Elections in 2014

After the Christmas and New Year break we should be getting some polling tonight – Lord Ashcroft at least is promising a new batch of research (and perhaps Opinium will start up their fortnightly Observer polls again – YouGov’s daily polling doesn’t start again till Monday).

In the meantime, I’ve updated the site to reflect the elections in the year ahead:

Polls on the European election so far are here, though note the experiences of 2009 when early polls for the European election bore very little resemblence at all to the actual result. We don’t know if it was because people didn’t really consider European voting intention until much closer to the time, or the increased publicity UKIP got in the run up to the European elections, or because the expenses scandal shook things up, but one way or the other UKIP support massively increased in the run up to the European elections in 2009 and polls conducted more than a month or so before were of little use in predicting them.

On the election guide part of the site I’ve also added information on the candidates standing so far (Scotland, North East, North West, Yorkshire, West Midlands, East Midlands, Wales, Eastern, South West, South East, London)

Aside from the locals on the same day as the European election, the other big election is the Scottish Independence referendum on the 18th September (my birthday incidently – what better present can one get for a psephologist than a referendum for your birthday?). Polls on the referendum so far are all collected here.


112 Responses to “Elections in 2014”

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  1. “what better present can one get for a psephologist than a referendum for your birthday?”

    Something not so Scottish?

  2. @ Guymonde,

    I think we have to distinguish between Anthony’s roles as “psephologist” and “moderator of this forum”.

    Although even then, a ‘No’ vote would stop the endless arguments about the terms of Scottish EU accession, so it would be the gift that kept on giving.

  3. Lovely jubbly. Hope you had a nice break.

  4. Opinium-
    Con 30, Lab 37, Lib 8, Ukip 17

  5. @ Tinged

    So after all that waiting…. N/C.

  6. Happy Christmas to all our Eastern Rite followers here.

    TINGED FRINGE.
    As we start the new year: do you think that the Opinium samples may be flawed?,The 8% figure for the LD’s seems rather higher than intuition indicates this evening in a now dry Bournemouth

  7. Thanks for the polls, and the 2009 results for the European elections.

    I’ve got about as far as thinking that even though LD and Cons are down and Labour and UKIP are up in the opinion polls, with multi-party representation and the list system the actual results are fiendishly difficult to predict.

    There are comments from some posters on the regional/results pages about something significant happening when one party gets more than twice or three times another party’s vote. Is there a link where this is explained in fairly simple terms please?

  8. @ChrisLane1945

    ‘The 8% figure for the LD’s seems rather higher than intuition indicates this evening in a now dry Bournemouth”

    And what, precisely, would your intuition be based on?

  9. I’ve got about as far as thinking that even though LD and Cons are down and Labour and UKIP are up in the opinion polls, with multi-party representation and the list system the actual results are fiendishly difficult to predict.

    No,actually they are directly proportional to the votes cast so what could be easier?.
    I posted after the May elections that UKIP will gain from all parties in different euro seats. I’ve mislaid my calculations but from what I can remember UKIP +9 Tories-6 Lib DEMS -3 Lab nc

  10. @ RC,

    Chris Lane has a gut feeling that the true Lib Dem VI is 0%, which persists regardless of all polling, election results or facts about the world.

    Just roll with it.

  11. Goodness,is that a poll I see before me?
    Interesting ideas from labour about an idea for debt free degrees.

  12. rc

    “And what, precisely, would your intuition be based on?”

    We think its mostly weather related.

    The good news, for that rare LD supporter, is that it will have no bearing on actual polling – which is why none of them are that bothered about ole Chris’s intuitive forecasts.

    Apart from you maybe?

  13. Thank you Trefor Hunter

    I have found a link which explains in a bit more detail.

    http://www.europarl.org.uk/en/your_MEPs/European_elections/The_Voting_system.html

    This could be a fancy way of saying the same as you, I’m not quite sure. I will come back to it in the cold light of day.

  14. @ R&D

    Was expecting to see you on here earlier after the result today but knowing dogs you were probably running around all sorts of forums, tripping over each other, yapping and generally making a nuisance of yourselves!

  15. shevII

    Watched the match with Rosie as she is now two and quite the footy expert. Daisie was a’kipping.

    Gnabry is built like Oxlade-Chamberlain and was great today – how do young kids become so powerful at that age?

    Arsenal for the treble.

  16. Ashcroft poll out and a bit disappointed with the wait as it just seems to be a standard opinion poll from a month back but just with more respondents (8,000) rather than done in marginals or whatever.

    The headline is:
    Lab 39 Con 30 LD 8 UKIP 16 but no weighting down for UKIP in the same way Comres tonight.

    I guess there are a lot of extra questions to pick through (136 pages!) and maybe 8,000 is needed to make these representative answers?

  17. Anyone make any sense of Ashcroft? Can’t be bothered to read it with all his daft terms for different groups.

  18. @Trefor Hunter

    Your prediction sounds something like

    Con 20 (-6), Lab 13 (nc), LD 8 (-3), UKIP 22 (+9)…

    if you are going by results in 2009 (as opposed to the current state of play following defections etc), though I have included the one extra MEP awarded to the Tories because of Lisbon.

    Others in 2009: Green 2, BNP 2, SNP, 2, Plaid Cymru 1 (excluding NI).

    Those 13 Labour MEPs were elected on a 15.8% vote share… the polls so far don’t have them that low, or behind UKIP and the Conservatives.

    Turnout will be a factor though, probably favouring Con/UKIP. Against that, the 2009 EU election was on the same day as the predominantly shire locals (2009-2013), whereas 2014 may see more metropolitan voters casting their ballot.

  19. From what I see of Lord Ashcrofts poll, it shows that most people believe that they would be better off, after 5 years of a Labour government and therefore prefer a Labour majority to any other outcome. But a 9% lead at this stage is pretty slim and may be neck/neck by May 2015.

    More interesting would have been a poll of the marginals to see how UKIP is affecting the votes for the other parties. Also whether the Lib Dems are doing better than the polls are currently showing.

    Another big issue for the Tories is losing votes from public sector workers. If they make further cuts and chnages to employment, this is not going to help.

  20. @Anne in Wales – those ideas on ‘debt free degrees’ and how to pay for them are very interesting, and for my part a welcome attempt to have a serious look at education costs. I don’t think the ideas are new – the NHS and army already pay fees for some degrees, and I’m sure there is also business sponsorship as well.

    I was personally always less antagonistic to tuition fees and student as I felt that it was an opportunity to open up education and bring business and employers more direct financial input into higher education, but I have been surprised that government has done little to develop this kind of thing.

    It could be a vote winner, but tonight it’s up against a Tory pledge to include the pensions triple lock guarantee for the next parliament. Protecting pensioners is a clear signal from Cameron, and likely to be popular, and as older people vote more than students, it’s an interesting contrast tonight from the two main parties.

  21. “Turnout will be a factor though, probably favouring Con/UKIP.”

    Can’t see Tory turnout going anywhere except down.

  22. @Alec

    It’s not the students who’d votes would be significantly swayed, it’s the parents. As I commented long long ago, it is a mistake to assume you can load all the policy hurt on the young because they don’t vote. Those young people have parents, and they might be okay with other people’s kids losing out but very few will be happy that their own kids lost out. Further to this, the generation that had to start paying university fees are no longer ‘the youth’, and will have voting intentions shaped by their experiences.

    A lot of political consultants in multiple countries will have to explain why their clever idea of loading austerity on the young back fired.

  23. Well I don’t think they should lock pensioners up Alec – though some can be a bit grumpy.

    Re Ashcroft I think he’s saying that the Tories can’t win unless:

    [a] EVERYONE who voted for them last time, dead or alive, votes for them again.

    plus [and this is the clever bit that ole Anthony couldn’t figure out]

    [b] LOTS of others who didn’t DO SO IN 2015 !!!!!!!!!

    To sum up he thinks its probably definitely unlikely but it could happen if it did.

    Maybe – it all depends on the final voting figures.

    And then they would win.

  24. I understand one of Ashcroft’s findings is that 37% of 2010 Con voters will not vote for them in 2015. That is quite a grim statistic if true, and if it were to hold for 2015 (which this far out I doubt) it would be terminal for Con’s chances I would think.

  25. That Ashcroft poll looks very bad for the Liberals – Vi with a sample of 8000 is:

    Lab 39
    Con 29
    Lib 8
    UKIP 16

    They’re polling half the UKIP score and a quarter of their Coalition partners. If they get that kind of result in 2015 it’ll be their worst GE result since 1970.

    They’ve also got a serious credibility issue if only 9% trust them to do what they say. Should be troubling for Clegg, but he and his LDV supporters seem convinced nothing is wrong.

  26. Jay Blanc,Alec,
    Yes,this is interesting .A future political minefield I think.

  27. @rogerh

    Iirc Survation introduced a new “likelihood to vote” calculation (specific to the EU election) in December:

    Nov: Con 21%, Lab 35%, LD 11%, UKIP 22%
    Dec: Con 24%, Lab 32%, LD 8%, UKIP 25%.

  28. With Cameron’s commitment re triple lock on pensions, Ed’s ideas re free degrees and the Lab campaign in the Sunday People re the “12 costs of Cameron” it appears we are in “let serious battle commence” territory.

    Only another 16 months of this to go. Could be that the major parties run out of ideas by May 2015.

    One interesting thought (for me anyway) is where do the LDs go. If Lab & Con are battling away, surely they can’t keep quiet. Unless they fall in totally with the Tories then this must place a strain on the Coalition. Perhaps it has already started with VC’s comments re a housing bubble.

  29. Looks like we don’t really know much from that Ashcroft poll until he sends out the formal analysis.

    Lab 38% Con 30% LD 8% Ukip 16% seems to be about where the unweighted numbers are, so the outcome of the next election really hinges on Ukip. How many of them would vote Tory to stop Labour? The Survation polls say 33%, which isn’t enough to give the Tories a plurality unless Labour collapse.

    So somehow they have to do much better at recovering their Ukip defectors without aliening the Lib Dem defectors or moderate Tories. It’s a tough nut to crack even assuming nothing goes wrong for the Government and the party doesn’t have another meltdown like they did last spring.

  30. Back to the Everlys and I was just listening to “When Will I Be Loved” for the first time in decades.

    What is incredible, apart from the beauty of their voices, is that they regularly phrase off the beat [easy to do on your own but very difficult in harmony] and synchronise to perfection.

    I saw them once, live, in Newcastle City Hall and, from the way they looked at each other’s lips all the time I think they could lead/be led into slightly different phrasings ad lib. I imagine it must be very dull repeating every song exactly the same every night and that is about as much as one manage to create something slightly new.

    That’s what comes of starting at six I guess.

  31. Good point jayblanc. Many 20 and 30 somethings are now paying 9% of their salary above 15k in student loan repayments. A hefty sum, and added to 20% income tax and 12% national Insurance – which the majority pay – is a sizable dent and not something they will be happy to inflict upon their children. Particularly as they know that their children will be paying 9% of their eventual salaries on a far higher loan of 9k per year plus living cost loans of 5k.

  32. Where’s Crossbat when you need him???

    Up the Blades, what a result today? All I can say is remember the name….Clough!

  33. @ Alec,

    I understand one of Ashcroft’s findings is that 37% of 2010 Con voters will not vote for them in 2015.

    That’s roughly in line with the YouGov figures, if you include NVs and DKs (many of whom will revert, of course.)

    By contrast the YouGov figures for Labour and Lib Dems are about 25% and 73%, respectively.

    I’d guess the number for a party doing well is probably around 15-20%; you’re always going to have some subset of people who switch or say “Don’t know”.

  34. Peter – Cable has been popping up to grumble about things here and there since 2010. Then he and the other Lib Dems fall into line. They have no credibility anymore. Can’t see anything they could do now to rescue their numbers. perhaps disposing of Clegg and then being far more vocal against certain policies, and importantly following that with action.

    Their strategies so far have failed – being yes men to the conservatives to appear mature and ‘ready for government’, and also waiting for economic growth and reaping some reward.

  35. There is a simple “poll” question in a Mirror article on Lord Ashcroft’s poll:
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/lord-ashcroft-poll-nigel-farages-2989296
    I voted to have a look at the results, and saw Labour 50%; UKIP 50%; Con, LD & others all 0% !!

  36. @ Ed,

    Unless… *cue spooky music* …reuniting the Left was their strategy all along!

    Nick Clegg: Labour’s Kim Philby?

  37. @Spearmint,

    Uh-oh, Comrade Clegg has been uncovered – where’s my polonium?

  38. Peter bell

    The point about the LD positioning is an interesting one

    I keep trying to engage with members of my ex-party asking how they thought the run up to 2015 would go and how they would respond to the media pressure on them.

    The media will be far more ruthless than in the past in my view as before then Coalition was an abstract construct and so there was no real pressure on them to name a preference, and they could side with Tory or Labour depending on the policy – it must be said as well prior to 2010 this was mainly Labour apart from civil liberties and Iraq.

    If we see the two policies floated today – one of them is based on free tertiary education (I am a committed supporter of free tertiary education for all – or at most for a nominal fee in line with the rest of the EU – at any point in their lives) or continued pension increases, I find it difficult how the LD can avoid coming out for/against them.

    Every policy coming from Labour or the Tories will immediately find a microphone pushed into the LD to find out where the stand – and this is without the pressure to announce whether they would prefer Labour or Tory Coalition post 2015.

    There seems to be a naïvety in LD circles that think they will be able to furrow there own path and will get away with not answering these questions – I think it will be impossible to do so and by not answering will impact further their credibility

  39. @Jack R

    “Where’s Crossbat when you need him???”

    Don’t worry, I’m still here lurking, cogitating the latest polls and sulking about today’s disastrous football result. One of my best mates at University was an ardent Blades fan and even though we’re strictly long distance friends now, I’ve received a series of taunting messages from him from the Philippines this evening. You were well worth your win this afternoon and my only consolation is that the result may hasten the departure of this buffoon we currently have as a Manager at the Villa. He’s turned us into a poor man’s Stoke City in 16 months, but has done so with even less charm than Tony Pulis’s. Can there be a greater condemnation?

    As for the polls, they appear largely unchanged from before the holiday period and the stasis is the real talking point in my view, particularly when you bear in mind the changing economic and political backcloth that should, by rights, be feeding into the polls by now. The 30% VI for the Tories is extraordinarily low and quite remarkable in the circumstances.

  40. @spearmint – ” …the outcome of the next election really hinges on Ukip.”

    One could say (since he really does seem to have taken “direct managerial control of the party”) that it hinges on Nigel Farage.

    If Nick Clegg can capitulate to the Conservatives, is it really utterly inconceivable that Nigel Farage might do so before the general election?

    I’m not convinced by the eve-of-Tory-conference YouGov which showed Labour benefiting from a Con/Ukip pact, mainly because of the large proportion of Con+Ukip Don’t Know/Not Ready To Answer That Yet.

    Paul Goodman (recent Telegraph/ConHome article) thinks Godfrey Bloom’s claim that a deal has already been done is preposterous, however, he does think that Farage may at some point lead Ukip (or part thereof) back into the embrace of a realigned Conservative party. That has always been his long term aim… but can it realistically be achieved before or after the general election?

  41. @Paul (11.07)

    Assume it was you at the City Hall as R&D would be too young.

    Like you I saw them at the City Hall – my wife & I have been reminiscing about it today. IIRC, one of them (can’t remember which) had a sore throat. If you remember that then we must have been at the same show. I only remember them appearing in Newcastle on one occasion.

  42. Peter:

    I remember the hairs on the back of my neck when they came on stage and that they did the Mark Knopfler song, Don’t Worry Now.

    My brother was with me and we nicked their harmonies.

  43. “For the Tories to win outright, they will need the votes of everyone who supported them last time, plus practically everyone who is even prepared to think about doing so next time.”
    -Lord Ashcroft, Conservative Home

    That has seemed like the only route to a Tory majority since 2011 … and we’re now in 2014.

  44. cross batty

    You shouldn’t be cogitating when yer on bail.

    Anyway, I was wondering if you’ve ever considered supporting what I like to call a “good” team?

    Like…. oo… I dunno…er…… well, Arsenal for example??

    They are very good, well run and almost all their players are good looking.

    Thought a lot of the Spurs boys had what I like to call the look “thugs”. As though they were on day-release for the match sort of thing.

  45. @spearmint: I disagree with you. The next election hinges on the Liberal Democrat 2010 switchers: unless they switch back the Tories can’t win. In Ashcroft’s poll it is quite clear that although UKIP take more votes from the Tories, they are taking votes from all parties and about a quarter would rather see a Labour govt than a Tory one.

    AW: I have been pondering back to 2005. According to Ashcroft’s ‘smell the coffee’ (which i have just glanced at and not read in detail), Labour voters went to Lib Dem, not Tories. Presumably, and certainly where I live, partly in response to Iraq. So, do you think those are some of the 2010 switchers now going back to Labour? Again, it does seem to be what is happening here. (I live in a Lib Dem Labour target seat).

  46. We actually do have Ashcroft full analysis – 39 pages of Project Blue Phase 4 linked to from his summary here:

    http://lordashcroftpolls.com/2014/01/project-blueprint-phase-4-the-proceeds-of-growth/

    along with 193 pages of tables. As Da Pups point out, he does have this irritating habits of labelling groups of voters with various bits of marketing jargon (this is by no means one of his worst efforts) and he also tends to force choice on people (no options for Don’t Know or Neither) which makes the results meaningless[1]. There are also those quotes from focus groups which usually strike me as being prone to selection bias. I suppose they’re there to keep political correspondents and other people who don’t ‘do’ numbers happy.

    What is interesting is that there doesn’t seem to have been the usual downgrading of UKIP that we see from Populus[2]. Although Ashcroft has been having a go at Farage for complaining about the polls, it looks like he isn’t much impressed with Populus’s recent methodology either. It certainly puts them in line with other on-line polling.

    As usual with the Ashcroft mega-polls, the size of the sample means that various sub-groups will be big enough that at least tentative conclusions can be drawn.

    [1] If, to paraphrase Dr Johnson, you’re forcing people to choose between a flea and a louse (or Osborne and Balls), if most people really want to say ‘Neither’ (or indeed ‘Meh’), then the result may be academic because either result is so unpalatable. This is different from the usual opting for the least worst choice because people may just decide to give their vote on different criteria.

    [2] Assuming they did the polling. One of the tables says “This table has been weighted on the basis of past voting to be politicically [sic] representative of the UK population as a whole” but there isn’t the ridiculous down-weighting we normally see. Fieldwork was 4-10 November and gives:

    Con 30% (31.5)

    Lab 39% (39)

    Lib Dem 8% (11.5)

    UKIP 16% (9.5)

    Green 3% (3)

    Nats 4% (3.5)

    The figure in brackets is the average of the two usual Populus from that period.

  47. @roger: In this poll he does seem to be looking in detail at where the 2010 Tories are etc. So, although the overall VI is standard, it is the cross breaks that, because of the sample size, are more interesting than a std poll.

  48. @ Chatterclass,

    Well, that depends what you mean by “win”. If we accept that the post-Clegg Labour floor is around 35%- and I’ve seen nothing during this entire parliament to call that into question- then a Tory majority is impossible.

    They can get a plurality large enough to form a second Lib/Con coalition or a minority government, though. If Labour are on 35%, the Tories need 39% on UNS, which is theoretically achievable for them. They were polling in that range all through 2010.

  49. so the outcome of the next election really hinges on Ukip.

    -Not really assuming a round of them are disaffected Tories even if all returned in 2015 taking the Tories to around 35% if Labour Polled the same as it is now which is simply the 2010 vote + LD left of centre transfers (who are far less likely to vote LD than the UKIP counterparts are to vote Tory)

    The Result would be a clear Labour Victory with a majority of 50+ LD’s down to less than 20 and UKIP on 0!.

  50. If you stick the Ashcroft figures into the swing machine it’s Labour Landslide territory

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