Lord Ashcroft’s weekly poll this afternoon has topline figures of CON 28%(+3), LAB 32%(-2), LDEM 8%(+2), UKIP 17%(-2). The Labour lead is down by five points but this is very probably a reversion to the mean after an unusual looking poll a week ago. Full tabs are on Lord Ashcroft’s website here

The other new poll out today was Populus’s twice-weekly online poll – that had topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 36%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 14%. Tabs here


315 Responses to “Latest Populus and Ashcroft figures”

1 2 3 7
  1. “Many people say that if there was a new general election they probably wouldn’t vote at all, while others say they definitely would vote. Please say how likely you would be to vote if there
    was another general election?”

    What a pathetic question from Populus! How on earth are people supposed to say how they would act, unless they had been told in a lengthy preamble what the consequences of such an action would be?

    In their poll for the FT last week, they handled things much better by telling people what to think before asking the question!

  2. And how much doubt us there that there will be another general election?

    Is there something we aren’t being told?

  3. OldNat
    I notice the question is identical in both ‘Ashcroft’ and Populus polls plus the fonts in both tables, etc, are the same.

    I deduce they are both Populus, except I believe Ashcroft is by telephone. What a mouthful that question is if on the telephone.

    Why not ‘how likely is it will you vote in the general election?’.

  4. SYZYGY

    Thanks Sue for such a detailed post on a subject of interest I knew little about. If your right, and you certainly come across as someone who has looked into the subject carefully then I have to say I am likely to be very supportiveof the trade deals (TTIP/TAFTA).

  5. Howard – it’s an attempt to counter social desirability bias. You say “Many people say that if there was a new general election they probably wouldn’t vote at all” so respondents feel it is acceptable to admit they might not bother voting.

  6. Anthony

    But why raise the doubt that there might not be another general election?

  7. AW
    “…it’s an attempt to counter social desirability bias. You say “Many people say that if there was a new general election they probably wouldn’t vote at all” so respondents feel it is acceptable to admit they might not bother voting.”

    I understand the ‘need’ to identify those who intend not to vote at the next GE, but does the phrase “Many people…vote at all” encourage people not to vote?

  8. Oldnat – probably a clunky amendment of “if there was a general election tomorrow”

  9. AW
    If you add up the DKs, the WVs, and the WSs, you get about 35%, which I suppose matches GE turnouts, so I expect you are right to suggest they wish to overcome shyness. Funny, because yesterday I suggested a format that would not give the voter a ‘cop out’ possibility. I think it was a ‘greater’ or ‘lesser’ type of question.

    For instance the ‘do you think you will be better off in a year’s time’ would be an example. You don’t want people replying Don’t Know, even though clairvoyance is not a quality enjoyed by many, I suggest.

  10. Anthony

    Well Populus seem to have a remarkable capacity for clunkiness!

    ““Q.4 Alex Salmond and the Scottish nationalists say that the Pound belongs just as much to Scotland as to the rest of UK and, therefore, that if Scotland votes to become an independent country, they will continue to use the Pound as their currency, retaining the Bank of England as Scotland’s Central Bank and lender of last resort. This would mean that in the event of a financial crisis affecting an independent Scotland, the Bank of England would step in and taxpayers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland would have to bear some of the cost. For this reason the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties have said they couldn’t agree to let an independent Scotland use the Pound and retain the Bank of England as its Central Bank. If Scotland votes to become an independent country, would you support or oppose Scotland continuing to use the Pound as its currency and retaining the Bank of England as its Central Bank and lender of last resort?”

    was a belter, and according to the FT was wholly a creation of Populus!

  11. @Mike N – I don’t think that taking part in opinion polling is a major factor in voter abstention.

    Ashcroft poll with big changes again. It’s like he got bored of polldrums so decided to liven it up all by himself.

  12. @OldNat – How would you have phrased that question, still including the context?

  13. Chris Green
    Hmm, may be you’re right on reflection. I just don’t like pollsters ‘leading’ the participants.

  14. Chris Green
    I don’t know what you think are big changes. I didn’t spot any.

  15. Chris Green

    Since creating that specific partisan context was rather the point of the question (and that seems to be much more likely to be the work of the FT than Populus), I wouldn’t have included that version of the context at all, but simply asked –

    “Do you support the creation of a currency union between rUK and an independent Scotland”.

    If some context was considered necessary, on the basis that most of those in E&W had little knowledge of the arguments, I’d have omitted all references to parties and used a simpler (and more accurate) preamble.

  16. THE OTHER HOWARD

    I replied on t’other thread (smile thing).

  17. I’m probably not the only one, but I’m getting really confused about this Birmingham schools thing. I’m getting an unpleasant ‘reds under the bed’ sense about this, and while it seems clear that there has been some odd goings on in a small number of schools (while several others have been rated excellent) the attempts to label this as ‘extremism’ seem a bit over the top?

    Ofsted is firing both barrels at Birmingham council, despite the fact that Academies are independent of LA’s. Of course, Ofsted thought everything was tickety boo not long since, but presumably nothing will ever be their own fault?

    Labour Birmingham council says it’s all Tory Education Secretary’s fault. That’s a revelation.

    The inspector even said “Governors are exerting far more influence than is appropriate or acceptable,” ….well blow me down – when I was a governor, even before recent reforms, we were being sent on courses to teach us how to run schools. Now, apparently, that’s a bad thing.

    Stories of unusual appointments are commonplace in free schools or other academies freed from LA control, but when it happens in a ‘Muslim’ academy school it’s ‘extremism’.

    Girls are apparently taught separately from boys, as part of some religious zealot plot. Is Eton still an all boys school?

    Of course, the Education Secretary wrote a book about Trojan horse extremist infiltration a few years ago – I assume there can’t be a connection?

    I honestly don’t have a clue who is right and who is wrong, or even what the central issues are, but there are so many vested interests and competing claims that I’m being deafened by the sound of political axes being ground.

    Something feels very wrong to me about the politicking and reporting of this, and I’m worried that once again we appear to have an issue which takes a relatively minor problem, within one small part of an ethnic community, the like of which is relatively common across society, and elevates it into a massive headline issue, seemingly casting doubt across a far wider range of targets.

  18. @AW

    A small tribute to Rik Mayall if I may. From the New Statesman.

    Alan B’Stard: “Who in this country was not moved when that great Englishman, Gazza, wept bitter tears at the World Cup last year? People thought that he was crying because he had been booked by the umpire and so would miss the final. But that was not the reason. He was crying at the thought that the Conservative government, the only government this young hero had ever known, was behind in the opinion polls. He was weeping at the threat of the return to power of a Labour rabble led by a bald Welsh windbag, dedicated to destroying Britain’s prosperity, running down our currency, encouraging satanist abuse of our children, spreading AIDS through their sponsorship of homosexual behaviour, abolishing the House of Lords, and executing the royal family. Gazza didn’t want that for his children, do you want it for yours? Or do you want a government that lets you share in Britain’s prosperity by offering you the chance of five, yes five, free Sun jackpot bingo cards with every registered Tory membership application? Yes, apply now to join the Tory party at this week’s once in a lifetime special offer price of only £9.99 and you will receive a free Tarzan Teenage Hero Turtle T-shirt, a Gazza car tidy, and the News of the World every Sunday for a year.”

  19. Old Nat

    I would probably make it a question.

  20. Alec

    “Something feels very wrong to me about the politicking and reporting of this”

    Maybe those wrong things are the “British values” that Gove thinks should be inculcated in English schools?

  21. RAF

    You may.

    Shocked at this news.

    RIP funny man-thank you for so much enjoyment.

  22. Reg

    :-) So that’s what that funny squiggle at the end of some sentences means!

  23. @Alec

    Seems pretty obvious what is going on. Gove was presented with a flimsy (probably faked) pretext that fitted his own pre-existing view of a country teeming with Islamist extremists waiting for an opportunity to use state facilities to indoctrinate the masses.

    In time we may find he was set up by political opponents.

  24. @RAF – the bit that really bothers me is how swift the Ofsted about face was.

  25. @Alec & RAF

    They just said on Radio 4 that one of the things that ‘raised concern’ was a poster in Arabic ‘extolling the virtues of prayer.’ Funnily enough had a similar poster been up in English in a Catholic school I don’t think it would cause anything like as much hysteria.

    There’s clearly a hefty dose of anti-Muslim prejudice mixed in with this, giving off a sinister ‘enemy within’ vibe.

    Here are the figures from Sunday’s poll. 65% say the allegations are ‘probably right’, but on a brighter note, looking at the age crosstabs. The kind of suspicion fuelling this hysteria will inevitably decline over time.

  26. ALEC

    @”I honestly don’t have a clue who is right and who is wrong, or even what the central issues are,”

    Suggest you start where we all have to-Sir Michael Wilshaw’s letter.

    file:///C:/Users/User/Downloads/Advice%20note%20provided%20on%20academies%20and%20maintained%20schools%20in%20Birmingham%20to%20the%20Secretary%20of%20State%20for%20Education-%20Rt%20Hon%20Michael%20Gove%20MP%20(

    I don’t think the actual OFSTED reports are publicly available.

    So you either think this man is a credible & serious official who has followede complaints to a conclusion which concerns him , given his responsibility for childrens education.

    Or you think he is a charlatan who has been instructed to write down things which he knows to be untrue.

  27. The Oftsed U-turn is indeed very fishy. It may be they went in there expecting and/or wanting to come to a certain conclusion, and when people do that they tend to just end up seeing what they want to see.

  28. RAF

    Absolute class and a sad loss to the world of comedy. Alan B’stard a true anti-hero!

    I agree with comments of the Birmingham story. Something does not seem right with it all somehow….it seems there is an attempt to find serious problems where they may not exist.

    I am not sure that May (who got away with murder today – and they wonder why politicians are held in such low esteem) agreed with Gove and I worry that the story fits into his world view

    I must say the BBC, as a news service, is now bankrupt. I have always defended the BBC, now I think it can be allowed to wither and die…..politicians of all colours have corrupted it

  29. ROGERH

    Thanks for that link.

  30. Yeah, education is a classic political football, ‘cos many have regular contact with schools. Amazing really… cut LA funding, devolve more and more powers to schools, while also making LAs increasingly accountable for the schools…

  31. The Ashcroft polls for the third time in as many weeks showing the LDs and Greens fighting for fourth place on 7% suggests the 3% Green score in Populus is an outlier, no?

  32. Populus had GRN on 5 last time but in general they show low GRN scores… 3 is typical for them. Using the methodology that AW uses for the UKPR average, I get an average of 4.9

  33. That was @ Windsofchange

  34. One wonders that whether with the government having rushed through their initial plans things are relatively listless now and maybe Gove and May have a little too much time on their hands, hence the politicking. In which case, there may be more to come. LDs seem to have even more time on their hands having been relegated to sidelines, hence the recent Oakeshott thing…

    Could be fun times ahead…

  35. @BCrombie

    ‘I have never met any teacher, and I know a lot, who doesn’t froth with anger at the mention of his name’

    Something Gove seems to take great pride in.

  36. BCROMBIE-

    No reason at all-you are as entitled to your opinion as anyone else.

  37. “There were times when Rik and I were writing together when we almost died laughing. They were some of the most carefree stupid days I ever had, and I feel privileged to have shared them with him. And now he’s died for real. Without me. Selfish bastard.” Ade Edmondson

    on Facebook- RIP Rik Mayall

  38. “Isn’t there a common thread running through this – Gove? I have never met any teacher, and I know a lot, who doesn’t froth with anger at the mention of his name. This includes a number of Tories….”

    ———-

    Had a headteacher friend over to visit last week… with my partner also a headteacher I thought Gove might crop up. But nope. It was more along the lines of men not doing the ironing, how many shoes is enough, what cars to get next etc.

    And I didn’t mention Thorium once…

  39. @Alec (6.16)

    “@RAF – the bit that really bothers me is how swift the Ofsted about face was.”

    Like you, I have some mixed views re this situation and while there are obviously issues, I suspect that some of this may be blown up out of all proportion.

    However, in response to your comment above, it seems from reports that a number of teaching staff including heads have been forced out of their schools. Rapid changes in staff coupled with reported changes in structures could well have caused the deterioration reported by Ofsted. It also has to be said that there is no question that Ofsted will have focussed on certain aspects. Having done some auditing (of a completely different type) many years ago, I am well aware that it is not possible to cover all aspects of any organisation and therefore it is necessary to focus on areas where you believe that there may be concerns.

  40. @Number Cruncher
    Yes, I’m aware of that :) It’s just someone tried to knock down my argument by shoving the reduced 3% score in my face, but with averages like you say and one of the only clear, consistent scores in Yougov and the longer-term Ashcroft polls, 3% seems to be a random sampling error; especially with, as someone remarked, the Ashcroft and Populus formats seeming very similar.

  41. @Carfrew You do seem to be mildly obsessed with thorium haha. Looking at Green policy documents, there’s no clear reference to it: perhaps it’s something that will spring up on the agenda come September and Conference time.

  42. Opinium tabs are also now available:

    http://news.opinium.co.uk/sites/news.opinium.co.uk/files/vi_03_06_2014.pdfcide

    Amusingly 37% say the Coalition is more responsible for the current state of the economy against 35% for Labour. Clearly lots of CON/LIBS could not decide whether this meant an improvement in the economy or not.

    To be honest neither could I.

  43. The Greens are just 2 respondents behind the Lib Dems on the Ashcroft poll. 1 respondent ahead of them before weighting!

  44. Good Evening All.
    One day the Tories will bring back Local Education Authorities with control over the schools. They invented them in 1902. Balfour did it. The fabian socialist Morant was the Civil Servant that master minded the idea.

  45. Theresa May’s immigration polices are going down a storm with African Scots.

    http://en.ria.ru/world/20140609/190445720/Immigration-Driving-African-Scots-Towards-Scottish-Independence.html

    Anyway back to todays polls.

    Not looking too bad for the Tories. Maybe a wee apology from Christine Lagarde might give them another boost at Ed’s expense.

  46. Wes

    “The Greens are just 2 respondents behind the Lib Dems on the Ashcroft poll. 1 respondent ahead of them before weighting”
    ________

    “1 respondent ahead of them before weighting”

    A fat yin must had gotten through the net. ;-)

  47. BCrombie
    I must say the BBC, as a news service, is now bankrupt. I have always defended the BBC, now I think it can be allowed to wither and die…..politicians of all colours have corrupted it

    Indeed, I was once upon a time a staunch defender, but there’s really no need to – it’s as bad as the rest these days, and even lends the drivel an air of legitimacy it wouldn’t have had otherwise.

  48. @AW

    Re:my post in Mod. Please just delete it. Thanks.

1 2 3 7