We’ve had a couple of weeks to digest the European elections now, and it looks as if the polls since then have been showing a slightly increased Labour lead. I’ve done a graph below of the last few months of polls – in order to remove any variation from irregularly or infrequently published polls the graph below shows voting intention in just YouGov and Populus polls – the two most regularly published polls. I’ve used a seven poll average, as it means (bank holidays aside) every data point is made up of 5 YouGov polls and 2 Populus polls giving us a nice steady figure.

Looking at the parties one by one, there’s an obvious downwards trend in Labour support, interrupted by the aftermath of the European elections, since when they seem to have enjoyed a minor lift in support. Conservative support wiggles about a bit, but there is no definite trend. UKIP support rises in the run up to the European election, but fades as they actually approach (perhaps the impact of the widespread accusations of racism, perhaps just random variation) before increasing in the aftermath of the elections. The Liberal Democrats are steady, but have perhaps faltered since the European campaign. Finally there is an obvious upwards trend in the previously steady level of support for the Green party.

The question of course is whether any of this will have any long term impact whatsoever, or is the merely the impact of the publicity and campaigning around the European elections. After the local elections last year we got a spike in UKIP support, which by July settled down again. We need to wait a couple of weeks and see if all the apparent changes in party support over the last couple of weeks revert back to the trends they were showing before May, or if they’ve had any longer lasting impact.

Meanwhile tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 37%, LD 8%, UKIP 12%. A lower Labour lead than the last few polls, but nothing yet that couldn’t be normal sample variation.

210 Responses to “Westminster polls and the European elections”

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  1. @Shevii (and any others interested).

    Unwanted copies of the Sun can be returned to: FREEPOST, The Sun, London E98 1AX

  2. @MrNameless

    But that would entail buying a suitable sized envelope. I’m just going to use it to line my chickens’ s**t tray. I always feel guilty about using The Grauniad.

  3. @guymonde

    yes the level of pay increases in the last 5 years have been very low historically, nearly every month below CPI inflation (RPI is even worse), almost unprecedented fall in living standards of working age people

    That is no blip that is a change in workforce composition to lower paid jobs. BTW these figures do not include the self-employed, i think they have had an even worse fall inliving standards

    The possible blip is was referring to was the slump in regular pay again in the March and April. i thought that the increase in wages in January and February was the start of trend, but for pay increases to collapse again is unusual given falling unemployment.

    it might be a blip if growth in wages increases markedly in May and June and onwards, but if not we are in a very odd situation which cannot go on for ever, living standards can’t keep falling, there is a limit to how much people can cut back

    some economists have noticed it, but at the moment most say normal service will return soon, which is what Jamie is saying, he has the majority on ihs side, but we shall see.

  4. @ Billy Bob

    Thanks for your response to mine – you wrote: “My worry is not that partners will offer Cameron an insignificant fig-leaf renegotiation, but that they will offer him a whopping great opt-out. The referendum could then become a choice between an associate membership with limited voting rights, or complete withdrawal.”

    I agree! However, I hope S&D members of Governments in power will veto any such concessions to Cameron. I am not hostile to an IN/OUT referendum, but if I had to choose between “Associate Membership” or OUT I wouldn’t know how to vote. The reason being that from my perspective the great advantage of being in the EU is the social protection and employee protection, not all the business stuff. Unfortunately the very thing that appeals about the EU to the likes of me is what truly repels the Conservatives and Kippers.

    If life were fair and truly democratic, Cameron would offer a three choice referendum using SV.
    1. IN as it is now.
    2. IN under his renegotiated deal
    3. OUT

    Sadly, we will be limited to only 2 and 3. However, my hope is that 2 will be defacto 1 but disguised by just a minimalist fig-leaf, albeit touted by Cameron as substantial!

  5. ” Touted as substantial ” ?
    A fig leaf of a decent size, for a Prime Minister who cannot by his own admission grow a moustache ?

    I very much doubt it !

  6. Robin,

    “I’m just going to use it to line my chickens’ s**t tray.”

    I’m shocked that you can come on to this site and openly boast about your unforgivable behaviour!

    Birdbrains. S**t. Meaningless cackle. Fox. Breasts. How d’you think your poor chickens are supposed to put up with all these things brought into their lives? Sun readers may be used to these things but your poor fowls aren’t! Think again!

  7. FV
    I agree that the April figure might be a blip (in fact I’d be surprised if it wasn’t)
    The point I was making was about the longer term trend, which I found really surprising and counter to any ‘normal’ economic theory: as the labour market tightens, it seems wage growth is declining rather than recovering.
    I suspect also (there are probably stats on this) that this decline is focused on the un- and low skilled with better qualified people doing OK.
    If this is the case, it’s no surprise that there is a substantial cadre of the left behind who will certainly be potential prey for UKIP: and however much liberals like me might wish it away, immigration is, I suspect, a powerful factor here.
    Also true, and a slight counterpoint, is the point Colin makes about the sector breakdown with retailing etc doing least worst of all, followed by manufacturing, construction seemingly all over the place, and financial services worst by some margin.

  8. Mr Nameless
    “Unwanted copies of the Sun can be returned to: FREEPOST, The Sun, London E98 1AX”

    Mine is going back in a second-hand envelope but marked Return to Sender so that the full postage will be paid by NI.

    I do the same for all junk mail.

  9. @guymonde

    none of the sectors have particularly high wage increases given the large fall in unemployment

    i am wondering if the minimum wage increase in October has helped workers in the retail and hospitality sector although this sector has the fastest growth, the average wage is very low

    I believe the Labout party introduced that, something to be proud of for your party i think.

  10. Good point FV and yes – funny how Lab policies which will bring horror and mayhem according to @Pressman and his chums turn out to have been a jolly good wheeze (the London Congestion Charge is another that springs to mind)
    Now the Lab proposals to raise MW will allegedly bring horror and mayhem but IMO will do nothing of the sort and give a boost to VI if anybody actually hears about them (and if they get a bit clearer!)

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