Labour could win & Farage could come 3rd in Thanet South. A Green supporter told me she was considering tactical voting in South Thanet because stopping Farage was more important than voting for her preferred party. The problem is WHO do you vote for Labour or Conservative in South Thanet, a 3-way marginal?
How Accurate are any of the Opinion Polls in South Thanet?
Based on samples of 1000 there is a 95% chance they are accurate to within plus or minus 3% if EVERYONE answers the questions & weighting assumptions are correctly applied so that the sample matches the general population (ie the Thanet electorate). HERE is an explanation.
There have been 8 polls in S Thanet since Nov 2013, in which 10-24% of people have refused to answer the key question – WHO are you most likely to vote for? – This is a big enough part of the samples to really effect the accuracy of the predictions as these people DO intend to vote. The data sheets are available online for anyone to see but it is not possible to rework them in a meaningful way.
ComRes – March 2015 – poll for South Thanet
Reported Tories are at 31, UKIP at 30 and Labour 29% this was shorthand for saying (with 3% error margin) the parties will probably get a local vote that is somewhere between:
- Conservative 28 to 34%
- UKIP 27 to 33%
- Labour 26 to 32%
Clearly the parties are level and the final result could result in anyone of them as a winner. With 1% point between each, this could translate to about 500 votes between first and second place. About 10% of those who intend to vote did not specify who for. You could say the 10% of guarded and don’t knows will decide the MP for South Thanet. The poll also put those unlikely to vote at about 13%. Last time 34% didn’t vote in South Thanet.
Craig Mackinley’s Conservative party leaflets based on this poll claim it is a 2 horse race (see photo) Tories lead at 31%, UKIP are second at 30% and Labour are 3rd and can’t win. Thousands of misleading leaflets have been distributed across Thanet that did not state the true figures, which are that all parties are neck and neck according to this poll with less than 1,500 votes to fight over and it would be impossible to say with real confidence which party was really going to be third from this survey.
The Survation Poll 23 March 2015 Farage a leads at 39%, Tories 30%, 26% Labour
Unique in the polls Survation have produced this and a poll in February that put UKIP in a clear lead. You have to question how they can come to such figures, out of line with national average and all the other polls that put the three parties within a few percent of each other (with no clear victory, remember 3% margin of error that grows bigger due to many respondents refusing to answer). This poll had almost a quarter not responding to the question – who will you vote for.
1. All of the polls that I have looked at show Ukip draw a significant proportion of their support from older people, from men, and from people who did not vote at the previous general election. The weighting used in the Survation Poll may favour these groups in comparison to the 2 other polls.
2. Cuts out about 24% of respondents (more than double that of ComRes), all of those who say they are undecided or refuse to answer. This dramatically boosts the differences between the three parties. This part of the methodology makes the Survation results weak to meaningless. It is interesting that they find a high number of people support UKIP, it could be 25% or 30% of the electorate one really can’t deduce much more than that from this poll.
Survation have 11% unlikely to vote in the next election.
Lord Ashcroft’s South Thanet Poll based on field work 22-28 April 2015
Produced the only poll to give the Conservatives a clear lead over Labour (1 out of 8). With 6% refusing to answer, 7% don’t know who they will vote for and 6-9% will not vote. It is correct to take the “Won’t Vote” people out of the picture but again 13% of voters are deducted from the equation, which may falsely exaggerate the difference between the parties.
Ashcroft makes a small adjustment to reallocate some don’t knows, this boosts the Tory % and leaves the Labour % unchanged (table 4). Ashcroft weights on the basis of past voting at the previous election when there was a massive swing nationwide and in Thanet towards the Conservatives. At the 2010 election 48% voted Tory & 31% voted Labour, 5% UKIP, in South Thanet with a 66% turnout. The 2005 election in South Thanet was extremely close with a labour victory (matching the result across the country. Using these election results unreasonable skews the results towards the Conservatives.
In fact, South Thanet has matched the country in previous elections so there is every reason to believe it will be close this time too and we will probably come down to a very close result between the two main parties.
So who do you vote for to defeat UKIP in South Thanet & stop Farage becoming our MP?
I’m not advocating tactical voting. I will be voting Labour because our local candidate is by far the best and I would never consider voting for the current Tory candidate, not even to stop Farage. There are a huge number of people who want to stop Farage above all. My advice is vote for either Conservative or Labour in South Thanet, which ever you think is best.
It is impossible to say which party will get the most votes but it is highly probably that both Labour and Conservatives could gain more votes than Farage.
Farage could come third.
It seems the MP for South Thanet may be decided by those who really prefer some of the smaller parties but lend their vote to either the ex-UKIP Tory candidate or the excellent Labour candidate.
Many Greens that I have spoken too are going to vote Green. One person told me she is considering Tory, a fair few are going to vote labour. This is my anecdotal and unscientific experience but it is supported by the in depth questions in the polls. Previous Liberal voters are following a similar pattern. Why are they preferring the labour candidate? It is not just about how Labour & Conservatives are doing nationally but also because our Labour candidate, Will Scobie, is an impressive experienced knowledgeable politician whereas the Conservative man is totally different.
The Tory campaign has been that they are the only party that can stop Farage so a vote for Labour divides the anti-UKIP vote. This is incredible when the Tory candidate was a founding member and leader of UKIP for many years. And I have already shown how they misrepresented polls.
Many people who will vote labour would not consider voting for our local Tory candidate.
You can meet Will Scobie any day this week – Today he is in Sandwich.
A method for Greens and Labour supporters to work together vote effectively is here: http://voteswap.org/
PHOTO HERE SHOWS local Tory Misleading Leaflet…..