Today’s twice weekly Populus poll has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 38%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 13%. Full tabs are here.

Meanwhile this morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun had topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 39%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 12%, full tabs here. Given it’s the last day of the month we can look at YouGov’s averages for the whole of February, which gives us figures of CON 33.2%(33.0% in Jan), LAB 38.9%(38.7% in Jan), LDEM 9.3%(9.2% in Jan), UKIP 11.8%(12.5% in Jan), so no real movement month-on-month.


164 Responses to “Latest Populus and YouGov figures”

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  1. @ Lefty

    Ok I think I understand the distinction you’re making and I certainly can’t pretend to be an engineer or a scientist. At the moment my own guessed result is exactly the same as your calculated one,so presumably the only chance of reaching a conclusion on this is if I later change my guess whereas you’re stuck with your pragmatic guidance.

    One other concern I have which I’ve mentioned before is the manner in which the polls/electorate behaved in 2010 i.e. chaotically.As various commenters have mentioned,UKIP are a complicating factor here too and it’s clear that the polling companies themselves are far from sure what they’re doing with UKIP.

    The days when the actual campaign barely mattered are long gone. If we have a similar reaction and pattern to television debates as in 2010 there could be a wide range of possible outcomes right up to the moment when MORI or whoever tell us what the exit polls say shortly after 10.00 PM. on the night.

  2. @Sen5C

    I don’t recall the 2010 campaign having any significant bearing on the outcome. OK Gordon Brown misheard the word “flocking” but his star was already falling. And Labour actually held their heartlands.

    Most elections are decided long before the campaign. I don’t expect the polls to change that much in the next year and a half, as they haven’t for some time. Lab will probably finish on around 35-36 Tories on @31-32%, LDs on 14-15%, UKIP 7-8%.

  3. Interesting news from my patch – Mike Wood, Labour MP for Batley and Spen standing down at the GE.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-26389452

    His majority is 4,406 (Lab 41.5% Con 33%).

    I imagine it will be safe Labour, but there are some rumours of a bit of a scrum by local Councillors to get the nomination.

    Could be some fireworks…

  4. [email protected]

    “I don’t recall the 2010 campaign having any significant bearing on the outcome.”

    Surely the TV debates were part of (or arguably, even the whole of) the 2010 campaign. As I remember, the so-called “Cleggmania” was considered, at the time, to have had a significant effect

  5. @OldNat

    Not really, no. Only the first debate. The LDs then fell back to the same vote share they got in 2005.

  6. @ RAF

    I should perhaps have said ‘campaign period’ or specificied the TV debates and Cleggmania.

    I don’t necessarily expect the TV debates to take place in anything like the 2010 manner; there will certainly be no Cleggmania as such (will there even be Clegg?) but the fact that they happened last time and the polls lurched around wildly still suggests to me that the electorate we’ll have in 2015 may be very different in behavior to any we saw from 1979-2005.

  7. Spearmint

    The source is Mark Pack’s database. Link is on the graph, and also here

    http://www.markpack.org.uk/files/2014/01/Mark-Packs-opinion-polls-spreadsheet.xls

  8. @Sen5c

    But Cleggmania was so ephemeral it did not last until election day. The LDs ended up just matching Charles Kennedy’s result in 2005.

  9. Cleggmania didn’t last, but it is worth noting that the LDs were polling 20% or less prior to the first debate, and ended up improving on what was a very good election for them in 2005, despite a not untroubled period from 2005-2010.

    So there are significant lurches, in that >5% is quite a big shift, and there wasn’t anything other than the debates in the 2010 election that was going the LDs way. (It’s true that third parties tend to gain some ground during campaigns, but don’t think that suffices to explain the 2010 result for the LDs.)

  10. Hang on, the Lib Dems were on 16/17% before the debates and afterwards they got 23%. Maybe it’s not a significant shift on 2005 but that’s sort of the point. That their vote share held up prevented many Conservative gains and probably a majority government.

  11. Bill Patrick beat me to it!

  12. @ Lefty,

    Thanks! That is a magnificent spreadsheet.

  13. ” Maybe it’s just me, but the highlight of this month on UKPR has to be Valerie getting piped to “First” post….”

    Hope Val was OK with being ‘piped’, RAF. She hasn’t been on here since….

  14. I watched Farage’s speech today. As a politician, he impresses me greatly, although his policies do not. I suspect he will remain a far, far bigger problem for Tories than they think.

    In the 1980’s, the left was split, but in strategic terms, the split on the right today is potentially far more difficult to resolve.

    Labour split came with a breakway group moving to the centre, with the SDP seeking to reoccupy a more centrist stance vacated by a more leftist Labour party. Ultimately the schism was in large part healed by New Labour tacking back to the centre. Not only did they heal the division, but they did so by moving back towards the countries political centre of gravity.

    Today, UKIP split the right, but they are doing this by tracking further from the centre. It’s extremely difficult to see how the Tory party can heal this split from a centrist electoral stance. The interests of broadly based unity and competing for the centre ground are now diametric opposites, in contrast to New Labour’s challenge.

    Farage is extremely good at politics. He knows he will face various scandals, but he revels in these, saying openly today that having a few off message members shows just how real they are. Try as they might, mainstream Tories can’t kill them off.

    I had expected UKIP to poll a couple of points higher than their 2010 figure in 2015, but I’m revising upwards my expectations at present. I

  15. Farage on Hamilton-and vice versa-on Newsnight this evening.

    Very funny .

  16. Why assume that UKIP will lose support in the general election? Non-government/HM’s loyal opposition parties tend to GAIN support at elections, due to increased coverage.

  17. Students tear gassed today in Caracas.

  18. “Students tear gassed today in Caracas.”

    Thankyou Colin.

    Its a sh*t world.

  19. Won’t affect wider polling, but might make Miliband’s reforms go down a little smoother in the party: http://news.sky.com/story/1219170/miliband-wins-emotional-backing-on-vote-reform

  20. @Mr Nameless

    What a great photograph that greets you on opening that link. A beaming Mrs Smith standing next to her husband John, smiling much more diffidently. I greatly admired and respected John Smith, a rare politician with few if any enemies, who was quietly making Labour a credible party of government again before he died so tragically and prematurely.

    A thoroughly decent and very likeable man who made up for what he may have lacked in personal charisma with quiet intelligence and integrity. We shall never know what might of become of him and Labour had he lived and fought the 1997 election as leader, but I suspect he would have won, albeit less melodramatically than Blair. Had he done so, he would have made a fine PM and national leader too.

    I miss politicians like John Smith greatly and that photograph brought back warm memories, late this Saturday night.

  21. MrNameless

    Have you thought of contacting your leader to suggest if he is so keen on OMOV for the Party as a whole, it might also be a good idea to impose it on NOLS?

  22. JOHN B – regarding the ‘little englander’ label and UKIP’s lack of impact in Scotland.

    I’ve lived in Scotland and traveled a fair bit there. Also in SE England. There is a world of difference in public service provision and population density in many areas. If the Scots had such rapid growth of population, particularly in poorer areas, and resultant strains on services, there would be greater movement in the polls north of the border. Having an alternative to LibLabCon in the SNP may alleviate some of that shift to a protest party though.

    In Scotland I found quality of life higher in terms of public service levels. The large amount of govt spending per head, and relatively stable population ensured good services. In poorer parts of SE England lower spending on a range of services coupled with rapid population growth has led to substantial impacts upon schools, hospitals, housing and transport.

    That’s where UKIP gains traction. People who don’t even particularly like them will vote for them simply because they aren’t the others who are seen to have comprehensively failed. And then many have switched off completely. How that apathy plays out in the coming years will be interesting.

    I don’t think the little englander label is useful. The same experience in Scotland would produce similar shifts.

  23. Anyone else here going to the Conference later today? We could have a UKPR reunion….or something.

  24. looks like dave and the tories are in real trouble…farage is clearly on a bit of a roll. UKIP are just as likely to get 15% as 5% in 2015 IMHO

  25. ED

    ” If the Scots had such rapid growth of population, particularly in poorer areas, and resultant strains on services, there would be greater movement in the polls north of the border.”

    I wouldn’t disagree with that. Indeed, when exactly that circumstance did occur in such parts of Scotland during the 19th century and the first half of the 20th, exactly that situation manifested itself – not necessarily in terms of voting (since poor folk didn’t have the vote for most of that time), but in serious anti-Catholic prejudice (most of the immigrants to such areas coming from Ireland, and often assumed to be Catholic – whether they were or not!)

    Recognising the realities of human reactions to perceptions of changes in their environment, and mitigating them would seem to be the most sensible approach by any Government.

    Quite why successive UK Governments (acting as the English Government) seem to have made such a poor fist of things s someone that those in England can, no doubt, explain.

    I suspect that the excessive concentration of population in a relatively small area of England (which seems to be the inevitable consequence of concentrating on the tax take from that area), the unequal distribution of identifiable public expenditure within England, and the actual distribution of non-identifiable expenditure may well be factors.

  26. Re: Farage

    For those who do not know, Farage’s train goes from London Bridge via Lewisham and New Cross (very inner City, very cosmopolitan Labour areas), to Hither Green and Grove Park (mixed but more affluent semi-suburban commuter-ville), and onto Elmstead Woods, Chislehurst, Petts Wood, Orpington, Chelsfield and onto Sevenoaks (very wealthy true blue leafy Conservative suburbia on the London/Kent border).

    So it’s not surprising that foreign tongues were commonplace in the cosmopolitan areas and less so in the very white English leafy suburban areas. I can’t help feeling however that Mr Garage’s evidence is significantly exaggerated. I live in a suburban area close to the areas referred to above and also near Grove Park, Lewisham and Petts Wood and always hear lots of English on the buses and trains. Yes, there are a lot more black and Asian people in Lewisham than in Petts Wood, but they still largely speak English. I wonder therefore whether the UKIP leader’s comments had a racial rather than linguistic edge.

  27. @Crossbat

    I don’t remember John Smith. I was 5 when he died, but I find his death all the more tragic because had he lived he could have saved us all from Blair.

    I have long thought electing Blair as leader was one o the biggest mistakes the Labor Party has ever made.

    His apologists always wheel out the tiresome old ‘won 3 elections’ argument, but Tony Benn could have won the 1997 and 2001 elections.

  28. Norbold,

    Won’t be attending as my dad is visiting! Keep us updated if anything scandalous happens.

    Roger Mexico,

    Quite why they’ve not done this already I’m not sure. The view of NOLS is (to put it simply) that OMOV will allow overexcited students to put forward stupid policies, but OMOV is supported in the main party for the opposite reason!

  29. @Oldnat

    “(most of the immigrants to such areas coming from Ireland, and often assumed to be Catholic – whether they were or not!)”

    One of my great-grandparents might have been Irish (the other seven were definitely Scots). Will I get deported if the 18th September vote goes your way?

  30. @DRUNKENSCOUSER

    It was tragic that John Smith died, and I agree with you that even Tony Benn could have won the 1997 GE. However, I thought that you might be interested to know that there was a now forgotten leadership candidate, Brian Gould (still alive and blogging) who would have taken the economy/society in a very different direction to both Tony Blair, John Smith and the Third Way.

  31. OLD NAT
    “”Recognising the realities of human reactions to perceptions of changes in their environment, and mitigating them would seem to be the most sensible approach by any Government…….Quite why successive UK Governments (acting as the English Government) seem to have made such a poor fist of things[is some{thing] that those in England can, no doubt, explain.”

    Do they though? Dagenham built for the East Enders, then Milton Keynes, Harlow New Town etc, then in Scotland the Lothian Regional Plan, including “overspill” relocation of the Gorbals and other congested areas of Glasgow to Blackburn, Whitburn and the building of Livingston, E.Kilbride were precisely directed to solving the problem you describe, and were not one-offs but part of a long-term strategy embraced in the Town and Country planning legislation enacted in the 50’s. (Marr on the Making of Britain was very good on how the housing development had been almost entirely private sector, driven by Taylor Woodrowe etc pre-war.)

  32. Good Morning All.
    John Smith was a very good man. He was doing very well before he died; or at least that was what people said after he died.
    When he was still alive people in the Labour Party were worried, as now, about the low numbers Labour was getting in polls and by elections.

  33. C1945
    “When he was still alive people in the Labour Party were worried, as now, about the low numbers Labour was getting in polls and by elections.”
    ‘People’ now in the Labour Party are worried? Lots of ‘people’? The majority of ‘people’? A few ‘people’? Two or three ‘people’, perhaps? Imaginary ‘people’? Invented ‘people’?
    You put forward a personal opinion as if reporting a fact. Produce some evidence. You seem to use your view of what ‘people’ think in the same way that some politicians used to use the, just as vague, phrase ‘there’s a feeling in the country’.

  34. Good Morning NEWHOUSET.
    In May 1994 I certainly remember that there was disquiet in the Labour Party about the drift.

    At the current time I think that many Labour people are concerned the lead is only 5%

  35. Drunk,
    “His apologists always wheel out the tiresome old ‘won 3 elections’ argument …”

    Maybe they do that because he won three general elections! That’s how the system works – you get yourself into power and you can, at least try to, put your policies into force. The alternative is not to win and to sit criticising on the sidelines and have little or no influence. Convincing your masters – the electorate – that your party deserves to be backed is what it’s all about. Doing it after starting an ‘illegal war’ is even more impressive. Isn’t democracy dreadful!

  36. C1945,
    “At the current time I think that many Labour people…”

    As long as we understand that it’s only something that you ‘think’ and that you’re speaking of unspecified ‘many Labour people’. I thought that there might have been some evidence to back it. Never mind.

  37. @RAF

    Thought provoking comment.

    For commuters like Nigel that tunnel under the North Downs is a real psychological watershed. On one side the Weald of Kent… the sheer fact of London on the other.

    His big mistake as he put it, was to find himself on a “stopper”, otherwise he could have been whisked off without delay back to familiar surroundings. His is a relatively short journey though, and he’s so obviously “Sevenoaks” in the fascinatingly game of predicting where fellow passengers will alight.

    One wonders how often he’s been asleep as Hildenborough, Tonbridge, High Brooms, Tunbridge Wells, Frant, Wadhurst, Stonegate, Etchingham, Robertsbridge etc sped by, only to wake with a jolt when the sea air hits at St Leonards!

  38. @RAF

    Thought provoking comment.

    For commuters like Nigel that tunnel under the North Downs is a real psychological watershed. On one side the Weald of Kent… the sheer fact of London on the other.

    His big mistake as he put it, was to find himself on a “stopper”, otherwise he could have been whisked off without delay back to [email protected] surroundings. His is a relatively short journey though, and he’s so obviously “Sevenoaks” in the fascinatingly game of predicting where fellow passengers will alight.

    One wonders how often he’s been asleep as Hildenborough, Tonbridge, High Brooms, Tunbridge Wells, Frant, Wadhurst, Stonegate, Etchingham, Robertsbridge etc sped by, only to wake with a jolt when the sea air hits at St Leonards!

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  39. @CL1945 – I think your memory is false and @Newhouset is quite correct to call you on this.

    From Wiki (so not necessarily 100% reliable) –

    “Also, during his time as leader, the Labour party gained a significant lead in the polls over the Conservatives and on 5 May 1994, the Conservatives received a severe defeat in the council elections in Britain, their worst in over 30 years, despite the strong economic recovery and fall in unemployment that had followed the declaration of the recession’s end in April 1993.[5] Labour’s opinion poll lead was shown to be as high as 23% in early May 1994.”

    So 7 days before he died, he inflicted the worst local election defeat on the Tories for 30 years.

    Clearly, I would imagine some in the Labour party would be worried about the drift at that time.

  40. @CL1945 – according to UKPR the lowest Lab lead from Jan 1994 – May 1994 was 12%, highest 25%. Average lead c 15% and rising steadily throughout the period.

    I think you’ve been completely caught out on this and should withdraw parts of your posts, which appear completely erroneous.

  41. Leftylampton

    Many thanks for an interesting analysis. As AW said it is the sort of analysis that Steve Fisher is using. His latest forecast update (for what it is worth) suggest a 2015 result of Cons304 seats, Labour 289, and LibDems 30 a hung parliament with Tories most seats.

    Like you the best you can actually draw from the analysis is thats its all to play for. After that its all gut instinct and guesswork.

  42. John Smith’s death caused me to join the Labour Party and I campaigned for them, even becoming CLP secretary until they won in 1997. Then I thought ‘job done’ and left them to it.

    I was devastated when Labour lost in 1992, but when John Smith was elected leader I was convinced that Labour were an election winning force – his death knocked me back and I was despairing – so I though get involved help them win.

    I backed Tony Blair 100% in fact constituency under my ‘guidance’ voted 100% for the manifesto which Blair had put to a vote. My reasoning was even if we had to be less radical, we couldn’t do anything from opposition so it was worth it. I remember being challenged by a left-wing MEP on some Blairite policy he opposed, at a big meeting – ‘Do you want a party of nodding dogs’ and my answer ‘I want a party in power’ that summed up my position. Blair could get us into power that is all I cared about.

    Now I wonder if Labour could have been far more radical and left wing – and still won in 97, 01, 05. I think EM will prove the point if Lab get an OM in 2015. And then this is a second chance for Labour to be a radical government.

  43. ToH

    Not original, but the quote “I don’t think with my guts”; is an irrefutable plea for rational thought and evidence: it sums up my aspiration – not always realised of course.

  44. re: Leftylamptons analysis.

    The tourble with looking at these past polling trends is that we are in uncharted waters.

    In previous elections its been about swing between tory and labour voters. So the governing party has loses support to the opposition – but a chunk of it tends to drift back come the next election.

    But the tories have lost very few votes to Labour – it seems to have lost more to UKIP. Labour is ahead becasue of the lib dem vote collapse – a significant difference to any previous election. So the question is about wether these UKIP and ex-lib dem voters will drift back to the tory and labour parties repectively – and looking at previous polling and elections cant help us answer that.

  45. @CL1945 – have a look at this – http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/historical-polls/voting-intention-1992-1997

    This suggests Lab were rising steadily from early 1993 to mid 1994. If anything, the graph suggests that a modest decline in the Lab lead began shortly after your beloved Tony Blair became leader, quite the reverse of what you imply.

  46. COUPER2802
    Tony Blair debated the minimum wage at a workshop in Brussels in the run-up to the European Parliamentary Elections in early 1994 , and pushed it through in the following 1997 GE and parliament.. John Smith was there with Jack Cunningham, both angry and concerned about EC pronouncements on the EU labour market. It would have been interesting to see how he would have influenced the development of the EU and of British politics in Europe had he lived
    Then after a sweeping victory at the election, during which Smith died from a heart attack, Blair at the Blackpool Conference presented his intentions to introduce the miniumum wage and to scrap Clause 4. The assumption that he was moving the party to the right are made with hindsight. IMV he shifted socialism in Britain permanently into the market economy.

  47. “John Smith was there with Jack Cunningham” in Brussels, I mean

  48. @Colin Davies
    Oh I’m still here , I was waxing lyrical about being a student in the ’70s ( take note Robbie Alive) on the previous thread.
    Actually I’ve been around since 2009- the dark days when the polls had Cameron with a majority of 100 within his grasp.

  49. @chrislane 45
    As you’re a historian Chris, I expect you to back your theories up with evidence and sources.

  50. Mr N,

    You may have missed PostageIncluded’s eloquent contribution near the end of the previous thread on a far more important subject than Nols as this one was open but I urge to you go back and read.

    I can’t comment on NOLS as it is now but can in the early 80s and it was certainly targeted by Entryists (SO more than Millitant).

    IMO – Opposition to OMOV is not always undemocratic.

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