I’ve been laid low with a stomach bug all day so haven’t had time to really write about today’s polling. For the record though here are the two new polls from Lord Ashcroft and Populus.

Lord Ashcroft’s poll has topline figures of CON 29%, LAB 31%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 17% – a nice post-local election boost for UKIP and the highest they’ve recorded in a telephone poll to date. Tabs are here.

In contrast Populus have figures of CON 34%, LAB 36%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 14%. Their fourteen point figure for UKIP is just the same as last week. Tabs here

273 Responses to “Latest Ashcroft and Populus polls”

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  1. Paul,

    Despite only attending the school where I did my GCSEs three years ago, I’ve known three people who attended with me (one of them a friend) who have since died.

    The one who was my friend had long been interested in my girlfriend, and was pretty hurt when she started going out with me instead. I never got to apologise to him for that, although we never really argued over it.

    When he died suddenly and without warning last year (a week after his eighteenth birthday) I was reminded just how limited our potential to predict the future can be, and if any good can be taken from what happened it’s that it spurred me on to being a lot more productive and making more of life than I did before.

    It does feel as though something is missing sometimes – particularly haunting is that his Facebook profile keeps sending out automated posts from some application he installed. Is this what we mean when we say we don’t want to be forgotten? Machines keeping a hollow echo of ourselves alive?

  2. my last post also to Laszlo and you are right ON.

    A story that semi-amuses me is the one about Lady Franklin awaiting the return of her husband from his trip around Baffin Bay in 1845

    He frze/starved to death of course but she waited about four years before looking at her watch and thinking:

    “Mmmm he’s a bit late back I shall send a search party.”

    Oh for wifi and a helicopter………….

  3. “LOL I’m glad I moved north at a young age.”

    Yeah; that’s a popular view down here Allan.

  4. So sorry Paul. I’m really fed up with people that I like going and dying. There is nothing to be done that can solve it. I hate that we just have to muddle through and feel the pain.

    In a related way but hopefully less profoundly difficult, I was saddened by TINGEDFRINGE disappearing


    Very interesting Ashcroft polls.
    Just so you all know, i’m going to disappear again. I’m not so sure that I’m going to add anything informative without potentially straying in to partisanship, so see you all in 2015.

    Seems a tremendous shame and for such a lousy reason. I want to say Don’t go! Or take a break and come back sooner than 2015.

    Your reaction to your friend’s death makes me feel it even more strongly. Communities, even online fractious ones, are important and all members should be valued.

  5. Lazlo

    I think Mazzini spent many more years than Stalin struggling to find a definition of a “nation”.

    None of the factors which he examined (in many long and extremely boring theses) actually worked.

    Hence his eventual conclusion that “a nation consists of those who think they belong to it” (or words to that effect). Thankfully, it’s many years since I actually read all that stuff!

    Mazzini had already looked at Stalin’s factors “A nation is a human group which possesses certain definite characteristics. It is a historically stable community of people. It has a common vernacular language. It occupies a single piece of territory. It has an integrated, coherent economy. It possesses a community of psychological make-up’ (a folk-psychology, or national character). And it is ‘a historical category belonging to a definite epoch, the epoch of rising capitaiism'”.

    None of those factors were universally true in 19th century “Italy” (whatever that geographical term means). In the context of Italy’s current boundaries, they remain untrue.

  6. Nice sentiments Sue.

    I shall cling on meself.


  7. @ RAF (9.40 pm)

    “There are also plenty of people who like most of what the KDs stood for under Charles Kennedy. It would be a mistake to view the entire party through the lens of the most ardent Orange Bookers.

    The LDs will rise again as there is a place for them in UK politics”

    Agreed with the first para. Unfortunately I have to disagree with the second para as I believe that, like myself, many, if not most, of the LOC people have left the party. Thus the party is now essentially ROC, how else could Clegg still be supported by the majority of the party. Thus we see Alexander quoted as a possible replacement for Clegg. Going from ROC to even more ROC is not going to bring back the Kennedy supporters.

  8. Good to hear – what would Rosie and Daisie do without their playmate?

  9. @ OldNat

    I didn’t dare to copy in the definition. Actually Stalin was familiar with Mazzini’s work. Of course, he was preoccupied with the SU when he devised the definition. This is why the vagueness, but it’s also very dynamic.

    Your Italian example is interesting – considering all the voting: is it one nation or two or three locked in some historically evolved borders.

    I thought the definition works well for Scotland.

  10. @ OldNat

    My response went into moderation.

  11. Lazlo

    Hopefully, it will emerge. Auto-mod has aversions to the oddest words.

  12. @PETE B: “Less than 22% of the electorate voted for Labour in 2005 on a much higher turnout”

    True. And I’m not using their vote as evidence that something is “not fantastically popular” as you did with UKIP’s minority share. (Fewer not less, BTW.)

  13. We could divide GB up using the EU voting regions (just to annoy UKIP).

  14. @ OldNat

    These things get lost.

    Briefly: the voting in Italy, except for some periods suggest that two or maybe three nations exist in the historically evolved boundaries of Italy.

    I also think that the defining works very well for Scotland.

  15. Defining= definition – but I hope nobody would have disputed Scottish nationhood. However, the caveat at the end is quite important.

  16. Laszlo

    “I also think that the defining works very well for Scotland.”

    I’m with Mazzini! ” It has a common vernacular language” is hardly a reasonable description of a nation that includes Gaelic, and a very wide variety of Scots tongues. When definitions don’t define, they are useless.

  17. @ OldNat

    If you define the language by proximities (you would expect larger differences in a mountainous region), you could clearly define a Scottish dialect that would stand as a language if Scotland was independent (cf Norway vs Sweden).

    I have to go to bed. Apologies.

  18. Pete B & @RogerH

    Here’s an Ashcroft poll from about a year ago. Scroll to pages 21 & 22 and you’ll find 90% agree that Britain has become multicultural and of that 90%, 70% are happy with it.


    We shouldn’t draw grand conclusions from minority protest movements like Ukip. They’re actually the most widely disliked of the main four parties.

  19. Lazlo

    Goodnight. This for the morning.

    When there was a Scottish state, there was an official “Scots” tongue. in that context, it was, as you say, a different language from “English” English.

    However, there is no way that you can force Gaelic into being a variety of the “English” family of languages.

    Even in modern times, the variations of vernacular language – not just in vocabulary, but in grammatical constructions – are sufficient to allow linguists to define them as separate languages.

    It is true, that of recent years, there has been a coming together of the different variations of Scots into a common tongue. Scots English, as spoken in Mull, is now more similar to that spoken in Glasgow than in former times.

    Where I was brought up in Aberdeenshire in the 1950s, there were two neighbouring villages whose vernacular speech was almost unintelligible to those across the burn in the other village. One was very heavily influenced by Old Norse, the other wasn’t.

    It’s the machinery of state, through education, which reduces linguistic differences. Since Scotland has never lost that element of statehood, that machinery has increased vernacular convergence.

    Which is why Stalin (and others trying to impose a set of external determinants on “nationality”) got it so terribly wrong.

    You don’t get a common vernacular language without having elements of statehood/national governance. Therefore, you can’t state that having such linguistic commonality is a pre-determinant of being a nation.

    Quite why, since so many Marxists spent tiime in multi-lingual Switzerland that they were so blind to what was obvious around them, and so obsessed by trying to force a uniform view of history and society, will remain a tribute to the blindness of many theorists to troubling irrelevancies such as relaity.

  20. @Scouser

    “70% are happy with it”

    One poll, from a year ago. If I linked to a poll a year ago for any old stat, I can imagine the reaction.

    The fact is that 70% of people don’t include the disenchanted and disaffected, who generally don’t show for elections. Even being kind to the poll, we should say that 70% of 65% of the electorate 45.5% are happy with it…a year ago…in one poll. :))

  21. @Statgeek

    I was simply replying to Pete B’s assertion that multiculturalism was unpopular with the public. I think the figures in that poll are a pretty emphatic statement of the opposite.

  22. Latest YouGov / The Sun results 27th May – Con 32%, Lab 34%, LD 8%, UKIP 15%; APP -25

    looking at the tabs for this poll, it is not UKIP defectors Lab have to worry about first, it is the losses to minor parties – Greens, Nats and Others

    2% of their 2010 Lab vote

    2% of their 2010 LD defectors

    in the last 4 weeks

    I can’t understand Lab trying to get back UKIp voters as top priority, Yougov tabs show that there have not been many more recently – the 2010 LD movers from Lab to UKIp occurred a year ago.


    @”Is this what we mean when we say we don’t want to be forgotten? Machines keeping a hollow echo of ourselves alive?”

    What a lovely way to express the thought Mr. N-particularly given your own name :-)

    But you are right. Cyberspace has created a “presence” for millions of people who would otherwise be unkown except to close friends. And so far as one can understand , they will exist forever in their Social Media & Email Accounts.

    I often think about it ( more & more these days !) -it will be like a planet sized cemetery in our computers-growing exponentially -forever & ever.

    “hollow echoes of ourselves” indeed Mr N.


    @” there is no good news for coalition parties is there?”

    Since , in party politics, “good news” is a relative rather than an absolute commodity, -Yes there is.

  24. Glad you wrote the above Colin as I missed Mr N’s poignant post.

    Your last comment made me think along the lines of

    “Mr Nameless will be sadly missed by many”

    as a sort of black humour.

    I shall, of course, nick the line you quoted for a song.

  25. Less than 22% of the electorate voted for Labour in 2005 on a much higher turnout, yet they formed a government. I think 9% of the electorate in a European election is comparable.

    -No Around 13% would have been comparable based on turnout

  26. @ MrNameless

    “If you’re looking a bit Green, Conservative your energy, don’t do too much hard Labour. Maybe go Lib Dem and have a Ukip (sorry).”

    The man’s ill- show some Respect for God’s sake (and give him some TUSC)…

  27. Mr N & Paul.

    If you are interested in the meaning & fragility of “being” , I recommend a Spanish film-“Fin” (2012)

    Lovefilm has it.

    Have been reading about Clive James’ predicament this morning-and his exquisitely beautiful poem “Sentenced to Life”., which I wasn’t familiar with.

    He reads it much more effectively than I did to myself :-


  28. There’s an issue in suggesting UKIP are racist and using a positive poll on multiculturalism to counter them.

    UKIP support is being driven by frustration with Europe (terrible turn out because people can’t feel what MEPs do) and Immigration.

    Worries about immigration are different from multiculturalism.

  29. @ Roger H

    “How about the rise of UKIP?”
    ‘When all said and done just 9% of the electorate voted for them and even they won’t be all of one view.’

    Thanks for responding to this. I would have said much the same thing!

  30. @DrunkenScouser

    Great poll – thanks for looking it out. Very reassuring!

  31. @R&D:
    I’m also sorry to hear of that. My condolences.

  32. There was an article with Alan Sked, the estranged founder of UKIP in the Guardian yesterday. He suggested (denied by Farage) that UKIP were a racist party and included within some if their senior figures former members of the National Front.

    As far as I can see Labour’s approach is not to acquiesce to UKIP , but to see how they can appeal more to those who voted UKIO this time but might have been inclined to vote Labour in the past. And the Lab message is not new. It’s all the working/lower middle class stuff they’ve been advocating recently.

  33. As to the Lord Ashcroft poll: I’m skeptical of it, mainly because of the small effective sample size (in the 500s range once don’t know/not voting are excluded).

  34. (And another thought: I’m going to be skeptical of both polls. Though nothing was out of line, a bank holiday was involved.)

  35. Both the main parties need to examine why Farage is gaining support out of a chunk of their core votes.

    If UKIP get a feasible economic plan out then their problems will multiply. There is an opening there Labour are funded and run by Trade Unions, the Tories by wealthy barons of big business.

    If UKIP pitch their tent as the party of Small Business there is a huge gap for them, they need not to be extremist at all.

    In my opinion complacency the votes will come easily just by demonising UKIP, or hoping they shoot themselves is not an option. Both parties need to change and dramatically so, especially Labour, I am from a wwc area in Derby, once those voters have left you it will be a big job getting them back.

    The leaders of the main parties are out of touch as are most of their main teams, with their backgrounds how can they not be. That is an issue that that both the Tories and Labour need to address.

  36. Colin

    Nice thoughtful piece Colin. The polls confirm a small Labour lead and a decline in Government approval which i find slightly odd, otherwise rather boring.

  37. TOH

    The approval rating is interesting.

    Jim Jam & I had an occasional exchange on its relationship to VI.

    At present the gap is narrowing , but approval of the coalition not improving.

    I suppose that emphasises the Labour decline.

    We now need a few weeks for the dust to settle.

    There seem to be a few nerves at the EU Ministers meeting. Van Rompouy to “review” policy -that should make riveting reading!

    Hope you are well.

  38. @Colin – “But you are right. Cyberspace has created a “presence” for millions of people who would otherwise be unkown except to close friends. And so far as one can understand , they will exist forever in their Social Media & Email Accounts.”

    In actual fact, that’s largely incorrect. New Scientist ran a fascinating article some years ago, looking at how long the imprint of human civilization would last. [Digression – I recently reheard the great quote from Ghandi, when asked what he thought about Western civilization – after a pause, he said ‘I think it would be a good idea’].

    The NS article looked at a number of facets of human existence, including information. The sad fact is that electronic data will be lost surprisingly quickly, even if society carries on as normal. Data stored on home computers gets lost very rapidly, while the massive expansion of the internet is already creating capacity issues. Dead sites will start to be culled, and if people are storing and displaying data on their own sites, once they die and stop paying the hosting charges, their information is lost forever anyway.

    Physical storage devices fare no better. CDs degrade after a a few decades, and other storage devices are prone to being corrupted or (as has already commonly happened) becoming outdated, so the programs needed to access them become lost themselves, rendering them useless.

    The article concluded that the written word will survive far longer than modern electronic communications. We are currently reading letters written by soldiers in the WW1 trenches, but we won’t be reading Facebook pages from troops at Camp Bastion in 2115.

    Rather sadly, the NS concluded that by simple dint of numbers, mass circulation publications are more likely to survive for millennia after the end of civilisation. They concluded that archaeologists of the future are unlikely to find many traces of high level science and technical publications, which typify our civilisations peak achievements, but are much more likely to find copies of novels by Jeffrey Archer.

    That’s quite upsetting.

  39. @ COLIN


    @”Is this what we mean when we say we don’t want to be forgotten? Machines keeping a hollow echo of ourselves alive?”

    But you are right. Cyberspace has created a “presence” for millions of people who would otherwise be unkown except to close friends.”

    I find this topic very interesting, however, I think we all tend to believe that the present is a bigger issue than it really is. 99.9% of internet/social media chat is just noise and means absolutely nothing. It only generally means anything, if it gets picked up and is commented about more widely. For example the Blackpool hairdresser who sent a tweet wrongly spelling Barrack Obamas name, was reported on TV news programmes all around the world. ( a bit silly !).

    Could you imagine if internet/social media had been around during WW2, with troops reporting from the frontline ? Would it have changed the war ? How would the public react to daly stories from the frontlne ? There would be so many stories, that only a fraction would get picked up. How would politicians deal with the daily drip feed of real time information/videos being in the public domain ?

  40. I don’t think it’s a mystery, the gap is narrowing but in the context of both main parties losing vote share.

    UKIP supporters, by their nature, are unlikely to say they are satisfied with the government (even those that are a dead cert to return to the Tory fold).

    You would expect approval to broadly shadow the combined Tory/LD score, in which case as that has fallen you’d expect approval to fall too.

    In a sense everything is on hold whilst we wait to see what happens to the UKIP uptick. Probably no point overanalyzing until at least a few weeks after Newark.

  41. Eeenorrmus weightings on today’s YG. Unweighted stats show a Lab lead of 10%. The weightings continue to boost LD and cut down the UKIP and Lab figures. Recent results in real elections surely tell a very different story ?

  42. > Recent results in real elections surely tell a very different story ?

    Being a self-selecting and unrepresentative sample they’re less use than a voodoo poll, though.

  43. Colin

    Yes EU leaders all of a tizzy!

    Personally I am in limbo for six months, feel very well scans negative but blood test shows the bl***y thing is still developing so another PET/CT Scan in six months to try an pinpoint activity. Thanks for asking.

  44. NeilA
    I was very impressed with your mention of Hwicce last night. I was born and brought up in the Herefordshire , Shropshire , Worcestershire border area, what could roughly be described as South Hwicce ~land . You only have to do a little basic research to uncover the ancient economic and social basis for previous polities, for example the Hwicce controlled the Saltway from Droitwich into mid and southern Wales. Quite a few of the place names still keep this track in mind.
    Which brings us to young Nameless and his nicely turned phrase about memory and loss. I trust he will remember his old cyber-mates when he is rich and famous !

  45. TOH
    Snap or what ?
    Yesterday I was told that the Damned Thing was biding its time in my spine and I will need MRI and CT scans pronto to figure out the next move.
    Good luck mate.


    Good luck to you as well. I have had it for eleven years now but with long periods of remission. It’s never got me down yet.

    Keep as fit as you can and get on with your life, don’t put off anything you really want to do.

  47. TOH
    I was diagnosed five years ago and feel well, most of the time. The old psa keeps ticking up though , hence the need for constant vigilance.
    I’ve always been fairly Stoic, so I keep on keeping on. Mrs L is tremendous, you can’t beat the love of a good woman, or partner !

  48. Just reading that a UKIP councillor has already been suspended due to a racist rant on twitter.


    With the MSM either Tory or Labour (in England) and UKIP nibbling away at both parties support then this party will be walking on eggshells right up until 2015.

    I was going to say UKIP will have to be whiter than white but I don’t think that would be appropriate in this case.

  49. Could it be that Labour now wins Newark? This is achieved by many Tories switching to UKIP and many LibDems switching to Labour.


    Totally agree Mrs TOH has been marvelous.

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