MarketingMeans have their latest monthly poll of voting intentions in the South-West region for the The Western Morning News & Western Daily Press (or, at least, most of it – it excludes Poole & Bournemouth). Topline figures with changes from the June/July poll are CON 40%(-2), LAB 21%(-7), LDEM 21%(+5), UKIP 9%(+7), GRN 4%(-1). Full tabs are here.

A big drop in support for Labour, and a recovery for the Liberal Democrats… though I’d add my normal caveat about being cautious about any sudden movement in polls. So far this year MM’s regular South-West poll has been pretty steady and consistent (see below), so this big jump is quite surprising – we’ll have to wait till next month to see if it is sustained.


181 Responses to “New MarketingMeans polls of the South West”

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  1. I’m not surprised at the prospect of a Lib Dem recovery in the south west – the party’s gots sufficient roots in the region to see off any long-term trouble caused by being in the coalition. That said, I can’t think of any specific reason why it would have recovered so suddenly over the last month…

    9% for UKIP looks way too high for me, so I’m guessing that’s probably a blip and conservative support is actually higher.

  2. @AW

    ” though I’d add my normal caveat about being cautious about any sudden movement in polls. ”

    Bet that falls on deaf ears in the Clegg household Anthony.

    Straws & drowning men come to mind :-)

  3. certainly a strange poll. I suppose if there is going to be a resurgence of LD support, then it would be the SW that it starts from.

    The question is, is it an outliner or has the lack of bad LD news released the pressure on the vote share for LDs.

  4. At this risk of sounding stupid, could the drop in Labour and Green, and rise in LD, be explained simply by the fact that the students are on holiday?

    I think the South West is one of those places that export fewer students than study there, so the demographic of the area changes in August. If I’m right, it’ll revert to the status quo ante when term starts again in September/October.

    Regards, Martyn

  5. Most polls have shown a small Lib Dem recovery in July. This one doesn’t have a July figure but August’s is higher than June’s so it’s not too hard to believe it is part of the same thing. What is noticeable is that LD VI is twice as high here as the national average. Again not a surprise to anyone but reason to suppose that LD MPs may hold on here better than the national average.

  6. Quick thoughts –
    Removing DKs/Refused/Did not vote from ‘Who did you vote for last time’, gives this (vs General Election) –

    Lab – 22% (15.4%)
    Lib – 44% (34.7%)
    Con – 44% (42.8%)
    UKIP – 1.5% (4.5%)
    But that sort of disparity could be completely due to the sample sizes – just put that out there for the commentators who argue Yougov is distorted by over-representation of 2010 voters.

    I don’t think it really matters that much at all – as there is a small sample size and people mis-remember who they voted for anyway.

    Leadership approval ratings –
    Cameron +2 (41 approve, 39 disapprove)
    Miliband -25 (19 approve, 44 disapprove)
    Clegg -22 (27 approve, 49 disapprove)
    The difference shouldn’t be much of a surprise, considering it’s a Tory stronghold (42.8% at the election, 40% now).
    But +2 in one of your strongholds still isn’t a great figure (far better than minus figures nationally, of course).
    Should be a little worrying for the LDs, as the SW was by far their strongest region – but again, the drop shouldn’t be much of a surprise.

  7. Based upon a universal swing model with changes from the GE, LibDems lose 12 out of 15 seats to the Tories, holding 3 –
    Bristol West (beating Lab by 1%), Bath and Yeovil.

  8. What are the figures for DKs and “Others”? Could the rise in both LD and UKIP VI be a realignment of the anti-Con/anti-Lab vote, or is their decreased faith in the two main UK parties?

  9. Seems too high/volatile for others. I think only a trend can be drawn from this.

    A little bit better for the LDs but far from great as they’d still majorly struggle to hold more than 5/6 seats in the SW realistically IMO.

  10. Tinged Fringe,

    Your current vote share aggregates to over 110%?

  11. “Tinged Fringe,
    Your current vote share aggregates to over 110%?”
    Argh – thank you. I will have to have another look.

    Also, it wasn’t current vote share, but who people voted for in the previous election..

  12. Okay, let’s try again (I forgot to account for a whole 10%, haha)

    Con – 38.35% (42.8%)
    Lib – 38.35% (34.7%)
    Lab – 19.17% (15.4%)
    UKIP – 1.36% (4.5%)

  13. If you look at the raw figures before weighting the Greens actually got more ‘votes’ than UKIP, so part of the UKIP rise may be due to some quirk in the adjustments. However UKIP are quite strong in the SW and also seem to have become the default protest Party for a lot of people so 9% is not impossible (and 2% last time probably too low).

    Undecided is 14%, WNV 6%, DK 7%. ‘Independent’ is 2% and ‘Other’ 1% (probably BNP – the ‘votes’ weren’t in Cornwall so it isn’t MK).

    Total sample was only 604, so when they say that the pro-Lib Dem surge is stronger in Devon (sample 102) than Cornwall (sample 76), a certain scepticism is needed.

  14. Surprised no one mentioned Mike Smithson’s question on this on the PB website. He raises the question as to whether this could be evidence of a return to anti Tory tactical voting.

    Given we have had some distancing by Lib Dems from their government partners recently there could be something in this as it fits the movements, but there is no hard evidence.

  15. “Given we have had some distancing by Lib Dems from their government partners recently”
    I see this in certain LibDem MPs, but not in Nick Clegg.
    Surely it requires the leader to change, to encourage the anti-Tory tactical votes going to the LDs?

    Interestingly, Evan Harris (Vice-chair of LD federal policy committee) tweeted today that he agreed with everything that Ed Miliband said today, in Ed’s interview on C4 News – on the need to reduce inequality, the refusal to generalise on family types and comments on previous Lab failures – and also that it was the same views held by most LibDem MPs.

    Could we see a healing of the links between the LibDems and Labour, which were weakened between 1997 and 2010?

  16. Sorry about that. I didn’t mean to be so orange – just the first three words.

  17. It’ll be interesting to see how women’s voting intention goes after Cameron’s ‘families without fathers’ (and by implication, single mothers) message.

  18. Tinged Fringe

    Could we see a healing of the links between the LibDems and Labour, which were weakened between 1997 and 2010?

    Alternatively there could be a split in the LDs.

  19. @Alec

    He raises the question as to whether this could be evidence of a return to anti Tory tactical voting.

    I very much doubt this is happening, or will in the future. Whilst many LDs are desperate for this to occur, for Labour voters who did vote tactically for them last time it is a case of ‘once bitten twice shy’. It will be a tough sell to convince them that a vote for a party that has supported a Tory government is in some way an anti-Tory vote.

  20. redrich

    “Whilst many LDs are desperate for this to occur, for Labour voters who did vote tactically for them last time it is a case of ‘once bitten twice shy’.”

    I’m always chary of many voters being characterised as positively supporters of any party. That implies that most people are party loyalists. IMO in reality most people are loyally AGAINST some party rather than loyally FOR one.

  21. “Alternatively there could be a split in the LDs.”
    I can’t see a split in the LDs happening – if there were backlash against Clegg, he’d probably just be booted out and the left-wingers would ‘take the party back’.

    A formal split in the LDs (in to two parties) would end the coalition and probably force a general election – the split in LD voters would probably lead to the end of both new Liberal parties.
    The only other alternative would be for some LD MPs to join Labour – but I see this as equally unlikely.

    Overall I can’t see any sort of split in the LDs – just a warming up to Labour and a slow detachment from the Tories.

  22. @OLDNAT

    I tend to disagree – I think most people who actually vote, vote for a party rather than against another, and tend to self identify with one of the parties. While the tendency to ‘loyalty’ has been on the decline since the 1960’s – for a number of reasons – I think those who tactically vote against a party they dislike are in the minority.

    I know many Labour Pary members as well as Labour supporters who voted tactically last time in London boroughs where it was a LDvCon race – they wont do that again.

    @Tingedfringe,

    I think the danger for the LDs in the long run is that they, like the Liberal Party in Germany, become seen as a party of the centre/right, where they would only pick up approx 10% of the vote.

  23. Interesting poll. I am quite surprised at the jump in support of the Whigs but the South West is something of a strong hold for both governing parties.

    I have found a You Gov poll on the Euro bailouts if anyone is intersted. Here is the link: http://w w w .bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-15/germans-britons-french-opposed-to-more-bailouts-poll-shows.html

    Happy poll gazing :)

  24. Con 35% Lab 43% LD 9% Others 13%

    Approval -27%

  25. YouGov/Sun results 15th August CON 35%, LAB 43%, LD 9%; APPROVAL -27

  26. redrich

    “I know many Labour Pary members as well as Labour supporters who voted tactically last time in London boroughs where it was a LDvCon race – they wont do that again.”

    I know SNP members in Galloway who vote Labour for Westminster! That wasn’t my point. Party members are a tiny % of the population. When looking at VI representing a population at large, most of the voting community aren’t members or necessary loyal supporters of a particular party.

    No doubt Labour members in LDvCon races in London will maintain their purity next time round, and vote Labour in the UK’s silly FPTP system, and remove their votes from having any influence whatsoever. Mind you, that’s true in most UK Parliamentary seats anyway that have a built in majority.

    In a non-PR system, only floating votes in some constituencies have any meaning – barring the occasional sea-change in political allegiances.

  27. oldnat

    In some parts of London & surrounds the LD vote was not necessarily Lab voting tactically as the anti Tory vote (as you said).

    The anti-Tory vote of which there are many will not vote LD again in a hurry.

  28. the UK’s silly FPTP system
    —————————————————————————
    Why don’t we change it to AV?

  29. Nick Poole

    “The anti-Tory vote of which there are many will not vote LD again in a hurry.”

    I agree – in Scotland, that seems to be a nailed on certainty, except for a particular demographic which is “British, anti-Con, anti-Lab, vaguely left wing”. :-)

  30. Kyle Downing

    “the UK’s silly FPTP system
    —————————————————————————
    Why don’t we change it to AV?”

    Nah! No party actually wants AV, and none of them would be so daft as to sell their principles for a referendum on a “maybe better than FPTP” referendum. I am totally confident of that! :-) :-)

  31. Not sure if anyone else found Cameron’s speech at the Base 33 youth centre in Witney today very funny. Apart from the fact that the centre is under threat of closure –

    http://www.witneygazette.co.uk/news/wgheadlines/9122221.___It_will_be_shame_if_Base_33_goes___/

    I was really tickled to see the images of Cameron in front of a yoof mural on the wall behind him showing two ominous looking young people, faces hidden under hoodies. Priceless.

    @Roger Mexico – great analysis – certainly something to watch.

    @Tingedfringe – “Interestingly, Evan Harris (Vice-chair of LD federal policy committee)……”

    I must be seeing the brighter side of life tonight. When I first read you post I thought it said ‘Vice-chair of LD feral policy committee…..’

  32. No party actually wants AV
    ————————————————————————–

    True. Only Prime Ministers facing defeat and an oppertunistic leader of the Opposition who is prepared to jump on any bandwagon.
    What really made me laugh though was that the Labour government devised an electorial system for the Scottish Parliament that was “To prevent any party form winning an overall majority”. Well the last time I looked, there was an SNP landslide and guess what an overall majority. I bet Alex Salmond was having a good laugh at that. I certaintly was :) :)

  33. Interesting news from Libya & what looks like a senior defection to Egypt :-)

  34. Kyle Downing

    the Labour government devised an electorial system for the Scottish Parliament that was “To prevent any party form winning an overall majority”.

    Excuse me while I scream! That is totally wrong. The intention was to prevent any party gaining a majority in Holyrood unless it had near majority support among the electorate.

    The system actually worked exactly as it was intended to do.

  35. This from Warren Buffet, one of America’s richest men – “”My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.”

    Same applies in the UK, and it’s not only those envy wracked anti aspiration leftists that are saying the rich should pay more tax.

  36. @OldNat

    My mistake. I am not very familiar with the regional list however it is quite difficult to get a majority is it not?However Scotlands system works very well.

  37. Alec

    He also goes into detail –

    ” I would leave rates for 99.7 percent of taxpayers unchanged and continue the current 2-percentage-point reduction in the employee contribution to the payroll tax. This cut helps the poor and the middle class, who need every break they can get.
    But for those making more than $1 million — there were 236,883 such households in 2009 — I would raise rates immediately on taxable income in excess of $1 million, including, of course, dividends and capital gains. And for those who make $10 million or more — there were 8,274 in 2009 — I would suggest an additional increase in rate.”

  38. I suspect the South West poll is a bit of an outlier since the dramatic shift to the Lib Dems that it suggests is not being detected in any of the recent national polls, unless of course there has been some significant political developments in the region in the last four weeks that have passed me by. Tonight’s YouGov tracker reinforces the general “steady as she goes” trend with the recent disturbances seemingly failing to make any impact on voting intentions and with the Lib Dems still stuck and bouncing along the bottom..

    Slightly counter-intuitively, I had a slight hunch that, certainly in the short term, the rioting might dent Labour more than the Conservatives, playing as it does to essentially right wing issues like law and order, “feckless” parenting, juvenile delinquency, criminal “under-classes” and the argument for stricter penal policies. It’s good ground for Cameron and in his usual politically astute way he has feverishly gone about trying to snatch a political success from a potential disaster, quickly getting on the front foot by arguing that the disturbances prove his point about “Broken Britain”. Miliband, on the other hand, has a more difficult and complex hand to play. As a member of the last Labour Government he’s open to accusations, already being insinuated by Tory spokesmen, that he and his former colleagues are the real authors of the disaster that unfolded on our streets last week and, even if they weren’t entirely responsible, they were at least delinquent in dealing with the long-standing social issues that continued to fester during their time in office. Offering a more sophisticated and cerebral analysis, as Miliband is attempting to do, usually gains slower traction than headline grabbing calls to arms and, to that extent, maybe Labour should be relatively surprised and mildly relieved that the polls are still showing 8% leads for them.

    If Miliband’s analysis and set of policy solutions proves to be right, then he and his party may find themselves in a reasonable position to take some long term advantage, especially if the Cameron policy blitz and bandwagon quickly runs into political quicksand.

  39. @Alec – “… speech at the Base 33”

    If the vox-pop from a couple of those present was anything to go by, it didn’t go down well.

    It was tactfully edited out for later programmes (and I hope I’m not offending anyone on here), but on [email protected] an otherwise perfectly articulate thirteen-year-old called him a “nob/knob”.

  40. Kyle Downing

    “My mistake. I am not very familiar with the regional list however it is quite difficult to get a majority is it not?”

    No problem. Even those of us within the system thought it unlikely that any party could garner sufficient support to take most of the constituencies, and still gain seats from the top-up list system.

    On here, I postulated pre-election that it was theoretically possible.

    My point was that the AMS system wasn’t designed to prevent majority government, but to ensure that it could only happen if one party had a massive level of support. I’m quite sure that in 1998, Donald Dewar didn’t suspect that any party other than Labour could achieve that.

    I doubt that such a situation will re-occur for a number of elections to come, but the timing of this majority Government is fascinating. Guaranteed that whatever referendum question(s) the SNP want to ask will be asked.

  41. Here’s a blast from the past!

    “Independence now inevitable, says Tam Dalyell”

    … Mr Dalyell told The Scotsman he was “not in the least surprised” by the surge in SNP support. “I told you so… is the most unpretty things you can say. But there it is. It is not just the SNP. But every party in any parliament that is set up is asking for more and more,” he said.

    He refers to an extract in his book that recounts how Barbara Castle, a leading Eurosceptic when former PM Edward Heath wanted to join the Common Market, later lobbied for more powers for Europe when she entered the European Parliament.

    “In 1976, when Harold Wilson demitted and Jim Callaghan became prime minister and wanted Barbara out of his cabinet, it was decided as a sort of consolation prize that she should be the leader of the first Labour delegation to the elected European Parliament,” Mr Dalyell said.

    “Not within months, but within weeks, she was wanting more powers for the parliament. Why? Because she was bloody well there.”

    According to Mr Dalyell, the Holyrood situation is similar, with Labour, the Conservatives and the Lib Dems all joining the SNP in wanting more powers.

    “It is the same thing now,” he said. “Annabel Goldie and all … Because they are there, they want more, and that is the nature of parliaments. What I think (will result] is that something indistinguishable from independence (will arise]. Unless, you chose Tam Dalyell’s option and that is the abolition of the parliament.”…

    http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/scotland/Independence-now-inevitable-says-Tam.6819422.jp

    I love Tam.

    One of the first acts of the first post-independence government ought to be to give him a nice honour, for services to the Scottish nation. Other inaugural recipients should include Maggie, Tony and Dave. God bless em all.

  42. Simon M

    – “9% for UKIP looks way too high for me, so I’m guessing that’s probably a blip…”

    :D

    I love how a measured rise for another party is a “blip”, but a measured rise for your own party is a “recovery”!! Have you been taking lessons from Mark Senior?

    Incidentally Anthony, is Senior banned from UKPR? I haven’t seen him on these threads in ages, which seems odd for the Lib Dem spinmeister supreme. I heard he was a tad… err… “rude” about one of our finest polling firms… ;)

  43. If “UW#” is supposed to mean “unweighted”, then this pollster has a rather odd sample and some quite drastic resampling methods…

    The re-weighing seems to be to a big extent due to an extensive “factoring down” women and younger people.

    I think a sample composition with these raw numbers should rather be junked than used for mathematical resampling… the respondent subgroups are way too small to work out for a meaningful resampling.

    This poll is most certainly NOT representative of the populace, but with a very high probability gravely erroneous.

  44. No real change from yougov – except, it seems, the -24 for approval was a bit of an outlier.

    Tomorrow we should get another poll of ‘Who would make the best government?’
    Last time, it was (removing DKs) –
    Con majority – 34%
    Con-Lib – 12%
    Lab-Lib – 15%
    Lab majority – 38%

    A ‘Labour government’ (majority or coalition) hasn’t been below 50% since December 22nd.

    I don’t expect much change.
    Perhaps a slight shift from Con-Lib back to Con. They were on 37 just before the phone-hacking, but dropped to 34 soon after.

  45. Growth in the Germany economy in Q2 was just 0.1%, compared to 1.3% for Q1 (downgraded from 1.5%).

    France had 0% growth in Q2, compared to 1% in Q1.

    We had 0.2% growth (ONS think it may be upgraded to 0.3% because of strong construction figures), compared to 0.5% for Q1.

    Looks like the whole of Europe is having a hard time – I can’t imagine this German GDP figure will fill the markets with confidence.
    A lot of the market concern during the massive stockmarket decline was about US and European growth.
    If the powerhouse that is Germany dips in to recession, I dread to think what it’ll mean for the rest of Europe.

  46. “envy wracked anti aspiration leftists ”

    A memorable phrase Alec & pithily precise.

    ………….and from you of all people ! :-) :-)

  47. @Tingedfringe,

    But surely those bad growth figures are because of George Osborne’s handling of the economy? Surely if Ed Balls was Chancellor then Eurozone growthrates would be much higher than that?!

  48. @ CROSSBAT 11

    ” Offering a more sophisticated and cerebral analysis, ”

    …………or-as the sainted Oborne puts it :-

    “”Some commentators of both Left and Right have said that the rioters were somehow impelled by a sense of moral equivalence with expense-diddling MPs and bonus-toting bankers. I am not sure that will quite do, either. Yes, it was wrong of MPs to cheat the spirit (if usually not the letter) of the system, and yes, bankers’ bonuses are often nauseating. But I simply cannot agree that Gerald Kaufman’s expense-claim for a Bang and Olufsen television has somehow triggered or legitimated the torching of property in outer London.”

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