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 looked at the tables, and it looks like there are still a very large number of undecided voters (22%), and the issues for the undecided voters are as follows:

    The quality of local NHS Hospitals and GP services in Medway 43%
    Employment opportunities 15.8%
    The impact of immigration 15.5%

    So things could still change, if the Tories promise to sort out the NHS here and get people to believe them they could turn this around.

  2. @OldNat

    And that is the reason why the SNP is a bigger threat to Labour in 2015 than Ukip is to the Tories. Ukip simply doesn’t have a realistic chance of winning more than 5-10 seats. The SNP could win 30+ seats.

  3. @RAF

    Well, in the Comres poll people were asked

    Q6. In the last few weeks, have you been contacted by any of the parties or candidates contesting the forthcoming by-election on 20th November? You can answer more
    than one …

    Q7. And which party or parties have you been contacted by? Again, you can answer more than one …

    That came out
    Conservative 86%
    UKIP 71%
    Labour 30%

    So if they are campaigning hard, there was no evidence of it as of 17-21 Oct.

  4. Richard

    ” and get people to believe them”

    Sounds a very tall order!

  5. @colin

    It may take a while to find out what Scottish voters really meant when we voted in the referendum but it appears most of us are relaxed about having another one within the next 10 years. So whatever we meant it appears to be conditional.

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

    That’s a bit harsh oldnat, if I do say so myself.

    The SNP may well be the governing party in its ”back yard” so to speak, but it’s purpose is to topple or replace the established order. Governing Scotland alone does not accomplish this, it does not make Scotland a seperate state and the SNP must do that to have achieved it’s aims. Yes there is a ”time lag” between the SNP and UKIP in terms of how far they have got, in terms of representation and power, however with respect there are far more similarities between them than supporters of either party are usually happy to accept.

    I don’t think this is inventing labels at all, it is seeing very real paterns and similarities.

  7. @Richard

    I stand corrected.

  8. Now just imagine if, instead of sitting out the Rochester campaign, and giving a speech on immigration for the short visit that was made, instead Labour had spent these 4 weeks with Miliband making multiple visits and banging on about the NHS, lack of GP’s, etc, etc..

    And imagine all the free publicity that would have generated, and on an issue that voters are really concerned about, and where Labour is viewed in the polls as having the clear lead.

    Would the headlines now be ‘Labour surge in by election poll threatening UKIP advance?’

    Its like Labour don’t even look at the polls…

  9. NORTHUMBRIANSCOT – Yep many trains were slowed down in Kent to force people onto HS1 with 20% higher fares but I don’t think from Medway. Could be wrong.

    RAF – Train fare increases wont of course be most people’s number 1 issue, but for many commuters (and of course this constituency is a London commuter town) it was, and is, a significant source of annoyance.

    There’s a sizable amount of people working admin on 20-30k in central London and fares are taking a big chunk of that. Add that to poor local hospitals, traffic and the Dartford tolls not being abolished despite earlier promises ( always moaning about that locally), housing (5k planned nearby on isle of Grain, which also housed a power station which closed last year due to EU rules), economic stalemate locally etc and there’s no love for the big 3. No trust at all from many.

  10. @Richard

    It is as simple as UKIP can hurt the Conservatives far more than Labour can.

    Labour voters in that area know this, so if they vote UKIP in the by-election, they kick the blues where it hurts, but only have to live with a UKIP MP until next May potentially.

    It showsof course how little fire power Labour have to use on the Conservatives in the many areas of the country.

    Labour’s strategy indicates they know they have significant weaknesses, and avoid battles that expose them.

  11. I don’t see much sign of ABU voting in the tables. Only a handful of 2010 labour voters going to cons and even fewer in the other direction. But, labour are being squeezed towards UKIP. The surprising thing for me is the number of those who say they did not vote last time now intending to go to not only UKIP, but also Cons and to a lesser extent Lab.
    Survation managed to find 4 people intending to vote LD. None of their 2010 voters intended to support them this time. Ouch.

  12. Roll A Hard Six

    You could also see patterns and similarities with the situation in any country at any time when one party supplants another (or one does and one fails to do so)

    Whether such that are identified are more than superficial, however, is entirely another.

    One could easily, for example, pick out some similarities between the British Empire crushing the Indian Mutiny, and the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, but to do so would be fairly pointless.

    The old exam essay construction of “Compare and contrast the …..” was designed to expose any simplistic thinking on the part of the student.

  13. @Ed

    I can certainly see that.

    The reason I suspect that Medway and North Kent generally (like Southern coastal parts of Essex) are turning away from Con is that unlike other parts of the Home Counties, these are working class commuter areas where the cost of living has dramatically affected purchasing power. These are mainly Conservative working class areas with sizeable Labour minorities. Clearly, there’s no love for Labour either. But these are areas that in recent times have very rarely voted Labour. Bob Marshall Andrews being an exception. The protest vote therefore will not go to Lab but to someone else, in this case Ukip.

    The list of complaints you mention is similar to those in many parts of inner city London. But inner city London is primarily Labour controlled and likely to stay that way.

    The question is why do Labour working class areas not seem as amenable to Ukip as Tory working class areas? I suspect the reason might be that nationalism – a part of Thatcher’s draw to Tory working class voters is now being more effectively deployed by Ukip. So as well as being the anti-politics party,Ukip succeeds as it melds that with nationalism.

  14. @hireton

    “it appears most of us are relaxed about having another one within the next 10 years”

    Given the polls, the panic of politicians and the political awareness it generated, I say we should have them every year, but the subject of them should never be repeated two years in a row.

    Capital Punishment


  15. I wrote a piece earlier late on the last thread about party activists spinning but the spinning here tonight would be envied by our Autumn spiders. I can understand activists sock puppeting to the BTLs of the nationals but here on UKPR – it’s just bizarre.

    I agree with Neil A – straightforward third party (and fourth, note LD score!) squeeze.

  16. RAF

    “The question is why do Labour working class areas not seem as amenable to Ukip as Tory working class areas?”

    I remember seeing a report on the success of London’s schools and that it was significantly correlated with the high number of kids from within aspirational immigrant families.

    The success rate of “white working-class” kids didn’t seem to be much better than in other areas of England.

    Could it be that there are two different types of “working class areas” in London, one of which may be as disconnected from the mainstream as the areas in the Medway that I’m reading about on here?

    Just a question, since I don’t know that much about the social composition of different parts of SE England.

  17. I note 42 voters in R and S think they voted UKIP in the general election but, in fairness, there was an English Democrat standing then.

  18. @OldNat

    As far as social composition is concerned, think of London as a round doughnut. The hole in the centre comprises the inner-city. This is generally dominated by Labour with a high immigrant minority. The ring comprises suburban London, generally Conservative, with much lower levels of immigration.

    Now while those who live in the suburbs are generally wealthier, there are working class suburban areas within London with low immigrarion. Havering for example which borders Essex. Please see below the link to the Havering Council election earlier this year:

    As you can see Ukip much better than in most of the rest of London.

    However in Bexley, an area with similar demographics on the Kent border, Ukip came nowhere

    So, I don’t think there is any clear correlation between Ukip in white working class areas of London and with areas with similar demographics in the rest of the country.

  19. RAF

    Thanks. That’s useful.

  20. @OldNat/ Raf

    As Raf says Havering is politically and demographically much like Essex. Bexley and Bromley are generally like Kent. Raf is right in saying UKIP didn’t do as well there as in places with a similar ethnic make-up outside London. But they got over 10% of the vote in Bexley and won seats on both councils – not something they got remotely close to doing in most of London.

    There aren’t any Labour working class areas in London much like Labour working class areas in the rest of the country. Labour held seats in central London generally have extremely high levels of immigrations (in a few cases white Brits are an ethnic minority). They also tend, slowly but noticeably, to be becoming better places to live in rather than worse i.e. they haven’t experienced industrial decline that may associate with disenfranchisement, disillusionment with CON/LAB and ultimately UKIP voting. That may, in some cases, lead to demographic shifts towards the CONs in time – though that will probably be balanced out by seats in other parts of London (Harrow, Enfield etc.) tilting more towards LAB as older residents retire further afield and working class people working in London are priced further out.

    The further into London you go the more people are likely to live/ work/ study in an environment where immigration is a/ everywhere and b/ seen in a generally positive light. People living in London generally aren’t unemployed or in low paid employment – else they wouldn’t be able to afford to live in London. They are also on the whole younger (older people that don’t like diversity and would consider voting UKIP end up moving out – often to the East). Hence, unlike potential UKIP-pers in Kent and Essex, they are unlikely to see immigrants as having taking their jobs/ the jobs British people of their generation had.

  21. Raf – “The question is why do Labour working class areas not seem as amenable to Ukip as Tory working class areas? I suspect the reason might be that nationalism – a part of Thatcher’s draw to Tory working class voters is now being more effectively deployed by Ukip.”

    I might be wrong here (and I’m sure someone will correct me if I am!) – but my impression is that what we now think of “Labour working class areas” weren’t always so, and there was a lot of mixed voting across the country (including Scotland).

    Some working class people will have been drawn to Thatchers polices, but they would have been spread across the island.

    What seems to have polarized them was their particular experience of Thatcherism. In particular she hammered people in places like Yorkshire, while people in places like Essex escaped. It’s now part of folk and family memory. So what they thought at the end of Thatchers reign is different from what they thought at the beginning.

    So when a working class person from South Yorkshire learns that Tory MPs are defecting to UKIP, they place a certain negative label on UKIP. Whereas to someone in Kent who had a positive experience of Thatcherism, the defection is about going back to Thatcherism’s roots.

    As for the middle classes, they loathe UKIP with a purple passion. The Tory middle classes really like Cameron’s old-school-tie networking (reminds them of pre-Thatcher days), and the Labour middle classes want Blair-style centrism with a strong safety net. Both hate nativism, jingoism, cruelty and crudeness (all of which UKIP has in spades).

  22. OLDNAT – “I remember seeing a report on the success of London’s schools and that it was significantly correlated with the high number of kids from within aspirational immigrant families.
    The success rate of “white working-class” kids didn’t seem to be much better than in other areas of England.”

    It varies massively even within broad ethnic groups too. Within ‘Asian’ we see Indian Hindus doing far better than Pakistani Muslims regardless of location. Black Africans do better than Black Caribbeans. The Chinese are the most successful I believe.

    It matches what I’ve always thought – parents and communities that place strong emphasis on education succeed the most. Racism and economic disadvantage come quite a fair way down education success, though obviously have different & more subtle effects.

  23. I think it’s axiomatic that people who have done (or hope to do) well out of “the system” are more likely to want it to continue.

    Those who haven’t (or at least not as well as they think they should) want a change to the “system”.

    Once upon a time, those who wanted change voted Liberal, then Labour; while those who wanted little change voted Conservative.

    When Labour came to be seen by many as simply part of the status quo, their decline in the polls was inevitable.

    Candy’s points re Thatcher make sense.

    In which case, Thatcher can be seen as having destroyed the traditional Conservative Party in the same way as Blair destroyed the traditional Labour Party. Since they were scythed by their parties, neither Party has been able to return to the old status quo ante megalomaniac. :-)

  24. JACK SHELDON – “London working class areas also tend, slowly but noticeably, to be becoming better places to live in rather than worse”

    Far from sure about that. Looking at Bexley borough you mention, the northern end around Erith, Belvedere etc is industrial and grim. Over in Greenwich a huge swath is worse than it was 20 years ago. Same over the river in Newham, Barking etc. Industrial estates are a shadow of what they were. Housing estates are clearly in poor shape with widespread neglect.

    It’s really only within zone 1-2 that things have noticeably improved on a wide level. This matches the centralistion of economic activity again.

    What has changed is the population balance. Far fewer white working classes in those parts of London zones 3-6. A great deal moved away as economic and environmental fortunes declined. A huge number from the 90s to the present according to census data . They went Kent & Essex and vote increasingly UKIP.

    Inner London population mix is now mainly the white middle classes moving into areas as they became wealthier and immigrants. Both vote strong Labour and election results back this up – see 2104 council elections. This is the most pro-immigration area unsurprisingly.

  25. 2014 result even! And when I said inner London I really should have said zones 1-4 now. Maybe even 6 in many areas. Places like Bexley & barking are changing pretty quickly and are a few years behind boroughs closer in like Lewisham in population change.

  26. Oldnat

    ‘In which case, Thatcher can be seen as having destroyed the traditional Conservative Party in the same way as Blair destroyed the traditional Labour Party. Since they were scythed by their parties, neither Party has been able to return to the old status quo ante megalomaniac. ‘

    And just as Clegg has destroyed the traditional LDs.

    Tony Blair once said that there were only two parties – those who believed in the ‘wisdom of the market’ and those who saw a positive role for the state. Arguably, the leadership of all three mainstream parties belong to the first camp whereas the grassroots of the LP, LDs and very many in the Conservatives belong to the second.

  27. Ed

    Yes. The critical term I used was aspirational. In a limited bit of research I did in an area of severe multiple deprivation, there was a measurable difference in educational attainment at age 12 between those kids who attended the school in their catchment area, and those whose parent (usually singular) made a placing request to the other school in the area.

    The difference was nothing to do with one school being “better” than the other, as the phenomenon was the same in both directions.

    My hypothesis was that the simple fact of a parent caring enough to choose another school (probably to get away from the bully down the street!) was enough to demonstrate greater parental interest in the child’s education.

    Couldn’t get anyone to fund the research though. :-(

  28. Syzygy

    Clegg – good point.

  29. SYZYGY………..Very wise, Sue. I love your stuff. :-)

  30. Paul A

    Agree that Labour’s performance in getting more than 50% of the first preference votes in the South Yorks PCC despite the fallout from Rotherham was a remarkable achievement. This was a real election not an opinion poll. Wondering if there is ANY PCC area or indeed constituency at present where the Cons would get 50%+ in the new UKIP era?

    Allan Christie

    If you want non Scottish posters to show respect for your views it’s advisable not to make deliberately derogatory comments about a PCC being a “bus inspector”. If we did likewise to a distinctively Scottish elected office we would be accused of something nasty. You have simply insulted around 100,000 Yorkshire voters. It’s no use saying it was a joke either. Not appropriate. Not funny. The police now have principled and objective oversight in an area that has suffered from unacceptable performance on policing strikes, major events and sex crime, that has led to death and suffering and injustice. A result for Ed to quietly celebrate. Congrats for your role Mr Nameless and others.

    Rochester is another matter – Labour need to find an anti-squeeze tactic from somewhere. I would try sending all their MPs there to knock doors between now & polling day under the supervision of Mr Nameless ;-) with automatic full re-selection before GE for any defaulters. They need to try something different anyway.

  31. A spooky thought for Halloween: under a proportional electoral system we’d be heading for a Conservative/UKIP coalition government in six months time.

  32. @Welsh borderer

    I’m a Yorkshireman, and quite happy to be derogatory about the role of PCCs.

    A waste of time and money, and puts a party rosette where it doesn’t belong.

    It appears the vast majority of electors shares my view

  33. Wintergreen

    “we’d be heading for a Conservative/UKIP coalition government in six months time.”

    Not according to the Celtic Festival that the Christians nicked and called Hallowe’en.

    This is Oidhche Shamhna (November night). The doors to the underworld will open and the dead can cross into this world at the beginning of the dark half of the year. That allows Con/Lab/LD (the dead) to consort with UKIP (the spirit of evil).

    Oidhche Cèitean (May night) precedes the General Election. The dead are banished, and the spirit of light (insert party name of choice) rises in glory.

  34. @Oldnat

    Is there a Celtic/pagan festival that Christians didn’t nick ;-)

  35. So, Miliband/Labour to replace the HoL with a senate drawn from all the regions..

    That will be popular.

  36. @R and D

    Isn’t Neil A’s idea?

  37. Catmanjeff

    I don’t think some of them had read the 8th Commandment (or appropriate number in other traditions).

  38. Well the BBC has Miliband suggesting a Senate.

    Doesn’t say anything about whether Labour agree with him.

  39. Wintergreen,

    how spooky and scary! I want a labour lib dem green coalition to inaugurate the new millenium.

  40. James Peel

    Waiting till 3001 then?

  41. @Oldnat

    Is happy Samhain in order?

  42. Ed
    ” A huge number from the 90s to the present according to census data . They went Kent & Essex and vote increasingly UKIP.”

    Take your analysis back to the 1930’s. Young and Wilmot’s Family and Kinship in Bethnal Green describing life before Dagenham is worth a read.

  43. i meant the millenium when Jesus and his angels will inaugurate a reign of justice, love and fraternal harmony, just like labour, the lib dems and green “progressives”.

  44. Catmanjeff

    It is, thankyou.

    it’s also my daughter’s birthday, which made birthday parties very easy.

  45. Sorry, “Family and Kinship in East London”

  46. Raf & Jack Sheldon

    The difference between the performance of UKIP in Bexley and Havering is less to do with demographics or politics than with poor electoral strategy.

    Bexley was somewhere where they might do well, but they failed to put up sufficient candidates. They only had a full slate in one ward (which they didn’t quite win), but picked up three single seats elsewhere. If they had had three candidate instead of one in those wards they would have had nine elected. In nearly every other ward where they put up a solitary candidate they came a good fourth behind the three winners and might well have won three seats there as well.

    In Havering they did better at finding candidates, but still only managed to put up 30 candidates for the 54 seats. Havering was always going to be their best shot of getting councillors in London by far – they had won the by-election and even in 2010 had got over 10% in some wards. Not only was the demographic perfect for them, there is still a large Labour vote in many wards and the presence of the various residents groups means that it is possible to win a ward on 30-35% of the vote.

    So they should have had enough warning to find candidates and plan. In actual fact they only put up full slates in 5 of the 18 wards with a token candidate or two in the rest.

    They did win the remaining two seats in Gooshays where they had won the by-election. But they failed to take the other four full-slate wards (some fairly narrowly). However they did pick up four other seats in three wards where they didn’t have full slates (and failed in a fourth by only three votes). Indeed there were probably seven wards where their sole candidate was either elected or came a close enough fourth to make it almost certain that three UKIP candidates would have been elected; as well as Heaton where their only two candidates came 300 ahead of the elected third. With Gooshays they could easily had 27 councillors rather than 7.

    In both boroughs they could have easily done very well indeed but failed because of poor targeting and tactics. But they had more candidates in Havering so it appears they did better there even if they did not get anywhere near potential.

    Incidentally the Bexley results also show the danger of UKIP to Labour. It is the sort of council they win in a very good year (they held it 2002-06). Here they only made modest gains (+4) and the Conservatives stayed in control. Havering is less fertile ground for Labour, but they have controlled it in the past and are now reduced to one councillor. This has always been the main way that UKIP could damage Labour – not just directly by taking votes, but by ‘intercepting’ floating voters who might otherwise have moved to Labour.

  47. Roger Mexico

    For a party in the early stages of gathering votes it can sometimes be “poor electoral strategy” to put up enough candidates – because they get elected!

    That happened to the SNP in the 60s. They put up candidates who were just flying the flag for the party – and were horrified to get elected because their jobs etc wouldn’t allow them to serve effectively.

    Consequently many resigned soon after, and that damaged the SNP for a number of years in areas where that happened.

  48. OldNat

    I know what you mean, and paper councillors who are horrified that they get elected are not unknown in years of dramatic change (most famously 1968). But UKIP voters have already had to put up with a number of by-elections of recently elected councillors – often for extremely colourful reasons – and they don’t seem to mind usually. Maybe they believe that all politicians are like that anyway, so expectations for their own are low.

  49. Roger Mexico

    I hadn’t though of that!

  50. 1968 was huge particularly in london borough elections where the tories swept the board winning seats that were unimaginable then and simply unthinkable now.

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