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The truths they don't want you to read....

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Voting intentions

The wholly unscientific polls on this blog are, I feel, fairly accurate and representative, except that they understate the floating voters.

I've had lots of chats with people in all parties about their feelings and impressions of the campaign so far, and I am going to try and distill these conversations into an overall summary of the position.

The LibDems are doing very well, and not just as a result of the national picture. Murdo Murray is building a substantial vote, but quietly and through personal contact.

I'm going to forecast that they both get 10-15% of the vote, but it is where that vote is coming from that is particularly interesting.

Turnout looks likely to be slightly down, but not as much as I feared, as I think that many people are determined to vote, but just don't know who they are going to vote for.

The 2-horse race is neck-and-neck, and I am not going to call it at the moment as the floating voters will be the ones to decide who gets the job.

Labour hit a plateau at the bottom of their electoral support about a year ago and their core vote seems to be holding up pretty well. They are not so much winning votes as providing a home for those who won't vote for anyone else, and for returning Labour voters.

The SNP are benefiting and suffering from being the incumbents. They fear a low turnout, as a lot of their vote at the last election was against the then sitting MP, and voter apathy levels are very high. The are gaining from not being Labour, and being able to snipe from the sidelines, but this also highlights some weaknesses in their campaigning philosophy.

So back to the other runners in this race.

Murdo Murray is building on the Christian Party vote at the last election, and is going to do better, pulling votes from the SNP and Labour. More from the SNP in an anti-Sunday ferry backlash, and enough of a change to eat into the majority.

The LibDems seems to be gaining from those who voted SNP in 2005 having voted Labour in 2001, and those who are unhappy with the stance of both these parties for one reason or another.

I haven't mentioned the Tories. But then they don't seem to have a campaign and will be lucky to poll 500 votes as their voters are literally dying off.

To sum it all up: will the advantages of incumbency outweigh the apathy of many of those who votes SNP in 2005? Is it about substance in electoral communications, or simple party allegiance? The answers to these questions will all be answered when the undecided decide, and I feel that for many that decision won't be made until the final few days.

It is all to play for, but I sense that Labour might just be very, very slightly ahead and any deficit is being clawed back day by day.

Sadly, however, it is still a dull and boring campaign.


Anonymous said...

A genuine non-political enquiry:

The SNP have got £50,000 to raise a court action against the leaders' TV debate. A decision will have to be made by the court presumably by tomorrow or at latest early Thursday.

Where does the £50,000 go on a court action lasting a couple of days? Lawyers? Court fees?

Anonymous said...

I've just one vote (unfortunately) but am voting Lib Dem for the first time in my life, after previously voting either SNP or Labour in every election.

Even coming from a low base, I think Jean has a chance here. There's plenty of folk sick of the SNP-Lab ding-dong local politics. With rubbish broadband, schooling in disarray, and a lack of business support, hasn't got us very far.

So giving the Lib Dems a chance. Maybe they'll do no good, but I feel they can't do worse than Labour and the SNP to date, who spend all their energies on attacking each other rather than helping out these islands.

Anonymous said...

Seems to be various Labour supporters here who think their man will run away with it.

However, the bookmaker odds are somewhat different - SNP are clear favourite, and you can get a decent 9/2 on Labour.

Which is odd.

In other words; put £200 on Labour to win, and if they do get £1,100 back.

Any takers?

Anonymous said...

Agree with 12.03, here is just the same as nationally two tired old parties taking our votes for granted.
Jean Davis has been doing a good job and from what I can see talking sense, lets give her a chance, cant be any worse than the other two

Anonymous said...

Think even if they win, the SNP should hold an enquiry. Their candidate should have filled a seat for life. His performance as an MP has put all that at risk. I note he's cackling about geese on the Hebrides News website today.

That's understandable. He's truly the politician who killed the goose that could have laid the golden egg.

Anonymous said...

I'm in total agreement with 12.03. For the first time ever, that's quite a few elections, I'll be voting for the Lib Dems.
I'm so tired of the tit for tat arguments between the Labour and SNP parties and their supporters.
I wanted to know what the Labour and SNP parties are offering in terms of policies, but all I hear is "it's their fault not ours" or "they did it" or "I didn't do it"

Anonymous said...

Re - the Lib Dem minded ones here.

Do you seriously think they'll be any different from the others here if they get into power? No. They'll bicker and squabble just like the rest of them, even among themselves.(Nick Clegg and Vince Cable aren't exactly always in agreement.) For at the end of the day, that is the nature of politics.

And it's much healthier than the alternative. The only time men are in unanimous agreement is when they're lying in the graveyard.

Anonymous said...

Trident and its associated costs of £97,000,000,000 has to be the deciding factor in a bankrupt UK. Institute of Fiscal Studies today warns that the three main parties at Westminster are NOT BEING HONEST with the electorate in terms of the funding crises lurking around the corner after 6th May.
Simple. We cannot afford TRIDENT, we cannot afford WARS (illegal) in Iraq and Afghanistan. If public services are not to be decimated, then TRIDENT has to be abandoned. Only one party has this commitment in its Manifesto and this is the SNP.
The SNP can hold significant influence in a "hung" Westminster. Let's vote to HANG THEM ALL! An Independent Scotland will then be an inevitable consequence of a political shambles at Westminster. Bring it on!

Anonymous said...

- I voted for Angus Macneil in the last election because I wanted change.
- ABM got a huge vote from the anti-windfarm campaign last time but what has he or his party done to stop the windfarms in Lewis?
- I think that DJ Macsween would be good for the Islands and puts the Islands before party politics but I hate the thought of voting Labour.
- DJ Macsween would / still could get my vote if I thought that he cared about it but I haven't seen him. Where is he? I expected him to be knocking on every door but he seems to have gone underground.
- Lib Dem, is a viable option in England but really, even as sensible as Jean Davis sounds, does she really stand a chance of being elected?? Isn't this just a wasted vote?
- I have to vote, I am a woman and should not waste the rights that others suffered for.

Yours, floating voter.......

disponded said...

To 9.04. The only wasted vote is the one that is not cast.
Just because someone votes for a candidate that you do not recognize does not make it a wasted one.

Anonymous said...

DJ Macsween and his puppet Mrs McCormack NO WAY. Last year they were so far apart on Sunday ferries- now they are in bed with each other. Stick with the devil you know.

Anonymous said...

why would the anti Sunday ferry backlash affect only the SNP? DJ MacSween is all for the Sunday ferry

Anonymous said...

your poll does not reflect that the 'undecided' will choose, very few seem to admit that they are undecided. However it does reflect that there is a changing patern, It is interesting that murrays vote has changed so much.
Just listened to the radio Scotland big debate.... I think I'll have to vote tacticaly - which as it is the westmister elections means lib dem or, dare I say it snp. I think brown with the lib dems could work. But on his own with a majority..... Slightly scary.
A hung parliment will work better than people think, why? Because any party that has got that far will be shit scared to go back to the poles in case they end up in a worse position so they will find common ground.

Anonymous said...

I have never voted Conservative and traditionally voted Labour with the "odd" SNP vote and for the Greens.

This time I cannot vote Labour, nor SNP. The reasons are

a) DJ MacSween
b) AB MacNeill

DJ has no substance, is a clear opportunist (like them all) and has had a chequered career. He has not delivered for young people despite being in a job where he should have. Yes we have a nice building at Bayhead but what has been achieved in real terms for the young people of the Foyer?

MacNeill has achived nothing for the Western Isles in his term.

I can't vote for the Church candidate as that represents half the problems of these Isles.

Whilst the Torie candidate would launch into the largest job creation scheme ever in the Isles, with a harbour creation scheme and possibly a canal linking it to either coast, I cannot vote for a Tory. (It would be nice to sail along it on a Sunday however)

Although she won't win here, I'm left with the Lib Dems as I have always voted.

Anonymous said...

I've voted for longer than I can remember but this is the first time that there has ever been a real chance of getting PR throughout the UK, thats why I'm voting Lib?dem this time as every vote cast will count towards it,

As to the SNP policy on Trident,how on earth can they choose to have a UK policy on one issue, if there was independance there would be no MOD jobs in Scotland, the Uist range would shut, Alex Salmaond follows a long line of Scottish "freedom fighters" Robert the Bruce, Bonnie Prince Charlie who used and abused the populace of Scotland to satisfy their own ego's

Anonymous said...

really good (unanswered) question at the start of this thread. Salmond is being represented in the Court of Session by an SNP activist, Mungo Bovey, who presumably isn't charging for his role in the stunt. So where does the 50 grand go?

Anonymous said...

An anti Sunday ferry backlash???

I think most will admit that that issue was blown totally out of proportion. I feel there is next to no backlash, quite the opposite, it is rammed almost full every Sunday.

Anonymous said...

Given all the party political problems recently (expenses, cash for honours etc), I'm voting for the Independent candidate Murdo Murray who is not as has been said "the church candidate". Yes, he is a Christian (but then so are all the other candidates, apparently.....) but rather an independent who will act for the interests of the Island and not for any given party or other agenda. Also, I like the ideas he has outlined in his website.

Anonymous said...

I have only ever voted for the Liberal Democrats, and this election will be no different.

Hang parliament with a hung parliament, get a Lib Dem coalition, then get electoral reform!.

Anonymous said...

It is utter nonsense to suggest that DJ Macsween has not achieved anything for the young people of these islands as many of them would happily testify. There are, however, a core of young people whose problems would challenge the collective expertise of many and I guess its the few negative outcomes 6.04 is referring to. The same brush to castigate the church but not even one of the 'problems' is listed. Is the writer really so naive as to believe that a community which doesn't worship God is healthier and more problem free than one which does? DJ Macsween has an enviable track record in fighting for the disadvantaged of these islands and he deserves to be elected as the next MP for the Western Isles.

Unknown said...

Voting floaters go Lava-Tory...