A new Populus poll for the Times shows the Conservatives enjoying to a 20 point lead in Westminster voting intentions, and UKIP overtaking Labour and and Liberal Democrats to establish themselves in second place for the European elections.

Topline voting intentions for a general election, with changes from Populus poll for ITV a week ago, are CON 41%(+2), LAB 21%(-6), LDEM 15%(-2) (note that the Times have taken their changes from the last Populus poll conducted for the Times, a week and a half earlier).

Previously there had been something of a divide between the pollsters, with YouGov and ComRes showing Labour down near 20%, while Populus and ICM showed them up in the high 20s. The lastest Populus poll suggests a further slump in Labour support and brings the pollsters broadly in line, suggesting it is Labour who have most suffered from the expenses scandal. Asked directly who had suffered most from the expenses row 35% said Labour, with only 7% saying Conservative – though 50% said all parties had suffered equally. Asked which of the party leaders was most damaged the contrast was even starker – 62% said Brown, only 5% Cameron, and only 25% said the leaders had suffered equally.

The Times news report doesn’t give support for minor parties, but the maths suggest it is very high. Given the figures for the European elections I’d expect this to include a bump for UKIP and the Greens. Realistically we should expect these to gradually fall in the months after the European elections as publicity and the effect of a PR election fade from memory, certainly that’s what happened in 2004 when we saw exactly the same effect. These polls showing Labour down near 20 are therefore probably quite transitory.

Moving specifically onto the European Elections, Populus’s voting intentions, with changes from their last European poll at the start of the month stand at CON 30%(-4), LAB 16%(-9), LDEM 12%(-8), UKIP 19%(+13!), Green 10%(+5), BNP 5%(+3), so a big boost for all the minor parties. On a uniform swing this would result in the Conservatives winning 28 seats, UKIP 15, Labour 12, the Lib Dems 7, the Greens 4, SNP 2 and PC 1. The BNP would fail to win a seat, though the Times’s report says they are at 8% in the North, so could still gain a seat if their support is concentrated in the North West.

UPDATE: Those big increases in support for minor parties in Populus’s poll suddenly fall into place. It wasn’t necessarily a surge in support; the question asked was different. Three weeks ago Populus prompted only for the main parties, in this poll they also prompted for the minor parties. This runs the risk of over-estimating support for minor parties, almost certainly it is the reason for YouGov overestimating UKIP support back in 2004 (though of course, the mechanics may be different in a poll with interviewer effect).


106 Responses to “Conservatives enjoy 20 point lead from Populus”

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  1. Why are so many people shocked at these polls?

    The government is UTTERLY paralysed. Brown is doing his usual Macavity impression and the worst excesses in the expenses scandal (i.e outright fraud) has been committed by Labour MPs.

    When you have 3 members of a Labour Cabinet wilfully avoiding Capital Gains Tax and most of them claiming expenses on how to pay the least tax even some of the most ardent Guardianistas are going to sit on the sidelines and refuse to vote.

    Also Cameron is the only person looking and acting like any kind of leader.

    Frankly I’m surprised there is still 21% of the population willing to support the government and if things don’t change are we going to see them drop below 20%?

    As for the Locals and the Euros, it looks like a total catastrophy for Labour.

  2. “Anthony, please can you extend your list of Conservative target seats beyond 200: this poll predicts 211 Tory gains.”

    Rather like last year’s constituency megapoll which revealed that Harrow and Finchley were going to be Conservative gains and at the bottom of many pages also said ‘no polls were carried in constituencies w, x, y and z but on the same swing they would also be Conservative gains”.

    AW, regarding the last constituency megapoll is it possible for you to tell me what the swing to the Conservatives in Bassetlaw was? Please?

  3. @ keith

    have to agree with you, you wouldnt know there was an election on , going by the window poster count.

    i’ve seen one Ukip, one Labour and one Bnp.

    i must admit, when i was in Devon a few weeks back, the Tories and Ukip had banners everywhere in farmers fields.

  4. Cliff:
    I don’t know if Labour is going to slide below 20% on its own, but in the immediate face of a slaughter on Thursday I could see it. I also tend to agree with the old statement that Labour had a base around 25% which would keep them from sliding much below 27% except in rogue polls; part of the reason Labour is stabilizing, I suspect, is that the collapse in their polling numbers is cutting into bone (and largely flipping to third parties, from what the “Others” totals are giving).

    I don’t know that Labour is dead yet, but they’re certainly getting into a hell of a bind that doesn’t show any signs of getting any better. I’ll be interested to see where numbers go after voters get a good chance to vent on Thursday.

  5. The populus figures are up and the Scottish figures (on a sample of only 180) are;

    Lab 29%, Tories 8%, LibDems 11%, SNP 42%, Others 10%.

    I think the SNP may well be ahead but I doubt the Tories are below 10%.

    Still we’ll see what thursday brings.

    Peter.

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