Two polls tonight – Opinium in the Observer have topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 33%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 7% (tabs). All par for the course, and fieldwork was on the 24th and 25th March, so prior to the Paxman interviews on Thursday.

More intriguing is YouGov’s weekly poll for the Sunday Times. Fieldwork for this was done on Friday and Saturday, so was wholly after the Paxman interviews. Topline figures there are CON 32%, LAB 36%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 6%. A four point Labour lead. I’ll write more tomorrow, but I’ll leave you with the usual caveats, it’s just one poll, it could be boost for Labour from the interviews or it could just be normal random variation, only time (and subsequent polling) will tell…


177 Responses to “Latest Opinium and YouGov polls”

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  1. Pete B
    I would say a simple approch and extremely expensive and high risk! I’m pretty sure it happened in the USA though

  2. Chris in Caerdydd

    You make a very good point about challenging two other roughly equal parties at the same time. There seems to be a number of seats where that is happening, e.g. Thanet South, Lab 28%, Con 27%, Ukip 39%. The fact that they are challenging both main parties could work in their favour.

  3. Alec – that’s the next line of attack? Two-heads Ed?

  4. @BristolianHoward

    Ther’es something Freudian about your typo there!

    It’s hell using hooves on an iPad, I tell you!

  5. Omnishambles

    The Tories might get an Easter bounce sooner than expected.

    Easter Sunday 2016 is on March 27th.

  6. “Yes the odds on Lab having most seals are pretty tight…”

    The bookies otter do something about that; they need to beaver-y sure they’re right or the could lose a few squid.

  7. It seems to me that the underlying position is a Labour Lead of just over ½%. The 4% in the latest YouGov looks like random variation around this. But as you say additional polls will give us a better idea.

  8. Laszlo

    You make the point about tactical voting working for Ukip at the same time as Chris in Cardiff is suggesting that tactical voting will work against them. I guess it depends on the individual constituency.

  9. What debate do people keep mentioning? There was an interview!

  10. @Rory Hughes

    “– a few weeks ago the Tories were mildly ahead, then drawing level, now Labour in front again.”

    And that’s the intriguing thing for me. A slow drift towards the opposition at a time when a governing party would expect some gathering momentum in the five weeks left before polling day.

    I just have this funny feeling, albeit yet to be fully confirmed by sustained polling evidence, that Miliband got a lot out of that Channel 4 programme. A shot in the arm and some wind in his sails at just the time he needed it most.

  11. CROSSBAT11

    I think its really too soon to say. Need to see a couple more polls.

  12. This poll cannot be taken to mean anything just yet, but I was about to post my thoughts that it still could have an impact, by way of changing the narrative, and then I saw the Sunday Times headline; “Labour races into 4 point lead after Milliband’s TV success”.

    That’s pretty emphatic, and one thing is now clear, and that is that Milliband is perceived as having won on Thursday. In itself, this could be changing perceptions amongst a few voters.

    M Smithson is also pointing out that Ed’s Best PM rating is up 4% in a week, and at 35/23 he is only 12% behind Cameron, while his personal ratings have shot up 20% in less than a month, although are still at an unhealthy -28%.

    I think it was Chris Patten who expressed nervousness back in January over the decision to target Ed, saying that perpetually driving down people’s expectations of Ed was not necessarily a clever move. Any out performing of reputation counts as a success, potentially, and so far, Ed seems to be backing up Patten’s worries.

  13. I know a lot of people are saying that if there was going to be any significant shift we would be seeing it by now, but the campaign hasn’t officially even started!

    When we get lots of posters, Party Political Broadcasts, doorknocking etc etc something might happen – or not.

  14. I see DUP has said that if they are in a pivotal position they will negotiate first with the party that has the most seats.

  15. I don’t think that Miliband got a bounce from those who watched the “debate”. I think it’s more that the reporting the next day tended to repeat a lot of clips of Cameron’s worst moments in front of Paxman, such as on zero hours contracts, ignored Miliband’s dodgy first half and instead mostly repeated the clips of Miliband showing some bottle by standing up to Paxman in a late fightback. Labour will have been pleased with that and the fact that reporting featuring neutral commentators such as Joe Twyman generally asserted that Miliband had done the better.

    Most of those who commented in the YouGov poll won’t have watched the programme, rather they’ll have watched the subsequent reporting of it. And whether or not Labour has got any lasting polling bounce out of it, it does seem that Miliband’s ratings have recovered to a degree.

  16. These personal attacks by Cameron on Miliband coincide with this YouGov boost for Miliband. It will be interesting to see in Monday’s polls if David Cameron’s personality attack on “two kitchens” Ed has any impact on the polls.

    It seems like a Lynton Crosby initiative, but I wonder if that type of personal attack works well with British people, who have a sense of fair play and don’t like attacks of this kind.

  17. It did seem to me that after the debate the Daily Mail was remarkably even handed in its coverage and even went so far as to post a picture of David Cameron with a bottle of milk in hand in a parody of Benny Hill’s ‘Ernie’ photograph (hardly supporting the narrative of serious prime minister etc). I was expecting a concentration of negative reporting on Miliband so I was very surprised. What happened? Unlikely I felt that Miliband’s performance was so good it converted the Daily Mail!

    I can only think that the Mail has abandoned Cameron for now. They have accepted the hung parliament scenario and want him out asap after that.

    Maybe not. I wait to see. If Labour seem in any way to be heading for a majority I expect the paper will be back bigging up ‘their man’.

  18. Speaking as a committed Tory voter, I watched the debates and I felt Milliband came across surprisingly well in the debate. Although he did not manage to sway my vote I feel quite sure he will have persuaded some undecided voters to give him a go. I feel he would have received a bounce in the polls from his performance bu maybe not the 4 point gap that the latest you gov poll is now suggesting. As always we await more polling for confirmation lol.

  19. JAMES

    I look forward to the Full Welsh on Monday. But what we really need is a Full Scottish, because of the odd behaviour of the YouGov Scottish cross breaks in recent days.

  20. Alec
    If I were a client of Betfair you would have hastened my commitment. Headlines change behaviour. However I have a feeling that minds are made up less by newspapers than was the case 5 years ago.
    I’ll watch the odds and the papers and the polls over the next weeks ( as well as paying a tiny bit of attention to what the politicians are saying! )

  21. Why do newspapers take political positions anyway? Is it just to further the owners’ agendas?

  22. Phil Haines
    I think you should research cassetteboy on YouTube for a précis of what is newsworthy. V funny, but not necessarily representative!

  23. @Alec

    Two heads didn’t stop Zephod Beeblebrox becoming president of the Galaxy so it might not do Ed any harm to have an exra bonce!

  24. After the first tv debate in 2010 when nick clegg won the poll rating for the Ld went to 31% only 1% off the lead . But by the election had dropped back to 23% .so dave its not lost yet

  25. Please please please stop mentioning the bookmakers prices referring to the polls!

    They do not.

    In essence the bookies do not care what the polls are.

    It is a fundamental misunderstanding of making a book that makes anyone think they do.

    The bookmakers make a book to make money.

    Their odds reflect their liabilities according what has already been bet.

    It is the punters who place money (in part according to the polls) who may move the odds, but not the bookmakers themselves.

    The bookies will sometimes change odds in anticipation of moves in the betting market by punters, but this is usually a temporary effect of timing. If this were done without market support for any length of time it would in effect be the bookies making a bet themselves, which as we all know “is a mugs game” and they do not do that.

  26. @Laszlo and @CMJ

    Re: Ukip challenges to Labour

    It is sensible for the Fabian Society to rally the troops and work to avoid mishaps in the seats listed. But from a psephological point of view their argument doesn’t seem to stand up well, does it?

    Basically, they are saying that local and GE margins were broadly similar to one another in 2010. Ukip won or did very well in local elections in 2014. Ergo Ukip could do equally well on May 7.

    Clearly there is a risk that needs to be taken into account, but since when did local election results directly predict GE results?

    As it happens, Ashcroft has polls six of these constituencies over the last case and in each case them Labour VI is higher than that in the local elections and the pattern is reversed for Ukip. In every case, Ashcroft placed Labour ahead.

    To my mind this is a better guide to what will happen in the GE than any list of local election results.

    Another thing is that Ukip will soon have to commit themselves to manifesto promises and these will be subjected to unprecedented (for them) scrutiny. This may tie their hands making it difficult for them to be competitive in seats of this kind.

  27. Profhoward
    Hard to disagree with you usually but much prefer laverbread to potatocakes! Anyone know the fieldwork dates? (And after the lassies’ speech today surely fullScottishes are superfluous)

  28. Yes, but Zaphod was also the coolest dude in the galaxy. Despite the recent bounce I’m not sure Ed’s best friends would call him that!

  29. @JOHNTT

    “How many seats have been decided by one vote,ever?”

    Exeter 1910.

  30. There is a Scottish poll in the relevant edition of the Sunday Times.

    https://twitter.com/SundayTimesSco/status/581958371189870592

    “Exclusive Scottish poll in Sunday Times tomorrow shows why Labour’s strategy to win back voters from SNP is doomed to fail.”

  31. I continue to be relieved that everyone else, from Nigel Farage and Fraser Nelson to the entire Labour Party, seems to have a watched a completely different “debate” to the one I watched.

    Mystified, but relieved.

  32. @Amber

    I really can’t see the porpoise of that remark

  33. Catoswyn – that might have been a strategic move by the Mail to paint themselves as even-handed early on to allow them room to paint their opponents in derogatory colours later.

    When in the final days they take their balanced view,. I don’t expect a Daily Mail leader to favour Ed Milliband

  34. RHYWUN

    Do you know if the SNP tide is rising the Plaid boat?

  35. @Pete B

    “When we get lots of posters, Party Political Broadcasts, doorknocking etc etc something might happen – or not.”

    I infer from that that you don’t live in a marginal seat.

    This last week this house has received a huge Conservative A2 leaflet folded to A4 from Royal Mail, plus a leaflet from the local MP, plus a each of us has had a mailshot from Cameron via Royal Mail. Labour have been putting out a fair volume of stuff too, but not to that intensity in such a short period. Absolutely nothing in a year from any other parties. As you might infer from that, it’s a Con-Lab marginal.

    I think we’ve just seen a spike in activity because the 29th March long campaign deadline is tomorrow. Paid deliveries are expensive, and the Conservatives are clearly spending up to the limit of election expenses and avoiding this spending falling into the short campaign. So we may be just entering into the eye of the hurricane.

  36. Although I’m reminded that the Liberal Democrats once polled very well after some debates.

  37. James

    Sounds like that Scottish poll may come in the morning. Hope so.

  38. @CATMANJEFF
    “Didn’t they have a book to sell ?”

    I know how they feel. ;)

  39. @JOHNTT

    “How many seats have been decided by one vote,ever?”

    Gatton 1803 was another one (though only one vote was cast)

  40. @PeteB

    To be honest, when Hitch Hikers Guide was first on the radio we took Zaphod as “an old hippy fart” who thought he was cool but wasn’t. It was 1978 remember.

    You have to admit though that Ed is the only party leader who is from outer space.

  41. @ Postage Included

    :-)

  42. @Spearmint

    It’s the old adage – it’s not how you start it’s how you finish.

  43. Phil Haines
    “I infer from that that you don’t live in a marginal seat.”

    Quite right, it’s one of the safest Labour seats, though we did have Tory doorknockers about a month ago. I told them that round here UKIP were the only credible opposition to Labour, based on local elections.

    Incidentally, if you have had loads of leaflets doesn’t that contravene some rule about campaigning before the official start?

  44. Profhoward
    I’m a bit long in the tooth to go doorknocking now but I’m told that PC is on target in Y Cymru Cymraeg. And certainly the SNP policy positions andcampaign skills are very much admired by PC activists. I’m keen to see the new fullWelsh as it seems the chatterati reckon the last few days have been good for both Lab and Nat. (And my loyalties lie between the two – a position I believe is uncomfortable in your parts)

  45. Norbold. You are precisely why I visit this site! Thanks. But I will not vote tactically this time!
    Jonathan
    You put it more eloquently than I, but I suspect that if the bookies’ odds setters recognise an opportunity to make money as a result of what their qualitative analysis sees as a bunch of mugs going against scientific evidence, then they will take that opportunity and attract as many mugs as they can.

    Bookies rarely lose money. They are in the risk business though. Some of them would have made packet on the oblate spheroid Earth market (against the flat Earth theory).Not saying Milliband is Galileo, but you get the point.

    In 1992 I was voting in a constituency where there was arbitrage for a few days. I was plotless and couldn’t have benefitted unless I had a large stake. It was interesting to see rival bookies offer odds that enabled punters to eliminate risk! I think you could get 11/3 against the two front runners. I wonder if there are chances around that anywhere in May?

  46. Potless and plotless!

  47. Pet B
    Thanks! One more example and I’ll go LibDem! But not if mine is the only vote cast!

  48. Re: leaflets

    I got an interesting one from the Con candidate today, although if I didn’t know she was the Con I’d probably not have realised, the only mention of the Conservative party was as part of her email address at the bottom of the back page. Her name was prominent but even the Tory logo was missing. The blue headlines might have given her away but the blue was more an indigo that looked purple under electric light. Very odd.

    The constituency is one of the less marginal LD ones with Con coming second and Labour a poor third – most constituents know it. Why is she hiding her true colours?

  49. I get the impression that politicians are trying to appeal beyond their parties, so that emphasizing the personal and suppressing party branding helps in that goal.

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