New Populus poll

Populus monthly poll for the Times is out, rather later in the month than usual. Topline figures, with changes from their last poll, are CON 38%(+2), LAB 26%(+2), LDEM 20%(+1).

“Others” are down five points to 16%. We are seeing support for other parties falling from all the pollsters, but there is still no clear picture as to who it is benefiting. Here the Conservatives and Labour have benefitted equally, other pollsters have shown the Conservatives or Lib Dems doing better from their decline.

On unrelated matters, I’m labouring under a double whammy of swine flu and a power cut, so expect slow blogging for the next day or two. I think there may well be a MORI poll over the next day or two, so use this thread to discuss that too.

There are two new polls in the Sunday papers. First up YouGov for the Sunday Times have topline figures, with changes from their last poll, of CON 42%(+2), LAB 25%(+1), LDEM 18%(+1). Others are at 15%, so down 4 points from YouGov’s last poll.

ComRes for the Sunday Indy has topline figures, with changes from ComRes’s last poll, of CON 38%(+2), LAB 23%(-2), LDEM 22%(+3). Others are at 16%, which is again down 4 points.

Like the ICM poll in the week did, both polls show the high level of other support beginning to fall away as the European election effect recedes. It’s still high compared to the situation before the expenses scandal (and is very high by historial standards) but it appears to be on it’s way down.

As support for others recedes, it’s the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats who are benefitting. All the pollsters have the Conservatives and Lib Dems rising as the others drop away, with Labour variously static, falling, or marginally up. I can’t let the poll pass without commenting on that one point gap between Labour and the Lib Dems, the lowest we’ve seen since May, though of course, it’s only one pollster; YouGov and ICM are both showing Labour seven points ahead of the Lib Dems.

UPDATE: Looking at other questions the Sunday Times, as usual, commissioned questions on a wide range of topics – full tables are here. On the standard trackers there are no great changes in the leader net good job/bad job ratings. Cameron is at +26 (up 1), Brown at -47 (up 3), Clegg at +17 (down 1).

On the charitable status of private schools, 37% agreed that private schools should be encouraged as they eased the burden on taxpayers, 23% said they allowed parents to buy a better education for children and should be discourage (25% agreed with neither statement). 55% thought that the charity commission was right to pressure private school into subsiding more places for pupils from poor backgrounds.

YouGov also asked about Afghanistan. 72% of people thought stabilising Afghanistan was a worthwhile objective, but only 24% said it was worth risking the lives of British troops (even that 72% was a fall from the last time YouGov asked the question in March, when 78% of people agreed it was).

There was, however, slightly more support for sending British troops there. In March 43% of people said Britain should withdraw all troops from Afghanistan, that figure has now dropped to 33%. In March only 8% said Britain should send more troops, and 30% that other NATO countries should send more troops. Those figures are now 14% and 36%.

Asked about army equipment, 20% thought Gordon Brown was doing his best to provide British toops with the equipment they need. 60% though the war was being fought “on the cheap” and troops were not being adequately supplied.

ComRes also asked about Afghanistan. Asked if more troops should be committed to Afghanistan 34% agreed, asked if British troops should be withdrawn from Afghanistan 64% agreed. The results are different from YouGov’s, but of course, so was the question, given that YouGov gave the people the option of saying they would like more NATO troops from other countries to be sent there.

UPDATE 2: The Sunday Times’ claim that this is the Conservatives’ biggest lead over Labour since September last year isn’t true – it’s the result of newspapers’ charming tendency to believe that polls commissioned by other newspapers don’t actually exist, even if they are carried out by the same pollster using the same methodology. YouGov have in fact shown several larger Conservative leads this year.


Sunday Polls

I’m hoping for at least two new voting intention polls tonight. I’m off to a BBQ and might not be back before they appear, so feel free to use this thread to discuss the results.

New ICM/Guardian poll

I was hoping for a new Populus poll today, but instead we have the monthly ICM/Guardian poll. The topline figures with changes from their last poll a month ago are CON 41%(+2), LAB 27%(nc), LDEM 20%(+2). The poll was conducted on the 10th and 11th of July.

Both the Conservatives and Lib Dems are up slightly at the expense of “others”, who are down on 12%. This is the lowest they’ve been since the Telegraph began printing details of MPs expenses, though it’s worth noting that ICM never recorded the very high levels of other support that some other pollsters did in the first place – they peaked at 15% in ICM, compared to 23% with YouGov and 30% (!) with ComRes. We should wait to see some declines elsewhere before concluding that the tide has turning.

The other questions in the poll looked at spending and the renewal of Trident. The Guardian’s report says that more than two-thirds of respondents wanted to see the government cut spending, and only 42% of people wanted to see Trident renewed.

An ICM poll for tonight’s BBC Newsnight shows the public evenly split between support and opposition to Britain’s action in Afghanistan, but does suggest that support is continuing to grow.

46% said they supported the British mission in Afghanistan, with 47% opposed. A similar ICM poll for the BBC in March 2008 showed 40% support, a poll in September 2006 only 31% support. The survey was conducted between 10th and 11th July, so after news of many of last week’s casualties had been reported.

The higher level of public support for the action is Afghanistan compared to that in Iraq is probably connected to the poll’s other findings. More people thought that British troops were having a postive (33%) than negative (16%) effect in Afghanistan, and asked what the purpose of British troops in Afghanistan was, 80% cited the fight against Al Qa’eda and 78% helping the Afghan government defeat the Taliban. When, in the past, other polls asked similar questions about Iraq, they tended to show people thought the main reason was to secure oil supplies, and that the presence of British troops was making the situation worse.

ICM’s poll also found 42% saying that Britain should pull out of Afghanistan now, and 14% wanting Britain out by the end of this year. 36% said British troops should stay in Afghanistan for as long as needed.

Voting intention: For those of you waiting for a proper voting intention poll, Populus’s monthly poll for the Times will hopefully turn up this evening – normally we’d have had it last week, so I have my fingers crossed for tomorrow’s paper. We are also heading towards the time of the month when we can expect to see ICM in the Guardian or YouGov in the Sunday Times (though the latter is a moveable feast).