It’s the last Sunday before the election, so we have a large number of polls out tonight. I’ve mentioned most of them in a quick post earlier on, but now I’ve had chance to get home and digest them properly. Here are the polls so far

YouGov/Sunday Times (30th Apr-1st May) CON 35%(+1), LAB 27%(-1), LDEM 28%(nc)
ComRes/S.Mirror/S.Indy (30th Apr-1st May) CON 38%(+2), LAB 28%(-1), LDEM 25%(-1)
ICM/Sunday Telegraph (30th April) CON 36%(+3), LAB 29%(+1), LDEM 27%(-3)
BPIX/Mail on Sunday (30th Apr-1st May) CON 34%(nc), LAB 27%(+1), LDEM 30%(nc)
Angus Reid/Sunday Express (TBC) CON 35%(+2), LAB 23%(nc), LDEM 29%(-1)

They are pretty consistent in showing a slight increase in Conservative support over the last couple of days, with every company now showing them up into the mid-thirties. Most companies have Labour around 27-29%, the exception being Angus Reid who continue to show much lower levels of support for the Government. Most have the Liberal Democrats in the high 20s, with ComRes a bit lower, BPIX slightly higher. All five of these polls would produce a hung Parliament with the Conservatives the largest party – YouGov would have the Conservatives at around 284, ICM at around 275, ComRes 315, Angus Reid 310, BPIX 264.

There was also an ICM poll of marginals in the News of the World. This was the same 96 seats ICM polled for the previous ICM marginal survey here. It showed support in these seats at CON 35%(-1), LAB 35%(-2), LDEM 22%(+3) – so only a minor Lib Dem boost in these seats. These levels of support equate to a swing to the Conservatives of 6.8%, so just the swing they would need for an overall majority, and about 1.8% more than the national swing suggested in ICM’s GB poll in the Sunday Telegraph (the News of the World has extrapolated this over the whole country to claim that the Conservatives would have an overall majority – that’s rather stretching it, firstly you can’t assume anything about LD/Con marginals from this poll, secondly the News of the World are making a lot of assumptions about how much support the Conservatives can rely upon from Northern Ireland.


We have details of two more polls – YouGov‘s poll for the Sunday Times has topline figures, with changes from yesterday, of CON 35%(+1), LAB 27%(-2), LDEM 28% (-1). BPIX in the Mail on Sunday have figures, with changes from a week ago, of CON 34%(+3), LAB 26%(-2), LDEM 30%(-2).

Taking a wider look at the polls, the Conservatives do seem to have recovered slightly over the week. After the first debate the pollsters seemed to be consistently putting them in the 31%-33% range, the polls conducted over the last two days (seven of them!) all have the Conservatives between 34%-36%.

The Lib Dem surge looks as though it may have peaked too. The Ipsos MORI poll showing a huge drop is probably meaningless, it looks like a rogue, and a lot of the fall will just be down to the sample being less-Lib Dem inclined (10% of the survey reported voting Lib Dem in 2005, compared to 13% in MORI’s previous poll. Unlike most other companies MORI do not weight by past vote, so it varies from sample to sample). However, the other polls still seem to be showing a slight drop – after four polls in a row showing them over 30%, YouGov have now had them below 30% for three in a row… not, of course, that we don’t still seem to be headed towards the Liberal Democrats best ever performance.

There is also a OnePoll survey in the People which has figures of CON 32%, LAB 23%, LDEM 32%. I do not have any information on whether OnePoll surveys use proper sampling or appropriate weighting, so cannot vouch for whether this is meaningful at all.

UPDATE: The YouGov poll figures have been corrected – the Lib Dems are actually at 28%, not 29% (I’m having a weekend off, so only got the official figures at 9pm like everyone else!)


-->

There is a BPIX poll in tomorrow’s Mail on Sunday which has topline figures of CON 31%(-7), LAB 28%(-3), LDEM 32%(+12). That’s the biggest drop for Conservatives so far, and the biggest surge for the Lib Dems – and it puts the Liberal Democrats up in first place. The Lib Dems were in equal first place in a poll back in 2003, but I think you need to go back to around 1982 to find polls with them (or their predecessor parties) consistently in first place (Update – Tom in the comments has flagged up one poll from 1985 that had the Alliance ahead)

As with ComRes today and YouGov yesterday, all three parties are within 4 or 5 points of each other, so realistically if the polls remain like this it shouldn’t be a surprise to see polls with any of the three parties in the lead.

There is also a OnePoll survey in the People, that shows CON 27%, LAB 23%, LDEM 33%. I have still not confirmed whether these polls have any proper attempt at sampling or political weighting, and would treat it with great scepticism.

There is at least YouGov still to come tonight.


I’m expecting several polls tonight as the papers commission surveys to test the post-budget mood. First out of the traps is a new ICM poll in the News of the World, topline figures are CON 39%(+1), LAB 31%(-1), LDEM 19%(nc) – so a slight widening of the Conservative lead. More to come later.

UPDATE: Two more polls: YouGov in the Sunday Times have topline figures of CON 37%(nc), LAB 32%(-1), LDEM 19%(+1). There is also a BPIX poll in the Mail on Sunday, Sky have only mentioned the Conservative and Labour figures, but they are 37%(+1), LAB 30%(-4). So far all three are showing some degree of increase in the Conservative lead – the budget does appear to be having a negative impact for the government.


New BPIX poll



As well as the ICM and YouGov polls I reported last night, there is also a BPIX poll in the Mail on Sunday. The topline figures with changes from January are CON 36%(-3), LAB 34%(+4), LDEM 18%(nc). The poll was of 5655 people, so large enough to offer cross breaks of marginal seats. In the 75 Labour held seats where the Conservatives need a swing of less than 5% the shares of the vote are CON 40%, LAB 33%. This represents a swing of 6%, so far larger than the 2.5% swing on the headline figures. When the marginal cross-break is expanded to include the 110 seats where the Conservatives need a swing of up to 7.5%, the totals are CON 37%, LAB 36%, representing a swing of 4%.

The Mail on Sunday’s quote from Paul Whiteley about what the swings would mean is very odd indeed. We don’t have any tables to examine the data properly, but from the figures in the Mail on Sunday it doesn’t work out at all. On a swing of 2.5% as represented by the topline figures in this poll, the Conservatives would gain 33 of these Labour held target seats. If they recieved a 8 point swing in the 75 more marginal seats as suggested by the figures in the article, they would gain all of them, so would gain 42 extra seats rather than the 9 claimed in the article.

UPDATE: Mea culpa, that swing in the closest 75 seats is actually 6 points, not 8. It would still be enough for the Conservatives to will all the seats in that group (a 5 point swing is needed to win a seat with a 10% majority).