We also have a new Angus Reid poll out today, with broadly similar figures to MORI (well, they are more similar to MORI than they are YouGov and ICM). Topline figures with changes from the start of the month are CON 33%(-2), LAB 41%(+1), LDEM 12%(nc). A movement towards Labour, but all well within the margin of error.

I’m not certain what the dates on this are – whether it was all after the GDP announcement, straddled it, or was all before it.


84 Responses to “Angus Reid – 33/41/12”

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  1. These polls are coming thick and fast, now.

    But (apart from the most recent YG poll) they all seem to show a falling away of Con support and a widening Lab lead.

    Notwithstanding YG’s blip, IM the Lab lead is 5.5-ish and gaining.

    If the next YG poll figures don’t revert to ‘normality’ I will be astonished and very concerned about YG’s reliability for accuracy.

  2. Damn, ‘IM’ should be ‘IMO’. Sorry

  3. It never rains but it pours. Anthony, next you’ll be telling us you have a populus stuffed up your sleeve..

    When 4 companies all report so close together.. it is like manna….. A chance to really get an insight into the differences in emphasis among the varying pollsters…

    For instance, Auld Angus still has a thing for those “others”.. I must go look at who is riding high among the small fry?

  4. Populus *might* have a poll this month, but given how late we are in January, it’s looking very likely that February will be their first poll of 2011. Then my understanding is they’ll be back on a monthly rota.

  5. This poll is dated 25th so I assume it took place on 24th and 25th, two days like their previous poll.

  6. On
    (a) the implied notion today that ‘they came back in 1979 so they automatically will do so again’
    (b) that the government have had the longest honeymoon
    History is very instructive here:
    Headlines are
    1) A split centre left vote lets the Conservatives through even where their policies are very unpopular
    i.e. you have to factor in the historical political context of any historical data you wish to deploy. Numbers on their own are of no use whosoever
    2) This has actually been one of the *shortest* governmental honeymoons on political record (third shortest of the last 31 years). A single month quicker and it would have been the second shortest.
    ***
    1) Impact of split centre left.
    Here the 1979 parliament is incredibly instructive.
    Prior to the SDP Limehouse declaration in mid January 1981- and the defection of over 30 MP’s- Labour had been riding high. By the end of 1980- with Thatcher’s economic policy recording *monthly* increases of unemployment circa 150,000- Labour had leads of 14% and 24% in Nov and Dec 1980 respectively.
    The SDP began to be formed with that declaration in January of 1981. But it needed time to become a fully functional membership based party undertaking campaigning. Furthermore it took the alliance until November of 1981 to be up and running as a national party and for the alliance to be formed with the Liberals.
    At the same time as all this was happening on the centre/ centre left Labour lost its centre right and began the period of the “longest [email protected] note in history“ civil war that only ended finally ended in the early 1990’s with the expulsion of the Trots. But it was at its zenith in 1981 with the IMO terrible Tony Benn challenging Denis Healey (against all the pleas of Michael Foot) for the deputy party leadership. A terrible campaign that went on almost all the year. If you- fancifully- ever want to blame a decade of Thatcher on a single person look no further than Tony Benn. Terrible politician.
    In Feb 1981 the Con; Lab; combined Lib/SDP numbers were 33; 41; 25 respectively = a Labour lead of +8. As initial press interest in the SDP waned over that summer- and unemployment continued its remorseless rise and inflation went above 20% – Labours lead reached 14% in September 1981.
    BUT as SOON as the SDP-Liberal alliance was officially formed and a functional party political entity that changed. Almost overnight. November 1981 gives us Con/ Lab/ Alliance numbers of 27; 27; 44…..
    The Alliance than gradually falls back after the initial media blitz and novelty factor and at the time of the April-June 1982 Falklands war is running at 23-25%.
    Labour *never recovers* from either the SDP set-up or its civil war/ Benn DL challenge to Healey (both taking place in 1981) and the policy platform adopted.
    The Falklands ‘factor’- so much as it was- is merely the icing on the cake for the Conservatives after all of the self inflicted wounds both of Labour specifically and the centre left more widely.
    At the election the 1983 Labour scrapes 28% and the Alliance gains a quarter of all votes cast (26%). The Conservative vote is -1% down (at 44%) on 1979…but FPTP now gives Thatcher a three digit majority.
    Labour’s shift leftwards and the formation of the alliance had done for centre left politics as a viable election winning position in 1983 (and then again in 1987 where Labours defence policy was still CND).
    Thatcher (like Blair later) was very very ‘fortunate in her opponents’….
    That is a real history lesson for you
    2) This governments ‘political honeymoon is the third shortest in 31 years
    Time in months it took election winner to lose its lead over main opposition party = to qualify a minimum two consecutive months of leads
    (using Mori only for consistency)
    1979 Parliament 5 months
    1983 Parliament 13 months
    1987 Parliament 23 months
    1992 Parliament 3 months
    1997 Parliament 40 months
    2001 Parliament NEVER: only single one-off months where Blair lost his lead- at no time were Conservatives ahead for two or more months.
    2005 Parliament 12 months
    2010 Parliament 6 months

  7. AW-

    I notice the use of the term “conservative (insert word beginning with ‘L’ and ending with ‘D’) government” has become a banned one with the immediate punishment of a post containing the term going into automatic moderation…!!

    Can we also see the use of the term “coalition government” banned as well in that case in the interests of non-partisan posting?

  8. There is not that much of a difference between AR and YouGov, wrt ICM. ICM have Cons at 35%, AR -2, YouGov +4. ICM have Lab at 39% AR +2, YouGov +2.

    I’m expecting tonight’s YouGov to show Conservatives closer to the ICM score.

  9. Rob
    Thanks for that, which prompts me to wonder…

    Is it likely that the LDs will become a centre-right party drawing support from Cons thereby splitting the vote allowing Lab through?

    Or will the LDs over time revert to being centre-left splitting the vote allowing the Cons through?

  10. YG is looking like an outlier. But I do think we’re seeing LD settling at their true level. I’ll wager that they’ll stay on 11-13% all the way through to the election. I think they’ve had as much punishment as they can take and critics are now going to bypass them and head straight for the Cons. Still, if I were Clegg I’d be very worried at seeing fully 50% of my pary’s voters desert it. I’m slightly surprised two polls simultaneously show Lab 10 and 8 points ahead. Could this be a Balls bounce (sorry, awful pun, is there a better way of saying this?) and is it sustainable? Suddenly Lab look as though theyare being listened to just as the Cons are starting to lose traction with Lambert and Soros both making very public warnings, plus the -0.5% Q4 figures and various councils announcing job losses.

    AW – does one really get moderated for referring to the govt as ‘Conservative-lead’? Please advise as I would hate to end up in purgatory.

    [Comments using it get held back for manual moderation, as it’s a good heuristic for someone who is not attempting to follow the comments policy and post in the spirit of non-parisanship. If the Conservative head of communication put out a letter requesting people to refer to the Labour party as “the union-financed Labour party” then I’d hold anyone using that phrase too. Trying to post in a non-partisan fashion does require people to choose their language and tone appropriately for a non-partisan forum, even if in any other context they’d be quite inoffensive – AW]

  11. @ROB SHEFFIELD

    I prefer your definition of honeymoon over THEGREENBENCHES. In THEGREENBENCHES definition the bride or groom could have run off with the waiter/waitress and still consider everything to be rosy, as long as they love each other as much as they did on the wedding day…

  12. Mike N

    “Is it likely that the LDs will become a centre-right party drawing support from Cons thereby splitting the vote allowing Lab through?”

    Yep- and IMHO they already are to some degree..

    Sure the majority of LD MP’s and many activists still hail from the social liberal wing.

    But those 2010 Lib Dem voters who were centre left or leftist have gone to Labour, Green and DK.

    Furthermore- as well as this exodus from LD’s to others on L/CL- there is also a leakage of right wing Conservatives to DK and other parties as well.

    It is the centre-right that now has a split vote for the first time since before the second world war. The centre left has only one credible mainstream party.

    This will be crucial at the next general election (sometime in 2013- 2015).

    The results of all the above were reasonably clear in the Old and Sad BE (along with the fact that blue TV for yellow is not enough in even the most closest of contests).

    :-)

  13. @Gary Gatter

    LOL

    Exceedingly well put!

  14. Mike N
    So if the polls don’t fit with what you expect or want, they must be unreliable and inaccurate?

  15. Not sure why Labour supporters here are bothering to speculate about an election that is probably around 4 years away. We are several rides on the roller coaster away from that election.

    Voters have incredibly short memories and results next time will revolve around what they think parties can do for them in the future, not stuff from five years earlier.

  16. Could this be the Coulson effect?

    If so it looks set to get a lot worse.

  17. Mike N

    If there is a new electoral system with AV, most of your analysis becomes much less irrelevant. The whole “splitting” thing could become a thing of the past.

    Your whole view is redolent of the assumption that there is some kind of centre left voting bloc which by rights should go to Labour. That is not so, and hasn’t been so for decades now. Learn to live with it.

  18. @ROB SHEFFIELD

    “A split centre left vote lets the Conservatives through even where their policies are very unpopular”

    That’s an AV arguement for Labour voter’s right there.

  19. Robert C

    “Your whole view is redolent of the assumption that there is some kind of centre left voting bloc which by rights should go to Labour. That is not so, and hasn’t been so for decades now. Learn to live with it.”

    No poster that I am aware of who is Labour or Labour leaning ‘expects’ or takes for granted the voters.

    On the rest….proof please using the data and the facts.

    This is just partisan hyperbole.

  20. @Colin Green

    Give me STV any day of the week (then the Trots can go away and start their own party up).

    I will be voting “YES”

    :-)

  21. David Anthony
    “So if the polls don’t fit with what you expect or want, they must be unreliable and inaccurate?”

    I think it is reasonable to question the validity of any poll that is widely out of step with others.

    IMO, there is no obvious sensible reason for an increase in Con support and a decline in Lab support as depicted by the latest YG poll.

    If the next YG poll does not revert to ‘normality’ it is quite reasonable and non-partisan to question its accuracy and reliability. Of course, it could be that YG is the first to discover a shift in the polls contrary to what the other pollsters are showing.

    Moreover, I think you’ll find AW has said it could all be MOE.

    If you look on another thread you’ll see I find the poll showing a ten-point Lab to be incredible.

    I think my comments have been reasonable and non-partisan.

  22. I detect a mood swing amongst the public.

    this is the start of the really tough times for the government. The Tories could be about to go into freefall – expect sub 30% poll figures sometime soon

  23. While I was looking to see if the tables for this were up yet, i came across the AR poll from early January on VI in the proposed AV referendum.

    Did I miss discussion on this here?

    What was fascinating was the gender distribution of DK

    Male : Yes 41% – No 27% – DK 25%
    Female : Yes 33% – No 14% – DK 47%

  24. Robert C

    “If there is a new electoral system with AV, most of your analysis becomes much less irrelevant. The whole “splitting” thing could become a thing of the past.”

    Indeed, so many things could become simply history and cease to apply in the future.

    “Your whole view is redolent of the assumption that there is some kind of centre left voting bloc which by rights should go to Labour. That is not so, and hasn’t been so for decades now. Learn to live with it.”

    Please go back and read my post.

  25. Re the above

    I suspect that this is down to men being unwilling to admit that they don’t understand the offside rule. :-)

  26. @Mike N – “Is it likely that the LDs will become a centre-right party drawing support from Cons thereby splitting the vote allowing Lab through?”

    That’s a really interesting question. Robert C’s intervention regarding AV somewhat neutering this question is also highly relevant, which could make the referendum vote very interesting.

    Under the current voting system I think Mike is on to something. It must be a given that a certain number of Lib Dem voters will have desserted them for good, even if the economy turns and things pick up for them in 2015. These people have already gone to Labour and would stay there.

    If the coalition does run to 2015, it’s hard to see how the Lib Dems can campaign on their record, but still claim to be equally balanced between Labour and the Tories, especially as Clegg is parroting Cameron’s lines over the attacks on Labour.

    For this reason I have always felt Lib Dems would have been better served adopting a more statesmanlike approach to issues of blame and finger pointing. Let the Tories play the namecalling game, but the centre party should always keep open the escape hatch.

    Like Labourites opposing AV because they don’t think they need it now, Clegg is belittling Labour because he currently has both feet in front of the Tory fire. Both parties should think carefully about how nothing is politics is fixed in stone, and the day will come when they need to find a back door out of the room they find themselves in.

  27. Oldnat – it’s quite common to get much higher levels of don’t know amongst women than men. It’s presumably either down to men being more likely to take an interest in politics or women being more willing than men to say don’t know when they don’t know,.

  28. h ttp://fullfact.org/blog/conservatives_poll_ed_balls_economy-2463

    Anthony – Thought you might be interested in this. Probably seen it already.

    Everyone else – Hello. Mori a bit spicy earlier, looks like it’s within the realms of possibility though. Apparently it was carried out before the GDP figures too, so ouch.

    Oh, by the way Anthony, if you were to update the table of VI polls, there would be no more +Con’s at all. *smiles hopefully*

    Oh and Anthony, if you could

    [Sue – Not really a good verdict. The Conservative tweet is deliberately ambiguous – what they said could have been interpreted as either meaning “86% of people did not say that they trusted Ed Balls” (which would be true) or “86% of people said they did not trust Ed Balls” (which would be false) – i.e. it could be read as 86% of people “don’t trust” Balls, or 86% of people don’t “trust” Balls. However, Fullfact go on to say “this is no more accurate than it would be for Labour to assert that 43 per cent of people have given him their backing”. This is wrong, because on the positive answer there is no such ambiguity – you can’t twist the figures to say “43% of people trust Ed Balls”, the only way you could do it would be to say “43% of people don’t not trust Ed Balls” at which point your skullduggery would be apparent to all! – AW]

  29. “…he currently has both feet in front of the Tory fire”

    Ouch

  30. @Rob Sheffield

    Be careful, Eoin will be cooking up a graph somewhere that will try to support his continued assertions on honeymoon lengths and the golden law of incumbency recovery! When I was making the same points that you’ve very comprehensively made in your earlier post, he rather condescendingly said he would “make it simple for me” and advised me to go to his blog in order to understand his theories on these matters. I duly took up his kind invitation and, despite some fairly creative and selective use of statistics found therein, I’m still the arch sceptic I was before.

    Your definition of a political honeymoon is exactly right and absolutely puts into perspective the Tories post election polling performance. I think it is nothing short of remarkable how quickly, and how far now, they’ve fallen behind a Labour Party that was so comprehensively vanquished barely 8 months ago. For whatever reason, Eoin demurs.

  31. Why are people so obsessed with comparing everyone by this useless left/right barometer?

    I mean Labour in some areas are MUCH further to the right than the Tories!

    Perhaps, if we must do everything via a barometer, authoritarian versus liberal/libertarian might be a better measure

  32. @Ashley

    For me the Authoritarian/Liberal separation between the parties has always been of more interest to me.

    For me Left and Right wing only covers economic philosophy, Everything else really comes down to how controlling a party is.

  33. Ashley

    A one-dimensional view of politics is only suitable for those to whom the concept of a flat earth is overly complex.

  34. Anthony,

    That is very good news indeed. It will be nice to have them back :)

  35. Rob Sheffield

    Very interesting analysis of the polls circa 1980-83 etc. Thanks.

  36. @Crossbat11

    LOL !! The second time today I’ve had cause to LOL in one thread !!

    It’s already been done over on the MORI thread: by the unlikely ruse (as they are rarely ever are on the same page) of drafting in JayBlanc.

    Jay Blanc however- rightly- points out that there are two conventions to measuring a honeymoon: one is government party share relative to their election performance and the other is…..the length of time is takes for the Government party to lose its lead to the main opposition party ! I would add to latter that a minimum qualification would be two successive months where the opposition leads the governing party for the first time in a parliament.

    The latter method that JayBlanc cites (loss-of-lead convention) is not however mentioned over on the MORI thread though.

    Plus there is also the fact that sentiment and ‘the feel’ of a political environment tells us even more than just the data on its own (as always and as one would expect)

    So- for example under the loss-of-lead convention Labour in 2001- 2005 was never behind for more than a single month at a time. But very quickly after the Iraq invasion in 2003 the atmosphere was clearly going against them. The data does not tell the full story.

    Similarly our current situation: on the other convention (polling-relative-to-electoral-performance) it is now after eight months- rather than 6 months via the loss-of-lead method- that the Conservatives are at the end of their honeymoon.

    But it has blatantly felt ‘around the water cooler’ that the honeymoon has clearly been over since mid November (CSR and tuition fees).

  37. Ashley/ Alan

    Its tends to people who are economically right wing, anti state and don’t believe in greater equality (preferring greater liberty as the key policy target) who always come up with the “there is no left or right anymore” erroneous chestnut.

    Perhaps a more accurate 21st century notion is collectivism versus individualism (and while we are at it transpose ‘authoritarianism’ with pro-security). The former is greatly assisted by the state in the form of policies that promote social inclusion.

    The left/right; collectivist/ individualist split is one of the reasons why Dave’s Big Society is doomed to fail. As many in the Voluntary and charitable sectors have been warning- these sectors rely on state funding to great degrees. Not individual philanthropy- though that seems to be the model that is preferred by the current government.

    BTW it should always be pointed out that greeter freedom/ liberty is a great objective: *But* that if the starting point is the unequal distribution of income, assets and life chances as under the current ‘socio-economic system’ we live under then greater liberty will always and everywhere premium firstly and primarily those well-off and free already. As opposed to the less well off and constrained held back by the life situation and accident of birth. Or as the great band of Bangor boys Stiff Little Fingers put it: “give me a country where people are free/ free to do, and free to be/ free to screw you before you screw me”.

    Which is why great egalitarianism is the only way to actually- in the long run- create a more freer and liberal society.

    Easy to understand why Nick Dave and George don’t agree with that notion…

  38. @ Old Nat

    A one-dimensional view of politics is only suitable for those to whom the concept of a flat earth is overly complex.
    —————————————————–
    I like the idea of a flat earth, but it can indeed be a fairly complex concept, particularly if it is balanced on the backs of four large elephants which are standing on a turtle.
    ;-)

  39. Steve wrote
    I detect a mood swing amongst the public

    Perhaps from the polls Steve? I can’t think how else it could be achieved!

  40. I agree with the red comments above. (I would). I trust that a pattern is emerging in declining Tory support.

    The beauty of a poll lead is that it gives Labour breathing space to get its house in order. It creates confidence and momentum.

    It was Harold Wilson who is reputed to have said “a week’s a long time in politics” so I agree with Robert there is no way of telling whether the Tories can do a 1983 all over again. Time will tell.

    But it is more than a little churlish to come on a polling and election comment site and complain about those making perfectly valid comments about the meaning of ….polls and elections!!

    We know you are hurting Robert! Let it go!

  41. Amber

    Mock not Hindu, Chinese and Native American mythologies about the Great Turtle!

    That 3 such disparate societies share such a myth has to be absolute proof of its basis in reality!

    (At least that was what I thought Margaret Curran said in the debate on the Scotland Bill :-) )

  42. BTW it should always be pointed out that greeter freedom/ liberty is a great objective: *But* that if the starting point is the unequal distribution of income, assets and life chances as under the current ‘socio-economic system’ we live under then greater liberty will always and everywhere premium firstly and primarily those well-off and free already. As opposed to the less well off and constrained held back by the life situation and accident of birth.

    ——-

    All too true.

    The whole current, populist, right-wing notion of Libertarianism is founded on a fundamental contradiction: those who already ‘have’ want things to stay that way, and so those who ‘have-not’ need to just lump it.

    For example, such ‘libertarians’ want to be able to fox-hunt across the fields. But do they also want the general public to access those same fields? To walk, party, fish, camp etc… The answer is invariably ‘no’.

    And that is the basis of their so-called “Libertarianism”.

    It is just another attempt to justify greed!

  43. Anthony Wells
    reference your comment to Tark.

    So is it ok to say ‘Conservative-lead government’ if it is in context and not being partisan?

    Several months ago I started referring in my posts on UKPR threads to the government as a Conservative gov and dropped use of ‘coalition’. Now I’m unsure whether this would invoke moderation.

    Can you clarify please?

    [Of course it is – its only there because people who *deliberately* go out of their way to use that terminology probably aren’t doing their upmost to be non-partisan. If you are using terminology that Conservative and Liberal Democrat posters would see as a making a deliberate political point, you probably want to ask yourself whether you are though. This is a venue about politics, not a venue for politics – give other parties and politicians the respect of calling them by the names they’d call themselves – AW]

    [That is, except “Tory”. “Tory” is allowed, even when the Conservatives complain about it. My palace, my rules – AW ;) ]

  44. AW

    can you snip the bit that offends you and make visiable my comment or does the whole comment offend you

    in which case i will have to try rewording it

  45. AW
    Thanks

  46. old nat

    not just the Hindu, chinese and native Indians

    the pratchetts also believe in a flat earth on the backs of elephants on the back of a turtle

  47. @Rob Sheffield

    SLF were a Belfast band…. ;)

  48. RiN

    I chose to ignore Discworld because that would have meant 4 disparate societies – and there were only 3 on the Calman Commission.

  49. Test

    [Yes, it went straight through. Now don’t let me down – AW]

  50. Masses of Labour people posting, having not done so for about three years !

    The Government has time to get the economy right,
    but there is a danger that Labour could re-activate a lot of Lab abstainers and former LD/Lab voters
    without particularly winning the economic arguments.
    The Tories wouldn’t need to lose a single vote, to be so far short of the numbers needed to govern.

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