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”

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  1. Well said Valerie

    A ridiculous level of self-doubt by Labour supporters today. i am starting to get the impression that Lab have no confidence in themselves and expect to lose the election

    “not merely rubbish like Miliband”

    MrNameless, what is this? I am surprised at you.

    I am by no means a Lab supporter , I usually vote LD, but he is decent guy and I think he would make a good PM, different, but thoughtful and intelligent and much less showboating. and if the press in London don’t like his style, well I really don’t care.

  2. And while I’m on my high horse.
    I value this site as a place where people can discuss polling and sometimes people’s views of what is happening are questioned.

    But some people do seem terribly thin-skinned when challenged.
    Don’t be over sensitive. Enjoy the debate. AW will wield the scissors if someone over-steps the mark!

  3. David Welch

    “Just as important now, if not more important compared to Holyrood for Labour voters, is what happens at Westminster. Tax and war and foreign relations, especially dealing with the EU

    In that context, pp4-5 of today’s YG tables are particularly interesting.


  4. Floating Voter
    Cheers for that.
    I think it’s to do with getting older and reading accounts of a period that one actually lived through.

    I realise what my dear ol’ mum must have felt when people went on about what it was like to live in London during the Blizt

  5. @Valerie
    “If Ed, who I voted for, is replaced then I’ll cancel my membership. I can’t be the only Labour Party Member who feels this way.”
    Well said. The anti-Ed thing is becoming more desperate and hysterical as the GE approaches.
    ”Meeja declares the Lab leader to be a dud.”
    Wow!! So what’s new? The noise is all coming from the usual suspects. I can’t think of any reason to take any notice of them.

    The polling questions are based on “if there is a GE tomorrow – – – “ . Well there won’t be. I expect Ed and his strategy team will keep their powder dry until the right time comes.

    Meanwhile the hottest political story in town is not Ed but UKIP, and the prospect of a long-term realignment of the Right which is damaging blues far more than any other party. Now how long is it since blues last won an overall majority ? Will they ever win one again?

  6. The estimable Number Cruncher (sometimes of this parish) has updated the demographically weighted aggregate of Scottish crossbreaks here


  7. Floating Voter,

    To be clear, I meant that he is often perceived that way, not that that’s how I perceive him.


    I would not leave the party but I would be very unhappy about it. I joined because of Ed.


    “(anyway, is benefit tourism a real problem?).”

    Not in any economic sense. Migrants are on average younger and healthier than the indigenous population and more likely to be in work. It’s largely a myth promoted by our xenophobic Press.

    ‘Is there benefit tourism in the UK?’

  9. @Valerie
    “If Ed, who I voted for, is replaced then I’ll cancel my membership.I can’t be the only Labour Party Member who feels this way.BTW, I joined in May 2010 to register my opposition to the Coalition.”

    Like you I also joined in 2010 to register my opposition to the Coalition and will cancel my LP membership if they replace EdM.

  10. @David Welch

    From England it looks like while the SNP may have lost a battle it’s winning the war.

  11. @Valerie

    I’d stop short of cancelling my membership (although I did briefly do that in the extreme circumstances of Iraq 10 years ago!) but it would be damaging to have a leadership struggle so close to a GE.

    My main complaint about Ed is he seems to lack the courage of his convictions – he shows occasional promise like when he took on RM but then stops short of going all the way – like he can’t quite bring himself to pledge renationalisation of the railways.

    Still, he ultimately redeems himself by the fact the rightwing media hate him so much – he must have something going for him after all!

  12. As it’s Sunday afternoon and everybody seems somewhat glum, here’s what Old Moore is predicting for next May :
    Labour as the largest single party and a prolonged period of uncertainty for British politics !
    He also says that prominent figures from the Coalition parties will be arrested just before polling day !

  13. Valerie
    “If Ed, who I voted for,”

    Several people have quoted you, so (knowing that you are keen on this), may I point out it should be:
    “If Ed, whom I voted for,”
    or indeed “If Ed, for whom I voted”.

    What is this all about Ed? What did he do? I thought he was just maintaining low-profile, as usual. If I were he, I would go on maintaining it, at least until after Rochester.

  14. “If I were he”

    There is a debate about that use, by the way.

  15. I see Clegg is about as popular as Typhoid! Ratings even worse than Ed!

  16. Ewen Lightfoot

    “here’s what Old Moore is predicting for next May : Labour as the largest single party and a prolonged period of uncertainty for British politics !”

    Anthony’s Advanced Calculator suggests that to be not improbable! (using today’s YG for GB and Number Cruncher’s figures for Scotland) gives –

    Lab 297 : Con 271 : LD 17 : Others 65 – Lab short of a majority by 29 seats.

    “(anyway, is benefit tourism a real problem?).”

    Not in turns of arriving and claiming purely benefits for a short time.

    The issue is that many arrivals are having far more children (many demographics have birthrate averages of 3-4) and working in low cost jobs. This means many are not contributing when claiming more in housing benefit and tax credits exceeds income tax and NI paid. Given how much tax credits for families pays, and ever rising housing benefit due to 100 year low housebuilding, then claims in many instances far exceed contributions so are not adding to the economy.

    The problems with studies on costs have only looked at JSA and not housing benefit and tax credits – far bigger % of the welfare budget.

  18. This is rare! Northern Ireland Westminster Opinion Poll (LucidTalk):

    DUP – 25.9%
    SF – 24.0%
    SDLP – 15.1%
    UUP – 11.8%
    ALL – 6.2%
    TUV – 5.2%

  19. Mr N

    Well spotted! You’ve just put the UK back into GBPR. :-)

  20. Valerie
    If Ed, who I voted for, is replaced then I’ll cancel my membership.
    I can’t be the only Labour Party Member who feels this way.
    BTW, I joined in May 2010 to register my opposition to the Coalition.



    Well said.

  21. Old Nat
    Old Moore and Anthony , never see them in the same room together do you ?

  22. EWEN

    @” everybody seems somewhat glum,”


    I’m not glum :-)

  23. Howard
    Many thanks for correcting me. I am a bit slack on the who/whom front.

    If I were to object, I would be guilty of hypocrisy.
    (It is the subjunctive so I were not I was ?)

  24. Ewen Lightfoot

    LOL Another of the world’s great mysteries solved!

  25. Police Scotland has placed the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrat Party on a “bad debtor” list.

    This “means no police service will be made available to either organisation unless costs are paid up front.”


  26. I decided not to renew my membership in early 1997 after 27 years because I came to see Blair for the Tory he was – and I have never regretted my decision. In my view , he was well to the right of all 2oth century Tory leaders prior to Thatcher – including Chamberlain and Baldwin. As a result I have not voted Labour at a General Election since 1992. As it happens I will not be doing so in 2015 – thought that is entirely due to the AWS in my constituency – Norwich North.
    I have never been Anti- Ed at all and would have voted for him had I still been a party member – it’s simply that he is not getting through to people at all and I am no longer confident that he will. However, I would be very happy to be proved wrong.

    So Johann Lamont showed herself to be unsuitable for carrying on as leader, with her statement that the main focus for the Scottish party should be on Edinburgh.
    That would have been true if we had voted YES. We didn`t.

    You would have a point there if it were not for the vow. How important do you think that will be for Westminster Labour, whether or not they have a share in government?

    And how do you think Scottish Labour will fare in the 2016 GE if they and their leader have made no progress on it?


  28. @valerie – well said. Labour is doing worse than hoped, but I’d take this over the Con cold sweats over the UKIP insurgency anytime. Not to mention Con existential doubts after not actually winning an election in a generation, which to be frank is one of the barely spoken issues of this parliament.

    @graham. You can prove yourself wrong by voting Lab in May! If you think Ed would an OK PM, play your part :)

    I see Clegg is about as popular as Typhoid! Ratings even worse than Ed!

    Except, perhaps oddly, in Scotland, where Ed gets the wooden spoon, as mentioned above.

    Something for the electoral college to ponder when deciding their next “Scottish” leader.

  30. Heard John McTernan this morning on Radio Scotland talking about the future of the Scottish Labour Party along with Malcolm Chisholm, Andy Kerr and a Unite guy who is on the Scottish NEC.

    He managed the impressive task of making an earlier contribution from Lord Foulkes sound balanced and measured! If his attitude reflected the level of support and engagement the national party has had in Scotland in recent years you can see why Johann Lamont had had enough.

    Everyone was being careful not to name names (except good old Malcolm who is firmly in the persuade Kezia Dugdale to run camp).

    The impression I got though was of the young talent at Holyrood being reluctant to run when it looks like a hiding to nothing at present and some strong hints that Jim Murphy might fancy it, especially given his continuing strained relationship with Ed Miliband.

  31. @Valerie

    Thing is Valerie, we’re thinking about Blair in more strategic terms, particularly the longer term impact on the party. Iraq didn’t help, but neither did failure to challenge the press hegemony, or to use the good economic conditions to rebalance the economy, and give more potential voters a stake, and to build safeguards against banks screwing up, or to try and manage impacts of immigration, housing etc. etc… things which a failure to address are plaguing his party now.

  32. I knew there were some Ed supporters out there. I
    Ed for PM! :-)

  33. Doesn’t matter who replaces who in whichever party, I’m unlikely to vote.

    Seems to me that the problem for Labour is not Ed M per se – after all he had Labour hitting 45% at one point – but that Tories and press found a very effective attack gambit, albeit rather unsophisticated and low-brow: go on and on about immigration and welfare.

    Didn’t do much for Tory VI but immigration shot up in salience and Labour bled votes. Forced to toughen their rhetoric in response, Labour halted the slide, stabilising around 38%, but of course unimpressed by Labour’s new rhetoric, the more idealistic started drifting away at the other end, accentuated by the referendum.

  34. @Tark
    No – I will not support a candidate selected from an All Women Shortlist. I have firmly held this view since the mid-1990s and have persuaded several others to do likewise locally.

  35. @ Carfrew

    Thing is Valerie, we’re thinking about Blair in more strategic terms.

    Blimey, that could have come from Pressman’s pen.

  36. “If Ed, whom I voted for,” or indeed “If Ed, for whom I voted”.


    Reminds one of the “Not The Nine O’Clock News” sketch…


  37. “Blimey, that could have come from Pressman’s pen.”


    You can go too far you know…

  38. As with P’s posts, I wondered who ‘we’ meant. Just sayin’.

  39. I thank Old Nat @ 1.57 pm for the link to the latest YouGov poll opinions on Europe and our leaders` abilities.

    The 34% of Labour supporters who both do not trust Ed Milliband to get the best deal on Europe, and think none of our 4 UK leaders could do a good job, is worrying.

    I bet SNP supporters would have more trust in Alex Salmond, should he be co-opted into negotiations by our next PM.

    Ed needs to be more vocal, and spell out what should and shouldn`t be renogiated.

  40. Barbazenzero @ 2.52 pm

    I think the vow is very important, and hope Gordon Brown continues to play a major part in delivering a reasonable balanced settlement.

    If there is stalemate still at the time of the 2015 GE, Gordon should make clear what are the sticking points and what are Scottish Labour`s reasonable demands.

    We do have a big problem of understanding between the regions and countries within the UK, and just as Johann Lamont and many in the SNP complain about London (me too), so also JL and the SNP simply do not understand how Scotland and its inhabitants are viewed from London.

    Devo-max appreciably greater than present devolution cannot be obtained without setting the UK on the route to break-up. We need better devolution, but not Holyrood running income tax and a separate economy, otherwise voters in England especially the South will insist on EVfEL.

    And instead of getting sensible decentralisation in England, there will be even more power for London and the South East.

  41. Just to balance this afternoons contributions I declare that I will vote in 2015 to keep Ed out! I’m sure he is a very pleasent and well meaning man (though unkind treatment of David M was not good) but his policies worry me. In my part of the UK I think Lab will not do well in May.


  42. Some fairly predictable turbulence in the opinion polls caused by UKIP disturbing the political air but nothing very dramatic going on if you look at them calmly and soberly and resist the temptation to get all hot and bothered by them. The key development, certainly in my eyes, would be some evidence that the disappearing gap is being caused by Labour voters going straight over to the Tories. It isn’t happening. The Tory “surge” in the Opinium poll, from 28 to the giddy heights of 33, looks like a statistical reversion to the mean and they remain stuck in the low 30s in all the polls, their Conference “bounce” now well and truly unwound. The Labour lead appears to have vanished purely on the basis of their VI dropping sharply, but this looks more like a drift to the smaller parties and DK. The aversion to Tory voting continues and remains engrained.

    Beyond some more pantomime grandstanding on Europe, the next big domestic political event is the Rochester and Strood by-election. It does amuse to see some posters getting their rebuttals and excuses in very early. It’s a “write off” apparently, although try telling that to the national and local Tory activists throwing the kitchen sink at it, or the story is really all about “Labour’s disappointing showing” in a seat they “should be challenging in” if they were “seriously looking like an opposition on course for victory”. It’s almost as if Grant Schapps had started posting. Come to think of it, maybe he has!

    This is all very puzzling. Whether Rochester reverts to the Tories in May 2015, or Labour win it, is irrelevant in the here and now. The significance of this by-election is all about how it can influence the narrative over the crucial last six months of this Parliament. A UKIP win in Rochester is another dagger plunged into the heart of Cameron’s leadership and could start all sorts of panic stricken hares running in a variety of highly amusing directions. In other words it has the capacity to fatally derail the Tories at a time when they want and need to focus on the General Election. Further defections, UKIP bandwagon acceleration, nervous MPs, demoralised party members. All gifts to Labour.

    Accordingly, in those circumstances, why on earth would Labour want to be doing anything to aid and abet a Tory win in Rochester? They’d be mad to do so, wouldn’t they?If I was them, I’d be campaigning in a rather symbolic and “going through the motions” way, making damned sure that quite a few Labour voters were going to vote UKIP. Couldn’t say that publicly, obviously but a strongish Labour showing would let the Tories in. In purely party political terms, Miliband is dead right to let this one go

    Our enemy’s enemy can sometimes be our friend, you know!


  43. David Welch – “The 34% of Labour supporters who both do not trust Ed Milliband to get the best deal on Europe, and think none of our 4 UK leaders could do a good job, is worrying.”

    That;s not surprising. I myself think none of the 4 UK leaders would do a good job on Europe, and I’m sure this feeling is shared across the political spectrum.

    There’s been a lot of focus on UKIP criticisms of Europe, but precious little attention to liberal criticisms of Europe, but they do exist.

    I think that despite the fine-sounding founding principles, Europe is moving in a very illiberal direction.

    For example – the coup that forced Papandreou (sp?) out of office. His crime was he wanted a referendum to get permission for a course of action because the problem hadn’t been apparent at the general election, so voters hadn’t had their say.

    To illustrate just how out there his treatment was – when the devolved Scottish govt asked for a referendum, we didn’t say No, and BTW we’re going to illegally remove you from office for having Dangerous Thoughts. We said yes to the referendum, even though the break-up of the UK would have been potentially as momentous as the break-up of the Euro. But they went the opposite way in Europe, even though their actions were illegal under the Treaties.

    Another example: under Maastricht, you can impose capital controls for just 6 months max. But 18 months on, capital controls are still imposed on Cyprus, even though it’s illegal.

    Again to give a Scottish analogy it would be the equivalent of the Rest of the UK saying to the Scots in 2008, “It was your banks (Halifax and RBS) that caused this mess, therefore we’re going to impose collective punishment on all of you and you won’t be allowed to trade with the rest of the UK or move your money around, and if this hurts your businesses, serves you right”. How is that behaviour acceptable?

    Or take the business of Ireland having to send it’s budget to Berlin for approval before they announce it, with presumably Berlin being able to change elements without this being disclosed to Irish citizens. Again this is illegal under the treaties. They justified this on grounds that they share a common currency – but the Scottish parliament doesn’t send the details of it’s budget to No 11 for permission, they announce it to the Scottish parliament and teh treasury finds out at the same time as everyone else – and this despite us all sharing a currency on this island.

    All the stuff above is illegal under the treaties. What’s the point of fine sounding law if it is ignored?

    The scariest part of creeping authoritarianism is that once people get to do illegal stuff in one sphere they seek to extend their reach in another.

    I think our govt should have registered an official protest when Papandreau was toppled. We shouldn’t have said “Oh, a coup, how lovely” and looked the other way. We should have lodged a protest at the capital controls on Cyprus. Because we really need to know if the treaties stand up or whether they can be ignored on a whim, and you can only do that by testing it via lawsuits. This is our business, it’s everyone’s business. But we sat on our hands even though we have influence – while entering escapades in the ME where we have no influence at all.

    If an EU referendum is to be won, it will need people like me to vote for it – people who really like the idea of the EU, but who don’t like the illegal turn it’s taken lately and who want meaningful reform, not a few opt-outs that allow the creeping authoritarianism in the rest to continue unchecked. Unfortunately no-one is interested. So things over on the continent will get worse and worse – and the spillover into our sphere will become unbearable and we’ll end up leaving by default.

  44. MRNAMELESS 2:30 pm
    Northern Ireland Westminster Opinion Poll (LucidTalk):
    DUP – 25.9%/SF – 24.0%/SDLP – 15.1%/UUP – 11.8%/ALL – 6.2%/TUV – 5.2%

    This looks like a poll that has been on wikipedia “Opinion polling for the next United Kingdom general election” since 2nd Oct. Or is it really a new one, that happens to have numbers that round the same?

  45. Reviewing the last 10 YG polls has pulled up a few things.

    Party – Mean – StDev – Mean/StDev

    Con – 31.6 – 1.174 – 26.9
    Lab – 33.4 – 0.843 – 39.6
    LD – 7.2 – 0.729 – 9.9
    UKIP – 16.8 – 1.648 – 10.2

    I looked at Mean/StDev as a guide to the stability of VI in that period. This indicates that Labour VI is low, it does look stable. I guess this can viewed that the reasons for Labour’s decline look to more fixed. This might suggest Labour VI will be hard to increase or decrease.

    The Conservatives are showing more fluctuation that Labour, but still lagging. They have certain struggled to get foothold, but are there signs of an slow, if unsteady, improvement.

    UKIP have done well, but I wonder if their peak VI is close? They still show some fluctuation, so I wonder if they have a core vote of below 16%, and are topped by a number of voters who are flipping around, still unsure of which way to swing?

    The Lib Dems? They seem so lost that I consider any movement from them to be the mere twitches of an electoral corpse.

    “As it’s Sunday afternoon and everybody seems somewhat glum, here’s what Old Moore is predicting for next May :”

    Like Colin, I’m not feeling glum at all, last three polls seem very encouraging.

  47. @Candy

    I don’t post here as much as I’d like due to lack of time, and I suspect we will not agree anyway, so I will restrict my response to saying that I cannot agree with any point you made, and refer the others to our previous correspondence.


    “…This is rare! Northern Ireland Westminster Opinion Poll (LucidTalk)…”

    2-3 weeks ago we were supplied with a UK postcode area vector map by an information lab that shall remain nameless. It promptly arrived sans NI. I was somewhat terse down the phone to the Big Bang Theory cast member who provided it, and eventually one arrived. It hasn’t got Rathlin Island on it but dafuq, it has Lough Neagh and Lough Erne on it so I’ll take it as a win.

    In the meantime I explained, slowly and carefully to the poor wight at the end of the phone that when I ask for a map of the UK, I want all of it, not just south of Cumbria and west of Scilly. I really like my job, but lord, people exhibit hemispatial neglect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemispatial_neglect ) when it comes to NI and sometimes it’s difficult…

  48. @Valerie

    By “we”, I was referring to mr nameless and myself…

  49. We could do with some polling certainty on Scots Westminster VI. The indications are at present that we have two lots of UNS (one for each nation unless someone thinks Wales is different again).

    If what has been proposed by colleagues for Scotland is a trustworthy interpretation, it would be fruitless to go on polling on a GB basis between now and May 7th.

    I know Old Nat has made this point previously, but I just thought he would be buoyed by my support for his view.

    Like TOH I am reasonably happy this afternoon, despite having been remorselessly attacked by pyracantha that did not want to be pruned. It has nothing to do with polling though and i don’t see any big GB change about which to get excited.

  50. TOH

    Makes a change for us two to be the chirpy ones :-)

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