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. @Andy shadrack
    It is and always has been the Tories only hope of winning in some form.They are lucky the SNP are doing so well in Scotland,the lib dems were always going to suffer more from red dems going to Labour.There are probably 20 seats at least where blue kippers could see the Tories win the con lab marginal.Personally,I think Cameron should go if they fail to get a majority,he killed the Tories campaign by saying he was going before it started.I also fear for the Tory party as many more May defect to UKIP or the party may split way off to the right.They have not had a majority since 1992 and for the alleged natural party of government,something is badly wrong.As the polls stand EM will limp over the line of number 10 having lost the election effectively by default,them is the rules so there is no point the Tories bleating about it,they have campaigned woefully,they have lost the ground war to UKIP and Labour and DC as leader should go for all of it.Peter Hitchens said the two main parties were dying and he may well be right as there may be an awful mess from next Friday with a party maybe 60 seats short of majority in government.Unless of course the polls are hopelessly wrong

    “We’re not here to make value judgements.”

    So we can’t review the salience of the underlying values of otherwise varying party manifestos in the probable formation and behavious of a Lab led minority parliament – for example in bringing together parties which represent a concensus on the ending of austerity economics and unacceptrable wealth divides, and which would collectively align itself with other social democratic movements in the reform and policy making of the EU, or judge that this – legitimately – lies behind the statements made by EM on overt cooperation or coalition with the SNP?
    I don’t support that view, and think it should properly be expressed on this site.

  3. ‘“We’re not here to make value judgements.”’

    I agree – by which I mean those who consider the end of the world is coming as their party may lose should not comment.

    This is not the same as fairly analysing issues… Which should mean both major parties being discussed in any entry as both have good and bad sides…

  4. “Duchess in Labour”

    Gamechanger? (come on, it had to be said)

    DC has already been on TV wishing the happy couple well. Can a spot of Royal patriotism bring the voters flocking back to the Tories?

  5. For those who insisted that the GDP figures had to be wrong;

    Yesterday’s PMI manufacturing figures show a further sharp fall. Consumer goods sector still doing OK, but industrial goods not so. Looks very like the economy is starting to slow.

    We are, as they say, doomed.

  6. You have to seriously wonder about anyone who changes their vote on the basis of a royal baby. And I say that as someone who wants the Tories to do well.

  7. If the LD are hanging onto North Cornwall that means the Conservatives are only in line to take 9 seats off LD:

    Mid Dorset and North Poole
    St Austell and Newquay
    Somerton and Frome
    Sutton and Cheam
    St Ives

    That said Lord A found LD holding onto Sutton and Cheam, Cheadle and St Ives, but then he found them losing Berwick-upon-Tweed, North Devon, Taunton Deane and Torbay was a statistical tie.

    In contrast Labour are in line to take at least 10 LD seats and SNP 9 to 10 in Scotland which surprisingly leaves LD with 28 to 27 seats.

    Given the LD polling standing in Wales I still think that there is the possibility of a Conservative gain in Brecon and Radnoshire and wonder whether Plaid Cymru still have a shot at Ceregidion.

    Again I return to the theme that the GB wide polls are not going to be very helpful in predicting the election outcome, in that without Lord A’s constituency polls we would not have known the full potential of national/regional and even seat by seat variations.

    If the Conservatives were on 307 and gain 10 from LD that places them on 317, before they start to lose seats to Labour.

    Assuming they hold all the Con-LD marginals I have about 32 Con-Labour marginals in play at the current swing, and while there are some below the swing the Conserative will hang onto there are also some above the line that Lord A has suggested will fall instead.

    Then there is Thurrock which may fall to UKIP instead of Labour.

    So I will suggest that Conservatie will be lucky to hang on 287 seats overall on current projections while acknowledging that actual voting on May 7th could shift that slightly.

    Currently I cannot get Labour above even with 2010 because of the loss of seats in Scotland matches their gains in England and Wales.

    In contrast 287 Conserative, with 28 LD and 8 DUP gets them to 323. So one must wonder what Sinn Fein will do in those cirumstances?

    As I said yesterday, when Norbold laughed at me, we are really not going to know who is going to form government because it is so close and quite simply too close to call

  8. Alec

    “We are, as they say, doomed.”

    Are you Robert Peston in disguise? :-)

  9. @Holgate

    May I comment as a signed up member of the UKPR Alberta provincial elections club (since 2012). I think that makes four of us including yourself, AS and AW.,_2015

    It’s not just the scale of those developments but the pace that’s stunning.

    The nearest parallel might be in the context of an election to a South East Regional Assembly of the UK, with:

    – Labour’s standing doubling from under 20% to 40% since the end of March, and from 10% since the last set of elections in 2012

    – A right wing insurgent party (UKIP) having polled 50% a year ago now polling at half of that and with two thirds of its senior representatives including its leader having defected to the Conservatives, not that it’s done either any good

    – The Conservatives, having governed the South East since anyone can remember, and polling well into 40% up to February, now seeing their support plunge back to put them into third place

    – UKIP voters switching en-masse to Labour to make all this possible, with time for a change to pork barrel regional one-party rule the main apparent motivation

    – The only fly in the ointment is that last time round the polls got the result very wrong indeed, with the Conservatives snatching yet another huge majority despite all the pollsters saying that UKIP would triumph. Which is a further reason still to be fascinated.

    Only three days until polling day in Alberta!

  10. Perhaps Miliband really does intend to let the Tories twist in the wind if they get a few more seats than Labour.

    I cannot imagine that the public would be keen on a second election (difficult anyway), so after a spell of dysfunctional government he could step in and it be a relief to the public.

  11. Lots of factors in the last week that could lead to late Tory surge

    – Governments usually get a late boost because of the electorate’s fear of the unknown
    – Local incumbency factors
    – The Tories are going to be pushing the Labour/SNP chaos button hard.

    If the Tories pull it off there are going to be plenty of PhD theses written on whether the royal baby was the clincher

  12. @The Monk

    I have just said that’s a one percent swing to the Tories. I know it sounds ridiculous but there are undecided swing voters that are royalists and there is something about the royalists and voting Tory that goes together.

    Bad news for Murphy in East Ren. as the Tories go back home.

  13. @ Unicorn

    “Observing – with some disappointment – a site that appears to have been hijacked by an influx of cheerleaders”

    I am also looking forward to polling day, this site resembles a Labour spin room and posters have given up on the thought of impartiality, pity really as I did not think this site would fall victim to that.

  14. @Themonk
    “You have to seriously wonder about anyone who changes their vote on the basis of a royal baby.”

    Agreed though similarly you have to seriously wonder about anyone who changes their vote on the basis of……

    Russell Brand
    Tripping on a Podium
    Whether a politician is too pumped up or insufficiently pumped.
    Photographed by a hen party
    Etc etc.

    In fairness though there has been little other reason in this campaign to change one’s vote.

  15. Everything politicians say now is designed to maximise their parties vote on election day.May 8th is another country.

    All they have to say is the people have spoken and we have to make it work.

    What polls are left ?

    Yougov -sat to wed ?
    Populus -mon?
    Opinium -sun
    Ashcroft -mon
    Icm -mon

    Mori ,panelbase,tns,survation for the mail ,scottish,london .?


    SNP would be unlikely to vote against PR if a Labour minority government proposed – they have governed in Scotland for years in a parliament elected by PR

  17. Gary O

    “Duchess in Labour”

    Sounds more like a plus for Labour than the Tories amongst royalists!

  18. Alec,

    When the Tories never crossed over in March I should have wheeled out my old theory about polls being an early signs of less good economic news but tnh it never occurred to me for once.

    The slowing of growth in the first 1/4 is already in the equation in terms of how people experienced them.

  19. @OldNat

    Thanks for posting your Scottish crossbreak series. I have always checked them for early signs of big changes. But nothing significant ever happened after the Big Bang.

  20. @ Old Nat

    Do you really think LD have climbed back up during the campaign or is that more a question of 2010 weighting?

    As you can see from my recent post the Conservatives and LD, with support of DUP, are very close to having enough seats to continue in governent in my opinion.

    On a personal note I am looking forward to returning to Canada after May 8th, to the peace and tranquility of the British Columbia mountains.

    And life can be full of surprises in that after 43 years in power it looks like the Alberta Progressive Conservative dynasty will be replaced, on May 5th, by an NDP (Labour) government for the first time since the 1920’s, when they had a farmer/labour government:,_2015#Opinion_polls

    Wildrose, by the way, is the equivalent of UKIP in Alberta and has clearly split the centre-right vote in two, while the centre-left vote appears to be going to the NDP, including red Tories.

    We will be having an interesting federal election on October 19th as well.

  21. BB – you challenged my over a post I never wrote yesterday about the debate as I never commented on it at all.

  22. @Bluebob
    “…this site resembles a Labour spin room…. ”

    Actually, no. But if you consider that the balance that we see daily in the political outlook of UK newspapers is what we should have here, I can see why you might take that view.

  23. I am a republican and I have to harden my heart and feign indifference as to the royal sprig – one more to the welfare budget etc.

    Good Morning to you.
    If the Cons only take nine or ten seats off their friends in the Lib Dem party, and lose 30 to Labour, which is a reasonable guess, they are, on 287. (I am using GE 2010 as the starting line, as Rallings and Thrasher do).

    I think in this case the Tories will not be in power, since Labour would be on about 263 MP’s (40 gains in E and W, but about 35 losses in Scotland.

    OLD NAT:
    What is your estimate of the party share of seats in Scotland, please?

  25. @bluebob

    I fear there will still be plenty of posts cheerleading various parties after the vote. I think the fall out on current numbers will take some time to settle.
    A separate thread to discuss how well the various pollsters performed, with all other posts banned?

  26. Andy S

    Re LDs – Are you referring to my crossbreak aggregations?

    If so, I have no idea whether YG was picking up movement in very minor parties like them accurately or not.

    If it turns out to be the case on Thursday, I wouldn’t be all that surprised if there has been some tactical voting to them in some seats – against them in others.

  27. Andy Shadrack.

    Even if your projection is right, (I don’t think it is), what sort of government programme would get the support if the Lib Dems and the DUP? What little they agreed on (welfare perhaps?) may not be acceptable to the Tories.

    Realistically, we are talking just LD or DUP+UKIP in that scenario, neither of which would reach 323.

  28. BlueBob

    This site is a Labour spin room. Really? Seriously? It seems to me that the Labour posters are more circumspect on here than the Tories. Nearly everyone talks about swing to Con in the final few days. Well it might just happen the other way.

    Andy Shadrack

    Not sure why you are starting with Con on 307 seats when they currently have 302/303….depending which site you look on. I know 307 is what the Tories had in 2010 but its not what they have right now. I do agree though that Labour will not win many more seats than in 2010. I have felt for a while they will end up on 265 with Con on around 285 so we are not too far apart in our calculations.

  29. Chris Lane

    “What is your estimate of the party share of seats in Scotland, please?”

    Under FPTP, a fair number of seats are very difficult to call, so I’ll stick to my assumption that SNP getting 40+, with Lab & LD losing lots seems likely, and who knows how the Tories will do in 3 way marginals?

    I will say that I have already decided NOT to follow my 2011 election night decision to have a dram every time the SNP won a seat!

  30. Norbold


    That would give the tabloids some problems if the sainted Duchess came out in favour of lefty Ed.

  31. If Con + LD have enough seats to only need the DUP support on C&S then another coalition is on the cards, so assuming DUP is 8 seats, that puts the Con\LD winning post at 315.

    Looking at each forecast:

    Elections Etc CON 290 + LD 25= 315
    Election Forecast. CON 280 + LD 27 = 307
    May2015 CON 275 + LD 27 = 302
    Guardian CON 276 + LD 27 = 303
    YouGov Nowcast CON 272 + LD 24 = 296

    Only elections etc have that possibility. So most likely EM will win but if the Elections etc model is correct another coalition or if the royal baby or some other event gives a small Tory bounce.

  32. Phil Haines
    Andy Shadrack

    Am I the only subscriber to this site who is beginning to find the outcome in Alberta more interesting than in the UK?

    Please continue to keep us informed

  33. @Norbold

    It might be if the bab was (another heir to the throne) named Edward.

    The name has enjoyed a revival after falling out of fashion.

  34. Chris lane and Shadrack, 287 Tories V 263 Labour = 24 seats .Very close.

    I understand there is a big story coming out today about Labour , which may affect the polls.

  35. Couper

    Will a Royal baby give the Tories a bounce? It will be on the front page of all the press tomorrow and the election campaign will take second place in the media over the next 48 hours. That may well help rather than hinder Labour.
    Frankly who knows.

    I have a feeling we will be looking at an even 33/33 split between Con and Labour come election day.

  36. Folks there is a definite trend change in the betting odds.

    PM after the next GE is probably the most interesting one to
    watch and the gap between EM and DC has now closed considerably
    since mid week.

    The changes were marginal at first but now it’s a significant shift.


    I think there will always be more opposition posters on a site discussing polling than those supporting the government of the day. Those supporting the government of the day have got (at least part of) what they voted for and are therefore content. Those who voted for opposition parties have not, and are therefore more interested to see if the polls, and therefore a measure of parties support, are changing.

    However i do agree that the tone of the site has deteriorated a little recently. I have been challenged a couple of times recently by posters asking why I post if I don’t agree with the majority. They are very much in the minority as most posters including those totally opposed to views like mine are quite pleasant in our discussions.

    I guess it comes down to the fact that all of us are passionate about our views and as we get closer and closer to decision day tempers fray. having said that I think AW does good job of keeping us all in order.


    I nominate yours of 1.02am as Post Of The Year. Very clear and well argued and a sound basis for others to add variations.

    There has been discussion of May2015 with and without Ashcroft marginals. Just to record that the marginals analysis awards seats away from Lab, but only one of them goes to the Tories: one goes to SNP and 13 to Lib Dem. For me, this suggests that the incumbency effect does not apply in this election, being balanced by the reversal of the anti-incumbent effect at the last election due to expenses. Looks like it does apply to LDs though and given they are at Lab’s expense is this an ABL factor, which would back up the view that the new reality for LD is firmly in the Con bloc?

  39. Movements between parties make it quite difficult to look at the battle between C and Lab in isolation – but that is going to be the critical factor in determining the next government.

    Taking the 2010 GE as the starting point:
    C 307
    Lab 258
    LD 57
    SNP 6

    Assume that the LD lose 30 seats say 10 to SNP, 15 to C, 5 to Lab.

    In Scotland, Lab are like like to lose 30 to 40 to SNP, say 35. So before seats changing hands between Lab and C that gives a starting point of:

    C 322
    Lab 328
    LD 27
    SNP 51

    For DC to stay in Downing St. they need something over 290 I think. Which makes 30 Lab gains from C the tipping point. More than that and EM gets to be PM.

  40. Couper2802

    Me too but resigned to the inevitable. Just means I have to stop watching the news / reading papers for about 3 days when something like this happens because I can’t stand the constant royal ‘analysis’.

    On polling we seem to have seen a few more Lab leads in the more recent polls again which have closed the gap on the rolling average again to around half a percent. Interested to see what we get in the Sunday papers.

    The nowcast for Yougov still has Lab getting more seats although their forecast is still suggesting some late swingback to the Tories. Election Forecasts figures are also based on the Tories ending up with about 2% more vote share nationally and I believe John Curtice was quoted as saying that the Tories need 3% lead nationally to be certain of being the largest party.

    This week might show if there is any consistent indication of swingback in the final few polls or whether they continue the trend of showing contradictory Lab and Tory poll leads. If thats the case then the only ‘swingback’ people will be looking for will have to be ‘polling booth swing’ – people literally changing their minds as they vote.

  41. I agree Mikey – will take the election of the agenda for at least 24 hours which is exactly what the Tories don’t want to happen. Just got a feeling that labour losses won’t be half as bad as forecast – think some tactical voting, shy life long voters will take refuge in the polling booth and return a diminished but still sizeable number of MPs and enough to put labour as largest party.
    If it wasn’t for Scotland effect this election would be a done deal with a majority a decent chance.

  42. @ Guymonde:

    I’m blushing but thank you!

    @ AndyShadrack, ChrisLane1945, Mikey:

    Was going to suggest that the 1:02 post referred to might be relevant to the discussion you’re conducting.

  43. Hireton

    I fully agree with your comment at 10:43 pm.

    For others on this site who may be disappointed by the non-appearance of a proper crossover, I offer a possible consolation prize. It has been suggested elsewhere that as the fortunes of LiS decline, some of the more right wing LiS supporters will move to the the Tories, since the two parties are so close in many ways that there is a significant overlap between them. Thus, once the excitement of this election is over, and tactical voting is less of an issue, one question may be whether the Tories will overtake Labour as the second party in Scotland, and when this might happen.

  44. John Mo

    Do you mean a real story or just more of the same ‘attack-ad’ mentality we’ve seen from the Tory tabloids and broadsheets in recent weeks?

    I’m sure they’ll all go for some strong negative stories in the last week to try and put voters off from voting for Ed M but there’s no sign yet that any of the attacks have worked. In fact some might have helped Ed by creating a sympathetic reaction (milifandom).

  45. @ SimonK:

    My predictions were intentionally conservative and doubtless there will be some less predictable gains on the night. But then there will likely be some narrow fails amongst the more likely gains too so the numbers may not change that much. I’ll be happy to be wrong on this of course.

    I tend to agree about Scotland but that’s simply a hunch so didn’t want to include it in the analysis – just went with the current numbers. In any event, it doesn’t make a great deal of difference to the overall Parliamentary arithmetic (though of course high numbers for Labour will help with the specious “legitimacy” question).

  46. I think the attacks on EM have been few and far between over the last 2-3 weeks. In fact, apart from Fallon’s much publicised comment about EM and his brother, given EM started the campaign well the TOries have largely ignored this angle.

    They’ve instead focussed on two areas which hvae traction – economic competence and Lab deal with the SNP. I’d expect the Tories to continue to hammer this home over the next 5 days. Not quite sure what Lab will attack the Tories with – in appropriate benefits cuts i guess, though they’ve not be as focussed in their attacks so far in the campaign

  47. JohnMo: “I understand there is a big story coming out today about Labour , which may affect the polls”

    where did you hear this from?

  48. 30 has been the magic number of Con seats the Lab party need to take for some time, although a couple of extra or less LD gains by Lab or SNP could change the number a tad.

    But they really need keep below 25 for any kind of stability and in fact below 20 for a decent level of security.

    Same the other way Labour need 35 or over for a semblance of stability but over 40 for (to use the same phrase) a decent level of security.

    Other than a surge in LD support or a much incumbency bonus for them in seats they are defending against Lab or SNP (PC) than is currently evident this Circa30 number will not change.

    FWIW – my forecast has the Lab gains off Cons 15-25 with DC clinging on with the level of stability dependant on the actual number plus, as above, the final LD total losses to the ‘left’.

    As I and others have suggested the tighter the numbers the more emboldened the lefty LDs may become which may affect the scene somewhat.

  49. AdamB

    I would suggest Lab might go with the ‘extreme spending cuts’ line on the economy’, ’24/48 hours to save the NHS’ as its traditional, and ‘fairness vs tac cuts for millionaires’.

    They could also put the counter argument to the SNP pact (the UKIP threat). However I think they’ve been reluctant to make the threat of UKIP being in govt an issue as it could play both ways – losing them votes to UKIP if people think they have a chance.

  50. JimJim
    Agree with your figures. Another way of looking at it is what level of seat deficit could Labour realistically govern withot coalition partners, C&S and just relying on SNP to vote with them. I cant see that they would try to do so if they had say >=25 seats fewer than Con

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