Two polls in the Sunday papers – the fortnightly Opinium for the Observer and the weekly YouGov for the Sunday Times.

YouGov have topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 35%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 15%, GRN 6%. It’s the first Labour lead YouGov have shown for a week. It’s probably just normal sample variation, but is a reminder that despite a week of polls that had more Conservative leads than Labour ones, the polls are still really neck-and-neck. Tabs here.

Opinium meanwhile have topline figures of CON 32%(+4), LAB 33%(nc), LDEM 5%(-2), UKIP 18%(-2), GRN 6%(nc), the two main parties moving into the same tight lead we’re seeing across most polls. The five percent score for the Lib Dems is equals their lowest since the post-merger period around 1990. Tabs are here.


376 Responses to “Latest Opinium and YouGov polls”

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  1. LURKER

    I I’m not suggesting for one minute Putin or Greece should forge a military alliance of even a bloc but Putin has every right to help the Greeks out if they ask for it.

    The situation Greece is now in is completely different to the situation Ukraine was in. Russia has a lots of interests in Ukraine and let the West know that but i really can’t see a Russia v NATO fight over Greece.
    …….

    “The point about there being alternative poles to the USA is a good one. This is not the 1990s where it was the IMF way or nothing. The elites in a lot of sub-Saharan African countries have already moved towards China and away from the USA. I am not convinced that the populations of those countries will be any better off as a result though”
    _____

    I couldn’t agree more, China is investing billions in Africa and it’s China’s soft power which is doing most damage to the West rather than its increasing military capabilities which it need to protect the nations increasing interests abroad.

    The current international superpower dynamic is transitioning from a unipolar system with the United States as its center to a bipolar system with China occupying the other pole.

  2. I’m not sure if Alec is now pulling out of the market but doing my usual footie memorabilia search on ebay I just found a collection of 318 football scarves selling on ebay starting at bids of £10,000 which I make £30 a scarf which seems excessive but then I think Alec explained very clearly how the scarf market works.

  3. Number Cruncher tweet

    “Update: Lord Ashcroft confirms that his Scottish seat polling will be released at 11am on Wednesday. His weekly GB poll is out today at 4pm”

  4. Two interesting moves this morning on the left of UK politics.

    The Greens appear to have ditched the citizen’s income pledge from their 2015 manifesto. Caroline L said this in what looks to be a somewhat confused exchange on R4 this morning, and it is being reported as being confirmed since by the party.

    While this was one of their key USP’s, and set the Greens well outside conventional party politics, it’s come under heavy fire in the press. Much of this has been typically blinkered reporting, although a few, like the esteemed Paul mason, have attempted some actual thoughtful analysis and come out with a much more positive view.

    However, ditching the policy does rather suggest the Greens are beginning to play at ‘grown up’ politics. If you believe something that seems to attract controversy, stop believing in it.

    Perhaps I’m being a bit unfair, but as this policy has been a basic tenet of Green manifestos for years, for me, it’s an unwelcome adjustment to new found popularity.

    Secondly, with possibly more direct impacts on VI, Gordon Brown is this morning unveiling ‘proposals’ for higher benefits and pensions in Scotland under a Labour UK government.

    This turns out to be a plan to grant powers for Scotland to top up pensions or create new benefits, rather than actual changes in payment levels.

    The Telegraph is reporting this as a Bad Thing, clearly with the notion that Scots will get more than everyone else. However, presumably any proposals would need to be paid for from within Scotland, so it’s hard to see how such a nonsensical attack could work and remain logical.

    It looks to me like Labour are trying to elevate the debate towards what Scotland will do with new powers, obviously holding out the prospect for more spending, while not specifying exactly how the money is raised.

    I’m interested to see what the VI impact of this will be, but the danger is that after criticising the SNP for promising all good things with no need to pay more for them, Labour might start to appear in a similar light, even if they aren’t actually promising anything by way of firm spending commitments.

  5. Alec
    “The Telegraph is reporting this as a Bad Thing, clearly with the notion that Scots will get more than everyone else. However, presumably any proposals would need to be paid for from within Scotland, so it’s hard to see how such a nonsensical attack could work and remain logical. ”

    It might increase calls to drop the Barnett formula, as English politicians could see it as indirectly paying for these increased benefits. It could damage Labour in England if they appear to be favouring Scots over English even if it is only a perception.

  6. OLDNAT
    Number Cruncher tweet

    “Update: Lord Ashcroft confirms that his Scottish seat polling will be released at 11am on Wednesday. His weekly GB poll is out today at 4pm”
    ________

    Any indication how many Scottish seats Ashcroft polled?

  7. Allan Christie

    Nope.

  8. @ OldNat and others

    If you can’t wait that long, there is (according to the Indy) a university of Strathclyde report out today… Only figures I have are SNP on 45% and 45 seats…

  9. @ Allan

    No, but 8-16 is normal for him

  10. @ Unicorn

    Thanks for the link, not the most intuitive model! And now that we have seat polls, best to make use of them…

  11. Number Cruncher

    “Only figures I have are SNP on 45% and 45 seats…”

    Oh, that boring old stuff again. :-)

  12. NUMBER CRUNCHER

    “If you can’t wait that long, there is (according to the Indy) a university of Strathclyde report out today… Only figures I have are SNP on 45% and 45 seats”
    ___

    That leaves 14 seats for the rest. That should keep me going until Wednesday.

  13. Number Cruncher

    I think the Indy story is just referring to the Rose analysis.

  14. Natalie Bennett says when pushed she would prefer Ed Miliband as PM, and now Caroline Lucas is saying the Green Party’s purpose at the moment is to pressure the Labour Party into adopting some more radical policies.

    So, about that de facto anti-government alliance I mentioned a while back… *checks watch*

  15. As well as Ashcroft tweeting that his Scottish individual constituency poll will be released on Wednesday, he’d previously remarked:

    Putting the finishing touch to my commentary on the individual Scottish seats poll. It really is…..

    So another two days before we can all sit down and complain bitterly that he hasn’t polled the constituencies that were really important. Which will probably be true, because every one of the 59 in Scotland is a potential marginal on current figures (even Orkney and Shetland if you believe Electoral Calculus).

    Admittedly in the past the amount of teasing preceding a poll is usually inversely proportional to any surprise it contains. But then there’s probably nothing that would shock coming out of Scotland at the moment. With the possible exception of a Lib Dem landslide.

  16. Scotland’s probability of seats:

    http://www.statgeek.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/elec-fore.png

    23 seats fall under 50% probability for the SNP, so Election Forecast is predicting 36 or so seats. Note the probability of the Lab, Lib and Con seats too. Much food for thought.

  17. Some carrot for the bankers?

    http://bailoutswindle.com/

  18. @Alec

    I know one the original Ecology Party founders, and quite frankly 90% of what he talks about is the Citizens Income.

    I have looked at it myself, and it looks interesting, but I can also see it can scare off people who view it through a convential paradigm. It is easily mis-interepreted and distorted in the shark infested waters of the mainstream politics and media.

    The Green Party is very democratic, but it means many policies that exist were perhaps sourced from members with a special interest long ago, related to different circumstances. Terrorist Group membership is such a policy. There is no way a party of non-violent, anti military members would support the actions of ISIS or the IRA. I think most members would offended by being accused of that.

    Now the party swims in the big boy pool (with plenty of media and political sharks), a new policy process is due. A party of tens of thousands cannot be run the same way as when it was a party of a few thousand commited activists.

    This will be a painful transition, especially for long stand members.

    I was a touch concerned about the week of silence that followed the Andrew Neil interview, but today’s news makes me happy that the lessons have been learned, and a better direction plotted.

    I think the party should campaign some solid, basic policies in the election, such as renationalising the railiways, dropping Trident and so on. Drop the 1,001 policy positions that quite frankly would never happen, even if there were a Green majority,

  19. Roger M,

    I think there would 100% agreement that the seats the SNP currently hold will be retained.

    I trust he has not wasted any resources on those seats others than that needed for fair weighted national VI.

  20. CATMANJEFF

    I could see the Citizen’s Income policy becoming mainstream if automation continues to destroy jobs (and if they do not get replaced). For instance, automatically driven cars could well eliminate the traditional stand-by job of mini-cab driving. The invention of a self-cleaning toilet could be economically catastrophic! I am not sure its time has come yet.

    I think more thought of how it would work in practice is needed in case the scenario described comes to pass. Dealt with properly, we could see a situation where people have far more time to flourish in non-paying-work related activities, which would be pretty great if it could work.

  21. I’m curious (genuinely, not in a snide way) about what the process is for dropping a policy if the Greens operate on conference motions etc. Doesn’t it have to be repealed or overwritten by a new motion?

  22. @Lurker

    You make a good point about the future.

    For the parties,this sort of discussion is for a distant future, and best left out of election campaigning. This whole debate is one for the years and years to come.

    Even now, if you have pension, you get topped up to a minimum. If you work, we have a minimum wagw and tax credits top up low pay. Therefore, the concept isn’t so alien to what happens now. The trouble is in a hostile interview when you can only speak in sound bites, it’s hard to get this across.

  23. Really not sure how LiS’ “Vow+” will go down with people.

    The whole LiS/SNP debate over more powers seems to be focusing on “Decide v Adapt”.

    The SNP want the power to decide things like the Minimum Wage or the shape and structure of the Benefits System while the current proposals mostly seem to be London will decide by Holyrood can adapt it if it doesn’t like it.

    I am not sure it will work for LiS as I have a felling that post the Vow the mood is that concessions are only made when the pressure is on and if, and it is only an if, the public get the idea that having, in some voters eyes, caved in twice in six months, Labour will offer more before or after the election if the pressure stays on.

    In some respects if the SNP are seen to do well when demanding more and the stronger they get the more they get, why not keep going.

    After all if Labour do lose a fair number of seats to the SNP will the public realistically think Labour can win them back by offering Scotland less.

    As I’ve said before I really can’t predict how it is going to go in May as I can’t really get my head around gains of more than a dozen seats,as it goes beyond anything I’ve previously considered, but given it does look possible what exactly could or should Labour do to get them back.

    In the event of significant losses, if they happen, what should Labours post election Scottish strategy be????

    Peter.

  24. MrNameless

    I think that could work out quite badly for them in terms of VI – that and Natalie Bennett’s distancing herself from their terrorism policy might well look like triangulation to some of their core support.

  25. @Mr Nameless

    I have no idea, but I’m sure Alec might know more.

    It is easy for a smallish group to work together and impact policy. As my children are home educated, we know other families who do the same. Recently, a group formed with the aim of making what is a small tweak to the GP’s home education policies. It was a modest word change, but this group were quite animated about a policy area that affects very few people, and if you are not involved in HE yourself, you wouldn’t care about.

    Multiply that by a 101 pet policy areas, and that is what you are dealing with.

  26. That should have been addressed to Alec I think, whoops

  27. mister n

    “So, about that de facto anti-government alliance I mentioned a while back”

    I have been saying for a long while that most polling suggests there is a greater number of committed ABTs than ABLs.

    Because of that it does seem fairly reasonable to assume the possibility that, as we get closer to sh*t and fan time, those who are currently saying they will support “minor” parties will vote tactically for their least bad option.

    I emphasise that is opinion polls that point to that – not just some odd hunch on my part.

  28. Jim Jam

    I think there would 100% agreement that the seats the SNP currently hold will be retained

    Well I’d certainly expect it but I must point out that if you use the latest YouGov-ST figures and apply UNS GB-wide, it does show the SNP losing Dundee East. Which obviously says more about UNS modelling than anything else.

  29. Having read what Bennett actual said;

    “What we are talking about is a principle that you shouldn’t be punished for what you think. And we need to balance – we do not protect freedom by destroying it.”

    I am not sure this is the daft idea that some portray it as .

    In principle they are saying it should be an offence to go and join ISIS or to fight for any organisation in a foreign country but not to say that you think people should be allowed to or that an Islamic state in the Middle East is a good idea.

    She may not have articulated it very well but the principle that you shouldn’t brand everyone who supports a cause a Terrorist just because some who support that cause have used terror seems sound.

    Suggesting that those who think a popular regime founded on Islamic principle isn’t a viable,or indeed preferable, alternative to a dictator are the friends of terrorists like Isis will probably alienate more people and could well be counter productive.

    I am not sure if I would go as far as the Greens but be it actors speaking for the IRA and letters to Mosques don’t seem to be that effective!

    Peter.

  30. New Populus poll:-

    Lab 34% (-1)
    Con 31% (-3)
    UKIP 14% (-)
    Lib Dem 8% (-2)
    Others 13% (+6%)

    So, a run of Labour leads (four on the trot now), rather than Tory ones, and two of them have been by 3% margins rather than the 1% leads occasionally enjoyed by the Tories. Again, it’s another poll completely devoid of a direct correlation between the Tory and Labour votes. Tories down by 3 but no benefit to Labour who are down by 1, and no benefit, intriguingly, to either UKIP or the Lib Dems. Interesting 6% rise in Others too (SNP and Greens?).

    My slightly ironic question for the mainstream parties, based on the evidence of this poll and others is: “Campaigning going well, don’t you think? Electorate seem most impressed!”.

    Some disappointment in certain tabloid newspaper editorial rooms too, perhaps?

  31. CB11

    See upthread for discussion of the change in Populus weightings which make SNP/Green scores more realistic.

  32. CB,

    As per ON perhaps the Con+Lab combined VI on Populus will be closer to YG now?

  33. @AllanChristie

    “……. agree more, China is investing billions in Africa and it’s China’s soft power which is doing most damage to the West rather than its increasing military capabilities.”

    Possibly, but don’t underestimate either the huge export market China now offers to Western economies. For example, JLR now sell more cars in China than they do in either the UK or the US, and the rapid expansion of that company has been largely due to the explosion of demand for their products in China. Roll in Mercedes, BMW and VW too, and you can see how the growing Chinese car market has helped to offset the shrinking mainland European markets for car manufacturers and component suppliers. Many other western industries are benefiting similarly.

  34. This is an interesting snippet from the Rose Report:-

    “He said that in reality the Nationalists could not prop up Labour after “resoundingly trouncing” their opponents as it would be viewed as a “volte face” and undermine their re-election campaign in next year’s Scottish Parliament elections.”

    DT

  35. With the recent stream of positive YouGov polls for Labour, my Spurious Accuracy Time Weighted Average of the last 5 polls (1 week) is now:

    Con 33.0% Lab 33.8% LibDem 6.5% UKIP 14.6% Green 6.7% Other 5.5%

    So a lead of 0.8% for Labour mainly driven by the Greens starting to follow UKIP and edging down …

    The squeeze is on …

  36. @Colin

    It is nonsense though Colin. The problem the SNP have is that they have to prop up Labour to do anything else would be electoral suicide. So their bargaining power will be quite limited. The machinations after the GE result will be very dangerous for the SNP.

  37. @Peter Cairns (SNP)

    Labour could support Independence that would get a fair few back, short of that Labour have lost whatever % of the 45% see independence as the main goal.

  38. COUPER2802

    Thanks.

    Given the prospective multiplicity of combinations which seem possible, I am reluctant to describe much as “nonsense”.

    But what do I know?

    Perhaps the Polls really are indicating a re-instated lead of sufficient proportions to make support unnecessary ?

  39. COUPER2802

    Indeed.

    It is rather odd to say that the SNP and nationalism would benefit from propping up Labour, considering that propping up the Tories has completed bu&&ered the Liberal Democrats.

  40. The issue with claiming Labour will be hurt in England by agreements with Scottish parties is that ultimately those voting Labour are unlikely to be turned off by Labour getting something’s in return.

    Its one of these things the right especially jump up and down about but in the end I think it has little effect on VI, certainly not a negative one (could hit Labour in Scotland paradoxically).

    In the end though those really annoyed would never vote for them in the first place. Course this is as long as giving things to the Scots is not see as holding back Labour’s Manifesto.

  41. @Peter Cairns (SNP)

    The funny thing about the new Vow is it’s groundhog day today.

  42. Lurker

    “It is rather odd to say that the SNP and nationalism would benefit from propping up Labour, considering that propping up the Tories has completed bu&&ered the Liberal Democrats”

    The difference is between supporting your opponents in your “home” Parliament and doing so in another place where you cannot possibly become the majority.

  43. colin

    “But what do I know?”

    Quite so et LOL.

    ps Am enjoying Spiral – as ever.

    Wonder why UK stuff is soppy rubbish like Silent Witness – which is about as credible as casting Rosie and Daisie as two super-sleuths.

    [Excusez moi for use of the “S” word !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I got it from William books and his [quite correct] description of gurls. Also Moleswoth.]

  44. @R&D

    I love Spiral,I am on session 3 of my box set – I am recording session 4.

  45. Gosh unt Blimey !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Cammo refused to give an answer to “what is 9 x 8 ??”

    Should he be running the country?

    In fact, should he have been permitted to progress from primary school?

    Maybe Ed Mili could use six, specially prepared sums for Wednesday.

    Once he is certain that DC will refuse to answer he can make his last one:

    “Can the Prime Minister inform the house what two twos come to?”

  46. coup

    I won’t discuss the latest episodes then.

    It is so much better than British stuff.

    Maybe there just isn’t the mass audience for intelligent crime drama here. I dunno.

    They can speak French ever so quick as well – which is tres impressive por moi considering that the are also catching violent criminals at the same time.

    Je parle it tres lentement [et avec une livre .]

  47. New Definition Alert: –

    “Propping up” – any arrangement that allows a Labour led coalition to govern

    “Co-operation in the national interest to ward off national emergency” – any arrangement that allows a Tory led coalition to govern.

    The first definition describes a self-serving and wholly political and cynical arrangement whereas the second refers to a selfless service to the nation.

    :-)

  48. X Batt

    You are being soppy.

  49. Been reading the Rose report and there is some interesting stuff there as well as some slightly strange assumptions.

    Will address it bit by bit. Firstly the things that annoy me:

    1 Use of Liberal Democratic MPs and Liberal Democratic supporters. Just sounds wrong.

    2 Grouping Northern Ireland into “Ulster Unionists” (10) and “Irish Nationalists” (8). Not sure it’s helpful to classify Naomi Long and the DUP as identical but maybe he just didn’t fancy making a prediction on the Belfast East result.

    3 The UKIP section. Seems very vague and then gets bored halfway through the sociological analysis before abandoning that route to prediction saying “It’ll probably be the 2 constituencies they hold, the one with Nigel and one more constituency that Ashcroft Constituency Polls show UKIP ahead of the Conservatives.”

    It then links to a BBC News article which shows UKIP leading in 2 Ashcroft Polls (Camborne & Redruth and Thurrock) as well as a Survation poll in Great Yarmouth. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-29568123

    If his UKIP analysis is the 2 incumbents, plus Nigel, plus Constituency Polling with UKIP in the lead then he should be predicting 6 seats for UKIP not 4.

    4 Complete absence of any knowledge of the Scottish Greens. Mentions both the SNP being the only party campaigning for Independence and then follows it up with a section saying SNP are guarenteed all the 45% Yes voters then compounds the error by saying – “When expressing a preference for an MP, the 55 percent that united to vote No in the Referendum divide their support among five different parties.”

    The 5th largest Unionist party in Scotland in 2010 was the BNP with 8,910 votes across the 13 seats it contested. I can only assume he meant the Greens as the 5th Unionist party and genuinely has no idea what is going on in Scotland at all.

  50. There is a new TNS poll out for woman’s hour.

    Which of the following party leaders do you think BEST understands what life is like for you and your family?:

    Nicola Sturgeon scores equal to Clegg 6% across the UK

    In Scotland
    Nicola Sturgeon scores 63%.
    Farage 14% (surprise)
    Cameron on 6%
    Clegg on 3%
    Miliband 2%

    This is a pattern in many polls Sturgeon scores very highly and Ed Miliband behind Cameron in Scotland.

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