Lord Ashcroft has released a second poll of Eastleigh, conducted over the weekend.

Topline figures are CON 28%, LAB 12%, LDEM 33%, UKIP 21%. Like the Times poll conducted by Populus last week it shows the Liberal Democrats still ahead, UKIP in third place and the Labour vote squeezed right down. The poll was conducted after the Lord Rennard story broke, so it does not appear to have had any obvious effect on Lib Dem support in the by-election, although the story obviously has continued to rumble on since then.

Two days to go until the Eastleigh by-election so I expect this will be the final poll…

Full tables are here.


420 Responses to “Ashcroft polling shows Lib Dems still 5 points ahead in Eastleigh”

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  1. MIKEMS

    @” I would like these debts to be cancelled”

    Putting aside your reasons for wishing this , which may or may not be valid, -having wished it , you need to think through what the consequences will be.

  2. “If the lib dems win its only partially good news – it means that their vote when facing the tories performs better than the national average polling indicates – it does not mean that this will be the case in seats where labour are in the running to win it. All the other by-elections indicate that in that scenario the lib dem vote will be squished.”

    But, crucially, the lion’s share of Lib Dem seats are being defended against Tories. Their vote stands to be squished where they least need it.

    On a related note: Anthony – my anti-spyware (Sophos) is blocking your graphical swingometer page. You might want to look at that.

  3. @Alec (fpt)

    Yep, my post about energy usage wasn’t in opposition to yours but rather in support of it really. Just giving an additional set of reasons for why energy use may go up. I can well believe you’re right about the amount of needless redundancy. It’s the systems thing again….

  4. ‘Putting aside your reasons for wishing this , which may or may not be valid, -having wished it , you need to think through what the consequences will be.’

    Of course I have already thought about it, but thanks for the advice!

  5. On the loss of triple-AAA being similar in electoral impact to ERM-Black Wednesday….

    Well the ERM issue hit people rather viscerally via high interest rates. The loss of triple-AAA may hit people via Sterling’s Fall and consequent inflation but the question is. .. how many might make the link?…

  6. Similarly, colin, you need to think about what happens if we don’t clean out the augean stables.

    It’s the status quo which is indefensible, its propping up the cause of constant crisis.

  7. MIKEMS

    Great-would you mind telling me what conclusion you came to ?

    Thanks

  8. CHASGLAS
    “It’s amazing how irrelevant Labour is in this contest , going from a decent second historically to fourth in ( from what I’ve read ) a constituency with a very mixed social demographic”

    That decent second place though was as far back as 1994 – since then it has been LD all the way.

    A 12% share would be an improvement on the 9.6% of the 2010 GE and I imagine Labour would be pretty happy with that.

    I think the vote could easily return a UKIP win if the broadcast interviews and hustings are accurately reflecting the position down there. To ‘lefties’ out there it would undoubtedly be highly amusing to see the rumination in both Cons and LDs that would follow.

  9. MIKEMS

    @”Similarly, colin, you need to think about what happens if we don’t clean out the augean stables.”

    Yes yes.

    But what happens if Italy repudiates it’s sovereign debts , as you hope it will ?

  10. @Paul,

    “Why woud the LDs want Clegg to resign? There is no upside for them personally or politically. Their only sensible course is to see it through to 2015 and either do OK and he stays or badly and then, at that point, someone else takes over.

    Well, unless they impode first I s’pose.

    I totally agree. Same with the Tories and Cameron. Their only hope is for the economy to improve and to convince the electorate that changing course will only be more damaging. Changing leader merely makes a party look weaker and less decisive.

  11. ‘But what happens if Italy repudiates it’s sovereign debts , as you hope it will ?’

    I expect that a lot of banks and rich individuals will become bankrupt and that nation states and democratic govts will have to step in to keep things running. I expect that the ECB would have to start lending directly to govts rather than forcing them to borrow from private banks at higher rates. Other things will happen, no doubt.

    It will cause a crisis in the short term but if it means the end of financial domination of society, it is an absolute necessity.

    Now it’s your turn: what happens if we don’t clean out the augean stables and nation states continue to be lumbered with private banking debt and corrupt politicians doing the gamblers bidding?

  12. MIKEMS

    @”I expect that a lot of banks and rich individuals will become bankrupt and that nation states and democratic govts will have to step in to keep things running”

    And where will the “nation states” get the money from to “keep things running” if the banks have gone bust ?

    @”Now it’s your turn: what happens if we don’t clean out the augean stables and nation states continue to be lumbered with private banking debt and corrupt politicians doing the gamblers bidding?”

    Nation States are responsible for theire debts. THey decided to run the deficits which gave rise to them.

    Corrupt politicians is a matter for the voters isn’t it?

    ( off for a while now )

  13. Let’s not ruin the thread colin. It’s not as if we are going to convince one another.

  14. I think the LDs def have a case for ditching clegg – hes widely seen as thoroughly untrustworthy and many former lib dem voters will not forgive him for going into coaltion with the tories.
    A different leader who then left the coalition would prevent melt down at the next GE.
    The tories, however, are deluded if they think ditching cameron (presumably for a ‘proper’ right wing leader like D Davies) will improve their fortunes.

  15. All of this money is created out of thin air. Borrowing is printing but its like pfi, the banks get to make large profits from printing money to lend to govts. Why? Why should this be allowed to continue?

    I have to admit that I think in terms of the best interests of my class. To me it seems that lots of short term extreme pain shared quite evenly is better than 30 years of grinding suffocating agony mainly suffered be those on the bottom of the pile. Basically I don’t think my class has much to lose! But on a purely pratical level the maintain middle class and upper class wealth by squeezing the living standards of the lower classes policy is bound to fail.

  16. When in doubt just read the polls. I would be interested to learn what the DK percentages were in recent by-elections.

    My canvassing experience tends to say to me that DKs and WSs are mainly ‘won’t vote’ and otherwise will split evenly, that is to say in the same proportion.

    I guess I would assume the polling day organisation of LDs would be better too, (it usually is where they made a big leap once to gain a seat, as they did at Eastleigh and where the LA is strongly LD).

    So on the evidence, it looks good for them and if so, I suspect the Con candidate could have been more clerverly chosen. Perhaps the Con media has yet one more surprise move to make but this polling tends to indicate it will not work. I thought a loss of 2000 LD votes was likely due to RennardGate

    Could we setlle on the latter journalistic expression? The attempts to make it CleggGate fizzled and that was potentially a more damaging outcome and was the real goal, clearly.

  17. “A different leader who then left the coalition would prevent melt down at the next GE.”

    The thing is, a “melt down”, as people call it, isn’t a likely prospect. Even if the Lib Dems fail to advance beyond 10% by the next election and there’s no non-uniform swing working in their favour, they would still keep just under half of their seats. Bad, but hardly a “met-down”, at least not compared to the doldrums they’ve been in before.

    Make no mistake, the decision to keep Clegg and remain in coalition is a calculated one. Their tactic at the moment is to distance themselves as far as possible for unpopular Tory decisions, keep their heads down, and allow all the media attention to focus on Conservative cock-ups (of which their friends in blue have been quite happy to oblige). If YouGov is anything to go by, this is beginning to work, but needs more time.

    Quite agree that replacing Cameron as Conservative leader would be a far worse idea though.

  18. ‘cleverly’ apols.

  19. The BoE is rumoured to be considering negative interes rates. My mortgage is with Nationwide and they guaranteed it would never go more than 2% aboves base (so I currently pay 2.5%).

    If BoE rates go negative, does that mean I’d get paid monthly by Nationwide on what I borrowed if they went to, say,
    -3%?

    How on earth would negative interest rates work? People pay back less than they borrow? Banks pay interest to the borrower?

    ???

  20. Straw in the wind maybe ,but the LD voters I spoke to yesterday seemed ‘soft’ those for other parties harder and more certain to vote….Particularly UKIP identifiers.
    Differential turnout might just cause a surprise.

  21. I think some of the comments on the Italian election were unfair.

    After all, a turnout of 75% was achieved. We should be so fortunate. Not only that, a good choice of options were presented and voters expressed themselves clearly. The fact that opinion is divided is only healthy, not disastrous.

    The electorate knows, just as voters here know, that governments have to govern. I will be surprised if PD change the current commitments to the EZ and ECB and I am sure the centre right will back them.

  22. @RiN

    “All of this money is created out of thin air.”

    Actually, I think the problem on both sides is that people confuse money with IOUs.

    Money is minted coins and notes, nothing more. Everything else is an IOU. For personal banking, you can pretty much treat the two as the same thing. If you have £20,000 and put it in the bank, you can safely assume you will get that £20,000 back.

    Investment banking is a completely different matter. £30 million of assets is not the same as £30 million cash. We got into a mess last time because IOUs were sold on and on and on, and repackaged and repackages again, that everyone lost track of whether the money actually existed. That’s a harsh lesson for everyone. Whether the banks will learn this lesson in the long term is yet to be seen.

    But to go into runaway quantitative easing because it’s creating money the same as borrowing would be making exactly the same mistake again, only worse.

    I will admit I’m a bit biased here. I’m already paying for other people’s reckless borrowing and lending. I don’t see why my savings should be rendered worthless so that reckless borrowers can get off their debts.

  23. I think negative interest rates would be the BoE lending the banks 100 pounds but only expecting 99 back, that would be ?1% interest rate

  24. Yes the negative interest rates wouldn’t be passed on to the householder (fat chance!). They would probably maintain the current levels of interest and pocket the difference.

    If a lender guarantees a ceiling percentage, the BoE lending rate would have to drop quite a bit for the householder to see any of it.

  25. Just seen a (slightly biased) internet report suggesting that Eastleigh Tory candidates claims t be a ‘businesswoman’ are a bit of a stretch. They’ve search company records and apparently can’t find any evidence that she has ever been a director or owner of a company, and her experience seems to be one of a normal employee working in the private sector.

    There is some other stuff about the big name companies she names as her ‘clients’ being from when she worked at a recruitment advertisers 27 years ago.

    All the fun of the fair at by election time.

    On negative interest rates; – While entertaining to watch, I struggle to see this coming in now. What would be the points, and how would it ever get past the establishment, who rely on interest to maintain their wealth?

    Unless there is a large pot of cash currently attracting good interest that needs to be spent to boost the economy, I can’t see negative rates achieving much, other than increasing overall indebtedness, ready to bite us on the bum once rates inevitably rise.

  26. Peter Bone, the Tory MP made to look a bit of a twit on the DP show. Everyone in the studio laughing at him at one point when he decided to argue the facts with the a Populus director.

    Does DC, or Shapps watch these muppets on TV and just shake their heads? I’d be pretty livid with him right now if I were a high-up Conservative (God forbid the thought), especially with a by-election in a mere 2 days.

  27. HOWARD

    @”The electorate knows, just as voters here know, that governments have to govern. I will be surprised if PD change the current commitments to the EZ and ECB and I am sure the centre right will back them.”

    I hope you are right Howard.

    I really do.

    But the electorate will then -presumably- ask -” did you not understand why we threw Monti out? “

  28. Richard

    It’s the other way around.

    BoE demands deposits from Banks-& charges them for keeping it there.

    ………in order to encourage Banks to lend more .

    Swedish central bank, did it in 2009 when it set a rate of -0.25%.

  29. @ChrisNS

    “But, crucially, the lion’s share of Lib Dem seats are being defended against Tories. Their vote stands to be squished where they least need it.”

    Exactly.

    Yet the number of both Con and Lab pundits I have heard, suggesting that there will be tactical voting unwind in these seats seeing the Lab vote rise at the expense of the LDs with the Tories winning the seat whilst basically treading water, is legion.

    This in spite of the fact it would be a spectacular own goal for the non-Tory voting public in those seats.

  30. What is fascinating about the success of M5S in Italy is how little the media seem able to cope with it. It was clearly the big story of the night and unexpected in its extent – the last opinion polls, a fortnight before, showed them around 16%, they got 25.5% in the Chamber and 23.8% in the Senate[1]. But very little of the coverage looked at that, concentrating on the close race between Left and Right[2], even though both lists weren’t far ahead of M5S and missing out on the big story that was the extraordinary collapse of Berlusconi and the Right (as Virgilio pointed out).

    Similarly the immediate reaction to the Senate being hung was to decide that there would have to be fresh elections straight away, rather than consider the possibility of M5S actually supporting other Parties to govern. Now M5S are very new, but they did fight the Sicilian Presidential and Regional Elections last October (which were emergency ones held because the previous President had to resign for the usual Sicilian reasons). They got around 15% and 15 seats and have been supporting the minority Left administration since without problems. Sicily was incidentally one the Regions they topped the poll in

    Now it may be that Sicily is a special case, the new centre left President, Rosario Crocetta, is fairly untainted in Italian terms and less establishment than most in his Party, and his fights against the Mafia would make him more acceptable to M5S people. But it does show that they will work with other Parties. The way in which this option seems inconceivable to the media and even months of chaos and deadlock preferable is rather interesting.

    [1] In itself this is astonishing. Normally the vote for protest Parties declines in the run-up to general elections as some of their support goes back ‘home’, perhaps reluctantly. Here it actually increased.

    [2] Which they tended to get wrong, presumable because the big M5S vote threw all the projections out between Left and Right, though I haven’t seen much discussion of this.

  31. Alec,

    ‘On negative interest rates; –While entertaining to watch, I struggle to see this coming in now. What would be the points, and how would it ever get past the establishment, who rely on interest to maintain their wealth?’

    The idea must be to pre-empt a rush to bonds and a market led liquidity trap. It’s that desperate.

    Everything is still over-valued and they would have to make bonds very unattractive to keep asset values elsewhere high. If they can’t then we will see rapid capital destruction rather than the slow motion devaluation now going on.

    It’s not meant to boost the economy, it is about protecting existing wealth claims and their false values, just like lumping debts onto nation states.

  32. Reggieside’s 10.46 post was the most sensible and realistic on this thread by a long chalk. I hope everyone read it OK.

    (not to be confused with his/her 11.54 one)

  33. Carfew.

    Actually, the RESULT of Black Weds was that our interest rates halved in the space of three months and we were able to embark on a 15 year-long recession free experience.

    (I know to my cost – I had just bought my first house in Aug 1992, with a 5 year fixed rate mortgage of 10.5%. I thought I was being sensible because the Tories had been insisting that they were going to do whatever it took to keep us in the ERM…aye, right.)

    The irony of Black Weds was that it forced the Tories into doing the right thing economically. Would that Moody’s downgrade had been equally tectonic.

  34. BTW I am little perplexed why people are so gung-ho about UKIP winning in Eastleigh.

    We have now had 4 opinion polls and whilst in each UKIP have taken a huge leap forward from 2010 it does seem to stall out in a solid 3rd place with each one.

    We havent seen them moving up into the lead or even 2nd place with each more advanced poll. And we havent seen any serious collapse in the likely Con vote either.

    For a while there I was caught up in the notion that they could be enjoying a big surge through into the lead but now I would think that is very much on the outside of likely outcomes.

    Unless the Con vote really does collapse I find it hard to believe the combined Con and UKIP score (used to be called ATTAUK on here at one point) can be more than 55% of the total vote cast in a seat like Eastleigh.

    At the last GE there was almost 57% of the vote cast for left of centre parties and in the interim we have had a right of centre dominated coalition govt with a definite VI swing towards Lab nationally.

    So for Con and UKIP both to be doing well enough for one to outflank the LDs in Eastleigh whilst Lab flounder in 4th means there is some serious defying of political gravity somewhere.

  35. @ Chris Neville-Smith

    “Actually, I think the problem on both sides is that people confuse money with IOUs. Money is minted coins and notes, nothing more. Everything else is an IOU.”

    Call me old-fashioned, but I always thought that all modern money is an IOU, indeed since silver coins ceased to be silver in content, and banknotes replaced gold coin are not coins just IOUs as well?

  36. Just heard a fairly devastating interview with a female LD activist re Rennard on WATO . Clegg still has lots of questions to answer and the good Lord seems to be keeping his mouth shut ,certainly until Eastleigh is out of the way…his last outing as a by-election winner I suppose!

  37. “I promise to pay the bearer…”

    Money IS an IOU. It has no value except what we give it.

    But then the title deed to my house has no value unless somebody somewhere will support my “ownership” if somebody takes it away.

  38. REGGIESIDE
    “The low labour rating doesn’t really say much – my guess is that many who would normally vote labour are voting tactically, some sticking with lib dems, some for UKIP.”
    “the perception opnly a short time ago in Labour circles was that the LDs had so blown it that in swathes of the country that had become LD v Con since the 1970s Labour would re-establish themselves as the challenger again.”
    CROSSBAT11
    “Most of the Labour vote, for what it is, has drifted to the Lib Dems as an anti-Tory insurgency vote. The Lib Dems are essentially the insurgents in a natural Tory seat in Eastleigh.”
    “…… there was still a thought that the Lib Dems would be stubborn incumbents in seats they held, despite the decline in their national vote. Where Labour is likely to benefit is where they’re running a close second to the Tories and can benefit from Lib Dem votes coming their way and not the Tories”
    Basically I agree with Crossbat’s analysis, but would read it silightly differently in the light of experience campaigning for Labour against LD in the South West during the 80’s and 90”s, on a point which I think is relevant to the wider issue of party support and voting behaviour. The LD vote seemed to me to be for a social democratic system rather than primarily based on party support or loyalty, and would in some circumstances have been expressed in previous voting or would be expressed in future voting for Labour, if Labour were in a position to win a seat over the Tories, or if current Labour policy and its relevance to current major issues were attractive. While, yes, this is insurgent voting, it is also partisan in the old fashioned sense (in which I have heard it used of Socialist Party support in France, where it meant having blown up troop-trains), a convinced and committed willingness to fight against a right-wing political system by any available means.

  39. @Ewen Lightfoot

    “…his last outing as a by-election winner I suppose!”

    Don’t you believe it. He will be at future by-elections with his forensic brain in action even if he is brought in at the dead of night wearing a false moustache and beard. Without Chris Rennard the LD parliamentary party would still be travelling to Westminster in the back of a single black cab, and will be again without his strategic know-how. They know this. He “IS” the brain of the LD war-machine still. They desperately need his denials to be confirmed as true.

  40. NickP – check the small print as Nationwide may have an exclusion for negative rates, but in theory yes. IIRC when the interest rates went down to 0.5% there were a few instances reported of people who were on discount mortgages based on 1% LESS than BoE base rate who were paid interest by their lenders.

  41. Tony dean

    He would look a lot better with a false moustache and beard

  42. @leftlampton

    One interesting thing about black weds is that it boosted the labour poll rating even though – as far as I remember – labour were broadly supportive of lamonts policy and committed to the pound being part of the ERM.
    It also worth remembering that John Smith was leader at the time – and that it was the tories loss of credibility after black Wednesday that lost them the election in 1997 rather than Tony Blairs much over hyped ‘magic touch’.

  43. NickP – I must have misremembered, looking back through old press reports there were lots of instances (Cheltenham & Gloucester for example had 1500 customers who were on interest rates of 1.01% below base rate and the Co-op 500 customers on rates 0.61% below base rate – so interest rates of minus 0.61% and minus 0.11%).

    In practice though both said that legally interest went one way only and just charged 0% interest on the mortgage. Whether anyone went to the Ombudsman to challenge this decision and try to get them to pay them interest I don’t know!

  44. (I’m sure, having have one close shave, they’ll all have tightened up terms and conditions since then anyway)

  45. @John Pilgrim

    “The LD vote seemed to me to be for a social democratic system rather than primarily based on party support or loyalty….”

    As a former Liberal Area Agent for the western Home Counties (Thames Valley & Hampshire) in the 1980s I couldn’t agree with you more. Indeed, this is the reason I have found it so sad that the Labour mood music running up to 1997 about creating a new progressive alliance through electoral reform to dominate British politics in the 21st century failed to materialise. I believe the only reason the LDs have ended up in coaltion with their “natural enemies” on the right is because of the mathematical outcome brought about by retaining FPTP. If Labour had accepted some form of PR as part of an overall constitutional package I have little doubt we would have permanent left-wing parliaments, either with minority Labour governements of Lib-Lab pacts or coalitions. The content of most LD support is “social democratic” and going in with Conservatives is always going to be their least preferred option – even for Orange Bookers IMHO!
    2010? “Circumstances dear boy, circumstances”
    If Labour was less addicted to the idea of “Us alone or not at all” we could have kept monetarist policies out of power – forever!

    A former old Liberal’s lament perhaps – but heartfelt nonetheless!

  46. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Heaven<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

    The 'stronomers trained their telescopes
    up to the heavenly skies

    Searching for the angels, or a bearded bloke wot's wise.

    They said; " go back farenough and we'll see the virgin birth!!"

    But in the end all they found out was heaven's here on earth.

    [From the Oirish Poet, Phil O'Soffikal – who was inspired by Rupert Bear.]

  47. @ Paul C

    But nothing in that pome imploded! ;-)

  48. AW

    I know the Nationwide have changed their terms and conditions for new mortgages and also added a floor of 0% but I don’t think there was any such thing when I took out my mortgage.

    I love the idea of them paying me money each month …perhaps they could just write of the whole amount and call it quits?

  49. Presumably with negative interest rates they wouldn’t take money out of my cash ISA each month?

  50. Amber:

    Things that don’t exist can’t implode: I have checked that for a fact on both google and wiki.

    Maybe there WAS one once but it has ALREADY imploded?

    In fact that is almost definitely what did happen.

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