Wednesday 1 April 2015

UKIP take shock lead in Hendon Constituency opinion poll

The Barnet Eye was awoken early this morning by a frenzied call from a polling company we've been working for as a consultant, regarding the general election in North West London. Bucking the general trend in London and to the complete surprise of the technical analyists at the company, UKIP have opened up a narrow 1% lead over Labour in the Hendon Constituency seat. Based on this poll, Hendon is currently the only seat in London where UKIP are polling at anything like levels which would see them return an MP. The company were desperate to understand the reasons on the ground for this sudden surge to UKIP.

According to their recent polling figures, of those who have said they will vote, the polling figures in Hendon are as follows:-

34% -  UKIP
33% -  Labour
19% - Conservative
9% -  Green
5% -  Lib Dem

As you can see this is a huge turnaround from the 2010 result, where UKIP scored a mere 2.1%

2010 Result:

Conservative: 19635 (42.3%)
Labour: 19529 (42.1%)
Lib Dem: 5734 (12.4%)
Green: 518 (1.1%)
UKIP: 958 (2.1%)
MAJORITY: 106 (0.2%)

As ever with such sudden swings in a specific locality, the pollsters are keen to know what factors could have caused such a massive swing. It is clear that there are two major news issues in the constituency that have massively damaged the Conservative core vote.

 The first of these is the decision by the local Tory Council to force Belmont Childrens Farm to shut, due to planning law violations. The owner of the farm, Mr Andrew Reid has launched a massive campaign to force the councils hand and produced a video stating that he had joined UKIP as a direct result of the threatened closure. This campaign has spectacularly mushroomed, following the story being shown on TV news. Whilst I personally had not anticipated such an effect, Mr Reid has built up a huge army of local supporters for his zoo in the charitable and business sectors.These are working tirelessly to keep the farm open and they see the election of a UKIP MP as their trump card.

Perhaps an even more bizarre story seems to have hit a major chord locally with the local UKIP candidate Jeremy Zeid calling for Israel to abduct Barack Obama. It seems that this call has gone down extremely well in Hendon, where there are large numbers of people from all sides of the community who have a strong interest in the middle east. Many blame Obama and his regime for the mess. Oddly,whilst many of these factions are diametrically opposed, they are united by a dislike of Mr Obama and his policies, furthermore they seem to have appreciated the plain speaking of Mr Zeid. As you can see from this infographic, the populace of Hendon has changed massively over the last few years

Current Hendon Demographics
 These factors combined with a general view that the Conservative candidate Matthew Offord is very second rate, has opened up a huge opportunity for UKIP.

Rather unfortunately for UKIP, the ensuing scandal around Mr Zeid's comments have resulted in him having to quit as candidate, which one presumes may undermine all of his hard work over the last few weeks. The poll was taken after the story of Mr Zeids comments were made public, but before his resignation was announces.

With their candidate gone, to be replaced by Raymond Samash, one can only speculate on how long this bounce will last. One suspects that changing your candidate more regularly than your underpants is not a winning strategy, and the bounce  is unlikely to last much beyond lunchtime today.

The other thing which is likely to disturb Labours Andrew Dismore is how the Greens seem to have hoovered up all of the LibDem vote and gobbled a sizeable chunk of Dismores support as well. What is clear from the poll is that a vote for the Greens is a vote to keep Matthew Offord in power. How the UKIP vote will carve up now they don't have a local candidate (the new bloke lives in Northampton) and their campaign is in meltdown is not clear, but what is clear is that Hendon will be a very interesting place to be on polling night. It all goes to show that there is nowt so strange as folks!

1 comment:

Bill Chapman said...

What a brilliant April Fool's joke!