Sunday polls

I’ve been caught up with various family commitments this weekend, so a very brief summary of the polls in the Sunday papers. We have the monthly ComRes poll in the Independent on Sunday, the fortnightly Opinium poll for the Observer, two YouGov polls (one in the Sun on Sunday, one in the Sunday Times) and a Panelbase Scottish poll in the Sunday Times.

Opinium in the Observer have topline figures of CON 28%(-2), LAB 33%(nc), LDEM 7%(-1), UKIP 20%(+3), GRN 6%(+2) – a return to decent Labour lead after their poll a fortnight ago had shown things tightening up.

ComRes’s monthly online poll for the Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror has no such movement, with the race remaining very tight. Their topline voting intentions show virtually no change from last month’s, with topline figures of CON 33%(nc), LAB 34%(nc), LDEM 7%(-1), UKIP 18%(nc), GRN 3%(+1)

YouGov in the Sunday Times also show a one point Labour lead with topline figures of CON 31%, LAB 32%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 18%, GRN 7%. There is a second (and completely separate) YouGov poll in the Sun on Sunday but with fairly similar topline figures, CON 31% and LAB 33%.

Finally the Panelbase Scottish poll in the Sunday Times has topline Westminster voting intentions of CON 14%(-1), LAB 31%(+3), LDEM 3%(nc), SNP 41%(-4), UKIP 7%(nc). The SNP lead of ten points would still be pretty good for them by historical standards, but it’s a drop compared to the very large leads they’ve been showing in other Scottish polls since October, which have varied between 16 and 29 points. As ever, it is only one poll – it may be the first sign of that SNP lead narrowing a bit, or may just be random sample variation.

115 Responses to “Sunday polls”

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  1. Good Afternoon All.


    Nothing beats a good winter sunny beach morning, except for a good GE win and MUFC win.

    I agree with you about definition of swing back, and I think the Tory record for swing back gains when in power is impressive.

  2. Re the swingback situation in Scotland, I am still sceptical that it’s going to happen to any significant degree (by that I mean Labour not losing lots of seats thereabouts to the SNP, basically).

    It seems reasonable to assume that most voters there do not wish to see a Conservative PM in Westminister, being as around 85% of them never seem to vote Conservative. Thus it could come down to which party would be seen to be the best to prevent that, or at least not allow it. If the polls look like Labour are going to win in some fashion, then perhaps SNP would be okay, otherwise Labour might be seen as a better option for keeping the Conservatives at bay.

    For that purpose I think either would be equally good
    (it’s perhaps a question of which party is least likely to form a coalition with the Conservatives), but some few voters might convince themselves otherwise.

    As for the swingback situation across the UK as a whole: I think there’s still some more to come, but not nearly enough to get the Conservatives an OM.

  3. John

    “Midterm all governments are widely detested so people will instinctively claim opposition support, whoever they are.”

    A bit of an over-generalisation, surely? For example –,_2016#Opinion_Polling

  4. I share the respect that many have for Peter Kellner but it is worth pointing out that the swingback he is implying did NOT occur from the same point in the last Parliament. For the same weekend in January 2010 there were two polls from YouGov and Opinium which recorded Tory leads of 9% and 4% respectively. This represented an average Tory lead at that stage of 6.5% – compared with the actual Tory lead in May 2010 of 7.3%. Last time,therefore, there was a slight swing to the Tory Opposition in the period remaining to polling day – no swingback at all!

  5. I have just at the data for 2005 and 2001. On both occasions the last four months of the Parliament saw a swing to the Opposition.

  6. The Peter Kellner piece was interestingand I agree with most of the points he makes. However I expect the Tories to have at least a six point lead over Labour come the May election.

  7. TOH

    Why is that? The one thing which has been remarkable consistent over the past 4 years is The Tory voting intention which has been around 32% ever since ‘omnishambles’. Therefore, your 6 point lead would depend on Tories suddenly
    Gaining support over the next 13 weeks or Labour falling to a level below that which they polled in 2010. Not saying that won’t happen, but I see little evidence of either.

  8. I wonder is swing back always works in favour of the Coms. Or to put it another way maybe Cons aways gain in the last few months of the parliament. Regardless whether in government ot not?

    I think the last elections, 2010, 2005, 2001, 1997 all saw a swing to the Cons in the last few months.

    My theory is that the press get behind the Cons and the floating voters not very political is influenced. This could be what Kelner is basing his prediction on.

    His 23 seats for tthe SNP is probably too low -Even the Panelbase poll gives them 35 Seats.

    I can’t see SNP below 40% because their vote is so firm:

    As ICM polling for Britian Future found:

    SNP ‘Definitely Vote For’ at 34% and ‘Plan to vote for’ at 8%. Giving a base VI of 42%.

    Where as Labour’s figures were 13% and 9% respectively giving a base VI of 22%.

    On the ‘Would Never Vote For’ question:
    SNP 33%
    Labour 41%
    Conservative 64%
    LibDem 66%
    UKIP 67%

    Good news for the Cons they are not the most disliked party.

    But it does demonstrate what I have often said that the SNP are generally liked even by No voters and they have the biggest pool to fish in.

  9. And definitely a swing to the Cons in 1992.

    So is swingback not swingback but a swing to the Cons?

  10. COUPER2802

    I think Neil Kinnock was seen not to be of Prime Ministerial quality.
    Labour canvassers in Norwich South in 1992 picked up that; John Garret was the Labour man then, sad days for him. Mr Whitehead’s team were also told this in Southampton in 1992.

    Labour people will hope that Ed Miliband fares better.

  11. Although it is important for Labour to make a recovery in Scotland if it is to be seen to be a viable national party of the Union, significant gains for the SNP do not significantly change the likely arithmetic of a hung parliament favouring Labour – assuming the two larger parties are almost equivalent in seats…..indeed until UKIP can break through with say around 12 MPs….the arithmetic of minor parties in a Hung Parliament and a smaller LibDEm contingent will favour a Labour government much as in 1974. The Conservatives need more in the region of 310 to have a viable deal with the Ulster unionists – if only for supply and confidence. That however remains a perfectly possible outcome at this stage. Additionally, there is no reason to assume that any rising tide of economic prosperity resting upon the fall the in oil price will not help Both the parties in government and not just the Conservatives. In that sense Clegg’s tactic of staying put in the coalition for these last months is a good call.

  12. As ICM polling for Britain Future found:

    SNP ‘Definitely Vote For’ at 34% and ‘Plan to vote for’ at 8%. Giving a base VI of 42%.

    I believe the ICM poll was conducted before the collapse of the oil price.

  13. @Amber Star

    So you think that the collapse in the oil price will make people who intend to vote SNP vote Labour?

    Did you read Kevin McKenna in the Guardian today that is the how the pro-SNP people are viewing the oil price collapse.

    Did you watch Jackie Baillie on Daily Politics Scotland?

    By all means keep running with it but it is just hardening attitudes.

  14. @ChrisLane1945

    “Labour people will hope that Ed Miliband fares better.”

    Firstly, about running. I’ve run a few beaches, mainly in Australia, but whilst they can be spectacular backdrops for a run, there is eventually a uniformity about the landscape that starts to wear a little thin. Running in countryside as beautiful and variable as Worcestershire, on the other hand, with a different view around every bend, be it fields, woods, hills or brooks, is a perpetual delight. As for the joy derived from a MUFC win, well, I better not comment. :-)

    As for your point about Kinnock in 1992, and the possible similarities with Miliband in 2015, I’d be careful about the comparison, stretching as it does over almost a quarter of a century and involving entirely different political protagonists. Major was a newly appointed and quite popular Tory leader and PM in 92 and enjoyed the great advantage of not being Margaret Thatcher. Kinnock’s goose was effectively cooked when the Tories defenestrated Thatcher. Cameron has now been leader of the Tory Party for almost 10 years and has never really caught the voters imagination in the way that Major did for a while in the early days of his Premiership. To assess Miliband’s chances in 2015, you have to recognise he’s up against Cameron and not Major. Cameron heads him, I agree, but only in the sense of being held in less public disdain. If you look at his figures on their own, he’s not a hugely popular or highly regarded politician or Prime Minister. For a while, and certainly in 1992, Major was.

    Of course there are other differences between the eras, not least how the Tories have performed in national elections since, but I think Reggiesides point about the almost pointlessness of drawing on history to predict the current political pot-pourri is a wise one. Virtually nothing is behaving as it once reliably and predictably did.

    Quickly, back to my run this morning. I botched the route and strayed temporarily into the lost land of Warwickshire. As I did so, the sun went behind clouds and the temperature dropped sharply. Strange, hobgoblin-type creatures came out of their hovels to see what I was doing. Thankfully, I re-navigated my route swiftly, fleeing the ravaged ruins of Great Alne and plunging back into the sunlit glory of Sambourne.


  15. Chrislane
    Interesting to hear what you say about Norwich and Southampton in 1992. Despite those doorstep perceptions, however, the Con to Lab swings in the four seats making up those cities ranged from 6% to al most 8%. Had any of those results been at all typical Neil Kinnock would have made it to NO 10!

  16. GRAHAM.
    You are fantastic.

    Thank you.

  17. Chrislane
    I have lived in Norwich for over 30 years and did know John Garret. In 1992 his majority surged from 330 to over 6,000!

  18. OMG, Graham as they say.

    I was in the BEEHIVE pub the night that Labour lost. I taught there 1988 to 1983, not in the pub.

  19. Chrislane
    I am just over the border in Norwich North and 1992 was the last time I voted Labour at a general election!

  20. Unicorn, Mr Nameless here is my version.

    I would tell Ed that at this time he must accept it is going to be a hung parliament and that Labour should be focussing purely on the Conservatives, the party they are competing against. Looking at the current situation there seems to be 24 Tory seats that he hopefully regard as definite (all are selected by Iain Dale and each of the bookies give them a 66% chance minimum. If you look at Lord Ashcroft he tends to think that will just make Labour the largest party. I would be very cautious and put most of my money resources into the next 12 seats:-

    Stockton South, Morecambe and Lunesdale, Pudsey, Ipswich, Halesowen and Rowley Regis, Nuneaton, Northampton North, Erewash, Chester, Croydon Central, Keighley and Ealing Central and Acton. These seats are all favoured by the bookies and it could give Labour a 24 seat majority over the Conservatives.

    Obviously there will be Shadow Cabinet members visiting.

    The last dozen have Labour equal or slightly behind and I would hope we can get half of those. The seats being Gloucester, Kingswood, Worcester, Wirral West, Cannock Chase, Dudley South, Stevenage, Norwich North, Loughborough, Harrow East, South Swindon and Blackpool N & Cleveleys. These would get the rest of the money and more visitors than before.

    Lastly I would tell Ed to speak to his people in Scotland to find out exactly what we can do to attract their votes – as not being Scottish I don’t think I could give an honest answer other than to tell him that Jim Murphy is the most crucial politician in the Labour party for this election. We may get a 36 majority over the Conservatives as was shown above but if the whole Scottish vote as was shown in some previous election polls it could just about take all of that away.

  21. Mr Gibson was the Labour candidate, I think, for Norwich North.

  22. @Chrislane1945

    I liked Neil Kinnock so much, he was treated terribly by the media. Had he won there would have been no ‘New Labour’ and Britian would be such a different place today.

    The 1992 manifesto included most notably ‘A 50p tax rate on incomes of more than 40K’

    Although popular belief is that it was Kinnock not being prime-ministerial that lost the election it could have been the increase in taxes.

    Labour also had big problems on : Economy, Crime and Defence.

    No Scottish Devolution in the manifesto – maybe if Kinnock had won there would not be a Scottish Parliament today.

  23. Ian Gibson failed to win Norwich North in 1992 by 266 votes.


    “I expect the Tories to have at least a six point lead over Labour come the May election.”

    Why is that?

    Because that’s what TOH has been predicting for about 4 years…..the same length of time the rest of us have been waiting for his evidence!

    Don’t hold your breath.


  25. Chris L

    “I was in the BEEHIVE pub the night that Labour lost. I taught there 1988 to 1983, not in the pub.”

    Now I know why Norfolk is so far behind the times…

  26. My main canvassing rosette is signed by Neil Kinnock (some might think that’s a portent of doom, but cutting a majority from 144 to 21 isn’t bad going). I think comparisons to 1992 are a bit flimsy. As mentioned early, this isn’t popular leader vs. unpopular leader. It’s unpopular leader vs. less popular leader, another less popular leader, and an absolute rock-bottom leader.

    More to the point, the nature of society has changed. People no longer associate by class, employment area, or geography to such a great degree. Information technology has meant that people associate with others with similar traits and interests to them. That fractures society, because it creates subcultures within it. We’re in a world now where your best friends can be people you’ve never met living hundreds of miles away, while you’ve never spoken to your next door neighbour.

    It’s a big contributing factor to why big tent parties find life very hard, and why people flock to sectional interest parties even while the electoral system is not built to accommodate them.

    I am not brave enough to say with any certainty what will happen at the next election, but I will make a rather bold longer-term prediction. By 2030, one or both of the two biggest parties currently will be unrecognisable, either as a consequence of massive internal reform or complete destruction and replacement.

  27. @Chris James
    @Mr N

    I would tell Ed to forget about Scotland, the SNP will support him anyway and the SNP will not politically be able to bring down a Labour government. He needs to concentrate on preventing a Conservative Majority and they are not going to get a Majority in Scotland.

    So defend the Lab/Con marginals in England and Wales and concentrate on winning enough of the the Con/Lab marginals. Forget the Lab/Lib or Lab/Lib marginals just hope that the collapse of the LibDems will deliver them.

    Focus completely on Lab/Con and Con/Lab marginals in E&W

  28. Couper
    “I would tell Ed to forget about Scotland,”

    I’m reminded of the words of Mandy Rice-Davies

  29. COUPER2802.
    Good Afternoon to you.
    John Smith refuse to agree to Neil Kinnock’s suggestion that Labour should argue for that ‘budget’ before the final weeks of the campaign. Smith, I think, was wrong.


    @”Labour people will hope that Ed Miliband fares better.”

    I wonder how much you feel that Kinnock suffered by dint of his “gaucheness” as displayed on Brighton beach?
    Looking back at New Statesman’s 2009 report of that incident, I had forgoten that it was preceded by Kinnock telling reporters & tv “If you want a real scoop,I’ll walk out there, on the water.”

    NS describes the famous outcome as “the abiding image of the conference, even of Kinnock’s leadership – a man utterly out of his depth, shamelessly courting the media and making a complete fool of himself in the process.”

    There seems to be similar “unwordliness “about EM too I suggest. The revelations in Martin Winter’s book perhaps adding to that impression.

    As you say Labour people will be hoping that an event like Kinnock’s will not befall their man.

    The TV camera is unforgiving.

  31. Couper

    That McKenna article is risible. He quotes Norway’s recovery from the oil price collapse in 08/09 as reason to pour derision on those claiming that an independent Scotland would be in trouble now.

    Firstly, the claim that Norway “became richer” the year after the oil shock is dubious. I’d like to see his references, because the ones I’ve looked at has the Norway’s GDP per capita has never recovered from the fall in 08.

    But let’s ignore that and accept McKenna’s claim. What he avoids saying is that, in response to the Great Recession and the oil crash, Norway aggressively stimulated through both monetary policy (interest rates came down from 6% to 1.75% in a matter of weeks) and fiscally (Govt spending went from 39.8% of GDP in 2008 to 46.2% in 2009).

    The point is that, if Scotland now had the arrangement that the SNP wanted (currency union with rUK) monetary stimulus would be out if their hands, and borrowing to fund fiscal stimulus would lead to a bond price crisis (because Scotland would not have control of its own currency).

    This is the situation that many of us were predicting before the vote, and the situation that was dismissed with a contemptuous wave of Salmond’s hand. You have avoided catastrophe by 10%. Be thankful for it.

  32. @ Couper 2802

    Did you read Kevin McKenna in the Guardian today that is the how the pro-SNP people are viewing the oil price collapse.

    Kevin McKenna now writes pieces to impress his YeSNP daughter; he’s boringly predictable.

    Did you watch Jackie Baillie on Daily Politics Scotland?

    If I have any comments about Jackie’s performance or the content thereof, I speak with her about it.

    As for Nicola Sturgeon “demanding” that Westminster provide some corporate welfare to the oil industry by cutting their taxes…. all the other Parties have noted that she’s abandoned her ultra-left stance in exactly the same way which Labour does whenever pragmatism is needed to ‘save jobs’. But really, you’d have thought that Nicola would have been above such grubby, ‘Labour-style’, neo-liberal, corporate welfare, politicking, wouldn’t you…?

  33. COLIN.
    Hello to you.
    Kinnock saved the Labour Party. When he resigned from the leadership in 1992, Gerald Kaufmann told the NEC of ‘the party’ that Kinnock had been Labour’s greatest leader.
    He let himself down when he fell into the sea in 1983, and then in 1992 at Sheffield.

    However, he did help to destabilise the Callaghan Government in 1977-79 over Devolution.

  34. Luckily most of the old duffers that kept those governments elected are now dead, and the press isn’t far behind, so we can get on with some adult politics.

  35. Norway also has extremely powerful high-tech firms in some sectors (not last in oil). There are some high-tech companies in Scotland but mainly because of the tax regime of Westminster (related to the registration of the patents). That one is not devolved.

  36. I wouldn’t be so sure about the SNP supporting Labour.

    I’m looking forward to read the manifesto (of both parties – not really interested the rest).

  37. Looking forward to reading…

  38. CL1945,

    Agreed. I think Hattersley would have done a good job as leader too, but Kinnock did a very good job chasing off Militant, and could be a brilliant orator too. Benn would have killed off the party.

    On the manifestos, I’m looking forward to reading the UKIP, Green and Labour ones in particular. The Tory one has been trailed way in advance and the Lib Dems’ probably won’t have even the most minor impact.

  39. @ Colin

    From your summary of Kellner’s piece:

    “Seats overall:-
    C 293/L 277/UKIP 5/ LD 30/ SNP 23”

    What an uncomfortable (and fascinating) outcome that would be!

    Tories emerge with most seats but are unable to form a stable coalition. So, Miliband ends up in No 10 after a delay of a few weeks.

  40. Unicorn

    I think 323 out of the 325 required for a majority will be OK. I’m sure some policies will be supported by ukip, and with some of the irish nats not going to Westminster, it could just about be passable.

  41. @LeftyLampton

    This is not the place to discuss in detail.

    My point is not the rights and wrongs but that the oil price squabble is just hardening attitudes.

    Summed up as you say ‘think yourself lucky you didn’t vote Yes’ a variation of the usual ‘too poor meme’ and ‘Westminster have squandered our oil cash and we would be better managing the industry ourselves’. So doesn’t change votes.

  42. You only need about 321 for a technical majority, although you would sometimes make John Bercow the most powerful man in the land.

  43. PK is (purely by coincidence, I’m sure) forecasting a scenario which maximises uncertainty thereby maximising the demand for polling & surveys.

  44. @ Couper 2802

    So doesn’t change votes.

    Have you any evidence to support that?

  45. @ Jack R

    “I think 323 out of the 325 required for a majority will be OK.”

    Really? Presumably you’re assuming that SF refuse to take the oath.

    But what then happens when the LibDems refuse to include an EU Referendum Bill in the first Queen’s speech? My guess is that the Tory eurosceptics would return to their (currently rather muted) hell-raising ways, and bang goes your fragile majority. No future there, methinks…

  46. In terms of uncertainty in May post the election , it may be wrong to assume that the LibDems will act with one voice as effectively happened in May 2010 – Kennedy notwithstanding. This year I suspect there will be a good half dozen MPs – Kennedy, Pugh, Sanders et al – who will simply refuse to go along with any plans to keep the Tories in office regardless of Clegg’s wishes.

  47. I do wonder why the Tory right is currently being so quiet. Maybe Michael Gove is an absolutely terrifying man in private.

  48. Chrislane
    ‘However, he did help to destabilise the Callaghan Government in 1977-79 over Devolution.’

    Kinnock was right during those years – and wrong to change his mind later on!

  49. @Amber Star

    “PK is (purely by coincidence, I’m sure) forecasting a scenario which maximises uncertainty thereby maximising the demand for polling & surveys.”

    And also, quite possibly, to keep his boss sweet too!!


    @Graham/Chris L

    When they write the history of the Labour Party in the 20th Century, I suspect they’ll be quite kind to Neil Kinnock.

    And so they should.

  50. @Amber Star

    Last weeks YouGov average SNP 41% Lab 26%
    This weeks YouGov average SNP 43% Lab 27%
    Sample 955
    Not much change there.
    These samples are now internally weighef so reliable

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