Wednesday, March 4, 2015

SNP set to defeat Charles Kennedy, and are just 1% away from unseating Jim Murphy, according to rip-roaring Ashcroft polls

If anything, the new batch of Scottish constituency polls from Lord Ashcroft is even more devastating for the unionist establishment than the results we saw a month ago.  Eight constituencies have been surveyed (slightly more than I expected), and for the most part they are seats which voted No by a wide margin.  In six of them, the SNP have a clear lead, and they're also level in one.  Do you want to have a guess which one they're level in?  No, seriously, go on, have a guess.

It's Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale - the only Tory-held seat in the whole of Scotland.

And it gets even better - because in the one and only seat in which the SNP are trailing, they're just 1% behind.  Do you want to have a guess which one that is?  No, seriously, go on, have a guess.

It's East Renfrewshire - the seat that is supposed to be utterly beyond their reach because of the fabled (and yet strangely elusive) "personal vote" of new Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy.

Actually, the sheer impotence of the big names in bringing their personal vote to bear is something of a recurring theme of the Ashcroft polling - Douglas Alexander wasn't able to do it in the first set of polls, and Charles Kennedy hasn't been able to do it this time around.  The former Britain-wide leader of the Liberal Democrats is estimated to be trailing the SNP in Ross, Skye and Lochaber by some 5%.  To be fair to Kennedy, though, at least he's keeping the Lib Dems in the hunt, which is more than can be said for his counterpart in West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, who is miles behind the SNP, as is the Conservative hopeful in the same constituency.  That's a less eye-catching finding, but it's arguably more significant, because it's a seat which the Tories fancied might fall to them in the event of a Lib Dem collapse.  On this sort of trend, the Lib Dems would be wiped out everywhere apart from Orkney & Shetland, and it's quite possible that the SNP would be the beneficiaries everywhere - including even in Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, which the conventional wisdom states ought to be a Tory gain.

Here are the full results from all eight seats.  The percentage changes listed are from the 2010 general election result.

West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine :

SNP 39% (+23)
Conservatives 25% (-5)
Liberal Democrats 20% (-18)
Labour 10% (-4)

(This would be an SNP gain from the Liberal Democrats. Sir Robert Smith of the Liberal Democrats would lose his seat.)

Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock :

SNP 42% (+24)
Labour 31% (-16)
Conservatives 21% (-5)
Liberal Democrats 2% (-7)

(This would be an SNP gain from Labour. Sandra Osborne of Labour would lose her seat.)

Dumfries and Galloway : 

SNP 34% (+22)
Conservatives 30% (-2)
Labour 28% (-18)
Liberal Democrats 2% (-7)

(This would be an SNP gain from Labour. Russell Brown of Labour would lose his seat.)

Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale :

SNP 34% (+23)
Conservatives 34% (-4)
Labour 18% (-11)
Liberal Democrats 7% (-13)

(It's unclear whether this would be a Conservative hold, or an SNP gain from the Conservatives.  If the latter, David Mundell of the Conservatives would lose his seat.)

East Renfrewshire :

Labour 34% (-17)
SNP 33% (+24)
Conservatives 26% (-4)
Liberal Democrats 2% (-7)

(This would be a Labour hold.  Jim Murphy of Labour would retain his seat - just.)

Edinburgh South-West : 

SNP 40% (+28)
Labour 27% (-16)
Conservatives 19% (-5)
Liberal Democrats 4% (-14)

(This would be an SNP gain from Labour.)

Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath : 

SNP 45% (+31)
Labour 39% (-26)
Conservatives 7% (-2)
Liberal Democrats 3% (-6)

(This would be an SNP gain from Labour.)

Ross, Skye and Lochaber :

SNP 40% (+25)
Liberal Democrats 35% (-18)
Labour 9% (-6)
Conservatives 8% (-4)

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

As things stand, the SNP are clearly on course to gain a significant number of seats in strong No areas on the basis of a relatively small minority of the vote.  In any seat where they're not too far ahead, the party in second place may feel that there's a potential silver lining to this polling - ie. anti-independence voters might be persuaded that the best strategy for tactical voting has now been definitively established.  But it cuts both ways - in a few seats, Labour were until now hoping to benefit not only from Tories voting for them to keep the SNP out, but also from SNP supporters voting for them to keep the Tories out.   The message of "the SNP can't win here, it's a straight fight between Labour and the Tories" has just been killed stone dead in Dumfries & Galloway, Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale and East Renfrewshire.

And the hopes for an informal unionist voting alliance have been complicated in West Aberdeenshire & Kincardine and Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale as a result of the Conservatives emerging as the SNP's main opposition in both seats.  It's not unreasonable to suppose that it would be a lot easier to persuade Labour or Tory supporters to vote Lib Dem, or Lib Dem or Tory supporters to vote Labour, than it will be to persuade Labour or Lib Dem supporters to vote Tory.  In fact, I rather suspect that the average Labour voter in Dumfriesshire will be much more tempted by the golden opportunity to get David Mundell out by switching to the SNP this time around.

Eyebrows will doubtless be raised at the particularly enormous swing from Labour to the SNP in the seat that Gordon Brown will shortly be vacating, but in truth that represents a fairly predictable unwinding of the former Prime Minister's personal vote, and probably doesn't indicate that Labour are doing any worse there in "real terms".

You can read more of my thoughts about the Ashcroft polling, including the familiar doubts over methodology, in a short article I've written for The National - it can be found HERE.

97 comments:

  1. Eggpocalypse Now! :-D

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  2. Brown and Darling forecast to lose their seats.

    Labour to lose 36 of their total seats in Scotland.

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  3. Gosh. Those figures are amazing.

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  4. @David Francis

    Just as well they have retired.

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  5. I doubt it will upset Mr Murphy, though. He is a fan of Tony Blair. I remember it was said of Tony Blair: he is the most popular politician of his age, it is just that I can't find anyone who likes him....... Mr Murphy will be proud of the parallel, I am sure. :)

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  6. Crivens! I live in D, C & T, and I am surprised (and delighted) that we might just unseat Mundell. I really thought that was out of reach, partly because of the size of the Tory majority, and that fact that the SNP came fourth last time. Here are the last election results:

    General Election 2010: Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale[6]
    Party Candidate Votes % ±%
    Conservative David Mundell 17,457 38.0 +1.9
    Labour Claudia Beamish 13,263 28.9 −3.4
    Liberal Democrat Catriona Bhatia 9,080 19.8 −0.5
    SNP Aileen Orr 4,945 10.8 +1.6
    UKIP Douglas Watters 637 1.4 +0.4
    Scottish Green Alis Ballance 510 1.1 +1.1
    Majority 4,194 9.1 +5.2
    Turnout 45,892 68.9 +0.3
    Conservative hold Swing 2.6

    If the Tories and the SNP are neck and neck, that is some mountain the SNP have climbed.

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    1. I live there too and we haven't really started yet. Not in my corner anyway. I didn't think we could realistically do it, to be honest, though I was prepared to do my damndest. I thought applying Scotland-wide opinion polls would be missing our own very special brank of Tory jerks.

      But here we are, in with a shout. A very decent shout. On one hand I think, well we're bound to slip back from this. But then on the other I think, there must be some Labour voters (Labour were in second place last time) who don't yet realise the way to get rid of Mundell is to vote SNP. They bloody well will realise by the time we're done with them. And then on my third (carefully concealed) hand I realise that Ashcroft was weighting for 2010 recalled vote and we all know what that does to the SNP bottom line. We're actually nicely ahead on the unweighted figures.

      VOTE EMMA!!!!!

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    2. Yes, Lots of tactical SNP to Labour votes previously.
      Jim Murphy's seat too.

      It's important to leaflet with the new figures, and try to get that reversed.

      I don't think any Labour / Tory alliance will work.

      SNP is about more powers this time - not re-running the referendum.

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    3. I believe I was rightly chastised for overlooking the tory twit Mundell for the odious yellow tory Alexander. (BTW I've since talked to more than a few people who confirm wee Danny is basically toast. :-D ) But no more!

      I feel extremely confident the SNP are going to step up a gear and throw in more resources towards hard working activists like Rolfe and his friends. This is the perfect seat to totally smash Murphy's 'VoteSNPGetTories' bullshit while showing scots that we mean what we say when it comes to getting rid of the malign westminster tory influence.

      Let's face it, most of the scottish public will hardly weep for one less nasty party tory MP. Quite the reverse! :-D

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    4. Rolfe's a girl-type person. :)

      Morag.

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    5. :-O

      Oops! ;-)

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  7. Still not done Inverclyde, very interesting.

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  8. 1992 might also be a good omen for the SNP here, if there's any ballot box switching based on leaders I highly doubt it'll be towards Murphy/Clegg/Miliband.

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  9. The Port and Greenock were staunchly Yes. It was Gourock and down through the South West of the constituency which just, and by a whisker, saw No stagger over the line.

    10 years back I'd have been referring anyone for the good of their sanity if they suggested Inverclyde was anything other than a Labour fortress.

    I'd be absolutely amazed if Labour hold this in 2015- smart cash on an SNP gain, probably a good 4-5 points ahead.

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    1. From what I could tell at the count, even Gourock voted Yes: it was Kilmacolm (apparently one of the highest millionaires-per-square-mile spots in Scotland) and the West End of Greenock that barely pushed it over for No.

      Port & Greenock as a whole were definitely Yes, though.

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    2. Live in Kilmacolm and the local labour party definitely see this as a chance to pick up votes to save McKenzie. They've been out canvassing over the last couple of weekends, desperate stuff and probably shows that the Port and Greenock will predominantly vote SNP in May.

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  10. A Lab / SNP arrangement for the UK has the potential to make for very good, progressive Government in the short term.

    God knows what it'll do to the political landscape in the longer term, for ALL parties.

    But to be honest long as the wretched Tories are out of power I'll be reasonably happy with anything.

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    1. Why not just admit it, Hugh? In your dreams you vote SNP. Why not just make the IRL jump now and save some time? ;-)

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  11. Bonanza for SNP!

    Yeeeeee Haaaaawww.

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  12. My guess a lot of NO voters unhappy about how Scotland was trashed referendum,deciding to have a powerful SNP within the Union

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    1. But not enough to vote Yes? They'll accept a whole lot of trash and we need to make do.

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  13. I find it interesting that in the raw data, including after the weighting, the SNP leads all the Scottish seats. Jim Murphy only pulls ahead by 1% in his seat after Ashcroft included his personal CVI bias on whom he believes are silent supporters based on 2010 results in the riding. Barring his late adjustment in East Renfrewshire and a similar adjustment in Dumfrieshire, Clydebank and Tweeddale, the story from these eight Scottish polls is an SNP sweep.

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    1. I don't know if you saw NorthumbrianScot's reply to you on UKPR, but he made some interesting points on this concerning East Ren:

      @Brian Nicholson

      I think the weighting to 2010 recall is particularly likely to be a problem in Scotland post referendum.

      The 15% in East Renfrewshire who recall voting SNP in 2010 are downweighted to the correct 8%.

      It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that an SNP supporter who tactically voted ABT for Jim in 2010 then voted SNP in 2011 (25%), 2011 list (34%) 2012 locals (15% 1st pref), 2014 Euros (22%) and Yes in the referendum (37%) might falsely recall (deliberately or otherwise) their 2010 vote.

      If I were Jim I wouldn’t be cracking open the champagne yet.

      Something that is particularly worrying for Jim (but also an opportunity) is that Lord A found only 3 voters who supported Con in 2010 who were willing to switch to Labour.

      Either he has already made all possible gains from Con to be had here or an aggressive unionist unity campaign might save him. Take your pick.

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  14. Big 2010 weighting going on. Classic to many people saying they voted SNP in 2010 and not enough saying they voted Labour.

    I get this for Jim's result (constituency Q) with no 2010 weighting:

    39% SNP
    29% Lab
    26% Con
    2% Lib
    1% UKIP

    Doesn't mean that's right, but SNP could be further ahead than it seems.

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    1. That much? I already figured out we're ahead in DC&T without that 2010 recalled vote weighting. What do you make the figures there?

      Can you get Calum over the line where you are?

      We're sitting almost perfectly, with a headline figure which avoids both discouragement and complacency, but which probably hides a stronger position than it's owning up to. Wait till the local Labour voters figure it out.

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    2. Not much difference in DC&T; still more or less level pegging between SNP and Con. Unweighted figures are not as far off as other areas. Seems locally people are more likely to admit how they voted in 2010, at least for Labour. Less so for Lib. More genuine swing(?). Like I said above, playing with 2010 weighting just gives clues.

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  15. Beware of the Ides of March. Please remember folks, Ashcroft, is NOT independent, their is a hidden agenda. The Establishment is working overtime on their Divide and Rule policy. Take his findings with a pinch of, whatever Osborne is on!

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    1. Oh for goodness sake take off the tinfoil hat. Ashcroft is running honest polls. The main question is whether this situation can hold until the actual election.

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    2. There'd be more room for doubt if all the polling didn't back this up. If the polls narrow between 7 May, so be it, but these pollsters will not stake their reputations on *pretending* that this gap exists right up to election day. Since they don't only do politics, but a bunch of polls on customer preferences/viewing habits etc etc etc, they need to show clients they can be accurate.

      There is also a huge difference between 4 months of steady polling showing one thing and the two or three polls that gave Yes a lead before indyref as well (though, I note, in some circles there is a weird pretence that 'all the polls showed Yes in front' which must be helping some unionists deny what the polls at the minute say, but just isn't true). As I say, if the polls now narrow and reflect the result will be closer than currently indicated, so be it, I would not be shocked but, for now, this is what they say.

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  16. I don't like to count chickens before they are hatched. I wonder what they are planning. I don't think The Vow would work a second time, but what other stunts could they pull?

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    1. Gords already done the Vow a 2nd time,it will be 3rd time ( : > )

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    2. Don't you think if they had something, like a nasty personal on Salmond or Sturgeon they would have not used them in the referendum when things got tight?

      It really is squeaky bum time for the establishment and in a GE we are not the only fish being fried either. It's no skin off the Tories' noses since they only have one seat in play. Though if you play with the numbers in the predictors a narrowing of the gap between SNP and Lab possibly nets them one or two more. But that sort of narrowing won't be easy.

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    3. The British State has barely scratched the surface of their dirty tricks.
      In no particular order
      Senior SNP figure accused of some sort of sexual misdemeanor
      Tartan terrorist plot or outrage
      Scottish Government statistics exposed as faked
      Actually interested to see what they will roll out

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  17. #Brian Nicholson

    I agree. I was surprised by the large raw data leads and the down waiting of the SNP. Complacency is the enemy now as well as the MSM going into anti-SNP mode in the usual way.

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  18. A few points from his GB poll (link below), which had an 8,000 sample and therefore the Scottish sub-sample was about 700:

    The cross-break of the VI poll (page 1) was Con 13, Lab 20, SNP 41, including don't knows. After excluding them, SNP 49, Lab 24, Con 15, Others <5.

    The percentage that have definitely decided their vote is highest in Scotland (89%).

    Amongst the *undecided* voters in Scotland (n=136), "who would you seriously consider voting for" gives Con 32%, Lab 42%, LD 22%, UKIP 12% and "Another party" (i.e. mainly the SNP) 30%. Therefore there are *slightly* more possible Labour voters in the undecided pool, but not outlandishly so.

    http://lordashcroftpolls.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/National-poll-tables-March-2015-LAM124A.pdf

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  19. Utterly insane - beyond my wildest dreams.

    I'm certain this won't compare but I took part in a Yougov poll tonight - WM and Holyrood VI, indyref vote in September, future indyref vote, whether I regretted my indyref vote.

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    1. That's an interesting question (regretting the vote) which I don't think I've seen asked before.

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  20. Just back in from another productive night campaigning. :-)

    The real take home from this polling may not be so much the individual figures, but that the 'strategy' (to flatter the Labour omnipanic by calling it so) employed by Murphy and his boss little Ed of repeatedly screaming 'VoteSNPGetTories!' simply isn't working.

    In fact, not only isn't it working but this and all the rest of the polling indicates it seems to be galvanising our vote while getting ever more disillusioned Labour on our side. If it had the genuine potency that the Eggman, 'no-brainer' McTernan and little Ed thought it did then surely to fuck there would have been some small sign of it by now after all. Instead things aren't just going disasterously for Murphy and 'scottish' Labour, they are getting worse. Turning a truly dire situation into a catastrophic one, or, "doing a Clegg" as it should really be called by now. ;-)

    Will that mean little Ed and Murphy change it up and try something more productive? Happily, of course not. They will pray that another couple of months of parroting their desperate slogan will somehow make it finally 'sink in'. This despite it being basically the only thing they and Murphy have said for the past couple of months anyway.

    True, they've also made a twat of themselves on the NHS but they really don't have a clue if they think little Ed is trusted more than Nicola on that.

    Needless to say the cowardly Cameron isn't about to see the much 'fabled' (i.e. laughed at) scottish tory surge so many of the out of touch tory twits on Stormfront Lite kept babbling about. What a shame.

    It will also hardly pass the scottish public by that the one pitiful tory MP there actually is in scotland now looks in REAL trouble and could well be booted out on his arse in May faster than you can say "Rifkind!".

    So that would be the SNP getting rid of the solitary nasty party tory MP there is in scotland, NOT 'scottish' Labour.

    C'mon the Pandas! :-D

    ROFL

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    1. As just one person who spent time inside one of the Dundee RIC panda suits in the referendum I do my bit in thanking you for your support. I was wearing a sign that said 'Ask me why I'm dressed as a panda' and so was able to explain how they embody the democratic deficit. Even some American sounding Asian student girls got it.

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    2. To be honest, though Murphy wasn't exactly an *ideal* choice for us, I don't think anyone could have stopped the tectonic plates shifting as we're currently seeing.

      Not even Gordon.

      I like it, personally. I'm a different party but see little difference in outlook / ideology / whatever with you lot (I'm oddly not really fussed about outright independence either way).

      Saw a typically impressive Salmond on Newsnight just now, saying that SNP/Lab could really re-align politics, get other progressive forces like Greens or sane Lib Dems on board, get some proper progressive shit done. Sounds good to me.

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    3. "As just one person who spent time inside one of the Dundee RIC panda suits in the referendum I do my bit in thanking you for your support."

      I heartily applaud your valuable (and likely roastin) campaigning prowess sir! Your time shall indeed come again. :-D

      "though Murphy wasn't exactly an *ideal* choice for us"

      He was the very opposite of an ideal choice. He is the problem not the solution. Regardless, it's not as if you had an overabundance of good choices anyway and the fault for that goes right to the top and for far longer than just little Ed's tenure.

      For there to be some actual progressive work done there needs to be a sea change in the attitude of Labour MPs and the Labour leadership. Not so much the supporters, I'm confident enough of them will recognise good solid workable and progressive policy when they see past the westminster bubble establishment spin.

      In fact I'd say that's one of the main things little Ed has to take on board if he's serious about governing. The right-wing dominated press doesn't give a shit how much he triangulates toward tory policy to appease the Bliarites. They want a tory government. End of story. Don't get me wrong, when you get blasted 24/7 by propaganda against your party and it's supporters across every TV station and almost every newspaper in the land it's hardly pleasant, (we in the SNP know that for a fact) but he's just going to have to bite the bullet or he will forever be their prisoner. If policies aren't popular with Dacre, Desmond, Murdoch or the Barclay Bros. then tough shit. That hardly means they are either unworkable or unpopular. In fact it's usually a sign they are a damn good idea.

      These Ashcroft polls (and the rest) are all the proof you need that the horseshit about 'Red Ed' is just that. There is simply no way on earth a Labour leader would be overseeing this kind of complete meltdown in scotland if he was too left-wing. That was always utter nonsense and a travesty of the truth propagated by a desperate CCHQ and it's tory media lapdogs. Too right-wing, yes. Too left-wing? Nae chance.

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  21. i really hope all these stats are true - but just to make sure I hope all SNP members and supporters canvas from dawn to dusk and pull those seats in

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    1. You're going to help, I hope?

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    2. Don't overlook the fundraisers either. I'm not just talking about the worthy ones James and others highlighted on the net, I'm also talking about the local ones where supporters and their friends can come along to social nights with raffles etc. Do not underestimate how important they are to keeping the campaign going and enthused as the ones I have attended have been really effective in helping moral and making some much needed money for the various campaigning necessities.

      This is already a general election campaign like no other in scotland. The determination and dedication of our supporters is already quite something to behold and be proud of. :-)

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  22. A highly entertaining tweet by the New Statesman election site, accusing Mike Smithson of plagiarism.

    "If you like your politics news to be derivative, uncredited and shameless, make sure you're following @MSmithsonPB. "

    https://twitter.com/May2015NS/status/573233597307596801

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    1. Heh.

      Think Smithson's just a bumbling semi-retired chancer to be fair. Seems to be the Tory campaigner TSE's site these days.

      A site run by a rich Southern Tory, for rich Southern Tories. With the odd racist UKIPper allowed free rein of course.

      Mind you, Labour could do worse than pointing to PB to show how much oleaginous Southern Tories are enjoying the SNP tsunami....

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    2. Antifrank has blazed the trail on spotting the value in the Scottish seats on the site. OGH SOLD SNP on the spreads at 20sih before trading out ;)

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  23. Comedy Gold indeed!

    You would need a heart of stone not to laugh.

    LOL

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  24. Oh and while I'm at it, there appears to be some highly amusing delusional thinking going around tory twit circles that just because the cowardly fop Cameron stamps his little feet the debates are off.

    The first debate is on the 2nd April on ITV while the second is on April the 16th on the BBC. Let me be clear, this isn't wishful thinking, those debates are now scheduled with the leaders of each party making their campaign plans around them after having been formally invited. They are very much ON .

    The tory twits don't seriously believe the BBC and ITV will throw away huge viewer figures now, can they? LOL They are guaranteed huge viewer figures whether the coward Cameron appears or not. There are easily enough leaders there to make a very interesting debate. (albeit an uncomfortable one for out of touch westminster twits obviously.)

    As for the cowardly fop Cameron and little Ed's head to head debate... Sure, the broadcasters have made a tit of themselves by stooping so low as to accommodate the coward Cameron and offering to change the date of the third one (thus destroying their already paper thin excuse that the timing of the third one was done fairly) but I presume they think they are calling his bluff yet again.

    One thing's for certain, if Cameron is too big a coward to debate little Ed Miliband head to head then CCHQ can wave bye-bye to all their many personal attacks on little Ed as not being Prime Minister material. Just a touch hard to persuade the voting public that your own leader is fit to be prime minister again when he is too much of a coward to debate the guy he and his tory stooges keep saying is unfit to govern. Or haven't they realised that yet?

    Also, the Coulson Perjury trial. Which I presume is one of the main reasons the broadcasters threw the fop a bone as it's likely sunk in (better late than never ;-) ) just how 'problematic' the cowardly Cameron is going to find a debate mere days after that. Not that he's going to find it all that much easier even without the debate if we're being honest.

    Let's just say I will hardly be surprised if the westminster establishment media contrives to make the head to head before that Perjury trial.

    The cowardly fop simply can't afford to let little Ed have all the debate publicity while weakening himself so publicly. If Cameron were ahead by a solid amount and heading for a win then maybe. He isn't though. Nor does he look any more likely than little Ed to win a majority so they need ALL the publicity and votes they can get.

    No surer way to ensure the tory party goes into headless chicken/replace leader mode than a narrow loss after the fop refused to debate the likes of little Ed. I don't think that's what the fop had in mind somehow. ;-)

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    1. The one thing about the 'head to head' that makes me rather that one does not happen is that Miliband is keen on that one mainly to further the idea that only he and Cameron matter and not to vote for those 'silly small parties'. So I hope the kibosh is put on that one, personally.

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    2. The Tories don't need a TV debate.
      They have England's right wing press doing all the work for them.

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    3. True Johnny and the broadcasters connived in this by making the head to head the last debate before polling day. (Which obviously gives it the most potency) Well that totally backfired on them and I have no sympathy at all since they only did so to try and curry favour with the coward Cameron who then threw it back in their face. (only to have them throw it back again and call his bluff admittedly)

      Oh I beg to differ bringiton. The actual influence of the press continues to tumble to ever more laughable levels as do their circulations. True, TV is hardly trusted all that much more these days but a debate still gives leaders their best and most potent opportunity to appeal to voters directly and unmediated. PPBs don't even come close so unless a leader takes the time and effort to appear in town hall style meetings up and down the land regularly then their chances of appealing directly to ordinary voters are hugely diminished.

      If the tories were comfortably ahead then they could indeed afford to ignore the debates. They just aren't and certainly don't look even close to doing so this side of polling day. Nor do Labour. So they both need these debates precisely because they are held in such low regard by the voters. Something that their polling keeps backing up time after time after time.

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    4. If Cameron fails to turn up for the final debate it would clearly be unfair for it to become instead a long interview with Ed. So the moderator should simply go home and leave us with live coverage of Ed sitting alone for minute after excruciating minute. Quietly whistling and humming to himself, drumming his fingers, examining his fingernails, pretending to be having fun. Occasional attempts to talk live to camera abandoned because he has no script. End on a five minute close-up on his implausible grin.

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    5. @Sean

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_IUFIYwAQA

      :-D

      Truth be told the third debate looked like it was toast (to me anyway) when I heard Coulson's Perjury trial was for days before it. I've no doubt at all that's why little Ed was so quick to say "any time" as even he would have figured that one out.

      The two man debate was always a stupid idea. The corrupt two party system has never been less popular and C4 and Sky think - "Now's the time to have a head to head with little Ed and the coward Cameron! AND we'll make it RIGHT BEFORE the election to try and overshadow the other two debates."

      Yeah, maybe not such a great idea after all, was it? :-D

      What will be interesting is that when the BBC and ITV ones go ahead whether Sky and C4 have a strop about it. (assuming the coward is still hiding from debating little Ed) I would presume the broadcasters all colluded to 'divvy up' the debates and they all privately thought they were getting the best deal. Turns out Sky and C4 might well end up with nothing now, but that's showbiz!

      It's pretty preposterous to think that the BBC and ITV would happily throw away such an easy and huge ratings grabber because one of their competitors lost out. They'll try to look sympathetic as they calculate how much larger their ratings will be with one less debate.

      Because, be in no doubt, the debates GOT the massive ratings and ticked all the boxes for political coverage and public service the broadcasters needed. They will get those ratings again come April the 2nd and April the 16th.

      The head to head on the 30th? Can't see it now and the broadcasters have already formally invited the leaders to the other two with almost all of them accepting and confirming they will indeed be there.

      So two debates anyway while Sky and C4 are left to reflect on the 'wisdom' of going for the head to head debates instead of simply copying the format for the other two.


      The bottom line is if you don't have the balls to face the electorate in a fair debate then don't fucking complain that your ratings and party polling isn't doing better and you're heading for a loss. Might a debate make things worse in some cases? Sure, but unless you are ahead and ahead comfortably then you can't possibly work on the assumption that your leader is bound to do badly. Even if they are rubbish. You're basically admitting your leader is so bad they can't win an election anyway after all.

      Little Ed is gasping for breath and being dragged underwater by the Eggman and his own party collapse in scotland and still doing badly elsewhere. Yet who throws him that lifeline? The coward Cameron. You don't need to be a mindreader to work out how much a of HUGE deal little Ed will make of this throughout the election campaign. Have a look right now. Yeah, that's going to be 24/7 with the coward Cameron making excuse after excuse, day after day as his party shows no sign of hitting the numbers he needs for anything close to a majority.

      Delete
  25. Hey Mick, not that I mind Cameron being called a clotheshorse, but it got monotonous a long time ago. Variation in vocabulary possible?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Och, let Mick have his catchphrases. His posts are hilarious.

      Delete
    2. If this site wants to do a fundraiser to buy Mick Pork a thesaurus, I'll gladly chip in.

      12 'little ed's and 6 fops on this page alone. We get the joke already.

      Delete
    3. If it was just a joke you might have a point. It's not.

      Just like Cameron being a second rate Blair impersonator the incompetent fop tag is perfect because it is so true. Cameron is quite obviously wildly out of touch with ordinary voters. Nobody made up the the Chipping Norton set. Cameron regularly hob-nobs with multi-millionaire and billionaire chums and the only job he's ever had was in PR which was gifted to him by his wife's mother. It also used to piss off the herd on Stormfront Lite no end so for that alone it's worth repeating. ;) Cameron is self-evidently incompetent because he isn't just struggling badly against one of the most hapless Labour leaders of modern times, there's also the fact that nobody has done more to boost UKIP than Cameron and Osbrowne. Certainly not Farage. If you want to see where UKIP really took off you can trace it back to Cameron's inept attempts to shut down Europe as an issue with his backbenchers and activists years ago (which predictably backfired) and Osbrowne's omishambles budget. Sure, once the kippers got going he also played right in to their immigrant bashing with idiot targets and pledges but it still took the gaping chasm in the tory party over Europe as well as Osborwne and Cameron's incompetence at the omnishambles budget to give the kippers real and lasting momentum. (you can easily check the polling going back from 2010 to see this is indeed the case)


      I will always call Ed little Ed because from the start I knew he was just a small leader with no big vision, solid principles or big ideas. It's nowt to do with his height and everything to do with his small stature as a party leader. Voters think he's ineffectual and inconsequential. You don't get the type of lamentable leadership poll ratings little Ed constantly does without seriously pissing off and disappointing not only your natural support but swing voters.

      Likewise Calamity Clegg is absolutely perfect for his uncanny ability to turn disaster into utter catastrophe.

      But since Rolfe asked nicely and I know her heart is in the right place I'll use fop less and cowardly Cameron and second rate Blair impersonator more from now on. They are also totally true and get the point across. ;)

      Let me also remind anyone who finds those tags 'upsetting' that what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Little Ed and cowardly Cameron (and their spindoctors and media poodles) use those type of tags not just against each other but their opponents supporters all the time. So I'm afraid I will be taking no lectures in a more varied vocabulary or the use of jokey (but true) terminology to describe joke westminster party leaders any time soon.

      Delete
    4. Not really. You just sound like some frothing Republican blogger, repeatedly screaming 'Nobama!' and 'Demoncrats!' while laughing at your own joke.

      You are right about one thing. This type of repetitive claptrap sounds stupid when it comes out of the mouths of mainstream media spin doctors and biased political bloggers. Not sure why that makes you want to copy it.

      Delete
    5. Ahh.... Now I see your error. (mysterious poster who never appeared on James Blog before till after we had a good laugh at the tory twats on Stormfront Lite PB. LOL)

      You have sadly mistaken me for someone who actually gives a shit about your petulant shrill whining. No matter! :-D

      Let me assure you that my mockery of that second rate Blair impersonator and obvious coward Cameron (along with little Ed and calamity Clegg) will continue unabated. As indeed will their own laughably bad personal ratings with the public. Since, what you also seem to have somehow inexplicably missed is that on this I am far from alone in thinking these pathetic jokes masquerading as westminster party leaders deserve nothing but mockery and contempt. The scottish public thinks so too. As do a huge chunk of opinion in rUK.

      Nor did you manage to comprehend that not all jokes are applicable. Without the truth backing them up they have absolutely no power or potency. Hence the shrill cries of "Red Ed" from the right-wing press having no purchase at all because it was such obvious bullshit. Or do you seriously think a Labour leader would be presiding over complete and utter catastrophe in scotland because he's too left-wing? Like fuck he would.

      I am copying no-one and have chosen my own ways to describe these foolish joke leaders every time. The mainstream media is overwhelmingly biased against the SNP and Independence so I think you'll find very few people on here getting as upset as you that a poster uses their own methods against these multi-billion pound corporations, press barons and well paid spindoctors. It's what is called an uneven playing field so I have no qualms at all about bettering their vapid and pitiful efforts.

      Last time I hear your kind of pitiful shrieking was on Stromfront Lite funnily enough. ;-)

      I do care about Rolfe's opinion since she is dedicated, almost always pleasant, well known here and not some pitiful sockpuppet for a PB coward.

      You on the other had can go fuck yourself. Sideways if you like. This isn't PB and I am under no obligation to be nice to obvious trolls. Nor will I be. :-)

      Delete
    6. I get bored by it too but I just internally edit it out as Mick is entertaining and has real moments of clarity that others don't offer.
      He's repetitive, sure, but it's just a campaigning style.
      Look below the style and the substance is all there.

      Delete
    7. I was only suggesting a more varied style of invective. Mainly because I think the constant repetition of the same tired put-downs makes Mick come over as less intelligant than he actually is.

      Delete
    8. You have sadly mistaken me for someone who actually gives a shit about your petulant shrill whining. No matter! :-D

      That is why you have used 30 lines to respond, is it?

      Delete
    9. Piss off troll.

      Happy now? :-)

      Delete
  26. The Labour Party's big campaign Lie this time, is the collapse of the NHS.

    The unholy alliance of Labour/BBC/Daily Redcoat, have been going at it 'hammer and tongs for the past six weeks or so, yet as a strategy it has clearly failed.

    Their problem isn't so much a lack of campaign lies, I'm sure they can come up with a whole bunch of them at the drop of a hat, but their problem is twofold.

    1. They have been found out by a large percentage of the electorate, who saw Labour's real colours during the referendum campaign, and didn't like what they saw.

    2. And more importantly, they are running out of time!

    If Jim Murphy comes on the TV and states that the only people who will be delighted to see this Ashcroft poll, will be David Cameron and the Tories, we will know for certain that the an has no other talent except to repeat 'Dalek Style' whatever sound-bite fed to him by the likes of McTernan.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hay... If there are no Tories left in Scotland do we have to give the Pandas back?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No - we use the Labour Party instead.

      Hopefully, we will still have more Pandas than
      a) Tory MPs
      b) Lib-Dem MPs
      c) Labour MPs.

      Delete
  28. Jim Murphy said

    "There's no gloss that can be put on these polls, they are terrible news for Labour, but great news for the Tories" lol,

    The Daily Redcoat reports that Jim Murphy said " The Tories will be rubbing their hands with glee, reading this poll" hehe.

    'We will exterminate, Exterminate! EXTERMINATE!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The only solitary tory in scotland is facing a pasting from the SNP just as much as Eggman Murphy, yet he seriously expects the scottish public to believe that's great news for them?

      lol indeed Patrick, lol indeed.

      Like I said previously upthread, the Eggman and his boss little Ed simply have no other 'strategy' than constantly whining about their inability to beat the tories elsewhere. Nor do they have the insight or competence to grasp that their one and only talking point and slogan about 'letting the tories in' isn't just failing but backfiring.

      Good. :) Let them keep floundering. It's not as if Murphy will ever take responsibility for his own incompetence and calamitous performance as 'scottish' Labour leader. Even though the irony is truly gigantic since it was Murphy's chums who started the whisper campaign against Lamont for being a shit leader yet now she is more popular than Murphy and looks almost like safe pair of hands compared to him. (almost!) :-D

      Delete
  29. I still fail to understand the LibDem vote in Orkney and Shetland. The MP there is at the heart of the Conservative Gov which has been causing so much damage across the UK, and in particular to English students and the ENHS, when they in the northern isles are not affected.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, it can't be because of Carmichael's charisma.

      DDH

      Delete
    2. I'm not sure I'll believe he's safe until I see an individual constituency poll saying so. A lot of assuming going on.

      Delete
    3. There was an earlier post on Carmichael which did a pretty good job of explaining it as it seems to be more of a 'legacy vote' than anything else. The politics there being quite a bit different to the mainland obviously.

      However, I did notice that even there the local SNP membership has rocketed up so I for one don't believe Carmichael its truly safe. Still the most likely winner? Certainly for now but we'll have to wait and see as we get closer and closer to polling day to be sure.

      I also seem to remember some absurd bullshit being touted about Thurso somehow being almost invincible because the locals supposedly tug their forlocks to Viscounts or some such claptrap. Let's be real. If Kennedy can go Thurso is most definitely toast. Thurso has obviously nowhere near the credibility and incumbency factor that Kennedy does.

      So it's an amusing buh-bye to the yellow tory Viscount going by these kind of numbers. :-D

      Delete
    4. The Thurso nonsense was from someone who had the inside line because he had spoken to more than one person from up that way. I think he'd also been to the far North, Clackmannan if I remember rightly.

      Delete
    5. The point I was making was in response to something (i cant remember what) to point out I'm not limited to a metropolitan Glasgow or Edinburgh bubble. It wasn't expressed well.

      Delete
    6. Yes, I know, I wasn't really having a go, it's just that I live in Dingwall and I've no idea what happens in Thurso.

      Delete
    7. Sadly, I've no idea what happens in Thurso either, and I live there. The LibDems in seats like these have relied for too long on the soft-voting Tory demographic, who were too embarrassed to vote Tory in Scotland. I think they're probably too embarrassed to vote LibDem now, and will probably stay at home on May 7.
      Hopefully the end days have arrived for (Lord) John Thurso, Charlie Kennedy, Danny Alexander and the cardboard cut-out in Orkney.

      Delete
  30. " when they in the northern isles are not affected."

    Well. there's your first clue.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Personally, I can't get enough of 'the incompetent fop' and 'Calamity Clegg'.

    ReplyDelete
  32. 'Clegg's ostrich faction' might even be my favourite. ;-)

    Totally nails the lib dem spinners mindset.

    I see calamity Clegg thinks he's going to stroll into the final debate to replace the cowardly Cameron. Leaving aside his own comical debate 'skill' with Farage, his own laughable personal poll ratings and that he's already agreed to the other debates - you would think even he would have realised by now that it might not be too clever an idea to stick up for this tory government and defend it to the hilt for an hour or so against little Ed.

    Yes, Clegg, what you really need to do is associate yourself and your party even more closely with the tories. So obvious in retrospect! :-D

    ReplyDelete
  33. Nice to see James' analysis on page 2 of the National :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. James, nice surprise this morning when I read your article in the National .

      Delete
    2. Whit! *runs oot for paper* :-D

      Delete
  34. New Populus Poll threw up a weird question

    "You’ve said that you would prefer to see David Cameron as Prime Minister than Ed Miliband, and that you think the Conservative Party would do a better job of managing the economy than Labour, so we’re interested that earlier, when asked which party you would vote for if there was an election tomorrow, you said you would vote for SNP, not the Conservative Party. Please say which of the following statements apply to you."

    Then options

    - Regardless of my views about who would be best Prime Minister or best on the economy, I could just never bring myself to vote Conservative

    - Though I think that Cameron would be a better Prime Minister than Miliband, and that the Conservatives would be better than Labour on the economy, there are other issues that are more important in determining who I vote for - and on which I don’t trust Cameron or the Conservatives

    - I don’t want to vote Conservative, but in the end I may well end up doing so because Labour would be (even) worse on the economy and it’s unthinkable that Ed Miliband could end up as Prime Minister

    - Though the Conservatives are likely to do a better job than Labour of managing Britain’s economy overall, I don’t think people like me are likely to benefit from a recovering economy under the Conservatives

    - I like Cameron, but not his party

    - We need real change & I’m not going to be swayed into voting on the basis of which of the two main parties or leaders is the least bad

    - I’m going to vote based on local factors & the position of the parties and candidates in the constituency where I live, not on the basis of who I’d prefer as Prime Minister or which party would do the best job of managing the economy

    - Though I think that Ed Miliband would be a worse Prime Minister, I don’t like Cameron enough to make me actively want him to be Prime Minister

    Never seen a question like that, presumably a Conservative requested focus group question?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It will probably be an 'Internal Poll' commissioned by the Tories, Alisdair.

      They use this kind of poll to find out what kind of lies they need to feed to their friends in the MSM, so that we all line up and march into the polling booths (to the sound of 'Another brick in the wall' and vote Tory.

      Doesn't always work though!

      Delete
  35. Latest YouGov subsample: SNP 36, Labour 29. The unstoppable Scottish Labour juggernaut is closing the gap and we can soon expect a large cohort of Labour MPs returning in Scotland in the next election. Momentum is with them.

    (OK, I'm really taking the piss there)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was released last night. This from Populus today.

      "After sudden collapse, SNP surges to new highs..." ;-)

      58% SNP
      15% Con
      13% Lab
      8% Lib
      5% UKIP
      1% Green

      Delete
    2. So can we call the Conservatives in Scotland, 'the official opposition'?

      Sorry to bang on about it, but it's that magical figure of 13% again...my predicted % of the Labour Party in Scotlands, true support.

      Delete
  36. I have tried to put various combinations of results into the prediction program on Electoral Calculus. I managed to get all 59 seats for the SNP with the following results:

    SNP 50%, Labour 20 % Cons 15% and all the others 5%.

    Anyone get all 59 seats to go to SNP with any lower value? (I tried to keep the other values vaguely in line with current polling.)

    ReplyDelete