ComRes have a new battleground poll out, results here, this time looking at 10 Conservative held UKIP target seats. The poll covered some seats that UKIP announced as targets last year but taking out some that no longer seem realistic, like Aylesbury, and adding some obvious ommissions like Castle Point. The overall shares of the vote with changes since 2010 were CON 39%(-7), LAB 28%(+2), UKIP 21%(+15), LDEM 5%(-10), GRN 4%(+4). UKIP have obviously advanced strongly since 2010, but remain in quite a distant third place.

It’s quite hard to know what to make of this poll. For a start, with UKIP coming from a very low base it’s quite hard to accurately predict what their best chances of a gain are – so some seats here like East Worthing and Shoreham probably aren’t in the top rank of UKIP targets. More importantly, with a poll of a group of marginal seats like this we can’t tell what the distribution of the vote is between these different seats. Most estimates are for UKIP to pick up only a couple of seats beyond their two by-election gains (which are not included in this sample), so from this poll we can’t tell whether UKIP have about 21% in all these seats (and hence wouldn’t win any of them), or are doing much better in the more promising seats like South Thanet and Thurrock and less well in the others, meaning they could win some.

I suppose all we can reasonably conclude is that UKIP don’t look like they are about to sweep the board across these seats, it’s impossible to tell from this poll whether or not they are in a stronger position in a minority of them.


484 Responses to “ComRes poll of UKIP target seats”

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  1. Thank you, Anthony.

    4,5 % to Labour in these seats from Conservatives, Is this swing applicable in all seats, do people think?

  2. It’s a really terrible poll. Who in their right mind thought it was a good idea to amalgamate several constituencies together, take all the individuals as one sample, and then conclude from the voting intention that this will be the vote share in every single constituency included in the sample?

    ComRes should really leave this stuff to Ashcroft if they’re going to draw such inferences from suc a shoddy methodology.

  3. WHO paid for this poll and for what purpose?

    [ITV – AW]

  4. Newzoids was better this week ,could be the new spitting image .

  5. Lib Dem should be -10.2% Anthony

    Andrew

  6. Johnmo, ITV news commissioned the poll, presumably for the purpose of knowing how UKIP are doing in their target seats.

  7. Thank you Anthony.

    @ CHRISLANE1945

    I think the swing will vary quite a lot.

  8. In short – this poll tells us basically nothing.

  9. TIM N.
    Thanks; yes, I agree about swings being variable. Back in the day, for example in 1966 and 1970 I remember quite uniform swings, except in the West Midlands, where, in 1970 the anti Labour swing was greater than in other places.

  10. “WHO paid for this poll and for what purpose?”

    ———-

    It was paid for by someone who had the purpose of leaving us little the wiser.

    They do that a lot with polling…

  11. UKIP’s vote is likely to vary a lot from one place to another. Their distribution of branches is uneven, and there is a great variation of political experience from place to place. So irrespective of other factors such as demographics, campaigns will be of varying strength.

    They may have strong campaigns in seats where demographics do not favour them, and weaker campaigns in seemingly favourable places.

    This election is almost there to set a benchmark for next time. It will help UKIP themselves find out where the most promising seats are. I know there’s conventional wisdom about it being poor white working class areas, but no-one knows for sure. There could be some surprises.

  12. @ CHRISLANE1945

    I think there will be quite a lot of surprises on election night.

  13. @ Catoswyn & Jack

    RE: Ballot Monkeys

    Was brilliant to see them basically taking the P**** out of politicians, had me chuckling away the whole way through.

    Though the wife was looking at me like I had just contracted Ebola or something :)

  14. David

    Accept you can’t tell, because it is mixture of likely targets and very unlikely seats aggregrated. How many of these seats might they win?
    Not many, possibly one or none.
    But I could have told you that before they’d done this poll.

  15. @ChrisLAne
    “…in the West Midlands, where, in 1970 the anti Labour swing was greater than in other places.”

    That was the Enoch factor if I remember correctly.

  16. I live in the East Worthing & Shoreham constituency & I can virtually guarantee UKIP won’t be winning this seat next month.

    They haven’t even sent any leaflets !

  17. Any chance we can have SNP, PC et al charted?

    SNP seems to be dominating the rhetoric atm

  18. We’ll I live in Sittingbourne and Sheppey and UKIP have delivered many more leaflets than any other party. None from Labour so far.

  19. It does tell us that UKIP are not doing brilliantly and so are unlikely to get more than a handful of seats if that.

  20. @ Johnmo,

    WHO paid for this poll and for what purpose?

    [ITV – AW]

    Even for Anthony, the “For what purpose?” question is unanswerable.

  21. If this swing were uniform, Labour would win Thurrock easily, be 0.9% behind the Cons in Great Yarmouth, and be 8% behind the Conservatives in South Thanet (but still 11% ahead of UKIP).

    It must be very worrying for UKIP to be polling on average barely half the level of the Conservatives in their best targets for gains. Although we don’t know the scale of variation in this poll between the seats, I think we do know that it would have to be very great for them to pick up any of the seats. Perhaps they’re only really in contention in South Thanet and perhaps Castle Point.

  22. @Bramley
    I live in the East Worthing & Shoreham constituency & I can virtually guarantee UKIP won’t be winning this seat next month.
    They haven’t even sent any leaflets !”

    Sky Kippers. There must be kippers in Worthing.

  23. UKIP.

    No more than a handful of seats won in May. Perhaps 2.

    At most they will make some seats harder for Tories to win as overall that’s where their votes come from.

    Otherwise they will have little impact bar on making the Tories more rightwing (to try and get UKIP votes back) and so more nasty party by putting off floating central voters…

    UKIP thought they would be they story of this election; but it’s SNP this time…

  24. PETE B.
    Yes, Enoch Powell was a big player in the immigration debate Benn’s speech attacking Powell, with his ‘flag flying over Belsen; phrase was a major distraction. Wilson said that Benn, in contrast to good wine ‘immatures with age’.

    The 1964 Smethwick Man Election is a notorious episode also.

  25. No Tom Newton Dunn tweet tonight? Return to normal perhaps.

  26. You gov poll of the day

    Who have you seen more of in the election ?

    Dave 23

    Ed 46

    Dont know -the rest

  27. My prediction for YG Con 35 Lab 34.

  28. BLUEBOB

    RE: Ballot Monkeys
    Was brilliant to see them basically taking the P**** out of politicians, had me chuckling away the whole way through.
    Though the wife was looking at me like I had just contracted Ebola or something :)

    I know. Great stuff. On again next week apparently. :):)

  29. Given that this is the most ‘polled’ election we have ever had in the UK, I am surprised that we haven’t had more regular and reliable data from Ukip’s no.1 target, Thanet South.

  30. My prediction – lab 35 con 33 ukip 14 LD 10

  31. Wasn’t last night’s YG normal – ie nothing to see?

    Perhaps TND has used up his extensive thesaurus of superlatives to describe a 1% lead.

  32. @CMJ

    TND’s tweet turned out to be about the separate YG/Sun poll on SNP matters. It wasn’t related to the VI poll.

  33. @David

    Perhaps a seat targeted by UKIP’s prominent leader isn’t worth polling much?

    It is of political interest, but will tell you next to nothing about UKIP’s chances in seats with ordinary candidates – the seats where the election will be won or lost.

  34. Comres did this with the SW LD seats a while back. I found this ‘take a bunch of seats’ approach, presumably because one can’t afford a decent sample in just one, is next to useless. In the LD case, the variances from Cornwall to Cheltenham in demography are significant. For the same reason, it enables a bunch of seats to defy UNS expectations.

    This UKIP situation has similarities.

  35. Carmakers

    You’ll laugh then if it’s a 4 plus lead for the Tories? Not!

  36. @RAF

    I apologise to him :-)

  37. @Chris Lane

    Yes, Peter Griffiths used language in a leaflet that was bit strong even for those days. It must have struck a chord with the electorate however as he did win, against the national trend. He was later MP for a Portsmouth seat.

    @Jack
    “No more than a handful of seats won in May. Perhaps 2.

    At most they will make some seats harder for Tories to win as overall that’s where their votes come from.”

    You might be right about the number of seats but they will also do well against Labour in the Midlands and North.

  38. @raf – that’s true although there was an element of teasing in the suggestion it might have been VI related. If TND is quiet it means no change or (more likely) tied/Labour lead.

  39. RAF

    Lol, have you ever heard of a sky kipper ?

    There will be some but nowhere near enough to snatch the seat from Tim Loughton.

    Still, every vote that reduces his 11,000 majority…..sadly, my preferred candidate won’t be winning the seat either.

  40. CHRISLANE1945
    ” Wilson said that Benn, in contrast to good wine ‘immatures with age’.”

    Reminds me: They play Tony Benn interviews and speeches on a loop on the big screens in the Leftfield at Glastonbury. It was all very moving this year given he’d passed away.

  41. “WHO paid for this poll and for what purpose?”
    ITV in the hope of figures to spin into a story.

  42. @Bramley

    Must at least be some kippers off the Worthing coast :)

  43. CMJ,
    I just bought a thesaurus but it turned out to be terrible.
    In fact not only was it terrible it was ….terrible.

    Looking forward to a proper poll to discuss even if polldrums.

  44. Catmanjeff

    There is so much riding on this one result in Thanet South I would have expected more media attention in every way.

  45. @Jim Jam
    “I just bought a thesaurus but it turned out to be terrible.
    In fact not only was it terrible it was ….terrible.”

    Quality material, Sir!

  46. As we are discussing UKIP, there were 2 papers released in the last week discussing who they are and how they have voted previously

    Paper 1
    http://pa.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/04/16/pa.gsv005.full

    Interesting parts are tracking voting from 2005 to 2010 to 2014 showing that although most 2014 UKIP voters voted Cons in 2010, many voted Lab in 2005. The overall impression I get is lost voters looking for a home and going in all directions…I guess that backs up Unicorn’s analysis that now that they are going ‘home’ in the 2015 squeeze, ‘home’ is not necessarily who they voted for in 2010.

    Also some stuff on occupation, and read the conclusion to see how they expect UKIP to impact on May’s election.

  47. Just seen that the separatists leader Sturgeon isn’t standing in the election.

    Is this right?

    That’s a rum do if correct. First Minister of Scotland isn’t a full time job I would think so she could piggy back that with being an MP.

  48. @ Catmenjeff

    Have you ever been involved in carmaking or did my predictive text go grapefruits on my previous text?

  49. Rochester and Stroud has not been polled since the by-election either.

    Still, I’d prefer more polls in the Lab-Con seats that will decide who becomes PM rather than Scotland, LD marginals, UKIP marginals. They are just a sideshow in the end.

  50. The Salmond video got a very brief mention (several seconds) amidst the 5 minute segment on the election on tonight’s news. I might be jumping the gun but it doesn’t look like much of a game changer.

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