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. Re: the electoral system and UNS

    The other question is whether incumbency could reduce Labour’s in-built advantage slightly. The most recent poll of marginals back in March would have had Labour’s majority slashed by exactly 30 seats when compared to the UNS (the poll suggested a Labour majority of 84 compared to 114 on a UNS). Would be interesting to see another marginal poll to see if this poll was merely a one-off, or if things have changed since March.

  2. Pickles and IDS?

    (Just trying to pick the funniest combo.)

  3. Sayeeda Warsi and Ken Clarke?

  4. RAF

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

    Big time!! ;)

  5. @Allen Christie/Hannah

    Assad obviously has enough support to at the very least ensure a virtual.stalemente. And that is enough for him.

    The rebels are in a classic bind. They’re not strong or popular enough to win but they are not lose. So they fight on. They run the risk of running out of steam.

    Which all leaves a profound mess. The Arab Spring will clearly take longer in some countries than others, and may well involve evolutions rather than revolutions in certain cases.

  6. There are times when it seems that the Houses of Parliament is one big giant orgy. To be honest, no pairing (or pairings?) would surprise me.

    Having said that, I can’t really see Harriet Harman and David Cameron working.

  7. Clegg and Sam?

  8. @Robin,

    “Pickles and IDS?”

    There are some things in life which are just not meant to be. This is one of them.

  9. “If details of the affair do emerge, it could place a further strain on Mr Cameron’s leadership,”

    The above from the MOS is truly pathetic. How can David Cameron be held responsible – and that’s assuming that its even true

  10. Lizh

    I would think revelations in the Telegraph will have more impact on the voters especially as it involves Mp’s from all parties including Labour Mp’s and Peers.

    Oh dear.

  11. @RAF

    “…The wife watches Doctor who, and the new Doctor at the end of the last episode of the last series sounded like John Hurt…”

    A supposition neatly upheld by

    * The large subtitles saying “Introducing John Hurt as the Doctor”
    * The credits listing “John Hurt as the Doctor”
    * The fact that it was John Hurt.

    @PETERCAIRNS

    “…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…”

    That’s been spoilered for months (see DigitalSpy). But don’t tell everybody..:-)

    @LIZH

    “…Matt Smith is leaving but he has left us in the Major years…”

    LOL!

    @AMBIVALENTSUPPORTER

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

    Pickles and Baroness Warsi. He got confused and mistook her for his night-time pie. It was dark. He got as far as pouring the gravy on before she noticed. It went downhill from there…

    rgdsm

  12. Croftie

    Well if Clegg has been banging David’s missus it would put a strain on his leadership

  13. It will be interesting to see where, if anywhere, produces a UKIP MP in 2015. If the Cons and LDs are doing badly, then the south of England (sans London) would seem like a natural location, because of how weak Labour generally are there. Even if UKIP do well in the north of England, I imagine it will largely benefit Labour and produce no seats except perhaps at Berwick.

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

    Not since the Conservatives in 1935, which wasn’t a normal election even by interwar standards. The Unionists & National Liberals won just SLIGHTLY over 50% of the vote in Scotland in 1955 and the Conservatives won over 50% a few times in England during that period, but these are just particular local regions of the UK.

  14. “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.”

    No it doesn’t. It means that each of the parties received a vote, the total of which equalled 59.1%.

    Similarly, that someone votes for a party doesn’t mean that they want that party in power, because it might be tactical. By you reasoning, we cannot say that any party has ever had any percentage of the vote ever.

  15. Miserable Old Git,

    “Not a single person in the land voted for the coalition.”

    Source?

  16. @MoG

    “Not a single person in the land voted for the coalition.”

    Believe it or not, some wanted a LD coalition (probably Lib / Lab though).

    59.1% of the voters got the party they voted for elected to government, if that’s more accurate.

  17. It’s probably the tea lady having it away with one of the chauffeurs, the mail tends to be a bit excitable

  18. Leaving aside the fact that your well-bred Tory woman wouldn’t with a LD except in direst need (you don’t with the hired help, it’s declasse), SamCam is not a member of the Cabinet.

    rgdsm

  19. RAF

    Like most people in the West I’m not an Assad fan but sometimes it’s better to stick with the Devil you know and with the rebels? They appear to be more at odds with each other than with Assad.
    ….
    “The Arab Spring will clearly take longer in some countries than others, and may well involve evolutions rather than revolutions in certain cases”
    _____

    Indeed countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain “Spring” to mind but of course they have friendly dictators so Darwin’s theory of evolution probably wouldn’t get a look in! ;)

  20. @Statgeek

    40% may be the threshold on whether a government can be seen as legitimate to you, but not me. 35-65, illegitimate, but 40-60 legitimate? I don’t think it’s just boundaries either, Michael Thrasher has a good video on Youtube cataloguing the inherent bias in our (FPTP) system, and boundaries were but a bit-part. As for this government getting a 59% mandate, I think it’s truer to say we’ve, in effect, got a Tory majority on 36.1% of the vote.

  21. @MrNameless

    “Please be May and Gove”

    I would have preferred Samantha Cameron and Nigel Farage. Far more mileage in that one.

  22. I noted the Others in the poll would also represent considerable growth for the SNP & Greens if they were to be played out:

    4% SNP, 4% GRN, 1% BNP, 1% PCY.

  23. ROBIN

    “Pickles and IDS?

    (Just trying to pick the funniest combo.)
    _____

    Surely that falls to Cameron and Clegg..Well that’s what the polls say! ;)

  24. Anthony

    You have my sympathy for the childish comments being made tonight.

    As always I shall remain above the fray.

  25. Craig,

    Do you mean that this parliament is, in effect, a Tory majority or that it’s an ineffectual majority? Because I don’t really understand how we can have a Tory majority and the introduction of gay marriage in the same parliament. Or a rise in capital gains tax, for that matter.

    Perhaps I’m stuck in the days where Tories were Tories and “UKIP” was an imperative to a child telling them to have a nap. More probably, we don’t have a Tory majority, however one tries to spin things.

  26. Who is posting as Paul Croft?

    Just kidding, Paul: I try to keep my sniping to where we have hard numbers, rather than saucy soap operas.

  27. Its probably just the Downing Street cat anyway so hardly a resigning matter – although perhaps moggie should consider its position.

  28. Craig,

    I would be very careful with the SNP and Plaid figures, because the samples are unweighted and extremely small.

  29. Or are they? Anthony, I know that the regional cross-breaks are unreliable, but does that mean that regionally-specific parties’ figures are also unreliable?

  30. Paul: to clarify, that should be “I too”. I like your comments here, when they’re non-partisan.

  31. CRAIG

    “I noted the Others in the poll would also represent considerable growth for the SNP & Greens if they were to be played out:

    4% SNP, 4% GRN, 1% BNP, 1% PCY”
    _____

    That’s very interesting because (although sub-samples are to be taken with a barrow of salt) a poll carried out by ComRes last week had the SNP on 36% for Westminster and Labour 33%.

  32. @Bill Patrick

    The former. Forgive me, but wasn’t it David Cameron that introduced gay marriage? The Tories have (maybe had now) largely jettisoned their socon stances to focus on neoliberalism and try and attract as many liberals to rally around that as possible. A rise in capital gains tax to go with a slashing of corporation tax and top rate?

    The last vestiges of the welfare state being dismantled and privatised (including the NHS) and you think this is somehow restrained? You’re having a laugh.

  33. The injunction is going to horribly back-fire. There’s going to be nothing but speculation until whoever it is finally comes clean.

  34. @STATGEEK

    “…I would have preferred Samantha Cameron and Nigel Farage…”

    EW! NURSE! MY EYES! MY EYES!

    rgdsm

  35. # from the ComRes sub-sample SNP 36% Labour 33%

  36. Bill Patrick

    “Paul: to clarify, that should be “I too”. I like your comments here, when they’re non-partisan”
    _______

    Can’t be too many of Paul’s comments you like then lol

  37. “There’s going to be nothing but speculation until whoever it is finally comes clean.”

    Oh please !!! This is going too far. I’m sure they wil have showered by now.

  38. Craig.

    David Cameron is a Tory, but most Tories are not like David Cameron. Do you think that a Tory majority parliament would have passed the gay marriage bill?

    Would a Tory majority parliament have tolerated or even introduced a rise in capital gains tax? Bear in mind that two of the most notable defeats on tax policy in recent history (in 1994 when Clarke tried to extend VAT to fuel & power and in the 1981 budget) were cases of Tory rebellions against taxes they didn’t like.

    “The last vestiges of the welfare state being dismantled and privatised (including the NHS) and you think this is somehow restrained? You’re having a laugh.”

    Quite apart from whether that’s true (we could have a long and boring debate about it, but we won’t) I didn’t say that the Tories weren’t getting their way on any area of policy; I simply noted that this parliament is fundamentally different from a Tory majority parliament and so the claim that this is “in effect” a Tory majority parliament doesn’t hold water, unless you have some special standard for such a phrase, in which case we’d best end the discussion now.

  39. Allan Christie,

    I’m politically interested without being party-aligned, so I tend to enjoy everyone’s (substantive) non-partisan comments on polling, regardless of how common they are.

  40. Past my bedtime really but couldn’t resist putting in an oar or two on electoral systems for those who are interested.

    The fact is all systems have faults, proportional systems too. A recent glaring example was an election in Malta using the STV system – Holy Grail of the Liberal Democrats and the reaison d’etre of the Electoral reform society. One of the parties (there are only two) succeded in getting more than 50% of the vote, but the other party took more seats. The Maltese have now changed their constitution to give supplementary seats to the party winning most votes.

    But even pure party list systems have their problems. It’s perfectly possible in a list system for a party to lose a seat by getting more votes. Sounds mad, but it can happen.

    Well, you’ll probably say, FPTP is worse. Personally I’m not convinced (a position it has taken me many years to reach!). When you look at the length of time in power the 3 main parties have had since universal sufferage was introduced it begins to look fair, over time.

    Compare the Swedish PR system that kept the Social Democrats in power for 50 years, or the Italian system where the Christian Democrats were in power from the war to the rise of Berlusconi. They had to share power, but they were always in control – they had the system sewn up. Likud and Netanyahu seem to be going the same way in Israel. These may be proportional parliaments, but they do not produce proportional governments. I am impressed by Churchill’s contention that FPTP allows voters to “kick the bu99ers out”. This is not a privilege that, as a voter, I am willing to give up without a fight.

  41. Bill

    I think its a bit rude to call Al “common” – but I know what you mean.

  42. BILL PATRICK

    “I’m politically interested without being party-aligned, so I tend to enjoy everyone’s (substantive) non-partisan comments on polling, regardless of how common they are”
    ______

    Here here!!

  43. @PaulCroft

    “…Oh please !!! This is going too far. I’m sure they wil have showered by now…”

    Pickles? Shower? Did you think this thru?

    rgdsm

  44. That’s why if we can’t have a perfect PR system, I’d like to see compulsory voting introduced with a ‘none of the above’ option.

  45. PI

    The insanity of FPTP is that peope vote for partes they don’t want in order to keep out voters they want even less and then don’t know whether what they are doing will work because its all mixed up with the cjoices others make.

    PR which means we simply vote for what we want and then see who got most votes.

  46. PAULCROFT

    Braccae illae virides cum subucula rosea et tunica Caledonia-quam elenganter concinnatur.

  47. Dunno who you are describing but I assume Monsieur Farage. I prefer his yellow troos meself but I’m not really fussed either way.

  48. @AllanChristie

    …er…Romanes Eunt Domus?

    rgdsm

  49. Paul Croft,

    The world would be a much better place if Allan Christie was common.

    Postage Included,

    The Swedes had a horribly scelerotic political system for a long time, as did Japan. If we did ever go over to PR for Westminister, it would probably be worthwhile moving to a seperately elected executive as well.

  50. POSTAGEINCLUDED

    “Compare the Swedish PR system that kept the Social Democrats in power for 50 years”

    “I am impressed by Churchill’s contention that FPTP allows voters to “kick the bu99ers out”. This is not a privilege that, as a voter, I am willing to give up without a fight”
    _______

    With that rational then it’s only ever going to be Labour or Con in Westminster, something we have been stuck with for 90 years

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