Lord Ashcroft has published his poll of Clacton. Topline voting intention figures with changes from the general election are CON 24%(-29), LAB 16%(-9), LDEM 2%(-11), UKIP 56%(+56), full results are here. The lead is actually a little smaller than Survation’s (perhaps because the fieldwork was a little later, away from the immediate burst of Carswell publicity) but the ultimate story is the same, a huge great UKIP lead suggesting an easy win for Douglas Carwell.


506 Responses to “Lord Ashcroft poll of Clacton”

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  1. ‘Lord Ashcroft-Poll of Clacton’

    Thought we had a new double barreled peer for a moment there.

  2. Clacton has only one pier.

  3. 10% Con-Lab swing so based on this Lab home and dry at the GE.
    Maybe not.

    Although any win is a win a bigger majority for the UKIP than the cons got last time would be a good result imo.

  4. Who said the Scots have no sense of humour?

  5. @Oldnat – I think we ought to talk about a cross border comedy duo business.

    Just got to sort out which currency we charge in.

  6. Ashcroft’s tables are worth a look.

    Leaving aside the wholesale defection of 2010 Conservatives to UKIP, they also reveal huge UKIP inroads into even the 2010 Labour core vote (45% of 2010 Lab still voting), the extent of which is disguised by 2010 LDs switching to Labour (25%). Some of this loss is a by-election protest but even so, at the 2015 general election 24% of the Labour core vote would still be lost to UKIP.

    This ought to be regarded as a more reliable poll than Survation’s effort, if only because people will now have had a chance to draw breath and reach a considered view in the wake of Carswell’s defection.

  7. Potential ‘Event’ Warning

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/11070173/Emergency-measures-to-prevent-blackouts-this-winter-as-power-crunch-worsens.html

    This is one of those issues that I’ve flagged up for the last three years or so that has the potential to destroy the government.

    As with so many of these things, it is dependent on a more or less random set of circumstances combining to produce a catastrophic result, but at present, the first part of the picture is now in place. With historically low grid supply margins already, several completely unconnected events at individual power plants have meant that there is now the real potential for an under supply situation.

    Obviously National Grid aren’t daft, so they are taking steps to increase available capacity, but one or two more major plant failures and we could be back in the red zone again. If that were to happen, all it would take would be a reasonably cold snap lasting for a modest period, and we start to see business shut downs and at worst, unannounced power cuts.

  8. Well what Lord Ashcroft’s poll shows is that any hard working MP who is popular with his constituents and enjoys a sound majority can take a large part of his support with him should he choose to jump ship. Will this encourage further defections, who knows but it will certainly not discourage any who share Carswell’s disenchantment with Cameron’s leadership. It could also prove to be a fortuous career move if Cameron loses the GE.
    These are dangerous times indeed for the Conservative party

  9. AW
    Carswell instead of Carwell at end.

  10. Some of this loss is a by-election protest but even so, at the 2015 general election 24% of the Labour core vote would still be lost to UKIP.

    As missed by the majority of polls and pollsters.

    For 15+ months now, UKIP have been gaining more from LAB than from CON.

    Not that I am making a direct comparison, but Hitler famously took votes from both “traditional” working class voters as well as the top of society.

    It is something to do with self-interest on the one hand and ignorance/poor education on the other. (I’ll leave you to decide which is which).

  11. Phil Haines
    Thanks for confirming the ‘churn’ that I wondered about in the Survation poll.

    I suspect we may see different in the general polls than that which Clacton reveals.

  12. It looks as though Carswell’s resignation has triggered the Perfect Storm. For both main parties at Westminster.

  13. So, do two polls make a trend?

    At least we do not need to worry about sample size or selection, margins of error or crossbreaks, the message is very clear. Unless something changes dramatically the people of Clacton look set to return the country’s first UKIP MP in just over five weeks.

    Should we expect a post Clacton UKIP bounce comparable to the Euro elections? Probably.

    If the picture looks the same will this derail, or at least re-route the Conservative Party conference? Probably

    Will this poll scare the pants off a couple of dozen Tory MPs? Almost certainly.

  14. D in F

    I see your point but I still think Miliband will be pouring something celebratory tonight.

  15. I still think the dynamic of late crossovers in the HoC is the big issue here. Someone said on a previous thread that resignations after December wouldn’t trigger by elections, but they wouldn’t have to be resignations.

    If Carswell wins, other Tory MPs could simply cross the floor, arguing that they don’t need to resign as they will be facing their electors anyway. Without having an opportunity to defeat them at a by election, Cameron can’t use the argument that a UKIP vote is a wasted vote – Carswell would have proven that.

    So a UKIP win in Clacton could inspire more defections without by elections, meaning a storming great UKIP bandwagon right up to the GE. Just what Farage wants, and probably terminal for the Tory parties chances.

  16. Apparently the Tories are thinking of holding an open primary.

  17. “Who said the Scots have no sense of humour?”

    Let’s test that shall we?

    “Obviously National Grid aren’t daft, so they are taking steps to increase available capacity, but one or two more major plant failures and we could be back in the red zone again. If that were to happen, all it would take would be a reasonably cold snap lasting for a modest period, and we start to see business shut downs and at worst, unannounced power cuts”

    I hope that in that eventuality, Clacton accepts a geographic share of the burden for the problems bad weather causes, as I would expect everyone in the country to.

  18. @Phil Haines

    That data should be really sobering to both Labour and the Conservatives.

    No doubt a thousand and one iterations of ‘mid-term blues’ and ‘protest vote’ will be getting prepared as we speak.

    That won’t hide the fact something fundamental is shifting.

  19. To defect a Tory needs to be

    1) in a good UKIP area
    2) Personal following
    3) Actally want to diich the Tories and in all probability any chance to be in office

    How may do we think there are? It’s hard not to think they will get a few seats if they keep this up.

  20. As they will sing in Downing St come what may on 9th October – Happy birthday dear David, happy birthday to you…

    The main UK political parties must hope they’re not going to be reeling under a previous Tsunami from the Scots when this more predictable and predicted earthquake strikes…UKIP of course now have the difficult task of managing expectations…

  21. I wonder which party spokes-people are being lined up to explain that this is what happens mid-term, and they are listening careful to what the electorate have said.

  22. I am not the greatest of poll analysts,but isn’t the high Labour to UKIP in Clacton down to Labour voters knowing, this will be a massive kick in the Tory nuts! ABT type voting.

  23. CMJ
    Such a computer-generated response would not suffice of course.

    One ponders, at such times, what sort of response would be effective. If I were an adviser to the Conservative party, I would recommend ‘wait and see’.

  24. Well Howard, obviously it won’t suffice, but the problem for the Conservatives is that they can’t NOT say that. The question is what else they might do.

    “If I were an adviser to the Conservative party, I would recommend ‘wait and see’.”

    Hoping for UKIP to manufacture their own downfall is a very risky strategy. They’re quite likely to at some stage, but if it doesn’t happen in the next eight months the damage they inflict on the Tories could prove impossible to fully repair.

  25. @Shaun
    “I am not the greatest of poll analysts,but isn’t the high Labour to UKIP in Clacton down to Labour voters knowing, this will be a massive kick in the Tory nuts! ABT type voting.

    Quite probably. I would not try to draw any conclusion on GE behaviouur – it’s a by-election after all.. They are designed for kicking the govt’s nuts.

  26. @ David in France,

    For 15+ months now, UKIP have been gaining more from LAB than from CON.

    But starting from a baseline where Ukip consisted almost entirely of Con defectors, so Ukip is still comprised disproportionately of 2010 Conservative voters.

    I’ve argued for a long time that the declining Labour vote share indicates the party has a serious problem- a Labour Party in a healthy position would be hoovering up those 2010 Con and Lib Dem defectors itself, not seeing them siphoned off by Ukip along with 5% of its own core vote- but it’s still the case that the rise of Ukip hurts the Tories much more than Labour, as this by-election demonstrates. It’s not Labour that’s about to lose a seat*, and Ukip isn’t causing turmoil at the top of the Labour party in the same way it is for the Tories.

    * Clacton/Harwich is not a Lab/Tory marginal. It is a seat which Labour narrowly won in the 1997 landslide and clung on to for one election before it reverted back to type and returned a Tory just as it had in every election since 1954 (before which it was held by a National Liberal). Labour couldn’t even win it in 1945.

  27. Excellent poll for the UK Independence Party. Independence is growing north and south.

  28. @A W

    Can someone tell me where are the You Gov GE VI tables for today’s poll?

  29. The defection of a small group of Tory MPs (rather than Carswell tout seul) presents some intriguing posibilities.

    The party leader (Farage) seems to have pretty much unlimited powers to decide policy (“where new information or media interest requires the urgent formation or correction of Party policy”). It’s not inconceivable though that a parliamentary party (PUP?) might decide to improvise policy on occasion, or that a PUP spokesperson/leader might emerge.

    It looks like it’s Ukip’s NEC which currently has the sole power to trigger a leadership election (ratified by the membership at an EGM).

  30. @BILLY BOB stand by for tedious ‘joke’ from ROSIEANDDAISIE…

  31. Well Billy, perhaps more to the point, I suspect media scrutiny of Carswell’s voting record over the subsequent months will top anything that the likes of George Galloway, Naomi Long or Caroline Lucas would ever dream of.

    If he votes with the government on a lot of things there will be one narrative, if he votes in a way that Farage might not have done there will be another.

  32. FAREHAM GRECIAN
    @BILLY BOB stand by for tedious ‘joke’ from ROSIEANDDAISIE
    _______

    Aye it will be something along the lines like..

    “Ole Mildred just snorted in her cornflakes larf larf larf”

  33. What’s your view about the GE2015 result if UKIP win this by-election and win big?

    I was thinking somewhere along the lines of:

    Labour 29%
    Conservative 28%
    UKIP 15%
    Liberal Democrats 13%
    Green 10%
    Others 5%

    ‘Others’ I assume will split:

    SNP/PC 2%
    NI 2%
    Others 1%

    I have though no idea what this would mean in terms of seats. Any suggestions?

    Richard

  34. @OLD NAT & ROGER MEXICO

    Thank you for your responses and link to tables. You Gov seem to have had a few presentation problems of late.

  35. @ChrisHornet

    Safest course of action for Carswell would be to follow the example of Ukip MEPs?

  36. In response to Postageincluded, on the basis of a lack of response to my earlier post I can only assume that few Scots have a sense of humour. Either that or they took it at face value and completely agree with it.

    Billy: under the circumstances I can see him getting flak for that as well. The Conservatives simply cannot afford not to try to find a reason to say “this is why you shouldn’t vote UKIP” to their previous voters. Whether criticising Carswell’s voting record would work is another matter, but what is beyond doubt is that it’s an avenue they can’t afford to dismiss entirely.

  37. ChrisHornet

    Alec and I are the only two Scots with a sense of humour. At least 50% of us didn’t read your post, and now probably won’t.

  38. Carswell never paid much attention to the Conservative whip. I doubt he’ll pay much more to the Ukip whip, which a) theoretically does not exist and b) practically has no whips to enforce it.

    @ Richard Whelan,

    I don’t think this by-election is going to make much difference unless the Tories panic, but let’s assume for a moment that you’re right: Ukip candidates seem electable after Carswell’s triumph so people are willing to vote for them in the general election and there’s no swingback.

    Why would the Greens see their voteshare skyrocket? Why are the Lib Dems experiencing a five-point swingback when the other main parties are losing votes? Why are your predicted general election vote shares for the big two lower than they have ever been in this Parliament, even though your Ukip vote share is about comparable to where they were in May? I guess the extra voters have all gone to the Greens and back to the Lib Dems, but… why?

  39. Early days. People haven’t thought about it at all yet.

  40. The Greens will do well to reach 2% – never mind 10%!

  41. A further thought on Carswell and the Lib Dem -> Ukip flux:

    To the extent that it does anything, I think having Carswell as a prominent voice of Kippery will actually help them retain their Lib Dem switchers. Apart from a broad commitment to sticking two fingers up to the Establishment and a sort of petulant localism, Farage’s current brand of socially conservative, reactionary nativism is antithetical to everything Lib Dems stand for.

    But Carswell is a libertarian who doesn’t really care about immigrants but cares a great deal about political reform. I suspect there’s a strain of old school Liberal who will find that appealing, and his presence may encourage them to stick with the party.

  42. I wonder whether the unregistered in Clacton will be flocking to get on the electoral register to cast their votes in the by-election.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-29024311

  43. The lead is actually a little smaller than Survation’s (perhaps because the fieldwork was a little later, away from the immediate burst of Carswell publicity)

    It’s probably less to do with publicity than the fact that people have had more time to absorb the news. For example Survation had 22% of 2010 Conservatives saying they were undecided and it’s only 12% here, as they go back to their old Party.

    Another factor though will be that Ashcroft weighted for 2010 vote and Survation didn’t. I said Survation’s recalled vote looked rather odd and this is similar:

    Con 58% [61%] (53)

    Lab 17% [18%] (25)

    Lib Dem 9 [7%] (13)

    UKIP 12% [12%] (0)

    Other 5% [2%] (9)

    Survation’s figures in [], actuals in ().

    There was no UKIP candidate of course as Carswell got one of the half-dozen of so UKIP ‘coupons’. 64% [68%] claimed to have voted (actual 64%), which is a bit lower than I would have expected.

    Of course some people may have voted for a UKIP candidate elsewhere but given under 4% nationally, 12% is both very high and surprisingly consistent. Ashcroft weighted recalled UKIP and Others together which will have reduced UKIP’s figure a bit, so given all that, the polls seem to tell the same story. Including one of false memory.

  44. The Greens didn’t poll 10% more than once or twice if at all when they were doing their best during the European election campaign. They’re back down to about 3% now and I fully expect them to do worse in the GE when they don’t stand everywhere – better than last time but little better than 2%.

  45. @Alec

    A load of old tosh Someone runs that story every year.

  46. If I read the political betting site report on Ashcroft polling for Clacton right, there is some weird potential “churn” in Clacton next year.

    3% of Lab voters in the by election will vote UKIP next year and another 3% Green.

    7% of UKIP voters in the by election will vote tory next year, 4% will vote labour.

    3% of Tory voters in the by election will vote UKIP next year, 2% Lab, 2% LD and 1% Green.

    Now, maybe we are talking one or two people to get to any of those figures and you can argue some of those moves to be perfectly rational but at least a couple of those are totally irrational. For example why move from Labour or Conservative at the By Election to UKIP next year?

  47. I think a huge win for Carswell in Clacton, the sort predicted by these early polls, could send shock waves of extraordinary unpredictability through the British body politic. I’d predicted some defections from Tory to UKIP before the election, but I thought they’d be the typical walk across the Commons floor type without recourse to a by-election. Carswell has taken a huge gamble but if it proves to be a successful one then the Tories will receive a very public electoral humiliation and UKIP a gigantic shot in the arm. The implications of all that are potentially huge with likely further defections and the probable collapse of morale amongst party activists and MPs. The maintenance of internal party discipline will be difficult too, if not impossible, and all this only months ahead of a General Election. Permission to panic and all that.

    Farage’s bandwagon gathers pace as he aims arrow after arrow at the heart of his real enemy; the Tory Party of David Cameron, a politician he clearly loathes with a passion.

    There’s an irony for me in all this. When Cameron described UKIP as a party largely made up of fruit cakes and closet racists, I thought at the time that he right to say so. Little did either he or I know how that would play out thereafter and how it has galvanised Farage and his close cadre in their determination to supplant the Tories. It’s very personal now and I think Cameron’s biggest mistake was that was strong and outspoken when he thought UKIP were weak and inconsequential but has become ever more craven the greater the UKIP threat.

    Miliband quite often taunts Cameron with the accusation that he is strong at standing up to the weak, but weak at standing up to the strong, and I wonder if it’s a perception of him that might be starting to gel with the electorate.

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