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. At least the Scottish Labour Party are holding a leadership election and giving people a choice.

    Also if Alec does stand at the GE will he have to be selected by a constituency or can he pick and choose?

  2. @Couper2802

    “I hope Sarah wins, next Findlay, then Murphy.”

    You’re supporting Boyack then, not Neil or Jim.

    I suspect that neither of us care for Johnson, let alone Boris.

  3. MISERABLE OLD GIT

    Species generally last only a few million years.

    ____

    Hm, try telling that to a coelacanth.

    The other thing that puzzles me is how people reconcile the concept of species, which implies some sort of fixity, with evolutionary theory, which indicates gradual but continuing change. Of course there is the new idea that evolution occurs in short, sharp bursts. Perhaps you can help me on all of that.

    Anyway, about that YouGov poll …

  4. The sun will be become too hot for life to exist long before it goes kaput. We have more like 4 billion years. Panic! ;-)

  5. Stutter

    The gradual change is the Dawkins conception of evolution. Stephen Jay Gould preferred a punctuated equilibrium model. I am not qualified to make an expert judgement on who was right.

  6. Much better poll for the Tories this morning but we will need to see more the same before we can say that the crop of bad polls was a short-lived blip.

    D Mellor behaving like a p*** according to the DM.

    Ken

    Loved your 12.12 post, what I would expect. I have a son-in-law in Insurance and he works so hard we worry about his health.

  7. TOH
    ” I have a son-in-law in Insurance and he works so hard we worry about his health.”

    We have a son-in-law who plays guitar in a band. I am not sure if he does any work, but the travel, drink and late hours must be pretty stressful.

  8. @Valerie re SNP selection processes.

    I know SNP branches are organised on Scottish Parliament constituencies rather than Westminster so not sure exactly how the process works for Westminster selections.

    However it seems to be based on receiving an initial nomination by local members, then a hustings after which a final short list is drawn up (presumably by local party exec but I’m not clear on this part). Finally it’s a one member one vote selection from the shortlist.

    Having said all that if Alex Salmond decides to stand I can’t see any constituency deciding not to pick him.

  9. JOHN PILGRIM

    I don’t see the relevance of your post.

    Ken was making the point that a lot of people in banking services work hard and to the nations benefit. I was agreeing and making the same point regarding other parts of the financial services industry.

    and your point was………….?

  10. So the Polls once again refuse to comply with the short term pollwatchers who pronounce this or that at every change.

    Who knows what they are saying until these confused & disaffected voters decide what they are going to do.

    Great piece by Finkelstein today , advising Cameron that nothing he can say about immigration will sway UKIP voters, whose support for UKIP is about “attitude” , not “policies”.

    He has interesting things to say about the ecclectic bunch NF has attracted support from. He has u-turned on insurance based NHS
    funding ;&opposed the “bedroom tax” . Carswell is silent on his personal philosophy of “i Democracy” , and the demolition of the Centralist State.
    The old & economically dissapointed , living in declining areas of the country are not free market liberals !

    Speaking of U-turns, I personally listened to Murphy say , on R4, just three weeks ago that he would not seek to re-write Labour’s submission on further income tax devolution.He said , subsequently that completely devolving income-tax would be a “betrayal” of those who voted for the Union. EM said Redistribution must be a UK wide policy-which needs Scottish taxes.
    Murphy now signals that Labour should give complete control of Income Tax to Holyrood.

    There is much turbulence to flow under the electoral bridge yet I suspect, before the deep, slow pools of water so beloved of some UKPR contributors appear around the bend-if they ever do :-)

  11. Murphy is already triangulating. He is a Blairite and part one of the Blairites strategy is to close the gap with your opponent by adopting those of their policies that are more popular than your own.

    Blair dropped nationalisation and unilateral nuclear disarmament and courted the city. According to the Herald Murphy has already signalled he will now protect, free Bus Passes, Prescription and possibly free Tuition Fees.

    It’s the old Chinese proverb;

    “If your fighting a Giant hold on to his Belt”

    Stage two once your offering the same is to go for “It’s time for change”

    I liked the fact that he got cheered when he told a rally that he hadn’t asked Miliband or Balls for permission when he announced he would bring back the 50p rate for earnings over £150k if he was First Minister.

    Sounds tough until you remember that bringing back the 50p rate is UK Labour policy so he hadn’t asked Londons permission to introduce Londons policy…radical or what.

    Interestingly there doesn’t seem to have been any wider party debate about all these policy changes, not Conference or motions, no new commission just leadership announcements.

    It will be interesting to see what happens over the next week or so.

    If I am right, Murphy will be cautiously pessimistic about the SNP’s new legislative programme.

    He will declare it’s not ambitious enough and lacks vision but will steer clear of outright opposition to any particular policy until he is sure it isn’t popular and he might have to adopt it or being forced articulate an alternative which might be less popular.

    Peter.

  12. There is little doubt that some bankers work hard. The problem is when they work hard at lining their own pockets at the expense of the rest. There have now been so many different and extensive examples of this even Carney was recently moved to say that we can’t blame it on a few bad apples any more: the problem is the barrel itself is rotten, as he put it. He was talking about continuing issues even AFTER all the PPI and Libor stuff. The Panorama episode is but the latest example…

    @Guymonde

    Yep, particularly telling was when one of ’em started stammering when asked about paying huge bonuses to someone doing stuff he didn’t exactly condone as being ideal practice.

    I’m sure some people worked very hard at it though. The businesses that suffered prolly wished they hadn’t…

  13. The IPPR says that after one year these %s of students are still jobless :-
    28% of post GCSE school leavers .
    15 % of graduates .
    5% of trained Apprentices.

    Go figure !

  14. @Phil Haines

    Yes I let my choice show calling my fav. by her first name.

    Or were you saying I was being sexist? I’m not sure but I am female – I hate my username because people think I’m a man – but too late to change.

  15. John Cruddas is reported as saying that Murphy’s comments are not the party’s official position :-)

    Cruddas-who he ?

  16. @Ken

    had a listen to one of the evoid tracks – taximan – put me in mind a little of “Men at Work”, if you remember them. Reading Wiki, it says they moved to England. Possibly how you met them?

    South Africa commendably has its own thing going on musically. Dunno if you caught that programme on Rodriguez recently. Heart-warming stuff…

  17. @Valerie

    I don’t recall there being a leadership contest when Brown walked into the Prime Minister job. And the SNP have just had a deputy leader contest. without a smidgen of the media coverage given to Murphy

  18. STUTTER

    “The other thing that puzzles me is how people reconcile the concept of species, which implies some sort of fixity, with evolutionary theory, which indicates gradual but continuing change.”

    The two are not mutually exclusive. It’s a bit like the creationist question, “If human evolved from apes why are there still apes?”

    Firstly, of course, humans didn’t evolve from apes, what we had was a mutual ancestor which we diverged from. This is true of all species, that they evolve from “parent” species. Sometimes the parent ancestor dies out, sometimes it doesn’t. So sometimes the species, if it is successful in its own right, will continue for millions of years. Sometimes an evolved species will also be successful and live alongside the “parent”; other times the new species will be more successful and the “parent” will die out. Or there may be more than one offshoot that becomes a new species. Look at the Galapagos tortoises for example. There is nothing fixed about how evolution occurs or how long a species lasts.

    Evolution is not just a lineal descendant line.

    This is a very simplified explanation of course, but it may go some way to answering your question.

  19. @Stutter

    The two modern species of coelacanth are different species to the ancient extict lobe-finned fish they are related to. I don’t think their ages as species are known. But even if they had remained unchanged since the last fossil record of their order 80 million ya it wouldn’t contradict the idea that generally species last a couple of million years.

    The idea of a “species” doesn’t imply fixity only distinctness. The Labour and Tory parties have both changed since the 1920s, but they have remained distinct species, for example:)

  20. Couper2802,

    To be fair the Labour deputy leadership contest is hardly getting much media focus either.

    Brown didn’t stand against Blair and no one stood against Brown because from time to time Party’s have a good idea who will be best. It’s just a fact of life that occasionally their is an obvious candidate that people can unite behind.

    I think it is churlish and petty when you get into critics get the other side when in the same circumstances you would do the same.

    I remember as a Councillor having arguments with colleagues about them wanting to oppose a measure that in the same position we would do, because they felt that it was the oppositions job to oppose.

    That in a way is one of the dangers of triangulation, it looks like clever politics and is in the short term but it can lead to homogenisation and the public seeing all parties as the same and the unpopular hard problems being avoided.

    Peter.

  21. @Colin

    Crudas is saying that to help Murphy

    1. Murphy, changes his position and says he now supports full devolution of income tax
    2. Smith Commission recomends full devolution of income tax
    3. Murphy has skirmish with UK Labour
    4. Murphy wins

    Murphy looks powerful and can stand up for Scotland. I will bet my bottom dollar that the Smith Commission recomends full devolution of income tax and Murphy’s team all about it.

  22. ‘Murphy & his team know all about it’

  23. “Firstly, of course, humans didn’t evolve from apes, what we had was a mutual ancestor which we diverged from. This is true of all species, that they evolve from “parent” species. Sometimes the parent ancestor dies out, sometimes it doesn’t. So sometimes the species, if it is successful in its own right, will continue for millions of years. Sometimes an evolved species will also be successful and live alongside the “parent”; other times the new species will be more successful and the “parent” will die out. Or there may be more than one offshoot that becomes a new species. Look at the Galapagos tortoises for example. There is nothing fixed about how evolution occurs or how long a species lasts.”

    ———

    You could apply that to Parties. Like if the Tories are the parents of UKip.

    Who will prove more successful? Will they coexist or will one die out? Already been through it with Labour and the SDP of course… though there may at times be inter-breeding, e.g. with LibDems.

  24. “The Labour and Tory parties have both changed since the 1920s, but they have remained distinct species, for example:)”

    ————-

    Would all agree with that?

    Sometimes, they cross the species barrier, eg Reckless and Carless…

  25. UK gross domestic product (GDP) in volume terms was estimated to have increased by 0.7% between Q2 2014 and Q3 2014

    Of the 0.7%

    Household spending = 0.5%
    Government spending = 0.2%
    Fixed Capital Formation mostly new buildings = 0.5%
    Trade balance = -0.5%

    business investment fell 0.7% in Q3, but it is higher than last year

    The Bank of England says “One possible cause for the decrease in business investment is the growing uncertainty within the economy”

    Bank of England’s Kristin Forbes said that people have been dipping into their savings to fund spending

    Exports & business investment weak, Consumer spending drives the recovery and government spending helping in this quarter

  26. Couper2802,

    I think your right about the Smith commission and who knew what.

    Interestly Findley is saying, the issue isn’t they powers but what you decide to do with them and that he might do it differently from UK Labour, while Murphy has said what he will do with them and it’s the same as UK Labour.

    I think Murphy will win and being a Blairites will rule by decree from a kitchen cabinet of close pals and crush anyone who talks out of turn.

    Not a good model of leadership but that doesn’t mean it won’t work.

    Peter.

  27. Oh forgot all statistics from the ONS of course

    LINK

    http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/naa2/second-estimate-of-gdp/q3-2014/stb-second-estimate-of-gdp–q3-2014.html

    comments from the Bank of England and the BBC

  28. @Couper

    I’ve no view about your preference, it’s just I hate the selective use of first names for politicians and prefer to stick to surnames generally.

    So, no references to “Ed” and “Cameron”

    or

    “Dave” and “Miliband”.

    And “Boris” – who’s that?

  29. Only just caught up with the latest YouGov poll after some in-depth footy-watching last night. Is there a better striker in world football than Aguero, by the way, and how much filthy lucre has Roman slipped some of his rivals in Chelsea’s group (Ken?)? Schalke threw that last night, didn’t they? :-)

    So, much excitement last week about three consecutive 1% Tory leads in YouGov polls […snip…] even though other pollsters were sending out different messages. Now, since Sunday, we’ve had three consecutive YouGov polls showing small Labour leads. 4% lead yesterday, 1% lead today, 1% lead on Sunday, and two others (Populus and Ashcroft) showing larger leads. Small Labour lead re-established post Rochester is my take on these five post-Rochester polls. It might well have been level-pegging pre-Rochester and mid-Miliband nadir, but things may well be nudging back to where they were two or three months ago.

    On the evidence of Marr’s programme on Sunday, and an interview he gave on the Today programme this morning, I’m starting to become a bit of a David Davis fan. I’m worried! Don’t agree with him politically on virtually anything, but he seems an honest and plain-speaking politician who is not afraid to depart from the party line. A bit of a Tory version of Labour’s Tom Watson, if you like. This morning he was talking about bankers and the moral malaise that gripped the banking industry, he felt, some 20 years or so ago in the early 90s, due mainly to hubris and de-regulation. He believed that behaviour was slowly improving but with a long way still to go. What was fascinating was two things. Firstly ,he didn’t try and fit his diagnosis into convenient party political time-frames (i.e it all started in 1997 and only improved from 2010 onwards), but instead laid the blame at successive governments (Thatcher for deregulating and Blair for blithely carrying on) and, crucially, the pernicious culture that the banks themselves had fostered over two decades. Secondly, he attributed the cause of global financial crash in 2008 to the the behaviour of the banks. Gordon Brown didn’t get a mention!

    Strange and refreshing to hear a Tory politician talk like this. He was also excellent about UKIP on Marr’s programme on Sunday, as was Margaret Hodge too. Two political peas out of the same pod and if only there were more like them. They give mainstream politics a good name.

  30. @Peter

    Murphy saying ‘There are not enough Labour voters to win’ which is patently rubbish, there are definitely enough potential Labour voters to win. I could see the presenter on Scotland Tonight looking surprised but Murphy quickly moved on.

    He is giving the Labour party the Blairite choice – ‘support me or keep losing’.

    Are Voters going to vote- Murphy because he is the best ‘politician’ and without him they think they can’t win OR vote for their preferred candidate?

  31. Couper2802,

    Clearly as on many issues, be it the economy or services, Labour and the SNP have broadly similar views and that in both Westminster and Holyrood their combined support makes up two thirds of the electorate the poll of votes is big enough for either to win.

    The flaw in Murphy’s argument is that he believes in there being “Labour Voters” and others, as opposed to there just being “Voters”.

    Both Labour and the SNP need to do the same thing, come up with a message and narrative that a majority of the electorate can unite behind.

    What makes Scottish politics different and interesting is that unlike the UK where you have a centre right and a centre left party trying to win over the centre being saying slightly different things, here we may well have to have two centre left parties telling the centre left the same things while rubbishing each other.

    That might seem a recepie for stalemate but potentially the winner will be the one who finds something new to offer.

    Peter.

  32. @Carfrew

    I was hoping to provoke that response!

    But no, Labour and Tory Parties are distinct species, even though they have sometimes been difficult to distinguish. Examples from the natural world abound of species that look similar but are unrelated – I particularly like the two species of mice that were discovered to be genetically distinct only from the chance observation that they had different squeaks.

    The role of hybridisation in species formation is more discussed now than formerly, and not just straightforward miscegenation (as in the hybrid that resulted from the crossing of the SDP with the Liberals). Organisms can, it seems, sometimes pass genetic information to other species without hybridisation proper – though we’re usually talking about microbes here – and defections from one party to another look a bit like that process.

    Despite what Nige says, however, I don’t see UKIP as a completely separate species from the Tories just yet, they’re more of a separate breeding population – a precursor to speciation possibly, but not necessarily.

  33. Apologies if I have misunderstood, but I thought that the latest YouGov daily poll for the Sun had Conservatives on 32%, Labour 33%, Lib Dems 7%, UKIP 16% and Greens 6%

    (http://cdn.yougov.com/cumulus_uploads/document/ojn7yf80q4/YG-Archive-Pol-Sun-results-251114.pdf).

  34. @postage

    It says on wiki that members of a species share the same physical attributes (and where possible, DNA). So then we might have to compare attributes and stuff*, and I’d rather gnaw my own leg off. So I’ll prolly go with your answer if that’s ok.

    *(Obviously Miliband is an exception, on account of being an emissary from a different planet and stuff…)

  35. Yougov Scotland cross break + seats

    SNP 40%…..41 seats

    LAB 26%….11 seats

    TORY 20%…4 seats

    LIB/DEM 3%…2 seats

    UKIP 5%

    GRN 5%

    Had to give the Lib/Dems 5% to bring the total up to 90% on the predictor.

    On the current UK wide poll out last night, I take it Labour HQ have canceled Pickfords?

  36. CROSSBAT11

    “They give mainstream politics a good name.”

    Agree, if only there were MP’s like them on both sides of the house.

  37. If only David Davis had been Tory leader at the last election. The Tories would be in majority government and probably well under way with the process of leaving the EU.

  38. COLIN

    “So the Polls once again refuse to comply with the short term pollwatchers who pronounce this or that at every change”
    ______

    It was quite disturbing. ..I thought I had woken up from a 5 month long coma to find EM had won the election judging by some of the celebratory comments. ;-)

  39. @Peter

    The SNP does have something unique: Independence

  40. @AC

    “It was quite disturbing. ..I thought I had woken up from a 5 month long coma to find EM had won the election judging by some of the celebratory comments. ;-)”

    Thank the lord that there are mature posters on this site who avoid references to taxi or removal firms following every poll…

  41. @Carfrew

    LOL. I’d rather read about other people’s research on that than do my own any day of the week.

    Re: Ed – I’m beginning to suspect it’s “dimension” rather than just “planet”; “It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it”. Still, it’s better than coming from Belgium. Mussells and chips? Really?

  42. THE OTHER HOWARD
    “If only David Davis had been Tory leader at the last election. The Tories would be in majority government and probably well under way with the process of leaving the EU”
    _______

    What would be certain……the UKIP VI would not be as high as it is and I doubt the Tories would had seen two defectors.

    Has there been any polling on the Tory VI if David Davis was their leader?

  43. @GuyMonde

    “Thank the lord that there are mature posters on this site who avoid references to taxi or removal firms following every poll…”

    :-). I was disappointed too that we didn’t get a “Taxi for David Mellor” reference. Not once. Selective wit, it seems.

    @TOH

    I agree with you about Davis and Hodge and, this may surprise you, also about Davis probably being the better long term choice than Cameron as Tory Party leader. He was the clear front-runner until the Tory faithful were seduced by a Blair-esque, extempore speech by Cameron. I suspect this still rankles a bit with Davis, hence his tendency to subtly criticise Cameron’s leadership (too many public schoolboys at the top of the party he said once, I think) but he chimes much better with what the Tory Party now is than Cameron does, or probably ever did. My view, and it’s a totally personal one, is that the Tories were so bedazzled and wrong-footed by Blair that they grabbed for their nearest equivalent in Cameron. Davis was the better option I always felt, but then again, I’m not a Conservative so what do I know? :-)

  44. CROSSBAT11

    I agree with your comments about Davis. I think your point that “the Tory faithful were seduced by a Blair-esque, extempore speech by Cameron. ” is exactly right, mores the pity.

  45. Re: David Davis

    I don’t agree with much he says but I do like independent minds, and he has one. I’m not convinced that his independent mind would have helped him run the Tory Party, or win the election, and I wonder if it also lost him the leadership – party members in general, despite insisting that they need a “strong” leader, usually want their leader to represent them not lead.

  46. My view, and it’s a totally personal one, is that the Tories were so bedazzled and wrong-footed by Blair that they grabbed for their nearest equivalent in Cameron. Davis was the better option I always felt, but then again, I’m not a Conservative so what do I know? :-)

    i agree with this…what seemed like a good idea in 2015 looked stale by 2012. blair is a bull market prime minister, when people feel good and the economy seems to be on an unstoppable upswing.

  47. Davis grew up on a south london council estate, whereas the most toxic thing about the cameroons is that they are privileged and only care about the rich.

  48. Davis wouldn’t necessarily be PM. We can never know.

    He may well be a better politician and even party leader than Cameron and appeal more to Tories and Tory defectors than Cameron, but he wasn’t what the country got in 2010.

    People didn’t like Boring Brown they wanted a Bright Blair so the Tories gave them Clone Cameron and it almost worked but not quite, but It might have let Brown back in.

    It’s Chaos theory…..

    If you make a change to a dynamic system ( and politics is as about as dynamic as you can get) you change the outcome but that new outcome is inherently unpredictable.

    People can make guesses and assertions but we just can’t know what would have happened.

    As I think Gandalf sort of says in “The Lord of the Rings.”

    “So do all who live through such times but it is not for us to say, all we can is the best with the time we are allotted”

    Peter.

  49. @ STUTTER et al

    Being part of a ‘species’ is a bit like the collection of supporters of a political party. At what point does the divergence between the two ends of the spectrum become sufficient for the individuals to be separated into two groupings?

    The traditional feature of a species used to be that individuals were able to reproduce sexually… but DNA has rather queered the pitch. Essentially, it is like the political spectrum – there are lumpers and splitters. There is no fixed species – those individuals that are more pre-adapted to the prevailing context tend to survive and have greater reproductive potential.

  50. Peter Cairns,

    “People didn’t like Boring Brown they wanted a Bright Blair so the Tories gave them Clone Cameron…”

    “And it would have worked too, if it hadn’t been for those meddling Lib Dems!”

    The biggest single problem for the Tories in 2010 was that the Lib Dems had had the same idea, and so Nick Clegg ended up being the “bright young candidate of change”.

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