A Timely Reform by Ian Ridley

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Archive for the ‘Harborough’ Category

Constituency Brexit Polling and the US Elections

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

Best for Britain have published a couple of polls that use Multi-Level Regression to predict what is happening in individual constituencies.

They show that my local constituency of Harborough (Oadby and Wigston) has swing from 48%/52% in June 2016 to 53%/47% in favour of continuing our European Union membership.

This technique successfully modelled the 2016 US presidential result in 50 out of 51 states. It uses detailed demographic information about each state or constituency to predict polling information from a relatively small poll (just under 10,000 people across the US; a similar number for UK).

The method looks pretty reliable for looking at what is happening to opinion on Brexit in individual constituencies. There are several academic papers on the use of Multi Level Regression, including this one on the US elections from Public Opinion Quarterly.

Yougov used a similar technique to predict constituency polling in the UK 2017 General Election. Yougov were careful to point out that it was not a prediction of the final result but a reflection of opinion during the campaign. That said, they expected to be wrong in up to 40 of the 650 constituencies and in fact over-estimated the SNP and Labour seats by around 15-20 in total and under-estimated the Conservative by the same amount, although correctly predicted no overall majority.

Telegraph, Financial Times & VoteSmart say Vote Lib Dem in Harborough

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

1430418162More good news this week for Lib Dem Zuffar Haq‘s election campaign in Harborough, Oadby and Wigston. The Liberal Democrats are already ahead in winning local elections since 2010, with 33 councillors to the Tories’ 17. They have been further boosted by the¬† news that on 7th May, the Lib Dems will have more local election candidates than any other party in the constituency.

Zuffar’s campaign now has the backing of both The Telegraph and The Financial Times no less.¬† The Telegraph’s tactical voter guide says voters who want David Cameron “to lose the election” should back the Liberal Democrats in Harborough, Oadby and Wigston.

Harborough 2010b

The result last time in our area (Harborough)

Yesterday’s Financial Times said that in areas like ours where the Lib Dems are the main challenger, “we would vote tactically for them.

The paper also states,”The country would benefit from … Lib Dem moderation at Westminster,” and “Only Nick Clegg … has occupied the centre ground. He has argued persuasively that the Lib Dems contributed to sensible fiscal consolidation and tempered the wilder Tory impulses, particularly on Europe.
Finally, VoteSmart, an independent campaign with the aim, “to increase the success of left-of-centre parties” at the election also encourages people here to vote for Lib Dem Zuffar Haq as the best way to beat the Tories.

telegraph tactical voter

The Daily Telegraph backs the Lib Dems for voters in Harborough who don’t want a Tory majority

votesmart recommendation

The Independent VoteSmart campaign backs the local Lib Dem candidate

Labour out of the race in Harborough, Oadby & Wigston

Saturday, April 18th, 2015
Harborough, Oadby & Wigston Local Election Candidates 7th May 2015
Harborough, Oadby & Wigston Local Election Candidates 7th May 2015

If the numbers of local election candidates are anything to go by then my local Harborough constituency looks like being a race again between the Liberal Democrats and the Tories.

Labour missing from over half local elections

Labour start from a position of zero councillors in Harborough (which includes Oadby and Wigston). They only have candidates for under half of the 45 local council seats. Labour have finished 3rd here behind the Tories and Lib Dems at every general election since 1979. In 2010 they got just 12% of the vote in Harborough. Under first past the post, voting Labour here will simply hand another win to the Tories.

Record low number of Conservative candidates

The Conservatives  are also in poor shape locally. The Tories have sunk to a record low of just 15 candidates in Oadby and Wigston. At the last Borough elections in 2011 they were reduced to just 4 councillors. Since then in-fighting and splits have seen that number fall to just 2.
horses

A Two-Horse Race

Local Councillors in Harborough, Oadby & Wigston April 2015

Local Councillors in Harborough, Oadby & Wigston April 2015

So in Harborough the Liberal Democrats will once again be the best chance to unseat the Conservative MP. The Lib Dems have a strong local government base, holding 33 of the 53 council seats in the constituency.

In the local elections the Lib Dems have 38 candidates to the Tories 30. This is more than any other party and includes a full slate in Oadby and Wigston Borough and Market Harborough.

Few UKIP and Green candidates

Given their national media coverage, both UKIP and the Greens have surprisingly weak numbers of candidates locally.

Over the whole constituency there are just 4 UKIP and 7 Greens standing. With this showing, it is probable that neither can provide a realistic challenge in Harborough, Oadby and Wigston on the 7th of May.