Lord Ashcroft has commissioned a second poll in Corby (not Corby and East Northamptonshire – it might be the name of the Conservative association, but the seat is just called Corby). The topline figures are CON 32% (down 10 from the general election), LAB 54% (up 15), LDEM 5% (down 10%), UKIP 6%, Green 1%, BNP 1%.

The 22 point lead equates to a thirteen point swing towards Labour, a very strong performance indeed. Lord Ashcroft last polled the constituency back in August when they found a 15 point lead – more in line with the sort of swing we are seeing nationally. Given the national polls haven’t moved the difference between then and now seems to be campaigning – the Labour party are clearly putting up the strongest campaign on the ground: 33% of people reported having been canvassed by Labour, compared to only 11% by the Conservatives; 59% had received Labour leaflets, compared to only 42% Conservative ones; 14% had been phoned by Labour compared to only 6% by the Tories and so on.

Meanwhile last night’s YouGov poll for the Sun had topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 45%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 8%

162 Responses to “New Lord Ashcroft poll of Corby”

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  1. Lots of badgers in Corby

  2. Will this poll effect the result?

    As it is clear that the Tories wont win will this open the door for a UKIP protest vote? Will Labour voters stay at home thinking it is all over?

    The big lead could be bad news for both main parties and good for protest votes going to other parties

  3. Wow, really bad hit for the dems. Will they hang on to their deposit?

  4. Looking back, the Conservatives went through 2011 with a % more or less the same as they got at the GE.

    Since the budget, this year, they have lost around 3%. And they are now consistently around 32%.

    That is where they have taken a hit – Budget 2012.

    Polls like these, in Corby, may be exceptional – because a by-election – but the pattern would be broadly similar if there were a GE tomorrow. LAB would win – with some ease.

    CON need to do something to restore that lost 3%.

    Wait and see – which would appear to be their current approach – isn’t much of a policy.

  5. @RIN

    To be fair they have lost 2/3rds of their vote share here and if you look at the national picture they were 24% in 2010 and are now at 9 even 8% in some polls so this is an average performance for them. Just shows how far they have fallen since the days of Clegg mania.

  6. Total disaster for Clegg awaiting in Corby. Previously, this could have been an opportunity to swamp with activists but clearly there is no one left with whom to swamp. This is as much a protest against LD as it is anything else.

    Still laughing at Steve’s comment on Romney’s ‘route to the sea’.

  7. I just wonder how much of Menshe winning was down to her celebrity and Labour being unpopular at the time. At a 2015 GE, if Menshe had stood again, I would have expected her to lose to a decent Labour candidate. She onlly won by about 2000 votes to the old MP, Labours Phil Hope.

    Whatever reasons Menshe gave for standing down, it would not surprise me if she also thought that her time could be better spent making money in other ways. Rather than wait 3 years to lose her seat and then make the move to be with her family in the states.

  8. “That is where they have taken a hit – Budget 2012.”

    The significant announcement in that Budget was the reduction in the additional rate of income tax by 5p to 45p. I sugegst this is the main cause of the hit to Con VI.

  9. Lib/Dems on 5%!! Getting rather close to lost deposit territory..Ouch!!

  10. Not far off the 1997 result:

    1997 Result

    Conservative: 18028 (33.4%)
    Labour: 29888 (55.4%)
    Liberal Democrat: 4045 (7.5%)
    Referendum: 1356 (2.5%)
    Other: 640 (1.2%)
    Majority: 11860 (22%)

  11. Approval ratings:

    Labour -91 (with 4% don’t know), combined approve + DK = 7%
    LibDem -21 (with 19% don’t know), combined disapprove + DK = 70%
    Tory +56 with (with 14% don’t know), combined disapprove + DK = 29%

    Does this indicate that the Labour VI is quite solid, while the LibDem (particularly) and Tory VI is quite soft?

  12. @Gary Gatter

    ‘Not far off the 1997 result:

    1997 Result

    Conservative: 18028 (33.4%)
    Labour: 29888 (55.4%)
    Liberal Democrat: 4045 (7.5%)
    Referendum: 1356 (2.5%)
    Other: 640 (1.2%)
    Majority: 11860 (22%)’

    If I remember correctly in ’97 Labour also won in Kettering, Wellingborough and both Northampton seats all with similar % shares. For Labour to win in 2015 they need to pick up seats in this area of the country, so a win of this magnitude would be a big boost to the party’s fortunes.

  13. @ Gary Gatter

    It plays into my arguement that if I was in the UKIP office I would now go for the middle to older aged Tory vote to build up momentum to go for second place.

    “The Tories cann’t win here, tell them what you think about Europe” would be be on every UKIP piece of paper if I was running the show in Corby.

  14. Lord Ashcroft has identified greater than national swings in his previous polling of Con/Lab marginals. He puts this down to the unwind of intensive campaigns up to 2010 which had persuaded reluctant Labour voters to give the Tories a chance.

    If as many as 100 seats are marginal, could this account for some of the sample variation we have been seeing?

  15. Allan Christie

    Lib/Dems on 5%!! Getting rather close to lost deposit territory..Ouch!!

    Actually it’s even worst than that. Populus did their usual “spiral of silence” adjustment. The figures pre-adjustment are:

    Conservative 20%
    Labour 39%
    Liberal Democrat 3%
    The UK Independence 4%
    The Green Party 1%
    The British National 1%
    Independent anti-wind farm candidate (James Delingpole) *
    Another party *
    Refused 8%
    Don’t know 23%

    Just ignoring the Refused and Don’t Knows gives you:

    Conservative 30% (32%)
    Labour 57% (54%)
    Liberal Democrat 4% (5%)
    The UK Independence 6%

    Adjusted figures in brackets

    Using these adjustments in a by-election is bit dubious in my opinion. Turnout is lower and shy/reluctant voters may just stay home or register a protest rather than eventually going home to Mummy.

  16. Dead right R Huckle. I think Mensch has always been a ghastly self serving publicity seeker. She’s smart enough to realise that there was a strong possibility of losing her seat in 2015 and bailed out now to spend more time with her ambition (celeb columnist, woteva) not caring what damage a crushing defeat at bi election might have on Cameron. As far as I can see, her old man is American, has always lived there and that nothing changed there.

  17. And will we see “coalition pressed in Corby” as a headline?

  18. @Alec.

    i’m loath to tell you this: but Badgers, as Swampy used to say (remember him?), don’t vote. Besides, were they to do so, as rural dwellers, many in the S West, they would vote Con or Lib-Dem.

    Swampy once appeared on Have I Got News for You.
    Hislop, oh-so predictably, was nasty to him; Merton looked after him. .

  19. Ok I will put my prediction down now and see what happens. I do think that the late swing will be from the Tories to UKIP so here goes

    Lab 52%
    Tories 22%
    UKIP 19%
    Lib Dems 4%


    So not only are the figures worse for the Lib/Dems and show a lost deposit…..they could also come in 4th!!

    I agree using adjusted figures are a bit dubious in by-elections but never the less whatever way you look at it the Libs are on for a hiding to nothing.

  21. DAVEM

    I think you could probably take 10% off UKIP and add 10% to the Tories. I really can’t see UKIP on 19%.

    My prediction.

    Labour.. 48%





  22. Allen

    You seem to take a perverse pleasure in the misfortunes of the dems. Understandable if you were hardcore labour but as a Tarzan Tory a bit surprising

  23. Tarzan Tory should read tartan tory, I really can’t see you swinging through the urban jungle

  24. Labour will win Corby comfortably, especially as the Tories seem to have given up a while back in Corby. Probably somewhere in the 20-30% range.

  25. Riveting Culture M&S Select Committee grilling of BBC DG.

    What a very strange organisation the BBC is.

    Fascinating stuff-great new committee membership too-in the absence of Watson.

    Bradshaw was terrific.

  26. Two SNP MSPs have left the Party.

  27. Very disappointing YG Poll after recent ones.

    Presume this is MItchell effect ?



    “You seem to take a perverse pleasure in the misfortunes of the dems. Understandable if you were hardcore labour but as a Tarzan Tory a bit surprising”

    Nonsense… I gave you guys 6% on my predictions for Corby and think yourselves lucky because on that showing you keep your deposit. ;)

    Tarzan Tory!! Was that not Michael Heseltine?
    I did see your correction. :)

  29. IPCC swamped with the names of 1,444 officers, including the identities of 304 who are still serving.( Hillsborough)

  30. COLIN

    “Two SNP MSPs have left the Party”

    Just read that. Both are Highland MSP’s and quited over the NATO vote but it will not change the dynamics of the parliament and both said they will be sitting as independents and will continue to support the government on most issues.

  31. Is it possible to predict the possible outcome of a G.E by large swings in midterm by-election results. I appreciate that by-elections in the months leading up to a G.E would be a reasonable indicator of a likely outcome in the G.E, but with over two years to go have such results in the past indicated which way a G.E will go or is it a case of one more Con/Lab/Lib MP, and the G.E still all up for grabs.

  32. @Turk,

    Mid-term by-elections are very important but are not the best indicators of GE results. The incumbent is usually at its most unpopular then, and they do tend to attract protest votes.

  33. @Turk,

    Put it this way, if Labour didn’t take Corby easily (especially given it’s a key marginal) in a mid-term by-election, it would have a lot to worry about for 2015.

  34. The LD VI in the Corby poll is noteworthy.

    If the meltdown were replicated across the UK at a GE who benefits most – Cons or Lab?

    Surely a really poor performance of the LD candidate at Corby will set alarm bells ringing (finally) in the LD party? There is only one plausible course of action open to the LDs – get rid of Nick as leader and leave the coalition.

    As regards the Cons, I doubt DC will be disappointed by the result. Of course, it might raise (further) questions over his leadership. However, if the colapse in LD support is likely to benefit the Cons at the next GE, I iamgine Tory grandees might be secretly delighted.

    As for Lab…a wide margin of victory would be great, but this a mid-term election so really shoudl not be too cheered by the result.

  35. @Mike N,

    “As for Lab…a wide margin of victory would be great, but this a mid-term election so really shoudl not be too cheered by the result.”

    I agree. It will be a very good result for Labour, but nothing to get complacent about. The work will only have just begun to secure an OM in 2015.

  36. Corby will be an important win for Labour, I think. Louise Mensch was a celebrity MP & the media may still be interested in her & her ex-seat.

    The Coalition taking a heavy defeat will fuel the perception that the government is on a downward trend & Labour is on the rise.

  37. Mike

    ” Surely a really poor performance of the LD candidate at Corby will set alarm bells ringing (finally) in the LD party? There is only one plausible course of action open to the LDs – get rid of Nick as leader and leave the coalition.”

    Ha ha ha, they will still find a way to delude themselves, I expect to hear lots of “midterm blues” excuses. But time is running out, nick needs to be replaced in the spring, the autum will be too late

  38. I agree with Amber,Corby will be a very important win for Labour,if it happens.
    No one will be complacent,but remember the furore in the press when George
    Galloway won in Bradford.This was down to EdMs poor leadership,despite
    Being a rather one off affair.Surely a resounding defeat in Corby will put
    Cameron’s leadership under the spotlight.

  39. @Amber, Ann,

    I agree that winning Corby by a resounding margin will be a big win for Labour. It will not necessarily indicate that they are (definitely) on course to win an overall majority in 2015, but it will at least show that they are on the up and that Ed is in with more than a fighting chance.

  40. Losing John and Jean is a big blow to the SNP, not in terms of the chamber arithmetic, but in terms of ability. I worked with both of them as Councillors and John is a particular loss. He had already made an impact using his experience as a former police officer to support Kenny over police reform and I think had what it took to eventually replace him as justice minister.

    Both are people of huge integrity and it is sad to see this.

    I was on the opposite side, not because I am super keen on NATO but because of two factors.

    Firstly it is what people want an Independent Scotland to do by two to one and therefore as a nationalist party we should be trying in as practical a means as possible to deliver the people’s aspirations.

    Some people see this as an ideological shift but for me delivering on the hopes and aspirations of Scots and addressing their fears is the SNP’s ideology.

    Secondly even after we are free of Trident, NATO will still have Nuclear weapons and how many there are and who they are pointed at will be decided their.

    Nato has three nuclear powers, two of which are in the nuclear command structure.

    With five years those two countries could be lead by Mitt Romney and Boris Johnstone…. I think we,d all be safer if Alex Salmond was there two.

    Someone who opposed the war in Iraq arguing against two men who did.


  41. Curse of the iPad again, at least three typo’s.


  42. Interesting the govenment made the announcement today but I got my poll card yesterday.

    On the canvassing I have only had a UKIP come to the door and some leaflets from tje tories and lib dems, nothing from labour. But i d live in a smal village.

  43. The two SNP MSP’s are list MSP’s and not able to rely on re-election though they have both been around for a long time, previously as councillors and may have a substantial personal vote. One is 63.

    They may well havea role in the Yes campaign.

    If they joined up with The Margo it would take only two other defectors to make a separate party, according to Scottish parliament rules for parliamentary business.

    Altogether a positive development for democracy that division can take place in a courteous manner on a matter of principle.

  44. Oldnat

    “Both are people of huge integrity and it is sad to see this.”


    Both are people of huge integrity and it is good to see this even if you thought they were wrong.

    What sort of people do you want as MSP’s? You have the other kind as MP’s of the parties of governments.

    There is a place for everyone in our democracy, those with integrity as MSP’s, those without as MP’s.

  45. @NickP

    “It would be crazy to say it was the fault of the Tories, but it is just as crazy to try to pin it on the BBC.”

    Couldn’t agree more and a salutary lesson for all those who seek to play politics with issues that belong in very different domains. All this nonsense about “who’s watch” certain appalling incidents took place on and which “public service” presided over which particular case of maladministration is ultimately futile and self-serving. I thought one of the people interviewed on BBC’s Panorama programme last night got it spot on. Saville was a skilled and adept manipulator and liar and had managed, at various stages throughout his 50 years as a celebrity and public figure, to fool the BBC, the NHS, the Home Office, a Prime Minister, multiple hospitals, homes and schools and, so it would seem, the Royal Family too who bestowed various honours upon him. Now, that’s a group of people and institutions which span just about every shade of politics and strata of society.

    I don’t want to disappoint anyone here, but there’s no party political point-scoring available from this tale of human wickedness and fallibility. Culpability? The wretched individuals who abused the children. Begins there and ends there. Glitter, Saville and God knows who else. Despicable individuals who deserve our contempt. Those of them still alive are probably smirking now as they see the media fire-storm enveloping obviously good and decent men like George Entwistle and Peter Rippon.

  46. Ashcroft is an important advocate for the center/ liberal strategy. But Corby polling suggests the liberal strategy may cost the Tory Party their activist base. Can money & paid media compensate for lack of Tory grassroots campaigning in key marginals? Does the strength of the Labour roots flatter to deceive & resources will be much thinner when spread over many seats at a GE?

    Corby could be the seat which determines Tory strategy & resources going forward. Ashcroft implies that CCHQ may have taken an actual decision to sit this one out. It would be rather odd, if that’s what they’ve done.

  47. While it is saddens me to see my own party in this position; at least this gets Louise Mensch out of British politics. Every time I saw her, whether it was in an interview, the phone hacking review or a debate, I just astounded, and not in the positive sense of that word.

  48. Only 23 days to the Corby by election, will be interesting to watch and compare any Corby polls. Not as an indicator of share of vote at the next general election but to compare polling methodologies. Which company carried out this polling?

  49. John,

    I think it is sad because we need people like them to continue to push for less reliance on nuclear weapons in Europe post Independence in Nato.

    They have decided to leave because of NATO’s policy of potential first use when I think a better approach would have been to push the case to abandon first use as a member of Nato.

    I am we’ll aware of the dangers of getting sucked in and just taking the line of least resistance, but I doubt they will do more to influence Nato policy from outside the SNP or that a Scottish government would from out with Nato.

    My regret is that we are losing people of real ability over a decision when we all share the same objectives both in terms of Independence and disarmament.

    As I said John in particular will be missed as if he had stayed he could have gone on to do a great deal of good and helped makes things better for a huge number of people, something he has always tried to do and I know he feels passionately about.

    It’s never good to see good people go and I wish him all the best, I just wish it hadn’t come to this.


  50. @CrossBat11

    “All this nonsense about “who’s watch” ”

    Quite. What I was saying, before I got modded (not entirely sure why), was that the targeting of the BBC by politicians seems to stem at least in part from fear of the “on your watch” blame culture. Association in the minds of the public of Savile with Tories could not do them any good, no matter how unjustified any such linkage might be.

    We also have to recall that, before the storm over child abuse brought it to the fore around 25 years ago, society at large was in total denial about the scale and scope of child abuse (and about the impact on the children concerned), and to apply today’s thinking to past (in)action is unjustified. It’s also incredibly difficult to view past actions through the prism of the prevailing culture of the time.

    Nowadays, we rarely if ever see children’s TV presenters with young children on their knees. It just wouldn’t happen. In the days of Jim’ll Fix It, it was pretty much the norm.

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