Sunday polls

There were three polls in the Sunday papers today. Opinium in the Observer had topline figures of CON 32%. LAB 33%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 19%.

The weekly YouGov poll for the Sunday Times also had only a one point lead for the Labour party: CON 34%, LAB 35%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 13%. Tabs here. YouGov also had a couple of tracking questions seeking to measure what effect the heavy criticism of UKIP on things like racism over the last couple of weeks has had. YouGov repeated two questions from earlier in the campaign – a week ago 41% of people thought UKIP were racist, 40% did not. Now 46% think they are racist (up 5), 39% they are not (down 1). A fortnight ago 27% thought Nigel Farage himself was a racist, 50% said he wasn’t. This week that has narrowed to 38% racist (up 9), 43% not racist (down 7).

Together those two make it look pretty conclusive that the attacks on UKIP did damage perceptions of the party. More people think the party and Farage are racist. However, it does NOT necessarily follow that it damaged their vote – it could just have served to further entrench negative views amongst people who didn’t like UKIP anyway. It could even have both helped and harmed them – making their opponents more negative towards them, but also bolstering their anti-establishment credentials amongst their supporters. The results tonight won’t really tell us – if UKIP do well, it doesn’t mean they couldn’t have done better without all the negative coverage. If UKIP do less well than expected, it doesn’t mean they weren’t headed that way anyway.

Finally there was a new Survation poll for the Mail on Sunday. The fieldwork for the Survation poll didn’t start until late on Friday, so unlike the YouGov and Opinium polls most respondents will have had a chance to see the local election results. Topline figures there, with changes since Survations last pre-election poll, are CON 27%(-1), LAB 32%(-3), LDEM 9%(+1), UKIP 23%(+2). Survation show some of the highest UKIP scores anyway, but the 23% is a record high for UKIP even by their standards – the first in what I’d expect to be many polls showing a post-election boost for UKIP.

While not a poll, the Sunday Times also had the Rallings and Thrasher Equivalent National Vote calculation for the local elections. This is essentially a very similar exercise to the BBC’s projected national share, but calculated by a different team using different key wards – Rallings and Thrasher’s figures are Conservatives 30%, Labour 31%, Lib Dem 11%, UKIP 18%. Slightly different from the BBC’s, but it essentially tells the same story – Labour with only a tiny lead over the Tories, UKIP doing worse than in 2013 when R&T had them on 22%.


1,118 Responses to “Sunday polls”

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  1. first!

  2. Have the BBC, Sky, ITV or any of the newspapers mentioned that UKIP did worse this year than last?

  3. Several polls out and most show the Tories and Labour neck and neck. The polls have confirmed a tightening over the past 3 weeks.

    Theresa May on Marr said something very interesting.

    “No party has won a GE without being the largest party in local government and Labour aren’t the largest party in local government”
    ….

    Oh!!

  4. More confirmation that the UKIP surge reported by Dimbleby, Robinson et al was a little overdone.

    Will be interesting to see which GE seat Farage chooses. He said it would be south of the river yesterday so he can’t pick and Essex seat.

    South London doesn’t look promising territory so I guess it will have to be Kent.

    My guess would be somewhere in Thanet where there are a reasonable number of “left behind” type voters who seem to be fertile ground for UKIP.

  5. allan

    when are the next round of Council elections?

    Would they be on general election day?

    Just maybe we’ll see Lab sweep up the councils and a majority of parliamentary seats so that May’s new and completely arbitrary new “rule” will be satisfied anyway.

  6. “Rallings and Thrasher’s figures are Conservatives 30%, Labour 31%, Lib Dem 11%, UKIP 18%. Slightly different from the BBC’s, but it essentially tells the same story – Labour with only a tiny lead over the Tories, UKIP doing worse than in 2013 when R&T had them on 22%.”
    ________

    The shrinkage in the UKIP % is down to the fact that London was in this set of local elections which isn’t very happy stomping ground for them.

  7. AC
    So UKIP ain’t really a national party then , if they Tank in the Capital ?

  8. NICKP

    Tisk Tisk she said “leading into an election”

    Okay it’s her dynamic on things as they stand but it is interesting.

  9. Allan – no it isn’t.

    The whole purpose of the PNS and the ENV is to give a measurement that can be fairly compared from year to year despite different sorts of council being up for election in different places, so it’s entirely intended to address and negate the issue you raise

  10. Ewen Lightfoot

    AC
    So UKIP ain’t really a national party then , if they Tank in the Capital ?
    ___________

    Absolutely correct, they hardly register in Scotland and don’t appear to be anywhere in NI but in England outside of London they are making inroads.

  11. It seems rather odd to credit rising perceptions of UKIP and Farage to “attacks” rather than their actions. UKIP have run a campaign of thinly-velied racist posters, Farage made racist comments about Romanians and then defended them with racist arguments in a full page advert. While attacks may have had an effect, I think the perception lies more squarely at the feet of UKIP themselves.

  12. “No party has won a GE without being the largest party in local government and Labour aren’t the largest party in local government”

    With the exception of… her own party, in 1992.

    Can’t blame her for suppressing all memory of the Major government, but it was a thing that happened.

  13. Jeremy Hunt said the same as Theresa May on Friday so it appears to be part of the conservative narrative. It is as daft as any other rule of thumb.

  14. Another interesting local elections fact: Labour has now gained more councillors under Ed Miliband than the Tories did under David Cameron.

  15. Anthony Wells

    Allan – no it isn’t.

    The whole purpose of the PNS and the ENV is to give a measurement that can be fairly compared from year to year despite different sorts of council being up for election in different places, so it’s entirely intended to address and negate the issue you raise
    __________

    Okay I take back what I said and UKIP do appear to have shrunk in % terms.

    However they were polling well above the PNS in a lot of areas in the North.

  16. I think people perceive Farage and UKIP as racist, reactionary, sexist, xenophobic and often homophobic because that’s what they are.

  17. “I think people perceive Farage and UKIP as racist, reactionary, sexist, xenophobic and often homophobic because that’s what they are”
    _______

    That’s probably the reason why they aren’t doing too well in Scotland.

  18. If the Opinium poll is at accurate, then the Red Dem windfall i.e. the collapse of the LDs from nearly 24% to >10% has benefited Labour, which one would think would be the natural alternative destination, a grand total of 3%. Amazing.

    Since 1945, Labour have lost ground in vote % in each of the three occasions after which they’ve lost power. I don’t think that this will happen in 2015, but it may well be that Labour don’t make much progress from 2010.

  19. (And they’ll still probably win quite a majority! Shades of February 1974, which was a disaster for Labour in every respect except the seats.)

  20. Will UKIP score more than 10% at the May 2015 general election ?

    Are we definitely in a four party politics period or will UKIP shrink back to less than 5%, as they have done at previous elections ?

    I am not convinced that UKIP will score more than 10% at the general election. I think recent polls indicate that only about one third of current UKIP support will stay with them. If this is the case, perhaps UKIP will not really affect the outcome in too many seats.

    Or will UKIP gain more media coverage with Farage taking part in leaders debates, meaning they maintain support above 10% causing the outcome in many seats to be unpreditcable.

  21. “I think recent polls indicate that only about one third of current UKIP support will stay with them”

    Lord Ashcroft’s polling indicates 51% of UKIP EU voters. If we assume 26-32% as a decent range, that would put them at 13-16%.

    Of course, this assumes that things stay as they are which they probably won’t, but current data is the only data we have.

  22. @ Bill Patrick,

    February 1974 was a disaster for Labour because they didn’t win a majority and because Tony Benn was in the Cabinet.

    I don’t know whether 2015 will bring a return of the first problem, but it would be a real shock if there was a reprise of the second.

  23. We are still in the Euro election period.

    We’ll probably have to wait a few weeks before the voters start to think of the GE – maybe even until the autumn.

  24. SoCalLiberal (FPT)

    I hope you’re going to give us regular updates on District 33.

    Wacko politics is great fun – when you don’t have to live with the results!

  25. @RAF

    “We’ll probably have to wait a few weeks before the voters start to think of the GE – maybe even until the autumn.”

    I agree.

    As to mention of UKIP’s declining share, I have heard it snuck in as a footnote in Beeb coverage, a bit like a guilty secret.

    Andrew Marr was b.awful this morning but I actually thought all the party spokespeople did rather well, and it reminded me that Harriet H is actually a powerful politician with some gravitas. I know she’s a bit marmite but reinforces the idea that there are some impressive Lab front-benchers who are under-deployed.

  26. There has been a clear trend in the polls since the budget – a declining Labour lead but without the Tories rising very much. This would suggest the trend is a product of UKIP – with their impact inflated by the Euros – rather than the result of ‘good economic news’. Once today and its fallout is out of the way, we will start to find out. Will UKIP fall back and Labour’s lead start to rise again or has the recent trend been about more than just UKIP? If the former, Labour still has a chance of being biggest party in 2015; if the latter, the Tories are heading for biggest party or more.

    On May’s number of councillors ‘insight’, this has been mentioned by a number of Tories and is clearly a ruse designed to incite unease in Labour”s ranks. It is an arbitrary and meaningless statistic which I would ignore.

  27. The ENV looks much closer to reality than the BBC’s PNS in what I have managed to glean from looking at my own sample of wards that for various historic reasons of my own I know something about.

    What strikes me rprising is just how appallingly badly UKIP did in many of the wards in London I looked at. It is as if the UKIP surge outside the M25 has had no impact on London at all for the most part. Although the London demographic is not in their favour, I still would have expected some uplift in the capital, if only modest. It is as if London, like Scotland, has a different political culture to the rest of the UK? Which could explain Labour’s excellent night there, whilst only making teasingly small gains outside in the rest of the South.

  28. rprising = as surprising

    (apols. something weird happened as the software seems to have deleted a few characters that I typed?!?)

  29. @NFR

    Even if UKIP don’t fall back in vote share they’re not going to affect the result in 2015 by winning seats (OK, maybe one or two if they’re really lucky but an insignificant number in parliamentary terms). Their effect is going to be on influencing other party results; that still looks likely to damage the Tories more than Labour.

  30. Beeb now in full-on reverse ferret mode. Andrew Neil just now: “The UKIP insurgency failed to deliver the promised earthquake in the local elections…”

    Obviously too much to hope that they will take responsibility for the boost all their spin on Friday will give UKIP in the polls :-(

  31. @RogerH
    “Their effect is going to be on influencing other party results; that still looks likely to damage the Tories more than Labour.”

    I agree that would be so if parties treated all seats the same. However, you can bet your bottom dollar that in marginals the Tories will be geared up acutely to squeeze every possible Blue inclined Kipper to keep Labour out by relentless targetted leaflets and personalised letters plus personal visits! The end result will be that even if nationally UKIP take considerable votes off the Tories in hosts of seats, this will be nullified by special treatment of these type of voters in marginals where it matters.

  32. @BILL PATRICK

    Every prime minister has lost vote share after serving a full term since 1906 – before universal suffrage.

  33. Meanwhile the Scottish media have quite a different take on things with the Scotland on Sunday front page splash ‘Miliband heading for 10 Downing St’ Of course there is a v different media agenda here. Talk of UKIP or Con wins, boosts the Yes campaign so the No supporting media have to talk up Labour’s chances of winning the GE.

  34. @Tony Dean

    The Tories really don’t have the manpower at local level to target many seats in a general election. They’ve lost large numbers of activists to UKIP and age.

  35. I thought at the time on Thursday night, the UKIP success in Sunderland and Rotherham were overstated.

    Labour can lose 15 % of their vote and still win easily.

    The UKIP rise in Labour’s heartlands will not cost Labour many seats, and in those seats would push the Conservatives back into third or less.

  36. TD: “t is as if the UKIP surge outside the M25 has had no impact on London at all for the most part.”

    I thought this London/non-London dichotomy had been thoroughly quashed in the previous threads? London pattern repeated in other major cities. More UKIP councillors (7) in one London borough – Havering (pop. c. 250,000) than across all of Birmingham (0), Manchester (0), Liverpool (0), Leeds (0), Newcastle (0), Bristol (1), Bradford (1), Sheffield (3) (combined pop. c. 4.5 million).

    UKIP did well across England in latitude/longitude terms, and won a big vote share in most places, but in terms of winning council seats their support seems very much concentrated in the less prosperous small cities and big towns, and particularly in low-to-median-income suburban areas around the edges of big conurbations (Rotherham, Dudley, south Essex / Havering) where they seem to be drawing on an established BNP (or other fringe rightwing party) voter base.

    Admittedly vote share may be a different story, I will look now to see if their low share in London is reflected in other big cities.

  37. 130,000 members with an average age of 68 doesn’t bode well for them it’s true. That said Labour’s membership has atrophied too and I don’t know what the average age is but from personal experience I’d put it about 50.

    Also Tony Dean you can bet your bottom dollar that in marginals Labour will be geared up acutely to squeeze every possible red inclined Kipper and red inclined Green to keep the Tories out by relentless etc.

    Bear in mind that some Conservative Associations are in a chaotic state. The Conservatives just came fifth in Sheffield Hallam (which they held until 97), have only 30 members in Gedling and the Loughborough CA has shrunk 10% in a year, so even if they can defend they often lack the strength to attack.

    Oh if anyone saw the TV coverage of the Peterborough count and saw a grumpy young man in a suit and a blue rosette, you spotted my flatmate! Worth noting the Tories were all in suits, I was the only one out canvassing for Labour like that…

  38. @ RogerH

    “The Tories really don’t have the manpower at local level to target many seats in a general election. They’ve lost large numbers of activists to UKIP and age.”

    If it is really that bad in their marginals and they cannot do enough canvassing to identify who the Blue Kippers are then I would agree.

    Is the Conservative party really that moribund in its’ marginals nowadays?

  39. What’s the view about the local election campaigns?

    In Kirklees no party was expansionist. All parties only really worked the seats they were defending.

    As a result no seats changed party, and there was no major shift in votes either.

    Perhaps all parties have creaking campaign teams.

  40. As a sidenote, what is the worst vote for a major party on Thursday we are aware of?

    In Hull, one ward cast 9 votes for the Conservatives.

  41. CMJ, you’re in Kirklees? How did the Patriotic Socialist Party do?

  42. “However they were polling well above the PNS in a lot of areas in the North.”

    Allan, what is it you either don’t get or resist about the concept of average?

    It has been explained a number of times and you could clearly say the same as you say above about all parties in various places.

    Thus the cunning ruse of averaging and working out the VI on a national level.

  43. Spearmint,

    And because their vote share declined significantly from 1970, which was itself a disappointing election for Labour. Indeed, though no-one could suspect it at the time, 1970 was the last election Labour would poll over 40% until 1997, and then only in two perfect scenario elections. Labour lost ground in some areas, especially in Scotland and Wales, that they’ve never made up since.

    Rogerh,

    And Cameron probably will as well, although in quite a few polls the Tories aren’t far off their 2010 level. So historical precedent would suggest that both the main parties will lose ground in 2015, but the fall of the LDs suggests otherwise.

  44. @TD

    There was a Newsnight report on the Wythenshawe by-election about how the Tory Party had all but vanished at branch level. Discussed here:

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2014/02/06/Conservative-Party-ground-game-in-UK-by-election-proves-its-decline

  45. “[UKIP] support seems very much concentrated in the less prosperous small cities and big towns, and particularly in low-to-median-income suburban areas around the edges of big conurbations”

    I think this should also work for individual wards BTW. I live near Bristol and the ward they won there (Hengrove) is on the edge of the city and well below median income at a ward level. UKIP still predominantly draw support from disaffected white working class voters and in a FPTP system will struggle to expand beyond areas in which those voters are in a majority.

    That’s why it disturbs me so much that the media are now talking UKIP up as a major political party: it may well become a self-fulfilling prophecy if it causes major donors and savvy political operators to jump ship from the Tories, and introduce some sensible policies.

  46. (Because of the Red Dem windfall, which is still doing at least something for Labour in most polls, and which will probably be greater as people forget about the Greens again. The Green party is very appealing to a number of voters, but only insofar as they remember that the Greens exist.)

  47. I can only comment on the Sheffield campaign but I think we were rather too expansionist. We threw everything at Crookes, Stannington, Broomhill and Walkley, which got us three of the five council seats up for grabs there but meant UKIP managed to turn a lot of our safe seats marginal, take East Ecclesfield, and that we lost Central to the Greens.

  48. “In Hull, one ward cast 9 votes for the Conservatives.”

    Jeff… we need their names.

  49. Labour are in fact now the largest party in local government and will nominate the next chair of the LGA, according to the LGA’s own press release:

    http://www.local.gov.uk/media-releases/-/journal_content/56/10180/6209503/NEWS

    Wishful thinking from May et. al. I suspect they are just trying it on, hoping the media won’t notice.

  50. @GORDONING: “I thought this London/non-London dichotomy had been thoroughly quashed in the previous threads?”

    Covered quite well here:

    http://anotherangryvoice.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/local-election-results-2014-aav.html

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