Some interesting non-GB polls today. First up Lord Ashcroft has released four constituency polls in Conservative held seats targeted by UKIP. The four seats are Boston and Skegness, Castle Point, South Basildon and East Thurrock and North East Cambridgeshire.

  • North East Cambridgeshire seems like a rather odd choice to begin with, it doesn’t look like an obvious place for UKIP success and while Ashcroft doesid find UKIP in second place, the poll gives the Conservatives a very solid 21 point lead. (detailled tabs)The polls in the other three seats were much closer though…
  • In South Basildon and East Thurrock Ashcroft found a clear, but not entirely comfortable, Tory lead of 6 points – Conservatives 35%, UKIP 29%. Labour were in an extremely close third place on 28%, so it’s a fairly even split between the three parties with plenty of potential for tactical voting to change the result (detailled tabs)
  • In Boston and Skegness Ashcroft found a close race, with the Conservatives just ahead. Topline figures are CON 38%, LAB 17%, LDEM 5%, UKIP 35%. (detailled tabs) Note that this was one of the seats that Survation had previously polled for Alan Bown, the UKIP donor, back in September. Ashcroft’s three point Tory lead is in complete contrast to the Survation poll which showed a twenty point UKIP lead.
  • Castle Point was closest of all, essentially neck and neck between the Conservatives and UKIP. Topline figures there were CON 37%, LAB 16%, LDEM 3%, UKIP 36% (detailled tabs)

Meanwhile the latest Survation poll of Scotland was in this morning’s Daily Record. Topline figures for Westminster voting intention are CON 15%(+1), LAB 28%(+2), LDEM 5%(-2), SNP 45%(-1), UKIP 3%(-1), GRN 3%(nc) (tabs here). Compared to Survation’s other post-referendum polls it suggests a slight narrowing in the SNP lead (their previous three polls had SNP leads of 22, 24 and 20 points) Looking across Scottish polls from other companies though there’s no obvious consensus on whether the lead is narrowing or not… and even if it is narrowing a bit, a seventeen point lead is still firmly in landslide territory.


189 Responses to “Ashcroft polls in UKIP targets & Survation in Scotland”

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  1. Pondering about the SNP under Nicola, she seems to have moved the party on from the Scottish only version that existed under AS.

    She seems acutely aware that her tactical options with 30+ MPs have changed the game entirely in Westminster.

    I think she is smart enough to be a handful to the main parties.

  2. @Spearmint

    “This plus the fact that Labour are not very good at playing with others plus Miliband’s nerves of steel actually gives Labour a pretty strong hand, assuming they can get around 290 seats or so.”

    To add further to your point, the more Labour seats that the SNP pick up, the weaker their hand might be. With say 45 MPs overall, would the SNP really be prepared to risk the consequences if they followed through on their threats and brought down a Labour government that followed through its programme while failing to do much in the way of the SNPs bidding? Labour might also fancy a rematch in Scottish seats and be very willing to call the SNP’s bluff.

    Sometimes it’s possible to be a victim of your success.

    Look at it in reverse and imagine if the Lib Dems had won only around 13% of the popular vote in 2010 but with some 20 seats to say 310 for the Conservatives had still had enough to guarantee the Conservatives a working majority. Since the LDs wouldn’t have been particularly fearful of losing lots of seats in another general election, and might have fancied their chances of picking up a few, threats to pull the plug on the Conservatives would have had to be taken seriously, and those 20 seats might have bought the LDs more influence than the 57 seats they actually got.

  3. RAF

    Who the hell is John Murphy?
    _____

    SMINT

    I never mentioned biased and independence was not a topic on QT so why bring the two up?

    All I’m suggesting is that the BBC try and balance the panel a wee bit better and of course NS could had declined but why would she? I mean the other panel members weren’t exactly what I would call great adverts for their parties.

  4. @ Phil Haines

    You are probably right, but there is an odd chance that you are completely wrong when you attribute rational decisions to both parties and individuals.

    Furthermore, both individuals and parties will have many different influences, which could cloud their otherwise rational considerations.

  5. AMBER STAR
    @ Allan Christie
    The problem for the BBC is that it makes mistakes.
    Sorry not Eric Pickles I meant Michael Heseltine.
    …………….
    Have you applied for a job with the BBC, Allan? It looks like you’d fit right in”. ;-)
    ___________

    LOL yeah that was a big mistake….no pun intended towards ole Eric.

  6. Unicorn

    I saw the note you mention, but I think it’s probably another mechanism that’s causing the Lib Dem problem. I think that they are relying on polling for the general level of Lib Dem support and assuming that it will will adjust itself in total across their seats. So if Ashcroft shows it higher in some seats (thought marginal) then it must be lower in others (thought safe). So it’s the forecast percentages that are wrong as well, not just the allocation of the winners on the map.

    It’s not a problem that applies to other Parties because only the Lib Dems have such big differences between SVI and CVI and only they have had such a high percentage of their seats polled. So there aren’t many places for the compensating votes to the extra (CVI-SVI) ones that Ashcroft found. This means that seats they should expect to keep on any type of swing consistent with polling show even greater swing and are ‘lost’.

  7. It’s good for the SNP to have Nicola 1 against 4 on the panel. It can’t do her any harm her views were the opposite of the other panellists on every question – which just highlights the difference between Scottish and English politics. And the horror that ‘Scotland should rule Westminster’ was funny. I guess the love bombing is over.

    But neither Caroline nor Nicola were ruling out a deal.

  8. Catmanjeff

    “Pondering about the SNP under Nicola, she seems to have moved the party on from the Scottish only version that existed under AS.”

    The game has changed since the referendum, and a change of tactics is easier under a new leader (which I would guess was a large part of the discussions on he day afterwards!)

    Have a look at this from the next tranche of Survation data.

    Want another independence referendum within the next ten years? – Yes 59% – No 41%

    Want another independence referendum at some point? – Yes 80% : No 20%

    Those in rUK and/or Unionist parties who thought that the Scottish constitutional question would “just go away” with successive Scotland Acts should ponder a longer term plan than from now till May.

    However, I do expect that I’ll have “gone away” by the time of another referendum! :-)

  9. There is something amusing for AW in the latest Survation Scottish poll. The referendum VI is 48 Yes 52 No, but 80% want another referendum within 10 years.

  10. @Old Nat

    Sorry got the figures wrong but its still funny that so many No voters want another referendum. Could be that people do answer Yes to referendums regardless of what they are on.

  11. I do like Duncan Bannatyne and he’s probably my favorite dragon but his response to the unemployed graduate student was in my view wrong.

    In his day before the internet maybe you could go knocking on doors and ask for a job but in today’s reality most if not all major employers expect you to upload a resume or some sort of online application and that’s just as an acknowledgement you are keen to apply for the job.

    For my job I had to do an online assessment, phone interview then a one to one interview before an offer was made. Maybe I should have just handed my CV into HR like old Dunks said.

  12. Couper

    1. Yep. Most people seem to want a referendum on anything if asked.

    2. Just months after the last one on the issue, that so few think the issue is “settled” is what I found interesting.

    A lot will depend on how the parliamentary arithmetic pans out, in terms of which tactical strategy is deployed by the SNP MPs, but I imagine all possibilities have already been “gamed”.

  13. Mr Nameless, Etienne
    I got 60% Lab, 20% Green, 20% LD

    Green on Crime & Immigration
    LD on Education & Europe
    (Lab for the rest)
    On most of them I could definitely tell which ones were which and I was consciously overcompensating on some of them.

    On the 2010 one I got 80% Green and 20% Tory!

  14. @ Old Nat

    Have a look at this from the next tranche of Survation data.

    Want another independence referendum within the next ten years? – Yes 59% – No 41%

    There are No voters who’d like another referendum because they think the next campaign will be better & that the margin for staying in the UK will be greater. John Murphy might even make a second referendum a LiS policy for 2016. ;-)

  15. Amber

    I’m sure you are right, and John will continue to play keepie-uppie with his balls.

  16. AMBER

    “John Murphy might even make a second referendum a LiS policy for 2016” ;-)
    ______

    He’s got my vote……..whoever he is. ;-)

  17. @Amber Star

    Bring it on – since the last campaign went from less than 30% Yes to 45% Yes. Should be an easy Yes win.

  18. John Murphy might even make a second referendum a LiS policy for 2016. ;-)

    jim not john

  19. The referendum moved politics away from the established and revived policy decisions which had been kicked into the long grass.
    There are many neutral as well as No voters who valued the referendum for its value as a debate, and who might support a further referendum as means to review the content and agenda for devo max and regional devolution, also for the English regions, and specific questions such as nuclear defence and Trident, education and association with and reform of the EU.

  20. # established = establishment

  21. Allan Christie,

    There’s actually a middle way: emailing potential employers to alert them that you’re looking for work. If your CV interests them, then they might remember you when they have an opening and email you back. That’s how I got my first graduate job offers.

    As for the polling on another referendum, it suggests that the promise that an indyref would at least settle the issue was incorrect, and thus weakens the claim that a referendum would bring Scotland back together. Put another way, those who said that an indyref wouldn’t settle the issue were right, and if there was another indyref in the next 10 years, it would set a precedent for a double referendum next time around: one before negotiations, one afterwards. That was only taken off the table in 2014 because of the “Once in a generation” claim.

  22. @ALLAN CHRISTIE

    Hey guys…I am John Murphy that’s who and after May 7th who knows I may even be more famous than Jim!

  23. ‘Put another way, those who said that an indyref wouldn’t settle the issue were right, and if there was another indyref in the next 10 years, it would set a precedent for a double referendum next time around: one before negotiations, one afterwards’

    Just like there were two referendums on devolution. I’m sure there will be another referendum inside ten years….

  24. Jack,

    I don’t know if that’s sarcastic or not, but for the record, there WERE two referendums on devolution in Scotland in 1997. They took place on the same day.

  25. Today’s YG Scottish crossbreak

    SNP 46% : Lab 29% : Con 17% : LD 2% : UKIP 2% : Grn 3%

    Mean of last 20 YG Scottish crossbreaks

    SNP 42% : Lab 26% : Con 19% : LD 5% : UKIP 4% : Grn 3%

  26. Good Morning All. Drying up here in Dorset.

    BILL PATRICK: Neil Kinnock played a destructive role in the anti Devolution campaign, undermining Jim Callaghan’s Labour Government.

  27. I can’t help thinking that all this discussion about a Labour – SNP deal hasn’t yet discussed the possibility of Labour not actually doing a deal at all in the first place, even if it were to be at face value in its mathematical advantage.

    There seems to be an assumption that if Labour is under 300 seats or so they will certainly HAVE to accept SNP support.

    I’m not sure this is true. So long as Labour outnumber the Tories lets say by 20 seats they can govern as a minority government safe in the knowledge that the SNP will not sabotage a Labour government and risk the return of the Tories. The SNP has to that end tactically neutralised itself in making clear it will not support or enable a Conservative government, and that it most certainly would prefer a Labour led one. It simply can’t risk losing its recent Labour converts which it would risk if it undermined a Labour government.

    Also tactically for Labour doing a deal with the SNP would arguably be a very bad idea for their long term prospects in Scotland. Why vote Labour in Scotland when you can vote SNP and get a pan-left UK coalition government led by Labour anyway? Labour would be better to argue that only a vote for Labour gets a Labour government and that argument would be untenable if Labour effectively concedes Scotland to the SNP and carried on, but with the SNP as the Labour party’s new Scottish division.

  28. @OldNat

    On today’s YG crossbreaks (EC Scotland predictor):

    Con 0 (-1)
    Lab 15 (-26)
    LD 0 (-11)
    SNP 44 (+38)

  29. Interesting piece: http://sotonpolitics.org/2015/02/20/two-polarities-of-anti-politics/

    Especially about the Lab>UKIP switchers being people who may have voted for Blair, but whose instincts are not social democratic. Perhaps something to heed there.

  30. Roll etc,

    Yes, agreed. A Labour PM could just call the SNPs bluff without any arrangement.

    And also, agreements with the SNP and the DUP are mutually exclusive and I can see a whole lot of reasons why Labour would prefer an agreement with the DUP.

  31. Electionsetc commentary on November 21 projections:/b>

    …Tories in their strongest position in our forecast since June. We now give them a 58% chance of winning the most seats..

    Electionsetc commentary a few minutes ago on today’s run:

    We now have Labour as very narrow favourites to emerge as the largest party…

    Where IS that dreaded swingback?

  32. Good morning all from a damp but rather mild Giffnock.
    ……..
    “BILL PATRICK
    Allan Christie,
    “There’s actually a middle way: emailing potential employers to alert them that you’re looking for work. If your CV interests them, then they might remember you when they have an opening and email you back. That’s how I got my first graduate job offer”
    ______

    Absolutely and before I was offered my current job I did the same and uploaded my CV to potential recruiters and also registered my CV with a few recruitment agency’s who in turn sent out email alerts for the type of work matching my criteria.

    Nothing wrong with being a little bit proactive on the ole job hunt although I was in work when I applied for my current position which gave me the upper hand when negotiating a salary package.

    On the indy front…Scotland was never apart before during or after the indy ref. The politicians might had been but for us normal people we remained as one but obviously had opposing opinions.

    I hadn’t made my mind up until around 4 months before the vote and I’m easy with giving devolution time to mature but I still think Scottish independence will be delivered Prague style.

    With devolution there can’t possibly be a settled will because devolution is an evolving process.

  33. JOHN MURPHY
    @ALLAN CHRISTIE
    Hey guys…I am John Murphy that’s who and after May 7th who knows I may even be more famous than Jim
    ______

    You already are ……Who’s Jim? ;-)

  34. John Murphy might even make a second referendum a LiS policy for 2016. ;-)

    jim not john

    That was a joke, based on something on the previous page. Hence Old Nat & Allan Christie showing they’d ‘got it’ :-) & others not realising that I was trying to be funny.

  35. OLDNAT
    Today’s YG Scottish crossbreak
    SNP 46% : Lab 29% : Con 17% : LD 2% : UKIP 2% : Grn 3%
    _____

    Topline figures for Westminster voting intention are CON 15%(+1), LAB 28%(+2), LDEM 5%(-2), SNP 45%(-1), UKIP 3%(-1)

    I tell you what that’s not far off from yesterdays Daily Record poll.

  36. Crosby says swingback is on order -expected delivery may 6 a special birthday present for t blair esq.

  37. @Hal
    @Roll a hard six

    The fewer seats Labour win the more they need the SNP because they would need to convince the house they could command a majority and Milband would want to be sure he wouldn’t lead a government stumbling from defeat to defeat Under 300 seats they would definitely
    look for C&S from the SNP.

    What Miliband cannot do is refuse to deal with the SNP and by doing so let Cameron be PM. Well he could but that would as bad for Labour in Scotland as SNP supporting the Tories would be for the SNP. This is actually what happened in 2010 when Brown refused to deal with the SNP, despite Salmond trying desperately for a deal to keep out the Tories, however because Labour were so far behind there were plenty of excuses for Labour decisions. although Labour have not won a Scottish election since so maybe it did get through on some level, However, if Ed is within sticking distance of a OM then he will have to deal or lose Scotland forever.

    The Labour party are not ruling out a deal, so I think a C&S deal is very much on the cards.

    The Scottish parliament elections are coming up next year, I think the SNP would not mind being a large group on the voting against Austerity, benefit cuts, Trident and Labour having to rely on Tory votes to get these policies through.

    Does a C&S agreement put the party on the government or opposition benches.?

  38. @couper2802

    re: sitting on the govt benches, I guess the precedent would be the Lib-Lab pact circa 1977. i.e. the Liberals normally supported Labour but none of them were actually in the Government. Does anyone know which side the Liberals sat on?

  39. So Osborne pulls a big surplus out of the hat (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-31548170) to reduce the deficit, before we head into the final budget and the run in to the election.

    I wonder how this will play on the polling over the coming weeks. I expect that the tories will get quite a lot of good publicity for this, and might give them a lift in the polls

  40. @ Allan,

    I never mentioned biased and independence was not a topic on QT so why bring the two up?

    You said, “4 panel members hostile in nature towards the SNP”. All political parties are hostile in nature towards other political parties with whom they directly compete for votes, and even in Scotland the majority of people are hostile toward the SNP (at least, to the extent of voting for someone else instead). There were four panel members hostile in nature towards Labour and the Lib Dems too.

    So either you’re complaining about something completely innocuous and inherent to the show format (political parties are hostile to each other and QT puts up only one politician of each party), or you’re complaining about a specific, unique animus directed by all the other parties towards the SNP. If it’s the latter, the reason for that animus is that they’re unionist parties and the SNP is separatist, which is why I mentioned independence. If it’s the former, then the panel was perfectly well balanced and I’m not sure what you’re complaining about.

    @ James,

    Opposition, I should think. You don’t want to be considered part of the government unless you absolutely have to because you lose your Short Money, so the Liberals would have done everything they could to interpret their position as remaining in opposition.

  41. RAF,
    There is an interesting article in the Telegraph this morning by J Kirkup,inwhich
    he concludes that 2015 might be a good election to lose.His reasoning is quite
    Interesting.I promise I hadn’t read it before I posted last night.

  42. @Spearmint

    Each question was four against one, five you count Dimbers
    economy – Austerity v anti-Austerity,
    working for benefits – Good v Exploitation diverts from tax dodging
    Trident Renewal – Yes v No
    Scotland ruling WM – Shrieks of horror v Progressive alliance

    So it seemed like a big gang up on Nicola but I am definitely not complaining because Nicola got all her points across and it will have brought her more support.

    But, BBC in Scotland was incredibly biased in the run up to the referendum and independent reports have confirmed this. I think they took the same attitude as the supposedly impartial civil service that as the state broadcaster it was their duty to maintain the state.

  43. Populus (1 hour ago)

    Lab 32 (-1)
    Tories 31 (=)
    Lib Dems 9 (-1)
    UKIP 17 (+2)
    Othere 12 (+1)

    Very close to YouGov for the two main parties but UKIP appear to inflating in the Populus polls of late. New methodology, perhaps?

    Otherwise, we more or less trundle on. Both the two main parties still doing atrociously. Did anyone ever foresee the day that Labour would lead in a national opinion poll with a VI of 32%????

  44. Populus

    GB – Lab 32 (-1), Con 31 (-), LD 9 (-1), UKIP 17 (+2), Others 12 (+1)

    Sco – SNP 47, Lab 21, Con 11, LD 11, UKIP 5, Grn 4

    Tables here

    http://www.populus.co.uk/Poll/Voting-Intention-164/

  45. SPEARMINT

    Just to even things up the Scottish public by a majority are hostile towards every party when taking each party as an individual.

    I don’t think you’re grasping my point. Whenever the SNP are on QT in England the dynamics and the complex nature that flings up puts the SNP candidate at a distinctive disadvantage.

    The same for UKIP..It’s usually a gang of 4 on 1 because the other main parties credibility are at such a low ebb they almost get a free run when the UKIP panel member is at the receiving end of an orchestrated attack from the rest of the panel.

    When QT is in Glasgow wouldn’t it even things up if we had the SNP leader, Green Party leader the Scottish Socialist leader, Sir Tom Farmer, (all who oppose Trident, want independence) and Ed Balls on the panel?

    Reverse that panel and that’s what we had last night.

    No mention of BBC biased from me but they got it wrong.

  46. Couper
    “What Miliband cannot do is refuse to deal with the SNP and by doing so let Cameron be PM. ”

    Aye. We went through this last week.

    There is a very obvious scenario where the SNP deliberately make demands that Labour could not possibly agree to, leading to a collapse in negotiations and allowing a Tory minority Govt.

    It’s a high risk strategy, but I could see a lot of benefits for the SNP in that outcome. It would depend on how the story was played back to the Scottish electorate, and I could see Salmond and Sturgeon winning that battle hands down. “We promised that we would not put the Tories into Govt. And we were true to our promise. Labour put them in by refusing to engage with our very reasonable demands. People of Scotland. You’ve had yet another Tory Govt foisted upon you by the devious Sassenachs.”

    Of course I’m being very silly. ON told me as much last week when I raised that possibility. And yet. And yet. There’s that very curious choice of phrase by Sturgeon when she said the SNP won’t put the Tories into Govt. If she meant that the SNP will do everything in its power to actively prevent a Tory Govt, why didn’t she just say so?

  47. @ Couper 2802,

    What Miliband cannot do is refuse to deal with the SNP and by doing so let Cameron be PM.

    I don’t think there’s much danger of that. Although Roger Mexico may be right that some in Labour prefer opposition, on the whole political parties want to be in power. And after everything he’s gone through I imagine Miliband himself would quite like to be Prime Minister, a) so that his decision to upset his whiny brother will be vindicated, b) so that the Blairites can’t regain control of the Labour Party, and c) to see the look on certain columnists’ faces. If he fails to get into government his whole career is going to be viewed as a failure. For him at least this is pretty high stakes.

    Plus a bunch of the Labour MPs with ideological reasons to want Miliband to fail are retiring, and I doubt their replacements will be happy to sit on their hands while the Tories make massive public spending cuts. They’ll do a deal. (Even if the “deal” consists of Ed Balls showing up on Budget Day and saying “Here’s a budget, pass it or bring down the government and vindicate Johannes Murphy’s dumb ‘Vote SNP get Tories’ line”).

  48. And just to add….Instead of having the Lib/Dems on the panel why not have a Green party member? It might had balanced the panel up a bit.

  49. Lefty

    I must have missed the statement by Labour that they would make no deals with the Tories in a hung Parliament.

    I presume it was so categorical and precisely worded that no partisan opponent could find a way to cast doubt upon it?

  50. @LL

    That’s evil but then it’s politics.

    The problem is it would come down to a vote and the SNP would not get away with going through the lobbies with the Tories or abstaining it would be electoral suicide in the 2016 Scottish election.

    That’s not because Milbank is popular, polling shows he isn’t it would be because they lied. It doesn’t matter the form of words – the SNP have promised not to enable a Tory government and people are voting on that basis.

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