Having said there aren’t any other polls in the Sunday papers, it turns out there is an Angus Reid on in the Sunday Express. Their voting intention figures are CON 32%(-1), LAB 43%(+2), LDEM 11%(-1). Changes are from their poll at the start of the week.

The 11 point Labour lead is the largest any pollster has shown since the general election, and the 32% the lowest any company has shown the Conservatives – although Angus Reid do tend to show lower Conservative figures than other companies and consequental higher Labour leads (somewhat ironically, considering prior to the election they tended to be an outlier in the opposite direction).

77 Responses to “Angus Reid poll shows 11 point Labour lead”

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  1. You might instead characterise the PR/AV/FPTP question as what sort of coalition government do you want from your electoral system….one that encourages smaller parties and policy negotiations about government and policy AFTER the electorate vote or one that encourages larger parties which are coalitions of larger interests with a tendency to produce government with identifiable policies BEFORE the electorate votes.

    I can see merit in both.

    Also once you set the process of making smaller interests more powerful in train it tends to acquire its own momentum and more parties appear….and their proportional rpepresentation may give them idsproportional influence.

    I’m not sure what AV does in reality much beyond either exagggerate trends or entrenching a third party in permanent power. The latter gives one smaller group tha same disproportionate consideration through an eletoral system and again that doesn’t seem to me particularly a good in itself.

    Of course where we to separate powers and use our legislature purely to legislate then the equality of reperesentation argument is immensley strengthened.

    These are my own views and therefore should be weighted accordingly and thrown away with the rubbish.

  2. In the Sunday Herald

    “[Tommy Sheridan’s] solicitor Aamer Anwar is to report the News Of The World to the police tomorrow claiming the tabloid newspaper tried to hack his phone.”

    Anything that brings this issue to the Scottish legal system is probably bad for those involved in doing such things. Something that may not be realised elsewhere, is that Scotland has been dominated by Labour for so long that (regardless of who is the government of the day) the country is “institutionally” Labour.

    While I don’t suggest that prosecutors/police here would bend the law in any way to pursue NoW/NI, I can’t see them having any resistance to it (unless their own dirty laundry is known to Murdoch’s people).

  3. YouGov/Sunday Times details now up:

    ht tp://today.yougov.co.uk/sites/today.yougov.co.uk/files/YG-Archives-Pol-ST-results-28-300111.pdf

    with the usual eclectic Sunday mix in the extra questions – recession, tax and spend, forests and most important, Sky Sports.

    Presumably Anthony’s sexism-free commentary will appear any moment.

  4. Labour appears to be at or above 40%, LDs just about double figures, but where is the Tory vote at? Bubbling under 40, mid thirties or even below?

    Would it be possible to look at the various polling companies as if they were a a range of different notional marginal constituencies?

    In which could we say that the Labour vote seems to be energised and consistent atm, but that there is a wobble going on in somwhere in the Tory vote?

  5. To return to the issue of whether or not the combined Tory/Lib-Dem vote is a meaningful statistic or not I think that I would be inclined to say that there are practical circumstance where it most certainly is. One of the most powerful weapons in a PM’s armoury is his constitutional control over the timing of a GE. As long as the Tories are significantly behind Labour and the Lib-Dems performance in the ops is sub par then the PM is in no position to threaten either Labour or his partners with an early general election. Indeed the only party he can currently threaten with an early GE is his own – if they begin to show signs of what John Major doubtless would have called “bastard” behaviour. Of course the key numbers remain the support for the individual parties as always. However, I would not say the the combined number is meaningless.

  6. I’m not sure if this is the right place for this observation – this is my first post – but I’ll give it a go!

    Over the past few weeks we have been out canvassing in preparation for the May Council elections. We have noticed hardly any change in the Lab/Tory votes since the General Election. Certainly no swing of the order of 11%. In fact, hardly any swing at all. The really big change has been the complete collapse of the LibDem vote, which has now mostly gone to Don’t Know or not voting rather than to either Labour or Tory. It will be interesting to see where that Don’t Know vote eventually goes.

  7. I’m not over-surprised by these figures.

    The Conservative party was very succesful in the 1980’s. But it has, for reasons known only to itself, stuck to those same policies even though 30 years have passed.

    They seem unwilling to realise that

    i. They have not won a GE since 1992
    ii. They have not polled more than 40% at a GE since 1992

    And, in the meantime, the demographics have also moved against them.

    They have a very vocal and dominant wing in their party – but it is increasingly out-of-touch with the centre ground of British politics.

    They will not win another election without moving back to the centre and away from the ideas of the 1980’s.

    A return to One-Nation Toryism would be the best thing for them and for the country as a whole.

    Will the penny ever drop? Or is their very vocal right-wing intent on keeping them – permanently – below any GE winning percentage?

    Thus far, it looks like the latter.

  8. Chris Todd:

    “Will the penny ever drop?”

    Clearly not. The evidence has been there in Scotland earlier and more starkly obvious for decades.

    I conclude that these people are not as clever as they would have you believe, and prefer to self-indulgently play party games acording to the certainties assumed for simplicity and convenience in private school and Oxbridge debatng societies.

  9. @Chris Todd

    “i. They have not won a GE since 1992
    ii. They have not polled more than 40% at a GE since 1992”

    It’s not just in GEs either, Chris. They did once scrape 40% of the popular vote in the local Government elections of May 2007, but have failed to do so in any other nationally convened election, either Euro or Councils, since the early 90s and, when you factor in their appalling record in parliamentary by-elections over the same period, it does suggest a systemic weakness in the Tory vote. Also, as you say, demographic shifts and changes over the last 20 years have made life even difficult for them, eroding their core vote still further.

    This factor, plus the much lower turnouts we see now, the multiplicity of nationalist and single issue parties, the presence of a strong third party, the likely change in the voting system, the arrival of fixed term Parliaments and the emergence of coalition politics, maybe leading to totally new political alignments in the future, all make predictions based on past elections fanciful. That’s why, maybe somewhat esoterically, I tend to give the Eoins (or TheGreenBenches) of this world short shrift when the they peddle the various inalienable laws of psephology.

    My advice, Chris, is to ignore all the mumbo jumbo of where the blueys need to be when the moon is waxing, and rather enjoy the changing and utterly unpredictable political world that now presents itself.

    My view? I wouldn’t take the blindest bit of a notice of an opinion poll until it was about three weeks out from a meaningful election. Heresy, I know, on UKPR, and I enjoy the tittle-tattle that the periodic polls generate as much as the next man, but they’re signifying nothing much yet beyond stating the blindingly obvious; that the Government is fairly unpopular and that the Lib Dems have lost a lot of support. Long-game politics, which I presume both Cameron and Miliband are playing, should be giving them short shrift too.

    Polls are morale boosters for the party in the ascendancy, but as harbingers of tomorrow, nowhere near as revealing as they once were in those glorious long-gone days when we luxuriated in two party politics and all the certainties and eternal verities that went with them.

  10. We’ve had this discussion before. I characterised it last time as “during a period when the Tories have done very badly, the Tories have done very badly”.

    Ultimately it all comes down to what you think “right wing”, “centre” and “One Nation Toryism” means. I don’t agree with most of those here who argue the Tories have moved to the right since 1992. I think most of what is characterised as “right wing” is simply a response to the current economic situation.

    The Tories are the Tories. The whole point of them is to represent right and centre-right opinion. Sometimes their star will rise, sometimes it will fall. I personally don’t want to see parties define their views based on what they think current trends are.

    People are against cuts. The government has to make cuts. The people are against the government. The only question in there for debate is the “has to make” part.

  11. @ The Sheep

    “In your comparison, what do you mean by ‘more votes’? If you mean first preferences then there is a problem in the case of AV – a second preference is still a vote…”

    I’m just looking at 2P results where the party winning the most 2P votes saw the other party win a majority of the seats.

  12. @ Old Nat

    “The other parts of the UK had to wait till 2003 for its abolition. In the Scottish Parliament it was easier as Lab, LD and SNP agreed with repeal, and only the small Tory group in favour of keeping it.

    It was repealed in 2000 by 99 votes to 17.”

    You didn’t have the House of Lords with authority over Scotland’s Parliament though. In the UK Parliament, Section 28 was repealed by a wide margin but then blocked in the House of Lords. I’m curious as to whether that was a procedural effort similar to the current procedural effort to block AV. And if so, what are the different responses?

  13. @ Roger Mexico

    “I think you’re missing the point of AV as opposed to FPTP. After all if AV was meant to produce the same result as FPTP, there would be no point in it.

    The basic principle behind AV is that votes cast for probable third etc parties in a constituency aren’t wasted and can be transferred to more successful candidates according to the wish of the voters. Thus individual voters aren’t forced to guess the two front-runners and choose the least unattractive to then. Instead they can express their real preferences and the voting system resolves who has the most support (perhaps not wholehearted, but none the less support) among the electorate.

    You can’t really judge voter intent unless there is a way to express that intent without electoral penalty.

    So in Australia, people can vote for the Greens in some numbers without feeling their vote is wasted; or choose between different Coalition candidates without worrying about letting Labour in.”

    I disagree with this analysis. One’s vote is their individual expression of who they would like to see in office. It’s not a wasted vote simply to vote for someone who has little chance of getting elected if you believe that person is best qualified for that office. There’s a focus on minor parties here but this sort of thing affects major parties too. If you live in Cities of London and Westminster and want to vote Labour, it’s highly unlikely that the Labour candidate will ever win the constituency. Yet if you believe Labour is the best choice and you think Labour’s leader will be the best Prime Minister, then you vote Labour anyway. It’s the same for a Conservative voter in Ham East. If Cameron is your guy, you’re going to vote for him even if you know the local Conservative standing has no chance of winning.

    You’re not required to guess a front runner when you vote, you are given the opportunity to vote for those on the ballot (or sometimes write in who you prefer). There’s no electoral penalty. People who voted for the Green Party in the 2000 U.S. presidential election were lambasted. But they were simply voting for who they thought would be the best president (and in truth, only cost Gore one state…New Hampshire). They were entitled to vote that way. They’re not required to vote for either of the two main parties. That’s because a vote is their expression.

  14. Neil A

    Rightly or wrongly, there is a lot of support for “has to make”, given where we are now.

    As in 1939, people accept that it is right that we should be “all in it together” but there is a steady stream of evidence that we are not.

    The debate is whether the cuts are the ones that affect the “me”, and those that affect millionaire cabinet ministers and financial sector specultors who caused the problem. Add to that yet another doctrinaire and expensive reorganiation of the NHS and taking advantage of the opportunity to sell off the rest of the family silver (forests, post office).

    The Admiral John Byng treatment of bankers would help restore public support, and like that case would distract attention from culpability higher up.

  15. @ Roger Mexico

    “In the US however, FPTP tends to reinforce the two-party system, making both of them into perhaps over-wide coalitions. Admittedly with regard to individual candidates,it is mitigated to a large extent by the primary system, but that also makes it less possible for new Parties to establish themselves. I think there area also some states where run-off elections are held if no candidate gets above 50% of the vote.”

    FPTP tends to create two party dominant systems like in Australia, Canada, and the UK. Though none of those nations can be considered to have pure two party systems because of the presence of major third parties. In the U.S., the electoral college maintains a pure two party system. Third parties have arisen in the past but usually they simply displace one of the other parties. In 48 states and the District of Columbia, presidential electors are selected on the basis of pure FPTP. Whoever gets the most votes, receives that state’s electors. Two states though, Maine and Nebraska, have a screwy (and undemocratic) system where the winner of the state receives 2 electoral votes and then electoral votes are awarded on the basis of Congressional District. Well these states are small and pretty homogenous and so until 2008 had never seen a split of its electoral votes. In Nebraska, in 2008, Obama managed to win one of the electoral votes and now there is proposed legislation to change the system back to pure FPTP.

    California just adopted a 50% requirement but I don’t think it applies to members of Congress and instead applies just to state legislators (but I have to check). I don’t like this system at all. It’s appropriate in non-partisan local elections but not in legislative seats. But there is no transferable voting system, if no candidate wins 50% of the vote in the first round, there is a second round for the top two finishers. Louisiana was the only state for a long time to have this rule (and it applied to members of Congress from that state). But a few years ago, they wisely decided to scrap it. Then Washington (for whatever reason) decided to adopt it and California followed. I don’t like it but it’s much better than a preferential voting system because at least there is a second election where people can still express themselves without there being electoral chicanery.

  16. I would believe in all certainty that this poll is wrong in how high Labour’s lead over the Tories as at the moment it is about 6-7 not 11% but a problem for Cameron is not polls but in the Local elections in may as well as Clegg in the Scottish and Welsh assembly and parliament elections as well as the AV vote (what could be a vote yes for Clegg what would prove a disaster for political reform) as well as local elections for his party.

  17. @NeilA

    I agree with you up to a point. But for my money the Conservatives moved to the right in 1975 (not 1992) and they have never come back to a more central position.

    At the height of what might be called ‘One Nationism’ they governed a very successful and rather contented country.

    Since which time – alas, as a lifelong left of centre Conservative – I have watched them noisily argue for a more right-wing agenda year on year. To such an extent that they seem content to have a politcal agenda rather then govern for the good of the people. (Much as could be said of the left during the late 1970’s and mid 1980’s).

    My point is that if they wish to govern in their own right again, they need to move back to the ground they abandoned in the mid-1970’s. (Albeit with policies suited to this era rather than the 1950’s).

    Election results of the last 20 years seem to support the need for such a re-alignment.

  18. Norbold – interesting. Which part of the country are you in?

  19. @Chris Todd

    Even when the Tories won the 1992 election, it was only with a majority of 21 seats. They haven’t won a secure working majority since 1987 – nearly a quarter of a century ago.

    The transformation of the Lib Dems from left of centre to right of centre now threatens to split the right wing vote in the same way that the SDP/Lib Alliance split the left wing vote in the 1980s – making it easier for Labour to win, just as it made it easier for the Tories to win in the 80s.

  20. Chris Todd Neil A

    “At the height of what might be called ‘One Nationism’ they governed a very successful and rather contented country.”

    Whether the country was succesful and contented is debatable, but somewhat beside the point, for it is beyond doubt that the Conservative Party was very successful, especially in Scotland, and had every right to be more than contented with its election results.

    The change in my lifetime is staggering.

  21. @SWEBB

    “The transformation of the Lib Dems from left of centre to right of centre now threatens to split the right wing vote in the same way that the SDP/Lib Alliance split the left wing vote in the 1980s – making it easier for Labour to win, just as it made it easier for the Tories to win in the 80s.”

    That is an interesting point which I will admit had not occurred to me. It would be richly ironic if the same political grouping which did Labour considerable damage in the 80s is in fact having the same effect for the equivalent reasons on the Tory party 25 years later. As others have pointed out the Tories routinely polled a 43% or so from 79 to 92 yet less than a year ago facing an unpopular government they could not manage more than about 37%. They appear to have lost about 1/6 of what used to be their “natural” constituency. Something has indeed changed with regard to the balance point/distribution of support in the national political spectrum.

  22. I have thought for a long time that although the country (UK as a whole) is slightly to the left of centre, all the parties are to the right of centre.

    When Red Ed realises this, if he can move to the left without going into looney territory he and Labour will sweep to power.

    When we have a GE.

  23. NickP

    Red Ed would never do that.

    How would he know what you know? He’d need to get out a bit more, travel on buses and trains, buy things in shops, overhear conversations maybe even listen to what party members think.

    No, that’s just too fanciful.

    Focus groups, PR “experts”, the Murdoch press, that’s Tony Blair’s way isn’ it? Look how sucessful he was.

  24. @ Hal:

    “Norbold – interesting. Which part of the country are you in?”

    I am in Tendring in North East Essex.

  25. Hi Anthony

    Why is that Angus Reid take so long to post their tables on their website? I may be looking in the wrong place but I can only see polls from around the middle of January or earlier and nothing on this latest poll. Are they not required to post the tables quickly after publication, so they can be verified?

    Kind regards.

  26. Borderer – I’m not sure what’s going on, but their normal site doesn’t seem to be being updated. However, it is on this portal instead:


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