I’m expecting several polls tonight as the papers commission surveys to test the post-budget mood. First out of the traps is a new ICM poll in the News of the World, topline figures are CON 39%(+1), LAB 31%(-1), LDEM 19%(nc) – so a slight widening of the Conservative lead. More to come later.

UPDATE: Two more polls: YouGov in the Sunday Times have topline figures of CON 37%(nc), LAB 32%(-1), LDEM 19%(+1). There is also a BPIX poll in the Mail on Sunday, Sky have only mentioned the Conservative and Labour figures, but they are 37%(+1), LAB 30%(-4). So far all three are showing some degree of increase in the Conservative lead – the budget does appear to be having a negative impact for the government.

655 Responses to “Post budget Sunday polling”

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  1. Peterbell

    IMHO (the “H” is just there for effect! ;-) ), most of the answers to “issue” questions stem from (rather than determine) voting intention.

    Nothing else explains why Scots indicate “preferences” for Labour or Tory policies on devolved issues.

    If it hasn’t already been done, it would be interesting to see the results of a research “poll” where identical policies were presented as Tory or Labour policies differentially to two matched groups. My guess is that the policy would be irrelevant, but there would be Pavlovian salivation for the party label.

  2. Mark Johnson – Chadderton – Lancashire

    **the Tory vote has sneaked up because people are starting to realise if they are not careful they will let Brown in by the back door **

    I can’t agree with that Mark. Considering how much bad news there has been in the last week or so for Labour -it’s somewhat surprising that the Tory lead hasn’t extended a lot further.

    btw if anyone is interested there is a damning article on Cameron by Gerald Warner in the Telegraph. It says **Most Tories hate David Cameron and cannot wait to see him crash and burn ** Ouch!!!!

  3. @Bill Roy……………Pollio ! :-)

  4. @AL J…………………Not, ‘the’ Gerald Warner !’ :-)

  5. The shift to the Tories is slight – but it does go to highlight how difficult it is for Labour to sustain no more than a 2% – 3% deficit and to prevent the Tories slipping back into the upper thirties – I still think a 38% plus vote will do it for the Tories.

    Another slight worry will be that the budget was reasonably well received and a recent poll put greater trust in the economy with Labour – and yet the gap has widened albeit slightly.

  6. @Ken

    It sure is ;-)

    **Gerald Warner is an author, broadcaster, columnist and polemical commentator who writes about politics, religion, history, culture and society in general. **

  7. @Anthony…………….I hope that this is not partisan, it’s not meant to be……..Gordon’s 5 pledges, is there a Tory saboteur in Lab HQ ? Surely this has to be a shot in the Labour foot, the polls will tell us.

  8. @Ken
    Why would you say that?

  9. @AL J …………….Facebook is so useful for research. :-)

  10. @Bill Roy

    ” If these results reported are right ….. then the average of tonight’s polls would be Conservative leads of:
    YG = 7%
    IBIX = 7%
    ICM = 8% ”

    But the YG lead tonight is FIVE:

    *major big sigh*

    can you stop making your own partisan adjustments to polls that have been methodologically dealt with by AW (i.e. “why pollsters adjust”) in the past. *Stick* to the figures the companies themselves publish as the final headline figure you quote: as AR-sceptics like myself do with their large leads. It smacks of visible desperation in addition to placing you in danger of stepping over the partisan mark despite trying to claim your comments are all about ‘POLLS’.

    @jim jim

    “Still think polls taken Mon/Tues/Wed next week and published Tues-Thurs will give a better indication of any ‘budget’ impact.”

    Agreed: I said on Tuesday night I felt that whilst I was abroad there would be a post budget dip needing 3- 7 days to work its way through the system and that after – as I called it on Tuesday- the “froth and noise” of the budget we would get to a more stable position from which to analyse/ project seats with less exuberance/ desperation.

    @ Bill Roy ‘deel twee’

    “No talk so far tonight of ‘Conservative panic’, or the ‘momentum being with Labour’?”

    Given that we have an increased WMA lead of about 1% Sunday-Sunday (encompassing a budget and Tory media onslaught) I am pleasantly surprised (thus far….). As well as some (very) small scale but interesting real results in the south.

    I would not go as far as to say the Conservatives should panic though… :-)

    I am now even more intrigued to see what the numbers Thursday through Sunday next bring……

  11. @AL J………I can’t imagine Mandy allowing it, Gordy doesn’t do good promises. :-)

  12. @Rob Sheffield

    I have pointed out previously in other threads that you posted in that the reason for the adjustment to YG figures is solely to take into account the fact that YG (like AR) do not take into effect the ‘likelihood to vote’ – this reduces the probable turnout at the polls of Labour supporters in comparrison to Conservative supporters. This adjustment allows a comparrison between YG and other pollsters to be better judged. If you do not like it then pay no attention to it. I will keep reporting the figures as I deem them to be relevant to the discussion.

  13. @ken

    @AL J …………….Facebook is so useful for research.


    You’ve completely lost me -care to explain?

  14. Just got in and being a sad case looked at the results. Three polls; interesting; no drama. I see nothing to change my projection of the Tories winning a 60 seat majority in the Commons.
    The polls are as mysterious to me as most people and may still move either way. But I do believe that just as the 20 to 25 point leads the Tories were getting from time to time over the past three years were never going to be realised on an election day (and a good thing too; Tory majority of 300 would be good to noone), so the current 5 to 8 point leads are not going to be realised. It will probably be a 10 to 12 point lead.
    The big elephant in the bed called YouGov is still snoring away.

  15. Apart from BPIX these are small movements – while the trend is agreed this may not be significant, but as with previous budgets nothing moved until the weekend and then it fell away badly for Labour.
    The Tory tax announcements will be crucial – they have some momentum so they could build on this. Alternatively, I’ve just seen the first crop of Saatchi posters. Extremely negative, nothing to say about what the Tories are about. It seriously turns me off, but I don’t know how they will play to swing voters. I really do feel the Tories must not rely on savaging Brown – since Christmas it hasn’t produced a stellar polling performance and they need to be careful with the negative stuff.

  16. I think that with momentum the way it is, Labour will win with an increased majority and Gordon Brown will become the next James Bond

  17. ooh, Alec, can anyone see them or was it a private thing?

  18. Definitely “Advantage Conservatives” now – even if only slightly and the campaign hasn’t yet started.

    A 3 point widening in their favour and victory should be possible, albeit with a very slight majority.

    It is going to be a very interesting few weeks.

  19. @OldNat

    The H in IMHO is (IMO!) always redundant, whether it is intended to mean “humble” or “honest”, as anyone without humility would present their opinion as fact, and anyone dishonest would probably claim to be honest.

  20. @AL J……………..Sorry, I was referring to the bio of Gerald Warner, sounded like a facebook self statement. I’m just a tiny bit cynical when it comes to political academics and self appointed arbiters of character. It is, of course, ok for us to do it. :-)

  21. We’ll need to see what the next round of polls tells us to really get a handle on whether or not momentum has swung back to the Tories. I doubt Labour HQ is as delighted as some here suggest with these polls, though. The budget was a chance for Labour to capitalise on its improved ratings by setting out a clear way ahead on the economy. Instead, there were a lot of fairly negative headlines, a rather damning response in a poll of businesses yesterday, and voters seem distinctly underwhelmed at best. To me, the budget seemed as if Darling and Mandelson were trying to do two things at once: look as if they are doing something while trying not to rock the boat. To some extent, it’s worked – Labour doesn’t seem to have gone back into freefall. But it hasn’t had a boost either, just a slight depression and the danger is that a percentage of voters once again see Labour as lame and tired.

    Please note how I’ve cleverly woven in rocking boats, freefall, and lameness – a veritable hotchpotch of extreme sport and injury.

  22. @SUE MARSH…………Sue, you keep me sane,carry on with the great work, Labour will recover in the hands of good people like you. :-)

  23. @Ken

    Oh I see! I copied the bio from the Telegraph’s article heading on Cameron.

    I just wonder why the Telegraph would print such a damning account of the Tory leader! Doesn’t make sense to me, especially this close to the election.

  24. Labour have had a real struggle on their hands, one that I feel they’ve dealt with politically somewhat successfully. They’ve had to balance generating an economically optimistic mood, with retaining the threat that it could all go wrong (via the tories).
    Darling’s budget was, in my opinion, aimed at doing exactly that, and I think it has succeeded. And I think it is this balancing act that Labour have got right, that has lead the narrowing tory lead.

    Additionally, the tories are focusing too much on the deficit. To most ordinary people, going about their ordinary day-to-day lives, the idea that we are £170 billion in debt feels so far removed, so abstract, that it can’t quite be grasped, and therefore has little impact.
    When it comes down to it, if people were to be confronted with a situation where their chosen response would be enacted, if you were to ask them if they would prefer a cut in the services they use (to cut the deficit) or to retain them as they are, most would go for the latter, because, as I said previous, the deficit seems too ungrounded in our day-to-day lives for people to wish to cut it over cutting services.

    If the tories focus too much on the deficit, I believe their support will drain further and it won’t be long before we see the polls level out.

  25. Al J – being synical I could say it could be an attempt to tempt ‘Conservative/LibDem’ swing votes to ‘prove’ DC is not as right wing as some people try to paint him.

    Also, the betting for next leaders of C and L is interesting:


    D Miliband… 9/4
    E Miliband… 9/2
    A Johnson… 5/1
    H Harman… 9/1
    P Mandelson… 10/1


    B Johnson… 3/1
    W Hague… 5/1
    G Osbourne… 5/1
    R Stewart… 12/1
    L Fox… 14/1

  26. AL J………….Fleet St is well know for it’s lack of integrity and political back stabbing, often driven by personal issues which have no place in political commentary. I enjoy the freshness on here, due in no small part to you, and your mates, Sue and Amber.
    As a Lib Dem voting Tory I see the best in people. :-)

  27. @Nick OK

    I think the polls have suggested that ordinary people are far more exercised by the debt than politicians.

    Despite the credit boom, the overwhelming majority of people can relate to the idea that debts have to be paid.

    Just as intelligent people can prove that credit default swaps can turn risky debts into safe debts, so they can convince themselves that quantitiative easing is perfectly safe. Stupid people have a dim recollection from doing history of Germans stealing suitcases full of money, dumping the money, and running off with the suitcase…

    It is not for no reason that Labour says it will be tough on the debt, albeit later.

  28. News of the World have endorsed David Cameron to win the GE. My tip is for a 40/30/18 split in favour of Cons. Slightly bigger swing in the marginals especially in England to give a CON Maj of~20. What started as a good day for GB is getting worse by the hour. Also Gloria de Piero has been targeted by the MoS. Go and have a read, Hattie will not like the headline.

  29. @ken
    ** I enjoy the freshness on here, due in no small part to you, and your mates, Sue and Amber.
    As a Lib Dem voting Tory I see the best in people. **

    Why thank you Ken -made my night ;-)

    Where are Amber & Sue? It’s good to have friends batting the same side! Much as Roland and Coiln are chums too.

    It’s strange, I always imagine LibDems to be ‘progressive’ and not sympathise with the Tories and yet you are a Tory voting LibDem- presumably to keep Labour out in your constituency?
    Am I right Ken?

    Oh I’ve got confused -I just had a thought you could be a LibDem voting Tory -help!!!! :-) lol

  30. @Ken – “As a Lib Dem voting Tory I see the best in people.”
    You’re telling me. More like the triumph of hope over experience, I would imagine.
    re. The latest polls. The movements in the direction of the Tories are too small to be of much meaning. We need to wait and see if there’s a further trend. I still think there won’t be much movement between now and the GE and we will most likely see a hung parliament with the Tories as the largest party by a very small margin.

  31. @AL J……………You’re right, I vote for a really good LibDem MP, ( Simon Hughes , 27 yrs service and no sleaze ). I can’t imagine anyone doing a better job, I would obviously prefer a red in tooth and claw Tory but they all seem a bit wet at the mo’. :-)

  32. “negative impact or the government” Too early to be sure I think.

    Lets take ICM. Recent tory poll leads have been

    7 9 6, and now it’s 8 %

    This seems quite static surely

    You Gov

    Was 7 % one week ago, was 4 % two days ago, and now it’s 5 %

    Again quite static


    The last poll was a 2 % lead. I think that was an outlier at the time. Now it’s 7 % and more in line with ICM and You Gov.

    If You Gov is still showing predominantly 4 or 5 % leads during next week, then I would say that Labour has emerged relatively unscathed.

    Considering how awfully negative the press has been since Wednesday towards the budget, I would have thought that Labour people would not be unhappy with tonights polls.

  33. @Paul Goddard – “Considering how awfully negative the press has been since Wednesday towards the budget, I would have thought that Labour people would not be unhappy with tonights polls.”
    You’re right. I’m a ‘Labour person’ and I’m pretty happy with tonight’s polls

  34. @AL J ………………A LibDem voting Tory is an eats shoots and leaves conundrum. :-)

  35. There was a budget?

    I thought the chancellor stood up, announced that he was delaying the budget until after the election, and then proceeded to deliver a party political broadcast cum Tory-slagging session in its place (without much aplomb I have to say).

    But then I may be mistaken, or just partisan…

  36. @Ken,

    I often imagine this site as a sort of Wonderland with Alec as Absolom, Al J as the White Rabbit, Rob Sheffield as the Mad Hatter and Sue’n’Amber as Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

    Heaven knows what that makes the likes of us…. the Bandersnatch and the Jabberwocky I shouldn’t wonder…

  37. One week age YouGov was 7%
    One week ago ICM was 6%

    Now YovGov is 5%
    Now ICM is 8%

    For those who like their maths the average is 6.5%

    BPIX………………………………… well they are just BPIX, Labour posters ignored their 2% i expect Tory posters will ignore their 7%

    The budget changed nothing

    @Woodsman and Statto’s analysis makes an awful lot of sense it is over to George Osborne………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….?

    @oldnat, scottish history I presume? ;)

  38. @Ken

    I knew you were too nice to be navy blue…. your just sky blue admit it….. ;)

  39. I’m starting to see a small Con overall majority, or at the very least Con borderline overall majority as the likeliest GE result.
    Lab do not appear to be consistently holding the Conservatives to a general poll lead below 7 points. Given that we all accept the swing to the Conservatives in the marginals (and possibly London) to be slightly higher than that, I cannot really see any other result.
    I still hope that the gap in seats between Lab and Con will be sufficiently small for the LD’s to have considerable influence in the next parliament. But I am now swaying towards a Con overall majority.

  40. @Neil…………….I believe there is help out there for us, the South London and Maudsley hospital has a renowned mental health facility, and because of Labour’s box ticking and target oriented strategy, they get paid for taking clients on . I’ll drop in and get the brochures next time I’m passing by, that’s if the queue of Trekkies and Dr Who fans isn’t too long. :-)

  41. Well, like I already said, I’d hoped this budget would have a zero effect & I think it did… until Darling’s Thatcher gaffe. I’m surprised Labour have got away with as little as minus two points.

    I was dreading the non-YG polls. But they are blooming good in the circumstances.

    So… Labour need to bring back the FGF. Maybe Sue, Amber & I should start planning street parties, with party poppers & jolly conga lines ;-)

  42. @Éoin………..I’m too much of a gentleman to change allegiance when my team is struggling, but I’ve just concluded a polling experiment……If I screw my eyes up and squint at the polling numbers they morph from 7/8 into10/11 ! :-)

  43. @Polly ticks

    Considering the News of the World’s tarnished image after the phone tapping business, and the utter failure of it’s sister publication The Sun’s ‘Surprise’ switch to boost polling… I really don’t see how that’s a game changer. “Murdoch owned tabloid now supports Tories” isn’t even unexpected. How many people even thought the News of the World was supporting Labour at all?

  44. Scotland on Sunday/YouGov poll (changes since 2005 in brackets)

    Lab 37 (-2) : SNP 24 (+6) : Con 18 (+2) : LD 14 (-9)

    Scotland Votes site gives that as SNP +1 in FPTP seats, otherwise no change.


    Fortunately, a wide range of British/English, American, Russian and African History before I specialised in the (very new!) study of Scottish History in Final honours and post-grad.

  45. I can’t understand why YouGov don’t weight their samples to account for lower turn out among Labour voters. Given the errors in some polls in previous GEs, particularly in Labour’s favour, you would expect the pollsters to try and make some correction for this.

  46. @AMBER STAR,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Sue, Amber and I, eh!

  47. Poly Ticks Murdoch’s titles were always going to support the Tories – dripfeeding that by coming out one by one will be to try and persuade voters of a momentum for ‘time for change’

    I have always said we will have a Tory government come May or June
    The only thing that MAY have changed is the landslide majority I expected

  48. @ Ken

    Yeh, I am two people: Amber & myself – depending what I’m doing ;-)


    The Tories targets included seats in Scotland. The latest YouGov Scottish poll suggests 0 Tory gains.

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