14 weeks to go

Week four of the year we had the regular YouGov, Ashcroft and Populus polls, the first ComRes telephone poll of the year and the first 2015 GB poll from Survation – the first in a regular series for the Daily Mirror.

YouGov/S Times (23/1/15) – CON 32%, LAB 32%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 15%, GRN 7%
Survation/Mirror (25/1/15) – CON 31%, LAB 30%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 23%, GRN 3%
Populus (25/1/15) – CON 34%, LAB 35%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 13%, GRN 6%
Ashcroft (25/1/15) – CON 32%, LAB 32%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 15%, GRN 9%
ComRes/Indy (25/1/15) – CON 31%, LAB 30%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 17%, GRN 7%
YouGov/Sun (26/1/15) – CON 34%, LAB 33%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 15%, GRN 7%
YouGov/Sun (27/1/15) – CON 34%, LAB 33%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 14%, GRN 7%
YouGov/Sun (28/1/15) – CON 33%, LAB 33%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 16%, GRN 7%
YouGov/Sun (29/1/15) – CON 34%, LAB 34%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 14%, GRN 7%
Populus (29/1/15) – CON 34%, LAB 35%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 14%, GRN 4%

The polls this week continued to show an extremely tight race – every single poll had the two main parties within one point of each other, and unlike last week there were slightly more polls with the Tories ahead than with Labour ahead. The UKPR average though still has figures of CON 32%(nc), LAB 33%(nc), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 15%(nc), GRN 6%(-1), as Opinium and ICM polls from last week are still contributing towards the average. For anyone interested in the differences between some of the polls from different companies, I explored them in this post earlier this week.

Welsh polls

There were also two Welsh voting intention polls out this week, the regular YouGov/ITV/University of Cardiff poll and an ICM poll for the BBC. Westminster voting intention figures for the two polls were:

ICM/BBC – CON 21%, LAB 38%, LDEM 7%, Plaid 12%, UKIP 13%, GRN 6%
YouGov/ITV – CON 23%, LAB 37%, LDEM 6%, Plaid 10%, UKIP 16%, GRN 8%

Week four

  • At the beginning of the week there was a lot of froth about UKIP’s NHS policy and the Green party’s policies on membership of extremist groups and a citizen’s income. It’s unlikely that either will make much difference for the simple fact that most people have no idea at all about what their policies are on such issues. For UKIP, the majority of people think they have at least a fairly good idea of what sort of approach they would take on immigration and Europe, but on other subjects people draw a blank. For the Green party 54% think they’ve got some idea what the Green party would do on the environment, but on everything else at least three quarters know nothing. It doesn’t necessarily stop people backing them, as broad perceptions of a party’s values, principle and competence are far more important than specific policies anyway. I suspect that maybe even more the case for parties who have no realistic chance of getting a majority and putting said policies into action.
  • As we passed the 100 days to go mark both Labour and the Conservatives put out new policies, Labour on the NHS, the Conservatives on welfare benefits. The Conservatives headline pledge to reduce the benefit cap to £23,000 was supported by 61% to 25% (including amongst Labour voters), even though people didn’t think it made people look for work. The idea of stopping housing benefit for young people was more divisive – 42% supported the idea, 40% opposed it.
  • The NHS is generally a rock solid issue for Labour anyway – last week they had a thirteen point lead over the Tories on which party people thought would handle the issue the best. Welfare benefits is actually much more contested ground, in the same poll 28% of people thought Labour would handle the issue the best, 28% of people thought the Conservatives would handle the issue the best.

Projections

The latest forecasts from Election Forecast, May 2015 and Elections Etc are below. All are still predicting a hung Parliament, though Election Forecast and May2015 have the Conservatives catching up with Labour after a week of close polls.

Elections Etc – Hung Parliament, CON 282(-1), LAB 280(+2), LD 24(+1), SNP 40(-1), UKIP 3(nc)
Election Forecast – Hung Parliament, CON 283(+5), LAB 285(-1), LD 27(-1), SNP 32(-2), UKIP 2(-1)
May 2015 – Hung Parliament, CON 280(+11), LAB 280(-9), LD 24(-3), SNP 38(nc), UKIP 5(+1)


299 Responses to “14 weeks to go”

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  1. R @ D

    2010 Tory figure for GB was 37% – UK was 36%.

  2. @Hireton

    “Hopefully UK Labour will not show the visceral animosity to the SNP which has so undermined SLAB.”

    I can’t claim to be an expert on Scottish affairs but from reading the thoughts of m’learned friends on this site, at least as much visceral hatred seems to come from the SNP (Peter Cairns excepted) towards both UK Lab and SLAB. And yes I know they hate the Tories even more viscerally :-)

  3. With the LDs, throughout GB, on the same % of the vote as the SNP in Scotland alone, then their vote will have to be incredibly concentrated to get many seats – assuming (a big assumption!) that those percentages are “right” [1]

    [1] For an explanation of “right” see AW’s previous thread header.

  4. Guymonde

    “SLAB” is considered an abusive term by some Labour members. It would be more courteous to use the acronym “LiS” (Labour in Scotland).

  5. Guymonde

    PS Next year the appropriate term, according to polling, might be “List” – which is what almost all of their MSPs will be,

  6. @Graham

    That’s the election. The polls are what’s in the chart, and came after the election. The first poll (14th May) had Con 13% ahead:

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/today_uk_import/YG-Archives-Pol-STResults-100514.pdf

    @Roger

    I can’t speak for the ES polls. Are they above board, compared to YG’s polls?

  7. @Bramley

    Yes, the Opinium poll two weeks ago was probably an outlier. Curiously, if we go back to AW’s graph a couple of days ago, Opinium having Lab +1 is bang in line with their average margin between Lab and Con.

  8. @Statgeek

    As far as i am aware ES use YG for most of their political polling.

  9. SLAB is no different to LiS, you are being pedantic .

  10. Why don’t we just call them Red Tories, that seems to be standard terminology these days.

  11. Hoof Hearted

    Amber disagreed with your position. If you consider her to be pedantic, you may want to take that up with her.

  12. Mr N

    If you consider that term to be accurate and appropriate …..

  13. Opinium have come up with similar findings on several occasions in the last year. In addition to the poll of 4 weeks ago we have had:

    24/10/14 Con 33 Lab 33 LD 6 UKIP 18

    23/5/14 Con 32 Lab 33 LD 7 UKIP 19

    28/3/14 Con 32 Lab 33 LD 10 UKIP 15

    Not much sign there of ‘swingback’ or decline in the Labour vote over the last 10 months! The Tory vote appears to be rather volatile with Opinium with Labour’s lead fluctuating accordingly.

  14. @OldNat

    Come now…you know that term is only remotely accurate to describe the MP for East Renfrewshire. At least it used to be. He seems to be in a transitional period. Hopefully headed the right…erm left way.

  15. Why not with RST, Red Scottish Tories. I’ll get some cigarette papers.
    Been talking to UKIP in Linc’s and Leics, they think they are home and dry on several seats. Labour should be worried long term.

  16. SLAB is no different to LiS, you are being pedantic.

    Actually it’s me who prefers the term LiS, not Old Nat. It’s not a question of being pedantic; others simply know that I prefer the term LiS & use it as a courtesy to me – which I appreciate.

  17. HH,

    Which seat beyond Grimsby and Boston/Skegness do they think they have a chance in?

  18. @ ChrisLane

    Lib Dem 5 (-2)

    Does that one look about right to you? Or maybe even a tad low?

  19. I think momentum is with the Conservatives, so is swing back, and their leader is popular, compared to EM. I also think English votes will not be impressed with a LAB, LD, SNP government.

  20. YouGov – Lab 35 – Con 32 – LD 7 – UKIP 15 – Grn -6

  21. HH

    Quite so.

  22. M N, Corby, Grantham, not sure where else, but they did say they expect an invasion of Correx everywhere.

  23. SHEVII.
    Hello to you.

    That 5% figure seems a little high, as does YG with 7%.

  24. HOOF HEARTED
    I also think English votes will not be impressed with a LAB, LD, SNP government.

    How does impressed matter if that electorate has no opportunity to not vote SNP?

    Do you expect voters currently planning to vote Lab or LD to change their voting intention on the off chance that one of their planned choices might need SNP support?

    Doesn’t the plurality system make it hard enough for voters to judge who to vote for in any given constituency anyway?

  25. HH

    Sunday’s YG pretty meaningless I think – what with the ole swing back and so on.

  26. YouGov – Lab 35 – Con 32 – LD 7 – UKIP 15 – Grn -6

    Nice… but there’s another YG to come, assuming the Sun on Sunday & the Sunday Times are both still in the game…

  27. The Sun on Sunday does not normally poll every week.

  28. BARB
    You can not vote SNP in England, if you vote for anyone but Labour. A vote for Lab, is a vote for Ukip, a vote for UKIP is a vote for Lab etc etc. But vote Lab, you get SNP! Not very appealing.

  29. YojGov with their usual 5% unallocated – until we see the tables tomorrow.

    At which point I will be able to give my exciting data showing no change in Scotland – but this time with the mean scores for each week in January, also showing no change.

  30. Cripes, that was unexpected!

  31. HOOF HEARTED
    But vote Lab, you get SNP!

    That’s a huge assumption, and presumably assumes Lab will win enough seats in E&W to be the largest party or at least close enough to it to be able to negotiate a coalition or C&S arrangement with the left of centre parties.

    But I would have thought it more honest of both Lab & Con to form a grand coalition or perhaps merge into a European-style Peoples’ Party, with SNP probably providing the leader of the opposition.

    If that’s what you’re hinting at, I would agree with you. It would at least help clarify to all who wants to retain the unitary state and who would prefer confederalism.

  32. @ ChrisLane

    However much of a twinkle in your eye there has been and however firmly your tongue has been pressed into your cheek this parliament, it seems like your core prediction over the last 4 years and nine months has been the most accurate one on here- although I think you are pushing your run of luck at the 5% level!!!

  33. Tonight’s YouGov, along with the latest Populus and Opinium polls, makes it 3 Labour leads on the trot now after a YouGov dead heat on Thursday. Before that we had a run of Tory leads and the odd dead heat.

    It’s a good job Anthony can “cut through all the guff” and tell us what’s going on.

    :-)

  34. The Sun on Sunday does not normally poll every week.

    Thanks, Graham, I wasn’t sure whether they were polling this week or not.

  35. Much though I dislike the terms right and left in politics, there seems to be a rush to the left by the Tories as we move towards the election.

    The threat to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes and now that a man is guilty of rape unless he can prove otherwise, seem to me not to be in line with traditional Tory thinking, which I always thought was anti-‘Nanny State’. I must point out that I am not a smoker, rapist, or Tory, I’m just curious as to why they think these announcements will help them. Are they more afraid of the greens than of UKIP?

  36. For those thinking there wont be a coalition and there will be two elections this year – take time to read Chris Hiluhne the rules have changed.

    http://www2.politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2015/01/30/anybody-betting-on-two-general-elections-this-year-should-first-read-this-analysis-by-chris-huhne/

  37. HH

    This is not a site for political debate and I would not be interested in debating with you on subjective matters if it were.

  38. @Hoof Hearted – “I think momentum is with the Conservatives…….”

    Very next post, from @Graham – “YouGov – Lab 35 – Con 32 – LD 7 – UKIP 15 – Grn -6”

    So yes, this may be an outlier, but I don’t think anyone on here has never spoken out, only to be contradicted by the very next poll.

  39. 07052015
    For those thinking there wont be a coalition…..

    Huhne has a point, but given that the UK has no meaningful constitutional safeguards, simple majorities in both HoC & HoL could repeal or modify the Fixed Term Parliament Act.

  40. The last poll (Populus if I’m not mistaken) also had Labour at 35%, though the Tories were higher. It probably isn’t in true outlier territory.

  41. Alec, one poll is not a trend.

  42. Barbazenzero

    I wonder if the simple majority to repeal the Fixed Term Parliament Act could be achieved by the self interest of the minority PM and the parties in the devolved administrations.

    A 5 year term for Westminster, when it had set 4 year terms for them was a constitutional incompetence which required the devolved elections to be postponed for a year to avoid a clash (our elections should have been this year). If the nonsense continues, the same problem will occur in 2020, and the devolved elections will have to be postponed again – and again – and again.

  43. Hoof Hearted – he never said that it was.

  44. Is there a reason why votes for the devolved administrations can’t take place at the same time as a UK election?

  45. Pete B

    If the Draft Clauses are ever implemented, then the Scottish Parliament would have the power to set its own dates.

    The Welsh and Northern Irish Assembly election dates would continue to be set by Westminster, and it was that body that postponed the elections this time.

  46. The problem with Huhne’s logic is that it assumes that only one of the Government or Opposition would think it could win at any given point in time. As we all know (and is demonstrated on both sides of the debate here) there are many who will be wildly optimistic about their side’s chances, because they are in the right and surely the electorate will see that.

    You *could* also see a situation where all the parties agree, in the interest of the country, that an unstable government needed to go back to the people in order that someone had a clear mandate…

  47. Good Poll for Labour-seems like they might be overwhelmingly unlikely not to lose ?

  48. @The Sheep
    That’s assumimg that any of them actually care about the people or the country. Is that too cynical?

  49. Pete B

    Far too cynical!

    Obviously the people and the country can only be saved from total disaster by the election of Party X and its leader Y in perpetuity. :-)

  50. OLDNAT
    I wonder if the simple majority to repeal the Fixed Term Parliament Act could be achieved by the self interest of the minority PM and the parties in the devolved administrations.

    Of course it could, but would presumably increase grumbling at the idea that home nations other than England should change anything meaningful.

    PETE B
    Is there a reason why votes for the devolved administrations can’t take place at the same time as a UK election?

    When the 1997-2001 Lab set up the devolved governments it set an unusual good example of following Mrs. T’s habit of going every 4 years, but of course retained the choice of timing and ensured that the national elections didn’t coincide with state-wide ones. At the time, many thought it was done to make it difficult for Lab to be out of government on GB. I suppose that the idea not having simultaneous elections for all UK governments is related to this. I presume the coalition set the term as 5 years because that happened to be the previous maximum, but do not recall much discussion of it at the time.

    There is also the issue of different voting systems in play simultaneously, which certainly led to some confusion in Scotland in 2007 between AMS and STV.

    4 years tenure for all politicians seems about right to me, but a common approach to electoral fairness would be needed – something which may well become evident if the next Westminster government does want to survive for 5 years.

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