Wednesday night polls

There are three new polls tonight. YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 38%(nc), LAB 32%(+1), LDEM 19%(nc). Labour are up one point, but there is no significant change. Last week the Conservatives had a lead over Labour of about 4 points with YouGov, this week it seems to be consolidating around 6% or 7%.

Secondly we have a new poll from Angus Reid. They have topline figures of CON 37%, LAB 28%, LDEM 22%. I have not put changes since their last poll since Angus Reid seem to have made a significant change to their weighting, essentially using micro-geographical weighting. Most pollsters weight their sample by region – Angus Reid’s new weighting uses about 140 geographical units based on similar Parliamentary constituencies. Clearly this poll shows a smaller Conservative lead than their previous poll, but at present we can’t tell if that is due to a change in sentiment, or the change in weighting.

Finally there is a new Harris poll for the Metro. This has topline figures of CON 37%(+2), LAB 27%(-1), LDEM 19%(+2) – implying a significant drop in their strangely high figure for others. The poll was conducted between the 23rd and 29th – so most, but not all, of it was conducted after the Budget.

314 Responses to “Wednesday night polls”

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  1. Anthony, Fair enough :-) My apologies for mocking AR.

  2. @Matt,
    You have summed up the key to this election

    Labour turnout

    its difficult for labour- a lot of their supporters do not own a home or in some cases a bank account… registration of the under class rivlas a third world country

    the geographical boundaries badly disenfranchise Tory voters to the tun eof 80-100 seats

    the poverty gap badly disenfranchises Labour voters. I have zero idea what difference it would make.

  3. @ Éoin

    You said that with your tongue firmly in your cheek, didn’t you? :-)

    With facts, I try to be non-partisan & I try to avoid just being mean to or about anybody.

    But when it comes to harmless cheerleading for ‘my team’, I do indulge myself a little. And Anthony very kindly sees it for what it is & lets it go… so far anyway.

  4. @Amber

    reference Angus Reid

    I will sum them up in one sentence as best I can as an impartial as I can

    “they are a world class polling frim with some teething problems”

    I would venture to say that they realise this more than you or I

  5. @Amber,

    I’ll be straight, points put correctly require no cheerleading

    However, there are two ways to cheer lead,

    monotone, grumbly, repressive and bitter


    optimistic, bright, breezy and downright daft…..

    I enjoy the latter, and I happen to think floating voters do too

  6. @ RAF

    Funnily enough, I like a lot of LD policies when I look at them stand alone.

    My issue with LD is, they don’t have a (historical?)mission to anchor them.

    I know Labour’s anchor has been on a very long chain since they adopted the ‘New’ but it’s still there.

  7. Angus Reid’s methodology change is pretty much irrelevant if they still ask the “Mindset shaping” issues question just before the voter intent question.

    It sets up an unknown amount of anti-incumbent bias in the respondent, due to bringing up a laundry list of negatives that are the government’s ‘fault’. So the Labour figure is going to be depressed by some amount, and there’s no way to know by how much.

  8. @Jay,

    excellent point

    I call them framing questions….

    they shoul dbe asked at the end…. not the start…. if the pollin gcompany is so confident they do not alter future answers then asking them at the end, theoretically at least, it should make no difference

    I did a poll myself today- not a GE but I was struck by the amount of leading questions

  9. Jay

    That has been my concern too. I feel the voter intention should be the first question. Perhaps that’s the answer!!

  10. @Amber
    “My issue with LD is, they don’t have a (historical?)mission to anchor them”

    The social freedom of the individual from the State? That’s a pretty strong anchor. But I see your point. The Labour ideal has a sense of romantic altruism associated with it.

  11. Does anyone have a link to AR tables? I don’t see where they would be on their website. Thanks.

  12. @ Jay
    Are the prior “mindset” questions that significant? One assumes that those being polled online already know which Party they will vote for before even answering the questions.

  13. @ RAF

    Yes, Socialism without the ‘ism’ ;-)

    I think Charles K & Vince C might agree with that after a few pints. Nick Clegg, not so much???

    BTW my captcha code was LD55 – is this a forecast of how many seats they’ll win? :-)

  14. @RAF

    It’s a matter of swaying those who are suggestible, and have not yet made up their minds. That’s usually a lot more people than you would think, which is why Advertising campaigns work in the first place.

  15. @Amber
    We shall see. I think the LD’s could get more than 60 seats.
    Bedtime for me I’m afriad.
    Good night all.

  16. @RAF
    “The social freedom of the individual from the State? That’s a pretty strong anchor. ”

    If the Lib Dems really believe in freeing the individual from State control, why are they so obsessed about handing more or our freedoms and powers to Europe?
    The EU is staffed and run by power mad controlling bureaucrats who want to interfere in and decide on every aspect of our lives.
    Surely if they wanted a more accountable democracy run by the people for the people they would ditch their love affair with the EU superstate agenda and get back to basics – letting us run our country? Government of the people by the people for the people – not government of the people, by the bureaucrats, for the politicians?
    A bit of an irrelevant rant anyway, since there is not a cat in hell’s chance that the Lib Dems will get anywhere near a serious position of power in the foreseeable future.

  17. @ Jay
    I don’t doubt for a moment that by asking leading questions you can skew a survey’s results. I merely doubt whether those who register for political opinion polls online are as suceptible to this kind of subtle manipulation (too strong a word?) as the electorate generally

  18. @Jack Jones
    Thanks for asking me that question at 2am! I will answer it tomorrow if I have time – promise! In summary, it all comes down to subsidiarity (I.e. some things are best delivered at local level and some at supranational level).

  19. Eoin

    Where have I been?

    1. On holiday with a weak net connection!

    2. Lurking on the site because it has become too partisan for comments to be worthwhile.

    ARs change of methodoliogy to super-constituencies looks interesting – but unless we know the actual construction of these, they are meaningless.

  20. There is a hilarious April Fool in the Guardian ;-)

  21. I saw that and (since it isn’t April 1st yet over here) I almost fell for it. Hilarious.

    Oldnat, welcome home. Hope you’re not snowed in.

  22. “Possible confrontations under discussion include pushing Andrew Marr out of the way while passing him on a staircase, or thumping the back of Jeremy Paxman’s chair so hard that he flinches in shock”

    I am crying with laughter reading the article. Never normally a fan of the Guardian but this is brilliant!

  23. “Vote Labour. Or Else”. I like that! It neatly frames the choice that people have….

  24. @Amber Star – I like the ‘Step Outside, Posh Boy’ poster. It’s a classic.

    Oddly enough, this April Fool story will help Labour. I have no doubt it will go viral and the wider Labour community (or at least the anti Tory one) has already proved itself adept at the photshop game. I expect a string of hard man spoofs and the truth is, although they dare not say it, Labour HQ will love this story.

    Good news for Osborne in the Telegraph with the NI cut letter of support. This will get them good headlines. It doesn’t alter the fact the mechanism to pay for the cut is complete pie in the sky, as with Labour’s ‘efficiency savings’ but that’s not the point. Every little helps, as they say.

  25. @Bill: visually it looks like a trend (and my guess is that it probably is one) but statistically it is not established yet. Try tolling a die 8 times. The chance that you will get a “trend” of 4 consecutive increases or decreases is quite high.

    @Amber: are you sure this is an April Fool? Seems more plausible to me than “Labour Investment vs Tory Cuts”, “Economic Competence” or “An End to Boom and Bust”.

  26. @marginal comment

    “What do people think about timing? Could Brown back away from 6 May?”

    No-one I have spoken too thinks it is likely, though it is possible. Asking people to go out and vote twice in a month is a bit much, especially if you need a good turn out. They’ll both be on the 6th of May. I’ve had my local election polling card already and the GE hasn’t been called yet, but I’m sure there’s still time for all that.

  27. RE : the April fools posters…

    Are you sure they’d help labour ? The people they would appeal to already vote labour…

    The one that says “I took 50bn from your pension, want to make something of it” that really would be an own goal.

    I, and probably many others, do not care about anyones background, the more any party makes of soemone elses background, regardless of toff or chav, the more I firm my vote up against whichever party does that. i suspect some others feel the same way.

  28. Morning everyone. :o

  29. @NBeale

    “@Bill: visually it looks like a trend (and my guess is that it probably is one) but statistically it is not established yet. Try tolling a die 8 times. The chance that you will get a “trend” of 4 consecutive increases or decreases is quite high.”

    Its much too early to be calling this a trend- especially as you had AR and AR-esque Op polling in succession.

    The last 14 days needs to be repeated for another 14 days- then I’ll go along with you.

    The only Conservative-related trend at the moment which is currently set in stone is that they just cannot get to the all-important 40 per cent…..

  30. It’s FUNNY Simon, come on!! How is that not funny? IMO Funny is probably more powerful than serious, but I’m glad the Guardian did them and not Lab

    Ha! Captcha code is fluk – is it a sign?

  31. @SUE

    not syaing its not funny, I laughed out loud, thought they were very funny…….

    Apart from the pension one, which I would put out as a con poster if I was them. its a sore point in our company, we still have a fianl salary scheme just. the pension fund actually told us how much differance the tax had made to the fund, and how much extar we each had to pay in contributions.

    Just a bit of a sore point.

  32. See nothing in the three latest polls to change my Prediction.
    Labour still languishing in the low 30’s or even high 20’s, thougH i feel that number from Harris is an abberation
    The Tories not seeming to be able to reach 40, though i wonder how important that is nowadays, as more votes now go to the others and that Labour won on only 36 percent last time.
    But for me its going to be a hung parliament, with Labour and the Tories with similar numbers of MP’S. But then again i could be wrong!!

  33. Quick note, why am i back on moderation Anthony?


  34. ANDY JS – yes, in the October 1974 general election the Labour majority was only 3, because the swing in the marginals was considerably lower than the national average. At least one marginal (NW Norfolk) swung the other way.


    “The only Conservative-related trend at the moment which is currently set in stone is that they just cannot get to the all-important 40 per cent…..”

    Yes-I agree.

    I am disappointed in these polls.
    I thought Cons had potential in “events” for improvement.

    It’s tough out there!

    PAUL H-J

    Thank you for some really informative posts.

  36. I wonder has anyone any thoughts on the combined Labour Tory % at the Gneral Election..

    In recent years it has steadily been declining

    1997 = 74%
    2001 = 71%
    2005 = 69%

    Do tight elections pushed in back up?

    Or is it in terminal decline…..?

    I happen to think the former… and that, perhaps, we should be looking at a 72% for this coming election.

    If that was the case then the 34% or 40% magic numbers for Labour and Tory would be less relevant.

  37. @Eoin

    Thats an interesting post Eoin – I like that and had never given it any thought :o

  38. Impressive list of signatories to the Telegraph letter-two of them on GB’s Business Council.Message is-time for the public sector to take some strain.

    Byrne says they are somehow confused.

    Brendan Barber threatens industrial disputes if a hair of the public sector’s head is touched.

    Ed Balls gets his beloved wedge out & drives it in :-reportedly advocating doubling the number of people hit by the new 50p tax rate byreducing the threshold for the new 50p top rate of tax from £150,000 to £100,000.

    R.I.P the Third Way-back to the future.

    If this is how the campaign continues to develope, it has upside for Cons.

  39. I loved the Guardian spoof (had me snorting quietly on the train this morning, provoking disapproving looks from the chap sitting to my right) and I actually agree that they might have a small positive effect for Labour.

    However, the CEOs of Next, Glaxo etc coming out in favour of Osborne’s NI policy is a really interesting one. In the face of both Labour and the Lib Dems decrying the notion as unfundable (is that a word?) will the general public set more store in the opinion of the “captains of industry”? I would guess they probably will.

    However, If we have seen anything over the last few weeks it is that polling opinion turns as slowly as a supertanker. Maybe we will see more dramatic changes after the date of the election becomes official and in reaction to the leaders’ debates, but I wouldn’t count on it.

  40. There are some very serious and worrying weaknesses in the Harris poll. I could write an essay on them but I will keep it simple.

    1. They have the SNP’s vote up by 166% on its 2005 perfromance. Is that likely?

    One would think that this calculation, or lack of, is at the expense of LibDems/Labour

  41. Just a quick comment concerning some of those who have speculated that Brown may delay the expected May 6th election date; that would be the worst strategic error he could now make.

    It was the perceived indecision over the election-that-never-was which damaged Brown’s reputation irreparably and if he were to delay again now it would make him look so horrendously weak that I have no doubt his ratings (and Labour’s) would fall through the floor again.

    Also, just a comment on coalitions in the event of a hung parliament. Given that Nick Clegg has effectively staked his political reputation on wanting to restore trust in politics and the Lib Dems have been pushing for PR ever since their inception, I would be absolutely flabbergasted if the Lib Dems simply bypassed the winners of the popular vote in any backroom deals.

    I think what is more likely is that Clegg will work with the Tories on an issue by issue basis rather than enter into any formal coalition.

    At the moment it’s looking like the lead is in the 8% region which, together with a modest marginal effect and the NI seats, will probably leave the Tories a handful of seats short from being able to govern outright. Will be a very tense and vitriolic campaign I think.

  42. Not sure about your logic there Éoin – surely 2005 was the tightest election of the last three and the combined Tory+Labour vote is the smallest. Furthermore, there seems more than ever to be a groundswell of the “sick of all of them” sentiment, which ought to benefit the LibDems and the minor parties.

  43. Anthony–why is my comment to Eoin waiting moderation – or have you simply gone to make a pot of tea :o

  44. Craig U – “…and missed increase in min wage.”

    What do you mean? The Gov announced in the Budget increases to the NMW from 1 Oct.

  45. @Mitz,

    Your correct on both counts but let me explain my point.

    Every election there is reasons to stay away.

    Offset the Iraq abstainers with the expenses abstainers…

    the share of the vote going to the top two has been decreasing for a generation….

    2005 is not as close fought an election as this one promises to be…

    does a polarised campaign where the outcome is uncertain bring voters back to the big two parties?

    My hunch is that it will…. by a couple of %

  46. Mitz,

    for instance the 1992 election’s outcome was less certain than 1987. Thus, the former brought a bigger portion of voters out for the top two than the latter did, by a couple of %. I think uncertain outocmes have this effect.

  47. CraigU – That win’s my award for the most partisan post I’ve ever read on here, congratulations

  48. @ Rob – “The only Conservative-related trend at the moment which is currently set in stone is that they just cannot get to the all-important 40 per cent…..”

    40 per cent would be lovely, and may well happen in the coming weeks, but it’s by no means “all-important”. It’s the size of the Tory lead that matters 38-28 would do just as well as 40-30 or whatever.

  49. It would certainly make sense for a tighter race to lead to higher overall turnout. Whether or not the activists for the two main parties can convince more people that might tend towards them to get out and vote in the face of widespread disaffection remains to be seen.

  50. EOIN – TOTALLY agree. It is only recently I stopped shaking my head in despair at almost every move Labour made re media, strategy and campaign.
    If it’s not May 6th, firstly, I’ll eat my sofa (as already promised) for a whole host of excellent reasons.
    Secondly, if he puts it off, even I’LL think he deserves all he gets. He’ll call it on between 6th and 12th giving either exactly a month or 4 weeks til the election.

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