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Tories ahead in national poll for first time since 2012

12 May 2014

The Tories are ahead in a national opinion poll for the first time since 2012. The first Lord Ashcroft/Conservative Home poll has the Tories ahead by two points, on 34 to Labour’s 32. The Lib Dems are on 9 and Ukip 15.

One swallow doesn’t a summer make. But this poll will have a psychological impact at Westminster. It will make it that much easier for the Tory leadership to persuade its MPs to stay calm in the face of a bad European Election result and will add to worries on the Labour side that the party is in trouble. Worryingly for Labour, Miliband’s rating among swing voters is particularly low.

There will be those who’ll dismiss this as a ‘Tory poll’. But Ashcroft’s polling has not been kind to the Tories in the past.

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  • rtj1211

    The major issue of this poll is that 34% of those polled will not be voting for one of the two major parties. The real question is whether that figure will harden, flatline or wilt.

    Wonder what the odds are that both Labour and Conservative score less than 30% in 2015?? Would make for a fascinating election night, not to mention discussions about ‘mandate to rule’…….

  • Realismista

    where’s UKIP? Ah, still at 15%, just a few points ahead of the LibDems.

    So popular, isn’t it?

  • Redrose82

    Smelly Cactus is notable for his absence – I wonder why.

  • asalord

    Great to see the tories doing well in England – another boost for the independence movement in Scotland.

    • Owi Wowi

      Yes it’s win-win

  • Lucy Sky Diamonds

    But they have not actually gained support have they? BOTH Labour and Tories are below 35%! that is abysmal!

  • Ray Veysey

    The struggle uphill, Cameron supporters, is only worth it, if at the top there is a nice gentle slope running away into the future, and not what you have coming which is a precipice.

  • Lady Magdalene

    Very convenient timing for Mr Cameron and the Tories, who seem to have accepted that they are going to get a kicking in the ballot box from a very angry electorate on 22 May.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Yes, and they’ve begun their pre-2015 election strategy, which is to minimize the May 22 shellacking, while waving around some poll that claims they’re on firm ground for doing so.

      It’s way too early for them to be finalizing and disclosing their 2015 strategy, for one, and their strategy shouldn’t be so easily flamed as this Ashcroft poll is, for two.

      The Cameroons are just muppets, and there is no other way to describe their kind of political ineptitude. It’s like they are incapable of thinking beyond the next day, or week at most.

      Even if I was lying through my teeth, I’d be campaigning on the EP right now. There is no way the electorate should get wind that you are ignoring them, but LibLabCon are ignoring all of the electorate right now, and it’s going to hurt them. And the Cameroons have cemented this with their ill advised rollout of their 2015 campaign. It’s like they’re children, they think if they ignore the problem, it’ll go away. It’s a staggering level of political ineptitude.

  • Colin

    I’m still of the view that UKIP, by taking six or so seats at the GE, could hold the balance of power. But, to start the ball rolling, a blinder of a result on 22nd of May will show voters that it is possible to reset politics in the UK.

  • Brigantian

    What this report fails to mention is that this is a voting intentions poll for the 2015 General Election. In that respect the UKIP and Lib Dem percentages are almost identical to other recent polls. The only difference is that the Tories have now moved slightly ahead of Labour. Given that we are now moving out of mid-term into election year this is exactly what should be expected. It still points to a hung parliament with the end result dominated by tactical voting.

  • the viceroy’s gin

    I guess I should eventually dismantle this Ashcroft charlatan’s offerings. I don’t really like wasting my time on his ilk and their unprofessional blather, but just in case there is a muppet or two who thinks this toff is actually providing anything trustworthy, it really must be done. Here’s his alleged internals:

    Let’s start with page 1 of 42 of this pile. The toff is including, on average, a roughly 11-12% count who will not vote. He’s including another 1-2% who refused polling, and only about 1% who are not decided. In other words, the toff is implying that 85% of the people he happened to telephone will definitely be voting, with only 1% wavering. No matter how you slice these numbers, they will not match the voting intentions a year from now. In other words, this poll is bogus from page 1 on, simply because the sample group is twisted up. Nice work, your lordship. You never made it out of the starting gate.

    Let’s move on to the party voting, which our lordship claims to give the Cameroons a 34-32 lead over Lab. I don’t know where he got those figures, because the internals don’t support it. Table 2 on page 3 of 42 shows Lab ahead 21-20 over CamCo. These figures are derived from his lordship’s questionable methodology, as he’s blending no-voters into this table, which is strange practice. And the movement mechanism by which Lab transitions from leading in this Table to being behind in the topline poll figures is unknown.

    Moving on in our statistical analysis nee magic show, Table 3 on page 6 of 42 now transforms the numbers so that CamCo now has a lead of 33% to Lab’s 32%. Can you explain this evolution, your lordship? Maybe the no-voters transmogrifed into voters for David Cameron, in your methodology. That’s a neat trick. That same Table 3 shows UKIP on 16%.

    Table 4 on page 7 of 42 gives us the final Lord Ashcroft of Hither and Yon and Offshore Holdings final polling result, wherein CamCo has now risen to 34%, Lab is still on 32%, and curiously UKIP has dropped to 15%. So apparently, the Cameroons are surging, and UKIP’s enthusiasm is dropping, all in the short span between Tables 3 and 4 in his lordship’s poll. I guess the Cameroons are on the march, and UKIP’s pitchforks are getting heavy now, at least they got heavy in between Tables 3 and 4 of his lordship’s poll. It’s a good thing we have a toff to explain all this to us, or wait, to not explain it to us. I guess I’ve long been wasting all these years on mathematics, silly me.




    Assuming we might tug forelock and accept the toff’s first page sample group and the opaque methodology throughout this pile (which would require a mighty tug), he has proceeded to give the game away with his last page admission that his first sample group is badly skewed even to the 2010 election, which is considerable strange. It’s not clear that any required weighting has been performed to any acceptable industry standard. Just picking through this pile, there’s some magic in play, as we’d expect. This is a driven result .

    • Alexsandr

      is there any discussion of local factors? Will e anglia, with its immigrant problem have a honeypot of kippers? how about outside england?

      • the viceroy’s gin

        There was some effort to include regional breakdowns of the polling data, but I can’t imagine that data is any more valid than the parts I looked at.

        I did perceive the poll was biased towards an undervote for Wales, the North and Scotland, but that was a quick perception only, and given the slipshod nature of this poll at even a cursory review, a deeper review seemed a waste of time.

  • swatnan

    The Speccie has just heard the first cuckoo of Spring.
    The poll is a blip.

  • Smithersjones2013

    Commissioned by Lord Ashcroft (former Tory Campaign guru) and delivered by Andrew Cooper (former Tory ‘Strategy’ guru). It think they could have only made it a greater conflict of interests if they had only polled Conservative members (the figures for voting intention seem about right for that). Sadly Populus are as politically compromised as Yougov.

    Pollsters usually manage to tell their paymasters what they want to hear and there has been a clear narrative being built in the MSM along the lines of this so called comeback for months.

    Like everything else around the Westminster Freakshow there is a putrid odour surrounding this.

    PS Populus’s methodology disadvantages UKIP more than any other. That they are polling 15% even with Populus is impressive

  • George_Arseborne

    What an excitement but what about this 7% Labour Leed from YOUGOV today ?

  • Jez

    (Ashcrofts Polling)……. “has not been kind to the Tories in the past”

    What is it? A serious political poll or some kind of Rotten Tomatoes Movie critique?

    Sort it out mate. Are these scientific polling results from the electorate or what?

  • MirthaTidville

    Yes hope springs eternal lad. Just wondering is this a new Speccie tactic for the elections now that you have just realised, hammering UKIP every day isnt going to work??

    • Smithersjones2013

      Talking of which….

      Little Sebbie Payne (the Speccie’s UKIP attack chihuahua) was on Sky this morning. I didn’t realise how true my characterisation of him

      as some pre-pubescent nerdy but perpetually confused pal of Billy Bunter he was. Seriously I swear if he’d have stood up he’d have been wearing short trousers. What a sad little nerd. He makes Miliband look normal!

      it was hilarious!

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Video. We want video. It didn’t happen if there ain’t no video.

      • Dan Grover

        Jesus christ, what a load of personal, irrelevant and irrational bile. I notice you haven’t taken issue with anything he’s said – I guess it’s far easier to just be patronising and dismissive.

        I’m going to love it when UKIP get less seats than the Greens in 2015 and you lot all wander back off to whatever Womble hole you crawled out of.

    • John Dalton

      Don’t count on it my friend – it’s just a matter of time before they post another attempt to rubbish UKIP. The more the merrier – it achieves precisely the opposite of what they want it to. And as an ex-Tory voter, I find it a real mark of his utter disingenuousness that Cameron has managed to so effectively split the conservative vote! That’s not UKIP’s fault for daring to exist – the blame lies firmly with the Cameroonians.

    • Count Dooku

      Not everything is a conspiracy against UKIP you know? It’s a poll ffs. UKIP are hardly mentioned.

  • Bill_der_Berg

    This is disastrous. They’ve peaked too soon.

  • the viceroy’s gin

    Heh. An Ashcroft poll.

    That’s funny. 😉

    But bravely done, lad. You’ve always been there when needed.

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