Archive for the 'UKIP' Category


Why UKIP standing aside in a particular seat might not be as beneficial to the Tories as might appear

Monday, May 15th, 2017

I am sure that I am not the only PBer who is spending a lot of time at the moment looking up Wikipedia pages on interesting constituencies to try to work out whether a particular bet is good value or not.

One seat is Don Valley in Yorkshire where longstanding PBer, Aaron Bell (Tissue Price) is standing for the Conservatives. The figures from last time are above.

The big thing we found out at the end of last week was that UKIP was not fielding a candidate there and I’ve no doubt that many have looked at the Tory vote from GE2015 and added it to UKIP figure and started to draw conclusions. If all the kipper vote goes to Aaron then he’s a good chance of becoming an MP.

Before we get carried away, however, I suggest reading a new article by Professor Stephen Fisher on this very matter in which he looked at the detailed data from 969 divisions in this month’s local elections.

“..Regression analysis shows that where UKIP started with around 13% (taking their vote share in the 2015 General Election as an example) the swing from Labour to the Conservatives was 3.9 points if UKIP stood again, and 4.6 points if they dropped out. A difference of just 0.7 points.

Similarly, the swing from the Liberal Democrats to the Conservatives was 1.8 points if UKIP stood again, and 2.3 points if they dropped out. A difference of just 0.5 points.

These differences, the dropout effects, get larger the stronger the UKIP starting point. But they are never very big. For the divisions where UKIP got more than 30% in 2013, the effect of dropout is to increase the swings from either Labour and the Liberal Democrats to the Conservatives by just 2 points each on average.

The reason UKIP dropout had such a small effect on the swings to the Conservatives is that it benefited all three of the other main parties, it just helped the Conservatives a bit more.

There’s another factor that could come into play as well. At the Richmond Park by-election last December UKIP stood aside in order to help Zac retain the seat. This led to two developments that wern’t helpful to him – the Greens pulled out and the UKIP decision was used to try to persuade LAB voters to tactically vote LD.

I’m sure that LAB and the LDs will seek to make a UKIP pull-out in key general election seats an argument to try to get tactical voting for the contender most able to beat the Conservative.

Mike Smithson


How the votes moved to UKIP and how they’ve moved away with CON taking more than they lost

Friday, May 5th, 2017

The story of 2017

Mike Smithson


Two seats which UKIP won last time amongst tonight’s local elections

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

Elmhurst on Aylesbury Vale (UKIP defence, resignation of sitting member)
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservative 43, Liberal Democrats 9, United Kingdom Independence Party 4, Labour 2, Independent 1 (Conservative majority of 27)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Emboldened denotes elected
Liberal Democrats 729, 652 (26%)
United Kingdom Independence Party 666, 567 (23%)
Labour 632, 516 (22%)
Conservatives 604, 496 (21%)
Green Party 220, 131 (8%)
EU Referendum Result (2016): REMAIN 52,877 (49.5%), LEAVE 53,956 (50.5%) on a turnout of 78%
Candidates duly nominated: Nigel Foster (Green), Phil Gomm (UKIP), Susan Morgan (Lib Dem), Gary Paxton (Lab), Ammer Raheel (Con)
Weather at close of polls: Cloudy, but dry 10°C
Estimate: Liberal Democrat GAIN from UKIP (Lib Dem 37%, Con 24%, Lab 21%, UKIP 13%, Green 5%)

Walcot on Bath and North East Somerset (Lib Dem defence, resignation of sitting member)
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservative 37, Liberal Democrats 15, Labour 6, Independents 5, Green Party 2 (Conservative majority of 9)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Emboldened denotes elected
Liberal Democrats 1,323, 768 (37%)
Conservatives 795, 695 (23%)
Green Party 772, 765 (22%)
Labour 516, 492 (15%)
Independent 132 (3%)
EU Referendum Result (2016): REMAIN 60,878 (58%) LEAVE 44,352 (42%) on a turnout of 77%
Candidates duly nominated: Richard Samuel (Lib Dem), Tim Stoneman (Green), Brian Webber (Con), Amber Weston (Lab)
Weather at close of polls: Cloudy, but dry 11°C
Estimate: Liberal Democrat HOLD (Lib Dem 49%, Con 24%, Lab 14%, Green 12%)

Hipperholme and Lightcliffe on Calderdale (Con defence, death of sitting member)
Result of council at last election (2016): Labour 23, Conservatives 22, Liberal Democrats 5, Independent 1 (No Overall Control, Labour short by 3)
Result of ward at last election (2016): Conservative 1,998 (65%), Labour 526 (17%), Liberal Democrat 319 (10%), Green Party 249 (8%)
EU Referendum Result (2016): REMAIN 46,950 (44%) LEAVE 58,975 (56%) on a turnout of 71%
Candidates duly nominated: Elaine Hey (Green), Alisdair McGregor (Lib Dem), George Robinson (Con), Oliver Willows (Lab)
Weather at close of polls: Cloudy, but dry 8°C
Estimate: Conservative HOLD (Con 57%, Lib Dem 20%, Lab 19%, Green 4%)

St. James on Tendring (Coastal Independent defence, death of sitting member elected as UKIP)
Result of council at last election (2015): Conservatives 23, United Kingdom Independence Party 22, Independents 7, Labour 4, Ratepayers 3, Liberal Democrat 1 (No Overall Control, Conservatives short by 8)
Result of ward at last election (2015): Emboldened denotes elected
United Kingdom Independence Party 933, 741 (39%)
Conservatives 848, 770 (35%)
Labour 385 (16%)
Independent 244 (10%)
EU Referendum Result (2016): REMAIN 25,210 (31%) LEAVE 57,447 (69%) on a turnout of 74%
Candidates duly nominated: Maurice Alexander (Con), Wendy Brown (Lab), Rosemary Dodds (Green), Sean Duffy (Lib Dem), Teresa O’Hara (UKIP)
Weather at close of polls: Cloudy, but dry 10°C
Estimate: Conservative GAIN from UKIP (Con 33%, Lib Dem 22%, UKIP 21%, Lab 16%, Green 8%)

Compiled by Harry Hayfield


Will the last person to quit UKIP please remember to turn out the lights

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

Mark Reckless, 2nd CON MP to defect to UKIP in 2014,rejoins the blue team

Just two weeks afte UKIP’s first elected MP, Douglas Carswell, announced that he was leaving the party the second big MP defector from 2014, Mark Reckless, has announced that he’s doing the same.

Reckless had been MP for Rochester in Kent and won the by-election the following his defection. He failed, however, to retain the seat at the 2015 General Election period and last year he was elected to the Welsh Assembly a position he has held since.

Quite how this move will be welcomed by the blue team is hard to say. There was a huge amount of resentment about his actions in 2014 and it was felt that the timing and manner of his move was designed to cause the maximum of damage to Cameron’s party.

There was a huge effort by the Tories at the general election to win back the seat which day did easily.

With two major defections from UKIP in such a period the impression it’s certainly coming over other party that is going through a crisis. Ukip’s main area of electoral strength, ts MEP base at the European Parliament, is going to cease to exist in just two years time when Britain leaves the EU. The purples are also predicted to have a very tough next month’s set of local elections.

Whatever it’s current situation you cannot deny that the party has been remarkably successful in its main aim – the extraction of the UK from the EU. Since then it has been hard to see the point.

No doubt there will be some betting markets linked to UKIP put up in the next day or so.

Mike Smithson


UKIP drops to ZERO MPs following Carswell’s decision to leave the party

Saturday, March 25th, 2017

In happier times – Farage with his CON defector in 2014

But no by-election, he’ll remain in Commons as an independent

This lunchtime’s announcement from Douglas Carswell, the MP for Clacton, that he’s to leave UKIP is hardly a surprise. He had been largely detached from the party for months and and it really became a question of not if he would leave the purples but when.

He always appeared uncomfortable with UKIP’s emphasis on immigration and campaigned in the referendum with Vote Leave.

But he is not as some had expected re-joining the Conservatives. He said that he will remain as an MP as an independent. I guess is that he might well join the blues again possibly before the general election.

Given that he resigned and fought a by-election two and a half years ago after he defected to UKIP he would have found it difficult to go directly to the Conservatives and not do the same. Becoming an independent is less of an issue.

    All of this highlights what has become Ukip’s bugbear – its abject failure to be able to secure seats under first past the post. Almost the only elections where it has been successful have been there’s does a proportional element – for the European Parliament and, of course, the list seats for the Welsh Assembly.

The UK leaving the EU in 2019 will put an end to its MEP representation and the next Welsh elections are not till 2021. That’s a long time for the party to go through.

So Britain’s most dysfunctional party becomes even more dysfunctional.

Mike Smithson


Growing in size Britain’s weirdest voting group: The Kippers who now think leaving the EU is wrong

Friday, March 24th, 2017

Over the last few months, as those who follow the site will know, I have been writing posts and tweets about the YouGov Brexit tracker which come which comes out two or three times a month. The actual question is “In hindsight do you think Britain was right or wrong to vote to leave the EU?”

The overall picture is that the gap between those who think the outcome was wrong has and those right has narrowed and for the last two surveys it has been level-pegging.

One of the features of this that always seems to get attention is the number of current UKIP supporters who declare that they think it is wrong in hindsight for Britain to have voted to leave the EU.

When this was just one or two percent it could be just put down to polling respondents clicking the wrong boxes as can happen with multi question online survey forms. In the most recent polling the UKIP numbers edged up and the this week’ YouGov polling has 7% of current UKIP supporters saying they believe it was wrong for Britain to vote LEAVE.

So I thought I would produce a chart showing how this is going and here it is at the top ofthe post. The numbers are, of course, small and this is measuring a subset with all the dangers that that entails but the fact that we see the pattern in the chart, I suggest, says something. I’m not quite sure what.

Mike Smithson


ComRes becomes the 3rd pollster in a week to have UKIP fourth

Saturday, March 18th, 2017

ComRes for Indy and S Mirror
CON 42
LAB 25
LD 12

Over the past week YouGov, Ipsos-MORI and now ComRes have found UKIP in fourth place. Partly this is down to the LDs advancing and partly to UKIP’s shares slipping.

LAB, meanwhile is now a colossal 17% behind in very serious trouble indeed. Things don’t look good for Corbyn’s team in the May round of local and Mayoral elections.

Since Corbyn was re-elected as leader last September the party’s plight has got worse and worse and they are now shedding support to the LDs. Mr Corbyn, however, looks unassailable because of the party’s rules.

Amongst other questions ComRes found its sample split over the Brexit process, with roughly equal proportions agreeing that Parliament should be able to veto the Government’s proposed Brexit vote as disagreeing (38% v 42%)

The poll found people more likely to agree than disagree that they do not expect Britain to complete leaving the EU within the current planned two year period (47% v 32%), although there is no clear majority.

The Government’s U-turn on an increase in National Insurance Contributions for the self-employed chimes with voters – more than half (54%) oppose the measure.

A worrying feature for the blue team is that a greater proportion of the sample agreed that Theresa May’s Government does not have the best interests at heart of ‘people like me’ (44% compared to 33%). This suggests that LAB under a decent leader would have something to build on.

Similarly, the public are more likely to disagree than agree that the Budget overall was fair (40% v 34%).

Mike Smithson


UKIP: circling the whirlpool

Saturday, March 18th, 2017

How does Nuttall save his party from irrelevance?

UKIP was very good for Brexit: if the party had never been created, Britain would almost certainly still be a member of the European Union.* Brexit, by contrast, has been disastrous for UKIP. Stripped of their two greatest assets – their mission and by far their most effective leader – UKIP has struggled since last July to find a purpose or a direction. Compounded by internal divisions, the estrangement of their major funder, and a gaffe-prone leadership, you might have expected that the inevitable result would be a major hit to their polling. In fact, it’s not quite as simple as that.

During the referendum campaign, UKIP was consistently polling in the mid- to upper-teens (with the exception of Mori), peaking at a 20% share reported by YouGov on 26 April 2016. Perhaps not coincidentally, that poll also reported the lowest Con share this parliament (30%) and the joint-biggest Lab lead (3%).

Immediately after their crowning triumph on 23 June last year, UKIP suffered an immediate drop in their support. In the month before the referendum, UKIP averaged 16.7%. That dropped to just 13.0% in July but by February 2017, the monthly average was still 12.6%: near enough the same given the different pollsters and methodologies. Since then, however, UKIP’s difficulties – exemplified by Nuttall’s difficult by-election campaign in Stoke Central – might finally have caught up with them.

The 6% that Mori reported this week is, on the face of it, pretty awful but in fact Mori have published very low scores for UKIP for some months: they returned 6% in August and October 2016, and January 2017 as well. Even so, the most rosy interpretation is that the party’s treading water. Unfortunately, that seems less likely when set against the other polls this week: the first single-digit UKIP score reported by YouGov since February 2013 (which also reported UKIP back behind the Lib Dems), and the joint-lowest share with ICM since 2015.

That polling data is backed up in real votes too. UKIP has never been good at by-elections or local elections (and, to be fair, focussing on these was never intrinsic to the party’s mission in a way that it is for, say, the Lib Dems). Even so, this week’s by-elections saw UKIP drop two-thirds of their share in two of the four elections, poll only 5% in another and not contest the fourth – and while they may have been unusually poor results even by UKIP’s standards, they weren’t that atypical of recent weeks.

Where is this pointing? In the first instance, UKIP’s recent decline seems to have been good for the Tories. While the hackneyed cliché of UKIP as Tories-on-holiday was at best a gross simplification, there is a definite mirror to the graph of the Con and UKIP lines this parliament. So while UKIP’s support overall might be a lot more diverse than ex-Con, the movement that’s gone to and from it could well be primarily among Con-sympathetic voters. Certainly, current polling indicates that the great majority of UKIP lost support is to the Conservatives. Hence why UKIP’s March decline has propelled the Tories up into the mid-40s.

(We should, as an aside, note just how extraordinary that Con figure is, even before the context of fiscal restraint, botched budget PR and a difficult Brexit process is taken into account. The 44% that ICM and YouGov reported is a higher share of the GB electorate than Margaret Thatcher won in 1983).

All of which augers very ill for UKIP’s prospects in May. 2013 marked UKIP’s breakthrough in council elections, where they finished third in the national vote and returned a net gain of 139 seats. In many cases, local government hasn’t been a happy experience for the party adding to the problems at a national level. The likely result is a loss of a great many of these seats. The only saving grace for UKIP is that the losses probably won’t receive much coverage: the top-line political reporting will focus on Labour’s performance.

That, however, should be scant consolation. It is too soon to declare UKIP to be in a death-spiral. Political parties are resilient things and it takes a lot to kill them off. UKIP still has issues it can make its own – withdrawal from the ECHR, for example – and of course, the government could yet hand it a reprieve depending on what deal it strikes to leave the EU. Immigration also still has the capacity to attract voters to UKIP, though a hard Brexit and an associated economic downturn would likely reduce numbers. Indeed, short of a rejuvenating Soft Brexit, it’s hard to see the other parties consistently allowing UKIP enough space to thrive on domestic policy. Through the first decade of this century, UKIP tended to poll 2-3%. Given their failure to grasp their opportunities since last July, it’s not unreasonable to think that before long they might be back there.

David Herdson

* As with all alternate histories, it’s impossible to know what would have happened had Eurosceptic activists and voters remained with the main parties. The Conservative Party in particular would have been a different beast, with possible meaningful consequences from the 2005 leadership election onwards. Similarly, the 2010 election wouldn’t take much tipping to produce a different outcome and – consequently – a very different future for the UK. That said, even with additional Eurosceptic agitation within the Conservatives, it’s unlikely that an outright Leaver would have been elected leader before 2015, and then only in opposition. The best (for Leavers) that might have happened is some analogue to reality, with an In/Out referendum promised in order to resolve internal tensions rather than in response to the external threat posed by UKIP. More likely is that divisions over Europe would have so split the party that irrespective of who led it, the Tories would have returned to opposition and, hence, be incapable of implementing any policy. And even if the Tories were in government and did grant a referendum, Leave would have gone into the vote without the nucleus that UKIP in reality provided, making it much more likely that Remain would have won.