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.


ComRes have a new poll of European voting intentions in the People tomorrow. Topline figures for those 10/10 certain to vote are CON 22%(+1), LAB 30%(+2), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 30%(nc), Others 10%. Changes are from the last ComRes European poll about a month ago.

The poll was conducted on Wednesday and Thursday, so was partly before the Clegg-Farage debate.

UPDATE: There are crossbreaks on the tables for before and after the debates – I would urge extreme caution into reading too much into this and going off with the idea that the debate had this or that effect.

One the political make up of the early and late parts of the sample are different (pre-debate had more 2010 Tory voters), VI from the two halves of the sample are based on only around 300 and 450 people so big margins of error, and more importantly dividing at 8pm is too soon. In any event it’s not just the people who watch directly, it’s the media coverage afterwards.

UPDATE 2: There is also a new Survation poll in the Mail on Sunday which has Westminster voting intentions of CON 29%(-5), LAB 36%(+1), LDEM 10%(+1), UKIP 20%(+4) and European voting intentions of CON 21%(-6), LAB 34%(+2), LDEM 9%(+2), UKIP 27%(+4). Fieldwork for the Survation poll was done on Friday, so wholly after the Clegg-Farage debate.


The full details of YouGov’s weekly Sunday Times poll are now up online here. Topline voting intention figures are CON 36%, LAB 37%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 11%.

That means two polls today, from YouGov and Survation, both show a reduced Labour lead of just one point. As ever when you get a couple of polls indicating a shift straight after an event it’s tempting to conclude the event has had a big impact. Be a bit cautious – the YouGov and Populus polls conducted Wednesday night and Thursday morning didn’t show a narrowing, it’s these two polls conducted from Thursday to Friday that show narrower leads. They aren’t necessarily contradictory (many people in those initial polls wouldn’t have seen the details of the budget or the media reaction yet), but it means the evidence isn’t all one way. Wait a bit to see if this pattern continues into the week.

The details of the YouGov poll don’t add much to the YouGov post-budget poll for the Sun. Confidence in the government’s handling of the economy and George Osborne’s ability is creeping upwards, but people themselves still aren’t feeling the improvement. 42% of people think the government is handling the economy well (the second highest score since 2010), 41% of people think George Osborne is doing well as Chancellor (up from 26% last April). But only 19% of people expect their own finances to get better over the next year, 38% worse. While this is one of the least negative scores since the general election it is still very negative!

The YouGov poll also asked again about Ukraine, continuing to find little support for any intervention beyond economic sanctions, though 44% would support personal asset freezing and travel restrictions against Vladimir Putin himself.

Looking at some other polling today, the Survation/Mail on Sunday poll also included European voting intention, which now stands at CON 28%(+5), LAB 32%(nc), LDEM 7%(-2), UKIP 23%(-3), GRN 3%. European election polls so far are here.

There was also a new ICM Scottish poll in the Scotland on Sunday. They have topline figures of YES 39%, NO 46%. Without don’t knows it would be YES 45%, NO 55% – a 2 point increase in YES compared to ICM’s February poll, but less than the 46% in their January poll. John Curtice’s take on the new ICM poll is here and referendum polls so far are listed here.


Survation have a post-budget poll in the Mail on Sunday tomorrow with topline voting intention figures of CON 34%(+4), LAB 35%(+1), LDEM 9%(-3), UKIP 15%(-3). Changes are from their Sky News poll in January.

The one point Labour lead is the smallest Survation have shown since 2011 and Cameron’s bounce from the Europe “veto”. As ever, don’t get too excited over one poll: it may be a budget reaction, or it may be normal variation within the margin of error. Wait till we see some more polling before jumping to judgement, we should still have at least the YouGov/Sunday Times this weekend (as well as a Scottish ICM poll).

UPDATE: That was quick, the front page of the Sunday Times appears to show the weekly YouGov poll reporting the Conservatives on 36% and Labour on 37%. Presumably we’ll have to wait until tomorrow morning to see the full details of the poll.


Following the intervention of George Osborne into the debate over Scottish independence and what currency an independent Scotland might use there has been an obvious interest in the next Scottish polls and what they might show. Will it have closed or widened the gap, or made no difference? Today there are two new Scottish polls asking about the referendum, sadly neither quite answer the question.

To get the less interesting one out of the way first, TNS BMRB have a “new” Scottish referendum poll, but the fieldwork was actually conducted between the 28th January and 6th February (I can only assume that the long time scale is because the poll was conducted face-to-face… though even then, the fieldwork was completed a fortnight ago). The figures in TNS’s poll are YES 29%, NO 42%, 29% don’t know – entirely unchanged from their previous poll in mid-January. Given the fieldwork was conducted prior to Osborne’s intervention though, this clearly doesn’t answer the question.

More relevant is a new Survation poll in the Daily Mail. This was conducted on Monday and Tuesday, so after Osborne’s intervention and at the time Alex Salmond was actively responding. Topline figures there are YES 38%, NO 47%, Don’t know 16%. Survation’s previous poll was showing YES on 32%, NO on 52%, so prima facie it looks as though there has been a significant shift towards YES. But there’s a caveat – last month Survation weighted their data by recalled 2010 vote, this month they’ve weighted by 2011 Holyrood vote. According to John Curtice Survation’s weighting last month knocked about five points off of Yes, their new weighting has not, raising the possibility that the difference could just be down to weighting. Realistically its not that simple – there is a random element in sampling, one sample will not be the same as the next and, therefore, weighting will have a different effect from one poll to the next, and it seems like a big difference to all be down to weighting to a different election. All we can really be confident in saying is that the two polls are not really comparable, so we should probably hold off on judgement – there are sure to be some more Scottish polls along soon. The tabs should be up on Survation’s site in about half an hour.

Scottish independence referendum polls so far are here.