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. Sean Fear
    A Conservative lead of 8% across Great Britain as a whole, would amount in all likelhihood to a lead of 11% across England and Wales, and a lead of 14% across England.

    14% would give them a landslide in terms of English seats. c.320 English seats (out of 533 in total) would be quite plausible, IMHO.


    Presumably, this is an April Fool’s joke ! 8% becomes 14% – simply because you do not count 8% of the electorate. From 38/100 to 37/92 is an increase of just 2%. Where did you get your 6% increase ?

  2. Derek,

    I’m assuming that the Labour/Conservative swing in Scotland will be well below average.

    Thus, in 2005, a 3% deficit in Great Britain as a whole was a 1% lead in England. Thus, an 8% lead lead in Great Britain could easily equate to a 14% lead in England.

  3. Mitz – Labour could equally gain by being more specific about how they see the decifit reducing. Saying “we don’t know yet”cedes control of the debate and allows the rather obvious but potentially misleading “truism” to prevail :”Waste must be bad, therefore cut it immediately”

    The problem might well be that the very act of cutting waste exacerbates the waste and costs more money than allowing the waste to exist until next year.

    At least, that is what Darling should be pushing in as simple terms as he can.

  4. Personally, I don’t think the savings 9and growth figures for that matter) are as achievable as they are all hoping and in a few years time we’ll be arguing over a smaller pot.

    Roland “men of this calibre” is not necessarily a nice thing to say about them :) in the eyes of you average hard-worked mill-treader.

  5. Presumably, this is an April Fool’s joke ”

    Not really. Assuming that the swing to the Conservatives in Scotland is the same as in England & Wales, then an 8% lead in Great Britain is a 12% lead in England.

    Assuming that the swing in Scotland is as small (or non-existent) as most recent polls are showing, and it’s quite possible for an 8% lead in GB to translate into a 14% lead in England.

    Quite often,

  6. Totally true JohnTT. Sadly the electorate is on the whole not sophisticated. For the Tories, a simple “Efficiency savings are good, therefore we will make them immediately” is a vote winner. However, “Efficiency savings now – and we’ll reduce taxes too!!” will make far more people say “Thanks, but come on, seriously now, how?”

  7. @JOHN TT
    It has to be pronounced as per Tony Hancock – Caliiiber.

  8. Mitz – couldn’t agree more!

    Roland, I thought you were more of a Sid James than a Hancock :)

  9. We need some new polls of the ‘marginals’ especially now when the Conservatives have extended their lead over Labour nationally.

    As it stands if there is no movement in Scotland and they equate to 8% of the vote then the following figures for the England/Wales will apply.

    C= 41.3
    L= 32.6

    Conservative lead in England and Wales would notionally therefore be 8.7%, this would take us to Conservative target seat No. 166 Gower and then even removing ALL LibDem and Nationalist seats would still equate to a Conservative gain of 128 seats from Labour.

  10. I’ve been reading and posting for a while now and we discuss post election tactics – often. If nothing else, the message comes home almost like the quote from Micawber.

    Using AW’s swingometer:

    ’41 29 20 – result, blue joy, 40 30 20 – result, blue misery’.

    What a daft system with which we are stuck! As a consequence, the blues will not discuss PR because the blues think that PR would consign them to history.
    I hold an entirely different view. I believe that blues would do very well under PR but they don’t realise it. Of course it would not be a UKIP blue. I suspect that Ken Clarke and colleagues would like to see the back of that lot anyway.
    This election holds the prospect, no more, of achieving this.

    Typically your pro Labour attitude causes you to question proven facts that people like Sean are not only aware of but have seen often. This news may not be pleasing to you but that does not prevent it from being the case. I do not care for the in built Labour advantage in the system, I do not bitch about it but I do not like it. Sean’s comment is a much better version of what I was trying to say earlier in response to all this “the Tories must have 40% and must be 11 points in the lead ect ect ect”. It is not true and being a Labour voter will not make it true.

  12. Roland – query phonetics ‘cal-eye-burr’ surely?

  13. kæl?b? surely Howard?

  14. @Roland,

    Given that the nationalists have ruled out a formal coalition, and I think the lib dems have muted as much, there is the potential that Cameron could go it alone with 290 seats…

    he cold reasonably expect to pass a decent raft of legislation

    he might struggle with his swedish schools idea or his national budgetaryoffice but I do think he could govern reasonably efficiently..

    on an issue by issue basis he could achieve enough consensus to pass mostof his so far suggested manifesto commitments

    i see one problem, and to an extent he has created it himself..

    by promising a budget within 50 days he has created a ready made show down at the ok…

    It would have been more prudent for him not to have pleged this…

    in terms of legitimacy I dont think anyone could object with him trying to form a gov. provided he was the largest party…

  15. My phonetic effort wasn’t read by wordpress, Howard. Serves me right for trying to be clever!

  16. @sean,

    Im still stewing over your earlier post but I will reply in time…

    One cursory note, expect reverse swing in scotland…. I hear Matt Hoggard is bowling particularly well ;)

  17. John TT

    I see it differently .

    Both sides are fighting shy of detail on the debt paydown plan-both are committed to it-difference is a (probably) small one of timing-so call that evens.

    THe divide is 2010/11 spending policy & it’s connection to “securing the recovery”.

    Labour say -if you start saving in 2010/11 you jeopardise the recovery. I think this can be shot down in flames, and the “shooting” has some popular traction:-

    a) The Public Sector payroll is 20% of the total workforce-that leaves 80% who know how costs can be saved in the private sector-many of whom have experienced those savings in their own job losses. They are looking for the public sector to recognise reality & level the playing field.
    b) All Private Sector business managers know that finding 2% or3% savings in a year-as part of the normal annual budget process, is par for the course. Any FD looks for this as a matter of course every year.There is no credibility to the assertion that Cons cannot find an extra 2% or 3%-the “business leaders” make that view clear.
    c) THere is a major argument about the validity of Labour’s stance-maintaining ( indeed increasing) the state’s spending on everything for a year is neccessary to “support ” the economy-but I grant you it does not register with many ordinary voters-so ignore it.

    Now add to the above, Labour’s NIC increase from 4/11and you have this argument :-

    We believe that maintaining Public Spending for a year will cause the Private sector to return to 3.5%pa growth from the end of that year-from which time, we will increase it’s payroll taxes by £ 5 BN pa plus. We know that this will cause the loss of new found jobs, but this is “manageable” ( per AD the other day), and anyway we need the money to start paying down the deficit from then-because our cost saving plan does not raise enough revenue.

    I think that is an uncomfortable position to take.

    But we shall see-I suspect -as someone else observed, that the public have had it up to here with the lot of them.

  18. @Colin. Lord Jones has just backed this on BBC World at One. Lord Baldemort was wheeled out to “rebut” but no contest. For Mandelson & Byrne to suggests that the bosses of M&S, Sainsburys, EasyJet, Mothercare and Virgin (not to mention the heads of global businesses like GSK) don’t understand efficiency savings and National Insurance is a hiding to nothing. Note how Darling was much smarter in praising them.

  19. @HOWARD
    I admit your rendition of the East Cheam dialect is by far the best.

  20. A propos of nothing, I feel optimistic today and wanted to see the positives. yesterday we had some good ideas from Cameron that might make a difference, and today we can celebrate the reduction in qualifying years for the basic state pension and the release by the OS of all its mapping data as a free online resource – both credit to Labour.

    When we meet people who say they won’t vote (I’m thinking of you Eoin) worth reminding them that politics can make a difference.

  21. @ Eoin
    “by promising a budget within 50 days he has created a ready made show down at the ok…”

    Well of course.

    This budget is absolutely key.

    It is the means by which a Conservative administration is able to say-for the first time- well we have seen the books-spoken to Sir Humphry-and this is what Labour didn’t tell you-these are the awful truths.

  22. I note the GO’s NI cut is getting the traction I forecast last week. I wonder if Blair has damged potential benefit in the polls for the Tories by rearing his head in Trimdon.

    Should the BBC screen a speech on UK politics from an unelected individual? Doesnt this contravene the charter’s requirements of impartiality. Will they be screening all of his speeches?

    GO makes a serious fiscal announcement but they decide to give this balloon airtime…..

  23. Alec,

    never have never will, I’m waiting on sugarcandy mountain ;)

  24. @ Eoin – “Should the BBC screen a speech on UK politics from an unelected individual? Doesnt this contravene the charter’s requirements of impartiality. Will they be screening all of his speeches?”

    Well, the unelected Mandelson is busily distributing his opinions through any media outlet he can. Should his speeches and interviews also be banned?

  25. @Alec,

    As a man with 20 + years of charity experience you must understadn micro-politics well.

    Michel Foucault’s ideas on micro power appeal to me more… to borrow a phrase from Mikey “just do it” dont wait on 646 muppets to tell me they are gonna do it for me….

  26. NBEALE

    thanks-it is beyond me why AD proposed an employer NIC increase in his Budget.

    GO must have done cartwheels before he settled down to finesse the timing of his response.

  27. The current polls indicate that the Con share of the GE vote is close to if not already at the point where it will deliver a Con majority government.

    I have assumed (perhaps wrongly) for weeks and months that the LibDems want a hung Parliament, if only so that it can achieve a step towards electoral reform.

    What happens though if the Cons obtain an overall majority? I may be incorrect, but as I understand it a Con gov will seek changes to the constituency boundaries and probably/perhaps reduce the number of MPs. Would such action lead to the Con party potentially being in power permanently?

    How could such an event help the LDs towards their goal of electoral reform?

    Is it not a case now therefore that LDs need to ‘support’ Lab?

    There seems to me a real danger in the LDs current stance. While Lab were only 4 or 5 points behind the Cons, the LD strategy looked ok, but now…?!

  28. YouGov is inflating the Labour vote again. Their integrity will be in the toilet come May 6th.

  29. Colin – the only thing I dispute is the notion that the UK is at all comparable to a business.

    If a big business had to pay for the unemployment benefit, NI stamp, housing costs and all the other things that go with unemployment during a period of flat growth or recession, then that business might think twice about when to make the redundancies. Cheaper to leave it until new jobs are available.

    i know the private sector is more efficient than the public sector, but the private sector faces its customers and shareholders. The Govt has to pay for the on-goiing social financial cost consequences of cost-savings. Businesses don’t.

    It depends how it plays out in the media. i can imagine a good many ordinary workers blaming their boss for firing them on the grounds of a 1p NI increase rather than blaming the Govt.

  30. NBeale NI hike in 2011-12
    Since AD had announced it 3 – 4 months ago in the PBR I am surprised that you are surprised NB.

    I am doing some research at present on what was said by whom at the time. My recollection was that it was felt to be too insignificant a measure to deal with the mounting debt. I’ll report back my findings.

    Whatever the facts, it ‘s just the way that media reports these things, not what actually happened.

  31. Phil
    We usually appreciate some facts to back up statements or predictions

  32. @PHIL

    “YouGov is inflating the Labour vote again. Their integrity will be in the toilet come May 6th.”

    There is no evidence that YG are ‘inflating’ Labour support, they are reporting exactly what the responces are to their questions. Remember that YG do not weight for ‘likelihood to vote’ and they (YG) are quite open about this. Making a small adjustment of reducing Labour support by 5% brings YG well in line with the other major pollsters, if this is or is not a correct thing to do is disputed on this forum (normally along party lines).

    Consider that YG may well be correct, I publish my adjusted figures for them so as to make the polls more comparable. Come the morning following the election we shall see which polling company was most accurate on polling day.

  33. Does anybody know which polling company has the green logo with the white y-looking shape? I don’t recognise it

  34. Phil

    “YouGov is inflating the Labour vote again. Their integrity will be in the toilet come May 6th.”

    You Gov might have a problem with their methodology. Angus Ried might have a problem with theirs. We will never know what people are actually thinking now, all we will be able to do is judge each pollsters end of campaign polls against the election results.

    ‘Inflating … integrety’. No. The pollster are businesses trying to prove their polling model is best. That is how they make money. Before making silly remarks please read Anthony Wells postings on polling which he has had to repeat ad nauseum.

    Typically your pro Labour attitude causes you to question proven facts that people like Sean are not only aware of but have seen often. This news may not be pleasing to you but that does not prevent it from being the case. I do not care for the in built Labour advantage in the system, I do not bitch about it but I do not like it. Sean’s comment is a much better version of what I was trying to say earlier in response to all this “the Tories must have 40% and must be 11 points in the lead ect ect ect”. It is not true and being a Labour voter will not make it true

    You should question the maths of how 8% could become 14% just if you excluded Scotland rather than expose your gut Tory feelings here.

    My position is : if you exclude 8% of the electorate it does not make a huge difference in the other 92%. Approximately 2% will be the increased Tory lead.

  36. It looks like Mandy has upset the Captains of Industry good and proper. I am the last person to think the general public follow or take notice of these things as we do, but, the media are just loving it. As N Beale has mentioned the Captains are from the very favorite household names not obscure (to the public) corporate finance houses and merchant banks.
    It all adds up to a situation which IMHO, Labour could have lived without.

  37. Surbiton,

    The Conservatives led by 1% in England, in 2005, depsite being 3% behind in Great Britain. If England & Scotland showed exactly the same swing to the Conservatives in this election, than an 8% Conservative lead in Great Britain would be a 12% lead in England.

    Were there no swing at all to the Conservatives in Scotland, but a 5.5% swing in Great Britain as a whole (resulting in an 8% lead) then the Conservatives would be close to 14% ahead in England.

  38. Hmmmm.

    Mandy is not talking to the cabal of apparently Tory supporting bosses when he uses phrases like “cynical deception”. He is talking to the electorate. When the CEOs quite understandably say that to suggest that they have been deceived is patronising, Mandy will not be at all concerned. The only message he is promoting is that the Tories are not to be trusted. He is hoping that mud will stick.

    Describing Osborne “as a kid in a sweetshop” is somewhat less veiled.

    If this is a taste of the campaign to come, it is going to get very dirty. You can bet that the majority of Labour’s take on things will be that the Tories just tell you what you want to hear – as Darling put it: “panic” plans based on “the next day’s headlines”.

    It’s up to Cameron whether to rise above that or to go toe to toe. I would suggest that the letter would be a mistake.

  39. @ SURBITON
    ‘@ 12.38 Sean Fear answered the question perfectly well. He did not say 14% lead was a definite thing, but that it easily could be and often had been. What further do you need?

  40. To work out the England and Wales percentages by romoving Scotland from the equation – and assuming Sctland accounts for 8% of the overall national vote the maths are as follows:

    Total = 100%

    Scoland = 8%

    Total – Scotland = 100% – 8% = 92%

    England and Wales therefore = 92%

    C nat support = 38%
    L nat support = 30%


    C support in England and Wales = 38% / 92 x 100

    C support in England and Wales = 41.3%

    L support in England and Wales = 30% / 92 x 100

    L support in England and Wales = 32.6%

    Therefore C lead over L = 41.3 – 32.6

    Conservative lead in England and Wales = 8.7%

    What is of interest here is that the last poll of marginals (I think last week) had the conservatives doing about 2% better in the second level marginals, so it is feasable that Conservative lead could be as high as 10.7% in these seats than they are in the rest of England and Wales (this would mean a slight drop in the percentages elsewhere though to even out the numbers).

  41. Why are some people allowed to post partisan comments / links etc and others not??

    Just a thought….

  42. MITZ – I am sure NOW that Mandelson has deliberately engineered it so that Labour will lose this election. I have been dumb-founded by the Labour tactics up to date but now it would seem that he (Mandelson) or they (Labour) have decided that things are so bad that they do not want to be the Government during this period of austerity.

    This may seem a cynical comment and partisan, it is not meant that way at all. The facts are that Brown uses statistics that cannot be compared, Blair appears on the scene, the NI increase is taxation on jobs, and now Mandelson basically calls the best known business bosses in the UK all but idiots.

    Can anyone else think of any logical reason an experienced political party would make such obviously detrimental mistakes?

  43. Surbiton

    I think your maths is correct on overall figures. 2% is the outside figure

    What is more we have very little evidence about how things are working in different types opf seat. Is Labour’s increased voting share helping in the marginals or are they pilling up votes in their safe seats? Are the Conservatives holding up in all marginals or is it only in the Lab-Con marginals? Is the identified Lib Dem incumbency factor making more or less of a difference?

    UNS is imperfect but it is the only real basis for discussing outcomes at the moment.

  44. Bill,

    Unless I have missed something fundamental (always a possibility, and I’m sure you will say so if I have) then your figures only hold water if support for the two parties is uniform across England, Scotland and Wales. Which I’m pretty sure it isn’t.

  45. Mitz – I start by saying that there is no movement in Scotland and remove Scotland from the equation. This is why the ‘support’ is divided by 92, I then multiply by 100 to give percentages throughout England and Wales (thus excluding Scotland).

    Hope this helps.

  46. Re: Mandy/Labour losing on purpose. People said the same about the Republicans and McCain in 2008 – let the ethnic guy with the Muslim sounding name take the rap for all the mess. People even said the same about Hillary Clinton regarding the Democratic nomination, suggesting that she could sweep in for 2012 once the worst is over, clear up any remaining recession fallout and be a heroine forever. I just don’t buy it.

  47. @BILL ROY
    If there is any mileage in your theory Bill, it will be down to Mandy. Surely Brown has not gone through all the pain of the last 2 years just to give up. Why did Brown not go to the country sooner and end the pain? However the catalogue of issues you present cannot be refuted.

  48. Bill Roy – Labour’s core vote can’t be worked out from who said they were voting Labour back in the days of 20 point leads. Just as the Tories can’t be.

    I’m talking about polling day minimums and 30Lab, 32 Con is about right before all the others are added in.

  49. I have some knowledge of the Presidential nomination campaign and Presidential campaign you speak of, I was and am a supporter of Obama, he may not be British but I can still support him.

    I must agree that with regard to HC run for the nomination it was far fetched but there were certain aspects of the Repug campaign that still today look as though certain ‘influences within the Repug camp’ acted against the McCannrun for the Presidency.

    Perhaps I spent too long on the American campaign thing that I am becoming tainted?

  50. Bill,

    On the figures, I think a the Tories are further ahead across England and Wales combined than you suggest. A higher proportion of Labour’s national 30% are in Scotland than that of the Conservative’s 38%.

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