As usual for a Monday we have three GB polls today – Populus, Ashcroft and YouGov. In a election campaign that has so far seen polls that are virtually static these were awaited in the hope they’d shed some light on the impact of the Paxman interviews last week. In the two post-Paxman polls at the weekend YouGov had shown a larger Labour lead than usual, but ComRes had shown a larger Conservative lead than usual. The question was whether today’s polls would shed any light on whether there was any movement, or just normal sampling error.

Populus’s twice-weekly poll has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 34%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 15%, GRN 4% (tabs). Populus have typically been showing a small Labour lead in their polls over the last few weeks, so this is more Tory than their average poll, but well within the normal margin of error.

Lord Ashcroft’s weekly poll has topline figures of CON 36%, LAB 34%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 10%, GRN 7% (tabs). This is a small shift towards the Conservatives since Ashcroft’s poll last week, but a two point lead is very much in line with the average of his recent polls, so is nothing to suggest any real movement.

YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 35%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 12%, GRN 5% – back to more typical figures of neck-and-neck.

Looking at the five polls conducted since the Paxman debate, things are starting to look much more like “no change” that a Labour or Conservative boost – there is a bit of movement in either direction, but no clear consistent trend. The seven way debate this week may have more impact, if it’s not just a complete mess.

Note however, that a lack of change in voting intention figures doesn’t necessarily means the interviews last week had no impact at all. YouGov’s weekend poll also saw a significant improvement in Ed Miliband’s ratings and this was echoed in Lord Ashcroft’s poll today. While David Cameron still led on most measures, his lead over Miliband had dropped across the board since Ashcroft last asked in February: Cameron’s lead on representing Britain abroad was down 8 points to 28, on making the right decisions when they are unpopular down 6 points to 23, on having a clear idea of what he wants to acheive down 8 to 19, on leading a team down 6 to 30, on doing the job of Prime Minister down 5 to 26. Miliband’s lead on understanding ordinary people rose 8 points to 12. Of course it would be wrong to necessarily put this down to the interviews, there were signs of improvements in Miliband’s ratings in polls before last week, but it does look as if he’s narrowing Cameron’s advantage.

Meanwhile there were also Wales and London polls out today. The latest Welsh YouGov poll for ITV and Cardiff University has topline figures of CON 25%(nc), LAB 40%(+1), LDEM 5%(nc), Plaid 11%(+1) UKIP 14%(nc), GRN 5%(-1) – Roger Scully’s analysis here. A new ComRes London poll for ITV London has topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 46%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 9%, GRN 4% (tabs).

Note that despite what you may be seeing on Twitter, there is NOT a new ComRes Scottish poll – it’s just people getting excited over a small sub-sample of 70 spitting out the sort of strange and outlandish results that are inevitable with small sub-samples of 70 people.


369 Responses to “Monday polling round-up”

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  1. @Barba

    Equally, we have been informed that the prospect of a Labour govt. is cockle-warming to some ukippers, for purposes of hastening the exit from the EU…

  2. Someone came across this on Twitter and sent it my way:

    h ttp://www.politics.co.uk/news/2015/03/30/the-google-election-new-digital-analysis-tips-tories-for-ele

    Not sure about it. It’s easy to set Google to browse privately, and generally my ‘on-line location’ is where my ISP is, in Sheffield. Although the sneaky buggers get closer occasionally and put me in Fife, it’s not always the correct constituency.

    Full details on how they did it:

    http://www.mavens.co.uk/Mavens2015UKElection.pdf

    I imagine using search engine analytics has to have limitations, but maybe it’s a new form of digital wisdom index.

  3. British Election Study “nowcast” based on their data from early March.

    They’re very sceptical about the ability of the Lib Dems to hold onto their fortresses, even when using the Ashcroft “thinking of your constituency” formulation.

    http://www.britishelectionstudy.com/bes-impact/british-election-study-2015-general-election-constituency-forecast/#.VRp46hRwY74

  4. Ah Statters, didn’t you realise you hailed from Gods Own City.

    Alas I am not there now, an economic migrant down in Shepherds Bush, where yesterday I received my first leaflet from the Labour Party. No mention of either Ed anywhere.

  5. @Jack R

    I don’t. :))

    My ISP is in Sheffield, so my location to many ‘locating sites’ has me in Sheffield. Google Maps has me up a hill in Fife somewhere…even at night. :))

  6. CARFREW

    Scots quite like the idea of getting their own back for the eighties by visiting a Tory government on England now that Scots are more insulated, while getting more bargaining power at the same time

    With the SNP ruling out giving Cons support at Westminster, they’ll have to vote Con to achieve that, which currently seems unlikely. Unless the TNS cross breaks are to be believed!

    LiS doesn’t actually exist, as we have been informed by some of our Scotsly brethren

    That’s what AMBER STAR and others seem to prefer so I have no intention of arguing with you.

    Neither Scottish Conservatives nor Scottish Liberal Democrats exist except as accounting units of their London masters, but I would have no objection to referring to them as CiS and LDiS respectively if that’s what their supporters wish to call them.

    Equally, we have been informed that the prospect of a Labour govt. is cockle-warming to some ukippers, for purposes of hastening the exit from the EU.

    Perhaps so, but I suspect Lab have painted themselves too far into a corner on not having an EU referendum for the time being, so that it’s unlikely unless Lab take up the idea of 4 national locks.

  7. @ Barba

    I agree that there are certainly a proportion of kippers who are indifferent to whether Ed or DC is in Downing Street and some who, for various reasons, may prefer it to be Ed. But there are also a few who would be mortified if they thought their vote for UKIP handed the election to Labour. DC needs 2 or 3% from this cohort and the right wing press sending the message that the Tories are winning is not helping.

    I agree that the Vote SNP get Con message is failing but I think that the circumstances are very different.

  8. @Statgeek

    I was with Plusnet for years and was tracked as Sheffield, so possibly not the best example if the company want to show how ‘clever’ the analysis was :)

    Looking at the methodology, I can see there’s some baseline being calculated, but I can’t see how they avoid a massive bias towards the status quo.

    Apart from the obvious spike due to the referendum in Scotland, it looks to me like the searches for Con politicians has been going down, and Lab going up as the election approaches. Unless there’s something hugely clever going on that they’ve not really explained, it looks a bit simplistic to me.

  9. LITTLE RED ROCK
    DC needs 2 or 3% from this cohort and the right wing press sending the message that the Tories are winning is not helping.

    True, but I’m not sure that substituting DC for Lord K in a re-run of Lord Kitchener Wants You would have the desired effect.

    Their problem is how to get that message across subtly to people not exactly in thrall to DC just now.

  10. John Curtice speaking at a Political Studies Association event:

    Tories need a 7% lead to form a majority. If SNP surge continues, Lab needs a 5% lead. “Neither is anywhere near that”.

    https://twitter.com/CCC_Research/status/582861750837608448

  11. @BARBAZENZERO

    “With the SNP ruling out giving Cons support at Westminster, they’ll have to vote Con to achieve that, which currently seems unlikely. Unless the TNS cross breaks are to be believed!”

    ———-

    Not if Cons recover enough, and polls are a bit out, such that SNP aren’t needed by Cons. And Lab votes going to SNP helps Cons recover wrt Labour.

    Not getting into the LiS existential crisis thing…

    Regarding Ukippers wanting Lab to get in, it wasn’t to do with the referendum if I recall correctly, but more of a case of hoping things would implode thus Lab get turfed out and a proper, Euro-fearing government takes the reins. Kinda like a Marxist thing, hoping for a crisis of capitalism ushering in the revolution. Only instead of the downfall of capitalism, we get our bendy bananas back etc.

  12. @Matt M

    Agreed (with the caveat that we don’t know, so I’m keeping an open mind).

    Have e-mailed for further data, but when you look at the Labour seats prediction, it does seem a bit different to what the polls are saying (I suppose any prediction can be potentially right before the result).

  13. JAMES

    “TNS tables are nonsensical. SNP support seems to be evenly spread across all of GB???”

    If you look at the CVI tables, those numbers are in the right column, and (excluding DK/refusers) –

    SNP 55% : Con 19% : Lab 14% : Green 61% : LD 4% : UKIP 1%

    So probably still nonsensical! :-)

  14. Some surprisingly good economic data released today. It won’t affect the polls, but there’s something else. It is likely that the UK has now overtaken France in the nominal GDP rankings to become the 5th largest economy in the world. I wonder if we’ll see this fact used in the campaign – we know George likes a bit of France-bashing. I’m not sure when it will become “official”, perhaps in April went the 1st quarter GDP estimates are released.

  15. CARFREW
    Lab votes going to SNP helps Cons recover wrt Labour.

    Only if Con can sell to England that Scotland having any influence over the governance of the UK is a “bad” thing.

    SNP gains of LiS seats would make precisely zero change to the ability of a minority Lab government to survive a confidence motion while any SNP gains of LD seats or even, just conceivably, the one Con seat would strengthen that ability.

    Regarding Ukippers wanting Lab to get in, it wasn’t to do with the referendum if I recall correctly, but more of a case of hoping things would implode thus Lab get turfed out and a proper, Euro-fearing government takes the reins.

    That may well be the case, but I doubt many such voters have read and understood the FTPA, 2011. I certainly haven’t heard anything on the subject from any UKIP spokesperson.

    OTOH, if the main concession a Lab minority has to make the Progressive Alliance in order to stay in power is a proper Constitutional Convention with Federalism, Lords reform and the voting system on the table then UKIP would almost certainly be willing participants, as would any surviving LDs.

    That could put them in the mainstream, with Cons vs the rest.

    Of course if Lab backtrack on those things, as they did after 1997, then we may be looking at a Grand Coalition of the establishment vs the rest unless both Lab & Con agree on a new GE, which really would be fun.

  16. Chart updated folks…one item of slight interest – https://twitter.com/StatgeekUK/status/582867507628929024

    Last poll of March tomorrow.

  17. Sorry!

    Green 6% :-)

  18. How likely is it that post May 7th the LibDems will stick together ? I am far from convinced that they will all go along with Clegg in the way they did in 2010. If they end up with circa 27 seats I can imagine a group of 6 or so simply saying ‘No Way’ to any prospect of backing the Tories again.

  19. @Oldnat

    I thought “they’ve really dropped one” when I saw SNP 55%, Greens 61%…oh and you pasted that on Twitter too! :))

  20. i just did the BBC Poll of polls,in Dec 2014 lab had 33% con 31% UKIP 16% Now its lab and con 34%,UKIP 13% i think,so how fair would it be that Con has a bit of momentum now and with a couple more percent from UKIP ,I would say they look most likely to form the next government,they may be around 2010 figures by May

  21. @graham,it could be argued they said the same in 2010,but the thought of power changes people and if the tories do have the most seats,I would not be suprised if they did again

  22. Statgeek

    Fixed on both. Mind you, it’s TNS so no one should be surprised by any bizarre nonsense. :-)

  23. OLDNAT
    Sorry!
    Green 6% :-)

    IMO, The entire PDF is garbage so long as P2 shows the SNP cross-break as:
    2% Scotland
    2% NE/Yorks/Humber
    7% North West
    4% East & West Midlands
    4% South East/ East of England
    4% Greater London
    6% Wales & West [with PC on 2%!]

    Perhaps they’ll notice and recalculate everything, but until they do it’s best ignored.

  24. Mibri. There is a real chance Con may poll around 36% like in 2010. However Lab should do considerably better than 29% and with the LibDems losing about half of their seats its very difficult to see how Con can govern.

  25. @MIBRI
    I suspect that many of them feel scarred by the experience and would wish to seek a period of healing or recuperation on the opposition benches after losing half of their MPs.

  26. ‘GRAHAM
    How likely is it that post May 7th the LibDems will stick together ? I am far from convinced that they will all go along with Clegg in the way they did in 2010. If they end up with circa 27 seats I can imagine a group of 6 or so simply saying ‘No Way’ to any prospect of backing the Tories again.
    March 31st, 2015 at 12:49 pm’

    I would go further and would suggest none of the LibDems would want to repeat an alliance with the conservatives. They have been badly damaged and the only way they can hope to win back support is to look at some sort of C and S arrangement with Labour, making them pay for that support so they can show their supporters they mean business.
    In the meantime Clegg will not rule out anything as he will use it as a negotiating tactic with Labour, claiming he may still go with the conservatives. Much as he did but in the last election but that time Labour were the saps.
    I really think the only way the Liberals would go with the Conservatives would be if mathematically it made little sense to do anything else, for that I would suggest the conservatives would need in excess of 305, maybe more.

  27. @Mikey,why ?
    they will be the largest party with near or more than 300 seats at 36-37 percent,surely it is Labour who won’t be able to govern effectively.If the Lib dems take their 25 odd seats and will go into another coalition,Labour have ruled out a formal one with the nationalists.Speculation I know,but I don’t see Labour being able to govern more effectively,so we do it all again ?

  28. @Graham they are politicians,call me scepitcal but I doubt that will cross their minds when lured with some sweetners and more power.I do agree with Neil J the numbers will need to add up for the tories and at 37 percent they just might

  29. PS re the TNS poll.

    The original PDF was last modified at 18:43 WEST on Monday and the Author shows as matissa.carter.

    If anyone knows that lady they should contact her and suggest that S6426_TNS_Polling_S6426_W13_V2.xlsx needs a bit of correction.

    The Contact Us on the TNS website wants a lot too much personal information for anyone to consider reporting the error that way.

  30. @Barbazenzero

    I was about to post the same suggestion regarding a Constitutional Convention.

    It seems to me that perhaps the likeliest result is a close finish between Labs and Cons. In which case, Labour will assume power with the support of the SNP, and, possibly, the Lib Dems. Even Plaid and the Greens, or DUP, etc.

    This will be inherently unstable, probably relying upon C & S, rather than a formal coalition.

    In these circumstances, it will be a brief marriage of convenience, with the joint intention, probably publicly expressed, to hold another election in six to twelve months.

    This will allow some of the most hated Tory policies, such as the bedroom tax to be ditched, and for FTPA to be repealed. A key component would be the Constitutional Convention that you describe. I doubt that this would go so far as Lords Reform, but it will certainly settle devo max, and EVEL, accompanied by local government reform.

    This honeymoon period will suit both sides: Lab get a period of government during which they can demonstrate fiscal rectitude, introduce some inexpensive populist policies, and acquire the patina of incumbency. Stick to Tory spending targets, and enjoy a pleasant period of economic growth and deficit reduction.

    The SNP get their desired outcome, which is another step on the road to independence. They don’t care that much about long term Westminster representation: they just want constitutional change.

  31. @ Graham

    This may or may not be a very important question on May 8th.

    It might depend upon the result in Sheffield Hallam.

  32. Mibri the very best outcome presently for Con/LibDems is around 327 which would just about give them a tiny majority. However there is no guarantee the LibDems will want to coalesce with Con again particularly if Clegg loses his seat or faces/loses a leadership challenge. Under someone like Fallon there is little chance of a coalition with Con.
    You also need to factor in the instability of such a coalition which could become a minority Govt after a couple of years with by election losses.
    Realistically Con need to do better than in 2010 to make up for LibDems losses if the two parties are to coalesce again.

    With Labour they can form a coalition with Lab which backed by an informal arrangement with the SNP gives them a chance of passing legislation but its far from perfect.

  33. Sorry that should read as Farron and not Fallon!

  34. @Millie
    How do you know the bedroom tax is one of the most hated tory policies and by how many ? How do you know other policies of theirs are hated ?
    Is it your view or a view shared by the electorate.
    I could equally find people who hate Labour ,UkIP or Lib Dem Policies,I could show you people who think the bedroom tax is a good idea.
    You are also assuming the uncertainty of such an arrangement,(one Gordon Brown was contemplating trying t form) would hold up in the markets.
    I thought we had to refrain from being partisan and using the word hate when describing any parties policies on here ,I would be of the humble opinion may not be in the non partisan spirit .

  35. @Mikey
    yep seems very plausible,far from perfect seems to be the consensus at present,with all options .

  36. @Millie

    Or the Labour Party to split

  37. @Graham

    As for the LibDems, I agree that simply getting into bed with the Tories again on similar terms, having lost half or more of their seats, is stretching it.

    Surely Farron is certain to take on Clegg in the immediate aftermath of an electoral setback. Either Clegg will go voluntarily, or it will be a bloodbath. Either way, another replica deal with the Cons will not be the outcome.

  38. How much would the LDs going into coalition with the Cons again actually hurt them? Surely they’ve already lost almost everyone who would regard that as a vote-switching issue. If anything going into coalition now with Labour would surely lose them the Con-leaning support which has (presumably) stuck with them.

    Any numbers on this? Do we know if Con-leaners more up a larger proportion of LD likely voters now than they did in 2010?

  39. @Mibri

    Apologies – I was not clear about the bedroom tax.

    Not ‘hated’ by me. But by the Labour Party.

    Quite agree regarding your non-partisan comments.

  40. @BARBAZENZERO

    “Only if Con can sell to England that Scotland having any influence over the governance of the UK is a “bad” thing.
    SNP gains of LiS seats would make precisely zero change to the ability of a minority Lab government to survive a confidence motion while any SNP gains of LD seats or even, just conceivably, the one Con seat would strengthen that ability.”

    ———

    Yeah, you’re shifting ground there, like you did by switching to the press thing, dodging the glaring issues:

    The fact is that Lab losing seats to SNP does help the Tories, regardless of what the Cons sell to England. For a start, you leave out the fact it makes it harder for Lab to get an overall majority, regardless of any Conservative “selling”…

    Of course, Cons may well sell that increased Scottish influence is a bad thing, only it may not be sold as benign “influence”, but more along the line gifted by Salmond of the Scottish jig thing.

    And even in a minority administration, the fewer seats Labour have, the more likely the difficulties.

    Saying that SNP gains makes no difference to Labour’s ability to survive a confidence motion glosses over the fact that SNP could nonetheless vote against Lab if they don’t get what they want.

  41. That’s a good question Frederic. I think the problem will be Clegg. I can’t see the party being very happy with a leader who was in command when they suffered a heavy electoral defeat. I think he will be gone soon after the election resulting in a leadership battle.
    I may be wrong but I think they will shift to the left to try and win back much of the core support lost since 2010.

  42. @millie
    No worries ,thanks for clarifying ;-))

  43. The opinion polls are national polls including scotland . If conservative and labour are level pegging and Scot nats are substancialy ahead of labour in Scotland that must mean that Labour are ahead in England.

  44. @mikey
    could the Lib Dems ditch Clegg during any coalition discussions?
    would a leadership contest take a period of time ?
    if so would Clegg not just do the deal with whomever given these circumstances ? Really is a conundrum

  45. @Barba

    “That may well be the case, but I doubt many such voters have read and understood the FTPA, 2011. I certainly haven’t heard anything on the subject from any UKIP spokesperson.”

    ————-

    Yeah, it’s not the sort of thing the ukip leadership are gonna sell: “We hope that by voting for us Labour will get in and crash the economy etc.”

  46. @KEN SMITH If conservative and labour are level pegging and Scot nats are substancialy ahead of labour in Scotland that must mean that Labour are ahead in England.

    Surely Labour would need to be behind the Tories in Scotland, rather than the SNP, for that to work?

  47. @frederic heath-renn

    “Do we know if Con-leaners more up a larger proportion of LD likely voters now than they did in 2010?”

    I think it’s common sense that the majority of LD voters in this election will be satisfied with their role in the coalition. I’m part of that statistic – I’ve decided to switch to voting Lib Dem because I think they deserve some credit. So that’s one voter they’ve won from another party. It won’t help them though, they have no hope in this seat.

  48. @ken Smith,likely England and Wales,the SNP vote share is about 4 percent ?

  49. @Barba

    “OTOH, if the main concession a Lab minority has to make the Progressive Alliance in order to stay in power is a proper Constitutional Convention with Federalism, Lords reform and the voting system on the table then UKIP would almost certainly be willing participants, as would any surviving LDs.
    That could put them in the mainstream, with Cons vs the rest.”

    ————-

    Assuming ukip get enough seats to be players in this scenario. Which is a whole other kettle of carp…

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