Four weeks to go

Here are this week’s polls – slightly fewer than usual because of the Easter bank holiday, meaning we didn’t get the usual Ashcroft poll on Monday.

Survation/Mirror (3/4) – CON 31%, LAB 33%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 18%, GRN 3%
Opinium/Observer (3/4) – CON 33%, LAB 33%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 14%, GRN 7%
YouGov/S Times (4/4) – CON 34%, LAB 33%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 13%, GRN 4%
Populus (6/4) – CON 31%, LAB 33%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 15%, GRN 4%
YouGov/Sun (7/4) – CON 33%, LAB 35%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 14%, GRN 5%
TNS BMRB (7/4) – CON 30%, LAB 33%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 19%, GRN 4%
ComRes/ITV/Mail (8/4) – CON 34%, LAB 33%, LDEM 12%, UKIP 12%, GRN 4%
YouGov/Sun (8/4) – CON 34%, LAB 35%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 5%
Populus (8/4) – CON 31%, LAB 33%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 16%, GRN 6%
YouGov/Sun (9/4) – CON 35%, LAB 34%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 12%, GRN 4%
Panelbase (9/4) – CON 31%, LAB 37%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 16%, GRN 4%
Survation/Mirror (9/4) – CON 31%, LAB 35%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 15%, GRN 4%

Most of the polls continue to be close (with a couple of notable exceptions towards the end of the week), but we’ve seen significantly more Labour than Conservative leads in the last week, putting the UKPR polling average back to a one point Labour lead – CON 33%(-1), LAB 34%(nc), LDEM 9%(+1), UKIP 15%(+1), GRN 5%(nc). It’s too early to be confident there has been any real change, but it’s worth keeping an eye on it.

Scottish, constituency and other polling

If it hasn’t been too busy a week for GB polls, there has been a wide selection of other polls. Last weekend there was a ComRes poll of Thanet South (the seat where Nigel Farage is standing) which showed the race as almost a dead heat between the Conservatives, UKIP and Labour. It provoked an attempt by UKIP to try and pooh-pooh ComRes’s methodology, which I wrote about at length here.

There were two Scottish polls, both of them showing no sign of the SNP’s lead fading away. Panelbase found an SNP lead of 16 points over Labour, up from 10 in their previous poll (though it’s possible that was connected to question order). Tabs for that are here. Last night YouGov put out a new Scottish poll conducted after the first of the Scottish leader debates and straddling the second of them – it found the SNP’s lead growing, up to 24 points over Labour. Tabs for that are here.

Lord Ashcroft released another batch of his own constituency polling mid-week, this time returning to some Con -v- Lab marginal seats where he had previously found tight races. These don’t tell us much about the national race (they were a selection of seats that were showing a smaller than average swing to begin with) but give us some details on the individual races. More details here.

Finally, I saw an unusual county level poll of Kent today – conducted by Facts International (the company who do the fieldwork for ComRes’s phone polls for the Mail). They found voting intentions in Kent of CON 39%, LAB 22%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 24%. That would be a 5% swing from Con to Lab, which on a uniform swing wouldn’t be enough for any seats to change hands (Labour’s closest target seat in Kent is Dover, which needs a 5.2% swing). Of course, the seats in Kent that are actually most interesting are not Labour targets, but UKIP ones – holding Rochester & Strood and trying to win Thanet South, and a uniform swing across Kent isn’t much good in predicting the distribution of UKIP’s vote.

Week Fourteen

This week doesn’t seem to have been a good one for the Conservatives. The start of the week was was largely dominated by Labour’s policy on non-doms, the end over arguments about Trident which became overshadowed by rows about the language Michael Fallon used to criticise Ed Miliband. How you tax rich people and whether or not the Conservatives are too nasty, to put it mildly, strong issues for the Tories. I expect we’ll get polling on all of these issues at the weekend.

Yesterday was also the close of nominations for the general election. I’ll be trying to get the Election Guide part of the site updated as soon as possible to reflect the full official candidate lists (so excuse me if I go a bit quiet!)


The latest forecasts from Election Forecast, May 2015, Elections Etc, the Guardian and YouGov are below. As ever, all show a hung Parliament – currently two are predicting the Tories to have more seats, two Labour to have more seats, and the Guardian’s model a dead heat.

Elections Etc – Hung Parliament, CON 289(-11), LAB 266(+8), LD 22(+2), SNP 49(+2), UKIP 5(nc)
Election Forecast – Hung Parliament, CON 282(-2), LAB 275(-1), LD 28(+2), SNP 41(+1), UKIP 1(nc)
May 2015 – Hung Parliament, CON 265(-13), LAB 279(+12), LD 26(+1), SNP 54(nc), UKIP 3(nc)
Guardian – Hung Parliament, CON 271(-5), LAB 271(+1), LD 29(+1), SNP 53(+3), UKIP 4(nc)
YouGov Nowcast – Hung Parliament, CON 264(+2), LAB 277(+1), LD 28(nc), SNP 55(-1), UKIP 4(-3)

463 Responses to “Four weeks to go”

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  1. We appear to be pretty much neck and neck still. Precisely where we were at the start of the year.
    To think of all the posts on here and the anguish,pain,worry,fear,extrapolations,cross breaks,churns,crossovers and debate hasn’t counted for much because nowt has really changed.

  2. Chrislane
    I have also never knowingly voted for a cohabitee – even at local elections. I well recall circa 1995 the young Labour candidate canvassing me. I knew something of his domestic arrangements and told him straight why he would not get my vote. His face did drop somewhat!

  3. Tonight’s Opinium poll – Weighting turned a Labour lead into a Tory one. Unweighted support for UKIP higher than LibDems and Greens combined.

  4. @swebb

    How do you know?

  5. So today we have YouGov and ICM putting the two main parties equal and Opinium putting the Tories 2 points ahead. Pretty much where the last few weeks have been

    Suggests therefore that the +4 and +6 leads for Labour in the two Friday polls were outliers, particularly in light of the recent comment on here that the Survation one was slanted towards people more likely to back Labour.


    Re the “Catholic vote” & Dunblane Cathedral, although they’re different brands, both have to sell the product nowadays, as Tom Lehrer explained in a 1967 reprise of his 1965 lecture.


    “And it muddies the polices, every one remembers the negativity, and not the polices.”

    It has surprised me that many press articles today &
    Labour Uncut are making the case that Negative campaigning could assist the Tories in winning the GE.

    The latter claim that Ed’s treatment of his brother is a “big” issue on the doorsteps & it makes sense for the Tories to keep on highlighting this.

  8. Well, well. Has the worm turned again? Three polls yesterday and the conversation from then on was would Labour win outright or would they have to work with the SNP? Maybe there’s a third way.

  9. Looks like the tetchiness is back as well as polldrums.

  10. Omnishambles

    Let’s wait and see if I’m right first…

  11. is a new Yougov coming up tonight?

  12. @ Albert

    Apparently level pegging again.

  13. @SWEBB

    Where did you find out both Con and Lab are equal in YG tonight?

  14. @ Graham

    I suspect if the boot was on the other foot DC would have suffered exactly the same comments from several Shadow Cabinet members I could name. You make your bed is the saying that springs to mind.

  15. I want your sources, @swebb

    Keep your secrets for now if you must, but I’m watching you

    …. always… watching….

  16. BZ

    I shall enjoy your latest Lehrer offering – after watching the Masters golf.

  17. Back to FFA Stewart Hose was interviewed on BBC news channel and Jim Murphy on Sky.

    Here is the link for Hosie will post Murphy’s link next post.

  18. SLAM

    Negative campaigning works, I am not denying that, one just have to look at Labour/ Conservatives in the UK, Australia and the real experts USA.

    If Ed stabbing his brother in the back, is an issue that is of concern use it.

    I am sure Labour will be using something similar.

    By personal belief, people are no wiser, and in the long run, bad for democracy.

  19. Murphy’s interview

    I think you will get the flavour of the debate here.

  20. @ graham

    Nah, DM is a lapsed Christian.
    He is too liberal,. he also supported gay marriages
    He is not the evil emperor, that is Miliband :-)

  21. I just completely fail to understand this narrative of Ed stabbing his brother in the back. Just because he his David’s brother why does that mean he couldn’t stand for the leadership of the Labour Party especially as he had a different view of how the Labour Party should position itself? What on earth does being brothers have to do with it?

  22. Graham

    Your 835pm post implies that the Daily Mail is the voice-piece of teh Conservative Party. Do you really think that?!?!?

    Granted the DM is right-wing and they definitely would want the Tories to win the election rather than Labour but to suggest that nasty things which the DM write is necessarily the views of Cameron or the COnservative Party I think is completely wrong.

    Because its so far from teh truth, tt suggests that you’re posting it because its what you want to be true rather than what is ture


  23. Norbold

    I can fully understand political opponents playing the “stab in the back” card. What I REALLY don’t understand is why fabulously well-paid political commentators just nod at that trope instead of earning their wages by pointing out what you just said.

  24. @Norbold

    Apparently it was a dead cat that was thrown on the table.

    It seems to have worked.

    ” we must borrow from the rich and fruity vocabulary of Australian political analysis. Let us suppose you are losing an argument. The facts are overwhelmingly against you, and the more people focus on the reality the worse it is for you and your case. Your best bet in these circumstances is to perform a manoeuvre that a great campaigner describes as “throwing a dead cat on the table, mate”.

    That is because there is one thing that is absolutely certain about throwing a dead cat on the dining room table – and I don’t mean that people will be outraged, alarmed, disgusted. That is true, but irrelevant. The key point, says my Australian friend, is that everyone will shout “Jeez, mate, there’s a dead cat on the table!”; in other words they will be talking about the dead cat, the thing you want them to talk about, and they will not be talking about the issue that has been causing you so much grief.”

  25. Norbold

    I dont think its the fact that he stood against him; its to do with events during the process

  26. @Norbold

    Confirmed as a dead cat here

    “Miliband’s attack on non-doms is a reminder that ideas and momentum matter in politics. Downing Street and CCHQ clearly agree, since the point of Fallon’s personal attack on the Labour leader was to change the campaign subject”

  27. I just refreshed and all 3 replies appeared above at once replying to Norbold…….

    Weird eh?

  28. @leftylampton @richard

    Some of our political commentators did notice. Isabel Hardman pointed out, at the time, that it’s a classic dead cat.

  29. COUPER2802
    Murphy’s interview

    Thanks for that. I’m not surprised Murdoch’s Sky recorded it for posterity. Maybe they’ll offer it to the Cons for use as a PPB in England.

  30. Boris and Lynton clearly move in different circles to me.

    If I were throwing a dinner party and someone threw a dead cat on the table, I certainly wouldn’t say “Jeez mate, there’s a dead cat on the table.” I’d say “get that bleeding dead cat OFF the table” then I’d knock seven bells out of the person who had thrown it on.

  31. @Barbazenzero

    I particularly like the bit where Murphy says ‘You may call it separation I call it independence’…. what!?

  32. Whatever the polls say tonight Labour are still ahead in the main. The Tories are at Plan B. Question is how many more ‘Plans’ have they got?

  33. #Sundaytimes #yougov Tories and Labour still neck and neck tonight:

    Con 34%
    Lab 34%
    Ukip 13%
    LD 7%
    Green 6%
    SNP/PC 5%
    Others 1%

  34. @McClane

    Somebody pointed up on this site a while ago that there was a strong (almost infallible) correlation between the reigning FA Cup holders’ colours and the GE result.

    The cup holder at this GE will be Arsenal (red)
    Holders at 2010 GE – Chelsea (blue) GE ‘winners’ Blues
    Holders at 2005 GE – Man U (red) GE winners Reds
    Holders at 2001 GE – Liverpool (red) GE winners Reds
    Holders at 1997 GE – Man U (red) GE winners Reds
    Holders at 1992 GE – Spurs (White/blue) GE winners Blues (or Grey)
    Holders at 1987 GE – Coventry (Blue) GE winners Blues
    Holders at 1982 GE – Man U (red) GE Winners Blues
    Holders at 1979 GE – Ipswich (blue) GE winners Blues
    Holders at Oct 74 GE – Liverpool (red) GE winners Reds
    Holders at Feb 74 GE – Sunderland (red) GE ‘winners’ Reds
    Holders at 1970 GE – Chelsea (blue) GE winners Blues
    Holders at 1966 GE – Liverpool (red) GE winners Reds

    As you can see, only once in 50 years has the GE gone against the reigning FA cup holders. For practical purposes, the result of the GE – a Lab win – has been known since 17 May last, and all this polling is in fact a complete waste of time.

  35. Couper

    Thanks for that Hosie link.

    What was I just saying about fabulously well-paid commentators whose synapses are unable to function sufficiently well to ask the bleeding obvious question?

  36. Sinbad

    It appears as though you are saying ‘disregard today’s polls because I dont like what they say but believe yesterday’s believe I like what they say’.

    Polls over the last 2-3 weeks show Tories and Labour are more or less neck and neck and, if the election were to happen today, it would come down to how those votes were spread in the marginals.


  37. Reading play in blue :)

  38. Guymonde

    IIRC that list was a spoof – afficionados of English football will no doubt be able to confirm or deny that.

  39. Well it’s nothing to write home about, but here’s the poll with changes:


    CON 34 (+1)
    LAB 34 (-1)
    LIB 7 (-1)
    UKIP 13 (=)
    GRN 6 (+1)

    Fieldwork 10th-11th

    via NC

  40. @ Anthony

    Why do the pollsters conttinue to cite BNP and additionally YouGov Respect when these two parties only managed 5 and 4 candidates registered respectively in 2015?

    The only party on the far left to have significantly increased the number of candidates running is the Trade Union and Socialist Coaltion with 134 as compared to 37 in 2010.

    I mean can you not at least reflect the parties who are actually running a significant number of candiates like UKIP and Green.

    @ Amber Star

    The now deceased former Minister of Finance, Jim Flaherty (2006-2014) and Mark Carney as Govenor of the Bank of Canada (2008-2013) were responsible for overseeing an increase in the public debt from $457.6 billion in 2008 to 602.4 billion in 2013.

    Previoulsy the Liberal government from 1997 to 2006, had lowered federal Canadian public debt from 563.9 billion to 457.6 billion by 2008 (Their fiscal plan continued to be operated by the Conservatives).

    Then on the eve of the 2008 “recession” the ultra-neo liberal Conservative government cut the sales tax and income tax rates in a belief that economic growth was no longer cyclical, but permament – especially believing that oil values would continue to rise through the roof and not tank to $43 a barrel which is whereabouts they are now.

    So Mark Carney effectively presided over an implementaion package of quantitative easing and economic stimulus that would have been totally unnecessary had the Conservatives maintained the federal sales tax rate at 7 pennies per $, rather than lower it to six, then five pennies.

    From 1975 to 1997 respective Canadian governments tried to grow the economy and hence the rate of taxation, so as to eliminate the deficit, reducing taxation rates along the way to further stimulate the economy, none of which ever worked and the federal and provincial debt just kept on rising.

    Now with Canadian interest rates at their lowest since the Depression of the 1930’s, .5% to 2% if you are lucky, and mortgage rates as low as 2.75%, the big fear is that individuals and families will take on too much personal debt, and that this situation will be compounded by housing values that are anywhere from 10% to 25% over their real market value due to earlier high oil prices.

    Usually the Canadian budget is delivered during February or at latest March, but this year the latest date announced for our 2015 budget in the first or second week of May – because the Conservatives are basically unable to balance our budget for the eighth year since 2008 – and that is a problem going into an October 19th, 2015, fixed term election.

    For my part, I do not believe that one can permanently grow a physical economy on a planet with finite resources. As scientist and environmentalist Dr David Suzuki observes, the only organism in nature that exhibits infinite growth, until it kills the host, is a cancer cell.

    In conclusion I am just finishing Pickety’s book on Capital in the Twenty First Century and note that he feels, as an economist, that growth rates of 1% a year or higher are an anomaly and exception not the norm.

    If that is the case governments at all levels will not be able to expand expenditures for anything without raising taxation rates, and if incomes do not rise something will have to be done about income inequality, which in North America is now worse than it was in Europe at the end of the Nineteenth Century.

  41. I do like Hosie’s modern take on St Augustine though.

    Lord grant us FFA. But not yet.

    That’d make a grand slogan.

  42. Sinbad

    Ahead in the main, means nothing.

    They could be on 36% day before the election and end up on 31%, on election day.

    The question is what is their base, and can they increase above that level.

    On election day, the most important issue is, can you trust Miliband, many don’t trust him, even Labour supporters don’t trust him.
    In parts of Scotland, even Cameron is more popular than Miliband.

  43. COUPER2802

    At least he’s showing his “independence” from HQ. Unlikely he’ll receive many plaudits for his contribution from his E & W allies.

  44. YG

    Con 34
    Lab 34

    The Opinium looks a bit out of step.

  45. A notable story on the front of the Sunday Times is that Mr Carney (erstwhile governor of the BoE) is a non-dom.

  46. RAF
    No more so that the 3 Labour leaning of the 5 polls yesterday. What the polls over the 2-3 days suggest is that, again, things are more or less even

  47. Con 34
    Lab 34
    LD 7
    Ukip 13
    SNP 5

  48. ASHMAN/
    Good Evening to you, and welcome to UKPR; I have been here for more than four years, off and on.

    I agree about the leadership issue.

    1992 comes to mind.

  49. I am not sure anything has changed that much…much though personally I dislike negative electioneering there is plenty of evidence it has an impact and it was carefully aimed to hit a target. It was the media story for two days. It would be surprising if it did not have some effect in the bobbing of polls. It might have been predicted that Lynton who has made his name from this tactic would have employed it and surely it can not have been a surprise to any party in the election.

    Equally, Miliband has come through the last 14days in rather better shape than had previously been predicted. He has looked more graceful under pressure than rattled. If the advantage has been all along both the Economy and Cameron for the Conservatives it appears nothing very much has changed given their long held advantage the polls tells us they have on these issues.

    I am not convinced that the Conservative party therefore will get longer term advantage by now offering even more public spending both on Health and also indirectly through added paid holidays for all when It cannot explain how these can be funded and If there is no narrative as to where the 10 billion cuts will come from Welfare.

    This is bound to lead to some ruthless Questioning in the Media. It seems odd to hand over hostages to fortune on this scale if there is no need. This implies there is something slightly awry with the Conservative campaign.

    It will indeed be a bizarre outcome if Labour ends up looking more conservative on public spending than the Conservatives. Meanwhile if all this unplanned expenditure is viable after all the man the plan will have to explain why it was not in the plan a month back.

    All that said…. the Sally back and forth between the parties will last until 7th May….after all it has lasted since late last summer….expect their tacticians to demand just one more push…. but expect the stalemate to last….remembering a tied result is not a winning formulae for the PM….though of course the Conseravtive party will not be sentimental about that if he becomes an obstacle to their continuing hold on to office….

  50. @AdamB

    Agreed. But the fieldwork for the Opnium poll (8-9 April) was the same as for the Survation and populus polls. Headline VI aside, those polls did not show the sharp Ukip-Con movement that Opinium did.

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