Six weeks to go

Here are this week’s polls:

Opinium/Observer (19/3) – CON 36%, LAB 33%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 14%, GRN 6%
YouGov/S Times (20/2) – CON 33%, LAB 35%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 14%, GRN 5%
Survation/MoS (21/3) – CON 30%, LAB 34%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 17%, GRN 3%
Populus(22/3) – CON 31%, LAB 33%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 16%, GRN 5%
Ashcroft (22/3) – CON 33%, LAB 33%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 12%, GRN 5%
ComRes/Mail (22/3) – CON 35%, LAB 35%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 10%, GRN 7%
YouGov/Times (23/3) – CON 34%, LAB 33%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 14%, GRN 5%
YouGov/Sun (23/3) – CON 34%, LAB 34%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 12%, GRN 6%
YouGov/Sun (24/3) – CON 35%, LAB 35%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 12%, GRN 6%
Survation/Mirror (25/3) – CON 32%, LAB 33%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 18%, GRN 4%
YouGov/Sun (25/3) – CON 34%, LAB 35%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 12%, GRN 6%
Panelbase (26/3) – CON 34%, LAB 34%, LDEM 5%, UKIP 15%, GRN 6%
YouGov/Sun (26/3) – CON 36%, LAB 34%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 13%, GRN 5%
Populus (26/3) – CON 31%, LAB 33%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 16%, GRN 5%

It’s been a busy week in terms of voting intention polls – ComRes have now moved to weekly polling for the Daily Mail, Survation did two ones (one for the Mail on Sunday and one for the Mirror) and we got the first UK poll from Panelbase. Five of the polls showed dead heats between Labour and the Conservatives, there were three Tory leads and six Labour leads. The bigger picture remains one of the two main parties being neck-and-neck, but there have been slightly more Labour leads than Tory ones in recent polls, so the UKPR polling average this week has Labour one point ahead – CON 33%(nc), LAB 34%(+1), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 14%(nc), GRN 5%(-1).

Scottish and London polls

ICM had new Scottish and London polls out this week. In Scotland they found Westminster voting intentions of CON 14%(+1), LAB 27%(+1), LDEM 6%(nc), SNP 43%(nc), UKIP 7%(nc), GRN 3%(-1), changes are from their previous Scottish poll in December. At 16 points ICM show a slightly smaller SNP lead than some other companies, but there is no significant change from their previous poll, suggesting its something methodological rather than a narrowing of the SNP lead.

This morning ICM had a London poll for the Guardian. Voting intentions for that were CON 32%, LAB 42%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 9%, GRN 8%. That represents a four point swing from Conservative to Labour since the general election – the equivalent of a one point Labour lead in national polls – so again suggests that the swing in London is much the same as in the rest of the country.

Week 12

  • David Cameron ruled out standing for a third term as Prime Minister. Unusual not because of the content – if he wins he was widely expected to stand down at some point after the European referendum anyway – but because he said it, out loud, to a journalist. In terms of public opinion 55% of people said Cameron was right to rule out a third term, 18% wrong. A majority of supporters of all parties – including Tory voters – thought it was the right thing to do. 21% of people said it made them think better of Cameron, 9% worse of him, but for the majority of people it made no difference to how they viewed him.
  • The final PMQs of the Parliament was dominated by exchanges on ruling out tax rises. Asked before Cameron ruled out a VAT rise and Ed Balls ruled out a National Insurance rise, at the start of the week YouGov found 43% of people expected tax to go up if Labour won, 29% expect it to go up if the Conservatives win. Under a Labour government, 43% expected income tax to rise, 41% expected fuel duty to rise, 39% expected national insurance to rise… but only 22% expected VAT to go up. Under a Tory government 34% expected fuel duty to rise, 31% expected VAT to rise, 29% expected NI to rise and 25% expected income tax to rise.
  • The debate debate finally came to an end with an agreement to have four events: a Paxman interrogation of Miliband and Cameron; a seven-way debate between Cameron, Miliband, Clegg, Farage, Uncle Tom Cobley and all; a debate between the five opposition parties and a Question Time special with Cameron, Miliband and Clegg, one after the other. The Paxman interrogation took place last night. An ICM poll straight after the debate found people thought Cameron came out better than Miliband by 54% to 46% – we will have to wait until the weekend to see if it has any impact upon either voting intentions or perceptions of the leaders. Over the last five years Cameron has consistently had better ratings than Miliband, so in many ways a performance that’s pretty even has the potential to help Miliband far more than Cameron. As ever, time will tell.
  • The physical mechanics of the general election have started to kick in. Yesterday Parliament was prorogued, on Monday it will be dissolved and the writ issued and we’ll be off. The start of the formal campaign means various bits of regulation kick in, including the broadcasting restrictions requiring coverage of the main parties and spending limits upon the parties.


The latest forecasts from Election Forecast, May 2015, Elections Etc and the Guardian are below (the Polling Observatory team are doing fortnightly predictions, so nothing new from them this week). Three of the models continue to show the Conservatives with just a few more seats than Labour, but Steve Fisher’s prediction from Elections Etc now has them 35 ahead of Labour. This is due to a methodology change rather than a move in opinion – Steve’s model for predicting the vote shares in England & Wales remains unchanged, but he’s no longer assuming such a big drop in SNP support in Scotland, and has rejigged how he translates projected votes into seats based on Ashcroft and YouGov polling (it’s explained in more detail here.

Elections Etc – Hung Parliament, CON 296(+12), LAB 261(-17), LD 21(nc), SNP 47(+6), UKIP 5(+2)
Election Forecast – Hung Parliament, CON 283(-1), LAB 280(+2), LD 26(+1), SNP 38(-2), UKIP 1(nc)
May 2015 – Hung Parliament, CON 273(-4), LAB 271(+3), LD 24(nc), SNP 55(nc), UKIP 5(+2)
Guardian – Hung Parliament, CON 277(nc), LAB 269(+1), LD 25(nc), SNP 53(-1), UKIP 4(nc)

367 Responses to “Six weeks to go”

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  1. Excuses for typos, pressed enter too soon. Hopefully clear.

  2. Crystal thank you….. :-)

  3. @ProfHoward 9.51

    Can’t believe that any Lab activists were worried their VI was dented. IMO any change in Lab VI after the Q&A could only be positive and that seemed to be the opinion of most commentators including Tory supporting. The only question was whether there would be a boost to VI. The movement in tonight’s poll seems excessive (outside MOE ?) so there is either a boost from the Q&A or this is an outlier.

  4. @ David

    Sorry, but I can’t match your figures with Ashcroft, hence my suggestion to CMJ.

    Can you give a link, please? Aplogies for being doubtful.

  5. @Amber

    Thanks – the fieldwork dates for last week’s Sunday times were from the 19th to 20th, so that would be Thursday night to Friday afternoon, which is why I asked the question.

    I see twitter is saying it was all post debate though, so they must have delayed the fieldwork this week?

  6. Milly bounce??

    Lord Ashcroft [email protected] 7m7 minutes ago
    YouGov /SundayTimes poll
    LAB 36%
    CON 32%
    UKIP 13%
    LDEM 8%
    GRNS 6%

  7. Catmanjeff

    Fabian Society research, based on the Locals.

    On a wider point: Ukip will end up with millions of votes and a lot of 2nd places this time. The subsequent Election could be the really interesting one.

  8. Peter – this is well within MOE of 34% a piece.

    Need the ‘Original’ Howards 4 in a Row before I get excited.

    Even if this proves not to be a outlier it may not last that long.

    CB posted about a morale boost for Labour from the (non) debate and I mentioned Labour having a foot soldier advantage (in E&W) and no doubt this will give a lift to the many activists out tomorrow canvassing.

  9. An attempt to make this point in a jokey way went into mod:

    It looks as though Miliband’s performance has done Labour some good, although of course it could be MoE.

  10. RMJ1

    I really need to wake up to a Full Scottish in the morning.

  11. Jim Jam

    I am he.

  12. new thread

  13. Jim Jam
    I’d believe a 4 point lead three times in a row or a three pointer four times in a row. Oh, and from the same pollster of course.

  14. Thanks David :-)

  15. BH – though so but frankly confused a touch.

  16. Well, that’s a little more than MoE. Just one poll though.

  17. @ BristolianHoward

    In 1988 in the Canadian GE the Reform Party obtained 2.09% and no seats, but did manage to come third in Alberta with 15.4%.

    In the subsequent 1993 election they came second with 18.69% and third with 52 seats.

    They obtained no seats in the six provnces where they achieved between 1% and 13.7%. I seat each in the two provinces where they obtained 20.1% and 22.4% and four in the province where they obtained 27%.

    In the two provinces where they obtained 36.4% and 52.3%, they obtained 24 and 22 seats respectively.

    The UKIP vote until recently was holding up remarkably well in the Midlands, which I assume includes East Angia as well.

    I was just cautioning not write UKIP off, as I am not sure if they are going to be squeezed further or bounce back during the election period.

    And I was just pointing out that Labour has some vulnerable seats too, that Conservative or UKIP could pick up, depending what level of support these three parties end up at.

    What hapeens to the LD vote if, for example, LD does not nominate a candidate in Thurrock or Wallsall North?

    There are still 57 seats in this election where there is no LD candidate as compared to Conservative having a full slate, 2 still to nominate for Labour, 67 for UKIP, 83 Green and 1 Plaid Cymru.

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