Opinium’s fortnightly poll for the Observer tonight has topline figures of CON 33%(+5), LAB 33%(-2), LDEM 6%(-3), UKIP 18%(+1), GRN 4%(nc). This is the first time that Opinium haven’t shown Labour ahead since March 2012, before the Omnishambles budget.

Yesterday’s YouGov/Sun poll that also Labour and the Conservatives equal, but of course, we have another YouGov poll for the Sunday Times due tonight or tomorrow morning…

263 Responses to “Opinium/Observer – CON 33, LAB 33, LD 6, UKIP 18, GRN 4”

1 2 3 6
  1. The great benefit of Anthony’s post as opposed to a tweet is that he knows how to spell “Observer”.

  2. where’s that LD bounce gone? Very surprised at this poll.

  3. Team Blue will be excited, but there have been a fair number of 32 Con / 33 Lab Opiniums so I think it’s really mostly down to luck that we haven’t seen a level-pegging poll before now.

    That’s a fantastic Tory VI from Opinium, though. They haven’t had a 33% in ages.

  4. I wonder if the extra 20% the EU want, has hit Lab,LD VI. Right wing on 51%, yet Labour could still get a majority.

  5. Somehow this tie isn’t as exciting as it should be.

    Less a case of both parties racing for the line, more like staggering drunkenly homewards, kicking over bins & mumbling incoherently about foreigners. Who’ll be first to get their key in the lock, perhaps not as notable as no-one being particularly keen to see eithers’ return.

  6. I wonder if we’re getting another “Cameron defies the EU” bounce? I was all set to write this poll off as an outlier (much like last Opinium’s 8 point Labour lead), but I’d forgotten there was actually an event to push the Tory VI up.

    YouGov crossover tomorrow?

  7. Wood


    Eloquent description.

  8. Good Evening All.
    The bad headlines for Ed M this weekend, triggered, this time by Scottish events playing out, point to disaster for the red team, I think.

  9. This is the first time that Opinium has shown Con & Lab equal since Feb 2012 (when both were on 36%) – shortly before the Con’s dramatic fall to being 11 points behind Lab.

  10. Labour has normally been in the 32 – 36 range with Opinium for the last 18 months. Tory support with this pollster tends to be volatile.

  11. Spearmint – too soon. YouGov/Sunday Times is as well – most responses would be before Cameron spoke on Friday.

  12. Back to Scitland; SNP on 4%, so 42% in Scotland, Labour sub 30%. Any cross breaks?

  13. If Cammo handles the EU wealth tax issue the way Maggie would have, I think we’ll see crossover polls next week, perhaps Tories hitting 36/37 and Labour 31/32…….Appropriate at this time of Diwali, ( light over dark, knowledge over ignorance, hope over despair, good over evil….you get the picture ). :-)

  14. Ken

    Shouldn’t that be EVEL over evil?

  15. There is this business about the EU demanding an extra payment from Britain because Britain’s income has been re-assessed as higher than previously estimated. It seems to have excited some posters. It seems to have divided opinion.

    Should Britain pay or not? Is this unjust?

    I think that Nigel Farage seems to be right on this. He says Britain must pay because that is the way the EU works. Obviously he goes on to say that Britain should leave.

    I see this as like a tax demand. If your income goes up then you pay more tax. The tax is used for the benefit of the community just like income tax, and as a member of the community you obtain the benefits from public spending e.g on the national health service. You can also get grants and tax rebates.

    However the principle of income tax, is that the more you earn the more you pay.

    The message for Britain perhaps is that if she (Britain) wants to keep tax demands down, then she should try understating her income, rather than overstating it.

  16. Adge.
    If my income went up 2%, but tax bill rose 20%, then I might be a little upset.

  17. hoof hearted

    But if you had been underpaying your tax for years, that’s exactly what would happen.

  18. ‘.Appropriate at this time of Diwali, ( light over dark, knowledge over ignorance, hope over despair, good over evil….you get the picture ). :’

    Is that why so many people thought of the lady as the AntiChrist?

  19. If I had been under charged by the taxman,I would expect their incompetent adminstration to write it off. I would at least expect an explanation and some proof.
    The EU wanting more, when we are in austerity, is taking a liberty; and no doubt the working poor will foot the bill, more nurse wage freezes to come.

  20. Not to mention the whole “EU Taxation” thing. This was a free trade agreement we signed up for, wasn’t it?

    There’s no way this can go well for the EU because even the pro-EU lot think (though avoid drawing attention to) that the cost of the EU is too high for what it does.

  21. @Ken

    The Tories have not be able to hold steady at or around 35% and certainly not above that. 32/33 they have polled quite regularly.

  22. hoof hearted

    Feel free to try that line with HMRC! Of course, if you run a huge company, just take the taxman out for dinner, and it’ll work.

  23. @Wood

    Anyone thinking we entered just a free trade agreement clearly never read the small print.

    It has been obvious for decades (and should have been to Maggie and her team when the treaty of Rome was signed) that the aim was a political union.

  24. Paying this bill, probably 2nd December, will only fuel the rise of UKIP. If I were thinking of detecting, now might be a good time.

    I don’t remember too many voting for a political union @ 38 certainly not me. Don’t be surprised if we get a revolt, the Tory party could split, or at least be at war over this. Polling next were will be interesting.

  25. @CatmanJeff

    Mrs T signed the Single European Act – the biggest single transfer of sovereignty from Member State to Community and mixed competence.

  26. The direction of travel to a political union is crystal clear.

    You can read speeches from the 1950’s to this affect.

  27. Is it possible that the Uk has boosted its stated income for electoral purposes? As I understand, no other states have yet incorporated the latest modifications to include income from prostitution etc.

    If this is so, then other states will also later receive increased “tax” demands from the EU when and if they include income from prostitution etc. in their national income estimates.

    I don’t see what case the UK has to resist paying. Do any other EU members support Britain?

  28. @RAF

    Repentent sinners often turnout to be most stern critics.

  29. Please, people, behave yourselves. This isn’t the place.

    OTOH, it is, I think reasonable to discuss what we think the outcome of the demand for payment will be on polling. And I suspect, contrary to what others say, that (even if he gets a short term boost) no matter how well DC plays the hand he has now, it will be good for UKIP: either he does what the EU says, and pays up some time (good for UKIP when he does) or he doesn’t and the EU takes some action against the UK (good for UKIP when it does).

  30. @ADGE3
    Some other nations have indeed implemented the same generous measures. The Netherlands is pretty sympathetic, since they’re also recieving a large bill.

  31. Adge3

    I don’t know the complete list, but Ireland, Spain, Italy, Poland, Bulgaria and the Netherlands include the black economy in their accounts.

  32. Adge3: “. Do any other EU members support Britain?”

    Good question, to which you’ll be hard put to find an answer from the UK media. Issues like this are presented as ‘us against them’ whereas the reality of political life at an EU level is building support amongst shifting alliances, back-scratching deals, give and take, some you win…

    It seems we as a country don’t want to play that game, preferring to threaten to go home with the ball. Perhaps it’s reached the point where it’s best for the 27 if that’s what we do.

  33. Smithson tweet

    “CON 33%-1 LAB 33% -1 UKIP 16% +1 LD 7% +1 GRN 6% =”

  34. Sorry. That’s tonight’s YG.

  35. I’m getting a bit irritated with the comments on this additional EU payment.

    The best analogy (maybe not the best there is) that I can come up would be business insurance. You pay a certain amount for the year’s insurance in advance based on estimates. It then gets adjusted at the end of the year because your turnover/profit/whatever is higher or lower and you pay more or get a refund accordingly.

    I guess the EC is more complicated as it not only depends on how you have done but on how other countries have done (richer countries are expected to pay more in). This one seems further complicated by changes in accounting methods which now include black market.

    You can of course argue rationally that we pay too much to the EU or that we should not include black market (seems logical to me because our government does not benefit from taxes on black market except where a drug dealer pays VAT on their 72 Inch plasma but then that is in the original GDP figure anyway).

    So please feel free to say we pay too much into the EU as a total or that we should be changing the basis of payments from rich and poor countries, slimming down the EU or changing the way it operates but whingeing about this particular 1.7Billion in isolation just doesn’t make much sense.

  36. @ADGE3. Always felt it was wrong to add drug dealing and prostitution to our GDP, do we even get tax from any of it?

  37. On the subject of polls, it is possible to predict the Yougov poll. The elements to consider are, first, there is no tantalising tweet saying that the poll will be interesting, and, second, Pressman has not come on to post.

    On the basis of these two elements, I would say, that the poll, will not show Conservatives in the lead, but will show Labour in the lead.

    However, whether this means anything for the General election is another matter. The post by Wood at 8.08 p.m. is food for thought.

  38. IMO The EU tax-bill fight will boost the chances of a Conservative Government. The problem for Labour in this specific case is Ed M. Ed’s ratings are low and as dealing with EU is PM to PM – folk will be worried about Ed M’s ability to handle Europe. Personally I think EM is pretty tough – Syria, Daily Mail and even taking on his brother but unfortunately that is not the general polling opinion.

    So I would expect the Labour VI to fall slightly as a result of this row.

  39. All getting very interesting…

  40. @Pete
    You ask if we get tax from drug dealing and prostitution.

    I suppose that people are spending money, and the authorities try to guess where the money comes from.

  41. @couper2802
    This EU payment affair looks like the Jean-Claude Juncker row all over again.

    With that row Labour and the Lib Dems did not let the Conservatives wrong foot them. They also resisted Juncker. I should expect that Labour and the Lib Dems will also object to the EU “tax” demand.

    I should also expect that all the other EU members will be against Britain, just as they were over the Juncker row.

    It seems to be British election fever.

  42. Oops!

    Grauniad has the caption “Those were the days: Gordon Brown, Johann Lamont and Ed Miliband during the referendum campaign” under a photo that has Mags Curran instead of Johann.


    Keith Vaz tweeting “Many congratulations to Anas Sarwar MP on becoming Leader of the Scottish Labour Party.”

  43. Still hung Parliament territory?

  44. The UK government doesn’t have a leg (or foot) to stand on about the extra money. It’s a small change anyway. However, as apart from CH4 News and FT nobody presents it properly (to avoid the plain Englsih : lying), it is actually a major piece of news (even though in reality it is: George tonight (and the two previous Fridays) went to the chippie instead of cooking at home.

  45. @Pete, black tax (cue bnp joke)
    Drugs, hell no, prostitution…more than we used to. Escorts tend to pay their taxes, say they’re just providing companionship & anything “extra” that happens is pure coincidence sudden transient attraction between consenting adults.

  46. @ Couper

    I suspect you will be right. Lab already neck and neck and a bad weekend for them. Pretty gloomy for Labour to be honest- their hopes rest on focussing of minds close to the election, poor economic news, having it right in the marginals (especially in Scotland) and maybe Ed having some Kinnock “don’t be old, don’t be poor” speech up his sleeve (not sure how capable he is of the passionate speech though). The 35% that seemed very certain for 4 years now looks fat from certain.

    I’m not sure how long term the Cameron “not paying” will hold up though. He can certainly avoid paying before that deadline just asking for a copy invoice or the accountant being on holiday excuse. If he really wants to push things it seems unlikely the EU could bring matters to a head before May next year but his speech does have risks of backfiring.

  47. Apparently tomorrow’s Yougov also dead heat – 33%/33%.

    Therefore Opinium and two consecutive Yougov all dead heat in last 3 days.

  48. UKIP 16, Lib Dem 7

  49. “I’m getting a bit irritated with the comments on this additional EU payment.”

    Do what I do and ignore them.

    Anyway, is there anything in Opinium’s methodology to perhaps cause them to overstate the LD vote?

    Also, as a general observation, things feel very close right now, but only because Labour are doing so poorly. I think that the remaining big factor is that during the campaign UKIP will get a lot of coverage, and this will help them to win over a chunk of the Tory vote. So, while Labour are about where I expect them to be in 2015 (a small but genuine improvement on 2010 thanks to the Red Dems) I think that the Tories will struggle to maintain 33% over the next six months.

  50. Pete – “Always felt it was wrong to add drug dealing and prostitution to our GDP, do we even get tax from any of it?”

    I think prostitutes have always paid tax. It’s soliciting that is illegal, the desperate seeking you out and you charging them is perfectly legal and taxable. They’re like private hire taxis (also taxable).

    I don’t think drug dealing is taxable though – so that should have been excluded from the figures, unless the govt wants to legalise it (great opportunity to regulate and tax it)

1 2 3 6