We have three new polls so far today. TNS have put out a new GB poll, which has topline figures of CON 33%(nc), LAB 32%(nc), LDEM 8%(+1), UKIP 16%(-1), GRN 5%(+1) – clearly no significant change since their previous poll (tabs are here).

ComRes have a new poll of the 40 Labour held constituencies in Scotland (that is excluding Falkirk, where Eric Joyce sat out his term as an independent). In 2010 the share of vote in these seats was CON 14%, LAB 51%, SNP 19%, LDEM 14%. The new ComRes poll found support standing at CON 13%(-1), LAB 37%(-14), SNP 43%(+24), LDEM 2%(-12). The seven point SNP lead represents a swing of 19 points from Lab to SNP, the equivalent of a sixteen point SNP lead in a national Scottish poll (tabs are here).

Finally YouGov have a new London poll for the Evening Standard, which has topline figures of CON 34%(+2), LAB 45%(+1), LDEM 8%(+1), UKIP 8%(-2), GRN 4%(-1) – changes are from YouGov’s previous London poll a month ago. The eleven point Labour lead represents a swing of 4.5 points from Con to Lab since the general election, the equivalent of a two point Labour lead in a national GB poll (tabs are here).

YouGov have released two sub-national polls today – one of London, one of young people. The London poll for the Evening Standard has topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 44%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 10%, GRN 5% (tabs. This is a twelve point Labour lead in the capital, rather than the eight point lead in the YouGov/London poll a week ago. When the previous poll came out I speculated on whether the three point swing from Con-to-Lab suggested a smaller swing to Labour in London than elsewhere in Britain, this poll with its five point swing from Con to Lab is bigger than that implied by national polls, cancelling the other one out. We probably need more London polls to have any confidence on whether the swing there is bigger, smaller, or just the same.

Secondly there is a YouGov poll of young people for the British Youth Council. Amongst under 25s it shows voting intentions of CON 22%, LAB 36%, LDEM 5%, UKIP 12%, GRN 19% (tabs). Note that Green score, in third place on 19% but close behind the Tories in second. Earlier on this week I saw some people getting overexcited about an under 25s crossbreak in a YouGov poll showing the Conservatives ahead – such things are really worth ignoring. The crossbreaks for young people in GB polls are normally around 150 at best, and once you take out don’t knows and won’t votes that often shrinks to 100 or so. That gives you a margin of error of at at least plus or minus 10%, so it is inevitable that given time you are going to get weird and wacky crossbreaks that look interesting and amazing, but are just normal sample variation. If you want to know how young people are voting ideally wait for bespoke poll of young people, properly weighted to their demographics. At the very least, aggregate up figures over a long period to get beyond the daily noise.

Finally, today we’ve had another step in the ongoing debates debate, with David Cameron saying he will only take part in one, seven-way debate, in March. Naturally it’s provoked lots of comment about how the public will react. I wrote about polling on debates and what difference it makes back in January, and my opinion is pretty much unchanged from then. It’s not a wholly Westminster bubble story – the polls back in January showed that people were noticing it to some degree, and even asked in a neutral way there was a clear perception that Cameron was trying to avoid them more than other leaders, so it was being picked up. Whether that changes anything is a completely different matter – ignore the forced “does this make Cameron look like a wimp?” sort of questions we’ll inevitably get. The things to judge it by are whether it makes a difference to voting intention, or to David Cameron’s own approval ratings, best PM ratings, ratings on being out of touch and so on. Personally I doubt it will (to answer my own question, I expect the public will react with mild indifference, as they do to most political stories. The overwhelming majority of things make no difference!) but the evidence at the weekend and in weeks to come will tell.


YouGov London poll

I’m a little late with this, but just to flag up that yesterday’s Times had a new YouGov poll of London. Topline voting intentions there are CON 34%, LAB 42%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 9%, GRN 6% (tabs here).

I sometimes hear a sort of London as the weathervane of the country argument, as London goes so the country goes. It doesn’t, despite a Tory mayor it’s Labour leaning compared to the country as whole, and it doesn’t necessarily swing in the same way as the rest of the country either. In 2010 while the Conservatives were seven points ahead in the country as a whole, Labour won in London by 2 points, and the Conservatives managed a smaller swing in London than elsewhere.

This poll suggests a 3 point swing from Con to Lab in London, the equivalent of a 1 point Conservative lead in national polling, so actually a little less than national polls are currently showing. It could be the Tories are doing a little better in London, or it could just be ordinary sample error – as ever, it’s just one poll and shouldn’t be overinterpreted. A three point swing in London would net Labour three or four gains from the Tories – Hendon, Brentford and Isleworth, Enfield North and, right on a knife edge, Croydon Central.

YouGov London polling

Over the last couple of days the Evening Standard have been reporting the contents of a new YouGov London poll – yesterday here and today here.

YouGov found London voting intentions of CON 35%(nc), LAB 45%(+3), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 8%(-2), GRN 4%(nc). Labour are up three since June, but this poll would still suggest Labour doing slightly worse in London than elsewhere (a ten point lead for Labour in London is a 4 point swing since the general election, whereas GB polls are currently showing a 5 1/2 point swing to Labour.)

YouGov also repeated a batch of questions about Boris Johnson returning to Parliament. 37% of Londonders now think it is reasonable for him to seek to return to Parliament in 2015, but 43% think he should not consider doing so until he has completed his term as mayor. If he were to be elected as an MP in 2015 50% think he should stand down as mayor immediately, 34% think it would be okay for him to do both for a year.

Finally today’s poll looked at the possible Labour candidates for London mayor. Tessa Jowell comes top… but only on 12%, narrowly ahead of Diane Abbott on 8%. Amongst London Labour voters Jowell also comes top, but still only on 16%. I think the reality is that questions like this are largely just a recognition contest… and none of the candidates are particularly well known (I haven’t seen anyone even bother asking who should succeed Boris as the Conservative candidate!)

Just catching up on a couple of polls over the last few days.

Friday’s two Westminster voting intention polls from YouGov and Populus were YouGov/Sun – CON 33%, LAB 36%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 14% (tabs) and Populus – CON 34%, LAB 35%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 14% (tabs).

There was also a YouGov/Channel 4 Scottish poll in the week, showing very little change from the previous YouGov referendum poll in March. YES is on 37%(nc), NO is on 51%(-1) (tabs. Excluding don’t knows this works out at YES 42%, NO 58% – exactly the same as a month ago. This, incidentally, produced some superbly inept reporting from the Daily Mail, well deserving of my much sought after “Crap Media Reporting of Polls” award: Campaign against independence soars to 16 point lead. Apparently there has been a “surge” in support for the Union following “growing anger over Putin praise”. That’ll be a surge from 58% to 58% then.

There is also a new YouGov poll of European voting intentions, conducted for the Green party. Topline figures there are CON 22%, LAB 30%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 27%, GRN 8% (tabs)

Finally there was a Survation poll of London (tabs) which had toplines for the European election in London of CON 21%, LAB 39%, LDEM 13%, UKIP 20%, GRN 7% and for the London local elections of CON 26%, LAB 42%, LDEM 14%, UKIP 11%.