Lord Ashcroft has just released a poll of voting intentions in the Wythenshawe and Sale East by election. Details are here, but essentially it suggests an extremely comfortable Labour hold with UKIP and the Conservatives battling for a distant second place. Voting intentions with changes from the last election are CON 14%(-12), LAB 61%(+17), LDEM 5%(-17), UKIP 15%(+12). A week to go of course, but unless the poll is horribly wrong (and no reason to think it is), this looks done and dusted.

163 Responses to “Lord Ashcroft poll of Wythenshawe and Sale East”

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  1. @NickP the geographical crossbreak between RoS and the rest has been growing. There is sometimes Tory support in Midlands/Wales (so Midlands, presumably). RoS is such a huge area, it would be interesting to get some broken down polling. (SE + SW)

  2. Populous later on then, is it?

  3. Norbold
    I am so glad you did not lose by 5 votes, I can now face the day! I found the election process like a mild kind of prostitution, and even though quite successful during my short political career, I felt cheapened by the whole thing. Before you all rush to the keyboard, I am not ascribing that image gratuitously to Norbold; I am describing how *I* felt.

    Mind, had you won by 5 votes, I would now be writing ‘It’s Howard wot won it’! In fact you proved you were an old hand and needed no advice from me.

    One thing on this subject, under the List PR system, one advantage is that one does not have to go through the subjective humiliation described above. The forthcoming EU elections are an example of that. However, sometimes the ‘head of the list’ becomes the personal focus. I remember in the 80s in the Netherlands, Lubbers’ wife going on telly and asking ‘let my husband finish the job’ (I almost heave, just writing that). One hopes Samantha, Justine and Miriam will avoid such performances.

  4. Thank you Colin I really appreciate your post and yours too, TOH.

    I know this might sound like a being wise after the event comment, but I always thought that my chances of winning were pretty slim and that my only chance was a split right wing vote and for me to pick up practically all of the LibDem and Green vote. From canvassing it seemed pretty clear to me some time before the election that the Tories were going to keep the seat. But you can’t admit it in public!

    The Conservatives put an enormous effort into the seat (both seats in fact) and, as we always say, they had a big advantage in the sheer number of councillors they have in Clacton, who were their troops on the ground as most of them were out campaigning.

    We had good support from nearby parties in Harwich and Colchester and I think matched the Conservatives in effort and work but both of these wards are Conservative territory and neither were on our target list in 2011, so I think we did creditably well and have established Labour as the main opposition in Clacton. As things stand at the moment the LibDems are finished and UKIP can’t seem to make a breakthrough.

    All in all I am quite happy with the result, though obviously would like to have done better.

    Thank you all for your support throughout the campaign and the commiserations afterwards.

    Now to get those postal voters signed up….

  5. @Norbold.

    That definitely seems to be a result that you have the potential to build on now, so well done. The very fact of moving into a position where you’re seen to be the main challenger can itself count for a lot.

    In terms of targeting people for postal votes, it would be worth identifying your canvass promises who didn’t vote by cross referencing with the market register.

  6. @Norbold

    A valiant effort and bad luck in terms of the result, although it looks like you put in a very creditable performance in pretty unfavourable political terrain. From my experience of local council elections, and quite rightly in my view, local issues and concerns trump national issues most of the time, certainly in by-elections and, sadly, low voter turnout can often disfigure the result as well.

    You probably know yourself, but local council elections quite often unearth voters who split their vote. They’ll vote for their local Tory councillor because he or she got the bus shelter built but will vote Labour in a general election; and vice versa of course .Accordingly, as Anthony often says, they are no real guide to general, nationwide election results but they matter because they elect good people, like yourself ,who do the bloody hard slog of actually making things work.

    Unsung heroes, and all that, who get a lot of undeserved carping criticism from , dare I say, some fairly pompous observers from afar.

  7. Phil Haines
    Egg sucking and Grandmother territory there as far as our Norbold is concerned, judging from his savvy posts on election fighting.

  8. @EL
    Better safe than sorry. Incidentally I meant the marked register, not market. But you’re right.

  9. Populus:

    Lab 36
    Cons 33
    LD 9
    UKIP 15
    Oth 7

    That’s apparently with new methodology, which I will leave it to AW to explain.

  10. CrossBat11
    I agree entirely and the value of the local activist is that he /she puts a human face on politics that is otherwise absent. If you like the chief shortcoming of List PR is that absence (apparachiks rule OK).

    I like very much the ‘combination electoral systems, whereby the overall result is broadly proportional, but cognisance of local knowledge and interest is also supported (using a top up system, as in London, for example).

    I forgot to thank Norbold for sharing his experiences with us but he knows we were all very grateful I hope.

  11. @Mr Nameless

    I’ll have a go in the interim.

    There is clearly a methodology shift. UKIP identifiers are now downweighted from 10% to 4% rather than 1% as before. That could still be argued with but it is at least capable now of being defended. It’s not that dissimilar with YouGov’s treatment.

    However, the credibility of the poll is undermined by the recalled 2010 vote of respondents after reweighting:
    Con 571
    Lab 372
    LD 362

    That would be consistent with a 2010 general election result along the lines of Con 39%, Lab 26%, LD 25%. That is so far away from the actual result that Populus are not going to be taken seriously. By contrast, YouGov’s 2010 general election shares tend now to be reasonably close to the actual result.

    So, in summary, Populus have addressed criticisms of UKIP but in doing so raised new doubts about their ability to measure the gap between the two main parties.

  12. New thread.

  13. just for fun i put this in to the siwngometrer

    gives Lab a 220 majority at the elction


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