The first two post-Easter polls today share a three point lead for Labour.

The twice weekly Populus poll has toplines of CON 33%, LAB 36%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 13%. (Tabs here).

Meanwhile tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 37%, LD 10%, UKIP 12%


132 Responses to “Latest Populus and YouGov figures”

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  1. So the Tories still below 35%, Labour above 35%

  2. I find it difficult to see Labour’s GE vote going much lower than these show; I can see the Tories picking up a bit on the back of modest economic news and some leakage from UKIP. (On a ‘why throw your vote away?’ basis.) Hung parliament anyone?

  3. labour does seem to have lost some of the 2010 switchers, although this might also be because there are fewer don’t knows and they are sticking with the yellows. I think that is why their VI has slipped from about 38-39 to 36-37

  4. I think I’m right in saying that another reason why universal swing calculators are not completely reliable is that they don’t take changes in turnout into account.

    For example, at the next election the following may happen:

    Safe Tory seats: turnout +5%
    Marginal seats: turnout +3%
    Safe Labour seats: turnout +1%

    This example would mean the Tories piling up even more votes in safe seats and Labour less. So the swing needed for the Tories to win X number of seats would be even greater than swing calculators imply.

    IIRC there are very few elections where turnout increases evenly across the country.

  5. @Andy JS

    UNS is still a reliable means to guage GE performance, despite the shortcomings you mention.

  6. Tory HQ will be happy that some of the budget bounce seems to have stuck.

  7. @BlueBob

    Maybe also UKIP are falling back a bit due to recent negative headlines.

  8. @Bluebob

    They’re welcome to be happy if they want, but not a shred of their very short-lived budget bounce remains.

    However, Labour have dropped a point since the budget and euro debates, apparently to UKIP, and that appears to have stuck.

  9. Happy St George’s Day to all of you concerned with celebrating England’s identity.

  10. @Andy JS

    I believe the last Populus poll showed only 50% 10/10 certain to vote, whereas just before the last election pollsters who filter by turnout were getting well over 60% saying the same thing. The 10/10 certainty figure has tended to predict turnout quite well. It could increase, but my hunch is we’re heading for yet another disappointing turnout. if that happens then another 2005-type result is possible, with Labour winning a healthy majority off a pretty modest lead in share of the vote. If engagement increases it could take Labour back to 40-41% but they probably wouldn’t outperform UNS by as much.

    Low turnouts have indeed tended to mean Labour outperforming UNS. 1997 was when turnout began to drop (it sounds quite unbelievable now that 71% was considered a low turnout then) and the drop-off was more pronounced in safe Labour seats. I remember reading about the contest in Sunderland and Chris Mullen said he had never encountered apathy like it before. That was part of the reason Labour did better than UNS, and then outperformed it again in 2001. (though the sophomore effect probably had something to do with that too)

    It doesn’t surprise me at all that when turnout goes down it does so by more in working class areas, because civic behaviours like voting require a reasonable level of engagement with society. By the 1990s cohesion in society was on the slide, so it’s unsurprising that turnout would go down by more among people who were relatively marginal to begin with.

    BTW are you the same Andy JS who uploaded all those old election night videos to YouTube?

  11. I wonder if the fuss about the UKIP posters which has been in the news today will have any positive or negative effects on the next polls

  12. WC1991,

    Probably no effect, but I have this broader theory I call Farage’s Ratchet. Every time he gets good publicity, it boosts his party. Ever time he gets bad publicity, it looks like he’s being picked on and it boosts his party. It’s hard-to-impossible to bring them down at the moment, and I’m not sure why.

  13. NHS data has just been released showing a huge fall in recent years in the number of people turning up at hospitals having been the victim of serious violence.

    The Crime Survey, police stats and court stats are all showing the same trend, with it being especially pronounced among young people. Given that, I think anyone still sticking their head in the sand saying reports of falling crime are just a scam is looking a bit silly.

  14. @Mr Nameless

    I should think Farage’s followers would tend to be of the Authoritarian Follower variety.

    http://members.shaw.ca/jeanaltemeyer/drbob/TheAuthoritarians.pdf

    They’re highly dogmatic and ethnocentric, so when someone has a pop at Farage it just makes them even more loyal to him.

  15. Drunkenscouser

    And the same phenomenon occurs in other parts of the UK – and across most developed countries.

    Seems likely that factors more basic than political policies, better police technology etc are involved.

    Changes in young male behaviour? Reducing the level of lead pollution?

  16. @Mrnameless
    “I’m not sure why”

    Consider the current set of attacks, Labour politician calls posters racist.

    Look at the posters, surely it’s not hard to see why this makes Labour look foolish & UKIP the victim of baseless smears?

  17. @OldNat

    I think young male behaviour is changing for the better. The radio report I just heard specifically mentioned a ‘less macho culture’ as a possible cause.

    I think the kind of edgy, laddish/ladetteish behaviour that characterised the youth culture of the 90s & 00s is on its way out. I played m own part in this youth culture, hence my username, but I welcome its demise nonetheless.

  18. I still don’t think UKIP will win a single seat in the next GE.

    However, come the GE I think UKIP will retain more of their EU voters than the polls suggest.

    The reason why is because once people have actually physically voted for UKIP in the EU elections they will be more likely to do so again out of loyalty just a year later for the GE.

    Should Scotland vote ‘no’ to independence, I think a lot of SNP voters will give up on that and switch to Labour in the next GE.

  19. Plenty of heat on UKIP coming over the next few weeks, encouraging from our POV to see the Tories as 33/34, that is a good base for a governing party to go into the last 12 months prior to polling day with the intense scrutiny of Miliband and Farage to come.

  20. @Drunkenscouser

    There has been a fall in some types of crime going on since the 90s, which is very positive. If (not doubting you, but haven’t seen the reports yet) hospital stats back that up it is good news.

    One of the strange things about it though is the gap between the public perception of crime and the reality.

  21. @RAF –

    “UNS is still a reliable means to guage GE performance”

    ‘It’s just a bit of fun…’

  22. Old Nat

    Thanks for you St George’s day wishes. I have always considered myself English first, British second and not at all European.

  23. If the Conservatives had used that poster campaign they would have lost votes but UKIP are likely to gain. The same probably applies to the Christian country furore. Hard to fathom.

    I don’t mean to compare the two men in any other way but it reminds me of Mugabe in that the more he is criticized the more Farage’s tribe gather round him.

  24. @ Pressman

    ‘Tories as 33/34, that is a good base for a governing party to go into the last 12 months prior to polling day with the intense scrutiny of Miliband and Farage to come.’

    I think this is right. I wish it wasn’t, but I can only see the Tories rising from here unless the Euro election causes a meltdown.

    British first and just about last. Rarely self-identify as English.

  25. Looking forward to the Miliband, Farage scrutiny, Pressman. The more they get the better for them seems to have been what’s happened in the past couple of years.

    So, yes, please go for it. Should see both the Labour Party and UKIP rise in the polls at the expense of the Tories.

  26. Labour’s little gift from Clegg is 29% of 2010 LD voters this morning ( 22% incl WNV.DK)

    Back in March it was 40% ish ( 30% ish incl WNV/DK)

    A big drop.

  27. Regarding turnout, the biggest factor will be the change in electoral registration. The registration figures could be 10% lower than in past general elections, which will make it very difficult to make any comparisons at all. Certainly the number of votes cast will be very much lower.

  28. Let’s assume [] that the Conservative press finally alights upon an effective anti-UKIP elixir after a couple of years of searching.

    If, say, UKIP’s support fell by 4% then I would expect that to lead to a change in VI of Con +2%, Lab +1% and LD +1%. A net closing of the gap of just 1%. Maybe by even less given that UKIP’s current support is predominantly working class, disillusioned with the whole political class and may be disinclined to vote at all if UKIP’s star wanes.

    As for attacks on Miliband, what would be new about that?

  29. Some of us are not interested in identity politics. It seems that UKIP occupy the niche in England that the SNP do in Scotland, hence the Scots have no need for UKIP as well.

    I’m looking forward to celebrating May 1st, in common with people in many countries.

  30. @RMJ1

    Relatively easy to fathom really. Minority parties don’t need to hold on to people from across a significant amount of the political spectrum. I think we can agree there is no “social left wing” to UKIP, if you vote UKIP you do so knowing they opposed same sex marriage et al, so further “gaffs” about “homosexuals causing flooding” don’t change their figures much.

    This is of course also why in an country of healthy political debate, such parties remain in the minority because they can not compromise for consensus.

  31. @RMJ1

    Relatively easy to fathom really. Minority parties don’t need to hold on to people from across a significant amount of the political spectrum. I think we can agree there is no “social left wing” to UKIP, if you vote UKIP you do so knowing they opposed same sex marriage et al, so further “gaffs” about “homosexuals causing flooding” don’t change their figures much.

    This is of course also why in an country of healthy political debate, such parties remain in the minority because they can not compromise for consensus.

  32. Re: UNS

    Although in general it has been a good indicator of probable outcomes overall, there are problems.

    Although this is not a Saltire thread, the Scottish figures have shown Labour and SNP neck and neck for a while now. This may well cause Labour to lose seats which, under a straight UNS assumption UK wide (or GB wide, as NI doesn’t really come into these calculations), they would have expected to hold with ease.

    Last week I asked AW if it might be possible to have a separate Scottish system for calculating seat numbers, given the difference between the effects north and south of the Border produced by having a very different political set up. There was no reply – not that it bothers me too much. UNS is, as others have pointed out, only a very rough indicator in any case and I don’t think we can be sure at this stage of the game what the impact of Euros and Referendum is going to be.

  33. Suncanscouser – “I believe the last Populus poll showed only 50% 10/10 certain to vote, whereas just before the last election pollsters who filter by turnout were getting well over 60% saying the same thing. The 10/10 certainty figure has tended to predict turnout quite well. It could increase, but my hunch is we’re heading for yet another disappointing turnout.”

    It will almost certainly increase – you tend to see the figure move significantly upwards in the weeks just before a general election. I would caution about putting too much weight on likelihood to vote questions, but if you wanted to do a comparison I’d suggest looking at figures a similar distance from the approaching general election (so compare figures now to those from around April 2009).

    Not Populus though, as they’ve moved from phone to online, so the figures won’t be comparable. Compare ICM to ICM, or MORI to MORI

  34. I’m just going to remind everyone saying a Tory rise is inevitable of what happened last time a prime minister came third in a national election: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2009/jun/08/gordon-brown-leadership-crisis

    The Tory party has long now been unforgiving of its leaders and much more so than Labour. A spat of infighting, mouthy backbenchers, even an attempted defenestration all set against the backdrop of a UKIP victory or solid second place surely won’t do them any good.

  35. Good morning AW!

    Any chance of the latest YouGuv in more detail? Or did I miss the link somewhere?

  36. Were it not for the fortuitous collapse of the LibDems Ed Milliband would be in big trouble. The centre left really has nowhere else to go. He is doubly fortunate in that the centre right now has two places to go. Could we end up with a prime minister with the lowest ever popular vote and therefore i.m.o. legitimacy?

  37. Still not much change. The Labour lead has narrowed to 2-3 points and with a margin of error +/- 3% we could already be in a crossover situation – who know’s maybe even a small Tory lead. We will have to wait and see how the polls pan out over next few months before we jump to any conclusions.

    I might be wrong here, doubt it though.

    Hope everyone had a lovely Easter.

  38. In the 2009 Euros others (than the biggish 4) polled 25.9% of the vote whereas current polls show 11%.
    Comments anyone?

  39. I meant to say: some of us are not interested in national identity politics. (There’s lots of other sorts of identity politics, of course.)

  40. Colin,

    Some 2010 LD-Lab returning was always likely and any DK/WV who had not jumped to another party more likely to return to LD at the GE.

    What we can I think safely say is that unlike most movements during parliaments a much higher proportion of these 2010 LDs to Lab are secure.

    They key figure for me is what is the net gain over Cons of a much lower (collapse sound pejorative) vote and in particular in Tory/Lab marginasl.

    I have used what I thought was a safe 20% giving Lab 2000 net votes over the Tories where the third place LD got 10000 in 2010.
    This would deliver enough to make Labour the highest party with seat gains from LDs being similar perhaps.

    A partial LD recovery may be good for the Tories (even if they lose a few switchers) if that 20% becomes 15%.
    Trouble is that at the same time LD/Tory targets become harder as does fewer LD/Lab targets.

  41. Guymonde,

    The long tail, the CPAs, No2EUs, UKIP splinters, various Trots, Animals Count, Ave Romans! and Independents are never going to show up properly in polls. The other figure will probably increase in the immediate run up to the poll, but to some extent it will still be worth mentally adding on a couple of points to “other” and proportionally reducing everyone else.

  42. And don’t forget Northern Ireland (unless you’ve already adjusted for that)

  43. @Wayne

    “The Labour lead has narrowed to 2-3 points and with a margin of error +/- 3% we could already be in a crossover situation – who know’s maybe even a small Tory lead.”

    The Labour lead is an average of 3-4 points ahead. An average. Sometimes they poll higher, sometimes the Tories get within a point or two.

    There is nothing from a polling perspective to indicate either a crossover situation or a Tory lead. Maybe that will change nearer the GE, maybe it won’t.

    Polling has been remarkably stable for the past few years, and the factors around the 2015 election (coalition, UKIP, libdem collapse, rise in the power of democratised social media) mean that past performance is no indication of what will occur in 12 months time.

    I’m with Fraser Nelson on this one – if you were running a bookmakers the odds are in Labour’s favour and you price accordingly. And indeed, the bookmakers have put their money where their mouth is on this one.

  44. Mr Beeswax,

    Ramsay Macdonald became prime minister from 1931-35 on 1.5% of the vote!

  45. “Probably no effect, but I have this broader theory I call Farage’s Ratchet. Every time he gets good publicity, it boosts his party. Ever time he gets bad publicity, it looks like he’s being picked on and it boosts his party. It’s hard-to-impossible to bring them down at the moment, and I’m not sure why.”

    ———–

    Immigration is a big and growing concern, and possibly outweighs any flak from the usual political games and intrigues, given all parties seem to do things to leave them vulnerable to such flak…

  46. @Mrnameless

    How can that be possible?

    As for UKIP, the reason it looks like a witch hunt is because it is, it’s obvious that the elite have been saving up stories and are getting ready to unleash them before elections in May and 2015. It just smacks of a hate campaign and the British are famous for their support of the David against the Goliath.

    As for the posters, they clearly aren’t racist and reflect the situation in the UK, the majority of our laws are made in Brussels and we are experiencing wage suppression.

  47. Regarding lead and crime… seems as though falls in crime track reductions in lead in paint, petrol etc. in various countries… we started reducing ours later, so our crime fell later than in the USA…

    “Did removing lead from petrol spark a decline in crime?”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-27067615

  48. DrMibbles

    Bookmakers odds reflect the bets placed and should polls move I would expect a delay in odds moving until net bets placed on different outcomes to those placed thus far.

    Labour seems to be down 1% ish since before budget and Euro debate but imo these may not be event related but be part of a gradual process and reflect movements that were always likely by the time of the GE anyhow and not event related.

    The Euro Poll with the UKIP doing well will disrupt Westmister polls until mid June at least I reckon.

  49. “Plenty of heat on UKIP coming over the next few weeks, encouraging from our POV to see the Tories as 33/34, that is a good base for a governing party to go into the last 12 months prior to polling day with the intense scrutiny of Miliband and Farage to come.”

    ——–

    Labour haven’t put forth the bulk of their policies yet. The last time press were on at Miliband etc. he just unveiled the energy thing at conference and pulled the VI up again. A lot depends on whether the rest of the policy mix can also outshine press shennanigans…

    Same with Ukip: can press gambits outshine immigration concerns?

  50. @Maninthemiddle

    The reason it looks like UKIP are under attack is because they have indiscriminately recruited a very motley bunch and their closets are full of skeletons.

    They’ve had a quite astonishingly easy media ride because right-wing media barons have been using them to push Cameron to the Right but with the exception of the Barclays at the DT, none of their estwhile media chums actually want them to win. They just want a more right-wing Tory Government.

    So Kippers can expect a small dose of the sort of treatment they don’t blink an eye at Miliband receiving, and they can like it, because they’re playing big boy games now.

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