The fortnightly Opinium poll for the Observer is now out and shows the same sort of narrowing we’ve seen in other post-budget polls. Topline figures with changes from a fortnight ago are CON 32%(+2), LAB 33%(-2), LDEM 10%(nc), UKIP 15%(-1).

The only other poll I’m expecting overnight is the usual YouGov/Sunday Times poll.

141 Responses to “Opinium/Observer – CON 32, LAB 33, LD 10, UKIP 15”

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  1. 3 lab lead my guess – the fact it’s not been released makes me believe/hope it’s not neck and neck or cons ahead

  2. The interesting question is whether this is merely a well-received budget bounce, the product of a plethora of positive (excessively so in my view) news stories; or something more enduring, related to a growing sense of economic optimism which the budget served to crystallise. If it is the former, it will dissipate fairly quickly I imagine. If it is the latter, I would expect the polls to be tight for a while. I think it is probably the latter.

  3. YG being tweeted as Lab 40 : Con 33.

  4. No consistency from the pollsters it seems.

  5. You have two outliers – Labour on 33 or 40 respectively.

    The average remains about 37, with the Conservatives on around 34.

    I know it’s natural to get excited about outliers, but the story here is still a c.3% Labour lead.

  6. Many brows being wiped in Brewer’s Green tonight, perhaps.

  7. Budget unwind if that’s correct? Not sure and it’s not being replicated in other companies polls – still l take it after the last week

  8. Ukip increase on the back of the debate harming the cons?

  9. Well,I can’t remember a time when so many new people appeared on this site.

  10. This Opinium poll has got me thinking a bit. I’m as guilty as most of being preoccupied with who is winning the “all important” two horse race and, in so doing, I think I may have been losing sight of the much bigger picture.

    The bigger picture, which this poll is highlighting for us all to see, isn’t the narrowing Labour lead and who’s up a point or down a point, it is just how appalling both the main parties are doing. If we’re honest, all the polls are showing it too. 32% plays 33%, for pity’s sake. If that isn’t a message saying, “I don’t like this government and I ain’t much keen on the alternative” then I don’t know what is.

    It’s increasingly looking like two bald men fighting over a comb and I know us Labourites and Tories love a bit of yahboo and one-one-upmanship, but these polls ought to be sending shivers down both our spines.

  11. A very good evening one and all ;-)

  12. @PAUL H-J: “One should not assume that Cons cannot increase upon their 2010 share of the vote in 2015.”

    I think it’s sufficiently unlikely as to justify the assumption. Circumstances are unlikely to be more favourable, particularly the state of Labour; UKIP is pretty certain to poll significantly better and, if nothing else, demographic changes mean they have to do better just to stand still.

  13. Crossbat

    32/33/10/15 still gives one of the old parties an overall majority with the two of them, together, collecting almost 600 seats.

    Within the rules of the current game – FPTP – the electorate will have produced a very clear result.

    But, should we be using FPTP? Of course we shouldn’t.

  14. I’ve been mulling this over and I have come to the either brilliantly simple or breathtakingly stupid assumption (you decide!) that all the major parties need a rebrand.

    “Tory” brings to mind either Tebbitesque meanies chasing single mothers with a stick or enormously fat stockbrokers leching over the work experience girl.

    Labour brings to mind either sanctimonious moralisers like Diane Abbott or policy-free moral blanks like some former PMs. Oh, and they’re rather liberal with their expenses claims.

    Liberal Democrat has become synonymous with – somewhat amazingly – not believing anything and if you say you believe it you’re probably lying and willing to discard it for the sake of power.

    So new names and logos, maybe? Labour can’t have SDP since that party still technically exists, nor can it have the Socialist Party since a bunch of trots run that particular outfit. Either nick Workers Party, People’s Party or adopt their NI counterpart’s name of SDLP.

    For the Tories, Worker’s Party would be ridiculed quite a lot. People’s Party (like the Spanish right) wouldn’t be a bad idea though. National Party could also work (I think that’s Tim Montgomerie’s preferred one).

    As for the Liberals, well their name was a big problem back in 1988. It would also mean they have to decide their position. Are they equidistant (in which case Centre Party or The Democratic Party would work) or are they the liberal left/right in which case they could revert to simply being The Liberals or maybe even The Radical Party.

  15. YG being tweeted as Lab 40 : Con 33.
    Dead cat bounce or normal service being resumed? ;-)

  16. In every election in the last 35 years the incumbent Government has increased it’s polling percentage of vote in the run up to the general election. Conversely most of them have ‘mid term blues’.

    When considering the improving economy and other factors including the image issues for Milliband and Balls everything we are seeing here to my mind demonstrates that the Tories will be the biggest party at the next general election.

    If you’re a betting man put your cash on blue to be the biggest party..

    What could be fascinating though is if both UKiP and the LD’s both have enough seats to help either party form a majority Government. Personally I think UKiP will fall away and there will be a lot of tactical voting in 2015 so I susprct LD’s will still keep 40 seats and UKiP will get maybe a dozen.

  17. I think Crossbat’s comment at 10.36 encapsulates the main political story of the last few years, probably since the invasion of Iraq.

    You could add in that the LD’s figures since the last GE send a message that “I ain’t much keen on the third party either.”

    It’s not a view I share, but it definitely seems to be out there.

  18. Howard,

    I was intrigued as to whether many here would recall the key factors which might affect distribution of seats against UNS.

    The three traditional ones are:
    – incumbency (lots of new MPs elected for first time in 2010
    – new boundaries / seats in 2010 (linked to above)
    – LDs historically do better in seats they are defending than national trend

    The other two, which may become clearer after the two key elections later this year are:
    a – distribution of UKIP vote – especially if they out-poll Lab in the Euros
    b – outcome of Scottish referendum

    The first batch would suggest that (other factors aside) some of the apparent Lab bias in the boundaries will be unwound.

    UKIP is a bit of a wild card. Even if we accept that UKIP draws most of its support from former conservatives, it does not follow that this is drawn uniformly across the country. It may even be disguising regional patterns that would benefit Cons in terms of seats.

    As for Scotland, well there are all sorts of possibilities….

  19. Is this 40/33 genuine? Sounds a bit out of line to me.

  20. @ Old Nat

    I think you should have added “Touché!” to that ripost. I’m still giggling.

  21. Alec

    I did say it was tweeted! However, the source is George Eaton of the New Statesman.

  22. ANN in WALES.
    Your line sounds like the master, Bill McClaren in the Rugby:

    ‘And they will be cheering in the bar of the Ponty rugby club tonight

  23. @Amber

    “Dead cat bounce or normal service being resumed? ;-)”

    I’ll take a stab at the previous half a dozen being strange cross breaks, with the most recent poll favouring the Con VI. This one might be similar with them favouring the Lab VI.

    Tuesday’s polls will settle the debate (yeah right!).

  24. Chris Lane,
    Forgive me but I am afraid I do not know what you are talking about.I think Red
    Rag knew what my post meant though.

  25. Yes- if you go to Sunday Times twitter page and “expand” the tweet and then resize the front page article to about 10 times the size of your screen the article does say 40/33.

  26. @ Shevii

    I like you :-)

  27. Just a quick reminder to everybody that the clocks go forward tonight

  28. @Martyn

    Incorrect. Clocks go forward at 1am :)

  29. 1% lead to 7% seems quite a leap, especially as the 1% wasn’t an isolated finding. Budget bounce gone already?

    On another note, being as inflation is falling, can Labour plausibly maintain their line of attack on the “Cost of living crisis?” Okay things were bad a year or two ago, but what’s happening now and in the near future concerns most people I would think.

  30. I can’t remember, even during the AV campaign, a time when it’s SO obvious that the National conversation should be about implementing PR.

    How can it not be brought into play during the next Parliament? It’s going to have to take a feat of mass misdirection on the Labour party to maintain it – as surely they’re the only party now who could support such an unfair and anachronistic way of running elections.

  31. @ Ann in Wales

    Surely you can guess the reason for the appearance of so many new posters!
    As for Chris Lane, I have assumed for some time that his posts are entirely ironic.

  32. And Sunday Times lead is that “Labour will take axe to student fees”. Could be a sensible move going after those who might not otherwise vote.

  33. @KeithP

    For many many people the cost of living crisis is still very real. Energy, transport and housing costs (mortgages and rents) are astronomical in London and the South East where a large percentage of the UK population happen to live.

  34. In the last two days Populus has put Labour on 37% – Opinium -33% – Yougov- 40%. What is the reality? For what it’s worth Opinium’s findings are the older – survey ended on March 26th.

  35. I just made the mistake of delving into the #CancelColbert debacle. I hate being a moderate and putting centre- before my political position, because it means both sides shout at me. Makes me rather glad this place is basically civil.

    Anyway, yes a 7 point lead is unusual at this point. But we need to see full figures and dissect it before we can assess what’s what. There may be some unwind from the budget, or there may not. Let’s wait and see.

  36. Oh, can’t comment on the tuition fee thing until at least Monday. Living with ferociously right-wing students gives me a bit of a skewed perspective of general student opinion.

  37. Lab 40%(+3)
    Con 33%(-3)
    UKIP 11% (0)
    LD 9% (0)

  38. @Mr Nameless

    What are the weighted poll numbers per party ID in the Sunday Times/You Gov poll?

  39. “surely they’re the only party now who could support such an unfair and anachronistic way of running elections.”

    Not while there’s still a Conservative Party, I suspect.

    I know it’s necessarily a perfect guide, but the AV referendum didn’t do much to suggest that either the Conservatives or wider public opinion much favour electoral reform. Labour seemed to cover a wide spectrum, but that spectrum includes a substantial proportion of reformers.

    Of course, the distrbution of opinion could change in both directions if the GE delivers a Labour majority – on the principle that losers tend towards doing things differently until they become winners. And winners tend to favour doing the same thing until the system lets them down.

    By the way, as one of the newer posters referred to above, greetings. I’ve been reading here long enough to see many of you as long-time acquaintances. I’ve hesitated to butt in before now. But in such interesting times it seemed like a shame just to sit quietly like a child at a dinner party, listening silently to the grown-ups.

  40. The Optimum findings are older so fit with the budget bounce. My theory is and I have seen this before that when folk realise that the Cons are drawing level, the ABT vote goes to Labour so we see a Lab bounce back. If I am right then this week we will see Lab leads back to pre-budget levels OR you gov is a rogue

  41. Given the general trend of posts this evening, supporters of the free market should note that in the betting market…

    Paddy Power have remained unmoved by recent polls – Lab majority 11/8, Con 11/4, Hung 6/4

    Bill Hill have moved both Lab and Con OM out – Lab from 11/8 to 8/5; Con from 11/4 to 3/1 – with hung coming in from 6/4 to 6/5

    Best odds on Oddschecker are now 13/8 Lab, 7/2 Con, 6/4 hung. Lab have moved out slightly with the others unchanged.

    So the market view is a close race between Lab OM and a hung parliament with Con OM as an outsider.

  42. Muddy Waters

    “grown-ups” is a very generous description of the regulars on here! :-)

  43. @Mr N
    As I said upthread, one swallow doesn’t make a barbecue, (or a Burns Night).

    Take it from me, it doesn’t matter where you are on the political spectrum you’ll be attacked from all sides. Very character building.

  44. postageincluded

    True. A decent Burns Night requires a lot of swallows (some of which might be of food)!

  45. Oldnat

    Possibly. But benchmarked against the usual standard of political discussions on the interweb, “grown-up” is not an especially high bar – mainly involving not writing whole messages with the caps lock on or invoking Nazi Germany earlier than the third post in any given thread.

  46. @ Muddy

    ‘Geriatric’ is a more accurate description of many of us than ‘grown up’

  47. @Old Nat

    As you know, I only ever attend for the poetry.

  48. Guy – Hehe. We baby-boomers need to stick together. The trouble with the youth of today is that they’re just not sufficiently interested in cross-breaks, 95% confidence intervals and the nuances of representative sampling methodology. It wasn’t like that when I was growing up, I can tell you.

  49. ‘m deeply shocked. Anthony appears to have updated the website so that it automatically adjusts for British Summer Time rather than getting round to changing it about a week later. What else will we find to complain about twice a year?

  50. crossbat11

    The bigger picture, which this poll is highlighting for us all to see, isn’t the narrowing Labour lead and who’s up a point or down a point, it is just how appalling both the main parties are doing. If we’re honest, all the polls are showing it too. 32% plays 33%, for pity’s sake. If that isn’t a message saying, “I don’t like this government and I ain’t much keen on the alternative” then I don’t know what is.

    Well the result of the 2010 GE was ‘36% plays 29%’, so it’s hardly a new situation and the political class seem to have survived with their self-esteem intact. Indeed the combined Con + Lab score has declined for a long while:

    2010 65%

    2005 68%

    2001 72%

    1997 74%

    1992 76%

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