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. “But Autonomy+Cultural Change are Libertarian the libertarian ideology and Egalitarian+Welfare are the left ideology.”
    Should probably read ‘are of the libertarian ideology’, not the mishmash of unedited words that actually happened.

  2. In simple terms, this represents a swing of 6.7% from Con to Lab since 2009. If replicated next year, the basic swingometer gives a Labour majority of 55.

    The narrative that these results are not good enough rest entirely on the assumption that governments gain in the final year of a parliament. But where is the evidence that that is going to happen?

  3. Scottish results.

    SNP 2 (nc)
    Labour 2 (nc)
    Conservatives 1 (nc)
    Ukip 1 (+1)

    The Lib Dems have lost their seat.

  4. On the vote share thing;

    BBC – Lab 25.4%, Con 23.93
    Telegraph – Lab 25.4% Con 23.94%
    Sky – Lab 25.4% Con 24.6%

    Sky seem clearly out of line with everyone else, and have also increased UKIP’s final score by a couple of points. They seem to have trouble adding up.



  6. They should change their ballot paper description to “Liberal Democrats Have Lost Their Seat” for 2015 – it would make the count go quicker. Anyway, new thread.

  7. @David: “I’m not a fan of UKIP by any stretch, but I think with the inevitable poll surge they’re about to get”

    What’s inevitable about? They’d already started to decline in the polls last week. It’ll be all downhill from here.

  8. Looking at the SNP squeezing out of UKIP from Scottish politics, I wonder if more parties will be want to attract squeezing from the SNP?


    I think I’m very much overdetermined on this issue, since I agree with all those grounds. In themselves, legal inequalities do tend to be objectionable to almost everyone, even those who are minimally egalitarian.

    Also, I tend to approach such issues in an economist’s way, and economists tend to make welfare decisions in a very non-nationalistic way, e.g. economists are likely to argue for immigration on the grounds of the utility it gives to immigrants. This seems natural to me: it would be very odd to argue for feminism primarily on the grounds that it benefits men!

  9. David Torrance notes that David Coburn, UKIP’s first Scottish MEP, breaks with some stereotypes by being openly gay. In fact, I think he might hold the distinction of being Scotland’s first gay MEP.

  10. @ Jack Sheldon

    Thanks for the Barnet data. Remarkable that Labour did so relatively well in the Chipping Barnet wards & so much less well in the Finchley ones.

    You didn’t do Hendon because of the non-elections in Colindale: however, if one estimates the latter’s 2014 results on the 2010 data, assuming a 35% turnout & 5% swing from Tory to Lab, then Labour emerge with a fairly small percentage advantage over Tories in Hendon.

    However, the complications of differential turnout, UKIP, local v general factors, potential for further Lib-Dem collapse, etc makes one realise how that any extrapolations from 2014 local, to 2015 general, election results are fraught beyond belief!


  11. Bill Patrick

    That does show that Torrance’s opinion of himself as knowing anything about anything is considerably exaggerated!

    Alyn Smith has been an MEP since 2004.

  12. @BP

    I’m a closet hetrosexual myself, but don’t go telling anyone.

  13. Tory and Labour share of the EU vote is up on 2009 – from 43.4% to 49.3% – thanks to the collapse of Lib Dem and BNP protest votes.

  14. @RAF

    “The marginals poll is more significant, but it’s important for Oppositions to show momentum – an upward trend – and this what we are seeing. Every election shows Labour making steady progress”

    I remember William Hague proposing a similarly optimistic view just before the Tories were crushed in the 2001 election. Re-gaining a percentage of the vote from two historically low bases is hardly an upward trend. Unless you’re suggesting they could have polled less than 15% at the Euro elections? By the way, Labour’s share of the vote at the council elections since the ‘breakthrough’ in 2012 has actually decreased.

    I accept the marginal poll was more significant – but even this has been vastly overblown by Labour. It is a snapshot, not a predictor of a GE result. As I said earlier, the Tories were a whopping 12 percentage points ahead of Labour 4 years ago at the Euros, and GE opinion polling put them between 10 and 15% ahead for long periods of time. Then the actua general election happened and NONE of the predictors were accurate.

    If Labour had a credible and likeable leader, I would happily concede here and now they would probably walk the next GE with their massive in built electoral bias. But here’s Labour’s biggest drag going into that election (apart from a rapidly improving economy) – the British public have an excellent nose for getting rid of political dross. And thy name is Ed Miliband.

  15. With regard to the LDs I know many people who voted for them in the last election as being the only vaguely left party to vote for. When they joined with the Tories they became more rightwing than New Labour – and, as such, people were then left with no choice but to vote for Labour. Hence a major reason why the LDs drop in polls.

    The LD hierarchy’s argument that they should go into coalition with the Tories just has not been accepted on the ground. LDs should have gone into coalition with the party with which they had more in common….

  16. Alan: “It is a snapshot, not a predictor of a GE result.”

    As is every poll. A snapshot on which we base our predictions of a future result.

  17. Political history in 50 years time will record –

    Blair (ignoring war criminal) – the man who enabled the UK to self destruct (not due to the first referendum, but the 2nd – 2nd? of course – just consider how many EU referendums have been held).

    Clegg – the man who destroyed the Liberal Democrat party (by joining with the right wing party which although having more of the British population supporting it was the one party hated by his own voters).

  18. ‘If Labour had a credible and likeable leader, I would happily concede here and now they would probably walk the next GE ‘

    Hmm. Governments lose elections, oppositions dont win them. Who likes Cameron? Umm…. Especially in terms of swinging voters….

    More and more people are happily voting against the sitting government – and party loyalty has gone…

    Too many, for too long, have seen the hip pocket nerve hit – its one of the reasons for UKIP (those pesky foreigners have my job… how dare they want to work hard). TEchnically the economy may be improving – but not in UKIP land…

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