Churn and gender gaps

Two things worth looking at elsewhere. The first is an article by Peter Kellner on churn. This is something I’ve been meaning to write about for sometime but never got round to, but Peter has now done the hardwork himself! I often see people taking about the next election from the starting assumption that Labour were at their low and so start from at least 30%, and that anyone who was going to vote Tory already did so they can’t get above 37%. Neither of these is true – not least, because current polls show the Conservatives already winning the support of some voters they didn’t have last time, and the Labour party already losing the support of some people who did vote for them last time. That’s not to underplay how difficult it would be for the Conservatives to increase their vote share, or that the partial demise of the Lib Dems has provided Labour with a good boost in support, just that it’s really not as simplistic as assuming Labour cannot lose any votes from last time, or that the Conservatives cannot gain votes… both are already happening to a great degree, it’s just when we look at the headline figures we only see the net effects of Labour up and Conservative down. In both cases there is actually plenty of movement in both directions.

The second, with no modesty whatsoever, is something I have written over on the YouGov website using the same aggregate YouGov data, in this case looking at the Conservative gender gap or, perhaps, its absence. This is something that will not go away, every couple of months a journalist pops up writing a column about how the Conservatives are doing worse amongst women, normally illustrated by ripping one single poll out of context that appears to show a gender gap. Looking at the wider polls, it doesn’t actually seem to exist. The aggregated monthly YouGov data in recent months has had the Conservatives on a solid 33% amongst men, and an equally solid 33% amongst women. No difference. The gap amongst women is bigger, but that appears to be because Labour do better amongst women and UKIP do worse.

At first site all the fuss about the Tory women problem is complete nonsense, but dig a little deeper and the Conservatives do appear to have a problem with some women. Specifically the Conservatives do worse amongst women than men amongst under 40s (and Labour the other way round). The reason the Tories don’t do any worse with women overall is that as you move up the age ranges the pattern reverses, so that amongst over 60s the Conservatives do better amongst women than amongst men. I’m guessing the latter is because of UKIP (who seem to appeal to men more than women, and whose support is heavily skewed towards older people), while the former is presumably because the Tories do have some sort of problem appealing to younger women (or… logically equally likely… Labour have some sort of problem appealing to younger men).


574 Responses to “Churn and gender gaps”

1 9 10 11 12
  1. According to Mike Smithson, this is the worst Liberal/Lib Dem by-election result since 1945.

    Clegg ought to be doing something, but then I wonder if there’s much he can do.

  2. I can’t see the Lib Dems recovering if results like this are anything to go by. Obviously they’ll have their little enclaves but I imagine they’ll lose a whole swathe of deposits in many places where the left can give them a kicking without risk of letting the Tories in.

    Assuming Nick Clegg is still at the helm in 2015.

  3. I have a suspicion that the Tories will lose a lot of votes to UKIP in seats where they are either bound to win anyway or they have no chance.

    That will make no difference to their seat tally but won’t help their national vote.

  4. R&D
    “Do you mean you set the flood defences above the flood level?”
    ANN IN WALES
    ” lady writing in the Guardian about having been a victim of floods in 2012. Apparently it took her 15 months to get her home sorted out with very little support once the media circus had passed on.”

    This is where it becomes reality and no longer a debating matter. The subject is high flood, not accustomed seasonal flood, for which housing and infrastructure design have historically coped as in the Somerset levels: so,
    (a) civil engineers designing dams, flood drainage channels and flood free roads and utilities in areas prone to high floods , make calculations for height and capacity based on 5 year and 20 year high flood calculations,
    (b) housing in areas with high annual or periodic floods is either on raised platforms or built on piles, traditionally timber, but now reinforced concrete (up to 11.5 m. in the Tonle Sap Basin, but commonly 2 to 5 m. throughout S and SE Asia;
    (c) the evidence and verdict appear to be in, that the UK is destined or continuation of excessively high floods periodically, probably within the 5 year periodicity, for the foreseeable future.
    On Ann’s point, it appears essential, first, that the Government provides both technical and financial support rapidly to householders in the Thames and Severn basins and the Somerset levels whose houses are knee deep in water. DC’s “money no object” has to include for a fund dedicated to this, and authority for local governments and the private sector to step in urgently with this assurance written into mandate.
    Secondly, that the whole housing stock and infrastructure, including water, sewage, gas and electricity supply and roads systems, schools and health centres, will need post-crisis to be replanned and where necessary rebuilt to be free of calculable high flood levels.
    Alec and RogerH – do you have your calculators?

  5. Woohoo my prediction from yesterday pretty good: lab 57 UKIP 19 Con 17 LD 3

    This is good for Lab a 11% swing in a safe Lab seat that doesn’t happen often.
    Once again Ukip fail to break the mould. Bad for Cons but they probably don’t care much. As for LDs looking grim.

  6. Farage is whining about the short campaign and how quickly postal – really? That is his excuse. Honestly probably the worst excuse I have heard – ‘they sent out the postal votes too soon’

    UKIP really do not have the momentum the media makes out they have.

  7. I think, given the way LibDemmies have been bleeding votes, they did quite well to contain the losses at the recount, down only 20 votes in about an hour. Would have been tempting to order another recount, just to see how many more they lost…

  8. @BILL PATRICK

    “Which suggests that the next election may be a blip within, rather than a reversal of, the gradual decline and (extinction?) of both the Labour and Conservative parties that has gone on since the final collapse of the three party system in 1931.”

    ———

    There are two ways of looking at this…
    a) We should be so lucky, or…
    b) When the Gods wish to punish us…

  9. FWIW – re UKIP

    MY guess is that in Northern seats where Labour are solid the UKIP are taking votes off the Tories of course and some LDs that habitually protest against the major parties which includes the LDs as in Government in this context.

    Also though ex lab voters some of whom will have not voted in 2010.

    Thing is this is the low turnout group who would have been Lab if they bothered and will now say the UKIP to pollsters but chances are a good few wont vote anyhow especially in By-Elections.

    I wonder if reliable Lab voters have been less attracted to the UKIP?

    Of course further eroding any Cons base in these seats is significant potentially long term but the UKIP threat come 2015 will be most potent in Tory/Lab marginal where they however much their vote gets squeezed as the GE approaches they will take more Tory than Lab votes.
    Whether worth 1% in these seats to Lab or over 5% will make big difference of course.

    Re YG – is that 5 x 39% in a row for Lab?

  10. “civil engineers designing dams, flood drainage channels and flood free roads and utilities in areas prone to high floods , make calculations for height and capacity based on 5 year and 20 year high flood calculations”

    ———

    See now, this is the thing. Reading the link RogerH posted, comparing the response of Britain vs Dutch following the 1953 North Sea flood, we are just not even trying to build infrastructure to handle the more extreme events the way the Dutch have. Which is a particular concern in an era of rising Carbon Dioxide levels. They have more defences, more robust defences designed to handle more extreme events, and there is no choice between town or country: they aim to preserve both.

    They take it very seriously, with elections to water boards and stuff…

  11. Important penis polling from yougov:

    http://yougov.co.uk/news/2014/02/13/size-doesnt-matter/

  12. Couper2802

    “Farage is whining about the short campaign and how quickly postal – really? That is his excuse. Honestly probably the worst excuse I have heard – ‘they sent out the postal votes too soon’”

    That’s their problem at the moment. No experience and no real organisation on the ground. In our two by-elections last week they did nothing about postal votes – didn’t sign anyone up; didn’t send any special early letters to postal voters and that is where elections are won and lost these days. In my ward 68% of postal voters voted, only 14% of polling station voters.

  13. Given the Sc*tish sensibilities of this site, did YouGov really have to say “For the less well-endowed, Scotland seems the best place to be.”

  14. @THESHEEP. I am booked on a train for Edinburgh where as a good Celt I’ll make a big impression!

  15. @Shevii

    Just checked it wasn’t Apr 1st.

    No cross breaks on virgins, or on those likely to get ‘any’ in the near future, so we can get at the true VI on those issues. :))

    I love the age breakdowns. (Age Group / Yes / No)

    18-24 / 46 / 41
    25-39 / 46 / 43
    40-59 / 39 / 55
    60+ / 28 / 61

    Confidence with age, or does one fib to oneself as age takes its toll?

    @TheSheep

    That’s rich (A sheep talking about Scottish sexual practices). Beware of Aberdeen!

    :-))

  16. Perhaps the importance of size diminishes as the possibility/probability of a stiffy becomes smaller?

  17. “Farage is whining”

    MEN covered his campaign visits, but they didn’t roll over and let him tickle their tummy. Also they ran a story early on about the Ukip candidate taking 100k of EU money to move his company away from Manchester.

    The low-key Conservative campaign almost looked like a tentative trial of the North/South pact idea… those hoping that Ukip can ‘refresh the parts Tories cannot reach’ will have suffered a setback here. The problem of reuniting the Right in 2015 remains though.

  18. @Statgeek, John Murphy

    Don’t blame me, that’s what YouGov say! I wonder what the margin of error is?

  19. @JimJam

    “Re YG – is that 5 x 39% in a row for Lab?”

    You’re right, and I’ve been keeping a bit of an eye on that trend too. What’s interesting, beyond the consistency, is that they’ve maintained that figure irrespective of where the Tory VI has gone (32-35% in the same period). Again, no evidence of any real churn (let’s keep the thread alive!) between Tory and Labour. Labour vote firming up after some recent wobbling, perhaps?

    As for yesterday’s by election, and I haven’t studied all the figures in their ultimate minutiae yet, but it looks a pretty decent result for Labour both in terms of percentage share of the vote and the size of the majority. UKIP look to have taken as many 2010 Tory voters as Labour and I’m not sure that I’d be quite as sanguine as some appear to be about the Tory performance in a Northern constituency with some solidly Tory areas within it. It could be shrugged off as lingering mid-term blues I suppose, and no guide to what might happen in a General Election, but results like this add to the generally negative mood music and poor headlines that can bedevil parties in power. Most news bulletins are concentrating on the fact that “the Tories were pushed into 3rd place by UKIP” and, for those who only occasionally pay much attention to politics, this feeds into a narrative that casts the Tories, and Lib Dems, as perpetual losers. There’s also the impact on the morale of party workers, activists and nervous MPs. I know, because I’ve been there myself on occasions over the last 40 years or so!

  20. Regarding sex for the aged, here’s John Mortimer.

    “Our usual position is ‘The Gasman’. You stay in all day but nobody comes”.

  21. Paraphrasing Sky News reporter’s post result interview with the UKIP candidate:

    Kipper: We did astonishing well from a standing start converting many former Labour voters.
    SN: You say that but Labour’s share of the vote went up.
    Kipper: I spoke to many former Labour voters on the doorstep and they made clear they had deserted Labour for us.
    SN: But they didn’t vote for you. Labour’s share went up. Maybe you took votes off the other parties and non-voters.
    Kipper: And Labour. Especially Labour.

    SN: Many people think you’re a one man party. Nigel Farage is the only Kipper most people probably know.
    Kipper: That’s not true. There’s at least two well known Kippers. Garage and that lady who made such a big impression in Eastleigh.

  22. I see predictive text/spell check seems to believe the UKIP leader should be called Mr Garage.

  23. Talking to friends in the constituency, if UKIP did much canvassing, it wasn’t near them.

    Under the circumstances, bearing in mind that the Tories barely bothered to campaign and the Lib Dems died, that’s a poor result for UKIP and slays their claims to be challengers to Labour in all but very special cases and maybe not even then. For all the media ballyhoo about UKIP, it’s still Respect that’s the party that took Labour on and won in one of their seats.

    The impression persists that UKIP aren’t actually ready to win a constituency battle and may never be.

  24. I thought I would make a contribution just to
    a) prove am alive and
    b) confound those who say that a certain party supporters only post when they are euphoric about a poll.

  25. Jim Jam and CB11

    The ‘in a row’ rule only goes when all the percentages are the same.

  26. @RAF

    Haha typical interview with Kipper no sense of reality’

    When will the LDs panic and desert the Coalition.? Do they have a plan or are they just accepting destruction at the euros and GE.

  27. Colin’s been a bit slow to report this, must be busy, so…

    “The French economy grew by 0.3% in the last three months of 2013, government figures indicate.

    At the same time, the country’s INSEE statistical office reported that growth was zero in the third quarter of 2013, revised up from an initial estimate of a 0.1% contraction.

    The figures mean that the world’s fifth-largest economy has escaped falling back into recession.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-26185159

    Should brighten his day after the by-election, anyway…

  28. @Couper2802

    I’ve been saying for some time (FWIW), that the best option for the LDs is to leave the Coalition and remove Clegg and Alexander from any senior roles within the party.

  29. @COUPER2802

    “When will the LDs panic and desert the Coalition.? Do they have a plan or are they just accepting destruction at the euros and GE.”

    ——–

    Dunno, but they keep rolling over and getting stuffed. This is but the latest example…

    “‘Power of recall’ of MPs ditched by coalition

    The coalition is set to drop plans to give voters the ability to dismiss MPs for “serious wrongdoing”.

    The idea of a “power of recall”, where 10% of an MP’s electorate could sign a petition calling for a by-election, was introduced after the expenses scandal.

    The procedure was promised in the Coalition Agreement, of May 2010.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26184488

    “BBC political correspondent Iain Watson said it is understood the decision was taken following a meeting of the “quad” group of senior Lib Dem and Tory ministers.

    The Conservative prime minister and chancellor did not agree with the Lib Dem deputy PM and chief secretary to the Treasury that the necessary bill should be in the next Queen’s Speech. ”

    (Now I’m quite keen on the recall thing, but knowing it was a LibDem thing, I didn’t exactly get my hopes up… rightly so it would seem…)

  30. CARFREW

    Cheers-great news.

  31. @Howard

    “confound those who say that a certain party supporters only post when they are euphoric about a poll.”

    ——–

    They did quite well really. They’d already lost seven deposits, at least they nearly saved this one…

  32. @Colin

    No probs. Germany are on the up too…

  33. You might be interested in this Carfrew :-

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26152051

  34. @Carfew

    “Colin’s been a bit slow to report this, must be busy, so…
    “The French economy grew by 0.3% in the last three months of 2013, government figures indicate.”

    You are awful but…………….

  35. CARFREW

    @”Germany are on the up too…”

    Recent forecasts for 2014 +1.8%.

    Could be a half of UK’s growth if BoE are correct.

  36. “The Conservative prime minister and chancellor did not agree with the Lib Dem deputy PM and chief secretary to the Treasury that the necessary bill should be in the next Queen’s Speech.”

    So that’s how the Coalition works. The four each have a vote with the Tories needing two to win.

  37. @COLIN

    “You might be interested in this Carfrew :-”

    ——–

    Lol, do you have dreams of running off to join the circus then Col?!

  38. The Kippers shrieking conspiracy theories across all media this morning are doing their party no good at all, either.

    They should never have convinced themselves they had a chance in W&SE and being faced by a local party that knew what they were doing is not in some way cheating on the part of Labour. They were not up to the challenge of fighting a by-election against a strong local party with a good candidate when their own offer was weak, and they may never be.

  39. “Important penis polling from yougov:”

    Does that mean the Lib Dems have the smallest willies or the most considerate lovers?

  40. CARFREW

    Read the rest of it to understand the French economy.

  41. @COLIN

    @”Germany are on the up too…”

    Recent forecasts for 2014 +1.8%.

    Could be a half of UK’s growth if BoE are correct.”

    ——

    This may have escaped you Col, but they are tied to the Euro which makes things rather more challenging…

    Anyway I wasn’t trying to make a point, I just thought you might be pleased about Germany cos it could help our exports, and, you know… the VI thing….

  42. @Colin

    “Recent forecasts for 2014 +1.8%.
    Could be a half of UK’s growth if BoE are correct.”

    Ah, yes; Germany, the sick man of Europe.

    I wonder how many German economists and politicians look at our economy and growth rates and say, “What are they doing right and we’re doing wrong? We could do with learning some lessons, couldn’t we.”

    You may well know some of these politicians and economists, but they seem to be in very scarce supply to me.

  43. postageincluded
    I will be chuckling to myself all day.

  44. Re. flood defences, I really can’t see us managing anything to match the Dutch. The Victorians would probably have been capable of it but with everything in this country now micro-managed from Whitehall and the Treasury holding onto the money I just can’t see it happening here.

  45. @COLIN

    “Read the rest of it to understand the French economy.”

    ——-

    I had a quick scan but I’ll have a proper look in a bit. It’s Valentines, I got plans…

  46. @ROGERH

    “Re. flood defences, I really can’t see us managing anything to match the Dutch. The Victorians would probably have been capable of it but with everything in this country now micro-managed from Whitehall and the Treasury holding onto the money I just can’t see it happening here.”

    ——

    There’s a chance the Treasury might revise its opinion as it sinks beneath the waves…

  47. “The largest sea defence in the UK is the Thames Barrier. This took ten years to build and was officially opened in 1984 to protect London. The total cost was £534 million. The Thames Barrier divides the river into two 30 m wide and four 61 m wide navigable spans. It is designed to withstand a 1 in 1000 year storm but it will be less effective after 2030 due to sea level rise. It was originally planned to be replaced in 2030 but the working life has since been extended to 2060-2070. The decision not to begin work to replace the barrier has been controversial. In 2005, a proposal was made for a much longer defence further down the river. In 2013, a former member of the Thames Barrier Project Management Team wrote an open letter calling for a new barrier to be looked into immediately. The Environment Agency responded by saying that it “does not plan to replace the Thames Barrier before 2070″.”

  48. Howard – rules that turn out to be good will be mine while the ones that get discredited will be yours.

    Bit like LDs in Government.

  49. Meanwhile the Dutch…

    “In the aftermath of the 1953 floods, the Netherlands began something far more impressive than building barriers on this scale. The Maeslantkering is just one part of the last section of the Delta-Works, an extensive sea defence network which protects the whole of the South-West of the Netherlands. Work on the Delta-Works began almost immediately after the devastating 1953 floods and continued until they were declared finished in 1997. However, in reality, works continue now to ensure that the defences are proof against sea-level rise.

    “The Oosterscheldekering operates in a manner which is similar to that of the Hull or Thames Barriers. Like the Thames Barrier, this took ten years to build, but it’s but it is on a far greater scale. While the Thames Barrier spans a 520 m wide part of the Thames, the Oosterscheldekering is about 15 times that long and is designed to last more than 200 years. At the centre of the barrier, an artificial island several kilometres long, Neeltje Jans, forms part of the structure.”

  50. @Carfrew

    The Liberals did lose a quarter of their vote share between October ’74 and ’79 – representing 4.3% of the national vote. On the face of it (churn acknowledged!) most of it went to the Tories, as the Labour vote share only dropped 2.3% and the Tories gained 8.1%.

    It’s impossible to know whether this was more due to the disillusionment of right-wing Liberals with the Pact or to the bizarre case of the male model, the dog and the man in the trilby. I feel strongly it was the former. Thorpe had courted disillusioned Tories: Steele looked and sounded non-TU left.

    You’re right to say that Labour’s defeat in 2010 was bigger than the Tories losses in 1974 but only in terms of vote share. Look at the actual seats instead: in October ’74 the Tories were 42 behind Labour; in 2010 Labour were 49 seats behind the Tories. That looks a pretty similar position to me, providing nobody changes the electoral boundaries…..

    Interesting to note also that the Liberal vote slumped to 5% in the late 70s but bounced back to a massive 13.8% at the election. The fat lady’s bosom is heaving dramatically over the body of the prostrate Clegg, but she’s not yet begun her aria.

1 9 10 11 12