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. Greengrass

    see the YouGov graphic for their tracker poll).

    It isn’t a tracker poll gg.

  2. @John F,

    quite a serious issue then one would think.

    Maybe there will be an AR tonight?

  3. @Eoin

    “I see others polling 8-9% this campaign.”

    You’re being such a tease today. :-) Again why?


    “Because Sean’s a bloody well smart guy…. :) ” LOL

  4. @John Fletcher

    “my vote wont count here in my consituency (Con maj 7000+) at least I can have some effect on the polls”

    Good point, but if you selected the other parties on the polls then didn’t vote for them, it’d be as though you’d voted for your own party thousands of times (compared to the polls)!

    Not that I advocate actually messing up the polls like this, of course…!

  5. When my prediction of a Labour win turns out to be correct, I think they should all hand over their businesses to me ;-)

    In other words, their predictions are worth no more than anybody else’s – being the ‘face’ of a polling company doesn’t give you the ability to see the future.

  6. @Green G,

    People like to be on a bandwagon

    or if they think its gonna be close, then they want a say in it.

    I am sure a sociologist could explain it better. May be it is that if people think their vote matters, then they pay more heed.

    This election does matter. Personally, it is the most important since I have been born. (I missed Thatcher’s May ’79). That election saw a turnout of 80% (figure off the top of my head).

    this one will see a jump in the vote with everyone wanting a say. I guess from a tory point of view I would not want that british trait of backing the under dog kicking in.

    Labour should play the rocky tune wherever the go…

  7. @Yarvin

    I will vote for the party I select on the surveys.

    Filling them out helps me let off steam

  8. @Amber,

    Yes I abhor elitism. Everyone’s opinion is equal, which is why I ave not commented specifically on the eight character’s opinions.

  9. Will this will be the election where the pollsters are even more wrong than they were in 1992?

    People talk about Kinnock having lost it with triumphalism at a conference & a fall on the beach. But the reason they believed he was winning was because the polling said he was – even after the two mis-steps described above.

    The electorate either changed their minds at the eleventh hour or the pollsters got it wrong. And it could be about to happen again….

  10. @John Fletcher

    “I will vote for the party I select on the surveys.”

    Good, I was only joking anyway, although it does make me wonder if some people might actually do that.

  11. @TonyFisher
    “The only current politicians who dazzle me with their intellectual grasp of their brief and depth of analysis are Dr Vince Cable….”


    VC rather bombed on the Politics Show today. A sign that the shine might be coming off.

    Wouldn’t want to pass judgement on DC. Assessments of intelligence are rather subjective, but I do find he seems to think that some thinly disguised tricks won’t get noticed, indicating that he understimates others’ intelligence. That is what struck me in the way he responded to the Burma floods and Georgia crises and subsequent behaviour has tended to reinforce rather than mitigate that impression. I know that the economy is the main issue, but I feel that if he does become PM, people like Angela Merkl and Barak Obama will eat him for breakfast.

    I doubt if I am the only one who sees this (despite my divine attributes!) and expect it to become more prominent in the collective (un)consciousness as the campaign progresses.

    And just to pre-empt those who don’t know and maybe tempted to shout ‘partisan’ (or should that be PARTISAN?), I am not a Labour supporter.

  12. regarding leadership attributes. it is not clear that intellect is that high up the publics list.

    Arnie?
    Sarah Palin?
    Berlusconi?
    George Dubya?

    I think a showperson may be valued by a section of the electorate as a more desireable candidate. Or shall we call it charisma?

    I could pick indignous examples but I will restrain myself.

  13. @Amber/Eoin

    I agree – I trust them to be better at creating and interpreting polls than the rest of us, but not at predicting the future, which (where their predictions differ from polls) is presumably what they must be doing.
    One caveat though (and Eoin I’m genuinely sorry for disagreeing with you yet again, I’m sure we’ll agree on something one day!) is that their opinions are worth more than ours in the sense that theirs could
    (consciously or subconsciously) affect how the polls are designed – ours can’t. ;)

  14. The only reason the marginal swing tends to be higher is because more resources [ by that I do not mean just money but mainly foot soldiers ] are employed there.

    However, this is a different election. The Tories’ need 117 seats just to get a majority of one. This is not what Labour had to do even in 1987.

    Ashcroft money will not bring dedicated foot soldiers.

  15. Nick Clegg & Vince Cable are being deliberately provocative. “Open your eyes & don’t believe the hype,” they are saying.

    Let’s see if a blunt & truthful message is what the electorate really want, or if the faux shock of the Tory leaning media will be used to dilute their message.

    I expect the polls to turn next week. LAB & LD will begin to rise as the LD honesty & LAB consistency has an effect on the voters.

  16. April 11th, 2010 Pollster Firm Prediction

    Andrew Hawkins ComRes Con majority 32
    Ben Page Ipsos-MORI Con 25 seats short
    Andrew Cooper Populus Con majority of 10+
    Peter Kellner YouGov Con majority 20-30
    Robert Salvoni Harris Con majority 2-10
    Andy Morris Angus Reid Con majority 40-50
    Martin Boon ICM Con majority 20
    John Heald Opinion Research Con majority 40+

    Seven out of eight predict a Tory majority

  17. @Yariv,

    Oh their opinions matter all right, there’s no doubt about it.

    Newsworthy? Hmmm…

    amber’s point that the press is by and large right leaning (Pisa style) means that it would be naive for any of those pollsters to voice opinions to the contrary.

  18. @ YARIV

    One caveat though (and Eoin I’m genuinely sorry for disagreeing with you yet again, I’m sure we’ll agree on something one day!) is that their opinions are worth more than ours in the sense that theirs could
    (consciously or subconsciously) affect how the polls are designed – ours can’t.
    —————————————————————
    I cannot speak for Éoin, but I agree with you on this. And – unless we do believe that polls effect the way people vote rather than just reflect it – their advantage in this respect does not make their crystal ball better than anybody else’s :-)

  19. @Eoin

    Actually I agree that they’re not really newsworthy, but now they’ve given them I’d really like to hear their justification!

    I wouldn’t describe the Independent as “right-leaning”, and actually I’m more surprised that they gave answers seemingly contradicting their own companies than I would be for them to contradict the right-wing press. More likely they are actually largely Tories themselves – the heads of many organisations are!

  20. @ JOHN BROWN

    Ben Page Ipsos-MORI Con 25 seats short
    —————————————————-
    Read Anthony’s comments & the first post on the comments thread – posted by BEN PAGE – you will then have the full set.

    BEN’s comment in the Indie was based on current polling, he is also personally predicting a small CON majority.

  21. @Yariv,

    Nor would I desribe the Independant as right leaning, it was a generalised statement.

    Lateral thinking old chap, lateral thinking……

    on a point of the poltiical orientation of British Newspapers. A colleague carried out a coding analysis of British Newspapers reportin gof the Israeli – Lebanon conflcit a couple of years back.

    He found the Mirror the most left leaning since it was very critical of Isreal’s role in the conflict.

    Ironically, when the results were matched against several french news outlets, the Mirror came up as the most right leaning since all the french papers labelled it as the Isreali invasion of Lebanon.

    But is interesting that political spectrums vary from country to country.

  22. @ Amber star

    ‘Nick Clegg & Vince Cable are being deliberately provocative. “Open your eyes & don’t believe the hype,” they are saying…….Let’s see if a blunt & truthful message is what the electorate really want,’

    I couldn’t agree more, it is hard to escape the escalation in the Libs rhetoric against the Tories……

    I also agree that the polls will turn eventually……however if you check the most read and most viewed BBC articles of the day the Election rates at Number 10…the lowest……..

    The BBc monitoring of stories is not exactly a mathmatical calculation into the public following of the election, I know, but it does give an indicator…..: :)

    Are the public too weary of Labour rule to pay heed to Clegg??….. :(

  23. @Eoin

    People like to be on a bandwagon

    Yes, but, based on polling evidence, there’s a new bandwagon in town isn’t there? The “I think a hung parliament could be quite good for the country” one.

  24. @Eoin

    How does opinion about the Arab Israel conflict break down into domestic Left/Right leaning?

    The Foreign Office, not known for left wing politics, is notoriously pro-arab and the right wing parties al la BNP are anti Isreal.

    If the Mirror was the least supportive of Isreal’s incursion into Lebanon, would that not make it the MOST right wing Newspaper.

  25. @Green G,

    T’wud be an interesting bandwagon – that is for sure. You speak like a true Green Party activist. Wait for PR and then you’ll be grand….

  26. Eoin-

    “Ironically, when the results were matched against several french news outlets, the Mirror came up as the most right leaning…..But is interesting that political spectrums vary from country to country.

    You don’t say!!

    I am sure an analysis of US newspapers would have considered the entire media of Europe barking mad during the war against hezbollah.

    I am surprised the Mirror came out more anti-Israeli than the Independent and its very own Mr Fisk. I found the coverage of said Fisk (and C4 news as well) to be pretty one-sided at that time.

    BTW surely if you support Islamist terrorists that makes you RIGHT wing…..just a thought !!

  27. ICM “bank holiday” poll that was tagged as a rogue is actually the poll that got it right IMO.

    The ‘real’ CON lead is 4. What do I base that on? My crystal ball – which shall be used in future GE’s as the benchmark for all polling companies ;-)

  28. @John F,

    You misunderstand me…

    a coding analysis does not base it upon wheter you think it is right or wrong.

    It mathmaticalyl calculates the language you use. Dove words, under represent statisitcs, choose human sotries, carry stories about rockets.

    There are so many variables and the work is my colleages not mine.

    He is a political scientist- I am not.

    let the example seep out of your head if it troubles you….

  29. Rebecca Dunlop
    @ Amber star

    ‘Nick Clegg & Vince Cable are being deliberately provocative. “Open your eyes & don’t believe the hype,” they are saying…….Let’s see if a blunt & truthful message is what the electorate really want,’

    I couldn’t agree more, it is hard to escape the escalation in the Libs rhetoric against the Tories……
    —————————————————————-

    Is this not proof that LibDem’s are trying to solidify Labour voters in LIb-Con marginals ? They need not worry about me. They already have my vote !

  30. @Aye Rob,

    But it is all about paradigms and prisms…..

    In England the left wing newspapers carried stories supporting a united Ireland. This was at the exact time when terrorists were bombing england. Catholic fundamentalists. Still, it reinforced the left wing sentiment in the labour party and Mirror at the time.

  31. Somehow I missed the BPIX Poll. WMA is 39:31:19 and the 14-day trend’s R2 has gone down to 0.54. It really is beginning to look as though the increase in the CLead has levelled off: it’s been pretty much static over 13 polls for the last 5 days. But even aggregating 13 polls the MoE of the CLead is about 1.4% so we should not get too excited: and BPIX and youGov have recently tended to under-estimate the CLead by 1% on average.
    [snip]

  32. @ REBECCA DUNLOP

    Do not be downcast. I think the public are too weary of the media’s view of politics to be interested in reading articles about the GE on the BBC site.

    I think they will care about which party governs the country after the election & they appear to favour a LAB/ LD coalition above any other outcome.

  33. @Eoin
    —-
    “You speak like a true Green Party activist. Wait for PR and then you’ll be grand….”

    I was pro-PR first – turned green later! But we’re a bit grand in Scotland already (thanks to PR of course)

  34. One Poll have unearthed some important political data, in their poll for the Sunday People.

    35% think that Richard Branson would make the best Prime Minister, as opposed to 4% favouring Cheryl Cole.

    10% say they will be too busy having sex on May 6th to vote.

  35. @Amber

    “My crystal ball – which shall be used in future GE’s as the benchmark for all polling companies”
    —-

    Should be the motto for this site :-)

    Saw a piece on Embra S on Politics Today – what an indecisive lot in Auld Reekie!

    Damn! Keep on being drawn in here instead of basking in the garden. Is there some antidote I can take for this?

  36. @Sean,

    A 15 hour session, gee that is stamina at its best.

    Where does Britain keep them? Did they provide geographical tables by any chance :) ?

  37. @Eoin

    “A 15 hour session, gee that is stamina at its best.”

    It might be on the internet of course. We all know what it’s most used for.

  38. Greengrass

    I’m not long in after working in the garden most of the day. I now have that lovely smug feeling of moral superiority! :-)

  39. @Green,

    That’s one of technology’s innovations I am very happy to say has escaped me.

  40. Coming late to this debate as I am, I too thought it very strange that the pollsters all predicted a Conservative majority when their own polls aren’t suggesting the same thing.
    If they thought their own polls were wrong, wouldn’t they just adjust them? Otherwise I cannot for the life of me see what makes them think the Tories will poll any more than they are today.

  41. @OldNat

    “I now have that lovely smug feeling of moral superiority! ”

    With some justification. Right that’s it – I’m going out again.

    (BTW – 3 putative Scottish Secretaries vs. SNP on Politics Today. Murphy castigating for negative portrayal of London (meaning Westminster)

  42. @ Sue M

    Perhaps they are expressing their personal gut feeling about the way it will go, as opposed to the “arithmetic” predicitons of the polls.

    Many contribtors here do exacly the same all the time.

    What is more intersting is that they all agree.

  43. SUE MARSH

    While I accept the pollsters may be wrong (or right) you are mixing 2 things a recent snapshot and a prediction of a result in 24 days. The pollsters have a wealth of information including trends and
    in some cases the results of private polls in the marginals, They will have regard to momentum and the morale of the parties etc.etc

  44. Sean, Don’t knock those Branson/Cole findings – they are probably closer to the public mood that we would care to believe! :-)

  45. Just noticed the Tories have moved up to 39% in the UKPR polling average.

  46. Amber Star
    ICM “bank holiday” poll that was tagged as a rogue is actually the poll that got it right IMO.

    The ‘real’ CON lead is 4. What do I base that on? My crystal ball – which shall be used in future GE’s as the benchmark for all polling companies
    ******************************************************
    What on earth do you base this on, other than hope?

    Clearly the lead is somewhere between 7 & 10% if you look at all the data from polls posted by Anthony since the beginning of April.

    I am absolutely certain that if Lab/Lib make it look too obvious that they are ‘ganging up’ on the Conservatives, then it will back fire, especially if this occurs in the debates. The electorate are not stupid in the UK, if anything they are cynical.

    They will spot easily that GB will do anything to stay in power, even it means changing the entire voting system to get the Lib support, something he has been dead set against, up until of course the Labour majority has been whittled away over the last 13 years!

  47. I think the validity of the 8 pollsters opinions can only be critisised by those who take Political Correctness to an extreme.
    Why should their opinion be more valid than mine? Because they know a lot more about polling perhaps. Why does Jenson Button know more about skid control than Auntie Doris? They, as I said earlier, either think the Tory marginal figures are underscored, or as Mike Smithson always insists Labour are ALWAYS overscored, or the Tories will pick up more support in the next couple of weeks on immigration or something. Rob Sheffields response to me on this subject was quite ridiculos, these guys are not all frothing at the mouth Tories and their professional reputations mean more to them than a game of silly-billies.

  48. @ SUE M

    Yes, it’s interesting that the mission of this site – apart from AL J’s prediction game – is to focus on the polls & not gut-feeling predictions that are almost invariably influenced by what we’d like to happen.

    Now we have the top boys (& they are all male BTW) predicting an outcome that is not borne out by their own firms’ polls. This is an interesting turn of events from which I will draw no conclusions.

  49. Richard O: Look up “joke” mate – or possibly irony.

  50. @ ROLAND HAINES

    If these chaps think that Labour are over-scored, they are exactly the people who can change that… so why don’t they?

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