Today we’ve the final Ipsos MORI monthly poll of 2014 and the last 2014 batch of Lord Ashcroft’s constituency polling (the keenly awaited Scottish marginals polling is taking place next year).

MORI’s monthly poll has topline figures of CON 32%(nc), LAB 29%(nc), LDEM 9%(nc), UKIP 13%(-1), GRN 9%(+2). The Conservatives are three points ahead, but as ever it’s the trend that counts and there is no difference from last month for the main parties here. Note the Greens though – nine points is another new record high for them. Full tabs are here.

Meanwhile Lord Ashcroft’s final batch of 2014 constituencies polls covers three groups of seats. One is another swathe of Con-held Labour targets, another is a group of those Labour seats who the Fabians have identified as the most vulnerable to UKIP, the final one is the unusual seat of Brighton Pavilion. Full details of all the polls are here.

This batch of Con/Lab seats covers those with Conservative majorities between 7.1% and 8.1% – in other words these are seats that would need a swing of between 3.5% and 4% to fall to Labour, the equivalent of national polls showing a Labour lead between zero and one point. This is in the region of current national polls, and as the swing in individual seats varies from one to the next, Ashcroft found Labour ahead in some of these seats, the Conservatives ahead in others. Across all eight seats polled Ashcroft found an average swing of 3 points in these seats, the equivalent of national polls showing a one point Conservative lead – so in this batch of seats, Labour are actually doing slightly worse than they are in the country as a whole. These might just so-happen to be eight seats where the Tories are doing a bit better of course, so don’t run off with the idea that the Conservatives are out-performing in the marginals just yet. The broader finding in Ashcroft’s Con-v-Lab battleground polls so far is that the marginal swing is pretty similar to the national swing.

The Lab-UKIP part of the polling covered four Labour-held seats (Great Grimsby, Dudley North, Plymouth Moor View and Rother Valley) that the Fabian Society’s paper Revolt on the Left identified as being at critical or high risk from UKIP. The polling found Labour ahead in all four seats, but with UKIP in a close second place in all four of them. Labour have a 1 point lead in Grimsby, 3 points in Dudley North, 5 points in Plymouth Moor View and 6 points in Rother Valley. This appears to confirm the research by Rob Ford and Ian Warren that these would be seats where, based on demographics, UKIP would pose a strong challenge – and suggests that Labour cannot afford to take them for granted. It’s also worth pointing out that using standard “how would you vote tomorrow” UKIP were ahead in three of the seats, Labour only moved ahead on the question asking people to think about their own constituency and candidates.

Finally in Brighton Pavilion, very much a unique seat given its Green incumbency, Ashcroft found latest voting intention figures of CON 21%, LAB 28%, LDEM 5%, UKIP 8%, GRN 38%.


The monthly ICM poll for the Guardian came out today, with topline figures of CON 28%(-3), LAB 33%(+1), LDEM 14%(+3), UKIP 14%(nc), GRN 5%(-1). Tabs are here. There’s a movement from Con to Lab since ICM’s previous poll, but nothing that couldn’t be normal margin of error – the broader picture still suggests a very small Labour lead, with no strong trend (in November the average Labour lead was 1.6%, so far this month it’s 1.3%).

This is the first time since September that any poll hasn’t shown UKIP ahead of the Liberal Democrats. The previous one was also ICM, and apart from one unusual Populus poll in July you have to go right back to March to find polls from other company doing the same. ICM consistently show the highest level of support for the Liberal Democrats for methodological reasons. This is largely because of how they handle don’t knows – when people say they don’t know how they’d vote, ICM look at how they voted at the previous election and assume that 50% of them will end up voting the same way. This is based on recontact surveys of don’t knows after previous elections and has made polls more accurate in the past… but of course, we can’t know until May whether that will still hold true under the sort of political realignment we seem to be seeing this Parliament. Without the reallocation ICM’s figures today would have been LDEM 11%, UKIP 15% – so it would have been quite a high Lib Dem figure anyway even without the adjustment.

Ipsos MORI’s month political monitor is also due. Today’s Evening Standard reported some figures, but I assume they are saving up the voting intention figures for tomorrow. The data so far is here, and shows people’s optimism about the economy in general (as opposed to their personal finances) dropping to its lowest since last year. I wrote about similar findings from YouGov at the start of the month, so this does appear to be more than a single poll; people’s confidence in the economic recovery does seem to be faltering a bit.


Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor is out in today’s Evening Standard with topline figures of CON 32%(+2), LAB 29%(-4), LDEM 9%(+1), UKIP 14%(-2), GRN 7%. The three point Conservative lead is the highest that MORI have shown since 2010 and the highest that any company has shown since January 2012. Full details are here.

As usual it’s the unusual poll that gets the attention, when it should be the trend. The fieldwork for the poll was conducted between Saturday and Monday when the media was full of stories about Labour having a leadership crisis, so naturally enough people have concluded that Labour’s leadership row has damaged them in the polls.

Except the MORI poll wasn’t the only poll conducted at the weekend. ICM also had a poll in the field at the same time, which showed Labour one point ahead (though down three on the previous month). Lord Ashcroft also had a poll conducted at the weekend, which showed a one point Conservative lead, but no change from the previous week. Populus had a poll conducted over the weekend too – it showed Labour holding on to a two point lead. YouGov had a poll conducted Sunday to Monday and another one since then, both showed a one point Labour lead, unchanged from last week.

The fact that this is the largest Conservative lead and the lowest Labour score for years is meaningful in its own way. It’s reflection of a general trend that has shown Labour drop from an average lead of around six points at the start of year, to an average lead of around about one point now. What the six polls we’ve had since the weekend don’t agree on is that last weekend’s row over Miliband’s leadership had any huge impact on this pre-existing trend.


There has been comparatively little Scottish polling since the referendum (partly I expect because newspapers had spent their budgets on pre-referendum polling). I’ve seen some people spending rather too much time collating and looking at Scottish crossbreaks in GB polls. Personally I wouldn’t recommend putting too much weight on crossbreaks – aggregating them up gets round the sample size issue, but GB polls are still weighted at the GB level. If you think back to how het up people got about whether Scottish polls were weighted by Holyrood or Westminster voting intention, factored in place of birth, things like that – the Scottish sub-sample in a GB poll have no such controls, it’s just how the Scottish respondents in a poll weighted to GB targets happen to fall out.

Nevertheless, they are a straw in the wind, and they’d been suggesting a strong showing for the SNP since the referendum. Today we have a proper, bespoke Scottish poll by Ipsos MORI and if anything it shows the SNP doing even better than the crossbreaks suggested. Topline voting intentions in Westminster with changes since the general election are CON 10%(-7), LAB 23%(-19), LDEM 6%(-13), SNP 52%(+32), GRN 6%(+5). Full results are here

This would, to say the least, be rather a radical turnaround from the last general election. I don’t think swingometers offer much guidance in the case of really extreme results (a uniform swing would be mathematically impossible on this results – for example, there are about 9 seats in Scotland where Labour got less than 19% in 2010, so couldn’t lose 19% this time round. The same applies in many seats for the Liberal Democrats) but for the record on a uniform swing these figures would result in the SNP winning all but two seats in Scotland.


Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor is out in today’s Standard. Topline figures are CON 30%(-4), LAB 33%(nc), LDEM 8%(+1), UKIP 16%(+1). The 16% for UKIP is up only one since last month, but that makes it the highest UKIP score MORI have yet recorded. There was a similar pattern in this morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun – topline figures were CON 30%, LAB 34%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 18%, beating YouGov’s previous UKIP high of 17 (Tabs are here: MORI, YouGov)