Tomorrow’s Sun has a Survation poll of Newark, ahead of the by-election next week. Topline figures with changes since the general election are CON 36%(-18), LAB 27%(+5), LD 5%(-15), UKIP 28%(+24). This is the first poll we’ve had of Newark, and unless Lord Ashcroft also has one in the works it’s probably the only one.

A swing of 21 points from the Conservatives to UKIP would be a storming great swing, but the fact remains that Patrick Mercer had a pretty hefty majority at the last election, so even a swing of that size leaves the Conservatives 8 points ahead. Still a week to go though…

390 Responses to “Survation poll of Newark by-election”

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  1. …a long time in politics.

  2. I’ll get in ahead of ChrisLane…

    Lib Dem figure looks a bit high.

  3. I think both UKIP and Con are throwing everything they can at this one. If Labour don’t go to town in the same way it could get very interesting, because I would expect more people to switch from Lab-UKIP than from Lab-Con.

  4. I make that

    Con 36% (- 18.9)
    Ukip 28% (+ 24.2)
    Lab 27% (+ 4.7)
    LD 5% (- 15)

    Con to Ukip swing 21.5%.
    Turnout was 71.4% in 2010

  5. Labour have a campaign event set up on Facebook – about a hundred attendees should be there this weekend, including me. The Shadow Cabinet were all about this week too. They’re quietly trying quite hard with it.

  6. Correction *Con at -17.9%*

  7. Labour could be in with a chance on those figures – Conservatives and UKIP splitting the right with LibDems collapsing to Labour.

  8. “Coalition’s reforms risk Newark by-election legal challenge”

  9. What is the feeling about Survation – they used to be a figure of fun on here once?

  10. If Lab come second it will really burst UKIP bubble. Tories will retain seat with 2-3000 majority.

  11. I am sure Labour don’t want to collapse in this election to give the media another excuse to have ago at Miliband

    If this poll is correct, why is the Labour vote not collapsing to UKIP? I thought Labour->UKIP was as strong as Tory->UK?

    I actually think the Labour %age is the most surprising, oh and that the LD are as high as 5

  12. CON 36%(-18), LAB 27%(+5), LD 5%(-15), UKIP 28%(+24

    I think the Lib/dems could lose the plot.

  13. rogerh

    “Labour could be in with a chance on those figures – Conservatives and UKIP splitting the right with LibDems collapsing to Labour.”

    As I said in the previous thread, the complication comes from how the two second placed parties sort their tactics.

    Only one can win [no applause please.]

    BUT ……. if Cons think Labour “might” win then their tactis also come into play as they would probably prefer to lose to UKIP than to EM’s lot.

    Complicado as we say in forrun.

    I’d like Labour to win but if I had to bet my mythical million then it would be on UKIP.

    Bizarrely, its not impossible that Cons could come third.

    Which would be nice………………

  14. RogerH
    There are other possible scenarios. There was quite a strong LibDem vote last time, in a seat where Lab were 2nd. That suggests that these are not the usual Lab tactical voters, and that many of them might go to UKIP as they clearly aren’t fans of the Big Two.
    Also, UKIP do seem to be taking more votes from Lab than they used to.

  15. # Sorry I meant to say lose their deposit.

  16. @Roger

    ‘Labour could be in with a chance on those figures – Conservatives and UKIP splitting the right with LibDems collapsing to Labour.’

    I think that’s fanciful, but if you fancy your chances, William Hill are offering 16/1.

  17. I don’t think labour will be all that annoyed if UKIP win this. This seat was never a realistic labour target. A UKIP win would terrify the tories and expose the very real threat they pose to tories esp. in tory held marginals.

    The idea of a tory majority in 2015, despite the musings of academic buffoons, was always a fantasy. The idea of the tories winning the most seats in the hoc, with ukip polling 10%+ is also somewhat far fetched.

    I think Dave and Gids and the blue team are in tdeep trouble; i just can’t see the tories holding enough seats to be the largest party in 2015. Farage is seeing to that.

  18. Pete B

    Why do you say UKIP are taking from Labour in these numbers (which may be wrong but it is all we have)?

    It could be there are some LD->UKIP shifters

  19. Some Labour vote probably has gone to UKIP – it’s just that the Lib Dems have also lost 3/4 of their voters, many of whom will have gone Labour.

  20. @howard

    I did a comparison Ashcroft vs Survation on byelection polling at one time… and apart from Survation’s debut (OE&S) I would say honours fairly even, Survation closer on some occasions… Ashcroft had a run of underestimating Ukip but has since made adjustments no doubt..

  21. Typically for an NI paper the Sun has put an inappropriate slant on its report of this poll as follows:

    “THE Tories are on course to win the all-important Newark by-election next week with some ease – delivering a hammer blow to Ukip, an exclusive poll has revealed. The survey for The Sun by pollster Survation gave David Cameron’s party a big EIGHT point lead over Nigel Farage’s anti-EU campaign.”

    I don’t agree and now think that there’s a good chance that the Tories will lose this seat. UKIP are on a roll and an 8% gap can easily be overcome within 1 week, particularly as they already seem to have made up more than half the ground from their very low base vote in 2010. Labour could also win, as they are only 1% further behind than UKIP. It all depends on which horse anti-coalition voters choose to back next week to give the government a bloody nose.

  22. BCrombie
    I didn’t put a number on Lab to UKIP shifters, I was just trying to point out that it could well be a factor. My analysis of the recent local election in my area was that there were more voters shifting from Lab-UKIP than Con-UKIP (mind you it is a very Labour area, so there were more at stake). I don’t think my area was unique.

    I’m sure that in reality there will be shift of votes in every possible combination – there might even be one or two shifting from the others to LD! Four-party politics is certainly very interesting.

  23. Spuriously statistically: Lab lead up 600% in 3 days!

    Spuriously tactically: UKIP/Lab pact to unseat Tories in Newark

    PS: Neither of these things matter in the long run, but fun to be had for a moment,

  24. daodao

    To call that an “easy” Tory win is barmy. Its amazingly close and – as I have already said – tactics will decide it.

    Re the YG poll, it underlines my mantra about the Tories having a low top.

    37 for Labour is not surprising but we would be amazed if that was the Con figure. They are struggling to attract more than 35% and have done for a while.

    Perhaps when they let everyone know how great they’d be when the LDs aren’t holding them back they will soar through.


  25. “I think that’s fanciful, but if you fancy your chances, William Hill are offering 16/1.”

    I don’t think it’s likely, only that it’s possible. Anyway I already have £4 on them at, I think, 15/2 (which shows how good my forecasting is).

  26. @ RosieandDasie

    ‘To call that an “easy” Tory win is barmy.’

    The Sun in barmy shock!


    I don’t usually copy across when I’m caught by a new thread but this is SO IMPORTANT to polling matters I made an exception.

    Your discussion stirred up ancient memories in me:
    I hadn’t seen the video but I remember the story (and being pretty confused by the idea) from a comic when I was a nipper.

  28. The Tories in Newark will divide mainly into definites, potential UKIP switchers and potential abstainers – either because they believe the Sun saying they’ll win with ease anyway or just want to deliver a silent protest about whatever they are feeling protesty about – gay people or something.

    In my view theirs is the vote that is most likely to go down.

  29. R&D
    More likely than the LD’s, God bless ’em?

  30. @R&D – “Re the YG poll, it underlines my mantra about the Tories having a low top.”

    Thought for a minute you were saying something a bit risque there.

    YG poll is a bit interesting, as is the Newark one. I suspect we could see some major shifts before the vote in this particular contest, so it isn’t necessarily a given, but I would have thought Lab would take a result like this as a very positive sign. This would be a 12% Con-Lab swing in effect.

    Initial evidence is indicating Lab may have opened up a slightly wider lead this week, but it may just be noise.

  31. The Tories are a little bit lucky that Labour will be pulling out all the stops to hold their vote. UKIP can’t win this unless the Labour vote falls back significantly from where it is now and Labour will do everything they can to ensure that does not happen.

    In fact I think Labour would prefer that the Conservatives rather than UKIP wins the seat.

  32. BB
    Thank you, good to have someone with finger on the pulse as you always have had. Yes, UKIP could possibly improve its % in a week but my money would be on a Con survival, just. I used to live near Newark (I’ve lived everywhere!) and find a Labour victory somewhat difficult to assimilate, but by-elections exist for just such a purpose.

  33. Guymonde

    I’d forgotten those stories, entirely written in rhyming couplets – which don’t scan.

    “And Danny’s numbers caused a fuss,
    Though unfortunately the academics he quoted said he had misrepresented us”.

    Happy days!

  34. raf

    If the figures are accurate and if the Lab vote doesn’t move then you won’t need many Tory changes – either to UKIP or abstention – for UKIP to win.

    Which is why I said earlier that, in that scenario Cons could conceivably come third.

  35. My Tory member flatmates are heading to Newark on the same day as me. I don’t think we should sit together on the train or any UKIP supporters might think it’s a LIBLABCONspiracy.

  36. @ Mr Nameless

    LOL! But please stop giving the UKippers new material, they’re bad enough as it is. ;-)

  37. We had alleged LABCONUKIP conspiracy in Isleworth in the locals!

  38. All the parties have been working that constituency hard for weeks. If the polls haven’t moved by now it ain’t gonna happen. Newark will be a solid Tory hold.

    Ukip and Labour are clearly splitting the anti-Tory vote so I don’t think either party has to be too despondent about their impending loss- you can’t win a by-election in another party’s safe seat unless you can consolidate the opposition behind your banner, and Ukip’s momentum makes it impossible for Labour while their intrinsic divisiveness makes it impossible for them to do it themselves- but they are going to lose.

  39. @Howard

    “I used to live near Newark and find a Labour victory somewhat difficult to assimilate”

    Shocks in Nottinghamshire are not unknown; remember Ashfield in 1977?

    However, if Labour ever wins where I live (Arundel & South Downs) I promise to eat the Downs… all of them !!!

  40. Spearmint

    “Ukip and Labour are clearly splitting the anti-Tory vote”

    I can see how “splitting the X vote” argument works in a situation where two parties with vaguely the same ideas, fail to displace a party which has nothing in common with either.

    But surely an inappropriate comment in this case? (Damn! I just remembered Labour’s “British jobs for British workers” campaign).

    Ok. Fair point.

  41. I think Labour wants the Tories to win the Newark election as they have as much to fear from UKIP as any of the main parties.

    As in America the insiders want to exclude the outsiders. Labour and the Tories may disagree on policies but they will come together to protect there hegemony.

    This is why the Labour are going in hard in the Newark election. Normally they would have not.

  42. I think that as always turnout is the key. By-elections are usually lower than general and the 2010 turnout at Newark was 71.4%, well over average for 2010. In 2005 and 2001 the turnout was around 63%, about the average. Then the Tory vote was down to its usual level of about 20,000 [46-48%], while it was over 27500 in 2010.
    The lower the turnout, the better UKIP’s chance. Their voters will turn out. It will be a close-run thing, but IMHO they have a better chance than the 3:1 the bookies are offering.

  43. @RAF

    I’m not exactly fond of the Tory party and what they stand for, but if it came down to it I’d much rather be represented by a Tory than some Know Nothing ar$eclown.

  44. @Dave

    The value bet must surely be Lab on 33/1 with bwin, if you can still get on it.

  45. @MOG

    I’m not far from you (Worthing East & Shoreham) and the chances of a Lab MP in my lifetime is non-existent.

    My spiritual home is Manchester which has the reverse situation.

  46. Dave
    “The lower the turnout, the better UKIP’s chance”

    I’m not so sure about that. UKIP seem to be reaching people who have either never voted, or not for many years. If enough of these turn out, it could actually benefit UKIP.

  47. @PeteB

    Down south UKIP did better in lower turnouts. In the Bromley locals, the two seats they won were in a ward with the lowest turnout in the entire council.

  48. RAF
    Newark is in the Midlands. My area is the Midlands, and there were 6 wards where last time it was a straight Lab-Con fight and this time UKIP were the only challenger. Over the 6 wards, turnout was up by just under 4000, while Lab and Con lost about 1000 each.
    Unless something extremely strange is happening, this suggests to me that a large proportion of the new voters voted UKIP, because they got about 6000 votes across the wards.

  49. Seems to follow the pattern seen elsewhere: Cons and LD’s down a lot, Lab up a little, UKIP zooming up. Three-way marginal thus created, but only one serious contestant from the left. Interesting if Labour can get that vote solidly behind them.

  50. @Bramley

    At risk of yah-booing, I have to say “my seat’s safer than yours (yah boo)”.

    In 2010 Con had a lead of 49% of Lab in Arundel, but a mere 32% in Shoreham.

    However, if we discount the LibDem vote (a thing we can reasonably do now, when the likes of Tony Dean, Peter Bell, and myself – near lifetime Libs – have deserted forever) then the position is even more stark. Taking the combined Lib/Lab vote, then the Con lead in 2010 in Shoreham is a mere 6%, but in Arundel a whopping 21%. In 1997, on this basis, Con hold Arundel by 10%, but LOSE Shoreham by 14%.

    If you don’t get Lab MP in your lifetime, I don’t even get one when I’m reincarnated!

    What a stupid voting system is FPTP.

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