Waiting for a poll

Tonight we should – finally – be getting a regular voting intention poll. It seems like a very long time since the last two polls, which rather unhelpfully showed an 11 point Tory lead and a 1 point Tory lead.

Populus’s regular poll for the Times should be published on their website tonight at around 8 or so (I’ll be stuck in a meeting, so won’t be posting on it until slightly later, but feel free to discuss it in the comments here) and we may yet have more polls to come.

As we approach the Christmas period sampling for polls starts getting a bit dubious – half the population spend their weekends away from their telephones and commuters waiting in a single big traffic jam near Bluewater (at least, it feels that way) and the closer we get to the actual Chistmas period the more likely people are to be visiting relatives. For that reason it’s likely the pollsters won’t stick to their normal timetables and we’ll also see some of the pollsters who would normally do their fieldwork later in the month bring their polls forward.

28 Responses to “Waiting for a poll”

  1. So we really need to wait until after Christmas?

  2. Nah – it shouldn’t be having a huge effect. It’s when we start getting to the week before Christmas that I’d start being wary. I;m jsut hoping we get most poll in the next week or so as papers and pollsters try to avoid that Christmas period.

  3. Wasn’t it Populus who had a 6 point lead for the Tories last month, about half way between the 11-15% and 1-3% the last two sets of polls have shown?

    If so the trend towards either the “Tory majority” or “hung Parliament” figures will presumably be 1) evidence of Cameron’s inevitable success, or 2) evidence of unreliable Christmas/rogue polling… ;)

  4. I will be watching the Conservative percentage, if it’s below 40% then the trend seems to be good for Labour. But if it stays on 40% or above then the Conservatives seem to be untouchable, at the moment.

  5. My lower series trendline crosses the zero mark about now. And Populus have two prior polls on the lower series.

  6. Isn’t it about time for a YouGov? We used to get one every fortnight or so but, apart from the special one after the PBR, we’ve got had one in nearly 3-4 weeks.

  7. As ANTHONY says – this time of the year leading up to Christmas will not produce really accurate POLLS – the truer figures will come in about the 2nd week of January 2009.

  8. I can’t believe that some people are so sure of a Conservative win. I think people will play it safe and vote Labour. Osbourne and an economic crisis isn’t the most appealing option. I think that Labour will win. It will be very difficult for the Tories to win as Labour has an advantage before we even begin. I think that those who believe a Tory win is certain should think again, it is a known thing that during an election campaign the polls tighten and Labour only need them to tighten a little to guarantee a win.

  9. I’ll be reminding you of that comment if this poll shows a 20point Tory lead, Mike.

  10. There will be some cracking spin on here whatever the poll result.

    Low Tory lead – Rogueamendous!
    High Tory lead – Realistictastic!

  11. I really don’t know what to expect tonight, but I have a feeling this particular poll will be relatively good for Labour, bearing in mind of course that Populus tend to show the Conservative lead as lower than the other polling organisations.
    The mortgage holiday announcement seemed to get a good press, whereas I don’t think the attitude of some Labour politicians to the Damian Green affair will have gone down well. This could go either way, but the fact it’s a Populus poll bodes quite well for Labour I think.

  12. “Breaking News

    Latest Populus poll shows 60% voting intenion for ‘Get out of my way I’m Christmas shopping’. Tories and Labour split almost all the remaining vote, with the Lib Dems picking up a solitary vote from a man named Alan.”

  13. Will the unofficial(totally wrong) result be leaked on Guido?

    22% lead for Conservatives.

  14. Mark – There has been a very late swing of the shopping bag to “What time does this shop close tonight”.

    We could be looking at a hung parliament.

  15. Its Con 39 (-2), Lab 35 (nc), LD 17 (+1)

  16. alec yes i’ve just been on the times web-site

    and to me it looks like the lib dems are geting ground back from the conservatives and labour have maxed out at 35% at this rate if gordon brown was to call an election and i don’t like to say it he may win!!!! if this trend continues of course feb or may is looking on now unless things go bad.

  17. The times are reporting this as a good poll for Brown and ‘worrying’ for Cameron. All the underlying questions show a distinct firming of Labour support, with Brown/darling extending their lead on the ‘leadership in recession’ question from 3 – 9% since the PBR. Cameron’s lead in the long term PM question is now down to 2%, so its neck and neck, at least in this poll. The Times are reporting figures showing a significant shift back to the fold of 2005 Labour voters.
    I’ll await Anthony’s forensic analysis with interest.

  18. So this poll has uncovered gifts for everyone!

  19. Looks like my hunch was right.

  20. “The mortgage holiday announcement seemed to get a good press, whereas I don’t think the attitude of some Labour politicians to the Damian Green affair will have gone down well”

    Isn’t it interesting how we can have such differing views of individual issues.

    My feeling would be-the mortgage interest holiday seen as extremely selective .-families with two earners where one suffers a significant loss of earnings-talk of £400k mortgages etc
    I saw an interesting comment which related help for high earning high borrowing houseowners when they are in trouble, to withdrawing benefit from single parents of young children.

    My feeling on the DG affair would be the public feeling that just at present it has no relevance to their lives & problems.

    Conversely -for anoraks who followed a terrific debate today, the cross party desire for a rapid non-partisan review of HoC proceedures under The Speaker, contrasts with the determination of Harman & Co to set up a Government led team which would meet some time later/maybe never.

  21. Some very good news for labour here and it’s not to be found just in the headline figure. I think people will try to make a lot out of the Tory support falling below 40% but given the margin of errors I don’t think it’s significant until we see a string of results showing them below 40%.

    The big news for me is that there has been a huge swing in the number of previous labour voters who are now saying they will vote labour again. It is very significant because as we all know the electoral boundaries favour labour and if they can shore up their base vote then they will be able to turn an average polling into large numbers of seats.

    The second thing that jumps out is that Brown is not looking so much of an electoral liability. A larger number of people are now saying that he is not only preferred during the recession but is not a distant second when it comes to leading the country after the recession.

  22. The Conservatives below 40%, wow! The first Populus poll with the Conservatives below 40% since 6th April 08. The trend seems to continue in Labours direction with its support firming up, the Conservatives down again and the LibDems on 17% (not too bad for them). Still not time to say there will be an election early next year but must make it possible now. Can this be put down to the PBR or the Conservatives lack of response to it? Or a bit of both?

  23. Tories 4 points ahead of Labour, eh. So either:

    1) The Tory lead is stretching ahead again. It was only 1 point in last week’s ComRes poll


    2) Labour’s fighting back, whoopdidoo. All praise the Prince of Darkness


    3) The polls are still all over the place and we haven’t got a clue.

  24. James I know and you know there will be people taking your first point and the ammout of flip floping between pollsters to show thier chosen party in good light will be immense.

    I don’t know what to make of it. The press has been extremely negative towards Labour since the PBR, however, as someone stated in another thread, maybe the press have been out of step with the public, maybe the personal positives have started to take effect already, or in many peoples minds they have.

    As stated the slip below 40% for the Conservatives doesn’t mean much as it still is in the MOE, however , a few more and maybe there could be a few wobblers in the Conservative camp.

    With regards the Labour Party I have been impressed with the non-self destruct that it has managed through what were dire times. All Brown needs to do now is defy history and win the bloody thing.

    Though it is just as likely to go pear shaped again considering the random polling figures at the moment.

    It would get very intersting if one poll actually showed Labour in front. This place would go into meltdown.

  25. Interest Rates down to 2%

    Christmas is coming

    Everything is OK for the minute.

    When they realise the true consequences of what is happening….ie; they can afford a holiday because of the exchange rate, then the excrement will hit the rotors

  26. I’m glad I’m not polling in the sort of weather we’re getting recently, it’s freezing.

  27. Now MORI have moved to phone polling Keith it makes no difference. Interviewers will all be in their (hopefully) nice, warm telephone interviewing suites :)

  28. So the ‘do nothing leader of a do nothing party’ message seems to have stuck. Not only has Brown marginally increased in peoples favour as the best PM for the current times but he has significantly improved as the best leader for after the next GE. It seems that Labour supporters, many with vivid memories of the last recessions remember the actually consequences of a government that they perceive to not care about their plight, are ‘returning to the fold’.