A quick update with our regular Monday polls from Populus and Lord Ashcroft:

Populus‘s topline figures today were CON 35%, LAB 37%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 12%, GRN 3%. Tabs are here.
Ashcroft‘s figures are CON 30%, LAB 33%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 18%, GRN 6%. Tabs are here.

Lord Ashcroft’s weekly polls are now pausing for the summer holidays, they are back on September 8th. I don’t know if Populus are doing the same (they often used to when they did telephone polls, but last year they continued with their online polls through the summer), certainly the daily YouGov polls will be rolling on as usual for August – they normally only stop for the Christmas and New Year period.

127 Responses to “Latest Populus and Ashcroft polls”

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  1. Summer holidays started weeks ago for most, and are basically over for some…

  2. I have to admit that I do find it difficult to ignore these vast UKIP differences between pollsters. If we were seeing the same fluctuations between Con, Lab and even LD, we would be beginning to doubt the polls.

  3. Having written that, I see YG’s scores have been all over the place last week, so perhaps it’s just the silly season effect, as I believe about which AW did warn us.

  4. You gov numbers have been within the margin of error, if you assume a labour lead of 3%. Indeed the average labour lead if you take the last 10 YG is 3.1%

  5. YouGov/Sun poll tonight – Lib Dems on 6 points, equalling their lowest score to date: CON 34%, LAB 38%, LD 6%, UKIP 13%

  6. YouGov/Sun poll tonight – Lib Dems on 6 points, equalling their lowest score to date: CON 34%, LAB 38%, LD 6%, UKIP 13%

  7. Thanks Toonie (twice).

    I have wondered what all the WW1 ceremonial coverage might do to those mysterious voter inner thoughts, over which Anthony has mused.

    I didn’t watch any of it; I can’t say I felt deprived or anything.

  8. Populus’ Scottish figures are bizarre. According to Westminster Votes site they would see 10 Tory seats, including Aberdeen South.

    Just not credible.

  9. @Ann inWales

    Though I sligjtly misquoted it you’re right, of course, it is “Prayer for my Daughter”, and it is beautiful.

  10. Postage,
    Yes,Yeats was a great poet,his lesser known brother was also a very fine
    landscape painter.

  11. Poor Lord Ashcroft has clearly decided to take a summer break to get away from all whining about his polls’ variability. Of course the other telephone polls show just the same ups and downs, but being more widely spaced, the pundits can pretend that there is profound meaning hidden in the movements, which only they can decode. Ashcroft forces them to confront the true randomness of life and of course this gives them the sulks.

    One thing I do find interesting is the way in which UKIP’s ratings have varied between pollsters in the last three months.

    These use to fall into three distinct groups. The new online pollster (Opinium, Survation, ComRes) would regularly produce a figure in the high teens; telephone pollsters (ICM, MORI, ComRes) would come up with something around 8-11%; YouGov online but not relying on recalled vote, would produce something 12-14% and Populus (using a system comprehensible to neither man nor beast) would follow it.

    Now since May the online newbies have produced figures roughly in line with what they have before. The telephone polls on the other hand mostly have zoomed up[1]:

    ComRes 16% (v 11%)

    ICM 13% (v 10%)

    MORI 12% (v 12%)

    and Ashcroft’s 13 polls from the same period have an average of 16%[2]

    YouGov on the other hand have a average of 13% over the three months, maybe up a point on the three before (and Populus are similar) but not showing the dramatic change there has been with the telephone polls.

    There’s clearly something going on here – perhaps the collapse of a shy UKIP factor (but why when their online ratings are fairly static?)

    [1] Rounded overage of polls from May, June and July compared to previous 3 months.

    [2] Half of Ashcroft’s sample are mobiles, compared to 15% for ICM and none the others(?) and you wonder if this has some effect.

  12. John B,

    There’s a simple methodological rule to follow when interpreting the Scottish cross-breaks: ignore them.

  13. Tonight’s YouGov leaves a relatively high 9% for ‘others’. I imagine I will be checking early tomorrow to see how that splits: if (as I hope) Greens take the lion’s share of that, perhaps we will have our first YG with Greens & LDs level (seems too unlikely that Greens will take >6.5 of those 9 points for me to hope for above LDs). We’ve had Ashcroft putting Greens above LDs once and level once, and IpsosMori with the parties level twice. Is it YG’s turn to have one?
    The next most likely party for a large share of that 9 points would be SNP: surely there isn’t time for the games IndyRef truce ending to have had an effect yet, though, is there???

  14. Ben – Actually 9 is the average for ‘Others’ for YouGov in June and July:


    so it’s nothing especially surprising – except that the post-Euro boost for the Greens seems to be taking much longer to go down than expected on past experience.

  15. HOWARD
    “I have wondered what all the WW1 ceremonial coverage might do to those mysterious voter inner thoughts, over which Anthony has mused”

    It certainly illustrated the advantage which the incumbent PM has in occupying the ceremonial limelight.
    Do you think YouGov might balance it up by including in its leadership polls “Who do you think would make the best former Prime Minister?”

  16. I think DC loves the ceremonial aspects of his job, but I don’t think that will save him in 2015.

  17. @ Candy (previous thread)

    Very much appreciated your thoughtful coverage of the background to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Many of these aspects are totally ignored by many politicians and commentators in the press

  18. I suspect I’m not the only one who enjoying Wreathgate and spectacle of pseudo-patriotic fulmination meeting the silly season. The whole thing was probably some minor bureaucratic mess-up, probably by some work-experience kid judging by the handwriting, who was probably the only person at the Scottish Office not on holiday.

    Naturally the usual suspects jumped on twitter to denounce Evil Ed for something or other. Then they got slapped down and so on (anyone who has ever seen the Remembrance Service knows they all get handed the wreaths at the last minute).

    What I did find interesting was the Daily Mail coverage. They clearly led with the Party line, but were then forced to changed it by reader reaction adding “[…] – but were [Miliband] and Clegg stitched up?”. And that reader reaction was overwhelmingly one-sided. These people may not like Miliband, but they really loathe Cameron and the Tories are endlessly accused of setting up a sick plot that was disrespecting the dead.

    And this illuminates one of the big problems that the Conservatives have. Cameron is a such a turn-off for that significant section of the electorate that he is unlikely to attract back many of those who have been alienated.

  19. Peter Bell – thank you for your kind words.

    I can’t take credit for the insight into the background of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict – my eyes were opened by a man called Miko Peled. He is an Israeli peace activist – his background is interesting – he’s descended from Jews who lived happily in Jerusalem BEFORE the foundation of Israel, and his father was the general who masterminded the 1967 6-day war, who then turned peacenik. Peled is trying to continue his dad’s work and believes that the only solution is a one state solution (like post apartheid South Africa).

    If you’ve got time, here’s a 1 hour lecture he gave in 2012 to Jewish groups in Seattle:


    I guess this shows how English I am, but the most shocking thing for me wasn’t the Israel-Palestinian thing but his description about how there are no true property rights in Israel. We take these things for granted in Britain, but we are LUCKY in the global lottery of life.

    It’s also important to realize that not all Israelis are in favour of war. Israel changed for the worse when they had an influx of Russians in the ’90s. Not even sure all those Russians are Jewish, they may have been pretending just to get out of Yeltsin’s hell. Whatever, I’m reliably told that they brought an element of racism that was completely absent before.

  20. Roger Mexico

    The “Scottish Office” expired in 1999. I don’t know if the “Scotland Office” had any involvement in the matter or not. They have few responsibilities for anything.

    In any case, their staff weren’t on holiday, but working hard at the Turriff Show, distributing propaganda.

  21. Candy

    That’s an interesting point about the effect on Israeli politics of the immigration in the 90s. It’s not something I’ve heard mentioned before.

  22. @ Candy

    Like Peter Bell, I thought your historic summary was very well expressed.

    Despite you & I having different perspectives on many aspects of the situation, I notice that you seem to have some hope that an Israeli state can survive by working towards a joint future with Palestinians: “Peled is trying to continue his dad’s work and believes that the only solution is a one state solution (like post apartheid South Africa).” And “It’s also important to realize that not all Israelis are in favour of war.”

  23. Oldnat – it’s the Russian immigrants who put Netanyahu into power. The Russian and Ukrainian immigrants are 15% of the population which is quite a lot. They are right-wing (in the Dubya/Cheyney military sense, so right-wingers on this board don’t take offence!) and because Israel has a “pure” PR system, they have a bigger voice than they would in a FPTP system.

    They’ve pushed Israel into a much more hardline stance than the original hippy-dippy kibutzim Israelis would have countenanced.

    This is delicate, but immigration can and does change a country if the dominant culture lets it. It’s hard to work out how and when this happens and by what mechanism. You can convincingly argue that the USA for example is at core the same as it was in Eisenhower’s time, it’s indigenous folk in the south that have moved out of step rather than immigrants who’ve by and large adopted classical American culture. In other places it’s the opposite (did the 200,000 Anglo-Saxon invaders change the culture of the 1 million Celts on this island a thousand years ago? This is still a Celtic majority island, (in England too especially in the west!) but we speak English…)

  24. Candy

    One always has to be careful with comparisons. As to the USA, i would certainly not agree that values are the same in Eisenhower’s day! and as for labelling “the South” as having moved away from that suggests that you haven’t considered the strength of the Tea Party in Alaska. That analysis is too simplistic.

    As for the British Isles, you can find lots of examples of cultural changes, sometimes mirrored by linguistic change too. For example, Gaelic replaced Brythonnic throughout most of Scotland (the Western Isles being one of the last to adopt it!) However, most of these changes, like the adoption of Christianity, were top-down changes initiated (or forced) by the power elite.

    What you are describing in Israel is a different matter. The suggestion of the influence of the Russian/Ukrainian immigrants is an interesting one, but I would need more evidence than just the existence of PR as an explanation of the Israeli elite adopting their “racism”.

    To be honest, it just seems too “pat” an answer to explain what has happened. I suspect simple explanations, because societies are complex.

  25. @Amber – given our differences of opinion, I’d be interested to hear your viewpoint on the video I linked to. Do you think what Peled says has merit? Or do you disagree with his thesis?

  26. @Oldnat – recall that Israel has a “pure PR” system. Netanyahu only got 23% of the vote in the 2013 elections (courtesy of the Ultra Orthodox faction and the Russian immigrants), but it was enough for him to be the head of the largest party and hence form a coalition govt and him to be PM (which role gets added weight in a “war” situation).

    So yes, it looks like a case of a small group of people having a disproportional effect.

    I’m mightily glad that British voters plumbed for FPTP in the recent referendum :-) It means power is not dictated by extremes.

  27. Candy

    FPTP is an excellent system for ensuring that those in the existing power elite remain there (whatever labels they happen to be wearing).

    The invasion of Iraq demonstrates that extremists are frequently in power through FPTP.!

    Unless you are suggesting that the 90s immigrants not only secured the election of Likud, but also all their coalition partners, then your thesis seems to fall. It also fails to explain why Likud gained only 12 seats in the Knesset in 2006.

    You raised an interesting aspect to the discussion on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. It may well have had a contribution (though you produced no evidence that the 90s immigrants were any more racist than the existing population), but you push your argument too far, with too little evidence, for it to be convincing.

  28. CANDY

    Thank you for link. Israel and in fact the World are lucky to have such men and women, who can give us hope for the future even in these dark times.

  29. Oldnat – the invasion of Iraq proves nothing of the sort!

    Recall that a vote was held in Parliament and both the Labour people and Tories votes in favour.

    Labour had got 43.2% in the 2001 election and the Tories had got 30.7% – between them they got 73.9% of the vote in that general election.

    The Iraq war was certainly NOT forced through by a minority of any sort. That’s a complete myth.

    As to the merits of PR vs FPTP, if Israel is anything to go by, PR lets voters indulge their sense of differences with other voters while FPTP forces them to compromise, and compromise is the essence of all successful human activity.

  30. HOWARD

    @”I didn’t watch any of it; I can’t say I felt deprived or anything.”

    For one with such self proclaimed connections with the Low Countries, your cynicism on this topic never ceases to surprise me.


    I like your incisive style-a welcome addition to UKPR

  31. The Greens were on 4% again in today’s YouGov

    Ben, I’m not sure they’ve been ahead of the Lib Dems with Ashcroft (at least, after weighting)? Perhaps in a Euro poll?

  32. “I’m reliably told that they brought an element of racism that was completely absent before.”

    I heard the same about a cohort from North America who weren’t happy about African Americans taking over their neighbourhoods… so I’m less than convinced by this explanation. There are plenty of studies showing a consistent attitude of discrimination against Arab Israelis. That said, Netanyahu’s administration has dramatically accelerated the amount of legislation which is deemed to be discriminatory.

    Interestingly, waves of migration to Israel from the US do seem to have bombastic/ideological overtones, with big spikes after high profile events like the Six Day War (the majority of US migrants eventually return to the US). The US is a major destination for those (Israeli and Arab-Israeli) wishing to leave Israel… also the US has long been the preferred destination for many who ended up in Israel as their second option. The Soviet exodus began in 1968, but a majority “dropped-out” and went to the US instead.

  33. Candy, I think you unwittingly proved OldNats point about power elites and FPTP.

  34. Good Morning All.
    CANDY and COLIN.
    Twitter was off last night; I have just seen the YG daily poll.

    The Lib Dem figure of 6% seems high to me; what do you think?
    Otherwise, the 4% lead is within this strange MoE, of which people speak here.

  35. @Candy

    Any discussion on Jewish immigration into Palestine and its affect on the current situation should begin with the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the Balfour Declaration and Britain’s League of Nations mandate over the area. In particular, how Britain deliberately engineered a situation, for divide and rule reasons, of mass Jewish immigration into Palestine against the wishes of the Arab peoples there at the time.

    As with the later Sykes/Picot agreement, the aim was to break a hitherto unbroken sea of Muslim areas to create internal division to ensure European domination of the region. A key factor in this game was installing puppet Kingdoms and supporting dictators whose only allegiance with to their paymasters and not to their people. This ensured intra nation division and well as inter regional division.

  36. RAF.
    Many thanks for this; what is the best book to read on the 1914-1939 period on this topic?

    Thank you.

  37. @RAF

    That’s well put – as far as the European (French and UK) input is concerned, but what about the USA? Have they been following the original European plot or writing their own story?

    And whilst everyone is going on about the appalling situation in Gaza, let’s not forget the suffering among the Syrians and Iraqis! After all, both of those countries come out of the same geo-political matrix as Israel and the Palestinians.

  38. Just as I was saying few right-wingers are not Pro-Israel, Sayeeda Warsi has resigned over government policy on Gaza.

  39. @RAF
    One point where you got it wrong.

    However the area may have been seen in simplistic terms by the European Powers, the Middle East is not ‘a hitherto unbroken sea of Muslim areas’. Egypt, Palestine/Israel, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq all have or had strong Christian communities (in some areas 25% of the population). Unfortunately for them they were not connected politically or culturally to the establishment churches in the UK or France, nor, more recently, to the stronger churches in the US. Yet these Christian communities are the original churches founded in Apostolic times. They have suffered terribly over the past fifty years or so because of Western polices – both pro and anti-Israel – at the hands of hard-line Muslims reacting against those policies.

    Yet one more complexity to keep in mind when talking about the Middle East!

  40. It’s a big day in the “Next Chancellor” betting market.

    If Darling performs well and “No” go on to win, then this will probably be viewed (rightly or wrongly) as the symbolic moment when the “Yes” campaign lost it. Darling’s stock will then be very high across the political spectrum as well as within the Labour Party, and Miliband should realise that bringing Darling into the Shadow Cabinet in a major role will enable him to exploit that goodwill. But as Shadow Chancellor or in another role?

    And could the absence of changes to the Shadow Cabinet be attributed to Miliband waiting for the outcome of the referendum before deciding?

    Current odds on next chancellor: Balls 6/4, Darling 11/1

  41. RAF,

    That sounds a bit too cynical for me. A more convincing explanation is that a lot of (contradictory) promises were made to persuade various parties to take the “right” side in fighting the first world war.

  42. Thank you Colin and others for your welcome.

    @RAF You might as well blame the Kaiser for kick-starting everything off.

    As for Jewish immigration into the Arab lands – that’s the fault of the Germans too. People don’t move unless they are feeling threatened. And they would have gone to the USA only that door was slammed shut by the Immigration Act of 1924 – that act was aimed specifically at restricting immigration by Italians, Eastern Europeans and Jews, who were considered undesirable (they’d been arriving in large numbers in the decades before). So you can blame Calvin Coolidge too.

  43. @Candy
    ” PR lets voters indulge their sense of differences with other voters while FPTP forces them to compromise, and compromise is the essence of all successful human activity”.

    Expressed better than I ever could and plainer. Be warned though, there are precious few of us on this boat of that opinion and even fewer on the port side. Welcome aboard.

  44. @Mr Nameless

    That could have quite an impact.

  45. Phil H and Mr N

    I don’t know what impact you are speaking of but our ex-colleague Richard in Norway will be devastated.

    (in joke for UKPR clique).

  46. @Phil H
    You raise a good point there but tangentially. “Yes” represents a large loss for Labour, so they need contingency planning, but the policy making apparatus of the party can’t do that* so the discretion of the Labour leader carries the burden. I hope I don’t have to find out what Ed would do, but I imagine it would have to be something more interesting than Alastair Darling.
    * As far as I know, and I don’t supose insiders are going to tell us otherwise!

  47. Lady Warsi’s resignation letter can be read here: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BuQ3bryCUAEXV6E.jpg:large

    It’s making quite a splash and the Guardian are running it as a lead story.

    (Before Paul or someone makes the obvious joke, yes a lead story would make quite a splash if you dropped it in water).

  48. “Nothing became her in her political life better than the leaving of it”

    Not too Scottish for this thread I hope.

  49. She doesn’t hold back in that letter. The comments about Clarke and Grieve are sure to be seized on.

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