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If you’ve been seat betting based on the Ashcroft polls then Nuneaton could be the first test

April 28th, 2015

A look forward to election night

The point I’ll be waiting for on the night will be the first LAB-CON marginals to declare. These are the seats that will determine which party comes top and all that could mean in the post-election bantering.

Looking at the Press Association expected declaration timings we are not going to get much on these seats before 1am when the Nuneaton result is scheduled.

This Midlands seat is LAB target number 32 from CON in England and Wales which would change hands on a 2.32% swing. A successful CON defence would be a good pointer to them winning most seats. A loss a bad one.

Nuneaton looks set also to be the first LAB-CON marginal in England and Wales where Lord Ashcroft has carried constituency polling. His last there, carried out in March, (see above) had LAB taking it on a 5% swing. What will be interesting for me is not just the result here but what it says about the many other 100 or so seats that Lord Ashcroft has polled which have had a big impact on constituency betting markets.

If on the night the Ashcroft polling prove to be good predictors then betting prices linked to his seat polls will harden. If not then the other way.

Now I know that Lord A describes his polls as snapshots but they have had a big impact on the betting. What is important is to look at the fieldwork dates. Polling done as far back as July might be less relevant.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble





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What we need is for individual pollsters to produce results that are completely out of character

April 28th, 2015

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A Populus CON lead perhaps would speak volumes

Mark Pack makes an excellent point that if you look at movements pollster by pollster then there has actually been very little volatility.

This is one of the basic rules of polling analysis – you shouldn’t compare one firm’s poll with another and then deduce that there has been a trend.

In the run up to this election Monday and Friday morning’s, as we saw again yesterday, have generally brought reassuring news for LAB with the twice-weekly Populus/FT poll. Throughout 2015 it has not shown a CON lead and has had LAB ahead by 1-3% in all but one survey. Monday afternoons, again like yesterday, have been good for the Tories with the ICM and Ashcroft phone polls generally showing solid Tory leads.

The monthly Ipsos-MORI phone poll has during the year tended be good for LAB with the party always ahead. ComRes phone, now in the Mail, has tended to show solid Tory leads.

YouGov can move about though in recent weeks there have been few Tory leads such as we have seen overnight.

    What I’d love to see in this final period is for pollsters to produce numbers that are out of character. Populus showing CON leads in its remaining surveys would send out a stronger message about what’s happened than ICM having similar results.

I am expecting a level of convergence as we get closer and that the final polls will have most of them in the same territory.

  • Meanwhile the decline of UKIP in the latest Ashcroft marginals polling was good news for LAB and CON. The Tories are delighted that Castle Point and Great Yarmouth look safe though they’ll be less pleased by the 6.5% swing to LAB in Cannock Chase that points to a LAB gain. Great Grimsby, regarded as the best LAB target for UKIP had the purples 17% behind.
  • Mike Smithson

    2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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    The big unknown – the large number of polling respondents saying they don’t know

    April 27th, 2015



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    CON 6% lead in latest Ashcroft national poll while in new seat polls UKIP continues to struggle

    April 27th, 2015



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    ICM have 3% CON lead while Populus have a 3% LAB one. In Scotland TNS has SNP 32% ahead

    April 27th, 2015

    It’s almost no change with Populus

    TNS has SNP with 32% lead in Scotland



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    This could have been the moment when Boris lost the next CON leadership contest

    April 27th, 2015

    Being able to confront Ed was an opportunity that he fluffed

    For me one of the best bits of TV during the campaign was at the end of yesterday’s Andrew Marr show when the programme’s two main participants traditionally join each other on the sofa for the closing couple of minutes. This time it was Boris and Ed and the wide judgement was that the Mayor lost.

    This is how Nick Robinson saw it.

    The timing is important because we could be only a couple of weeks away from a Conservative leadership contest even if the Tories do win most seats. It is hard to see Cameron staying if he ceases to be PM and there are those saying, unfairly in my view, that he should stand aside anyway if his party fails again to win an overall majority.

    A Conservative contest involves two very distinct phases. Firstly the Parliamentary Party has a series of elections to decide which two candidates should be put to the party membership in a postal ballot.

    The history of these contests is such that odds on favourites, like Michael Portillo in 2001, don’t even make it to the final cut. Then it will be recalled that Portillo failed by two votes to make the top two in the MPs ballot which left IDS and Ken Clarke being the ones left to fight it out in the membership vote.

    Boris Johnson has not been an MP since 2008 which means that in the likely post general election parliamentary party many won’t really know him – a fact that might hamper efforts in the first phase. There has always been a risk that he could suffer a fate similar to Portillo.

    If it does come to a contest you can bet that the mayor’s detractors will be using the above clip to undermine him. Methinks Boris would struggle to win a 2015 contest.

    Mike Smithson

    For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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    The Deputy PM after the election betting

    April 26th, 2015

    Paddy Power DPM

    Paddy Power have put up a market on who will be the Deputy Prime Minister after the General Election.

    Given the recent pronouncements of Nick Clegg ruling out the Lib Dems joining a Lab/SNP coalition and Vince Cable saying he could stomach another coalition with the Tories (though he would like George Osborne’s job) it might not be wise to back them, particularly based on projections/forecasts the numbers for a Con/Lib Dem coalition don’t look possible.

    Tim Farron might be worth backing, on current polling, Nick Clegg is on course to lose his seat, and there might be vacancy for Lib Dem leader in twelve days time, as Tim Farron is favourite to succeed Clegg, he is perceived to be more left wing than Nick Clegg, and he hasn’t ruled out a coalition with Labour in the way Nick Clegg has.

    Harriet Harman may also worth be backing, she’s Labour’s Deputy Leader, although Gordon Brown didn’t make her Deputy Prime Minister, Ed Miliband might just. The Shadow Cabinet is on course to lose two members, the Shadow Foreign Secretary and the Shadow Scotland Secretary if the Nats realise their polling potential, so Ed might have more room for patronage.

    I’m ruling out any SNP person becoming Deputy Prime Minister, because I don’t think Ed would offer them the position, based on his comments this morning, nor would the SNP formally join his government were he to offer.

    TSE



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    Shy Kippers might be a problem for pollsters like shy Tories were in the 90s

    April 26th, 2015

    Could the (phone) pollsters be underestimating the UKIP support?

    Meet the Shy Kippers

    Shy isn’t the first adjective I’d normally associate with UKIP supporters, but ever since David Cameron’s (in)famous comment about UKIP being a bunch of  “fruitcakes and loonies and closet racists mostly” there’s been a perception that UKIP are the BNP in blazers.

    But look at the above chart from YouGov, it might be indicative that some Kippers are shy about admitting who they really support. We’ve seen polling that shows, UKIP are considered by the voters, to be the most extreme party, with the candidates likeliest to have racist/extreme views, and a plurality of voters seeing UKIP as racist and what  seems a regular offerings of UKIP candidates, members and activists resigning for acting in a manner that fits with David Cameron’s maxim about UKIP, so you can see why they might be embarrassed to admit their true leanings.

    Generally throughout this parliament, the phone pollsters have given UKIP a lower share of the vote than online pollsters, as the below chart of the most recent UKIP share of the vote with the pollsters shows.


    If people are embarrassed in telling their friends and family they plan to vote UKIP, then they might embarrased when asked by a phone pollster for their voting intention and say their voting intention is for someone other than UKIP.

    Online polling does give the voter an extra layer of anonymity, given that constituency polling is done exclusively by phone, this could mean UKIP are being understated, something that might be crucial when looking at the polling in UKIP’s target seats as it appears “Shy Kippers” doesn’t cause epistemological problems, Shy Kippers could be a modern day polling problem in the same way “Shy Tories” were in the 90s.

    TSE

    Meanwhile more grim news for Labour in Scotland