ComRes have a new poll of Rochester and Strood out tonight that shows UKIP with a solid lead. As far as I can recall it’s the first ComRes by-election poll this Parliament. Like all constituency polls it was done by telephone, and with a healthy sample size by constituency polling standards of 1500.

Topline figures are CON 30%, LAB 21%, LDEM 3%, UKIP 43%, GREEN 3%. The only previous Rochester & Strood poll was by Survation at the start of the month – that showed a nine point lead for UKIP. Obviously one has to be careful about direct comparisons between polls from different pollsters using different methodologies, so it would be wrong to draw too many conclusions about how opinion might have moved between the two polls (differences could be down to methods), but it certainly doesn’t show any obvious sign of the Conservatives eating into UKIP’s early lead.

705 Responses to “ComRes show UKIP 13 points ahead in Rochester”

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  1. @Colin

    There’s talk of creating a tech hub in the north too, to rival Tech City in London. Which some have dismissed as electioneering, and tricky to spead across all those cities, and who knows, maybe it is, but at least it’s on the radar for a change…

  2. P’man,

    “I’m sure even you would rather listen to me than this endless Scottish chat !”

    You’re certainly a great deal funnier!


    There is some interesting literature on the economic effects of urban hubs.

    Evan Davis did a very good tv programme on it-taking London ( or parts of London) and comparing it with regeneration efforts elsewhere.

    The central conclusion was that arbitrary , isolated “infrastructure” & “vanity” projects in areas with no natural economic/industrial cohesion soon become White Elephants & have no long term effect.

    But things like University groupings, & Tech Centres,in urban environments , together with effective transport systems draw companies & jobs to them like a magnet.

  4. @Colin

    Yes, I recall you mentioning it before, and I’ve had it in mind ever since. You need an agglomeration of things to make it work.

    I wonder if in the UK it’s harder, because everything is centred on London, giving it even greater clout, whereas in some other countries, capital city and government may be in one place, financial centre in another, etc.


    You are right. The rise of UKIP VI in England & the rise of Westminster SNP VI in Scotland ( allegedly !) are , currently, the two key factors in the outcome next May .

    Its just a pity that we have to wade through interminable stuff about OP weightings & parochial Scottish political minutae , instead of a simple demonstration of what is actually happening to Westminster votes north of the border.


    @”agglomeration ”

    Yes-that was the key word.

    It will be hard to counteract the London effect.
    But that linear agglomeration across the country must be favourite candidate-despite protestations from Brum.

  7. The polling world is in a state of fascinating flux and that certainly includes Scotlnad. The forces of nationalism, xenophobia and jingoism are on the rise, if not actually on the march.

    Can the supposed centre of social democrats hold out? Is the future SNP, UKIP and Le Pen?

  8. Evan Davis`s TV programmes comparing London with the rest of the UK were highly controversial, with many of his facts wrong.

    His metropolitan bias was well shown when he was still part of the Radio 4 Today team, and he did an interview with George Osborne about the Osborne proposal for a big spend on a cross-Pennine rail link, and the big northern cities grouping along it.

    The interview was in Manchester, and four times in the five minutes Evan put in a comment that the North`s traffic congestion was much less severe than London`s. “He had found negligible delays this morning and last night” – he didn`t say it was holiday time, or that he had ever driven from Manchester to Sheffield past Glossop and over the Snake.

  9. Colin,

    In the absense of an Scottish polls all we have to go on is the trend in cross breaks.

    You can’t rely on a single one but you can look for a pattern. I think I said it was like Quantum Physics; you can tell the position or the energy but not both.

    Prior to the referendum for most of this parliament Labour were averaging more than 10% ahead of the SNP for Westminster.

    Now the indications are that it could well be the other way round with the SNP amazingly up to 10% ahead. That is the kind of change that has people, including me, scratching their heads in disbelief.

    Someone earlier said not to bother about Scotland because like all others this election will be one in the marginals, but if the SNP who had the second largest Scottish vote in 2010 have overtaken Labour and the LibDem’s with about a dozen seats out of sixty really are close to 5% the UK just got 40 new marginals.

    The fact that they are all in Scotland rather than in a line from Bristol to Hull makes them no less important. They are important but we just don’t have the facts to pin down just how important.


  10. One of the things I have oft suggested is that the end result of ‘playing the race card’ so often as politicians or party-supporting media is exactly what we have got…a new batch of parties thriving on the trumps they have been dealt, and the dealer can’t take back the hands now. They have to be played, and the only way to stop the extremists winning is for all the other players to work together.

    in my opinion there is zero chance of the parties doing that, but we are seeing the people (voters) line up to vote against UKIP even if it means voting for the party they traditionally dislike.

    Interesting times, as Confuscius used to go on about.


    “TB sees, as he did in 1992, that the current Labour Party hasn’t connected with the likes of Worcester Woman”

    PRESSMAN am I glad to see you back, it was tough holding the floor for you.

    Now about Worcester Woman!! There is no point just touting for Worcester Woman, Cameron has to pitch for Mondeo man and Essex man and not to mention Morris-dancer couple.

    For Cameron to really make sure of a majority next year he may have to woo Cheddar man of the Mendips in the South West and possibly bring in the help of North Wales Taff man.

    PRESSMAN!! We are all with you and your crusade across this land to thwart Ed Lukashenko from becoming our next PM.

    Persevere is the name of the game.

  12. @ Colin

    Spot on. I am very interested in the situation in Scotland- a factor that up to 3 months ago didn’t seem that relevant to the outcome of the GE in 2015.

    Now it is, but the key question I’m interested in is the possible outcomes in individual seats.

    I honestly think we can take it as read that current polling looks very good for SNP and bad for Labour- even if we don’t have enough Westminster polls to go on crossbreaks can’t be wrong every single day for 2 months!. What’s not being discussed is will that translate to large SNP seat gains or is the ABT/incumbency going to distort those headline figures.

    I guess we have to wait for Ashcroft.

  13. Peter Cairns.

    You’ve just reminded me of my favourite joke.

    Werner Heisenberg is driving on the motorway when he gets pulled over by the traffic police.

    Policeman: “Do you know just how fast you were driving back there sir?”
    WH: “I haven’t got a clue but I know exactly where I was.”

  14. COLIN

    “Its just a pity that we have to wade through interminable stuff about OP weightings & parochial Scottish political minutae , instead of a simple demonstration of what is actually happening to Westminster votes north of the border”

    Come on Lamont standing down is exciting stuff!

    But you do have a point though..With VI being so tight in UK polls and with an apparent shift in politics in Scotland which could determine what way the UK GE goes you would had thought a Scottish Westminster poll would be in the pipeline.

    But the Tories have to take some heart though..With UKIP almost certain to take a second Tory seat and Cameron’s NHS plans in almost tatters, they are still polling almost neck & neck with Labour!

    It’s a perfect storm for the principle opposition party to ride on but they appear to be too inept to grasp the initiative.


    I’m not sure why you’re poking fun at Peter Cairn’s posts?

    A case of a inconvenient truth?

  16. @AC
    I believe Survation have said they will shortly release a Scottish monthly poll.

  17. I’m all for investment in the North of England but calling Liverpool and Hull part of the same ‘agglomeration’ or worse, ‘hub’ is risible.
    As someone postulated here, if we want to rebalance the economy we need to make radical shifts of economic and political drivers out of London, for example the HoC. Putting the below stairs activities of various departments in Newcastle or Telford doesn’t cut it. Moving much of the BBC to Salford was a good idea. Now how about Network Rail, the Department for Transport, and the now expanding (as it takes on expiring franchises) Directly Operated Railways to Derby where Bombardier make trains – that might result in them moving their management there and creating a multi-faceted rail hub.
    Oh, and rail services in the North could be improved a lot more quickly and economically than by HS3 which will cost a zillion and take a millennium (but not make good grandstanding)

  18. TOONIE

    Cheers and looking forward to it.

  19. AC

    As frequently happens, you’ve lost me.

    I reckon the trail goes like this.

    1) PC mentioned the uncertainty principle.
    2) I crack my favourite joke on the same topic.
    3) You wade in criticising me for making fun of PC

    I follow the logic train right up to the link between 2 and 3, where it goes cold.

    I worry that you’re spending too much time with posters who delight in their ability to stick in the intellectual knife, and you’re over-estimating my ability. So I’ll be clear. It was a joke a propos of nothing other than the fact that PC mentioned the uncertainty principle.

  20. I suppose the polls also have an uncertainty principle: we know VI now but we don’t know where it is heading. Or in the case of Scotland, we don’t know the VI but everyone seems to know where it is heading…

  21. COLIN

    Cornwall and west Devon do not get transport investment because of the small size of the economy but the economy of the area doesn’t prosper because of poor transport. “Chicken and Egg” question.

    The impact of better transport on the region would be huge and it would attract business from the crowded South East.

    However, you are right to say there are few votes and few Parliamentary seats so our London-centric Government is unlikely to do what is right.

    Regional independence will have to be the cry!

  22. Colin

    The third factor is the collapse in LibDem support, that too is unprecedented. The increase in UKIP voters is unlikely to be the same people in the same seats as the LibDem losses.

    Put together these three factions make individual constituencies hard to predict.


    Thanks for clearing things up.

  24. @TonyCornwall (11.23)

    “Regional independence will have to be the cry!”

    Not sure whether you mean independence per see or a federal system. If the later then I would certainly agree. DC’s comments following the Scottish referendum re an English parliament fill me with fear as it will only make England more London-centric.

  25. PETER



  26. To return to the subject of this thread.
    Just listened to the clip of the Conservative candidate being interviewed on radio, posted by Richard at 2.55 am .
    Crikey. Doesn’t say much about using primaries to select candidates.
    I think I’ll put a fiver on Ukip?

  27. TONY

    The Cornish people I know will not think a Region centred on Exeter or Bristol will make someone in West Penwith, or The Lizard feel any closer to the levers of power.

  28. @ROGERH
    Your post yesterday which suggests that Cameron will have to give way to the E U regarding the £1.7 billion and that his currant stand is bluster, was totally expected. But, for all those many posters who can only see failure and desperation in the PM, I would mention : This is not an ordinary time, where shout, holler and rave, can just give way in a couple of weeks to a quiet acquiescence and a sweep under the carpet. There is a GE coming and a by-election, Europe is at the heart of the matter. Do not suppose anyone from the Labour Party to UKIP, to his own party will let Cameron off the hook. He has got to win this one.

  29. It’s appears to be a straightforward accountancy matter. Unless there’s an error in the calculations I can’t see that the government will have any option but to pay the bill.

  30. @RogerH
    I can see the possibility of agreeing to delay until, & recalculate when, all economies have switched to the new method. One might almost suspect this had already been agreed behind the scenes, and this is a PR exercise. Announcement made ~17th Nov?

  31. Roger

    Cameron will get a reduction I’m sure, and the Press have to turn this round to make him look like a hero in the face of Johnny Foreigner. If this were early or mid-term, then he would be getting a lot of stick – deserved – but it can’t be played like that with just 6 months to go and everything on the line.

  32. Cornwall’s problem is it’s small permanent population, particularly vs the relatively high cost of land in the West Country.

    For the same amount of spend on new infrastructure, you benefit for more people in other parts of the UK than you would in Cornwall.

    Also, anecdotally there seems to be a pretty intense programme of road investment in Cornwall. I’ve been living in Plymouth (and visiting Cornwall) for 7 years now and the county’s major roads are almost never without some sort of improvement or widening scheme.

    I personally think Cornwall’s problems aren’t as simple as government spending priorities. I also don’t think regionalisation is the answer. Bristol doesn’t care about Cornwall. And Cornwall’s too poor to prosper as a mini-region of its own. As always it seems to me a regionalisation is just a pulpit for begging for more government cash.

  33. Hi honestly no little about the needs let alone the politics of the South West but putting political power in Bristol just a bridge trip from the Welsh capital in Cardiff and their Assembly doesn’t strike me as a good idea.

    Glasgow is bigger than Edinburgh but it didn’t get the Parliament.


  34. @ Peter Cairns,

    You know folks there really is nothing stopping anyone posting extensively about the politics of London, the South West, Midlands or anywhere else.

    Hear bloody hear.

    Or even, if people have nothing to say about polling or politics elsewhere in the country, posting about different topics entirely. Footie and thorium are perennial favourites.

    The only thing more tedious than the incessant crowing from certain quarters about the rise of the SNP is people complaining about how much other people are posting about Scottish politics.

  35. @ Neil A,

    As always it seems to me a regionalisation is just a pulpit for begging for more government cash.

    Pretty much. (Except in the Scottish case- I accept that the SNP are actually quite happy to get no Westminster cash in exchange for political autonomy.)

    But arguably increasing investment would kickstart an economic rebalancing that would make the regions less of a resource sink in the long term- although probably not in Cornwall.


    Winchester would be the historical choice but perhaps Taunton is the geographical one.

  37. missis minty

    with normal. sensible posts the Jock issue would not be a problem and it is clearly relevant.

    What IS a problem is the nonsense contained in so many of the posts and their spiteful, petty nature – which even descend to childish and sexist comments about the retiring SLP leader.

    Frankly I could do without reading that and when one is speed-reading an entire thread NOT reading stuff when you’ve actually just taken it in is not an option unfortunately.

  38. Much as I disagree with the nature of the comment in question, I’m not entirely happy with its’ characterization as sexist. I’ve seen plenty of similar comments about, eg, Prescott. I don’t really like the way wrongful comments are automatically described as sexist when the “victim” happens to be female. I am rather splitting hairs though, probably.

  39. I actually think Johann Lamont is quite a pleasant looking woman. Not that it matters a jot.

    thank you for your interest

    My comment about regional independance was partly humourous but serious in the sense that only a region has power to persuade government in London to spend money. I agree as I have posted before that Bristol is remote from Cornwall so a regional government based on Bristol doesn’t feel like an improvement. Even Plymouth can seem remote! However, how do we get fast links to London and Midlands?

    The other purpose of my earlier post was to wonder if the government’s lack of interest was causing votes to move from Tory to Ukip.


    “Footie and thorium are perennial favourites.”


    Lol, if only Thorium were a favourite. I couldn’t even get the Greenies interested. They were all…

    “Never heard of it”

    ….about it. Didn’t light the geek candle either. Footie though, that has rather more traction…

  42. “I worry that you’re spending too much time with posters who delight in their ability to stick in the intellectual knife…”


    Eh? What’s this? Has AC been moonlighting on another board without telling us? The little rascal…

  43. TONY

    Are transport links that bad now?

    Since they moved/dualed the A30 on Goss Moor, Its a pretty fast run to PZ now.

    Don’t know about the train service-but is it deficient?

  44. I am afraid we have reached a situation whereby any criticism considered unjust, is an IST. Racist, Sexist, being the most popular.

    I happen to intensely dislike Harriet Harman. Its got nothing to do with that persons gender, but about numerous other factors. Of course, it would always be credited by R&D as sexist. I always intensely disliked the ex Rotherham MP McShane. Ignore the dreamt up Scottish surname, he came from Eastern Europe somewhere. Therefore, my dislike in R&D world would have to be racist.

    Frankly, I just let these people get on with their silly pc labels. By the way, I am not crazy about Nigel Farage. He is a middle aged white man who dresses like me and is right wing, I cannot think of an IST.

  45. I think the problem one particular poster has is that he is not too bothered about the content but rather he has a problem with the person.

    I rather expect his so called speed reading is fine tuned to pick out certain monikers.

  46. COLIN

    “But that linear agglomeration across the country must be favourite candidate-despite protestations from Brum”


    It’s an interesting challenge. Can transport links and things like fibre optic links overcome the physical distance? There are differences between the cities and their hinterlands, but that can be a strength in agglomeration terms, bringing different things to the party.

  47. ALLAN


  48. UKIP’s poster for SY PCC reaches some pretty dizzying heights.

  49. @Rogerh
    If a club you belong to, suddenly billed you for £50,000, because you had landed a better job than most other members, that would be what? An accountancy matter.


    “Eh? What’s this? Has AC been moonlighting on another board without telling us? The little rascal”

    I only moonlight to other boards for the pictures. ;-)

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