The Evening Standard have published a new BMG poll of the Richmond Park by-election, suggesting a significantly less exciting race than some people thought (and than the Lib Dems hoped). Topline voting intention figures are:

GOLDSMITH (Ind) 56% (down 2 from the Con share in 2015)
OLNEY (Lib Dem) 29% (up 10 from the LD share in 2015)
LABOUR 10% (-2)
OTHER 5% (-5)

While there is a month to go, this suggests that Goldsmith should hold the seat relatively easily. The idea that, with both main candidates opposing Heathrow expansion, it could become an by-election about Brexit in a pro-EU seat doesn’t really seem to working out at present. 25% of voters say that Brexit will be the most important issue in deciding their vote, but they are mostly voting Lib Dem and Labour already. Goldsmith’s voters say their most important considerations are Goldsmith’s own record and views, followed by Heathrow opposition.

BMG also asked people how they would have voted if the Conservatives had put up an official Conservative candidate against Goldsmith. Topline figures would have been GOLDSMITH 34%, LIB DEM 25%, CONSERVATIVE 20% – so the race would have been far more competitive, but with the Tories trailing in third place. It was an unusual decision not to stand, but the polling suggests it was the right one for the Tories (or at least, neither option would have produced a Tory MP, but the Conservatives presumably prefer Goldsmith winning to a Lib Dem). Full details are here.


522 Responses to “BMG/Standard poll of Richmond Park gives Goldsmith 27 point lead”

1 7 8 9 10 11
  1. @Colin

    “Exchange Rate generated inflation being passed on in prices. BoE will be watching this”

    ———-

    What will they do though? Putting up rates may put us in recession. Then again, dunno if you’ve read this article in today’s Times:

    “Britain’s hard decision over easy money”

    Where they also present the argument that low rates and QE are holding the economy back, diverting capital into unproductive assets and inflating asset prices and enriching the wealthy at others’ expense etc.

    It’s possible QE coulda been done a bit differently. Meanwhile I spotted another article in the Times the other day whereby small business is borrowing more, assisted by low rates…

  2. Sea change, I generally avoid your posts.

  3. ‘Incidentally, it looks like the US operates an entirely different system, as there are numerous polls reporting actual numbers of early voters and how they voted. In some places, like Nevada, I understand we know how many registered party supporters have voted, and polls/results are suggesting that the Democrats lead is sufficiently large to mean Trump is now unlikely to win the state. ‘

    Party registration in the US is not a firm indication as to how people have actually voted – it can only be a rough guide. Millions of registered Democrats voted for Reagan in 1980 and 1984.

  4. @Danny “Which course will government follow now? The one you reckon 70% want, or the one government has always favoured? I expect either we will accept free movement, or there will be a quota designed not to limit immigration.”

    Your blanket statement is simply not true. The government have not always favoured mass immigration. This was a policy pursued by the Blair governments from 1997 onwards and exacerbated by the accession to the EU of Eastern Europe from 2004.

    This level of immigration is entirely out of the ordinary. IMO it is unwarranted and unnecessary. We grew GDP and standard of living just fine before 1997.

  5. Agreed., that poll will disappoint the Lib Dems – they must be desperate to see some movement…

    It should disappoint Labour too, but I suspect the true believers will be unaffected!

  6. ICM carried out significant adjustments following the 2015 polling debacle. Some commentators suspect that it might have overcorrected and that their figures are now flattering the Tories somewhat.

  7. @Laszlo
    “I understand the Labour score, but not really the LibDem considering their local by-election results”
    Locally, the voters know the candidates.
    Nationally, the supporters (or non-supporters) know the leaders.

  8. @Mark W

    Your statement suggested the PLP were mainly responsible for the current polling. Over 80% of the PLP have stated he is incompetent and his positions will certainly come across as Bennite to Middle England.

    I don’t think I have stated anything other than what the public is likely to think. He has leadership ratings that are simply abysmal when people have been polled.

    I think it’s fantasy to believe that swing voters in the likes of Basildon where Labour need to win to form a Government are going to vote for Corbyn, but I am open to hear any arguments to consider changing my mind.

  9. “Agreed., that poll will disappoint the Lib Dems – they must be desperate to see some movement…”

    ———–

    May have to wait a while yet. Their formerly left wing supporters won’t be happy about u turns on Austerity etc. and the pro-EU wing may not be happy that they supported the Tories eventually allowing them to do the referendum that sees us leaving the EU…

  10. @Dave – Agreed.

    I would be very disappointed if I were the Lib Dems.

    Farron has little national standing and now that the SNP are the third largest party with two PM questions they are further starved of media attention.

    To have UKIP poll 50% higher than them after the utter shambles of the last month must be galling.

  11. Another Poll from BMG

    Conservatives – 42% (+3)
    Labour – 28% (nc)
    Liberal Democrats – 8% (nc)
    UKIP – 12% (-1)
    Greens – 4% (-1)
    Other – 6% (-1)

    http://www.bmgresearch.co.uk/westminster-voting-intention-october-2016/

    More of the same

  12. The BMG data is a bit old – Fieldwork finished on Oct 24th.

  13. Dave

    “Locally, the voters know the candidates.
    Nationally, the supporters (or non-supporters) know the leaders.”

    It is true, but it could be more complicated.

    In Liverpool after the coalition, you could see a clear shift from LibDems to UKIP (not Labour). It is possible, of course, that ex LibDem voters stayed home, while previously non-voting people turned up for UKIP. The reason why I think it doubtful is the fact that in the local elections this year you could see that LibDems went up by as much as UKIP went down.

  14. @Carfrew
    It would be odd to see voters refuse to vote Lib Dem as being sufficiently pro-EU.
    Who else can they vote for – at-best-ambivalent Labour, Brexit-happy Tory or rabidly anti-EU UKIP?

  15. @LASZLO Libdems -> UKIP -> Libdems

    Why do you think that happens do you think? I mean their policy positions are complete anathema to each other. Or is it just an anti-establishment vote with no consideration of policy?

  16. @Graham BMG

    Yes not sure why they took so long to publish it. Still it does confirm all the post conference polls. They are all remarkably consistent.

    What an absolute mountain for Labour to climb.

  17. The other howard,
    Maybe you have spent more time on this than me, but I am still learning about Brexit. New facts seem to pop up quite regularly, perhaps all of which should have been rehearsed before the vote. This will continue to dominate politics, and voter opinion.

    I post a lot in a general pro Remain direction, because I do not see the benefits of the other side. The arguments mainly made for Leave seem absurd to me, but then I have never bought into the two party UK system of government. I have always seen EU input into the government of the UK as a real democratic benefit. So much which has been said against the EU over the years has been by UK politicians shifting blame for their own policies. Whether the EU is doing well or badly, the UK government always manages to do worse. So on this issue I am pro EU.

    As regards the economy, I have not seen any explanation how it can be better outside the EU. We might manage to shrink the population by 5 million instead of the predicted rises, but I am immensely sceptical anyone will feel better for this.

    ” we wont know the full effect of brexit until 2025-2035?.
    No, but the fact we dont know whether it will be broken leg or total paralysis from the neck down, is no reason to jump off a cliff.

    As to rejoining, what goes around, comes around.

    carfrew,
    “Of course as you know, some of this could be ameliorated by government investment etc., Or transfer payments, but if in practice they don’t do it, then peeps will vote accordingly.”
    Indeed. Which is only to say this entire issue is about UK government policy, not the EU. Whether in future immigration goes up or down will still be a function of Uk government policy. The referendum and result were irrelevant.

  18. BIGFATRON

    “It would be odd to see voters refuse to vote Lib Dem as being sufficiently pro-EU.
    Who else can they vote for – at-best-ambivalent Labour, Brexit-happy Tory or rabidly anti-EU UKIP?”

    ————–

    If voters become dissatisfied with a party, doesn’t mean they have to vote for someone else even less appealing. They may just decide not to vote.

  19. Witney provided evidence that Labour will have little trouble repelling the LibDems with ‘You can’t trust them not to put the Tories in’.

  20. “New facts seem to pop up quite regularly, perhaps all of which should have been rehearsed before the vote. This will continue to dominate politics, and voter opinion.”

    ———-

    Indeed, just in the Times today, we have articles on how the fall in the pound is helping manufacturers, small business lending is up despite Brexit, how the announcement of making companies say how many foreign peeps caused a great deal of harm to our reputation, and I’ve been reading an article from the weekend on how now other sectors like Pharma are looking at following Nissan’s lead in securing concessions from the Govt.

    Brexit is huge, impacting on many things, indeed the reach of the EU into our lives was an argument for Brexit. It’s gonna be hard to avoid for a while to come.

  21. @Danny

    “Indeed. Which is only to say this entire issue is about UK government policy, not the EU. Whether in future immigration goes up or down will still be a function of Uk government policy. The referendum and result were irrelevant.”

    —————-

    Well, the EU could have made it easier, done more transfer payments etc. and not made our government shoulder so much of the burden of dealing with immigration, not create such a demand for new housing and infrastructure so quickly, slow the pace to make integration easier and so on. But our government didn’t do much of what it could to ameliorate and so yes, this does suggest possibility for Brexiteers to be disappointed with the outcome.

    Immigration was useful electorally in terms of pushing up house prices, to excuse impact of cuts, and criticise policies on things like welfare. With the bonus that it could be blamed on the EU. It can also be used to change voting demographics in a party’s favour. It kinda suited both main parties in various ways.

    Perhaps some voters knew this deep down and voted accordingly, to exit the EU to stop letting the government off the hook.

  22. @Carfrew
    Fair point – but I suspect the number of people sufficiently pro-EU to refuse to vote even Lib Dem is pretty small.

  23. laszlo,
    “I understand the Labour score, but not really the LibDem considering their local by-election results (I know the caveats, still).”

    Perhaps the existence of one overriding issue makes real polling very difficult. If there is a by election, normal rules for such will apply and the national poll is irrelevant. By the time there really is a national election, views on the one big issue may have crystalised more in their impact on party support. If we have some local elections in between, they will be influenced by a mixture of protest vote and local issues.

    So I would dare suggest the national hypothetical poll is more unreliable than usual right now.

    Sea Change,
    “Your blanket statement is simply not true. The government have not always favoured mass immigration. This was a policy pursued by the Blair governments from 1997 onwards and exacerbated by the accession to the EU of Eastern Europe from 2004. ”

    All that happened is that as the economy grew from Thatcher onwards, its labour demands increased, and succesive governments adopted the identical policy of matching immigration to demand. Or rather, free movement allowed an automatic response where companies pro actively recruited from abroad and individuals responded to information about job availability in Britain. This has only become an issue because the policy has worked beautifully and allowed the labour force to enlarge as required.

  24. Sea change, I accept much work needs to be done by labour to regain the public’s trust. Trust lost by the infighting – understatement, it was awful.

    Events are what shape politics , events that are unpredictable. I don’t know much but I hope and believe things will change.

    If lab can unite and cohere I am sure the polls will become more favourable to them.

  25. I should add, that immigration was also summat that suited the neoliberal governments we’ve had for a while now. With government not very clued up on how to assist growth through the tricky matter of investment etc. they have to resort to other, cruder means, which means stuff like stoking the housing market and having more immigration.

    The noises coming from both main parties these days sound like moving away from these quick fixes and instead taking on the trickier but ultimately more rewarding challenge of proper investment, but we shall see…

  26. @Bigfatron

    Such was the scale of their about face, there are plenty reasons to not vote Lib Dem. U turns on EU , Austerity, Tuition fees, even voting reform where they went for the “miserable compromise” of AV. Even if you cared little about any of those things it’s liable to affect perceptions of trust.

  27. interesting analysis of ‘Trump’s’ lies. http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/09/2016-donald-trump-fact-check-week-214287

    The same organization produced a comparison of the lies told by a large number of candidates in primaries and this made it clear Trump was in a class of his own. Hilary Clinton was actually among a number of politicians who made very few if any direct lies, although a much larger number of statements which could be seen as economical with the truth.

    I suspect that people see Trump and Hilary as untruthful for different reasons. Trump is seen as ‘honestly dishonest’ , a person who says things that no one in their senses can be expected to believe but which nevertheless speak to an underlying reality (e.g. that the system is rigged) Clinton is ;seen as ‘existentially dishonest’, her way of being is to support the establishment and status quo, and thus the production of facts and figures which while no doubt correct nevertheless distort the reality that people in the rust belt experience. (An American poll found that the vast majority of Trump supporters did not believe official statistics)

    All this fits the fact that the major gap between Trump supporters and others is educational. As I remember there was a similar gap between Remain and Brexit. The college educated are being punished for not appreciating the situation of those less educated and including this in their analyses. Those without a college education are being punished for believing that any analysis produced by people with relevant education and expertise is self-serving rubbish, The result as Cambridge Rachel has probably said is not very good for democracy,

  28. @Danny

    “All that happened is that as the economy grew from Thatcher onwards, its labour demands increased, and succesive governments adopted the identical policy of matching immigration to demand. Or rather, free movement allowed an automatic response where companies pro actively recruited from abroad and individuals responded to information about job availability in Britain. This has only become an issue because the policy has worked beautifully and allowed the labour force to enlarge as required.”

    —————————-

    So because we elect historians as Chancellors not peeps skilled in investment, they struggle for ideas to promote growth. So they go for population growth via immigration instead.

    And they get growth so now business needs more workers so….. ok, no probs, get some more immigration. Population grows, economy grows, more immigration required!!!! See the issue?…

  29. TOH: “Why should any of us do that for God’s sake? Personally I have got much better things to do with my time. You should get out and get a life, join a debating society or something like that.”

    My goodness. One of the most prolific posters on UKPR has time for low-grade stuff like this, and much more in the same vein, but not for a substantive contribution over the country’s future.

    As for getting a life, I’ve just arrived at my flat overlooking the Med. It’s a beautiful day (24 degrees, blue sky, bright sunshine, light breeze), the sun is sparkling off the sea, people are swimming, and I’ve just made my first ice-cold G&T. Or, from your perspective, I’m in a miserable EU hell-hole suffering under the Brussels jackboot.

    Incidentally, it was interesting to see that despite devaluation prices here remain very reasonable. Last night’s hotel was just €30, a couple of beers were €1.50 each, everyone in the bar was very friendly and I filled up with diesel this morning at €1.039 a litre (about 94p).

  30. “As for getting a life, I’ve just arrived at my flat overlooking the Med. It’s a beautiful day (24 degrees, blue sky, bright sunshine, light breeze), the sun is sparkling off the sea, people are swimming, and I’ve just made my first ice-cold G&T.”

    ———–

    Yes, but prolly no cricket.

  31. Sea Change

    “Why do you think that happens do you think? I mean their policy positions are complete anathema to each other. Or is it just an anti-establishment vote with no consideration of policy?”

    Because here in Liverpool it is the anyone but Labour vote. However, the Tories are disliked even more.

    I wouldn’t say it can be generalised, but there could be pockets like this around the country.

  32. SOMERJOHN

    Delighted that your getting a life at last, very pleased for you. Enjoy :-)

    I’ve been doing some valuable biological recording which is one of my many interests, lovely to spend time in the country. My travelling days are more or less over these days, due to health issues but there is very little of the World I have not seen and for the most part enjoyed. Great memories of places, peoples, animals, birds and much more. Travel certainly broadens the mind which is why I am so outward looking.

  33. @Laszlo “It is true, but it could be more complicated.”
    Speaking as a physicist, it may be true, but it is always more complicated.

  34. Carfrew

    I have no idea where we are going to get good spinners from, it really is a big issue at the moment.

    Yes, one of the many issues with thr French is that they don’t play cricket. :-)

    Danny

    I have spent much time thinking about and understanding the EU . It’s why I want to leave. I have been waiting over 40 years to do so having been foolish enough when young to believe we were just going into a free trade area. I soon saw the light, but too late, until now.

    Your last post to me just reinforces my view that there is little point in a dialogue as we will never agree.

    Jayblanc

    I’m not going to argue with your description of yourself, it’s up to you.

  35. TOH: “very pleased for you. Enjoy :-)”

    Ah, thank you.

    We all arrive at our current stage in life by different routes, and pick up different perspectives on the way. I love Britain: I grew up on the edge of Dartmoor, and now live in an equally beautiful and interesting hilly area. But I love being in other parts of Europe too: I love different languages, different customs, different food, different weather. British and European: what a wonderful combination. It’s having half of that torn away that is so hard, and so unnecessary.

    Ultimately, our political attitudes are as much emotional as rational; probably more so.

  36. @Carfrew
    You seem to be classing every compromise that had to be made as the junior partner in a coalition government a u-turn; it would have been no doubt lovely for Liberal voters to get a purely Lib Dem programme in government, but it was never going to happen and utterly unrealistic to expect it.

    You wouldn’t chastise the Tories for a U-turn over Inheritance Tax cuts (for – abandoned), educational investment for the poorest children (against – adopted) or increased personal tax allowances (against – adopted); all things they made pre-election commitments on and then did the opposite as part of the coalition.

    It does seem that the poor Lib Dems are held to some higher standard of behaviour than other parties…

  37. I am pretty sure that no one is proposing that we leave Europe or stop being European.

  38. SOMERJOHN

    I love Britain too, but unlike you I was born in London and have always lived in a town. Fortunately where I live now sees me on the North Downs in 15 minutes with miles and miles of really good walking. My wife and I know Dartmoor quite well, we often stayed with friends near Holne, lovely part of Britain.

    I too have travelled a lot in Europe and really like Greece and Italy but my real joy has been travelling in the America’s, north, south and central, much of Asia and Australia and New Zealand. China, Japan, The Philippines, Sulawesi, Halmahera and Iran Jaya are all fascinating places. Irian Jaya is certainly the most remote place I have visited, one tribe we stayed with for a week were only discovered in 1947. Happy days……….

  39. @BFR

    I think you have the LDs problem in one.

    Outside government, they could present themselves as a different kind of politics. They may have created expectations they couldn’t meet.

    No one expects the Tories to be deeply ideologically committed. In fact the UK likes the Tories best when they are not.

  40. NEIL A

    Personally I don’t think of myself as European at all, but of course nobody is suggesting we do not remain friends or allies of Europe, why would we.

  41. @Fatron
    But there was no reason to enter Coalition in the first place. The false economic justification put forward is now being flatly contradicted by the fact that Osborne’s policies – which were always self-defeating – are now being abandoned.Five years of economic sadomasochism for no good reason. The LibDems deserve severe punishment for that.

  42. Dave

    Is the phenomenon more complicated, or our description of the phenomenon? :-)

  43. Graham,
    Richmond Park will be the acid test of whether Labour voters now trust the lib Dems enough to vote for them tactically, not Witney where Labour started in second place and did badly not to increase their % vote in reality..

  44. Sea Change

    Thanks – but I was expecting you to link to some real evidence! :-)

    With all due respect to my alma mater (and recognising the pressure that academics are under to publish – or be damned), McAngus’s “research” was pretty widely slated at the time.

    Did you actually read his paper?

    the data for the research was gathered through an online questionnaire that was distributed to skippers and boat owners across the UK. Fishermen’s Associations
    and Producer Organisations were approached and asked to distribute a hyperlink to the survey through their emailing lists. At the time of writing,114 responses have been gathered, the majority of
    which (88.6%) are from individuals who skipper and/or own a boat over 10m. As of June 2016, the UK Government recorded 1242 registered vessels over 10m in length.

    Reponses have come from across the UK, with all nations apart from Wales represented in the sample
    so far. The majority of responses came from Scotland which is perhaps reflective of the fact that there was a greater willingness in amongst Scottish associations to distribute the survey. Scotland does have the largest fleet in the UK, but Scotland is slightly over-represented regardless

    Not only is it not a representative sample, the data collection method would give our Anthony the heebie-jeebies! – and it still only got 114 responses.

    That doesn’t even represent 8% of the UK’s large fishing vessels (as both skippers and owners made returns for the same boat in a number of instances).

    In any case, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that the owners and their skippers of the pelagic boats were against EU membership – partly at least because they reckoned the UK would tale a less stringent approach to conservation.

    They are probably correct in that. The different regulations for scallop fishing in the French/English waters of the Channel support that view.

    In any case, all you have done is to support my original point, in response to yours. Politically, the consequences of simply allowing EU boats to fish “UK waters” would be much more important than in rUK.

  45. At the moment, the Tories are masters of all they survey.
    Regardless of the ups and downs of the EU exit negotiations, it’s not healthy for the opposition to be in such a state.
    Labour just don’t seem to be able to get on the news agenda, apart from banging on about the miners strike.
    They have to get with it – and sharpish.

  46. R huckle

    Im an easy mark for conspiracy theories, I love them and believe most but that trump one is less believable than the moon landings were faked

  47. @BIGFATRON

    “You seem to be classing every compromise that had to be made as the junior partner in a coalition government a u-turn; it would have been no doubt lovely for Liberal voters to get a purely Lib Dem programme in government, but it was never going to happen and utterly unrealistic to expect it.”

    ———-

    Oh God not this again. Leaving aside that they did not have to join the Tories in a coalition in the first place, and the comedic excuse that Greece was a sudden emergency requiring this, the Lib Dems did have negotiating clout, they just squandered it on hoped-for party advantage. Instead of sticking to what they told their voters on tuition fees and Austerity, they instead went for bodges like AV and HoL reform.

    The Greece excuse was particularly bad because even if true that their economy was about to bring down ours, they had previously been arguing Austerity is not appropriate in a downturn. So they switched on that knowing it was against our economic interest as per previous arguments.

    Compromise might have been expected but such a wholesale and cynical capitulation prolly not. Maybe you are so easily placated but clearly many voters aren’t.

  48. I didn’t think there was anyone left who still fell for the idea the LibDems had to do it…

  49. @CAMBRIDGERACHEL

    “I’m an easy mark for conspiracy theories, I love them and believe most but that trump one is less believable than the moon landings were faked”

    ———-

    Still find it a bit amazing they managed to land the lunar module on a plume of rocket gas numerous times sans mishap. Even today with advanced computer guidance such things do not always go smoothly.

    Then there’s the radiation belts…

1 7 8 9 10 11