There are two new polls this morning. Harris in the Metro have topline figures of CON 37%(nc), LAB 28%(+1), LDEM 20%(+1). Others are on 15%. The fieldwork was conducted between the 31st March and 6th April, the day the election was called, so compared to the YouGov, Populus and Angus Reid polls this is rather out of date already.
The University of East Anglia’s student union also seems to have commissioned the first constituency poll of the general election campaign, specifically of Norwich South – with some rather strange results. The poll from MORI has topline figures (with changes from the notional 2005 result) of LAB 39%(+2), CON 20%(-2), LDEM 19%(-11), Green 19%(+12).
Clearly it shows Charles Clarke holding on very easily indeed, with the Liberal Democrats collapsing into third place as their support shifts to the Greens, who were in fourth place in 2005 with 7%. The figures do seem somewhat dubious though. Some MPs do buck the national trend to some extent, but with polls showing national swings ranging between 3.5% and 7% from Labour to the Conservatives, any English seat displaying a 2% swing from Conservative to Labour would be a very unusual creature indeed. Charles Clarke may be a high profile figure, but he doesn’t seem an obvious candidate to buck Labour’s trend quite so dramatically.
In terms of the voting intention question, it appears to have been prompted with the names and parties of the Conservative, Labour, Lib Dem, Green and UKIP candidates. Including minor parties in the prompt does run the risk of overestimating their support, but you can see by the contrast between Green support and UKIP support (just 2%) that the comparatively high level of support for the Greens in this poll is not all down to prompting.