The daily YouGov poll for the Sun today has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 40%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%. Full tabs are here.

For methodology geeks amongst you the YouGov weighting figures have been changed slightly for today’s poll – full details are here, but in short this is just an update to targets, rather than a substantial change to methods. One change is to update the age and gender targets from those based on the 2001 census data to ones based on the 2011 census data, the second is to update the party ID weights – where possible YouGov weight party ID using data collected in May 2010 to targets for May 2010, when party ID for panellists could be calibrated against voting intentions and the actual general election result. Some panelists have joined the YouGov panel since then, and party ID has drifted since 2010, so the ID targets need to be reviewed and if necessary adapted to account for that.

In this instance, the proportion of people identifying as Lib Dems has fallen since 2010, and the proportion of people identifying with other parties (particularly UKIP) has increased, so the weighting targets have been tweaked to account for that. The impact on final results is pretty modest – we tested it over a couple of weeks, and on average UKIP are 0.8 of a percentage point higher, the Lib Dems 0.5 of a percentage point lower. Using the old weights today’s poll would have shown identical figures for Con, Lab and Lib Dem, but UKIP would have been at 12%.

The monthly ICM poll for the Guardian is out tonight and has topline figures of CON 32%(-4), LAB 35%(-1), LDEM 14%(+1), UKIP 10%(+3). Regular readers will recall that ICM’s poll last month was the headline grabbing poll that showed Labour and the Conservatives equal on 36, so the changes in this month’s poll are likely to be little more than a reversion to the mean after an outlier a month ago. ICM also asked about which team people thought was better able to manage the economy – 40% opted for Cameron and Osborne (up from 28% in June), compared to 24% for Miliband and Balls (from 19% in June).

Also out today was Populus’s twice-weekly voting intention poll, which today had topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 39%, LDEM 12%, UKIP 10%. Full tabs here.


YouGov’s weekly poll for the Sunday Times is now up here. Topline figures are CON 33%, LAB 41%, LD 9%, UKIP 10%, so a higher Labour lead than usual, but with a recent average lead of six points it’s well within the margin of error. As usual with the YouGov/Sunday Times polls there is a broad range of subjects, including the economy, the NHS, education and support for stay at home mothers.

The regular economic optimism question now shows a feel good factor (the proportion of people expecting their financial situation to get better, minus those who expect it to get worse) of minus 25. While still negative, it equals the least negative rating since April 2010.

Asked more specifically about the state of the economy, 25% think the economy is still getting worse, 34% that it has stopped getting worse but there are no signs of recovery yet. 30% now think there are signs of recovery and another 5% think we are on the way to full recovery. This is a big shift from when YouGov last asked the question in April, when only 14% thought there were any signs of recovery. Asked how much they think the government have contributed to any economic recovery, 32% of people think the government’s actions have helped the economy recover, 23% that they made little difference, 36% that they made things worse.

41% of people think that A Levels got easier over the last ten years and 53% think that the toughening up of the exam marking last year was the right thing to do (21% disagree). An Oxbridge education is seen as being worth £9000 a year tuition fees by 52% to 29%. People are more evenly split over other top universities (37% think they are worth £9000 a year, 41% do not), and almost two-thirds of people think tuition at universities outside the top twenty is not worth the money. Despite this people are still evenly split over whether it is financially worthwhile going to university – 41% think increased graduate earnings are worth more than the cost of going to university, 40% think they are not.

Labour maintain their usual strong lead on the NHS, 32% to the Conservatives’ 20%. Only 21% think that Jeremy Hunt is doing a good job as Health Secretary, 52% a bad job. Looking to the future 51% of people think it will be possible to keep the NHS free at the point of delivery, even if costs continue to rise, 38% think that the NHS will eventually become unaffordable. A majority (58%) would oppose means testing NHS services in the future.

By 39% to 14% people think the government is doing more to help mothers who go out to work than those who stay at home (15% said they were doing equal amounts and 32% didn’t know). Asked which group NEED more help, 43% say they both need support, 25% think working mothers need more support, 15% think stay at home mothers need more support. The £1200 a year allowance for childcare for working parents is supported by 49% to 34%. People are less supportive of giving similar financial support to stay at home parents, 41% would support it, 41% would oppose it.

Finally, by 67% to 20% people see zero-hour contracts as a bad thing, and 56% would support a ban on them.

An early release for Opinium’s fortnightly poll for the Observer today, already up on their website here. Topline figures are CON 29%(+1), LAB 36%(-3), LDEM 9%(+1), UKIP 17%(+1), the lowest Labour lead Opinium have shown for a couple of months. Full tabs are here.

In terms of other polls tonight, we have the weekly YouGov/Sunday Times poll, we’re also due the online ComRes poll for the Independent on Sunday, though we normally get some hints from John Rentoul or embargoed copies of it, so they may have changed their timetable for the Summer holidays.

Populus’s Friday poll is out and has topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 38%, LDEM 12%, UKIP 9%. Full tabs are here.

Meanwhile the daily YouGov voting intention poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 38%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 12%. Full tabs are here.