Two days to go. The huge rush in final polls won’t be until tomorrow, but there are still a fair number of polls out today. I don’t think any of them are proper final calls yet – most companies will produce their eve-of-election numbers tomorrow or on election day itself (it’s illegal to publish an exit poll before polls close, but it’s fine to publish a poll conducted on the eve of election on the morning of polling day). All of today’s look as if they are penultimate polls…

  • Populus today had topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 34%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 13%, GRN 5%
    (tabs). According to the FT we still have another Populus poll to come before the election.
  • Lord Ashcroft’s weekly poll had topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 30%, LEM 11%, UKIP 12%, GRN 7%, coming into a much closer race than the rather incongruous six point Tory lead last week. Tabs are here). Ashcroft will have a final call poll on Thursday morning, so one more to come from him.
  • Survation for the Mirror have topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 34%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 16%, GRN 4% (tabs). Survation have said they’ve got new figures everyday before the election, so we’ll be getting some new figures from them tomorrow too.

UPDATE: We now have three more polls out:

  • A ComRes telephone poll for the Mail and ITV has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 32%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 14%, GRN 4%. Again, this is their penultimate poll, with one more to come (presumably tomorrow). Tabs are here.
  • There is also a second BMG poll for May 2015 (which in their case DOES appear to be their final call poll) topline figures are CON 34%, LAB 34%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 12%, GRN 4%. Full details here.
  • Finally YouGov’s penultimate poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 34%, LD 9%, UKIP 12%, GRN 5% – still neck and neck. Their final call will follow tomorrow night.

386 Responses to “Penultimate polls…”

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  1. Paul Smith @ 10:53,

    Will this be the first election when non-voters outnumber voters for the winning party ?

    No, since that already happened in both 2001 and 2005.

    Turnout on Thursday is likely to be higher than in each of those elections.


    They will of course come off the fence after the election. And they are seasoned negotiators. They will name an attainable price. But I think they will choose between Labour and Tory on the basis of helping the one that looks to have won already. Their 10 votes will be there to make that win little more stable.

    I don’t think SF will take their seats this time, that would reverse their position. But if Westminster changes to be balanced on a perpetual basis, then things might change.

  3. @Mark – SNP appeal

    Nothing to suggest any movement towards Yes from Sep ’14. I think YG have a recent poll showing 53-47 in favour of No (ie within MoE). Current SNP support is nothing sudden. They won 45% support in the 2011 Holyrood election. What happened in September was that Yes/SNP gained a lot of support in Labour’s traditional heartland in and around Glasgow. That is what is new. They have held on to that support. But keep in mind SNP won 53/73 constituency MSPs in the 2011 Scottish election. Basically what we are seeing now is more a reversion to mean. The oddball result in hindsight is Labour managing to hold 41 Westminster seats in 2010. They only won 37/73 Holyrood constituency MSPs in 2007 and only 15/73 in 2011.

    My take on what is happening here is that there is also a disconnect in UK ex Scotland as to what voting No meant. Ex-Scotland, I think people interpreted that as a vote for the status quo, yet I don’t know anyone who voted No who did not want further devolution to Scotland. And the referendum debate brought home to many unionists that all the unionist parties remain very centralised, allowing little deviation from HQ’s policies on anything of import. Hence, if you live in Scotland and want a “Scotland first” approach, even within a UK political union, that’s an easy sell for SNP to make in a Westminster poll, and hard for Lab/Con/LD to challenge without the risk of considerable damage in England and maybe Wales. The unionist parties will have this problem unless/until there is a wider constitutional adjustment, giving levels of devolution equivalent to Scotland to other areas of the country. Then those parties will decentralise policy formation in line with such constitutional decentralisation.

  4. @ Bramley

    Yes, there’s a terrible right wing press.

    However, Labour has to be careful (I know barely any time is left):

    I’ve seen a snap shot of tomorrows front page of the Sun..Who needs photo shop? ;-)


    I do wonder if the viciousness of the Press campaign turns off more people than it attracts

  6. Hi all
    My predictions are
    Cons 276
    Lab 277
    SNP 44
    Libs 29
    UKIP 1
    Green 1
    P C 3

    I’m an amateur Mathematician with a massive interest in UK politics.
    ( just be nice to be close really! :)

  7. @Phil Haines

    As the figures are published only in integers, I don’t think it makes sense to give averages in anything other than integers.
    It seems to me that giving an average to one decimal place only makes sense if you have figures that are also given to one decimal place, otherwise you’re mixing up the level of precision.That’s my logic but I’m not a statistician so feel free to shoot me down in flames :)

  8. @Bramley 11.22

    Totally agree and it is not just the Tory press. Arrived home earlier this evening to see the news that Cameron referred to Milliband as an arsenist. This is just one of many such comments by Cameron and imo makes him unfit to be PM.

  9. LS
    A Labour/SNP government would be the first time that HMG didn’t have legitimacy as the government *of England*.

    ???? 1892 Lib + Irish home rulers
    ???? 1910 Jan Lib + Irish home rulers
    ???? 1910 Dec Lib + Irish home rulers

  10. Sun goes for bacon again but my award for the best worst headline goe s to b richard littlejohn

  11. @Alec

    Your “On this day 2015” entry in five years time will need to include the following:

    “@Alec became notorious as the only commentator in the history of UKPR to even implicitly praise Angus Reid for their performance at the 2010 general election, after claiming that they got the Con lead over Lab spot on, on the basis that 36 – 24 = 7.”

  12. @ExileinYorks

    I agree with you.

    I would add however that arguments about Parliamentary legitimacy is a smokescreen. If DC can pass a QS/Budget, he’ll remain PM. If he cannot carry a majority of the House – or at least a plurality – for a QS/Budget, he’s done.

  13. Oh FFS, not the “legitimacy of voting systems” debate again.

    All possible voting systems do some things badly and some things well.

    Constituency-based First Past the Post is designed to ensure that every constituency is represented by the candidate who can win the most support amongst local people. This enables regionally popular parties to win substantial support (see the SNP), ensures every area has someone to advocate for it, and allows independent-minded MPs to defy their party whips as long as they have the support of their constituents (see Dennis Skinner, Bill Cash, Andrew George, etc).

    These are all good and valuable democratic principles.

    It also creates safe seats, makes it very difficult for minor parties to win representation (which is frustrating when you like them, not so frustrating when they are the BNP), and means the MPs elected don’t reflect the votes cast.

    You may well think that these democratic principles- low barriers to entry, no votes being wasted- should have a higher priority than the principles of localism and positive support that constituency-based FPTP prioritises. (For what it’s worth, I agree to some extent.) But the system is not somehow illegitimate because it is not your favourite.

    @ Mark,

    If I Recall Correctly.

  14. Laszlo

    I did go to Fleetwood about 5 years ago. It did not seem to have changed since the early 1990s (at least). Made me feel nostalgic for my childhood.

  15. @Spearmint

    Thanks for the final churn report, a highlight as always.

    Rather disappointing really, I was hoping something would have moved in the last few weeks after all the time and effort and money spent on this campaign.

    And thanks for the ‘on this day’ series. I wasn’t around then, but enjoyed the humour and it was interesting to read about polls that did actually move.

  16. @Sunreada

    Labour will be quite pleased with the Mail’s headline. They seem to have a sub editor who hasn’t quite got the message that you don’t run a headline about the NHS let alone one about lengthening GP waiting times on the eve of a general election.


    “I do wonder if the viciousness of the Press campaign turns off more people than it attracts”

    It could do but come on it’s election time and we need a bit of drama and theatre.

    The Scottish Sun has an interesting front page.

  18. Can’t wait for Thursday’s Sun.

    Pressman promised us a veritable tsunami of A-listers pouring scorn on Ed. I assume the tsunami breaks on Thursday, cos there’s been bugger-all to date.

  19. @Leftylampton

    Still 46 hours left.

  20. @LS A Labour/SNP government would be the first time that HMG didn’t have legitimacy as the government *of England*.

    Why is legitimacy for *England* more important than legitimacy for Wales, NI, Scotland, London, the north of England, the West Country etc.

    Every part of the UK has spent time being governed by a party that it didn’t vote for.

    The nationalists may disagree, but frankly large parts of England have more in common with Scotland than with other areas of England. Cities at opposite ends of the country have more in common with each other than they do with the countryside.

    While there may be small differences due to devolution, the actual differences caused by central govt policy of all hues are much greater.

  21. New thread

  22. @ Richard,

    Well, the Lib Dems seem to be getting some uplift.

    Frankly, given the tone of the campaigns I’m rather glad they haven’t had any real impact. Maybe next time one of the main parties will try to put forward for a positive case for why it should be elected instead of just denouncing all the others as a horde of barbarians hellbent on destroying Britain.

  23. Spearmint

    “Oh FFS, not the “legitimacy of voting systems” debate again.”

    Agreed, but when the Con & Lab spokesfolk on Newsnight couldn’t even bring themselves to confirm that the Cabinet Manual described the procedures to take place, then there has to be even less trust that these politicians will have any regard to any democratic principles of any kind!


    Sun goes for bacon again but my award for the best worst headline goe s to b richard littlejohn

    Nothing best about Jimmy Saville references in the Mail.

    Thankfully most voters now get their information from a multitude of sources on the internet and are more suspicious of the extreme viewpoints…this significantly reduces the impact of the press, overall this is an enormous advantage to Labour compared to many previous elections.

  25. I still don’t get this “legitimacy” problem. The country has to have a government, whether “legitimate” or not. The current constitutional arrangements do not recognize any need for taking England’s requirements or wishes into account as a separate nation when it comes to government, as it currently does everywhere in the UK. Until this changes, this awkward situation remains.

    If a posited government can only command 310 votes – which I think is about the limit any Conservative-led bloc will attain – then in constitutional and practical terms that is not really a government. It’s just a bunch of MP’s hoping they won’t lose a confidence vote today.

    If another bloc forms with enough MP’s to avoid this fate, then a viable government is formed. If some of these MP’s happen to come from a party that exists only in one part of the UK, the constitution does not say “therefore the government is illegitimate”. It’s just another government as far as the constitution is concerned.

    If people want to get upset about that, the constitution doesn’t care.
    Having a viable government is the main aim of our democracy. Who is in or not in that government is of no concern from that point of view.

  26. Scottish referendum – how often should this be?
    What are the parties’ views (personal too) – every 10,15,20,25,30 years – never again?

    Same question with EU – after all last one was 1975 before I was born
    (nevermind old enough to vote.)


    Thanks for the Sun link. For once it’s actually worth clicking through and reading the headline story.

    Interesting that Brown nearly but not quite followed the LiS party line with:
    Elect an SNP MP and you may make the Tories the largest party on Thursday and this may help them try to stay in power on Friday.

  28. Isn’t the whole legitimacy issue one of disconnect between votes and seats? I’m looking at the latest numbers. They show that LAB/SNP are forecast to win 318 seats off 36.2%. Meanwhile CON/LD are forecast to win 307 seats off 46.4%. Now I know overall majorities have been won off vote shares in the upper 30%s. However, in such a case it’s the biggest party that won high-30%s, and the second biggest party has won considerably fewer votes. The problem we face on current forecasts is that the most stable combination of HoC seats appears to be based on the second largest party combining with a regional party that benefits from FPTP by virtue of its concentrated to support. Meanwhile, 3 of the 4 largest parties (CON/LD/UKIP) in vote terms are heading for a vote share of 57.2% yet only 308/650 seats. I mean it isn’t even close to representing the way people have voted. Only the most stubborn “rules is rules” believer can accept a LAB government relying on any kind of SNP prop, no matter how passive, as being legitimate.

    My bet is that whatever happens on Thursday, electoral reform, and indeed wider constitutional reform, is actually going to become a major issue for whoever ends up governing (or not managing to govern), without it ever having been discussed in the last 6 weeks.

  29. JAYPEE
    I mean it isn’t even close to representing the way people have voted. Only the most stubborn “rules is rules” believer can accept a LAB government relying on any kind of SNP prop, no matter how passive, as being legitimate.

    The plurality system has never had anything to do with parties but merely allowing individuals to represent their localities. If any 323+ of such representatives choose to support a UK government it will be legally and constitutionally legitimate.

    That said, should a Lab minority govern then one can’t help but wonder whether Con high command will admit, even to themselves, what folly they committed in going all out to prevent AV, which would likely have presented them with a clear overall majority thanks to UKIP 2nd preferences.

  30. @Spearmint

    Maybe next time one of the main parties will try to put forward for a positive case for why it should be elected instead of just denouncing all the others as a horde of barbarians hellbent on destroying Britain

    Indeed. I may even vote next time if someone did that!. (Actually I have decided to vote in the locals, we need someone to sort out the parking here, and someone delivered a leaflet today with ‘Parking’ at the top of their list of pledges! Amazing. they do will they actually deliver :)

  31. Funny how people on here want to discuss what they believe to be a ‘terrible right wing press’ but are aghast at the suggestion that the £4Bn pa state propagandists at the BBC are supporting Labour in the election.

    So blatant have they been that even Andrew Neil has taken to twitter about it!

    Sauce for the goose and all that !

  32. Agree @thoughtful. Never any criticism of the awful Daily Mirror too.

  33. @Spearmint

    Agree with all you said on the “voting systems” thing. Excellent, including the “FFS” bit.

  34. @Jaypee – agree with you

    @Spearmint – the constitution needs to change, because the country has changed. You’re clinging to a model that worked well once but no longer fits the times.

  35. I think this GE was Labour’s to win.

    A different strategy in Scotland alone would have probably gone
    a long way towards this.

    If Labour had campaigned in Scotland on a guaranteed future
    referendum on independence, within say 18 months,
    that would have transformed their prospects.

    You can support the Union and at the same time agree that it’s
    up to the electorate to decide.

  36. Labour in Scotland need to actually form a Scottish Labour Party, independant from London. Their reticence to do so, compared to the Conservatives who have levelled out if not actually increased their Scottish base. Labour’s One UK Party policy has hamstrung their fortunes in Scotland. It cost them Holyrood 8 years ago, it allowed the SNP to gain a majority 4 years ago and it nearly cost them a YES vote in the referendum. It looks like it’s now about to cost them 25-30 seats.

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