After the six point lead from Ipsos MORI, we now have a 17 point lead from Angus Reid. The topline figures, as I mentioned in my brief post below, are CON 39%(+1), LAB 22%(-2), LDEM 21%(+1). Others are unchanged on 18%. The poll was conducted over the weekend, so it is the first proper post-Queens speech poll.

The changes from Angus Reid’s last poll are all quite minor, showing a small shift away from Labour but nothing to get excited about. It does, of course, contrast sharply with MORI’s poll, particularly in terms of the level of Labour support.

Angus Reid are just entering UK polling so we don’t have a long track record to judge them by, but looking at their methodology I would expect them to have a tendency to show higher levels of Conservative and Lib Dem support and lower Labour support. I mentioned in my posts on MORI about “false recall”, people’s tendency to inaccurately report how they actually voted in 2005, and that ICM, Populus and ComRes all factor this into their weighting targets. AngusReid do not, implying no false recall at all, and the effect of this is that they weight the Conservatives and Lib Dems slightly higher and Labour slightly lower (though before people get carried away, it is pretty minor). From their three UK polls so far, they also seem to have a tendency to report significantly higher levels of support for minor parties than any of the other pollsters (though ComRes showed a similar figure in their last poll) – I can see no obvious methodological reason to explain the difference.

The bottom line is that on the short track record and methodology details we have I’d expect Angus Reid to show Labour a bit lower than companies like ICM and YouGov, so this poll is pretty much in line with the average Conservative lead still being somewhere around 13 or 14 points.

UPDATE: Forgot to say, we are also due a ComRes poll for the Independent… but not tonight. Presumably we can expect it later in the week.

77 Responses to “Angus Reid show the Tory lead at 17”

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  1. Anthony, isn’t the average Tory lead 12%? Which makes this poll as much in line with the others, as the IMORI poll, surely.

  2. Polling is not an exact science. Surely it doesn’t really matter if a poll methodology shows a bent one way or another as long as the methodology remains consistent thoughout a critical polling series?

  3. Please split the opinion poll results into separate sections, each section using its own polling method. If we pile the polls in one heap (as we seem to be doing at present) so that one minute we have one poll with a Tory lead of 8% and in the next a Tory lead of 17%, we might as well go down the pub and ask the clientele their views.

  4. Perhaps the ‘others’ are so high because of the ‘in your constituency’ part of the voting intention question.

    If this does cause people to think about voting tactically then it should be questioned how many people know off the top of their heads which party is best positioned to beat Labour in their constituency.

    To put it another way perhaps many state they will vote for the minor party they WANT to win because they are not aware at that moment which major party COULD win at the expense of Labour.

  5. I rarely do this but on the Mori thread I wrote:

    ”Please remeber this poll and mine and Alec’s scepticism when we see a 17 or 18% lead with others at 18% from Angus Reid or somebody else in a few weeks time”.

    Out with the timing but bang on with the lead and others score.
    This is equally as unlikely as the Mori with 6% lead.

    We are somewhere between 10 and 15% still.

    Let’s wait for ICM and You Guv

  6. If this is true, and between now the GE these people do find out which major party could beat Labour the consequences could be nighmarishly bad for Labour.

  7. CLAD – watch the trend. This poll shows very little change worth talking about (Labour are down a bit, Tories up a bit, but all well within the normal margin of error). It shows a higher Conservative lead because their methodology is different.

    In contrast MORI showed a great big shift towards Labour, a very different trend. The combination of their weighting and turnout filter means they normally show figures much the same as the others.

    I suspect the lead is somewhere in between, but the reasons are different. Angus Reid it’s probably methodological. In contrast, I think MORI’s big shift was largely down to normal sample variation.

    Grumpy Old Man – it matters when it comes to pre-election polls :)
    When looking at the trend though you are quite right, it doesn’t really matter whether a pollsters’ house effect tends to be more favourable to one party than another, as long as you are comparing like to like.

    Christopher Bowring – look on the left sidebar, as well as the table/graph showing the polls from all the companies, there are also tables/graphs showing just polls from the indidividual companies.

    Philip – it needs some proper parallel testing to find out, but I suspect the question difference has quite a small effect, and the other company that uses similar wording, ICM, is showing the lowest level of Other support, which argues against that being the reason. Unless it is really is pure co-incidence (we have, after all, only had 3 AR polls to judge by) there must be some reason for it though, so I wouldn’t like to rule anything out.

  8. Philip JW

    I wonder if the ‘In your constituency’ phrase has an effect because of the expenses scandal? I know that all parties were affected, but my impression is that more Labour MPs were flagrantly milking the system,

    It could also be that Labour supporters are more moral than Tories, who might be more cynical because they have reached levels in their own jobs where they see similar things going on.

    Or am i being ‘classist’ by assuming that on average Labour supporters are mneareer the bottom of the pile and therefore less sullied by corruption?

  9. I feel very skeptical about Angus-Reid, I thought their last 2 polls were a bit out because of methodology issues or something, but that seems to explain very little…I’m just not trusting them at the moment, they seem to rush them out and appear so out from everyone else…but then again MORI are all over the place sometimes…

  10. I don’t think you can say there is anything wrong with AR’s methodology, its just different.

    Over time as they do more polls we will be able to see the trends in their results like in others.

    We can really never know who’s methodology is right because even if one pollster get it close on election day they might have just been luck or had a rouge.

    All we can really do is watch the trends in polls by the same pollster or in the polls overall and try to make our best judgement as to where the truth lies.

    I remember a quote from somewhere about military intelligence (not the one that it’s a contradiction in terms) which said it had two parts “collection and collation” and I think its the same with polls.

    The collection is the easy bitin some regards but its interpretation that is difficult as it implies making judgements based on experience and theories about how things work.


  11. Poll out in the Daily Telegraph Tuesday re Scottish Voting intentions – any update?

  12. Anthony,

    Why is it that when you click on the Communicate tab in the Pollsters section you get the “Royal Horticultural Society”…

    Are you suggesting that their site is a load of manure…..


  13. The Telegraph poll is a YouGov one that asks people what their priority is and not unsurprisingly cutting unemployment comes higher than an Independence referendum

    It will be interesting to see what the actual Scottish priorities are and if it was a open question like ICM use or if there was a limited number of options. If it was limited then I hope its not one of those daft ones along the lines of;

    What would your priority for the government be-
    New Curtains for No 10 or ending world poverty…..

    I am not surprised by the slip for Independence as calls for change are muted in a recession and we have had a year of all those opposed to Independence saying “Now is not the time”.

    I have little doubt that the “Not during a recession” line will be the central line against the referendum bill and will probably work as it lets those who don’t want it block it without being open to allegations that they have denied the people their say.

    Next year it will be “Not during the recovery” and in 2011 it will be “Not now things are better”. from the point of view of unionists it is better politics to call for delays than to be seen to be opposing it outright.


  14. The WMA is 40:27:19 – confirming that the IpsosMORI poll was a rogue but this isn’t great either. So far Angus Reid has on average over-estimated the CLead by 1.7 but it’s early days for them. IpsosMORI really should be better at their job by now.

    As for that idiot in the New Statesman – he clearly hasn’t a clue about polls or statistics.

  15. Peter Cairns

    On another thread Anthony gave a link to a poll from 2007 which asked the whole of the UK about their views on Scottish Independence amongst other things. The interesting thing was that the only nation where those in favour outnumbered those against was England!

    I know it was two years ago, but it backs up my anecdotal experience. My only worry is that knowing how bolshie the Scots are, they’ll turn against independence because the English want them to have it!

    PS This is a bit of a tease, It’s not intended to kick off a major row.

  16. Peter B,

    Us bolshie…. have you never herm “Hermless” by Micheal Marra. It should be our national anthem;

    (Michael Marra)

    “Wi’ ma hand on ma hert and ma hert in ma mooth
    Wi’ erms that could reach ower the sea
    Ma feet micht be big but the insects are safe
    They’ll never get stood on by me

    Hermless, hermless, There’s never nae bother fae me
    I ging to the libry, I tak’ oot a book
    And then I go hame for ma tea

    I save a’ the coupons that come wi’ the soup
    And when I have saved fifty-three
    I send awa fifty, pit three in the jrar
    And something gets posted tae me

    Hermless, hermless, There’s never nae bother fae me
    I dae whit I’m telt and I tidy my room,
    And then I come doon for my tea

    There’s ane or twa lads wha I could cry my chums
    They’re canny and meek as can be
    There’s Tam wi’ his pigeons, And Wull wi his mice,
    And Robert McLennan and me

    Hermless, hermless, There’s never nae bother fae me
    I ging to the libry, I tak’ oot a book
    And then I go hame for ma tea

    Hermless, hermless, there’s never nae bother fae me
    Naebody’d notice that I wasnae there
    If I didnae come hame for ma tea”

    See we’re no bolshie at aw.


  17. Breaking News:

    SNP councillor in “scrap Flower of Scotland” call.

    Buy tomorrow’s Daily Record.

  18. The last ComRes poll to be published on 12th Nov had these figures:
    C – 39%, Lab – 25%, LD – 17%.

    It’ll be interesting to see whether the new ComRes poll to be published soon will be closer to the Ipsos/MORI or the Angus/Reid poll.

    Slightly worrying for the Tories that 5 of the last 7 polls have put them on less than 40%.

  19. Funny seeing the Cons prasing this poll from new on the scene amatures, but rubishing reports from polling stalwarts Mori.

  20. The proof of the pudding is in the tasting and the proof of the polling (insofar as it exists at all) is the actual instantiation of what people say they do/think. Come June 2010, we’ll have a better sense of how good or bad Angus Reid’s methodology is.

    Some very interesting points have been raised about tactical voting. It will be very interesting to see how big or small a factor tactical voting is at the next election and who it hurts.

  21. Andy – the cons maybe slightly worried but when others are less than 15% they score 40% or more.
    They only drop below 40% when others are 15-19%.
    My view is that if there where a GE in 3-4 weeks time after a campaign ‘GB’ others will be around 10% (still up from approx 6.5) and the cons will get 2-3% of the drift back. This is exagerrated in recent polls by Lisbon effect perhaps but as many have said Euro-Sceptics (amd most phobes) will vote con rather than see their vote allow back a Lab ot LD MP.
    Lab and LDs will get some also.
    As such I think the Cons are probably 4-5% or so above the 38% level I believe to be crucial but 4% loss over 6-7 months is possible so they are not home and dry by any means.

  22. So does this represent a victory for those who said “let’s just wait and see” after the MORI poll?

    I’m not saying this poll definitely proves the MORI poll to be false, but given the amount of people who got so worked up about it (including some who ought to know better) does this not show that analysing polling data cannot be done through one poll?

  23. Mark M – it was mainly realtive newcomers who read too much in the Mori.
    I started coming on this site about 2 years ago and I would have reacted in a similar way then.
    I am sure no-one is sad enough to look back but some of my early posts would be rather laughable I am sure.
    It took many lessons for me reach the level of sophistication I now exude (sic).
    Still I am looking forward to You Gov and ICM for a better pricture, not sure Cons Res will tell us much as prior to AR (not withstanding Mori’s last one) they have been the least illuminating.

  24. Philip – looking at the question, I think the bit that is more likely to change the results is actually that AR ask which party people would support, rather than which party they would vote for.

    Peter – that is weird. The link still goes to ComRes’s old address before they changed their name from Communicate Research. Bizarrely it now redirects to the BHS.

  25. Angus Reid ? Why not Ant & Dec ? Absolute rubbish and this site is losing credibility by the day by including it amongst pollsters with at least some track record. Anyone remember Research Services with similar rubbish in the Observer during 1979 election ? Come on Anthony – get a grip.

  26. Angus Reid have a very good track record, so Anthony is quite right to report their polls.

  27. What track record?

  28. @AlanW
    I think your remarks are a bit harsh my friend. It is hardly Anthonys fault if a player like IMori come up with a 440 man outlyer. As for these new boys, they may be new to us but they have a very good reputation in other fields.
    BMW began car building by producing Austin 7s under licence.

  29. @CHRIS
    I am one Con who does not take this as gospel. It probably overstates the Tory position by 3 or 4 points, as other polls in the recent past have done. But as the American Express motto said in my younger day, “that will do nicely sir”.

  30. Angus Reid are far from amateurs – they are a global polling organisation who have done over 21,000 pollls. They are just new to the UK market.

  31. It’s amusing to see the banter between postees here.
    It’s so evident that Tory supporters are wishing with all their strength that the Tory lead is maintained.

    Then you have the Labour supporters who look out for any blip in their poll position to cheer themselves up.

    I reckon the Tory lead is not so strong and that disgruntled Labour supporters are just venting at the moment but will switch back at the GE.
    Hung Parliament here we come!!!

  32. @CHRIS
    Further to my previous post. I have just read the other posts
    carefully and see absolutley no evidence whatsoever of Tories getting over exited, or even slightly excited about this poll.

    A very pleasant change from the nonsense posted in the Guardian/Observer over the last 2 days, and to a lesser extent on this site.

  33. @NBEALE
    It is not like Labourites to have a down on Johnny Foreigner.
    But I suppose its a case of shoot the messenger.

  34. Have a look at AR’s

    It’s a terrific resource for global opinion on a whole range of topics.

  35. AL J

    I think from previous historical analysis of past elections by contributors on this site that labour is unlikely to close a gap with the tories.

    It is unlikely that people in the Midlands where there are loads of marginals will swing back to labour.

    The tories achilles heal is some of the local parties and activists. I think they come over as unpleasant to most of us and their recent defeat versus David C on the young female ppc can only help both tory and DC reputation across the country.

    A question for Cllr Cairns and the rest of the Scottish contingent. Whatever the accuracy of any particular poll, why is labour doing so well in Scotland?

  36. Analysis of last two opinion polls.

    Tory optimists – Mori is a rogue, Angus Reid has it spot on

    Tory pessimists – Mori is extreme but in the right direction, AR
    is a rogue

    Labour optimists – Mori is spot on, AR is a rogue

    Labour pessimists – Mori is a rogue, AR is spot on

    LD optimists – Mori is a rogue, AR is a rogue

    LD pessimists – Mori is a rogue, AR is a rogue

  37. Anthony

    Do you ever analyse local council by-elections? Do you think they give a good indicator of whats happening in the constituencies?

    Also, may I dare ask if you’ll be giving your prediction for the outcome of the GE in due course?

  38. @Leslie Moss — Lib Dems are optimists almost by definition, it goes with the territory. I’m pretty sure any optimistic Lib Dem would be hoping that AR’s methodology, putting the party within one point of Labour, was spot on! And also that the Mori one’s a rogue…

  39. AL J

    It is theoretically possible that they might give an indication how how well particular constituencies are doing locally if you compare them to local elections in other constituencies, though I think you’d be more likely to find a link with local elections, than local by-elections. It’s easy to cherry pick results in hindsight and claim they were showing something, but to really know you’d need to do a really comprehensive analysis, and I haven’t done that.

    At a national level though, my view is local by-elections are of no use in predicting how well the parties are doing –

  40. Thanks Anthony for your reply. I’ll have a look at the link.

  41. Personally, I think it’s pretty obvious that polling is actually becoming and important weapon in the election campaigns.

    The sort of:

    “Everyone else is seemingly voting for them, so they must be right”.


    Personally, I think a lot of papers just set up polls to get a certain result. If they want a tory raise, they can just manipulate the questioning. The same for Labour.

    That’s a lot of the reason why most newspapers polls are quite different. They are there to write stories on it. And they want the story to follow their own editorial policy.

    I realise that newspapers like the Independent, are probably maybe above that. But I think it’s open war fare with the rest.

    A telegraph, mail, Sun, Sky News, Mirror, Times, poll is just:

    “This is the story we want to print. Now get us the results”.

    Personally, I’d say the Tory lead is probably pretty over exaggerated. Just because most media outlets are pretty much behind “change” now.

    I’d say, personally, it was closer to 8-9 points. If there was an election now, I’d say that would be their lead.

    It will probably drop a bit as well, I think, because my sources tell me that Labour will announce a lot of pretty populous tax rises in the PBR. As well as closing a lot of upper middle class tax breaks. As well as raising natonal insurance.

    Offering an alternative to “age of austerity” that the tories possibly can’t match.

    Labour will hit the upper-middle classes with a smile on their faces, in regards to tax rises. The tories can’t possibly do that.

    I think the tories will win, but it may well be a hung parliament.

    if my sources are right, and it’s a choice between taxing rich people to pay off debt, and cutting things a lot of people rely on, Labour will take back a lot of votes.

    Let’s remember that “cut cut cut” is merly the only option in tory eyes, as they can’t stomach raising taxes on their core party support.

    Labour aren’t in that boat, and probably will do just that.

    I’d say the first real imporant poll will be post PBR. As that will really draw out the battle lines.

    Anything at the minute is just posturing and media spin

  42. @CHRIS
    I think you judgement about GE results and your reasons for them are as inaccurate as your comment about the “independence” of the Independent. It could not display more glee yesterday regarding the IMori, yet does not mention todays Angus Reid poll at all.
    Rather like the BBC.

  43. Chris

    It is interesting times we live in.

    I look forward to the Pre-Budget Report by Darling. I hope it won’t be too much of a shocker!! I suppose you’re right that it could change the polls. Watch this space!! ;-)

  44. Interesting poll. Especially considering the MORI one which sent the Tory blogsphere into fits of apoplexy.

    My own baseless speculation (with an eye on the Yougov evidence of hardening of Labour support in Scotland) on this is that it has got the Tories about right and it underestimates Labour by 7-8 points (probably because it vastly overestimates others) and that the Tories enjoy a 10pc – ish lead overall.

  45. This is very funny. Anthony – where do the smiley faces come from? They seem to appear from nowhere!
    Are you a magician ;-)

  46. @BENM
    I am no expert on Scottish Politics ( there are a few on this site who are) but I really think any connection with English and indeed Welsh Politics is remote and getting more remote.
    I wonder what the rationale is behind a less favorable veiw on independence but a strong hardening of Labour support. In other words the future holds two countries joined by act of union, one Tory, the other Labour. It sounds as if David Cameron will be a hate figure north of the border and people like me will be demanding English independence.

  47. Chris – “Personally, I think a lot of papers just set up polls to get a certain result. If they want a tory raise, they can just manipulate the questioning. The same for Labour.”

    You are wrong then! In terms of voting intention, each pollster uses their own consistent wording regardless of the client and they are always asked first to ensure other questions cannot skew them. The tables are publicly available for people to inspect to check this, and it would be very quickly noticed if something out of the ordinary had occured (not least by other pollsters, who have in the past persued complaints against each other to the MRS).

    ICM, for example, will use exactly the same methodology in polling for the Guardian as it does the News of the World or Sunday Telegraph. YouGov uses exactly the same methodology when polling for the People or Mirror as for the Sun or the Telegraph.

    Newspapers will, of course, commission polls hoping to get a story they like, and they may well commission questions on a particular subject hoping to be able to tell a particular story, but that’s it. The polling companies have the final say over what questions they accept and will not run ones they think are skewed.

  48. Yet another poll for the mix from Scotland.

    Labour — 39 percent (up 9 points from August)
    SNP — 24 percent (down 2)
    Conservatives — 18 percent (down 2)
    Lib Dems — 12 percent (down 6)

  49. There is no way the Tories will win a majority at the General Election. How can I be so sure? Labour stalwarts will vote Labour because they do not have anywhere else to go. LibDems pride themselves on being a small but loyal grouping but the Tory stalwarts will now consider voting BNP or UKIP. That is where they will lose it. The climbdown on the Lisbon Treaty and their PC correctness will drive people away and they will deserve what they get. Touchy feely conservatism is utter nonsense and nobody actually believes it really. Pollsters will be baffled on election night and I can’t wait.

  50. @Jack
    I admire your enthusiam but your logic is flawed. There is evidence to suggest that the majority of BNP voters are working class and hence more likely to come from the ‘Labour camp’. The only real treat to the Tories in terms of drift voting is to UKIP and that won’t be in big enough numbers to count.Many I know will vote UKIP at the europeans but revert back to tory at the GE. All we can really be sure of at the mo’ is there is a consistant tory lead which suggest a tory majority at the next GE.

    frankly I think this Labour gov’s days are numbered.

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