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. @TONY FISHER
    With academic qualifications like that I am suprised you are not touting Eric Hobsbawm for PM.

  2. ROLAND HAINES

    I agree with you about the pollsters. Interestingly the Sunday Times reports a Labour MP has said that some Ministers including Ed Balls have a similar view of the GE result. The MP also said “I know many ministers who have booked holidays on May. They certainly do not believe they will still be in office”

  3. Interesting fact:

    It’s entirely possible that Labour could lose their majority in this election even if there’s no swing at all nationally, ie. with Lab – 36.2%, C – 33.2% as in 2005.

    The reason is this: if there’s a swing in Labour’s 24 most marginal seats of 1.3% to the Tories, it would wipe out Labour’s majority.

    This could be compensated in terms of the national share of the vote by Labour doing slightly better than 2005 in Scotland, for example, but it would hardly affect any seats since the Tories only have one seat in Scotland anyway.

  4. @ RICHARD O

    See PAUL CROFT’s post – I think he is saying that he ‘gets’ my ironic & occasionally self-mocking sense of humour.

  5. @Amber,

    arr ok, got it!

    still think it is very much up in the air how the public would react to Lab/Lib getting too close & pushing tactical voting.

    I think just as much chance it could lose votes, as gain them. Very difficult to predict either way.

    rich

  6. Andy JS

    “This could be compensated in terms of the national share of the vote by Labour doing slightly better than 2005 in Scotland”

    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.

  7. ‘Interesting fact:

    It’s entirely possible that Labour could lose their majority in this election even if there’s no swing at all nationally, ie. with Lab – 36.2%, C – 33.2% as in 2005.

    The reason is this: if there’s a swing in Labour’s 24 most marginal seats of 1.3% to the Tories, it would wipe out Labour’s majority.

    This could be compensated in terms of the national share of the vote by Labour doing slightly better than 2005 in Scotland, for example, but it would hardly affect any seats since the Tories only have one seat in Scotland anyway.’

    This strikes me as quite bad reading of the situation. surely the 1.3 swing towards the Tories would result in an uptick in their vote, and even if there was a movement in Labour vote in Scotland, its very unlikely that the same % of the vote would result in a result such as you suggest

  8. @AMBER STAR
    I dont know why the polsters dont change it Amber, I am not a pollster. What I do know is both Mike Smithson and Anthony Wells have discribed this Labour vote always a couple of points to high when the actual results come in a number of times. MS is particularly “certain” of it. Anyway thats just one option, perhaps its one of the others. Perhaps its all 3.

  9. Clearly, the pollsters believe that either the Conservative lead will go up a bit between now and May 6th, or that the Conservatives will outperform Uniform National Swing, or both.

    Peter Kellner has said he would expect the Conservatives to become the largest party with a lead of 3/4%, and to win a majority with a lead of 7/8%.

  10. @NBEALE responding to Tony

    PPE always seems to have this reputation as a ‘soft’ subject but (protecting my own wicket here!) that’s certainly not the case.

    What the course really teaches is the ability to synthesis huge amounts of data and information from conflicting viewpoints extremely quickly, and to form a well-constructed argument leading to a firm conclusion. That sounds pretty much spot on what a Prime Minister needs to be good at!

  11. @ RICHARD O

    My concern re tactical voting is different to yours… the ability to make the correct tactical vote depends on knowing the polling for your own constituency – or taking a (hopefully informed) guess.

    I doubt my own, never mind the entire electorate’s, ability to call this correctly for each seat. Maybe I am doing them a disservice.

    As to how a call for tactical voting will be perceived, I think it will only annoy those who think their party will be adversely affected by tactical voting.

    Keep in mind, the 3 largest parties have called for people to vote tactically so there is nothing to choose between them on that.

  12. @sue marsh.

    I was not defending their predicitions only answering your question as to how they could come up with a result diiferent from thier own polls. I am not turning their opinion into fact. On the contrary I am openly saying that it is not fact but “gut feeling”.

    Unless you subscribe to some conspiracy theory that they all colluded to come up with a result, what is interesting as previously stated that all thier “gut feelings agree”. These are all professionals, who work on this for a living all agree. That does not happen very often. Lawyers, Doctors, Economists etc never manage to do it.

  13. Mark S – it was a theoretical point really. In reality the swing wouldn’t just take place in Labour’s 24 most marginal seats. But it does show how little movement there has to be for Labour to lose their majority.

  14. @Sue M

    “So actually you are turning their prediction into fact based on evidence we do not have!!
    What their predictions DO tell us is either that
    1) They are over-scoring Labour, in which case, as Amber says, change it and quick, OR
    2) They ALL believe the Tory lead will extend from here. Based on “gut feeling” lol”

    Well, exactly. As I said earlier none of them have given any evidence as to why they believe the outcome to be different to what their polls are currently indicating.
    It does seem to me that, they are making some of this up as they go along. Tories up 1 point for this, Labour down a bit because of that, then at the end of it they still say that having made all the adjustments and weightings, their published results aren’t what they believe themselves. I know psephology is an inexact science, but as with all conclusions in science, it should be evidence based.
    Maybe, we’re all reading too much into this and they are doing a Peter Snow ‘just for fun’ moment when after a by-election, he waved his arms around and showed the Lib Dems on 420 seats and the Conservatives losing Tonbridge Wells.

  15. @SUE MARSH
    Conservatives are clutching at straws and gut feelings are they, oh right. It is not Conservatives who have dreampt up these esteemed gentlemens comments, they made them of their own volition. What do you expect us to do, ignore them? Or perhaps say its all horlicks. Let us not forget despite the best efforts of some Labour supporters to prove a horse is a camel Anthony has extended the Tory lead on this sight to just short of a majority. There is no doubt as things stand that Labour are going to be beaten, its just a matter of by how much.

  16. OldNat – there have been a few polls in Scotland which have put Labour on about 40% which is slightly better than the 39% they got in 2005 but those polls are a bit out of date now.

  17. Why might they think the Conservatives will win a majority, even if current polls mostly show them falling a few seats short?

    I imagine it’s because they identify trends in their polling, and have access to regional data, and data in specific types of seats, that isn’t necessarily published.

    At the end of the day, they’re measuring vote shares, not seat totals – but they have a great deal of knowledge of how vote shares are likely to translate into seat totals.

  18. @Roland,

    I agree, I just hope it doesn’t get too negative.

    I did post the text of a breaking story on BBC just now, but it has been moderated so maybe it was a bit off topic away from polling, so far as to say it takes negative campaigning to the extreme…

    rich

  19. This is my first entry but I have read, with interest, all the other submissions. Apart from the fact that the polls seem to be quite steady thus far or possibly moving slightly in the Tory`s favour, nothing much has happened. I do believe that Labour & the L.Ds might do better if they stopped ganging up on the Tories and concentrated on their own policies instead. As for all the pollsters predicting a Tory victory, well the polls often get it hopelessly wrong…but, nevertheless, I am surprised. My own gut feeling, based upon the non headline answers in the polls is that Brown has had it and that, to some extent or other, the Tories turn has arrived.

  20. @Joseph1832

    “Journalists tend to be ignorant in all subjects – no wonder many go on to become politicians.”

    What all journalists? – and I wish more of them, as well the general population who cry ‘nanny state’ at the same time as saying that the government “should be doing something about it” when anything goes wrong, did become politicians and discovered how pathetic their simplistic take on public service is.

  21. SurfDoc
    Conservatives losing Tonbridge Wells

    Wher’s that then, anywhere near Tonbridge or Tunbridge Wells?

  22. Why are people mystified at the pollsters comments.

    Their polls say what they say. Speculating on the election result based on these polls is entirely dependent on UNS. This has nothing to do with them or their polls.

    If they do not believe in the application of UNS, or interpret it their own way, then that is not a comment on their polls.

    Its a comment on the use other people put them to. It seems not implausible to suggest a Tory majority of about 20 based on current polling.

  23. @PuertoPundit

    “based upon the non headline answers in the polls is that Brown has had it and that, to some extent or other, the Tories turn has arrived”

    That’s interesting. Can you specify which answers you are referring to and why they are more indicative than others?

  24. @ Howard

    Lol, wherever it is the Conservatives won’t lose it.

    (Ok, so it’sTunbridge Wells, but let’s not go into spelling/syntax/grammar issues on here -I’ve seen too many effects rather than affects, more definatelys than i care to mention and as for apostrophes -let’s not go there!)

  25. Trevorsden
    ‘ not implausible to suggest a Tory majority of about 20 based on current polling.’

    Indeed not nor even 40 majority, but it is implausible to predict this without evidence for saying so, if you are a self-appointed expert like the pollsters. Our prediction nonsense with Al J is that, just like choosing a grand national winner at home with the family as I did yesterday (he says modestly).

  26. Anybody think a small tory majority could be as bad for them as 1992?

    Remember the economy was in a trememdous shape in 1997 (low unemployment, low interest rates, high tax receipts, good GDP), and yet they still suffered the landslide.

    It was the inability to control Parliament and some of the MPs, given the small majority, that did for them.

  27. @ John Fletcher and Mike – Your responses were even more illuminating than the pollsters!!! Their “gut feelings” all tell them their will be a result not born out by their own polls. I see now Conservatives are “clutching at straws” that their “gut feeling” is in fact based on private polling!!!!!!
    LMAO
    So actually you are turning their prediction into fact based on evidence we do not have!!
    What their predictions DO tell us is either that
    1) They are over-scoring Labour, in which case, as Amber says, change it and quick, OR
    2) They ALL believe the Tory lead will extend from here. Based on “gut feeling” lol
    John Fletcher it is certainly interesting that they all agree. I think perhaps my interest is piqued for different reasons to yours.
    Re: Cameron’s intelligence based on his degree, I am DISGUSTED that we should judge a person’s intelligence based on what degree he did or didn’t get from Oxford and I suggest it is almost all the reason we need for why politics is such a disgrace at the moment. Let’s all play “My degree is bigger than your degree” and then no-one with natural talent will ever enter politics again.

  28. @Andy JS

    Labour will both lose their majority and will not be the largest party: I have always said that.

    The battleground has been about three separate outcomes:

    1) A Conservative majority of 15 plus roughly which with UUP votes means that they can override the demands of the “five or six sound men” identified by Lord Pearson.

    2) A majority of roughly less than 15 whereby- for example- my colleagues fears of a ‘Tory Taliban’ mounting an insurrection against the Christian Democratic policies that DC-GO have been espousing come to pass. Let no one underestimate the degree of pressure in the paleo-Thatcherite ranks that will be released if and when an election is won: unlike Labour in 1997 by which time the hard left had peeled off/ given up the hard right is very much alive and still in the Conservative party;

    3) A minority Conservative administration.

    The latter is my favourite outcome unsurprisingly: as another election will have to be called within 12 months during which VAT would been increased despite the campaign ‘promises’; unemployment started rising again due to spending cuts (both in public and private sectors); the fragile economic revival would have been choked off; and swing-voter repellent Brown would have been ditched for the younger and more fragrant generation.

    But let’s not kid ourselves that Labour will win or be the largest party….and of course just as I write that underdogs Pompey go one-up (yyyessss)…COME ON !!!!!!

  29. @ Howard

    Does that mean you’re now so flushed with your winnings that you don’t care who’s forms a government because you’ll be drinking champagne in your mansion? Come to think of it, an outside chance of LibDem victory would tax that.

  30. I guess the pollsters aren’t making the prediction that some people would like.

    Obviously their prediction should be taken seriously because these are professional, very experienced pollsters well qualified to analyse a broad range of data and probably privy to some sorts of information that the rest of us ordinary folk are not.

    But at the end of the day it’s still just a prediction based on current available data. If the data changes, so too will the predictions.

  31. TrevorsDen
    Why are people mystified at the pollsters comments.

    Their polls say what they say. Speculating on the election result based on these polls is entirely dependent on UNS. This has nothing to do with them or their polls.

    If they do not believe in the application of UNS, or interpret it their own way, then that is not a comment on their polls.

    Its a comment on the use other people put them to. It seems not implausible to suggest a Tory majority of about 20 based on current polling
    ———————————————————–
    Rubbish ! One of them even suggested a 50 seat majority. Based on what ? You have to add to UNS a great chunk of wishful thinking from any recent poll to arrive at a 50 seat majority.

    As someone said they have a professional reputation to keep. It is precisely that they are not keeping. If they have relevant information that leads them to that particular conclusion then that should be published. Otherwise they are effectively saying they are currently publishing guff !

  32. @R Haines

    “@TONY FISHER
    With academic qualifications like that I am suprised you are not touting Eric Hobsbawm for PM”

    Why would I, a former Conservative, support a Marxist, pray? Clever man, but a Red!!

    On an unrelated note, just been over into Oxford East to visit a friend, and normally there’s dozens of Labour posters in his street; I saw not one. Is this election actually happening or are people too embarrssed to display an interest???

  33. @SurfDoc

    Surely you mean apostrophe’s? :-)

    I agree. The definatelys and desparates definitely hurt my eyes most. And, since the spellcheck squiggly lines appear when they’re wrong, it’s a bit lazy not to correct them. Nevertheless, it seems to be a spreading disease and I fully expect them to become accepted usage in the not too distant future.

    As spelling and grammar are to language what ingredients are to gastronomy, it seems we are linguistically in the age of avocado prawn, Vesta curries and Boots wine-making kits.

  34. @HOWARD
    I am sure the polsters have got very good reason for saying “Tory majority 12 to 18” or whatever. Are you saying that their opinions are no more valid than say mine? I think Sean Fear (who knows a thing or two himself) has said these guys know a grat deal about their subject.

  35. The whole discussion is like somethin gout of Talahasse, Floride c.2000

    Maybe they’ll shut all the polling booths in Brixton.

  36. @james ludlow

    “I guess the pollsters aren’t making the prediction that some people would like.”

    Like any “serious” person I am taking ANY prediction four weeks out from the election day itself with HUGE pinch’s of salt. By and from whoever- including my own analyses.

    To be quite clear about this: I shall take the pollsters eve-of-poll final predictions VERY seriously.

    But anyone- including it would seem yourself- who tries to attach greater credence to these predictions is quite simply either desperate or merely trying to raise the profile of something that confirms their own prejudices.

    AS it’s you- and given your form over the months- I’d say it’s BOTH ;-)

  37. Roland – you read me wrong – I simply think it’s strange. For instance, why do YOU think all 8 pollsters would have made such a prediction? I have no idea WHY such a strange phenomena occurred. In fact I DO agree that they must have based it on stuff we don’t know or why on earth would ALL of them say the same?

    Anthony – don’t know if my comment was moderated by you, I’m now assuming it was, so sorry for posting it again. I have absolutely no idea why you would have moderated it on purpose – if you don’t want us to comment on 8 unsubstantiated opinions, surely you wouldn’t have provided the link to them in the first place???

  38. James Ludlow – That old chestnut! Had they ALL predicted a Labour win, would you have not commented?

  39. @ Rob – my, you’re quite the charmer, aren’t you?

    As for: “But anyone- including it would seem yourself- who tries to attach greater credence to these predictions”

    I’m not sure you fully understood my comment with regards the predictions relating to CURRENT data and that if the data changes then of course the predictions probably will as well. Otherwise, though, I’ll certainly take the predictions of professional pollsters more seriously than, say, your predictions, just as I would take a doctor more seriously than you with regards a health issue.

  40. @Tony Fisher

    “Is this election actually happening or are people too embarrassed to display an interest??”

    One of the elements that will be settled in the days/ weeks after the election is the concept of the ‘Shy Labour voter’- the converse of 1992 and rebuttal of axioms that have now become gospel such as “polls always overstate Labour”.

    Voting for an unpopular government with a discredited leader who is a bit of a laughing stock has never been fashionable. But it happened in 1992.

    If ‘shy labour voters’ do exist, they will be one of the reasons for a minority Conservative administration: if they don’t exist in any tangible number then I think we’ll have a 15+ seat majority.

    But- just out of technical interest- I’d like to see whether these OP’s are understating or overstating Labour support. i.e. does the 18 year old model still stand or going forward do we need new models perhaps ones that need to be attached to ‘government’ rather than ‘party’.

  41. james ludlow et al

    “I’m not sure you fully understood my comment with regards the predictions relating to CURRENT data and that if the data changes then of course the predictions probably will as well. Otherwise, though, I’ll certainly take the predictions of professional pollsters more seriously than, say, your predictions, just as I would take a doctor more seriously than you with regards a health issue.”

    Keep digging chum I am enjoying every morsel ;-)

  42. Sean Fear – “I imagine it’s because they identify trends in their polling, and have access to regional data, and data in specific types of seats, that isn’t necessarily published.
    At the end of the day, they’re measuring vote shares, not seat totals – but they have a great deal of knowledge of how vote shares are likely to translate into seat totals.”

    Sean Fear – thank you for a rational answer to what I saw as a strange occurrence without simply lambasting me with partisan nonsense. THAT was the answer I was looking for.

  43. @ Sue – what “old chestnut”?!!! Are you calling me old? And chestnut?

    Had they all predicted a Labour victory, I’d be too stunned to comment for at least a week. I’d probably need to call in Rob for his invaluable medical advice.

  44. sue

    “James Ludlow – That old chestnut! Had they ALL predicted a Labour win, would you have not commented?”

    keep encouraging him- its excellent fun reading these posts !!

  45. Anthony,

    Since there are no polls tonight, will you put up a new thread for our GE predicitons? :)

  46. Rob – what on earth are you on about? Do you live in some sort of alternate universe?

  47. I refer, in the main, to the overall dislike for Brown.It`s something that the media have latched onto and I think that, in the privacy of the polling booth, many will opt for change. If, time after time, Brown is unfavourably compared to Cameron, it`s almost bound to have an effect. I am, as yet, unconvinced that the Tories will pick up a majority of this discontent but , given the current lead, it won`t take much. It is this plus, no doubt, studies of regional variations,that have convinced the professional pollsters. Personally I believe that a small Tory overall majority will do more harm to the Tories than other parties and that therefore the Tories should be careful what they wish for ! Only Thatcher/Major managed four wins on the trot and it seems to be that there is just too much stacked against another Labour win. As for the L.Ds, it seems that the more coverage they get the more shrill their comments…also someone needs to tell Cable that it is Clegg who actually leads the party. I know this email is just feelings and observations but one can analyse the polls to death and be little the wiser.

  48. fire up the Quattro lol …… (I still don’t know what a Quattro is) :)

  49. @Greengrass

    Wasn’t going to comment, but couldn’t help myself. Apostrophes -as in plural, not as in the possession of the apostrophe. :)

    @ everyone
    I’d like opinion on exit polls for this election. The joint BBC/ITV in 2005 proved almost identical to the actual result. It took the omelette on the face of pollsters though in 1992 for methodology to be reviewed and revised, leading to the better accuracy.

  50. @surfdoc @greengrass
    If people used there spellcheck more, their wouldn’t necessarily be less of they’re mistakes.
    If you see what I mean.

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