Sunday Polls

There are four new polls in the Sunday papers, two national polls, one of marginal seats and one London poll which has a separate thread here.

The first is a a MORI poll due in the Observer which leaked out on Friday, shows a 9 point Tory lead, and has already been covered here. The second is a new ICM poll in the Sunday Telegraph which has topline figures, with changes from the last ICM poll, of CON 39%(nc), LAB 29%(-5), LDEM 20%(+1).

This poll suggests that the last ICM poll which showed a sudden narrowing of the Tory lead to only 5 points was indeed a rogue poll – either that or Labour staged a recovery no one spotted, but then immediately collapsed by 5 points: possible, but it seems to be more likely that the last ICM poll was just one of those outlying polls that all pollsters cannot help but produce from time to time.

A third poll for the News of the World is again by ICM, but this time concentrating on marginal seats. The poll was conducted in the 145 seats where the Tories came closest to beating Labour in 2005 (implying they are using the old boundaries, though in most cases these do tend to be the same seats – though on the other hand the list of Labour marginals that would fall on the News of the World website appears to be drawn from my list here) and show a swing to the Conservatives of 9 percent in these marginal seats. The ICM poll in the Sunday Telegraph, which one assumes was done at roughly the same time, shows a swing of about 6 1/2 percent, so the Conservatives are doing significantly better in CON/LAB marginal seats. The News of the World article suggests the Tory advance is similar in northern marginals as in southern ones.

33 Responses to “Sunday Polls”

  1. From the article, when remarking on the party affilation of 65+ year old voters.

    ‘The OAPs are the most likely to turn out at the next election and have traditionally been Labour voters.’


  2. The media are having a field day on the news channels tonight – highlighting the new POLLS as disasterous for Labour – and i see one sunday paper is even using headlines like “Labour will impose petrol rationing” – even labour supporters of dubious reputation are turning their back on Labour like Lord Levy – what’s the expression – “the rats are deserting the sinking ship” .

    It looks like YouGov are showing who really does have the better grasp of current voting intentions – while the others follow behind . ICM must be feeling a bit foolish.

    Interesting survey by i think it was Sky News the other day chatting to Labour voters in a strong Labour seat – some had apparently always voted Labour – their comments must have cut like a knife to any Labour MP’s watching – all interviewed said that they were actually considering not voting or changing to another party.

    As i predicted – leading up 1st May and afterwards ongoing the gap in the POLLS will get wider and wider – to proportions not seen since the early 80’s or ever.

    I stand by my predictions for 2010 of 26% Labour / Tory 45%+ / Liberal 16%-18% / Others particuarly the BNP on 5%-10%.

    We will all be very weary on the day after the election in 2010 – it’s a long 2 year road to get there and by that time there will be a lot of work to be done to repair the damage caused in 13 years – ANOTHER Prediction (sorry) – that will be the last time that Labour win a 2nd term in office in our lifetimes or are in office again for at least 15 years+ without a breakup and coalition like the old SDP.

  3. It does look like there’s another u-turn coming up over the much heralded attempt to extend detention to 42 days. Unfortunately on this and so many other issues there seems no good way to go now. Either way will result in further humiliation for Gordon Brown. As if he needs more.

  4. 131 Marginals lost out of 145 – in my case , that’s goodbye to Dari Taylor (who incidently sits in the heartland of what many here call Labour heartland – the North East).

    My NEW prediction is 35 Northern English Labour & Liberal seats will go to the Tories including 3 in the North East.

    Middlesbrough South
    Stockton South
    Barrow in Furness
    Blackpool North & Cleveleys
    Blackpool South
    Bolton North East
    Bolton West
    Bradford West
    Bury North
    Bury South
    Crewe & Nantwich
    Dudley North
    Dudley South
    Great Grimsby
    Lancashire West
    Lancashire & Fleetwood
    Leeds North East
    Leeds North West
    Morecambe & Lonsdale
    Ribble South
    Sheffield Hallam (NICK CLEGG)
    Warrington South
    Westmoreland & Lonsdale
    Wirral South
    Worsley & Eccles South
    York Outer

    Just for you PETER CAIRNS :-

    I have updated my prediction for Scotland – i now believe that the Tories will win 12 extra seats and not 11 extra as my earlier prediction said :-

    Aberdeen South
    Argyll & Bute
    Ayr Carrick & Cumnock
    Berwickshire, Roxburgh & Selkirk
    Dumfries & Galloway
    Edinburgh North & Leith
    Edinburgh South
    Edinburgh South West
    Ochil & South Perthshire
    Perth & North Perthshire
    Renfrewshire East

  5. The Weighted Moving Average is 41:30:19 – though FWIW that 30 is “really” 29.8 which is the first time Labour WMA has dropped below 30%. As Anthony says the last ICM was clearly a rogue – the Retrospectives show an error of 6.3 even worse than the WMA error of 4.1.

    On the ICM/NOTW poll I would caution against reading too much into the “GB is trying to do a good job but faces considerable difficulties” response. Behavioural consideration would suggest that this framing will tend to attract an exaggerated response. The main difficulty GB faces is GB.

  6. Good polls again for the Tories. Only fly in the ointment: the LibDems.

    According to the uniform-swing analysis (on the election-guide) anything over 18% for the LDs seems to hit the Tories more then it does Labour. A number of the break-downs fail to accord the Tories a majority of seats despite leads approaching double-digits.

    So the Labour supporters may yet have a glimmer of hope. Come the election Tory campaign HQ may have to choose between burying the decaying body that is nEU Labour, or attacking the LDs in the key English marginals.

    Over to you, Mr “the-Oracle”. Mike, which path would you choose…?

  7. Fluffy,

    The News of the World marginal seats polling suggests that the Tories are doing better than the universal swing suggests. If correct the Lib Dems aren’t so secure.

  8. The marginal seats polling shows LibDem support up on 2005 even in these seats many of which you would expect them to be susceptible to a 3rd party squeeze , this would indicate much beeter prospects in seats which LibDems hold or are challenging .

  9. More grim reading for the government. If this holds to election day, then just as in 97 the swing in the marginals will be even bigger than the national average and will give Cameron a solid majority. The Scottish poll is very interesting, it shows Labour in full scale meltdown and the SNP making big gains. It’s a good poll for the Tories but I don’t think they gain Perth and NP or Angus as the SNP are on such a roll at the minute. I can’t believe either that they’ll unseat Darling in Edinburgh SW. He’s been the MP there for 20 years and should have a strong personal vote. Has a serving Chancellor ever been unseated before? Assuming of course he’s still Chancellor in 2 years time and hasn’t been made a sacrifical lamb, like Major did to Lamont. It’s a possibility but I’m going to file this under “I’ll believe it when the returning officer reads it out.”

  10. False logic Mark. The overall national polls show the Lib Dems down (less down with ICM obviously, but down).

    If they are up in one sub-group of seats – in this case Lab-Con marginals – then logically they need to be even further down than they are in the national polls in the remaining seats in order for the total figures to match those in the national polls.

    In practice, I suspect the reason is that tactical voting isn’t picked up very well in polling between elections, which is a particular drawback in polls of marginal seats. The Lib Dems probably appear to be up here because lots of those people actually vote tactically for Labour. I’d be surprised if a marginal poll in Con vs LDem seats didn’t show Labour up for the equivalent reason.

  11. Has anyone done any analysis to try and correlate this alleged Tory lead in the marginals with actual council by-election votes?

  12. Impartial Observer,

    Although Darling has been an MP for 20 years, up until 2005 he sat for Edinburgh Central – abolished in the reduction of Scotland from 72 to 59 seats. Only part of his old seat is in Edinburgh SW – which is more like Malcolm Rifkind’s former Pentlands seat – and the major part of this new seat is represented by a Tory at Holyrood. Darling could well be the highest profile casualty in 2010 – assuming the SNP don’t snatch Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath !

    With respect to other seats in Scotland, I personally think the Oracle simply has not taken into account the strength of the SNP in most of those seats where Tories are strongest. If Tories take more than five seats in Scotland I would be surprised (though very pleased).

  13. Middlesbrough South


  14. The poll showing the Lib Dems on 20% is certainly a positive development from their point of view, and it fits in with two other recent polls putting them on 19%. Given the bad time they’ve had recently and the fact that we’re in mid-term, I think they can be quite pleased with the polls at the moment. They only received 22.6% at the last election so 19-20% now is surprisingly good for them.

  15. It’s very sad that people like the ‘Oracle’ are incapable of being objective and ANTHONY I am beginning to feel that this comment section can hardly be called ‘neutral and non-partisan’ anymore. This is a great pity as reasonable discussion about the polls and the events (past, present and future) that might impact on them is basically a worthwhile exercise.

    Those of us who are interested in balanced specualtion are, I’m afraid, likely to look elsewhere for our opportnities to express ourselves if this goes on.

  16. A wee query for the oracle – since when has Dudley been in the North? Oh and winning Blackburn but not Pendle? There are some seats where the demographics are going in the right direction for Conservatives – Wakefield is one, Bassetlaw is another (OK it’s not technically a northern seat but it’s close enough) and Morley & Outwood is a third.

    As for David’s comment above – the oracle’s predictions may be partisan but they get us all going. I’ve read all the comments and see them as reasonable. Surely we can cope with the oracles puppy-like enthusiasm?

  17. Simon Cooke

    You do have a point about the ‘oracle’ does wind us up a bit. Maybe the non-partisan ‘rule’ should be abandoned in favour a strict ‘non-abuse’ exhortation?

  18. Thanks Paul!

    This poll is of course only about Lab/Con marginals. The Tories are also likely to gain seats off the LD’s and Labour are likely to lose to the LD’s, SNP and PC. It’s likely much of the good poll figures for the LD’s and SNP are due to disillusioned Labour voters so the outlook for Labour is even worse than what this poll suggests!

  19. The rule is there to try and stop the site being overtaken by people trying to spin polls as favourable to their party, to score points off each other, to have political argments or rant about other parties or so on.

    Decisions are all based on that aim – so sometimes a comment that itself isn’t so bad I have to be harsh with because it would obviously lead to partisan rebuttals from other posters. Othertimes I’m lax with long term regulars who I know normally appreciate the spirit of the site when they occassionally slip ;) – I normally give brand new posters a bit of leeway too in hope they get used how things work in time, rather than chase them off immediately.

    For Mike, I think he does a lot of it somewhat tongue in cheek, and given that most people play along with it, it doesn’t in practice lead to partisan arguments. The bottom line is the spirit of non-partisanship, and since other people tend to humour Mike rather than argue with him, he doesn’t damage that.

  20. The re-jigged website looks good -(pity I can’t say the same about the poll results) :(

  21. David Bowtell

    Those of us who are interested in balanced specualtion are, I’m afraid, likely to look elsewhere for our opportnities to express ourselves if this goes on.

    As one of those old-timers whom Anthony knows to ignore when not being on ethos, could you please explain the phrase in bold? Surely Anthony is also offering you some well-deserved leeway.

    [P.S.: I am not judging your spelling, just the assumption of unbiased balanced speculation!. Thanks.] ;)

  22. I can’t take the oracle very seriously.

    I think that people are being a little premature here in writing Labout off. What will determine the result of the next election is how the economy plays out – which is probably at least as much down to international events as to anything in the control of the Government. For Labout to gain the 4-5% which would probably take us into hung Parliament territory does not seem too difficult to me.

    Re polls of marginals these are of very limited value at this point: in a real campaign the candidate in 3rd place in a marginal fight usually gets squeezed. Look what is happening in the London mayoral race.

    Finally, and FWIW – where I live I have seen no Tory posters, and not a single Tory leaflet. In Maggie’s day this was a Tory seat.

  23. Just a minor point about the News of the World article. In their print edition they list Bridgend as one of the seats that could go Tory, they list it as the penultimate seat between Copeland and Blackpool South, but in the online edition it is omitted!

  24. Fluffy Thoughts (EDP)

    With apologies for the typogaphical slip, what I mean by ‘balanced speculation’ is that I prefer an ‘if’ or ‘but’ approach to comment. I don’t think the oracle’s comments are particularly tongue in cheek, I think he is a congenital dislike of Labour whatever they do. Now, I’m a Labour supporter and Chair of Fabian Group but I’m quite prepared to admit that some of things the Thatcher governments did were necessary and beneficial for the country whilst some of the things Labour has done over the past 10 years could have been done differently and in the case of the 10p tax row should never been done in this way in the first place. I’m just more interested, therefore, in speculating about things such as what might happen to the polls if GB hadn’t pulled things round by October and was forced out.

  25. I am so pleased to see FREE SPEECH alive and well on this site – I must say though DAVID (BOWTELL) , my above list of predicted seat gains for the Tories in 2010 based on the recent POLLS and my own foresight – is not partisan , but a talking point to liven up debate on the ebb and flow of the POLLS and the POLLSTERS and the probable outcomes .

    I cannot understand why you think i have a “congenital dislike” of Labour – they have a right to exist and give their point of view and act on it as the chosen party of government elected by a MASSIVE majority of 36% of voters as you and i both do & the Liberals , Tories , BNP , SNP etc – they have had 11 years to do what the 36% thought they would do and have failed – all i am saying is that the British deserve better now & the POLLS and the media are reflecting that now.

    I do not dislike or like any political party in the UK , they all have bits that appeal to me , but some of them keep to their word and care about ALL the citizens including the working class – “TOTALLY NON PARTISAN” – Just a realist that sees what the other 74% of people being POLLED are seeing and saying that they will not vote Labour back in , in 2010.

    I would be very happy to explain any of comments on this site that i may have made that you feel should have me gagged.

  26. I would like to see better POLL breakdowns for the “OTHERS” in the POLLS – like the SNP , BNP , Plaid , UKIP etc – these are the Parties that are going to take the biggest share of the Labour core vote in 2010 & in London (especially the BNP & small socialist parties for London) – not the Liberals or the Tories.

    The Tory increase will come from the Liberals and the large amount of voters who voted Tory in the 80’s & early 90’s who just stopped voting all together in the last 11 years.

  27. FLUFFY THOUGHTS (EDP) Said “So the Labour supporters may yet have a glimmer of hope. Come the election Tory campaign HQ may have to choose between burying the decaying body that is New Labour, or attacking the LDs in the key English marginals.”

    The Tories will not need to seperate Labour from Liberal in any attack – the voters know that the Liberals were only a tactical party to keep the Tories out of power – as i have said before on here – the Liberals are fighting for their own lives at the moment – the fight will this time be a fair one (without the Liberals using tactical votes) between the Tories and Labour – in 2010 it will be like watching a game of “Risk” as the constituencies and well known names fall from both parties.

  28. There are reports of a report from the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust on the ‘purity’ of UK elections. Have only seen the headlines on the BBC – yet again showing that people who don’t understand how elections work shouldn’t write long reports on how they might be improved. Some reports on this focus on the criticism of funding directed at marginal seats saying that there “is substantial evidence” this funding skews results. Other reports focus on aspects of fraud and especially the incidence of postal vote fraud. This latter problem can be easily solved without individual registration by returning to the old system that required proof of reason for being an absent voter.

    If any one can find a link it would be interesting (can’t find the report or even a summary on JRRT’s web site). Finally, if JRRT got off its high horse for a second, it would realise that it has the capacity to influence the situation since it give about £2 million each year to the Lib Dems!

  29. Mike – “all i am saying is that the British deserve better now & the POLLS and the media are reflecting that now.”

    Mike, that is the part that this site isn’t the right place for. We should all be discussing what we think will happen, not what should happen.

  30. Re Mike (the oracle) Richardson:

    There is an incredibly safe New Labour seat in the North East of England that you have missed in your analysis of marginal swings – (Simply because it has never been thought of as marginal) – That of Houghton and Washington.

    Always gone to Labour – Always will?

    In the Washington constituencies aligned with Houghton-Le-Spring, one by one the Council seats are being won by the Tories.

    And in Houghton-Le-Spring, the old quarry that sits above the Town centre itself, is now a land fill/toxic dumping ground, thanks to New Labour councillors.

    R.A.T.S. – (Residents against toxic site) the independent group, fighting to close this poisonous monstrosity, are picking off council seats one by one.

    If in the next general election Councillor Colin Wakefield (R.A.T.S.) – and a natural Tory, (for this fact see “blog” on R.A.T.S. website) stood as an Independent candidate, (as he is threatening to do) he could well pick this once incredibly safe New Labour seat off.

  31. Anthony – if the Tories are doing better in marginal seats (as this NoW poll would suggest) then does this mean that the bias in the electoral system against the Tories is now unwinding? If this is the case then does this mean the Tories would actually need to be ahead nationally by fewer votes in order to secure a majority?

  32. Phillip – yes. If the Conservatives do better in marginal seats than elsewhere it will make the distribution of the vote across the country more favourable to them and the boundaries appear less biased.

  33. As well as the YouGov poll was saying the Tories were doing in Scotland I highly doubt they’ll get 12 seats in Scotland.

    These must be the likliest Tory seats in Scotland in my view:

    Dumfries and Galloway (rising SNP vote plus decent increase in Tory vote must make this very likely for Peter Duncan to snatch from Russell Brown)

    Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk (good result in 2005 followed by gain at Holyrood in 2007 – while the Tories may not be overwhelming favourites they will be looking to take it)

    After that it gets more tricky. The Perthshire and Angus seats look vulnerable on the basis of being marginal but with a very good SNP showing this may take them out of realistic range for the moment, though Perthshire at least should remain marginal.

    East Renfrewshire and Edinburgh South West could be realistic propositions, the latter due to Darling + Pentlands being Tory, the former as a middle class seat, plus recording a good Tory performance in May 2007, should be more vulnerable than most to the Conservatives. Stirling may be another but the Conservatives fell back there in May.

    My judgement is that the Conservatives should hope to get three, be pleased with five and delighted with anything over that. It also depends upon whether the YouGov showing of 22% is accurate or, being a subsample, worthless.