We’ve had a busy day of voting intention polls today, four polls from Populus, Ashcroft, YouGov and ComRes, and three of them showing the same lead. Topline figures are:

Ashcroft: CON 31%, LAB 31%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 18%, GRN 5% (tabs)
Populus: CON 34%, LAB 36%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 3% (tabs)
YouGov/Sun: CON 32%, LAB 32%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 18%
ComRes/Indy: CON 30%(+1), LAB 30%(-5), LDEM 9%(-1), UKIP 19%(+4), GRN 4%(nc) (tabs)

Leaving aside the tendency of Populus to show higher support for the Conservatives and Labour and lower support for others, the picture is pretty consistent. Three polls (as well as YouGov and Opinion polls at the weekend) are showing the same story – Labour and Conservative equal, and UKIP still polling very strongly. Whether there is any link there is a different matter – perhaps UKIP’s ongoing rise has attracted people who were previously saying they’d vote Labour (though not necessarily people who voted Labour in 2010) who see UKIP as a better anti-government vote, but there is always churn beneath the topline figures and things may very well be more complicated than a straight transfer between the two.


576 Responses to “Latest Ashcroft, Populus, ComRes and YouGov polls”

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  1. Aye I have a post in limbo too but it’s the url which has put it in auto mod.

    Anyway this was the post without the link.

    Off topic but quite interesting.
    New Zealand will hold a binding referendum in 2016 on changing the national flag, with the prime minister, John Key, hoping to drop the British union jack design in favour of a silver fern.
    Key announced a schedule on Wednesday for New Zealanders to vote on the contentious issue, saying it was time for the former British colony to adopt a flag that was more recognisably Kiwi after more than a century with the existing banner.
    “Our flag is the most important symbol of our national identity and I believe that this is the right time for New Zealanders to consider changing the design to one that better reflects our status as a modern, independent nation,” he said.
    Key has previously said he would like to see a new flag featuring a silver fern on a black background, similar to the banner already used by many New Zealand teams such as the All Blacks national rugby union side.
    “A TVNZ survey in February this year found 72% were against change, with 28% in favour. Another poll by the New Zealand Herald in March put the figures at 52.6% against and 40.6% in favour, with the rest undecided”

  2. DAVID WELCH

    When I reach the “you people” stage in a dialogue-I stop.

  3. HAL

    “I think the difference is that English people don’t really think of England as a country, more as some kind of historical remnant. England is the country of tudor houses, Henry VIII and Shakespeare, not something relevant to the modern world outside of sport.”

    In my opinion most English people generally thought of themselves as citizens of the UK or Britain until about 25 years ago when the yapping of the Welsh and then the grumbling of the Scots that they were different and superior to the English finally made the English people fight back and stress their Englishness. (except for some in my County who have long thought of themselves as not English and believe England stops at the Tamar).

  4. HAL

    @”I think the difference is that English people don’t really think of England as a country,”

    If you put that in the past tense, it has some truth in it :-)

  5. Neil Findlay belongs to left societies but we don’t know for sure what he’d do with the leadership; Sarah Boyack is a left of centre social democrat & has a solid record – don’t discount her ability to win votes from unions & affiliated members. If forced to make a left/right judgement, I’d say Kez is a little to the right of Sarah. We all know where Jim Murphy is on the scale.

    But, as mentioned upstream, Kezia has ruled herself out & Jim has yet to confirm he’ll be standing.

  6. DAVID WELCH

    @”I have been suffering the same with a selection of posts and cannot understand the reasons.”

    They are simple-you breached the Comments Policy , in the opinion of the site owner.

    End of , as they say :-)

  7. ACADEMIC

    I have no idea whre you were living, but where i was it was “sold” to us as a free trade area and nothing else.I have never felt in the least bit European and did not and would not vote for a European superstate.

  8. DAVID WELCH

    Re your post above about the Poll Tax. You forgot one thing, The Scotland Act was not passed until 1998 so it was not undemocratic to try out the Poll Tax in Scotland. Your whole argument collapses since it was the act of a democratically elected government. As it happens it was rather silly of her to test it in Scotland first, I would have preferred her to have tested it in the home counties first where there was a good deal of support.

  9. mike smithson on labour’s woes

    There’s little doubt that what started the erosion of Labour’s position was Ed Miliband’s lacklustre conference speech in September. The leader’s performance at his final conference before a general election is crucial and Miliband blew it.

    absolutely right. That was a real shocker…”Oh sorry guys i forgot about mentioning the deficit or immigration in my last conference speech before the election but please help make me Prime Minister next May” wasn’t cutting any ice.

    Mili is a big big problem for the reds.

  10. I see that some Labour London Councils have “voted” against the parties Mansion Tax proposal.

    I,m not sure what effect the alleged “vote” has, but this tax has two key elements for Labour:-

    1-It is mostly raised in London
    2-It is the central plank in their GE NHS offering, and the demands in the Stevens Report

    If Labour London Councils start challenging this policy, it pretty much collapses as a GE initiative, and with it a strong offering in a policy area where Labour have a polling lead.

  11. “Political disaffection is rising, and driving UKIP support” says an article on the YG site using something called “opinion polls” to support the argument.

    That’s an innovation we could try on these threads! :-)

    http://yougov.co.uk/news/2014/10/29/political-disaffection-not-new-it-rising-and-drivi/

    “Arguably political disaffection unifies UKIP supporters at least as much as either opposition to the EU or concern about immigration. If we model the likelihood of voting UKIP as a function of those answering that politicians are out for ‘themselves’, as much variance is explained as typical social predictors of UKIP support (those predictors in our dataset being respondents who are male, over-54 and working class). UKIP voters are not necessarily the ‘left behind’, but are people holding unambiguously and intensely negative views of politics and politicians. UKIP supporters are also much more firm-minded on this issue, with just 4% indicating ‘don’t know’ (a much lower figure than the average of 12% for the other parties). Not only are UKIP supporters more negative, they are surer of their views. They “know” that establishment politicians are serving themselves or their parties not the country.”

  12. RICHARD et al

    By the time of the second vote on Europe I had seen the light and voted for us to get out, sadly my view was in the minority.

  13. The Poll Tax was introduced early in Scotland because of unhappiness at a recent rates revaluation there. However the real issue was that it was a poorly thought through policy introduced despite numerous warnings of likely problems. It should have been scrapped long before implementation anywhere.

  14. “There’s little doubt that what started the erosion of Labour’s position was Ed Miliband’s lacklustre conference speech in September.”

    Because everyone watches conference speeches.

  15. @THE OTHER HOWARD

    “By the time of the second vote on Europe…”

    What second vote?

  16. @ THE OTHER HOWARD ‘Re your post above about the Poll Tax. You forgot one thing, The Scotland Act was not passed until 1998 so it was not undemocratic to try out the Poll Tax in Scotland. Your whole argument collapses since it was the act of a democratically elected government. As it happens it was rather silly of her to test it in Scotland first, I would have preferred her to have tested it in the home counties first where there was a good deal of support.’

    Though not much outside your house, even in traditionally Tory areas. I speak as one who was caught up in the Walton on Thames poll tax riot. Yes, really.

  17. MPs often vote on issues that don’t affect their constituents.
    Should only rural MPs be allowed to have a say on whether fox hunting should be banned?
    Or should MPs who have their children privately educated be able to vote on issues relating to state education? And childless MPs voting on child benefit?

  18. tony c

    Pretty much agree with you being “English”. A feeling of identity that has grown over the past couple of decades.

  19. “Perceptions are not reality: Things the world gets wrong

    In Great Britain we get a lot of things very wrong… But the rest of the world is just as wrong” say Ipsos-MORI after international polling.

    Out of 14 countries studied, GB is only 10th on the “Index of Ignorance”. Bottom (therefore, best informed) is Sweden. Top is Italy, with the USA, once again failing to reach the top of an international ranking – the USA is only the 2nd worst informed country.

    More seriously, the point is made that “These misperceptions present clear issues for informed public debate and policy-making. For example, public priorities may well be different if we had a clearer view of the scale of immigration and the real incidence of teenage mothers. People also under-estimate “positive” behaviours like voting, which may be important if people think it is more “normal” not to vote than it actually is.”

  20. @Robin Hood

    “People often come up to me in the street and say “Hi Robin Hood, when is ‘swing back’ going to happen?”

    Is that on the rare occasion you’ve managed to elude those people in white coats chasing you down the road?

    :-)

  21. TONY CORNWALL

    “In my opinion most English people generally thought of themselves as citizens of the UK or Britain until about 25 years ago when the yapping of the Welsh and then the grumbling of the Scots that they were different and superior to the English finally made the English people fight back and stress their Englishness. (except for some in my County who have long thought of themselves as not English and believe England stops at the Tamar).”
    _______

    Thankfully I’m not one of the English people who think of the Welsh as yapping and the Scots gumbling.

    What itches my nose are those Scots who shuffle south and try and become more English than the English. It’s a bit like a Morris dancer flapping about with his handkerchiefs in a kilt to a speedy up version of Scots Wha Hae on top of Belsize Park.

    We can all do without that sort!!

  22. @Valerie
    “MPs often vote on issues that don’t affect their constituents.”
    If MPs voted in line with what they (through good contact) believed to be the wishes of their constituents, rather than in line with a party policy, then on such issues they might well abstain.
    “Should only rural MPs be allowed to have a say on whether fox hunting should be banned?” There are two groups of reasons to ban fox-hunting: 1. that it is ‘the unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable’ and the unspeakable should have their evil ways curtailed; 2. that though it is a long-standing country practice, there are better (more efficient, more humane?) ways of controlling the fox population.
    Rural MPs (or their constituents) probably know more about the latter debate, and so should be able to sway the debate. Free vote, with again, those not affected should be abstaining. The first debate is akin to abolishing capital punishment. Perhaps the best way to deal with it is to first debate “This question should not be put”
    “Or should MPs who have their children privately educated be able to vote on issues relating to state education?” Yes, of course. They might be voting to improve the standard of state education, in the light of their experience.
    “And childless MPs voting on child benefit?” Would you stop an MP with six children voting? Will all childless MPs remain childless? On such issues, all MPs are bound to have (most) of their constituents affected, either in receiving or contributing to child benefit. They will expect their MP to be involved, whether or not s/he is personally affected. The MP can always declare an interest if taking part in the debate.
    Suppose the Welsh Assembly sought to re-introduce public flogging in Wales? Should Westminster debate and vote on it? [32/50 US States have the death penalty]

  23. VALERIE

    “MPs often vote on issues that don’t affect their constituents.
    Should only rural MPs be allowed to have a say on whether fox hunting should be banned?
    Or should MPs who have their children privately educated be able to vote on issues relating to state education? And childless MPs voting on child benefit?”
    ___________

    How long can the list go? To cut short the list Scottish MP’S can simply not vote on issues in England which the equivalent issue is devolved to Scotland…ie NHS, Policing and Education just to name a few.

  24. Dave

    Any legislation by the Assembly for Wales must be compatible with the European Convention on Human. Rights. The introduction of public flogging would be ultra-vires.

  25. @ Crossbat

    Do those white coats have “swingback denier” in modern style big letters across the front or a more subtle embroidered sbd where the crocodile used to go in the 1980’s?

  26. A question for AW!

    When will the results of the Scottish YouGov poll I completed on Monday be published?

  27. Shariet2

    Depends on if whoever commissioned the poll decides to publish the results. Only then would we see the tables.

    If it’s purely internal polling for a political party, for example, and the results don’t suit them, it may never see the light of day.

  28. RogerH

    I recently read the excellent The Blunders of our Governments by King and Crewe. On the subject of the Poll Tax, it was Scottish Tory MPs who encouraged Thatcher to implement the Poll Tax in Scotland first, as they believed it would be a vote winner.

    Whoops.

    This shows the danger of out of touch politicians misjudging what is popular. A parallel might be drawn about “populist” better-off out Euroscepticism that does not attract majority public support if the polling is to be believed.

  29. A further thought on populism.

    The usual way that politicians tried to be populist over the last 20 years is by having “have your cake and eat it” policies, such as having a cherry-picked membership of the EU or European public services with American levels of taxes. I could list other examples.

    I would argue that the public are no longer fooled by such nonsense which may explain why support is fracturing towards parties with more clear-cut and less triangulated positions. I am thinking of the Greens as well as UKIP.

  30. @ Valerie,

    Or should MPs who have their children privately educated be able to vote on issues relating to state education?

    I’m suddenly coming around to this VIMBYism principle.

    Presumably the only MPs allowed to vote on in-work benefits are those who are themselves in receipt of them- so if IDS wants to do anything he’ll have to take a massive pay cut!

  31. @ Lurker,

    I don’t know, Ukip policies may not be triangulated but there a strong element of having their cake and eating it. They want to have free movement from Britain to the rest of Europe but no free movement from the rest of Europe to Britain; cake doesn’t get much more had and eaten then that.

  32. @Spearmint

    Any chance IDS may be taking a massive pay cut anyway in about six months’ time?

  33. @Lurker re: populism

    One problem for those interested in what is or is not popular is that this may vary between different parts of the UK. Opinion Polls could perhaps be a good guide to this: just contrast the ‘popularity’ of one party with another in two different areas of the UK.
    So in many areas where there are Tory MPs Europe is very unpopular. And so these MPs assume (because this is their experience) that this must be the case elsewhere, whereas in fact, in other areas people have quite different views on the matter.

    Just a thought……

  34. @ Spearmint

    That is a fair point, although their position is more coherent than Cameron’s.

    The position you describe is perhaps more hypocritical rather than Schroedinger’s cat in nature. Or maybe selfish.

  35. @ John B

    The example I mention of the Poll Tax was a case of MPs misjudging the opinions of their own constituents.

    I would suspect that the median public view of Brussels is similar to that of the UK government. That it is a bit rubbish but is necessary. In other words, improve its performance rather than opt out of it.

    It seems that a lot of the Kipperish right don’t like UK government any more than that of Brussels. That sort of right wing Libertarianism is a minority interest in the UK.

  36. @Lurker

    There is a further problem, of course, which may be linked with the Poll Tax/Community Charge, and this is the possibility that in those constituencies which voted Tory in Scotland the idea was not as unpopular as it was in non-Tory voting constituencies – until it was put into practice and found to be unpopular virtually everywhere!

  37. @Lurker – yours of 5,32

    Aye – the ‘any government is bad government’ approach.

    But I don’t think that applies to UKIP – I’m sure they would be as happy to be the government as anyone else.

    The regional popularity of UKIP seems to me to be based on two things:
    1. the proximity of France
    2. the number of immigrants from Europe in their areas

    Those of us who live far away from such things hear about them and some of us get worried about them, but on the whole the debate has little effect on us.

    But I may be wrong…….
    (Probably am….)

  38. @ John B

    The suggestion from King and Crewe is that the Poll Tax was popular within the grassroots Tory party at the time and that a group-think developed. This drowned out many of the dissenters (mainly Lawson and Heseltine). Also, hardly anyone (in the Tory Party or Senior Civil Service) realised that it might be difficult to collect in areas with large transient populations as they were all well-off.

    The disconnect was not geographical but based on class and ideology.

    Other factors are mentioned in the book, but I highlight he relevant one to my point.

    I don’t mean to single out the Tories in this as I know this happens in all parties. I mention the poll tax due to the catastrophic consequences it caused them (not just in Scotland but the destruction of Thatcher’s premiership and all the ramifications of that).

  39. @John

    As I understand it, Clacton has low immigration numbers (but high “white-flight” populations). This would suggest a degree of racism rather than specific concerns about being close to Europe and foreigners.

    Bigoted attitudes tend to exist in populations close to, but not within, areas with high minority populations. This is my experience from growth up in Yorkshire (which is quite a way away from France).

    I know it is not PC to call people racists now, but it is pretty obvious that racists make up part of the UKIP vote. For what it is worth, I think people are right to be concerned about low wages for unskilled work, but blaming foreigners is the wrong diagnosis.

  40. Just to say something good about the poll tax (not easy to do I know). At the time I was teaching Richard ll – not the easiest to sell really and it was just brilliant! Leader challenged over collection of taxes (Thatcher) rebellion brewing – who will wield the knife (Bolingbroke/Heseltine) main cause of unrest (the poll tax)! It was a gift that gave on giving.

  41. @Oldnat

    On that Mori perceptions poll, the Daily Mail have given it quite a bit of prominence on their website strangely enough.

    The top rated comment at the moment, with 1878 votes is this

    “Irony of the DM publishing this, its the media that warp peoples perceptions on these matters, especially yours Daily Mail, especially yours”

    Quite funny…

  42. Richard

    I like that! :-)

  43. Any experts on here want a job with YouGov?

    https://www.linkedin.com/jobs2/view/11944931

    “As YouGov’s Global Panel Campaign Director, your objective is simple: to persuade people from Shanghai to Seattle that they can change their world for the better, by participating with YouGov. You will design and execute compelling campaigns with that simple objective in mind, using the content, channels and partners you consider most appropriate. “

  44. @ Lurker
    “Bigoted attitudes tend to exist in populations close to, but not within, areas with high minority populations. This is my experience from growth up in Yorkshire (which is quite a way away from France).”

    This is often said & may well be true.

    The following link, based on the 2011 census, provides the most remarkably comprehensive data on the ethnic composition of English Parl constituencies & a “separation score” for each of them: the score = the degree to which white & non-white populations are residentially segregated or integrated.

    http://olihawkins.com/2014/03/1

    Clacton,eg., has 2.2% non-white pop.
    The most integrated region is London; the least so by far = a cluster of constituencies on the Lancashire-Yorkshire border from Blackburn/Burnley to Dewsbury/Batley.

  45. @ Lurker

    “As I understand it, Clacton has low immigration numbers (but high “white-flight” populations). This would suggest a degree of racism rather than specific concerns about being close to Europe and foreigners.”

    Indeed, Lurker. You are absolutely correct. At the 2011 census the population of Tendring (of which Clacton is by far the most populace part) was shown to be 97.5% white.

    What we met on the doorstep when out canvassing was based on some fantasy world of Muslims taking over. When we repeated our statement about the census figures we were told to go and have a look round the centre of Clacton and see all the foreign faces (whatever that was supposed to mean) or, alternatively, “Go back to London; you don’t understand our problems.” One person said he was voting UKIP because he didn’t want a mosque built at the bottom of his street.

    The fact I have lived in Clacton for 35 years and have been intimately involved with the community for all that time (including being a local councillor and having ten books on Clacton published in that time) meant nothing, a, if I couldn’t see that Clacton had been “flooded” with immigrants, I had to be a Londoner.

    Interestingly as well, not one person that I spoke to on the doorstep mentioned Europe as a reason for voting UKIP. It was either immigration or just a protest vote.

  46. Norbold

    That is so reminiscent of the Southampton Uni/YG research that UKIP voters are much more likely to be sure that they “know” the truth.

  47. NORBOLD

    I can back you up on your experience from a totally different part of the country (S.Wales) – the most anti-immigrant sentiment is from those parts of the S.Wales valleys that have never even seen an “immigrant” (however exactly they are defined) and I speak as someone who is by no means a dripping wet Guardian reading liberal on this issue – more a robust “Old Labour” blue collar worker.

  48. Maura

    ” At the time I was teaching Richard ll ”

    Name dropper. Anyway, what was he like as a pupil?

  49. @Oldnat. I know. I was being extreme to make the point that there is a limit to local accountability. However, if we move to the constituent parts of the UK being federated independent states, there are independent states in other parts of the world where flogging is used, ECHR notwithstanding. A truly independent state might want to make its own decisions. Corporal punishment was still legal in Britain until 1948.

    Similar considerations apply to Nicola Sturgeon’s ‘veto’ proposals re an EU referendum. Suppose (however unlikely you might think it) England, Scotland and Wales did vote to leave with large majorities on a high turnout (say 30 million people in favour of leaving), but 51% of Northern Ireland’s electorate on a 50% turnout (fewer than 350,000 people?) voted to stay.

    Scotland has answered NO to the question “Should Scotland be an independent nation?” by a good majority. The devolved government of Scotland is in my view duty bound to make that work, which in my view means accepting UK majority decisions. But then I am a UK “hardliner” who thinks that devolved assemblies are undesirable results of past bad government of the country as a whole taking insufficient account of regional views and needs.

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