Eleven weeks to go

Here are this week’s polls

YouGov/S Times (13/2/15) – CON 32%, LAB 35%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 15%, GRN 7%
Populus (14/2/15) – CON 31%, LAB 33%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 15%, GRN 5%
ICM/Guardian (15/2/15) – CON 36%, LAB 32%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 9%, GRN 7%
Ashcroft (15/2/15) – CON 30%, LAB 31%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 16%, GRN 8%
TNS BMRB (16/2/15) – CON 28%, LAB 35%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 18%, GRN 7%
YouGov/Sun (16/2/15) – CON 32%, LAB 32%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 16%, GRN 8%
YouGov/Sun (17/2/15) – CON 33%, LAB 34%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 15%, GRN 7%
YouGov/Sun (18/2/15) – CON 32%, LAB 34%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 14%, GRN 6%
YouGov/Sun (19/2/15) – CON 32%, LAB 33%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 15%, GRN 6%
Populus (19/2/15) – CON 31%, LAB 32%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 17%, GRN 6%

With the exceptions of the rather anomalous looking ICM poll with its four point Tory lead and the TNS poll showing its typically larger Labour lead (two outliers I discussed here), the polls have returned to the same picture we’ve had for the whole year so far – a very close race with Labour just ahead. The UKPR polling average stands at CON 32%(nc), LAB 33%(-1), LDEM 8%(+1), UKIP 15%(+1), GRN 6%(-1) – none of those figures has moved more than one point away from that so far this year. The race is pretty much static.

Scottish and Constituency polls

Survation put out their monthly Scottish poll for the Daily Record this week, giving the SNP a slightly reduced but still very healthy 17 point lead over Labour. Lord Ashcroft released four polls of Conservative held UKIP target seats, showing UKIP just a point behind in Castle Point and only three points behind in Boston and Skegness. I wrote about both here.

Week 7

  • The Conservatives started the week promising to cut sickness benefits for fat people or addicts who refuse treatment. This is an interesting example of policy and how to look at public reaction to them. At one level such policies are popular – by 57% to 28% people support stopping sickness benefits for overweight people who don’t seek weightless treatment, by 64% to 23% people support stopping sickness benefits for addicts who don’t seek treatment. However, the potential downside for such policies, especially for the Conservatives, is if it reinforces the party’s image problems of being seen as heartless or unconcerned for the less well off. The same polling found 40% also thought the policy was uncaring and heartless.
  • Labour started the week talking about economic policy and had their policies endorsed by Lord Mandelson, the former business Secretary. There was a YouGov poll in the week asking if the endorsement of various retired politicians was an asset or a liability – 52% thought Mandelson’s backing a liability, only 7% an asset. Tony Blair’s endorsement was seen as little better – 14% an asset, 61% a liability. The reason for both is the same – most other politicians were seen an asset by supportwes of their own party, a liability by their opponents. Blair and Mandelson (and Michael Howard) were seen as liabilities by both their opponents’ supporters and their own parties’ supporters. According to today’s news Peter Mandelson is now warning Labour against their tuition fees policy, so perhaps his criticism will be an asset!
  • On Thursday party donations for the end of 2014 were announced. The Conservatives received just over £8million, Labour just over £7m, the Liberal Democrats £3m (the party had a record year of donations, despite their precipitous drop in support since 2010), UKIP £1.5m and the Greens a quarter of a million. There was some polling on party donations last weekend, showing people pretty cynical about both main parties – by 48% to 30% people think Labour should try and reduce Union funding, by 52% to 25% people think the Conservatives should try and reduce their business funding. Around two thirds of people would support a cap on business and trade union donations, 51% would support a cap on individual donations to political parties, only 19% would support taxpayer funding.

Projections

The latest forecasts from Election Forecast, May 2015 and Elections Etc are below. Elections Etc and Election Forecast both have Labour and the Conservatives pretty much equal in predicted seat numbers, May 2015 are projecting Labour to have more seats, but not by very many.

Elections Etc – Hung Parliament, CON 281(nc), LAB 282(+1), LD 23(nc), SNP 40(-1), UKIP 3(nc)
Election Forecast – Hung Parliament, CON 282(+2), LAB 280(-3), LD 25(-2), SNP 40(+3), UKIP 2(nc)
May 2015 – Hung Parliament, CON 266(-3), LAB 275(+1), LD 26(+2), SNP 56(nc), UKIP 4(nc)


159 Responses to “Eleven weeks to go”

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  1. @Oldnat

    “Her Majesty”

    http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/175394/Part-F-After-the-declaration-of-result.pdf

    f a candidate does not poll more than 5% of the total number of valid 2.10votes cast, their deposit will be forfeited. You must send any forfeited deposits to Her Majesty. The Cabinet Office will provide further information on this process.

  2. @statgeek

    Yes, I’ve noticed that in my supposedly safe Labour seat the Scottish Greens have 38% of support, and the SNP is in second place with 24%, and Labour in third with 16%. I am not too surprised, as most of the recommendations of this website I’ve seen on Facebook and Twitter come from Green supporters, so it is to be expected that many if not most of the people that take the survey are their like-minded friends.

    I have also noticed that the survey does not mention at all some of their most radical policies (e.g. leaving NATO, overhaul of the monetary and banking system, putting controls on international capital movements, Citizen’s Income is barely mentioned and contains no explanation about what it is, etc.). I can’t help but feel that these omissions are deliberate, considering the popularity of the survey with Green activists.

  3. HAWTHORN

    @Amber: “The Electoral Commission people (certainly the ones whom I’ve met) take their role very seriously..”

    So do the candidates and their agents, who do their sums , and keep their books very carefully, since they don’t fancy being prosecuted and don’t fancy being de-selected in future campaigns. This is as much a legal area as it is moral and political.

  4. @Richard

    “Her Majesty”

    Since Amber now apparently has an official birthday I suppose she must be considered to be her Maj.

    She should be a rich woman on May 8th and I will be expecting a generous Boots token 3 days later.

  5. I never cease to be amazed by the poor quality of poll reporting in the national papers.

    One headline today discusses various developments “as Tories edge ahead in polls” (Yes – polls in the plural).

    As usual, it soon emerges that they are referring to just the most recent poll they have commissioned and are not the slightest bit interested in placing this in the context of a wider array of current polls.

    That much is perhaps routine for journalists, but I little later the piece states:

    “The latest figures would also still give Labour a slim overall majority…”

    Of course, not one of the models would give that projection but there the brazen statements sits in the text.

    Perhaps we should have a polling equivalent of the OBR: an Office of Polling Responsibility. That way, journalists could submit their draft copy to Anthony for approval as offering a fair account of the current state of affairs. Fortunately, for Anthony it won’t ever happen.

  6. I never cease to be amazed by the poor quality of poll reporting in the national papers.

    One headline today discusses various developments “as Tories edge ahead in polls” (Yes – polls in the plural).

    As usual, it soon emerges that they are referring to just the most recent poll they have commissioned and are not the slightest bit interested in placing this in the context of a wider array of current polls.

    That much is perhaps routine for journalists, but I little later the piece states:

    “The latest figures would also still give Labour a slim overall majority…”

    Of course, not one of the models would give that projection but there the brazen statements sits in the text.

    Perhaps we should have a polling equivalent of the OBR: an Office of Polling Responsibility. That way, journalists could submit their draft copy to Anthony for approval as offering a fair account of the current state of affairs. Fortunately, for Anthony it won’t ever happen.

  7. Sorry about double post. First one got trapped in automod and so I tried an edit to get past the barrier. By the time I pressed Submit the first one had been released.

  8. @Andy Shadrack

    “The problem is that those 60% cannot agree on a clear alternative to the coalition.”

    You’re reading these polls in exactly the same way as I am. The average, non-tribally aligned, voter is basically saying; “Don’t much like this coalition government, and I’d quite like to see the back of it, but I haven’t the foggiest what I’d like to see in its place.”

    So, uninspired by the official Opposition, these voters are either sitting on their hands or going off in all sorts of strange directions. Miliband’s task, growing ever more difficult by the day, is to convince this large slice of the electorate that, realistically, he is the only show in town if they want rid of Clegg and Cameron. He has to make the idea of a Labour Government the least worst option for those either currently disinclined to vote or those going off to UKIP, Greens and the SNP. THe electoral reality is that the bulk of these voters have to congeal around Labour or Cameron’s back.

    An uninspiring and, to some, unappetising choice. What do they fear most? 5 more years of the Tories on their own, or in cahoots with the Lib Dems again, or a Miliband led Labour Government? That’s the only choice on offer, really, in May. It’s a stark one, but it’s the one Miliband needs to get into the heads of the 60% who don’t appear to want Messrs Cameron and Clegg back in Downing Street on May 8th.

    And he needs to get into their heads rather quickly, I’d say, especially north of the border.

  9. UNICORN

    “I never cease to be amazed by the poor quality of poll reporting in the national papers”

    Bear in mind the quality of reporting in the national newspapers is generally low in relation to most issues. Most statistical data is misinterpreted and it is perhaps not altogether surprising that poll data is badly reported.

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