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. @ Nick P

    I love the idea of them paying me money each month …perhaps they could just write of the whole amount and call it quits?
    —————–
    I tried that with the RBS. I said: “I have £3k, I’d like to settle a £30k mortgage with that. It’s called fractional reserve credit.” Much to my astonishment, they didn’t agree to it. ;-)

  2. TONY DEAN
    “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! ”
    For Labour read rather a small and unrepresentative and unelected claque, too bloody clever by half, who gave it and the LDs to the Tories, and as you say to the post-Harvard School monetarists.
    I must admit that I never thought of the future in Lib-Lab or PR terms, but on policy considered it absurd not to have constitutional human rights, a strong freedom of information programme, nuclear disarmament, and both a strong and active economic and social membership of the EU as part of Labour’s long-term strategy.

  3. Tony Deane
    ‘….they got some angry women there,they’ll really make a mess outah you’

    To paraphrase Bob Dylan ,that is the situation in the LDs at the moment ,with eleven female activists , claiming to have made complaints about fatboy ,he’s going to need a moustache and beard to walk the streets, never mind mastermind by-elections.

    The times they are a changing.

  4. ah, Bob

    Come mothers and fathers Throughout the land
    And don’t criticize What you can’t understand
    Your sons and your daughters Are beyond your command
    Your old road is Rapidly agin’
    Please get out of the new one If you can’t lend your hand
    For the times they are a-changin’.

  5. And when they’d gone and found it they saw it was a pin
    And on its head were Angels all dancing in a spin
    Who cried “Old men, don’t stand there, but come and join in
    Or you’ll never know what love is and that would be a sin
    For the times they are a’changing

  6. Come MPs, come Peers
    Please heed the poll
    Lib Dems on the doorstep
    UKIP’s on a roll
    Tories get gets hurt
    Cos all growth has stalled
    There’s a by election outside
    The Press it is a-ragin’
    It’ll be a low turnout
    And the antis will win
    I guess the Times they ain’t a-changin’.

  7. @Lefty

    Yes, interest rates fell after Black Wednesday. Some call it White Wednesday, in fact. I was talking about the ERM period leading up to Black (white) Wednesday, and many would argue that while dropping interest rates assisted recovery from recession, it was the high interest rates beforehand that helped put us in recession in the first place.

    I’m not sure I agree that the ERM exit “forced” the Tories to do the right thing economically. It allowed them to drop interest rates, but they could have still screwed up the recovery in other ways, e.g. cutting too far and too fast. Which they didn’t do, they did it more sensibly.

    And Labour inherited the benefit economically.

    To me, the Major years bear some parallels with Labour subsequently in economic terms.

    In other words, both gambled (Major et al on the ERM, Blair’s gang on letting banks do as they please and overheating economy), it screws up, but then their subsequent response is rather better.

  8. As an exsample of how govts are fiddling statistics the latest new house sales from the usa take the biscuit, the seasonal ajusted figure was 437k the actual figure was only 31k, 10k of which haven’t been built yet. Like I say, don’t believe any stats from the govt

  9. @ AW

    Time for an update on the UNS I think. See if you can tickle the Lab majority up just a fraction :-)

  10. Several blatant breaches of the poetry standard but since Ozwald and I are in a Mexican stand-off over who is going to get the job (I want him to have it, he wants me to get it), no official adjudication is possible.

  11. The Black Wednesday debacle led to a period where the govt had no economic policy at all. They did nothing for quite a long while, because they didn’t know what to do, and things improved quite rapidly.

    Re Labour supporting the ERM : they did, but at a lower rate than was set. The govt tried to fix sterling at 1.95 to the DM, if memory serves, which dragged all life out of the economy.

    After BW, when govt gave up trying to control sterling through high interest, and the absurd idea of a ‘strong pound’, the rate fell to about 1.65, a more realistic rate.

  12. Aw

    If ukip do manage to pull off an upset in eastleigh will you start including them in the polling averages, I’m looking forward to that patch of purple

  13. “As far as the Commission is concerned, we would like to underline our full confidence in the Italian authorities in their capacity to find and establish a political majority that will continue to deliver a growth and jobs agenda, which is what Italy needs to reduce the unsustainable level of its debt,” Commission spokesman Olivier Bailly told a regular news briefing.”

    Ho,hum

  14. @RiN

    What about including the “Don’t Cook!!” Party?

    http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21521130

    An “anti-cookery” political party represented by an “Italian takeaway chef” called Mr Mozzarella has received more than £72,000 in donations.

    The campaign focused on a dislike of celebrity chefs who, it was claimed, are re-awakening too much interest in cooking and therefore damaging takeaway businesses.

    Prior to the election, Mr Mozzarella put out a broadcast, saying: “Me and my fellow takeaway chefs of Great Britain is angry. We is slavin’ away in hot kitchens up and down the country ready to deliver your dinner, and yet many many people are trying to cook for themselves.

    “Why you want to waste your time cooking these ’15-minute meals’ which actually take two hours, and tastes no good, when you could be sitting down, ‘avin’ a chat, or watching the telly?”

  15. The only similarity about Black Wednesday and the loss of the tripple A rating is the majority of people couldn’t care less about either.

  16. trippple

    If you must get it wrong at least make it apposite.

  17. @ Carfrew

    And Labour inherited the benefit economically.
    ——–
    Some of us don’t agree with that narrative; what was inherited was a basket case economy in the making. The public sector was in disarray & all the assets had been sold; money capital, industrial capital, knowledge & technology had all flown the coop; FMCG & deregulated banks were all that remained in a rickety, unbalanced economy.

    From these, frankly, dreadful beginnings, Labour managed to parse a low inflation, steady growth economy. If anything, Labour were too successful at making the UK attractive to ‘investors’ in the non-productive economy i.e. property, banking & retail which initially created some high quality jobs in architecture, construction, IT, education & accountancy. Then the off-shored outsourcing of mid-level professions plus the banks over-charging & over-reaching tore the @rse out of it.

    It was Labour’s early success at making a silk purse out of the economic sow’s ear which they’d inherited that caused complacency to set in. They didn’t see the need to rebalance an economy which seemed to be working for most of the people, most of the time.

    But an economy, like a chain, is only as strong as its weakest link; & with laissez faire the money goes into leveraging opportunities, not into mitigating weaknesses. Which Party will have the nerve to move away from laissez faire & dare to raise the ‘socialist’ spectre of a planned economy?

  18. Good Evening All.

    PHILHAINES.
    I am sorry, I actually ducked out of the Eastleigh by election, t watch the rugby! Shamefully.

    I hope that we will all heed the words of Simon Hughes about not running a campaign on innuendo and rumour.

  19. @Turk

    The majority may not care about Triple A or ERM, but they might care rather more about consequent mortgage rates or food prices.

    In any event it only needed a minority to care to switch allegiance and put Labour in. .

  20. CHRISLANE1945

    I hope that we will all heed the words of Simon Hughes about not running a campaign on innuendo and rumour.

    ———–

    Does he mean like the LibDem manifesto?

  21. @Roger Mexico
    I condivide absolutely your analysis. Several media, even here in Greece, talked about “Berlusoni’s triumph” because he got 29%, totally forgetting that in 2008 the parties of his alliance had between them 49% and that this alliance lost 220 of it 344 seats, which is totally unprecedented!! Of course the score of the Bersani coalition is disappointing (29.5, – 4 from 2008), he admitted it himself about an hour ago (“deludente”) but it gained 340 seats (plus some of the overseas constitutions, maybe 6-8 seats) instead of 219 in 2008. Naturally the real profound phenomenon is Grillo and his original movement, but there can be no government without the Bersani alliance, and he has just made an opening to the 5 Stars proposing them to back, by voting at the Senate, with the center-left, a progressive agenda under his leadership, according to their own program, an agenda totally opposed to the Berlusconian one, based on refusal of renewal, on opacity, on sexism and homophobia, which both Bersani and Grillo reject. It is of course very premature to make assumptions, but this programmatic agreement is the most logical course to take, a grand coalition Bersani-Berlusconi only for the markets’ sake would be a disaster, and after some months Grillo would have 40%, and very rightly so. Moreover, the voters denied Berlusconi even the “consolation prize” of a victory at the Senate, the center-left has simple majority not only in terms of votes but also of seats. A last note for Monti: his score is honorable, increasing by 4.5 points the centrist score of 2008 (10.5 vs 6), but politically he is finished, since his seats at the Senate are not enough to give a majority to Bersani, so he is useless (and I am happy for this, because the first measures he would oppose would be on civil rights issues such as marriage equality etc). He is of course a honorable man, nothing like Berlusconi, but being the favorite of both the Vatican and Frau Merkel certainly is not a vote-catcher!!!! – the latter must feel more and more isolated in Eurozone….

  22. CARFREW.
    yes, and just like the Bermondsey by election in 1983.

  23. If this poll is anything to go by, the conservatives might have been better off with AV after all!

  24. Turk
    “The only similarity about Black Wednesday and the loss of the tripple A rating is the majority of people couldn’t care less about either.”

    See, for someone posting on a polling website, that is a remarkably daft thing to say.

    The refutation of your opinion about Black Wednesday is here:
    http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/historical-polls/voting-intention-1992-1997

    After Black Weds, it was 181 months before the Tories had two consecutive polls with a VI of over 40%.

  25. @Amber

    Well I wasn’t saying that Labour inherited the most perfect if all worlds. Just noting the irony that having rescued things Tories had to hand over power anyway.

    Not seeing the need to rebalance the economy was Labour’s issue from day one. Worse, they increased the imbalance in some ways. They had an economy “which seemed to be working for most of the people, most of the time.” but clearly wasn’t working for a healthy chunk of the populace: the long-term unemployed, those reliant on top up benefits, all those having to supplement via debt, all those progressively priced out the housing market, those who saw rents rise thanks to Brown’s BTL boom, and all this before the crash.

    Nulab did what they aimed to do. Keep babyboomers happy with house prices and stuff to keep getting elected while pursuing their identity politics agenda. Industrial policy, or employment opportunities for the disenfranchised was barely on the table. There were plenty of jobs to support Identity politics though.

  26. @ Carfrew

    1. the long-term unemployed – the future jobs fund was arguably the most successful program for getting long-term unemployed people into work.
    2. those reliant on top up benefits – the minimum wage helped a lot but it definitely wasn’t enough. Hence the living wage push which may become a policy.
    3. all those progressively priced out the housing market/ having to find high rents/ having to rely on housing benefit – I agree; this was a weakness of the laissez faire economy which some would say Labour encouraged; they certainly did very little to mitigate it. The requirement for developers to create a little low (not that low) priced housing in their projects came nowhere near to doing enough.

  27. Amber, they were sticking plasters. Even in good economic times many remained unemployed, reliant on government handouts etc.

    Labour encouraged the property thing. Capital gains etc.

  28. @WES

    Yes! If UKIP keep attracting, dis-proportionally compared to other sources, ex-Tory protest votes, I think the Tories might actually have benefited in 2015 if AV had gone through!
    How ironic…….

  29. A question to all.

    If the LDs decided that the Conservative use of their rottweilers in the press to demolish them in the run up to every poll makes a mockery of being in the same government as them do they constitutionally have the same option now we have fixed term parliaments of behaving as the German FDP did mid-term in 1982 and simply switch sides to put Ed Miliband into No.10 soon? After all, the LDs only real objection I remember to going in with Labour was the personality of Gordon Brown?

  30. Carfrew

    But it must be said that the left wing has been remarkably successful with identity politics, there has been a real sea change in attitudes to previously despised minorities. I know many folk would say that it wasnt the left that changed attitudes rather it was the media or princess diana but myself I think tatchell standing as an openly gay candidate and the various loonly left councils we used to hear so much about were big factors. Credit where credit is due

  31. @ Carfrew

    Yes, fair comment.

  32. @RiN

    Oh yeah, I wasn’t criticizing it. Just saying that’s where a lot of the focus was. The downside was things like stoking the housing boom to keep people voting, of letting banks run riot, rather than a more sustainable policy. Maybe labourites can say what NuLab’s plan was to reduce the housing shortage (like building more housing) or what the industrial policy was, ‘cos it doesn’t seem all that evident. The Diversity Officers were rather more evident. Tories eleewhere often mention them (though not often here, curiously. ..)

  33. @Tony Dean

    “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!”

    Oh yes! Say it and say it again.

    I’ve waited 3 long years to have such a sensible rationale coming about why the LDs went into coalition with the Tories. And as a near Orange Booker myself I couldn’t agree more that a Thatcherite Con party is still the natural enemy of true liberalism.

    Still it wont stop certain Lab pundits on here concluding that those of us who remain in the LD tank will run off and vote for the Tories and soon as DC shows us a bit of leg. Sheesh!

  34. TONY DEAN
    They still can’t do so without the support of minor parties – while they could in theory bring down the government, the fixed parliament act still requires (within 14 days), for a majority of MPs to vote yes to a resolution which reads –
    “That this House has confidence in Her Majesty’s Government.”

    So Lab currently has 255 MPs (Eric Joyce currently sits as an Independent, Lindsay Hoyle and Dawn Primarolo are speakers deputies), LibDems have 56 (perhaps 57 by Friday) – that’s definitely 311/2, perhaps 3 more (I’m not sure how deputies would be allowed to vote in this specific case).
    Sinn Fein don’t vote in parliament, so that’s 4 off the 648 currently sitting.
    So that’s 325 votes they currently need (whether an MP sits for Eastleigh or not).

    So Lab+Lib need at minimum another 14 MPs to vote with them, maximum another 10 (Eastleigh + Joyce + Deputies) just to form another government.
    Assuming Greens (1), Respect[1](1), Plaid (3), SNP (6) and SDLP (3), they’d scrape together just enough votes.

    From a game-theory perspective, it’s not in Labour’s best interest to go in to coalition given the likelihood that they’d form a majority at the next election according to current polling and it wouldn’t benefit the LibDems either (if the goal is simply to stay in power).
    If, however, an election pact were put together (Lab+Lib running in a new election as a single alliance – Lib stand down in Lab/Con, Lab in Lib/Con, don’t stand against each other in seats currently held, and then fight in three ways or Lib/Lab – with the promise of certain ministerial positions for the Libs), then it would be in the best interest of both to push for an early end to this parliament.

    [1] George Galloway has made it clear he would vote to support a Labour government.

  35. “325”…err make that “323 votes they currently need”.

  36. “So Lab+Lib need at minimum another 14 MPs to vote with them, maximum another 10 (Eastleigh + Joyce + Deputies) just to form another government.”
    Also –
    Minimum = 8, Maximum = 12

  37. @ Tony Dean

    “If the LDs decided that the Conservative use of their rottweilers in the press to demolish them in the run up to every poll makes a mockery of being in the same government as them do they constitutionally have the same option now we have fixed term parliaments of behaving as the German FDP did mid-term in 1982 and simply switch sides to put Ed Miliband into No.10 soon? After all, the LDs only real objection I remember to going in with Labour was the personality of Gordon Brown?”

    As much as I might personally like such an outcome I think if the LDs did such a move I think many of the voting public would see it as inconsistent at best and naked power sharing opportunism at worse.

    The better strategy for the LDs is to stay the course of the coalition confident the Cons have no chance of an OM in 2015, suck up whatever losses are coming their way and manouvre themselves into a coalition with Lab after the next GE if such an opportunity presents.

    (Of course Lab may well get another chance of “ours alone or not at all” with their own post 2015 majority, and I dont think that will hurt the LDs going forward, just as it didnt in the period 1997-2010).

    I actually think the right resorting to the rottweiller tactics does them no good. Nor does further right wing posturing as some Cons undoubtedly want since it actually takes their party further away from moderate British political opinion and makes it harder for them to be elected.

    Of course if the Con party was to seriously reform and moderate itself back to where it was pre-1970 then we would be looking at a different equation altogether but too many of their party seem so frustrated with the restrictions of coalition that Camerons chances of bringing about this reform seem ultimately doomed.

  38. @RiN

    Most of the councils caricatured as ‘looney left’ by the rightwing media weren’t just interested in social liberalism though – famously refusing to set budgets which many were brought down by. I think Labour has joined (and could argue helped start) the general trend of western formerly socialist parties to liberalism, so as we’ve already got economic liberalism all their meaningful reforms are restricted to social liberalism.

    Which leads me onto:

    @Amber

    Which Party will have the nerve to move away from laissez faire & dare to raise the ‘socialist’ spectre of a planned economy?
    Easy: none.

  39. @ Tinged

    ““So Lab+Lib need at minimum another 14 MPs to vote with them, maximum another 10 (Eastleigh + Joyce + Deputies) just to form another government.”
    Also –
    Minimum = 8, Maximum = 12”

    You run up against the same difficulties that the proposed Rainbow coalition of 2010 ran up against. i.e the numbers just are not their to make it stable.

    I swear if Gordon Brown had gone in 2009 when it was clear that he was a complete drag on the Lab ticket the numbers would have been there with just about any other Lab leader. Perhaps unwittingly this was the ultimate salting of the earth for a progressive alliance going forward in UK politics. Or perhaps its just on hold until 2015. The outcome then (which IMO rests between Lab OM vs Lab biggest party in another coalition) will answer this one way or the other.

  40. The five star movement website is down, does anyone here have any idea what their policies are. So far I’ve learned that they are taking economic advice from non orthodox economists which is a promising start.

  41. @Tony Dean @GRHinports

    Well IIRC BBC polling showed that Alliance voters were more supportive of the Cons than Labour, so I think this ever-ruling Lib-Lab coalition doesn’t really stack up, especially nowadays with the Orange contingent that you can see in the cross-breaks breaking with the government. If we had PR, we wouldn’t have three parties anyway, and as with their continental brethren the Liberals would have their two respective parties (social liberals & market liberals) and the Labour and Tories would have their own ‘harder’ competitors.

  42. I think the Lib Dems have been quite clever in meeting with the police and calling for any complaints to be brought to the Met’s attention.

    They know Inspector Knacker will take weeks to get anywhere with this, even if complaints are received – effectively putting a lid on the worst prospects until well after Eastleigh.

  43. RiN

    @”does anyone here have any idea what their policies are”

    “ts specific agenda remains cloudy, however.
    Proposals mooted by the 64-year-old comic from Genoa include a referendum to pull Italy out of the euro zone, deep tax cuts, a big increase in health spending and investment in the “green economy”.
    Other policies are as alarming as they are unfeasible, including a 20-hour working week and the cancellation of Italy’s two trillion euro national debt.”

    DT

  44. @ Craig

    “Well IIRC BBC polling showed that Alliance voters were more supportive of the Cons than Labour, so I think this ever-ruling Lib-Lab coalition doesn’t really stack up, especially nowadays with the Orange contingent that you can see in the cross-breaks breaking with the government. If we had PR, we wouldn’t have three parties anyway, and as with their continental brethren the Liberals would have their two respective parties (social liberals & market liberals) and the Labour and Tories would have their own ‘harder’ competitors.”

    If you have link(s) to the polling that says Alliance or LDs break heavily in favour of the Tories Id be very interested in seeing it.

    I thought it was widely held by the last Lab govt that LD voters would break in favour 2 to 1 in favour of them under the AV system they proposed in their 2010 manifesto. Although again I never have seen any polling demonstrating this clearly.

    What we do know is that about 60% of the LD 2010 vote has currently deserted the party presumably because of the formation of the coalition and the subsequent consequences from that. Which strongly suggests a preference for Lab over Con.

    What I think is not so widely recognised is that even amongst those that remain in the LD tank their is still strong apathy towards their coalition partners. Perhaps growing by the day, certainly if the right wing of the Con party is going to dominate that parties agenda.

  45. I can’t see any reason whatsoever that would attract Labour to enter a pact with LD’s just now, when frankly the numbers add up now, no better than they did in 2010. If I were EM I would be more than content to wait another 2 years and go for an outright majority, without the need to rely on any other minor parties and in the meantime, enjoy the discomfort of the coalition.

    If the LD’s did leave the coalition (which is very unlikely for credibility reasons), I imagine the Tories would govern as a minority government.

    Italy, what a joke – 60 governments in less years and the latest result is…. er, no result. The only possible upside is it puts the euro under pressure again, which may help Sterling and therefore my pension payments. (Very selfish reasoning, I know)

    You can see why Germany is keen to keep DC on side, everyone else is going, spend, spend, spend and there is only Germany to bankroll it. For how long will the German taxpayer put up with it?

  46. CHRISLANE1945
    CARFREW.
    yes, and just like the Bermondsey by election in 1983.

    ———————–

    I was aware of Bermondsey but didn’t realise quite how far it all went. Just read up a bit more about it. There were badges about kissing Tatchell and everything!! These activist types like to get stuck in don’t they. ..

  47. Colin
    “Other policies are as alarming as they are unfeasible, including a 20-hour working week ”

    Would the Italians agree to such an increase?

  48. ROBERT NEWARK

    @”For how long will the German taxpayer put up with it?”

    Yes.

    I know we went through all that EZ break up speculation with Greece & it sort of went away.

    But stability only exists whilst all the balls are kept in the air, and there is some semblance of EZ wide uniformity & control.

    But a bunch of unknowns holding sway in the governance of Italy , who could be influenced to try almost anything………would we be back to the potential of the Northern Core saying -oh sod it-you go sort yourselves out?

    And then there is the inter-relatedness of Italian sovereign debt & the whole EU banking sector.

    Jeez-the Brussels types who rely so much on a nice tidy, compliant system must be quaking at the prospect of Grillo pulling the strings.

    Maybe he will be dumped-he isn’t actually in Parliament-but who would wield the power?

  49. ROBERT

    @”Would the Italians agree to such an increase?”

    Big smiley !

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