Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Election Diary: Day Seven: The undecided voters of Thurrock

AS THE first week of campaigning proper draws to a close, it all looks, as they say, too close to call.

Whilst out and about on Saturday, we came across a lot of people who declared that they were "undecided".

To be honest, there hasn’t been a real opinion poll in Thurrock, that is to say, a controlled sample of 1,000 to 2,000 people, across the constituency, from the Garrison Estate to Aluric Close, from Ward Avenue to Salix Road.

All we are getting is snapshots and overviews.

Is the UKIP vote as strong as it looks. Lots of boards up in South Ockendon and Aveley. Yep, there were a few in West Thurrock and South Stifford in November but that didn’t stop Labour winning 50% of the vote there.

And, we still keep musing on the by-election in the Mark Hall ward in Harlow in February, where the UKIP vote collapsed by 50%.

We are also reminded of the Lib Dem poll ratings in the run up to the election in 2010, which had them at one stage at 27%.

We are not saying that Tim Aker won’t win, we just think there are a lot of variables and factors.

One of them is the undecideds. How many are out there? How many are similar to the voters in 1992, who were still undecided as they walked into the voting booth and then, simply decided that that John Major and Norman Lamont were a better bet than Neil Kinnock and John Smith.

How many, despite making UKIP noises or even having posters up, will think: "I need to vote for the next prime minister and that is choice between two."

We have met people who say that the Tories are half way through a job, so best let them "finish the job."

We just happen to think that the thousands of people in Thurrock, the ones we referred to the other day, as getting on with their lives, are an unpredictable lot.


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