Full tabs for the YouGov/Sun on Sunday poll are now up here. The slightly larger sample than usual was to make sure they had a good sub-sample of Sun readers, which the Sun used in yesterday’s analysis of the poll to look at what their own readers thought. The Express, however, has decided to report the Sun reader crossbreak as a national poll – obviously it wins the coveted UKPR crap media reporting of polls award. Just to be crystal clear UKIP are not in second place in this poll. The headline figures for this poll were CON 33%, LAB 34%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 15%. The figures quoted in the Express relate only to respondents who read the Sun.

160 Responses to “No, UKIP aren’t in second place”

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  1. We’d already worked out it wasn’t about Express readers because UKIP weren’t in first.

    Thanks for explaining Anthony.

  2. On the last thread, someone commented that they felt that the latest Populus poll was based on fieldwork conducted before Rochester and the Thornberry brouhaha. That’s not correct. According to Populus, the poll they’ve just published showing a 5% Labour lead was based on fieldwork conducted between Friday, 21st November and Sunday, 23rd November. In that sense, it’s the very latest opinion data we’ve got.

  3. “Just to be crystal clear UKIP are not in second place in this poll. The headline figures for this poll were CON 33%, LAB 34%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 15%. The figures quoted in the Express relate only to respondents who read the Sun”

    Exactly what I said last night.

  4. @Crossbat11:

    I’m not sure how reliable the Populus polls are.

    Populus was one of the few polls showing a Conservative lead when other polls were showing a 3-9% Labour lead and, more recently, showed the Labour lead increasing markedly to 7% immediately after Cameron’s conference speech.

    Like the Ashcroft polls initially were Populus is not only swingy but often swings in the opposite direction to the trend from other polls.

  5. Just on the cross breaks….Slightly larger one for Scotland has the SNP on 41% which is at the lower end of recent YG polling, however still 18% ahead of Labour who are polling just 1% above the Tories at 23%.

    Back to the Sun readers only poll.

    The paper faces a dilemma. Who do they back? We all know in England they are a Tory paper but will they upset a quarter of their readership by bashing UKIP?

    PRESSMAN and his colleagues have a major problem from the Sun’s own (reader poll) which shows its own readers are split between the Tories and UKIP.

    In Scotland where the Sun is the biggest selling paper they back the SNP (Sat on the fence on the indy ref though) so is it more of the same in Scotland..back the Nats?

    Anything for sales but with the paper being pro right (and a right split ) in England and left leaning in Scotland then PRESSMAN and his gang will be going round in circles trying to come up with a plausible narrative to keep their core readers happy north and south!

    Good luck Mr P..

  6. Allen
    At 11.16 pm you said
    “Uh oh”

  7. @Allan Christie – The Sun backs the SNP in Scotland because Salmond always gave Murdoch whatever he wants. We’ll have to see whether the same is true for Sturgeon and Farage.

    As for a plausible narrative, all three parties (Cons, UKIP, SNP) are nationalists. There’s no circle to square: they can play their usual jingoistic jingles.

  8. @Valerie – Quoting Allan’s words back to him to prove he’s lying – most unsporting!

    At 11.16 pm you said
    “Uh oh”

    That’s correct but it was a cautious “Uh oh” because the facts of the poll were unknown at that time.

    I could had gone all guns blazing and called “TAXI” but common sense prevailed.

  10. Doesn’t that show how much reading a particular newspaper changes opinion? Or do those people with existing opinions choose a paper that agrees with them?

  11. Allen

    Unknown to you perhaps.

    But the poll was first mentioned at 7.16 pm and people immediately doubted its veracity.
    Bill Patrick. “Shenanigans”

    RAF. “Voodoo poll”

  12. @AC
    “PRESSMAN and his colleagues have a major problem from the Sun’s own (reader poll) which shows its own readers are split between the Tories and UKIP. ”

    Agreed. It would seem that as far as Sun readers go, there isn’t much more to be wrung out of Labour voters with an assault on Ed as it’s probably near rock bottom core vote anyway and, even if they do manage to entice a few more away it is likely to be to UKIP rather than the Tories.

    Good luck with that one, Mr P.


    Sorry I should had taken the words of RAF and Bill P as fact before the actual facts of the poll were published even though I did hint that it was a Sun only poll in one of my posts.

    I forgot to listen to the experts first though!!

  14. Valerie – to adapt a famous phrase:
    Why let the facts get in the way of a need to say something and be noticed?


    I agree and I often find the Sun (UK) to be even to the right of the Tories and more intune with your average UKIP voter.

    Of all the UK papers the Sun bang on about immigration and the EU more than any other so yes I agree they will probably draw in more kippers than Tories from Labour.

  16. JimJam


  17. Allen
    Well my first reaction was that there was something “fishy” about the Express’s take on the poll.
    Guess that makes me an ‘expert”

  18. @Allan Christie

    Papers are well aware of the need to reflect the views of their readers and so, for the tabloids at least, it makes sense not to damn UKIP entirely. I expect the approach from the Sun and Mail will be to suggest they understand why people might vote UKIP but ask readers to vote Tory to keep Miliband out/ get a referendum/ keep the economy on track, whilst the Express might go the full way and back UKIP.

  19. I mentioned in my last post that the Populus polls are as swingy as the Ashcroft polls initially were, but it has since occurred to me that the Ashcroft polls are also done by Populus.

    The Yougov polls are less swingy and less frequently have notable swings against expected from significant events.

  20. @JohnB

    I wasn’t commenting on the reliability of Populus polls, just correcting the assertion that the fieldwork pre-dated the Rochester by-election.

    Populus are a major and reputable pollster but I agree with you that they have a tendency to be out of kilter on occasions. They are usually kinder to both Labour and the Tories in terms of VI ratings, but we shouldn’t automatically assume they’re always wrong, as much as we may disapprove of their findings! :-)

    All in all, the post Rochester polls have surprised me so far. I expected them to be much worse for Labour than they appear to be and much better for UKIP. Miliband can breath a little easier. If this is what the polls look like after the cataclysmically bad press Labour have had of late, then it’s possible that the worst may be over for him.

  21. @John P

    The online Populus polls and the Ashcroft phone polls are at the opposite end of the spectrum on CON/LAB vote share though.

    Often Populus has been ‘sticky’ – not moved very much at all at times when others have. When it has moved it is often out of sequence. They were the first pollster (along with Ipsos-MORI) to show a narrowing but this hasn’t continued as LAB have slumped in other polls. Of course, they may be right and others wrong. Who knows?

  22. @Jack Sheldon

    Yes, you are quite right. I was being simplifying a bit by describing them as ‘swingy’ – they are as often strangely ‘sticky’.

    When you watch the daily trends as often as most of us who post here you often get a sense of which polls seem to obey rules of logic

  23. I took the liberty of putting together a little pic of the express and the poll. It might save folk a bit of surfing:


  24. Forgot to add. Not a single comment in that Express article mentions the Sun, so their readers are either taking it at face value, or like myself don’t tend to post comments in the Express (or any paper, in my own case).

  25. That Populus poll doesn’t ‘smell’ right to me, especially when you consider the last few days. It would be remarkable for a party in an avalanche of bad press to gain 3 or 4 percentage points.

  26. As far as I know, no-one has polled on the Thornberry tweet. I expect the clients don’t want to find out how popular it was: I’m expecting for every offended white-van-man there are 2 or 3 women that agree with the implied “disrespect”.

  27. @Bernard Simpson – An avalanche of bad press can be counter-productive. I think that the ferocity of the attacks on Gordon Brown and Labour in 2010 served to make a lot of the reluctant Labour vote turn out.

  28. Well, well, well, it turns out that voters aren’t sheep that believe whatever the tabloids print.

  29. I’m sorry but when I saw the pic of the owner of the van, shaved head, tattoos and all,my first reaction wasn’t one of ‘respect’.
    I thought you couldn’t make it up!
    But the tweet was just dumb. Surely before every tweet, email, MPs have to think how would that look on the front page of a tabloid.
    It’s that simple.

  30. Bernard

    Labour has maintained it’s share. It’s the Con VI that has fallen 2 points.

    Lab 36 (nc)
    Con 31 (-2)
    LD 9 (nc)
    UKIP 15 (+1)
    Oth 10 (+2).

    Tables here: http://popu.lu/s_vi141124

  31. @Statgeek

    Am I alone in being reminded, by your picture of Farage, of a Private Eye cover of yore featuring one E Powell, holding his hands wide apart?

    The caption as I recall was ‘And I tell you, some of them have got them this big’

  32. We really didn’t need any confirmation that the Express once again “wins the coveted UKPR crap media reporting of polls award”, not that is apart from Allan Christie.

    Allan, you should be ashamed of yourself. How could you ever have had the idea of even floating the possibility that the reporting of an opinion poll in the Express should be taken seriously?

  33. Anthony,

    “The figures quoted in the Express relate only to respondents who read the Sun.”

    Slight correction surely. It should say “Buy” rather than “Read”!


    [Read. It’s broken by which newspaper people say they read most often – AW]

  34. Valerie

    @” shaved head, tattoos and all,my first reaction wasn’t one of ‘respect’.”

    So you believe in stereotypes then Valerie. I’m surprised -someone with your egalitarian political leanings.

    Word of caution-you have to be careful about them :- How many footballers, actors , pop stars etc etc would earn your disrespect on that basis?

    Mind you none of them will own a white van or a semi in Strood with St. George’s flag hanging on its front.

    ………..perhaps you just chose the wrong features for your stereotype?

  35. It would be ironic if the meeja onslaught,having raised the profile of Labour, leads to improved poll ratings for them.
    Cliche corner:
    There’s no such thing as bad publicity; time will tell; IMO.

  36. http://www.vanishingtattoo.com/tattoo/celeb-willis.htm

    See what I mean Valerie?

    ( He may have a little pad in Strood of course-but I make the assumption that he doesn’t )


  37. “the coveted UKPR crap media reporting of polls award” – coveted and very highly prestigious, given how fierce the competition is! Revealed preferences are fascinating beasts.

  38. Brilliant! According to the same poll 100% of people read The Sun!! Not sure why that wasn’t reported in The Express?

  39. Colin. When out and about in my wheelchair I have lost count of the number of times a shaven-head, tattooed geezer has held a door open for me, picked up something I’ve dropped, reached for something from the top shelf of a supermarket etc.

    No doubt Mr Strood is a lovely guy. But the pic of him in his garden made me chortle.
    It was funny!!

  40. Populus poll looks certain to be MOE. Also I tend to find these stories take longer than a weekend to affect polls anyway. In fact as Anthony keeps saying there are very few things that noticeably affect polls- the rest is a gradual drip drip.

    @ Colin

    I’m not sure how to read your comment to Valerie. I think people are entitled to make a “first impression” of someone based on the way they present themselves.

    I think you would be being a bit twee if you claimed your thoughts on seeing a shaved head, tats and clothing weren’t those of Valerie. That doesn’t mean your first impression should be set in stone when you actually get to know someone. It just helps that a survival instinct kicks in on a first impression so that, for example, you realise it might not be a good idea to engage in “banter” with them on the football terraces or that it might not be wise to buy a house next door to one covered in St George’s flags without investigating further.

    Stereotypes exist for a reason- the mistake would be to make absolute assumptions based on a stereotype.

    Actors and pop stars aren’t necessarily good examples because they tend to be projecting an image for their career rather than who they are.

  41. In this Yougov poll the personal and general economic answers are quite negative and gloomy and some of them are a bit sad.


    Thinking about the current state of the economy and recovery
    Positive 36%
    Negative 58%

    People have more or less money to spend than a year
    ago -32% (more 12% less 32%)

    People are more or less positive about the future than
    they were a year ago? -12% (more 19% less 31%)

    And even jobs than a year ago -3% (more 20 less 23%)

    Cutting back on things
    Going out to the pub, restaurant or cinema 36%
    Heating my home 41%
    Clothes 44%
    Food 35%
    Christmas 41%

    And there are loads more in similar vein and there are exactly, exactly the same cross break splits as the normal Yougov = Cons very positive Lab and UKIP very negative

    Although the regional, age and class cross breaks vary depending on the question

    e.g voters in the North much more pessimistic about the future but all regions agree on the current stage of the economic recovery.

  42. @Bernard

    That Populus poll doesn’t ‘smell’ right to me, especially when you consider the last few days. It would be remarkable for a party in an avalanche of bad press to gain 3 or 4 percentage points

    Well if you look at Sunday’s Sunday Times Yougov, they asked on a 1-10 scale how firm each parties vote was.

    Labour is pretty much on a floor now, 5% of their voters may go UKIP, 6% to LD, 2% to Conservative, so I think the only way for them now is up.

    The Tories on the other hand have 17% of their voters considering UKIP, 9% considering LD and 4% considering Labour.

    And UKIP have 18% of their voters considering Conservative, 8% considering Labour, and 2% considering LD.

    So if you are looking for major poll movements, at the moment it is only likely to be between Conservative and UKIP, or Conservative and LD.

  43. Edit

    People have more or less money to spend than a year
    ago -32% (more 12% less 44%)

  44. Wow. Even by standards of crap poll reporting, this one is /bad/.

    As to the prospect of a party gaining share in the face of bad press…well, that’s called MoE. If one poll was a dud (say the old poll had underestimated support for the party in question) it’s quite easy to see an actual movement overwhelmed by noise. Moreover, from what I can tell Labour’s “bad news” was someone putting the ‘Twit’ in ‘Twitter’ and the party putting out a unified response.

  45. @Colin @Valerie

    The white van, shaven head, tattoos, St George flag, stereotype needs a snarling dog called ‘Killer’.

    In the US a pick-up, with ‘Jesus Saves’ bumper stickers, a US flag out of one window and a gun out of the other usually denotes someone NOT voting for the Democrats.

  46. The pic of Mr Strood was in the Telegraph ; the write-up said he’d voted Tory last time but didn’t know there was a by-election.
    To deconstruct the joke:
    It was the juxtaposition of these elements in the Torygraph of all places!
    Hee hee!

  47. Couper – did you miss out a small penis to go with the dog?

    (An old Fry and Laurie sketch))

    I’m not an MP so can think and say it.

  48. Why is anyone either shocked or surprised by the Express poll? Hello. There’s only five months until the General Election.

    Expect a photograph soon of Miliband shaking hands with Jimmy Saville after both had attended Stuart Hall’s birthday party.


  49. Does anyone remember the time that Mandelson posed with a bulldog? Really authentic, that.

  50. Perhaps Ed Miliband should get a tattoo?

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