Populus and Lord Ashcroft have both published new polls today. Lord Ashcroft’s poll echoes YouGov’s post conference polls in showing a small Tory lead – CON 32%, LAB 30%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 17%, GRN 7% (tabs here). In contrast today’s Populus poll still shows a robust Labour lead, as did their Friday poll – CON 31%, LAB 37%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 15% (tabs here).

Lord Ashcroft also conducted A poll on the forthcoming Heywood and Middleton by-election. Topline figures there are CON 16%(-11), LAB 47%(+7), LDEM 5%(-18), UKIP 28%(+25). While Labour and UKIP are both a little lower than in the previous Survation poll the nineteen point lead is exactly the same, and it looks like we can expect a comfortable Labour hold.

752 Responses to “Latest Populus and Ashcroft polls”

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  1. @RogerH – yours of 11.42

    A year ago I would have agreed with you, but since the ‘We love you to bits, but will kick the s*** out of you if you don’t do what we want’ approach from the Three Wise Men from the South, I’m not so sure……

  2. John B – I was just pointing out that lots of racists like Siol nan Gaidheal were supporting the Yes side.

    Maybe some think they are acceptable because they are anti-English racists rather than anti-black, anti-jewish or anti-chinese or whatever. But racism is racism is racism. It’s all wrong.

    I accept that not all Yes voters thought like this. But you need to accept the fact that some did.

    From where I’m sat there are parallels between the SNP and UKIP.

    Again – not all UKIPers are racists – and yet, they attract the votes of ex BNP voters who clearly think they ARE fellow travellers.

    Have a hard think about who is supporting you and why you have attracted them.

  3. “since the ‘We love you to bits, but will kick the s*** out of you if you don’t do what we want’ approach from the Three Wise Men from the South, I’m not so sure…”

    That’s normal politics, not imperialism.

  4. Not particularly related to polling, but talk of single area payments reminds me of the somewhat startling changes brought about in the English uplands by the changing subsidy regime.

    With more generous headage payments (subsidy per sheep) sheep (breeding ewes) numbers shot up from 15m to 20m between 1980 and 1990, and pretty much stayed at that level until around 2004. During this time, low prices for meat and wool created significant financial stress, particularly on upland farms.

    After the introduction of SAP payments in 2004, the incentive to stock up was removed – subsidy was based on the farmed area, not stock numbers. By 2012 the breeding ewe flock was down to 14.3m.

    This period has been characterized by much stronger wool and meat prices, and generally healthier total incomes on upland farms, although it’s fair to say that the situation is still problematical.

    It’s a classic case of a market intervention distorting the market, with the net effect of harming the very people it was meant to help.

  5. Candy

    Of course the Yes side had some racist supporters. There were also many on the No side (and if you include those intolerant of Catholics – a helluva sight more).

    While I think you are probably just trying to do a bit of winding up, some sense of impartiality would help.

  6. @Candy

    So what would Bevan say about working with the Tories, sharing platforms with them? It will be against UKPR policy to quote Bevan but look it up.

    The boxes from the working class areas were in some cases 70+% Yes and Labour and Tories were hugging and hi-5’ing when these areas were defeated. We cannot know what Bevan, Atlee or Kier Hardie would have thought of that but I am guessing they would be unimpressed

    Scottish Home Rule was a founding principle of the Labour Party and there is nothing inherently inconsistent about Labour supporting independence. In fact Labour ought to support the working class – and the working class voted Yes.

  7. @Candy
    “Have a hard think about who is supporting you and why you have attracted them.”

    Racists always support/oppose less/more immigration.

    So moving ever closer to (until you actually reach) unlimited immigration, is required to never side with racists.

    That’s actually what happened in this country. Good logic innit?

    Starting sentences along the lines “not all [x] are [y], but”, remind you of anything?

  8. Roger H

    In response to “Generally, how well or badly do you think the political system in the UK addresses problems faced by people like you?” in the White Working Class poll,

    63% responded “Badly” as opposed to only 24% who said “Well”.

    Maybe most people in GB think that “normal politics” is actually rather appalling. It might be worth while for politicians to strive to be rather less so.

  9. @Candy

    The BetterTogether line up – Labour, Tory, UKIP, BNP, Orange Order. That is the side Labour were on. And it has made them toxic in Scotland. Whether they can recover by May I am sure – it’s too short a time and they won’t have the backing of the Tory press.

  10. @Candy

    I don’t think anyone is supporting me. I’m not a member of any party.

    And do not confuse being anti–English with being against the English dominated establishment.

    I agree with you that there are some idiots around. But not all ‘Yes’ voters are SNP.

    But you also have to try and see how things look from the perspective of Siol nan Gaidhael. They presumably see themselves as defenders of a culture and identity which are under threat. To them I assume that the racists are those who refuse to acknowledge the real identity of Scots – for example by classifying Scotland as a ‘region’ instead of a ‘nation’.

    Have you read ‘And the land lay still’ by James Robertson? It’s not perfect, but it gives some insight into the complexities of Scottish nationalisms (yes – plural). Also ”Bannockburns’ (again plural) by Robert Crawford gives a good indication of how Scotland has been portrayed down the years – often as a minor unimportant part of England.

    I will bow to no-one in my hatred of racism or right-wing thuggery – but if you really want to see that sort of thing in action you ought to have been in George Square, Glasgow, when the Unionist mobs attacked the peaceful Yes folk from two sides, and had a go at burning down the Sunday Herald offices on the evening of September 19th.

    Or is that just ‘nationalist propaganda’ that I saw on the BBC news?

  11. @Alec and OldNat

    “We’ll have to find another topic that we’re all ignorant of.”
    “That probably includes most topics! :-)”

    If this current discussion of nationalism, political parties and fascists is anything to go by you may just have got your wish…


    All the present main parties are nationalist parties – they accept the notion of their being nations and a definable national people (though they may quibble on what that definition is).

    Also, wasn’t Oswald Moseley a Labour MP? (And a Conservative MP)

  12. @Candy

    “But all I did was state the facts. The Labour party has a horror of Nationalism because of the 1930’s”

    You conveniently left out Stalin’s purges when mentioning Labour and the 1930s. That is the jist of your posting, isn’t it? Loosely connecting a political party of the present with a nasty regime from 80 years ago.

    “I was just pointing out that lots of racists like Siol nan Gaidheal were supporting the Yes side.”

    How many racists? Define “lots” please. Give sources too.

  13. Couper2802 – “So what would Bevan say about working with the Tories, sharing platforms with them?”

    BevIn not BevAn – i.e. the Englishman not the Welshman,

    Ernest Bevin was the first the make speeches against Hitler – in 1933 months after Hitler came to power, pre-dating Churchill by a good five years. He also worked with Tories – in the war govt during 1940-1945.

    Sometimes there are issues that transcend petty politics.

    It’s only small-minded people who think petty nationalism trumphs all – eg Eamon de Valera, whose Ireland shamefully supported Franco and refused to fight Hitler simply because Britain was against them. How ashamed the Irish are of him now!

    @OldNat – are Scots extremely religious then? I thought everyone in Britain was agnostic these days?

  14. @ Couper 2802

    In fact Labour ought to support the working class – and the working class voted Yes.
    Not according to Lord Ashcroft’s post-referendum poll.

    AB 60%
    C1 51%
    C2 48%
    DE 55%

  15. @Roger H

    “Becasue they didn’t in 2010”


    In that case Roger we might as well not bother looking at the polls. The YG tables are quite clear. A substantial number of 2010 LD voters now say that they’ll vote Tory in 2015, whether you think that’s illogical or not.

    In fact there are 101 reasons why 2010LDs might switch. As you seem devoid of imagination on this subject here are some suggestions:

    1) They voted LD to keep Labour out, not to hamstring a Tory government.
    2) They are economically conservative but socially liberal, like Jeremy Browne – now that Cameron has proved how right-on he is by suopoirting gay marriage they feel safe to vote with their wallets.
    3) They have got a bit better off since 2010 and think this was a result of Tory policy.
    4) They were previously pro-European, but have changed there minds because of the Eurozone crisis.
    5) They were never really very Europhile and want a referendum
    6) They would have voted for Cameron last time but were misled by the debates into thinking Clegg was worth a punt.
    7) They really don’t like Miliband and are convinced that the LDs will go into a Coalition with Labour next time.
    8) Lord Rennard and or Cyril Smith
    9) and I could go on all night if I didn’t have to get up in the morning.

    Now you explain why they’re telling YG that they’ve switched when they actually haven’t, because frankly I consider that a much less likely event than people changing their minds.

  16. @Anarchists Unite

    Charming chap Mosley. Born in Mayfair, Westminster I believe. Of course, that in itself is evidence of a connection between the Union of Fascists and the London political elite, isn’t it?


  17. @Amber Star

    Not actually borne out by the results though the Yes areas were the working class areas. In fact didnt every Glasgow Holyrood constituency vote Yes? Whereas the Tory areas voted No – Perth, Moray, Angus. Funny that the Labour areas voted Yes and the SNP areas No.

  18. OK If none of you are interested in IPPR’s poll on the White Working Class, how about attitudes to Human Rights?


    26% of those with a Tory VI think that “The right not to be unlawfully arrested or detained without good reason” and “The right to marry and establish a family” should NOT be protected. (4% think that “The right not to be put into slavery and forced labour” shouldn’t exist either).

  19. @ Couper 2802

    Incidentally, C2 is the smallest of the economic segments in Scotland. Let me know if you’d like me to post the %’ages.

  20. 44% of Tories think that human rights laws should
    not apply to British armed forces when stationed or fighting overseas.


  21. Statgeek – actually I explicitly mentioned Attlee’s govt putting up prescription charges to pay for British troops to fight communists in Greece – see the previous page.

    Perhaps I should have said Attlee’s govt sent troops to fight the Stalin-supported communists in Greece to make it clearer for people like you? I’m afraid I thought the word “communists” covered it!

    The record shows quite clearly that Ernest Bevin (who helped put Attlee in the leadership in 1935) was as suspicious of communists as he was of fascists. He was always checking to see if communists had infiltrated the trade union he led, and as foreign secretary after the war was the one who thought up the idea of NATO and had to twist the American’s arms to support it – and all because he feared Stalin. He also gave us our nuclear deterrent – you know, the one some Scots hate.

    Labour in the 1930’s and 40’s was quite sound – unlike the SNP.

    Don’t take that as a personal attack on yourself – you weren’t around in the 1930’s, and neither was I. I was just trying to explain to Couper2802 why it was impossible for Labour to support Scottish independence. All institutions have their histories and they do not go against them because they lose their essence in the process.

  22. @ Couper 2802

    Funny that the Labour areas voted Yes and the SNP areas No.

    Labour never promised independence so why do you seem angry with Labour because they didn’t deliver it?

    The SNP promised independence then couldn’t even deliver their own vote! Why do you seem so delighted that the SNP are doing well given they let you down so badly?

  23. @Candy

    And one of the founding principles of the Labour Party is Scottish Home Rule, so no reason why Scottish Labour shouldn’t support independence other than the fact they are tied to the UK Labour Party.

    @Amber Star

    Most councils (not Edinburgh) have released their results and undoubtedly the working class areas were Yes. It was the rich,Tory areas that delivered the No vote not Labour but Labour is getting all the blame.

  24. Alec may have headed off to bed (or his grouse moor :-) ) but he may be interested in the attitudes of 18-24 year olds to fracking.


    I suppose it’s not surprising that fewer Scots are in favour of Government supporting the development of soalar energy, while significantly more support the development of tidal energy. :-)

  25. Couper2802 & Amber

    Not much point in squabbling over the indyref result at this stage!

    If there is polling evidence that it has affected VI, then it might be relevant.

  26. COUPER2802 – Home Rule is Devolution – which Labour delivered on, no?

    They have never ever said they wanted an Independent Scotland – that was SNP policy. The Conservatives and Liberals have never said they wanted Scottish Independence either. So all three parties were staying in tune with who they really were.

    You seem to be very angry indeed that the Labour party didn’t share the Nationalist Dream. But why? Asking Labour to campaign for Scottish independence is like asking the Conservatives to campaign for the Abolition of the Monarchy – it was never going to happen.

    There are loads and loads of parties out there. Choose one that says they’ll do what you want! Or start your own party. Stop complaining about other parties doing something different. It’s a free country, anyone can start a party and each party can freely choose to campaign for what it believes in. Which is what everyone did as far as I can tell – so what ails you?

  27. @ Couper 2802

    It was the rich,Tory areas that delivered the No vote not Labour but Labour is getting all the blame.
    There’s plenty of blame to go around but you are correct, Labour seems to be getting an unfair share of it.

    The polling shows that it was the SNP being unable to convince 20 – 25% of their own voters which lost Yes the referendum. Instead of working on that, the SNP chose to spend the last month of the campaign turning up the heat under Labour for not supporting Yes. Why did the SNP choose that strategy, I wonder.

  28. @PostageIncluded

    “In that case Roger we might as well not bother looking at the polls.”

    Look at them but don’t take them as Gospel. Voters misremember. Of course there will be some switchers but, as I said, I doubt it’ll be as many as 10% of former LibDems who’ll switch to the Tories.


  29. @ Old Nat

    You’re right; I have no quarrel with Couper 2802. In another context, we’d probably be on the same side.

  30. Roger H

    It would seem likely that the longer the time since an election, false recall will increase – probably even more true in Scotland & Wales within GB, since they had a GE in 2011.

    I wonder if any work has been done in measuring this effect, especially in a 5 year Parliament, on pollsters who don’t have a near contemporaneous record of how respondents say they voted then?

  31. In the wurrrrrds of Charlie McBroon –

    “Good grief.”

    You couldn’t make it up……………….

  32. R&D

    “You couldn’t make it up”

    Well, I suppose YouGov could have just made it up that more than half of Tories think that “Human rights should be limited for people who have themselves broken the law” – but I don’t think they did.

  33. @ Old Nat

    Super. Does that mean we get to hang Tory voters up by their ears when they break the speed limit or park on the pavement?

    @ Jeremy Clarkson

    I’m thinking of you! ;-)

  34. @Candy

    “Don’t take that as a personal attack on yourself – you weren’t around in the 1930’s, and neither was I.”

    I have no party affiliation or loyalty to be attacked. I’m just amazed that you connect the politics of the present with that sorry period in European history to make no point at all. It’s akin to calling the Americans Nazi for opposing George the III in 1766. Nationalism comes in many forms.

    Bringing it all down to Godwin’s Law is, in my humble opinion, rather desperate, and I look forward to those sources that give the numbers of the ‘lots of racists’. Unless you’re the DM and I claim my ten quid. :-p

  35. The Human Rights polling does produce an image of a section of the Tory electorate living in Royston Vasey, eagerly looking forward to their weekly servings from the Demon Butcher of any of their family who got a parking ticket.

  36. Amber

    Seems fair.

  37. RosieandDaisy – I’m sorry, it’s my fault for poking the Nationalists with a sharp stick.

    I just don’t understand why they don’t understand what happened.

    Nationalism only wins if someone is pointing a gun at the citizens. If there are no guns, people quite sensibly conclude they are the same as everyone else and reject divisions.

    Take Ireland for example. The deal done between David Lloyd George and Michael Collins was for a sort of Devo-Max. And it then got ratified by a free vote in the Dail. It wasn’t overturned by another free vote – it was overturned by Collins being murdered and a vicious Civil War that killed many and scared more. In other words thuggery won the day.

    Or the American War of Independence, where only 30% supported Independence and the rest were “persuaded” by having their crops and homesteads burnt down and who mainly chose to flee to Canada rather than stay in a system they didn’t believe in.

    That was never going to happen in Scotland – they’re not into militia and thuggery. So of course No won.

    Scots should be proud – it’s a measure of how civilized the majority are that it worked out that way – with just a ballot and nothing else.

  38. @OLDNAT

    Not so much Human Rights as ‘People like me’ Rights.

    “Since he’s an English Springer Spaniel he won’t be discussing any devolved matters”

    Careful. I believe Spaniels are of Spanish origin and notably intellectual.

  40. Statgeek – “It’s akin to calling the Americans Nazi for opposing George the III in 1766.”

    Actually – the Americans of 1776 were the Nazis of their day.

    The War of Independence, so called, was actually the First War Over Slavery.

    In 1772, the House of Lords had just ruled that slavery was incompatible with English Common Law. And in 1778 the Scottish courts ruled that it was incompatible with Scots law. It was clear that Britain was going to abolish slavery in all her colonies and Americans (among them slave owners like Jefferson) moved to become independent to counter it.

    It wasn’t till the American Civil War (lets call it the Second War Against Slavery) that the awful policy was abolished – but that war involved Lincoln forbidding the South from seceding…

    Don’t romanticise the American War of Independence – it was a nasty brutish war for bad reasons. Apart from the slavery issue, the Americans were angry at the Crown for signing Treaties with the Algonquins and co pledging not to move into their territories. After Britain lost the Americans did move in, helped by a policy of selling small-pox infected blankets to the natives. Still think they were on the side of the angels?

  41. Candy

    “I just don’t understand why they don’t understand what happened.”

    Your stick prodding is remarkably tiresome.

    At least, I presume it’s stick prodding. The alternative would be that you were an arrogant waste of space – which I’m sure is not the case.

    Give it a rest.

  42. I see the Tories are going to conduct a full postal open primary for the Rochester candidate


    Smart move. All parties should be doing this in all seats before every election.

  43. Richard

    I find that approach a little odd. If I lived in such a constituency, and didn’t want the Tory to win, I’d enthusiastically cast my vote for the nuttiest candidate on offer.

    That does tend to happen in the USA, of course, where people often re-register as Republicans/Democrats just to do precisely that.

    Sadly in the USA, the nutter then gets elected – so just like normal party selections in Britain then! :-)

  44. “Nationalism only wins if someone is pointing a gun at the citizens.”

    Tell that to Switzerland.

    “Don’t romanticise the American War of Independence”

    I didn’t. Don’t make excuses for the government of George III. They mismanaged the situation, and underestimated the resolve of the colonies, and paid for it. The colonies were not Nazis. They did not have racial superiority as a core belief. Nor did they blame a section of society for their ills, in the way the Nazis did. They rebelled against the British government due to unfair taxation.

    I think I’ll call it a night. You’re either misinformed or are wumming, and I’ll waste no more time with you.

  45. .

  46. That was a test.

  47. Amber

    I failed. :-(

  48. Statgeek

    Thanks – a new word that I hadn’t come across before!

  49. Statgeek – “The colonies were not Nazis. They did not have racial superiority as a core belief. Nor did they blame a section of society for their ills, in the way the Nazis did. They rebelled against the British government due to unfair taxation.”

    You are kidding right? These are the people who put into their constitution that a black person was three-fifths of a white person – and in your opinion this means they had no “racial superiority”!!! OMG.

    As for the “unfair taxation” – that’s also a myth. The Americans attacked the Indian territories starting the “French and Indian war” and the British had to send troops across the Atlantic to defend them – paid for by the poor old British taxpayer,

    Once that war was settled, the British signed treaties with the Native Americans pledging that the colonists would venture no further, and a border was drawn up. The British then asked the American colonists to man the border and pay for it themselves, or the British would man the border and raise taxes to pay for it. The Americans refused to man the border – they felt they had the right to take the lands beyond it. They didn’t want to pay for their own defence either – they felt that the poor old British citizen should pay for it. The Crown said No – and they are being fair, not unfair.

    So see where your blind defence of Nationalism has got you – you are defending the Americans saying slavery was right against the British saying it was wrong. You are insisting that stating that a slave is “three quarters of a person” is not evidence of racial superiority. And you are saying that refusing to pay for your own defence and expecting some poor servant a thousands of miles of to pay for it is “fair” and paying your own share is “unfair”.

    In other words you’ve done an Eamon de Valera.

    Sheesh, this nationalism business is more poisonous than I thought!

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