We have three new polls so far today. TNS have put out a new GB poll, which has topline figures of CON 33%(nc), LAB 32%(nc), LDEM 8%(+1), UKIP 16%(-1), GRN 5%(+1) – clearly no significant change since their previous poll (tabs are here).

ComRes have a new poll of the 40 Labour held constituencies in Scotland (that is excluding Falkirk, where Eric Joyce sat out his term as an independent). In 2010 the share of vote in these seats was CON 14%, LAB 51%, SNP 19%, LDEM 14%. The new ComRes poll found support standing at CON 13%(-1), LAB 37%(-14), SNP 43%(+24), LDEM 2%(-12). The seven point SNP lead represents a swing of 19 points from Lab to SNP, the equivalent of a sixteen point SNP lead in a national Scottish poll (tabs are here).

Finally YouGov have a new London poll for the Evening Standard, which has topline figures of CON 34%(+2), LAB 45%(+1), LDEM 8%(+1), UKIP 8%(-2), GRN 4%(-1) – changes are from YouGov’s previous London poll a month ago. The eleven point Labour lead represents a swing of 4.5 points from Con to Lab since the general election, the equivalent of a two point Labour lead in a national GB poll (tabs are here).


444 Responses to “ComRes in Scotland, YouGov in London and latest TNS poll”

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  1. @RICHARD

    ‘Small sample, but it is interesting that the Green squeeze in Sheffield Hallam goes more to LD than to Labour.’

    Unless I’m much mistaken, the Green squeeze in Cambridge also goes to the LD. Green % in CVI falls by a third (15%-9%).

  2. Not sure whether links to the Beeb are allowed, but I notice that they are reporting a very exclusive poll at the moment, it featured heavily on R4 at lunchtime and Robert Peston has blogged on it.

    The sample group? ‘Top’ economists. The question: what do they think of ‘Obsorne’s austerity’?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-32143952

    Will this new polling affect VI? I very much doubt it. But it provides some counter balance to the business leaders’ letter this morning.

  3. Actually, looking at the tables from ComRes, the Tories are hardly down at all in those seats: the 14% in 2010 is rounded up. We’re talking about a 0.5% fall here i.e. very far within the margin of error.

  4. So this really is a dogs breakfast of a poll from Ashcroft.

    Sheffield Hallam is supposedly the 3rd safest seat for Ld and was a LD Con marginal but falls to Labour.

    North Devon is the 28th most marginal seat for LD and it is a Consrvative gain, but Torbay the 25th supposedly remains in LD hands.

    LD the hold their 10th, St Ives, and 16th, North Cornwall, seats.

    Cambridge again is their 36th marginal and was a LD-Con marginal, and so like Sheffiled Hallam have jumped over te Conservatives.

    So what can we learn from these numbers?

    Based on the swing in Cambridge Labour are clearly going to pick up:

    Norwich South
    Bradford East
    Brent Central
    Manchester Withington
    Burnley

    But probably not Birmingham Yardley

    And one probably now has to wonder about:

    Redcar

    …but not Hornsey and Wood Green or Cardiff Central

    Conservatives are on track to pick up:

    Solihul
    Mid Dorset and North Poolle
    Wells
    Somerset and Frome

    But LD could hold:

    Sutton and Cheam
    Chippenham
    Cheadle
    Tauton Deane
    Berwick on Tweed.

    In Scotland I assume they are going to lose:

    East Dunbartonshire
    Argyll and Bute
    West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine
    Edinburgh West
    Gordon
    Caithness, Suthrland and Easter ross
    Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey
    North East Fife

    And that Berwickshire. Roxborough and Selkirk will fall to the Conservatives.

    In Wales I still think Brecon and Radonshire is on te bubble as well as Cerigdion possibly falling to Plaid Cymru.

    So that could put LD on 34 to 32 holds.

    Amazing!!

  5. ANDY SHADRACK

    Redcar is a nailed-on Labour gain. The announcement of the closure of the local steelworks in the weeks up to the 2010 election did for Labour there. I cannot imagine the locals will have been impressed with the Lib Dems going into coalition.

    September Ashcroft poll for Redcar:

    Labour 44%
    UKIP 24%
    Lib Dem 17%
    Conservative 12%
    Green 2%
    Other 1%

  6. @Andy Shadrack

    Pretty sure that Lynne Featherstone, though personally popular, is very unlikely to hold Hornsey and Wood Green.

    Ashcroft polling last autumn gave Labour a clear lead http://lordashcroftpolls.com/2015/01/hornsey-wood-green/

    Plus ES are still calling it for Labour on the basis of their recent YouGov and other London-only polling.

    Brecon and Radnor was discussed at length yesterday and all comes down to how any UKIP / Green / PC squeeze falls out and the LibDems being able to play ABT one last time.

    I think Ceredgion is very difficult to call for a whole range of socio-cultural and demographic reasons and how the candidate slate plays out with an ‘unusual’ electorate.

  7. @ Andy Shadrack,

    So this really is a dogs breakfast of a poll from Ashcroft.

    It’s… not Ashcroft’s fault?

    And I wouldn’t assume the Cambridge swing is typical any more than the Sheffield Hallam swing is. Huppert is very leftwing and locally popular, Cambridge is a weird seat, and apparently the students weren’t around when this poll was done.

    The Lib Dems have collapsed in London and in Wales. Labour are favourites in both Hornsey and Wood Green and Cardiff Central and have a chance of snagging Bermondsey. Birmingham Yardley probably is a LD hold because Birmingham Labour can’t seem to get their act together- they had some terrible council election results there too- but that’s some combination of a local party issue and Labour’s broader Midlands problem.

  8. RICHARD
    Small sample, but it is interesting that the Green squeeze in Sheffield Hallam goes more to LD than to Labour.
    11% of Green SVI goes to LD in CVI
    6% of Green SVI goes to Labour in CVI
    Same in Cambridge.
    26% of Green SVI goes to LD in CVI
    12% of Green SVI goes to Labour in CVI
    Labour have seemed quite keen to lead the effort to stop the Green surge, I wonder if this reflects a bit of a backlash against that?

    I think it probably has more to do with the demographics of the parties – Green and LD voters are very similar in their makeup and predominantly middle class. As far as I’m aware most of the #GREENSURGE came from 2010 LD voters – some of these will be people who haven’t voted for Labour since the Iraq war and some will be people who have never even considered voting Labour.

    I think the demographics also go some way to explaining the Green/Tory switching some people theorised the other day. In this case it probably also helps that green policy on some things like nuclear power, GM crops, homeopathy etc are very small-c conservative.

  9. @ Assiduosity
    “Perhaps we can expect some rumours of ‘private polling’ to emerge quite soon to bolster yellow morale.”

    It hasn’t taken long. Clegg has responded:


    I’m going to win. The poll, as it happens, didn’t even mention the candidates names and our own polling where it does it always shows a significant uplift in our support. And just if you look at the way people have voted rather than what they’ve said to Lord Ashcroft since 2010 people in Sheffield has consistently voted Liberal Democrat. Of the 16 local elections we’ve had since 2010, we’ve won 14 since 2010, so I’m confident, not complacent, but confident we’re going to win.

  10. @Hawthorn

    ‘I now reckon 10 likely gains for the Tories and 7 for Labour.’

    I think Labour could go as high as 10 gains from the LibDems.

    The Conservative gains are far less predictable – if the LibDems are able to galvanise ABT / NOTA sentiment along with incumbency in places like St Ives, especially among undecideds then they could hold on to more of these Con / LibDem marginals than might have been thought possible before.

    Though Sheffield Hallam will be getting all the headlines, there are some crumbs of comfort for the LibDems in these Ashcroft results.

  11. @Funtypippin

    I have been reading the comments in the constituency section of this website for Cambridge, and I think you are right. It is too easy to think University town/ LD Dems/ Tuition fees like I did and relate everything to that. But it seems Liberal values also rule in these places, with all the academic staff, etc…

  12. And if you believe Clegg has reputable polling showing him in the lead that he is for some reason refusing to publish, he has a pledge on tuition fees to show you.

  13. Did the LDs/Survation ever release the tables for their previous private polling?

  14. It is hard to learn much from the latest Ashcroft poll as regards Labour chances against the LD’s. He only looked at two constituencies where Labour were challenging. Labour did well in one and not well in the other.

  15. Well Redcar is 31st on the list and Cambridge 36th, but as Lord A said you cannot go by an even countrywide swing.

    I have called Hornsey and Wood Green for Labour and Cardiff Central.

    And I do also note that this poll is very West Country centric, but that is where LD have 15 seats and took 35% of the vote overall last time.

    But it does leave you wondering what will happen in Bristol West, for example?

    And I note that Labour and SNP pick up at least 16 seats, possibly 17 with Plaid Cymru and 18 IF Redcar fall as well.

    In contrast Conservative only pick up 6.

  16. ASSIDUOSITY

    I agree that Labour could well gain more than seven.

    Likely: Bradford East, Brent Central, Manchester Withington, Burnley, Redacr, Hornsey and Wood Green and Cardiff Central.

    Possible: Norwich South, Bermondsey & Old Southwark, Sheffield Hallam

    Prior to today’s polls, I might have put Cambridge down as possible, now I would have possible but unlikely.

  17. @ Bramley

    That NC quote is genuinely weird. Does he want to say that his constituents don’t know that their MP is the d-PM?

    It is completely separate from my opinion about the constituency.

  18. I feel this quote from an FT article more accurately sums up the state of the Lib Dem campaign:

    “We think Tessa will win, but we have absolutely no evidence upon which to base that.”

  19. Clegg is, I think, bluffing about Hallam. Better to lose it on the night than run scared, try to hole up there, and derail what little campaign the Lib Dems have.

    As for Cambridge, remember also that Huppert voted strongly against fee rises, and has been plugging the fact locally for four years now, so in general I think he’s managed to avoid being hurt too much by that.

  20. It’s an odd one. I’d say the vast majority of the seat knows their MP is Clegg, so I can’t see how it would help. If the Lib Dems did have internal polling with named candidates showing Clegg in the lead, surely we’d be seeing it – it’d be perfect dodgy bar chart material.

  21. Laszlo, Bramley

    It’s especially weird given that on paper Hallam is one of the safest LD seatsand an LD-Con marginal historically. I think most of us would agree that the colossal LD->Lab swing is most likely because the constituents know that CLegg is the LD candidate.

  22. @ Laszlo,

    I noticed in that weird closed hustings they had that Clegg seemed to be centering his pitch around the traditional Lib Dem theme of potholes, which seems like a bold choice under the circumstances. I think he’s desperately hoping they don’t know he’s Deputy PM.

  23. Interesting that many of you seem confident Clegg will lose in Hallam when he’s only down by *2 points* in Lord A’s poll. It’s pretty much a toss up right now.

    I think Clegg will hold the seat. Not being contrarian or partisan, it’s what I conclude from that difference in CVI and SVI, the resources that are/will be thrown at keeping this seat, tactical voting and name recognition (I reckon it’s a net positive).

  24. Spearmint

    Perhaps he’d do well investing in a set of these:

    http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61%208gqCAkSL._UL1500_.jpg

  25. @funtypippin

    There were only two of the LD polls that entered public domain.

    Hornsey & Wood Green (Lynne Featherstone) was released on the Mark Pack blog – he also posted tables.

    Aberdeenshire West (Robert Smith) was leaked to the Press & Journal newspaper – no tables were ever published.

  26. The Cambridge tables show something I’ve often commented on before which is how the move from SVI to CVI isn’t just a ‘tactical’ vote:

    http://lordashcroftpolls.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/BCambridge-March-2015-Full-data-tables.pdf#page=6

    as often with Lib Dem seats, Labour is actually ahead on SVI 32% to 26%. If all CVI did was to encourage tactical voting, only the third place Conservatives would boost their coalition colleague[1]. It’s true they provide the biggest tranche but not by much, and Huppert’s extra votes come from all over, including 15% of Labour’s SVI and 26% of the Greens (only 13% to Labour).

    It’s very possible that some tactical voting is already built in to SVI – those who vote tactically are by definition more politically aware and so likely to read the SVI question as asking how they actually will vote rather than just “What Party do you support?”. But this illustrates again that most of the SVI to CVI movement is a positive rather than a negative, tactical one – voting for a particular candidate and possibly on local issues.

    Oh and 8/10 as well. Aren’t we a sad lot.

    [1] Though probably not by much as Cambridge was a Tory constituency up to 1992 and their vote is still substantial.

  27. @Shadrack

    Please don’t tell me that Bristol West is in the West Country. Its ‘oop north’ as far as we are concerned.

    If you persist, Labour will be locating our regional assembly there.

    You’ll be telling me that Hereford isn’t in Wales, next…

  28. OMNISHAMBLES

    It is three polls that show Clegg behind now. Labour must be counted as favourites now.

    I still find it amazing to be sure.

  29. @ Omnishambles,

    Oh, I’m not confident he’ll lose. I just think his “But we have private polling!” story is risible.

    Plus, he’s relying a lot on tactical voting right now, and I wonder how well that will survive the debates if he spends them attacking Cameron, Bennett or Farage.

  30. @ MrNameless

    “It’s an odd one. I’d say the vast majority of the seat knows their MP is Clegg, so I can’t see how it would help. If the Lib Dems did have internal polling with named candidates showing Clegg in the lead, surely we’d be seeing it – it’d be perfect dodgy bar chart material.”

    Yes, some labour voters would have been asked and you would have known about it. It’s still a tall order though, but doable. Are there many hedgehog voters in the constituency (if not, that 3 hours of NC’s time was probably wasted).

  31. @Hawthorn

    Yes. Fundamentally I think those are the seats in play between Labour and the Lib Dems.

    I would agree that Cambridge looks less likely as there seems to be a very high degree of incumbency going on for the sitting MP.

    It would always have been a tougher seat, as it has a mixed electoral heritage and Labour are coming from third.

  32. Andy,

    Predicting is a mug game but I am prepared to risk being a mug by saying not only will Labour take Redcar but they will take it comfortably.

    Look at the swing 2005-2010 which was based around the Steel Works closure referred by another poster with the Labour MP unable to perform the miracle expected of her by the Electorate.

  33. @ Roger Mexico

    OldNat raised a vey similar point a few days ago, and I’m quite convinced by your and OlNat’s point about the methodological problem(s) of constituency polling.

  34. Was the poster formerly known as Lurker.

  35. The Strange Death of Tory Sheffield Hallam.

    Between 1950-83, the Tory vote share in Hallam only twice dipped fractionally below 50% (the two 74 elections).

    In Ashcroft’s poll, 49% of respondents say they will definitely not be voting Tory. And only 13% say they have been contacted by the Tories. Anecdotally, I’ve just driven the length of the constituency and seen not a single Tory poster.

    A classic example of the Tories’ generation-long collapse in the Northern cities. As a South Yorks teenager in the early 80s, I’d never have believed this to be possible.

  36. @Omnishambles

    I certainly don’t think it’s a forgone conclusion that Nick Clegg will lose in Sheffield Hallam.

    I expect him to be fighting for his political life there and pressing the flesh with the voters over the coming weeks: the advantage of the LibDems ‘fortress strategy’ is that he will not have the national commitments of the other party leaders and so can concentrate at home to a greater extent.

    However, you would have to concede that this is not one poll in isolation. There have been handful of polls in the last 12 months – using different methodologies and disputed by the LibDems it should be said – that have placed him behind

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheffield_Hallam_(UK_Parliament_constituency)

    Therefore it’s fair to say that at the moment, based on polling evidence, the most likely outcome is a narrow defeat for the LibDem leader.

    Though this may well change over the course of the campaign.

  37. @hawthorn

    But like I said it’s a tiny lead – and Labour’s lead has actually narrowed. I think his incumbency boost is being a little underrated. Sure, Clegg is extremely unpopular *nationally*, but when your local MP is high profile, your constituency does get extra attention. It’s an attractive bonus.

    @spearmint

    I doubt the kind of people who vote tactically would be put off by Clegg doing what you’d expect him to do in a debate. By the way I agree with Ashcroft about the private polling – nothing more than ‘comfort polling’. Doesn’t deserve much attention. Of course Clegg is bluffing about being confident, he must be nervous, but he’s still more likely to win imo

  38. JIM JAM

    Yes, I used to be Lurker.

  39. I understand that in Cambridge the Conservative Candidate may not have ingratiated herself with the Tories (especially the activists) among the student community, to the extent that rather than vote in this marginal, a number (no idea whether SIGNIFICANT number) may be choosing to cast their vote in their home town rather than Cambridge.

  40. OMNISHAMBLES

    I don’t deny that Hallam is close, which is why it is in my “possible” rather than likely column. However, Labour have to be slight favourites now.

  41. @ASSIDUOSITY

    “Not sure whether links to the Beeb are allowed, but I notice that they are reporting a very exclusive poll at the moment, it featured heavily on R4 at lunchtime and Robert Peston has blogged on it.
    The sample group? ‘Top’ economists. The question: what do they think of ‘Obsorne’s austerity’?”

    ———–

    In the comments beneath, one poster writes…

    “A set of experiments by Stanford psychologist Geoffrey Cohen showed that it is almost impossible for people with a partisan commitment (left or right) to consider political proposals rationally on their merits. Checking the political leanings of the respondents to the survey prior to the question may well confirm that in this case. Academics are not immune from partisan bias.”

    Which is prolly not gonna be warming any of AW’s cockles…

  42. @mrNameless

    If the Lib Dems did have internal polling with named candidates showing Clegg in the lead, surely we’d be seeing it
    ______________________________

    Not really, he needs the tactical vote to win. In particular he needs the Tory voters to think he is going to lose unless they switch their vote to him. Putting out a poll that shows him in the lead would probably mean he loses as the Tories won’t vote tactically.

    This one once again will come down to turnout. Labour could win this easily if they got those under 50’s to vote and those DE’s. The Lib Dem vote sits with the demographic likely to turnout.

    You would think in a close contest like this we would have record turnout, but looking at those likely to vote, it seems the under 50’S and DE’s are not that bothered.

    You need to do something to mobilise those voters otherwise I think you could lose this one – this poll is just more ammunition to get those remaining Tories to vote LD.

  43. @assiduosity

    Yes you have a point, there are multiple polls. I’m just factoring in the increased tactical voting I’d expect from an intense short campaign (e.g. “anyone but Labour” is as powerful as “anyone but Clegg”) and the incumbency bonus. I’d need to see a larger Labour lead before concluding Labour are likely to take it in May.

  44. @Spearmint

    “We think Tessa will win, but we have absolutely no evidence upon which to base that.”

    This sort of blind faith sustains my footballing loyalties to a very great extent. I always think Villa will win despite a complete lack of evidence to support my belief!

    As for Clegg in Hallam, I think he’s in deep trouble and will need the fairly sizeable population of Tory voters in the constituency to help him hang on. On the basis that Cameron will be desperate to see Clegg back in the Commons after May 7th, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a surreptitious “Save Clegg” operation being run by the Tories in Hallam over the next five weeks.

    @Mr Nameless – any sign of the Tory “Save Clegg” campaign I’ve referred to?

  45. @Carfrew

    I read that earlier. Did I read correctly that of 50 leading economists (defined leading by who and selected by who I do not know) 33 responded and 2/3rds of the respondents said….. etc.

    Now I am not as geeky on numbers as most on this site, but that works out than less than 50% held that view, with no attempt of correction for partisan bias, and if my recollection of A-Level economics is correct, all economics teachers were Trots or even harder left!!!

    The piece by Mr Peston did strike me as the BBC trying their utmost to be impartial, and to find a way to balance out the Telegraph 100 business leaders story.

    Please note, no criticism of impartiality of BBC intended here.

  46. Looks to me like Mr Clegg is in serious trouble and will struggle to get re-elected. Interesting point about some Conservatives thereabouts possibly supporting (or not opposing) him, being as he might well be the LD leader who would be likeliest to ally with them up next time. Not that some of the others wouldn’t consider it.

    Now I’m wondering if it is a good idea for Mr Clegg to spend more time in his constituency actively trying to get himself re-elected (thus aiming to prevent a “decapitation” strategy), or whether his name is such mud that he would want to stay out of sight?

  47. I suppose what I am alluding to in my previous post is that if a leader is in trouble in his own consitutency, perhaps campaigning a bit more there will detract from efforts nationally.

    Or if that leader is really that unpopular, then maybe that might help nationally?

  48. @ KeithP,

    Well, his name will be on the ballot paper regardless.

    Unless it’s not too late for a quick deed poll change?

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