For a Thursday there was rather a lot of polling today which I’m only just getting chance to catch up with.

Firstly we had Ipsos MORI‘s monthly political monitor for the Standard. Topline voting intention figures are CON 31%(-1), LAB 37%(+2), LDEM 9%(-4), UKIP 15%(+4) – a good boost for UKIP following the Clegg-Farage debate. The 15% for UKIP matches the highest they’ve ever received from the pollster, last reached in April 2013.

The rest of the MORI poll had some questions on perceptions of the leaders, which showed the familiar comparisons between Ed Miliband and David Cameron: Cameron is seen as a more capable Prime Minister and better in a crisis, Miliband is seen as less out of touch. MORI also found a budget bounce in George Osborne’s reputation, nudging his approval rating into positive territory. 47% are now satisfied with his performance as Chancellor, 44% disatisfied, the best MORI have found for a Chancellor since 2006 (and the best for a Tory Chancellor since 1980). Full details of the MORI polling are here.

The second GB poll of the day was the daily YouGov poll for the Sun. They had topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 36%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 14%, but also had some Maria Miller questions here. 83% think she was right to resign, 63% think Cameron should have sacked her immediately rather than standing by her.

Moving on from GB polls, there were also two Scottish referendum polls, one showing a slight but insignificant drop for YES, one showing things static. The first by Survation for the Record had referendum voting intentions of YES 37%(-2), NO 47%(-1). Tabs are here. Interestingly enough Survation also asked Scottish voting intentions for the European elections. Most Scottish voting intention questions at the moment don’t interest me that much given the referendum result will shake things up either way, but the European election obviously comes before the referendum. Survation have figures of CON 13%, LAB 30%, LD 6%, SNP 39%, UKIP 7%. That would give the SNP three MEPs, Labour two and the Conservatives one. The Lib Dems would lose theirs and UKIP would fail to break through in Scotland.

The second poll was a Panelbase one commissioned by the YES campaign, which showed the same five point lead for NO recorded in the previous two Panelbase polls: YES 40%(-1), NO 45%(-1). Tabs are here.

The monthly Ipsos MORI poll for the Standard is out today and has topline voting intention figures of CON 32%(+1), LAB 35%(-3), LDEM 13%(+1), UKIP 11%(+1). Full tabs are here.

There’s quite a lot of other stuff in this month’s poll. 47% of people now think that the government is doing a good job managing the economy, 46% a bad job (compared to 36% good, 55% bad when MORI asked by in 2011), there is also a big shift in the government’s favour on unemployment, 44% now think they are doing well at keeping unemployment down, up from 15% in 2011. However, there is still a perception that the rich are benefiting more than others. 73% think the government have done a good job of raising the standard of living for the rich, but only 19% think they’ve done the same for the poor (for respondents themselves, 30% think the government have done a good job of improving their standard of living).

MORI also asked about which party they think deserves the most credit for the £10,000 personal tax allowance – something that the Conservatives and Lib Dems have been arguing over taking the credit for and which in hindsight I’m rather surprised no one has asked before. 45% of people give the Lib Dems credit for it, compared to 33% who give the Tories the credit.

Saturday’s Sun newspaper had a new YouGov poll of Scottish voting intentions with topline figures of YES 35%(+1), NO 53%(+1). There’s obviously no significant change from YouGov’s previous poll, carried out at the start of February before the recent currency row, and the NO lead remains at 18 points. The referendum results are here and there are some additional questions here. In his commentary on the YouGov website today Peter Kellner suggests views are pretty solid – the currency story hasn’t made much impact because the vast majority (79%) of YES supporters just didn’t believe it and assumed the British political parties were bluffing (though a fair amount of YES supporters would also prefer an independent Scottish currency anyway).

There was a similar break when people were asked about an independent Scotland’s position in the European Union – the large majority (70%) of YES supporters think that an independent Scotland will be able to make a smooth transition to membership on day one, only 15% of NO voters think they would. The arguments that dominate the Scottish independence debate don’t really appear to be changing any minds, people are just viewing them through their pre-existing support for YES or NO.

In a similar vein there is a new Ipsos MORI Scottish poll, also timed to mark the 200 days to go point, and again showing very little change. Amongst those certain to vote YES is on 32%(-2), NO is on 57%(nc), Don’t knows 11%. Changes are from the previous MORI poll in December 2013. Full tabs are here.

The monthly Ipsos MORI poll for the Standard is out today with topline voting intention figures of CON 31%(+1), LAB 38%(-1), LDEM 12%(-1), UKIP 10%(-1), not in itself any significant change from last month. Full tabs are here.

Econiomic optimism continues to climb, 50% of people now expect the economy to get better, 24% to get worse, a net score of plus twenty-six. This is the highest net figure since Tony Blair’s honeymoon in 1997 (the 50% getting better is the highest Ipsos MORI have ever found). If this outbreak of extreme optimism sounds surprising, remember that the MORI question asks about general state of the economy, as I’ve explored here before, questions that ask about people’s own personal finances tend to find more pessimistic results.

MORI also asked which party leader people most trusted on various issues, including Nigel Farage amongst the options. Cameron leads easily on the economy by 42% to Miliband’s 20%, on reducing unemployment (by 33% to Miliband’s 28%) and on immigration (by 23% to 20% for Farage, in second place). Miliband leads on banking regulation (by 29% to 21%) and looking after the interests of women (by 28% to 21%).

Finally MORI asked about the top rate of tax for those earning over £150,000, with intriguing results. Most polls I’ve seen in the past have been whether it should go up to 50p, whether it should go down to 40p again, whether it was right to cut it to 45p. MORI gave all three options, 50p, 45p and 40p. As we’d expect from past polling, 50p was the most popular, but was only picked by 41%. 27% went for 45p, 24% for 40p, so no one option commanding majority support. MORI also tested the question identifying the 50p option with Ed Balls, the 45p option with George Osborne and the 40p option with Boris. Despite Boris generally being a leap and a bound more popular than Balls or Osborne, it made hardly difference at all. Boris may be fun, but attaching his name to unpopular policies does not seem to have any magical affect.

Friday polls

We have no fewer than four voting intention polls out today. Populus’s twice weekly poll has topline voting intention figures of CON 33%, LAB 40%, LDEM 13%, UKIP 9%. Full tabs are here.

Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor for the Evening Standard has topline figures of CON 30%(-3), LAB 39%(+2), LDEM 13%(+4), UKIP 11%(+1). The increased Labour lead seems to be mostly down to likelihood to vote – last month MORI’s results for all voters had a seven point Labour lead, which became a four point lead when they took only those certain to vote. This month their results for all voters had a five point Labour lead, which became a nine point lead when they took only those certain to vote. Full details are here.

MORI also had some interesting questions on coalitions. 60% of people now think it was a bad thing that we had a hung Parliament in 2010, 32% a good thing. This compares to 40% good, 52% bad when it was asked in May 2010. Looking forward, only 26% think it would be a good thing if we had another hung Parliament at the next election, 65% see if as a bad thing (thought 51% of people think it is very or fairly likely). MORI also asked if people would support the party they support going into a coalition in the event of a hung Parliament.

  • 70% of Tory voters would support another coalition with the Lib Dems, only 40% would support a coalition with UKIP.
  • 62% of Labour supporters would support a coalition with the Lib Dems, 63% would support a coalition with the Greens
  • 65% of Lib Dems would support another coalition with the Tories, 53% would support a coalition with Labour

Moving on, YouGov’s daily voting intention poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 39%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 12% (full tabs are here.

Finally, Sky News have a Survation poll with topline figures of CON 30%(-1%), LAB 34%(-1%), LDEM 12%(+1%), UKIP 18%(+2). Full tabs for that are here