Just the two regular polls in Sunday’s papers. The weekly Opinium poll for the Observer has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 35%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 14%, GRN 6% (tabs), the weekly YouGov poll for the Sunday Times has figures of CON 34%, LAB 34%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 14%, GRN 5% (tabs). Both very much in line with the broader picture of Lab & Con almost neck and neck, Labour just a touch ahead.

YouGov asked whether people would consider voting for each of the main GB parties and their awareness of their policies. Of the two main parties, 40% would consider voting Conservative, 42% Labour – a slightly bigger pool for Labour but only just. The pool of potential voters for the other three substantial parties is pretty similar – 23% for the Lib Dems, 26% for UKIP, 25% for the Greens.

Asked about how aware of are of each party’s policies, 63% say they know a lot or a fair amount about Tory policies, compared to 59% for Labour, 45% for UKIP and 37% for the Lib Dems, 27% the Greens. Note how more people think they know about UKIP policies than those of the Lib Dems – a sign of how the Lib Dems have struggled to get a clear message out from within coalition.

YouGov also reasked the “protest party” question they asked about UKIP last year about the Greens. They found 15% of people think that the Greens are a serious party with workable policies, 56% a protest party for those unhappy with the main parties. These are very similar to the figures for UKIP, with UKIP 17% thought they were serious, 62% a protest party.

Moving onto other issues, 51% of people would support a ban on MPs having second jobs, but only 25% would support it were it to be offset by a higher salary. Asked about the current £67,000 salary for MPs and the appropriate level or reward for the sort of people they’d like to be MPs, 32% think the current salary is too much, 16% too little, 46% about right.

Finally there were some questions on defence and what sort of threats Britain should be prioritising. 16% of people think that Britain spends too much on defence, 49% too little, 20% about the right amount. By 52% to 18% people think we should be focusing resources on defending against threats from Islamist terrorism and insurgents, like Islamic State, rather than potential threats from states like Russia. 50% of people think that the West’s sanctions against Russia haven’t been strong enough, but on balance people are opposed to even the sending of British troops to help train and advise the Ukrainian army – 43% are opposed with only 36% support.

There are only two voting intention polls in the Sunday papers – the regular weekly Opinium and YouGov polls for the Observer and Sunday Times respectively.

The Opinium/Observer poll has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 33%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 15%, GRN 7%. This is the first time that Opinium have shown a Conservative lead since back in 2012, just before the Omnishambles budget. As ever though, it’s just one poll – taking a broad average of the polls suggests that the actual position of public opinion is a very small Labour lead, so it’s inevitable that normal sample variation will spit out some Tory leads from time to time. Doesn’t mean much unless they start getting more frequent. Tables are here

The YouGov/Sunday Times poll has toplines of CON 33%, LAB 34%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 6%. The one point Labour lead is very much in line with YouGov’s average. The 13 percent figure for UKIP is equal to the party’s lowest from YouGov this year, but a lowest we’ve already seen a couple of times, so again, not necessarily anything new. Tables will be on the YouGov website tomorrow.


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.

For the run up to the election Opinium have moved from fortnightly to weekly polls for the Observer, and tonight’s figures are CON 32%(nc), LAB 34%(+1), LDEM 7%(+2), UKIP 15%(-3), GRN 8%(+2).

A couple of other updates. First, I have updated how the Uniform Swing Projection over on the sidebar is calculated. Up until now it has been a straight Uniform Swing across the whole of Great Britain. This was deliberately crude, a simple and uncontroversial uniform swing for reference, despite its know limitations. With the surge in SNP support through it had really become quite absurd – Scotland has often shown a different swing to the rest of Great Britain, but this is something in a new league. Hence from today I’ve switching to showing a figure based on a combination of a uniform swing across Scotland and a uniform swing across the rest of Great Britain. The Scottish UNS is based on an average of Scottish polls, the rest of GB UNS is based on an average of GB polls, adjusted to account for the absence of Scotland.

Second, I posted earlier in the week about the contrasting Survation/Unite and Ashcroft polls in Sheffield Hallam. One of the things I mentioned was that there was actually a slight error in the Ashcroft poll that had shown the Liberal Democrats ahead. Lord Ashcroft has now corrected the error (which was also repeated in his Thanet South and Doncaster North polls) and put up corrected tables on his website here. On the revised figures Lord Ashcroft’s Sheffield poll would also have shown Labour ahead of the Liberal Democrats, though by only 3 points. In Thanet South he would have shown a one point Tory lead, rather than the five points reported at the time. Ed Miliband would have been as safe as houses in Doncaster North with a thirty percent lead.

Lord Ashcroft doesn’t officially confirm who carries out the polls he commissions, but the reality is that most of his constituency polls are carried out by Populus – not that there are many companies who do constituency polling anyway (it can only be done on the telephone, and Ipsos MORI don’t do it, so that leaves very few options). In this case Populus did NOT carry out the poll, so the errors here shouldn’t be taken as a reflect on Populus or on Ashcroft’s other polls. In Lord Ashcroft’s own commentary he writes “I have not been in the habit of naming the polling companies I use, all of which are members of the British Polling Council, and I will not be naming this one. But I cannot allow this episode to cast doubt on the reliability of my polling more generally. So I must disclose that these three surveys last November are the first and only I have commissioned from a well-known but relatively new polling firm. And no, I won’t be using them again”.

The only other poll I know of in Sunday’s papers is the regular YouGov/Sunday Times polls.

UPDATE: Opinium have also made some changes to their methodology, detailled on their website here. There is a minor change to their age bands in their weighting to make sure they have enough under 25s, but the main change is to switch over to political weighting. Up until now Opinium and Ipsos MORI have been the only companies not to use some form of political weighting in their GB polls, Opinium are now introducing weighting by “Party propensity”, which seems to be similar in principle to the party ID weighting used by Populus and YouGov. Opinium’s weighting targets are based upon a rolling average of their recent polls and the European election result, which in practice means it should make figures less volatile and, according to Opinium, decrease their reported level of UKIP support.

Interestingly YouGov, Populus, ComRes and Lord Ashcroft have all made methodology changes in the last few months to get onto an election footing, and all started prompting for UKIP. Opinium are bucking the trend and look as if they are keeping UKIP in a second question for people who pick “other”.

Two polls in the Sunday papers – the fortnightly Opinium for the Observer and the weekly YouGov for the Sunday Times.

YouGov have topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 35%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 15%, GRN 6%. It’s the first Labour lead YouGov have shown for a week. It’s probably just normal sample variation, but is a reminder that despite a week of polls that had more Conservative leads than Labour ones, the polls are still really neck-and-neck. Tabs here.

Opinium meanwhile have topline figures of CON 32%(+4), LAB 33%(nc), LDEM 5%(-2), UKIP 18%(-2), GRN 6%(nc), the two main parties moving into the same tight lead we’re seeing across most polls. The five percent score for the Lib Dems is equals their lowest since the post-merger period around 1990. Tabs are here.