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”

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  1. @MikeN
    Re Labour’s legacy.
    We need some distance from the period to see what ultimately mattered and we need to differentiate results from their causes. I feel a legacy is partly determined by how the successor reacts to it.
    Heath’s govt left a clear legacy in joining the Common Market and for all the arguments no govt has tried to leave. The core legacy of Thatcher was that the market economy took centre stage. It may be remembered for the results of this, both good and bad, but IMHO this was the legacy. Blair’s govt did not challenge the role of the market. There was no repeal of industrial relations law, clause 4 had already been dumped. NuLab acquiesed with that legacy. In some respects NuLab is Thatcher’s legacy as she was Callaghan’s. The winter of discontent was a pre-condition for Thatcher.
    The ringfencing of the NHS budget by the Tories is a part acceptance of the previous govt’s shift back towards public spending. Only time will tell but that shift might the legacy.

  2. “I know nothing about pensions except to say that I will never ever have one.”
    I’m with you on that one Eoin! ”

    Me too!

  3. Sue,

    :) We are agreeing that much recently they won’t be able to tell us apart. :)


    Wouldn’t the Dems propose that the Tories didn’t field a coalition candidate or told Tory voters to vote Dem in marginal seats to oust Labour?

    Why should it all go the Tories’ way with the Dems losing seats?

  5. @ COLLIN

    I mean, if the seats all went the Tories way in a Con-Dem stitch up, the Tories would have a majority. Even if there was a coalition agreement in place, they could just out vote the Dems, right?

    The Dems would have to be thick as two short planks to help the Tories win a clear majority, rendering themselves a ‘courtesy’ partner in a coalition, IMO. 8-)

  6. Labour’s legacy is devolution, IMO.

  7. ‘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’
    This is a very wild exaggeration .Millions are like me and cannot abide this tournament. I look forward to seeing England at the earliest possible date – only then will the hype and hysteria come to an end.Morteover, many of the players are utter scumbags and obnoxious human beings – I have no wish to see them win anything!

  8. Eoin – It’s funny, I’ve noticed before that we often have very similar attitudes towards policy.

    On Europe, Immigration, Housing, taxes, subcultures and drugs laws – probably many more I’ve forgotten.

    Actually, typing that made me think : It kind of illustrates what we were debating about left and right very well. You and I are supposedly representative of the “Left” and “Right” of Labour, yet we share almost identical political aims, and want to see almost identical policies.


    Amber – FWIW I think the economy will be Labour’s legacy. Here would not be the place for my most excellent reasons why.

  9. blairs legacy is the good friday agreement

  10. I am afraid that Blair and Labour will be be remembered for Iraq like Thather and the Conservatives will be remembered for the Poll Tax.

  11. Sue,

    My that is quite a list.

    I am insterested in politics for two reasons. Gender equality and educational equality.

    lots and lots of other issues ‘grab me’ but those are my two most important. i think if you solve those two at least you give humans the freedom to achieve freedom… Tis one of the reasons I like Hatty Harman ;) :)

  12. Now here is a chap we can talk about. Francis Urquhart. The chap played by Ian Richardson from the House of Cards. I find it a very shocking thriller and it really brings to life the nastiness of politics.

    Urqhart was a monster. Forcing the King off the throne, killing anyone who would oppose him. Thank god it is just a story.

  13. I’ve got a technical question about polling. I don’t normally ask technical questions about polling for fear I won’t understand the answers. ;)
    Can Anthony or any of you other clever polling experts explain to me in layman’s terms how the weighting for the LD’s will most likely be changed? I’m presuming it’s not as simple as “we seem to be overestimating their support by about 10% so we’ll routinely reduce it by 10%.” Or is it?
    In any reply, please remember;
    a) I’m pretty crap at anything mathematical.
    b) I’m particularly crap at statistics.

  14. Cameron excellent today over Bloody Sunday Apology IMO.

    I thought he sounded very sincere and it made me proud.

  15. Collin
    Bingo. Game set and match As Eoin points out the fly in the ointment is that the Lib Dems have to dissappear. Eoin finishes his history at 1917 but even more relevant is the National Gov post1931.
    Most libs became national liberals and dissappeared in to the Tory Party, a small minority in the fringes struggled on and a few joined labour eg Benn’s dad.
    It was this entrism which led the tories to get a majority of the votes in 1950s Scotland for example. In the short term it is a winner but note it does mean a bigger vote for Labour, crisis for the MPs for whom association with the tories is bad news (inner city? remote areas?), an end to any chat about pr and everyone having a good laugh at the Lib Dems

  16. Please note there is a man posting while Brazil play football!

  17. Aha. That is why this site is deserted. Football. At least it is every four years. Like the election ;) I don’t think I would have the energy for another election this year.

  18. Minimum wage (which Tories at the time said would destroy jobs and cripple the economy)?

  19. Jon Crudas backs Ken for a 2012 return to mayoralty. Any London Labs backing Oona King?

  20. @Eoin
    “Have all saw yellows abandon ship.. Chamblerlain, Lloyd George and Winston Churchill all began life as yellows.”

    As I am sure you know, Churchill began his political life as a Conservative not as a Liberal. Lloyd George split the Liberals but never left, and remained a Liberal throughout his political career – although at one point there were three shades of Liberal – National Liberals, Samuelites and Lloyd George Liberals. Both Churchill and Lloyd George were poor party men – political geniuses who were disliked and distrusted by most of their colleagues.
    Not that this has much relevance to today. We are in unchartered waters.

  21. Billy bob
    I think if Ken wants to be candidate he should be as
    a. He would have the best chance of winning
    b. He was capable
    oh I am not London
    At a Labour Conf fringe,Ken gave very good advice for how Labour councils should behave under a tory governmentie avoid full-frontal opposition. Also very convincing on number one reason for Labour difficulties inlocal government in his view. Equalities all taken care of except keeping traditional working class councillors.
    Good man Remember we in Scotland have Scottish elections next May and local council elections the following May

  22. As there is nobody here!
    Oona King some of you will know has the most stupendously clever dad who was granted political asylum in 1960s UK from the US

  23. Johnty
    I think it is very relevant
    Churchill went back and fore but left his eventual party with close on 50% electoral support. Lloyd George smashed his to smithereens.
    Mind you Marx said that history repeats itself.. but first time tragedy, second time farce. Lloyd George tragedy?

  24. @Barney
    Think Marx’s comment was about Napoleon III; not sure what he would have made of LLoyd George or Churchill for that matter.
    I think though that the split in the Liberals during and after the first world warhas to be seen in its context – as any good Marxist scholar would tell you – the extension of the franchise, the Bolshevik Revolution, the rise of a new working class party. We are ina totally different situation now. Capital to me seems far stronger and organized labour far weaker than at any time since the second world war – and after a brief flirtation with Keynesianism, Europe seems to be moving to the right politically.

  25. Johnty
    Yes I agree with a lot of that. Hence the immediate challenge to the unions on Pensions etc?
    I do hawever believe that a lot of people will see how much they need Labour and Unions in quick time with some negative consequences for the Lib Dems

  26. Is David Owen a Lib Dem hero? From being Foreign Sec under Callaghan, to leader of SDP, to advising Lib Dems to vote Tory in 1992, (rumours of Tory cabinet post offers), and finally some kind of rapprochement with Brown. Any updates?

  27. @Eoin,

    My priorities would be restoring old-fashioned respect (i.e. tackling yobbish and anti-social behaviour), and tackling educational inequality.

    My socially conservative views on criminal justice, the family (i.e. marriage) are the main reasons why I will always support the Conservative party from this moment forth.

  28. David owen?
    Backed Lib Dems in last election Liked Brown Avoided speaking of Cameron Wanted hung parliament. Struck by Milliband (Ed) and Crudas for the future

  29. Thanks for reminding me about the the Scottish elections Barney. I think Labour will win them with a landslide. Looking at Scottish politics South of the boarder, I get the feeling that everyone is fed up of Alex Salmond and the SNP. I try to stay neutral in those sort of elections as I don’t have a clue of what is going on. Maybe the Whigs and Tories up there would probaly get punished as they are the Westminster government parties. I will enjoy following the election.

    Who will win?

  30. Ken will be 65 day after tomorrow. That means into his 70s if he is elected mayor. Way!

  31. Julian – it won’t happen in a nice easily quantifiable way at all. I expect those pollsters who weight by past vote will continue to do so, but of course, in reality they will be changing what they weight by, switching from recalled 2005 vote to recalled 2010 vote.

    That means you won’t be able to look at a pollster who used to weight recalled LD vote to 12% and who now weights it to 10% and conclude they have reduced it by X amount, because it is actually the answer to a different question they are using to weight by.

    I’ll go through it once we’ve had time to see what changes – if any – pollsters make.

  32. While I am thinking of it, there is this website called Scotland votes. It is very good explaining the battleground and mechanics of the election and you get a good idea of the layout of the next Parliament with its election predictors. Here is the link: h t t p ://

  33. Barney,

    You know that the Marx you were quoting re history was Groucho, not Karl ?

  34. @Barney
    Think you may be wrong if you expect that the public sector pensions will be a popular issue for Labour – few people will believe that Labour were it returned to power would not have had to make serious cuts in public expenditure, and I am not sure that a campaign on public sector pensions would be too popular with those people outside the public sector who for the most part have no such benefits. This issue has been running incidentally for months if not years in the popular press, and was raised by Lib Dems before/during the election – notably by Saint Vince. If Labour had thought it was a vote winner I think they might have seized on it.

  35. Amber Star.As I see it(probably quite wrongly!) the Cons would withdraw and support LibDems where they had the best chance in a Labour marginal and vice versa. Based on the GE, this would give LibDems 30 more seats and the Cons 80 more. The agreement would be based on a further 5 years of coalition. I see no reason why this would not work and Labour would be devastated ( and Balls would lose his seat!) Why on earth would the two parties fight each other just to let Labour win? By that time, if sucessful, the electorate would be used to the idea of coalition- might even prefer it.

  36. Kyle
    Thanks for the site. I haven’t looked. This is the only site I have ever posted on. I am an involved person in the forthcoming election so shouldn’t say much . I will say that the SNP will focus on A Salmond and this could backfire. They will certainly not mention ever Scottish independance.
    Billy bob
    I said if he wants! I am not ageist As a 57 year old politician, I think D Abbot is the right age!
    Paul HJ
    I walked into that!
    I disagree that it was raised in anything like the terms that it has been in the last few days. If it had been unions would have been raising it strongly with their members. Like the libs, I stood on a platform of not cutting in the immediate future. Lib mention of Greece would be risable if not so serious for our economic future. You are right that it is a double-edged sword given the vulnerable position of so many in the private sector but it is reckless to invite social strife right now
    I don’t think that Lib Cons are cutting for economic reasons at present but because it is in their nature and what tories want to do at any time

  37. @Collin – But would Cons agree to Lib Dem demands for next parliament?

  38. @Anthony – “I’ll go through it once we’ve had time to see what changes – if any – pollsters make.”

    Thanks Anthony.
    I’ll look forward to your explanation.

  39. @Johnty – I agree regarding Labour hoping a vigorous defence of public sector pensions will help their poll numbers. Most people see unfunded pension liabilities as expensive and defending these would not be popular.

    However, I said on an earlier thread that there is huge mileage for Labour in using the spending cuts to open up an attack on the epic scale of subsidy going to pensions for the well off and super rich.

    Last year 88% of annuities bought were for less than £50,000, yet tax relief is still given to people with pension savings of £15m. More than £10b pa is spent in pension tax relief for the highest 1% of earners – 30% of the total pension support goes to 1% of the population – the wrong 1% at that.

    This is far more of a scandal than public sector pension costs, and Labour would find great traction in my view if they widened the debate and used GO’s ‘we’re all in this together’ line to call for a fair review of all pension costs.

    As an aside, UK annuity rates have fallen, further hurting those about to retire, largely because increasing demand in recent months for UK government bonds has pushed yeilds down. Far from being in danger of losing our AAA status, it seems like investors are piling in to UK bonds as a safe bet. How odd.

  40. @Barney
    Worth doing a google on Vince Cable and public sector pensions. An issue he has been flagging for a long while (no wonder my Tory voting brother likes him).
    It appears that the Lib Dem position was to set up a Commission to examine each category rather than take an overall view. Has anything more than this been proposed? I suspect that it will take some time for it to report.

  41. Anyone watching the newsnight version of “The Usual Suspects” ?

  42. @Alec
    Labour have not been very successful at raising issues of inequality – and it is difficult in view of the great inequalities that got significantly worse during their period in power.
    I don’t really understand the bond market, but has not quantitative easing increased the demand for bonds – i.e. the Bank of England effectively printing money to buy Government debt.

  43. Billy Bob. I am quite sure Cameron would honour any agreement. Anyway, we shall know a lot more if an English marginal comes up in a by-election, it would be a fascinating dummy-run. Five years is a long time, still a few oldies on the back-benches!

  44. Watching the Labour leadership candidates on newsnight I am very impressed and they all make Cameron and co look like rank amateurs. I think that any of them, yes, even DA and EB, would have resonated better than GB and Labour could easily have been the largest party.

  45. @ Barney Crockett – Thanks for the update (why the silence on DC I wonder?), plus genealogy (her uncle is Tom Stoppard!). Things you learn UKPR eh? And if Ken is still going strong, he has a good record… radical *and* pragmatic.

  46. Johnty,

    You have the wrong Chamberlain. There are many.

    Joseph took 92 Liberals accross to the opposition benches in 1892 and the eventually joined the Blueys.

    Easy mistake to make as I realsie many focus on th emore famous Chamberlain :)

  47. @davidb
    respect, even at this time of night your red-clouded glasses stay firmly on 8-)

  48. @Eoin
    Now I am confused. I did not mention Chamberlain.

  49. Johnty,

    Tis been an incredibly long day – forgive me :)

    Chamberlain is the dude of those three people normally have the issue with (comes from the experience of many refutations)

    You do know that Churchill was first lord of the Admiralty during the Dardanelles fiasco of 1915 (The one retold in Gallipoli).

    As for L-G aka the Welsh Wizard- that is intensely pedantic to suggest that that couple=beggar done anything other that scuttle the yellow submarine (permit me the oxymoron- I am tired)

  50. Alec
    You are right on relief for pensions. I think the expert in the FT is calling for a maximum per person.
    I don’t think QE affects demand for bonds. I think it is just printing money. As you almost say the demand for UK bonds is high because the fundamentals left by Brown/Darling are good
    I have to defend Blair et al on inequality. I think the record was good.
    Historians will see 97-10 as the second most redistributive govt so far after. However as you posted earlier the active redistribution is in a context where bigger forces are weakening labour and strengthening capital world-wide. The world dimension is IMO well explained in he works of George Soros.
    honour any agreement? Hmm.

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