This week’s YouGov/Sunday Times results are here. Topline voting intentions are CON 32%, LAB 35%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 16%, GRN 5%. The rest of the poll is a bit of a grab bag of other issues. Perceptions of the party leaders and the debates, some questions on UKIP and the Conservatives, rape and the former footballer Ched Evans, and assisted dying.

Cameron has the highest ratings of the party leaders on trust – or at least, the least untrustworthy. 32% trust him to tell the truth, 62% do not. The comparable figures for the other leaders are 25% for Ed Miliband, 22% trust Nigel Farage, 18% trust Nick Clegg.

88% and 87% think David Cameron and Ed Miliband should be included in the leader debates (presumably those opposed are those who don’t support the idea of debates at all, or whose support is wholly conditional on whether or not one of the other candidates are included), 79% think Nick Clegg should be included and 67% think Nigel Farage should be included. After that support drops away quickly, 51% think that the Green party leader Natalie Bennett should be included, only 25% think George Galloway should.

There is still very little support for a UKIP-Conservative pact. Nationwide only 14% of people would support one, Conservative party voters would oppose a pact by 50% to 30%, UKIP voters would oppose one by 56% to 26%). Local Conservative/UKIP pacts aren’t really any more popular, only 16% think the Conservative party should allow their candidates or members to agree local pacts with UKIP, Conservative voters would be opposed to it by 54% to 30%. In the event that the Conservatives lose Rochester 57% of people think that Cameron should remain leader and the overwhelming majority of Tory voters (92%) would back him – only 3% of Tory voters would want him to go. For the public at least, it doesn’t seem to be a resigning matter.

66% of people think that all instances of rape should continue to be treated as the same offence – that “rape is rape”. 25% think the law should have different categories of rape, depending on factors such as whether violence was involved. There is a significant gender difference, though perhaps not as large as one might have guessed – 31% of men think that there should be different categories of rape in law, 20% of women. There is widespread support for anonymity for both victims of rape and people accused of rape. 84% think it is right that people who are the victims of rape should have their identities protected, 77% think that people accused of rape should have their identities protected unless they are found guilty. 37% of people think that Ched Evans should be allowed to return to professional football, 45% think he should not. There is a sharper gender difference here – by 45% to 39% men think that he should be allowed to play, by 51% to 30% women think that he should not.

There is still very strong support for legalising assisted suicide for the terminally ill (72% support, 12% opposed), and more support (48%) than opposition (30%) for assisted suicide for those with painful, incurable but not terminal illnesses. Asked about whether people should be prosecuted for assisting a suicide, 14% think the current law should be enforced unless it is changed, 71% think the authorities should turn a blind eye.


This morning’s Populus poll has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 35%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 14%, GRN 4% (tabs here). Meanwhile this morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun had topline figures of CON 31%, LAB 32%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 18%, GRN 7% (tabs here).

Earlier in the week we also had a fresh lot of Ashcroft marginals polls that I didn’t get chance to look at – details are here. This batch were back to Con-Lab marginals, in this case those seats with majorities between 3.1% and 4.8%, so needing a swing between 1.6% and 2.5%. These are still seats that on current national polling should fall to Labour, though given there is variation between the swing in different seats they are not such easy pickings as the ultra-marginals in Ashcroft’s previous polls (in one of the seats polled – Pudsey – Ashcroft found Labour and the Conservatives equal).

The average swing across the eleven seats polled was 5%, the equivalent of a 3% Labour lead in national polls. The average position in the national polls when this fieldwork was being done (10th September – 3rd October) was a 3.6% Labour lead, so once again the difference between the swing in the marginal seats and the swing in the national polls is tiny.


Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor is out in today’s Standard. Topline figures are CON 30%(-4), LAB 33%(nc), LDEM 8%(+1), UKIP 16%(+1). The 16% for UKIP is up only one since last month, but that makes it the highest UKIP score MORI have yet recorded. There was a similar pattern in this morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun – topline figures were CON 30%, LAB 34%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 18%, beating YouGov’s previous UKIP high of 17 (Tabs are here: MORI, YouGov)


There are four polls in the Sunday papers – Lord Ashcroft, Opinium, Survation and YouGov.

The majority of the fieldwork for the YouGov/Sunday Times and Opinium/Observer polls was conducted before the results of the Clacton by-election were known. Opinium have topline figures of CON 28%(-4), LAB 35%(+1), LDEM 9%(+2), UKIP 17%(n/c). YouGov have topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 34%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 16%. Lord Ashcroft didn’t put voting intention figures in the headline results but they were asked and are in the tables themselves, results were CON 31%, LAB 34%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 18% – note that the poll was conducted online, whereas Ashcroft’s regular VI polls are done by phone.

Survation’s poll in the Mail on Sunday was conducted wholly on Friday – in the full glare of the post-Clacton by-election media coverage, and it shows the big boost for UKIP that we expected. Topline figures of CON 31%(nc), LAB 31%(-4), LDEM 7%(-1), UKIP 25%(+6). 25% is the highest that UKIP have ever hit in a poll. To put that in context Survation do tend to show the highest levels of support for UKIP anyway, but their previous highest was 22% and their average this year for UKIP has been 19%, so this is a significant boost anyway.

Lord Ashcroft’s poll was largely a repeat of some pre-conference questions to see if there was any impact. The survey included an opened ended question asking if people had noticed the Conservatives and Labour saying or doing anything over the last few weeks – for both parties 20% of people said that there had been a conference, the most recalled specifics were 15% remembering proposed tax cuts from the Tories, and 15% remembering that Ed Miliband forgot part of his speech. Changes in other questions were largely just a reinforcement of the existing pattern – so Labour increased their lead on “being on the side of people like me”, the Conservatives increased their lead on things like “being clear what they stand for”, “cutting the deficit” and “reforming welfare”.

Ashcroft did ask one interesting new question – a forced choice asking if people wanted Labour & Miliband to win, Labour despite Miliband, Miliband despite Labour, and the equivalent options for the Conservatives. The balance of opinion was 54% Conservative/Cameron and 46% Labour/Miliband, but the splits were interesting. Amongst Tory voters 75% wanted to see Cameron & the Conservatives win the election. Amongst Labour voters only 37% were happy with Labour and Miliband, 47% said they wanted Labour in government, even if it meant Miliband as PM. Amongst Liberal Democrat voters 66% opted for the Conservatives/Cameron, but mostly because they’d rather Cameron remained PM even if it meant the Conservatives in power. Amongst UKIP voters 66% opted for Conservatives/Cameron, 30% saying they’d want to keep Cameron even if meant the Tories, 26% because they’d rather keep the Tories even if meant Cameron.

Both YouGov and Ashcroft asked about likelihood to change at the next election. YouGov found the UKIP vote was a little softer than the Conservative and Labour parties’ – 58% of Conservatives say they are certain to vote that way, 59% of Labour voters, but only 46% of UKIP voters. Looking at potential changes, 24% of current Conservative voters said they’d consider voting UKIP at the general election, as would 11% of current Labour voters. Looking at possible movement in the opposite direction, 27% of current UKIP voters say they’d consider voting Conservative come the election, 9% would consider Labour. If the UKIP vote does get squeezed closer to the election it will benefit the Tories… but if they don’t, if the rollercoaster keeps going, there is more risk for the Tories too. Ashcroft asked the question slightly differently, only targeting those who said they might change and asking a “tick all that apply”, but the pattern of support was exactly the same.

YouGov also asked people how they might vote if their own seat looked like it would be a race between certain parties – the aim was to try and see how UKIP voters might be squeezed in marginals, but of course it also gives us some interesting pointers of possible tactical behaviour in other seats. In Conservative/Labour marginals 34% of UKIP voters say they would vote for the Conservative party, in Conservative/Liberal Democrat marginals 30% of Ukippers would vote Conservative. Imagining themselves in a Con/Lab marginal the remaining Lib Dems voters are as likely to vote tactically for the Conservatives as for Labour. 39% of Conservative voters say they’d vote tactically for the Lib Dems in Lab/LD seats, 36% of Lab voters would still be prepared to hold their nose and vote tactically for the Lib Dems in Con/LD marginals.

Tabs are here: YouGov, Survation, Ashcroft.


This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 33%, LAN 34%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 14%, GRN 6% (tabs here). Yesterday’s YouGov poll was also back to a small Labour lead, so it looks as if the Tory lead immediately following Cameron’s speech may have fallen away again. My advice would normally be to wait for a few more polls to see where things settle down, but of course tonight we have a potentially poll changing event in its own right – the Clacton and Heywood & Middleton by-elections.

YouGov also have some polling on the Human Rights Act. Asked their reaction to the Conservative policy based on what they’ve seen or heard 43% say they support it, 23% are opposed. Asked about some of the actual details of the policy people are more mixed – there is support (by 48% to 32%) for saying British courts should not take into account the rulings of the the European Court of Human Rights, but much more even divisions on other parts of the policy. 40% think that Britain should not have to change the law if the ECHR rules our laws are infringing human rights, 36% think such laws should have to be changed; 40% think human rights should be limited for those who have broken the law themselves, 39% think they should apply to all; people are split 41%-41% on whether human rights laws should apply to all cases or only serious ones. By 47% to 29% people think human rights laws should apply to British soldiers overseas. Of course, public support for policies isn’t based on a balancing up of all the details in a policy, which most people will never really be aware of anyway. They are more likely to be based on a rough understanding of the broad approach – in this case I expect the initial answer is based upon gut level support for “stopping foreign judges telling us what to do”, hence the broad policy being more popular than most of the individual parts that make it up.