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”

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  1. @Crossbat XI

    Sorry for the typos. I shall “Swype” from now on.

  2. I had a look at our nominations (Hounslow) and noted a couple of Con/Lab marginal wards where there’s only one LD.
    But in reality… this is a Lab council with no LDs and no real chance for the Tories (even if half of them hadn’t kippered themselves) and in any case I think it’s a bit far fetched for the coalition to matter enough for local parties/activists to sacrifice themselves for a very dubious common good. It’s down to the LDs having nobody left to fight with IMO.

  3. ‘people have repeatedly shown more willingness to vote Lib Dem locally than in their national voting intention’

    Not sure that is the case. What they HAVE shown is wildly varied support that has resulted in them holding seats and even getting gains. This latest batch of council elections is part of that trend, gain a seat in one, don’t even get your nominees to vote for you in another.

    So the Tories aren’t contesting in Nick Clegg’s Hallam, well well, there’s got to be something in that. Curious and really not what you’d expect – Hallam has been Conservative for most of its existence.

    Could be ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’ leaving a biddable fellow and a people carrier full of other LibDem MPs the Tories know they can do business with if the need arises.

    Might even be ‘Let Ukip have a free run so we can get rid of Clegg’. Can’t see Cameron liking that.

    None of these seem remotely plausible so maybe they just couldn’t find the candidates? Genuinely puzzling.

  4. YouGov have a Welsh Poll out:

    http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/p3gzb780jb/YG-Archive-140422-UofWales.pdf

    Looking at the Euros, their toplines of CON 18 LAB 39 LIB 7 PC 11 UKIP 20 GRN 4 show UKIP only slightly weaker than a UNS (based on the UK-wide YouGov poll) would imply, Plaid getting slayed and everyone else outperforming a UNS.

    In terms of seats, these numbers give CON 1 (=) LAB 2 (+1) UKIP 1 (=) PC 0 (-1)

  5. I’m quite surprised not to have seen comments from anyone (apologies if I’ve missed them) as to the wholly inappropriate position of the BBC and ITV being members of the CBI during the run-up to the Euro elections next month.

    Neither had made any public declaration of their membership prior to the current CBI debacle. The CBI, for their part, steadfastly refuses to publish its membership.

    Had the CBI not been spectacularly incompetent, then we would still not have known that both of these broadcasters (I’d guess that BSkyB are members as well) were members of an organisation campaigning for continued UK membership of the EU.

    I’m in favour of membership of the EU. However, it seems intolerable that major public service broadcasters – especially those in receipt of public funds – should be members of a campaigning organisation on a political issue.

    Membership of the CBI seems to be in direct contradiction of Article 6 of the BBC Charter – “6. The independence of the BBC
    (1) The BBC shall be independent in all matters concerning the content of its output, the times and manner in which this is supplied, and in the management of its affairs.

    Before checking these details, I hadn’t realised that under the Charter “England” includes the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man and references to “nation” shall be interpreted accordingly

    Odd to find that “England” is not only not all of the UK, but extends beyond the boundaries of the UK!
    .

  6. Number Cruncher

    Reminder –

    GB (which YouGov poll) is not the same as the UK.

  7. Comparing Yougov polls from a year ago (LAB lead of 7) with the latest one, it is interesting that the cross breaks show that UKIPs rise has come mostly in the North (Up from 12/13 to 17). Are these traditional Lab voters worried about immigration or 2010 Cons?

  8. @ (mainly) Mr Nameless

    One LD candidate standing in the whole of Wigan in the ward where they have their only remaining seat. Can anyone beat that?

    About 5 wards only have two candidates- Lab and Tory.

  9. @ (mainly) Mr Nameless

    One LD candidate standing in the whole of Wigan in the ward where they have their only remaining seat. Can anyone beat that?

    There are none standing in the whole of Tendring.

    But that’s probably because we don’t have any elections in Tendring this year…

  10. @OLDNAT

    Re. debates, fair points. Hadn’t read the details. I don’t think any of the other three (except possibly Miliband) will agree to them if UKIP is included, though.

  11. Bristol will be electing a third of its councillors this year for a two-year term and next year another third for a one-year term before switching to all councillors on a four-year cycle from 2016.

  12. Oldnat
    Agree with you entirely re BBC and CBI.
    Educate, inform and entertain NOT
    Indoctrinate.
    The Beeb used to be justly proud of its conduct during the General Strike, when we had clash of the Titans between Churchill and Reith. With Reith and Democracy winning.

  13. “@ Cloudspotter

    Comparing Yougov polls from a year ago (LAB lead of 7) with the latest one, it is interesting that the cross breaks show that UKIPs rise has come mostly in the North (Up from 12/13 to 17). Are these traditional Lab voters worried about immigration or 2010 Cons?”

    Labour do also have a problem with lost voters to UKIP. If you look at polling over a long period Labour have always enjoyed a large lead amongst the lower social groups, some of which will be manual or lower skilled jobs. Some may think their (current or prospective) jobs are at risk from immigrants, who they may think are willing to work for lower wages.

    Because Labour enjoy quite large leads in the north of England, they can afford to lose say up to 10% in most seats and they should still retain them.

    The Tories will have more of a problem with lost votes to UKIP, as they have closer competition from the Lib Dems and Labour. If you look at some of the recent local election results, Tories have lost to Lib Dems, as votes have gone to UKIP and Labour voters have tactically voted for the Lib Dems. If this happens at the general election the Tories could lose many seats to the Lib Dems who could perform a lot better than current polls are showing. Labour may also win a good number of seats from the Tories due to UKIP and 2010 Lib Dems backing them.

  14. @RHuckle

    You make some interesting points and it would appear that even in a post-coalitionist world, tactical voting is still alive and well.

    I haven’t seen any polling on it for some time, but I seem to recall that a majority of Lib Dem voters, past and present, preferred the prospect of a coalition with Labour rather than the Tories and, if this is still true, I wonder if, anticipating a close election result and possible hung Parliament, they will vote tactically in favour of Labour in Con/Lab marginals.

    I’m thinking here of the 10-12% sticking with the Lib Dems in the current polls. If they happen to be in constituencies where the Lib Dems are a distant third, they may vote tactically to keep the Tory out. I think it may be a mistake to think that these loyal Lib Dem voters are all Tory leaning coalitionists. It’s also obviously true that despite the antipathy felt towards the Lib Dems by Labour voters, many will vote tactically for Lib Dem candidates where they can beat a Tory candidate/MP. This will boost the Lib Dem vote in a General Election. It’s a vote that will remain invisible in opinion polls.

  15. @Crossbat,

    That’s one interpretation. There is another way of looking at it.

    Perhaps the LD to Labour switchers we’re talking about have already changed their colours when it comes to national opinion polling, but will be willing to switch back to the LDs in areas where they are the only competitive ABT party?

    I’ve seen one or two of our UKPR comrades who are LD to Labour switchers making comments about “never voting LD again” and thought “hmm, really?, even if it lets a Tory in?”.

    If this alternative explanation is true then in fact what may happen is that the tactical voting (whilst good for Labour in marginals/target seats) may cause the final vote shares at the GE to be slightly larger for the LDs and slightly smaller for Labour than the opinion polling suggests.

    In other words tactical voting may cause Labour to outperform UNS, but the UNS they are outperforming may be less than we think, for an overall smaller impact than the first explanation (that even the remaining LD voters are primarily anti-Tories) would give.

  16. Maybe some of you might find this map amusing: http://www.buzzfeed.com/lukebailey/definitive-stereotype-map-of-europe

  17. OLDNAT
    Matthew Paris in today’s Times is saying that if Scotland votes yes, it will mean Cameron’s head.
    How irresponsible can you Scots get!

  18. CB11

    @” I think it may be a mistake to think that these loyal Lib Dem voters are all Tory leaning coalitionists. ”

    I don’t know about “Tory leaning”, but YouGov ask whether they support or oppose the Coalition from time to time.

    The last time they did ( 15/16 April) , those with a LD VI responded 41% net support-higher than from those giving a Con VI.

    LD 2010 voters, on the other hand, responded 14% net oppose.

  19. Incumbency and tactical voting in the South and South West mean that it won’t be a given that Cameron will make gains from the LDs in these areas, whereas you would think Clegg can write off places like Burnley and Bradford East now.

  20. BFELD

    @”Matthew Paris in today’s Times is saying that if Scotland votes yes, it will mean Cameron’s head.”

    ……unless he takes the “one hope” that MP suggests-calling a GE , promising to impose a “very tough deal” on Scotland ( a promise MP says Labour couldn’t match) -and getting the result MP predicts from such a GE-a Conservative win.

  21. COLIN
    My attempt at as light joke at OLDNAT’s expense failed the Colin test.
    You are a serious fellow.

  22. BFELD

    Sorry to have intruded on your joke.

    I have no doubt that OldNat will appreciate it nevertheless.

    Amusing to see MP telling Scots ( through your good self)
    that a Yes vote will get rid of Cameron ; whilst EM tells them that a Yes vote will guarantee his successor majority government at Westminster.

    I think that is really funny :-)

  23. BFIELD

    Benedict Brogan in DT has also said that DC would resign in the event of a YES vote.

    As you imply-Tory haters in Scotland have much to ponder lol.

  24. Bfield
    Parris is extrapolating quite a few stages from a postulated given, in that Cameron promising a tough deal towards a newly independent Scotland would by no means guarantee a Tory victory. Labour , and everybody else would have a field day painting Cammo as the Guilty Man who was asking for the chance to compound his monumental failure.
    (Sorry if you were just intending to rattle Oldnat’s cage !)

  25. @Colin

    DC can’t call an early GE without proposing a vote of no confidence in his own government, or obtaining the consent of 2/3 of MPs.

  26. Surely a GE isn’t really the correct vehicle for obtaining a “mandate” for tough negotiation anyway? In a GE you can’t separate out the electorate’s reasons for voting. They might want “soft” negotiation, but prefer Tory economic policies. They might want a “hard” negotiation, but want a Labour government because they fancy an energy price freeze and a zero hours crackdown.

    If you want a mandate for a “tough” negotiation (whatever that means) surely that should involve an rUK referendum. Or even better, a multi-question referendum (on currency union, border controls, support for Scottish membership of the EU/NATO etc).

    The whole thing’s just plain daft. But then, I don’t think Cameron should resign because of a “Yes” vote. The entire Scottish debate these days is framed on the proposition “How do we have absolutely nothing to do with horrible Southern English Tory B*stards?” In that context, there is hardly anything worthwhile that people like Cameron (or me for that matter) can do to help.

  27. @COLIN: “…whilst EM tells them that a Yes vote will guarantee his successor majority government at Westminster.”

    Except he didn’t.

  28. @RAF: “DC can’t call an early GE without proposing a vote of no confidence in his own government, or obtaining the consent of 2/3 of MPs.”

    Even that wouldn’t guarantee an election as Labour would be entitled to try to form a government. There’s no certainty that Cameron could then muster a majority to defeat it.

  29. RAF

    I did wonder about that when I read the article.

    But the constitutional fine-print passes me by.

  30. NEILA

    @” I don’t think Cameron should resign because of a “Yes” vote. ”

    Nor me.

    But the MP article was based on the writers perception of DC’s own stance , having “lost” the Union-honour and all that jazz.

    Since Brogan has the same view one wonders whether DC has given a private indication.

    I would like to see DC urge a Yes on Scotland -for electoral advantage at Westminster. We can dream.

  31. Good Afternoon all.

    OLD NAT.
    The UK includes six counties of Ireland. At the moment.

  32. @ Rich

    “your earlier comment on tv debates is inaccurate [] It wasn’t Cameron who ‘had to be bounced’ into the last tv debates”

    If you read my post again you will see that I never claimed that! I was refering to his potential reluctance this coming time. You are right that Cameron wanted them then, and Brown was less keen. What you summise about the reluctance of incumbents is probably spot on!

    Rich, I may often be wrong in my conclusions about many things – but inaccuracy is something I try and avoid!!!

  33. @Colin

    “As you imply-Tory haters in Scotland have much to ponder lol.”

    I think your average Scot wouldn’t give a fig either way, as Westminster will be ‘some other place’ in the event of a ‘Yes’, and the place that issues the orders from afar in the event of a ‘No’.

    Cameron’s head is not top of Scot’s priorities when thinking about independence. It’s a little surprising that some might think it was.

  34. I should also point out that ‘Con-haters’, as you term them probably don’t ‘hate’ Cameron to the same level. He’s a relatively popular (or less unpopular) person when measured against others.

    He would probably rise to the level of ‘ignored’ or ‘scorned’, but not ‘hated’.

  35. @Neil A

    “I’ve seen one or two of our UKPR comrades who are LD to Labour switchers making comments about “never voting LD again” and thought “hmm, really?, even if it lets a Tory in?”.”

    OK – you’ve rumbled me! I like being addresssed as a “comrade” though!! Seriously though, it doesn’t matter a tinkers how I vote in Maidenhead, so I will vote Labour in 2015. However, if I lived up the road in say Twickenham I would be very torn…….

  36. @NeilA

    “In that context, there is hardly anything worthwhile that people like Cameron (or me for that matter) can do to help.”

    One way would be to get the first and last words out of the statement – “horrible Southern English Tory B*stards”. Some long-term investment in a way that Holyrood can’t take credit would be a start.

  37. @ Neil A,

    In that context, there is hardly anything worthwhile that people like Cameron (or me for that matter) can do to help.

    You could promise to vote Labour. :p

    And he could promise to vote Labour and then resign. If he really loved the union…

    (Although it does seem to me the appropriate response to ‘We hate being in a country with people like you so much that we’re going to secede!” is “Well, eff off then.”)

    I think you’re right about your UNS scenario, by the way. Although Roger Mexico once calculated how many seats were actually likely to experience Lab -> LD tactical voting and found it was only around 10%, so even if the effect remains strong it will probably affect the topline figures less than we think.

  38. Spear
    Nifty use of affect and effect , if l may say so!

  39. SPEARMINT

    “(Although it does seem to me the appropriate response to ‘We hate being in a country with people like you so much that we’re going to secede!” is “Well, eff off then.”)”

    That rather encapsulates where I’m at, having started from ‘Scotland please don’t go’ and then followed the debates on here.
    Not that I expect anybody to care!

    Thinking about Ewen’s comment, are you sure it shouldn’t be ‘aff off then’?

  40. ”I don’t think Cameron should resign because of a “Yes” vote.”

    ————-

    Well, he could resign after a “no” vote then…

  41. @Statgeek,

    Sadly, I suspect that for a lot of Yes-inclined Scots, words 1 and 5 are intrinsically linked with words 2,3 and 4 to various extents.

  42. @ OLD NAT – wasn’t aware of that about the BBC, thanks for pointing it out. It ought to be dynamite, but who’s covering it – not the BBC. Is this not against their charter?

    Matthew Paris is hardly going to help the ‘No’ vote by promising Cameron’s head as an extra bonus for a ‘Yes’ vote.

  43. Blimey!
    What started as a gentle jibe from me at OLDNAT has generated some serious posts.
    I must not attempt any humour in future then what I write might get a laugh .

  44. Neil A

    Surely a GE isn’t really the correct vehicle for obtaining a “mandate” for tough negotiation anyway? In a GE you can’t separate out the electorate’s reasons for voting. They might want “soft” negotiation, but prefer Tory economic policies. They might want a “hard” negotiation, but want a Labour government because they fancy an energy price freeze and a zero hours crackdown.

    I rather agree, but isn’t “obtaining a ‘mandate’ for tough negotiation” exactly what Cameron is claiming to be going for in 2015 vis-s-vis the EU? Perhaps the fantasy is that he can combine it with being the Hammer of the Scots and go into the election as ‘toughie’ Cameron to go with his new marketing as Working-Class Hero. No doubt Pressman and his mates will be busy printing photos of him wrestling bare-chested with tigers or whatever.

    As you suggest, in reality the electorate may not be as obliging as to accept it, when they are told what an election is ‘about’. That’s certainly what Heath discovered in 1974.

    As to an immediate election after a Yes vote, that is an even more lurid fantasy. Unless he can persuade Labour to support it (which they will only if they are sure that they can smash the Conservatives into the ground) he will first have to engineer an embarrassing vote of no confidence in himself; then wait two weeks hoping that Labour can’t put together a government which they would use to throw all manner of goodies at the electorate in the run up to May; then have the election campaign, which I seem to remember from something Anthony said, now has to be longer than was specified in the past. That’s plenty of time for people to focus on other issues. It will also make them wonder why there was the sudden need for an election when one was due in under eight months anyway – probably six months by polling day.

    And in the circumstances of such an election, remember that Scotland is still sending MPs to Westminster. True the Tories can only lose one, but an aggressive ‘get the Scots’ campaign is quite likely to mean a clean sweep for the SNP in reaction. Imagine their joy if they discover they are holding the balance of power.

    The truth is that the Telegraph mob will call for Cameron’s resignation if they don’t like the colour of the shirt he is wearing and Matthew Paris is fond of free-form speculation. If there is a Yes vote Cameron will try to shrug it off and his his spin doctors will try to imply that it was all a Cunning Plan to stop Labour winning. And most people in rUK will go “Whatever” and realise that it doesn’t make any practical difference to their lives.

  45. @Roger Mexico,

    I think the EU referendum / Tory GE combination isn’t so much about “obtaining a mandate”. It’s not about taking the result of the GE into the EU negotiations. It’s about taking the idea of the EU negotiations into the GE campaign.

    Otherwise it’s a bit like saying that Miliband is using the 2015 GE as a mandate to introduce an energy price freeze…

  46. For what it’s worth, I think Cameron will be leading the Tories into the 2015 GE regardless of the outcome of the referendum, although I accept that it will cause him political damage and reduce the chances of him staying PM from “remote” to “fantasy”.

    As it happens, I think that in the event of a Yes vote, followed by a narrow Labour win in 2015 and a Cameron resignation, followed by a near or total- removal of Labour’s majority in 2016 (from the loss of Scots MPs) the new leader of the Conservatives, Boris Johnson, would be in a very good place in the new Scot-free United Kingdom political scene. He is beyond parody as an archetypal English squire.

  47. Being pro-EU means that Johnson wouldn’t be a unifying leader for the Tories and I’m not sure he has much electoral appeal outside the Home Counties.

  48. There’s no such thing as a unifying leader for the Tories.

    And as for Johnson’s appeal outside the Home Counties, surely that’s never been tested?

    I’m not sure I would have pegged him as an obvious fit for Londoners either, back when he was an Oxfordshire MP.

  49. I don’t really get the whole thing about Cameron having to resign if Scotland votes YES. Allowing a referendum and sticking by the result is as much as I would expect from him. I’d be more annoyed if he was throwing bribes at Salmond to get a NO vote, which is why I was slightly irritated by the shipbuilding business.

  50. It will be interesting to see which polls end up being accurate concerning the Euro elections though. I hope they’re all operating right up until the last minute.

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