Two new polls out this morning – both showing things ticking along pretty much as usual. The daily YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 38%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 11% – the six point lead is pretty representative of the average in YouGov’s polls over the last week or so. Full tabs are here

Meanwhile the latest Populus poll has very similar figures – their topline voting intentions are CON 32%, LAB 39%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 10%. Full tabs are here.

274 Responses to “New YouGov and Populus polls”

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  1. BB

    “Balls said “no way, not in a million years” in response to the LD suggestion that Labour could legislate for a change in the election system without a referendum”

    Without having it their manifesto he could hardly say anything else really.

  2. For me the argument for PR is one of logic and what follows would not alter that logic. I asume that if the BNP polled well they would still be outnumbered but if they weren’t then it would be because that is how people voted.

    As I wrote before, I believe PR would lead to a huge number of people voting positively. At the moment very often these votes are either tactical or in protest. If you know your vote is as significant as anyone else’s you might value it more.

  3. I should add that it makes me smirk, chuckle, chortle and larf when people write things with which I disagree.

  4. Btw Paul

    The elderly moggie here at BB Mansions can be very intolerant, but for some reason she barely raises an eyebrow when your two whippersnappers come on here with their predictions… they must have very winning ways!

  5. BB

    They’ve lost interest with politics now. They’ve taken up football.

    Playing I mean, not predictions.

  6. @Steve, @BillyBob

    “…“BBC understands from Lib Dem sources” doesn’t sound absolutely authoritative…”

    I have to fall back on the Bernard Wooley formulation: “it is true that it is rumoured, but the rumour is not true”

    “…Steve Richards did a series for BBC R4 later in that year, talking to all those involved…Balls said “no way, not in a million years” in response to the LD suggestion that Labour could legislate for a change in the election system without a referendum. I’m guessing Richards cross referenced that before including it in the programme…”

    Good to know. I’ve googled the BBC website but I can’t find the programme. Do you have a title/link? Was it at the end of “The Brown Years” (which I can find)


  7. I’d be very interested to see an opinion poll done using a hypothetical PR system. Rubbish for predicting the next election but it might set a few cats among pigeons on voting reform.

  8. Rich

    Point me to this mythical lib dem supporter that is less enthusiastic about or when it doesn’t look as advantageous for them. They don’t exist because firstly Libdems are passionate about or and always have been and secondly there have never been any circumstances where or would not be advantageous to the libdems. I have remarked many times that I’m pleased about the rise of Ukip even though I dislike their policies because it makes or more likely

  9. Damm, why doesn’t this site have an edit function? I have written “or” instead of “pr” as I intended

  10. @RC

    “I think as regards electoral reform, the minimum next time round would be single transferable vote for local elections.
    That way, the Lib Dems get people used to it across the UK…”

    You must live in England, then? Because there’s no need to get people used to it across the UK as England is the only one of the 4 major constituents of the United Kingdom that does NOT use an alternative voting system. Northern Ireland uses STV, Wales uses both FPTP and a form of PR, Scotland has FPTP plus 3 (!!!) additional AV systems. I could never understand why the LibDems didn’t make more of that fact during the referendum debate.

    When I moved to Ireland from the USA in 1980 I had to learn STV and I think it’s the most democratic (albeit with some drawbacks [1]) system having seen several instances where a seat was won with a majority of 4 votes…only 3 votes of 1000s were “wasted”. STV is brilliant for tactical voting but you have to be very, very careful. :-) In the 1997 General Election Eithne Fitzgerald who was an enormously popular, hard-working Minister lost her place because so many voters (including me) thought she was a shoo-in and gave her our second preference thinking we would get a Green in for the second seat.


    “Anyway, I love how all the harder left posters have now had a damascus conversion on PR given the thought of UKIP getting seats, sort of runs against the narrative.”

    We must be reading different blogs because one of things I have found most interesting in the 7 months or so I have been reading this blog is how often AV has been discussed with positive (and negative) views from members from all political shades (when one can be determined which is not always easy).

    [1] In very large constituencies it could take weeks to count the vote by hand. But there is always the delicious prospect of recount after recount and waiting breathlessly for the final verdict.

  11. Celebrity polling geek does good:

    “On the financial side, Silver was a huge traffic driver for in political years. On Election Day 2012, The New Republic’s Mark Tracy called Silver a “One-Man Traffic Machine for the Times” and “The Times’s biggest brand”: ““FiveThirtyEight is drawing huge traffic,”

    With the polls all over the place here seems we need our own UK Nate Silver. All they need to be able to do is accurately predict election outcomes, especially helpful if polling companies are all significantly off and show widely varying figures, and media only report the outliers which completely confuses the public – which would seem to describe our current environment. (well the widely varying figures and media reporting outliers at least, still to be seen how far off they are if at all!)

  12. Another interesting article here:

    “The reason most political pundits thought the race was “too close to call” was that most national polls showed a very close election”

    “So while there are lots of fun technical debates to be had about the role of data and modelling in political forecasting, let’s hope that by 2016, the pundits have mastered the simple lesson that averaging of state-level polls rather than national averages is the best way to project the presidential election”

    How much does that apply to the UK. As the main parties vote share becomes lower and lower, and as the country is starting to look red in the north, blue in the south, yellow in the south west, purple in the east, and add in the national parties, do polling companies need to start looking at marginal seats more and focus less on national averages and assume standard swings? Should they be reporting aggregate vote share or the number of mp’s?

  13. statmeister

    “Geordies to butter up the Scots”

    Take more then butter to make me try one.

  14. @ Paul Croft

    Some of us don’t taste too bad. ;-)

  15. @ Paul Croft

    Some of us don’t taste too bad. ;-)

    sounds tempting Amber………………

    You’re up late by the way. I’ve just had to let Daisie out yet again: Rosie was a much better baby for the ole kipping.

  16. Interesting re Scottish Independence affect on the NEast.

    At my branch on Thursday night we had a brief discussion along the lines of the temptation (and logic) of left wing moderately unionist scots voting yes as the best way to get a Government closer to their views more often. (Peter Cairns has covered some of this ground recently)

    The consequence for RUK and in particular Labour was worrying for some although the knowledge I gleaned from here that only once has Labour needed their majority of Seats from Scotland to form a Government assuaged a little.

    Upshot was we could understand why Scots would vote for independence but hope they don’t.

    Surely it is totally responsible for our Council leaders to prepare for possible independence and how we might relate with a future Scottish Government; in fact how we relate to the current devolved Government is important and perhaps we could both do better.

    Not just threats and opportunities but how we can work together to push for infrastructure investment (A1 dualling to Edinburgh for example or a joint view on the East Coast Main Line)

    Whilst I hope that the vote is NO I trust that NEast Labour politicians won’t indulge in scaremongering etc to try to influence the outcome, the 40% requirement in 1975 was shocking imo.

  17. @Martyn

    You’ll be needing a good big shovel about your person, because any number of yotabytes of internet carry-on have piled on top since then. The question is where to start?

    Sometimes I try to search UKPR, because I did post about the programme more than once since broadcast. It wasn’t The Brown Years” though (fifth entry on this page):


    I’ll try another dig round later for you.

  18. @Jimjam

    As a Yorkshireman, I have always felt closer to the Celts in the UK. Scotland and Wales feels like home, and London and the South East feel like a foreign land to me.

    If Scotland votes Yes and independence works, I would be seriously interested in moving there. The background cultural values feel closer to my own than the values of the home counties and London.

    As a democrat, I think we are too Westminster based and if the Scots want to go it alone then I wish them all the luck in the world. It is a decision for them and them alone.

  19. @Martyn

    Ok, I’m narrowing it down. I think it was a series of programmes for “The Report” on R4, I made a passing reference to it on July 5th 2010, so quick work on the part of Steve Richards.

    Btw the Balls quote was more like “Never, no way, not in a million years”


    “I think you have been ‘done up like a kipper’ as they say in these parts”

    You have your view I have mine. I do not accept what you think for one moment since Paul and I did not have an interllectual argument we just stated our positions. You choose Paul’s, surprise, surprise. I am happy with mine. I have always made it clear on this site that I have no respect indeed contempt for the criminal, the feckless and the workshy. I am never likely to change so Paul wastes his time trying.

  21. Good morning all.

    Lots to do at the allotments before the promised rain comes. It was lovely at 5.30 this morning, cool, birds singing and lots of runner beans to pick. Have a good day all.

  22. I see Michael Crick is reporting that Party accounts for 2012 show Labour got £5.5m from ordinary members’ subs; Lib Dems £890,000; + Conservatives only £747,000 and that Tory membership has fallen by 33000 in just 6 months to just 100000,

    What are we to make of this?

  23. @Rich – afraid I don’t share your rosé tinted view of this outstanding mandate the Tories had after 2010. Yes I agree a cobbled together ‘rainbow coalition’ wouldn’t have worked and the Tories should have been allowed to govern in a minority – what the lib Dem’s did in abandoning their economic theories and policies as well as numerous other policies they were elected on in effect made them honorary Tory MPs – how was this good for democracy?

  24. @Jimjam @Catmanjef

    So in the event of Scottish independence, we’re saying that Scotland should include the *full* territories of both the ancient Kingdoms of Strathclyde and Northumbria, rather than just the bits of them Scotland currently has? Or at least the inhabitants of such ‘lost territories’ should get referendums on the issue :P ;)

    …now that really might do a number on Labour’s electoral prospects, and boost the Tories! Next stop equal partition of the ancient Kingdom of Mercia between England and an Independent Wales :) ;)


  25. The news from China becomes more & more astounding.

    After two decades of mega-growth ,based on infrastructure & exports , & fired by massive increases in credit, new CCP chief Xi Jinping has set about “rebalancing & reform ” of the Chinese economy. ( strangely familiar phrase!).

    But Xi’s reforms are to stop the manufacturing overcapacity, construction boom excess & the corruption which went with it, and do a 180 degree handbrake turn towards sustainable growth, at lower levels, based on domestic consumption & a burgeoning middle class.

    Xi has clamped down on spending by state officials on entertaining & office largesse. Lavish banquets, overseas junkets and traffic-stopping motorcades have been just part of a growing list of prohibitions for the country’s ruling elite, which culminated this week in a five-year ban on the construction of government offices.

    Corruption trials have included a suspended death sentence for the State Rail supremo.

    On the economic front the brakes have been slammed on bank credit, with warnings that state organisations will face closure & bankruptcy. Today THe Times reports that the Party has ordered the closure of thousands of factories in 19 industry sectors where production overcapacity has been built.

    THe State-directed economy has blunted market forces to such an extent that output could be maintained with zero margin. The Times reports that last year , one of the countries larger steel groups said it would diversify into pig farming , after calculating that it could make more profit selling a killo of pork than a kilo of steel.

    Xi insists that this dramatic economic reform will not take annual growth below 7.5% pa
    We shall see.
    The ripple will clearly extend to the world’s economy. First & worst hit must presumably be the suppliers of the commodities which fueled China’s infrastructure building binge-Africa Australia Canada etc. Conversely, there must be opportunities for the rest of the world to supply the consumer demand which Xi wants to stoke .

    What I find endlessly fascinating is how much Xi’s powers Maude would give his eye teeth for-and how much the state construction boom excess would resonate as a warning with Osborne ( or raise wry smiles in Ireland & Spain)

    One is tempted to welcome all these moves as the next phase in China’s economic transition to a sustainable modern economy, and to imagine that political freedoms might follow the growth of an aspirational middle class.

    Sadly Xi lets one down with a bump on this score.
    Last tuesday one of China’s most prominent human rights activists was taken into custody by police .

    Xu Zhiyong’s detention was on charges of having “gathered crowds to disrupt public order”. The arrest deals a heavy blow to the gongmeng citizen movement as dozens of fellow activists have also been arrested in the last few months.
    The outspoken law lecturer at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications is the most prominent representative of the movement, which has been calling for government transparency and respect of individual rights guaranteed by the Chinese constitution.

  26. Here is a good map of how Britain once was and perhaps will be again?

  27. The beauty of PR is that suddenly 100% of the population have a say in the make up of the next government rather than, as an absolute maximum, 1/6th of the voters (based on 100 marginal out of 600) and even this could be made much smaller if you said 50 marginals decide the election and if you took into account the party loyalists who never change voting intention which would take it closer to 1 in 50 voters deciding the outcome of an election.

    I think it also leads to more honest politics and probably better policies because you are arguing for something you believe in rather than what you think those 1/6th of the population might want.

    It might give extremists a foothold but nothing more- no-one is going to do a deal with the BNP for example and I am sure you would see a Lab-Con government before that happened. You could see a UKIP-Con government but that is because of the way UKIP have positioned themselves (Farage was either genuine or clever or both in criticising the ‘go home’ posters aimed at illegal immigrants).

    The only argument against is you do not get stable government. I think this is more of a learning curve for politicians and then down to the electorate to punish the antics of anyone demanding more than they should (tea party comes to mind) for their share of the vote. As was pointed out before in some countries this works well (Sweden) in others maybe not so well (Italy) but neither country could be described as a basket case.

  28. SKapusniak,

    Don’t think I suggested or implied that, mind you Berwick have already mooted applying to join Scotland.

    Certainly like Catmanjeff I think the ‘North’ has more in common with Scotland (and Wales) than the S East of England and home counties in particular, if treated as a block, although we need to be careful not to falsely depict many Southerners and Southern Cities and their populations.

    Of course Harrogate, Richmond and some other Northern places (and I am sure some in Scotland) have a home counties feel about them.

    FWIW – I feel English as I suspect do most Northerners so that pull would be too great in a referendum which wont happen anyway.

    I do think (pace Peter) that the SNPs strongest argument is the control of your own destiny one and ‘do you feel more Scottish than British’, which is no way anti-English in my view just pro-Scottish.

    Frankly, if there is not a majority for independence from an identity standpoint then the Economic arguments become redundant in the end. Unless either side could demonstrate that voting the other way would be absolute economic disaster (which imo neither side can) then control of destiny and identity have to be the main determinants of votes.

    I expect a no vote this time as the undecided are more likely to stay with the status quo but I am 50 this year and think independence may come in my life-time.

  29. @Norbold

    That talk of “Labour dependency on the Union political funds” is drastically overstated, and that the Conservatives have most to lose from individual donor caps.

  30. And if it is true that the Conservatives are much much much more dependant on non-member donation and large single-donations, then political finance reform is an own goal, and Ed’s actions have been very wise.

  31. If I read the figures regarding party funding correctly Labour is the best funded party and the party with the biggest membership and interestingly given the Conservative obsession with Union (particularly Unite ) donations has by far the highest percentage of funding from ordinary members and only a little over 20% of it’s funding comes from Unions.

    According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism over 50% of Tory funding comes from the City of London nearly 30% from Hedge funds.

    Millions more comes directly (or via smoke and mirror techniques) from wealthy individual, often non dom contributors.

    There is a rich vain to be pursued here regarding who parties are there to represent.

    Interesting fact that while hedge funds received a £130 million tax Cut unemployment benefit as a percentage of average take home pay has reached it’s lowest level ever (13% ) down by a half since Margaret Thatcher was PM

    All Three main parties have seen a fall in membership the sharpest fall is probably in the Conservative ranks however in a move of “transparency” the Conservatives don’t actually publish the figures but the monies received from ordinary members have fallen by 30% since 2011 so I think it is safe to assume that membership has fallen by a similar figure.

    Labour retains more individual members than Conservatives,LD’s and UKIP Combined.

  32. @Steve,

    As I understand it – and anyone correct me if I am wrong – the problem is that the Labour party also has a large backlog of debts, so will need the extra funding to cover these going forward too.

  33. The beauty of PR is coalition governments as the norm… no thanks

    And please I don’t need convincing; the debate was held in other places do we really need to go through it again on here.

    PR will not get past a referendum, introducing PR in GE without a referendum is really democratic…not

  34. Just in Summary Labour are in a Far better position to forgo all of the political fund donations from Unions as they will retain Three Quarters of their funding.

    While the other aspect of Miliband’s plan a limit of £5-10,000 on individual donations would see Conservative funding drop by 95%

  35. Ambivelent Supporter

    I understand they did after 2005 but these are largely paid off, and it is anticipated will be cleared in full by 2016

  36. toh

    “Paul and I did not have an interllectual [sic] argument we just stated our positions”

    To be more accurate, that is what you did: I covered a fair bit of detail in all of my own posts.

    “I have always made it clear on this site that I have no respect indeed contempt for the criminal, the feckless and the workshy”

    Using such terms to describe anyone who is not on the electoral roll – a position from which you have never resiled – says a lot more about you than them.

    .”I am never likely to change so Paul wastes his time trying”

    Yes, I agree with both parts of that sentence: not a mistake I’ll ever make again.

  37. “I understand they did after 2005 but these are largely paid off, and it is anticipated will be cleared in full by 2016”

    Probably, but until 2016…..

  38. Without getting into the electoral register v census debate which is very hotly debated and open to personal opinion, I think we can all agree that it is the responsibility of both politicians and society at large to encourage public participation in politics. The very low turnout out at recent GEs must disturb those of all political parties, and it also helps to undermine democracy in the UK.

  39. AW

    The above comment wasn’t partisan it is based on the published funding data I appreciate it might put the Conservatives in a less favourable light but I fail to see why this requires it to be moderated.

    It certainly is more relevant regarding the public’s perception of the parties which influences VI than the tit for tat between Paul and Howard

  40. @ Jim

    You would have to ask yourself the question where you think this coalition government has fallen down. I don’t like the government but that is purely my political views. In terms of stable government it has achieved it’s objective and I don’t think the political direction it took was way out from the result of the GE.

    The one thing you could argue that is unfair is what polling has shown being that 1/3rd of people voting Lib Dem did not want a coalition with the Conservatives. With PR you would very likely find there were two Liberal parties so that situation would not have occurred.

  41. Good Morning All.

    Ed M sent a nice message about fund raising and Labour vision to members yesterday.

  42. @AmbivalentSupporter

    I think the UK is going to have to face the prospect of compulsory voting, or tying certain citizen benefits to voting/electoral participation (not welfare benefits as such) but citizen benefits( above my pay grade) but to be honest I would be happy with compulsory voting or pay a fine… abstention option to be included…

    I think it’s past time to do something

  43. JimJam,

    Shouldn’t ‘t you be going to this?

    It will be interesting to see what it produces and whether the official line afterwards is still no comment.


  44. steve

    “tit for tat between Paul and Howard”

    A really weird description of what was a rather one-sided debate on constituencies – which are about as fundamental to our democracy and voting figures as you can get.

    Just because you are cross that one of your posts has been moderated is no reason to belittle those of others.

  45. @ Shevi

    “With PR you would very likely find there were two Liberal parties so that situation would not have occurred.”

    With PR there would be at least two Tory parties, or a much smaller one on the centre right plus UKIP, and there would be at least three parties on the centre left: social democrats, socialists and hard left.

    It would all depend on how proportional the system was. But there is no way in the world we would have the party system we have today.

  46. @JimJam.
    ‘ although the knowledge I gleaned from here that only once has Labour needed their majority of Seats from Scotland to form a Government assuaged a little.’

    I don’t think that is correct. Without Scotland Labour would not have had a majority in 1964 or either of the 1974 elections. I also suspect it was true of 1950.

  47. Paulcroft

    “I don’t think Dave is the Blubbing kind”

    I think if he had to read through the latest spat between you and TOH he may well have been reduced to tears of boredom.

  48. @ RC

    I meant to say that as well- I reckon Ken Clarke probably has more in common with Labour than Peter Bone and Tony Blair more on common with Tory than Dennis Skinner.

    Effectively you already have a form of coalition within the political parties just that if you are strong Lab or Con you do not have a choice which wing you get representing you.

  49. In 1964

    The Conservatives received over 40% of the vote in Scotland and the SNP less than 3% ! Securing 23 More MP than they now have

    If anything Conservative Governments Prior to the 1970’s retained power because of the relative popularity in Scotland, until the 1950’s they were the largest party there

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