This week’s YouGov poll for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 29%, LAB 40%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 10%, Others 10%. While the eleven point lead for Labour is pretty typical of what YouGov have been showing this week, the 29% for the Conservatives is the first time YouGov have shown them dropping below 30% since October 2004, and the 10 points for UKIP is their highest. Normal caveats apply – it’s just one poll, sure, it may be the start of a decline into the 20s… or they may be right back above 30 in the next poll.
For most of the two years since the general election the Conservatives remained at or only just below the 36% they received in May 2010. Since the budget that support has finally started to crumble, with most polls showing the Conservatives dropping into the low thirties. However, a lot of that lost support seems to be going to smaller parties, rather than to Labour.
I’ll do a fuller report tomorrow when the tables are published.
UPDATE: There is also a poll for Lord Ashcroft in the Sunday Telegraph, looking at political attitudes of ethnic minorities. The survey shows what we’ve previously seen in the Ethnic Minority British Election Study – Labour have an overwhelming advantage amongst black voters, the Conservatives do slightly better (or at least, slightly less badly, given Labour still have a big advantage) amongst Asian voters and Hindus.
UPDATE2: Much more detail from the Ashcroft/Populus poll here.
We don’t normally get any polls on Friday nights (it’s my night off, dammit, hence this will be a very short post!), but there is a new ComRes online poll in tomorrow’s Independent. Topline figures are CON 34%(nc), LAB 39%(-1), LDEM 10%(-1), Others 17%(+2) – changes are from their poll last weekend in the Independent on Sunday. The poll was conducted between Wednesday and today, so will be after the revelations about Jeremy Hunt and the news that the country in back in recession.
On the specifics of Jeremy Hunt, 63% agreed with a statement that Mr Hunt should resign in the light of revelations that his office was secretly passing information to News Corporation during its bid to take over BSkyB, 12% disagreed.
Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 31%, LAB 43%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 9%. The twelve point lead is becoming fairly typical of the sort of figure we’re seeing from YouGov, but it’s worth noting that the 31% is the lowest that YouGov have shown for the Conservatives since the general election.
There is also a Survation poll on the London mayoral election in tomorrow’s Telegraph. It has first preference figures of JOHNSON 42%, LIVINGSTONE 31%, PADDICK 10%, WEBB 5%, JONES 4%, CORTIGLIA 4%, BENITA 3%. With second preferences re-allocated, the final round works out at JOHNSON 54%, LIVINGSTONE 46% – the same as ComRes showed this morning.
There was a time when I used to spend an inordinate amount of time telling people not to spend too much time looking at regional cross breaks in voting intention polls – they have small samples, large margins of error, and are not internally weighted. Needless to say, it goes double or triple for London boroughs! There is a post on LabourList casting doubt on the ComRes poll because it shows wacky figures in some of the Borough crossbreaks and I’ve seen similar comments on Twitter.
There are only around 20-40 people in the London sample in each borough and often less than 20 who have given a voting intention, so the margin of error is about plus or minus 22 points, even if you did have a representative group, which really isn’t plausible with that few people. In other words, if a sample that small showed a borough as 50/50 Ken and Boris, all you could say would be that Ken was between 28% and 72%, and the same for Boris.
Polls are supposed to be representative at the level they are conducted at – a London poll will be representative of London, a GB poll will be representative of GB. They don’t claim that they are necessarily representative of sub-samples of that whole, and if you go down to small enough sub-samples, you will find absurd results. It doesn’t invalidate the total results.
With a week to go ComRes have a new London mayoral poll out this morning showing a more comfortable lead for Boris Johnson, and Brian Paddick being pushed into fourth place. First preference figures with changes from their last poll are JOHNSON 45%(-1), LIVINGSTONE 36%(-5), JONES 6%(+2), PADDICK 5%(-1), BENITA 3%(+3), WEBB 2%(+1), CORTIGLIA 2%(+1). Once second preferences are re-allocated, the projected second round figures are BORIS 54%(+1), LIVINGSTONE 46%(-1).
Unlike the YouGov London poll at the start of the week ComRes are not showing the government’s troubles having any obvious knock-on effect upon Boris support. There is no vast methodological difference between the way ComRes and YouGov are polling the race, and so far their figures have been extremely close to one another, so I expect the difference here is simply down to sample variation, and that the underlying picture is still a small Boris lead. We’ll have a better idea when we get the next YouGov poll on Monday.
Full tabs are here.
All the polls in the race so far are here.