Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 34%(-1) LAB 28% (+1) LDEM 29% (+1). No significant change from yesterday.

Rather to my surprise, there’s also a new ICM poll in the Guardian. The topline figures there are CON 33%(-3), LAB 28%(-1), LDEM 28%(+1). Changes are from the ICM poll in the Sunday Telegraph – the fieldwork periods actually overlap, the Sunday Telegraph’s fieldwork was all on Friday, this poll’s fieldwork was Friday to Sunday. Others up at the expense of the Conservatives.

That’s two of the polls that showed an increase for the Tories on Saturday reversing it on Monday. It looks like it was co-incidence they all showed Tories rises that day (or perhaps not – bank holiday polling can produce odd samples, and I wouldn’t really want to conclude too much whatever it showed.)

NB: Please bookmark the backup site to UK Polling Report here – – as we get closer to the election I expect the main site to increasingly crumble under the weight of traffic. All posts will be mirrored on the backup site, and at very busy times (especially election night itself) I will close comments on the main site and move discussion over to the backup.

815 Responses to “New ICM and YouGov polls”

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  1. I wonder if at around 5am on Friday we are talking about 300 as the ‘magic’ number the Tories will need to reach?

    Polling, electoral calculus and marginal data now suggest to me that 300 is about maximum they can get based on current trends. Will that be enough for Blue to attempt a minority administration?

    Will Eoin’s pick up for Red in the last couple of days materialise? If both YouGov and ComRes tonight both read above 36 for Blue, I suspect they can be more confident of forming some sort of administration on Friday. If the trend remains at around 34/35, then everything is still very much in play it seems to me.

  2. @Alan Paul (3.29)

    “Will they start an attack on tory now, while a slight softening on labour?”

    NC was certainly attacking DC this morning mainly on the display of arrogance re his assumption that he was already measuring the curtains for No. 10

  3. According to MORI, this poll shows a 7% swing in the key marginals. Now, were that swing to conservative to be replicated across all their seats then yes, they would get a narrow majority. That calculation, however, relies on a similar swing to blue in the Lib/Con marginals netting them around 25 yellow seats, and that’s just not going to happen. Look at the report on the MORI website and they say as much, as well as pointing out that this poll is within the MOE. Talk of a Tory majority is wildly premature, as in reality these numbers would have them ending up with about 300 seats, so long as they don’t lose any to the Lib Dems, which they probably will. I’d say it indicates a Conservative party with more in the region of 290 MPs. They need to get at least another 1.5% of swing in the Lab/Con marginals to be in with a chance.


    is in statesman today saying that voters ” might ” vote tactically , according to bbc news 24

    I am certain that this is now going to be the ploy

    red know its over for brown ..and over for them as second in opposition to yellows now

    and will be over for yellows too if the blue vote brings home a working majority

    I think the gloves are now coming off

    the call for tactical voting might just come from red yellows probably have enough to see blue off in their marginals

  5. It is good if this poll gives a bit of hope to the Conservatives but in their heart of hearts they must know it just isnt going to happen. No inevitability. No momentum. No reason to change. Neck and neck in these seats for the governing party after 13 years is OK by me as we go in to polling day. Campaign is basically over now and ‘noone’ expects Conservative to win. That will not change in next 72 hours. Better the devil you know. I do not get any sense of LibDems slipping back. They are the change this time. Who knows?

  6. @ RICHARD O

    That looked desperate to me

    Desperate times call for desperate measures ;-)


    It was reported in the Telegraph some weeks ago that
    Darling’s conduct was subject to scrutiny by the Scottish Bar Council because of the allegations of his flipping. Unusually he decided to stand down from the Bar. The story was picked up in the Scottish press and very recently by the Lib Dems in election leaflets. I saw the story again this am on Political Betting & if you look there you should find a link to the story.

  8. In my, safeish, Tory seat –

    Around 19,000 will vote Tory
    Around 32, 000 will vote for ‘others’
    and around 25,000 won’t vote at all.

    That means (I think!!) that barely 1 in 3 will support the local MP from day 1 …. it’s a crazy system we have here!

  9. The Reuters site have a complete explanation of the Ipsos/Mori results:

  10. Must admit who would have thought it at this stage two months ago? Labour should have been sitting ducks and Tories should have been in by a mile–but seriously it’s coalition time and Labour and Liberals have shown they can do it Scotland…

    The real winners here are the LD who are now a force to be reckoned with–how much of a force we shall see.

  11. I have sincere doubts that many calls for Tactical Voting (TV) will come from high-ranking members of LAB or LD.

    It is down to local constituency parties to target TVers and persuade them – I have no doubt that in the well run campaigns this has been done.

    However it is likely that alot of TV went on last time – is there much more to be squeezed out or will it roll back somewhat?

  12. @ PETER BELL

    NC was certainly attacking DC this morning mainly on the display of arrogance re his assumption that he was already measuring the curtains for No. 10
    Excellent news :-) Will NC’s comment mean it’s curtains for Dave (but not in No.10)?

    And that would be measuring the ‘drapes’ because DC is a Tory ;-)

  13. Smears And Gaffes

    unless gordon throws the voters another beauty , sleaze, gaffes, the rochdale effect wont really matter now

    I think we have seen the final stages here

    an increasing tory vote recently has finally woken up the labour party

    unless they get out there and ask for tactical voting in key seats , then they will be third behind the yellows, blues will be in power and yellow sympathisers wont give them any greater vote next time …clegg will just be another yellow leader who didnt make it

    the next few days are now key

  14. @Richard O

    Regardless of my political affiliations, I think in a democracy, people should vote for the party that most closely matches their views

    Yes, but as you well know FPTP means that if everyone did this and the Centre/Left vote was split between Lib Dem and Labour the result is a Centre/Right government on less than 40% of the popular vote. Again, you attempt to present your arguments as non-partisan when in fact they clearly operate to support the party you favour

  15. Rowan – yes, only Lab/Con marginals polled. Read quote on Xiby’s post bottom of page 14 of this thread.

  16. I’m looking at page 3 of the data table and it states that of the total weighted sample, 25% were undecided and 8% wouldn’t answer the question. Given that, all this debate about a 1-2 percent change seems a bit iffy!

  17. @Paul,

    Blue got 36% before the second debate

    Also yellows have had a 23% a 25% some 26%s

    Why do you say it has never dropped below 27%?

    Now for the fun bit……

    Every post ever put on UK polling report is searchable through google….

    Which Liberal would like me to post thier previous forecasts on the Liberal share?

    Many of you Derek, Tony, COlin G and Paul C all speculated on it going higher. I also have your responses to the 34% poll- none of you called it a rogue. Given all of that would you really like me to post some your old responses to these polls?

    I have said consistently 36/34/22- I will not change my mind.

    When blues diped to 31%ish none of you ever saw it going back up. I said it would go back up to 38%- it did not it went to 36%. Since then some polls have had it at 38% but I accpet 36% was all it went to before the second debate.

    Regarding the Lib share, I have several posts I can post them if you want from Derek, Colin G, PeterB, RogerH, Paul C all saying that yellow was going to stay abov 31%
    then 30%
    then 29%
    then 28%
    now 27%

    I accept that my forecasts were not favourable with you guys. I asked you ALL on numerous occasions to simply ignore them if you do not like them. To start off each day hounding or teasing as one put it is a waste of your time.

    Now I invite you to desist for your own benefit. You have Thursday night’s result to look forward to. If you continue to pull my leg about my forecast I will embarass you by posting your old responses. That would not help any of us, thus my suggestion is that you leave it.

  18. @Richrd O

    “Regardless of my political affiliations, I think in a democracy, people should vote for the party that most closely matches their views, rather than been instructed who to vote for by ministers who only have their own fate in mind.”

    But we don’t live in a TRUE democracy and won’t until we have PR. In the meantime TV is the only option to obtain what the majority want.

  19. Historically, when the electorate want to get rid of Labour, or to prevent Labour from winning, there is always a late surge to the Conservatives.

    I have predicted a final GE result of Tories 38 Labour 28 Liberals 26.

    I was very surprised at last night’s polls. But this Mori poll seems to support my original prediction. It will be interesting whether there is a surge to the tories tonight in the polls. If there is its all over.

  20. @ MIKE

    We don’t have a ‘Scottish Bar’ – we have a Faculty of Advocates.

    Alistair Darling continues to be a member of the faculty as far as I can find out.

    He is not practising (ie not accepting cases) – which is perhaps being spun as stepping down but I can’t find any supporting evidence for the story you are re-telling.


  22. True democracy? An elected Upper House would be good…

    Equally there is no way I’d waste my vote by voting for the party which most closely resembles my views unless we had either PR or transferable vote–FPTP it’d be waste. I am happy to cast my vote for someone who can win who I sort of like if I cant have my first choice. The other way might mean a prty I despise gets in…

  23. Technical details

    This data is based on 1,004 adults aged 18+ who are registered to vote, across 57 key marginal constituencies in Great Britain. These are Labour-held constituencies which the Conservatives need a swing of between 5% and 9% to win. Fieldwork took place between 30th April and 2nd May. Interviews were conducted by telephone. Data are weighted to the profile of the population in the constituencies polled.

  24. @DAVE

    is there a similar historical late surge against blue to get rid of blue ?

  25. @ Eoin

    If LAB poll 34% the left will be doing cartwheels
    My prediction is similar to yours at 36 33 24 and i’ve stuck with it, I do think however it might be LIB DEM limited so maybe
    CON 34 LAB 31 LD 28 is now more likely

  26. @ MIKE

    Nothing on PB about Alistair Darling, that I can find. I didn’t go through all the comments mind you. I’m not a masochist ;-)

  27. The Tories will be delighted at the MORI pol. It is the best poll result for them in months.

    They needed 6.9%

    This is 7%.

    OF course any blue would like a bigger margin but they would take this 7.0%

    It shows that undecideds must be breaking for blue more.
    I suspect a lot of Ashcroft’s money has been left until quite late to spend so this oculd be clear evidence that it is bearing fruit.

    Correct me if I am wrong but the Liberal Democrat share in these 56 seats in DOWN on 2005?

    If blue is taking yellow votes in these 56 seats that will fill them with confidence for other yellow/blue marginals.

  28. Saw earlier someone (?Cozmo) asking how Lib Dems conduct their internal ballots: STV of course.

    Still don’t think anyone knows what is going to happen on Thursday.

    Tories have just put out their normal last week very negative anti-LD leaflet in a seat near me.

  29. The blind reporting of this poll based on the press release, either by laziness or deliberate compliance, shows what a hard task Clegg and Brown have to get their message through.

    Sky banner headline is wrong on two counts – firstly, it doesn’t show the Tories to win a majority – it might have done four weeks ago when the Lib Dems were on 23%, but in the current situation the Tories are not only going to fail to gain the seats they need from LD, but probably lose some too.

    Secondly, the change does not show any “surge in support” for the Tories, rather a modest drop in Labour and fractional improvement from the Tories – all within margin of error on the last poll.

    Can the voters resist the media narrative?

  30. I went away and checked the 2005 shraes.

    Red are 9% down
    Blue are 5% up
    Red are 3% up

    Finally some red loss of votes going blue.

    Also the fact that c.30% could change their mind is markedly down on the last poll. I think it was 47% then. So whilst 30% seems high it is not really.


    tbf the group is Citizens UK who describe themselves as “a community alliance, bringing together… faith congregations, trade unions, schools and community groups”.

  32. @wandering welshman.

    No unfortunately reds dont enjoy late surges.

    1924, 1951, 1964 1970 1992 are the classic years when the electorate wanted to get rid of, or prevent Labour. We dont have polls for 1924 but all the others showed a late surge to the blues.
    What makes a blue majority even more certain is not just the late surge but also the split in centre left vote which allows Cameron to come through the middle.

    I would predict that the yougov poll tonight shows a surge to blue -at least 36 on its way to 38 for Thursday night.

  33. -IMHO., the MORI poll doesn’t shed much light on the GE
    -After all, they ONLY polled in marginals being DEFENDED by LAB
    -Odd technicals for a public poll

  34. @ Statto

    This is similar to the way the NOW poll was reported. That gave the Tories 311 but said they were on course for a majority of four with Unionist support from NI.

    The only way that pans out is if there were 16 unionist mps from 18 seats (impossible) and they all supported the Tories (unlikely).

    Still, given the headline on Sky then was Tory majority of 4 and this says 2 we should really see a banner headline, saying “LATEST POLL- TORY MAJORITY HALVED”

  35. Amber – Do they do any specific enough to ward off Osbornes?

  36. ‘Finally some red loss of votes going blue.’

    Not necessarily–red may be going to yellow and some yellow going blue. The maths are not as simple as you think. The result may be up or down but it pays no attention to the variety of ways this happens.

    And logically I find it unlikely Labour goes straight to Tories- too big a shift.

  37. DC seems to have thrown it away. Is it his arrogance or just naivete? I think probably the latter. Is he therefore the right person to lead the country in this frenetic global financial crisis? I think this thought will pass through the minds of many in the polling booths as they cast their votes.

  38. Sky giving support to the conservatives. Gosh. How unusual.

  39. I agree with Statto. MORI have gone down in my estimation somewhat after this poll. Their methodology may be sound, but their analysis is way off. There are three possible explanations: they’re biased, they’re attention seekers, or they’re idiots. Whichever it is, it doesn’t speak well of them. Like I said earlier, this poll indicates that blues will be on around 290 seats. They need a swing of close to 9% in these marginal polls to win a majority, not 7%.

  40. @Statto

    Thing is, a headline of “Tory majority of 2” just feeds the other main narrative of “close election”. I think it offers reasons to motivate all three party’s supporters to get out and vote.

  41. Eoin,
    Polls of marginals in earlier elections were not borne out by the subsequent results.

  42. @Graham,

    Very interesting indeed. Thanks for that.

    Have you any examples?

    It will be relief not to hear any ore talk about Bank Holiday polls. The Tories ahppy with this one will say nothing about BH rogues. Phew!

  43. The MORI results are very good news for the Cons, but, as many have commented, sheds no light of the LD/Con marginals…

    Wouldn’t you have though that since the start of the so called LD “surge” that some polling firm would have looked at this?

    Crucial to the Cons getting an overall majority is how well they do versus LDs, unless they can compensate for any losses (or missed wins) against the LDs with more wins against Labour.

    Personally, I’m praying the LD surge is just a fever, rather than a disease.

  44. @Spencer

    yes I think 300-305 is about the level where Cameron might try to go it alone. Below that he would be too vulnerable to being outvoted. The sort of things he could achieve like this are limited – getting legislation through would be interesting. In the first election of 1974 Labour muddled through with 301 seats although there were a few less seats available then.

    Unfortunately for Cameron current polling does not strongly support such an outcome. More like 295 seats tops. Those missing 5 seats make a big difference.

  45. MORI have done some very solid marginal pollin work for a few months now. I rate their marginal polling and lets face it the Tories are targetting these seats feriously. I would be loath to dismiss it.

  46. Jones – I suspect MORI didn’t say anything about a majority of 2 – this will be the (nameless) journalist’s spin. The only quote from them is:

    “These findings show the Conservatives on the verge of winning enough seats to secure the narrowest of majorities,” said Roger Mortimore, Head of Political and Electoral Research at Ipsos MORI.

    “On the verge of” are the key words. An optimistic analysis, but not on the same scale as Sky’s mis-reporting. Shoddy, very shoddy.

  47. So, with caution the CamCon maj of c10 looks on again after this poll was published.

    In a number of ways this may be a decent result for the anti-tory voters – why?

    Well, as electoral reform would then not occur until at least post following election, it would demonstrate to LDs that their popularity ‘surge’ simply divides (not necessarily equally) the anti-tory majority. Again!

    Perhaps they’ll rethink and ensure that tory is dispensed with at the next GE – which is unlikely to be too far in the future. Unless tory is removed, ER will not occur.

    At least a tory maj will hasten a leadership selection process in Lab.

  48. Labour’s Ed Balls has given an interview to the New Statesman magazine in which he seems to suggest that people in some seats might want to vote tactically, reports the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg. He says that while he always wants the Labour candidate to win, “there’s an issue in seats like North Norfolk” where Lib Dem Norman Lamb is trying to beat a Conservative challenger. In that situation, Mr Balls says, “I want to keep the Tories out”.

    from BBC

  49. @ KEITHP

    I agree with you about 295 I think. I suppose everything at those sort of figures depends upon how attractive the Libs see a coalition as being and what their terms would be, with either party. Then the horse trading really begins. Oh to be a fly on the wall (or in the blackberry) on those discussions!

  50. For reds concerned about this poll, they need not be overly. A reduction in swing in these seats would mean that blue would get ZERO of them.

    With a margin that tight it just emphasises how nailbiting the result will be.

    It is why I have always argued that either a red or blue majority is still a distinct possibility.

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