Ten days to go to the election and we’ve had interesting day of polls – four new GB polls, some new constituency polling and a new Scottish poll. The four GB polls today are the weekly Ashcroft and ICM telephone polls, the twice weekly Populus poll and, to come later on tonight, the daily YouGov poll for the Sun:

  • Populus had figures of CON 33%, LAB 36%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 14%, GRN 5% (tabs). They continue to produce figures that are more favourable to Labour than many of the other pollsters – you have to go all the way back to August to find a Populus poll with a Conservative lead.
  • In contrast ICM have tended to produce some of the better polls for the Conservatives – their last four polls showed Conservative leads and today’s has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 32%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 13%, GRN 5% (tabs)
  • Lord Ashcroft’s weekly poll had topline figures of CON 36%, LAB 30%, LDEM 9%, KIP 11%, GRN 7% (tabs) – this is obviously a particularly good poll for the Conservative party, but all the usual caveats apply. No other poll is showing such positive figures for them.

Lord Ashcroft also released four new constituency polls, this time covering four UKIP target seats (or at least, four where he had previously found them doing well, I’m not sure whether Cannock Chase was ever a seat they were targetting – certainly Ashcroft’s poll found respondents reporting a lower level of UKIP activity there). When Ashcroft previously polled these seats he found UKIP in an extremely close second place, this time he found them falling back and seemingly out of serious contention in three of them:

  • Cannock Chase is a seat the Conservatives won on a vast swing last time, but where the new MP has stood down after various gaffes. In October 2014 Ashcroft found UKIP two points behind Labour, 30% to Labour’s 32%. The latest poll still shows Labour ahead, but UKIP now trail in third place on 21%.
  • Great Grimsby is widely regarded as the best opportunity for a UKIP gain from Labour at this election – a Lincolnshire fishing port where the veteran MP Austin Mitchell is standing down. In December Ashcroft found UKIP just a point behind Labour, but they’ve fallen back considerably since then and today’s poll has them 17 points behind Labour
  • Great Yarmouth fits the pattern for a typical UKIP target seat, a seaside town and marginal seat out on England’s east coast. Last July Ashcroft found a tight three way fight – Con 33%, UKIP 31%, Lab 28%. Today’s poll has UKIP falling back to 24%, but Conservative and Labour still in a close battle – Con 36%, Lab 34%
  • Castle Point is the only one of the three where UKIP still seems to be in the race. It’s an unusual seat – the former Conservative MP Bob Spink sort of defected to UKIP in 2008 and contested the seat as an Independent in 2010, coming second with 27%. In February Ashcroft found UKIP just one point behind the Tories, in today’s poll the Conservatives have widened their lead to 5 points.

Finally a new TNS poll of Scotland shows the SNP moving into an even stronger lead. Their topline figures with changes from their last Scottish poll are CON 13%(nc), LAB 22%(-2), LDEM 6%(nc), SNP 54%(+2), UKIP 2%(+1), GRN 2%(-1). Tabs are here.

808 Responses to “A round up of Monday’s polling”

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  1. No TND tweet yet?

  2. Would a crow eat a burger? Trying to nurse one back to health and not sure whether to feed it cooked or uncooked food, also limited by contents of the freezer.

  3. Indy

    Is that a cryptic comment on the Election campaign?

  4. Indy

    Full name is Carrion Crow- so raw meat probably best.

  5. @indy

    Best to stick to nuts, fruit, veg, even beans

  6. Possibly the small upward Tory trend is continuing? I feel we’re seeing more Tory leads than Lab leads recently.

  7. @martinw

    Nothing since lunchtime.

    He was moaning this morning that the Tories’ small business letter was given to the Telegraph. Presumably he thinks it would have been more effective if published in the Sun.

  8. Indy

    They like eggs as well

  9. So are we seeing a ‘soft’ UKIP vote leaving UKIP for Tories and labour?

  10. Nightly yougov forecast chaps: lab 35, con 33, UKIP 13, LD 9

  11. this panorama on the man predicting election called Nate Silver wasn’t very good at the Uk general election last time…
    look at his final prediction for UK election in 2010…


    Con 312, Lab 204, Lib Dem 103

    which is very far off….

  12. @David
    It’s certainly my feeling (and fear), the ‘Conservative’ ones seem a bit more Conservative, and the ‘Labour’ ones a little less Labour. My oh-so-scientific hunch is that Cons are 1-2 points ahead….

  13. Let’s be honest for once. Does anyone believe that if Ashcroft was a Labour activist he would be publishing a poll a mile out of kilter with everyone else 10 days before the Election showing his own Party in a unique 6% lead ? Well sadly the answer is “probably” … Sorry I really don’t think we should be considering polls commissioned by vocal supporters of ANY party this close in to the GE. If there was ever a good argument for a legal ban on immediately pre Election polls, this is it.

  14. Indy,

    I once semi-tamed a baby blackbird who had lost his upper beak, yet lived for over a year until a cat got him. Cheese, porridge, and banana were his favourite foods. Lots of clean water was also a treat for him, especially in the summer when he was sweating a lot.

    Sitting out on a garden reading a book with him closeby and drying out his feathers in the sun during summer was a very pleasant experience. The other birds wouldn’t get too close, so he could be very relaxed, and those that dared would get attacked by him, because he was extremely aggressive and territorial with regard to me and my family, since we were his sole reliable foodsource.

  15. He would naturally never consent to being held or stroked, but he would come right up and take food dropped from directly above into his jaw.

  16. @smithy

    That football octopus had a better predictive record than you.

    You need to concentrate, get into the frame of mind where you got it right that time.

  17. But in my experience birds will eat almost anything, even plain boiled rice if they’re hungry enough.

  18. Sky News refuses to allow Ashcroft polls to be included in its Poll of Polls.

  19. One outlying poll proves little, so I will add the qualification that this one poll of Ashcroft’s does not prove much.

    However, despite all the reassurances people give about him…that he does it for a hobby; that he is very professional; that he is less interested in a Tory win than he is in seeing his vision of Toryism succeed etc……I am a sceptical sort and have never been able to put from my mind that he has an interest in serving the Conservative cause. With that in mind, if I was serving the Conservative cause, I would have issued a lot of accurate polls, even understating the Tory position, up until the last week or so before polling day, to garner credibility. Then I would try to build momentum by issuing increasingly, even unduly, encouraging polls in the final 10 days or so.

    Just saying that this ‘outlying poll’ doesn’t exactly destroy my scepticism about Ashcroft’s polls.

  20. So away from the figures and onto pure anecdote. Now received two conservative leaflets and none from anyone else. There are an equal number of visible posters here from the two main parties.

    In 2010 Labour led in this constituency by 30%…

  21. Welsh Borderer and others

    I really do think the poor Lord is coming in for some unfair stick tonight. He has shown plenty of Labour leads in the past. Also the constituency polls released today are hardly amazing for the Tories. I also don’t think he is a “vocal” Tory supporter. In fact he is quite critical of the current party with many of his comments and articles.

    Also does showing a large Tory lead actually help the party at this stage of the campaign? Surely it causes complacency and energises the opposition to do something about it.

  22. That Ashcroft headline poll is faintly startling – anyone with an eye for these things able to look at the crossbreaks and puzzle out where the main movement might be coming from, or if anything looks a bit abnormal (not suggesting there is!)?

    Meanwhile I see reports[1] that some private polling for the Lib Dems in Scotland has indicated them ahead in at least 3 seats (East Dunbartonshire, West Aberdeenshire, Kincardine, and sounding bullish at attracting enough ‘pro-UK’ tactical voters to hold off the SNP in a few others (though Ross, Skye and Lochaber is conspicuous in its absence..). Straws, grasping?

    [1] Only the Guardian so far – I avoid directly linking as I have heard tell the automodding snacks on links there.


    Half Time.

    Premiership is 45 minutes away. Dream Time.

  24. Latest Ashcroft marginals polls vs Yougov Nowcast

    All in nowcast range except UKIP in Great Grimsby that was just under the nowcast range, but these 3 way Lab vs Con vs UKIP seats are now becoming 2 way battles, UKIP being squeezed in Cannock Chase and Great Yarmouth and Great Grimsby, Labour being squeezed in Castle Point as indicated by being near the bottom of the nowcast range.

    Cannock Chase
    Lab 27-39 38
    Con 22-35 32
    UKIP 22-34 21
    LD 3-10 5
    Green 0-4 3
    Other 0-3 1

    Castle Point
    Con 30-45 41
    UKIP 27-41 36
    Lab 11-21 12
    Other 2-9 5
    LD 0-5 2
    Green 0-4 3

    Great Yarmouth
    Con 28-40 36
    Lab 24-36 34
    UKIP 23-35 24
    Green 2-7 4
    LD 1-5 2
    Other 0-2 1

    Great Grimsby
    Lab 27-42 42
    UKIP 26-41 25 ****
    Con 14-27 24
    LD 3-10 5
    Other 0-4 2
    Green 0-4 2

    ***** Out of range

  25. The Ashcroft poll looks most certainly an outlier. The warning signs are flashing red with this poll with a huge oversampling of AB’s. Also the crossbreaks showing a 10 point lead for Cons with females and the 18-24 , Scotland and North splits mean theres only one place for this poll and that’s the shredder. Better to go with the ICM poll which looks more inline in terms of voter demographics.

  26. Craig Murray, former ambassador and would-be SNP candidate, has a post on his blog about the LibDems blocking of boundary changes.

    “Because the large majority of over-small population constituencies are in the centre of declining post-industrial cities, the beneficiaries of the Lib Dems action will be mostly the Labour Party and secondly the SNP.”


  27. @ Indy

    Black crows are largely vegetarian, grey are meat eaters. In Hungary the former are called Catholic crows, the latter Protestant.

    But the black ones do eat egg mixed with porridge, still.

  28. My friend has now successfully completed his postal ballot.

    He got a piece of paper with two folds with perforations. The bit in the middle was a declaration, attached either side were council and parliamentary ballot papers. Also there were two prepaid window envelopes, one slightly bigger than the other.

    The smaller envelope had to have both ballot papers. One of the ballot papers had to be placed with its back to the envelope window so that the ballot serial number was showing (and I think address of where it had to be sent to but can’t be sure on that)

    Then the smaller envelope along with the correctly filled out declaration with signature and birthdate had to be put into the larger envelope. I think again one of them had to be aligned with the window showing an address. (but cant be sure of that, sorry).

    I have a horrible feeling that there is a lot that can go wrong with this and a good few votes won’t be counted as a result (eg people thinking that one envelope for parliament the other for council, people not putting the things in the envelope correctly etc.)

    If seats are very close I wonder if this will be the main post election story. In my own seat people have to deal with up to four ballot papers (parliament, unitary council, town/parish council and police commissioner council tax rate referendum.
    I’m just wondering how the elderly, the disabled, those with learning difficulties, the dyslexic and those who dont read it very carefully etc will get on. Its a much simpler process at the ballot box

    (I’m trying to be accurate but please read your own ballot paper instructions, not this, if you are postal voting in case I have made an error or different areas have different procedures)

  29. @Nick Shaw

    Also does showing a large Tory lead actually help the party at this stage of the campaign?

    No, because his last poll before polling day will inevitably show movement in the opposite direction, so just before everyone hits the polling booths the narrative will be ‘Tories fading’

    PS – next weekend is a bank holiday Monday. Does that mean we get the phone polls on Tuesday next week? And is it just me, or do these bank holiday weekend polls generally show better Labour figures (I presume those feeling the effects of the recovery are all travelling and enjoying those fruits, and those stuck at home willing to answer the phone are the left behind – the Christmas polls definitely seemed to turn Laboury)

  30. LASZLO.
    Ernest Bevin used to call Catholic priests: ‘Black Crows’

  31. Smithy I hope you are right tonight. No tweets suggests at worst Lab are level and probably ahead.
    After the Ashcroft shocker a Tory lead tonight would certainly indicate they are moving ahead.

    Chris Lane your boys are on the verge.

  32. Exciting moments for Bournemouth.

  33. Yougov forecast Con 35 Lab 32.

  34. @profhoward

    That would be because Ashcroft is not a member of the British Polling Council. I think it is technically impossible for him to be a member [maybe AW could clarify?] because he does polling ‘just for fun’, so to speak.

    A former Third Division-South team. Fairy Tales of Boscombe.

  36. Ps: what is happening to Lab in Scotland?

  37. @ ChrisLane1945

    Thank you. I didn’t know it. It was a common one in the political struggles in Hungary between 1945-48, and also by the young socialists between 1938-42. The former had a major cultural influence in Hungary (the “bright wind”), so it helped it to survive.

  38. Mikey – certainly no Ashcroft, or Angus Reid as it should be known, shocker – good thing about yougov methodology is it will genuinely pick up movement from a sound base. ICM though is another matter.

  39. @rich

    Both BBC and Channel 4 have reported today that Labour are concentrating resources in the ’12 to 15′ seats they think they have a chance of holding in Scotland. At the start of the campaign they were trying to defend just about everywhere, possibly excepting Dundee West. No word yet on who the lucky ’12 to 15′ are.

  40. Today’s the first day for ages I’m seeing a move back to the Conservatives, even if you discount the Ashcroft poll. Whether that continues remains to be seen – we need more evidence over the next few days.

    In terms of YouGov prediction, let me stick my neck out and say Con 34, Lab 33 (though I think 33 / 33 is equally likely, but not a Labour lead).

  41. I live in Keighley in a leafy suburb and there are 4posters in my road no tory ones. I have only seen one tory poster anywhere in Keighley and many more Labour ones. I am not sure what that proves.

  42. UKIP look like being a busted flush. They might poll around 11% on polling day but will have zilch to show for it.

  43. Surely a poll that overstates a party’s support encourages complacency among the voters of that party? This might effect turnout?

    Alternatively, perhaps people only come out and vote if they think their party will win?!

  44. How do you think post election negotiations involving Con and Lib / Lab and Lib will change if Clegg loses his seat (which is possible).

  45. Can we not do the prediction thing? It’s pointless and fills up the thread with nothingness.

    On Ashcroft, my understanding is that although he’s not a member of the BPC, he only uses pollsters that are.

    The main criticism of his polls are the opaqueness about who actually carries them out, but I very much doubt this is due to anything sinister or is a result of partisanship. They are amongst the most variable polls, too, but valid as far as I can see.

  46. Blackberries:

    West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine is one seat, not two.

    So they could be dodgy rumours.

    But living in the constituency, I think a LibDem hold is possible. Our local newspapers have had folk writing in urging tactical voting.

    And David Cameron`s demonisation of the SNP and his ridiculous plugging of EVfEL has scuppered the Tory challenge. About a third of the voters here are either English or have close relations in England, and are angry at being treated as second-class UK citizens.

  47. LASZLO.
    2015. The fans of Glasgow Rangers Football Club have started to sing a song which was written in the 17th Century, attacking the Catholic Mass/Eucharist; it is not on the police list of illegal songs.

    The song is The Hokey Cokey.

  48. @ chrislane1945

    You’d better learn the name of it then – ‘Premier League’. It’s not been called The Premiership for over a decade now, though I am pleased for your promotion.

  49. The Tories are up 3,4,4, & 5 on their previous constituency polls made varying times ago….

  50. Neil, the only predictions I will make is that, if the polls are right:

    (a) Whoever gets to form a government will inherit the most poisoned of chalices

    (b) Another election in the Autumn.

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