A quick catch up of this week’s polls so far, and an update on polling on a Con-UKIP pact.
The first of this week’s two Populus polls had figures of CON 34%, LAB 36%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 13%, GRN 3% (tabs).
Monday’s Lord Ashcroft poll had topline figures of CON 28%, LAB 31%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 18%, GRN 8% (tabs). Note the Green score there – up to eight points and one point ahead of the Liberal Democrats. The fact they are up in fourth place is probably just a blip – it’s one poll and no one else is echoing it – but it’s a symptom of the genuine rise we’ve seen in Green support over recent months.
Meanwhile this morning’s YouGov/Sun poll had topline figures of CON 31%, LAB 33%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 15%, GRN 6% (tabs)
Stepping back a couple of days, at the weekend YouGov also released an updated version of polling first conducted last year asking how people would vote if there was a Conservative/UKIP pact at the next general election (tabs). There is sometimes a lazy assumption that because the Conservatives and UKIP together have a very healthy level of support a pact between the two parties would be a winner. That is not necessarily the case – parties do no own their voters. If two parties agree to stand to together it doesn’t follow that their voters will go along with it. The usual voting intention in the poll showed Labour four points ahead of of the Conservatives, but with UKIP on 18%. Asked how they would vote with a Conservative/UKIP pact the Labour lead grew to six points. The reason is that only about two thirds of current Conservative voters would back the joint ticket – some would flake away to Labour or the Liberal Democrats, others wouldn’t vote or aren’t sure what they would do. At the same time only just over half of UKIP supporters would follow their party into a deal with the Tories, others would go to Labour, find an alternate “other” party or not vote. This probably paints an artificially bleak picture because many of those don’t knows would hold their noses and vote for the joint-ticket, but it should still serve as an antidote to those thinking a pact is a panacea to Tory woes.
Asking about the specific circumstances of seats where there is a Conservative standing on the joint ticket or a UKIP candidate standing on the joint ticket sheds a little more light on the don’t knows. Essentially just over 10% of Conservatives and UKIP voters are lost anyway if there is a pact, even if a candidate for their own party is standing locally – presumably people totally opposed to co-operation with the other party. If a candidate for the other party is standing locally, only a minority (36-40%) of the other parties support is transferred across.