This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 37%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%.
All very normal, but worth noting a slight update in methodology. As regular readers will know, YouGov’s political weighting is based on panelists recorded party identification in May 2010, meaning they don’t have to worry about changes in party ID over time – they weight people’s 2010 ID to 2010 targets. However, over the years new people join the panel, so the target weights need to adapt to this and reflect to some proportion that Lib Dem ID has fallen and UKIP ID has grown – hence once a year YouGov update the weights to reflect this. The changes this year decrease the target weight for Lib Dem ID and increase the target for Other (primarily UKIP) ID.
The end result is that the new weights tend to show UKIP 1 point higher, the Conservatives, Labour and Lib Dems very slightly lower (less than a percentage point in all cases).
I’ll be back blogging properly after the weekend, but for now here is the weekly YouGov/Sunday Times poll. Topline voting intention figures are CON 34%, LAB 36%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 14%.
There is now clearly more support than opposition for the RAF taking part in air strikes against Islamic State/ISIS – 45% support Britsish air strikes, 31% are opposed. There is a pretty even split over supplying arms to Kurdish forces, 37% support the the idea, 39% are opposed.
The monthly ComRes poll for the Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror is out tonight. Topline figures with changes from their previous online poll are CON 32%(+1), LAB 34%(nc), LDEM 8%(-1), UKIP 18%(+1): no significant change from a month ago.
ComRes also did a batch of favourable or unfavourable questions. As usual no one actually got a positive rating – the least unfavourable was David Cameron (minus 18), followed by Nigel Farage (minus 21), Ed Miliband (minus 34) and Nick Clegg (minus 43). For the political parties the Conservatives and Labour were both on minus 16, UKIP were on minus 19, the Liberal Democrats on minus 40.
Having the Conservative party and Labour party viewed equally unfavourably is unusual. Whatever the ups and downs of day-to-day politics, the Labour party is normally seen more positively than the Conservative people (people see Labour as having it’s heart in the right place in a way the Tory party doesn’t). As ever, it’s just one poll so unless other polls start showing the same I wouldn’t get too excited.
The monthly Ipsos MORI political monitor has topline voting intention figures of CON 33%(+1), LAB 33%(-2), LDEM 7%(+1), UKIP 13%(-1), GRN 7%. Labour and the Conservatives are equal on 33, the first MORI poll since last November not to show a Labour lead. All the usual caveats apply – it’s just one poll, so in isolation is not any more meaningful than the ICM poll earlier this week showing a seven point Labour lead, it’s the wider trend that counts. Full tabs are here.
There’s a slight methodological tweak in this month’s poll – for the first time MORI conducted a proportion (20%) of the interviews via mobile phone. Past testing by MORI over the last five months suggests this doesn’t actually make any difference to the final figures, but it avoids a potential future risk.
MORI also had a batch of “how would you vote if X was leader” questions, to which I’ll add my normal note of caution. People are rubbish at answering hypothetical questions at the best of times, and here we are expecting people to say how they’d vote with X as party leader when they don’t know what direction X would set for the party, what their policies and priorities would be, how the media would react to them in the reality of leadership and so on.
Asked how they would vote with Boris as Conservative leader, there would be a five point Conservative lead, with Theresa May as leader there would be a 4 point Labour lead, with George Osborne as leader a 9 point Labour lead. Two extra caveats – there wasn’t a control question asking about current leaders, and these figures are not filtered by likelihood to vote in the way MORI’s main question is. The May v Osborne v Johnson questions are all exactly comparable, though Boris is undoubtedly flattered by being the best known, but some of the difference between this and the standard voting intention will be down to the effect of mentioning Miliband & Clegg in the question. As ever, hypothetical leadership questions are a bit of fun, they are unlikely to have any real predictive ability, so please don’t read too much into them.
The August ICM poll for the Guardian is out tonight and has topline figures of CON 31%(-3), LAB 38%(+5), LDEM 12%(nc), UKIP 10%(+1). It’s a much higher Labour lead than ICM have shown of late, their polls for the last few months have been showing Labour and Conservative essentially neck-and-neck. As ever, don’t read too much into a single poll, it might be the start of a broader Labour increase… or may just be normal sample volatility.
The poll also asked how people would vote with Boris Johnson as Tory leader, and found the Tories on 34% (3 points higher), Labour on 37% (one point lower) and UKIP two points lower. This is different from the conclusion to the YouGov poll at the weekend that showed virtually no change from a Boris leadership, but it appears to be the result of slightly different approaches to asking the question. Compared to their standard question, bot h YouGov and ICM found Labour’s lead reduced by three points when you asked how people would vote with Boris as leader. However, the difference is that YouGov also asked a control question of how people would vote if the leaders remained Cameron, Miliband and Clegg, and that also reduced the Labour lead by 2 points, accounting for much of the apparent “Boris difference”.
That said, I wouldn’t take “How would you vote with X as leader” questions too seriously anyway. People are rubbish at answering hypothetical questions, and here we’re expecting them to say how they’d vote with X as leader without knowing what changes X would make, what priorities and policies they’d adopt or anything else about what an X leadership would look like. They can be useful straws in the wind, but really, they are no more than that.
UPDATE: Meanwhile the Sun have just tweeted the daily YouGov poll: CON 33%, LAB 37%, LD 8%, UKIP 12%