Tonight’s poll(s)

I’m expecting at least one new poll tonight (from ComRes in the Sunday Indy), and with luck there will be others too. Feel free to use this thread to discuss them.

135 Responses to “Tonight’s poll(s)”

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  1. Polls aside its cannot yet be clear that there has been a considered reaction to the PBR….

    The polls still seem to show a trend towards Labour rather than a shift and its still too tentative to make for anything to get too excited over….I’d still say that we’d need to be looking at Labour on 32% and above to really be in hung parliament / Lab largest party territory. Even then differential swing may give Cameron an advantage…in London for example where the Conservatives did better last time.

    The comres is odd in so far as the LibDem vote jumps by the 4% rather than Labour vote rising as in other polls.

    I still think the local stuff may show that Labour voters are now voting; that itself is a change from the Summer.

    If this combines with a clearer shift in the polls then I think we head for more of a 74 than 79 scenario.

  2. Neil A – Thank you for that post. I think you said everything I would want to say on this apparent Conservative local council by election “collapse”

    A couple of other points.

    1. I believe YouGov actually carry out the field work for BPIX? No surprise they are alike – Its basically two polls from the same organisation (though we don’t know eherer the BPIX poll is weighted like standard YouGov polls)

    2. These wide fluctuations across the pollsters are to be expected given the time of year. Pre Christmas polling is always hit and miss, IMO. It does certainly appear that the Tories are in a stronger position than this time last year. Overall I think the Tory lead is still somewhere between 10-14%, with an average around 12%. The polls appear to be moving more than they are.

  3. Amber
    Thanks for the reply. Sorry for not seeing it before -think I’m too tired now.

    I wonder if things will get even more on a knife-edge as we approach the GE or whether the divide will widen?

    It is possible I suppose that Labour supporters will come out to vote if they feel threatened by a Tory victory. Having said that , it may happen in reverse!!

    I think AW will give us a clear indication of what’s going on at the moment.

  4. Westminster by-elections can’t be used to predict general elections, so why would local by-elections be any better?

    Still, interesting to see the polls diverging so much… if this keeps up, we could be in for a very interesting election campaign!

  5. I suspect there will be a public backlash against the PBR, it failed to address the issue which is seen in most people’s minds as very important, and it has been spun by the media as being shamelessly political.

    I think even the banking levy will be regarded as thus, Brown is being shamelessly political. It reminds me of the words of T.S. Elliot;

    The last temptation is the greatest treason,
    To do the right deed for the wrong reason.

  6. Interesting polls. I can’t see the tories being happy, because what first started off as a one off “slump” is reonating across the boards now, in polls, and local elections.

    Not too sure what to make of the Independent one, as it always seems to be a bit high.

    We know where we stand with Yougov polling however, and I think that one will worry Dave.

    As in, in regards to Yougov polling, he’s probably down to a solid single figure lead now.

    I actually think the polls are a bit generous to the tories anyway. Just because they don’t really reflect how hard it will actually be for a lot of peopleto vote tory.

    Places like Wales, Bristol, North West are simply not going to vote tory unless Cameron has convinced them totally.

    Has he done that as of yet? Not close. I just think he is asking for far too much trust.

    It’s almost like he’s asking to be put in on trust. When nobody actually trusts him at all.

    As in OSborne on the economy. Criticising Labour on one hand for not tackling the subject. And then in the same sentence telling us that he will “form a star chamber to make decisions on cuts after the election”.

    As in, he;’s saying they won’t even start discussing cuts until after they have been voted in?

    That’s the electorates problem in my opinion. I think Cameron is pushing the “trust me” thing way to far, and people really don’t have much to go on.

    I actually get confused when I read the confidence on the tory chances of a majority.

    As I said, forget polls.In a heck of alot of communities it will take some super human policy to get them to vote tory. Not that they will vote Labour either, but ticking a tory box will take some magic from Cameron.

    Is the magic there? Far from it. I’d say Cameron is possibly even unpopular in a lot of places.

    I do have a theory however, that whoever has the media backing, should win an election.

    As they can set the agenda, and can go more on the offensive.,

    If Cameron has a leak (say Darling and Brown in disagreement on VAT) he can get it on the front pages of 5 newspapers. WIth the source being little more than a max clifford “a source told us”.

    Brown can’t do that. As there is probably only 1 paper who wants to see him back in power – the mirror.

    Unless you have across the board media coverage, it doesn’t get taken seriously.

    If that Darling VAT story had only appeared in say the express, nobody would have given it the time of day. Get it in 5 papers, and it suddenly becomes factual.

  7. There is no evidence of the gap closing with the latest polls. If we saw a 4 point or 5 point lead now that would be worrying but it is still in the 10 to 17 point range

  8. I agree with Amber by the way. This is a great discussion board.

    Factual, emotionless, just pure politics. Nobody is on the attack – just discussing what they think is happening.

    I can’t describe how low my heart sinks when I read a guardian message board saying something like:

    “Bliar is a war criminal. Zanu-Liebour have blood on their hands. Brown is a liar,election now! Labour have bankrupted this great country, and we are overun with immigrants”.

    Even the broadsheets are overrun by it these days. The sad thing is, they are merely quoting what the likes of the Sun have been pumping out for 2 years.

    Showing how powerful the media really is to those who don’t think a great deal

  9. “There is no evidence of the gap closing with the latest polls. If we saw a 4 point or 5 point lead now that would be worrying but it is still in the 10 to 17 point range”

    I can’t agree with that at all. The polls have shortened. That’s just fact. The tories had double figure leads in every poll for nearly 2 years. They never went below 12 points in any poll, really.

    IN the last couple of months, there have been numerous polls with single figure leads for them. There’s been two in the last month with a single figure lead.

    As I said, just look at the last year. Across the board, every polling company had them at 12 and above. They never went into single figures.

    The 17 figure you speak of probably doesn’t exist. It’s just the style of poll they use.

    Realistically, the range you speak of is probably a 8-14. Which is definite potential hung parliament territory.

    You have to remember that the margin for error could potentially be 5 points either way.

  10. Getting back to the Tobin Tax, does anybody seriously believe this will not be passed on to customers?

    And does anybody seriously believe that developing countries will spend the extra cash for GW on reducing emissions rather than building more power stations and giving their people the added wealth to buy more cars?

    There seems to be a lot of gullible people out there.

  11. WRT the Yougov poll, Baxter gives a Conservative majority of 18 on these figures. I expect a lead of 9% would translate into an overall majority, in practice, for any party.

    At that level of lead, it’s clear that many seats would be won or lost on a handful of votes, as so many Labour seats have majorities in the range of 10-20% over the Conservatives. We probably wouldn’t be sure of the outcome until well into Friday, if there were a result along those lines.

  12. Neil A – Well said.

    I was a tory candidate in local by-election back in February this year, in a tory held ward and lost by 23 votes to the Liberals. The loss was entirely due to the former tory councillor being disqualified and the local press making the most if this.

    However at the county elections a few months later the Liberals (who becuase of the by election victory expected to win) were well and truely beaten, the tory majority is now just under a 1000!

  13. Westminster by-elections can’t be used to predict general elections, so why would local by-elections be any better?


    This point has been covered.

    They do not predict general elections. They are not, individually, much use as a guide.

    However, cumulatively, they do provide us with another worthwhile “opinion poll”. And, as such, they show what appears to be a worrying trend for the Conservatives.

    But they are just one poll, so to speak.

    And as with the other polls out today, there is clearly a lot of variation. Some showing the Conservatives in very comfortable territory. Some showing them in a less clear position.

  14. with blairs recent admission it would seem that one of AW unknown ‘unknowns’ could well effect the labour support.
    But for this to happen, the Tories are going to have to stop being ‘Tourists’ in this process and get into the campaign.

  15. So we have AR showing little change on their previous polls (which always have Labour low), Comres showing 3% swing to Cons and You Gov showing 2% swing to Labour (both showing a squeeze on the Lib Dems). They can’t both be right.

    We have nothing recent to compare BPIX with, though it provides some evidence that it may be Comres which is the outlier, with Labour polling 30. You Gov do the fieldwork for BPIX, but their polls are not always close in outcome.

    As ever, a couple more polls should settle the debate (unless they also show contradictory positions of course!).

  16. @Dont Tell Em Pike

    If the Tories get into the campaign even more that will be utter anihilation for this government dont you think? I dont believe the Tories have to do very much more as Darling and Brown are putting the nails nicely into their own coffins.

  17. @ David in France:

    I see your point, but I still don’t think that they can be compared to an actual opinion poll. Pretty much the only reason why main local elections can be seen as a guide to general elections is because the media gives them so much attention and hypes them up as a referendum on the government. Local by-elections recieve no such attention, so are far more likely to be about local issues. Also, as Neil A said, the swings in such results are from a very high tory support base from many months ago. It doesn’t seem to me that you can reasonably compare the trends in the local results with the trends in the actual opinion polls, as they were set over completely different time periods.

  18. It is rather surprising, given the press response to the PBR (Daily Mirror excepted), that YouGov are showing a Conservative lead down, and that there is so much talk of a snap election when 9% is still an election-winning lead.
    Equally, I don’t believe the Conservatives are as much as 17% ahead. The truth lies somewhere in the middle. I think the Tories are 11% ahead and will probably be so come the general election, giving them a comfortable (not huge) overall majority.

  19. David in France,

    I think that several months’ local by-election results will be a good guide to the likely outcome of the next round of local elections, but they offer no guide to a party’s general election performance (I think Anthony did a piece on this very point, a few months ago).

  20. Whilst I agree that local elections are not a good guide to the result if the next GE ( opinion Polls are not that much better either ) , they are a good indication if the trends if not absolute changes in support since the seats were last fought .
    They show a clear slippage in Conservative support and a small recovery in Labour support from 2007/2008. For the Libdems they show a strengthening where they are already string and some falling back where they are already weak .
    To a great extent this has been mirrored also in the national polls .

  21. For all those who mention the latest developments regarding Chilcot. I have waited like a jilted bride for 2 weeks now, wondering when the massed guns of HMs Opposition will deliver the earh shattering news that Tony Blair was not a one man government. Brown, Straw, Harman ect were very much a part of national leadership at the time.

    What is wrong with the Tories and Lib Dems, that prevents attack on this issue? Others have mentioned Blairs latest statement, this lets the war supporting Tories of off the hook quite a bit. They now have more proof they were lied to by the PM
    and that their judgement was wrong as a result of being misled.

  22. Governing parties usually do recover from mid term slumps at local elections in general election years. Even in the run up to the 1997 general election, the Tories secured a swing in their favour at a European Parliament constituency by-election in Yorkshire, and made gains at the county council elections while massively losing at the Westminster vote.
    Labour regained ground at the 1979 local elections while losing the general election also.

  23. Amber Star is about right—in 1992 the last close
    General Election

    Results Con 41.9% Lab 34.4% Lib Dem 17.8%
    Con majority 21
    True there has been a few boundary changes since then but fact remains that the Tories would need to be
    very well ahead for a woking majority

  24. Interesting polls. The Tory position looks very stable at 41-40-41. It’s the Labour and Lib Dem shares that seem all over the place. My own view has long been that at the general election Labour will likely come home with around 30%, because many disaffected Labour voters will vote Labour on the day rather than let the Tories walk it. But the Tory lead seems big enough and solid enough to win the day with a reasonable working majority.

    I’m getting bored with all the local elections straw-clutching. How many times do we need to reiterate that local elections are very poor predictors of general elections?

  25. @ James Ludlow

    Very well said.

    Some Labour supporters are clutching onto straws (e.g Labour vote increasing in Scotland). As previously mentioned the outcome of Scotland results and local elections wont make a blind bit of difference to the outcome of the general election. My prediction is that the Tories will have a majority of 60+

    The fact is that the vast majority have had enough of this government and will do anything to get rid of them.

    Amen to both comments. The only thing we are short of is Labours “stunning” result in the East End of Glasgow a month ago.
    The evidence that the Tories are leading by 10 to 15 points is being disregarded to the point that there is no point in holding polls. We might as well be a discusion group explaining how we would like things to be.

  27. @King Harald

    Thanks. If Labour hadnt won the Glasgow East by-election then they might as well call it a day. More interesting to me is how Labour are faring in marginal seats and from all the indications, badly. Marginals win seats and not results in Glagow East.

  28. @ King Harold

    Apologies I meant to say…. Marginal seats win elections not results in Glasgow East. My grammar isnt too good.

    Perhaps you could get Amber Star to explain the relevance of a close GE at the present time. The polls show a Tory Lead of 10 to 15 points with a 40/41% headline figure and a likely 50 to 60 seat majority. Political betting show the money going on the
    Tories in the same old way it has for months.

    Other than a few Labourites on this sight trying to desperately
    talk up the cause, what is going well for Labour?


    Well said.

  31. King Harold,what is going well for Labour are the local election results and some polls showing them in the 30’s.By the way it is site not ‘sight.’

  32. On a uniform national swing, the Conservatives would indeed need to be a number of points ahead in the popular vote to get an overall majority at the next election.
    But the indications are that the swings will be higher in the marginal seats, as in 1997 and even 1992.

  33. @ Lin

    Always when the a perty does well in the locals they do badly in the general elections. this time its Labours turn

  34. @ Lin Rees

    Just in case you pick me up on my spelling I meant party and not perty.

  35. You got to remember local elections even less people vote then normal ones (Especially if there not widspread) At westminster they only had about 30% turnout and the person who won got about 800 votes. I think it is rubbish that the Tories need a large lead for a majority. Labour only had 2% more than the tories last time. If someone had 5% more votes and was not the biggest party i think there would be widescale riots because that would be ridiculous. I guess there must be some gerrymandering by the corupt Labour party.

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