There is a new online ComRes poll in the Indy on Sunday. Topline figures with changes from a month ago are CON 38%(+3), LAB 39%(nc), LDEM 11%(+1), Others 12%(-4). ComRes’s online polls tend to show smaller Labour leads than their telephone polls, but neverless this is the lowest this year.

Following on from the Populus poll this week, and the daily YouGov polls which seem to be showing a lower average lead this week than previously, the Labour lead does seem to have dropped slightly since the May 5th elections.

As well as the Scottish polling there was also a YouGov poll of Lib Dem members yesterday, conducted following the local election results. YouGov surveyed 396 panellists who identified themselves as current Liberal Democrat party members, and 118 who had previously told us they were members of the party but had since left. Full tabs are here.

There were large majorities of party members thought that Chris Huhne and Vince Cable were performing well in office. There was similar backing for the Prime Minister, David Cameron. Liberal Democrat party members were, however, evenly split over Nick Clegg – 50% think he is doing well as Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats, 50% think is is doing badly. Asked about his future, 45% think he should remain leader of the party at the next general election, while 35% think he should stand down at some point before the election

Turning to how well the Coalition Government is managing various issues there was strong support for the Government’s handling of taxation (75% thinking the government had done well) where the Liberal Democrat aim of increasing the personal allowance is being implemented. 67% also thought the Government was managing public spending well. A majority of Lib Dem party members also thought the Government was doing well on crime, Europe, overseas aid. Predictably, a large majority – 77% – thought that the Government was doing badly on student fees. Lib Dem members were almost as unhappy about the Government’s NHS policy, where 73% of party members thought the Government was doing a bad job.

Despite these misgivings, overall 79% of Lib Dem members viewed the Coalition as having been good for Britain. 88% thought it was good for the Conservative party… but 66% thought it had been bad for the Lib Dems (including 21% who thought it had been disastrous). Despite this, a large majority (91%) thought that joining the Coalition was right, and 57% thought that the right deal had been struck under the circumstances

There is hardly any support amongst Liberal Democrat members for ending the Coalition – just 7% want to pull out now, and 6% to pull out in a year or two’s time. 63% of party members want to see the Coalition last for the full five year term of the Parliament.

While these figures represent overwhelming support for the Coalition among Lib Dem members, it is worth remembering that these represent only the responses of those people who have remained in the party. Many Liberal Democrats who opposed the Coalition may have resigned or failed to renew their memberships – among those respondents we contacted who are no longer members of the party, 35% opposed the Coalition and 40% think the party should leave the Coalition within the next year or two.

Tonight’s YouGov/Sun voting intentions are CON 39%, LAB 41%, LDEM 9%. While there is the normal variation from day to day, we’ve now had three YouGov polls in the last week showing the Labour lead down to 2 – it looks as though the local election may have lead to a slight narrowing of the polls.


Today’s Sun has two parallel polls on Scottish Independence – one of Scottish adults, one of English & Welsh adults.

In Scotland 29% of people support Independence, 58% of people were opposed (this survey asked a generic support or oppose independence question, but the result was almost identical to when we asked questions on how people would vote in a referendum on independence for Scotsman prior to the election).

Asked if Scotland or England & Wales benefited more from the Union, Scottish respondents tended to think it was quite even – 40% thought both partners benefitted equally, 32% that England and Wales benefitted more, 21% that Scotland benefits more. Scots also tended to think that both sides of the Union would be worse off if Scotland was independent. 43% thought England & Wales would be financially worse off without Scotland (only 14% thought they’d be better off), and 47% thought Scotland would be financially worse off if it became independent (28% thought Scotland would be better off). In Scotland, while a large minority support independence and think Scotland would be better off independent, the general view seems to be that the Union is a partnership that benefits both sides, roughly evenly.

Compare this with England and Wales. English and Welsh respondents are pretty evenly split on Scottish independence – 41% would support Scotland becoming independent, 40% would oppose it (meaning, of course, that Scottish independence is actually somewhat more popular with the English and Welsh than with the Scots). Perceptions amongst the English & Welsh are that Scotland currently gets the better deal from the Union – 54% think Scotland benefits more, compared to 27% who think it is equal and 8% who think England and Wales get the better deal.

54% of respondents in England & Wales think that Scotland would be worse off financially if it became independent (15% think Scotland would be better off), and 40% think that England & Wales would be financially better off without Scotland (14% think England & Wales would be worse off). Overall, English and Welsh respondents think that the Union favours Scotland far more than it does England.

Finally YouGov asked if the future of Scotland should be up to Scottish voters alone, or if there should also be a referendum of English and Welsh voters. In practice this would raise some tricky questions anyway – exactly what would you do if Scotland voted for independence and England and Wales voted no – try and keep Scotland against its will? (Or indeed, vice-versa, if Scotland rejected Independence, but England and Wales wanted Scotland to go?) As it happens, there does not seem to be any great demand for England & Wales to have a say anyway – 34% of English and Welsh respondents said there should also be a vote in England and Wales, but 42% said the decision should be made by Scottish voters alone.

Populus’s monthly poll for the Times is published today. Topline figures with changes from last month are CON 37%(+1), LAB 39%(-1), LDEM 11%(nc). There’s no obvious sign of a post-election drop for the Lib Dems here, but it is the smaller Labour lead Populus have recorded since last year.

Populus also asked some questions on whether the Lib Dems entering coalition has had any positive impact on their image – 38% of people think that by entering coalition the Liberal Democrats have shown they are a “responsible party of government”, 37% think they have shown that “coalition governments can be strong and decisive”, 30% that the Lib Dems have made a difference and 36% that a vote for the Lib Dems is not a wasted vote. Compared to the proportion of the public who say they’d vote Liberal Democrat these are all very positive findings…alas, I expect we’ll find once we see the detailled tables that most of these warm opinions come from Conservative voters who may think it’s good of the Lib Dems to support a Tory government, but wouldn’t actually vote for them.

Finally Populus asked people too look at a list of words for the three party leaders and say which three they most associated with them. Alas, the Times presents the findings as wordles, rather than duller but infinitely more usuable tables, but peering at the font sizes it looks to me like the words most associated with Clegg were “Out of his depth”, followed by “Weak” then “out of touch”. Ed Miliband is most associated with the words “Out of his depth”, followed by “weak”, then it looks like a close call between “Out of touch”, “smug” and “weird”. David Cameron is the only leader to have a positive term in his top three – he is seen as “Determined”, followed by the far less positive “Smug” and “Arrogant” – I’ll have a better look at these once we get some numbers.

UPDATE: The tables for the questions on the party leaders are now up here.

The word most commonly associated with David Cameron was determined (34%), the only leader to have a positive term amongst the words most associated with him. It was followed by arrogant (29%) and smug (28%), then “stands up for Britain” (24%), competent (23%), “out of touch” (23%), “up to the job” (22%) – a pretty even mix of positive and negative views.

For Ed Miliband the most commonly picked phrase was “out of his depth” (41%), followed by weak (28%). Below that came smug (22%), “out of touch” (22%), weird (21%) then indecisive (18%) – all negative words. The most commonly cited positive words or phrases were determined (16%) and fair, likeable and principled (all down on 14%).

Nick Clegg had the most negative perceptions. 50% associated him with being “out of his depth”, followed again by weak (35%), then “out of touch” (24%). The positive phrase most associated with Clegg was being likeable (21%), but this was followed by indecisive (19%) and dishonest (17%).

Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 38%, LAB 42%, LDEM 8%. This is the lowest score YouGov have recorded for the Liberal Democrats since the end of January – normal caveats apply about not reading too much into a single poll, but it would not be surprising if a party doing very badly in last week’s elections suffered a further blow to their support as a result of being seen as unpopular.