Wednesday night polls

There are three new polls tonight. YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 38%(nc), LAB 32%(+1), LDEM 19%(nc). Labour are up one point, but there is no significant change. Last week the Conservatives had a lead over Labour of about 4 points with YouGov, this week it seems to be consolidating around 6% or 7%.

Secondly we have a new poll from Angus Reid. They have topline figures of CON 37%, LAB 28%, LDEM 22%. I have not put changes since their last poll since Angus Reid seem to have made a significant change to their weighting, essentially using micro-geographical weighting. Most pollsters weight their sample by region – Angus Reid’s new weighting uses about 140 geographical units based on similar Parliamentary constituencies. Clearly this poll shows a smaller Conservative lead than their previous poll, but at present we can’t tell if that is due to a change in sentiment, or the change in weighting.

Finally there is a new Harris poll for the Metro. This has topline figures of CON 37%(+2), LAB 27%(-1), LDEM 19%(+2) – implying a significant drop in their strangely high figure for others. The poll was conducted between the 23rd and 29th – so most, but not all, of it was conducted after the Budget.


314 Responses to “Wednesday night polls”

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  1. interesting, the polls haven’t really changed too much with the chancellor debated, maybe because of the lack of publicity, Will be very interesting to see the changes of the polls after the leaders debate however, they will be key.

  2. Using todays results from YG and adjusting them for ‘likelihood to vote’ by reducing Labour vote by 5% compared to Conservative vote so that a nearer comparrison may be obtained between YG who do not weight for ‘likelihood to vote’ (like AR) and other major pollsters who do weight for ‘likelihood to vote’ the figures are:

    C = 38.53%
    L = 30.83%
    L/D = 19.26 %

    Please remember this is only an attempt to make the polls ‘more comparable’ with each other by taking into account one recognised difference between the polling methods of the various major pollsters. To show the minor difference this makes consider that the normal MoE of the polls themselves is 3%.

    For those who think this is not a valid attempt then just ignor the above figures.

  3. Nice to see the pollls consolidating together, as at least that means we can avoid picking and choosing which one suits us.

  4. Hi

    I’m sure this has been discussed before but why do both the Harris and Angus Reid polls show significantly lower support for Labour?

  5. Thanks for putting YouGov first though AW.
    I shall ignore the others as they don’t suit my view.
    ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)

  6. It looks like we are in for the most interesting of elections in many a year. A little movement either way could see either a small Conservative majority or a Labour victory as biggest party in a hung Parliament.

    As the polls stand at the moment there is no possibilty of a Tory landslide or a Labour majority. I think the former imposible under any circumstance now, whereas a three point boost for Labour could bring about a small majority.

    Either way, the next Parlaiment lasting five years seems very unlikely. Whether Labour can afford it or not, I have predicted a March 2011 election (http://warelane.wordpress.com/2010/03/02/a-march-2011-general-election/).

  7. Not seeing any reason to regard Angus Reid, Populus, Harris, and BPIX as anything other than noise.

  8. More good figures for the Conservatives. I was always told to look for 7 consecutive figures to show a trend in my industrial statistics and the lowest of the last 7 polls is equal to the highest of the previous 7. The last few Lib Dem numbers look good too.

  9. So back from my travels and- it being April tomorrow- we are now able to look at our UKPR “first quarter performance” so to speak.

    Note I am not attempting to ‘fix’, ‘adjust’ or gerrymander the figures to suit my own perspective……..these averages/ trends are from *all* polls as reported by the company themselves. As it should be.

    The January average of all polls was:

    Con 39.9%
    Lab 29.3%
    LD 18.4%
    Oth 12.4%

    The February average of all polls was:

    Con 38.4%
    Lab 30.6%
    LD 18.9%
    Oth 12.1%

    So a 1.4% swing from Con to Lab January-February

    The March average of all polls was:

    Con 37.5%
    Lab 31.0%
    LD 18.4%
    Oth 13.1%

    So a 0.65% swing from Con to Lab February-March

    However: the average of all polls for the last 14 days of March (18th-31st) was:

    Con 37.1%
    Lab 30.8%
    LD 18.9%
    Oth 13.4%

    A lead of 6.3% in all polls

    However *encore*: the average of all polls for the *last seven days of March* (25th-31st) was

    Con 37.6%
    Lab 30.4%
    LD 19.2%
    Oth 13.0%

    A lead of 7.2% in all polls

    Clearly Labour ‘won’ January, February and March overall. On the other hand the latter part of March was ‘won’ by the Conservatives.

    As this last seven days figure is the most recent coherent period you could argue it makes for the ‘trend’ momentum for the moment:

    – that last seven days figure by my calculations (incorporating both TV and a Conservatives marginal’s premium) makes for a parliamentary outturn of Cons 334 seats; Lab 230 seats; Lib Dems 55 seats and others (excluding NI) at 13 seats.

    That is a Conservative majority (over all other parties including the Ulster Loyalists) of *SEVEN*

    So- despite a remorseless *four* weeks now of anti labour media stories- it is (still) a very very tight race going into April……..

  10. I was thinking today, does history generally repeat itself. I mean, in the 80s, we had huge growth, a boom in house prices, unprecedented economic prosperity for large parts of the country, but it ended in bust with a bad recession in the early 90s.

    For all Labour said they would end boom & bust, almost exactly the same happened again. Again, internally at least, the over heating was fueled by people borrowing too much and an over-heated housing market.

    Just thoughts really…

  11. Are AR telling us their previous polls were rubbish? What about all the punters that made bets on PB on the basis of previous AR polls?

  12. Interesting that changes in the methods used to sample and weight the results in YouGov and Angus Reid have resulted in reduced leads for the Tories!

    I can see a conspiracy theory coming over me…

  13. @Anthony,

    If you are on…..

    Harris’ fieldwork spanning a budget and NI tax cut by GO… is this normal?

    Have you anything to say about AR’s volte face, it appears they released two separate results tonight? Does that establish a precedent?

  14. well i off up the local in a few minuets but after seeing tonights polls one could think that labour are going back wards again, don’t be fooled alot of labours core vote is in the north east, south yorksire and scotland and the other areas in the north are not moving as much to the tories as those in the south of the UK so it could still be the case that yes labour maybe in retreat but as with most elections could be doing better in the north which means even if come election night a majority is predicted for the tories it could still be a hung parliment due to voters in the north and scotland keeping with labour and not switching to the tories or lib dems.

  15. So, Budget + Chancellors + Blair sees Labour between 6 and 10 points down, bumping along at around 30%, with polling day 5 weeks tomorrow.

    It looks bleak for Labour, n’est ce pas?

    Looking forward to the “wait til tomorrow’s polls” brigade’s comments.

  16. Incumbency is going to be the biggest factor of this race…. people will be askin gthe Burkean question, is it broke?

  17. RightyHo Bill, I shall do that.

    In my own role as ToryBoy I have – in the light of AR’s improved Labour figures, amended my own forecast, using the method I outlined in the last thread – viz: I work on the basis of what I’d like to see happen; this also saves bothering people and asking for their opinions.

    I now expect to see the conservative share at somewhere in excess of 50%, possibly about 70, with a majority of around 100/195.

    I also think – in a surprise move – that it is likely that Theo Walcott will be offered the Foreign Office.

  18. AR and Harris polls seem very odd. I am not sure if the others vote is that high or the Tories have that large of a lead.

    It be very interesting to see what happends now that immigrantion has been brought to the top of the news headlines. I think it could help the Tories myself. (who saids I am bias and partisan towards Labour?)

  19. Eoin – Partially agree, the answer to many though would seem to be ‘Yes’.

  20. Eoin – Harris normally do very long fieldwork. I have no idea why they do so, a strength of online polling is normally speed. I’ve referred to what happened to Angus Reid in the previous poll, i think it was just human error. Mike Smithson put up the results just before heading off to an event, but presumably just after he had left his hotel Angus Reid spotted an error and mailed him… but he had already left, so it took a while to correct.

    Human error happens to us all, it’s just bad luck that Mike was incommunicado when AR noticed the error, so it took a while to correct.

  21. @Stuart Gregory

    Do you have any evidence that Labour’s vote is still strong in the English areas you mention? I’m not sure it’s the case. In my ancestral home of Teesside there is a great deal of disillusionment with Labour (Corus etc.) & I would expect a big fall in Labour’s vote there.

  22. Rob Sheffield

    Thanks for all the work you put into your calculations and for the post. I am still digesting the information and find it fascinating. ;-)

  23. @RICHARD O
    “I was thinking today, does history generally repeat itself.”

    Depends who you ask I think, Georges Santayana would say that if you don’t remember it then it definitely will.

    Christ, I’m soooo middle class :-p

  24. @AW

    many thanks…….

    @Bill Roy,

    well having answered the Burkean question, they move on to the bob the builder question…… ;)

  25. @ROD
    “Not seeing any reason to regard Angus Reid, Populus, Harris, and BPIX as anything other than noise.”
    I assume this is because they give a message which does not correspond with your personal politics?

    With GB lying about immigration figures, people being tagged for selling goldfish and Tony Blair speaking with an American accent I find it hard to believe that Labour’s share of the public opinion is going to increase much above where it is now.

  26. @ROB SHEFFIELD

    Just to be a bit knit picky. cons on 334 would meen a majority of 14 not 7. Because as the number of seats goes up past 326. The government gain a seat and the opposition lose one. Therefore there is a net gain of 2.

    Enough of that though cause your right about it still being a tight race. Major had a majority of 21 in 92 so its still pretty tight.

  27. Jaime

    “So, Budget + Chancellors + Blair sees Labour between 6 and 10 points down, bumping along at around 30%, with polling day 5 weeks tomorrow.

    It looks bleak for Labour, n’est ce pas?”

    It’s still a hung parliament. However bleak that may be for Labour, its is almost as bleak for the other two. No matter how unpopular the current government is, they don’t seem able to make a move on them.

    A hung parliament in such circumstances is like entering a popularity contest with the world’s most unpopular Prime Minister and it being a draw.

  28. Stuart what evidence have you seen that the Conservatives are doing better in the South and that London are swinging more to the Conservatives than the rest of England?

    I would agree that the Lab-Con swing in Scotland is likely to be small as this is more likely to be a Lab – SNP battleground.

    However it is quite feasible that the Conservatives will do better outside London and the South East of England than elsewhere because London and the South East swung more to the Tories in 2005 than other parts of England.

    I anticipate that the most unlikely Conservative gains will be in the North West, Yorkshire, Wales and the Midlands and their will be a number of disappointments for them in London and the South East.

  29. @ Rob Sheffield
    Thanks for the analysis.
    You might want to check the arithmetic for the majority, though. I make it (334-(230+55+13+18) = 18.
    I have assumed 18 for NI as per this site.
    Are the other numbers OK? or am I missing something?

  30. @Julian Ware-Lane -“As the polls stand at the moment there is no possibilty of a Tory landslide or a Labour majority.”
    While I agree that the latter is unlikely (though not impossible) I don’t think you should be quite so certain that a Tory landslide is completely off the cards. There are strange things happening out there, in both directions, and given Brown’s unpopularity from the Midlands south the game is there for Cameron if he can produce some good performances.

  31. Interesting that 3 different polling companies have put Labour below 30% in the last two days.

    Maybe it won’t be long before the UKPR polling average reflects that and puts Labour on 29%.

  32. I actually think that a small majority would be the worst possible result for the Tories. No-one to blame for the inevitable tax increases and cuts, a small and diminishing majority, defections by left-leaning MPs when the Europhobes and hard-right unreformed Tories from the shires start banging the drum and Cameron capitulates and a generally weak economy leading to a minority government and collapse in support in 2 years.

    Major all over again.

    At least if a hung parliament is the cause they can beat the LibDems around a bit.

  33. @Rob Hist

    mea culpa !

    On the basis of these last 7 days Its is actually a projected majority of *18″ (650-334 = 316) !!

    So more than you calculated (and given SF indirect support of Tories- er republican principle- realisitically 22).

    Blame it on the jet lag- I’ve been keeping myself awake till all these polls released and crawling to my bed now !

    Not as tight as I asserted though- as you gracefully accept- still a tight race at the cusp of the campaign proper.

    Though I have to say- anti-labour media narratives aside- I have not been impressed with the Labour tactics the last couple of weeks.

    GB is going to have to land some blows on DC in the debates: perfectly possible……but not inevitable.

    Tonight’s immigration narrative will only harm labour also: though whether it will assist the Conservatives rather than UKIP/ BNP only the weekend polls will tel….l.

    OK that’s it for me tonight.

  34. Having talked to a few people today, I didn’t find one person who thought wheeling out a perma-tanned Tony Blair was anything but divisive for Labour.

  35. “I actually think that a small majority would be the worst possible result for the Tories. No-one to blame for the inevitable tax increases and cuts, a small and diminishing majority, defections by left-leaning MPs when the Europhobes and hard-right unreformed Tories from the shires start banging the drum and Cameron capitulates and a generally weak economy leading to a minority government and collapse in support in 2 years.”

    I’m not so sure. If the Tories get a majority – even a tiny one – I think they may change the constituency boundaries (as they have claimed), which, if true, would make it a LOT easier for them to gain seats and hence get a much bigger majority IMO – whether it be in a year or 5 years’ time.

  36. You Gov polled on Blair’s money

    Only 24% thought his earnings were obscene

    I wonder how that poll would have went down on the oil fields of Mosul?

  37. So all MOE stuff, but the swing towards the Tories appears to have been reversed slightly.

    However you look at it, the budget wasn’t the big pro-Tory event like the previous two. I really can’t see what the game changer will be that can give the Tories back a majority. Lots of discussion about hidden trends – shy Tories, or shy Labour, but how about the fed ups? These people want Labour out but don’t want the Tories either – a hung parliament with the LibDems holding the balance obviously has appeal looking at the questions behind top-line numbers.

    The tactical voting employed to get a hung parliament is going to be the fun bit. Forget UNS, forget Tories doing better in Ashcroft marginals, its going to be carnage. I fully expect to see some big pro-Tory swings in individual seats. Just not reflected in the rest of the country.

  38. Jason – I think I would have to disagree with your analysis.

    I think a small majority when returning to government after 13 years would actually encourage discipline amongst Tory MPs.

    Comparing that to Major in 1992 doesn’t really hold water in my opinion because it’s much more difficult to impose discipline when a party has already been in power for 13 years as the Conservatives had in 1992.

  39. @ Colin

    the point I was trying (rather unsuccessfully after a bottle of wine) to make was that the three events I listed – Budget, Chancellors and Blair – were all slated as potential game-changers in Labour’s favour, but in fact things have slipped back for them.

    I’m not saying Labour can’t come back again but I’m starting to wonder what is going to do it for them I’ve always felt that the Tories will do better once the campaign proper starts – but what do I know? Time for another glass perhaps, it’s almost easter.

  40. Matt

    Completely agree. Given what Brown and Whitehall appear to be cooking up in the event of a hung Parliamant – essentially a coup d’etat – the Tories should and will be delighted with a majority of one. The stakes are, suddenly, infinitely higher.

  41. Using figures from this site:

    Labour average in the last 3 polls = 30.3%.
    Labour average in the last 4 polls = 29.5%.
    Labour average in the last 5 polls = 30.0%.
    Labour average in the last 6 polls = 29.7%.
    Labour average in the last 7 polls = 29.7%.
    Labour average in the last 8 polls = 29.8%

  42. @Andy JS – “Interesting that 3 different polling companies have put Labour below 30% in the last two days.”

    If you look back, you will see that those 3 polling companies have all consistantly had Labour below 30% for quite a while now.
    AR’s rating for Labour tonight is the highest it’s been for 6 months.

  43. Well, we’re still roughly in hung parliament/small Tory majority territory but whether we’ll still be there when Brown gets round to calling the general election in … oooh, 40 years or so time , remains to be seen. The Labour campaign is looking ragged to say the least. Will it improve or is the careful orchestration of recent months unravelling as election momentum builds?

  44. The budget is out of the way – so we’ll see whether Labour can begin to trim the lead again now. Time is running out fast…

    I found it remarkable that Tony Blair was produced to endorse Brown. I can only assume this was to quash any rumours he favoured Cameron early. Those with Labour’s interests at heart must hope it’s the last that will be seen of Mr Blair during this campaign. The Lib Dems will be hoping that he’s wheeled out every day from here on in…

  45. Tom,

    You commented, “interesting, the polls haven’t really changed too much with the chancellor debated (sic), maybe because of the lack of publicity”.

    In fact it was through lack of interest.
    Never underestimate the general public’s lack of interest in politics.

    Most people couldn’t give a flying duck. Although having made that observation I declare I am not one of them… yet.

  46. “Matt

    Completely agree. Given what Brown and Whitehall appear to be cooking up in the event of a hung Parliamant – essentially a coup d’etat – the Tories should and will be delighted with a majority of one. The stakes are, suddenly, infinitely higher.

    Yeah, a hung parliament would be a real success for Labour. A Conservative majority, on the other hand, however small, would be a disaster for Labour, as it would make regaining power much more difficult.

  47. Brown could only continue as a minority PM with the consent of one or more other parties. If he loses his first confidence vote, he has to resign.

  48. Yougov continues to show the Lib Dems to be stagnant while most of the other pollsters show them to be improving.

    It will fasinating to see if the next ICM poll shows the Lib Dems to be improving as well.

  49. Huge success for the Tories…………….That’s the name of our pub quiz team, and we just won again. Great night, the Gooners made it back from the dead, I made it back from the pub, and guess what………..I’m checkin’ out UKPR, it doesn’t get much better than this !
    Tonights polls are showing well for the Blues but still some work to do. :-)

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