Another busy day for polling. We have only one GB voting intention poll today, but from a brand new pollster (later on we’ll have the regular daily poll from YouGov and the ComRes/Mail/ITV poll). However we also have a new Scottish poll from Ipsos MORI, three new constituency polls from Lord Ashcroft and a new poll of Con-Lab marginals from ComRes.

The new GB voting intention poll is from BMG Research for May 2015. It’s an online poll, using the sort of weightings and adjustments ICM use – so weighted by past vote, weighted by likelihood to vote with people who didn’t vote weighted down, and with 50% of people who say don’t know assumed to vote for the party they did last time. This has produced topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 32%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 14%, GRN 3% – full tabs are here.

MORI’s Scottish poll shows, as ever, a huge SNP lead. Topline figures are CON 17%, LAB 20%, LDEM 5%, SNP 54% (tabs). This would be enough for the SNP to win just about everywhere. A measure of just how vast the change has been in Scotland is that we are no longer surprised by polls showing the SNP with huge landslide leads in Scotland – we should be. A thirty-four point lead for the SNP in an area that Labour has consistently won since the 1960s is astounding and appears to be a true realignment in Scottish politics. We end up paying to the rest of the country because England and Wales are on a knife-edge while the outcome of Scotland appears settled, it’s just a question of how colossal the SNP landslide is, but it’s good to sit back occasionally and gawp at the scale of the turnaround in Scottish politics since a year ago.

Lord Ashcroft released three new constituency polls. The first was of South Swindon – a typical Con-Lab marginal seat, but not of any great importance beyond that. At the last election Robert Buckland had a majority of 7.5%, so with the national polls level we’d expect to find Conservative and Labour pretty much neck-and-neck here. That’s what Ashcroft found in his last two polls of the seat, it’s still the case now – a Conservative lead of just one point.

The other two seats are far more unusual affairs. The first is Sheffield Hallam, Nick Clegg’s own constituency. Ashcroft’s previous polling of the constituency has consistently found a very tight race between Labour and the Liberal Democrats (despite the fact that it used to the Tories who were main alternative to the Liberals here). Ashcroft’s poll today shows a Labour lead of one point, so far too close to call. Interestingly comparing the standard voting intention question and the constituency question a quarter of Conservative voters say they will actually vote Lib Dem in Hallam, suggesting significant Tory tactical voting propping up Nick Clegg.

The last of Ashcroft’s polls was in Thanet South, the seat being contested by Nigel Farage. There has been substantial polling in this seat, with recent Survation polls commissioned by UKIP donor Alan Bown showing a solid lead for Nigel Farage and other polling by ComRes showing a tight three way race between Conservative, Labour and UKIP. Ashcroft found a tight race between Conservative and UKIP, with the Tories just three points ahead, but Labour now clearly back in third place – CON 34%, UKIP 32%, LAB 26%. Tables for all three polls are here.

Finally there was a new ComRes poll of battleground Con-Lab marginals. As I’ve written before, the key to understanding marginal polls is to look at how those seats voted last time, what they change is, and how that compares to the national picture. This poll isn’t the 40 closest Lab-Con marginals that ComRes usually poll in their marginals omnibus, but a different bespoke sample of the fifty most marginal Con held marginals with Labour in second place. In 2010 there was an average Conservative lead of 4 points across these seats, while in today’s poll ComRes found a 3 point Labour lead. This is a 3.5 swing from Conservative to Labour, or the equivalent of a national poll showing Labour and Conservative neck-and-neck. Full tables are here

The 3.5 swing is in line with the national swing across all the polls (though a little bigger than the swing in ComRes’s telephone polls). However, I’m not sure that national polls are the right comparison – almost all Lab-Con marginals are in England, and because Labour have collapsed in Scotland the swing to Labour is actually bigger in England & Wales than the national polls imply. I’m going to try write at more length about the different battlegrounds at the weekend, but at first glance it looks to me as if the Conservatives may be doing a little better in the key marginals than across England and Wales as a whole… but Labour are doing a little better in England and Wales as a whole than in GB, so the two factors cancel each other out and the marginals swing is about the same as the national GB swing.

UPDATE: The voting intention figures for ComRes and YouGov are now both out. ComRes’s telephone poll for the Mail & ITV has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 35%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 11%, GRN 6%. YouGov for the Sun have topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 34%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 12%, GRN 4%.

925 Responses to “BMG, MORI Scotland, Ashcroft constituencies and ComRes marginals”

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  1. New (29/04-30/04) @panelbase #GE2015 poll results: LAB 34% (NC), CON 32% (+1%), UKIP 17% (NC), LD 8% (+1), GRN 4% (NC). Tables up later.

    Outlier? (Insert smiley)

  2. ChrisLane
    I agree with your figures – think the Tories will come in in the high 290s. They’re around 1% ahead in the polls over hte las few days, have the momentum, getting increasing paper/magazine endorsements and seem to always benefit on polling day (as well as being incumbent this time and getting that advantage). Think we’re heading for Con + LD + DUP government, though only with a weka majority and, as I’ve said many time, then expect some form of devo-max/EVEL type deal with the SNP to strengthen their hand.


  3. UKIP 17% on Panelbase.

    Shy kippers surge!!

  4. UKIP too high, Green too low. So the true figures should be LAB 33, CON 35.


  5. Re: Panelbase poll


    Caps to grab your attention. Panelbase has some quite pronounced house effects

  6. Bookies are confusing – setting aside the odds, oddschecker has the odds on a Lab minority lengthening from multiple bookies, though the odds on EM being PM shortening from multiple bookies….

  7. Something for both blue and red in the Panelbase nos – for Lab, they’re ahead and for Con, the gap has narrowed with Panelbase

  8. Chris Lane – fair enough and within the opinion poll range, but close to being a worst case analysis for Labour. They will be deserved losers if they can only win 30 Tory seats. However most marginals polling suggests they will do significantly better than this including ComRes last night.

  9. ADAMB – maybe they know something about a formal coalition! Perhaps a Lib+Lab minority?

  10. “Why are the Tories not ten points ahead?”

    They are, in the next Ashcroft poll. Of course, they’re also 9 points behind in the next Populus poll…

  11. 297 for the conservatives is a fantasy. They currently hold 303 seats.

    If they lose 30 to labour, they would have to win 24 seats of the liberals to hit this target.

  12. So all down to ‘get out the vote’ for Labour and UKIP it seems.

  13. I see Russell Brand has said people should “vote for Caroline Lucas of the Green Party”.

    How they do that outwith Brighton Pavilion is not clear.

  14. The biggest bet of the Election has just been declared by Ladbrokes
    £30,000 on a Tory majority, placed by a Glaswegan pensioner , will win £210,000

  15. Report from an uninteresting and unimportant constituency.

    A postal Green leaflet. Poorer quality than the previous one (addressed to the right person in the household though). Somewhat understated and weak messages in my view. I could vote for them and I couldn’t vote for them.

    However the Greens had a public meeting today, which is good, but in a school, which doesn’t please me (and not only because we have a number of community halls here).

    Still nothing from LibDem or UKIP (or if there was, I have forgotten) – strange as, I think delivery of one leaflet is on the taxpayers’ bill.

    On the poster front: I haven’t yet seen a Conservative or UKIP one, and only one LibDem, probably the local candidate.

    One weird street: if there is a Green poster on the one side of the street, there is one on the opposite side. The same for Labour. It’s a short, 200-yard street with 4 or 5 of such pairs.

    Because of the increase in Green posters, I put GP on 12%, Labour on 58, Conservatives on 10%, UKIP on 10, LibDem on 8, others 2%.

  16. Mike N

    Many forget that much of Scotland’s central belt is also threatened by rising sea levels, as are, of course, all the coastal towns and villages. I wouldn’t want to be living in Raploch or parts of Dumbarton, for example! Could get rather crowded (relatively speaking, of course).

  17. @OldNat

    To be fair, what Brand said was “If you live in Brighton Pavilion, you should vote for Caroline Lucas.”

  18. Well, despite strong criticism by DC and the Tory press, it seems that EM’s interview with Russell Brand was a ‘success’ in that over 500,000 people have viewed the video and reactions from youths is ‘positive’.

    Apparently, RB has some 10million online media followers.

    I think it was a great idea for EM to do this. It has the potential to be a gamechanger.

    The effects of this should show in polls, starting with YG tonight I imagine.

  19. @Vegas Seagull

    “The biggest bet of the Election has just been declared by Ladbrokes
    £30,000 on a Tory majority, placed by a Glaswegan pensioner , will win £210,000”

    Er, no it won’t. It will lose £30,000.

  20. Sandi Toksvig is founding new party – the Women’s Equality party

    They plan to have candidates standing in the 2020 election

  21. Betting…what will count as a Tory ‘win’ for the purpose of the bookie paying out to that Glaswegian pensioner, I wonder?

  22. Mitz :-)


  23. @ Mike N

    The effects of this should show in polls, starting with YG tonight I imagine.

    I think it’s unlikely that there’ll be many RB followers registered with a polling firm called You Gov – but I could be wrong.

  24. Latest Panelbase Poll

    Lab 34
    Con 32
    UKIP 17
    Lib Dem 8
    Green 4
    Others 5

    A good poll for Labour which stops the media narrative of a move to the Tories.

  25. MikeN

    Sorry – you’ve been misinformed: Brand has just over 1m subscribers to his youtube channel. I do think it was a net positive for EM, but it would have had a much greater effect if it had happened before the registration deadline.

  26. Ben Page of Ipsos-Mori having to field some questioning of the poll the released today.

  27. So applying my rule, and bearing in mind that the UKPR average has UKIP at 14% NOT an outlier.

    Panel base usually have Kippers very high.

    A combined Con + UKIP of 49% is high-ish but not extraordinary.

    This poll does not shake my assessment that the current position is Tories +1

  28. JAMES PEEL. In 2010 the Tories won 307. I think they will win 20 Lib Dem Seats, and lose 30 seats to Labour. That makes 297, and I expect UKIP to fail to win.

    JAMES PEEL. I THINK that Labour is slipping back and 30 seats is the maximum seat gain.

  29. John B

    I understood that Scotland was literally rising up – an effect of the receding of the ice 10000 years ago.


  30. I’ve heard the Panelbase poll is a real corker.

  31. @Old Nat

    Presumably there are also other polling stations?

    Oh…. I get it!

  32. @nico
    “A good poll for Labour which stops the media narrative of a move to the Tories.”

    But the Panelbase poll DOES show a move to the Tories (and the LDs).

    Furthermore if you look at the house effects, you’ll see that Panelbase tend to understate the Tory VI.

  33. Nico. Fully agreed.

    A good YouGov for Labour tonight and this will remain a very close race. All to play for.
    It doesn’t take many positive polls on here for talk of Tory majorities to resurface!!!

  34. Mitz
    According to the G-spot, “The comedian has almost 10m Twitter followers”. Is Twitter not online media?

  35. Mitz


    I was looking at an E&W Green tweet.

  36. Going dark now.

  37. Mike N

    Yes, it is, but rather more slowly than the projected sea level rises. We ought to be ok in Bathgate (c. 200m above current sea level) for a while yet, though…..

  38. Mike N – Apparently, RB has some 10million online media followers.

    It’s a shame he told them all not to register to vote!

  39. @ Mikey

    “It doesn’t take many positive polls on here for talk of Tory majorities to resurface!!!”

    Well, they are entitled to one.

  40. Is it all over for this election? Nate Silver has given his prediction.

    Nate Silver sees it as as close race between Conservative and Labour with neither party obtaining an overall majority. Silver says that Conservatives will have more seats than Labour, but that Labour and other parties of the left will be able to form an overall majority. However the Conservatives will be unable to find sufficient support from other parties to obtain an overall majority.

    This prediction from Nate Silver is the same as those from almost all other forecasters.

    Is anything going to change between now and the election date? There is a weekend, a bank holiday and then a short week of two days before the election. The campaign will have lasted six weeks.

    I don’t know if Nate Silver is standing by to make other predictions, or if he thinks that the outcome of the election is clear.

  41. @MikeN

    Fair enough. Point still stands, though. Just because you follow Brand on twitter, doesn’t mean

    – you agree with him
    – you watch The Trews (1m subs, not 10m)
    – you watched the interview (660,000 and counting)

    But most importantly, any chance of persuading young people who hadn’t registered to get out and vote was lost because it was a day too late.

    Don’t get me wrong, I thought it was a good thing to do, and certainly won’t have done EM any harm, but I don’t think it will make a massive difference either.

  42. @ AdamB 5:46

    Tories “getting increasing paper/magazine endorsements” as evidence of momentum hahaha! Shock endorsements by the Sun, Mail, Telegraph, Times and Express are evidence of nothing bar their owners’ well-known, ahem, affinities and IMHO unlikely to shift a single vote.

  43. In terms of posters, I’ve seen lots of Conservative ones, quite a few UKIP (but fewer than the Conservatives), a couple of Lib Dems, and one Labour – but no Greens at all. Note I live in what’s considered a safe Tory seat.

    There are a number of independents and other smaller non-national parties around, some of whom I think will get a reasonable number of votes. I guess this sort of thing never shows up in the polls – though sometimes it can have quite a local impact.

  44. @Omni

    Given the IPSOS poll was conducted 26 to 29 April then if it was showing some big move to the Tories then polls conducted 29/30 should have picked up on that. The best news however was the COMRES poll because that’s the first phone poll for quite a while to not have the Tories in the lead.

    Indeed if it wasn’t for the voter turnout weighting the COMRES would have shown a 3 point lead for Labour. The problem with weighting to 2010 turnout is that was an election where the Labour turn out was likely to be lower than this time.

    Interestingly a separate YouGov youth poll showed a big increase in 18 to 24 age group in terms of intention to vote.

    This should help Labour.

  45. Not everyone has had to re register. We in Newham got moved over automatically and I imagine many many young were as well

  46. @Omni

    Funnily enough, I’m going to an awards do on the evening of May 7th and Sandi Toksvig is the MC.

  47. Chris Lane – There is no evidential basis for imagining Labour will only win 30 Tory seats. Leaving aside uniform 4% swing models (which would bring some 59 seats into Labour’s tally but which we know won’t happen), both on the ground evidence from canvassing, constituency polls and the opinion of the more informed and objective posters here suggests that the great majority of Labour’s top 50-60 target seats are well within their grasp. Work through the individual constituency comments on here alongside a list of the top 60 Labour targets and you’ll see that’s so: I have.

    50 gains from C/LD (assuming 40-odd losses in Scotland) is Labour’s target for reaching 270 seats and the means to form a working government with SNP and other anti-Tory (SDLP, Plaid, Green, maybe Alliance, maybe LD abstentions) support.

  48. Ipsos MORI gets filed alongside Ashcroft National as “low L baseline, low UKIP baseline”, which is somewhat distinct from Survation’s “low L baseline, high UKIP baseline”.

    Perhaps that clump of polls has a family resemblance and the way to unite them is the online/phone UKIP effect, which becomes a question of assigning “blue Kippers” as well as weighting DKs.

    Pretty sure they’re not going to converge.

  49. re, twitter:

    It is interesting how many MP’s are embracing this… Tim Farron is apparently the biggest tweeter (according to the Express in 2013), followed by Julian Huppert and Stella Creasy. Whilst not comparing with Russell Brand, Farron has an impressive 31.5k followers… That is more than half his voters. Huppert has 17.8k followers. It does mean that when one of these politicians tweets something, a fair number of voters must notice… Greg Mulholland is another Lib Dem with 13.1k followers… It will be interesting to see if it makes any difference on polling day, but those three are all Lib Dems backed to win…

  50. ADGE3

    You might want to take a look at Nate’s prediction for 2010 before you get too excited.

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