TNS BMRB released a new poll on the Scottish independence referendum this morning. I expected several polls to appear in the wake of the publication of the white paper, letting us see if it had any effect on referendum voting intentions.
This alas is not one of them, as annoyingly it was carried out almost wholly before the white paper was published. For the record the figures show very little change from the previous TNS poll in October. The YES vote stands at 26%(+1), the NO vote at 42%(-1), 32% are undecided (for some reason TNS tend to show a much higher level of don’t knows compared to other Scottish referendum polls). Full tabs are here.
I’ve been a little bit run off my feet this week, so here’s a brief rundown on polls over the last three days.
In terms of voting intention, the Populus poll on Monday and the three daily YouGov/Sun polls so far this week are below, and show things still trundling along with a Labour lead of seven points or so (the interesting spike in UKIP scores in the YouGov polls at the end of last week looks like it was just a blip after all).
Populus (29th Nov-1st Dec) – CON 33%, LAB 40%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 9%
YouGov/Sun (1st-2nd Dec) – CON 32%, LAB 38%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 12%
YouGov/Sun (2nd-3rd Dec) – CON 32%, LAB 40%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 12%
YouGov/Sun (3rd-4th Dec) – CON 34%, LAB 40%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 10%
This morning two more of Alan Bown’s Survation constituency polls were published, this time of Great Grimsby and Dudley North. These two are both Labour held marginals with the Conservatives in close second place in 2010, presumably picked because they were also the two Lab-Con ultra-marginals where UKIP performed most strongly in 2010 (UKIP got 6.2% in Great Grimsby, 8.5% in Dudley North). Both seats found a swing of 9 percent from Con to Lab – so slightly larger than that suggested by Survation’s national polling in recent months.
There are two GB polls in the Sunday papers. Opinium’s fortnightly poll in the Observer has topline figures of CON 28%(nc), LAB 35%(-2), LDEM 8%(-1), UKIP 19%(+3). Meanwhile the weekly YouGov poll in the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 30%, LAB 38%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 15%.
Opinium normally produce higher levels of UKIP support than other companies, but even by their standards the UKIP score is the highest since July. For YouGov the UKIP score is the highest since June, and follows on from a 14% yesterday. As ever, once can never be completely sure about the reasons behind poll movements (nor certain they aren’t just blips) but it’s tempting to link these figures with the recent prominence of Eastern European immigration in the news. This is a useful reminder of how public opinion can be a lot more complicated than “popular policy => more support”. The YouGov poll finds that the policies David Cameron has suggested on EU immigration (putting residency requirements and time limiting benefits for EU migrants and, deporting EU migrants sleeping rough) are very popular – all received over 80% support. However the short-term impact in the polls does not appear to be more Conservative support, but to push the immigration issue up the agenda and, therefore, increase support for UKIP.
Then again, shutting up about it probably may not have been much better either – the media were shouting about Romanian and Bulgarian immigration anyway, and will likely do so even more as January approaches, and would also have spent their time demanding Cameron did something. It’s not really as if Cameron could had kept it off the agenda if he’d wanted to – not doing anything at all could have been even better for UKIP!
Following the publication of the white paper on Scottish Independence I’m expecting some new Scottish polls measuring if there has been any impact on referendum voting intention. In the event there only seems to be one in the Sunday papers – a Progressive Scottish Opinion poll in the Scottish Mail on Sunday. They have YES on 27%(nc), NO on 56%(-3), Don’t know on 17%(+3). Changes are from their previous poll in September. Progressive are not BPC members, so we have limited information on what they do, but suffice to say the poll does not show a massive change from prior to the white paper. I’m hoping there will be more Scottish polling in the next week or two on the back of the white paper, so we shall see if it paints a consistent picture.
I’m not in tonight to write up any new polling, but I’m expecting the fortnightly Opinium poll for the Observer and the usual weekly YouGov poll for the Sunday Times. Given the publication of the white paper in the week it’s possible we may see some fresh Scottish polling too, though I don’t actually know of any yet – we shall see.
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This morning’s daily YouGov poll for the Sun had topline voting intention figures of CON 33%, LAB 39%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 14%. Full tabs are here.
Meanwhile today’s twice-weekly Populus poll has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 38%, LDEM 12%, UKIP 7% – a low Labour lead compared to their recent averages. Tabs are here