I’m having a nice rest after the election, but a brief update to add the BBC’s projected national vote – CON 29%, LAB 31%, LD 13%, UKIP 17%.

So in relation to my previous comments on the local results, Labour’s lead is indeed only modest, very much in line with their position in the national polls. And rather than UKIP doing pretty much the same as they did in last year’s local elections, they’ve actually done significantly worse – 17% as opposed to the 23% they got last year.

I should also comment on what the Projected National Share is. It’s not a sum of actual votes cast, it’s a projection of what the results would be if the whole country was voting and the main *three* parties were contesting all seats (it doesn’t assume a UKIP candidate in every seat, though the process of taking only seats where Lab, Con and LD stood means that it does increase the effective level of UKIP contestation). As regular readers will know, there is a cycle of local elections and in some years the councils voting are more Toryish or more Labourish – so for example, last year’s locals were mostly in shire councils, this year’s elections were mostly in metropolitan councils. The PNS attempts to smooth out those differences so you can compare one election to the next – so even if there are some teething problems in accounting for a new party in the PNS, the year to year comparisons should be valid.

163 Responses to “BBC Projected National Share”

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  1. Ashcroft beginning his ConHome marginals presentation. Some stuff going up on his website which I haven’t read but I’m posting the link so you can get it directly yourselves.

  2. Lutfur Rahman’s newly established party, Tower Hamlets First, seem to be doing very well in the council contests there too. Must have a decent chance of securing the Westminster seat for Bethnal Green and Bow in 2015.

  3. Ashcroft’s marginal poll is out. If I’m reading it right, Labour up by an average of 12 points (41%: 29%) across all the seats polled.

  4. To an extent the LDs are the story (and thanks to Gray for tabulating just how f***ed they are in Greater London). But even there, it’s not really telling us anything we didn’t already know.

    An opinion poll average of 9% means you are knackered. So to have suffered massive losses on a set of results that you achieved when you were at 23% in the polls isn’t the shocker. Just being on 9% in the polls is the shocker.

    And actually, their performance, though dire, was slightly ahead of what you might expect if you took your queue entirely from the national opinion polls (which none of us here are dumb enough to do, naturally).

    Like I said, no news, just confirmation of what we already knew. But the media needs a story. It’s the commodity they are in business to sell. If there isn’t one, they’ll make one up. News is an entertainment industry.

  5. @Rosie and Daisie

    Re the BBC coverage

    “A total duffer could have explained that it meant nothing…..”

    Instead we got a total duffer explaining what it didn’t mean.

    Dimbleby really is past his “use before” date.

  6. “In the last few weeks I [LordAshcroft/ Populus] have polled more than 26,000 voters in 26 constituencies that will be among the most closely contested between the Conservatives and Labour at the next general election.

    “Across the battleground I found a 6.5% swing from the Conservatives to Labour – enough to topple 83 Tory MPs and give Ed Miliband a comfortable majority. But this is a snapshot, not a prediction. The research also found that most voters in these seats are optimistic about the economy, and only three in ten would rather see Mr Miliband as Prime Minister than David Cameron. As I have found in the Ashcroft National Poll, half of voters say they may change their mind before the election – and there is still a year to go.”

  7. Ashcroft Marginals: Lab: 41% Con: 29% UKIP: 18% LD 8%

  8. “Instead we got a total duffer explaining what it didn’t mean.”

    For a moment there Phil I was reaching out for my phone to contact my solicitor with intructions to sue you for being rude about a bloke with ole-gyp-of-the-knee.

    Then I read it properly.

  9. Oh dear. There goes the narrative!

  10. Below the above Ashcroft Commentary are tables of each constituency polled. Hmmm, the question being: whether to dive in ourselves or leave it Anthony, Roger & Phil to do the heavy lifting?

  11. @Amber
    Very pleased Lutfur Rahman has been re-elected Mayor of Tower Hamlets. There was a backlash against what many people there saw as a politically motivated corruption investigation against him – widely believed to have been instigated by the local Labour Party.

    Labour should not be doing things like this. Politics may well be a dirty business, but it reflects badly in the national Party who as HM Opposition need as many friends as possible.

  12. Most interesting fact from the Ashcroft Poll (other than that it points to a Labour win) is that of the 13 seats that it shows Labour taking from the Tories, the Tory+UKIP vote exceeds Labour in 9 of them.

    Obviously a lot of that UKIP support isn’t “ex Tory” but it does illustrate the true impact of voting UKIP. A cynic might suggest that’s why Lord A did it…

  13. @ Mr Nameless

    Ashcroft Marginals: Lab: 41% Con: 29% UKIP: 18% LD 8%
    Boy that BBC PNS thing is accurate – except for Labour, somehow it gets Labour wrong by 10 points. ;-)

    Just a wee joke about the odd coincidence of 3 from 4 being the same.

  14. Amber

    Perhaps LD switching to Labour in GE makes a difference but I am not at all convinced that the PNS can be used as a quantitive measure

  15. Are Ashcroft polls considered ‘above board’ by those on the left now?

    Just making a note, in case he pops up with one that goes against their hopes. :-p

  16. “whether to dive in ourselves or leave it Anthony, Roger & Phil to do the heavy lifting?”

    I applaud anyone that can make sense of those charts so will be glad to be able to read a summary by anybody !

    I so wish all the polling companies laid out their findings in easy to read, understandable charts like yougov do.

  17. @Amber

    Ahem, you know better than to treat PNS as the equivalent of an opinion poll.

    The Ashcroft poll shows a 6.5% swing, compared to a 5% swing on the UKPR average. Which could mean that the companies with the higher Labour leads are more accurate, or that Labour are doing better in marginals than elsewhere, or a combination of the two.

    Given that Ashcroft’s last poll showed a similar picture, it’s again not really news (except perhaps to RoC people hoping that the last poll was an anomaly).

  18. One thought before I start some serious prak: there is a misunderstanding [in my view] by ROC voters on this site about the attitude of LOC inclined posters. [with the exception of Neil A]

    In the main I don’t think any “spin” is put on the analyses: it is a genuine attempt to work out the most likely scenario that will unfold and it is logic – not prejudice – that drives this process.

    I can’t think of anyone who thinks Labour are most likely to win in 2015 saying stuff like

    “Because I think the Tory vote will collapse” for example or

    “the Mirror group will draw attention to Cameron’s… blah blah blah etc”

    and it would be nice if this could be both accepted and respected.

    The fact that life is motion and therefore MAY change doesn’t mean it WILL change in the way some would like.

    At the moment [which is when we are actually writing] a Labour victory is where most people would put a million pounds if given it and forced to choose in the “four party [LOL]” system.

  19. Good Afternoon All.

    Very fine article by Matthew Parris today about UKIP and related matters.

    Thank you for the Ashcroft news.

    How reliable is the Ashcroft Polling?
    On the face of it, Labour can take some comfort from those figures.

  20. Ahem, you know better than to treat PNS as the equivalent of an opinion poll.
    Yikes, that’s why I said it was a wee joke about the coincidence of the similarities. Even spelling that out didn’t work! Ne’er mind, it’s prompted several people to seriously point out that it is (as I said) purely coincidence. :-)

  21. @Bramley

    ‘i so wish all the polling companies laid out their findings in easy to read, understandable charts like yougov do’

    you and me both.

    I wish AW would have a word, although if no one can understand the other companies’ tables, maybe that means more business for yougov.

  22. Although some of the Ashcroft marginal polling is rather old now all the Tory Marginals were polled in April, the results clearly are not good for the Tories. If this was repeated at the GE in 2015 then Labour would romp home.

  23. Sorry Amber I should probably have put a smiley winky thing on the end of that sentence. I of course knew you were joking!

  24. @Neil A:
    Well, there are two stories on the LibDems. One is how horridly they got smashed almost everywhere (London being particularly bad, but pretty representative of the country). The other is that they held on in a half-dozen councils they controlled with no net losses.

    A further thought on the LibDem situation (which I do not think I posted last night):
    I went back and looked at the results for the LibDems. In sum, they lost about 41% of their seats so far. However, on the eight councils (the Guardian says seven, among other minor disagreements between the two sources) they controlled, they held onto six of them. Among these six, there was no net change of seats:

    South Lakeland: Loss of 1 (of 34/51 held)
    Cheltenham: Loss of 1 (of 25/40 held)*
    Three Rivers: Loss of 0 (of 23/39 held)**
    Watford: Loss of 0 (of 23/36 held)
    Eastleigh: Loss of 0 (of 40/44 held)
    Sutton: Gain of 2 (of 43/54 held)**

    *One-half of council up
    **Whole council/authority up

    Something that is somewhat damning for the LibDems is that of the 427 seats they are presently listed as holding, 68 are in two councils. In the other cases, I would need a ward breakdown, but assuming the seats are evenly distributed between cycles and that the BBC count does not include seats not up in their seat totals, you have somewhere in the range of 112 seats (over 1/4 the LibDems’ total nationally) confined to six councils. Outside of these six, the losses come to about 49-50%…which was about where the LibDems seemed to be early on in the evening.

    This divergence is probably emblematic of the LD’s situation: There are a few areas where their support is basically unchanged (and indeed others where a popular local candidate held on due to factors wholly unrelated to the national scene). There are others where support has basically vanished (and plenty of others where they didn’t even bother standing candidates…IIRC they stood several hundred fewer candidates this time than last).

    If this sort of behavior is replicated at the GE, it should buy them time to rebuild, and the LDs might well see a better overall share simply by piling up votes in 20-30 seats they hold while dropping deposits all over the place.

  25. Statgeek

    Are you suggesting that Ashcroft is underhand in his methodology? We should all be grateful that he funds such polling and I assume all are compliant

    He will have his own conclusions that will be influenced by his allegiance I am sure but the data is there for all to see and analyse.

    I do not remember anyone criticising the methodology he uses and the raw data – his conclusions perhaps

    By the way, that does not hide the fact that his behaviour on his tax issue was anything but a disgrace. I hope he is now domiciled in the UK as for a British born son of a British father he would have to do a lot of things to renounce domicile. Being heavily involved in politics on the UK is not one of things that helps in anyway…..

  26. @Paul,

    I think there is certainly some spin from the LoC people, or at least some wishful thinking. I think people are blindsided by their own abhorrence of the Right, and can’t for the life of them see how any sensible person could be persuaded to vote for them.

    If I had come on here a year ago and said “I reckon the Labour lead will be down to 3% this time next year” I would have been roundly laughed at. Now that it’s happened it’s treated as “no big deal”.

  27. @ NickP

    There’s been a mistake in the Ashcroft figures – don’t panic !

  28. CL1945

    @”Very fine article by Matthew Parris today about UKIP and related matters.”

    It was -as so often from him- very thought provoking.

    ….but he isn’t a politician so it’s easy for him to say the voters are “wrong”.

  29. @ RosieandDasie

    ‘At the moment [which is when we are actually writing] a Labour victory is where most people would put a million pounds if given it and forced to choose in the “four party [LOL]” system.’

    I wouldn’t put a hundred pounds on this and I am a LOC inclined voter! Yesterday’s evidence made me slightly more inclined to think that Labour could just be biggest party, but I currently see this as the high end of their realistic expectations.

  30. @NFR

    I guess you haven’t seen the marginals poll?

  31. Great Yarmouth – Lab 34, Con 32, UKIP 28
    Thurrock – Lab 37, UKIP 29, Con 27

    UKIP’s target seats?

  32. @ Neil A

    Most interesting fact from the Ashcroft Poll (other than that it points to a Labour win) is that of the 13 seats that it shows Labour taking from the Tories, the Tory+UKIP vote exceeds Labour in 9 of them.
    Ashcroft has 83 Tory seats lost, not 13. Can you please help me to understand how your calculation of losses = 13?

  33. @R&D

    If I had been referring to you it would have been in terms of a fine wine not a use before date.

  34. @bcrombie

    When Ashcroft did his first poll the other week, it was Con 34%, Lab 32%, and someone (not on this site) said,

    “Who did he poll? His tory mates? Utter rubbish.”

    There is a general trend on-line that if an Ashcroft poll is good to the Conservatives, some UKIP / SNP / Lab / Lib folk question it because it’s Ashcroft, rather than because the poll is badly set-up. We are used to questioning some polling companies’ methodologies, but Ashcroft’s poll criticisms tend to be more about his personal political affiliations (and he’s a toff Lord too), rather than the polling methodologies.

    Having said all that, there are instances of Ashcroft being accused of spinning the data, or of not weighting the data appropriately. However, these accusations are generally from opponents of those he represents, so what’s new?

  35. this is interesting from Ashcroft and a big contrast to the yougov questions on Sunday

    Ashcroft says people in these seats were asked how they expected the economy to do.

    For the country

    Well: 56%

    Badly: 40%

    For their family

    Well: 59%

    Badly: 37%

    To square the circle, you would have to assume people in safe Lab or Con seats are extremely depressed about the country’s and their families economic prospects

  36. The Ashcroft marginal poll interesting. Of course, don’t expect it be headlined or much commented about by much of the media. As its conclusions don’t fit with their general narrative (example being the front page of the Times on Friday before a single vote counted), I expect it be largely ignored. We all have our biases but the current state of media reporting pretty dire. For facts and informed opinion I now come to this and similar websites.

  37. Amber,

    Ashcroft only polled in a handful of marginals. He has data on 13 Con seats that would be Lab gains. The 83 losses is just extrapolation to the other seats that he did not poll.

  38. @ Statgeek

    No regular posters on here has every criticised Ashcroft polls- maybe a few on CIF who don’t know what they are talking about!

    The biggest caveat of course is that this is quite a narrow band of seats and doesn’t give Lab a majority on just those seats, plus 50% are ones Con want to take off Lab. Would be interesting to see if the seats at the margin Lab needs for a majority perform the same way.

  39. @ Gray

    Ta for London data on Lib Dems!
    Neil A says it’s no news, but I don’t recall anyone predicting such a Lib Dem slump in the 1st London elections since 2010.

    It fits with the Lib-D performance in the other big cities.

    2010 2014
    Birmingham 32 12
    Bristol 38 16
    Leeds 21 9
    Liverpool 38 3
    Manchester 33 0
    Newcastle 42 24
    Sheffield 42 17

    246 —> 81 = 67% loss.

  40. Well, well. There will be rejoicing in Brewer’s Green at that marginal poll.

    @ Neil A,

    I dunno, I think most of us were expecting the lead to come down. I specifically didn’t take any of Reg’s post-Christmas 2013 bets (and a good thing too, since I lost the one I did take!)

    The surprise to me has been that it’s mainly been through a fall in the Labour vote share rather than a Tory recovery. That may still change, but I was expecting them to be up in the 35-36% range by now (excluding the May Ukip migration) and Labour still around 38%. I don’t think anyone but T’Other Howard predicted the Labour slump.

  41. @statgeek,

    Where Ashcroft is spinning is in his choice of questions. He asked loaded questions about DC vs EM to suit what his party wants to hear.

  42. @Amber,

    Ashcroft only actually polled in 26 seats, which he identified as “battleground” seats. Of these, 14 are Tory held and 12 Labour.

    His figures shown Labour taking 25 of the 26, but because they already hold 12 of them, that’s a net gain of 13.

    The 83 prediction is presumably what happens when you extrapolate his data across all 650 seats.

    For my purposes, I wanted to see what the actual UKIP support was in the seats that Labour is shown as gaining that were actually polled.

  43. @ Hal

    Thank you :-)

  44. @Hal,

    You’re too fast for me!!

  45. @ Neil A

    Thank you.

  46. @Hal

    I’m referring to past polls. Not this one.

  47. As a LOC voter I am more than a bit suspicious of Lord Ashcroft.

    1) He releases these “new” results (some of them six weeks old) two days after and election.

    2) These results are too good to be true for Labour, and give Ashcroft the chance to show a trend to the Tories over the next year.

  48. @Hal

    All polls extrapolate. This one has a much larger sample. I’m prepared to buy it. For now.

  49. @Robbie,

    If you’d asked me to predict what would happen to a party’s seat count when their national standing had gone from 23% to 9%, I think I wouldn’t have been far out. I probably would have got it about right, with an underestimate of their London losses balanced by an overestimate of their losses in their “strongholds”.

    It’s almost as if people think the low LD score in the national polls isn’t “real” somehow, and so if they get butchered in an actual real vote that is some sort of surprise.


    I agree with you, although I would not gamble on a GE result, as I’ve said before, I only gamble on the markets. I really don’t understand the point R&D was making.

    Rosie and Daisie

    Most LOC posters like most ROC posters are perfectly respectful of each other. There are a few who are not. I’ve had to put up with them on occasions. What upsets me is people who get cross simply because I disagree with their views.

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