As part of his speech today Nigel Farage showed off polling for various target seats. A couple of the polls were just the figures from previous Ashcroft polls that showed UKIP doing well, but three are Survation polls for UKIP that we haven’t seen before. They show UKIP well ahead in Boston & Skegness – on 46% to the Conservatives 26%, one point behind in Thanet North and on 37% to Labour’s 48% in Rotherham. Of course, polling conducted for political parties should be treated with a medium sized ocean of salt until you’ve see the tables with your own eyes (I’ll put up a link once Survation put the tabs up (UPDATE: here)), but the previous Survation polls for UKIP donor Alan Bown have used their standard methodology.

The polls got very brief attention as they were rapidly followed by Mark Reckless defecting to UKIP and precipitating a by-election in Rochester and Strood. Rochester and Strood probably won’t be the complete walk in the park for UKIP that polls have suggested in Clacton (Clacton’s demographics are absolutely perfect for UKIP and Carswell particularly well thought of). UKIP came top in Medway in the European elections, but that was hardly unusual and as an all-out unitary authority we have no recent local elections in Medway to judge from. The seat does not appear in Rob Ford and Matt Goodwin’s list of the most UKIP friendly Con seats. The unusual circumstances of a by-election though mean anything is possible – and from a national polling point of view, it keeps the UKIP bandwagon rolling, keeps them in the public eye, keeps the publicity coming, keeps them looking like a viable choice.


321 Responses to “Constituency polls and Rochester and Strood”

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  1. “It will be about defending Maggie’s legacy ….”

    Right. So Spineless will be campaigning for a terminally divided Tory party?

    If he can make his mind up.

    Must be difficult having to rely on opinion polls to tell you what to believe in.

  2. @Lefty
    “populists peddling half-truths and untruths”

    Those’re called politicians.

  3. Talking of six points it seems that the UKIP transport spokesman (a woman as it happens) has been let down by her web site people. She is supposed to have six points for transport policy, but when I looked at the site, there were only five listed.

  4. @ Old Nat

    I’m also happy to leave that comment to stand as a testament to the faith that party members can have in their leaders (and their advisers).
    ————–
    The public seem to like the policy & – so far as I’m aware – the opposition has failed to produce experts to rebut this policy.

    And if you enjoy making nippy comments at my expense, go ahead – I’m not going to get upset about it.

  5. @ Alec,

    I think you’ve identified the difference between a “consultation” and a “listening exercise”. Remember, they only promised to consult, not to listen!

    (Ukip should really hop on this bandwagon. There are going to be some very disgruntled homeowners in Sussex and Surrey.)

  6. Pressman: do you mean a “patriotic fightback” like the campaign for the Scottish referendum ?

  7. It’s a rare occasion that Alec has his claws out. Me-ow. After some time in the pub I have concluded that, should Cameron lose the next election, historians may see today as the date it because much more likely, if not inevitable.

  8. @ Rosie&Daisie

    Do try not to spoil one man’s hobby of putting down all and sundry.
    ————
    I’ve taken your advice, thank you. :-)

  9. @ Howard,

    Her sixth point was stolen by a Romanian immigrant.

  10. Re Phil Collins – I remember Noel Gallagher urging voters to vote Labour, saying “Phil Collins has said that, if the Tories win, he will stay in Britain. And, frankly, none of us want that.”
    There was a slight wobble in Labour’s poll lead, but it’s back pretty much to where it was again. Since today’s events are very bad news for the Tories, things are set to get worse for them before they get any better. And Clacton to come. Things are not looking too rosy in the Tory world.

  11. Amber

    Some people are believers in the utterances of the leadership of their party.

    The rest of us are content to be cynics about politicians.

  12. Are there women in UKIP, actually involved, not just making the tea etc. Really?! I thought it was like one of those old fashioned mens clubs

  13. Mr Nameless
    I see your point but experience tells us (and you are not *that* young IIRC) that these matters can change in a week. The pasty budget is often quoted, although I am not certain that this event was the definite and only cause. Also, the Cameron ‘veto’ changed opinion very quickly in the Conservatives’ favour. Anything anti EU would do it but the problem for the Conservatives is that Farage has bagged that one.

  14. And here’s a graph, which is a bit clearer: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BySZ9LPIEAEbyCZ.png

  15. @MRNAMELESS

    After some time in the pub I have concluded that, should Cameron lose the next election, historians may see today as the date …
    ——————

    I beg to differ.

    It was the Omnishambles budget wot did it ….

    They have never recovered since that point.

  16. @ Paul Bristol,

    Agreed. George Osborne lost the election back in 2012, which makes it all the more ironic that he is likely to be Cameron’s successor.

    @ Richard in Norway,

    They have Diane James, who is easily the most credible politician in the party.

  17. @Spearmint Thank you!

  18. Well, P of B is convinced – I bow to him of course.

  19. @spearmint

    The two YouGov polls were chosen because they fulfilled leftylampton’s criteria: Summer ’12 and “now”, also they fitted exactly the Con/Lab/Ukip scores he gave. Random in the sense that we’re talking individual x-breaks

    2010 vote shares are a good place to start (even if there has been a byelection in a constituency the convention is to show changes from one election to the next). Nobody actually voted Labour in those opinion polls.

    So what did the random x-breaks tell us? Ukip hurts Con/LD/Lab in that order, Green hurts LD/Lab/Con in that order etc.

    Whether the two Ed’s could maintain a fairly momentary commanding lead in the opinion polls when that lead was based on people who voted for Brown or Clegg is another matter
    Especially in the face of a goverment/broadcast/press immigration/EU narrative and in the face of an “increasingly Labour voters are turning to Ukip” refrain which started up well in advance of the phenomena itself and has continued unabated. Many of these “Labour voters” may be no more than notional anyway.

    The dream was that the narrative would drag the electorate to the right, and then Ukip would shrink to the Conservative’s benefit come the election. There’s many a slip between cup and lip, and still some way to go in the Con/Ukip saga no doubt.

    If we maybe agree that Cameron’s rebranding has been stalled and the Conservative agenda itself has been dragged rightwards, shouldn’t we begin to see some of the Lab to Con defectors at the 2010 GE coming back? Would appear at least as rich a seam as luring back the potential Lab to LD to Lab to Ukip/Green defectors.

  20. Spearmint

    The Survation tables for that LabourList poll seem rather odd.

    http://labourlist.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Tables-for-Ed-Miliband-Speech-Reactions-Poll.pdf

    No preamble. No actual question quoted?

  21. The way things are shaping up, Labour and the Conservatives are in a race into the bottom.

    The Government will not have an economy giving wages rises enough to cover what has been lost. They are having serious issues with UKIP. They are entering a long term, open-ended conflict in Iraq again.

    Labour have not offered a convincing plan that is an alternative to austerity, just a milder, ‘nicer’ austerity. Ed is struggling to get through to the public as a PM-in-waiting, and to demonstrate what a Labour Government would do.

    It is possible (likely in my view) both will struggle to improve their VI, and UKIP certainly has a good wind behind them.

  22. RAF,

    Yes. Other possible Blue Kip defectors include Mr. Turner and Mr. Joiner.

  23. (Those ARE made-up. Unlike “Reckless”, they’re not even plausibly real names, of course.)

  24. Ultimately the SDP had limited appeal to Conservatives because the fact that 28 of the defecting MPs were Labour (and only 1 Conservative) defined the political stance of the party in the public mind. It was then hard to persuade Conservatives that it was anything other than a party still to the left of centre.

    There’s a chance that history could now repeat itself in reverse. Claims by Labour that UKIP is “more Tory than the Tories” will have a certain added resonance now that we’ve seen a succession of Conservative MPs defect to UKIP. The defections of Carswell and Reckless make it harder for UKIP to appeal across the wider political spectrum to Labour supporters.

  25. @Alec

    NIMBY attitude from politicians is nothing new. What is new is the current polling situation, and if Scots have much sense, they will look to the parties that opposed these unwanted ‘consultations’.

    How many of the fracking company owners live in areas of fracking anyway?

  26. @SPEARMINT

    George Osborne???!!! Are you suggesting that they would elect as leader a man who hasn’t got a cheekbone in his face?

    Bo Jo …surely?

    Is there any polling on the next leadership preferences?

  27. Catmanjeff,

    Agreed. Labour also face increasingly effective competition on the left from the Greens and nationalists (especially in Scotland) which could eat into their Red Dem gains.

  28. RIN: “You just convinced me to vote labour, I’d do anything to get rid of Jim Davidson.”

    But what if he emigrates to Norway?

  29. @OLDNAT

    This was the question (from the Survation website)

    “The Labour Party Leader, Ed Miliband has today announced goals for the Labour Party, if elected, to target over the next 10 years. For each proposal, please indicate whether you support or oppose the idea.”

    I confess I was a bit puzzled by what giving self-employed the same rights as employed might mean. You have unfairly dismissed yourself? You must pay yourself statutory redundancy pay? You must not discriminate against employing yourself on the grounds of race, colour, creed, sex or age?

  30. I doubt George Osborne will be Cameron’s likely successor.

  31. Theresa May – next Tory Leader!

  32. Guymonde

    Thanks for that context.

    I did note that Survation called it a “snap” poll, so presumably people hadn’t had a chance to actually think about the content – and be puzzled about what was actually meant.

    Anthony’s views on the reliability of such polls would be interesting.

  33. It’s probably going to be Theresa May, let’s be honest. I can’t see anyone else both winning a Tory leadership contest and having any public appeal.

  34. @ Billy Bob,

    I agree with 95% of that analysis, and you picked good sample polls- most of those crossbreaks happen to be “right” in the sense that they’re average for polls in that period. But you can’t ever count on that when you pull out an individual poll (and indeed a few of your crossbreaks are “wrong” in the sense that they’re atypical), so it’s a weak evidence base to build your argument upon. That was my only objection.

    shouldn’t we begin to see some of the Lab to Con defectors at the 2010 GE coming back?

    People don’t rate Miliband and I think there are always a few people who vote for the incumbent government because it’s incumbent and change is inherently disruptive and scary.

  35. Of the high-profile Tories, Theresa May is the obvious choice. “I was in charge of the Home Office for five years and didn’t have to resign/didn’t become very unpopular” is a major selling point. On the other hand, no Home Secretary has moved straight to the leadership for a long time, if ever. (Though that may because of how it’s such a poisoned chalice.)

  36. Muddy waters

    why do you think I’m in Norway?! I came here to escape Jim bloody Davidson! !!!

  37. My message to Pressman..

    Stay strong and rise above adversity.

    They chased my old pal Reg fae the BNP into the wilderness and called him a Caucasian penguin.

    Don’t let them get to you…ride the storm…rise above them Pressman..

    Finally ….

    If you live long enough, you’ll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you’ll be a better person. It’s how you handle adversity, not how it affects you. The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit.

  38. Daily Politics has done some research on Conservative councillors:

    30% support an electoral pact with UKIP at the General Election. 63% opposed.

    45% would vote to leave EU if referendum tomorrow. 39% would vote to stay in.

    31% believe David Cameron was right to pursue legalising gay marriage. 60% disagree.

    86% say immigration is too high.

    49% think climate change is happening but humans not mainly responsible.

    56% say spending cuts the government have announced so far have not gone far enough.

  39. Yes Theresa May would be a good choice, the tories like a good domaimatrix

  40. There has been nowhere near enough austerity to actually sort the problems out. I can see that it’s difficult in a 5-year parliament to be very drastic, but that was what was required.

  41. @Allan

    We love Pressman.

    It’s like watching Dave.

    The jokes are years old, but they are still quite funny, as long as you keep in mind the nostalgia.

  42. Theresa May has had a very difficult brief, and has delivered some really difficult reforms (as tough as Michael Goves) but without the falling out.

    She would be a tough cookie, and certainly isn’t one of the boys.

  43. @ Guymonde

    I confess I was a bit puzzled by what giving self-employed the same rights as employed might mean. You have unfairly dismissed yourself? You must pay yourself statutory redundancy pay? You must not discriminate against employing yourself on the grounds of race, colour, creed, sex or age?
    ————–
    Exactly. Some firms use self-employed contract workers to avoid having to comply with employment law.

  44. Guymonde

    “I confess I was a bit puzzled by what giving self-employed the same rights as employed might mean. You have unfairly dismissed yourself? You must pay yourself statutory redundancy pay? You must not discriminate against employing yourself on the grounds of race, colour, creed, sex or age?”

    I was self employed for many years, well i wasn’t really. It was common practice in the building trade to have everyone self employed, made hiring and firing easier, no sick pay, etc etc. I don’t know what it like now but that could be what labour is talking about

  45. Guy

    “Roy of the Rovers”

    Not real? Rubbish.

    You’ll be trying to tell us that Alf Tupper, Tuff of the Track and working class hero isn’t real next.

    By the way, I googled Alf a while back and all of his stories are published online: they are still great!

  46. CATMANJEFF
    @Allan
    We love Pressman.
    It’s like watching Dave.
    The jokes are years old, but they are still quite funny, as long as you keep in mind the nostalgia.
    ___________

    That’s all very well but I don’t want Pressman chased off because with him around it takes some of the heat off me.. ;-)

  47. @ALLAN CHRISTIE

    “They chased my old pal Reg fae the BNP into the wilderness and called him a Caucasian penguin.”
    ————-

    That’s the funniest thing I have read tonight.

    Fair play!

  48. Bill Patrick
    “On the other hand, no Home Secretary has moved straight to the leadership for a long time, if ever.”

    Jim Callaghan was the last to have been Home Sec before PM but he didn’t move straight from one to the other.

  49. @spearmint

    I accept what you’re saying. I wasn’t contradicting leftylampton, rather trying to add some nuance by way of reasonably representative anecdotal polls. :)

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