This week’s YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is here. Topline voting intentions are CON 33%, LAB 33%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 16%, GRN 6% – as with Friday’s YouGov/Sun poll and the Opinium/Observer poll Labour and the Conservatives are neck-and-neck. Note that the poll was conducted on Thursday night and Friday daytime, so most of it will be before David Cameron’s statement on EU funding.

In a referendum on the EU 41% of people would vote to stay in, 40% would vote to leave. The small lead to stay in is pretty typical of YouGov’s recent polling on EU membership. David Cameron is most trusted to get the best deal for Britain from the EU – Cameron is on 26%, ahead of Nigel Farage on 15% and Ed Miliband on 12%. It’s probably a case of least bad, rather than a positive endorsement though as asked directly about Cameron’s handling of our relationship with the EU only 30% think he is doing well, 55% badly.

64% support the principle of putting limits on immigration from the EU, but they are more divided when faced with potential obstacles. If limiting EU immigration meant breaking EU law 36% think that the government should limit immigration anyway and break the law, 37% think they should not (made up of 22% of people who support EU immigration and 15% who oppose it but think the government needs to follow the rules). If limiting EU immigration was only possible through leaving the EU 41% think Britain should leave, 33% think we should not (made up of 21% who support EU immigration and 12% who oppose it, but would accept it if the alternative was leaving the EU).


Opinium’s fortnightly poll for the Observer tonight has topline figures of CON 33%(+5), LAB 33%(-2), LDEM 6%(-3), UKIP 18%(+1), GRN 4%(nc). This is the first time that Opinium haven’t shown Labour ahead since March 2012, before the Omnishambles budget.

Yesterday’s YouGov/Sun poll that also Labour and the Conservatives equal, but of course, we have another YouGov poll for the Sunday Times due tonight or tomorrow morning…


ComRes have a new poll of Rochester and Strood out tonight that shows UKIP with a solid lead. As far as I can recall it’s the first ComRes by-election poll this Parliament. Like all constituency polls it was done by telephone, and with a healthy sample size by constituency polling standards of 1500.

Topline figures are CON 30%, LAB 21%, LDEM 3%, UKIP 43%, GREEN 3%. The only previous Rochester & Strood poll was by Survation at the start of the month – that showed a nine point lead for UKIP. Obviously one has to be careful about direct comparisons between polls from different pollsters using different methodologies, so it would be wrong to draw too many conclusions about how opinion might have moved between the two polls (differences could be down to methods), but it certainly doesn’t show any obvious sign of the Conservatives eating into UKIP’s early lead.


A quick catch up of this week’s polls so far, and an update on polling on a Con-UKIP pact.

The first of this week’s two Populus polls had figures of CON 34%, LAB 36%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 13%, GRN 3% (tabs).
Monday’s Lord Ashcroft poll had topline figures of CON 28%, LAB 31%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 18%, GRN 8% (tabs). Note the Green score there – up to eight points and one point ahead of the Liberal Democrats. The fact they are up in fourth place is probably just a blip – it’s one poll and no one else is echoing it – but it’s a symptom of the genuine rise we’ve seen in Green support over recent months.
Meanwhile this morning’s YouGov/Sun poll had topline figures of CON 31%, LAB 33%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 15%, GRN 6% (tabs)

Stepping back a couple of days, at the weekend YouGov also released an updated version of polling first conducted last year asking how people would vote if there was a Conservative/UKIP pact at the next general election (tabs). There is sometimes a lazy assumption that because the Conservatives and UKIP together have a very healthy level of support a pact between the two parties would be a winner. That is not necessarily the case – parties do no own their voters. If two parties agree to stand to together it doesn’t follow that their voters will go along with it. The usual voting intention in the poll showed Labour four points ahead of of the Conservatives, but with UKIP on 18%. Asked how they would vote with a Conservative/UKIP pact the Labour lead grew to six points. The reason is that only about two thirds of current Conservative voters would back the joint ticket – some would flake away to Labour or the Liberal Democrats, others wouldn’t vote or aren’t sure what they would do. At the same time only just over half of UKIP supporters would follow their party into a deal with the Tories, others would go to Labour, find an alternate “other” party or not vote. This probably paints an artificially bleak picture because many of those don’t knows would hold their noses and vote for the joint-ticket, but it should still serve as an antidote to those thinking a pact is a panacea to Tory woes.

Asking about the specific circumstances of seats where there is a Conservative standing on the joint ticket or a UKIP candidate standing on the joint ticket sheds a little more light on the don’t knows. Essentially just over 10% of Conservatives and UKIP voters are lost anyway if there is a pact, even if a candidate for their own party is standing locally – presumably people totally opposed to co-operation with the other party. If a candidate for the other party is standing locally, only a minority (36-40%) of the other parties support is transferred across.


This week’s YouGov/Sunday Times results are here. Topline voting intentions are CON 32%, LAB 35%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 16%, GRN 5%. The rest of the poll is a bit of a grab bag of other issues. Perceptions of the party leaders and the debates, some questions on UKIP and the Conservatives, rape and the former footballer Ched Evans, and assisted dying.

Cameron has the highest ratings of the party leaders on trust – or at least, the least untrustworthy. 32% trust him to tell the truth, 62% do not. The comparable figures for the other leaders are 25% for Ed Miliband, 22% trust Nigel Farage, 18% trust Nick Clegg.

88% and 87% think David Cameron and Ed Miliband should be included in the leader debates (presumably those opposed are those who don’t support the idea of debates at all, or whose support is wholly conditional on whether or not one of the other candidates are included), 79% think Nick Clegg should be included and 67% think Nigel Farage should be included. After that support drops away quickly, 51% think that the Green party leader Natalie Bennett should be included, only 25% think George Galloway should.

There is still very little support for a UKIP-Conservative pact. Nationwide only 14% of people would support one, Conservative party voters would oppose a pact by 50% to 30%, UKIP voters would oppose one by 56% to 26%). Local Conservative/UKIP pacts aren’t really any more popular, only 16% think the Conservative party should allow their candidates or members to agree local pacts with UKIP, Conservative voters would be opposed to it by 54% to 30%. In the event that the Conservatives lose Rochester 57% of people think that Cameron should remain leader and the overwhelming majority of Tory voters (92%) would back him – only 3% of Tory voters would want him to go. For the public at least, it doesn’t seem to be a resigning matter.

66% of people think that all instances of rape should continue to be treated as the same offence – that “rape is rape”. 25% think the law should have different categories of rape, depending on factors such as whether violence was involved. There is a significant gender difference, though perhaps not as large as one might have guessed – 31% of men think that there should be different categories of rape in law, 20% of women. There is widespread support for anonymity for both victims of rape and people accused of rape. 84% think it is right that people who are the victims of rape should have their identities protected, 77% think that people accused of rape should have their identities protected unless they are found guilty. 37% of people think that Ched Evans should be allowed to return to professional football, 45% think he should not. There is a sharper gender difference here – by 45% to 39% men think that he should be allowed to play, by 51% to 30% women think that he should not.

There is still very strong support for legalising assisted suicide for the terminally ill (72% support, 12% opposed), and more support (48%) than opposition (30%) for assisted suicide for those with painful, incurable but not terminal illnesses. Asked about whether people should be prosecuted for assisting a suicide, 14% think the current law should be enforced unless it is changed, 71% think the authorities should turn a blind eye.