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. Good poll for Labour. Yes. But the significance ought not the be overplayed.

    As someone above said, a comfortable Labour win is a must if they hope to have a shot at winning in the next GE.

    And the polls have been telling us for months that both Coalition parties are in trouble. Neither of them – nor their supporters – will be all that surprised.

  2. “The 22 point lead equates to a thirteen point swing towards Labour, a very strong performance indeed.”

    Bigger than Birmingham Northfield, Langbaurgh, Fulham, Monmouth and Vale of Glamorgan.
    But smaller than Staffordshire Mid, Dudley West, Staffs SE and Wirral South.

    Sorry, not eveyone will like it here but someone should say it: it’s a strong performance, but not a record breaker and not necessarily a precursor to a Labour general election win.

  3. The Conservatives are still angry with Louise Mensch for doing this to us, even if we can limit the magnitude of the inevitable loss.

  4. Good early evening everyone.

    I fully agree with you about the Labour ‘swing’ being good, but not being conclusive for 2015. However, Ed M has done better, on this evidence, and on most polls, than pessimists like me had thought.

    As to Mrs Mensch, everyone must look after themselves.

  5. @Swanarcadian,

    “Sorry, not eveyone will like it here but someone should say it: it’s a strong performance, but not a record breaker and not necessarily a precursor to a Labour general election win.”

    Very true, but all Labour can do is win comfortably…they can’t do any more than that. It would indicate, at least, that they are back in business and ready to give the Tories a good run for their money in 2015.

  6. I guess the big question is whether anything less than a Labour lead of over 15% in Corby would now feel like a disappointment?

  7. Is the Tory candidate particularly poor?

  8. Have they picked the Tory candidate yet?

  9. @ Wolf

    Is the Tory candidate particularly poor?
    No, I think she’s reasonably well off, actually. ;-)

    Joking aside, IMO, she isn’t the best candidate for the seat. She’s relatively unknown, doesn’t seem to have a strong support team (there were some early gaffes) & doesn’t live in the constituency.

  10. Richard,

    “Have they picked the Tory candidate yet?”

    Jimmy Saville!


  11. OLD NAT
    I am not sure about all this. Paedoophilia wouldn;t have a name unless it had been endemic to a society in which the wealthy and influential had been able to organise and practice it for a long time, and for present and previous generations of people in power to be aware of its prevalence and its sources. Along with the repression of bastards, the disabled, the very poor and the destitute and abandoned, the incarceration of children in institutions, and their management by people judged to represent administrative authority and propriety, has been an open invitation to perversity and is a form of fascism.. I do think that the question of whose watch this happens on is relevant, and is a poltical issue.

  12. This is not the first time Labour “supporters” have been told it’s going to be a walk over and they don’t need to turn out. It has worked every time.

  13. CROSSBAT11
    Sorry OLD NAT, my last post was addressed to CB11, tho’ it would be nice to know your view.

  14. Peter Cairns

    You are joking of course, but when I hear a PM’s judgement being called into question for having appointed a minister who swears at policemen my sympathy is with the PM and I wonder what greater liabilities have been passed over for office.

    A 22 point lead is empirical evidence of a Labour lead. All else is conjecture.

  16. Don’t know if anybody noticed the poll for PCC elections –
    62% of people have heard about the elections, but only 15% know more than ‘a fair amount’ about them.

    28% are absolutely certain they won’t vote with 15% absolutely certain to vote.
    38% have a 6-10 for ‘certain to vote’, 52% if you include the 5s.

    VI –
    Independent candidate- 30%
    Labour – 16%
    Conservative – 8%
    LibDem – 4%
    UKIP – 1%
    Given that most ‘seats’ only really have Lab/Con/UKIP standing, this doesn’t really tell us anything at all.

    No question asking for second preferences.. which is odd given that it’s being held under SV.
    So effectively we have no idea how people will actually vote as we can’t tell how many of the ‘independent’ voters would vote Con/Lab/Lib.

    Hopefully another pollster will do a better job of asking the voting question – they really need to ask which police force they fall under and ask about the candidates for that ‘seat’ given the disparity for where parties are standing.

    Thank you for your post.
    I agree fully.

    However, thousands of children are removed from their parents every year, from ‘ordinary’ homes.

    The ‘culture’ of tolerance of sexual exploitation of children goes back a long way before the 1960’s I think.

  18. John Pilgrim

    If it has always been happening its on everyone’s watch and there is no sense in political point scoring.

    Tom Driberg, Bob Boothby and Ben and Peter would have been outed with a less deferential media.

    What was happening in Victorian times when a child under 12 was deemed to be incapable of understanding the meaning of an oath and therefore could not be called as a witness?

    One of the Founding Principles of the Scottish Parliament used to be “Openness” . One of the Green MSP’s is looking for a bit more of it.

  19. Oldnat

    Bad for the SNP. Good for the parliament, and for democracy.

    Had I been a party member, I would have been inclined to give Angus Roberson the benefit of the doubt for he made a good case, and I certainly wouldn’t have resigned. I know little of the seceders but I am delighted by the general quality of all my MSP’s (making allowances for party).

  20. An interesting point from the BBC is that Saville’s alleged victims were not chidren, they were teenagers. Like it or not, it is a salient point. Public opinion has, I think, changed a great deal since the Thatcher era.

    Less than a decade ago, the Sexual Offences Act 2003 raised the minimum legal age for topless modelling to 18.

    Prior to the 2003 Act, tabloids were delighted to provide pictures of half-naked, teenage girls in their ‘family’ papers! On a few notable occasions we were even treated to a countdown as a fifteen year old approached her sixteenth birthday, with promises that ‘all would be revealed’ on the girl’s birthday.

    It now seems hard to believe but the tabloid countdowns were intended to mock the law, as it existed then, for not allowing them to feature even younger teenagers on page three.

    Women, like Claire Short, who campaigned against the tabloid page three culture were vilified & ridiculed in some extremely nasty ways.

  21. CHRISLANE1945
    My point, also in reply to John B Dick, is that responsibility lies within the social and institutional context of our awareness of the prevalence and the endemic nature of paedophilia, in our society and history, and so in our institutions. The political system has a specific responsibility for the care of children, and thus, not only for enacting or implementing policy which protects them, but for safeguarding against the abuse of authority which it puts in place for child care. This is a political responsibility, precisely empowered when a government is put in place. Not to demand that it is performed on the watch of that government, and that it is subject to public scrutiny, makes a mockery of the poltical system, and denies a social responsibility which goes beyond government.

  22. CROSSBAT11

    @”Begins there and ends there”.

    I can’t agree.

    If there were people in any organisation inside which Saville abused children, who knowingly facilitated that abuse in any way, they too are culpable.

    I really hope that the Police Criminal investigation extends to the full extent of culpability, in every organisation involved.

  23. Oh, it’s a bye election for goodness sake, mid term. Anyone remember Orpington & the Lib Dems?

  24. @Amber

    Some of the victims were disabled too not just teenagers.

  25. “I really hope that the Police Criminal investigation extends to the full extent of culpability, in every organisation involved.”


  26. @JBD

    “when I hear a PM’s judgement being called into question for having appointed a minister who swears at policemen”

    That wasn’t the issue. If it had been simply swearing there would have been an instant apology and no long-term harm done. It was the ‘pleb’ and ‘know your place’ comments which were so toxic, as [,in the opinion of some, they] spoke to the heart of the attitude of large sections of the Tory party. Plus, not only was there no instant denial (thereby confirm the claims as true), but there was then the sight of a mortally wounded minister wriggling on the hook for weeks. Giving the clear impression that DC has a similar outlook.

    Whether that is actually the case or not will obviously depend on your political complexion (take a wild guess where I stand!), but I think it is undeniable it reinforced images of DC as weak and lacking in judgement – not for his appointment (although by all accounts Mitchell is a pretty unpleasant person) but for failing to act decisively when the issue arose.

  27. ^ before we get carried away, we need to remember that the then deputy Labour Prime Minster actually rabbit punched a member of the public in the face and got away with it.
    I actually wanted Mitchell to go as it helped feed an unhelpful narrative that is growing against the Tories around arrogant rich guys etc, but you have to say it would be funny to see how the left wing press, Union barons etc would have reacted if one of the ‘posh boys’ actually assaulted a member of the public.

  28. @Rich O
    Precott was assaulted first by the mullet-haired chap throwing an egg at him. So it was self-defence/what anyone would do/understandable in the circs (and remember, his ratings shot up in the aftermath). There are many ways of describing Mitchell’s behaviour, but ‘self defence’ and ‘understandable’ do not come into it. A stream of invective when a cop didn’t open a gate for him is hardly the same thing. I’m just surprised how long it took for Mitchell to go, and what this says about DC’s tin ear.

  29. ^ I generally agree with all your points, but I was just making the point that I am not sure one of the Tory cabinet members could have got away with it like Prescott did.

    Back to the polls, I think its looking pretty good for Labour at the moment, but it will crucially all depend if we have started to turn a corner by the run up to the next GE. If the economy is really bouncing, then the Cons still might get back in, especially if Scotland goes independent. If not much changes, it’s a definite Labour win.
    I just wish it was DM instead of EM. Even as a Tory I could probably vote for DM if I didnt think DC was doing a good job. A modernising Labour PM would be palatable to me. I just couldn’t vote for EM given he was effectively put there by the Union Barons like Mr Serwotka etc, against the vote of the rank & file members. That democracy. hmmm

  30. RichO,remembering this incident,the member of the public concerned threw
    An egg in prescotts face entirely without provocation.In my opinion and in the
    Opinion of most people at the time,he deserved what he got.The two incidents are not comparable.

  31. Just read the YouGov piece on the US presidential election.

    Basically, Peter Kellner suggests the race is close but there has been no Romney lead. Obama has lead the whole tiem and the Romney debate bounce was at most 1% gain.

    Talk about sound and fury, signifying…

  32. @nickp,

    I really hope you are correct. Desperately want Obama to win. Am very nervous on where some of the Romney foreign policy might lead.


  33. Have a read of Mr Kellner, Rich O.

    To be honest, I couldn’t understand where Romney’s support was coming from. But then they did elect Reagan and two Bushes.

  34. thanks! will have a read.

  35. @ Jarrod

    Some of the victims were disabled too not just teenagers.
    Yes, indeed.

    The UK has come a fair distance regarding respect for children, teenagers & the disabled. Indeed, some people think that children & the disabled have too many rights, too much protection.


  36. very good read nickp. my only slight caveat is they talk about their excellent track record, but I wonder if they predicted Bush Jnr in the first election? My guess would be no.
    I know this site is called UK polling, but I hope Anthony does a piece on the US election.

  37. Rich: Bush didn’t “win” that election in real votes though – he lost it.

    [Snip – AW]

    As ChrisLane points out many people were dubious about Ed Miliband and also the capacity of Labour to remain united and competitive. Even allowing for a coalition with big signs saying “open goal this way”, a little furrow lined up to boot the ball along and cabinet ministers takig turns to hold the ball nice and steady, Labour have done what is required.

    The rest is all a bit weaselly in my opinion.

    [There are only 100 weasels left in County Durham apparently although they’re a bugger to count as they all look the same and hide most of the time. Could just be a guess I suppose.]

  38. Does anyone really pay much attention to buy elections? The governing party always loses unless it’s a safe seat (even then no guarantees) losing a by election is just part and parcel of being in government.

    What’s much more interesting to me is 10 EU countries opting in to a financial transactions tax. Noticeably Paris and Frankfurt will be affected. London is already Europe’s biggest financial centre, but could this new tax send even more business our way. Especially in poor France where they are already staring down a 75% tax rate.Also one of the recipient countries of France’s high tax rates was Belgium, but they’ve opted into the tax too. Very good news for the Swiss and British economies.

    Hollande could be a bigger gift to Cameron than Brown was. Alternatively, if his plan works, he’s Cameron’s nightmare.

  39. Also Paul Croft interesting you mentioned about Bush’s 2000 election. Looks as though Democrats could be about to repay the favour. Romney is leading nationally, but not in the electoral college. Obama still has a 20 vote lead.

  40. The Scottish Gov have released the analysis of the referendum consultation,a bit boring but as this is Geeksville…..



    I agree with your posts, thank you.

    The same systemic issues applied and apply to my Church, and must be faced.

    I agree that the period of the 1960’s onwards marked a sexualisation of children AND of young people.


    Your second sentence is honest & true-& no doubt difficult for you.

    BBC tv news has been playing a shot of Savile & Glitter after some show or other with their arms around a whole gaggle of young girls & leers on their faces.

    Seeing it now, it makes one’s skin crawl……..but how did we the audience , and the BBC programme managers think of it then ?

    Autres temps, autres moeurs ?

  43. Full of admiration for EM’s tactical skills, I just wonder how long this can last? My impression is that if his own image is a negative one and he can achieve such results (both Corby and national polls) the where is the limit?

    By the way AW, thanks for removing ,my duplicate posting, done on a tablet from NL. Back in UK now and my trusty laptop. Doesn’t alter my sense of wonder that NC can possibly survive such humiliating polls.

  44. Colin: i’ve told you how I felt – I detested the man, but t was an instinctive thing.


    Between 1974 & 1984 there was actually an organisation called the Paedo***le Information Exchange.

    And it was actually affiliated to the National Council For Civil LIberties.

  46. PAUL -yes I respect that.

    I want to say the same-but feel constrained in doing so-it may not be true & would be too easy to say.

    I thought his eyes were always “dead” eyes,

  47. COLIN.
    Yes, I was aware of this link between the old NCCL.

    In the 1960’s, in my Church, there was also a culture of ‘liberation’ for the ‘self’. Being self fulfilled and abolishing guilt about behaviour became part of church culture too.

    My own take on abuse in the church is that like the BBC ‘luvvies’ , consciences of people were relaxed about hedonism. Hard to believe but true.

    The physical beatings date back longer, and actually mirror what was done my many Dads and also by many secular boarding schools.

    Liz Kershaw on BBC Two now.

  48. @PeterCairns

    It makes for interesting reading:

    “Among those who wanted an earlier timetable for the referendum, one or more of the following issues were also sometimes raised, though less often than the three above:

    Others believed that many people have already made up their minds on the issue of independence, and that the full and informed debate suggested by the consultation document is not required.”

    Indeed? I for one would like as much time as possible to consider all the facts, details and points of view. If memory serves me correctly, it’s the rUK / unionist leaners that want/wanted an early referendum (not forgetting that they wouldn’t vote for one prior to 2011 at all).

    There is usually a good 25-40% of the electorate who when polled say “Don’t know” to the issue of independence. These people don’t need time to consider the issue, it seems.

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