Here's what they had to say, it makes interesting reading:
Hi, I have been campaigning in Oldham for the last 2 weeks and thought I'd give you an update on how things are going. I'd just like to say that all my observations are one the basis of putting aside assumptions and are fair ones. They are based solely on things I have myself heard on the doorstep.
First off. There are 11 wards and 2 of them (coldhurst and medlock) are demographically heavily populated by south east Asians. This demographic went 65% labour at the election and so whilst Ukip have engaged there, it is not where their emphasis will be.
I have been knocking on the doorsteps around Chaddeston South, the heavily leaning white working class Royton North, and the 3 way battle of the Crompton Ward.
- all 3 are labour areas in the past but there was only a near parity of labour support for this by election. worryingly, a significant minority were very unsure as to whether they could be bothered coming out next Thursday.
- The reaction Ukip have had is generally a good one. Ukip is not 'detested' within these wards even by those who say they'd never vote for them.
- Jeremy Corbyn is not popular in these wards even amongst those saying they'll vote Labour. What should concern Labour is that in Royton South (heavy labour), I have heard nothing positive over the last two weeks. The difference being that last week, there was a lot of neutrality whereas this week it was wholly negative.
- one of the striking things I regularly heard was the number of these people who have always voted labour deciding to not vote. Many of these people were not prepared to lend Ukip their vote but were certain of their abstention.
- I spoke to nobody over the last.2 weeks who voted Ukip at the GE who had since decided to change their mind or were less likely to vote at all. They were all certain to vote and stick with Ukip.
- Around half of those certain to vote Ukip in Chaddeston and Crompton were not overly positive about Farage. They thought he was posh and didn't understand their lives but was at least prepared to 'say what needed saying' and this garnered at least a modicum of respect.
- in Royton South, he was unpopular and seen as 'all the same' but the party was more popular and 'in touch with their lives. There's life after Farage, in my opinion.
RESULTS: (I do not claim that it is a representative sample).
Doors knocked: 120
Labour vote: 55
Certainty (marks out of 10) 60%
conclusion labour have huge problems with their working class vote from what I have seen. These results were essentially reflected across the board by the 100 other campaigners over the last 2 weeks. Ukip is more popular than Farage though very few actively dislike him. But Corbyn has completely turned off his vote.
Ukip are still going to struggle because near 30% (south east Asian electorate) actively dislike Ukip And are certain to vote Labour if they come out to vote. UKIP will win comfortably in Royston South, chatteston and Crompton. The question really is, whether the south east Asian vote turns out. If they do and Ukip fail to turn 30-40% of the Tories, Ukip won't gain more than 35% and will lose. It all depends on the turnout, but in my honest opinion, at 3/1 it represents a ridiculous value for money as I'd put them both at evens. UKIP can win here, they are getting a very warm welcome and Corbyn is destroying his core vote.