Thursday’s polls

Earlier on today we had a new poll from Panelbase, with topline figures of CON 31%, LAB 34%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 17%, GRN 4%. Full tables are here. I’m expecting quite a few polls out tonight – Survation’s regular poll for the Mirror is due, we have the daily YouGov poll for the Sun and there may well be others to boot.

I’ll be out this evening, but will do a round up of them all once I return. In the meantime feel free to discuss them here as they appear.

UPDATE: On top of the Panelbase poll we have three other GB voting intention polls, from ComRes, Survation and YouGov:

  • Survation’s latest poll for the Mirror has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 29%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 18%, GRN 4% (tabs).
  • ComRes’s latest telephone poll for the Mail & ITV has toplines of CON 36%, LAB 32%, LAB 8%, UKIP 10%, GRN 5% (tabs)
  • YouGov for the Sun have topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 35%, LD 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 5%

Looking at reactions on social media there are lots of people getting excited or dismayed by getting two Conservative four point leads in short succession. There is always a temptation to look for movement in the random variation of polls (especially when there has been so little genuine movement to get excited over!). However, there are four polls today – two Conservative leads, two Labour leads. The time to pay attention would be when the balance of the polls consistently starts showed one party or the other ahead, right now they still seem pretty evenly balanced.

451 Responses to “Thursday’s polls”

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  1. Pjeckenheim agree but you seem so typical :)
    Suffolk Jason I think the yougov panel is 300k but they do choose a certain number to poll each day and weight them according to what they know about them. If you join the panel less than 6 months before a GE, you won’t be polled by yougov in the short campaign

    The chances of being asked more than a couple of times are slim

  2. Exile

    “Tories see the magic number as Con > 284 seats.”

    So that is 285 Tories, 9 DUP and 29 (LDP + UKIP) and all the LibDems willing to team up with the UKIP.

    That sounds a bit of a stretch from where they are now. I think the winning post is nearer 290.

  3. FWIW, the four polls today mean that the Tories maintain their 6-4 lead on leads with active pollsters. No pollster ‘changed hands’ with YG and Panelbase maintaining a Lab lead and Survation/Comres a Con lead.

  4. @ Tom Chadwick

    “SNP scare stories working slightly?”

    Are they actually firming up UKIP? Probably my imagination!

  5. I think we have too many polls,some from new kids which are poor efforts.

    The truth is the electorate are not listening to the politicians inc those in the press.

    After the squeeze earlier this year all parties except the snp are polling barely above their core vote -so theres little movement either way.

    I still think there could be movement at the end as undecideds opt in greater numbers for the tories but it doesnt look to be large.

    Thanks; I am not sure about confirming and agreeing, but I do think that some Lib Dems would refuse to go back into a coalition or even a loose agreement with a Con/UKIP/DUP block.

    I still think Tories will be on 293 seats or thereabouts.

  7. @ExileinYorks

    I read that somewhere many moons ago.

    It’s one of those useless things that sticks in my mind (nothing useful lives there….)

  8. Time once more for:

    On This Day in 2010 on UKPR

    Today, Friday 23rd April, 2010, polls showed limited fall out from Debate 2. YG had a very stable 34/28/29, while Harris was more mobile, with Cons +3% with 34/26/29.

    @Jamie kicked off with –

    “Now that is a yummy poll for the Tories…..
    13 days to go – I have a growing sense that the Tories are putting together a late run on the rails.”

    As ever, Tories were expected to make a late run. Like Sunderland struggling against demotion.

    @AB chipped in with –

    “It is amusing to read the meanderings of the committed and desperate party loyalist.”

    Indeed, that seems to be the main function of UKPR, excepting rare moments of lucidity. It’s like a therapy room for addicts. The main argument here was whether a 1% drop in Lib Dem support was the Clegg bubble bursting, or whether still being 7% up on a week earlier represented continuing inflation.

    @Pam F sounded like your grandma, saying –

    “Well, ups, downs, every poll tells a story, who knows which is the right one..?”

    Maybe she is your grandma? Either way, this would be as appropriate for April 23rd in both 2010 and 2015, so we’ll name it The April 23rd Gambit. Perhaps @Chrislane1945 can use it as a classic opening in his next match?

    Now then, our regular @Neil A contribution retained his cryptic-yet-observant reputation, by adding –

    “No real evidence that the LibDem surge is a bubble, let alone that it’s “burst”.”

    Ah, now, that is confusing. Surge or bubble. Anyone care to draft a working definition? And then work out if a surge can burst?

    @Andy JS provided the nightly introduction of constitutional niceties on UKPR, with –

    “If Cameron wins a majority with 36% or more there are no grounds of complaint from the Labour party who have been governing this country for the last five years with 36%.”

    Unfortunately he failed to understand the UK constitution, which is based on the ancient principle of ‘it’s alright for us, but if you do that it’s unconstitutional’. Written somewhere in Erskine May. I read it in The Sun.

    @Marco was in fine form –

    “Having satisfied ‘er indoors tonight ….. I can comment.”

    Very much the open minded modern man. Sorting out his missus and then emoting about it with his mates. Classic.

    Finally, @Charles Stuart wondered –

    “Polls seem to be appearing at the most extraordinary rate. Is this the most polled election, not only in British history but world history?”

    Hmmm. Interesting question. Looking through Wiki, I think the Papa New Guineau election of tribal councilors in 1887 is reputed to have had the highest recorded density of polls ever taken in a national election, but there is some dispute as to whether this counts as a national election due to colonial disputes between Britain and Germany. The dispute was finally settled in 1902 after going to penalties. Guess who won? And tell me I didn’t make that up!

    Tell you what though, Charles Stuart – if you cared to rejoin UKPR and post again in 2015, there’s a chance of a job offer for you in the north fairly soon. A good one too.

    More later

  9. Suffolk Jason

    They use a large panel but have now restricted this to those who were asked in Jan/Feb. People who answered Lab in February are not likely to answer Con now. They have been pushed into making their minds up, They would have to be pushed to change.

  10. It’s been bad enough for the LibDems joining a coalition with the Conservatives. It would be complete suicide for them to join a coalition with UKIP.

  11. @RMJ1

    But the YG Nowcast is not restricted to the Jan/Feb cohort, and it shows Lab 277-270 ahead. That means that the cohort selected cannot differ that much from the wider panel

  12. RMJ1

    “They use a large panel but have now restricted this to those who were asked in Jan/Feb. People who answered Lab in February are not likely to answer Con now. They have been pushed into making their minds up, They would have to be pushed to change.”

    But surely this is how they always do it? Why should it not work this time as successfully (or not) as it has in the past?


    Thanks for that. Interesting.

  14. The weird thing about these polls is the huge range in shares for LD and UKIP. LD range from 7-10%, and the poll showing them at 10% shows them +3 in a week(?). I can’t believe they’ve upped their vote by over 40% in a week! Especially as other polls have them losing support. Similarly UKIP range from 10-18%, ie one poll has them almost double the support of another. I think I’m right in thinking ComRes phone polls have systematically shown higher CON ratings all year, which makes 36% not particularly unusual. Would be interesting to know from the polling orbs showing unusual high/low shares for LD/UKIP if they have done anything different in terms of allowing for certainty of voting, or if/how they are allowing for respondents who have already voted by post etc. There has to be a flaw in somebody’s numbers for LD and UKIP, and that would appear to be indirectly impacting LAB, as CON shares are pretty consistent (allowing for the ComRes “normal” high CON score)

  15. @ LRR

    For me (and the Tories) the big question is how will the LDs jump. The answer to that is hugely dependent on who does or doesn’t survive.

    I tend to go with the view that unless NC holds his seat, the most likely option for the LDs is not to back either Con or Lab – which probably will be slightly favourable to Lab.

    If NC survives, they have a leader and it could go either way.

  16. ALEC

    Great as ever.

  17. Last 14 yougovs -10 labour leads,three ties ,one tory lead.

  18. Can’t help feeling that Survation poll is a bit of duffer with Lab at 29%. Otherwise things look typical wobbly MoE stuff. Lab will be happy with YG though. It is interesting how YG appear presently to be highly stable, but I don’t think it’s wise to take that to mean any greater chance of accuracy.

    One other word – for the next couple of days I’m on the move, so ‘On This Day’ is likely to appear at odd times.
    Tomorrow it’s likely to drop in early morning, Saturday I’m not too sure. Not that it’s earth shattering stuff, but some people seem to be following it.

    @Postageincluded – thanks very much for interceding with the authorities this morning.

  19. I get survey requests every other day from yougov. But I only rarely get VI requests, so they must have a very large panel. Obviously not the same people over and over.

  20. Not sure about the grandma bit, my grandchildren aren’t told enough to vote yet, but the eldest will be in five years time. yes, ups and downs in the polls this time round.

  21. @Barnaby

    You said there was another VI set in the Thanet poll.

    Have the tables for Thanet been released ? I can’t find them on the Survation site.

  22. What is Nicola Sturgeon’s motive when she says (which she does at every opportunity) that she’ll work with Labour to keep the Tories out?

    In the short-term, it helps SNP in Scotland and hurts Lab in England. If my assertions are correct then this makes it more likely that the Tories will have the largest number of seats and are more likely to form the next government (probably with the support of the LibDems and possibly the DUP and UKIP).

    If we have another Tory government, it would be a huge boost to the SNP. So if David Cameron walks back into No.10 would Nicola cry crocodile tears?


    Re: LIb Dems. Remember David Laws will still be there and other orange bookers. It may not be as straightforward as ‘Farron shoe in’ and off to the left.


    Yes, quite. Also if Prof Rallings – and those horrendous south west and/Scottish constituency polls – correct, would the rump of libdems wamt to play second or third fiddle to another Tory coalition? Or perhaps they would beyond caring and would do so?

  25. Pam F
    You are the WSM one I hope. Greetings and hope you are well.

  26. @Pam F – there you go – you really are a grandma! Didn’t think you were still around, but hello again.

  27. I think its a good point that the LibDems would have a huge problem being in a coalition with UKIP. They have already ruled it out as has Gove for Con.
    Plus will Clegg survive in Sheffield? Even if he does will he carry his party? I don’t think there are any guarantees of another Con/Lib coalition irrespective of the election outcome.

  28. It’s worth pointing out that Survation’s last polling of Thanet South produced a similar figure for UKIP of 38%:,_2010%E2%80%9315#South_Thanet

    while ComRes since and previous Ashcroft polls have shown things much tighter. There must be some query over whether Survation’s lack of weighting for anything except age, sex and ward[1] might leave the sample skewed in other ways. There is also the problem with all constituency polls that mobile only households tend to be missed.

    [1] Though it’s also possible that Ashcroft’s apparent failure to weight by any geographic split within constituencies may cause problems.

    What is Nicola Sturgeon’s motive when she says (which she does at every opportunity) that she’ll work with Labour to keep the Tories out?

    Surely she is on a win-win? If the Conservatives get back in then Scotland may well consider ‘enough is enough’ and her cause is strengthened. If Labour get in she can say ‘told you so’ to Scottish voters and prove a vote for SNP was a real alternative to a vote for Labour.

    Both SNP and Conservatives are playing a longer game in this election in terms of party politics.


    It’s almost a two-part question: how the 2010 LD voters jump, and what the parliamentary party looks like afterwards. As I mentioned in the overnight thread, the projected LD survivors split fairly evenly between Orange Bookers who were part of the coalition government and those who remained on the backbenches and cast votes against the government on key issues.

    Perhaps it’s an open question whether the post-election LD parliamentary party can be treated as a unified bloc of 25-30 for either Lab or Con, which is quite different from the nationalists.

  31. There have been comments on the consistency of YouGov polls. That’s true, but we notice YouGov more because they poll every day. Other pollsters like ComRes and Opinium have also become remarkably consistent.

    We have definitely seeing a divergence happen, which like @raf said earlier is strange, usually the polls converge when we get closer to an election

  32. @ Omni

    I was thinking the same. What does it mean?

  33. @Alec – I posted an observation/question of page 8 of this thread. Your views on it would be appreciated.

  34. New fred

  35. Speculation about who goes with you after May 7th won’t make any difference and there is no evidence whatsoever that the Con attempt to do so has made a jot of difference in the polls.

    To make these points about coalition prospects, one has to have evidence. For instance one would need to talk to the private forum of, say, LDV website, to know how members think about another go with the Tories. Ditto with the Tories. In fact someone could organise a poll!!!

    A game changer is like the days prior to the 2010 debates when the LD VI soared. Trouble is, no one knows what it was. I suggested it was the Con launch, but ……..

  36. catoswyn

    “It may not be as straightforward as ‘Farron shoe in’”

    I agree, but my thinking is that an interim leader (whoever they are) will find it hard to get agreement within the party to back either Con or Lab. Sitting out the government forming phase and letting the matters take their course with LD’s as neutral would leave the way open for the new leader to strike vote-by-vote deals with either flavour of minority government.

    When I said “favour labour” what I meant is the seat arithmetic if LDs sit it out is more likely to allow a Lab minority government to form and navigate through the FTPA hoops than a Con minority.

  37. UKIP, Conservatives, Lib Dem….

    I do think they could come to a c and s arrangement. The Conservatives will take that as their main aim is to, as quickly as possible, pass EV4EL and boundary changes. After that the whole thing can fall apart as they would have set the next election up for a solid win.

    The Lib Dems can hardly refuse to vote at all. Why wouldn’t they say that they will support things on a vote by vote basis? EV4EL and boundary changes are not something they would hate surely?

  38. I was once a member of the libdems, and I really cannot see a position where the orange bookers could convince the Tim Farrons and the old Charter 88ers of the parliamentary party to go into a coalition with UKIP and the DUP. A C&S agreement might work I suppose. If I were still LD I’d be wanting either red or blue to be near 300 as possible.

  39. More from twitter….

    Lord Ashcroft:
    “Shortest odds at the bookies is for a Labour minority government……”

    To which one of his followers said :’can I come and live with you in Belize’.

  40. @martinw

    I guess it means that someone’s methodology is wrong. We have lots of different pollsters using different methods in an election with scary new dynamics.

    Btw new thread

  41. Survation tables for Thanet South are here:

    as the link isn’t up on Wiki yet (or if it is Grant Shapps has removed it)

    Polling was all done yesterday apparently – I’m not sure if spread over more days is more useful for constituencies, but there you go.

  42. Alec
    Whenever you post I’m sure it will be as much of a game changer as anything else

  43. Catoswyn

    “Both SNP and Conservatives are playing a longer game in this election in terms of party politics.”

    Quite true – as are Labour, Lib-Dems, Greens, Plaid, UKIP and everyone else.

    Unless you think that only two parties have politicians in them? :-)

  44. About as plain a case of a “wash” as you’re likely to get in a day of polling.

  45. Howard , yes it’s me, are you the LibDem Howard? Alec, not sure about “Grandma!” – I do answer to Nanny. have been popping in recently trying to make sense of all these polls. Good to see so many familiar names still here.

  46. Yes Howard it is me , I replied but was moderated for some reason. Are you the orange Howard ?

  47. All the papers have reported a massive surge in support for the Greens yet they are still on 4% in the polls, same as last year. Are their members not going to vote Green?

  48. This month I think overall Labour has moved to a solid 34% whilst the Conservatives are between 33-33.5%. This week appears to have been a good week for the Tories though and yesterday’s polls indicate that the position may be reversing – Cons on 34% and Labour 33-33.5%. Either way you look at it the situation appears to be stalemate but I increasingly think it is highly unlikely that Labour can win most seats at the election. The odds reflect this – Cons now 4/11 to win most seats from 1/2. However there has still not been enough of a shift towards the Tories and so Ed Miliband is now seen as clear favourite to become prime minister 4/7 from 5/6. If this stalemate continues until polling day then surely some kind of Lab/SNP coalition/loose alliance as part of a minority govt is the only outcome

  49. This may already have been noted, but the Scottish crossbreaks in both Survation and ComRes look dire for LiS. Have the LiS folk given up? I see little by way of Labour posters around in comparison with 5 years ago, although that may not be very indicative of anything in particular.

    I cannot believe that the SNP are going to ‘walk it’ in the way so many people seem to expect. Round here the impression I have is that people are keeping quiet – which might mean that there’s a big shock on its way (i.e. our Labour candidate wins)……. or it means it’s all over bar the counting………

    It’s a strange feeling….. not at all like the September referendum…..

  50. @Skapusniak 6.20 p.m. yesterday


    Yes, I think you make a good point. The September referendum just carried on into the GE and those who voted Yes seem to have decide, on the whole, that they had crossed the Rubicon, or something……. Interesting article in The National this morning about Douglas Alexander’s battle to be re-elected in Paisley, where he may be defeated by a 20 yr old Glasgow University student. Strange times……… as they said in Local Hero.

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