A quick catch up of this week’s polls so far, and an update on polling on a Con-UKIP pact.

The first of this week’s two Populus polls had figures of CON 34%, LAB 36%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 13%, GRN 3% (tabs).
Monday’s Lord Ashcroft poll had topline figures of CON 28%, LAB 31%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 18%, GRN 8% (tabs). Note the Green score there – up to eight points and one point ahead of the Liberal Democrats. The fact they are up in fourth place is probably just a blip – it’s one poll and no one else is echoing it – but it’s a symptom of the genuine rise we’ve seen in Green support over recent months.
Meanwhile this morning’s YouGov/Sun poll had topline figures of CON 31%, LAB 33%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 15%, GRN 6% (tabs)

Stepping back a couple of days, at the weekend YouGov also released an updated version of polling first conducted last year asking how people would vote if there was a Conservative/UKIP pact at the next general election (tabs). There is sometimes a lazy assumption that because the Conservatives and UKIP together have a very healthy level of support a pact between the two parties would be a winner. That is not necessarily the case – parties do no own their voters. If two parties agree to stand to together it doesn’t follow that their voters will go along with it. The usual voting intention in the poll showed Labour four points ahead of of the Conservatives, but with UKIP on 18%. Asked how they would vote with a Conservative/UKIP pact the Labour lead grew to six points. The reason is that only about two thirds of current Conservative voters would back the joint ticket – some would flake away to Labour or the Liberal Democrats, others wouldn’t vote or aren’t sure what they would do. At the same time only just over half of UKIP supporters would follow their party into a deal with the Tories, others would go to Labour, find an alternate “other” party or not vote. This probably paints an artificially bleak picture because many of those don’t knows would hold their noses and vote for the joint-ticket, but it should still serve as an antidote to those thinking a pact is a panacea to Tory woes.

Asking about the specific circumstances of seats where there is a Conservative standing on the joint ticket or a UKIP candidate standing on the joint ticket sheds a little more light on the don’t knows. Essentially just over 10% of Conservatives and UKIP voters are lost anyway if there is a pact, even if a candidate for their own party is standing locally – presumably people totally opposed to co-operation with the other party. If a candidate for the other party is standing locally, only a minority (36-40%) of the other parties support is transferred across.

200 Responses to “Latest polls, and how people would vote with a Con-UKIP pact”

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  1. Thinking back to ‘usual suspects’ and ‘b*stards, perhaps party leader talks to members (do they have them?) should be something like:

    ‘forgive me but I thought we all had the same name in the party column on the ballot paper’.

    Of course it would help if elements of the team plan were not changed at a moment’s notice during a Parliament.

  2. Billy Bob

    Thanks for the best wishes – but Roger Mexico was right. It was a late night quip about the HoL hereditary by-election.

    I thought the give-away might have been my earlier post about the 4 new peers.

    Incidentally, I note that one of these is the founder of Migration Watch UK – and wondered if that had any significance among the current angst over immigration.

  3. THE OTHER HOWARD………Football, played well, lifts the spirit, and after a win, so do I, a spirit of a different kind of course.
    Anyway, I agree with you that we are at the , ‘ phoney war ‘ stage of affairs, Labour hoping for no further significant erosion of their once regular double-digit lead, now down to a couple of points, Tories flatlining as incumbents and target in chief, the real battle will be fought after Christmas, IMO.
    Of course, next year, with all parties promising cuts, I expect the, ‘better the devil you know….’ syndrome to take effect, and incumbency to benefit the Tories. :-)

  4. I’m wondering if a clue to (at least YouGov’s) huge support for the SNP in the Scottish crossbreaks, lies in their poll on internet trolling. (No cheap cracks please – expensive ones only)


    They asked “Have you ever made a post or comment on the internet ….?

    Yes said 66% of the Scots, against 32% who said No.

    In E&W, it was only 53% Yes and 45% No.

    A number of “IFs” follow!

    IF the online interaction by Scots is actually no different from the rest of the UK


    IF that Scots sample is typical of YG respondents from wild Caledonia, and not an outlier


    IF the referendum polling, that suggested that more of the Yes side got their information from the internet, is accurate

    then YG may be building in a sampling error among their Scots panel members by including a disproportionate number of online people, which might pick up more Yes voters, and thus more SNP supporters.

  5. amber

    Re the eulogy about your old posts earlier on, owr Dad said not to tell you – but – he has ALL of your posts copied out and stuck on the wall………


  6. My favourite footie quote was from the Hayes manager at a time where they had a reputation for “route one” like the old Wimbledon team- penalty box to penalty box with one big boot. On a night where they were struggling with a poor pitch he was heard to shout from the dugout “stop trying to play football!”.

  7. Colin

    It’s a big uncertainty how much squeezing of the vote will happen, if any. I was more postulating that a series of polls indicating a stymied government might add some extra pressure on those votes.

    If the next government is inevitably short term, who could either side draft in? I think a rerun of Cameron vs Ed isn’t unlikely.

    Ignoring UKIP isn’t an option, but becoming UKIP equally isn’t. It’s possible to engage with some of them, (the ones who believe the EU provides no benefits to us are are completely out of reach, they want to and will vote for a radical party, whatever happens) having more concrete idea about how any EU immigration might be controlled (I understand that the Czech model might be an acceptable and possible way forward.) might serve to persuade some UKIPers but even if Cameron photocopied the UKIP manifesto, a lot would continue to go UKIP.

    I think there isn’t as much of the UKIP vote to win as people think. No matter what Cameron does there won’t be a bonus 10% coming from UKIP between now and the election, the cavalry isn’t about to arrive.

    Whichever way Cameron moves he risks picking up some votes at the expense of others, I think the fight for the Tories is against Labour, with the polls tight I think a fair amount of the winnable UKIP votes will return anyway. If not, we’re heading for 2015B.

    I think Cameron’s last big pitch to UKIPers with be in the immigration proposals by Christmas, if that doesn’t move them, nothing but pragmatism on polling day will.

    Farage predicts we’ll leave the EU within 5 years, either he thinks he can pick up seats in both camps while allowing the Tories to pick up enough of the marginals or he’s channelling PT Barnum. With Farage I haven’t a clue which of those it is.

  8. Many, I would suspect most, people voting UKIP are doing so because they are fed up with all the current major parties at Westminster. An alliance between UKIP and the Tories would imply that the behaviour of the Conservatives at Westminster is accwptable to UKIP, so it is hardly surprising that this would turn off a subtantial proportion of UKIP’s support.

    How support for the two Tory MPs who have resigned their seatsin order to join UKIP is compatible with this putative analysis is problematic. I suppose it could be said that these MPs have seen the problem and done something about it, so they are worth voting for.

  9. Colin
    You’re confusing complexity with compartmentantlisation. From the spectator’ s viewpoint it’s what they see the players doing that provides the thrill, hence as Lefty alluded to, you can get more concentrated complexity in an instant of football than in the more regimented Rugby.
    As a couple of exemplars lets look at what are still widely regarded as the pinnacle of each game from the 1970s :The ‘Welsh’ Barbarians try against the All Blacks and the Radford goal for Hereford Utd against Newcastle in the F.A. Cup. The first is sublime in its slow coming together of pieces of fairly standard play, culminating in a wonderful try. A team effort. The complexity of the Radford goal happens in no more than three or four seconds and arises from the appreciation by Radford of what he may be able to do, and then his going on to accomplish it. The whole Gestalt or The Full Monty. That’s the complexity of football.

  10. Here are the results of the Crossbencher Peers by election.

    First preference votes cast for each candidate were as follows –
    0 Albemarle, E : Darling, L. : Hacking, L. : Harlech, L. : Massereene and Ferrard, V, (L.Oriel) : Monson, L. : Temple of Stowe, E.
    1 Napier and Ettrick, L.
    2 Thurlow, L.
    4 Aldington, L : Sempill, L.
    7 Russell of Liverpool, L.
    9 Cromwell, L.

    The transferred votes at each successive round were

    Exclusion of Napier and Ettrick, L. – 1 to Cromwell, L.
    Exclusion of Thurlow, L. – 1 to Aldington, L and 1 to Sempill, L.
    Exclusion of Aldington, L – 2 to Cromwell, L. and 2 to Russell of Liverpool, L.
    Exclusion of Sempill, L. – 1 to Cromwell, L. and 3 to Russell of Liverpool, L.

    The victory goes to Lord Cromwell by 13 votes to 12 – bad cess to him!

  11. What is al the fuss about games played with various sized balls. The toughest professional sporting events are Grand Tour cycle races. 21 days of hell around France , Italy or Spain. Injuries sustained are treated with scorn, they just get back on their bikes. No wonder drugs became too strong a temptation for some in the past.

  12. @Oldnat

    “then YG may be building in a sampling error among their Scots panel members by including a disproportionate number of online people”

    Wouldn’t they do that anyway, with Scotland having more rural areas, so it’s an easy way to connect with Scots (while with Londoners, you can go door to door far more easily)?

  13. New ComRes poll for ITV on attaching labels to political parties (I suppose there is some point to this kind of polling, though it’s difficult to see what.)


    38% think none of the parties “is nasty” – while 32% attach that label to UKIP, and 30% to the Tories. 18%% say that of Labour, while 12% do the same for the LDs

    The Greens are the nice people – only 4% think they are nasty.

  14. @Oldnat

    I think that’s the last Lords by-election from April not yesterday’s one.

  15. Statgeek

    I have no idea whether the sample is atypical of Scots and/or atypical of YG panellists – or neither.

    I just found it an interesting difference and did some speculating. :-(

  16. Northumbrianscot

    It is! After last night, I was doing some more teasing, and wondered how long it would take to find me out.

    And does anybody care anyway? :-)

  17. Sneaky.

    Looks like yesterday’s Lords result was that rare thing: a victory for the Liberal Democrats!

    Winner is the Earl of Oxford and Asquith.

  18. You wouldn’t expect a sporting nut like me to let some of these lazy and cliched assumptions about the relative merits of our national sports go unchallenged, would you, now? :-)

    Ewen L is absolutely right about the danger of confusing supposed complexity with some spurious superiority; a lapse into intellectual snobbery for some, I’m afraid. It’s nonsense too, because strip any game of its drama and skill and they’re all fairly banal in their own ways. Kick a ball into a goal, hit a ball with a piece of wood, carry a ball over a line and place it on the ground. That’s not a description of what they are and the heights they can scale in terms of exhilaration and technique. The more tedious of our ball games tend to be the most complicated, formulaic and choreographed, be they to last 80 minutes or five days.

    I’ve played all three of our major sports, cricket for 40 years and to a pretty decent level (once opened the batting against an 18 year old Gladstone Small just before he broke into the Warwickshire team. An interesting experience indeed!) football and Rugby. I’ve watched them all too for most of my life and while football remains my first love, mainly because of it’s capacity for drama, its innate chaos and at its best, its endlessly fluent beauty, we should also recognise that all three sports are capable of producing great enjoyment for both participants and spectators. They also can produce tedium too because no human endeavour is ever perfect. A one sided game of Test cricket played in a deserted and echoing stadium can be a dispiriting and mind-numbingly awful spectacle just as a great game of Test cricket can be an uplifting experience.

    It’s a silly exercise trying to establish which sport is best. I have my preferences, as does TOH and Lefty L, but they’re just that; personal preferences based on what we most enjoy. One man’s meat and all that.

    Actually, I’ve come to enjoy watching Golf more than just about anything else of late. The Ryder Cup is about as good as televised sport gets in my view. Other people probably think it’s the equivalent of watching paint dry. C’est la vie.

  19. @ROGERH
    You made a comment earlier today in reply to me. I said “I don’t think UKIP will get enough seats to matter much”. You said “neither will the Tories”.
    What do you mean? Today we are 2 points behind Labour, tomorrow the Times and current bun will say1 point behind Labour. Even allowing for Labours built in advantage, it seems as if you right off the oldest and most established political party in the world, on very flimsy evidence at a far to early conjecture.

  20. Good Afternoon All.
    Thank you to LEFTY L, and to CB11, and to EWEN L.

    The Edwards try was great, although the pass was forward. The Ref said: It’s a great try; let it go.

    My favourite sporting moment in recent year was That Goal by Ryan Giggs. Added to that, when I win a chess match.

    On the Political Game: things look grim, I feel.

  21. @Oldnat

    Well I followed Roger’s link and read this candidate’s statement:

    “Since last sitting, I have been greatly dismayed by the behaviour of a minority of newer members.
    These individuals have usurped their new found status for their own cupidity, rather than upholding the values of our honourable institution. Their actions have brought ‘The
    House’ into disrepute in the eyes of the British Public and the world at large.

    Should I be successful in this ballot, I would endeavour to help to rectify this shameful situation.”

    Says it all really. Who are these people and why do they have a say in how our country is run?

  22. I make him the seventh descendant of Herbert Asquith to make it into the House of Lords. Keeping it in the family!

    Cyril Asquith
    Raymond Joliffe
    Violet Asquith (Bonham-Carter)
    Mark Bonham-Carter
    Jane Bonham-Carter
    Julian Asquith
    Raymond Asquith

  23. Another one

    “In 1900 4th Lord Sudeley was made bankrupt and lost his seat in the House of Lords because his creditors were allowed to enlarge their claims without their being independently and adequately audited. Sudeley recovered his seat and used it to provide us with guide lecturers for museums. I would like to introduce a Bill to prevent any further creditors from enlarging their claims in the same way.”

    Well when you consider those as the priorities for the country, I have to say maybe Clegg, Cameron and Miliband are not so bad…please get rid of this ‘other place’ asap, its embarrassing!

  24. “why do they have a say in how our country is run?”
    Clegg voted against removing them. If he couldn’t have a chamber of 600 PR politicians, he’d rather stick with this mess. Spending a lot of time watching BBC parliament, elected commons vs 1000 year out of date lords, I know which I’d prefer.

    @Frederic Stansfield

    Anyone who watched the two by-election acceptance speeches on the 10th, may have come to the conclusion that UKIP is sifting the diamonds from the rough.
    Ofc this applies to less than .1% of the population.

    I see a lot of people speculating about the need for two elections next year. I can’t see it. Hung may be very likely, but hung & uncoalitionable? Nah.

    UKIP/tory pact seems like it’d be suicide for UKIP. Maybe I’m biased on this point, but they’re mostly a protest vote…cons least of all parties can you ally with and keep that.

  25. All this talk of the relative merits of different sports reminds me of the great C B Fry.

    He was famously a great cricketer but also footballer, rugby player (representing England in all of those I think) boxer, a champion debater, runner and olympic standard fencer and was offered the throne of Albania in 1919 but turned it down because they couldn’t afford to pay him enough!

    Also stood (unsuccessfully) for Parliament 3 times as a Liberal – so there is a connection to UKPR on what would otherwise be a totally irrelevant post!

  26. “Support for EU membership highest for 23 years, even as UKIP rises in the polls”


    Well there is some good news!

  27. Mike Smithson tweet

    “Rumours of new Rochester poll coming out. Judging by the betting it’s good for the purples.”

  28. ALAN


    I agree that the cavalry isn’t coming.

    But without a small posse, Cons have had it.

  29. Is Mike Smithson suggesting that those with advance sighting of a poll are using insider knowledge to make money in the betting markets?

  30. EWEN

    I don’t think I am-and in any event we will have to disagree.

    Whetever you enjoy is fine by me-its all a personal choice.

  31. @Chouenlai

    “What do you mean? Today we are 2 points behind Labour, tomorrow the Times and current bun will say1 point behind Labour.”

    The Tories would need to be about 3 points ahead of Labour just to equal them in seats. I don’t think the Tories are going to be in a position to put together any sort of majority with anyone.

  32. @Oldnat

    Is Mike Smithson suggesting that those with advance sighting of a poll are using insider knowledge to make money in the betting markets?

    Well not sure if you noticed the tweets before each of the Scotland polls were announced, but the exchange rate markets were moving in advance of polls being published, and some pollsters were tweeting about traders calling them up asking for advance knowledge. Isn’t that insider trading? Should polls be subject to the same rules as company financial statements?

  33. “Once we have decided to remain in the EU what would you then like to blame everything on?”

    The above would make a good opinion poll question.

    I have a vague image of our great ship of state being the same size as our actual country and political parties trying to claim that they will alter its fundamental direction using a rowing boat with a variety or oars-people, all rowing in different directions.

    Meanwhile we, the electorate, whether we vote or not, hurl abuse from the safety of the shore.

  34. R and D
    I am not sure that would be a good poll question, as we already know the answer. Regardless of views on staying in the EU voters make immigration the top issue (they say).

  35. howard

    My point is that, if we were NOT in the EU, immigration would be drastically reduced.

    [Not saying that’s a good thing just curious as to what people would blame everything on then.]

  36. A small site update folks. I’ve added in a 12-month trendline page to compliment the others. Fifty two weeks of polls ought to be 260 polls, but given that the Christmas season tends to reduce it, I chopped it to 250 polls, so it’s slightly over 12 months.


    Should you want to find it later, the menu location is:

    Home » Polling » Periodic Averages » Twelve Month Trendlines (below the calendar month averages)

  37. Richard

    I hadn’t noticed that. Insider trading rules certainly seem appropriate..

    I presume such activity is against BPC rules (though probably nothing prevents the clients doing what they like with the data they get before they publish it.

  38. Very interesting trends there STATGEEK-thanks for the effort.

  39. R an D
    That is a good question; I wonder if it would fall significantly. I also wonder whether people have an idea that, following exit, the people who are already here would be ‘deported’ (as it were) and whether voters have stopped to think about *why* they would be. Do voters think we would send away the plumbers and keep the brain surgeons?

    Now there are a few polling questions that could be interesting to ask (but I could think of loads more, as I expect you can).

  40. The Aussies say that you can always tell when a British plane has landed at an Oz airport, the whining continues when the engines have stopped. I was born just post-war, and as far as Europe is concerned, have listened to the whining, from all sides, ever since, pre EU and post. :-)

  41. Ken
    The interesting point of that old chestnut is that if you pick up an Oz newspaper (very easily of course on the net now) then one’s reaction to that statement is ‘pot and kettle’, etc.

  42. @Rogerh
    Yes, I agree entirely with your sums. So you are saying that over 7 months, the Tories under no circumstances can gain 5 or 6 points?
    My point is, I am certain that you do not dislike the Tories anymore than I dislike Labour, however, I would certainly not write off their chances of winning in 2015 at this point.

  43. Statgeek, thanks so much for that set of trendlines. It makes a change to see lines that tell me what I want to know about.

  44. CEL and RogerH

    I agree with CEL. We have a snapshot and no more – pretty consistent over some time now – but the conference speech effects proved that any reasonable event could swing the picture.

  45. HOWARD……As I know you have, I’ve traveled widely, and find whining a common human characteristic, especially in the West, and especially among those with the least to whine about. :-)

  46. Oldnat – “I presume such activity is against BPC rules ”

    It really isn’t. People assume the BPC has all sorts of rules about ethics and conduct and stuff, but it really doesn’t. Its only about openness, and the rules are just about being open with methods and results.

  47. @Howard

    The polls hardly swung after Conference.

    Labour stayed static, and the Conservative was shorter lasting than a gnat’s burp.

  48. HOWARD……….’Traveled’, really is a giveaway, I much prefer, ‘travelled’.

  49. For connoisseurs of transfer voting, the Earl of Oxford and Asquith’s election was rather disappointing as he got in on the first count:


    As I previously commented, this was one of those elections where all members of the Lords were entitled to vote, including the life peers. Normally the electorate comprises those hereditary peers in the particular Party or Group who have been already elected as in the 29 Cross-benchers in OldNat’s example (27 voted).

    So it would be interesting to see what the turnout should be among what should be one of the most sophisticated and involved electorates in the world. After all we are always being told that members of the Lords are their on merit.

    In fact 283 voted out of a possible 776. A turnout of 36%. Oh well, maybe it was raining.

  50. CATMANJEFF…………On here OLDGNAT’S burps are highly valued. :-)

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