Archive for the 'local to Thanet' Category

tactical voting in South Thanet to Stop Farage and UKIP

Labour could win & Farage could come 3rd in Thanet South. A Green supporter told me she was considering tactical voting in South Thanet because stopping Farage was more important than voting for her preferred party. The problem is WHO do you vote for Labour or Conservative in South Thanet, a 3-way marginal?

How Accurate are any of the Opinion Polls in South Thanet?

Based on samples of 1000 there is a 95% chance they are accurate to within plus or minus 3% if EVERYONE answers the questions & weighting assumptions are correctly applied so that the sample matches the general population (ie the Thanet electorate). HERE is an explanation.

There have been 8 polls in S Thanet since Nov 2013, in which 10-24% of people have refused to answer the key question – WHO are you most likely to vote for? – This is a big enough part of the samples to really effect the accuracy of the predictions as these people DO intend to vote. The data sheets are available online for anyone to see but it is not possible to rework them in a meaningful way.

ComRes – March 2015 – poll for South Thanet

Reported Tories are at 31, UKIP at 30 and Labour 29% this was shorthand for saying (with 3% error margin) the parties will probably get a local vote that is somewhere between:

  • Conservative 28 to 34%
  • UKIP 27 to 33%
  • Labour 26 to 32%

Clearly the parties are level and the final result could result in anyone of them as a winner. With 1% point between each, this could translate to about 500 votes between first and second place. About 10% of those who intend to vote did not specify who for. You could say the 10% of guarded and don’t knows will decide the MP for South Thanet. The poll also put those unlikely to vote at about 13%. Last time 34% didn’t vote in South Thanet.

Craig Mackinley’s Conservative party leaflets based on this poll claim it is a 2 horse race (see photo) Tories lead at 31%, UKIP are second at 30% and Labour are 3rd and can’t win. Thousands of misleading leaflets have been distributed across Thanet that did not state the true figures, which are that all parties are neck and neck according to this poll with less than 1,500 votes to fight over and it would be impossible to say with real confidence which party was really going to be third from this survey.

The Survation Poll 23 March 2015 Farage a leads at 39%, Tories 30%, 26% Labour

Unique in the polls Survation have produced this and a poll in February that put UKIP in a clear lead.  You have to question how they can come to such figures, out of line with national average and all the other polls that put the three parties within a few percent of each other (with no clear victory, remember 3% margin of error that grows bigger due to many respondents refusing to answer). This poll had almost a quarter not responding to the question – who will you vote for.

1. All of the polls that I have looked at show Ukip draw a significant proportion of their support from older people, from men, and from people who did not vote at the previous general election. The weighting used in the Survation Poll may favour these groups in comparison to the 2 other polls.

2. Cuts out about 24% of respondents (more than double that of ComRes), all of those who say they are undecided or refuse to answer. This dramatically boosts the differences between the three parties. This part of the methodology makes the Survation results weak to meaningless.  It is interesting that they find a high number of people support UKIP, it could be 25% or 30% of the electorate one really can’t deduce much more than that from this poll.

Survation have 11% unlikely to vote in the next election.

Lord Ashcroft’s South Thanet Poll based on field work 22-28 April 2015

Produced the only poll to give the Conservatives a clear lead over Labour (1 out of 8). With 6% refusing to answer, 7% don’t know who they will vote for and 6-9% will not vote. It is correct to take the “Won’t Vote” people out of the picture but again 13% of voters are deducted from the equation, which may falsely exaggerate the difference between the parties.

Ashcroft makes a small adjustment to reallocate some don’t knows, this boosts the Tory % and leaves the Labour % unchanged (table 4). Ashcroft weights on the basis of past voting at the previous election when there was a massive swing nationwide and in Thanet towards the Conservatives. At the 2010 election 48% voted Tory & 31% voted Labour, 5% UKIP, in South Thanet with a 66% turnout. The 2005 election in South Thanet was extremely close with a labour victory (matching the result across the country. Using these election results unreasonable skews the results towards the Conservatives.

In fact, South Thanet has matched the country in previous elections so there is every reason to believe it will be close this time too and we will probably come down to a very close result between the two main parties.

So who do you vote for to defeat UKIP in South Thanet & stop Farage becoming our MP?

I’m not advocating tactical voting. I will be voting Labour because our local candidate is by far the best and I would never consider voting for the current Tory candidate, not even to stop Farage. There are a huge number of people who want to stop Farage above all. My advice is vote for either Conservative or Labour in South Thanet, which ever you think is best.

It is impossible to say which party will get the most votes  but it is highly probably that both Labour and Conservatives could gain more votes than Farage.

Farage could come third.

It seems the MP for South Thanet may be decided by those who really prefer some of the smaller parties but lend their vote to either the ex-UKIP Tory candidate or the excellent Labour candidate.

Many Greens that I have spoken too are going to vote Green. One person told me she is considering Tory, a fair few are going to vote labour. This is my anecdotal and unscientific experience but it is supported by the in depth questions in the polls. Previous Liberal voters are following a similar pattern. Why are they preferring the labour candidate? It is not just about how Labour & Conservatives are doing nationally but also because our Labour candidate, Will Scobie, is an impressive experienced knowledgeable politician whereas the Conservative man is totally different.

The Tory campaign has been that they are the only party that can stop Farage so a vote for Labour divides the anti-UKIP vote. This is incredible when the Tory candidate was a founding member and leader of UKIP for many years. And I have already shown how they misrepresented polls.

Many people who will vote labour would not consider voting for our local Tory candidate.

You can meet Will Scobie any day this week – Today he is in Sandwich.

A method for Greens and Labour supporters to work together vote effectively is here: http://voteswap.org/

PHOTO HERE SHOWS local Tory Misleading Leaflet…..

two horse race

What time are Kent’s street lights turned off?

I live near the town centre. People who go out at night in Ramsgate, living near me, should be able to walk home but over the past few months they may be stumbling along dark streets as if in a rural hamlet or underdeveloped African town.
I don’t know what time the lights are going off, as I don’t get out much, but I was very shocked to discover they were already off when I arrived home last night at just 11.40 (from commiserating with residents of Rochester and Strood).
Maybe making the streets too dark and unsafe to walk is a way of boosting the local economy for taxis? Or simply stopping people from going out?

In general I think darkness is a good idea, I think there is way too much light pollution at night, so we can’t see the milky way and it costs loads of money and resources to provide that street lighting but we seem to have taken a step too far to plunge towns into darkness. I’m not sure they’ve got the headline correct on Kent Councils web page about SAFE and sensible lighting http://www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council/campaigns-and-events/safe-and-sensible-street-lighting

On a side NOTE: The last time I went to an small African city they had just got 24 hour electricity and street lights through the night. How shocked will they be if they make the journey to the UK to find we do not have street lighting at night!

Music Lessons – Guitar, piano or keyboard ~ Ramsgate Broadstairs

Thought I’d plug for some local businesses I know I can confidently recommend – today let me tell you about a music teacher who is very good (experienced) with all ages from young junior school children through to adults.  She teaches in schools, can tutor to exams or just for pleasure:

Hazel 01843 597451 or 07931 056393

Tomorrow I aim to offer you a washing machine/ dishwasher repair man….

Get out and talk to people (& listen too)

Thanet Speakers club meet twice a month in Ramsgate. It is exactly the sort of evening out that appeals to me.

Limiting the amount of small talk, totally structured, not dominated by one or two people (you know those over bearing types who have the false impression that they are the life of the party and it would all be too quiet and boring with out them, but really everyone is pleased when they don’t turn up – well none of that at TSC).

Everyone has a chance to get up and speak at some point (but you don’t have to). A few people will deliver entertaining, informative and interesting speeches that they have prepared in advance.

People arrive at about 7.40 so that the “meeting” can start at 8pm prompt and it all ends shortly after 10pm.

If that appeals to you to Thanet Speakers Club meet on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month in Ramsgate, it is free to attend the first few sessions, as a guest and the next meeting will have a “light bulb moment” theme next Thursday – 24th April at the Royal Temple Yatch Club, cliff street CT11 9HY.
here: http://www.thanetspeakers.org.uk/

The Proposal for Market Hall at Pavilion in Ramsgate

I have found a little more about the proposal.

This YouTube clip describing the proposal is almost 10 minutes long: it includes some lovely images so well worth watching.

Here is the facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RamsRoyalPav

I have no doubt that what is described is lovely, I would like it.  I am imagining something like Spitalfields Market in London – which actually took years to develop in to a busy success.

What I can not see is how it is financially viable – the film mentions the plan are inspired by Borough market.  Yes, in London, with 10 million people within easy travelling distance to it via public transport.  Last time I looked I think the population of Ramsgate was about 40,000, Thanet as a whole 120,000 (and that includes children) so I still wonder where the customers would come from.

As I said in my previous blog – there is also the issue of funds to develop the building and to maintain it.  Of course, I do know a plumber who can do his bit!

Whetherspoons or Market Stalls at Ramsgate’s Prime Seafront Pavilion Location?

I can’t believe what I am reading in the local newspaper.

A successful  34 yea old national chain might take over a derelict eyesore in a prime location.  Wetherspoons – the NO MUSIC venue! They might move in to Ramsgate, renovate and maintain the Pavilion to a standard that one would expect (nice toilets)  and they have a good record in using unique environments, not making every venue look the same.

Alternatively the venue could be turned into an indoor market.  I can’t quite see how the renovations would be funded, how it would be run, who the stall holders would be.  Would it be the sort of stall holders that are in Ramsgate’s town centre on a Friday – I don’t know who they are because I avoid Ramsgate town that day!  I wait for quieter times to stock up from the 99p shop.  Who would the customers be at the indoor market – profile, numbers, where have they come from? Where would they park and just how would a profit be generated.

QUESTION: can anyone point to a successful indoor market that they would hope to copy within the Pavilion space?  Exclude those in London because they have a catchment population of 10 million people and fantastic public transport.

There will be a VERY brief opportunity to investigate this vision, on Sunday 17th Nov 12-2.30 at Albion House.

There have been some comments suggesting that those seafront business down that road are the main opponents to Whetherspoons. Let me give my very personal view of things.  Every time Mr Tara Plumbing & I go out in the evening (which isn’t often – young children) we go to Miles Barr I can’t imagine that we would become regulars in a Weatherspoons.

When we have children with us we would not go to MB but we might go in to Pizza Express, Alexandra Ristorante, Pelosi, Pete’s Fish Factory or the Belgium Bar.  I also like the cabin next to the toilets for coffee, sorry don’t know the name.  And we frequently support the cafe on the beach for budget cups of tea and chips.  I still can’t imagine we would go in Wetherspoons.

Lots of people will go in Wetherspoons, people who want a different atmosphere, and much lower prices.  Ramsgate seafront is like a ghost town for many hours of the week – even on sunny weekends we are amazed by the lack of people on the streets.  When whole families go out they often can’t afford the prices of the venues along that stretch.  I think Wetherspoons cater largely for a different group of customers so the existing business should not feel threatened but may benefit from more passing trade and a busy atmosphere in that cul de sac.

I see the issue relating to my own business. There are just over 50,000 homes in Thanet and Tara Plumbing can’t plumb in all of them, so should there be other plumbing business?  Offering very different and perhaps cheaper services?  Yes, why not let everyone find the plumber that suits their needs.

Is any of this really relevant? Here is a statement issued by Thanet District Council that makes the legal position of the Pavilion quite clear: Rank own the lease, they are responsible for looking after the building.  If the lease passes to someone else they must have very deep pockets.

http://thanet.gov.uk/the-thanet-magazine/news-articles/2013/november/latest-update-on-pavilion,-ramsgate/

It would be good to hear of other viable plans but so far ONLY Wetherspoons have put a financially viable proposal forwards.

More Recycling Questions for Thanet District Council

The first collection day in Ramsgate under the new system seems to have gone well, fortunately not windy so our red bag is still here,  I did take the precaution of putting my address on it should it make a bid for freedom in the future.

As you know we burnt most of our rubbish on Bonfire Night (sorry neighbours), so this week our bins were fairly empty.

The brown food bin had hardly any thing in it – it has a huge capacity compared to what we might need, I really don’t see this as a problem for us (no my darling husband, we do not need a waste disposal unit – NO I do not want one for Christmas! Men and gadegets!).  We did not burn any food waste on Bonfire night, no burnt offering to the Gods in Percy Jackson style…. (I recommend the books not the films).

I have just fired off a load of questions to TDC, however.  Lets see what you think:

What are we going to do with all the waste paper & card at Christmas.  May not be everyone’s problem but we have 3 children we could possibly fill 10 of those red sacks with wrapping, packing and envelopes around 25th December.

Are we supposed to cut up and wash the tetrapacs? Does it matter if we don’t? – I can’t, I just can’t! In fact, I’m not going to buy any more orange juice.

Where are the tetrapacs going to be recycled – does it actually happen?  Only a few years ago there was no recycling plant in the UK because it was not economically viable to break down this complex packaging.  Things change, of course, but I would like to know….

There are more questions I didn’t ask.  Do you know?

I know some glass can be put in the blue bin and some can’t – but I do not think I will ever remember or get it right.  Today I think a wine bottle went, with the screw lid on.  I got that wrong.  What will happen?

Why can they take some glass but not others – I’m always breaking drinking glasses but they can’t recycle that – they say.  Can they take coffee jars?  What if it is carte noire instant coffee – let’s be specific now.

What if there is still some malt wheats tucked inside the flaps at the bottom of the breakfast cereal box?

What if there are metal staples in with the shredded paper?

What kind of strange brain do I have that makes me want to know the answer to questions like these – when i know the vast majority of people don’t think like this.  Help me!!!


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