The fortnightly Opinium poll for the Observer is out tonight. Topline figures are CON 30%(+2), LAB 36%(+4), LDEM 7%(-3), UKIP 16%(-5).

The sharp fall in UKIP support probably isn’t meaningful at all, the Opinium poll a fortnight ago had them jumping five points to a rather incongruous 21%, today’s poll is probably just a reversion to the mean. For those looking for a “Carswell effect” don’t look here: the fieldwork for this poll started on Tuesday, so most of the responses probably came before his defection.

42 Responses to “Opinium/Observer – CON 30, LAB 36, LD 7, UKIP 16”

  1. Well thats certainly put the 1% lead back in its box. But its Nigel I feel sorry for, poor guy, life is such a roller coaster.
    Yesterday Clacton, today down five.

  2. First here?
    September to November 2014 is going to be exciting in terms of the political game.
    Some doubtful figures are here though, IMO.

  3. Secundo, turdo ??…. perhaps fourtho by now.

    Who cares?

    Its just good to be alive.

  4. Labour will be relieved with this poll, at least, after a week of fairly grim news : the horrors of Rotherham, tightening race in Scotland with poor performances from Darling and Murphy, a dreadful Council by election in Newcastle, and the prospect of coming a poor third in Clacton. I’m actually amazed they are still ahead in national polls as nothing is going their way including the economy.

  5. @OldNat

    “…A good year 2011…

    Well, we found out that River was Amy’s daughter but apart from that, can’t think of anything…:-)


    “…I miss Rob Sheffield too…”

    Weirdly enough, so do I. Although I am very sure he doesn’t miss me…:-)

  6. OK, so no or next to no Carswell effect. That’s still to come.

    This link for me sums up the difficulty that UKIP are going to have trying to broaden their appeal to Labour supporters when that can be undermined by the sight of a dyed in the wool Conservative such as Carswell defecting to them, with talk of more to follow.

  7. I agree that the Carswell effect (if applicable) could easily be negative rather than positive as far as the popular vote is concerned Phil.

    But based on current polling I think UKIP can afford a degree of churn, if that churn results in more clustered levels of support.

    Long term, if on election day UKIP ended up with the LD’s current polling figures and 5-10 seats, that would be a stronger platform to build from than the lower end of UKIP’s current polling figures and 1-2 seats. Additionally, if the next parliament turned out to be five year fixed parliament which didn’t take us out of the EU, UKIP would presumably be going into the 2020 general election off the back of a strong EU election performance, and with the electorate knowing that they can win at Westminster.

  8. “I’m actually amazed they are still ahead in national polls as nothing is going their way including the economy.”

    Yes, it’s almost as if people vote according to a core set of principals, and not just whatever is occupying the news cycle. Shocking.

  9. Mike Smithson ?tweet

    According to poll of Clacton voters reported on front page of Mail on Sunday UKIP has a 44% lead

  10. It was clear the fieldwork in a monthly poll must have been pre Carswell, as I suggested.

    Martyn, I can’t remember 2011. Is that like the 60s?

    I never ever saw Carswell as anything other than UKIP. I worked on the American ‘if it walks like a duck’ etc, theory.

  11. No idea who did the poll in Clacton, but Mail on Sunday poll says (change from GE in brackets)
    Ukip 64% (+64)
    Con 20% (-33)
    Lab 13% (-12)
    LD 2% (-11)

  12. “Some doubtful figures are here though, IMO.”

    You should do your own personal polls Chris and then there would be no room for any doubt at all.

    Well………… on your part anyway.

  13. @OldNat

    A 44% lead? So (for example)

    C:14 L:15 LD:4 UKIP:59 ??????

  14. It’s a Survation poll.

  15. @OldNat

    Wow. Well my guess wasn’t so far out.

  16. I find it very difficult to say what I mean Cousin Phil, especially staying legal on the site. Over many years I have come across people who are rank Labour VOTERS,
    but have not been Labour believers since Attlee. Of course they are, if not a dying breed, all ready buried. Those that remain, all to be found in the respectable working class or lower middle and could be Kippered.
    The bright, upwardly mobile, who like Labour values in the modern world, can no more turn into Kippers, than the Pope can be a Jew.

  17. OldNat
    Quick to the draw, well done sir.

    If one was Lab or LD in Clacton one would vote UKIP. Looks like that’s what they are doing. Max embarrassment is the name of the game in by-elections.

  18. LD 2%

    Come on Chrislane you know you want to!

  19. @Welsh Borderer

    “”a dreadful Council by election in Newcastle”

    Thank you for giving me a chuckle the Libdems hold a seat in Newcastle that in most places would be a safe Tory seat with the plus for them the student population being on holiday and you believe that was a dreadful result for Labour.

  20. The student population is well known for flocking to the polls in council by elections !

  21. Survation Clacton poll

    “Should Britain leave the EU?” Yes 57% No 26% DK 20%

    Damn this uncertainty over whether I’ll still be an EU citizen or not in a few years! :-)

  22. Over at PB Smithson’s posted what appears to be further detail on the poll…

    Why are you voting UKip?
    Like UKip =
    Like Carswell =
    Protest Vote = 9%

    Carswell – Hero or Traitor? (Tory voters)
    Hero = 49
    Traitor = 17
    Don’t Know = 34

    How do you respond to Tory claims that voting UKip will make Miliband PM?
    Less likely to vote UKip = 15
    More likely to vote UKip = 16
    No difference = 69

  23. @ Chasglas

    The student population is well known for flocking to the polls in council by elections !
    Labour students are well known for flocking to work at any by-election within a 50 mile radius of their campus.

  24. Toonie

    Well you know your City so I defer to you – if Labour had managed a large swing to the LibDems in my neck of the woods 8 months out from the GE in a seat where the Cons were in a firm 3rd place I’d be a little less cheerful ! Meanwhile the Clacton opinion poll shows Labour being squeezed senseless in a seat they won in 2001 and came second in 2010. It’s not what any main Opposition Party should regard as acceptable in a GE year. You simply cannot go around writing off half the country as unwinnable, especially a constituency like Clacton which has large pockets of extreme poverty. That’s what Labour did 83-92 and it means probable defeat. If Labour are not prepared to fight Clacton to win like a GE then maybe they shouldn’t bother to field a candidate at all on the grounds that the Cons should sort out their own internal argument on Europe ?

  25. @ Old Nat

    Damn this uncertainty over whether I’ll still be an EU citizen or not in a few years! :-)
    Independence for Clacton?

  26. Over at PB Smithson’s posted what appears to be further detail on the poll…

    Why are you voting UKip?
    Like UKip =
    Like Carswell =
    Protest Vote = 9%

    Carswell – Hero or [email protected]? (Tory voters)
    Hero = 49
    [email protected] = 17
    Don’t Know = 34

    How do you respond to Tory claims that voting UKip will make Miliband PM? (UKip voters)
    Less likely to vote UKip = 15
    More likely to vote UKip = 16
    No difference = 69

  27. “Max embarrassment is the name of the game in by-elections.”

    If Roger Lord doesn’t back down soon all four parties could come out of it highly embarrassed.

    But seriously, I’ve been leaning one way and another on this point in recent days. A by-election is undoubtedly seen as a free shot, in which some of those who do vote do things they wouldn’t dream of doing at a GE. But my opinion keeps changing on the extent to which those with current Lab and LD VI are willing to give UKIP a thumping majority in order to give Cameron the maximum kicking, or indeed would be willing to vote Tory rather than to give UKIP the breakthrough they have craved for so long.

    The permutations for the parties on a national level probably wouldn’t enter into the minds of people beyond party members and those who frequent sites like this. But as we [i]are[/i] on a site like this: I think a hardening of the UKIP vote would probably help the LDs in English semi-marginals that are currently seen as under threat, albeit it would probably also reduce the expected LD swingback by reducing the number of “plague on both your houses” voters who reluctantly decide to vote LD again. For Labour, while it might open up a few vote-splitting possibilities for Labour to sneak the odd Con-held seat, it could also force force Labour to put more effort into mid-sized northern towns which even this time last week seemed unassailable despite UKIP having a local foothold.

  28. @ Oldnat

    Have you got tables already?

    That is a pretty stunning poll by any standards and worthy of a “put it another way if you took the length of every football pitch in the world…” or “ten times the size of wales”.

    Normally we get a Labour vote squeezed as the election drags on and they make up their minds about wasted votes but this seems to have happened from day one.

    Hoping the tables might show some indication of people’s motivations.

    I think this is done and dusted territory. Can’t see the Tories trying to fight a Newark kitchen sink campaign and can’t see any high profile Tory going anywhere near Clacton in the next 6 weeks or so.

  29. Oops…

    Why are you voting UKip?
    Like UKip = 57
    Like Carswell = 34
    Protest Vote = 9%

  30. (how do you italicise text on these threads? I’ve seen it done)

  31. Shevii

    The Mail on Sunday splash is in very big text!

  32. Chrishornet

    Italicise by typing “” before the text (without the quotation marks so that it is a string of 3 symbols. After the text, you must cancel the command by typing a 4 symbol string – adding “/” between “” again.

    “” are just the opening and closing brackets for the command. “i! is the command to italicise. “/i” the command to stop doing so.

  33. Chrishornet

    Damn! It’s difficult to give the instructions for using these commands, as the site itself won’t show them prperly. Maybe someone else can help.

  34. I guess UKIP may win Clacton. There’s a shocker.

  35. text

  36. Chrishornet

    Have a look here

    (I’m sure there are more explanatory versions available).

  37. So…

    Around a third of the UKip vote is due to it being Carswell, almost half of Tory voters think he’s a hero, and slightly more ukippers like the idea of voting ukip letting in Miliband than don’t like it, though most don’t care either way.

  38. @ ChrisHornet,

    You almost have it right, you just need the pointy brackets that look like little arrows ‘>’ instead of the square ones ‘]’.

  39. In some ways the actual accuracy of this Clacton poll is not relevant – the fact that there is one, and it shows a devastating result for Cameron is the key message. No need to talk up a UKIP bandwagon, and an antidote to any lazy reporting of the Opinium return to the mean national poll. A complete godsend for Farage.

    I think we can now begin to see the true folly of Cameron’ strategic mistake in his referendum policy. It was intended to kill the EU as an election issue within Tory party ranks, but as some of us said at the time, it would only move the issue on to discussion of what kind of EU the Tory party stood for.

    There are two irreconcilable positions on this within Tory ranks – in or out. Cameron was and is clear he wants to be in, but in deciding to humour the outs, he gave them strength. Carswell jumped because it was made clear to him that his leader will never campaign to be out. Clacton voters seem to follow him, not the Tory party line.

    It’s looking like Cameron has fallen from his high wire. Those who were calling for a Tory PM to tackle his anti EU tendency head on and stand up for what he actually believes in will be smiling wryly.

  40. New thread

  41. If Carswell wins by 44% I’ll offer Farage my services next May if he wants to throw out the sofa at number 10 and put a new one in.

    Can’t help but feel that this poll will end up being used by the Tories after their likely defeat. If they were to end up losing by ten points or so they can claim that they have gained a lot of ground in a short period of time: that Carswell’s voters have started to abandon him as they have realised what UKIP is really about, and that the longer the campaign goes on the more Kippers they will win around.

    That’s not my view by the way, just what I suspect the post-poll narrative will be.

  42. Presumably standard html works as well as bbc.