TNS BMRB – 34/27/30

There is a new(ish) TNS BMRB poll out this morning. The topline figures are CON 34%(nc), LAB 27%(-2), LDEM 30%(nc). The fieldwork was conducted between the 21st and 27th April. TNS do traditional face-to-face fieldwork in people’s homes, so almost by definition it takes far longer to do. As the speed and quantity of polls in this election keep rising though, it does render polls like this slightly behind the times. I’ve also got dates for that Harris poll yesterday, it was conducted between the 20th and 26th, so once again, quite elderly fieldwork.

302 Responses to “TNS BMRB – 34/27/30”

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  1. @Anthony: Tory tactical voting.

    There was Tory tactical voting aginst Labour last time – eg. in Leeds NW the Tory vote went from 29.6 to 25.7%. I would be pretty sure that this time, with a Lib Dem MP, it will go down further.

    So I suppose the question is whether there are now more or less seats where Tory voters will perceive that the Lib Dems have a chance of voting Labour – more I would guess?


  2. The new voters thus attracted to the party will be in places like Wellingborough rather than Wells
    Which is absolutely useless in terms of seats to the Lib Dems

    If the Lib Dems keep advancing at the expense of Labour, which after yesterday’s gaffe seems likely, the beneficiaries will be the Conservatives. Forget Tory-held seats like Wellingborough, and think of the string of other seats Labour hold over the Tories with less than 5,000 majorities. A Lib Dem advance, which will inevitably be at Labour’s expense, would result in Tory gains.

    The anti-Tory tactocal alliance that deprived them of so many seats in 1997 has fallen apart

    This election could well turn out to be like 1983 again – and while everyone’s talking about a hung Parliament we’ll actually see the Tories returned with a 100+ majority

    on that note, I’m off to the bookies…

  3. @Sue,/Leslie

    Yes of course,

    They say (Ben Page MORI c.8am this morning) that many voters will actually only make up their mind in the polling booth.

    It all depends how you read ’soft’ and ‘undecided’ voters and well as guaging turnout.

    Only two things can happen at an election. Voters can a) eject a governmnet
    b) vote in a popular oppostiion

    In 1905, 1945, and 1997 voters voted in a popular opposition but this is rare. More often that not voters remain unsure as to whether or not they should eject a lusy government. 1992 is a good example. in the end they did not in sufficinet numbers eject blueys…. for a time it looked like they might but sufficient blueys got up off their rears and said “hey we might not be fussed on this crew yet, but we are not that sure about you lot”.

    1979 is a good example. With inflation as high as it was, and the winter of discontent that preceded it, Thatcher only been the union ridden shambles that was old Labour by 7%.

    1950 was a strange one, Although Curchill won and evicted Atlee’s crew, they actually beat his share of the vote.. In fact, would you believe it if I told you that more people voted for the failed Labour election bid of 1950 than voted for labour’s landslide victory in 1945.

    what i am trying to explain is that we should make two mistakes.

    1) To assume an opposition is gifted victory.
    2) to assume that disgruntlement is converted to ejection.

    Thus turnout will surely rise…. of this I have no doubt…. I think as the event draws near and the epic nature of it becomes apparent voters will concentrate more, frame theri decision in a more calculative manner. Above all else, you British are a conservative (small c) bunch.

    I think this is more applicable to women voters. In the polling booths, women voters much more than men will think of health, education, the economy and even blues would have to concede that MRSA waiting lists, Ruth Kelly’s fiasco over list 99- they are alll distant distant memories.

  4. -Since Harris and TNS BMRB are so; they are not very helpful.
    -The 24 hr news cycle and many intervening events could have caused shifts in those polls since they were initiated several days ago

  5. oops in post above (I meant so OLD)
    Since Harris and TNS BMRB are so OLD; they are not very helpful.
    -The 24 hr news cycle and many intervening events could have caused shifts in those polls since they were initiated several days ago

  6. @TIM

    think you are spot on.
    the only beneficiary of yesterday will be the Tories.

    Lib Dems may go on increasing their votes but the Tories will keep increasing their seats and a hung parliament I now feel is much less likely

    even pre “bigotgate” the last 4 polls already show a clear move away from Labour and increasing leads opening up for the Tories

  7. BMRB may “plod” but they may, this time around, benefit from doing so.

    Recent elections have lifted the likes of YouGov – rightly – very high.

    But, this time, hmm… with things the way they are, maybe face-to-face will get it right?

    Just a thought.

  8. Attlee won in 1950, albeit with a very small majority. I think you’re talking about the 1951 election.

  9. @Eoin, so you’re saying in effect that the campaigns are a waste of time as alea iactar est before the campaigns start?

  10. @Leslie,

    From from it…

    A campaign’s main purpose is to get its vote out.
    that is no mean feat.

    Secondly, a manfisto and selling your policies is donkey work but it is essential……

  11. @Lesie/sue,

    To further illustrate my point; More people voted for Labour in 1979 than did in 1974.

    To put it very very politely, they left the country in a teeny weeny bit of a pickle but more people voted for them.

  12. -Is there an automatic refresh button on this site?
    -It seems like I am constantly refreshing the comments page

  13. @ Tim Jones

    “we’ll actually see the Tories returned with a 100+ majority”


    I wouldnt put your money on a 100.

    But, all along, we’ve had a Con majority here of between 20 and 30. And I still have it at exactly 27.

    Put a pound on that.

  14. ‘and while everyone’s talking about a hung Parliament we’ll actually see the Tories returned with a 100+ majority’

    hehe. no, we won’t. I think the best they can hope for is a majority of 10, and thats assuming the wind is in the right direction, most libdems over sleep and labour voters turn out on the 7th….

  15. Theresa

    Firefox has an ‘Autorefresh’ option, either as an Add-on or possible standard now.

  16. @ Eoin

    “Secondly, a manfisto and selling your policies is donkey work but it is essential……”

    I think that to the extent that manifestos and policies matter (probably far less than general perception of a party) it’s negative rather than positive. Voters are more likely to be repelled by a policy they don’t like than attracted by one they do.

    (A manfisto – sounds worrying!)

  17. @ Theresa

    Pressing F5 also works – if that’s not too strenuous for you ;-)

  18. I would go and post on the old thread. Anyway…


    But surely this is an unusual election. There’s the poll in Metro today (though it is Harris) which is interesting for the way it shows the breakdown among age groups.

    w w

    Might we have a situation in this election where, in a very simple sense, the younger voters are acting as if they’re in one of your rare popular opposition elections rather than the standard referendum on the government of the day?

  19. I still think it’s the economy – stupid or otherwise – that will determine the election. The news from Europe is appalling and Britain might take fright.

    No way is an untried Oppostion, with major credibility and trust issues, going to win enough support – even with a slavish media.

    The Tories best chance was full on economic recovery, big growth and all perceived as fine and dandy. Instead we have chaos.

    I think the undecided will come down in favour of the government as they often do when times are tough (and no matter which party is in power).

    The polls don’t seem to be reporting numbers for the undecided or at least not so clearly??

  20. @Jones,

    Another very good point…

    Soemtimes we have waht are known as ‘young perosns’ elections.

    1918 was one for instance….
    I have read it argued that 1945 was….

    With the end of the Tories almost inevitable in 1997 and the end of Labour impneding if not this time then next, then yes you could construct an argument to view this as a young persons election.

    My own hunch is no it isnt and if you want I will explain why but I would rather not take away from a well made point in my initial post.

  21. The LAB -2 appear to have gone Don’t know or Other.

    Despite the age of the fieldwork, I like TNS face-to-face polls. I imagine it would focus one’s mind compared to other methods.

    For me, this is uncomfortable reading. Labour really are relying on a polling upset like 1992’s ‘better the devil you know’.


    -No, it is not too strenuous to push F5;

  23. Seemingly ‘unpopular’ governments have an historical trend of improving on their vote.

  24. Actually this is quite a useful poll – at least for other pollsters and for their watchers such as us. The figures are almost exactly the same as we’ve been seeing for other polls during the week they were taken.

    This tells us that pollsters using traditional face-to-face methods are getting the same results as the net-based faster reactors such as YouGov and that the adjustments that are made working.

    @ Theresa – no automatic refresh. The site’s getting so much traffic, it keeps falling over as it is ;)

  25. The general election of 1970 resulted in a surprise victory for the Conservative’s Edward Heath. Most opinion polls prior to the election had predicted a comfortable Labour victory and had put Labour up to 12.4% ahead of the Conservatives. However on election day, a late swing gave the Conservatives a 3.4% lead.

  26. Thanks Eoin.

  27. There s a Metro/Harris Poll today – 32C 30Lib 25Lab

  28. @Amber
    I think this “a risk too far” has been the Labour strategy all along. In my opinion it is absolutely the best
    defense against the “time for a change” message from the opposition who do not have a record to defend.
    Whether it works out is anybody’s guess. I am getting a bit worried that people being interviewed in the north of England seem to have lost hope when it comes to jobs and employment.
    I think the atmousphere will be very different next week on the other side of the bank holiday. Keep your fingers crossed, everything will be okay (in the long run.)

  29. These polls just refuse to move 33/34 – 26/27 – 29-30 for more than a week now. Is it that people have made up their minds or that they’re waiting until the end before making them up?

  30. @ Theresa

    I like F5 because it only refreshes the page – not the whole site, so it’s quicker & less likely to crash out.

    When you do get an error, it’s often because Anthony is putting up a new discussion thread. Then it’s best to use the main refresh icon. :-)

  31. -Does anyone know whether the number for undecideds has changed much in the past week

  32. I have read that in marginal constituencies (which are really all that matter) up to half of voters may change their mind.

  33. @ PARAG

    Thanks for the ‘hug’ – I feel better now & am keeping my toes x’d – I can’t type with the x’d fingers :-)

  34. I thing Labours best bet now is a quick history lesson re 1979 to 1997,4.5 million unenemployed,inner cityt & poll tax riots,no such thing as society,NHS left to rot etc.

  35. I think the ‘Decideds’ have now decided, judging by the consistent shape of the polls. The projections of Cons rising to 40% and Labour dropping to 22% have absolutely no standing. That’s pure wishful thinking by some people.

    What is interesting though is just what this means in seats. Tories stealing Labour seats from the division (although I see Lab and Con having more in common, than Lab and Lib), Tory/Lab voting tactically to get the LDs in.

    Whoever gets in though, it’s going to be one tough ride. With swinging cuts, I struggle to see the next government being anything other than unpopular.

  36. Eoin,

    The thing is that if (and I agree it is a big if), the Lib dems end up on 32% or more they are up 10% on last time and many seats where they start on more than 20% become potentially marginal.

    It is very, very difficult to predict what will happen when the main swing is to a third pary which is also engaged in a major targetting effort (which may or may not help it)

  37. @Chris Box,

    In anticipation that your last comment will be moderated, I will refrain from contradicting you.

  38. Starchief,

    24 hours ago I would have agreed with you entirely, but right now we simply do not know what effect the Brown gaffe may have. I think quite a lot, Labour supporters think none at all, but none of us know

  39. Gordon Brown’s strategy tonight is quite simple. On the four main areas there is no reason why he should not be able to win the debate. the recent moderate growth and the risk of a double dip due ot inflation and greece has framed this debate perfectly for him. This is his chance to bury the ‘change mantra’

    Unemployment is the espect of recession, which Labour voters fear most. he needs to contexualise adequately the historic trends in employment vis a vis the current risks. i wont give the detail it would be wrong to do so.

    Tax also matters. He needs to call on the world economic uncertainty to say, ‘this is no time for a tax cut’. he needs to poin tout that the rich shoulder much more of a burden in this recession that they did in the last one. his statesmanship of previous dangers should probably be cited.

    Spending matters. Teachers and Nurses, are the front line of Britain’s welfare state,. Again GB need sto point out that he cruited more than anyone, he tripled spending on these departments and that he will guaranttee to continue to do so. On these matters he is historically favoured over blue.

    Deficit management is his great risk. He was responsible, rightly or wrongly, for it afterall. Banks in profit and Tory risk has to be his punch lines on this matter.

  40. If this poll result was the final outcome I wouldn’t bet against a C majority. I think UNS is severely understating the sensitivity of delta seats / delta votes. UNS is flattering the ability of L to cling to seats against such a large swing. The GB gaffe only increases the risk of a C majority.

  41. @Starchief
    Is it not that the main prize of winning this election is not what the parties can do for the UK which is very limited, and much of a muchness, but they can then change the system of representation to one that works in their favour eg PR for LibDems, FPTP with boundary changes for Cons and AV for for Labour?
    They will try then hope to keep control of power for many years to come!

  42. @Andrew,

    It is clear to us both we share a different outlook on how the LDs will fare. i know you will be rooting for them and good luck! I am sure a high portion of reds would not begrudge you getting there.

  43. Just opened my April payslip and I am paying an extra £216 a month in tax.

    I’m not sure there’s much Gordon can say to me tonight except sorry, I’ll get me coat.

  44. ‘@ NIEL A
    In anticipation that the post you replied to will be moderated, I will refrain from agreeing with you.

  45. Predicted declaration times:

    h t tp://

  46. If you still don’t know who to vote for, try the vote-u-lator:

    But be warned, it concluded my friends and I were conservatives, so I wonder who paid for this. Come on James, admit it.

  47. @Marchese
    I dont think there were tax changes for this year that could account for your increased tax, unless you underpaid tax last year and it is being adjusted in your code this year.
    I don’t think that pensioners who are complaining about the tax understand that there should be very little tax to apy on about £300 a week as pensioners receive a higher personal allowance. If they are paying more than that (say on Private pensions) then often this tax can be claimed back.

  48. @Marchese,

    Corr! I wish I was on your salary!!

  49. @Parag

    As of 6 April anyone earning more than £112k loses the entirety of their personal allowance – ie around £200 a month.

    @Neil A

    I’m afraid I didn’t have £216 a month just sloshing around. I’ve got a wife and three kids and a mortgage. You calibrate your expenditure according to your income.

  50. Cameron and Clegg to gang up on Gordon tonight. They have to remind the public of the 10p tax fiasco, NI rises, biggest recession since the 1930’s, end of boom and bust, highest unemployment since 1994, the spectre of Greece

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