Monday round-up

There are four new polls tonight – YouGov in the Sun, Opinium in the Express and ICM in the Guardian. ComRes is not officially out yet, but the Guardian are reporting it here. That gives us:

YouGov/Sun CON 33%(-1), LAB 28%(nc), LDEM 29%(-1)
Opinium/Express CON 34%(+2), LAB 25%(-1), LDEM 28%(-1)
ICM/Guardian CON 33%(-2), LAB 28%(+2), LDEM 30%(-1)
ComRes/ITV/Independent CON 32%(-2), LAB 28%(nc), LDEM 31%(+2)

Opinium show a slight movement towards the Conservatives since their last poll, but without any political weighting I would expect them to be rather more erratic anyway. The other three polls all show the Conservatives falling. Again it is just one day’s polls, and the movements are within the margin of error, but it does create the impression that the slight Tory recovery towards the end of last week is fading.

544 Responses to “Monday round-up”

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  1. Xiby,

    please refer to Marx on the subject of statistics

    (the funny one called Groucho, not the grouchy one)

  2. @ Anthony Wells

    ‘We do not know the % of the adult population on the register, the only time it can really be compared is after the census. There is no need for pollsters to adjust their samples to account for changes in who is registered – all pollsters weight their samples to match the whole population, not the registered population.’

    Am I reading this correctly – the pollsters do not ask who is registered and who is not. Do not discount completely the replies of anyone who is not registered? Surely not! The view of the interviewee may be relevant on which newspaper they read etc, but is totally irrelevant to what party they would support or even their likelihood to vote at this GE.

    I would have thought a question along the lines of where do you vote would also be fairly essential to getting realistic regional breakdown of the data, especially as many workers commute some distance between home and work?

  3. @EoinClarke

    You may well be right about GB crossing the finishing line, but the people’s change of mood on hung parliaments militates against.

  4. Looking at a graph of the polls this month, a 30 – 30 – 30 outcome looks not only possible but likely. I’ve now decided that’s what I want, just for the hell of it.

  5. @Roger Mexico………….I don’t know about the tower blocks, but we live in a converted wharf and have had a variety of communications from him, both for national and local elections, we’ve got a LibDem council leader as well. I have to hand it to them, they know their stuff, nowt so far from the others though.
    I’m told that Labour are fairly strong around here but you wouldn’t know, no sign of ’em. :-)

  6. @Paul

    hehehe point taken, but then posting on a forum dedicated to primarily statistics is slightly self-contradictory wouldn’t you think ;p

  7. @Anthony Wells

    That should read ‘non-registered’ interviewee of course. (but the way these polls are going, maybe not)

  8. @Paul,


    Forecasting the 1983 British General Election
    Philip Brown and Clive Payne
    Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series D (The Statistician), Vol. 33, No. 2 (Jun., 1984),… more

  9. @ Ken

    Thanks for that. You used to see these orange rectangles spelling out a vertical message as you went along the Jamaica Road.

    Mind you the tower blocks may no longer be there!

  10. @Anthony,

    Was Nate Silver’s advanced swingdometer in direct response to your interview with Mark Blumenthal

    My personal opinion is like your’s difficult to gauge by UNS in the present situation and probably the forecast of seats lies somewhere between the two mechanism.

  11. Frank G

    I think pollsters do ask if people are registered, but respondents need not tell the truth, may be unaware they are not registered or may be registered somewhere they can’t get to to vote.

    The pollsters can’t check against the registers because the full versions aren’t available to them and many people leave themselves off the public version so as not to get junk mail etc.

  12. @Roger Mexico

    That is what I thought too, but that is not quite what Anthony said.

  13. lots of labour posters in Hastings, I was putting them up at 2am this morning to the outsides of house windows.

  14. I’ve not seen much comment on the irony of Cameron and co. going on about the “Big Society”, while the one voluntary group under their direct control – the Conservative Party – has continued to decline in membership and participation.

    Of course the same applies to the other two main parties as well. Perhaps a bit less so for the Lib Dems; more so for Labour (probably now at a quarter of their 1997 membership).

    This explains why so many people on this site haven’t had much by way of contact. The Parties simply haven’t got the “boots on the ground” (to use one of those US military metaphors politicians are so fond of).

  15. Joe “Clegg said in the Guardian: If Labour came third in share of the vote he did not believe that Gordon Brown could remain as prime minister.
    Should I vote in a LD-Con Marginal for LD or for Labour (as a Brown supporter) ?”

    Hope my reply is not too late. I believe Clegg has treated voters like you very poorly indeed. However, if it is a tight race between Lib and Con, I would feel you had no choice but to vote Lib to keep the Tories out, then hope (I feel you could probably expect) Brown pounds Clegg soundly during negotiations ;)
    (Should Brown be in a negotiating position, obviously!!)
    I think if we know anything about Brown, he is not likely to forget the way Clegg treated both him and the many who tactically vote Lib just like you

  16. @ Sue

    I Think Clegg is still clearly (and correctly) trying to keep all options open. He doesn’t want to be there on 7th May and know he can do a deal with only one Party. Hence the overtures to the Tories at the weekend; hence the bit of readjustment today.

    Now Clegg also doesn’t want to suggest to other party supporters that he’s choosing their leaders. However he knows that Brown is wildly unpopular with about 50% of the voters and he judges that Brown doesn’t have the right personality to run either a formal coalition or a minority administration with close Lib Dem support.

    And your suggestion that Brown would be aggressive and vengeful during negotiations rather supports that view! (insert smiley icon – I haven’t worked out how to do them).

    Actually I suspect Brown might not want to stay on in such a situation – i think he’s got a good knowledge of his own strengths and weaknesses.

    And I’d like your opinion of the suggested replacement I posted yesterday – Alistair Darling.

  17. So Clegg Darling (or CD) versus DC; the headlines would be irresistible. AS would the dyslexia

    Mind even get an old Australian rockgroup and elected; ACDC…

    Oh, okay I’ll go back to sleep

  18. We’re all being very hypothetical at the moment, but if the Conservatives get close to 300 seats then a Lib-Lab coalition might still be a minority.

    In that sort of instance would it make a Con-Lib coalition more likely, or might there be an attempt at a Lib-Lab minority government, or even would a Con-Lab coalition come into consideration?

  19. @Sue Marsh

    Shame on you Sue , that was ‘blatant electioneering.’ Telling her to go and speak to a LD canvasser would have been just about acceptable. If a poster from the Con had given her different advice you would have been screaming for his immediate mogeration Surely you cannot be that desparate. Partisan views are prevalent enough without the site becoming a hustings.

  20. Roger Mexico – I don’t know if you are a Lib (kind of the point of this site I guess ;) ) but Clegg went much further than just keeping his options open.
    His personal attacks on Brown were venomous and he stated twice that he would not work with him.
    Tactically, of course “keeping his options open” as you say would have been sensible. However, he very much gave the impression that he would rather do a deal with the Tories and the impression that he was trying to dictate the Labour leader.
    It has not gone down well at all – that is an understatement if you look at the Twitterati and IMO has undone a massive amount of goodwill previously in place from voters just like Joe.
    I think it was such an error, it will actually HELP Labour in the next few polls as a few floating Labour voters “firm up” at the arrogance.

    To answer your point, I’ve said before and I’ll say again – if Brown manages to win the most seats for a FOURTH term against all the odds, after the 20 point gaps of last year, after never having won a personal mandate before, he will deserve to stay. To argue otherwise is to believe in the 2 dimensional Brown the Tory press are so fond of.
    It would be filthy politics to get rid of him just as he won Labour a fourth term (not to say filth doesn’t go on of course!!!) and I think it is a ridiculous narrative to believe the hype that he will or should go anywhere at all. As for those who claim he’ll step aside for Clegg, the words “Hell” and “freezing over” come to mind.
    Think about this too – if Milliband, or Mandleson or Johnson wanted Brown gone, the time has passed. their support is currently unwavering and I see no reason for it to change if Brown WINS the election.

    A final caveat – Most seats = Win. It might not be very palatable, but that’s FPTP for you. I can see why Libs would complain, but frankly, the blues wouldn’t have a leg to stand on. Peole really need to start getting used to the idea that if Brown wins the most seats he will stay. End of. How? By offering the Libs a deal to good to ignore. Clegg can posture, but he’ll take power if it’s offered.

  21. Sue

    amen to that

  22. FrankG – Really? I didn’t think I was being partisan at all?? sorry if you felt otherwise, but the poster was in exactly the position my husband is in, so we had discussed the point a lot.

    -He is a Brown supporter.
    -He would normally vote Lib, but is concerned now that that means a vote for the Tories
    -I didn’t tell him to vote Labour you note!!

    Clegg HAS put voters like him in a difficult position because they only vote Lib tactically to keep the Tories out – that is not partisan of me, that is what Joe said.

    I effectively told him to do what he always does and ignore the posturing, how is that partisan?

    Perhaps I misread his post, but I don’t think I did, will you check?

  23. Roger,

    Have you ever heard the saying -“never break up a married couple fighting on the street”- ?

    Rightly, or wrongly, that is what clegg’s words are perceived to have been an attempt to do.

    Upon careful judgement I chose it to be the former. I could never see Simon Hughes, Lembit Opik, Charlie K or others every uttering the words eh came out with.

  24. Sorry but I don’t regard Clegg’s attacks as being particularly ‘venomous’.

    He had to atleast begin to define where the Lib Dems would stand and who with in the event of a hung Parliament. He has never ruled out working with Labour.

    That he has with Brown was initially to close off the vote Clegg, get Brown accusation and to re assure the wider voting public that a Lib/lab government would visibly as well as actually bring in the change he is promising. It is just politics, I’m afraid.

  25. Eoin – As a strategy geek I have read the Telegraph and Times articles over and over. As you might remember, I also posted on here how shocked I was long before the first debate, by Clegg’s budget response. It was then I truly decided he loathes GB/Labour in a way Paddy and Charlie never did, do you remember?

  26. Fingerbob69 – I could post the relevant bits from both articles, but believe me, they are venomous. Both about Brown AND Labour

  27. Sue

    I point you to these words Clegg uttered in May 2009.

    I think Labour has to go into opposition before it reinvents itself,” Clegg tells me. So is he saying Labour will lose? “Yes.” But presumably he isn’t saying the Tories will win. “No! Quite the reverse; I think it is a really exciting time in politics.” Then, for the first time on record, he explicitly sets out the extent of his ambitions: “I mean, look, you’re probably going to chuckle, but – I mean, I want to be prime minister. Not out of some weird sort of vanity, but because there is no point in me being leader of my party unless I want to actually get in a position to change stuff. But I want to change stuff not on the basis of the old rules.”

  28. @Sue / Eoin,

    I think Labour supportors moaning about Clegg’s current stance is a bit rich.

    Not so long ago Labour were cosying up like mad and asking for tactical voting!


  29. @Eoin and Sue

    Clegg’s response should have been we represent a new politics and I’ve made it clear that we will work with all the political parties. I don’t really want to get involved in the old party’s ways but we and I think Gordon Brown himself would find it morally difficult to stay in Downing Street should Labour finish 3rd in votes but win most seats. And of course that is just the “pottiness” of the corrupt election system that we need to change.

  30. Jack Jackson – Exactly. The fact he DIDN’T phrase it that way was telling.

  31. If I had been advising Clegg i would have told him to answer

    I am the leader of the Liberal Deomcrats. I can only answer for my own party. Ask Gordon Brown if he would feel happy being PM if he finished in third place?

    In terms of coalitions, there would have been no shame in saying ” I endeavour to get the best deal for the people who voted for our manifesto” I will not allow my personal preference stand in the way of 6million voters wishes.

  32. @Sue

    The Andrew Marr interview and Brown gambit seemed to me to be set up in advance. Clegg needed to end vote Clegg get Brown and Marr needed as every journalist does a scoop. So they both got what they wanted out of it.

    I consider it a pure accident that the Lib Dems got to where they are in the polls. Having got there, and not without impediments, the Lib Dems and Cleggs handlers haven’t played it that smart.

    Clegg should be driving for his own election mandate,

    He had the clean up mandate in his hands and possibly still has and the £10K threshold is progressive, redistributional, reflationary and will help grow the economy and help create as many as 200,000 new jobs in the first year. Cameron wishes the Tories had come up with it and sadly Gordon thinks he can spend tax payers money to better effect.
    The Lib dems haven’t played the reflationary and growth card with it as yet . The 2 most tangible positive and popular issues on offer. Dumb, Dumb,Dumb

    We are well served by these career politicians.

  33. FrankG – Any response? He wasn’t asking whether to vote Lib or Con, he was asking whether to vote Lab or Lib???

  34. @ Sue & Eoin

    I’ve already stated on previous threads that I thought Clegg should have said something along the lines of what Jack Jackson said (Though I didn’t phrase half as well)!

    To be fair to Clegg I thought his reaction was more against the electorally unfair situation than Brown personally. (Most of) the Conservatives as you pointed out have such excuse. But then they did spend the 2005 election saying “Vote Blair, Get Brown” and then complained he had no mandate when we did.

    The real problem though is Brown’s unpopularity and his personality. I just don’t think he’s the right person to lead a coalition between two equally supported parties (and I reckon he may feel the same).

    For what it’s worth I don’t think Cameron has the skills either.

    That’s why I suggested Darling. Any ideas?

  35. @Roger.

    No ideas. Dirty linen will be aired in private.

  36. I have no ideas either. Although I’d happily accept Paddy, can we have him please? (Though I’d defend GBs right to stay until my dying breath if he comfortably wins most seats.)

  37. Joe: You wrote,,
    Should I vote in a LD-Con Marginal for LD or for Labour (as a Brown supporter) ?
    That is my dilemma too, I had considered TV, but was so angry yesterday, I am more inclined to follow my conscience. Was very impressed by GB yesterday, NHS speech particularly. On the other hand, could be tight and my vote could hand a majority. An now today he has said he has changed my mind, which has angered me even more..
    Oh what the hell.. I have to live with my decision. ….I think I know what it will be.
    The CAPTCHA CODE was GBF9… perhaps that is a sign?

  38. I meant to say ,.. tody Clegg had said he has not ruled out working with Brown, therefore I implied he had chanhed *his* mind……

  39. Joe/Pam F,

    I genuinnelly think people should vote for what they believe in, rather than tactical voting. I know the FPTP system is not ideal for this.

    Tactical voting gives zero hope to your own represented candidate, and there is plenty of evidence, that over time, even what appear unassailable leads can be whittled down and new parties get in, in ‘safe’ constituencies.

    I would never beg somebody to vote tactically, even if I thought it might secure the seat for my party.

  40. Oh surprise!! Jokey memo about Pope – lead story
    Sacked Tory Candidate – Not a whisper

  41. Ricahrd O – Beg? Emotive stuff

  42. Sue -from Guido Fawkes

    Tuesday, April 27, 2010
    Another New Media Scalp
    Another day and another candidate has been scalped by comments they have left online. All of the major parties have now had to sack a PPC, with today being the turn of Scottish Tory Philip Lardner who said homosexuality is “not normal“. Lardner, fighting for North Ayrshire and Arran, would likely have gone regardless of which medium he used to espouse his views.

    Unlike Labour’s MacLennan and Cowan scalps, there was no attempt to fight the inevitable and with Cowan, a cover up instigated by the party machine. Guido will be returning to this subject soon…

  43. The Conservatives have stretched their opinion poll lead to eight points as Labour remain in third place, a new poll for The Times has shown.

    Latest figures supplied by Populus show the Tories on 36 per cent, the Liberal Democrats at 28 per cent and Labour on 27. The results, if reflected in an election, would still lead to a hung parliament.

    The poll will boost David Cameron, the Tory leader, whose party appears to have stabilised after a wobble following Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg’s strong performance in the first leaders’ debate.

  44. @Nigel That poll just doesn’t ring true when the answer to one question was:

    “Well over two-fifths of voters (44 per cent, up two points on a fortnight ago) agree that it seems like “time for a change” from Labour, but are not sure it is time to change to the Conservatives.”

    It proves my point, I feel, about polls not saying how many voters said ‘don’t know’ add up the percentages and you get 92%, with the other 8% probably the votes for the smaller parties. But how many said ‘won’t vote/not sure’?

    If 44% are saying it’s time for a change, and at the same time saying their not sure it’s the Conservatives, then I think the 92% given tot the 3 parties in this poll represents about 60% of those that are going to vote.

    This means more and more, to me, that the mainline numbers are not where it’s at any more. it’s these underlying numbers. 44% still thinking about the Lib Dems (and to a lesser degree, the Tories) and ‘time for a change’? Well how much does THAT devalue the mainline percentages?

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