I’m on leave this week so don’t expect much posting. For the record Monday’s twice-weekly Populus poll had topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 38%, LDEM 12%, UKIP 11%, while YouGov’s daily poll for Tuesday morning had figures of CON 31%, LAB 38%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 14%. Both are pretty much in line with the two companies’ recent averages.

Meanwhile there was also some ICM polling in the Daily Mirror this morning – no voting intention, just some questions on attitudes towards Ed Miliband – the headline finding was that 34% of 2010 Labour voters thought Miliband should not lead Labour into the next election, 46% thought that he should. The rest of the survey asked which leader people preferred on various measures, finding the leaders usual strengths and weaknesses – Cameron leads Miliband on making tough decisions and running the economy, Miliband is seen as more in touch, honest and interested in helping the poorest. Clegg doesn’t do well anywhere.

(For the avoidance of doubt given how late I’m posting today, those YouGov figures are the Monday night/Tuesday morning figures, NOT a sneak preview of Tuesday night/Wednesday morning figures!)

This week’s YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is up here, topline figures are CON 32%, LAB 38%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 13% – in line with the average YouGov Labour lead of six points or so. The rest of the poll was very much August fare (when a poll comes along with a big chunk of questions on whether TV presenters should have beards you know you are deep in silly season), though there were some repeats of YouGov’s semi-regular questions on how Ed Miliband is doing as Labour leader. As usual they are not very complementary.

I’ve written about the strange anomaly of Ed Miliband’s poor ratings several times (normally voting intention and best PM are far more closely correlated, and being ahead in voting intention tends to be accompanied with an opposition leader having more positive ratings. The sharp contrast between Ed Miliband’s poor personal ratings and Labour’s long-term lead in voting intention is unusual). I see how it resolves itself is one of the great unanswered questions of the next general election – whether Labour continue to do well despite Miliband’s poor ratings (as the Conservatives did despite Thatcher’s poor ratings in 1979), or whether the negative perceptions of Miliband weigh more heavily on the public as we get closer to a general election and a choice between who they want to form the next government, and Labour support is consequently dragged down. We cannot tell.

What we can tell is that perceptions of Miliband seem to be heading in the wrong direction. Today’s YouGov poll has the proportion of people thinking he is a weak leader up to 51% (from 47% in July and 37% last September), the percent thinking he is not up to the job of Prime Minister is up to 62%, from 57% in July, 51% in May. Whether this actually matters or not is a different question – personally I find the evidence of repeated British Election Studies that perceptions of the party leader are an important factor driving voting intention compelling… but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be outweighed by other factors that are presumably responsible for Labour having been in the lead now for over 18 months.


The monthly online poll for ComRes in the Indy on Sunday has topline figures of CON 28%(nc), LAB 37%(+1), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 19%(+1). Clearly there is no significant change from last month (although that itself is interesting – the UKIP score in this poll matches the party’s high with ComRes, so the decline we’ve seen from UKIP’s post local election high from almost every other company is absent here).

The rest of the poll has lots of my beloved agree/disagree statements, but of particular interest is one that was a repeat from way back in 2009. Back then 58% of people agreed that citizens of other EU countries should have the right to live and work in the UK, four years on, with immigration within the European Union having become more of an issue, that figure has dropped to 23%, with 57% disagreeing that EU citizens should have the right to live and work here.

The Friday edition of Populus’s twice-weekly poll is out today and has topline figures of CON 36%, LAB 39%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 8%. The 36% for the Tories is higher than most other polls have shown the Conservatives, though that’s probably partially a result of Populus tending to show relatively low scores for both the Lib Dems and UKIP (now that Populus have rejoined the regular polling rota I should get round to doing an updated post on the various companies’ house effects). Full Populus tabs are here.

Meanwhile the daily YouGov poll for the Sun this morning had figures of CON 34%, LAB 39%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 11%. Full tabs are here.

The monthly Ipsos-MORI poll for the Evening Standard is out today, and has topline figures of CON 30%(+1), LAB 40%(nc), LDEM 10%(nc), UKIP 11%(-1) – so no obvious change from last month. Full details are here.

MORI also repeated their semi regular question comparing whether people like the parties and their leaders, asking whether people like each party and its leader, the party but not the leader, the leader but not the party, or neither. 63% of people now say they don’t like Ed Miliband, up from 56% in Oct 2012 and 51% in Jan 2011. 30% say they like Miliband, a net score of minus 33. In comparison Gordon Brown’s worst score was minus 36 in July 2008. On the party he leads 49% of people say they like Labour, and 43% say they dislike Labour giving them a net score of plus 6 and meaning they are still the party that people have the most positive opinion of.

Looking at the same questions for David Cameron, 43% of people like him, 52% dislike him (a net score of minus 9, slightly better than last year but less positive than when he was in opposition). For the Conservative party 39% have a positive view, 57% a negative view (a net score of minus 18). The pattern we’ve seen before continues – David Cameron is still more likeable than his party (-9 compared to minus 18), while Ed Miliband trails behind his party (minus 33 compared to plus 6). Neither prevents Labour having a lead in voting intention.

For the first time the like him/like his party question included Nigel Farage and UKIP. Farage was liked by 27%, disliked by 50% (a net rating of minus 23); UKIP were likely by 25%, disliked by 52% (a net rating of minus 27, so Farage slightly more popular than his party).