Political Betting has the latest results from a new AngusReid poll. Their topline figures are CON 38%(-2), LAB 26%(nc), LDEM 19%(+1). As ever, Angus Reid show a lower level of Labour support than other companies (for my thoughts on why see here), but the narrowing gap between the Conservatives and Labour echoes that elsewhere.

Angus Reid have also produced some figures for groups of marginal seats – note that these are properly weighted seperately from the main poll, and not just cross-breaks. It was also a larger poll to ensure they were decent sized samples.

Amongst 150 Labour/Conservative marginals these figures showed a swing of 12% from Labour to the Conservatives, a lot higher than the swing recorded in the country as a whole. As far as I’m aware every poll of marginal seats in the last year or so has shown the Conservatives enjoying a larger swing in the marginals to varying degrees. I’m always slightly wary of the exact difference (and the extent we can draw meaning) but the pattern is at least strongly consistent across studies by all different pollsters.

Amongst Liberal Democrat held seats the shares of the vote, with changes from 2005, are CON 33%(+4), LAB 16%(-3), LDEM 39%(-7). Here I would urge more caution – I have severe reservations over marginal polls carried out in Lib Dem seats.

Essentially, I have rarely if ever seen such a poll that doesn’t report a big drop in Lib Dem support, even when subsequent elections don’t reflect that. Often they also show increases in Labour support even when the party is down. For example, in November 2004 Populus did some private polling for Michael Ashcroft in Lib Dem held seats being targetted by the Tories – they found the Lib Dem support down by 8 points. The following year the Lib Dem share of the vote in those seats remained static.

My guess is that this is because people do not factor in local candidates or tactical decisions when answering voting intention questions (or perhaps do not consider these things at all until an election is called). Naturally enough, these factors weigh the heaviest in Lib Dem constituencies.

In the PoliticsHome marginal seat polls in 2008 and 2009 I used very heavy prompting, and asked people two versions of the voting intention question to push people towards really considering how they would vote locally… and it massively increased Lib Dem support (and showed them holding their own against the Tories in some parts of the country). I’m not necessarily saying those were more accurate – it’s never been tested at an election and for all I know I could have overegged it – but I always take voting intentions in CON -vs- LDEM marginals with a great deal of salt.

126 Responses to “Angus Reid marginals data”

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    “is if somehow the return Labour voters was higher in the swing seats than in the heartlands In northern / Scottish seats”

    ooohh be careful there are some people on here who take great offence at scotland being defined as a labour heartland (flying in the face of all the evidence of course).

  2. Sorry I meant underestimating Labour not overestimating Labour….

  3. YouGov today

    CON 38% (38)
    LAB 32% (32)
    LD 19%(17)

    CON & LAB No change
    LD +2

  4. @Amber Star

    “YouGov today

    CON 38% (38)
    LAB 32% (32)
    LD 19%(17)

    CON & LAB No change
    LD +2”

    Not really surprising- continuation of Bully gate and Darling gate along with tedious rabble rousing on both sides at PMQ’s only served to up the Lib Dems by 2 points.

    And with that genossen I am offline !

  5. Thanks Rob S & Neil

    Just a bit off topic – this is a complete wind up by Angus. It’s the only thing spoiling a hung parliament.

    Sue you are not alone – I’ve got four friends coming over on election night for a Hung Parliament Party – I must be mad ;-)

  6. Well it’s steady as you go & up for Libs-they’ll be pleased. Tories haven’t benefitted from B** gate and it’s looking good now that I’ve decided AR is wrong

  7. How about if the polling companies gave a range of results whereby they applied,say 5 different methodologies to the same raw data?

    Then Angus Reid could say “here’s what we think, but YouGov would say this about the inputs, Ipsos Mori would say that, Comres would say the other , etc*

    That way we could discern shifts much more easily, and weigh up the accuracy of different methods with much more certaiinty.

    Neil A – If you could see them through my eyes, they wouldn’t look Scottish at all.

  8. I voted lib dem in the last three elections. Often lib dem supporters vote against unpopular governments i voted lib dem 1997 against the torys. I would not assume lib dem voters are only tactical labour voters they are often lib dem voters or like Me tactical anti government voters.

  9. Oldnat

    thank you

  10. @The Great Gonzo
    “I just don’t think the majority of floating voters living in swing constituencies down here have as much to lose from cuts in public services.”

    Cuts in public services are already happening. Councils are laying off thousands of workers and there are big NHS cuts for next tax year – £20 million in one PCT local to me from a budget of £100m. There are probably other examples. Why the Tories don’t point this out is beyond me.

  11. @ John TT

    ‘How about if the polling companies gave a range of results whereby they applied,say 5 different methodologies to the same raw data?

    Then Angus Reid could say “here’s what we think, but YouGov would say this about the inputs, Ipsos Mori would say that, Comres would say the other , etc’

    Great idea!

    Couldn’t Anthony do that….

    After he has given poll of poll information to one decimal place and produced running poll of marginal poll information.

    I’m not expecting a Christmas card from Anthony this year!

  12. I dont trust Angus Ried

  13. This reminds Me of 1992 it seems to be an election which noone knows which way it may go.

  14. Gareth – I’m not sure how transparent the companies are with each other or with the public, but I’m sure Anthony could bat it towards a geek reader of this site to crunch (unofficially).

    I;m confused, and frustrated because I suspect the approach to risk will make the pollsters refine themselves as GE day approaches and converge on or around the result.

    The gambling aspect casts doubt (but I’m sure Mr Smithson is completely above board in terms of his motive)

  15. I quite like seeing the LD share increase. Several posters said they could not believe it was only 17.

  16. Anybody with a modicum of good manners won’t be voting UKIP anymore.

    The UKIP leader was ranting at the new EU President. Publicly calling him a nonentity & such like, to his face in the EU parliament. Watching it made me cringe.

  17. Amber – the concept of being beastly to the foreigners can win votes. The actual manifestation of it (imo) damages the perpetrators. That’s why we need them to have the oxygen of publciity- it burns them hard.

  18. Amber

    I saw a clip too. It was very abusive. Farage was in an enraged mode. Very unpleasant.

    Isn’t he standing against Bercow? I might be wrong can’t remember which seat. Do you think it’s an elections stunt?

  19. @Rob Sheffield
    Thanks, I’ll be sure to be on my guard :-)

    @Pete B
    Fair point, I think though that the Conservatives know the cuts would be deeper under them and are wary of pointing out the cuts already in place as they know Labour would turn it back by saying to voters “sorry but we have to, but it would be even worse if you vote that lot in”.

    @Amber, John TT, Al J
    I saw the same clip, I liked his “no-one in Europe has heard of you” line, you could almost see everyone else the camera cut to looking at him as if to say “You’re an MEP? I thought you worked in the Facilities Department”

    Utter pillock.

  20. I think GreatGonzo is onto something.

    The likelihood is that non-Labour and Conservative seats will be roughly as follows:

    Libdems – 50 (+/- 5)
    Norn Iron – 18
    SNP – 8 or 9
    Plaid – 4 or 5
    Green/BNP/UKIP – maybe 1 between them
    Others – possibly 1 or 2

    That gives a total of about 80 – 85 seats NOT going to the main parties, leaving about 565 – 570 to be split between them. One party needs 325 for a majority (in practice 321 because of the Norn Iron situation).

    That means the second party can get almost 250 seats and still not achieve a hung parliament. So the difference between a Conservative majority and a Labour majority is only about 70 – meaning only 35 seats will decide between the two outcomes.

  21. Almost every word of what Farage said was undoubtedly true. He put it rather bluntly, but being a politician means you have to give and take that sort of thing. I can’t see this losing UKIP many votes (and btw Farage is NOT the UKIP leader, despite the Beeb’s assertions).

  22. Neil – i don’t think UKIP have many votes to lose do they? The interesting thing will be the effect on fellow Eurosceptics’ image.

  23. NEIL
    “He put it rather bluntly, but being a politician means you have to give and take that sort of thing”


    I think some of our more sensitive friends feel that the Brownian approach is more becoming perhaps?


  24. I’d love to see more polls from individual constituencies – is there anywhere I can get this info?
    I have a very strong feeling that this WILL be an election where rogue results pop up all over the place. Good MPs will do well, corrupt ones will be punished, I honestly think partisanship will play a much smaller part in this election. That’s why I don’t trust this marginal result. I think the marginals will be all over the place.

  25. Colin – you can’t have it both ways.

    Farage damages his party in the same way that any politician damages his or hers by adhominem nastiness.

    I find it difficult to ignore insidious nastiness. That’s why I couldn’t do it myself, I’d just end up ridiculing partisan unreasonableness like I do now and then.

  26. Rob Sheffield

    “But scottish politics is pretty much the same game (aside from the labour introduced reforms on parliament and electoral system) up there as my Brother-in-law often moans to me.”

    Yes, and we have the same weather as the Canaries this week, (aside from the sunshine).

    Saying that the Scottish Parliament and its electoral system were created by Labour betrays your predjudice that it must therefore be flawed. Except that it wasn’t created just by Labour, and is approved of by most Scots.

    “For that he blames squarely the awful Salmond and Swine – ney: who he says are hated much more than the UK PM.”

    I know that Labour and their friends in the Scotsman are conducting a hate campaign against MacAskill and Hyslop,but I wonder who it is that hates John Swinney.

    He seems to me to be a politician that some would call bland and even boring. He was this years politician of the year because of the difficulty of the finance brief.

    Labour supporters do hate Salmond. He comes acoss as smug and, considering the quality of debate from the Labour opposition, and the fact that he usually outclasses them. He can do the PMQ things with Labour and then turn to Annabel Goldie or a LibDem and deal with a serious question in a serious way.

    It is none of these ministers who is building support for the SNP, but Richard Lochead, who is hardly known at all to urban voters, but whose many initiatives on rural issues, fishing, and agriculture are admired in the places where the SNP have support, is one.

    Nicola Sturgeon has the other ministry which has an impact on almost the whole electorate.

    She may be the most successful health minister and the most admired within the NHS (or the least disrespected perhaps) in either system since I began working in the NHS and is probably the most committed to its principles since Barbara Castle.

    There NHS is a big employer. People talk to their families and friends about their dissatisfactions at work. Patient satisfaction is high and rising. NS has made a difference by doing some quite simple things.

    “He has remarked on Brown going back home and running Scotland.”

    For a start, GB would see it as a comedown. He would miss the international networking, and has seen how TB has been able to operate since standingdown. Then there is the litte matter of his party not having the largest number of seats.

    The Murphy scenario is much more credible.

    “Is there a chance of having a separate ‘Scottish Polling Report’ site? So a certain very sad little individual can go and play all by himself !!!”

    There is. Exactly the same chance as the chance of independence.

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