Labour are biggest losers from UKIP’s surge

Look how the votes have changed this year compared to last (using the BBC’s national equivalent vote share projections, i.e. this is comparing like with like as it adjusts for the different range of seats up for election):

Local elections graph - Labour are biggest losers


  • There’s a good follow up piece by John Rentoul over on the Independent website.
  • I thought the text in brackets at the top of this post was pretty clear… but judging by some of the reactions to this post along the lines of ‘OMG! That can’t possibly be true! You’re not comparing like with like!’, it’s worth emphasising the point again – these figures are about what has happened to the levels of support for parties in 2013 compared with 2012. The figures take into account the different range of wards up for election last year and this as they are national equivalent vote share calculations. This post on the LSE site has a good introduction to what those calculations are and what they mean.

7 responses to “Labour are biggest losers from UKIP’s surge”

  1. The British electorate has, according to labour, become more committed to a progressive leftwing agenda, hence edmiliband has moved labour to a leftwing position that equals the one held by michaelfoot and kinnoch. 
    So where is the evidence of the electorate’s leftwing shift in yesterday’s council elections and the south shields by-election?

    • nellnewman I see no evidence that Miliband has moved Labour to a Foot/Kinnoch position. He is wise, as that would be political suicide.

      • John Symons nellnewman If that is where Len McCluskey wants Labour to go then It will happen. He who pays the piper, etc…

      • Jagman84 @nellnewman Labour has ignored the unions since the beginning of New Labour so why should they stop ignoring them now? Len McCluskey may be intelligent enough to prefer a small or entirely imagined influence on a surviving Labour party than a large influence on a party that destroys itself by adopting policies to the left of most of the electorate.

  2. Yet the BBC have been telling us that UKIP have been taking 75% of their seats from Tories rather than labour, without mentioning that Tories had held 80% of the seats voting.

  3. Mr Pack graciously <a href=”http://redfellow.wordpress.com/2013/05/03/any-hope-of-realities-here/#comment-3586″>commented on my trivial little blog</a>, to enlighten me on what he feels this is all about.
    For the record, then:
    I agree with Mr Pack that my original remark was misconceived: it assumed that real data was involved. In truth it involves, as he recognises above, unrealsyntheses —
    “ie what the vote shares would have been for each party if each ward has been up for election this year and fought by them – which therefore adjusts for the variations in which wards are up in any particular year”.
    I’m also leery about “would have beens” and pseudo-statistical evaluation of apples versus oranges. I believe it is provable that the British soldiers at Waterloo had an inch or two of average height above those at the Somme. I wouldn’t suggest that contributed to the comparable outcomes of those events.
    Mr Pack, on his blog, now invites us to share http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2013/05/04/labour-lost-more-votes-than-tories-as-ukip-surged/ for Mr Pack’s remarkable analysis. To tell the truth, Rentoul’s explication of the “figures” suggests they are even more synthetic that Pack allows:
    “The Projected National Share figures are hard to understand: they extrapolate from places that voted to estimate how the whole of Great Britain might have voted if the local elections had been held everywhere, and the main parties had stood candidates in every seat.”
    So, we now have a “projection”, a “might” and two “if” concessions. Four levels of manipulation.
    A real-world comparison of May 2013 with May 2012 would involve just four County Council Wards which were contested on both occasions: Kendal Strickland and Fell (Cumbria CC), Meriden Tudor (Herts CC), Bixley (Suffolk CC), and Worplesdon (Surrey CC). Even then one of those —Worplesdon — is not a direct comparison, because there was no UKIP participation in 2012. However in Worplesdon, where UKIP ran second in 2013, it was Con minus about 3%, Labour minus about 5% and Lib Dems minus nigh on 16%.
    But I’m not drawing nationwide conclusions from that.

    • mredfellow It does not help anyone to be defeatist and effectively say that if something is difficult or subject to uncertainty it should not be done. As an oil and gas project economist I have spent my whole working life making the best of inadequate data and I appreciate it when someone does their best with inadequate data in the political arena.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments and data you submit with them will be handled in line with the privacy and moderation policies.