There are two polls in this morning’s papers. The fortnightly Opinium poll for the Observer has topline figures of CON 31%(-1), LAB 35%(+2), LDEM 6%(-1), UKIP 19%(nc). Charges are from their pre-European election poll, so show the sort of increase in the Labour lead we’ve seen in other polls since the European election.

The YouGov/Sunday Times poll is here and also has a four point Labour lead: CON 33%, LAB 37%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 14%.


241 Responses to “Latest YouGov and Opinium polls”

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  1. The pattern continues

  2. My predicted post-Euro elections bounce for UKIP hasn’t happened. On the other hand, people seem to be starting to forget about the Greens, which is good news for Labour.

  3. I think there is some suggestion of a UKIP post election bounce, say 1-2%. And LD’s pushed down a similar amount. Labour lead seems back in firm existence beyond MOE, enough to get a reasonable majority.

    I’m personally not certain what the result of the Gove/May spat will have on opinion, probably nothing detectable on its own, possibly something if there a rash of such things. The subject matter of the problem implies immigration, and that only needs mentioning to get certain people to lean toward UKIP.

    Conservatives still seem stuck fast low thirties. Normally that would put them in line for a huge defeat along the lines of 1997/2001, with Labour over 40%. But it seems this time those disgruntled voters have gone to support UKIP, we shall see if that support is stickier than if it were backing Labour.

  4. What the Tories, and arguably Labour, need to find out urgently is why Labour’s lead has grown again. Slippage to UKIP probably has something to do with it, but the Labour vote is distinctly stubborn. To avoid defeat the Tories need to find a way to make it less so.

  5. LD’s still collapsing like a house of cards. 6% must be a low, will we see a 5% soon?

  6. “What the Tories, and arguably Labour, need to find out urgently is why Labour’s lead has grown again.”

    Or why it fell. Perhaps a lead is the default.

  7. Any expectation that the reshuffle will change anything?

  8. @Bill Patrick – “people seem to be forgetting about the Greens”

    Their Westminster VI has stayed up at 5% with YouGov ever since shortly before the Euro elections, and they’ve matched the Lib Dems in some other polls recently. People may well forget about them – but they don’t seem to be yet.

  9. No Newark “bounce” then!

    Slightly tongue-in-cheek, I accept, but these weekend polls suggest that Newark didn’t register on the national political consciousness in the way that some by-elections have in the past, certainly those held in the last year of Parliaments. It had some similarity to the February Wythenshawe and Sale East by-election in the sense that it was taking place in a safe seat, in this case Labour’s, and all eyes were on the UKIP performance and the relative vote shares of the other parties. In Wythenshawe, it was the Tory vote that was squeezed and, a bit like Newark, we saw a significant rise in the UKIP vote but it fell some way short of expectation. Tremors not earthquakes, but it reinforced UKIP’s capacity to cause a nuisance.

    The only striking difference was that in retaining the seat, Labour increased their vote share by 11% but the Tories saw theirs decline by 9% in Newark. The national opinion polls were pretty similar in February to where we are now some four months later, although it has to be said that the turn out in Wythenshawe was half that of Newark’s.

    Further evidence of differential turnout between safe Labour seats and safe Tory seats, perhaps?

  10. (This would normally have gone in the Newark thread, but I was on an overnight train without wifi…so here goes!)

    Two questions worth a look with respect to Newark vs. a GE:
    (1) Obviously, there are a number of LOC folks willing to vote Tory to stop UKIP. This isn’t surprising insofar as UKIP has been framed as being on the right. How many Tories would vote Labour to stop UKIP, however?
    -Subpoint to (1): UKIP has already drained away a good deal of support from the left-of-center crowd (likely Labour voters who were in turn replaced by LibDems bailing on that sinking ship), so gains for UKIP on that side were likely “already in”. At the same time, the older C2DE voters that UKIP seems to be attracting do not seem to have been present in Newark in large numbers like they are in places like Rotherham and Essex. Remember the point I made about seats where the collective “miscellaneous right” vote was strong in 2010 (and/or 2005)? Newark is not such a seat.
    -Subpoint to (1): How many LOC voters will stick with giving a “Stop UKIP” vote in a GE? In a by-election, particularly in a safe Tory seat where it was implausible that Labour would prevail (Labour only had 22.3% at the last GE and weren’t exactly running up the score in Newark) and where the result would have no impact on control of Parliament, voting Tory is one thing. In a GE where control of Parliament is up and where information is far more imperfect, I suspect it will be another. Put differently, how many Labour voters are going to want to risk giving DC a majority just to upend UKIP?
    –A note in this context is the “by-election effect” where an election with no obvious impact on the control of a body can generate odd results. Usually, this means votes to “other” groups (the Alliance/LibDems were the beneficiary of this for many years, but UKIP has been as well). However, it stands to reason that in a case like this that might have gotten pointed in a different direction due to tactical voting.
    (2) How many voters will be able to make a “high quality” judgment on their individual seat in a GE? In Newark, we had three polls in the seat in the two weeks before a by-election…not a lot of seats seem likely to have that sort of attention (and hundreds of seats will likely have no poll).
    -Subpoint to (2): In a GE, Labour would likely have held up better. Whether this would have resulted in more of a three-way race (Con-Lab-UKIP) or more of a two-way Con-Lab fight is anyone’s guess (though I definitely tend towards the latter).

    I’d like to point out that in terms of turnout, 52.8% is not bad. It isn’t the 71.4% of the general election, but it also wasn’t one of the horror stories we used to hear of such-and-such crazy candidate being elected in a by-election with <30% turnout. UKIP's vote total, if repeated in 2015, would still equal about 20% of the vote on the same turnout as 2010…which is probably not an utterly unrealistic figure. A bit high to be sure, but not insane.

  11. @Bill Patrick
    I’d beg to differ. While other parties have had somewhat inconsistent scores in the Lord Ashcroft polls, the Greens have had 7% each time, on a par with and beating the LDs either time. Yougov while showing some of the lowest Green support at 1-2% then rose to a consistent 3% and, each recent one I’ve seen, a consistent 5%. It’s now June and the Greens remain on a high while the LDs are static on some of their lowest scores recorded in this parliament. UKIP, Labour, the Greens and to a smaller extent the Conservatives have chipped away at their support, and their natural low core will comprise the vast majority of their 2015 voters.

    Furthermore, after beating the LDs in the 2012 mayoral contest, the Greens came second in London in this year’s local elections, and beat them into third/fourth in many other wards across the country. On a pure PR system, they”d have won around 130 extra seats in London alone, doubling their councillor base. However, FPTP meant that UKIP won 3x as many councillors with less than half the Green share. The Greens have overtaken the LDs and are the official opposition in Liverpool, Solihull, Lewisham, Islington and Norwich; with the LDs nowhere to be seen and Green share solidifying even further in the latter. Wards in Bristol saw Greens achieve 30%+ and the wards won were with around 40% of the vote. The Greens got the highest vote share across Bristol: the LDs came 3rd. This strong progress was also seen in Sheffield. The LDs shpuld be very worried.

    Of course Labour will take a large chunk of that in the General Election, but witg a 25% increase in members this year (13% in May alone) and 500 new members a DAY, and more ex-Labour/first time voters being drawn into the fold, Labour should not expect to steal anywhere near as many votes from the Greens this time. Besides, when a certain threshold is surpassed, the Greens will become in strong contention so Labour has no reason to be complacent in thinking the Green vote can be squeezed e.g. Bristol West, Norwich South and Labour held non-marginals. The Green core base is far more resilient now and as more and more new seats are being contested by them in 2015, I expect a showing of at least 3% across England.

  12. I don’t think May/Gove will have much direct effect. A bubble story if ever there was one. What it might have done is prevented the ‘Tories well organised’ post-Newark narrative to develop.

    @RogerH

    Reshuffles generally don’t have much effect as the vast majority of the public don’t notice much about particular ministers beyond the top three or four or others when they are scandal hit. I expect the hope will be to achieve some longer term effects by:

    1/ Strengthening up the media machine, perhaps by getting Eric Pickles into the media side of Grant Shapps’ role.
    2/ Improving diversity, perhaps by promoting Theresa Villiers to a more senior role and bringing a couple of new female ministers into the Cabinet.
    3/ Not changing the top team much and thus avoiding an impression of desperation.

  13. Farage’s exposure last month seems to have made lots of Tories want to vote UKIP, he’ll get plenty of exposure during the election campaign, a conservative nightmare?

    That said Labour’s vote has been reducing drip by drip since the 43/44% back in Jan ’13. Hardly encouraging.

    I personally feel that the LibDem trick of personal support for their sitting MPs only works if people think – ‘LibDems, not my first choice, but they seem nice enough and I like X my MP’. If the party’s brand is properly damaged, people just won’t vote for them no matter how nice their MP. I do wonder if disaster awaits, current polling suggests people hold them in v poor esteem.

    But hold on, given that UKIP don’t look like getting any (hardly any) seats, it can’t be bad for everyone! The two main parties have much to fear, and realistic hopes. An interesting year ahead.

  14. Is it just me, or has this Government been more unlucky than most in the timing of “bad news” whenever something vaguely positive appears in the media agenda? It just seems whenever something good happens, it’s instantly wiped from public view by another problem. Is it just plain bad luck? Mmmm.

  15. The problem you have with spats is you don’t know what they will lead too. As many politicians are ego led, the desire to get the public onside by revealing their version of events becomes overwhelming. The fired SPAD being an ex-media person, (SKY) will soon be hogging the airwaves dishing the dirt. Then it starts all over again and before you know where you are everyone is taking sides and digging trenches.

    There was no chance Labour were ever going to get near 40%, but 34/35% is feasible, worrying for the Tories that despite Newark good economic news, they can’t get themselves back above the mid thirties.

  16. @Jamie

    I think LD personal support will hold up in a large number, if far from all, of their seats. Constituency battles tend to become polarised into two way contests under FPTP and under those conditions a large number of people will keep voting LD because they prefer them to whichever party is their main rival in that seat, whether it be CON or LAB or UKIP. The council results from last month pretty much showed this – they hung on to about two thirds of the seats they were defending I think, which is a result that would get them about 40 seats at the GE.

    As far as I can see there are some certain LD losses in urban areas where they only had a relatively narrow lead over LAB before, and some likely ones in the Highlands. But there are also plenty of strongholds where they stand a very decent chance of hanging on.

  17. I wasn’t planning to do a churn analysis until the end of the month. I still believe we’ll have to wait until early July to get an accurate picture of the current state of play, but… well, things are getting very weird out in Churnland, and I thought people might like to know about it.

    The Big Picture

    http://i.imgur.com/64XhQkR.png

    From this graph you would assume a bunch of people have switched from the Tories to Ukip, and from the Lib Dems to Labour. And you would basically be right.

    The Tories

    http://i.imgur.com/qohBzSe.png

    Team Blue are very excited about their by-election victory, but as you can see from the graph, the Tories are not having such a great month. They’re now doing as badly as they’ve done since last spring.

    http://i.imgur.com/CtoIjGV.png

    The blame for this lies squarely at the feet of Ukip. The Tories are not plumbing the abyssal depths they reached last June, but they are experiencing a lesser version of the same Ukip migration. The good news is, the Tory -> Ukip churn unwound pretty rapidly last summer, and they can probably expect the same thing to happen this year. Although CCHQ have cause for some slight unease: last year we all attributed the clawback to Lynton Crosby’s red meat rebranding, but a) it obviously wore off and b) they may have emptied that bag of tricks already. How many “Go Home” vans can one party deploy?

    Interesting side note: Ukip -> Tory switching sharply decreased in the immediate run-up to the European elections. Presumably the prospect of the ballot box concentrates the mind, but even so I find that slightly baffling.

    Labour

    Labour have had a torrid spring, and it’s not actually getting much better for them, it just looks better.

    http://i.imgur.com/kqvLlP2.png

    They dipped below 35% for the first time since July 2010. They’re doing so badly I had to shift the axes on the graph. 36% from YouGov is not something Team Red should be getting excited about; we would have regarded that as a lousy poll back in March.

    http://i.imgur.com/QoqCoqb.png

    Labour are doing badly because their retention is still horrendous and it’s not improving. Some of this is Lab -> Ukip switching, some of it is Lab -> Green switching, and contrary to speculation on here by ill-informed people (me, for one) none of this has unwound yet. Labour are regaining some VI only because they have been the primary beneficiaries of the collapse of the one party having a worse time than they are.

    The Liberal Democrats

    Let’s not intrude on private grief. This graph speaks for itself.

    http://i.imgur.com/FylbTXY.png

    Okay, I am going to intrude on private grief a bit. Remember how after the budget I said the Lib Dems were retaining more of their voters than were switching to Labour? That’s no longer true.

    http://i.imgur.com/UbsoDTA.png

    Ukip

    Ukip are having a great spring, just like they were last spring:

    http://i.imgur.com/r5iHYuk.png

    Not so much momentum as the cycle of the seasons. Nigel shouldn’t start picking out his office in Portcullis House just yet.

    Don’t Knows

    It seems a national election does concentrate the mind, especially the minds of Labour voters, who are more certain of their VI than they have been for ages. This is probably inflating the topline Labour VI a bit (and the Tories as well).

    http://i.imgur.com/lEYLREL.png

  18. @ROGERH

    “Why it Fell” is an easy question to answer… In that it didn’t really. The European elections became a distorting lens over polling for a Westminster election. People’s answers became clouded by the campaign for the European election, an election which has always been used as a protest vote against the “establishment” in this country.

    The actual result of the European election has to be taken in consideration that it was a very low turn out election, with a very high proportional turnout protest voting in that election. Once you move the turn out back to those for a general election for Westminster seats, things change.

  19. Wings of Change,

    I don’t deny the possibility, but at the very least Labour has stopped losing voters to the Greens. The Green party may yet occupy the ground held by the Lib Dems from 1997-2010, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

  20. @ JACK S

    I agree

    @WINDS

    I mostly agree with you too. As I said on the previous thread, Greens seem to be doing very well with 18-24 and with 2010 LDs (based on thin evidence I admit).
    This is a worry for Lab as they would expect to be doing well with both those demographics. As an incurable optimist I believe Lab will release some policies, and get their generally likable and competent leader and front bench more in front of the public, and that this will inspire people to vouchsafe their crosses to Lab in a GE.

  21. @Keith P

    Events. Why Opposition is easier than government.

  22. Polling Day – May 7th 2015 – is now as near to the present as July 10th 2013. I have just looked at the Yougov findings for that date – Lab 37 Con 32 – LD 11 UKIP 12. The most significant – and perhaps surprising – change is the continued erosion of the LibDem vote with Labour stable.

  23. Just heard Maajid Nawaz, Chairman of the Quilliam Foundation,, talking on Sunday Politics. about the impending OFSTED report & related matters.

    What a blessed relief to hear those comments & views from one of his faith , with his particular knowledge.

  24. Despite UKIP playing havoc with VI across the board, the pattern has been remarkably stable for the last 3.5 years – Labour on course to win a working majority.

    The pick-up in Labour VI is to be expected following the Euro elections as Green voters return ‘home’ from a proportional voting system.

    The Greens have been advocating popular policies such as railway renationalisation which most observers expect Labour to also announce closer to election day.

    Did anyone see EM’s response to the queens speech? I thought it was particularly well delivered and impressed by his gravitas (never thought I’d say that) – if EM can replicate that style in the TV debates pre-election, the right-wing press narrative of him being weak/weird will look pretty silly.

  25. @Graham

    An interesting finding and why (from a CON perspective) I worry that there may not be a simple governing party boost in the final year.

  26. DRMIBBLES

    @”Did anyone see EM’s response to the queens speech?”

    Yes :-)

  27. @WindsofChange

    I support your view – the Greens do have a harder edge these, and are more solid.

    I have been with them a few years, and the share of vote has risen to close to the critical mass required to push on in many places, and areas like Bristol and Norwich are well above that.

    In addition, the recent intake of members are different from the people from the Ecology Party days. Among the group of six core people in my area, we all have substantial experience in campaigning successfully in marginal seas for Labour, The Conservatives and Lib Dems. I think this edge was a bit lacking previously.

    So with more members, a background higher share of vote, a pool of disenfranchised Lib Dems some what lost and the better organisational and campaigning skills, we are set for better days.

    If any other party thinks a Green vote is just a protest vote that automatically returns to it’s ‘true’ home for general elections are seriously misreading the situation.

  28. @GuyMonde Indeed! In some polls I’ve seen, the Greens reached 25% in the 18-24 age group. Support is steadily increasing albeit very slowly in the 65+ age group, and support from 35-65 is doing well too. Gaining 23 seats on the back of a media blackout despite eclipsing the LDs time and again, when their vote share would have meant 150 seats at least if FPTP weren’t used; steady, solidifying voter/member bases is what I would call ‘a roll’. There are 10-20 seats as a result where I think they will be competitive in the short-medium term.

  29. @CatmanJeff Yes. In my area there is a smallish group which campaigns where and when they can. But come election time, around 20 people were out selivering leaflets, canvassing at the railway stations etc. In addition, more and more groups are springing up countrywide that are diverse, enthusiastic and fielding lots of candidates where there were previously gaps. Even on a bad day like in 2010-bar Pavilion of course- national vote share should be at least double at 1.8%. And of course if membership increases are maintained, by the end of the year the Greens could have 20000+ members; multiplying spending and campaigning power/image.

  30. @Colin

    Quilliam is a government supported body. They represent no-one. They are a group that take away all aspects of Muslim life apart from the mosque. The only “good” Muslim being one who parrots the government’s own line. And if you are not a “good” Muslim then you should be under suspicion as a potential future terrorist.

    You should read Arun Kundnani – The Muslims Are Coming for a proper understanding of the government’s approach in these matters.

    Take Birmingham. Nothing happened at all. There was a very successful school where the vast majority of students were Muslim and some teachers were Muslim. But oooh…some teachers wore headscarves! So two disgruntled ex-teachers complained – two. Then a fake letter followed suggesting an extremist plot – of which no evidence has been uncovered. All Ofsted have been able to find is that the school was not doing “enough” to prevent potential extremism. What does that even mean.

    I’ll tell you what it means. It means that Muslims (even in a school which has a mixed choir, who attend arts events and teach the national curriculum with outstanding results) are not permitted permitted to display cultural identity of any kind. And if they do they are going down the path of extremisn.

    Even if the school was conservative (which it is not) what would be wrong in that

  31. DRMIBBLES

    @”Did anyone see EM’s response to the queens speech?”

    No :-)

  32. @Jack S

    I think the problem is that it only has to unwind a little for them to lose lots of seats, particularly on a lower core vote. The local elections suggests there are pockets of strength. It feels to me like their 1997. I remember all the commentators dismissing the idea that the Tories would be down to a rump of 150 MPs it was too much for their imagination to take in – but it still happened.

  33. Very surprised that there’s seemingly no UKIP surge as everyone was expecting. I wonder why.

  34. Jack S and Jamie

    I think you are right. Much will depend on the quality (read acceptability and industry) of the chief opponent in any LD strongly held constituency.

    Reading the somewhat bullish contributions of the Greens above, I think that evidence too, underlines the ‘critical mass’ point. One can lose it as well as gain it. Again I think the acceptability of candidates can be important. How many Caroline Lucas’s has the Green Party?

  35. David
    The point I made just could apply to UKIP too. Contrast the image of Helmer with the lady that fought Eastleigh.

  36. @DAVID: “Very surprised that there’s seemingly no UKIP surge as everyone was expecting.”

    I’m not sure everyone was expecting one. I certainly wasn’t and have previously said that I thought they peaked about a week before the Euros. I still reckon they’ll be in single figures for the GE.

  37. @Howard

    I don’t doubt or dismiss that, but personalities are not everything. Look at Ed Miliband’s maintaining of a lead for so long despite seeming surprisingly uncharismatic. Of course, it’d be great if there were more Caroline Lucases but you get to a point where too many party clones make you seem robotic and false.

    There are to my knowledge several competent high profile Greens with good potential, and as member base expands and diversifies, the faces and talent will fall more in line with public opinion and new directions/avenues will be available to be explored: it’s already come a long way, particularly in this parliament. The LD collapse is not the full story behind Green growth and successes.

    At the end of the day, the facts and figures I’ve put forward are just that, and I’m speculating what might be expected in the future as a result. Is that not the whole idea of this site?

  38. Labour VI up a little.

    UKIP still riding high.

    Tories need to smoke out their defected kippers

    Cameron remains at Number 10.

    It’s all so perfectly easy.

  39. @ RAF

    Yes- I sent that link on to my wife who works in a church school!

    I must admit though that as an agnostic (only because I can’t prove God doesn’t exist!) and fairly anti church schools I have seen at her one how much support the church offers the school and there is an “easy” moral framework.

    In her school I don’t regard it as an issue- they learn about other religions/cultures and as far as I know they aren’t teaching any dogma beyond the basic be good to each other. This was probably much the upbringing I had in a regular C of E school- it didn’t pressurise me to believe in anything and encouraged thinking above dogma.

    The worst aspect of church schools comes if they have selection criteria and are oversubscribed. I don’t think it is fair that a child should be denied a place at a good school nearest to them just because their parents are not religious.

  40. WOC
    I think my point is that the LDs learned that, to achieve critical mass, a series of FPTP victories is needed. Just taking over another party (SDP) is not enough on its own, although that definitely helped hugely (!).

    Caroline Lucas does not have the image of a crusty pulling on a roll-up. She could wander into a Glyndebourne picnic party and grace it with her fragrance. She is equally at home being dragged away from a fracking demo, still looking both demure and brave.

  41. @”Did anyone see EM’s response to the queens speech?”

    Don’t Know/Refuse To Say.

  42. “Tories need to smoke out their defected kippers

    Cameron remains at Number 10.

    It’s all so perfectly easy.”

    Yes. Almost simple one might say.

  43. shevii (fpt)

    The increase in Green vote in polls AFTER the elections is very puzzling. I guess it will be hard to find the answers with the low sample sizes involved.

    It’s not really surprising (and it’s probably for the sort of reasons you suggest). This post-poll boost is fairly standard for no-big two Parties after Euro and local elections where different voting preferences tend to influence how people think about voting for Westminster.

    What has been a puzzle has been the very rapid decline of the boost for UKIP. After a handful of slightly higher ratings they gone back down to around 14%, which was their average for May[1]:

    http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/7t2rerq148/YG-Archives-Pol-Trackers-Voting-Trends-with-UKIP-050614.pdf#page=2

    This was even less dramatic than what happened in 2013 when, after their wins in the County elections, they went to 15% from 11%. In 2014, the pre-election coverage seems to have put them up a point or two, but there’s little of the usual benefit from their actual success in coming first in the Euros.

    Some of this may be due to the endless attacks in the last few weeks and more due to the fact that any increase in VI from any greater coverage in the media will lessen if that coverage is very widespread anyway. But it may hint at a limit to UKIP in terms of Westminster votes that is perhaps only in the (upper) teens, rather than the 30-ish we have seen elsewhere. Higher figures in Euro and local elections may be boosted by differential turnout and issue-specific support from voters who are still choosing another Party elsewhere.

    Of course it may be that UKIP can still do well enough to pick up seats in specific areas, the relevant Ashcroft marginals showed them in contention in some of these, if not in the lead. But the Euros haven’t helped them the way they did in the past.

    In contrast, the small boost for the Greens seems longer-lasting. 5% is very good for them in YouGov and they’ve got it consistently all week. But they had very little coverage in the campaign and in the end didn’t have particularly good Euro election. Given that the Lib Dems have tended to leach Euro votes to them previously, they should have benefited from the LD collapse. Instead they actually got fewer votes overall than in 2009. It still suggests that their boost is likely to fade generally, though again specific areas may get disproportionate benefit.

    Where that recent Green vote goes may be another matter. A lot comes from 2010 Lib Dems, but many of those may have ended up with the Greens via Labour and may go back to the latter. To some extent a lot will depend on how Labour positions itself in the next few months, both on specific Green issues (eg fracking) and on wider area such as civil liberties.

    [1] YouGov have added a couple of very useful pages to their VI Tracker showing the monthly average of their polls since the General Election, though there is only a separate UKIP figure for 2012 on.

  44. Looking at the YG tables, the compiler considers the answers on the Tory party leader question are so interesting they have been printed twice, the second time in the middle of the football ones. it had me scratching my head!

    I see government disapproval is 87% among Labour voters and that climbs from 83% when you look at the 2010 percentages, at the same time as the 2010 exodus from Lab to LD takes place.

  45. Good Afternoon all, this Pentecost Day.
    GRAHAM.
    Hello to you; I think not everyone on the UKPR list will be surprised by the LD decline, which has some way to go, IMO, since they seem to have been alienating ‘leftist’ and right wing voters.

  46. The Tories have a reverse “pressman” prob coming up if they don’t get some momentum by Autumn.

    The right-wing press has cannibalistic tendencies. If their boys don’t look like winning they tend to eat them.

    As I mentioned a long, long time ago, Ed M has known the election date for over four years. Anyone who thinks he IS rather weedy and doesn’t have planned policies, initiatives and announcements laid out over the next few months is what I like to call “wrong”.

    I think the Tories will find it quite tricky to look like a majority govt in waiting and, both in life and politics, things tend to accelerate in the direction they are already going.

  47. Yes, this fixed parliament is a boon to the opposition. Previously an opposition would have had to say more, trickle policy ideas out etc rather more than now, just in case an election is called unexpectedly. Now they can keep things under wraps for longer.

  48. What price the UKIP down at 5-6% by the GE?.

    After that fall helping the Tories and the Greens a little with Lab the main beneficiaries a lead of 2% for Lab perhaps with 39-37%?

  49. I remember the Lib Dems being as low as 2 or 3pc in the polls in 1989 after the Euros where the Greens took 15pc so forgive me if i don’t join in the grim reaper approach to some Lib commentary on here. This is a party that had 5 or 6 Mps in the 1950s after being one of the major parties of gvmt for several centuries – and they still managed to survive and bounce back. They’ll regroup, redefine their liberalism and will be there to pick up all those votes when the next gvmt falls flat on its face

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