BPIX in the Mail on Sunday have CON 39%(-2), LAB 30%(nc), LDEM 18%(+1). The rest of their poll asked about Tony Blair and the Chilcot inquiry, it is the usual negative response: 70% of people think the war in Iraq was illegal, and 80% say they did not believe that Blair did not lie over a Iraq (a rather twisted way of asking it, a straight forward do you think Tony Blair lied or did not lie would give a better answer, and in terms of WMD, shows a much smaller percentage of people thinking Blair knowingly misled people on the issue).

Meanwhile the YouGov poll in the People doesn’t seem to be online – so we’ll have to wait for the tables on YouGov’s website to see what other questions were asked.

Yesterday I said I hoped we would get some voting intention polls that would help us judge how the PBR had actually gone down. Today we have no fewer than 3 new voting intention polls, but are none the wiser as to what effect the PBR had on Labour support as they directly contradict each other!

BPIX in the Mail on Sunday has figures of CON 41%(-2), LAB 30%(+1), LDEM 17%(+1) (a narrowing of the Tory lead there – but the changes are from a BPIX poll way back in October, so we can’t ascribe it to a PBR effect – just in line with the general narrowing of the lead over the last couple of months)

YouGov in the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 40%(nc), LAB 31%(+4), LDEM 16%(-2). Changes are from YouGov’s poll just before the PBR, so taken alone that would suggest it has given Labour a boost.

However, ComRes in the Independent on Sunday has topline figures of CON 41%(+4), LAB 24%(-3), LDEM 21%(+1). Changes are from their poll at the very end of November. Taking their figures alone, the PBR would appear to have been disasterous for Labour.

The question I’m sure you’ll be asking is who is right? Has the PBR sent Labour craashing back into the low 20s, or pushed them back in the 30s? ComRes’s poll was conducted one day earlier than YouGov’s, but it’s not realistic to think there was such a huge shift in support between Thursday and Friday (especially since the press coverage at the time was hardly glowing for Labour). Overall the figures for Conservative support are very similar, the difference is all down to the division between Liberal Democrat and Labour support. YouGov do tend to show the lowest level of Lib Dem support, so that perhaps explains a little of the gap, but does nothing to explain the different direction of travel. I guess we are just going to have to wait for some more polling to see what the dominant trend is.


There is also a new BPIX poll in the Mail on Sunday. The topline figures are CON 43%, LAB 29%, LDEM 16%. As far as I can tell the fieldwork was conducted at exactly the same time as the BPIX poll in yesterday’s Daily Mail (42/28/2018), so the differences between the two polls should be entirely down to sample variation.

They also asked people if they agreed with a list of policies announced at the Conservative conference. Most popular were cutting the number of MPs (supported by 75%), and tax hikes for the rich (76% supported ending tax credits for those on over £50,000 and 74% supported keeping the 50p tax rate) – despite that, the cutting of inheritance tax was also supported by 62%. Least popular were the raising of the pension age to 66 (suppored by only 34%, and opposed by 47%) and the public sector pay freeze (supported by 37%, opposed by 44%).

Saturday polls

There are two polls in tomorrow’s papers, showing much the same picture. YouGov in the Sun have voting intention figures of CON 42%, LAB 28%, LDEM 19% (changes from the last Yougov poll seem somewhat redundant, since this one was conducted simultaeneously or even slighter later than the final daily poll). Meanwhile BPIX in the Daily Mail have almost identical figures – CON 42%, LAB 28%, LDEM 20% 18% (UPDATE: Corrected Lib Dem score for BPIX)

Prior to the conference season we had a Tory lead of about 14 points, the same appears to the be case now. It’s probably worth waiting a couple of days to see if the level of Conservative support recedes – these polls were, after all, conducted at the time of David Cameron’s speech – but that aside, it appears that the conference season has not sprung any great surprises or had any great affect.

There is also a new BPIX poll in the Mail on Sunday. The topline figures are CON 40%, LAB 25%, LDEM 22% so largely inline with the other pollsters, showing the Lib Dems up to the low twenties following their conference. Last month’s BPIX had very odd figures that looked as if they hadn’t been repercentaged to exclude don’t knows, and without access to the tables it was impossible to work out what was going on, but these look more normal.

The poll also asked if people agreed with Vince Cable’s “mansion tax”, 57% of people said yes. Despite a generally negative verdict in the papers, as I said yesterday my guess is that only thing most of the public would have picked up from the Lib Dem conference was a reminder that they and Nick Clegg existed, and that they were going to put a new tax on people richer than them – something which polls almost always show as being popular.