Thursday’s polls

Earlier on today we had a new poll from Panelbase, with topline figures of CON 31%, LAB 34%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 17%, GRN 4%. Full tables are here. I’m expecting quite a few polls out tonight – Survation’s regular poll for the Mirror is due, we have the daily YouGov poll for the Sun and there may well be others to boot.

I’ll be out this evening, but will do a round up of them all once I return. In the meantime feel free to discuss them here as they appear.

UPDATE: On top of the Panelbase poll we have three other GB voting intention polls, from ComRes, Survation and YouGov:

  • Survation’s latest poll for the Mirror has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 29%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 18%, GRN 4% (tabs).
  • ComRes’s latest telephone poll for the Mail & ITV has toplines of CON 36%, LAB 32%, LAB 8%, UKIP 10%, GRN 5% (tabs)
  • YouGov for the Sun have topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 35%, LD 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 5%

Looking at reactions on social media there are lots of people getting excited or dismayed by getting two Conservative four point leads in short succession. There is always a temptation to look for movement in the random variation of polls (especially when there has been so little genuine movement to get excited over!). However, there are four polls today – two Conservative leads, two Labour leads. The time to pay attention would be when the balance of the polls consistently starts showed one party or the other ahead, right now they still seem pretty evenly balanced.


Last night’s YouGov/Sun poll has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 34%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 13%, GRN 5%. The one point Tory lead is actually the first for twelve days. Usual caveats apply of course, it’s well within normal sample variation and is a single poll.

The Sun also have some YouGov polling testing out the potential of the Conservative’s attack on the risk of a Labour/SNP deal, which in recent days appears to have become the dominant thrust of their campaign. Results are here. As all my regular readers will know, questions saying “will X make you more likely to vote Y” are essentially rubbish – if they work, you’ll see it in the topline figures. This was an attempt to measure the potential for a message, to gauge how many people might agree with the message itself, as only then can they be persuaded by it. Essentially it went through the various steps and assumptions of the Tory argument, to see how many people were open to it – kicking out those people who actually quite like the idea of an SNP deal, don’t think it would actually happen or would still prefer it to the Tories.

So, about a third of people are already voting Tory, so it doesn’t matter if they buy into the narrative or not, they can only vote Tory once. Next there is whether or not people actually think a Labour and SNP deal is a realistic option – 39% of people, including most Labour voters, think there either won’t be a hung Parliament or that Labour would not enter into any sort of agreement with the SNP. Then there are 8% of people who think that a Labour government with SNP support is likely, and would be a good thing, the Conservative argument will fall flat with them. Finally YouGov asked the remainder if they’d prefer a Conservative government to a Labour-SNP deal and took away those 6% respondents who thought a Labour government reliant on SNP support was a bad thing but would still prefer it to a Tory government.

Take away all those groups and YouGov were left with 8% of the electorate who think a Lab/SNP deal of some sort is likely AND think this would be a bad thing AND think a Tory government would be preferable BUT are not already voting Tory. That’s actually a significant chunk of people and is presumably the voters who the Conservative party are targetting with their current campaign – they are mostly made up of don’t knows, Lib Dems and Ukippers, the message seems to have very little potential to move people directly from Labour to the Tories. The challenge for the Tories is how many (if any) of that 8% of people they can get to go that one step further and vote Tory. The early weeks of the Tory campaign didn’t seem to have any effect on voters at all – this message does at least seem to have potential for them. Whether or not they manage to translate it into votes remains to be seen.


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We had a new TNS poll earlier on today with topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 34%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 15%, GRN 5%, reversing the Conservative lead they had last week. Tabs are here. The only other GB poll I am expecting to see tonight is the regular YouGov poll for the Sun.

There was also a new Scottish poll from YouGov in this morning’s Times which confirmed the 24 point SNP lead from YouGov’s previous poll. Topline figures were CON 17%, LAB 25%, LDEM 5%, SNP 49%, UKIP 3%. Tabs are here. There continues to be no evidence whatever of any weakening or faltering of the huge SNP lead.

YouGov also released some results for Freuds which are quite fun – showing people a selection of photos of Ed Miliband and David Cameron and saying which they found most appealling. For all the cynicism about politicians using their families for photo shoots, in both cases the photo people found most appealing was Cameron & Miliband with their respective families. Yes, it’s a cliche, yes it appears to work.

Finally a couple of people asked me about the contrast between two different polls of students that appeared on Monday and seemed to contradict each other. A new poll by YouthSight found student voting intentions with changes from February of CON 25%(+2), LAB 35%(+2), LDEM 9%(+2), GRN 15%(-13), UKIP 6%(+3). A different poll by High Fliers found student voting intentions of CON 31%, LAB 31%, LDEM 6%, GRN 25%, UKIP 1%.

Both polls appear to be kosher – the differences are down to the make up of the sample and the timing of the fieldwork. YouthSight’s sample is from all British universities and years of study, High Flier’s sample is of just finalists at “high-flying” universities – primarily Russell group. Fieldwork for YouthSight was in April, High Fliers in March and, given the sharp drop in Green party support between YouthSight’s February and April surveys, this probably partly explains the difference between the YouthSight and High Fliers surveys.


It’s Monday, so as usual we are spoilt for polls, with new figures from Populus, Ashcroft and ICM (who are now on a weekly rota until the general election), with YouGov to come later on tonight.

Populus have voting intentions of CON 32%, LAB 34%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 15%, GRN 4%. Tabs are here).

ICM have topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 32%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 11%, GRN 5% (tabs). The Conservatives are down 5 points since last week, UKIP up four points – something that is almost certainly a reversion to the mean after the incongruous six point Tory lead last week.

Lord Ashcroft has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 30%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 13%, GRN 4% (tabs). Ashcroft has also updated his Scottish constituency polls from last week with two new polls in Scotland, both in Edinburgh. Edinburgh North and Leith and Edinburgh South were both Labour -v- Lib Dem marginals at the last election, with the SNP in a poor fourth place. Ashcroft’s latest polls finds the SNP ahead in both, with a 13 point lead in Edinburgh North and Leith and a narrow three point lead in Edinburgh South (tabs, tabs).

YouGov are still to come later on tonight…

UPDATE: The last GB poll of the day – YouGov for the Sun – has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 35%, LD 7%, UKIP 13%, GRN 5%. So we have two polls giving Labour leads, two giving Conservative leads, and the polls apparently still fluctuating around an underlying picture of Labour and Conservative neck-and-neck.


Two polls tonight – the regular Opinium/Observer and YouGov/Sunday Times weekend polls:

YouGov have topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 36%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 5%
Opinium have topline figures of CON 36%, LAB 32%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 5%

A three point Labour lead from YouGov, a four point Conservative lead from Opinium. They are each a nice corrective for anyone liable to get too excited about the other one, we are probably just seeing normal variation about that same old underlying position of Labour and Conservative being pretty much neck and neck.