Tonight we have the new monthly ICM poll for the Guardian. Topline figures are CON 32%(-3), LAB 37%(-1), LDEM 12%(nc), UKIP 11%(+2).

More intriguing are the European voting intentions in the same poll – other recent European polls have been showing Labour and UKIP in a battle for first place and the Conservatives off in third place. In contrast ICM are still showing UKIP third, and the Lib Dems now equal with the Greens on a measly 6 percent – CON 25%(nc), LAB 36%(+1), LDEM 6%(-3), UKIP 20%(nc), GREEN 6%(-1).

Why ICM are showing a lower level of European support for UKIP than other pollsters is unclear – there is no obvious methodological reason. ICM weight their European voting intention by likelihood to vote which tends to help UKIP and they include UKIP and the Greens in their European election prompt, so it shouldn’t be a question wording issue. I can only assume it is something to do with the ongoing contrast between the levels of UKIP support recorded in telephone and online polls.

As well as the monthly ICM poll, we also had a YouGov London poll in today’s Evening Standard – tabs here. London voting intentions at a general election stand at CON 34%, LAB 42%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 11%, a swing of three points from Con to Lab, so actually marginally better for the Tories than in GB polls. In European voting intentions the figures are CON 25%, LAB 33%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 24% – so UKIP and the Conservatives fighting for second place behind Labour, a good performance for UKIP in what tends to be a weaker area for them. Finally in Borough elections voting intentions are CON 34%, LAB 40%, LDEM 12%, UKIP 9% – this reflects a swing of 2.5% from Con to Lab since 2010, so would probably be seen as a fairly good performance for the Tories if it was repeated in May. Note the interesting patterns of split votes – there are a lot (18%) of current Conservative voters who would give UKIP their vote in the European elections, but there are also a chunk (12%) of current UKIP voters who would give the Conservatives their vote in the local elections.

Meanwhile the twice-weekly Populus poll had voting intentions of CON 33%, LAB 35%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 13%. Tabs here.

UPDATE: The monthly ComRes telephone poll for the Indy is also out tonight. Topline figures there are CON 30%(-1), LAB 36%(nc), LDEM 9%(nc), UKIP 12%(+1).


Two new polls tonight (YouGov/Sunday Times is still to come) and both showing six point Labour leads and UKIP increasing their support.

The online ComRes poll in the Independent on Sunday/Sunday Mirror has topline figures of CON 29%(-3), LAB 35%(nc), LDEM 7%(-2), UKIP 20%(+4). The 20% for UKIP is the highest that ComRes have shown to date, the 7 for the Lib Dems the lowest.

Meanwhile Opinium in the Observer have topline figures of CON 30%(-2), LAB 36%(+3), LDEM 7%(-3), UKIP 18%(+3). Opinium tend to show higher UKIP scores anyway, so this isn’t as record-breaking as the ComRes figure, they’ve shown UKIP at 20 and 21 in the past.

Looking at the broader trend UKIP do appear to be picking up more support. Ipsos MORI this week also showed them on the up, YouGov have been showing increased UKIP support in their daily polls since the second debate. As ever, be careful about ascribing changes in support to particular events. The increase in UKIP support seems to have started after the second Farage-Clegg debate, but it also comes with expenses back in the news, and with the European elections approaching and the consequential increased publicity for the party.


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.


This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun had topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 37%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 13%. A Labour lead of four points and UKIP at 13%. UKIP are lower than yesterday, but worth noting that they’ve been averaging at around 13% since the second Clegg-Farage debate, compared to around 11% earlier in March.

YouGov also did a Maria Miller question yesterday, now obviously out of date, but which raised some interesting methodological questions. Asking a fair question is often a matter of giving the minimal amount of information necessary in order to get a response. The more information you give, the more you risk leading respondents, the more you risk essentially creating the perception of a public opinion that isn’t really out there. If pollsters ask the public a question, a fair proportion of people will answer, regardless of whether they actually have any real views at all (The classic example of this is the Public Affairs Act, which doesn’t exist, but which 18% of people are willing to express an opinion about.)

When a politician is in a scrape and pollsters ask if they should resign you normally end up prefacing the question with “Harriet Jones has been accused of killing kittens…”, when the respondent might previously have been unaware of the cat murdering rumours or of Harriet Jones. The very fact you are asking questions about Harriet Jones implies there is a fuss about her, and you can never tell what proportion of people would have said she should resign anyway, probably for the crime of being from the wrong party.

Yesterday YouGov asked about Maria Miller resigning, but in a different way. They didn’t mention expenses at all (if people had seen the story, they’ll have seen the story, if they haven’t, they haven’t) and they hid Maria Miller amongst lots of other politicians and asked, for each one, if they should resign or not. 63% of people said that Maria Miller should resign, only 9% said she should not, which is pretty unambiguous. However, 52% also think Nick Clegg should resign, 47% Michael Gove, 46% Ed Miliband, 37% George Osborne. The lowest was for Theresa May, but 30% of people still think she should resign. It seems whoever you ask about a fair chunk want them to resign, though note that in the case of Maria Miller people from all parties wanted to see the back of her, the other cases were mostly political opponents saying politicians from a party they dislike should go.

Two things to take away from this. One, the Maria Miller story was noticed. People did still think she should resign without any prompting in the question about what she was accused of. It still doesn’t imply it will have any effect on voting intention at all (people view these things through the prism of their pre-existing political support, and as I wrote yesterday, looking back it has been incredibly rare for events like this to have any measurable impact on voting intention) but it did get noticed, or her figures would have been the same as everyone else’s.

Secondly, do be careful about “should X resign” questions when you see them asked in isolation. Lots of people will say a politician from a government they are opposed to should resign anyway, regardless of the scandal de jour. Perhaps it’s worth paying special attention to the answers from supporters of the politician’s own party.


The weekly YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is up here. Topline voting intentions are CON 34%, LAB 39%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 12% – a five point Labour lead, typical of the sort of leads we were seeing before that brief post-budget narrowing.

In addition to Westminster VI, YouGov also asked European voting intention again to see if there had been an impact from the Farage-Clegg debate. Last week we didn’t really see any effect. This week with the higher profile BBC debate (and the more convincing win for Farage) it appears to be a different case.

Up until now YouGov’s European polls have been showing Labour leading with the Conservatives and UKIP in a tight battle for second place. In today’s poll Labour are just two points ahead of UKIP, and UKIP have opened up a five point lead over the Conservatives in third place: CON 23%(-1), LAB 30%(-2), LDEM 9%(-2), UKIP 28%(+5).

If you took only those certain to vote the position would be even better for UKIP, putting them in first place on 34% to Labour’s 27% and the Conservatives in a distant third. Of course, that’s quite a harsh turnout filter and people are not necessarily very good at predicting turnout this far out (especially when it’s the same day as local elections) – the key point is that UKIP voters are significantly more likely to say they’ll turnout to vote in the European elections than supporters of the other three parties, which will benefit them to some extent.

While the poll suggests UKIP have benefited from the debate in terms of European election voting intention, it hasn’t moved attitudes to the EU at all (42% say they would vote to stay in, 37% to leave – almost unchanged from last week) and doesn’t seem to have had much effect on Westminster voting intentions either.