Polls tonight

There is an interesting response from Peter Kellner here about something that looks set to be in the Telegraph tomorrow. I’ll have more to say about it later.

Tonight I’m expecting at least two new polls.

UPDATE: Almost as I hit submit, I found yet another poll – there are also new figures from TNS BMRB. Topline figures with changes from their previous poll are CON 38%(-1), LAB 33%(+2), LDEM 19%(nc). I think the fieldwork was between the 24th and 30th, so all post-budget. The other polls tonight are ICM and YouGov.

UPDATE 2: Corrected TNS BMRB’s dates to match those they quote on their website.

124 Responses to “Polls tonight”

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  1. WRT Peter Kellner’s interview, I’m pretty sure that AR are now in the British Polling Council, although it’s quite possible that the changes they’ve made to their weightings will mean their results in future are quite similar to most other companies’.

    WRT Yougov and the other pollsters, it’s certainly the case that Labour’s best results have tended to come from Yougov in recent weeks, perhaps as a result of not weighting by likelihood to vote.

  2. Peter K has proper slapped him around and quite right so. You only need to spend a couple on this site to realise the stupidity of some of those questions! All the idiots on PB who go on about “Labour bias” and fiddling with polls should be pointed in the direction of that article.

    Shame on you Robert Winnett!

  3. So do we think 5 points is a fair reflection……? If so I think it’s quite odd, good but odd given what’s happening recently

  4. @ Sean Fear
    According to the BPC website AR aren’t members of the BPC but Opinium are.A

  5. I thought Peter Kellner’s interview fairly convincing until he virtually dismissed 3 of the pollsters who showed the largest Conservative leads! I also found the 12.5% lead apparently given by Experian slightly worrying in that this was weighted to the extent that it resulted in a 6% lead. That is a massive weighting however it might have been done. Weighting may be justified but the sheer scale of this was alarming.

  6. Can someone help me with a dumb question?
    Are all these polls national GB, or whole UK to include N. Ireland? In other words, does the ‘others’ total include Sinn Fein and the Ulster Unionists?

  7. Kellner’s main point is the most poignant of all…

    the story of these polls is how close YouGov are… not how far apart…

  8. I see TNS BMRB are quoting a smaller poll lead for the Conservatives than Yougov. Presumably we can look forward to the same people rubbishing their polls too. Presumably they are also the same people that imaging AR have been got at as they have so dramatically cut the Tory lead too. Go on believing it will be a landslide if youmust, its unevidenced and it won’t happen, but you knock yourself out. Yawn.

  9. If we reweight the poll of polls omitting yougov, do we get a significant change in the lead?

  10. Kathryn

    I am fairly convinced there will be no hung parliament and that either party will get some sort of majority. A Tory landslide is unlikely unless the don’t knows flock to the side they perceive will be the winner. Not sure we have firm evidence for any result other than the Tories are (probably) currently ahead!

  11. Jack,

    I’m sure Anthony will know the answer, but I’m sure AR became members of the BPC round about Christmas.

    I am a big fat Tory. But not a YG hater or an AR apologist. Please do not take the tone that only Tory supporters get flights of electrol fantasy. This 5 point lead reported by TNS BMRB will have at least 6 Labourites planning the next Labour cabinet. If YG come in to night with a 5 point gap Cameron will be out on his ear. Support Labour if you wish, but dont take it that their supporters are all entirly sensible.

  13. @Polly Ticks – “So do we think 5 points is a fair reflection……? If so I think it’s quite odd, good but odd given what’s happening recently”
    Not necessarily. There does seem to have been a budget bounce for the Tories, but polls generally suggest this is dissipating. The NI announcement doesn’t seem to have built on this momentum (although today’s debate might make a difference) and we have in effect returned to the pre budget position, in this poll at least. This wouldn’t surprise me. We’ve just had some pretty stunning manufacturing figures today that show a deep seated improvement across all sectors and sizes of manufacturing businesses – if this is a sign of the broader picture it may mean people are looking ahead with more optimism. We’ll just need to see what else comes along polling wise.

    A brief note on the captains of industry and their views on the NI debate. If anyone gets a chance to ask one of them, could you please check that they intend to pass on the full amount of the tax cut to all their workers in terms of a wages increase? If they don’t, that’s another nail in Osborne’s plans, as he has assumed this will happen and as a consequence the net cost to the treasury has been reduced by £1.3b pa, as confirmed by the IFS. In other words, the 23 business leaders are supporting a plan that assumes their companies will not save a single penny. I think Mandelson is correct and they have been duped by the Tory numbers, but what do I know? I’m surprised Labour hasn’t been flagging this up to be honest.

  14. Woah!!! Only 5 points now??!! LOL!! This is DEFINITELY SIGNIFICANT – Labour are gonna win a MASSIVE MAJORITY – believe it!!! ;-) !!!!!

  15. @ Sean Fear

    You are probably right. BPC aren’t probably that great at updating their website!

  16. So, the “Gold Standard” ICM is out tonight too?
    I wonder if we see them as gold standard simply because they don’t seem to have the Tory lead too high OR too low.

    It is certainly nice to have a five from someone other than YouGov, and tonight it looks like we’ll be able to compare three polls like we could last night.

    Goodness knows where we’re at though if the ave of last night was 8 and tonight it turns out to be 5 or lower?

    Budget bounce over, or MOE

  17. Alec,

    If the NI increase weren’t implemented, then employers would have no right to make a deduction from their employees’ wages, as though it had been implemented. WRT the employers’ NI contribution, it would mean that they had avoided a cost increase, rather than seeing costs reduced.

    WRT TNS, both the Conservatives and Labour are up by 2% on the same poll a month ago. The poll was conducted between 24th and 30th March, at the same time as most were showing the gap widening.

  18. ROLAND – I am a Labour supporter, and a Party member since 1977. I am almost ludicrously sensible. That is, until you become aware of my political views. :)

  19. @MITZ
    Thanks for backing up my post Mitz.

  20. Actually Sean fieldwork for this TNS-BMRB poll was still going on yesterday.

    I was hopeing you would keep quite and not devalue my comment by displaying your super human sensibleness.

  22. Polly T
    I wrote you a reply on the NI nonsense and so did others but you’ll need to glance back at the previous thread for that.
    How I admire Peter Kellner’s courage. To put yourself in the hands of a journalist is like shaking hands with Beelzebub and I hope he escapes unscathed. I do have experience of the breed. How honest, how self-assured and how refreshingly devoid of spin he speaks. If I were his father I should be proud of his intellectual and moral stance.

  23. Barnaby, their website says it was 24th to 30th March.

    Statistically speaking, there isn’t much difference between a poll putting a party 5% ahead, and one putting them 10% ahead, although in psycological terms, there’s a big difference.

  24. Pleasure Roland – always happy to help.

  25. @Sean Fear – my understanding is that under the Tory proposals the NI increase is being implemented at the full 1%, but the thresholds are being altered. Osborne has assumed that employers will increase wages by the full 1% to compensate for the rate rise, regardless of the threshold impact, leading to higher income take take. His plans are fundamentally flawed, and the business people I don’t think understand this.

  26. This poll spans five days or more. Whilst that is probably alright in mid term, it is not acceptable so close to an election. Yes it was post budget, but we had a tax cut announcement, chancellor debates and Blair’s interjection. IF a floating voter viewed all of these events it is possible they could have a different answer on the 25th than they would on the 30th

    Leaving that poll aside, we will see a tightening right up until election day. Labour will win more seats the the conservative party, by how much I am not yet ready to guess

  27. Mitz: Your superbly hilarious irony may have had some point if anyone had ever suggested a massive Labour majority. They haven’t of course, although many Tory supporters have fantasised about the opposite result.

    Most sensible opinion – I naturally exclude your own – is that the most likely outcome, as evidenced by current opinion polls, is a hung parliament with the Conservative party having most seats.

  28. That’s interesting Sean. I happen to know that fieldwork was still going on yesterday. Unless the figures which were obtained yesterday weren’t collated into the final poll figures. The poll was part of a survey covering a large number of different subjects.

  29. “David in Oxford
    Can someone help me with a dumb question?
    Are all these polls national GB, or whole UK to include N. Ireland? In other words, does the ‘others’ total include Sinn Fein and the Ulster Unionists?

    The polls are GB not UK

  30. As TNS spend a week or so on their surveys, it might be the start of a survey to be published next week (or maybe one that they won’t be publishing).

  31. YAKOBS – have you not read or understood Kellner’s replies?! He is not ‘dismissing’ the other polls, just pointing out that they are more out of line with the consensus than Yougov’s.

    And on weighting: Weighting a party’s score up or down by 20%, 30% or even more may be totally justified, as long as you know what sort of people you should be surveying to get a representative sample. Weighting of course makes the results more representative.

  32. We know kellner is trying to create a herd mentality

  33. I have just read the Peter Kellner comments and I’m very cross indeed.

    Firstly, I HATE it when grown-ups start stamping their feet and whingeing “Not Fair” when life doesn’t go their way. Grow a pair.

    Secondly, what on earth does he think caused YouGov to show such high leads for the Tories last year?

    Thirdly, the implication that the “rogue” as he put it during the Tory mini conference was a set up made my blood boil! These polls are paid for by a Tory paper who hijacked the Labour conference and GBs speech by coming out for the Tories the day after. I know the game, politics is a dirty business, but it was a very low trick. Now that the very polls they commissioned, presumably to keep rubbing Labour’s face in 15 – 20 point leads EVERY DAY, turn out to be SLIGHTLY more favourable to Labour, it is surely to their credit at least that they’ve carried on publishing them?
    It really is so full of irony it’s practically bursting.

  34. Ugh. Good for Peter Kellner in correctly and politely sticking up for YouGov against this nasty bit of gutter journalism.

    The Telegraph “article” smacks of US Republican tactics.

    I hope we see no more of it in UK or European politics but I suspect that, sadly, we will.

  35. SEAN – there isn’t one next week, because of Easter. They resume on Friday week.

  36. Sad, too, to see some “comments” on this article being made by “bloggers”. (In fact, as I know, some of the same clan who have attacked YouGov).

    These semi-professional net-hacks and bloggers – working for a party – are really a tacky and unpleasant side to politics in the 21st Century. And, as I said, have come directly from the US Republican movement.

    To my mind it all leaves a rather sour taste in the mouth.

    Hard to keep in check too.

    Good luck with the moderating Anthony! You will certainly need it as the GE approaches and more of these folk appear on this site!

  37. Well said Peter Kellner. It’ll be v interesting to see what spin the Telegraph put on it.

  38. David in Oxford
    Following on from Pompey Observer, you can click on AW’s ‘Advanced swingometer’ on the right hand window to play with differing results in the Celtic nations (excluding Cornwall) to take them out of the picture (put them in too) so to speak. There was a long discussion about this feature of GB politics which might have been avoided by playing with that facility. You sometimes have to make a lot of alterations to one party or another before you get what the pollster recorded. I noticed that you had to change Lib Dems to make the Tories go up or down (not Lab) and similarly with Others to alter Lib Dem. I don’t know why it works this way but you eventually get the hang of it.

  39. Barnaby,

    In which case, I can only assume that the polling was for some internal purpose. I sometimes get polled a mixture of political and non-political questions by Yougov, without the former being published.

    WRT Peter Kellner’s interview, that is something of a swipe at AR and Opinium, as I think the former and I know the latter, are BPC members, and both are very transparent about the way they carry out polls.

  40. @David in France

    Hear Hear! couldnt agree more

  41. Well spoken, David in France – it’s nasty, we don’t need it, and poster who wants to maintain a largely objective discussion should help Anthony monitor it, 24/7.

  42. WOW Peter Kellner gave some razor sharp answers to all those questions, will be interesting to see how this is spun by the Telegraph? I can see the headline now “YouGov Labour bias exposed – Kellner admits weeks of secret polls for the SUN were never published!!!!”

  43. In the opinions of this salty captain of the psephological seas, I would agree that the NI cut has not been as much of a boost for the Conservatives as they would have hoped. No-one appears to have mentioned that the tax policy announcement was almost immediately overshadowed by the tragic Metro bombings in Moscow. At the risk of appearing callous, the bombings dominated at least two news cycles, thus depriving the announcement of oxygen.

    Although not a Tory, I have to say the NI cut is one of the smartest moves the Conservatives have made all year. It looks and sounds like a heavyweight policy, regardless of the fragility of the figures.

    I do not think the 23 business leaders backing the NI cut will help Tory poll figures though. For one, you could easily get a group of Labour-favouring businessmen (and they were all men , sadly) to support the NI rise.

    More pertinently, it feeds into an image of the Tories as the party of rich, white males (however unfair that may be).

    I predict a return to a 4-6 point gap within a week, barring “events”.

  44. David in France – another hear hear from here!

    I assume Alley Cat is one of these trolls? His/her post is pathetic and of course libellous. Anthony might have a busy evening…

  45. Peter Kellner for an intelligent man states in the 2nd from last paragraph the the data was “almost exactly right”

    How funny……..

  46. Isn’t it the employers’ contribution which is due to go up, not the employees’ ? Perhaps someone could explain, I get a bit confused by these things. Even though I used to be an employer myself. I used to employ a good Tory accountant to sort all that stuff out. :)

  47. CHRSC

    Peter Kellner referred to ICM, Mori and Comres as his “established rivals”. He referred to Angus Reid and Opinium as having “no track record” and with Harris, publishing no details of their methdologies. He also referred to their polls as “out of line” and “outliers. Perhaps it is our perceptions that differ but I found that “dismissive”. A pity, because other than that he seemed to have come up with reasonable answers. As to weighting, a 12.5% lead converted to 6% seems quite a substantial weighting but I accept that you probably know more than I do in this respect.

  48. The problem with democracy as the Greeks said is that, “Democracy gives a fool the same vote as a wise man”. No amount of polling can ever factor that into the results. The only poll that matters is the one on GE day.

  49. I am sure that any undue weighting would be against the BPC’s rules.

  50. Kellner’s interview was sharp and to the point

    Yougov have a living to make, these polls are tuppence in comparison to their other work….

    They clearly have no political motives

    It is juvenile, sorrowful but alas predictable that whingers pick holes in their proven methods

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