Today’s YouGov/Sun poll has voting intentions of CON 39%(+1), LAB 33%(+1), LDEM 16%(-3). The drop in the Lib Dem support is almost certainly not significant, just a suggestion that yesterday’s 2 point jump in their support was a mere blip.

There is apparently also a MORI/Telegraph poll due out later tonight.

In this morning’s Metro there is a new voting intention poll for Harris. Harris were once one of the most regular UK political pollsters but left the scene sometime after 1997, becoming a leading online polling company in the USA as Harris Interactive. They made a surprise return just before the 2005 election and did very well, but since then we have only had one voting intention poll from them, though they have done other polling for Metro of a panel of working age Londoners (called something like UrbanLife). (That isn’t them anyway – BMRB conduct it!)

Today’s poll has topline voting intention figures of CON 39%(+4), LAB 30%(+10), LDEM 22%(+6) – changes are from Harris’s last poll in June 2009, which had “others” on a rather incongruous 29%, hence all the partie being up. We can’t tell a vast amount from the poll, since without a recent track record we don’t know how it compares to other pollsters figures, but we can at least hope that it’s a sign of regular Harris polls to come in the run up to the election.

I haven’t been able to have a dig around in their tables yet, but for those interested in methodology, here’s what I wrote in June 2009: “Harris are on online company with their own panel, like YouGov and Angus Reid. Their polls are weighted by age, gender, educational achievement, region and internet usage, but not it would seem by past vote or party ID. Instead Harris use something they call “propensity score weighting”, a proprietory weighting they say corrects for behavioural and attitudinal biases from different peoples likelihood to be online. Exactly how it does so, we don’t know.” Of course, I can’t guarantee they haven’t changed any of that since!

The poll was conducted between the 16th and 22nd and included 900 people (so quite a long time for a small number of interviews).


Tonight’s daily YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures, with changes from yesterday, of CON 38%(nc), LAB 32%(nc), LDEM 19%(+2). An increase in Lib Dem support from the others, but Labour and the Conservatives are unchanged. YouGov’s lead has been steady at six points for four days now, if there was going to be any effect from the “Brown Bully” allegations, then I think we should have seen it by now.

Political Betting has the latest results from a new AngusReid poll. Their topline figures are CON 38%(-2), LAB 26%(nc), LDEM 19%(+1). As ever, Angus Reid show a lower level of Labour support than other companies (for my thoughts on why see here), but the narrowing gap between the Conservatives and Labour echoes that elsewhere.

Angus Reid have also produced some figures for groups of marginal seats – note that these are properly weighted seperately from the main poll, and not just cross-breaks. It was also a larger poll to ensure they were decent sized samples.

Amongst 150 Labour/Conservative marginals these figures showed a swing of 12% from Labour to the Conservatives, a lot higher than the swing recorded in the country as a whole. As far as I’m aware every poll of marginal seats in the last year or so has shown the Conservatives enjoying a larger swing in the marginals to varying degrees. I’m always slightly wary of the exact difference (and the extent we can draw meaning) but the pattern is at least strongly consistent across studies by all different pollsters.

Amongst Liberal Democrat held seats the shares of the vote, with changes from 2005, are CON 33%(+4), LAB 16%(-3), LDEM 39%(-7). Here I would urge more caution – I have severe reservations over marginal polls carried out in Lib Dem seats.

Essentially, I have rarely if ever seen such a poll that doesn’t report a big drop in Lib Dem support, even when subsequent elections don’t reflect that. Often they also show increases in Labour support even when the party is down. For example, in November 2004 Populus did some private polling for Michael Ashcroft in Lib Dem held seats being targetted by the Tories – they found the Lib Dem support down by 8 points. The following year the Lib Dem share of the vote in those seats remained static.

My guess is that this is because people do not factor in local candidates or tactical decisions when answering voting intention questions (or perhaps do not consider these things at all until an election is called). Naturally enough, these factors weigh the heaviest in Lib Dem constituencies.

In the PoliticsHome marginal seat polls in 2008 and 2009 I used very heavy prompting, and asked people two versions of the voting intention question to push people towards really considering how they would vote locally… and it massively increased Lib Dem support (and showed them holding their own against the Tories in some parts of the country). I’m not necessarily saying those were more accurate – it’s never been tested at an election and for all I know I could have overegged it – but I always take voting intentions in CON -vs- LDEM marginals with a great deal of salt.

YouGov’s Daily poll in the Sun is out, and has topline figures of CON 38%(-1), LAB 32%(-1), LDEM 17%(nc). That’s three days in a row with a 6 point Conservative lead, pretty much confirming that things really have narrowing and adding to the evidence that the “Bully Brown” row has not had any negative effect upon Labour’s support.