We had a new TNS poll earlier on today with topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 34%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 15%, GRN 5%, reversing the Conservative lead they had last week. Tabs are here. The only other GB poll I am expecting to see tonight is the regular YouGov poll for the Sun.

There was also a new Scottish poll from YouGov in this morning’s Times which confirmed the 24 point SNP lead from YouGov’s previous poll. Topline figures were CON 17%, LAB 25%, LDEM 5%, SNP 49%, UKIP 3%. Tabs are here. There continues to be no evidence whatever of any weakening or faltering of the huge SNP lead.

YouGov also released some results for Freuds which are quite fun – showing people a selection of photos of Ed Miliband and David Cameron and saying which they found most appealling. For all the cynicism about politicians using their families for photo shoots, in both cases the photo people found most appealing was Cameron & Miliband with their respective families. Yes, it’s a cliche, yes it appears to work.

Finally a couple of people asked me about the contrast between two different polls of students that appeared on Monday and seemed to contradict each other. A new poll by YouthSight found student voting intentions with changes from February of CON 25%(+2), LAB 35%(+2), LDEM 9%(+2), GRN 15%(-13), UKIP 6%(+3). A different poll by High Fliers found student voting intentions of CON 31%, LAB 31%, LDEM 6%, GRN 25%, UKIP 1%.

Both polls appear to be kosher – the differences are down to the make up of the sample and the timing of the fieldwork. YouthSight’s sample is from all British universities and years of study, High Flier’s sample is of just finalists at “high-flying” universities – primarily Russell group. Fieldwork for YouthSight was in April, High Fliers in March and, given the sharp drop in Green party support between YouthSight’s February and April surveys, this probably partly explains the difference between the YouthSight and High Fliers surveys.


492 Responses to “TNS, Scotland, family photos and students”

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  1. AMBER

    Do you really think there is any significant sentiment left in England
    for “a patriotic & staunch” defence of the union with an SNP led Scotland?

    I very much doubt it. AS/NS have done & continue to do a very effective job at pi**ing off the English.

  2. The SNP controlling Labour story does seem to be coming to the end. So far in the polls it appears to be making no difference at all in the voting figures. Could all change of course, but as it has been going on for a couple of weeks now I would have thought, if it was going to make an impact, it would of by now.

  3. Amber Star

    “That was his ‘moment’ but he blew it.”

    What an extraordinary analysis! I expect you are joking

  4. EXILEINYORKS

    @”It was an open goal and he didn’t even see it was there.”

    I disagree-he spotted the open goal immediately ( ie SNP’s determination to get the right answer some time) -and slotted it home with aplomb.

  5. @ Couper 2802

    We didn’t correct you because we don’t talking about policies but lets see…

    Anti-Austerity .5% real terms spending rise
    The SNP are just accounting for investment spending in a different way from Labour.
    No Trident renewal
    A bit like no NATO membership, perhaps; the SNP defence policy is usually up for negotiation.
    Real powers for Scotland
    That means nothing unless the specific powers go beyond Smith & are listed in the manifesto (which they’re not);
    Backbone
    A bit of emotive barrel scraping by you, I think.

    That’s four for you LOL!

    And Anthony has no problem with us listing what Party policies are & their potential effect on the voters, he just doesn’t like us arguing about whether we, personally, think they’re good or bad.

  6. ‘The SNP controlling Labour story does seem to be coming to the end. So far in the polls it appears to be making no difference at all in the voting figures.

    NEILJ

    Not surprised; SNP quite happy with the idea – Labour will still vote Labour – Tory will vote Tory. ‘Undecided’ it has no impact; the questions for them are more NHS, wage packet, housing etc. All of which have nothing to do with this fairy story…

  7. BZ

    I liked the layout of the DUP Manifesto with its parallel lists –
    “What we expect from Westminster” and “What we will deliver [from Stormont]”.

    Also nice to see possibility of a fixed North Channel crossing being raised again – they want “a feasibility study into a tunnel or enclosed bridge across the North Channel from Larne to the Scottish coastline.”

    I only dip into manifestos, rather than reading them all, but it’s seldom that one would reject all the ideas in any of them.

  8. SUN
    you have to see the questions , were they loaded.I am concerned that AW has not shared the questions and has allowed the Sun and the tories to use him .

  9. Sir John Major – the SNP and Labour – or Nicola and ED – somehow despite it’s hyperbolic billing it hasn’t quite got the ring of the the “Zinoviev Letter” ….could do better Lynton – could do much better….

  10. JOHNMO

    That’s the funniest thing I’ve read here for some time :-)

  11. The Scottish poll backs up my judgement that SNP-bashing isn’t doing the Tories any harm, but there’s an opportunity cost in that it doesn’t seem to be doing them any good either. They’ve fluctuated around their 2010 vote for most of this parliament, with neither the referendum nor the Omnishambles Budget making much of a detectable impact.

  12. Ok WB fair comment ,just seems insipid viewed from here
    the progressive capital of england.

  13. Bill Patrick,
    Surely, if what is reported in teh Sun is true, it is having an impact? I guess polls over the next 2-3 days might provide more concrete evidence

  14. @07052015

    “Ok WB fair comment ,just seems insipid viewed from here
    the progressive capital of england.”

    Insipid I agree, but I suppose its horses for courses

  15. Colin
    “Or don’t you like it when he occasionally suggests that Cons may -possibly-have found a smidgeon of advantage in the face of the wave of triumphalist Labour certainty which dominates his own website comments section.”

    Definitely echoes of of the 1992 Kinnock/ Labour rally on here of late.

    “They think it’s all over”

    The turn will come in the last week in my reckoning and we will end up with a Tory /lib coalition again.

    Better the devil you know than the one you don’t. Let them finish the job. I’m not having a party in control of Westminster whose raison d’être is to break up the union. And other such considerations will all play in the thinking voter’s mind, when push comes to shove.

  16. @ AdamB

    “Bill Patrick,
    Surely, if what is reported in teh Sun is true, it is having an impact? I guess polls over the next 2-3 days might provide more concrete evidence”

    Is it me or does 64% worried about Labour/SNP equivalent to 36% not worried and given Labour Polling at 34% and SNP at about 4% of the national polls such figure is to be expected? Or I am I approaching this too simplistically

  17. COLIN
    I disagree-he spotted the open goal immediately ( ie SNP’s determination to get the right answer some time) -and slotted it home with aplomb.

    Seemingly so, for his supporters in England, although I don’t recall the EVEL mention changing UKIP VI much at the time, so it would appear to have been a short-term boost at best.

    The problem for Con in Scotland was that the “Scottish” media [largely Lab supporting] suggested that it was perhaps not a time to concentrate on the reduction of powers of MPs other than ones for English seats when the rushed timetable of the “vow” was in many minds. LiS could perhaps have handled it better, too, and taken it more seriously in the HoC.

    Of course, if DC is out of government shortly after VE Day it will make no difference except perhaps in the mind of the next Con leader and the approach to the constitution s/he takes, in particular wrt any constitutional convention the new PM may set up.

  18. ROBERT

    I think it might have traction. Anecdotaly I would say so-but from a tiny sample . :-)

  19. Richard

    Shame that YG have published such a small range of crossbreaks on those questions.

    Presumably a policy not a technical reason for the restriction?

  20. SNP bashing? Merely helps the SNP win the next election and the next referendum.

    Why? It’s now legitimate to loathe the Scots – so it’s legitimate now for the Scots to leave the English who hate them (as shown most by the Tories…).

  21. @Amber Star

    If you want to know what the powers are look at the SNP submission to Smith. Most of which Labour blocked and Labour’s Smith submission proposed the least powers for Scotland even behind the Tories.

  22. Does anyone think the whole #milifandom will make an iota of difference in the polls?

  23. OLDNAT
    Also nice to see possibility of a fixed North Channel crossing being raised again – they want “a feasibility study into a tunnel or enclosed bridge across the North Channel from Larne to the Scottish coastline.”

    I don’t pretend to be an aficionado of manifestos in general, but that’s an extremely good idea that is precisely the kind of “ex-regio” expenditure which both SNP and DUP could promote together, as it would be of benefit to all four home nations and an export earner too, since ROI traffic would use it extensively. That’s precisely the kind of multinational funding AS was suggesting over HS2. I would be very surprised if the other NI MPs wouldn’t support it – even the abstentionist ones.

    I’d quibble a bit on the route, though, unless there is some overwhelming geological reason. At just under 22 miles, Donaghadee to Portpatrick is shorter than Dover to Calais and would seem to be much more logical end points.

  24. @Jack – ‘Undecided’ it has no impact; the questions for them are more NHS, wage packet, housing etc. All of which have nothing to do with this fairy story…

    Except that I suspect the Tories are going to lead with the economy in the final week of the campaign and the underlying message will be “Do you want to risk your future prosperity for an uncertain alliance of Labour/SNP that we’ve been talking about for the last fortnight?”. Frankly that’s the only way I can see the current Tory campaign playing out because, as several have mentioned today, the economy has been notable by its absence so far.

  25. DOMG
    Off to the Athens of the North at the weekend!

    Always preferred Yakimov’s “Athens, the Edinburgh of the south!”[1] myself. Both can seem pretty grey and wet in the winter.

    [1] See Olivia Manning’s Balkan Trilogy

  26. DOMG @Robert Newark April 22nd, 2015 at 10:58 am

    An excellent post. I agree entirely.

  27. new thread on the new YouGov

  28. BZ

    I think the exact landing points for a North Channel Bridge/Tunnel will be governed more by geology and subsequent infrastructure costs, than the crossing length.

    I suspect that the DUP have specified Larne because their existing road network assumes Larne as the crossing point and, for all I know, Larne might already be suffering from sailings directly into Belfast.

    The proposal was in a manifesto after all. :-)

    I’m no engineer, and it may be that modern tunnelling techniques would allow for the depth of tunnel to go under the Beaufort’s Dyke trench at the Scottish end., but something along the lines of the Oresund Crossing or the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (which I crossed 5 years after it was built) might be an alternative.

    More importantly, the UK might agree with the DUP that it as a way of integrating Northern Ireland into the UK, though I’m not convinced that they would be interested in a project in the far north.

    Eire might prefer money to be spent on improved communications further south.

    The EU may be the only ones with the imagination and vision to see the political and economic value of linking all of the British Isles more securely to Europe – and to stump up the cash.

  29. BZ and OLDNAT

    The bridge or tunnel idea does have many possible uses: Glasgow-Dublin, Belfast-Manchester-HS2 etc.

    I think bridge and tunnel technology is coming along and may make it more of a runner. But I still think that the distance is just a tad too long, the sea a tad too deep, and the population on each side a tad too small, to be viable on a cost benefit analysis.

    Still: the DUP have only called for a feasibility study and that could prove interesting reading if nothing else.

  30. Prof Howard

    Like a number of expensive projects, the NC Fixed Crossing probably needs to be invested with symbolic value to go ahead – even if the cost benefit analysis is reasonable.

    Norway has linked many of its communities by tunnel now – but then they had cash that they hadn’t peed up against the wall! :-)

    One possibility may lie in the use of what Richard Murphy (I’m a fan) describes as “Green Infrastructure Quantitative Easing”.

    http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2015/03/12/how-green-infrastructure-quantitative-easing-would-work/

    and which he assumes is what the SNP mean by “innovative finance mechanisms’”.

  31. OLDNAT

    Fair comment, and some EU regional fund contribution should certainly be feasible.

    It all comes back to Politics, I suppose. I can see why the DUP might prefer Larne, with it’s relatively good access to the North and West of the province without needing to go through Belfast.

    As you say, the ROI would likely prefer more southerly improvements. The easy motorway run from Dublin to N of Dundalk runs almost to the border, then ordinary roads almost all the way to and around Belfast.

    Other infrastructure projects to link the two M1s and make a spur to the coast at least to Newtownards are very much EU infrastructure projects.

    It was for those reasons, coupled with the shorter tunnel/bridge length, that a crossing starting S of Belfast looked preferable.

    I now wonder if there are competing proposals in any of the other NI manifestos and may even skim through a couple when I have nothing better to do.

  32. BZ

    Good point about the sense for the whole island in having the landing point closer to the border.

    If the North (and Scotland for that matter) adopted the wider single carriageway system used in some of the Republic’s trunk roads that could also help speed transit times.

  33. PROFHOWARD

    I tend to agree with OLDNAT. The “KC3 Union Tunnel” or whatever it ultimately gets called would start with a sprinkling of faery dust if it can be shown as a great unifying project.

  34. OLDNAT
    If the North (and Scotland for that matter) adopted the wider single carriageway system used in some of the Republic’s trunk roads that could also help speed transit times.

    Yes. France uses it fairly extensively on key Routes Bis, while both Portugal and Spain make extensive use of them. Very useful they have been to me, too, following most of the action from Almeida to Zaragoza with many intermediate stops.

    With strategic crawler lanes on significant hills, they make for perfectly sensible journey times.

  35. OLDNAT

    Meant to write…..
    … following most of the Peninsular War action …

  36. Back to politics….

    Wonder if Nicola will commend and offer support for the DUP’s feasibility study.

    Daft not to, I’d think

  37. BZ

    You’ll be glad to know that I had got the references.

    Mind you, you were so far behind the action you could have been a BBC London journalist discovering that Scotland no longer votes for Lloyd George. :-)

  38. OLDNAT

    You’ll be glad to know that I had got the references.

    Indeed I am. Santayana’s “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” and all that.

  39. OLDNAT
    Mind you, you were so far behind the action you could have been a BBC London journalist discovering that Scotland no longer votes for Lloyd George. :-)

    That’s true in one sense – there’s little left of the line of Lines of Torres Vedras, for example, but OTOH at places like Bussaco little has changed beyond some of the roads being paved. Almeida is well preserved, too. On the Spanish side it’s more patchy and relatively hard to find, with the memorial at Talavera being particularly unloved, despite its being right next to an exit from a free motorway.

  40. I notice a lot of these polls are run by rich people with agenda, does anybody ever question their integrity? I personally having been eligible to vote for 37 years have never once been approached at any time for my opinion. The only poll that matters is the one come election day on May 7th, beware the power of manipulation and vote with your heart.

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