A BPIX poll in the Mail on Sunday has voting intention figures of CON 49%, LAB 26%, LDEM 14%. There hasn’t been a BPIX poll for many months – since last year in fact – so there are no changes from the previous poll. Apart from the Lib Dems the figures are pretty much in line with recent YouGov voting intention polls.

BPIX reasked a number of questions comparing views of Brown and Cameron that they’d first asked last September during the Brown bounce and, unsurprisingly, found Brown’s ratings have plummetted across the board. They also found 44% of people thought Brown should quit now – asked who should replace him David Miliband is now the leading figure, albeit on only 14%, ahead of Jack Straw on 10%.

YouGov have carried out a series of questions on civil liberties for the Economist – full tables here, asking respondents whether a series of issues seen as an encroachment on civil liberties are, on balance, a good or bad thing. Widespread CCTV met with the most support – 74% thought this was a broadly good thing, with 22% thinking it a bad thing.

A smaller majority (55%) supported a centralised database of everyone’s health records, with 38% opposed. Opinion was even more evenly divided on the issue of ID cards and the biometic database that backs them up – 48% thought they were a good idea, 45% that they would be an unjustified invasion of privacy.

On the breadth of the DNA database public opinion a majority of people supporting the DNA database extending to eventually include the whole population, but only a bare majority of 51%, with a very substantial minority of 43% thinking only convicted criminals should have their DNA stored.

Finally YouGov asked about 42 day detention and David Davis’s by-election. 61% of people supported the police being able to detain suspected terrorists for up to six weeks before charging or releasing them, 33% thought 6 weeks would be far too long. This division of support seems pretty consistent amongst polls asking questions on whether people support or oppose the measure.

Asked about Davis’s stand, 49% of people thought he was right in his concerns over civil liberties, with 38% disagreeing with him – so while on the direct issue of 42 days people clearly don’t back him, once things like national databases and ID cards are thrown into the mix more people agree with him. However, of that 49% who back him, only 23% think things would actually be different were he home secretary, 26% think he would be just as bad.

Conservativehome meanwhile have another poll result from YouGov asking about the Davis by-election: 61% of respondents thought that Labour should have put a candidate up at the by-election, including a plurality (48%) of Labour voters.


Ipsos MORI are still working on the review of their polling methods they launched after deciding their London polls had indeed over-estimated Labour support in the mayoral race. Avid watchers of polls will probably have spotted that their political monitor never surfaced last month – I understand they carried it out, but aren’t publishing any figures until the review is completed.

In the meantime Mike Smithson has the lowdown on the first adjustment MORI are planning on making – having reviewed their samples MORI have found they have been over-representing public sector workers.

As regular readers know, for reasons that no one knows for sure – though it’s probably something as simple as how busy people’s lifestyles are or a simply attitudinal difference towards answering the door or phone to a stranger and giving up 20 minutes to answer impertinent questions for no reward – raw samples tend to over-represent Labour voters.

ICM and Populus get round this by weighting samples according to how respondents voted last time, which we call “past vote” or “political weighting”. While on paper this is a simple task (look up the 2005 election result, weight the sample to match. Finished), in practice it isn’t, because it has been proven that people do not accurately recall how they voted at the last election. When deciding what figures to weight past vote to, ICM and Populus therefore have to guess what level of “false recall” to factor in.

MORI have always recoiled from this form of weighting because of the “false recall” problem – they worry that the level of false recall could change suddenly in response to events, and weighting by past vote could end up dampening down genuine changes of opinion. The problem is that without some form of political weighting the samples remain biased to Labour, the standard demographic weights on age, gender, tenure and so on don’t correlate strongly enough with voting intention to cancel it out.

If their samples were over-representing public sector workers, then this may be a solution. It’s an area where people should be able to give accurate answers, the proportion of people working for the public sector doesn’t change vastly from month to month, it should be possible to get relatively reliable targets to weight to and – most importantly – it is a factor that appears to correlate with voting intention, so correcting it would serve to reduce or eliminate the Labour bias.

We await the full results of MORI’s review to see what effect it has. It will also be interesting to see if this skew towards public sector workers in present in other companies samples. It is far from a given that quota sampled face-to-face samples will have the same biases as quasi-random phone samples – they are obtained in different ways, but it is at least worth a look.

A new YouGov poll for OpenEurope shows a majority (54%) of people think government should abandon attempts to ratify the Lisbon treaty, only 14% think it should still be ratified.

In terms of general attitude towards the EU, 24% of people think Britain should leave the EU entirely, 38% support British membership of the single market, but would prefer Britain not to participate in more “political elements” of the EU, 29% support full membership.

The poll also asked if people could name their local MEPs – 8% said they could. Asked to do so, 115 out of 1312 had a stab at it. The MEP most commonly named was, er, Neil Kinnock, who isn’t an MP. The real MEP who was named most often was Gary Titley, leader of the Labour group in the European Parliament. (Other non-MEPs named as people’s local MEP included Jacqui Lait, Peter Mandleson, Annabelle Goldie, Lembit Opik, Tony Benn, Patrick McLoughlin, Gwyn Prosser, Grant Shapps, Edwina Currie, Dawn Primarolo, Austin Mitchell and – not quite sure who they meant to put – Peter Burns, presumably not the surgically altered lead singer of 1980s band Dead or Alive)

Ipsos-MORI have carried out a poll on opinions of David Davis for the Independent. They found the plurality of people were opposed to his action – 39% thought he was right to resign, but 48% thought he was wrong.

However, when asked if they would vote for Davis if they were an elector in Haltemprice and Howden, 35% said yes and 23% said no, with the rest made up of non-voters or don’t knows. Of course, that may be less a reflection of support for Davis than a reflection of the fact that if you live in Haltemprice and don’t support him, you don’t have many mainstream alternatives to vote for. It may also compare poorly to the percentage of people who would vote Conservative anyway.

Over on politicalbetting Mike Smithson is licking his lips over seeing the MORI data hoping it will show the results of their methodology review they commenced after the London mayoral election. It would be good, but I suspect it is too soon. Ben Page said they’d be unveiling their results in a “few months”.