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. There’s some interesting debate about what a bedroom actually is.


    Amazingly, the recent DWP regulations don’t say what a bedroom is. But there is a definition in the 1985 housing act. Whether this applies to the “bedroom tax” or not, only some very expensive lawyers will be able to decide. However it is quite possible that many smaller “bedrooms” will turn out not to be bedrooms at all.

    This could get extremely messy.

  2. Surely a bedroom has a bed in it? So if you take out the bed, there you are! It’s a study or storeroom or somethign else.

    When is a “living room” or “dining room” a bedroom without a bed?

  3. When is a bedroom not a bedroom?

    When its a box!

  4. @ NICKP

    “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?

    I don’t think Labour are near 25% in Eastleigh, but I think the Labour vote is being discarded and ignored a little too quickly. People seem to have been going OTT about this private poll that no one has actually seen and I think there is more to that than meets the eye! Something has spooked the Tories big time, just what it is remains to be seen and David Cameron looks to be feeling the strain of it too hence his attack on the BBC yesterday!

    Now I’m off, I’m behaving like a bus, hardly make one post then three come along one behind each other!

  5. @statgeek

    Being based among students in one city dies not invalidate the poll.

    It may place limits on what can be deduced from the poll. Ie one cannot take it as representative of what babyboomers in Halkirk might think. But its quite useful in terms of what students in Glasgow might think, on account of the fact that they are polling students, in Glasgow.

    Similarly when Lord Ashcroft conducts polls in marginals, it isn’t necessarily reflective of the while country. But is nonetheless quite useful in terms if what is going on in marginals.

    When VI polls are conducted they are often broken down by region. Often enough, Tories have stronger support in the South. This does not mean we jump to the conclusion that they therefore must have strong support elsewhere. We know it is the South we are talking about.

    The polling on Eastleigh does not take in the whole country either but this does not validate the data when we are interested in Eastleigh.

    If you want to know how students in Glasgow vote, it is quite useful to ask students. In Glasgow.

    If you want to know what women think of Tory policies, it would be quite a good idea to ask women about Tory policies.

    If you want to know why UKip voters are voting UKip, you probably wouldn’t ask Lib Dem voters.

    If you want to know how Arsenal supporters are feeling at the moment after Avenger said they could still win the Champions League, you would probably ask an Arsenal supporter. And it’d certainly be more fun emotional do

  6. “The polling on Eastleigh does not take in the whole country either but this does not INvalidate the data when we are interested in Eastleigh.”

    And…Avenger = Wenger. My autocorrect has a sense of irony. He’s not avenging much at the moment. ..

  7. I’ve developed a bit more sympathy than most, for the Pryce jury. The case was perhaps more complicated to decide than people appreciate. There may be more complex cases, in terms of evidence or law, but the forensic process (I use the term in it’s broader sense) required to reach a verdict is at least easily understandable. Take Neil A’s case from the Christmas before last. You have some marked bank notes, a receipt and some CCTV. The question is, does it add up to enough to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

    In this case the jury were being asked to decide what Vicky Pryce’s state of mind was in 2003, or even worse to convince themselves beyond reasonable doubt what she wasn’t feeling in 2003. It’s perhaps unsurprising that they got confused, or felt the need to speculate, because there’s really very little way to make that judgement, other than by speculating.

    Incidentally, looking at this site’s profile for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, almost a quarter of adults 16-24 have no qualifications:


    The Daily Mail, of course, can always be relied upon to answer the questions everyone thought better than to ask:


  8. @TF

    “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.”

    I’m always suspicious of sudden shifts (in any direction), they are usually because of one issue and that never seems to last. I think they *may* be the beginning of a shift and if it is I would put this down to the “drip-drip” effect of several issues and to me this is the most dangerous as once people have made their minds up on the basis of several issues, they don’t seem to revert that easily. (Just my personal opinion)

    Can’t believe I’ve now made a 4th post, I’ll start making AW fidgety soon!

  9. Labours VI does appear to have increased a little over the last few weeks. Perhaps the bedroom tax and other attacks on the poorest may appeal to some on the right, but for most people who are centered in their politics, they probably don’t like it.

    It is possible also that people are fearing the budget in a months time and believe that there will be a further squeeze affecting people on modest incomes. Latest estimates suggest government borrowing will be at least £10bn more than they estimated. That is unless they can take more of the QE interest from the BOE.

  10. “‘This is a total kick in the teeth,’ she told me. ‘I can’t describe how upsetting it is to hear this when we have been so patient for so long. All we want is to cure the health service and stop this ever happening again so that others do not have to suffer like our families.’”

    Julie Bailey after hearing DC say Nicholson is doing ‘a good job’ as chief executive of the NHS and should not be made a ‘scapegoat’.

  11. Anyone know if anyone is doing any Eastleigh polling soon?

  12. The Welfare To Work scheme that pays private firms “by results” depending upon how they perform at getting people (back) to work is apparently a complete duff failure.

    Where facts meet ideology.

    It’s going to be very hard to run the next election on any campaign except “Labour would have been worse”, and it looks like voters would have to assume Labour would have pulled the plug and let the UK drain away down the plughole.

    It’s hard to see what can get the Government out of the mire. Even if they get fusion to work and free energy for ever, there won’t be much time now to get the economy shunting ahead.

  13. Alan – I haven’t any firm information, but I’m expecting one or two more Eastleigh polls before the by-election.

  14. @NickP

    I was recently at a council meeting for a major Northern city where the Work Programme managers tried to defend their performance (which was even worse than the average figures quoted today).

    ‘Unconvincing’ doesn’t even begin to describe it. It struck me as being very poorly managed indeed, and it seemed that the people running it didn’t expect to meet their targets anyway.

    It struck me as encapsulating much that is wrong with outsourcing this kind of work to the kind of badly-run, customer-unfriendly, assidiously-lobbying outfit that has won these lucrative contracts.

  15. On Eastleigh I think the baseline was the Ashcroft poll (I have little faith in Survation after Olham & Saddleworth).

    Con started at 34% and I would hazard that might have collapsed, mostly to UKIP or abstaining but who knows?

    LD started at 31% and I think they will either GAIN some of Lab’s 19% or lose them to Lab …next polls might indicate.

    lab start at 19% which they can only improve from LD or Con. I will assume they get SOME, but they might get squeezed by LD.

    Prediction: Con vote will collapse and UKIP and Lab will be battling for 2nd place after LD.

    Outside bet: Shock gain for Lab…but there will need to be some evidence in next poll(s) to get that momentum.

    Of course, if next poll is from Survation it will be just as trustworthy as their other ones have been.

  16. Gracie
    Lovely description of most Labourite’s raison d’etre,certainly mine anyway.

  17. @Colin

    “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.”

    I know that you have very strong feelings about the inadequacies of the NHS, and I’ve no doubt from what you say that you have had a number of very unfortunate personal experiences, but you really shouldn’t generalise in this way. How could a service that treats 1.5 million people every 36 hours, the vast majority of whom receive perfectly satisfactory outcomes and excellent care (how do I know? Because they say so repeatedly in surveys), be “run for the convenience of it’s staff, and not for the care of patients”???

    I would imagine that is just the sort of blanket denigration that must drive the hundreds of thousands of people who work in the NHS to the point of despair. It’s a cruel and unjustified insult to them all and has made me angry, especially when I think of the times that my wife, a Registered Nurse, has come back from a shift exhausted from the physical effort expended and emotionally traumatised by the injuries, diseases and illnesses of those that she’s nursed and cared for.

  18. Weird. George Galloway has just tweeted a statement I agree with.

    (I am not on Twitter, it appeared on the ticker on Politicshome).

    “I support one democratic state between River Jordan and the Med. One man/woman one vote. Jews Muslims Christians equal. That wrong?”

  19. Neil A

    Damm, I never took you for an anti semitic

  20. CB11

    Very well expressed.


    2that wrong?”

    Yes – apparently you have to believe in magic to count – why no atheists?

  21. Why cons are losing support…. in my view.

    Since the internet grew I have never seen so many negative headlines, day after day after day – often from a committee of MPs – about a sitting govt.

    Its actualy a bit freaky [as we old hippies used to say] man.

  22. @NEIL A

    Agree with you on that one.

    The trouble with George, in my opinion, is that he is very good at making wide sweeping general statements that are difficult to disagree with – it is only when you consider the practicalities of implementing them that they become less convincing.

    1 nation covering all races and creeds would be a wonderful solution – chances of achieving it from where things stand today? Nil.

  23. @RiN

    Is that a serious comment about Neil A’s agreement with Galloway’s tweet being anti-semitic?

  24. @crossbat11

    Whilst I appreciate there are many excellent and hard working people in the NHS I have to agree with much of what Colin says. I have had much ill health over the last ten years and I thank my lucky stars that I have been able to afford excellent private healthcare via health insurance. Thanks to the private healthcare I have received I am still able to enjoy life and do the things I want to do. Without it I would have been dead years ago.

    My son in law works in the NHS and sees so much that is wrong with the service and staff attitudes. He has become deeply cynical and can’t wait until he is able to retire.

  25. @Carfrew

    “It may place limits on what can be deduced from the poll. Ie one cannot take it as representative of what babyboomers in Halkirk might think. But its quite useful in terms of what students in Glasgow might think, on account of the fact that they are polling students, in Glasgow.”

    I agree completely. My point was how the BBC have made an article on it, which blows the weight of the poll way beyond its true weight. Such things can influence other people.

    I was thinking about it earlier when away from the computer, and thought that if Aberdeen university had done something similar and come out with 60% for independence, would the BBC or the Glasgow-based media fronted it quite so readily?

    It’s as much a huff about the media’s lack of impartiality on the issue of independence. I still don’t have a clue which way to vote. Neither side has convinced me that either option is financially, politically, or personally more attractive to me.

    It’s going to be purely financial / political I think, perhaps also with one side trying the romanticism of Braveheart, and the other talking big on the achievements of the British Empire, with neither side looking forward.

  26. TOH

    Good to see you back.

  27. @NickP

    “Surely a bedroom has a bed in it? So if you take out the bed, there you are! It’s a study or storeroom or somethign else.”

    I can see the 6-bedroom house with two of the rooms possessing beds, while the others are used for study, gym, art-room and the like, while three-bedroom houses, all with beds get hammered.

    Will a lilo count? :)

  28. @Paul Croft

    Thanks! Just passing, been very busy with my hobbies and the two allotments. Too cold to get out much today.

  29. If the NHS is run for the benefit of its customers, then therein lies its problem. Those in need of healthcare are not its customers. The taxpayers are its customers. Those who experience the service are not customers, but rather consumers of resources that would otherwise not have to be used.

    Saying that an NHS patient is a customer (and deserves decent service) is a bit like saying an armed robber is a customer of the Police and Justice system and therefore deserves to be treated as such.

    Or like saying a constituent is a customer of his/her MP and therefore deserves decent representation.

    If the taxpayer did not exist as the customer, we’d all be much healthier/better behaved/independent, no?

    (tongue in cheek smileys all round)

  30. Corkscrew

    Isn’t any statement that doesn’t support the israeli government position automatically anti semitic

  31. hmmm

    The “taxpayer” is the customer of Border Force and UKBA too. But does that mean that their agents can brutalise detainees, be rude to, and delay, people at ports and/or search and detain without good cause?

    I would argue that public servants have many customers, including the public, taxpayers, ministers and MPs and even miscreants.

  32. RiN

    OK. I think I understand your point – and tend to agree with it.

  33. My point NickP is that where the focus of the service provider is split between stakeholders (patients and taxpayers) then you need top notch management to make sure the values in the service are adhered to appropriately.

    In private healthcare provision, the patient/customer is more clearly recognised as the person who deserves service (eventhough other stakeholders such as shareholders of insurance companies and private health companies are in place)

    Client-focus is hard enough to achieve in the world of private commerce – I’d say extremely difficult in huge public enterprises without fantastic management and incentives.

  34. crossbat11 @ Colin

    Many of the bad news NHS stories are publicised by a American funded pro-prviatisation PR agency.

    None of the NHS bad news stories is about Scotland.

    Is that because: –

    – they know that Scotland will not privatise its NHS “till the rocks melt wi’ the sun”?
    – they don’t know where to get the Scottish data?
    – they don’t know that Scotland has its own NHS?
    – they don’t know that Scotland is not part of England?

    – Scotland is too small to produce regular bad news stories?
    – Scotland has a better NHS because it has more money, less private practice, privatisation and internal markets, greater public support ,surplus medical training,and easier recruitment, fewer tories bad-mouthing the public sector.

    My guess is that it is the first two.

    Instead of fudamentalist free marketeers, Scottish Tories, (or at least some of them) are butskillite Christian Democrats who use the NHS themselves.

    They are not daft enough to imagine that it could not be anything but repellent to Scottish voters and an affront to Scottish traditions, history and values to go down the route of the English NHS.

    There are at least two Scottish Tories I could vote for if the other parties put up some of the worst candidates that they have had, or if the SNP candidate was the local secretary who took us to court in a boundary dispute, or if another candidate has run off with my wife or something.

  35. I’m deeply conservative, so I would tend to oppose 7day full medical care, yes there should be emergency care and there should be a doctor or two available but its not necessary to do routine surgery at the weekends. Its also not necessary to have supermarkets open 24/7 while I wouldn’t forbid them, I do think that they should be discouraged. While I would hesitate to call myself a christian I can’t ignore the many wise things said by jesus, among them this “Man was not made for the sabbath, the sabbath was made for man” that its important for each person to have at least some rest once a week is universally acknowleged but its also important for society to take a break and breathe a little

  36. Reggieside
    “IDS is blinded by his own victorian era, punish-the-poor zeal .”

    The alternate view, is that he is trying to help poor families living in cramped conditions because too many larger properties are occupied by people who think they have a right to continue living in large properties at the taxpayers expense, even though they don’t need a large property. It would be inhuman to force them to move, much better to reduce their benefit to cover their actual need, not their desire.
    As there is no such thing as a bedroom tax to be paid, there will be no court cases. All that will happen is a reduction in benefit.
    At least, that is how I understand it.

    I agree with your post re: property tax & the policies of envy promulgated by the left.
    The only thing that will happen with a wealth tax, is that the wealthy will up sticks & move. Guaranteed. Like the 50p tax rate, it will raise no real money, it is merely symbolic & makes left wing MP’s feel good about themselves, whilst continuing to own multiple houses, draw their expenses & educate their kids privately.

    And why is property singled out anyway? Why not all wealth?

    As far as the 10p tax goes, all the people who benefited from that, already benefit more from the raising of the starting threshold.
    Again, gesture politics with an actual value of 67p per week after benefit adjustments.

  37. @statgeek

    Ah, well, initially you were challenging the validity of the poll based on sample size and constitution. “Bogus Poll!!” etc.

    If you now want instead to talk about the reporting of the poll, well… the headline makes it clear it’s a student poll and the next four sentences make clear it’s in Glasgow, and point out the low turnout. Then it gives the responses of the parties etc.

    I mean maybe it could be improved but it’s not exactly the worst example of poll reporting we’ve seen, is it? It’s not as bad as going “bogus poll!!”, for example. ..

  38. @statgeek

    “I still don’t have a clue which way to vote. Neither side has convinced me that either option is financially, politically, or personally more attractive to me”

    That’s because none of them seem to know. I have read many Scottish debates in here and at the end of the day it keeps amounting to: none the wiser.

    People don’t seem clear on what’ll happen to the currency, on defence, membership of the EU, his much oil they’ll get, what happens to the debt etc etc. .. so it’s hard to make a decision if they can’t tell you for sure.

    It’s like a messy divorce at its outset when you don’t know who’ll get the Gil Scott Heron CD and who gets to keep the photos and keep which friends and who’s moving out of the house and how much money you’ll get. .. although the lawyers may get quite a bit. ..

  39. “And why is property singled out anyway? Why not all wealth?

    Cos property is easier to tax (most of it being registered) and pragmatically can be done more easily.

    I think we will end up with the old rateable (or maybe rentable) values and taxes will be extended to all properties, including rented. The owner will have to pay, not the occupant, although i’m sure rents might go up.

    Something needs to be done to reverse engineer the by-to-let hoovering up all available properties.

    Homeowners don’t pay enough, and I speak as one.

  40. TOH



    Clearly the NHS has many many superb staff at all levels.

    Clearly it treats & cures many patients.

    My view is badly affected by the latest revelations of abuse of elderly patients.

    My view is affected by personal experience too. In my case the conflict between superb treatment & care by specialist doctors for me, versus the misogynist , incompetence & disinterest of generalist “consultants” in my wife’s case which necessitated private consultation at a different hospital, which I had to research myself.

    The BMA’s response to the idea of 7 day a week care is the tin hat as far as I am concerned. It spells out where their interests really lie.

    A Hospital stay at the weekend is an absolutely pointless waste of time-god knows what those pointless bed occupancies cost.

    It is run for it’s staff.

    In my view the NHS is a Monster-Organisationally , Financially , Culturally -and in sheer scale.

    I don’t think ANY politician has a clue how to manage it’s growth & transition to an era of ageing populations.

    And the revelation about the fate of whistleblowers demonstrates that. ( a retired Ambulance Service Manager said to me yesterday-“what’s knew-it was always like that-you don’t complain publicly “)

    And whilst the Politically Correct attitude to the NHS is the Apparatchik Sycophancy of Boyle’s parody -none of this will change.

  41. Robert

    Deserters used to be shot, shouldn’t we do the same with wealthy people that run from their patriotic duty

  42. @NickP

    Yep, if we are to have wealth, then at least lets have wealth that contributes as opposed to stacking the deck increasingly against the rest.

    Similarly, a number on the right see the Occupy movement as anti-capitalist when for many it’s not capitalism but the stacked deck that’s the issue, typified by the banking crisis.

    Wealth is often treated by the right as simply a deserved reward for good performance. This is not always the case as we see with banking and hirsemeat. But even where it is, the problem is that people don’t just use these rewards to rush out and buy some of Osborne’s dad’s wallpaper. They use it to acquire more privilege and maintain it regardless of performance.

    Thus we have an interesting tension between left and right between the need for incentives and the need to curtail deck-stacking.

  43. N{CKP

    Reintroduce rent control and kill two birds with one stone one bring down rents and also stop a lot of rent yo buy. We are putting this to the next Party Conference.

  44. john tt

    “Client-focus is … extremely difficult in huge public enterprises without fantastic management and incentives”.

    What sort of incentive does my cardiac surgeon need?

    His junior staff are motivated because they can put his name on their CV. That’s worth a great deal to them.

    Morale of cleaners and receptionists lifts when he enters the department and says “Good morning”.

    I told a friend who had had the same operation and surgeon five years earlier who my surgeon was and he said “You’ve landed on your feet!”

    All the staff know that the team is doing a high class job and nobody lets the side down.

    If as often as you come in to work, you are thanked to the point of embarrassment by some grateful patient whose life you have extended by exercise of professional skills at the highest possible level, and who is now being discharged, what sort of incentive do you need?

    Any fool can be a manager in the NHS. There is so much committment and professional pride in doing a good job that good people will subvert bad systems and unimaginative managers to produce a good result.

    What the Scottish NHS needs now is to finally remove the last vestiges of NewLabour’s bizzare managerialism and the perverse incentives of a target culture and replace it with a systems thinking approach.

  45. TOH

    That lifeboat crack was nice wasn’t it ?

    Oh Brave New World………


    You seem to have a problem with people who disagree with your view. If so why come on sites like this?

    In the case of the Titanic I would have put my wife in a lifeboat but being “old fashioned” in my views to many who write on here, I would have stayed on board to the end as I cannot swim.

  47. @COLIN

    I just laugh at comments like those above. We both know we are right about the NHS. My own view is that it will not be successful until it is broken up and funded very differently, eg part state funded part compulsory insurance. I object to having to pay twice but as i have proved over and over again it’s worth it.


  48. Being a “customer” hardly makes us immune from disaster. As we see catastriohically with banking, and recently with horsemeat etc.

    Making the NHS a customer via outsourcing. .. his well did that work with MRSA?

    How’s outsourcing going with the welfare to work thing? They’re saying the unemployed have a better chance of getting a job if not on the scheme? ??

    Either approach will screw up if it’s a poorly designed system, poorly managed.

    How much do we pay for our healthcare on the NHS and his does it compare with our peers in efficiency terms?

  49. @ChrisLane 1945

    Good on you for finding the time to get over to Eastleigh. When you get back, your observations would be welcome should you wish to share them. I’d certainly take far more notice of anything you might glean at first hand by comparison to the very suspect hype and expectations management we are getting from the various parties.

  50. My recent experience of the NHS is of superb doctors and nurses, variable and sometimes dodgy equipment and lifts, and extremely variable administration. Previous experiences have been more mixed on the quality of care, but also suggested that the passion for dividing up everything into tasks that were then allocated to different people responsible to different hierarchies had some very unfortunate effects, How can anyone take an overall view of your needs when the person who delivers your food, is different from the person who makes your bed, and yet others are responsible for particular nursing tasks (pain relief or administering an ECG or for taking blood, or giving drugs etc etc. Personally I have never felt that the staff were self-serving although I can well understand how the odd one may become burned out or cynical. What no one seems to me to have worked out is how to manage the thing.

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