A quick update on the latest voting intention polling. TNS-BMRB’s weekly poll has topline figures of CON 29%(-2), LAB 38%(-3), LD 11%(+1), UKIP 12%(+2), Others 10% (changes are from a week ago).

Meanwhile this morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun had topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 41%, LDEM 12%, UKIP 8%.

This morning’s Times had some claims about polling conducted by UKIP in Eastleigh. I would advise totally ignoring any claims about “private polling” from political parties unless they cough up the tables so you can see if they were playing a straight bat. More often than not party claims about their “polling” in elections actually means their canvas returns. I’ve dropped a line to the various polling companies just to check none of them have any tables to release under the BPC disclosure rules, but thus far no one seems to have done anything.

476 Responses to “New YouGov and TNS-BMRB polls”

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  1. My own polling has 3 main parties on 28%

  2. ps

    That is – as Rosie and Daisie would say – wuffly.

    Might be a smidgeon more or less as I have a 10% moe
    [again, wuffly.]

  3. Paul,

    Whats the margin of error?

  4. We experts call that the “moe” Steve2.

    So fairly minimal really

  5. Has there ever been a period as long as this one for (almost) static poll leads? It is like the bank base rate.

    Mike B

  6. Judging by the standard of comments recently I have come to the conclusion that we are too far from an election

  7. RiN

    Over to you for a better class of comment then………

    You can be Comment Standards Monitor.

  8. Paul

    I’m probably the worse one here, I hate staying on topic

  9. You’d be great then.

    Money’s quite poor mind but the prestige makes it all worthwhile.

  10. 8% evenly distributed is enough to elect 8 MSP’s, one in each region.This is the interim target of small parties, the Greens and SSP.

    As DC migt say “Calm down, dear”.

    The Scotsman has it straight.

    UKIP leader Nigel Farage has predicted his party will win seats at Holyrood as it gears up for a fresh Scottish drive in the build-up to next year’s European elections.

    According to recent polls, Ukip has displaced the Liberal Democrats as the third force in UK politics, and Mr Farage believes a breakthrough is now imminent north of the Border.

    Ukip’s appeal is based on its core policy of withdrawing from the EU and it secured 13 MEPs in the 2009 European elections. But critics have branded it a “Little Englander” party, and it has failed to make any electoral headway in Scotland.

    Mr Farage now insists the current debate surrounding both an independent Scotland’s place in the EU and Prime Minister David Cameron’s proposed ­Europe referendum gives Ukip a fresh opportunity.

    “The SNP argument of Scottish independence trumps any argument about Europe and frankly, the Scots haven’t had a European debate because they are having their own argument about their relationship with the UK,” Mr Farage said in an interview with Holyrood ­magazine.

    “That has meant in electoral terms up until now Scotland has been a graveyard for us, but that is all changing now, thanks to Mr Barroso.

    “Yes, we would now expect to get Ukip MSPs and also as European representatives.”

    European Commission president José Manuel Barroso has indicated that an independent Scotland would have to re-apply to join the European Union – which could mean adopting the troubled euro currency and the Schengen open borders policy, from which the UK is currently ­exempt.

    Mr Farage said: “We have ­established as a party that we are not against devolved powers but discussing the relationship ­between Holyrood and Westminster is, frankly, irrelevant when half our law is made across the sea anyway.

    “I admire [Alex] Salmond in many ways but my problem with him has always been this independence thing within the EU, which is rubbish.”

    Mr Farage, who is against Scottish independence, went on to describe the SNP stance that an independent Scotland would continue in the EU as “a logical inconsistency”.

    Meanwhile, he argued that Scotland was seen as “a soft touch” by other EU member states.

    “People say that the Scots are all in favour of the EU as if it’s some proven truth but it’s rubbish,” he added.

    Ukip is in the process of ­selecting Scottish candidates for next year’s European elections and the Holyrood elections in 2016 – although Scots may have voted for independence by then in next year’s referendum.

    At the Scottish Parliamentary elections in 2011, Ukip’s policies included replacing MSPs with Scottish Westminster MPs, ­repealing climate change laws and halting proposed wind farm projects, and scrapping the smoking ban.

    A SNP spokesman said a ­majority of Scots wants to remain in Europe and insisted Ukip “barely registers” in Scottish elections.

    “We have heard this all before from Ukip and only today a poll showed that 61 per cent of people wants Scotland to be in the EU,” he added.

    “While Ukip is dictating the terms of the European debate south of the Border – with the Tories threatening to isolate Scotland from the EU and the single market of half a billion people – Mr Farage and his ­colleagues have never moved ­beyond the far fringes of Scottish politics.”

    The last European election in 2009 saw Ukip take second place UK-wide with its share of the vote. In Scotland, the party came in last behind the Tories, Lib Dems and Greens. The party also lost its deposit in every seat it contested in the 2011 Scottish Parliament election.

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  11. Well there’s not much news either that might affect VI. Cameron’s in India. And polling news is often a case of “nothing to see here”. Eg Kellner’s recent article on gender differences in polling someone linked to. Was a bit like that with the analysis of how many seats UKip might take from Tories. And boundary changes fizzled out…

  12. The Times’s polling reports seem to have been a bit below board recently I think – a shame, as it is my paper of choice, and I find it to be most agreeable in other areas of the paper – including normally the political reports.

    They do tend to sensationalize the monthly Populus polls that they get, while staying fairly quiet whenever Labour seem to do OK from it.

    I think Eastleigh is going to the Libs personally. YouGov seems to have a stable lead of 9/10% – can’t see owt really changing until George gets his moment in the sun (or more likely, rain) next month.

  13. Does Britain have any politicians of Elizabeth Warren’s class


    Well done the folk of mass for electing her

  14. John B Dick

    The trouble with Farage’s latest peroration on the improved electoral prospects for UKIP in Scotland is that the latest Ipsos-MORI poll managed to find not a single UKIP voter in their sample of 1,000 or so. Admittedly I suspected there was something a bit weird with that particular sample (the other minor Parties were under-represented too) rather than anything else, but it hardly suggests UKIP are on the up and up either.

    To add insult to injury the second release of poll data from MORI:


    revealed that, while Scots voters would like a referendum on the subject of EU withdrawal, they would vote 53% to 35% to stay in. All age groups and Party supporters[1] were in favour, even Scottish Tories. And even more (61% to 33%) said that an independent Scotland should be a member of the EU, with figures being similar whether people supported or opposed independence.

    [1] Except UKIP obviously. As they couldn’t find any. They found a Christian Democrat and a Scottish Liberal though.

  15. I’ve seen no mention of it, but surely UKIP’s private polling is worthy of comment, even if only to work out why they went wrong (if they went wrong) after the event.

    Romney’s private polling was talked about (not in detail) by Karl Rove etc – but I think it was more case of being genuinely deluded rather than an attempt to whip up false momentum (New Repubic gave a good analysis of why Romney’s private polling was so off base). Whether the same could be said of some of the ‘reputable’ US polling companies during the campaign is another matter.

    Mike Smithson did report some Eastleigh anecdotes the other day: Cons switching to LD and UKIP because of Maria Hutchings… Lab seriously squeezed by LD… LD losing anti-establishment vote to UKIP.

  16. Anthony

    On the subject of the EU, as this is the second alternate-Monday poll it’s happened with, I assume that the Afghanistan tracker has been quietly buried (presumably somewhere near the Khyber Pass under a lonely cairn of rocks) and replaced by an EU referendum tracker:


    Rather to reinforce the Scottish poll above, the all-Britain lead for leaving has fallen to only 3 points[1] 41% to 38%. The lead to stay in after a Cameron renegotiation[2] remains high (52% to 28%).

    As you might expect the difference is mainly due to Conservative voters switching to Yes for the second question – from 57-28 against to 58-30 in favour. In reality this probably means that most Tories would oppose leaving the EU if forced to vote on it. A renegotiation fig-leaf would be nice but not essential.

    [1] The figures are the wrong way round on the tracker document.

    [2] Presumably this will also be returning every fortnight as well.

  17. @RiN

    That’s a good question. I’d be surprised if anyone here will be able to suggest someone comparable.

    Wasn’t really aware of Warren before you guys started talking about her. She’s excellent on the mortgage and credit card thing. ..


    The point about all the protections we have for many consumer goods but not for credit. Compelling stuff.

  18. Billy Bob

    I’ve seen no mention of it, but surely UKIP’s private polling is worthy of comment, even if only to work out why they went wrong (if they went wrong) after the event.

    Ah but Anthony didn’t talk about private polling, he talked about “private polling”. The Republican stuff was presumably genuine polling, no matter how poorly carried out or hopefully interpreted. It may be that UKIP have had a competent pollster asking around in Eastleigh, but I suspect what that really means is “Some people have been polite while we’ve been canvassing”.

    Actually by-election polling is problematic in the UK. You have to use telephone polling – no on-line pollster has a big or detailed enough panel that they will have a decent sample in a particular constituency. And when you do ring people up, you have to ask more or less exactly where they live, which will put even more people off co-operating.

    I think Anthony once said that phone pollsters only get cooperation from 1 in 12 of those they try to contact. If you’re trying to get a sample of 1,000 and you have an even higher rejection rate that that, you’re going to run out of people after a few polls.

    As I’ve said before, I think that this by-election[1] is for the Lib Dems to lose. That said, winning may give them a false sense of security, because the area is clearly one where their local government base has clearly been much less undermined by coalition than practically anywhere else. Whatever happens it will cause aggro within the Conservatives – winning/losing will be ‘because of’ the candidate/Central Office depending on which wing of the Party you are on and tensions will increase. Though probably by less than if they had tried to replace Maria Hutchings with a ‘safer’ candidate.

    [1] As a reminder of the unimportance of politics to most people, it’s worth pointing out that if you are searching on Google for “eastleigh by-election”, you have to get as far as typing in the “y” before it makes it into the top 5 suggested completions.

  19. @ Roger Mexico

    [1] As a reminder of the unimportance of politics to most people…
    As a reminder of the unimportance of politics to Google, which now seems to be mainly about selling stuff, perhaps?

  20. @Roger Mexico

    There do seem to be some signs of nervousness about the possibility that Conservative support in Eastleigh might take a dive compared to the 2010 result.

    Fwiw a series of links about rival voter profiling systems (and the bedding in of Lynton Crosby as one of the new “fab-four”)
    leads on from here:


  21. Amber

    @”As a reminder of the unimportance of politics to Google, which now seems to be mainly about selling stuff, perhaps?”

    ..and reminding us of stuff-like today in the birthdate of Copernicus.

    Happy Birthday Nicolaus .

  22. On the UKIP/Scotland issue, the situation’s about as stacked against them as can be. In England, their main strength is not being right of the Tories, not is it being the most Eurosceptic party. It is cashing in on the disillusionment amongst a lot of voters from the three main parties.

    In Scotland, disillusionment with Con/Lib/Lab isn’t enough. That market is already sewn up by the SNP. There are plenty of SNP-haters north of the border, but I presume they’re voting for one of the other three. For UKIP to cash in on voter disillusionment with mainstream politics in Scotland, they need voters who are fed up of all four parties at the same time. And being a right-leaning party in a part of the UK that leans towards left-wing parties doesn’t help either.

    The cruel reality is that UKIP supported electoral reform, but only gets to use it in the areas of the UK where it helps them the least, or not at . Wonder how long it is before the Mail kicks themselves over their stance over that funny foreign voting system.

  23. Regarding Eastleigh,rather interesting from the BBC at 5pm.Tory candidate,
    Shut up in mid flow,then a voice saying he was a minister of schools and please direct all questions to him,and then silence.Meanwhile Lib Dem
    Candidate being asked about tuition fees ,said I am sure there are other
    People who have valid concerns,about other things,and then up pops another
    Student.Meanwlhile Labour candidate asked what he knew about Eastleigh
    And answered what did Cameron or Millband know apart from the obvious about the places they represent.You pays yer money and makes your choice.

  24. Roger Mexico @ Billy Bob

    “When you do ring people up, you have to ask more or less exactly where they live, which will put even more people off co-operating.

    I think Anthony once said that phone pollsters only get cooperation from 1 in 12 of those they try to contact. If you’re trying to get a sample of 1,000 and you have an even higher rejection rate that that, you’re going to run out of people after a few polls.”

    About 40 years ago a telephone pollster for the BBC on Lewis (pop then c >21,000) asking views about ferry services on the Sabbath told me that almost everyone who answered wanted their views to be recorded, whether they were for it or against.

    I suppose that was because it was likely that the popular view would prevail and because the result was close. The pollster also told me that the result was heavily age skewed so it was clear that the majority would soon be in favour even if they weren’t quite there

  25. John B Dick

    I assume people on islands have nothing else to do and it relieves the boredom of the crashing surf..

  26. Mike B

    When the base rate does start to eventually move in an upwards direction. I am sure the polls will not remain as static.

  27. Yorkcity

    Base rates will never rise, any rise in base rates would crash the economy. If you want to see where base rates are going look at japan we are about the place as they were in 92/3, take a look at the graph of their base rates since then

  28. Anne:

    Meanwhile Labour candidate asked what he knew about Eastleigh…

    I believe the gentleman is a member of the Vauxhall CLP & I don’t suppose to be fair to him that Eastleigh was much higher in his sites than Buckinghamshire was in those of Tony Blair in that famous post Falklands by-election.

    John O’Farrell has been suffering on Twitter for things he wrote in the 1980’s about Thatcher etc. I’ve not read him so I cannot comment on their probity or wisdom. But we are always haunted by our youthful follies. Still better a man who knows sin than a man who knows he is right.

    I’m off to speak with the better Angels of my nature failing a visitation by a fully paid up member of one of the nine orders of the heavenly host…good night all

  29. Sorry got a bit confused there, Japan’s bubble burst in 90 so 5 years on would be 95/96, after that rates have been almost totally flat at 0.5% or less

  30. @JBD

    UKIP have a long, long way to go in Scotland:


    In May 2012 they managed a whopping 3.1% on the MAD charts. Given that the Lib Dems are looking at losing seats at the current VI, and that UKIP are polling about one third to one half of that, I doubt they will be doing much. Short of some collective protest vote.

  31. richard in norway

    “”Does Britain have any politicians of Elizabeth Warren’s class?”

    No. Have we ever?

    Complete mastery of brief.
    Explains complex issues in simple terms.
    No party dogma
    No negative attacks

    Also she is lucky with the data she found.

  32. Every time I see a move upwards in Labours % lead over the Tories I assume here we go and Labour will soon be recording 20% leads. But so far all that happens is it drift’s back to about a 10% lead after a few days.
    Have Labour reached some sort of glass ceiling with the voters.
    Of course the same can be said for the Tories with the currant state of the economy they seemed to be stuck around the 32-33% mark.
    I suppose the difference is that Labour has benefited from GO last budget and the many cock up’s and U turns by the Coalition since then and as a result there lead increased to it’s currant position were it has stuck at around 10% since.
    On the other hand the Tories base vote seems around 32% but has more chance to grow if the economy improves or if much nearer the GE DC can make some gesture that attracts support which no doubt he will do with what success we will see.
    Sadly I’ve got a nasty suspicion the result will be decided not by policy’s from any party but by which leader is seen as winning the televised debates by the floating voters (can a fat bald headed man ever be prime minister again no matter what his talent’s).
    Clegg stopped the Tories getting a overall majority because he offered what seemed a clear alternative to the old guard, but only because he was given a chance on television, nobody knew what Liberal policies were until then. It’s unlikely this will happen in the next GE debates, but if allowed in the main debates Farage could take Cleggs role as spoiler for the two main parties especially if immigration has taken centre stage as it may do in 2014 with the possibility of another round of mass immigration.
    On the present polls I shouldn’t think either of the two main party leaders are particularly pleased with there poll ratings of course EM will think if he maintains that 10% lead he’s home and dry but on the other hand DC may think if that economy ever picks up and he makes some strong decisions regarding the EU and immigration that gap may well close dramatically.

  33. howard @ John B Dick

    “I assume people on islands have nothing else to do and it relieves the boredom of the crashing surf.”

    No, it was the hot issue and many who were in favour of Sunday ferries would not make their views known except to an anonymous outside researcher..

  34. turk

    “…….. can a fat bald headed man ever be prime minister again no matter what his talents?”

    Do you mean Alex Salmond?

  35. Much depends on the next Eastleigh poll. If, as is probable, the tories are looking as though they will lose then it may get even worse for them, if their potential voters then think : “soddit I won’t bother” or “soddit I’ll vote UKIP”.

  36. atm I am remembering the very first election I ever took much note of: 1983. 30 years ago I remember watching the polling around this point and wondering why the Conservative vote never seemed to fall noticably below 10% or so. The current Labour lead seems strangely similar in size and consistency.

    I think the LD’s will win in Eastleigh. It will reflect a regional pattern of LD’s hanging on in the south and perhaps the Conservatives only picking off a very few seats from them thereabouts. Quite different from the picture further north, where in general terms the Conservative challenge is less strong, so less need for anti-Cons to worry about tactical voting: thus I think the transfer seen in national polling from LD to Lab will be much more noticable.

  37. sorry, I meant the Conservative voting intention lead over Labour. Long day.

  38. My brain seems to be one where the more the higgs boson is explained the less I understand.

    I don’t think physics is my strong suit to be honest.

  39. YouGov
    Con 29, Lab 44, LD 11, UKIP 11
    Approval -37
    High end of MOE.

  40. Them’s sums I can understand.

  41. Top of the Morning All.

    What a poll. Cold here near Eastleigh, and I recommend O’Farrell’s book on the Eighteen Years of Con Government.

  42. Probably normal variation. Can’t think of much that would have boosted Lab at Con expense, unless the bedroom tax is biting.

    But just possible that the there is a shift. The Con vote has looked volatile for a while. Not a good time to lose dupport, just before Eastleigh.

  43. People were fed up that the polls seemed immovable and now wham!

  44. Nick,
    The ten pence tax thing? Sometimes these things do not show up in the polls
    Straight away.Or perhaps Osbornes U turn on inheritance tax?

  45. Mansion Tax ? Which penalises the rich not the poor as the Cons have been seen to be doing. 10p tax is seen to help the poorer paid.

    So maybe voters are seeing a clearer choice?

    Or just MOE.

  46. nick

    “not a good time to lose support”


  47. Crikey, a 15% Labour lead!! Biggest Labour YouGov lead in this Parliament, I think (Anthony?)

    Is Turk’s worst nightmare materialising?

    Got to justify a new thread, hasn’t it? (smiley thing with big smiles required).

  48. CROSSBAT11.
    Now, all we need to make a good Lent is a good result against Real Madrid.

  49. 15% Labour lead – moe maybe but I am so excited. I am off for a run to calm myself down.

  50. Consensus on here seems to be that LDs will hold Eastleigh. Is there any actual polling to support this? The only polls I can recall showed a narrow lead for the Conservatives early on.

    My instinct is that a strong local council gives the LDs a good base to get their vote out, and that in a by election that may be crucial. But I’m not sure why so many seem to discount the possibility of a Conservative win.

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