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”

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  1. @ CMJ

    I wonder if you could point me to your latest Voter ID-based churn plot.

    Also, if you have the data in a readily usable form it would be interesting to see what has happened to the aggregate changes since the beginning of 2015. Over this period Ukip VI has dropped a little and some of your plots have shown that Labour and the Tories have benefited more or less equally from this change. If that pattern is reproduced over 25-30 polls then it may suggest that a drop in future Ukip support may have little or no effect on the balance of support between the two main parties.

  2. MIKE N
    It may also be forgotten that JP’s concern and interest in past campaigns, including 1997, has been, in his phrase “the politics of organisation”, meaning getting local parties and members activated and supporters known and contacted to get the vote out; that and his genuine green credentials and his party origins as a steward and active unionist in the commercial navy and ability to deliver a straight left.
    I suspect JP is likely to prove an effective package .

  3. AC

    My info source ?-well when the old King asked Ernie Bevin where he was educated he said

    “On the ‘edgerows of experience “

  4. @ Hawthorn

    I should probably further clarify that I would agree, if push came to shove, that WWC voters in South Essex would probably identify/ prefer Prescott over Miliband. Not enough to swing any votes from the Tories to Labour, but I think that would be the case. This is despite Miliband being from the south himself. I just think WWC voters in this corner of England regard Mili as a geek/ muppet etc (not my words btw).

    On the other hand, I think Tony Blair had vastly more appeal to these voters than Prescott ever had. This is despite Blair being ‘posh’ etc and not from the working class. So presumption had always been that Prescott was utilised to shore up the Labour WWC base in the north. The picture is indeed very cloudy.

  5. The poll mentioned in tweets from the Sunday Herald last night refer to a question “piggy backed” on the latest Survation/Record poll by the SNP – so no new VI.

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/scottish-politics/poll-find-most-scots-want-four-nation-consent-before-uk-exit-from-europe.119020255

    A new poll found 60% of people said withdrawal from the EU should require four Out votes in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, rather than a simple majority across the UK.
    The Survation poll, commissioned by the SNP, also found a majority of voters from all parties wanted to set a high bar to an EU exit.
    The poll found 60% of people agreed somewhat or strongly that all four nations should vote the same way before an exit, compared to 14% who disagreed somewhat or strongly, 14% who neither agreed nor disagreed and 11% who didn’t know.
    Support for ‘four nation consent’ was highest among SNP voters, 70% of whom agreed with it.
    However 59% of Labour, 55% of Conservative and 50% of LibDem supporters were also in favour.
    There was also majority support across all age groups, all socio-economic classes, and among both Yes and No voters in the referendum.

  6. Couper2802 – “Interestingly the latest from election forecast is Lab+SDLP+SNP+PC+Green = 323. Cons narrowly largest party but Labour would form the government”

    That’s not how it works.

    The incumbents always have the first chance to form the government, and if the Cons have the largest number of MPs they will be the ones forming the govt possibly on a minority basis with confidence and supply from the LibDems and Ulster Unionists.

    Only if they fall in a confidence vote does the opposition get a go.

    That’s why in 2010 people were unsure in the first days whether Brown would stay on. Despite having fewer seats, as the incumbent he had a chance to form the government if he could do a deal with the LibDems. Because he was unable to, the baton then passed to the Conservatives.

    Also, five party coalitions are unwieldy as anything, so it is not certain that the one you propose will ever happen.

    We’re more likely to see a minority Con govt for a year or two followed by a minority Lab govt for a year or two and when all permutations are exhausted under the 5 year parliament act, a general election (with perhaps an agreement to abolish the 5 year parliament act).

  7. @ James Peel

    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.

    I’m not sure that we are all that far off track. Using GB figures as a whole the Tories were on 37% in 2010 and Labour on 29.7%. if we accept @AW’s polling average figure of +1% for Labour, the swing since 2010 = (7.3% + 1%)/2 = 4.2%.

    So the GB-wide swing figures may not be all that different from those you are quoting for E & W only.

    Also, the better projection models (like Electionforecast) feed in regional crossbreak data and so should handle some of the more localised changes.

    So, I am not quite sure what you think we have been missing to date.

  8. Tristan – “On the other hand, I think Tony Blair had vastly more appeal to these voters [WWC from South Essex] than Prescott ever had.”

    Blair in his prime might have appealed to them, but now he is toxic as anything (Iraq+immigrants+loving the euro and EU).

    Prescott appealed to the working classes back in the day too, and people admire him as a war horse that keeps on campaigning – but didn’t he lose his election to become police commissioner in Hull?

    2015 is a very different place than 1997, and am surprised that politicos don’t get it.

    Regarding the 51% who want to leave the EU in Opinium – that’s driven by Greece and people who would normally be in favour of the EU being appalled at the authoritarianism and the tyranny of the majority on display in the last week. The old certainties are slipping away.

  9. John Pilgrim

    ‘JP’ !? Your cover is blown. But we’ll keep it quiet.

    You make good points about the ‘other’ JP, who I actually like. He’s a straight talking guy and as you say delivers a straight left. (Who could ever forget that incident?)

  10. TRISTAN

    @”The picture is indeed very cloudy.”

    I don’t think so-your comments are very apposite.

    They demonstrate that “class” doesn’t really come into it for most people. What matters to them is connectivity.-the ability to communicate understanding & to speak “common sense” in “normal” english.

    This can transcend “class” if it is achieved.

    Difficult to write a specification for though-you’ve either got it, or you haven’t.

  11. John Pilgrim
    Umm
    “You make good points about the ‘other’ JP, who I actually like”

    That’s not to imply I don’t like you…

  12. Candy

    Yes, JP did lose the vote for Humberside Police commissioner. Interestingly though on FPTP he would have won as he won the first round of voting but was overtaken by the Conservative on the second round.

    Also interestingly, voter turnout across the area was 19.48% but much higher in Tory-controlled East Riding (23.19%) than in Lord Prescott’s Hull heartland (15.65%).

  13. @Unicorn

    I will do that in the next hour or two.

  14. Colin- you are completely right, having re- read my post. My last sentence is/ was redundant. After all, if class was the most important deciding factor in elections, surely the WWC voters of Kent, Essex etc would have plumped for Brown over ‘posh’ Cameron in 2010.

    Candy- totally agree that Blair is toxic now in this particular part of England. Strangely enough, I never thought Iraq was a particularly big concern for voters dahn Sarf…I think the other three issues you listed were/ are, particularly immigration.

  15. Tristan – “I never thought Iraq was a particularly big concern for voters dahn Sarf…”

    I think most of the people who marched in London against it were southerners (too far for Northerners to travel). Iraq was the reason the LibDems did so well in the south in 2005. They took unexpected places like Taunton with a 1% majority and the swing in Cambridge was huge. And in other southern seats they took enough from Labour to let the Conservatives win.

    I think Southerners believed it was Northerners backing Blair that helped him win that election :-)

  16. Candy- sorry, I forgot to clarify that I was referring to WWC voters in the Home Counties…particularly in Essex, Kent and Hertfordshire. I just don’t think Iraq was a huge concern for them…and there wasn’t a particularly notable swing to the Lib Dems across these counties amongst these voters in 2005.

    I agree of course that Iraq was a huge concern for many voters across the whole of the UK.

  17. Yes I think JP is an asset, particularly to a Lab leadership overstocked with Tristram Hunts and understocked with – well – Northern accents.

    Given JP’s propensity for malapropisms I would question whether @Colin’s description of “the ability to communicate understanding & to speak “common sense” in “normal” english.” applies to JP but he comes across as someone with opinions of his own, and as a real person with imperfections, and I think that’s attractive in today’s politics (cf Farage, Boris) particularly as a balance to Miliband’s and much of Labour’s tendency to look/sound like political geeks.

  18. @John Pilgrim

    I think you correctly identify the main thing that Prescott will bring to the Labour campaign and that’s a wealth of experience and knowledge about ground campaigning and organisation. In what’s likely to be a close election, this hand-to-hand, constituency-by-constituency electioneering combat will be crucial. A lot of marginal seats will be won and lost by the movement of relatively small numbers of voters and the ability of the respective parties to get faint-hearted and wavering voters to the polling booths on May 7th will swing many a seat. Therein, writ large, lies the eventual election result.

    I’m less sure about Prescott’s “Green” credentials or indeed his effectiveness as a public speaker and advocate for his party. He may be a double-edged sword in those regards, alienating as many voters as he attracts, but there’s no doubt that he rallies the party faithful and galvanises the foot soldiers. Archer had a similar effect with the Tories in the 70s and 80s. Controversial and “marmite” figure in public, but loved by the party faithful. They used to wheel him out to open many a party fund-raising garden fete and the blue rinses swooned at the very mention of his name (Archer that is, not Prescott! :-))

    The importance of the nitty-gritty of electioneering, the envelope-stuffing, canvassing, door-knocking, leafletting and sometimes grindingly tedious foot-slogging of it all was drummed into me many decades ago, watching my parents quite literally giving up entire slabs of their lives working for the Tory Party at election times. The effort put in by both them and hundreds of others was colossal and while they thoroughly enjoyed it, the camaraderie of it all and being able to engage actively with people in the community in which they lived and worked, it was also politically important too, quite often determining the result in closely fought contests. They and their friends were the soul of local party politics in many ways and, even though I get involved for a quite different political party now, I probably do in part so because of what I learned from my parents all those long years ago, when far more people took part in the life of their local community, not just in politics but in a wide variety of other ways.

    There are active a number of political campaigners on UKPR, people like Norbold, Mr Nameless and Roland Haines amongst others, and I have no doubt that they would tell you that there’s nothing quite like a walk down a local street, talking to real people on their doorsteps about politics, to blow away cosy assumptions and received wisdom accumulated from acres of commentariat blather and twitter-sphere pseudo-academia.

  19. Candy – “Regarding the 51% who want to leave the EU in Opinium – that’s driven by Greece and people who would normally be in favour of the EU being appalled at the authoritarianism and the tyranny of the majority on display in the last week.”

    Candy, there’s always a risk of assuming that any change in public opinion is the result of people sharing your own view – there is no questions in the Opinium poll to indicate what people thought about Greece, we don’t have the evidence to judge. However, I would urge against assuming any movement towards Euroscepticism – Opinium used to ask this question monthly, but don’t seem to have done so for many months now (or at least, they haven’t published it for many months). When they used to do so regularly, they tended to produce more anti-EU findings than other companies. The figures here are actually the most PRO-European that Opinium have found to date – last time they asked in April 2014 they found 46% wanting to leave, 37% wanting to stay. The current figures before excluding don’t knows are 44% leave, 41% stay.

    http://ourinsight.opinium.co.uk/opinium-blog/eu-neutrals-err-side-leaving

    All – YouGov asked last week if getting backing from John Prescott would be an asset or a liability:
    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/hwvy81fzix/TimesRedBox_Results_150217_Retired_politicians_GE2015_Website.pdf

  20. @Anthony Wells

    OK, point taken.

  21. Thanks Anthony for the link. Prescott fares better than Blair or Mandelson…not surprising really.

    I see the British public are nowhere near as hostile to Major or Ashdown as they are to the other politicians.

  22. @ Crossbat,

    I have no doubt that they would tell you that there’s nothing quite like a walk down a local street, talking to real people on their doorsteps about politics, to blow away cosy assumptions and received wisdom accumulated from acres of commentariat blather and twitter-sphere pseudo-academia.

    You mostly discover how many people don’t realise an election is imminent.

  23. Tristan, as an East Saxon myself, who campaigned in both the 2005 GE and the 2007 local elections, I can say that the Blair/Iraq effect certainly had a big effect in my part of Essex. We met with it time and time again from former Labour voters as a reason why they were not voting Labour any more.

  24. Also how many people have awful dogs.

  25. CB11
    Nicely recalled.

    MIKE N
    LOL :-) He will at any rate be a good counterpoint to Mandelson.
    (BTW my right hook is also still pretty lethal.)

  26. CANDY
    Only if they [Con] fall in a confidence vote does the opposition get a go.

    If Lab did have the 323 onside that election forecast predict without counting the LDs, Cameron would be unlikely to survive the inevitable confidence motion.

  27. SPEARMINT
    “You mostly discover how many people don’t realise an election is imminent.”

    Lady shopper on Yeovil High Stree during European Election Campaign 1994: “What’s this one for?”

  28. Candy
    ‘That’s not how it works.

    The incumbents always have the first chance to form the government, and if the Cons have the largest number of MPs they will be the ones forming the govt possibly on a minority basis with confidence and supply from the LibDems and Ulster Unionists.

    Only if they fall in a confidence vote does the opposition get a go’

    But if Labour + SNP + PC +Green +SDLP + Lady Hermon exceed the Tories +LD + DUP the government will almost certainly be defeated on the Queens Speech and Cameron would resign. In practice, I doubt that it would get that far in that if it becomes clear to Cameron that he lacks the votes to carry a Queens Speech he will go.
    Of course it is true that the sitting PM has first go at carrying on – if he wishes to try. Back in 2010 had Brown decided to be really awkward or bloodyninded he could have opted to stay in office even after the Coalition agreement had been made , and presented his own Queens Speech to Parliament in late May .Effectively he could have forced the LDs to go into the lobbies against him and by so doing extended his tenure at No 10 for a further two weeks. Back in the 19th century it was not uncommon for a PM to wait to be defeated in the Commons post-election -rather than resigning immediately.

  29. Norbold- that’s interesting, thanks. Which part of Essex were you campaigning in, if you don’t mind me asking?

  30. Has there ever been any polling on whether Prescott was right to thump that guy?

    I would think most people would consider that a perfectly reasonable and admirable response, under the circumstances.

  31. GRAHAM: Good Afternoon to you.
    You are absolutely right about the 19th Century practice of waiting for Parliament to vote after the GE.

    We have the interesting case of the GE in December 1923, when Baldwin recommended to George V that he should sent for Macdonald, even though the Labour Party was numerically the second party in the Commons. The King reflected in his diary about what ‘dear Grand mama’ would have ‘thought of a Labour Government..Mr Macdonald is a good man, and means to do well’.

  32. Why are we assuming Sylvia Hermon is in the progressive bloc?

    It’s true she’s frequently opposed the Government in this Parliament but so have the DUP- they’re in opposition, it’s what they do. Has she said something to indicate she definitely wouldn’t support Cameron in a confidence vote?

  33. Spearmint –

    I don’t think she’s said anything, but given she resigned from her party rather than enter a pact with the Conservatives, I think people are making a reasonable enough assumption.

  34. Chrislane
    The 1923 GE took place in December but Baldwin’s Government did not resign until defeated in late January 1924. I think Ramsay Macdonald became PM on January 24th!

  35. Spearmint- I do remember at the time that a poll released at the time showed that the public were generally supportive of Prescott. Indeed, many picked as a highlight of another wise rather dull 2001 election.

    I’ve always wondered as to how conscious Prescott was of who he was about to hit. It looks from the footage that he is reacting purely on instinct. Not sure the public would be so supportive of him punching a woman, for example, or a 14 year old boy.

    My own thoughts: I didn’t really think what Prescott did was unreasonable. If you must ‘egg’ someone, don’t do it so close to them and right in their face.

  36. The other issue about hung parliaments is the tax one.

    Income tax is still “temporary”, it has to be renewed every year. I think the law allows it to continue for four months after it’s expiry date, but after that it becomes illegal to collect it.

    I think this was the reason the civil service prepared to hard for a hung parliament in 2010 and pressed people to make an agreement quickly. We can’t do what Belgium did which was just not have a government or any votes in Parliament for two years.

    It would be very interesting indeed if people tried for a budget and couldn’t get it through and had to scramble to renew the income tax separately before another govt was formed. It would be like those American nail-biters when they pass the budget at 10 minutes to midnight before the deadline.

    The public is so used to smooth government, I wonder how they’d react?

  37. GRAHAM:
    Yes, and 24th January was the anniversary of Queen Victoria, to which George V refers in his diary, and Clynes in his diary marvelled at the ‘strange turn of fortune’s wheels, which brought a train driver, a weaver, a coal miner and an iron foundry man to the Palace.

    They don’t make them like that anymore!

  38. @ Anthony,

    But it was in opposition to a semi-merger, which has since been rejected by both parties.

    I don’t know what her motivation was- at least some of it seems policy-related, so those differences probably remain- but I could imagine her thinking “The Tories are a GB party that doesn’t contest seats in Northern Ireland, I’m a member of an Ulster party, I don’t want to stand under a Tory banner” while still being willing to support a Cameron government.

    I can’t imagine Nicola Sturgeon standing as a joint Labour/SNP candidate in some insane alternate universe where the parties tried to merge, for instance, but I expect her to support a Labour government.

  39. Tristan, I’m in the UKIP capital, Clacton.

  40. Now that we have more polls weighting by party id/ party propensity, etc, I thought it would be interesting to look at the other measure of how good a pollster is – and that is how quickly they pick up real changes of public opinion. (Currently pollsters seem to be judged only by how close they come to the general election results)

    So lets look at the Omnishambles budget, delivered on 21 March 2012, and widely acknowledged as a poll moving event.

    Figures taken from here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_2015_United_Kingdom_general_election

    Yougov

    Week before the budget reported Conservative scores of:
    38, 36, 35, 36
    After the budget was reported
    34, 35, 35,33, 34,34,33,33,34,32

    So pretty good there, picked up a drop the day after the budget, and by 4 April that new low of 32 showed that there had been a real change in sentiment. But those 2 35’s 2 days later confused the picture a bit.

    IPSOS Mori
    23 Jan 38
    27 Feb 35

    23 Apr 35
    14 May 33

    So a less clear picture there, not helped by how infrequent the polls were. As they don’t weight by party id I thought they would be one of the better ones, but it seems not at least for this test.

    ICM
    22 Jan 40
    19 Feb 36
    18 Mar 39

    22 Apr 33
    20 May 36
    24 Jun 34

    Again, the infrequency of the polls doesn’t help here. They did seem to get the drop immediately on their next poll, but they do bounce around a bit, so would be hard to detect just from this sequence.

    Opinium (old methodology, no party weighting back then)

    30 Jan 38
    13 Feb 36
    23 Feb 35
    12 Mar 38

    23 Mar 34
    16 Apr 32
    23 Apr 31

    I’d say that is an excellent performance, you can clearly see the drop looking at that sequence. Which makes their recent change so disappointing. They used to be one of the best at picking up ‘who has moved’. Verdict open on new methodology, but suspect they will now be lagging.

    TNS

    23 Jan 37
    5 Mar 35

    11 Apr 32
    7 May 30

    Pretty good performance there, but very infrequent polls back then.

    Comres
    16 Feb 39
    26 Feb 37
    14 Mar 37

    26 Mar 33
    19 Apr 34
    27 Apr 34

    Again, pretty clear pattern there, good performance, picked up the change virtually immediately

    In conclusion, most pollsters were pretty quick to detect that conservative support had fallen, but I think it would have taken about 2 weeks to conclusively rule out MOE and say there had been a drop. More frequent polling from more companies would have helped – and we seem to have that now.

  41. Tristan
    “Not sure the public would be so supportive of him punching a woman, for example, or a 14 year old boy.”

    I’m sure you’re correct in that but then again, it’s not usually women or children that throw eggs at politicians particularly from such close range.

  42. Spearmint

    “Has there ever been any polling on whether Prescott was right to thump that guy?”

    Some anecdotal evidence from my youngest son’s friends. They were in their early 20s than and not the least bit interested in politics and had no intention of voting until that incident. They turned out en masse to vote Labour!

    Not that I’m recommending anyone do this in the next election….

  43. Spearmint
    “Also how many people have awful dogs.”

    I’m guessing you don’t have any dogs….

    Talking of dogs, wonder where our UKPR resident dogs have got to – I miss them and I’m sure I’m not the only one to do so.

  44. I see Gillian Duffy, the woman who upset Gordon Brown at the last GE with her “bigoted” views, has declared she supports Ed Miliband and will be voting Labour in May….

  45. @ Norbold,

    Not that I’m recommending anyone do this in the next election…

    I dunno, I think if Miliband could (successfully) punch a voter in the head it might help his image problems!

    Or a corrupt banker, a banker would be ideal…

  46. @ Bramley,

    I don’t, but I’m in favour of nice dogs.

    It’s the ones that keep baying like the Hound of the Baskervilles while you’re trying to talk to their owner that I’m not so fond of. Also the ones that try to break down the door so they can eat me.

    I’m sure Rosie and Dasie have much better manners. ;)

  47. CANDY
    The other issue about hung parliaments is the tax one.….

    ROGER MEXICO covered this well when the same issue came up on Friday. See http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/9257#comment-970887

  48. @Andy Shadrack

    I notice noone came back to you last night on your post about hung parliaments (except ON, with a quibble). In a spirit of goodwill towards you colonial types I’ll offer my thoughts.

    ” 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.”

    This strikes me as not quite right. Even if Miliband gets an overall majority Cameron doesn’t need to resign. He would resign, I have no doubt on that, but out of political neccessity not constitutional convention. For example, if he thought he could persuade enough New Labour types to cross the floor for him so that he could win a confidence motion then perhaps he might try staying on – let me stress, I don’t think that is imaginable this year, or any time soon, but under different political conditions it could happen, and no convention would be breached.

    An inconclusive election result doesn’t change the convention either. He isn’t obliged to resign – despite the crowing post-2010 about Gordon “squatting” in Downing Street (and Wilson saying the same about Heath in Feb 74). In fact Brown followed the convention by not resigning immediately (as did Heath), and left Downing Street from political neccessity, not because of a rule or convention. The difference in 2010 was that Clegg had declared he would negotiate with the party with most seats first – counter to the convention (followed by Thorpe in case of Heath) that he should open discussions with the sitting PM. However, Brown formally agreed to him doing this, so I suppose the convention was not technically breached. Clegg has, of course, decided now that “most votes” rather than “most seats” is what matters – but if Labour got more votes Cameron could stand on his rights and call Clegg to Number 10 for discussions (which I imagine would be both cordial and productive).

    All of this may seem a bit vague to anyone with a codified constitution, and indeed it is! But it is a system designed for a time when parties were less cohesive entities than they have been over the last century or so, but worked sensibly enough through the era of Tory v. Liberal and Labour v. Conservative. Moving out of that era is moving back to the era the conventions evolved for

  49. Ah, you remind me of leafletting back in the 1990s. Ruff Ruff Ruff Ruff Thump. Get the fingers out if the letterbox sharpish!

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