Tuesday, February 3, 2015

CONFIRMED : Heart-racing Ashcroft constituency polls suggest Scottish Labour are heading for an electoral catastrophe of biblical proportions

These are now confirmed as the results of Ashcroft's polling of a selection of sixteen Scottish constituencies.  Note that the first part of the analysis below was written before the official confirmation.

The percentage changes listed in each constituency are from the 2010 general election result.

Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey :

SNP 50% (+31)
Liberal Democrats 21% (-20)
Labour 14% (-8)
Conservatives 11% (-2)

(This would be an SNP gain from the Liberal Democrats.  Danny Alexander of the Liberal Democrats would lose his seat.)

Gordon : 

SNP 43% (+21)
Liberal Democrats 26% (-10)
Labour 14% (-6)
Conservatives 11% (-8)

(This would be an SNP gain from the Liberal Democrats.  Alex Salmond of the SNP would return to the UK parliament after a five-year gap.)

Airdrie and Shotts :

SNP 47% (+23)
Labour 39% (-19)
Conservatives 7% (-2)
Liberal Democrats 1% (-7)

(This would be an SNP gain from Labour.  Pamela Nash of Labour would lose her seat.)

Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill :

SNP 46% (+29)
Labour 43% (-24)
Conservatives 6% (-2)
Liberal Democrats 1% (-7)

(This would be an SNP gain from Labour.)

Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East :

SNP 52% (+28)
Labour 34% (-23)
Conservatives 6% (-2)
Liberal Democrats 2% (-8)

(This would be an SNP gain from Labour.  Gregg McClymont of Labour would lose his seat.)

Dundee West :

SNP 59% (+30)
Labour 25% (-23)
Conservatives 6% (-3)
Liberal Democrats 3% (-8)

(This would be an SNP gain from Labour.  Jim McGovern of Labour would lose his seat.)

Glasgow Central :

SNP 45% (+27)
Labour 35% (-17)
Conservatives 5% (-2)
Liberal Democrats 3% (-13)

(This would be an SNP gain from Labour.  Anas Sarwar of Labour would lose his seat.)

Glasgow East :

SNP 51% (+26)
Labour 37% (-25)
Conservatives 4% (-1)
Liberal Democrats 1% (-4)

(This would be an SNP gain from Labour.  Margaret Curran of Labour would lose her seat.)

Glasgow North :

SNP 45% (+33)
Labour 33% (-12)
Conservatives 5% (-2)
Liberal Democrats 4% (-27)

(This would be an SNP gain from Labour.  Ann McKechin of Labour would lose her seat.)

Glasgow North-East :

Labour 46% (-22)
SNP 39% (+25)
Conservatives 4% (-1)
Liberal Democrats 1% (-7)

(This would be a Labour hold.  Willie Bain of Labour would retain his seat.)

Glasgow North-West :

SNP 44% (+29)
Labour 38% (-16)
Conservatives 7% (-3)
Liberal Democrats 3% (-13)

(This would be an SNP gain from Labour.  John Robertson of Labour would lose his seat.)

Glasgow South :

SNP 48% (+28)
Labour 33% (-19)
Conservatives 9% (-2)
Liberal Democrats 2% (-10)

(This would be an SNP gain from Labour.  Tom "Bomber Admin" Harris of Labour would lose his seat.)

Glasgow South-West :

SNP 45% (+29)
Labour 42% (-20)
Conservatives 4% (-3)
Liberal Democrats 2% (-7)

(This would be an SNP gain from Labour.  Ian Davidson of Labour would lose his seat.  Let the Lord be praised.)

Motherwell and Wishaw :

SNP 50% (+32)
Labour 39% (-22)
Conservatives 5% (-4)
Liberal Democrats 1% (-9)

(This would be an SNP gain from Labour.)

Paisley and Renfrewshire South :

SNP 48% (+30)
Labour 40% (-20)
Conservatives 6% (-4)
Liberal Democrats 2% (-8)

(This would be an SNP gain from Labour.  Douglas Alexander of Labour would lose his seat.)

West Dunbartonshire : 

SNP 47% (+27)
Labour 38% (-23)
Conservatives 6% (-2)
Liberal Democrats 1% (-7)

(This would be an SNP gain from Labour.  Gemma Doyle of Labour would lose her seat.)

It's probably a bit foolish to launch into a full-blown analysis when we don't even know if these are the real results, but a few quick points -

* These are presumably the headline numbers.  As explained in the previous post, that would mean they come from the second of two voting intention questions, so it remains to be seen how big the divergence is between the results of the two questions in each constituency (I wouldn't be surprised if it was quite significant in Gordon, for example).  We only have half the picture so far.

* In the SNP/Labour battleground seats, the swing is remarkably consistent, varying only between 21% and 27%.  However, Ashcroft seems to have concentrated his polling in areas where the SNP are predicted to do particularly well due to the high Yes vote, so you'd expect the overall national swing to be somewhat lower.  That would suggest he's picking up a swing that isn't quite as enormous as the one reported by Ipsos-Mori - but is that only because he foolishly weighted by 2010 recalled vote?  We'll find out in a few hours.

* The lower swing in Gordon may seem a bit odd, but that's presumably partly due to this being the only constituency polled in which No did well at the referendum.  The fact that the Liberal Democrats aren't being hammered quite as severely there as elsewhere may also suggest that the efforts to coax Salmond-haters into a tactical vote may be bearing some limited fruit (why else would the Tories be down eight points?).  But it doesn't look anything like enough at the moment.

* There's a very clear pattern of the Tories dropping by anything between 1% and 4% in seats where they are also-rans.  Whether this is real or an example of the "Shy Tory Factor" is anyone's guess.

* The Liberal Democrat vote in west-central seats bears little relationship to their 2010 results - they're reduced to an irrelevance even in seats where they outpolled the SNP last time.  That suggests wholesale switching from Lib Dem to SNP.

UPDATE (1am) : The numbers have been officially confirmed, and they do come from the second question.  The differences between the two questions seem to be relatively modest, so at least the waters haven't been muddied too much.  On both questions, the SNP are ahead in fifteen out of the sixteen constituencies polled, while Labour are 7% ahead in Glasgow North-East.

This is crucial - weighting by 2010 recalled vote has indeed occurred, meaning that the SNP vote is probably being systemically underestimated.  In the fourteen SNP/Labour battleground seats, the 2853 people who recalled voting SNP in 2010 have been downweighted to count as only 1929.  For the uninitiated, the problem is that people who voted Labour in 2010 but then switched to the SNP in 2011 get confused between the two votes, and end up being wrongly scaled down as a result.  Without this distortion, Ashcroft would in all likelihood be showing the SNP ahead in all sixteen seats, and on course for a clean sweep in the city of Glasgow.

As with the Scotland-wide ICM poll published on Boxing Day, the SNP vote has also been adjusted downwards as a result of an artificial 'spiral of silence' procedure which allocates a portion of undecided voters to the party they recall voting for at the last general election.  The theory is that many Don't Knows tend to "go home" to their default party - but the problem is that some of the respondents being allocated to Labour in this case will have voted SNP in 2011, so it's not really clear who their default party is.

60 comments:

  1. "I suppose there's an outside chance this is a "trap" that was deliberately laid to outwit us, but it seems unlikely."

    Agreed. I thought of that possibility myself (That's what I'd have done in his position), but I'd be surprised if it was the case.

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  2. Daily Record PressmanFebruary 3, 2015 at 11:35 PM

    The cat is out of the bag. Glasgow has all but gone to the Nats

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  3. I was helping out in Dundee West today - do I need to bother?

    Of course I do. Polls are polls but elections are elections and we need to work right up to 10pm on 7 May.

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    1. Wise words Marcia. Rest assured you are not alone and those I know and work with have no intention whatsoever of letting up either.

      If anything this will only harden our resolve as we watch the pitiful panic from the Eggman, Brown and little Ed continue to manifest itself with yet more of the same tired old promises and bullshit they have spouted for decades.
      Shame it ain't working, idiots.

      Still, it's not as if Labour haven't brought all this upon themselves with their lies, fearmongering and gutless impersonation of the tories. So they truly deserve everything that's coming to them. Perhaps instead of being an expenses sucking waste of space, 'scottish' Labour MPs should have paid just a bit more attention to what the scottish public actually wanted. It should now be painfully obvious to even the thickest Labour MPs in scotland that all the polls are indicating loud and clear that the public don't want them but a party who actually means what they say and wants to make a better scotland for all of the scottish people.

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  4. Trap? Or goad to bring about joint Unionist voting?

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    1. I know quite a few people who voted No but are voting SNP.

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  5. The thing that strikes me about these figures if they turn out to be true, is that even if the main parties could agree that they would switch their votes to Labour, the SNP would still win in all but a handful of these seats.

    of course to get ALL your voters to back Labour would be Nye impossible for the Tory's or Lib Dems, so it does indeed begin to look like a landslide..again presuming these are the true figures.

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  6. Things just got real.

    Murphy made a joke on twitter.

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  7. Aside from the obvious 'headline' stuff, the other striking thing (not entirely unpredicted, of course) is just how terribly the Lib Dems are polling outside the Highlands. 1 or 2% in some of those Glasgow seats! It appears that all their stint in government has done is highlight their uselessness and people in most of the seats polled see right through them. An increasing amount of lost deposits appears to be heading their way if these figures are accurate.

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    1. Agreed. There's still a way to go, but the one certainty we all seem to agree on is that the LibDems are in for an absolute pounding. It will make their catastrophic experience in 2011 seem like a picnic.

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  8. "I know quite a few people who voted No but are voting SNP."

    Interesting, Marcia, what rationale do these people give? Aren't they worried that a strong showing for the SNP will lead to another independence referendum sooner rather than later? Or perhaps despite voting no they are unperturbed at the prospect of another referendum?

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    1. I think SNP clearly stating that independence would only come as a result of majority in Scotland agreeing to it is helping.

      Along with the vote labour or you'll get a tory government myth being laid to rest once and for all.

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    2. I made the point when people were advocating a Yes Alliance, that this would scare off people who voted NO but who want more powers. I'd suggest there is a decent number of people who fall into this bracket that can, and are, attracted to voting SNP.

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    3. James Coleman
      Perhaps they just regret making a BAD, BAD mistake.

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    4. Sadly it is pensioners who were frightened into voting No although in their hearts they wanted to voting Yes and now deeply regret voting No.

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    5. I know a few people in Quebec who vote PQ/BQ but voted No in the two referendums. They don't actually want Quebec to become independent of Canada, but they think that the province gets a much better deal from the rest of Canada by voting for the nationalists than by voting for a unionist party.

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  9. You don't have to be a yes voter to see that it Scotland votes as a block, the UK voting system will see to it that Scotland benefits. Safeguarding of Barnett formula, for example. It's the sensible thing to do, if you're in Scotland.

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  10. Looking promising if these are for real.

    But still uncomfortably close in some seats, given that everyone expects Labour to strengthen with all the usual media bias in the final weeks.

    'OTHERS' could make the difference - around 7-10% in Glasgow seats still plumping for greens or socialists... Danger of letting Labour back in with FPTP.

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    1. Who expects Labour to strengthen other than you concern trolls?

      Labour will weaken over the campaign, they've pulled all their big tricks like "vote SNP get Tory" and it's done nothing but tick the SNP a couple of points higher (Tory tactical voters perhaps). With 100k members only the SNP can move higher during the campaign.

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    2. Be fair, past experience is that the SNP falls back badly in the short campaign. You don't need to be a concern troll to be concerned that it will happen again. Lots of reasons for thinking it won't though.

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    3. M, a lot of that is due to the SNP disappearing from the news during an election campaign. Now with inclusion in the debates and Scottish polls now given a airing by the chattering classes the SNP will have coverage it has not had in the past.

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    4. Alasdair, I respect your contributions to this site but I need to ask you this. What makes you so sure about the above post that you're prepared to whip out the disruptive accusation of concern trolling? Seriously. Could you quote and/or explain what specific wording or tone or whatever makes you so confident?

      Cheers.

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    5. Sorry to butt in, Sean, as I realise you weren't asking me, but I sort of agree with you. It's perfectly reasonable for the original commenter to ask what the Greens and Socialist identfiers might do. Although they might, if coming to see their seat as a two-way battle, go to the SNP, this is by no means certain. So it's a valid question to raise, in my honest opinion.

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    6. Not to mention the MSM are all over the idea of the SNP being kingmakers like they were with Clegg's mob last time. This will keep the SNP fairly high in the media throughout the campaign which makes it different from other WM polls of recent times where they were electorally irrelevant. That stance can no longer be sustained and the media have realised this. Even if it is spun as a scare story for Little Englanders it keeps them high in the limelight. Jon Snow did an okay line in skewering Murphy on C4 News last night. He wouldn't be doing that in the absence of these polls and the implications from them.

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  11. wheres Edinburgh

    as it voted NO referendum,would be interesting where it stands now

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  12. James Coleman
    James I'm using "Anonymous" with my name in the comment, cos I can't seem to find another way to comment from your list of profiles. I haven't got accounts and don't want such.

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  13. The most amazing thing is that it appears that the political weighting is solely done by the 2010 vote: http://lordashcroftpolls.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Dundee-West-Jan-15-Full-tables.pdf That means the lead might well be even greater...

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  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. I had just posted confirmation..but made a spelling mistake. James had posted the confirmation update anyway. :-)

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  15. Looking at the raw figures, you have to say that this could actually be under-representing the swing, but I'll settle for these results right now!
    Odd that Ashcroft didn't spread out the research, BUT, it looks like he is going to do more...

    "in future rounds of research we may find a different pattern where support for independence was lower"

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  16. Why hasn't Frank Roy been given a name-check? Is he standing down in Motherwell and Wishaw anyway?

    I voted in that constituency pretty much since I was old enough to vote (I think for the first couple of elections the village of Overtown was in Mid Lanark, incredibly a Conservative seat), until I moved to Peeblesshire in 2007. (Let's not dwell too much on the fact that I was actually living in England for a fair chunk of that. Thanks Mum.)

    I remember when the SNP was fourth. I remember trying to persuade people that if they didn't want to vote Labour they might as well vote SNP if that was their preference, because Labour was going to get in regardless. I remember in 1992, realising with quiet despair that if the SNP was going to get the 36 seats it wanted, M&W would have to be one of them and that just wasn't going to happen.

    I never thought I'd see the SNP win Motherwell again, even though I once shook Robert Mackintyre's hand and predicted we would. I moved to Peeblesshire just before the 2007 election and registered my vote promptly to get into a constituency where an SNP vote might mean something. And indeed in 2011 we did get an SNP constituency MSP.

    But for Westminster we've got Mundell, and we're likely to keep him. If the swing is so huge in the Labour seats that even seats Electoral Calculus thinks they'll keep are falling, then the swing in the Conservative seat has got to be less. I never thought I'd see the day when Motherwell and Wishaw was likely to go SNP, and I'd be stuck campaigning against a Tory and probably losing.

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  17. 2010 weighting and a hefty SNP down weighting as you would expect: http://imgur.com/76K75xN

    So these probably underestimate SNP votes slightly.

    Pretty grim reading for SLAB :-D

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  18. Paisley and Renfrewshire South :

    SNP 48% (+30)
    Labour 40% (-20)

    This is my constituency. I thought it was unlikely we had a realistic chance here.... I'm totally stunned. I'll make sure I definately get out there to help with the campaign.

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    1. Next door constituency to me, this. I'm in tears at the prospect of that automaton getting thumped and shown the door. Let it be so, let the good burghers of the Paisley area finally have had enough, and to have realised they deserve an awful lot better from their elected representatives.

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    2. That would certainly be one to stay up for.

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  19. From the 'full report' http://imgur.com/GAEtDuW

    It is 2010 for certain.

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  20. Mathematically, it would be best if the predicted swing was accurate and not underestimating the SNP.

    As the National Average is 48% SNP, then higher than 48% SNP in these seats means the average outside those seats is less than 48%.

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    1. I don't really understand your point, Alasdair - do you mean the 48% in the YouGov poll, or in the combined Ashcroft result? If the latter, then it isn't an average national result - it's just the combined result from the 14 Labour/SNP battleground seats.

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    2. On the basis that Scotland as a whole has an average 48%, then if the 16 selected seats have an average higher than 48% the rest of the seats must have an average below 48%.

      It's an extrapolation comparing various polling - the average of other polling gives the national, obviously there's an element of apples and oranges.

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  21. This news is all over the internet ,even in the National today,even The Scotsman ,god bless the BBC & daily Record they do not find it newsworthy.
    Indeed GMS wants to hear from listeners that have had hospital appts cancelled because of those big bad Nats.
    It is almost laughable.

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  22. MP for Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill is Tom Clarke.

    He's my MP and I will simply be staggered if he's booted out. All of the polls so far have shown he would be one of the few left clinging to their seats but this one says he's out (Just).

    As a MP, he's not too bad when it comes to communication although he seems to only actually do anything if lots of people email him and tell him to. Otherwise, he seems to hardly ever turn up now. I'm not too sure about the potential SNP candidates but I'd like to hope they're more pro-active with their work.

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  23. I'm sure most of you will have saw it already, but Ashcroft is saying that he has released these constituencies first because they were previous Labour seats, in which Yes had a majority in the referendum.

    He also added a couple of 'interesting constituencies' (Lib Dems) because of the high profile of the candidates.

    What will happen ion the areas that voted No?

    It's anyone's guess at the moment, but the thing that cheers me, is that the 'Yes' voting areas tended to also be the poorer parts of Scotland, and the poorer parts of Scotland have tended to be the areas that the Labour Party have had the biggest majorities, so if as Ashcroft has hinted,( as has the commenter who made a good point about the % figures) the swings in the rest of the seats aren't so big, it will also be true that Labour will also not have such big majorities in these seats, so will still be very vulnerable to the SNP surge.

    So expect more grief for Labour as the other figures are released!

    Oh, FAO BBC/Daily Redcoat,
    We are seeing polls that are predicting the biggest political earthquake that the UK has ever seen, and the Daily Record /BBC politics sections, don't think it's a story.! lol.



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    1. Ignored Fluffy Mundell's shocking statements during the recent Welfare Reform Committee too.
      Also missing from their 'politics' and 'health' news was the detail surrounding A&E statistics.
      BBC London was actually honest, saying that the Scottish figures were 'slightly worse' than Englands, but neither mentioned that the worst performing Health Boards are all run by Labour councils.
      BBC Scotland isn't even trying to hide it's pro-Labour/anti-Scottish Government bias anymore - because they don't have to.

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  24. In the 1960's when the SNP canvassers went campaigning, we got the same answer, 'I will for you if I knew you would win the seat'. Now in some of Labour Westminster seats that time has now come, maybe 50 years late but it has come.

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  25. I can vote in either Glasgow Central or North-East. In which do you think I'm most likely to be required? (I'll be voting SNP.)

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  26. SLABS BE VERY AFRAID.

    WINTER IS COMING

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  27. Forgive me for being crass but I just got a full blown erection at the thought of Anas Sarwar losing his seat.

    Mandela

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    1. Crass? Perhaps. Funny? Yes. Understandable? DEFINITELY!

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    2. This must be the first time anyone has used the words "Anas Sarwar" and "erection" in the same sentence outside of a Torcuil Crichton column.

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  28. "Ian Davidson would lose his seat. Let the Lord be praised".

    Made me burst out laughing! What I would not give to see that bullying, big-bahookie balloon burst! Martin Luther King said: 'In the end, people remember not the words of their enemies but THE SILENCE OF THEIR FRIENDS'. The game's a bogey & the wee malkies are coming, SLAB.

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    1. The trouble is, if he hangs on by a fingernail, he is going to be so gloating.

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    2. True, Rolfe. As Johnnny Carson once said. "For three days after death, hair and fingernails continue to grow.... but phone-calls taper off".

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  29. Am actually not really that surprised Renfrewshire East wasn’t included. Is a Tory peer really likely to want to do the Labour branch office leader as favour and carry out polling in seat when Murphy is still too feart to say if he’s standing or not?

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    1. Perhaps East Ren will be in the second "round" of constituencies (whenever they're out).

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  30. I wish someone would have a glance at Fluffy Mundell's seat ! Our (SNP) membership in just this one relevant branch (from 8 Branches) has gone from 77 on the 19th Sept to well over 400 today, and we're champing at the bit.
    The Labour candidate .... er .... isn't the sharpest knife in the box (the team selectors assumed Fluffy was there for life), and if UKIP split the Tory vote, then anything can happen.
    Oh, and at least one well-known LibDem councillor has suddenly become an Independent !
    The SNP candidate is an experienced senior nurse who worked in the USA health sector for years, and has seen what privatisation means to those in the middle, never mind at the bottom.
    Anyone watching Fluffy's performance at the Welfare Reform Committee the other day would be shocked by what he said - and will have spotted his other weaknesses - namely that what charities, churches, advice groups, academics, PCS members, and Jobcentre staff say simply doesn't matter - because they've never said those things to him personally !!

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