Two new European election polls over the last couple of days. A Populus poll for the FT shows Labour in first place, with the Conservatives and UKIP fighting for second place. Topline figures are CON 27%, LAB 31%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 25%, GRN 3%. It was conducted between the 4th-6th of April, so after the Clegg-Farage debate. Full tabs are here.

Meanwhile a new TNS-BMRB poll also has Labour in first place, but only narrowly ahead of UKIP with the Conservatives in quite a distant third. Topline figures are CON 21%, LAB 30%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 29%. Fieldwork was also post-debate, and tabs are here.

All the European election polling so far is collected here. Note that some of the variation is down to treatment of likelihood to vote. ComRes and TNS BMRB take only those people who say they are absolutely certain to vote, which helps UKIP. YouGov include all respondents and tend to show less positive figures for UKIP (but provide a crossbreak for only those certain to vote which is also very strong for UKIP). Populus weight by likelihood to vote, which is somewhere inbetween (everyone is included, but people who are unlikely to vote are weighted down).


168 Responses to “Populus and TNS European polls”

1 2 3 4
  1. L Hamilton

    Survation poll for the triumverate of the Record, Better Nation * Dunde Uni’s 5 million Qs.

  2. New Forest Radical,
    Well perhaps,but chance is a slippery thing.I wouldn’t bet my house on it.

  3. This 33/36/10/14 configuration, or something in that territory, is starting to get spookily repetitive, isn’t it, and over a quite a few different polling organisations too (Survation, Opinium, ICM, You Gov, Populus)? The UKPR rolling average is more or less telling us the current state of play.

    Talking of repetition, because I know I’ve said this many times before recently, but the bigger picture being painted by these polls is the tepid performance of both the two larger parties. I say tepid, some may say shocking.

  4. CROSSBAT11.
    Bad news for Labour, I think.
    Maybe David M could do better, when sacked by MUFC.

  5. Two major parties were getting 82% of VI back in 2011. Now it’s down to ~70%, which is hardly a great endorsement of either of them.

  6. Have you seen Tom Pride’s latest?

    Man Utd fans beg David Cameron to offer his full support to Moyes:

    http://tompride.wordpress.com/2014/04/09/man-utd-fans-beg-david-cameron-to-offer-his-full-support-to-moyes/

    Wicked, but very funny.

  7. @Crossbat11

    Talking of repetition, because I know I’ve said this many times before recently, but the bigger picture being painted by these polls is the tepid performance of both the two larger parties. I say tepid, some may say shocking.

    I think the writing has been on the wall for Labour and the Conservatives for a long time.

    I don’t think they will ever command the support they once did, because as a society we are increasingly diverse. We don’t fit into two neat boxes any more.

  8. @PHIL HAINES

    Stop with the persecution complex. Once it wasn’t updated for ages when Tories were biting at Labours heels, it still displayed 10-15 point leads!

    Just accept the BBC are a slow bunch.

  9. @ChrisLane1945

    “Bad news for Labour, I think.
    Maybe David M could do better, when sacked by MUFC.”

    David Miliband? I thought he was at Sunderland. :-)

    I think Paul Lambert may be looking for a job in a few weeks time.

  10. 1. Dr Fox

  11. @shevii

    Combing a five-year EU election cycle with the four-year local election cycle takes you back to 1994.

    A veritable Labour landslide… and Ukip on one percent:

    Lab 44% (62 MEPs), Con 28% (18), LD 17% (2), Green 3% (0), SNP 3% (2).

    In 1994 turnout was at 36.8%, and in 1989 (36%) the only two years Labour topped the poll. (2004 saw the record high of 37.6%.)

    Record low was 23% in 1999.
    34% in 2009. Average turnout across the EU tends to be at least 20% higher than in the UK.

  12. *Combining*

  13. 1 David Laws (Valid Wads)
    2. Dr Fox

  14. @Skippy

    I would be prepared to accept that my paranoia on these matters is misplaced, and the polling bit of the BBC political website is basically just totally and utterly useless. “A bit slow” is being charitable to them though.

  15. The next 12 months are going to be very testing for Cameron and his leaders ratings may decline. There are issues facing Cameron and the Tories, which cannot be discussed here, as some relate to ongoing court cases.

    It has always been assumed by some that the 2015 GE would partly be a leadership contest between Cameron and Miliband. Some have thought that Cameron was always going to look the stronger leader, but this may not be the case. Maria Millers resignation is just one issue, but there will be many others between now and 7th May 2015. The polling on Camerons handling of Millers expense row do not good and this is reflected in some of the headlines in tomorrows newspapers.

  16. On the falling Labour/Conservative vote, arguably parties are becoming more ideologically homogenous and generally co-ordinated, which both (a) limits their appeal and (b) encourages tribalism, which makes even smart people irrational-

    http://www.vox.com/2014/4/6/5556462/brain-dead-how-politics-makes-us-stupid

  17. There has been some speculation about whether or not we’ll see a typical drift back to the government. I have my doubts: (1) UKIP will likely gain in prominence between now and the election, and pick up erstwhile Tory votes; (2) the government is in an exceptional period in which the scope for the usual pre-election giveaways is very limited. This can be contrasted with Labour in 2008-2010, who had a rationale for giveaways on a vast and targeted scale. The political problem about tying your hands with austerity is that it makes it hard to feed marginal voters.

    We may see some Tory recovery over the next 13 months, but not enough to stop Labour getting a majority in the 10-30 range, in my entirely unmodelled and unscientific prediction. (Which assumes a Naw vote in September, and this is less likely than when I first made the prediction.)

  18. RHuckle

    “Maria Millers resignation is just one issue, but there will be many others between now and 7th May 2015”

    Bat as the Man U spoof suggests, this is by no means the first time DC has misjudged matters. Indeed there was a period when he seemed to do a U-turn every week.

    As far as I can recall though, none of these has had an appreciable impact on his image/approval ratings. Why should MM or future errors be any different?

  19. Mr Nameless,

    Nature abhors a vacuum, and apparently there’s a considerable “protest vote” that will only vote for one of the main parties if there’s no alternative, and UKIP stepped into the gap left by the Lib Dems fairly quickly.

    To say that Labour and the Tories are on a secular march to extinction (in the sense of major marginalisation and losing their position as governing parties) is an understatement at this point.

  20. Bill Patrick

    I don’t know if the situation in Scotland is in any way comparable, but here the rejected parties seem incapable of dealing with rejection, and just carry on digging deeper.

    A total reconstruction of political parties would be no bad thing – here or at Westminster.

  21. Are they counting David Laws? Laws, Fox, Miller. I’ve forgotten the other three already!

  22. Andy can’t be counted, surely; he wasn’t a member of the cabinet.

  23. My current thinking on the Euro elections is Lab 1st with just over 30%, UKIP 2nd around 27-28%, Cons 3rd about 22-23%, LD 9 or 10% (oddly the same as their westminster polling).

    Conservatives are going to lose several seats, LD a few, strong gains for Labour and UKIP. Euro elections have been used by the electorate as protest votes for some time now and this looks the same.

  24. Oldnat,

    Perhaps they’ve just come to the conclusion that the Scottish people are 90 minute social democrats/liberals/conservatives?

  25. If Labour come 1st in the Euro elections, I’ll be amazed. As far as I’m aware they’ve done very little (if any) campaigning for them.

  26. It’s interesting that weighting by ‘certainty to vote’ favours UKIP. This suggests that support for the traditional parties is lukewarm, but that there are many voters who strongly support the ‘plague on both your houses’ position. That should be very worrying for the traditional parties.
    It could well be that UKIP turn out to have representatives who end up being just as corrupt as the old parties, but that’s in the future.

  27. Bill Patrick

    Good point! :-)

  28. I predict a 2-3% UKIP lead.

    Mostly because I got a letter today saying they intended to send leaflets to EVERY HOME in Wales and begin TV advertisements. They are throwing everything they have got at this EU election, and labour just don’t care enough.

  29. Pete B

    “there are many voters who strongly support the ‘plague on both your houses’ position.”

    Were it just bubonic, they might survive – but the growing evidnece of pneumonic plague should worry them a little more!

  30. Seems logical that UKIP will get their vote out for the Euros since the EU is their primary – even sole – concern. For supporters of other parties (or none) it’s more likely a secondary issue so less incentive to vote.

    Can’t see UKIP as being a straight swap for the LibDems as a protest vote, though, especially when in protest against the Tories. I would think most former LibDem protest voters would have been to the left of the Tories so more likely to switch to Labour or the Greens. (Has Green support changed noticeably since 2010, though?)

  31. @ Amber

    Just remembered Andrew Mitchell. How could we forget him – must have been the longest delayed resignation. With hindsight perhaps the delay was justified (re pl*b)although he should have resigned anyway for using the F word. While Hume and Laws could be in the six, I would have thought that what support was given was from Clegg rather than Cameron.

    Unfortunately, deteriorating memory is a terrible thing.

  32. Trying as usual never to comment on the poll(s) Anthony’s current looking at, it’s worth pointing out that YouGov’s poll on Miller resigning or not:

    http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/1yfd5vltk4/YG-Archive-140408-Resignation.pdf

    wasn’t ‘out of date’ when it was published last night at just after 6pm. It was the same (rather large) sample as in today’s poll, so releasing it early without it going into print editions was an interesting choice. You do wonder if it fed into Cameron’s decision to ‘let her go’.

    Anthony pointed out that the question on Miller resigning was hidden among other similar questions and stripped of any possibly biasing information and he might also have added that it was reversed from the usual way such questions are asked with the first and actively worded option being that she should stay. Despite all these attempts to prevent any technical anti-Miller slant, the results were almost identical to Survation’s poll taken on Saturday. In particular the most unusual lack of partisan influence that saw very little variation between the supporters of each Party[1] when Number 10 saw these figures confirmed, they must have realised there was no saving her.

    [1] Oddly enough in both polls, Lib Dems appeared to slightly more pro-Miller than the Conservatives – perhaps an anti-Press thing. In YouGov UKIP again were the biggest objectors and again we saw the Thatcher’s Children effect.

  33. The winner this week so far is UKIP.

  34. @BILL PATRICK

    “On the falling Labour/Conservative vote, arguably parties are becoming more ideologically homogenous and generally co-ordinated, which both (a) limits their appeal and (b) encourages tribalism, which makes even smart people irrational-”

    http://www.vox.com/2014/4/6/5556462/brain-dead-how-politics-makes-us-stupid

    —————-

    Handy link you gave us there, Bill. Well worth reading if anyone hasn’t gotten around to it…

  35. BILL PATRICK

    @” The political problem about tying your hands with austerity is that it makes it hard to feed marginal voters.”

    But this CoE has not engaged in “austerity” . Any table of comparative national fiscal contractions shows UK is not at the austere end of the list.
    Every time deficit reduction plans have undershot GO has extended timescale rather than tighten fiscal consolidation.
    Fiscal measures in UK have included tax reductions as well as welfare reductions.

    As for “feeding voters”-is an electorate with such low opinions of politicians in general really going to vote on the basis of a last minute handout from them ?

    Voters who can opine by a net 17% that “cuts” have impacted their lives, whilst saying by a net 8% that those cuts are fair ; and by a majority that those to blame were in power four years ago ; are perhaps not to be viewed as mere pavlovian dogs .

  36. Carefrew and Bill P
    Thanks for the ‘Brain Dead’ link , a right riveting read.

    Is Osborne staging a slow-motion Coup ?

  37. Thanks for the link Bill.

  38. Interesting to note that while some newspapers obsessed over Miller, and some studiously ignored it to focus on the Housing Boom… Only the Mirror seems to have put the actual important story of yesterday on the first page. (Critical error found in fundamental internet security system. You’ll need to start changing your passwords on all the services that have access to your bank/credit details/email/confidential data.)

  39. “@ Guymonde

    RHuckle

    “But as the Man U spoof suggests, this is by no means the first time DC has misjudged matters. Indeed there was a period when he seemed to do a U-turn every week.

    As far as I can recall though, none of these has had an appreciable impact on his image/approval ratings. Why should MM or future errors be any different? ”

    U-turns can be a sign of strength i.e that you are willing to listen and make changes. The public were also generally in favour of the changed policy position.

    The AC issue/outcome may or may not hurt more. We will have to wait and see. Judgement of Cameron may be called into question and I think the public may react. I am not sure this is already factored into Camerons poll ratings.

    As for Camerons generally favourable poll ratings, personally I don’t understand this. I think some members of the public are comforted by Camerons background e.g connected wealthy Etonian. They also like the way he comes across e.g. he speaks well, looking authorative. These may be important qualities, but they do not equip someone to effectively lead a government. People will make their own judgements after 5 years of Camerons leadership in May 2015.

    YG do regular polling on the leaders and we can see what people think are the qualities they have. At the moment Cameron is given some credit for being the current PM, with Lib Dems willing to be a little supportive as coalition partners. Some of the scores are not that good e.g being in touch with the concerns of the public. This could be important at the May 2015 election. Cost of living concerns will be a major issue at the GE.

    You raise the question about why future issues will affect Camerons ratings more than they have previously. My instinct, is that the last year of a coalition is going to be very difficult and there will be tensions between the parties. Particularly leading up to the budget 2015, Lib Dems and Tories will be arguing about what policies they want to see. There will be leaks to the media and Cameron is going to be under pressure to please all sides, which he won’t be able to do. Cameron may face more problems from Tories, than his Lib Dem colleagues.

  40. @Colin

    “As for “feeding voters”-is an electorate with such low opinions of politicians in general really going to vote on the basis of a last minute handout from them ?
    Voters who can opine by a net 17% that “cuts” have impacted their lives, whilst saying by a net 8% that those cuts are fair ; and by a majority that those to blame were in power four years ago ; are perhaps not to be viewed as mere pavlovian dogs .”

    You may be surprised to hear that I agree with a bit of this, certainly the first observation that you make and your later reference to pavlovian dogs. This is not an electorate that dutifully obeys the levers pulled in Westminster any longer.

    Where I disagree with you, assuming I get the gist of your comment about what the polls are telling us about where culpability for the country’s economic problems lies in the eyes of voters, I’d be a little more circumspect about the comfort you may think that this affords the Government, if I was you. It doesn’t appear to be reflected in voting intentions expressed in opinion polls nor, more tellingly, in ballot boxes where real votes have been cast, and there is anecdotal evidence emerging that the “we’re clearing up the mess that we inherited” mantra is starting to wear a little thin now, some four years into the lifespan of this Government.

    For evidence of this admittedly unscientifically derived theory, just tune into any TV or Radio political discussion with a live, presumably representative, audience and hear the collective groan when a government spokesman trots out the “it was all the previous lot’s fault” line. I’ve detected this reaction for the last 12 months or so now.

    You can’t retain political credibility if you claim credit for everything that’s gone right and blame everything that’s gone wrong on your predecessors. You can try, and it may even work in the short term, but not after four years in office.

    What would you say if Hollande went round blaming Sarkozy for the state of the French economy? He’s still got over two years up his sleeve as well compared to Cameron and Osborne! :-)

  41. Colin

    Re austerity, how much I agree with your last post, we are definitly at the “soft end” of austerity. Indeed Osbornes softly softly approach is my main issue with government (with Gay Marriage). As you know I would have cut much deeper and much quicker and IMO we would be in a better place than we are, not that I don’t think that Osbornes heart is in the right place, I just think he has been constrained by others especially DC.

  42. CB11

    I am not taking any “comfort”-I just expressed an opinion to Bill about his post.

    I have no idea what the electorate will vote for in 2015.

    We cannot predict that because we don’t know all the events & circumstances will pertain between now & then.

  43. Colin,

    Politically, rather than economically, what mainly matters with deficits is the change in the deficit rather than the size of the deficit itself. So the UK can have a very large deficit AND the coalition can lack room for pre-election giveaways.

    “As for “feeding voters”-is an electorate with such low opinions of politicians in general really going to vote on the basis of a last minute handout from them ?”

    I think it’s hard to overstate how low an opinion voters have of politicians, and also last minute handouts aren’t that irrational a way of distinguishing between being ruled by a variety of (at least for many people) fairly indistinguishable and distant politicians.

  44. Crossbat11

    “For evidence of this admittedly unscientifically derived theory, just tune into any TV or Radio political discussion with a live, presumably representative, audience and hear the collective groan when a government spokesman trots out the “it was all the previous lot’s fault” line. I’ve detected this reaction for the last 12 months or so now.”

    But on Sunday 30th March the response to the question
    Who do you think is most to blame for the economic
    problems that Britain has experienced in the last few
    years?
    the public said
    Last labour Government 41
    Coalition 12

    If I were Labour I would be really worried about this, we only have 13 months to go until the election.

  45. Very interesting front page in today’s Times.

    Seems that GO’s political antennae ( no doubt honed on the memory of a certain Bakery) , trumped DC’s sense of loyalty.

    I listened to DC very carefully yesterday & am willing to accept that he did not want to sack Miller when she had been “cleared” under the rules.

    What he missed however, was the public conclusion that if the Independent Commissioner said she owed nine times what the MPs said she owed, they believed the Commissioner. DC failed completely to understand that Process, seen from inside the Bubble at Westminster cuts no ice with the public who decide on the basis of “fair & reasonable” after reading ALL the detail.

    The other thing which struck me was the abject failure of any senior Tory from DC down to publicise the fact that under existing rules, IPSA & not the MPs would adjudicate on expenses. Even Lansley didn’t make the point as he foundered on Newsnight.

  46. We’re forgetting
    3 Chris Huhne
    4 Andrew Mitchell (Cheif Whip attends cabinet meetings)
    5 Tom Strathclyde, 2nd Baron Strathclyde. Resigned leadership of HoL to spend more time on business interests.

  47. @TOH

    And yet a plurality of those people say they will vote Labour at the next General Election.

  48. BILL

    @”Politically, rather than economically, what mainly matters with deficits is the change in the deficit rather than the size of the deficit itself. ”

    I don’t think that has been the case in UK. Labour have constantly focused on failure to meet deficit reduction targets. It was difficult for them to focus on deficit quantum, because their own plans would have produced larger ones.

    I don’t really understand your last para.

  49. TOH
    The percent blaming the last government is remarkably close to the sum of the Con and Lib support in all recent polls. Coincidence?

1 2 3 4