Monday’s polls

We have three GB polls today, from Populus, Ashcroft and YouGov.

  • The twice-weekly Populus poll has topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 34%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 14%, GRN 5% (tabs).
  • The weekly Lord Ashcroft poll has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 31%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 14%, GRN 7% (tabs). Labour have dropped five points since Ashcroft’s previous poll, but this will be largely a reversion to the mean after they jumped up five points a week ago.
  • Finally the daily YouGov for the Sun has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 32%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 15%, GRN 6%. The three point Tory lead is the largest that YouGov have shown since back in January 2012.

Two three point Tory leads on the same day. All the usual caveats apply – it is only two polls and Populus showed a two point Labour lead. It wouldn’t be the first time that two polls have popped out on the same day showing something unusual, only for it to turn out to be pure co-incidence when polls in the following days showing everything back to normal. Keep an eye on it though…

319 Responses to “Monday’s polls”

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  1. Big 3 on 84%, not seen that for a while. Lib Dem looks a bit high. Are they a pointless party? Seem to be trumped on all policies by other parties.

  2. @Spearmint,

    Thanks m’dear. It does seem that the hunch about Tory progress may be gaining some statistical support, perhaps? I’m sure Unicorn and/or Statgeek will enlighten us!

    We really could be heading to a virtual dead heat in seats.

    Allan Christie
    “Thanks for the link to new Scotland votes site. Much improved because it has bigger boxes for us oldie to type in the numbers!”

    You might be interested on the Scotland Votes app for oldies. ;-)

  4. Does anyone know who will benefit most from a collapse on this scale by the Lib Dems…?…..a young enthusiastic UKIP voter on Newsnight last night had swung straight from the Lib dems to UKIP….which was a surprise….his explanation was that he was fed up of the rest..and the tuition fee reversal.

  5. Round where I live – both a marginal and next the M4 – Tory posters have appeared all over the shop in the last few days (don’t let Labour wreck the recovery, with picture of wrecking ball)
    I suppose if these things had no effect, they wouldn’t waste their money.
    My post earlier on potential self-inflicted threats to the SNP has gone into moderation – apologies if I was immoderate @AW – so I guess ON’s joke and AC’s remark may be obscure to people!

  6. I don’t why there’s so much speculation about what the SNP would do, were Labour + SNP to be the only combination capable of forming a governing block.
    1. SNP would support Labour;
    2. SNP would prefer to do this through C&S rather than coalition;
    3. Provided Labour don’t put forward a budget that includes the renewal of Trident, the SNP will look at everything else in the budget on its merits with the intention of voting for it;
    4. SNP are prepared to vote on all legislation, regardless of the ‘West Lothian’ issue, because Scotland voted to remain part of the UK in a recent referendum so they have a mandate to do so.

    If the parliamentary arithmetic doesn’t give Labour +SNP a decent majority, the SNP are going to make a judgement based on the actual situation; but they would not be inclined to support the Tories.

    The above is, I believe, a reasonably accurate summary of what Nicola Sturgeon has publicly said on the issue. I don’t really ‘get’ why people seem uncertain about it.

  7. @Mikey

    IF Con are moving up, perhaps rather than looking for a specific reason or event that could have benifited them we could hypothesise that it could be what happens when Labour has a quiet week.

    Yes I know the student fees announcement shouldnt make it quiet, but it seemed to me Labour were doing better in the polls in the middle of the ”we fight tax dodgers” fortnight than they are now.

    Perhaps it takes something like that for Labour to hold level or move ahead. But in a ‘normal’ week with a Labour announcement on fees and a Tory announcement on first time buyers and no obvious ‘win’ for Labour then the momentum – dare we say ”swingback” – works in the Tories favour. If that argument is correct Labour would have to engineer several major and popular fights or policies to avert a Tory advance.

    I don’t say I subscribe to this theory, just that it is one possible explanation.

    However, I am confident that, no doubt, someone more analytical than myself will explain why I am wrong :-)

  8. When were Lab+Cons last on 70%?

    After all the reams written about the death of two party politics, with the demise of the Lib Dems and the other small parties not really offering a viable alternative it looks like we are set for one of the highest combined Lab+Cons results in many years.

    Ironic, considering how many of us apparently want an alternative….thank goodness for the SNP otherwise things really would be looking like a two party state.

  9. Just publicity. Count the number of TV news ‘lectern gripping’ and other photo-ops and you have an answer, Tough for oppositions as they have to manufacture ‘events’. Still, they may hope to get a genuine unexpected one to help them. It’s only worth a couple of percent anyway for a while.

    My money is on the number of people who filled up in January / February.

  10. AMBER

    I don’t really disagree with your post but any scenarios I have put forward were on the basis that the Tories win and Labour can’t command the parliamentary arithmetic to form an alternative administration which is looking increasingly likely.

    All I’m hinting at is…………..think out of the SNP/LAB box!

  11. TIM N
    @ Alan Christie
    I wasn’t far out. You were spot on with your dip for UKIP. I think 36% is the highest Con score with YG for at least a year

    I think you’re right and they are heading for their 2010 vote and that’s on the back of a high UKIP VI although it is showing small signs of decline.

  12. New thread, by the way..

  13. @JimJam

    Early days. Labour still on course.

    36 for the Tories? Seriously? Where has the extra 4% come from above their 32% average for the past 4 months (not from Ukip by the looks of things).

    I wonder if YG has tweaked their methodology recently.

    Congratulations. 36% on YG. I don’t think it will happen again but you have at least proved it CAN happen.

    I also think Labour will be fairly relaxed about it as they’re on 34 pretty regularly now (Lab averaged 34 on YG last month also).

    I wonder whether the recent media coverage surrounding the unmasking of Jihadi John has placed foreign affairs/national security in the media spotlight which tends to benefit the government.

  14. Question: Is the ostensible drop in Labour support primarily as a result of a further shift to SNP in Scotland in the last four polls or a rise in Conservative fortunes in Scotland?

    Statistically I am observing a rise in both “Other” and Conservative of around 2.6%, with fractional declines for UKIP and Green and around 1% each for Labour and LD.

    That could mean that 1:5 voters (20%) will support UKIP and Green come hell or high water, but it is too bad we cannot see some Welsh only polls to see what is happening to Plaid Cymru.

    This could leave voter movement, given firmness, for SNP, as restricted to between Labour, Conservative and LD, in which LD has weakest level of stickiness.

    It will certainly be interesting to review the Ashcroft constituency polls, and throws another level of wrinkles into the pre-election forecasting.

    Am not a statitstical fan of swing and/or squeeze for UKIP, Green and SNP, but acknowledge relative to 2010 GE that could happen for Conservative, Labour and LD.

  15. @Neil A

    “When was the last 36 for the Tories on YG?”

    3rd October 2014 (conference?)

  16. @Hawthorn

    “Yougov is really odd right now. I cannot think what might be driving these apparent changes.”

    There’s been a change in sample sizes this week. If anything the larger samples should make for less volatile polls, but who knows?

  17. RAF

    cheers! :-)

  18. I am slightly disturbed as to how much importance is being given to % figures. I gather that this time round more than ever before these percentages will bare little resemblance to what happens in terms of numbers of constituents won. For example 14% UKIP, they will not win 90 seats! Indeed I believe they will only win 3-4 seats. More important is the SNP factor. SNP will take 40 Labour seats. This is the massive change that Labour has to address. Before even thinking of overtaking the Tories they first have to gain 40 seats in England and Wales, just to stand still. Lost Lib seats (about 30) will be divided 60/40 between Lab and Con. You have to look at each Lib constituency and see which party came second to them in 2010! I think the current polls and the percentages are misleading.

  19. Hi UKPR users, I’m a newbie so don’t bite! Long time reader (since last election), but first time poster. I’ve no real horse in this race at all (Irish born, UK educated, working in Germany) but a long-term interest in the mathematics of psephology. I’m also not a Green voter :)

    I (like others) have been trying to model how regional votes can break down into seats, and have been recently working on a quasi-proportional scheme which takes the regional crossbreaks that Statgeek kindly tabulates, and transfers this into vote shares in each seat. The main assumption is that the effective “swing” in a region is quasi-uniform. In practice, if a party (say the Lib Dems) are losing vote share, the drop in vote is approximately proportional, while if a party is gaining vote share, the increase is proportional up to a certain point, then increases roughly linearly. In contrast to UNS, no one can get negative votes or vote shares greater than 100. I can of course provide a more detailed analysis if anyone actually cares!!!

    Anyhow, although a lot of chat has been around Scotland, I wanted to look at something a bit different, namely the Rest of South. Here, like in E&W generally, the main feature has been a huge drop off in LD support, and big increase in support for UKIP (and to a lesser extent, the Greens). I ran the model on all seats in East of England, South East England and South West England (197 altogether).

    In 2010 the vote shares were: Conservatives 46.9, Labour 17.0, Lib Dem 28.0, UKIP 4.3, Greens 1.4 and Others (BNP, Speaker, etc) 2.5. The seat distribution was Con 162, Lab 10, LD 23, Others 2.

    If I take the most recent regional breakdown, the polls are:

    Conservatives 42, Labour 24, Lib Dem 10, UKIP 16, Green 6, Others 2.

    I feed all of this (as well as the votes from the 2010 election*) into the computer model, and it gives as follows for the seats.

    East England: Conservatives 42 (-10), Labour 14 (+12), Lib Dems 0 (-4), UKIP 1 (+1), Greens 1 (+1, Norwich South).

    South East England: Conservative 67 (-7), Labour 14 (+10), Lib Dems 0 (-4), UKIP 1 (+1), Greens 1, Speaker 1.

    South West England: Conservative 40 (-4), Labour 15 (+11), Lib Dems 0 (-15).

    This is of course pretty scary for the Lib Dems – the model doesn’t give them any seats at all, which may or may not be reasonable! It also shows that UKIP may cost the Conservatives maybe a dozen or so seats, but not gain very much themselves. In particular, I have Thanet South going very very marginally to Labour. I’m hoping to run the model on the other constituencies (it takes a bit of time unfortunately), but in the next couple of days, I hope to have the full list of GB – it might be worth a comparison to the Ashcroft polling**!

    Knowing that there are a number of budding statisticians on the UKPR boards, and recognising that there already exist a few well-established methods for estimating seat counts from vote shares, I’d welcome any feedback.

    * For the 2 UKIP seats, I have used the vote shares from the relevant by-elections (for what it’s worth!)
    ** I have intentionally excluded Ashcroft data – not because it’s necessarily wrong, or I don’t believe it – but more that it’s not completely compatible with the model itself and the fact that some of the polling was done a long time ago!

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