New BPIX poll

As well as the ICM and YouGov polls I reported last night, there is also a BPIX poll in the Mail on Sunday. The topline figures with changes from January are CON 36%(-3), LAB 34%(+4), LDEM 18%(nc). The poll was of 5655 people, so large enough to offer cross breaks of marginal seats. In the 75 Labour held seats where the Conservatives need a swing of less than 5% the shares of the vote are CON 40%, LAB 33%. This represents a swing of 6%, so far larger than the 2.5% swing on the headline figures. When the marginal cross-break is expanded to include the 110 seats where the Conservatives need a swing of up to 7.5%, the totals are CON 37%, LAB 36%, representing a swing of 4%.

The Mail on Sunday’s quote from Paul Whiteley about what the swings would mean is very odd indeed. We don’t have any tables to examine the data properly, but from the figures in the Mail on Sunday it doesn’t work out at all. On a swing of 2.5% as represented by the topline figures in this poll, the Conservatives would gain 33 of these Labour held target seats. If they recieved a 8 point swing in the 75 more marginal seats as suggested by the figures in the article, they would gain all of them, so would gain 42 extra seats rather than the 9 claimed in the article.

UPDATE: Mea culpa, that swing in the closest 75 seats is actually 6 points, not 8. It would still be enough for the Conservatives to will all the seats in that group (a 5 point swing is needed to win a seat with a 10% majority).

232 Responses to “New BPIX poll”

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  1. woodsman

    ‘’I thought Sunday night was gonna be predictions night!…….?’’

    I tried to get it started woodsman but not enough of us asked for it I guess.

  2. I think the Ashcroft millions are being focused on specific marginals, not including those which the Tories are taking for granted, such as mine, Finchley & Golders Green, where small boundary changes have made it marginally Tory instead of marginally Labour. In fact from their lack of campaigning I reckon both parties are taking it for granted that the Tories will win here.

    I suggest that means that you can’t measure the Ashcroft effect by looking at the swing in all marginals, as the easy kills are not receiving much attention.

  3. @ al j
    are we putting our predictions in this week?
    mine are:
    con 36
    lab 34
    lib 21

  4. Naylor

    I would love to do it – but we need Anthony to sanction it- somebody please ask him thanks ;-)

  5. Ken

    “Whilst the polls reflect the public’s view that they want Labour out”.

    That seems somewhat of an overstatement.

    It’s worth having a look at the other questions in the poll about whether people want anyone to have an overall majority (Mike Smithson refers to these on PB).

    Only 33% want an outright Tory victory. Only 25% want an outright Labour victory.

    71% intend to vote for one of the only two GB parties who could form a Government with an overall majority. Without access to the data we can’t say for certain, but it seems likely that the 58% who want to see a Government with an overall majority are simply a subset of them.

    The 55% who are worried about there not being a Government with an overall majority are likely to be a further subset.

    42% of people don’t seem to want either Tory or Labour “in” to the degree that their activists want. Also we don’t really have any idea how many of those who do want to see a Government with an overall majority do so with any degree of enthusiasm.

  6. @ AMBER
    Apologies…………..there’s sooo much wishful commentary on these comments, that any that are observant of the data gets a bit lost…….wood for the trees!! I imagine 34% is a figure both parties have been looking out for. I read many months ago Labour levels of hope were dependent on hitting 33% by end of 2009, well they are 2 months behind, but they have finally broken this ‘ceiling’ – so this must give them a lift. As for the Tories a 34% level now for Labour must be making their strategist nervous, as this gets into the ball-park of the electoral system giving Labour seat-advantage when the 2 parties are both in the mid-30s. I think Labour hitting 34% has tipped the coming GE into game-on territory…………with excitement, for very different reasons, being triggered in both camps.

  7. @ AL J

    Mine, buoyed up the BPIX poll, is unchanged from last week.

    CON 34%
    LAB 38%
    LIB 21%
    OTH 7%

  8. @AMBER STAR………..I think most sensible people would take Labour off that list and put them under = Bankrupt……….but then again I’m a realist and prudent by nature…not a Scottish banker. :-)

  9. Anthony

    Could we have a perma-thread for a regular weekly poll prediction please?

    I can see it’d be better not to clog up other threads with it but hope there’s room on the site somewhere for the idea.

    How was that AL J? ;-)

  10. @Ronnie

    Indeed, I noticed. It looks even more obvious on my trend graph. (Check the link in my name on this comment)

    Of course, what the graph also suggests is that the LibDem figure is going to be static. But it’s pretty much accepted that they wont, and will pick up during the campaign when they’re given equal time. And of course, suspected that they’ll pick up even more in the debates.

    It’s that rise which will be more damaging to the Conservatives, as it’ll eat into the Lib/Con marginals that the conservatives need to pick up to get a majority. It may even see them picking up more seats than last time if they do very well in the debates and establish electability.

  11. ‘KEN
    Whilst the polls reflect the public’s view that they want Labour out,’

    Of course name the last time any party won a 50% + 1 majority; so all polls want all UK parties out of GOvt.

    Roll on preferential voting; roll by silly comments about statistics

  12. Well if I get banned Amber – do you think you’ll ever find me lol ;-)

    Anthony please can we play our game and I’ll calculate our collective average. Thanks

    Thanks Amber Woodsman & Naylor

  13. Having dipped in and out pleasantly during the day while watching footy it suddenly got ‘invaded’ by a group of partisans. Quite a funny experience as though one had just been attending a prayer meeting and some folk from the pub turned up. I do like this site.

    On demographics, the last 20 years in our SW rurals has seen a qualitative change even if the numerical changes are modest. The retired colonels and admirals are being replaced by the retired teachers and NHS managers and so on.

  14. Having criticisedothers for their blind predictions without argument or reference to evidence I’m now going to join he ‘Sunday night fun’ and make a prediction.

    Conservative 35
    Labour 34
    Lib Dem. 20

    Hung parliament, Tories short by about 30 because of the marginal seat effect.

    I could explain why I think this but I think that is against the ‘ Sunday night fun’ rules but I don’t want to deny other posters the opportunity to mock me as a hypocrite.

    Only sensible non partisan posts until next Sunday I promise.

  15. @OLDNAT………….You are generally right with your comments, but the polls can only give us a flavour and we can all take comfort at this early stage, why live in misery, call it like you see it.
    Btw, I spend a lot of time in Scotland, learned to play golf at Ratho Park Edinburgh, fish on the Dee, and shoot in Auchterader, so I am used to being pressurised by Scots. Lang may yer auld lum reek. :-)

  16. My prediction is (but it may change nearer polling day)

    Con 37
    Lab 35
    LD 22

  17. Anthony has kindly given us a prediction thread -if you want to join in for a collective average -please give %’s for each party. thanks

  18. @AL J……………….I’m calling it as I see it , probably for all the wrong reasons, but ever optimistic, with some supporting logic………C39/L31/LD20.

  19. 39/32/20 for this week.

  20. @Rob,

    Please stop accusing me of misrepresenting or selectively quoting you. My last few posts haven’t even quoted you at all, just the article you were referring to. And for the record you are totally misrepresenting me, insulting me even, by talking about “people like you” (ie me) claiming that the marginal effect will deliver a majority to the Tories. Some people may have said that. I am not one of them, and I am not “like them”. I have also made no reference to the AR poll other than a general remark some time ago than every poll of margins (which obviously includes theirs) has shown some degree of marginal effect. I have repeatedly said that it is a completely open question just how much the effect will benefit the Tories, and of course there is no way it can help them win a majority unless their lead is up above 7-8% or so, possibly more.


    I absolutely accept that 13 seats is a small number, and I agree with Prof Whitely’s view that it is much less of an effect than some Tories are hoping for. But to call it negligible bordering on non-existent isn’t really right. In an election this tight, 13 seats could decide everything. It could be the clincher between a majority and a hung parliament. it could be the difference between a stable coalition and a minority government. It could be the difference between Clegg supporting Cameron or Brown.

    Taken together with the very low overall lead in the BPIX poll all it does is slightly narrow the gap in seats between the main parties, whilst having no real effect on the outcome. But if a similar effect occurred with figures at, say, 38/33/19 or 34/37/19 then it could make all the difference in the world.

    There is a marginal differential. That’s all I’m saying.

    @Jack (The Original),

    We’re not discussing the “Ashcroft Effect” vis the scandal over him not paying tax. This “Ashcroft Effect” is shorthand used by the MoS to describe the increased swing in the marginals that may be partly attributable to additional resources targeted on them by Ashcroft in his role as strategy guru (and largely financed by him).

  21. Is this prediction for the GE result? Or for the next poll that’s published?

  22. @ GARETH

    We all posted our open thread predictions last week in a totally partisan spirit, with no justification.

    That’s why it’s so much fun ;-)

  23. @ NEIL A

    GE prediction; I’m very optimistic ;-) but not totally delusional (see my prediction).

  24. L

  25. Neil A @Barnaby,

    “I think part of the problem is the question of expectations.”

    So what were your 5-year expectations the day after the 2005 election?

    Mine were that a “tired and failing” [75% of Scots in a recent poll] Labour government would lose most of or even all of its overall majority, but that Conservative government this time round was unlikely.

    Certainly, the sort of majority which allowed the earlier Thatcher and Blair governments to ignore he more cautous backbenchers within their own party was unlikely.

    For a time it seemed the one thing that could bring about a comfortable Conservative victory, – a poor performance from Labour – might just be possible for a really effective presentation of the alternative, but oppositions also suffer from “events” too, and they just arn’t up to the challenge.

    It’s too big a swing except in completely favourable circumstances and it never was likely that the Conservatives wouldn’t make some mistakes of their own, expose thir internal divisions or otherwise mess things up.

    A Conservative government with a comfortable majority didn’t seem possible after the 2005 result, and it isn’t likely now. Conservaives should be realistic and recognise that they will have done very well indeed if they are a few seats short of a majority

  26. @John.

    Yes I’d say that’s about right. I was never really in the “one more push” school of thought. Cameron’s performance in his first year or two really surprised me, and I’ve been brought down to earth a little by his comparitive hamfistedness since the start of 2010.

    If he fails to at least poll higher than Labour, it will be interesting to see what the Tory party response is. Any rational party would lick its wounds and persevere with him (after all its his first attempt). If they try and ditch him that will tell us a lot about expectations!!

  27. “So if this poll is to be believed, the ‘Ashcroft effect’ is negligible bordering on non-existant. Such a result, statistically speaking, could easily be attributed to ‘non-Ashcroft’ reasons.”

    The problem is that the reporting of the poll doesn’t match the data that’s been released.

    The data suggests that Labour would lose all their 75 most marginal seats to the Conservatives.

    I think that if there is the sort of disproportionate swing to the Conservatives, in Labour-held marginal seats, that polls are currently implying, it won’t have much to do with Ashcroft, though.

  28. @ Barnaby Jl whatever your name is…

    So you are questioning what kid of circles I move in just because myself and all my friends will be voting Tory…? Well I could ask the same of you. Please try to be a little less patronising, there’s a good little fellow. If you choose to take the time to insult others on here then it says more about you than me. There’s a huge amount I could say about you and your fa,ily voting Labour but I shan’t waste my breath..

    And I will post on which ever site I chose thanks….

  29. ‘I agree with those who say that the specifics of the Ashcroft case will be quickly forgotten. But the damage is already done. The process is incremental: the Deripaska affair and George Osborne’s yacht-fondling, Zac Goldsmith’s non-dom status, the Joanne Cash episode, and Sir Nicholas Winterton’s declaration that standard-class rail passengers are “a totally different type of people”.
    Each story does a little more to confirm the voters’ residual fear that the Tory party is a political front for a gang of people who want to govern so they can do the hell they like. Whether or not the fear is justified is irrelevant. It is an electoral reality, and one which should be uppermost in every Tory’s mind, every day – especially now. Lord Ashcroft should have followed his own advice. And Cameron should have insisted on full disclosure years ago.’

    From an excellent article from todays’ telegraph

  30. Jack – just a point or two.
    Mandelson was staying on that yacht as I seem to recall, ie he was the one hobnobbing with the rich and famous.

    Non Doms – I have lost count of labour peers who are non doms and donors. So whats the fuss about Ashcroft?

    First class travel? As Iain Dale points out – “Labour MP Tom Levitt tells the Sunday Times he should be allowed to travel in first because he is “six feet tall”. LibDem MP Sandra Gidley says she feels “safer” in first class.” err so whats odd about Winterton pointing out that civil servants get 1st class but MPs don’t.

    In respect of polls – we are currently in the middle of a pre election boom of unprecidented proportions, with the govt spending zillions that it (we) do not have; interest rates held too low and indeed awash with 200 billion of printed money. Its absolutely amazing that we have one poll with the Tories on 40. I leave you to judge what the good will be to the country of this spendthrift behaviour — as exposed AFTER the election.

  31. The most decisive component in the prediction game is the unknown: how many people will vote? The Tories are tradtionally more likely to turn out than Labour supporters. What effect will this have? LD loyalists are always keen to vote. Bearing all this in mind and ignoring the uniform swing phenemenon, i suggest the Tories will have a majority of 26 seats with offers of support from a tiny number UU MPs. This will give them a platform from which to govern. They may then regret the many promises they have so earnestly made: more mid-wives, more for the NHS, mending our ‘broken society’, reform of IHT, reorganisation of education with many more places in so-called ‘good’ schools, tax breaks for married couples, more prison places etc.

  32. What is the relationship between YouGov and BPIX?

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