There are two new voting intention polls tonight. Angus Reid have topline figures of CON 32%(-1), LAB 41%(nc), LDEM 10%(nc), Others 17%. Changes are since their previous poll at the start of March, and clearly show no significant movement. That 17% for others is particularly high (I think it equals the highest any company has put them since the election – the previous 17% was from Opinium).

The daily YouGov poll for the Sun meanwhile has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 42%, LDEM 9%, others 14%, again a comparatively high “others” result.

The tables for YouGov’s polling on Libya are now up here and here. People broadly approve of David Cameron’s handling of the Libya Crisis so far, with 44% thinking he had done a good job, 35% a poor job. This compares positively to impressions of President Obama’s handling of the issue – only 29% thought he had handled it well, compared to 45% who think he has performed poorly.

Overwhelmingly British people perceive the Libyan people as not supporting Colonel Gaddafi (only 4% of people believe that the Libyan people support their leader), however they are less certain whether they see coalition forces as their allies – 37% think the Libyan people welcome the West’s involvement, 39% think the coalition forces will be seen as enemies of the Libyan people.

There is comparatively little support for the principle of regime change – only 30% of people think that the coalition should be actively attempting to remove Colonel Gaddafi from power, with 56% thinking we should do only what is necessary to protect Libyan civilians.

That said, a majority of people think that it is actually only possible to protect civilians by removing Gaddafi! Only 16% think that it would be possible to come to a deal where Libyan civilians are protected while Gadaffi remains in power, 54% think it would only be possible to protect them by removing Gaddafi. Almost half (46%) of people think that the military coalition should attempt to target Gaddafi himself in air strikes if the opportunity arises, 30% of people disagree.

Many of these questions are copies of ones YouGov asked by in 2003 when the Iraq war broke out – there’s a comparison between then and now by Peter Kellner here


YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun is out. Topline voting intention figures are CON 36%, LAB 43%, LDEM 9% so there is no sign of any major impact from the Libya conflict.

The poll was conducted between Sunday evening and this afternoon, so has some of the first real measures of attitudes towards the Libya bombing. I’ll post properly tomorrow, but from the figures the Sun have released so far, 45% of people say Britain, the US and France are right to take military action against Libya, 36% think it is wrong.

UPDATE: There is also a ComRes poll that shows almost the exact opposite. ComRes found 35% agreed with the statement “It is right for the UK to take military action against Colonel Gaddafi’s forces in Libya”, but 43% disagreed. The YouGov question asked “Do you think Britain, France, the US and other countries are right or wrong to take military action in Libya?” – the two obvious differences are that the ComRes question mentioned Gaddafi (which shouldn’t have this effect – in 2003 questions that mentioned Saddam by name always showed higher support for the Iraq war!), and that YouGov presented it as a joint attack by the US, France and the UK, while ComRes only mentioned the UK.

Apart from London, where there are mayoral elections to poll and a regional newspaper with some cash behind it to commission them, regional voting intention polls are a pretty rare creature. However, today we have a poll of the South West from MarketingMeans.

Voting intention in the South West (with changes from the vote shares in 2010) currently stands at CON 39%(-4), LAB 29%(+14), LDEM 18%(-17), UKIP 6%(+1), GRN 6%(+5).

The pattern is broadly the same as the country as a whole, with Liberal Democrat support collapsing towards Labour. With a drop of 17 points the Lib Dem drop is larger than in national polls… but the Lib Dems had more support here to start with. Also noteworthy is the significant boost for the Greens, who also seem to have benefitted from the Lib Dem drop.

In the 2010 and past elections the South West has largely been a battle between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats – Labour have very little support outside of the Bristol area, Plymouth, Exeter and Swindon. As a result if these figures were repeated at a general election the Conservatives would benefit almost as much as Labour, despite their own support dropping.

On a uniform swing, on a brief glance it looks to me as though Labour would gain 10 seats, but the Conservatives would gain 9. Only three Liberal Democrat seats in the South West would be held – Thornbury and Yate, Bath and Yeovil (of course, in practice there will probably be boundary changes anyway before the election and we don’t know to what extent the personal votes of sitting Liberal Democrat MPs will be enough to protect them from a collapse in their party’s support.)

Later tonight there may (or may not) be the monthly ICM poll for the Guardian. I am at a meeting, so will update on my return.

The full tables for the YouGov/Sunday Times poll are now up here. Here are some of the highlights.

The poll asked about Libya, but as it was conducted between Thursday afternoon and Friday afternoon the questions were rather overtaken by events. There are a couple of early straws in the wind though. Asked whether David Cameron has responded well or badly to the situation in Libya, 37% thought he had done badly, 44% well – a net score of minus 7 compared to minus 16 a fortnight ago when the same question was asked.

Most of this shift appears to have happened between Thursday and Friday as news of the UN resolution emerged – amongst people who filled in the survey overnight on Thursday approval of Cameron’s handling of Libya was still minus 13, amongst people who filled it in from Friday morning onwards approval of Cameron’s handling rose to minus 3. Of course, the whole of the survey was conducted prior to the start of actual military operations on Saturday – we won’t know the effect of that on public opinion until tomorrow.

In this poll support for a no-fly zone stood at 69%, with 14% opposed. Of course, theoretical support for a “no-fly” zone won’t necessarily translate into support for the present air strikes on Libya – we shall find out next week.

Secondly there were a group of questions on the Alternative Vote. Voting intention in the referendum currently stands at YES 33%, NO 32%, Don’t know 27%, won’t vote 7%. For the first time in a YouGov referendum poll, there were also figures weighted by likelihood to vote, though at this stage they made very little difference to the overall position – weighted by likelihood to vote the numbers were YES 39%, NO 37%, Don’t know 23%.

41% of people said they thought the present system was fair, compared to 30% who think it is unfair. However, only 26% people said they thought AV would be fairer, compared to 24% who think FPTP would be fairer and 14% who think there is nothing to chose between them.

On the cost of the referendum itself, 37% of people think it is a waste of taxpayers’ money, compared to 43% who think it is right that money is being spent on giving the public the final say.

Finally there were some questions about nuclear power. 43% of people said the recent events in Japan had made them less supportive of nuclear power, 48% that it had made no difference. Overall people remained broadly split over nuclear power – 40% said they supported its use, 48% that they opposed its use. The majority of people (60%) thought that nuclear power stations in the UK were safe.

There was, incidentally, a very strong gender contrast on the nuclear questions. Large gender differences in polls are actually quite rare, men and women normally have pretty similar views, nuclear weapons and power are one of those areas where their views are very different. Men are supportive of nuclear power by 54% to 37%, women are opposed to it by 25% to 57%.