Monday, March 17, 2008

Non Poll Evidence of the Tory Surge

Further to the poll figures in the post below, I just had a very interesting conversation with a friend who's a candidate in a marginal seat. Last week he sent out 18,000 survey forms to the voters in his constituency. Today he had the first 250 returned. On the voting intention, there were thirty-eight people who have changes their parties since the last election. One went from Tory to Labour (on the basis the Tories weren't right wing enough!), two from LibDem to Tory. But my friend's heart was gladdened when he read through the surveys of the THIRTY FIVE people (out of 250) who said they were switching from Labour to Tory.

Yes, it's all anecdotal, and comes with all the usual health warnings, but perhaps something is now happening which none of us have quite cottoned onto yet.

13 comments:

Daily Referendum said...

It's the referendum. Labour and certain parts of the media have been trying to play down the importance (to the people) of the Lisbon Treaty. Constantly saying that the people weren't interested and that it wasn't a priority. That may be so, but democracy is a priority. The people are not so dumb (no matter what Brown and co may think) not to realise that they have been cheated out of their right to vote. The people know that they have not been allowed a vote because the government would not like the result. Many now realise that to re-establish democracy in this country, Brown and Labour must go.

DiscoveredJoys said...

I guess we won't know the main reasons for the alleged switch (please, please, please) in voting intentions until the historians have gone over this period in history and cabinet papers are released etc., say about 100 years time.

Yes, from our viewpoint in the present, the Lisbon Treaty, the budget, the shameless kite flying of populist ideas, crime, prisons, debt, tax, being fed up with the nanny state, PC corectness by the gormless tossers in the cabinet, all have an impact. But when you cast your mind back to the last Conservative government, can you easily remember a single reason why people voted for NuLabour - or was it that people were just tired of a Government that had run out of steam and was making too many mistakes?

Adrian Yalland said...

It's not the referndum, that is a third or at best secondary issue. Bit is does feed into general discontent about the GOvernment.

It is because the economy is turning, because services are getting worse despite costing more, and because people simply think it is time for a change. It is because the voters have seen through Labour and are coming to the conclusion it might just be time for a change.

I think they are also warming to CAmeron.

Geezer said...

Iain, I don't think it is just a case of getting people to switch votes, I think it is a case of actually getting people to vote in the first place.
The last two elections have seen turn-out down about 15% nationally, compared to the 1997 turn-out, these stay-at-homes, are made up of Labour voters who helped to give Labour the big win in '97 and apathetic former Tory voters, neither of whom have felt motivated enough to vote for Labour again or vote them out since. I think a key part to the scale of a Tory victory, will be to get a significant number of the previously apathetic, off their arses and down the polling booths. If there is a big increase in turn-out at the next election, it will be because of the desire for change. Apathy suits incumbent governments as Labour have proved in the last two elections.
The continuing challenge for the Tories, is building enough enthusiasm for them, without significant (if any) MSM support. Dissatisfaction with Labour may be enough to win the election, but to win it really well, the Tories have got to rely on a significant switch in allegiances, from the some of their former allies in the press, in plenty of time before the next election in 2010.

auditor said...

Its the realisation that the economy is bust.

There is an acceptance that the country has been profligate in the good times and increased borrowing when it should have saved. This is a situation that people understand and relate to.

stuart said...

Interesting that in the two polls - and even in this anecdotal evidence - the LibDem share is holding up. This is very much an anti-Labour shift. As a LD myself I am pleased by this.

But: in lots of LD/Tory marginal seats, this could still see the Tories gaining if they can pick up votes from third-place Labour.

Tizzy said...

Completely meaningless exercise, and a waste of money. Same old problem - he was bound to have a greater return of forms from people intending to switch.

Not the best start for a candidate of a pary wanting to save on public expenditure.

Anonymous said...

It's the economy, stupid tories.

Nulab destroyed the economy for the working class (i.e. the people always despised by stupid tories) in large measure by importing cheap foreign labour to do the rubbish jobs still remaining in the UK. Now food and energy prices have increased beyond affordability levels for vast numbers of people.

The polling results may not be all they seem. When I was polled a few weeks ago I stated that I would definitely vote as I would be marking a ballot paper. However, if the only choice was lib/lab/con I would spoil the ballot paper. The next question was 'As a definite voter, would you be more likely to vote lib, lab, or con?' I said 'con' though actually that ain't gonna happen.

Voting figures are bound to further decrease at the next election and for very good reasons. Whichever bit of the liblabcons 'win' at the next election will make no difference. The liblabcons all hate the English and will just find marginally different ways to do the same things, mainly lining your own pockets.

C Powell said...

Have a look at this http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/mar/18/conservatives.children

A lot of disillusioned Labour voters out there. DC needs to address their concerns: 100% tax rise on the low paid, ID cards and the colossal waste in Government expenditure.

Anonymous said...

Don't like to dampen your friends enthusiasm, but the 250 returns are a self-selecting sample, all it would take is for people who have just switched from Lab->Tory to be more likely to fill in a survey telling the conservatives this than the population in general (or switchers the other way), and you are no nearer quantifying the size of the swing to the Conservatives. You need to select a representative sample and canvass them in person, comparing responses to when they were asked at the last general election...

David Lindsay said...

How long before the alleged Tory opinion poll lead is tested at a by-election?

When it comes to votes for the House of Commons, Cameron's record is of turning super-safe seats into knife-edge marginals and respectable second places into distant thirds, on one notable occasion barely ahead of the BNP.

And in any case, who cares who wins the next General Election?

In 1997, although there was no economic difference between Labour and the Tories, there were (at least in theory) considerable social and (without any doubt) vast constitutional differences. In 2010, there will be absolutely no difference at all.

So who cares who wins?

Anonymous said...

He could afford to send out 18,000 surveys?

Was this by email?

If not - that's at least £8k printing and post (more if he paid return postage).

Norfolk Blogger said...

Iain, you regularly posted stories like this in the run up to 2005 about North Norfolk and look what happened !