Lord Ashcroft has today published a new poll of Uxbridge & South Ruislip, a generally unspectacular and unnotable safe Conservative seat in West London. It shows voting intentions of CON 42%(-6), LAB 28%(+5), LDEM 6%(-14), UKIP 19%(+16), what would be an unsurprising Conservative hold.

The reason for the poll is – of course – the speculation that Boris Johnson might or might not apply for the Conservative nomination following John Randall’s decision to step down at the next election. Lord Ashcroft also asked how people would vote if Boris Johnson was the Conservative candidate, which unsurprisingly showed a popular and well-known candidate would give the party a boost.

The poll also included a question on what Uxbridge voters thought about Boris being MP at the same time as being mayor. The result was split right down the middle – 50% thought it was fine for Boris to do both for a year, 50% thought they weren’t compatible and Boris should wait until 2016 or resign as mayor if he wanted to be an MP. Amongst Conservative supporters in Uxbridge they were more accomodating – 63% thought Boris could do both for a year.

90 Responses to “Ashcroft poll of Uxbridge & South Ruislip”

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  1. That looks as though UKIP took more from the LDs than the Tories. Is that the “sod the lot of you” vote or the headline figures masking more complicated movements?

  2. Will be interesting to see if Boris gets any sort of real scrutiny now. He has almost entirely avoided it as mayor. Being close friends with the owner of the only London paper has helped him. His bumbling persona has given him a free ride with national media.

    His policies and pronouncements will not go go down with many, such as more immigration, and his continual defence of the City, bankers and the very rich will raise eyebrows even amongst many on the right.

  3. @Mr N
    That is puzzling, though clearly a lot of LDs nationally voted for them in protest, and UKIP now attracts the protest vote.

    I think I’m right in saying that Ashcroft weights on recalled vote. Could this be an artifact of the methodology?

  4. To go back to the subject of the last thread, ElectionForecast.co.uk have updated their prediction already. Con 290, Lab 304, LD 25. It looks as if this iis going to be a regular feature.

    Still can’t find much info on their methodology. They seem to be drip-feeding it on Twitter, and changing it regularly. This seems poor form to me, but I am terrifically old fashioned. They say they’re basing their “swing model” on data going back to 1918, which makes me seem quite modern. How they do that I can’t guess.

  5. I can’t see why anyone has a problem with someone being an MP and Mayor, especially when its only for 1 year.

    Ken Livingstone did it for 1 year and all was fine.
    Boris will do it for 1 year and all will be fine.

    But to be honest, if either of them wanted to do both for 4 years I wouldn’t mind. Lots of people have more than one job.

  6. I think being a london MP and being Mayor actually would enhance the mayor’s role…it can’t be a bad thing for the mayor of london actually to have a seat in the national assembly and raise london related questions in the house of commons itself…i don’t see how that’s a bad idea.

  7. agreed. i don’t see how it can be a bad idea for the mayor of london to have a seat in the house of commons….surely that enhances the mayor’s position if he can raise issues in parliament, especially if he represents a london constituency…there is also no question of him drawing both salaries.

  8. @MITM
    Boris does of course already have another job – columnist for the Telegraph for which he receives ‘chickenfeed’ of £250K pa.

    In no other circumstances than politicians could I envisage a public servant being paid simultaneously (and quite lavishly) from public funds for two full time jobs.

  9. “From public funds” is a somewhat limiting qualifier there.

  10. The results of the question And if Boris Johnson were the Conservative candidate to be the MP in your constituency at the next election, how would you vote? are:

    Con 52% (42) [48]

    Lab 23% (28) [23]

    L/D 6% (5) [20]

    UKIP 17% (20) [3]

    Green 2% (4) [1]

    BNP * (1) [5 – comb BNP/ED/NF]

    Other 1% (1)


    DK (15) [Turnout 63%]
    } 18% {
    Ref (5)

    WNV 10% (10)

    Brackets normal VI; [] 2010 result. Using figures without final ‘shy’ adjustment.

    It’s a bigger jump than we have seen for Boris as Conservative leader, but then Outer London Tory is Boris heartland and Uxbridge are being offered the man himself. If he doesn’t give a boost in these circumstances, when will he? But it’s still barely enough to produce a Conservative majority and that UKIP vote is surprisingly resistant.

    Interestingly the increase was 15 points among women but only 5 points for men. Younger voters also seem more impressed than most. This suggest that Boris might attract more uncommitted voters, but by definition such voters may be difficult to keep. And again we see current Conservative voters who will not vote for Boris. Not enough to outweigh the gains and mostly to DK/WNV but such distaste may be solider than the passing attraction of celebrity.

  11. @Guy

    Isn’t technically every Minister getting paid from the public purse twice? Both for their work as an MP and as a Minister, but for some reason no one seems to bat an eyelid.

  12. MITM
    I bat an eyelid. In the Netherlands, they have PR, so when the cabinet is formed, the members cease to be MPs and whoever was one lower on their party’s list steps up and becomes an MP. Since MPs do not represent geographical areas, it does not affect anything.

    Thereafter, the Cabinet members (includes lower levels in their case) are subject to scrutiny from a full house of MPs. I am not saying it’s better, but it does address the two jobs point.

    The notion that a Dutch MP could be, say, at the same time Mayor of Utrecht, well anywhere, would be considered ludicrous there. It should be said that Dutch mayors have real power in their cities and areas and it really is a full time job and a half. They are also responsible for public order and can ban demos, football matches and so on.

  13. Opinium/Observer:

    Lab 32 (-3)
    Con 28 (-4)
    UKIP 21 (+6)
    LD 10 (+3)
    Oth 9 (-2)

    Bwuh? Is this Simmonds’ doing?

  14. It could of course be a reaction to the possibility of intervention in Iraq. Incidentally on EC that poll gives a Labour majority of 36. Ah, FPTP.

  15. @Coupar – yours of a couple of days back late morning

    I don’t like being pessimistic about the referendum result, but my feeling, for what it’s worth, is that the peak this time round was reached back in June/July. The question of currency has damaged the Yes campaign.

    On the other hand, if under the present glorious regime we still manage to lose our last remaining civil ship builders, can the alternative be any worse? At least a Scottish government would want to place all its military and civil orders with Scottish shipbuilders…

    Positively, of course, the Yes campaign has brought people together in a way not seen even during the poll tax rebellion. The Yes campaign will have to analyse all that has happened, and the result as well of course, but it will come back stronger next time, of that I’ve no doubt. We’ve seen how much the Nay sayers are prepared to throw at us – the people of Scotland – “We love you if you stay, but will really do all we can to bury you if you go” – and we’ve all been taught a lesson. But that’s good – as long as you learn from experience and don’t let it defeat you.

  16. “At least a Scottish government would want to place all its military and civil orders with Scottish shipbuilders…”

    Which we are assured by Yes the UK would never do after independence. Sauce for the goose, and all that.

  17. @Mr Nameless

    I think we are in peak silly season.

    Perhaps it’s best to ignore the polls until the conference season, then get ready for the big push then.

  18. Writing a column for the Telegraph is not a job. its not as if Boris will do any research before writing. The money might be worth it if it added to the circulation but I doubt it does.
    The Telegraph are no doubt hoping Johnston will write something indiscreet and give its reporters something to stir with.

  19. @Alec

    Indeed – but my point was, I think, that under the present set up things look no better in practice than the No campaign tells us will be the case should Yes win. At least if Yes win then Scots will have a fullish say in what happens in Scotland.

    And back to the currency issue: if the Scots were to have their/our own currency, then it might well be a bit more competitive than sterling is at present!

  20. @MITM
    “I can’t see why anyone has a problem with someone being an MP and Mayor, especially when its only for 1 year.”

    Nor can I. But I can see why people have a problem if someone makes a very high profile and apparently categorical commitment not to do something if elected, only for that person to break that commitment once elected.

  21. Phil Haines,

    But we’re talking about Boris Johnson, not the Liberal Democrats!

  22. I am sure there will be many posts complaining about the lack of time, moral integrity, targeted commitment, goal driven achievement, ect ect, on Johnson’s part if he runs as an MP. Of course, most of the complainants would have found no fault had Kenneth, or Ona what’s-er-name done the same thing.


    ‘…that UKIP vote is surprisingly resistant’… only if you didn’t expect it.

    At the end of the day we are in new territory here in a number of departments. LD collapse, EM unpopular but still winning and Ukip addressing the stated main concern of the British public.

    A month ago there was confident talk of a Ukip ‘collapse’. Opinium is one poll but, 21% is remarkable for a collapsing party.

    Much of the talk here is of how much the Ukip vote will fall and where it will go.

    There is a counter analysis, that Ukip are growing and growing fast. Many statistical analyses extrapolate a trend rather than assuming reversion to base.

  24. @Mr Beeswax

    There is a counter analysis, that Ukip are growing and growing fast. Many statistical analyses extrapolate a trend rather than assuming reversion to base.

    I think generally reversion base is over emphasised too.

    I know that the various models predicting 2015 use this heavily, including UKPR’s own Robin Hood (can we claim him yet?).

    My own hunch is that the link and ‘pull’ between Labour, the Conservatives and their own traditional supporters has grown sufficiently weak to not drag them all back into the fold come election day.

  25. Opinium/Observer:
    Lab 32 (-3)
    Con 28 (-4)
    UKIP 21 (+6)
    LD 10 (+3)
    Oth 9 (-2)

    When on earth are these UKIP voters going to behave themselves and return dutifully to Mummy and Daddy?

    They really are the most appalling people.


  26. @ Crossbat

    The Observer poll looks as silly as the Premier League table with Villa 2nd- Champions League you’re having a laugh :-)

  27. Panelbase Scottish Independence:

    Yes 44%
    No 43%

    Haven’t looked at the tabs, but the story in the Hootsmon says “And among women aged 35-54, Yes leads No by 45 per cent to 41 per cent.” So, if there are any unusual aspects to this, I suspect that the female polling may be it.

  28. MissGlenghis

    I don’t know how accurate the poll is but one imagines the Australian PM’s comments won’t do the yes vote any harm!

    Don’t encourage him (or anyone else) or we’ll have footy pollution here again.

  29. Miss Glenghis – that’s from last year. There is a new Panelbase poll out tonight by the Yes campaign – embargoed until midnight.

  30. Arse top and 3 points clear of Man U with just 37 games left.

    That’s one team out of the race.

  31. Two things. The panelbase poll is just silly and yes Boris is probably worth £250k+ to the telegraph.

  32. R and D
    Aargh! (and I like football).

  33. Hang on – the story in the Scotsman is the last poll; you know, the dodgy one with the strange order of questioning. Someone has been tweeting it around the Tweeter as a new poll.

    Here’s the URL for checking (hope this doesn’t get moderated)


  34. And I forgot to add tag the toon are so far unbeaten for the whole season.

  35. Where did tag come from? I really hate auto correct.

  36. @Anthony. Yes, I’ve just realised! People have been passing this off as the new poll from Panelbase, and as well, someone has been retweeting old tweets from PB about Panelbase polls. So I was fooled! *Hangs head*

  37. I get the impression that Opinium got a few friends in and after a very convivial evening (drink was taken) they were asked how they would vote. They may well have also asked about life on mars and the value of homeopathy and mixed up the results.

  38. The Grauniad are saying that the boost is due to Farage announcing he will stand. About par for Guardian poll analysis.

  39. On Boris’s 2+ jobs: this could become a problem, because the interests of Uxbridge are not the same as the interests of London as a whole, and Boris can’t claim he has a Chinese Wall in his one flaxen head. The issue of a 3rd Runway is a case in point.

    The fact that Ken Livingstone did it doesn’t make it right. If he courts the IRA or makes anti-semitic remarks like Ken will that be just dandy too.

  40. @Jim Jam – fpt “ED is clearly (polls show) more popular among 2010 LDs – Lab and has by all accounts (no polls of course) being able to keep the PLP and more clearly the wider party united.”

    I haven’t seen that polling so apologies if I’ve got it wrong (perhaps someone can enlighten me). From the polling I have seen over the years one might be able to infer that the margin by which 2010 LD>Lab switchers prefer David to Ed is slightly smaller than the margin among 2010 LDs, Lab 2010, Lab 2014 etc., however, it’s quite difficult to infer even that.

    Looking at the 19th June Prospect/YouGov (they ask best PM: Cameron, EdM/DM, Clegg)… i don’t think you can reach any firm conclusions (except that perceptions of the Labour leader/expectations of an Ed premiership are generally poor).

    Is an increased enthusiasm for Ed among Lab 2014 compared to 2010 down to the influx of red-dems or a decrease in DKs? The differences with LD in 2014 are down to Clegg diehards and fewer DKs. The greater enthusiasm for David could be among LD switchers whom Labour have lost in the last year or so, the small but steady numbers of Lab>Con switchers… he also looks the better bet for a Ukip>Lab swingback.

    Fwiw the regional x-breaks for best PM Ed/David Miliband:
    London 27/36, RoSouth 15/29, Midlands 23/33, North 29/39, Scotland 32/45
    It matters little, it’s hypothetical.

    More importantly, we’re told that public perceptions of Ed will improve/the public will warm to him… we’ve been told this for four years now and his ratings have improved not one jot. Ed may go on to be the best PM since Attlee but theres’s no point denying that his ratings are dire compared to any successful candidate (and I’m including Thatcher there).

    We’re also told his standing will improve once he becomes PM… but what if it doesn’t (given that there’s an expectation he’ll be a failure in government)? By all accounts the PLP appear muted to the point of being comatose… perhaps some creative tension might not have been a bad thing. After all Tony Benn used to say that concessions to the left from a rightwing leader preserved a better balance than the other way round.

  41. MissGlenghis

    Among the many annoyances of Twitter, people retweeting old stories is one of the worst!

    However, there’s an ICM poll in Scotland on Sunday and a Panelbase one in the Sunday Herald tomorrow.

  42. Ed M’s ratings will improve in the GE2015 Campaign itself when the vast majority of voters finally start paying attention, see him beat Cameron in the TV debates (assuming Cameron is unable to wriggle out of them) and after he becomes PM, his standing will improve for the simple reason that those people who lazily tell pollsters “they can’t imagine him as PM” won’t have to “imagine” it – he will really be PM! ( just like previous Opposition leaders such as Heath and Thatcher who nobody could “imagine” being PM until they actually became PM and in the case of the latter there came a time when people couldn’t imagine anyone else as PM!)

  43. Anthony

    Embargo over! Sunday Herald have published their report of the Panelbase poll.


    Yes 48% No 52%

  44. Jeez! Now I fell for it! Bloody Twitter! June poll Sigh.

  45. The Herald article is from 2 months ago.

  46. Come on people, read the dates on things before you post em!

  47. @OldNat

    It’s only a matter of time until a newspaper prints a story about a poll based on a Tweet someone makes of a poll from a year ago from their own newspaper…

  48. TheSheep


  49. In more latest news Britain has retaken the Falklands.


  50. @Oldnat – nothing personal, but, taken together, your last three posts are extremely funny.

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