There are four new voting intention polls from last night or today – almost like being in an election campaign!

Populus‘s twice weekly poll has topline figures of CON 31%, LAB 40%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 10%. While the changes are not significantly different from recent Populus polls, it is their highest Labour lead since August. Tabs are here.

The monthly Ipsos MORI political monitor, carried out for the Standard, has figures of CON 32%(-3), LAB 38%(+3), LDEM 8%(-1), UKIP 8%(-2). Last month’s MORI poll showed the two main parties equal on 35%, something of an obvious outlier, so the movement here will largely be a reversion to the mean. Worth noting is that the poll has the Green party up at 7%, almost as high as UKIP and the Lib Dems. Interesting, but not a pattern that is showing up in other polls. Tabs are here.

Yesterday there was also a new TNS-BRMB poll, with topline figures of CON 30%(-4), LAB 38%(+2), LDEM 8%(-1), UKIP 12%(-1). A big increase in the Labour lead, but again it’s something of a reversion to the mean. The two point lead in TNS-BMRB’s previous poll was very unusual – prior to that they’d had the Labour lead at 9 points or more in every poll since January. Full tabs are here.

Finally this morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 40%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 13%. This means we’ve had Labour leads from YouGov of 7 points, 10 points, 8 points and 8 points this week, higher than recent averages. Full tabs are here.

Bringing it all together the Labour lead does appear to be creeping upwards again. While one shouldn’t get too excited by the big jumps in MORI and TNS (both are partially reversions to the mean after unusual polls last month), the gradual underlying trend does look as if Labour’s lead is moving back up to 7 or 8 points having narrowed earlier this year.

163 Responses to “New Populus, MORI, TNS & YouGov polls”

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  2. The nice warmish summer has gone, now we see on the horizon cold and more cold and snow… the feel good factor disappearing with the weather?…

  3. Populist policies often seem to be ‘Common Sense’ policies. (Which is not to say they are good or bad policies).

    Too often, the left have ceded such populism to the right. For no good reason.

    Lately, to a degree, Labour have been talking Populist policies. And, unsurprisingly, it seems to be paying dividends. They need to keep it up.

  4. Just a thought on auto-mod. Perhaps the words “policy” and “policies” should be added.


  5. On the greens at 7%

    Comres on 27 Oct had them on 5%

    Also recall this analysis from John Curtice – he thinks 2010 LD’s are starting to move away from Labour towards the greens/UKIP and that was the reason for the decrease in Labour lead earlier this year. Today’s Ipsos Mori agrees with that analysis – 10% of 2010 LD voters will now vote green.

    I’m also detecting a post conference trend where ‘Others’ (non big 4) is starting to show a clear increase except for Yougov/Populus.

    I think we need to keep an eye on ‘others’ – it is easy to lose track of them as they are not shown on the charts.

  6. There has been little overall change in the Labour lead in the last 2 Years.

    Assuming a Split of around 25%of the Vote for the 3rd and 4th Parties

    A Share of 50% of the rest Should see One or Other of the Main two home and Dry with a Majority.

    Labour has with the odd outlier achieved this consistently for 29 out of the last 30 Months.

    The Conservatives have never achieved this including the result of the 2010 General Election.
    While it is of course far too early to make a GE prediction with any certainty ,something fundamental has to change if it isn’t going to be a Labour victory

  7. The news on employment and the economy have sometime yet to run….18 months….and as we have. Seen in the German elections incumbents who deliver on these often are rewarded. On these old calculating predictors the government should feel the wind is in there backs.

    That said labours poll numbers still look solid at the lower end of mid to high thirties…and that may make a small lab majority to a hung parliament with labour largest party the likeliest outcome.

    I feel next year’s elections may be unpredictable for all the parties and who ever does well in those is going to be in poll position at least until the scots referendum is over.

    EM still has that knack of finding issues that resonate and as others observe this election might turn out to be more. About fairer distributions of wealth than has been the case since certainly 1970’s

  8. I know better than to get excited about one poll but I did suspect we’d start to see the anti-austerity vote drifting away from Labour once they started making concrete policy announcements.

    I wonder where we’d be if the BBC gave Natalie Bennet a fraction of the airtime it gives Farage…

  9. @Pablo

    I think the Green party could do unexpectedly well in next year’s European elections. IF they do, then they will start to get the publicity. And with the publicity comes the poll surge, followed by more publicity, Then scrutiny. IF that happens, and depending on the timing of that it could change the 2015 outcome.

  10. So should we pay much attention to today’s Scottish cross-break?

    Measured against ten poll average prior to this week (the latter being a week of strange cross-breaks)

    Con 31% (+11)
    Lab 33% (-4.5)
    Lib 7% (-1.5)
    SNP 20% (-7)
    UKIP 5% (+2)
    Green 2% (-1)

    ‘Scotland Votes’ calculates the Westminster seats as:

    Lab 32 (-9)
    Con 21(+20)
    Lib 4 (-7)
    SNP 2 (-4)

    I wonder what odds a bookie will give on such an outcome? :))

  11. @ Steve,

    A Share of 50% of the rest Should see One or Other of the Main two home and Dry with a Majority.

    Labour has with the odd outlier achieved this consistently for 29 out of the last 30 Months.

    The Conservatives have never achieved this including the result of the 2010 General Election.


    You seem to be saying that 37.5% is the victory threshold. Aside from the fact that Labour won a healthy majority on 35.2% back in 2005 and the Tories need to be at 40% to win even a single-figure majority if Labour can manage 33%, the Tory polling average was higher than your rather arbitrary cut-off from the May 2010 election all the way through January 2011, and again during January and February of 2012. So, 10 of the last 40 months?

    While I agree with your final conclusion, I have no idea where you’re getting your figures from.

  12. Re. the Greens:

    I don’t track them, so this analysis is not going to be super-rigorous, but from a casual survey of some sample YouGov polls I can’t say I’m seeing strong evidence for Curtice’s trend.

    LD -> Green in last night’s poll (Lab 40%): 5%

    LD -> Green during Labour’s September slump (Lab 37%): 7%

    LD -> Green in August 2012, immediately after the omnishambles budget (Lab 44%): 5%

    Anti-Austerians defecting to the Greens may be a minor factor in Labour’s torrid September, but it wasn’t the thing driving their big decline from the mid-40s last spring. That was caused by the appearance of Lab/LD -> Ukip switchers.

  13. If the Cons lose in 2015, I would blame the 50% tax cut, enabled the party of the rich tag to be put on them, Crosby – Back to the nasty party – all that rebranding wasted with the anti- welfare, anti-union, anti-immigrant rhetoric. And IDS the recovery doesn’t depend on the bedroom tax or ATOS.

    The Cons if they had stuck to their caring conservatism would have been in a far stronger position now and might even be in with an OM chance.

    A note on the Greens – they are more likely gaining from the Cons as the Cons abandoned Green Taxes.

  14. I wonder sometimes whether the resolutely right wing, pro-Tory, anti-Labour, anti-EC print press really does the Conservative Party many favours. It’s quite possible that a certain element of the Tory Party, the Peter Bones of this world if you like, are fooled into thinking that this monochrome analysis and colonised opinion is actually representative of the country at large. I can just imagine them reading a Daily Mail or Daily Express editorial and tearing their hair out in frustration that their party is ignoring these inalienable truths. Why can’t they see, they probably wail, that if we adopted these policies and approaches that the electorate would then come flocking to us! Most of these sorts of papers persistently claim that they speak for a silent and downtrodden majority and I can see some elements of the Tory Party actually believing it to0. Of course, they do nothing of the sort and their increasingly shrill and desperate calls to arms are speaking for and to a shrivelling section of the electorate. Ironically, their lingering embrace of the Conservative Party may well be a deadly one.

  15. @Spearmint

    I think you need to look beyond Yougov.

    Anthony just tweeted this:

    Anthony Wells [email protected] 1h
    @SamCoatesTimes & others use political weighting, which prob reduces volatility (though MORI would argue it risks disguising genuine change)

    What I take from that is that there is an argument that political weighting could disguise genuine change – Populus seems to be an extreme example of that – witness their Lib Dem/UKIP headline results and their weighting vs other pollsters.

    At the moment Populus/Yougov are showing lower number for ‘others’ vs other polling firms , so if you wanted to see Curtice’s trend, I think you need to look beyond those 2 pollsters.

    Look at the ‘others’ column on the table here and you can clearly see that:

  16. My theory as to what’s going on:

    * The Tories got an uplift as optimism with the economy increased. Unfortunately …

    * Most people whose vote were swayed assumed that things would be getting better for them imminently, not realising how long it can take for GDP growth to translate into better living standards. So …

    * Patience has run out and the shift has reverted back to where it was.

    If this is the case, the thing that will win or lose the next election is whether enough benefits start coming through for ordinary people to notice. So far, that hasn’t really happened. If more people start getting jobs and people start seeing noticeable pay rises, votes will shift the Tories’ way again. If they do not, Labour will win, no matter how good the economic indicators are.

    In short: “things will get better soon” isn’t good enough. “Things are getting better for the overall economy now” also isn’t good enough. It’s got to be “Things are getting better for you now.”

  17. Interesting that a 7% Green score seems to be doing Labour no harm at all.

    If that party can keep a relatively high poll rating up, it’s going to be an interesting race in Cambridge and Norwich South come 2015.

    It would also be bad for Clegg. While the Lib Dems battle for third with UKIP, they still look electable in a good number of seats. But if the Greens come in and push them into fifth, then that’s it. May as well wind the party up.

    The Lib Dems haven’t been fourth in a pre-UKIP world since a few polls put them behind the Continuing SDP in 1988. Fifth has never happened, but it may well do in 2014.

    The end of the Liberal Party would be a seismic shift in British political balance, I’m sure it doesn’t need saying. Still, they’ve revived themselves half a dozen times in the past. They could do it again.

  18. @COUPER2802

    “The Cons if they had stuck to their caring conservatism would have been in a far stronger position now and might even be in with an OM chance.”

    But even assuming they’d done nothing to upset anybody why would they be any stronger in 2015 than they were in 2010? Where would the extra support come from? And in reality the changing demographics of the electorate mean that the Tories have to improve just to stay in the same place.

  19. @Richard

    “I think the Green party could do unexpectedly well in next year’s European elections.”

    They did unexpectedly well in 1989 with 15% of the vote. They went on to get 0.5% in the 1992 General Election.

  20. In fact, I’m going to make myself a hostage to fortune and make a prediction – either the Lib Dems drop their social liberal image and become an FDP-style Liberal Party, or they’re going to get crushed between Labour and the Greens.

  21. @ Richard,

    Good point.

    Although the universal over-prediction of the Lib Dems at the last election might give us cause for some degree of wariness re. volatility, especially on the left? The models that tend to down-weigh it may give more accurate election predictions.

    OTOH the pollsters all under-predicted Ukip at the local elections, so who knows…

  22. I think the tories need to ask themselves why they only got 37% of the vote in 2010 when conditions could not have been more favourable for them – up against a discredited labour party who had been in power for a long long time, who were led by an increasingly desperate and miserable looking gordon brown and with the economy in the toilet after the biggest economic meltdown in neary a centuary.

    A big part of the reason – especially in northern urban areas – was that they had not done enough to dispell the ‘nasty party’ tag. Since 2010 the ‘modernisation’ project has been shelved and replaced with lynton crosby’s dog whistle.

    How they think this will help them increase their vote on 2010 is anybodies guess – and they must increase their vote significantly if they are to have any hope of winning.

    Im also increasingly of the opinion that the lib dems are not going to recover from 10% come 2015 – that poll rating has been rock solid for three years with the only variations being those that be ascribed to margin of era and differing methodologies. That is not ‘mid term blues’ or voters being fickle – that is very very consistant and I cant see what would change it.

    Yet again it begs the question – why are the lib dems being so sanguine when being faced with the very prospect of political destruction? 10% of the vote in 2015 would be disastrous – they would lose funding, activists and members hand over fist and become near irrelevant. Yet there is not even a flicker of dissent as clegg drives them over the cliff.

  23. “OTOH the pollsters all under-predicted Ukip at the local elections, so who knows…”

    No they didn’t. Only one company (ComRes) published a poll on the local elections and they had UKIP on 21%. In the event UKIP’s share was 20%.

  24. The Greens in the last GE of 2010 got 285,616 votes, an easily remembered 1 seat, 1 net gain, 1% of the vote, and 0.1% fall in the vote compared with the previous election. (source-BBC).

    With 5% or just over, of the vote, FPTP would be against them on a uniform swing, a mirror image of UKIP in one sense. Like UKIP, without winning many, or any seats, they could do a lot of damage to another party.

    Perhaps we need further analysis to see whether green Conservatives would be a significant source of support, or would they be mainly dipping into that large reservoir of leftish 2010 LDs?

  25. @ Mr. Nameless,

    I dunno. I do think a split or mass defections are likely as the two wings of the Lib Dems battle for supremacy in the wake of their 2015 decimation, but the Greens have made surprisingly little headway under what seem like ideal circumstances for them and I don’t think we should undervalue the importance of electability.

    Having seats where your party comes first or second is really crucial, and currently the Greens have… one. If you’re in a southern LD/Tory marginal are you really going to risk letting in the Tory, who will be an actual Tory Tory and not just a yellow Tory, in order to position your seat for a possible Green (or for that matter, Labour) victory in 2020 or 2025?

    And the Greens haven’t been cleaning up in the council elections, either. I appreciate it’s harder for them than it is for Ukip, because Ukip voters are exactly the sort of people who vote in council elections, but with the Lib Dems in such catastrophic decline you’d think they could make some progress.

  26. @Rogerm

    I am maybe being a bit generous but it seems to me that the Cons have really screwed their brand again. Or maybe leopards really cannot change their spots.

  27. @ Anthony,

    My apologies. You’re right of course; no one but ComRes were polling for it.

    I should have said, “The psephologists trying to extrapolate Ukip local election results from general election polling all under-predicted their performance.” (Which perhaps we should take as a indication that such extrapolation is a silly, doomed exercise, rather than a comment on volatility.)

    It will be interesting to see how accurate the European election polls are. I can’t help but think Populus will run into trouble if they poll using their current general election weighing system.

  28. I think the Greens suffered from the financial crash. It became harder to argue for additional green taxes etc when industry was already struggling. Look too how sales of organic food fell when the additional cost became more significant for people. Green-ness is, unfortunately, a thing many people aspire to only when they are feeling better off.

  29. Ime not surprised labours lead is back up, and if they had more than one paper supporting them, and if the BBC gave an equal opportunity too Ed, they would be out of sight. Also many of these polls are done by phone, many labour voters cannot afford a phone. Get your money on now , they will walk it.

  30. @ernie

    That is why I think some of the Con vote is going to Greens because there are a lot of affluent environmentalist who when DC said ‘vote blue get green’ believed him until he cut green taxes through political expediency.

  31. I’m very dubious about a Green revival.

    I think when you are the alternative to the opposition (as they are now to Lab) you will suffer as people’s priorities are to get rid of the ones they hate most. Also different faces at the top of the Labour party (or one at least) gives some of those waverers a hope that things will be different and can return to the Lab fold (assuming that is where Green voters came from originally). Maybe some to pick up from LD’s but probably not that many.

    When you are the alternative to the government (as UKIP are now) you do better. If Labour were in power UKIP would probably do worse and Tories better unless there is such a strong showing from UKIP in 2015 that their supporters keep the momentum going which seems very unlikely to me.

  32. Spearmint

    Labour could as you say achieve a victory with less.

    However, as I pointed out according to the opinion polls they are regularly achieving 37.5% + Have done for the last Two and a Half Years and as the Handy UKPR calculator will tell you this would definitely be a victory level.

    At no time in that same period Have the Conservatives been at a level that would achieve victory or even largest party status

    I didn’t suggest that they needed to get this level in certain scenarios a vote as low as 32% for Labour could produce a small overall majority

  33. Evening All.
    Any council by election result? Here in a ward in Bournemouth- Winton, Labour moved into second place, with UKIP third.


    “I wonder what odds a bookie will give on such an outcome?”

    All I will say is…. ;-)

  35. @CB11

    “Most of these sorts of papers persistently claim that they speak for a silent and downtrodden majority and I can see some elements of the Tory Party actually believing it to0. Of course, they do nothing of the sort and their increasingly shrill and desperate calls to arms are speaking for and to a shrivelling section of the electorate. Ironically, their lingering embrace of the Conservative Party may well be a deadly one.”

    I think you do some of the ‘stay away’ Conservative voters. I know of two or three people who, if you listen to their opinions, are probably Conservative voters (although I cannot say for sure, and would not dare to ask, as I’m polite about such things). These people are not Daily Mail / Express readers, and generally have common sense attitudes to most things.

    The general things I hear from said folk (over the past 15 years) is the generic, usual mix of excessive immigration, benefit fraud, and a gradual reduction of things that were present when this nation was less unsure of itself internationally. A larger military for example, a tendency for the criminal system to punish criminals and not victims of crime and so on.

    Yes, it’s the stuff of the newspapers mentioned, but it’s also the stuff that some people are unhappy about. Such sweeping statements of ‘shrill’ and ‘shrivelling sections of society’ are unfair, when the issues are important and all sections of society are equally important.

    If these people are in the minority, then surely the more left-wing of the spectrum will leap to their defence (as they tend to with most minorities. or are some minorities more equal than others?

    (To be honest, I don’t mean to be nippy, but as one who is left and right wing on a range of issues (that’s not to say I’m centrist), I find issues mentioned are as important as any other. Of course, the lefties and the righties will disagree with that, but they always do. :))

  36. @AW Can you let me know which word(s) entered Auto-mod? It’s difficult to make a post without knowing.

    Typo from said post:

    “I think you do some of the ‘stay away’ Conservative voters” [[ a disservice ]]

  37. COLIN

    ” Also many of these polls are done by phone, many labour voters cannot afford a phone”

    Well I’m not sure if that is stereotyping because most Labour supporters I know have satellite TV with complimentary La-Z-Boy Recliner.

  38. A by-election was held for the Seaton ward of Allerdale Borough Council on 14 November 2013 following the death of Independent Cllr Trevor Fee.
    Party Candidate Votes Vote % Change

    Labour Andrew Lawson 464 40.0% +12.0%
    UKIP Mark Jenkinson 426 36.7% +36.7%
    Conservative Mike Davidson 133 11.5% +11.5%
    Green Alistair Grey 108 9.3% -1.6%
    Lib Dems Chris Snowden 30 2.6% +2.6%
    A strong showing by UKIP sayz Ozwald
    I hope this ‘pasted’ info displays ok.

  39. @ Colin who I suspect is not our usual Colin,

    Also many of these polls are done by phone, many labour voters cannot afford a phone

    IIRC phone polls have historically tended to over-predict Labour.

    @ Steve,

    But that’s only because the Tories have such a terrible vote distribution. In January-February 2012 they were above your threshold and tied with Labour or even a point or two ahead. But getting 39% to Labour’s 38% means they lose the election.

  40. Is that a different Colin from the formerly regular ROC guy?

  41. @Chris

    Yesterday’s byelection results with comparisons are up here:

  42. @Ozwald – how did the other 60% vote last time, given everyone’s vote is up (apart from the Greens).

  43. @ Jim Jam,

    That, or something terrible has happened to Colin’s apostrophe key (and worldview).

  44. @ Paul
    It was a gain from Independent.

  45. chrislane1945

    Evening All.
    Any council by election result? Here in a ward in Bournemouth- Winton, Labour moved into second place, with UKIP third

    Or to be more correct “Labour moved into second place despite their vote percentage dropping“. If you look at the details the Conservatives and UKIP both gained at the expense of the Greens and Liberals (not Lib Dems, Liberals):

    As so often with local by-elections you don’t learn anything except that you can’t learn anything from local by-elections. And that politically Britain is a wonderfully various place.

  46. What a sad demise: stop posting and then get your name nicked by someone of an opposite political viewpoint.

    I could almost cry.

  47. If you take the mean of the four polls, you get:
    LAB 39
    CON 31
    UKIP 11
    LD 9
    GRN 4
    Not very much different from the usual rolling averages we are used to.

  48. A bit like London buses today. Still they all generally confirm the trend in YG’s polls. It’s excellent that Populus are polling twice per week and one hopes they will continue.

    Now the long wait at the bus stop until Sunday.

  49. Statgeek

    No I wouldn’t pay too much attention to one day’s Scottish cross breaks from Yougov not least because today’s Populus cross break (with a bigger sample of 195) taken over exactly the same period shows

    LAB 34 SNP 36 TORY 13 AND LIB 13 !

    A case perhaps of the the generation awaited Tory revival being snuffed out before it even started!

    What is much more interesting is that all the other pollsters Scottish crossbreaks consistently show a quite different pattern from YouGov ie Labour much lower and SNP much higher.

    Does anyone know why?

  50. Good points, Reggieside (at 2.44), I feel.

    Linking what you say about the Tories’ ‘nasty party’ image with the issue of the 5 year parliament (from the last thread) I think the Central Office strategy has been remarkably consistent since well before the 2010 GE. It is based on their recognition that the post-Thatcher neo-liberals are indeed – and are quite happy to be – the ‘nasty party’, in the sense in which that phrase was originally coined. Cameron’s re-branding exercise was useful to them, for sure, but was never seen by them as anything other than a way to slip past the electorate in disguise.

    In 2010 they didn’t slip past the electorate nearly so successfully as they had hoped, but – and here you have to hand it to them – Cameron and Osborn did manage to pull off a few strokes of political genius in the aftermath of the election. Firstly, they made Nick Clegg an offer which he should have refused, but couldn’t, when they got him to sign up to a neo-liberal programme, which would be disastrous for the LDs, in return for a tilt at PR. Secondly, they introduced the 5-year parliament, which would give them time to get a large chunk of their programme on the statute book in a way that would be hard to undo. Thirdly, they got the LDs on board for a concerted propaganda campaign in the course of which they (both parties) endlessly repeated the mantra that Brown’s Labour were responsible for the banking crash. Thus protected rather effectively from a lot of political stormy weather, they launched their programme, and crossed fingers that (given a fair wind) the economy would come together and see them right. It was a cleverly-conceived gambler’s tilt at establishing a neo-liberal social order in the UK, a country which probably is ‘conservative’ in its leanings, but is assuredly not ‘neo-liberal’. (Cleverly conceived, did I say? Just think how scared the left have actually been that they might actually achieve their aims!)

    Sadly, the economics haven’t delivered, however, and the public haven’t bought it. There is a solid (I think it’s 38 percent) VI batting against them, and Lynton Crosby hasn’t been able to dent it. But there is – for Labour as well as the Tory party – a conundrum at this point. Austerity will not, and could not work, however ropey the morality attached to it. The Tories were always going to need a Plan B, and ‘Help to Buy’ is precisely that. But Labour have a problem too, because – as Neil A said yesterday – it’s not an easy recession to spend your way out of. ‘Debt to GDP’ is becoming alarmingly high and the processes which got us to this point simply cannot go on for ever. The answer has to lie in raising the tax take – but taxing income is damaging too. Tax, sooner or later, is going to have to be levied, and levied effectively, on wealth, a process that will remove much of the need for the uncontrollable growth-drive that grips the world at the present time. Paradoxically, I suggest, because so much wealth is concentrated in so few hands, most of the contributors to a forum like this, on both the left and the right, will then be better off.

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