Several newspapers last night reported a “poll” commissioned by Labourleave in Stoke on Trent. It claimed to show UKIP on 35%, Labour on 25% and the Tories on 10%.

Labourleave have today put up this document. It is fair to say it is light on methodological detail.

There is no sign of who did the fieldwork, how the data was weighted or even what mode it was conducted by. We do not have any information about the demographics of the achieved sample. Worryingly it doesn’t even specify that it was specifically Stoke Central though I can only assume it was. All we have is a sample size of 182. In a random sample this would give a huge margin of error of plus or minus 7 percentage points (despite the 4% it claims in the document)

My understanding is it comes from Labourleave convassing their own database of contacts in Stoke (though there has also been a suggestion that it was a Facebook poll). Obviously something like that brings a heavy risk of bias depending on who they have on their database and what skews may be present. With all those concerns, one can put very little weight upon the results. Even if details are forthcoming and it turns out it was actually conducted and weighted in an appropriate way, the tiny sample size renders it of limited use.

For now – at least until more detail is forthcoming – ignore.

866 Responses to “Labourleave “poll” in Stoke”

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  1. lazlo

    Post truth

    I do not understand what this means..For there to be post truth there must have been a time of truth and presumably pre-truth.Can anyone say when the legendary time of truth was?
    Anecdotally it must certainly pre-date the BBC.

  2. @jasper22

    For American immigration purposes, dual nationality arises from being born in another country not only having dual formal citizenship. So unless they have a time machine and can go back and change their place of birth they will be caught in the net.

  3. The map Candy speaks of is fun to play with and is available from the petition.

  4. @seachange

    Thanks.for the RCP link.

  5. I see the PM is meeting the “devolved leaders ” in Cardiff today. Nicola Sturgeon says time is running out to get an acceptable Brexit deal for Scotland.
    I’m sure the PM will tell Nilcola Sturgeon she and her fellow Scots will have as much input into the process as that similar sized place in the UK – Yorkshire.

  6. Sea Change
    ‘I have not said there will be a Labour switch en-mass. But I think it is naive to suggest that Brexit has not become THE issue.’
    “It would certainly be an important issue , but I am far from convinced that it would prove to be the most salient issue”

    Brexit is still on the minds of voters and to be honest it will probably be the biggest political issue in town. Stoke as you know is a Brexit utopia. With Labour at odds over Brexit then the electorate in Stoke might decide to give them a boot up the arse.

    That’s what by-elections quite often do…boot the incumbent up the arse telling them and their party to get their act together.

  7. Hireton

    Thanks. So, if someone has a British passport, but it has their place of birth as Tehran, they are caught under Trump’s new missive ?

  8. WB
    Labour is actually less split on the EU today than was the case in 1971/72 under the Heath Government. That did not prevent the party doing ok at the two 1974 elections!

  9. Catmanjeff

    But swings are never uniform, especially big ones, and especially those involving big increases in numbers of votes for parties other than Conservative and Labour.

    It’s not that hard to imagine an eg 4% swing Lab-UKIP nationally yielding the odd 12-15% swing here and there – whilst UKIP are simultaneously falling back in more upmarket Conservative-held seats and going nowhere in large swathes of Scotland still.

  10. JASPER22

    “I’m sure the PM will tell Nilcola Sturgeon she and her fellow Scots will have as much input into the process as that similar sized place in the UK – Yorkshire”

    Yorkshire…11,903 km

    Scotland…77,933 km

  11. @jasper22


    As @laszlo has pointed out the US Embassy is saying that notwithstanding the assurances from the White House to Johnson that dual nationals are affected. It not surprising as the Order does explicitly include them so I expect Amercian Civil Servants don’t see how they can simply disregard a legal.document without it being formally revised.

    It seems that at the moment American government is dysfunctional.

  12. I assume Jasper meant population not size – unless he meant England not Yorkshire!

  13. @Syzygy

    ‘I strongly suspect that we are seeing another iteration of the coup’

    No doubt. It is unrealistic to think that the PLP has gone quiet because they are seeking unity or are happier with Corbyn’s performance. They want him out just the same.

    But they know that they cannot win with a repeat leadership challenge.

    So they are looking at other ways of achieving the desired outcome.

    Neither Corbyn nor the PLP is presently much interested in defeating the Tories. As other posters have said, this is all about the battle for the heart and future direction of the Labour Party.

    I would not be at all surprised if Tom Watson is ‘on manoeuvres’. He is presumably trying to find a way of encouraging Corbyn to go, without handing the Party on a plate to the PLP.

    I don’t think losing Copeland and Stoke will help the PLP: Corbyn leaving after a double defeat will look like he has gone under pressure, i.e. at the behest of the PLP. He won’t like that.

    He will want to go more gracefully, apparently of his own volition, and still, somewhat at least, in control. I don’t think he will wait for the council elections.

  14. S Thomas,

    Pre-Truth or Truth as people call it was when their was a consensus on the facts whether people liked them or not.

    Thus Trumps inauguration would have had both sides accepting lower turnout than Obama but putting forward their own partisan reasons for it.

    Post truth is Trump spokespeople saying an obviously smaller crowd is actually larger than one that bigger because they don’t want to accept the facts.

    I’ve watched all Britains political parties, notably and vocally my own complain about BBC bias for 30 years. They all do it pretty much on ever occasion that the BBC reports something they don’t like.

    The BBC isn’t perfect and does suffer from the fact that it to often takes the view that as all the parties are attacking it it must be getting it right and therefore doesn’t look closely enough at criticisms in detail.

    Worse over time it has retreated into much of it’s political coverage retreating into just reporting the spurious claims of and spin of both sides and leaving it for the public to sort out.

    For me that’s an abdication of their responsibility. By all means let people see both sides of the argument, but if one side in talking mince the BBC has a duty to say so.

    It is there to serve the public not politicians let alone the Government.

    For three decades I’ve watched Tories ban on about the BBC’s liberal bias, Labour hammer them as tory stooges, UKIP claim they are part of the British/Brussels elite, the LibDems say they are beholden to the big two because they hold the purse strings and the SNP claim they are part of the Unionist Conspiracy.

    The common theme; politicians hate it when they don’t get their own way and shoot the messenger when they don’t like the message.

    You think the BBC is biased because it doesn’t say what you want to hear. That’s not BBC bias, it’s yours.


  15. BT says,

    Graham is not a lab member or voter iirc so it may be you who is clutching at straws.

    I find his knowledge of past political events illuminating and in no way partisan.

  16. BT Says

    I am referring to historical facts which others appear content to ignore. I am not a committed Labour voter having only supported them at one of the last five General Elections. Moreover, I have no intention of voting Labour at any election with Corbyn as leader.
    Perhaps you might wish to address my point – ie why did Labour do quite well in 1974 despite being much more deeply divided on Europe than is the case today?

  17. @ Graham

    Labour more split 1972: I agree and some would argue more fundamentally split as the disagreement was on Ideological grounds; the Democratic Socialist wing considered Europe a capitalist stalking horse whilst the Social Democrat wing thought of it as bulwark against both the Warsaw Pact and US economic hegemony.

    However my question was more about the length of time it takes to overcome perceptions: it is clear that the current public perception is of a Labour Party full of disunities and they are not all related to the EU and the Brexit vote (some might argue that, in any event, Brexit is being used as a proxy argument from those against the Corbyn leadership and the direction in which that is taking the Labour Party).
    I am very much afraid that much to my bitter disappointment we are seeing the demise of the Labour Party as a UK national party and part of the reason for my question was the hope that my pessimism is wrong and there is evidence out there (beyond McMillan’s “events”) which would undermine my current view.

  18. @jasper22

    “I’m sure the PM will tell Nilcola Sturgeon she and her fellow Scots will have as much input into the process as that similar sized place in the UK – Yorkshire”

    She won’t as she has given assurances to the devolved.governments that they will be fully involved and the Joint Ministerial Committee is the means of doing so.

    @S Thomas,

    I actually agree in part with your comment however aren’t you being a little biased yourself?

    BBC biased was brought up on UKPR quite often around the time of the Scottish indy vote….Did PETER CAIRNS back the claims then or did he stick up for the BBC?….or did he remain silent?

    I’m assuming you’re sticking up for the BBC in this instance because you see Trump as more of a contentious issue than independence…

  20. Allan Christie – very interesting Allan but since when has the UK actually used Kilometers? – We don’t and hopefully never will!

  21. Maybe I was too pessimistic:

    Kier Starmer first and Now Dan Jarvis support the 3-Line Whip on A50

  22. Jasper22

    Even if you have never been anything other than a British citizen, but you were born in any of the seven country, the EO would apply to you, hence the problem for the Tory MP for Stratford On Avon (who, by the way is only sorry for himself judging from some of his tweets for Leave).

    “Allan Christie – very interesting Allan but since when has the UK actually used Kilometers? – We don’t and hopefully never will”

    I was just jesting…Jasper of course was on about population.

  24. @ WB
    ‘However my question was more about the length of time it takes to overcome perceptions:’

    That is a very fair point.However, I am sure that in Spring 1972 Labour did appear hopelessly divided with Roy Jenkins resigning both as Deputy Leader and from the Shadow Cabinet together with Harold Lever and George Thomson. In March 1973 the Labour candidate was heavily defeated by Dick Taverne at the Lincoln by election. In the context of different issues Labour lost the ultra safe seat of Glasgow Govan in November 1973 to the SNP’s Margo Macdonald. Yet a few months later Labour was back in office! How did that happen if perceptions of division mean so much?

  25. WB, a few crumbs,

    500000 plus and rising membership.
    Labour isnt broke anymore.
    And JC is favourite at the bookies for next pm.

    I think with the entropy in the world so high events are very likely, however it does appear the Labour party may not be best placed to take full advantage as they still appear unable to coalesce effectively and speak with one voice.

  26. Allan Christie

    Sorry, I meant population.

    Mind you, I have to hand it to the Scots FM, she punches above her weight.

  27. Allan Christie,

    “.Did PETER CAIRNS back the claims then or did he stick up for the BBC?”

    Yes, consistently.

    I held the line throughout the campaign and indeed before that just because we didn’t like it, didn’t mean it wasn’t true.

    I didn’t see or detect any conscious bias from the BBC during the whole referendum campaign.

    As I have said before on here I think the way political coverage is structured , focusing on big names more than big issues lead to an imbalance.

    Better Together had, Cameron, Osborne, Miliband, Brown and Clegg, plus a list of UK government ministers. Ys Scotland really at the time had Alex Salmond and few other big hitters, so a structure that focuses on people the public recognise favoured one side.

    But that wasn’t because of an overt bias it was because a system of coverage designed around the Westminster lobby and the daily battle between it’s “Big Beasts” was applied to a Campaign where all Westminsters big beasts were not one side.

    Some of Leaves complaints about the EU referendum were based on the same issue, although again there it was thought to be deliberate bias.

    Leave also had, as well as Nigel Farage, Michael Gove and Boris Johnston to very well known national figures. Just look at the frenzy around Boris when he came out for Leav, his media profile drove the agenda more than who he said.


  28. What’s actually slightly more interesting about the petition map that @Candy talks about is that if you get to the site at
    and then check the circle in the top right for ‘% of constituents’ you can see the proportions signing, rather than the actual numbers.

    It’s notable that every constituency in the country is represented (which quite often isn’t the case) and while Islington gets 6.77% signing, York Central is 3.42%, York Outer 2.19%, and Hexham 2.21%.

    It’s only a petition, but it’s a bit less North London centris than some of the twitterati would have us believe. (Orkney & Shetland, 2.04%, St. Ives, 2.25%, Cantebury, 2.78%).

  29. MARKW

    “And JC is favourite at the bookies for next pm.”

    However at William Hill the Tories are 8/11 favourites to win the next election whenever it occurs. Do they know something we don’t? Is JC to cross the chamber? and would the Tories take him?


    Actually JC is second favourite behind BJ today, which is still amazing.


    “It is worthy of note that around 33% of SNP supporters voted leave. Something to bare in mind..”

    Bear in mind, not ‘bare’ in mind.

  31. JASPER22

    Aye I was jesting. ;-)

    Ok thanks for your response…I think your take on the BBC is similar to that of Blair Jenkins when he was asked about BBC bias after the referendum where he said..the structure around reporting could had been better but found no bias in the actual reported content.

    Anyway I did agree mostly with your original post. …Just wanted some clarity.. :-)

  32. Valerie
    “Keep up @Robert Newark. Assiduousity hasn’t been posting – he’s headed ‘back to the real world”. Judging from this thread, it looks like normal service has been resumed on this site. More’s the pity :-(”

    I missed most of yesterday as I was very ‘busy’ having a 4 hour lunch with friends in a very nice restaurant. Adding in the snooze in the evening, I didn’t log on till this morning by which time there were three pages of comments to read through.
    You have no idea how time consuming retirement actually is. :)

  33. Alec

    Good point but what we need is polling. As I posted to Somerjohn petitions do not necessarily reflect how the public at large thinks.

    Has anybody mentioned that Obama banned Iraqi’s for six months during his period in office? It was much better handled and targeted but he did it all the same. Does anybody know if there was a petition or polling about this?

  34. Robert Newark

    “You have no idea how time consuming retirement actually is. :)”

    How true!

  35. Toh,

    well noticed. JC just nudges bojo out across most of the bookies.

    Befor anyone says it, this is just a bit of fun.

  36. ToH

    Obama actually banned from all the seven countries in one way or another

    The problem is with the “extreme vetting”, which clearly allows discrimination (and the Syrian Christians were exempted anyway).

  37. Toh,

    On petitions, a thought experiment.

    If no one signs a petition it flops and tells you the public isnt concerned, if everyone in the uk signs it clearly has resonance and is a sign of public opinion.

    It is more nuanced than you suggest.

  38. @ MARKW

    “Just a bit of fun”

    didn’t that used to be Peter Snow’s election night catchphrase: immortalised by Rory Bremner?

  39. LASZLO

    I agree with you, hence my comment “much better handled and targeted” when Obama did it.

    I was just pointing out that on the principle there is a certain amount of hypocrisy in much of the protest.

  40. WB, yes, and those bit of fun projections were often daft but fun.

  41. Theresa May only needs to worry if large numbers of people from Tory constituencies are signing,

    Petitions are a bit like online voodoo polls – a self-selected group participates and they arn’t representative of the country and would likely never vote for her no matter what she does.

    The petition just after the EU ref was even more of a mess because it had so many fakes in it, people from the Vatican city voting in larger numbers that actually exist there and so on.

  42. @seachange

    “How the policy gets refined further in the coming days is really of little importance now to the UK. Whether it is shown to have been incompetently triggered or not is a matter for the Americans to judge. So I don’t see how any of this is this a stain on the FCO. The government stepped in on behalf of UK citizens. That is a PR victory.”

    Well up to a point, Lord Copper.

    It was looking as though the FO had retrieved a PR situation which had gone badly wrong ( you know it has when no10 issues statements at midnight diametrically opposite to what the PM had said some hours earlier). Whether that retrieval holds given that the US Embassy are not at the moment following the alleged instructions of the President’s son-in-law on dual nationals rather than the clear text of the President’s EO is another matter.

    More interesting is what this episode seems to show about the PM and her team and what that could mean for perceptions and later voting. May’s original response in Turkey was tetchy and uninformed. I don’t know the timing of the press conference, issuing of the EO and so on so it may not have been possible for her and her team to have known all the details. But the response came after several questions from the UK press which should have alerted someone with sensitive political ears that possibly something was brewing. But the PM didn’t pick up on that and gave what is a characteristically (in private) tetchy response (characteristic of her and her Chiefs of Staff) when she could easily have given a holding response. The No10 team carried on with that line insisting that she would not change it even after the PM’s plane and landed when they could have found out in the meantime what was happening. Th impression is that the only thing which changed her mind was the impact on a Conservative MP.

    May and her team will need to sharpen their act and learn to refrain from the tetchiness when challenged as she has set herself the task of uniting the UK. Hopefully, the PM’s medical condition wasn’t an issue in framing her mood although it must be more difficult to manage when on such a gruelling schedule.

  43. @TOH

    Obama did lots of things that slipped under the radar because he was careful not to draw attention to them.

    The actions by Trump are an extention of the Travel Prevention act, which got through Congress without any trouble and Dem voters didn’t even realize it had happened, though some pressure groups complained.

    And the reason Saudi isn’t on the list is that Obama excluded them.

    Trump is very up-front about what he does, he does it on camera, he isn’t interested in subterfuge.

    P.S. To read more about the Obama actions, see

  44. Candy, I take your point but the fakes were removed and one hopes the system is now more robust.

    The difference between voodoo polls and petitions is that petitions seek only to represent the petitioners views whereas voodoo polls may be used to claim wider authority.

    As I alluded to above it is a numbers game and as the disputed or otherwise numbers increase a petition may gain more traction.

    Petitions are a long respected campaigning tool too used to raise awareness and foster involvement in a small way.

    Many in tory areas have signed too as the fun map shows.

  45. I would sign the petition as I think the too-hasty invitation is demeaning. But I won’t because I don’t want to be barred from visiting the USA (are you or have you ever been a petitioner against Donald Trump’s state visit…).

    Am i being paranoid?

  46. @wb

    No10 have moved on from that. They apparently have clarified that to say the PM was simply extending an invitation from the Queen! The news management at No10 seems seriously awry at the moment on the first real occasion when the PM is under pressure.

    Reports also that the PM was booed by a crowd when she left the JMC in Cardiff.

  47. RE: the Petitiion

    I would have thought that party political persuasion (except UKIP) would not influence views on the US travel ban: on the face of it the ban breaches international law in respect of the UNHCR 1951 convention on refugees. As such I would expect there to be unfavourable views across the political spectrum on the ban policy. Therefore some of those unfavourable views would translate as President Trump being an unsuitable individual to make a state visit.

  48. WB
    “the Democratic Socialist wing considered Europe a capitalist stalking horse whilst the Social Democrat wing thought of it as bulwark against both the Warsaw Pact and US economic hegemony.”

    Oh dear! Someone did once explain the difference between Democratic Socialist and Social Democrat but I’m afraid I’ve forgotten. Is it a bit like the People’s Front of Judaea and the Judaean Peoples’ Front?

  49. @alec

    Even Ross, Skye and Lochaber is up there with the rebels at 2.73%!

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