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. According Mike Smithson it was a facebook poll..

    Mike Smithson [email protected] 2h2 hours ago
    How the Express is reporting the Stoke central “poll” which wasn’t. I’m told it was Facebook survey of 179 people

  2. @ AW


    Certainly will

  3. Reading the article from Labour leave it’s clear Labour are panicking over the threat from UKIP so their facebook poll is probably more to do with highlighting the pro Brexit UKIP and the urgency for Labour to stick up a vocal pro Brexit candidate to see off Kippers…

    It’s going to be a fascinating by-election and prime time viewing.. A night in with the popcorn!!

  4. If any Labour supporters are going to switch to UKIP it will be ones for whom Leave and Brexit are a big issue.

    Given that this is based on Labour “LEAVES” Facebook users this is where you would expect to find them.

    It’s really a bit like asking people who have indicated they are considering voting UKIP;

    “Are you considering voting UKIP?”


  5. “For now – at least until more detail is forthcoming – ignore.”
    Disbelieve. Consider unprofessional. Regard as propaganda, perhaps.
    But in such a by-election, with national implications, ignoring a claim that will get wide publicity, that UKIP is already 10% up on Labour with little canvassing yet is not sensible.
    The truth must put its boots on.

  6. Facebook…..

    Oh dear !

  7. It will be a very interesting by election in Stoke – it will test whether “other” issues could overcome the Brexit thing, and even more importantly if Labour and their canvassing people could differentiate their messages to different electors, as Nuttal is very vulnerable but to different degrees to different voters – or just the opposite: attractive (privatisation of NHS, homophobe, anti-abortion, support to sexism, denier of climate change).

    If the LP hopes anything for 2020, it should (imo) master this.

  8. @Conservative Estimate

    I’ve not seen you post before, so welcome.

    Stoke Central is the best chance UKIP will have if they really are going to challenge Labour in it’s old heartlands.

    I suspect if they can’t win this seat now, that whole plan is utterly lost in my view.

  9. It appears the Government will publish a Brexit white paper: soon!

  10. Presumably, the aim is/was to persuade the NEC/CLP membership to choose a by-election Labour candidate who supported Leave. However, crass seems a generous description.

    In any event, in their wisdom, the NEC have created another short-list of potentials who do not support Corbyn and none of whom actually live in Stoke Central… On the plus side, they all live in adjoining constituencies and are not called Tristram.

  11. Donald Trump called the poll “fake news”

  12. Thank you, AW, for your comment on this ‘poll’. I probably shouldn’t have posted it.

  13. Good afternoon all from a very cold People’s (Socialist) Republic of London.


    It will be a very interesting by election in Stoke – it will test whether “other” issues could overcome the Brexit thing…

    I think that holds true for both Stoke and Copeland. Are traditional w/c voters really driven by this issue, or will other concerns such as NHS/job security rights etc come into play. Also for ukip to win a large number of Tory voters will have to vote tactically just to hurt Labour – is there any evidence that they are prepared to do this, especially as MAY is delivering on the promise Brexit.

    Also, especially in Copeland, to what extent will the Corbyn factor play. Tory campaign seems to be centred around Corbyn’s stance on Nuclear power/weapons. I know some people from the area and their opinion is that it will be a Labour hold, but if the Tory’s win it then Labour should be very concerned about its prospects at the next election.

  14. Redrich

    Yes, I agree.

    I commented on Stoke because a friend of mine volunteered to help Labour there (even if not an LP member)’ so I know more about it, and because of Nuttal, and the fate of UKIP.

    But yes, a huge question – how can a party deliver contradictory messages with success (a person managed it – Trump), but England is very, very different (I hope, I have to add quickly).

  15. Dave

    Thanks for the link.

    Somebody earlier mentioned the low turnout in Stoke at the GE. One wonders how news and SM News influence turnout (I doubt that it does at all).

  16. I just made the mistake of reading the BBC’s latest ‘Have your say’ on Brexit….

    I just want to say that, however frustrated I may sometimes get with the back and forth on here sometimes, the quality of the debate by both ‘sides’ on this board is light-years ahead of that on more ‘popular’ comment sections – thank you everyone!

  17. Looking ahead to TM’s visit on Friday to the Trump-House…I wonder if it will have a positive impact in the polls next week for the Tory party?

    If May can come back with some favourable news on UK/US trade and also seen to be sticking up for woman’s rights and values in front of what some would call a misogynist leaning president (although not my opinion) then TM might earn her party some brownie points.

    I also think some of the credit must go to Nigel Farage for Trump inviting TM over so soon and the first World leader to meat him.

  18. It tells one something about the Daily Express, that they should sponsor such rubbish.

  19. Nice to get positve news from the CBI

    iLONDON (Reuters) – British manufacturers are enjoying their strongest orders in nearly two years but their costs are rising sharply following last year’s Brexit vote which pushed down the value of sterling, a survey showed on Wednesday.

    In the latest sign of how Britain’s economy has so far withstood the shock of June’s vote to leave the European Union, the Confederation of British Industry’s monthly industrial orders balance rose to +5 in January from zero in December.

    That was its highest since April 2015. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a smaller rise to +2.

    In a separate quarterly questionnaire, the CBI found manufacturers were planning more investment and the most optimism in nearly two years. That suggested little concern about the outlook for Britain’s relationship with the EU, which buys nearly half its exports.

    “UK manufacturers are firing on all cylinders right now with domestic orders up and optimism rising at the fastest pace in two years,” Rain Newton-Smith, the CBI’s chief economist, said.

  20. TOH

    Excellent news; the march of the makers is clearly underway.

    Once out of the EU, I think old Blighty will go from strength to strength.


    Really, REALLY, hope there’s no May/Trump meating.

  22. @ToH
    That is encouraging; I confess myself surprised but pleased. Given we are now six months post Referendum that suggests most exporters have some confidence that Brexit will not significantly impact their ability to export to Europe.

    I’m still worried about the impact of the inevitable slow-down in consumer spending (we can’t carry on for ever just borrowing more to finance current spending), and also the potential drain of jobs out of the Finance industry in the event of a hard Brexit (besides the publicised relocation of UBS, Goldmans and Lloyds of London, we are hearing of many more relocations being planned).

    However, this is definitely better news than I expected…

  23. Just heard about the gaffe made by Jeremy in the House todat regarding the policeman in Northern Ireland.

    It’;s things like this that really doesn’t help his polling ratings- just confirms those that tune into politics briefly that he doesn’t look like an alternative PM.

    All very sad, we appear to be seeing his “death by a thousand cuts”.

  24. @ WOOD


    Really, REALLY, hope there’s no May/Trump meating.”

    This is NOT a script for a carry On film

  25. Nifty footwork by May. Concession of white paper “some time” will satisfy rebel tories (sans clarke) and if tories vote without abstention or anti all other amendments will be defeated without incident.

    Faced with that labour can simply nod A50 through. What is the point in aggravating your leave supporters with futile gestures when confronted by inevitability.

  26. S Thomas

    Aye, but what about Labour potential voters who don’t want a ‘hard’ Brexit, or those 48% who voted to stay in? Just lying down supinely is not going to encourage them to vote Labour, is it?

  27. ‘potential Labour voters’, of course, not ‘Labour potential voters’ – although, come to think about it, those as well!


    Yes it is good news but I share your view that there will be a slow down in consumer spending because of already high debt levels.

  29. John B

    I agree but if A50 inevitable then go with it asa point of principle and plan to cause real trouble for the government in the detail so as to satisfy the remain element of the party.

    In fairness i think that this is what JC wants to do but he keeps on getting dragged back by those who cannot see the sense of the strategy from their party perspective.

  30. Having been seen as being on the back foot after the initial High Court ruling, Mrs May appears to be very much on the front foot now, following the SC ruling even though the main issue still went against her. Helped a little probably by the fact that a) it was expected this time and b) 3 of their Lordships agreed that the governments arguement was in fact correct, which killed off any accusations that the government was wasting everyone’s time appealing the initial judgement.

    I don’t see why or how the devolved assemblies were ever going to win their arguement and thankfully they didn’t. They are being consulted and listened to but that is not the same as having a veto to stop things. In any even those areas are adequately represented by their respective MPs in Westminster. Quite why they should have double representation on the matter is beyond me (and obviously, their Lordships too).

    One issue that was spoken of on here quite often was as to whether article 50 was reversible or not and that uncertainty would require clarification by the ECJ. I have seen no further mention of this and so presumably their Lordships deemed it to be irrelevant to the matter in hand?

    Pleasing economic news certainly and Mrs 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!

  31. Aren’t white papers supposed to be a result of the consultation following a green paper? I’m getting confused.

    Anyway, while I largely agree with Robert Newark, there could be a snake in the grass.

  32. Not sure May’s rather surly agreement to a White Paper will win her many new friends.

  33. S T “I agree but if A50 inevitable then go with it as a point of principle and plan to cause real trouble for the government in the detail ”

    It is the job of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition to make sure that views opposed to the Government are considered, and to put forward alternative courses of action which they (and they hope, the majority) are better than the Government’s proposals.
    Their job is not merely to “cause trouble”.

  34. Robert Newark

    Their Lordships may have decided that the Sewell Convention does not apply, and that the Devolved Administrations need not be given any deciding vote in this matter, but this still leaves two issues to be dealt with:

    1. Ought MPs to represent their constituents’ views when voting on this matter, or ought they to vote for what they personally believe to be right? Of course, for the SNP members of the Commons this would involve voting against Brexit, so let’s not hear any carping about those who vote against the proposed Bill. MPs must surely vote for what they believe to be right, and against what they believe to be wrong. To ask them to do otherwise is to ask them to act in a corrupt manner;

    2. The situation of the Border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland needs to be addressed very carefully. Simply dictating to the Republic that it ought to leave the EU in order to make life easier for the UK (as some on this site have suggested) is not a very sensible solution!

  35. S Thomas

    The triggering of A50 may be inevitable, but is there no case for trying to stop what you believe to be wrong, even if the odds seem impossible?

  36. Robert Newark

    “I don’t see why or how the devolved assemblies were ever going to win their arguement and thankfully they didn’t. They are being consulted and listened to but that is not the same as having a veto to stop things.”

    Indeed a requirement to be consulted is not the same thing as a veto.

    Which is, of course, why none of the devolved governments were suggesting that they had a veto through an LCM! (as their Lordships carefully noted in their judgment).

    I’m happy to explain LCMs to you, if you want, but the key point of argument was whether Westminster has a statutory duty to consult Holyrood as the UK Government had previously argued that it was establishing through the Scotland Act 2015) or not.

    Their Lordships established that the Act means no such thing, and that while Westminster may choose to consult the devolved administrations on relevant matters, they have no duty to do so.

  37. @Robert Newark

    “One issue that was spoken of on here quite often was as to whether article 50 was reversible or not and that uncertainty would require clarification by the ECJ. I have seen no further mention of this and so presumably their Lordships deemed it to be irrelevant to the matter in hand?”

    Not quite. It wasn’t irrelevant. It may yet prove to be very significant. And their Lordships did not pronounce on the issue. They merely said that both parties had argued it was irreversible and it was irrelevant to the Government’s case as they had argued that the Royal Prerogative applied either way.

  38. ‘UKIP on 35%, Labour on 25% and the Tories on 10%.’
    DKs were 24%

    Agreed that this is hardly a top quality poll (,as AW points out!) but does anyone think that 24% DKs is realistic?
    Just asking.

  39. John B

    I’d be surprised if only 24% didn’t know there was a by election going on.

  40. And there’s that ‘ILove’ site for sale advertisement again, with the Union Flag instead of the St. George’s Cross. Whatever else the SC judges may have ruled, they did not say that England and the UK are identical.

  41. Now there’s an advert for a pizzeria, named after a Pope for some reason.

  42. John B

    Yes if there is a profound moral principle at stake. But in a democracy if you vote for a referendum to give the voters a say, campaign on the basis that the result will be implemented and on the basis that the prime minister can bring it about by the royal prerog. (JC on morning of 24th) 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.

    There is no moral right or wrong here merely something that is wise or unwise.

  43. @S Thomas

    There may not be a moral right to campaign to remain in the EU, but there is certainly a moral right to campaign to influence to kind of exit deal we achieve. Or to put it another way Parliament had every right to seek to impose conditions on TM’s negotiating mandate, as the Referendum.omly decided the question of withdrawal, not the terms of exit.

  44. “That poll was clearly bunkum, and even if wasn’t, would you trust constituency polls after the 2015 debacle?”


    Well for some, it was a trifle iffy beforehand. (Not me, obviously, if anything I thought they might be too accurate…)

  45. RAF

    there has been a lot of nifty footwork all round here. By deeming the issue of irrevocability of A50 irrelevant the SC avoided a reference to the ECJ and thus further delay.

    All in all apart from the massive caveat that they lost the Gov. will be well pleased with the ancillary matters and i suspect A127 will suffer the same fate. The justices, happily, have found that the law is such so as to avoid them appearing again in the Rogues gallery of the Mail.

  46. ST

    I quite see your point, of course. But we now know that the Royal Prerogative basis of the campaign was false, and we also know, surely, that just sitting back and allowing someone to do themselves and others immense damage, even if you have encouraged that person to try for themselves, is morally questionable.

    Naturally, the majority does not think it has made a terrible error. But those who believe that a terrible error has been made surely have the duty to speak out, even if that might include a ‘mea/nostra culpa’ regarding the granting of the possibility (in this case the referendum) in the first place.

    All I am saying is that if (and it is only a hypothetical ‘if’) all this Brexit goes belly up then those who were against it will not be well received if they say ‘We did nothing to stop you because it was your decision. We were convinced it was wrong, but we said and did nothing because wasn’t our responsibility.’

  47. @WB

    “It appears the Government will publish a Brexit white paper: soon!”


    If they have any sense, there’ll be nowt about oil prices in it

  48. RAF

    I agree that there is a right to campaign on the kind of exit deal w e acheive. Indeed i would go further and say there is a duty to scrutinse and oppose by the opposition.

    However i would not elevate it to a moral duty since even the BBC have not yet suggested that Brexit breaks the 10 commandments although it has surely crossed their minds.

  49. S Thomas

    Now, if we’re getting into the 10 commandments …….

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

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