ComRes have a new battleground poll out, results here, this time looking at 10 Conservative held UKIP target seats. The poll covered some seats that UKIP announced as targets last year but taking out some that no longer seem realistic, like Aylesbury, and adding some obvious ommissions like Castle Point. The overall shares of the vote with changes since 2010 were CON 39%(-7), LAB 28%(+2), UKIP 21%(+15), LDEM 5%(-10), GRN 4%(+4). UKIP have obviously advanced strongly since 2010, but remain in quite a distant third place.

It’s quite hard to know what to make of this poll. For a start, with UKIP coming from a very low base it’s quite hard to accurately predict what their best chances of a gain are – so some seats here like East Worthing and Shoreham probably aren’t in the top rank of UKIP targets. More importantly, with a poll of a group of marginal seats like this we can’t tell what the distribution of the vote is between these different seats. Most estimates are for UKIP to pick up only a couple of seats beyond their two by-election gains (which are not included in this sample), so from this poll we can’t tell whether UKIP have about 21% in all these seats (and hence wouldn’t win any of them), or are doing much better in the more promising seats like South Thanet and Thurrock and less well in the others, meaning they could win some.

I suppose all we can reasonably conclude is that UKIP don’t look like they are about to sweep the board across these seats, it’s impossible to tell from this poll whether or not they are in a stronger position in a minority of them.

484 Responses to “ComRes poll of UKIP target seats”

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  1. When is the next poll due out? Doesnt feel like there’s been one for about a month! Not expecting anything different in them however, unless someone gets caught with their trousers down, the only game changer I can see is the Tory line on Lab/SNP and we havent had enough polls since them to judge whether there has been an impact

  2. Alec/ON,

    After the last GE the LDs had to effectively throw away its’ Macro-Economic position to enter the Coalition blaming ‘Greece’ and Civil Service briefing’ for their volte-face.

    It is clear to me (and has been for a week or 2) that the difference between the SNP and Labour Parties macro-economic positions are easily bridgeable without either party having to lose face or credibility.

    FWIW – I think the LD framework is closer to Labour and the SNPs as well than to the Conservatives and I find the critique of the LPs position by the LDs unconvincing and merely at attempt to create a space in the centre for them to occupy.

  3. Jim Jam

    “It is clear to me (and has been for a week or 2) that the difference between the SNP and Labour Parties macro-economic positions are easily bridgeable without either party having to lose face or credibility.”

    Spot on. There is a difference between campaigning and having an eye on actual governance.

  4. @AdamB

    Should be a few out later today

    Panelbase weekly
    Survation weekly? (for the Mirror)
    YouGov daily (for the Sun)

  5. @adamb

    We are due a Survation and today or tomorrow we should get more Ashcroft constituen

  6. +cy polls

  7. @Alec

    I think the IFS story is quite counter-productive. The level of trust in institutions after the referendum is very low even amongst No voters. I wish there would be some polling on it, other than the high SNP VI, so I only have anecdotal evidence.

    It is not credible to suggest that the SNP at WM would vote to cut spending for a variety of reasons not least that the money that Holyrood receives is directly related to WM spending.

    So the fact that the IFS is apparently saying these rather over-blown emotive lines as repeated by LiS, just reduces trust in the IFS another British state body.

    So, when you do not trust the institutions of the state who do you trust? Your family, friends and colleagues and with 110K members the chances are one of them is in the SNP and the First Minister with the +42% approval rating.

    Attack the SNP for irresponsible spending, racking up debt for future generations and so on and maybe that is credible but LiS going down the ‘SNP want Austerity’ route is not going to fly and only reduces trust further, hardening up the Yes voters to the SNP.

  8. PanelbaseMD [email protected] ·

    “@panelbase #GE2015 poll on way. LD narrowly preferred gov partner over SNP by LAB voters & preferred to UKIP by CON. Main figures shortly.”


    Scully on the Welsh debate

    Thanks for that link – well argued by the Prof. and not too different to the minimalist one I posted last night at the request of our Prof – or was it the Bristolian one?

  10. Panelbase: (21/04-23/04)

    LAB 34% (NC),
    CON 31% (-2%),
    UKIP 17% (+1),
    LD 7% (-1),
    GRN 4% (NC).

    (Tables up soon)

  11. Well for Panelbase I’m expecting a Labour lead or tie. They have never shown a Conservative lead, from what I can see

  12. Damn.. too slow

  13. Panelbase
    Lab 34 Con 31 LD 7 UKIP 17 Green 4

  14. Me too Omni :(

  15. COUPER2802

    So it is an IFS/Sassenach conspiracy? (see up thread) ;)

  16. What’s the field work dates for Panelbase?
    Is it pre/post or during Pocketgate? (TM)

  17. @Hawthorn

    No it is just that their is No Trust, It is likely that the IFS report is fair but the way it is being used is totally counter-productive.

  18. @ Barnaby Marder

    I treat YouGov as one poll and average them over the period I am measuring all pollsters and in fact average all pollsters who do more than one poll in the period i am measuring. Otherwise one pollster, YouGov, drowns out all the other pollsters.

  19. Panelbase tables up at

  20. IMO the polling companies are really struggling to get a handle on Ukip. 17% across GB (Panelbase) seems wildly inconsistent with that “target seats” poll by ComRes.

  21. Panelbase

    Looks like SNPBad is working as well for the Tories as it does for LiS

  22. Panelbase, UKIP up, Conservatives down, 3 point lead by Labour. But suspect not a lot you can read into it, all MOE territory

  23. Good to see the Tories boosting their vote by a whole minus 2! – game changer!

    Just joking of course, I know it is probably MoE.

  24. @Barbazenzero

    That is last week’s poll.

  25. Panelbase is a week old!
    What’s the point of that?

    File alongside the Roundhead/Cavalier crossbreaks and the Boudecia/Caesar wisdom index.

  26. James

    Well spotted.

    Damn that was my only Caesar joke and now I’ve wasted it.

  27. @james

    Yep. You can tell Panelbase is online just from that UKIP figure.

    Btw here is a good article on the phone/online divergence. Or rather, the established/new pollster divergence as the author argues

  28. That’s the wrong tables fieldwork is 22-23 April

  29. @hawthorn

    I suspect your joke will be a game changer here on UKPR

  30. JAMES
    That is last week’s poll.

    Ooops! You’re right. Posted in from a re-tweet.

    Sorry about that folks, but daft of Panelbase not to give proper URLs in their tweets, if only to show they’re the originators.

  31. Okay Lynton, that hasn’t worked either.

    What about “Vote Natural Law, get Mebyon Kernow”?

  32. Do they always put UKIP so high and if so, why???

    If you share out the UKIP premium compared to other polls then maybe this one has Lab 1%-2% ahead? Isnt that a low Lab lead for Panelbase?

  33. @ Little Red Rock

    sorry to be a history pedant but Boudica is about 100 years after Caesar and her revolt was was about 61 AD in the reign of Nero.

  34. @adamb

    Have a read of the article I linked above, and also Anthony’s post on online/phone divergence if you haven’t already read it

    Also this is par for the course for Panelbase. The 6 point lead a couple of weeks ago wasn’t normal

  35. @Oldnat – “Chery picking?

    You picked out a couple of unsourced “Ouch” comments!”

    Err – I quoted the source as the IFS in both cases.

    @Coupar2802 – obviously I don’t want to get into another ‘black is white’ debate on here (I’m still looking at the oil price ticker even now) but if a large number of Scots decide to indulge in ignorance, and persist in labeling the countries foremost utterly independent fiscal analysts as a biased ‘institution’ then there really isn’t much anyone can do. Perhaps those education cuts in Scotland are having a bigger impact than anyone previously thought.

    The IFS has savaged all four of the man parties plans as being inadequate, in one of the most even handed fiscal destruction jobs I can recall.

    Under these plans, the IFS have said –

    “under Labour and the Liberal Democrats the block grant for Scotland would increase, but by less than the increase in total departmental spending. (In part, this arises from how the Barnett formula works: the level of spending per head is greater in Scotland than in England, and so the same pounds-per-head increase in spending would represent a smaller proportionate budget increase for Scotland.) ……The SNP plans imply lower growth in total departmental spending between 2015–16 and 2019–20 than the plans of Labour and the Liberal Democrats. This, combined with the fact they have not pledged to protect education spending (which is ‘comparable English spending’), actually results, in this illustrative scenario, in a small cut in the block grant for Scotland.”

    If the SNP did not mean to plan for a lower block grant than under Lab or Lib Dem, then they should have published other plans.

    Total spending under the SNP plans will be less than Labour and Lib Dems by 2019, austerity will last longer.
    Unless someone changes plans.

    Labour have a powerful weapon here, but I suspect many Scots will prefer ignorance again. However, this time, the facts are written in the SNP’s own words.

  36. They’ve only done 3 national polls, recently, I think.
    1 Lab 6pt lead
    2 Lab 1pt lead
    3 Lab 3pt lead

  37. WB

    I know that, of course, I was talking about Brian Caesar and Trevor Boudica who contested the casual vacancy on Wivenhoe Parish Council in 1966.

    Adam B

    I think Panelbase have only done four nationwide polls, not really possible to detect a pattern.

  38. @Alec

    The problem with the IFS narrative for Labour is that there is a big element of “jam tomorrow”, i.e. the increased spending (as compared to SNP) all comes in the latter part of the parliament. Whereas people who are opposed to cuts / austerity want a change of course now.

  39. Looking again, it looks like Panelbase did two tied polls before the 6pt Lab lead that raised everyone’s eyebrows.

  40. @Ashman
    ‘Is the economy going to slow down over the next 5 years. High probability’

    The economy is hardly motoring along at great speed now annual growth of 2.5 % is barely trend growth. Now if we were experiencing 4%+ growth for a couple of years or so – something more akin to boom conditions – a slowdown would be a reasonable expectation – but 2 – 2.5% is nothing special at all!


    Is the economy moving yes, is it special, that depends how you define special?

    Relative to the so called economic boom period of Blair-Brown period up to the financial crises, not very special.

    Consider that that the consumer and business are borrowing less, than in the so called economic boom period of the Blair-Brown period, then yes it is very special.

    Considering that the banks are deleveraging, and have been deleveraging over the last 5 years, makes it very unique growth, considering banks at the time of the so called economic boom period of Blair-Brown era were securitising debt to lend even more money, and this has markedly reduced, this is and has been spectacular economic growth

    In relation to the Blair-Brown period of economic boom, the economy the been growing at a hyper speed in comparison to the last 5 years. But then it was highly dependent on debt. .

    People are used to and believe that the economic boom period of Blair-Brown era can be repeated in an environment where saving ratios are approx. 100% relative to the saving ratios in the Blair-Brown debt related boom period. It is not going to happen.

    People are also inclined to believe that, the economy would boom, where banks are reluctant to lend, forget about small business, even large business, as they have to meet the Basel 3 accord. The economy is not going to boom, like it had been in the Blair Brown debt induced boom.

    Only misguide individuals would think that this is possible.

    We are now entering a new period where cash rules, and cash is king and the dominant factor, in the world of business.

    On this point, has economy performed spectacularly, over the last 5 years? When one takes into consideration, reduced borrowing and increased deleveraging, by individuals, business and most importantly the banking system. This has been a unique recovery. The economy has performed spectacularly.

    Now if one is to take your view point, yes the economy growth is nothing special, if one is to compare it to the economic boom period of the Blair-Brown era, funded by ever increasing debt, securitisation of debt, on that basis, I agree with you, and one can even say that the economy under the Conservatives has failed miserably.

    It is how you define spectacular growth. :-)

  41. just seen something from Farage,appears to be urging tactical voting now in con-lab marginals to keep Labour out,had been hearing for a while this might happen,in return for tory support in the 2-3 UKIP are chasing in Labour seats.Lord knows if a/ it will be understood or heeded or what difference it might make to the polls.
    I suppose he could ask them to leave the tory-ukip marginals also,but I DOUBT that will happen

  42. On the face of it a bad poll for the Tories – however those UKIP numbers look very suspect against what’s reported elsewhere – even if these are accurate there’s scope still for the Tories to scare some of these back… Although hasn’t worked so far

  43. Accuracy of projection models in predicting last week’s Ashcroft Scottish constituency polls.

    As often happen, the ElectionForecast model won the prize for making the most accurate predictions for the ten seats polled. However, on this occasion YouGov proved to be a commendable runner-up.

    May2015 only give the projected margin of the leading party over the runner-up. For an accuracy analysis including this model I calculated the absolute value of the discrepancy between the model’s predicted margin and the figure generated by the Ashcroft poll. The mean discrepancy measures over the 10 constituencies were: EF – 5.8%; YouGov Nowcast (YGN)- 7.9%; May2015 – 10.4% and Electoral Calculus – 11.4%. On this measure, EF was reliably more accurate than the latter two models, but apart from that there were no other statistical differences between the projections.

    Turning to the accuracy of projections across a wider range of parties, I used Euclidean Distance measures in 7-dimensional space (Dimensions: Con, Lab, LD, SNP, Ukip, Green and Other). YouGov offered no projections for the Greens and only included Ukip projections for five of the seats. As a result, I was forced to use 5- or 6-dimensional EDs in this case.

    Overall, this more refined analysis corroborated the first accuracy test. For EF the mean ED between projection and Ashcroft ‘target’ was 7.5 units. For YGN the corresponding measure was 10.2 units (slightly worse), and for EC a rather inaccurate 13.4 units. On these measures, EF was very much more accurate than EC. But statistically there were no other differences.

    As usual, the ElectionForecast model emerges as the most accurate in predicting a new set of Ashcroft results. In the previous batch the YouGov Nowcast was reliably less accurate on the wider (Euclidean Distance) measure. But for this particular batch the difference is within MoE.

    Independent of overall accuracy, the models each showed reliable biases in over- or understating the support for different parties. More on this in a later comment.

  44. Still no signs of any consistent movement in the polls; at this fairly late stage no news is good news so far as Labour is concerned. The IFS at least provides some meaty policy substance for discussion, which makes a change from some of the froth in recent days. But since they offer ammunition against all parties’ plans I’m sceptical that this will provide anyone with that elusive breakthrough.

  45. I’d agree Ashman, the third slowest economic recovery in UK history is a spectacular record.

  46. From the top right of this page previous Panelbase results

    16/ 4 Labour lead by 1
    9/4 Labour lead by 6
    2/4 Draw
    26/3 Draw

    A 3 point lead today is a good result but it could all be MOE

  47. @ Smithy

    I agree. a 48% combined Con + UKIP VI is about par for the course.

    Either there are shykippers that many pollsters don’t identify or this is another neck and neck poll.

    However, it is not evidence that Pocketgate is working. Let’s see what tonight’s YouGov tells us. If there is any effect we ought to see it there.

  48. @NEILJ ,the thing is it shows since the start of the campaign,consistant Labour leads,so either the UKIP vote is very very high or as I suspect a verdict on the tory vs Labour campaign so far,which for all their efforts the tories are losing

  49. @Andy S

    I treat YouGov as one poll and average them over the period I am measuring all pollsters and in fact average all pollsters who do more than one poll in the period i am measuring. Otherwise one pollster, YouGov, drowns out all the other pollsters.

    There is a case for making some kind of adjustment – as Anthony does in his Poll of Polls calculations. But if you are going to make adjustments you should take into account the fact that YouGov’s “one poll” will cover a sample of about 14K respondents a week and will therefore have a much smaller MoE than a single 1K poll offered by one of the other houses. If you ignore this then you are at risk of letting highly variable data ‘drown out’ some of the more precise estimates of what is currently going on.

  50. Etienne / Ashman

    Probably best to not delve too deep into that particular topic given yesterdays moderation of AR558 and myself over a similar theme.

    Best to agree to disagree and move on. And oh look – there’s a poll!

    What bets that the Survation shows a Tie and YG a 1 point Con lead.

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