Lord Ashcroft has commissioned a poll in Corby ahead of the by-election (while he doesn’t say, Ashcroft’s fieldwork in constituency polls is normally carried out by Populus). The full tabs are online here.

Topline voting intention in Corby is CON 37% (down 5 from the election), LAB 52% (up 13), LD 7% (down 8), Others 4%(down 1). This equates to a swing from Conservative to Labour of 9 points, the equivalent of an eleven point national lead. With a comfortable fifteen point lead Labour shouldn’t have any particular problem taking the seat.

There were also some specific questions on Louise Mensch. 35% of people agree she was a good local MP, 29% of people disagree. 82% of people agreed she was entitled to put her desire for a better family life ahead of continuing as an MP, but equally 65% of people think she should have thought through how she would balance family life and life as an MP before standing for Parliament.

158 Responses to “Ashcroft poll shows Labour 15 points ahead in Corby”

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  1. Miliband is courageous to have stated from the start that Labour are competing against apathy even more than Conservatives or Lib Dems

  2. PeeWee,

    – “Will the Lib Dems retain their deposit?”


    Lib Dems share of vote in by-elections during the current parliament:

    Bradford West 4.6% (-7.1) LOST DEPOSIT
    Feltham and Heston 13.7% (-2.9)
    Inverclyde 2.2% (-11.1) LOST DEPOSIT
    (Belfast West (Alliance) 0.5% (-1.4) LOST DEPOSIT)
    Leicester South 22.5% (-4.4)
    Barnsley Central 4.2% (-13.1) LOST DEPOSIT
    Oldham East and Saddleworth 31.9% (+0.3)

    The Lib Dems got 14.5% at UK GE 2010 in Corby. They need to drop just 9.6 points to lose their deposit, which looks perfectly feasible on current trends, but far from certain.

  3. Losing Corby would change the balance of power enough to make a difference to the Coalition politics.

    For the SNP to vote with the Tories for anything that doesn’t carry a big benefit for Scotland would be electoral suicide, IMO. Any trading on the referendum would also be fraught with political danger for both Cameron & the SNP.

    Also, the political/ media impact on Cameron would be significantly adverse, if he was reduced to horse-trading with the DUP, nats, green etc. every time he really needed to win a vote.

    This by-election is a real kick in the teeth for the Tories & Dave from their A-lister, Mrs M.

  4. The lib dems will easily retain their deposit here.

  5. Stuart Dickson

    Your Feltham and Heston figures are actually those for the 2010 General Election. The by-election figures are 5.9% (-7.8).

    Given that politically F&H had the nearest figures to Corby of this parliament’s by-elections, like Lord Ashcroft’s poll it suggests the Lib Dems might save their deposit but not by much

  6. On being a party member when you don’t belong anyway.

    Leaving aside the person who commissioned this Corby poll :-), are we forgetting our learned colleague Eoin who was the life and soul of this blog back along?

    I was under the impression that the UKIP stood for ‘UK’ independence. I admit I had never considered what they might think about Scotland.

  7. There are some perverse results in there, for example, table 19 shows that an overwhelming majority of those polled agreed with the broad, unsubtle sentiment that coalition austerity is preferable to Labour’s keynesian economics. Table 18 shows that more people believe that the Tory’s are ‘willing to take tough decisions for the long term’ and ‘Competent and capable’ and table 20 shows that Cameron, Clegg and Osborne are trusted more than Miliband and Balls. And yet, in spite of this Labour has a large lead in the party polling, It seems fickle to be honest, just voting for the opposition for the sake of it. Labour will have to do a lot more to win the GE – it’s not over yet.

    As for the 41 people who thought that the LD’s will win the by-election, they are clearly insane.

  8. @ Amber

    Why are you saying a Labour gain makes a big difference to the Tories parliamentary position? They seem to have enough of a majority with the Lib Dems that one seat doesn’t change anything.

    Obviously with a few Labour gains it makes a ‘rainbow alliance’ more of a possibility but there is no way that Clegg and many other Lib Dem MPs are going to join something like that.

  9. Labour should be a bit concerned at the modest 5% drop in Tory support since the general election in this seat, assuming the figures are accurate of course. As a Labour supporter I’m pleased with the regular 8-11% poll leads but that Tory figure should really be under 30% on a regular basis to signal a Labour win in 2015- in my opinion.

  10. lol a nine percent swing is troubling for Labour, because the Tories aren’t shrinking dramatically from what was already one of their worst mandates achieved (and not enough to govern alone)?

  11. SCOTTY and CRAIG.

    You are absolutely correct about the worrying, for Labour, figures.

    When we compare these figures to the figures won by Labour prior to 1997, they look ordinary

  12. @CL

    …and everything that isn’t a historic landslide is deeply worrying for Labour.

  13. Also, if this poll is correct, Labour are in 97-01 territory in Corby.

  14. “Ordinary” ?

    53% is a whisker away from Labour’s 1997 vote share-& we all know what happened in that year.
    It also exceeds every Labour vote share in Corby except 1997.

    It is Cons that are “ordinary”.

    37% takes them back to their 2001 GE number.

    Labour will walk it-bound to.

    But it’s a by election in the middle of a recession ( so-called) -what else was going to happen.?

    Cons lose Corby, nothing much happens, shock.

  15. Roger Mexico, “Your Feltham and Heston figures are actually those for the 2010 General Election. The by-election figures are 5.9% (-7.8).”

    Whoops! Thanks. ;)

  16. @Colin , yes but these are figures for a by election , not a general election. The nature of by elections is they tend to exaggerate the anti government mood. If the Tories, as a governing party, polled 37% in the by election it’s a safe bet they’d poll higher in a general election.

  17. I can’t see Con pollling more in Corby in the next general election than they did last time.

    It won’t be enough if Lab retain the anti-Tory Lib Dens.

  18. NICK P.
    IMHO as we say, it is not enough for TIGPOO to rely on winning the votes of anti tory Lib Dems.

  19. Howard

    “I was under the impression that the UKIP stood for ‘UK’ independence. I admit I had never considered what they might think about Scotland.”

    Quite possibly they havn’t either. Especially after a “YES” vote.

  20. For a mid term VI and by election Labour does not have an extra ordinary lead.

  21. Any Chance Lord Ashcroft ever commissioning a poll on public opinion regarding Nom Doms?

  22. tigpoo has 38/39% in the bag unless the anti-Tories from LD decide to wander off.

    If Lab actually comes up with some policies…watch them go!


    If you cast your mind back just before the last UK election it was the SNP who said they would support a minority Labour government but if I’m correct some within the Labour party saw the dark clouds brewing over the cuts etc and thought it would be better to sneak into opposition for a few years!!

    Aye thanks to Labour for another Tory government. ;)

  24. NICK P.

    Watch em go where? ROFL.

    Jo Grimmond used to say that if any Liberal Party policy came anywhere near the Orkney Islands, he would blow up the boat. ! (smiley face)

    Glad to see you use TIGPOO.

  25. I always thought it was “This Great Movement Of Ours”?


  26. “…the Tories will almost certainly lose a seat which we put considerable energy into winning only two years ago. As things stand, we could expect to lose many similar marginals where Labour are in second place. My battleground poll a year ago found the general position in these seats was rather worse than in the country as a whole.” (Michael Ashcroft).

    “Battleground” seats like Corby were indeed blitzed with high visibily advertising/multiple personalised mailshots from Ashcroft’s operation in central office.

    The evolution of his marginal game-plan will be something to watch. How much should one spend trying to hold a seat like Corby at the GE?

  27. I must say, i’m disappointed LM has resigned. I disagreed with her position on many things, but she was a very confident, articulate communicator. It’s a loss to DC.

  28. @Chris L 45/Nick P

    I think Nick P wins it in the recollection stakes; “This Great Movement of Ours” (TIGMOO) was the oft heard phrase trotted out from the podium at many a Labour Conference in the 60s and 70s. I’m not quite sure where Chris is getting TIGPOO from, unless he’s thinking of “This Great Party of Ours”; a phrase I can’t ever recall being used, to be honest.

    Mind you, I always preferred Harold Wilson’s description of Labour when he said “The Labour Party is a moral crusade or it is nothing.” As true now as it was then.

  29. Think Mrs Mensch will end up employed by Murdoch?

    So do I.

  30. I took part in the discussion on here a few days ago regarding changes in standards at A Level and Degree level. A Level results have been released today, and I have come across the following from poltiics.co.uk
    ‘ GCE A-Level and O-Level examinations were first sat in 1951, on the premise that students took one or the other. Until 1953, A-Level exams were graded only as a pass or fail, at which point a “distinction” grade was introduced. In 1963, a five grade scheme was introduced, with quotas for the allocation of grades: 10 per cent of candidates would receive an A grade, 15 per cent a B, 10 per cent a C, 15 per cent a D, 20 per cent an E, and a further 20 per cent would receive an O Level pass.

    This arrangement persisted until the 1980s, with ongoing concern being voiced about the narrowness of many grade boundaries brought about by the quota system: in 1982, some subjects saw a B and a D separated by a margin of just 8 marks. Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, a campaign to switch the system to a mark-boundary grading system was waged, which was finally successful in 1987. The O-Level pass grade was dropped this year, and replaced by the considerably narrower “N” grade, which signified a “near miss”.’
    This rather implies that prior to 1987 in any given academic year 30% of those taking the examination failed to achieve the lowest E pass grade available.The A Level pass rate,therefore, never could exceed 70% until the late 1980s.

  31. GRAHAM.
    Good evening.
    At some stage students were given actual final % marks.
    The Oxford Board had Grade 1-Grade 6 at O Level in 1971.

    The Professor in each University wrote the papers and the mark scheme. LCB Seaman, a friend of my late Father, was in charge of the London Board.
    A grades at A level were very rare in 1973.

    TIGPOO is my own invention, but I did hear references to this great party of ours.

    Wilson:: Yes, but not a moral crusader, I think. Except he did his very best over IN PLACE OF STRIFE, and was let down by his comrades. Replaced by the Solemn and Binding Agreement by the TUC. Healey asked who was Solomon and who was Binding.

  32. Allan Christie & Amber Star

    Supporting a Labour government at Westminster is no problem for the SNP or indeed for a Labour government.

    For SLAB it is too difficult to contemplate.

  33. Corby will be a high profile by-election.

    Turn out will be relatively high.

    There will be a substantial Laour majority.

    Disgruntled Tories [are there any other types?] will vote UKIP or stay at home to demonstrate to David Cameron how much more sensible he would be to adopt more right wing policies and ditch the Lib Dems.

    Ergo UKIP will do quite well and the LD’s very badly

  34. Some random thoughts:

    1) This poll is interesting. Those who say that this isn’t so good for Labour as it’s a by election etc, may be missing something. I could well be wrong, but my impression is that by election poll movements develop as the campaign gathers momentum.

    In Corby, we have no campaign – it’s a fair bet many Corby voters won’t have realised they will be asked to vote soon, so it may be possible to read this poll as being a ‘normal’ poll, rather than a ‘by election’ poll, but just focused on a restricted geographical area. In which case, Tories 5% lower than the GE is not too good for them. I think we ought to save any dismissal of good/bad by election performances until after we see the votes, but if Cameron is losing votes heavily in tight marginals he already holds, that isn’t good news for a party that needs to win more seats, as opposed to just holding on to enough current seats.

    2) Economic data. Better retail sales and a continuing improvement in employment. The ONS haven’t updated the productivity section of recent employment stats, so this data is only up to the end of June, but the productivity drop is marked. In manufacturing, the loss of productivity was very significant – around 2.5%, with a 0.3% figure for services.

    This tends to back up the CIPD survey data that many firms were hoarding skilled staff in anticipation of an upturn, with signs that low confidence is such that many are preparing to begin shedding staff.

    I’m pretty sure we’re going to see some sharp increases in unemployment from the manufacturing sector, and while I think services will also shed jobs, it could be less marked. Either way, the next 2 – 3 months will be critical, but it does suggest that the Q2 GDP figures will be revised upwards.

    3) Eurozone – The Finnish Foreign Minister is talking some unpalatable truths it seems, saying that a euro breakup is coming, it will be costly and painful, but that it won’t destroy the EU – and may actually improve it.

    He said Finland would not tolerate fiscal union by stealth and would block various measures on changes to the seniority of bail out fund bonds. He said he doesn’t trust the head of the ECB and other EU insiders. He is giving the EZ and ECB very little room to maneuver.

    The only questions to be resolved are whether it will be the north that walks away or the south that will be forced out through market crisis, and whether only one or two small countries leave or whether it is a wholesale breakup.

  35. Well, Paul Croft has told us so that is the end of that.

  36. I wonder what percentage in a poll would have sympathy with Assange?

    I’ve no idea how he thought he could do what he did without very serious repercussions.

  37. Alec

    Give us a detailed breakdown of your savings, economic interests, and all audited by an independent impeccable source. Then i will be prepared to take your constant tirades here on the Euro with more than a pinch of salt.

    Up for it?

  38. wot no nationwide poll tonight?

  39. Labour lead on 9: Latest YouGov/The Sun results 16th August – CON 35%, LAB 44%, LD 8%, UKIP 6%; APP -34 y-g.co/Q3zFID

  40. C 35 L 44 LD 8 UKIP 6 GA -34. Higher than normal Conservative VI.

  41. Howard:

    I am aiming for Rob S. certainty levels as I have noted that that is very popular with everybody.

    But feel free to have a bash yourself and apologies for not adding the customary, polite IM’UO


    @”I’ve no idea how he thought he could do what he did without very serious repercussions.”

    Because he is desperate & has ditched all pretence.

    Except his final one-that to escape the unfair justice of Sweden-that’s SWEDEN- he must take refuge in that nirvana of human rights-Ecuador.

  43. Colin: Agreed, but I meant the initial hacking

  44. @Howard – I’m not sure if you are entirely serious. I would be surprised if you think I am forming my views on the Euro based on what personal benefit/loss any changes could bring to me. That’s a slightly weird way to proceed on a site such as this – in effect you are implying that no one has a worthwhile opinion on politics and economics, unless the outcomes have no effect on their own lives.

    For what it’s worth, I have no idea what the personal effect on me would be if the Euro breaks up. I’m guessing it would generally be bad, in the short term, but only from the general economic explosion this would cause. I have no financial holdings other than limited UK savings and a small mortgage, so I really haven’t a clue what it would do to me. In terms of direct impacts, I stand to gain and lose absolutely nothing either way.

    But that really isn’t the point. I just read what key people say and make a judgement. Economists were clear right back to the 1970’s that monetary union without fiscal union wouldn’t work, and no one listened to them. We are now at crunch time, and for a long time I have been of the opinion that there is no way to square the circle between the demands of voters in the north and south of the EZ, and that eventually politics will catch up with economics and the Euro will be forced to make substantial changes in it’s operation and membership.

    I really don’t know why my personal financial situation has the least bit to do with this.

  45. By the way – Corby: there is a new phenomenen at play here. The LD’s are part of the coalition and they have taken the greatest hit.

    It seems to me that the sensible thing to do is compare COALITION GE votes with the present poll – not just the Tories.

    They are down, combined 13%, Labour are up 13%. As those awful Americans say so un-grammatically “you do the math.”

  46. @Colin – I thought the government briefings that they could enter the embassy to arrest Assange were very ill judged and dangerous. It seems they have rowed back from this, but there is a world of difference in refusing to guarantee safe passage and actually entering a foreign embassy uninvited.

    I would imagine UK diplomats were shivering in their bones when they heard those news reports, and I’m really surprised anyone in government could have suggested such a thing.

  47. Alec: I think you are quite right – its basically humpty dumpty unfixable.

    I’m curious as to where this would leave Scotland in the event of independence being voted for. Could they maintain the sterling connection but have a totally different budget or join the euro – and STILL have a totally different budget, or perhaps an integrated Northern European one?

  48. I think we can safely say that there has been a slight increase in the Tory vote share since the end of the Olympics. That’s the fourth or fifth time in a row now that they have got 34-35% with Yougov daily polls. A very small change, but a change nevertheless. Will it last? I doubt it.

  49. Labour’s leads with Yougov have also fallen very slightly. Compare last week’s Yougov polls with this week’s and there has been a slight fall.

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