Sunday polls

There are three polls in this Sunday’s papers – Opinium in the Observer and two separate YouGov polls, one in the Sunday Times and one in the Sun on Sunday.

Opinium has topline voting intention figures of CON 30%(+1), LAB 33%(+1), LDEM 7%(-2), UKIP 19%(nc), GRN 4%(nc) (changes are from their last published voting intention figures a fortnight ago (tabs are here).

YouGov’s two sets of voting intention figures are CON 33%, LAB 34%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 15% in the Sun on Sunday poll, and CON 33%, LAB 33%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 16%, GRN 6% in the Sunday Times (Sun Times tabs are here, Sun on Sunday should be up tomorrow) – so still showing the two main parties very close to one another.


130 Responses to “Sunday polls”

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  1. What will happen next?

  2. NICKP

    CB11 will declare an overwhelming Labour lead in today’s Polls.

    Ken Clark will say-“you can’t do that” , before DC proposes some EU related initiative…………..oh , wait a minute. He’s just said it.

  3. And another round of no-real-movement. Looks like no discernible effect from the by-election…but UKIP is near the top of their range, has managed a lot of press over the last few weeks, and other than the Thornberry incident there’s been nothing else major kicking the needle much.

  4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-30151276

    not altogether unsurprising, and a significant, if temporary, dent to SNP dreams of endless renewable energy.

    Pelamis is (was!) the leading hope for viable wave energy, but are clearly struggling to convince investors. Meanwhile, revenues from North Sea oil have collapsed.

    Perhaps it’s a good job Scotland isn’t yet independent, as their finances might be a bit shaky this year.

  5. @ Colin (fpt)

    I think the situation you gave for hung parliament possibilities is even worse than the Maths suggest, although probably either main party can get a majority with SNP and LD support.

    First there’s UKIP who are unlikely to engage much with any sort of supply and confidence. They will vote against any tax rises, Health and safety/employment rights, EU legislation and so on.

    But the biggest issue is the state of the LD party after the next election. Every chance they will be around 30-35 seats and a party that will be looking inward as much as outward. Does NC resign? How does the party react if he doesn’t resign? What political persuasion are the MPs who are re-elected? “Power struggle” might be too strong a word but there is every reason to suppose that while they are sorting those internal issues out they are in no fit state to be reaching any sort of agreement amongst themselves as to which of the two parties they want to work with and what they want from coalition or supply and confidence. They may even be leaderless during negotiations or with Clegg as token leader for a few weeks (as Brown was) but being torn in different directions by the different factions.

  6. Bramley,

    I know the Guardian supported the LibDems at the last election, but I don’t think the Observer did. Anyone else remember?

  7. Good Lunchtime All.

    SHEVII:
    I THINK that the Lib Dem figure will be much lower than 30 seats, sadly, in some ways, of course.
    In terms of the LD leadership; I should think Simon Hughes will be a strong straight forward choice. Maybe Jo Grimmond might return.

  8. The Sunday Times also asks a constituency VI question.

    “Imagine your own local MP resigned and there was an immediate by-election in your seat. Which party would you vote for?”

    UKIP and the LDs gain support compared to the standard question.

    Con 30% (-3), Lab 32% (-1), LD 9% (+2), UKIP 18% (+2)

  9. SHEVII

    Thanks-yes just one of so many variables in prospect.

    re LDs I make the , perhaps naive , assumption that since their LOC voters will be voting Labour, their MPs who do get elected will be Orange-ish .

    Politics apart, one imagines that the prospective stalemate will be very debilitating for economic & international confidence.

    I remember the 74 to 79 period & it’s not a pleasant memory. Parliament became a joke institution until some decisive direction appeared.

  10. the next parliament will make 74-79 look like a period of calm and stability.

    The truth is that the tories will struggle to get 280 seats…the labour party’s chances are being underplayed by the media. the meltdown in scotland actually has to happen.If labour only lose 5 seats to the SNP, quite a large number given the swings required, then they can still get 300 seats.

  11. Colin

    “re LDs I make the , perhaps naive , assumption that since their LOC voters will be voting Labour, their MPs who do get elected will be Orange-ish.”

    I think that presupposes a sophistication amongst voters that they may not have, unless they are avid followers of this UKPR site of course. Will most voters know whether their own particular LD is “left” or “right”? I rather doubt it.

    I would say it depends more on how marginal the seat is and who they are against rather than on the particular persuasion of the LD MP.

  12. NORBOLD

    Thanks

    I can see what you mean.

    So if the sophistication you refer to is absent, one wonders whether the 73% of LD 2010 VI now declared for other parties does in fact represent a voting intent which can, or will be put into practice when the constituency options present themselves in the GE ballot box. ?

  13. “re LDs I make the , perhaps naive , assumption that since their LOC voters will be voting Labour, their MPs who do get elected will be Orange-ish”

    I think you’d mixing up the Liberal Democrats with the Democratic Unionists…

  14. PETER CRAWFORD

    “The truth is that the tories will struggle to get 280 seats…”

    Not the truth, just your opinion. My opinion is very different as you and others well know.

    I suspect the Labour vote will collapse in many places when people think about who they want running the economy as they vote. Of course just IMO.

  15. TOH

    how many seats do you think the tories will win?

  16. Peter Crawford

    I will give a seat projection nearer the election but enough for a small majority.

  17. SHEVII

    There’s no way that the Tories can get SNP help in a coalition, or even a C&S minority administration. Sturgeon ruled that out unequivocally a couple of weeks ago.

  18. @Hal

    According to Wikipedia, which never lies, The Obs also supported LD

    h ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newspaper_endorsements_in_the_United_Kingdom_general_election,_2010

  19. I rather think that may be the case, Colin. Even those “former” LD voters who have now declared themselves for Labour may well find themselves having to vote LD in a constituency where Labour have no chance and the only option to keep the Tories out is to vote LD.

    The big difference will come in Lab/LD marginals.

    So, in my humble opinion, the persuasion of a particular LD doesn’t enter into it.

  20. Guymonde,

    Yes I think you are right. I’ve found the evidence of it via google.

  21. On the subject of newspapers and the polls, this seems to have attracted some interest among other posters.

    I forgot one important thing – that is the results, what happened at the last General election. Putting it briefly, Labour gained 29 per cent of the votes. The Lib Dems gained 23 per cent and the Conservatives gained 36.1 per cent. Therefore, adding the the Labour and Lib Dem votes, you have 52 per cent of the votes. Left wing parties gained 52 per cent of the votes cast.

    As for the newspapers, you recall that 68 per cent of the national newspapers which expressed support for a political party, supported just one party, the Conservative party. That was eleven newspapers supporting the Conservative party.

    The remaining 32 per cent of the newspapers supported Labour and the Lib Dems. that was four newspapers, or five if you include the Morning Star.

    Some people may think that I am a Labour supporter, or a left-winger. In fact, I have usually voted Lib Dem in the past for one reason only – to vote for proportional representation. Other parties such as UKIP which also favours proportional representation would suit me just as well as the Lib Dens in that respect.

    I am not voting Lib Dem this time, because they seem pro Conservative. What’s wrong with that? No proportional representation. Ah, but that’s the same with Labour too.

    If you think of a country, any country, which has a one-party state, and a subservient, boot-licking press which supports that one party, then that is not good democracy. I vote to avoid that.

    In my constituency it is a two-horse race between Labour and Conservative. Eliminating the Lib Dems now, I prefer Labour as better for democracy and as a defence against the country becoming a one-party state. Of course I would prefer a party which supports proportional representation.

    @Bramley You ask who did the Observer support at the 2010 general election? According to Wikipedia article on the General election 2010, the Observer supported the Lib Dems, and so did the Guardian.

  22. Oops! I have just posted this in error on the previous thread…

    Why all the debate about which party the Observer supported in May 2010?

    Why rely upon the doubtful record provided by Wikipedia?

    The May 2nd Observer Leader is still readily accessible in the Guardian archives.

    Anyone can read the full piece, but the final paragraph is unequivocal:

    “There is only one party on the ballot paper that, by its record in the old parliament, its manifesto for the new odne and its leader’s performance in the campaign, can claim to represent an agenda for radical, positive change in politics. That party is the Liberal Democrats. There is only one way clearly to endorse that message and this is to voteLiberal Democrat.”

    Ok?

  23. Adge3,

    If the Greens or UKIP are standing in your constituency, they would presumably make the most sense from your perspective.

    The “wasted vote” idea is a snare and a delusion: your vote is not at all likely to tip the scales one way or another (how many tied votes have there been in UK politics?) but it can be an expression, however small, of your political opinion. Thus the only really wasted vote is one that doesn’t reflect what you believe.

  24. Apologies!

    Another attempt to cut-and-paste the Observer pre-election Editorial..but this time without glitches. I hope…

    “There is only one party on the ballot paper that, by its record in the old parliament, its manifesto for the new one and its leader’s performance in the campaign, can claim to represent an agenda for radical, positive change in politics. That party is the Liberal Democrats. There is only one way clearly to endorse that message and that is to vote Liberal Democrat.”

  25. TOH yes I agree, I think an ideal result is a very small but unsustainable Tory majority that means that they have to join forces with UKIP. Though there is no love lost between DC and Farage. However Cameron will be hammered if he refused to work with Farage.

  26. Bill Patrick

    “Thus the only really wasted vote is one that doesn’t reflect what you believe.”

    That’s got to be nonsense Bill. None of the established parties plan to do what I think the country needs. I therefore vote for the party I believe will do the least damage to the economy, and therefore will help the most people in the UK directly or indirectly.

  27. Why does YouGov disagree with itself over its two polls?

  28. @Bill Patrick

    The “wasted vote” idea is a snare and a delusion: your vote is not at all likely to tip the scales one way or another (how many tied votes have there been in UK politics?) but it can be an expression, however small, of your political opinion. Thus the only really wasted vote is one that doesn’t reflect what you believe.

    —————————————————————————-

    Trying to deconstruct that assertion is leading me around in circles. After all, it is possible to have more in common with Green/Ukip policies but also believe that voting against a Conservative or Labour government is an imperative… and what constitutes ‘belief’ in this instance?

    Obviously, a particular vote is unlikely to tip the balance but the result stems from aggregated ‘particular’ votes… Oh never mind!

    Surely, it is the specifics of an individual’s constituency and the preferred Westminster outcome which determine whether or not voting with the ‘heart’ is a wasted vote. In a marginal, the possible Westminster outcome might be argued to be the more significant consideration. Whereas in a safe seat, the ‘heart’ can do its own thing with impunity.

  29. @Adge3

    I was fairly sure that they had endorsed the LDs but then found the wrong editorial (doh !) but thanks for confirming it & thanks also to @Unicorn for quoting the final para from the correct editorial, which made it easier to track down.

  30. @ Lefty

    Yes I agree- I’m not sure I’d need any cast iron guarantee on that anyway as I think the SNP know it would be electoral suicide to support a Tory government. But that doesn’t stop Labour needing another party to form a government and that’s where it gets messy.

    I also agree with Norbold- it will be pretty random what the LD persuasion will be after the next election just based on where the MP is rather than any political leanings.

  31. @Jonboy

    They don’t disagree with each.

    They are just two different samples (and therefore the variance is based margin of error).

  32. @Jonboy

    In fact, they are so close it is good evidence of the consistency of You Gov’s methods.

  33. Jonboy, all the figures have a ‘margin of error’ because they ask a relatively small number of different people slightly different questions at different times.
    The other way to look at that is that for example, the Yougov Sun on Sunday poll means:
    CON 33%, LAB 34%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 15%
    CON somewhere between about 31 and 35
    LAB somewhere between about 32 and 36
    LDEM somewhere between about 7 and 9
    UKIP somewhere between about 13.5 and 16.5

    Disagreement disappears (and so should almost all the comment here and in the media on any one poll).
    The range is maybe a bit wider, and the middle of it may be shifted up or down quite a bit for any given party (and differently for different pollsters), depending on how the people are chosen, how the questions are asked and how the answers are ‘weighted’ (which means altered to fit what the pollster believes is needed to make the sample actually chosen nearer to a truly random sample)
    As AW keeps saying, don’t worry about any one poll – look at the trend, which is now Lab and Con nearly neck and neck but both in lower 30s, UKIP well up on a few months ago, LD well down.
    If you want to know the result of the general election, there will be an answer in May.

  34. The Other Howard,

    I didn’t say “exactly reflects what you believe”. There is a line to be drawn in a blurry space between compromising and voting when you should really spoil your ballot paper.

    Syzygy,

    “After all, it is possible to have more in common with Green/Ukip policies but also believe that voting against a Conservative or Labour government is an imperative…”

    As far as I know, the Greens and UKIP oppose a Conservative or Labour government.

    “Obviously, a particular vote is unlikely to tip the balance but the result stems from aggregated ‘particular’ votes…”

    Exactly, therefore it’s irrational to vote on the basis of determining the result in a 50-50 scenario. (That’s somewhat less irrational under PR, but still very weird given the probabilities.)

    Once the election is over, there will be data on which parties got how many votes. Any vote for the party which best reflects your political views will bolster them on that final chart. If a party is doing well, other parties will want to know why they did well, and may even modify their policies as a result. If that seems implausible, consider the effects of the rise of the Greens in the late 1980s, or the effect that UKIP has had on the immigration debate even before they got MPs.

  35. Labour-SNP coalition, whether or not Salmond becomes deputy PM (as leader of the second party in coalition), would equally be an electoral suicide for a Labour party which is already being seen as anti-English.

    With two very unpopular leaders heading to the election, I think UK parliament/government will be very unstable in the aftermath of the 2015 election and there would be lot of calls for early elections to produce a stable government with a clear mandate.

  36. @TOH and Syzygy
    It seems to me that s there is no “None of the above” slot on the ballot paper, the only way TOH can vote with his heart is to spoil the ballot paper, as not voting is clearly not “voting with his heart”. Not enough people will do that to overthrow the government, as also shown by the fact that low turnouts in elections do not lead to a rerun with different candidates.
    TOH’s ‘least harm to most’ seems very sensible. The trouble is trying to work out which of the present lot to vote for on that basis!

  37. “I prefer Labour as better for democracy and as a defence against the country becoming a one-party state.”

    I am going to be partisan and reject your comment. No general election has produced a majority conservative government in the UK for over 20 years. UK has moved to one-party state by continuously voting for Labour party no matter how damaging the country their leader has been.

  38. What? No endless comments about Scotland? Shame!

  39. YG poll shows more people are now regular churchgoers than Libdems (9% vs 7%) but that only one in five of us are planning to go to Church at Christmas. There don’t appear to be significant regional variations, but Scotland is a little more godly as are women and the old ( or indeed older women who
    often outnumber me 9-1 at our CiW services).

  40. BILL PATRICK

    Sorry that will not do, because at least I do know what I don’t want, because IMO it will damage the country. On that basis wasting my vote would not be a sensible option. That is why I posted I will vote for the party I believe will do the least damage to the economy, and therefore will help the most people in the UK directly or indirectly.

  41. I’m just catching up with the BBC re-broadcast of the 1964 General Election. Robin Day asks George Wigg what state the left wing of the Labour Party is in.

    George Wigg responds, ‘the left wing of the Labour Party is an old-fashioned BBC term’.

    Discuss.

  42. @RAF / Colin (FPT)

    I thought it was all a little too jammy side up, given the recent polls. :))

    @Artair

    “What? No endless comments about Scotland? Shame!”

    Sadly, all comments must end. SNP 46% today. Labour 25%. A twenty one percent lead suggests that the SNP will have 50 seats, Lab 6, Con 2 and Lib 1.

    At Westminster we’re looking at Lab 295 (31 short), Con 271 (55 short), SNP 50, Lib 13, Others 21.

    So either Con minority, Con with SNP minority, Con with Lib minority, Lab minority, Lab with Lib minority, Lab with SNP majority, or Lab / Con landslide. :))

    Or another election, with the richest parties winning the second round.

  43. leftylampton

    “There’s no way that the Tories can get SNP help in a coalition, or even a C&S minority administration. Sturgeon ruled that out unequivocally a couple of weeks ago.”

    That seems a naive comment. It would depend on the arithmetic but I am sure Surgeon wouid do a “U Turn” if she could get a good deal which she could sell to her party & Scottish voters.

  44. @Welsh Borderer

    “but Scotland is a little more godly as are women and the old”

    The cynic in me wants an in depth poll done, to ascertain differences across the religious landscape and as to whether free wine or central heating influences peoples’ church going.

  45. @Slam

    I think you can rule out an SNP/ Tory coalition or a formal confidence and supply. However, that doesn’t mean they would vote down a CON-led minority – it wouldn’t necessarily be in their interests, or even LAB’s to force an early election.

  46. On ‘wasted’ votes’.

    I think it’s really important to vote for who you really want to win regardless.

    I support a minor party. If I vote for another party who I dislike least, then the party I want to win will never get off the launch pad.

    This just reinforces established parties mostly, and excludes new ones from becoming established. It sets in concrete the status quo.

    I for one will not vote in anyway to support any established party. My main wish is for the status quo to end, therefore I will not lend it my vote.

  47. The Other Howard,

    What constitutes wasting a vote is exactly what is at issue! If someone is a hardcore BNP or Green voter, but votes Labour or Conservative “to keep the other lot out”, then I say that they have wasted a vote.

    Voting for the party (out of ALL the parties on the ballot paper) with the economic policies that you think will be least damaging is perfectly consistent with my way of thinking, provided you don’t find them extremely noxious.

  48. Peter Crawford
    The truth is that the tories will struggle to get 280 seats……..If labour only lose 5 seats to the SNP”………

    Why is it is “the truth”. Instead it seems like a biased
    opinion. The truth is we are in unchartered waters, a lot can happen over the next 5 months & some of your earlier
    forecasts were widely out .While I don’t know it is entirely possible that Labour may lose 25 or more seats in Scotland.

  49. To come back to the debate about who gets to form the government, as Jack S. points out there may be smaller parties that would be prepared to support either a Con or a Lab government in a vote of confidence. In this case it really would matter who gets the first “go” at forming the government, and as the incumbent PM it would be Cameron.

    Thus, for example, if the Tories fell short of a majority but the SNP abstained in a confidence vote, then he could lead a minority government, even if Lab+SNP+others might have a majority in principle.

  50. Bill Patrick

    Very good, had a smile at that.

    I am sure you know full well which party I think will do the least damage to the economy, and although some of their recent social policies are noxious to me, on the economy they will do the least damage IMO.

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