The night of 7 May, 2015 is one that most pollsters would rather forget. Different surveys using different methodologies came to the collective conclusion that Britain was set for something close to a dead heat – an expectation that was shattered by the official exit poll and quickly swept away as results began to pile up. My own final national poll, completed the night before the election, also produced a tie between Labour and the Tories. Not only that, I had published polls in more than 160 individual constituencies – some of which proved to be bang on, and others of which, let’s be honest, didn’t.
“Values don’t mean piddly-doop – you need a leader”: my election focus groups, with four weeks to go
This week my general election focus groups took place in three seats Labour are defending from the Conservatives in the West Midlands: Wolverhampton South West, Birmingham Northfields and Dudley North. We spoke to people who had voted Labour in 2015 – most of whom had never voted anything but Labour in a national election – but who now said they were undecided what to do on 8 June.
Undecided previous Labour voters in the West Midlands discuss Labour’s campaign launch, tax pledges, why Brexit makes this election different, the Prime Ministerial appearance on The One Show, and the party leaders as cartoon characters.
Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC has had his latest “hero of the month” article published in Britain at War, the country’s best-selling military history monthly magazine.
The May issue of the magazine has a two-page write-up on the life and bravery of Captain Percy Herbert Cherry, who was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) for outstanding bravery during the Great War.
Cherry was born in Murradoc, Drysdale, Victoria, Australia, and brought up in Tasmania from the age of seven. In March 1915, shortly after the outbreak of the First World War, he enlisted into the Australian Imperial Force (AIF).
This article was published before the local elections at TIME.com.
“You’re joking?! Not another one? Oh for God’s sake I can’t, honestly, I can’t stand this.” So said a lady called Brenda, from the British city of Bristol, when told by a local journalist of Prime Minister Theresa May’s decision to call an unexpected general election for 8 June. “There’s too much politics going on at the moment,” she added.
Brenda is not alone in that assessment. After a referendum on Scottish independence in 2014, a general election in 2015, and another referendum on EU membership in 2016 — followed closely by the vicarious excitement of the Trump-Clinton showdown in the U.S. — many in Britain feel they have endured quite enough campaigning for the time being. (more…)
If you want to know what’s really happening in an election, ask the voters. As in 2015, and at the referendum, my polling team will conduct focus groups around the country to hear what real people make of the campaigns, parties, leaders and issues, and each week I will report what they have to say. And you don’t have to take my word for it – you can listen for yourself on the weekly Ashcroft Election Tourpodcast, the inaugural edition of which is also out today.
We begin our tour in London, in three seats that illustrate the complicated dynamics of this election: Bermondsey & Old Southwark, which the Liberal Democrats are aiming to take back from Labour; Twickenham, now a Tory seat which is under threat from the Lib Dems; and Brentford & Isleworth which, if Labour lose it to the Conservatives, will have changed hands three elections running.
Every week until the general election, the Lord Ashcroft Polls team will visit constituencies around Britain to find out what people from all walks of life think about the parties, the leaders and the issues as they approach their decision on 8 June.
This week we hear from undecided voters in Brentford & Isleworth, Bermondsey & Old Southwark, and Twickenham.
It may be a “ridiculous” way to judge success, as Donald Trump tweeted last week, but a President’s record after one hundred days in office has become an important benchmark, and Trump reaches it tomorrow. We came to Texas – widely seen as the quintessential red state, but one which he won by a much narrower margin than Mitt Romney managed four years earlier – to find out what the voters made of the show so far.
In my latest Ashcroft In America podcast, voters from all walks of life in Houston and San Antonio, Texas, assess President Trump’s first 100 days in the White House, and I interview Republican guru Karl Rove and former Obama cabinet secretary Julian Castro on the Trump era and the future.
As the government embarks on two years of grueling EU negotiations following the triggering of Article 50, I decided now was a good time for a detailed look at the political landscape – and what voters expect from the Brexit deal. Here’s what I found from my 10,000-sample poll and focus groups around the country.
With three years to go until a general election, rather than asking people how they would vote tomorrow we gave them a little more leeway, and invited them to give their likelihood of voting for each party on a 100-point scale.