Two new polls in the Sunday papers. This week’s YouGov/Sunday Times results are here – topline figures are CON 32%, LAB 32%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 16%, GRN 7%.

The YouGov poll also had questions on the end of the Parliament: the majority of people (56%) think that MPs have now started to concentrate on the election rather than concentrate on bringing in laws (7%). Not withstanding that there is little support for an early election – most people think the next election should still be in May 2015 as planned. The principle of having fixed term Parliaments has majority support (56% to 29%), though those who support it are split between agreeing with the current five year set up and preferring a fixed term election every four years. Asked about the fate of the coalition, 25% of people want it to end now (17%) or in the next few months (8%). 33% think it should continue up until the start of the formal campaign in April, while 28% want it to continue until polling day itself. The vast majority of Tory and Lib Dem voters want the coalition to continue until at least April.

MPs themselves continue to have a poor reputation. By 55% to 12% people think they are poor value for money and by 45% to 33% people think they are lazy rather than hardworking. 43% think that the reduction in Parliamentary business towards the end of the Parliament is just being used by MPs to do less work, rather than for constituency work.

Meanwhile a new ComRes poll in the Independent on Sunday has topline figures of CON 33%(+3), LAB 34%(nc), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 18%(-1), GRN 2%(-1). Changes are from their November online poll and tabs are here. A quick aside about that very low score for the Greens – as regular readers will recall, ComRes recently made a change to their methodology. They started including UKIP in the main prompt for voting intention, but also made some changes to their likelihood to vote weighting – this is not quite clear from the tables, but as far as I can tell from reverse engineering the tables in their online polls they now apply a more harsh turnout filter to UKIP and the Greens than for the Conservatives, Labour and Lib Dems. The end effect of the combined changes looks to me as if UKIP support is largely unchanged, but Green support will be decreased.

ComRes also asked people to put the parties on a left-right scale, with a surprising result. The average scores for Labour was 4.13, the Lib Dems 4.87, UKIP on 6.61 and the Conservatives 6.91 – so the Tories seen as more right wing than UKIP. This is in contrast to a similar exercise by YouGov earlier this year which found UKIP and the Conservatives the other way round. There are months between the polls, so opinion could simply have changed (especially since UKIP have been putting in an effort to appeal to Labour voters), but there were two significant methodological differences between the polls – YouGov asked people on a verbal scale, ComRes on a numerical scale and, probably more importantly, YouGov included a don’t know option and ComRes did not. In the YouGov poll over a quarter of people said don’t know to the questions (ordinary people don’t necessarily think of parties, policies and so on as being “right” or “left” wing!), so it could just be that lots of people said 5 when they weren’t offered don’t know as an option. That said both versions found people positioning the Conservatives and UKIP in a fairly similar place in the political spectrum, so probably not worth getting too excited over the difference.


We have our regular glut of Monday polls today, with new figures from YouGov, Populus, Ashcroft and ComRes. Topline figures are:

Populus – CON 32%, LAB 35%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 14%, GRN 5% (tabs)
Ashcroft – CON 30%, LAB 32%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 16%, GRN 6% (tabs)
YouGov/Sun – CON 32%, LAB 32%, LD 8%, UKIP 15%, GRN 6%
ComRes/Indy – CON 28%, LAB 31%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 18%, GRN 7% (tabs)

A week ago we had a clutch of polls showing an increased Labour lead following Rochester and Strood. Populus had a couple of polls with 5 point leads, as did Lord Ashcroft, YouGov’s poll on the same day produced a four point Labour lead. This week they’ve all gone back to more typical numbers – it was either a short term effect, or just pure co-incidence. We will never know.

Note that there is a change in ComRes’s methodology. As with their online and constituency polling, they have introducing UKIP into the main voting intention prompt. UKIP are down one point since the previous ComRes poll so this does not appear to have had any radical effect.


ComRes released their latest poll of marginal seats today. As regular readers will recall, ComRes’s marginal polls cover the 40 most marginal Con-v-Lab seats (25 Conservative held, 15 Labour held). Unlike Lord Ashcroft’s marginal polls (which are actually a series of individual constituency polls in seats that are marginals, which we can aggregate together to get an extremely large sample across a group of marginal seats) ComRes’s poll is a more traditional marginals poll – a single poll of a group of marginal seats, meaning it gives us a measure of those seats as a whole, but has far too few people to tell us anything about the individual seats within that group.

Latest voting intention figures in these marginals with changes from the last time ComRes polled them in September is CON 31%(+1), LAB 39%(-2), LDEM 7%(+1), UKIP 18%(+1). These seats had Labour and Conservative equal at the last election so an eight point lead here is the equivalent of a four point national swing and a one point Labour lead in national polls…pretty much exactly what the national polls have been showing lately (actually if you look at the crossbreaks of the poll they suggest a swing towards the Conservatives in the Conservative held seats, a swing towards Labour in the Labour held seats, but given the sample size of those two groups and that the poll is only weighted at the level of all forty seats I wouldn’t put too much weight on that).

Note also that, judging from the tables, ComRes have switched over to prompting for UKIP in their main voting intention question in this poll – as with their last national poll, it does not seem to have had a major effect (UPDATE – I think this is because ComRes have changed turnout weightings, so that there is a tighter turnout filter for the Greens and UKIP than for the main parties). Tabs are here.

There should be another batch of Lord Ashcroft polls of individual marginal seats later this week.


ComRes’s monthly online poll for the Indy on Sunday and Sunday Mirror is out tonight and has topline figures of CON 30%, LAB 34%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 19%, GRN 3%. Tabs are here.

On the face of it there is very little change from a month ago, the Conservatives are down one, Lib Dems up one. However, there is actually an important methodological change. As regular readers will remember, last month ComRes did a split sample experiment in their online poll, with half the sample being asked voting intention with UKIP in the main prompt, half not. This apparently made 5 points difference to UKIP, with the prompted half of the sample showing UKIP up on 24%. ComRes have now switched over to prompting for UKIP all the time in their online and telephone polls, but it obviously didn’t have the same dramatic effect in this month’s poll. I suppose comparing prompted-poll to prompted-poll UKIP are down 5 points since last month, but perhaps last month’s was an anomoly and the impact of prompting is just less than the split-sample experiment suggested.

ComRes’s press release suggests they have also tweaked their weightings this month. I’ll update with details once they are confirmed, but looking through the tables nothing jumps out at me so it is probably relatively minor.


We’ve had a busy day of voting intention polls today, four polls from Populus, Ashcroft, YouGov and ComRes, and three of them showing the same lead. Topline figures are:

Ashcroft: CON 31%, LAB 31%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 18%, GRN 5% (tabs)
Populus: CON 34%, LAB 36%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 3% (tabs)
YouGov/Sun: CON 32%, LAB 32%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 18%
ComRes/Indy: CON 30%(+1), LAB 30%(-5), LDEM 9%(-1), UKIP 19%(+4), GRN 4%(nc) (tabs)

Leaving aside the tendency of Populus to show higher support for the Conservatives and Labour and lower support for others, the picture is pretty consistent. Three polls (as well as YouGov and Opinion polls at the weekend) are showing the same story – Labour and Conservative equal, and UKIP still polling very strongly. Whether there is any link there is a different matter – perhaps UKIP’s ongoing rise has attracted people who were previously saying they’d vote Labour (though not necessarily people who voted Labour in 2010) who see UKIP as a better anti-government vote, but there is always churn beneath the topline figures and things may very well be more complicated than a straight transfer between the two.