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. Going to be close then.

  2. Polling overkill now. I love my politics but will be pleased when it’s Friday.

  3. Despite the closeness of the polls, I still think there will be a late mild surge towards the Tories. I think they will get 293 seats – just enough to form a minority government.
    For labour this actually could be a blessing. Another election within 5 years will see a stronger labour return…

  4. Why the margin of error for UKIP? Concentration of votes?

  5. I can’t keep up with this

    I make it at least 10 or 11 polls still to come after today

  6. Ashcroft’s National’s still holding onto the “Low L topline”, though Survation has left that behind; when’s the next Ipsos MORI likely to fall? Election Day morning for the Standard?

  7. Holgate

    Thats what I’ve got on my list (Ipsos)

  8. The Ultimate Churn Report of Ultimate Destiny

    Ladies and gentlemen, Nats and Unionists, Tories of all colours and patterns, it is my pleasure to bring you the final churn report before the election. For those of you just joining us, I’ve been tracking the inter-party switching of 2010 voters in five-poll rolling averages of the YouGov crossbreaks for a few years now. Crossbreak analysis should always be taken with a large spoonful of salt, but when taken in aggregate it can give us some sense of polling trends.

    It’s worth noting that this report is an analysis of YouGov only. There seems to be considerable divergence between polling firms in their topline figures, and in recent months YouGov have tended to be more Labour-leaning than most of their competitors. Crossbreaks will obviously reflect that.

    An Important Note About This Churn Report

    YouGov switched their poll reporting at the beginning of April to take account of likelihood to vote. Since the churn analysis tracks trends rather than topline figures, this methodology change was deeply unhelpful to it. Fortunately, YouGov also includes their old, non-likelihood weighted figures in their tables, so I’m using those numbers instead so I can compare like with like. The effect is not dramatic; it tends to hurt the Tories or occasionally Labour by no more than a percentage point per poll. On average, I’d say the Tories lose about 1% of their topline VI in every fourth poll. It does mean that the VI graphs in this churn report are slightly more Laboury than those you’d get from YouGov’s reported figures.

    The State of the Parties

    Labour have had a mediocre short campaign; they haven’t made the gains typical of an opposition at this stage in an election, but they haven’t suffered the losses predicted by Lynton Crosby, Tory commentators or various swingback models either. Instead they spent April coasting along at a steady 34.5%. The Tories had a torrid April, dipping down below Labour and trailing them by almost a point for most of the month, but things picked up for them in the past two weeks or so and they’ve managed to catch up. At the same time the Lib Dems shot upward and finally broken the 8% barrier. For the other minor parties things look less rosy; both Ukip and the Greens suffered declines over the same period, although both have rallied a bit in May. Finally, the SNP have been consolidating their domination of Scotland, edging upwards to 5%.

  9. AW, any idea when the Nowcast gets updated?

  10. Polldrums

  11. Either we have some consistently shy and/or deceptive respondents, or EM Is correct to look so becalmed/ DC so frenetic/ NC so despondent.

    Only 50 hours to go !

  12. Hal – no idea at all, nowt to do with me.

    Holgate – at recent elections that’s when & where they’ve published it, and given their current relationship with the Standard I’d be stunned if they didn’t do the same this year!

  13. Can we expect any party-commissioned non-BPC polls?

  14. Unicorn

    I answered you at the end of the previous thread.

  15. @rayfromthenorth
    “I make it at least 10 or 11 polls still to come after today”

    Thank goodness – I still don’t really know what is going to happen!!

    Come on Mikey, where’s your stamina?!!!

  16. “New BMG Research poll out tonight on May2015 after two new pieces shortly. Stay tuned…. Interesting result”

  17. Gosh – Ashcroft’s poll has narrowed to a 2 point Con lead. I mean, no-one saw that coming. I mean, apart from every sane person who said last week’s was a wacky outlier, no-one saw that coming at all!

    Or is it that the endorsement of Russell Brand has really made a difference (Survation + 3 Lab lead down to +1 would suggest not).

    Either the polls have narrowed, or we were always in a “neck-and-neck, Cons maybe a hair ahead” race. I favour the latter interpretation.

  18. @ Hal

    They use to update at about every six days. I hope they do tomorrow, otherwise my promise to Unicorn about a nice regression model will be on a much weakened basis.

  19. The Conservatives

    The Conservatives have spent the short campaign trying to find a scare story that worked. First it was the idea that Miliband would sell off the nuclear deterrent to buy the votes of the SNP, then lothario Miliband was about to steal everyone’s wives. None of this was very successful- indeed, over the course of the short campaign they dropped more than a point from their height of 35%. Over the past two weeks they pulled out of their nosedive, either because of a more dynamic campaign from Cameron or because the seeds of Scottish scaremongering they’d planted earlier in the month have finally taken root. Still, they’re struggling to reach 34%, much less the 35% they managed to achieve at the beginning of April or the 37% they won in 2010. They’ve been able to deliver 35-36% on a good day for most of this Parliament and I’d be surprised if they underperformed that at the election, but there is no sign they are capable of breaking through that ceiling.

    The Tories continue to enjoy modestly good retention by post-Omnishambles standards, although it’s noteworthy that they haven’t been able to improve on this- so far they’re doing no better than they were last summer. Tory -> Ukip switching is as low as it has been all year, but it shows no signs of falling below 5%. The Tories seem to have skimmed off the Bluekip froth but appear incapable of picking up lost voters they haven’t been able to regain previously. Lab -> Tory and Tory -> Lab switching remains neck-and-neck, so there’s no advantage there.

    The surge of yellow Tories proved short-lived; it peaked and then fell back at the beginning of April. While LD -> Tory switching is still at a historically high level the improvement is miniscule, and more than canceled out by something we haven’t seen before: an increase in Tory -> LD switching. Denizens of UKPR have long speculated that the rightward drift of Cameron’s Conservatives might push some moderate Tories into the Lib Dem column, but until now we haven’t seen any sign of it. Since April there has been a slight but steady rise. Perhaps the negative campaign has been putting people off, or the proximity of the election is concentrating the mind. Or perhaps they are all tactical voters in Sheffield Hallam and Nick Clegg will soon be returned with a thumping majority.


    Although Ed Miliband has outperformed expectations and acquired a flock of teenage fangirls, this wave of enthusiasm for the Labour leader has not been reflected in the opinion polls, perhaps because his admirers are still too young to vote. Labour were static on 34.5% all April, and recently dipped down. This is not a great short campaign for an opposition, although their position certainly hasn’t deteriorated as many were predicting (the dip in May is most likely a blip). 34.5% is not high enough to overtake the Tories if they have a good day; without a late surge of nervous Greens or Redkippers the Tories are likely to pip Labour to the post for most votes. Miliband will probably become Prime Minister amidst the same cloud of electorally illiterate questions about his legitimacy that marked his ascension to the Labour leadership.

    Labour’s retention figures remain terrible: they haven’t done any better at winning back Redkippers or Greens, and the numbers of Lab -> SNP defectors actually rose during the short campaign. As with the Tories, there is a slight but discernible increase in the number of Lab -> LD switchers. Are these tactical ABT or ABSNP voters, people frightened by the Sturgeon posters, or voters won over by Clegg’s promise to water down a blue or red government to a muddy turquoise or orange? It’s a mystery, but whatever the reasons it isn’t helping Labour to win the popular vote.

    Labour’s one consolation is the LD -> Lab churn, which has shot up by almost a point and is now holding steady. The election appears to be concentrating people’s minds on the choice of Prime Ministers, but not in the way Cameron was hoping.

  20. Neck and bleedin’ neck. Cigarette paper stuff.

    This late swing is now going to have to be very late indeed.

    My prediction is that the average of tomorrow’s polls will show the parties broadly neck & neck again, but that people will still predict a “late swing” to the Tories (presumably between midnight & 7am on Wednesday night).

  21. Anthony

    Does “morning of the poll” mean before the polling stations open at 7 am?

  22. (Posted from the last thread)

    “Sigh” This is going to come off partisan but I don’t care [I do, goodbye – AW]

  23. New BMG Research poll out tonight on May2015 after two new pieces shortly. Stay tuned…. Interesting result

    I take this to meaning a labour lead, as may2015 is a newstatemen site who endorse labour

  24. @ Adrian B

    “Either the polls have narrowed, or we were always in a “neck-and-neck, Cons maybe a hair ahead” race. I favour the latter interpretation.”

    I think you have hit the nail on the head there Adrian. Despite the whacky outliers here and there, it has always been nip & tuck IMO. I took Anthony’s advice long ago when looking at polls……

  25. If I was Ashcroft I’d cancel the last poll, at least this one looks realistic. He does have a tendency to be a bit all over the place.

  26. Unionists are nationalist though
    Not sure why so many learned politicos forget this :D

    I remember laughing my head of when people were calling the Scottish Greens nats….if only they knew how much they reviled it

  27. Ok time for my entry to the great prediction game

    Lab 280
    Tory 267
    SNP 50
    Lib/Dem 29
    DUP 9
    SF 5
    SDLP 3
    PC 3
    UKIP 2
    Independent 1
    Speaker 1

  28. The Liberal Democrats

    The Liberal Democrats have had a fantastic short campaign, by which I mean they’re doing well enough that they may only lose two thirds of their 2010 voters come polling day. They are now solidly above 8% and may even be going for a cheeky 9%. Also Nick Clegg has been having way more fun than any of the other party leaders, playing with hedgehogs and such.

    Like Labour the Lib Dems have terrible retention, but like Labour it’s no worse than it was in January. It’s actually improved by about 0.5%, although it’s down from the giddy heights of April. But the thing that’s really boosting their vote share is the new Tory -> LD switchers (and to a lesser extent Lab -> LD switchers). Between them, defectors from the two main parties are supplying about a quarter of the Lib Dem vote share.

    After flirting with the Tories at the end of March, the Lib Dems switchers have come home to Labour. LD -> Lab switching is the highest it has been all year and now substantially greater than Lib Dem retention. LD -> Green switching may still be falling slightly, but LD -> Ukip and LD -> Nat switching appear to have leveled off. All three remain high enough to put a serious cramp in Clegg’s style, although these defectors might just have gone to Labour if the other alternatives had not been available.


    The People’s Army spent most of 2015 in retreat, but they did okay in the short campaign, recovering about 1% of the vote. More exposure always helps them, even when it’s of Nigel Farage’s sweaty upper lip. They took a downward plunge at the end of April but that now appears to be a blip; they seem fairly stable around 13%. This is not going to produce a political earthquake or even a political tremor in Westminster on May the 8th, but it’s certainly better than anyone predicted for them last year. Farage may even win South Thanet, giving us more opportunities to view his sweaty upper lip.

    After falling for most of the year Tory -> Ukip churn jumped in April, but it appears to have fallen off again and it is now at its post-Omnishambles floor. There’s little sign of either recovery or further decline. LD -> Ukip and Lab -> Ukip churn hit relative lows towards the end of March and seem to have stabilised at those levels.

    The Greens

    After a grim spring of almost monotonic decline, the Greens reached a plateau of 5% during the short campaign and made camp there. This is a problem both for Labour and the Lib Dems, who were hoping to win some of those voters back, and for the Greens themselves, who are unlikely to see any benefit from this historic general election triumph. Caroline Lucas will probably have to resume her lonely vigil in the Commons. (On the other hand, she’ll still be around, so that’s something.)

    LD -> Green switching is at its lowest point all year and may still be declining slightly, but contributions from Labour and the Tories appear to have stabilised since late March.

    The Nationalists

    The SNP have had a good short campaign. Everyone thought they’d reached their ceiling; everyone was wrong. They’re up by about 0.5% of the national vote since January. The other parties will be lucky if they can scrape together five Scottish seats between them.

    Plaid have not been so fortunate, and are still behind Ukip in the Welsh polling.

    Remember how last time I said Scottish Labour should stop doing whatever thing they did at the end of April? They kept doing that thing. The Lib Dems also found something terrible to do during the short campaign. In the last week of April the Tories appear to have discovered a losing strategy as well. There does seem to be a last minute dip in SNP switching from all three national parties, but I strongly suspect it’s a blip. Even if it isn’t, it’s not going to save them. They’d better pray like hell that the polls are wrong.

    Don’t Knows and Not Voting

    Don’t Knows and Not Voters from all three parties are the lowest they have been for years as people make up their minds. For the two Government parties DKs are the lowest they have been all Parliament; for Labour they merely mark a return to the higher level of decisiveness 2010 Labour voters showed earlier in the Parliament. Tory DKs have dropped so low that they are tied with Labour for the first time, which may explain the Tories’ slight recovery in the topline voting intention figures.

  29. When I set the bookmark for this blog on my current laptop back in 2012, I carelessly set it for the post I’d been reading at the time rather than the main page. Consequently, every time I come here, the first thing I see is “CON 33%, LAB 45%, LD 8%, UKIP 6%”. Even though I should be well used to it by now, I still often feel a fraction of a second’s worth of shock* before I remember what I’m really seeing.

    *In recognition of the Comments Policy, I won’t reveal whether this is a shock of horror or one of delight.

  30. Polls still to come? after YouGov/BMG tonight


    ComRes as per Smithson list yesterday
    ICM ditto
    Panelbase ditto
    Opinium ditto
    TNS ditto


    Survation per AW above
    YouGov final call ditto
    Populus ditto

    Thursday final calls

    Ashcroft per AW above
    Ipsos per AW above

    Any more??

  31. Anthony, please free the churn report from auto-mod purgatory. Thanks!

  32. The LD VI averages out to 10 on these 4 polls.
    Is this swingback?

  33. @james


    Oh god

  34. NI leaders debate on BBC News for those few who might be interested.

  35. It seems that UKIP has managed to cpaccidentally collect an interesting general election candidate for North East Hampshire … I won’t use the word … Accidents happen (as with me last Saturday afternoon).

  36. Any late surge to the Tories, and we might see David Miliband back from international rescue…

  37. LMZ

    They all use “interesting” – to keep us interested. It could mean anything.

  38. Laszlo
    Jaw dropping

    The silver lining is that there’s a whole episode worth of material for Ballot Monkeys tonight just in that.

  39. Prof Howard

    I’ll get it on catch up.

    I’m enjoying watching the football when I don’t care who wins.

  40. Tony Dean

    Aha. I shall be up all night on Thursday night and probably go to bed at about 5am and have about two hours sleep and start work on Friday at about 8am.
    I think its overkill for pollsters polling today and tomorrow night. That’s too much and there is now some confusion over some polls,ie Survation today and should we be comparing with it with the weekends Survation or last Friday’s one.

    Come Friday night I will be relieved that I won’t be fretting about a TNS tweet before 1030pm or whether YouGov is showing a profoundly worrying trend that could affect the rest of my life or the impact of this debate or that Question Time and if Cameron supports West Ham,Villa,Burnley or Dunfermline Athletic. I won’t have to worry about a headstone or a UKIP surge or SNP dominance or a near trip,welfare cuts,outliers,crossovers,swingbacks,incumbency,corkers,manibloodyfestos,nationalists,unionists,liberalists,socialists,Lyndon Crosbyalists,royalists and milifanlists.

    Well until the autumn.

  41. ROB,

    EM has incredible self-belief, that’s why he looks becalmed,
    he is about to find out that the UK does not share this.

    290 plus for the Tories, EM will not be the next PM.

  42. @ Spearmint

    Thanks. The dKs are the most interesting to me, but they are not weighted, so a bit problematic.

  43. Remember, the first rule of UKPR:
    an ‘interesting’ poll = a poll

  44. If DC gets back in, he should get hold of that Ed Stone and do something funny with it. Not sure what.

  45. @ Graeme

    “Interesting” = The same as our last poll.

    “Corker” = Rogue Tory lead

    ” ” = Labour lead, so we didn’t bother making a song & dance about it because we knew the media wouldn’t be interested.

  46. If EM paid more attention to recent political history he would
    discover the clear lesson it tells – Labour win from the centre,
    not left of centre.

    EM has run a left of centre campaign and Labour have not won
    from this position since 1974, Thursday will be no different.

  47. @ Catsowyn

    I think that the Lord A poll sums it up for me when he finds that more than 1:5 Conservative and Labour voters could still vote another way and nearly 1:2.5 LD and UKIP voters.

    This election is still in flux and will be for some people until they enter the ballot booth. I also agree with Lord A that 1:3 women are still considering their options, as are nearly 1:4 men. As one women said to me on the last street I canvassed tonight: “I was going to write ‘bollocks on my ballot” and then I thought you can’t do that so I decided to vote Green on the weekend.

    So I will not make any predictions but just hope for what I want to happen which is for people to vote for what they want and not what someone has pressured them into.


  48. TOBY

    “This late swing is now going to have to be very late indeed.”

    We’re now looking either at the kind of late swing that England need for the Ashes, or the complete lack of late swing that England will probably have for the Ashes.

    I think we’re at the point now where ‘interesting’ polls go into the discounted bin. It’s still not convergence — Survation’s still consistently high UKIP while others are much lower — but it’s converging. A bit.


    “I take this to meaning a labour lead, as may2015 is a newstatemen site who endorse labour”

    The last one was a C lead, but BMG don’t have much pedigree with national polling, so who knows?

  49. @ Anthony,

    Sorry to keep prodding but the Conservative/Labour bit is still in moderation a bit further up the page- I split it because it got super-long.

  50. Phil White

    Talking of incredible self-belief: with that assertion you must be looking forward to winning a lot of money on the indexes?

    Current polling (and all models) don’t show a path to PM for Cameron after Friday: hence he is frenetically tying to drum out the vote.

    With 50 hours to go it might yet work.

    It is not at the moment…

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