A quick update on the latest voting intention polls. This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 34%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 14%, GRN 8% (tabs) – more typical figures than YouGov’s Tuesday poll.

There is also a new TNS poll with topline figures of CON 31%(+3), LAB 31%(-4), LDEM 8%(+2), UKIP 16%(-2), GRN 7%(+2) (tabs). Up until now TNS have tended to release their polls incredibly slowly, often a week or more after their fieldwork was finished, rendering them out of date by the time we see them. Fieldwork for this one however finished on Monday so it’s more timely than usual. The last couple of TNS polls showed Labour leads of 7 points, significantly and consistently larger than any other company. Today’s looks more like other polls. (UPDATE – thanks to those in the comments section who missed something obvious in the TNS tabs that I overlooked! TNS have always weighted by 2010 recalled vote, but they are now weighting by 2010 recalled vote AND 2014 European vote – whether or not this is responsible for their figures coming into line with other companies’s is unclear.)

Finally Ipsos MORI put out their latest Scottish poll yesterday. Westminster voting intentions in Scotland were CON 12%(+2), LAB 24%(+1), LDEM 4%(-2), SNP 52%(nc), GRN 4%(-2). We’ve now had three Scottish polls conducted in 2015. The first one from Panelbase showed the SNP dropping four points and raised some speculation about whether their huge post-referendum surge was fading away again. The second from Survation also had the SNP down, but only by two points and this one from MORI has the level of SNP support holding steady. (On top of that, when tables for the Panelbase poll appeared it turned out that the voting intention question wasn’t asked first, it was asked after a question about whether or not falling oil prices damaged the economic case for Scottish independence, so the SNP fall in that first poll may be a question ordering effect rather than a genuine change)


419 Responses to “Latest YouGov, TNS and MORI polling”

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  1. @Candy

    I basically agree with you, but the Crimean war wasn’t really about stopping Russia invading Tartar territory. It was more a general desire to restrain a nation that was growing in power and threatening the balance of the Great Game, particularly by encroaching on the Ottomans.

    It was a war fought (partly) in Crimea, not about Crimea.

  2. CB11

    “The tectonic plates are indeed shifting”

    But is the effect subduction or obduction?

  3. STATGEEK

    Thanks for the link. Yes it appears to be a hold.

    Don’t be too hard on the ex councilor though.

    Just read one of the comments below.

    “For all his faults, Arthur attended at the Council a great deal more than Gordon Brown attends Westminster.
    Gordon who gets paid a whole lot more than 16k, managed to vote in only 12.9% of votes since 2010. Will he do the honourable thing too??
    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/10068/gordon_brown/kirkcaldy_and_cowdenbeath#numerology

    Oh dear on the bombshell………..Night night.

  4. It was an SNP hold. Turnout only 27.27%

    @FifeCouncil: Turnout just announced at 27.27%. Down from 34.57% in 2012 #kdyeastbyelection

  5. batty

    The key thing to watch is Tory VI. It has seemed very content with itself – and happy hovering just above thirty% – for a very, very long time.

    What cunning tactics are going to move it?

  6. “SNP hold” is one of those wholly misleading terms for a Scottish council by election, which is effectively an AV election, as opposed to the original STV election.

    I don’t have the 2012 1st preference vote shares per party, but back then Labour took the first two seats, with the SNP taking the 3rd seat at stage 7.

  7. @R&D

    £20 bet to the charity of choice if Tory VI comes in at less than 34% at the GE…

  8. All the seat predictors I know of are predicting almost equal seat totals for Conservative and Labour – between 279 and 283 for both. Bizarrely, they state different vote shares to get very similar results.

    See what Fisher says. His last estimate was pretty much that, but with different predicted vote shares. Very strange.

  9. @NeilA

    Yes. But isn’t it strange the amount of people willing to swallow that Crimea was “always” Russian, despite what they should have learned at school.

    Like I said a few posts back, the Kippers and the SNP share some very strange beliefs (while their supporters appear to genuinely loathe each other). Which means there is value in the mainstream parties in drawing attention to how similar these nationalists are…

  10. bm11

    High UKIP tonight.
    How a poll can have UKIP go from 11% to 17% in days through doubts how accurate there are for the population as a whole through.

    Because the figures aren’t from the same pollster. UKIP haven’t had an 11 with YouGov since August. Other pollsters show lower or higher figures because some seem to show better or worse for UKIP generally, but with most pollsters UKIP’s VI tends to vary by not much.

    As to which is right, nobody knows, which is why estimates vary so much more than for Parties such as Labour or the Conservatives. Pollsters haven’t had a Westminster election with UKIP at anywhere near these figures that they can calibrate their methods against.

  11. Kirkcaldy East

    Just a council by election with the usual low turnout, but the changes from 2012 are

    SNP 47.3 (+10.9) Lab 35.2 (-14.7) Con 7.2 (+1.2) Grn 4.1 (+4.1) UKIP 3.8 (+3.8) LD 1.3 (-1.5) 2 Independents 1.0

  12. Not bad for an incumbent government. I know not all council elections are used for protest, but some are. That at least suggests that the shift (in Kirkcaldy of all places) is towards SNP, despite them being in government.

    I’ll get this in before Anthony. Council elections (and especially by-elections) tell us nothing of national elections.

  13. @CB11/OldNat

    “The tectonic plates are indeed shifting

    But is the effect subduction or obduction?”

    It’s orogeny… on the scale of molehills.

  14. Neil A

    I trust that your general agreement with Candy didn’t include her dismissal of the career of every history teacher in Scotland as non-existent.

    You are the last person I would suspect of endorsing casual racism and offensive comments – whether they were made out of ignorance, foolishness, or trolling.

  15. MOG

    :-)

  16. Candy

    I think you may be making a slight over-extrapolation by assuming that Allan Christie speaks for all Scots or all the SNP or that Party’s official policy or indeed anyone on the planet other than himself.

    As to the Crimea, it was part of the Russian Empire from 1783 and under its effective control from long before that. Britain and France actually invaded it as Russian territory in the Crimean War and it remained as part of Russia after that. The Tartars have long been a minority on the peninsular, certainly for well over a century, though they did suffer terribly during the Civil War and Communist years. They only make up about 10% of the current population, though increasing:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Crimea

    None of which excuses Russia’s recent actions. I actually suspect that the reason behind the invasion was that the people of Crimea were becoming increasingly pro-Ukraine and that the influence that Russia held over it might be lost. Given the presence of the Black Sea Fleet at Sebastopol (never effectively part of Ukraine), a pro-Western Crimea looked like a possibility and Putin acted when he thought it looked as if Russian interests were at risk and Ukraine was in temporary turmoil. In a sense it was a sign of Russia’s weakness and declining influence, rather than strength.

  17. “The “vote” in Crimea was 96.7%”

    The people against rejoining the RF boycotted the vote.

    “Crimea is not Russian. It’s the homeland of the Tartars”

    It’s probably more Russian than Tatar in the sense that the Tatars operated a Russian/Ukrainian slave trade for many centuries and at its height Crimea was apparently 75% slaves.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimean_Tatars

    “Slaves and freedmen formed approximately 75% of the Crimean population.[26]”

  18. Hope you guys in the extreme North understood what Tim Farron ( Lancs rationally) and Paul Nuttall (Lancs viscerally) were saying to you on QT tonight.
    Which is basically to pipe down a bit. In your own interest. When Lancashire folk are fed up with you, I’m afraid it means you are a wee bit unpopular in rUK…

  19. Roger Mexico

    “I actually suspect that the reason behind the invasion was that the people of Crimea were becoming increasingly pro-Ukraine”

    The reason for the annexation was the US and EU funded coup in Kiev.

    As a result of off-shoring their industry to China the US needs the petrodollar to sustain their deficit. Russia and China have been moving away from the petrodollar. The US state department is trying to topple Putin and replace him with someone who’ll do what the US wants.

    The media’s version of what’s happening in Ukraine is a load of ****.

  20. Welsh Borderer

    I’m sure Alistair Carmichael will heed your wise advice, and cease making speeches on anything.

  21. Today’s YG Scottish crossbreak

    SNP 41% : Lab 23% : Con 22% : LD 5% : UKIP 3% : Grn 6%

    Mean of last 15 YG Scottish crossbreaks

    SNP 41% : Lab 27% : Con 17% : LD 5% : UKIP 5% : Grn 4%

  22. I see that Owen Jones is here again :-)

  23. I note the fawning in the media regarding the late King Abdullah. An interesting contrast with the attitude towards Iran, which while hardly an upholder of human rights, is a paragon of democracy compared to the despotic Saudi regime. There are no polls in the Arabian peninsula.

  24. @ KeithP

    “All the seat predictors I know of are predicting almost equal seat totals for Conservative and Labour – between 279 and 283 for both. Bizarrely, they state different vote shares to get very similar results.

    See what Fisher says. His last estimate was pretty much that, but with different predicted vote shares. Very strange.”

    It is not that strange because they explicitly use different methods and set out to do different things. Several are not really “predicting” what will happen in May but are really saying what would happen if the election were to take place tomorrow. This includes May2015, Scotland Votes, Electoral Calculus, the Nowcast part of Electionforecast. It also includes the various UKPR models at the top of the page. As you know, Fisher uses historical swingback in his electionsetc model. Electionforecast also makes historically informed adjustments, but in this case not precisely linked to historical figures. On this site one of the authors (Chris Hanretty) recently stated that these influences get scaled down as the election approaches. But he didn’t give the exact algorithm.

    In light of this variation it is not surprising that there is no tight linkage between their statements on vote shares on the one hand and seat allocations on the other. Nor are all the predictions falling in the range you mention. For example, Electoral Calculus has Labour on 321 with Tories on 242.

    I don’t know exactly what it is you find ‘bizarre’. With one or two escape potions there is an obvious explanation of every quirk you can see.

  25. @ Unicorn

    Ouch! In that last sentence my wise spellchecker turned ‘exceptions’ into ‘escape potions’. A clear sign of an intelligent bot at work…

  26. earlier in this thread Barbazenzero mistyped, I presume, justify as hustify, in the context of TV debates could I suggest that this newly coined verb sounds apt and should be provided with a definition maybe “to misrepresent the policies of opponents”

  27. daodao

    “There are no polls in the Arabian peninsula.”

    Not much to discuss then :-)

  28. WB

    :-)

  29. @ OLDNAT

    “Mean of last 15 YG Scottish crossbreaks
    SNP 41%..’

    Several of your comments have been commenting on the stability of this figure. In contrast, one of Number Cruncher’s graphs seemed to show a hint of s downturn:

    http://www.ncpolitics.uk/2015/01/scotland-murphy-bounce-labour-achieve-a-swing-of-1-from-the-snp.html/

    To look into this, I have done an extensive cherry-picking exercise using the YouGov crossbreak figures since December 1. The outcome is that I can’t find any trends at all (other than the obvious stability) in the SNP figures over this period. In doing this, I have knowlingly flouted all statistical conventions about avoiding comparing apparent bumps with dips. Despite, this there is absolutely no sign of anything there.

    This is very frustrating for a proponent of trends. The SNP could be on one of two trend pathways: a cubic one or a quadratic one. On the former assumption they are following an S-shaped curve – a sharp rise August -Nov followed by the current flat phase and then at some point a further continuation upwards. In the latter case the late-2014 VI rise will be followed by a drop between now and the election. (One version has the quadratic curve tilted on its side so that the VI remains constant between now and the election.)

    As it happens, the best-fitting quadratic curve is one that has the SNP VI dropping fast in a symmetrical mirror-image of the rise last autumn. Remarkably, this ‘predicts’ that their vote share will fall back to 9.2% by the time of the election. However the uncertainty over this flatlining period means that there are extremely wide confidence boundaries around this central prediction and it obviously has to be taken with a pinch of salt.

    What we desperately need is some data point to show the real direction of travel.

  30. ROGER MEXICO
    Candy
    I think you may be making a slight over-extrapolation by assuming that Allan Christie speaks for all Scots or all the SNP or that Party’s official policy or indeed anyone on the planet other than himself
    _______

    Thanks for clearing that up. I think the same could be said in regards to a number of us on here so I wont take this as being personally just aimed at me.

  31. MRJONES

    “The reason for the annexation was the US and EU funded coup in Kiev.
    As a result of off-shoring their industry to China the US needs the petrodollar to sustain their deficit. Russia and China have been moving away from the petrodollar. The US state department is trying to topple Putin and replace him with someone who’ll do what the US wants.
    The media’s version of what’s happening in Ukraine is a load of ****
    _________

    Spot on and I agree. Too many of us just take the likes of the BBC and ITV words on the Ukraine events as being truthful and its so one sided its laughable.

  32. Unicorn

    “Several of your comments have been commenting on the stability of this figure. In contrast, one of Number Cruncher’s graphs seemed to show a hint of s downturn:”

    I think I have only once commented on the numbers, as opposed to just posting them.

    I said that during January, the SNP seemed to be dipping slightly, Lab rising slightly, while the trend for the Tories seemed to show a slightly greater rise.

    I make no great claims for the predictive value of the comment, simply trying to iron out some of the daily churn.

  33. Meanwhile in Greece it seems the anti-EU side has gained a heft lead in the polls, enough to see off the opposition and go through with their grand plan that will seriously undermine the EU and could aid UKIP if the pull it off.

  34. Unicorn

    PS I have deliberately restricted the numbers to those applying since the YG methodology change.

    As Anthony pointed out, YG have not yet introduced their hoped further changes which would make their aggregated Scottish crossbreaks equivalent to a proper Scottish poll.

    However, the changes seem to me to be sufficient that the old UKPR mantra of “Ignore the Scottish crossbreaks!” need no longer be so rigidly applied. :-)

  35. @ OldNat

    ‘I think I have only once commented on the numbers, as opposed to just posting them.’

    Oh.. I was obviously reading more into your posts than you had intended. I thought you were tacitly saying: “Look .. The latest poll still has the SNP VI at the same level as the last N.”

    In any case, I think this recent stability is quite remarkable given the leadership changes and other major developments in the real world.

  36. Did some canvassing last night. Many former Labour supporters, and when I say ‘former’ I mean the voters who trickled away during the last few years of New Labour, feel let down badly by the current administration, but far from dismissing Labour as a voting option, are actively waiting to be convinced, mainly about EM. That’s what makes me think this is Labour’s election to lose. Ex Labour people willing the party to say or do something to allow them to place their vote where they feel most comfortable and for the party they feel is most sympathetic to their needs.

    A good election campaign will, I feel, bring enough of them back into the fold to make a Labour victory possible.

    It ain’t going to be easy, though!

  37. @OldNat

    What changes are yougov hoping to do with regard Scottish crossbreaks? Is it just a bigger sample (so we can ditch that pesky mantra)? Or something else as well?

    I hope it can be put in place soon, considering that Scotland might well be supplying the 3rd largest party.

  38. WB

    Your presumption was correct – pity there’s no “edit” option – but I agree with you and award you 50% of the global rights to the word, with its connotations of the what goes on at the hustings.

    Would it be presumptuous to suggest that the broadcaster are hustifying the TV debates?

  39. KeithP

    I have no idea what further changes are anticipated!

    I’m just going by Anthony’s comment to Couper not long after the change was introduced.

  40. Oldnat,

    Obviously, the main story in those figures is that the Tory vote is holding up in Scotland, despite UKIP now being about the stage where they might hold a deposit or two in Scotland. Indeed, in Scotland there’s been almost an “opposite incumbent” effect for governing parties since 2007: the SNP have gone from strength to strength, SLAB increased their vote share in 2010, and it’s plausible that the Scottish Tories might see a small rise in their vote in May. Even the SNP might improve their 2010 vote, or so the polls suggest.

  41. Keith P

    6 Jan AW’s response to Couper re aggregation

    couper2802
    @AW
    You know that folk have been aggregating the YouGov polling % because we get so few Scottish polls.
    I suppose if we take the raw numbers and add them up weekly then we will get a reasonable accurate poll. It will work out at a sample of ~700.

    Anthony Wells
    Couper – yes, to my chagrin!
    Ultimately though we’d like to get our Scottish sampling to a point where over time our aggregated Scottish crossbreaks match the results of our proper Scottish polling, as they should in a perfect world.

  42. Populus:

    Lab 36 (nc)
    Con 32 (-3)
    LD 9 (+1)
    UKIP 13 (nc)
    Others 10 (+1)

    Tables here: http://popu.lu/sVI230115

  43. Can’t wait to find out what the Scotish Cross-breaks are?

  44. Allan Christie,

    “On QT the SNP are taking a pasting and no one there to defend their position. The same would go for the debates if the SNP were not on them.”

    That’s a good point. Miliband was going to be under pressure to go after SNP votes in the debate regardless of whether Sturgeon was actually there (in fact, moreso if she wasn’t!) and so perhaps it’s not surprising that the debate on the debates is going the way that it debatably is going.

  45. Bill Patrick

    I’m chary about reading too much into these numbers – especially the distribution of votes between other parties than the SNP, since I don’t know how closely they are related to the distribution of the “Unionist” IDs here.

    FWIW the daily Con scores have been

    Con, 12, 19, 16, 17, 17, 16, 16, 12, 13, 20, 21, 17, 18, 18, 22.

    I can see a hint of an upward trend there, but the statisticians may well tell me it is a total illusion!

  46. Jim Jam

    With Populus? Rubbish! :-)

  47. Just a brief note on the Tatars of Crimea.

    Their persecution as an ethnic group in state socialism happened after many Tatars signed up for the SS. The wiping out (ausradieren) of two French villages as a penalty for the partisan activities were carried out by Tatar SS units (the whole non-German SS participation is carefully removed from the collective memory in the many European countries).

    It was a collective punishment with many innocent victims. The Tatar-Russian relationship has an extremely heavy historical burden. Essentially the Cossacks were used at the frontiers to push them back from the 16th century.

    As to Crimea: it is largely Russian and has such a strategic importance that there was no way the Russian Federation would allow an anti-Russian Ukrainian government to take control of it.

    It was Khruschev who gave it to Ukraine (it didn’t matter as long as the SU existed). It is very similar to the way in which in the last Yugoslavian constitution the borders were redrawn. Look at the map, and just examine Croatia’s border along the sea, and then the little exit to the sea for Bosnia…

  48. Oldnat,

    One interesting factor is that any possibility of unionist unity has perhaps been ended by Jim Murphy’s “I am not a unionist” claim, which seems to be the most famous thing he’s said since becoming SLAB leader. Hardly a way to pick up Lib Dem and Tory tactical voters.

  49. Bill Patrick

    Agreed.

    I also wonder how it has played with the Orange Order.

    You may remember this from 2009 –

    OO Grand Master “Mr Wilson said he would not be urging all of the organisation’s 50,000 members to vote Labour, with Order chiefs instead looking at the situation on a “constituency by constituency” basis.

    He added: “The reality is, given where most of our lodges are in lowland and west central Scotland, that a lot of the time it will be Labour.”

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