Wednesday, April 29, 2015

How soft is Labour's vote?

In Blaydon constituency we have been canvassing people who last voted in 2010. When we started this exercise a few months ago, we found that the Lib Dems in this group were still likely to vote for us in the local elections but less likely to do so in the Parliamentary vote. This was expected. We have known here for decades that lots of people vote for us in the locals but are less likely to do so in general elections. The proof of that is that our local election vote always out performs our general vote. In the past couple of weeks however, we have picked up on some developing trends. Firstly, the proportion of people saying they are voting Lib Dem locally and nationally has increased. Secondly, the Labour vote has not firmed up. Instead, it is softening. A modest proportion of it is voting Lib Dem in the locals and reluctantly for Labour in the general. Some Labour general election vote is now starting to show up in the UKIP column.

I suspect some of those wavering between UKIP and Labour will revert back to Labour by the time polling day arrives (the group I am discussin includes no postal voters). The health warning about this canvass is that it is of people who have not voted for 5 years and therefore are disengaged from politics or rank local politics of lesser importance (or a combination of the 2).

Lots of old certainties have gone. Interesting times ahead.

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