This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 31%, LAB 43%, LD 11%, UKIP 10%.

I’m always wary of reading too much into small movements in polls, but four of the last five YouGov polls have had Labour leads of 12 or more, so it is beginning to look as if the Labour lead has increased slightly. This seems to be down to a drop in Conservative support and an increase for UKIP, rather than any shift in Labour support, presumably due to the publicity UKIP have recieved in recent weeks from the Rotherham adoption case, the speculation about a Conservative-UKIP pact and their strong performance in last week’s by-elections.

There is also a new poll by Angus Reid, whose British polls are becoming increasingly infrequent. Topline figures there are CON 28%(-1), LAB 42%(-3), LDEM 10%(+1), UKIP 11%(+3). Changes are since March, the last time Angus Reid did a British voting intention poll. The fourteen point lead for Labour, while large in comparison to other companies, is actually a drop from Angus Reid’s previous poll – for whatever reason, they tend to show by far the largest Labour leads of any pollster.

YouGov on Leveson

YouGov’s weekly poll for the Sunday Times is now out here. The fieldwork was done a day later than usual, between Friday and Saturday, so it could contain some proper post-Leveson questions. The voting intention figures are CON 31%, LAB 44%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 10%.

As we’ve consistently seen, there is majority support for the principle of tougher regulation of the press – 68% of people think there needs to be tougher regulation, 21% do not. There is majority support amongst supports of all parties.

On the main dividing line that has emerged from Leveson, 58% of people think that there should be laws backing up the new regulatory system, compared to 26% of people who are opposed. Again, a majority of supporters of all parties back a new law. However, later questions in the survey suggest some reservations – 52% of people agree that MPs should have no role in the design of the system of regulation, and 47% of people think there is a risk of future governments using the laws to control the media.

Overall 25% of people thought that giving the state a role in the regulation of the press would be a major and welcome change, 21% of people think it would be a major but worrying change. 32% think it would only be a minor change and 22% don’t know.

Asked about the stances of the three party leaders respondents start to fall into more partisan responses. People think David Cameron is wrong to oppose the recommendation of new laws to back up new regulatory body by 50% to 29%, but Tory voters support him by 48% to 34%. Responses become even more partisan when YouGov asked why David Cameron was opposing the new laws – by 59% to 26% Conservative supporters think it is because he believes in the principle of the free press, by 74% to 8% Labour supporters think he is currying favour with newspaper editors . We see the same pattern in attitudes to Ed Miliband, Labour supporters think he is supporting the recommendations to protect the victims of press misbehaviour by 54% to 24%, but by 75% to 15% Conservative supporters think he is just trying to undermine the government.

It’s a lovely illustration of something I’ve written about before, of how people interpret political events through the prism of their pre-existing political views. Hence people tend to support legal underpinning for media regulation, but when current Conservative voters see David Cameron opposing this and Ed Miliband supporting it they see David Cameron acting out of principle and Ed Miliband being opportunistic, when Labour supporters see the same thing they see Ed Miliband acting to protect the victims of press intrusion while David Cameron sucks up to the newspapers. Events are as likely to reinforce existing political views as change them.

That doesn’t mean Leveson won’t have any impact – the 13 point lead for Labour in today’s poll is fairly high and we’ll see if it sticks, although that could equally be the knock-on impact of the high levels of UKIP support we’ve seen over the last few days.


The fortnightly Opinium poll for the Observer is out here. The poll was conducted between Tuesday and Thursday, so was too early ask anything post-Leveson. The topline voting intention figures are CON 29%(-3), LAB 38%(-1), LDEM 9%(+1), UKIP 13(+3).

The UKIP figure of 13% is the highest the party have recorded in any poll, though it’s worth noting that Opinium do tend to give them some of their strongest results anyway. Polls continue to show varied results for UKIP (something I explored in more detail here), with online companies tending to show significantly higher support than telephone ones, but the trend is the same across the board, with even those telephone polls that show lower UKIP support still showing it growing.

Tonight’s polls

I am out tonight, so won’t be around to comment on any polls that appear until either late or, more likely, Sunday morning. Tomorrow’s papers are, however, our first real chance to see some polling on the Leveson report. We can expect to see the usual Opinium poll in the Observer and YouGov’s weekly poll in the Sunday Times – I don’t know of anything else yet, but obviously it is possible.