The YouGov/Sunday Times poll this morning showed a four point Labour lead, interpreted in some quarters of the commentariat as showing an advance for Labour after the Paxman interviews. As ever, it was only one poll. Now we have a second post-Paxman poll, a ComRes telephone poll for the Daily Mail & ITV, and this one shows the complete opposite – CON 36%(+1), LAB 32%(-3), LDEM 9%(+1), UKIP 12%(+2), GRN 5%(-2) (tabs).

If the four point Labour lead in this morning’s YouGov poll equalled their best this year, this poll is the biggest Conservative lead ComRes have delivered since 2010. Where YouGov showed Miliband’s ratings improving, ComRes show Cameron widening his lead as best Prime Minister.

There is no great mystery here, I expect we’re just seeing normal sample variation. I said this morning we needed to wait for some more polling to have any idea whether the Paxman interviews had really had any effect, whether there was a consistent trend. With two polls now showing movement in opposition directions there certainly isn’t yet. It could still be that the rest of the week’s polls show a similar movement to YouGov and the ComRes poll was just a blip… or that the rest of the week’s polls show a similar movement to ComRes and the YouGov poll was a blip. I’ve a sneaky suspicion though that we’ve just happened to see two outliers in opposite directions, and we’re going to see lots of polls showing no clear movement. Time will tell.

There are two polls out tonight, both showing Labour and the Conservatives neck and neck on 35%. The first of ComRes’s more frequent telephone polls for the Daily Mail, ramped up to a weekly timetable for the election campaign, has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 35%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 10%, GRN 7%. Meanwhile the daily YouGov poll for the Sun has extremely similar figures of CON 35%, LAB 35%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 12%, GRN 6%.


I know of three polls in the Sunday papers tomorrow – the weekly YouGov/Sunday Times and Opinium/Observer polls and the monthly online ComRes poll for the Sunday Indy and Sunday Mirror. ComRes and Opinium are already out, YouGov usually turns up later and I’ll update tomorrow.

  • Opinium in the Observer has topline figures of CON 33%(-1), LAB 35%(+1), LDEM 7%(-1), UKIP 14%(nc), GRN 7%(nc) (full details here).
  • ComRes have topline figures of CON 33%(+1), LAB 35%(+1), LDEM 7%(nc), UKIP 16%(nc), GRN 4%(nc), changes are from their previous online poll a month ago (full details here)

Neither poll shows any significant change from last time. The bigger picture appears to be that Labour and Conservative are still pretty much neck-and-neck. We’ve been seeing an increasing number of Tory leads over the last couple of weeks, but as with today’s polls there are still plenty of Labour leads too.

Monday tends to be the busiest day of the week for polling (not least because phone polls are mostly conducted across the weekend). We have four polls due today: Populus, Ashcroft, YouGov and ComRes. ComRes’s poll tonight will be in the Daily Mail, who seem to have taken over ComRes’s phone polls from the Independent, their host since 2006.

The twice-weekly poll from Populus has topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 32%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 15%, GRN 6% (tabs here). This is their first poll of 2015 not to show a Labour lead.

The weekly poll from Lord Ashcroft meanwhile has topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 36%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 11%, GRN 8% (tabs here). This is his largest Labour lead of 2015 so far, and UKIP are sharply down – 11 points is the lowest UKIP have recorded in an Ashcroft poll. The online/phone poll contrast in terms of UKIP support seems to be alive and well, with the last three phone polls from MORI, ICM and Ashcroft giving UKIP scores of 9, 9 and 11 respectively, but online polls continuing to show them in the teens.

UPDATE: Here are tonight’s other two polls. ComRes in the Daily Mail have figures of CON 34%(+3), LAB 32%(+2), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 13%(-4), GRN 8%(+1). The two point Conservative lead is the largest ComRes have shown since 2010, and their UKIP score is the lowest since last Spring. Meanwhile YouGov in the Sun have topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 33%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 7%.

Putting today’s four polls together we have one Labour lead, one Tory lead, and two polls showing the parties neck-and-neck – all perfectly in line with normal sample variation around the parties being pretty much neck-and-neck, probably with Labour just ahead. Note the UKIP picture though – all the regular phone polls have them at their lowest score for some time, and 13 points is equal to YouGov’s lowest score for them this year. The trend is difficult to discern given the wide variations between different pollsters, but looking at the average of the February polls so far UKIP do seem to be down slightly.

We have three GB polls due in the Sunday papers, Opinium in the Observer, ComRes in the Sunday Indy/Sunday Mirror and YouGov in the Sunday Times. We have the first two already, YouGov will follow later on tonight or tomorow morning.

Opinium have topline figures of CON 33%(+1), LAB 35%(+1), LDEM 8%(+1), UKIP 14%(-1), GRN 6%(-2). Both the main parties up one point and last week’s two point Labour lead remaining unchanged. Tabs are here.

ComRes have topline figures of CON 32%(-1), LAB 34%(nc), LDEM 7%(nc), UKIP 16%(-2), GRN 4%(+1). The Conservatives down one point, so both polls show a two point Labour lead, but neither show any significant change compared to their previous poll. This month’s ComRes poll also had a bank of questions asking people whether Ed Miliband or David Cameron would be better on various issues. On their usual strengths and weaknesses Cameron leads by 25 points on having the qualities needed in a leader, 23 on managing the economy and 16 points on immigration; Miliband leads by 10 points on the NHS (and I expect would lead on being in touch with ordinary people if it had been asked – the overall picture on questions like this is influenced by what measures are asked about!). Given the current political agenda though the topical measure is “more effective at cracking down on tax avoidance” – there 31% think Miliband would be more effective, 31% Cameron.