Sunday polls

No YouGov/Sunday Times poll tomorrow because of the Friday bank holiday, but there is an ICM European election poll in the Sunday Telegraph and a couple of Scottish polls.

The ICM European poll has voting intentions of CON 22%, LAB 30%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 27%. Labour first, UKIP a close second, the Conservatives in third is the same sort of pattern that Survation, ComRes, YouGov and TNS have all been showing… but is a contrast to ICM’s European poll for the Guardian earlier this week that had Labour six points higher, UKIP seven points lower. The difference is this one was conducted online, the ICM/Guardian poll by telephone.

The two Scottish polls are a new ICM for the Scotland on Sunday and a new Survation Scottish poll. I haven’t seen figures for either yet, so I’ll update tomorrow.

Survation also have another constituency poll done for Alan Bown, this time for Eastleigh, where UKIP came a close second in the by-election last year. Westminster voting intention in the Eastleigh poll stands at CON 28%, LAB 12%, LDEM 27%, UKIP 32% – which would certainly be a turnup for the books. It also asked about the borough elections in Eastleigh next month, and found local election voting intentions of CON 23%, LAB 9%, LDEM 40%, UKIP 27%.

85 Responses to “Sunday polls”

1 2
  1. Evening All.
    Happy Easter to you all.
    By next Easter we will be in GE land.

  2. 50 weeks to go until nominations close I think.

  3. Shy kippers (see ICM polls)?

  4. @ Howard

    Shy kippers (see ICM polls)?
    I currently prefer the alternative theory: kippers are over-represented on internet panels & polling firms don’t yet have enough data to make the necessary adjustment for this. The reason being, they were only potential kippers when they signed up to a panel which invited them to give their opinions about stuff so the polling firms didn’t know that there were too many of them in the panel population compared to the actual population.

    Eve of polling data should help answer this issue – if panel polls show UKIP scoring significantly better in the opinion polls than they do in the actual elections, then polling firms will know to adjust for this in future.

  5. Scotland on Sunday has a teasing headline about their ICM poll “Scotland on the brink of independence”.

    Since we don’t have the numbers yet, I’m presuming that’s a further rise in the Yes vote. (Cue certain parties rubbishing ICM as well as Survation and Panelbase!)

    However, on a polling site the interesting question is why different methodologies produce different absolute numbers (even if trends are similar).

    Anthony notes above “The difference is this one was conducted online, the ICM/Guardian poll by telephone.”

    Time for our guru to reexamine for us why online polling seems to differ from telephone and face-to-face methods.

  6. Amber

    We are both interested in the same question. It will be interesting to see whether your theory of packed/unrepresentative panels holds true.

  7. @Amber
    UKIP outperformed their polling at last year’s locals.

  8. Dave B

    Unless you specify which polling UKIP “outperformed” then that doesn’t invalidate Amber’s point.

    Thers seems to be a difference between online pollsters and telephone/face-to-face ones.

    The question is, why?

  9. I think almost everyone has been expected April-June 2014 to be the zenith of “Faragemania” and that UKIP would do exceptionally well in the Euros, with a knock-on effect in their Council polling and a halo effect on their opinion poll scores.

    I personally expect this to fade over the following year. The extent to which it fades will determine the extent to which it hobbles the Tories at the GE. Previous experience (Referendum Party etc) suggests it will fade, but we’ve never had anything quite like this parliament before so who knows?

  10. @ Neil A

    Good to see you back

    @ NickP

    Do I have to do your posts for you? Lab up 25% in Eastleigh.

  11. Neil A


    I’m always fascinated by the need to personalise politics, as if nothing else matters but the assessment of party leaders – a kind of “Britain has got very little talent, but X is less dreadful than the rest”

    It’s easy stuff for lazy media commentators – and lazy voters too, for that matter – but all my experience of politics is that ideas (well thought out, or not) do actually matter in determining how people decide to vote.

  12. ICM/SoS indyref poll

    Yes 42% (+3%)
    No 46% (n/c)
    DK 12% (-3%)

    With Don’t Knows excluded, the position is –

    Yes 48%
    No 52%

  13. Interesting data from the Eastleigh Survation poll. LDs coming third in the Westminster VI but have a good lead in the local election VI. It would appear that the distrust of the LDs at a national level is not present to the same extent at local level.

    Having said that, I would also make the observation that, in my experience in Newcastle, voters were much more inclined to vote LD in local elections than in GEs. This was particularly highlighted in the run up to the 2010 elections which were both held on the same day.

  14. @L Hamilton

    Momentum certainly. Enough?

  15. @CL1945

    Happy Easter!

  16. @Oldnat,

    I wish it wasn’t so, but it’s very much the case that personality is at the core of politics.

    Do you think UKIP would be riding high if Godfrey Bloom were at their helm?

    Do you think the LibDems would have hit 23% in 2010 if Danny Alexander were in charge?

    Do you think the SNP would be dominating Scotland without Wee Eck?

  17. I suspect the referendum will be very close which in itself has significant implications for those on both sides of the border.

  18. RAF


    Well, we’ll need to wait to find out!

    Will the CBI registering as an official No organisation – and several businesses resigning in consequence (maybe more after the Easter break) create a further push?

  19. Neil A

    Actually, any of those you named could be effective leaders of their parties – if they had that critical attribute of all such, it’s not “personality”, but clever strategic thinking and selecting the right advisers.

    “Wee Eck” (a little wee-er now that he’s gone on a diet!) isn’t the best debater, public speaker, most engaging personality, What he is, is a brilliant strategist, and selector of key people,

    Danny Alexander wouldn’t be a poor LD leader because of his personality, but because he has consistently failed to identify the killer points that will bring people to his side. He’s not a very good politician.

    While I dislike virtually all of what Farage advocates, he seems to have identified the values that those whose support he is seeking hold, and communicates them to his target audience.

    That the parties, the media etc choose to concentrate on minor aspects, doesn’t make them major ones!

  20. OLDNAT

    Thanks for the heads-up re the ICM poll for SoS – – but I wonder what your reaction was to Prof. C’s:

    “This is another poll showing the No side is in a real battle if it wants to keep Scotland in the Union. When the ‘don’t knows’ are excluded, it is the highest Yes vote in a poll that has not been commissioned by a partisan organisation.”

    Who could he possibly have meant?

  21. Worth considering the possibility that personality matters more when policies are insufficient. And less when you have a more compelling policy or credibility stance. Hence Churchill losing to Atlee in ’45…

    (Whereas Labour could probably have won with Eddie the Eagle Edwards in charge in ’97…)

  22. Barbazenzero

    It was an odd comment from the Prof, when he was writing for an organisation that most (including themselves) would consider partisan!

    Perhaps there is a strange definition of “partisan” that has entered academia since I left it?

    Alternatively, the learned Prof has entered that strange reality occupied by Ian Mackenzie (Inverclyde Lab MP) and several posters on here, from time to time, that polls that they don’t like must be flawed – though I haven’t seen any UKPR regulars suggest that pollsters deliver results appropriate to their clients.

    I would have thought that was defamation, and actionable under Scots Law.

  23. Or to put it a bit better… if all major parties are insufficient on policy and cred., then it may be more of a personality battle. But if a party is sufficiently strong in policy/cred terms, that may outweigh personality issues…

  24. Carfrew

    I think you are probably right.

    Eddie the Eagle is a brilliant comparison for the actual PM that resulted from the 97 election – and for whom I wanted to become UK PM sufficiently as to vote for Brian Wilson in that election.

  25. So if Miliband has a sufficient policy lead, his personality may matter less. We saw a hint of that effect with the energy thing… and don’t forget that before the welfare/immigration assault, he wasn’t an impediment to Labour polling 45%…

  26. @oldnat

    Lol, I might have voted Labour if I’d known Brian Wilson was standing. I’ve got the Pet Sounds boxed set somewhere…

  27. @ DAVEB ‘@Amber
    UKIP outperformed their polling at last year’s locals.’

    Yes this is a perfectly valid counter to Amber’s hunch/intuition/assumption that Ukip are overestimated in online polls. Her reasoning has the ring of plausibility, Ukippers are new and zealous and therefore over represented.

    But the data we have says otherwise. Yet this data is always countered with the ‘local elections mean nothing’ mantra, even though they are the closest thing to objective data we have.

    Where Ukip are now and where they are going is the great unknown in modern politics and will impact on others in ways that are not as easy to predict as is sometimes assumed.

    It would be good therefore if the right questions and analysis were pursued to shed light on this mercurial phenomenon. A possible analysis would be analysing the percentage swing to them in the locals they have stood in since May.

    I realise there are health warnings to be had about local election data, but they are a damn sight better than ‘most people on this site agree they are overrepresented, they will do well in the EU elections but will plummet thereafter’

    It is often taken as read here that their support has a net negative effect on Conservative voting intentions and the case for that is pretty much made. We know that the first 10% of Ukip voting intention came disproportionately from the Conservatives. So taking the Wikipedia running totals of 14% support….what happens if they go up to 15% – does this still come from the Conservative or is it Labour now? And where is the support distributed? Last year it seemed to be very evenly spread, but patterns are emerging from the fog. If they aren’t doing well in Scotland and London they must be doing disproportionately well elsewhere and are those elsewhere’s concentrated enough to win them seats?

    What’s for sure is this site’s broad consensus of ‘The May locals were a flash in the pan’ was wrong, and ‘Scotland is certain to vote no’ is looking pretty shaky too. Put those two factors together and things are very much in flux.

  28. OLDNAT

    Yes, us wrinklies are clearly out of touch wiv da yoof – it must be young Prof C’s equivalent of decimalisation.

  29. For where Ukip are, look at the Mori issue tracker. The economy has been declining as a concern, while immigration has been growing and is close to becoming the number one concern. Meanwhile unemployment follows in third place, which is not unconnected with immigration in the eyes of some voters…

  30. Interestingly, unemployment is considered as being distinct from the economy as an issue, whereas various other economic factors are not. Inflation/prices are distinct too…

  31. Barbazenzero

    I’ve missed your Tom Lehrer links since we were unceremoniously dumped from commenting on politics (or anything else) via BBC Scotland.

    I wonder if the BBC is a member of the CBI in it’s home town?

  32. The Telegraph report with the Lib Dems on 8% in ICM’s Euro poll does very much beg the question, what are the Greens on? There are a lot of spare points there.

  33. The ICM poll also measures indyref VI by country of birth (in the SoS report only England and Scotland are mentioned, though I presume the tables will reveal a wider data set).

    That’s a fairly crude (and inaccurate) way of measuring whether people feel they are British/English/Scottish/etc – Mike Russell was born in England, as was Tom Greaterex, but they have very different attitudes to the indy question.

    However, a small majority of those born in Scotland who are still here (42% to 40%) are pro-independence.

    A significant majority of those born in England, but who are now resident in Scotland (what Curtice describes as “internal UK migrants”) are pro-Union (58% to 28%).

    At only 15% of the sample (seems a bit high, as the 2011 census said only 9% of those in Scotland were born in England), we have to be conscious of the UKPR mantra “Don’t pay attention to the English cross-break”.

  34. @Carfrew

    There’s no evidence at all of the Tories’ fierier rhetoric surrounding immigration & benefits being the cause of Labour’s drop in support. Labour were never averaging 45% anyway. It was more like 42-43% at the zenith.

    Someone (I can’t remember who) posted a graph yesterday showing the bulk of the drop-off coming from Labour losing some of their 2010 supporters and LD/Labour switchers.

    My hunch is that the problems started with Ed’s ill-judged tantric silence during last summer, when he allowed his earlier momentum to peter out, leading some partisan/ideological sympathisers to become demoralised.

    He needs to get those people remotivated. It’s vital Labour don’t learn the wrong lessons from the drop in support in thr last 12 months.

  35. An interesting poll on Welsh opinion about Scottish independence can be found at:

    I suspect that it may reflect Welsh concern about a UK where England is even more dominant. There has been insufficient thought given by many people as to how the rest of the UK would function as a country if Scotland votes for independence.

  36. Today’s Sunday Post Survation’s Scottish independence referendum poll has just been tweeted as showing:

    Yes 38%, No 46%

    or 45% (+2), 55% (-2), without the Don’t Knows

    A slightly healthier lead for the No campaign than the ICM poll, but still in the wrong direction for them.

  37. @Oldnat mentioned the divergence in polls between online and telephone,

    If I have this correct, UKIP is scoring better in online polls compared to telephone polls, and Yes is likewise doing better in telephone polls than online.

    If there is anything to the notion that methodology makes a difference, we could potentially infer that telephone polls suppress No and UKIP votes.

    The question then would have to be ‘why?’

    Such vote suppression would presumably be due to respondents feeling embarrassed to admit to supporting the suppressed option. In the case of UKIP, possible due to fears of being seen as a fruitcake, closet rascist etc. For No voters, it may possibly be for fear of seeming un Scottish or unpatriotic.

    I can see this. While the Yes campaign have painted themselves as the subversive, counter culture underdog, in fact the course of the campaign has naturally made them look more hopeful and optimistic. Harbouring doubts is a more difficult angle to admit to, so the concept of shy No voters is intuitively a potential factor.

  38. The Sunday Times is quoting from a YouGov Poll which isn’t on the YG website.

  39. I can see the no campaign getting it better together (no pun intended) eventually.

  40. That’s a very interesting Welsh poll on Scottish independence too. The clear inference is that opinion in Wales is moving against Yes, and this backs up other polling data from E&W which shows a sharp rise in opposition to sharing currency.

    This is bad news for the Yes campaign. While the Welsh poll is somewhat different, in that it could be taken to show fear of a more England dominated UK, taken together, the rUK polls could also be taken to show that the Yes attitude to issues affecting the whole UK is irritating UK voters.

    Whatever the reason however, the result is the same. Post Yes, Scotland really needs a compliant and cooperative UK to deliver a viable and smooth transition. Scotland actually has minimal leverage in these negotiations, and if the UK population is highly antagonistic to any measures perceived to disadvantage them, the Westminster negotiators will be under intense pressure. This will make life very difficult for Scotland.

  41. @COLIN

    Where? Don’t see anything on twitter or website.

  42. SKIPPY

    I the paper-as I said.

  43. What are they saying Colin ?

  44. Colin

    What does the Times say ?

  45. Lol Ewen, snap !

  46. Bramley
    Maybe Colin wants us to buy our own paper !

  47. Oldnat – “Dave B -Unless you specify which polling UKIP “outperformed” then that doesn’t invalidate Amber’s point.”

    Oldnat, he can’t, as said polling doesn’t exist. It’s one of those persistent myths that keeps on cropping up however often I tell people’s it’s nonsense. There was only one late campaign local election poll in 2013, conducted by ComRes. It got UKIP right within the margin of error (ComRes had them on 22%, they actually got 20% or 21% – I don’t have my Rallings & Thrasher to hand)

  48. ICM’s online poll looks to be in line with polling averages (10 polls since March 21), and the trend.

    ICM: Con 22% (23), Lab 30% (31), LD 8% (9), Ukip 27% (25)

    We haven’t seen much (any?) polling on Con/Ukip pacts since the-one-and-only eve-of-Tory-party-conference YouGov “Conservative Ukip Alliance” poll in September last year (the one which showed such a high proportion of Con/Ukip don’t knows).

    Guardian’s reporting of the ICM poll seems to be suggesting that the best option for Tories is to keep Cameron andsign a “non-agression pact” with Ukip.

  49. @CARFREW
    Interestingly, unemployment is considered as being distinct from the economy as an issue, whereas various other economic factors are not. Inflation/prices are distinct too…

    I suppose it depends on how you are defining the economy. As I understand it, there is a belief that full employment is inflationary. Determining the NAIRU is a major preoccupation of neoclassical and neokeynesian economists. Therefore, assessment of the full potential of the ‘economy’ is turned on its head, ‘full employment’ is the level at which inflation begins to rise not the numbers of people seeking work…

    The deficit is also considered to be ‘structural’ if the mainstream economists construct a NAIRU figure which suggests that the full potential of the UK economy has been achieved.

    I imagine that it is clear that I find these arguments very unconvincing. This is because the manner of calculating the NAIRU is essentially hypothesis laid on hypothesis and the error of the mean of estimates produced by different economists is generally huge. I am very concerned that government policy decisions or announcements are based on such a dubious calculation or indeed concept.

  50. OLDNAT

    Thanks. I find regular doses of Lehrer’s muse help me to avoid being driven sane. I suspect he would find some of the Prof’s utterings on the two Saltired polls akin to Sociology. See

    Re BBC/CBI links, I have submitted an FOI request to aunty as they make no comment regarding themselves on their own article reporting STV’s resignation.

1 2