Last month we had a flurry of Scottish polling around September 18th to mark one year to go until the referendum, since then it’s gone a bit quiet on the Scottish polling front. Today however we have a new poll from TNS BMRB, with topline figures for referendum voting intention of YES 25%, NO 44%, Don’t know 31%. Amongst those who say they are certain to vote the figures are YES 28%, NO 50%, Don’t know 22%. Full tabs are here.

TNS’s poll last month had figures of YES 25%, NO 47% – but received some criticism because their lack of any political weighting meant that the recalled 2011 Holyrood vote showed more Labour voters than SNP voters. This month they have changed methodology, and are now weighting by recalled constituency vote from 2011. TNS say the change didn’t make any “significant” difference, but either way their no lead is now similar to that being shown by YouGov and ICM, smaller than MORI’s, larger than Panelbase’s.

Also out today is Populus’s twice-weekly voting intention poll, which today has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 39%, LDEM 12%, UKIP 8%. Full tabs here.

This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun had topline voting intention figures of CON 32%, LAB 38%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 13%. Full tabs are here.

There was also some polling about which party people trusted the most on the economy for the Times. Over the last few months the Conservatives have opened up a clear lead on the economy in general, presumably a knock-on effect of more positive economic news and increasing economic optimism. At the beginning of the year the two parties were typically neck and neck – the first time YouGov asked the question in January they found Labour one point ahead on the economy. Since then the Conservatives have gradually pulled away. By June and July they were starting to show a lead of around 5 points, in the last couple of polls YouGov have had them 10 and 12 points ahead on the economy.

In today’s Times poll they asked the question in a bit more detail – the economy, after all, isn’t just a blob, it encompasses all sorts of things like jobs, inflation, interest rates, growth and so on. The question wasn’t quite the same as the trackers above (the Times version was a forced choice between a Cameron-led Tory government and a Miliband-led Labour one, whereas the regular trackers give Lib Dems and “other” as options) but it does show us the parties different strengths and the clear battle lines where they’ll seek to fight the economic argument at the next election.

Labour & Ed Miliband actually have a 8 point lead over the Conservatives & Cameron if you ask specifically about providing jobs, a 6 point lead on keeping prices down and a 9 point lead on improving living standards. However, Cameron and the Conservatives have stronger leads in thier better areas – on helping people onto the housing ladder they lead by 11 points, on tackling the deficit they lead by 22 points and the general management of the economy they lead by 15 points.

There is an obvious conclusion here – on perceptions of general economic competence and ability to manage the economy well the Conservatives have a significant and growing advantage. However, on standards of living and keeping down prices Labour are ahead. Recent announcements by the government on things like rail fares are an obvious attempt to try and counter that, but there will also be a battle to control the debate and the narrative, from the Conservatives to make the economic argument at the next election about economic competence and management, from Labour to make it about the cost of living.


This morning’s YouGov poll figures for the Sun are CON 35%, LAB 39%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 10% – it looks as if we are back to the sort of voting intention figures YouGov were showing before the conference. Full tabs are here. Meanwhile yesterday’s twice-weekly Populus poll had topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 40%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 10%. Full tabs are here.

There are two polls in today’s papers, both showing a five point Labour lead. Opinium in the Observer, conducted mid-week – so both before and after David Cameron’s conference speech – has voting intentions of CON 31%(+2), LAB 36%(nc), LD 7%(nc), UKIP 15%(-2), full tabs here. Meanwhile YouGov’s weekly poll for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 38%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 13%, the sort of place YouGov was before conference. Full tabs are here.

Most of the rest of the YouGov poll deals with the Conservative conference and Ed Miliband vs the Mail. David Cameron’s own rating on doing a good or bad job is slightly up following his conference – 41% now think he is doing a good job as Prime Minister. This is up only 3 points since last week, not significant in itself, but it brings him to his highest score since before the “omnishambles budget” in 2012.

There are rather mixed responses to the rest of the Conservative conference. They don’t seen to be dominating their chosen territory of appealing to “hard-working” people yet – asked which party has the better policies for hard-working people 33% say Labour to the Conservatives’ 24%.

There are also mixed findings on some of the policies highlighted at Conservative conference. There is very widespread (70%) support for forcing the long-term unemployed to do community work or risk losing their benefits and a narrow majority (52%) support stopping benefits for under 25s who are not in work or training (39% oppose). Attitudes to “Help to Buy” though are more uncertain, 43% support the policy, 40% are opposed. Digging a little deeper, 51% think the policy is likely to make it easier for ordinary people to buy a home and 70% think it is likely to increase house prices (which is, of course, not necessarily a good thing). However, 58% of people also think it is likely to risk creating another housing bubble.

In the row between the Mail and Ed Miliband the public come down solidly on the side of Miliband. Even on the principle of writing about and criticising Ralph Miliband’s views and his potential influence on Ed Miliband only 26% of people think that this was acceptable. Asked specifically about the Mail calling Ralph Miliband the “man who hated Britain” just 17% thought the Mail’s language was acceptable, 72% unacceptable. 69% of people think that the Daily Mail should apologise.

78% of people think that Ed Miliband was right to complain to the Mail, and a quarter of people say the way he has reacted to the Mail’s attack has made them view Ed Miliband more positively.

While the Daily Mail’s own readers are more likely than the general public to support the Mail’s actions, overall they still think they were unacceptable. By 50% to 42% Mail readers think it was unacceptable for the paper to write about and criticise Ralph Miliband’s views, and by 60% to 29% they think it was unacceptable to use language like the “man who hated Britain”. 57% of the Mail’s own readers think they should apologise.

While YouGov’s daily polling during the conference season showed a pretty clear boost for Labour following their conference which appears to have fallen away again during the Conservative conference, Populus’s twice-weekly polling doesn’t appear to have have shown any real movement at all. Their latest poll (tabs here) has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 38%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 10%, which is pretty much in line with the average of their polls throughout September.

Rather to my surprise their question on what news stories people noticed in the last week shows Miliband vs the Mail didn’t completely overshadow the Tory conference (though neither made a particular impact). 12% of people recalled the Tory party conference, 9% recalled Miliband and the Mail.