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. Eoin

    I hope to meet you here on 7 th May . As i have also believe, DC have not sealed the deal and the polls that matters now is on the 6 th may.

    Right wing commentators and right wing dominated Print media are writing labour off but that will surely play to Laour’sadvantage because it will energizes the core labour votes as well as encourage tactical voting in Lab/Con mariginals to keep Tories out of power.

  2. @Matt,

    If this was not a general election campaign then I would calculate your way.

    But 1992, 1997, 2005 all show significant changes once the starting gun has been fired.

    Choose to ignore me if you wish but this election has the same trend stamped all over it….

    We can chat about it again in a week when i am rabbiting on about another 1% closing….

    see you then :)

  3. Matt /Edward et al

    The lead of all polls April 1st to April 6th (the calling of the election) was 8.4%

    The lead of all polls since the calling of the election is 8.1%:

    If you remove the People poll (which finished on the 7th April…) it is a lead average of 8.3%….so a tiny decline and NOT an increase in the lead.

    Given the NI narrative of the last 5 days- *surely* less than even the least partisan Tory poster was hoping for….as for the more partisan ones……

    Of course the most recent days polling- the four polls yesterday (excluding the people)- gives a lead average of 7.5% :-)

  4. @ Eoin,

    Yes, I admit that the stats do point to that. I guess they show a rather conflicting picture, depending on which way you decide to interpret them (and both ways are right/justified imo).

    I can understand why you have this interpretation. I guess, for me, it makes me now accept that a) The Tories have had a good week but b) there is still much work to be done, and Labour is still not out of it by a long chalk.

  5. Eoin

    I hope to meet you here on 7 th May . As i have also believe, DC have not sealed the deal and the polls that matters now is on the 6 th may.

    Right wing commentators and right wing dominated Print media are writing labour off but that will surely play to Laour’sadvantage because it will energizes the core labour votes as well as encourage tactical voting in Lab/Con mariginals to keep Tories out of power.

    Those Lib Dem voters in the marginals as the recent ICM predicts to be 19%, if 10 % still dislike tories and vote tactically, it could make a huge a difference in keeping labour in power.Also in Con=Lib Dem marginals, labour voter will do the same.

  6. @Rob,

    Move the harris one pre-election its fielwork was earleir

    the gap is even bigger

  7. Yes, my point Rob is that the stats are both good for Labour and the Conservatives depending on which data set you take and how you choose to interpret them. To illustrate this, you could both make the point that the Conservative lead has increased greatly over the past week, whilst also taking the interpretation that Labour are closing in the polls (if you take the pre and post election campaign starting date).

    Both are right, but don’t quite paint a complete picture IMO.

  8. eoin- aahhhh: thanks for that am adjusting my excel spreadsheet now !

  9. I welcome anyone to point out at a later date that I was wrong. But this campaign is already tightening and will contine to do so.

    that is why those two marginal polls (5.5% and 6.3%) will survive as a testimony to how close the Tories came to firing up their Quattro in 2010.

  10. matt

    “Yes, my point Rob is that the stats are both good for Labour and the Conservatives depending on which data set you take and how you choose to interpret them”

    and you only just figured this out ?!!

    In my UG days in the late 1980’s (having gone to Uni later then normal) a key text included the (in)famous phrase “there are lies, there are damned lies and there are staistics”…..

  11. “Choose to ignore me if you wish but this election has the same trend stamped all over it….”

    I never choose to ignore you, neither do I doubt what you are saying or the choice of data set. I always read your posts with great interest, as you always post with great intelligence and clarity.

    I think your interpretation is valid (as is mine IMO). That is the nature of statistics. It depends on which version of reality you want to look at/interpret.

    I also don’t doubt that Labour could come back in the polls. It wouldn’t surprise me, even if it is looking harder for them now IMO.

  12. Rob:

    Ok we’re arguing over different dates. I’m comparing the week 5th April – 11th April with the previous week 29th March – 4th April. So when I say it’s been a good week for the Tories I mean the calendar week.

  13. “and you only just figured this out ?!!

    In my UG days in the late 1980’s (having gone to Uni later then normal) a key text included the (in)famous phrase “there are lies, there are damned lies and there are staistics”…..”

    No, I studied accounting at uni, so know quite a bit about statistics and interpreting them.

  14. @Matt,

    Yes of course you do Matt, and I appreciate that. If I was handing out a dong for open mindedness you would walk it…………..

  15. I’m very interested to know WHY the pollsters would expect a result which doesn’t seem to line up with their own polls – particularly in the case of YouGov which has specifically changed its methodology to give a prediction of the result rather than a snapshot of current opinion.

    Are relying on the marginal effect? Or are they expecting some increase in the Con lead? If so, why?

    I’m especially keen to know the answer the pollsters give, as unlike posters to this site they can’t use the get-out clause of it being some factor the polls are overlooking!

  16. “@Eoin,

    Yes of course you do Matt, and I appreciate that. If I was handing out a dong for open mindedness you would walk it…………..”

    Thanks. For the record, I’m willing to admit that the stats show that the lead is TIGHTENING since the election campaign began. I can also understand completely why you have chosen to use the start of the election campaign as the starting point.

  17. Something which people might like to think about that I very surprised nobody has raised.

    In 2005 the combined Tory-Labour share was 68-69%.

    In 2010 YouGov in particular reguarly have their combined score at 71-72%

    That is quite a gap. There is less room for Lib D and others.

    It might explain why hitting the landmark 40 doesnt taste quite as good as it seemed it might when it was put up on a pedal stool by others (including myself) as a must reach target.

    For what it is worth, I completely agree with YG 72% In fact I think it might push on for 73%.

    Its one of the reasons I get in such a tizzy when AR and co. retun others at 15% and a combine Labour/Tory vote not befitting a european election (tongue in cheek)

  18. While this is all very interesting and I’m enjoying the debate, we’re still less than a week into the campaign and for most of the voting population the election is still pretty remote. If a week is a long time in politics we’re still three generations away from polling day!

    Personally I suspect the polling figures we’re seeing now still represent peoples hypothetical voting intentions. It’s only as polling day draws closer and that the consequencies of the election become more pressing that the polls will start to become truely meaningful.

    I think a lot will come down to peoples perception of Cameron. Kinnock lost unexpectedly to Major in defiance of the opinion polls back in 92, and I firmly believe it’s because a lot of people only seriously contemplated the consequencies of a Labour administration led by the inexperienced Kinnock fairly late on – after the majority of the polling had been done. Nervous floating voters chose other parties or stayed away and concerned ‘shy’ tories decided to turn out.

    A similar situation could occur this time, a lot of people will only start seriously considering what a Cameron government will feel like when it becomes a serious possiblity, ie a week or so from the election. If he does a good job in the coming weeks the Tory vote might hold up, but if concerns remain it could well slip away.

    In my view, the Tories definately have the advantage, but it’s still all very much to play for.

  19. Eoin – Concerning the polls and the combined total of Conservative plus Labour share of the vote – are you comparing the polls now with the polls prior to the previous elections (I get the feeling you are not by your wording). Perhaps looking at the polls v’s polls may result in a different picture, I have not looked at that aspect but think it could explain the difference.

    By the way I fully expect the combined Conservative plus Labour votes at this GE to be down on 2005.

  20. Before the rightists become too enamoured with my ‘angels’ post, if the Tories get (say) 295, Lab 270 and LD 45, the operative margin for who will survive in government long enough for a PR referendum is Lab plus LD plus minor parties vs Con. The Conservatives will not be allowed to form a lasting government (Queens speech) until they promise that referendum and who starts doing the taxing and spending in the meantime will be secondary issue in that there will be a working compromise on that one, I am sure.

    If the lead increases and Con get 330 (say) then of course that’s the end of that, at least for the present.

  21. In order to illustrate my point about the combined Labour and Tory vote below is the share given to the Top two in the last 25 polls.

    AR 63
    Harris 64
    Harris 64
    Harris 65
    AR 65
    AR 65
    ICM 67
    ICM 68
    Opinium 68
    YG 68
    YG 69
    YG 69
    BPIX 69
    YG 70
    ICM 70
    YG 70
    YG 70
    ComR 71
    YG 71
    Populus 71
    TNS-BRMB 71
    YG 71
    YG 72
    YG 72
    YG 72

  22. @Bill Roy,

    Thanks for the thought. I did check. In 2005 YouGov especially were always on the 68/69 mark, eactly how it finished proportionately.

    This time YG in particular have added a few % on to the combined share.

    Needless to say, AR, Harris and co. have gone the other way entirely.

  23. @Eoin

    “In 2005 the combined Tory-Labour share was 68-69%.
    In 2010 YouGov in particular reguarly have their combined score at 71-72%
    That is quite a gap.”

    Is it?! Anyway, YouGov also regularly have the combined share at 68-70%. Because they are doing a lot of polls. It would give more credence to your analysis if you gave the whole range from all pollsters, rather than just picking the high results from the pollster which shows the highest numbers in the first place.

  24. Howard – there is support amoung many Conservatives for electoral reform, so please do not write-off such just because the Conservatives win.

    Where of course the difference lies is that both Conservatives and Labour I feel would prefer AV per constituency whereas LibDems and the minor parties would prefer direct PR.

    DC has already stated that he would reduce significantly the number of MP’s in the Commons and undoubtedly the FPTP system would be brought up and I feel retired within such legislation. My bet is that either the next GE if it is 2014/15 or the one after that will not be by FPTP.

  25. @Yariv,

    look up :)

  26. 2005:

    YouGov/Sky News 68
    MORI/FT 68
    YouGov/Telegraph 68
    YouGov/Telegraph 68
    YouGov/Telegraph 69
    NOP/Independent 69
    YouGov/Telegraph 69
    YouGov/Sunday Times 69
    MORI/Observer 69
    NOP/Independent 69
    ICM/Guardian 70
    Populus/Times 70
    BPIX/Mail on Sunday 70
    ICM/Sunday Telegraph 70
    CommRes/Independent on Sunday 70
    MORI/FT 70
    NOP/Independent 70
    YouGov/Telegraph 70
    YouGov/Sunday Times 70
    BPIX/Mail on Sunday 70
    MORI/Evening Standard 71
    Harris 71
    YouGov/Telegraph 71
    MORI/Sun 71
    Populus/Times 71
    ICM/Mirror/GMTV 72
    ICM/Sunday Telegraph 72
    ICM/Guardian 72
    MORI/FT 72
    ICM/Guardian 73

  27. @Eoin

    Thanks for posting the full range – as you can see, the 68-69% is indeed right in the middle of the range – and the range is skewed slightly by the high number of YouGov polls. Which implies to me that the combined Lab-Con score is in fact the same as or lower than at the last election.

    You have to be very careful with statistics! ;)

  28. @Yariv

    the range is 10% points in 2010.
    the range was 5% points in 2005.

  29. Eoin
    Your tables about combined % con & lab still show AR and Harris sticking out like a thumb.

    We debated the structural gap between these and the more established polls a fortnight ago but it’s still there and thus unresolved as I see it. Because of the word ‘established’ i suppose I go with ICM YG but I don’t really have a reason for doing so.

  30. @Eoin

    Aside form that they actually really like Cameron. They do not like Brown.

    Do you believe that LibDems will generally vote tactically based on the personalities of the leaders rather than the parties’ policies/values?

  31. Do we have any polls for the UUP/DUP/SF/SDLP in NI?

  32. @Howard,

    ALl me to try an persuade you.

    If 2010 fits the bill as an epic election a la 1979 or 1992 (eg- outcome unpredictable)

    then proportionately the share climbs..

    If 2010 fits the bill as a dud contest a la 2001 2005 (eg outcome certain) then we have a lower turnout…

    Do you see any reasoning in that?

  33. @Eoin

    What is the relevance of the range?

  34. @Greengrass,

    a recent poll (ispos mori marginal) concluded that this election more than ever before was about personality….. a good leader was important…

    economics are important of course

  35. @Eoin

    The statistics you posted for combined shares shows a share of 70% in 2005 and 69% now – no major change. As I suspected ;)

  36. @Yariv,

    if the point is lost you- I accept that.

    I am merely stating that a wide range shows a greater level of disagreement on the vote share of the big two in 2010.

    eg Harris and AR below 2/3

    YG and Populus , Comres above 2/3

  37. The fact that people from all 8 polling companies all believe the Tories will win majority is very enlightening. That is more interesting than today’s polls.

    BTW – it would seem that analysis by Experian is also suggesting that Labour is in trouble in the marginals. The Experian chap on the BBC says their numbers point to swing voters leaving Labour.

  38. @Yariv,

    That is a weak correlation.

    You should cross-tabulate it by pollster…. they do fit a pattern

  39. Sorry Eoin, but that WASN’T your point!

    “In 2005 the combined Tory-Labour share was 68-69%.
    In 2010 YouGov in particular reguarly have their combined score at 71-72%
    That is quite a gap. There is less room for Lib D and others.!”

    You were clearly saying that the combined score is HIGHER, not more variable.

    (And what was all that stuff about correlations and cross-tabulating?)

  40. @Eoin,

    Having analysed what you have said more closely (including the stats), I can see what you mean. Labour has undoubtedly made a bit of ground since the election campaign began. The polls yesterday were also rather good for Labour IMO. If this becomes a trend over the next 3 weeks, the lead will be significantly narrower come election day, and Labour would probably win the most seats.

    I think it’s a question of whether the Tories peaked too soon.

  41. @Eoin
    “For what it is worth, I completely agree with YG 72% In fact I think it might push on for 73%.”
    —-

    I think it is very hard to predict the share for the big 2, particularly given the uncertainty of turnout. I tend to agree with Bill Roy that it will be down on 2005

    A rule of thumb of 50% of undecideds going to Con/Lab and 50% to LDs as others is as good as any other, whether polls predict hung parliament or not on polling day. The question is how many of those will have hardened between now and then.

  42. @Eoin

    a good leader was important

    Yes, but does that equate to a liked leader?

  43. Eoin
    If 2010 fits the bill as an epic election a la 1979 or 1992 (eg- outcome unpredictable)

    then proportionately the share climbs

    What share climbs Eoin?

    And no, I don’t see nuttun yet.

  44. Te analysis of all the polls is fascinating…but I have been out on doorstewps all week and the scary thing is the increase in dont knows…….do the polls show any real data about this!!!!??????

  45. @Howard

    “What share climbs Eoin?
    And no, I don’t see nuttun yet.”

    You just have to restrict the data to the highest individual totals from the pollster with the highest average totals. You will see that those numbers are high ;)

  46. @tony fisher

    “I actually think Cameron would be better off just short of a majority than with a very small one.”

    I have heard that from centre right (conservative voting this time) colleagues ALL week- very worried about the closet UKIPers who could hold a Christian democratic Tory administration to ransom for paleo-Thatcherite ends. I’ve heard the phrase “Tory Taliban” on numerous occasions.

    @Yariv

    “I’m very interested to know WHY the pollsters would expect a result which doesn’t seem to line up with their own polls”

    the various possibilities for this inaccuracy (as between what their polls are saying now and what their individual gut feelings as people are telling them about the result 4 weeks hence) have been discussed in detail further up the thread.

    Have a look and I suggest you contact the pollster direct if this does not satisfy you- asking what the pollsters individual reasons were for their gut-feeling IoS “predictions” is not for this site.

  47. @Rob Sheffield

    “Have a look and I suggest you contact the pollster direct if this does not satisfy you- asking what the pollsters individual reasons were for their gut-feeling IoS “predictions” is not for this site.”

    What? Why on earth not?!

  48. @Howard,

    The share of the big two vote.

    Labour and the Tories combined share has been declining for an age…

    Bill Roy and Sean Fear have given very good reasons why it should continue to decline eg… immigration leading to rise of BNP, expesnes scandal switiching off voters… etc. etc.

    I see something differetn happening. I think the unpredicatable outcome, the polarised nature fo campaigning and the fact that there is a real choice – pushing the share up above 69% maybe up to 73% as was the result in 1979, 1992, 1997….

    Either argument is plausible- well at least I think so.

    So far, I stand completely alone in thinking that the latter is possible……

  49. yariv

    as you put it yourself

    “I’m especially keen to know the answer the pollsters give, as unlike posters to this site they can’t use the get-out clause of it being some factor the polls are overlooking!”

    So go and ask them yourself; oh and to remind you (again)- this subject has been discussed in detail further up the thread.

    It always pays chum to READ the thread before pronouncing with your nose in the air ;-)

  50. @Yariv,

    I will try for you again.

    capitals are not nice though and I am a senstive soul so be nice in your reply…

    Harris and AR have the total share of LAbour and Tories below 2/3…

    ie.. the bottom six combined shares in the last 25 polls are from harris and AR (63%-65%)

    The gap to YouGov, Populus, TNB is considerable – in some cases the latter are 10% higher.

    The top four results are from YG the bottom four are form Harris AR…

    In terms of votes it probably equates to about 2.75million voters.

    Thus, I see it as valid question to query….

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