Tonight’s polls

Tonight we should have the fortnightly Opinium poll for the Observer, plus the usual weekly YouGov poll for the Sunday Times.

Meanwhile the lastest Populus and YouGov polls from yesterday had a four point lead from YouGov – CON 35%, LAB 39%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 10% (tabs) and a seven point lead from Populus – CON 33%, LAB 40%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 9% (tabs).

92 Responses to “Tonight’s polls”

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  1. Top of the range for Lab, but significant in that it would have been a good 2-3 points outside of the range a couple of months ago.

    I suspect the Lib Dems are now holed below the water line, and I can’t see a way they’ll recover their VI. Having said that, in 1989 they were down at 6/7% and recovered to 18% by the 1992 election. We’ll see.

    UKIP continuing to do surprisingly well.

  2. @Howard

    The proposal is for Berliners to buy back ‘their’ grid when the twenty-year consession expires… I’m not sure that involes taking on Vattenfall liabilities elsewhere. After a series of reverses there is talk of them consolidating the ‘nordic’ end of the business, and pehaps selling off the rest at a loss.

  3. @Red Rag
    “Howard – Totally agree. If he can consistently get between 37-40%…..”

    or even 41%

  4. Phil – You will have to wait until next year for my post on the Labour 39%-42% range ;-)

  5. @Red Rag
    Looking forward to it. Although we’ve now had 6 YouGovs in a row when Lab has stood at 39% or higher, a level that (I think) has been equalled only once since the May elections.

  6. Unusually, I’m also looking forward to YouGov’s Christmas break this year. (Note: A betting market on the LDs failing to reach 14% with YouGov matures.)

  7. Plugged that YouGov into EC’s calculator and got a Labour majority of 108.

    We get some interesting individual results, in particular regarding the Lib Dems.

    The party loses 41 seats – 21 to Labour, 20 to the Tories (which cushions the blow from their 98 losses) and is left with 16 MPs from which to have a leadership contest. Not quite back-of-a-taxi yet but certainly could fit on a bus and have room for luggage.

    If we rule out Nick Clegg and Charles Kennedy, who’ve already done the job, we get 14. Knock off Don Foster, Mike Hancock, John Pugh, Bob Russell and Andrew Stunell on the grounds of age and relative obscurity (I’ve left Vince Cable in because he’s one of very few well-known Lib Dems despite his age).

    That brings us down to 9. Possible leadership candidates there – Vince Cable, Tim Farron, Alistair Carmichael, Ed Davey.

    Of course, it’s unlikely the LDs would be so diminished in parliament, especially if tactical ABT voting takes place.

    Prominent MPs who lose their seats on that prediction:

    Simon Hughes, Michael Moore, Caroline Lucas, Menzies Campbell, Danny Alexander, Jacob Rees-Mogg.

  8. Phil – Or put it another way, Labour have only dropped below 39% four times in the last twenty Yougov polls.

  9. @howard. Presumably you will have seen Miliband’s living wage policy. Now we are really seeing the difference between Labour and Tory policies (and New Labour ones). This makes so much sense. It can also be rolled out by paying everyone in the public sector the living wage, and those contracting with the public sector. Catherine West did it in Islington, living wage employer and over 90% of contacts to companies paying the living wage.
    It will be interesting if it shores up the Labour lead.

  10. @Mrnameless – I’m one of these folk who think LDs will do better than expected, largely based on actual results like Eastleigh, and the idea that they tend to be good at holding seats.

    What interests me is your observation that this poll suggests even losses to Lab and Con. It seems that we have tactical voting from Lab to LD in LD/Con seats, but I’m interested if there is any evidence of anti Lab tactical voting in LD/Lab seats.

    I’ve felt for a long time that we are likely to see a re emergence of anti Con tactical voting, but this is based more on feeling than evidence, and I’m interested in whether there might be a balancing effect against Lab.

  11. I would imagine in the few seats which are Lib Dem/Labour marginals with the Tories completely out of the running (Brent Central is the prime example) natural Tories would vote for the most likely non-Labour candidate.

    Very few of these seats however, and unlikely to make a big difference.

  12. “Prominent MPs who lose their seats on that prediction:

    Simon Hughes, Michael Moore, Caroline Lucas, Menzies Campbell, Danny Alexander, Jacob Rees-Mogg.”

    Oh no!! Not ole Danny!!!

  13. “Oh no!! Not ole Danny!!!”

    Meep meep!

  14. Simon Hughes, Michael Moore, Caroline Lucas, Menzies Campbell, Danny Alexander, Jacob Rees-Mogg.”

    3 of those I’ll be sorry to see go. Maybe even 4.

  15. Oh Danny boy, those exit doors are opening……I will get my coat.

  16. Menzies Campbell has already announced his retirement – so it won’t arise!


    Ming Campbell is guaranteed not to be an MP after 2015. He’s not standing as a candidate.

  18. “Oh Danny Boy, your votes, your votes are fa-alling
    And you must go, and we must wave goodbye.”

    A sad song for bedtime.

  19. GRAHAM



    Re: Campbell, you are right, I missed that announcement.


    At the same time, using Electoral Calculus for predictions in Scottish Westminster constituencies isn’t very useful.

    Pollsters trying to pretend that there is a single political system in GB (they already accept that isn’t true for UK) isn’t helpful either.

    If their clients can’t afford to conduct proper polls in all parts of the UK (and increasingly, they can’t afford to ask much in the way of political questions), then simply conducting a poll within the English system will suffice to predict the election result.

    England would have to be remarkably close between its two major parties for it to be cost effective to poll Scotland and Wales as well.

  22. @Alec

    I remember reading Prof. Curtice’s comparison of different types of seats after the last election, and he found no evidence whatsoever of Tory supporters voting tactically in Labour/Lib Dem marginals.

    @Mr Nameless

    Ashcroft’s poll surveyed seats the Tories are defending against Lib Dems, and found no net swing at all. In seats the Lib Dems hold they may be doing even better.

    When the time comes I expect Labour to make 15 or more gains from the Lib Dems. The number of Tory gains however may well be quantifiable on the finger of one hand. Local factors old even cause them to lose a seat two.

    Those two canards that often get wheeled out, gains from the Lib Dems and the first time incumbency factor, are not going to come to the Tories’ aid anywhere near as much as many of them seem to assume they will.

  23. Leadership ratings:
    Cameron -18 (+4)
    Miliband -28 (+3)
    Clegg -50 (+2)

    So Miliband still lagging behind Cameron in the leadership ratings – even when the Tories fall behind.

    Among their own supporters (Warning: Le subsamples):
    Cameron +84
    Miliband +44
    Clegg +17

    So Miliband needs to try harder at convincing his own party that he’s the right man for the job and his overall leadership ratings should largely improve.

  24. hmmm

    Con ahead in Mid/Wales (could be) and Lan taking the lead in Rest of the South (in my dreams!)

    Not likely to be a representative sample with far too many 2010 Lab voters.

    Cheering for Lab supporters though.

  25. “So Miliband needs to try harder at convincing his own party that he’s the right man for the job and his overall leadership ratings should largely improve.”

    Does he? Not if they are going to vote for him anyway, surely?

  26. “@ nickp

    “So Miliband needs to try harder at convincing his own party that he’s the right man for the job and his overall leadership ratings should largely improve.”

    Does he? Not if they are going to vote for him anyway, surely?”

    Personally I don’t think this question is particularly fair to any leader of an opposition party. Of course the current PM will receive loyal support from people who back their party. But if you are leader of the opposition, the people who say that they will support that party, will of course be less confident of the leader. It is not until they win the election and start performing as PM, that people will make a more considered judgement on leadership performance.

    As for todays polling, it is pretty positive for Labour, in that it appears to show a good performance in all parts of the UK. I think Labours focus on cost of living really does chime with the public, but they must come up with more policies, as the energy freeze boost will start to fade.

  27. @NickP

    I thought the weightings used by pollsters were designed to cope with biased samples?

  28. I think Lab’s tax breaks for living wage companies is a brilliant idea. It should be cost neutral as it cuts top up benefits. Should help with the ‘making work pay’ strategy and should push up wages at the lower end.

    It is in effect an increase in the minimum wage – without the compulsion. But gives them a lot of leeway to punish poor wage employers and reward good employers

    I hope it gets as much publicity as the energy freeze.

  29. Looking at the 2013 locals, the state of play in Lib Dem held wards on average (LD held on to 352 seats, losing 124):

    LD 30%, Con 27%, UKIP 17%, Lab 15%.

    According to Curtice: “Overall, their vote was down on four years ago by no less than 12 points. Moreover there was no evidence that the party’s vote was holding up better in its strongholds; its vote went down by 14 points in wards where they won over 45 per cent of the vote in 2009.”

    14% was how far the LD vote fell in Eastleigh… though LDs tend to do better in local and byelections?

    Any Con/UKIP “local pacts” could be a particular problem for LD in 2015.

    I can’t find a total of gains/losses party to party for the May locals, only net gains/losses… in my area of the South it seemed to be a case of Con hammering LD, UKIP hammering Con, with Lab pinching a few off Con.

  30. @Couper

    There may be plenty of scope to broaden the idea further and offer large tax breaks and preference in procurement to companies whose overall employment practices are good. For example, wages, wage ratios, amount of annual leave & sick pay offered, employee engagement etc could all be taken into account.

    Perhaps companies who are significantly better than industry average could also get to put something like a ‘Fair Work UK’ logo on their products, so people know they are a company who treats their employees well.

    There could also be a stick for bad companies, ie those who try to find loopholes in employment law, or do only the bare minimum to comply with the law, in the form of tax increases and being barred from procurement contracts.

    Speaking of loopholes in employment law, such as bogus self-employment etc, perhaps the same principle as the General Anti-Avoidance Rule for tax avoidance could be applied? Under this rule companies would be expected to comply with the spirit of employment law rather than just the letter. Trying to find loopholes in the law would then be a crime on a par with not paying the minimum wage or refusing to recognise unions.

  31. I am popping out for a bit. I may be some time, as they say – cataract, right eye, so I must concentrate on the day job for the time being; fighting the good fight for Cameron’s competition with the Chinese, (actually, for ethnic minority hill tribes impacted by hydropower in southern Laos) till it’s fixed.
    Thanks for your tolerance, and apologies for transgressions, excesses and bad Latin.
    NIEL A: Can’t go without saying that I’ld be interested in your response to my post three threads back, last post, re Tutsi and the historical Jesus. This may seem a ‘strange linkage’, but it you understand ‘bricolage’ in myth making, you get close to why religious belief plays (an often bad) part in massacres, and in political movements, eg. Tea Party v. Obamacare, Bush and Blair in Iraq. Closer to VI than you’ld imagine.

  32. Good Morning All.

    In the UK, I think that the followers of the historical Jesus are more likely to vote Labour than other parties.

  33. Jacob Rees mogg is a liberal democrat? It’s worse than I thought

  34. RoS cross-break of Con 37, Lab 38. That’s a 3.66% lead change from the average over 10 polls, so we’re talking of something like 5.5% in reality.

    Awaits Guardian headline of “Labour storms ahead of Conservatives in the South of England”.

  35. Neither the implausible RoS nor the implausible MaW cross breaks are subject to any significant reweighting, so whatever anomalies are within them wont have been exaggerated by weighting and so can be assumed to cancel out over the wider poll.

    The Lab lead (8%) amongst the 18-24s does look a bit light in the context of the rest of the poll. If that does hide a sampling error it will have been doubled by reweighting. In which case the Lab lead would be very slightly higher without the error.

    The 2010 VI shares look reasonably close to the actual result, which given that they are not weighted for explicitly gives some reassurance.

    So overall I suggest we take the message from this poll at the same face value as we do most others from YouGov.

  36. In that case, there’s been a 6.5% swing from Con to Lab in the RoS overnight. I’ll treat it as an outlier.

    As for M&W, that’s two 40s in a row for Con, but out-with trends, so possibly, possibly not.

    With the latter region being 2/3 of the former in VI population, I don’t know how one can cancel out the other nationally, especially when the larger has had a greater swing.

  37. Newport UA By-Election, Oct. 31st,

    Lab 500 (47.4; -3.4)
    LD 233 (22.1; +12.0)
    PC 167 (15.8; -2.8)
    Con 155 (14.7; -5.9)
    Majority 267
    Lab hold

    I’m curious about this one. Had the previous councillor been doing something untoward to deserve such a LD boost?

  38. @Mr Nameless

    Indeed. Read the second page of this thread and all is revealed.

  39. I’ve just discovered that a few threads back i got my C1s and C2s mixed up and made an invalid comment, which was compounded by someone agreeing with me. Fortunately I looked it up and see that C1s are ” Supervisory or clerical and junior managerial, administrative or professional” whereas the group I had in mind were C2s (skilled manual workers).

    In fact I think the C1s are the bulk of those who are active in constituency parties. Thus the move of those to Labour from Lib Dem is highly significant in terms of election activity and this has relevance to looking at UNS..

  40. @Statgeek

    You should always regard apparent anomalies in cross breaks as cancelling each other out in terms of the headline results of properly weighted national polls, providing that those cross breaks have been subject to minimal reweighting or reweighting to a similarly consistent degree. The weighted regional samples in this poll were all of a very similar size to the unweighted ones.

    The cross break that does cause some concern with YouGov is consistently the 18-24 group. That’s because the small sample is reweighted by an average multiplier of about 2, so any sampling error there will be exaggerated by the reweighting. In this poll, a sample of 123 18-24 year olds turned into a reweighted sample of 224.

  41. Looking at the questions in todays poll, I’m guessing there will be another attack on Labour for ‘being in hock to the Unions’ & having Len McCluskey yelled at every opportunity.


    Quite what the raft of questions about mobiles was intended to reflect & influence is a mystery.

  42. I see Ed has unveiled the next ‘cost of living crisis’ policy to try and help ‘hard working people’.

    Currently poor employers that pay poverty minimum wages are heavily subsidised by the tax payer in benefits.

    It is going to be hard for the Tories to argue that using working tax credit (WTC ) to subside business via low wages topped up in benefits is OK, but its not by Labour to try to move people off WTC on to a living wage and reduce the burden placed upon the tax payer.

    It also starts to address the subject of making work worthwhile for those who just work to barely exist (and there are a lot of these people out there). There should be dignity and progression peoples Labour.

    EM has made another easy to understand, but hard to counter argument that will pick away at the ‘hard working families’ theme from the Tories. You don’t need to be rich to be hard working, but you also should not be poor.

    Interesting to see how Cameron reacts to this, as he attempts to catch up with the EM curve with pressure on the Water Companies not to raise the water bills (again) this spring. …which is good.

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