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. Whilst its good that IDS wants to “look again” at problems with the “bedroom tax”, it is also just dreadful that all potential pitfalls were not seen, and avoided, in the first place.

    My first questions would have been, are there exceptions and should we charge extra if there is actually NO house available with fewer bedrooms?

    Seems beedin’ obvious really.

  2. Have to say, if someone wants to know what “reasonable doubt” actually means in practice, and the response is something along the lines of saying that they’ve already been told: that it’s doubt, that is reasonable, I’m not sure that’s really adding anything useful.

    Just as if someone asked what the Higgs Boson is, and they are told that it’s a Boson, called Higgs.

  3. Higgs Boson is actually a Boson [no, I don’t know] belonging to Higgs, but someone has taken note of my FREE TIP NUMBER SEVENTEEN and stopped using apostrophes.

  4. Apparently the Tories have only ever won an election, since women got a vote, when a majority of women voted conservative.

    Given current trends that doesn’t look too likely now.

    I’ve always said women are lovely.

  5. My god, there is an advert on this page offering house loans at less than 3% fixed for 20 years

    Seems like you guys have discovered the anti-christ, how strange that he should be writing for the guardian


    Oh that’s nothing. When Glover was writing for the Graun, to many Jenkins seemed like Mother Theresa in comparison. ..

  7. @paul croft.

    IDS is looking to coming increasingly unstuck with the bedroom tax. Of course he should have seen these problems in advance – the hugely negative effects it would have were pointed out from the start.

    As there is little or no single bedroom accommodation available, over half a million people – many of them disabled or very vulnerable and all of them poor – face being uprooted from their homes of many years for the tender mercies of the dustbin end of the private rented sector – some of them will have move many miles from their friends and families – or going into rent arrears and being evicted.

    Most of these rooms are not ‘spare’ not being used and are needed.

    The bedroom tax will not free up more social housing, it will severely cut the budgets of social housing providers as they will be chasing hugely increased levels of arrears and will be having to follow lengthy and expensive eviction procedures against people who cant pay – many of whom local authorities will have to rehouse at huge expense in emergency accommodation.

    Their job will made much harder by a growing campaign by those affected by the tax who will fight evictions and support non-payment campaigns – similar to what stopped the poll tax.

    IDS is blinded by his own victorian era, punish-the-poor zeal and has repeatedly tried to dismiss the problems with this policy but this is real people facing real hardship who are not going to go quitely.

  8. I’d like to join in the character & political assassination of Simon Jenkins. I agree that he has nothing worthwhile to say as a rule, and is pretty reactionary. I wouldn’t go as far as not buying the Guardian but I’d certainly rather read articles by many other columnists than him, not least Seumas Milne (who is a member of my local Labour Party as it happens). The paper is also worth reading for the excellent articles on sports issues by Richard Williams (who also lives locally & was a customer of mine). Well done for your comment Martyn.
    I would naturally also associate myself with this condemnation of Galloway. It was typically petulant & stupid of him. It’s also pretty disgraceful to refuse to debate with someone purely on the basis of their nationality – he clearly has forgotten that about 20% of Israelis are of Arab ethnicity. Or maybe he just didn’t have the courage to say what he thought – “I won’t debate with you because you are a Jew”. Dreadful.

  9. Bogus Poll alert!!


    [A mock referendum among students on Scottish independence has resulted in a large majority in favour of staying within the UK.

    Students at the University of Glasgow were balloted using the same question as will be used in the referendum itself, due next year.

    When asked “should Scotland be an independent country?”, 62% (1614) voted no, while 38% (967) said yes.

    Only 2589 (13%) of the university’s 20,000 students took part in the poll.]

    So let’s recap:

    Students – tend to be Labour, less likely to have experienced adversity (exams do not count!)

    Glasgow – tends to be Labour.

    Labour – tends to be Unionist

    Did they even consider the working-class folk of Scotland who might have had their fill of Westminster, i.e. the ones who have voted at least twice.


  10. Oh, and 13% of the students at that.

  11. NEIL A
    “Of course the left don’t look back nostalgically to a time when all the key industries were owned by the state? When everyone lived in a council house? When the Unions got to dictate terms to the management? ”

    No, Neil, they don’t.

  12. If you say so John.

  13. Well when it cones to the socialist left I would have thought Socialists would tend to prefer the workers owning the means of production themselves rather than the state, and if you work for yourself there’s not much call for unions. It doesn’t make much sense to go on strike against yourself…

    Not being a socialist myself if any can fill in on the housing thing it’d be handy …

  14. Though I suppose you might have guilds and stuff…

  15. BOGUS BOGUS POLL ALERT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    See Statty’s post above.

    [nb “Bogus” polls are NOT ones that simply offer conclusions you don’t like.]

  16. My likes are neither here nor there. The ‘dislike’ is the lack of sampling variety, and the over-emphasis on the validity of the poll. Since when should such a poll get a decent article in the BBC pages?

    I could take a poll of all the Scottish apprentices who did not get jobs this year, and 13% might respond and 60% might be inclined towards independence.

    Would it be valid?

  17. David Cameron:
    “”DfID and the Foreign Office and the defence ministry work increasingly closely together,” he said. “If you are asking me can they work even more closely together, can we make sure that the funds we have at our disposal are used to provide basic levels of stability and security in deeply broken and fragile states, then I think we should.

    “That is an important part of development.”

    “We have our moral responsibilities for tackling poverty in the world. We also have national security responsibilities for mending conflict states and helping with development around the world and we should see DfID in that context,” he added.

    So, that’s how he gets over the embarrassment of committing 0.7% of GDP to development aid!
    Cameron might like to compare notes with Hung Sen, Cambodia’s PM. Hung Sen introduced an Act in 2011 which encourages the Army to join forces with the private sector for purposes of national development, especially in the acquisition of land in farming areas or inner city areas for economic development, on the assumption that the subsistence farmers and low-income urban workers concerned do not understand or sufficiently contribute to economic progress. He has, of course, had to resist the reactionary comments of OXFAM, Save the Chidren and other foreign reactionary organisations and of the Cambodian press,, which have had the impudence to sugest that the move is intended to justify continued empowerment of the army and the enrichment of Cambodia’s wealthy government classes
    Officials said hundreds of millions of pounds could be diverted from aid to peacekeeping and stabilisation operations, particularly in fragile states

  18. I could take a poll of all the Scottish apprentices who did not get jobs this year, and 13% might respond and 60% might be inclined towards independence.
    Would it be valid?

    Of course. It’d be data on how downtrodden apprentices feel about independence.

    Similarly, as part of many polls, Tories are polled on how they view Tory policies. Shock horror, they are quite often more supportive of Tory policies than others. Should we stop polling them too?

  19. statty

    the poll you quoted was clearly legitimate and if you did a poll of the chippies in Scotland that, within its limited remit, would also be legitimate.

    The percentages are a red herring and anyway are far higher than in “normal” polls.

    Try not to worry about it ‘cos it doesn’t really matter.

  20. YouGov
    Con 31, Lab 45, Lib 11, UKIP 9
    Approval -34
    So second 45 in a week – I suspect MOE, but if there is a shift I can’t see where it’s coming from.

    “Well when it cones to the socialist left I would have thought Socialists would tend to prefer the workers owning the means of production”
    That’s a very broad question – there’s no ‘tendency’ on the socialist left, there’s many.

    So obviously nationalisation used to be ‘the big idea’ – that came effectively from the Marxist-Leninist (borrowed from Hobbes, borrowed effectively from paternalism) idea that the state should look after the means of production because the proles themselves are too stupid to.

    The irony here being that ‘common ownership’ (owned by the workers) is distinct from ‘public ownership’ (owned in trust by the state on behalf of the workers) – so when Blair abolished Clause 4, he was abolishing an idea that wasn’t actually ‘ever’ Labour policy since adoption of Clause 4.

    But where the ‘socialist left’ are now is absolutely divided (there’s just a common uniting cause in being anti-capitalist) – I would broadly say that a majority of those socialists attached to major parties are still the old Marxist-Leninist left, just dressed up on socially liberal clothing.
    But I have no polling to go by. ;)

  21. Headline Labour lead over the last fortnight: 11.1%

    Frequency: 9%(2), 10%(2), 11%(4), 14%(1), 15%(1).

  22. Good Morning All. Off to Eastleigh later, cold day to be on the streets.

    If there is a ‘VI’ shift it may be due to perceptions of competence in the Government, with issues such as the confusion over the ‘Bedroom Tax’. There is also the pressure on real wages.

  23. Billy Bob
    I’m always a little suspicious in measuring just leads without giving context of the pure VI – it only really tells us anything if there’s movement between two parties.

    If both Lab and Con dropped 10% in the polls overnight (10% to LD, 10% UKIP – Con 21, Lab 35, Lib 22, UKIP 19), the lead would remain unchanged, but we’d hardly be talking about the likelihood of a giant Labour majority.

  24. ChrisLane
    “If there is a ‘VI’ shift it may be due to perceptions of competence in the Government, with issues such as the confusion over the ‘Bedroom Tax’. There is also the pressure on real wages.”
    Both of those issues have been on-going for a long time, it shouldn’t result in a sudden shift.
    Also approval hasn’t really shifted, which usually indicates when VI is to shift.

  25. Good Morning TINGED FRINGE: Interesting comment, thank you.
    The Conservatives do seem to be in some difficulty in Eastleigh; a seat I was expecting them to gain. However, the Lib Dems seem to have positioned themselves as opponents of the Government here.

  26. Latest YouGov / The Sun results 21st February – CON 31%, LAB 45%, LD 11%, UKIP 9%; APP -34

    That’s on the high side, as well…

  27. @tingedfringe

    It’s the lead that is reported, that’s why it is called “headline”.

    Today the headline is “Labour lead at 14”.

    More a psychological wellbeing index for the respective parties than a statistical measure.

    YouGov’s regular reporting make it almost a daily grind.

  28. It’s going to be an interesting Eastleigh poll.

    If Lab has gained any traction (up to 25% plus) it’s a possibility. If LD has gained (high 30s) it means the tacticians have settled upon them.

    Will Con be in trouble? If they are heading back below 30% there, they surely will be.

  29. Billy Bob
    I realise that is the thing reported, but that doesn’t mean it gives an accurate reflection of the situation.
    It used to make sense, it doesn’t any longer.

  30. “Will Con be in trouble? If they are heading back below 30% there, they surely will be.”
    UKIP vote is obviously the thing to watch here – if UKIP do really well in the by-election, then it’s curtain for Cameron, lacy, gently wafting, curtains.

  31. Don’t see what cons can do but moan, in worst case [for them] scenario.

    If they dump DC its the end of the coalition and an almost certain election which they would equally certainly lose.

  32. As we head into the final two years of the parliament polling concerns will become even more important.

    A sign of this might be the Quad (Cameron/Osborne/Clegg/Alexander + fifth Beatle David Laws) becoming less a driver of government. The real FabFour consists of Cameron/Osborne/Crosby/Llewellyn we are now told.

    I’m guessing Cooper/Populus/Ashcroft will also be taking a back seat to Crosby/Textor.

  33. Not sure if @Colin is out there but this puts another alternative perspective on UK shale gas prospects – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/9886981/UK-shale-gas-revolution-is-wishful-thinking.html

    I know he doesn’t like lots of wind turbines, but the prospect of seeing 10,000 stinking well heads and toxic ponds scattered across rural Britain presumably wouldn’t make him too happy either.

    On Eastleigh – there is an ex Tory MP writing in the Telegraph today about the by election, suggesting that it looks very bad for them. He believes that the reason is the hollowing out of the Tory base, rather than any specific policy problem, and identifies an issue I’ve posted about quite often, with the Tory party absent in many council areas and as a result, really struggling to make any inroads.

    The article suggests that falling councilor numbers and shrinking membership in key midlands and northern marginals is a sign of impending trouble, and it says

    “One would have thought that Mr Cameron would make a priority of reviving his party membership. Instead, he has drawn the opposite lesson from the decline of political parties. Like Tony Blair, he has sought to define himself against his own party…”

  34. Statgeek:

    The Glasgow University referendum is important because it is the first campaign and referendum to be fought on exactly the same grounds as the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence. The campaign was a microcosm of what we may see across Scotland in the next 18 months or so, and if the conduct of some of the activists for the “Yes” side are anything to go by (e.g. shouting down speakers for the opposition at events), then it leaves a lot to be desired. Far from the clean, positive spirit both sides supposedly want the campaign to be fought in.

    Dismissing it as “just students” or “low turnout” is missing the point. It was a trial run for both campaigns.

    Incidentally, I think that a 2:1 margin against independence won’t be too far away from the actual result in 2014, but we shall see.

  35. Re the larger labour leads it is possibly the different priorities of bedroom and mansion tax is making clear the difference between the parties and where Labour would spread the pain.

    i.e the choice is ‘taxing the bedrooms of the poor or the mansions of the rich’? a fairly simple concept that those only fleetiongly paying attention can grasp.

  36. Actually, 13% is probably no less than the number of students that vote regularly anyway. So it looks like a pretty good sample to me.

  37. Alec,

    I think Colin or similar posted that already.

    But I don’t think a bunch of anecdotes from a place with no effective health and safety regulation will settle the issue.

  38. @couper

    Apparently taxing the better off is a bad idea as it must only be motivated by envy. We can only tax the poorer…

  39. @ Nickp

    If Lab were anywhere near 25% in Eastleigh I think you would have heard chatter about how well they are doing.

    The chatter now seems to be about a good UKIP showing which together with the chatter about how much better organised the Lib Dems are suggests Lib Dems have won it.

    I think Lab are dead in Eastleigh and the only remaining issue will be how badly the Tories perform.

  40. ALEC


    Ah well-might have known it would be no good for us-we usually find a way to screw it up.

    …so back to a future of never ending fuel cost increases, and the fast approaching day when UK’s electricity generation fails to meet demand.

    The nuclear programme has descended into high farce after years of prevarication-and with a LibDem in charge of policy it ain’t going to change.

  41. Buried in the ONS January Public Finances Report is a little bit of encouragement that someone is trying to retain some credibility in these numbers.

    ONS have decreed that the repatriation of the coupon on QE gilts , from BoE to Treasury will be subject to an accounting rule:- A maximum of £9bn in 2012/13 will be permitted as included as income against the Deficit.

    This will restrict GO’s last plan for taking £12bn this FY

  42. @PC

    Across Scotland it would be more legitimate, but this was in one University in one city (my points about that made in the original poll post).


    It’s not ‘just’ students. The fact they are students might give unusual results compared with non-student voters (if 13% turnout is typical for students, it makes it even more erroneous).

  43. @tinged

    Oh yeah, there are people calling themselves socialist who stand for all kinds of things. The USSR called itself socialist but I don’t think totalitarianism was exactly what Marx had in mind. Workers owning the means of production is one of the key tenets of Marxism.

    Lenin was all for workers controlling their own destiny up until the revolution was won. Then suddenly its like he and his mates have to run things “on behalf of” the people. If the State are the employer, not the workers in control of their own fate, it rather undermines the point of workers controlling the means of production, controlling more of their own destiny.

  44. @Reggieside

    Good post! I’d like to add that when and if it comes to appearing in court for non payment of this bedroom tax how will a judge deal wit it? If the rent is kept up and it’s just the tax that isn’t paid because people can prove they can’t pay, it is at the judge’s discretion that repossession order is granted.

    My daughter used to be the general manger of the Housing department in the local authority where she lived and gaining an eviction for non payment of rent was extremely difficult and only granted as very last ditch and even then they tried to keep the families housed in their homes hoping this would wake them up a bit. I really can’t see a judge granting an order to evict a disabled person who simply does not have the money for this tax and who has a previous good payment of rent record.A judge looking at evidence overall is likely to come to the conclusion this isn’t “won’t pay” it’s can’t pay” and there is a huge difference! As you say this is going to prove fiendishly expensive for local authorities and the human cost to tenants themselves immeasurable. The whole thing should never have been allowed to get this far, these problems should have been thought about right from the start and it also doesn’t bode well for the UC pilots either as unintended snags hit that system, one huge one is that many people are not on line and do not have access to a computer.

  45. Well researched article from the Indy on the Crosby/Johnson connection… and some insights into the relationship with former Australian PM John Howard:


  46. TF

    According to AW’s UNS basic swingometer, if Labour were on 35% and the other three on 21%, Labour would have an OM of about 100.

    As for the margin between Lab & Con widening, it may be MoE, or maybe not. If my comments earlier in the week about the consistent, glacial erosion of Con support are correct, this is exactly what we should expect to see. The odd outlandish outlier being repeated more and more frequently until it becomes the new norm.

    And that doesn’t require any single event to explain the move. It is rather the inevitable consequence if a long-term disillusion among the supporters that the Cons attracted between 05-08/09, and have since almost totally lost again.

    Put it another way, when a Govt has consistently disappointed, continued loss of VI does not require new negative news to explain it. Rather, the continued lack of POSITIVE news leads to a dribbling away of all but the firmest if bedrock supporters.

  47. shev11

    “If Lab were anywhere near 25% in Eastleigh I think you would have heard chatter about how well they are doing.”

    Might be true, but then we could dispense with polls and just do “chatter”, couldn’t we?

  48. I admired David Cameron for what I felt was a principled commitment to maintaining the level of overseas aid. He has now lost that admiration by a step which I feel can only tarnish the reputation of the British Aid program and in certain areas (e.g. North West Pakistan) may be severely counterproductive. So it’s all a bit sad. Where (other than on this site!) do I look now for a conservative whose principles I can respect, even if I find their ideas wrong-headed: Michael Heseltine?

  49. For those of us who find themselves in hospital on a reasonably regular basis, having to do so at the weekend is something to dread.

    A&E on a Friday night is like a war zone, and when you finally get booted up to a ward , silence & a complete absence of doctors reigns until sometime on Monday.

    So the initiative of Bruce Keogh, medical director of NHS, to introduce 7 day medical cover in the organisation is a welcome sign for us .

    BMA’s consultant’s committee has responded to this idea, through Paul Flynn, it’s chairman. ( he is an obstetrician).

    This is what he says :-

    “I and my colleagues will always be willing to be there when patients need us, but we cannot be expected to have the same sense of committment to addressing management inadequacy or a small measure of public inconvenience.
    I fear that an entirely seven-day NHS is catering for the convenience of the middle class and not the needs of those who are the greatest users of the NHS.”

    He went on to say that hospitals are not “like supermarkets” and did not need to copy “obsolete” practices from business, adding that “most companies as well as schools are closed over the weekend”.

    In this unbelievable response from a so-called doctor, one phrase stands out as significant to me-the one about supermarkets.

    Supermarkets, when they first appeared were billed, and widely known as “convenience” stores-open at all hours to cater for everyone.

    In his rejection of this service provision by NHS doctors , Paul Flynn confirms what we have known for some time, and have been harrowingly reminded of in recent events-the NHS is run for the convenience of it’s staff, and not for the care of patients.

    Perhaps the “working class” will draw some comfort from Flynn’s remarks , since it seems that they only go to hospital on a weekday, at which time he has graciously agreed to be be “available” to them.

    Hunt has a ginormous problem on his hands.

  50. @TF

    “But where the ‘socialist left’ are now is absolutely divided (there’s just a common uniting cause in being anti-capitalist) – I would broadly say that a majority of those socialists attached to major parties are still the old Marxist-Leninist left, just dressed up on socially liberal clothing.
    But I have no polling to go by. ;)”

    Interesting analysis but I think it’s wrong.Most are like me, we may like the idea of renationalisation but are canny enough to see that it’s beset with problems and most like me just want a fairer more just and more even society and I’m hardly Marxist and I’m certainly not a “Trot” as one Tory MP has accuses Labour voters of being just lately! The real Marxists tend usually to gravitate to the SWP, where they sit in little closets sniping at everything and everyone and achieve nothing but shooting the one party that can deliver anything close to their requirements of a Government. That has never made much sense to me and it was that attitude (IMO) that consigned Labour to the wilderness for 18 years! I honestly do not have any “socially liberal clothing”, my beliefs are long held and part of me, they are not a dress to be worn occasionally and discarded as required. I think you will tend to discover this about the majority of “Labourites” and also TBF those socialists attached to other parties. This is what I feel the Conservatives just persistently fail to grasp about us, our beliefs are a way of life and the way many of us live our lives, not just a political party wish list.

    (I hope this is not seen as party political it wasn’t intended to be, just an explanation to Tinged’s post)

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