So far we’ve had two new GB polls today, both continuing to show the race pretty much neck-and-neck:

  • Populus’s twice-weekly poll has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 33%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 15%, GRN 4% (tabs). Note that Populus appear to have made a slight methodology change – their tables include a reallocation of don’t knows, which has the effect of slightly increasing Lib Dem support and decreasing Labour support.
  • Meanwhile a new Survation poll for the Mirror had topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 34%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 16%, GRN 3% (tabs are here)

Elsewhere Lord Ashcroft released his latest, and final, batch of constituency polls – ten constituency polls in a mix of different types of seat. The full details are here:

  • Four of the polls revisited Con-Lab marginals where Lord Ashcroft’s previous polling had found a tight race. In Norwich North (2 point Labour lead), Pudsey (1 point Tory lead) and Wirral West (3 point Labour lead) he found little difference from his previous polls, in Croydon Central he found better news for the Conservatives, with a four point Tory lead compared to a four point Labour lead in March.
  • Another poll revisted the LD-Con marginal of North Cornwall, finding the same two point Liberal Democrat lead as the previous poll in March.
  • Three of the polls were newly surveyed seats – Battersea had been speculated as a seat where the Tories were in trouble, but Ashcroft’s poll found no swing since the election and a twelve point Tory lead. In Stourbridge he found a 4.5% swing from Con-to-Lab, leaving the Conservatives only 2 points ahead. Best of all for Labour was Peterborough, a seat the Conservatives won in 2005, where Ashcroft found a 6 point swing to Labour, putting them 2 points ahead.
  • Finally Ashcroft repolled two Scottish seats. In Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale (currently the only Conservative seat in Scotland) he found the SNP increasing their lead, up to eleven points from two points last month. In East Renfrewshire, Jim Murphy’s seat, he found the tide moving away from the SNP (possibly due to tactical voting by Tory voters) – in April his poll gave the SNP a nine point lead, the latest poll has them leading by only three points.

Weekly Round up

I’m not going through all this week’s polling like I normally do on Friday’s – frankly there has been too much – but just to complete the record set, the UKPR polling average for the final week of the campaign shows figures of CON 34%(+1), LAB 33%(nc), LDEM 9%(+1), UKIP 14%(nc), GRN 5%(nc), pushing the Tories slightly ahead.

The latest forecasts from Election Forecast, May 2015, Elections Etc, the Guardian and YouGov are below, with the majority of them now suggesting the Conservatives will win slightly more seats than Labour, though only Steve Fisher’s model predicts a Parliament where any sort of Conservative-led government looks feasible.

Elections Etc – Hung Parliament, CON 290(+4), LAB 258(-5), LD 25(-1), SNP 53(+2), UKIP 3(-1)
Election Forecast – Hung Parliament, CON 280(-3), LAB 268(-2), LD 27(+3), SNP 49(+1), UKIP 2(+1)
May 2015 – Hung Parliament, CON 275(+5), LAB 267(-6), LD 27(+1), SNP 56(+1), UKIP 2(-1)
Guardian – Hung Parliament, CON 276(+3), LAB 267(-1), LD 27(-1), SNP 55(nc), UKIP 3(-1)
YouGov Nowcast – Hung Parliament, CON 272(+2), LAB 276(-1), LD 24(-3), SNP 52(+2), UKIP 3(nc)


429 Responses to “Friday polling round up”

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  1. @Amber Star

    There are plenty of groups that would want to protest against Labour other than nationalists

    Socialists
    Anti-War
    Anti-Nuclear
    Equality Groups on equal pay
    ……and so on

  2. My first post. Sorry I have come late to the party.

    A funny week. Last Sunday it really did seem as if the Tories were in trouble with reported criticisms from within the party about Cameron´s performance following on from the West Ham faux pas. He´s raised his game since and the Tory camp will probably feel they´ve got the momentum. Seat projections have, startlingly, started to shift their way, Incrementally but definitely.

    A better day for Labour today though and the Tory surge is on hold, at least for now.

    Not sure that there´s always a move back to the incumbent.

  3. Brian

    There are parties there in different groups that are happy to work together, and other parties in the same group that are not happy to work together. For instance in the latter case, some are primarily nationalist parties while and others are primarily labour parties that believe in the UK. There are parties that are socially liberal and others that are not. So not really a good analysis to shoe-horn a binary division on to them. The SNP oftentimes has adopted non-left and pro-independence positions in relatively recent history of these islands for example.

  4. Couper

    Whoever they are they are very unpleasant.

  5. Couper2802

    I don’t know either way, but I don’t see why anarchists would be bothered to be shouting ‘Red Tories’ at Labour types, and I thought the SNP reckoned itself to be a bit socialist now. How do you know the protesters weren’t SNP? – has SNP become synonymous with ‘doing no wrong’ now up there?

    (I’m not claiming any party has a monopoly on virtue here, just questioning the automatic assumption or acceptance of a line that your team were in the clear).

  6. Prof Howard

    The group “Citizens United Against Cuts to Public Services” are certainly very vocal. I have little knowledge of them other than the odd web search

    “Citizens United make a motley band, slogging up slushy streets, the air around them clouded with frozen breath and the smoke from roll-ups. They don’t resemble the usual rent-a-mob. They range in age from mid-twenties to early eighties; visually, it’s a real mix of mohicans, black anarchy flags, young women dressed as Dorothy from The Wizard Of Oz, white hair and sensible anoraks. The OAP wing is very striking in this context. When they walk into a bank, it looks like the cast of Still Game gatecrashing an episode of The Apprentice.”

    http://www.scotsman.com/news/peter-ross-some-scottish-demonstrations-over-fees-are-a-more-sedate-affair-1-1370785

    I’m sure that your representation of their political stance as “nationalist” was as accidental as those who suggested that the bunch of hangers on to an Orange Walk in Glasgow who attacked an SNP office were somehow representative of “unionism”.

    Such things do happen, and should rightly be condemned – equally, fairly, and not from a position of political partisanship.

  7. @ProfHoward

    While I respect your view, I think you are getting it wrong here.

    PC, SNP, SDLP are certainly nationalist parties and have either historically supported Labour or have indicated that they will NOT support the Conservatives.

    Lady Hermon certainly will not support the Conservatives or she would still be in the DUP.

    Respect (Galloway) would rather support LIKUD in Israel before supporting Cameron.

    The Greens in England and Wales have already publicly stated they will work with PC and SNP and actively oppose the Conservatives.

    I cansee no case for division in the LAB block but to date neither LidDem or DUP have committed to supporting Cameron or have stated that they will not support Milliband post election.

    Any division within a bloc is more likely in the CON block than In the LAB block.

  8. How many seats might Labour gain?

    Most polling suggests a 4% Con-Lab swing nationally – higher in London and the North-West, lower in the Midlands, West Country, etc. A swing of that order brings Labour’s top 59 target seats into play.

    From the point of view of the parliamentary arithmetic, it makes sense to focus only on Coalition-held seats, i.e. to exclude either Green/PC-held seats or likely losses to SNP – as these will in any case form part of an anti-Tory bloc. There are 4 of these, leaving 55.

    Ashcroft polls, collective informed non-partisan opinion on UKPR, etc., suggests Labour are favourites in 39 of these 55. “Favourites” here ranges from nailed-on gains to solid prospects: seats Labour can reasonably be optimistic of gaining.

    Another 8 seem possible Lab gains, but too close to call (Thurrock, Plymouth S, Halesowen & Rowley Regis, Nuneaton, Northampton N, Bury N, S Swindon, Stevenage). Let’s assume Labour win half of these: 4.

    8 appear lost causes (Pudsey, Gloucester, Kingswood, Blackpool N, Worcester, Loughborough, Warwick & Leamington, Pendle).

    Giving us a total of 43 prospective gains.

    Beyond this point, again surveying the polling evidence and informed opinion, Labour’s prospects drop of sharply (suggesting the 4% C-L swing figure is broadly accurate). Labour can claim to be favourites in only 3 of the 39 Coalition seats between 60-100 on their target list, all Lib Dem-held (Redcar, Hornsey & Wood Green, Cardiff Central). They seem to have a shout, of varying degrees of plausibility, in only 10 other seats in this tranche, all Con-held. Let’s give them 2 of these.

    Giving a total of 48 gains from the coalition. Adding these to Labour’s starting-point of 256 and subtracting the maximal 40 losses to the SNP gives us 264.

    [There may be other LD outliers, including of course Sheffield Hallam :). But not factoring these in here.]

    So the notional Labour-allied/supporting bloc (Lab 264 + SNP 55 + SDLP 3 + PC 3 + Green 1 + Respect 1) comes in at 327. (Plus possibly NI Alliance 1 & NI Independent 1.)

    Bearing in mind the 5 Sinn Fein absentees + the speaker, it’s daylight – just – over any conceivable Tory-led bloc (and arguably more ideologically homogeneous, though that’s another matter). It also shows (a) the “legitimacy gap”, about which we can expect to hear a good deal from the Tories and their press allies come May 8th, would be pretty slim – on these figures, the Tories would be looking at 278 seats (that’s assuming 27 LDs), just 14 more than Labour; (b) how tight the margins are: how even a small shift in the polls to the Tories in the final few days could make a big difference in the outcome.

  9. BRIAN NICHOLSON

    Well hard to give numbers unless a constituency poll has been done. Have you looked at the other constituency part of this site? Its very interesting. Lots of people with apparent expertise in constituencies discussing them down to the last detail.

    In my own area the incumbent Lib Dem was first elected in 2010. Before that the seat was Conservative for 25 years. The sitting MP was, it is widely assumed, ousted due to his ordering of manure on expenses. The Lib Dem MP has a majority of 800 votes. It is widely expected the seat will return to the Conservatives this election unless the approximately 6,000 tactical Labour voters who supported the Lib Dem candidate return to support her this time. This Conservative gain is confirmed by Ashcroft polling. We are just one of 15 West country seats the Conservatives are targeting this time around.

    There you go.

  10. PS the 10 Con seats in the 60-100 range I suggested Labour have at least some hopes in:

    Watford, Norwich N, High Peak, Milton Keynes S, Rossendale & Darwen, Dudley S, South Ribble, Peterborough, Crewe & Nantwich, Finchley & Golders Green.

    I suggested Labour might take 2 of these, purely speculatively – not crunching the data. Be interested to see if others agree with all this.

  11. brian I think lady hermon was in the uup not dup wasn’t she?

  12. @Catoswyn

    Thank you very much. That is exactly what I was looking to see.

    It is hard to know the history of all seats so comments such as you posted are very welcome and help educate those like myself.

  13. Simon I’m not sure why I need to spell this out but of course Labour could end up with a higher share of the vote than the Tories. In 2005 Labour posted around 800,000 votes more than the Tories having won just under 3% more of the popular vote. Some polls are showing Labour currently ahead in the share of the vote anyway. Factor in that the final polls in 2010 under- estimated Labour support by 2% and it makes it a very reasonable possibility.

    I am baffled as to why you are certain the Tories are certain to win most seats and largest vote. Perhaps you should just wait and see what the electorate decides.

  14. DAREDEVIL

    That was lovely and clear. Thanks.

  15. In 2010 the Tories scraped into power on the Lib Dem shirt tails with just 23% of the electorates support.
    36% of a 65% turnout.

    If Cameron sneaks back in to Downing St with 33% of what will probably be no more than a 65% turnouts he will have the backing of just 21% of the electorate.

    Maybe he should pay a squatters tax!

    FPTP needs reforming, if the Tories don’t get elected this time, whoever is in power should look at changing the system to something that is more representative and I don’t mean cutting out 50 or so MP’s to favour the Tories as has previously been suggested, we need a more representative way of electing MP’s before the divisive Nationalism of the likes of UKIP, SNP, DUP and the Tories destabilise the UK beyond repair. Divide and rule has traditionally been the favoured ploy of the right wing, this time it may well be the beginning of their own downfall.

    For the non partisan, these are interesting times.

  16. @ Brian Nicholson

    Completely agree with you on the blocs (though I spell “bloc” as in Warsaw :) ).

    Just adding that even if the numbers enabled it (which I don’t think they will) I see no guarantee whatsoever that the LDs would troop behind Clegg into another 5-year coalition with the Tories. Never mind that it’s what he clearly wants, what’s in it for the rest of the party? Having lost >50% of their MPs and up to 2/3 of their vote? With even less clout in a Tory party yet more ideologically rightwing and frenzied about European secession? I can’t see the parliamentary LDs (with Clegg’s henchman Alexander of course off the scene) and still less the LDs nationally going for it. Opposition and a chance to rebuild their independent identity much the better option.

  17. Daredevil. Yep pretty much spot on but again you as so many others talk about what a small shift to Con might do in the final analysis. There could of course be a slight shift to Labour although it seems that posters en masse on this board only think a late swing can go from Lab to Con. I would have thought 2010 would have made more posters aware of this.

  18. @ Graeme

    I think I’ll take your advice, thanks. :-)

  19. @ Mikey:

    Yes after posting that I asked myself why I’d phrased it that way. Ingrained pessimism I expect! And maybe that “shift towards the incumbent government” factor we always hear about?

    Of course it could go the other way and in fact I think that’s what’s happened this week, which has overall been a good one for Labour and EM (Russell Brand, Tory cuts in the spotlight, rent control a significant policy I think, EM solid on QT, etc.) and seemed to have halted/reversed the small but discernible Tory trend in the previous 7-10 days.

  20. Daredevil.

    Yep agreed and I thought your analysis of seat distribution was excellent.

  21. @CASCLC

    One thing that interests me is the YouGov Nowcast. It currently shows better figures for Labour than most other forecasts. I believe (AW may correct me) is that that is because it includes constituency level VI from the now very large (10s of thousands) panel. Problem is that is not visible to us, and will tend to include larger proportions of those both online and politically engaged.

    It would be great to know which of the various models is doing best at getting the balance right. YGN only went public a few weeks ago, and as far as I know has never been tested against real voting behaviour. So, it is difficult to know how much faith can be placed in its projections. Since its appearance I have been checking its predictions against new Ashcroft polls. In predicting the margin between the top two parties it seems to be more or less competitive with ElectionForecast – the model that has consistently emerged as the best of the bunch. It doesn’t fare so well when you extend the assessment to VI projections for the other national parties. However, you could argue that this counts for little if the ambition is to project accurate seat tallies.

    If EF and YGN are broadly comparable in their ‘Ashcroft accuracy’ it might seem strange that the seat margins differ so much. The reason for this, of course, is that it is the EF Nowcast that is benchmarked against constituency polls. Their Forecast assumes that major new changes will occur over the coming week, lifting the LibDem VI to about 12% and handing Nowcast Labour seats to the Tories. The wisdom or otherwise of including these adjustments is one of many things we’ll learn in a week’s time.

  22. BRIAN NICHOLSON

    Thank you. I meant to add that UKIP used to be relatively popular as we tend to be an anti-EU rural area but the local party has had some internal squabbling after their candidate resigned saying that the party had been ‘infilitrated by the Glastonbury occult’. I don’t think they are in play except that their relative absence will boost the Conservative vote further.

  23. “One of the oddities of the current situation is human lifespan. People wh remember when coalitions were the norms are, unfortunately, dead. Just like people who were around in 1913 and saw a more global world (due to the empires) than the world today, thus would consider the globalisation narrative a bit strange.”

    An excellent point. In the 1892 election, which took place in July, the tories won 313 seats, the liberals 272, and the Irish Nationalists got 81 seats…

    From wiki, which is good on this:

    As the Liberals did not have a majority on their own, Salisbury refused to resign on hearing the election results and waited to be defeated in a vote of no confidence on 11 August. Gladstone formed a minority government dependent on Irish Nationalist support.

    the liberals were propped again in both 1910 elections by the irish nationalists. To a 50 year old in 1913, this stuff would seem normal.

  24. Unicorn

    “The wisdom or otherwise of including these adjustments is one of many things we’ll learn in a week’s time.”

    Though analyses of such things may be drowned out by partisan postings about the postures (imagined or otherwise) of the different parties, assuming no one party has an overall majority.

    Eventually, it will be good to get back to a proper analysis of which pollster done good, and what methodologies got nearest to an accurate picture.

    For that, I suspect we will only be able to judge from the VIs posted by those pollsters on the morning of 7th May.

  25. GRAEME

    Very interesting. You aren’t the Graeme who writes for Con Home are you… the one who loves cats?

  26. MORI have published tables on perceptions of the campaign – which party most effective, most negative, perceptions of leaders etc,

    https://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/3563/Ed-Miliband-and-Nicola-Sturgeon-felt-to-have-most-improved-perceptions-over-the-campaign.aspx

    “25 per cent of respondents felt that the SNP was conducting the most effective campaign – compared to 17 per cent for the Tories and 15 per cent for Labour.

    The poll – with a sample of more than 1,000 people across the UK – also found SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon had made the biggest inroads with the British public. Thirty-eight per cent say they now see her more favourably than before the election campaign while one in four (26 per cent) sees her more unfavourably. She was followd by Ed Miliband, with 35 per cent viewing him more favourably.” (Herald)

    In terms of the “SNP effect” in England, Sturgeon’s ratings as being seen more/less favourably in GB by party VI were –
    Con 20% / 49%
    UKIP 21% / 38%
    LD 61% / 18%
    Lab 47% / 16%

    Con/UKIP negative response is hardly unsurprising for right wing (and at least outwardly) Unionist voters.

    The Lab figures may suggest that Lab voters may well see little problem with whatever “non-coalition agreement” that Lab/SNP come to.

    The LD numbers surprised me.

  27. Of course, the MORI poll was not conducted across the UK (just in a bit of it) and MORI couldn’t even get the name of the SNP right,

    Still it might tell us something.

  28. http://www.theguardian.com/politics/datablog/2015/may/01/main-parties-unlikely-to-make-big-gains-outside-heartland-pooled-polls-suggest

    Anyone have any opinion on this ‘pooled poll’ technique and conclusions drawn in the article?

  29. There seems to be something of an assumption that the Tories have made a decisive break from the tied polls this last week. I think that may be a mistake. Looking at the ebb and flow of polls over the last few months, there are times that both parties seemed to have edged ahead, only to see it even up the following week as they revert to type.

    I feel that that pattern may still be happening, but a number of pollsters have conflated that pattern in this last week with the notion of a ‘crossover point’ for no other reason than it’s the last week. While individual polls have gone up and down (as ever), the underlying poll of polls only shifted by a percent or so. The very latest poll of polls seems to be shifting back again.

    On top of this, I’ll return to a previous point. That being, that if the polls actually stay tied in the final GE result – it may confound a lot of the prediction models that assume a late swing to the Tories and a lead of about 2% or so. If they don’t get that late swing, and the VIs stay level, it will be to Labour’s advantage in terms of final numbers of seats.

  30. DAREDEVIL

    Great comment. That’s a more detailed working-out of the mental seat map I’m working with. There are soft thresholds on either side, but hard thresholds around that would indicate some kind of shift outside the current polling. It’s very hard to see Labour ending up with a net loss of seats even with the expected pasting in Scotland.

    There are also soft and hard thresholds for Con gains over LD, which don’t make a difference to the coalition numbers, but set an upper limit expected for the Conservatives even if they’re the largest single party.

    JAMES PEEL

    1885 is another example of Gladstone forming a minority ministry with the IPP holding the balance of power. That only lasted a year, when the first Home Rule Bill was defeated and the Liberal Unionists split away.

  31. OLDNAT

    “Eventually, it will be good to get back to a proper analysis of which pollster done good, and what methodologies got nearest to an accurate picture.”

    I’d like to hope that AW can take a rest, but I fear that the pollsters will be re-engaged to gauge voters’ opinions of the Commons that they already voted for.

    One thing I haven’t seen in any polling data, perhaps because it’s slightly ultra vires, is predictions of turnout. Perhaps I’ve missed it, but the only data source at hand is the betting markets, where the current under/over is 68%. Given that polling companies are weighting by likelihood to vote, one would assume that there’s a way to extrapolate a turnout estimate from that?

  32. Looking at the polls this week, overall a 1% lead for the conservatives. They have had a couple of very big leads which explain this. Looking at most polls it s still neck and neck with perhaps a slight Labour lead in the last couple of days, certainly all well within MOE
    I thought on the debate Clegg came out best, by some way, then Cameron with Miliband just behind him. I also speculated at the time I expected it to have no impact on the polls, which at the moment it has not. Talks of any game changers in the debate I feel was rather pushing the reality of what we have seen over the last few months.
    Looking at the longer picture Labour’s lead was slowly eroded from the end of Last year upto the end of February to become neck and neck. We even had a 1% conservative lead a couple of months ago. Then back to level pegging, then back to a 1% Labour lead, then level pegging, then this week a 1% Conservative lead. I suspect this coming week will see it back to level pegging judging by the latest polls.

    Unless most polls are wrong or there is a sudden surge in Conservative support (both not impossible but both could equally apply to Labour’s benefit) I cannot see how the Conservatives can stay in power.

    Of course the big unknown is the Libdems. it is far from certain who they will support, though I suspect they will go with the party that gives most stability and wring the maximum amount of concessions from them.

  33. I rarely comment on Scotland, for some time I have thought the SNP will do well and they are exceeding my expectations.

    The big question for Labour is what they can do going forward.It is very hard to see a way although I think the issue of FFA may just give them an in.
    If the SNP are calling for FFA and Labour are in Government I would offer a referendum in Scotland on it. I would expect Labour to campaign against it and the SNP for it.
    Labour can only hope the Conservatives campaign with the SNP for it, but that appears unlikely. So if the Conservatives and Labour are both on the same side again they most avoid the mistakes of the referendum campaign and not have a joint platform with the Conservatives but explain why, from a Labour point of view, they are against FFA.
    If the SNP win the referedum they will have control of Scotland’s finances, time will tell if that turns out to be a good or a bad thing.
    If the SNP lose the referendum it may just give Labour an in to try and regroup.

    All is highly speculative, but what is certain is that Labour doing nothing will mean SNP continue to be the ‘natural’ party of Scotland.

  34. For the nightowls and early birds who want a brief intermission; the polling for the Alberta provincial election is quite staggering, given that the PCs have been in office since 1971:

    http://www.mainstreettechnologies.ca/new-government-inevitable

    (That’s consistent with all the other polling.)

  35. Based on the bloc analysis I think the Conservatives have to hold 11 of the 15 seats below (listed in order of difficulty for them, easiest to hardest) for their bloc to be the largest:

    Crewe and Nantwich
    Finchley and Golders Green
    Croydon Central
    Halesowen and Rowley Regis
    Stevenage
    Harrow East
    Brighton Kemptown
    Ealing Central and Acton
    Northampton North
    Cannock Chase
    Nuneaton
    Keighley
    Ipswich
    Wirral West
    Amber Valley

    Nuneaton is 11th on the list and is also early to declare. Whoever wins it looks to be in a good position to form the largest bloc. If it is a re-count we could be in for a very long night (and next few weeks)

  36. NEILJ

    On the basis of the polling evidence throughout the campaign that is a very fair summary and I cannot fault it.

    My gut feeling is still for a large swing back to the Conservatives come polling day but obviously I could be wrong. Fortunately the election will be all over in a weeks time and we will know. It will be then time to reflect on the result, how the polls performed, and what the future holds for the country going forward.

  37. The Duchess of Cambridge has been admitted to hospital in the early stages of labour

    I will personally hunt down anyone who uses the word game changer about this…..

  38. Update to my YouGov weighted 7-day average:
    Con 33.8 (-0.1), Lab 34.3 (-0.1), UKIP 12.8 (+0.2), Green 4.8 (-0.1), Lib 8.5 (-0.1)
    Steady as she goes!

    Also, the royal baby is on the way, so we now get to test the “The Royal Baby Conservative Bounce!” theory.

  39. @Daredevil – interesting analysis though I disagree with your eight ‘lost causes’ (Labour are still competitive in at least some of those) and your suggestion of 2/10 gains of the winnable seats in 60-100 is pessimistic on the balance of probabilities given the polling in these seats.

    I’d be more inclined to give them a couple of the ‘lost causes’ and, say, four from the 60-100 which would add six to your total. So IMO you are in the ballpark but slightly on the Labour downside. And I still think they will hold some in Scotland, though how many I am at a loss to say.

  40. @The other Howard

    Personally don’t agree but have enjoyed your posts throughout this period….

    Perhaps we all should take time to reflect over this weekend how fortunate we are to live in a society where we can all engage in this sort of debate.

  41. Gone back and started to capture the data for the E&W YouGov – currently up to a week of data so I can tell you my weighted 7 day average for England and Wales:
    Weightings for each day are:
    1, 0.91, 0.82, 0.74, 0.67, 0.61, 0.55

    Con 35.3, Lab 35.3, UKIP 13.8, Green 5.3, Lib 8.5
    Labour and Con, according to YouGov (and my hastily put together weighted average), are *exactly* neck and neck in England and Wales.
    Labour are also doing better in E&W than GB as a whole.

    (Difference between GB and E&W:
    Con +1.5, Lab +1, UKIP +1, Green +0.5, Lib N/C)

  42. Also, can I just say that going back through the previous thread, the “Did Labour overspend” discussion really made me chuckle – simply because nobody defined criteria for what “overspent” actually meant.
    So you were all using the same word, but probably using completely different criteria.

    This is part of the problem with ambiguity in these discussions (over “legitimacy”, “overspending”, “fairness”, etc) – unless you first define your criteria, you’re not going to actually get anywhere.

  43. @ Catmanjeff and Unicorn

    Still finding a very high rate of undecided at between 10% to 20% on the doorstep, but note my own brother is reluctantly preparing to vote Conservative as compared to UKIP in the 2014 Euro elections.

    Am wondering if more “blue kippers” return to their respective parties than “red kippers” that that will become a statistically signifiant difference.

    I also still find it very hard to believe the accuracy of polls that place Green below 5% GB wide and suspect they will be closer to 6% in England

    I acknowledge, however, that some quite strong Green voters do not want another Conservative/LD coalition under any circumstances.

  44. “If EM goes back on his word, he deserves to be crucified.”
    Value judgement alert! Value judgement alert!

    We’re not here to make value judgements – “As a nice rule of thumb, think of it as a site about politics, not a venue for politics.”

    (Please, anybody else – if I start posting value judgements, call me out on it)

    ” Lab could (and in my view should) only become the government if they win at least a few more seats than Con”
    Lab could only become government if Labour could survive a confidence vote, if the Conservatives couldn’t first – if the Conservatives had more seats. That is the only objective criteria for government formation.

    Whether you think Labour *should* form a government is neither here nor there.

    As far as the “Ed would not be propped up by the SNP!”, he was very clear – he said he would seek to form a minority government and let parties vote how they wish to vote.
    He made it clear that there’d be no *deals*, not that he wouldn’t seek to form a minority government.

    I can’t find a source now, but IIRC it was mentioned on PM on Radio 4 that Douglas Alexander (IIRC) made it clear that Labour *party whips* would work with other party whips – but that there’d be no *deal making*.

  45. Dunham,

    ” … nationalist parties such as … SNP are “beyond the pale”.”

    If the SNP win almost every seat in Scotland, as they appear to be in line to do, then I think you’ll find that they are most definitely well “within the pale” and the other parties are “beyond”.

  46. Dunham111

    “Beyond the pale” may be your prediction, but not one that polling yet supports. :-)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pale

  47. TF – is your remark below an oxymoron.

    ”We’re not here to make value judgements ”

    I agree By The Way just messing.

  48. Good Morning All, as we await the news of a royal baby.
    It is quite cold here in Bournemouth, as we start the last day outside the Premier League in Association Football, with Eddie Howe the leader.
    I sense a massive surprise coming on Thursday, politically, which polls are not picking up yet.

    Earlier in this thread there is discussion about the 1885 and 1892 General Election. Parnell’s party replaced the Liberal Party in Ireland, outside of Dublin and in four counties in Northern Ireland.

    Maybe that pattern is being repeated in Scotland now, with regard to the SNP and Labour.

  49. Herewith, the last of my weekly Scottish crossbreak aggregations!

    As usual, little change. In a preliminary analysis, I previously suggested that these crossbreaks had become increasingly out of kilter with the Full Scottish polls.

    Which will most clearly resemble the final result? In AW’s immortal words – “only time will tell”. Thankfully not much time left.

    Scottish crossbreak in today’s YouGov

    SNP 42% : Lab 28% : Con 19% : LD 8% : UKIP 2% : Grn 2%

    This week’s mean of YG Scottish crossbreaks

    SNP 44% : Lab 28% : Con 16% : LD 7% : UKIP 2% : Grn 2% (Range – SNP 40-46 : Lab 26-31)

    Mean of Scottish crossbreaks in last 3 week’s YG polls

    SNP 43% : Lab 27% : Con 17% : LD 7% : UKIP 3% : Grn 3%

    Mean of Scottish crossbreaks in last 3 weeks Populus polls

    SNP 46% : Lab 29% : Con 14% : LD 8% : UKIP 3% : Grn 1%. (Range – SNP 41-49 : Lab 24-36)

    For the really nerdy, here are the means for each week (fieldwork from Sat to Fri) since the beginning of January.

    SNP – 40.6 : 42.2 : 41 : 43.6 : 40.6 : 42.6 : 42 : 43 : 41 : 45.4 : 40.8 : 37.8 : 43.2 : 41.8 : 43.2 : 42.4 : 44.2
    Lab – 27 : 26.8 : 27.6 : 27 : 25 : 27 : 26.2 : 24.4 : 27.2 : 25 : 27 : 30.6 : 27.8 : 29 : 27 : 26.6 : 27.4
    Con – 16.2 : 16.3 : 17.8 : 19.8 : 21 : 16.6 : 18 : 16.8 : 19.8 : 16.4 : 20 : 17 : 19.2 : 14.3 : 16.6 : 16.6 : 17.8
    LD – 5.8 : 4.3 : 5.2 : 3.2 : 4.6 : 6.2 : 5.4 : 4.2 : 4.6 : 4.4 : 5.4 : 5.8 : 4.6 : 7.8 : 6.8 : 7.4 : 6.8
    UKIP – 6.6 : 5.7 : 4.2 : 3 : 4 : 3.8 : 3.8 : 6.6 : 3 : 4 : 3.4 : 5.4 : 2.6 : 4.5 : 3.6 : 3.4 : 2.4
    Grn – 4.2 : 3 : 3.8 : 2.8 : 4.2 : 3 : 4 : 4.2 : 3.8 : 3.8 : 2.8 : 2.6 : 1.4 : 2.8 : 2.8 : 3.2 : 1.8

  50. a thought. If Ed M gets in with less seats and/or a lower share of the vote than the tories he will face a barrage of flak over the legitimacy of his governments – whatever the constitution says.

    In this situation – would he consider overturning the FTPA in order to call a second general election? Maybe running on a ticket of bringing in PR and other constitutional reforms – such as federalised political structure.

    The SNP would likely vote against – FPTP hugely benefits them and they may not facny another GE so soon.

    The tories would then have to put up or shut up. They may not be in a happy place politically – esp if their defeat opens up the divisions within the party – and they too may not want to fight so soon.

    Ed M would have the moral highground and this – plus any ‘new government victory bounce’ – might be enough to help him win a more politically legitamate victory in – say – october 2015.

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