Sunday, 19 October 2014

Lab 33% Con 30% UKIP 17% LD 8% Green 4%

Mr Miliband may become PM on the lowest ever share of the vote

The second poll in my series of poll of polls shows a continuing trend that many pollsters are finding. Labour are on 33%, unchanged from last Sunday. The Tories drop two points and fall to 30%, UKIP are up one point to 17%, the Lib Dems are unchanged, and the Greens shed two points to fall back to 4%.

Nationally, if there was a uniform swing, this might theoretically be enough to give Labour a very small majority. In practise, given some of the regional trends I have found during the analysis of polling over the last week, a hung parliament with Labour as the largest party seems to be the most likely outcome. If this election is won by Labour, it will be the lowest winning share of the vote ever, and one of the Labour Party's worst ever results from opposition, perhaps reflecting the apathy that so many people feel when it comes to Westinster politics at the moment. There seems to be a huge swing against Labour in Scotland which should cause people at party headquarters to start seriously reconsidering their Scotland strategy. Here are the regional figures:

The North: Lab 44%, Con 26%, UKIP 17%, LD 7%
The South: Con 38%, Lab 24%, UKIP 21%, LD 8%
Scotland: SNP 41%, Lab 25%, Con 18%, LD 7%, UKIP 6%

Here is what would happen in Scotland on these figures, if there was a regional swing of this size happening:

Whilst I do not think that some of the Aberdeen and Edinburgh seats projected to fall to the SNP on such a large swing would in fact fall to them, and I would reduce the number of SNP gains by 10 because of how thinly spread their vote tends to be, a result anywhere near this kind would be a complete and utter disaster for Labour. It woud compare with the Tory wipeout in Scotland in 1997. Any chance that Labour has of winning the next election must surely be diminished unless the party improves its polling in Scotland. The Lib Dems and Tories should try to improve their own fortunes as well. It seems as if the Scottish Electorate are, in effect, rejecting all 3 of our Westminster parties' and turning toward the Scottish Nationalists as an alternative, in a way that the English and Welsh have not (Yet.)

Something else to consider is how strikingly well they are doing in the South of England, and how Labour are also doing so poorly there. On a % of this kind at the General Election in the South of England, it is highly likely that UKIP would gain its first seats at Westminster, in addition to Clacton, of course. If they managed to push their percentage a few points higher and the Tories as a result a few points lower, there will come a tipping point when they will start to win hatfulls of Westminster seats from the Tories. So, with 8 months to go until the election, there's still everything to play for at this stage

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