Two polls in the Sunday papers. The weekly YouGov/Sunday Times poll has topline figures of CON 36%, LAB 34%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 13%. That means both the YouGov polls since Cameron’s conference speech have shown a small Tory lead, though it’s worth noting that that the Populus poll on Friday did not show any movement to the Conservatives so the trend is not all one way. The more important caveat is that the polls were taken in the context of very good publicity for the Conservatives from their conference – we don’t know if it will last once the agenda moves on to, say, the expected UKIP by-election win on Thursday.

On that subject the Sunday papers also have the first poll of the Rochester and Strood by-election, conducted by Survation for the Mail on Sunday. Topline figures there are CON 31%(-18), LAB 25%(-3), LDEM 2%(-14), UKIP 40%(n/a), Other 1%(-5). UKIP start out with a lead, but it’s clearly not the complete walk in the park that polling for the Clacton by-election has shown. As commentators have suggested, this one looks like it will be a more competitive fight.


447 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times shows another Tory lead, plus Survation Rochester & Strood poll”

1 2 3 9
  1. Rochester by-election will be closer than Clacton. Early days – I expect Tories to win.

  2. I expect UKIP to win both by-elections but for Tories to regain them in May.

  3. Survation (and Ashcroft) underestimated Con VI/Con lead, and very slightly overestimated Ukip in polling for the Newark byelection…. but the boot is on the other foot in Rochester and Stood.

    From the point of view of Reckless, at least he’s not starting the campaign looking like a loser.

  4. We probably need to wait until midweek to see the post Tory conference overhang.

  5. “Two polls in the Sunday papers. The weekly YouGov/Sunday Times poll has topline figures of CON 36%, LAB 34%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 13%. That means both the YouGov polls since Cameron’s conference speech have shown a small Tory lead”
    __________

    PRESSMAN…Over to you.

  6. Is there an Observer poll tonight or is it just once per fortnight

  7. *to see the end of*

  8. Crushing blow for Cameron in Rochester, and temporary lead post Conference, to be followed by a brilliant Miliband surge & glorious victory.

  9. I think the UKIPpers will go back to Con in May. Seen it so often by-election excitement but when it comes to a GE people won’t take the risk of Tory/Lab delete as appropriate getting in. They could provide the necessary few % to give Cons a win.

  10. Rochester & Strood – I know nothing about this constituency! Is the Labour vote geographically concentrated?

    If so, it creates a possibility for UKIP to create a “Kick the Tories” narrative in such an area.

  11. There are lots of assumptions flying around about how things will help Tories by the GE, but pretty much everywhere you look, there is contrary evidence for this.

    Nationally, six months out and we’ve had a crop of polls with Cons sub 30% or just above; a small post conference blip but only in one pollster; overwhelming evidence that UKIP is having a vastly greater impact on Con than Lab prospects; polling showing Cons in trouble in Con/Lab marginals and going backwards in Lab/Con seats; clear signs that Lib Dems (as some of us have long predicted) will defend seats against Cons much better than against Lab; polling evidence that Lab voters will still switch to Lib Dems in Lib Dem/Con marginals; ‘swingback models that are being adjusted towards Lab as the swingback isn’t happening as predicted, etc etc.

    But everything gets subsumed under the assumption that Ed is so unpopular Lab can’t win, and therefore that all the evidence to the contrary must be wrong.

    This could be the case – who knows? But I get the sense too many people are missing too many pointers.

  12. “Rochester and Strood by-election, conducted by Survation for the Mail on Sunday”

    “. As commentators have suggested, this one looks like it will be a more competitive fight.”

    LDEM 2%(-14), Other 1%(-5)
    __________

    It certainly looks like being a competitive fight for the scraps.

  13. Survation ?tweet

    88% of those voting UKIP in the by-election would also vote for Reckless in next year’s general election 3% said they wouldn’t and 9% DK

  14. 22% undecided in poll for Rochester.

  15. Survation tweet

    UKIP voters told us the reason for voting Reckless,was liking UKIP and their policies (70%) vs protest (18%) or liking Reckless (12%).

  16. Thought I’d come and bask in the sun of 2 Tory leads. Is that Pressman I see behind the bar pouring the champagne? RM is In his heaven, all’s right with the world.

  17. @oldnat

    A Strood Conservative councillor defected to Ukip this week. He is opposing the (Con controlled) council’s plan to build a housing estate on bird sanctuary land. Ukip are saying they will make this a campaigning issue in the byelection.

    Labour, as you would expect, are stronger in the urban part of the constituency.

  18. @Coupar2802 – that’s precisely the kind of thinking I’m getting at. ‘I think that….’

    By the GE, UKIP will have a parliamentary seat, possibly two, and then possibly a few more. If they win both these seats, I can foresee some further defections, probably now without intervening by elections. This greatly changes the dynamic for UKIP voters next May in more than a handful of seats.

    No one would have predicted UKIP polling at these levels nationally 6 months out from the GE. They said things like ‘I think that the UKIPpers will go back to the Cons by…….’, yet here we are.

    Too many assumptions.

  19. @Mactavish

    I think Carswell will be very hard to dislodge… he’s an extraordinary politician in many ways – you feel that he would do well representing any party or no party with the way he’s embedded himself in Clacton, plus the seat suits UKIP perfectly in demographic terms.

    If Reckless gets in here I would expect to then lose the re-match in May. But as I said on the previous thread it is way too early to call this by-election – we don’t know who the Tory and the contest hasn’t even been formally triggered (this can’t happen until parliament meets).

  20. Billy Bob

    Thanks.

    The vote retention figures for Con/Lab/LD compared with 2010 recalled vote look interesting. There seems to be a significant degree of churn.

    Con – 44% of 2010 vote still voting Con
    Lab – 66% of 2010 vote still voting Lab
    LD – 16% of 2010 vote still voting LD

  21. Worthwhile also to remind ourselves that we had evidence this week that the manufacturing sector may be contracting, and that service sector activity growth apparently slowed quite sharply, and more than expected.

    The assumption of clear blue economic skies all the way to May 2015 is another assumption that needs to be checked against new data.

  22. ALEC

    In case you have forgotten the Lib/Dems were polling above Labour right up until polling day in 2010.

    Still plenty of time for them kippers to swim back to the Tories so stop frothing.

  23. Conference bounces, or bounces of any sort to be honest, tend to be at their highest the nearest they are to the source of the bounce (OK,OK, I was always poor at Physics!), but hopefully you get my gist. They are rarely slow burners that gather pace, so it might be reasonable to conclude that the two Tory leads in consecutive YouGov polls might be the extent of the Tory post-Conference surge. A smallish, even anaemic, bounce in polling terms, certainly in comparison to the effect of say Clegg’s first TV debate which effectively turned the opinion polls upside down. Obviously encouraging for Tory morale, but no game-changer unless we see the lead slowly widen and be replicated by other pollsters.

    There is a worry bead for Labour in all this though, and it does relate to Miliband. This year’s Labour Conference, the last before the General Election, should have provided the platform for Miliband to deliver the speech of his political life. To have fluffed it so spectacularly suggests a vulnerability and a loss of nerve that doesn’t bode particularly well for either him or his party. I’m puzzled and concerned that at the very time when he should be upping his game and finding his voice, he’s stalling.

    Those of us who wish Labour well and want them to succeed need to be honest with ourselves. The Labour Conference was an absolute stinker and Miliband delivered a turkey of a speech. Nothing fatal occurred and there are signs in these by-election polls that must be spooking the Tories, but Labour fluffed their lines badly at the very time when they should have fired the guns, blown the bugles and marched into battle.

  24. ALEC

    “Worthwhile also to remind ourselves that we had evidence this week that the manufacturing sector may be contracting, and that service sector activity growth apparently slowed quite sharply, and more than expected.
    The assumption of clear blue economic skies all the way to May 2015 is another assumption that needs to be checked against new data”
    __________

    Crickey two polls showing a small Tory lead which are probably down to the conference bounce and you start posting doom and gloom on the economic front.

    You’re protesting too much….CALM DOWN DEAR!!

  25. The first two comments on this thread make absolutely no sense to me.

    Firstly, almost everyone thinks Carswell is favourite to hold his seat in the general election.

    Secondly, why would this poll make anyone think the Tories are on course to win the Rochester by-election? It shows them behind by 9% compared to being 21% ahead at the general election.

    How on earth does that signify a probably Tory win in the by-election?

  26. @ Colin,

    Couldn’t have put it better myself. :p

    @ Alec,

    a small post conference blip but only in one pollster

    To be fair, it’s a small post-conference blip with 50% of the pollsters, at this point.

    @ Old Nat,

    liking Reckless (12%)

    That high, eh? I’m shocked.

  27. “Survation [email protected] 32m32 minutes ago

    88% of those voting UKIP in the by-election would also vote for Reckless in next year’s general election 3% said they wouldn’t and 9% DK”

    https://twitter.com/Survation/status/518519394834841600

  28. Is it really right to describle a by election caused by a Tory MP a UKIP by election. I suggest this is inappropriate, a by election is a by election and has no onwership. Is the editorial bias towards UKIP?

  29. “Still plenty of time for them kippers to swim back to the Tories so stop frothing.”

    That assumes they all came from there.

  30. Funny thing is that Newsnight had voters from Clacton saying they’d be voting UKIP because their existing MP was so useless.

  31. @ Crossbat11,

    It was an impressively bad conference for one immediately preceding an election that will probably carry the conferees back into government, and that speech was probably the worst misjudgement Miliband has made as leader.

    But honestly, was anyone impressed by the Shadow Cabinet before? They’re not running on competence, they’re running on not being Tories. As long as they’re still not Tories by May (always a little dubious with Balls and Reeves, but they can shout “NHS!” a few times to reassure people) and the Tories still are Tories (heartily confirmed by the Conservative conference), that’s the campaign sorted.

    Whether or not it will work remains an open question, but I wouldn’t underestimate the power of ABT.

  32. Conferee – one who is conferenced?

  33. @ Roger H,

    I dunno, I was trying to think of a shorthand for “the party holding the conference”.

  34. @AndyJS- the election hasn’t been called yet, The Tories don’t have a candidate yet and 22% of public are undecided. Given this I’m surprised UKIPare only 9% ahead- particularly given how much local and national press Reckless has received recently.

    The Tories will throw the kitchen sink and more at Rochester. They haven’t even tried in Clacton. I expect the Tories to win Rochester

  35. One of the issues with the “Kippers coming home” narrative is that a lot of the seats where the Kippers are competitive with the Tories also feature negligible Labour presences. I might be assigning too much logic to the “average” voter, but when I look at seats like Boston and Skegness (for a quick example), Labour isn’t even “in the hunt”. In seats like that, you’re going to have a lot of voters facing a tricky tactical question…especially since I think Farage could easily make a pledge that he won’t support another term of Cameron (leaving the door open to supporting a non-Cameron Tory government).

    The narrative of Kippers returning to their native streams works well in places where UKIP fails to achieve second place in polling…but the LibDems always had this problem as well, where they’d be stuck in a bad spot in a seat they couldn’t break through in…until they did. Let’s not forget that the Bermondsey by-election was over 30 years ago and the LibDems have held onto it pretty well ever since even though they were dropping deposits prior to the by-election. Yes, a good part of that was Simon Hughes’ personal vote…but that also goes to what happens when the dynamics in a seat shift.

    By the same token, consider the fact that up until recently Labour simply “didn’t exist” in much of the West Country (though the disintegration of UKIP may change this). Down in the South West, again, Labour’s presence in many seats is negligible, setting up a number of Con-UKIP fights. In those cases, UKIP becomes both a “safe” protest vote and a way for a Tory not happy with where Cameron has been going (and his tendency only to commit to firm promises in panic mode) to try and dump him without letting Labour in.

  36. Can’t think the choice of Tory candidate will make any difference.

  37. @Spearmint

    Conferor surely?

  38. @Roger H

    …unless it’s someone like Jeremy Clarkson.

  39. Just to increase the % of posts so far that relate to the poll above 20% –

    “If there was a referendum tomorrow on whether the UK should remain a member of the European Union, how would you vote?

    Vote for the UK to leave the European Union – 40.9%%
    Vote for the UK to remain remain a member of the European Union – 37.3%
    Undecided – 21.8%

    Of course, in an actual referendum campaign, these numbers would be affected by factors like the BBC providing “balance” by having 3 pro-EU politicians to 1 anti-EU politician in every discussion : giving extensive coverage to Asda and other supermarket bosses explaining that prices would rise : endless repetitions of lengthy contributions from a DeutscheBank spokesman that the resultant recession would be worse than the 30s : claims by foreign politicians that the EU would take punitive reprisals against a UK daring to leave the Union : that the EEA would refuse to have the UK as a member unless it joined Schengen …….. :-)

  40. OldNat, would you support a Brexit?

  41. The choice of Tory candidate will should make some difference. Consist either extreme. If they were to pick Dan Hannan (in the unlikely event he could be induced to stand), I’d be amazed if it wasn’t in the bag for them. Pick some 20something whose only qualification for the role is having done PPE at Oxbridge and they might as well wear a purple rosette for all the good they do.

    I believe the Tories are going for an open primary, which seems a shrewd move, although I wonder if the length of the process will play against them – the later they can chose their candidate, the less time he has to campaign directly, or gain name recognition…

  42. I believe the Tories are going for an open primary, which seems a shrewd move, although I wonder if the length of the process will play against them – the later they can chose their candidate, the less time he has to campaign directly, or gain name recognition…
    ———-
    Not if the candidate selection process is covered extensively by the local media. That’s a sure-fire way to gain name recognition.

  43. Observer: Andrew Rawnsley’s take on the Tory & Labour conferences makes less uncomfortable reading for Labour supporters than is usually the case with his pieces.

  44. If you look at the tables for Rochester, it looks quite good for the Tories. Large number of undecided, two thirds of those are women (who we know don’t like UKIP), and the majority of undecided went Tory in 2010, so are likely to revert back.

    Add in some high profile cabinet members knocking on the right doors and if the Tories lose Rochester I will be shocked.

    So I agree with those who say the Tories will take back the momentum from UKIP after Rochester. And when Reckless loses, that should put an end to further defections setting them up for a clear run for the GE.

    With Miliband’s dire performance in Scotland, where he was nearly invisible and had to call Gordon Brown in to save the day, folllowed by his conference speech that no one noticed, unfortunately it looks like we will have a Tory govt in 2015 unless he ups his game – Cameron will walk all over him.

  45. MacTavish

    I certainly wouldn’t support such a silly term as “Brexit”!

    Apart from anything else, it would suggest Northern Ireland remaining in the EU, while the rest of the UK leaves it. I suspect that the Orange Order would be upset by any such suggestion to dismember the UK.

    Since I don’t have a vote in Rochester & Strood, my support for Scotland remaining in the EU is somewhat irrelevant though.

  46. @Richard

    The Tories have made policy pledges at their conference designed squarely to appease Ukippers. This may afford them a favourable press in the short term; it may win them back some Ukippers; and it may help them to win Rochester and Strood. But at what cost?

    For a start they’ve burned all their bridges with all other paties bar UKIP parties. It’s a high risk strategy for a party that hasn’t won an OM for 22 years.

  47. @RAF

    The trouble for the Tories is that they are on a small barren island, with bridges off in several directions, all of which are on fire. They only have one bucket of water. Which bridge do they try and save? Attempting to put one fire out makes more sense than running round in a blind panic until they trip up and lose the bucket…

    All that said, I’m not sure that the conference was just about goodies for Kippers – the tax cuts especially should appeal a lot of people, particularly people already leaning Tory at least slightly.

  48. Polling keeps telling us the main issues are the economy and immigration… but….

    “On the doorstep, all the candidates admit they are facing far more local concerns, such as the NHS, street lighting and crime, than complaints about Europe or immigration in the primarily white British town. Pensioner Violet McEwan, a former Labour voter now swaying to Ukip, seems to reflect the views of many. “The problems here are to do with local services like the buses and the NHS. We have a great GP surgery that we use, but there are not enough doctors there.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/clacton-byelection-a-bit-early-to-celebrate-but-theres-only-one-party-9774829.html

    Why the disconnect?

  49. conferees
    ———–
    Confrencees? Styled like payees, franchisees etc. I assume because confrencors has a more uncertain pronunciation i.e. it’s less clear whether the second c is pronounced as c or s.

1 2 3 9