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. What rumours that Blair was backing Cameron? Certainly I hadn’t heard any.

  2. A nice convergence of all polls since Saturday between 6 to 10 %.

    I am not sure how reliable AR and Harris, as they newcomers to the UK, but nevertheless they are within the 6 to 10 %

    You Gov intigues me. Maybe the tories will be a bit disappointed that Osbornes big announcement on reducing the planned raise in NI hasn’t so far had an effect, but I guess we will see over the next day or two.

    I think the tory lead is sensitive to economic news. You Gov showed some significant decline in economic optimism over the weekend following the budget and this may be a factor that has led to the small widening of the lead since Saturday. I do wonder whether yesterdays better than expected economic growth news will have an effect too

  3. It is actually too early to see if the chacellors debate had any affect.

  4. Barnaby,

    Blair is backing Cameron and the Conservatives simply by making public appearances supporting Brown and Labour.

  5. Since the 22nd of March Yougov have polled on average 2.5 higher for Labour than all the others pollsters together.

  6. Well it is up to Brown now (or Mandelson). I do not envy Brown, if he declares for May 6th he enters the contest way behind and with the momentum against him, if he delays in the hope of some unknown external influence affecting public opinion in his favour then he automatically loses more credibility with the public.

    The Conservatives are just 2% away from the much vaunted 40% many say they need, Labour are between 6% – 9% behind them.

    In an earlier post Eoin asked ‘is it broke’ I replied that to most people the answer was ‘Yes’. Eoin then said people would then ask the ‘bob the builder question’ – can he fix it? Obviously the vast majority of people do not think Brown can fix it. What is more trust in Brown is likely to diminish even further with time. Meanwhile as the likelihood of a Labour victory is percieved to decline more and more the curse of ‘supporter apathy’ will undoubtedly reduce the number of supporters who will actually take the trouble to come out and vote for Brown.

  7. What do people think about timing?

    Could Brown back away from 6 May? The figures have been moving slightly against him since the Budget.

  8. @BARNABY MARDER…………Barnaby, just saw your comment on the previous thread, I admit to being human………but I’m not taking all the blame…..that teapot is going ! :-)

  9. You’re right, Bill Roy, but the polls equally suggest a lack of confidence in the Tories, too. How can they be only on 38%ish in these circumstances? And why are the LibDems so low?

  10. @ Derek

    “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.”

    If Brown were an honourable man – like Ted Heath – I would agree with you. However, everything I have seen and heard about Brown over the past 15 years tells me that he will never resign under any cicumstances.

    Happy to put a fiver on it.

  11. If the next ICM poll shows Labour to be on 30 and Lib Dems on 21 I shall have little doubt that Labour’s lead over the Lib Dems is not greater than 9 unlike the 13 that this Yougov poll shows.

  12. Derek Pierson – I agree. I think the real answer has a lot to do with the expences scandel, remember a significant proportion of ‘the public’ regard all MP’s as the same, sure a few faces may change every few years but ‘they (MP’s) are all in it for what they can get out of it’. This is actually a non-partisan response from many members of the public.

  13. “Meanwhile as the likelihood of a Labour victory is percieved to decline more and more the curse of ’supporter apathy’ will undoubtedly reduce the number of supporters who will actually take the trouble to come out and vote for Brown.”

    Possibly, or it could have the opposite effect i.e. make less-motivated Labour voters more inclined to vote. Either way, Labour supporter turnout will need to be high to achieve the poll results.

  14. Matt,

    Given the problems currently facing the country, if Cameron has a tiny majority he is not going to waste the first year fooling around tinkering with the electoral system for naked political advantage then immediately test whether it works as expected in another election.

    Any change to the size of the house (and that is all that has ever been proposed) would require a full boundary comission to implement. That normally takes around two years, and can’t be started until after the enabling legislation has been passd. So new boundaries for +/- 400 larger seats would only come into effect for a 2013 election (autumn 2012 if pushed)

    If there is another election between now and 2012, it will be on the current (new) boundaries.

    As for party discipline – comparisons with 1992 are not valid. Major had a specific dividing line which he failed to straddle. He tried to force through a policy which was contrary to both Conservative values and the best interests of the country, and sought to stifle debate on the matter. That is how party discipline disintegrates. To take two more recent comparisons, think Iraq and 10p.

    The only real issues which Cameron will have to face down from within the Conservative party (as opposed to from disenchanted conservatives who have flirted with UKIP) are in relation to tax and spending cuts. I confidently predict that DC/GO will be criticised for not delivering enough of either. But this is really a question of degree, not principle – unlike Europe, Iraq or 10p.

    Cameron could survive a full term with any majority in double figures. Single figures would probably make him want to go to the country in 2012 or 2013 if the deficit looks under control and som of the systems reforms are in place.

    If a Hung Parliament – then it depends on the maths and what the other parties (especially the “minor” parties decide to do. I can’t imagine Alex will want to have a GE coincide with (or a few weks before) the next Holyrood elections, so you can be sure that the SNP won’t be voting down GO’s first full budget.

    Equally, whatever Mr Brown may think, Lab will not want another election this year for purely financial reasons. Another factor which needs to be taken into account is that this election is the first on new boundaries. While we may be reasonably confident about the notional order and approximate share of votes as shown on this site and other calculations, there are bound to be a few surprises. The results in May would allow all parties to focus their resources more accurately for another poll this year – at which point it becomes a question of who has the greater resources and better local organisation.

    In short, in my view a second election within a year will only happen if the result in May is truly indecisive – in which case we could be back out on the stump within weeks not months. 2012 remains a possibility – but only if Cameron has a very small or no majority.

  15. Jaime, it’s not a question of honour, it’s obligatory under British constitutional law. I can see Brown glowering & sulking on the back benches like Heath, but not defying the monarch.

  16. It would be interesting to see some more marginals polls now to see how things are going there at the moment.

    Interesting question: has there ever been an election where the swing in the marginals has been less than average?

  17. Regarding the date of the next election we know that Brown chickened out when he saw the polls slip from low 40s to high 30s.

    With the polls as they his instincts will surely be to wait until last minute before calling the election.

  18. MATT – There is little prospect of a low opinion poll rating creating a ‘swing’ to turn-out. We have all seen this on a regular basis. Look at football teams and how the gates drop when the team is doing badly, it is a fact that people get disheartened and ‘find reasons’ not to vote very easily, and it does affect all parties.

    This is where the latest revelations about ‘cash for influence’ may actually have an affect on the polls, it is constant bad news for Labour that builds in the public psyche and influences their response whether consciously or subconsciously. (The post mortem after the election by pollsters should hopefully pick this up one way or another.)

  19. If Brown delays the election until after the 6th of May it will damage his reputation even more.

    However, I wonder if his lust for power will cloud his judgement to this, and we are made to wait longer.

  20. Derek,

    A small poll lead is down to mistrust in all politicians.
    Now is a bad time to be knocking on doors and asking for support. Canvassers’ ears will be ringing with some of the verbal they get.

    And the situation gets worse by the day.
    Today we read that GB is accused of migration data ‘misuse’, in other words he’s telling porkies again.
    Then we read that the MPs charged with claiming fraudulent expenses want legal aid that could end up costing the public £3m for the case to prosecute them.

    Why should people feel the need to make the effort to vote for any of these inbred snouts?

  21. PHILIP JW:
    The election date is can be any day up to 3rd of June as you already know and it is only the media that have made an issue of it being May 6th.

    Why would it be ‘lust for power’ if the election could legally be held any day upto 3rd of June?

  22. I never thought I’d see AR drop to 37% for CON & gap of 9%. Why have all the Labour supporters gone quiet?!

    I, for one, am happy to see it – regardless of whether it’s a weighting correction or a real change in voting intention; also YG moving back a point in the right direction.

    Jan & Feb belonged to Labour, March a bit of poldrums but it’s April that will matter. Game on!

  23. We talk of game-changers. When are the Q1 GDP stats out?

  24. 37% with AR is disappointing for the Tories but the fact that Labour’s average polling rating is down to 30% is bad news for them as well.

    Both main parties are clearly struggling at the moment and the LDs are picking up some of that support.

  25. Ash is right. John Major almost went to the last date in 1997, calling the election for May 1st when it had to be held by May 22nd.

  26. Amber

    I was hovering about giving theother side a chance to air their views.

    AR is good. Gameon ;-) ;-)

  27. @ Shopkeeper man

    They were out yesterday. They showed a 0.4% growth -better than expected

    @ Terryy

    Brown getting migration statistics wrong. I’m not sure this is a game changer. The tories already have a huge lead on this issue.

    Also Tory shadow minister Chris Grayling was also slapped down recently twice by national Statistics on violent crime figures.

    It’s good to see politicians being slapped down when they are wrong

  28. ANDY JS:

    If you compare the before and after polls in the previous two budgets (2008 and 2009) then the post budget polls for this year seems remarkably better for Labour. Conservatives could have gone above 40 and Labour well below 30 but that hasn’t happened.

  29. Amber Star – A conservative lead of 9% by AR is well within the MoE of the other pollsters now, and I doubt if many took it that AR’s previous poll was anywhere near a correct representation of the facts. If you look back over previous threads I doubt you will find many posters vaunting it.

    The worst news from the AR poll is though for Labour, they are only at 28% after a major revision of methodology by AR. But I have cautioned previously that we will have to wait for AR to iron out any quirks before we can be sure to weight them as producing results comparable to the other pollsters.

  30. @Amber the Red Star
    “It’s April that will matter…”

    Or May. Or June.

  31. @Paul G

    No I meant Q1 figures. Anytime soon, but note yesterday..


    First estimate will be about 4 weeks after the end of the 1st quarter. So near the end of April.

  33. April 23rd for the GDP figures. Thats just under two weeks before the GE, assuming the ditherer has called it by then.

  34. WMA 38:30:19. Statistically it is too early to say that there is a trend, but FWIW the WMA CLead reached a low of 4.6* on 25/3 and has been climbing pretty steadily since.

    And I continue to stand by my forecast CLead at the GE of 10-15.

    * Of course the MoE is about 1% so we should not read too much into the 2nd place of decimals.

  35. I wonder if Mandelson has decided if TB should do another appearance yet? :)

    A serious question here, does anybody know who would appear for the party if Brown/Cameron/Clegg were ill or indisposed on the day of the debate?

    My personal feeling is that it should be the deputy leader of the party.

  36. @Andrew Myers
    “April 23rd for the GDP figures. Thats just under two weeks before the GE, assuming the ditherer has called it by then”

    Not a chance. He has until 6 June.

  37. Shopkeeper Man – Friday 23rd April (less than two weeks before poling day).

    Paul G – the figures yesterday were revisions for Q4 of 2009 (from +0.3% to +0.4%)

    My Guess – and it is primarily a guess rather than inside knowledge – is that the Q1 2010 figure will be somewhere between -0.1 and +0.2%.

    The revisions to Q4 09 have not really helped Lab, because now anything at +0.4% or below will look like the recovery has stalled.

  38. NBeale – The ‘trend’ is now there for the Conservatives to rise into double figures, now all we need is for Brown to call and election and not a State of Emergency and extend the Parliament (I hope the last bit was only a joke – I do not think even Brown would contemplate that!)

  39. Goddard – the figures released yesterday were not Q1 figures – they were amended 4Q figures. These had already been amended up from 0.1 to 0.3% so this change was just ‘noise’.
    The fact is the amended figures do not reflect any real increase in activity they reflect the reduction in estimate of activity in the previous 12 months.

    There have been a lot of poor figures in the last 2 months so the Q1 figures will be interesting and could be poor to average. I am not sure they are a game changer. Another steady-ish Q of 0.3% merely puts us in line for 1.5 on the year. Not brilliant.

    Builder Jervis sack 1100 today – as they go into administration/bankruptcy. Still problems ahead.

  40. @Terry Y
    Only marginally wrong. 233,000 instead of 237,000 for 2007. And he quoted the 2009 figures as “provisional” when they hadn’t yet been “adjusted”. Not really a major error, but embarassing. His argument would have worked just as well had he quoted the correct figures for 2007 and applied the proper caveat to the 2009 figures.

  41. Ash,

    It is not the media who have effectively made May 6th the day. It is the harsh reality of the local election calendar. There are council elections in practically all of England on 6th May (Yes I know there are some unitaries without any elections and in councils with elections by thirds many small wards have a year off, but you would be hard-pressed to plot those on a map of England and notice them against the backdrop of large authorities which will be voting.)

    This may not appear important to those in Scotland, Wales or NI who do not have local elections, for whom 6th May is just 4 weeks before the final legal date, but it matters massively in England – which is where the election will mainly be decided.

    Nominations for the local elections have already been submitted and Polling Cards issued. Those elections will now happen on that date barring some catastrophic emergency. Activists have already been out on the streets and literature prepared. You cannot seriously ask the activists on the ground – not to mention the voters – to do it all over again immediately after. Plus, the costs to the parties would be crippling – and Labour is certainly not flush with cash.

    If Brown now chooses to ignore 6th May he will do untold damage to Labour’s chances in both elections.
    A June election may help Labour in a handful of marginal seats in Scotland or Wales, but it would be an unmitigated disaster for Labour in England.

  42. RAF,

    Appreciate your reply. Too tired to research a reply.
    Off to bed. Best wishes to all contributors.

    Terry Y

  43. @Paul H-J,

    Have only just seen your reply. Thanks for that – definitely made for interesting reading.

  44. @ RAF

    @Amber the Red Star……… thanks for that. I was beginning to think nobody had noticed I was a Labour supporter ;-)

  45. Does anyone have details of AR’s super constituencies?

    Specifically, does this include every constiruency – and how do they fit a constituency like Banff & Buchan into their mix?

  46. @ BILL ROY

    I doubt if many took it that AR’s previous poll was anywhere near a correct representation of the facts. If you look back over previous threads I doubt you will find many posters vaunting it.
    ROFLOL ;-) Have a look at some past threads yourself, BILL. I think you’ll find you are very much mistaken.

  47. All this speculation about the date of the election is nonsense. It will be May 6th for the reasons mentioned by other posters.
    It seems Labour’s opponents are making the most of it before the announcement to make it look as if Brown hasn’t decided as yet – all mischief making IMHO.

  48. Amber’s representation of the facts are almost always put in a non-partisan way- amen

  49. @Oldnat- you’re back

    where have you been?

  50. @Amber

    “@ [email protected] the Red Star……… thanks for that. I was beginning to think nobody had noticed I was a Labour supporter”

    :) . I just liked the juxtaposition of Amber and Red. It suggested you may be angling for a Lib/Lab pact in a hung parliament!

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