We’ve had a busy day of voting intention polls today, four polls from Populus, Ashcroft, YouGov and ComRes, and three of them showing the same lead. Topline figures are:

Ashcroft: CON 31%, LAB 31%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 18%, GRN 5% (tabs)
Populus: CON 34%, LAB 36%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 3% (tabs)
YouGov/Sun: CON 32%, LAB 32%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 18%
ComRes/Indy: CON 30%(+1), LAB 30%(-5), LDEM 9%(-1), UKIP 19%(+4), GRN 4%(nc) (tabs)

Leaving aside the tendency of Populus to show higher support for the Conservatives and Labour and lower support for others, the picture is pretty consistent. Three polls (as well as YouGov and Opinion polls at the weekend) are showing the same story – Labour and Conservative equal, and UKIP still polling very strongly. Whether there is any link there is a different matter – perhaps UKIP’s ongoing rise has attracted people who were previously saying they’d vote Labour (though not necessarily people who voted Labour in 2010) who see UKIP as a better anti-government vote, but there is always churn beneath the topline figures and things may very well be more complicated than a straight transfer between the two.

576 Responses to “Latest Ashcroft, Populus, ComRes and YouGov polls”

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  1. @rosieanddaisie

    Not great by the sound of it… probably kept down a year or two If Maura was teaching him during the Thatcher era.

  2. R&D

    See what you mean! All I can say is if I had taught old Rich I’d have told him the poll tax was a baaad plan.

  3. Dave
    I think the clue to ECHR’s jurisdiction is in the E bit.

  4. “Corporal punishment was still legal in Britain until 1948.”

    1999 in England, 2000 in Scotland and 2003 in Northern Ireland.

  5. Was he the bloke in the car park’s dad?

  6. I’m hearing talk of a strong showing for the Greens in Tonight’s YouGov. Their best so far with YouGov has been 7% a couple of weeks ago. They had 8% with Ashcroft a couple of days later, which equalled a 25-year high…

  7. Pups

    Re Richard II
    Ha. You made me chortle. Keep ’em coming!

  8. @Robin Hood,
    With regard to previous general election campaigns the Tory lead actually declined in 1959- 1964- Feb 1974 and 1987. It increased in 1983 and 1992 – though in the former it was due to a swing from Labour to the Alliance rather than any increase in Tory support.


    Absolutely agree. There’s a different feeling about in some areas regarding ‘immigrants’ however they are defined and it’s not nice.

    As an anecdote – and I accept that’s all it is – my partner (to whom I’ve been married for nearly 40 years and who has been resident in the UK for almost all that time) was in a small town recently and had to consult a map. A well-dressed man walking past, and to whom my partner hadn’t spoken, said loudly ‘If you want the benefit office it’s that way’. Of course my partner is black and the place seemed about 95 percent white.

    A few years ago we really thought things like that we’re in the past

  10. HOWARD.
    Do car parks have Dad’s?

    Were Labour were ahead in the polls at the start of 1987

  11. Interesting that Home was faced by Harold in 1964 and Heath faced by Harold in Feb 74.

    Ed is no Harold.

    Cameron is no Heath.

  12. Dave

    We won’t quibble over “Corporal punishment was still legal in Britain until 1948)”. Well, actually I will! :-)

    It was still legal in Northern Ireland private schools until 2003.

    I wholly agree with you about “past bad government of the country as a whole taking insufficient account of regional views and needs.” Even talking about “regional” in that context is good evidence of that.

    I also agree that “Scotland has answered NO to the question ‘Should Scotland be an independent nation?’ by a 10% margin.

    There are two views of what the UK is/should be. One would be the unitary state (that it has never been). The other is that the UK is a “family of nations”, in which one member is not entitled to impose its will upon the others.

    Both are perfectly valid positions.

    While we have not yet had polling on the numbers who identify with each, my suspicion is that the views in Scotland would favour the latter over the former by roughly 2:1 – the proportion that want Devo-Max as the constitutional settlement for the UK.

    Both the SNP submission to the Smith Commission and the proposed amendment to an EU Referendum Bill are not made in the expectation that the House of Commons will accede to them! They are defining positions of what Devo Max should actually look like in the UK that a majority of Scots agreed to stay in.

  13. “Cameron is no Heath.”

    In what way? And better or worse?

  14. In not being a great organist and yachtsman?

  15. @OldNat

    It was judicial corporal punishment that was abolished in the UK in 1948 (although it continued in the Isle of Man until 1976). Corporal punishment of children in schools continued until 1999/2000/2003 but remains legal in other circumstances (e.g. by a parent in the home).

  16. @Maura

    I blame war for dehumanising us. How many have we been involved in in the last 10-15 years or so?

  17. Corporal punishment in state schools was abolished with effect from September 1987.

  18. Chrislane,
    End of December 1986 to mid January 1987 saw Tory leads of up to 8%. Then came Labour’s disastrous Greenwich byelection in late February.
    Will Rochester & Strood be a Tory Greenwich?

  19. @ Rosie’n’Daisie

    ” At the time I was teaching Richard ll ”

    Name dropper. Anyway, what was he like as a pupil?
    LOL! That’s soooo funny. :-)

  20. @Peter Crawford

    There’s little doubt that what started the erosion of Labour’s position was Ed Miliband’s lacklustre conference speech in September. The leader’s performance at his final conference before a general election is crucial and Miliband blew it.

    I’ve analysed YG data for 2014, and I disagree with this.

    The date that Labour VI started to dip was the end of August 2014 – when Douglas Carswell announced he was defecting to UKIP.

    This is also when the Con + Lab share of VI dipped too.

    (graph below)


  21. Some posters -The Other Howard, Phil Haines, Academic and Crossbat11 have discussed the basis on which the UK joined the European Union.

    Did Britain think that she was joined something different, a Free-Trade area, and then found that she had joined a move towards ever-closer union?

    I remember one thing. When Britain joined the EU Denmark and Ireland joined at the same time. Denmark said at this time of joining that they were a little hesitant, having reservations about potential German domination, but they said that they were encouraged by the fact that Britain was joining. Denmark thought that they saw things in a similar way to Britain.

    Now, more than forty years have passed, and Britain seems to find faults with the EU and threatens to leave. It is interesting to see what happened with Denmark over this period.

    Denmark has not joined the euro. It has had referendums etc. However, basically Denmark has thrived and is happy in the EU.

    It makes me think that perhaps the anti-EU sentiment in Britain is excessive and not justified.

  22. All this talk of “going to the nearest government or benefit office” – considering the closure of local offices, chance would be a fine thing!

    As for Denmark, considering their geographical and economic position, being in the EU but outside the Euro is just about perfect I would have thought!

  23. Murphy has announced his intent to stand as SLab leader.

    i presume he has recognised that Miliband, E was going to offer him nothing at Westminster. Always a problem in politics, backing the wrong horse.

  24. On the basis that all the pollsters bar Populus have Labour and the Tories now more or less neck-and-neck, shouldn’t we soon be seeing the odd Tory lead popping up by dint of MOE variability?

    Tonight, perhaps?

    If so, expect Robin Hood to hit the keyboards very soon thereafter, presuming they let him out after 10.00pm, that is.


  25. @Crossbat11

    Based on the last 5 YG, the odds are:

    Lab lead 53%
    Tie 27%
    Con Lead 20%

  26. Lab have dropped for sure, but are very stable at about 33.0%.

    The Conservatives are much less stable at 32.4%

  27. @OldNat

    So as I understand it, Finlay is the pro-Independence candidate; Murphy fighting for Labour in Scotland to remain in the Union with some minor changes, and Boyack the Devo-Max option.

  28. Interesting news about a Lib Dem wanting an LD/Green pact.

    Based on the views of the Greens I know, this is very unlikely.

  29. RAF

    Nope. Murphy & Boyack were the co-authors of the Review that put the current structure of SLab in place.

    All of them know full well that SLab cannot be autonomous as they have too few members paying too little in membership fees, and too few donors.

    If it were to operate as an autonomous unit it would have to pay its own way. Because it can’t it relies on subsidy from the GB party and, consequently, will have to do as they are told by the GB Leader.

  30. @Catmanjeff

    “Based on the last 5 YG, the odds are:
    Lab lead 53%
    Tie 27%
    Con Lead 20%”

    Interesting and I hadn’t looked at the statistical probability in that detail. Still, I suppose if things are really neck-and-neck between the Big Two, then the odd Tory lead must be inevitable.

  31. Sorry to digress from the current conversation but I thought some of you might enjoy this:

    “More fundamental was [Labour’s] automatic acceptance of the notion that their opposition must remain confined… their defensive fear that the organization of any other kind of opposition, particularly before a General Election, would expose them to the accusation of wilful disregard of the ‘national interest’. They were in any case accused of that in the following days and weeks. And so they had the worst of both worlds: they went into opposition; and the manner in which they went into opposition condemned them to ineffectualness.”

    10 points to anyone who can give me the author’s name and the year he’s discussing!

  32. I think labour will be wise to choose Murphy.
    Most politicians I do not like or dislike but rather I agree or disagree with their views. Murphy is one of the few I actually like as a person. He is quite genuine and does not have the multiple faces of an ordinary politicians. Believe it or not I like Peter Bone and William Hague for similar reasons. I have very little time for Glenda Jackson or Chris Bryant also for similar reasons but their single faces are aggressive and malicious.
    This is nothing political but the reason I mention it is because of the importance of a good face on a party not only in terms of policy but also words. Who is promoted within a party seriously affect their standing in the polls.
    Labour promoting Jim Murphy is a good idea, promoting Chris Bryant isn’t.
    Oh… sorry, maybe I’m not quite representative of the population anyway. I’ve typed a penny’s worth of thoughts.

  33. When I say ‘nothing political’ I mean nothing partisan.

  34. 1931 as the year?

  35. @Graham/Chris Lane1945

    I thought Dr Chris Hanretty of East Anglia University was interesting last night on Newsnight. He attempted a prediction when pushed (Tories win popular vote, Labour most seats), but he admitted that 2015 will be the most difficult election of all time to predict with any degree of accuracy. The decline in support for the three traditional old parties, the multiplicity of smaller parties, regional peculiarities, the new promiscuity of voting habits (27% of the electorate now associate with no party); all this made for an impending election like no other. Accordingly, I think it’s almost a wholly pointless exercise looking for clues in elections that took place a quarter of a century or more ago.

    Matthew Taylor, also on Newsnight last night, said something quite interesting too. He talked about the old electoral cookbook that the Blair Governments almost took to be gospel. Ahead on economic credibility and leadership qualities, and elections were in the bag; so said the cookbook. The Tories have the recipe but can’t seem to bake the cake. Rather than Labour’s current woes, Taylor contended, that fact is probably the most extraordinary and potentially significant of them all.

  36. Reginald

    “I think labour will be wise to choose Murphy.”

    I suspect that your view may be coloured by knowing next to nothing about the MSP candidates.

    On your criteria, were I still to be in SLab, I’d vote for Sarah Boyack. If I were in one of the affiliate organisations, and had a vote, Murphy would get my vote – for entirely partisan reasons!

  37. BBC News “Jim Murphy says he is ‘big enough and ugly enough not to be pushed around” by Labour HQ’.”

    I suspect Ed Miliband will be giggling over that idea!

  38. OldNat

    There’s no need to be nasty. I admit I know little about the others and you will note that I said ‘wise decision’ not neccesarily the ‘best decision’. I think Labour have some good people in their pool to choose from. Out of all the leaders I stick with Ruth Davidson and most people will admit she has a lot of charisma and gave Salmond a lot better run for his money than Johann Lamont in FMQ etc.

  39. OldNat

    There’s no need to be nasty. I admit I know little about the others and you will note that I said ‘wise decision’ not neccesarily the ‘best decision’. I think Labour have some good people in their pool to choose from. Out of all the leaders I stick with Ruth Davidson and most people will admit she has a lot of charisma and gave Salmond a lot better run for his money than Johann Lamont in FMQ etc.

  40. @Funtypippin

    1979 – Tony Benn. (both pure guesses)

  41. Cl 1945 on relatives of car park skeletons

    I looked at it several times, winced and convinced myself it was OK anyway. Then I realised it was not worth bothering about because we can’t correct our errors here, if you press ‘enter’ too quickly.

    I read tonight a letter to a magazine in which the writer related that he had laid a ‘reef’ on a memorial. I don’t think that was a failure of the spelling checker. That was a charming howler, I thought.

  42. Reginald

    I wasn’t being nasty. But the selection of a SLab leader is neither going to be wise nor best if it’s not made on the basis of who will play best with Scots voters.

  43. GRAHAM.
    Thanks for the 1987 correction.

  44. Apparently DC is due to make an important speech about immigration, EU etc, sometime this side of Christmas.

    On polling guesses, I’d go with a 1% Labour lead.

  45. OldNat

    I couldn’t agree more.

  46. BBC – “Mr Murphy insisted to the BBC that …. he would hire and fire party officials in Scotland.”

    In which case.

    1. How is he going to find the money to pay their salaries? and
    2.How is he going to find the money to pay their salaries?

  47. Catmanjeff

    Depends what sort of free pass LDs want for stepping aside in Brighton Pavilion (and what the polls look like closer to the election, If CL looks home and dry, no chance of a deal as Greens don’t have a second seat to aim for)

    I’m sure a seat could be found with a LD candidate that the greens could lend support to if it meant the difference between holding or losing the seat. Losing representation in parliament would be a blow, if anything happens it’ll be closer to the election but I can’t see greens stepping aside in multiple seats in exchange for BP.

    Also how receptive would green voters be to “vote for the LD here, he’s not so bad”? As a slogan it kinda lacks something.

  48. Chrislane,

    I wasn’t aware I had corrected anything! You had simply posed a question.

  49. TORY 36% LAB 33% UKIP 15% LIB 6% GRN 5%

  50. @Statgeek
    Better luck next time

    It was indeed 1931, very well played.

    The source was Parliamentary Socialism (1961), written by one R Miliband.

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