D minus 25
Yesterday’s polls:
ICM/Sunday Telegraph (7th Apr) CON 38%(+1), LAB 30%(-3), LDEM 21%(nc)
YouGov/Sunday Times (9th-10th Apr) CON 40%(nc), LAB 32%(+2), LDEM 18%(-2)
ComRes/Independent on Sunday/Sunday Mirror (9th-10th Apr) CON 39%(+2), LAB 32%(+2), LDEM 16%(-4)
BPIX/Mail on Sunday (9th-10th Apr) CON 38%(+1), LAB 31%(+1), LDEM 20%(nc)

There was also a OnePoll survey in the People, which showed figures of CON 37%, LAB 31%, LDEM 21% but for which I don’t have the information to know if we can give it any weight.

The topline voting intention are all broadly consistent – largely I expect because yesterday’s polls all came from the more established pollsters and those showing lower levels of support for Labour have tended to be the new entrants to the business. The Conservatives are at or just below 40% (ranging between 38% and 40%), the Labour party in the low thirties (30% to 32%). There is more variation in the Lib Dem score, with ranges between 21% and 16% – that latter score just doesn’t ring true to me and I’d be surprised if ComRes’s next poll doesn’t show them bouncing back.

The Conservative lead of something around the 8 points that these polls imply (the equivalent of a 5.5% swing) would not be enough for an overall majority in itself. Rather the Conservatives would have to rely upon outperforming the national swing in the marginal seats that actually decide the election. We had one marginals poll last night, from ICM, and it showed a swing of 6.3% to the Conservatives, so only slightly larger than the national one and still slightly short of the 6.9% they need for an overall majority.

This morning’s Independent on Sunday has has predictions of the pollsters themselves. All except Ben Page of MORI predict a small overall Conservative majority (including Peter Kellner, Andrew Cooper, Martin Boon and Andrew Hawkins) – the implication being that the pollsters expect either the Tory lead to grow during the campaign, or the Conservatives to outperform in the marginals by more than yesterday’s ICM poll suggested.

UPDATE: In the comment below Ben Page of MORI has clarified that what the Indy had as his projection was actually what he thinks would happen based on the polls now. His prediction for the final result is also a small Conservative majority.

529 Responses to “Sunday morning round up”

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  1. Richard O – I just did. That’s not what the story says.
    Howard – you have to check out that one, it’s your story of the day.

  2. That is true James. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that 2 nights ago there were 2 polls, both showing a Conservative lead of 10%. Yesterday 2 polls both showing a Conser vative of 8%. And today 2 polls both showing Con 37% and Lab 31%. This could of course be a coincidence but it’s quite striking nonetheless.

  3. Looks like its 15 all on the leaflet front now http://bit.ly/aFLhlj

  4. As Peter Snow would say “Just a bit of fun” I know but I put the YouGov figs in the UKPR Swing Calculator and got;

    Lab 283, Con, 283, LD 53

    Hung Parliament: Labour 43 seats short

    I know its only under the standard UNS – but if the final result was an exact tie in the new House of Commons then it would certainly make for an interesting situation post 7th May.

    Any thoughts?

  5. Barnaby – what was the other poll today?

  6. @Sue Marsh

    It is a mailshot which has gone to some cancer patients, not sure if every recipient is a cancer patient. Some have complained about it and want to know how they have been targeted.

    The cards warn that a Labour guarantee that cancer patients will see a specialist within two weeks would be scrapped by the Tories.

    In one case it was sent to a woman who had already died of cancer.

    Extract from the Times article:

    The postal campaign started last month before the general election was called. This is the first election in which parties have been able to use internet databases and digital printing to personalise their mailshots.

    Labour has sent out 250,000 “cancer” postcards, each addressed to an individual, asking: “Are the Tories a change you can afford?”

    Many of those receiving the cards have undergone cancer scans or treatment within the past five years.

    The cards are being distributed by Ravensworth, part of Tangent Communications, which has won accounts sending out mail for the Department of Health and Cancer Research UK.

    Tangent claims that it specialises in “highly targeted marketing”.

  7. Just so Rob from Sheffield doesn’t think I’m biased, YouGov’s 6% is a good poll for Labour, but as ever it needs the support of the next few polls to be significant.

  8. @Sue Marsh

    It is a mailshot which has gone to some cancer patients, not sure if every recipient is a cancer patient. Some have complained about it and want to know how they have been targeted.

    The cards warn that a Labour guarantee that cancer patients will see a specialist within two weeks would be scrapped by the Tories.

    In one case it was sent to a woman who had already died of cancer.

  9. this yougov poll looks very dodgy

  10. SUE – hi there – it’s a OnePoll, as told by Anthony in the blurb introducing this thread.

  11. @Sue

    I’m trying to reply but seem to be moderated each time. It’s on all the news and newspaper sites.

  12. It seems the criticism of the Labour mailshot is that it would inevitably go to numerous cancer-sufferers (statistically) rather than that it was directly aimed at them.

  13. Jaime,

    I agree. I am disappointed that the Tory lead is not higher given I am pretty certain they have had the best of the last week. Having said that, we need more polls to back this up, as the last time the lead dropped, it shot up the next 2 days. Still probably around the 7-8% mark if truth be told.


  14. oldnat @ Andy JS

    “Except that none of the few polls suggest that Labour in Scotland is doing better than in 2005. The question that isn’t clear is how much worse they are doing.”

    If only that were the only problem.

    We know that the LibDems are losing votes too, though possibly not where they are incumbents. The Consersative vote is being shorn by the grim reaper. The SNP are generally on the way up, but are held back by perceived irrelevamce for Westminster.

    So it is easy to see that they are all doing badly, but shares of the poll must add to 100% and whoever gets the bigest share gets elected.

    The answer is that who gains votes is different in different constituencies.

    Take my constituency as an example. Last time the LibDem had a comfortable win and, aganst his own expectation, increased his lead over the Conservative, but he is perceived to be ineffective.

    Scottish Conservatives are dying off, and they don’t have a well known and likeable MSP as their candidate this time.

    Dsaffected voters who voted for third placed Labour may vote tactically for the LibDem to keep the Tory out, or they may have a new and enduring affection for the SNP.

    The SNP could take the seat from fourth place. They ousted the SP LibDem at the last election.

    If the LibDem loses just as few votes, he will still be returned no matter if they all go to the CON. If he loses enough to have a smaller share of the poll than the CON,they may well break sufficiently in favour of the SNP, for the SNP to win from fourth place. Labour could win too.

    A Lab/Con or Con/Lab Marginal would be quite different.. Typical SNP voters may vote Labour to keep the Tory out.

    There has been a long term shift over a period of 50 years (spreading from the North East) to Anti-Con negative voting, and this group may now be the majority in Scotland.

  15. Neil A – “Was it to cancer sufferers? Surely it was just women voters wasn’t it? Where would they get the confidential patient data to target cancer patients?”

    Precisely. If you read the BBC story, it merely says “some women FELT targetted”. Howard’s story of the day.

  16. Re Cancer Treatment Debate
    I do believe that any stories about these issues can only benefit Labour as many people have personally experienced improved treatment in the past few years and the additional resources put into the NHS are plain for everyone to see. There must be a real fear in the country that Conservative tax giveaways are going to be paid for by the sick and the needy.

  17. Barnaby – DOH! I’d forgotten about it as it was largely left out.

  18. @MLB – No thoughts at all MLB because it just isn’t going to happen.

    If Labour continue to govern with GB as PM with only 32% of the ‘Popular’ vote then there will be great unrest and the LDs cannot possible side with the Party polling such a low ‘Popular’ mandate while the Conservatives may poll 38-40% it just won’t happen.
    Nick Clegg would be denounced as a 2 faced hypocrite!!

  19. Sue
    Under your influence i am in Pollyanna mode at present. we’ll need three of these YG results in a row before I start to believe though (or better).

    Youword is my command – I will check it out. By teh way we still haven’t killed off the nonsense about the organ donations. The error was found out last year. How well Mr Burnham conducted himself this morning dealing with that one. It was clearly timed to coincide with the favourable NHS report from the King’s people.

  20. You could be right Eoin, but as I say the figures are the same as the previous poll. When I canvass tomorrow I’ll be interested to see what’s happening – although I will be a pretty safe Labour ward, albeit in a marginal seat.

  21. The 37/31/20 Sun Poll is – as said – within MOE.

    At the moment the extreme high for Tories is 40% with Labour extreme low of 28% on those figures the LDs would be on around 23.

    This would equate to a Tory government of around 14 seats.

    I think the pollsters were taking this sort of view in their assumptions for 6 May and – given historical actual results may not be far off the mark . . . .

    As it stands at the moment . . . .

  22. oooh, new thread

  23. As I recall, Cameron stated clearly that he was going to do away with targets and let doctors decide treatments. The Tories policy did not support the mandatory targets for cancer treatment, so the cards are I believe legitimate and point out a factual matter of policy difference. No idea about the targeting, but it would be a gross breach of data protection laws if they had only been sent to cancer sufferers.

    It does give an intriguing insight into Labour campaign strategy though. A lot of this seems to be ‘under the radar’ stuff and it will be very interesting to see how it all pans out.

  24. Parag – the offence caused to those on the mailing list who themselves are patients might well be mitigated by their appreciation of treatment as you say .

    However the Tories will feel that those who have nothing to do with this, those who were not mailed, might feel put off Labour by it, and not have the mitigatiing feeling of appreciation of improved care,

    It’s a bit of a non-event, inmy view, and will pale when Thursday comes….

  25. Alec – I tink there ar earound 250k cancer patients in total. I can’t beleive they sent the cards to all of them.
    It’s more likely to have been a mailshot with a bit of educated, demographic focussing. But not as much ass actual medical records

  26. Son of Thatcher is a wind-up.

    I suspect he or she is either a Libem (or SNP and former Old Labour) activist trying to upset Labourites and worry Cons.

    There are more LibDems, but stirring things up is an SNP specialty as you will find out if we get a hung-Con goverment.

  27. Matt & John Fletcher

    “The only celebrity endorsements that are worthwhile are those from people with direct expertise and knowledge in the field they are commenting on.”

    They are probably the only ones that work. Half naked women are thought not to sell cars and suchlike because it isn’t relevant to the product.

    John’s comment about Joanna Lumley misses the point that she was possibly the best informed person in the country, more like Matt’s doctor in fact and not just a celeb.

    If you are articulate and actually understand what you are talking about as well, it shows.

  28. @colin

    I’ll give you the last word. Lips are zipped.

  29. Here is what the FT says about those pesky pollsters !

    “Watch out: eight pollsters agree on a Tory majority”

    “A unanimous consensus is always something to be wary of, particularly when it doesn’t quite reflect the evidence available.

    So when eight of Britain’s top pollsters all predict a Conservative majority — in spite of current polls indicating there’s a strong chance of a hung parliament — it is worth unpacking their hunch.

    Given all the uncertainties in this election campaign, why do all eight forecasts fit in a range of about 40 seats? Is there something they know that we don’t?

    If you look at their explanations, three themes emerge:

    – The desire to get rid of Brown is more powerful than the doubts over Cameron

    – Cameron will benefit from the debates

    – There will be a disproportionate swing to the Tories in the marginals

    None of these statements are particularly surprising.

    But, familiar or not, they are quite big assumptions to make.

    Evidence from the marginals is mixed. The Tories need the biggest swing in their favour since the war. The Lib Dems are not looking like a push-over.

    Expectations of a Cameron victory in the debates are running dangerously high.

    Academics, meanwhile, are coalescing around a hung parliament forecast.”

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