As well as the YouGov poll (see the post below), there are also new polls today from Populus and TNS BMRB.

Populus has topline figures, with changes from last month, of CON 33%(-1), LAB 42%(+4), LDEM 11%(nc). For those with a Times subscription there are more details here.

Meantime TNS BMRB has topline figures, again with changes from last month, of CON 32%(-3), LAB 42% (+4), LDEM 10%(-1), Others 16%.

So, three polls tonight, with answers that are actually pretty consistent – the Conservatives at 32-33, Labour at 42-43 and slightly more variation on the Lib Dems on 8-11.

153 Responses to “New Populus and TNS polls”

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  1. Any news on how ‘others’ break down. Are UKIP ahead in any other polls?

  2. This may be a situation where local elections don’t follow the national polls

  3. @Percy Holmes

    I am interested to know why you think that. Which way do you think the local elections will differ from the national polls?

  4. I believe the Youguv poll gives UKIP 9 and the Libdems 8, it also shows that the over 60’s (certain to vote) are moving to UKIP, could we be seeing a watershed moment in British politics, for the first time the Tories being outflanked on the right?

  5. “The Deputy Prime Minister disclosed that he would seek to win votes at the next election by publishing details of secret deals inside the Coalition, and blaming the Conservatives for policies that he dislikes.”

    It was always highly likely that the coalition would end amidst a certain amount of recrimination. But why highlight the fact so openly now? Surely this only makes any working relationship/policy formation more fraught from now on.

  6. Anthony,

    Do we know what the You Gov/ES poll numbers would mean for seats in the assembly.

    The current polls just out suggest that there is a general UK wide swing to Labour at the moment, but it’d be interesting to know how the UK VI differs from the London Assembly VI. Any thoughts?

  7. I get the strong impression that Cameron cannot satisfy his right wing due to Cleggs restraining influence and they are departing to UKIP.

    The cracks in the coalition are getting wider and wider.

  8. This is all rather interesting, I have to say. Populus and TNS are confirming YouGov’s restoration of a 10% Labour lead tonight, adding credence to the feeling that a sizeable gap between the Conservatives and Labour is now more or less baked in. The UKIP rise puzzles me a little because no obvious European bete noires have emerged of late, so one can only presume that their recent surge has been due to disgruntled Tory voters seeking another home further right. Labour have been buoyed a little, but not dramatically, and have floated to promising 42-43% country whilst the Tories have subsided, worryingly for them, very close to their rump support of 30-32%. For the Lib Dems it’s starting to look like complete disaster-ville; an utter electoral cul-de-sac with no obvious escape routes.

    Of course, we can all have a bit of fun with opinion polls, using them to josh our antagonists and luxuriating in their findings if favourable to our party interest. In that sense they could be accused of being, to quote the Bard, tales told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. However, they do create political mood music that can cause nervous party politicians to dance to their fickle tunes. If these sort of polls continue, and they are borne out in the forthcoming local elections, then I think we could see some panic emerging in Coalition ranks, from both terror-stricken Lib Dem MPs and activists and also fretful Tories. If so, then all bets may be off and we’ll all have to rewrite our scripts.

    Only yesterday, Tim Montgomerie was rather smugly belittling Labour’s current performance, saying that nearly all past Government’s at this stage of the electoral cycle, had found themselves “10-20% behind in the polls not the paltry 6% recorded in the latest poll”. Well, Tim, it would appear that your wish has been granted!

    Interesting times indeed.

  9. Billy Bob,surely if Clegg were to do so ,.he would become
    an even more discredited figure than he is at present.
    Remember all the times we have seen him nodding
    along in support of Cameron at PMQS.

  10. I think it is slowly becoming clearer that the Lib Dems are unlikely to recover till they quit the coalition…They should have supported a minority Tory government and made a strategic mistake and fortune favoured the next Labour leader who had to mainly look after the disgruntled Lib Dems and possibly win the next election

  11. Bloody ‘ell. Just posted the results of my evening’s slaving over Excel on the previous thread. Let’s have another go here – split into 3 posts to avoid the multiple links bot.

    I’ve been banging on for a while now about the similarity in socio-politico-economic conditions between now and the mid 70s. And the polling VI figures are almost spookily following the trends from Oct 74 onwards.


  12. @THEWASH

    Well it could be a landslide for LAB and annilation for LD less so for CON however
    Not liking budget and recent hic cups is one thing. Kicking gov can be popular in national polls… this may not translate to kicking CON at local elections.
    Not convinced LAB are suddenly ahead on economy I suppose is the real answer

  13. Ed looking a bit uncertain on Agenda…Maybe he should just stick to Andrew Marr and PMQ`s :)

  14. Looks like we are currently looking at a Labour lead of around 10% – the highest so far. Cons 33 Lab 43 and Lib 9 would result in a Labour majority of 108 on a UNS on the provisional boundaries.

  15. Tonight’s polls look bleak for the Lib Dems but there is some good news:

    You Gov remains very much the outlier in terms of LD VI. All the other pollsters have the Lib Dems in double figures (and well ahead of UKIP, I suspect).

    You Gov’s 9% for the the Lib Dems in the GLA list vote looks reasonably healthy. It’s down just two points from the 11% achieved in 2008, suggesting that, in London, the Lib Dems have retained about 80% of their 2008 vote. Hardly a catastrophic loss of support.

    As a Lib Dem foot-soldier, I remain pleased to see the Lib Dems in government implementing 75% of our manifesto and effectively neutralising the right-wing of the Conservative party.

    I realise that this isn’t currently a particularly fashionable or popular point of view but the LIb Dems weren’t particularly fashionable or popular when I joined them in 1988, so perhaps not much has changed. We believe in a consensual, pluralistic democracy based on liberal values. Those are things worth fighting for, so we soldier on, whatever the polls say.

  16. Well,perhaps we should just steady the buffs and wait
    to see what happens in the polls tomorrow.

  17. It’s the consistent Tory scores of 32/33 in tonight’s polls that are the big story, rather than the Lib Dem’s being overtaken by UKIP.

    While I’m not one of those saying UKIP don’t matter – I think they will increase their vote again at the next GE and will inflict further damage to Tory chances – I don’t really see them out polling the Lib Dems in a GE.

    The post budget narrative has tipped completely, and Osborne is the man responsible. Heavens above – the media is still relentlessly beating the government over the budget decisions four full weeks after the event. I can’t think of any budget in years that has scored such a negative reaction, without even actually doing that much economically. It was a pretty quite budget in terms of the money numbers, which just goes to show what a disastrous budget it was in purely political terms.

    The scale of the problems can be seen by the fact that there has hardly been a murmur about cuts recently, which was meant to be the big drag on the Tories this year. That would have been easier to cope with – blame Labour. This however, is about confidence and competence, and is potentially so much worse.

    I’m sure the polls will swing around, and the gap will wax and wane, but something bad happened to the Tories on March 21st and the way this has changed the plot lines will make problems for them for a long time ahead.

  18. Adrian B

    YouGov actually asked a question on how people would vote in the London Assembly election – you can find the link in Anthony’s post on the London thread. Having said that, there is so little polling history on the Assembly that interpreting them is uncertain. I did a comment on it in the thread (it’s the long boring one).

    Percy Holmes/thewash

    Local elections always differ from national polls for all sorts of reasons, mainly the fact they are local. This will not stop the media interpreting them as if they are about exactly the same thing, but the idea that people can lead independent lives away from the more fashionable inner London postal districts is a bit too much for their sensitive souls to contemplate.

  19. Wow! :-)

  20. I’ll want to see another poll or two before being sure, but it does look like last week’s polls might have been one big outlier – today’s poll is absolutely in line with the 4 polls from the previous week. Labour voters more likely to go on holiday after Easter?

    I think UKIP’s rise is more of a problem for Cons rather than LDs. If UKIP start polling those sort of numbers consistently, they’ll start to look like a serious party rather than just a repository of protest votes. That’s going to be *very* dangerous for the Tories, who could start to see their right wing support defecting in larger numbers.

  21. @David (11.09)

    “but the LIb Dems weren’t particularly fashionable or popular when I joined them in 1988, so perhaps not much has changed. ”

    what has changed is that in 88 the Lib Dems were a centre left party but now they are centre right or at least the key players are, and the centre left rank and file (which was most of the party) are leaving in droves, including yours truly.

    Pleased that you can remain optimistic but suggest that you remove those orange glasses soon or there will be no party left. WRT your comment on the London assembly – while national politics always affect local results, I suspect that locally the LDs will perform much better than on the national scene so if the LDs are only 8% in assembly VI, I hate to think how low they would be in London in a GE. Unfortunately that means goodbye to Hughes, Cable and other centre left MPs.

  22. If I had to make a prediction the voting next election is going to look very like Lab 39/40 Con 29/30 LD 5 UKIP 12/15

    If Lab do well in Scotland (i.e better than SNP) they’ll be in landslide territory.

    I can’t see any scenario that gives the Conservatives an overall majority. That would require them adding 4 or 5% to their 2010 perfromance.

    No way they can do that, even with a change of leader.

  23. I don’t discount for one moment the possibility that the economy will show remarkable signs of growth, Ed Miliband’s head will appear inside a lightbulb on the frontpage of the Sun, and the Tories will romp home with an OM in 2015.

    But Tories seem to be sinking back into “there be monsters” VI territory atm. Con very rarely in the low thirties during Cameron’s leadership.

    There has been some discussion of Francis Maude recently – the true moderniser (as one commentator put it, “whisper it quietly, he was right about the need to modernise, if only to buy time and credibility for traditional Toryism”) – long before Cameron was on the scene.

    The formation of the coalition was the high point for modernisers/Cameroons, they had used the New Labour playbook, and arrived at Phillip Gould’s promised land – or rather stolen his dream – with a realignment not on the Left, but on the Right.

    The modernisers had finally gained enough credibility with centre/centre right voters – so that traditional Tory policies could get a hearing again (even among Guardian/Observer columnists), the sort of credibility Hague/IDS/Howard never gained.

    To win an OM Tory strategists need to find a way to keep both the UKIP drifters and the centre swing voters on board.

    Even as late as last week, it was reported that No 10 has not given up on the idea of a formal electoral pact between Con and LD at the next GE.

  24. As one of the few Labourites on these pages who has taken a rather more generous view of Miliband’s performance as Labour leader to date, I was interested in John Harris’s article in today’s Guardian where he was discussing Miliband’s recent offer on party funding. Harris is a man of the Left but no slavish Labour supporter by any means and his article contained some strong criticisms of the party’s current weaknesses. However, I did find myself agreeing with his comments on Miliband. He said this: –

    “Ed Miliband, we are usually told, is the party’s uncertain predicament incarnate. But his grasp of the leader’s job grows surer by the month, his sense of where both policy and the practice of politics have to go in such turbulent times is sound. And his move on party funding is one of his best strokes yet: brave, unapologetic about the most fundamental aspects of Labour’s identity and wrapped up in a keen sense of how to go on exposing the Tories’ association with privilege and wealth

    ………but in the next months, bear in mind this glimpse of a reimagined Labour future, offered by a leader who is proving to be cleverer than some people would like to think.”

    Food for thought, and I just wonder if we may be seeing some evidence in the recent polls that Miliband is finding his political feet and a voice that might be slowly chiming. Comparisons with Blair will always be unfavourable because he was an extraordinary politician, probably the most gifted of his generation and one who still casts a giant shadow, but Miliband is his own man and I quite like the way he’s deliberately differentiating himself from the distinctly Blairite figures of Cameron and Clegg.

    Maybe it’s not such a mismatch after all!

  25. It’s possible, crosbatti, that our Ed might be a better politician than all the present other lot put together.

    We’ll see.

  26. ADRIAN B

    There is no measurement of “UK” VI. You mean GB VI (despite Anthony’s misleading blog title).

    Even then, it is primarily a measurement of English VI. Welsh numbers are too small to be separately recorded in a GB poll, but the Scottish figures should tell you that the pattern here is very different.

    You might want to restrict your comments to the part of the UK that justifies them.

  27. Scotland?
    Several posters based, I presume in England, seem to be having a rush of blood about the Scottish figures. To my cost I know as does Old Nat that they don’t ean anything. Yesterday had figures entirely the other way. In this poll the LDs are scoring higher in Scotland than in GB which is unlikely. I am fully involved in the struggle between Labour and the SNP and can tell you it is close. I doubt if anyone from the SNP will say different. Responses to the Economist coverage are not what SNP activists would have you believe. All three letters in the Press and Journal on the issue today are anti-Salmond in a paper he takes very seriously. His people will be screaming down the phone

  28. Some labour voters seem to think that this proves a lead above the 4-6 lead we are seeing at the moment.But surely, seeing as the fieldwork was done during the whole of the last month, the start of which where Labour support was much higher, it is to be perfectly expected to see these numbers and it in no way discredits the recent yougov polls. Over the past month, they have an average of 8-10 lead, but that does not mean that a recent drop is somehow wrong.

  29. What’s happening in Scotland is a mirror of the England Wales experience. In E/W the anti-Tory vote is united, in Scotland the anti-Lab vote is united.

    I think there’s more likelihood of substantial SNP voters switching to Lab than Lab voters switching to Tory.

    But I admit to be guessing!

  30. Crossbat

    With a more charismatic leader possessing a greater ability to “do normal”; and with a centre left- what some call ‘über blairite’- policy platform Labour would be doing a little better than they currently are under EdM and with no policies.

    But- make no mistake- the greater part of the current ConLib polling malaise is their own missteps rather than any EdM or Labour improvement.

    However there has been a step change since the budget: it clearly- as newsnight commented/ discussed- has permanently damaged the Tories (especially Osborne) lost them some credibility/ political capital = which is unlikely to return.

  31. @John Fletcher

    I’ve replied to your Irish question on the “Boris leads by 6pts” thread

    @Max OTFCOK

    I’ve replied to your French question on the “Boris leads by 6pts” thread

    Regards, Martyn

  32. NICKP

    “If Lab do well in Scotland (i.e better than SNP) they’ll be in landslide territory.”

    That all rather depends on the result of the constitutional debate in Scotland.

    There are various plausible scenarios, and Scotland wanting to have no more powers is perhaps the least plausible of them.

    Regardless of the referendum outcome, English politics (NHS, education, local government etc etc) will have little relevance as to how Scots vote.

    A large Labour vote (to minimise the prospects of a Tory or Tory/LD UK Government) is wholly feasible. So is a large SNP vote (again to minimise the chances of a Tory, or Tory LD UK Government, but also to enhance the Scottish vote).

    We have no way of knowing at the moment, but including Scotland in any Westminster calculation seems unwise at present.

  33. @John Fletcher

    I’ve replied to your Irish question on the “Boris leads by 6pts” thread

    Regards, Martyn

  34. test

    `But- make no mistake- the greater part of the current ConLib polling malaise is their own missteps rather than any EdM or Labour improvement.`

    To be fair to Ed,it is his attack on the budget which started the rot…It was clear that the coalition were going with the `raising five times as much tax` defence…But by exposing that only 4000 houses above 2 million pounds were sold in comparison to 300000 high earners benefiting from 50 p tax rate cut,he demolished that defence.

  36. @Max OTFCO Kent

    (reposted due to moderation for reasons unknown)

    I’ve replied to your question on the “Boris leads by 6pts” thread

    Regards, Martyn

  37. Barney

    I’ve posted before that the polls suggest that the SNP and Labour are currently roughly neck and neck as to Westminster VI (though the polling for Holyrood has suggested that the SNP are still well ahead).

    Glad that you find 3 letters to the P&J such conclusive evidence,

    As a matter of interest, what was your opinion of the Skintland cover? I thought it rather poor punning from a metropolitan group who neither understood nor cared about the offence it might cause.

    How would you have felt about a similar set of labels for Africa, or Pakistan, or Southern USA, (or anywhere else for that matter)?

    As a historian, I’m sure that you are aware of the 19th century Punch cartoons of the Irish, and be aware of the obvious comparisons.

    As a Unionist and a Scot you must have despaired of the insensitiviy (even crass stupidity) of the Economist.

  38. Max and John

    I’m being mod***ted like crazy and I can’t work out why, so just to let you know what I’ve replied to your previous wotsit on the previous wotsit (and if that doesn’t get past, I give up!)

    Anthony Wells

    OK, I give up: which word am I using that’s triggering the mod***tion?

    Regards, Martyn

  39. Anthony Wells

    Wot wrod am I uisng that’s trigreing the mod***tion?

    Regrads, Martyn

  40. The interesting part of the Scottish crossbreak is that the sample is 201, whereas a normal CB sample is 150-170.

    So it’s not a case of it being particularly low, even for such a crossbreak.

    I noted too, that the Rest of South sample is rather low, so perhaps that skewed the Con / Lab results. Need more polls to settle either point.


    There are no interesting aspects of Scottish crossbreaks! :-)

    Unless you look at YG’s LD poll when they included only 81 Scots responses, then weighted them up to 152, and considered that to be a valid polling procedure – which it would have been if Scottish politics were similar to English politics).

  42. well it is nice to see pollsters agreeing that the Conservatives have taken quite a thump in support. I wonder if it would have dropped so much if there was no such thing as UKIP? DC has a serious job to do here.

  43. @OLDNAT

    “There are no interesting aspects of Scottish crossbreaks!”

    I disagree!

    Their constant shifting makes them continually interesting. :P

    For what it’s worth:

    UK 32 / 43 / 8 (the 43 is just within, the rest are outliers)
    Lon – This one is quite typical actually.
    RoS – LD’s in, the rest are out.
    Mid & Wal – Con & Lab fine. Lib out.
    North – Con out, Lab slightly high, Lib low,

    Scot – All outliers! :)

  44. 3 Polls with a 9 to 11% Lab lead.

    We only need ICM to be showing them level pegging to be certain there is a reasonable Labour lead.


    You missed out my smiley!

    It is indeed interesting that (given their huge panel membership, which they exploit on some other polls) that YouGov continues to poll Scotland as “just another GB region”.

    They have demonstrated in other polls that they can quite easily conduct a proper Scottish (and no doubt Welsh as well) poll, then merge that into a GB wide poll.

    Given the very different pattern of politics in the nations within GB, such an exercise shouldn’t be beyond the capabilities of any pollster who doesn’t simply concentrate on matters affecting politics within the M25 orbit.

  46. Wales too small! That’s a little mean. Our population is only 2 million less than yours, Old Nat. The difference between Wales and Scotland is smaller than the difference between Scotland and London…

  47. @ Old Nat

    The Skintland thing is not the first time that the Economist has had a very anti-Scottish feature. The one which I am thinking of didn’t even pretend to be funny, it was vitriolic. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw & read it; I’ve neither bought nor read the Economist since then (probably about 6 or 7 years ago).

  48. TOP HAT

    I was being generous to Anthony and his colleagues in that comment – but if you simply treat Wales as a GB region, and sample its population on a per capita basis, then the numbers polled will be very small.

    You will no doubt have noted my subsequent comment (to Statgeek) that there is absolutely no reason why YG can’t conduct proper Scottish and Welsh polls at the same time thet are conducting English polls.

    Of course, they would then have to cease their current nonsense of asking the Welsh and Scots about their attitudes to purely English issues, as if they had any relevance. Those within the M25 probably don’t understand that they don’t even rule the UK – much less the world!

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