The Kent Messenger are now reporting the voting intention figures from the Survation/Unite Rochester & Strood poll. Topline figures with changes from the previous Survation Rochester poll right after Mark Reckless’s defection are CON 33%(+2), LAB 16%(-9), LDEM 1%(-1), UKIP 48%(+8), GRN 2%.

As with the ComRes poll a week ago it shows UKIP with a solid lead. While there will always be some underlying churn, the obvious implication of the changes since the start of October is that the Labour vote has been significantly squeezed, and is breaking heavily in UKIP’s favour.


376 Responses to “Survation poll in Rochester has UKIP lead growing to 15 points”

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  1. I know Medway pretty well. These numbers do not surprise me at all. All the ministers visiting the area will only bring disdain from many people on the doorstep or the High Street. This is an area with no love at all for all Westminster parties, despite being so close to London.

    In the past I’ve read some London journalists being surprised somewhere so close to London (Less than 20 minutes on fast train or 45 to City on slow) can dislike the main three. It challenged their views on London and wealthy parts of the home counties like Surrey, Sussex etc. A lot of Kent and Essex is different.

  2. Ed

    I think that’s right, very different people to the rest of the home counties.

  3. One thing for example is that new High Speed train. Priced way above the affordability of many locals. The older trains were also increased in price above the prices that other wealthier home counties pay for an equivalent journey. Did Westminster ever think about the effect on local commuters, or did they just think it’s close to London therefore it can afford it?

    And that’s about the extent of ‘investment’ I can think of. Oh, there is the local hospital. Crippled by PFI and poor (in some areas) according to some locals I know.

  4. I think Reckless is likely to win with about 50-53% when the votes are counted because the drift of the polls is in that direction.

  5. Ed: trains that run on HS1 have a premium of roughly 20%. The other trains had their regulated fares increased using the same formula linked to inflation as everywhere else. We can debate whether HS1 should have a premium or whether rail fares in the south-east are fair till the cows come home, and it’s fair to say that the north Kent line didn’t get a great deal compare to places like Ashford, Folkestone and Dover, but to claim that HS1 made trains unaffordable simply isn’t true.

    On a completely different point: Anthony, any idea why Unite commissioned a poll? Campaigning groups normally only commission a poll if they think the results might suit them, but I’m honestly not sure what Unite hoped to achieve from this.

  6. The apparent “excitement” about a poll in Rochester a seat where the voters have a chance to show off should now be compared with the votes of about 150,000 in South Yorkshire who actually bothered to give Labour an absolute majority i.e. over 50 %. So what it was 15% . Still a large REAL poll over many constituencies.
    This despite UKIP trying with all its might to point the finger at the tragic failure by Labour in Rotherham to handle child abuse. Labour won in Rotherham and also took 60% of the votes in Nick Clegg’s seat in Sheffield. I read unsubstantiated comments that Labour rigged the postal vote.That meant by 23,000. !!!!!! –The votes cast above UKIP. Tories in single figures and the Lib Dems did not even bother to stand. Poor Greens 1% .Maybe Ed will have half a glass tonight.

  7. Rochester poll

    CON 33%(+2), LAB 16%(-9), LDEM 1%(-1), UKIP 48%(+8), GRN 2%
    ________

    Another horrific horror poll for Labour.

    Happy Halloween

  8. @Colin

    No doubt, winning a PCC by-election absolutely guarantees that Labour will walk the general election next year.

  9. @AC

    Nah, classic third party squeeze. Once it was clear they weren’t in the running, Labour will secretly want to be squeezed to billyo.

  10. CHRIS NEVILLE-SMITH – “The other trains had their regulated fares increased using the same formula linked to inflation as everywhere else.”

    I’m afraid that’s completely wrong. Kent has annual increases of RPI + 3% on it’s services from 2006 when the UK had RPI +1%.

  11. “The same poll revealed that the NHS was the most important issue for voters in the constituency, with 37 per cent of voters saying the quality of local NHS hospitals and GP services in Medway was the most important issue for them and their family.”

    That is similar to what we saw on this month’s Mori issues index, and also what Ashcroft reported on Monday.

    Not sure how that leads to a UKIP vote in this case though.
    Is it a protest because none of the main parties have any answers or are even noting that there is an issue? Or a protest against the Tories – our NHS is disintegrating and we can’t get a GP appointment, so we will vote for someone else than the Tories who we normally vote for and in this case UKIP is the protest vehicle? Or is immigration/ fed up with Westminster really driving voting intention? Or has UKIP won the argument, our NHS is disintegrating simply because of all the immigrants using it?

  12. Well with Labour voters breaking to UKIP to annoy the Conservatives, what are the chances that Conservative voters in Labour safe seats (or seats where Conservatives are likely to be 3rd or worse) will break to UKIP too?

    Could UKIP get a raft of MPs out of too much tactical voting?

  13. “Another horrific horror poll for Labour.”

    Typical by-election where parties get squeezed if they’re thought unlikely to win. In Heywood it was the Tories and LibDems who got squeezed; here it’s Labour and the LibDems. Still, not much fun if you’re LibDem and more used to doing the squeezing.

  14. The trouble with the Kent services is that any time saved on the HS1 line is used up walking past miles of shops to reach the platforms at the far end of St Pancras station.

  15. Chris Neville-Smith

    The rest of the Survation poll covers things like NHS in the area and TTIP.

    “56% of CON, 65% of LAB and 62% of UKIP voters in Rochester & Strood say Cameron should seek to exclude the NHS from trade deal TTIP”

  16. One source for Kent suffering higher fares is here from 2011 when it was at its worst –

    http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/holidays/article-1723802/Rail-passengers-braced-for-more-fares-misery.html#ixzz3HkW6KaKN

    It mentions 2010 fare increases when UK price increases were 5.8% (RPI+1%). As for Kent –

    “However, commuters in Kent had to pay an average of 7.8% more for their season tickets in January 2010 as the Southeastern train company’s franchise is based on an annual price rise formula of RPI plus 3%.”

    This was eventually changed to the same level as the rest of the UK but Kent had years of it from 2006. The local commuters don’t forget that.

  17. It really amazes me that none of the opposition parties have picked up on the crisis in GP care and are not banging on about it day after day, week after week. Talk about low hanging fruit…

  18. It seems that Labour voters are willing to vote UKIP to get rid of the Tories and Tory voters are willing to vote UKIP to get rid of Labour.
    What impact would that have in the GE?

  19. Chris Neville-Smith

    […]any idea why Unite commissioned a poll? Campaigning groups normally only commission a poll if they think the results might suit them, but I’m honestly not sure what Unite hoped to achieve from this.

    Because it’s also a poll about TTIP which they are campaigning against, especially with regard to the NHS.

    Tables for the poll are here:

    http://survation.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Rochester-Strood-TTIP-full-tables.pdf

  20. CHRIS NEVILLE-SMITH

    I think it was connected to Unite being opposed to TTIP – it’s a funny issue in that lefties like me and the unions in particular are opposed to it but because it’s being imposed from the EU I suppose UKIP will oppose it too (although don’t quote me on that) and therefore it is one of those issues where UKIP and the left are on the same side – if that makes any sense!

    Interesting when Brussels imposes a “right-wing” diktat – which way do right-wing Euro-sceptics go – does their support for that particular policy trump their opposition to the EU or vice-versa?

  21. NEIL A
    @AC
    Nah, classic third party squeeze. Once it was clear they weren’t in the running, Labour will secretly want to be squeezed to billyo
    ________

    Yes I can hear Labour saying after the by-election “Our candidate had a successful squeeze and it’s not the winning that’s important but taking part”

  22. Colin Jackson,

    I campaigned hard in the SY PCC by-election and am very pleased with my party’s performance, but c’mon let’s keep things in proportion. It was a very good result – albeit in one of their strongest areas – but not exactly indicative of a 400-seat landslide next year.

  23. With regards to the NHS being the most important factor then it wont help the big parties that One local hospital (Darent Valley) has PFI problems and poor care, and the other (Medway) is in special measures. Voters can blame all parties for the state of local healthcare.

    Now you may think UKIP wont do anything about that, but for apathetic locals who barely follow the news but have become aware of poor healthcare under all the big parties, they’ll vote for someone else.

  24. NEILA

    Of course.!

    Its like a Labour Party blog on here these days.

    On thread, I’m wondering if the UKIP threat to Cons in seats, pales into insignificance compared with the comparative advantage to Cons of an SNP triumph next May.

    I was thinking about PK’s article about SNP gaining votes by offering to hold Westminster”feet to the fire”.

    Of course if those feet are Labour feet, it is likely SNP will have less MPs to do the holding. If those feet are Tory feet, SNP will probably have done well. And if the Smith Commission results in no agreement on devolved taxation powers because Cons will devolve more than Lab., then A Tory government would suit SNP well.

    I’m beginning to think that the key deciders of the next GE result might not be UKIP voters-but Scottish voters.

    It all depends what Scots really meant when they voted to retain the Union-and what Smith reports at the end of November.

    I think Rochester is a gonner, and can only hope that Tory backbenchers dont do something stupid.

  25. Richard

    One thing politicians do not like to do is take on GPS!

  26. @Fraser

    Not suggesting they attack GP’s. I’m suggesting they attack the reasons for the shortage of GP appointments and come up with workable solutions to fix the problem.

  27. ROGERH

    “Typical by-election where parties get squeezed if they’re thought unlikely to win. In Heywood it was the Tories and LibDems who got squeezed; here it’s Labour and the LibDems. Still, not much fun if you’re LibDem and more used to doing the squeezing”
    _______

    Now stop making excuses. If EM wants to be the next PM then he should be doing much much better than a extremely poor 3rd showing in a by-election.

    This is the time, this is the day, this is the hour, this is the minute, this is when the principle opposition party should be winning by-elections.

    Instead what we are seeing is a Labour party imploding in Scotland, going no where in the UK polls and failing in yet another by-election.

    Yes they won an election in Doncaster for a new bus inspector but it’s hardly the precedent for winning the GE.

  28. @AC
    “Yes I can hear Labour saying after the by-election “Our candidate had a successful squeeze and it’s not the winning that’s important but taking part””
    ————————–
    But wot will the Tory candidate say? Do enlighten us.

  29. OZWALD
    @AC
    “Yes I can hear Labour saying after the by-election “Our candidate had a successful squeeze and it’s not the winning that’s important but taking part””
    ————————–
    But wot will the Tory candidate say? Do enlighten us
    _____

    I’m hoping he/she will enlighten me on the latest SNP party membership figures.

  30. ALLAN CHRISTIE

    “Yes they won an election in Doncaster for a new bus inspector but it’s hardly the precedent for winning the GE”

    You couldn’t be more wrong about that – I’m still amazed we won by such a large margin (or even at all) given the odd circumstances of this by-election and the fact that we oppose PCCs on principle – even a party stalwart like me would hesitate to vote in a PCC election never mind less committed voters. All credit to Mrnameless and others – how did you do it mate?

  31. Allan Christie

    “I’m hoping he/she will enlighten me on the latest SNP party membership figures.”

    Me too! Last time I heard it was 83,243 but I imagine she will know better.

  32. @Colin

    “On thread, I’m wondering if the UKIP threat to Cons in seats, pales into insignificance compared with the comparative advantage to Cons of an SNP triumph next May.”

    Two reasons why not:

    1) Tory losses to UKIP could lead to Labour gaining seats; Labour losses to the SNP are unlikely to give the Tories any extra seats;

    2) Labour has 40 Scottish MPs; the Tories have 293 English MPs.

  33. It looks like Rochester has gone, as Colin says its important that Tory backbenchers hold their nerve . The main opponent is a flailing Labour party. Any more defections would be like getting out of the ring with your opponent on the canvas.

  34. @DEZ “It seems that Labour voters are willing to vote UKIP to get rid of the Tories and Tory voters are willing to vote UKIP to get rid of Labour.”
    I seem to remember that Labour were supposed to have benefitted from Tory and LD votes to keep UKIP out at Wythenshaw last February, and after the Newark by-election the story was that Labour voters had voted Tory to stop Farage, and later that this might be so in Clacton and Rochester.
    Times and tales they are a-changing.
    I’ll repeat my prediction from last summer: UKIP will come strong seconds in many of the seats that are their best hopes to win, but they will win several they are not expected to. Don’t ask me which.

  35. @Paul A

    It has nothing to do with the EU as far as I can tell. UKIP appear specifically opposed to that aspect of the TTIP so there’s no ideological dilemma involved. It was a little jarring seeing UKIP and Unite on the same stage though.

    I’m also starting to wonder if there really is an anti-UKIP vote (more than there is for any other party) or whether we may have seen evidence of that in Newmark due to the particularly nasty Euro campaign which immediately preceded it.

  36. 81% of voters going for Tory/UKIP. Compare and contrast with Scotland where these two parties are pretty much non-existent.

  37. PAUL A

    “You couldn’t be more wrong about that – I’m still amazed we won by such a large margin (or even at all) given the odd circumstances of this by-election and the fact that we oppose PCCs on principle – even a party stalwart like me would hesitate to vote in a PCC election never mind less committed voters. All credit to Mrnameless and others – how did you do it mate?”
    ______

    Sorry you have completely lost me here!! I thought the election was for a bus inspector? What’s a PCC…Personal Coach Certificate?

  38. How can so many labour voters switch to UKIP, basically the tories on steroids? It makes no sense…

  39. @Mactavish

    Don’t be too smug. Looking at the YouGov Holyrood poll from yesterday I think there’s now enough UKIP support for them to take a list MSP in South of Scotland in 2016.

  40. OLDNAT

    “Me too! Last time I heard it was 83,243 but I imagine she will know better.”
    ______

    Cheers for that. :-)

  41. @Ed

    I think what was particularly egregious for Kent rail commuters was that the fares went up by RPI +3 and the trains were slowed down as well to make more stops closer in to London on the non HS1 route.

    So anyone from Rochester heading into south London or the city was paying more for a worse service. People remember thins like that and it won’t have helped Labour in the seat.

  42. @MacT “[Cons & UKIP] these two parties are pretty much non-existent.”
    Not really. Look at the EUMEP results. Together they got 371,864 votes
    I think around 10,000 votes then is “pretty much non-existent”
    But add on those ‘non-existent’ extreme right wingers and you get to 402,137, more than SNP, more than Labour.
    SNP 389,503 28.99 (-0.07)
    Labour 348,219 25.92 (+5.11)
    Cons 231,330 17.22 (0.40)
    UKIP 140,534 10.46 (+5.23)
    Green 108,305 8.06 (0.78)
    LibDem 95,319 7.09 (-4.41)
    Brit First 13,639 1.02 (0.00)
    BNP 10,216 0.76 (-1.70)
    NO2EU 6,418 0.48 (-0.40)

  43. @David

    How can so many labour voters switch to UKIP, basically the tories on steroids? It makes no sense…
    _________________________________________

    Well according to the Mirror, its because their leadership want them to

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/ed-miliband-knows-david-camerons-4514462

    “In public, Labour maintains the fiction it’s going all-out to win in Kent when risibly the towel was thrown in before the campaign started.

    Talking in private to Miliband’s inner circle and key shadow cabinet members I learned a leader braced for defeat calculates a UKIP triumph would be best for Labour.”

    If true, I think its time for these MP’s to get out of Westminster and stop spending all this time playing politics….they are so focused on the ‘game’ they have forgotten what their purpose is.

  44. Dave , Yes interesting times with conservatives in Scotland voting SNP to stop Labour , then voting no in the referendum for independence.
    With Labour voters voting Yes, then voting SNP, to help keep the Conservatives in government in the UK.

  45. ”81% of voters going for Tory/UKIP. Compare and contrast with Scotland where these two parties are pretty much non-existent.”

    Rochester (Survation): Anti-Establishment insurrection Party 48%; Traditionally dominant party 33%; Traditional Opposition Party 16%

    Scotland (Yougov): Anti-Establishment insurrection Party 43%; Traditionally Dominant Party 27%; Traditional Opposition Party 15%

    So, do you really think Rochester and Scotland are worlds apart after all?…

  46. Colin,
    Hoping that stupid people won’t do stupid things is asking a lot. There are a number of back benchers who are almost overwhelmed by their self importance and should really never have been selected in the first place. The best we can hope for is that they are too cowardly or lazy to do anything at all.

  47. @Ed

    Don’t mention SouthEastern Trains. Please. Officially the worst performing franchise in the entire country.

    I would however be surprised if that is a major issue for Ukip’s surge in the constituency.

  48. @Richard

    I doubt it’s true. All other reports suggest Labour has been campaigning hard in R&S. The trouble is in FPTP once it becomes clear who the two main competing parties are, the others get squeezed.

    Infact the most bizarre aspect of Clacton and R&S is that a lot of fuss is being made about clear wins (or likely wins) for incumbents.

  49. “So, do you really think Rochester and Scotland are worlds apart after all?…”

    Well one is a country and the other is not…

  50. Roll A Hard Six

    If you invent labels for parties/groups and apply them with malice aforethought, you can “prove” almost anything.

    The comparison with UKIP as a protest party, scaring the pants off the Establishment isn’t the party of government in Scotland (in danger of becoming the new Establishment party itself), but the SNP of 40 years ago, when it won the odd by-election.

    Perhaps a more appropriate question would be “Why has it taken so long for all those in England, screwed over by the parties constituting the Establishment, to wake up to that fact?”

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