Polls tonight

Tonight we are due at least three polls – the monthly online ComRes poll for the Independent on Sunday & Sunday Mirror, the fortnightly Opinium poll for the Observer and the weekly YouGov poll for the Sunday Times. I believe there may also be a Survation poll for the Mail on Sunday plus, of course, any ad hoc polls that newspapers have commissioned on the back of the referendum announcement in the week. We had our first poll conducted entirely after Cameron’s referendum announcement yesterday, and that didn’t show any obvious impact… but as ever, that was only one poll. We’ll have a much better idea tonight. I’ll update as the polls come in.

UPDATE: ComRes’s monthly online poll has topline figures of CON 33%(+5), LAB 39%(nc), LDEM 11%(+2), UKIP 10%(-4). Changes are from their last online poll in December. There is also an improvement in David Cameron’s own figures – 32% agreed with the statement that he was turning out to be a good Prime Minister (up 5 from a month ago), 46% disagreed (down 6).

UPDATE2: The ComRes tables are now up here. Regular readers may remember that last month ComRes changed their methodology so that when they weighted by likelihood to vote, they treated the minor parties the same as all the other parties (previously they only included BNP, Green and UKIP voters if they said they were 10/10 certain to vote, but included Tory, Lab and LD voters who were 5+/10 likely to vote, weighted proportionally). The effect was to give UKIP a hefty boost. Well, looking at this month’s tables it looks to me as if they’ve reversed the change, and gone back to only including UKIP voters who are 10/10 certain to vote. If that is the case, it would suggest a lot of the increase in UKIP’s support in ComRes’s poll last month, and their drop in support this month, is just switching methodology back and forth.

UPDATE3: By my rough, back-of-a-fag-packet reckoning, if ComRes had used the methodology they used last month they’d have shown topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 37%, LD 11%, UKIP 13% – so it would still have shown a Conservative increase, but UKIP would have suffered a smaller drop, with Labour also falling slightly.

UPDATE4: The fortnightly Opinium poll for the Observer has topline figures of CON 28%(-3), LAB 41%(nc), LDEM 8%(+1), UKIP 14%(+2). Unlike the ComRes poll, which was done between Wednesday and Friday, so wholly after Cameron’s referendum speech, the Opinium poll was done between Tuesday and Thursday and, according to the Observer, most of the fieldwork was completed before news of the speech.

UPDATE5: According to Sky the Survation poll in the Mail on Sunday has topline figures of CON 31%(+2), LAB 38%(nc), LDEM 10%(-1), UKIP 14%(-2). The movement is in the direction of the Conservatives, but the changes are all well within the margin of error. The other poll due tonight is YouGov in the Sunday Times, but that often doesn’t surface till the morning. I’ve seen mention of an Angus Reid poll in the Sunday Express too, but no idea what that shows or if it even exists.


121 Responses to “Polls tonight”

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  1. Could be pedant-related violence: I is just reporting what I read.

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  2. RiN

    The contradictions in the No side on the EU issue is certainly playing strongly here – particularly as BBC Scotland chose to misrepresent the views of the Irish Foreign Minister, who has issued a statement “regretting” that the BBC did that.

    I think its complex. Individuals here (as everywhere else) have different views on the current EU, but it’s a less critical issue than the continuation of the other Union.

    How the EU issue will play in people’s final decisions? No idea! :-)

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  3. Latest YouGov / The Sunday Times results 25 – 27th January – CON 35%, LAB 41%, LD 12%, UKIP 7%; APP -27

    Either a referndum effect or a weekend blip. It looks like the former to me. I wonder how long it will take for the economic news to swing it back again?

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  4. Good Morning All.
    NICK P: I think that there has been a ‘bounce’ for the PM and tories, as there was after the ‘veto. Labour do seem to be back in the unsafe low 40% region.

    Approval rating at minus 27% is quite good for any Govt.

    A Labour weakness which must be corrected is the tendency of Labour to be reactive. Saying NON to a Referendum is a bit of a ‘wedge’ position.

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  5. So it does look as if the coverage that Mr Cameron has had from his Euro speech has moved the dial, but with some significant caveats.

    Firstly the Labour vote seems to be holding steady, and within limits, it doesn’t matter what the Conservatives do if Labour can poll at about 40-43% in 2015.

    Secondly there is a need for more good news/coverage for the Government this week. If a bounce can be turned into a narrative of ascendancy then there is a chance to make these voters stick.*

    *I realise that this is perilously close to a Rovian view of polling in the absence of evidence.

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  6. wow! Yougov good for Tories. Huge danger for Labour now as Farage has said he is now going after them.

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  7. “Huge danger for Labour now as Farage has said he is now going after them.”

    Our knees are knocking.

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  8. I see my prediction is wot the psephologists call “wrong”.

    Or, nore probably it was right but the polls are wrong.

    Probably the latter.

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  9. ComRes aside, which has large elements of doubt due to the change of methodology, I rather suspect Labour will be reasonably comfortable with this. Even the ComRes poll only gave Tories 33%, and the fact that a 35% score is sending Blues into paroxysms of delight just shows how poor their current prospects have been.

    Labour, by contrast will feel some satisfaction that the immediate impact of this has been to only marginally dent their poll ratings. The first poll hit tends to be the big one, with the impact subsiding after that, so I feel personally that Cameron needed a bigger surge now to have any sense that this was the game changer that some thought.

    Two years on, and this will probably merge into the general weariness of politics, as last years veto did. We’ve already got the deep rumblings and discontent within Tory ranks being exposed by this announcement, so overall my guess is that this will be a passing moment, which over time, will probably have little impact on Labour, but I would expect to have a bigger negative on Tories. (Not from the policy itself, I would add, but from the internal party ramifications).

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  10. Paul and Nick, it is much better to look at things with an even head rather than believing what you hope in every post!
    Thy Guardian article was awful. In fact, for political comment I find The Economist is easily the best most unpartisan publication. The headline article this week on Cameron and Europe is fantastic.
    Papers I avoid now are the independent, which has lurched to the left, and Mail and Express on the right. Telegraph and Guardian are generally ok, but that article as stated in the Guardian is way off.

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  11. @Crossbat1

    “Wishful thinking”? No, I just try and tell it as I see it. I was hoping that the Lab lead would hold up in this morning’s poll, as obviously were you.

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  12. We will see whether the Tories have had a real bounce over the coming weeks. It may be the case that some UKIP flirting Tories have changed their minds.

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  13. “Labour do seem to be back in the unsafe low 40% region.”
    Labour have been in the ‘low 40% region’ for months, I don’t really see why that’s a huge danger?

    What we’ve effectively seen with these post-speech polls is that the movement is largely UKIP down, Con up – which should be no surprise to anybody given that

    Cameron has just effectively ended UKIP’s main policy position – that we should have a referendum.
    If UKIP don’t reposition themselves as a ‘true conservative’ party and do go after Labour, they’re doomed to fail.

    Labour has been gained most of it’s support since 2010 from more pro-EU liberals so there’s little to gain for a nationalist illiberal party.

    This does make Labour’s position more difficult if the LibDems start to regain some of those lost voters, but this should hardly be a position of worry for Labour.

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  14. at the very least we have a real choice at the next election. You have Tories offering voters a say on Europe vs Labour that have ruled it out, and then you still have conservatives lower public spending and lower taxation vs traditional labour tax and spend, including labour increasing benefits back to reverse the recent 1% cap the Tories brought in. These are big choices!

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  15. Am I missing something here. Many of the Tory press are hailing “The Speech” as a game changer. Yes, the Conservative percentage has risen with what looks like thanks to UKIP switchers, however, the Labour percentage has not moved one iota in three polls and one percent in Yougov. If Labour get anywhere in the 37-41% mark at the election, at worst largest party and could even form a government.

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  16. There is another consideration here, that what movement that there is could also be demonstrating a simple media coverage effect. Cameron appeared to be creeping up the scale with the Algerian crisis, which gave him good media opportunities, and then went straight into the EU speech.

    Another factor to consider is that UKIP are still showing between 7 – 14% in this crop of polls. To me, this suggests that their fox might have been shot, but it’s only a little wounded. UKIP at 7% is bad news for the Tories, at 14% it’s the end of the world.

    While I would agree with those who think that minor parties score mid term are likely to be soft, and prone to swinging back to the big parties at the GE, these polls still show that UKIP has maintained a strong showing. With the next GE likely to be fought between two main parties both in the 35 – 40% range, having UKIP add just the odd percent or two could have significant impacts, and it doesn’t look like Cameron has buried this one.

    Political speaking, this isn’t surprising in many ways. Cameron has made the UKIP position much more mainstream, and will have helped forge links between his right wing and UKIP as they strategise in preparation for the referendum.

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  17. new thread

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  18. @Oldnat
    I think the alleged contradictions in the No side are only “playing strongly” with those who are already going to vote Yes. Europe simply isnt a concern for the vast majority of people in Scotland, or elsewhere in the UK.

    The electorate is sophisticated enough to know that Labour’s position is different from the minor partners in the No Campaign. After all, is not their position consistent? Delay in Indy referendum will cause uncertainty, delay in EU referendum will cause uncertainty?

    It might not happen all that often, but consitency never hurt a political party!

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  19. New Thread

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  20. Like Paul Croft I was wrong about the polls, three out of the four are more positive for the Tories and one not. The latter was carried out before the speech and the GNP numbers. I expected the polling to get worse due to the publicity of the GNP numbers especially by the BBC, offsetting any bounce due to Cameron’s referendum speech.
    Looking at the YouGov figures I wonder if the sample is a bit of an outlier, if not then it is very encouraging for the Tories, there is even a small movement positive movement for them on the economy which looks odd. The next few YouGOV polls will be very interesting.
    On the economy I wonder if employment figures resonate more with the public than GDP figures. The increase in vacancies to the highest level for 4 years and the increase of 113,000 in full time jobs were very encouraging.
    On Europe it does look as though the public liked the offer of a referendum and thought Labour were wrong to oppose it.

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  21. Whatever the public about Labour’s stance, as others have said there isn’t any meaningful diminution in Labour’s support in these polls. The Tories won’t retain power even in a coalition if Labour’s support stays at these levels.

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