Lord Ashcroft put out a new batch of constituency polls today, this time revisiting some Conservative -vs- Labour marginals that were very close the last time he polled them. The average swing across the seats polled is 4.4 from Con to Lab, the equivalent of a two point lead in a GB poll. This is obviously bigger that the position in most national polls, but I suspect it’s more of an England effect than a marginal effect – all the seats polled by Ashcroft were in England, and because of the collapse of Labour in Scotland the Con>Lab swing in England is actually bigger than in GB as a whole. Full details of the polls are here.

Most of the seats Ashcroft polled showed results that were pretty similar to the last time he polled them at the tail end of last year, with changes well within the margin of error. The only big shifts were Labour doing much better in Chester than before, the Conservatives doing much better in Worcester than before, and Labour doing much better in Southampton Itchen. I expect the last one is just a reversion to the mean after the previous Southampton Itchen poll produced figures that stuck out like a sore thumb – this poll showed a fairly typical swing in the seat, when Ashcroft’s previous Southampton Itchen poll had shown a very dubious looking swing from Lab to Con.

TNS also released a new poll today with CON 33%, LAB 32%, LD 7%, UKIP 17%, GREEN 4%, OTHER 7%. TNS typically show a significantly larger Labour lead than other pollsters, so the small Tory lead is slightly surprising. It may be a methodology effect – TNS seem to have dropped the weighting by European vote that they introduced earlier this year (though its introduction didn’t seem to make much difference, so its dropping really shouldn’t), and have started reallocating UKIP and Green supporters in constituencies that don’t have UKIP or Green

Finally, tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 36%, LD 7%, UKIP 12%, GRN 6% – so a couple of Labour leads from YouGov so far this week. For the record, today’s poll has Labour at their highest this year, UKIP at their lowest this year… but of course, all the normal caveats apply, don’t get overexcited about individual unusual polls, watch the trend across all the pollsters.

755 Responses to “Latest Ashcroft, TNS and YouGov polling”

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  1. John B


  2. @JohnB

    Re Candidates Impressive Ginger Beard too

  3. JOHN B………conjunctivitis.com, a site for sore eyes. That should stop the rot. :-)

  4. YOUGOV poll just out: (18 – 19 Mar): CON – 35% (+2) LAB – 33% (-1) UKIP – 13% (-1) LDEM – 8% (-) GRN – 6% (-)

    A Survation Poll for Daily Record is said to be out shortly too.

  5. Tonight’s YouGov about what I thought. Modest Budget bounce for the Tories.

    Weekend polls will be interesting, as will the longevity of the bounce and Tory lead.

  6. Survation/Record (Scotland Westminster):

    SNP 46 (+1)
    CON 16 (+1)
    LAB 26 (-2)

    Source: @NCPoliticsUK


    NorthumbrianScot got in first so I was 700th.

    Aye, Flodden. Every trip to Twickenham is the same, these days…..
    And there aren’t many Bannockburns to re-balance the situation…..

  8. The Flooers o’ the Forest, that fought aye the foremost,
    The pride o’ oor land lie cauld in the clay.

  9. Re: the YouGov poll

    Smoked kippers and dead foxes!

  10. CON 35%, LAB 33%, UKIP 13%, LD 8%, GRN 6% (1/

    We have been here so many times…remember last year… this is moe stuff.

  11. Budget bounce or random variation? Let the debate begin.

    Worth noting the Conservative VI is identical to what it was on March 2nd and 9th.

  12. @CrossBat XI

    Yes, pretty much expected. As you say, the key is how long it lasts.

  13. Tory lead tonight but unconvinced it will last long. Both Con and Lab still neck and neck. There may not even have been a budget bounce as the figures are within MOE.

  14. Tonight’s YouGov about what I thought. Modest Budget bounce for the Tories.

    was this yougov even done after the budget?…it looks like polls we had last week.

  15. Excl: Successful Budget gives Osborne a record 20 point lead over Ed Balls as best Chancellor; 40% v 20%

  16. Yougov could easily just be MoE and not an actual budget bounce given we were already fluctuating between Labour and Tory leads.

    More polls required.

  17. I doubt this is a budget bounce. Maybe more of a limp, if it’s anything at all

  18. Survation Independence Yes 51 No 49

  19. @Colin

    Over Ed Balls. Hmm….

  20. Colin
    Not too surprising. I hope this doesn’t seem partisan, but I think it’s how many of the electorate perceive things – Balls is the one who assisted in crashing the economy, and Osborne is digging us out of it.

  21. The Drop in Labour support in Scotland by 2 points will worry Labour strategists, up there.

  22. “Yougov could easily just be MoE and not an actual budget bounce given we were already fluctuating between Labour and Tory leads.
    More polls required.”

    Very wise. sensible stuff….

    Osborne’s’ media buddies will spin that he is the greatest political strategist since Lyndon Johnson. The right wing press will continue to beat up Miliband and Balls…

    meanwhile both main parties are looking at about 33% and a hung parliament.

  23. Thanks Colin.

    My weak prophesy has materialised, I suppose, but it’s all a bit MOE-ish. 37 plays 31 would get my eyebrows raising, especially if Populus has something similar tomorrow. Then we need a few ina row, more than a few.

  24. IFS once again puts the boot into the budget well its expected its been a long time since they said anything possative about this government .they are just another voice for the left wing . Did they write anything critical about gordons brown budgets ?

  25. @ProfHoward

    Probably MoE. The SNP are 20% ahead by pretty much any measure.

  26. I’d have thought there may be more than the one tonight?

    If Labour didn’t have such a discredited figure as Brown’s loyal number 2 in Balls they’d be in a better position.

    Last night’s headlines and today’s papers were mostly pro-budget but this evening’s less so, wondering where cuts will come from. Assuming anyone pays attention have to see what impact that makes at the weekend.

  27. Pete B
    I don’t think finance ministers have demonstrably as much influence on economies as you sem to think. Minuscule IMO.

  28. Looks like the usual modest post budget bounce. Doubt it will last a week.

    Meanwhile Scottish Polldrums. SNP 20 point lead now getting boring. Can anything change the game for LiS? Can’t see it personally. Situation seems very stable indeed.

  29. Pete B

    You are a better historian than George Osborne!

    Agincourt was entirely the wrong battle to refer to. The Scots weren’t there, and when they joined the French, six years later at the Battle of Baugé, England were gubbed.

  30. @Ken

    Please accept our “biggest groan gag of the day” award.

  31. Impressed with how quickly someone puts these polls on wikipedia


  32. This is just MoE. Had Labour had another lead, then that would have seen them have a >1pp lead on the 5 poll average.

    We were due this Tory lead if it is the case that the parties are broadly level.

  33. BristolianHoward
    I was talking about the electorate’s perception, not my own views.

    I’m flattered at the rare compliment, but a bit puzzled. Has Osborne made some recent reference to Agincourt that I’ve missed? (my favourite battle by the way)

  34. I think the Lab/Con race is a bit of a distraction, the real story of the recent polls is increased voteshare of the Big 2, and the squeezing of UKIP.

  35. Too early for a budget bounce. The impact will only really have come through today I suspect.

    Interesting to see the screws turned a bit more on the budget detail today. I’m pondering whether this will negate the positive impacts, or if things like the first time buyers ISA will cut through. This will be a well received initiative, but it’s difficult to know how many people it will effect and whether they will reward their sponsors with their votes.

  36. @NorthumbrianScot

    I think Labour are re-grouping. I haven’t seen Murphy on TV for a good while. They might be thinking up a new strategy that might change the game,

  37. @Pete B – “Has Osborne made some recent reference to Agincourt that I’ve missed? (my favourite battle by the way)”

    How many battles have you been at then Pete?

  38. Is this a bounce? More of a little hop.. Anyway, the coverage is shifting and there seems far too much emphasis on what exactly the cuts will be and the word ‘rollercoaster’ for the Conservatives to feel pleased about the response. If anything Osborne has succeeded only in focusing everyone’s attention on an area he did want it be and handed the opposition new weapons to beat him with. As he spent such a lot of time in his budget speech neutralising the various Labour attack options he must be displeased. Its all very Daoist.

    My expectation is the polls will not really shift dramatically in favour of the Conservatives and certainly not in a sustained way even though the individual budget measures were popular.

  39. *Taoist, sorry.

  40. Couper

    “I haven’t seen Murphy on TV for a good while.”

    That might be their new strategy.

  41. @OLDNAT

    I admit that annoyed me no end. Not sure what he studied at uni but seriously…. Does he REALLY not know who the English fought at Agincourt when they invaded France?

    I have great difficulty controlling my extreme sarcasm on the subject so… I’ll just bite my tongue and ask why no one is talking about the new Scotland WM poll. Oh. Because it is approximately the same as the last 20. ;)

  42. @Old Nat

    So Osborne is going to spend 100k of Scots money to celebrate a battle we lost! Ok we didn’t loose but Osborne doesn’t know that.

  43. 2 Scottish polls tonight with Labour miles behind then a 2 point deficit showing in the UK wide poll.

    It’s not good.

  44. @JohnCartwright

    You can read all of the IFS budget analyses including Labour ones on their website.


  45. J. R. Tomlin

    You do a pretty good job of correcting a lot of the daft myths in Scots history.

    Maybe you need to start on the English as well.

  46. Alec, just a few pub fights in my youth. I was wondering whether to rephrase my comment re Agincourt so it didn’t sound as though I was there – I’m not quite that old!

    Oldnat – Thanks for the link. Osborne made far better jokes than that – e.g. about miliband’s two fridges talking to each other over the internet. Anyway it’s not surprising that his knowledge of history is not good – he went to an inferior school. He might have been bettter talking about Marechal MacDonald 400 years later.

  47. Couper

    Don’t forget the £50 million Osborne is spending (presumably from a previously unidentified “English” budget) to make one of the UK’s football teams “the best in the world”.

    His knowledge of English football is clearly as limited as of English medieval history, if he thinks small change like that will perform that miracle.


  48. @ those moaning about “Scots money” being spent on English things

    Do you realise that the British government spends far more on Scots per capita than the English? And has done for a long time? And that this has continued under Osborne?

    You sound very petty

  49. @Alec

    Unhelpful analysis only for Conservative supporters surely.

    My daughter is saving and saving for a deposit. Has been for four years. She is chasing the houseprices ever upward. Of course it sounds okay to be given money but she is worried this will merely boost the house prices. She is however Osborne’s target group.
    Her other response was that she things it it strange to introduce a bedroom tax for one group, and talk about removing housing benefit altogether from another altogether, and then give the money over to those saving for a deposit to buy a home.

    I am not saying any of this is true or not. Merely giving feedback of talking to a ‘target voter’. She is not by any means overjoyed and I am not sure Osborne won her vote. As her partner is in the military she wants to know what is happening there too.

    As people’s lives and views are never about a single issue it is hard for any budgetary measure to ‘buy a vote’. I think the Conservatives need a ‘game changer’ now to ignite their campaign.

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