There are only two voting intention polls in the Sunday papers – the regular weekly Opinium and YouGov polls for the Observer and Sunday Times respectively.

The Opinium/Observer poll has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 33%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 15%, GRN 7%. This is the first time that Opinium have shown a Conservative lead since back in 2012, just before the Omnishambles budget. As ever though, it’s just one poll – taking a broad average of the polls suggests that the actual position of public opinion is a very small Labour lead, so it’s inevitable that normal sample variation will spit out some Tory leads from time to time. Doesn’t mean much unless they start getting more frequent. Tables are here

The YouGov/Sunday Times poll has toplines of CON 33%, LAB 34%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 6%. The one point Labour lead is very much in line with YouGov’s average. The 13 percent figure for UKIP is equal to the party’s lowest from YouGov this year, but a lowest we’ve already seen a couple of times, so again, not necessarily anything new. Tables will be on the YouGov website tomorrow.


428 Responses to “Latest Opinium and YouGov polls”

1 2 3 4 9
  1. I thought it may be interesting to see how the new Opinium weighting is changing each week. As a reminder they changed their methodology at the beginning of Feb to weight by party propensity

    “To decide how big or small each of these segments should be in our sample we have tried to make the process of creating weighting targets as organic as possible. This is based on a combination of how respondents voted in the European Parliament elections last year and a rolling average of the results of this segmentation during our trials over the last few months”

    Week 1 weightings
    Cons 23.7
    Lab 23.8

    Cons-Lab = -.1

    Week 2 weightings
    Cons 24.2
    Lab 22.99

    Cons-Lab = +1.12

    Week 3 weightings
    Cons 24.4
    Lab 23.9

    Cons-Lab = +.5

    So that weighting is changing by up to 1% week to week, and would seem to favour a Conservative lead in the long run on present trajectory.

    And we can also see by party how much each party was weighted up each week:

    Week 1
    Cons +7%
    Lab +3%

    Week 2
    Cons +11%
    Lab +8%

    Week 3
    Cons +22%
    Lab -2%

    When you look at that week 3 up-weighting for the Conservatives, and the down-weighting for Labour that immediately stands out as odd compared to previous weeks. That may be valid, they may just not have got enough Conservative propensity voters in their sample this week.

    I think we will need to watch this for a few weeks to see a clearer pattern of how this moving average party weighting is influencing the reported numbers. (how quickly does the weighted average take to catch up to real changes we see in other polls when there is a big movement, etc…).

    Hard to tell as the moment because the polls are not really moving.

  2. OldNat

    I have posted before that tactical voting by Tories for Labour [in Scotland] was always quite likely.

    How effective it is, is another matter, though. Looking at Ashcroft’s constituency polling, in the Lab-SNP seats as many 2010 Tories moved to the SNP as moved to Labour, either because of belief in an independent Scotland or to get back at the old enemy. So there simply may be no benefit in most places.

    In the two other (Lib Dem) seats there was some Con to Lib Dem movement, outweighing the Con to SNP, but it wasn’t massive and that’s not going to help Labour or indeed save the seats for the Lib Dems.

  3. @Roger

    Apparently some are planning some tactical voting:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B-aM_hdIgAAFvXq.jpg:large

    I’ll believe it when I see it. They are probably both hoping their oppo votes tactically, while they vote as per usual. ;-)

  4. Maybe the conventions vary with the “Mother of Parliaments” and the “Commonwealth Parliaments”

    But this is what happened in Queensland and I believe would happen in Canada too:

    The Queensland Premier resigned (he had lost his seat) even though the possibility existed that he could match Labour with support from 2 MLAs from another party. The pivotal point came when the lone independent gave Labour a majority of the seats, and not just Labour having the largest number of seats :

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-10/campbell-newman-resigns-as-premier-of-queensland/6082710

    The Labour leader was invited to form the government, even though Liberal and a second party matched their number of seats, because they had majority support in the House with the say so of the lone independent:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-13/all-seats-declared-in-queensland-election-labor-ahead/6090428

    So from the above I understand that if Cameron has fewer seats than Miliband and/or Miliband can command the support of a majority in the House by agreement of a majority of MPs, then convention dictates that Cameron will resign.

    At which point Miliband will be asked to try and form a government.

  5. Today’s YG Scottish crossbreak

    SNP 43% : Lab 24% : Con 14% : LD 10% : UKIP 4% : Grn 4%

    Mean of last 20 YG Scottish crossbreaks
    SNP 42% : Lab 26% : Con 19% : LD 5% : UKIP 4% : Grn 4%

    This week’s mean of YG Scottish crossbreaks

    SNP 42% : Lab 26% : Con 18% : LD 5% : UKIP 4% : Grn 4% (Range – SNP 35 – 46 : Lab 23 – 29)

    Business as usual.

  6. the guy who brought up 1892 was on the money…we are clearly going through a similar period of time where no party will get a majority, and there could be a period of alternating governments…

    The key equation is SNP + Lab = LD+ Con…depending on whether the left hand side of the equation is greater than the right.

    The British public seems to want the tories out, but is singularly unconvinced by the Miliband alternative.

    EdM could have won this thing for labour, or rather any labour leader whose ratings were similar to that of the party, or even quite a bit worse. Ed’s personal ratings are way below those of the party, so rightly he will be blamed for any disappointments…

    I know his apologists on this site will argue the opposite, but that shows that there is nothing however absurd, that doesn’t have people willing to argue passionately in its favour.

    Meanwhile the Tories seem convinced they will remain in power post May. This would be a remarkable achievement considering they didn’t get a majority in 2010. It must be a rare achievement in British politics to stay in power after a full term of a hung parliament.

  7. RAF

    Thanks. Good find.

    It’s unusual phrasing –

    “You must send any forfeited deposits to Her Majesty. The Cabinet Office will provide further information on this process”.

    I would have expected “the Crown” ie the public purse, but presumably, since it is HM’s own Parliament, she gets the dosh!

  8. smithson, as ever on the money. he has a clearer eyed view than nearly everyone else..

    He points out that even with the new opinium poll, there is 4.1% CON to LAB swing in England… That compares with CON 11.4% lead in England at GE10

    That means lots of seats being lost in e & w by the tories to labour…
    people don’t seem to understand this too well.

  9. Andy Shadrack

    Maybe the conventions vary with the “Mother of Parliaments” and the “Commonwealth Parliaments”

    As is the way on this site, when there is little polling or political news, we often stray down the esoteric byways.

    One of these is the nature of the “Mother of Parliaments”. The term originated with John Bright MP when talking of England.

    Westminster is but England’s sluttish daughter, who will give herself to the group with the largest number of members.

    No wonder the advice to upper class gals was “Lie back and think of England”! :-)

  10. JAMES PEEL
    “The key equation is SNP + Lab = LD+ Con”

    Except that it isn’t. SNP and Lab share an ideological and policy stance, and differ on specifics. LD and Con share a political interest in governing, and have fixed some of the specifics and balls up others , but no ideological common ground.
    And there is every prospect that the equation would in reality be SNP+Lab+LD(Cable)+Green + Con – LD) and
    Clegg to the EC or the City waved off with joyful tears by what remains of his party.

  11. # SNP+Lab+LD(Cable)+Green = Con – LD….

  12. Roger Mexico

    Re tactical voting

    I wasn’t suggesting that it would necessarily be effective, simply that its occurrence wouldn’t surprise me.

    I don’t see it as being a mass movement (if one can use such a term of Scots Tories). However, if it does happen, I’d expect to see it in the YG Scottish crossbreaks, if anywhere – especially as you have pointed out, it is a group that seems to find a disproportionately high number of Tories.

    There was no sign of such in January, though there might be some indication of it in February.

  13. Re: Opinium weighting

    Are they applying their uprating to the Tories in Scotland as well? The Scots Tory figures seem a tad high to me….

  14. @James Peel – “The key equation is SNP + Lab = LD+ Con…depending on whether the left hand side of the equation is greater than the right.”

    A pedant notes: By definition, the left hand side of an EQUATION is always equal to the right. If one side were greater than the other, it would be an INEQUALITY.

  15. I think the Tories will be pleased with the latest two polls. Admittedly the YouGov still shows a small Labour lead, but looking at the detailed economic questions they clearly favour the Tories. I think the most telling is “Who would you trust more to raise you and your family’s standard of living?”
    Ed Miliband and Ed Balls 25
    David Cameron and George Osborne 33
    An 8 point lead on probably the most vital economic question for the voter
    Nice sunny morning, must get a walk in before the rain sweeps in from the West. Have a good day all.

  16. @Swebb

    In that situation it’s Lib Dem’s choice as to who forms a government.

    Your numbers would imply Labour would have only managed to gain about 20 Conservative seats which would explain why the weren’t forming a government.

    I calculate this by assuming the SNP gain of 25 comes from 7 Lib Dems and 18 Labour Seats. The Lib Dem net loss of 24 is then likely to be around 7 to SNP, 6 to Labour and 11 to Conservative.

    So Labour’s 268 implies 2010’s 258 MPs minus 18 in Scotland, plus 6 Lib Dems and then only 22 gains from Conservative in England & Wales.

    Even then Labour can form a government with Lib Dem support. What your numbers really show us, is that ultimately the choice of next government will not be determined by a Lib Dem collapse, or an SNP surge but by the performance of Labour and Conservatives in English marginals.

    As political geeks we all get excited by issues like the rise of UKIP and the SNP and whether Nick Clegg will lose his seat. Ashcroft’s Lab vs Con marginal polling seems boring in comparison. Really however this is where we should be looking as the result of the election will depend on who does best in these seats (as it always does).

  17. BLUEBOB

    Fortunately all of us who post here are interested in politics, so not representative of the average voter.

    :-)

  18. The

  19. SNP and Lab share an ideological and policy stance

    It didn’t seem that way in the referendum campaign,…if that were true, labour would not be on the verge of losing half their seats in Scotland.

  20. The headline accompanying today’s poll in The Observer is pretty baffling/ scary/ hilarious/ (delete as appropriate).

    ‘Labour to give Prescott frontline role in election campaign’

    What do posters think of this? It’s being interpreted as an attempt by Labour to ‘shore up their working class vote’. Is this move sheer desperation or a stroke of political genius?

  21. Tristan
    “The ”
    I thought you were lost for words, but then…

    ” Is this move sheer desperation or a stroke of political genius”

    The latter, I think. Might it convince those tempted to vote Greens to vote Lab?

  22. Ashcroft’s Lab vs Con marginal polling seems boring in comparison. Really however this is where we should be looking as the result of the election will depend on who does best in these seats (as it always does).

    This is very sensible. hence my remarks about smithson’s laser-like focus on E&W polls…he was the first person to really highlight this and got pollsters to show E&W VI….so far since the end of last year, when pollsters started to disaggregate this figure, the swing in England & Wales from Conservative to Labour has been 4-5.5%… unless this changes significantly in the next 10 weeks, labour will still probably beat the tories on seats, even if they lose 20 seats in Scotland.

  23. @OldNat

    I think this “Scots Tories voting for Labour to stop the SNP” will be largely restricted to the activists, which means its impact will be minimal. Obviously they’ve been working together with Labour activists for 2+ years and will probably think they’re not bad people and so on. But your ordinary Tory voter is still going to have the same attitude towards Labour that they’ve always had.

  24. Further to the above, Stephen Fisher did some analysis of this and found that Scottish Tories dislike the SNP a bit more than Labour, but he argued that the difference was too small for there to be significant Tory –> Labour tactical voting.

    http://electionsetc.com/2015/02/16/labour-need-to-tempt-not-terrify-the-voters-they-have-lost-to-the-snp/

    Will the unionist parties unify to defeat nationalist candidates? This requires current Liberal Democrat and Conservative voters to switch tactically to vote Labour in Labour seats. Given previous research on tactical voting, Tory and Lib Dem supporters are only likely to vote tactically if they hate the SNP and are also relatively indifferent between their own party and Labour.

    But scores that BES respondents gave on 0 (strongly dislike) to 10 (strongly like) scales for each of the parties show that both Conservative and Liberal Democrat voters more strongly prefer their own party over Labour than they prefer Labour over the SNP. For the Tory voters there is a 4.4 point gap between the average like-dislike scores that they gave the Conservatives and Labour, but only a 1.8 gap between the mean scores for Labour and the SNP. The equivalent gaps for Liberal Democrats are smaller and more balanced but there are also many fewer Liberal Democrat voters. Since, then, both Tories and Liberal Democrats in Scotland are not particularly fond of Labour and they do not prefer Labour much over the SNP, they currently seem unlikely to vote tactically.

  25. ToH

    ”Who would you trust more to raise you and your family’s standard of living?”

    How would a better off voter who would benefit from policies helping them but who thinks they are not fair respond?

    They might say Tories would be more likley to make them better off but it does bot mean they support them.

    Some pensioners (anecdote not evidence of course but I know some including my own family) fall in to this category.

    Fairness questions are important too.

  26. NORTHUMBRIANSCOT

    As an addition to your judicious remarks about the critical nature of con-lab marginals , I would say that the one thing pollsters and pundits never talk about is the main story.

    so we have heard lots and lots about the snp, ukip v tory marginals…I have heard endless amounts, interesting and entertaining if truth be told, about Sheffield Hallam.

    By contrast, if you look at the recent constituency threads, almost nothing is written about ipswich, hastings, morecambe, nuneaton, northampton north and the dozens of other english marginals which will decide the election.

    Nobody seems to have any idea of what’s actually going on in these places. My suspicion is that most of these seats will go labour, as they would on a con to lab swing of 3%…but this part of the picture is receiving no attention at all.

  27. Enormous pressure on libdems coming soon -individually and collectively.

    Sdp types and pro and anti clegg libbers will be torn in three different directions -cant see them hanging together myself.

  28. More importantly, the 33% who favour Cameron/Osborne are likely to be the 33% with Tory VI. As I’ve said before, a lead over Labour in that question is all but meaningless when trying to assess appeal to floating voters, until it gets significantly above VI.

  29. @James Peel
    SNP and Lab share an ideological and policy stance
    It didn’t seem that way in the referendum campaign,…if that were true, labour would not be on the verge of losing half their seats in Scotland.

    I think here we need to bear in mind the difference between parties/activists (who hate each other with a passion) and voters.

    The evidence in Scotland from 2007 onwards is that there is a block of SNP/Lab voters who are happy to support either party depending on the circumstances. They do this because they feel the parties are ideologically similar (except on the Constitution) but better able to deliver different things in different contexts.

    SNP are perceived to be better at “standing up for Scotland” / securing Constitutional change. This was previously seen as important at Holyrood but not at Westminster where “beating the Tories” was the priority and Labour were perceived to be better at this.

    The referendum has changed this, partly by Labour campaigning with the Tories thus damaging their “Anti Tory” credentials though this can be overstated. The main change has been moving the focus of future constitutional change from Holyrood to Westminster. So for those who want these changes there is now an important reason to vote SNP.

    If a stable Devo Max type solution was agreed then some of the less fundamental Indy inclined SNP voters might be tempted back to LiS in future.

  30. @Mike N

    I am intrigued in the logic the Mr Prescott might turn Green voters Labour.

    How does that work?

  31. @JamesPeel

    I entirely agree we should be focusing more on those sorts of Con vs Lab seats.

    As someone based in Scotland, who grew up in an area of England with only safe Labour seats and Lib vs Con marginals I’m no expert on these areas unfortunately. I mainly comment on Scottish or North East England issues which I know well but I can acknowledge the election won’t be won/lost in either of these areas.

  32. As for Prescott, I’d have thought he’d be chosen more to appeal to Labour UKIPpers rather than 18-21 year old Greens who won’t really know who he is.

  33. @ Hawthorn

    An obvious, catty, snide jibe. So no surprises there then.

    My point was about Prescott solely (who many people regard as a buffoon), not the wider Labour Party- who, despite reservations, I will be voting for in May.

  34. Catmanjeff

    I may be wrong but I believe JP has been appointed to carry forward climate issues. Are these not ‘Green’ issues?

    Further, some of those currently saying they will vote Green may have been more inclined to vote Lab until the ‘surge’ in Green popularity.

    Maybe you see this differently?

  35. @ Mike N

    I see where you are going with your comment (his official remit in the campaign will be to cover the issue of climate change, plus also to ‘bang heads together’…lovely). However, I’m more inclined to agree with Etienne that this is being done to counter UKIP in Labour held seats, particularly in the North of England. I just question how much appeal he genuinely has in 2015 (if he ever had any).

  36. Tristan

    Or maybe it is because he has actually delivered in the past (eg Kyoto).

    Thick-set working class folk can care about these issues as well you know.

  37. 07052015
    Enormous pressure on libdems coming soon -individually and collectively.
    Sdp types and pro and anti clegg libbers will be torn in three different directions -cant see them hanging together myself
    ______

    I’m not sure where you’re getting your info from but on Marr this morning Danny Alexander said the Lib/Dems will hold all of their seats and make some gains.

    The future for them Dems looks bright but is he right?

  38. Interestingly the latest from election forecast is Lab+SDLP+SNP+PC+Green = 323. Cons narrowly largest party but Labour would form the government

  39. AC
    “Danny Alexander said the Lib/Dems will hold all of their seats and make some gains.”

    Clegg on his weekly radio slot last Thursday declared that there would be a poll showing them on 13%

    I think he’s still waiting for it.

  40. Tristan
    I can see JP’s appeal to the ‘working class’ (which is pretty much everyone), too.
    So, perhaps his appointment serves two purposes.

  41. BRAMLEY

    Clegg probably got over excited regarding that poll before the penny dropped that the poll was commissioned in his own seat. ;-)

  42. “This is very sensible. hence my remarks about smithson’s laser-like focus on E&W polls…he was the first person to really highlight this and got pollsters to show E&W VI…”
    That’s why we need regional polls, at a minimum Wales, England N, Midlands and South.

  43. @ Mike N

    Fair enough. Perhaps the appointment is more inspired than I initially thought. You also raise an interesting point re: the actual definition of ‘working class’, which is a big meaty topic all on its own. Coming as I do from south Essex, working class people in that part of the world would not necessarily identify very strongly with Prescott; I always assumed his appeal would lie more in the North of England. It’s interesting to know this isn’t necessarily a commonly held view.

    As an aside, whilst I find the attempts of senior Lib Dems to talk up their chances in this election rather laughable, I also think that there is no other approach they can take. A sudden outbreak of humility and self flagellation isn’t going to win them any new votes, and would hardly encourage their remaining base to keep the faith.

  44. I was bemused by a national newspaper asserting that the latest polling figures would still give Labour a slim overall majority and posted a comment giving the details. Unfortunately because an earlier tab was still open the comment has gone to the end of the previous thread.

  45. Tristan
    I agree with yr second para.

  46. The Lib Dem’s main campaign tactic has long been, to pretend they are in front so you may as well vote for them and be on the winning side, or just not bother voting. This has often been quite successful as few people are in a position to argue the point and everyone likes a winner (or more accurately, nobody likes to back a loser)

  47. After the excitement of last week the long standing trend continues.

    Now lets move from the Villa to polls; After the excitement of last week the long standing trend continues.

  48. UKIP is standing in 40 seats in Scotland apparently:

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/aidankerr/ukip-scotland

    Quite a collection of…people.

  49. RMJ1- interesting point. How do you think the Lib Dems convey the second part- that people should ‘not bother voting’?

  50. Tristan

    You make a fair point about Essex vs the North. I am originally from Yorkshire so may have a different perception.

1 2 3 4 9