There are two new polls in the Sunday papers. First up YouGov for the Sunday Times have topline figures, with changes from their last poll, of CON 42%(+2), LAB 25%(+1), LDEM 18%(+1). Others are at 15%, so down 4 points from YouGov’s last poll.

ComRes for the Sunday Indy has topline figures, with changes from ComRes’s last poll, of CON 38%(+2), LAB 23%(-2), LDEM 22%(+3). Others are at 16%, which is again down 4 points.

Like the ICM poll in the week did, both polls show the high level of other support beginning to fall away as the European election effect recedes. It’s still high compared to the situation before the expenses scandal (and is very high by historial standards) but it appears to be on it’s way down.

As support for others recedes, it’s the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats who are benefitting. All the pollsters have the Conservatives and Lib Dems rising as the others drop away, with Labour variously static, falling, or marginally up. I can’t let the poll pass without commenting on that one point gap between Labour and the Lib Dems, the lowest we’ve seen since May, though of course, it’s only one pollster; YouGov and ICM are both showing Labour seven points ahead of the Lib Dems.

UPDATE: Looking at other questions the Sunday Times, as usual, commissioned questions on a wide range of topics – full tables are here. On the standard trackers there are no great changes in the leader net good job/bad job ratings. Cameron is at +26 (up 1), Brown at -47 (up 3), Clegg at +17 (down 1).

On the charitable status of private schools, 37% agreed that private schools should be encouraged as they eased the burden on taxpayers, 23% said they allowed parents to buy a better education for children and should be discourage (25% agreed with neither statement). 55% thought that the charity commission was right to pressure private school into subsiding more places for pupils from poor backgrounds.

YouGov also asked about Afghanistan. 72% of people thought stabilising Afghanistan was a worthwhile objective, but only 24% said it was worth risking the lives of British troops (even that 72% was a fall from the last time YouGov asked the question in March, when 78% of people agreed it was).

There was, however, slightly more support for sending British troops there. In March 43% of people said Britain should withdraw all troops from Afghanistan, that figure has now dropped to 33%. In March only 8% said Britain should send more troops, and 30% that other NATO countries should send more troops. Those figures are now 14% and 36%.

Asked about army equipment, 20% thought Gordon Brown was doing his best to provide British toops with the equipment they need. 60% though the war was being fought “on the cheap” and troops were not being adequately supplied.

ComRes also asked about Afghanistan. Asked if more troops should be committed to Afghanistan 34% agreed, asked if British troops should be withdrawn from Afghanistan 64% agreed. The results are different from YouGov’s, but of course, so was the question, given that YouGov gave the people the option of saying they would like more NATO troops from other countries to be sent there.

UPDATE 2: The Sunday Times’ claim that this is the Conservatives’ biggest lead over Labour since September last year isn’t true – it’s the result of newspapers’ charming tendency to believe that polls commissioned by other newspapers don’t actually exist, even if they are carried out by the same pollster using the same methodology. YouGov have in fact shown several larger Conservative leads this year.

47 Responses to “Two new polls show support for “Others” fading”

  1. it’s now clear that with the others falling the tories and lib dems are gaining but labour are not losing that much ground currently if an election were to be held tomorrow the tories would have a majority of around 80 a good but not a big majority, but we are now seeing others fall and main parties rise, i think this will continue but slowly as it is doing at the minuet but i think we could see a clear winner of the summer and conferance season being both the lib dems and tories.

  2. from the Sunday Times – a breakdown of Others

    UKIP 6
    Green 4
    SNP/PC 3
    BNP 2
    Other 1

  3. Anthony, apparently theres also a poll of Norwich North in the News of the World tomorrow.

  4. It seems its the old ICM poll from weeks ago. Sorry about that,

  5. Good news for the Conservatives, and Liberals- the consensus seeming to indicate that the worst damage inflicted by the expenses scandal has fallen away (although the Libs were never all that badly hit mind you).

    However I am suspicious of the leadership performance shares: given that most will agree Clegg has had his best job performance and profile in ages why on earth isnt he well ahead? The 1% drop I presume and interpret as the margin of moving error (so he’s static pretty much, but thats my point- it ought surely to have increased?)

    No further Brown bounces seem in the offing, however the recent “labour investment..” stuff does seem to have calmed down the core vote and stabalised Labour support there (so might the regionals in Scotland- SNP- be considered to have went down? When is the next Scottish regional poll, the UK sample sizes are irrelevant!)

  6. Anthony – all part of the media narrative which has been going on for nearly 2 years. That aside, just looking at the satisfaction ratings of PM alone it is crystal clear that Gordon Brown must stand down for the good of the Labour Party. The very future of the party as a party of government could be at stake – party loyalty can only go so far.

  7. I beg to differ, not so much it shows ‘others’ falling, this is still good news for the ‘others’ because it shows they have some staying power out of the PR election cycle- not easily forgotten.

    Norwich North will be the indication of where the ‘protest’ vote could go. It’s still not a forgone conclusion by any means.

  8. WMA 39:24:19 – it is amazing how the Labour vote still seems to be defying gravity but it won’t last. On “tory Cuts” and now on Afghanistan Gordon Brown has decisively lost in his public stances against Cameron, and the level of criticism from ex-colleagues continues to rise. Meanwhile morale on the Labour benches is rock bottom.

  9. This poll really just shows that the political situation is remaining pretty steady. The changes in the major parties’ shares are within sampling error. The decrease in the Others vote is not surprising: it is what we expect once politics is away from the glare of election campaigns, particularly the Eurocampaign, which place Other parites in the mind of electors.

    It is possible the rise in the LIbdem vote is due to voters saying they will vote LIbDem as an indication of general disaffection, when they were saying they would vote Other a month or two ago when this was also seen as a protest. Such expressions of support may have limited value in seats where such voters are presented with a General Election ballot paper including perhaps Green, UKIP etc candidates as well as LibDem.

    If Other support slips because of lack of publicity between elections, it follows that the Greens need to do everything they can to raise thier profile if they are to advance through the Norwich North by-election. But posts for the Nowich North constituency on this site suggest that the Greens are failing to match the activity of the major parties in that seat. From their point of view they really need to be doing more..

  10. The Greens have a very slick and ‘modern’ man as their candidate- able to communicate clearly, this could make a limited local difference, but nothing significant. Besides Nowich North is not their strongest prospect, if they came anything above fourth I would be exceptionally surprised frankly.

  11. Others are fading but they’re still doing rather well compared to usual. The main parties will still suffer if their support remains at this kind of level.

  12. NBeale
    Im still convinced GB will not be leader at the GE altough I have said a while ago that he would be gone by now
    I dont really see GB pulling anything out of the hat at the conference I think he has played all his cards and unfortunately for him the public seem have given up on him anyway
    So I still think he will be gone maybe sooner than we think!!

  13. ‘NBEALE
    WMA 39:24:19 – it is amazing how the Labour vote still seems to be defying gravity’

    Disagree; there are always party faithful for all parties (although a dying breed) who will, by definition, always vote for their party.

    Reasons to vote are not always based on a logical comparison of party platforms and performance (in fact, I would suspect that no-one votes based on a close read of all party platforms…)

  14. Jack,

    That is true in as much as “core” voters for any given party are unlikely to change their allegiance unless they become seriously upset by their natural party.

    There is some evidence of that amongst Labour’s white English working class support, particularly in the Midlands, North West and Yorkshire, but not yet in NE or London.

    While the euros were a disaster for Labour in both Scotland and Wales, that had far more to do with abstentions than switchers. Abstention is the more likely result when a party is losing its grip, and I would not be surprised to see both turnout and the Lab vote fall more in its “heartlands” than in the marginals.

    If by polling day there looks to be little hope of a Labour recovery, then we could see a precipitate decline in the Lab vote on the day which may not be picked up by the polls in the last few days of the campaign. That won’t necessarily lead to massive loss of seats unless LDs can put together a coherent pitch to former Labour voters in northern urban seats.

    Look out for seats which had Lab majorities of c15-20k in 2005 returning Lab MPs with fewer than 15k votes – but still at over 50% of the vote.

  15. If these sort of stats were repeated in the GE then the Tories would win by over 100. It would be a landslide of 1987 proportions.

    People keep crunching the numbes in to GE predictors which is a mistake. As an example, I’ve used this site’s

    I put in the 97 results:

    It projects Lab 394, Con 188, LD 41 seats. The actual result was: 418, 365, 46.

    Basically what happens is that you steal seats with exceptional swings. That’s what is looking likely in 2010.

    My guess is the Tories will see larger swings where they want it and lesser swings in Tory seats. Right now a 1987 repeat looks possible.

  16. That should be 418, 165 and 46!!!!

  17. Boundaries change Sunbeam, and with the changes so does the notional majorities.

    The Conservatives will in all likeyhood win a ‘landslide’; but what do you call a landslide? In past times if a party gained 100+ seats in one election that would be a landslide- but if this traditional ‘landslide’ occured you’d only see a wafer thin majority for the Cons (if not a hung parliament).

    Basically my point is that any Conservative majority bigger than 50 would be even bigger than the 1987 result due to the sheer scale of the task. Comparisons are therefore difficult.

  18. Sunbeam

    Regardless of boundary changes you are on the money here. Not only will results in quite a few seats exceed the national swing come 2010 anyway but once you omit Scotland the Tory lead in England clearly threatens yet another batch of Labour seats on which the latter must waste precious resources defending.
    On top of that internal polling in the marginals by the major parties indicates that the Tory lead is even bigger in the marginal seats than nationally and we have not even touched on differential voting or reverse tactical voting……
    If however as I hope they do the media go on talking up the fear that the Tories will need to poll 10% more than Labour to get a working majority then that is fine because it will only redouble the resolve of all those in Labour seats who dislike this government to support the candidate who is best placed to topple the sitting Labour MP — which invariably is the Tory. If the public sense that the Tories have too easy a ride then some may opt for a third party candidate so the message from David Cameron will be EVERY VOTE COUNTS

  19. Jack said:
    “there are always party faithful for all parties (although a dying breed) who will, by definition, always vote for their party.

    Reasons to vote are not always based on a logical comparison of party platforms and performance (in fact, I would suspect that no-one votes based on a close read of all party platforms…)”

    i think the reason for “core” votes mainly revolves around tradition and/or loathing of the other side. I still voted Tory in 1997 even though I thought they (the Tories of the time)were useless as I didn’t want to see an overmighty Labour Party, as my belief was and is that Labour always damages the economy (!!). labour supporters, on the other hand, will probably still reluctantly vote labour because they have a htred/mistrust of the Tories. So there you go, my theory as to why being part of a so-called “core vote” is not unthinking or illogical!

  20. But not based on the party platforms which is my point…

  21. I’ve been looking recently at voter turnout by party. It’s quite interesting to see the way turnout seems to vary by party (e.g. in 2005, regression suggests that a seat consisting entirely of Labour supporters would only have had around 44% turnout. In 1992, a 100% Conservative seat would have had a 90% turnout).

    I hope to be able to use the info to see how national swings affect suggested local ‘support’ levels, rather than votes and how much various swings are due to turnout differences rather than actual swing voters.

  22. Mark M you make a good point.

    Look at the euro results in Scotland; there the scottish tories only managed 16.82% overal down by 0.94%; but in the key marginals where the party aimed to do well it managed to win- and it was almost certainly because of turnout being extremely high- thereby defying the national trend where it mattered most.

    So turnout can scew predictions and polling headline figures.

  23. naturally I meant high turnout among tory inclined voters, and not overall; although East Renfrew turnout was slightly higher than the overall Scottish turnout

  24. @Mark M

    I think that the man at Electoral Calculus did a good article on the likelihood of voting, given the proportions of party support. I think he calculated a correlation of -0.69 between the safety of a Labour seat and the turnout; I don’t know when he did it, though.

  25. Electoral calculus is very good and that’s where I got my seat data from. I’ve done the regression slightly differently to him (I think) as I’ve assumed that a seat is made up of four different groups (Conservative, Labour, Lib Dem and Other supporters) and each of those groups has a different likelihood to vote percentage attached.

    It does seem to explain how the polls were so wrong in 1992. It turns out that actually the polls weren’t that bad (they measured the mood of the country well), they just didn’t count on a 90% turnout among Tory supporters where Labour only got around 66% and explains why they were so far off the actual result.

    The next step for me is finding some previous ‘likelihood to vote’ polls and comparing them to the election turnouts.

  26. Apparently we are getting an Ipsos Mori and a Populus Poll imminently.

    I have decided to be extra generous and provide you all with one of my brilliant polling prediction’s for each, as follows:

    IpsosMori C43, L26, LD21
    Populus C42, L25, LD20

    As ever they will no doub’t be deadly accurate as I have “fantastic political emotional intelligence”

  27. In 1992 there was a realistic prospect of a Labour victory, but it was not a foregone conclusion. This probably had a bigger motivational impact on Tory-inclined voters seeking to prevent kinnock from becoming PM than on spurring Labour-inlcined voters to get out and vote. Alternately, the Sheffield rally may have convinced some Labour supporters that the election was already in the bag, so they did not need to bother themselves with going to teh polling station.

    In 1997 on the other hand, many Tory-inclined voters had either persuaded themselves that it was “safe” to vote for Blair’s New Labour, and/or become resigned to a Labour victory. Hence the landslide was due more to a 4.5m drop in the Tory vote rather than a 2m increase in the Labour vote.

    What will we see next year ?

    I’m sure many in the Labour party are hoping for a repeat (in reverse) of 1992, but the evidence is definitely pointing to a 1997-style scenario.

  28. I think that we’ll be closer to a 1997-style victory than a 1992-style defeat, but the question is, how will Cameron try to assure it? How will Brown try to stop it?

    Brown could use 1992 as a rallying point for the Labour Party, as whilst Labour turn-out is quite poor (assuming those who didn’t bother to vote would have voted Labour, had you marched them to the booth), it means that if only they could mobilise that “reserve”, perhaps by shouting about cuts, etc, then perhaps things aren’t as set-in-stone as we Tories would like to think.

    On that subject, the by-elections are good time to test out political campaigns (e.g. the toff campaign in Crewe); anyone know if the parties are doing this? Glasgow and Norwich seem very quiet…

  29. The tories are 1/33 on to win this by election its there 143rd target seat the champagne socialists are finished.

  30. SUN BEAM- labour won 419 seats not 418 as the speaker was not counted after the election in 2001 labour won 413 seats and in 2005 356.

  31. Pop. Times Poll:
    38 Con/26 Lab/20 LD/16. Other

  32. Populus in The Times showing C:38, L:26, LD:20 & Others16.

  33. 2 @ 38. One over 40 for the cons. I think poll watching can be put aside until after the conference season, they are still quite wobbly.

  34. @Cogwheel

    But the silly season is still fun, n’est-ce pas? And we have 2 by-elections in succession to enjoy…

  35. NEW POLL

    YouGov/Fabian Society poll, in The Herald this morning:

    On general voting intentions, the Conservatives received 39%, Labour 26% and Liberal Democrats 19%. In the Scottish sample the figures were Labour 35%, SNP 30%, Conservative 16% and Lib Dem 13%.

    Interestingly, when asked how unlikely people were to change their voting intentions, Scots came out as the most unlikely at 44% compared to a nationwide average of 34%.

  36. Scottish samples of UK wide polls are worse than useless; they are always way out of line: I’ll wait for a TNS system 3 poll or a Scotland only YouGov- they remain the best two for actual accuracy.

  37. Scottish samples of UK wide polls are worse than useless; they are always way out of line: I’ll wait for a TNS system 3 poll or a Scotland only YouGov- they remain the best two for actual accuracy

  38. I’m not surprised the Scots are least likely to change their voting intentions. That’s were a lot of the core ‘tribal’ Labour vote is, and if you are a convinced nationalist, there’s no one else to vote for than the SNP.

  39. Richard the borders, ayrshire, Renfrew East and Edinburgh, Stirling is Conservative vs Labour territory, Tayside, North East, Glasgow is all SNP expansion.

    Labours core vote is tribal in Scotland, however Glasgow East proves that it can be smashed, and even in glenrothes (the so called success) Labour lost half of its vote, and suffered a 12% swing.

    Labour might loose as much as 11 MPs from Scotland if the Conservatives and SNP are on the ball in their key marginals- the euros tells us that both opposition parties are and will do well.

  40. The hot news from rural Scotland is that preparations are being made for a possible election in October.

    Remote non-marginal constituencies do not warrant a visit from high profile politicians during an election campaign. Not only the opportunity cost of their time is a consideration, but the high travel cost would be met by party funds once an election has been called.

    A visit by a government minister before the election date is announced is paid for by the taxpayer.

    So that opposition parties are not able to use the argument that “No goverment minister has visited this constituency since ….” to demonstrate that the government party does not care about or understand local issues, visits are arranged BEFORE before the election if a government minister has not recently been seen in the constituency.

    To-days news is that Jim Murphy will visit Scottish Island constituences.

    There may not be an election in October, but preparations are being made and contingency planning is advanced.

  41. John,

    That may be the case. or….

    Island hopping by Jim Murphy. Perhaps since he can no longer stick it on his parliamentary expenses, Mr Murphy has found another way for the taxpayer to fund his summer holidays.