There was a Harris poll in the Daily Mail yesterday. Voting intention figures are incomprehensible. To quote from the Mail “The Tories are down from 36 per cent at the election to just 29 per cent, while Lib Dem support has collapsed from 23 per cent to just 12. Labour are on 28 per cent, down from 29 at the election. But a huge 17 per cent of people said they were undecided.”

Where to start? Firstly the Harris poll was of Great Britain, not the United Kingdom, so they should be comparing it to the GB result (CON 37%, LAB 30%, LDEM 24%). Secondly, 17% for don’t know isn’t huge, it’s comparable to other polls. Most importantly, they haven’t repercentaged to exclude don’t knows, so obviously all the parties are down. It is unclear whether or not they have also excluded won’t votes, so it’s not even possible to repercentage yourself. If they have excluded won’t votes, it implies 17% support for other parties, which seems unfeasible (though the newer online pollsters did tend to produce some very high scores for others before the election). If they didn’t exclude won’t votes either then it implies shares somewhere in the region of CON 36%, LAB 35%, LDEM 15%, but we can’t be sure.

On other questions, Harris found 26% thought Cameron had done better than they expected, 22% worse. 42% said he had been in line with expectations, though obviously we don’t know if those people’s expectations were positive or negative! For Osborne 12% thought he had exceeded expectations, 20% that he had done worse, Clegg was 19% and 29% respectively and Cable 13% better and 21% worse.

On opinions of the government, Harris asked people which words they’d use to describe it, with particularly unenlightning answers! All the words quoted in the paper were agreed with by about 52%-59% of people, included positive and negative ones – so 59% thought they were honest, 52% effective, 59% united… but 57% thought they are disappointing, 59% unpopular and 52% unbalanced. At least, I suppose there is an answer that everyone liked.

The only poll I’m aware of from the Sunday Papers is YouGov’s regular tracker survey – voting intention stands at CON 42%, LAB 37%, LDEM 13%.

UPDATE: Tabs for the Harris poll are here now. Had the poll been repercentaged it would have shown voting intentions of CON 38%, LAB 36%, LDEM 16%, Others 10%.

261 Responses to “Harris/Daily Mail poll”

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  1. I’m reading some of these arguments about the proper role of the state and the ability of individuals to look after themselves in society.

    I’ve never quite bought into the libertarian arguments about government as the unneccessary evil because I think the arguments ignore the realities of government and society and all the things that the government does to enable individuals and protect the freedom and prosperity of individuals. And I think that the arguments also ignore the reality of how much indirect government assistance that the wealthy and the middle classes receive. Real Estate Developers in the United States have often experienced great success because of government creating optimal conditions (through infrastructure investments, tax credits, and programs for low interest rate fixed mortgages) for real estate developers. Investors do well in the market because the government enforces the rules and makes sure the playground is fair for all comers, whether big or small. The entertainment industry would not prosper if not for the whole system of copyright law and enforcement mechanisms protecting these copyrights. Those are just a few examples of many.

    Just some food for thought.

  2. @ Eoin,

    Since you would have voted for Hillary Clinton in the 08′ Democratic Primaries if given the vote, I’d just share who I’d vote for if I had a vote in the Labour Party leadership contest. I would probably vote for David Miliband (he comes closest to my political ideology as any Brit could get and he seems extraordinarily intelligent). But I’d probably choose Andy Burnham as my second pick. Not because I really relate to his policies but his whole working class background/rise in the ranks story appeals to me in the same way that Bill Clinton has always appealed to me.

    @ Amber Star

    I think if a new election were held today, the Tories would probably win a razor edge majority with the Lib Dems being squeezed by both sides and both Labour and the Tories holding most of their 2010 seats. I think though that given the current numbers, Labour would pick up seats from the Tories in London (as well as the Lib Dems), not vice versa just based on the very narrow victories of the Tories in London (often with huge Lib Dem votes in these constituencies).

    Also, I’m glad Tony Blair is donating his book advance to the troops.

  3. Neil A @9.33pm
    I agree with Eoin’s comments.

    You must vist St. Pauls in Vatican City Rome. I found the sense of power it exuded almost tangible.

    San Gimmy is lovely, as is Assisi.

    Lovely country and people.

  4. Pete B
    “No-one could possibly be as stupid as he appears and yet reach such high offfice”

    Just think previous incumbent of the US of A.

  5. oops
    that shoudl be “previous president of the US of A”.

  6. I always thought of Bush more as dyslexic than stupid.

  7. @Amber Star

    Thanks for that – extremely interesting. I take your point about demographics, too.

    Have you considered getting a bit of free webspace and posting this stuff there?

  8. @Nick OK

    “This is probably a really stupid question, but whilst I see Lab leadership is being discussed, do the candidates produce manifestos of some sort? And if they do, how can you find them?”

    Guardian Politics Weekly has been running an excellent series of interviews in its podcasts. Have a look on the website.

  9. @Amber Star

    “But the ultimate dream of all socialists is the abolition of the state.
    No – abolition of the state is a nightmare for socialists. ”

    Precisely. In the end, the state is the only hope of protection and empowerment for the poor and weak against the rich and powerful. Without it we are left in what Hobbes called the war of all against all, in which life for most people would be “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short”.

  10. SocalLib,

    That is interesting. I have stated before he would make the perfect Democrat politician. HE would certainly Americiansie our politics more.. I gather hespends most of his free time in the States. He would certainly be a creditworthy statesman. I think international diplomacy appeals to him quite a bit. And he certainly did get on well with ‘our Hilary’. :)

    Bill Lizard…

    My point was a philisophical one… I checked an encyclopaedia of renowned socialists to be sure but every single one of them argue the same thing… I think you are viewing in the short term eg the enxt 100 years, in which case yes I would agree… but i was being utopian…

  11. @ Amber, Colin, Rowland

    Oops! This is what happens when you read too many comments, too late at night. Very, very sorry for that and apologies to both Colin and Rowland for mixing up their comments. Anyway I hope my comment addressed some of Colin’s points. [whatever the smiley for hangs head in shame and confusion is]

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