The daily YouGov poll for the Sun tonight has topline figures of CON 36%, LAB 38%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 11%. The two point Labour lead is the lowest that YouGov have shown since October, and 36% is the highest they’ve shown since October. Usual caveats of course apply – it could be a further narrowing of Labour’s lead, or could just be normal margin of error. It does, however, underline the narrowing of the Labour lead that we saw in YouGov’s daily polling last week.

Meanwhile, as if to illustrate how much of the daily back and forth of polls is just random variation, this morning’s twice-weekly poll from Populus shows movement in the other direction. Topline figures there are back to CON 33%, LAB 40%, LDEM 13%, UKIP 8%. Tabs are here.

Finally there is another batch of UKIP donor Alan Bown’s Survation constituency polls, showing high levels of UKIP support in most of the seats selected – even compared to Survation’s national polls, which tend to show the highest levels of UKIP support to begin with. All four constituencies surveyed have much higher Con=>Lab swings than national polls imply, to a extent that looks somewhat doubtful to me. Swings at general elections aren’t uniform… but it’s a fair guide, parties perform a little better in one seat, a little worse in another seat, but if you’ve got a series of polls showing swings that are *all* substantially better than the national average, almost regardless of marginality, who holds the seat, etc, something’s not right. Somewhere or other they need to average out.

These seats where presumably selected as ones where they thought UKIP were doing particularly well, so perhaps that’s the reason – where UKIP are doing particularly well it results in a bigger swing (in which case they would by definition not be typical of other seats – so do be careful of extrapolation) but I’m dubious about constituency polling so far from the national picture, especially without political weighting. We shall see.

The most interesting thing I actually found there was the difference between the increase in the UKIP vote in the three coastal towns polled (up 23, 20 and 25 points) and in Crewe and Nantwich where it was up only 8. Now, leaving aside the prompting and the weighting and whether it’s a good measure of the actual level of UKIP support, all four were done on the same basis so should be comparable to each other. One interesting question about UKIP support at the next election is how uniform it will be – UKIP got comparative few council seats in 2013 for the level of support they achieved because it was spread so evenly, they just ended up coming second a lot. If their support in 2015 is the same they would struggle to translate support into any actual MPs. In terms of winning seats it’s much better to have areas of strength and weakness. Seaside towns were some of their better areas in the 2013 locals, and the contrast here between Crewe & Nantwich and the seaside towns suggests their support may be clumpier than thought… but again, don’t read too many conclusions into that single poll.

Sunday Polls

There were three voting intention polls in this morning’s papers, topline figures are below:

Opinium/Observer – CON 30%(+2), LAB 37%(+2), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 16%(-3)
ComRes/Indy on Sunday – CON 29%(nc), LAB 36%(+1), LDEM 8%(-2), UKIP 18%(+1)
YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 32%, LAB 38%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 13%

Tabs for ComRes are here, tabs for YouGov are here.


This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 39%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 11%. The four point lead is lower than we’ve seen of late, and comes after a series of five and six point leads this week . In comparison Labour leads were averaging 7 points last month. Tabs are here.

YouGov also asked people if they thought the economy would be doing better or worse if Labour had won the election, and if they thought their own personal finances would be doing better or worse. 21% thought the economy would have been doing better if Labour had won in 2010, 42% that it would be doing worse, 26% thought that it would be much the same. On their own finances, 25% think they would have been better off if Labour had won, 32% worse off, 31% much the same. Tabs are here.

Meanwhile Populus’s twice weekly poll has a similar Labour lead, with topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 38%, LDEM 13%, UKIP 9%. Tabs here.

UPDATE: Ipsos MORI’s monthly poll for the Standard is also out, and it also has a four point Labour lead. Topline voting intentions are CON 33%(+1), LAB 37%(-1), LDEM 9%(+1), UKIP 10%(+2)

There are three YouGov polls out today, Britain, Scotland and Wales. Starting with the regular daily poll for the Sun, GB voting intentions stand at CON 34%, LAB 39%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 12% – a five point Labour lead, the third in a row from YouGov. Full tabs are here.

There was a second YouGov poll in the Times, this one a Scottish poll on referendum voting intentions. YouGov have the YES vote at 33% (up one point since September), the NO vote at 52% (no change). Excluding won’t votes and don’t knows the figures are YES 39%, NO 61%. This is the first YouGov poll since the independence white paper and clearly shows no significant change in referendum voting intentions. John Curtice has a nice summary of the three post-white paper polls we’ve seen so far on his blog here – a little narrowing in the lastest wave of polls, but “a touch on the tiller, rather than a game changer”. Full tabs for the YouGov poll are here.

Finally there is a new YouGov Welsh poll for ITV Wales and the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University, the first of a regular series of Welsh voting intention polls. Welsh voting intentions are:

Westminster – CON 21%, LAB 46%, LDEM 8%, Plaid 12%, UKIP 10%
Welsh Assembly constituency – CON 19%, LAB 43%, LDEM 9%, Plaid 20%, UKIP 7%
Welsh Assembly regional – CON 19%, LAB 40%, LDEM 9%, Plaid 15%, UKIP 10%

No changes from the previous poll as YouGov have changed how they prompt their Welsh assembly polls, as we explored yesterday. More generally the Westminster figures represent a 7.5 point swing from the Conservatives to Labour since the general election (not wildly dissimilar from the GB national picture), while the Welsh Assembly figures suggest an improvement for UKIP, but not a vast change for the other parties – if repeated at a Welsh assembly election Labour would retain the same number of seats they won in 2011, just short of an overall majority. Full Welsh tabs are here.

Regular readers may recall a YouGov poll of Welsh voting intentions back in July for Roger Scully’s elections in Wales site. It produced some rather strange results – not least because it had Labour at 46% in the Welsh Assembly constituency vote (perfectly reasonable), but only 25% in the Assembly regional vote, which seemed implausible. In 2011 Labour’s vote was 5 points lower in the regional vote, but 21 points lower seems extremely unlikely. This had happened several times in YouGov’s Welsh polls in the last couple of years, apparently starting since YouGov changed their blurb at the start of Welsh polls in 2012. The suggestion was that people who might not be too familiar with the voting system were misinterpreting the question, and instead of giving a regional vote, were giving a second preference.

Anyway, as Roger explains here, YouGov did a bit of testing to find out. Using a three-way split sample they tested three different wordings. The first was the wording that YouGov used to use pre-2012:

“If there were an election to the National Assembly for Wales tomorrow, and thinking about the constituency vote, how would you vote? And thinking about the regional or party vote for the National Assembly for Wales, which party list would you vote for?”

The second was the wording YouGov have been using since 2012 – note the phrase “your second vote” in there:

“In elections to the National Assembly for Wales you have two votes. One is for an individual member of the Assembly – or AM – for your constituency. The second is for a party list for your region. If there were a National Assembly for Wales election tomorrow, which party would you vote for in your constituency? Now thinking about your second vote, for a party list in your region, which party would you vote for?”

The third group got some new wording, very similar to the current one, but taking away the words “second vote”:

“In elections to the National Assembly for Wales you have two votes. One is for an individual member of the Assembly – or AM – for your constituency. The second is for a party list for your region. If there were a National Assembly for Wales election tomorrow, which party would you vote for in your constituency? Now thinking about the regional or party vote for the National Assembly for Wales, which party list would you vote for?”

As you’d expect, the different wordings made virtually no difference to how people answered the constituency vote question, but it made a massive difference to how people answered the regional vote question:

Old wording (no explanation)- CON 18%, LAB 39%, LDEM 4%, PC 21%, UKIP 9%
Current wording (“second vote”) – CON 16%, LAB 19%, LDEM 8%, PC 24%, UKIP 20%
New wording (“regional vote”) – CON 18%, LAB 35%, LDEM 5%, PC 21%, UKIP 14%

Using the current “second vote” wording there was once again an implausible 19 point difference between Labour’s constituency and regional vote. Using the old wording, or the new wording that takes away the phrase “second vote” the gap between Labour’s constituency and regional vote becomes a far more realistic 3 to 5 points. Going forward, YouGov will be using the new wording, using the words “regional or party vote”, rather than “second vote”.

Note, for the record, that these figures aren’t comparable to normal Welsh polls for sampling reasons (basically a proper Welsh poll will have a sample targeted at Welsh demographics, this was all about the comparisons, so it just went to a big lump of Welsh respondents, split three ways).