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. Really struggling to actually find the detailed data (even on the websites of the local councils), so I’m going to officially give up. I’ll wait until someone does it for me. ;)

  2. Thanks TF

    Happy to stand corrected wehen someone kicks some facts in my direction…

    I am interested in the Mason assessment.

    What he is essentially doing is saying there is a desire in Europe for a push back against free market economics and globalisation. In Europe this has also been coupled of free movement of the people

    In fact, it is probably the effects of glabalisation and the complete freedom of capital movement that has allowed this situation to arise. Tony Benn and other old Labour types always opposed the EU on the grounds that is is for business rather than for the workers

    One of the things that is strange about UKIP is that they are all for the free market part but not for the movement of people. In the end though stopping people coming to the UK won’t replace all the jobs that have been sourced off-shore in the name of market forces and globalisation

    How will UKIP present this in a manifesto? Pro free-market, in fact more free-market than any of the other parties if their last manifesto is to be believed. I see only ex-Tory free marketeers in their ranks now.

    What we are probably missing is a left-wing anti-EU party (such as Sked has tried) which actually would have a more coherent opposition to the extremes of capitalism which would include free movement of people.

    UKIP seem to want to stop people moving around but are happy to have money and jobs moving with no restriction

  3. Hmm…extrapolating the GE result from a single issue election (and one of Labour’s weakest issues) is not credible.

    I was rather amused by Bogdanor and others suggesting Northern Kippers would “return” to the Tories – a party they had never ever voted for!

    So I think this was a decent result for Labour

  4. One of Yorkshire’s UKIP MEPs has announced he won’t be attending any debates. Democracy at work…

  5. @Tinged – if your analysis is correct, surely this means UKIP and Con are piling up votes in non Labour seats that won’t really matter (in terms of the Lab/Con battle) at the GE?

    POLL ALERT – a neat warning about what we might lose amidst all the UKIP angst. Maritime UK has polled 100 shipping company executives on the EU. No methodological details, but they say 80% believed the UK should remain in the EU, 68% felt the European Commission had too much power and 64% believed that the EU’s founding principle of ‘ever closer union’ should be scrapped.

    They claim that the results reflect the belief that the global regulation of shipping by the International Maritime Organisation is being distorted by the EU Commission, leading to a loss of competitiveness.

    This may or may not be true, but it is interesting that big business leaders say yes to the single market, but want Commission powers clipped. Some might see this as wanting all the benefits, while weakening the one body that can stand up to global business interests on behalf of European consumers.

    In many ways the EU is hopeless and appallingly badly run, so it is a very easy target. But little things, like limiting mobile phone roaming charges or countless other consumer facing acts have been beneficial, and resisted by global business.

    There is a good deal at stake here.

  6. Increasing confidence in a Tory victory next year as TK outlines in the Sun today.

    ‘The pounding is coming’ and Miliband is now more unpopular than Kinnock before the 92 election. Increasing economic good news together with exposure of Labour as the welfare party associated with bringing the country to it’s knees when last in power, should see Cameron edge ahead in the polls in the coming months.

    TK also rightly pans the unfair boundary alignment, so whether Cameron can get 7 points or so ahead is another question but there is increasing optimism at NI this morning as once the dust has settled on these Euro and Council results, the guns are ready to fire.

  7. “What we are probably missing is a left-wing anti-EU party”
    No2EU would be that party.

    Unfortunately they didn’t have the funding/media presence/local ground support/ideological support that UKIP had.

    “One of the things that is strange about UKIP is that they are all for the free market part but not for the movement of people.”
    This isn’t strange at all – and I think your analysis is wrong. UKIP, as far as their leadership go – not their supporters, aren’t bourgeois free market liberals but bourgeois conservatives.

    They’re free-market as a means to an end (the enrichment of the ‘strivers’ over the ‘shirkers’, to put it in favourable language) as opposed to an ideological desire for free markets (whatever the distributional outcome).

    In much the same way that Republicans in the US are ‘pro free-market’. It’s free-market means, not ends.

  8. Been away and no way am gonna read 1000 posts to catch up so apologies if mine is a repeat.

    Euro result confirms imo the national opinion polls for the GE.

    Lab a little ahead of the Cons, LDs doing terrible and UKIP picking up the odds and sods and most protest votes.

    The Green %age suggests to me that once ephemera is removed the Lab lead over Cons is still in tact.

    Of course the ‘improving’ economy and some anticipated cold feet towards Labour as the GE approaches etc will give the Tories heart as well whilst the localised results will encourage the LDs to believe they can buck UNS in particular against the Tories.

    All the play for.

  9. 009th

    Tinged F was number 007.

  10. “f your analysis is correct, surely this means UKIP and Con are piling up votes in non Labour seats that won’t really matter (in terms of the Lab/Con battle) at the GE?”
    This might not be totally true either –
    A quick crunching of the numbers for the rest of the WM gives us –

    Coventry –
    Lab 38, Con 18, UKIP 26, Green 6, Lib 3

    Crudely Lab + Green + Lib = 47, Con + UKIP = 44

    Lab 38, Con 15, UKIP 40, Green 4, Lib 3
    Rainbow = 37, Con/UKIP = 55

    Wolverhampton –
    Lab 38, Con 17, UKIP 31, Green 3, Lib 3
    Rainbow = 44, UKIP/Con 38

    Of course, lumping UKIP+Con together is a little ridiculous, as is the Rainbow – this was only for illustrative purposes.

    It seems like Labour did far better in more diverse or liberally minded areas – like London, Birmingham, Cambridge etc – not necessarily just in places with large populations.

    But it then isn’t London vs Rest of the UK. It’s Multicultural vs Monocultural.

    Much like the split in various other countries, where Monocultural areas tend to vote conservatives and Multicultural (even if their are high levels of small-c social conservatism) tend to vote more liberally.

  11. “even if their are high levels of small-c social conservatism” should probably read ‘even if there is high levels’.

    I probably shouldn’t have stayed up to 3am watching Vote 2014. ;)


    Although not a Tory I have been predicting a small Tory majority on this site for two if not three years now. The recent polling has if anything strengthened my view. The Tories still have a lot to do, especially to ensure that most of the benefits of an improving economy reach those who are currently minded to vote against them. No doubt part of their election strategy will be to remind people of Labour’s failures in the last Government but they will be best served if they concentrate on selling their own policies. Of course they start with a very clear economic strategy which seems to be working.

  13. Neil A
    “The Tory pitch to the electorate is “we will try to reform the EU and if we can’t we’ll leave it”.

    I don’t think that is the pitch is it ? Hasn’t DC said he would be campaigning to stay in ?

    There is no way Cameron will want to lead the UK out of Europe but just think, he could be the PM that saw the separation of Scotland form the UK & the UK out of Europe.

    What a legacy that would be – not one to celebrate I shouldn’t think.

  14. @Bluebob

    Isn’t that the real story? That not much in GE terms has actually changed?

  15. @ Tinged

    “even if their are high levels of small-c social conservatism” should probably read ‘even if there is high levels’.

    You got it right the first time. Perhaps you should stay up ’till 3 am every night.

  16. BCrombie
    “UKIP seem to want to stop people moving around but are happy to have money and jobs moving with no restriction”

    No, they are happy for people to move around just so long as they don’t come here.

    They are quite happy for us to move abroad however.

    It’s like trying to have your cake & eat it.

  17. pressman

    it’s = it is

    Where’s your editor?

  18. Interesting article by Ladbrokes on Euro polling and betting odds.

    Required reading for anyone who considers that we should not discuss betting odds on a site about opinion polling.

  19. “Where’s your editor?”

    Busy trying to find something to smear EM with ?

  20. @ RAF


    I do think though that if these elections were held 8 months ago it would have seen much larger Labour gains.

    It does seem that the Conservatives are slowly but surely dragging Labour back, even if DC could call a snap election I do not think he would, he needs time.

  21. Jim Jam,

    The London results disprove the idea that an improving economy helps the Tories. It is improving most down there (if house prices are anything to go by…) but the Tories seem to have done badly. My working hypothesis is now that an improving economy favours Labour and moves the debate away from “the deficit” onto other topics such as the housing shortage, the NHS, cost of living.

  22. 1,000 posts. Haven’t we done well.

  23. @Spearmint

    Was thinking of nice visualisations of UK political leanings generally, just to see “city vs country” represented with shades of support rather than just the party elected. The closest I can find is this, from 2013:

    which is certainly interesting.

  24. @Chris Green

    It’s all relative. The thread on the endless saga of the takeover of Valencia Football Club ran to a whopping 15,000 pages!

  25. The most worrying thing is that the Cons who are already right wing, have been told they are not right wing enough.

    I remember a year or so ago we on UKPR were talking about the Left being united and the right fragmented. It has not really worked out like that. It is quite depressing.

    In Scotland which has 6 party politics.

    UKIP have their first representative with 10% of the vote. The No campaign is extremely happy and gloating on twitter as it plays against the ‘Scotland is different’ narrative (although we are talking about 10% v 28% and 4th v 1st). We will have to see how this plays out in the upcomong referendum polls as the fear of a Tory/UKIP coalition win in GE15 plays into the Yes campaigns hands.

    The LibDems got 7% – No idea what they can do.
    SNP won on 29% which is an achievement since they have been in power for 7 years
    Lab on 26% as expected
    Cons on 17% no change
    Greens on 8%

    Some recrimminations that the Greens – running a ‘Vote Green, Stop UKIP’ campaign split the anti-UKIP vote which should have gone to the SNP and this let UKIP in.

  26. Perspective, folks…on a very low turnout 28% voted for anti-Europe party. If you consider the rest of the electorate non-voters and nearly all the other parties they are massively outgunned.

  27. @ Alasdair,

    The Guardian did a bunch of 2010 heat maps for everyone but Ukip (ironic, in light of Thursday’s results):

  28. Couper2802,

    The Green vote gave UKIP an extra seat in Yorkshire too, when if it had gone to Labour they would have got it instead.

    Add in all the council seats UKIP won on a split Labour-Green vote and there must be some Green supporters seriously questioning their decision today.

  29. @Bramley – “I don’t think that is the pitch is it ? Hasn’t DC said he would be campaigning to stay in ?

    There is no way Cameron will want to lead the UK out of Europe……. ”

    I think you’ve missed the point of recent pronouncements by DC, and this is where he has an almighty problem coming down the tracks.

    During this campaign, he was forced (by Andrew Marr) to state that he would not accept an unchanged EU. This was not widely picked up by the media, although I did post about it on here.

    It was a clearly stated position that implicitly contained the logical position that Cameron is against UK membership of the EU as it is currently constructed. With no reforms, he will be forced to either break his promises, or campaign for exit – this is what he stated on Marr, albeit in less explicit words.

    Where he has a huge issue is that he clearly doesn’t want to leave the EU. He needs to persuade us that the reforms, when offered, represent a major change. His own shopping list of required reforms is shrinking by the day, and his right flank are already suggesting he is selling them out. He has barked up the UKIP tree, but cannot satisfy them.

    If we do have a Tory PM after 2015, I suspect it will be one of the most divided administrations we’ve seen in modern times, and the Tory ship is set once again to be broken on the rocks of the EU. All of this can pretty much be laid at Cameron’s door, as it is the logical extrapolation for his failed attempt to bury the EU issue with the promise of a referendum.

    I the time I said this was a mistake, as it clearly hasn’t protected his party from the UKIP backlash in the short term, but equally has stored up huge problems in the future.

    Strategic genius.

  30. Thank you Pressman. zzzzzzzzzzzz

  31. @Mr Nameless

    Why should Green voters vote Labour? Surely the EP elections are the ideal time to register a protest.

  32. RAF,

    A lot of Green supporters I know were pitching the European elections as a chance to “stop UKIP” by voting Green. Some of the people who did included Labour Party members. In the event what happened was that those Green protest voters who normally vote Labour contributed to a UKIP gain when just one fifth of their votes in Yorkshire could have produced another Labour MEP instead.

  33. Couper 2802,

    “I remember a year or so ago we on UKPR were talking about the Left being united and the right fragmented. It has not really worked out like that. It is quite depressing.”

    While naturally I don’t find it quite as depressing as you do, it is certainly unexpected. Indeed, insofar as the left has been split three ways (and four ways in Scotland) one could even say that the right is now notably less divided than the left.

  34. First some Euros thoughts and then some analysis I’ve done from the Barnet locals, with some somewhat surprising results…

    I think UKIP coming top is just about in line with what the local results suggested. If anything they’ve done a little better than I thought they might, though it must be stressed and stressed again that the regional list system suits them nicely.

    Given the low expectations the Tories have avoided their worst case scenario but I’m not sure we should assume that they will now by right ease to at least most seats next year. What we may be seeing is that the advent of UKIP has already reduced LAB to its core vote and that there aren’t that many more that might potentially leak to the Tories. There is a lot of work still to do, starting with Newark which simply must be held.

    1 MEP is pretty rubbish for the LDs but should they be too disappointed? They kept around half their vote and, given the incumbency factor, that should be enough to keep them more than half of their MPs next year. Given how dire

    The Greens stood still. They’ll be desperate to hope that Cameron continues to push for a debate that includes them. I think he might as, having initially wanted to do one with just Ed before the campaign proper, he seems to have realised that getting that Green share up and so splitting the left could be key. The Tories really do lose very little to the Greens whilst, as we have seen, UKIP are damaging to all the main parties.


    Now on to that Barnet analysis. Just to remind you that the council election finished CON 32, LAB 27, LD 1 though three seats in Colindale are being contested in a months time due to the death of the Green Party candidate and should be safe for Labour. There are three parliamentary seats within the council area – Chipping Barnet (Theresa Villiers), Hendon (Matthew Offord) and Finchley and Golders Green (Mike Freer). The first is historically a very safe Tory seat, the second an uber-marginal, and the third a semi-marginal since boundary changes in the 1990s that moved some of Thatcher’s strong-holds from the ’80s into Chipping Barnet. I can’t look at Hendon yet due to the delay in Colindale but here are details for Chipping Barnet and Finchley and Golders Green:

    The vote share in the seven wards that make up Chipping Barnet was: CON 42% LAB 37% GRN 11% LD 7% UKIP 2% OTH 1%. It is worth noting that UKIP ran just three candidates and I haven’t attempted to account for that in any way (way beyond my level!). Interestingly, as blogger Barnet Bugle has pointed out, LAB actually won more seats in these wards than CON, which has some interesting consequences in terms of the way the council works. So Theresa Villiers looks safe but LAB are doing pretty well here considering that at the GE they only got 25%. That is probably in part down to local (council) factors that may not effect the GE and partly down to the collapse in the LDs, who has an under-represented but significant share in Barnet before 2010.

    On to Finchley and Golders Green: CON 42% LAB 39% LD 10% GRN 9% UKIP 1%. Again just three UKIP candidates so hard to say. This looks very good for the Tories considering Labour held the seat until 2010. Mike Freer gained it with the aid of boundary changes but according to Wiki (yes, not the greatest source!) the notional CON lead from ’05 was very slim according to Rallings and Thrasher data. I guess this will have been on LAB’s hit-list if they want a majority. I’d expect that LD share to depress at a GE as it includes the result from Childs Hill, the only ward in Barnet where LD were defending.

    I wish I could do Hendon too and see if it backs up Ashcroft’s findings (I think it prob will as LAB have picked up a lot of cllrs there, but a set of extrapolations without Colindale would prob be misleading).

  35. Interestingly, in Scotland the swing to UKIP has been stronger than the swing to Labour. The swing to the Tories thus far is nearly as big as the swing to the Greens (0.39% to 0.77%).

  36. @Couper2802

    Ironic that SNP should criticise Greens for letting UKIP in. The SNP had a last-minute campaign to vote for them to keep UKIP out which I know swayed at least a couple of Green-leaning voters of my acquaintance. Meanwhile SNP 26% Green 11% would have kept UKIP out of the sixth seat.

    You might as well say that the Lib Dems should have fallen on their collective swords and withdrawn in favour of the Greens ….

    In the end, though:

    – the percentages weren’t that different to last time, so maybe none of this made too much difference

    – given turnout, if Lab or SNP had been able to mobilise more of their vote, either could have got the sixth seat

    In the end, the real problem is that nobody cares about the Euros (except UKIP voters!)

  37. Jack Sheldon,

    Interesting points regarding the Greens, and the curious alignment of interests. There’s a similar alignment between the rUK Tories and the SNP, especially as it now seems that a Labour government would very much struggle to govern post-2016 in the event of an Aye vote.

  38. @Jack Sheldon

    If Labour do not win back Hendon in 2015 that would be a disaster for them.

  39. @Spearmint


    I’m interested in having a crack at this myself. I’ve downloaded the free GIS data for constituency boundaries from the OS might try and see what I can do with it — when I’m not meant to be working, of course ….

  40. TF

    I am not convinced by your analysis of UKIP – I don’t think they are all conservative at all – a lot of their backers are rabidly pro-business, which means they have to be pro-free market and globalisation.

    They talk about trade with BRIC which again is dependent on free market ideas – they are not protectionists that is certain and Farage is always banging on about staying in the free market – although how he will manage to do that is anyone’s guess

    The had flat tax, abolishment of a multitude of worker’s rights etc in their, now-abandoned, manifesto. It was a right-wing laissez-faire manifesto

    They may try and change it but it doesn’t change their spots

    Bramley, good point lol

  41. Oddly, the Scottish total given doesn’t match up with the total for the council areas! LD s given exactly 3,000 less than they got, and SNP exactly 50 more than they got.

    Looks like the Returning Officer read the LD 9,8076 as 9,5076 and the SNP 386,143 as 386,193

  42. Miliband reckons he’s on his way to Downing Street after coming SECOND in the Euro polls, with just 25% of the vote on a pathetic 35% turn out. They beat the Tories by less than 1%.

    I’m convinced more than ever now Labour and Miliband are sleep walking to general election defeat.

  43. Some of these are taken off twitter so may need a small pinch of salt.

    Liverpool –
    Lab 54.5% UKIP 21.9% Green 10.8% Tory 7.42% Lib 5.25%
    Rainbow – 70.55, UKIP/Con – 29.32

    Oxford –
    Lab 33, Green 21, Con 15, Lib 14, UKIP 13
    Rainbow – 68, UKIP/Con – 28

    Crunched Myself:
    Leeds –
    Lab 33, UKIP 27, Con 19, Green 9, Lib 6
    Rainbow – 48, UKIP/Con – 46

    Sheffield (Clegg!) –
    Lab 34, UKIP 28, Con 11, Green 12, Lib 10
    Rainbow – 59, UKIP/CON – 39

    York –
    Lab 23, UKIP 24, Con 23, Green 16, Lib 10
    Rainbow – 49, UKIP/CON – 47

    Doncaster (Miliband!) –
    Lab 34, UKIP 35, Con 14, Green 4, Lib 3
    Rainbow – 41, UKIP/CON – 49
    (I wouldn’t be surprised if this figure gets picked up and run with)

    Bradford –
    Lab 39, UKIP 25, Con 17, Green 7, Lib 7 (Libs beat Greens by 189 votes)
    Rainbow – 53, UKIP/CON – 42

    So results are far more diverse than ‘London vs the UK! London Metropolitan elites! *Shakes fist*’.

    I won’t both calculating Labour’s result in the shires, I really dread to think how badly they did.

  44. “They beat the Tories by less than 1%”

    According to the BBC totals it’s 1.5 percentage points.

  45. ON
    Does this slip make any difference to the result ?

  46. Thanks Alec – I deliberately avoid Marr genuflecting towards Cameron so yes, did miss that.

  47. Alan,

    I don’t think so. Labour have to do very badly not to be the largest party under the electoral system.

    As for sleepwalking: Labour have announced popular policies, criticised unpopular coalition policies, ditched most major NuLab figures, and geared a political realignment towards winning Red Dems. They have (according to their supporters) a good looking, likeable leader. What more could they do? If Labour are doing disappointingly, it’s not for lack of trying.

  48. We know now that yougov is probably the best pollster. So it will be fascinating to see if the polls drift back towards a Lab lead again over the next 2/3 weeks.

  49. Ewen Lightfoot

    Makes no difference. Actually, it’s more likely that whoever summed the council totals had bad handwriting, or had got bits of sandwich on their computer screen, since the Returning Officer hasn’t made the Scottish declaration yet.

  50. ON
    Ah ! The sandwich factor, bet no one put that into their statistical models.

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