It’s Monday, so as usual we are spoilt for polls, with new figures from Populus, Ashcroft and ICM (who are now on a weekly rota until the general election), with YouGov to come later on tonight.

Populus have voting intentions of CON 32%, LAB 34%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 15%, GRN 4%. Tabs are here).

ICM have topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 32%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 11%, GRN 5% (tabs). The Conservatives are down 5 points since last week, UKIP up four points – something that is almost certainly a reversion to the mean after the incongruous six point Tory lead last week.

Lord Ashcroft has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 30%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 13%, GRN 4% (tabs). Ashcroft has also updated his Scottish constituency polls from last week with two new polls in Scotland, both in Edinburgh. Edinburgh North and Leith and Edinburgh South were both Labour -v- Lib Dem marginals at the last election, with the SNP in a poor fourth place. Ashcroft’s latest polls finds the SNP ahead in both, with a 13 point lead in Edinburgh North and Leith and a narrow three point lead in Edinburgh South (tabs, tabs).

YouGov are still to come later on tonight…

UPDATE: The last GB poll of the day – YouGov for the Sun – has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 35%, LD 7%, UKIP 13%, GRN 5%. So we have two polls giving Labour leads, two giving Conservative leads, and the polls apparently still fluctuating around an underlying picture of Labour and Conservative neck-and-neck.

654 Responses to “Monday polling round up”

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  1. It’s interesting to me that, on the whole, the RoC commenters here are pretty content with the Coalition and tend to be at the wetter end of the Tory spectrum, whereas the LoC commenters tend more to the “anti-New Labour”, flirting with the Greens/SNP/TUSC end of the Labour spectrum. A reminder perhaps that UKPR is not weighted….

  2. Jack

    Why would the LD go for another coalition given this one looks set to decimate them? Why would they not just do C & S?
    Decimate would be a good outcome for them.

  3. @Robin Holden

    No, the party with most seats doesn’t get first crack. Cameron gets first crack by virtue of still being PM until he resigns or loses a confidence vote.

    As it happens, the most unlikely scenario is one in which he has less seats but can win a confidence vote. But it is nonetheless feasible and I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t be too coy to give it a shot if that were the outcome (as Heath did in 1974, and Brown did in 2010).

    It’s far more likely the other way round though, that he could be the largest party and still unable to command the confidence of the house.

  4. NeilA @ 17.31

    I’m as Old Labour/Anti new Labour as they come, but not for a second have I ever flirted with the fringe left. Even 1% of something is better than 0% of anything

  5. If Clegg loses his seat then the close relationship between Con and Lib takes a knock especially if Laws and Alexander lose out too. I’m far from convinced the likes of Farron and Cable will want to do a deal with them especially if Labour are not far behind Con in seat numbers.

    I reckon a Lab/Lib coalition with [email protected] from the SNP is the most likely scenario right now. Even if Clegg squeaks home I expect there to be a leadership challenge.

  6. @Barbazenzero

    Thanks for making the effort to unpack those YouGov records.

    Presumably the subroutine you identify uses ID parameters from the calling page to retrieve the detailed information from a general database.

    Yesterday, @Alan somehow managed to find a line of code specifying ‘span style’ and colour, and includjng the relevant projection information. It looks as he managed to get a little closer to the source.

    All in all, they seem to have done a sterling job in keeping their detailed projections protected from detailed numerical scrutiny.

  7. @ Jim Jam,

    I think DC would try to hang on and make the LDs a good offer

    I’m sure he’d try, but it’s not obvious to me that he can. He couldn’t control his backbenchers in this Parliament, where he sort-of-won the election and they didn’t wield an absolute veto over his legislation- how will he get them to vote through Lib Dem policies in the next one? How can he get the DUP and Carswell to go along with it?

    He can maybe get everyone on board for C&S, but a “big, open and comprehensive offer” requires legislation. How does he get Jacob Rees-Mogg and Peter Bone to vote for STV in council elections or whatever the Lib Dems are going to demand? And the Opposition will vote every bill down just to make his life miserable, even if they agree with it.

  8. Unicorn

    That line of code was from the HTML generated by the script. To get it you need something to run the script (normally your browser). It makes automation difficult to say the least, (as well as, as Barbazenzero found, where the numbers were being pulled from seems a bit archaic).

    I guess we could “semi automate” things, which would still require opening up 600+ web pages and saving the html page generated, but that does seem a bit too much like hard work.

  9. Blech, tag fail. But it just serves to highlight what a nightmare such a government would be.

  10. Surely the Lib Dems should be insisting on a PR referendum as part of any coalition agreement with either Lab or Con?

  11. Mikey @ 17.44

    I’d be all for that, in fact if Nicola wants to get the handbag out on anything that’s the one

  12. Crossover

    Given how close the polls have been over the last two months does it matter when/if the legendary crossover occurs?

    If the red and blue lines cross for good, at this rate of change, there isn’t time for the Tories to create any kind of lead.

    I propose that instead the Tories need to be looking for “Lift Off”.

  13. In the commentary on his latest projection update Stephen Fisher States:

    However, recent YouGov data suggests Labour doing a bit better than previously calculated in key Con-Lab marginals.

    Does anyone know whether this information is in the public domain, and if so where?

  14. @domg
    “Fair enough. I guess if one expects armageddon then one is grateful when it’s avoided. ”

    Obviously for campaigning purposes the Tories are over-egging it slightly, we certainly were not Greece, however we were in an extremely bad position. IDK if you’ve heard of Darling’s book on the financial crisis literally as it happened, but it’s pretty good to get a handle on how bad things were.

    “I tentatively supported the coalition initially but these failures and my desire to a) keep the UK in one piece and b) to keep the UK in Europe mean to my mind it has to go.”

    I’m the opposite. Voted Labour in 2010 in the interests of stability and because I was impressed with Darling. Gradually warmed to the Coalition as time went by. I didn’t expect it to last. This makes me a Lab -> LD switcher… I imagine my kind are an endangered species at this point.

    As someone who is pro-EU I think a referendum would be a positive thing. Look at voter turnout in EU elections. Look at how the lack of knowledge on how the EU works. You can’t force people to learn about the EU, but a referendum would at least make the British public more aware about it, and finally come to a decision. And in fairness to Eurosceptics, the EU has changed a lot since we joined, it is fair that people have another say.

    Now, I’m not sure how long we should continue this conversation, we’re veering into potentially turbulent waters wrt the comments policy

  15. Forgive me for my ignorance, but what is everyone cross over?

  16. Ray

    I would be happy with that too although preferably with Farron rather then Clegg as LibDem leader.

  17. Adam B
    @April 21st, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    The comments are racking up fast these days!

    You asked how I came up with a Con lead of 2.5% being enough to form a majority with DUP and LD.
    I basically just use uniform swing, taking Scotland, Wales and London separately from the Rest of England. I also give the Cons an incumbency bonus of 3.2% in new seats they won in 2010, as this seems to match the constituency polls pretty well.

    With Cons at 35.5% and Lab at 33%, I get:
    Con 295
    Lab 259

  18. Would the SNP still want PR now they are likely to clear up under FPTP?

  19. Neil A

    That’s an excellent point. I suspect not!

  20. I was reading somewhere about a potential backlash against Miliband for losing Scotland but most of the Labour people I know are quite keen on the SNP doing well. They see Scotland as more lefty on the economic side but less PC so an SNP takeover to them would reflect gaining a more lefty ally on the economics and losing a brake on PC in E&W.

  21. Suspect they would as they have longer term aims than the next parliament.

  22. TNS regional breakdown shows a problem for Labour in the East & West Midlands, crucial marginal territory 29% Lab, 37% Tory how many marginals would have changed hands?
    All normal caveats of cross breaks apply.

  23. NeilA @ 17.55

    SNP 2015 manifesto commits to HOL abolition and voting to introduce STV PR to Westminster

  24. I haven’t noticed any mention here on the interesting piece by the ElectionForecast Team on EM’s chances of becoming PM.

    Apologies if the link has been mentioned before.

  25. Why are Labour doing so badly in the Midlands?

  26. Heather Peto
    An average of ten crossbreaks are dodgy. Single crossbreaks are meaningless.
    Average together a few Yougovs and they are about level in the Midlands.

  27. Unicorn & Barbazenzero

    I don’t think they’re deliberately obfuscating anything. They’re using AngularJS which is a fairly common JavaScript framework which apparently makes life a lot easier when you’re building a web app. I wouldn’t know as I mainly work in PHP but a lot of people swear by it. If anyone here does know how to use Angular they might be able to help, failing that if you’re really set on using the data you can learn more about it here:

    I do think it would be nice if at least one of the forecasting models would put its source code on GitHub.

  28. @ Mr. Jones,

    Also I doubt anyone who has been paying any kind of attention to the deteriorating position of Scottish Labour over the last ten years holds Miliband personally responsible for what’s happening to his party in Scotland.

    While it’s true that he seems to have very limited personal appeal up there and he’s done nothing to stop Scottish Labour from making their problems worse, it was two Scottish Prime Ministers who dug this hole with help from Labour’s leaders in the Scottish Parliament and Alistair Darling, Douglas Alexander and Jim Murphy who hauled out the digging equipment and started trying to tunnel through the Earth’s crust. If Scottish Labour MPs can’t understand why their strategy is disastrous I don’t expect an Englishman to figure it out and correct them, and I doubt most reasonable people would either. This is their mess, not Miliband’s, and they’re the ones who are going to have to sort it out.

    The position of Welsh Labour relative to Plaid Cymru is pretty instructive here, I think, even with the complication of language nationalism.

  29. For a while most people have assumed that the DUP would work with the Tories even though the DUP have said they could work with either party and Labour certainly have a few goodies a la bedroom tax to offer them.
    But my main point is does anyone think the DUP’s aversion to the SNP is so great that they would support a Labour government to AVOID said Labour government being dependant on the SNP. Obviously Labour would still have to offer them some morsels but if this is the case it further strengthens Milliband’s hand.

  30. @Unicorn

    Thanks for information on MOE.

  31. *Conspiracy theory alert*

    I have been reading this: . It made me wonder if it’s possible that political activists could stack the panels of online pollsters so the polls are skewed one way or another. I generally don’t do conspiracy theories but I do find it very odd that the Tories should lead consistently in telephone polls but Labour leads consistently in online polls.

    I do tend to the view that the use of panels in online polls leads to flawed results but I don’t actually think there’s any reason to think that there’s any organized attempt to throw these polls. However, I would be interested to know if the pollsters have considered the possibility and how such manipulation can be prevented.

    [Of course they consider it… but for a large panel it’s essentially impossible. With panels of hundreds of thousands of people to make any difference to headline figures you would need thousands of people to join under false pretences without being noticed. The reality is that online panels don’t look after and recruit themselves, there are teams of panel recruitment and retention people going out to try and target the right demographics and analysing recruitment performance, the balance of people joining and so on. If thousands of people all suddenly started joining and behaving in an unusual way it would stick out like a sore thumb – AW]

  32. @ Rivers10

    Left an answer for your question about two or three pages earlier.

  33. Rivers10

    If Labour were strong enough such that Lab+LD+DUP could govern, I suspect the DUP would love to “lock the Nationalists out”, in the national interest. Given a choice of that or a Lab+SNP arrangement.


    Thanks for that on the electionforecast post. Very similar to where I feel we are.
    I think they screwed up the Y axis though as adding all those bars together ain’t going to make 100%. Eye-balling it, it looks like a factor of 100 out or so.

    If so, it’s quite informative that there’s a ~17% chance that there will be a majority of less than 10.

  34. Charles Stuart

    “I would be interested to know if the pollsters have considered the possibility and how such manipulation can be prevented.”

    They have – and they do.

  35. Norman Tebitt on the Crosby/Cameron SNP fixation:

    “Having bungled the Scottish referendum it seems pointless [for David Cameron] to just irritate Scots by shouting at them from Westminster – the English are irritated into voting for UKIP, by being shouted at from Westminster – and the Scots are irritated similarly”

  36. Charles Stuart @ 18.19

    Just reading the claim in that article that last phone polls have been more accurate recently than last online polls, my memory is that YouGovs last call in the Indy ref was 54-46 nay; was there a phone poll that was better?

  37. RIVERS

    “But my main point is does anyone think the DUP’s aversion to the SNP is so great that they would support a Labour government to AVOID said Labour government being dependant on the SNP. Obviously Labour would still have to offer them some morsels but if this is the case it further strengthens Milliband’s hand.”

    Of course. I have said so before.

    In fact the DUP’s definition of success in this election is to *avoid* propping up the Conservatives, with all their unpopular cuts and toxic brand associations in NI.

  38. @cloudspotter & @mikey
    Your right one cross break is meaningless. Yougov cluster Wales with the Midlands, so Yougov is not the best.
    My own feel of campaigns here are Labour are not doing as well as the national poll, but averaging the last 3 TNS in the Midlands they are slightly behind the Conservatives but not much more than the average of the polls

  39. NorthWest Tonight are alleging attempts at electoral fraud in Pendle, focussed on repeated doorstep attempts to get members of the Asian community to submit applications for postal votes. Hope this is isolated/untrue or else this knife-edge election could be dragged out in the courts.

  40. MIKEY
    “If Clegg loses his seat then the close relationship between Con and Lib takes a knock especially if Laws and Alexander lose out too”

    Just to note that David Laws is not likely to lose his seat. Polls and local sentiment alike confirm he is very likely to retain it.

  41. @Unicorn

    Thanks for that Election Forecast link – fascinating, though, as I suspect they would admit if pushed, putting the LDs and Alliance into a firm right bloc involves assumptions independent of their calculations.

  42. I agree with Norman.

    Today just gets more confusing for me. Agreeing with Michael Forsyth and Norman Tebbitt on the same day!

    That’s what party elder statesmen should be for. To point out where long term Strategy is being trumped by short termist Tactics.

  43. @ Charles Stuart,

    Anthony Wells addressed this in a post about four before this and debunked the phone polls issue as there is one phone poll that has the Cons behind. Worth taking a look.

  44. I’d be perfectly happy with a Lab / SNP / Others informal arrangement. Seems most likely scenario, really, doesn’t it? I think what’s often disregarded in some predictions is the predominantly left-leaning platform of social media and how that is both a rallying point and a shaping influence for many undecideds; the way social injustices, perceived to be the result of Conservative policy / the ‘patrician class’ are continually present, in handy, digestible, graphic format. It certainly was a factor in turning the Scottish Ref. into a close run thing.

  45. @Rayfromthenorth – I agree that YouGov’s last poll was good on the referendum but I don’t think has said that online polls are *always* less good than telephone polls. I think the opinion is that phone polls are usually better and there are exceptions.

  46. NorthumbrianScot,

    It’s also why the House of Lords is so great, because it gives such politicians a foot in public life if they want it. The best debates in the House of Lords are like a “greatest hits” album of politics, and actually constitute rational discussions rather than the rather mechanical debates you often find in the Commons, because the Lords are seeking the truth rather than performing for their parties.

  47. Shandy

    The assumptions likely hold where important. The fact that if the “left block” has a huge advantage, the lib dems and DUP might be able to provide an alternative for labour doesn’t change the issue.

    If it’s on a knife edge Con will be a fair whack above labour and so likely be able to garner their support. (in return for concessions of course)

  48. John Major did brilliantly in the 1992 Campaign with his anti Devolution platform on his soap box.

    His ‘Back to Basics’ campaign was less successful.

    I think he will be remembered by historians o Ireland as the Englishman who began the Peace Process; John Smith told him that ‘there are no votes in it’.

    It is hard to tell whether the attack on Lab-SNP links will drive ‘floaters’ into the Tory fold.

    I suspect that Labour is doing badly in marginal seats in the Midlands as a result of three factors. Immigration (as happened in 1970, after Benn’s notorious speech), the loss of tribalism and the perception that Labour is not pro Enterprise.

  49. @BP

    I’d agree with your point on the Lords but not to the extent of not wanting an elected Lords. Something like 12 year terms of office would be a good way to get stability of elder statesmen while still having democratic legitimacy.

  50. @ Charles Stuart

    Is the article you linking to the same one Anthony started a new thread about last Tuesday?

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