We have our usual rush of Monday polls today, all showing a slightly healthier Labour lead than of late.

The first of Populus‘s two twice weekly polls had topline figures of CON 31%, LAB 36%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 15%, GRN 5% (tabs). Populus’s average so far this month has been CON 34%, LAB 36%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 13%, so this has the Conservatives a little lower than usual, UKIP a little higher than usual.

Lord Ashcroft‘s weekly poll had topline figures of CON 27%, LAB 32%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 18%, GRN 7% (tabs). Compared to his recent polls this has the Conservatives down a tad, Labour and UKIP both up a tad.

The daily YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 30%, LAB 34%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 18%, GRN 6%. YouGov’s average figures so far this month have been CON 33%, LAB 33%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 16% – so again, the Conservatives lower than usual, UKIP higher than usual.

None of the figures are different enough from recent polls to be sure the difference isn’t just normal sample variation, but the fact all three are showing a shift in the same direction (Conservatives down, UKIP up) means it’s possible we are seeing a bit of a publicity boost for UKIP following Rochester & Strood last week. Time will tell. Note also what it doesn’t show – any decrease in Labour’s support following several days of fussing about White Vans and Emily Thornberry.


365 Responses to “Latest Populus, Ashcroft and YouGov polls”

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  1. []

    This latest YouGov now gives Labour two 5% leads and a 4% lead in the three genuinely post-Rochester polls. I’m not surprised by the fall in the Tory vote (31, 27 and 30 is scary though) but I am surprised by the smallness of the UKIP bounce and Labour’s resilience.

    Of course, the real surprise tonight is Villa’s point against the rampaging Saints.

    Come on the Mighty Villa!

    :-)

  2. @Crossbat 11

    The crucial thing to watch is whether this Ukip/Tory dynamic is a flash in the pan or something firmer. If the latter, it could give Labour the opportunity of establishing a clear lead in England, partially offsetting its likely losses in Scotland.

  3. @Crossbat11

    I actually think UKIP have ceiling under You Gov methodology of about 18%.

    Labour also seems to have a solid vote of around 32-33%. No matter what the headlines from Pressman and co, I suspect they will find the current Labour support an almost immovable object.

    The Conservatives have seen a number of dips in support and a little softness this year to suggest their solid vote is a little lower than Labour’s.

  4. “Note also what it doesn’t show – any decrease in Labour’s support following several days of fussing about White Vans and Emily Thornberry.”

    —————

    If the kind of person who might be offended by Thornberry’s tweet is already backing UKip anyway then it possibly wouldn’t affect Labour’s support.

  5. Catman
    Looks right to me

  6. “Note also what it doesn’t show – any decrease in Labour’s support following several days of fussing about White Vans and Emily Thornberry”
    _______

    Maybe EM should pardon her and bring her back into the shadow cabinet.

    Polls today are showing the pendulum lurching left a bit. Possibly by-election bounce and white van man vote going to Labour on back of tweet.

  7. @Carfrew – Not only that, but there may be people who empathise with Thornberry’s bemusement / discomfort / whatever-it-was at such ostentatious nationalism. That’s the importance of population polling rather than believing whoever shouts loudest, I guess, much like the polls showing a quiet majority in favour of positive engagement with Europe.

  8. @Chris Green

    In that case, they need to get Thornberry back asap and doing more tweets…

  9. Fascinating how little connection there seems to be between what people who follow politics news think and the electorate as a whole!

    The UKIP vote has been falling fairly steadily since 1 Nov and it will be interesting to see whether this trend resumes after a blip or whether the Reckess win reverses it.

  10. @Crossbat
    Maybe Labour are emulating the mighty Villa (sic) by starting to pull up just when everyone thinks they’re dead and buried.

    Of course, there’s ways another way when you get tired of the dross served up in Within :)

    Won’t it be amusing if Labour get a decent majority without Scotland? Sort of neutralises the SNP’s borderline blackmail strategy.

  11. Witton …

  12. Snp probably slow decline as labour regroups under new leader.

    Will they start to fret that they would have done better on sept 18 with sturgeon as leader ?

    Ukip need another defector to keep the pot boiling.

  13. there may be people who empathise with Thornberry’s bemusement / discomfort / whatever-it-was at such ostentatious nationalism

    I know several people who cant see what the fuss was about mainly because they live on the same street as someone who hangs flags all over their house and, in their words not mine “drags the street down”!

  14. A lot of my workmates, friends etc are getting fed up of the media’s attacks on EM. Is Pressman and his friends going a bit too far with all the attacks

  15. Quote from Daily Mail

    “One senior Labour insider said it was ‘worse than the Gillian Duffy moment’ when Gordon Brown was recorded calling a voter a ‘bigoted woman’.”

    One “senior Labour insider” doesn’t understand politics, or voters.

    We keep hearing about these political “disasters” but how often do they affect the polls?

  16. Jasper,
    Totally agree regarding twitter and I would include Facebook there as well.

  17. I’ve long thought that were the Greens to begin to show regularly ahead of the Lib Dems, we could see a catastrophic collapse of the Lib Dem vote. The only thing is there’s not a lot left of it to collapse.

  18. @Lurker

    By definition, anyone quoted in the press is ‘senior’ otherwise why would we listen to them? By a ‘senior labour insider’ I take it they mean that they’ve talked to someone who once bumped into a member of the shadow cabinet in a coffee shop.

  19. Looks to me like the post by-election effect, bounce for UKIP at Tories expense, Labour still down on their 35% strategy, ( no, I don’t know where it came from either) and meaningless in the context of the real event next May.
    IMO, Tories to bounce back, Labour to continue downward trend, over next few polls. Ed M continues to be a drag at this stage of the cycle, good news for Tory party, bad news for Labour, who I anticipate will hit 30% ( 30 is the new 35 ) Mind you, everything looks good from where I’m sitting, on a moon-lit, palm lined, terrace overlooking Africa. :-)

  20. @Tark

    Mike Smithson is excited by the Ashcroft England poll. Now it is just one poll, that may be explained by reference to the R&S by election.

    However, MS believes that the Tories are losing more support in England than Labour is losing I’m Scotland. He cites that in 2010 the Cons polled 39.2% I’m England. The latest Ashcroft showed then at 28%. Factor in Labour’s change over the same period (28.1% to 34%), and that adds up as an 8.5% Con-Lab swing.
    http://www1.politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2014/11/24/labours-scottish-crisis-is-masking-what-could-be-even-more-significant-the-tory-collapse-in-england/

  21. CROSSBAT11……….I forgot to add my thanks, and congratulations, for the 2 points you won for Chelsea tonight, we appreciate your support. :-)

  22. It’s not surprising that the white van and flag affair hasn’t registered on the polls. The van and flag phenomenon is familiar enough, especially to Londoners. All Thornberry did was record a spectacular instance. Ed was silly to get so worked up about it.

  23. @Lurker

    Quote from Daily Mail

    “One senior Labour insider said it was ‘worse than the Gillian Duffy moment’ when Gordon Brown was recorded calling a voter a ‘bigoted woman’.”

    I still can’t believe anyone thought ‘the tweet’ was anything other a bit of silly nonsense.

    If that quote did come from a real senior Labour insider, that insider is so clueless I wouldn’t put them in charge of a tea trolley.

    If that is the quality of Labour back room staff, then the whole damn lot needs showing the door.

  24. Ken – I think you are right about the drop in Tory support probably being ethemeral.
    I think that your prediction of 30% for Labour is more of a wish than having any analytical basis however.

  25. Ken

    I think you may have spoken too soon. David Mellor has been reported being rude to a cabbie, so the Tories will be on 15% by the end of the week.

  26. @CatmanJeff

    I believe Frank Field is reported to have said something along those lines. Not sure how much weight FF carries in EM’s Labour party.

  27. @Ken

    I’ve read such a prediction for a long time, but it’s totally failed to happen.

    If this is the great plan Lynton Crosby is depending on……….I think he might a few spare plans as back up :-)

  28. It is irrelevant how many seats SNP get in Scotland. Nicola has said she won’t support a Con govt – so either Ed has a majority on his own or he has one with SNP (&/or other) support. Unless of course Cons revive in which case it still won’t matter how Scotland votes because with only one Tory MP Scotland can’t stop Con winning. The only way Scotland could effect the result is if we all decide to vote Con putting Cameron over the line.

    SNP are now favourites to win most Scottish seats.

  29. @KEN

    Labour to continue their downward trend?? Not tonight, the only ones with a downward trend are the blues.

  30. @RAF

    I’m not in the LP, but the people I know who are don’t have a single good word for FF.

    I think think he is a political loner, who indeed carries little weight.

  31. @RAF
    Yes, it supports the evifence that UKIP are taking more from Con than Lab, something that has gone below the radar recently even with last week’s byelection. I don’t think there will be more Con->UKIP defections before May, but there don’t need to be. UKIP are a problem for Labour, but a mortal threat for the Tories.

    It’s funny right now. Labour, despite a slender yet continuing lead are convinced they can’t win. Conservatives, despite the polls and continuing falls in earnings, cannot imagine they will lose.

  32. @Ken

    “CROSSBAT11……….I forgot to add my thanks, and congratulations, for the 2 points you won for Chelsea tonight, we appreciate your support. :-)”

    Always pleased to help the smaller clubs in the Premiership and Chelsea’s heroic exploits over the years, battling against the odds, sticking it to the rich and powerful is one of those great romantic stories in football.

    :-)

    That said you’re a blue, both politically and from a footballing perspective, who I’ve always enjoyed reading on these pages over the years.

    Like OldNat, I don’t agree with a lot of what you say, but I detect a genuine wit at work and you often make me chuckle.

  33. KEN
    ” Mind you, everything looks good from where I’m sitting, on a moon-lit, palm lined, terrace overlooking Africa. :-)”
    Keep an eye out for boat loads of dark people landing on the beach and heading for Calais.
    An alternative to your analysis is that which confirms a swing back of Lab UKIP defectors, the last in first out ones which the polls have been suggesting, supporting the possibility that on reflection they may be seeing the unlikelihood of UKIP ever being able to deliver on a manifesto. Ditto, I would predict, for Con UKIP swingers, but with less salience and slowly. Mid-thirties for Con, and upper 30’s for Lab by Xmas, and less than 15% for Nigel’s stocking.

  34. Sky correspondent quoting Ashcott as telling Tory peers, “wait until you see my poll of the marginals later in the week”. The way it was presented suggests things are getting worse for Cons

  35. Looks like the trend of ukip taking chunks out of the Tories is showing no signs of abating. Ukip could take a lot of seats off the Tories in certain areas in the south/east. Labour also are going to all but wipe out the Tories north of… The M25 at this rate.

  36. Tark – “Won’t it be amusing if Labour get a decent majority without Scotland? Sort of neutralises the SNP’s borderline blackmail strategy.”

    They, like sections of the press, have confused the domination of the Labour party by Scottish politicians, with the idea that Labour needs Scottish VOTES to govern.

    Actually New Labour, Harold Wilson and Attlee all governed with English majorities.

    But it is also true that in the last twenty years, Scottish politicians have dominated the Labour party. Diane Abbott wrote a gleeful article in the Guardian about the demise of Scottish Labour, and described the way they voted as a bloc within the party in order to promote each other, rather than doing what the English and Welsh politicians were doing and voting in shadow cabinet elections based on policy rather than region.

    If Labour loses in Scotland, then by definition those Scottish voices will be silenced within the Labour party, and if simultaneously it wins in England and Wales, those voices will come to the fore – which will inevitably change the character of the party.

    So we’re not only seeing national politics in a state of flux but parties themselves are in transition mode and will emerge looking very different from what went before. (The Tory party is also due for a major change, the last one they experienced being in 1979. Will the Cameroons end up shedding their head-bangers to UKIP while absorbing the LibDems to become the New Whigs?)

  37. Now EM is as safe as houses, will it be DCs job under threat? A good 70-100 Tory MPs must be very nervous. I do think we will see more defections once constituency polls are done in vulnerable constuencies. If you are going to comfortably lose your seat, why not give ukip a whirl.

  38. “One senior Labour insider”

    I’m guessing that’ll be an elderly Labour Party member who suffers from agoraphobia.

  39. @Peter Bell

    Sky correspondent quoting Ashcott as telling Tory peers, “wait until you see my poll of the marginals later in the week”.
    __________________________________________

    Well based on the fact that UKIP is nowhere in Scotland, that means they are over 20% in much of England and Wales, and based on the fact that the last marginals polls showed them in the lead in one seat, and high 20’s in others, I think UKIP will surprise on the upside.

    And same for Labour, their collapse has mainly been in Scotland, so they should be doing very well in England.

    So my guess is Tories starting to be in 3rd place in some marginals, and UKIP now in first place in a few more.

  40. “One “senior Labour insider” doesn’t understand politics, or voters”

    Or doesn’t exist. I struggle to understand the mentality of any Labour insider, senior or otherwise, who might make negative comments to the Tory press off the record this close to an election. My strong suspicion is that the majority of these insiders are figments of Pressman’s imagination.

    Still no sign of the #CameronMustGo trend making to the headlines. If it had been #MilibandMustGo I think we can be sure it would have been described as a “nationwide campaign” and would be plastered all over the front pages. That well-known BBC impartiality showing itself one again.

  41. @Candy

    I enjoyed that Diane Abbott article although, as she pointed out, the end of elected shadow cabinet positions has made the dynamic less important than it was 20 years ago.

    The next day I observed the same phenomenon when Mrs (not)Northumbrian(just)Scot completed her voting papers for a UK wide professional association by ticking the box of each Scottish representative on the basis that she didn’t know any of the candidates personally and didn’t have time to read 40 odd personal statements so it was best to vote for the Scots and assume they shared a certain commonality of professional interest.

    I disparage neither my wife nor Scottish Labour MPs of the 1980s as the behaviour makes total sense in the context of a small distinct nation with a larger neighbour.

    Voting SNP (even if disagreeing with their independence policy) is just an extension of this pattern, in that the evidence seems to be that Scottish voters value “Sticking up for Scotland” above other political considerations and Scottish Labour have struggled post referendum to make the case that they can do so. To turn the polls around the new LiS leader will need a convincing argument on this point.

  42. Hoof Hearted – “Now EM is as safe as houses, will it be DCs job under threat?”

    DC is as safe as houses given he’s polling well ahead of his party.

    The person whose job should be under threat is Lynton Crosby. UKIP’s surge is really a result of his pandering to that reactionary strain of politics. That might have worked in Australia where there is just a choice of Liberal (Tory) and Labour and Green, but here where there are a multiplicity of parties, he’s just been feeding the Kipper beast.

    This might be the last time parties import strategists from abroad. Gordon Brown had no success either with his American imports and only managed to mitigate losses at the end by bringing back Mandelson. I suppose you need someone utterly steeped in British politics to appreciate all the fine nuances.

  43. So is the Ashcroft poll going to be our next crop down of marginals?

    From the previous 10, didn’t we have 7 going to Labour, and one of the 3 staying Tory was by a whisker?

    From the next 10, one would imagine any more than 5 changing hands makes it reasonably interesting. Conversely, if the bottom has been reached, ie. everything stays Blue, then it’s good news for Cameron – as one would assume there would be a swingback to the Tories in these marginals, more so than nationally perhaps.

  44. Also, SNP 8/11 to win most seats north of the border. Seems reasonably good value given current polls.

  45. @NorthumbrianScot

    I’m not keen on sectarianism, there’s an anti-meritocratic element to it. You only have to look at where the Scottish descendants in NI took it to see what a bad place you end up in.

    I don’t suppose the Scots can be educated out of it at all?

  46. @Candy

    “They, like sections of the press, have confused the domination of the Labour party by Scottish politicians, with the idea that Labour needs Scottish VOTES to govern”

    By ‘votes’ I take it you mean ‘seats’ too. I threw a few numbers at the EC site, and basically kept the Scottish VI averages constant. Lab on 34 to Con 30 and they get an OM of 4 seats. However on Lab 34 to Con 31, they do not, and are short by 4 seats.

    Labour’s Scottish seats meant that they could win in England without winning the votes in England, whereas if the current polling translates into seats the way we (some of us) think it might, Labour will need a 4% lead to just get over the line, rather than a 2% lead to get a larger majority.

    The Conservatives need around an 8% lead to get an overall majority (their 2010 7% lead wasn’t enough!), and they still need it now, as the seats in Scotland aren’t moving to Con.

    Of course, none of this really confronts issues such as UNS, voter concentration, UKIP (and tactical voting by Lab or Con voters in marginals where UKIP might have half a chance). I’m glad I’m not a Westminster party strategist.

  47. One possible outcome of the Thornberry situation is that it is actually a positive for the Labour party. To paraphrase the highly representative sample of my grandfather:
    “I never liked her, I’m glad she’s gone”.

  48. @SYZYGY

    “@ Carfew and Mr Nameless

    I think the way to combine Thorium and opinion poll reporting into a single dissertation would be a consideration of how the press shapes the discourse.

    Thorium and many individual opinion polls are ignored whereas Hydraulic Fracking and certain polling results are given a great deal of attention.

    What was that about ‘Follow the money’?”

    ————

    Funnily enough, I know someone who did a PhD* on nuclear power ideologies. Wasn’t about the press per se as I recall, but more how people viewed nuclear power; you could add in the role of the press in shaping those views.

    *(BillyBob woulda loved it. It was chock full of Feyerabend and everything…)

  49. @Candy
    “…That might have worked in Australia where there is just a choice of Liberal (Tory) and Labour and Green…”

    I don’t think it’s the difference in the number of parties that makes UK less susceptible to Lynton Crosby than OZ, but the voting system.

    The “full list” AV system is sensitive to slight differences in voter preference. So even if Labour and Liberal/National are your two least favourite parties you are still obliged to put one above the other – if you don’t do this your entire ballot will be disallowed as “informal”. The “dog-whistle” exploits the preference vote.

    It’s notable that Crosby’s greatest success in the UK was in getting Boris Johnson elected Mayor of London – under the restricted preference system that we confusingly call “Supplementary Vote”.

    Under FPTP there are no preference to exploit and Crosby was notably less succesful in getting Michael Howard to Downing Street in 2005. Some of the electorate may have been “thinking what the Tories were thinking”, and may have been thinking it enough to bump their Tory candidate up their internal preference list, but there were (unfortunately for Mr H) no preferences on the ballot paper!

    We can excuse Mr Crosby for his failure to notice this, I suppose, him being a colonial and all – but it’s a bit odd that nobody in the Tory party has spotted his mistake.

  50. yougov seem to be down.

    If Lab swing (claw? wrest? beg?) back to 35% or more that’s all she wrote folks.

    And if Con fall below 30 then they don’t even need that.

    Only fear for Miliband is that UKIP (and SNP) wipe everybody else out which seems far fetched at the moment but then in the 30s nobody could have predicted what happened next either.

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