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. I think Stoke-on-Trent Central should be a useful barometer of whether people are willing to switch their vote on the basis of Brexit outside London and the SE (where Richmond Park and Witney suggested Remainers at least were prepared to do that). Mark Breeze the independent from 2015 is strongly Brexit, but no sign on his Twitter feed he is standing again

    Tories and UKIP support Brexit enthusiastically, Lib Dems (and Greens if they stand) support Remain enthusiastically, and Labour just seem to be dancing around on the fence.

    I think the Labour % vote is likely to go down in the by-election, but if it does not, that will support Graham’s view that Brexit has little salience with the electorate.

    If the Tory + UKIP vote goes up and the Lib Dem vote does not, that would support the idea that Leave voters are deserting Labour. If vice versa it would suggest that Remain voters are doing that. Stoke-on-Trent Central voted 65% Leave in the referendum according to Chris Hanretty. If we assume all the parties are a bit more Brexity in Stoke than the national average, I reckon Labour voters probably split about 55% Remain, 45% Leave, so Labour probably has more to lose to the Lib Dems than to the Tories and UKIP, potentially.

    The elephant in the Room is the 16% who turned out in the referendum but not the GE. I think it will be very hard to get them out in a February by-election, but UKIP are more likely to be able to do it than the Tories, since it is a “plague on politicians” group of people.

    My personal feeling is that most voters currently think Leaving is inevitable, and Leave voters are unlikely to switch their vote on it. Corbyn and appearing divided may lose Labour some votes to Tory/UKIP however. Remain voters are still cross and feel like expressing that in the ballot box and I would not be surprised if the Lib Dems go up by 10%, mainly at the expense of Labour. That does put Labour in serious danger of losing the seat, given they start from only 39%. Whether to the Tories or UKIP I don’t know, but UKIP are more likely.

    As a final random stat, the Lib Dems will have worked out that 35% of a 65% turnout is 14400 Remain votes, which is considerably more than Labour got in 2015.

  2. @Pete B

    in very straightforward terms

    Social Democrat: ameliorate the capitalist system but maintain it as the prime economic system.

    Democratic Socialist: replace capitalist economic system with socialist one by Parliamentary means.

  3. Pete B

    The two things are the same. One is a more Continental expression.

  4. If Labour cannot have a few percentage cut from being behind the Conservatives on the back of the Foreign Secretary talking to the telephone receptionist at the White House (recently recruited from Breitbart), who told him that “the president agrees with you”, and announced it as something settled with the White House team …

    But then polls have mysterious ways.

  5. @ Lazlo: “The two things are the same. One is a more Continental expression.”

    I disagree: at least in terms of internal Labour Party Politics between 1930 and 1994. As I posted in response to Pete B a clear distinction was understood:
    The Crossman/Crossland arguments were typical of this.

  6. test

  7. @Andrew111

    “The elephant in the Room is the 16% who turned out in the referendum but not the GE.”

    Exactly – and surprisingly rarely mentioned by most who talk at length about the Stoke by-election on the constituency thread.

    Effectively turnout in the EU referendum was up 30% from the GE 2015 in Stoke Central. (virtually 50% turnout + 30% = 65%)

  8. Peter Cairns
    How do you measure BBC bias?
    It can’t be simply time spent. I’ve watched interviews where one view has had ‘an easy ride’ with their statements accepted as true (including Osborne’s 15 year forecast nonsense) while the contrary view was questioned at every stage, contrary clips shown and the speaker frequently interrupted by the interviewer.
    What I wanted to hear was each side able to put forward its view on the same terms, not to have one view taken as the correct one. The result showed that the issue of the referendum was finely balanced.
    My observations were not offset by other occasions where the Leave supporters got the ‘easy ride’.
    I may have an irrational preference for hearts and diamonds over clubs and spades, but if I am constantly dealt hands with predominantly black suits, (or red ones) I can still detect bias.

  9. @Pete B

    What’s the difference between a Liberal Democrat and a democratic Liberal?

  10. And the difference between a National Socialist and a social nationalist?

  11. Re: BBC Bias

    The test for bias in the Courts is whether the objective, fair-minded and informed observer, having considered the facts, would conclude that there was a real possibility that the Court/Tribunal was biased.

    I truly doubt whether anyone on this site (including me) would meet the description, because whilst informed and fair minded we may be, objective we are not.

  12. Matt Singh has done an article about the petition and where the signatories live:

    https://www.ncpolitics.uk/2017/01/who-is-signing-the-trump-petition.html/

    The top areas are Labour.

    But the bottom areas are Labour too – only 0.75% of Ed Miliband’s constituency have signed. They are Trumpers in Labour’s heartlands.

    In Copeland it was 1.13% and in Stoke Central it is 1.27%

  13. You have idea how time consuming retirement actually is. :)
    ——————
    Well I retired 8 years ago, so have some idea :)

  14. Wb and Laszlo

    Thank you for clearing that up :-)

    Andrew111

    Good analysis of Stoke. All very sensible, though voters often confound even the best predictions.

  15. Millie

    Good questions. I haven’t a clue!

  16. @BT “Effectively turnout in the EU referendum was up 30% from the GE 2015 in Stoke Central. (virtually 50% turnout + 30% = 65%)”
    I agree, but as ever it is illuminating to look at numbers, not percentages.
    GE 2015 turnout 31,000 Labour vote 12,200; UKIP 7000; Con 7000 others 5000
    GE 2010 turnout 32,500 Labour vote 12,600; LibDem 7000; Con 6800

    EU referendum turnout 117,680 (65.7%) for Stoke-on-Trent
    Applying that 65% to Stoke Central gives 43,000 so there are 9000 more voters.
    Result Stoke-on-Trent Leave, 81,600 Remain 36,000
    Applied to S-o-T Central Leave30,000; Remain 13,000

    Give Tristram Hunt all the Remain voters 13,000
    Those voting against TH in the GE 2015 19,000
    Those voting Leave in the Referendum 30,000
    Will those extra 11,000 voters turn out again, and who will they vote for?
    “The elephant in the Room is the 16% who turned out in the referendum but not the GE.” How true.
    Also the Labour candidate hails from Newcastle – not always an advantage in Stoke. The Labour majority there in 2015 was 650. It used to be thousands. His publicity should say Silverdale, the Labour mining village. WIKI says “Newcastle-under-Lyme is a constituency in the Potteries”
    Anyone who has lived in either place knows that Newcastle is not in the Potteries.

  17. Peter
    There was never a time of truth or a time of pre truth. Nor has history ended nor did it end. Did shakespeare tell the truth or did he indulge in some post truth revisionism in order to curry favour? Does a view of Alleppo depend which side of the city was being reported on? Victors write the history which is not always the same as the truth.

    Post truth is a meaningless phrase trotted out without thought.

  18. Interesting but no surprise that the Trump petition signatories % or number are concentrated in cities, university towns and London (especially north London). Surely this is obvious? Those habitually using social media, forums, computers will see links to the petition. Younger people, city dwellers, office workers, readers of the news, those who care more about international affairs because they live and work in cosmopolitan areas, the rebellious etc etc are more likely to both see and act on it. I don’t see this as a surprise.

    But interesting that every area of the UK has representation.

  19. Stoke by-election… Labour is firmly entrenched in this area and Corbyn will not have harmed himself here declaring the 3-line whip.

    That said, I see the biggest threat being the Liberals, who in 2005 and 2010 came second here and have since shaken off their coalition untouchability. UKIP didn’t even get 23% here in 2015 and the fact the Tories are pushing through a harder Brexit than even they wanted isn’t going to make them appeal.

    Many leave voters voted in the referendum but not before and probably won’t again, least of all in a by-election, and even lesser of all for the government! So write off the Tories and don’t discount the Liberals.

  20. s. thomas

    “Post truth is a meaningless phrase trotted out without thought.”

    dunno – i think it’s the beginning of a concerted attempt by the mainstream media to discredit social media as a source of information

    (especially as social media allows information from the bottom of the totem pole to percolate up past the media’s wall)

    ///

    speaking of post truth the media have bleeped themselves over Trump again imo

    if you’re not paying full attention you get the idea from the news it’s a blanket muslim ban and then when you get round to paying attention it’s less than the media said so the media takes a thing that was big in itself and makes it smaller*

    (*to people paying half attention – like me, half the time)

  21. ” the fact the Tories are pushing through a harder Brexit than even they wanted isn’t going to make them appeal.”

    depends if they trust them

    also might be seen as a harmless way to kick them up the bum a bit like Kingston (in reverse)

    on the other hand labour-ish voters are very slack at voting in bye-elections so…

  22. Just a quick note about Trump. (I’ve been at work so apols if someone has pointed this out already).

    I’d like to focus on constitutionality rather than the merits of the Executive Order.

    Usually in democracies, measures of the type Ordered are made only after calling a State of Emergency, where there is deemed to be an imminent threat to the security of the country. This happened in France after the terrorist attacks where immigration was strictly curtailed and the constitution partially suspended.

    I have yet to hear from anyone in Trump’s cabinet why there was an urgent necessity for the Order to be enacted immediately, prior to Congress considering the matter, or there being any opportunity for legislative or judicial scrutiny. Nor has Trump argued of there being an imminent threat of a terrorist attack on the US from any of the 7 countries subject to the Order.

    In the circumstances, there was no need for such an Order and it may well be unconstitutional. It was certainly autocratic. And democracies should not defend unnecessary autocratic actions by friendly countries simply because they are friendly countries.

  23. Candy

    A belated thanks for the reference to Obama’s actions. I have been doing other things.

    Interestingly I note that there is a 91% correlation between voters in the current anti-Trump visit petition and the voters who wanted a second EU referendum. The general public don’t want a second referendum according to the polls so I wonder what the polls will say about Trumps visit. Careful questions needed.

  24. @RAF

    I think Trump is behaving like a shoot-from-the-hip CEO.

    I think he has found out that government doesn’t work like that. The natural checks and balances to the power of the president can’t be rode over.

  25. Catmanjeff

    “I think Trump is behaving like a shoot-from-the-hip CEO.

    I think he has found out that government doesn’t work like that. The natural checks and balances to the power of the president can’t be rode over.”

    Agreed, I suspect he will blunder about like he has for a while and then settle down as the Republicans in both Houses take him in hand, or at least i hope so

  26. CMJ/TOH

    I agree.

    But he may be hard to “discipline”. I always thought the VP would be the most important player -if he has the clout??

  27. @Alec

    “Loud, and full of something…”

    Alec,

    I think you have the wrong link. See here and scroll down

    https://munguin.wordpress.com/2017/01/25/who-ever-thought-munguin-would-repost-john-major/

  28. Despite the petition against Trump’s state visit, several people I have spoken to have said how impressed they have been by Trump’s dynamism compared to the usual run of politicians. If there are any polling questions about his popularity in the UK, I wouldn’t be surprised if he has better net approval ratings than many of our own leaders.

  29. It is reported that American polling shows 56%? support the trump ban.oddly enough i have not seen the media seeking out that support.BBC online is covering the views of a 22 year old “film producer” who is going out to demonstrate because an 89 year old Anne Frank( yes the one a european neighbour killed) would not have been able to get a visa to America and she wishes to protest about that.Unbelievable but it is there in black and white.

    where do the BBC find them?Why do they publish them?

  30. CatManJeff – “I think Trump is behaving like a shoot-from-the-hip CEO.”

    Or he’s deliberately triggering the identity politics crowd knowing they’ll talk about nothing else for the next week while he goes ahead and does other things.

    There arn’t that many Iraqis and so on that wish to travel to the US, the ban is only for 90 days while they “review” and he has succeeded in making everyone talk about Obama’s Travel Prevention Act, which went through Congress on a bi-partisan basis with no discussion in public.

    Meanwhile, he has just signed a very serious executive order saying that for every federal regulation enacted, two must be recinded:

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/trump-signs-executive-order-requiring-that-for-every-one-new-regulation-two-must-be-revoked-234365

    It will affect American life in a serious way. But how many news outlets are discussing it? Zero, because they’ve been set off after an identity politics hare.

    In 90 days time Trump will llift the ban and restrictions will revert back to Obama’s Travel Prevention Act (i.e. still serious restrictions), and the other executive orders will have gone unnoticed. He is a master media player.

  31. @Pete B

    As a general rule, Dynamic is great if what they’re being dynamic about is useful. Not so good if it’s so-so. A disaster if what they’re doing is bad.

    And it is easier to be dynamic if messing stuff up. Or imposing constraints. Or cancelling things. As opposed to creating summat special, especially if sophisticated enough for the modern world.

  32. Carfrew
    I didn’t comment on whether being dynamic was good or bad, or whether I approved or not. I was simply reporting anecdotal experience and wondered whether it might be reflected in the polls.

  33. @Laszlo “The papers (and Johnson) may say various things in this post-truth but this is what is on the US Embassy’s website:”

    Johnson has made a statement to the House,

    “All British passport holders remain welcome to travel to the US. We have received assurances order will make no difference.”

    Adding: “This is of course a highly controversial policy which has caused unease. This is not an approach this government will take.”

    “This is not our policy, nor is it a measure that this Government would consider. I have already made clear our anxiety about measures that discriminate on grounds of nationality in ways that are divisive and wrong.”

    “Where we have differences from the US we will not quail from expressing them.”

    The US Embassy has removed the incorrect information from their website.

  34. @Candy

    It will affect American life in a serious way. But how many news outlets are discussing it? Zero, because they’ve been set off after an identity politics hare.

    I’m no sure that a few rescinded regulations constitutes affecting American life in a serious way.

    As regards to Trump being a master media player, not so sure myself either. If his master plan is to annoy/anger most of the world, I’d agree he’s on target.

    @TOH @Colin

    Of course, really good CEOs do well not being an individual genius, but by hiring and listening to the advice good people around them, in areas in which they are not expert.

    On this score, are those who are advising Trump such good people and experts??

    Now that is a question.

  35. @Andrew111 “The elephant in the Room is the 16% who turned out in the referendum but not the GE.”

    Yes, exactly. That is why this PLP revolt against Corbyn’s A50 whipping is fraught with danger.

  36. TOH

    “I note that there is a 91% correlation between voters in the current anti-Trump visit petition and the voters who wanted a second EU referendum.”

    Just a bit of statistical pedantry. Whilst that is what the headline says, the article says that the correlation coefficient is 0.91.

    Now, it was the mid 80s when I last attended statistics lectures and there are plenty of people on here who can correct me if I’ve got this wrong, but I recall having to square the number to get the proportion of the variance in one set of data that can be attributed to the other.

    In this context (and again there are plenty here who will correct me if this is wrong) it would not be unreasonable to suggest that about 82% of those who signed this petition also signed the EuroRef petition.

    For all the reasons that have already been discussed, that feels about right to me. Roll on some proper polling on the subject.

  37. @Some John 2.43

    Why would you want to visit the USA under a Trump presidency. I was hoping to make one more visit before old age makes it prohibitively expensive but there is no way I want to be associated with a Trump regime. I am sure that would go for the Queen as as well but not apparently for Mrs Mayhem.

  38. As someone has pointed out Trump is a media manipulator. While this temporary immigration ban furore has gone on this has been reported, which could have far more widespread effect on US Policy:

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/29/politics/susan-rice-steve-bannon/index.html

  39. @ Somerton

    Apologies, predictive text.

  40. Daibach

    Nice work.

    2 lessons from this:

    1. Large flash demos organised through social media will become an increasing element of urban politics.The media needs to ensure that it does not fall into the tweet trap and assume that those who are there are representative of a larger group or the population as a whole.Indeed they might be totally unrepresentative.

    2. Theresa May does not need to worry about them for polling purposes as they are unlikely to vote tory.

  41. @Pete B

    “I didn’t comment on whether being dynamic was good or bad, or whether I approved or not. I was simply reporting anecdotal experience and wondered whether it might be reflected in the polls.”

    ———

    I am aware of this. I deliberately said stuff you hadn’t already said, otherwise what would be the point. The impact on polls might be determined by how effective or otherwise the dynamism is in satisfying sufficient of the electorate.

    But this can be complicated, which is what makes it interesting. But for a simple example, it tends to be easier to sell stuff off than invest in it and develop it in the first place. You can move much faster doing th former than th latter. Then you can use the proceeds of the sell off to secure votes and advance your polling in the short term. Longer term, might be different…

  42. Peter bell

    Before you corrected i was reaching for my bible for the reference!

  43. ‘Yes, exactly. That is why this PLP revolt against Corbyn’s A50 whipping is fraught with danger.’

    I will be surprised if it even registers at the two by elections. Political anoraks notice such things , but the electorate at large will be content to let this pass them by. Moreover, Trump is the main distraction at the moment.

  44. @sthomas

    You must have missed the BBC interviews today with several Americans who agree with Trump. Strange that.

  45. @Sea Change – “As someone has pointed out Trump is a media manipulator.”

    He is, but I’m really not sure whether he is much good at it. So far this week he has managed to upset the entire Islamic world, most of the nominally Christian west, and Jews all over with a Holocaust Memorial Day statement that, er, failed to mention anything Jewish.

    The fact that he has appointed Steve Bannon to his security committee but not the head of the joint chiefs of staff is just terrifying, but it fits a long established (well – 9 days) pattern of the administration drawing decisions in to a very narrow range of extremist advisers and refusing to give experienced staffers a hearing.

    It’s really not media manipulation – it’s ideologically inspired incompetence.

  46. @Graham “I will be surprised if it even registers at the two by elections. Political anoraks notice such things , but the electorate at large will be content to let this pass them by. Moreover, Trump is the main distraction at the moment.”

    I’m quite sure the Tories will hammer home that message in Copeland as will UKIP in Stoke. I find it extremely odd that Brexit based messages can have a large effect in by-election polling in Richmond and Witney but not so in these other areas.

  47. @Alec

    He did use Twitter effectively though to get round a mainstream media not initially too disposed to giving him much exposure. It was a simple method – Say summat provocative, and force a headline – but it worked…

  48. S Thomas

    I don’t think we can conclude, either way, whether TM should be worried. We’ll have to wait for some proper polling.

    ___

    Interesting to see that there is now the opposite petition on the government website, saying DT should get a state visit. The figures are still small, at least for now, but the map should provide somebody with the time and energy to compare the two with a field day. First glance suggests that it’s not a perfect inverse correlation.

  49. Good evening all from a rather damp Itchen Abbas in rural Hampshire.

    I thought the Trump protesters had reached my village when driving in this evening …..on closer examination it turned out to be the local farmer rounding up his goats.

    On the wider issue of the protests….Like I said before there are probably two strands to all the brouhaha tambourine bashing and guys in dreadlocks lighting poundland tea light candles in the middle of the street singing the Gospelettes Everything’s Gonna Be Alright.

    The two strands to the protests…

    One… those who are genuinely opposed to Trumps Muslim ban..

    Two…Those who see an anti Brexit narrative and hope relations between the UK and the US get strained in hope of free trade deals been scuppered and therefore living in hope of a soft Brexit.

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