Easter Sunday polling

As far as I can see there were no standard GB polls in the Sunday papers last night, but there were two Scottish voting intention polls. Turning first to YouGov in Scotland on Sunday, topline figures there were, with changes from last week, are:

Holyrood constituency: CON 10%(-1), LAB 32%(-5), LDEM 8%(nc), SNP 45%(+5)
Holyrood regional: CON 12%(nc), LAB 29%(-4), LDEM 7%(nc), SNP 39%(+4), Grn 7%(+1)

When MORI showed a ten point lead for the SNP earlier this week I half expected it to turn out to be a bit of an outlier, but we’ve now got a very similar lead from YouGov. On the Scotland Votes predictor this translates into 40 seats for Labour, 61 for the SNP, 6 for the Lib Dems, 13 for the Conservatives, 8 for the Greens and Margo.

Meanwhile a second Scottish poll, this time for Progressive Scottish Opinion in the Sunday Mail, has topline figures showing a similar SNP lead in the constituency vote, but a tighter race in the regional vote. Topline figures are:

Holyrood constituency: CON 9%, LAB 36%, LDEM 6%, SNP 46%
Holyrood regional: CON 10%, LAB 37%, LDEM 9%, SNP 38%, Grn 5%

Using the Scotlandvotes predictor again, this translates into 51 seats for Labour, 56 for the SNP, 9 Lib Dems, 10 Conservatives, 2 Greens and Margo.

Finally, not really a poll, but I know many here will be interested – Rallings and Thrasher have their lastest local election projections based on their local government by-election model. They predict national equivalent shares of the vote in the local elections of CON 35%, LAB 38%, LDEM 17%, which would translate into the Conservatives losing almost 1000 seats, Labour gaining around 1300 and the Lib Dems losing 400. Essentially this would be a case of Labour reversing the Conservative gains in the 2003 and 2007 local elections.

The Independent this morning carries a new TNS-BMRB poll on the AV referendum. It shows a much tighter race compared to the recent polling by ICM and YouGov, with YES on 32%, NO on 34%, 21% don’t kmow and 13% won’t vote.

Leaving aside their Scottish polling, I think this is the first TNS GB polling we’ve seen since the election, though notably this poll was conducted online, rather than the face-to-face methodology TNS was using for political polls before the election.

There are no tables available yet, so I can’t really speculate on the difference between what ICM and YouGov are finding and the TNS findings. Note that the fieldwork was conducted between the 14th and 18th April, so covering the same period as ICM (15th-17th), and slightly earlier than YouGov’s fieldwork (18th-19th), so the differences are likely to be methodological or due to the question, rather than timing.

The Independent’s headline for the poll – “Voting referendum neck-and-neck as Yes campaign gains support”, incidentally, wins our coveted “crap media reporting of polls” award by claiming this shows the YES campaign gaining support. It does not – there is no earlier TNS poll to compare it too, and it predates one of the polls showing a bigger lead (Andrew Grice’s actual article does not make the same error!).

UPDATE: Tables for the poll are here, all appears to be above board and shipshape. The topline figures aren’t adjusted by likehood to vote, but that doesn’t make a massive difference anyway, so no obvious explanation as to why it is showing a different picture.


There is a new Ipsos MORI poll in today’s Times that shows a commanding lead for the SNP. Topline figures, with changes from their previous Scottish poll, are:

Holyrood constituency: CON 10%(-3), LAB 34%(-2), LDEM 9%(-1), SNP 45%(+8)
Holyrood regional: CON 10%(-3), LAB 32%(-1), LDEM 8%(-2), SNP 42%(+7), Green 6%(nc)

In The Times John Curtice projects that if repeated in the Scottish Parliamentary elections this would give the SNP 61 seats (up 14), Labour 45 (down 1), Conservatives 10 (down 7), Lib Dems 9 (down 7) and Scottish Greens 4 (up 2).

Clearly MORI are showing a bigger lead for the SNP than we’ve seen so far, but across the board recent polling is strong for the SNP. Recent polls from YouGov and Panelbase also showed the SNP ahead. The most recent poll from ICM continued to show Labour leading… but that’s over a month ago now, and at the time YouGov were also still showing Labour ahead. Public opinion seems to have shifted since then.

Full tabs are on the MORI website here

Ipsos-MORI’s monthly political monitor poll has been published here. Topline figures, with changes from last month, are CON 40%(+3), LAB 40%(-1), LDEM 9%(-1) – so putting Labour and the Conservatives neck-and-neck.

Needless to say, this is an unusual finding – the only other polls this year not to show a Labour lead were a couple of Opinium polls and the ICM poll straight after the budget. The ICM and YouGov polls conducted at the same time and subsequent to this one haven’t shown any obvious narrowing of the Labour lead. I suspect it’s down to weighting – Ipsos MORI do not do any political weighting of their sample (due to concerns about changes in levels of false recall and the fear it would weight out genuine volatility in public opinion) and the sample this month has significantly fewer respondents saying they voted Lib Dem in 2010… which given what has happened to the Lib Dem vote since then, one would expect to impact negative on the support recorded by Labour and the Lib Dems.

Following the big shift towards the NO in yesterday’s ICM poll, the weekly YouGov AV question for the Sun shows an identical picture – adjusted for likelihood to vote and excluding don’t knows, the NO campaign leads by 58% to 42%.

This pretty much confirms that there has indeed been a sharp shift towards NO over the last few days. There are just over two weeks left till the referendum day, but part of that is the Easter weekend, followed by several days when the news agenda will be swamped by the Royal Wedding. There is increasingly little time for the trend towards NO to reverse.