Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 33%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 6%.

YouGov’s fieldwork normally runs from around 5pm or so until around 3pm the next day, so all of this poll was conducted after the budget. The Conservatives are back in the lead again, but that isn’t necessarily an impact from the budget – remember YouGov produced several polls last week that had Tory leads too, so what we could just be seeing random variation. We need to wait a bit longer before we can be confident, what we should be looking for is whether or not the broader average in the polls moves away from neck-and-neck, and for that we’ll need some more polling.

Also bear in mind that while all this poll was conducted after the budget was given, it hadn’t necessarily reached respondents yet – many respondents would, for example, have replied before reading this morning’s newspapers, or before watching yesterday’s 10 o’clock news – the impact of political events does not happen instantaneously. There will be more from this poll in tomorrow’s Sun and on the YouGov website tomorrow, and no doubt more polling on the budget in the weekend polls.

Also out tonight is a new Survation Scotland poll for the Daily Record – that shows the big SNP lead holding strong, with Westminster voting intentions of CON 16%, LAB 26%, LDEM 4%, SNP 47%.


Lord Ashcroft put out a new batch of constituency polls today, this time revisiting some Conservative -vs- Labour marginals that were very close the last time he polled them. The average swing across the seats polled is 4.4 from Con to Lab, the equivalent of a two point lead in a GB poll. This is obviously bigger that the position in most national polls, but I suspect it’s more of an England effect than a marginal effect – all the seats polled by Ashcroft were in England, and because of the collapse of Labour in Scotland the Con>Lab swing in England is actually bigger than in GB as a whole. Full details of the polls are here.

Most of the seats Ashcroft polled showed results that were pretty similar to the last time he polled them at the tail end of last year, with changes well within the margin of error. The only big shifts were Labour doing much better in Chester than before, the Conservatives doing much better in Worcester than before, and Labour doing much better in Southampton Itchen. I expect the last one is just a reversion to the mean after the previous Southampton Itchen poll produced figures that stuck out like a sore thumb – this poll showed a fairly typical swing in the seat, when Ashcroft’s previous Southampton Itchen poll had shown a very dubious looking swing from Lab to Con.

TNS also released a new poll today with CON 33%, LAB 32%, LD 7%, UKIP 17%, GREEN 4%, OTHER 7%. TNS typically show a significantly larger Labour lead than other pollsters, so the small Tory lead is slightly surprising. It may be a methodology effect – TNS seem to have dropped the weighting by European vote that they introduced earlier this year (though its introduction didn’t seem to make much difference, so its dropping really shouldn’t), and have started reallocating UKIP and Green supporters in constituencies that don’t have UKIP or Green

Finally, tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 36%, LD 7%, UKIP 12%, GRN 6% – so a couple of Labour leads from YouGov so far this week. For the record, today’s poll has Labour at their highest this year, UKIP at their lowest this year… but of course, all the normal caveats apply, don’t get overexcited about individual unusual polls, watch the trend across all the pollsters.


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YouGov’s weekly Sunday Times poll is now up here. Topline voting intention are CON 34%, LAB 34%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 14%, GRN 5%.

Most of the survey was made up of questions about the budget and government spending. If George Osborne has money to spend in the budget 44% would prefer it goes on public services, 25% on tax cuts, 20% on the deficit. In general people would like to see any spending focused up helping low paid people in work (59%), followed by people looking for work (31%), small businesses (25%) and homebuyers (25%). People saving for their retirement, incidentally, comes bottom.

On specific measures most of those YouGov tested got the thumbs up – the most widespread approval was for increasing the personal tax allowance again (83%), limiting child benefit to three children (73%) and raising the NI threshold (71%). Letting people buy back annuities they bought when they were compulsory gets low support, but mainly because of a very high don’t know (I expect people simply don’t understand the change). The only measure that was actually opposed by more people than supported it was cutting taxes on alcohol (33% would support, 50% would oppose).

Moving onto government spending in general the areas people would most like to see protected from government cuts are the NHS (79%), education (50%) and policing (35%). The areas people most wanted to see cut were overseas aid (66%), welfare benefits (36%) and environment and climate change (29%). As I discussed in the weekly round up, defence and welfare were unusual in being issues that had both significant numbers of people wanting to prioritise them for cuts and significant numbers of people wanting to protect them from cuts.

Asked specifically about whether the government should commit to 2% of GDP spending on defence, 52% think they should, 27% that they should not. Asked the equivalent question about overseas aid only 24% think the government should commit to the 0.7% target, 59% think they should not. On Trident, 31% think it should be replaced with an equally robust system, 29% replaced with a cheaper system, 24% scrapped completely.

Outside of Scotland itself, the idea of the SNP being in a position of influence at Westminster is seen negatively – 63% think it would be a bad thing if they held the balance of power in Westminster, 64% think it would be bad thing if they were involved in a coalition. Overall 53% of people think that Labour should rule out doing a deal with the SNP, but this is largely made up of Labour’s opponents, their own supporters are far more split over the idea. If there was a choice between a minority Labour government or an SNP/Lab coalition with a majority, Labour voters would be evenly divided but if the alternative was another Tory government Labour voters would back a deal with the SNP by 6 to 1.


Friday’s polls

I will hopefully be doing my usual weekly round up later on tonight, this is just a swift update on Friday’s polls (after all, it’s very unfair if they never get their own post!)

The daily YouGov/Sun poll this morning has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 32%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 16%, GRN 6% (tabs). Of the four YouGov polls so far this week there have been three Tory leads, one Labour one.

There was also a YouGov Scottish poll. Full results of that are here. I may write some more about that in the weekly round up, but for now I’ll just say that the SNP continue to show a strong lead, with topline Westminster voting intentions of CON 18%, LAB 27%, LDEM 4%, SNP 46%, GRN 3%. Note that there is a methodology change in this poll, with the sample additionally weighted to match how people voted in the Independence referendum.

The twice-weekly Populus poll has figures of CON 29%, LAB 32%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 18%, GRN 6% (tabs). After a few weeks when it’s looked as if there might be a slight squeeze on UKIP support the 18% score is actually the highest Populus have recorded for them, though all the usual caveats apply about it just being one poll and probably a blip unless other polls show the same. Note that the fieldwork was Wednesday and Thursday so partly pre-dated Nigel Farage’s comments on discrimination laws.


Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 31%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 15%, GRN 6%. This follows on from a four point Conservative lead in yesterday’s YouGov poll and a one point Tory lead in their Sunday Times poll at the weekend.

Earlier on today there was also a new YouGov poll of Welsh voting intentions for ITV Wales and Cardiff University. Topline Westminster voting intentions in Wales stand at CON 25%, LAB 39%, LDEM 5%, PC 10%, UKIP 14%, GRN 6% – Roger Scully’ analysis of it is over on his Elections in Wales blog here.