There should be several polls out tonight. First up is the Guardian’s monthly ICM poll, which has topline figures of CON 33%(+2), LAB 41%(nc), LDEM 14(nc), Others 12%(including UKIP 5%, Greens 2%). Changes are from the last ICM poll just before conference season began. The poll shows a slight increase in Conservative support, but this is probably a reversion to the mean after the last ICM poll, which showed an unusually large Labour lead by their standards.

ICM also asked whether people thought Cameron & Osborne or Miliband & Balls were best able to handle the economy, showing a sharp narrowing of the Tory lead. Cameron and Osborne are on 31%(down 9 since July), Miliband and Balls on 27%(down 2). Later this week we have the 3rd quarter GDP figures, so it that shows something interesting enough to be noticed beyond the business pages it’ll be interesting to see the impact.

While I am here, kudos to Tom Clark at the Guardian for putting the ICM poll in the context of other companies polls in his write up and explaining the methodological reasons for some of the differences.

Earlier on today we also had the weekly TNS-BMRB poll, which has topline figures of CON 30%(+1), LAB 44%(+2), LDEM 8%(+1), UKIP 7%(-3), Others 11%(nc). Changes are from last week. Fourteen points is a high Labour lead by most companies standards, but is actually pretty normal for TNS-BMRB’s recent polls – they tend to show some of the bigger Labour leads and have the Labour lead between 13 and 16 points in their last few polls.

We may also get the monthly Populus poll for the Times tonight (the Guardian’s Tom Clark was polled for it!). I shall update if it surfaces.

UPDATE: The actual poll isn’t out yet, but the Guardian also mentions a new poll commissioned by Lord Ashcroft in Corby, which is going to show Labour 22 points ahead there. That would be a very strong performance, a thirteen point swing since the general election. Full details of that are due tomorrow morning.

UPDATE2: Having been complementary about the Guardian’s coverage of their ICM poll I may now have to be less so about the Times’s coverage of their Populus poll. Of course, since the Times is behind a subscription wall the end of their coverage may be hedged with all sorts of caveats, but the beginning of it talking about “slashing Labour’s lead” doesn’t look good!

Anyway last month’s Populus poll was a pretty obvious outlier, showing a startling 15 point Labour lead when Populus had previously been showing Labour leads of around seven points and when no other company was showing similar huge swings to Labour. This month things are back to more usual results for Populus, with topline figures of CON 35%(+5), LAB 40%(-5), LDEM 9%(-1). Big shift from Labour to Conservative and pehaps a sign of a slightly reduced Labour lead, but the size of the shift is essentially meaningless.

At first glance the the polls appear to be giving a contradictory picture, but they really aren’t. Part of it is because of the methodological differences (companies like TNS-BMRB and YouGov tend to show bigger Labour leads than companies like Populus and ICM because they treat things like turnout and don’t knows differently) and part of it is because of sample error and reversion to the mean after some unusual results. The bigger picture though is that the polls were showing Labour averaging at around about 9-10 points before conference, and are showing Labour leads of around about 9-10 points now.


82 Responses to “New ICM, Populus and TNS-BMRB polls”

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  1. @ Amber Star

    “I think President Obama just thumped Romney on strategic defence. Romney served a zinger about the number of ships; but the President returned it with a winning backhand right down the line.:)”

    I think that was a pretty classic line. But Romney stepped in it by bringing up his line about letting Detroit go bankrupt. I think the President has delivered some very good smackdowns. Scheiffer had a good smackdown of his own. ” think we all love teachers.”

    What I don’t get is how Romney spent much of the debate criticizing Obama for not doing things that Obama was already doing. Or proposing to do things that Obama was already doing. Romney attempted to etchasketch all night long (with numerous lies including Detroit). Obama was smart to call him out on it though. I mean, at some points in the evening, it was like Romney was endorsing the President’s reelection. At other times, he was meandering along and people could not follow him.

  2. CBS’s poll of 521 voters is scoring it dramatically for the President:

    President Obama 53%
    Romney 23%
    Not sure 24%

    Whew! I thought I had been mistaken when the TV people were talking because they seemed to think it wasn’t clean cut. But the CBS ‘poll’ gives it to the President by a long way.

    How soon will we know the effect, if any, on the realpolls?

  3. The cnn poll is 48-40 Obama, but they admit that there is an, unspecified amount, more republicans in their poll which is not fair -especially as these polls inform the debate over the next few days.

  4. @ Couper2802

    “Thought Obama won that by miles.
    But I am probably biased but Obama was very tough and Romney didn’t have much to say. Opposite of the first debate.”

    Well you may be biased but you’re also a foreigner and have a far more objective view than an American does. You can analyze it far more dispassionately. I think Obama won. The instant polls are showing it. I’m anxious to get Colin Powell’s verdict. Romney had several mistakes tonight. One was making false claims that can be easily fact checked (and have been). He seemingly endorsed Obama’s foreign policy (even while attempting to criticize him). The rest of the time, he was meandering all over the place and you couldn’t follow. Whenever he got off-script, he couldn’t answer the question.

    You know who I feel sorry for? John Kerry. Because he played Romney for the debate prep and studied for it. And then Romney goes in and changes half his positions. Obama called him out on it which was good.

    Here was what was most troubling. Scheiffer asked an important hypothetical question (about Israel calling up and letting him know that bombers were on the way to Iran) and he couldn’t answer the question. David Cameron, Ed Milliband, and Nick Clegg (and I’ll assume Alex Salmond too or if not him, Nicola Sturgeon) could answer that question. They know that if they become Prime Minister, they’re going to have to answer tough questions and deal with difficult situations, not pretend that they won’t exist.

    I think the President came off as the Commander in Chief tonight.

    You might not be wrong though in your analysis. CBS Instant poll of uncommitted voters showed Obama winning 53%-23%. Other polls are showing smaller margins but decisive nevertheless (PPP shows Obama winning by 11% in swing states, CNN shows Obama winning by 8%).

    @ Amber Star

    “I too thought that the President won by a long way but the TV people seem to think it was a draw. Weird.”

    Who are you watching? I’m watching MSNBC and I’m also seeing polling numbers. And I’m even seeing some Republicans concede this race in the media. This wasn’t a draw.

    Oh and don’t watch, listen to, or read Andrew Sullivan. (Well I’m not sure you would in the first place, he is a Tory). He will just bring you down with his negativity and general Debbie Downer attitude.

    @ Statgeek

    “I’ve not read below your post for others’ answers, so apologies if someone else has said this.

    In my humble opinion, it’s far easier to fight an election with the electorate reminded of a vote of no confidence in the other lot. It undermines them, and makes for good commentary when there’s little else happening.

    In fairness I was barely into school in ’79 so it’s all conjecture on my part.”

    I appreciate your answer and that does seem like a satifactory explanation. Your humble opinion is, as usual, an educated and convincing one.

  5. @Couper2802

    “The cnn poll is 48-40 Obama, but they admit that there is an, unspecified amount, more republicans in their poll which is not fair -especially as these polls inform the debate over the next few days.”

    What that tells you is just how inexact a science was and how you really can’t tell how these debates have impacted the race.

    See most truly undecided voters tonight were probably watching Game 7 of the NLCS between the Giants and Cards. Apparently the Giants have won and dethroned the defending world champions. Very few undecided voters are actually tuning in and judging the debate on the merits. What matters more is the media perception and that helps move voters far more.

    @ Amber Star

    “Whew! I thought I had been mistaken when the TV people were talking because they seemed to think it wasn’t clean cut. But the CBS ‘poll’ gives it to the President by a long way.

    How soon will we know the effect, if any, on the realpolls?”

    You weren’t mistaken. You were right. Don’t know if it will have any effect on the polls. It may shore up Obama among some of the voters leaning towards him but not sure given his presence as the commander in chief.

    I think it will help fire up our base. Wow, we’re now just two weeks from this election (this campaign has seemingly been forever). I attended my Voter Protection training on Saturday. I’ll probably go out and canvass this weekend (even though I REALLY DON’T want to do it but if I can do it with others, I’ll be okay) and I’ll probably volunteer for the voter protection office. I’ll of course study all the info I have so that I’ll be prepared for my 14 hour day two weeks from now.

  6. @ SoCal

    …even though I REALLY DON’T want to do it but if I can do it with others, I’ll be okay.
    ——————–
    It seems to have been such a long campaign. It’s hard to keep enthusiastic for so many weeks or is it months?

    I hope you have a good partner or team to work with; that makes it much easier. :-)

  7. @ Billy Bob

    “Yes, I misspoke about newspaper endorsements, though the (updated) position seems to be tied at the moment:”

    Well I don’t think it’s all that important really. I mean it helps. It certainly helps and you certainly want them. Thus far we haven’t seen too many switches from 08′.

    I think Obama’s problem is that a lot of American voters are like the American guest in the Waldorf Salad episode of Fawlty Towers. (Btw, that guy is from Texas, he’s not a Californian). We want to be served in the restaurant 24/7. And we want a full menu. And we don’t want to pay extra for it. Oh and we want to order things off the menu and have it delivered perfectly. And if we don’t get it, we’re going to be hopping mad. We want our ornage juice freshly squeezed, we want our Waldorf Salads, and to follow some filet mignons!

    That’s the problem that Obama faces. There are a lot of voters who are simply impatient and aren’t going to look at the complexities of economic growth and the merits and values of various legislation and efforts. All they know is that they don’t feel good and therefore they’re angry. They blame the incumbent.

    Not every American is Mr. Hamilton though. That’s the good news for Obama.

    I think the newspaper endorsements help with some voters. But they’re not what they used to be. And they’re not going to bring voters the Waldorf Salad they want (the few newspaper editorial pages that have switched sides seem to represent this attitude: “I want my Waldorf Salad and I want it NOW!”).

  8. Labour lead at 13 – Latest YouGov/Sun results 22nd Oct – CON 32%, LAB 45%, LD 8%, UKIP 8%; APP -39

  9. @ Amber Star

    “It seems to have been such a long campaign. It’s hard to keep enthusiastic for so many weeks or is it months?

    I hope you have a good partner or team to work with; that makes it much easier. :)”

    Well I don’t know that I’m going to do it. I do have things to do this weekend. Went out the week before last and spent a few hours registering voters at evening rush hour.

    I tend to be a terrible canvasser and terrible phonebanker (actually I’m terrible on the phone period). When it comes to those situations politically, I can be extremely introverted and ridiculously shy. Much to my detriment. But I’m not like that in all situations. In others I can be extremely outgoing and extroverted. So I do great with voter protection and surrogate speaking and that sort of thing. It’s hit or miss.

    What I don’t like about canvassing is that you’re going out and knocking on people’s doors and generally disturbing them. I don’t get political canvassers where I live but I tell you, I don’t open up the door for anyone I don’t know. It’s just how I was raised. I don’t like bothering people, interrupting them in the middle of their days to bring up politics. I don’t want to be bothered myself!

    On the other hand, I know how important it is and how meaningful those doorknocks can be in terms of showing certain voters that the campaigns actually care about them. They do boost turnout significantly and there are many people who do want their door to be knocked on (preferably by some non-looney tunes, clean cut folks who smell nice). So I may just swallow my fears and do it.

    I’m far more enthusiastic now than I was 4 years ago. I took the day off then to go and do voter protection for the Obama campaign. After refusing in 2010, I’m going to go and do it again this year.

    Most people cannot devote themselves full time to volunteering politically (some can and I give them all the credit in the world but they’re rare) but for those many people out there who love the President and genuinely care deeply about the election, every little bit we can do and contribute will help.

  10. That Ashcroft poll. The worrying thing for Con is that 27% of those that voted Tory in 2010 will almost certainly not vote Tory next time.

    27% of the weak 36% they got lost time won’t vote Con next time. Even tough they’ll get a few LD 2010 voters, I can’t se how they can better 2010 while having lost a quarter of that vote.

  11. BBC keep calling the the Obama/Romney debate a draw. Reaction around the internet (even from conservatives) is Obama won.

  12. First thing this morning ITV (Daybreak) called the debate a clear win for Obama.

  13. Ashcroft/Corby (Changes since last Ashcroft/Corby poll Aug 2012)
    Labour – 54 (+2)
    Conservative – 32 (-5)
    LibDem 5 (-2)
    Other 8 (+4)

  14. Nick – Good to see what daybreak think but for a better evaluation we need to wait for Lorraine’s verdict.

    22% swing in Corby would exceed my expectations and bode well for Labour. 10-15% would be par I reckon, below would be disappointing.

  15. “Good to see what daybreak think but for a better evaluation we need to wait for Lorraine’s verdict.”

    tee hee

  16. Good Morning All.
    Interesting polls this morning in the Corby by election and in YG.

    However, I think that Ed M does need to push the boat out on policy shibboleths.

  17. Various people are plugging the ‘Labour ahead on the economy!’ with YouGov.. but..
    Economy in general
    Con 26 (-3)
    Lab 28 (+1)
    But this just returns us to August’s Con 26, Lab 28 – and if you look at the figures since, there hasn’t been significant movement from what you might call ‘neck and neck’.

    Similarly the drop in Cameron’s qualities may be due to his ‘bounce’ subsiding, rather than any sort of rise in unpopularity.

    The GDP figures should change things, in regards to who to trust on the economy and potentially VI, but we should wait until January to see if it lasts.

  18. The Yougov looks a bit too good for Labour…but one can hope it the start of bigger leads.

    But over 60s looks iffy.

  19. 2 weeks on from the conference season there appears to be no significant discernable (or attributable) shift in headlne VI.
    I does appear though that EM has enjoyed a bit of a lift on underlying questions some of which may well hold.

  20. JIM JAM.
    Good Morning.

    The new Corby poll looks like being about 14% swing, I think; with the Cons ahead by 6% roughly in 2010.

    The Con drop since 2010 does not seem that catastrophic, as it was in Christchurch, in the run in to 1997 GE.

  21. Thanks Chris my bad (I think the youth have stopped saying now as we wrinklies have adopted) swing/lead error – 14% in the par range for me.

  22. On the US polls – the (relatively) large lead that Romney has in the Gallup poll opened up on the 15th. The 15th drops out of the tracker today, so it will be interesting to see if Gallup’s figures begin to move back away from Romney over the next few days.

  23. It’s the badgers!

    Defra are set to announce the postponing of the cull for at least a year. They’ve looked into the abyss and realised what was about to hit them if they proceeded.

  24. Are there viewing figures for the third debate?

    Figures I have seen were 67 million for the first and 65.6 for the second. BBC is saying this morning that Romney significantly rowed back from his positions earlier in the campaign, which gave the impression that he would be a warmonger.

  25. Do you think some of Romney’s team should advise their candidate that Iran’s “route to the sea” isn’t Syria it is the 2000 miles of Coast in Iran.

    Reminded me of Dubyers comment regarding the Leader of Pakistan

  26. The Corby poll is Lab +15.4%, Con -10.2% on the general election, so a 12.8% swing?

  27. I guess most of you won’t have seen the BBC Yorkshire area programme last night about the latest perversion of justice scandal for South Yorks police.

    Dozens of arrest reports from the Orgreave incident during the Miners’ Strike used identical and quite convoluted language. A (now) senior copper from Northumberland stated that a plain clothed officer had dictated parts of their statements to groups of arresting officers. And the relevant bits were “scene setters” which, collectively, gave a consistent story of sustained and organised violence by the miners. These records were used to support prosecutions for Riot, which carried the threat of life imprisonment and which hadn’t been used in any civil disturbance arrest since 1919. (The prosecutions collapsed after the judge threw out the police evidence as unreliable.)

    Murky. Very murky. But then, those of us who were there that day knew 28 years ago that someone was organising a very particular story for public consumption.

    Will this now become the next Hillsborough?

    And, associated with this, does anyone know of polls reflecting regional opinions of the trustworthiness of the police? Anecdotally, the attitude in South Yorks for a generation has been that if a copper tells you the time, you go and buy your own watch. But I wonder if that is a widespread generational thing, or particularly influenced by the things that happened in the 80s.

  28. The difference between Hissborough and Orgreave is that Orgreave is OVERTLY political.

    I can’t see Cameron apologising in Parliament for the beatings of miners and subsequent cover-up, can you? Every time we hear about the Miners’ Strike in South Africa I am reminded bitterly about the different media presentation.

  29. I guess most of you won’t have seen the BBC Yorkshire area programme last night about the latest perversion of justice scandal for South Yorks police.
    Dozens of arrest reports from the Orgreave incident during the Miners’ Strike used identical and quite convoluted language. A (now) senior copper from Northumberland stated that a plain clothed officer had dictated parts of their statements to groups of arresting officers.

    ———–
    I was a Young Met Police Officer at the time of the Miners strike and spent several months on duty in relation to it. While I wasn’t at Orgreave so can’t comment directly on it I can say with 100% certainty that at no time during the Miners strike or indeed before or after it has anyone ever told me what to put in arrest notes. and I estimate I arrested over 2000 individuals over the years as an operational officer . Similarly I have never seen or heard such an incident relating to anyone else’s notes.

    This doesn’t mean of course it didn’t happen but please try to remember at this stage this is an allegation only.

  30. steve

    Perhaps you missed the recent Hillsborough report?

  31. Steve.

    Point fully taken. Thing is, the BBC got hold of 100 arresting officer statements from Orgreave, and 31 had IDENTICAL phrases describing the behaviour of the miners in the run up to the police charge. It stretches credulity to consider that this was a coincidence.

  32. Neither wild horses or senior officers would have made me write something in my arrest notes that I didn’t know to be true. Frankly the penalties for perjury , imprisonment (for a copper) and loss of your job would be too unpleasant too contemplate

    Fortunately the Met had no involvement at Hillsborough.

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