MOON POLLING & ELECTIONS
Local By Elections Round-Up
Overall it was a good round of local by election for the Conservative Party. The big result was the gain in Hulton in Bolton. Hulton sits in South-East Bolton at Westminster level which is a safe Labour seat so this are should not be as favourable to the Conservatives as some other parts of Bolton. However the Conservatives gained the seat from Labour in an excellent result for the Governing party.
The Tories also scored a swing against Labour in Newport Pagnell on Milton Keynes council. At Westminster level this is part of Milton Keynes North, a Tory marginal seat Labour should be advancing if they are serious about winning a General Election. They didn’t meaning another good result for the Conservatives and continuing a pattern where Labour are not doing as well against the Conservatives in wards that sit in Westminster marginal seats.
The night was a tough one for Labour despite their vote share being up in all of the seats they contested. A changing trend as of late. They had a spell in October/November where their vote share was suffering badly but they were still successfully targeting and winning certain key seats. More recently their vote share is holding up better, but the targeting of seats has not been as good. An good example is that Labour’s best result this week was in Bournemouth where their vote was up 14%, a seat they were never going to win. But their vote was only up 3% in Bolton which led to the seat being lost.
The Conservatives did less well in the seat in Rochford in Essex where the Lib Dems were always going to hold the seat but earned a solid 5% swing as well which they will be pleased with. The other result in Bournemouth saw an Independent take the votes of the previous Independent to take the seat. Sometimes when an Independent stands down it can make for an interesting and sometimes wild result as votes from one Independent don’t always transfer to another Independent, not this time.
A trend to note going forward is that in direct Labour v Conservative contests, it appears where there is a UKIP vote to squeeze, more of it is heading n the Tories direction than was the case a few months ago. If this continues it can have consequences for the bigger picture as Labour winning an unexpectedly high number of UKIP votes in last June’s General election was the main reason the Conservatives did not win an overall majority.
The mix of this weeks results mean the projected national shared lead for the Conservatives over Labour is unchanged at 3.4%. The current numbers can be found here. This weeks by elections results in full at the bottom of this page.
Westminster Voting Intention Polls
Two Westminster voting intention polls were released this week. Opinium had the Conservatives and Labour tied at 40% each. While this is within margin of error, Opinium since the June General Election have constantly had a small 1 or 2 percent lead for Labour. Therefore it is psychologically significant for the Conservatives that this pollster does not have Labour ahead for the first time.
YouGov’s poll maintains a 1% Labour lead with both Labour up 1 to 42% and the Tories up 1 to 41%. Their poll sees the Lib Dems, who were up to 9% in the last poll take the hit down to 7% back in line with other polls. Any hope this was the start of a Lib Dem revival has been quickly dashed.
Overall the two polls show small changes and certainly do not change the stalemate narrative. The changes do see Labour’s average lead over the Conservatives fall from 1.7% to 1.3%. All the latest poll numbers can be found here. This weeks polling numbers can also be found at the bottom of this page.
Lord Ashcroft’s second Referendum Poll & YouGov’s right/wrong question
Lord Ashcroft has released his new polling. It covered a number of issues including if the country was going in the right direction (No had a big lead) and asked the best PM May or Corbyn question which saw May 6% ahead in line with other current polling (YouGov also asked this in their Westminster poll and had May 5% ahead). The main part of the poll was to look at a 2nd EU referendum. Ashcroft asked the question four different ways and none had majority support for a second Referendum.
Of those who answer there was a 39-30 lead for a 2nd Referendum if the alternative to the deal was no deal and leaving on WTO rules, however there were a large number of ‘don’t knows’ for this question. In the end the poll is in line with other polling asking this question that there is no enthusiasm for a second Referendum and opposition to it has the lead whenever the prospect of remaining in the EU is a possibility. Unless there is a big change, it is hard to see how a Second Referendum is credibly on the table, especially as the Conservatives are most against so the Government have the most to lose in offering it.
More good news for those backing leave came with YouGov’s new polling which asked if with hindsight we are right or wrong to leave the EU. ‘Right to leave’ re-took the lead 45-44 for the first time since August. While it is unlikely this question is one that will have a huge impact on the wider debate, the numbers will add to the sense that little has changed and very few people are changing their mind. As long as that remains the case, leaving the EU will be the ultimate outcome.
The full write up of Lode Ashcroft’s poll can be found here
Moon Of Liberty Election Result & Polling
LOCAL BY ELECTIONS
Downhall & Rawreth (Rochford) – LD 794 Con 237 – LD Hold – Swing (May 2016) Con-LD 5.1%
Throop & Muscliff (Bournemouth) – Ind (Wilson) 533 Con 511 Lab 402 Ind (Lucas) 117 LD 107 Green 33 – Ind Hold – Swing (May 2016) Ind-Con 2%
Newport Pagnell North & Hanslope (Milton Keynes) – Con 1604 Lab 749 LD 672 – Con Hold – Swing (May 2016) Lab-Con 0.6%
Hulton (Bolton) – Con 1455 Lab 1179 UKIP 190 LD 67 Green 52 – CON GAN FROM LAB – Swing (May 2016) Lab-Con 6.8%
WESTMINSTER VOTING INTENTION
Opinium WM Voting Intention Headline – Con 40% Lab 40% LD 6% UKIP 5% Green 1% – Tied (Lab led by two in Opinium’s last poll)
YouGov WM Voting Intention Headline – Lab 42% Con 41% LD 7% UKIP 3% Green 2% – Lab Lead 1% (Lab lead remains at 1% the same as YouGov’s last poll)