The fortnightly Opinium poll for the Observer is out tonight and has topline figures of CON 26%(-1), LAB 37%(nc), LDEM 6%(-1), UKIP 21%(+1). There is no significant change from a fortnight ago, though for the record the 21% is the highest that UKIP have recorded with Opinium and the 6% is the lowest the Liberal Democrats have recorded this Parliament*. Opinium do tend to produce some of the higher UKIP scores, something they have put down to not using political weighting in their polls.

The Opinium poll also asked about the situation in Syria, and as with the recent YouGov polling on the same subject found very little support for arming the Syrian rebels. Only 24% supported sending arms or military supplies.

(*Whenever the Liberal Democrats suffer a really low score someone will wheel out an anecdote about remembering when the Liberal Democrats were just “an asterisk” – what polls sometimes do to show a figure is less than 0.5%, but not actually zero. As far as I’ve been able to tell this isn’t actually true, or at least, has never been true in a national opinion poll. The lowest ever Liberal Democrat score I’ve managed to locate is 3% in an ICM poll for the Sunday Correspondent in 1989)

UPDATE: Just to re-emphasise, as I can see people already getting stupidly overexcited on twitter. The poll does not show any significant change or movement, it is just that Opinium’s methodology normally shows very high scores for UKIP and Other parties (probably due to their decision not to politically weight), and therefore relatively low scores for Con, Lab and Lib Dem.


147 Responses to “Opinium/Observer – CON 26, LAB 37, LD 6, UKIP 21”

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  1. First am I tonight, amazing poll if it is accurate.

  2. At these levels I think it will be harder and harder for YOUGOV to continue excluding UKIP from prompting.

  3. I loved the Sunday Correspondent, Happy Sunday mornings reading it on a park bench. Was it really that long ago.

  4. JIM.
    I agree.
    Have you read CHAVS?

  5. CHAVS is a rant, but interesting take on working classes being demonised

  6. In a weird way this isn’t great news for UKIP. A new high is always good of course, but the shift is all minor MOE movements, so this seems to confirm the trend that the shift following the locals in over and for now they are static again. Static at a much better place than before, but static. They need a by-election in a rural Tory seat to get another chance to build up steam again. Hmm…

  7. According to EC, that would give Labour a 116 seat majority. With only 37% of the vote. Never mind the turnout, the 63% will not be happy. Mind you, Labour had a 66 majority with 35.3% of the vote in 2005.

  8. @StatGeek,

    It would, but I suspect UNS would be next to useless as things standard.

  9. Lib/Dems 6%? At this rate the SNP will be taking over them and they only stand in Scotland!!
    …….

    “The Opinium poll also asked about the situation in Syria, and as with the recent YouGov polling on the same subject found very little support for arming the Syrian rebels. Only 24% supported sending arms or military supplies”
    _____

    I’m not surprised at this and in Syria the gov “despite it being a dictator” is still popular amongst most Syrians.

    Hopefully the threat of Russian hardware will make Hague think again over his stupid idea of arming terrorists.

  10. *stand

  11. UKIP doing as well as the Alliance used to, I think.

  12. Given that Scotland only contains 10% of voters, the SNP will be doing spectacularly if they’re polling over 6% nationally!

    Still, not particularly wonderful for the LDs or Tories. On UNS it still gives no UKIP seats, but the UKIP S is neither U nor N. Given their coastal and Midlands strongholds they probably would make a few gains, mostly from the Tories.

  13. Chrislane

    They’re not doing quite as well as the Alliance given that one poll showed the Alliance winning 612 seats!

  14. ChrisLane1945, I haven’t read it, but I will have to somedy as it looks like an interesting read.

  15. @Allan Christie

    If the SNP can get 5% or more at a national level, that would be about 60% of the Scottish vote. That would be about 59 seats. :)

  16. Unless we are prepared to formally declare war, we have no more right to invade someone else’s country or arm their internal rebels than they have to do the same to us.

    Let’s have some moral equivalence.

    And I won’t accept arguments on the lines of “we’re good and they’re bad” (or sophisticated equivalents like “we’re a democracy and they’re a dictatorship) since (1) these are relativistic and subjective, and (2) there is not a person on earth who doesn’t think “we” are better than “them”.

  17. similar but slightly more intense case of recent polling, looks like UKIP mobilising non-voters/”grumblers” and squeezing everyone else. Still a 11% lead for Labour and thus in landslide territory.

    I can’t quite believe the 6% LD figure though. If we had PR they would thus be in danger of falling below thresholds for representation. Next election looks ever more fascinating thanks to UKIP.

  18. statgeek

    According to EC, that would give Labour a 116 seat majority. With only 37% of the vote. Never mind the turnout, the 63% will not be happy. Mind you, Labour had a 66 majority with 35.3% of the vote in 2005.

    True.

    But many have been the chances to change from FPTP to PR….

    And when did any single party last win a majority of the electorate?

    No government has had a mandate, in the sense of receiving over 50% of the vote, since the 1950’s. And I think it only happened once even then. (?)

  19. Pete Wishart is on Twitter trying to make out that the rise of ukip means left leaning Scots should vote yes.

    I would think they would be happy with 116 Labour majority.

    Poor that 21% doesn’t give any MPs, while 37% gives nearly 400. Surely an argument for PR?

  20. any polling about the next Doctor Who?

  21. As to UKIP….

    … they will be the dog that did not bark. And have very little effect in the next GE. They will probably lose the Tories a few seats. And give Labour a slightly larger OM than they would otherwise have had.

    Other than that? They will have no effect.

  22. @Chris Todd,

    Or as Peter Kellner has hinted, UKIP may well finish 1st in the European elections but see their vote fade at the GE.

    Personally, I can see UKIP improving on 2010 in 2015 but fail to reach double figures.

  23. STATGEEK

    @Allan Christie

    “If the SNP can get 5% or more at a national level, that would be about 60% of the Scottish vote. That would be about 59 seats. :)
    _____________

    I’ll drink to that :)

  24. The current system does give mandates of a sort, relative to the popularity of everyone else, particularly measured against the next most popular, ignoring that in absolute terms that the winner might not be all that popular (basically, mid 30’s beating 28-30%) – it’s only a relative mandate.

    I’d be surprised if we saw anyone get 50% of the vote again, though. Things are getting increasingly fragmented.

  25. I think the holy grail for UKIP would be to reach 20% with YouGov.

  26. Chris Todd

    It wasn’t even the 50s. The last party to win over 50% of the vote was the Conservative Party, led by Stanley Baldwin in 1931.

    What’s interesting about this poll is what happened when I played with the figures. With the poll figures as they are, UKIP win no seats. If you remove one percentage point from the two parties of government and give it to the opposition parties, suddenly UKIP gain 12 seats and the Tories lose 6.

  27. @Chris Todd

    “And when did any single party last win a majority of the electorate?”

    Most would probably agree that 40% is the general ‘decent’ amount for a mandate, or it’s certainly in the realms of staving off criticism on that subject. If the next party had 39%, more difficult. The problem is that the boundaries are skewed to favour Labour in elections where the percentages are close.

    I was fiddling with the ‘Scotland Votes’, Westminster predictor a wee while back. I was trying to see how weird the results can be, based on the percentages (the Labour point in the previous paragraph is valid here too).

    I managed a result of:

    Lab 17
    Lib 17
    SNP 17
    Con 8

    The percentages to get this:

    Lab 19%
    Lib 27%
    SNP 27%
    Con 27%

    Completely weird.

    “No government has had a mandate, in the sense of receiving over 50% of the vote, since the 1950?s.”

    No party, yes. The current coalition government has a mandate of 59.1% of the votes, 56% of the seats, and 38.5% of the electorate.

  28. UKIP could have a major impact on the next election.

    The SNP didn’t bring in devolution but their rise directly lead to it, so you can have a real influence by setting the narrative and agenda and forcing other parties to react to your position.

    It can be about influence as much as seats.

    Peter.

  29. But to say the current government has 59.1% of the votes requires the assumption that every single person voting for those parties wanted the coalition.

    We know for a fact many did not – it would be interesting to take internal party data from Cons and LDs and work out a ‘coalition’ share of the votes.

  30. JOHN RUDDY

    “Poor that 21% doesn’t give any MPs, while 37% gives nearly 400. Surely an argument for PR?”
    __________

    Absolutely!!

  31. @Chris Todd

    “No government has had a mandate, in the sense of receiving over 50% of the vote, since the 1950?s. And I think it only happened once even then. (?)”

    If wikipedia is correct and I haven’t overlooked an election, the last election wirth a party winning 50+ % of the vote was the Conservatives in the 1931 general election. The second-to-last was in 1900, also the Conservatives.

    Several times since 1900, the party with the most seats wasn’t even the party with the most votes: January 1910: Liberals win most seats, but have less votes than Conservatives; same in December 1910; 1929 Labour most seats (most votes. Conservatives); 1951 Conservatives (most votes: Labour); February 1974 Labour (most votes: Conservatives).

    Oh, the joys of FPTP… ;-)

  32. Tomorrow’s Mail on Sunday’s front page headline suggests more trouble for the Government.

  33. @statgeek

    “The current coalition government has a mandate of 59.1% of the votes”

    I wanted to say “utter b****ks”, but I’ll settle for economical with the truth.

    Not a single person in the land voted for the coalition. I’d be surprised if more than 0.1% even expected it.

  34. Mail On.Sunday front page is bizarre. If the MoS thinks there is no.public interest in publication of the names of the alleged Cabinet members that were involved, why mention it at all?

  35. @Liz H
    “Tomorrow’s Mail on Sunday’s front page headline suggests more trouble for the Government.”
    ——————————————-
    I caught a glimpse of it on BBC. I think the headline was “Secret love affair rocks No. 10”

    Well maybe the earth moves sometimes but that is a bit OTT :-)

  36. Please be May and Gove, please be May and Gove, please be May and Gove.

  37. The wife watches Doctor who, and the new Doctor at the end of the last episode of the last series sounded like John Hurt, moving on from being a dragon in Merlin

  38. In the 2005 election the number of votes per seat won was..

    Labour 26,908

    Tories 44,368

    Lib/Dems 96,540

    SNP 68,711
    ……………………..

    2010 votes per seat won..

    Labour 33,358

    Tories 34,9979

    Lib/Dem 119,934

    SNP 81,897
    ………..

    From the above figures you can see the current system is favourable towards Labour even though they lost in 2010.

  39. @Allan Christie

    “I’m not surprised at this and in Syria the gov “despite it being a dictator” is still popular amongst most Syrians.”

    This makes me wonder whether there’s been any credible government approval polling done in Syria. I imagine i would be rather difficult, given their present circumstances.

    @MOG

    I’m not a fan of our present government, or many of our recent governments, for that matter, but I’m prepared to go out on a moral and philosophical limb and rate them above Bashar al Assad and hereditary Baathism.

    I’m personally sceptical about arming the rebels. I made my thoughts clear in the Syria poll thread, I think government(s) should do something effective or keep out of it, and my mind’s coming up blank when I try to think what an effective intervention would look like at this stage.

    Nevertheless I tire of western commenters who try to squeeze the Syria situation into their self-referential world view by ignoring even the recent history of the conflict, minimising the Syrian government’s crimes and talking of “terrorists.”

  40. And long may it remain

  41. lizH


    Tomorrow’s Mail on Sunday’s front page headline suggests more trouble for the Government.”

    Oh dear.

  42. John Hurt is playing a one off as a Dr Who between Paul MacGann and Christopher Eccleston who was responsible for ending the time war and killing all his own people, the TimeLords.

    Just thought you’d like to know.

    I know this because I am the 17th Doctor!!!

    Peter.

  43. @MrNameless

    “…Please be May and Gove, please be May and Gove, please be May and Gove…”

    Leaving aside the fact that she’d eat him alive, this shows a lack of imagination: I’m thinking Fox and Laws…:-)

    rgdsm

  44. @Allan Christie

    We’ve been.over this before. Differential turnout accounts for a lot of the apparent difference between Lab and Tory. The Tories pile up votes in true blue areas. But AW says the system is currently still.biased to a small degree towards Lab.

    Of course the LDs and SNP are the worst losers of the current system

  45. Deeply surprising/shock affair. It couldn’t be Eric Pickles, could it?

  46. “Please be May and Gove, please be May and Gove, please be May and Gove.”

    Govey and Ossie is my choice.

  47. Matt Smith is leaving but he has left us in the Major years.

  48. HANNAH

    “This makes me wonder whether there’s been any credible government approval polling done in Syria. I imagine it would be rather difficult, given their present circumstances”
    ________

    I think you’re correct on that but it was the BBC correspondent Jeremy Bowen who came out with the statement on the News a few nights ago.

  49. Re: Mail.on Sunday story

    I see that defamation laws mean nothing to.many…

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