We have a bumper crop of opinion polls today – as well as the regular twice-weekly Populus poll, weekly Ashcroft poll there is the first of a series of monthly Survation polls for the Mirror. Still to come tonight is the daily YouGov poll and a ComRes telephone phone for the Indy, both due at 10pm-ish.

The three have been published so far are:

Populus – CON 34%, LAB 35%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 13%, GRN 6% (tabs)
Ashcroft – CON 32%, LAB 32%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 15%, GRN 9% (tabs)
Survation/Mirror – CON 31%, LAB 30%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 23%, GRN 3% (tabs)

All three polls have Labour and the Conservatives within one point of each other – Populus with Labour one ahead, Survation with the Tories one ahead, Ashcroft with them equal. There is more difference between the reported levels of support for the Greens and UKIP – Survation traditionally give UKIP their highest levels of support and have them up on 23% (this is clearly not just because of prompting, given ComRes, YouGov and Ashcroft also now include UKIP in their main prompt), in contrast Populus have UKIP on 13%. Green support is up at 9% in Ashcroft’s poll, but only at 3% in Survation’s. Unlike ComRes’s online polls (harsh turnout filtering) and Populus’s polls (disadvantageous weighting) there is nothing particularly unusual about Survation’s methods that would explain the low Green vote.

I will update later with the ComRes and YouGov polls.

UPDATE: The monthly ComRes telephone poll for the Independent is out and has topline figures of CON 31%(+2), LAB 30%(-2), LDEM 8%(-4), UKIP 17%(+1), GRN 7%(+2) (tabs). It’s the first time that ComRes have shown a Tory lead in their telephone polls since 2011, and a fourth poll today to show the two main parties within a single point of each other. YouGov is still to come…

UPDATE2: The last of today’s five GB polls, YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 33%, LD 6%, UKIP 15%, GRN 7%. That’s five polls today, all showing Labour and the Conservatives within 1 point of each other. As we hit the hundred days to go mark we have the closest possible race in terms of vote share, if not necessarily in seats.


297 Responses to “Monday polling round-up”

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  1. @Richard

    “he said it wouldn’t really make a difference at a national level”

    Fox news reckons that Birmingham is 100% Aslamic, so perhaps the W. Midlands needs to be adjusted? :))

  2. Aslamic – Full of Lions?

  3. @Ciderman

    I think those articles were based on this operation black vote report

    http://www.obv.org.uk/node/7191

    “Critically, 168 of these constituencies are in marginal seats which could probably decide the next Government. These seats are listed on pages 6-7 along with 37 more which have BME electorates less than the MPs majority but where BME voters can still have a significant bearing on the election outcome, particularly in a close race. Therefore if the 2015 election is neck-and-neck there could be 205 constituencies where the BME vote could heavily influence the result.”

    I remember reading some criticism after it was released saying that just because the BME population > the majority, many of those would already have voted in 2010 so the findings were not valid.

    But I think the underlying premise is sound – BME communities are spreading, they tend to vote Labour (or have in the past), so that should provide some element of swing to Labour all else being equal in those areas where they have moved to.

    Of course, Labour activists also need to make sure those BME voters know they can vote and are registered to vote for that to really work to its full extent given the historical under-representation of BME voters in being registered.

  4. @couper2802

    At the risk of pedantry, the statement ”Scotland did vote for Michael Foot” is not quite right. 64.9% didn’t…

    1983 General Election – Scotland:

    Labour – 35.1% (-6.5%)
    Conservative – 28.4% (-3%)
    Alliance – 24.5% (+15.5%)
    SNP – 11.8% (-5.5%)

  5. . I think that the particular failure was not to focus on either (a) a Blairite centrist focus on middle-of-the-road Tories or (b) a focus on being the firmly left-wing party who can actually win. Either approach could have worked, if pursued competently and successfully.

    whoever said this, bill patrick, i think is absolutely right. I said the same thing in a different way earlier today. Mili hasn’t a) attracted centre voters nor has he b) enthused and inspired his base.

  6. Graham

    […] Much of the Green surge has come from 2010 LibDems who until recently had switched to Labour. Quite a few might well now switch back to Labour

    Or they might not. After all they seem to have become detached again rather easily and there are still an awful lot of ex-Lib Dems who haven’t decided where to go. Labour has to make efforts to attract these people, they can’t just expect them to all fall obediently in line if they scream “There is no alternative” at them often enough.

    I thought I’d look at where Green voters actually do come from, based on the most reasonably large recent sample, Ashcroft’s Health mega-poll taken at the end of November. That found 893 Green voters[1]:

    http://lordashcroftpolls.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/NHS-poll-Full-data-tables.pdf#page=14

    This gave 2010 voting figures for current Greens of:

    Con 6%

    Lab 12%

    Lib Dem 36%

    Green 15%[2]

    Others 1%

    Non/new voters 30%

    As over 25% of Green in this are under 25, most of whom couldn’t vote last time, the 30% figure seems plausible.

    So as with UKIP, the damage to Labour comes not from losing voters, but from failing to attract or retain those who could support the party.

    [1] I’m using ‘all expressing a preference’ figures here as I’m not interesting in prediction using LTV.

    [2] There’s no Green cross-break, so this is an estimate based on 207 2010 Green voters of whom 44 are now voting C/L/LD/UKIP and allowing for some of them now being NVs and Others. The percentages for Others etc are obviously also derived from this too.

  7. A while since I looked at this site and fascinating it remains. As a layman in a field of experts!, looking at the maths and potential outcomes discussed I cannot see either C or L making 285-290 and there will be 5-10 in it either way. That’s how the bookies have it and they have rarely been wrong!
    But even if L are the largest party, scraping LD, Green, Respect together will not give them more English votes (they will be on around 230) than C (on around 280)
    Which leaves the prospect that Miliband will have to use his Scots and Welsh MP’s and possibly the SNP as well to pass any English laws.
    This scenario is obviously being discussed widely and clearly none of the parties will discuss a ‘what-if scenario’. I perceive a very slight movement in the polls
    and the more that potential outcome is broadcast, the better this is going to become for the Tories.

  8. @Roll a hard six

    OK Labour under Michael Foot won the 1983 General Election in Scotland.

  9. DAVID IN OXFORD

    @” and the more that potential outcome is broadcast, the better this is going to become for the Tories.”

    An interesting thought.

    BBC 24 & Sky News are now regularly featuring projected seats , and analysing potential HoC groupings.

  10. DavidinOxford

    “This scenario is obviously being discussed widely and clearly.”

    Not in the street where I live. We, on this site, love this sort of thing, but do you really think most voters are earnestly discussing this?

  11. I can’t remember who said it but I recall hearing someone say on Lords reform something along the lines of;

    “We need a properly designed Senate as opposed to one designed by Max Sennett”

    Thought it was funny at the time!

    Peter

  12. @Norbold

    I think people are just beginning to take note of what the polls say. This may, indeed, be a crucial period as people look at the potential outcomes of the GE and decide whether they are happy with such an outcome or not, in which case many may vote differently.

    That said, all the indications so far is that those have been giving a two fingered salute to the three ‘main’ parties in Westminster are continuing to do so. But it is early days yet.

    @David in Oxford

    We’re not all experts, you know, Some of us just enjoy the banter and the chance to fly a few kites, as well as the opportunity to learn a great deal from those who really do know! Join in whenever you like, and don’t let the ‘experts’ put you off. On the whole they are reasonably good folk.

  13. @Paul

    Hehe!

  14. @ Colin & Norbold

    Unfortunately, you are right. People simply cannot make the connection in a FPTP tactical election. But Sturgeon’s comments about interfering to protect the Scots NHS were widely reported in the popular press and IMO that might have something to do with my ‘perceived’ movement in the polls. 3 out of 4 at the weekend…? But something mega has to happen to get to a stable government, I think, because at the moment we are heading for a ‘draw’ and stalemate.

  15. David in Oxford

    You are right to point to the need for stable government. The problem the two biggest Westminster parties have is that neither seems capable of appealing to a wide enough cross section of the British public to gain a workable majority.

    At present I see no way out of this situation. So the two big parties will just have to accept that they need the support of other parties if governments are to be formed, or at least sustained.

    DC says the idea of Labour being sustained by the SNP (I think he said ‘held to ransom’) is terrifying. Maybe for him it is. But for some of us it sounds great! Perhaps we’ll finally get what Gordon Brown promised us.

  16. The puzzle of the upcoming general elections, in my view, is the following:

    We have pretty good information of the distribution of Labour and Conservative voting intentions apart from the Midlands and perhaps parts of London and some pockets around the country.

    We also have pretty good information on the SNP. We also have of PCS, but it is less important from the perspective of the outcome.

    However, very little about the distribution of VI of UKIP and Greens that cause (apart from the SNP to Labour) the huge uncertainty about the outcome. Although there are the marginal seat polls, but I haven’t seen extrapolations from them (if these were possible at all).

    It is quite possible that a large proportion of these parties’ VIs are just noises in many places. UKIP may get 15% in Merseyside (or even more), but it won’t have any effect.

    I assume that the two main parties make micro-polls (even though they are expensive), and these could be behind the rather reserved campaign, or policy announcements (plus the 100 days).

    From my “guiding principles” I would like a bit more lefty Labour Party, but what would it achieve? More votes in secure seats? It wouldn’t change much in Scotland not only because of credibility, but also because behind such a performance of the SNP there is more than social democratic bits (for example, it’s competence in government). So, NHS and education will be pushed, with a bit of tax the mega rich, save the middle, and probably around March job security.

    Very similar for the Conservatives. They may lose a few seats that they gained in 2010, but clearly can’t defuse UKIP. So, the message must be status quo (afterall apart from some demos the 5 years were pretty peaceful, and apart from the shopping spree without paying social order has been remarkably stable, and the banks have been quite willing to negotiate reasonable terms with debtors). So, the same stuff, with a bit more noise on tax, a bit more noise on immigration and Europe.

    It sounds very meaningful to me as campaign tactics. It still has lots of uncertainties, and could blow up if the distribution of UKIP and Green VI is skewed in an unexpected way.

    Finally, if the SNP has anything like what is shown in the polls, the constitutional change is inevitable (or SNP leads with an unexpected strategy of pragmatism, and support of the Union).

  17. David in Oxford

    looking at the maths and potential outcomes discussed I cannot see either C or L making 285-290 and there will be 5-10 in it either way…

    not sure what this means. are you saying they will be in that range, within 5 or 10, or the opposite. so you’re saying they will both get under 285 and both parties will be within 5 or 10 of each other.

  18. @Laszlo

    The SNP is already being very pragmatic. It has made it quite clear that it does NOT want another referendum on the in-out question, whilst making it clear that it DOES want what Scotland was promised by Gordon Brown, i,e, Home Rule within a very much changed Union. This is, after all, what the Liberals have been campaigning for for forty years, is it not?

    Only two things can push the SNP into going again for independence in the short term (ten to twenty years): 1. the delivery of Home Rule which then turns out to be impossible to operate; 2. the failure of the ‘main’ parties to do what was promised (very likely, of course, given the present indications). Of these two, the latter seems to me to be, for some inexplicable reason, the present policy of Cameron and Milliband. It will be their fault (or their successors’) if Scotland decides it has had enough!

  19. @John B

    You are right to point to the need for stable government. The problem the two biggest Westminster parties have is that neither seems capable of appealing to a wide enough cross section of the British public to gain a workable majority.
    ———————————————–

    I don’t see why only a government with a workable majority can be described as ‘stable’. Whatever you may think about the coalition, they’ve been in power with Cameron as PM for five years.

  20. @Valerie

    The coalition has had a workable majority and despite all fears it has been stable.

    I didn’t say that a government has to be formed from one party if it is to be stable. What I said was that neither of the two biggest parties seems to have accepted what the electorate is collectively saying to them, i,e,: we’re not going to give you a majority on your own.

  21. @ John B

    The current distribution of seats between the constituent parts of the UK would cause constitutional problems if the SNP decides on the running of the country as a whole. I know that it is the natural outcome of the current system and I don’t posit any malevolent intention on the side of the SNP. However, I don’t see how it could politically be sustained.

    I don’t say if it’s good or bad or what is good or bad. The Home Rule won’t solve the problem unless the Union is changed.

  22. I thought in early December that we were entering level pegging territory after a few close polls landed about the same time, but I was wrong … Labour were circa 1.5 pts ahead over the month and it was probably just rogue polls meeting for a rogue drink …

    So, on the basis that lightening never strikes twice, perhaps we are at level pegging now …

    But I guess more interesting than the gap is the level of Tory support which is perhaps inching up … as this is the first time I can remember where we have had a couple of polls close to one another with the Tories on over 33% … could they be moving out of the 31-33 range? Hmmm

    My guess is that Anthony would say to both questions … “Wait a week” … but why wait to see when you can make a foolish guess based on 5 data points …

    So a prediction:
    Of the 4 YouGov polls coming up (tonight through Sunday) Conservatives will average just over 33% (say 33.25%) and Labour just under 33% (32.75%)
    … confirming that we are indeed at level pegging

  23. Laszlo,

    “I don’t posit any malevolent intention on the side of the SNP. However, I don’t see how it could politically be sustained.”

    Fear…

    If Labour thought it would lose an election, they would make it work.
    If Turkeys could delay Christmas they would shoot down Santa”

    Peter.

  24. @Laszlo

    I think the point of view that the SNP couldn’t be part of a UK government ridiculous. As part of the union representatives of the Scottish people have as much right to be part of a UK government as representatives of any nations of the UK. No one seems aghast at the DUP + Cons scenerio so why the horror at the idea of the SNP in government.

    If rUK didn’t want the SNP in UK government or having a say on English matters, then they shouldn’t have campaigned so hard to keep Scotland in the union.

  25. David in Oxford

    “………..a layman in a field of experts! ”

    Ta very much: the pups are looking suitably smug.

  26. @R&D

    Hi Paul, hope all is well with you.

    Peter Crawford
    “I am a tory and went to a very minor public school.” “Mili I think on the verge of a breakdown”

    So minor that they didn’t teach you how to address people correctly and with respect.

  27. LizH

    So minor that they didn’t teach you how to address people correctly and with respect.

    very minor i’m afraid! whom was I supposed to be addressing…?

    as far as I am aware i was using the 3rd person not the 2nd, so i wasn’t addressing anybody, but my education at this humble private school was so loose, that i may have not spotted the difference.

  28. LIZ H.
    Good Evening to you!

    Hope the GE campaign is not too annoying; it has the smell of 1983, imo

    Lib Dem score is higher on YG than I expected.

  29. NORBOLD

    @” but do you really think most voters are earnestly discussing this?”

    Anecdotally-yes.

    Today , at our twice weekly bowls meet, I have never heard so much chat about the possible outcome.

    I think its very simple as I said-BBC 24 & Sky News are banging on about hung parliaments & who might grab power, every day. It is concentrating peoples minds I think.

    Also today, for the first time my friends the Con to UKIP couple were pondering the prospect of EM as PM with some concern :-)

  30. Chris,

    ” it has the smell of 1983″ ……is that anything like Teen Spirit?

    Peter.

  31. @Peter Crawford

    In case you did not know the name of the Leader of the Opposition is Ed Miliband and not ‘Milli’. You don’t have to insult him just because you are a Tory supporter.

  32. @CHRISLANE1945

    “Hope the GE campaign is not too annoying”

    I am not paying too much attention to it because like TOH I am quietly confident that the party I want to win will get there in May.

  33. @Colin

    “Today , at our twice weekly bowls meet, I have never heard so much chat about the possible outcome”

    Have you thought about letting the other members speak on occasion?

  34. @Liz H

    I’m just going to refer to him as Crawfie.

    I share your quiet confidence but my fingers are crossed! :-)

  35. Laszlo

    “UKIP may get 15% in Merseyside (or even more), but it won’t have any effect.”

    I’m not so sure. Suppose in some seats they take 10% from Tory and 5% from Labour, or vice versa? This could affect the results in marginal constituencies. There may not be many of those in Merseyside itself, but plenty around the country.

    On a more general point, if we end up with the sort of result that most people are predicting, does it not negate the main argument for FPTP? If two GEs in a row end up with coalitions it can no longer be said that FPTP is required to give ‘strong (i.e. one-party) government’.

  36. CHRIS

    I was mostly listening-and my point is made by one particular chap who announced in shock horror terms that “The SNP could get 50 seats & hold the balance of power”

    To him this was a bolt from the blue imparted by tv news.

    As I said-it seems obvious that constant media coverage will bring members of the general public face to face with data which has been familiar to UKPR readers for months.

    Is not simply an example of the Campaign proper adding a dynamic not present during those long years when the largely pointless opinion poll results were poured over by a tiny band of anoraks , whilst the average punter was giving no thought to politics at all. ?

  37. Colin

    “Also today, for the first time my friends the Con to UKIP couple were pondering the prospect of EM as PM with some concern :-)”

    A lot of my friends are pondering the prospect of DC staying as PM with concern as well. It doesn’t mean they are into the minutiae of how many Labour MPs there will be in England and whether Labour would have to rely on Scots and/or Welsh MPs for their majority. What concerns them is the NHS, cost of living, and so on.

  38. @Pete B
    On a more general point, if we end up with the sort of result that most people are predicting, does it not negate the main argument for FPTP? If two GEs in a row end up with coalitions it can no longer be said that FPTP is required to give ‘strong (i.e. one-party) government’.

    There are other arguments for FPTP. For example: having a local MP who won in your ballot, rather than a load of regional ones pulled off a party list; and the ability to more easily remove unpopular MPs.

  39. Remember all those “senior Labour figures” Pressman said would be wheeled out to undermine EM? Did he really mean Alan Milburn? Seriously?

  40. @ Pete B

    Perhaps I wasn’t clear – I agree with what you said: indeed the question is the distribution of UKIP VI, and apart from some marginals there is very little information about it (the same for the Greens). Perhaps the parties have the data.

    And yes, if the voting goes as the polling suggests, I don’t think that the current GE format is sustainable.

  41. Colin

    “it seems obvious that constant media coverage will bring members of the general public face to face with data which has been familiar to UKPR readers for months.”

    Of course, some of the media need to come face to face with the data themselves, before they can bring any useful coverage to their readers!

    On the Sunday? Politics, I was amused to see the FT journo saying that the SNP, like the Greens and UKIP, needed any publicity they could get.

  42. Pete B
    On a more general point, if we end up with the sort of result that most people are predicting, does it not negate the main argument for FPTP? If two GEs in a row end up with coalitions it can no longer be said that FPTP is required to give ‘strong (i.e. one-party) government’.
    Not really – I don’t think anyone ever claimed that FPTP made hung parliaments impossible, just less likely. On the other hand a second consecutive hung parliament may well make people reconsider whether enormous majorities are really that important.

  43. Chris
    I think this might just be the most negative election campaign in history… Vote UKIP, you get Milliband and the SNP, Vote Labour, you get Alex Salmond as DPM. Vote Tory,the NHS is destroyed.
    Interseting times ahead I think….?

  44. @NORBOLD

    I think Colin is simply pointing out that there are UKIP sympathisers out there who have never really considered that Labour had any chance of winning the election. I too have friends who have never, until recently, considered a Labour led government to be a possibility and are quite shocked that the parties are so close. Not everyone follows the ups and downs of the opinion polls. With the sudden realisation of where things may be heading, a number of absconders may well return to their original homes. We will just have to wait and see.

  45. new thread

  46. New thread – on Wales and some place in the south of England.

  47. RMJi

    Thanks

    At least one person understands !

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