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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  1. And a p.s…… I’m not the ROC, well ROC, Colin, nor am I the Colin referred to above, whose post I saw being referred to – although I didn’t actually see that post.

    A lot of Colins, therefore. We’re ‘colinising’ the forum.

  2. p.p.s.
    And that’s probably why AW keeps moderating my posts out and away into thin air!

  3. The Lib Dems seem to have dipped nearer 8% or 9% than 10%

  4. @Anthony

    “Worth noting is that the poll has the Green party up at 7%, almost as high as UKIP and the Greens”

    So the Greens are almost as high as what they’re actually polling? ;P

    I presume that’s meant to be the Lib Dems.

  5. l hamilton


    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?

    I think YouGov tend to poll around One Brewer’s Green.

  6. Colin Davis,
    I think you make very valid points,but I really do not like reading them.A very
    Interesting thought provoking post.

  7. It is an illusion for Labour supporters with their lead at the moment because Labour’s policies are in the headlines whilst the Tories are plotting quietly in the background. Labour will not be able to sustain this level of interest for the next 18 months and it is only a matter of time before this illusional lead evaporates away.

  8. @Allan Christie

    “…all the other pollsters Scottish crossbreaks consistently show a quite different pattern from YouGov ie Labour much lower and SNP much higher. ”

    Can you provide figures to support that please?

  9. “Rights row dogs summit ” [from BBC]

    How come we weren’t invited?

  10. Colin Davis – ” …always going to need a Plan B”

    Osborne went on his 2010 Christmas holiday saying “everything is now in place to assure the recovery”. Imo he did in fact want the recovery delayed to give time for a Labour’s Mess narrative to take root – but things should be really motoring and apparent to everyone by now, instead of the patchy early signs we are seeing.

    There were reports that in early 2012 Osborne instructed treasury officials to work up infrastructure projects for the budget, only to be told that because of the lead-in time it would have been better to have thought about it a year or more beforehand. That budget was rightly labelled “omnishambles”, and I’ve heard anecdotal stories about last minute chopping and changing. The infrastructure announcements started coming out in Summer 2012.

    Yes, Osborne would be in a better position now if he had listened to Gus O’ Donnell back in Nov/Dec 2010.

  11. Billy Bob
    I don’t know what G O’Donnell said; I wasn’t there. Were you? Come on, spill the beans, there’ a good chap.

  12. James e

    It’s half time at the footie so I’ve given it a go.

    This week’s Scottish cross breaks

    5 YouGov polls total sample 832 average (change on 2010)

    Lab 34 (-8) SNP 27 (+7) Tory 24 (+7) Lib 10 (-9)

    5 non YouGov 2 Populus, TNS, ICM, Mori sample 590

    Lab 28 (-12) SNP 37 (+17) Tory 20 (+3) Lib 7 (-12)

    Looking at these the key difference is that YouGov scores the SNP lower.

    At full time I’ll take an average and put them through Baxter for fun.

    My feeling is that this, or at least a significant, SNP differential is a feature of Yougov.

  13. @Howard

    Plan B:

    “Britain’s top civil servant has urged the Treasury to prepare contingency economic stimulus plans, including fresh capital spending on infrastructure, in case economic growth falters in the new year.”


    It seems likely that since most GB polls are weighted by % voting for the 3/4 UK parties – and “Others” as if they are a single group (whose actual party support doesn’t really matter to the client) – they will need to find the appropriate number of “Others”.

    They are an awful lot easier to find in Scotland than in other parts of GB. While it will make a little difference to the GB (overwhelmingly English) figures, it won’t be enough to produce any significant disruption.

    While all geographic cross breaks are inherently incapable of suggesting an accurate picture of VI in that area, the Scottish ones (which represent a significantly different political system (as opposed to just voting pattern) are as useful as streetlights in Lerwick at mid-Summer.


    If the second half is like the first, then you could start your analysis earlier!

    Might be worth comparing panel v telephone pollsters as well.

  16. It would also be worth looking at a rather larger sample.

    As none of the various UK polling organisations weights within the different parts of the UK, you need a very large sample to get an accurate picture of each part.

    Cross-breaks of 100-200 voters within any UK poll inevitably have a huge margin of error.

  17. Billy Bob
    Thanks. Oh that!

  18. Billy Bob
    I think the problem with infrastructure schemes is that they usually need some form of planning consent, as we see now with HS2.

  19. JAMES E

    “As none of the various UK polling organisations weights within the different parts of the UK, ”

    Actually they all do.

    In political polls, they all weight entirely to those in the GB part.

  20. My understanding is that each poll’s sample is weighted as a whole, but not each “region’s” sample.

  21. JAMES E

    That’s correct. But GB polls are still GB polls and not UK polls.

  22. My take on Plan B is that some could have argued it should have been Plan A and some may have argued that if you are going to to inflict pain in taxing those with a few bob to spare, do it early on. Clegg and Osborne were so shocked at the deficit and ‘Greece’. Perhaps they were so shocked it made it impossible to think?

  23. “GB polls are still GB polls and not UK polls.”

    Northern Ireland VI changes everything?

  24. JAMES E

    Well it would certainly increase the % of Others!

    Scottish & Welsh VI doesn’t change the GB numbers much either.

    I’m unsure as to why you want to use the term “UK” to describe only a part of it, though. Some polls cover only England, and they are accurately reported as being that (though not necessarily in the press, whose accuracy in poll reporting is frequently lacking). Still if “GB” equals “UK”, then there is little reason not to say “England” equals “UK”.

    If you look at the details of any poll, it will describe the area that the poll is trying to measure.

  25. Looks like the Tory speeches are back up on the Internet Archive.

    I have to say, having done this silly thing in the first place and taken all the flak/mocking gifs/lists of broken opposition pledges for it, it seems absolutely mad to reverse the decision and not at least reap the (limited) benefit of making the speeches hard to find.

    It’s amazing Grant Schapps is still in a job, but then, I suppose he does have Michael Green and Sebastian Fox lobbying for him.

  26. I’m willing to stand corrected on this, but my understanding is that all the various pollsters do NOT use a representaive Scottish sub-sample (nor any other geographical sub-sample) within their polls.



    Have they also removed the robot? thingie that prevents future entries from being archived?

    That seemed the worst aspect.

  28. @Colin

    “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.”

    Is this what it’s come to now? Good grief.

  29. JAMES E

    No one has ever suggested that any cross break is ever internally weighted in routine GB polls.

    On those occasions when pollsters want to measure differential opinion (eg for Scotland), they will take a reasonable sample for sample, publish the Scottish figures separately, then include that sample (but weighted for population) within the GB poll.

  30. “reasonable sample for sample” should have been “reasonable sample for Scotland”.

  31. @ Old Nat,

    Dunno. I could be wrong, but my understanding was that they only robots.txted the pages that they were deleting, which is what made the whole affair so strange and suspicious.

    If they’ve done it to all the content on their website that would make it impossible for Google to index, which is not something I’d want to do to the site containing all my campaign material. Then again, I wouldn’t have tried to delete all my old speeches from the Internet Archive either, so who knows what they were thinking?

    @ Crossbat11,

    He’s lost without Turk.

  32. Spearmint,
    If that is so then it is the silliest U turn yet.As for Schapps,well.

  33. OLDNAT

    I think we’re at cross-purposes.

    I’m discussing Westminster Parliament opinion polls of the type conducted by YouGov, ICM, MORI etc as headlined regularly on this website. These are GB Polls rather than UK polls (Re your post of 9:54pm).

    My understanding is that the weighting of the samples used for these is for GB as whole rather than representative of the various “regional” sub-samples. Hence these sub-samples carry a very wide margin of error.

  34. OK who’s kidnapped the real Colin..

  35. Oldnat

    Don’t know what game you were watching – the Republic of Ireland played very well!

    Anyway Putting together all YouGov and the other five polls this week (non weighted) gives a total sample of 1422 and an average of

    Lab 31% SNP 32% TORY 22% and Lib 9%

    which Baxter shows as seats

    Lab 31 SNP 18 Tory 7 and Lib 3

    Interestingly if you take YouGov this week the SNP would be on only 8 seats but based on the other polls on 34 seats (with Labour on only 19 and the Tories 4!)

    It is quite important to understand who is getting it right since basically the only thing the two sets of polls really agree on is that the FibDems are sunk!

  36. Well, I can’t think of a lot Labour have done to achieve this boost. I think it’s simply down to the conservatives repetitively shooting themselves in the foot.

    Given there is supposedly a ‘recovery’ it doesn’t say much for their chances in a General Election.

    I think it might have been (another) mistake to change the rules from “within 5 years” to “5 years”. There comes a point when no matter how good a government is, the electorate gets pissed off with it. I reckon that period is four year plus or minus a month or two. After that time, the opposition is likely to pull ahead whatever.


    On IT issues, I struggle to understand lots of what I read!

    Just reread the BBC article on it and it looks like it only referred to the deleted stuff.

  38. Spearmint

    Never mind we still have TOH.

    I can’t remember what he says now, is it something to do with government spending too much. I can’t quite recall so perhaps he could repeat it more often so that it will sink in.

  39. James E – I grant you the NI parties could be of use in sustaining a coalition in 2015. Unlikely to be a great use polling them until a coalition looks on the cards though.

  40. New poll on political trust

    “A poll by the committee found a ‘considerable proportion’ of the British population, around 40 per cent of those surveyed, were ‘disconnected’ or ‘alienated’ from the domain of party politics.

    ‘For them, the system offers no party sufficiently attractive to win their vote,’ the committee said.

    ‘These citizens in particular hold sceptical or deeply sceptical perceptions of standards and do not trust those in public life.’

    They are not just disconnected by the incumbent government, but are also turned off by the opposition and even the newer, smaller political parties like the Greens, UKIP and the BNP.

    Voters are also now more likely to say MPs will take bribes, l*e and are out of touch.”


    Watching? Do they have football on the moving pictures these days?

    I still say that Scottish sub-samples are useless for measuring actual opinion hers – for reasons I outlined above.

    AFAIK the question of Westminster voting is seldom asked in real Scottish polls. The last one I remember was Ashcroft’s June poll.

    Likely voters would cast votes like this (changes from 2010 in brackets) – Lab 32% (-10%), SNP 31% (+ 11%), Con 15% (-2%), LD 8% (-11%), Others (mainly UKIP) 14.7% (+13%). Of course back in June UKIP were riding high in the GB polls so whether they would score so high now is questionable and they may have returned to the Tory fold,

    So, there’s a remarkable symmetry between your analysis and Ashcroft’s. :-)

    Also a distinct level of asymmetry between an actual Scottish poll on Westminster VI and the YouGov Scottish cross-breaks. That should be a corrective to anyone who considers that the YG Scottish sample is representative of politics here.

  42. And Mark Thompson agrees. He is leaving the Lib Dems

    When leaders fail to see why the public feels they are out of touch, they should be referred to this excellent summary.

  43. @Howard – “they were so shocked it made it impossible to think?”

    There were just too many details to think about (apart from important stuff like how to get control the 1922 Committee), whether ministers should have cars or not, whether the PM needed motorcycle outriders or not, what sort of kitchen would persuade Sam to move into No. 10…. and the serious matter (as reported by the Telegraph) of ordering an inquiry into a damaged antique desk (scratched by Gordon Brown’s marker pen).

  44. @Oldnat – “reasonable sample for Scotland”.

    Presume that means one with less than 95mg/l00ml of alcohol?

  45. ALEC

    Ah, yes – a joke.

    Do you have a Jewish one that we can all enjoy?

  46. Can’t remember the last time we had such a clear and unambiguous signal from the polls. Now pretty much unanimous from all pollsters that Lab are up and Con down.

    Interestingly there doesn’t really seem to be any particular stand out reason why. The energy prices were a while back, and the last week or so seems to have been the time of the latest poll movement.

  47. @Oldnat – no I haven’t – that would be rascist.

  48. ALEC

    An Irish one then? There are lots of those.

  49. “Don’t step on the cow, Pat.”

    is fairly hilarious – except you have to explain the utterly brilliant play on words if performed aurally.


    Though Pat Robertson might struggle to understand why such a “joke” was an Irish one.

    I suppose there are some people who imagine that everyone in Ireland (and only those in Ireland) is called “Pat” and thus might include that in the “Irish” category of humour via stereotyping.

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