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. Jasper 22

    Sharrup Jasper

  2. Its not about Brand endorsing Labour or Milliband. I really doubt he’ll do either.

    Its about the narrative that Ed Milliband is ‘not scared’ to speak to a whole range of people, even those who are ‘outsiders’. It helps to build on the narrative that began when Cameron refused to debate Ed Milliband. Its an interview designed to try to create the idea of Ed as ‘the brave communicator’ and emphasise that Cameron is ‘cut off’.

    Might work. Might not.

  3. @Smithy – 8.28pm

    Brand is seen generally in a bad light with the public, see the link Lazlo was kind enough to put up re YouGov poll. Not only is he seen negatively but by association Miliband will also be seen negatively for even bothering to waste time with Brand. (Of course this is only my opinion, but my own 20 year old daughter who is a Labour supporter couldn’t understand why Miliband went to be interviewed by Brand – my daugghter has decided to vote LD rather than Labour because of it, but she already had a low opinion of Miliband but was until this evening was giving him the benefit of the doubt.)
    As for viewing figures, remember that not all 100,000 will come from the UK, many will be under 16 let alone under 18, and if they hold anything like Brand’s philosophy that they will not vote then undoubtedly they have not registered to vote. However, the alienation in voters minds with the undoubted ‘press’ comments will far outway any possible positives Miliband’s advisers thought Labour might achieve by this ‘interview’.

  4. Any chance we could auto mod ‘game changer’?

    But after this post….

  5. Hello. I’m a first timer who has been following comments on the site on and off for quite a while, but with growing interest since the Scottish Referendum. I’ve held off joining in before due to having nothing useful – in the manner of Unicorn or Roger Mexico – to say about polling. After reading all the conjecture as to the likely shape the next government might take in a ‘hung’ parliament however, I’ve decided to take the plunge and ask if anyone else remembers a Peter Kellner article for the Sunday Times Magazine (though it could have been the Telegraph or Observer) from, I guess given the subject matter, the late 1980s in which he speculates as to possible events following the fall of Thatcher? In this he foresees Kenneth Baker succeeding to the leadership of the Tory party but, faced with a Labour/Lib Dem tactical coalition, missing out on an overall majority at the subsequent election. There follows numerous twists and turns (remember this was when Kellner was best known as a political commentator and not the head of an esteemed polling organisation) including Chris Patten getting trapped in a fog bound Belfast and so unable to get back in time for a confidence vote. The upshot is that the Tories are forced to turn for support to the SDP, and the price for this is David Owen entering Number 10 as PM.
    Apologies if someone else has already shared this, and all very lighted hearted no doubt, but it does make a serious point about just how difficult it can be to predict the political future regardless of the electoral arithmetic, and how the best laid plans, etc…..

  6. Bill

    Perhaps your daughter should see the Brand/Miliband interview before passing judgement.
    I don’t see it as remotely damaging nor beneficial to Labour

  7. ExileinYorks


    “If Russell Brand backs EM in the election it would be…

    39% The kiss of death for EM
    25% A great Intervention
    35% The end of the world as we know it”

    I’m astonished. Wouldn’t it be the greatest constitutional crisis since the abdication?

    There’s nice piece from Evelyn Waugh’s Diaries that Marina Hyde quotes in the Guardian:

    The Simpson crisis has been a great delight to everyone. At Maidie’s nursing home they report a pronounced turn for the better in all adult patients. There can seldom have been an event that has caused so much general delight and so little pain.

    which suggests that even the abdication wasn’t greeted with that much horror.

  8. @Catoswyn

    Agreed.. Personally can’t stand Brand so good to see a politician willing to debate with him (I think Cameron should have as well, instead of off hand dismissing it as a waste of time). I would like to think he’s doing it because he honestly believes in challenging Brand’s way of thinking – if the public believe that as well good for him, but could easily back fire.

  9. @ Omni

    I have said a UKIP low of 7% and high of 10% many moons ago.

    In my opinion they peaked to soon (Not through any fault of theirs) the SNP for example were lucky and the timing was just right.

  10. If Cam or Boris had have done it the spinners would have been all over here “marvellous attempt to reach out to the young disaffected, pity Miliband didn’t think of it”

  11. Tories now 1/5 to win the most seats yet Miliband is 1/2 to become PM.
    I am beginning to think Cameron might be good value at 5/4

  12. Mikey – 8.45pm

    My daughter detests Brand and will not waste her time. This is the problem for Brand in that he actually turns off more people than find him amusing, and this seems to be even more the case when he thinks he is acting like an intellectual. Miliband has lost Labour one vote for sure by this antic, something I for years have not managed to convince my daughter to do.

  13. Bill’s daughter has decided to vote Lib Dem rather than Labour purely on the basis that Ed Miliband did an interview with Russell Brand, that she hasn’t even seen yet.

    I’m sorry – that has to be one of the most ridiculous things I have ever seen on here.

  14. Roger Mexico: “which suggests that even the abdication wasn’t greeted with that much horror.”

    At my mother’s school they sang about it:

    Hark, the Daily Herald sings
    Mrs Simpson stole our king

  15. @ Rayfromthenorth

    I do not see that, I think most are in agreement that it will have no effect whatsoever.

  16. On MilliBrand

    The link to the YouGov poll posted earlier is interesting.

    Yes, he has the lowest Nett score, but those who rated him positively outnumbered George Clooney. In other words, he is a marmite character.

    So no surprise that Telegraph readers see this as the end of civilisation as we know it, but it is still likely to go down well with the “yoof” vote.

    I’ve thought for some time that the Success of the Labour campaign will be heavily dependent upon how well they motivate the 18-25 group to turn out and vote. LD were very successful in doing this last time on a promise about tuition fees and their downfall IMO is largely down to reneging on that promise.

    MilliBrand suggests that Labour campaign HQ are aware of this, but I wonder if it’s too little too late. That said, the record breaking number of last minute voter registrations might suggest something may be happening beneath the surface.

  17. @bill – with all the injustices going on and this is how some base their vote on things like this – I’m shocked!

  18. Totally agree Geoff – if it’s true I am dumfounded

  19. Correction. Lowest rating except Clarkson.

  20. We could experience something later this evening that we have not seen yet in 2015 – if the Tories are ahead in the next published poll it will be ahead in 6 of the last 7 for the first time (they have had four out of the last five a total of 4 times already).

    If they were level pegging the chance of 6 out of 7 would be about a 5% chance I think, ie we could say with 95% certainty the Tories were actually ahead …

    … Hmmm. Let’s see!

  21. Going back to polls…..

    I had a tweet with link to Western Mail (Welsh newspaper) which quotes local opinion polls pointing to Plaid Cymru gaining Ceredigion from libdems. They also look to be head in the three seats they are defending.

  22. Bluebob

    I’m saying that was what would the spin would be, not that it would have any effect. You know how this game goes, EM could dive off a pier to rescue a drowning kitten and the Torygraph would tell us why it made him unsuitable to be PM.

  23. Sorry, but I am just reporting the facts. I have two daughters who vote Conservative and one who has always followed Labour, tonight she was aghast that Miliband should have an ‘interview’ with that Brand (I have left out a descriptive word she used before the name ‘Brand’). To me the economy and the future of our nation should be decided by more important things hence I am a Conservative, but my daughterdecided she couldn’t trust Miliband following this. My daughter has the same right to make decisions for herself as everybody else does, and there are much stranger things have have made people to vote one way or another. (I mean who would have thought what school a candidate attended would influence how adults vote either for or against a person.)

  24. GEOFF

    Bill’s daughter has decided to vote Lib Dem rather than Labour purely on the basis that Ed Miliband did an interview with Russell Brand, that she hasn’t even seen yet.

    I’m sorry – that has to be one of the most ridiculous things I have ever seen on here.

    I was just thinking the same thing, there are soft votes but this is silly.

  25. BILL

    I have to agree with others posters, it is one of the silliest things on her for,a while.

  26. Geoff – didn’t LD open their campaign with that intellectual heavyweight Joey Essex and Cameron did a heat interview last week? Just saying….

  27. I note that the posters here telling us how pointless the Brand exercise is and how it’ll cost Labour more votes than it gains them happen to be the same posters who would never have dreamed of voting for Miliband. I also suspect few if any of them are in Brand’s target demographic. Fancy that.

    Bill, I’m struggling to follow your daughter’s reasoning.

    Agree with you on the way this fits into Ed’s narrative. It’s got a whiff of Major’s 1992 strategy to it (in a good way).

  28. Bill

    Steady on, only Conservatives vote for ‘economy/important things’? Aren’t the rest of us lucky to have you. I agree with Theresa.

  29. I have just checked my Maths – if they were level pegging, being ahead in 6 out of the last 7 polls would only happen about 1.5% of the time … so even more significant! Roll on 1030pm and the YouGov poll assuming that is the next one out of the blocks

    But I am guessing there will be a 4 point Labour lead !!!!

  30. RayFromTheNorth
    EM could dive off a pier to rescue a drowning kitten and the Torygraph would tell us why it made him unsuitable to be PM.


  31. JohnPolitico

    You’re out of the loop old bean, there’s been an unpublished Lab lead today – see earlier in the thread

  32. Brand: Correction. Lowest rating except Clarkson.

    A lot of people I know who care about politics are very anti-Brand because of his stance on voting – I’d definitely put him down as a negative influence because of that.

    If Miliband can persuade him otherwise then Brand will go up in my estimation considerably.

  33. I too imagined that Milli-Brand-Gate was a complete non-story.
    But… Evening Standard splashed it all over their front page today, complete with very negative, derogatory comments from top Tories, even Cameron himself.
    That, surely, will create a backlash worth a few marginal seats, especially if it turns out the interview is good. I doubt an outright unpleasant reaction like that will in any way garner support from undecideds. They are more likely to sympathise with the target of the unjustified attack.
    (I am very much an ex-fan of Brand myself, but can’t see why his image disqualifies anyone from doing an interviewing with him)

  34. Rayinthenorth – save me reading through the past 300 comments but was that the TNS poll by constituency?

  35. I think Bill is trolling us!

  36. The fact that someone can change how they will vote because a politician has talked to someone that they happen to dislike is disturbing. It even makes me wonder momentarily whether democracy can really work. The only consolation that there is probably someone else who will vote Labour because Miliband spoke to Russell Brand. We can always hope that all the voting decisions taken for spurious and trivial reasons will tend to cancel each other out.

  37. Cameron said he’s too busy to an interview with Brand but yet was interviewed by Heat the other week

  38. @CYT

    Given the way London is headed, does the ES reflect its readers? It’s just daft for them even from a commercial perspective (it’s a freesheet as it is).

  39. BILL
    I mean who would have thought what school a candidate attended would influence how adults vote either for or against a person.)

    Things operate in shorthand surely? People use the school thing to indicate that they feel a person is, or is not, able to relate to them. Nigel Farage, despite the best efforts of the media, is considered to be an ordinary sort of chap. Yet he went to a public school. Unfortunately the Conservatives have a current crop at the top who do seem to have moved in narrow circles and who give the impression of being ‘seperate’. Hence the ‘Bullingdon Club’ stuff and the emphasis on their schools.

    As for your daughter. Lots of people do use small points to confirm feelings they were having…. kind of like the straw that broke the camel’s back. I would think she was tending towards changing her vote and was discomforted by Ed Milliband anyway. The Brand interview has just tipped her over. You’d know best of course if that is true. However I think most Labour voters won’t be so affected and it will have little influence.

  40. New Thread

  41. Smithy

    No it was ORB on McScare -page 13 RogerM

  42. I was really annoyed when Brand told people not to vote but I think he regrets that now. He is a bit like some of the people in he independence campaign, in that the establishment howl about him because he is anti-establishment. Brand now campaigns on various issues, housing, big business not paying tax, anti-racism and is a very political.

    He has a really good quote

    “when I was poor and talked about inequality they told me it was envy, now I am rich and talk about inequality they say I’m a hypocrite. I think they just don’t want to talk about inequality” Spot On.

    I am glad Miliband is talking to him it certainly gives me a better opinion of Miliband. If I lived in England I might be encouraged to vote Labour.

  43. I’m surprised that posters here are surprised at Bill’s daughter. People vote based on decisions like that all the time!

    This is how “real” people behave.

  44. @Cover Drive
    “I think Bill is trolling us!”

    I would much prefer it if @Bill had executive chocolates and was really spoiling us.

  45. Some people are jumping up and down because the Conservatives are finally in the lead, but wait a minute.

    i have them averaging 34,1% so far this week, which is 2.9% down on their 2010 GB wide vote,

    Labour at 32.5% are still 2,8% above 2010, despite the drubbing they are about to take in Scotland, where they have lost between 15% to 16% of their support.

    That means, and Ashcroft constituency polls confirm this, that Labour still has a commanding swing in England.

    So i just do not get the “ninnies” on this list who keep chirping that Cameron is going to win this election.

    With what are the Conservatives going to win this election given that the UKIP vote, which is concetrated in Engalnd and Wales is still stubornly refusing to drop?

  46. Hey everyone,

    Let’s not pile into Bill’s daughter.

    We don’t even know the lass or the process she went through really.


  47. Ray

    Unpublished poll was from a few days back so not one of the last 5!

    @April 28th, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    Thank you. I found that you set an incumbency for Cons of 2.5% as a default where the sitting MP is standing. Am I right?

    I set mine a bit higher at 3.2% as it seems to fit the Ashcroft polls better for me.

  49. Let’s change the subject whilst we await the next YouGov survey.

    During the last GE campaign the 10pm BBC News bulletin was extended to 45mins. Not this time. Also, the tragic events in Nepal have pushed the GE off the lead item on most news channels.

    “The reduced media coverage of the 2015 GE will have an impact on voter intention.” Discuss.

    1hr and no more than normal post length.

  50. @Couper

    Brand is really quite smart and extremely articulate. He likes to pretend he’s a div (and had done sone really stupid things) but his political ideas are coherent and interesting.

    Like you I think his idea to encourage others not to vote was wrong, but as you say politics is more than a vote every five years and he is very involved in very real issues.

    He also has an almost total absence of malice. His orbitury to Mrs T is a must read.

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