There is a new Harris poll in this morning’s Metro, I think it’s their first since the general election. Voting intention stands at CON 36%, LAB 30%, LDEM 25%. Unlike all the other companies we’ve seen reporting post-election voting intentions (YouGov, ICM and ComRes), who are all showing the Lib Dems suffering from their decision to go into coalition, Harris have them above the level of support they got at the general election (in fact, they don’t have any significant change from the general election shares of the vote at all). 52% of people said they did not expect the coalition to last the full five years intended, much in line with similar findings in polls conducted at the time the coalition was announced.

It’ll be interesting to see which pollsters continue to produce regular political polls in the wake of the general election. Newspapers don’t tend to have much money to spending on polling after general elections, and it tends to be the time that contracts are not renewed. This time round there were several new entrants to the market, presumably polling in the run up to the election to get the publicity. We know that ICM, YouGov and ComRes are continuing to poll for their respective clients and I assume we will shortly see Populus polling for the Times again and that Ipsos MORI will soon resume their monthly political monitors. It looks like Harris will still be polling for the Metro, but only time will tell whether we continue to see regular voting intention polls from Angus Reid, Opinium and TNS BMRB.

There was also a new BPIX poll in the Mail on Sunday yesterday, their first post-election effort. Topline voting intention figures were CON 39%, LAB 32%, LDEM 19%.

Finally, there is a YouGov poll for Migration Watch reported in the Telegraph here. Despite the Telegraph’s report the poll does not say that half of Labour and Lib Dem voters would have switched to the Conservatives if they had boasted a stronger policy on immigration, rather it says that amongst people who said the Conservatives were their second choice – which was under a fifth of Labour and Lib Dem voters – over half included a tougher stance on immigration amongst the things that would have made them switch. Of course, that would still be a notable amount (a couple of percent points would have given the Conservatives a majority), but I will voice my normal extreme caution over polls asking about things that would make you likely to vote for X or Y. It doesn’t mean people would actually change their vote, rather people tend to use questions like this merely to indicate which policies they like (or dislike) – and we know from almost all polling on the subject that the British public tend to support stricter limits on immigration.

277 Responses to “New Harris and BPIX polls”

1 2 3 6
  1. Excellent post Anthony. I wonder if any methodological changes are on their way?

    Harris do not have appeared to have ironed out the LD overepresentation yet. given that they are as transparent as a Belize bank account I am not surprised.

  2. Eoin – well, by definition all the companies weighting to past vote will be weighting to brand new figures, but that doesn’t really count.

    I expect most companies will be reviewing their methods post-election in case there are improvements that can be made in the light of the 2010 experience – and that they may or may not result in some switches. To some extent polls in the immediate post-election period are in a holding pattern – ComRes for example are just weighting recalled vote to the actual election result, I don’t know if that’s a decision, or just a stop-gap.

    At YouGov we are currently looking through all the data for the election and sorting out new weightings, so we’ll switch over to permanent new weightings when they are thoroughly tested – but I expect it’s going to more tweaks and updates rather than any big change in approach.

  3. Anthony,

    Thanks for that. I look forward to how disloyal reds are now measured (if at all) and also what use (if any) the guardian newspaper’s readership will be to weighting.

  4. Would love YouGov to poll after each England match.

    At the moment I think NOTHING will make a difference to the polls other than Rooney scoring an own goal (very bad for coalition indeed) or England getting into the finals (very good for the coalition indeed)

    I think Cameron could announce an end to the Welfare State and no-one would notice until we’re out of the cup.

  5. Sue, would people really be more pro-Coalition if England do well? Would it be because of a general feel-good factor?

    On a more serious point, I have probably missed some posts, but was a consensus reached about which pollsters were best at the election?

  6. PeteB – I honestly think the FGF (or lack of it) around the World cup will have some impact, but only total saddos like me will care WHO’s in power til the end of the tournament.

  7. Just had a little check back in time and it looks like GB peaked at 44 for Labour during his “honeymoon.”

    Presumably Cameron would hope to be a little more popular than Brown.

    The Libs were down at 13 and 14 around the same time, so actually today’s 1/19 does ‘t look too catastrophic.

  8. If I recall correctly during the 1970 World Cup, England got knocked out and then the Government surprisingly lost to Ted Heath. I don’t know if it was before of after the election but I think Sue has a valid point over the influence of sporting events. Mind you, there was no “Bejjing bounce” for Gordon Brown when we won all them Gold medels so I think the influence is restricted to Football.

    Amazing isnt it?

  9. A poll I heard of yesterday had 53% of respondents saying they thought being England manager was a harder job than being PM!!!!!

    I have had a wry little chuckle about that all day.

    (Don’t know which poll sorry, could be voodoo, but interesting anyway)

  10. I remember Harris being a bit rubbish in its last poll before the GE. Not as far off as AR but still……. 8-)

  11. BPIX uses YG population?

    …and gets pretty much the same result as YG. What a shocker! 8-)

  12. Amber,

    Over a lot of polls the differences between YG and BPIX’s averages do become a little interesting. As it happens shy tories are by an large gone. Thus, YG maybe are a tad generous on blueys not more than 1% if that mind you. All companies underestimated reds show bashful browns were a factor…

    I wonder with this sudden drop in yellows whether or not there is an army of closet cleggies?

    One thing we can put to bed is the automatic assumption that a higher turnout benefits reds. I do not think that is conclusive by any means.

  13. @Kyle.
    Wilson lost on 18th June 1970.
    On June 14th England lost to West Germany 3-2 having been two up, with PETER BONETTI’s Chelsea goal keeping error.
    The whole class of boys (fourth form)in my catholic grammar school sat in silence the next day.
    Freak trade figures came out on the Monday 15th which showed a deficit.
    Roy Jenkins refused to give a generous budget in March 1970.
    So Ted Heath won

  14. No real change in the latest polls.

  15. eoin
    closet cleggies? i understand your point, but really does it have to be
    closet cleggies?!!!

  16. AW
    how can i post without the captch code have written a few longer posts(not easy when you are semi literate with one finger)but they got lost when i forgot that code thingy or hit wrong button

  17. Thanks for that Chris. I knew it wasnt just England loosing that lost Wilson the election, but other factors as well but I heard that it was suggested.

  18. @ Richard in Norway

    I’ve got into the habit of copying my comments before I submit.

    It is held in the ‘clipboard’. If I don’t get the captcha correct, I just paste & try again. 8-)

  19. I heared that it was suggested that Wilson lost just because of the world cup. Of course I don’t support that therory. Chris has given the real picture why Wilson lost. It would have been better if Wilson actually won. And I am saying this as a Conservative voter. But I am straying into uncharted waters and I am not going to say more on that point ;)

  20. Richard,


    How about Yella Bellied Yellows?

    If that is lost in translation then how about Lying Libs? :)

  21. Election 2010 available on YouTube channel ajs41.

  22. eoin

    aw shucks, next you be accusing the libdem MPs of being politicians

  23. amber

    thanks for tip i’ll give a go when\if i’ve got something proper to say

  24. @Eoin
    Keynes was a Liberal – and an atheist!

  25. johnty

    Keynes was a Liberal – and an atheist!

    a lot of the great reformers\visionaries were

    sadly i doubt that clegg will be one of them

  26. Any theory that elections are won or lost on the basis of ENGLAND’s performance would need to also demonstrate that there was a particularly different English variance from their previous patterns compared to the other nations in the UK.

    Anything else is simply self obsession by those East of Wales and South of Scotland.

  27. Looks like the big question of the day is…..

    Is a closet cleggie a floater? ;)

  28. Eoin,
    Returned to the site for a brief look after a few weeks trying to catch up on all those things put in the pending tray (so to speak) pre-election.

    I see that you are still having a go at the Lib Dems. What have they done to you to make you so anti. As a red you should be grateful that we are endevouring to moderate the blues right wing excesses. Imo to-date we have been fairly successful although in the absence of Laws I fear what boy George may get up to in the next week.

    IMO the yellows have put their own future at stake for the good of the country. I only hope it is appreciated in 5 years time although unfortunately I doubt it.

  29. OLDNAT
    “Any theory that elections are won or lost on the basis of ENGLAND’s performance …………….”

    It is the only international criteria available in UK-so is naturally the one most refered to.

    ……….Do Scotland play football?

    …………and as for “Anything else is simply self obsession by those East of Wales and South of Scotland.”….the words “kettle”, “pot” & “black ” come to mind.

  30. Peterbell,

    I was lightheartedly referring to poll respondents likeliehood to conceal their voting intention due to the unpopularity of the party…

    1992-2001 (blues)
    2003-2010 (reds)
    post 2010 (yellows?)


  31. “I agree with Colin”

    Old Nat – You can make many things all about the English forgetting there are any other countries in the union, but if you drove a car around England today, you’d see more St George’s flags than trees.

    There is a collective holding of breath going on and there is no doubt at all that the country are about 10 times more interested in the football than they were in the election.

    If England (when!) get knocked out of the tournament, around 40 million men women and children will be depressed – not a bit fed up, properly depressed.

    If that wouldn’t affect voting, I don’t know what would.

  32. It would be more useful to poll the Coalition against Labour and others.We could then understand better the impact of the Budget and the effect of the party conferences. With an election possibly 5 years away and the ConLib link, the old polling format is meaningless (and a waste of money).

  33. Borrowing now predicted to be a full 45 Billion lower than Osborne’s 200 Billion suggestion.

    That’s quite a lot isn’t it.

  34. Almost a Quarter.

    In less than a year.

    By boosting the economy and protecting jobs.

  35. Sue “Borrowing now predicted to be a full 45 Billion lower than Osborne’s 200 Billion suggestion.”

    Maybe GO created the OBR as he doesn’t trust his own calculations?

  36. @Peterbell – “I see that you are still having a go at the Lib Dems. What have they done to you to make you so anti.”

    [Snipped. Probably better to ignore the question Alec! – AW]

  37. @Sue Marsh – he was actually out by 30% – take the gap as a proportion of the actual deficit. Remember that he didn’t say it would £200b – he claimed it would be ‘over’ £200b. And unemployment of 3m by the GE was also one of his predictions.

    GO has a track record of scary predictions that are wildly wrong.

  38. Alec, perhaps he meant the NEXT election?

  39. Surely, the report by the OBR – which was set up by GO – is a huge embarrassment to the gov?

    AD is quite right to attack GO and demand an apology.

  40. @ ALEC

    “Why isn’t he saying we can’t afford pension tax relief for the top 1% of earners of £10b this year?”

    mmmm-perhaps you have a point-and perhaps it will be covered in the measures to come.

    But you also highlight the disparity which should first of all be corrected IMO-Scheme Members’ contributions.

    If public sector employees with salary related/indexed pension rights ( many totally unfunded actuarially) had to make contributions which reflected the funding of those rights, they would perhaps understand what they actually cost-and why , for most private sector workers, they are now but a distant menory.

    Then-when all pension rights are contributed to equitably by their beneficiaries, we can turn to the matter of tax relief on those contributions.

  41. @Chris Lane
    More telling for me was that Alf took Bobby (Charlton) off the pitch at 2-0 (ok he was getting on a bit, it was Mexico City, but everyone was feeling the heat). I was at primary school, and it was the last time that the outcome of a football match affected my mood in any way. (But yes, Bonetti was no Banks)
    Election results though…Gore,especially, and Kerry were a blow.
    Big ‘royal’ events have more effect on the national(?) psche?

  42. Alec/ Peterbell,

    It may surprise you Peterbell (but not Alec) to know that thus far I am quite reassured by the coalition. I am not its biggest fan but 59% of the elctorate have spoken and I respect that. Reds will get their chance in 5 years. The only criticism I have ever made of the coalition has been the 55% – 5 year fixed term and that criticism was made on constitutional/legal grounds..

    as for pensions, cuts, academies etc etc… the public voted for it and thus so it may be. I endeavour to do my utmost to help others through the five years as best I can. But in fairness to DC he has been understated and resolute. There is a lot to admire in that, having put up with ten years of headline chasing nonsense from Blair.

    Regarding NC, VC, DA…. well to be honest I have always regarded yellows as the minor partner in the coalition. Thus, being so – I wont over concern myself with them except to watch from afar.

    But as I have said for a month now – good luck and best wishes.

  43. Colin’If public sector employees with salary related/indexed pension rights ( many totally unfunded actuarially) had to make contributions which reflected the funding of those rights, they would perhaps understand what they actually cost-and why’

    Public sector workers have paid into pension schemes for many years. They are ‘unfunded’ only in the sense that all govts have spent their money rather than investing it.

    So, get an actuary in and work out how much they have put in and work out what they now own. All the M roads? Every bridge in the country? The army?

    You get the idea- we use assets which have been built by the contributions of Public servants so it is only right that we pay for it. Sure, feel free to close down current schemes and make new one- the old teachers scheme has gone and anew one has been in for some years- but let’s not set the view that Public servants pensions are somehow given to public servants without them contributing to it.

  44. @ JACK

    “You get the idea-”


    “Public sector workers have paid into pension schemes for many years.”

    So have millions of Private Sector workers-are you saying they should not have done so?
    The question is -what do those pension rights cost & what is a reasonable allocation of that cost between employer & employee.

    In the private sector , companies must account for the cost of pension promises over the working life of the promisee-in time to provide the funds from which to pay the pension. Actuaries assess these costs & their phasing .

    In some parts of the public sector,, for salary related rights:
    a) The costs are not assessed actuarially, or set aside during the working lifetime-the (unknown) cost of the pension in payment is therefore a charge on future taxpayers.
    b) Employees contributions are arbitrary-not related to the cost of actually funding the pension promise.

    Roads & Bridges are irrelevant. Do the employees of Balfour Beatty plc claim that they should contribute less to their pension funds because they helped build UK’s roads?…………………but the fact that you think this equation has some relevance in the public sector, might illustrate a mindset in that sector which has to be changed-drastically-quickly.

    Have you any idea what indexation of a salary related pension promise costs?

    Have a look at Annuity rates for a Level Annuity & an Indexed Annuity.

  45. Well I was shocked by the inflamatory language Clegg used when I saw him on TV this morning.

    “Gold plated pension pots”. Stoking up envy, much?
    I hope all the public sector workers who voted for the Dems were listening & are as disgusted as I am.

  46. @Collin
    It would be more useful to poll the Coalition against Labour and others

    The problem with that is that we will never see a politician stand as a LibCon Coalition candidate. This is never going to be an option that will actually be voted on. In 5 (or less) years time the Tories would be delighted to be in a straight majority, and would happily ditch the Libs. The Libs would love to increase the number of seats they hold at the expense of the Tories.

  47. @Duncan
    “we will never see a politician stand as a LibCon Coalition candidate”
    Never say never.

  48. @Colin – I’m not in disagreement with you in many ways. However, there are a lot of myths about public sector pensions and it saddens me to hear the Lib dems repeat them uncritically. Most of these schemes are funded, and the unfunded element is a relatively small percentage of the total.

    As Jack says, there can be no objection in principle to renegotiating pension deals and given the big changes in the pension market it is reasonable to expect public sector workers to increase thir payments or accept poorer pension deals. Touching already accrued benefits would in my view be a case of theft – we have to honour agreed contracts of employment.

    Jack is also right in suggesting that while most public servants paid into pension schemes in some cases this money wasn’t put aside into funded schemes but was spent by successive governments.

    I think public sector workers know and accept changes are coming. What really disappoints me about Clegg (not the Tories – this is what I expect from them) is that they seem to be focusing on on rather small part of the problem and looking to squeeze predominantly the lower paid public sector rather than the wealthy and powerful few.

    Incidentally, I also get very hacked off about the hysterical headlines. In todays Telegraph they report that the £9.4b annual cost of public sector pensions will cost every household £4,000pa (headline “Public Pensions to Cost You £4,000 a year”) They actually quote 26m households, total cost by 2015 £9.4b. Do the maths. Its actually £361.53 per year. Good value for state pensions, but I really think the Telegraph’s readers should start a campaign calling for basic numeracy among right wing journalists…..

  49. I have mixed views about public sector pensions.

    It is important to tackle future potential costs – but the existing employer liabilties and member entitlements cannot be eliminated or reduced. It is IMO incorrect that joe public is expected to contribute so much (eg via council tax) towards the pensions of public sector workers when so many in the private sector have no or little provisions and struggle to contribute to their own schemes.

    I know that schemes such as the Local Government Pension Scheme have restructured rules in the last few years and placed greater emphasis on employee’s contributing a fair share. This is right and proper.

    The problem is final salary schemes. Some schemes are moving to average salary basis, there is perhaps also the scope to limit increases in pensionable earnings to less than the increases arising through pay awards. There is also the option of closing these schemes to new members.

    But let’s be clear – these issues and discussions are not new.

  50. @Eoin (9.28),
    pleased you are reassured by the coalition so far. Have to admit it is too far right for my liking but as you say the yellows are very much the minor party and as such have achieved more than I would have expected.

    @Colin (8.05)
    Afraid I totally dissagree with your suggestion to poll the coallition vs Lab and others. The collition is what it says – a coallition of two separate parties. From press comments etc., the UK has not yet come to understand this in the way it is accepted in the rest of Europe. I would have thought that the battle between Cons and Lib dems in the Malton election would have made this clear. As two separate parties then of course reds and yellows should be polled separately.

    @Alec (8.45)
    The situation re public sector pensions must be changed. The vast majority of private sector pensions are contributary, are no longer final salary and are not tied to inflation (at least for new employees). The public sector has to come in line. The answer to your comment re nurses is to increase their salary if they are indeed underpaid compared to similar qualifications, job requirements etc. in the private sector. Do agree with your comment re bankers and I think we will see Cable acting on this in the future.

1 2 3 6