survation poll, Alba were at 3% and the Scottish Greens were unchanged at 11%. In the Panelbase poll Alba were at 6%, the Scottish Greens at 8%, again comparable to their showing in previous Panelbase polls.

So in neither case was there any evidence that Alba were cannibalising the pro-independence list vote by taking support from the Greens, but the evidence on whether they’ll actually win seats of their own is unclear. On the Panelbase figures they may well do (John Curtice tentatively projects 6 Alba seats, with a total of 79 pro-Independence MSPs). On the Survation figures they probably wouldn’t, but the SNP and Greens would get 77 pro-Independence MSPs between them anyway.

And that, in itself, maybe underlines the extent to which this matters. As things stand most polls show the SNP getting a majority or getting close to one. Taking the SNP & Scottish Greens together, there will very likely be a majority of pro-Independence MSPs anyway. Whether Alba manage to scramble over the threshold to win some seats or not doesn’t look likely to change that given their present level of support.

3,381 Responses to “Polling on Hartlepool and the impact of Alba”

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  1. Steve: I’ve no doubt there are many people who wish to move to rural areas to get away from the rat race and to cash in on their house prices for a cheaper yet more substantial property in a rural location but this has serious implications for local families wanting to live in their own area

    I imagine the problem will get worse as a result of brexit. I haven’t seen any analysis of this, but anecdotally some expat retirees are already relocating back to ‘retirable’ areas of the UK like the SW and Wales from France, Spain, Portugal etc. Or, because they’re limited to 90 days at a time in their EU properties, unless domiciled there, the wealthier ones may acquire a UK second home. Plus, a number of those who would have bought retirement properties in the EU if we’d remained, will now presumably pile into rural UK locations instead.

  2. Sorry, that last post was a response to Allan Christie, not Steve, and the opening quote was Allan’s.

  3. @ SHEVII – Punters haven’t budged their view on CON favourites for Hartlepool, given them 65%ish likelihood to win

    A lot closer to a ‘toss-up’ IMO and currently positioned for LAB to win at those probabilities.

    I note LAB’s ‘expectation management’ on the postal votes issue. If only Dom had started his ‘anti-Boris’ campaigning a week or so earlier, eh ;)

    TBC of course but both sides have ready made ‘excuses’ already being pushed and doing what they can for the GOTV stories for their team.

    CON+U have wisely deployed Rishi and will hopefully keep Boris well clear of cameras next week ;)

  4. @ALISTER1948

    I’ve been watching this situation develop for the last few years. Looks like the next German parliament will have no party over 200 seats (!)

    An awkward three-party coalition is coming ever closer, powered by the collapse of the SPD.


    I imagine the problem will get worse as a result of brexit. I haven’t seen any analysis of this, but anecdotally some expat retirees are already relocating back to ‘retirable’ areas of the UK like the SW and Wales from France, Spain, Portugal etc. Or, because they’re limited to 90 days at a time in their EU properties, unless domiciled there, the wealthier ones may acquire a UK second home. Plus, a number of those who would have bought retirement properties in the EU if we’d remained, will now presumably pile into rural UK locations instead.

    It’s quite ironic that one of the reasons I voted Brexit was due to the huge pressure from EU migrants putting onto the private rental sector and making many city areas unaffordable for school leavers, collage leavers and low income English born people.

    Migrants tend to live in groups of several wage earners meaning affordability for rents split between 3 to 4 people putting single English born nationals at a distinct disadvantage.

    Now (according to your post) local youngsters and low earners in rural areas look like they are going to be shafted by the grey brexit fallout. ): ):

  6. @SJ

    Covid may also not help. Though I tend to cast some skepticism on the scale of the ‘work from home’ revolution that the futurists get all excited over, there is still some element of ‘escape to the country’ happening amongst professionals with families, particularly those in London who tend to have worse commutes.

    Though they will tend to target rural areas with somewhat better connections to the major cities rather than the retiree grounds of cornwall and west wales.


    The work from home covid boom is also seeing young professionals relocate from city to city.

    If you can now work from home sitting hunched and leering into a computer all day in a £600,000 London apartment then why not sell up and move to Newcastle or Glasgow and buy a similar sized property for half the price and have a much healthier bank balance.
    If you’re looking for a property in the south side at the moment, you might have noticed it has been rather hectic.

    Flats in this part of Glasgow have been selling like hot cakes, with rising demand driving up prices despite hopes of cheaper properties for buyers after a year of lockdown.

    Slightly upmarket locations such as Pollokshields are fast becoming hotspots for buyers with more cash to spare, with Craig saying people who previously lived in London are now looking to buy in the area: “Numbers are healthy there because they have a bit more money to play with. It seems to be very sought after right now.

  8. Interesting poll on changing identities in NI. Most of it’s behind a paywall – this is all you get for free:

    Centenary poll: British identity on decline in NI with more young people identifying as Northern Irish
    Poll indicates a decline in ‘British’ identity and a move away from the old orange and green definitions

    Gareth Cross

    May 03 2021 06:26 AM

    British identity is on the decline in Northern Ireland with more and more younger people identifying as Northern Irish, a poll reveals today.

    While 51% of over-65s here consider themselves British, just 17% of those aged 18-24 feel the same way.

    There is a less notable rise in those considering themselves Irish – 23% of those aged 65+ identify as Irish, compared with 35% aged between 18 and 24.

  9. TW


    Significant political change in Germany and France would be quite something.

    I suspect the French won’t elect Le Pen. But the Polls are an incredible condemnation of Macron.

  10. The wee guy with the specks over at PB.Com is getting exotic spresums over the Lib/Dem chances in the Chesham & Amersham by-election.
    If you had asked the Lib Dems after the 2019 General Election about the sort of seat where they would like to fight a by-election they would have probably said somewhere that voted Remain, where they were in a clear second place and not too far from the M25.

    The last point is relevant because one of the prerequisites to pull off by-election surprises in the past is by being able to flood the area for several weeks with experienced activists. Chesham and Amersham (C&A) fits the other two requirements on what happened at the referendum and at GE2019.

    But based on the 2019 outcome the party is a long way behind. This was the result:

    CON 55.4%, LD 26.3%, LAB 12.9%, GRN 5.5%. The turnout was 76.8 which was far in excess of the national average.

    The difference between the general election and the coming by-election is that Brexit is done and the threat of Corbyn becoming PM is not there. The former MP, the late Cheryl Gillan thought to have a large personal vote. Also the LDs are looking for a way to make them appear relevant and it would be hard to skip this opportunity.

    On Thursday all eyes will be on the local results in the constituency. The message I am getting is that Tory voter enthusiasm has not been helped by the recent revelations.

    On Smarkets the LDs are 4/1 to win it. I’ve not been tempted.

    Mike Smithson

  11. @Allan Christie – “… making many city areas unaffordable for school leavers, collage leavers and low income English born people.”


    The solutions to date have rather been just papering over the cracks.


  12. Allan,

    Where the LDs are right now a decent second place – say 45/40 would be good for their morale and the ‘only we can beat the Tories’ here narrative they will be trotting out at the GE.

  13. AC

    @” making many city areas unaffordable for school leavers, collage leavers and low income English born people.”

    Yes , one of my grandchildren was recently shown the door by an estate agent when she could not produce her collage portfolio. She had left it at home not thinking that its absence would condemn her to membership of the school leaving, collage leavers born in England ,who are so shamefully discriminated against by prejudiced members of this rapacious profession.

    I told her to believe that she is not defined by her collages.

  14. TOH,

    “ I agree, although before WW2 they had some dodgy governments.”

    I think one of our rare agreements might be none were as bad as the one they had during WW2!


  15. @Colin – It may be possible to design small homes made from strengthened cardboard, glued together in a certain way.

    Would that do for your grandchild?

  16. Colin

    Had your granddaughter inherited your perspicacity, she could easily have created an instant collage from the materials on the estate agent’s desk, and stapled it to his head.

    Quick thinking is required to succeed in today’s property market.

  17. Peter Cairs SNP

    Yes we can certainly agree on that Peter.

  18. @ AC – Bucks is a bit of a weird one where the ‘Orange peril’ hold a mighty 4 seats on the council (all in Aylesbury which is a very safe (17k+ majority) CON MP seat (partly as the MP seat is more than just the ‘town of’).

    CON hold 41 (ie huge majority) of the council seats but the last election was 2017 which was a good year for CON in local elections as they swallowed up the UKIP vote.

    The council wards don’t exactly line up with MP seats but Amersham & Chesham Bois and Chesham would cover much of the MP seat.

    Wise idea not to waste your money backing the ‘winning here’ (not) lot, purveyors of misleading graphs who were busy campaigning while Cheryl Gillan was dying of cancer.

    @ JJ – ?!? Do LAB want to be 3rd place and see LDEM as the best ABCON option in the Home Counties?

    Very much depends on the seat but LAB are 2nd place in most Buckinghamshire MP constituencies and your team did hope to win Wycombe (from Steve Baker) in GE’19

    Low turnout (ie by-elections) often helps the Orange team as they tend to have very politically engaged types but if LAB hope to win a majority of MPs one day they need to be winning seats in CON heartlands, not settling for 3rd place and hoping folks vote LDEM as best placed ABCON party.

    Esher and Walton (Raab’s seat) maybe best example of where LAB posted a ‘paper candidate’ and tried to help LDEM win the seat but a bit like AC’s Winchester then LDEM ‘lost there’ as well.

    Your team of course but you’d probably find CCHQ want LDEM to ‘do well here, there and pretty much everywhere’ (ie split the ABCON vote). To turn a phrase:

    It’s not the taking part, it’s the winning that counts ;)

    Although the LDEM’s (and Corbyn LAB) ‘celebrate(d)’ coming 2nd then tactically LAB should want to ‘swallow’ LDEM whole (as CON did with UKIP) and Davey seems to have an EU-thanasia policy.

  19. AC reporting LibDem dreams for the coming Chesham & Amersham by-election has spurred me into reporting the SLibDem leaflet delivered by a campaigner mid-day.

    Its headline message in bold is “The Scottish LibDems are on the verge of winning in every region across the country” , In small print it clarifies – “they need a few more votes on the regional list to make the gains that will stop an SNP overall majority”.

    But there was I, voting by post to stop them losing last place out of 7 on our regional list. This deceptive message could have made me think again, either that they are safe, or angry at a party putting out such a misleading and wrong message.

    I know I said a day or two ago that I wouldn`t be saying any more about our electioneering, but this has provoked me. And also Old Nat suggesting that Alexander Burnett`s supporters could have trashed their own SCON boards to put blame on the SNP – that`s as likely IMHO that the AZ vaccine isn`t causing some blood clots in susceptible young women.

  20. woooofff

    edfield & Wilton Strategies
    Westminster Voting Intention (3 May):

    Conservative 40% (-4)
    Labour 38% (+4)
    Liberal Democrat 7% (-1)
    SNP 4% (-1)
    Green 5% (+1)
    Reform UK 3% (–)

    Changes +/- 26 April

  21. The regimes collapse continues.

  22. Comment on RW poll. Very nice for Labour because it supports other polls showing cut through.

  23. That said. Polls are all over the place right now and vaccine roll out and opening up feelgood is likely to be a strong factor that may reassert 8tself soon.


    I agree clearly a sharp narrowing of the polls over the last week, not good timing for the locls for the Tories but a large postal vote probably will reflect higher levels of support at the time of voting.

    Looking at the R & W , as a Tory member I am not too bothered. The detailed questions still show BJ mile ahead of KS.

    Future polling probably depends on the outcomes of the four investigation into the flat redecoration. If nothing much comes out of that then I think the Tory vote share will rise again.

    Time will tell

  25. JIM JAM

    Where the LDs are right now a decent second place – say 45/40 would be good for their morale and the ‘only we can beat the Tories’ here narrative they will be trotting out at the GE.

    Them Dems do like their wee narratives and are probably the most prolific political party at targeting individual seats. Quite territorial wee buggers.

  26. R&W finding the shift in LTV: “69% of 2019 Conservative voters (down 4%) and 62% of 2019 Labour voters (up 1%) said they would be certain to vote”

    and on DKs then CON’19 are up to 11% v only 6% for LAB’19 (ie negligible ‘switch’ voters and headlines reflecting the ‘differential turnout’ once adjusting for DKs and LTVs)

    Might well be enough damage to Blue team’s GOTV to see CON miss out on some close contests in Mayor, council and Hartlepool elections on Thursday (won’t help them in Senedd or Holyrood either but who celebrates 2nd places)

    R&W seem to have a ‘house effect’ that leans to Boris but they also find the ‘Bad Boris’ issue with a “nine-point decrease in the past two weeks” although still on +6% with them ahead of Starmer -1% (uc)

    Best PM:
    Boris: 45% (-1)
    Starmer: 30% (+1)

    with Boris still leading on the key attributes (but his lead over Starmer decreasing on several measures)

    Link to write-up and tables:

  27. COLIN

    Your granddaughter should had smashed the estate agents face in. Parasites the lot of them. :)


    TBH the Chesham & Amersham by-election was under my political radar until the wee guy tweeted about it.

    As you rightly pointed out Bucks is true blue territory but sometimes blue dye looks quite nice with a wee bit of orange running through it :) :)

    The Tories will probably hold the seat but they Dems will chuck everything from the kitchen sink to ol Vince’s spresums at this seat and as JIM JAM says “Only we can beat the Tories” narrative will be trotted out at the GE,

    However, it is a by-election and there are many
    political undercurrents right now, cash for nappies, nanny gate, wallpaper, sleaze, pilling bodies high comment etc and by-elections can be notorious for protest votes.

    The wee guy with the specks ooer at may well have the last laugh. :) :)

  28. I notice the Radio 4 5PM news programme hasn`t mentioned this important new poll, that might perhaps affect the many sending off postal votes today.

    There has been a virtual hush over the weekend in the BBC reporting on Johnson`s No 10 “dead bodies” outburst, costly flat refurbishing, or his refusal to specify who really paid for it.

    Maybe orders have come from the recent Tory appointments to the BBC – Messrs Davie, Gibb and Sharp.

  29. @ TOH / Others – Postal Vote

    What’s a reasonable inspired guess of votes already cast?

    Around 20% in a GE so maybe 30% due to Covid and then with lower overall turnout in local elections versus GEs then made a bit higher impact than that?

    Even if it’s as high as 40% of the total votes that will eventually be cast and CON have seen a say 6% drop in the last week then still 60% of votes to go and a few days more ‘news’ as well.

    The narrowing of CON lead is coming from more CON’19s moving to DK and showing as less likely to vote (than a few weeks ago) which other than the ‘bad Boris’ might also be the tailing off of the vaccine bounce?

    Anyway, certainly enough of a change in the last week to potentially do a bit of damage to CON’s chances in many of the more marginal contests on Thursday – even with a chunk of the votes already cast.

    After Thursday then CON need to get on with delivery. Queen’s speech on 11 May and a lot of bills to pass through HoC.

    That said. Polls are all over the place right now and vaccine roll out and opening up feelgood is likely to be a strong factor that may reassert 8tself soon.

    Sorry I don’t follow your logic? The last few polls have been consistent and have shown a drop in VI for the regime. The regime have benefited from the vac bounce and a degree of competency over the economic course of the pandemic, namely furlough, but as wee move out of lockdown and get back to more normal political issues then I expect the Labour & Tory VI to be much tighter.

    The high polling VI for the Tories in my view was always artificial propped up by the pandemic.

  31. As the speaker of the house would say “Lets head up to Scotland”

    Scottish Greens
    Polls show that we could be on course to win a record number of MSPs, but the margins are tight and absolutely every vote will be crucial.Ballot box with ballot

    Vote for a fairer, greener Scotland. Vote for the Scottish Greens this Thursday.Green heartFlag of Scotland
    Quote Tweet
    Ballot Box Scotland
    · 14m
    New polling analysis and projection, BMG 27th – 30th of April 2021

    Holyrood seats projection:
    SNP ~ 68
    Conservative ~ 27
    Labour ~ 18
    Green ~ 10
    Lib Dem ~ 6

    Good polling for the SNP and Greens. Salmondella looks like being a busted flush based on the above numbers.

    If I’m correct then it will be sometime during the day before all results in Scotland are declared so a tense few days after the polls close on Thursday night.

  32. # during the on Saturday

  33. Yes the reemergence of the higher DK for the Tories with a consequential increase for Labour due to lower turnout.

    Labour above the 10% lift from the GE that for me is the target for these elections.

    (That is 10% more so 33% GB ~ 36%+ and below 36$ projected would be disappointing, above 38% pleasing.

  34. @ AC – As LDEM’s newest voter (even if only tactically) then you might not be aware that LDEM always say:

    “Only we can beat the Tories” ” (and ‘winning here’)

    along with dodgy graphs etc. it’s always the same l!e-ns even when they are in 3rd place and have never ‘won here’

    Now they can occasionally ‘win’ by-elections (eg Brecon and Radnorshire Aug’19[1]) but on that one the the RoC vote was split and LAB backed LDEM as the ‘best placed’ Remain party with only a ‘paper candidate’.

    CON took B&R back a few months later in GE’19 and I hope+expect CON will win the Senedd seat (helpfully same boundaries) this week, TBC of course. It’s the biggest (geographic) seat in UK and Wales might be free of any Orange.

    I’ll buy a beer if Bucks doesn’t stay Blue (unitary authority, A+C by-election and all Westminster seats in next GE – Wycombe seeing ‘Red’ is the highest risk)


  35. Survation polls out tonight or early tomorrow for Wales and Scotland and an ‘update’ on Hartlepool. Not sure exactly what they mean by an update, ie constituency poll or something else?

  36. Allan

    Chesham and Amersham is just a few miles from the Lib Dems one clear win in 2019 at St Albans ,who would have thought than a far right brexitanian Tory might have a problem in a marginal seat that voted 62% remain.

    The lib dems are quite a force in local politics in this area people are used to seeing them do well and can devote significant resources.

    Free from sleaze allegations who knows how they might do.

  37. Trevor
    Chesham and Amersham are right on the border with Hertfordshire next door to Berkhamsted where all the local country council seats were won by the Lib dems from the Tories at the last local elections.

    So wouldn’t write off their chances.

    Incidentally my kids went to high school , in berkhamsted to the most public school looking state school in the country.

    Look up Ashlyns school and you’ll see what I mean.

  38. Anyone using 2019 local elections as a ‘base’ should check opinion polling from the time. Twas a good year for LDEM (and a bad one for CON and LAB).

    Reminder on other years. May 2017 was very good year for CON, just before the Mayb0t manifesto and ‘no show’ into the GE.

  39. Trevor
    Looking at the list on the right the Lib dems were on around 11% at this point in2019.

  40. Looking at how Lab and Con are doing compared to the last round of elections will be less meaningful due to UKIP/BXP being a serious vote puller at the time.
    Both Lab ad Tory could ‘improve’ on 4/5 years ago but for me that is not the main metric; how the votes extrapolate to a GE performance, warts and all, will be more significant imo.

  41. @ JJ – “how the votes extrapolate to a GE performance, warts and all, will be more significant imo.”

    How do you propose we do that?

    IMO, the ‘quick look’ will be net gains of councillors with a slightly more detailed (and more relevant) look being into the more local and regional moves – hopefully Election Maps of similar person will provide us with nice maps to look at about this time next week.

    CON will certainly be hoping to see the large pockets of UKIP’16 or BXP’19 move to CON and GOTV

    ‘Leavers’ need to be turned into ‘Level-uppers’ in areas they gained in GE’19 but they’ll also want to see that their ‘heartlands’ are not under threat (more a case of CON VI apathy than any genuine threat)

  42. @ Jim Jam/TW

    The BBC do some notional nation vote share I think and I believe they take into account seats where there are no elections (correct me if I am wrong). But one of the problems is that you can miss a demographic that way ie red wall changing their voting in a different way to how cities might change their voting. So like if brexit were the issue you might get a false swing if elections were only held in cities or only held in towns (again correct me if I am wrong).

  43. Yes Shevii, the Ralings and Thresher model IIRC.

    I agree with the problems, hence my ‘warts and all’ but it will still be more meaningful than looking at ‘improvements’ from when these contests last occurred; and, the parties themselves will be looking at more localised data.

  44. First sign of the UK media starting to understand the story?

    None of this is news. It was predictable from the supply numbers from around the end of February.

    Germany doing a million jabs in one day is rather impressive.

  45. Polls seem to be settling on a fairly large hit to Cons from the cash for curtains rumpus. It will be interesting to see whether that lasts, or if the unlocking/successful vaccine roll out regains dominance.

    I’ve felt for some time that, perhaps paradoxically, given his overall poor performance, Johnson needs the pandemic, as it keeps the focus away from a chaotic and rudderless domestic mission, and the shortfalls of Brexit.

    I’ll be interested to see if my sense of this has any validity.

  46. @ JJ / SHEVII – I’ll repost the extremely vague, ‘thrashing around’ piece from Prof Thrasher

    If we’re lucky then someone like Hanretty might post a google docs with ward level data ‘grouped’ into as close as possible to Westminster constituencies and show LE results (change since GE’19 result[1] or since last LE)

    Otherwise we’ll have to try to ‘reverse’ out the ‘base effect’ issue of when the last LE was and what the national polling was at the time.

    We’ll still be left with ‘incumbency’ issue in some cases and

    [1] That isn’t ideal either as smaller parties, Inds, etc can skew LEs and be irrelevant in GEs.

    PS Here’s the good Prof talking about LDEM ‘fight back’ in LEs 2019

  47. and the actual result in 2019

    CON: 3,564 (-1,330)
    LAB: 2,021 (-84)
    LDEM: 1,351 (+704)
    Green: 273 (+198)

    That was a shocker for CON (and pretty bad for LAB) and first nail in May’s coffin, followed soon after by the EPs (which should never have happened but for the extensions that gave LDEM and Farage2.0 a ‘raison d’être’)

    We’ve seen very little polling or predictions into ‘Super Thursday’ a ‘double bubble’ of LEs.

    However, no one is expecting big changes. My 2c was ‘unchanged’ being neutral for CON and LAB and only if we see gain/lose of 200+ then would that be into ‘surprise’ category.

    Main point: We need an objective ‘base’ and prediction before we see the results

    There will be a lot of results, some good, some bad so all parties can ‘cherry pick’ something that looks good and ignore the wards with ‘warts’

  48. Party Political Broadcast from the Rejoin Party.

  49. “Germany doing a million jabs in one day is rather impressive.”


    It’ll be a relief for them but we did our more vulnerable people ages ago.

  50. Trevor,

    We can always do what the parties do and decide what the best measure is after the results, smiley.

    I have taken a view on the least flawed, and hence best, comparator but understand if others prefer other base lines.

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