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. @paulcroft – I’m not going there tonight I’m afraid.

    The Guardian has a funny report about George Osborne’s economics experts now telling him to borrow to invest and ditch austerity, saying “Almost half of experts who backed chancellor in opposition now say Treasury should borrow to spend on infrastructure projects”.

    I find this funny on two counts. Firstly, it highlights the danger of politicians campaigning on the basis of what other ‘experts’ think. People change their minds, and when those same people who you said really know what they are talking about, start to say that you are wrong, you have a presentational issue on your hands.

    The second thing I find very funny about this is the economics ‘experts’ themselves. The government did what they suggested, and now it’s all gone wrong. Do they get all embarrassed and crawl away in shame to seek to repair their damaged credibility?

    Sadly not. But we still keep asking these people what we should do. That’s the really funny bit.

  2. Labour will win the bi-election comfortably. It’s pretty much guesswork to say what Labour/the Tories should be doing in Corby at the moment. You would expect Labour to take it comfortably if it is to have a reasonable chance of even becoming the largest party in 2015, but it looks like Labour will achieve this.

  3. I don’t think many people would have expected otherwise. The movement, if it’s statistically significant, is small. Nor do I think it’s likely to hold. The reduction in unemployment may also have very slightly helped the Tories. Hasn’t done the LDs much good though. Maybe it’s just statistical noise but it does seem that there is a very fractional narrowing of the gap yes.

  4. Alec: Fair enough.
    Nobody goes Norrrrrth of the Borrrrder at night.

  5. JOHN B DICK

    “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”
    ________________

    Yes because in order for SLAB to have any credibility it has to make the SNP out to be the big bad boogeyman!! ;)

  6. Scottish migration to Corby has created a unique population in the borough, evidenced most clearly in the ‘Corby accent’, referred to as ‘Corbyite’, which is often described as sounding Glaswegian. The link with Scotland is a strong feature of the area: according to the 2001 Census, there were 10,063 Scottish-born in the Corby Urban Area – 18.9% of the population. A further 1.3 per cent were born in Northern Ireland. It has been estimated that a further third of the population are Scottish or of Scottish descent.
    ……

    Crikey if Labour do win this seat then Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont will take the credit and say..”Corby has come home”

  7. Labour will win Corby of course baring a major unforeseen event.
    The turnout will be interesting as it will probabaly be based on Anti-Tory LDs from 2010 and Con anstensions. If there are some signs of Labour picking up some 2010 cons that could be significant but sadly I think it is still probably too early for that.

  8. @Allan Christie
    “Scottish migration to Corby has created a unique population in the borough”
    Any chance that SNP might stand in Corby and push LDs down to 6th?

  9. JIM JAM

    As with any by-election every party will pick and squabble over the crumbs. I doubt you can read too much into it but another loss will look bad for DC.

  10. one of the clear patterns from this poll is that it confirms the pattern we have see in polling data for the last few months and ironicly is the same change see between 2009 and now, in some ways it only goes to show that what we have see over the last six months is beering fruit in that the libdems are doomed and conservatives are back to there pre election levels of 33-34%. so this by-election means alot in that if the conservatives lose they will almost go on to lose in 2015 unless something fantastic happens to revive there fortunes such as strong GDP growth. what could help both the lib dems and con’s is a budget of tax cuts for low and middle income familes prehaps a cut in income tax by 1p in the pound and the return of te 10% starting rate of tax extended to those who earn upto £20k, with other bands being altered likewise. tax cuts for the less well paid are always vote winners.

  11. PEEWEE

    LOL I’ll send an email off to Bute House.. ;)

  12. Tories on 35% might be significant if supported by upward ticks in other polls but, in the absence of that data for now, we may have to be a little cautious considering how YouGov seems to be consistently giving the Tories higher ratings than other pollsters. It wasn’t long ago that we had an Opinium poll showing them on 31%.

    I await the next non-YouGov poll with interest! (sorry, Anthony!!)

  13. @ Old Nat (and Stuart Dickson, Aberdeen Cynic, and Peter Cairns)

    I saw a Facebook posting today for “SNP LA.” I excitedly thought to myself this must be some sort of group for ex-pat Scots Nats living in Los Angeles. Then I clicked on the link and sadly discovered that this was something altogether different.

    http://www.foundanimals.org/cash-for-cats

    :)-

  14. Polling for Corby doesn’t surprise me. It’s in line with national polling (last time, Labour’s candidate in Corby did better than Labour’s national result). I think that with these types of national numbers, if the Tories are to win the next election, they’re going to have to trash Labour really hard and go after the possibility of Ed Miliband as a PM. I don’t think that can be done effectively in a by-election.

    Makes me wonder if special elections in the U.S. are more predictive of national trends than by-elections in the UK. Or equally predictive as the case may be.

  15. Any of you interested in 2012 U.S. elections can check out this link here for a contest for which Congressional challengers should get the next big endorsement/fundraising pitch. You might be able to vote yourself but you can advise me who you think I should vote for.

    http://www.cadem.org/action/winbackthehouse?msource=20120816em

    I’m going to be honest though here and point out that while none of these people are incumbents, many of them aren’t actually challengers. CA-2, CA-21, CA-29, and CA-51 are basically open seats we hold currently. (I’m not sure about CA-47……I can’t decide whether to classify it as a Dem held or GOP held seat).

    Also, some of these candidates have NO shot at all. Actually, I really hate this page now that I look more closely at it. Anyway, for those of you who are political junkies, you might enjoy it.

  16. @ Allan Christie

    Labour doesn’t support independence; that’s what is the ‘bogeyman’ not the SNP per se.

    We also took exception to the personality/ presidential politics used by the SNP in the Holyrood campaign. ‘Alex Salmond for 1st Minister’ on every ballot. Each to his own but, IMO, yeuch! And Labour in Scotland never fell head over heels for Tony Blair, so I think we are not hypocrites to say we’re against such tactics.
    8-)

  17. @ Red Rich

    “Funny things happen in bi-elections – but rarely do they indicate who will actually win the next general election.”

    That’s what I’ve noticed! I also feel that for whatever reason, by-elections aren’t quite local, aren’t quite national. Local candidates seem to make all the difference too.

    I know there was a post 1997 by-election right after the elections where Tony Blair was at the very height of his popularity and he came to campaign in a Tory seat that had only narrowly stayed Tory in t he election with a seemingly hard left/crazed Labour candidate. For the special election, Labour had Andy Slaughter who was a much better candidate. Despite having a better candidate and Blair visiting, Labour lost the special election by a larger margin than it did in the preceding general election.

  18. The Conservatives dont seem to be phased by this By- Election. And the fact that the Louise Menshe is leaving Corby.The Seat is a Labour one and the core vote being Slightly left. But it is a blow for the leadership of David Cameron.

  19. @Peewee

    “Any chance that SNP might stand in Corby and push LDs down to 6th?”

    Worth a try, in fact, it would be worth the money if the SNP popped a candidate on to every seat in the UK, just to scare the opposition. No active campaigning outwith Scotland; too costly.

    @Amber

    If I don’t like Alex Salmond, I may not vote for his party. Same goes for DC, EM and NC. If Scots didn’t like Tony, why did overwhelming numbers keep voting Labour?

    Methinks your efforts to distance Scottish Labour voters from Tony Blair are in vain. :)

  20. @Statgeek

    If Scots didn’t like Tony, why did overwhelming numbers keep voting Labour?
    ——————–
    Even New Labour was better than the other options. ;-)

  21. Good early Morning from a wet south coast.

    SOCALLIBERAL.
    Yes. Upminster. St Blair imposed his own man. ‘A slap on the cheek’ was how the papers described it.

    bIg test for Ed and Ed and Labour in Corby. Not enough just to win the by – election. Must win convincingly.

  22. @Amber Star “Yeuch!”

    And that was before they put up the statue of him at SNP HQ. Not very Scottish;-)

  23. @ChrisLane1945

    “bIg test for Ed and Ed and Labour in Corby. Not enough just to win the by – election. Must win convincingly.”

    Early expectation management going on here, methinks. Plenty of wriggle room to say that the margin isn’t “convincing” enough whatever the result. This then feeds into the “Labour isn’t doing well enough, The Tories are on course to win, Ed is a dud” narrative that, for some extraordinary reason thatr I’ve never really understood, some Labour supporters are just itching to write.

    You watch; whatever the Corby result, it’ll be a disaster for Labour! lol

  24. TOP OF THE MORNING CROSSBAT 11.

    Anxious times, waiting for Villa’s relegation battle, so best of luck.

    I think a 10% swing to Labour is the minimum they need to have a good win in Corby.

  25. If Lab get anywhere near 50% of the vote that’ll do me!

  26. @Alec

    If these people were as clever as they think they’d be running multinationals or making millions in the City. Osborne has got Norman Lamont as his chief advisor which says it all.

  27. WOLF and ALEC.

    He sang in the bath I think after the ERM fiasco. Too much.

    ALEC:
    Polly Toynbee sent one child to Westminster School.

  28. @ChrisLane1945

    Don’t worry about the Villa, we’ll be much better this year under Lambert’s stewardship and with the emergence of some very promising young players who broke into the first team last year.

    Talking of football, and particularly the Glazer Franchise currently located in Manchester, I was reminded of when Manew (brand name) were actually an authentic football club by the sad death of Alf Morris. He was born in Newton Heath, the original name of Manchester United, and probably at a time when the club had some semblance of roots in the local community. Isn’t it time you joined the genuine United fans who now follow AFC Manchester, or have you no real connection with the city of Manchester at all? If so, you wouldn’t be untypical of their “global fanbase”! lol

    An interesting article about the Glazers convoluted financial affairs by David Conn in today’s Guardian, by the way. It appears that the Glazers are effectively asset-stripping your beloved club. Very sad (where’s that winking smiley face when you need it?)

  29. @ Chris Lane

    “Yes. Upminster. St Blair imposed his own man. ‘A slap on the cheek’ was how the papers described it.”

    It wasn’t Upminster. Upminster was a surprise Labour gain in the 1997 general election. Keith Darvill won it in an upset against longtime incumbent Sir Nicholas Bonsor. But then, Darvill lost reelection to Conservative Angela Watkinson (who’s somewhat of a rightwing crazy) in 2001 when most others won reelection. Don’t ask me how I remember this (I think I watched a few too many of AndyJS’s videos on Youtube of the elections of 97′ and 01′). Darvill tried again to get his seat back in 05′ but was defeated by an even larger margin.

    It’s late, I just took a muscle relaxant, and my mind has been numbified by watching Ryan Lochte talk on Jay Leno (great guy, incredible athlete, hot as hell…..not the brightest light in the lighthouse). So I can’t remember which seat I’m thinking of. I’m sure I’ll remember it once I look it up on wikipedia or something.

  30. SOCALLIBERAL.
    You are of course right about UXBRIDGE. Thank you.

    On another topic there is a group called: ‘Catholics for Obama’- the ‘liberal’ ones who support abortion. They are opposed to Mr Ryan, who comes from the newly emerging hardline Catholics in USA.

    CROSSBAT 11. I take your point about FC Manchester.
    As to my connections to The Greatest Football Club in The World. Those of us with Irish connections all tended to support The Greatest Team in the World.
    My time in Manchester in the 1970’s was the happiest time in my life…. so I am an adopted Mancunian, like ‘[email protected] an adopted Irishman.

    Been away in Tuscany and Rome. Did not get an invite to Polly’s Tuscan Villa for dinner, tea, lunch or even supper. Sadly.

  31. @Chris Lane1945

    “..The Greatest Football Club in The World”.

    Always beware self-anointed titles. They smack of either conceit or an inflated sense self-importance; not attractive characteristics at all. As for your adoption of both the city of Manchester and one of their football clubs; hhmmm, as Colin would say! lol

    “Been away in Tuscany and Rome. Did not get an invite to Polly’s Tuscan Villa for dinner, tea, lunch or even supper. Sadly.”

    You need to be far less gnomic here if I’m going to be able to follow you. What your problem with Toynbee? You don’t like her personally? You think she’s a hypocrite? You don’t agree with her?

    Richard Littlejohn attacks her regularly in a very similar vein to you. A rum bedfellow for a man with your views on life to have, wouldn’t you say?

  32. @Chrislane1945 – ” Not enough just to win the by – election. Must win convincingly.”

    Sigh…..You mean convincingly like at the 2012 locals, when Labour got double the gains the Tories said they would need ‘to win convincingly’.

    We really are in the ‘It’s Friday so Labour must be at least X% ahead to be any good’ frame of mind here. Completely pointless.

    @Rob Sheffield was very perceptive when he said a long time ago that the coalition changes everything. With the weakening of the third party base, leads for either of the two big parties are likely to be much smaller that in the post 1992 era, so bland statements about where Labour should or shouldn’t be are meaningless.

    The bottom line, which everyone needs to remember, is that the Tories have not won a stable majority for a quarter of a century and they failed to win any kind of majority in 2010, despite the most unpopular PM for decades and the worst economic crisis we have seen since the 1930’s.

    Stop being silly about where Labour should or shouldn’t be, and start talking about the more significant issues about how polls will balance when the Lib Dems are much weaker and whether the Tories can ever make themselves popular enough to actually win something.

    “Polly Toynbee sent one child to Westminster School.”

    I also haven’t got the faintest idea what this has got to do with anything either.

  33. @SoCalLiberal

    David Secour (CA-50): waistcoat, red-white-and-blue tie, bowler hat, denounces Daniel D Hunter as “a false prophet” – ticks the boxes – perhaps not exactly the right ones, but he ticks the boxes.
    Julia Brownley (CA-26): the homepage isn’t winning me over unfortunately.
    Tony Cardenas (CA-29): I’m needing sunglasses for that smile Tony, and amongst all the other good things, you created Los Angeles’ first Animal Cruelty Task Force.
    Raul Ruiz (CA-36): what I call a good face.
    Jim Reed (CA-1): old school portrait by a real studio photographer, and you sure have got it in for Doug LaMalfa.
    Jared Huffman (CA-2): to UK eyes you look a bit of a stereotype with all that blue-eyed/blond/clean-cut regular features thing going on – but on closer inspection you are a man of “sensibilities” with real acheivements under your belt – and you’ve jammed with the Grateful Dead!

    Here’s one from this side of the pond:

    h
    ttp://www.sarahowen.org.uk/aboutsarah/

  34. ALEC.
    Thanks for the post, I think Labour must do far better in Corby than ‘The Party’ did in the 2012 locals.

    I crossed swords with Polly Toynbee over that old chestnut of state school education. Understandably she opposes ‘Faith Schools’ since they are by nature selective.

    So I rolled over laughing, as young ones say, when I discovered that Westminster School was where she sent one of her offspring. State schools in a town called London were not good enough. Sadly.

  35. CROSSBAT 11.

    Polly Toynbee joined the SDP which tried to destroy the Labour Party.

    Her understandable campaigns against grammar schools and church schools in alliance with Harriet Harman and Nick Clegg upset me, I admit.

    This is compounded by the fact that the three of them opt, of course, for the very same schools for their own.

  36. CL and Alec

    It’s do as I say not as I do with the Labour elite. In fact that goes for all elites. As Oscar wrote, the only people who denigrate Society are those who have yet to join it.

  37. Alec wrote on ecomomist experts
    ‘Sadly not. But we still keep asking these people what we should do. That’s the really funny bit.’

    Mrs H and I had the most extraordinary experience the other day, listening to the Home service.

    An ex Monetary Committee BoE chap was giving his expert advice on the recession and said that at the end that the £ needed more close management than had been the case.

    We were with him (also remembering our bias) until, in the next sentence, he said that the £ needed ‘revaluing upwards to make the UK more competitive’.

    I had to check, open-mouthed, but Mrs H said I did hear correctly. Astonishing.

  38. @Howard
    “It’s do as I say not as I do with the Labour elite.”
    I don’t think that exploiting a system in its current form is inconsistent with wanting to change that system, or necessarily hypocritical.

  39. Amber Star @ Allan Christie & Statgeek

    “We also took exception to the personality/ presidential politics used by the SNP in the Holyrood campaign. ‘Alex Salmond for 1st Minister’ on every ballot.”

    A tactical branding choice is not evidence of sofa government.

    The cabinet is very small, but all are at least competent and trying very hard to impress voters with pragmatic or imaginative solutions rather than to construct policies which will impress authoriarian followers by box-ticking elements of their preconcieved credo.

    At least three are rather good and two are excellent and workaholics too.

    AS is good at what he does: appointing and supporting
    a good team.

    To conduct an orchestra you don’t need to try to play all the instruments yourself. You just need to get good players and start them off.

    ….

    “Labour in Scotland never fell head over heels for Tony Blair, so I think we are not hypocrites to say we’re against such tactics.”

    Scotland didn’t vote for Tony Blair, any more than it now votes for Alex Salmond. It voted anti-Con.

    In the central belt the best buy for an anti-Con happened to be Labour and anything else would be a tactical error. The last thing an anticon wants is to let the Tory in by voing for the third party.

    In the North and West, the Libdems had taken over from Cons, Labour having too much of an urban industrial focus, and nothing much on the ground.

    Media and oppnents’ emphasis on foxhunting wrongly left the impression that SLAB had no other rural policy.

    LibDems’ London leadership has thrown their anti-con advantage away and the SNP were positioned to take their place.

    Nothing to do with TB really until he became tory-lite.

    Even after that there were still constituencies where Labour was the best buy if there was a candidate of integrity, or a third or fourth placed Con.

    Now, the SNP are increasingly becoming the default anti-Con option.

    Independence would bring PR and allow Scots to vote for something rather than against. It could even be Socialism! It could be a Protestant Christian Democracy, but whatever it was it would adhere to the four Founding Principles.

  40. @Alec
    Stop being silly about where Labour should or shouldn’t be, and start talking about the more significant issues about how polls will balance when the Lib Dems are much weaker and whether the Tories can ever make themselves popular enough to actually win something

    Couldn’t agree more – I would add a far more significant influence on the outcome of the next election will be what happens with the Boundary Commission and the number of constituencies, by which time this bi-election will be long forgotten irrespective of the margin of victory/loss for either of the parties.

  41. @ SOCAL

    My vote goes to Julia

    P.S your knowledge of UK politics never ceases to amaze me

  42. Labour must win Corby by oh……let’s say….at least 25% to be credible or its “toast for Ed Milband”

    what a great and perceptive writer Polly Toynbee is… the online comments about her articles are mostly written by trolls who hate her passionately..its self-explanatory

  43. @Reginauld Maudling

    “what a great and perceptive writer Polly Toynbee is… the online comments about her articles are mostly written by trolls who hate her passionately..its self-explanatory”

    Nice to see you posting again and commiserations for missing out on the Tory leadership all those years ago! Fair play to you too when you apologised profusely to the incoming Labour Chancellor for leaving the economy in such a frightful mess in 1964! You were the forerunner to Liam Byrne in many ways!

    As for Toynbee, she has been a consistent, coruscating and, at times, devastating critic of modern Conservatism and, on occasions, a staunch defender of some of the achievements of the last Labour Government. She gives voice to causes and groups who rarely get a hearing in our skewed mass media and for that she should be highly praised. Does she lead a blameless life devoid of contradictions and human failings? I doubt it very much, but who does. Is she right on every issue? Manifestly not, but when you read some of the venomous and hate filled drivel such as Geoffery Wheatcroft’s article in today’s Guardian about football and footballers ( he writes similarly about Tony Blair and Gordon Brown from time to time), it’s good to read someone who writes with an obvious humanity, warmth and compassion, even if you don’t always agree with all that she has to say. Of course, her fierce anti-Conservatism draws real antipathy from right wing sources and, having read Richard Littlejohn’s comments about her, I suspect he might want to kill her if he had a chance!

    Ironically, I seem to recall that, at the time that Cameron was Leader of the Opposition, he urged his shadow cabinet to regularly read Toynbee so that they could better understand the interests and aspirations of those groups of voters that he felt they still needed to attract to the Conservative cause. I wonder what he feels now when, and if, he reads her??

    Maybe her association with the British Humanist Society is what really bugs Chris Lane 1945 about her.

  44. Despite Polly’s betrayal back in the 80s and her irritating righteousness, I do think she is a force for good and what’s more I nearly always, sometimes grudgingly, end up agreeing with her arguments.

    Her or Richard Littlejohn? Not much of a contest really.

  45. @Alec

    “@Rob Sheffield was very perceptive when he said a long time ago that the coalition changes everything. With the weakening of the third party base, leads for either of the two big parties are likely to be much smaller that in the post 1992 era, so bland statements about where Labour should or shouldn’t be are meaningless.”

    Notwithstanding my views about Rob’s periodic pronunciations, and Anthony quite rightly snipped my last response to his latest stream of consciousness post, thereby ending the increasingly banal badinage, is this argument about the size of leads strictly true? I accept the point that we’ve got back, partially, to two-party politics and that the collapse in the Lib Dem vote has taken away that split left scenario where the Tories could get 15% leads with 44% of the vote share (i.e. C44 Lab 29 Lib Dem 20 Others 7%), but I can envisage Labour, now buoyed by a lot of returning Lib Dems, opening up regular double digit leads, especially if the Tory vote frays rightwards towards UKIP. If some of the Tory vote comes over to Labour, which it may, I could quite easily see a Lab 46 Con 31 Lib Dem 12 Others 11% scenario. (i.e 15% Labour leads).

    I mean, we’re not a million miles away from that position now, are we?

  46. England are 56/4 at Lords..I have £10 on South Africa to win the series at 2/1. I could put the £30 winnings on Conservatives at Evens to have the most seats after the next GE

  47. 1997 percentages were Lab 43 Con 31 LD 17 more or less.

    I expect the next election to look similar. But it could be even better for Lab.

  48. I also have £10 on Mitt Romney to win at 7/4 – but that will be one bet I will be losing

  49. Crossbat

    Con on 31 is of course a pink partisan dream but there is no recent history (one or two blips) to confirm it. One would expect Con to recover a few points in 2015 unless the shambles continues. Lib Dems could recover a point or two as well by then (given ICM’s approach being correct).

    By the way I am an admirer of Toynbee but it’ll only be when these leaders of opinion (or just leaders) cease to use their wealth and influence that I could take any egalitarian recommendations on education from them as seriously as they would wish.

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