Monday tends to be the busiest day of the week for polling (not least because phone polls are mostly conducted across the weekend). We have four polls due today: Populus, Ashcroft, YouGov and ComRes. ComRes’s poll tonight will be in the Daily Mail, who seem to have taken over ComRes’s phone polls from the Independent, their host since 2006.

The twice-weekly poll from Populus has topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 32%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 15%, GRN 6% (tabs here). This is their first poll of 2015 not to show a Labour lead.

The weekly poll from Lord Ashcroft meanwhile has topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 36%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 11%, GRN 8% (tabs here). This is his largest Labour lead of 2015 so far, and UKIP are sharply down – 11 points is the lowest UKIP have recorded in an Ashcroft poll. The online/phone poll contrast in terms of UKIP support seems to be alive and well, with the last three phone polls from MORI, ICM and Ashcroft giving UKIP scores of 9, 9 and 11 respectively, but online polls continuing to show them in the teens.

UPDATE: Here are tonight’s other two polls. ComRes in the Daily Mail have figures of CON 34%(+3), LAB 32%(+2), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 13%(-4), GRN 8%(+1). The two point Conservative lead is the largest ComRes have shown since 2010, and their UKIP score is the lowest since last Spring. Meanwhile YouGov in the Sun have topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 33%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 7%.

Putting today’s four polls together we have one Labour lead, one Tory lead, and two polls showing the parties neck-and-neck – all perfectly in line with normal sample variation around the parties being pretty much neck-and-neck, probably with Labour just ahead. Note the UKIP picture though – all the regular phone polls have them at their lowest score for some time, and 13 points is equal to YouGov’s lowest score for them this year. The trend is difficult to discern given the wide variations between different pollsters, but looking at the average of the February polls so far UKIP do seem to be down slightly.

364 Responses to “Monday’s polls – UPDATED”

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  1. @CB11

    Your @statgeek should be @spearmint. :))

  2. @crossbat11

    That’s a little fatalistic. We’ve just had an electoral event with the highest turnout in the UK in the era of all adults having the vote (admittedly it was an unusual event). Turnout for the GE is expected to tick upwards again. This could be contrasted with the turnout for American elections.

  3. Allan Christie (from last night)

    The news on Rifkind and Straw is boring. Both have said they have done nothing wrong. Both parties will come out and condemn them but empathize that they have done nothing wrong..

    That has to be the typo of the week. Because indeed all those in the Westminster Bubble have spent their time empathising with Rifkind and Straw since. Of course they were terribly foolish to get caught, but what all this really goes to show is how badly our MPs are paid and how we need to give them much bigger salaries so we can attract ‘the right sort’ of person.

    Take for example poor Sir Malcolm. If you look at his register of interests:

    he only manages to make £236,540 a year extra in directors’ fees (plus other payments for advice and articles[1] etc) on top of his MP’s salary. No wonder he’s reduced to touting himself around to every passing businessman.

    [1] Amusingly three of which were for the Telegraph. Even more amusingly he got paid less for each one than the previous, which shows you the way the Telegraph has been cutting back, so as to increase its profits and help prop up the Barclay’s other businesses.

  4. It would be quite interesting to see what happens if the Greens defenestrate Bennett and then get a poll bounce with a new leader. Would others follow their lead?

  5. I think the lesson for the Greens (and all parties in fact) is that you need to have credible policies that have been properly costed.

    I see Fast fact have reached their crowd funding target – that should give journalists the tools to ask the probing questions and find the holes.

    Hopefully this is just the first of many policies across all parties to be properly examined. That can only be a good thing for democracy.

  6. James,

    It’s far from clear a defenestration would be clean and swift. I think it might well be more Benn V Healey than the sacking of Julia Gillard.

  7. @Roger M

    Poor Sir Malc “only manages to make £236,540 a year extra in directors’ fees (plus other payments for advice and articles[1] etc) on top of his MP’s salary. No wonder he’s reduced to touting himself around to every passing businessman”

    Just goes to show that all those who are moaning about the inadequacies of self-employment have a point if this part time scrabbling around can only bring in about 10 times the median salary.

    Meanwhile poor old Jack Straw doesn’t seem to think he’s self-employed but employed as a servant of the workers, and his discussions of new employment were all about after May when he will be free from that obligation. Of course he’s earned a few quid from his hobbies in his spare time whilst an MP but that was partly for charity. Well at least £90 of the £107000 or so plus exes he earned from his hobbies in 2014, went to charity.

  8. ‘I think the lesson for the Greens (and all parties in fact) is that you need to have credible policies that have been properly costed.’

    Do you really think the person in the street cares? I dont. Hip pocket nerve and a few touchy feely policies and that’s it…

  9. @Jack

    Do you really think the person in the street cares?


  10. @RM

    I agree with most of your comments about the Advanced Swingometer. But I notice you didn’t respond to my comments about the way it deals with Ukip

  11. @Alec

    Apologies for not having responded to you directly. I search back in an attempt to find out where you comment had appeared, but couldn’t find it.

    ..we could begin to argue that qualitatively at least, the polls are showing Cons nudging ahead.

    I do not believe it is legitimate for you to dismiss this view as false. What you can say is that using a longer time series, and including all polls, whether obvious outliers or not, Labour remains ahead. What you can’t say (yet) is whether this still applies to this weeks polls.

    What I had earlier written was:

    Take any reasonable number of recent polls and you will find that Labour is still reliably ahead of the Tory VI.

    If you stipulate that we can only consider this week’s polls (N = 4), then I have to concede that neither I – nor anyone else – can make any definitive statement about whether one party is ahead of another. Because of the uncertainty introduced by small numbers one can’t even say for certain that Labour’s VI is still ahead of that for the Greens. That’s why I made it clear that I was assuming any debate was premised on the use of a reasonable number of recent polls.

    Actually. I would be prepared to challenge you to some extent on your own grounds.

    On Friday, Anthony’s weighted average figures were 31.84 for the Tories (which he rounded up to 32%) and 33.16 for Labour (which he rounded to 33%). So, just a few days ago Labour’s margin was 1.32%. The proposition that you are asking us to consider seriously is that in just a couple of days this margin has been eliminated with the Tories now instead being a touch ahead.

    If you look back at polling graphs since 2010 you will see that the fastest rates of VI change ever observed are about 3 units a month (during the LibDem collapse in May/June 2010). So, in asking us to entertain the hypothesis that the Tories are nudging ahead you also want us to believe that – for no apparent reason – we have witnessed over the last couple of days a VI shift that just happens to be unprecedented over the last 4+ years. Place this also in the context of the fact that the Tory VI hasn’t shifted reliably from 32% over the last 14 months, and this just stretches credulity.

    Yes – you are quite right that I can’t definitively rule out the possibility that something miraculous has happened over the last few days. But I can say that the overwhelmingly balance of probabilities is that it hasn’t and if you’ll grant me a ‘fair’ number of data points that will give me the means to make an even more emphatic statement than that.

  12. @Unicorn, thanks for your response to my question from last night.

    I’ve now got more interested in this stats stuff. it does have its uses after all..time to learn a bit more…

  13. I find the whole Bennett thing amusing but of little consequence.

    All the party leaders are rubbish this time around – frankly the Greens could have the OMRLP’s dead cat as leader and still be on course for a vastly improved share of the vote but no extra seats. And few who turned to the Greens from another party because of the recession, war or coalition are going to revert to their previous VI as a result of a leader they had heard very little from demonstrating why that was.

  14. @ Richard

    You are more than welcome!

  15. Barbazenzero

    Fair point AV would be better for the constituency element.

  16. The SNP have completed their slate of candidates with the O&S selection.

    Danus Skene is a Shetlander – and hopefully has lots of relatives. :-)

  17. I’ve been told that Caroline Lucas doesn’t want to be leader of the Greens because she is against splitting the left-leaning vote for 2015 & letting the right in again. She knows that’s not the attitude needed by a leader, so she doesn’t want to do it. But it wasn’t Caroline Lucas herself who told me that, so file this under hearsay!

  18. waiting for “swingback” and for the tories to overtake labour decisively, say by 1%, in even an average weekly poll has been like waiting for godot for the last four years….I am beginning to be sceptical about godot.

    Last summer, John rentoul assured us that the tories would overtake labour “towards the end of september”….

    I think there could be a late break to the tories, and the betting pundits are clearly hopeful and expectant that something like this will happen.

  19. Good Evening All, from a nice sunset here on our beach.

    PETER CRAWFORD. 1992 GE; this one feels like, to me, anyway.

    UKIP and SNP are beginning to leak VI I think.

  20. CHRISLANE1945

    1992 GE; this one feels like, to me, anyway.

    some people say more like the first election in ’74….

  21. Bennett is not a credible leader. Lucas most certainly is. Bennett cocked up today but in the scheme of things it is nothing compared to the very many cock ups made by the major parties down the years.

  22. PETER.
    Yes, Feb 28, 1974; my first GE as a voter: I remember it so well, living in the Eccles/Salford Seat. Exciting times, but with the UK becoming a joke of a country, as the memoirs of Bernard Donoghue and Joe Haines show.

  23. Katy Owen [email protected] · 5m5 minutes ago
    Interesting results in our @DailyMirror poll out tonight.

    I wonder what this poll holds?

  24. Chrislane,

    It reminds me much more of February 1974! Unlike 1992 we have not recently had a new PM.

  25. “They need someone who understands economics and can explain it simply ”
    Would Mr Micawber do? ‘Annual income £20, annual expenditure £20 ought sixpence, result misery.’

  26. @ Crossbat,

    Oh, I don’t think people are satisfied with the status quo, I just think they’re sufficiently alienated from the system that they believe voting doesn’t and cannot make a difference to the things they’re unhappy about. “They’re all the same”, “They’re all as bad as each other”, “No matter who you vote for the Government gets in”, etc.

    And such people are unlikely to start rioting because one flavour of “They’re all the same” gets in over another flavour. Their discontent may lead to other forms of social breakdown but it doesn’t cause political instability. They’re happy to just let the politicians of whatever party in Westminster go about their lives while they go about their own.

    (It may provide an opening for rapid changes to sweep across the shrinking community of those who do bother to vote- see Syriza winning on the smallest ever Greek election turnout, for instance- but that’s kind of my point: 35% of Greeks didn’t believe Syriza was dangerous enough to make it worth turning out to stop them, even if they don’t actively support them.)

  27. The last Survation in late January had UKIP on 23% and gave the Tories a 1% lead.

  28. @Unicorn @Richard

    Busy day again, but I put quite a bit of info together over lunch about CUSUM, UKIP etc.

    I need to knock it together tonight, and post some links.

  29. Christlane 1945

    Feb ’74 – my first election as well and I voted for the ‘ecology’ party – the Gree ns forerunner. To my surprise, Mike Smithson’s list of GE election turnouts since the war shows that Feb ’74 was the highest turnout of my voting life!

  30. At this stage in 2010 the polls were giving the Tories a 6% lead compared with 7.3% on May 6th. The remaining weeks,therefore, saw a small swing to the Opposition.

  31. Spearmint,

    Oh, I don’t think people are satisfied with the status quo, I just think they’re sufficiently alienated from the system that they believe voting doesn’t and cannot make a difference to the things they’re unhappy about. “They’re all the same”, “They’re all as bad as each other”, “No matter who you vote for the Government gets in”, etc.

    One of the most interesting stats in the comres poll was that 60% want a change of government and 34% wanted to stick the course, while 61% thought Miliband would be a bad PM and only 25% thought he would be any good.

    presumably nearly all (over 90%) the 25% who thought EdM would be a good PM are in the 60% who want a change of government, leaving 35% of people wanting a change of government but either unsure or incredulous that Miliband is a decent alternative….that’s the malaise you allude to….

    The government feels unpopular, but the alternative seems equally unattractive.

  32. chrislane1945

    “Yes, Feb 28, 1974; my first GE as a voter: …but with the UK becoming a joke of a country”

    You youngsters! It was already a joke in 1956 with the Suez imperial fiasco.

  33. Greens showing how far away they are as a credible party of wider policies today. I guess Labour might benefit here?

  34. Survation for the Daily Mirror due at 8pm.

    Survation tend to produce some of the highest Ukip figures (23% last month). If Ukip is fading this poll should show it.

  35. @Catmanjeff

    Thanks. I was reading about this CUSUM stuff, and it made sense and I think I could even maybe work out how to do it when looking at a single series of data – eg Yougov.

    But where I lost it was how would you take a number of related datasets – Yougov, Opiniium, Survation, etc which all have different assumptions and time periods behind them, but essentially measure the same thing and put those all into a single CUSUM model.

  36. @Rich

    Isn’t it part of the Green deal to be idealistic?

    Today’s events do, however, show how impressive and charismatic a leader they had in Caroline Lucas, and how important such a figure is for smaller parties.

  37. @RAF

    Agreed. If you have a non-mainstream party – you need someone who can articulate those ideas clearly and in a way where they sound reasonable. Bennet has repeatedly failed on that score – instead she gave a very good impression of a complete incompetent. How on earth did she end up leader?

  38. @Richard

    You would need to look at one pollster at a time.

    It is such a sensitive instrument, the different methodologies would be a disaster. The work I did is based just on Yougov.

    I can hopefully post something in about an hour.

  39. Green members/supporters are making the best of it on Twitter by saying it shows Ms Bennett is human and not a slick politician surrounded by spin doctors…

  40. Latest Survation poll:
    LAB – 34% (+4)
    CON – 28% (-3)
    UKIP – 19% (-4)
    LDEM – 10% (+3)
    GRN – 4% (+1)

  41. Survation put 6 points ahead.

  42. @OldNat

    Ukip down as expected. The beneficiaries of the same very unexpected.

    Whopping outlier in terms of the Lab lead.

  43. Crap link from Survation is just to the Mirror article.

    They’re not up to Barca’s standard.

  44. That’s a stormer….another outlier along well with quite a few outliers at the moment. When does an outlier no longer be seen as an outlier?

  45. Survation CVI

    LAB 33% (­-2) CON 29% (­-2) UKIP 19% (­-2) LD 10% (+3) GRE 3% (NC) SNP 4% (NC) AP 4% (+1)

  46. Good evening all from a cold but at the moment dry East Renfrewshire but for those who are of a Scottish breed and more Holywoody than Westminster!.. Good evening all from Eastwood.



    “Allan Christie (from last night)”

    Boy you had me worried at first and thought someone had caught me at the local swingers club.

    I actually agree MP’s should receive a larger salary because his/her contract can be torn up every 4 or 5 years by us the voters and if MP’s actually do a proper case load then effectively they are putting all other career interests on hold.

    I’m also not against MP’s owning businesses etc but what I am against is MP’s profiting from their status or past status while they are still a sitting MP and charging ridiculous amounts of money for waffle.

  47. OLDNAT
    Crap link from Survation is just to the Mirror article.

    Not crap just poor HTML.

    You have to click on the PDF icon to get the tables.

  48. Survation Scottish x-break:

    Con 14.1%
    Lab 24.9%
    LD 4.2%
    UKIP 3.9%
    SNP 49.7%
    SGP 3.1%

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