Survation have a post-budget poll in the Mail on Sunday tomorrow with topline voting intention figures of CON 34%(+4), LAB 35%(+1), LDEM 9%(-3), UKIP 15%(-3). Changes are from their Sky News poll in January.

The one point Labour lead is the smallest Survation have shown since 2011 and Cameron’s bounce from the Europe “veto”. As ever, don’t get too excited over one poll: it may be a budget reaction, or it may be normal variation within the margin of error. Wait till we see some more polling before jumping to judgement, we should still have at least the YouGov/Sunday Times this weekend (as well as a Scottish ICM poll).

UPDATE: That was quick, the front page of the Sunday Times appears to show the weekly YouGov poll reporting the Conservatives on 36% and Labour on 37%. Presumably we’ll have to wait until tomorrow morning to see the full details of the poll.

120 Responses to “Survation/Mail on Sunday – CON 34, LAB 35, LD 9, UKIP 15”

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  1. From the picture of the SoS page showing some of the changes in the ICM demographic crossbreaks, they seem fairly similar to those in the Panelbase poll.

    That does suggest both polls are detecting similar movements in the same groups.

  2. MrNameless

    The problem is trying to get more than words out of some of them!

    (Insert joke of choice at the expense of the parties you dislike most :-) )

  3. First Con VI of 36 since December, so there’s certainly an indication of a bounce, although it’s not clear where it might have come from – there’s no corresponding dip in UKIP VI. My guess, before seeing the tables, is that it’s a reduction in DKs amongst 2010 Tories. Can’t see it being anything more than a temporary blip, though.

  4. OldNat

    Last time the Scottish sample in Survation’s Euro poll was based on a sample of only 60-ish so and a jump from 3.2% in the UK to maybe 4.5% doesn’t seem that unlikely and could well be just MoE. I wouldn’t put the 20 year old Irn Bru on ice just yet.

  5. Age UK & the Joseph Rowntree Foundation are warning tonight that people who cash in their pensions in order to save or invest the money risk losing their right to free social care if they fall ill or become too frail to look after themselves, so the great “Pensions Liberalisation” May have a very nasty sting in its tail.

  6. Roger Mexico

    The only reason for putting any Irn Bru on ice is to ensure that it doesn’t fizz when you hurl it as far as you can in the “How far can you throw liquid bubble gum” event at the Guernsey Highland Games!

    However, you make my point more succinctly that 5% of the GB electorate voting SNP is as likely as ….. Highland Games in Guernsey.

  7. The Labour vote holds: no sign at all of that vital indicator changing. Survation suggests the Tories might have taken a few back from UKIP, whilst You Gov might indicate they have taken from the LD rump. I seriously doubt Labour will improve on their 38 average, which (I believe) is a moral core of voters who don’t approve of neo-liberal policies. The question (for me) therefore is, can the sweeties the Tories provide seriously unite the right? The Tories, the LD right-leaning core, UKIP, and the Don’t Knows (etc.) add up to 62 per cent overall. The votes are there to be garnered, but 38 is a tough score to beat and it looks reliable.

  8. Colin Davis

    Labour voters as a “moral core of voters who don’t approve of neo-liberal policies.”

    Do you have evidence to support that belief?

    The strength of the Labour vote in places like East Renfrewshire would seem to be contra-indicative of that perception.

  9. Our local grammar school held a debate on Scottish independence this week.

    From the Campbeltown Courier:

    Sixteen-year-old Donald MacPherson from Southend more than held his own as he gave his views in a Campbeltown Grammar School debate last week alongside MP Alan Reid (LibDem) and MSP Michael Russell (SNP). Donald, a fifth-year pupil,who spoke passionately and eloquently in favour of independence, hopes to go on to university to study politics and history.

    An independence ballot immediately afterwards brought the following results:

    Yes – 51%
    No – 28%
    DK – 19%
    Spoilt papers – 2%


    This was a serious debate for pupils aged 16 and over with questions from the floor afterwards. Apparently the students were “most fascinated by an animated to and fro between Mr. Reid and Mr Russell over the ‘bedroom tax’ and welfare cuts.

  10. @ Old Nat

    I’ve called them kippers for years & you’ve never queried it before. And you, yourself, object to the Labour Party in Scotland being called Scottish Labour (& I concur) so when you use a short-form of something which you say doesn’t even exist, i.e. SLAB, I think it is reasonable to point out the inconsistency.

  11. Tories will be disappointed not to be ahead. This was their big chance. They may not get another one.

  12. A brief budget bounce.

  13. Anthony

    Moderation is always hard.

    I suggested calling UKIP supporters “kippers” was inappropriate, but you allowed Amber’s original comment and her reply to me to stand.

    I was going to reply to her suggesting that her defence of having used the term for years, so it was OK, was somewhat Les Dawsonish, but given that you won’t allow this post – I won’t bother! :-)

  14. shariet2

    Probably worth explaining to readers furth of Scotland that “grammar school” doesn’t mean a selective school.

    Campbelltown Grammar School is a normal Scottish comprehensive secondary school.

  15. I notice that Sky News is making a big thing about the narrowing Lab lead. IIRC, no comment was made when there were increased leads of 8 – 9 %. Lab should be concerned by this – it is Lab vs the three other main parties plus the media.

  16. @OLDNAT

    Harkening back to the last thread. You’re right. Thank you for saying it for me.


  17. shariet2

    On Twitter, I see a lot of reports on such debates. It’s always good when the No side are willing to engage in public debate – regardless of the outcome of that debate.

    Closed meetings, no matter how they are subsequently publicised, are fundamentally anti-democratic.

    It would be unfortunate if either side refused to take part in public debates. I find such rather exciting! Reminds me of the open debates we used to have at elections years ago, when the local hall was packed!

  18. ICM indy poll

    Need to see the tables about the distrust that Westminster would deliver more powers to Holyrood, but this from the SoS story.

    “According to the poll, less than two-fifths of Scots believe Scotland would be given more powers if the country rejects independence. That contrasted with the 68 per cent who believe that Holyrood should be given responsibility for tax and welfare.

    ICM’s findings prompted the independent polling expert Professor John Curtice to say that Better Together is “beginning to look like a campaign in trouble”.

    Writing in today’s Scotland on Sunday, Curtice said: “Frightening voters with messages of economic doom and gloom is not working…a more confident and convincing vision is needed.”

  19. Not sure that I’ve ever seen like this before.

    Yes-supporting news site Newsnet Scotland has published Johann Lamont’s speech to the SLab (I’ve used that contraction for years) Conference, without any commentary.

    They are happy for it to stand on it’s own – not a jot of editorial comment.

  20. @ Old Nat

    Anthony moderated yours, then went to bed! I didn’t escape moderation, I just missed the curfew. I don’t think Anthony moderates “kippers” – but he does object to thee & me bickering about stupid stuff; hence the disappearance of your comment. My response to you will likely be gone in the morning which is fine by me.

  21. GO’s approval improves by 27 % pts vs April 2013

    now 15% pts ahead of Balls.

    Bullseye George.

  22. Latest YouGov / Sunday Times results 21st March – Con 36%, Lab 37%, LD 9%, UKIP 11%; APP -19

    Well I am looking at the cross breaks for this poll and it seems to me it looks very similar to every other you-gov poll recently

    All the sections of society breaking the same as usual – a slight rise in 2010 LD to Cons from Fridays poll, but nothing extraordinary, ahead amongst the over 60’s Lab ahead amongst the young ( more than on Friday) third of 2010 LD typically as well.

    The opinions on the economy still strongly negative -27 for the economy in general and -19 (-20 last Sunday) for their own finances in 12 month time

    The only part I can see that has changed from Friday is the Con DK/WV have gone down by 2 and Lab Dk/WV up by 2. LD DK/WV has become worse by 2

    I don’t know about these things, but does that net change of 4 cause such a sudden closing of the gap. I am sure I have seen such numbers before ( e.g this Thursday)

    There are obviously many more Cons in this poll, but I can’t see from what particular subsection they are coming from. I need an expert to help me out.

  23. Is this really looking bad for No ?

    Labour’s offerings on Devomax seem to have made things worse?

    Is the No campaign truly a cross party one-or is it perceived as a Labour campaign really?

    If Yes win-what would the effect be on EM’s leadership & the 2015 GE ?

  24. Colin Davies

    “moral core of voters who don’t approve of neo-liberal policies.”

    What nonesense, the current Government is not neo-Liberal, nor are Labour’s core vote (not38% by the way) any more moral than any other party.

  25. Colin

    Yes, budget total contrast to 2012 as is the effect although we will have to see if the Tory rise increases or indeed holds. Depends on events of course.

  26. Robin

    “First Con VI of 36 since December, so there’s certainly an indication of a bounce, although it’s not clear where it might have come from – there’s no corresponding dip in UKIP VI.”

    I agree – people are jumping to conclusions wrongly – UKIP’s nos were showing a slight fall prior to the budget (again nothing dramatic). Likewise this is one YG poll only, and still within MOE of the last few – so may be nothing at all! (Although I note the slight improvement in Gov Approval, which is usually a lead measure for eventual improving poll numbers if sustained). Two reasons people – including pollsters! – are getting over-excited – the budget having just happened; and the fact a Survation poll also showing just a one point gap coincided with this one.

  27. Good Morning All,

    I think Butler helped to win the Cons the GE of 1955 with beer tax reductions.

    You are on good form today.

  28. I suppose I had better join in with the general feeling of this thread.

    The closing of the gap is bad for the Conservatives

    A rise in support for GO is bad for him

    The polls were correct yesterday, but are not today

    These polls are a huge step forward for Miliband

  29. TOH

    See how it looks in a weeks time before feeling any confidence.

    But a good effort by GO nevertheless.


    Thanks :-)
    The opportunities haven’t appeared often-so nice while it lasts !

  30. Suggest people don’t get carried away by these 2 polls. When you look at the tables (YG unweighted below aged 60) of 1525 people polled, Labour had 40% of these and the Tories about 34%.

    The Tories appear to have gained a little on the 60+age category, which is probably the pension change. But also I think the UKIP and Lib Dems are down a little.

    There is no bounce for the Lib Dems, even though the pension change may be the work of a Lib Dem Steve Webb. Which is surely further evidence that the Lib Dems don’t really gain from being in a coalition.

    Next week I predict that the polls will be back to normal, with Labour holding about a 5% lead average.

  31. Colin & R Huckle

    Agree with both of you, the fact that we have two polls with the Labvour lead down to 1% may have no significance whatsoever in the trend lead percentage. However looking at the detailed responses which I always think more interesting at this stage in a parliament, the movement in perception of Government and Osborne’s economic competence is significant. Clearly a majority think that the Government is more economically competent than the opposition. This has probably been reinforced by Labour’s continuing lack of response (except that they now support the pension change). The Coalition is 13% clear on “trust to make the right decisions” and Osborne is 9% above where Darling was in 2010. I think voters have tucked this view away in the back of their minds until election day 2015. Defintely reinforces my expectation of a late swing (and large enough) to the Tories in 2015.

  32. Anecdotal evidence but interesting all the same. On the doors yesterday every other household saying I was thinking of voting ukip but the budget has persuaded me to vote conservative. This was in a traditionally strong Tory area but the budget has done its job

  33. Buebob

    Nice one!

  34. One of the problems of interpreting polls is that this is normally interpretation after the event. Usually it is open to the left and the right to find plausible interpretations to fit their point of view. Scientifically, I believe that is usually preferable to formulate a falsifiable hypothesis and then see if it comes to pass.

    In the case of the budget a number of people (including if I remember right, Alec) interpreted this as a ‘defensive’ budget designed to appeal to people who would naturally vote conservative rather than one intended to win over people from the other side. If they had formulated a prediction, they would I suspect have predicted that it would have no effect on the labour VI but would bring a slight boost to the conservative one. And this is what seems to have happened, They would not, I imagine, have guessed how long this conservative boost would last,

  35. Charles.

    It may have been a defensive budget but the points I made above hold true. The voters perception of economic competence is IMO probably the most important factor going into the next election

  36. I think this may be an example of one party pinching another’s clothes, leaving the other not knowing quite how enthusiastically to support the change it might have implemented but did not get round to doing.

    If Labour had proposed this change, for all we know the Conservatives might have opposed it as an attack on the insurance/annuity industry. But it was a Cons chancellor who proposed it.

    Same sex marriage may have been a similar situation, or the Conservatives making terms with Robert Mugabe. Or, hypothetically, imagine if it had been Labour that proposed the sale of council houses.

    When all’s said and done it’s only one Sunday’s polls. Of course you could also say that a GE is only one Thursday’s polls, all elections are a snapshot. I think we can expect more similar efforts in the 2015 budget.

  37. @TOH

    In regard to the various questions in polling, might I suggest that Labour are at a disadvantage due to coalition. When the questions are asked, you will get a certain amount of Lib Dem support for Tories, because they are currently in partnership. I venture that if the Lib Dems were in opposition, that the views expressed would be different. UKIP supporters are often more positive about Tories than Labour.

    This is not to say that Labour have not got a lot of work to do before May 2015, to make themselves look like a credible government in waiting. I am not sure that they have done that yet.

  38. I am not sure they will be able to R Huckle, the public will be reminded every day in the run up to 2015 of the state Labour left the country in.

    The worst is yet to come for Labour, in my opinion of course.

  39. TOH

    Well put.


    Well spotted lol.

  40. Spearmint,

    The Labour VI doesn’t puzzle me. An opposition is expected to gain a lot during a period of austerity, and Labour only took so long to claw back last time around because they jumped off the deep end in 1980 and by the time they started swimming back to where everyone else was, they had competition from the Alliance/Lib Dems.

    Your explanation for Tory VI explains a puzzle with a puzzle: why would Lib Dem voters switch to the Tories right now? I can understand why the Lib Dem “general protest” vote has switched to UKIP and I can easily understand why anti-Coalition centre-left Lib Dems have switched to Labour, but what kind of Lib Dem voter sees them doing deals with the Tories and thinks “Hmmm, maybe I should vote Tory”?

    A further problem for this explanation is that the evidence from a variety of sources suggests that the Tory vote will not only hold up in Scotland (where the ex-Lib Dem vote presumably splits FOUR ways, with the SNP being very effective at winning it) but actually increase in 2015. I don’t doubt that some Lib Dem voters are switching to the Tories; what puzzles me is why.


    @”The worst is yet to come for Labour, in my opinion of course.”

    Absolutely agree.

    People just keep on forgetting what a GE Campaign is actually like.

  42. @Bill Patrick

    “What kind of Lib Dem voter sees them doing deals with the Tories and thinks “Hmmm, maybe I should vote Tory”?”

    Economic liberals, scared off in 2010 by perceptions of social conservatism or lured in by Cleggmania, who have been pleased by things like same sex marriage and support the Tory economic stance. Since they do things that voter believes in, they don’t feel they need the Lib Dems any more.

  43. R Huckle

    I don’t disagree with your first paragraph.However judging by the Publics perception as expressed in the polls they certainly have not done that as far as the economy is concerned which is my point.

  44. I’d say that I expect the budget bounce to disappear within a week or so, but I also expected there to be not budget bounce (and no budget droop as occured with the Omnishambles budget) so I’m hesitant. One unknown factor is whether there are any skeletons in the apparentely well-varnished closet of the budget.

  45. The assumption that this is a budget bounce may or may not be right. It could be a game-changer. If so, Labour will almost certainly poll fewer votes than the Tories in the general election, though personally I would see 33% as the absolute worst-case scenario. It would be better to wait until a week’s time or so before we airily dismiss 2 polls which come to exactly the same conclusion.

  46. The thing that interests me is the juxtapositioning of mandatory workplace pensions and the new freedom to access from age 55.

    Won’t it become the norm to cash in your prvate pension at 55 and carry on working?


    I think you are seeing things which aren’t there-but I can understand how a sudden change in the political balance of posters this morning might have disturbed you after such a long period in your comfort zone. Even though the Blue posters have expressed caution it probably all sounds rather strange to you.

    Worry not-it will probably revert to something you are happier with next week.

  48. “Spoilt papers – 2%”

    I despair of the youth today- without wanting to sound like a kipper- back in my day at least half the ballot papers would have had something rude drawn on them followed by a visit from the head telling the class that it’s not big and not clever while we would try and keep a straight face as he waved around the most obscene examples.

  49. Shevii

    “I despair of the youth today- without wanting to sound like a kipper- back in my day…”

    You had me there for a second – thought you were going to sound like a kipper.

  50. My school held a mock election in the midst of Cleggmania 2010 and the Lib Dems won something like 77% of the vote including my own (Labour second on 9%). If we held the vote now it’d probably be one of the highest swings ever.

    I think the European elections will be the next test of impetus for all the parties. If Labour can win, that strengthens their position. UKIP will want first or second, the Tories need to beat UKIP and the Lib Dems want to have more than one MEP.

    The Lib Dems will not be helped, I imagine, by urban local elections on the same day. This might increase turnout slightly in those areas, where since 2010 the LDs have done very poorly. Conversely, it could aid Labour, whose strongest areas of support are there.

    I’ll be watching the Tory and UKIP vote shares most closely.

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