The brief media fuss over Michael Fabricant’s paper on some sort of Con-UKIP pact has included various references to old canard that UKIP cost the Conservatives 21 or more seats at the last election.

“At the General Election in 2010, UKIP cost the Conservatives, on a realistic estimate, around 20–40 seats, just by standing and taking a mere 3-4 % of the vote.”

This is nonsense of the highest order, but however often the argument is knocked down it refuses to lie down and die. At the last election there were 21 seats where the number of votes that UKIP got was larger than the number of extra votes the Conservatives needed to win. Where the argument that UKIP cost the Conservatives up to 40 seats comes from is beyond me, if every single UKIP voter has instead voted Conservative they would have got 21 more seats, no more.

However that is something of a big ask… every single UKIP voter voting Conservative? UKIP support has historically come disproportionately from the Conservatives, but not exclusively so, they take some votes from Labour, the Liberal Democrats and people who would otherwise not vote. Neither would those people miraculously go back to the Conservatives in the absence of UKIP – they were, presumably, unhappy enough with the Conservatives to want to vote against them, many would have found an alternate route to express their unhappiness, or just stayed at home.

Back in 2010 YouGov did a survey of 706 people who voted UKIP in the 2010 general election. It included questions asking which parties they would consider voting for in the future, and which parties they had voted for in the past.

Looking forward only 27% said they would consider voting Conservative in the future (compared to 9% who said they would consider voting Labour and 8% who’d consider voting Lib Dem). Looking back 20% of them had voted Tory in 2005, 12% were people who had backed Labour in 2005.

If we use that data, we can make an estimate of how many seats UKIP might have actually cost the Conservatives. Say UKIP had vanished, the 27% of 2010 UKIP voters who said they’d consider voting Tory had done so and the 8% and 9% who said they’d consider voting Lib Dem and Labour had done that…the Conservatives then would have won an extra five seats. If instead we look at how people voted in 2005, and assume people went back to their old voting habits in the absence of UKIP, then the Conservatives would have won one or two extra seats.

The idea that UKIP stopped the Conservatives winning 21 seats is lazy nonsense based on unsustainable assumptions (delightfully called “the politics of not understanding data” by Justin Fisher yesterday), a myth that deserves putting to bed for once and for all. A better estimate is around five seats.


160 Responses to “A myth that will not die”

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  1. THIS IS NOT A JOKE!
    The French MPs who follow the “defeated” candidate for the leadership of the right-wing UMP party, F. Fillon, decided to form a separate parliamentary group, called Rassemblement pour l’UMP, or RUMP!!! I did not believe it myself till I verified it!!!

  2. Virgilio
    Well it won’t mean anything in French (!) but I appreciate the joke. It was inevitable given the outcome of the party leader election (and one might say the general one) I find correlations with the Italian rightist parties break up and one gets the impression we are possibly seeing something similar here with the more rightest elements causing problems for the centrists.

    Er, possibly.

  3. Interesting piece Anthony.

    I wonder why those in the Conservative Party who get anxious about this , don’t listen to you?

  4. Howard
    “….The Lib Dems are going to lose seats -big time – unless the polls change. Thus whether the Tories gain 5 or 15 seats as a result of deals with UKIP (the chances about about which I scoff) , their problem is the 100 losses to Labour…..”

    I did some calculations a while ago on the assumption (if I remember correctly) that 50% of the 2012 LibDem vote would go to Labour in the next GE. One outcome that surprised me at the time was that Tories gain about 20 from LD in that scenario.

    Not enough to outweigh the losses to Labour, but enough to make the scenario less disastrous for the Tories than is often assumed.

  5. @Virgilio

    Any idea how the recount put Copé a thousand votes ahead? I thought the uncounted ballots were supposed to benefit Fillion?

  6. @Robin Hood

    “When the real election comes, and they find themselves starved of the publicity which the main three parties will benefit from, they will collapse back down to the 3% they polled in 2010.”

    Not in a million years! UKIP’s overall percentage has increased with each GE, along with the proportion of new voters compared to the previous election. I see no evidence whatsoever to suggest this would suddenly grind to a halt. In fact I would say they’re now more popular than ever.

    Plus I think many UKIPers keep this myth alive to wind up Tories. Though saying that, I think you lose more than just a voter when someone switches, even if the extent of that voter’s activism is promoting their party over a pint. There’s a certain degree of energy and momentum lost.

  7. @Trofimovspocketwatch
    True, but the Commission for the recount excluded altogether the overseas votes, pretexting irregularities, so the advantage of Cope increased instead of shrinking! (How convenient!)
    @Howard
    On a less hilarious register, I agree that we experience a total reshaping of the European political landscape, this begins from the right-wing parties, especially those of France and Italy, who are now in tatters, but it could also expand to the whole political spectrum, with new formations and alliances, as a result of the changing economical and social realities…..

  8. Colin

    I think it’s partly a case of people starting from the position “there must be a lot of people like me” and using that to justify suggestions that appeal to them.

    I don’t think a pact with UKIP is worthwhile, the rate of capturing votes isn’t going to be reliable, and there is the issue of where will the “labour leaning UKIP” vote go in the wake of a pact, back home I assume.

    That isn’t to say that some form of redefining our role within the EU wouldn’t be popular. You don’t need to do a deal with UKIP to benefit from the unpopularity of the EU.

  9. It would’ve been more accurate to say the last two elections have seen a proportional increase in voters. Stupid stats being on my inaccessible hard drive.

  10. I tend to see the rise in UKIP in terms of the general long term fall in the combined share of Labour and the Tories.

    IN the sixties is was close to 90% (Statgeek will have accurate figures) now I think it is about 75%.

    I think it is also worth noting that the rise in the UKIP vote is only about half of the fall in the Libdem vote share so UKIPisn’t necessarily going to cost the Tories that much.

    The Tories problem seems to be that the LibDems have split with those that agree with the coalition mostly sticking with the Libdems and those that don’t mostly switching to Labour.

    The disgruntled move the content remain, neither of which helps the Tories.

    What we need is for Statgeek to do us a Ven diagram showing firstly what Anthony has just given us with UKIP in the centre with overlaps to the other parries.

    Doing ones for other parties (and of course Scotland) would be an interesting visualisation of where the dangers are.

    And of course votes aren”t seats.

    If you get 40% of the vote you can win all the seats ( 40% in every seat with the split between the other parties meaning no one else gets 40%) or less than half (90% in less that half but only 30% and behind another candidate in most of the rest).

    Peter.

  11. Here’s one for the Teachers and those of us who never believed there was much wrong with the education system.

    http://uk.lifestyle.yahoo.com/uk-education-comes-sixth-global-league-table-130000692.html

  12. @PC

    “What we need is for Statgeek to do us a Ven diagram showing firstly what Anthony has just given us with UKIP in the centre with overlaps to the other parries.”

    http://statgeek.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/ven.png

    :P

  13. There seems to be a awful lot of assumption that the sole reason of the increased support for UKIP vote is disgruntled Tory supporters.
    I would suggest any increase of support is just as likely to be Labour voters, after all it is a fallacy that because you have voted Labour you wouldn’t find what UKIP were saying attractive, especially if believe in some way your being stopped from getting work or lost your job by what you perceive to be cheap foreign labour, or you believe that the currant human rights act is working against your countries interests and so on.
    Next year that will be re enforced when Rumania and Bulgaria are granted full travel and work rights and if past events are anything to go on many hundreds of thousands from those countries will look to the west for employment.
    I would not be surprised to see an increase in UKIP support in the next couple of years, of course this may not play out in actual seats but who knows.
    I should say that I’m not a supporter of UKIP I just think people and the media should be more open minded instead of repeating the same old mantra there all disgruntled Tory supporters.

  14. “only 27% said they would consider voting Conservative in the future”

    In full: 75% of 2010 Ukip voters would consider voting Ukip, Con 27%, BNP 21%, Lab 9%, LD 8%, Green 6%.

    The very next question in the survey was about parties the 2010 Ukip voter would “definitely NOT consider voting for”…

    Lab 70%, Green 48%, BNP 48%, LD 46%, Con 34%, Ukip 2%.

    The implication is that under certain circumstances the 27% could jump to 66%. The negative question is quite compelling when you look at the 98% who would (implied double negative) consider voting Ukip (well yes, they all did do just that).

    58% of Ukip’s 2010 voters had voted Conservative in past elections (35% voted Tory in 2005) – that number would be much higher if the question were asked today though, given the percentage of the 2010 Con vote now saying they would vote Ukip.

    The worry for Conservatives is that they lose more of their 2010 support – some unforseen event. If Con went into the election well down in the polls there could be some of those MP defections Stuart Wheeler is hoping for, and some voters might think ‘what the heck, Labour are going to win, I may as well vote Ukip’.

    One high profile Tory ideologue defecting might have real repercussions – the “earthquake” Ukip are hoping for at the next election.

    Alternatively Gove could be leader by then, and there is a pact.

  15. Thanks Virgilio – must be great just to be able to discount the votes you don’t like…

  16. @ Virgilio

    “THIS IS NOT A JOKE!
    The French MPs who follow the “defeated” candidate for the leadership of the right-wing UMP party, F. Fillon, decided to form a separate parliamentary group, called Rassemblement pour l’UMP, or RUMP!!! I did not believe it myself till I verified it!!!”

    The French are a proud people (and have every right to be btw) and are insistent on the use of the French language. I figure right wing MPs would be as firm as this as possible and that they wouldn’t care what the acronym stood for in English.

    It’s kind of like the time when we had the Libyan intervention and Sarkozy, Cameron, and Obama had a threeway conference call where Sarkozy insisted the conversation be conducted entirely in French. This dragged on the phone call about an hour and 17 minutes longer than it needed to be due to the fact that President Obama doesn’t speak French and was attempting to conduct the conversation using a handy French to English thesaurus and Sarkozy’s continual need to correct Obama’s midwestern (and wrong) pronounciations of French words and phrases. :)

  17. Edit: Forget the chart title in that one. Pinched the template from YG polling charts.

    Here’s a question for all you electoral genius folk.

    Did the SDP ever run against the Liberals in seats through the 80s?

  18. @Andyo

    “What is the Ross Perot Myth?”

    Most Republicans believe that Bill Clinton would not have defeated George Bush for reelection in 1992 had it not been for Ross Perot taking away votes from Bush. Perot won nearly 20% of the vote but failed to win a single state or electoral vote (he came closest in Maine and Alaska I think). Anyway, the polling evidence has not born that out. Instead study after study showed as did all the polls that if Perot was not on the ballot, voters would have split evenly between Clinton and Bush. In terms of any states where voters leaned one way or another, the effect was neglible. Perot maybe cost Bush Montana and maybe cost Bush Georgia. However, he probably cost Clinton the state of Florida.

    In 1996 when Perot’s percentage was cut in half, while both Dole and Clinton gained in total percentage of the vote share, Clinton actually gained a little bit more (Dole improved on Bush’s 1992 performance by 3% and Clinton improved on his 1992 performance by 6%.

    So the whole Perot thing is a myth but it’s a myth that won’t die.

  19. So please can someone give a estimation of how many seats the Tories might lose if UKIP got if the got10 percent of the vote? And if they could win any seats at all. I realise 10 percent is unlikely. But let’s just say they did!

    I don’t support ukip, I ask purely out of interest.

  20. This is why the Conservatives should have supported preferential voting.

    But in a little while after Scotland leaves after one (or two) referenda it will make no difference.

  21. @Billy Bob

    “The implication is that under certain circumstances the 27% could jump to 66%.”

    Split the difference and you get 46.5%, which is close to half. I might believe that percentage of UKIP voters did and maybe would vote Conservative if UKIP stopped overnight. Whether these people would vote Con in an election with the knowledge that UKIP might not get an MP in 2015 is another thing.

  22. Good Evening All.

    Just back from Westminster with my A Level Politics students.

    Education table looks interesting.

    I will believe that the English state secondary schools are good when they become good enough for our top politicians to entrust their own children to be educated there.
    This includes cemtre left politicians who pay fees or also send their children to church schools, while their own party policies are to close them down.

  23. The following excerpts from the EC 2010 statistical report on agricultural and rural employment and production in EU Member States indicates why the CAP continues, alfhough you’ld never guess it from their report, to provide for inefficient, unchnangin and essentially hobby farming in a signifcant number of the EU CAP beneficiary states, basically fostering their agricultural sectors as social welfare and pension supplements:

    http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/publi/situation-and-prospects/2010_en.pdf

    With 12.2 mio persons employed in 2009 in the EU-27, the primary sector (agriculture, hunting and forestry) represents 5.5% of the total employment for the EU-27, ranging from 1% in the United Kingdom to around 28% in Romania, 20% in Bulgaria and 13% in Poland.
    The average farm size varies from more than 50 ha in five Member States (Czech Republic, Denmark, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom and France) to less than 5 ha in four others (Malta, Romania, Cyprus and Greece).
    Despite the disappearance or the growth of small farms structural adjustment occurs at a low pace. As an example, the number of farms with less than 10 ha decreased by 1.3 mio between 1995 and 2007 in EU-15, but their share in the total of holdings only decreased
    from 70% to 67%.
    In 2007, in 17 Member States half of the holdings had less than 10 ha and there were still 6.4 mio farms in the EU with a (potential) gross value added of less than €1 200 per year, employing 23% of the total labour force but covering only 7% of the utilised agricultural area.
    Subsistence farms (where the farm household onsumes more than half of the farm production) still exist all over the EU (45% of the EU-27 holdings) but represent a
    critical challenge in several EU-12 Member States: in nearly half of them they represent at least 70% of the holdings, half of the total agricultural labour force and 20% of the utilised agricultural area and of the potential Gross Value Added.
    With more than 80% of the labour force coming from the farm holders’ family, EU agriculture is still largely based on family farms. Workers employed regularly make up
    12% of the labour force. However, a very large share of the employment is not occupied full-time in agriculture: around 33% of the family and regular workers in the EU-27 are working less than half time in agriculture and only 37% of them have full time jobs.
    In 2007, only 15% of the managers of family farms of the EU-27 had a working time in agriculture equivalent to a full-time job – this proportion being higher when looking at
    the EU-15 (25%) and lower when looking at the EU-12 (9%) – although 63 % of family farm managers continue to have no other gainful activity than agriculture.
    The agricultural labour force is relatively aged, with less than a quarter of managers who are less than 45 years old. This is particularly pronounced in Bulgaria and Romania but also in the old Member States where the number of new “young” managers is diminishing over the time. However, managers of less than 45 years old have on average a better farm structure than the average EU farm: 46% more area and 57% more economic potential for 21% more labour force.

    The statistics in a pie chart show separately 6 .9% of the French labour force in agriculture, and 2.9% in the UK but this set of figures is dodgy, and I think the 1% UK figure is nearer the mark. My conclusion is that the whole CAP exercise has been both misconceived, poorly or un-researched at the p[anning stage and incompetently and self-interestedly reported now by the responsible EC managers, and that both the CAP and the managers should go. This doesn”t argue for withdrawal from the EU; it does argue for radical surgery.

  24. STATGEEK

    FTPP
    “. My blog is going to focus a little between the YG poll charts, election charts and turnout charts. Basically eye-candy from data. I enjoy the spreadsheets practice.

    I’m in the middle of doing some post – by-election charts for now. A bit late, but I was hoping to have the site live by October (been unwell for a bit).

    Should have them done by mid-week. Tune in to the RSS feed or click the username here of course”
    ________________

    Looking forward to it STATGEEK. :)

  25. ALAN

    @”You don’t need to do a deal with UKIP to benefit from the unpopularity of the EU.”

    I agree, and I think this is where DC is headed.

    I don’t know what success he will achieve on repatriation of competencies, and I don’t know how he will persuade the extremists in his own party that a referendum on that, rather than membership of EU is the right thing.

    Presumably UKIP defectors will stay defected for anything less than an In Out referendum-but if what AW says is true, it doesn’t matter much.

  26. “The brief media fuss over Michael Fabricant’s paper on some sort of Con-UKIP pact has included various references to old canard that UKIP cost the Conservatives 21 or more seats at the last election”

    “The idea that UKIP stopped the Conservatives winning 21 seats is lazy nonsense based on unsustainable assumptions (delightfully called “the politics of not understanding data” by Justin Fisher yesterday), a myth that deserves putting to bed for once and for all. A better estimate is around five seats”
    ______

    Just 5 seats? Oh dear who will the Con’s blame next? Ah the Scottish Labour MP’s lost cost them a majority right? Oh hang on that was another myth that went pop!!

    The only thing which cost the Con’s seats was the FPTP system being more favorable to Labour.

  27. JOHN PILGRIM

    Very interesting.

  28. I’ll tell you what cost Con a majority.

    Not enough people will vote for them, especially outside the South/South East.

  29. And a bit of YouGov polling that Murdoch might not be so keen on:

    “60% believe the prime minister should implement Leveson’s recommendations, and while 79% favour legislation to create an independent press regulator, only 9% are opposed. Just over 80% said national newspapers should be obliged to sign up to the new system by law.”

  30. @Alan

    You said “…I don’t think it’s a given the UK and the rest of the EU will get into some tariff war to kill I don’t think it’s a given the UK and the rest of the EU will get into some tariff war to kill off any trade between us. I’m sure the Germans would hate the idea that they could no longer competitively export products here and would want to avoid that scenario at all costs…On the plus side we could attach a massive levy on Swiss coffee, seriously affecting the business strategy of one multinational company which would be a popular move…”

    * Your 1st paragraph assumes that country X would not want to impose tariffs and it would be a bad idea if they did.
    * Your 2nd paragraph assumes that country Y would want to impose tariffs and it would be a good idea if they did.

    @JoeR

    You said “…In other words don’t think polling data reflects the reality of how people would vote…”

    I assume all polls are inaccurate somehow, but I also assume that they are the best tool we have to estimate voting behavior. So in the absence of something better, I have to assume polling data reflects the reality of how people would vote.

    @Pete B FPT

    I wasn’t casting nastertiums, it was a honest question. Many points made about the EU and the alternatives are either factually true or false, and so fall within my purview. The ones that don’t are those which involve judgement calls from the individual: is the decrease in sovereignity worth the increase in wealth, is the wastage reasonable or unreasonable, and so on. All I can do in these cases is refer the questioner to the facts and leave it to them to weigh the alternatives. But some points cannot be proven true or false, and here my logic fails me. One of these points is whether the three main parties misled during the 70’s referendum. I don’t have polling data as to what the public understood, and even if I did, I don’t know what the three main parties were (collectively) thinking. So I can’t say aye or nay to whether any misleading took place and, if it did, whether it was deliberate.

    It may be worth pointing out that two of the “Yes” campaigners during the 70’s were a young Margaret Thatcher and Norman Tebbit. Given that neither person is known for dissembling, there is a prima-facie case for saying that for at least some people, there was no intent to mislead

    rgdsm

  31. @SocialLiberal
    All true!!! Sarkozy was the king of the ridiculous, but unfortunately he represents a strong current in French thinking. For the record, the RUMP group has now 68 MPs, and it is the 3d group in the French National Assembly (Parliament), after the Socialists (296) and the UMP (124), and ahead of the Centrist UDI (31), the Greens (17), the Left Liberals (16) and the Left Front (15), whereas there are 7 non-affiliated MPs (2 of Bayrou’s MD, 2 National Front, 1 various far right and 2 various right), plus 3 vacant seats.

  32. Chrislane

    ” I will believe that the English state secondary schools are good when they become good enough for our top politicians to entrust their own children to be educated there. This includes cemtre left politicians who pay fees or also send their children to church schools, while their own party policies are to close them down.”

    The answer is simple, require mps by law to use public services exclusively, they will soon change their tune on what’s affordable and what is politically incorrect. Unfortunately no party has it as a policy!!!

  33. RICHARD IN NORWAY
    “The answer is simple, require mps by law to use public services exclusively, they will soon change their tune on what’s affordable and what is politically incorrect. Unfortunately no party has it as a policy!!!”
    i.e. you, e.g. the Labour Party,, spend half a century csrefully preserving a private sector in education, heath and care of the aged as historically part of a society built on freedom of choice and a social market, and then require your MPs statutorily to be denied this element of the democratic structrure, imposing political discipline on social justice and the exercise of liberty? B-ll-cks, if you don’t mind my saying so.

  34. @Virgilio

    You said “…Sarkozy was the king of the ridiculous…”

    No he wasn’t the king. But he was on the short list.

    Boom, boom.

    Pause.

    Tumbleweed.

    Je vais chercher mon manteau… :-)

    rgdsm

  35. Martyn,
    I gave a couple of examples of the 1975 referendum campaign in a previous thread. I’m not saying that the ‘ever-closer integration’ theme was never mentioned, but that it was certainly never emphasised in TV interviews or in the press (who were all pro-EC). I followed the campaign pretty closely, and the only way I found out that the EC planned such a future was by reading the treaties, and I don’t suppose many people did that.

    Even the referendum question stressed the Free Trade aspect – ‘Do you think that the United Kingdom should remain part of the European Community (the Common Market)?’

    To my eternal shame, this is the one election in my life in which I abstained. I instinctively wanted to vote No, but was persuaded by the Yes campaign, backed by the press and big business, that only extremists would vote No. Looking at the ‘No’ leaders you can see the point – Benn, Powell, and Paisley.

  36. @Statgeek

    Loving your site (http://www.statgeek.co.uk/ ), apart from the Thing Of Which We Do Not Speak[1].

    One question: who hosts it? How do you upload content? Do they host Flash? OK, that’s three questions.

    rgdsm

    [1] 3d pie charts. OK, we occasionally speak of it. Sotto voce.

  37. @PeteB

    Thank you. I don’t have useful memories of the occasion, so I appreciate your memories.

    rgdsm

  38. Statgeek
    I second that. I like your site a lot. I expect you’ve got all the historic data you want, but let me know if you’d like a s/sheet with GE results back to 1928, with votes, turnouts, percentages for major parties etc etc.

  39. Statgek,

    Weill it’s the narrowest website I’ve ever seen!

    That probably suits quite a few here…..

    Peter.

  40. PeterCairns
    “I tend to see the rise in UKIP in terms of the general long term fall in the combined share of Labour and the Tories.”

    Something we can agree about at last! The two big English parties still seem to be very complacent about fighting for their combined dwindling share of the vote. There could possibly be a tipping point in the next GE, where a party forms a government with less than 20% of the electorate voting for them*. What sort of mandate will they have then?

    *Record so far – Labour 21.7% 2005

  41. Anthony – I accept your conclusions about UKIP’s impact on the 2010 election, but it isn’t very helpful in terms of judging their future impact (which is how some above, but not you, have been considering it).

    Where is the current 8% UKIP support with YouGov coming from, in terms of former allegiances? The YouGov tables provide a pretty clear pointer, subject to rounding errors and the need to repeat the analysis over several different polls to reduce random variations.

    So UKIP’s 8% in the latest poll equates to around 101 people in the weighted sample (1624 X 78% decided voters X 8% UKIP). By the same method, 59 are 2010 Cons, 8 are 2010 Lab and 13 are 2010 LD. The remaining 21 would mostly have voted UKIP in 2010 although there may be a handful who voted for another party or who did not vote at all. And more of those 21 will have been drawn from former Con than Lab voters prior to 2010, perhaps with a greater difference than is apparent in 2010 analyses, because of the recovery in Lab popularity relative to Con since then.

    So the DIFFERENCE between the number of former Con and Lab voters now supporting UKIP is certainly more than half of the total number of UKIP supporters. So, of UKIP’s 8%, it’s reasonable to conclude that if they all reverted to former type, the gap between Lab and Con would narrow by more than half i.e. by some 5%. And, without doing the maths, a 5% narrowing in Labour’s poll lead would make the difference to the Conservatives winning and losing in an awful lot of seats. Is that 50 seats? Perhaps more?

  42. PS. Re the above, I was thinking of majority not seats won/lost when I wrote it. 1 seat won or lost amounts to a difference in a government’s majority of 2.

    I should have written “a 5% narrowing in Labour’s poll lead would make the difference to the Conservatives winning and losing in an awful lot of seats. Is that equivalent to a majority of 50? Perhaps more?”

  43. @Martyn

    [1] – I did qualify the use in one paragraph. If you mean the front page, that’s just for a bit of flashy 3D chart look. If I use them, I’ll always ensure the data is appropriate etc.

    Host – See the bottom of the About page. Uploads using SFTP protocol on Filezilla. No idea about Flash. I can’t imagine it being a problem…flash is just a file set to run on page load. It’s a unix host by the way.

    @Pete B

    I would love to get a glance at it, if only to confirm my own data. Over the years I’ve used BBC, wiki and Hansard and occasionally get conflicting data. I presume it’s partly due to loose alliances such as Liberal National merging with Conservative and others, such as the UUP.

    My own data, as it is goes back to 1945 to try to avoid too much of that. It also avoids the war government changes. I suppose anyone alive that voted that far back is probably sick of politics by now. :)

    @PC

    Narrow? Are we talking dimensions or parochial? :P

    It’s the same width as UKPR and most blogs I think. I hadn’t given it much thought until now, and just adjusted it slightly. Not much change. I intended it so that people with 1024 x 768 can view it , and the blown up charts. One must cater for all sorts of user interfaces.

  44. I am virtually certain – partly through gut feel – that the truth of this is “in between”.

    About half, probably just over, are Tories – whatever they say.
    So rather more than those that can be officially identified as here.

    But neither is it true that almost all the UKIP votes would otherwise have gone to the Tories.

  45. I never claimed that the Tories would’ve won all those 21 seats, but I think 5 is a ridiculously low estimate, extrapolated from a single opinion poll. And the point still stands: current boundaries + UKIP spoilers makes a Tory victory almost impossible. You’d have to offer me 10/1 before I even thought about risking a tenner on a Tory majority. Remember, the Tories haven’t won a majority since 1992, and nothing except a unified centre-right will get them back in.

  46. John pilgrim

    I don’t believe in freedom of choise for mps, as far as I’m concerned the give up their rights when they win election. There are or should be public servants and I believe the law should be draconian with them, for instance 5 years minimum for defrauding the public(expenses) 10 years minimum for accepting bribes. And yes they should be made to suffer the same public services as they make other folk suffer. With power come responsibility. I also believe that in Exchange for their obscene high wages CEO’s and directors should be legally responsible for everything that happens in their companies. Your firm cheats on its taxes, you go to jail, you didn’t know well tough luck it was your job to know. Someone dies in an accident because your company wasn’t following health and safety regs, that’s unintentional manslaughter due to negligence, 5 years in jail. I think I might be an extremist!!!

  47. Statgeek
    I went back to 1928 because that was the start of universal adult suffrage. I’m not sure how to get the data to you. Should I register on your site, and can I then upload?

  48. NICKP

    “I’ll tell you what cost Con a majority”

    “Not enough people will vote for them, especially outside the South/South East”
    ______

    Aye it’s known as “them pesky northerners” ;)

  49. Everyone is welcome to register (shameless plug!). However, if you like, upload it to ‘freefilehosting.net’. That’s where I used to pop such things. I don’t have an upload feature anyway.

    Note to Anthony:

    My site isn’t intended to overshadow or in any way copy your wonderful site, so much as to add another dimension to the polling data (I’d been meaning to host some electoral data charts stuff for a long time anyway).

    I’ll not plug my site beyond replies to others, and obviously if it’s spammy, jump in and have at me. Somehow I can’t see folk getting all chatty about a few charts for more than a post or two anyway :)

    You will notice as the site grows that I will avoid polling commentary beyond the obvious. Not my area of expertise.

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