Archive for the 'BNP' Category


Are these now going to get really squeezed?

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Do the latest polls show it’s the end of the “others”?

The dominating feature of the polls since last June’s Euro elections was that “others” – mainly GRN/BNP/UKIP – looked set to take a significant shares.

These three parties together with PC/SNP in Wales and Scotland secured about 8% of GB vote in 2005. In some polls in the past few months this has touched 18% and a big question has been whether the Tories or Labour are being hit most.

But in the two weekend polls from YouGov and ComRes the aggregates were down to 11% and 10% with the latter putting UKIP at a mere two points.

As we get closer to the day is the election now becoming a choice between the big parties – an environment in a first past the post system in which GRN/BNP/UKIP are bound to struggle?

For what’s the point in wasting your vote when the real issue is whether Mr. Cameron is going to replace Mr. Brown?

Looking back the squeeze was always likely to happen – it’s just that it seemed to take a devil of a long time in coming about.

The question now is who benefits – Labour or the Tories? The weekend polls seemed to paint different pictures though, hazarding a guess, it looks more promising for the Tories than for Labour. What evidence there is suggests that when it comes to the crunch UKIP/BNP supporters are more likely to favour the blues.

In the betting it might be worth re-looking at those markets on how GRN/BNP/UKIP will do.

Mike Smithson


How are “others” likely to split as the race gets tighter?

Monday, December 7th, 2009

YouGov for Channel 4 June 2009

Can Labour really expect to benefit most?

The above is from the massive 32,268 sample YouGov poll taken just before the Euro Election last June and is just about the best resource we’ve got on the attitudes and backgrounds of those who, in that election at least, supported the “others” – the BNP, UKIP or the Greens.

For given the continued very high shares that are being recorded for this segment this survey might provide pointers as to what might happen as the race gets tighter.

A problem with standard sized surveys of 1,000 – 2,000 is that the numbers opting for these three parties are so small that it’s hard to draw many conclusions.

This is, of course, the response to YouGov’s standard forced choice question which has been asked in precisely the same way for several years. It might be a bit old but there’s nothing else available to put into context a report in the Times this morning which notes:-

“..Labour’s election planners believe an 8-point gap between the current party of Government and the Tories can be closed. They say that a third of Lib Dem voters have suggested that they might vote Labour, which would equate to 5 percentage points. Meanwhile, they believe that the numbers currently saying they support “others” in polls — greens, BNP and UKIP — may go back to Labour, closing the gap by a further 3 percentage points…”

I’ve found it quite hard to work out what it can be based on. Certainly there must be a reasonable expectation that Labour will do best from Green voters but big blocks of UKIP and BNP backers would appear to be much more likely to go to the Tories who look set to be the biggest gainers as “others” get smaller. Indeed it’s been the recent rise of this segment, rather than Labour advances, that’s been behind the Tory fall-off in support.

And I’m far from convinced about the “one in three Lib Dems” assertion. The current evidence is that they are more evenly split and there’s little to suggest that a move on that scale of the report might happen.

There’s little doubt that the 13% – 18% aggregate share for others currently being reported will get smaller as we get nearer the day but the Times report suggests a level of wishful thinking.

Mike Smithson


Is the BNP really going to save its deposit on Thursday?

Monday, November 9th, 2009

..or is Labour using the threat to get its core vote out?

Towards the end my conversation with Kevin Maguire on Radio 4’s “The Westminster Hour” the question arose of how the BNP would do in the Glasgow NE by election on Thursday.

This followed reports that Labour officials have been telling the the media that the BNP might come third? But just how likely is this given that the BNP has never really got a foot-hold north of the border?

Thus the PB Angus Reid poll on Friday was reporting a national share for the far-right party of 4% – while the detailed data points to almost zero support in Scotland. Of the 149 respondents in the Scottish sub-sample just one person – 0.07% 0.7% – opted for the far-right party.

It strikes me that the “talk up the BNP” approach is part of a strategy designed to energise activists and to get more of Labour’s core vote out – and this might be a pointer to what they’ll do in selected seats at the general election

The only danger of “talking up the BNP” is that Labour might end up doing exactly that – and is this outcome what they really want? They could be playing with fire.

In the betting all the money as been going on Labour and certainly Kevin Maguire seemed very confident on the programme last night.

Glasgow North East betting

  • PaddyPower 1/4 Labour: 15/8 SNP: 50/1 John Smeaton: 80/1 bar
  • Ladbrokes 1/4 Labour: 11/4 SNP: 50/1 John Smeaton: 100/1 bar
  • William Hill 2/9 Labour: 3/1 SNP: 50/1 John Smeaton: 100/1 bar
  • Victor Chandler 2/9 Labour: 11/4 SNP: 33/1 John Smeaton: 100/1 bar
  • Betfair 0.25/1 Labour: 2/1 SNP: 200/1 bar
  • Mike Smithson


    Will the BNP succeed in infiltrating YouGov?

    Tuesday, October 27th, 2009


    Should we be worried about the polling scam??

    Reproduced above is part of a page from the BNP website and sets out a scam aimed at both raising the party’s polling numbers and making money at the same time.

    The site spells it out: “..Despite recently getting two MEPs elected our support in Yougov polls has recently dropped to 3%. One of the main reasons people don’t vote for us is because they believe we are a wasted vote, and it’s online polls such as Yougov that give them this impression! If EVERY BNP supporter joined Yougov, we could put our support on a par with the Lib Dems and possibly higher! On top of this we could actually raise money for the Party via Yougov as you actually get paid for participating in surveys…”

    The piece goes on to suggest that if every member signed up “the party could potentially get £100,000’s per year via Yougov!!!”

    Wow – it seems too good to be true and I’m sure it is.

    Such ideas have been floated from time to time and clearly all online pollsters which use polling panels are vulnerable. There was talk of UKIP doing the same thing ahead of the 2004 Euro election. I’m emailed Peter Kellner and I’m sure he’ll tell us that measures are in place to identify and deal with such approaches.

    As a starting pointing the BNP might have had a better chance of succeeding if they hadn’t first put it on a website that anybody could find within a few seconds on Google.

    Some people will get through the pollster’s defences but it has a very large list and it’s possible to be on it for months without being asked to take part in a voting intention poll.

    Should we be worried? No.

    UPDATE – Response from YouGov

    Peter Kellner has sent me an email saying amongst other things:-

    “.YouGov actively recruits the majority of our panel using a variety of techniques, although self-signup and referrals from other members are also possible. We constantly monitor the profile of new panel members, and track differences in survey results, to ensure that our panel is representative, and to protect the quality and integrity of our data. Moreover, YouGov’s sampling methods ensure that new members who sign themselves up cannot have a statistically significant impact on any YouGov polling results.

    As a further test, YouGov has examined the results of the survey conducted after BBC Question Time poll. The survey, of 1314 electors, included 156 who had joined our panel since May 2009. This covers the period when, it is claimed, BNP bloggers advised party members to join our panel. Of these 156, just one respondent said they would vote BNP in a general election. Any attempts to infiltrate YouGov’s panel with the aim of increasing the BNP’s reported support have plainly failed. We are not surprised: the number and characteristics of people joining the panel since May have been no different from normal.”

    Mike Smithson


    Where are the BNP votes coming from?

    Sunday, October 25th, 2009

    A guest article from Peter Ould

    It’s commonly asserted that BNP voters are most likely to be disaffected Labour supporters. For example, Iain Dale on Saturday noted that the places that the BNP have done well are all strong Labour constituencies. Equally, some Labour commentators have blamed the rise of the BNP on the lack of an effective Conservative opposition. Which is it?

    To examine both these propositions I decided to look at some polling data. Taking the four polling firms that collect and publish previous vote patterns for all parties (ICM, Populus, ComRes, Mori), I’ve taken data from their polls immediately before and after the European Elections in June (when the BNP vote was at its highest to give us as large a population as possible) and analysed the data for what BNP voters said they did last time. The results are interesting.

    Of the 132 men and women who said they were going to vote BNP, a staggering 65% didn’t vote for one of the big three parties last time – most of those are very likely not to have voted at all. This means that well over half of BNP voters are not disaffected Labour voters, but rather simply aren’t normally voters at all. Of the remaining 35%, the split is 10% Conservative, 20% Labour and 5% Lib Dem.

    What we can safely say is that where BNP voters have voted before, they’re most likely (more than half) to have been Labour voters, but most BNP voters did not show a preference at the 2005 election. This then begs a second question – if most BNP voters are not previous Labour voters after all, are they like Labour voters (given that their vote tends to maximise in Labour constituencies)?

    Once again the polling firms help us as they collect demographic information which can help us discern any similarities in voting populations. Here again are the figures from polls before and after the European Elections.

      AB C1 C2 DE
      Con 32.8 32.4 16.5 18.2
      Lab 26.1 28.6 19.2 26.0
      Lib Dem 35.3 29.1 17.2 18.4
      BNP 18.9 18.9 34.8 27.3

    A table of correlations highlights for us what should already be apparent:

      BNP Con Lab
      Con -0.944
      Lab -0.900 0.728
      Lib Dem -0.898 0.962 0.617

    Far from BNP voters being similar to Labour voters and drawn from the same demographic sectors, the data shows that BNP voters are much more likely to be C2DE than any of the three main parties.

    What’s the profile then of BNP voters from this brief analysis? We get a picture of a man or woman, most likely C2DE, who didn’t vote at the 2005 election (though if they did vote they were most likely to have supported Labour). It appears therefore that rather than the BNP tapping into disaffected Labour votes, they have actually managed to mobilise a previously non-participating part of the electorate and persuaded them to go out and cast ballots.

    Lessons to be learned by the three main parties perhaps?

    Peter Ould is a site lurker and normally hangs out at Forecast UK and his own personal website.


    Has the BNP got a Question Time polling boost?

    Friday, October 23rd, 2009

    Norwich north by election poster

    Is this what all the publicity has produced?

    According to a twitter from the Standard’s Paul Waugh a new YouGov poll for the Telegraph tonight will show a boost for the BNP.

    The last survey from the firm put the party’s share at just two points.

    Tonight’s poll is due out at 10pm.

    I’m off out and won’t be back until late.

    Mike Smithson