The second of Populus’s two twice-weekly polls is out this morning and has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 35%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 13%. The Conservatives and Labour are neck and neck on 35% a piece. Tabs are here.

The last time we saw a poll without a Labour lead was MORI’s October poll last year. That one didn’t herald a great crossover, it was just a blip. You probably shouldn’t get excited about this one yet either – it could be a further narrowing of the polls, or could just be normal variation within the margin of error. Populus tend to show some of the smaller Labour leads anyway, probably as a result of their weighting scheme (Populus weight by party ID, in a similar way to YouGov, but weight Labour to a lower level of identification).

Meanwhile the daily YouGov poll for the Sun had topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 38%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 14% (tabs here). As ever, look at the polls as a whole, don’t make the error of looking more at the ones that give more unusual or exciting results.

On unrelated matters, nominations for the European elections closed yesterday and candidate lists were published, so I’ve updated the election guide part of the site with the full candidates: Scotland, North East, North West, Yorkshire, West Midlands, East Midlands, Wales, East of England, South West, South East and London.

269 Responses to “Populus – CON 35, LAB 35, LDEM 9, UKIP 13”

1 2 3 4 6
  1. John B


  2. @BFIELD

    Another non story really. The constant media attacks on UKIP are getting boring pretty fast. If/when they win the EU election I will be pleased to be out the country so I don’t have to witness their damage control.

  3. The populus poll will really put the cat amongst the pigeons and there will be some relish at the coming months ahead.

    If it weren’t for the ridiculous commitment to 5 year term parliaments, the Lib Dem collapse and UKIP, Cameron would be going to the country this coming Thursday and winning.

  4. If it weren’t for the things that mean he’s losing, he’d be winning. Bravo.

    I agree definitely a non-story politically, but never the less very amusing to me when I think back to my youth.
    In those politically incorrect days the builders WIMPEY served as an acronym for We Import More Paddys Each Year.
    Lighten up!

  6. @BFIELD

    lighten up?

    “UKIP councillor suspended after suggesting skin bleaching”

  7. Skippy
    Was his name Michael Jackson by any chance?

  8. Hi Pressman, can you use your influence to make sure of one thing, that Grant Shapps remains in post until the election? Thank you.

  9. I suspect that the underlying Labour Lead is about 3.5 which is the average of the last 5 polls. However with the economic news being so positive, employment rising and unemployment falling it would be very odd indeed if the Labour Lead didn’t fall quite sharply in the next few months. I’d expect a C lead by the end of the year, probably around 2-5% though of course this is VERY uncertain.

    Employment is steadily rising by 40k per month and it seems quite likely that a reasonable proportion people who find new jobs will vote Conservative.

  10. “UKIP have clashed with the Tories over their use of an Irish-born actor on an election poster about British workers being hit by foreign labour.”
    I suppose the Irish don’t count as real Europeans

    -Presumably British Builders were too busy working to appear in an advert showing they weren’t able to find work

  11. Hi Anthony
    Anneliese Dodds – first Lab candidate in the South East – is spelt that way, not Annelise.

  12. Thanks Eddie

  13. JohnB
    Fairer voting system that retains the constituency link ? Simples, the so called German system , as imposed on them in 1948 by the Labour Govt of Clem Attlee , and still in use.
    ToH good luck with the results,l get mine the day after. S.O.B.

  14. NBeale
    ” it seems quite likely that a reasonable proportion people who find new jobs will vote Conservative.”

    Or they may not.

  15. @NBeale

    “Employment is steadily rising by 40k per month and it seems quite likely that a reasonable proportion people who find new jobs will vote Conservative.”

    Well, we’ve got 12 months to go until election day, so that’s 520K voters who will get new jobs befo0re the election. Some of them would have voted Conservative anyway. Some of them wouldn’t vote Conservative if you paid them. Some of the few who are open to persuasion will have been out of work a long time, and blame the Tories for that. Others will have got jobs that don’t pay as well as the one they lost, or which have poor conditions, and they blame the Tories for that….and so on.

    Then of course 30-40% of the fewwho are inclined to be impressed by their sudden good fortune and change their vote to Tory won’t vote at all.

    To put it more shortly, I think you’re pinning your hopes on a rather small group of people.

  16. @ POSTAGEINCLUDED ‘I’m beginning to wonder if Ed M is ignoring UKIP tactically, on the principle that UKIP can do more damage to the Tories than he can, so why should he stop them doing it.’

    Fiendishly clever of him to keep his killer arguments up his sleeve and maintain the appearance of hapless bumbler.


    Your rearguard action there was most impressive.

    Is that what they call “instant rebuttal” ?

  18. shevii

    Can you explain the 3 %ages you noted for each party again. I didn’t follow (especially the one in brackets)!

    Sorry it was a bit cryptic, but I knew it was going to be a long comment! What I was looking at was the Three Party Split (TPS). I took the total number of Populus respondents who said they voted Con, Lab or Lib Dem in 2010, shown on the top line of the tables, and worked out what percentage of the total each Party had (so they should add to 100% allowing for rounding).

    I did this for both the unweighted and weighted figures and before any further weighting for likelihood to vote.

    The figure in brackets is the TPS percentage of the votes actually cast in Britain in 2010. The advantage of using the TPS rather than actual percentages is that it checks they are getting the balance right between those without it getting confused with non-voters, UKIP, small Parties etc.

    I did however repeat the same process this time for those three plus UKIP on the March figures to see if a lot of UKIP’s new converts were claiming to always have voted for them (it doesn’t look like it). However the way Populus has been dealing with UKIP’s figures is so odd that I tend to try to keep them out of calculations.

  19. @NBeale, Postage

    The polls suggest that somewhere between 30 and 33 per cent of them will vote Conservative, in fact. Quite a lot.

    Probably fewer than will vote Labour, though.

  20. Nigel,

    “is there any conclusion one can draw from the frequency of polls outside the normal range?”

    One conclusion could be that they reflect, exactly, the opinion of the general electorate at the time of asking. Why is it that we assume that if a result is ‘outside the normal range’ there is some failure in the way the information was gathered/adjusted? Is there any evidence that the voting public doesn’t change its mind every whip-stitch and that there is no such thing as ‘normal range’? (I find it hard to believe that that is the case but it would be interesting if someone could produce evidence one way or the other.)

    Why would results outside the ‘normal range’ be any more inaccurate than those inside?

  21. Populus unweighted figures;

    Con 32
    Lab 37
    LD 8
    Ukip 23

    Weighting may be a reasonable way to arrive at a result, but when it isn’t a minor adjustment it sets warning bells ringing. Supporters of the red team could take succour from this.


    “I’ve always imagined him sucking lasciviously on the said Havana before delivering the line in the manner of Groucho. Possibly in Yiddish, which is always funnier.”


    Freud or Clinton?


    “Me, thirty years ago teaching A level Psychology to my first class, and trying to get across the plausible , yet un-scientific nature of Freud’s model of the personality…”


    Sounds challenging, but compared with explaining MoE to headline writers?…

  24. Pretty quick action from Colin on the rebuttal there…

  25. “If it weren’t for the ridiculous commitment to 5 year term parliaments, the Lib Dem collapse and UKIP, Cameron would be going to the country this coming Thursday and winning”

    There are so many “ifs” and conjecture in that sentence that I have no idea what the point of posting it is – as if it is based on fact – or posting it at all, come to that.

  26. @ NBeale and others:

    The rise in Employment has been 239k for the latest three months in the Labour Force Survey, so actually about 80k a month. On the other hand, I think trying to extrapolate 1-for-1 into voting intentions doesn’t make much sense.

    The next big economic data will be the first estimate of Q1 GDP on Tuesday… Markets are expecting a 0.9% quarter-on-quarter (3.2% year-on-year) rise, which would be the strongest since 2007, with the Bank of England going for 0.1 higher still. What this means in terms of real household incomes, however, will I’m sure, be the subject of much discussion.

    I would expect earnings growth to track GDP growth higher, but remain at a slower rate for the time being.

  27. @Colin

    Why thank you, dear, I must say I sometimes surprise myself.

    But I’ll let you into a trade secret – vague assertions don’t need much in the way of rebuttal except speed, because the the people who are impressed by vague assertions don’t have much short term memory.

  28. @Pressman

    It would be ironic if he had played a part in the LD collapse, rise of Ukip and the five term thing, and this was reflected in the negative approval figure…

  29. Carfrew
    Colin obviously models himself on the great Carwyn James and ‘gets his retaliation in first’.
    As to trying to explain MOE to headline writers , I’ll leave that to our very own ‘Mr Chips’ , AW !

  30. @ RogerMexico

    Thanks- makes sense now!

  31. @Carfrew

    Disgusting. I think you should follow the advice that “Dr Froyd” gave to Lorelei Lee* – “cultivate a few inhibitions and get some sleep.”

    *If you haven’t read Gentlemen Prefer Blondes that’s another one for the list!

  32. @MrNameless

    “If it weren’t for the things that mean he’s losing, he’d be winning. Bravo.”

    lol and thrice lol (as old Frankie H used to say).

    I’ve just had a thought about a description of people who get overly excited about one individual poll.

    Rogue deniers!


    (as opposed to David Dickinson who is quite clearly a rouge denier)

  33. @NBeale: ” it seems quite likely that a reasonable proportion people who find new jobs will vote Conservative.”

    Isn’t it at least as (if not more) likely that they’d blame the government for the unemployment that preceded it?

  34. So looking at Anthony’s list seems like the North West is the only region to get a pirate party candidate from what I can see.

    Tremendous number of anti EU candidates scattered around- very odd they don’t just leave it to UKIP.

  35. @Mr BumbleBeeswax

    The most fiendishly dangerous thing about fiendishly cunning people is that ordinary folks, like thee and me, can’t guess who they are.

  36. @Postage

    Sleep sounds good, but between trying to avoid parking tickets and having to dash back to pick up a stapler I left at the bar it’s all go here at the minute. Barmaid tried not to look too pitying…

  37. Still can’t decide if Pressman is a windup merchant ( like a certain DT blogger we’re not allowed to mention on this site ) or being serious.

  38. Norbold

    I don’t know about Grant Shapps, but it will be relentless in terms of the attacks on Miliband. A certain semi-retired scribe will be coming back full time to coordinate matters.

    We will have articles from heavyweights such as Pickles and Robathan to stress that the Euro referendum will happen and the result fully respected.

    In the past, leaders of the opposition to who we are backing have been given a platform to put their case during the campaign; that won’t be the case this time, the hatred runs deep over Leveson and there is a real determination to get him beat.

  39. Enough of the press-bashing, please. Some of us rite impekabul inglysh.

  40. @Pressman

    I know I’ve taken the mickey a little, but I’m going to take you at face value and assume you really are someone working within News International. If so, I’d like to ask you a very serious question.

    With your insider knowledge, are you aware of any involvement, directly or indirectly, of Lynton Crosby in this campaign of vilification that is about to be unleashed on Miliband and Farage, or is it being developed entirely independent of any Tory HQ involvement?

  41. Can someone explain to me why the UKIP number of respondents got weighted down substantially from around 280 to 80? Whereas for the other major parties the changes were relatively small.

  42. @ Mr. Beeswax,

    The thing is, the unweighted sample isn’t weighted, so the demographics could be horribly skewed. We just don’t know. We can’t weigh it ourselves without access to their dataset, so we can’t extract a valid poll out of the Populus numbers. All we can really do is point and laugh. [snip]

    @ Pressman,

    we will have articles from heavyweights such as Pickles

    Heh. Gave yourself away a bit there. ;)

  43. My guess would be that Pressman is aka Roland.

  44. “The worse he writes, the more convinced I become that Pressman is a genuine Sun journalist.”

    Most Sun journalists are probably public school-educated graduates. (Not that that guarantees any great aptitude with English.)

  45. @TOH/EL
    Hope the results are good

    @John B/Carfrew – your little skirmish about Italian degrees.

    Here’s an extract from the Wikipedia entry about the Bologna process:

    “Italy fits the framework since the adoption, in 1999, of the so-called 3+2 system. The first degree is the Laurea triennale that can be achieved after three years of studies. Selected students can then complete their studies in the following step: two additional years of specialization which leads to the Laurea Magistrale.

    The “Laurea” corresponds to a bachelor’s degree while the “Laurea magistrale” corresponds to a master’s degree. Only the Laurea magistrale grants access to third cycle programmes (Post-MA degrees, doctorates or specializing schools), that last 2 to 5 years (usually completing a PhD takes 3 years). However, it is now established that there is just a unique five-year degree “Laurea Magistrale Quinquennale” (Five-Year Master of Arts) for programmes such as Law (Facoltà di Giurisprudenza), Arts (Accademia di Belle Arti) and Music (Conservatorio di Musica). The title for BA/BS undergraduate students is Dottore and for MA/MFA/MD/MEd graduate students is Dottore magistrale (both abbreviation in Dott./Dott.ssa or Dr., meaning Doctor). This title has not to be confused with the PhD and Post-MA graduates, whose title is Dottore di Ricerca (Research Doctor or Philosophy Doctor).

    The Italian master’s degree should not be confused with the Italian “Masters”, which are specialistic post-university courses that offer a more practical education but do not always give access to further levels of studies”

  46. the populus poll does appear oddly weighted, so I wouldn’t take too much notice of it.

    I think the problem for the Tories, is that even if the economy recovers, they are again identified as the nasty party, with a relatively low ceiling. It would be very surprising to me if they increase their voter share from 2010 next year.

    I think the reason that Labour has dropped is the reduction in the number of 2010 Lib Dem switchers. Not sure exactly why.

    AW must know who pressman is. Give us a hint…..

  47. Could anyone explain why there is a large difference between unweighted and weighted for UKIP (something like 280 goes down to 80). Whereas for the other parties there are only small changes. Is this all due to UKIP’s 2010 election result – which may not be a good predictor of their 2015 result.

  48. Last night’s District Council by-election in Sutton on East Cambridgeshire may be of mild interest to us.

    It was a Conservative defence, triggered when the council leader resigned in protest over council cuts. It should have been a safe Tory ward. Unfortunately the local party seems to be in some disarray- the aforementioned resignation, and the other district councillor flounced out of the party because he didn’t like the selection process for this by-election- and, well, this happened:

    LD GAIN Sutton on E Cambs after huge tactical switch from LAB

    LD: 523 (50.9%, +27.0%)
    CON: 280 (27.2%, -19.2%)
    UKIP: 162 (15.8%, +15.8)
    LAB: 63 (6.1%, -23.6)

    We shouldn’t overplay this. Local by-elections tell us about local issues, it’s clear the local Tory party is having problems, and obviously Ukip wasn’t helping them. But the size of the tactical Lab -> LD swing is still pretty remarkable. Hand all the Ukip voters to the Tories and the Lib Dem still would have won.

    It may not be repeated next year- people have repeatedly shown more willingness to vote Lib Dem locally than in their national voting intention- but if I were a Tory candidate hoping to gain a Lib Dem seat I would not like to be staring down the barrel of this gun.

  49. Never said that I was an actual journalist !

    Crossbat, I don’t know what Crosby has, but it won’t be as good as what we will be doing. 22 years on and it is a tougher task for a multitude of reasons, but there is a real believe that it can be done again.

  50. Labour have lost support to UKIP. Lib Dems have dropped 12% since 2010, almost all (net after churn) went to Labour within 6 months of the last election. That is why Labour polled in the low 40’s. They are now in the mid to upper 30’s. The Tories have dropped 4% or so from 2010, which added to UKIP’s 2010 result is around 7%. Since Labour is now around 5% off their previous peak (driven by defecting Lib Dem voters) it would seem reasonable that that 5% added to the 7% gives them their current 12% or so in the polls.

1 2 3 4 6