After a quiet start to the week today is turning out to be a busy day for polling, with new polls so far from Panelbase, TNS and Survation and ComRes and YouGov still to come. Here’s the rundown on what today’s polls so far show:

  • TNS have topline figures of CON 30%(-3), LAB 33%(+1), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 19%(+3), GRN 4%(-1) (tabs)
  • Panelbase have figures of CON 31%(-2), LAB 37%(+4), LDEM 8%(+1), UKIP 16%(-1), GRN 4%(-1) (tabs)
  • Survation have figures of CON 31%(-1), LAB 35%(+2), LDEM 9%(nc), UKIP 15%(-3), GRN 4%(+2) (tabs)

An interesting set of polls so far, with all three showing Labour gaining support and some of the largest Labour leads we’ve seen in polls for over a month (the last 6 pointer was Survation in late Feb, the last 7 point Labour lead TNS in mid-February). We still have two more polls to come tonight though (and, indeed, a Scottish poll to boot), so let’s wait and see what they bring…

UPDATE: The rest of tonight’s polls are now out. The weekly ComRes poll for the Daily Mail has topline figures of CON 34%(-2), LAB 33%(+1), LDEM 12%(+3), UKIP 12%(nc), GRN 4%(-1). ComRes too have movement in Labour’s direction, though they continue to show a Conservative lead – note the 12% for the Liberal Democrats, that’s the highest they’ve shown this year. Meanwhile the daily YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 34%, LD 8%, UKIP 12%, GRN 4%.

Quite a strange clutch of polls there – two Conservative leads, three Labour leads. Lots of the other interesting looking findings are almost certainly noise – Lib Dems are doing well in ComRes, but it’s not reflected anywhere else. UKIP are up in TNS, but down in Survation and no movement elsewhere. The only consistent trend amongst these is that all but tonight’s YouGov poll have Labour improving their position against the Tories. It’ll be interesting to see if that trend holds.

Meanwhile YouGov also have a new Scottish poll, conducted after the first Scottish leaders debate and straddling the second one. Westminster voting intentions there are CON 18%(+2), LAB 25%(-4), LDEM 4%(+1), SNP 49%(+3). As ever, only one poll, but it looks as if any debate impact in Scotland has helped the SNP. Certainly, with only a month to go it shows no sign whatsoever of the SNP lead fading.


580 Responses to “A flurry of Thursday polls…”

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  1. @BZ, OldNat

    Let’s assume Unionist tactical voting on an epic scale was in prospect. The majority of seats are SNP/Labour battles.

    If I were a Scottish Tory, would I really prefer a Labour UK majority to a Lab/Tory UK minority government?

  2. LRR

    He did say “from 25 days out”. Perhaps just preparing to make an adjustment in a couple of days time?

  3. COUPER2802
    All it shows is when their first choice is removed which party they would vote for.

    Quite so, which is doubtless why Prof. C is less than convinced. Given the levels of trust in politics, there is also the question of who will believe the inevitable “only MK can beat SF here” from party leaflets and activists.

    As I light-heartedly suggest above, an honest broadcaster could offer such a “service” provided it was prepared to pay for the polling needed, but it would have to be seen to be scrupulously fair, at least to all the “major” parties OfCom recognise across all four home nations.

  4. RAF

    “If I were a Scottish Tory, would I really prefer a Labour UK majority to a Lab/Tory UK minority government?”

    If you rephrase that to “If I were a British Tory, voting in Scotland, would I really prefer a Labour UK majority to a Lab/Tory UK minority government?” then the answer might be different.

    The two-dimensional nature of Scottish politics isn’t restricted to those wanting greater Scottish autonomy.

  5. LITTLE RED ROCK

    That was my thought. Why does his model predict swingback? Only recent significant swingback according to Fisher was 1992.

    Not sure if link will work, but: https://mobile.twitter.com/StephenDFisher/status/586557998203543552

  6. @CASCLC

    I’m even more confused now. That graph looks like there was a govt recovery in 4 of the last 6. Am I reading it wrong?

  7. With the continued stagnation of the polls, at least we’ve got Simon to entertain us with his baseless, fantasist conspiracism. I’ll look forward to the reaction to certain people come election day when their conspiracy theories come crashing down before their eyes.

  8. LRR My eyes see the same, although small apart from 1992. Who knows what he means by ” just bias”.

  9. @CASCLC

    It makes little sense to me. He has a model that builds in swing back (lots of it), tweets there isn’t going to be any, and supports this with a graph that to my eyes proves nothing one way or the other.

    And as to citing opinion poll data from 1950! That’s just nonsense, isn’t it?

  10. Am assuming polling techniques/accuracy somewhat different in 1950, yes. Maybe a significant tinkering to the model is imminent.

  11. @Miserable Old Git

    Yes, I wrote the UK-Elect software, and I’m not planning to sue myself.

    It’s nice to know you use it for the historical stuff, if not for the predictions!

  12. On tactical voting against the SNP, the Curtice post has a much more realistic air about it than Kellner’s piece.

    It is one thing to say in principle that you would vote tactically in a hypothetical situation. It is another entirely to be sure that such a situation that exists, and be clear enough on which way to vote to achieve your desired effect – especially as a tactical voter implicitly assumes/hopes that others will make the same choice or all they achieve is to reduce the support for their first preference for no good reason.

    Working out what is going on in the real world when there have been such huge shifts since the last GE is a challenge to say the least. Take for example Dumfries and Galloway where Lab, Con and SNP are all in contention, or Edinburgh West where arguable any of four parties could get over the line with the right tactical help. Who would give way to help who?

    One final thought, if the demonization of EM by the Tories continues, does that create the kind of environment when Lab voters are likely to help Tories or vice versa?

  13. OLDNAT
    I rather liked his academically reserved put-down of Kellner

    As did I, but I suspect AW might apply Francis Urquhart.

    RAF
    If I were a Scottish Tory, would I really prefer a Labour UK majority to a Lab/Tory UK minority government?

    Personally I think not, but from reading comments in the Herald &c it is fairly clear that there are some ABSNP people around, in the way that there are definitely some ABCON and ABLAB people. What percentage they are in any constituency seems pretty well unknown.

    In that respect, I don’t think the questions were particularly helpful, and if made public in what were 3-way or 4-way marginals in 2010 would merely cause confusion.

    Imagine that in your constituency at the general election only XXXX and the Scottish National Party had a realistic chance of winning. How would you then vote?

    Obviously Lord A could do it in constituency polls by making the question very specific, along the lines of:
    In Dunny-on-the-Wold our previous research shows that the likely winner is MK with SF running a close second. Given that knowledge, will you vote for:
    MK
    SF
    My own preferred party
    Not Vote/Spoil my ballot

    Research of that nature would give us some data to work with.

  14. CHARLES
    “My wife was nothing if not Devonian and used that name to post on this site. For what it’s worth she put the cream on first but I don’t she regarded this as a test of her origins.”

    Nor indeed, remembering her posts,would she have regarded is as a test of friendship as the main and essential characteristic of posters on this site.
    I hope you’re keeping well.

  15. I don’t want to be too rude about Fisher, but the claim he is making clearly goes beyond the data he presents there. It ‘suggests’ nothing very much at all and certainly nothing that could be used as a reliable indicator.

  16. @CHARLES

    ‘My wife was nothing if not Devonian and used that name to post on this site. For what it’s worth she put the cream on first but I don’t she regarded this as a test of her origins.’

    I remember your wife very well and I am sure that I am not alone amongst the old timers :)
    I hope you are well. It is good to see you posting.

  17. EXILEINYORKS
    It is one thing to say in principle that you would vote tactically in a hypothetical situation. It is another entirely to be sure that such a situation that exists, and be clear enough on which way to vote to achieve your desired effect – especially as a tactical voter implicitly assumes/hopes that others will make the same choice or all they achieve is to reduce the support for their first preference for no good reason.

    It’s exactly for that reason that I believe the plurality system got even worse with the Ballot Act 1872, which introduced secrecy, ostensibly in the hope of reducing coercion by employers, landowners, &c. That coercion could have been dealt with in others ways.

    Before 1872, tactical voters could leave it until shortly before the polls closed and benefit from the public tally of votes for each candidate so far. Trollope has a good description of such an election in Doctor Thorne IIRC.

  18. BZ

    Or there could be broadcast tallying of predicted votes by the TV companies as in the USA , thus allowing tactical voters on the West Coast to have a potentially greater influence than those on the East.

  19. The problem with the data used by Stephen Fisher (and others) is that it can be interpreted in several different ways, and it is very difficult to tell which is correct. The “shy voter” effect is one way, with people reluctant to admit they are planning to vote for the government/conservatives/least popular of the two big parties. Some forecasting methods allow for this effect by assuming that there will be a swing on polling day itself, perhaps, in this case, adding a point or two to the Conservative vote.

  20. @ Barbazenzero

    “….. That coercion could have been dealt with in others ways.”

    Such as in 1872?

  21. @John Pilgrim and SYZYGY

    Thanks!

  22. Anthony has updated the UKPR polling average but not the linked page showing calculations. Maybe he is getting ready for his 4 weeks to go summary. Should we all sit down and be quiet? Especially those at the back.

  23. For anyone interested here is a round-up of the mostly uneventful situation in the North East of England.

    Safe Labour Seats (%lead over 2nd place per Election Forecast)

    Easington 50%
    City of Durham 41%
    Gateshead 41%
    Wansbeck 40%
    Blaydon 39%
    Jarrow 38%
    Houghton and Sunderland South 36%
    Newcastle upon Tyne East 36%
    South Shields 36%
    North Tyneside 36%
    Blyth Valley 35%
    North Durham 35%
    Middlesbrough 34%
    Newcastle upon Tyne Central 33%
    Newcastle upon Tyne North 33%
    Washington and Sunderland West 33%
    North West Durham 32%
    Sedgefield 30%
    Sunderland Central 24%
    Bishop Auckland 22%
    Stockton North 21%
    Hartlepool 20%
    Darlington 17%
    Tynemouth 15%
    Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland 12%

    Total 25 seats

    Safe Tory (%lead over 2nd place per Election Forecast)

    Hexham 22%

    Marginal

    Berwick On Tweed: Con 36%, LD 31%, Lab 18%
    Stockton South: Con 41%, Lab 39%, UKIP 9%

    In Berwick the long standing incumbent LD is retiring so without the benefit if his personal vote this looks like a tough one for the LD to hold. The Con candidate came 2nd here in 2010.

    Stockton South has regularly flipped between Con and Lab. Currently held for a first term by a local man, James Wharton. Probably needs to squeeze the UKIP vote to hold.

    Unpredictable: Redcar.

    Nominally this should be a safe labour seat which it had been until 2010. In that GE the seat went to LD as a protest vote following closure of the steelworks in the previous year and perceived lack of support from Lab to a big local campaign to save it.

    With the collapse in the LD national vote, and the national swing to Lab then everything ought to return to normal with a Lab win. However, the local Labour party is in total disarray. Suspension of its leader, mass resignations, and severe infighting between factions. All this brewed up since the Ashcroft Poll of Sep 2014 which had UKIP in second place. One to watch – anything could happen.

  24. In my previous post in two marginal seats I am quoting Election Forecast predicted vote share of the top 3 parties.

  25. TONY DEAN
    Such as in 1872?

    Proxy voting by the newly legalised [1871] Trade Unions, for example.

  26. New thread

  27. Pete B:
    “There is also definite bias in the media, though I’m not sure that it’s exclusively aimed at UKIP. For instance they can be very selective about what they publish, and how they report it. A good example is from the Guardian this morning which looked only at the polls which showed a Labour lead last night and ran a headline about that. Two later polls had Tory leads.”

    With the exception of the Daily Express, there is a total blackout in the press of UKIP positive news.

    And the pro Con/anti UKIP Mail and Sun looked only at the polls which showed a Con lead and UKIP at 12% last night and ran headlines about that.

  28. ‘With the exception of the Daily Express, there is a total blackout in the press of UKIP positive news.’

    That assumes UKIP has anything positive to say … which I doubt.

  29. Hal

    I see nothing insincere in a stance that says: “We don’t agree with FFA. We think FFA would be a disaster for Scotland. But if the Scots overwhelming vote for a party that demands FFA, we cannot in good faith ignore the will of the people. So, Scotland, if you want FFA, we will give it to you. Now: do you REALLY want FFA?”

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