Sobering polling for the Tories from Lord Ashcroft today, who has a snapshot of voting intentions in ten Tory-held marginals with Labour currently in second place (plus Corby, which went Labour mid-term). Nine of the eleven are Labour gains. Ashcroft concludes “swings to Labour appear to be related to the UKIP presence”, finding:
“UKIP could hamper Labour in Tory-held target seats by diverting voters who might otherwise switch straight from blue to red – though the evidence so far is that this effect is not yet strong enough in these seats to counteract the erosion of the Tory vote.”
No doubt Conservative Party internal polling will show a Conservative overall majority #comfortpolling
— Lord Ashcroft (@LordAshcroft) October 16, 2014
28% of UKIP voters polled say they’d prefer a Labour government, 35% want a Tory win…
Matthew D’Ancona once quoted a “Cameron ally” dismissing the long-term threat posed by UKIP. D’Ancona’s soothsaying source predicted Farage’s party “should reach its peak in the European elections on May 22″, leading the Telegraph columnist to urge Dave to “forget UKIP”, warn “too much time is still devoted to soothing those who might jump ship” and profess “UKIP will not be Cameron’s biggest problem”.
The ill-fated “peak UKIP” analysis adopted by Downing Street up until recently was based on the fatally flawed insight of Cameron’s über-modernising gay-marriage architect and pollster Andrew Cooper, who told the Prime Minister two years ago that UKIP would just be a “flash in the pan”. He once argued via Powerpoint slides in a presentation to Tory MPs that UKIP’s rise was down to “mid-term grumbles” rather than anything more serious. Since then UKIP have stubbornly maintained their position in the polls, two Tory MPs have defected, thousands of true blue activists have joined the purple army and they have just taken a formerly safe Tory seat in a by-election. If the Tories lose in 2015, Cooper is the man most to blame – he may well go down in British political history as the worst adviser/pollster of the modern era…
On Monday newbie pollster Michael Ashcroft told us that Labour was 19% ahead in Heywood & Middleton. His polling in the marginals has also consistently forecast Labour making a remarkably strong showing. Something that over in CCHQ Grant Shapps and Lynton Crosby bitterly dispute. They will take some consolation that Ashcroft’s margin of error on Thursday in Labour’s favour was 17%…
In 2010 UKIP decided not to run a candidate against Douglas Carswell, clearing the way for the Tories to beat Labour by 53% to 25% and hand Carswell a majority of 12,068. Some last minute jitters/expectation management in Clacton from a source close to Carswell suggest he is nowhere near the 32 point lead given to him by Lord Ashcroft’s most recent poll in the constituency. UK Polling Report‘s demographics show Clacton has a high proportion of over 65s, a high proportion not in work and very low numbers of ethnic minorities:
Meanwhile up in Heywood and Middleton:
Labour are on course for a comfortable hold despite a party aide today telling the Staggers Miliband’s attitude to the constituency has been “deeply frustrating” and that they are “completely out of touch” with the concerns of local voters. Even the uninspiring Liz McInnes should be able to defend the late Jim Dobbin’s 5,971 majority. Here are the demographics from UK Polling Report:
We should have the results in the early hours…
Dave’s post-conference bounce continues this afternoon, with a national poll from Lord Ashcroft putting the Tories two points ahead of Labour. That’s the third poll since the PM’s speech to give the Tories a lead, following YouGov in the Sun on Friday and then in the Sunday Times. Still pointing toward a Labour victory…
— YouGov (@YouGov) October 2, 2014
Tax cuts are popular? Who knew!
“Do you think the Labour government of 1997-2010 or the current Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government has been more effective in dealing with each of the following areas”?
This from YouGov’s poll for the Times RedBox would suggest that on every important issue the voters rate this government higher than the last Labour government. The personal leader ratings of Cameron are high and Miliband’s are tragic, so why is Labour polling a 7% voting intentions lead? Answers to Lynton Crosby on a postcard please… (Clue: it is purple.)
As Ed Balls takes to the stage to try and pretend that his party has an economic credibility, the facts just do not fit the rhetoric.
Only four per cent of candidates standing for Labour at the next election think Gordon Brown’s government spent too much money.
Even after he left the country in the worst possible position to weather a global economic crisis, 85% of the next generation of Labour MPs believe Gordon’s spending was “about right”.
Only one in 25 believes Labour was spending too much, despite claims by Miliband and Balls that they had learned their economic lessons.
The survey by ComRes for the Sunday Politics, and revealed in Guido’s Sun column yesterday, also finds that 7% think that Britain is too generous to immigrants. A stunning 89% think our current system of unrestricted immigration from inside the EU is “a good thing”.
So much for Ed Miliband’s admission that Labour had “got it wrong” on immigration.
UPDATE: There was nothing but silence on the fact that Labour were running a boom-time deficit from 2002, but some faux contrition from Balls in his speech.
“The truth is we should have regulated those banks in a tougher way. It was a mistake. We should apologise for it.”
“We should have had tougher rules on immigration from Eastern Europe – it was a mistake not to”
Shame the next generation of Labour MPs do not agree.
Based on recontacting voters today after they voted. Rumour is turnout topped 90%…
Stuart Broad Right, Peston Broadly Wrong | Ryan Bourne
The 38 Seats in England Yet to Select a Tory Candidate | ConHome
Labour and Green Ecofascism | Matthew Walsh
Burnham Shows Why Labour Can’t Be Trusted | Speccie
Why Online Voting is a Crap Idea | Ballot Box
Time We Showed Super Rich Some Love | Alice Thomson
We Need True Popular Capitalism | Maurice Saatchi
Labour’s Winning Hand | Sebastian Shakespeare
We Defend Labour’s Record | John Hutton and Alan Milburn
100 Tories to Rebel on Plain Packs | Telegraph
May 2015 and the Art of Political Betting | MAY2015
Alan Milburn says Labour’s scaremongering campaign for an unreformed NHS will not win election…
“It would be a fatal mistake, in my view, for Labour to go into this election looking as though it is the party that would better resource the National Health Service but not necessarily put its foot to the floor when it comes to reforming. Look, reforms are not easy, but the Labour Party is not a conservative party. It should be about moving things forward not preserving them in aspic. You have got a pale imitation actually of the 1992 general election campaign, and maybe it will have the same outcome. I don’t know.”