Historical polls

After hours of slaving in the library Mark Pack has put up a spreadsheet of all the polls he’s been able to locate since 1943 – you can download it from Mark’s site here. It’s relatively easy to find polls back into the 1980s when MORI and ICM’s predecessor Marplan were active. It becomes more difficult as you go back into the 1970s and before, when increasingly one can only find the regular Gallup polls, and polls from the election campaigns, with mid-term figures from NOP, RSL, ORC and in-house newspaper polls not easily accessible.

Guilt tripped by Mark’s hard work, I’ve updated the historical polls listed down the right-hand sidebar of the site to go back to 1970 (pre 1992 data is mostly courtesy of Mark!). I shall try to add some nice graphs to them all… assuming I don’t get sidelined and forget about them like I did last time.


231 Responses to “Historical polls”

1 3 4 5
  1. @COLIN
    The British Leyland enthusiast even reckoned BMW were wrong to drop the Metro. The thing was an antique joke by that stage, with “safety features” belonging to the 1950’s.
    It just shows how some peoples map of the world varies with ours.

  2. @Colin – “We have to have a Navy anyway-& they would be doing something somewhere. The sunk cost is………sunk. The marginal cost of the excercise is the relevant bit.”

    I don’t agree with this analysis. Although it would be extremely difficult to actually pin down the amounts, there is no doubt at all that the shape, structure and deployment of our military forces and the organisation of the diplomatic and intelligence expenditure, is in part directed by the need to secure access to energy resources. If we sat on massive oil, gas and uranium reserves, I suspect we would have been involved in fewer Middle East conflicts and been content with smaller armed forces.

    @Oldnat – I would agree that if Whitehall tried to avoid greater devolution of powers this would be a mistake. I feel the best bet for unionists is to willingly accede to the transfer of as many powers to the Scottish parliament as possible, while retaining the fear campaign to complete separation only. For Cameron, this would be a logical extension of the localism agenda – ideologically incoherent to argue against it.

  3. @SMUKESH
    Hannan says Cameron’s non signature did not make any difference. Well, according to the liberal left it was the greatest disaster since the fall of Singapore. Make your mind up Smukesh, I know your party is in disarray but try to be consistent.

    We will have to see what the polls tell us.

  4. ALEC

    @”If we sat on massive oil, gas and uranium reserves, I suspect we would have been involved in fewer Middle East conflicts and been content with smaller armed forces.”

    I rather thought that we were self sufficient in gas-prior to about 2006/7 (?)-a net exporter in fact.

    Did that impact our naval deployments ?

  5. CHOUENLAI
    Hannan says Cameron’s non signature did not make any difference. Well, according to the liberal left it was the greatest disaster since the fall of Singapore. Make your mind up Smukesh, I know your party is in disarray but try to be consistent.
    Not sure there is inconsistency in pointing out a Eurosceptic view of the veto,to illustrate the pointlessness of the veto…Ofcourse I also concur with the Labour position that it damaged national interest..Incidentally Nick Clegg agrees with Milliband on this
    Regarding consistency,is it not the case of the pot calling the kettle black that you have rubbished Prof Curtice`s assertions when Labour are ahead and bring attention to it when the Tories take a marginal lead in polls

  6. CHOU.

    Indeed .

    I was struck by this opinion:-“You ridicule it, but it was a car that sold quite well, was liked by it’s owners and kept many people at Longbridge in jobs and their families in prosperity.”

    You can imagine VEB Sachsenring Automobilwerke Zwickau managers saying something similar about the Trabant.

    British Industry was by & large an inward looking basket case when MT took power.

    I think Richard in Norway has a point about the Germans-they put R&D above all else , & the government supports it with serious incentives.

  7. @SMUKESH
    (A) I do not consider 1%, a lead worth arguing about.
    (B) Curtice is widely known as a political bedfellow of yours, I have never said he is professionally wanting.
    (C) As for what Nick Clegg thinks about anything, I could not give a stuff.
    (D) You can concur with who you like, the majority of people clearly concur with the Tory party on this matter.

  8. @colin
    Tells you all you need to know really. Because an 75 year old granny replaced her Minor 1000 with the thing and out of driving ignorance knew no better. The Tony Benn fan club think the Metro could compete with the super mini’s from V DUB, FIAT, FORD & GM. It was 20 years out of date. These guys would have British Aerospace building Spitfires.

  9. Chou

    :-) :-) :-)

  10. Alec

    We are agreed on the best strategy for Unionists to adopt.

    It remains to be seen whether they adopt our wise words, or whether they carry on as before. :-)

  11. @ John B Dick

    “The Scottish voter is perfectly capable of voting against independence in 2014 and giving the SNP a majority of the Scottish seats in 2015 and 2016.”

    Interesting point. I think you’re right.

  12. @ Alec

    Nope, the logical extension of Tory localism ideas would be to get rid of the devolved parliament(s) as they are an unneccessary & costly tier of government.

    The LA/ Councils in Scotland would then be given more money to spend on local needs.

    The Coalition won’t propose such a thing; but if they were logically extending their alleged policy of localism/ big society/ small government, that’s what they’d do.
    8-)

  13. Amer
    SNP are totally hostile to any second referendum. Their model is Czechoslovakia where the Slovaks voted to negotiate independence terms and the Slovak parliament voted to split. No one ever voted for sepRtion, almost everyone in both countries regrets it but there are no moves to get back together.
    Danegeld?
    Well I think the usage of the term sums it up. No party could possibly accept any agreement which could be interpreted in those terms. If the SNP do well in forthcoming UK elections, their only possible priority must be independence. If you compare with Canada where long-term support for Quebec seperation is stronger than support for independence in Scotland, almost no one voted for the SNP equivalent in the last all-Canada elections because there was a sudden realisation that no mainstream party could conceivably co-operate with the natonalists because of the possible”danegeld” label. I am not predicting that outcome for Scotland in the next UK elections where I think it will be absolutely all to play for for Labour. But I do think that unless the SNP do very poorly, there is no possibility of Labour/SNP co-operation.
    I think Cllr Cairns was saying something in line with that.

  14. Barney

    I’m always interested in evidentially based comments. Unfortunately, you accidentally omitted the link to the supporting evidence for your ” almost everyone in both countries regrets it”.

    Can you post it for us, please?

    Thanks.

  15. Good Evening Posters, Just in I am from school inset day, followed by tutoring and then 10 K run. Lots of fierce verbal tennis on here tonight, must be the weather- but it is very nice here now, stars over the beach.

    I would like to share some gut reactions on what I have read.
    i. Ed has lost the GE, we all know he has, but he will not be removed and he will not resign.

    ii. Gove is doing his very impressive best to overturn decades of educational mismanagement.

    iii. The ‘hard faced political men’ to whom Wilson referrred did enormous damage to the country. Get your tanks of my lawn he told Scanlon.

    iv. The Scottish People will vote for Independence from England. A nation once again, so long a province we shall be a nation once again, sang some men in Manchester in 1867.

    v. Gaitskell’s death was very mysterious. In eastern europe when he got ill.

    vi. Blair was the greatest leader Labour has had since Major Attlee (often people cant spell that name on here), and then they got rid of him- why did he make that pledge to retire?

    vii. Healey should have taken the leadership in 1976, but HW had to delay his resignation for three days, so Healey’s budget speech then damaged him with the PLP.

    viii. I feel sorry for the nice Liberals on here and in the real world, for being used by the tories.

    Good Night all.

  16. @Chouchou

    I’m sorry you fell out of your bath chair on reading my post about the great British Leyland. I now have this vision of you rocking gently back and forth in the aforementioned chair as your attendants and carers wheel you gently out of the communal sitting room. They whisper into your ear; “It’s 9.45pm Roland and time for a bit of light reading before beddy-byes. Would you like us to read you your favourite again, Anne Widdicombe Rides Again?” Roland signals his agreement in his normal way. lol

    As for that magnificent car, the Austin Metro, I can reveal yet more fascinating figures. When it was run out by BMW in 1997 it was still selling 80,000 units per year and, over its lifetime, averaged sales of over 100,000 units per year, often outselling the Ford Fiesta, its nearest rival in the small hatchback category. Well over 1.5 million cars were sold between 1980 and 1997 and it single-handedly saved Longbridge and its 15,000 jobs (make that 60-70,000 if you include the component supplier chain).

    I owned quite a few and went on honeymoon in a Metro Vanden Plas in 1983, driving the length of France and back, via the beautiful Loire Valley. Mr and Mrs H in a Metro Vanden Plas with a tent and a few flagons of French wine in the boot and the whole of France was our oyster; a memorable fortnight indeed!

    Superb car and, in terms of its then unique design, one of the great innovations in post war British car making. As always, it was copied by Japanese car manufacturers like Nissan and Toyota.

  17. Anthony – thank you for finding the polls which correspond to my memories……so the first to show Liberal parity with the big boys was after Orpington! One can imagine the excitement it must have aroused at the time in Liberal households, as then the phenomenon of it all melting away by polling day would not have been a foreseen and predictable norm that we have come to expect since!?

  18. Colin @ JOHN B DICK

    “We have lived in a Labour failed state with a non-voting impoverished uneducated underclass.”

    II do not doubt that there have been failures in education under Labour. I only know what I do about your education system from reading newspapers and a friend who is a primary school head in England.

    She does well in inspections by giving the kids the same lessons three weeks running ahead of the inspections.

    I would not describe England as a failed state yet, but if the distance between the very rich and the rest continues it will become so. Elizabeth Warren’s celebrity lecture shows what can happen.

  19. Colin

    “I wonder how many more annoying little nooks & crannies there are in the business of separation.”

    Very many.

    What those coming late too the debate do not realise is that the SNP know all the answers and the Scottish voter has heard both sides of the argument before.

    I knew Brian when he was a left-wing journalist – too left for NewLabour – but now he is paid by the nuclear industry. Nothing he has to say nowadays is worth reading because it is so far from being objective.

    He is trading on the status of his ministerial past to present as sapiental authority what is in fact propaganda. It is equivalent to the campaign for smokers rights funded indirectly by tobacco companies.

    I havn’t read the article.

    I do not think anything he has to say should be taken seriously.

  20. phil @John B Dick

    “Your scenario depends on a vote for independence in 2014. As Amber points out, that is a huge “what if”.”

    No it doesn’t. The Scottish voter is quite capable of voting against independence in 2014, and giving the SNP a majority of Scottish MP’s and the balance of power in Westminster in 2015.

    That’s arguably the most likely outcome, and I expect SNP strategists are alrady playing “what if” war games on that premise. My point is that others should be diong that too.

    “The irony is that you simultaneously claim that the SNP is to the left of Labour yet declare the SNP’s willingness to deal with Cameron in 2015 if the opportunity presents itself. I’m sure that the Scottish Labour Party will assist you in getting that latter message across.”

    Yes they will, and it will do them no good. They will be assisted by a few in the SNP who remember Labour’s jibes about the end of the Callaghan government.

    Thanks to devolution, with the SNP firmly in charge, Scotlands NHS for example is protected from privatisation. It may even benefit from Barnett consequentials.

    There are reserved matters CFP for example where the UK government can (has) adversely affected Scotland. It’s a win/win situation for Richard Lochhead. If he wins, its because of his well-briefed intervention. If he loses, he wins because without him making the point, people will see that he was not in charge and they know that the EU are not as well disposed to UK agovernment at this time as they might be.

    It’s not just me, but Scottish Voting Compass that says the SNP is to the left of SLAB whicch is surely to the left of UK NewLabour.

    I do not speak for the SNP but they will say that they will deal with whoever offers the best deal FOR SCOTLAND. They will drive a hard bargain, and their opponents will not appreciate just how hard it is. They will think it is about money, but the SNP will be interested in positioning and power.

    Essentially, if the Cons were in coalition with the SNP they could do what they liked in England so long as Scotland was permanently detatched from that aspect of government whether currently or as part of the deal.

    You could bring back hanging if it wasn’t for the EU.The more that is devolved, the less Scots care what happens in England.

    Privatise the monarchy if you like. It need not make any more difference to Scotland than it would to Canada.

    It’s called devolution.

  21. phil @ Roger M

    ” If Labour is just short of a majority, the one thing it can’t be seen to do in negotiation with the SNP is to offer any special privileges to Scots, financial or otherwise, at the expense of the rest of the UK.”

    Yes, that is a problem for them, not the SNP.

    There are two possibilities there: the English voter doesn’t see it; and the Labour negotiating team doesn’t see it. Slab may be sacrificed, knowingly or otherwise.

    It won’t necessarily be at the expense of the rest of the UK as at the expense of the UK parties and further weakening the Union.

  22. alec

    “Making predictions regarding Scotland is a dangerous game. Look at where we are now, and find anyone who predicted this.”

    Absolutely nobody. This, not the result itself, is the big polling issue of the year.

    “In my own mind, when I ponder possible separation, I keep coming back to the fear factor. A huge number of popular votes of all descriptions are won on the basis of fear, with fear of the unknown being a key factor, as
    @Roger Mexico points out.”

    That’s the big “if” but we’ve had a bit of crying “wolf” as Oldnat points out. If it is overdone, as is likely judging by past form, it will be counterproductive for the Unionists.

    My guess is that the UK-led political parties will mess up as usual. If they had someone with the imagination and vision of Murdo Fraser leading the campaign and if they took his advice in a disciplined way it would be a more equal contest. As things stand Labour will invite comparison with the Keystone Cops and Conservatives will just not be adequately briefed.

  23. alec @ @Oldnat

    I feel the best bet for unionists is to willingly accede to the transfer of as many powers to the Scottish parliament as possible, while retaining the fear campaign to complete separation only. For Cameron, this would be a logical extension of the localism agenda – ideologically incoherent to argue against it.

    I agree. Conservatives might see that, and gain some advantage even if only temporary and tactical at Westminster. I doubt if Labour are flexible enough.

  24. Alec

    “Despite what I am insistently told by the nats on here, I personally still maintain that an SNP without Salmond will be a weaker beast than it is today.”

    There are nine people in the Scottish cabinet photo, one of whom is the leader and one responsible for parliamentary business. Of the remaining seven, one would be a more effective leader than AS, one is an ex-leader who would now be more effective, and two or three are the match for what we have at Westminster or the best that SLAB will put forward.

    The youngest may not be leader potential yet, but he delivers more votes to the SNP than any other minister bar one. There is a lot of talent in the big 2011 intake.

    “the problem many nats will be addressing is what their future would be after a failed independence bid. Could Salmond continue after such a rejection, if yes, what happens when he does eventually step down, and how does the SNP deal with the transition to a party of government devoid of their main selling point to the electorate?”

    Neverendum

    Many think his deputy would be even more effective because she doesn’t come across as smug.

  25. phil @ Roger M

    “… all that I am saying is that much of that 19 seat gain from Labour could quickly reverse itself, and that prospect would in turn influence the strength of the bargaining hands any negotiations”

    Not quickly, in the 2020 election. It would be open to the SNP to show that the unlike the LibDems, they did not compromise to cheaply as you have said yourself.

    Also you need to factor in Nick P’s pals down the pub who see Labour as just as bad and (in Scotland at least) Tory-lite.

    It may be unfair, but that’s not the point. If that’s the majority view, SNP can do a deal with Cons.

  26. AmberStar @ John B Dick

    “I think there may not even be an SNP referendum unless the polling improves significantly or the UK puts a 3rd option on the ballot.”

    The is no possibility that the SNP can back off now.

    If the UK government are perceived to be interfering it will be the worse for them. The disingenuous desire for a referendum now is seen for what it is when previously they didn’t want one at all.

    That sort of puerile tatic is counter productive and leads me to suppose that the SNP can do nothing as helpful to their cause as the London led parties will do for them by their incompetece.

    Competence is why people (who mostly don’t want independence) say they vote for the SNP.

    Not vision, not brilliance, not pinciples, not even absolute competence, it’s relative competence,and not absolute and total competence.

    Nothing to do with independence, and very little to do with the SNP.

  27. Colin

    “It isn’t subsidy per se I object to-it is the grossly out of proportion scale of the value of ROC’s for wind power , and the environmental damage they cause, compared with the tiny amount of energy they can extract from a narrow band of wind speeds, and the unpredictably variable nature of the supply.”

    The arithmetic has to be right. The first wind generator I saw was in Benbecula, but it was out of action most of the time because the wind was too strong. Then one day, the wind blew it down.

    The variability argument is specious. There is a greater need for heating when the wind blows. Other systems can balance including hydro.

    The environmental damage is visual and talked up by the nuclear lobby such as Brian Wilson and others who describe nuclear as “clean”.

    This sort of nonsense should not be believed.

    I do not know if Brian is a ex-catholic but he has always been and remains a Celtic supporter. I have nothing against catholics or ex-catholics, but ex-catholics who become ex-marxists and then NewLabour loyalists are serial authoritarian followers and nothing they say about any subject should be given any credence. If they say “It’s a nice day” check on the internet.

    It is the subsidy I object to, if it is other than developmental and to even the playing field. The biggest subsidy is the one my grandchildren and their grandchildren will have to meet for the “clean” nuclear technology.

  28. Oldnat

    “My expectation is Westminster/Whitehall will delay any accommodation until Scots opinion has moved too far for them to keep the Union as it is.”

    Yes.

    When were you ever caught out by underestimating the competence of people working in the environment of the out-dated sclerotic tradition-bound UK parliament?

    The people must be of average intelligence and competence, so it must be the system they work in that is the source of failure.

    Give me your prediction: How many “Undergrounds” will there be from your oppoonents? How many from the SNP?

  29. barney crockett @ Amber

    Danegeld?

    “Well I think the usage of the term sums it up. No party could possibly accept any agreement which could be interpreted in those terms.”

    My pont is that one party m”ay have to, Bad for Cons, worse for Lab.

    If you were the Labour leader in 2015 and had to choose between being PM and losing the leadership and all you have to do is accept S&C from the SNP (who won’t interfere in England, if not Wales) and defeat the not very much larger Con party. Your wife might have an opinion too.

    If the SNP do well in forthcoming UK elections, their only possible priority must be independence.

    Yes, that’s what they are for and being nice to SLab is no part of that.

    Let the Highland Libdems be a warning to you. I said earlier that they were sacrificed with the insoucience of the WW1 generals attiude to Highland casualties.

    That’s the federal party. Yours is the centralising party.

  30. JOHN B DICK

    @”II do not doubt that there have been failures in education under Labour.”

    I do noy doubt it either.

    It is manifest.

    @” would not describe England as a failed state yet, but if the distance between the very rich and the rest continues it will become so”

    Perhaps you should try & find out what Gove’s objectives are before you decide about “failed states”.

    @”I havn’t read the article.
    I do not think anything he has to say should be taken seriously.”

    Explains a lot .

    @”The arithmetic has to be right. ”

    No idea what this means

    @”The variability argument is specious. ”

    No it is not

    @”There is a greater need for heating when the wind blows. ”
    Rubbish.

    In the middle of last winters cold high pressure spells , all the countries wind turbines were becalmed-just when demand for heating was highest

    @”
    Other systems can balance including hydro.”

    Heard it all before. Every turbine hung onto the grid causes more balancing problems & more requirement for base load.

    @”
    The environmental damage is visual ”

    Rubbish.
    Turbines destroy ecosystems on remote uplands -many of them natural carbon sinks in their own right.
    They displace ground nesting birds & kill large raptors when erected on territory ridges.
    Their construction involves new access roads, cable ducts, massive sunk concrete , and pollution in the sensitive environments in which they are placed.

    The installations will never be removed, even after the turbines have ceased their useful lives.

    And all because of the massive subsidy to rich absentee landowners , without which they would never be built.

    @”I do not know if Brian is a ex-catholic but he has always been and remains a Celtic supporter. I have nothing against catholics or ex-catholics, but ex-catholics who become ex-marxists and then NewLabour loyalists are serial authoritarian followers and nothing they say about any subject should be given any credence. If they say “It’s a nice day” check on the internet.”

    I suppose this is what passes for humour in an SNP home.

    It passes me by completely-fortunately , because it has a certain smell about it.

  31. John B Dick

    My! You’ve been busy! :-)

    We had a power outage yesterday – but fortunately just for 6 hours or so. Very glad I kept my parent’s paraffin lamps from the days before the Hydro Board gave us electricity.

    Hope you didn’t have much damage. We lost our greenhouse and most of the ridging on my roof. That’s what comes of having modern roofers, and not the Victorian slaters who put on our original roof – that lasted for 100 years with few problems.

1 3 4 5