So far today we have had a new poll from TNS and a Scottish poll from Survation, with YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun still to come.

  • TNS’s latest poll has topline GB voting intentions of CON 34%, LAB 33%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 15%, GRN 5% (tabs).
  • Survation join Panelbase, YouGov and TNS in showing the SNP lead over Labour widening in Scotland. Their latest Scottish figures with changes from March are CON 14%(-2), LAB 26%(nc), LDEM 5%(+1), SNP 51%(+4), UKIP 2%(-2) (tabs).
  • YouGov’s daily poll will, as usual, be out around half-past ten. Their figures in last night’s poll for the Sun were CON 35%, LAB 34%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 12%, GRN 5% (tabs).

964 Responses to “Tuesday polling update”

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  1. Four forecasts have changed today, the Conservative average lead is now 8 seats, tables here:

  2. Gary,

    That link says pdfs can’t be viewed in the viewer. Can you do a direct link to the pdf?

    And do you have my forecast in there? :-)

  3. @MARTINW If YouGov did marginal polling I would be happier we were seeing a balanced picture.

    YouGov say their NowCast has been based on 40000+ interviews in the last week alone, so they should be accurate at a constituency level. YouGov may well be considered to have more detailed polling than Ashcroft – it just depends on whether they’ve got the methodology right (although there Nowcast is pretty consistent with the Ashcroft constituency polling).

    However, they were also founded by two Tories (both of whom have stood for election as Tory candidates).

    I believe one of the reasons Peter Kellner was brought on board was to avoid being seen as too Tory.

    In fact – to bash any suggestions of bias right on the head – I believe everyone’s favourite ‘Labour leaning pollster’ Populus is also owned by a Tory.

  4. @peter ould

    What browser are you using? It’s Word Online, should just open in a new tab.

  5. RIVERS10

    Re: Greens not standing in Wirral West.

    That was funny. I’d literally just finished reading an interview with Wirral West voters where a mother (Conservative voter) said her four daughters were planning to vote Green and she was trying to persuade them not to.. Then I saw your post.

  6. I suspect tomorrow’s poll is a 4-6 point tory lead which of course is out of sync with the average by a bit.

  7. @ Exileinyork:

    “The FTPA requires an explicit no-confidence motion in a prescribed form of words to start a process which may lead to a new election. An extract from the act was quoted back up thread.”

    Yeah, that’s very much the impression I ended up with. I was hoping someone would say something like, “Ah, but you’re forgetting about the Biscay Fisheries Recognition Bill of 1729 …”

    In the scenario I was imagining, in that case, the Trident bill could fail, and the administration survive. Even if there was a formal confidence vote afterwards, the SNP could then vote for Labour, even though they have just refused to let them pass a major bill. That looks like something of a constitutional oddity.

    I’m not sure I’m comfortable with the idea that a a government can pooter along without actually being able to pass a supply bills. It smacks of a Hellish parliament stuck in limbo.

  8. Exile: that is not my argument. My argument is that, if David Cameron loses a first vote of confidence and Labour cannot offer an alternative stable government (which requires a C&S agreement with the SNP), then Cameron should not resign, but instead let the 14-day period expire and automatically trigger a new election. A new election would be in that scenario far more reasonable and legitimate than a Labour government supported by of a minority of 270 MPs.

    Frankly, I don’t understand why Labour are so reluctant to admit that they will have to make a deal with the SNP if they want to form a government after effectively losing the election.


    As ever. Thanks.

  10. @Jasper 22
    Are you saying Ipsos Mori will make the numbers up?
    Are they in the Tories pocket?”

    The poll will be genuine, but how much we are supposed to read into the numbers of an occasional pollster using the clearly more volatile phone polling method, I’m not sure.

    The publication date is set by whoever commissions the poll. I very much doubt the ES chose the day of the QT debate to release it as entirely random.

  11. Omni and Gary,

    Firefox on Android. Tried it in Chrome and it was fine.

    Gary appears to be missing me…. :-)

  12. MBRUNO

    You’ll find your points were covered at length yesterday in the thread. Rather than everyone having to type it all out again it may be good to go back and read the various arguments if you can.

    So far as I understand it though. There is little support for your reading of the situation.

  13. @RAF
    “Imagine a big Tory lead being published just before QT. What a coincidence that would be.”

    The bigger the fall when it reverts to the mean post QT – “Cameron collapse!”

  14. Could contrary to what the parties think extra pledges from both main parties actually cost them votes? and send voters back to the smaller parties or to no vote at all. My dad is saying how it’s descending the election into a farce.

  15. MBRUNO

    “Frankly, I don’t understand why Labour are so reluctant to admit that they will have to make a deal with the SNP if they want to form a government after effectively losing the election.”

    Because there is nothing in FTPA, precedents, cabinet manual or anything else that says they to make that deal to form a government.

    You clearly think they do. Lots of others, myself included do not agree with you.

    I politely suggest it is time to put this discussion to rest and agree to disagree.

  16. @Matt M.

    It is said that the reason the Guardian use ICM is so that they know that where the pollster reports a Lab lead, they know it must be true, as their method of reallocation of DK’s makes Labour leads difficult.

    It may be the same with YG and the Sun/Sunday Times.

    Let’s be honest, if you are a party in the election would you want to have on board a pollster whose results could be too favourable to you, or one who was hard on you? If you really wanted to win, the latter would make more sense.

  17. @ Cloud Spotter

    Yes, I see what you mean now. So they do seem to be getting very similar numbers after all.

  18. @Peter Ould(ukelect)

    try this, let me know if it works. Yes your forecast is there from the 28th :)

  19. @ MBruno

    Last attempt.

    It is the civil service’s call what could happen.

  20. @RAF It may be the same with YG and the Sun/Sunday Times.

    I think the Guardian quite like a bit of self-flagellation – Not sure the Sun/Sunday Times would think the same :)

  21. @BM11

    But not outside MOE. Everything we have seen recently is consistent with a one or two point Tory lead, even yesterday’s YouGov.

    I think that that may very well be the current position, but Nil Desperandum the marginal polling tells a very slightly different story.

    As ever we await tonight’s YouGov.

    ‘Let them get on with it, I have growing confidence of another Con-LD coalition as long as NC hangs onto his seat.’

    I wonder what you are doing on a polling site.

  23. @Peter Ould

    Forgive me I am getting all confused, I’ll try to add you tomorrow, for the last week before polling day.

  24. BM11
    Could contrary to what the parties think extra pledges from both main parties actually cost them votes?

    Possibly so. No pledges and policies made during the election campaign so far seem to have moved votes to or from parties in any significant way.

    However we have a sophisticated electorate in many ways. They are also trying to work out who they trust and who best fits their own ideas. Many people doubt that promises made during the campaign will even be met – especially as they looks likely to be a hung parliament. I personally think that the bigger and bolder the policy announcement at this stage then the greater risk of a party looking a bit too desperate and even over-egging it and becoming ‘unbelievable’ which would maybe have a negative effect on votes.
    In addition a policy or pledge, if it contradicts some other message the party was trying to get over, can lead to a confused narrative. I think the Conservatives in particular are running this risk with many commitments to spend more maybe contradicting their ‘austerity’ narrative.

  25. @Gary Gatter

    Are you confusing me with Peter Ould? Peter’s forecast wasn’t there last time I looked.

  26. Lurgee

    “I’m not sure I’m comfortable with the idea that a a government can pooter along without actually being able to pass a supply bills. It smacks of a Hellish parliament stuck in limbo.”

    What it boils down to is that they have to put forward supply bills that will get more votes for than against. It may take a bit of haggling to get there.

  27. Those people interested in the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections (yes, I know that it is some way off and that there is something else happening at the moment) may be interested in my latest detailed Scottish Parliament forecast: April 29 Scottish Parliament Forecast

    It includes detailed forecast for all the Scottish Parliament constituencies and regions.

  28. Confidence and supply is clearly better for the SNP than a coalition. It means they can’t be tied into anything that will later cause regret (see Student Fees).

  29. Mbruno

    Let us assume that the Tories hypothetically win a plurality of the popular vote and are the largest party in the House of Commons. In that situation, David Cameron has a strong case IMHO for holding a fresh election rather than resigning after a vote of confidence, which BTW, as I insist, would be in line with the precedent set by all PMs who also lost a vote of confidence in the 20th century.

    Cameron has absolutely no case at all. The law is quite clear – if he loses the vote of confidence, the Queen appoints someone else. It doesn’t even have to be someone with a reasonable chance of getting a vote through, just the next most likely person. If they fail, there may even be a third person who makes the attempt. If no one gets confidence voted with the 14 days, then there’s a new election. But efforts will be made within that time to give everyone plausible a chance.

    As to Cameron refusing to resign, it doesn’t matter. When Her Maj appoints someone else, he ceases to be PM. Of course he will be expected to resign if he loses a vote of confidence, but if he sits there like a spoilt toddler saying “Shan’t”, Miliband will be appointed and given a chance to get a vote through the Commons – probably the next day.

    The only way in which the scenario you imagine could happen would be if the Queen refused to appoint anyone else in the time frame. And that really would be the biggest constitutional crisis since whenever, maybe leading to the end of the monarchy. She’s not going to risk that even if she wanted to (which she doesn’t).

    That said, it may well be that certain people are dreaming about exactly such a way to keep the Conservatives in power. The attempt to undermine Bercow (presumably to replace him with someone more malleable) and the very tight timetable for the Queen’s Speech (there was more time in 2010) may both be designed to railroad Cameron’s confirmation as PM or, failing that, a new election with him still holding the post. You suspect the media are all lined up to provide support as well – certainly I imagine there will be much talk of ‘stability’ and ‘the markets’ to try to rush smaller Parties into voting for Cameron or at least abstaining.

  30. @ukelect

    I got very confused was on the phone and trying to message. Yes you are right, I have not included Peter’s forecast yet. Will try to get it into tomorrows,

  31. @Roger Mexico

    Good analysis as ever.

    I suspect, however, that once the dust settles on 8th May, it will become very clear whether DC has done enough to stay on, or not.

  32. @Cloud Spotter

    @Alec is living in 2010. We need to find a way to get him back to the future in time for the election. It may take a few Gigawatts of electricity. When’s the next storm due?

  33. We seem to be back on to good polls for Tories are wrong (even though most of the phone pollsters are converging on 2-6 pt CON leads) whilst good polls for LAB are right. Really we just don’t know. And marginal polls have the same error margins/ potential methodological flaws as any other poll.

    Having said that I agree that polls shouldn’t be called ‘corkers’ or ‘interesting’ by polling companies. OK, it gets them the attention that’s good for business. But for the pollsters a poll should just be data. And ones that are probably outliers clearly aren’t ‘corkers’. For a polling company a ‘corker’ should be one that gets the result right – something they won’t know until May 8th.


    Frankly, I don’t understand why Labour are so reluctant to admit that they will have to make a deal with the SNP if they want to form a government after effectively losing the election.


    Because they have friends and colleagues fighting for their political lives in Scotland and they can’t very well pull the rug out from under them by saying that a vote for the SNP amounts to the same thing as a vote for Labour.

    After the campaign, Labour will turn its attention to how to manage parliamentary business, should they be in the position to do so.

  35. OK for those that care my pet project of looking at where the Greens were not standing didn’t amount to much. It seems that the North West has a disproportionate number of marginal seats with the Greens not standing since in the rest of the country I only found another two :(
    The nationwide list is as follows with the latest Ashcroft constituency polls showing the Lab lead in each seat and the (supposed) Green vote

    Wirral West Lab lead 5% Green vote 5%
    City of Chester Lab lead 11% Green vote 3%
    Crewe and Nantwich Lab lead 3% Green vote 1%
    South Ribble Lab lead 0% Green vote 2%
    Lincoln Lab lead 4% Green vote 3%
    Thurrock Lab lead -4% Green vote 1%

    Thus no real difference. It certainly helps and in a couple of really tight races it could make the difference but we’re only looking at six seats so nothing game changing….

  36. Garry Gatter

    I like the colour scheme now :)

    As for the results, intresting to see that Prof Fisher has revised upwards his conservative lead, while the others all seem to be going for even-stevens as between Lab and Con.

  37. Roger Mexico: for the last time, the law says no such thing about the “Queen appointing someone else” if he loses a vote of confidence. Unless the Queen dismisses him, which she won’t do, she can only appoint another person if DC resigns, which, like his predecessors in 1924 and 1979, he doesn’t automatically have to do, especially if the alternative to a fresh election is an unstable minority government. that didn’t even win the popular vote and is not even the largest party in the House.

  38. According to the seat by seat map on the Telegraph website (Election Forecast), Simon Hughes has an 86% chance of defending his seat?! The Tories are likely to hold Croydon Central according to the forecast. I am personally surprised at both of these predictions.

  39. MBruno is driving me into being this person:

    ‘marginal polls have the same error margins/ potential methodological flaws as any other poll.’
    I think that a similar picture from Ashcroft, Comres and the Yougov Nowcast is probably worth taking note of. The swing in these polls would be the equivalent to a Con lead of 2-3% assuming uniform swing in England. They aren’t especially Labour leaning.
    Hopefully, my posts on polling are non-partisan Jack.

  41. Roger Mexico

    An interesting piece, thank you.

    What is the mechanism for overturning the 5 yr fixed Parliament – does a vote of confidence automatically do it?

  42. Cover Drive
    Hughes is definitely favourite in Bermondsey but yeah 86% seem a lil excessive.
    Don’t know what they’re thinking with Croydon Central. From what I’ve heard Labour are not doing as well there as they should be but clearly enough to win and nothing (Ashcroft Polls, London Polls, Local/European Election Results) points to a Tory hold. Outside chance yeah, likely no.

  43. @M Bruno

    In this day an age no PM could possibly continue in power if they lost a vote of confidence. The entire purpose of the FTPA is to prevent an election taking place where a confidence vote is lost. He would be defeating the purpose of his own legislation if he stayed in power and kept getted voting down. Also the opposition could propose bills AND pass them..

  44. According to informed sources on Twitter, tomorrow’s Ipsos MORI/Standard poll is a “corker”.

  45. I say it would make the biggest difference in Wirral West where the amount of would be Green Voters is as big as the Labour lead over the Tories and must be making it a quite likely gain especially as it seems a very polarised seat with not a huge amount of swing voters.
    Surely Chester must be a sure fire gain now for Labour with a 11% lead and 3% Green vote. Was there for a few days just after Easter and the only signs of the election was a massive Salmond in Millband pocket poster right near the station and Labour signs above the CO-OP bank. Plus I saw the Tory candidate’s office.

  46. @Hawthorn

    ‘Coalition 2: Electric Boogaloo’

    I’d pay to see that!

    Perhaps we could settle the hung parliament NYC style, reds vs blues:

  47. Ipsos Mori are the worst for pre-spinning and hyping their own polls. Ben Page was spinning tomorrow’s poll earlier today, apparently before they had even finished working on the poll. IMO that is pretty unprofessional. If nothing else they are being commissioned by news companies who would surely have a reasonable expectation that they should break the news.

  48. I posted this last night, but think it got lost in moderation and the discussion moved on. intended it as a light hearted reminder of just how difficult it can be to call the shape governments might take.

    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…..

  49. Spot on Simon. Ipsos More had a corker of a poll in February which gave Labour a two point lead.
    I suspect it will be a 4 point Con lead given that Ben Page believes crossover has occurred.

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