Sunday polls

Two polls in the Sunday papers: YouGov have topline figures of CON 41%, LAB 36%, LDEM 14% – which is still very much within the margin of error of the CON 42%, LAB 35%, LDEM 15% figures that YouGov have been floating around for the last few weeks.

There is also a OnePoll survey in the People with topline figures CON 40%, LAB 30%, LDEM 23%. Regular readers may recall I gave these no credence to their polling during the election campaign, given did not publish the necessary information to judge whether their sampling and methodology were likely to produce representative findings. In the event their final poll bore virtually no resemblence to the election result, with shares of CON 30% (out by 7), LAB 21% (out by 9) and LDEM 32% (out by 8) – in the same way as I do not know how they conducted polling prior to the election, I have no idea if they have changed their methods since then.

Rumours of ICM and MORI polls tonight were false apparently, though both are due polls in the coming week.

172 Responses to “Sunday polls”

1 2 3 4
  1. within the margin of error yes, but this is showing that the Tories’ honeymoon may be starting to come to an end, although with still no resurgence for the Lib Dems

  2. I don’t think the Conservative honeymoon is over yet, I think it will start to go once the new Labour leader is installed, assuming they pick someone sensible.

  3. Excluding the dubious OnePoll survey, the figures do seem to settling down to Cons 41-42, Labour 35-36 and Lib Dem 15-16.

    With a new Labour Leader due and major budget cuts to announced in the Autumn, I expect Labour and Conservatives to be within 3 points by Christmas.

    I can see no reason why the Lib Dems should expect any improvement on the horizon.

    I was wondering this morning, given the falling Lib Dem support, and the coalitions failure to secure the Forgemaster loan, is Nick Clegg vulnerable at the next election? A ‘decapitation’ strategy could be successful I think.

  4. Garry K – Whilst the Forgemaster thing gets whiffier, we are only 10 weeks into the parliament and I imagine all will be forgotten by 2015. I don’t suppose Bernie Ecclestone harmed Labour much by 2001. If the coalition flounders however, I suppose it’s always possible. He’s got a huge majority though.

    Coalition support down to 55 – is that the lowest we’ve seen?

  5. Nothing that happens this early in a government will have any bearing on an election in 5 years time. (Black Wednesday in 1992 was one of the few exceptions to that rule).

    On the other hand, there is no reason to put money on the next election being 5 years away.

    There could be one this autumn. Or next spring. Plenty of reasons for this to be the case…

  6. @ Sue

    It is only ten weeks?

    It feels much longer than that :(

  7. Garry K – I know, I actually had to work it out before I posted as it seemed impossible.

  8. When you see the polls I think that an early dissolution of the Coalition and a General Election under FPTP would be good for Mr Cameron and a disaster for Mr Clegg.

    I think the Tories would easily get an outright majority at the moment. The Lib Dems would be very worried…

  9. @ Sue Marsh

    No – Con + LD was 55% on 16 July

  10. @Garry K

    You have to remember that these polling figures are highly influenced by the “backing the winner” effect and the political honeymoon.

    And even with a 40/36/14 split, it’s still a hung parliament.

  11. Did any one vote for power cuts down the line? That is what we are likrely to get if Chris Huhne gets his way.

    This sort of thing demonstrates the dangers of getting into a coalition situation which no one voted for directly. If the election had been held under some system of PR there would have been proper discussion during the campaign about policy ‘bottom lines’, possible area of compromise etc. In the case of electricity supply, for instance, there might have been a debate about alternatives to nuclear that might work, about the pros and cons of wind power and so on.

    This makes the current coalition in many ways the most undemocratic government we have had in peace time since 1930, and makes the argument for another election soon paricularly persuasive.

  12. We have now had 26 English major counxil byelections in July
    Conservatives 1 gain from Ind 2 losses to Labour and 3 to LibDem
    Labour 2 gains from Conservative 1 each from Green , Ind and LibDem
    LibDem 3 gains from Conservative 1 loss to Labour
    Vote share and changes from 2006-2009 period ( 40,000 votes )
    Conservative 31% minus 5%
    Labour 28% plus 8%
    LibDem 25% plus 3%
    Others 16% minus 6%

    LibDem vote a lot more solid than Yougov polls indicate , Conservative support weaker , Labour support up on the very low point of the last Parliament .

  13. After the very long vacation after the GE for World Cup and reading a number of books, I am back. :P

    A lot seems happened and both CON and LAB are not doing bad. Yes, LAB leader election is going to be there soon and there should be a surge for LAB support ( of course assuming it is a sensible person ), but this time round I suspect the surge may not be as big as one think. This is not like TB rise to LAB leadership and gaining some 10-15% of support or DC rising to CON leadership and gaining a roughly 10% support, both of them have a common point of moving towards centrist of politics, given DC is in the more centrist ground ( you may argue no but as an outsider I can tell the difference ). My suspection is that new LAB leader will bring a surge less than or equal to 5%, if the leader turn out to be less sensible, then it might hurt LAB in the long run. Of course my prediction is bar from any stupid governing mistakes that could pave disaster for Tory.

  14. I personally don’t think it will happen, but I wonder if an early election would actually be good for Clegg? Get him out of this mess before even more damage is done. People would forget fairly quickly I imagine and they would go back to being the third party, only with a much clearer identity,.

    5 years of being portrayed as Cameron’s fag etc can’t end well can it?

    On another note…..

    h ttp://

  15. @ Mark Senior

    Surely historical evidence shows that the people vote in local elections differently than GEs, and local issues take on extra significance.

    Also, are 26 different by-elections truly representative of the UK Electorate? I suspect it may well not be.

    Anthony, can you clarify these points for me please?

  16. “Decapitation strategies”, though emotionally appealing – mostly because of the sweet taste of revenge -, have one flaw: Those heads you CAN take are usually on top of those guys who provide you with the best arguments to not vote for their fellow party members elsewhere… In other words, you might “decapitate” a party by winning one constituency, but that way you may lose a bunch of other (narrow or even marginal) seats because you can’t set up a scarecrow any longer. And what is more desirable in a FPTP or AV+ system? One constituency or a bunch of constituencies? As long as there is no nationwide representative vote in place, decapitation works for the decapitation alnone, but not as a means for any other ends. And quite frankly: adjusting party strategy to fit simple personal revenge as the single motivation for it is intellectually poor.

  17. GarryK

    Yes LibDem support does tend to be higher in local elections which is why the vote share change is more significant than the actual vote shares .
    No local elections are far more related to national issues than local ones . I can recall no more than 4 or 5 local council byelections in recent years that have been dominated by local issues , Portsmouth Copnor and the closure of the local fire station 3/4 years ago being one .
    The 26 byelections in July are pretty representative of the English electorate a few too many in London and a couple too few in Northern cities perhaps but again it is the direction of vote share change that is more significant than the absolute levels .

  18. re. coalition honeymoon.
    A 7% lead would be the equivalent of a trip to Bognor.
    Not a bad place to go for a dirty weekend but doesn’t inspire confidence it’s going to mark the beginning of a beautiful relationship.


  19. I think Labour might actually dip in the polls immediately after they elect a new leader, no matter who it is.

    The majority of the media are pro-Tory & will likely spend a few days attacking whoever the Labour leadership winner is.

    Labour will just need to push through it with confidence. 8-)

  20. I know that one of the Lib Dems excuses for forming a Coalition was to stop the Cons calling a snap election when their polling figures improved. I am not sure it is necessarily the case that, if the Coalition collapses, it is within DC’s gift to just flick a switch and call an election.

    I don’t think anyone has the power to dissolve Parliament, apart from HM. Presumably the Con’s could continue as a minority government or Labour could try a “Rainbow” coalition. I am not aware of a case in modern times where two GE’s were held within months of each other. The closest were in 1964 and ’66?

    My view is that the Tories should have been left to form a minority Government and would have had to work to produce a budget which would have had the support of the House. Now that would have been a genuine instance of the political parties working together in a time of national crisis. Is’nt that what the country voted for?

  21. @Sue Marsh

    I personally don’t think it will happen, but I wonder if an early election would actually be good for Clegg? Get him out of this mess before even more damage is done. People would forget fairly quickly I imagine and they would go back to being the third party, only with a much clearer identity….



    The LibDems are (or should be) in office to win PR. They have not got PR on offer. So why remain in office? Without PR all that awaits is electoral defeat. Year on year.

    A referendum defeat on AV is on the cards too.

    They would do better to withdraw from the coalition ASAP. They could use the swingeing health service cuts – or a number of other reasons – to do so without losing face.

    Similarily, it is in the Conservative party interests to wrap up the coalition ASAP.

    They have a chance of a slender majority already. And could possibly increase that chance by arguing that the LibDems are blocking the effectiveness of their policies.

    If they delay, they risk – a very real risk – Labour re-gaining momentum and an inevitable drop in the polls as their program of cuts bites deeper.

    Apart from Clegg and Cameron, I can’t see that remaining in coaltion favours anyone else in either party!

  22. Apostrophe Alert – Should have read Lib Dems’. Sorry!

  23. @Amber

    ‘ I think Labour might actually dip in the polls immediately after they elect a new leader, no matter who it is.’

    Conventional wisdom is the opposite so I think that you’re onto something.

    The beauty of the current situation for Labour is the very lack of a leader. This allows Labour to pursue a single strategy of attacking the Coalition. These attacks are coming from many different angles because there is greater independence of action. The Labour Party is engaging in guerilla warfare rather than trench warfare. It is much harder for a govt to pin down guerilla attacks. Once the leader is elected Labour will revert to a conventional force. They’ll start to dig some trenches in the form of policy. The Coalition will have something to attack and the polls may change.

  24. What is more likely to split the coalition – disaffected LibDems who cannot stomach the cuts, which go well beyond their manifesto – or David David leading a far right revolt? At this rate I cannot see the coalition lasting until the May Referendum. I must also add as a Labour member, 35% for us is not good, especially as people now know what the truth of Osborne’s budget is. I can see us sitting in hung territory for some time

  25. Aleksander – oh, I don’t know, Cameron didn’t trouble himself policy in opposition.

  26. @ AlekSandar

    That’s a very good analogy for the way I feel.

    My instinct is that there will be a dip; & Labour shouldn’t panic. If, however the polls don’t move Labour’s way over the next 2 years, they should avoid triangulation & changes of policy. First & foremost, Labour must get the policies right.

    Then, if the polls are still against us, we should acknowledge that the leader is not up to the job of convincing & persuading the voters that the policies are best for the majority.

    Change the leader not the policies. Two years out from an election, it is not too late to make a change.
    I’d rather Labour abandoned a leader than abandoned its policies. 8-)

  27. @ Sue

    Aleksander – oh, I don’t know, Cameron didn’t trouble himself policy in opposition.
    That’s a fair comment.

    But we don’t want Labour to be like the Tories. We want policies & conviction & comittment to those policies.

    We want a leader who can robustly defend our view of the way things should be; a leader who can convince people that our way is best for the majority.

    No victory by stealth! Win on merit.

  28. Valerie.
    There were 2 General Elections in 1974 – February and October- but i believe your wider point is correct. Cameron would not be granted a dissolution if an alternative government is available in the existing House of Commons.


    On multiplegeneral elections, there was about 8 months between the two 1974 GEs.

    As the new Labour leader is going to be a Milliband, I don’t thiink there is much doubt that they will have considerable public appeal and this will lead to a Labour lead in the polls by the end of November 2010.

  30. I agree Amber. There will be so much to oppose it’s just going to be a gift..

    Watching the candidates, I can’t see that it can be anyone but DM. Whatever the Blues say about him, we know he’s the one to watch.

  31. @Sue

    ‘ Cameron didn’t trouble himself policy in opposition’

    And some would argue ‘look where that nearly got him’ – back on the opposition benches.

  32. @ Sue

    I’m just sorry that any of the four candidates have to lose.

    I say 4, because Diane wasn’t really selected as a candidate – DM did the decent thing & got her onto the ballot. She’s not been very gracious about that, has she? 8-)

  33. @ David B

    As the new Labour leader is going to be a Milliband, I don’t thiink there is much doubt that they will have considerable public appeal and this will lead to a Labour lead in the polls by the end of November 2010.
    I certainly hope Labour will be leading by November. If/ when Labour gets ahead of the Conservatives, we will never see the Con polling mentioned in isolation.. ‘twil always be the combined coaltion polling that people will mention. 8-)

  34. Amber – I agree. Watching the hustings, I think they’d all make fine leaders, a nice position to be in. Even Ed Balls came across very well indeed and I think most of his problems come from his closeness to Brown. If you actually listen to him, he often has the best argument.

    In short, I don’t really mind who is elected, though I think DM is outstanding. I have a sneaking suspicion he will be much more “co-operative” than many give him credit for.

  35. Anthony

    Amazed that organisations like “One Poll” are allowed to get away with such rubbish. Isn’t there a pollsters trade association or similar which can monitor and expose rogue set ups?

  36. @DavidB
    Of course Cameron could ask for a dissolution, and there is no way it could be refused. Once the 66% rule is in place then it is another matter.
    But folks it is not going to happen. The Lib Dems do not want an election. Tories realise that under the current boundaries the odds are stacked against them getting a decent working majority. The public would turn against any party that unnecessarily precipitated an election now.
    I think the problem we have is that so many people on here have got so used to a Labour Government that they cannot quite accept that they are in opposition. Changes of power come very rarely in UK politics, and they usually last a number of years. I am afraid you have to get used to it.

  37. @ Sue

    [From previous thread]

    Amber – I was wondering

    If a boundary is changed, making a seat a Con/Lab marginal, I wonder if we can decide much from previous voting? i know lots of people don’t know they are in a marginal, but many do and perhaps this changes their likelihood to vote and even who they vote for?
    I agree with this. I hold the view that Labour voters vote when they need to (i.e. in safe Labour seats many don’t turn out & where Labour have no chance they stay away too).

    If the boundary changes bring a seat into play that was a safe-ish Con or Dem seat in the past, I’d think Labour would have a great chance of winning it.

    That’s why, in my comments about Scotland, I note an intial loser & an ultimate loser based on my assumptions regarding Labour votes being pushed into Dem & Nat constituencies, thereby making seats winnable for Labour that weren’t in the past.

    That’s also why I’ve called my calculated loss of a Grampian seat as being ultimately Dem or Nat loss, rather than Labour. 8-)

    Doing this execise for the rest of UK will be hard for me but I’m determined to give it a go as soon as I have time.

    Even where the ultimate loser is Labour, I hope to assign a winnability factor to the seat so we can see where the potentials are.

    I know I often seem a bit of an airhead but I hope I’m not too shabby at this kind of thing because it is similar to what I do professionally. 8-)

  38. Great to see Labour supporters talking up a situation which, if looked at sensibly, is in fact a disaster waiting to happen. When the new Miliband is selected, the campaign against him, by the EB supporters, will start, there is a gulf between the factions, a leader with old baggage won’t solve the underlying problem of Blairite/Brownite groupings, they detest each other, and only a fresh face, probably 3 yrs down the line, will unite the party, if, that is, it’s possible to unite Labour.

  39. I don’t think it’s going to happen either Johnty, but it’s ridiculous to say it’s because Labour can’t accept they are not in power. It’d be nice if you didn’t always conclude that Reds on here are either jealous, bitter or naive.

    It is not unreasonable to hold the view (though personally I don’t) that this coalition is such a car crash that it will end prematurely. History does not look favourably on coalition and they rarely last a full parliament.

    Do try not to demean other’s views just because they are the same as yours.

  40. Ken – that is what you hope will happen, not what will happen.

  41. KEN

    Labour has learned from the Blair-Brown squabbling and although it’s not mentioned much in public most Labour activists I speak to recognise that the ‘Brown effect’ lost us between 20 and 40 seats and made a Lab-Lib coalition wishful thinking!

    If Milliband D had risen to the Hoon bait in January, I would have expected the GE to come out around 36 (C), 32 (L) and 22 (LD) resulting in a dead heat between C and L or thereabouts.

  42. @ Sue………………..On the issue of the Labour leadership I have no axe to grind, I can’t see any of ’em offering a threat to Cammo down the line, so, no, I don’t hope it will happen, but I’m sure it will. :-)

  43. @ Ken

    When the new Miliband is selected, the campaign against him, by the EB supporters, will start, there is a gulf between the factions…
    There really isn’t, Ken. As I have posted before, there are 4 strands (or factions, if you must).

    Left of center left

    Now some see John Cruddas as being left of center left – but he appears to be quite close with David M.

    Ed M (who is the Kinnock strand’s pick) is & always will be, David M’s brother!

    The problem for those who insist that Labour will fight amongst itself, is that the Kinnock/ Brown strands aren’t miles apart.

    Therefore, if David M wins he will definitely have Ed M, Ed B & Andy B in his cabinet. Thus, all strands will be represented at the top table.

    There will be ‘fights’ over policies – & that’s a good thing – but there won’t be factionalism. I actually believe that Labour will be unstoppable once all their energy is pulling in the same direction, rather than being used up on ‘creative tension’.

    That’s why I expect the [Tory?] media to immediately try to stir the pot. The prospect of a truly united Labour Party, in touch with its grass-roots & union members, is a scarey prospect for Tories & Dems. 8-)

  44. I don’t agree that Cameron would automatically be granted a dissolution. If Labour could put together a majority with support from the LibDems and other smaller parties I believe the Queen would decline his request on the basis that another government could be formed from the existing House of Commons.

  45. @Sue
    ” ..if you didn’t always conclude that Reds on here are either jealous, bitter or naive.”
    This rather surprised me. Sorry if I have given that impression. Will try to be more careful as to how I phrase things.
    I do believe that Labour supporters are finding it difficult to accept the election defeat – I heard Neil Kinnock say the same thing on TV last week. He regarded it as a positive.

  46. @DAVIDB

    “This makes the current coalition in many ways the most undemocratic government we have had in peace time since 1930, and makes the argument for another election soon paricularly persuasive.”

    You make an interesting point and one that I would have thought the Labour leadership contenders should be making more forcibly themselves. I don’t know if you were watching Andrew Neil’s Thursday evening show last week, where Ed Milliband was ambushed by the combined ranks of Neil, Portillo, Giles Brandreth and a former Lib Dem communications adviser (who’s name escapes me I’m afraid), but the cosy consensus, only partially broken by Milliband, was that the coalition was thing of philosophical and political integrity, growing increasingly solid and more highly valued by both partners as they discovered what great things and purposes they had in common. This is hocum, isn’t it? It was born, and continues to be sustained, by base political expediency. No prospect of such an alliance was ever mooted or put to the electorate in the recent general election and it’s legitimacy can’t be retrospectively championed on the basis of parliamentary arithmetic, and the bogus pooling of vote shares, after the event. Had they fought as seperate parties, but clearly stated their willingness to form a Government together afterwards, or even formed some electoral alliances as the SDP and Liberals did, BEFORE the parties formally amalgamated, then they would have a case for democratic legitimacy. But they didn’t and they don’t.

    I must admit that I’m mystified why they are not coming under more political pressure about this. Has our media become even more supine than I thought, perhaps? Sadly, from the evidence of Andrew Neil’s lamentable show, I fear it is.

  47. Ken – You can’t see any of them offering a threat to Cammo? Really? You do mean Cameron?

    Cameron who ran a miserable campaign, steadily lost support until he couldn’t win an overall majority, made gaff after gaff?

    Even blues on here didn’t, think much of him.

    When the cuts bite, I imagine an amoeba in a suit could oppose him.

  48. @Sue…………..” an amoeba in a suit ” I didn’t know that Gordon was coming back ! :-)

  49. @Amber……………Try as I may, I can’t see ’em all sitting together happily discussing policy. I call it as I see it , but defer to your greater knowledge of the inner workings of your party.

  50. @Nick Hadley

    It was hocum however surely on your analysis the only solution on May 7th was a Tory minority govt or a new election. I don’t see any other outcome having legitimacy either.

1 2 3 4