The fortnightly Opinium poll for the Observer is out and has topline figures of CON 29%(+1), LAB 39%(-2), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 14%(nc). The poll was conducted between Tuesday and Thursday, and obviously shows no real change from a fortnight ago.

Still to come tonight we apparently have another poll of Eastleigh, I believe by Survation (at least, I know they were doing fieldwork for an Eastleigh poll earlier this week). Tim Montgomerie has tweeted that there is an Eastleigh poll out tonight showing the Lib Dems a couple of points ahead of the Conservatives, so we’ll have to wait and see if that’s correct.

UPDATE: The Survation Eastleigh poll is now up on their website here. Their published voting intention figures for Eastleigh are CON 33%, LAB 13%, LDEM 36%, UKIP 16%, Others 2%. As with Lord Ashcroft’s poll earlier in the week, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are fighting it out for the top spot, their scores within each other’s margin of error, though Survation have Labour behind UKIP in fourth place. The poll was conducted between Wednesday and Friday

150 Responses to “Opinium/Observer – CON 29, LAB 39, LD 8, UKIP 14”

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  1. Yer tis…………………………….

  2. If Cons don’t win Eastleigh that’s a disaster in my book.

  3. Nah, not a disaster. A disaster would be if Labour won Eastleigh. If the Tories come a respectable second they will be sorely disappointed but not too worried.

  4. If the Tories can’t win Eastleigh they have no chance of winning the next election.


  5. @Neil A

    “A disaster would be if Labour won Eastleigh”

    Not at all. In fact it would be absolutely flippin’ marvellous; the very opposite of disaster!! lol

  6. Mike Smithson [email protected]

    Opinium national hypothetical “election tomorrow” poll for Observer has CON 29: LAB 39: LD 18: Ukip 14

  7. @ Paul Croft

    in answer to your query on the previous thread, no I’m not your nephew in Melbourne, though it would be a reasonable explanation for posting in the small hours. Simple insomnia I’m afraid

  8. I’ve been thinking of all the various “what if scenarios” that are begged by the Eastleigh by-election and here’s one that intrigues me. What if a poll put Labour in with a real shout? Would, if the Lib Dems were the nearest challengers, Tory supporters vote tactically for their junior coalition partner to thwart Labour? And what if the Tories were the nearest challengers, would Lib Dem voters line up dutifully behind their senior coalition partner to prevent a Labour win? Logically, one would think the answer would be yes, but if, as I think it is, this coalition is a political confection devoid of grass-root support, then my guess would be that the two coalition partners would be very unlikely to do each other any electoral favours.

    Of course the irony is that I can well envisage some Labour voters voting tactically for the Lib Dem candidate in this by-election. Bizarre, isn’t it, and the message shouldn’t be lost on Clegg, assuming, that is, that his political antenna haven’t completely stopped working. Sadly, he’ll probably think that a Lib Dem victory is an endorsement of the coalition! Silly man.

  9. Who do most Cons hate most??

    Lib Dems, Labour or Cameron?

    That is the nub.

  10. CB11

    Hope I’m not spoiling MOTD2 tomorrow for you but Villa 2 Yer ‘Ammers 1 will be the score.

    Only 9 points now, second to fifth. Very tight for a change.

  11. Headlines are horsemeat and care costs so not much about the Europe triumph.

  12. I’ve already explained on the Eastleigh constituency thread that the Lib Dems are going to hold Eastleigh (they will do so for reasons of by-election dynamics) so all this speculation can stop.

  13. The Tories have not held Eastleigh since 1994; hardly a “disaster, darling” if the LDs hold it, since it will simply prove that much of the LD to Labour defection since 2010 is “soft”.

    As Neil A says, if Labour win it then the writing is truly on the wall.

  14. @Paul C

    “Hope I’m not spoiling MOTD2 tomorrow for you but Villa 2 Yer ‘Ammers 1 will be the score.”

    That would be a nice scoreline but I’m travelling up to Villa Park tomorrow lunchtime more in hope than expectation. It has become the must-win to end all must-win games and I expect my nerves to be fully shredded by the end of it all?

  15. From our TV correspondent:

    SPIRAL IS BACK ON !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Hooray !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    J’aime le thriller Francais.

  16. @Sergio

    “The Tories have not held Eastleigh since 1994; hardly a “disaster, darling” if the LDs hold it, since it will simply prove that much of the LD to Labour defection since 2010 is “soft”.”

    Expectation Management Alert! Expectation Management Alert!

  17. A sort of polling conducted by a well known bookmaker re. Eastleigh by-election has resulted in the offer of the following (approximate) odds-

    Lib.Dem. 4 to 5
    Con. 5 to 4
    Lab. 28 to 1
    UKIP 32 to 1

    Those thinking that Labour or UKIP can win in Eastleigh might like to take advantage of this apparent generosity.

  18. Oh gawd, I hear the Sun hath tweeteth.

  19. @CROSSBAT11

    What’s the damage? I can’t find any Sun tweet.

  20. @LizH

    Sorry, it was a wind up. Couldn’t resist it.

    I’m a sad man.

  21. Labour could take eastleigh they did poll second here in 1994 are already on around 20 percent if they take off a few more percentage points from the lib dem and tories, with ukip polling quite high eating into the tory vote they could get to the 30 mark, and shock results are nothing new if you look back at by elections in the past, Thatcher suffered some huge defeats it did not stop her going onto win the following general elections.

  22. @CROSSBAT11

    Are you trying to see who is still awake this time of the evening?

  23. Crossbat –

    I suppose you would claim that calling the Tories not winning Eastleigh “a disastaer” etc is not expectation management.

  24. @LizH

    “Are you trying to see who is still awake this time of the evening?”

    Something like that, although it’s probably more to do with my wordsmith obsession. I just like the phrase the “Sun hath tweeteth” and I was looking for any excuse to use it!

  25. @Sergio

    “I suppose you would claim that calling the Tories not winning Eastleigh “a disastaer” etc is not expectation management.”

    Were you aware that Eastleigh is Number 9 on the Tories target list of winnable seats?

  26. “Number 9”

    Plus “a candidate you can trust”

    They should walk it [they won’t tho’.]

  27. @CROSSBAT11

    I am glad that the ‘Sun has not tweeteth’ because it means Labour is still at least 10% ahead. Also you can use the words again tomorrow morning.

    Good night.

  28. Survation:

    Final figures from the poll put the LibDems on 36%, slightly ahead of the Conservatives on 33%. UKIP is in third place with 16% and Labour down in fourth at 13%. If correct, these figures would be a major blow for the Conservative’s grand strategy for the 2015 General Election of taking over 20 seats from the Liberal Democrats and consequently hugely damaging to Cameron’s authority. It would also be a much needed boost to the Liberal Democrats who have so far scored no significant electoral success since the formation of the coalition in 2010.

  29. Mike Smithson [email protected]

    My post on #Eastleigh Survation poll for the Mail on Sunday which has the LDs 3% ahead.

  30. Eastleigh was Conservative target number 11 at the 2010 general election according to the Telegraph. Other sources put it at number 12.

    Commenting on the Tories 40/40 election strategy Tim Montgomerie has this to say:”20 of the Conservatives’ top 40 target seats are held by the Liberal Democrats.”

    You can be sure Eastleigh will be on the list.

  31. @Liz H

    “Good night.”

    Same to you.

    By the way, I hope your theory on the lack of a Sun tweet and a 10% Labour lead holds true too!

  32. Eastleigh is going to be about as exciting as a San Francisco primary between Democrats (or an Orange County one between Republicans). We know the coalition is going to win, it’s just a question of the flavour.

    I predict low turnouts, and the victory going to the coalition partner whose voters are fractionally less disenchanted…

  33. There’s a lot of Tory love for Gove. My best mate works for his department.

    I wonder, I wonder, if he has been found out, at last?

  34. Telephone poll/small number/not many Labour voters have phones [or houses]

    However those figures could just tempt disenchanted Tories to go UKIP.

  35. @JOHN

    Yes but the national poll take 3 days before the 94′ Eastleigh by election had Labour 27 points ahead on 50, an outlier maybe, however Labour were still normally 15-20 points ahead.

    The Tories were ripping themselves apart, its not comparable.

  36. If the lib dems hols eastleigh it does not mean that the lib dem defection to labour is ‘soft’ – it means that when the contest is between tories and lib dems, then anti-tory voters will still line up behind the lib dems in significant numbers.

    Other byelections have shown that when labour is best placed to win, than the swing from lib dem to labour is very large.

    This is very bad news for the tories – and should send a very clear message to senior lib dems as to where their voters political loyalties lie.

  37. @Neil A – “Nah, not a disaster. A disaster would be if Labour won Eastleigh. If the Tories come a respectable second they will be sorely disappointed but not too worried.”

    I disagree strongly. As was pointed out above, Eastleigh is very high on the Tory list of seats that must be won to achieve a useful majority. Worse, they must expect to lose at least some seats to Labour, even if things go brilliantly from here, so they have to win in places like this to have any chance of success in 2015.

    A by election where the sitting MP resigns in disgrace, removing the incumbency barrier, is their best chance to take the seat, and if they can’t do that, then they may as well not bother wasting their money on a campaign in 2015.

    @Chrislane1945 – on the last thread you raised again your thought that Lib Dem support is over stated. Well, Eastliegh is money where your mouth is time. Once we know the result, we’ll either have to agree with you, or you will look a tad foolish. Tonight’s poll makes interesting reading.

  38. @Nickp – this looks like a case of childish management methods borne out of watching In the Thick Of It and not realising that it’s comedy, rather than a documentary.

    Smacks of the more lunatic fringe of MBA style management.

  39. The Sun will

    …. rise in the East tomorow.

    A complete disaster for the Cons would be if the NHS campaigner won. That could happen in a bye-election but not this year. The privatisation of the NHS hasn’t got far enough to affect patients yet.

    It will be bigger than the poll tax.

  40. @Alec,

    The bottom line is that by-election results don’t really tell you very much about what will happen at the following GE, unless the result is truly stunning.

    The range of factors involved – lower turnout, more media attention, local opinion polls (allowing more scope for tactical voting than in GEs) etc mean they are a poor guide.

    The Tories will certainly be hoping to win, but noone on the Tory side is going to be saying “Oh my God we lost in Eastleigh that means we’re doomed, quick lets replace Cameron with Attila the Hun”.

    What the polls are telling us is that it is unlikely that Labour will be able to make enough traction to squeeze the LibDems and that it is more likely to go the other way.

    I still think the NHA candidate may be in with a chance, by the way. Green voters are clearly going to be attracted to him (he’s basically a Green) and it may be that he can take Labour voters and angry LibDems too.

    For the Tories an NHA win would be preferable to a Labour win, but a LibDem win would be preferable to an NHA win.

  41. Good Late Evening All.

    I think the 8% figure for the Liberal Democrats seems to be inaccurate.

  42. This poll shows Con/UKIP combined has risen 6% since 2010.


    “seems to be inaccurate”

    On what basis??

  43. I’ve been a political activist since 1978 and have participated in 4 Parliamentary By Elections . One of them , Roy Jenkins Hillhead by election win was trumpeted by the media as sensational , ground breaking , disastrous for the Government etc etc etc . The Conservatives went on to win the next election comfortably and even gain seats in Scotland .

    The harsh reality is that voters beyond the anorak fringe don’t give a jot about by elections and quickly forget about them .

  44. Absolutely right CHASGLAS.

    Fulham 1987 victory for Nick Raynsford, big swing, reversed soon afterwards, despite Kinnock’s campaigns.

  45. ChasGlas

    I think we can rule out con gains in Scotland.

    I agree with Alec that for the Tories NOT to beat the Lib Derns, given their huge national drop in support and a disgraced local MP, will be very demoralising for them.

  46. @Neil A & Chasglas – perhaps, but this is a different political landscape to anything we have seen since the 1930s.

    We’ve been told the Lib Dems face annihilation at the next general election, with the predictions being that they will lose seats to Tories in the south. This is absolutely vital to Cameron’s election strategy.

    If Lib Dems hold Eastleigh, it will almost certainly be down to Lab voters backing the Lib Dem to keep the Tories out. If this vote pattern does occur here, which I personally believe is likely, then it signals something very bad to the Tories in 2015, and something that cannot be dismissed.

    Unusually, I feel that this by election is significant, as it will give us a sense of how vulnerable Lib Dems really are in Con/LD marginals. The answer to this questions is central to the outcome of 2015.

  47. Hmm..

    I think there is some expectation management going on from the left here, never mind the right.

    “Any result except a Tory win is a disaster”.

    No pressure…

  48. I’m sure the Lib Dems will win in Eastleigh, it’s a very Liberal area, I think every single councilor they elected in 2011 was a Liberal, and this was after the Tuition fees raise.

    Not to mention that Lab supporters still hate the Cons more than the Libs so will do as they are told and vote for the Lib Dem.

  49. @CL1945 – now that we have a poll showing a Lib Dem lead, you’ve switched to saying how unimportant by elections are.

    It won’t wash. If Lib Dems win, you will need to eat humble pie.

  50. @neil A – “I think there is some expectation management going on from the left here….”

    I hope you don’t mean me. I’m not Labour, and I’m not cheering for them. I’m simply looking at the already published Tory election strategy for 2015, which has Eastliegh in the cross hairs.

    I really don’t think there is the remotest doubt anywhere that Tories are absolutely desperate to win this one. A year ago most people would have thought they would walk it, but now it feels a bit different. The internal ructions in the party are quite likely to be severe if Cameron doesn’t pull this one off, and the sense of defeatism over their 2015 prospects that has already gripped many in the party will intensify substantially.

    As a simple thought experiment, try to imagine how happy Lib Dems will feel if they wake up on March 1st to find they’ve held the seat. For them, that would be a very big deal, and that tells you why not winning will be an even bigger deal for the Tories.

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