Olympic poll boosts

No – don’t get excited – tonight’s poll doesn’t show one. Today’s YouGov poll for the Sun has perfectly normal topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 42%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 6%. Once again it is well within the range of the 9-10 point leads that YouGov have been showing for the past couple of months.

As yet there is no sign of any Olympic effect. I wouldn’t necessarily expect one, but I wouldn’t rule one out either, in the same way we saw a (brief) Jubilee effect straight after the Jubilee weekend. Two things to remember:

First, why these things happen. After the Jubilee I saw several comments saying how absurd it was that it affected the polls. Why would someone think “Oh look, the Queen has been there a long time, better vote Tory”? Well, that would be absurd, but the reasons things like this can affect the polls is more straightforward. First there is a general feel good factor – if people feel generally more positive about the country and the way things are going they may be more likely to support the incumbent government. Secondly, and in my opinion probably more significant, is the absence of bad news – looking back over recent months an average month for the government has at least a few party rows, a couple of controversial policies, a spattering of bad news, perhaps a rebellion and, on recent form, a U-turn or two. With the Olympics totally dominating all news coverage the next couple of weeks will have significantly fewer of all those things, so you can imagine how the absence of bad news may have an effect.

Secondly, remember that if there is an Olympic effect on the polls it will be probably be temporary. The Jubilee effect, if it ever existed, only lasted a couple of days. A positive feeling from a big national event fades; once the Olympics and silly season are over the normal news agenda and the trail of bad news stories that governments have to cope with will resume. If the Olympics does have an effect, it is unlikely to be long lasting.

UPDATE: I haven’t seen it mentioned on twitter or by the Indy, but the voting intention fgures from ComRes’s monthly poll have now appeared on their website here. Topline figures, with changes from their previous telephone poll a month ago, are CON 33%(nc), LAB 44%(+2), LDEM 10%(-3), Others 13%(+1). Certainly no sign of any Olympic boost there either!


59 Responses to “Olympic poll boosts”

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  1. Full tables:

    http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/oxc5uvd1u6/YG-Archives-Pol-Sun-results-310712.pdf

    “Do you support or oppose the coalition
    agreement between the Conservatives and
    Liberal Democrats?”

    “Oppose”
    2010 L ib Dem voters 54%
    2010 Con voters 40%

    Those 40% of Con voters will mostly grin their teeth and bear it, but those 54% of former Lib Dem voters will likely never be seen again.

  2. Anthony:

    Thanks, as always.

    Good ComRes.

    How am I going to cope without UKPR for eight days?

    STUART.
    I would not bet my house or my beach hut on them.

  3. Anthony,
    I recall that it has been said (and I hjave alwasy believed) that Governments generally do better in the summer anyway due to feel good factors and with no parliament sitting the opposition get less coverage. Of course an event can scupper this such as the phone hacking affair – Is this summer impact notion true?

  4. Jim Jam – sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.

    There isn’t an obvious pattern. It may be that governments under fire recover a bit due to the absence of bad news during silly season, but those that are doing OK anyway don’t. Plus, as you say, sometimes events do intervene after all.

  5. From what I could see on the tables for tonights YG polls, In regard to general trend it look like some UKIP VI is swtiching back and forward between them and the Tories. What I mean by this, is that we don’t know what the true level of support for UKIP is and how much of this is soft Tory. If half of the current UKIP VI reverts to the Tories, we would be in hung parliament teritory I would guess.

  6. R. HUCKLE.

    I think UKIP voters will mostly go home to the tories.

  7. @Raf – fpt

    David Cameron established a National Security Council (NSC) on May 12th 2010.

    This would seem to be in line with the evolution of the UKUSA agreement first signed in March 1946:

    h
    ttp://www.fco.gov.uk/en/global-issues/us-uk-relations/national-security-strategy/

    Which is why who is in the White House is more of a concern than who happens to occupy No 10:

    h
    ttp://www.politicususa.com/people-dont-mitt-romneys-war-agenda.html

  8. CHRISLANE1945

    Or some of these people might have not had a “home” until UKIP appeared. In the meantime, they might have been renting a room in Toryland.

  9. BILLY BOB

    Would you please desist from scaring the hell out of me?

    My latest grandson will hopefully be allowed home from hospital soon – but his home (like most of us in the West of Scotland) is too close to Faslane for comfort!

  10. When’s the last time Labour’s had a 11 point lead with ComRes (telephone or otherwise)?

  11. MP Eric Joyce continues to break the law.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-19064990

    It doesn’t seem to matter how often an MP commits a criminal offence – they still keep their job.

  12. @Oldnat – long established tradition is it not, that voters decide on who becomes an MP and not the law?

  13. Let’s hope for a gold tomorrow for Team GB..

  14. Alec

    Long established tradition that MPs are members of a private club who can do what they like, at our expense, and the voters get sod all of a say since Parliament is sovereign and not the people..

    Greens probably shouldn’t rely on long established tradition as a justification for existing practice to continue!

  15. Someone on the last thread posted the link to Ben Brogan’s article in the Telegraph about Boris and Cameron.

    There really seems to be a downbeat mood within the Tory party that appears to have crystallized in the last few days. If Brogan is correct, and big donors are starting to call time on Cameron, as well as Murdoch, this really is quite an interesting development.

    What is really interesting is that it seems that the GDP figures have precipitated something significant, not in the body politic as a whole, but internally to the Tory party.

  16. @Oldnat – forgive me – I was labouring under the clearly daft assumption that we had a chance to vote for our MPs every few years.

  17. A possible confounder for these “special event” effects, which has been discussed here before, is the fact that they often coincide with public holidays, which in turn seem to coincide with a couple of days dip in Labour VI. Perhaps Labour voters are more likely to be away from home for the holidays.

  18. Alec

    The clearly daft assumption is to happily accept that if an MP serially breaks the law after an election, then s/he can continue to serve as an MP.

    Still, tradition is probably more important to you than progress.

  19. hmmm

    I think some of the plus factors for the Tories (if there were to be any) might have been punctured by Aidan Burley and his multicultural cr*p tweet.

    So many of our politicians seem to think pub level bigotry is the same as “plain speaking good sense”. The majority are pretty tolerant. The Sun does not really decide opinion, nor does the Mail.

  20. Old Nat

    To be kicked out as an MP you have to do 6 months.

  21. HANNAH

    “Perhaps Labour voters are more likely to be away from home for the holidays.”

    That would seem to be a reversal of the normal stereotype that only the rich Tories can afford holidays!

    How about we reassess all the other stereotypes too?

    “There is higher Tory VI because they all have i-Pads and respond while sipping champagne at Monte Carlo”.

  22. ROGERREBEL

    Yes. I know the rules that MPs have determined themselves.

    Presumably, they didn’t envisage having an MP so stupid has to commit multiple offences, to be caught and convicted for them.

    Or perhaps they did, and didn’t give a toss?

  23. Could it be that there is after all an Olympic poll boost, but it’s serving only to mask an adverse polling reaction to last week’s lousy economic news?

    @Alec
    Does a politician who even now sees no shame in courting Murdoch’s favour in public deserve to be routinely referred to by his Christian name? He’s Johnson in my book henceforth.

  24. @Craig

    The 11% Lab lead on ComRes does seem to be the largest yet… perhaps there is an explanation for that which one of our tables deciphering sleuths can provide.

    There does seem to be something of a movement (certainty-to-vote?) from the polling companies which have been hitherto underplaying the Labour lead compared to YouGov.

  25. @Oldnat – clearly the SOHD treatment hasn’t produced the desired results as yet.

  26. What if the “bad news” is bad enough to break through the curtain of “temporary Olympics feelgood factor”? If say the EZ actually went pop as opposed to threatening to, I think that would drive Olympics into second place.

    Also I think yesterday I wondered why team GB wasn’t winning golds (others elsewhere wondering this too). If we suddenly started winning a barrage of them, then that could swamp some of the usual more minor bad news stories, such as those that have been eroding government VI for a while. But I doubt even that could bury really bad news.

  27. @KeithP

    Snap!

  28. I also have noticed what seems like a slow movement from UKIP back to the Conservatives, as the omnishambles/budget fades. Difficult to be sure that it exists, when the next poll might see it swamped with MOE variation.

    It’s just that the Conservatives need probably nearly all of it back if Labour are still above 40% nearer the next election. Including that which they didn’t have at the 2010 election. That does not seem to me to be a very easy task.

  29. Alec

    I doubt that was the purpose of the Samsung OmniaHD Blog. :-)

  30. KEITHP

    “yesterday I wondered why team GB wasn’t winning golds”.

    I thought that was fairly obvious. Athletes from elsewhere were turning in better performances.

  31. Despite being an Olympic whinger, I have to admit enjoying watching the GB women qualify for the quarter finals in tonight’s football as:
    1. It was a cracking game.
    2. The womens’ tournament means something, unlike the mens’.
    3. When did any team from these shores last beat Brazil at football?
    4. Best of all, it’s one of the few sports to be using recycled facilities (even if the creation of the recycled facility used tonight did gobble up a few bob not that long ago).

  32. OldNat

    The (limited) protection for MPs from being sacked is actually important – and pretty widespread internationally. It stops a troublesome MP – or even government – from being got rid of by legal harassment. There are enough examples from British history to show why this is a good thing.

    That said Joyce hardly covered himself with glory here. According to the BBC story you linked to:

    Falkirk MP Eric Joyce has been fined £600 for removing an electronic tag, in breach of a community order imposed after a bar brawl at Westminster.

    […]The court heard Joyce used a pair of scissors to cut the tag off, to avoid negative publicity pictures of him wearing it.

    Whereas cutting it off would attract no negative publicity at all?

  33. @Craig
    Both the 11% lead and Labour at 44% are the highest figures ComRes have produced since the GE.

  34. ROGER MEXICO

    Surely there is a difference between protecting elected members from “legal harassment” (for example, privileged speaking in Parliament) and criminal offences.

    That there should be no automatic disbarring for every criminal offence (eg speeding – unless that is compounded by conspiracy to pervert the course of justice) seems quite reasonable.

    However, regardless of the current 6 month rule, it would seem to be more appropriate for MPs to be disbarred if they do pervert the course of justice, or breach the conditions of a conviction.

    Lawmakers need to be kept to a higher standard of obedience to the law!

    The message of this century, so far, is that politicians (and their corporate sponsors) seem unwilling to accept the need for law abiding behaviour.

  35. “First, why these things happen. After the Jubilee I saw several comments saying how absurd it was that it affected the polls. Why would someone think “Oh look, the Queen has been there a long time, better vote Tory”? Well, that would be absurd, but the reasons things like this can affect the polls is more straightforward. First there is a general feel good factor –”

    I think that the boost for the government on the Royal Wedding and Jubillee is absurd. The Olympics is different though. Here the government actually has to take major steps to run the Olympics, it’s a significant and major endeavor. The government has to organize the funding, the security, the planning for transportation in London, etc. So if it is a major success and the government gets a polling boost, it’s well-deserved.

  36. @ Old Nat

    “Would you please desist from scaring the hell out of me?

    My latest grandson will hopefully be allowed home from hospital soon – but his home (like most of us in the West of Scotland) is too close to Faslane for comfort!”

    I’m sorry your grandson is in the hospital. I hope he gets better soon.

    As for being scared, a little fear might be a good thing. It might push some people to vote who otherwise might not. I saw a Democracy Corps poll yesterday that was generally good/decent news (might help you sleep a little bit).

    http://www.democracycorps.com/attachments/article/900/July_Dcorps_political_%20FQ.pdf

  37. The Olympics can only be good news for Labour. The way they are heading at present with congestion problems, Security, seating problems, doping allegations, a snappy Coe remarking sarcastically about showing me you holiday snaps later, to a person expressing genuine concern and the total lack of any gold medals,the Olympics could be a disaster for the Government.

    However should they turn out to be successful then Johnson will claim all the praise to further his ambition to become leader of the opposition and this would be the best news ever for Labour

  38. SOCALLIBERAL

    Thanks for the link That’s much more detailed polling data than I usually see from the US.

    As for my grandson – thanks. However, he is under no greater risk from nuclear wipeout in hospital than at home. That the UK chooses to base their penile extension WMDs on the Clyde would kill him (and the rest of us) anyway – in the unlikely event that anyone would see the UK as a target worth attacking, if it didn’t go about attacking others first.

    If there is no risk, then we don’t need the damn things anyway, other than to allow Westminster politicians to posture as being important people waving big willies.

    If

  39. @ R Huckle (from the previous thread)

    “Here is an update. Given an harassment warning and the Police will be looking into his other communications, so he has to return to the Police station at a future date.

    http://news.sky.com/story/967096/teenager-held-over-tom-daley-tweets-given-warning

    The problem for me is that the Police will not have the resources to investigate every internet troll, so will just pick the ones in the media.”

    Still find it incredibly odd. Harassment is not legally protected but various statements can’t be converted into harassment. But I guess that’s what makes us different countries. I don’t think that tweeting could ever rise to the level of criminal harassment (let alone one tweet, however rude and downright nasty it may be).

    “This is an article that will be of interest to some.

    Is gay marriage an election issue ?”

    It looks like those of us at the Democratic Convention will be voting to make it part of the official Democratic Party platform. That’ll be historic.

    I don’t think that same-sex marriage will ever be an election issue because most people (whether they oppose or favor) don’t care about it as an electoral issue. I think Cameron sees the writing on the wall that this will be the law and he wants to be the Prime Minister who gets credit for doing it. It also takes the issue off the political table (at least against Labour and the Lib Dems).

  40. @ Old Nat

    “Thanks for the link That’s much more detailed polling data than I usually see from the US.

    As for my grandson – thanks. However, he is under no greater risk from nuclear wipeout in hospital than at home. That the UK chooses to base their penile extension WMDs on the Clyde would kill him (and the rest of us) anyway – in the unlikely event that anyone would see the UK as a target worth attacking, if it didn’t go about attacking others first.

    If there is no risk, then we don’t need the damn things anyway, other than to allow Westminster politicians to posture as being important people waving big willies.”

    I prefer polls that break down things very carefully and don’t just give raw numbers. There are more polls like that than you would think.

    There was a poll last month (by a reputable and neutral polling company) that had Obama up nationwide by 13%, 53%-40%. Now the subgroup breakdown was interesting because the sample actually had a higher percentage of Republicans than the likely turnout. But what was noticeable was the high level of younger voters included. The electorate of 08′ was represented by that poll. I think it’s accurate….but only if the electorate looks like the one in 2008.

    Romney isn’t convincing anyone to vote for him who didn’t vote for McCain in 2008. If anything, he’s probably losing quite a few who voted for McCain in 08′ (Latinos, National Security voters, sane voters). Obama has lost voters from 08′ but not to Romney or any other candidates for that matter. Instead, he is losing voters who aren’t going to vote period. That can change though.

    If college and grad and professional school students start fearing that they will have their student loan rates double (or more), they might reconsider.

    So might women (especially young women) who fear their health rights being taken away, they might reconsider.

    If Latinos start to worry about deportation of undocumented youth (here through no fault of their own), they might reconsider.

    If the generally apathetic voters (of all ages, races, genders, and sexual orientations) start fearing that we might enter into even more foreign armed engagements and prolong our stay in Afghanistan, they might reconsider.

    A little fear goes a long way.

  41. @ Amber Star

    FYI, you may find this interesting. Tommorow, the largest expansion of health benefits for women in the history of the United States takes place.

    Starting tommorow, among other things, women will have access to free contraception, free mamograms, free domestic violence counseling, free breastfeeding equipment, and free well-woman visits (whatever that means).

  42. @ Jim Jam

    “Governments generally do better in the summer anyway due to feel good factors”

    With a holiday booked in Cornwall from this weekend and the first couple of days forecasts appearing on Met Office with clouds on them- the ‘Summer’ and ‘feel good factor’ really aren’t going together for me at the moment!

  43. In honor of Team USA at the women’s gymnasttics competition and the U.S. men’s team at the 800m relay (Ryan Lochte, Conor Dwyer, Ricky Berens, and Michael Phelps):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGiYEWRzTik

    Both teams won gold. :)

    I was a little nervous watching the 800m relay as I had watched Phelps blow the 200m butterfly earlier (he led nearly wire to wire and then got outtouched at the end by the South African dude).

  44. I think the government would need some GB golds to get a real boost – if this idea takes hold it won’t help them though!

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/david-cameron/9438992/London-2012-Olympics-did-Tom-Daley-fall-victim-to-the-curse-of-Cameron.html

  45. The Boris thing is very interesting –
    If Boris became leader of the Tory party and that meant a new election, there’s a chance he could do the same as John Major. Oust an unpopular leader and go on to win the next election.
    Perhaps not with a majority – but I suspect he’d be more willing to do a deal with UKIP and would probably win more votes in London than Cameron.

  46. Here are a couple of little bites from Melvin Bragg’s last interview with Gore Vidal.

    The Republican Party : “what we’ve got is a quasi-fascist batch; people with fascist interests, let us say – I don’t want to put it more harshly.”

    David Cameron: “He’s everything we thought Bertie Wooster was – and God knows we worship Bertie Wooster, in the form of Hugh Laurie.”

    h
    ttp://www.newstatesman.com/north-america/2010/10/obama-interview-world

  47. Alec

    Your hope that the Pensions Industry in the UK might reform is teetering in the balance:

    “A pensions industry working group set up to make hidden fees transparent is instead manoeuvring to keep significant charges concealed, according to leaked documents seen by the Guardian.”

    This is a chance for Dc & NC to step in and do the right thing.

  48. I wonder if this proves that self regulation and industry-led committees are completely useless.

  49. Go Wiggo.

    Go Uruguay.

    Go Boris

    :-)

  50. SOCAL

    @”I had watched Phelps blow the 200m butterfly earlier (he led nearly wire to wire and then got outtouched at the end by the South African dude).”

    The “south african dude” is a 20 year old , for whom Phelps has been a role model & hero.

    Le Clos ( the dude has a name) thus beat his hero fairly & squarely -a man who yesterday became the greatest OLympian of all time in terms of medal wins.

    At the medal ceremony for the 200 mtrs butterfly , the sobbing youngster took his gold , and we then saw Phelps put his arms around Le Clos and talk him through what to do next & where to go.

    It was a touching scene, and a tribute to Phelps as an Olympian , and as a human being.

    These last few days have seen him begin to hand over the swimming torch to a new generation with dignity, humour & generosity.

    Phelps was clearly as proud of his successor , as the latter has been of him.

    The BBC coverage of Phelps’ conduct has been of awstruck admiration.

    Quite right too-the man is a giant , in all senses, and a contrast with the usual American braggart superficiality.

    Le Clos chose his role model with care.

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