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Big boost for the Tories in tonight’s ComRes phone poll

March 29th, 2015




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Leanne Wood could be the 2015 Nick Clegg and at 50-1 might be a good punt to win Thursday’s debate

March 29th, 2015

She has the benefit of not being much known outside Wales

Just had a punt with Ladbrokes at 50/1 that Plaid leader, Leanne Wood, will top the quickie polls after Thursday night’s seven-sided debate.

She’ll be fresh to a full national audience, has a pleasant manner, and handles herself well on TV. She’ll also attract less of the hostility that some of the others on the platform are likely to attract.

The rules ensure that she should get equal time with the other six and might just make a good impression. I love 50/1 shots and this might just come up.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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The voting intentions of those who watched Thursday’s programme and those that didn’t

March 29th, 2015

Nearly 20% of the YouGov respondents watched Thursday’s programme, whereas around only 5% of the public actually watched the programme so this might be what may be somewhat over amplifying Ed’s performance and the Labour lead.

What does indicate that is a good poll for Labour and Ed is the relative improvement in Ed’s ratings, he’s gone from a net minus 46% at the end of February, to net minus 29% today. In the same time frame David Cameron’s ratings have improved by 4% and Nick Clegg’s have improved by 12%. Since last week, Cameron, Miliband and Clegg’s ratings have improved by 3%, 10% and 7% respectively.

Peter Kellner, writing in the  Sunday Times says of this poll

[It] indicates a swing of more than six percentage points from Conservative to Labour across England and Wales. If this were repeated in every constituency, Labour would gain enough seats to come close to an outright majority, even if it lost badly in Scotland. Labour would end up with 314 MPs and the Tories 251, followed by the Scottish National party (48) and Liberal Democrats (16).

If this poll is a harbinger of the election result, then the 16.5 on a Labour majority on Betfair needs to snapped up PDQ. The next few phone polls with their random selection should give us a better idea. But with three more debates/events, of which Ed is the only attendee, Labour must be feeling confident if he can replicate this kind of win with those who watch the programmes.

The full YouGov data tables are available here

TSE



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Tonight’s YouGov has LAB taking 4% lead and Ed getting ratings boost

March 28th, 2015

All fieldwork carried out after Thursday TV interviews



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Get ready folks for an election to remember….!

March 28th, 2015

We should get the first full post debate polls tonight

My guess is that the campaigning won’t start in earnest until after Easter and it will only be after then that most people will start to take notice. The final fortnight is, as you’d expect the most intensive.

One thing we know is that this will be the most polled election ever in the UK. There’ll be a pile of new numbers coming out every day.

On top of the national polls Lord Ashcroft has indicated that a lot of seat specific surveys are in the pipeline. My guess is that he’ll try to focus on those seats that look the most marginal from his polling – not from what happened in 2010.

Scotland clearly is is going to be looked at closely but we shouldn’t overstate its importance in terms of which party overall will have most seats. Even if LAB was to lose every single Scottish MP this would increase its target of gains from CON in England & Wales to just 21 seats.

The big battles are in England in many of the seats that the Tories took off Labour in 2010.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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By accident or design, the election’s got a debate series that could work

March 27th, 2015

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Multiple structures will probe the parties & leaders

In a little over nine months’ time, the US presidential hopefuls will be campaigning hard in the then snow-bound small rural state of Iowa, the first in a long process of state-wide elections that will ultimately determine the two parties’ nominations. That process has evolved over the years, partly organically, partly by design but the main reason there’s been little wholesale reform in the schedule, despite offerings to that end being put forward from time to time, is simple: it works.

The reason why it works is in the asymmetry of the challenge. Small states are intermingled with large ones, caucuses with primaries, one-off elections with multi-state dates; the campaign jolts around the country in no particular order. There is no particularly natural progression and no obvious logic to the order of the series. What that means is that for any one candidate to be nominated, he or she has to demonstrate a wide range of campaigning talents, from the up close and personal in Iowa to mass fundraising for the TV onslaught of Super Tuesday. One-trick ponies need not apply.

And after the months of to-ing and fro-ing over the debates in Britain, we’ve landed on something similar over here. The innovation of the debates in 2010 was to be welcomed; the excessive influence they had in the election was not. Apart from crowding out local campaigns (yes, in theory we vote for individual MPs locally but most people in most seats vote on national issues or preferences), they also made it harder for the leaders to be held to account in other ways.

This time, with the sequential interviews this week, the big 7-way debate next week, the 5-way opposition leaders’ debate mid-month and the 3-way Question Time event at the end, the leaders cannot just rehash the same arguments against each other as each event has its own dynamic and its own line-up. On top of which, the two two-week breaks in April mean that they ought to spend more time on the road and less time prepping.

Of the four events, the 7-way ought to be the most significant. It’s the only one where all the leaders are present and the first in the campaign proper. Much will depend on the moderation, as with so many people on stage the twin risks of the discussion being either stilted or a shouting match will be ever-present, but if it’s done well then the arguments made and public perceptions gained will frame the rest of the election. I wouldn’t be surprised if the viewing figures are three times the size of those for the Paxman interviews. Thereafter though, we should be back to something like normal campaigning for much of the rest of the month. It strikes a good balance.

The big question is who will benefit from that apart from, hopefully, the public? The answer to that lies in their credibility. Put simply, the major parties have to look like competent parties of government; the minor parties have to look like the voice of that part of the electorate they’re fishing in. As throughout the parliament, the direct Con-Lab battle is likely to be secondary to those between both Con and Lab on the one hand, and UKIP, the SNP and the Greens on the other, with the Lib Dems as something of a wild card.

In particular, this is Nigel Farage’s moment as kingmaker. Although UKIP has taken votes from both Con and Lab, he doesn’t have time to attack both Cameron and Miliband equally and expect to score two hits so his choice in where to direct his fire in that debate is probably one of the biggest specific variables of the election (particularly when combined with whether he’s effective in doing so). Having both gained hugely since 2010 and slipped since 2014, he has votes to defend and to win back. There is a strong argument to go for Miliband, whose electoral support will already be under attack from the Greens and SNP and so he has less chance to respond; there’s also a strong argument for him to go for Cameron given that more UKIP support has come from the Tories than anywhere else. If he does try both, he may fall flat and invite a shellacking in return. With the polls so close nationally, upon that call may turn the course of the election.

David Herdson



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Predicting the election: What the leading academic teams are saying

March 27th, 2015

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Five years ago PBers described the 2010 event as wank fest

We got a name check from YouGov polling head Jo Twyman, at the opening of today’s conference at the LSE when different academic groups made their predictions.

He recalled that on the thread in 2010 this gathering was described as a wankfest which got a good response.

What’s happening is that separate forecasting groups are presenting their findings and explaining how their approaches.

The table above shows the main predictions which are very different.

Am I any the wiser? I don’t think do.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble




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LAB edge a notch up in the “most seats” betting but CON still very strong favourite

March 27th, 2015

The “debates” haven’t done either Ed or Dave any harm

There’s been a small recovery for LAB in the most seats betting over the past week and since last night’s C4/Sky “debate” that trend has continued.

But Labour has a very long way to go on the markets till it reaches parity with the Tories once again. The blues are expected to make progress during the campaign itself and that is reflected in the betting.

The spread markets were suspended overnight and I’ll update this when the post-debate prices are up.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble