With ICM’s poll earlier today showing a boost for the Conservatives and most other polls showing Labour increasing their lead since the locals, Populus’s monthly poll for the Times is somewhere inbetween, showing no significant change at all since the local elections. Topline figures are CON 33%(nc), LAB 41%(-1), LDEM 10%(-1) Others 16%.

UPDATE: The rest of Populus’s poll asked about Britain’s EU membership, economic policy and the perceptions of the party leaders. On the EU 21% said they were positive about British EU membership compared to 31% who were negative. On economic policy, in what appears to be a forced choice question 49% said that the government should stick to its current policy of prioritising dealing with the deficit by 2017, 51% thought it should slow the pace of cuts.

On the party leaders, Populus repeated an exercise they did a year ago, giving people a list of words and asking which they most associated with each of the party leaders. A year ago Cameron scored best on being determined amd arrogant, Miliband and Clegg both weak and out of his depth. We’ll have to wait for the details of the poll to see the full changes here, but according to the Times’ write up more people see Cameron as out of touch than a year ago, but he continues to be seem as standing up for Britain. Miliband’s top ratings continue to be weak and out of his depth.

Meanwhile, the daily YouGov poll in the Sun has topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 44%, LDEM 7% and Others 16% (with UKIP in third place on 8%) – very typical of YouGov’s polls since the local elections.

163 Responses to “Populus/Times – CON 33, LAB 41, LDEM 10”

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  1. @tark – “trying to outflank the Cons on the eurosceptic side.”

    Those promoting the idea of a referendum from within Labour “will go full throttle FOR EU membership.”

    “People who want to entrench a pro-European relationship… need to be winning arguments rather than simply sitting back and waiting” (Ed Balls).

    The Tories will be in paralysis over this issue when it comes to formulating their post-coalition manifesto… the infighting and Ukip pressure will be there regardless of anything Labour says or does… and it will be frightening of potential backers.

    Some kind of EU-related referendum is inevitable in the medium term (even if the exact circumstances are not quite clear yet). All Labour is doing atm is signalling that it is ‘intensely relaxed’ about the prospect.

  2. @CHRISLANE1945
    `I think Kinnock lost in 1987 to Mrs Thatcher, having been ahead prior to that GE. Fulham By Election with Nick Raynsford?`

    You are right ofcourse…Today`s Guardian website has a record of all the ICM polls from 1984 and it`s shocking to see the Tory pullback towards the end of the Parliament.The maximum ICM lead for Kinnock was +9 and it was within +5 though.No wonder some Conservatives on here look forward to this phenomenon again at the next election

  3. @Alan

    “Bit harsh on the Villa aren’t you?”

    Of course, this is Cameron’s ultimate sin here. No self-respecting Villa fan, which Cameron claims to be, would be cheering on Chelsea, even against a German side. His Villa credentials are weakening by the day, I fear.

    I was happy for decent men and footballers like Frank Lampard and Peter Cech, but I cannot warm to much of modern day Chelsea, I must confess. I pine for the days of Osgood, Cooke, Houseman, Bonetti and Harris when they were an extraordinarily gifted but deeply flawed side who always flattered to deceive, but entertained enormously in doing so. Maybe I’m just a misty-eyed old football romantic.

    Besides how could I not want Bayern Munich to win when they so kindly gifted by beloved Villa the European Cup on that never to be forgotten night in Rotterdam in May 1982? One of the nights of my life (I’m glad Mrs H doesn’t read this stuff!!).

  4. Good evening everyone, no drama in the polls for us Blues, perfectly recoverable ground over the next 3 yrs or so. I witnessed a fightback of historic proportions in Munich on Saturday night, a Chelsea Blue victory to make our whole nation proud, as diverse a group as a Wellington army, took on the might of Germany’s greatest football club, on their home ground, and inflicted a crushing victory to win the world’s greatest, club competition.
    Arriving back in London I spotted a headline involving the idiot, Cable, this man should be put out to grass, he’s a walking anachronism, a Liberal businessman, an ex director of Shell, during the period of their worst excesses in Nigeria, he should be ashamed.
    Anyway, it’s great to return but the tittle tattle peddled by the Labour spin machine is as boring as ever. :-)

  5. @CL45

    Pre-87, Kinnock never had a sustained lead as large as this – apart from one or two outliers, the maximum Labour lead was never more than about 8, and was only greater than 5 for a total of about 6 months (split across two separate periods).

  6. CROSSBAT11………..We have now joined the select group of Euro cup winners, more to follow for us, methinks. :-)

  7. @KEN

    Well done on the Blues victory in Munich…Unfortunately,lightning doesn`t strike twice :)

  8. @ChrisLane1945
    “I think Kinnock lost in 1987 to Mrs Thatcher, having been ahead prior to that GE. Fulham By Election with Nick Raynsford?”

    Ahead in single figures for a few months at the start of 1986. Otherwise neck and neck or behind.

  9. Crossbath

    I think if Cameron was caught cheering on the Germans it would end up being the most serious scandal to hit the papers since Profumo.

    The only bright side I can see is maybe the Russian will get bored of his game now that he has “Completed” it.

  10. Miliband is no Kinnock, and Cameron is certainly no Thatcher.

  11. @Ken
    “as diverse a group as a Wellington army”

    Having not watched the match, I must confess to being unfamiliar with the teamsheet. Did your new and hitherto unremarked signing Blucher emerge from the subs bench in the 120th minute, just in time to score the winning penalty against his old club?

  12. It is also interesting to note that un ICM polls for the 1992 election,Labour had been in the lead or neck and neck with the Tories since 1989,yet the margin of victory for the Tories in 1992 was a rather large 8%.

  13. CROSSBAT11……….I rather sympathise with Cammo, as a Villa supporter he has very little to celebrate, so a bit of vicarious pleasure shouldn’t be denied him, and since George O was there, behind Roman, we had the pleasure of Tory top brass rootin’ for us. :-)

  14. SMUKESH………True,.lightning doesn’t strike in the same place twice, so luckily next year the final is at Wembley………. :-)

  15. I cannot abide football and look forward to an early English exit from the European Championship – simply to get rid of all the hype and hysteria because I support no team.
    With the exceptions of Blair and Major, earlier PMs would have found it well below their dignity to waste time and energy on any public display of emotion in respect of something so pathetically trivial as the result of a game of football.

  16. @KEN
    Maybe the Blues in government should do what Chelsea did and appoint a caretaker PM and get a landslide :)

  17. SMUKESH…….. We’ve tried the, ‘quiet man’ and the, ‘something of the night’ type, and the baldy couldn’t cut it, so it looks as though we’re stuck with the, ‘Toff’ :-)

  18. GRAHAM………It’s being so cheerful that keeps you going isn’t it ? :-)

  19. @KEN

  20. Terrible job being PM. No aspirations in that direction but, after a gruelling G8 meeting, trying to avoid jumping up and down, and high-fiving Medvedev/Putin, as Lokomotiv Moscow snatch a last-minute Champs League winner against Man U, would be tricky. Although if SAF ended up even more grumpy than normal then it might be a huge vote winner….

    Graham – lighten up, your nation depends on it…..and count yourself lucky that your leaders even get the chance to ‘waste time and energy’. We (Scots) haven’t been in a major finals for years…….. :-)

  21. I too weary of football guff infusing itself into too many posts.

  22. KEN,
    ‘…It’s being so cheerful that keeps you going isn’t it ? :-)’

    Yes – I shall be very cheered indeed by an early English exit!

  23. Hooded Man,
    ‘We (Scots) haven’t been in a major finals for years…….. :-)’

    I do congratulate you and look forward to seeing England following your splendid example in due course!

  24. @ Alec (11.22)

    “It’s also interesting that we are beginning to see a new dynamic emerge that Lib Dems will be extremely grateful about. ”

    And not before time!! If only Cable had been permanant rather than temporary leader prior to Clegg. Was this change in dynamic always on the cards for two years in or is it a result of the continuing fall in LD VI. UKIP are now consistantly obtaining a VI equal or better than that of the LDs. IMO, the LDs have nothing to lose in standing their ground on issues with which they disagree with the Tories. A recent LDV blog made the point that I have made on here before – LD achievements will never outweigh the negatives caused by tuition fees, NHS & welfare reform. If they (against Clegg’s will?) move left, back to their position pre 2010, then even if it does not not save their share of the vote in 2015 it should prevent total oblivion by 2020.

  25. MARK WATSON / GRAHAM………..The state of a nation’s football can be directly correlated with polling behaviour, if we win the European Championship this summer, expect a boost for the Tories. :-)

  26. @ Ken

    No Europe, no European cup football. All the UKIPpers should think about that! ;-)

  27. @ Hooded Man

    “Terrible job being PM. No aspirations in that direction but, after a gruelling G8 meeting, trying to avoid jumping up and down, and high-fiving Medvedev/Putin, as Lokomotiv Moscow snatch a last-minute Champs League winner against Man U, would be tricky.”

    Yes – all those precious votes in the south of England gone in a flash ;)

  28. @chrislane1945
    “The Conservatives can win from here.”

    Nah, Dave’s toast. I’m not the smartest tool in the box but I can tell you that much. B)

    And while not directed at you, I wouldn’t trust a fair EU referendum from Labour either. Or from the Tories.

  29. It’ll be interesting to see the ICM tables pre-adjustment (for DKs/turn-out) so they can be better compared to YouGov.
    Guess I’ll update in a few days.

    ICM pre-adjustment (and post)
    April –
    Lab 41 (nc), Con 29 (33), Lib 11 (15)
    March –
    Lab 40 (36), Con 37 (39), Lib 12 (15)
    Feb –
    Lab 40 (37), Con 34 (36), Lib 11 (14)
    Jan –
    Lab 37 (35), Con 38 (40), Lib 14 (16)
    Dec –
    Lab 38 (36), Con 34 (37), Lib 12 (15)

    So Lib VI consistently boosted by 2-4, Con VI consistently boosted by 2-4, Lab VI consistently (except April) cut by 2-4.
    So assuming a +2 and -2 for Lib/Con in the latest poll and nc for Lab, you’d have
    Lab 41, Con 34, Lib 9

    Same overall trend, but a larger Lab gap – however the figure could be anywhere from
    Lab 41-45, Con 32-36, Lib 7-11
    assuming similar adjustment to previously.
    Wait and see.

  30. Pre & Post adjustment trends (Dec being 0) –
    Pre -1, +2, +2, +3, +3 [2] or +7 [1]
    Post -1, +1, +0, +5, +5
    Pre +4, +0, +3, -5, -2 or +2
    Post +3, -1, +2, -4, -1
    Pre +2, -1, +0, -1, -5 or -1
    Post +1, -1, +0, +0, -4

    So I’d suggest that the pre-adjustment figures are probably going to be 41 (nc from April), 32 (+3 since April), Lib 10 (-1 since April) – so broadly in line with the trend from YouGov.

    [1] Best case
    [2] Worst case

  31. A off beat question this but as football has been mentioned I have wanted to ask is this;

    A) Do people believe that their should be no politics in sport.
    B) Should Sporting bans and boycotts on for political reasons like that on South Africa over appartite be supported and
    C) Should Israel and Israeli teams be allowed in European Football?


  32. a) no
    b) yes (that Bahrain F1 race should never have happened)
    c) because they are not European, or because of their human rights record, or some other reason?

  33. Anthony

    If you wanted some publicity for UKPR, you could relegate the Lib Dems into fourth place behind UKIP. You could do this, just by changing the polling average and VI information above.

    Realise that UKIP don’t have any MP’s at the moment and that they have not been a national party as such.

  34. PeterCairns

    A) People who wish to use a sporting event to demonstrate will do so, asking them to wait until all the cameras have gone to demonstrate is unlikely to work.

    B) It’s one way of raising the profile, although I suspect it’s too big money now for future boycotts to take place (Noone is talking about boycotting the Ukraine this summer, just “not sending a few delegates”, Bernie got his way with the Grand Prix due to money.

    C) I’m ambivalent about Israel joining European competitions, while it would make sense for them to participate in sport in their own region I can see why they wouldn’t want to. If and when a Palestinian state is formed and recognised, it would be naked hypocracy for Europe to exclude them from competitions it invites Israel to.

  35. Israel and its club sides do compete in European competitions. It joined UEFA as a full member in 1994.

  36. “It is also interesting to note that un ICM polls for the 1992 election,Labour had been in the lead or neck and neck with the Tories since 1989,yet the margin of victory for the Tories in 1992 was a rather large 8%.”

    Yes but the Conservatives had defenestrated Thatcher and abandoned the Poll Tax and a number of other policies.

    And though the overall poll lead was substantial I seem to recall Labour doing remarkably better in marginals that they should have done.

    Ed like Labour has a mountain to climb but two important things have changed in the past 4-6 weeks – first, Labour outperformed in the locals which means he’s almost certainly safe until the next election and more important the commentariat are beginning to take a more favourable view of him. This will tend to change to mood music over the medium term.

    These present him with opportunities he didn’t look likely to be given. As it is the coalition has problems it didn’t expect to have not least low growth throwing all of their careful calculations out. And about 60% of the ‘cuts’ are yet to happen – most of the real changes to benefit bite from this year and bite at time when the government thoughts we would be entering a period of sustained growth.

    And if the Euro goes bang all bets are off – even Mrs Merkel may have to fight hard to hold on. It could even tip Obama from the White House….though I thinks it’s still more likely he wind but the Congress remains gridlocked.

  37. The 87 election was based on two big li(n)es:

    The Labour was ‘soft on defence’ and would simply let the Russian tanks roll in.

    The tories were dangling a two pence in the pound tax cut to voters. (This is what pushed Lawson’s boom – an ‘economic miracle’ of course – into bust.)

    Oh, and Neil Kinnock was a bald ginger welshman – a telling political argument.

    That’s all that was said in that sophisticated campaign, as I remember.

    A triumph of democracy unmatched until 92 when we heard about the ‘double whammy’ and little else.

  38. “A growing discontent with national policies means the defection of two Cornish councillors is just the beginning of a “drip feed” of Liberal Democrat desertions, the leader of the county’s Independent group has predicted…”


  39. ICM Tables are now up:


    (quite quickly – they were really sluggish last month)

  40. @Graham

    “With the exceptions of Blair and Major, earlier PMs would have found it well below their dignity to waste time and energy on any public display of emotion in respect of something so pathetically trivial as the result of a game of football.”

    You’re right about Heath and Thatcher who, with the exception of Heath’s passion for sailing (sport?), had no interest in sport at all, but Wilson was a football man and once referred to some football results in a Conference speech if I recall it correctly. Atlee was a cricket fanatic quite often breaking up Cabinet meetings to get the teatime scoreboard, but I’m not sure that Churchill, Eden and MacMillan had any pronounced sporting interests, although I may be wrong about that.

    Did an interest, or non-interest, in sport make them better or worse PMs? Probably not, but I was always struck by the truth of Healey’s poetic reference to how important it was for a politician to have a “hinterland”. One of Thatcher’s key flaws, I always thought.

  41. I find the way pollsters ask questions about such things as the cause of the current recession, to be defective. If you look at the question on ICM, it lists overspending by Labour first and then other factors. Well I suspect that if you are asked on the telephone about this and the first statement/question appears to blame Labour, then more people will say that. I suspect that if it were an internet poll, with the statement/question displayed in a different way, that the polling would give a different answer.

  42. ICM pre-adjustment figures (post- in brackets):

    Con 36% (36%)
    Lab 42% (41%)
    L/D 8% (11%)
    SNP 5%
    P/C 1%
    Grn 3%
    UKIP 4%
    BNP 1% (Total Other 13%)

    Note that the high percentage of ‘non-voters’ (WNV 9%, DK 23%, Refused 8%) means that the pre-adjustment is based on just 470 respondents (weighted to 490) out of an initial 1,002.

    Also worth looking at those certain to vote (10/10) among those giving a Party:

    Con 71%
    Lab 61%
    L/D 50%
    Oth 55%

    I’ve said before that I wondered if many Lib Dem activists had subconsciously give Clegg two years to prove his coalition strategy; now that was over they were getting restive. I wonder if the same is true of Lib Dem voters too.

  43. Attlee was a huge cricket fan. His press secretary convinced him to get a press wire installed in number 10 on the grounds that it would provide the latest cricket scores, leading to an infamous exchange between Attlee and said press secretary when it started spewing out political stuff: “Francis, my cricket machine’s gone wrong. It’s putting out stuff about the government.”

  44. R Huckle – one of the shortcomings of poll tables is that they don’t specify randomisation and rotation. For questions like that the order the answers are read to the respondent will normally be randomised so that there is no order effect.

  45. The battle that has been totally won by Miliband , Balls and Labour, you know the one, screw austerity and spend to grow, has not caught on, to the extent that many posters would have us believe. The IMF and the OECD, seem to think the UK government’s present handling of economic affairs is about right. Both of these organizations insist, that continued austerity, ( in my view not very austere at all) MUST continue. Read all about it on Reuters.

  46. “The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said the UK’s continuing economic weakness means authorities should consider more Quantitative Easing (QE) and even cutting interest rates.”

    Print money. Oh, and cut interest rates when they are only half a percent anyway.

    How much difference will cutting interest rates make? Absolutely none.

    The IMF cupboard is bare. Bring on the socialists.

  47. England victorious in the first Test match against the W’Indies at Lords, and of course No1 Test nation, Chelsea, Euro Champions, Olympics coming up, I predict a real improvement in our Nation’s mood, which, I feel will be reflected in Coalition polling fortunes. Tory lead by July ? :-)

  48. As far as the IMF is concerned, the folks down at my local speak of little else. :-)

  49. Excellent news on inflation, down to 3%, no letter required from Merv. to George. :-)

  50. Does that randomisation apply to YouGov’s online Q’s Anthony?

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