For a Thursday there was rather a lot of polling today which I’m only just getting chance to catch up with.

Firstly we had Ipsos MORI‘s monthly political monitor for the Standard. Topline voting intention figures are CON 31%(-1), LAB 37%(+2), LDEM 9%(-4), UKIP 15%(+4) – a good boost for UKIP following the Clegg-Farage debate. The 15% for UKIP matches the highest they’ve ever received from the pollster, last reached in April 2013.

The rest of the MORI poll had some questions on perceptions of the leaders, which showed the familiar comparisons between Ed Miliband and David Cameron: Cameron is seen as a more capable Prime Minister and better in a crisis, Miliband is seen as less out of touch. MORI also found a budget bounce in George Osborne’s reputation, nudging his approval rating into positive territory. 47% are now satisfied with his performance as Chancellor, 44% disatisfied, the best MORI have found for a Chancellor since 2006 (and the best for a Tory Chancellor since 1980). Full details of the MORI polling are here.

The second GB poll of the day was the daily YouGov poll for the Sun. They had topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 36%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 14%, but also had some Maria Miller questions here. 83% think she was right to resign, 63% think Cameron should have sacked her immediately rather than standing by her.

Moving on from GB polls, there were also two Scottish referendum polls, one showing a slight but insignificant drop for YES, one showing things static. The first by Survation for the Record had referendum voting intentions of YES 37%(-2), NO 47%(-1). Tabs are here. Interestingly enough Survation also asked Scottish voting intentions for the European elections. Most Scottish voting intention questions at the moment don’t interest me that much given the referendum result will shake things up either way, but the European election obviously comes before the referendum. Survation have figures of CON 13%, LAB 30%, LD 6%, SNP 39%, UKIP 7%. That would give the SNP three MEPs, Labour two and the Conservatives one. The Lib Dems would lose theirs and UKIP would fail to break through in Scotland.

The second poll was a Panelbase one commissioned by the YES campaign, which showed the same five point lead for NO recorded in the previous two Panelbase polls: YES 40%(-1), NO 45%(-1). Tabs are here.

327 Responses to “Thursday polling round up”

1 2 3 7
  1. @BField

    And rather radical unlocking of a Linux Distro to boot!

  2. Not connected to anything but Hope Anthony will not mind too much .Very sorry to hear about the death of Richard Hoggart,the author of The Uses Of
    literacy,which I read as a sixteen year old back in the dark ages.Father of
    Simon Hoggart of course.

  3. I don’t often comment on the Scottish Independence Referendum polls but, for what it’s worth, I’m where I’ve always been on the subject; I see absolutely nothing in these polls to suggest that anything like a majority of Scots will vote for independence in September. Take the latest Survation. 37% for a Yes vote with five months to go and, beyond some slight narrowing in the No lead, no momentum to be seen at all. In fact the Yes vote has declined slightly since the last poll. If they were going to win, I’d expect to be seeing the odd poll showing a lead for Yes by now. There are none to be seen, not even a neck-and-neck.

    If I’m wrong, and I could be, there must be an awful lot of inscrutable Scots just waiting to turn turtle at the eleventh hour! My instinct tells me that it’s done and dusted and will probably break 60/40 for the No campaign when people cast their votes. I predict a pretty underwhelming turn out too. 50-55% tops.

  4. Apologies for all the wrong capital letters etc.

  5. @Spearmint

    Thanks for the spreadsheet download :)

    That’s a lot of work in there!

  6. @CROSSBAT11

    I agree. I can’t think anyone with any doubts will vote yes. It’s not like electing a government for just four or five years – it’s a one way street. (And, of course, it’ll be despite the ‘no’ campaign, not because of it.)

  7. The high number of don’t knows makes the independence polls very hard to interpret. Perhaps they will show a stronger tendency towards voting Naw come election day, but what is the evidence for this hypothesis?

  8. @Anne in Wales

    I had not heard. A great and humane man, and a sad loss.

  9. I agree with you, CB11.

    I have thought right from the start of all this that there is not the slightest chance that Scotland will vote for independence. I have seen nothing since to change my view on that.

  10. I would imagine that the Scottish ‘yes’ voters will be more motivated to turn out – judging by the commentariat.

  11. Mike Smithson [email protected] 15s

    Tonight’s YouGov/Sun poll CON 32 LAB 38 LD 8 UKIP 14

  12. YouGov/Sun poll tonight – Labour lead doubles to six points: CON 32%, LAB 38%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 14%

    Think polls will be showing Labour edging towards 40%, with the Tories staying in the low 30’s. Reason is that although UKIP take votes from Labour, ahead of the EU election the Tories will suffer more from leaked votes to UKIP.

  13. Compared to before the budget Lab seem to be down a touch and the UKIP up but I doubt there has been a direct movement.

    Various movements and churn going on with this being the net effect for now at least.

    The fact we got no cross-over post budget matters little except in the media narrative and slight morale impact.

    It may be that no cross over polls even with moe occurs this year unless the Tory conference is before Labours’ anyone know the order to save me googling?

  14. Just to compare:

    Fifty-five polls in there. Split into five sets of eleven (oldest to newest), see the average ‘No’ lead:


    And the two new polls with an average of a 7.5% lead. Hopefully with more and more polls, we can see if there’s a decent trend one way or another. Fifty five polls over two years or more is not going to tell us much.

  15. Fifty five polls over two years or more is not going to tell us much.
    It tells us that Yes has never been ahead in any of them. It also tells us that the current gap isn’t even the smallest it has been: pace the oldest group showing 11.7% & the most recent 14.7% – or have I misunderstood your data?

  16. @crossbat 11

    Why so pessimistic about the referendum turnout?

  17. Mr Beeswax,

    The polls are already weighted by likelihood to vote, as far as I know, so anything beyond that is very speculative.

    Will side x’s voters get discouraged if the polls show them to be behind? Will side y’s voters not bother to turn up if they’re sure they’ll win? Beyond subject-reported reported intentions to vote, and for unique events like the September referendum, we can only blow hot air.

  18. I agree that if a Yes vote were likely to happen we would have had at least some outlier polls showing a lead by now.

    It has always seemed clear that while there was a majority in favour of change getting 50% for Independence would be tricky for the Yes campaign.

    I’ve always been more interested in what might follow a No vote. Scottish Lib Dems look in all sorts of trouble. They’ll be lucky to hold more than Shetland and Charlie Kennedy’s seat in Skye & Lochaber at the next election.

    The question is will another party manage to implode as well? The SNP could fall out over fundamentalists vs gradualists and whether the referendum strategy was right. This scenario is often put to me by Labour activists of my acquaintance but it seems unlikely to me. I think the SNP will bide their time on work on the basis that devolution is a process not a destination.

    Or Labour could start fighting over how much (if any) additional powers should go to Holyrood. I think this is less likely to be an ideological split in the party and more an MPs vs MSPs issue. I still expect them to win way more MPs than anyone else in Scotland come 2015.

    For me the really interesting election from a Scottish point of view is Holyrood in 2016. The Scottish Labour manifesto for 2016 will be particularly revealing I reckon.

  19. Guymonde FPT

    Re internet sites

    I don’t know if anyone has created a table of Scottish news/politics websites by hits/unique visitors etc.

    The information-bearing independence-supporting sites seem to be the most popular. I presume that’s because they act as a counterbalance to the union-supporting MSM.

  20. How likely is an outlier poll in a straightforward yes or no referendum ?

    A poster above predicted , albeit from the South of England , that turnout would hover around 50 % . In fact , voter registration is at levels unseen since before the poll tax .

    The latest poll predicts an easy re election for the SNP at Holyrood and a Westminster lead for the SNP of 5 % .

    With figures like that as a backdrop it is very wide of the mark to predict an easy win for the No side .

  21. Presumably I can talk about it now, but this week we had a somewhat painful rebuttal of much of SNP policy on energy from Ed Davey. While normally I would be cautious about Westminster reports, for reasons of bias, on this occasion it is an area that I know something about, and was largely in line with my own observations already stated on here.

    Scotland exports 25% of power produced to England, but that’s only 5% of rUK consumption, and less than they buy in (cheaper) from France and the Low Countries. More interconnectors are being laid now, so the import capacity is increasing quite rapidly, giving the UK access to more supply options, at lower cost than Scottish renewables. There is also significant talk of UK developing renewables in Ireland, with cross border subsidy, but with lower transmission costs.

    Scottish renewables (like the rest of the UK) are heavily subsidised by UK consumers. With 9% of the consumers and 36% of the renewables output, Scotland is trousering a relatively very large portion of subsidies, paid on energy bills.

    The SNP appears to think that a single UK energy market would mean that these cross border subsidies would continue. Politically, I have always felt that this was pie in the sky – UK consumers would not wish to support that, and would rather back cheaper imports from elsewhere. I think the SNP and other nationalists underestimate the emotional response to independence from south of the border. Rejection of the UK by Scotland, will, in my view, inevitably lead to an element of rejection of Scotland by the UK. Things won’t be the same.

    Without subsidies, it’s difficult to see how Scotland could meet it’s targets for renewables development, and without UK consumers, it would need to pay for these subsidies itself, while not being able to guarantee the market price for the production.

    The UK does face energy supply problems – that’s for sure, but this doesn’t automatically mean boom times for an independent Scotland. It just means that the UK would seek the cheapest supply options, which would not mean Scotland.

    Add to that the dramatic recent developments in solar power – cheaper than wind, not something that Scotland is well placed to harvest, and with interconnectors able to bring bulk supplies to southern England from Mediterranean countries a likely option in the next decade.

    The SNP’s assumption of a golden age of Scottish power always looked weak to me, and all the political and market movements lead me to think I was correct.

  22. @JimJam

    In my 50 years following politics the conference order has always been the same: TUC, then Lib, then Lab, and finally Con.

  23. The oder of the 2014 conferences according to Wiki are:- Green, TUC, Lab, Con, LibDem, Plaid

    UKIP and SNP haven’t declared yet.

  24. Northumbrianscot

    In common with virtually every other indy-supporting poster on here, I’ve said regularly that, from the evidence, a No win was the most likely result.

    While, obviously, I hope that the recent upsurge in interest in the issue will result in a sufficient number of people changing their minds, I’d need more evidence of that to be more optimistic.

    Mind you, foreign diplomats in Edinburgh seem more optimistic than me!

    The question of what happens after a No vote is one which I’m astonished hasn’t been made clear long before now.

    It’s been clear for a long time that two-thirds of Scots would coalesce around a Devo-Max arrangement where taxation and social welfare were devolved.

    This debate could have been killed off a long time ago by offering something like that. Indeed a law could have already been passed by Westminster to that effect, to come into operation on 19th September if Scots voted to remain under the UK Parliament.

  25. @Alec

    There is an internal consistency to Ed Daivey’s position but it seems unwise to add further to the negative mood music from London.

    While the Better Together campaign seem convinced what the Scottish electorate need is some more threats I can’t imagine comments like this are going to help Ruth Davidson’s chances of increasing her vote share come 2016.

    Why not talk up the benefits of the union to energy policy, promise to honour existing contracts post independence and say future developments would be subject to negotiation but more difficult than before. Scots can understand a nuanced position like that better than a “we’ll no buy your energy ever again” type threat which comes across as childish.

  26. @Oldnat

    The Question is though who is going to offer 2/3rds of Scots a Devo Max option? I’m just not sure Scottish Labour MPs can bring themselves to support it which is why I wonder if t could really shake up Scottish politics in a significant way if Scottish Labour is seriously divided over the issue?

  27. @Amber


    It also tells us that the gap is closing as the vote approaches (what’s the point in having a 20% lead two years away from the vote?).

    I suppose it also tells us that the more the referendum is in the news, the narrower the gap gets. That in itself suggests that things will get closer as the day approaches.

    I wasn’t drawing too many conclusions from the the 55 polls Amber, but if we want to we can draw anything from any poll, or group of polls.

    Oh and the ‘current gap’ is the most recent polls of 10% and 5%, or 7.5% on average, which suggest that the conclusions above are being reinforced.

  28. Alec

    ” Rejection of the UK by Scotland, will, in my view, inevitably lead to an element of rejection of Scotland by the UK. Things won’t be the same.”

    You may well be right that those in England (I’m not sure that you can generalise that to Wales and Northern Ireland, and I doubt you have any greater insight to their views than I have) would interpret a Yes vote that way.

    If the perception in Scotland was that you were right (and I have no evidence either way) then I suspect that the reaction would be the exact opposite of what the No campaign would want.

    Incidentally, is it your view that a small victory for No would result in English voters feeling no sense of rejection, while they would feel that with a small Yes victory?

  29. Northumbrianscot

    We can only judge by the actions and policy statements adopted by the various UK parties – and whether Scots feel that Westminster would actually implement any such proposals from their Scottish branches.

    On the latter, polling has suggested that only a third (or less) believe that any Labour proposals would actually be implemented – and even less about any Tory ones. The theoretical SLD position is much more in tune with the aspirations of most Scots, but I doubt that anyone thinks they would ever be in a position to implement them – even if their English MPs agreed.

  30. @ Statgeek

    Yes, if the next 3 polls are all by Panelbase, it likely will show a 5 poll group which averages about 7.5; I can hardly wait…

  31. Northumbrianscot

    Of course, i forgot that the UK parties actually had put their devolution proposals from the Calman Commission into law via the Scotland Act 2012.

    So maybe we already know the future governance of Scotland after a No vote.

  32. @Oldnat

    “This debate could have been killed off a long time ago by offering something like that. Indeed a law could have already been passed by Westminster to that effect, to come into operation on 19th September if Scots voted to remain under the UK Parliament.”

    I suppose that in theory, the 580 odd MPs that sit in the HoC and are not representing Scotland could undo it with another law the day after that. That’s one of the crux matters. That being part of a larger collective has advantages, but It seems the advantages less the further North one looks across the UK (or I should say the further from London one gets, as it’s not all to the North.

  33. @ OldNat (11.41)

    Introduction of devo max in the event of a no vote is not a foregone conclusion imo. As Alec wrote (11.16), Scottish rejection of UK as shown by many comments of the SNP is resulting in an opposite rejection in England (can’t speak about Wales or NI). In several conversations I have had with friends, their attitude has been along the lines of “if that is what they want, then good riddance”. Poll data from rUK backs this up, showing a majority in favour of a yes vote although imo. most people accept that we are better together.

    IMO the only way that rUK voters would be accepting of devo max is for the UK to become a federal system with significantly greater independence for the English regions.
    Living in the NE of England I already feel that we are the poor relations cf. Scotland. I am sure that people in the SW of England as well as other regions feel exactly the same.

    I am sorry that the SNP quest for independence has created such a situation as I have a great liking for Scotland. Walked 18 miles from the border to Jedburgh last week and thoroughly enjoyed it, although apart from a couple of people at a farm, all we saw were sheep. I also make at least one annual trip to Edinburgh. However, in the future I may be restricted to manning the machine guns on the border :-)

  34. @Amber

    I don’t spend any time poo-poo-ing this polling company or that polling company. I didn’t look through he 55 for the ones I liked or didn’t like.

    Perhaps we should look at one Panelbase versus another Panelbase to get a better idea of polling variation.

  35. “IMO the only way that rUK voters would be accepting of devo max is for the UK to become a federal system with significantly greater independence for the English regions.
    Living in the NE of England I already feel that we are the poor relations cf. Scotland. I am sure that people in the SW of England as well as other regions feel exactly the same.”

    I agree with that Peter: problem was that when they had the chance, instead of getting on with it the Lab govt tried to persuade people to vote for it – and they don’t seem to like voting anymore.

    Which way will you be pointing the ole machine guns by the way?

  36. Amber

    If all polls were from a single pollster, then they would indicate any trend in current public opinion. Polls are only reliable if a particular pollster has a proven record that their current methodology has a proven track record in accurately measuring opinion for the particular purpose.

    If you can refer me to any pollster that has a proven track record in accurately measuring opinion on a referendum on Scottish independence that would be – somewhat amazing!

    You are perfectly entitled to prefer pollsters that reinforce your views. Many people do that.

    Personally, I prefer to go by the shifts in the average of all the pollsters polling on the topic.

    One or more of them may be “right”, or none of them might be remotely near.

    We’ll be able to decide on that on 19th September.

    In the meantime, for Anthony’s sake, can I suggest that people refrain from making unsubstantiated claims about the “unreliability” of the Panelbase polls.

    Panelbase has already issued a demand for retraction of a Twitter comment (not unrelated to some of your earlier comments. The Scotsman has been forced to publish an apology and retraction for suggesting that the Panelbase polls were unreliable.

  37. Statgeek

    Jeez! You’re even more cynical about Westminster than I am! :-)

  38. Peter Bell

    You really think that machine guns will be necessary to prevent the impoverished of England fleeing to freedom? :-)

    There is absolutely no need for Devo-Max to be restricted to Scotland, That’s what most Scots want/will accept. If other parts of the UK want that too, then voting for it would seem to be the most sensible forward.

    If people choose to vote for parties that prefer to keep power in Westminster/Whitehall, then they have to accept the consequences.

  39. On Energy

    Not surprising that Alec finds Westminster analysis convincing.

    As with all products, however, “other products are available”.

  40. Guymonde

    You may be interested in this analysis of the 2 official campaigns internet effectiveness.

  41. @Crossbat & Bill P

    In the course of your chat with Colin, he said the following…

    “@” 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.”


    Problem with Col’s response to you is…

    …Using the size of the deficit as a measure of Austerity isn’t very good. You can make loads of cuts and not see the deficit come down because the cuts may also see a loss in tax revenue and increase in welfare costs. As indeed happened…

    In this regard, the deficit provides an indication of whether or not the measures to try and improve the financial situation have been any good or not.

    Similarly, if you rely on the deficit as the indicator of Austerity, then you could have a profligate existence where one’s expenditure massively exceeds one’s income, debt balloons… people counsel more Austerity but you say you are already being Austere because you have a big deficit!!

    So Bill’s contention remains largely untouched by Colin’s assertion.

    Secondly, when ToH were discussing the polling on fairness the other day, I gave the Yougov polling figures on the matter…

    Yougov March 23rd/24th 2014

    “Thinking about the way the government is cutting spending to reduce the Government’s deficit, do you think this is…”

    Being done fairly = 30%
    Being done unfairly = 53%
    net = 23% unfair

    … so I’m not sure where Colin’s “8% fair” figure comes from…

    We have had many cuts

  42. (Soz about the last line… copy-paste shennanigans…)

  43. Also, while I was looking at the polling, I was rather suprised to see the extent of support for a Mansion Tax.

    For a tax on homes worth 2m, annual tax of 1%
    61% Support (even 53% Tories support)

    For a tax on homes worth 1m, annual tax of 1%
    50% Support (37% Tories)

    …. which could be fun should Lab wind up in coalition with LDs…

  44. Carfew a rare told you so if I might be forgiven?

    At the time of the first GO/DL budget I was not the only one who said so but it was highly likely (obvious I think) that the timescale enunciated for a balanced budget was unrealistic given the nature of spending in the UK and the impact on demand of the projected plans.

    A partial nuanced U turn was always imo going to happen and the slow down in the pace of deficit reduction as a result.
    The Euro-Zone problems was the main cover but it would have happened imo anyhow for political reasons.

    I do think that GOs and other coalition politicians rhetoric (like Greece etc) was well over the top and added to the suppression of demand further by dampening consumer confidence and more than necessary…. but as a lefty I would.

    Some (not all by any means) of the ‘recovery’ has been pent up demand being released which will fall back probably before the GE – affect on GE result, wish I knew?

    (NB accept ToH and others have a different analysis economically but I have tried to keep my comments to ‘political impact and realities in our Economy.

  45. @ Peter Bell

    I agree that hopefully one of the results of a no vote in Scotland would be progress towards a proper Federal system including much more in the way of powers for English regions.

    My one great political regret from the last Labour government was the rejection of the NE Regional Assembly. My impression of that vote (having already moved away to Scotland at that point) was that the twin problems were a lack of real useful powers for the assembly and a reluctance to move entirely to single tier authorities especially in Northumberland where people had a strong attachment to district councils.

    Now North East England has no districts I wonder if an assembly with decent powers could get off the ground? Some of Ed Milibands thoughts on beefed up LEPs / City Region planning have some potential to develop into something positive.

    I think a major flaw in any English regional devolution at the moment is the regions themselves. Only NE, London and possibly Yorkshire are currently drawn right for decent devolution. I’d like to see some much smaller City Region based areas to be developed.

    For example in the North West you would probably want a Manchester City Region (GM plus High Peak, Cheshire East maybe Warrington) a Liverpool City Region (Merseyside plus Halton, Cheshire West, West Lancashire and maybe Warrington), a Central Lancashire (all Lancs except Lancaster and West Lancs) and a Cumbria and Lancaster region.

    Splitting the current NW region into 3 or 4 areas which have a real affinity to each other and genuine common transport and economic linkages would be much more sensible.

  46. @JimJam

    Yep, there were many who predicted cuts wouldn’t work as advertised. And in the end, a stimulus was required, but they found a way to do it without much borrowing, via underwriting mortgages, and maybe now the Pensions changes may also release some cash into the economy. Shame they didn’t see the impact cuts might have on the economy. and found an alternative stimulus sooner.

    One could say much more but I am having a minor domestic crisis at the mo’ owing to a leaky boiler. Still, on the bright side, I am looking forward to the days of future Austerity. Because if the size of the deficit indicates the level of Austerity, and a large deficit means we are being less austere, then by the time we are in surplus that must mean we are being really effin’ austere, when in fact it it may be simply down to having more growth.

  47. @Oldnat (12.05am) – re my thoughts on the rejection of the UK by Scotland and the response. I don’t restrict this to England, and wasn’t really sure why you brought England into this. There has been a good deal of coverage about Welsh and NI figures expressing deep concerns about their situation after a yes vote, so my sense is that this really is a UK wide issue.

    Also, my use of the word ‘rejection’ could be a bit misleading. I was trying to get across the idea that at present, the natural search for solutions is to cooperate across the border. This works in all kinds of ways.

    Post independence, over time, this emphasis will erode, and it will become a simple choice to achieve the best outcome. There will be no political pressure to ensure things happen that benefit Scotland as well as the UK, as UK voters won’t have an interest in Scottish affairs.

    I expect this to lead to a gradual drift apart – not dramatic, and not a closing down of the border etc, but the SNP assumes economic links will stay as they are, but they won’t, in my view. Energy policy is likely to be a key example of this drift.

  48. Statgeek’s own data begins with an 11.5 & ends with a 14.5. So over the past there’s been ups & downs but the earliest & most recent groups of 5 show an increase for ‘no’ & should – in the opinion of the person who produced the data – be ignored; the focus should be on the 2 polls which are the beginning of a new group.

    It’s the ‘yes’ proponents who are ignoring the other firms in favour of Panelbase; & that’s what makes me smile.

    I have a history of not ‘liking’ certain firms. ComedyResult – even when they produce results which suit my beliefs; & also Angus Reid who failed to impress me, even when they were showing some big leads for the ‘red’ team.

    It’s interesting to see the vim & vigour which is applied to defending Panelbase; I never saw any spirited defence of ComRes or Angus Reid when I expressed my personal reservations about those firms.

  49. Given that Alex Salmond quotes the unnamed source in Nicholas Wyatt’s Guardian article (March 29th) approximately eight times per minute during his interview on R4 this morning… isn’t it about time this government minister, (“senior government minister” as Salmond puts it) came forward?

1 2 3 7