Monday’s polls

We have three GB polls today, from Populus, Ashcroft and YouGov.

  • The twice-weekly Populus poll has topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 34%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 14%, GRN 5% (tabs).
  • The weekly Lord Ashcroft poll has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 31%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 14%, GRN 7% (tabs). Labour have dropped five points since Ashcroft’s previous poll, but this will be largely a reversion to the mean after they jumped up five points a week ago.
  • Finally the daily YouGov for the Sun has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 32%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 15%, GRN 6%. The three point Tory lead is the largest that YouGov have shown since back in January 2012.

Two three point Tory leads on the same day. All the usual caveats apply – it is only two polls and Populus showed a two point Labour lead. It wouldn’t be the first time that two polls have popped out on the same day showing something unusual, only for it to turn out to be pure co-incidence when polls in the following days showing everything back to normal. Keep an eye on it though…

319 Responses to “Monday’s polls”

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  1. tories are skinning labour…exciting…swingback ! lol!

  2. Don’t get too excited about YouGov. It’s a Monday. Wait until Wednesday before jumping to conclusions.

    I say this largely in jest, but there is a bit of a pattern in YG polls early in the week emerging, although I’d be perfectly happy to declare this simple statistical noise.

    Since the start of the year, the average Lab lead in all YG polls is 0.64%. Average Lab lead excluding Mon/Tues YG polls is 0.78%.

    Average Lab leads on YG Monday polls is 0.22%, and on Tuesdays 0.11%.

    Yougov have shown 6 Con leads this year so far. Three of them were on Mondays, and three on Tuesdays.

    Whether these results are statistically significant I know not, but some of you out there (@Unicorn – I’m thinking of you) may know.


  3. Two three point Tory leads on the same day

    Ashcroft releasing some Scottish constituency polling on Wednesday.

    There are bound to be some unhappy people.

  4. ‘Skinning’ Labour ?

    What does that even mean ?

  5. Alec

    YG polls for the ST – SNP below 40 on 5 of the 7 since January (71%).

    YG polls for the Sun – SNP below 40 on 5 of the 41 since January (12%).

    (Hadn’t noticed that, till I saw your post. I doubt it means anything, of course. 40 is no more a significant number than 41)

  6. @Oldnat


    YG polls – SNP above 40 on 44 of the 54 since January (81.5%).

    (It’s the way that you tell em)


    #smartarse ;-)

  8. @Alec

    re early week Tory lead, later in the week Labour lead

    I mentioned the same thing about 2 weeks ago and I think someone else said something similar, but Catmanjeff did one of his stats calculations and told me I was wrong!

  9. Not sure if this is brand new, or if I’m just spotting it now, but the EC calc separates SNP seats from PC ones now.

    Thumping in tonight’s YG poll with my 25-poll Scottish data:

    “National and Regional Prediction: CON short 31 of majority”

    CON 295
    LAB 282
    LIB 7
    SNP 44
    PlaidC 4
    Minor 0 (Green?)
    N.Ire 18

    No Green and no UKIP. However, when we use another version (user defined + Scotland + Green

    “National Prediction: CON short 31 of majority”

    CON 295
    LAB 277
    LIB 8
    UKIP 1
    Green 1
    SNP 46
    PlaidC 4
    Minor 0
    N.Ire 18

    Go figure!

  10. Statgeek

    I wonder who they think will take Bercow’s seat

  11. I remember saying that there was no statistical difference (by T Test 95% CI) with Con and Lab VI.

  12. Some of the percentages they have on the SNP picking up individual seats are quite remarkable. Orkney and Shetland 59% chance of wining the seat?

    Also it looks like the SNP will gain more seats in Edinburgh than Glasgow.

  13. Where do the ICM figures come from?

  14. What do you call a tabloid that runs a voodoo poll “Is William Wallace a freedom fighter or a terrorist?” with two possible answers “Yes” and “No”?

    1. well out of date
    2. The Daily Record
    3. Both of the above

  15. @Unicorn (FPT)
    Thanks – even though it’s all a bit over my head.

    I suppose I’m just questioning the assumption that now seems to be an established fact that Ashcroft demonstrates that there is less Con>Lab swing in the marginals.
    I had picked up the opposite from his earlier constituency polling and wanted to check out what the polls actually showed.

    As far as I can see they don’t (yet at least) show anything very conclusive so why has the established ‘fact’ been established as such?!?

  16. Oooh, hints of potential crossover and swingback!

    Although, personally I’m not too inclined to take the Ashcroft poll quite as seriously as the Yougov one, so therefore it’s annoyingly “just one poll” causing me to get excited (and I know I shouldn’t). Even so – maybe 33 each Lab/Con on the trend polling average is coming?

    @Statgeek – is it just me or is the EC calc very pessimistic about the LD seats?

  17. I see james Peel & his chums going in to overdrive again!

    Even on these figures a ‘left leaning’ block of political parties would still force cameron out as soon as parliament met, together with a lib dem meltdown…..

  18. @ STATGEEK

    Election Calculus is predicting that the Liberals will obtain 18% support in the Southwest and that Caroline Lucas will lose her seat in Brighton-Pavillion to Labour. I have not seen a crossbreak that gives LD 18% in the southwest.

    But I keep wondering what is going to happen in seats like Aldershot and Maidstone and the Weald if UKIP get 15% and the LD vote collapses and swings to Labour.

    If the intention of voting LD in some of those “safe” Tory seats was to vote for an alternative to Conservative and LD is no longer an option, then going to UKIP would mean going to the right of Conservative.

    That is not an option for a centrist or centre-left voter, and for some Green is not an option either as they are to the left of Labour.

    So if Labour picks up the support it lost in 2010 and then some from LD, while Conservative drop support to UKIP, do Labour become competitive in seats not on anyones radar?

  19. If Labour can come ahead of Conservative in South Thanet when the UKIP vote rises and the LD vote collapses, what is going to happen in:

    Milton Keynes South
    Maidstone and the Weald
    Reading West
    Chatham and Alyesford
    Souhend West
    Reading East

    Ashcroft had UKIP on 20% in the Southwest and Wales just 3 points below Conservative and YouGov/ST had UKIP on 18% in the South outside London just 3 points below Labour. Labour are on 31% in Wales and Southwest and Conservative on 43% in Southwest.

    LD are between 5% to 10% and Green 5% to 12%, depending on whether you include the whole of the South or just Southwest and Wales.

    Ashcroft has a Conservative bias and YouGov a labour but both agree in the south UKIP is running at between 18% to 20% still. If you split the difference for LD that is 7.5% and 8.5% for Green.

    Everyone is focused on Labour losses in Scotland, but no one is considering Conservative losses to Labour because of UKIP.

  20. Ashcroft seat polling to be presented on Wednesday in London will include Scottish seats.

  21. Error above instead of Southwest for Conservative on 43% should be Rest of South for YouGov.

  22. Seems like the Tories are on the front foot and nearer polling day the ED Factor is coming into effect, I have always said Nearer Pollng Day the Tories lead will be more then the 3% margin of error and they will poll more votes and seats and continue in office and in March we will see this coming into play.
    My Prediction is Tories 35.2 and Labour 32.1 on the day Tories having about 15 seats more then Labour.

  23. @Andy Shadrack “Everyone is focused on Labour losses in Scotland, but no one is considering Conservative losses to Labour because of UKIP.”

    Such as we saw in the local elections where Labour took Witney Central from 3rd thanks to UKIP splitting the Tory vote.

    The big question is this. Either UKIP are a spent force and will continue to decline. Or UKIP do best when Farage is on TV and their share will significantly increase again the closer we get to the election.

    The Tories are of the view that UKIP are “their” voters who will “come home” despite the polls showing that the kippers attract a significant proportion of their vote from non-voters. And we have seen that divisive though he is, Farage is a lodestone for people looking for a right leaning vote thats not Cameron. So we shall see.

  24. A great start to March Jim Jam.

    Keep it up if you can :-)

  25. As ever the contrarian I wish to challenge those on this list who are proclaiming swing back, when in fact what is occurring is the disintegration of the LD Party like the drip drip of a coffee percolator:

    1. Neither Conservative or Labour have managed to push their vote totals permanently above 66%

    2. UKIP support stubbornly remains above 15% in the south outside London, and some pollsters continue to record that in Wales, the Midlands and North.

    3. At 8% or 7% LD have lost between 65% and 70% of their 2010 support across the UK.

    4. If Labour lose 40 seats in Scotland they hope to make that up by taking a similar number from Conservative and LD in England and Wales.

    5. Conservatives hope to offset any losses in England and Wales by also taking seats from LD.

    6. The election forecast models project few seats for UKIP and no extra or one for Green, but stubbornly refuse to consider any loss of Conservative to Labour because of the size of the UKIP vote in England and Wales – in a belief that in England and Wales the seat exchange is simply viewed as being like pass the parcel between Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat.

    7. At 1% in 2010 the Green Party is gaining votes not swinging them back to anyone and likewise at 3.1% in 2010 UKIP is not swinging back votes either but gaining them.

    8. Therefore any growth in Labour or Conservative support and seats is coming from LD losing support and seats, the party with the most unstable voter support base of all the parties right now.

    9. The main problem with swingback theory and models, as I have repeateadly said is that they are based on a 2010 GE starting base, which no longer applies in Scotland or England and Wales.

    10. The constituency polling clearly shows that, but when and where 2010 GE weighting is being used that will effectively blunt the actual change that is taking place and underplay the number of seats UKIP is going to win and perhaps Green as well.

  26. First time poster on this site, some great insights here, agree with the above, there does seem a preponderance of speculation about Scotland and the effect of the SNP, which can only effect less than 10% of the seats and less discussion about UKIP and the effect on the conservative vote. Is it because people think the UKIP vote is ‘soft’ and likely to fade away? It seems to me if they can get anything like 15% at the next election, although they will be lucky to retain the seats they have, it would have a big effect, mainly on conservative seats, or am I missing something?

  27. Andy Shadrack
    “Ashcroft has a Conservative bias and YouGov a labour”

    My recollection (and I may be wrong) is that YG’s methodology is more biased to Con than Lab. (Or at least much less so than some.)

  28. Re: Ashcroft weekly phone poll:
    1. The CON lead is almost totally down to turnout weighting. Before that was applied LAB was ahead by a small margin. Problem for them is that its voters are less certain to vote so they are marked down.
    2. the phone firms are the ones showing the CON leads and the online ones have LAB ahead.

  29. @Guymonde

    I fully agree that more checking is needed before we can get a clear sense of whether seat counts are tilted one way or the other by the inclusion of Ashcroft constituency polls.

    What I propose to do when I have a moment is to look at EC and UNS and see what their projections are for the complete set of constituency polls. If the local polling information doesn’t push things in one direction or the other (as your own calculations suggest) then the balance of seats should be similar to the polling outcomes (give or take a bit of adjustment for drift since polling). Let’s see what happens.

    Another thought in relation to your calculations. Since you restricted your Ashcroft swings to seats in E & W shoudn’t your UNS swing also have been calculated specifically for E & W rather thsn using the overall UK figures? Were you really comparing like with like in that analysis?

  30. Morning all,

    Haven’t been on in a few days as I’m busy running my friend’s campaign for SU President and designing leaflets for Hallam. But seems to have been a good run of polls for the Tories yesterday. I can’t see any ‘events’ reasons why, so we’ll see if there’s any culprit in the economic optimism or other figures when new polls come out.

  31. I am new to this site , and have enjoyed reading the comments , which I find interesting. I am no expert on Polls or Politics, but thought I would make my first comment.

    One thing I have noticed is that the Tories are slowly , but surely taking the lead in an increasing number of polls. IMO swing back is happening at a very slow pace , and will continue up until the GE. However , there is still a long way to go , and anything could happen.

    The main purpose of UKIP is to have a Referendum on our membership of the EU ,and the only way they will get that Referendum , as things stand at the moment is if the Tories win the election . Only David Cameron can deliver a Referendum. Nigel Farage must realise that if he damages the Tories too much he will put Labour in power through the back door. Therefore if he really wants a Referendum it is in his interest to target Labour more than the Conservatives. Surely he will do this , if he really does want a Referendum.

    That is my opinion for what it is worth.

  32. Tim N

    Welcome to posting here.

    Other than people’s individual areas of expertise, everyone’s opinion is worth as much as anyone elses – though we do set the bar pretty low! :-)

  33. @ OLDNAT

    Thank you for your welcome.

  34. Tories up to 22% in Scotland today (normally 15-20%). UKIP down to 0% in Scotland. (down from 5% or so)

    Must have been that pledge at the UKIP conference to scrap the Barnett formula. Didn’t think that would go down too well…

    Not sure what that does to UK level scores if those 5% of UKIP’pers in Scotland move to the Conservatives permanently, but may explain at least some of the rise in Tory fortunes.

  35. @Tim N,

    Welcome to the madhouse..

    I do think there has been a very gradual improvement in the Tory position (although some refuse to call it “swingback” on the basis that it is mostly a result of Labour declining rather than many new votes coming into the Tory column).

    Your hypothesis re: Farage is logical in its way, but I don’t think UKIP is quite as straightforward as “wanting a referendum”. The big shifter in terms of Tory to UKIP support seems to actually have been social policy (for example same sex marriage) rather than EU and immigration policy.

    I had assumed that Cameron’s referendum promise would reduce UKIP’s popularity but it doesn’t seem to have made that much difference. Perhaps because (amongst UKIPpers at least) Cameron is seen as a promise-breaker.

    I don’t think anyone’s quite sure exactly what Farage wants. Probably to replace the Tories in the long run (which is pie in the sky, but politics is about aiming high). I don’t think that he’s really that focused on what UK government policy is in the period 2015-2020, I suspect he’s playing a longer game than that.

  36. @Tim N

    I agree with you I think swing back has started. I am looking at the pattern of more and more Tory leads a month ago there were far fewer. How far ahead will the Tories be by election day if it continues at this glacial pace.

    On Farage and UKIP he wants out of the EU a referendum in 2017 might not achieve that and then UKIP have lots their raisin d’etre. He probably wants a good few more years to build UKIP into more than just an anti-EU oarty.

  37. Lost their raison d’etre’

  38. @Andy Shadrack

    Everyone is focused on Labour losses in Scotland, but no one is considering Conservative losses to Labour because of UKIP.

    It is not quite true that no one has done this. On January 5th (at 11.07 pm) I posted a detailed comment on possible effects on other parties of Ukip changes either upwards or downwards.

    In that analysis I specifically mentioned Con losses to Lab:

    Under the (perhaps unlikely) assumption that Ukip support were to rise to the top of the range, the calculations suggest that the following five seats would pass from the Tories to Labour: Blackpool & Cleveleys; Brigg and Goole. Halesowen and Rowley Regis; Stevenage; and Hove. (This happens because the Tories are penalised more than Labour and so lose control of some of the more marginal seats).

    These were the seats that were then teetering between the two major parties. Arguably there has been a shift in the balance seats over the last seven or so weeks, in which case the seat names would change a bit.

    But my point is that it is not true that none of us have been watching these developments.

  39. @ Oldnat
    though we do set the bar pretty low! :-)

    I resemble that remark ;-)

  40. @Tim

    Actually I wouldn’t call it swing back I’d call it crossover. The definition of swing back is a little murky

  41. TIM N

    And a very interesting opinion it is.


  42. @COUPER2802

    I agree with you I think swing back has started. I am looking at the pattern of more and more Tory leads a month ago there were far fewer. How far ahead will the Tories be by election day if it continues at this glacial pace.

    That’s exactly the point of my trend analyses. We know the tracks the two main parties are progressing along. Apart from minor and very short lived deviations they have stuck to these tracks for months.

    Assuming this remains unchanged we can answer your question. Indeed I did post an answer way back in November when I first described by trend analyses. What I said then was that crossover would occur on May 1st and that the Tories would be about 0.5% ahead in Vi on Election Day itself. (This would obviously result in a hung parliament very much in line with projections being banded about.)

    It is frankly remarkable that it is still plausible to talk about it as if the two parties were following pre-set paths. But that is what the figures say.

    PS – did you see my response yesterday to your question sbout the provenance of high Tory VIs seen in certain models?

  43. MR. N

    @” I can’t see any ‘events’ reasons why, so we’ll see if there’s any culprit in the economic optimism or other figures when new polls come out.”

    You may be looking in vain for a single “event” ( though we will probably get one or two during the campaign proper)

    If the putative Con lead is emerging slowly it might be due to increasing engagement with the prospect of voting in a GE, as opposed to expressing feelings of protest.

    As to “culprits in the economic optimism”-I suggest you add recent numbers on UK Manufacturing output & Bank lending to Business to the other culprits such as Employment rate, Average Pay & GDP growth.

  44. Looking at Ashcroft he also has UKIP at 0% in Scotland this week

    And there was definitely an event to kill UKIP in Scotland

    If SNP is at 4% at GB level with 44% of the Scotland vote, and if the UKIP Scotland vote moves 100% to the Tories, that would add .5% to the Tories at the GB level and take the same off UKIP at GB level.

    So one to watch, but not that material, and I don’t think it would help the Tories win any additional seats in Scotland.

  45. @ Neil A

    Thanks Neil.

    A gradual improvement in the Tory position is probably the best way to describe it.

    I agree with you that it is difficult to be quite sure what Farage really wants.

  46. @Unicorn

    Yes Unicorn thanks.

    @Mr Nameless

    It could be people’s minds are now focussing on who will be PM. Could this be the Miliband effect? I don’t see that anything that has happened to move Tory VI they seem a bit quiet.

  47. @COUPER
    I liked the idea of lost of raisin d,etre better.

    The UKIP story is interesting. Could it be that some Torys are returning home at the same time as some Labour voters are moving to UKIP? This would account for the apparent swing from Lab to Con while UKIP seemingly stands still. Both might be seen as an anti Milliband move if indeed this is what is happening. Of course it might be all just moe so we should possibly wait a few days.

  48. @ Colin

    Thanks Colin

  49. More silly rhetoric from the government on child abuse. I’m not sure exactly how many cases they expect to meet the “beyond reasonable doubt” standard for their new offence of wilfully neglecting children by failing to respond to allegations of sexual abuse. If it wasn’t for the fact that half the MPs in parliament seem to be ex-lawyers, I’d suspect that they’d never sat through a trial..

  50. this is a crucial week…if the tories’ can average ahead of labour, then we may see swingback. two 3 point leads is the best start to a week of polling for the tories in ages…

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