Lord Ashcroft has released a second tranche of polls in Con-v-Lab ultramarginals, full details are here. It’s a repeat of his first polling of Con-Lab seats in April and now as then, Ashcroft polled the 12 most marginal Conservative held seats with Labour in second place, plus two other seats (South Thanet and Great Yarmouth) that he thought might have interesting UKIP results. Note that this wasn’t what we’ve often called a “marginal poll” in the past (a single poll of a group of marginal seats), it was 14 separate polls, one in each seat, individually sampled and weighted.

In April, the average swing in the 12 Con-Lab ultra marginals was 5.5% from Con to Lab, the same as in the national polls at the time. In other words, Con-Lab ultra-marginals were behaving right in line with national polling.

The average picture in the national polls is unchanged since April – the national swing from Con to Lab in GB polls conducted during the time Ashcroft did his latest fieldwork was 5.4% from Con to Lab. Lord Ashcroft’s findings in the marginal polls however have shown a slight weakening in the Labour position relative to the Conservatives, looking at just the 12 ultra-marginal seats the Conservatives are down by about 1.5% on average, Labour down by about 2.7%, UKIP up by about 4.5%. This looks like a European boost – the previous poll was done before the European election campaign, this one started in mid-June. The average swing in the ultra-marginals is now 4.9 from Con to Lab, meaning an increase in UKIP support has slightly hurt Labour. While the difference is too small to really make a fuss about, it also means that Ashcroft’s polls now show a slightly smaller swing in Con held marginals than nationally – in line with what we’d expect given the normal incumbency effect.

In two of the seats polled, Thanet South and Thurrock, UKIP were ahead in voting intentions, which will be enormous help for them in convincing voters they are a viable general election vote in the local area.


307 Responses to “Ashcroft poll of ultra-marginals”

1 3 4 5 6 7
  1. * its decline.

  2. Bill Patrick

    “However, UKIP and the Greens have moved the UK towards a 5-party system (even excluding the Celtic nationalists and unionists)”

    Couldn’t have been more succinctly phrased as “UKIP and the Greens have moved England towards a 5-party system”.

    The UK Parliament representation is an aggregate of the results within it’s component systems. England is by far the largest of these systems, and consequently determines the UK Government (when England, as it once did – and may do in future, as well).

    However, describing the UK as having only a 5-party system, if you exclude the parties operating, and getting elected, in the non-English parts of the UK seems odd phraseology.

  3. Sorry, omitted a phrase

    UK Government (when England, as it once did – and may do in future, as well) makes a clear choice of a governing party.

  4. Oldnat,

    11 words is less than 19 words, so it could have been phrased more succinctly that way. On the other hand, that would fail to highlight clearly my main point, which is that there are now 4rth and 5th parties with a significant portion (say >5%) of current Westminister VI.

    Also, “England determines the UK government” is a holist solecism. England neither votes for a government, nor votes in any election in unison. It’s akin to “the UK invaded Iraq” or “Scotland votes Labour”.

  5. Bill Patrick

    But all your definition of”significant portion of Westminster VI” does is to define significance in the “UK system” as being dependent on the system operating in England producing such VI.

    As you specifically ignored NI then, at best it could be described as a GB system.

    I accept the criticism of my phraseology “England determines”.

    More accurately, I should have said “the results from the English political system determines” adding the caveats which I did.

    That would have been a more appropriate counterpart of your own “holist solecism” in using the term “UK system” where the “system” you refer to only applies in part of the whole.

  6. EWEN LIGHTFOOT
    “Another 38%
    That ain’t dull , that’s Polldrums !”

    I think that is a bit of a cop-out. It is not IMV thepolling that is interesting in itself, of course, but the make-up of the 38%, including e.g. the presence of a constant third of the 2010 LD vote. Is this “the collapse of the LD party”, as someone put it earlier, specifically resistance of a substantial part of the LD support to the coalition or to the dropping of LD election commitments? Or is it, in a wider context, the voting intent of a body, not so much of LD, but rather of social democratic opinion formed or confirmed in the context of the Europe-wide debate on austerity versus investment and fiscal stimulus? Formerly, the analysis would go, this found its home in LD, but now in Lab under EM. If so, does it have sustainability, will it constitute sustained VI for Lab under the cross-fire up to the GE? If it is indeed the choice of austerity/the discipline of unemployment over investment and targeted public policy in favour of living wages and high employment that is the debate decided at the ballot box, then I think it will be sustained.

  7. Personally I think polldrums are interesting. It shows what DOESN’T influence VI, or at times, a party gambit that might but is easily countered…

  8. @Amber

    To catch up on our earlier convo…

    Perhaps Barclays was disproportionately affected, but given we lost 7% of the economy in short order would we put that down to just one bank? And it wasn’t the first time liquidity had been an issue in banking.

    In any event, sure, banks hid stuff. It is not like business has never hidden or manipulated things before. Sure, each time around they might find some new way of doing it to catch you out, this is why I favour being more proactive and setting up alternatives, and think the government should have done this in advance of the Crunch

    Because even months and years after the crash, banks were not passing on that much of the benefit of stuff like Q.E…. In part because of the need to repair their position, but also because other things are considered more lucrative. For example, investing in or preferring lending on assets rather than to business.

    Which was an issue before the crash and remains so, actually…

  9. ‘Personally I think polldrums are interesting. It shows what DOESN’T influence VI”

    I agree with this,

    e.g. the resuffle, I think we can now say had no effect on the Con vote,
    the decline in unemployment – no obvious effect on voting intention, although it does seem to lift opinions about the economy for a week

    Latest YouGov / The Sun results 23rd July -, Lab 38%, Con 34%, UKIP 12%, LD 8%, Greens 4% Nats 3£, BNP 1%; APP -24

    I have noticed all this week in the cross breaks that Cons have been receiving higher numbers of ex 2010 LDs

    Also for the past 2 days Lab have received slightly lower numbers of ex 2010 LD, but Lab core vote has been retained more and also Lab has shown lower than usual DK/WV

    Greens continue to keep their 4% because of the ex 2010 LD – I am sure that is a real switch

    Too early to say about the other crossbreaks I mentioned

  10. @OldNat: “The UK Parliament representation is an aggregate of the results within it’s component systems. England is by far the largest of these systems”

    In what way is England a ‘system’? It’s not a distinct political union. Why, for example, should the voters of Carlisle and Carshalton be grouped together? You could as usefully describe voters with brown hair as a ‘system’.

  11. Good Morning All.
    FLOATING VOTER.
    In these polldrums the Lib Dem figure remains stubbornly and, for Lib Dems everywhere, encouragingly high, pointing to a much better performance than they had 1964-1970.
    IMO.

  12. Are we not going back to a two party system with a number of minor parties? The minor parties getting quite a few votes but virtually no parliamentary representation. A different two parties in Scotland.

  13. John P
    No, it’s not a cop out, the present state of play is very interesting in itself, cos the gap twixt Red and Blue seems fairly constant.
    You may be right about the make up of the various VIs, then again you may not.
    Carfrew
    Yes indeed, polldrums may be same old same old, but they are interesting.

  14. @ Carfrew

    Perhaps Barclays was disproportionately affected, but given we lost 7% of the economy in short order would we put that down to just one bank?
    ——————–
    The 7% of the economy which was lost was due to several factors:
    1. Business investment stopped because of the uncertainty even though many businesses had shedloads of cash;
    2. Businesses cut back pro-actively on staff & stock purchases – in anticipation of:
    3. Consumers stopped spending out of fear (remember major purchases by customers e.g. cars, furniture, holidays were cancelled or deferred) – in some (but not all) cases because:
    4. Consumers couldn’t borrow to spend; furthermore
    5. Banking business itself reduced significantly; and
    6. There were business bankruptcies – but these were mainly due to market contraction not a lack of working capital funding; and, as you said:
    7. There were also business bankruptcies due to the withdrawal of bank overdrafts etc. but this a relatively minor* cause of the 7% (*obviously it didn’t feel minor, if it was your business or employer).

    I’m very happy to continue this discussion because it is important & the points which you make are interesting.

  15. I’d just like to say, that violent swings in VI are interesting too!! And the polls where it seems like things are moving but then…. ok, maybe not: they’re fun too. And the polls where things really do move… for a bit… but then a few weeks later it’s as you were…

    Then there’s the slow, agonising descent over a period of many months…

  16. @Amber

    Sure, all that happened, but much of it was knock-on effects from the initial freezing up of the banking system. Obviously if some businesses rapidly go down due to curtailed banking, and consumer lending suffers too, this is going to cause other consumers and businesses to curtail spending and investment. In a number of cases they’ll be forced to, owing to the sudden demise of customers or suppliers…

  17. @Jamie

    I think we are into a phase where no party is likely to get 40% in a GE.

    The previous comment about 1974 rings very true. I don’t think the public are too convinced anyone has a convincing plan.

    If we end up with another party ‘winning’ on 35-36% it will make FPTP look very shaky and unrepresentative.

  18. FTP always looks shaky and unrepresentative to the losers, but as the electorate decided that’s what they wanted I can’t see any change even if huge result of the GE is below 40%

  19. I notice Carney has given another reason for deferring rate rises: wages not rising fast enough…

    Also saw a headline in the Telegraph that Carney says rate rises are needed to curb the housing bubble…

    Well that’s clear then. Meanwhile, also in the Telegraph…

    “Forecasts by the Office for Budget Responsibility suggest more than 10 million people will be dragged over the higher rate threshold by 2033 – twice as many as present

    One in three workers will be a higher rate taxpayer within two decades as the 40p band becomes the “norm” for millions of the middle class, the official economic forecaster has suggested.

    More than 10million people will have been dragged over the higher rate threshold by 2033, twice as many as at present, according to an analysis by the Office for Budget Responsibility.

    They are likely to include growing numbers of teachers, senior nurses and others who would not traditionally be regarded as high earners. ”

    And if that isn’t enough, from the Beeb…

    “A “relatively benign” rise in interest rates still has the potential to double the number of households facing debt problems, a think tank has said.

    A report by the Resolution Foundation said the UK had failed to deal with a “debt overhang”, leaving the economy vulnerable to rate rises.

    It predicted that by 2018, 1.1 million households could be in “debt peril”, compared with 600,000 now.

    This means more than half of their post-tax income goes on repaying debt.

    It also suggested that households spending more than one third of their income on mortgage repayments could rise from 1.1 million to 2.3 million by 2018, equating to about one in four households with a mortgage.”

  20. Catmanjef

    If a party were to get 40% ish at the next election , would that validate FPTP? Surely not ! If it ain’t right it ain’t right.

  21. @Bill Patrick

    “Let’s stop giving in to the stupidity of common-sense psephology.”

    Sounds good on first reading but what on earth does it mean???

  22. Colin (and others on newspaper influence)

    Amid the ghastly images about MH17, I suppose it is typically British (??) that I suddenly started to draw images in my noodle about what used to be my favourite strip cartoon, Flook, by Trog, in the Daily Mail (yes I used to take that in the late 60s believe it or not). The thugs at the crash site have something of Bodger about them, reporting to the evil Moses Maggot in his lair (Putin of course).

    Going back to the DM, when I took it in the late 60s, it included contributors such as Bernard Levin and the aforementioned Trog. I had no idea it was a right wing paper, I thought it was a bit left wing. This relates to views expressed above about political influence of newspapers. It missed me by miles! It almost certainly means I never read the leaders, etc. I usually went straight to the sport and then cryptic crossword (at my educational level then, probably still is).

  23. @Carfrew – “A report by the Resolution Foundation said the UK had failed to deal with a “debt overhang”, leaving the economy vulnerable to rate rises.”

    I think this is a real issue. The coalition hasn’t been as good as it like us to think in reducing debt levels, and this is the key factor in making the economic recovery highly fragile and vulnerable.

    I don’t think we can really blame the current government for this though. We have a much more moralistic approach to debt than the Americans do, which seeks to protect the owners of capital (the lenders) and really prevents us dealing quickly with problems.

    If you run up mortgage arrears and hand your keys back, you are pursued for the debt for a very long time. In the US, much of the bad debts have now been written off, as the recalcitrant borrowers are left alone and the lender takes much more of the hit. It’s a bit brutal, but it acts as a balance between the profligacy of the lender and the irresponsibility of the borrower – a balance we have tilted almost exclusively one way.

    This ability for individuals to fail and bounce back is one reason why the US economy tends to be far more dynamic than ours, and generally recovers more quickly from economic shocks.

  24. Oldnat,

    We all refer to wholes with parts at times. That’s not an error.

    Actually, the 5% suggestion doesn’t DEFINE anything regarding significance in England. If 90% of Scots voted for the SSP or Borders party, then they would be significant on a UK scale, on this admittedly arbitrary basis.

    You could have said that, given current demographics and a 5% definition, it means that a Scotland-only party or (especially) a Wales or Northern Ireland only party has very little-or-no chance of being significant on a UK-wide basis. That’s true, just as the Cornish nationalists and the Wessex regionalists are unlikely to become major players in UK politics. One would expect that parties that limit themselves to particular parts of the UK would limit their importance within the system.

  25. Crossbat11,

    First and foremost, it means that we never take a by-election more seriously than a (good) poll on the basis of “getting REAL votes”.

    (I’m not saying that you do that; it’s just a commonsense idea about psephology that’s wrong.)

  26. wonks and boffins have been complaining about FPTP for decades, nothing has changed….people understand the system and the AV referendum vote showed the extent to which reform on this is, for the time being, a pipe dream.

    The tories were, as usual, very shortsighted about their long term interest since it was apparent even in 2011 that the main beneficiaries of our current system is the labour party.

  27. Jamie,

    The split of the not-main parties will help the main two parties in terms of seats, but the combined Labour-Tory VI average right not is 69%, only slightly ahead of the approx. 67% they got in 2010, which was itself down from 69% in 2005, 74.7% in 2001, 75% in 1997, 78% in 1992…

    An increasing proportion of the UK electorate seem unwilling to vote for either Labour or the Tories, even after the LDs have gone into meltdown and both parties have “modernised”.

  28. Peter Crawford,

    It was by no means clear that the Tories would benefit from a move to AV.

    However, I agree that the Tories are apparently going against their self-interest in rejecting a move to PR. Even if they somehow get seat adjustments, it’s just a matter of time before the migration from urban to suburban living readjusts things back into Labour’s favour.

  29. EU is reported as considering barring EU citizens from buying Russian debt and barring them from fund raising on EU stock markets. If they do this, the Russian’s are in for a good old fashioned. long Soviet winter, as far as their economy goes.

    I remain highly sceptical that these measures will be agreed though. France is still selling large scale military hardware to Putin, and the EZ economies are quietly collapsing themselves, with debt ratios rising again. The EU is economically weak, Russia weaker still, but markets only need a small shock to tip into reverse.

    The ramifications from MH17 could be highly significant.

  30. Talking of by-elections, might we get one in St Edmund’s Bury ? (Re-arrange).
    That’d be fun , and interesting !

  31. Bill

    That’s right of course. The change seems to be we now have 2 + lots. I accually think most politicians on all sides are decent enough and competent enough. One of the reasons they have such a terrible reputation with the electorate is all the negative campaigning. Why do they do that….because it’s effective! So the trend will continue. Obviously they would be seen in better light if the filled their expenses claims in properly!

  32. Bill,

    Tory modernisation was incredibly superficial. They, unlike Labour, have done absolutely nothing to modernise the structure and organisation of the party. The Labour party are always changing the structure and fine tuning the organisation of their party.

    I would argue that the most significant acts this parliament was a restructuring that Miliband introduced in March 2012, centralising control…of course pundits and others totally ignore boring stuff like that, but it matters.

    The Executive Board is a good development from the disastrous NEC which left the party in lots of debt…

    The left seem much more into this stuff than the right at the moment.

  33. PR rescued the Tories in Scotland.

  34. “Sounds good on first reading but what on earth does it mean???”

    ———

    Well it claims we’re doing something stupid, and we should stop it.

  35. What is interesting about by-elections is the opportunity for SPIN that they give the rascally politicians ! And also of course how UKPR can look down its collective nose at them. So the more by-elections the better .

  36. @Alec

    Yes, the balance of responsibility for debt could be looked at, especially since lenders tend to have the info. and are not always shy of obfuscation, and they are often able just to create the debt with ease owing to the magic of fractional reserve thing.

    And what a gig Carney’s got, eh? Setting interest rates hasn’t exactly been taxing: just keep ’em the same for years. Oh, but he has to set conditions for putting up rates… these turn out not to work, but no matter, just come up with some more that don’t work. Giving conflicting advice? Not a problem for Carney, who still gets paid.

    Imagine if nurses performed with the same latitude towards their work

  37. You know how a week or two ago some here were talking about a Ukip collapse as if it were inevitable, permanent and the new order of things?

    Does that mean we have a Ukip surge, what with them recording between 20-40% more votes than the low point?

  38. Peter Crawford,

    That’s encouraging for the Conservatives (they haven’t had the full benefits of modernisation yet) though it’s not clear how far organisational changes can help the Tories.

    My hypothesis is that both parties suffer from a deficit of a coherent systematic worldview to use in appealing to new activists and structuring consistent manifestos. Labour need a culture of deference in the economic sphere if they’re going to be a social democratic party, but it’s hard to do that if you’re also pursuing a culture of licence in the rest of the social sphere. The Tories, similarly, have had to say that it’s none of David Cameron’s business whether my employer and I decide on a zero-hour contract, but that it IS David Cameron’s business if a drug-dealer and I decide on a contract to get marijuana.

    My suspicion is that the Tories will shift towards becoming more economically interventionist and Labour more socially authoritarian (though not necessarily socially conservative- social conservativism is only one way of intervening in the social sphere) but I’m a bit of an instinctive pessimist.

  39. I totally agree with Anthony’s post about the media- every word!

    Probably the right wing press is slightly less influential than it was but it can still set news agendas so I don’t totally dismiss Pressman’s claims that his lot can turn an election.

    Of course there are lots of alternative websites out there (UK Uncut, Indymedia, Hacked off etc) and the potential to be picked up by social media but mostly they are either preaching to the converted or only setting an agenda on a limited issue. Even if you have teachers passing around Gove cartoons on Facebook it’s a limited audience and given your group of friends unlikely to enter the mainstream.

    I think where Pressman goes wrong is to ignore the “united left” argument and the low ceiling for a Lab majority and high ceiling for a Con majority in an era where people do not have a high opinion of politicians (also partly created by the press).

    I’m not convinced that whatever the right wing press do they can eat into a Lab 35% score at a very minimum or stop some form of Labour government. The vast majority of the 35% ARE left wing or have always voted Labour. No amount of propaganda will change their views.

    I also think that Pressman is overstating the right wing press’s ability to put the UKIP genie back into the bottle at the last minute. When you spend 4 years preaching a UKIP agenda it becomes difficult to reverse that as it is hard coded into their readership. The anti Kinnock campaign was waged over a number of years.

    My memories of public perception of Kinnock are a bit sketchy even if I ever understood them in the first place but I remember a lot of uncomplimentary comments floating around at the time a “Welsh Windbag” (sorry Ann In Wales!) and a comment at a footie game where the ref had been getting the usual abuse and managing to smile away the comments until someone shouted out “don’t smile ref- you look like Kinnock!”. But the point about the Kinnock image was that the press had built this up over a number of years.

    This is why the argument of whether the Sun changed things in the last few weeks of the election is irrelevant. They built up that perception over a long period of time.. This time they don’t seem to have done that- the best they seem to have achieved is that Miliband is not prime ministerial. Added to not building up a positive image of Cameron I don’t think they have the groundwork in place for a last minute assault.

  40. @Carfrew – “Yes, the balance of responsibility for debt could be looked at, especially since lenders tend to have the info…..”

    I’ve been reading Rob Peston’s book on the crash, and it’s fascinating. I recently tried to raise a modest sum (around £1m) for a community energy investment by going to the banks. For a community body with no chargeable assets to act as security, it was a bit of a nightmare, and the due diligence costs charged by the banks so they could work out if they wanted to lend to us were excessive.

    In Peston’s book, he worked out that to conduct proper due diligence on the mortgage bundles and derived products traded before the crash would have taken an individual analyst more than a couple of centuries of reading per CDS traded, if they really wanted to actually assess the borrowers ability to repay and the risk involved with each component part of the asset.

    Obviously due diligence wasn’t carried out – they simply took the rating agencies word on the worthiness of the investment, but it was clear that the ratings agencies can’t have carried out due diligence either.

    My beef with the system is that banks that fail to check the quality of the products they are buying cannot claim moral responsibility when these go bad, and so should accept losses themselves rather than lump all the costs onto the bankrupt borrower.

  41. Just in case there is any more confusion, having performed a translation for myself, thought I’d share it…

    “My hypothesis is that both parties suffer from a deficit of a coherent systematic worldview”

    Translation: both parties are in a muddle…

    ———

    “Labour need a culture of deference in the economic sphere if they’re going to be a social democratic party, but it’s hard to do that if you’re also pursuing a culture of licence in the rest of the social sphere. ”

    TRANSLATION: Labour need to do what the suits say, but this conflicts with letting everyone else do what they want.

    ——-

    “My suspicion is that the Tories will shift towards becoming more economically interventionist and Labour more socially authoritarian (though not necessarily socially conservative- social conservativism is only one way of intervening in the social sphere) but I’m a bit of an instinctive pessimist. ”

    TRANSLATION: Tories will mess more with the economy, Labour with the people, though maybe not.

  42. “Even if you have teachers passing around Gove cartoons on Facebook it’s a limited audience and given your group of friends unlikely to enter the mainstream.”

    ——-

    Teachers have other vectors though. They meet the parents regularly…

  43. Bill Patrick,

    forgive me, but the conservative party has about 5% of the membership it had in the 1960s. It’s ability to fight ground campaigns is severely restricted. In whole areas of England and Wales, let alone in Scotland, it has no footprint whatsoever.

    The association basis of the party’s organisation established really in the 19th century is not adequate for 21st century elections….Individual tory associations are losing thousands every year paying for election agents who don’t raise enough money to cover their salaries…

    this is stuff that the public doesn’t see. I have worked in and around politics for 20 years, so I have seen this stuff at close hand.

    A 21st century party needs to be organised differently; slightly more centralised- i mean at regional level not constituency level- much more use of social media and the internet. It also needs a broader funding base.

    This is all very boring indeed; not glamorous, but it’s quite important. The truth is that post-1945, the tories were successful at reinventing a party to appeal to and function in the milieu of the society they faced: young conservatives was set up, social events- tea parties, raffles etc. The sadness is that the party still has those structures and hasn’t thought of anything new.

    sorry for the rant, but nobody seems to pay this sort of anything any attention whatsoever.

  44. @ Shevii

    I think the underlying problems with Kinnock in 1992 related to a lengthy association with the Left of the Labour Party and the belief that he represented real but uncertain change after 13 years of Conservative government.The always timid, cautious element that decides British General Elections in the end felt that it was worth settling for the change they’d got-Major- rather than risk Kinnock whose rally finally convinced enough of them he was too big a risk.

    In 2015 the election will be decided by whether a similar portion of the electorate fear unrestrained Conservative government more than inexperienced Labour leadership.My guess remains that they do, albeit with a distinct lack of enthusiasm for either.

  45. @ Wolf

    “Two terrible stories for Labour – the Sharon Shoesmith compensation amount and the story about the Romanian with 15 kids getting 55 000 a year in Housing Benefit”

    I think Anthony has made the point time and time again that these stories have no effect on voting other than as a cumulative mood music thing.

    What we have been debating fits into the press story. Romanian benefit claimants would be one of a million stories in the Mail and already in their readership’s mood music. I hadn’t read that story so it can’t be high up any news agenda and even if I had I’d already have a fixed view.

    The Shoesmith one, even if were top of the news agenda which it isn’t, doesn’t damage Labour. Rightly or wrongly, the mood music of this is not concerned with whether Labour were responsible for ignoring employment law and then paying out vast sums, it will be “outrage” at employment law itself and having to pay out vast sums for sacking someone for something that happened under their watch. Personally I’d be inclined to hold her responsible but having not followed closely enough the judgment I can’t really comment on whether she led a tight ship and something slipped through the net or whether she was primarily the person at fault.

    Equally I could pick a load of stuff off the Guardian website which would be damaging to the Tories- they are making a big play at the moment on Russian links with the Tories and cash for Tennis and had a story about a Tory MP in a domestic abuse incident. Unless these hit the BBC and ITV news as a top news story then they have no impact on voting.

  46. @ Carfew

    I doubt teachers would be having a go at Gove in front of any parent unless they were very sure of the parent’s political views. Teaching guidelines these days tend towards keeping your social media private and restricted to just friends for those very reasons.

    Best you could expect would be some comment about why a parent can’t have something for their child because of the government.

    I remember being in the polling station this year and someone asking the people in charge why there were no police there when we normally have them and they said “the cuts” which I thought was a bit close to the line even if they had already voted!

  47. Peter Crawford
    Could be that both the coalition parties are going into the election with not many troops in place for the Ground war, the Tories seem to be going for a presidential presentation of Cammo, aided by PM and his mates. Salience in the MSM will provide the key to Victory….we shall see.
    The LDs will suffer grievously from lack of activists. And there sure as heck won’t be any Clegg mania this time around.

  48. I think the Presidential style of campaigning will fall flat on its face. In my limited experience people prefer to vote for Joe Bloggs who lives in town than for Faceless McSpad from miles away as an indirect vote for a party leader they like.

    Of course this means Labour and the other parties getting local and experienced candidates in place. They certainly have more candidates than anyone else but I can’t attest to quality.

  49. mr beeswax

    “You know how a week or two ago some here were talking about a Ukip collapse as if it were inevitable, permanent and the new order of things?

    Does that mean we have a Ukip surge, what with them recording between 20-40% more votes than the low point?”

    ………………………………………………………………………………….

    You are a UKIP supporter and I claim my five guineas.

    The answer to both questions is “yes” by the way.

  50. interesting to notice also that labour have selected a very high number of former MPs who were defeated in 2010 to recontest the same seats in 2015. I can’t remember the exact number, but it’s quite high and significant.

1 3 4 5 6 7