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. Barnaby Marder

    The Tories polled one ahead of Labour in Colne Valley (with a juicy 10% Green score to squeeze); but Labour were one ahead in High Peak. Both toss-ups of course.

    I think it is the handful of toss up seats that will decide who has the most seats as on UNS things look about tied.

    However, even if those toss-ups all go blue, I don’t think Cameron will be carrying on unless the SNP decide to commit harakiri.

  2. Couper2802

    Time for Ruth to resurrect the Unionist party and cut ties with CCHQ I think.

  3. Couper2802

    Do we know where that poster is?

  4. YouGov have done another survey of what people think of the various possible coalitions available (or not):

    They asked:

    At the next general election one party may win enough seats to form a majority government, but if not it may have to come to an agreement with the smaller parties. For each of the following possible combinations of parties that could rule after May 7th, please say how good or bad you think they would be for the UK?

    and got the net responses (in order of increasing unpopularity):

    Majority Conservative government 43 – 46 = -3

    Majority Labour government 39 – 49 = -10

    Conservative and Liberal Democrat agreement or
    coalition 37 – 51 = -14

    Labour and Liberal Democrat agreement or coalition 32 – 54 = -22

    Conservative, Liberal Democrat and UKIP
    agreement or coalition 25 – 61 = -36

    Labour, Liberal Democrat and SNP agreement or
    coalition 24 – 61 = -37

    Labour and SNP agreement or coalition 24 – 61 = -37

    A Conservative and Labour “grand coalition” 19 – 60 = -41

    Conservative, Liberal Democrat, UKIP and
    Democratic Unionist Party agreement or coalition 17 – 66 = -49

    Several things stand out from this. Most obviously nothing is actually popular or gets a positive rating. So when we are informed the public ‘will not stand’ for a particular combination, remember that applies to every option.

    Also the SNP may not be popular, but they’re not massively more unpopular that the alternatives. Especially when you consider they’ve only got 5% of the electorate rooting for them max.

    Lib Dem plus Lab/Con is more approved, but add UKIP to the mix and popularity plummets even among Conservatives. Even assuming UKIP get there in numbers and can then be relied upon, it’s not a popular mixture – even a third of UKIP supporters dislike it.

    But UKIP don’t get the Billy-no-mates prize. That goes, appropriately enough, to the DUP. Even UKIP don’t like the idea of being in with them.

    All of this emphasises the sheer difficulty that the Conservatives will have in forming a workable coalition that isn’t a re-run of the current one.

  5. Couper 2802

    That sounds like a truly bizarre poster. Can’t see it hitting home.

    I’m surprised we have not seen more of Johnson for the Tories and more of Brown in Scotland in this campaign so far.
    Time is running out_and none of us have a Scoobie how this is going to pan out….apart from Smithy.

  6. @RayFromTheNorth

    It is in West London but may be other places. At least Salmond doesn’t have a stripey top on, he is in a black thieves outfit.

  7. Roger Mexico – “As an aside it’s difficult to know why the Greens don’t do better in London”

    It’s because the Greens are against economic growth – and London is all about that.

    People underestimate how proud Londoners are of their city. It affects their psychology on a basic level: a waiter in Clacton feels like they are in a dead end job, but a waiter in London feels like a vital cog in the greatest city on earth. But they are both doing a similar job for similar earnings… To a man and woman, Londoners don’t want anything that harms their precious citadel. Even Ken Livingstone, self-professed lefty, used to visit New York and tell them they should list their IPO’s in London to escape the dreaded regulatory effects of Sarbanes-Oxley…

    Here’s an account of “Red Ken” in 2008:


    “If anything, Livingstone has proven himself even more attuned to the interests of big business than his allies in the Labour leadership. Only last month he denounced the government for its now aborted attempt to tax wealthy “non-doms” (officially not resident in Britain for tax purposes), claiming it would drive investment away from London.

    “….Only in April 2007 Livingstone stated, “I used to believe in a centralised state economy, but now I accept that there’s no rival to the market in terms of production and distribution”

    End Quote

    This is the Paradox of London – they may be left-leaning, but that’s because they want good public services, which they see as making their city work better. But that’s the extent of their leftyness. They are careful to always go for mainstream parties that won’t hurt their city’s money-making capabilities. The Greens would trash London in a heartbeat, and so get short shrift there.

  8. Couper2802

    Them West Londoners got pots of money, it’ll never play down there

  9. Exile in Yorks

    We often discuss the “Bavarianisation” option for the Tories on here.

    Assuming that LiS do as badly as polling suggests next month, it might not be a bad idea for the Tories to do that combined with a determined effort to seize the “British working class right wing” vote that LiS successfully captured in the 80s.

  10. @Ray

    Supposedly West London, according to one Twitter source.

  11. @Couper

    Where in West London?

  12. @Mikey

    Brown has been deployed in Scotland with the usual press front page response

    He has, bizarrely, promised 5k per foodbank within 24 hours of Labour winning the election. I don’t know if he has cleared this with Balls because if there is one person definitely Not writing the Labour budget that’s Brown.

    Front Page of tomorrow’s Herald ‘ Brown voting Labour is the Patriotic choice’ which is rather spoiled by the sub-heading ‘Brown battles to save campaign co-ordinators’s seat from 21 year old student’ The coordinator is of course Douglas Alexander.

    So yes Brown is back, what effect it has we will see. He definitely has the press onside.

  13. Oldnat

    “British working class right wing” vote that LiS successfully captured in the 80s.”

    Is that much of a bloc up there?

  14. Try unclicking the ‘including Ashcroft polling’ on the May 2015 website. Tell me what happens.
    If Labour has polled better in marginals, why does the seat number go up if we ignore marginal polls. For every seat you cherry pick to prove your point, there are others that say the opposite.
    Again, if you give Labour a 5% swing in the rest of England, excluding London, which is what the polling works out at, they would win in total about 300 seats. Now go and check the Nowcast.
    Cherry picking one or two seats proves nothing.

  15. I predict a game changing shift : NI will start promoting Boris as the next Con leader and advising its readership to hasten his accession by voting ABT on May 7.
    I’m baffled by DC. Does he really want the job? An OM would mean two years of negotiating what? with the other EU members, plus an unofficial race to replace him, HM not purring at him every Tuesday while the Scots threaten to up sticks declare unilateral secession and commandeer the deer and their stately homes, the renewal of anti-fox hunting hostilities, the next steps for NHS, schools, prisons, food banks etc., not to mention the possibility of more terrorism and corruption scandals.
    On the other hand, he could leave undefeated, sort of, and relax with his family. I know which route I’d hope for.

  16. Mikey

    “more of Brown in Scotland in this campaign so far.”

    Possibly because, when they do wheel him out, he issues pledges dragged from some distant recess of his mind, where he is still leader and the manifesto is what he imagines it might have been – not what it actually is.

    £5,000 for each Scottish food bank within 24 hours of a Labour win, free travel to food banks, cash help with fuel bills and provision of cookers come into that category. Rather too Greek for the LiS hierarchy, I imagine.

  17. @Ray from the North
    Them West Londoners got pots of money, it’ll never play down there.”

    Lots of poor people in West London too.

  18. Cloudspotter

    The bellweather Loughborough seat is indicative of what you are saying I think, Labour should be walking in there.

  19. @Couper

    Brown can’t promise a thing. He’s not even a candidate.

  20. @Statgeek
    “Brown can’t promise a thing. He’s not even a candidate.”

    Neither is Sturgeon.

  21. don’t understand why tories briefing about boris being parachuted in to lead party if dc doesn’t lead a majority government. it makes Cameron look weak

  22. RAF

    A poor play-to-stereotype joke on my part.

    You remind me of that octopus they used to predict the results in the world cup!

    The aforementioned octopus features in a prediction methods segment of the Vote Now Show on Radio 4. Amusing listening, by and large. The first 2 episodes have already been broadcast but they’re on the iPlayer and available as MP3 podcasts.


  24. @Ray

    Many poorer folk in West London won’t know who Alex Salmond is!

  25. @RAF

    Indeed, but Sturgeon is the leader of a party which might have influence in the parliament. Brown is not.

    Further more, Sturgeon isn’t promising anything in the manner brown is.

    You knew that, of course. :))

  26. RAF

    The Yoof might think it’s a new PS game

  27. @Catoswyn

    Paul the Octopus became a legend in Spain (el pulpo Paul) when he sucessfully predicted they would win the World Cup in 2010.

  28. Ray in the North

    If you look at polling in Scotland on social attitudes in Scotland and rGB, they aren’t that different.

    Some of the older, socially conservative, working class voter, that often chooses Tory or UKIP in England, happily voted Tory here until the Tories became seen as “toxic in Scotland”.

    I knew lots of them when I was the Labour Party. They are likely to be among those who have remained voting Labour, as the younger more radical elements have deserted them.

    They are British and Scottish, won’t vote for a party that is seen as “English”, so the recreation of a Scottish Unionist Party would have a reasonable stab at getting their support.

  29. @Ray

    Grand Election Theft Auto.

  30. @Couper
    “The latest Tory poster is Alex Salmon pickpocketing a city type with the line ‘Don’t let the SNP steal your cash’ Vote Conservative.”

    No, it’s the front page of this morning’s Times.

    “Sturgeon. I will use influence on Labour”. Available for people to glance at as they pass any of the 100,000+ locations in England selling newspapers today. Free and yet more effective than those expensive billboards.

    Conservatives will be very grateful to her for giving an interview to one of a group of newspapers whose boss has just lambasted his editors for not being tougher on Labour (is that possible?), with wholly predictable results. Is she in collusion with them?

  31. @Paul M

    The Tories aren’t briefing about Boris being parachuted in. Boris is briefing about Boris being parachuted in. He’s already called the election result, and is getting his leadership campaign started ahead of May/Osborne. He has the advantage of not being in the current government.

    Election night could be pretty entertaining at this rate. We might see the PM deposed as party leader live on TV.

    Best bit of this story is how smug Miliband must be feeling about backstabbing accusations now.

  32. Oldnat

    OK, thanks. If I think of a certain football club would I be getting warm or am I miles off

  33. @Phil Haines

    The Scottish press is anti-SNP on the whole. Apart from the National and even that had Brown on their front page today. Looking at the newsstand today I though they should just clear all their front pages and on huge text have ‘SNPBad’. So not much sympathy I’m afraid.

  34. Ray in the North

    That’s certainly an element – but the old religious divide in politics has diminished considerably since Teddy Taylor actively recruited the “Protestant vote”.

    There are socially conservative “British & Scottish” folk from the Catholic (and my own heathen :-) ) communities as well!

  35. Oldnat

    Thanks, very informative.


    Thanks for the link. Nice to see YouGov asking these questions.

    “Most obviously nothing is actually popular or gets a positive rating. So when we are informed the public ‘will not stand’ for a particular combination, remember that applies to every option.”

    I do wonder about the people who are voting for Lab/Con and think having that party win a majority is “very bad”, or vice versa. There’s a line from the 1700s: “The people’s voice is odd: it is, and it is not, the Voice of God.”

    In FPTP, we’re used to an outcome that 60-65% of the voting population aren’t best pleased with.

    The “fairly goods” that make Con majority the least worst option seem to be provided by the 2015 Lib Dems, but not the 2010 Lib Dems. That’s an indication of what the Lib Dem base looks like this time round, and taps into why Clegg is hoping to do business with the Tories.

  37. @Couper

    Could be worse for you. Imagine if the Sun didn’t have a Scottish edition.

    Actually, I don’t give diddly squat about the newspapers in Scotland. It’s the headlines read in those English Con/Lab marginals that matter.

  38. Holgate

    I wonder if Clegg is a bit nervous about his prospects in Hallam and is talking up the Con-LD to try and swing some hold-out Tories to vote tactically for him

  39. Couper2802

    I spent some time last week talking to a group of 30-40 year old Londoners who, to a man, really wanted to vote Green. They were entrepreneurial, teccy types involved in inventing and developing cutting edge products and very interested in alternative energies and the like. However the Green party they wanted to vote for didn’t exist in reality. For instance they also wanted low taxes and were violently opposed to the 60p rate proposed. They seemed a bit put out about it and kept referring to a ‘green party like Sweden’.

    In fact it seemed to me they wanted some green policies on the environment coupled with traditional Conservative emphasis on business and low tax. However in the end most of them then seemed to suggest they’d vote Labour.

    Don’t know how much they represent any group in London but their reasoning did suggest to me a certain type of voter who is more green inclined but less ‘socialist’ economically.

  40. Roger Mexico

    The wee Scottish sample that day was much in line with average figures.

    For contrast, here are the Scottish figures –

    Labour and SNP agreement or coalition 46 – 40 = +6
    Majority Labour government 38 – 50 = -12
    Labour, Liberal Democrat and SNP agreement or
    coalition 35 – 48 = -13
    Labour and Liberal Democrat agreement or coalition 32 – 54 = -22
    Conservative and Liberal Democrat agreement or
    coalition 28 – 61 = -33
    Majority Conservative government 28 – 62 = -34
    A Conservative and Labour “grand coalition” 21 – 65 = -44
    Conservative, Liberal Democrat, UKIP and
    Democratic Unionist Party agreement or coalition 15 – 70 = -55
    Conservative, Liberal Democrat and UKIP
    agreement or coalition 15 – 72 = -57

    Including the DUP makes the right wing coalition marginally less awful. :-)

  41. Phil Haines

    “Actually, I don’t give diddly squat about the newspapers in Scotland. It’s the headlines read in those English Con/Lab marginals that matter.”

    The perception that such an attitude is not confined to your good self, may suggest a reason why Labour seems destined for disappointment outside England.

    Though the effect is the same, I doubt that you are really “in collusion” with the Tories:-)

  42. ‘MILLIE
    I find the whole discussion about how Nick Clegg will respond to a hung parliament situation rather pointless.
    I personally have no problem with Clegg, and find his unpopularity a little hard to understand.
    But let’s be clear – this is his swansong, and he is politically finished. All his comments on post -election LibDem tactics are therefore irrelevant.
    Party leaders do not survive a loss of more than half their seats. Full stop.
    The LibDem situation is the most interesting part of this election, in my view. Their collapse introduces a big fluidity and unpredictability into the electoral equation. I can’t believe we are heading for an American two-party system, so the door is open for some serious realignment.
    The LibDems could well jump to the left of Labour under Farron. My point is that all bets are off as far as the LibDems are concerned post the election. What Clegg says now is largely irrelevant.
    April 24th, 2015 at 10:40 pm’

    You have it spot on, even f he manages to hang on during any post election negotiations (which in itself is unlikely) he will be a broken man in terms of influence and power over his remaining M.P.’s.

  43. I would say overall a good day for Labour yesterday. They moved the news agenda from the SNP controlling them to international affairs and looking at the two polls yesterday it has done them any harm.
    I suspect it is still level pegging, but every day it remains that way is a good day for Labour. The conservatives need to pull ahead to have a ‘good day’, so far no sign of that.

  44. NEILJ

    The two polls yesterday were conducted before the whole Libya thing. Let’s see what tomorrows showsl

  45. NEILJ

    I doubt it that yesterday was a good day for Labour, no change in the polls anyway, yougov seems to be prettly Labour-friendly territory but Ed looked stupid for blaming Cameron on Libya. If you take the latest poll of all companies into count doing regulary surveys Cam is ahead.

    Yougov: 33 35 8 13 L2
    Comres: 36 32 8 10 C4
    Panelbase: 31 34 7 17 L3
    Ashcroft: 34 30 10 13 C4
    Survation: 33 29 10 18 C4
    TNS: 32 34 8 15 L2
    Populus: 32 35 8 14 L3
    ICM: 34 32 10 11 C2
    Opinion: 36 32 8 13 C4

  46. My point about it being a good day for Labour is that polls staying the same are good days for Labour. If they stay like that until the election then it will be a Labour minority Government.
    As to the two polls yesterday, some of the Yougov polling would have occurred after the big spat about Libya, not sure about the other one.
    As people say today will show if there have been any real movements, I personally doubt it, so it will be probably be another good day for Labour:-)

  47. Given that there is practically no opportunity for a Labour government that does not involve some degree of cooperation with the SNP on current numbers; I wonder whether perhaps we’ve all been missing the point when studying the capacity for the Conservatives’ tactic to bring them electoral success.

    Perhaps the main aim is *not* to improve their polling or poach Labour votes (welcome though that would be for them), but simply to make it as difficult as possible for Miliband to form a government – regardless of whether he outpolls them or not in twelve days’ time (12 days!)

  48. WES

    That becomes a political point, with the argument being that in the long scheme of things for the parties, this is possibly a good election to lose. (Just as Simon Jenkins said that 1992 was a good election to lose, and was somewhat vindicated by what followed.)

    But it’s also a point for the commentators and not the politicians. No party leader campaigns for the opposition to win a Pyrrhic victory. I do think that CCHQ is banking on a 1992 repeat in which the undecided break heavily for the status quo, which is why the campaign is focused on “chaos” on the other side. And there’s a whiff of “devil we know” in the polling that Roger Mexico cited earlier, but whether that translates into actual VI numbers is an open question.

  49. I found Clegg’s comments yesterday about not being willing to form a coalition with the party that comes second extremely odd. The argument about “legitimacy” is very weak when no-one is getting much more than 1/3 of the vote; it’s surely got to be more about trying to form a workable, stable government. There are some quite plausible scenarios in which the Conservatives come first but can only form a government with a tiny majority even with LibDem and DUP/UKIP support, while a Labour government with LibDem and SNP support might have a majority of 40 or 50. Here, the stability argument would suggest working with Labour. Apart from this consideration though, surely Clegg should want to keep his options open in such scenarios, to increase his negotiating power? He will have far less leeway when trying to agree terms with Cameron if he’s already ruled out coalition with Labour.

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