A BPIX poll in the Mail on Sunday has voting intention figures of CON 49%, LAB 26%, LDEM 14%. There hasn’t been a BPIX poll for many months – since last year in fact – so there are no changes from the previous poll. Apart from the Lib Dems the figures are pretty much in line with recent YouGov voting intention polls.

BPIX reasked a number of questions comparing views of Brown and Cameron that they’d first asked last September during the Brown bounce and, unsurprisingly, found Brown’s ratings have plummetted across the board. They also found 44% of people thought Brown should quit now – asked who should replace him David Miliband is now the leading figure, albeit on only 14%, ahead of Jack Straw on 10%.

45 Responses to “BPIX show 23 point Tory lead”

  1. Anthony,

    As we have nothing recent to compare this with, can you give us any guidance on how BPIX tend to compare with other pollsters – in particular, are they generally closer to YouGov or others in under/over-stating various parties relative to other pollsters ?

    This is the highest Conservative rating apart from a similar YouGov result for the Sun just after local elections this year. If this is indicative of a trend for higher Conservative ratings across all pollsters, then we may be entering uncharted territory as to what may actually happen as a result of anti-Labour tactical voting.


  2. Anthony,

    Given no recent BPIX polls to compare, can you give any guidance on how they normally fare relative to other pollsters ?


  3. Surelu its only a matter of time before one of these pollsters put the Tories on 50%?

  4. if the conservatives can come out with a bit more beaf then we may even see 52-55% at some point this year i very much doubt that when we come to the election for real in two years that the gap will be that big by the time the election has finished and people have voted as many people change their mind in the voting booth but a 12-15pt swing is likely at this time if an election was called for the winter.

  5. Can BPIX be considered reliable considering this was their first poll in over 8 months?

  6. BPIX do tend to overstate C Leads (by 2% on average) This one seems to be 3% too high – the WMA is 46:26:17. I was forecasting 20 pt WMA leads and here they are. The only crumb of comfort for Labour is that the Lab:LD gap seems not to be narrowing, but BPIX do tend to under-estimate LD support for some reason.

  7. Terrible poll for Brown.
    If it was much out of line with the others, I suppose one would be cautious because BPIX don’t poll very often, although they have interviewed more than 2,000 people.
    Frankly, I had been braced for this drip drip of expenses stories to have some slight effect, but it seems in Tories we have survived so far, although I still think that’s something which needs to be dealt with in the run up to election. I think there is a chance of Tories going even higher if we can convince some more Lib Dems to come across.

    The David Davis thing is strange – it seems to have done no damage atall – maybe people respect his decision even when they support 42 days.

    Labour must be hoping the political temperature will drop over the recess and that the economic news is not totally catastrophic and can be contained to low growth.

  8. A Tory lead of about 10 points and majority of 40-50 seems quite a reasonable bet.
    But it’s 2 years to go, and a lot can change in politics, as the unfortunate Gordon Brown has found out.

  9. I think the County Council elections next year could be an utter disaster for the government – and the Liberal Democrats.

  10. It it true – as claimed on Political Betting, that “the fieldwork for BPIX polls is carried out by YouGov which provides the service on a “white label” basis.”?

  11. also European elections next year. Chances are the County elections will be moved to June so they are held on the same day? Personally i would prefer two separate days but that is just so I can wait up through the night watching results trickle in as opposed to hearing about one set on the radio the next day at work. Anyone know if the BBC are doing a by-election special this week or is Henley not exciting enough for them?

  12. Hum…?

    Mike Simpson has berated this poll on PB.com, and SkyNews have yet to mention it? [The BBC do not appear to recognise reality; least not outside tacky TV shows.] Whilst BPIX do appear opaque in management (did YouGov do the survey under a “white label”) and results are unavailable, is their research any less news-worthy then that of IPPR, Friends of the Earth, of the Joseph Roundtree Foundation?

    As for the polling data, LibDems are too low, and others at 11% may be a tad too high for an GE. So a twenty-point lead for the Tories over New Labour appears about right. I await NBeales NWA with interest.

  13. Lib Dems on 14%. Would be interesting to see how they react if they get a few more polls at this level. Surely they cant change leader again although I do think that they made a mistake with Clegg

  14. Sorry – spam filter seemed to go haywire last night and held back tons of comments. On what weight to give BPIX, they have a good provenance – David Sanders does the British Electoral Study so he knows what he is doing, but we don’t know what weighting they use so can’t judge it ourselves. Without any recent polls we can’t tell how they compare to other pollsters.

  15. Yup – the old spam filter seems to have attacked another of my comments / i made the old mistake of not cutting and pasting after my diatribe was finished , to make sure it went on – another 15 minutes of my life gone !

  16. If this poll were reflected in the Henley by-election the result would be: C – 69.5%, LD – 17%, Lab – 4.7%.

  17. ‘The David Davis thing is strange – it seems to have done no damage atall – maybe people respect his decision even when they support 42 days.’

    I think that is probably right; the view of politicians is that they are all in it for what they can get out of it, so when one of them actually stands for a principle it’s a novelty and respected. Okay, I may be cynical but I think it’s true…

  18. NBeale Your comment about BPIX tending to overstate the Tories is only valid if the other pollsters are accurate. Mike Smithson’s analysis is that most pollsters tend to understate the Tories. Unfortunately we don’t have much data to judge BPIX’s earlier accuracy but they were one of the most accurate at the time of the 2005 GE

  19. I don’t think you can say that BPIX were one of the most accurate pollsters at the time of the last GE , they produced one poll showing the Conservatives in the lead .

  20. I thought from the start that DDavis would do the Tories no harm at all and be a disaster for Brown. The MSM commentariat just got this one wrong. What I didn’t anticipate is that it has sunk Burnham as well.

    Fluffy: I posted my WMA earlier.
    Mike: no it’s only valid if the other pollsters are, on average, unbaised estimators.

  21. I have a feeling this is an outlier, or at least something approaching it, although it may not be in a few months time if things don’t change. However the difference between a 20 point and 23 point lead is small as a result at a general election. The trend looks like defeat for Labour some time in the next 18 months or so. Only question is when and how big.

    I also thought the David Davis affair was unimportant to the larger picture. Playing games with anti-terrorism measures has done Gordon Brown no good at all. Perhaps we really have got to the point where everyone has got fed up with him, and nothing he does good or bad will make much difference.

  22. Maybe Gordon Brown has had great difficulties presenting himself as fresh.
    Firstly because he isn’t the kind of personality one associates with “fresh”, but of course, he was central to the government on the economy for 10 years.

  23. There “was” only one thing that would have helped both Blair and Brown in the last 11 years – that was to invade Rhodesia at the very early stages of white farms being stolen & oust Mugabe.

    The feeble excuses by Labour now that we have’nt got the resources for such an invasion are utter nonsense – we found the resources to invade Serbia , Iraq , Afghanistan and more. None of which had 275,000 people of British origin to save – after all it was this government that started Mugabe off on his persecution of the white farmers by insulting Mugabe years ago with no regard for the white citizens – who after all came to Britains aid in 1939 in their hour of need and was the first country in the world to agree to help the UK – it has now been 43 years of horror for Rhodesian citizens of all colours imposed on them by Britain – Wilson started it and Brown lets it drag on to the shame of Britain.

    France has never held back in Africa to help it’s countrymen – to see pictures of our kith and kin on the back of trailers fleeing Mugabe’s thugs is shameful !

    For that reason alone (even though there are many more)this government should hang their heads in shame and accept the decision of the voting public to oust them – ironically before Mugabe even goes !!

  24. Mike – instinctively I agree that a military intervention in Zimbabwe would be a good thing, after all Blair did intervene in Sierra Leone to good effect, but doing so would play into Mugabe’s hands. It would give credence to his “British imperialist” charge against Britain. We should be pressuring South Africa, their neighbours and the AU to do more as Tsvangirai is urging – Mugabe cannot charge them with being “puppets of the white imperialists etc”.

    It’s a shame to pull the tragedy of Zimbabwe into UK party politics as you do here – this is one of those foreign policy areas where parties need to be united.

  25. There is so much hypocrisy on Zimbabwe-

    Chinese trade “Imperialism” & silence on human rights abuses.

    Mbeki’s support for “freedom fighter” Mugabe whilst he murders his own people.

    Mandela’s silence-he of all people knows what it is to fight for democracy against state sponsored racial violence.This icon will fall from the lofty plinth we have put him on if he says nothing-or is murderous racist dictatorship only bad if it is white Nelson?

  26. Good to see ‘the Oracle’ back on form and suggest he volunteer for any mercenary group willing to go into Zimbabwe and sort things out! I suspect that shortly after ‘the Oracle’ arrived in Zimbabwe he might find that things are rather more complex than he currently thinks.

  27. For my fellow contributors above on the subject of Rhodesia – i am fully aware of the complexities of all of Southern Africa – including South Africa , Rhodesia , Namibia , Mozambique , Angola & Zambia. Particuarly South Africa and Rhodesia are very much entwined in the British culture – Britain has had those 2 countries on our political agenda since 1948 and before that during the 2 Boer Wars.

    It was the Left wing and Liberal elements in British politics since the 2nd World War that destroyed 2 of the greatest countries in the world and certainly 2 of our greatest allies with the help of an envious Australia & Canada.

    There has been POLLS in this country about invading Rhodesia (a conflict that would last all of 24 hours)all in favour of invading – but we seem to prefer to invade countries that have absolutely no link to Britain – the outcome being is we see fellow British kith and kin being evicted from farms , white children on tractors and trailers as refugees (then refused entry to their homeland of Britain) , white gay rights marchers in Salisbury (Harare) being beaten etc etc – Britain should definately hang it’s head in shame !!

    Never mind putting up a statue of Mandela in Britain and giving knighthoods to Mugabe – one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century and war hero of the 2nd world war fighting for Britain – Ian Smith should have had a statue erected !!

    We all saw how the British raected when Margaret Thatcher went to save 2,000 British descendants in the Falklands – she had a landslide victory – Brown and Blair have lost that chance to right the wrongs of over 100 years !! When is Britain going to apologise to the white South Africans for the concentration camps that killed 25% of the white population or for the airliner that Joshua Nkomo shot down in the 1970’s in Rhodesia – then shot all the survivors ??

    The media and politicians keep on calling on South Africa to help the situation – why should South Africa help – that is just a larger version of Rhodesia – forced into so called “majority rule” by the same left wing and liberal elements in the west who destroyed the rest of Southern Africa with the help of China , Russia & Cuba .

    Perhaps we should ask Mandela why there are now over 750,000 white South Africans now in Britain as refugees – it started under his rule – because he introduced reverse Apartheid against the whites in jobs etc – but that’s alright , because he’s black !

    It’s funny how left wing MP’s like Peter Hain left South Africa demanding black rule – but have’nt returned to their homeland now that it has been achieved – i wonder how many sleepless nights he gets – NONE !!

  28. Well said.

  29. I hope my comments above are taken in the way they were intended – to highlight another reason why this government are doing so badly in the POLLS – but could be doing much better with some backbone – even at this late stage!

  30. Anthony, is their an ICM/Guardian poll due (as mentioned at PB.com). The hints are not good for Gordon.

    — O/T

    Sending mercenaries to Zimbabwe, nay! Gordon has just sent our spare Spearhead battle-group to Kosovo. A redeployment to Botswana will be sufficient to decapitate the Zimbabwe leadership [sic]. Maybe a few spare Reapers (if there is such a thing as a spare Reaper) will focus minds within the SADC.

    And Mike, it is Zimbabwe. If the electorate of the country wish to return to calling itself Rhodesia it is their choice. The unelected and unrepresentative should not enforce their will. Well, apart from within the EU that is! :O

  31. Mike,

    That post hit a new low and that’s saying something coming from you.

    Minority rule on the basis of race is wrong, no matter how many connections we have with a country.

    That there should be one man one vote and that people be allowed to choose their own government openly and fairly is a fundamental that the vast majority of the people in western democracies adhere too.

    What the government they choose to elect does is separate from the issue of one man one vote.

    That Mugabe has turned in to a dictator isn’t a justification to maintain or support it, dictatorship can grow up anywhere and I can’t remember the Tories getting involved militarily when Mugabe started to tighten the screw. Again your dislike of this government leads you to be selective with your history.

    Equally the South African government has struggled with the change to full democracy in no small part because of trying to lift the majority of it’s 40m plus population out of poverty.

    750,000 white people coming to the UK sounds a lot but when you consider that that is out of a population of 47m+ and that every year 400,000 people leave the UK it’s hardly exodus.

    At present South Africa has a population of 47m with about 7% white, which is about 3.3m, so about 20% of the 4m white population have left since one man one vote in 1994.

    Given the economic down turn it’s not surprising that many of those who could leave did and that Britain would be the first choice.

    That nearly three quarters of a million have left isn’t good for South Africa but it has to be balanced against trying to help millions out of living in shacks with no proper services.

    Whenever a government starts down the road of trying to make the system fairer it’s not surprising that those who, will lose out, move out.

    Even now with 7% of the population, white South Africans own 85% of the land, much of which was appropriated between 1913 and 1990.

    Again your “stolen farms” comment with regards to Zimbabwe conveniently overlooks how they got the land in the first place.

    How and why Mugabe has done it, was wrong and a simple exercise in corruption but to contend that we should return to an unfair system because someone has abused a fairer one is hardly tenable.

    I am no fan of Mugabe or indeed any African dictator, but we happily turn a blind eye to lots of them when it suits us, be it a Labour or Tory government. We sell the Saudi Arabia aircraft happily enough and their it’s illegal for women to drive.

    I find it hard to believe that there is any real support in the UK for a return to minority rule in either country.

    Beyond that as is increasingly the norm most of your post is just a rant.

    The notion that Australia and Canada somehow connived in the end of minority rule out of envy is just nonsense.

    As to the idea that it would have been better if white rule remained because of the economic decline since, well on that basis we should get rid of democracy as follow the Chinese model so that we can have 10% annual growth.

    Like Iraq a war would be quick but it’s the reconstruction and security afterwards that would be problematic. Given recent experience I think the idea that it would be quick and clean should be taken with a pinch of salt.

    As to your earlier posts, we have never invaded Serbia or had as much as a troop in it. In Sierra Leon the UK had up to 1,000 troops in a supporting role to a UN force that totalled 13,000 and were initially deployed to protect and evacuate foreign nationals mostly British.

    Oh and France did a really good job looking after it’s citizens in Rwanda, after all almost all of the 1 million people who were butchered were black, so that was a real success.

    As to defence and our inability to intervene because of Labour. Since 97 the Labour policy of triangulation has been to keep UK defence spending at proportionally the same level as the Tories.

    Most of the over stretch at the moment is because of Iraq and Afghanistan , two wars the Tories supported, and procurement problems with major programmes.

    Among these are Eurofighter, Type 45 destroyers, Astute SSN’s, Nimrod, Carriers and the PFI tanker project. All of these were initiated by the Tories and continued by Labour so that at least in part they wouldn’t be seen as weak of defence.


  32. ”envious Australia”. What on earth are you talking about? It’s far more that most UK envy Australia

    If you are going to be right wing archaic and use outdated terms can you also use South West Africa instead of Namibia? And what about Southern Ireland? And England is fairly new; can we have Mercia and the other Anglo-Saxon names? There is no case for the potential renaming of a country after an Imperialist from another country and nobody else is even thinking it, so time to move on. Or do you think Smith’s white racist country was an ideal you admire?

  33. ”envious Australia”. What on earth are you talking about? It’s far more that most UK envy Australia, that’s why the queue to emigrate is so long…

    If you are going to be right wing archaic and use outdated terms can you also use South West Africa instead of Namibia? And what about Southern Ireland? And England is fairly new; can we have Mercia and the other Anglo-Saxon names? There is no case for the potential renaming of a country after an Imperialist from another country and nobody else is even thinking it, so time to move on. Or do you think Smith’s white racist country was an ideal you admire?

  34. “That Mugabe has turned in to a dictator”

    Memory & history play tricks on all of us-

    This article in The Times today reminds us that Mugabe was always a dictator.


  35. Colin,

    Over thirty years we’ve as it says in the article watched this happen in slow motion,
    I wasn’t suggesting that this had happened overnight, the seeds were sown during the civil war in Rhodesia. It’s often the case that when a government is overthrown by force those who take it’s place are repressive look at Latin and South America.

    A long time ago we should have adopted a code that says ” We will treat nations as they treat their people”, but that would mean real issues with the Saudi’s, the Chinese, the Russians, probably the Israeli’s and many others.

    It’s an issue that I think about in terms of post independence Scottish foreign policy. At what point do you say enough is enough.

    To be honest think it would be easier for us because like the Nordic countries we aren’t looking to play a world role or be at the top table.

    What makes it difficult for Britain and even more so the US is that if you stand in the spotlight people can see the stains on your shirt and depending on how many stains they can see take they will judge you.

    Every time someone from a UK government talks about our world role or British values there is someone in the world who can point out when and where we’ve turned a blind eye or failed to live up to the rhetoric.

    As to Zimbabwe, I think military optional are all but out of the question.

    We haven’t the capacity to project power that far in land in Africa without the active support of at least one neighbour and none of them seem up for it direct action is a non starter.

    I think what we need to do is step up sanctions and begin the process of public indictment of named people for Crimes against the Zimbabwean people. That would be an open process where by we post the charges and evidence against people internationally.

    What we would be saying to key people in Zanu is that when he falls, and he will fall, you will go with him, unless you aid in his downfall and are granted amnesty.

    That has two effects.

    Firstly it focuses the minds of his supporters on what the understand; fear.

    Secondly as more and more people are offered the carrot and stick of amnesty of imprisonment the regime begins to turn in on itself with everyone looking to see who around them will hold steady or cut and run. In that situation the regimes terror apparatus begins to be turned in on itself away from external threats to chase internal shadows.

    Knowing we can’t intervene militarily and that it’s neighbours won’t these people need not fear us, but if we take the same line as with escaped Nazi’s, that we will never stop seeking justice useless they redeem themselves we could still influence change for the better.

    Having said that the deterioration of civic society is now so great that I think it will take decades to recover and that post Mugabe we won’t see any really benefit for years.


  36. Peter-yes of course our past has unedifying episodes in it-who’se hasn’t?

    I become very cynical though when I see those who can & should be having an effect, point the finger of judgement , whilst spouting mealy-mouthed platitudes which mask their own inadequecies.

    The African States-particularly South Africa have connived at Mugabe’s activities-they are without credibility.

    The UN has no power which means anything-it merely reflects the self-interest of the members of the Security Council.

    The Zimbabwe problem for Africa is hugely embarrasing-Mugabe took the land back from the white farmers by force-hence his credentials throughout the continent.

    But in so doing he turned the Breadbasket of Africa into the Basket Case of Africa…..so white farmers are necessary!!! …and Tsvangirai has recognised it!!!….so how to acknowledge this-even worse how to support him in re-integrating white farmers in the face of resistance from Mugabe’s crony placemen & thugs.

    Africa would have to say Mugabe got it wrong-Africa got it wrong.

    At present even the murder of innocent blacks is a price worth paying to avoid acknowledging that fact.

  37. Tomorrow’s ICM poll for the Guardian gives the Tories a record 20% lead.

  38. The figures with comparisons on the last ICM poll three weeks ago are: CON 45% (+3): LAB 25% (-1): LD 20% (-1)

  39. Devil’s advocate; Okay its fine for use to invade Iraq where there is oil but not where there isn’t. That’s why we also want to bomb Iran. The humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe and Burma is obvious but we nice Western Christian Imperialists wont do so because we can’t make money out of their natural resources. That’s surely the only difference?

    (Mugabe may have been always a dictator but so was the whites only Smith regime…)

  40. ‘Peter-yes of course our past has unedifying episodes in it-who’se hasn’t?’

    I nomimate the British invention of the concentration camp in the Boer war being one …

  41. Colin,

    I agree with your condemnation of Mugabe and what he has done, but I think there is an issue you are missing.

    The deep seated fear in Africa has always been the return of colonialism, that’s one of the reasons that it’s so effective for Mugabe to use it. For most African states and particularly their leaders if they sanction the overthrow of Mugabe they could be next.

    It’s always been at the heart of Africa’s problems they hate colonialism but jealously defend the borders it left them even when they cut across ethnic lines as they do in West Africa.

    There the ethnic groups are often coastal, inland and finally Saharan, but the colonial rulers cut then up in to thin stripped running north to south. That was one of Sierra Leons problems and we saw a similar thing in Rwanda ( although that’s Central Africa).

    Annoying and indeed immoral as there attitude to Zimbabwe is it’s not new but rather part of a pattern that goes back decades. Given that colonial past and it’s own experience in Angola and Namibia, South Africa has a particular fear of being seen as interfering in other peoples affairs, particularly with a still largely white officer corp.


  42. Well I’ve held back from accusing Mike Richardson of being a racist before even when his language has been deeply suspect. Now he has revealed his true colours (without moderation) I’m afraid that’s it for me and these boards – good luck to the rest of you intelligent people having to deal with ‘people’ like him. Thanks Anthony (and others) for the fantastic quality of analysis on a non-party political basis, but I cannot stomach [ edited – AW] opinions like Mike R’s any longer.

  43. Chris C,

    If your still looking in, wrong response. It is by confrnting views like “majority rule was a mistake” we we counter these views growing and becoming established.

    If like most of us you find Mike version distateful then the last thing you should do is walk away. There is an moral obligation on all of us who oppose his view to confront it and say so.

    In a democracy the ends and the means are the same, fundamental to it’s health is free speech, the right of the Mikes to put there view and us to put ours.

    Weber said that it was the role of the social scientist to look at people views and beliefs and show the consequences and contradictions in them.

    In an open society that is an important role especially when as in this case even if you find the view expressed repugnant you are in a position to highlight the flaws and facilies on which they are based.

    In the battle of ideas you shouldn’t throw in the towel and walk away because you hear one you don’t like, rather you should stand your ground counter it with your own. To often in the past terrible damage has been done because those who could and should have challenged an ideology stayed silent.

    “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”

    Edmund Burke


  44. I’ve edited or moderated several comments. The rules here are that discussion should be in the spirit of non-partisanship. I don’t mind people rattling off onto off-topic subjects, as long as they discuss it in a civil, non-partisan manner (I’d rather they didn’t take a thread off topic immediately as well, discuss the poll first!). It isn’t within the spirit of the site to accuse others of being racist, or rant about them being repugnant crypto-communists with a red agenda. Play the ball, not the man.

  45. Anthony,

    As the person who used the word “repugnant” it was in the context of someone finding someone elses views repugnant and the responsibility to respond, not an accusation I made myself.

    I however make no apology for pointing out the numerous factual errors in Mikes analysis.