I’ve been laid low with a stomach bug all day so haven’t had time to really write about today’s polling. For the record though here are the two new polls from Lord Ashcroft and Populus.

Lord Ashcroft’s poll has topline figures of CON 29%, LAB 31%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 17% – a nice post-local election boost for UKIP and the highest they’ve recorded in a telephone poll to date. Tabs are here.

In contrast Populus have figures of CON 34%, LAB 36%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 14%. Their fourteen point figure for UKIP is just the same as last week. Tabs here


273 Responses to “Latest Ashcroft and Populus polls”

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  1. Occasional Notes on Cycling No. 999

    Matthew Sparkes writes an article in the Daily Telegraph — he’s their technology correspondent — about the police & cycling accidents. Say No to Sparkes Plugs, having been injured as a cyclist by a car passenger, is indignant about the fact — well-established by the CTC — that the police do not take most crimes against cyclists very seriously, including his accident.

    The DT is generally is generally anti-cycling/pro-Petrolhead but recently it’s taken a more balanced view of these matters: no doubt reflecting current publicity surrounding deaths of cyclists, videos of car “drivers” deliberately ramming bikes etc.

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  2. SPEARMINT

    @”He appears to be the only person left in Britain who believes the Liberal Democrats are worth saving.”

    But you have to specify as “what”.

    We know the sort of Liberal Democrat Party which Oakshott wants to save.

    It is clearly not the sort of Liberal Democrat Party which others want to save.

    The identity of the leader is a symbol of which one .

    Oakshott lost-he should join the political party which most closely resembles what he wants-I presume that is the Labour Party.

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  3. I am somewhat astonished that Lord Oakeshott is so lacking in allies that he feels the need to stay away from the Lords. Perhaps so many that shared the vision of a radical progressive party of the left have departed, that he is virtually a lone voice now within the party?

    I would have thought he could contribute much from the Cross Benches in the Lords – a real shame he feels he needs to remove himself, as he is someone with ability, especially on economic questions.

    I don’t think what he did was that bad. He, like many politcal figures in the past, passionately believed the current leader of his party was leading the party to disaster AND away from its principles. He commissioned evidence to strengthen his case. What is wrong with that?

    I thought the LibDems were hostile to blind loyalty to the leader, and the sort of tribal loyalty that kind of thinking involves?

    They must be much changed since I left them?!

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  4. @ Colin,

    His view seems to be “As a national party that doesn’t lose two thirds of its councillors.” Clegg and his allies seem very sanguine about becoming the British FDP; Oakeshott wants them to salvage as many seats as they can. I get the impression the politics are less important to him than their electoral viability. He stuck around for four years of Coalition, after all.

    Politically, it’s irrational- the SNP politician who replaces Danny Alexander will be much closer to Oakeshott ideologically than Danny Alexander- but he’s a party loyalist (in that sense, anyway).

    The problem he has is that Cable isn’t competent or energetic to stage a coup and Farron would rather let the party crash and burn in 2015 than wreck his own career to save a few seats. There’s no point in having a coup with no alternative leadership candidate. So it was very ill-judged, but I do feel sorry for him. You never want to be the bravest person in the foxhole.

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  5. @ Tony Dean,

    1) He has acted like a twit. I expect people are legitimately angry with him.

    2) He’s probably worried that Paddy Ashdown will rough him up in the toilets. I would be.

    3) He was appointed as a Lib Dem peer. As a democrat, he may feel that since he’s left the party he no longer holds the mandate that entitles him to that peerage, and so he’s going to do the decent thing and refrain from exercising his power. He’s essentially crossed the floor. Since he can’t trigger by-election to seek a new mandate, taking a leave of absence is really the only honourable course available to him.

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  6. SPEARMINT

    @” He stuck around for four years of Coalition, after all.”

    Well-an interesting euphemism for his complete disagreement with everything the Coalition stood for.

    “From the formation of the Coalition government in May 2010 until his resignation in May 2014, Oakeshott was highly critical of the coalition’s policies. He stood down as LibDem treasury spokesperson by “mutual agreement” in February 2011, after his description of the Coalition’s Project Merlin deal with the banks over lending and bonuses as being “pitiful”.[5] He was then critical of its economic policy, where he has particularly opposed the cut in the top rate of tax to 45p and the “austerity measures”. He opposed key coalition legislation such as the Health and Social Care Act and elected police commissioners. He called for Conservative minister Jeremy Hunt to resign over his handling of BSkyB, and in July 2012 referred to Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne as a “work-experience chancellor” suggesting that he should resign and be replaced by Vince Cable. He supported Francois Hollande to become president of France, despite many in the coalition backing Sarkozy.[6]
    During the latter part of 2013, Oakeshott began to call for Nick Clegg to resign as Leader of the Liberal Democrats, even suggesting that the Coalition may have to break apart.”

    Wiki

    His Guardian page includes a video interview entitled
    “Some of us didn’t realise how nasty the Tories could be’

    My recollection of him was as the go-to bloke for any tv interviewer looking for a criticism of the Coalition.

    I don’t know why he stayed in the LD Party after 2010.

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  7. SPEARMINT

    If even Vince Cable has disowned him ( & I re-read VC’s words very carefully to try & assess degree of honesty) then that says it all for me.

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  8. @ Colin,

    Surely you’re not suggesting politicians should cross the floor every time their leadership makes a decision they don’t like?

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  9. SPEARMINT

    But it wasn’t “a decision”-it was every single policy. It was any co-operation with Tories.
    It was the creation of the Coalition itself.

    So -yes-I do think he should have gone. He disagreed with the most significant thing the LDs have done for god knows how long-deciding to enter government with the Tories.

    What followed was a deliberate sniping campaign at his former colleagues at every opportunity he was given.

    There were other LD senior figures who fundamentally disagreed with the coalition , I feel sure. Perhaps Kennedy was one such ? But we never heard from them.

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  10. @Spearmint

    “””
    As a democrat, he may feel that since he’s left the party he no longer holds the mandate that entitles him to that peerage, and so he’s going to do the decent thing and refrain from exercising his power.
    “””

    I thought the whole point of life peerages was the election of exceptional individuals, not parties? It would seem odd for the powers that be to have chosen such an obstreporous bunch if all they wanted was voting on party lines. From my point of view, one of the few redeeming features of the Lords is that given the security of life tenure, they feel free to deviate from party lines, which can make for more intelligent debate.

    He might have been nominated by his party, but the honour was given to him as a person, so I don’t think there would be any shame in staying put. Then again he might just be sick of the whole show and want to leave ….

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  11. bramley

    Roger M
    “Still can’t have the plebs getting their information undiluted can we?”

    Call me a pleb if you wish but I’m not alone in being unable to understand the ICM tables & I rely on the translation of them by others more knowledgeable than me.

    Sorry, I wasn’t referring to the ICM tables but to Oakeshott’s table-free but perfectly comprehensible resignation statement which the Guardian politics team them proceeded to spin at great length on the grounds they were ‘summarising’ it. The resignation letter did include links to the tables if people wanted, but I didn’t quote them here as it is three separate URLs and I didn’t want to trigger automod.

    In actual fact no one at the Guardian seems to have even looked at the ICM polls in any detail or even tried to interpret them (if only). Instead as usual they rely on telling you the latest gossip from their chums and repeating what they say on Twitter. Looking at an opinion poll might result in contact with the views of the public and that would never do. The important thing is to report how the headline results are being spun rather than trying to understand what people actually think.

    In fact the general reaction to Oakeshott’s resignation from within the Westminster Bubble is rather revealing. He seems to be on the receiving end of abuse from all sides, I can’t quite see why. After all he did was to report the facts. People would have still held those views and voted the way they did if ICM hadn’t asked them. Clegg and his fans end up coming across as demanding that the bearer of bad news be executed. It doesn’t look good to outsiders. Particularly as Clegg’s own constituency is involved and seems to be what is causing the indignation, it also makes him seem rather vain.

    It was rather similar to how many Lib Dems came across in the aftermath to the recent elections. They kept on emphasising that Lib Dems were still doing OK-ish in (some) areas where they had an MP and large council presence. It’s difficult to see what else they could have said that was positive, but it did come across as very “I’m alright, Jack”, which must have been galling to the majority of Lib Dems in areas where they weren’t so lucky. And to non-Lib Dems it may have appeared smug and contemptuous of the wider electorate.

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  12. @Hi All

    Danny Alexander has made a statement rubbishing the Oakeshott ICM polls. I can spot that Oakeshott doesn’t have the same amount of spare cash as Howard’s favourite lord (haha – guess who!) by the sample size, but I generally just go along with pollsters’ methodological differences on the assumption that they’ve got their reputations to think about. Are there other reasons for saying it’s flawed, clever people?

    (That was flattery at the end, BTW, hope you all noticed)

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  13. @ Colin and Spearmint
    “Some of us didn’t realise how nasty the Tories could be’ – Oakeshott

    In that case his greatest crime seems to be naivety – I thought everyone in politics knew that long ago, and the Tories have never themsleves pretented otherwise have they?

    The Tories, since the foundation of their party, have been prepared to do absolutely anything to protect their interests, and the interests of those they represent – is that not what an effective party is for!?!!

    This is what I found troubling about the Liberals/LibDems in all the 36 years I was with them – they seemed to believe in the continental idea that parties exists to represent a shade of opinion and set of views.

    In Britain they do not, and never have done – they exist to defend and promote an interest.

    Liberals have never learnt since they lost power in 1916 that FPTP systems are about battles between the two principle economic power blocks in a nation competing within a set of rules – they are not about shades of opinion or principles per say, other than adopting them as an electability strategy for gaining power for your side.

    This is why the realignment of the Left strategy since the early 1960s was the only realistic long term strategy for the Libs/LibDems, with the eventual aim of breaking up Labour and the Far Left parties to found a new party on the libertarian Progressive Left. underpinned by the economic interest of the “have nots” and those that campaign for them (unions, charities, churches etc)

    As soon as the LibDems went for continental-style FDP centrism, coalescing with the Right of all sides, they were doomed in a system that is inherently an institutionalised battle between the two most powerful economic interests in the nation.

    They rushed into government without a firm basis of support by failing to first establish themselves as one of the two principal parties of state representing one of the two major economic interests of the nation. If they had stuck to the Grimond to Kennedy era plan of eventually replacing Labour they would now be in a much better position on that journey than as a feeble FDP clone in the Clegg image.

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  14. @RogerM: “In actual fact no one at the Guardian seems to have even looked at the ICM polls in any detail or even tried to interpret them (if only). Instead as usual they rely on telling you the latest gossip from their chums and repeating what they say on Twitter. ”

    The colours are so true.

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  15. postageincluded

    I can spot that Oakeshott doesn’t have the same amount of spare cash as Howard’s favourite lord (haha – guess who!) by the sample size, but I generally just go along with pollsters’ methodological differences on the assumption that they’ve got their reputations to think about. Are there other reasons for saying it’s flawed, clever people?

    Well you’ll just have to put up with me. I don’t think that the ICM polling for Oakeshott is beyond reproach or says what people think it says. Damian Lyons Lowe has a piece up on Survation’s website criticising some aspects of it:

    http://survation.com/so-how-would-changing-leader-work-out-for-the-lib-dems-will-nick-clegg-lose-sheffield-hallam/

    He points to something I’ve already mentioned about the need to ask the need to include candidate’s names in these sort of constituency questions. This is particularly important in these Lib Dem seats and I think the most telling criticism.

    I’m less convinced about some of his other points. He accuses ICM of trialling two different questions in the Cambridge poll and then choosing the one that gave to worst answer (for the Lib Dems). I suspect this was more question testing than anything more sinister and though it is said the differences are dramatic, they may well be just MoE because of the 230-ish sample sizes. Anyway I would think Damian would be happy that others are following his lead in including UKIP in the main list of Parties asked.

    He also points out that ICM didn’t their usual thing of reallocating don’t knows on past vote. Of course there is some dispute about the benefits of this, especially in the current unusual political circumstances (and ICM do point out that they didn’t do it). It does make a big difference to the Lib Dem vote, though I suspect a lot of this shift might also happen if the MP was named.

    He also disputes that changing Clegg as leader would make much difference, though the only more general polls he quotes in support are quite elderly or only among Lib Dem voters (it’s the non-Lib Dems you want to attract). I agree that the various alternative leaders in the ICM don’t make a lot of difference and indeed it might be interesting to see what [generic Lib Dem] did as the alternative.

    Amusingly the one thing that Damian doesn’t criticise about the ICM poll is the small (500 per constituency) sample size. I wonder if that has anything to do with with the 500 per constituency polls that Survation did for UKIP supporter Alan Bown (you can’t move nowadays for poll-sugar-daddies).

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  16. Roger M

    I agree with your post.

    I tried having the discussion elsewhere that surely the whole point of Oakeshott commissioning these polls is not the fact that he did but rather the fact that he was using them to reveal how voters in those constituencies viewed the LD MP’s.

    Alas, it’s obvious that blaming the messenger & ignoring the message has been the reaction from Clegg & co.

    Some LD members are even complaining that Oakeshott would have been better to have spent his money on getting one or two MEP’s re-elected !! What a cheek !

    I still can’t read the detail of those damn polls though, lol

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  17. @ Alisdair,

    He might have been nominated by his party, but the honour was given to him as a person

    That’s a fig leaf. They’re apparatchiks and Oakeshott knows it, that’s why he wants to reform the system. He’s just more honest about it than most of them.

    @ Roger Mexico,

    It’s difficult to see what else they could have said that was positive, but it did come across as very “I’m alright, Jack”

    The “Where we work we win!” quotes didn’t help.

    The real mystery to me is not why there is one Lord Oakeshott, but why there aren’t thousands of them.

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  18. @ Spearmint

    “The real mystery to me is not why there is one Lord Oakeshott, but why there aren’t thousands of them.”

    Perhaps they’ve all left already?

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  19. New thread

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  20. @ BRAMLEY

    Very good point.. creating a storm of confusion about both the methodology, the secrecy etc and taking the moral high ground about loyalty, is exactly the same strategy as was applied to Edward Snowden’s NSA/GCHQ revelations. The outrage at Snowden’s ‘treachery’ was a good blind to bury the data. The MSM are always happy to focus on this sort of personality stuff to the exclusion of the (IMO) main issues.

    Arguably, Vince Cable may have thought the on-the-ground polling was a good idea until the results were leaked.

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  21. @Roger M

    Thanks much, that’s very helpful. And it’s Plain English – I can give no higher praise.

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  22. TONY DEAN

    I got as far as your first couple of paras-and stopped.

    That sort of rubbish is not worth reading.

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  23. @ Tony Dean & Colin

    You don’t need to be any sort of class-warrior to believe that Colin is being pretty naive if he thinks that it is “rubbish” to say that the main purpose of the Conservative Party is to protect the interests of the “haves”.

    It might be fair to say that was less dominant in the past when the concept of a “one nation Tory” was not just a sound-bite.

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