Two weeks to go

A brief summary of this week’s polls before I have some downtime:

YouGov/Sun (17/4) – CON 34%, LAB 34%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 14%, GRN 5%
Opinium/Observer (17/4) – CON 36%, LAB 32%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 5%
YouGov/S Times (18/4) – CON 33%, LAB 36%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 5%
YouGov/Sun (19/4) – CON 34%, LAB 35%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 5%
Ashcroft (19/4) – CON 34%, LAB 30%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 13%, GRN 4%
Populus (19/4) – CON 32%, LAB 34%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 15%, GRN 4%
ICM/Guardian (19/4) – CON 34%, LAB 32%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 11%, GRN 5%
TNS (20/4) – CON 32%, LAB 34%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 15%, GRN 5%
YouGov/Sun (20/4) – CON 34%, LAB 35%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 13%, GRN 5%
YouGov/Sun (21/4) – CON 35%, LAB 34%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 13%, GRN 5%
YouGov/Sun (22/4) – CON 33%, LAB 34%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 14%, GRN 5%
ComRes/ITV/Mail (22/4) – CON 36%, LAB 32%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 10%, GRN 5%
Populus (23/4) – CON 32%, LAB 35%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 14%, GRN 5%
YouGov/Sun (23/4) – CON 33%, LAB 35%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 6%
Panelbase (23/4) – CON 31%, LAB 34%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 17%, GRN 4%
Survation/Mirror (23/4) – CON 33%, LAB 29%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 18%, GRN 4%

The UKPR polling average continues to show a tie – CON 33%(-1), LAB 33%(-1), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 14%(nc), GRN 5%(nc). Some of the individual pollsters are showing consistent leads for one party or the other (YouGov and Populus, for example, are generally showing small Labour leads, ICM and Ashcroft small Conservative leads) so it’s not the case that all the pollsters are showing an exact tie, more than the average of the different companies’ house effects is neck and neck.

Other polls

There was one Scottish poll this week – a new YouGov poll that confirmed their previous 24 point lead for the SNP (tabs), there was also a new YouGov poll of London for the Evening Standard with topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 44%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 10%, GRN 5% (tabs).

There were three constituency polls. Lord Ashcroft released two extra constituency polls with his weekly GB poll, showing the SNP ahead in Edinburgh North and Leith and Edinburgh South. Meanwhile Survation released a new poll of Thanet South, showing Nigel Farage nine points ahead. We should have some more constituency polls from Lord Ashcroft first thing tomorrow morning, including a poll of Rochester and Strood.


The latest forecasts from Election Forecast, May 2015, Elections Etc, the Guardian and YouGov are below, all continue to show a hung Parliament, but the models disagree on whether the Tories or Labour will be ahead on seats – Elections Etc, Election Forecast and the Guardian all have the Conservatives with more seats, YouGov and the Guardian have Labour slightly ahead.

Elections Etc – Hung Parliament, CON 286(-6), LAB 263(+3), LD 26(+4), SNP 51(nc), UKIP 4(nc)
Election Forecast – Hung Parliament, CON 283(+3), LAB 270(-7), LD 24(-3), SNP 48(+6), UKIP 1(nc)
May 2015 – Hung Parliament, CON 270(+2), LAB 273(-3), LD 26(nc), SNP 55(+1), UKIP 3(nc)
Guardian – Hung Parliament, CON 273(+4), LAB 268(-3), LD 28(-1), SNP 55(nc), UKIP 4(nc)
YouGov Nowcast – Hung Parliament, CON 270(+4), LAB 277(-2), LD 27(nc), SNP 50(nc), UKIP 3(-2)

339 Responses to “Two weeks to go”

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  1. Not me again.

  2. Below is the latest YouGov/Evening Standard poll for London, with the last poll prior to the European election in () brackets and the actual result for London in [] brackets beside it:

    Labour 44% (37%) [36.7%]
    Conservative 32% (23%) [22.5%]
    UKIP 10% (21%) [16.9%]
    LD 8% (9%) [6.7%]
    Green 5% (7%) [8.9%]

    I find it fascinating that the same placement order exists for London as YouGov found in their last poll before the European election in 2014, but I keep wondering whether they have the order of LD/Green right this time.

    Clearly UKIP’s vote has fallen off compared to the European election, but LD and Green are remarkably close to their 2014 European election values, which should be surprising given that this is an election using FPTP not some form of PR.

    Given that Green has no seats in London, I keep wondering how well they are going to do in safe Labour seats versus the Labour/Conservative and Labour/Liberal Democrat marginals.

    Tonight I had supper with someone from Torbay who will vote LD because he believes the local MP is a good MP not because he is an LD voter, meanwhile the daughter will vote Green in Hove because that is where her values lie.

    So I am starting to wonder whether there is going to be a generational split in this election, whereby younger voters will vote their vision and values, while older voters, used to a two and three party system, will vote tactically.

    London having a younger generation of voters, might actually vote slightly different than the rest of the UK and given the different modes of communication that youth use I wonder if YouGov and the other pollsters are capturing that, especially from those who have registered for the first time since 2010.

    In Canada I am used to being surrounded by older voters on the campaign teams, but in Norwich, for example, I know the campaign manager for one of the political parties was not even eligible to vote in 2010.

    Being surrounded by people who are 30 to 40 years younger than oneself certainly changes the dynamic of how they approach things, and one wonders if the more established parties fully understand the dynamics at work in this election between the generations.

    Younger people who have travelled the world and/or lived and worked in Europe have a completely different take on things than, for example, my brother, at 73, who is thinking about voting UKIP.

  3. A few changes today, the Average now showing the Conservatives 4 seats ahead of Labour. Both Labour and Conservatives down from the 5th when I started recording forecasts, Conservatives from 278 to 276 and Labour from 273 to 272. I think that illustrates how little things have changed over 19 days and with 13 to go.

    See tables here:!508111&authkey=!AMVlHPE4f1Mu0EE&ithint=file%2cpdf

  4. Very little sign of action here in Bristol North West, which should be a very close call. Only three leaflets received to-date — Conservatives lead Labour 2-1 — and only two placards spotted — one from each, though the Conservative one was defaced. Maybe the real action will start next week?

  5. Reposting fpt because I got bumped by the new thread and I find this really interesting. (Sorry everyone.)

    @ Balbs,

    Before the advent of colour television party colours were locally determined and showed a lot of variation (although of course there were national trends). Labour were green in some places because they’d chosen it to show support for Irish independence in 1916.

    I guess some constituencies took a while to catch up to the modern broadcasting era!

    (And actually you still see the green in some Welsh Labour rosettes, although that maybe a Welsh stealing-Plaid-Cymru’s-thunder thing rather than a longstanding local tradition:


    I certainly agree that the dynamics are very different.
    I don’t know if it affects results. It could I suppose if younger voters did actually get out to the ballot box on the day and break the trend of being less likely to turn up than some other groups.

  7. Seventh!

  8. FPT

    The modern equivilant of the election poster is a ‘Like’ or a retweet.

    Get with the times peeps!!

  9. Generally the incumbency “bonus” we talk about is related to individual MPs, certainly some build impressive personal votes due to hard work and local campaigning ( for example our ex MP Martin Salter in Reading West). But I think a similar incumbency factor works for governments especially when change occurs after lengthy periods of one party rule (1997 and 2010).

    For example at the last election the big question people had was over David Cameron’s team readiness for government. He did not have the credibility that office brings. Now, depending on your political views the last 5 years have either been positive or negative but for the population in general does not the fact that he is PM bring an incumbency factor? Is this what swing back to the governing party really is? Explains why, for example GB arguably did better than expected in 2010 and DC failed to get the expected majority. DC had to convince the electorate he could be prime minister in 2010. In 2015 it is self evident (a good one or not dependant on your view of course), and it is EM who has to make the case.

    Question is, is the Prime Ministerial “incumbency factor” priced in already or still to come ( the elusive swing back….)

  10. So the main parties continue to squeeze the smaller parties… Oh, hang on…

    BTW where does BBC News 24 get its ‘experts’ from?
    Yesterday we had one telling us Labour had an electoral advantage so they would gain more seats than Cons with the same percentage in votes. Is there a serious projection that agrees with that?

    How do you become one of these knowledgable experts?

  11. “GB arguably did better than expected in 2010”

    Not sure I’d say that, at least in terms of vote share. Much less and he would be beating Michael Foot for the post-war record. Labour did about as bad as expected in 2010; it was the Tories who didn’t do as well as most expected.

  12. Still pretty tight, but Conservatives have had a good couple of days at last. I sort of expect the weekend polls to continue to be good for Cons after today and the odd Libya comments from EM, but we shall see. It’s still comfortably hung parliament though and that doesn’t look like changing.

  13. Crossover about to happen. In the cricket,

  14. All the forecasts showing no credible Con-led combination quite gets over the line, and also important, that a Lab+Lib coalition could pass legislation affecting only England & Wales (possibly by the skin of their teeth), with SNP abstention. I think they’d all feel a lot more comfortable with that. I have a hunch that’s what we’ll get.

    Can’t quite see Tristan Hunt meekly handing over Education to a Lib though…

  15. Bill Patrick

    He certainly did better seat wise than was expected. I was expecting 220 or below

  16. NC saying he won’t do a deal with Labour if the SNP are giving “life support”, basically no deal then which I concur with. It confirms the combinations discussed many times on here, Labour/SNP/Plaid/Green/SDLP versus Con/LD/UKIP/DUP. A couple of percentage points either way now will sort everything out.

  17. Swampmongrel

    Tweet might be the modern way to go but garden posters are more fun. First time I arrived home after it was up I had forgotten that I had asked for one and for a horrible moment thought my wife had put the house on the market…!!

  18. DANB

    Ah, I remember Martin Salter very well… even back before he was an MP. How do you rate Labour’s chances in Reading West this time?

  19. I have always thought if Clegg stays / wins his seat, it’s less likely Libs will do a deal with Labour.

  20. Bantams – Clegg

    So he’s saying no deal unless Lab+LD>323 ??
    He’s losing the plot

  21. I agree Bantams, though I dont think UKIP will be in the second group.

    My view is that Con + LD + DUP will be around 320-325 and I’ve thought for a while that DC will then do a deal with Sturgeon whereby Scotland gets more or less whatever pwers they want within 12 months in exchange for EV4EL support.

  22. Bantams

    I’m not sure Clegg is in much of a position to say what his party will do come 8 th May. Even if he scrapes home in Sheffield he may not carry the support of his party.

  23. danb don’t forget this isn’t an American presidential election,voting for one person. many people may not be great fans of the leader but like the party more and vice versa. the Cameron/miliband comparison isn’t the only thing that matters in our election. if it was, the tories would have had a big lead years ago.

  24. FPT

    To the incumbency deniers,
    ‘ but there is no polling evidence at all which suggests anything other than a significant Con -> Lab swing where it matters,’

    But there is…

    ‘The incumbency effect is not a vague theory, the evidence for it happening at past elections is pretty damn solid.’ Anthony Wells, November 2013.

    If you wish to ignore the evidence, well, that’s up to you.

  25. I really cant see any way which Clegg would do a deal with Labour

    Only chance of a Lab-LD deal is if Clegg loses his seat

  26. Bill Patrick

    By 2010 electoral support had already become a fair bit more fragmented when compared with 1983. This was reflected in the vote share captured by ‘Others’ which in 2010 was nearly 10% but only 2% in 1983. On that basis, Gordon Brown polling 29.7% in relation to the circa 90% given to the three largest parties was a significantly stronger performance than Foot’s 28.3% of the 98% then received.

  27. ADAMB

    Would Cameron have to do any deal with the SNP at all in the scenario you describe? He could just plough on with the ‘english manifesto’ using the fact he released it during the campaign as proof of a mandate to proceed pretty much as he wants.

  28. AdamB

    What happens to the SNP in Scotland if they put Cameron back in No.10??
    Meltdown, that’s what. Forget it, not happening.

  29. ‘Only chance of a Lab-LD deal is if Clegg loses his seat’

    Or his MPs simply ignore him.!

  30. Interesting to see Clegg rule out a deal with Labour that needs SNP backing. He also said that a deal with the party that came second would lack legitimacy, and said for the last 5 years Labour had “been consumed by “frothing bile” towards his party”.

    Doesn’t sound like he’s going to deal with Labour. Presumably he would have a problem if Lab came first, but then he’s probably worked out that for this to happen they wouldn’t need the LDs anyway. He’s possibly trying to save some Lib Dem/Con marginals perhaps, but it’s a clear sign he wants to extend the coalition.

  31. Tories have a 12 point lead in over 50’s group, the bunch most likely to vote. Opinium poll gives 41 to 29.

  32. DanB

    I spent polling day in 2001 on Martin Salter’s GOTV operation!

  33. bantams

    Yes I saw the NC article. By that logic would he therefore not do a deal with Cons if it required DUP “life support”? Either way it looks like some sort of three way agreement involving Lab/Con with LD and either DUP or SNP is unavoidable so why rule one combination out? “Life Support” looks necessary for any potential administration as things stand.

    Also assumes NC will be in position to call the shots


    Re:incumbency. I think we pretty much agreed in the end that incumbency was a factor one way or another.

    However thanks for giving everyone the chance to consider some evidence on the matter.

  35. DANB

    ‘Question is, is the Prime Ministerial “incumbency factor” priced in already or still to come ( the elusive swing back….)’

    I suppose one way to parse that is that DC hasn’t been an incumbent in the same way as a PM with a single-party majority, so there’s still an uncertainty there, as the incumbency factor is to some degree for “DC with a portion of Clegg on the side”. We’re seeing that in polls that show a bit more comfort with a continuation of the coalition status quo than Lab/SNP, even if that doesn’t map to VI numbers right now.

    The seat projections are getting to the point where 323 requires sticking together multiple parties with gaffer tape.

  36. Ray

    Thats your view rather than fact. But to respond to your point:

    why would the Scots care who is in no 10? The SNP will be delerious, their supporters will get what they voted for – you might have some people who voted for non-SNP parties annoyed but they’ll be in a minority…and even that final group will be placated partly as the Union would be maintained albeit in a lose arrangement

  37. Clegg is also saying he won’t do a deal with Ukip, so the maximum possible deal is really Con + LD + DUP. Although even with that there may be some pressure within the LD about working with the DUP, given some of their non-mainstream views re: LGBT.

    Clegg being tough to deal with just increases the likelihood of an inconclusive result => second election.

  38. @Cloudspotter
    “The incumbency effect is not a vague theory, the evidence for it happening at past elections is pretty damn solid.’ Anthony Wells, November 2013.”

    Well in 2010 there was a nationwide 5% swing, which Scotland aside is similar to what some polls are predicting now. Labour lost 90 seats to the Tories.

  39. bantams
    Yes I saw the NC article. By that logic would he therefore not do a deal with Cons if it required DUP “life support”?

    He doesn’t object to the DUP because they are unionist. His objection to working with the SNP is that they want to break up the UK. I’m more puzzled why he thinks its alright to rule out the SNP on these grounds but not the Conservatives who want a EU referendum which he opposed.

  40. Catoswyn

    I’m assuming that he’d do that deal with the SNP to make sure the numbers worked comfortably. Similarly to a Lab+SNP+others grouping, I cant see Con+LD+DUP getting much past 325 at all

  41. @Rich – ” I sort of expect the weekend polls to continue to be good for Cons after today and the odd Libya comments from EM, but we shall see.”

    Interested you say that. All I got today was from BBC radio, and Ed sounded like he was a serious player. He made sound points, and was backed up by the expert talking heads.

    I’m currently undecided about whether Lab deliberately briefed about an attack on Cameron that never came, in order to get the speech more attention, or whether Cons made up the attack, to close down discussion on Ed’s central point, which was that DC has weakened UK defence capability and lost influence.

    It’s probably the latter, which would suggest Cameron is very worried about being attacked on this front. Either way, I suspect today has been a much better day for Ed, and barely a mention of Scotland.

    But I could be wrong.

  42. @ Dan B

    Depends on who is providing the oxygen.

    Makes me wonder if Labour & Con have had any discussions on potential outcomes where one might have to support the other and any price that might have to be made to secure a deal. Perhaps one or both leaders to fall on their swords.

  43. @James

    Clegg knows that if Labour gets most seats he will be frozen out of government. I suspect Labour will demand it as he did Brown’s exit – and for the same reason – the LDs look like getting a drubbing.

  44. More broadly, there’s clearly some broad incumbency factor in terms of “continuity” vs “change”, but what perhaps complicates things this time round is that the “continuity” option isn’t likely to be the same after the election and the “change” option isn’t likely to be as clear-cut either. Interesting times.

    But again, that taps into discontinuity between top-line VI and voter opinion on second-order effects.

  45. AdamB

    If you wish to ignore what’s happened in Scotland in the last year go ahead, Labour are poison because they “campaigned with the Tories”. If you seriously think Glasgow will come out en masse for the SNP for Holyrood ’16 if that same SNP has put Cameron back in I give up. Our Scottish friends have explained all this.

  46. having read insider reports on the coalition negotiations in 2010; more of the blame for any unworkability of a Lab-Lib deal needs to be placed at the feet of Ed Balls. Not quite sure other than bandwagoning why everyone presumes it to be a Cleggian dogma.

  47. AW
    Many thanks, Not been said yet I think.

  48. Latest swingback / crossover theory in the Telegraph:

    “Tories hope for royal baby bounce in the polls”


  49. Catosywn

    Re. labours chances in Reading West.

    Interesting one, it is a seat that swings for sure. Cons won on a big swing last time (I might be wrong but bigger than national average) so Alok Sharma has a big majority. There were some local factors in 2010 though, Martin Salters retirement plus a well meaning but relatively weak Labour candidate (IMO).

    This time the Labour candidate is strong, she has put in a lot of ground work over the last few years. Will depend on a collapse of LD vote, but if I am honest I suspect Labour will get a close second <2000 votes and be in a good position for 2020 (or earlier perhaps!)

    YouGov Nowcast has the seat as "too close to call" but I think that is wishful thinking sadly!

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