This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun had topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 36%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 14%. The three point lead for Labour is lower than usual, though nothing to get too excited about as it is well within the normal margin of error for a lead of five points or so. The 14% for UKIP is right at the top end of their their normal range. YouGov have had them at 14% a couple of times this year, but you need to go all the back to November to find them any higher.

I saw a couple of people commenting on this poll and on yesterday’s Populus poll in relation to the ongoing troubles around Maria Miller, asking about whether there would be a Miller effect, or pondering why it hadn’t damaged the Conservatives.

Obviously this is just one poll so one probably should read too much into it. More importantly though, I would not expect to see any impact at all from the Miller scandal anyway. As ever, the vast majority of the Westminster soap opera has no discernable impact upon voting intentions. The majority of people do not follow or watch Westminister events, will not be aware of who the people are or what they are supposed to have done. Those people who are interested in politics will tend to view events and scandals through the prism of their pre-existing political loyalties. For example, if a Labour politician is involved in a scandal, Labour supporters will be more likely to see it as a smear, or at worst one bad apple amongst an otherwise decent party; Conservative supporters will be more likely to see it as some major failing and characteristic of a rotten party… and vice-versa for scandals affecting Conservative politicians). I expect all these things have a drip-drip effect upon party image, but not one that is measurable or quantifiable.

A good reminder is to go back and look at the ups and downs of the polls in the last Parliament, or the Parliament before and see what has changed polls. Most of the time they trundle along larged unaffected by short-term events – leadership changes affect them, budgets sometimes do, recessions and recoveries, wars, mid-term elections, party conferences (for a week). The weekly Westminster stories of speeches, policy announcements and scandals rarely do – the main exceptions of I can think of in recent years are the expenses scandal in 2009 (but that was the whole political class, a huge event); Charles Kennedy’s resignation (but he was a party leader) and I suppose Labour’s black Wednesday in 2006 (when Charles Clarke, John Prescott and Patricia Hewitt all managed to get themselves in a mess in the same week). Perhaps Maria Miller will join that list, but I really wouldn’t count on it.

191 Responses to “A reminder of what moves polls”

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  1. Significant events ?
    But then we don’t immediately know what those are , do we ?

  2. Will this kind of poll be the new average? Despite a tremendous variability of polls recently, the shift to a small average lead seems solid.

    Depending on how the Euro elections impact the two main parties, we could see this change significantly in the next few months.

    Ewen Lightfoot,

    We have an idea. It would be surprising if David Cameron blowing his nose very loudly in PMQs shifted the polls a lot, and it would not be surprising if Ed Miliband’s very dodgy business deal with Kleenex wouldn’t shift polls.

  3. It turns out the Farage v Clegg debate was watched by just 1.7 million. Soundly thrashed by Emmerdale, Coronation Street, Masterchef, even Big Star’s Little Star.

    And it seems to have negligible effect on the polls, but just maybe perhaps a very slight edge up in UKIP support.

    If that had so little impact you can be sure that 99.99% are utterly unaffected by the Maria Who? affair and pretty much no one is changing their vote because of it.

  4. WPeden
    Presumably your examples are hypotheticals, and could be spun into significance , or otherwise, either way.
    Really big stuff like wars , or sustained , unambiguous ,economic growth say, they are recognisable sooner rather than later , as significant.

  5. @Anthony W

    I broadly agree with your analysis and I can’t see the Miller imbroglio, certainly in its present form, having any impact whatsoever on the polls. The press are in a bit of a lather about it, and this keeps the pot boiling long after it should have gone lukewarm, but unless something fairly sensational emerges, it will inevitably peter out as other issues jostle into the news. Miller the politician will slowly sail into oblivion and I’d be mightily surprised if she stood for re-election in Basingstoke next year.

    What I think is more interesting to ponder, however, although much more difficult to measure, is to what extent these sorts of negative stories about politicians suppress a party’s vote. In other words, do they limit still further the numbers of people every likely to vote for them? I think there is growing evidence from the polls that the two main parties are fishing in ever smaller pools and I wonder if we’ve arrived, or are shortly to arrive, at a situation where the Tories and Labour have now got what they’re ever likely to get in terms of percentage shares of the vote, maybe give or take a percentage point here and there. Could a configuration of 36/33 become the name of the game and more or less locked in now?

    If so, forget fanciful notions of late surges and swings and great blocks of votes going hither and thither between now and the next General Election.

    As I ponder these things, it becomes ever clearer and more important to me that we need a new voting system to reflect this changed world.

  6. UKIP on 14% on you gove twice is interesting. 1.7 million viewers for a political programme is a lot. I’d think it was the biggest audience Farage has ever got. I think UKIP have been helped by it.

    but yes, very wise post. this parliament the formation of the coalition and the 2012 budget have been the only really momentous things, poll wise…

  7. It may have an indirect effect, e.g. in motivating local activists.

  8. @ W Peden

    The impact of the Euros will be interesting. Most years I would have said it won’t have a great impact particularly because the low turnout makes it a poor GE indicator.

    The aspect that interests me this year is UKIP. The conventional wisdom seems to be that they will perform well (even very well) in the Euros but drop back dramatically in a GE largely to the benefit of the Tories.

    It increasingly seems that the GE will depend significantly on how many UKIP voters the tories can get back – the polls are generally showing a fairly static Labour vote with the gap between them and the Tories shifting primarily because of shifts between the Tories and UKIP.

    I am beginning to wonder whether if UKIP top the poll next month that won’t seriously dent the Tories ability to get the switchers back in 12 months time. The Tories main strategy for attracting Kippers back seems to be the *wasted vote, just letting Labour in” argument.

    Given that most people pay little attention to politics between elections and aren’t terribly politically sophisticated isn’t it going to be hard to play that card if vast swathes of the electorate believe it’s rubbish because UKIP won the last national election?

  9. CB
    I couldn’t agree more as far as the electoral system is concerned. My pref is for the German system , imposed upon them in 1948 by Attlee’s Labour Govt. Proportionately equitable yet retaining the local member.
    However, using my crystal ball l see EdM P.M. ,with a 30 seat overall majority, the siren voices will be urging sticking with FPTP, this time it will be different, the Tories are finished, this time…

  10. @Crossbat

    I do suspect there is a tipping point where small things add up into an overall perception or even a meme. Omnishambles budget was a collection of things, Sleaze in the 90s… AW refers to Labour’s Black Wednesday… a lot of the time, it isn’t “events” per se, but parties or media trying to establish a theme they hope will stick…

    My view is that the things which have the bigger effects tend to be visceral (directly experienced), salient (matter a lot), and straightforward (capable of being put as no-brainers).

  11. @ Crossbat

    Good post. Can’t argue with Anthony’s assessment. Ultimately it would be amazing if one person changed their voting intention as a result of the Miller goings on unless it starts to impact on Cameron in a managerial or moral type of way.

    My only slight proviso would be on the Con v UKIP impact. A single issue such as Miller is not going to switch support but it adds into one of UKIP’s main arguments of LibLabCon all the same. The Tories will be hoping that the economy is such that UKIP supporters will come back to the fold- UKIP will be hoping that enough Miller type stories keep those voters in the UKIP camp.

  12. i believe the impact of the Marie Miller affair is being underestimated here. The Daily Mail poll showed the high level of disapproval across the party divide and a surprisingly high level of disapproval from Tory voters, Unfortunately for Labour their own history in these matters and representation on the Standards Committee mean they can not exploit the Tory embarrassment and find themselves included in the perception of many voters that all politicians are corrupt.The main winners from this are UKIP who once again can point the finger at the Establishment and represent themselves as the party in touch with real people. They may not gain hugely in VI but I think
    it reinforces the beliefs of many of their supporters and may attract some of the soft Con/Lab vote.

  13. Just back from Miliband’s speech in Birmingham this morning.

    Trying to avoid being partisan about these matters, it formed what IMO was a coherent argument that set out a series of wider economic reforms to address the cost of living crisis, including a big emphasis on measures to boost regional economic growth outside of London and also to ensure that the wider population share in the benefits of that growth. He was scathing about the failure of successive governments to devolve resources and suggested that centralisation was one cause of economic failure in undevolved England regions. The fact that he singled out Labour ones as well as Conservative suggesting to me that he’s sincere on that.

    And no, it won’t in itself shift polls immediately. However, it does suggest that the theme of the cost of living crisis theme isn’t the one trick pony its detractors claim and is capable of forming the glue to link together a myriad of popular themes within a coherent and understood popular message. And parties with coherent and understood popular messages can shift the polls in the longer term.

  14. @Peter Crawford

    “1.7 million viewers for a political programme is a lot. I’d think it was the biggest audience Farage has ever got. I think UKIP have been helped by it.”

    Remember also that 1.7 million is only the number of people who watched the whole debate live. There will be many millions more who watched excerpts and listened to sound-bites on the peak time TV and Radio news bulletins, not to mention the regular internet junkies who would have seen it later on the web an I.player/YouTube. That’s what will have delighted Farage and his advisers; an audience reach well beyond anything he would have achieved, or could have dreamed about, before now.

    Just imagine what the old ham will get up to in a few weeks time when the Euro and local elections get underway. Emboldened and fortified, I think Mr Farage will be hawking his conscience around every TV and Radio studio in Britain.

    And loving every minute of it too! :-)

  15. @ Ewen Lightfoot

    “My pref is for the German system , imposed upon them in 1948 by Attlee’s Labour Govt.”

    I agree with you about the benefits of the German system. What is really news to me is that the Attlee Govt came up with it – I didn’t know that – fascinating!!!

    Question: So does that mean that the French and American zones also accepted a British electoral mixed PR/FPTP compromise idea in 1948 for their zones too, or was it rolled out later to all of West Germany from the British zone example?

  16. Tony Dean
    As far as I am aware the job of giving the Germans a workable and appropriate electoral system was given to us, as it was felt that the French and US systems, being Presidential, were too hazardous, given the recent history of following one leader. Don’t forget it was essentially Year Zero for the Germans, they did what they were told and have been such quick learners that now they are seen , rightly, as model democrats.

  17. From previous thread
    @Rosie & Daisy

    woof woof!!


  18. I am curious, you say the Maria Miler scandal doesn’t affect polls. On the news bulletins they are saying the longer it draws on and the fact that the PM is supporting her will damage the Conservatives.

  19. (from previous thread)

    @Peter Crawford

    “The idea that ukip is taking votes from everyone equally is a nonsense which needs to be quickly addressed. They are tory killers, pure and simple.”

    The charts seem to disagree. See the 5-poll rolling averages for the four parties since end of 2011 to present (LDs in green due to white backgrounds):

    Now there are caveats at the end of this post, so bear them in mind.

    As we can see, looking at the general trends, in 2012 UKIP was around 7-8%, while after March 2013 they were more in the 12% area. So a gain of 4-5% overall.

    Con VI dipped from 33% to a low of 29%, but they are back at 33%, or thereabouts. The LD’s VI popped up from 9% to 11%, but is down again to 9-10%. Meanwhile, Lab was on 43% and are now around 39% (perhaps lower in the most recent polls).

    Churn or otherwise (and I don’t see folk going from Con to UKIP to Lab), Lab is down 4-5% and UKIP is up 4-5% since 2012, with the Con and LD VI remaining fairly static in comparison.


    The national VI may indeed be such that Lab has given 4-5% to UKIP, but I don’t think it’s a major problem for them (yet), and here’s why:

    The South: Lab folk shifting to UKIP in the South, are basically shifting a lost vote to a lost vote, or perhaps a winning vote i lucky.

    The North: Labour safe seats will not be overly affected by small shifts to another party, so Lab still wins them, and if UKIP is gaining Con VI in the North too, Lab has less to fear.

    So on the surface, Lab has leaked VI to UKIP. However, the regional trends might make it that it affects Con at an FPTP level more than Lab. It all depends on their overall national VI, and whether or not Lab losses to UKIP are in marginal seats (which is unknown).

    I might cobble together some regional charts on this later. I’m fairly good at cobblers anyway. :))

  20. I accept what you say Anthony but it probably goes a long way to explain why MP’s are the least trusted profession in the country followed up closely by Journalists (sorry about that).

    Both are trusted less than Bankers or Estate Agents

  21. toonie

    “i believe the impact of the Marie Miller affair is being underestimated here.”

    I agree: it feeds into a narrative about well-off people looking after themselves which is particularly damaging to the Conservative party.

  22. @ToH

    Chris Riley

    “they seem to have largely concluded that recovery has happened despite the Tories rather than because of them.”

    As far as i know there is no polling evidence to support that view. Do you have any?


    I seem to recall there was some a while back, if anyone can dig it out. As far as I can remember people polled put economic performance down to a range of factors… Tories, Labour, EU etc. but I don’t think any one factor was particularly dominant…

  23. Those people who are interested in politics will tend to view events and scandals through the prism of their pre-existing political loyalties.

    Actually that’s not always true. If you look at the detail of the Survation poll on Maria Miller:

    The percentage of Conservative and Labour supporters that thought she should “resign as cabinet minister” was identical to the decimal place! And it was similar for those who though she should go as an MP. Even the percentages that felt that Cameron was “wrong to stand by Maria Miller and let her keep her job” (and usually mention of a Party or its leader sets off the partisan response in many voters) was only 74% Con versus 82% Lab.

    UKIP voters were even more opposed, but then they’re usually the ones most opposed to everything. Of course none of this will necessarily alter polling on VI and even if it does it will probably be temporary, but it may feed into a general perception of Cameron being weak and mainly interested in looking after his cronies and perhaps harden up some weak UKIP-ers who would normally return to the Tories during an election campaign.

    What I found most interesting though was the variation in response in age groups. Survation’s youngest group (18-24) were much more tolerant of Miller’s behaviour, especially when you consider that, as usual, this was the group with the highest number of Don’t Knows. For each older age group the percentage who thought she should go got ever higher.

    Are we seeing a ‘Thatcher’s Children’ effect where those who have been raised under the prevailing doctrine of neo-liberal self-interest are more likely to see such self-enrichment at public expense as OK? Even with that, the under-25s are still opposed 2 to 1, but the age gradient is quite striking.

  24. It’s a combination of Thatcher’s Children and an attitude of “welp, that’s what politicians do”.

  25. Oh and some said the banks, obviously…

  26. @Valerie

    @Rosie & Daisy
    woof woof!!

    Good to see the little rascals reappearance, although I’m told that they took their defeat at Crufts quite badly. Maybe that’s why they disappeared on their long sulk!


    “I am curious, you say the Maria Miler scandal doesn’t affect polls…..”

    I think the point Anthony was making, which I agree with, is that it’s not the sort of issue that will persuade an existing Conservative voter to withdraw their support and/or to switch it to another party. Accordingly, no big dip in the Tory VI is likely to be detected, or corresponding uptick for other parties, and I think he’s right too to say that the public at large won’t be paying much in the way of detailed attention.

    That said, I think there is a subliminal effect from the drip drip negativity about politics in general, personified by Miller’s antics, that does eventually seep into the national consciousness. You hear this on the doorstep and it’s why I talked about its more likely suppressant effect on support that is available to the mainstream parties. UKIP, or the “People’s Army” as it’s now known, will no doubt be beneficiaries.

  27. “However, it does suggest that the theme of the cost of living crisis theme isn’t the one trick pony its detractors claim and is capable of forming the glue to link together a myriad of popular themes within a coherent and understood popular message.”

    It’s definitely vague enough, e.g. it’s never been clearly stated whether it’s about (a) rising prices or (b) falling real average incomes. Or (c) falling real average incomes for some. Or (d) particular rising prices within some consumer’s basket of expenditure. Or…

    Hence I think that the “cost of living crisis” has been more effective because it’s been vague enough to link to some important issues, rather than because it’s a powerful idea itself.

    Roger Mexico,

    We’re a more liberal generation in all respects. “Why not?” was the slogan behind the behaviour of the Beatles and Led Zeppelin as well as Thatcher and Donald Trump.

  28. drunkenscouser (in a previous thread)

    I’ve just looked at Populus’ recently released aggregate of all March’s polls, and if you look on page 76 of the tables under-25 respondents were 64-36 female, and as we go up the age spectrum there are more men, with over-65 respondents 54-46 male.

    This is mirrored in many other Populus polls I have looked at, and I’m wondering why online pollsters seem to be getting so many more responses from young women than from young men?

    Maybe the educational & professional position young women find themselves in mean they check their email more often?

    Could part of it be down to changing gender roles, with today’s girls no longer content to be twee, demure little ornaments to be seen rather than heard, and instead seeing it as normal to be as opinionated as the boys and this want to put their views across in opinion polls?

    It’s a good question and it doesn’t just refer to Populus. Look at practically any YouGov weighting data and you’ll see the same pattern. Women outnumber men in the youngest age group but this gradually reverses as you get up the age scale. The actual pattern in numbers of people is the opposite of course as slightly more boys are born than girls, but women have a slightly lower death rate in all age groups. Thats why the age/gender combinations are weighted separately.

    Some of it may be down to changing attitudes and assertiveness, but I suspect it may also have more to do with time and technology. Both sexes in the older age group will have retired, but older women often have more to occupy their time and so less ability to sit down and answer questions and indeed sign up for panels. Men may monopolise the computer and indeed in that age group may be more used to using them.

    For younger groups (under 60) women may actually be more used to computers via work than men are and their time may be structured differently (shorter formal working hours but more done at home) which makes it easier to slot in the time to answer a poll. Also most polling is on consumer matters and women will tend to be more interested in such matter and make up the majority of such panels. Multiple points of access to the internet in a household is probably more likely as well – hence less problem with ‘hogging’.

  29. The polls are very interesting but hard to read.

    Several major political events could be feeding into them and pulling in different directions.

    1. Farage beats Clegg, Clearly this is good for Ukip but may not be so bad for the LibDems. Clegg up for a position supported by many more people than support the LibDems. Not many people saw it but many saw excerpts and reporting. +3 to Ukip, +1 to LD, -2 to Lab, -2 to Con

    2. The Budget, big Conservative win at the expense of all. Arguably more at the expense of Ukip whose voters in the form of the elderly were being targeted. + 4 to Con, -2 to Ukip, -1 to Lab, -1 to LD

    3. Maria Miller, medium Conservative loss possibly most benefiting ‘plague on all your houses’ clean skins Ukip. Labour have been very quiet about this. – 3 Con, +2 Ukip, +1 LD

    One can see various ways in which Conservative, Ukip and Libdem win or lose, but Labour have been out of the limelight and it is hard to read any of the effects as being positive on them.

  30. Statgeek,

    What do you say to Mike Smithson’s analysis of the composition of the UKIP vote in which 43% of those saying they supported UKIP voted Tory in 2010 while only 7% voted labour?

    You are doing the usual thing of starting to look at the polls in the wrong place. Con VI BEFORE the 2012 budget was never below 36%…Ukip were never above 4-5%

    Yes there have been toings and froings, I accept that at a higher VI for UKIP labour suffers, but the i have to disagree with you with the interpretation. Broadly, I repeat the rise of UKIP has harmed the tories far more than any other party. This is intuitively grasped by the book about UKIP, entitled “revolt on the right”…that’s what they are.

  31. Crossbat,

    I agree the BBC exposure Farage got in the debate was massive. It’ll be interesting to see how UKIP do in polls for the next 4-5 months. it may well be the debate, coming together with the euro poll next month, could be an inflection point…

    I have always thought that the aftermath of the eu elections would mark the beginning of the slow death march of the government, crushed between a monolithic and fairly stable labour bloc of around 35% and the purple hammer wielded by farage. [horribly mixed metaphors i know]

  32. CB11,

    “… I think there is some danger further down the road that Labour could leak support UKIP’s way …”

    I’m genuinely interested in knowing your thinking on this. In what circumstances do you see this happening? And, do you see it as a gain for UKIP just from Labour or will they take votes from all the parties?

    Or, was it just a throwaway line?

  33. @Peter Crawford

    “What do you say to Mike Smithson’s analysis of the composition of the UKIP vote in which 43% of those saying they supported UKIP voted Tory in 2010 while only 7% voted labour?”

    Churn. Lab folks going to DK and DK folk going to UKIP. It still doesn’t explain why Lab are down 4% and UKIP are up 4% from 2012 to 2013.

    Maybe it’s a neat coincidence. Maybe it doesn’t factor in people who voted Lib Dem in 2010, then shifted to Lab after the tuition fees thing. They might have been Lab inclined, but shifted during Cleggmania, so don’t show up in the Lab 2010 stats, but are still Lab inclined.

    Lab went from 29% to 43% between 2010 and 2012, and are now down to 38%. The hardcore Lab voters, voting Lab in 2010 are less likely to shift to anyone, especially if Lab are doing better in the polls.

  34. @Crossbath

    I think you’re right. We REALLY need a new voting system.

  35. Owr Daisie was just saying that its a bit of a catch 22 situation in the east of Ukraine with the authorities scared to act in case Russia intervenes and scared not to act in case Russia intervenes.

  36. Statgeek,

    I accept that a great deal of churn occurs between elections.

    Yet actual general elections are the only data point we have.

    If the make up of current UKIP is now in (april 2014) 43% 2010 Tory voters and 7% Lab 2010 voters. i suggest that the rise of ukip since 2010 has been a bigger problem for the tories than labour, with respect to the ability either of the two main parties to improve on their performance in the 2010 General Election.

    I know this is terribly simplistic, and all sorts of charts and tables and figures can be drawn up and pointed to, to show precisely the opposite, namely that ukip is an even bigger threat to labour blah blah.

    The book about ukip is not called “revolt on the left” for the very obvious and not very subtle reason that it isn’t that. It’s a revolt on the right which, if unchecked, will kick the tories from government.

    Sorry to be so simple-minded.

  37. Ewan Lightfoot

    “the Tories are finished, this time…”

    LOL! People have been saying that for 100 years at least.


    Although the British did design the post-war German political system (and arguably federalism was at least as significant as the voting system), under the Weimar Republic the democratic system was decades ahead of the UK’s. Germany switched from single-member constituencies to PR in 1919 and both men and women had the vote from the age of 20.

  39. Paradoxically the biggest impact on polls seems to come from General Election results!

  40. “they seem to have largely concluded that recovery has happened despite the Tories rather than because of them.”

    “As far as i know there is no polling evidence to support that view. Do you have any?”

    I think it’s a pretty sound rule of thumb that governments (of any party) will be blamed when things go wrong but given no credit when things go well.

    [Hold up, weren’t you the person attacking other people for not providing any evidence for their baseless assertions the other day? Hmmm? Perhaps be a bit less aggressive towards people doing things you do yourself in the future? AW]

    [And, for the record, on page 4 of this this is the evidence you should have quoted – AW]

  41. crossbatty

    Ta for you analysis on the previous thread and I am pleased you understand.

    Re the Crufts thing, the gurls thought it was crOfts and that they were entering a witty banter competition.

    They then let themselves down by wuffing with larfter at all the show dogs prancing around with their owners with not a trace of mud on them anywhere. [The dogs, not the owners – although they looked pretty smart as well’]

    The gurls were disqualified and Rosie asked:

    “Do those dogs never get out owr Dad?”

    Valerie: Hello

  42. Perhaps it is a measure of how little the “sheeple” care about being ripped off by politicians that the Maria Miller affair is having so little effect on the VI.
    This sends a message to Westminster “Take what you like from the trough boys and girls because nobody is going to care enough to stop you!”

  43. Anthony – did the jailing of 4(5?) Labour MPs for ‘theft’ effect the polls at that time, or did people see that as “just on of those things you expect from politicians?” I’m goin to guess not!

  44. AW

    Thanks for the reference to the relevent polling questions in your comments to RogerH.

  45. Many of these questions are perhaps answered in the latest Populus polls for Euros and GE. I have not had time to study in detail yet but data is very interesting.

  46. @AW
    You didn’t mention the EU ‘Veto’ Bounce. (Thought I’d give it capitals). It lasted through from mid December 2011 to March 2012 and then collapsed quite quickly. It only brought Con level (a few leads) with Lab but mainly both high at 40-ish. So I think that is the most significant event of this parliament (and amazing really as it changed not a thing here in the UK and the EZ went ahead with their deficit agreement anyway). Our deficit is running at 5.5% although i don’t know what we were asked to sign up to, namely whether it was 3% for example.

    What was also noticeable was that all this preceded the UKIP bounce and I am struggling to remember what brought that about (was it a by-election?).

  47. @AW:

    Are you sure you’re reading that post correctly? The middle bit is a quote (hence the quote marks), not my comment.

    This is mine: ‘I think it’s a pretty sound rule of thumb that governments (of any party) will be blamed when things go wrong but given no credit when things go well.’

    I don’t believe that slightly tongue in cheek observation could be described as aggressive.

    And by ‘other people’ I assume you mean one particular person whose comment was criticised by a number of people, not least for its apparent sexism.

  48. Artair – nope, not a sausage. Exactly the sort of thing that doesn’t show up in voting intention polls.

    Howard – I didn’t include the “veto” bounce as I was looking for examples that could be described as scandals of a sort, rather than policy announcements or actions.

    I guess the most significant “events” in terms of polling this Parliament are either the formation of the coalition itself and the consequential decline of the Lib Dems in the months that followed and the 2012 budget and the “omnishambles” period that followed it.

    UKIP benefitted from the omnishambles budget, but have also been helped along by the publicity from various by-elections and local elections. Look at their support of a graph and it’s a sort of saw tooth/ratchet pattern – spikes of publicity from good election performances with them plateauing at a higher level after each one.

  49. @Peter Crawford

    To be clear, I’m not saying that UKIP is a bigger threat to Labour. If anything, all I’m saying is that “it’s not all Con VI”.

    As I said earlier, the hardcore 29% Lab in 2010 are very unlikely to shift. The 7% of UKIP’s 12% in 2014 being 2010 Lab will be a small amount anyway (0.84% of national VI, or almost 1% off of the 2010 29%).

    It’s those that went to Lab between 2010 and 2012 and then moved away again were trying to track down. :))

    And, like I said, the VI shifts from Lab to UKIP (regardless of their size) don’t seem to be such that they will affect Lab in the RoS or North regions too much (as far as we know). It will be the marginals, and I speculate the marginals in the Midlands that will be the ones to watch, as UKIP’s VI ranges from 8% to 19%.

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