Three weeks to go

Here are this week’s GB polls:

Opinium/Observer (9/4) – CON 36%, LAB 34%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 11%, GRN 6%
YouGov/Sun (10/4) – CON 33%, LAB 35%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 5%
YouGov/S Times (11/4) – CON 34%, LAB 34%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 13%, GRN 6%
YouGov/Sun (12/4) – CON 33%, LAB 36%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 13%, GRN 5%
Ashcroft (12/4) – CON 33%, LAB 33%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 13%, GRN 6%
ICM/Guardian (12/4) – CON 39%, LAB 33%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 7%, GRN 7%
Populus (12/4) – CON 33%, LAB 33%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 15%, GRN 5%
YouGov/Sun (13/4) – CON 33%, LAB 34%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 6%
TNS (13/4) – CON 34%, LAB 32%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 14%, GRN 5%
YouGov/Sun (14/4) – CON 33%, LAB 35%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 5%
YouGov/Sun (15/4) – CON 34%, LAB 35%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 5%
Ipsos MORI/Standard (15/4) – CON 33%, LAB 35%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 10%, GRN 8%
Panelbase (16/4) – CON 33%, LAB 34%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 16%, GRN 4%
YouGov/Sun (16/4) – CON 34%, LAB 34%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 14%, GRN 5%
Populus (16/4) – CON 33%, LAB 34%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 14%, GRN 4%
Survation/Mirror (17/4) – CON 34%, LAB 33%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 17%, GRN 3%

Voting intention continues to be pretty much static, with levels of Conservative and Labour support extremely close. There were sixteen polls published in the last week, nine had the two parties within a point of each other. The UKPR polling average is back to showing a tie – CON 34%(+1), LAB 34%(nc), LDEM 8%(-1), UKIP 14%(-1), GRN 5%(nc). It is hardly been an exciting election campaign anyway, but certainly nothing seems to have made any significant impact upon voting intention and we are running out of time for anything to do so. The first postal ballots will have gone out this week.

Other polls

This week we’ve also had ComRes polling of Lib Dem seats in the South West and Ashcroft polling of some seats in Scotland. I’ve written about both of them at length already – Ashcroft here and ComRes here.

Week fifteen

This week was manifesto week – the five main GB parties all published their manifestos, though the SNP are saving theirs for later in the campaign. YouGov have done two bits of polling on the manifesto for the Times and the Sun.

The most widely supported policy in the Labour manifesto was to reduce the deficit every year (76% support – largely because it got the backing of Tory voters too), followed by the promise to raise the minimum wage to £8 (71% support), freezing utility bills (65%) and the mansion tax (61%) – none of their main policy announcements got a thumbs down.

Looking at the Conservative manifesto the most popular policy was linking the personal tax allowance to the minimum wage (supported by 80%, again because it got wide cross party support), followed by stopping above inflation rail fare rises (67%) and lowering the benefit cap to £23k (65%). Unlike Labour some of the main Conservative policies got a thumbs down – opening 500 new Free Schools only got 26% support, the flagship announcement of extending right to buy to housing associations only got 28% support.

I shall make my usual caveats about overestimating the importance of individual policies. Despite Labour’s individual policies polling better, in the same poll the Conservatives had a narrow lead on having the best policies and ideas for the country (29% Conservative, 26% Labour). Neither do people pay much attention to these announcements – a separate YouGov poll for the Sun found that the right to buy policy was the only one of the manifesto policy announcements tested that a majority of people could correctly link to the right party – in most cases less than a third of people were able to say which party had proposed it.


The latest forecasts from Election Forecast, May 2015, Elections Etc, the Guardian and YouGov are below, as well as the less regular prediction from the Polling Observatory team who released some new numbers today. As ever, all show a hung Parliament, but most are now showing Labour with more seats in a hung Parliament – with the notable exception of Steve Fisher’s model, which has the Tories with about 30 more seats than Labour. On the subject of the differences between the models, Chris Hanretty of the Election Forecast team wrote a blog post earlier this week.

Elections Etc – Hung Parliament, CON 292(+3), LAB 260(-6), LD 22(nc), SNP 51(+2), UKIP 4(-1)
Election Forecast – Hung Parliament, CON 280(-2), LAB 277(+2), LD 27(-1), SNP 42(+1), UKIP 1(nc)
May 2015 – Hung Parliament, CON 268(+3), LAB 276(-3), LD 26(nc), SNP 54(nc), UKIP 3(nc)
Guardian – Hung Parliament, CON 269(-2), LAB 271(nc), LD 29(nc), SNP 55(+2), UKIP 4(nc)
YouGov Nowcast – Hung Parliament, CON 266(+2), LAB 279(+2), LD 27(-1), SNP 50(-5), UKIP 5(+1)
Polling Observatory – Hung Parliament, CON 268, LAB 278, LD 28, SNP 49, UKIP 3

670 Responses to “Three weeks to go”

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  1. Tony dean 8.42pm

    I have heard this a good deal as a narrative from Conservative quarters, and once from a TV journalist.

    However, is there actually any evidence that the so-called “Sturgeon threat” is playing badly to any other than those likely to be voting Conservative anyway. My skimpy anecdotal evidence is that the prospect of the SNP stopping Miliband from being tempted into pink-toryism once in power is actually consolidating Labour support here in England! Again, I agree, not evidence – however the prospect of a Labour minority government held to account by MPs from even further Left perhaps reassures as many as it offends? Again, is there any evidence from English marginals either way?


    that is something that is carried out at the local levels, private poling, this is Conservative so called trump card, as is Labours say on zero hours. each questionable, but appeals at the local levels to their relevant market (electorate)

  2. Catoswyn that’s as good an interpretation as any. I assume he’s thinking his working class voters dislike lefties as much as he does. Reminiscent of the eighties. If he’s as clever as his education and experience should have made him, though , he’d use words like we, us, establishment and future more than they, them and the pejoratives of the past.


  4. A hint on Sky News just now that there were a couple of polls out later that show conflicting results (they have not yet put up Opinium on their poll of polls

  5. Re whether Farage should have said “left wing”
    I believe the only defining features of the Red Kippers are that they a) voted Labour at some point (and IIRC are likelier to have done so in 2005 than 2010); and b) they support state spending in areas that contribute to their own comfort and security (or to put it more kindly, that supports their idea of community). And who doesn’t? Who even perceives that as “spending”, most of the time? “Spending” goes on other people.
    I humbly suggest it is a bit of a leap to assume that these people must self-identify as “left-wing”.
    In fact, given the average age of UKIP support, many such voters will remember a pre-“political correctness” but also pre-monetarism Toryism that might express them very well.

  6. Sky news has just suggested that the polls tonight will once again show both Con and Lab ahead, thus cancelling each other out.

  7. ok, so YG will put Labour ahead. Boring. Still neck and neck

  8. Let us await the actual poll.

  9. Tim Shipman [email protected] · 47 secs48 seconds ago
    YouGov for Sunday Times
    Lab 36%
    Con 33%
    Ukip 13%
    Lib Dem 8%
    Green 5%
    Leader net approval
    Cameron 0
    Miliband -18
    Clegg -36

  10. YouGov for Sunday Times
    Lab 36%
    Con 33%
    Ukip 13%
    Lib Dem 8%
    Green 5%

  11. Ashman
    There might be more to that than you think, again I can only speak anecdotally but I initially planned to vote Green in May, I then found out they were not standing here :( so I planned to spoil my ballot as a bit of a “f**k you Westminster” but seeing Sturgeons rhetoric in the debate I have to admit to really liking the idea of a Lab/SNP deal of some sort hence I’m going hope for the best and vote Labour. Not that it makes any difference here, I’m in a very safe Labour seat.

  12. @Eddie
    Good points. Some us remember the comedy series “Till Death Us Do Part”. It was very popular because the working-class protagonist, Alf Garnett, expressed views that even then were not politically correct. He was supposed to be a working-class Tory but perhaps nowadays he might be more likely to be a UKIP supporter.

  13. Haha, classic

  14. @ Pete B

    On the subject of different laws in different regions, as some have advocated. That is a terrible idea as it would run the strong risk that Sharia courts would become more official than they are now, and Sharia law is not compatible with Western values.
    I agree with you. Every one, no matter what you ideology is you fall under the remits of UK law.

    But what are Sharia courts, what are they advocating that represents a threat to us. The Jewish courts, are they operating with any difference.

    And has anyone lost rights to in using so called Sharih or Jewish Courts, the answer is no.
    They have full recourse in the UK courts
    These courts deal with issue, that each party wants, so as to feel they have acted in a godly manner.

    That still does not exempt them in using our ungodly legal system, which 99.9% use. Which overrides all “godly courts” Why, because they feel they would get a much better representation, from the ungodly than from the godly, “Western Values”. xx

  15. Comment on YouGov poll:

    Yesterday’s YouGov had them neck and neck, so todays 3% gap in favour of Labour cancels out the earlier Opinium poll showing a move in the opposite direction.

    We are, in short, again, in polldrums.

  16. The problem with the YouGov poll (which I am signed up for and have taken a few times) is as I see it that they are polling a specific sector of the electorate, i.e. it is likely to produce very small swings as those taking questioned are polled numerous times, whereas telephone polling is though more random and its electoral base much more random.
    Is this a correct interpretation?

  17. @Laszlo

    The bit about Blair came from an interview given by Alan Johnson (who was Blair’s education secretary). Will check if it is on Youtube.

    The stuff about schools in Scotland compared to England came from the following:


    This is a classic indeed. LOL in two senses of the word, and despair and relief according to what Party a person might support, although on here no one shows partisanship, hopefully.

  19. @ Candy

    Thank you. It’s a good starting pont.

  20. Ashman

    There is a body of statute law that applies throughout the UK – but it isn’t “UK” law.

    There are essentially two legal systems in the UK – Scots law and English law. In Wales and Northern Ireland, the variance from laws applying in England is increasing.

  21. Eddie
    Everything I say in the subject goes into mis mod but fwiw I agree.
    It’s itonic that AW’s automation (or if he’s in his head) stymies debate on how language affects voters

  22. Ashman
    I am glad that you, as everyone else on here it seems, are in favour of one law for all.

    I don’t want to debate this any further as we’re getting away from the purpose of the site but here’s a link that sheds some light on the subject:

    Back to the polls. The two so far seem to be contradicting each other, so it’s probably still even-stevens?

  23. Maybe random typos get you through autocarpmod?

  24. Every night its like deja vu all over again.

  25. Do other UKPR people think that the Lib Dems will be ‘squeezed’ by Tories, Labour and by SNP in these varying types of seats?

  26. Is it a good use of scarce resources in academia to develop methods to forecast an election?

    I can see why we might want to do this for the economy or weather. I have never really figured out if academics should be doing this.

    Prof Fisher is currently on the Parliament Channel explaining his model.

  27. Briefly met President Hollande today and shook his hand on his walkabout in Fouras, at the celebrations to send off the replica of the 18c warship, “Hermione” on its sail to America. The original helped America win their independence from imperial rule of the wicked British.

    Seemed a very nice chap actually.

    Asked me if I could get DC to pop over for a chat and give him some tips on running a successful economy.

    PS I made that last bit up.

  28. In the Opinium poll the UK Labour voters choose the SNP as their favourite coalition partner narrowly beating the Greens

  29. ChrisLane1945

    Yes – I do. My suspicion is they’ll only get around 20 seats in the end – a bit short of the current forecasts.

  30. @candy

    The Massie article.doesn’t provide evidence in support of your previous statements. Did you mean to link to something else?

  31. Old Nat
    There’s also EU law which governs all EU members and Norway, Iceland etc.
    with regard to free movement

  32. GARY O.
    Thanks; maybe the LD’s will be based mainly in the traditional areas as they were when I was a young man.

  33. I wonder what the average age and gender is of those posting on this list. I am nearly 65 and am increasingly finding that there is a huge gender and age gap on how people are thinking of voting in this election.

    Yesterday I had a twenty minute discussion with a lifelong Conservative female, who is very angry about the privatisation and dismantling of the NHS by both Labour and the Conservatives, and is thinking of changing the voting habits of a long lifetime.

    She watched the debate and found herself cheering on the three women, particularly their position on Trident.

    Earlier today I was chased down the street by an older man waving a leaflet I had just stuffed through his letterbox. I thought he wanted to give it back, but in fact he wanted a poster to put in his window – again a first for him in a very long life.

    Finally I am used to youths of voting age taking election literature enthusiastically, but twice today I had teenagers of non-voting age asking for literature so they could convert their parents voting choices.

    I also carry voter registration forms, postal vote applications and proxy applications and thease are being eagerly snapped up on occaision, and there appears to be a well connected network of students using their postal vote strategically in certain marginals.

    About 20% of those I meet on the doorstep are still in various stages of undecidedness. Some are enthusiastic about taking literature and some will likely not make it to the polling booth.

    I am absolutely stunned by the archaic nature of the voting system in the UK. As a Canadian I am entitled under a written constitution to vote fromn age 18 and run for elected office.

    That means election deposits were declared unconstitutional and anyone in custody awaiting trial or serving a prison term of five years or less must be provided the means to vote.

    From the day the writ is dropped I can walk into any Returning office

  34. JohnTT

    There is indeed EU law, and wider international law as well.

    Local authorities sometimes also have by-laws.

    Sporting bodies get together to create standard laws for their sports too.

    Their still isn’t a jurisprudence system called “UK law”.

  35. @OldNat

    Pity me. I have to deal with all UK jurisdictions (and others within the British Isles) on a daily basis!

  36. @BILL “The problem with the YouGov poll (which I am signed up for and have taken a few times) is as I see it that they are polling a specific sector of the electorate, i.e. it is likely to produce very small swings as those taking questioned are polled numerous times, whereas telephone polling is though more random and its electoral base much more random.
    Is this a correct interpretation?”

    Your interpretation has problems as telephone polling is to land lines which is all well in good for polling people in the 40+ age range, but the closer you get 30 the land line ownership drops to below 40% and between 24-30 age range it drops to below 20% as the younger generations prefer mobile technology

  37. @ OldNat and JOHNTT

    There is also the case law of the European Court …

  38. YouGov, for the Sunday Times per BBC
    Lab 36%
    Con 33%
    UKIP 13%
    Lib Dem 8%
    Green 5%

  39. @Andy S
    ” ….finding that there is a huge gender and age gap on how people are thinking of voting in this election.”

    The only concrete example you give is that of an elderly ex-Conservative woman who might vote Green, PC or SNP. Does that imply that the students you mention are planning to vote UKIP or Conservative?

  40. Apologies if someone had already posted the YouGov but couldn’t spot it on pp11 & 12

  41. From the day the writ is dropped I can walk into any returing office or deputy returning office and vote, even before all the candidates are registered, and I can register anytime, including on the three days of advance polling, on election day, and while postal voting.

    @ Candy

    25% of those attending university in the 1960’s in the UK were from blue collar background households where not everyone had completed high school previously and 100% had never had a a family member attend a university.

    I have heard that has dropped to as low as 5% now, and note that some of my best and brightest students had to drop out of university for financial reasons.

    I completed post graduate studies without any debt in 1982, whereas my daughter completed a BA owing over $45,000 – which I regard as an outrageous betrayal by my generation, who received so much in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

  42. @BZ

    Oh no. Please don’t apologise for posting THAT poll :)

  43. Good numbers for Labour tonight.

    Bounce from the debate?

  44. @Chrislane1945

    I think the Lib Dems will get less than 20 seats. Did anyone miss Clegg in the debate? The funny thing is the LDs actually could be kingmakers in a close election but all the focus is on the SNP who can’t be because they’ve ruled out working with Tories.

  45. Good poll for Labour this time. Still neck and neck. Poldrums.

  46. @chrislane1945

    “Do other UKPR people think that the Lib Dems will be ‘squeezed’ by Tories, Labour and by SNP in these varying types of seats?”

    We don’t need to… you’ve been doing it for us for 5 years now ;)

  47. Swingba…Oh wait

  48. RAF

    Just as my realtor son has to deal with different legislation across the USA – and has to deal wit tiresome clients who are amazed that whatever was the case in their home state isn’t necessarily true in North Carolina.

  49. YouGov is cementing its position as my favourite pollster, I see.

  50. ChrisLane1945

    I think thats likely. It might take a generation for them to recover to the level of support they were getting at the previous 3 elections and there’s a real risk they’ll be replaced as a protest party by Greens or UKIP.

    That’s why I think they would be crazy to sign up to another coalition if the numbers are right and they still have 20ish seats. 5 more years of supporting another party and losing their identity would probably kill them off.

    I think history will judge Clegg pretty harshly in terms of the effect on his own party. No AV or PR. No lords reform. No real democratic change. Likely to lose more than half his parties voters, and seats. Was it all worth it? I doubt the next generation of Liberals will agree it was.

    He can only hope that historians might be kinder about the effect of his decision on the country.

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