Sunday Polls

I’m about to head up to Birmingham, so won’t necessarily be around much for the next few days (not least, when Lord Ashcroft releases his latest marginal poll at 2pm today I’ll be on a train!), but here’s a quick summary of today’s other polls.

ComRes in the Independent on Sunday have topline figures of CON 29%(-3), LAB 35%(+1), LDEM 7%(-1), UKIP 19%(+1). Changes are from their previous online poll a month ago. Tabs are here.

Opinium for the Observer have toplines of CON 32%(+3), LAB 34%(-3), LDEM 7%(nc), UKIP 17%(-2). Changes are from a fortnight ago.

Finally the weekly YouGov poll for the Sunday Times has toplines of CON 31%, LAB 36%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 15%, GRN 6%. While some other pollsters have already shown the Greens in fourth place, this is the first time that YouGov have shown them catching the Liberal Democrats. Tabs are here.

There is no obvious impact in the polls from the Labour party conference – ComRes have their lead up, Opinium down, YouGov not far from their recent average. In YouGov’s survey they asked if Labour’s conference made people more or less positive about Ed Miliband – 13% said more positive, 15% more negative, 54% unchanged.

YouGov also had several questions on Iraq, showing majority support for British airstrikes against ISIS (58% support for attacks in Iraq, 53% for attacks in Syria) but continuing opposition to putting ground troops back into Iraq (26% approve, 53% disapprove). YouGov also asked about whether Britain should co-operate with Assad or Iran in fighting ISIS. People are evenly split over Assad – 36% think we should co-operate with the regime, 34% that we should not. With Iran people are far more supportive of co-operation – 54% of people think that we should co-operate with Iran, 18% are opposed.

857 Responses to “Sunday Polls”

1 2 3 4 18
  1. @AmberStar

    The Tories have to be careful they don’t start losing one nation types altogether. I guess that’s what happens when you replace the likes of Dominic Grieve

  2. @ Amber Star,

    You can’t fault them for their efforts to engage young voters, though. “If we win the election we will make you homeless!” was a brilliant campaign pledge on that score.

  3. Tweet by Sun journalist, Kevin Schofield:

    Kevin Schofield @schofieldkevin

    [email protected] tells fringe at #CPC14: “The number of losses could extend to a point where Labour have a comfortable working majority.”

  4. rogerh

    Johnson should stand in the Rochester and Strood by-election. Should ensure a defeat for UKIP and enable him to oust Cameron in time to lose the election in May.

    I wouldn’t bet on it. Survation asked a similar question in Clacton and it didn’t make a lot of difference:

    If Boris Johnson stood as the CON candidate? (change from initial)
    CON 27% (+7)
    LAB 10% (-3)
    LD 1% (-1%)
    UKIP 60% (-5%)
    Other 2% (+1%)

    Rochester and Strood will be closer of course, but I can’t see Boris deserting a safe seat just to add a few percent elsewhere, even if that helped the Tories retain the seat.

    There’s also a local factor in that Boris Island, his fantasy airport, would have been devastating for the Hoo peninsular which is part of the constituency. So he might be an even worse choice than any other Conservative.

  5. Re Tory ideas to woo the young vote. – the And we mustn’t forget all the celebs the Tories have lined up who are going to emigrate if Labour get in.

  6. mrnameless (fpt)

    Many of the LD > Lab > Green voters or LD > Green voters will vote Labour next year for lack of a Green candidate.

    I wonder if this will actually be true. Firstly in 2010 the Greens managed to put up candidates in 310 of the 573 seats in England and Wales – well over half. Presumably these would be where they had best support. Furthermore the increase in recruits and VI the Party has had since then would make you suspect that the number of candidates will be much higher in 2015.

    It’s possible that the Greens might decide to go for a targeted approach, only fighting seats where they will perform well or have local government potential or support they wish to build up. But that doesn’t seem likely, they seem more concerned with giving everyone “a chance to vote Green”. Certainly the strategy in London was to put up lots of single candidates to get coverage rather complete slates in a smaller number of wards that they fought hard[1].

    But, even if there is no Green candidate, voting Labour will not automatically happen. Many of these are people who have considered voting Labour in the past or actually done so. They need to be attracted back. If you see the two main Parties as identical, then you may sit at home. And even more of these people have voted Lib Dem in 2010 and may still go back to them rather than Labour as the least worst option. The Lib Dems probably have ameliorated the worst of the anti-Green instincts of the Conservatives – even, as with most things, they haven’t been as effective as they should.

    There seem to be three different forms of Labour complacency going on at the moment: about 35%, about Scotland, and about the Greens. All of these have some basis, but none are remotely a certainty and in the case of Scotland 2011 should be a warning. Labour really need to be reaching out to the disaffected rather than just smirking and announcing that there is no alternative to themselves.

    [1] I actually think this is a mistake and they would be better concentrating what strength they have, particularly as there are widespread local elections in 2015. But Parties do tend to think this way – UKIP is exactly the same and failed to do as well in London as they should because of a similar strategy.

  7. Medway is deprived but I don’t think Labour have a chance. The kind of place that saw nothing from 13 years of Labour rule, and the same from the coalition. It does have a very apathetic population, and possibly enough will vote Tory out of habit for them to win but there’s no love at all for the main two parties. If UKIP can shake the apathetic & cynical to turn up then they have a very good chance.

    Medway is typical of a place that should have improved so much the past 20 years. Huge riverside frontages, some great heritage, but masses of land just left undeveloped as left in hands of landbanking developers who have done nothing to build and improve the place, ably assisted by the main parties. No wonder people are fed up of big parties around there.

  8. Even if there are Green candidates it doesn’t mean that all their supporters will vote for them. It’s likely that tactical voting will be as strong as ever.


    @”you picked the wrong David.”

    Im not a party member-so didn’t “pick” anyone.

    DD appealed to me very much because of his background & upbringing.-but during the debates I switched to DC because oDD’s poor communication ( speaking) skills.

    And since then have come to see DD as a bit of a loner-not a team player.

    Regret he hasn’t had a Cabinet post though.

  10. AMBER

    @”Does anybody else think that the Tory opening announcements on the EU, ECHR & welfare cuts will simply harden the red Dems’ resolve to vote Labour?”

    No-they are already as hard as it gets-screwed down since 2010-6% nailed on for lucky Ed.

    Bet he never forgets that :-)

  11. @Howard @ JayBlanc
    On the question of whether Ed Miliband is regarded as left wing in Labour circles, I noted that Roy Hattersley was one of Ed Miliband’s backers for the leadership. Hattersley is not left wing as far as I know. I’m no expert.

    @Pressman @ Roger H
    The name Maggie is being mentioned. I remember that the Sun could n’t save Maggie from being replaced in 1990.
    Later Roger H says” There’s little evidence that the choice of leader makes much difference to how people vote anyway.”
    Pressman replies,” That’s ridiculous. That’s why 14 million people came out to stop Kinnock in ’92.”

    @ Billy Bob, regarding the predictions for the by-election at Rochester and Strood, It seems to me that some tactical voting is possible. If UKIP wins it is good for Conservatives who don’t like Cameron’s leadership. It is good for Labour in the short term. In the long term, maybe the Conservatives will adopt UKIP policies. Maybe the voting system will change. In other words, a vote for UKIP offers many possibilities many reasons to do so. It is easier to sell, especially in a by-election.

  12. What’s happened to Ashcroft’s marginal poll, then?

  13. Adge3,

    Roy Hattersley moved leftwards in his later years and was a vocal critic of the Blair government from the left. He’s been very positive about Ed Miliband as he sees him as carrying on the centre-left’s legacy and also because he’s a big believer in parties having an ideological basis behind them.

    On the Labour Party more generally, opinion seems divided between 1) those who see him as too right wing (interestingly they tend to be younger, which is odd because it means the only Labour leaders they’ve experienced are Blair and Brown, both to Miliband’s right), 2) those who dare to quietly whisper that he might actually be a bit left wing, and 3) those who think he’s the best thing to happen to the Labour Party since John Smith was leader.

    I find myself somewhere between camps 2) and 3), while I’d say the balance is mainly between 1) and 2), with 3) being the odd vocal supporter who gets slightly odd looks. Not sure how much we can read into it though given Labour’s tendency to think its leaders are rubbish. I have to this day only met two Labour members who think Ed Miliband is too left wing, both self-confessed Blairites and considered oddballs.

  14. @Colin
    Apologies. I must have been thinking of someone else.

    DD is the sort of Tory I like too – though not because of his opinions. I don’t know that “being a loner” is such a bad thing for a party leader – nobody would call Thatcher “clubbable”, but she seemed to cope.

  15. @Edward

    Prescott awarded Medway’s renaissance £97 million in 2006… the initial stage of a projected £1 billion over 20 years.

    The scope of regeneration is quite awe inspiring… admittedly the 2008 crash stalled things, but the place is positively buzzing and upbeat compared to the desolation of the 1980s.

  16. Ashcroft poll summary: Lib Dems & Tories stuffed


    hands up anyone inspired by those people in t-shirts………….

    just looks truly weird to me

  18. They’ve all got dead eyes. Really creepy.

  19. Labour from LD targets polled by Ashcroft:

    92 Redcar – LD Majority 5214 (12.4%)
    94 Hornsey & Wood Green – LD Majority 6875 (12.5%)
    98 Cardiff Central – LD Majority 4576 (12.7%)
    109 Cambridge – LD Majority 6792 (14.9%)
    123 Bermondsey & Old Southwark – LD Majority 8530 (19.1%)

    Labour to take all except Bermondsey; & Bermondsey is in no way nailed on for Simon Hughes.

  20. Leftylampton (fpt)

    And the corollary is that their is a vein of potential support for Lab to mine here over the next 8 months. Not by pandering to the immigration side of the debate, but by ruthlessly going for UKIP as an uber-Thatcherite party.

    I agree with the Labour’s need to expose UKIP’s confusion – they want to be both extreme free-marketeers and welfare providers for their own voters. Lower taxes and better services in the end contradict each other, though of course individual voters will believe that only they are deserving of hand-outs and and somehow all other government spending is unconnected with them and wasted (this delusion isn’t restricted to UKIP voters mind).

    Unfortunately UK governments have spent the last 35 years pandering to such people – especially if they start off affluent in the first place – and the usual response is not to suggest exposure to reality, but to further indulge them. In the end it can’t go on for ever and more and more groups find themselves placed in the category of the undeserving poor or scared that they might be. UKIP still seem to be doing their best to have no actual policies other than “We’re agin it”, even this close to an election, but the contradictions in their approach will become more evident nearer the time.

    But oddly enough immigration is something that Labour could actually harm UKIP on. A lot of anger with immigration is about employment issues. Immigrants, especially from the EU, are perceived as taking jobs and depressing earnings for existing British workers. But these are all things caused by the actions of employers: preferential recruitment, low wages, poor conditions, lack of training, casualisation of work. Immigrants are actually more ‘suitable’ for such things as they have lower and shorter-term expectations.

    Labour could have tackled many of these abuses in power, but were so terrified of appearing ‘business unfriendly’ (and perhaps making their beloved London service economy more expensive) that they didn’t and at best tried to patch the problem with welfare payments. The current Labour Party could well change that and reap the rewards, both in votes and for their voters. But whether they will is another matter.

  21. Ashcroft talks about the first-time incumbency effect and how it seems to work in LibDem seats but not Tory ones. Maybe it’s not about incumbency but about ABT tactical voting. Having shown themselves to be the alternative to the Tories maybe the LibDems attract even more tactical votes the next time.

  22. @R&D

    A bit like a cult really.


    Thanks for the link. I liked this from Belizebub’s preamble:

    three in ten UKIP voters said they wanted see Labour in government (20% governing alone, 10% in coalition with the Lib Dems).

    Who are these people who want a LibLab government and are trying to get it by voting UKIP?

  23. Postage
    “Who are these people who want a LibLab government and are trying to get it by voting UKIP?”

    It would be people who prefer UKIP, but realise that of the two realistic alternative PMs, they’d prefer Miliband. No difficult really.

  24. A friend of mine has a Team 2015 jacket he got in the Newark campaign – it’s very smart – dark blue with a small, silver Conservative logo embroidered on it. So when they’ve got those, why the garish T-shirts which look like they’ve been time transported in from 1994?

  25. Postage,

    There are some UKIP accelerationists who see a liberal-left government as the quickest route to a hard right government in 2020 or 2025.

  26. Rod Liddle in the Times today said that Farage hinted a ‘senior Labour MP’ would be defecting shortly. NF didn’t say who exactly, but Liddle said that if he was reading Farage right, the name would be quite a coup for UKIP.

    Any ideas?

  27. mr n

    maybe there is only the one?

    anyway the tee-shirt brigade clap at the right time

    not sure how well the vicious attack on mr reckless will go down with others thinking about leaving the jolly old party [team 2015 should I say]

  28. @ Postage Included

    Who are these people who want a LibLab government and are trying to get it by voting UKIP?
    People who suffer from fat finger when completing internet surveys, I hope. Otherwise, one can only say: good grief, what are they thinking?!

  29. I’m enjoying the speculation. Still not quite convinced that UKIP will win seats at the GE, as I do remember that the SDP sank without trace despite winning by-elections and having a lot of goodwill and a vast potential constituency.

    FPTP is cruel to smaller parties, and I don’t believe UKIP yet appeals in numbers to women, ethnic groups, younger people and so on. (Admittedly older electors are more likely to turn out to vote).

    To do really well they will have to assemble a coalition appealing both to nostalgic nationalists and modernisers, successful business people and also those who have been left behind by globalisation, those who fear change and those who yearn for it.

    This is a difficult task and while most political parties are coalitions, and probably always have been, it is easy to get caught out saying different things to different people nowadays, given instant communications.

    So I’m going to stick my neck out and say no seats for UKIP at the GE. Four-party politics makes prediction difficult but in the absence of huge evidence to the contrary I’ll also stick to my prediction around Christmas last year of Labour about three percent ahead of the Conservatives in the vote and a small but workable majority for Labour at the 2015 general election.

  30. @RogerMexico

    Wasn’t that the hidden point behind the “predistribution” idea? Certainly I’ve heard Labour spokespersons, perhaps Ed himself, talk along those lines. It’s not being pushed though, and you’re right to say it should be.

  31. @Amber

    I thought Ashcroft was telephone? Fat lip maybe?

  32. @ Alister1948

    So I’m going to stick my neck out and say no seats for UKIP at the GE.
    Do you mean no new seats for UKIP? Or do you think that Carswell & Reckless will lose theirs at the GE, even if they succeed in holding on at the by-elections?

  33. I think, and it’s just an opinion, that UKIP would not hold these seats at the GE.

  34. the idea that you can stuff young people into “trendy” tee shirts, point a camera at them and thereby convince the electorate that the Tories have a broad appeal is almost sad.

    also, they forgot to add the correct proportion of ethnic minorities

  35. @ Postage Included

    OMG – it was a phone poll. There really is no excuse.

  36. I think this is the report from Lord Ashcroft on his poll of marginal seats

    I think the voting intentions are

    Lab 35%
    Con 30%
    UKIP 19%
    LD 7%
    Others 10%

    Is that is slightly closer than his last one?

    This struck me age 27

    15% of voters say they they are feeling the benefit of the recovery

    85% say they are not feeling the benefit of the recovery at the moment although 45% do expect do at some point

  37. From the Ascroft Report

    “most voters … were optimistic both for the country as a whole and for themselves and their families.”

    Not sure if this is delusion or just a poor choice of phrase. If you had been repeatedly beaten up by five peopl for the past seven years, and you had reason to think that you would only be beaten up by one person next year, I think that your state would be better described as “less pessimistic” than “optimistic”.

    These forward-looking economic optimism questions don’t factor in the horrifically low level that we’re starting from. Coming out of the longest period of depressed output since the South Sea Bubble, it’d be truly scary if people weren’t finally starting to think that next year might be a little less bad than last.

  38. Fieldwork for the Blueprint report was done from 12th-17th September, thus pre-conference, Reckless etc. and maybe unreliable.

  39. Among the 17% who have not decided how to vote, they would seriously consider voting for:

    Labour 35%
    Conservative 31%
    Lib Dems 22% (!!)
    UKIP 29% (!!!!!)
    Another Party 14%
    Won’t Say 4%
    Don’t Know 23%

  40. mr n


    Could be worse you mean?

  41. I was curious about the Greens having briefly appeared on the Graphical Summary on the Wikipedia page at, and then gone again.

    Wondering what was going on behind the scenes, and if they were talking about bringing it back, particularly now that they’re consistently showing close to the Lib Dems. So I looked at the page’s ‘Talk’ link. Turns out there’s a heck of a discussion going on about it:

  42. @Mr N
    Accelerationists? Never heard the term before but like it. This idea is satirised in a book by Steinbeck “The Short Reign og Pippin IV”, in which French Communists, in one of those constitutional crises the French used to enjoy so much, decide to support a motion to reinstate the Merovingian monarchy, to accelerate the revolution. Life imitating Art again.

  43. And Labour would just nick Watford (their target seat #62) from the Tories.

  44. Spearmint
    Thanks for that. I give in – what is SCG please?

  45. @Mr N

    I should have added that though I can believe some UKIP members are accelerationist, perhaps including sone at the top, I doubt many ordinary voters think that way. Not even 10%.

  46. Positivity ratings (10 – Very Positive, 0 – Very Negative):

    David Cameron: 4.29.
    Ed Miliband: 3.75.
    Nick Clegg: 3.07.
    Nigel Farage: 3.68.

    I’m glad someone asked this in a non-binary way. It’s quite interesting – Ed’s not doing too badly relatively, although they’re all doing badly objectively.

    The Labour Party: 4.34.
    The Conservative Party: 4.14.
    UKIP: 3.78.
    The Liberal Democrats: 3.23.

    Preferred election outcomes:

    Con Majority: 35%
    Con-Lib Coalition: 13%
    Lab-Lib Coalition: 17%
    Labour Majority: 36%

  47. RogerH

    “Maggie, who managed to give away Rhodesia, Hong Kong and the Falklands.”

    I remember Hong Kong, though to be fair there was a treaty obligation to return the new territories after the expiry of the 100 year lease. But the other two have me stumped

  48. What strikes me about Ashcroft’s Lib Dem marginals (some of which are revisited, some new) is just how close many of them are:

    Of the 22 polled, only Chippenham and Somerton look like certain gains for the Conservatives; Hornsey and Redcar certain for Labour; Eastbourne, Sutton and Eastleigh sure Lib Dem holds[1]. No other leads are over 10 points, something you would expect on national figures. And a lot are very close[2]. Lib Dems might also be looking at third party votes to squeeze – including UKIP.

    Yet again I do wonder what the effect of actually using the candidates names in the second question would be, because some may vote for the person and not really be aware the Party they belong to[3].

    [1] There may be errors mind you – the St Austell figures have Labour at 25% rather than 13% – which is pity as it would make it a four way marginal.

    [2] Polling was mostly in August and early September, so it may be that some seats, such as Cambridge and Cardiff C are distorted by lack of the student vote.

    [3] This works two ways. If a popular and prominent MP is standing down people may not be aware and may be less likely to vote Lib Dem for an unknown.

  49. Further to my comment about the Wikipedia article above – much of their discussion revolves around who their ‘reliable sources’ are. Seemingly they regard the press and their headline figures as more ‘reliable sources’ than the polling firms’ own tables. If I was on any other public forum a picture of Jean-Luc Picard with is head in his hands would be appropriate here.

1 2 3 4 18