It’s the last Sunday before the election, so we have a large number of polls out tonight. I’ve mentioned most of them in a quick post earlier on, but now I’ve had chance to get home and digest them properly. Here are the polls so far

YouGov/Sunday Times (30th Apr-1st May) CON 35%(+1), LAB 27%(-1), LDEM 28%(nc)
ComRes/S.Mirror/S.Indy (30th Apr-1st May) CON 38%(+2), LAB 28%(-1), LDEM 25%(-1)
ICM/Sunday Telegraph (30th April) CON 36%(+3), LAB 29%(+1), LDEM 27%(-3)
BPIX/Mail on Sunday (30th Apr-1st May) CON 34%(nc), LAB 27%(+1), LDEM 30%(nc)
Angus Reid/Sunday Express (TBC) CON 35%(+2), LAB 23%(nc), LDEM 29%(-1)

They are pretty consistent in showing a slight increase in Conservative support over the last couple of days, with every company now showing them up into the mid-thirties. Most companies have Labour around 27-29%, the exception being Angus Reid who continue to show much lower levels of support for the Government. Most have the Liberal Democrats in the high 20s, with ComRes a bit lower, BPIX slightly higher. All five of these polls would produce a hung Parliament with the Conservatives the largest party – YouGov would have the Conservatives at around 284, ICM at around 275, ComRes 315, Angus Reid 310, BPIX 264.

There was also an ICM poll of marginals in the News of the World. This was the same 96 seats ICM polled for the previous ICM marginal survey here. It showed support in these seats at CON 35%(-1), LAB 35%(-2), LDEM 22%(+3) – so only a minor Lib Dem boost in these seats. These levels of support equate to a swing to the Conservatives of 6.8%, so just the swing they would need for an overall majority, and about 1.8% more than the national swing suggested in ICM’s GB poll in the Sunday Telegraph (the News of the World has extrapolated this over the whole country to claim that the Conservatives would have an overall majority – that’s rather stretching it, firstly you can’t assume anything about LD/Con marginals from this poll, secondly the News of the World are making a lot of assumptions about how much support the Conservatives can rely upon from Northern Ireland.


317 Responses to “The final Sunday polls”

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  1. @Billy Bob,

    Of course the irony is that Clegg trait you describe of aggressively trying to persuade is probably the single most important ability we need in a good politician. He’s a class act, there’s no doubt about that. I just wish he was on my team!

  2. @Anthony…………….Well spotted. :-)

  3. @ Sue

    no it seems the increase is coming more from the North and the Midlands, where BNP and UKIP are polling better.

    SNP in scotland are also polling strong. They stand around 21-22% as opposed to 17% in 2005.

  4. Rumour has it that NC is more of a Conservative (with a small c) than a Labourite.

  5. John Major got almost the same vote share in 1992 as Mrs T got in 1987. It was the sleaze & division in the Tory party after 1992 that did for Major, not personal unpopularity.

  6. “For all her faults, Thatcher was very popular. John Major was less so.”

    She wasn’t in Wales

  7. But Thatcher got a much bigger majority. Labour has not been anywhere near as popular as their seat numbers/majorities have suggested after all (not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with that).

  8. “Was at a wedding this afternoon and I met loads of Tories and LDs but not a SINGLE labour party voter!!!!

    I dare say, if you were at the same wedding in 1997, and maybe even 1992, you would not have met a single Tory voter either !
    You could be right, but then again, there could have been a few ‘embarassed’ Labour voters there.
    Is this also being reflected in the polls ?

    Remember, on the last Sunday before the 1992 GE, Labour had an average 4% lead in the polls – the Tories had a 7.5% lead on the day.
    Could a similar event take place this time, again in favour of the Tories, or again in favour of the incumbent ?

  9. @ MATT

    it well could be matt, but contrary to other parties the LibDem leader needs the support of at least 75% of the elected MPs to take a decision like anything concerning a coalition. Support I dare say he would not have.

    After that he has to go to party delegates, where he stands no chance and failing that the party members where he stands even less of a chance.

    However we are merely speculating here, and talking generalities. If a coalition will be formed post 6th may it will all be down to the details and intricacies of the result.

  10. @ Nigel

    “Sky have been very fair” ???

    Ridiculous statement. Sky wouldn’t know fairness if it hit Rupert between the proverbials. You forgetting Boulton’s ‘fair’ moderation last week?

  11. “It was the sleaze & division in the Tory party after 1992 that did for Major, not personal unpopularity.”

    True. People were more shocked by sleaze back then IMO. Even sexual scandals carried more weight.

  12. @Xiby……………….Check out UKPR averages, the stat supports my assertion.

  13. “Remember, on the last Sunday before the 1992 GE, Labour had an average 4% lead in the polls – the Tories had a 7.5% lead on the day.
    Could a similar event take place this time, again in favour of the Tories, or again in favour of the incumbent ?”

    It can’t be ruled out.

  14. @ Matt

    erm where are you getting your data from????????

    Lab had 43.3% of the vote in 1997, just as high as when Thatch got in in 1979. Please check your figures before making such statements.

  15. The mandate comes from seat total, not national vote share (see 1951 and 1974).

    It will be interesting to see if a close(ish) three way split makes translating national polls into seats that are fought as individual contests harder

    My guess is that it makes it near impossible and that the national predictions of seat shares are out and that the Tories will have a relatively comfortable majority.

  16. @Martyn (11.04)

    “It’s worse than that.

    I *think* more than 10% (20%?) of the votes have already been cast.”

    Martyn,
    In some areas it is significantly more than 10%
    In Newcastle (and I think in the surrounding areas of the NE) postal voting was encouraged (may have been forced) a few years ago in an experiment to increase the turnout. Subsequently, postal votes account for 30 – 40% in Newcastle.

    I suspect that other areas involved in the “experiment” may have a similar number of postal votes.

  17. @Matt

    You said “…Thatcher was never unpopular if you look at GE results. When she was forced out, John Major was not as popular…”

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Sir John get the biggest number of Tory votes *ever* in 1992?

  18. @ Ken

    What is now fairly obvious (though obvious is always too strong a word for anything that has to do with elections) is that the LibDem vote is going down and Lab vote is going up.

    I could give you all the evidence you need for this but it would have to be an other time as i have to go and picky my wife from the airport.

    Enjoy your chats, be civil, and don’t let the rush of numbers effect your judgments ;)

  19. @Peterbell

    Wow, as many as that? That *is* interesting

  20. The Guardian decision will negate tactical voting as far as i am concerned,Labour voters may just settle for the old politics afterall,rather than becoming a make-weight 3rd party.

    I actually believe the course of events in the last 24hrs has made it less likely that Labour in reality will support change to the voting system when push comes to shove in months and years to come.

    They have looked into the abyss of being a 3rd party and will believe under a new leader with the toxic brand gone they would rise back to being the undisputed opposition at least in future years under FPTP.

    like i have said before Vince Cable is on record as saying’i don’t agree with industrial action’,Labour through Peter mandelson have courted the Lib-Dems without thinking of the consequences.
    .

  21. “erm where are you getting your data from????????”

    My earlier comment:-

    . Labour has not been anywhere near as popular as their seat numbers/majorities have suggested after all (not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with that).

    That’s what the the figures for all elections say. I wasn’t saying that the Tories didn’t have an in-built bias either (i.e. they were universally popular) – it’s the nature of FPTP i.e. all the majority/ruling parties have needed less than half the vote, and obtain a disproportionate number of seats. I stand by what I said.

  22. @Xiby……………….Evidence, a very strong word. :-)

  23. @xiby: The UKPR average for Labour has been unchanged on 27% for about 10 days.

  24. My prediction:-

    Con – 36%
    Lab – 28 %
    Lib Dem – 26%
    Other – 10%

    On a different issue, Sky News is completely bias towards the conservatives. Too many negative stories against labour. I’m sticking with the BBC on election night.

  25. Neil A

    I would go for broad understanding and cool judgement in a politician. To govern effectively one needs have a level of detachment and impartiality which does not sit well with the demands a populatity contest.

    (“Have you anything to say to the people of Britain Prime Minister?”
    “No”)

  26. Jon – your prediction is exactly the same as Sky News’s current poll of polls which is ironic given your dislike of Sky News! I agree with you that the BBC are always the best channel to watch on election night.

    I’m going to try and find a way of recording all 3 channels on election night: BBC, ITV, Sky News. I’m hoping lots of other people will be recording the shows as well in case something goes wrong with my DVD/VCR machine(s).

    The reason I’ve been using Sky News’s poll of polls tonight is that the UKPR polling average hadn’t been updated earlier with the latest polls. It may have been now – just going to check.

  27. New thread up

  28. @Neal A (11.29)

    “Fire up the electoral map on this site and have a little look at the size/shape of the constituencies and you’ll see what I mean.”

    Neal,
    You seem to be suggesting that the boundaries should be adjusted to have equal area constituencies.
    I presume you really mean equal size in terms of electors. The former would be rediculous imho and would certainly unfairly favour the tories.

  29. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Sir John get the biggest number of Tory votes *ever* in 1992?”

    I’d have to reach into the election archives to find that out. Either way, political/historical commentators prefer to consider the number of seats as a sign of popularity instead (rightly or wrongly).

  30. Decision time 2010
    you wrote
    —————-
    The Guardian decision will negate tactical voting as far as i am concerned
    —————-
    Actually, the Guardian suggested their readers vote tactically for Lab in the marginals even though they endorsed the LibDems

  31. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Sir John get the biggest number of Tory votes *ever* in 1992?”

    Yes indeed, though largely due to higher turnout than at any general election for a couple of decades. His % was 41.9, just 0.3% down on 1897 and very respectable, though not quite as good as Blair in 97 or Thatcher in 79, 83 or 87.

    ““Remember, on the last Sunday before the 1992 GE, Labour had an average 4% lead in the polls – the Tories had a 7.5% lead on the day.
    Could a similar event take place this time, again in favour of the Tories, or again in favour of the incumbent ?”

    It can’t be ruled out.”

    Though as has been said time and again, there’s no reason to think it will happen either. Polling has improved since then. Having said that, this is going to be more of a test to pollsters since 97, so it can’t be ruled out. I guess what I’m saying is I wouldn’t count on it.

  32. “Though as has been said time and again, there’s no reason to think it will happen either. Polling has improved since then. Having said that, this is going to be more of a test to pollsters since 97, so it can’t be ruled out. I guess what I’m saying is I wouldn’t count on it.”

    Yep, my thoughts too.

  33. @Xiby (11.39)

    “Do you for a minute think that that fear is not playing in people’s mind atm?”

    Coudn’t agree more. Here in the NE we were probably hit harder than any other part of the country during the 80s and Thatcher and the Tories will never be forgiven by those who lived through it.

  34. Why vote Lib Dem in a Lab/Con marginal?

    As Lib Dem I don’t want majority Lab govt. Maybe generally l prefer Lab to Con generally but not this particular Lab govt.

    Don’t want my vote included in national Lab pile where it will certainly be used against LDs to show we have no support and as an argument for old system.

    Lab have had plenty of chance to bring in AV and I’m not getting them out of this pickle. They must reflect on consequences.

    Four things certain:

    1. No party will tell truth about cuts;
    2. No voter will vote for a party which is truthful about the cuts
    2. No party will endorse tactical voting for another party;
    3. All parties will endorse tactical voting for themselves.

    All parties and all voters want it both ways.

  35. The upward momentum for the Cons, which is visible in the polls and peddled (almost obscenely) by the Tory supporting media, is going to be difficult to counter in these last days of the campaign.

    The polls are heading exactly where some on here have predicted…and I was in denial until now.

    I’m afraid we will see a majority Tory gov’t in Britain again on Friday. Time for me to consider those plans to migrate out of this country and pay my taxes where they are put to better effect…..supporting the weak, vulnerable and disadvantaged. The ones who will be overlooked for the next 4 years

  36. Labour are in a dire state,they have been wiped out in Local Government,they have annoyed their core vote in crucial areas such as the North of England and the Midlands with mass immigration.

    I can’t see anything but a bleak decade or two for Labour,without money to spend they don’t really have anything to offer and we know the coffers are empty.

    The generation we have now of 16-24 year olds is the biggest in our history,if they don’t have the quality of life their parents have enjoyed labour will be toast for decades,the economic scars these youngsters will take with them through life and the blame they will heap on Labour for it could make Labour unelectable 20 years from now,even more so when we know the majority of people get more Conservative as they age.

  37. I think it is very disingenuous to suggest that Tory voters are “idiots”. Personally, I’ve decided that the Tories provide the best hope for the future of the country for the next five years.

    If the Lib Dems provided me with policies I mostly agreed with, I would be willing to vote that way. Currently I don’t agree with many of their proposals, even though I do tend to lean towards their philosophy.

    I disagree entirely with Labour’s philosophy altogether.

    Do you think I am an idiot for these set of beliefs?

  38. Thursday 6 May

    BBC Weather
    Sunny Intervals, 16°C Max

    Accuweather
    Perhaps a shower, High: 15°C

    I think this is going to matter a little.. not a lot, but a little. Which way? Well, I thought if it was pi… hammering down, that the young ‘uns would be easily put off. But no worries about that at the moment.

  39. @Amber Star

    “Expecting final GE to be:

    CON 34
    LAB 32 8-)
    LD 26
    OTH 8”

    You can expect it. There’s not a scrap of evidence in the polling trends to suggest it will happen.

    But you can dream.

  40. @ Tony Dean:

    “Call me pedantic but I think the movement is so minute in any direction that seeing any trend in it is wishful thinking for any side! The only polls to show marked movement (and even that is small) or wayward lows or highs are the, how shall I put this, not the main three that the consensus on this site think the most reliable!”

    Tony, I will not call you pedantic, just perfectly correct. The evidence for movement is within the MOE and is therefore not that statistically significant.

  41. UK_JOHN

    Where are we going?

  42. @ XIBY

    “What is now fairly obvious (though obvious is always too strong a word for anything that has to do with elections) is that the LibDem vote is going down and Lab vote is going up.

    I could give you all the evidence you need for this but it would have to be an other time as i have to go and picky my wife from the airport.”

    Please provide it! But I’ll say equally certainly that there is absolutely no evidence for the Labour vote rising and no significant evidence for the LD vote falling.

    It’s all been very static at Con 34-35 Lab 27.5-28.5 LD 28-29 for 10 days now and will most likely be very close to this on polling day.

  43. When people talk of media bias I usually grind my teeth BUT I have to say i’ve been staggered by the Pro Conservative slant Sky have put on the campaign.Truly staggered .We really are heading down the route of FOX News UK.

  44. @UK John

    Can I suggest a country that doesn’t trouble its people with democracy in any form?

    In fact you may want to leave now as I doubt there will be a dramatic change in the number of idiots between now and Friday.

  45. @NBWNI

    Haha, I suspect you’d suggest somewhere like Cuba, it’s unlikely the with be a right wing government there in the near future. Obviously not too many “idiots” there. :)

  46. “If the Tories get in with an overall majority, I will be leaving the country, because I do no want to live in a country full of idiots and a country where the inhabitants are happy to live in a non-democracy.”

    That doesn’t follow. Electoral reform is not the overriding determinant of voting intention. A look at any poll on the matter shows that there are plenty of people, in many cases an outright majority, who want electoral reform. Running away won’t make reform happen any quicker. But whatever happens on May 6, the issue won’t go away.

    From what Alan has said above, his views and mine are not that far apart – but I vote one way and he votes another because, from my perspective, electoral reform *is* important – and I feel that this election is perhaps the one chance we’ll have in a generation to get it, no matter what other issues may beset the country at present. I don’t think he’s an idiot for choosing to vote differently to me, though. We simply have different priorities.

  47. I am new to commenting here but have followed this site and comments since the start of the GE campaign.

    I think the polls tell us there is a slight trending to the Cons at the expense of the LibDems in the past week.

    If you take the last 9days polls and break them into almost 4 equal blocks of data, the last block being polls since the 3rd debate (fieldwork dates not considered, granted) we see this:

    Con Lab Lib
    34.7 27.2 28.3
    33.0 27.3 29.6
    34.5 27.7 28.5
    35.4 27.8 27.6

    I think the potential for the wave effect benefiting the Cons, mentioned by others on here, is high now. But, caveat to that is that I think there is a hidden LibDem voting booth bravery which the polls cannot detect – based on TV interviews with the public and word-of-mouth in the local pub ! I think and hope of a strong Lab recovery is at risk now because of Bigotgate – rightly or wrongly.

  48. Since we’re talking electoral reform, I’ll speak here as a heretical liberal. I absolutely DON’T want PR. I look at Israel and I shudder (and yes, I’m a non-Zionist Jewish atheist, make what you can of that!). I want AV, which is thge best way to keep out the part you want leat (in my case, the tories). I hope to hell we get a Lib/Lab informal coalition, but I fear (and suspect) a tory majority and a lot of burst bubbles.

  49. @Steve Coberman

    1. that’s why I said ‘electoral reform’, not ‘proportional representation’
    2. there are many different voting systems that are described as ‘proportional’. The system Israel uses is not one proposed by any UK political party, to the best of my knowledge, and certainly not by the Liberal Democrats, who advocate the Single Transferable Vote system used in Irish elections. STV is essentially a runoff system like AV, but with multi-member constituencies – it enables more proportionality and removes the need for separate ‘open primaries’ without ending up with a completely Balkanized Parliament.

  50. Steve

    I agree with you about the fears of PR exactly, the idea that the BNP could get MPs, let alone hold the balance of power does really worry me.

    I don’t like AV purely because it is a purely negative vote. I’d like to see FPTP continue with whatever alterations are needed to take place to ensure all 3 parties have an “equal” chance (ie, the proportion of the popular vote required to form a majority parliament for each party is as close as possible.)

    Electoral reform is necessary. It should be something that should be seriously considered before jumping both feet into a completely new system.

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