Tomorrow is a year since the first Police and Crime Commissioner elections, and there are two polls out this morning on it, covering essentially the same territory – YouGov for the Times and ComRes for the BBC.

YouGov found only 11% of people were able to name the police commissioner for their local area (to put this in context, in 2012 YouGov found 63% of people could name their local MP, in January this year they found 5% could name one of their MEPs). Asked about what difference the PCC had made to their local police force, 63% said they had made no difference to levels of accountability, 64% that they had made no difference to how effective the local police were at fighting crime.

ComRes found a similarly low level of awareness with only 7% of people saying they could name their Police and Crime Commissioner. However in their survey people gave a more positive response on the impact of PCCs – they asked about policing in general, levels of crime, accountability and levels of anti-social behaviour and in every case around 30-40% of people said their PCC had made a positive impact, around 10% a negative imopact and around 40% no impact at all.

I’m not quite certain why the two surveys, similar in their findings on awareness, give such different results on what people think the effect of PCCs have been. It could be a difference between online and phone mode, or perhaps how the questions were worded (e.g. YouGov asked about the effect on “local police”, ComRes on “your region” – or perhaps the option of saying “made no difference” was less prominent in the ComRes script. There’s no obvious answer).

This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 42%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 10%. This is the first time YouGov have shown Labour’s lead in double-digits since the beginning of October. Normal caveats apply of course – it’s probably just the top end of the normal margin of error – but the underlying average lead in YouGov’s polls does seem to have crept upwards. In mid-October it was around 5 or 6 points, now it’s around 7 points. Full tabs are here.

YouGov have also reasked their question on the under-occupany charge/bedroom tax, which now shows 42% of people support the policy, 45% are opposed (the equivalent figures in September were 40% support, 48% opposed). Tabs are here.


The monthly ICM poll for the Guardian is out tonight. Topline figures are CON 30%(-4), LAB 38%(nc), LDEM 13%(+1), UKIP 10%(+2). The eight point Labour lead is the largest ICM have shown since March – for the last three months they’ve been showing more modest Labour leads of three or four points.

There were also some questions asked about leadership. On leadership attributes David Cameron scores better than Miliband on doing best in a crisis, Ed Miliband scores better on “understands people like me”. This is in line with the usual pattern questions like this paint – David Cameron always tends to score better on things like strength, crisis-management and being Prime Ministerial, Ed Miliband always tends to score better on things like being in touch, caring, and understanding ordinary people.

The last time ICM asked the same questions in December 2012 they only asked three of the same questions, so we don’t have a great comparison. For the record there’s a drop in Cameron’s ratings, down on understanding, being good in a crisis, though marginally up on being backed by his party. Miliband’s ratings on being good in a crisis, understanding people like me and being backed by his party have all fallen.

In passing, I’ve already seen some people on twitter remarking on the massive gender gap – the Conservatives and Labour are neck and neck amongst men, but Labour are nineteen points ahead amongst women. Remarkable? No. Remember Twyman’s law – if something looks interesting or unusual, it’s probably wrong. The cross breaks in ICM polls for men and women’s voting intention are normally around about 200 to 250 people, so a margin of error of 6 or 7 points. The occassionally wierd and eye-catching result in the crossbreaks is inevitable… and meaningless. Last month’s ICM poll, for example, had identical leads for men and women.

Meanwhile the twice-weekly Populus poll also had an eight point lead for Labour: CON 31%, LAB 39%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 10%. For what it’s worth, male and female respondents both showed an eight point lead for Labour! Tabs here.

Tables for the weekly YouGov/Sunday Times poll are now up here. Topline voting intention figures are CON 34%, LAB 39%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 11%. In the lack of any really big news stories this week, the rest of the poll was a bit of a grab bag of issues – Labour and Falkirk, accident and emergency, cyclists going through red lights…

The ongoing Falkirk story still doesn’t seem to be having a particular impact with the general public. Only 26% of people said they were following the story very or fairly closely – 48% were not following it at all or were totally unaware of it. On most of the questions YouGov asked they found a high level of don’t knows – for example, 19% think Miliband has handled Falkirk well, 36% badly, but 45% don’t know.

On wider trade union issues, 55% would support changing the law so strike ballots required the support of 50% of eligible members, not just of those voting. 65% think the “leverage tactics” used by Unite in Grangemouth were unacceptable and 54% would support a ban on trade unions involved in a dispute protesting outside the private homes of directors.

Moving to the NHS, amongst people who have used their local A&E in the past few years 82% say they received a good service. 18% thought their local A&E services had got better, 23% worse. However 41% thought waiting times had got longer. More generally 50% are confident that A&E will be able to meet people’s needs this winter, 38% are not. If they had to choose, 46% would prefer retaining A&E services even if it meant resources were stretched, 26% would prefer fewer but better resourced A&E.

Finally 44% of people have personally seen a cyclist go through a red light in the last month, 43% have not. 63% think it is fairly or very common for cyclists to go through red lights. 87% of people think this is unacceptable even when a cyclist can see the way ahead is clear and 78% think cyclists who go through red lights should be prosecuted. Amongst regular cyclists themselves (that is, people who say they cycle at least once a week), 18% say they have gone through a red light in the last six months. 24% think it is acceptable to go through a red light if they can see the way ahead is clear and 69% would support the prosecution of people who cycle through red lights.

TNS-BMRB released a new poll on the Scottish independence referendum this morning, showing very little change from their September poll. 25% say they would vote YES (unchanged), 43% no (down one point), 31% say don’t know. Full tabs are here.

Meanwhile this morning’s YouGov/Sun poll had topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 40%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 12%. Full tabs are here.