Monday polls

The usual glut of polls for a Monday. Today we have the weekly Ashcroft poll, the twice weekly Populus poll, the monthly ICM poll and – later on – the daily YouGov.

  • Ashcroft’s weekly poll has topline figures of CON 31%, LAB 29%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 15%, GRN 8%. The Conservatives remain ahead, but not by as much as in the last two Ashcroft polls (full details here)
  • ICM show a similar picture (though, as usual with these two pollsters, there are higher shares for Con and Lab from ICM than from Ashcroft): a Tory lead, but a smaller lead than the unusually large one they recorded last month. Topline voting intention figures with changes from a month ago are CON 36%(nc), LAB 35%(+3), LDEM 8%(-2), UKIP 9%(nc), GRN 4%(-3).
  • The movement in Populus is in the other direction – their recent polls have been showing a Labour lead, today’s topline figures are neck and neck: CON 34%, LAB 34%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 15%, GRN 5% (full details here)

So, two Tory leads and a dead heat today (so far), two Labour leads and a dead heat yesterday. Realistically I can see nothing that gives me any confidence that either party is sneaking ahead, all suggests they are still neck and neck.

Also today we had a new projection out – the Polling Observatory team’s model here, which unlike the other models I report in my Friday round up is currently projecting Labour to have more seats than the Tories (there’s a full explanation of the method through the link – but put crudely the difference between their model and Steve Fisher’s is that Steve assumes the polls will move slightly back towards the 2010 result (meaning the Tories go up, Labour go down), while the Polling Observatory assume the polls will move slightly back towards their long term average (meaning both the Tories AND Labour go up). They’ll be updating fortnightly, so I’ll add them to the Friday round ups.

452 Responses to “Monday polls”

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  1. Prof Howard

    It would certainly be an interesting strategy for Ed to say “If I need SNP votes to become PM, then I’d rather Cameron stayed in the job.”

  2. I dont think there is going to be any substantial movement over the next few days, but if Kellner is right, there should be a 2 to 3 point shift by the weekend which should be reflected across all pollsters. It is all down to Osborne’s budget. I still think there are a lot of UKIP voters. Who will simply be unable to place their cross when in the booth, so 295 plus for DC remains a real possibilty, and excluding Northern Ireland a workable majority?

  3. @alec
    “I can’t actually think of anything great that she has achieved however.”

    She managed to be Home Secretary for 5 years, which means she’s somehow imbued with special powers that allowed her to resist the Home Office curse.

  4. Could also add that the largest unionist party (DUP in 2005 and 2010) in Northern Ireland is usually over-represented in Westminster due to FPTP. I can’t recall anyone ever complaining about that.


    what happens to UKIP if Farage doesn’t win South Thanet? Will that be the end of UKIP?

  6. @ Alec

    Prisons are always in a mess. Like zoos (but prisons can’t be supported by volunteers). She is lucky not being in charge of zoos too.

  7. I doubt it LASZLO, a non story really. In the long history of miss- speaks, this is a minnow.

  8. Lazlo

    Isn’t Bercow in charge of the zoo?

  9. @Laszlo – no they’re not, and volunteers already help in prisons – quite a lot of them actually.

  10. Apologies, I meant a workable ‘minority’ before you all pick me up on the maths. Labour would be on around 240.

  11. Just out of interest, given that the Tories think they are getting leverage out of a possible Lab/SNP link what do people think the polling and voting impact would be if the Budget included a review of the Barnett Formula.

    Would it boost the Tories in England where they need to make up ground on Labour and win back defectors from UKIP?

    How would it impact on the current balance between LiS and the SNP, would Scots lean to Labour to defend Barnett, or would they turn to the SNP?

    Having had to bend to the Tory questions on an SNP/Lab deal would he have announce his own Barnett review.

    I don’t think he will but given how the Tories are trying to take advantage of the rise of the SNP it would be a bold move!


  12. @ Tim N

    So how would that work, then? Are you suggesting that Labour could post a couple of heavies at the door to the voting chamber & refuse to let the SNP MPs in?

  13. @oldnat

    Ok – that was pretty good

  14. Lab 35, Con 33, UKIP 13, LD 7, Green 7 in YG.

  15. I do think the budget is critical. It will be good for Cons, with enough money to make some solid sounding statements of intent, along with the usual never never land stuff.

    The economic ground is far more suited to GO now than 6 months ago, with the oil price collapse helping hugely, so people are more likely to treat promises with more credibility.

    It will all depend on how eyecatching he can make it and whether he leaves any loose ends to unravel, and then how long any boost lasts.

  16. “what happens to UKIP if Farage doesn’t win South Thanet? Will that be the end of UKIP?”
    He will still be an MEP, and in the media. Carswell may be a popular leader. In 20 any of the parties may be large, small or non-existent.

  17. The anecdote is continuing.

    After sending the leaflet, the Green Party candidate turned up. My wife (and my dog) answered the door. She thanked for the leaflet. The candidate asked if we chose how we would vote in May. My wife said yes, and also named the party (other than Green). The candidate thanked her for letting him know so he could concentrate on other voters …

    A bit weird. I don’t think that the GP will loose the deposit though here.

  18. Labour looking high, especially after Peter K’s writing. Good Night all; workers to bed!

  19. @James

    The differential daily polls theory is looking a bit dodgy.

  20. OLDNAT

    “It would certainly be an interesting strategy for Ed to say “If I need SNP votes to become PM, then I’d rather Cameron stayed in the job.”

    It seems he could rule out a deal but leave SNP to decide how they vote.

  21. @ ON

    I wanted to write that, but then refrained.

    But very good.

  22. In YG polls it seems that movement to and from UKIP is from and to Lab, not Cons.

  23. RMJ1
    I have yet to encounter a shy UKIP supporter
    How would you know?

    It’s one of the more difficult briefs I would say and don’t prisons come under Grayling’s portfolio?

    Wouldn’t demoting the Home Secretary to Chair of the Conservative Party be a bad message to send 2 months before an election? Particularly one who’s got a decent number of MPs who would support her as the next leader. Unless I’ve misunderstood you and you mean that she could serve both positions concurrently, which might not be too difficult once purdah kicks in.

  24. @ RJM1

    Threatening a constituent through a Party affiliated law firm sounds pretty bad. Even the Telegraph carries it (though not on front page).

  25. Tonight’s YouGov poll must be encouraging reading for Labour. Its still neck and neck and no sign yet of crossover or swingback.

  26. I found the detailed response to the Ofcom consultation, and that does actually address the points made in the responses, so I was too hasty in saying earlier that they seemed to have ignored the submissions

    They decided the polling observatory is the best indicator of current level of support for each party

    “To obtain the most comprehensive range of data possible, in addition to the BBC Poll of Polls, we have also considered information produced by the Polling Observatory project106. This project has produced estimates of current support by pooling all the currently available polling data, while taking into account the estimated biases of the individual pollsters (“house effects”), the effects of sample size on the likely accuracy of polls, and the effects of the sampling decisions pollsters make, which mean their samples are not truly random (“design effects”). The model uses the 2010 General Election result as a reference point for judging the accuracy of pollsters, and adjusts the poll figures to reflect the estimated biases in the pollsters figures based on this reference point”

    They also decided that prompting has no impact, relying on Anthony’s analysis that prompting for UKIP had no impact

    “We note the argument raised by some respondents that the structure of questioning in opinion polls underestimates the support of minor parties, such as the Green Party. In this regard, we note there is some debate about the effect of questioning methodology (and the ‘prompting’ of particular parties’ names in initial poll questions) on measuring party preferences. However, we are not aware of any clear evidence that this has had a material effect on measuring the performance of smaller parties, such as the Green Party” (34)

    (34) See the UK Polling Report (h ttp:// for a discussion on the effect of ‘prompting’ in opinion poll questions on stated support for UKIP. The UK Polling Report states that a number of polling organisations had introduced prompting for UKIP in their polls, but with “no significant effect upon the level of UKIP support”.

    From what I have read, Anthony does think prompting has a impact on very small parties, but did not have an impact on UKIP once it became more well known, so I think they made an error there in extrapolating that comment to the Greens.

  27. UKIP voters who want a referendum will not vote Tory for one very simple reason:

    Cameron gave a ‘cast-iron guarantee’ that there would be a referendum if he became PM, but then weaseled out of it. Why should anyone believe him this time?

    The only way the British people will get a reerfendum on Europe is if either UKIP win a majority (perhaps unlikely this time!) or they scare the other parties enough so that they make and actually keep a promise to hold one.

  28. Good. I only mentioned the days of the week thing so people would have something other then Scotland to talk about, and it wasn’t meant to be serious. A week on and it just hasn’t stopped – until now.

    Overall, todays polls give some comfort to Lab, Ashcroft aside. They hit 35 in YG and ICM and have held at 34 in Populus. Ashcroft does look a bit odd, for both Lab and Con.

  29. A two point Labour lead on a Monday!? Everything I know is a lie.

  30. Tim N in Surrey

    “I predict a Tory lead from YG tonight of 2 points..”


    How wrong you were!

  31. Prof Howard

    Indeed. It’s quite possible that Labour could decide to become, like the Tories, an entirely English & Welsh party.

  32. Outlier! Conservatives not ahead on Monday. Whatever next? A Friday with Labour behind and the Greens back in 4th!

  33. Aside from the shocking Mondayness of this poll, it’s done something else of mild interest to UKPR:

    The period of crossover in the YouGov five-day rolling average is now over (until tomorrow, anyway) and we’re back to level-pegging.

  34. So James’s post wasn’t a forecast?

  35. This… this can’t be happening

    But it’s Monday!

  36. Lower Cons and lower UKIP scores and noting that this was trending all last night into this morning.


    It seems to have energised some voters anyway looking at the twitter feed.


    Totally wrong tonight. Very hard to predict the way the polls are at the moment.

    Good night all.

  38. @Oldnat
    They might be soon! At this rate they will have about 3 MP’s and will have to focus on E&W both on policy and targeting funds at seats.

  39. Laszlo

    The GP canvasser was being commendably honest. The purpose of canvassing is not to convert the respondent but merely to establish their VI.

    By announcing your intention, he will not waste his party’s time knocking you up (phoning / emailing in modern times) on polling day, which is the point of the exercise.

  40. @oldnat
    “It’s quite possible that Labour could decide to become, like the Tories, an entirely English & Welsh party.”

    The 18% of Scots who plan to vote Conservative might disagree with that. Almost a fifth of the country, you know…

  41. @ Amber,

    Are you suggesting that Labour could post a couple of heavies at the door to the voting chamber & refuse to let the SNP MPs in?

    They’ve actually done that. At one point in the 70s the Labour whip Walter Harrison got into some kind of scuffle with them in the voting lobby and the Serjeant-at-Arms had to come in and restrain him so the vote could be counted.

    Mind you they’ve lost Eric Joyce so I’m not sure they have the muscle these days. Although I reckon Ed Balls is up for it.

  42. Lab scoring quite a few 35’s again.

    That was their target for a long time.

  43. @Amber Star

    Correct. YG polls during the week are tweeted by the usual accounts (polling bee, britain elects) on or about 10:30.

  44. The Shapp’s story might be one worth watching. The legal action taken against a constituent who it now transpires was telling the truth is difficult to defend. Effectively Shapp’s knew he was posing as Mr Green after becoming an MP, while he was instructing lawyers to accuse his constituent of libelling him for suggesting such things. Shapp’s lawyers even instructed the man to make clear in his apology that Shapp’s had not used the Green name after entering Westminster.

    That is pretty fundamental dishonesty, backed up by some very expensive lawyers. Exceedingly unpleasant to boot.

  45. @ Alec,

    The evidence that Shapps is a Labour double-agent mounts ever higher…

  46. TIM N
    what happens to UKIP if Farage doesn’t win South Thanet? Will that be the end of UKIP?
    Farage quits, Carswell probably becomes leader. Farage likely to stick around for a bit but in the longer term Carswell will probably marginalise him as I don’t think they’re easy bedfellows. How UKIP do electorally after that I don’t know. Carswell doesn’t have the real-ale mateyness that makes Farage so easy to swallow but he does have ‘the vision thing’ or something approximating it. I think depending on whether Cameron keeps his election promise (or if he even achieves largest party status) Carswell might well be able to convince a few Con backbenchers to join him.

  47. Omnishambles

    Alternatively, they may be perfectly happy to be part of an English & Welsh party.

  48. Re efficient canvassers.

    My late great grandmother didn’t drive and after she was widowed lived a reasonable distance from the polling station.

    She would therefore accept an offer of a lift to the polls from whichever party canvassed her first.

    Unfortunately for them she also felt that getting a lift to the polling station from a party supporter constituted a form of indirect bribery so she would always cast her vote other than for the side which had driven her to the polling station.

  49. If Lab is on 35%, it will be interesting to see how they are in the Northern wastes. In the past two or three 35% polls, they tend to correspond to SNP on 35-40%.

    I’m curious to see what Lab on 35% nationally, without eating into SNP VI means at the England level.

  50. @oldnat

    They may be even happier to be part of a British party ;)

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