Lord Ashcroft has released two polls this afternoon, his regular weekly GB poll and a poll for the Newark by-election later this week. In Newark he has topline figures of CON 42%(-12), LAB 20%(-2), LDEM 6%(-14), UKIP 27%(+23) – changes are since the general election. Compared to the Survation Newark poll last week UKIP support is almost identical, but the Tories are six points higher, giving them are far more comfortable 15 point lead.

Figures are less positive for the Tories in Ashcroft’s normal weekly GB poll which has topline figures of CON 25%, LAB 34%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 19%: a nine point Labour lead and a chunky 19 points for UKIP, once again the highest they’ve recorded in a telephone poll. I’m still getting used to the weekly Ashcroft polls, but on the surface they do seem to be quite volatile – a Tory lead here, a nine-pointer here. There is no obvious reason for that looking at the methods (sample size after taking away don’t knows is about 500, so it will be naturally more volatile than bigger online samples, but should be similar in volatility to ICM). Perhaps it’s just a perception created by having started polling around the European elections when public opinion genuinely is quite volatile.

Meanwhile this morning’s Populus poll had figures of CON 32%, LAB 37%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 13%. While that doesn’t look notable at first sight, Populus tend to show some of the lowest Labour leads, so five points is actually the largest they’ve shown since February.


200 Responses to “Ashcroft poll of Newark has 15 point Tory lead”

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  1. @ Panther

    I realised, I just thought my reply summed up some others’ sentiments.

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  2. @Colin

    Tories 30%
    LD 8%

    Care to reassess you conclusion on the benefits of austerity?

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  3. Colin “This is what Cameron is up against”

    Thanks for link.

    We are seeing the result of the Cons frequent and regular focussing on immigration during their first three to four years in power. Yes, it diverted attention from the effects of their social policies in action, but it has served to create the UKIP monster which now threatens Con chances of success in 2015. As I’ve repeatedly argued, immigration is a double-edged sword for the Cons.

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  4. Actually, it’s interesting to think what a house of commons randomly drawn from those eligible would look like. I claim it would be likely to be younger, more female, less white, much less university (and particularly Oxbridge) educated, and contain proportionately fewer MPs who were privately educated. No figures on religion are easily googleable, but I suspect it would be likely to be more Christian and more Islamic.

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  5. RAF

    No.

    MIKEN

    It is a “sword” DC has to wield though , because it has such high salience in UK.

    Merkel playing hardball on Juncker. If she really means it, and you throw in this morning’s reports of the Commission’s advice that UK should increase Council Tax etc, I can see nothing but a continuing boost for UKIP VI.

    I’m beginning to wonder if we might see a dramatic throw of the dice from DC-an In/Out Referendum, with no strings & no re-negotiation effort because of EU instransigence-to be held in 2015 if he wins the GE.

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  6. Colin
    Rol ?

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  7. JOHN PILGRIM

    @” remember the school cap and blazer, school inter-house games and hymns at Assembly)”

    I do indeed.

    They had no connection with “class” in my Grammar School-all my friends were from working class backgrounds in a low income part of the country -most of them destined for a first in family place at a University.

    I don’t remember any knives or drugs or police at the gates either-but I expect its all misty eyed nostalgia & thoroughly un-modern.

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  8. @ Roger Mexico, Billy Bob, and Old Nat

    This is my last post on the HBO series District 33 before the Primary which is actually now today (as it’s past midnight out here on the west coast).

    These races are very exciting. These two largely overlapping federal and state districts are really the conscience of California and the United States. Try and and imagine a district that basically combines the Cities of London and Westminster constituency incomes and property values with Sunderland South constituency results. They’re also exciting because both of them are honestly jump balls. I cannot predict tomorrow who will make the runoff in either one and that’s really fascinating.

    And I also have to say there have been a lot of crazy twists and turns in this race. For one thing, if you had told me 5 months ago that

    1. A right wing billionaire who tried to take out Henry Waxman in 2012 would opt not to run for Congress and instead would spend nearly $700,000 of his own money to back a left wing State Senate candidate (his dad is English btw);

    2. That one of the Congressional candidate’s closest political allies in the California State Senate would get arrested for attempting to smuggle guns to terrorist and mafia groups in exchange for campaign contributions;

    3. That a former Assemblywoman (and Ice Queen) running for the State Senate candidate would attempt to spend her time attempting to get young political activists fired from their jobs for not supporting her (rather than campaign);

    4. That a guy who no one had ever heard of before would somehow raise nearly a million dollars in less than 3 months and become a top contender;

    5. That internationally renowned licensed joyologist Marianne Williamson might actually get into a runoff due to Democratic infighting; and

    6. That I would get the opportunity to vote for a guy who is BOTH a leftwing public defender AND a member of several prestigious country clubs and yacht clubs.

    I would have told you that you were crazy.

    Anyway, I look forward to giving you a whole wrap up. Btw, for any of you who have ever been here and travelled to Venice Beach, that part of Los Angeles will have contested elections for four different offices: they’ll be electing a brand new member of Congress, a new State Senator, a new Assemblymember, and a new County Supervisor. It’s quite a day for Venice (hope they vote).

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  9. EWEN

    Republic of Ireland

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  10. @ Roger Mexico, Billy Bob, and Old Nat

    And now before I go to bed for less than 5 hours of sleep before I gotta get up for this crazy election, I just wanted to give you my one parting thought on this HBO series.

    Betsy Butler and Autumn Burke have both been engaged in a running gun battle against one another even though they’re not running against each other. Both have been engaged in a series of different electoral moves that seem geared towards defeating one another rather than electing themselves. In fact, I bet you that even if they both lose tomorrow night, both will take satisfaction

    And it’s not just Burke, who Ms. Butler has a problem with. Butler also has a problem with one of her State Senate opponents, Manhattan Beach Mayor Amy Howorth. Howorth has taken most joy out of this race by getting to take a selfie with Bono and identify herself as his local Mayor. Well anyway, they could have got in a fight when Howorth had reserved a time slot at the Democratic Party table at the local Fiesta Hermosa festival in Hermosa Beach. Betsy had not reserved any time but decided to stand there anyway and greet voters and pass out literature. When it came Ms. Howorth’s turn to pass out literature and greet voters, Betsy stood there in front of her and refused to move. One of her militant supporters (of which she has many) claimed that Betsy could occupy the local Democratic Party table on the grounds of “free speech.”

    I’ll be interested to see if Betsy makes the runoff tomorrow. Everyone has expected her to come in comfortably in first place but I don’t think she will (one rare prediction I will make).

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  11. Colin
    Rol ?
    I could have been one of your ‘working class ‘ friends from the mid 70s ?
    Some soft drugs available, lots of under age alcohol, lots of violence at football matches. Lots of burglaries of ordinary people’s houses.
    On the plus side, no tuition fees, generous grants, plenty of work available during the vacs.
    Different times, not better, not worse, just different.

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  12. Colin
    Thanks for the Rol explanation.

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  13. @Colin

    If Dave C did go for a In/Out Referendum, with no strings & no re-negotiation in 2015, what would the Cons campaign for In or Out

    In your opinion of course

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  14. Colin
    “It is a “sword” DC has to wield though, because it has such high salience in UK.”

    But it has high salience simply because of how the Cons have constantly played the immigration card since the 2010 GE, IMO. Arguably, playing it is now harming their electoral prospects – but perhaps this will change?

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  15. @John Pilgrim: “Don’t be surprised if UKIP takes 25% at the GE…”

    I will be. In fact I’ll be surprised if they get 15%.

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  16. Re Newark, it’s worth looking at how Ashcroft’s polling performed at Eastleigh, the last by-election where the Conservatives were in with a shout:

    Actual result LD 32%, UKIP 28%, Con 25%, Lab 10%
    Ashcroft LD 33%, UKIP 21%, Con 28%, Lab 12%
    That is, Ashcroft overstated the Con margin over UKIP by 10%.

    Without reallocating “don’t knows” the Ashcroft figures would have been LD 32%, UKIP 23%, Con 27%, Lab 12%. Overstatement of Con margin over UKIP down to 7%.

    Although I’m happy to take Ashcroft’s source polling data at face value, it’s reasonable to consider his own political background when forming a view on how he chooses to adjust and interpret the data. I suspect that if his colours were purple rather than blue, his might be more inclined to take heed of his record to date, and his by-election methodology would miss out the final step.

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  17. Floating Voter,

    They’d have to do what Wilson did and allow their MPs to campaign either way. Otherwise it would be farcical to have very anti-European MPs standing on a platform with Ken Clarke and Michael Heseltine.

    How they’d break between the groups is another matter, mind.

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  18. @MrNameless

    that would solve the party problem, but in that case, what would Dave C go for, because all the media would be asking

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  19. COLIN
    “They had no connection with “class” in my Grammar School-all my friends were from working class backgrounds in a low income part of the country -most of them destined for a first in family place at a University.”

    Mine too, but that was because most of the kids down my street did not pass the scholarship exam, later 11 plus, and went to Technical School. Most at my grammar school did not go to university but into jobs at 16. While i think this was a powerful factor in perpetuating class, much has changed, of course.
    The main point of my post was to draw attention to the appeal which the overall prospect painted by Farage will have for an electorate still living with the consequences and of a class system which is a living reality and the historical consequence of post-WW2 policies and the continued labour market and educational structures. How many of the electorate, to whom UKIP may appeal, don’t want to change the system, want to move up in it, and, incidentally, regard immigrant labour as a threat to their doing so?

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  20. He probably would want to stay in but might try to pull the “let’s let the people decide, my view is irrelevant” line.

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  21. @SoCalLiberal

    How about starting with a 500 page novel and then sell the rights?

    Going back to the Leibovich NYT article, I can’t get the thought out of my mind that the guy in pink shirt and shades and Tom Cruise smile (at the Marina del Rey regatta) has to be key to establishing a narrative perspective:

    h
    ttp://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/27/magazine/the-real-house-candidates-of-beverly-hills.html?_r=0

    Good luck and have a great day.

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  22. Phil Haines
    “Although I’m happy to take Ashcroft’s source polling data at face value, it’s reasonable to consider his own political background when forming a view on how he chooses to adjust and interpret the data. I suspect that if his colours were purple rather than blue, his might be more inclined to take heed of his record to date, and his by-election methodology would miss out the final step.”

    I think this is unfair.

    He has shown himself to be just as willing to report bad Con news as good – after all, what would be the point in deliberately mis-interpreting the results just to favour his side ?

    Sure, he was out in the Eastleigh by-election but did any of the polling firms come close enough to the final result ? I don’t remember so cannot say.

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  23. The 17% high ukip polled with yougov is really hurting the Tories.15 Looks like a Labour majority, as it now seems many ukipers sticking with the party. I can see ukip achieving 15%-20% at the GE, gaining only a handful of seats.

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  24. Phil Haines
    I think folk on this site would need evidence from you that Ashcroft is manipulating the results of whomever he employs to do the polling. Is it likely that a reputable pollster would put up with that, notwithstanding the business earned?

    I understood it was Populus who carried out his polling.

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  25. FLOATING VOTER

    That’s the $64k question-and since my thought is speculation, I don’t know the answer.

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  26. We have another distinct Labour lead on YouGov but, looking at the UKIP figure, it is much too early to say that we have a decisive switch back to the polldrum situation of 37 33 9 13 (say).

    I am conscious that we may expect some ‘D day’ sound bytes and counter-sound bytes tomorrow (last chance before June 5th Newark election and June 6th actual event). I would of course like to be wrong about that (earnestly hoping not to be in the Godwin area with that comment).

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  27. MIKEN

    @”But it has high salience simply because of how the Cons have constantly played the immigration card since the 2010 GE”

    In your opinion.

    The voters may, of course, have decided that it is important , all by themselves because of their own experiences .

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  28. people on this site very astutely pointed out that polls from about a month before the euro elections until the elections themselves would be unreliable and throw up odd results.

    This has been proved. we now seem to be where we were at the beginning of the year.

    the tory media machine and murdoch press have spun against nigel farage (he’s a racist and his supporters are racist), against Clegg (he’s weak, he’s finished) and Miliband (he ‘s a weirdo, he’s unco-ordinated, he doesn’t look prime ministerial)….

    Meanwhile Dave, the man whom they are trying to prop up, looks increasingly unlikely to extend his stay at no. 10.

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  29. @ Mr. Nameless,

    No Prime Minister could get away with that. He’d be crucified for lack of leadership (and rightly so).

    @ Howard,

    I don’t think Phil was accusing Lord Ashcroft of massaging the data, merely of making methodological assumptions that tend to favour his own party. It could easily be unconscious. (And they all do it- that’s why Ukip’s polling is always from Survation.)

    @ Colin,

    Quite possibly. After all, playing the immigration card didn’t do Michael Howard any good.

    But can we agree banging on endlessly about a net migration target without leaving the EU was an insane political strategy? Westminster has the Ukip it deserves.

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  30. “The voters may, of course, have decided that it is important , all by themselves because of their own experiences .”

    Lab should picket the stations and stop people getting on the train to Tunbridge Wells: they may hear forrin spoken and think they’vs been invaded.

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  31. @ Colin

    Presumably some voters will place immigration policy highly on their list for which box to tick at a general election. Certainly UKIP’s high polling suggests this, but it would be specious to suggest that this is the main issue to most, or that all the flow goes in one direction. Presumably someone is doing the maths on whether or not either of the two main parties can get labelled as firmly anti-immigration.

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  32. JOHN PILGRIM

    I took from your tone that you were dismissive of “the school cap and blazer, school inter-house games and hymns at Assembly)” and see its presence in the Grammar School system as a component of “the class system”.

    If that is the case, I can only disagree with you & leave it there as no further discussion seems usefull.

    If , however your preface of those features by the word “remember ?” was to imply that they no longer exist, then, happily I can make a further contribution in suggesting that they certainly do.

    One of my grandsons attends a Comprehensive School. with a non-selective intake .It has Houses, Inter-House competition , a School uniform,morning assembly & a focus on discipline.
    It has a very high proportion of non white-anglo saxon pupils.
    I have attended a number of Prize giving days at which former pupils have described their journey from a working class background to success because of this school’s ethos & practice.
    The School’s motto is “Believe, Achieve, Succeed”

    This grandson’s sister is currently doing A levels at a Sixth Form College in a Boys’ Grammar School, having previously attended a Girls’ Grammar School.

    Different Schools-same ethos, same approach to teaching & achievement.

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  33. @Peter Crawford

    “the tory media machine and murdoch press have spun against nigel farage (he’s a racist and his supporters are racist), against Clegg (he’s weak, he’s finished) and Miliband (he ‘s a weirdo, he’s unco-ordinated, he doesn’t look prime ministerial)….

    Meanwhile Dave, the man whom they are trying to prop up, looks increasingly unlikely to extend his stay at no. 10.”

    Ah, but Pressman has a cunning plan, as cunning as a fox who’s just been appointed Professor of Cunning at Oxford University……..

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  34. SPEARMINT

    @”But can we agree banging on endlessly about a net migration target without leaving the EU was an insane political strategy? ”

    I think “net” migration was the wrong target because government can’t controll emigration.

    Over time the largest element of the immigrant addition to UK’s population has been non-EU & they have had success on that front. EU migrant flows seem to come in peaks & waves & perhaps a more nuanced election committment which takes account of the difficulties on the EU front would have been better.

    As I understand it though May is sticking to her target.

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  35. I noticed this comment on conservative home, from a UKIP activist so bear in mind the source

    http://intensedebate.com/people/Chingford_Man

    “I know UKIP has been keeping canvass returns and they totally contradict the Ashcroft polling. It just doesn’t feel right to me. UKIP felt at the weekend that there was a 2000 vote difference and now think that the gap has narrowed into possible recount territory, with 3 days left. One thing is certain: Labour is DEAD in terms of winning Newark”

    Also I wonder what impact the release of polls has on actual voting intentions. Was the Eastleigh UKIP surge in the final days due to Labour voters seeing that Labour did not stand a chance, so they switched to UKIP to give the coalition a bloody nose?

    Will we see that in Newark? I suspect not because the UKIP candidate is much more extreme in this case.

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  36. Spearmint
    I suppose the only way for Ashcroft to resolve such mistrust in his favour would be to publish the name of his sub-contractor and register his methodology with AW’s club.. I have an awful feeling we had this discussion a long time ago. Touch of the deja vu this morning, I suppose it’s because I am erecting poles and planting out the runner beans (just to interest TOH hopefully).

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  37. ORIGIMBO

    @” but it would be specious to suggest that this is the main issue to most”

    See YG Poll 27/28 May 2014.

    for salience by demographic group.

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  38. Howard
    What have runner beans got to do with déjà vu ?

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  39. Colin

    I don’t remember any knives or drugs or police at the gates either-but I expect its all misty eyed nostalgia & thoroughly un-modern.

    Yup, that’s exactly what it is. The 50s and 60s were full of controversy about things such as flick knives and there was probably more organised and gang violence than today. The use of drugs such as barbiturates, amphetamines and so on was very widespread.

    If the police presence at schools was less visible, it was more because of a desire to cover up things to avoid scandal rather than to reassure by ostentatious involvement. And the cover-up mentality, as current revelations of what went on in those ‘golden’ days remind us, was not a good thing.

    Any examination of the popular press of the time will show very similar stories tutted over in very similar tones of lascivious outrage. If anything we live in much better and more moral times, if only because things that were acceptable then are not so now.

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  40. COLIN
    No, we don’t disagree on the merits of the system, or on our experience of their continuation. They shaped me so why should I?
    You are, however, missing my point. If you and I remember and experience that memory and know that its educational and social basis continue and are valued, whatever our good use of and benefit may have been does not annul the fact that the country continues to be divided by class, and that the grammar school have played a part in the continuation of a class system – which is peculiarly British – as well as to providing the way out of it.
    My argument is that there are many UKIP or potential UKIP voters who will recognise these effects of the grammar school system, and will be voting for their continuation, both the educational system and the class system. This and similar policies which are partial to a system of priviledge will be evident in support for UKIP.

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  41. AW
    John Pilgrim Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Pourquoi? This exchange with @ Colin is impartial and highly relevant to VI, and devoid of rude language.

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  42. EL
    It’s an annual significant event (ask TOH) and thus, in my case, everything I do or say or write, I get the feeling that’s it has all happened previously. In the case of the r.b.s, of course, it has.

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  43. JOHN PILGRIM

    @” the grammar school have played a part in the continuation of a class system ”

    My personal experience is that this is the complete opposite of the truth.

    As to your idea that “the school cap and blazer, school inter-house games and hymns at Assembly ” are somehow inimical to the education of children , and represent something which is bad or undesirable . What can I say ?- I find it at best bizarre, and at worst disturbing & sinister.

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  44. COLIN
    what tosh. I might just as well condemn Australian aborigine body painting. I don’t regard it or my and my fellow grammar school boys and girls and their teachers as evil, just amiably tribal.
    As for the philosophy behind it and the politics which have steered it behind a labour market and class system which permit the perpetuation of an under-class, that’s another matter, as are my deep misgivings over UKIP’s more general appeal – which incidentally I do see as mainly in conservative territory.

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  45. Howard
    Fair enough re runner beans.
    As my Grandad used to say,
    ” A house without a garden is worth a pound a week on the rent ! “

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  46. @ Colin

    “See YG Poll 27/28 May 2014.”

    Sorry, but without context, I’m not sure if you’re agreeing, disagreeing or pointing out a source of information.

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  47. JOHN PILGRIM

    @”As for the philosophy behind it and the politics which have steered it behind a labour market and class system which permit the perpetuation of an under-class, that’s another matter,”

    Complete nonsense in my experience John.

    Let’s call it a day now ?

    ORIGIMBO

    I couldn’t be bothered to list all the demographic groups & the degree of salience each attached ti immigration.

    It is all in that YG Poll.

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  48. @ Billy Bob

    “How about starting with a 500 page novel and then sell the rights?”

    Well that might be a good idea. I’ve always wanted to write something like that.

    Going back to the Leibovich NYT article, I can’t get the thought out of my mind that the guy in pink shirt and shades and Tom Cruise smile (at the Marina del Rey regatta) has to be key to establishing a narrative perspective:

    h
    ttp://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/27/magazine/the-real-house-candidates-of-beverly-hills.html?_r=0″

    He dropped out of the race recently and endorsed licensed joyologist Marianne Williamson. I recently attended a League of Women voters candidate forum in Torrance for nearly all the candidates and learned something rather amazing. She’s not the most wacko candidate in this race, just the one with the most chance of winning. There are several others actually.

    Oh and btw, that article inspired one young man to drop out of his Ph.D in Political Science at Columbia University and come home to launch a write-in campaign (he’s been certified) as an Independent. His name is Theo Menonopolous (or maybe it’s Milanopolous or Minonopolous). Like I said……..

    “Good luck and have a great day.”

    Thanks man! I will need it.

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  49. COLIN
    So be it. Have a good day.

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  50. new thread

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