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. @Neil A

    Serious Boris could be a unifying figure for the Tories.

  2. I can’t see Cameron resigning after a Yes vote. It’s really not that clear to me why he should. Someone used the word ‘honour’ upthread, but it’s a long, long while since any politician used the excuse of honour to voluntarily step aside.

  3. @ Guy Monde, Spearmint

    That rather encapsulates where I’m at, having started from ‘Scotland please don’t go’
    ————-
    I appreciate the ‘please don’t go’ sentiment.

  4. @ Amber,

    Oh, I don’t want you to go, even if it will doom us to an eternity of debates between you and Old Nat. :)

    I’m just not sure the Tories should have to change who they are to keep you.

  5. Let’s hope against hope that the referendum is decisive. Without abandoning my Unionism in any way, I would prefer a decisive Yes to a marginal result either way.

  6. @MSmithsonPB

    Tonight’s Opinium poll for Observer sees gap getting closer LAB 34-2
    CON 32+2
    LD 7=
    UKIP 18=

  7. Good Afternoon All. MUFC awakening.

    STAN J.
    Strange poll ratings; thank you for them.
    UKIP and Lib Dem figures seem very high, IMO

  8. @ALEC David Davies acted with honour when he resigned. He did it on a point of principle, I don’t even agree with the principle, but do respect the honour shown – it is so very rare.

    Hi CHRISLANE1945. Opinium are one of the most consistent polling organisations, they have been showing figures within a couple of points of this for over a year. IMO they are the most accurate. Though I daresay there may be others on a YouGov site who might disagree(!)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:UK_opinion_polling_2010-2015.png

  9. When did David Davies resign? Perhaps you mean David Davis!

  10. Bfield.

    Seems I was the only person to get your joke!

    Interesting comments from various folk though.

    How can you “lose” something, when it remains in the same place?

  11. MR BEESWAX.
    Thank you for this information about Opinium, and I think that their VI estimate is probably only 3% high for UKIP and LD.

  12. It seems the GE VI polls are being heavily influenced by the impending EP Elections.

  13. @RAF
    UKIP are back to almost the exact same position they were this time last year, but it was from local elections not EU elections. UKIP seem to rise whenevre there is any sort of election coming up……besides GE.

  14. It’s a shame Opinium don’t do Euro polling because I’d be interested in seeing that. Bar the weird ICM, the gap between UKIP and Labour seems to be closing. Maybe Opinium would throw up something interesting.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Parliament_election,_2014_%28United_Kingdom%29#Opinion_polls

  15. I await tonight’s weekend YouGov with interest. If the latest Opinium and Populus polls are accurate, and there is an acute tightening between Labour and the Tories taking place, then the YouGov poll should pick this up too.

    If it’s in this 0-2% range then things may well be getting interesting.

  16. I can’t help but notice that Labour’s trend stays constant in the Opinium poll: Labour VI is in the 36-40% range, barring outliers.

  17. I may have to broaden my prediction of a Labour majority of 15-30 to a Labour majority of 10-30, because I didn’t expect UKIP to be so effective at being more than just a party for disgrunted Tories. What’s most dramatic, of course, is how UKIP have successfully won over so much of the former Lib Dem vote. One of the many myths shattered in this parliament is that Labour + Lib Dem votes constituted a “centre-left majority” in Britain.

  18. YouGov/ST Euro Poll:

    UKIP 31
    Lab 28
    Con 19
    LD 9

    Bloody awful for all the main parties.

  19. I’ve always thought there was something of a disconnect between the voters the LDs attract and the policies they advocate.

    It was particularly striking in the Welsh referendum on devolution (a policy strongly advocated by the LDs) when the LD constituencies were bastions of opposition to devolution.

    @MrNameless,

    Mainly awful for the Tories. I don’t think Labour would mind getting beaten by UKIP if the Tories are trailing that badly in third. More pro than con for them.

  20. MRNAMELESS
    “Bloody awful for all the main parties.”

    Except for the newbie E&W main party, don’t you mean?

  21. The Sunday Times headline is very much portraying the poll as a bad news story for the Tories.

    Interesting (and a little frustrating) that they don’t give the GE polling as well. That may mean that it doesn’t look nearly so bad for the Tories (and therefore doesn’t suit the tone of the article).

  22. My guess is a 5 point Lab lead.

  23. Because politigeeks like the fine detail..

    UKIP 31 (+4)
    Labour 28 (-2)
    Conservatives 19 (-3)
    LibDems 9 (-1)
    Greens 8(+2)

  24. If the Lib Dems come fifth, Clegg is finished.

  25. Ewen wins tonight’s lottery..

    @MSmithsonPB 36s

    Tonight’s YouGov S Times Westminster voting intention poll has
    LAB 36
    CON 31
    UKIP 15
    LD 9

  26. I think that:

    -Nick Clegg is finished at the next GE anyway

    but…

    -He is safe until then, as replacing him would be like taking the wheel from Capt Smith after the iceberg was struck.

  27. That Westminster YouGov is pretty grim for both the main parties, even if it is just Ukip’s pre-election bounce. Labour can’t afford to dip any lower and 31% a year out from a general election is dire by any standard.

  28. @Neil A

    Interesting observation about LDs and Wales. Could it be an artifact of the way LD constituencies are distributed in Wales – eg these were constituencies on the border?

    My personal belief is that a lot of LD voters feel they should vote but can’t make their minds up, or can’t be bothered to think to hard about how to vote – and LD seems like a harmless way of performing a civic duty. Add those to the tactical voters, and the one issue voters (pro PR, pro marijuana, pro no rise in Uni fees etc) you’ve got a fair proportion of the LD support that does know much about their policies.

  29. [email protected]! I mean “doesn’t know about their policies.”

  30. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a by-election! The Times is reporting that Patrick Mercer is out over cash for questions.

    2010 result in Newark:

    Con: 53.9%
    Lab: 22.3%
    LD: 20.0%
    UKIP: 3.8%

    Possibly achievable for Labour if the Lib Dems all come over and Ukip can split the Tory vote? It’s a massive reach, though. Bet they’re wishing he’d triggered it last year instead.

  31. @Spearmint

    I have suspected for some years that one party winning 40%+ of the vote in a GE has gone for good.

    I think we are in a new era, one where FPTP will look increasing awful.

  32. Support for both the main parties, if you exclude Populus’s inhabitation of a different world, is starting to sink like a slowly deflating souffle. Labour will be happy that they’re keeping their noses in front, but that’s about the extent of it. It really is dire in terms of the support either of them are attracting at the moment.

    The curtain appears to be coming down on a tired old act. Not many sitting in the theatre either if these polls are to be believed. Certainly no encores.

    Maybe only new playwrights, actors and scripts can save the day.

  33. In April 1996 the Government lost South East Staffordshire to Labour – a 22% swing.

    In April 2009 the Government lost Norwich North to a 16% swing to the Conservatives.

    Do we have a benchmark a year out from the GE?

    If Labour get the 15% swing needed to win the seat, are they on target to win the GE?

  34. Catmanjeff

    I’d agree that England is “in a new era”. FTFP has always looked awful, of course! :-)

    However, alternate systems don’t necessarily prevent over 40% of the electorate finding a particular party worth voting for in a FPTP election.

    The latest Survation poll had the SNP on 46% of the vote in the FPTP section of the AM system (and on only 38% in the List vote, where the smaller parties have reasonable prospects of success).

    It probably matters more that voters actually see a real difference between parties – and find one more likely to prove competent (or at least less incompetent).

  35. A Newark by-election could not come at a worse time for the Tories, especially if it’s a double-whammy after losing the European elections.

    While there’s a small chance of a Labour gain if UKIP split the Tory vote and Labour squeeze the Lib Dems, it’d probably be more to Labour’s benefit for UKIP to win and throw the Tories into disarray than win a seat they’ve no hope of holding at a GE. Not a very honest thing to do.

    I’ll predict a relatively close battle with any of the Tories, Labour or UKIP winning it. Likelihood probably in that order.

  36. @GRAHAM yes David Davis – thanks for the correction.

    Exciting stuff; UKIP have scored 15% with YG in the last ten days, now they overtake Labour in Euros. And by elections are always a blast, the numbers say safe but the background says wide open. Not to mention Scotland going down to the wire. Polldrums over.

    EU funded BBC looks more like a party political broadcast than a news programme.

  37. Mr Beeswax

    “EU funded BBC”?

    I have little time for BBC claims of political neutrality when they use our license money to fund the CBI, but “EU funded” is a new one on me.

    If the licence isn’t funding them – why the hell have I been paying it?

  38. @Spearmint, Catmanjeff, Crossbat,

    But the Con+Lab share in YouGov’s poll is exactly the same as they split between them at the last GE. 67% of the vote (GB only). And it is only slightly down on 2005.

    The era of the “Big Two” was already over a long time ago.

    All that appears to have happened is that after a brief blip when the LD souffle deflated post-Coalition, the UKIP vote has become the new repository for the Plague On Both Your Houses contingent.

  39. For a long time it appeared with the collapse of the Lib Dems that the big-two’s dominance would return – which brought a certain amount of anxiety on my part, as I dreaded a future of political homelessness in a Tory-New Labour duopoly, and didn’t trust Ed Miliband to steer back left. Alas, I was right to be concerned, and thankfully the two parties having shown they’re still just as narrowly focused and undeserving, have let it slip through their fingers and shown that those days of big-tent 40% are no longer credible – they don’t (and to be fair, don’t try to) appeal to that amount any more.

    Interesting poll from the ST – that the Greens might beat Lib Dems in to fifth may be my incentive to vote (just for spite, I’ve no real affinity for the Greens, either).

  40. @Mr Beeswas; OldNat

    Having long defended the BBC, their reporting during this parliament has eradicated any sympathy for them, and a million miles away from their professed impartiality. I no longer mind if the Right have their way and abolish it (which I never thought I’d say).

  41. You have to plot the decline of the Main Three in order to highlight what has happened, because the LD schism obscures things :_

    Main Three total since SDP/Lib Alliance.:-

    1987 96%
    1992 94%
    1997 91%
    2001 91%
    2005 90%
    2010 89%
    You Gov. this morning 76%

  42. Another 4-pointer for the greens in today’s yougov. It’s still tiny, of course, but if they’re so close to the lib dems in the euros a tiny-sized surge could make all the difference.

  43. Latest YouGov / Sunday Times results 25th April – Con 31%, Lab 36%, LD 9%, UKIP 15%; APP -23

    The minor parties are extremly high in this yougov poll
    4 for the Nationalists
    4 for the Greens
    1 for Other

    – surely this must be something to do with elections coming up. UkIP score remains elevated as well, getting some boost from 2010 Lab and 2010 LD voters as well as the usual 2010 Con boost. In fact adding the 2010 Lab andLD is larger than the 201 Con percent.

    And despite all the good economic headlines the economic questions are still showing extremely poor scores-

    How good/bad is the state of the UK economy at the moment -21% (good 20% bad 41%

    Personal financial situation in the next 12 months -18% (better 18% worse 36%)

    London and the South East are less negatiive compared to the rest of the country.
    C2DE groups much more negative compared to ABC1 groups.
    And the young are more positve compared to the old

    The first 2 findings does seem to indicate the economic recovery is more apparent to certain regions and certain classes.

  44. That 4 for the Greens has come along a couple of times now and I suspect it’s temporarily depressing Labour VI. I would have thought they’d fail to hold them at the GE, and after the European elections we might see Labour VI boosted a point or two.

    That’s unless they get a boost from beating the LDs, but if their boost from coming third with 15% on 50% turnout in 1989 didn’t last, I doubt fourth with 10% on 35% turnout will do anything in the long run.

  45. The Greens have a great opportunity under the PR system in the EU elections, that FPTP cannot give them.

    Also, the funding and party machinery of the Greens is smaller than Con, Lab, LD and probably UKIP.

    It’s a real struggle to fight a GE on 650 front simultaneously during a GE. As the FPTP system makes such an effort yield such poor results, tactically Greens fight the EU election hard, and then an MEP is real launch pad to build up certain areas where a GE seat is possible.

  46. Good Morning All.

    Which Parties qualify to be described as Minor Parties?

    Many thanks for any good answers.

  47. If the 2015 election is a battle between left and right of politics, with Labour representing left and Tories the right, which party is most likely to attract support from other parties ?

    As the polling for the EU elections suggests, people lend their support to other parties. They may have a single issue that is better represented by another party or with EU elections not being FPTP they don’t feel their vote is lost or they may think a protest vote does not do any harm.

    How many people with a UKIP VI will go back to the Tories in 2015 ? How many will go back to Labour ( etc) ? I think the Tories will get back a large chunk of votes from UKIP, as however they feel about EU and various other issues, they will not want a Labour government. Labour will also get back some of their voters from UKIP, because a general election is different.

    How many people who voted LD in 2010 but are now showing a Labour VI, will go back to the LD’s ? Many of these will be Labour tactical voters, where Labour cannot win, so they think they have no choice but to vote LD to stop the Tories. I would suggest as I have said before that the LD’s will do much better than predicted.

    When you boil it all down, the 2015 election will still be a choice between left and right, Labour and Tories. What will decide the election is the tactical challenge of each side of politics in getting people behind their side. This will of course also help people undecided about their politics, who are currently don’t knows in polls. Are Labour more likely to convert the don’t knows into votes for them rather than the Tories ? I think this is possible.

  48. @ Craig

    A vote for the Greens can be very dangerous in letting extremist parties in – that is what happened in the 2009 EU elections in the NW England constituency, where the Greens gained 7.7% of the vote, just behind the BNP at 8.0%.

    It is safer to vote for a party likely to win a % of the vote likely to exceed the d’Hondt threshold, as this helps to raise the threshold for gaining a seat under the d’Hondt system. Based on current opinion polls, in England the only parties that meet this criterion are Con/Lab/UKIP, and the LiDems in a few larger regions with more MEPs.

  49. CL1945, my view:

    I would define minor party as one which:

    A) Stands no reasonable chance of being elected to parliament in sufficient numbers to constitute a group (i.e. more than two).
    B) Is not standing in a majority of seats (seats under their remit that is, so the SNP and DUP don’t count).
    C) Has a negligible number of people expressing voting intention for that party (less than 3% or so is a reasonable boundary).
    D) Stands no reasonable chance of being given a position in government either as a majority or coalition partner.

    If a party meets, say, three or more of those conditions they can be considered a Minor Party.

    I won’t list all of them, but examples could include:

    The Greens (depending on their variable fortunes)
    The BNP
    The English Democrats
    The Christian Party
    TUSC
    The Loonies
    The Liberal Party

  50. Craig, OLDNAT , mr Beeswax.
    What is with all this knocking of the BBC. Whilst their political stance can be queried there is no doubt the organisation makes a massive contribution to the cultural life of the UK.
    I say that with the wonderful sounds of a concert by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales ringing around my head.
    Politicians of all colours have a poor record in enhancing our cultural heritage.

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