The first of this week’s two Populus polls is out and has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 35%, LD 10%, UKIP 13%. That gives us three polls in a row from three different pollsters showing the Labour lead down to one point, though it should be noted that Populus do tend to show rather lower Labour leads anyway; they already had a one 1 point Labour lead earlier this month. Full tabs are here.


153 Responses to “Populus – CON 34%, LAB 35%, LD 10%, UKIP 13%”

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  1. steve:

    “Apart from the fact that it would mean the Cameron Government would have achieved something that neither Thatcher or Blair did,an increased vote for an incumbent party”

    Not really appropriate comparisons given they got in via landslides/surges of support, whereas the Cameron lead the Tories into government with a whimper – their lead could and should have been larger had it not been for DC wanting to appear like a non-Tory and therefore giving Clegg scope to wade it. I would say its far, far easier for DC to increase the con vote in 2015 than it was for Thatcher and Blair, simply due to what happened in 2010

  2. ” I would say its far, far easier for DC to increase the con vote in 2015 than it was for Thatcher and Blair, simply due to what happened in 2010″

    When do you think that increase will kick in? We haven’t seen much sign of it for the last 3 and a half years.

  3. @ The Other Howard

    “If that is so it could reinforce the idea that the Government is competent or at least more competent than the alternative.”

    I think that will be the Conservative line in the coming months, even more than we are seeing now.

    Its going to be long and dirty that’s for sure.

  4. “Can anyone recommend someone in London who could put a new jack plug on a pair of headphones? Audio repair/someone who’s good with wires?”
    – The Labour Party Twitter account, just now.

    Is this some new form of psychological warfare they’re trying?

  5. @Adam: “their lead could and should have been larger had it not been for DC wanting to appear like a non-Tory and therefore giving Clegg scope to wade it”

    This doesn’t really make sense. Surely appearing to be (as you see it) ‘non-Tory’ would have reduced the scope for Clegg, not increased it. We know what happens if the Tories just try to be Tory – 2001 and 2005. I suspect that 2010 could be as high as they can go.

  6. @ Mr. Nameless,

    Should we be concerned that the party apparently can’t afford to buy a new pair of earbuds? I’m all for repairing electronics in defiance of the disposability culture, but…

  7. Well if they’re out of funds, they could always go and play some bingo!

  8. Its beginning to feel a bit like Christmas. However 3 polls do not an election victory make. Only waiting and seeing for a few days, will show the facts.

    [Snip]

  9. Polling periods in which the Tories improved on their 2010 performance:

    May 2010 – January 2011, May 2011, December 2011 – mid-March 2012

    To those of you who think they can’t do it, they can and have. Whether or not they can do it at a general election remains to be seen, but it’s certainly not impossible. The collapse of the Lib Dems is a tide that has lifted many boats.

  10. I still think the Lib Dems will actually be ok come 2015.

    Its just the numbers that do not agree with me.

  11. I still think there are more things that can go wrong for the government than can go well.

    For example, they’re bound to take a bit of a hit in the local elections (although the Lib Dems might bear most of that impact) and the Cons look unsteady on Europe polling. A third place could open up old, gangrenous wounds.

    Then there’s the Scottish independence referendum. While a yes vote strategically speaking benefits the Conservatives as it harms Labour and the LDs, tactically it looks very bad for Cameron to be the PM who lost the union, as he would inevitably become known.

    The party conferences will mark the start of the campaign, and Ed Miliband usually gets a bit of a boost after his conference speeches. In general (I’ve observed, don’t pretend to have evidence) the Labour score seems to rise the more they make the news, and they’ve been rather quiet recently.

    It’s not an issue we often discuss here, but the US midterm elections could go either way. If there’s stable government (the Dems get a majority in the House) then the markets might improve. If the current impasse continues or gets worse (the Republicans gain the Senate), then international markets may go a bit awry.

    After that, winter. A harsh winter that puts the brakes on productivity will do Osborne no favour in the run up to the election.

    There’s one final budget, which could go either way, then the final question of what the Lib Dems do. If they empty their desks before deadline and start campaigning hard in their own seats, they may do the Tories harm. More of their vote might go over to Labour as they’ll be seen as too cosy with Cameron if they stay, though.

    We’re a year out, but it’s important to note that despite the celebrations of some RoC people (here and elsewhere) they’ve still not got a lead. That’s not to say one couldn’t appear soon, but we don’t know the long term budget impact yet.

  12. Evening All.
    The predicted and predictable swing back to the Cons has started, and will continue I think.

  13. @ Mr Nameless

    A hit in the local elections will be expected to some extent.

    It is a fairly safe bet to say that Scotland will remain in the union.
    And your point about international markets going awry could actually help reinforce the ‘You need strong stable leadership’ lines that we have heard over the years.

    I think it all hangs on the economy still, if continues to improve and the Conservatives find a way to beat off the squeezed middle attacks from Labour then I can see a small but healthy majority for the Cons.

  14. Our host must get a good laugh at all the nonsense posted on his site day after day – either that or he tears his hair out as everybody ignores his warnings.

  15. MRNAMELESS

    @”Well if they’re out of funds, they could always go and play some bingo!”

    Better win big then.
    At some point the Hedge Funds currently pouring megabucks into Co-Op Bank , in order to keep Labour’s loans afloat, will presumably be reviewing their Loan Book.

  16. Bluebob
    “I think it all hangs on the economy still, if continues to improve and the Conservatives find a way to beat off the squeezed middle attacks from Labour then I can see a small but healthy majority for the Cons.”

    Peter Kellner today:

    Moreover the Government remains vulnerable to the lethal question that Ronald Regan asked Americans in 1980 as he sought to wrest the presidency from Jimmy Carter: are you better or worse off than you were four years ago? In those households earning more than £40,000 a year, most Britons say ‘better’ or ‘about the same’. But in the 70% of households on less than £40,000 a year, six out of ten say worse off. The Tories need that figure to fall in the months ahead.

    http://yougov.co.uk/news/2014/03/24/budget-boost-tories/

  17. Bramley

    We can all play that game. Peter Kellner also said………..”The best news for Osborne is to be found not in the latest YouGov polls but polls conducted at the same stage in past parliaments. Six times in the past half century Conservative prime ministers have faced the electorate. In every case the final 14 months produced a swing from Labour to Tory. The average swing has been 6%. In recent weeks, Labour’s lead has averaged 5%. If history repeats itself, we should expect a Tory lead on election day of 7%. This would make them easily the largest party; if they win enough seats back from the Lib Dems, they could be very close to an overall majority.

  18. IMO.

    July 2014 – Small, but consistent Conservative Polling lead.
    Dec 2014 – Steady 2-3% Conservative lead.
    May 2015 – Conservative majority of 20+

    As I said, before the bile starts, only “in my opinion”.

  19. Re that bizarre tweet.

    The Labour Party [email protected] 27m
    Did we mean to tweet about headphones? Nope. Are good headphones important? Yep. At least you know we’re listening #Labourlistens

    Lol

  20. [snip]

    What would be interesting (and is a remote but realistic possibility) is the Tories getting a higher vote but Labour getting a small OM.

  21. The Other Howard

    I was responding to the point Bluebob made about the Conservatives beating off Labour’s attack re the squeezed middle.

    I wasn’t playing games but if you wish to, please leave me out of it.

  22. Bramley

    I wasn’t playing games either, just pointing out that we can all selectively pick quotes as you were.

  23. @ Bramley

    I am sure Anthony is happy for more people to get involved with his website. As for ignoring his warnings, I do not see any personal attacks, just opinions, they are mostly biased I would give you that but I am sure you would expect that on a website dedicated to political polling.

    Plus it would be very boring if you only had Labour supporters posting, or maybe you do want that, I wouldn’t know.

    [I’d expect it on almost any other political website, but here I’d expect people to follow the comments policy and post in the spirit on non-partisanship – AW]

  24. “maybe you do want that, I wouldn’t know.”

    I rather think that is the point. Anthony has said very clearly that we should not know which party another poster prefers.

    There are plenty posting here whose inclinations are pretty obvious.

  25. Bramley

    What happens when we get a movement in the polls is that if its the left that get the movement then there tends to be more left of center posters posting and visa versa if the movement is to the right. Perfectly understandable I think, because we obviously all care about politics or we would’t bother posting.If you look at your own posts I would suggest it’s rather obvious where you stand although if I’m wrong I apologise. We all try to follow AW’s rules but sometimes in the heat of the moment we don’t and he moderates us, and rightly so as it’s his site and his rules.

  26. RAF

    I don’t think anyone has “claimed victory”. I think we have all urged caution until more Polls are to hand.

    But certainly ” Labour Landslide “hasn’t been seen for a while.

    ps:Hope you don’t mind me saying-CB11 comes over all strange if you call Conservative supporters “Blue”.
    Just saying :-)

  27. “I would suggest it’s rather obvious where you stand although if I’m wrong I apologise.”

    You’ll never know how I vote.

  28. @ Bramley

    “Anthony has said very clearly that we should not know which party another poster prefers”

    Ah then this must be a change, as we used to have a coloured background showing our party colours.

    Although I do recall him mentioning that he would like readers to be unable to tell a posters political allegiance from what he wrote.

    I of course do not want to break his rules, but to be fair I do not think any poster here hides who they support in what they write.

  29. @Colin

    :)

  30. I don’t think anyone’s worked out my support of the Socialist Labour Party yet.

  31. BILL

    @”the Socialist Labour Party ”

    That dates you.

  32. I think that there is ample opportunity for the polls to swing one, then the other before the next election.

    The March 3rd – 7th Labour was polling at 40 and 41 %. It was all over for the Conservatives.

    The polling went to the usual. Now after a political set piece (may I suggest that most budgets are entirely in the Government’s favour – they hold all the cards and the opposition are blind in response) the Government has a poll boost.

    There a hundred and one ways events can change both ways in 14 months.

    There is as much chance of the budget producing a long term shift as there is of it being a temporary blip as the day to day experience of issues dominates thinking again.

    Look at the VI after a good month and then see if has stuck….

  33. @TOH

    Even @Roland Haines has put in a special guest star appearance. Good to see him back. I think he may be able to trace his roots back to the dawn of UKPR Time.

  34. A few observations about events and policies.

    Some more or less likely events, which might cut in different directions
    – bad winter and NHS (especially A&E) headlines
    – war related to Russian expansion
    – horrible cuts-related stories
    – BDO publishing nonsense about NHS fraud repeated on Panorama (apparently)
    – Unknown unknowns by the bucketload

    SOme comment on policies
    – pensions – somebody said it’s mainly for people with large DB pension pots. I disagree. For one thing, it’s about government taking their hands off ‘our’ money, which has potency for many even if not affected. For another, I think it will resonate with folks with small DB pots – paying off the credit card, having that holiday of a lifetime, buying that Audi (probably not many Lamborghinis)
    -inheritance tax – raised by DC today as something for the manifesto (having allegedly been blocked by LDs this time) Will this play as more tax cuts for the rich (£320K or whatever the limit is now is a hell of a lot more than most people can muster) or as a giveaway for ‘hard working families’ (most of whom, recent polls suggest, vote labour)

  35. catmanjeff

    Of course it can. Colin and I have both suggested caution and wait and see some more polling. Events between now and 2015, and the Governments reaction to them will probably dictate the result of the next election.

  36. @TOH

    May I have the pleasure of fully agreeing with you :)

    (Mark it in your diary)…

  37. GUYMONDE

    @”Some more or less likely events,”

    Well I hope some of those aren’t “likely”.

    They are all a bit grim aren’t they ?

    What about. some like this :-

    CPI down to +1.5% pa / Pay up 2.5% pa
    Continuing fall in unemployment.
    GDP growth this year +3%

  38. catmanjeff

    Marked with A star! Is it a first?

  39. 3% GDP growth this year has an outside chance Colin

  40. @Bramley

    “are you better or worse off than you were four years ago?”

    I feel the pertinent question is:

    Would any government have made people feel better off in the last four years (while presumably preventing economic bankruptcy)?

    It’s a rhetorical question, as answering it, reduces the exchange to ‘my party would have done better than your party’. Suffice it to say, I doubt any political party would have had the UK in a better position since 2008. That’s not defending the current lot, so much as declaring them all useless. :))

  41. Presumably Fahrenheit 451 has been banned from being sent into English prisons – along with any other book.

    When does the treadmill get reintroduced?

  42. OldNat
    The treadmill could solve our energy problems. Hook them up to the grid! Would it be more or less popular than fracking I wonder?

  43. One big difference between the current conservative PM of Norway and the conservative PM of the UK, the Norwegian PM is pushing hard for her socialist predecessor to get the NATO top job whereas DC preferred a French socialist with dodgy morals to Gordon Brown as head of the IMF

  44. A week really is a long time in politics

    I still think labour are favpurites to win

    ukip will not collapse to pre 2010 levels
    althought the lib dems will recover the converts seem pretty steady

    sadly I think it will ne milliband by 20 seats

  45. RinN
    I’ll bet he’s happy now with Christine L though.

    I am in French mood. Le Figaro (and all French newspaper sites) has an exploded map with the results of the local elections and I spend hours just gazing at all the little areas that I have visited. The Greens are well ahead in Domme (Dordogne). It’s like going on holiday again.

  46. Pete B

    Can’t remember who, but the suggestion was made in the 19th century, that treadmills should be harnessed to provide energy, to show prisoners that work produced positive results.

    The idea was rejected as meaningless activity was a worse punishment.

    Looks like the UK Govt (wearing its Eng Govt hat) has decided that meaningless inactivity is even better – back to the 18th century by them!

  47. Colin,

    I sincerely believe that we’re only about a year or so from Arthur Scargill becoming PM. People will come round.

  48. @Colin
    I agree how the economy unfolds will have an impact but it’s not an ‘event’. Economy matters that fit the bill might include – good events – Hitachi trains have just relocated their HQ to London, Jag opening new factories etc; bad economic events would be factories closing, orders going overseas etc.
    I was trying to point to events that could go either way (eg war generally good for tories, equally I think stuff about NHS fraud, no matter how nonsensical would be good for Con VI whereas bad news about NHS being squeezed would be good for lab, most likely) .

  49. OldNat
    The treadmill could solve our energy problems. Hook them up to the grid! Would it be more or less popular than fracking I wonder?

    I recall the Monster Raving Loony Party proposing putting joggers on treadmills to run old folk’s houses. I think this was a policy when they wanted to convert the EEC butter mountain into a ski slope.

  50. Catmanjeff
    One of my favourites was when they wanted to harness all the hot air from Parliament to heat homes. Where’s the new Screaming Lord Sutch? They just need a charismatic leader then who knows? I have to say that one or two UKIP members might have fitted the bill. Present leadership excepted of course.

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