After a quiet start to the week today is turning out to be a busy day for polling, with new polls so far from Panelbase, TNS and Survation and ComRes and YouGov still to come. Here’s the rundown on what today’s polls so far show:

  • TNS have topline figures of CON 30%(-3), LAB 33%(+1), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 19%(+3), GRN 4%(-1) (tabs)
  • Panelbase have figures of CON 31%(-2), LAB 37%(+4), LDEM 8%(+1), UKIP 16%(-1), GRN 4%(-1) (tabs)
  • Survation have figures of CON 31%(-1), LAB 35%(+2), LDEM 9%(nc), UKIP 15%(-3), GRN 4%(+2) (tabs)

An interesting set of polls so far, with all three showing Labour gaining support and some of the largest Labour leads we’ve seen in polls for over a month (the last 6 pointer was Survation in late Feb, the last 7 point Labour lead TNS in mid-February). We still have two more polls to come tonight though (and, indeed, a Scottish poll to boot), so let’s wait and see what they bring…

UPDATE: The rest of tonight’s polls are now out. The weekly ComRes poll for the Daily Mail has topline figures of CON 34%(-2), LAB 33%(+1), LDEM 12%(+3), UKIP 12%(nc), GRN 4%(-1). ComRes too have movement in Labour’s direction, though they continue to show a Conservative lead – note the 12% for the Liberal Democrats, that’s the highest they’ve shown this year. Meanwhile the daily YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 34%, LD 8%, UKIP 12%, GRN 4%.

Quite a strange clutch of polls there – two Conservative leads, three Labour leads. Lots of the other interesting looking findings are almost certainly noise – Lib Dems are doing well in ComRes, but it’s not reflected anywhere else. UKIP are up in TNS, but down in Survation and no movement elsewhere. The only consistent trend amongst these is that all but tonight’s YouGov poll have Labour improving their position against the Tories. It’ll be interesting to see if that trend holds.

Meanwhile YouGov also have a new Scottish poll, conducted after the first Scottish leaders debate and straddling the second one. Westminster voting intentions there are CON 18%(+2), LAB 25%(-4), LDEM 4%(+1), SNP 49%(+3). As ever, only one poll, but it looks as if any debate impact in Scotland has helped the SNP. Certainly, with only a month to go it shows no sign whatsoever of the SNP lead fading.

Tuesday polls

The bank holiday yesterday means we didn’t get our usual rush of Monday polling – while there’s no real concrete evidence that doing poll fieldwork over a bank holiday produces odd results, polling companies tend to avoid it just in case. This means there was no YouGov poll last night, no Ashcroft poll this week and that the first of Populus’s twice weekly polls came out a day late.

Populus’s poll has topline figures of CON 31%, LAB 33%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 15%, GRN 4% (tabs). Again, there is no obvious sign of any impact from the debate – the two point Labour lead is the same as Populus’s previous poll and not out of the ordinary, though the ten point score for the Lib Dems is their highest from Populus since mid-February.

The only other GB poll we are expecting tonight is YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun, which normally appears around ten thirtyish.

Apart from that, the Jewish Chronicle had a new Survation poll of British Jews, suggesting a large majority of British Jews would vote Conservative in an election tomorrow. Voting intentions were CON 69%, LAB 22%, LDEM 2%, UKIP 2%. Tables for that poll are here.


I’m keeping posting to a minimum over the Easter weekend, but a quick update with the first voting intention poll done since the leader’s debate. The Survation poll for the Mirror has topline figures of CON 31%(-1), LAB 33%(nc), LDEM 9%(+1), UKIP 18%(nc), GRN 3%(-1). Tabs are here. Changes are from the most recent Survation poll a week ago, and clearly show no significant change from the debate. As ever, it’s only poll – it’s just as important to reserve judgement when one poll appears to shows no change as it is when one poll appears to show a shift in opinion.

While the voting intention figures appear to be unchanged, there are big shifts across the board for leader approval figures – everyone’s net approval ratings are up since Survation’s poll a week ago, most significantly for Nicola Sturgeon (net minus 4 last, plus 15 this week) and Nigel Farage (minus 8 last week, plus 6 this week). Miliband’s net rating is up 8, Cameron’s net rating up 4. A week ago everyone but Cameron and Wood had negative ratings, this week everyone but Clegg is positive. The poll was obviously conducted extremely swiftly after the debate and during today, so it will be interesting to see if this swathe of positivity lasts beyond the immediate aftermath of the debate.

On Survation’s best Prime Minister question Cameron, Miliband and Farage are also all up, at the expense of “don’t know”. 39% back Cameron (up 3), 23% back Miliband (up 2), 13% Farage (up 2), 6% Clegg (no change).

Post-debate polls

We now have all four of the post-debate polls. Asked who performed the best, the verdicts are

YouGov: Sturgeon 28, Farage 20, Cameron 18, Miliband 15, Clegg 10, Bennett 5, Wood 4 (tabs)
ICM: Miliband 25, Cameron 24, Farage 19, Sturgeon 17, Clegg 9, Bennett 3, Wood 2 (tabs)
ComRes: Farage 21, Cameron 21, Miliband 21, Sturgeon 20, Clegg 9, Bennett 5, Wood 2
Survation: Cameron 25, Miliband 25, Farage 24, Sturgeon 15, Clegg 6, Bennett 3, Wood 2 (tabs)

The pollsters certainly don’t show a single clear winner (until we digest the tables we can’t really speculate about what caused the differences), but there’s a consistent theme across those results. Everyone has Natalie Bennett, Leanne Wood and Nick Clegg trailing, everyone has Ed Miliband and David Cameron doing pretty much evenly and pretty close to Farage. The only big difference is Sturgeon, YouGov have her out in front, others have her a bit further back. But given the SNP are only standing in Scotland, how well Nicola Sturgeon did in rest of Britain doesn’t necessarily make a huge difference (though it may make the SNP a bit less scary as a bogeyman on Conservative posters).

As I wrote before the debate, one shouldn’t assume too much what the impact of the debate is on voting intentions until we see some standard voting intention polls of the general public. With the initial polls showing no big runaway winner from the debate I wouldn’t expect a big impact… but time will tell. The party I’d probably watch is UKIP – Farage wasn’t a big winner, but he outperformed his party’s national support in all of the instant verdict polls, and unlike the SNP, UKIP have candidates across GB that people can vote for.

On Friday we had YouGov and Populus polls taken after the budget. YouGov showed a slight movement to the Tories, putting them back ahead; Populus showed a shift to Labour. Neither was anything that couldn’t just be normal random variation. Today we have three more polls too see if there is any sign of a consistent budget effect.

Opinium in the Observer have topline figures of CON 36%, LAB 33%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 14%, GRN 6% (tabs) – a three point Tory lead compared to a two point Labour lead a week ago. Opinium also found 43% thought Osborne had been a good Chancellor, 24% a poor one, and on economic trust Cameron & Osborne now have a 21 point lead over Miliband & Balls. Taken in isolation this poll would suggest a budget boost for the Conservatives, which is how the Observer have reported it

But of course, we don’t have to take the poll in isolation. The second poll of day is from Survation for the Mail on Sunday. They have topline figures of CON 30%(+2), LAB 34%(nc), LDEM 10%(nc), UKIP 17%(-2), GRN 4%(nc) (tabs) – changes are from the most recent Survation poll, conducted a month ago for the Mirror. Here we have a slight shift towards the Conservatives – but thats over a month that has seen Labour’s lead fall slightly anyway, and it’s not enough to stop Labour having a clear lead.

Finally there is the weekly YouGov poll for the Sunday Times. Topline figures there are CON 33%, LAB 35%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 14%, GRN 5% (tabs) – so back to a Labour lead with YouGov. YouGov’s regular economic trackers on whether people think the economy is in a good state and whether their own finances will get better over the next year also look pretty much unchanged since before the budget.

Putting all the five post-budget polls together, I can see no sign of any significant budget boost. If other polls had echoed Opinium’s finding then it would be fair to conclude that the budget had moved votes to the Tories, but so far they haven’t – Survation have shown only a twitch in the Conservative direction, YouGov looks stable, Populus’s Friday poll showed movement to Labour. This all looks to me like normal random variation. I may be wrong, perhaps when we’ve a week of post-budget polls we’ll be able to detect some more subtle movement, but it certainly doesn’t look like it’s been some great game changer.