We Expect A Comfortable Labour Hold In Inverclyde Tonight
There has been speculation that today’s Inverclyde By-election will be a close run affair with some newspapers speculating that result could go “to the wire” (The Guardian) and some talking-up the SNP’s chances of a win “three reasons the SNP might win” (PoliticsHome).
For full disclosure Survation were not commissioned to do either private or public polling for Inverclyde, however we have had many discussions with our contacts in the politically astute Scottish press, none of whom believe there is a chance of an SNP win, with many believing the SNP candidate selection may indicate a shared belief among the pool of SNP prospective MSP candidates performing well in May who may have been more logical choices to stand.
Labour in opposition care a lot about performing well in By-Elections
While tempting to quote when trying to signal Inverclyde will be close, we don’t believe that looking at large swings away from Labour in By-elections whilst in office such as Glasgow East 2008 (SNP +26.1%, Labour -19.0%) is particularly meaningful. From our experience this year in covering UK By-elections in Oldham East, Leicester South and Barnsley Central, Labour’s G.O.T.V. operation in opposition has been slick – from postal vote organisation to strategic, methodical doorstep campaigning. Further, the pool of potential Labour voters in the Westminster context in Inverclyde is far far larger than the other parties.
General election 2010 result: Inverclyde
David Cairns (Labour) 20,933 votes (56.0%)
Innes Nelson (SNP) 6,577 votes (17.5%)
Simon Hutton (Liberal Democrat) 5,007 votes (13.3%)
David Wilson (Conservative) 4,502 votes (12%)
Peter Campbell (Ukip) 433 votes (1.2%)
Majority: 14,416 (38.4%)
Turnout: 37,512 (63.4%)
Labour appearing calm
Our contacts within Labour (who will by now have extensive phonebanking data) have indicated that in contrast to the embarrassing Holyrood elections and for example during the Oldham East By-election there has been no 3 line whip for Labour activists to doorstep in Inverclyde, even those from neighbouring Scottish constituencies.
In summary, whilst we expect some improvement in the SNP’s support given their recent electoral fortunes and also some negative effect from the tragic absence of the universally popular David Cairns, Inverclyde looks to us like a comfortable Labour hold.
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