The fortnightly Opinium poll for the Observer tonight has topline figures of CON 29%(+1), LAB 34%(-3), LDEM 10%(+2), UKIP 19%(+2). Opinium tend to show higher figures for UKIP and consequently some of the lowest figures for the Conservatives and Labour (something that’s probably due to a lack of any political weighting) so the low Conservative and Labour scores are not actually that remarkable, though for the record the Labour score is the lowest Opinium have shown since 2010 (though of course, back them when Labour were on 34 it put them four points behind the Tories, now it puts them five points ahead!). Tabs are here.

95 Responses to “Opinium/Observer – CON 29, LAB 34, LD 10, UKIP 19”

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  1. @RAF
    But Owen did refuse to join the LibDems, on the grounds that the Social Democratic strand in the new party wouldn’t survive. I suppose it depends on how you assess “left wing”.

    His support for Ed Miliband isn’t really news though, this was reported a year ago. Surely he can’t be after a job?

  2. @Mrnameless

    “CON 34 LAB 38 LD 9 UKIP 12”

    Total 93…where that 1% or 2% gone?

    Greens, nationalists or others?

  3. Raf
    Warmonger ? I I R C, Owen was famous for using Diplomacy (albeit the thick edge of) to prevent us having to go to war with Argentina in the late ’70s.

  4. Good Morning All.

    It was a tragedy, for people like me, that David Owen, Shirley Williams, Bill Rodgers and Vincent Cable were driven out of the Labour Party, or at least felt they could not stay in the early 1980’s.

  5. @” Dear old Roy Jenkins”

    ” “more a socialite than a socialist”

    As dear old Harold explained.

  6. COLIN.
    Good Morning to you.

    Roy Jenkins was the only Labour luminary ever to visit Harold Wilson in his sad illness-bound retirement. I think he was the best ever Chancellor, leaving Office with a budget and current account surplus.

    On the other matter from yesterday, since colleagues on UKPR suggested I check the facts, the following figures should give Ed M much food for thought:

    Our grey socialist, John Smith won 40% of the vote in May 1994.

    The June 1994 European Elections were won by Margaret Beckett’s Labour Party with 44%.
    In the 1995 Local Elections, new Labour under TB won 48% of the vote.

  7. When you look at the tables for todays ST YG poll, if it were not for older Tory Daily Mail readers, Labour would have had a bigger lead. When you look at some of the results to the questions, it is also noticeable that Tory and UKIP supporters hold similar views. eg. the Labour NCCL questions.

  8. @R Huckle

    Good Morning!

    “if it were not for older Tory Daily Mail readers, Labour would have had a bigger lead”

    …if it had gone in the net, it would have been a goal. :))

  9. @ Chris Lane,

    I think “flounced out” is the verb you’re looking for…

    @ R Huckle,

    Surely it’s true of every poll that if it were not for older Tories, Labour would have a bigger lead?

  10. Our grey socialist, John Smith won 40% of the vote in May 1994.
    I must’ve been asleep & missed that GE.

  11. Interesting to see on the D Mail Harman spat that people are equally divided although there is a slight lead amonst those thinking that she and her husband should apologise, dividing mainly along party lines and age lines. It is also clear that the majority are against the D Mail (no surprise) and finally as i suspected little sign of any effect on the polls (again no surprise). Harman in low profile at the moment I gather she pulled out of delivering the last speech yesterday. I guess that is just about the end of the story now.

    Too early to see if yesterdaysLabour Party vote will have any effect. Labour were unlucky in that the Ukraine was the main story of yesterday and today. Ed M ratings still very poor -34 compared with Cameron on -12.

    Somewhat surprised at the small Labour lead in this mornings YouGov as the Government did not seem to have a good week last week. Immigration figures seem to have no impact. I guess people know that controlling it is very difficult while we remain in the EU. I always thought it a very foolish promise that Cameron made.

  12. Peter Shore on John Smith…

    “lucid, authoritative, masterly in his marshalling of fact and argument; [a speech] punctuated by quick-thinking repartee at the expense of those opposite who ventured to intervene…

    never denied or departed from his right-wing stance”

    John Smith was, along with Roy Jenkins (architect of the “civilised society”), one of the sixty-nine labour MPs who sided with Ted Heath over entry into the Commin Market in 1972.

    Smith was also fully commited to rejoining the ERM at the earliest opportunity, economic and monetary union and a single currency.

    Whether US administrations of the time would have been keen to see the UK fully throw their weight behind the Euro is open to question, but from his point of view a shift from the Anglo-Saxon model, towards European social democracy would balance any downsides.

    Just watching some RT news Re: Ukraine and Crimea. It looks more complicated than perhaps our media has represented it.

    Now that the Russian military are officially in place with the authority of Putin and the Russian Parliament, I think you can take it that they won’t go away. Realpolitik rather than rhetoric are likely to determine that, after a year or three of stand off and loud noises from the USA and less loud noises from the UN and EU, Crimea will secede to the Russian Federation.

  14. @Other Howard

    that is a very fair summing up of the poll, I like that, thank you.

    I was going to write something like that, although I note that more of the core 2010 Lab vote switched to Con than 2010 Con to Lab in this poll, might be something to do with the HH story this week, we will have to see

  15. FloatingVoter

    Thanks, I tend to think that the over 60s have a different view of sexual morality than those younger. As I posted a couple of days ago to my mind more harm has come out of the so called sexual revolution of the 60s and 70s than good, but I accept this is probably a minority view.

  16. @ Statgeek & Speamint

    I like stating the obvious !

    It was more a comment that older people polled may read newspapers more than younger people. Not that the newspapers will affect the way they vote, but it can affect what they believe on certain issues.

    I think there was some polling awhile back, that 60% of people who read the Daily Mail were Tories. I also thought that pollsters did to a certain extent select their polling sample by newspaper readership, so if this is the case, they will always pick up a good proportion of older Tories who read the DM.

  17. @TOH

    Looking at approve/disapprove (in Opinium) I see DC at -10 and EM at -17 which is very (and surprisingly) close.
    Also more (47%) disapprove of DC than EM (43%)
    EM is clear winner in the Don’t know category – 31% to 15% – which I suppose is not surprising.
    Were you looking at a different poll or have I loused up?

  18. @Neil A

    I stand by my comments that David Owen is a warmonger. He enthusiastically supported the Iraq War, but that is not the worst of it. In Bosnia he consistently appeased the Serbs, sought to force the Serbian terms of settlement on the Bosnians and refused to allow the the Bosnians to be armed when he must have been aware what the Serbs were planning for various Bosnian towns.

    This is all a matter of public record.


    Those with the ‘Locals’.
    It was stated last night that John Smith’s Old Labour Party was doing very well, prior to his tragic death.

  20. CL1945

    Thanks. I didn’t know that.

    I never liked ( perhaps “trusted” is a better word ) Jenkins.

    Wilson’s illness was indeed very sad. We know Scilly well & the Wilson’s bungalow on St. Mary’s always strikes me as a poignant place. It is a very unassuming, little house & just up the hill from Old Town churchyard where Wilson is buried. The view from the church yard over Old Town Bay is stunning-one of my favourite places.

  21. I mentioned to Mrs H that you were discussing Lord Owen. ‘Oh, the snot nose’ she exclaimed. Perhaps Helmut Schmidt’s description was a little harsh.

  22. Guymonde

    I was looking at the standard YouGov questions “Do you think David Cameron is doing well as Prime Minister, Ed M as leader of the opposition etc etc”. I tend to stick with the trends shown by YouGov Polls we have more of them and have done since the election.

  23. Well I’m 61, so does that put me in the over 60’s? I remember the anti-Vietnam demo’s in those halcyon days of the early ’70s. Marching on Grosvenor square chanting “Make Love Not War”. Ah such happy memories

  24. Re: Harold Wilson. His statue in Huddersfield is one of my favourites of any British Prime Minister, alongside the Gladstone statue in Albert Square, Manchester.

    My all time favourite “Leader Statue” is still FDR in Grosvenor Square.

  25. Valerie

    Perhaps I should have said over 65’s or over 70’s and i said my view was probably a minority view. I shall refrain from commenting further on how awful i thought the 70’s were in many ways although they were good for me as I posted last week.

  26. apologies all


  27. When David Owen was foreign secretary my union, CPSA (as it was then, now PCS), held a one day strike. Members picketed the Foreign Office on a day David Owen was due to meet a Chinese delegation. We asked him not to cross the picket line but he refused and went in.

    Although our members had no intention of trying to stop the Chinese delegation going in as they were only trying to stop people who worked at the Foreign Office going in, the delegation stopped and asked why our members were standing outside with placards etc. When it was explained to them they said they wouldn’t cross the picket line as they believed in workers’ solidarity!

  28. @RAF:

    Not sure that you can simultaneously be a warmonger and an appeaser. I’m not a great fan of David Owen but I believe he’s sincere in his concern for the NHS.

    Incidentally, is Putin’s sabre-rattling going to affect Friday’s Winter Paralympics?

  29. @TOH
    Actually Howard it’s ’70s – an abbreviation of 1970s. Something I learned at school and was reminded of by Robbie Alive.. Our teacher, Mrs Arbuthnot also drilled us on apostrophes and when to use ‘less’ or ‘fewer’. I loved grammar.

  30. And “over 65s”.

  31. @Guymonde

    “Were you looking at a different poll or have I loused up?”

    No, looking at the same poll differently, I suspect. We’re all guilty on occasions! lol

    @Mr Nameless

    There is, or certainly was (I haven’t been for a long time), a pub in Harold Wilson’s old Huyton constituency called “The Pipe and Gannex”. I hope it is still there and people are still using it because I always thought it was a fine and fitting tribute to our former PM. No grand statue, just a pub commemorating the man and two of his most famous and symbolic possessions; his pipe and his mac


    Did you watch that two part documentary ITV did called, rather prosaically, “Harold: The Wilson Years”? It was screened in 2003 and critically acclaimed as a fine and balanced account of his life and political career. The encounter he had with Jenkins at his Scilly Isles home, virtually at the end of his life, was covered and Jenkins gives a very moving account of it. You might well be able to dig it up on YouTube if you’re interested.

  32. @mrnameless

    The A13 in Limehouse can be a grim arterial road, but it is dotted with gems, like Hawksmoor’s St Anne’s… and for many years this statue of Clement Attlee (it has now been moved to the Queen Mary campus).


  33. @ ChrisLane45

    It was stated last night that John Smith’s [Old?] Labour Party was doing very well, prior to his tragic death.
    It was; 40% was a great result in the locals at that time. There’s little doubt that the Labour Party would’ve got John Smith into government. Sadly it was not to be & it was Tony Blair (standing on the shoulders of giants) who became PM when Labour won the election.

  34. It’s also likely that a Smith government would have reformed the voting system so we’d now be living in a very different world politically.

  35. Valerie,

    Good, was she, your Mrs. Arbuthnot?

  36. “Good, was she, your Mrs. Arbuthnot?”

    She was correct anyway.

  37. I am not fond of statues. There is a misconception that some people are more remarkable than others. This fallacy leads to statues.

  38. You cant compare the 1994 local elections with the 1995 local elections as they would have been for different council seats.

  39. @ Howard

    There is a misconception that some people are more remarkable than others. This fallacy leads to statues.
    And to presidential style politics – where individuals with large egos believe ’twas they who got their Party into government rather than t’other way round!

  40. New thread.

  41. Reggieside – actually that’s the whole point of Rallings & Thrasher’s Nationalial Equivalent Share of the vote, to account for the different seats up for election each year and allow a fair comparison between one set of local elections and another.

    R&T’s projection for 1994 was C 28, L 40, LD 27
    Their projection for 1995 was C 25, L 47, LD 23

  42. Crossbat

    Looks like it’s still there but needs an enthusiastic landlord. Could this be your chance?

  43. Valerie

    Thanks for the correction, my mild dyslexia has been an irritation all my life although of course it was not understood in my school days. My teachers despaired of me but I still passed the 11 plus and went on to get a degree. Fortunately for most of my working life i had a secretary so it wasn’t a problem then

  44. Good Afternoon All.

    Thanks for that tip on Harold, will look it up after returning from Latin singing.

    I checked those facts on the Local Elections. The May 94 Locals had Labour on 40% June 94 in the wake of John Smith’s death the figure was 44%. In May 1995 it was 47% according to R and T, although the actual vote share in May 1995 was 48%.

    I am sorry, but my memory differs from yours on reactions to the May 1994 results.

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