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. @Graham

    “Natalie Bennets’s carcrash with Andrew Neil on Daily Politics yesterday should give Labour hope of recouping it losses to the Greens.”

    Think this through before buying the Bolinger… maybe 10% (at most) of the electorate watch Neil; approx 8% of them are Green supporters; and possibly 5% of that are fickle enough to change allegiance on the basis of a single broadcast (even assuming it’s as bad as you suggest – I didn’t see it so can’t comment on that).

    That works out as an average of 32 voters per constituency. Serious, eh?

  2. I must say you must be pretty p*ssed off with labour to be switching from labour to the greens this late in the parliament.

  3. @ OldNat

    I think they were mainly (not exclusively) against the SNP rather than Independence.

    Beliefs are quite important. Would they believe that FFA would destroy SNP (e.g. Closure of all US high and medium tech firms in Scotland in combination with lower oil prices, demography what have you) in a few years? Would they believe that separation of Scotland in fiscal terms would affect creditors’ perception? And perhaps most importantly would they believe that it was a popular political measure in England (that could be sold to the electorate)?

  4. I somehow missed this story from 11 Jan, and don’t remember it being discussed? Someone wants to enforce standards for Pollsters – apparently upset at the Scotland polls.


    Apparently a bill to regulate pollsters, because “The Labour peer says political opinion polling often “manipulates rather than records public opinion”, and is worried too many polls are undertaken too quickly and without care at the behest of media organisations looking for snap results”

    And its a real thing


    Still, rationality hasn’t been their strong point so far, and their draft clauses for further devolution have started unravelling already, so anything is possible.

    Quite so. Another nail in the Smith coffin yesterday, with the HoC voting against re SG control:

    Vote 2 on devolving licensing and mineral access rights to Scotland
    New Clause 2 proposed by shadow ministers Tom Greatrex, Richard Burden and Robert Blackman-Woods. This would amend the Scotland Act to give the Scottish Government responsibility for licensing and mineral access rights for onshore shale gas extraction

    Those in favour 231
    Those against 324
    New clause not included in the Infrastructure Bill

    See http://drillordrop.com/2015/01/26/results-of-votes-on-fracking-amendments-in-infrastructure-bill-debate/

    Although, to be fair, Labour did speak and vote for it. Our elderly auntie reports on the debate as top politics story, but her failing memory seems to have forgotten to mention the Smith bit.

  6. @Barney / Skippy


    Tut. I thought that sort of language was reserved for Social Media, and not this place. You won. Get over it. :))

  7. @Barbazenzero

    People rarely appreciate the facts of how our (UK) government operates. Vows and pledges and campaign promises, and the delivery is non-existent, or even worse, they do the opposite of what they said they would.

    Never mind. The times, they are a changing.

    People rarely appreciate the facts of how our (UK) government operates. Vows and pledges and campaign promises, and the delivery is non-existent, or even worse, they do the opposite of what they said they would.

    Yes. There is, however, the strange communal bewilderment of establishment media & politicians that any change needs to happen at all, simply not understanding or accepting how much trust they lost and that new channels of communication prevent their controlling it.

    I watched the Bennett interview on Sunday and didn’t regard it as a car crash at all. Had it been one the the few rogue Labour MPs it would have been ignored secure in the knowledge that the party would deal with him/her.

    The car crash is that the establishment can no longer control the agenda and it clearly worries them.

  9. There is another way to look at it. That the established parties know that they have to promise the impossible to get elected, and that a party which was completely straight with the electorate would be decimated at the polls.

  10. @Richard (FPT)

    Thanks for the reply, which was enlightening, and I agree with your analysis re getting BME voters to register.

  11. @MOG

    I was not referring to the number who watched the interview per se – rather that her abysmal performance will give Labour real hope that the more exposure she receives in the campaign the more damaged the Greens will be -and the more likely such voters are to return home!

  12. @Graham

    If by ‘returning home’ you mean Labour voters who have switched to Green, last week 2010 Labour voters supporting the Greens in YG polls were a massive 1 % of VI. (don’t get too excited!!).

    The rest of the Green vote is mostly made up of 2010 Greens, first time voters and former Lib Dems.

    I would suggest the policy platform that Natalie put forward on Sunday (defence cuts and no Trident), alongside republicanism and a strong shift to a more environmentally sustainable economy, is very attractive to this group

    She had a bad day at the office, sure. The is good data to support a Citizens Income out there, but in truth she made a hash of explaining it.

    Where else would anti nuclear, anti military, environmentally aware republicans like myself go?

    There aren’t 20-30% of people who think like me, but I think there is perhaps a solid 10-15%.

  13. She had a bad day at the office, sure. There is good data to support a Citizens Income out there, but in truth she made a hash of explaining it.

  14. MOG, CMJ,

    The interview itself wasn’t so damaging, but the subsequent coverage of policy on terrorism was in a good number of newspapers and probably seen by a good number of people.

    There are avenues of attack for Labour to use on the Greens, particularly on science and energy policy (where Green positions are unpopular among students from my experience). This has not helped, and I think the Citizen’s income stuff is secondary to the terrorism stuff in terms of damage.

  15. Today’s YG Scottish crossbreak

    SNP 44% : Lab 32% : Con 18% : LD 2% : UKIP 1% : Grn 2%

    Mean of last 17 YG Scottish crossbreaks

    SNP 42% : Lab 27% : Con 17% : LD 5% : UKIP 5% : Grn 4%

  16. Although the Tories are ahead in this morning’s YG, looking at the crossbreaks, it won’t do them much good: it is coming from an increasing lead in Rest-of-South and an implausible 34-35 split for the North. The battlegrounds of London and Midlands/W have them losing 30-38 and 29-41.

  17. Except that, you should never look at the crossbreaks, because they’re not internally weighted etc etc etc

  18. catmanjeff

    ”Where else would anti nuclear, anti military, environmentally aware republicans like myself go?”

    In all seriousness I would be fascinated to meet you, because based on the description above you and I must be polar opposites! You might be my reverse doppelganger…

    Ok, so my better half would never let me get away with being anything other than environmentally semi-aware. But speaking as a ”pro nuclear, very pro military, lets stick with the monarchy rather than try an egotistical politician as head of state” type of guy I think we could have some enjoyable good natured debates :-)

  19. @ON

    Those cross breaks would see the Tories on 3 seats (the three southern ones), with the LDs wiped out, apart from in the Northern Isles. But I can’t see Charley Kennedy being kicked out, can you?

    What I find rather frustrating in all these cross breaks is that, whilst the overall GB figures remain virtually static – one or two points up, one or two points down – the Scottish ones vary wildly, with Labour swinging from 25 to 35 and SNP from 40 (or below) to 50. Would you agree that the best way of evening out these variations is to have a larger group being questioned?

    The overnight conversations provide an enjoyable read, Statgeek, 1.10 “You won. Get over it.” sums up the constitutional situation well, especially the need for the Unionist parties to move on and accept that if they want Scotland involved they have to accept the consequences.

  20. @John B

    Even the standalone Scotland polls vary wildly – Panelbase have SNP +10 with Ipsos Mori having SNP +26.

    I find OldNat’s cumulative average of YG’s Scotland crossbreaks to be the most accurate, with an SNP lead of around 15%.

    As for Unionists having to accept the consequences of having Scotland aboard, I think that all countries within the Union have always to respond to the needs of all other countries within the Union. Scotland can’t just demand it’s own way. If that’s what it wanted, it should have voted Yes. Having voted No, Scotland has to live with the consequences of its decision, which means that all variations to the constitutional settlement of the UK have to be agreed.

  21. Is Cameron trying to turn the debates into a farce? I agreed with him on the Greens; having the SNP and Plaid I can understand, though personally wouldn’t include. I cannot however understand NI leaders in the debates. There is no overlap between the NI parties and any of the others in terms of seats contested so they would just be having an argument on their own in the corner.

  22. John B

    The samples from yesterday’s polls – tiny and no internal weightings at all – can be expected to vary wildly.

    Even YG, while better, are going to show large variations (though fewer of them than I expected, actually do).

    Not that I’m suggesting that either today’s or the Jan mean will be the same in May, the difference in seats between them is 4/5 extra seats for LiS if they can squeeze the right-wing Brit Nats in UKIP and remnant LD to vote for them – though let’s see what Ashcroft comes up with!

  23. I notice that after months of saing it is on the way, the BBC have posted their interactive poll-tracker:


    A lot of people are likely to refer to this to get their glimpse of the polling world, and so it seems worth commenting on what it does.

    In the Methodoloty section I thought there was quite a good tutorial on how polls are run. Nothing newsworthy for UKPR contributors, but some useful guidance for the more casual poll-watcher.

    Their ‘BBC poll of polls’ seems to understate Green performance (which might exercise one or two posters here). I have to admit that I can’t work out exactly how many polls are included in each point on the graph.

    The relevant exempt is as follows:

    “BBC poll of polls

    The BBC poll of polls is a rolling average of all polls included in the poll tracker.

    Every time a new poll is published, the poll of polls is recalculated to factor in the results of that poll.

    To prevent the over-representation of companies which poll with greater frequency (YouGov and Populus), only one weekly poll from each is included.”

    As far as I can tell, it doesn’t mention the period over which the polls are aggregated. The statement about including just ‘one weekly poll’ indicated that it covers teo or more weeks. But how long exactly? Presumably the most recent weekly poll is the one that survives. If it does cover several weeks, worth of data it will provide a more lagged measure than Anthony’s does.

    The display has arrows indicating whether each VI is ugoing upwards, downwards or staying level. No statistical niceties about this: just numerical differences. It may not even compensate for rounding errors.

    Not likely to use this myself…

  24. The new set of national polls looks like good news for the Tories. It really is at least level pegging for them. However no breakaway movement yet so we will have to wait and see.

  25. @ Unicorn

    Arm-wrestling (hoof-wrestling?) with my predictive text assistant, and emerging at the losing end.

    ‘Methodology’ ‘exerpt’ not ‘exempt’ and probsbly others….

  26. Britinkorea

    It is because he doesn’t want them to happen!

  27. However no breakaway movement yet so we will have to wait and see.

    This is key. it’s about winning actual seats. it seems no party is likely to get an overall majority.

    even if dave beats mili in terms of seats, the only way he can stay in govt. is by being backed by the liberal democrats. People have different views on how likely such support will be.

  28. Why not a debate about the future of Britain between the devolved leaders.

    Johnson (London), Jones (Wales), Robinson (N Ireland), Sturgeon (Scotland).

    That would mean a UK debate could be CON, GRN, LAB, LD, UKIP.

    and we could still have the head to head potential PM debate, Cameron v Miliband.


  29. Hmmm. ???

  30. Here’ another one!

    As a potential deal between the SNP. And Lab would see support for House of Lords reform and a Senate, what about a 433 member Senate with one member chosen by each of the 433 local Authorities.


    Scotland would get 32!


    “even if dave beats mili ”

    should this not be Dave beats Ed?

  32. Peter

    Until we reform local government to have real community democracy and dump those Westminster imposed structures.

    Then we could have 90+ :-)

  33. OLDNAT,

    People don’t want “Real Community Democracy”, they want decisions they like.

    The call for “Real Democracy” like ones for a “Proper Debate” tends to go up when things don’t go their way.

    People may think that “Localism” is the answer but it isn’t!

    Taking responsibility for tough unpopular local decisions is what we need and overwhelmingly people who support more “Real Community Democracy” delude themselves into thinking that it would mean not having to take them.

    Having spent a decade in Council chambers I can testify that those most eager to have more powers more locally are almost invariably the ones who pass the buck when tough choices are needed and blame the person they passed it to when the choices they ducked are made!

    More smaller Authorities isn’t the answer to our problems it is running away from them!


  34. Peter

    Then we’ll only have one Senator when you reduce the number of LAs to one!

    Either way, your idea that Senators should be linked to existing LAs would fossilise the system.

  35. @Peter Cairns

    So Birmingham (biggest English municipality, population over 1 million) has the same representation as the Western Isles or Berwick?

    I suppose, measured in terms of the population of sheep, that’s grossly unfair to the Western Isles.

  36. Phil Haines @Peter Cairns

    Berwick would need two Senators – one for each side of the Tweed. :-)

  37. @Graham
    “Natalie Bennets’s carcrash with Andrew Neil on Daily Politics yesterday should give Labour hope of recouping it losses to the Greens.”

    I saw that too and thought that by Cameron insisting that the Greens are involved in the leadership debate it might actually do Ed Miliband a big favour.

  38. Given these latest poll results, it looks increasingly likely that the party with the most votes may not end up with the most seats. Does anyone know if the LDs have clarified who they would back under these circumstances in the first case? One assumes that as a party supporting PR they would go on number of votes first but this may not be workable. I don’t remember seeing them clarify this.

  39. Phil,

    I am not responsible for the way England is organised.

    In Scotland Councils vary from nearly 700,000 for Glasgow to less than 20,000 in the Western Isles.

    But as an administrative unit and a natural community both make sense. When it comes to representation you have a choice and probably a compromise!

    Between Equally sized administrative units for Arithmetic fairness that clump or cut natural communities or creating Authorities that represent natural communities that make sense to the people who live there but which vary, in some cases quite markedly, in size.

    I am a Communities man.

    Oddly enough I find my self in a bit of a minority here with most favouring the Statistically even approach, well at least until it comes to where they happen to live and then they lean towards making allowances for “It’s distinctive character”

    You can focus on the size difference if that’s what you think is most important but If you asked people where they come from and what they are few Brummies would opt for “Middle England District Authority Three”!


  40. A car crash maybe, and Natalie Bennett is still not comfortable in the kind of disruptive interview style of Andrew Neil. However, when she’s given time to set out a platform and answer questions clearly, she performs very well. If the debates are similar to last time, and surely if they go ahead, they need to have some kind of order, she’ll surprise a few. I’m biased, but I was never a Green in the pro-Natalie camp until I saw her speak recently.

  41. Reading last nights posts it seems as if there is a fair degree of panic among those who want a change of government. The Cons are only 0,4% ahead on the average of today’s polls so it is still all to play for. I’m waiting for a significant shift in the polls one way or another.

  42. “So Birmingham (biggest English municipality, population over 1 million) has the same representation as the Western Isles or Berwick?”

    Worse than that – West Somerset (pop 34,600) would actually get MORE representation than Brum (pop1,074,300) because it would get 1/5th of the senator for Somerset county as well as its local alumnus, due to the Byzantine organisation of local government in England. The Isles of Scilly (pop 2,200) would only have parity with Birmingham.

    Nevertheless I quite like the principle you’re suggesting: more work needed on the detail :p

  43. liz h
    “even if dave beats mili ”

    should this not be Dave beats Ed?”

    Or Cammo beats Mili. [Hi Liz]

  44. Unicorn

    I looked at the BBC PoP a year or two back. They were doing a simple average of the 5 most recent polls. I seem to recall they quoted some methodology from LSE as justifying this.

  45. IG1234 “Natalie Bennett is still not comfortable in the kind of disruptive interview style of Andrew Neil. However, when she’s given time to set out a platform and answer questions clearly, she performs very well.”
    She wasn’t ‘given time’ and shouldn’t have expected to get it. There are plenty of examples of Neil’s style on the net. She was not just ‘uncomfortable’. She was hopelessly poorly prepared, ducking questions, not answering them.

  46. The tables for the Welsh YouGov are now available:


    and show the same stasis as previous ones. It looks like the gradual leakage of votes from Labour to UKIP that we saw in 2014[1] might have stopped, but everything else is margin of error stuff.

    In seat terms it means very little difference. Labour get Cardiff Central from Lib Dems and North from Conservatives (both confirmed by Ashcroft) and the Tories get Brecon and Radnor from the Lib Dems in recompense, though we know from Ashcroft that is very marginal. The story in Wales seems to be what is not happening and Labour is not getting back the sort of seats from the Tories that it might hope for, even with the sort of swing seen in England.

    So, as in previous Welsh polls, the nett effect is that wasted Lib Dem votes have been replaced by wasted UKIP ones.

    [1] And was even more pronounced than the similar process in England, possibly because some of the small ‘c’ conservative voters who swing between Labour and Conservative in England have always remained Labour in Wales or at most switched to Lib Dem as they would “never vote Tory”. UKIP is more culturally acceptable and so the potential for movement was greater in Wales. As always with these YouGov tables it’s difficult to see such movements because of the lack of 2010 vote crossbreaks.

  47. @ CMJ
    ‘If by ‘returning home’ you mean Labour voters who have switched to Green, last week 2010 Labour voters supporting the Greens in YG polls were a massive 1 % of VI. (don’t get too excited!!).’

    It does not stop there though. 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.

  48. After today’s somewhat disappointing GDP figures showing the slowest economic growth on a quarterly basis for 18 months perhaps the ‘economic slowdown’ will feature more prominently in the election campaign – not to Osborne’s advantage.

  49. Cliché time: it’s all to play for. I thought that Labour had it in the bag, given the rise of UKIP and the fall of the Lib Dems, but the Tory vote has been slightly more resilient than I expected and Labour have failed to capitalise on their advantage in this parliament. (I thought that left-wing voters had nowhere else to go: I was wrong.) I think it will come down to the campaign, and to some degree even some fairly small details.

    A big problem for the Tories in 2010 was they failed to secure for themselves the narrative of “the party of change”, mainly due to Cleggmania, and so the Lib Dem held up when it might easily have been squeezed. Labour seem to have the same problem: it’s becoming very crowded in opposition.

    I still think Labour will win, but it might be closer than I expected. They might not even get a majority, depending on how the Scottish seats turn out.

    Roger Mexico,

    Interesting analysis of Wales. There’s a similar phenomenon in Scotland as well, I think, where there are right-wing voters who don’t vote Tory because they don’t see them as looking out for “people like them”. A lot of the Tories’ problems in Scotland are due to perceptions (perhaps correct, perhaps not) of anti-Scottishness and poshness and strong memories of deindustrialisation etc., as well as the fact that the SNP, the Lib Dems and Labour all do a very competent job of winning over centre/centre-right voters in Scotland. Hence UKIP have been able to expand their vote in Scotland without it being at the expense of the Tory vote, which has apparently held up well during the parliament.

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