Opinion Polls

The twitterati appears to be working itself up in a frenzy about the fact that Ukip have achieved a rating of 14% in an opinion poll conducted by ComRes, one to be published tomorrow in the Independent on Sunday and the Sunday Mirror.

Why?

Consider:

  1. The next general election is almost two years ahead and was it not Harold Wilson who said that a week is a long time in politics?
  2. Were that % rating to be replicated in the 2015 general election, it would guarantee a Labour Government. Is that what the people and Ukip want?
  3. So, to prevent a government that the majority of people don’t want, the majority of the people would be forced, by political pressure and ‘pr’, to vote for a government they also don’t want.
  4. Therefore, for Ukip to have any effect – and to prevent a Labour government – then they would have to poll in the region, I would suggest, at least double that they have currently achieved in the Independent on Sunday/Sunday Mirror poll.
  5. Were David Cameron, who is after all a politician and whose main aim is to retain power, to perform a volte-face (for which he is undoubtedly qualified in view of his past performance) and to confirm that he would invoke Article 50 of the TEU and by doing that, negotiate a ‘free-trade’ agreement with the EU, one has to ask whether Ukip would continue to poll at 14% – or even achieve the figure of 28% that I suggested in order to prevent the formation of a Labour government?
  6. Point 5 is highly unlikely I know – but what if?

All the above raises further questions:

  1. Just what is the use of opinion polls, other than to allow politicians to ‘change tack’ and thus ensure their hold on what is no more than dictatorial power?
  2. If those responding to the questions of opinion pollsters have no real understanding of the underlying reasons behind the questions being asked, of what use are their responses?
  3. Because of point 2, is not the electorate being deliberately, cleverly and cynically led into an area whereby ‘rule of the mob’ is being choreographed by opinion polling companies who, the cynic in me suggests, could well be ‘hand-in-glove’ with the politicians.
  4. In respect of point 3, the difference twixt opinion polling companies and the media, is?

Can we ‘get a life’ here people, because the above suggests that the foregoing demonstrates that what we now have is no way to ‘run’ a country and also be a democracy.

Afterthought: Were voting compulsory, then I would be forced to vote for Ukip – but voting for the ‘best of a bad bunch’ is not the way to achieve a democracy that ‘works to people’s advantage‘, is it?


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24 Responses

  1. kenomeat says:

    Two points here David:
    UKIP only polled around 3% at the last GE in 2010 and appear to be doubling their support every year. On this basis maybe 28% is achievable in 2015.
    A 14% polling is already putting pressure on several Tory cabinet ministers to toughen their position regarding the EU. A strong UKIP must surely influence the policies of whichever government is in office.

    • david says:

      A strong Ukip performance in the polls may well influence all parties to amend their stances but you appear to miss the point that were Cameron to announce invoking of Art 50 and that it was his intention to negotiate a trade only agreement how would Ukip respond – and could they as their ground would have been cut from beneath them. Plus the protest votes they have picked up would promptly revert to their natural homes.

      • cosmic says:

        A promise of what he would do after the next GE would be worth nothing and not be taken seriously. He’s blotted his copy book. They’ll probably lose the election anyway.

        Can he get the support to exit via Art 50 or even hold a referendum in the present parliament? Cameron isn’t in the position pf being a dictator, he has some sway, but he can’t do as he likes.

        I suggest he can’t shoot UKIP’s fox so easily.

        Together with which, the Tories don’t want to leave the EU, so we see them dragging their feet and engaging in silly talk about renegotiation. Art 50 = exit, it could be derailed, but Art 50 = exit.

        UKIP is mainly about the EU, but they also address a lot of other things such as immigration and energy policy which the Westminster parties are in a virtual conspiracy to inflict but not talk about.

  2. Dave_G says:

    No one wants to guarantee a Labour government nor would anyone want a Conservative one. Either way, regardless of the UKIP vote, it would seem we’re headed for another Labour session. Without a wholesale change in UK politics we have the enthralling prospect of many more years of the same old sh1t being churned out and flung at us.

  3. Boudicca says:

    UKIP is doing a wonderful job of driving the political agenda in the direction it wants thought, isn’t it.

    Our membership of the EU and the real prospect of a Referendum is now a subject matter for debate in Westminster and across the mainstream media. The British people EXPECT one.

    Labour’s record on immigration (and the CONs failings) have been exposed. Immigration is now a mainstream issue being debated without cries of ‘racist’ as soon as anything negative is said.

    Cameron can’t win with UKIP taking even 10% of the vote – let alone 14% or higher – and the party elite know that. They cannot rely on ‘vote UKIP, get Labour’ because to all intents and purposes, Cameron is running a Blairite NuLabour Government. When the policies are identical, the fear of switching from one out of touch metroxsexual to another out of touch metrosexual is considerably lessened.

    In the absence of any sign of real Democracy, UKIP is undoubtedly the best of the bunch and a vote for them will help shake the foundations of the Westminster/EU democratised dictatorship currently lording it over us.

    • Ian E says:

      Furthermore, if Labour get in because of UKIP, it is hard to see the CON party failing to get the message.

      Yes, I don’t trust Farage – but then I don’t trust any politician (even the relatively plausible Owen Patterson).

    • david says:

      While your comment is valid, I can but pose the question I put to kennomeat.

  4. Peter Whale says:

    I do not like Farage but I detest Labour for what they have done to the economy and the country and I despise Cameron and the Conservative party for being totally out of touch and completely ineffectual. So UKIP it is.

  5. wg says:

    Yep, Boudicca is right here, UKIP or the “sod them all” choice are breaking up the cosy LibLabCon relationship and forcing the EU and immigration onto the agenda – but there are points to make here David.

    Opinion polls are not always answered in an honest manner – whenever I have been asked for my opinion I tell them that I am wholly supportive of Labour even though I wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole now. We know that polling organisations allow for this -/+%

    It is only the political bubble that takes any notice of polls.

    The second point is that the assumption is that voters will only influence the Conservative party – it has become abundantly clear that UKIP have been harvesting votes from traditional Labour voters and that vote section is growing.

    I hasten to add, that as a skilled tradesman, I would rather a Conservative government was returned – I personally never want to see another Labour government.

    Whether we like Farage or not, whether we are convinced of his ability to lead a political party or not, he has virtually dragged voters out of their apathy and influenced these polls – I just wish UKIP would have a more diplomatic figurehead with a good strategic team around him/her and leave Farage to do the crowd pulling.

    Just one more thing, off-track I know, but is it possible to put a direct link to put your posts on twitter – I use the copy and paste method at present.

    • david says:

      To the bulk of what you write please see my earlier response.

      Re your last sentence – all posts are announced on Twitter at the time they appear.

  6. Clive says:

    Unfortunately the mantra that a vote for UKIP means a vote for a Labour Government is probably true. UKIP undoubtedly have their faults, but I prefer their policies (yes, they have more than one) to any of the mainstream parties. I agree that another Labour Government would be disastrous, but have the ConLib government shown they are any better ? I believe if any of the 3 main parties get an electoral mandate at the next election does it really matter which one ? seeing as all 3 are (to me) as bad as each other and all 3 would ‘govern’ for their own benefit not ours – that MIGHT be true of UKIP as well of course, but they are a party without a track record as yet. For once in my life I will be forced to vote FOR a party, instead of voting AGAINST those who are out to destroy me and mine. I dont see it as a wasted vote as so many will say. Voting UKIP is the ONLY chance we have of getting change in this country. The way I see it I no longer have a choice.

    • david says:

      Your comment is of course valid and true, but if the scenario I posed to kennomeat happens (unlikely I know but…..) how many will then continue to vote for Ukip. Here we come back to an old problem I have with the party at present and that is their strategy and promotion of their aims. ow often have they actually spoken in detail about how any of the policies would work?

  7. cosmic says:

    Voting to keep the other lot out only works if you can see a difference.

    In this case it’s a choice between the gang which caused the problems and the gang which can’t fix the problems, and both gangs live in a bubble, are concerned with a mythical centre ground and are involved in an agreement not to address certain issues such as mass-immigration, a realistic energy policy, or tackle questions only of interest in the bubble, such as gay marriage. Whichever set of caretakers we elect, there’s a huge permanent administrative establishment with its own agenda (mainly to enlarge itself) which isn’t touched.

    We are faced with doing something via the electoral system, because those are the cards we have been dealt, and the only sane choice is UKIP. UKIP are a political party and have all the problems of a political party. Yes, it’s like a choice between facing a firing squad armed with Lee Enfields (Tories) or a firing squad armed with Mosin-Nagents (Labour), or making a run for it and probably being shot in the back (UKIP).

    There’s a school of thought that says a Miliband government would gleefully continue the process of wrecking the country and make it obvious, and that’s really the only way to achieve a fundamental change.

    Also I doubt whether Cameron’s fundamental aim is for the Tories to retain power, that’s just a nice to have, it’s for the current set up to remain, so he’s playing his part in the pantomime and attempting to maintain interest in it.

    • david says:

      Your comment too is perfectly valid and I can but come back to my response to kennomeat and latterly to Clive.

  8. I think a lot will depend on the outcome of the European Parliament election which comes first.
    If UKIP does well there, more people will start to believe that it has substantial support and it will encourage them to support UKIP in the General Election in the belief that they have a real chance.
    Of course, it all depends on what Cameron does, Farrage has made it clear he doesn’t trust a Cameron promise even written in blood, and Cameron still insists that UKIP members are racist fruitcakes, hardly a basis for constructive discussions.
    Either way, at my age it makes very little difference who is in power, but it does to my children, both of whom with their husbands are looking at jobs abroad as they have little faith in the future of this country.

    • david says:

      Unfortunately that which you pose did not happen in 2010 did it when the last EU elections were held – which undoubtedly was due to Ukip’s lack of strategy etc etc.

  9. Ian E says:

    Voting for the ‘best of a bad bunch’ may not lead us to the oft-promised land, but, until the HArriers gain massive traction and offer us a better route, this (or spoiling our votes/staying at home) seems to be better than nothing!

    • david says:

      Fair comment – but will Ukip’s apparent support remain or continue to grow? See earlier responses above.

      • Ian E says:

        In reply to your question – I don’t know of course. However, the political situation at present reminds me of s short sci-fi story entitled ‘I have no mouth and I must scream’: all escape routes seem blocked!

  10. Robin says:

    It`s a question of how to smash the three main political parties . Does voting UKIP (and others ) help or hinder that blissfull outcome .?

    • david says:

      You tell me? If sufficient numbers (and they will need to be in the region of the % figure I suggested) do vote Ukip then they at least would ensure a hung parliament again and a real fly in the ointment where the Lib/Lab/Con policy sameness is concerned.

  11. John says:

    Half way through a parliament polls are useless. Irrespective of who “gets in” (last time nobody “got in”, hence two nobodies teamed-up to defeat the will of the electorate)
    The next election looks like being a repeat, with ukip support being drawn mainly from libdem voters, who probably feel peed that they voted, effectively, for a conservative government, with smattering of supporters from each of the two larger parties.
    The inhabitant of the woodpile would be Scottish independence…..if achieved before 2015 it would completely change the game.
    Large voting change in favour of ukip would only add another mainstream political party, albeit a small one. No game-changer from that, just a game-extender. Mr Farage makes a good speaker in the euro-doss-house, but if you look at the others there many remove their earpieces when he speaks, the ones who don’t just laugh at him.
    The EU is unchangeable and none of the main parties care about that, they even seem to like it.

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