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. ST

    Er…. since when did the 10 commandments represent a comprehensive moral code?

    Half of them dictated how one should worship man in the sky.

    I don’t think it’s very moral to dictate things like that to people.

  2. Just as an aside, the Catholic and Protestant Ten Commandments are different. The Catholic one leaves out the bit about not worshipping graven images, and splits the ‘coveting’ one into two, IIRC.

  3. Pete B

    I didn’t know that!

    Poor Moses had to stagger down the mountain carrying two lots of stone tablets!

  4. @Robert Newark
    ‘rs May did pull a master stroke on the white paper issue, which totally wrong footed Corbyn. Of course the BBC is running it as a U turn, rather than a clever bit of strategy!’

    Of course, it could be both – they are not mutually exclusive.

    In fact U-turns often are clever strategy – that doesn’t stop your opponents and the media calling them out as u-turns…

  5. ON
    Again, IIRC, Moses did have to go twice. He brought down the Ten Commandments, the Israelites complained that there weren’t enough rules, so he had to go back and get more – hence Leviticus, with all the stuff about not eating shellfish on a Tuesday, and exactly how long the fringe had to be on a priest’s outfit.

    He’d have needed a truck! I always reckoned it was God saying “You want rules, I’ll give you rules!”

  6. Bigfatron

    “In fact U-turns often are clever strategy – that doesn’t stop your opponents and the media calling them out as u-turns…”

    Quite true. Other than from the habitual rantings of partisans, I’ve never understood why ordinary folk are expected to see U-turns as bad.

    If circumstances change, then adopting an alternative approach is not just good politics, but good governance.


    While I agree with most of your post Robert I do think you are being a little hard on the BBC. I listened to Laura Kuenssberg’s comments and I though them very balanced and a fair reflection of what had taken place.

    I assume that the Government will now push though readings of the Bill to enact Art. 50 some time next week and vote down any unhelpful amendments before it goes to the Lords. I also assume that the White Paper will not be produced until enacting Art 50 has been agreed by both houses.

  8. Pete B

    I’m nominating you for the funniest post on UKPR!

  9. TOH

    “I also assume that the White Paper will not be produced until enacting Art 50 has been agreed by both houses.”

    Aren’t their HoC rules involving Contempt of Parliament and a White Paper being published after a vote?

    I seem to remember Bercow saying something about this, though whatever it was, I don’t know whether it would be relevant to this circumstance.

  10. ON

    Ay theng yow, as the great Arthur Askey used to say.

  11. @Oldnat

    I can see the Government’s point although it looks bad. The First Reading is usually just on the principle of a Bill. There is a huge parliamentary majority (or will be) on this.

    It’s only during the Second Reading that the detail of the Bill is considered. I understand it is at this stage that the Government intends to produce its White Paper.

  12. Off for dinner now. Haggis, naturally, since this is Burns Night. – accompanied by a very 18th century Scottish tipple : a rather fine French claret.

    To A Haggis (Burns)

    Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
    Great chieftain o the puddin’-race!
    Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
    Painch, tripe, or thairm:
    Weel are ye worthy o’ a grace
    As lang’s my arm.

    The groaning trencher there ye fill,
    Your hurdies like a distant hill,
    Your pin wad help to mend a mill
    In time o need,
    While thro your pores the dews distil
    Like amber bead.

    His knife see rustic Labour dight,
    An cut you up wi ready slight,
    Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
    Like onie ditch;
    And then, O what a glorious sight,
    Warm-reekin, rich!

    Then, horn for horn, they stretch an strive:
    Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
    Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve
    Are bent like drums;
    The auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
    ‘Bethankit’ hums.

    Is there that owre his French ragout,
    Or olio that wad staw a sow,
    Or fricassee wad mak her spew
    Wi perfect scunner,
    Looks down wi sneering, scornfu view
    On sic a dinner?

    Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
    As feckless as a wither’d rash,
    His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
    His nieve a nit;
    Thro bloody flood or field to dash,
    O how unfit!

    But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
    The trembling earth resounds his tread,
    Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
    He’ll make it whissle;
    An legs an arms, an heads will sned,
    Like taps o thrissle.

    Ye Pow’rs, wha mak mankind your care,
    And dish them out their bill o fare,
    Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
    That jaups in luggies:
    But, if ye wish her gratefu prayer,
    Gie her a Haggis

    “rustic Labour” has a very different connotation in modern Scotland! :-)

  13. ToH
    Well fair do’s. LK is normally very balanced in her views. It was just the way Davis was chuckling away, when May announced it, it just seemed obvious that it was a set up to put Corbyn off balance and not a u turn at all.

    As for the white paper, Brillo suggested it would be a ‘cut and paste’ of last weeks speech. Is anyone expecting that it will be more?

  14. ON
    By the great Jewish Scot, Rabbi Burns. Enjoy your meal!

  15. @RAF

    Introduction and First Reading of a Bill is normally just a formality. Second Reading is the first debate and is on the general principles of the Bill.

  16. 10 Commandments

    At the risk of being as thin skinned as Trump It was me who was saying keep morality out of it and let us stick to wise and unwise.

    I cant stand Haggis so i confine myself to the fine claret !

  17. Twitter suggesting an Opinium poll

    “Brexit right decision / wrong decision?
    Right decision 52%
    Wrong decision 38%
    Dont Know 9%”

  18. @ Old Nat

    Confirmed! That’s a WOW from me, 14% of Remainers on the poll have now changed their view and only 3% of Brexiteers changing theirs. MP’s thinking of trying to mess this up should take note.

  19. Bantams

    That certainly sounds significant. Have you a link to the details?

  20. @OldNat

    Not up yet.

    The partial results released so far:


    Right decision 52
    Wrong Decision 38
    DK 9


    Right: 93
    Wrong: 3
    DK 4


    Right 14
    Wrong 77
    DK 9

    I’m not sure of the changes.

  21. The “project fear” Remainers are probably peeling away, exposing the hard core of true EU believers.

    I’d be interested for any polls figures from Scotland on Brexit……

  22. @Bantams

    Does the above not show that 7% of Leavers have changed their mind, and 23% of Remainers (some to DK)?

  23. @JonesinBangor

    I suspect it may be something more mundane. The realisation that Brexit is going to happen anyway, so the fight know is to get the best possible exit terms.

  24. @ RAF

    Possibly true….

    On negotiations with EU:

    I do wonder whether the rest of the EU have grasped the reality of pushing us out of the single market yet? It is a very foolhardy line to take! The Japanese, Korean and American car makers must be looking on in disbelief at the stupidity (or arrogance?) of Merkel & co.

    Do I sense that compromise may come sooner than we think?

  25. Does anyone know what the tariffs are on cars imported from outside the EU? Any potential price reduction might be offset by the weaker £ though.

  26. EU duty on car imports from the US is 10%

  27. @Jonesinbangor – “I do wonder whether the rest of the EU have grasped the reality of pushing us out of the single market yet? It is a very foolhardy line to take! The Japanese, Korean and American car makers must be looking on in disbelief at the stupidity (or arrogance?) of Merkel & co.”

    I don’t want to debate about which side is right or wrong in this, but my sense is that, as with much of the whole Brexit debate, there is a simple inability to understand how the other side thinks which is making it impossible for people to understand the other sides point of view.

    My understanding is that EU manufacturers, particularly in Germany, are taking a longer term view on this. They know that if Britain chooses to leave the single currency (note – this is our choice, and no one is ‘pushing us out’) then it is a short term price worth paying for maintaining the integrity of the other 90% of the single market. We tend to think in shorter timescales than EU businesses and politicians, so perhaps the idea of a short term sacrifice for the longer range benefit is something that escapes many.

    In terms of what the non EU manufacturers think, I rather suspect they will be dusting off their eastern European atlases as they ponder how long they will wait before relocating their UK assembly plants.

  28. “I do wonder whether the rest of the EU have grasped the reality of pushing us out of the single market yet? It is a very foolhardy line to take! The Japanese, Korean and American car makers must be looking on in disbelief at the stupidity (or arrogance?) of Merkel & co.”

    It’s the UK Government which has decided to leave the Single Market. Not sure why those carmakers should be especially concerned; they will.simply invest elsewhere in the EU if necessary ( and S Korea has a trade agreement with the EU).

  29. @ ALEC

    “I don’t want to debate about which side is right or wrong in this, but my sense is that, as with much of the whole Brexit debate, there is a simple inability to understand how the other side thinks which is making it impossible for people to understand the other sides point of view.”

    That was sort of my point?

  30. Alec & Hireton

    The attitude of other EU members towards any economic fallout of the UK leaving the Single Market is exactly the same as the one ToH espouses from the other direction: yes, there will be a short-term cost, but it’s a price worth paying for the political objective.

    As well as that, I’m sure most EU companies are pretty relaxed about their place in the UK market. If the worst comes to the worst – WTO terms – many can supply the UK from plants in those countries we are so eager to do free trade deals with. The oft-cited BMW, for instance, can supply the UK from the USA and S Africa; VW from the USA, Mexico and Brazil.

  31. Looks like quite an interesting poll. I guess it reflects the ability of the government to give the appearance of the inevitability of the process of things happening, and Labour’s consequent inability to articulate any real opposition, and voters are responding to the air of certainty that has been created.

    However, I remain somewhat doubtful that this will be quite as plain sailing as may appear at present. I’m just not sure that rushing to hug Donald while waving goodbye to the single market is a great move politically, and with the economy tightening quite significantly this year, by New Year 2018 the Brexit polling could give us a few surprises.

  32. Alec

    ..or EU manufacturers will set up in the uk to take advantage of our trade agreements with other areas of the world and non eu companies will have to decide whether they want a 10% tariff on cars into the UK

    Of course if there were no tariff there would be no need for them to leave

  33. On the negotiations, it’s all conjecture at the moment.

    May’s speech last week has lifted the fog somewhat, it has also drawn the poison of the single market conundrum and 4 freedoms from the EU discourse in Brussels.

    What is becoming abundantly clear that all the bluff and bluster on the continent has turned to a stark realization that they do not hold all the cards and that it is in their best interests to have a fair divorce not just on trade but on all the other arrangements where the UK does hold some aces too.

    Last month, even arch Federalist and “Punishment Brexit in Chief” Martin Schultz conceded, ”We have underestimated the drama behind Brexit. There is a G7 country, the 2nd economy in the single market of the European Union, a country with veto power on the Security Council at the United Nations leaving the European Union. This is weakening the European Union without any doubt”

    I fully expect the civil service to step up to the plate now, this kind of challenge should be manna to them.

  34. Alec,

    Yes I can see a billboard with Putin delightedly tearing up a map of the EU with Trump and May in his back pockets…

    Where are Spitting Image when you need them??

  35. Following the earlier points about constituency polls being unreliable, has there been a decent explanation yet of why the Ashcroft constituency polls were seemingly so wrong in the last GE, specifically in respect of LD/Con marginals?

    Was it a case of the same structural error that affected the national polls (about which I’ve read plenty), and that the Tories were correspondingly able to nick a lot of LD seats by one or two thousand votes, or were the Con/LD constituency polls more wrong than the nationals for some other reason(s)?

  36. Moses must’ve had a big tablet as there we’re 613 original commandments.

  37. I suspect that where the Ashcroft constituency polls went awry was in greatly overestimating the personal votes for incumbent LibDem MPs.If I remember correctly, they asked two voting intention questions – ‘How would you vote in the GE?’ and ‘How would you vote in your constituency?’. The results for the second question raised LibDem hopes of retaining many of their seats, but had they relied on responses to the first question their expectations would have been much more realistic. This effect was not confined to LibDem/Tory seats – it was also seen in LibDem/Lab seats such as Cambridge and Bermondsey.

  38. S THOMAS, you think the other 27 countries would agree to there being no tariffs between us and the EU after we leave?

  39. Graham – ‘How would you vote in the GE?’ and ‘How would you vote in your constituency?’

    The second part of that question is definitely ambiguous. Did they mean voting in local elections?

  40. I’m no expert in trade matters, but the concentration on tariffs may be unwise. For many sectors of the economy, quotas may be much more important.

    Doubtless, the UK has negotiators sufficiently well informed and skilled to protect the interests (and economic well being of their communities) of the rural economy in Scotland, Wales, NI and parts of England

    On the other hand …

  41. Sea Change

    No – the question was intended to ascertain the extent of a personal vote for LibDem MPs in their own constituencies. With hindsight it was too suggestive a question which almost invited a different answer to that given to the first question.

  42. I think Graham is right with nuancing the polls. One is whom would you vote for in general. Whom are you going to vote for (when you are in the booth). It is not simply tactical voting, but also turnout, and other considerations.

    I know people who would not vote Labour in general, but they vote Labour if they are bothered to go to the polling station. So they would turn up in a number of cells on a polling company spreadshee – but they can’t so, an algorithm determines where they would be. I suppose the error rate on this would vary depending on times, and circumstances.

  43. I’m not sure about all the above assertions on the car industry. The German one is certainly going through a major supply chain reorganisation, and it shouldn’t be left out of the calculations.

    Also, Russian and Chinese investment in infrastructure and services to the EU has picked up in the last 8 months or so, which could alter things.

    Car industry has been very regionalised for about 25 years, but it is changing.

  44. Pete
    tariff free trade is clearly the object but neither you nor I know what the final outcome will be.

    two months ago i would not have been contemplating a comprehensive trade deal with the US. Things are moving fast. The East European countries may break ranks with the EC and want a better deal with the UK. 2 years is along time in this political state of flux.

  45. Allan Christie
    “If May can come back with some favourable news on UK/US trade”

    Some chap popped up in the media touted as the likely new US ambassador to the EU, doing his level best to talk the EU down. I wold be confident May will come back saying how well she gets on with Trump, that he is a man we can do business with, and she is sure there will be a trade deal. just so long as she can get all that past what seems to be her native honesty.

    S Thomas,
    “but when the voters decide differently to yourself decide to try to thwart the implementation of the vote itself by seeking to take advantage of the intervention of parliament do not seek to cover yourself in a cloak of democracy or moral superiority.”

    Indeed. I think the conservatives have also used this ‘moral superiority’ image to try to keep some of their side in line over Brexit. Whether it will eventually work remains to be seen. The white paper rebellion already saw May give in, though whether it contains any useful information remains to be seen. This image has been a bit of a ‘double or quits’ ploy, because while it must help keep voters on side, the risks if party unity does dissolve become greater.

  46. @Alec

    “They know that if Britain chooses to leave the single currency . . . etc”

    Eh? We haven’t joined it yet.

  47. S THOMAS, what better deal? My guess is for tariff free the East Europeans would want their people to be allowed to come here.

  48. @ Old Nat

    “How about Christian America selecting a President who has admitted to “coveting his neighbour’s ass”?”

    He didn’t admit to that. He admitted to committing rape. And frankly, I don’t know the answer to your question. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

  49. Currency markets are liking what they see – the last week or so at least.
    I understand Trump’s antipathy to the EU strengthening the £ v Euro, and we saw this straight after his his victory, but the £ is rallying against the $ now which surprises me?

    If the £ stays at these levels the import price level driven inflation will not be that big a deal and in fact it has been too low for almost 10 years now so cold be beneficial and it reduces national debt in real terms.

    Notwithstanding that anything can happen with Oil prices of course.

  50. Danny

    Ridiculous as it sounds there is a slight whiff of competence about the way the government is conducting Brexit in Parliament.Someone sees the end game. The real battle is the triggering. Once triggered our exit is certain. Parliament will and can scrutinise but that effect is limited because ,unbelievably, we do not command both sides and it will be done in an increasingly hostile attitude to the EU. Any final vote will be a maastrict type one and in reality be take it or leave it. The government will also be able to dangle additional public spending carved out of saved EC contributions.

    on that theme it would be sensible when the A50 trigger letter is sent to spell out that the UK will cease contributing to the budget 2 years hence and will not accept any further liabilities during that period and will freeze the contribution at present levels.That might concentrate a few minds.

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