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”

1 2 3 4 5 12
  1. Phil Haines

    I haven’t yet seen anyone cite any evidence to argue directly that the Conservatives will be able to exert a squeeze in marginal seats, but that Labour won’t, but many are making that assumption implicitly.

    There’s a hint of it in the latest batch of Ashcroft marginals:

    http://lordashcroftpolls.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/CON-LAB-seats-October-2014-Full-tables.pdf#page=23

    He regularly asks […]whether any of the main political parties have contacted you over the last few weeks – whether by delivering leaflets or newspapers, sending personally addressed letters, emailing, telephoning you at home or knocking on your door. The contact rate for the Conservatives is 21%, for Labour only 16%. It’s not a great difference, but these are the sort of seats that Labour has to win to get any sort of majority and you would expect them to be putting much greater effort into them this close to polling day.

    I wonder if the lack of Ashcroft money (and direction) for the marginals is lulling Labour into a false sense of security, forgetting that others can supply the money and the drop in Conservative activist numbers can to some extent be mitigated by paid help.

    It’s more a sign that Labour needs to up its game than the Conservatives squeezing, but it’s another indication of the complacency that might let the Conservatives back in.

  2. In the marginal where I live the Labour candidate is out with a team nearly every day. However the Tory MP is far better funded, so far more leaflets. Complacency not an issue here at least.

  3. As a regular reader of this site may I thank (almost!) all contributors for keeping the discussions sane, civilised and informative.
    These atributes are sadly rather rare.

  4. Apologies for mis-spelling
    Edit function would be handy

  5. “My guess is that almost all of those 2% have gone to UKIP, which would account for about 1/10 of UKIP support (and presumable a much higher number would have voted BNP in 2009).”

    There were 3,000 BNP voters in Heywood at the GE but no candidate in the by-election. Presumably those that turned out would most likely have opted for UKIP.

  6. The final election result remains unpredictible as long as there is no clear indication of the direction of the UKIP vote. UKIP is getting a boost from the recent by-elections and there is no sign that its voting intention will fade dramatically until May. On the other hand, however, it is by no means guaranteed that UKIP will still be polling close to 20 % next spring. The only certainty now is that Labour’s position is precarious as long as they are stuck in the low 30s and are apparently unable to break the 34-35 % ceiling.

  7. @Statgeek

    The strange thing about politics it is so unpredictable. We post on here analysing and speculating but who would have predicted 2 years ago that both Labour and Tory would poll 30% 6 months out from the GE.
    The collapse of the LibDems and the rise of UKIP would see Tory\Lab neck and neck.
    And who would have thought a No vote would lead to a tripling of SNP membership and a crisis for Scottish Labour?

    It is clear there is a lot of fighting going on: Foulkes versus Andy Kerr on Scotland Tonight. McConnell versus McTernan this morning on Twitter.

    There are two axis

    1. Pro-Autonomy v One Party
    2. Left v Right

    It is not necessary true that the Pro-Autonomy is more left.

    Murphy is a right-wing, One Party guy and is a very clever politician. I think he is McTernan’s choice. The problem for him is trading a cabinet seat for an opposition role.

    Findlay is more left wing I am not sure where he stands on autonomy. I doubt he has the experience and charisma to make a good leader.

    Of the two the best choice would be Murphy.

    Dugdale, Marra, Sarwar, Brown have all ruled themselves out.

    However I wonder why Jackie Ballie has never been mentioned. Is she standing down?

    She is very experience and I think comes across well on TV and Radio.

  8. Colin/Phil H

    On whether the UKIP surge has damaged the Tories
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_next_United_Kingdom_general_election#mediaviewer/File:UK_opinion_polling_2010-2015.png

    It would appear that it hasn’t over the past 2 years. Ignoring churn and simply looking at the overall top line figures, there’s a pretty clear pattern for two years now. Tories are stable. UKIP is up 10 points. Lab is down 8-9points.

    It really WOULD be lazyism to simply take a causal link from the top line data. But look at the trends on that graph. UKIP have had four big changes in VI over the past 2 years.

    Autumn 12-Spring13: UKIP +8, Lab -5, Con -3.5
    Spring-Autumn13: UKIP -4, Lab +0.5, Con +3.5
    Autumn 13-Spring 14: UKIP +4, Lab -3.5, Con -0.5
    Autumn 14-??: UKIP +3, Lab-2, Con-1

    Seems pretty clear-cut to me. UKIP has hit Labour FAR harder than it has hit the Tories over the past 2 years. There are 1.5-2million people out there who were supporting Labour in 2012, who are now supporting UKIP. That is the target for Labour. At the risk of incurring the self-righteous wrath of ON again, Labour’s strategy should be clear. They need to hammer on relentlessly about UKIP being the arch-Thatcherites, who will, if holding the balance of power in 2015, pull the whole British political centre-of-gravity back to the 1980s.

  9. Rich,

    I think your about right.

    Not only do UKIP take more from the Tories than Labour but it also looks like where Labour are losing them they can afford to.

    In North seats where Labour weigh the vote even 20% for UKIP probably wouldn’t be enough particularly as it would be in part made up by canabalising the non Labour vote making it difficult for another party to take advantage.

    In some ways the SNP faces the same problem, notional vote share might have swung from 40%+ Labour/ 25% SNP to possible 40%+ SNP to Under 30% Labour but in twenty seats Labour got over 50% to the SNP’s 20% or so, which still makes them odds on Labour seats.

    Right now a realistic SNP prediction would be a minimum doubling of seats to about 12 with more from the LibDems than Labour to maybe double that but still on slightly more Labour.

    That range is to broad to be useful and we have to little information to pin it down but even at the extreme it probably could only cost Labour 10 seats.

    North and South of the border both Labour and the Tories will be hurt but probably not enough to change the overall result of a narrow Labour win if not a majority.

    Peter.

  10. Rich
    “I bet Lab and Liberals wouldn’t be so enthused about PR now with UKIP on 15-18%”

    I was not aware that Labour was enthused about PR. I think, even with the scores recorded yesterday by the pollsters, the LDs would be delighted under PR (about 48 MPs).

    It’s the same elsewhere with the Le Pan’s NF in France and Wilder’s PVV in the Netherlands. They could be the largest party (PVV is so at present), but no chance of gaining any power under PR, unless they alter their policies radically, and in that event, i doubt if they would retain their adherents..

  11. Er, Le Pen, not yet down the pan.

  12. As ever, a good piece by Steve Richards in the Indy.
    “Party leaders are in a no-win situation when it comes to Scotland”
    “Keep out of the way and they are accused of being neglectful. Show an interest and they are interfering”

    Good to read a considered, thoughtful analysis of Scottish Politics. It makes a change.

  13. Leftylampton,,

    “pull the whole British political centre-of-gravity back to the 1980s.”

    If only, my favourite decade in so many ways.

  14. The Other Howard,

    Leg-warmers fan?

  15. @Rich

    Those who like PR back the principle, and do not temper their views because party X or Y are doing well.

    At this point in time UKIP fully deserve some parliamentary representation. If the BNP were at 18% in the polls, so would they.

    PR is designed to ensure the seats won are representative of the votes cast. It is not a device to keep certain parties out.

  16. PETER CAIRNS (SNP)

    Not only do UKIP take more from the Tories than Labour but it also looks like where Labour are losing them they can afford to.

    this was one of the most sensible posts i’ve read here in ages. the hype about ukip taking labour seats and the snp surge leading to labour meltdown in scotland is, as usual way overblown.

    The SNP will have a job motivating their people to go out and vote in a boring old General Election after all the passion of the indyref. the idea that labour’s seats in glasgow will fall to an snp surge is laughable and this is reflected in the odds at ladbrokes.

    Ukip’s chances in the north are based on grimsby. they won’t get near anywhere else…so, as you say, seats wise, labour are looking good to hold nearly everything they have [barring one or two freak losses], while benefitting from the surge of ukip in the midlands and bits of the south and east.

  17. i have never expressed an interest in scottish politics before but this question of whether and how many labour seats are lost to the SNP is quite interesting.

    I think it’s fair to say that the SNP will gain some seats from the lib dems, but will be lucky to get 1, yes 1, from labour

  18. @ Couper

    Very true (about predictions). There were a few on here predicting another hung parliament, most notably Jim Jam, but I think those assumptions were largely based on Lib Dems picking up votes again and Tories winning some back from UKIP.

  19. My top tip for Scottish Labour Leader is MSP Sarah Boyack

    She is friends with Murphy and with Curran so would have their support. Findlay is too left wing and Murphy will not want to lose a potential cabinet post.

  20. Peter (Crawford)

    On PB a few days ago they gave a list of Scottish Labour seats by majority and highlight the SNP in second place.

    http://www1.politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2014/10/26/lab-heavyweight-jim-murphy-becomes-the-2-5-favourite-to-be-next-scottish-lab-leader/

    I’d say that on current indicated polls the SNP has a decent chance in at least as far up as Stirling so your prediction of lucky to get one seems to go against the evidence we have, scarces though ot is.

    As to motivation, Likelyhood to vote in Scotland has been running at around 10% above the UK average since the Referendum and all the Yes parties have seen surges in membership.

    It may be a Boring old General Election but lack of motivation there doesn’t appear to be. They aren’t going to go out to vote for Westminster, they are going to turn out to vote against it!

    Peter.

  21. @Peter Cairns (SNP)

    Electoral calculus is predicting 17 SNP gains. Which would take them to 23. There are about 4 constituencies where the turnout is low and so the SNP might get them as well. So maximum is 27 seats and probably a shoo-in for at least 15. So SNP on 15-17 seats

  22. Sorry SNP on 15-27 seats

  23. @ALLAN CHRISTIE

    “It’s something I have picked up on several times. Is it down to the UKIP factor or EM’s electability factor?”

    ————-

    Immigration has a big part to play. Ed M’s party were hitting 45% prior to the press assault on immigration, and immigration becoming the most salient thing in polling, even more than the economy at times…

    Immigration also neutralises many of Labour’s messages… hard to sell plans for improving housing, education, NHS, wages etc. when people start seeing problems in these areas as down to immigration rather than other government policies…

    And Labour, already struggling with being one voice against two, is seeing their visibility further reduced due to rise of Ukip.

  24. Analysis of post-referendum polling by Populus has added further weight to suggestions of a surge in support for the SNP.

    An average of the Scottish sub-samples of the twelve Populus polls that have been conducted since the referendum put support for the SNP at 37 per cent, up 17 per cent on the 2010 result. Meanwhile average support for Labour stands at 28 per cent, a fall of 14 per cent since the last election.

    The analysis adds further weight to YouGov polling whose average Scottish sub-samples have put support for the SNP at a new high last week.

    Meanwhile the civil war engulfing Labour has intensified today with Elaine Smith MSP quoted in the Sun stating that “if we get a London based careerist as Scottish leader we will be finished.” However on GMS this morning, Anas Sarwar MP made clear that he would have no problem remaining as deputy leader if one of his fellow MPs is elected as leader, despite the widespread criticism of Westminster interference in the Labour party in Scotland.
    ________

    Hmm I’m thinking PRESSMAN and I have achieved our Tartan objective in Scotland and it’s now time to turn the big guns and aim them towards England…Well done foot soldiers you have stirred the hornets nest to our advantage!!

    I’m not sure our conventional forces (which have done a marvellous job in Scotland) alone can take on the huge surge of UKIP and blast EM below 30% so we might have to go nuclear and rethink our Strategy of nuclear deterrence to a first strike attack.

  25. TOH

    Aye, but not one that’s remembered with much fondness in the Old Labour North. Farage has done a marvellous job of de-toxifying the face he shows to ex-Lab supporters. Labour’s job over the next 6 months is to scare the hell out of those voters by telling them what was in the manifesto that Farage co-wrote in 2010.

  26. “There’s a fascinating tendency for the Tories and Labour to be neck-and-neck recently, at least if the SNP are to be believed.”

    ———-

    because both are vulnerable on immigration…

  27. Peter Cairns…

    all very eloquent and persuasive and then i look at my favourite sense checker the odds…

    the seats “up to stirling” which you mention are:

    Edinburgh south Lab 1/8 SNP 7/1
    Edinburgh north & leith Lab 1/10 SNP 7/1
    Aberdeen South Lab 1/10 SNP 6/1
    Ochil & S Perthshire Lab 8/11 SNP Evens
    Dunfermline and Fife Lab 1/7 SNP 4/1
    Glasgow North Lab 1/7 SNP 4/1
    Dumfries & Galloway Lab 1/12 SNP 12/1 [Con 8/1]
    Falkirk Lab 4/7 SNP 5/4
    Stirling Lab 1/7 SNP 4/1

    So either there is serious mispricing going on and there small fortunes to be made or the prospect of SNP gains is being massively overhyped for media purposes.

    Being a veteran of markets, I tend to favour the bookies’ judgements more than the assorted punditry of the media or ukpr, expert though many of these people are.

    By way of comparison the odds on great grimsby are labour 8/15 and ukip 7/4…labour still odds on, but ukip with a fair outside shot.

    It is remarkable that in the scottish seats i’ve listed the labour party is the favourite in all of them and there only two in which the SNP currently have a shorter than 4/1 chance….

    All this can change. dramatic things can happen in 6 months. Bookies can make hideous mistakes. I accept all of that. But this is the current position as far as someone, who doesn’t have such political insights and intuitions as the various prophets on this website, can see it.

  28. “And on these polls, with a little ABT tactical voting the Lib Dems may come out of the 2015 election in a much better position that anyone could have suspected even this time last year.”

    ———-

    LDs are also vulnerable on immigration tho’…

  29. CARFREW

    “Immigration has a big part to play. Ed M’s party were hitting 45% prior to the press assault on immigration, and immigration becoming the most salient thing in polling, even more than the economy at times”
    _______

    And Labour don’t seem to have a plan in place to address people’s concerns over immigration and the Tories plans appear to be infective so it’s little wonder UKIP are pinching votes from both parties with their endless basing on immigration.

    …..

    “And Labour, already struggling with being one voice against two, is seeing their visibility further reduced due to rise of Ukip”
    _____

    It’s a good point, EM can’t just go for DC and not watch what is going on behind his back with the UKIP threat, he needs to confront both but I’m not really seeing this.

  30. Could the main parties actually want UKIP to do well?

    It has been widely reported (ok, really mainly by Kevin Maguire from the Mirror, but also in the FT) that senior Labour cabinet ministers are deliberately down playing Rochester because they want their voters to vote UKIP to give the Tories a hammering and hopefully add to the disunity there.

    I see Conservative home also has a piece up today urging a second preference vote in the Yorkshire PCC elections for UKIP

    http://www.conservativehome.com/localgovernment/2014/10/if-labour-want-to-abolish-pccs-why-vote-for-their-candidate-on-thursday.html

    And if you think about it, it may make sense. UKIP are not a real threat, enough people dislike them that there are very few places they could win outside of a protest by election. All they do is provide a vehicle to split the opposition in your seat.

    I keep going back to these graphs as they illustrate the point quite well

    http://sociologicalspeculation.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/the-local-elections-in-graphs.html

    The local elections were in 2013 were widely expected to result in a Labour surge against and unpopular Tory government who were defending seats won at the height of Labours unpopularity. But the Labour breakthrough did not happen, as the Tory opposition split between Labour and UKIP. UKIP didn’t actually win anywhere in any numbers, but more importantly for the Tories, Labour did not either as UKIP ate up the opposition vote.

  31. Could the main parties actually want UKIP to do well?

    It has been widely reported (ok, really mainly by Kevin Maguire from the Mirror, but also in the FT) that senior Labour cabinet ministers are deliberately down playing Rochester because they want their voters to vote UKIP to give the Tories a hammering and hopefully add to the disunity there.

    I see Conservative home also has a piece up today urging a second preference vote in the Yorkshire PCC elections for UKIP

    http://www.conservativehome.com/localgovernment/2014/10/if-labour-want-to-abolish-pccs-why-vote-for-their-candidate-on-thursday.html

    And if you think about it, it may make sense. UKIP are not a real threat, enough people dislike them that there are very few places they could win outside of a protest by election. All they do is provide a vehicle to split the opposition in your seat

  32. I keep going back to these graphs as they illustrate the point quite well

    http://sociologicalspeculation.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/the-local-elections-in-graphs.html

    The local elections were in 2013 were widely expected to result in a Labour surge against and unpopular Tory government who were defending seats won at the height of Labours unpopularity. But the Labour breakthrough did not happen, as the Tory opposition split between Labour and UKIP. UKIP didn’t actually win anywhere in any numbers, but more importantly for the Tories, Labour did not either as UKIP ate up the opposition vote.

  33. AC

    It’s not a two-front problem. It’s a single front. It’s actually a very easy problem to address.

    What Labour need to hammer on is the line that if red-kippers indulge themselves in May, what they will be voting in will be the most right-wing Govt since the 1930s.

    That message should be pumped hard and insistently for 6 months. If Labour cannot deal with that, they really have no right to be anywhere near power.

  34. @Ben Foley

    No doubt you’re right about Ukip soaking up the BNP vote recently.

    One of BNP’s breakaway/successor/rival parties (Britain First) is standing in the Rochester & Strood byelection.

    Ukip didn’t field a candidate there in 2010 (Eng Dems were on 4.5%).

    In the 2014 EU elections BF had two candidates… and advised their band of followers in other places to vote Eng Dem or Ukip not BNP.

  35. @Peter Crawford

    However those odds probably started getting backed over 4 years ago, so a lot of cash has already been placed. A lot of betting on SNP will have to occur before the odds change and remember we are looking at crossbreaks the general population have only seen one Scottish polls since the referendum.

    However, I think I might have a flutter.

  36. “However those odds probably started getting backed over 4 years ago, so a lot of cash has already been placed.”

    It won’t matter how much money has already been staked. Bookies don’t offer those sort of odds on bets they think they might lose.

  37. @RogerH

    I have always though bookies just did some arithmetic and figured out how they could avoid losing. Like the roulette wheel where the white means that the house will win over time.

    I didn’t think they did research.

  38. I’m not an expert, but I’m fairly sure bookies work so that the bets are balanced at all times.

    So the current odds are those that get in matching bets both ways at the present time. They are nothing to do with how much money has been placed in the past (beyond maybe a day or two, if things don’t balance temporarily).

  39. @COUPER2802

    They lay off bets to ensure they won’t lose money regardless of an outcome. Odds, though, reflect the current market; they’re not affected by what bets may have been placed previously.

  40. LEFTY

    I tend to use this data:-

    From this morning’s YouGov:-

    % 2010 ID to UKIP VI:-

    Con 19%
    Lab 9%

    Equates to , as % VI ( excl DK/WNV)

    Com defections 6% pts
    Lab defections 2% pts.

    All other things being equal, and discounting assumptions ( lazy or otherwise :-) ) about differential likelihood of return to Mother Ship; that means Con have 3 times the potential of Lab for attracting VI back from UKIP.

  41. @HAL

    Thanks that makes sense and I agree in general the bookies spookily nearly always get it right even with stuff like the X-Factor.

  42. MBRUNO,

    ” … Labour’s position is precarious as long as they are stuck in the low 30s and are apparently unable to break the 34-35 % ceiling.”

    Yes – for a whole two weeks now!

  43. Bookies odds are pretty much a “Wisdom of the masses” measurement.

    Bookmakers ideally want to make the same amount of money irrespective of the outcome, they don’t assess each match and try to estimate and maximise the expected value of a betting event.

    Bookmakers don’t have a secret team of experts on every event they offer odds on who know more than any of the public experts.

    If SNP odds look attractive it’s because bookmakers want people to bet (relatively more) on SNP to balance the book. It doesn’t reflect the situation now but the cumulative sum of bets since the market started.

    Yes on any big news they will try to anticipate the rush of bets and preempt the shortening of odds, it doesn’t mean they are reassessing the relative chances but rather the effect the news will have on the betting levels.

    While an unweighted large sample of “Who do you think will win” might produce an estimate of the true odds, there’s no reason to believe it’s a better way of measuring likelihood of results than a weighted poll.

  44. @Peter Crawford

    “Edinburgh south Lab 1/8 SNP 7/1”

    If 10,000 people in Edinburgh South all placed a £10 bet on SNP to win, the odds would change in a blink out of fear of an SNP win from the 10,000 betting and voting to win their bet.

    The bookies are only as informed as their current bets. They are being slightly coy with respect to the SNP’s likely outcome:

    http://www.oddschecker.com/politics/british-politics/next-uk-general-election/total-seats-snp

  45. Colin

    Forgive me but you are missing two BIG factors in that analysis.

    1)Focussing on 2010Lab voters means you see only half if the picture. What about the 2010LDs who had moved to Lab by 11/12 and are now supporting UKIP?

    I’m too busy to dig the numbers out right now but will do so later if no-one else has. My recollection from the last time I looked at this, was that they totted up to 2-3% of the electorate. It doesn’t take a genius to figure this out. It’s very simple maths. Lab’s VI has dropped by 10-12% over the last 2 years. The Tories’ has stayed constant, more or less, and the LDs moved down a point or two so there’s no net movement to either of them. Some has gone to the Nats, some to the Greens, but there is a big chunk, perhaps 5-6% of the electorate that has gone to UKIP. Get half of that back and a point or two off the green and Lab are home and dry.

    2) The Lab–>UKIP move is relatively recent. That suggests (only “suggests”) to me that it’s more a flirtation than a lifelong commitment. On the other hand, there has been a big bloc of 2010Cons that moved to UKIP a long time ago and has stayed there pretty resolutely, regardless of the bells and dog whistles of Tory policy. Just a hunch, but I reckon it’s easier for Lab to get their kippers back than it is for the Tories.

  46. Sarah Boyack MSP standing for SLAB leadership. Personally I would support Neil Findlay, not because I’m necessarily of his views but because I feel electing anyone else would put the party in severe danger.

  47. “It doesn’t reflect the situation now but the cumulative sum of bets since the market started.”

    They reflect the current market. Bookies ideally want to make as much money as possible without risking a loss.

  48. LEFTY

    Thanks

    RE 1) Are these people in addition to the 9% of 2010 LabVI to UKIP? Don’t quite follow .
    RE 2) As you say a “hunch”-which was why I said “all other things being equal”.

    I’m sure there are all sorts of other factors-but that YouGov Poll suggests that there are three times more 2010 Con to UKIP defectors than Lab to UKIP…………doesn’t it?

  49. The SNP cosy up to the Tories, and maybe win some votes from Tories in Scotland, by saying they do not and will not vote on England-only matters at Westminster.

    Transport is considered to be devolved to Scotland, so it would be consistent for the SNP not to have a say on arrangements for new bypasses and major routes in England, and whether roads are trunked or not.

    So would the SNP keep out of any debate on a Southern bypass for Carlisle, and upgrading of the route thence to the west coast to help in the construction of new nuclear power stations?

    Do the SNP think it more important for MPs from Devon than from Dumfries to have a say on a Carlisle bypass, bearing in mind that Devon constituents are much much less affected than Dumfries ones.

    And if any English Tories speak up and say they suffer because they can`t vote on what happens in Dumfries & Galloway, I ask them to consider would they want Westminster MPs to vote in regional assemblies that could be set up in England.

  50. achristie

    “Tories plans appear to be infective ”

    Not sure that is within the comments policy but you could be right for a change. I always stand well clear – just in case.

1 2 3 4 5 12