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. I quite like historical discussions, but preferably only with those who can contextualise events and attitudes.

    I’m sure there are a number of people who post here who would meet that requirement – just none who are currently posting.

  2. I was led to this site about 3 years ago by comments made by Amber Star on the Guardian. Initially I found it the most civilised discussion site, where with a few minor exceptions, views were expressed and challenged thoughtfully and generally politely. I have rarely posted but followed the discussions with interest and learned much.

    Those impressions have changed so radically during the course of the referendum that I no longer have any interest in coming here. This came to a head with the comments tonight. Sad, really.

  3. Aberdeencynic

    I’d suggest lurking for a while. Trolls do disappear – especially when they aren’t fed!

  4. Aberdeencynic

    This site was much better when Anthony enforced his policy on posting. That seems to have disappeared for some reason.

    i wish he would go back to his former practice (though still allowing discussion of Scottish politics as part of the UK polity – the argument over indy is over for now – or should be).

  5. @ Aberdeen Cynic

    It’s usually pretty good. Anthony will have his scissors out tomorrow morning, I’d think. Many of us will be in trouble for this night’s work. :-(

  6. Amber

    I sincerely hope you are right! Though Anthony might need to wield a scythe – and not just on posts affecting our part of the UK.

  7. Thanks for your support. This never was the place for arguments over indy but it did not seem to stop a number of posters displaying a complete lack of understanding of the issues up here combined with a highly unpleasant sneering attitude. I do agree that the former practice was definitely preferable.

  8. Strewth-the night shift get more & more bizarre !

    I think -as Neil A says-DC has achieved a modest tightening of the Labour lead which one could say is still present in this poll.

    Now for the Lib Dem bounce :-)

  9. Colin “bizarre!”

    I dunno – I thought ON was in his usual kindly form with

    ” The alternative would be that you were an arrogant waste of space.”

  10. Richard,

    Open primaries.

    I think I must be missing out on something in relation to ‘open’ primaries. What is stopping the enemies of a political party that’s holding one from putting forward and supporting someone with beliefs totally at odds with that party’s? Could the party land up with the village idiot as their candidate? What’s the attraction in allowing all and sundry to exert influence on your party’s choice of candidate?
    As I said, I must be missing something.

  11. ‘mornin all!

    Well, the whopping 12% unaccounted for in the current bun’s tweet split 6% Green, 5%SNP, 1% the rest.

  12. “It is a fallacy really that to gain votes the politicians keep telling people-Tax the rich, do this to the rich-It sounds nice for the voters but it isn’t good for the economy. The only way to raise the standard of living in society is by encouraging more people to be rich ”

    GO ?-….no :-)

    Assem Allem.
    One of Labour’s top five donors.

    Rich Donors and Len McCluskey = Rocks & a Hard Place for Ed Miliband.

  13. Paul

    For once I thought OLDNAT pulled his punches with that particular individual :-)

  14. NEWHOUSET

    There’s absolutely nothing in place to prevent that, and it happens all the time in US politics. Over there they also have a problem with people registering as the opposition so they can vote in closed primaries as well. You just have to hope that not enough people bother to sabotage your selection process (or that you make an even worse mess of theirs).

  15. Today’s YouGov –

    Lab 34
    Con 33
    UKIP 14
    LDem 7
    Green 6
    SNP/PCY 5
    BNP 0
    Respect 0
    Other 1

    Approval -23

    Scotland subsample of 198/162 after weighting is –

    SNP 42
    Lab 29
    Con 17
    LDem 7
    Green 3
    UKIP 1
    Other 0

  16. If anyone is waiting with bated breath for the election results tonight (Clacton, Heywood and Middleton, Sheffield Labour Students First Year Officer…) you can all enjoy the Lib Dem leaflet from Heywood.

    https://twitter.com/MichaelLCrick/status/517599658302926848

  17. COLIN

    Aspiring people to better themselves in the way recommended is exactly what is needed. More taxes is the last thing the economy needs.

  18. News from the housing market (RICS) indicates continued weakening of demand and the expectation of falling prices now in London, with very subdued prices elsewhere.

    This isn’t necessarily bad news overall, but going into the final stages of an electoral cycle with the mini housing having already ended and prices falling isn’t conventionally seen as good news for the defending government.

    Another sign that the warm economy is cooling slightly.

    @Aberdeencynic – stay with it. There have always been cases of very poor debate on here on occasion, amongst the gems.

  19. Alec

    Again agree with your comments on the housing market and the economy. However a slightly weaker economy going into the election is not necessarily a bad thing for the government IMO.. It fits well with the Tory strategy of “there is much still to be done and more austerity is needed”

  20. ToH/Colin,

    You may recall that I have expressed reservations about Labour policies possibly being seen subliminally as bashing the rich and wealth creators even if the policies themselves are shown to have support in opinion polls and/or focus groups.

    I think Labour’s leaders are well aware that wealth creation is necessary to fund social programs; indeed GB/TBs compact with the ‘city devil’ funded increased spending and we know where that got us in the end.

    The issue of a fairer distribution of the benefits of growth, though, is a real one and it is now 10 years of effective stagnation in typical earnings.
    Long term, ugly though it sounds and not a ‘doorstep’ sound-bite, pre-distribution has got to be better than redistribution and a better way to cut welfare bills and raise typical living standards than measures which may inhibit enterprise.

    Having said that, I do think the cons tax and tax credits ideas are seriously flawed and benefit middle to high earners more than low earners so there is potential mileage for Labour to be on the side of the typical family etc in opposing these.

  21. @ Wes

    Seat projection for those figures under perfect proportionality:

    Lab 221
    Tories 214.5
    UKIP. 91
    LD 45.5
    Green 39
    SNP/PC 32.5
    Others. (Inc NI) 17.5

  22. JIMJAM

    I understand the points you make although I personally do not have a problem with the super rich, good luck to them is my view in many cases it was through the “sweat of their brow” in others it was luck or inherited wealth in which case it was their parents “sweat”..

    I would be interested to know what your pre-distribution would involve?

  23. @Mr Nameless

    Thanks for that Lib Dem bar chart from Heywood. It is a blatant lie that they are even in contention in Heywood let alone in the lead.
    Remember also that this comes from a party that forced a parliamentary by-election down the road after persuading a court that the winning candidate had been untruthful in his election literature.

    I suppose after the LDs lose their deposit today no-one will be bothered on the grounds that they were an irrelevance there. But maybe one of the other parties should take some legal action, if only to try and get a ruling that will act as a deterrent to others in a future election where similar untruths could affect the result.

  24. @Raf

    That would be a grand alliance between Lab and Con then? Not much else would work.

  25. @AberdeenCynic – Me, I stopped posting after being repeatedly harassed because of the university I went to. I have better things to do with my time than stand around for abuse – like doing actual research!

  26. @JimJam

    “…the rich and wealth creators…”

    There is though an alternative school of thought, that those at the very top have at best just excessively lined their own pockets because the have the power to do so, and at worst destroyed wealth in the process. The financial services industry is often cited.

  27. ToH – I think it goes back too having a proper industrial strategy integrated with training and education programs which we don’t seem to have had for decades.

    I see no future as a low wage economy (via cheap EU immigrant labour) with tax revenue subsidising low paying employers.
    In the short term some low end wage growth will help but increased minimum (living) wages must be sustainable and backed up by a re-balanced Economy.

    That is why I say Long-Term Predistribution makes sense but that won’t win the next GE.

    Perhaps China’s problems and on-shoring will help but if we not careful other countries (Germany for example) will steal a march on us again.

  28. [Peers round door. They’ve stopped going on about the Nazis. Safe to post now]

    There’s one thing about the post-indyref discussion that seems to have been missed or lost in the noise, and that is that it confirms that Labour is the only party that is competitive in every part of the country. This is something that was also apparent in 2010 when it transpired that Con had largely shrunk to a SE and rural England party. If the above is true, that alone suggests why Labour would never support Yes.

  29. @newhouset & oldnat

    Well for me an open primary represents an opportunity to actually elect someone who cares – I live in one of those places where one party always wins simply because people always vote for that party. My MP is quite useless in comparison to our last MP. An open primary allows me to still be able to participate in the democratic process – not have to vote for someone who simply kissed the right … in the party hierarchy.

    I agree it may backfire with the opposition voting for the worst candidate, but if the electorate do that in my seat they will still definitely end up with that person as their MP! That would surely make them think twice, and if they make that mistake once, they won’t make it a second time.

    Something like this could get people interested in politics again and improve the standard of MPs if widely rolled out. I agree some thought needs to be added to avoid the ‘worst of the above’ being selected merely because they are in the wrong party, but it is a step in the right direction.

  30. rogerh

    Look at [the polls] 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.

    False recall is a real problem, to the extent that some pollsters (such as MORI and Opinium) don’t even bother to use it. Others, such as ICM do complicated adjustments to allow for it. But we are mainly discussing YouGov figures here and they minimise the problem by asking people how/if they voted immediately after the election or on joining their panel if that is more recent. And because YouGov are the online political pollster with the longest record, most of their current members were, I believe, also members in 2010.

    So genuine mis-remembering should be rare because most people will have told YouGov when their mind was fresh and not confused by subsequent events and how they voted in more recent elections. I suspect a few people say how they would have voted if they had got round to it, but even that won’t bias the balance between the Parties much.

    And one thing that we do know from the YouGov figures is exactly that “as many as 10% of former LibDems [will] switch to the Tories”. This has been consistently shown in the polls ever since YouGov started publishing the analysis by 2010 vote back in October 2010. I’ve always argued that these are traditional Conservative voters who switched to the Lib Dems because they believed (possibly encouraged by Cleggmania) that that was the way to keep Labour out. Once the election was over they immediately went back ‘home’. Of course this makes the Lib Dem performance under Clegg in 2010 look even worse than at the time (they actually lost seats after all).

    Now it is probable that such switchers may be towards the more liberal side of the Conservative spectrum (the percentage hasn’t been affected by the growth of UKIP) and a few may vote Lib Dem in seats where they still have a chance against Labour (but there aren’t many of those), but the vast majority will vote Conservative next time – indeed this percentage of ex-Lib Dems seems to have gone up this year a little.

  31. For my good deed for the day I shall encourage anyone I meet to become rich.

    Just wish I had thought of it for myself sooner – it seems so bleedin’ obvious once you’re told about it.

  32. oldnat

    A month late, but YG have put up the tables for their Welsh poll.

    Possibly because I had a winge about it earlier in the thread (and re-posted the link). At least someone takes notice of what I write…

    (Good luck with the op by the way).

  33. “Me, I stopped posting after being repeatedly harassed because of the university I went to. ”

    As I recall people just disagreed with your assertion that entry to Oxbridge was solely on merit. No one harassed you because of the university you went to.

  34. @ Candy
    “The War of Independence was actually the First War Over Slavery.
    In 1772, the House of Lords had just ruled that slavery was incompatible with English Common Law. . . . It was clear that Britain was going to abolish slavery in all her colonies and Americans moved to become independent to counter it.”

    As Oldnat says you have to understand the context. You are confusing cause & effect.
    There is no evidence that the British government wished to abolish slavery in the colonies in 1776 or indeed that it could have done so if it were so inclined. [Imperial countries invariably follow policies of one rule for the home country & another for the colonies.]
    The massive popular movement against the slave trade — NOT slavery — did not start in GB until the 1780s. The independence of the US had the effect of making it easier for the GB government to abolish [eventually] the slave trade/slavery because it no longer had to worry about the attitudes of its former “citizens” in the southern US to such policies.

  35. “As I recall people just disagreed with your assertion that entry to Oxbridge was solely on merit. No one harassed you because of the university you went to.”

    You recollection is inaccurate, both in what you think I asserted and in others’ response.

  36. I went to Ponteland Teachers Training College – definitely on merit – and nobody has ever harassed me about that.

  37. Oh…………. actually some of the tutors did.

    Something about expecting me to turn up for lectures.

  38. Richard

    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.

    Newhouset

    I think I must be missing out on something in relation to ‘open’ primaries. What is stopping the enemies of a political party that’s holding one from putting forward and supporting someone with beliefs totally at odds with that party’s? Could the party land up with the village idiot as their candidate? What’s the attraction in allowing all and sundry to exert influence on your party’s choice of candidate?

    Because it’s not really a fully open primary. According to the local paper (it was announced about a week ago):

    http://www.kentonline.co.uk/medway/news/by-election-update-all-voters-will-24512/

    there will be “a shortlist of three from the party’s approved candidates list” drawn up by the local Conservative Association, no doubt under very heavy Central Office guidance. So if there’s the village idiot or Dave Spart on the list, the voters can’t be blamed for choosing them.

    In a lot of selections in all the main Parties, where Party members are nominally given the choice, the same thing happens. A local candidate who might be picked will be omitted and a selection of ‘the right sort’ of people are put forward (or one ‘star’ and a couple of obvious make-weights). This is just extending the process. Clacton has something similar, though with only two candidates and a public meeting (to be fair they had a tighter timetable).

    The ballot papers are supposed to go out tomorrow, but there doesn’t seem to be have been a list released yet of the three potential candidates, or so much chance of people being able assess then before they vote. This may turn out to be a mistake if the winner then turns out to have an extensive online portfolio involving a performing seal and a pair of paisley pyjamas, but that’s their look-out.

    I suspect it’s all really more a marketing ploy to build support (“It will give the punters a feeling of ‘ownership'” I hear them say) rather than a genuine attempt at democracy – otherwise we’d have the names. It will also be interesting to see if the cost (which must be considerable) goes against election expenses.

  39. JIM JAM

    Thanks-briefly whilst I have a mo :-

    Its a big topic .

    I have serious reservations about “predistribution” ( subject to definition) and GO’s proposed cuts on the welfare in work benefits-but not DC’s personal tax proposals.

    My post was not to highlight a disagreement on wealth taxes between Labour & the Conservatives-but between Labour and its own high wealth donors.

  40. On that Heywood Ukip leaflet – is it really ok to print a pack of lies as Ukip have done here ?

  41. Two by-elections today!! OMG this is real porn. I know they are a lot of nude films and other naughty stuff kicking about on the net and most if not all of us have dipped into they sites from time to time but Clacton and Heywood and Middleton by-elections……..This is real porn.

    Who isn’t aroused and excited?

  42. JIMJAM

    Many thanks for your thoughtful response. I have a good deal of sympathy with your ideas.

    Rosieanddaisie

    “For my good deed for the day I shall encourage anyone I meet to become rich.”

    I can almost agree with that but would suggest the following is better:-

    I shall encourage anyone I meet to aspire to wealth creation for themselves and their families.

  43. Amber

    While I think on, when you’re tracking sample sizes you need to look at the unweighted numbers. So in that Panelbase poll there were 858 of the original 1049 sample who were ‘likely’ voters for Holyrood. Of those 12 said they were not eligible to vote. If Panelbase had just used the remaining 846 for their Westminster question that would show in the tables, but the actual figure is 863. So it looks like they asked a separate LTV question, admittedly with a fairly similar answer.

    Apart from anything else I seem to remember that they did try using the same LTV for two different votes one stage, just after they started doing polling. They did however change their ways after Anthony and other pointed it out. So I can’t see them going back. It would be nice have the LTV tables though (if Ivor Knox is reading) because they often contain other interesting data.

  44. @Roger

    Thanks for that link. Yes, it does sound like a marketing stunt now you put it that way. But I still think it is a step in the right direction.A choice of 3 is better than one, and a postal vote will ensure more participation than a public meeting. I think we should have primaries for all candidates, with proper campaigns, and sitting MP’s should also face them. Lots of little steps can eventually lead to a big step. Hopefully other parties take notice and this starts becoming the norm.

  45. Phil Haines
    Down here in Weston Super Mud we got so fed up with the usual LD “Labour can’t win here” distortion leaflets that, a) we took a particularly outrageous example to the Returning Officer, and as we thought he ruled that it was perfectly ok and nothing he would get involved in.
    Then b) we put together an attack leaflet of our own , which is based on local, recent elections, and which clearly shows that , the LDs ‘Can’t win here! ‘. We have used it several times now, and have heard unofficialy of course, that the biter does not think it fair that he has been bit back !

  46. @paul

    Couldn’t track you down on facebook.

    Me. – Valerie Nash , went to Bedford College lives in Manchester.

    At school my nick name was “gnashers’. Kids can be cruel.

  47. Today’s YG VI – E&W only

    (Changes from GB %s in brackets)

    Con 35% (+2%) : Lab 35% (+1%) : UKIP 16% (+2%) : LD 7% (nc)

  48. When people talk about getting rid of Ed who do they envisage taking over?

    Yvette? Chuka? Hardly political heavy weights. I think there is a dearth of talent in all the parties. Theresa May is the only one who has any ballast. And that’s not saying much.

  49. Re: primaries.

    Sarah Wollaston who AFAIK is the only MP so selected, seems to me to be an outstanding MP (albeit a PITA for the party hierarchy).

    Not sure how the list of candidates was compiled.

  50. Colin – actually, i think we would not be far apart.

    I have sympathy with the fiscal drag in to 40% band made worse by the claw back due to initial threshold rises.

    Long-term as i said above would like to get away from subsidising low pay through tax credits but to do now to fund tax reductions for better earners seems like an Tory own goal when understood more fully.
    Personally, I am not keen on ever increasing initial threshold rises as that does nothing for many part time workers who we k.now are increasing. (maybe we disagree on this one?) and subsidises low paying employees as the Tax has to come from others.

    NB) I would encourage employment through lower Employer NI levels and/or payment holidays if abuse can be avoided – a real error to propose an increase in 2010 quite reasonably labelled a jobs tax by their opponents; an error the 2 Eds recognised and changed early on (maybe under AJ actually cant recall)

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