Populus’s latest twice-weekly poll is out, and has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 37%, LDEM 12%, UKIP 9%. Full tabs here. Meanwhile YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun this morning has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 40%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 11% (tabs here.

YouGov’s seven point Labour lead is down from the nine points in yesterday’s poll but still suggests some degree of conference boost. Populus meanwhile doesn’t show any conference improvement for Labour at all. Funnily enough we saw the same pattern last week – YouGov showed the polls briefly narrowing after the Lib Dem conference, Populus didn’t. It could be some subtle methodological difference, or could be a co-incidence. Better not to worry too much about it during conference season, just enjoy the ride and see where the polls end up once all three have faded from the news.


62 Responses to “Latest YouGov and Populus polls”

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  1. First [among equals]

  2. Interesting to note thet in terms of readership loss the Daily Mail (- 14.03%) has lost the least readers and the Independant (-63.48%), the FT (-38.33%) and the Guardian (-34.36%). Will this have an evect on how the public perceive the news of the day?

  3. should have included ” the most” after 34.36%.

  4. @ TOH

    Will this have an effect on how the public perceive the news of the day?
    ————
    Probably not, because the Daily Mail doesn’t sell on the basis of its news content.

    I read somewhere (can’t remember where) that it’s readership is considerably buoyed up by its women’s magazine section which is like a latter day Women’s Own but with more coverage of celebrities. This section contains zero news & its readers don’t pay much (if any) attention to the rest of the paper.

  5. Polls never “end up” anywhere, they just keep changing forever and ever and ever.

    Unlike life and footy matches there is no end.

  6. Conservatives held all their seats in yesterdays council by-elections as did the LD’s, Labour lost on in Kent to UKIP. The swings generally were on the low side.

    Nothing startling or indicating any great change in voting intentions.

  7. Well 9% to 3% in two days maybe polling during the conference season should be banned to save some from outbursts of overdue optimism, dark despair and rising blood pressure.

    But in the main it’s all a bit of theatrical nonsense and usually has little effect on the polls, although I will conceed that if nothing else at last clear lines have been drawn between the main parties philosophies, we will see if this has an effect on the polls in the coming months, rather than give aways by any party at conference.

  8. @ TOH

    Where did you get those figures and what period of time are you talking about?

    The nearest I could find was on the Guardian August 2013 sales compared to a year ago. Certainly the same sort of trends but nothing like as big so I’m not sure if you were comparing from 2010 GE.

    One you missed is ‘i’ which is the only one increasing and generally mildly left wing.

    Traditional newspapers will not be around for much long I suspect.

  9. Amber Star

    My wife may not be typical but she certainly reads the news content, even the politics although she has her own very strong political beliefs ( slightly to the right of mine).

    I’m sure the Mail is read for many reasons including those you list, but I was thinking more of the losses of the Independant, the FT and the Guardian.

  10. Dare I say it, Populus seems to lag behind YG. It’s almost as if a polling firm named YouGov attracts panellists who are slightly more interested in politics than other panels. ;-)

    I am not saying YG panellists are unrepresentative, I just think that overall they may be slightly more likely to pick up on political stories from the news & newspapers whereas others gradually pick up on it after it’s been discussed in the home/workplace/pub etc.

  11. I wonder if it makes any difference as far as opinion-forming goes that the leftwing papers are all free online, and the rightwing papers are all paywalled except for the Express and the Mail.

    If you think about people who don’t take any newspapers- which is most people, these days- if they start googling for information as the election draws near, they’re going to hit immediate paywalls at the Times, Sun, and FT. They probably won’t ever reach the Telegraph’s monthly limit, but it changes the overall shape of the press from predominantly leftwing to predominantly leftwing. If I were Murdoch I might consider temporarily lifting all my paywalls in April 2015…

    Of course, most of those people people are probably getting their news from TV anyway and the broadcasters are taking their lines from the whole of the print media, not just the free bits, so maybe it won’t matter.

  12. Bleh.

    “It changes the overall shape of the press from predominantly rightwing to predominantly leftwing.”

  13. SheVII

    “Traditional newspapers will not be around for much long I suspect.”

    I think that is probably right.

    Your other question has already been answered thanks to Spearmint.

  14. Amber Star

    “Dare I say it, Populus seems to lag behind YG. It’s almost as if a polling firm named YouGov attracts panellists who are slightly more interested in politics than other panels. ;-)”

    It will be interesting to see if thats right. You may have something there. I think it is much too early to come to any firm conclusions on whether or not there has been a bounce for Labour.

  15. I think One of the more worrying aspects for the Conservatives of the YouGov poll is that more than 50% of those participating felt the Conservative Party was basically not a One Nation Party but appealed to only One section ,the corresponding figure for Labour was less than 1 in 4.

    The Conservative Party are not in the same position as Labour when it comes to re-election via their core .
    vote as it isn’t big enough, as the Right vote is split between Tories and UKIP while the Centre Left realistically only Has Labour as a home.

    If the Conservative Party can’t appeal beyond it’s own supporters it looks very tricky for 2015

    The populus poll appears to have given extra weighting to the Tories on the basis that more of those expressing preference for them have said they are certain to vote if I have read it correctly the unweighted figures would be similar to the Yougov poll

  16. TOH

    Worth remembering vis a vis the Independent that it’s little sister paper the excellent” I ” Having only commenced in 2010

    By June 2013 it had an average daily circulation of 303, significantly more than The Independent and a 250% increase over the previous 2 years.

  17. @shevii, spearmint

    The print media is becoming more influential in determining the broadcast narrative imo.

    Also the difference in readership is more important than the difference in circulation… for instance:

    Sun + Daily Mail = 12.5 million readers per day. Add in another 9 million plus for Metro, Telegraph, Times, Star and Express.

    Mirror has about 3 million readers, and LD friendly Guardian + Independent just over a million and a half.

    There must be a kind of subliminal effect on people who don’t read any paper, who have no interest in politics but go on mood music when they vote… I mean, how many copies of the Guadian do you see lying around when your’re waiting for a takeaway etc?

  18. @shevii, spearmint

    The print media is becoming more influential in determining the broadcast narrative imo.

    Also the difference in readership is more important than the difference in circulation… for instance:

    Sun + Daily Mail = 12.5 million readers per day. Add in another 9 million plus for Metro, Telegraph, Times, Star and Express.

    Mirror has about 3 million readers, and LD friendly Guardian + Independent just over a million and a half.

    There must be a kind of subliminal effect on people who don’t read any paper, who have no interest in politics but go on mood music when they vote… I mean, how many copies of the Guadian do you see when your’re waiting for a takeaway?

  19. BB

    Lots of people [I feel] just skim the tabloid or BBC headline.

    “Labour at War” for example could easily follow on from Mandelson’s critique of the energy ideas – and he is not even an MP never mind active in decision making for the Labour party.

    It is all very, very shallow.

  20. @ Billy Bob,

    All very good points.

    Although, as a slight counterbalance: “As of May 2011 the Guardian was the second-most popular UK newspaper website after Mail Online, with 2.8m unique visitors per day, and 51.3m per month, behind the Mail Online’s 4.4m and 77.3m.”

    Not all of those will be British, and obviously it’s lagging well behind the Mail. But still, that’s quite a lot of readers for a broadsheet!

  21. Billy Bob

    I think 21 Million + for Daily Newspaper circulation is wildly optimistic If I recall correctly the total for the 80%+ of right leaning publications is around 6 million

    I am not sure if the purchasers of the Sun can actually be described as a Readership as many are functionally illiterate.

    The Only Daily News National Paper with a Growing Circulation is the “I”

  22. No one reads political stories, it just turns people off!

    Look at this link for what people noticed in the last few months – basically Syria, Kenya, Egypt, Royal baby

    https://twitter.com/PopulusPolls/media/grid

    What was noticed this week:
    Kenya – 50%
    Labour conference – 5% – that is very high for a political story
    Energy price freeze – 3%
    Bedroom tax – 0.8%

    The real work now starts for the activists to go door to door and actually communicate the policies that came out because the average man in the street actually has no idea!

  23. Steve
    “I am not sure if the purchasers of the Sun can actually be described as a Readership as many are functionally illiterate.”
    roieanddaisie
    “It is all very, very shallow.”

    Trouble is a lot of them vote.

  24. 26th Sept 2013
    In the 10 local elections where UKIP contested they gained the following % of the votes

    Devon 15.2%
    Tendering 21.9%
    Mole 13.3%
    Forest of Dean (Red) 23.5%
    West Sussex 32.2%
    Barnsley 26.4%
    Forest of Dean (Clifford) 29.3%
    Sevenoaks 35.7%
    Banbury 16%
    Blackpool 22.8%

    Thus giving UKIP an average poll share of 23.45%
    Now lets see the Tories try to pretend that UKIP are not a serious threat

  25. @AmberStar

    “Dare I say it…”.

    How very patronising of you…

  26. The issue is that the right-wing media didn’t win Cameron an OM in 2010 so they won’t win him one in 2015. The Cons will need more than that.

    Social media will be more important in 2015 I reckon. That is where most people will get their info which will inform their decision.

  27. Let’s be honest much of the right leaning press are obsessed with stories about weather, health,dead princesses, immigrants,benefit scroungers, royal babies and house prices

    If we could have a story which combined all these elements in one it would probably provide the Daily Mail and Express Headlines for the rest of the decade.

  28. Well the Guardian and the Telegraph both have excellent, clear user-friendly websites. The Mail’s webite is really not that good at all. The, paper is much clearer. The Indy’s website is also poorly set out. The Times I can’t really see because of the paywall.

    As for the red top websites, they are clear in a glossy sense which makes them look like magazines.

    Websites aside the Mail, Sun and Telegraph are the only print titles with a mass readership.

  29. @ Couper 2802

    Ah- but where do social media get their opinions from?

    I’m not sure I rate social media that highly- mostly what they had for breakfast and as likely to pick up something they read in the Sun and broadcast that.

  30. @Steve

    “Let’s be honest much of the right leaning press are obsessed with stories about weather, health,dead princesses, immigrants,benefit scroungers, royal babies and house prices”

    ‘Rain dancing voodoo immigrants on benefits revive dead princesses and cause bad weather, lowering house prices and increasing rates of cancer’

    Will that do?

  31. @Steve

    “Let’s be honest much of the right leaning press are obsessed with stories about weather, health,dead princesses, immigrants,benefit scroungers, royal babies and house prices”

    As someone with strong political views, I get irritated by papers promulgating differing ones to my own, but I’m not a typical reader and nor, I suspect, are most people who read and post to this site. The influence of newspapers is on the wane with most people reading them for the reasons you state, probably relying on the internet and TV instead for most of their day-to-day news. Most people who read newspapers for the political content probably do so in order to get their prejudices pandered to and very few of those sort of people are going to be influenced by what they read. Their views are well set and entrenched.

    Many years ago I seem to recall a poll that asked Daily Express readers which party they thought the newspaper they bought and read supported. 30% said Labour! Hiliarious and a good illustration of the significance and influence of a paper’s political stance.

    It’s only people like me who pick up the Daily Mail with a pair of well insulated tongs! lol

  32. steve

    “Let’s be honest much of the right leaning press are obsessed with stories about weather, health,dead princesses, immigrants,benefit scroungers, royal babies and house prices”
    ___________

    Would it not had been easier just to write “The right leaning press are obsessed with the left?”

  33. Judging by some of the posts, the left-leaning posters are obsessed with the right.

    :))

  34. @”Rain dancing voodoo immigrants on benefits revive dead princesses and cause bad weather, lowering house prices and increasing rates of cancer’”

    “Privatised Ambulance throws Bedroom Tax victim into the road. Climate change denying Tory Councillor in Housing Boom ward says “she wasn’t really ill -only homeless.” “

  35. STATGEEK

    “Judging by some of the posts, the left-leaning posters are obsessed with the right”
    ___________

    Too right. ;-)

  36. Social media is much more about discussons so clever persuassive people can make their point and influence the rest.

    The internet allows people to check facts and so they are not reliant on received facts from the msm but can check it out.

    A good example is the Falklands’ almost 100% vote to stay British, which was widely reported on the BBC etc. No one in the mainstream media pointed out that in order to vote you had to register yourself as British, but this was widely mentioned on social media. I am sure with more research I could have found out population v no of voters to get an even clearer picture.

  37. Social media is having a huge influence.

    Look at the actions that are forced by a twitter-storm – only this week 2 supermarkets were forced to withdraw some of their offensive Halloween costumes from sale.

    I think it would be foolish to ignore the influence of social media.

  38. @Steve

    I did include the Metro which is judged to have over 3 million readers per day… three for every paper circulated. So adding to your figures that’s over 7 million papers, and so less than 21 million readers for the rightwing press (2.4 to 2.7 readers per paper).

    Even if it was only 15 million readers, I would still call that influential in terms of a day-to-day drip-drip effect. People *say* they pay no attention to the opinions they read in the newspaper… but it’s worth checking that with the opinions (or “facts”) that sprinkle their conversation.

  39. CB11

    @”It’s only people like me who pick up the Daily Mail with a pair of well insulated tongs! lol”

    If you use it in the toilet-like any copy of the Guardian-you won’t need tongs.

  40. Allan

    I don’t think that’s entirely true there are rules to the game and it has little to do with genuine belief

    It is a principal of Journalese that you can’t simply have a difference over an issue it always has to be the end of civilisation as we know it. and the proponents of an opinion the owner/editor in chief doesn’t like are simply Acolytes who if they express their opinion forcefully are engaged in a foul-mouthed tirade

    This extends to a view of behaviour in society where morality is a very flexible thing indeed.

    Hence if one of your chums has a few too many in your club and lamps the barman He is a Bon viveur
    or if it is one of your children in the Grounds of His public school decides to set up an industrial scale crack factory it is Youthful High Jinks

    However, any sign of antisocial behaviour by a youngster , preferably of the feral variety on a council estate is a Booze/Drugs -fuelled rampage.

  41. BEN

    I don’t think you need to tell the Tories that UKIP is a threat, i am sure that they know it. However Labour should be worried as well, the one gain of the night was UKIP from Labour.

  42. BEN

    “Tendering 21.9%”

    That would be Tendring.

  43. Party conferences do seem to be a big turn-off for the viewing public. Both the LibDem and UKIP conferences went down like a lead balloon.

    However there really does seem to have been a small improvement in Labour’s standing. This may well be wiped-out by the Tory conference. In which case things will be back as they were in the summer with Labour showing a significant lead but not a huge one.

    They do say that coalitions tend to make for boring politics!

  44. @ Chordata

    I’d love to know why/how Social media in America helped Obama because this seems to be reported as fact. Maybe in getting people registered and out to vote from ‘disenfranchised groups’?

    Don’t disagree either about protest group style pressure or single issue things getting an airing on social media-massively so if you take events like Arab Spring.

    I’d just disagree on any comparison with the newsprint/newspaper sites who can push a line for years on end to get a pro or anti Lab/Tory message across.

    Getting certain social groups out to vote Labour, for example, can have an impact. Getting people to chose Labour less so I would guess. But yes I would agree with you that for politicians to ignore the possibilities of social media would be a mistake.

  45. Steve.
    You are correct it is Tendring 21.9%

    However I am at a loss to understand how this latest Yougov and Populus poll arrives at UKIPs 9% unless they take a poll only of Eton old boys

    It’s rediculous

  46. @Colin

    “Privatised Ambulance throws Bedroom Tax victim into the road. Climate change denying Tory Councillor in Housing Boom ward says “she wasn’t really ill -only homeless.”

    Lol! Well, I always knew they were evil ;-)

  47. MR NAMELESS

    Agreed-thanks for the link.

  48. ANARCHISTSUNITE.

    I wouldn’t say The Guardian are evil-a bit one-eyed, but not evil.

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