When a party goes up or down in the polls there is inevitably speculation as to why. Sadly it’s not normally very good speculation… there is always a temptation for people to follow the logic of I think issue X is very important therefore issue X is the cause of the recent shift in the polls. Inferences from polls are not always much better than that – people who are supporting party Y are more likely to think X, therefore X has caused the increased support for that party. It sounds okay, but what about issues A, B and C which weren’t asked in the poll?

Daily polling does at least give us an idea of when movements in public opinion have happened, and therefore make inferences about what events may have caused them. The graph below shows a five day rolling average of UKIP’s support in YouGov’s daily poll since the end of 2011.

You can see there are two big increases – the first was the Budget in 2012, nothing to do with immigration or Europe or any of those issues we associate with UKIP, the thing that co-incided with an increase in UKIP support more than anything else was the budget. My guess, given the demographic make up of UKIP’s vote, that the granny tax and the messages it sent out were the most important factor there. UKIP’s support then faded away a bit, had a couple of lumps and bumps during the autumn and then shot up again during November when there was an almost perfect storm for them – the run up to the EU budget summit, a decent performance in the police elections, the Rotherham fostering row, the speculation over a Con-UKIP pact and finally the solid by-election performance at the end of the month, all combining to produce far more news coverage than the party could normally dream of. It is possible that the gay marriage issue since then has helped keep their support up.

All of this is still a far cry from proving what causes the ups and downs in UKIP support, after all, correlation does not prove causality. There could have been other events at the same time that got less attention, but it is normally a fairly good pointer.

Note also the biggest drop in UKIP support, back at the end of 2011 at the time of David Cameron’s veto in Europe. As I wrote the other day, Europe isn’t actually the main driver of UKIP support, so if the Conservatives suddenly became more anti-European UKIP would not vanish like magic… but it is an issue that plays to the sort of values that drive UKIP voters, so neither is it irrelevant.


223 Responses to “The ups and downs of UKIP”

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  1. Anthony – last ComRes phone poll:

    You reported it as 31/41/10 in your article

    But in polling database you have input 31/42/10

    Small difference but thought you should know for the record.

  2. As a protest party of the Right, I would expect to see UKIP support increase i. at times that the Conservatives seem to be insufficiently right-wing and ii. at times that UKIP’s core voters feel attacked (eg. the granny tax).

    Likewise, I’d expect their support to drop slightly when UKIP core voters get what they want. eg. Cameron’s veto.

    And that is exactly what the chart shows.

    It confirms – along with Ashcroft’s polling – that UKIP are essentially the right-wing of the Conservative party.

  3. Howard – from a couple of posts ago –
    I’ll try to explain what I meant more clearly.

    In 1992, there was a 77.7% turnout – Cons gained 41.9% of the vote, which equates to 32.6% of the electorate. In 1997, this shrank to 21.9% of the electorate – a drop of 10.7% of the electorate [1].

    1992 for Labour was 34.4% of the vote or 26.7% of the electorate. In 1997, they gained 4.2% of the electorate, but thanks to the collapse in the Con vote (which led to a collapse in turn-out), their vote share was 43.2%.

    Had the Conservative vote (of electorate) dropped less, even if Labour gained the same number of votes (my example was a Con drop of 5.7, rather than 10.7), the lead, in terms of vote share, would have been 5.2% rather than the result of 12.5%.

    So Labour’s huge 1997 landslide wasn’t necessarily the result of Labour improving their vote, but was largely down to the Conservative collapse.

    Much like if we take the 1997-2010 period, Labour’s vote, in terms of vote share, collapsed 14.2% and the Conservatives gained 5.4%.
    But in terms of share of the electorate, it was gains of 1.6% for the Cons and a drop of 12% for Labour.

    So the Conservatives didn’t necessarily regain power because they were more popular than in 1997 – but because Labour became so deeply unpopular.

    If we gave Cameron’s 2010 electorate share to Major in 1997 (all other things the same), the result would have been Con 32.1, Lab 42.3.

    Equally Labour only retained power in 2005 – on a vote share of 35.2% but an electorate share of 21.6% (Note: Lower than Major achieved in 1997) because the Conservatives were still deeply unpopular.

    So an electoral victory, as shown by recent world elections (Spain, Japan, Greece), and even in our own most recent elections, doesn’t necessarily come because you’re popular but because your opponents are so hated – even if you were booted out only a few years earlier (Japan, etc).
    So my point was that Labour might walk the next election, not because they’re necessarily popular but it may be due to sustained unpopularity of their opponents[2].

    I hope that was clear enough?
    I may have rambled a bit too much and made it more confusing.

    [1] It’s interesting to note that 1987-1992, Conservative vote share fell, from 42.3% of the vote to 41.9% but their share of the electorate rose from 31.9% to 32.6% – their highest result since 1979.
    [2] Although if we take polling at face value, if Labour achieve anywhere near where they are now in 2015(on similar turnout to 2010), we’re looking at the greatest post-war British electoral victory. Which is why I have my doubts Labour will reach as high as 40+. ;)

  4. TF
    Crystal clear (of course I have to assume your careful research has no errors).. It was the terminology I queried.

    I am sure your analysis chimes with what we all thought was the case (and is the case).

    EM just needs to maintain low profile and the job’s done.

    On this thread, we must remember that the typical UKIP voter will vote, even were he to have to be carried on a stretcher to the PS. Whether he has the nous to ask for a postal vote is not an item of data in which we have any insight. For the elderly, it would be sensible, but my extensive contact with the elderly tells me otherwise than they would universally realise that would be sensible.

    If I were a UKIP activist, I would be getting old people a postal vote, regardless. Don’t even bother to canvass but just get them a postal vote (and follow up with all the Daily Mail stuff type leaflets to get them in the right frame of mind).

  5. Howard
    The data may be slightly off (different sources give slightly different vote tallies and electorate sizes) but the overall point stands – although I disagree that EM just needs to sit there and job done.

    I think what Ed needs to aim for is denying the Conservatives a majority and enough seats to have a Lib-Lab coalition – if the Libs chose to keep the same coalition, I think it’d cement the views of LibDem deserters and if they choose Lab then it sets Lab up for 2020.
    And Lab don’t need to retain many of the current Lib>Lab converts to achieve that.

  6. UKIP is surging the most in safe Labour seats in Yorkshire and safe tory seats in Kent, Bucks, Cambs etc

    I think they’ll come 2nd in 2014 but only get 5/6% in 2015.

  7. Thanks Mike – I’ll check it out

  8. A Cairns
    Given that they came second in 2009, it wouldn’t take much for them to retain their position.

  9. @ That Old Bloke

    It confirms – along with Ashcroft’s polling – that UKIP are essentially the right-wing of the Conservative party.
    ———————
    They are essentially the poor, old white-wing of the Conservative Party.

  10. UKIP are a godsend to the labour party.

  11. @Reggieside

    Agreed, all labour needs to do is continue it’s responsible/pragmatic pro EU course.

  12. “So Labour’s huge 1997 landslide wasn’t necessarily the result of Labour improving their vote, but was largely down to the Conservative collapse.”

    In many safe Labour seats their numerical vote actually fell in 1997.

  13. TINGEDFRINGE,

    For some reason the %figures you have used for party shares are UK based – despite the fact that the data provided by the pollsters is almost invariably GB based. On the latter basis, Labour’s 1992 share was 35.2% with the Tories on 42.8%.

  14. @ANDY JS

    But I think in 1997 turnout also dropped dramatically and in UK general elections since it has never recovered. By contrast 1992 was one the higher turnouts since Feb 1974 – which I seem to remember being one of the highest since 1951. In 1997 I also recall – perhaps inaccurately – that turnout dropped most in safe Labour seats – which supports a general point being made. But equally I think the drop in GE turnout which many though might be a one-off in 1997 as a consequence of the inevitability of the Labour victory turned out instead to be a cultural change in voting patterns in the UK.

  15. GRAHAM
    That is true – I should have made that clearer in my post.

    Unfortunately I don’t have a spreadsheet for GB only (although should really get to building one at some point).

  16. (My spreadsheet for UK elections goes back to 1885 – back when Liberal-Labour candidates got err.. 0.2% of the electorate)

  17. Surely the reason why turn out has dropped in safe seats is that in the modern era there is just a greater understanding that your vote really doesn’t matter. And whats more the politicians are really not interested in chasing it either.

    Whereas perhaps in the dim and distant past (when you couldn’t just hop online and find the results of your seat for the past 5 elections) there was a stronger civil duty to voting irrespective of the actual influence your cast vote was going to have.

  18. JOHN MURPHY

    “the drop in GE turnout which many though might be a one-off in 1997 as a consequence of the inevitability of the Labour victory turned out instead to be a cultural change in voting patterns in the UK.”

    Turnout in each of England, Wales, Scotland dropped further in the 2001 election, but have been rising since. Only in NI did 2001 rise slightly in 2001, then decline further at subsequent UK GEs.

  19. @ Billy Bob

    “That’s right, the recent disaster wasn’t a sudden whim/heat of the moment calamity made possible by a gun to hand. From what I have read the perpetrator grew up in a home where gun collecting had become obsessional. Planning probably took the form of an ongoing fantasy which was finally enacted during an episode.”

    See I don’t think gun collecting is the sign of mental illness. We don’t know enough about the shooter and his family yet (we’re hearing lots of bits of things that are conflicting and we’ve heard stuff that’s turned out to be wrong) to know all the variables but something was wrong with this kid for a long time. I’m not even sure that his troubles began when he turned 20, which is often when mental illnesses in young men can begin.

    In this case, the killer here didn’t have any guns of his own. He tried to buy one and was turned down. His mother had the guns and he had access to them. She knew he wasn’t well (apparently, she was trying to get him committed) but kept those guns around anyway.

    There are tens of millions of gun owners in the United States. 99.9% of them will never do anything like this. There are some people who become obsessed with owning guns. Doesn’t mean they’re mentally unstable. There are people who enjoy collecting miniature soldiers, baseball cards, Russian tea samovers, expensive shoes, handbags, etc. At a personal level, I don’t own guns, I don’t use guns, I don’t really like guns or being around them. But the fact that I don’t like something doesn’t give me the right to try and take them away from other people who enjoy them.

    “In the home where I grew up toy guns were banned – not that it stopped us improvising… though as the youngest I usually got the imaginary bow and arrow. That was the 1960s and I’m happy that was how it was. It’s entirely possible if I lived in the US I would feel different.”

    My favorite toys growing up were Legos, flexiblocks (for traffic lights, which I was obsessed with), and then sometimes Lincoln logs. I would build entire little towns on my bedroom floor (which my mom would then have demolished). I didn’t have toy guns but that was more due to lack of interest.

    “On the Eli Roth thing, for sure I’d censor advertisers who blitz a neighbourhood with massive hoardings depicting a torture scene.

    There is a historical element, how a society has developed and the extent to which guns played a part. There is the cultural element too. Very occassionally an ogre would flash a rod in silent films, cue theatrical raised eyebrows, everyone runs away, and plenty of ingenious stunts along the way. Then there were the plot twists in film noire when a baddie suddenly losses off: Blam-Blam. Then the gunslingers whose six shots (or was it five?) invariably went wide. How far have we moved beyond the 1980s era where an action hero in a bandana blasts all to hell with a machine gun?

    Perhaps something for politicians to think about, the type who like rhetoric about America being a beacon for the world?”

    Not to invoke Godwin’s Law here but Hitler grew up in a world where he didn’t play violent video games or violent computer games and where there wasn’t cussing on television and where there weren’t sex scenes in movies and where there wasn’t violence on the big screen or on television. And yet, he was violent anyway.

    And when you guys follow American politics, all of our rhetoric about greatness from politicians of all parties must get grating and really annoying after a while.

  20. @Anthony – in the last thread you suggested that the Greens, like UKIP, are anti EU.

    I think this is an inaccurate depiction of Green policy and is distinctly misleading. The official Green position is that they support the EU in principle, but seek reform of the institutions and role of the various bodies.

  21. SocaL
    ‘And when you guys follow American politics, all of our rhetoric about greatness from politicians of all parties must get grating and really annoying after a while.’

    Just – only after a while?

    I love to read you Socal, so do keep them coming, but I do not think you have any idea about what , despite the assimilation of USA idiom and vocabulary within our country (all Europe), how independent culturally from USA we are.

    What hit me (as example) was how at the scene of the shootings, people put up stars and stripes flags.

    Astonishing (to us).

  22. Alec

    You could have fooled me. Have you checked?

  23. Just loving the site of the Tory right discovering that the police can’t always be trusted.

    The outpouring of bewilderment on the pages of the Telegraph and in the ranks of Tory backbenchers really are quite funny to watch.

    For those on the left, who have had to put up with cover ups like Blair Peach, the policing of the miners strike, kettling of peaceful demonstrations, illegal pre-emptive arrest of climate change activists, stop and search, the SPG, and any number of inappropriate acts by the police over the decades, seeing Tories finally understand that sometimes the police misbehave is altogether rather amusing.

  24. @Howard – as it happens, I have, very recently. Someone (I think @Tinged F) posted the link to the Green EU policy page a couple of days ago and I took the chance to have a good look through.

    Lots of criticism of the current EU, but the Greens remain a fundamentally pro EU party – the key to their approach is the belief however, that the EU currently is undemocratic and has been captured by corporate and vested interests.

  25. Howard

    I don’t know about Alec’s lot, but Scottish Green attitude to EU is –

    “The Greens are the first political movement born in the age of European political and economic union, and we’ve always seen EU membership as a positive opportunity to make progress on a host of social and environmental objectives. Europe has improved working conditions for millions of people, helped to control the use of toxic chemicals in industry, and put pressure on all member states to live up to basic standards of human rights and equality.

    But the EU is also guilty of far too much economic centralisation, and remains dominated by an unsustainable and market-obsessed economic model. Greens want to see strong self-reliant local and regional economies in Europe, instead of pushing for ever greater centralisation. In a more democratic and accountable Europe, power should be placed in the hands of citizens through a stronger Parliament, and greater use of referendums.”

    As someone said – they want a nicer EU! (which may well be an attitude shared by lots of voters throughout EU states).

  26. Alec

    Similar approach from both Green parties then.

  27. i thought more people voted in 1992 because even a percentage of mirror reading labour supporters voted major to keep kinnock out. it wasn’t so much a pro major but a fear of kinnock personally even by some labour supporters. in 97 and subsequent elections people weren’t anti any of the leaders as much as they were anti kinnock. 92 was a massive turnout because of negative reasons to keep kinnock out by some.

  28. @paul
    “92 was a massive turnout because of negative reasons to keep kinnock out by some.”
    ————————–
    Clearly you have wonderful insight into the motives of millions who turned out to vote. have you considered selling your database to a polling organisation?

  29. @ Old Nat

    As someone said – they want a nicer EU! (which may well be an attitude shared by lots of voters throughout EU states).
    ——————
    I want nicer everything for everybody. Vote for me!

  30. SoCalLiberal (from a previous thread)

    […]Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against all gun control and I think we certainly need more, at least more regulation. But I don’t think simply making possession of a firearm a crime is somehow going to stop gun crime from happenning. Afterall, the crimes committed with the guns were already against the law to begin with.

    Well any form of gun control is going to make possession of a firearm a crime in some circumstances, even under current rules. I realise that in legal theory there’s a difference between gun ownership as a right (as in the US) and as a privilege (as in most of the rest of the world), but in practice it’s the restrictions that matter. And the more restrictions there are, the less harm that guns will cause, it’s as simple as that.

    I don’t think people take their lives on a whim. I’ve spoken to a number of people who have dealt with clinical depression and a number of mental health professionals on the subject.

    Besides, suicide reduction is more evidence of the need to combat mental health issues. The answer is not to take away guns from law abiding citizens.

    People don’t take their lives on a whim exactly, but they can make the decision pretty suddenly. If you have access to a gun, you can act on that decision straight away and near certainty of success – other methods aren’t as good at it[1]. And, as I pointed out, they take much more effort.

    Depression’s a good example of this. People tend not to kill themselves at the very depths of the disease, not because they lack the desire to stop living, but because they lack the will and the energy to carry it out. Paradoxically it tends to be recovering depressives who kill themselves – they still have much of the feelings, but have regained some ability to act.

    But if you have a gun available, suicide takes no more effort than making a cup of tea. And of course it’s mostly “law abiding citizens” that do it, so you need universal gun control to stop make a difference. Even then you find that professions that tend to have access to guns are also those with high suicide rates – farmers and the military for example.

    Of course what you say about the need for improved mental health services is true as well, as is the more complex debate about the best ways of dealing with that set of issues. But it’s got nothing to do with gun control which is basically about harm reduction. That applies to all the situations in which guns cause death (which after all is what they are designed for), though I’ve concentrated on suicide because it’s got very little attention in the debate and yet 55% of the US deaths by gunshot are suicides.

    [1] According to an Australian study, […]the estimated mortality from self-shooting is 90%, from attempted hanging is 83% and from jumping from a height is 60%, whereas fewer than 3% of suicide attempts by self-poisoning or by sharp implement result in death.

    Incidentally it also gives a good example of unintended consequences. One of the other reason for a drop in the suicide rate was introduction of catalytic converters in cars.

  31. @ John Murphy

    “But I think in 1997 turnout also dropped dramatically and in UK general elections since it has never recovered. By contrast 1992 was one the higher turnouts since Feb 1974 – which I seem to remember being one of the highest since 1951. In 1997 I also recall – perhaps inaccurately – that turnout dropped most in safe Labour seats – which supports a general point being made. But equally I think the drop in GE turnout which many though might be a one-off in 1997 as a consequence of the inevitability of the Labour victory turned out instead to be a cultural change in voting patterns in the UK.”

    Do you think some of that came from urban Labour voters in 1992 deciding that their vote didn’t matter and deciding not to vote as a consequence? And do you think that some of the unlikely Tory voters in 1992 who turned out to prevent Neil Kinnock from being PM (those who feared turning off the lights) decided that Blair wasn’t so bad/the Tories weren’t as good at managing the economy that they just decided not to vote?

  32. Well the Mayans said that the world would end on December 21st. But it is December 21st already in the UK and much of the eastern hemisphere and it turns out the world hasn’t ended. Now what will John Boehner do? This was his best option in the wake of his decisions to destroy the economy.

    @ Roger Mexico

    “Well any form of gun control is going to make possession of a firearm a crime in some circumstances, even under current rules. I realise that in legal theory there’s a difference between gun ownership as a right (as in the US) and as a privilege (as in most of the rest of the world), but in practice it’s the restrictions that matter. And the more restrictions there are, the less harm that guns will cause, it’s as simple as that. ”

    This is why I’d like the assault weapons ban to come back, at least in some form. Here’s a good article that I think sums up my position (or close to it….actually I’m not sure I’d go as far as this guy) and I think actually might inform you as to the societal dynamics of gun ownership.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-burns-assault-weapons-ban-20121220,0,6774314.story

  33. “Someone (I think @Tinged F)”
    In the words of the song, it wasn’t me.

    YouGov –
    Con 33, Lab 41, Lib 11, UKIP 10
    I expect to see lots of ‘Labour lead down to 8!’ tweets from Tories today.

  34. An 8 point lead for Labour in today’s YouGov poll is a bit downbeat.
    However, with the average Labour lead now at 11 points, it is substantially better than the posiion this time last year, when Lab and Con were starting to run neck and neck! :-)

  35. @SoCalLiberal

    Hitler didn’t grow up with video games, but he did have to work in a fairly gun heavy environment in the First World War.

    More seriously I’m wondering what the stats for teachers having breakdowns in schools is. It’s a stressful environment, after all. It just seems that the people advocating providing teachers with guns might find it significantly increases the number of classroom deaths compared with the low (but tragic) current rate.

  36. “he didn’t play violent video games or violent computer games”
    I just want to point out here that – and correlation doesn’t imply causation – but videogames have been gaining popularity against a backdrop of steadily declining murder rates.
    So if videogames do have violent effects (which there doesn’t seem to be a long-term link), it’s being countered by another force to more than compensate.

  37. [I do have my own theories about the declining murder rates, but they’re very political – so it’s best to leave it there..]

  38. I would bet folding money that the number of UKIP MP’s after the 2015 GE is the same as the number after the 2010 GE.

  39. @ socalliberal
    “Do you think some of that came from urban Labour voters in 1992 deciding that their vote didn’t matter and deciding not to vote as a consequence? And do you think that some of the unlikely Tory voters in 1992 who turned out to prevent Neil Kinnock from being PM (those who feared turning off the lights) decided that Blair wasn’t so bad/the Tories weren’t as good at managing the economy that they just decided not to vote?”

    Its possible that there is a chunk of voters that are culturally Tory-thinking and would never vote Labour. But that in 1997 after 18 years the Tory govt had lost some appeal to those people. Some of them might have voted LD (where there a useful point in doing so) but a lot may have just not bothered such was there Labour block.

    What is surprising though is that the Tories have never recaptured the bulk of these people (who are probably predisposed to give them a fair hearing) in the intervening 15 years. They have become lost voters.

  40. ah-crinkleys back in line this morning. Splendid.

  41. Crime rates are rigged for political gain IMO. A bit like GCSE and A
    Level results. Beyond tribal political supporters, only a small minority people actually believe them.

  42. @Paul/Ozwald

    I tend to share Paul’s views about the 1992 election which the Tories successfully managed to turn into a referendum on the opposition rather than themselves. Accordingly, the personality and Prime Ministerial abilities of Kinnock, became centre-stage issues. The Sun’s infamous front page on election day with Kinnock’s head superimposed on a light bulb over the headline “If he wins, will the last person to leave the country please switch the lights off” summed up the general tenor of the campaign very well. The Chris Patten (whatever happened to him?) inspired “double whammy” posters, traducing Labour’s tax plans, played their part too in generally frightening the horses. Throw in the constant reminders of Kinnock’s Welshness (Welsh Windbag etc), and you had just about the most negative election campaign that I can recall in the modern era. The Conservatives made no real attempt to persuade the electorate of any positive reasons why they should be re-elected for a fourth time but concentrated exclusively on telling the voters why they shouldn’t elect Labour. It was very successful and the tightness of the polls, suggesting that it was too close to call right up to election day, did the trick too in persuading a rather sullen Tory vote that they had to turn out and do their national duty; i.e. stop Kinnock. It would be silly to think that this didn’t boost turnout and contribute to Major recording the highest ever popular vote achieved by a party, albeit on a significantly lower vote share (41.9%) than Blair’s obtained (43.2%) in his landslide in 1997.

    The 1997 turnout was lower for a number of reasons in my view. Unlike 1992, there was an inevitability about the outcome where the only unknown was the margin of Labour’s win and this caused many voters in Labour safe seats to sit it out. There was also an alienation from mainstream politics developing by then too, generated in no small part by the sleazy antics of Major’s administration. That said, I also think it was a much more positive campaign and while, like 2010, there was a widespread urge to get rid of the incumbents, unlike 2010, there was also genuine enthusiasm for the alternative. This allowed Blair to inflict his historic electoral rout on the Conservatives who, in Parliamentary terms, decline to almost rump-esque levels.

    1992 proved, sadly, that negative campaigning can be very effective and no doubt Karl Rove and Lynton Crosby watched and learned intently! It also helps to have an on-message media behind you too, and this won’t have escaped Crosby in this delicate post-Leveson world! lol

  43. End of the world would be another Lib Dem/Tory coalition from May 2015 ? I think even Colin would agree with that.

    I see everyone in Tesco this morning was getting their supplies in for their shelters. I am presuming it is end of the world planning, as for a family to be filling two shopping trolleys with food for a few days, it must mean they will not be able to get to a shop again.

  44. LOL I won a tenner this morning! I had a bet that YouGov polling would put Labour on 8 or below this morning – I won! I must be “psychic” ha ha ha.

  45. @R Huckle

    Rather that than a Labour Government, but we don’t want to be partisan do we!

  46. @Crossbat11
    I agree with your points about the media campaign against Kinnock. But what’s new? Every Labour leader has been pilloried in a similar manner. Lab did get its tactics badly wrong though.

    IIRC there was a theory that something happens in the last day or two before polling day which pollsters find difficult to measure. Some sort of kickback which happens when the media has prematurely declared victory for one side or the other, and which causes some voters to change their minds at the last minute.

    My point about Paul’ s post is that it suggested that the ‘keep Kinnock out’ campaign was a major factor in the high turnout when this could be due to a variety of reasons. Measuring real numbers is one thing. Reading the minds of voters is a different matter.

  47. @Alec

    It was me.

    The Greens are anti-euro but pro-EU. They want to reform it, but who doesn’t?

  48. TOH

    Partisan ! Always strictly neutral me. ;)

    All the polling suggests that the majority of people, either want a Labour or Tory majority, not another coaltion. Prior to the 2010 election polling suggested that people wanted a coalition, but this has now changed.

    Based on current polling, the probable outcome of a 2015 election is a Labour majority. Electoral calculus shows a 87% probability of a Labour majority.

  49. @Andyo

    “An 8 point lead for Labour in today’s YouGov poll is a bit downbeat.”

    13 points yesterday; 8 points today – I split the difference, which is 10.5% and pretty close to the MAD data.

    The only thing I would say it that yesterday’s poll had a sample of 1556, while today’s one is 1923. There’s a better chance that today’s one is more accurate, but that would be assuming that all polls are representative of the entire population, which isn’t the case.

  50. @R Huckle

    “All the polling suggests that the majority of people”

    I prefer:

    “All the polling suggests that the majority of respondents who will vote.”

    The by-election results suggest that UKIP is the third force in UK politics, while the polling says otherwise. Only a General Election will show one way or another. :)

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