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. @Leslie,

    sorry for all my puts. I am watching the golf

  2. @Sue.

    My lips are zipped

  3. Swing is 1/2 of the net change in support between the two parites you are comparing. So if the marginal swing is 0.8% higher than UNS then this means the effective Tory lead in the marginals is 1.6% higher than elsewhere.

    The point being that the swing / vote share in non-marginals is completely irrelevant, because those seats won’t change hands and won’t effect the overall totals.

    So if the marginal swing is 0.8%, then the effective Tory lead is 1.6% higher than the “real” Tory lead on UNS.

    I think Eoin you are being to certain about the 0.8% marginal boost. That may be what the latest poll shows, but it is one of the smaller (if not the smallest) effect we’ve seen so far. AW has described the marginal effect as being “a point or two” (in terms of swing). He also pointed out that marginals polls, and therefore the rough calculation of the marginal effect, are subject to MOE just like anything else.

  4. “The logic must be that the voters will believe anything nice they are told.”

    Well, most voters sadly vote with their pockets. I made this point before and when the NI was announced, but like Eoin, was told it was simply not true (by some). I agree with Eoin again on the issue of VAT.

  5. “sorry for all my puts. I am watching the golf”

    Another golf addict here XD.

  6. @Neil A,

    Sorry I stated earleir but you were not on.

    I still think Sean is correct. The marginal boost will be circa 2%

    I just dont think the lead will be anywhere near 8%

  7. “Swing is 1/2 of the net change in support between the two parites you are comparing. So if the marginal swing is 0.8% higher than UNS then this means the effective Tory lead in the marginals is 1.6% higher than elsewhere.”

    Thanks, Neil. I thought so. So the Tories would get 1.6% more vote in the marginals (on average) than in constituencies nation-wide.

  8. Correction: I mean the Tory lead will be, on average, 1.6% higher in the marginals than nation-wide.

  9. Incidentally EOIN, we are now a few weeks on from that debate and going back to our discussions at the time, it has been an absolute volte face. Not one poster on here is now pushing deficit reduction as their main preoccupation, the narrative has been totally dropped.
    Of everything I will take from this election, that has opened my eyes to politics in a way that my Pollyanna nature had never before allowed.

  10. I don’t think that the Tories will make any promise about VAT in their manifesto. Indeed, if they were to, they would be boxing themselves in as they would apparently be cutting off another potential source of tax revenue. The other parties could then challenge them either to say what increase in income tax they would need to raise their 20% of debt repayment through taxes, or to come clean on the even greater spending cuts needed to compensate for the lack of VAT increase.

    One of the biggest problems in the first week of the campaign is the move by both main parties, and the Tories in particular, to talking about more expenditure and less revenue, at a time when the whole country is waiting to hear the detail of the cuts and tax increases that everyone agrees is needed to cut the deficit. Given the poll shift towards the Tories this week, and the general view of commentators that they had the better of Labour in the week, this bodes very poorly for any real honesty from the Tories and Labour, And now even the LDs seem to be getting in on the act. St Vince’s halo is definitely slipping!

    And in any event, what is so wrong about a modest increase in VAT? I’d go further and introduce a luxury tax/higher VAT rate on a range of expensive items. I’d simultaneously remove VAT from more items, including utilities bills. Given the spending pattern of poorer people, it is not impossible to have a VAT regime that does not impact on poorer people, while penalising the high-spenders. Such a tax could encourage savings, would be almost completely unavoidable (unlike income taxe) and would not have the employment consequences of payroll taxes like NI.

  11. @Sue,

    My thoughts on that I could never put on this sit.

  12. @Eoin,

    Sorry I was going by you 8.42pm post where you said “The marginal boost is 0.8%”.

    I do remember you earlier saying it would be higher than that.

    Interesting though that you don’t think the Tory UNS lead will be as high as UNS. Lots of people have criticised the “pollsters” for predictions that don’t match their polling. You’re also making a prediction that doesn’t match their polling it seems?!

  13. @ Sue,

    Talking of massive spending cuts and deficit reduction simply doesn’t win GEs. Even mentioning it will make voters shy away from voting for you. Sad but true. People like nice, cheerful messages, even if they don’t necessarily reflect reality.

  14. Eoin Clarke

    “I am watching the golf”

    Me too! Hoping for a European victory (if it can’t be a Scot, I’m just as happy for it to be an Englishman as anyone else) :-)

  15. @oldnat,

    I’d die for the postage stamp at Carnoustie

  16. We have a terrible deficit and a small increase in VAT may be the best way to deal with it. We have one of the lowest rates of VAT in the EU. I’m sure Osborne doesn’t want to raise VAT, but it would be imprudent for him to tie his hands for the whole parliament: as Darling said in the Chancellors debate.

  17. @SueMarsh

    “—when EOIN predicted the NI cut would be good for he Tories, I was incredulous and argued energetically to the contrary. He was right.”
    —-

    I would question the certainty of the NI cut having been significantly good for the Tories. I would put it closer to neutral.

    But in any case this time they actually have GOs words to quote back at him. I can vividly picture GB and NC in the debates:

    “He said they would cut the deficit quickly and they have not come up with the figures for how they would do it. And instead they will cut death duties for the richest in the country and now, after saying that no chancellor could commit to not raising VAT, they are now saying they can give a commitment. They called it wrong on Northern Rock, etc. etc. (it’s been said a zillion times by GB at the dispatch box)… Nothing they say on the economy has any credibility”

    Do you seriously think it is worth the risk?

  18. @ Sue,

    I think Labour’s best line of defence would be to focus on the NHS. It’s the one area that Labour is well ahead of the Tories in public opinion. Also, Labour would probably benefit from getting some really popular celebrities, such as J K Rowling/Alex Fergusson to publicly talk about their support of Labour. It may gain them a few extra %.

  19. Evening all,

    The write up in todays Independent was immensely interesting. The fact 7/8 pollsters separately interviewed by Jonathan Owen predicted a Tory majority and only 1 predicted them to be the largest player in a hung parliment speaks volumes.

    These organisations are competing for accuracey, hence I believe it unlikley at this stage any one of them would have chosen to pass comment if they had the faintest belieif they would later regret their statement.

    The fact this item was prominent in a paper which can hardly be described as “Conservative/Centre-Right friendly” made this feature especially credible IMHO.

  20. @Neil A,

    I base mine on 188 years of parliamentary history

    the Tamworth manifesto

    the second reform act

    there are many others.. this race will tighten.

    I am sure of it….

  21. @Sue,

    As I shared a few threads back, I originally became a Tory the day I realised that the government borrowed money and had debts (when I was a child). Debt reduction has been my main political priority ever since.

    I think the nuance of the move from the deficit to NIC changes was the basic Tory belief that tax increases depress the economy and therefore reduce the GDP pie available to slice up, vs the basic Labour belief that tax increases are necessary to boost the spending of public sector workers and the poor, thereby making the slicing of the whatever GDP pie there may be.

    Whether you believe that in the long run NIC increases will help or hurt the government’s ability to pay down debt really depends on where you stand on the political battlefield, which is why arguing about it here is pointless…

  22. Eoin Clarke

    I used to play Carnoustie when I was a kid. Fortunately the Barry Burn is designed to catch adult’s shots!

  23. I missed the word “fairer” from the end of my penultimate paragraph above.

  24. @Matt
    The survey was only in the Lab/Con marginals where the vote difference swing was between Lab and Con was 4% – 10% ie. where the Labour lead was between 8% and 20%.
    If the UNS is X% swing Lab to Con, then within those marginals above the marginal swing is X+0.8%. If the UNS is 5.5 then the average swing in those marginals is 5.5+0.8 = 6.3%
    If you want to regard it in terms of vote lead, then a UNS of 8.0 equates to a lead of 11% and the average lead in those marginals is 11.0+1.6 = 12.6%.

  25. “As I shared a few threads back, I originally became a Tory the day I realised that the government borrowed money and had debts (when I was a child). Debt reduction has been my main political priority ever since.”

    I’m not a Tory or Labour supporter. However, I am now certain that I will vote Tory at this GE (for the first time).

  26. @Oldnat,

    I’d say you spent more time on the railway track behind 11.

    You dont know any Gall gentlement by any chance?

  27. Bill Roy

    “My bet is that either the next GE if it is 2014/15 or the one after that will not be by FPTP.”

    If I thought that I might not vote for independence.

    Over half a century ago I used to complain about FPTP and other failings of the UK parliament. In over a hundred conversationswith Donald Dewar his answer to everything was that “There are a number of possible
    solutions and a Home Rule Parliament would be an opportunity to try out one or more of them.”

    The cultural and historical arguments of the nationalists are only romantic sentiment, and the economic ones speculative. The argument that they are not presenting is the most compelling one: with independence we get a parliament fit for purpose.

    I can’t understand why they don’t put this case forward. We have had a decade of the Scottish Parliament and we can see that both coalition and minority government can work, It’s not just PR of course.

  28. Matt
    Please no, lets not see any celebrities ‘support’.
    It is a real turn off – and more often than not seems to go a little bit awry – as Michael Caine earlier this week. And while many do support M Utd, probably more hate them!

    But I agree the NHS and education improvements over the past 13 years are something that they could be crowing about more. And minimum wage etc.

  29. @Eoin

    Thanks for “putting” your response so politely! I agree that if the predictions were made a t a time when the Tory lead was greater, then they may well revise their views today.

    @Various

    How depressing that we’re all agreed that being honest about the cuts/tax rises to come is an election-loser. If any party wins by the skin of its teeth, what mandate will they have for tough action if they’ve been wooing the electorate with soma (ref – Brave New World, Aldous Huxley). The longer action is delayed, the more painful it will be when the next economic crisis hits. But it increasingly looks as though we’re headed that way, with no real reform of the financial system, a pensions financial and demographic timebomb ready to explode and a property ladder that starts at more than the vast majority of youngsters will ever be able to afford.

    Depressing prospect!

  30. @Matt,

    Don’t agree with you on the celebrity angle to promote politics.

    Generaly, I find celebrity endorsement of politic parties patronising, nauseating, and often utterly hypocrytical.

    I would love to mention a few in particular that are utterly sycophantic, but that would be moderation territory!

    rich

  31. The only celebrity endorsements that are worthwhile are those from people with direct expertise and knowledge in the field they are commenting on. A sportsman supporting a sports policy, a doctor supporting a health policy, a *cough* businessman supporting a business policy.

    I am really not interested in what a rock guitarist thinks about tax policy, what an elderly actor thinks about youth policy, what a comedian thinks about Iraq etc, etc.

  32. “Matt
    Please no, lets not see any celebrities ’support’.
    It is a real turn off – and more often than not seems to go a little bit awry – as Michael Caine earlier this week. And while many do support M Utd, probably more hate them! ”

    True, but having someone popular like J K Rowling endorse you does make a very small minority of people, especially younger voters, more inclined to vote for you. It could be the difference, especially in a close election like this one.

    I’m not a fan of it all though. Agreed with the Michael Caine point.

  33. In fact, that reminds me – I am not looking forward to the very annoying day when all the celebrity supporters will be announced. Happens at every election.

  34. MAtt is right

    it is not important what we think. It is mor eimportant what Kylie, kimberly, Jordan, Disney, Tinkerbell and Stacy think…

    Who are they more likely to pay heed to big GB or Dr Who?

  35. There are some exceptions to celebrities.

    Joanna Lumley for instance has definitely earned her spurs in the political area supporting the rights of the Gurkhas.

    Should any particular party have a policy that she agrees with, I see no harm in her endorsing such a policy.

  36. Anthony, any idea why my posting about the effect of delaying painful decisions on spending cuts/tax rises has gione into moderation? No links, no partisan views – what did I do wrong?!

  37. ok, I’ll say it, and hope I don’t get moderated.

    The worst celbrity endorsement I have seen is David Tennant, the last Dr Who. It was a nauseating, patronising endorsement of Labour. I had to turn the TV off, extremely quickly.

  38. From the BBC:

    “Labour have revealed that the party’s first election broadcast of the 2010 campaign will feature former Doctor Who David Tennant and movie star Sean Pertwee. In the film – shot in Yorkshire – Mr Tennant urges voters to stay “on the right road” to recovery.”

    So the celebrity endorsements have started.

  39. Greengrass – that is EXACTLY the discussion I had with EOIN over NI :(
    There were a million reasons why the Conservatives suddenly switching from talk of deficits to talk of tax cuts would give the opposition parties ammunition, but it all fell on deaf ears and now it is as if there was never any debate at all.
    I am as incredulous as you, but it worked once and I am sad to say, I can see no reason why it wouldn’t again.

  40. @Matt

    Just read on BBC Election site that David Tennant and Sean Pertwee will feature in Labours first election broadcast.

    I personally think it is rather gimmicky myself but it does mean possibly that viewers who would other wise not watch may tune in.

  41. Are we expecting a Yougov tonight?

  42. Any polls due out tonight BTW? Don’t we have a daily YouGov poll now?

  43. @GreenGrass / Sue

    I know nothing….. i see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil ;) ;) ;)

  44. Sue M talking about Pollyanna
    Think back to a few weeks ago Sue. Then, following the budget, Liam Byrne sat in the Newsnight studio with Philip Hammond and Cable (I think) and defended the detail of the projected savings. He was quizzed by Paxman a to one aspect , namely $550m on NHS sick pay. Thereafter the two others, could talk of nothing else – no original thought, I thought. Days later they were still blathering on about it in the chattering press and then GO produced his rabbit from the hat..
    Since then, no further examination of Labour’s planned savings it’s all give away politics, driven entirely by a compliant press. We are all puppets in the hands of the press so call me Pollyanna Sue.

  45. Glad to see we’re hiring Wise Monkeys in our universities these days…

  46. Steve D – I just saw the first Lab PPB – there are no celebrities, it’s all about the economy.

  47. @Eoin

    Thanks for “putting” your response so politely! I agree that if the predictions were made a t a time when the Tory lead was greater, then they may well revise their views today.

    (I sent this earlier but it got moderated for some reason)

  48. “Steve D – I just saw the first Lab PPB – there are no celebrities, it’s all about the economy.”

    I personally think that focusing on the economy will do Labour more harm than good. It is just such a negative subject at the moment.

  49. @Various

    How depressing that we’re all agreed that being honest about the cuts/tax rises to come is an election-loser. If any party wins by the skin of its teeth, what mandate will they have for tough action if they’ve been wooing the electorate with soma (ref – Brave New World, Aldous Huxley). The longer action is delayed, the more painful it will be when the next economic crisis hits. But it increasingly looks as though we’re headed that way, with no real reform of the financial system, a pensions financial and demographic timebomb ready to explode and a property ladder that starts at more than the vast majority of youngsters will ever be able to afford.

    Depressing prospect!

    (This got moderated earlier – not sure why)

  50. I’m sure you would be right but somehow the BBC have been briefed differently, this is straight from their live comment page:

    2136: Labour have revealed that the party’s first election broadcast of the 2010 campaign will feature former Doctor Who David Tennant and movie star Sean Pertwee. In the film – shot in Yorkshire – Mr Tennant urges voters to stay “on the right road” to recovery.

    I hope you are right as I think people see through this kind of thing.

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