Tonight’s polls

I’m not in tonight to write up any new polling, but I’m expecting the fortnightly Opinium poll for the Observer and the usual weekly YouGov poll for the Sunday Times. Given the publication of the white paper in the week it’s possible we may see some fresh Scottish polling too, though I don’t actually know of any yet – we shall see.

78 Responses to “Tonight’s polls”

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  1. Anthony

    You really must give up this habit of doing things that “ordinary” people do, What will be interesting, however, is when you come back and explain to us all that we have got the interpretation of tonight’s polls all wrong. :-)

  2. I suspect that there must be a good poll for the No side tonight, because Yes has just lengthened significantly over at Betfair. Now 6 was 5.5 earlier.

  3. Not polling and not in anyway substantive, but I noticed the positive / negative comments in one or two Scotsman articles since the white paper was released. More significantly, since the Sturgeon / Carmichael debate (although if the Scotsman has an article on said debate, I can’t find it).

    They seem to be shifting slightly more towards the indepedence-minded and away from the unionist-minded.

    All supposition, but one notices things change subtly from time to time. They might be back other way within a week.

  4. Statgeek, do you still do your periodical analyses of Scottish sub-samples? If so, what is the latest score? And a brief reminder of your methodology would not go amiss. Ta.

  5. I think the white paper made it clear the arguments are complex, and the cost/benefit analysis is hard to judge.

    This is why I think what the heart says will be significant in the final vote.

    Left to a hard analysis, I think the yes case looks tricky, and I would expect the status quo – a no vote.

    However, I judge the yes campaign to more positive and idealistic (characteristics lacking in much of politics), and I would not under estimate the chance of Alex doing well.

  6. @Stuart Dickson

    By ‘periodical analyses’ I assume you mean ‘you haven’t updated your site for a bit’. :))

    I was intending doing it this weekend, as it happens.

    Current MAD of 30 polls up to and including poll of 28/11:

    Lab 39.4%
    SNP 25.9%
    Con 18.5%
    Lib 7.9%
    UKIP 4.3%
    Green 2.1%

    Electoral Calculus has the seat changes for these figures as:

    Lab 43 (+2)
    SNP 8 (+2)
    Lib 5 (-6)
    Con 3 (+2)

    Con, Lab & SNP all gaining 2 seats each from Lib. No other changes.

    MAD methodology:

  7. ON – priceless and I actually did LOL

    ” What will be interesting, however, is when you come back and explain to us all that we have got the interpretation of tonight’s polls all wrong. :-)”

  8. Is there usually a time-lag from fieldwork to publication for Independence/referendum polls?

    Have to say I was expecting some at least one pollster to conduct an instant reaction poll (ie white paper +24hrs), if only to extend newsworthiness, or create the impression of some momentum either way … but perhaps that’s what we’ll get anyway.

  9. Visitors to this site may be interested in my candidates’ list for the 2015 election:

  10. This scotland thread is incredibly tedious and boring.

  11. Opinium/Observer poll.

    Labour 35 (-2), Tories 28 (n/c), Ukip 19 (+3), Libs 8 (-1).

    Why do these people score UKIP so highly compared with other polls ?

  12. @ANDY JS

    Well I’ll give you credit for being bang up to date. I see you have Tim Young as the Labour Party candidate for Clacton. We only selected him today!

  13. Opinium

    Scottish sub sample

    No tables given but SNP adjusted 50 out of 170. If we assume same 26% don’t know , don’t care as in the UK sample then it becomes 50 out of 126 and puts the NATS on 40%!

    All a bit of a stretch I know and just a sub sample etc etc but perhaps a wee straw in a big wind?

    Is it why YES has gone to 5.3 Stewart?

  14. R Huckle

    “Why do these people score UKIP so highly compared with other polls ?”

    Presumably because they don’t apply such drastic weighting to their raw voting figures, which assumes that current voting preferences will be ditched and drift back towards the party voting levels in 2010. Populus is a notable example.

  15. Norbold – Will he win?

  16. Norbold – Will he win?

    Presumably Clacton will be swamped by benefit claimants rehoused from Islington.
    You might think they are natural Labour voters but they will be grateful to IDS for turning their life around, so Norbold may be disappointed.


    Had a look at the Opinium site and they say

    “All those that state they intend to ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ vote for a specific party are included in the final calculation, and are all treated as equal. This is due to the fact that the aim of this survey is to accurately estimate the current voting intentions of the public, rather than predict the levels of voter turnout.”

    Until Anthony tells me I’m wrong (!), I’m going to assume that other pollsters may find that the demographics of those with a UKIP VI leads them to weight UKIP responses down.

  18. Clacton seems very unlikely for Douglas Carswell to lose. That said, when it was Harwich was won for Labour in 1997 thanks to a very strong showing (9%) from the Referendum Party.

    Parallels thus drawn, I imagine Norbold will be hoping for UKIP to do rather well.

  19. @Stuart D, @Statgeek

    BTW Ladbrokes odds of 4/5 on the SNP to pick up at least 1 seat represent by some way the best odds of any current bet available on GE 2015.

    IMO of course. But I have yet to see anyone on this site entertain the possibility that they will end up with no more seats than they won at GE 2010.

  20. Old Nat,

    Until Anthony tells me I’m wrong (!), I’m going to assume that other pollsters may find that the demographics of those with a UKIP VI leads them to weight UKIP responses down.

    Huh??? The demographics of Ukip are they’re old and home-owning. They’re the most likely to vote of any party’s supporters. (You might have to deduct a few points for being more heavily CDE than the Tories, but even so.) And Ukip success in the local elections and byelections supports this- if their supporters were less likely to vote than the other parties we’d expect them to underperform their Westminster polling intention in a low-turnout election, but instead they dramatically outperform it.

  21. Sorry this post is about independence, but 4 country poll shows hostility to the country talking about independence from the Union.


    Depends on whether some pollsters use the individual’s previous voting tendency, or other demographic aspects, as a weighting factor, I suppose.

  23. That poor guy, the asylum seeker on hunger strike, who was deported is back in Britain after a 20 hour flight. The private jet hired to deport him, was refused entry into Nigerian airspace – so returned via Malta who were none too pleased about the plane using their airstrip – he is now back in the detention centre. I don’t know how much people will care about this asylum seeker but he is obviously terrified to return home and really would it be that hard to get him well and look at his case again?

  24. First time I’ve thought about it but, given the huge importance of the referendum to the Scots and the fact that other important referenda have a greater than 50% target to secure agreement, I’m surprised that is not the case here.

    If 49.99 % of Scots vote to stay part of the Union, then leaving it, with such a tiny majority in favour could be hard to accept.

    As I am not stupid |I realise the same is true in reverse. However when one is wanting to change the status quo in such a dramatic way I really do believe that a reasonable majority should be required.

  25. Carswell is unbeatable, I suspect. 10,000 vote majority in a seat in which the Lib Dems are already pretty squeezed, a clever, active incumbent who has actually increased the membership of his constituency Conservative Association since he got in, and he’s rightwing enough that Ukip don’t have a strong case to make against him.


    I’d respectfully you of Anthony’s insistence that the topic you refer to should NOT be discussed.

  27. @Rosie et al

    In any significant referendum any narrow result in either direction is a bad result. I agree that a narrow Yes or a narrow No would be equally bad for Scotland.

  28. Ooops sorry. I withdraw my comment.


    I don’t think Anthony would have any objection to your rephrasing it in the context of the four-country poll. I linked to though.

    There’s never been any ban on that.

  30. on

    “I’d respectfully you of Anthony’s insistence ……..”

    Que? No comprende.


    Thanks for the reminder that I omitted to include the word “remind” between “respectfully” and “you”.


    Thanks for the reminder that I omitted to include the word “remind” between “respectfully” and “you”.

    Ah !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I get it now !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thankyou for your respect.


    Just listened to a v funny Mitchell and Webb radio prog in which – using Thomas Hardy and Charles Dickens – they take the piss out of people who use “smiley” and “sad” faces as visual clues as to the meaning of their previous words.



  34. Of course Labour won’t win Clacton. Labour won the area in 1997 & 2001 because it was linked with Harwich; once that link was broken, it became a near-impossible seat for Labour despite the well-documented deprivation of some of it. Nevertheless I wish Tim all the best. I used to know a Tim Young in the Labour Party in my area (Richmond) but I am pretty sure it would be a different one.

  35. @Oldnat

    Interesting link that.

    “Clegg said next year’s European elections represented a key test and attacked those intent on taking Britain out of the EU.”

    Also note some of the comments:

    “We could do what the Atlanticist traitors in the Conservative Party and UKIP want, leave Europe and become an American state we are half way there already.”

    “I often wonder why they don’t bugger off and live there.”

    …but swap ‘Atlanticist’ for ‘Europhile’, and Con/UKIP for Lab/Lib…

    I sometimes wonder if both lots can sod off to these wonderous places and leave us normal Brits in peace.

  36. HOWARD


    :-) :-)

  37. Opinium’s GB poll tables for its insular poll is here –

    No links to its poll of other Union members, just the article linked to up thread..

  38. That four country poll looks far more interesting than the Gaurdian’s fairly useless reporting of it.

    A number of things strike me. Firstly, the overwhelming pro EU sentiment in Poland, with only 13% saying it’s a bad thing. The cynic in me is tempted to say so what – ask a net beneficiary country whether the EU is a good thing and what do you expect.

    However, the Poles, as many other smaller EU countries (and probably some quite large ones too) have a completely different mindset to the EU than we do, and one that we really need to appreciate. Poland has only been a ‘proper’ country for a few short decades over the last several centuries, and they see EU membership as providing a rock on which to base their independence. We in the UK find this weird, but Poles are happy to foresake an element of sovereignty as a means to protect their freedom.

    The other number on the good thing/bad thing question that looks really rather interesting is the French result, at 36/34. Anet +2% of French people thinking the EU is a good thing sounds really quite staggering to me, and well worthy of comment. Perhaps the link is on the EU immigration policy, where 64% in the UK and 59% in France think it is having a negative effect.

    The other eye catching number was on whether people worried about the UK leaving the EU. 36% of German’s said it would have a negative effect – surprisingly high I would have thought, but 51% of Poles said the same. Clearly, the Poles want the UK in there.

    What this poll actually tells me is not what the Guardian claims at all. To me, it suggests that there are many opinions within the EU that are close to ours, and many potential allies. If we were able to start generating constructive alliances and positive relationships, we might end up finding we had willing helpers in our attempts to reshape the rules.

  39. Norbold — I try to keep it updated every day with the latest selections. I don’t make any assumptions. If you know of any I’ve missed please let me know.

  40. Opinium percentages (2010 UK GE % in brackets)

    Con 28% (36%)
    Lab 35% (29%)
    UKIP 19% (3%)
    L_D 8% (23%)
    Grn 4% (1%)
    SNP 4% (2%)
    BNP 1% (2%)
    P_C 1% (1%)

  41. ALEC

    We don’t know from the “4 country poll” whether it was actually polled in “UK” or “GB”, so maybe a bit premature to say that “we in the UK” find “membership [of a political union] as providing a rock on which to base their independence” as “weird”.

    Other than that, I broadly agree with what you say.

    Given their histories, France and England might be expected to share some attitudes.

    The Polish response doesn’t seem at all unexpected, though, given the number of Poles who have settled in, and integrated with the UK. If the UK leaves the EU, then they have to apply for visas to remain in the UK.

  42. @OldNat

    And in the event of a referendum presumably the Poles and any other resident EU citizens can be expected to vote to stay in.

  43. ROGERH

    I presume (although I don’t know – Westminster could decide to use the Local Government register ) that in a UK referendum on EU membership, that it would be based on the electoral register that is used for Westminster elections.

    In which case, “Poles and any other resident EU citizens” will not be entitled to a vote.

  44. @Alec

    Likewise watching the Ukraine protests put things into perspective. They don’t want close ties and eventual inclusion with the EU so they can all come over to the UK to get benefits. They want them to improve Ukraine, have better markets, a fairer protection of international agreements, and freedom from Russian attempts to influence their government.

    The people of Ukraine know all about corrupt anti-democratic bureaucracy… And they don’t think that describes the EU, but certainly see it from Russia.

  45. @AndyJS

    Thank you for the spreadsheet.

  46. Well UKIP do seem to be drifting up this week.

    And what has the week been about? Immigration according to the Populus most noticed political stories

    Labour have recovered somewhat since the end of Sept/Oct. According to populus the most noticed political stories at that time were energy prices

    The conservatives recovered after the local elections until energy prices and the Syria debacle. Most noticed news stories of that period – Lee Rigby, G8 summit, basically opportunities for Cameron to play statesman that he was good at until Syria.

    And prior to that it was UKIP’s turn from around Oct last year until the local elections when news was dominated by Europe and EU referendums and UKIP doing better than expected in by elections.

    So if we just look at the news agenda, we can judge the polling results. “tough on immigration”; “EU Referendum” = UKIP should benefit. “Cost of living, price rises” = Labour should benefit. “International statesman” = conservatives should benefit.


    There is a problem about talking about “people of Ukraine” and “they” having a view about Russia.

    The borders between Russia and the former Soviet republics are the borders of those former republics. They are not borders between “peoples”.

    The Soviet Empire encouraged (sometimes forced) Russians into the other republics to ensure that they conformed. That’s what Russification meant.

    Whether, in time, those new states can create a common feeling among their population that all who live and work there are inclusively citizens, remains to be seen.

    There are lots of historical examples where new states have done that – and lots where they haven’t.

    In the meantime, applying the concepts that may be appropriate to a Western European “nation state” is profoundly dangerous – as the response to the Georgia/North Ossetia conflict showed.


    I must have included one of Anthony’s “naughty words” within my post in response to yours on the Ukraine.

    Suffice to say that you can’t talk about the people of the Ukraine as a single national entity as you appear to do.

  49. @YouGov: Update: Labour lead at 8 – Latest YouGov/ Sunday Times results 29th Nov – Con 30%, Lab 38%, LD 10%, UKIP 15%; APP -28

    Low for Labour and Cons high for LDs and UKIP

  50. @Couper2802

    But don’t you think that Richard’s comment is very perceptive

    ‘So if we just look at the news agenda, we can judge the polling results. “tough on immigration”; “EU Referendum” = UKIP should benefit. “Cost of living, price rises” = Labour should benefit.’

    Even though the yougov poll for Sunday shows great support for all of the Cons ideas on immigration, this opinion poll suggests that the voting support goes to UKIP.

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