The fortnightly Opinium poll for the Observer is out tonight, with topline figures of CON 31%(nc), LAB 35%(nc), LDEM 7%(+1), UKIP 17%(-2), Greens 5%. Their Labour lead remains at four points.

Yesterday there was also a “new” TNS voting intention poll, as far as I can tell the first Westminster poll they’ve published since last November. Topline figures there are CON 29%, LAB 35%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 23%. While it was newly published, the fieldwork was actually carried out a week and a half ago (I’m not quite sure why they publish so late – with their Scottish polls I’ve always assumed it’s something to do with the difficulties of doing face-to-face polling, but their Westminster polls are done online).

102 Responses to “Opinium/Observer – CON 31, LAB 35, LD 7, UKIP 17”

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  1. The pattern continues

  2. Interesting piece by Nick Robinson;

    Puts a perspective on all those debates on here between Labour and Tory supporters.

    Angels on the Head of a Pin.


  3. Excuse a question but, at what frequency do you update your ‘Latest UNS Projection’ . Is it fixed on time, frequency of polls, results, weekends or other?
    It would be good to know to avoid asking questions as this.

  4. I am not sure I agree with you Mr Cairns. Mr Robinson started off trying to be clever instead of properly looking at the issues. It took corrections from the politicians themselves to add some illumination into the argument.

  5. @Hookeslaw

    I generally take the position that if Nick Robinson has set out to explain something, his primary aim is to make he, Robinson, appear clever.

    If his audience actually finish up informed about the issue then that is very much an unexpected side-effect.

  6. Labour and Conservatives still fairly close together, in both poll ratings, and umm, policy direction it seems.

    Another reason why some voters want something different?

  7. TNS CON 29%, LAB 35%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 23%. adds up to 93% without any ‘others’ or ‘won’t votes’.
    Where are the UKIP votes coming from? Do you have details? Are you sure its not UKIP 13?

  8. @Keithp

    You might think that, but I couldn’t possibly comment..

  9. @Anthony Wells – Do you have any idea when you’ll be able to update the sidebar?

  10. […]the [TNS] fieldwork was actually carried out a week and a half ago (I’m not quite sure why they publish so late…)

    Yes that struck me too (f/w dates 10-12 Jun). I suspect it may be nothing more complicated than the fact that it’s not polling actually commissioned by anyone. Presumably they just tag a VI question or two onto their usual consumer omnibus survey when they feel like it or there is space, and then analyses and release the data when they’ve got time to spare from things that earn money.

    The tables are here:

    and it looks to me as if TNS have now joined Survation in giving UKIP as a main menu choice (with Con, Lab and L/D and appropriate Nats) rather than one of ‘Others’. For some reason TNS always get rather low VI for these (their Greens rating is usually lower than other for example). So the rise in UKIP support may be due to this rather than any post-Euro boost – which seems to have faded very fast if it happened at all.

    Incidentally the actual TNS VIs are slightly different:

    Con 30%
    Lab 35%
    L/D 6%
    UKIP 23%
    Nats 3%
    Green 3%

    because of the odd way they handle ‘Others’ and allow no-Party options at this stage too and but only use the reply from the first screen to give effective sample size. Reducing the ESS by that little amount puts up the Con VI a point in this case.

  11. Had the hypothetical election result I referred to earlier – Con 295 Lab 285 LibDem 35 – been the outcome in 1992 , what would have happened? Personally, I find it difficult to imagine Ashdown trying to keep Major in office – much more likely that he would have sought a deal with Kinnock together with support from smaller parties.

  12. @ Graham

    In terms of personalities and political postioning I think Ashdown would indeed have preferred to work with Kinnock, especially as the Tories would have been seen to have “lost” the election after many years in power despite remaining the largest party. However, I wouldn’t totally discount John Major ensconced still in Downing Street making Ashdown a rather better offer than Kinnock could come up with. The plain truth is that Labour internal policy politics is much more pugnatiously derived at – and therefore it is much more difficult given Labour’s “ourselves alone” approach to power and implementation of policy for them to offer the LibDems anything sunbstantial, particularly then when Labour just wasn’t ready to embrace electoral reform of any kind. Despite personalities and instincts I suspect after negotiations Ashdown, to his own surprise, would have ended up giving Major a Confidence & Supply deal in exchange for a referendum on some very limited electoral reform (say 10% of parliament to be AMS members), which John Major once personally agreed with me is worthy of consideration, but not to be rushed into.

  13. @ Barrpyp

    Since I’ve been on here I don’t think Anthony has ever taken more than a month between updates. Recently it has been more often but there were quite big changes going on at the time.

    I think he does it as and when he has time-I don’t think there would be any change if he were to do it tomorrow so probably not a priority for him.

  14. Extra p- sorry!

  15. Hard to understand why the Tories have slipped back to nearer 30% what needs to be stressed to people is that a level game isn’t enough to stop Miliband from becoming PM . People need to, and surely will, wake up.

  16. @Tony Dean

    Had Ashdown acted in the way that you describe left of centre LDs would have switched en masse to Labour as happened post-May 2010. Labour ,of course, could also count on 4 SDLP MPs from Northern Ireland taking the Labour whip – effectively bringing them up to 289. If Labour then went on to win 4 by elections from the Tories it would have become – effectively – the largest party. Would Ashdown then have switched horses?

  17. @ SHEVII
    If Anthony is prepared and does, update his excellent site with every new thread/topic, I am sure he also updates his UKPR with every single Westminster poll within his selected list of pollsters. What then is the problem in updating the UKPR average as and when polls are announced?
    Is there any significance in, as you say, updating monthly. I would suggest that a monthly update is somewhat out of touch, nay, out of date.

  18. Pressman. Which “people” are you talking about? Try to be a bit more specific.

  19. @ BarryP

    lol- looks like he has just updated it and no change!

    I’m guessing he doesn’t have an automatic program that updates and/or it is easier to enter a load of polls in one go but you’d have to ask him.

  20. @ Nick P,

    Have we considered the possibility that Pressman is Anthony’s secret troll identity?

  21. Is the LD figure number of votes?

  22. While we’re whinging about stuff on the sidebar, the tiny picture of Lord Ashcroft’s face really creeps me out. Any chance of replacing it with a giant ‘A’ or something so it’s more in keeping with the symbols for the other pollsters?

  23. dave
    “TNS CON 29%, LAB 35%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 23%. adds up to 93% without any ‘others’ or ‘won’t votes’. Where are the UKIP votes coming from? Do you have details? Are you sure its not UKIP 13?”

    I think TNS split the remaining 7% between SNP, PC and ‘others’, where those combined others were reported at 5%, and dominated by Greens.

    On the breakdown of ‘others’ there were 55 of those ‘others’ but 18 of those were ‘wont say’ et, whereas the table that gave the headline % had a weighted 47 ‘others’.

    So I think the calculation for the Green party share would be most accurate as
    (29/(55-18))*(47/896), which I think is 4%, not the 3% Roger Mexico lists (but he may be listing something else).

    As for where the extra share that UKIP appear to being given (compared to other polls) is coming from, well, there is no clear outlier among other parties, so the best guess would be a little from each.

  24. @Graham

    In that hypothetical situation you present I think the CONs (with formal support from the 9 UUP MPs) would have ended up forming a minority which might at some stage have been voted down by LAB/LIB, forcing a second GE. I’m not sure Ashdown would have wanted to formally team up with a ‘loser’ like Kinnock but equally a deal with a govt. entering its fourth term would prob have been out of the question.

    Back then I think second GE would still have been considered an option (it had happened only 18 years previously), whereas now the expense of it all and the risk of apathy caused by it makes it a remote option in my opinion.

  25. Hardly a good set of stories lately for the Tories, piles of passports, welfare spending out of control, Gove vs May…..

    The guardian has tried its best to balance this out with its anti-Miliband briefs, but no matter how long that goes on for Labours lead just remains stubborn.

  26. A parody of what ? There is a campaign to be fought to stop [Ed Miliband] becoming PM who seems to have a ridiculous number of factors in his favour. The British people will not let it happen.

  27. I’ve not posted on here before, despite being an avid follower of the polls and the site generally. I find all the stuff about Miliband quite interesting because it’s obviously the agreed press narrative but, if you examine it closely, what it seems to amount to is that ‘some people’ (unnamed) think that he doesn’t look like a PM which raises more questions than it answers – e.g. which people and, perhaps more significantly, what does a PM look like?

  28. But Pressman, surely the problem for you is that more people support him (or at least his party) than any other?

  29. @Pressman

    A parody of what ? There is a campaign to be fought to stop a hapless figure becoming PM who seems to have a ridiculous number of factors in his favour. The British people will not let it happen.

    Is one of these factors the fact that more people want Labour to be the next Government than the Conservatives.

    Seeing as we elect the party not the PM, this is all that matters.

  30. @Ben Foley Thanks for the details, but TNS Nov 2013 was
    CON 30%(-4), LAB 38%(+2), LDEM 8%(-1), UKIP 12%(-1), compared to
    CON 29%, LAB 35%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 23%.
    The 2013 total was 88% leaving 12 for others and won’ts (unless they discount those completely). I can’t see UKIP doubled while the other three lose 6 between them.
    I shall ignore this one.

  31. @Maura

    That is what I think too. I think he is fine and any Labour leader would be suffering the same press onslaught. However I am disappointed that Labour’s news management, spin doctors etc are carp. The best thing about Blair was he knew how to manipulate the press and news. Labour have lost that ability I don’t know why maybe Pressman knows.

    Question for Pressman Why have Labour lost the ability to manipulate the Press?

  32. Interesting article about how the 40% strategy Labour was planning on last year has been abandoned

    Which may go some way to explaining the sudden turn right by labour in the last few weeks.

    My thoughts are this will lose them the election in 2015 as their LOC stays home “they are all the same, no point in voting”, but I am ususally wrong and this Hopisen fellow is a lot more qualified than me in this area so presumably knows what he is talking about – the LOC was going to stay at home anyway. Russell Brand wins.

  33. If Pressman is not for real why hasn’t AWs system found him out. Anyway I have just found Errol Garner’s Concert By the Sea on my Amazon Cloud, so life is great for the next 45 minutes before sleep takes over. Goodnight

  34. “the LOC was going to stay at home anyway.”

    It was ?

    Doubt that is true but we won’t find out until May 8th when the final result is known.

  35. Couper

    This is a man who has backed the Leveson enquiry and called for all manner of restrictions on the Press. If you remember, when RM was undecided about which way to go prior to 1997, Maggie told him ‘Blair won’t let Britain down’. That was enough for him – a tough pill for many at the coalface to swallow but that’s the way he went particularly when the polls showed he would be backing a loser if he stayed with Major.

    Labour these days cannot manipulate us so they don’t even try. What an earth Miliband was doing with a copy of the freebie I don’t know.

    The main thing is that the key voters start to feel the benefit of the recovery because many of these prospective Labour voters must have enormous doubts about Miliband and that can tip the pendulum the other way but whether it can be 7 or more points the other way is another question entirely.

  36. @ CatmanJeff,

    Seeing as we elect the party not the PM, this is all that matters.

    I suppose Pressman can always go and campaign very vigorously in Doncaster North.

    (Although the Labour Party might not be at all unhappy with an outcome in which they win a convincing majority but Miliband loses his seat.)

  37. @ Pressman,

    What an earth Miliband was doing with a copy of the freebie I don’t know.

    Ah. A rare moment of cross-party accord!

  38. In a sense it matters not so much what the polling figures actually are now, being as the end date of the current parliament is fixed. But, it helps parties with triangulation and floating policy stances and seeing what effect they might have.

    I doubt many people are watching polls as much as we are, and drawing voting intentions from them. Probably more so when the election campaign starts and the media is flooded with them.

  39. @Pressman

    Makes sense what you say but take the Iraq war – how did Blair manage to manipulate you to support that war?

    looking at Labours spin operation – Since Labour let the ‘mess Labour left’ go unchallenged I think they have had a problem with credibility. I remember Maggie during one of the recessions going on and on about ‘world recession’ in the end she convinced most voters that the recession was not her fault. Labour could have hammered home the US bankers etc but they haven’t.

    My view is that it is very lucky for Labour that the boundary changes didnt go through still can’t believe the Tories didnt manage to make that happen. This will stop the Cons getting an OM but I would not be surprised at a Con/LD coalition Clegg despite what everyone says will go for it.

    EM is OK no one else would be doing better but I as a Labour supporter am not too confident.

  40. Half time footy break so I thought I’d check the weekend’s polling news. No Sunday Times YouGov yet, then? The Opinium poll is “as you were” and I suppose the only newsworthy aspect of that is that, despite continuing good news on the economy, and Miliband’s woes, there is no discernible political dividend accruing to the governing parties. The nearer we get to the next General Election, the more significant unchanging polls will become. For now, it’s still perfectly plausible for people to argue that “it will be alright on the night for the Tories” come May 2015, but that argument weakens as each month goes by without any sign or hint of a Tory revival. They’re still firmly in the doldrums with no wind in their sails at all, but that could change, I suppose. This is the Pressman premise; people will eventually come to “their senses”.

    It’s a very presumptuous and patronising attitude towards the British electorate though.

    P.S. Another question for Pressman. You keep banging on about Miliband’s support for the Leveson Inquiry but wasn’t it Cameron who set up the Inquiry in the first place? In other words, the man you’re backing was the initiator of the very thing you so despise. Very odd.

  41. I’m not sure I completely understand this freedom of the press thing. If I’ve understood it correctly then Miliband backing Leveson is wrong because this threatens the freedom of the press – but Murdoch backing Blair, or Cameron, or ……is fine and doesn’t threaten the freedom of the press because he owns the press. So press freedom is actually the freedom to print what the owner thinks? Or have I misunderstood? By the way I really like the idea that NI represents ‘the coalface’. My Dad worked at the coalface – until their mates closed them.

  42. Thanks to everyone who answered my question about wealthy highly-educated people supporting Labour on the previous thread. Particularly Spearmint, who was the most thorough, and gave a number of reasons. It was quite an eye-opener for me.

    I didn’t reply last night because it was late and like Rowley Birkin I was, by then, ver’ ver’ drunk.

  43. The Screaming Eagles [email protected] · 1 hr
    YouGov/Sunday Times Westminster VI poll Con 32, Lab 38, LD 8, UKIP 14

    The Screaming Eagles [email protected] · 1 hr
    SunTimes/YouGov poll 46% of voters & 49% of Lab voters say Lab would be more likely to win next elx with some1 else other than Ed in charge

    So if those are correct, Labour VI holding up, but Miliband is tanking, and it is his own party who are not backing him.

    That also perhaps explains why the 40% strategy won’t work – Miliband does not excite the stay at home crowd enough to get them to the polls.

    “A parody of what ? There is a campaign to be fought to stop a hapless figure becoming PM who seems to have a ridiculous number of factors in his favour. The British people will not let it happen”

    What yin? There are 3 of them, well 4 if you count the eccentric kipper leader.

  45. @Maurs

    Good point. Using the Internet and social media I have lost so much respect for the press. They are little more than propaganda mouthpieces. The journalists do not have freedom of expression.

  46. There is an interesting conflict between the narratives concerning the importance of the party leaders (what you might term the ‘presidential narrative’) and the position of the parties. If it is true – and it may well be, I’m no expert – that Ed Miliband is dragging down his party but, despite this, the party remains in the lead, it must follow that the basic policies of the party are much more popular than those of the Conservatives and, conversely, if Cameron is lifting his party vote but, despite this, the vote remains below Labour then Conservative policies/positioning/image must be extremely unpopular.

  47. So if those are correct, Labour VI holding up, but Miliband is tanking, and it is his own party[‘s voters] who are not backing him.
    That’s what Ed gets for doing a photo with the Sun freebie in his hands. He should stick to owls in future.

    That said, Labour have now endured this press-led onslaught on Miliband every summer in the run up to conference. The MPs are supposed to go off to their constituencies & start plotting to remove him by September. It never happens. Labour gets a conference bounce & onwards they go… to certain defeat at the next by-election/ locals/ euro elections, according to the press. And then Labour do better than expected but the press still cast it as a defeat… Ed Miliband will be unpacking his shirts in Downing Street with a majority of 70 & the press will still be saying he lost the election.

  48. X/Batty

    “Another question for Pressman.”

    Why are you all so keen to ask this person questions?

    Anyway, ole BallyTelly may be signing for the Arse.

    Re Ed, its a fair bet that he will be viewed in a better light when he is seen more on TV and that then balances out the appalling newspaper media caricatures of his abilities and appearance and so on.

    A big loss for the Tories I feel will be T. May’s reputation being weakened. I do wonder if Hague not be a sensible choice for them next year.

    Personally I’d prefer Dr Fox [who apparently is not actually a fox at all] and the self-destruct button but, if they are unable to gain a clear majority with DC for the second GE running then they really are in serious trub.

  49. Maura

    Welcome. Nice to have a sane voice added.

    Re Ed again: the situation is a bit like Arsenal beating Spurs 3-0 an all people can say is

    “Ooooooooooooooooh, the Arsenal captain is playing really poor and he looks a bit funny when he claims offside decisions.”

    trois points/Labour majority/game over.

    [I am aware that the majority of the press and the Tory campaign will be nasty and lethal of course.]

  50. @Amber (and may others)

    The instinctive reaction to the poor Miliband poll results here seems to be “the press are out to get him”.

    That is clearly true, but in the immortal words of Simon Cowell “The public is never wrong”

    It is not the press that are saying this:

    The Screaming Eagles [email protected] · 2 hrs
    SunTimes/YouGov poll Just 14% think Ed Miliband“looks and sounds like a prime minister” but 70% disagree.

    That is the public saying that. 14% sounds very very low to me.

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