This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 38%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 13%. The four point lead is slightly lower than YouGov have been showing of late, but there was equally an eight point lead yesterday and both are entirely in line with an underlying average lead of around about six points. Tabs are here.

For the Times YouGov also asked the first recent questions about Lord Rennard and his future. 41% of people think he should leave the Liberal Democrats as he is damaging the party, 33% think he should remain as no wrongdoing has actually been proven. There is a noticiable difference between male and female respondents – men are almost evenly split, 40% think Rennard should stay, 39% think he should go. Amongst women 43% think Rennard should go, only 27% think he should stay.

As a caveat, YouGov also asked whether or not people were paying any attention to the Rennard story. Only 6% of people said they were following it closely, 30% said fairly closely, 25% not very closely, 39% that they were not following the story at all or were totally unaware of it. Generally speaking this should be a Westminster bubble story – it’s about a disciplinary procedure against a backroom figure most of the public have never heard of, in normal terms it should be the sort of thing that only the most politically minded notice and which is rapidly forgotten by next week. However, the fact that it is dragging on and on does increase the possibility of “normal” people noticing.

YouGov’s weekly poll for the Sunday Times is up here. Topline figures are CON 33%, LAB 39%, LD 8%, UKIP 13%. Good job/bad job ratings for the leaders are minus 15 for Cameron, minus 35 for Miliband, minus 51 for Clegg.

On the economy there is a big contrast between people’s attitudes to the economy as a whole, and their own personal circumstances. On the wider economy there is optimism – 36% of people think things are better than a year ago, 24% worse. Ask about people’s own finances and only 14% think they are better off than a year ago, 39% think they are worse off. Asked about the year ahead, only 17% think their own household’s finances will get better, 37% think they’ll get worse. People are pessimistic, but it’s a measure of how bad things were (and how things are turning round) that this minus twenty net score is the best so far this Parliament.

Asked which party is closest to different groups, the Conservatives are overwhelmingly seen as the party that best represents and understands the rich (by 83%) of people. Labour are a mile ahead of the other two parties on representing and understanding the working class and people on benefits (though around a quarter of people think no party really understands or represents them). Despite Ed Miliband’s recent foray, the Conservatives are still seen as the party that best represents and understands the middle class. Even amongst Labour’s own voters 30% think the Conservatives better understand middle class people.

Asked to describe themselves, 46% of people say they are working class, 42% middle class. It’s interesting to compare the ABC1C2DE social categorisations of people (which is based on their occupation) with their self-perceptions: 35% of people in “middle class occupations” consider themselves working class, and 28% of people in “working class occupations” consider themselves middle class. Obviously the ABC classification is pretty crude in its own way, but it’s also a sign of perceptions of social class are an awful lot more complicated than people’s own current occupation.


The monthly online ComRes poll for the Indy on Sunday and Sunday Mirror is out tonight (ComRes have two monthly polls, the other is a phone poll for the Indy – the two different methods tend to produce slightly different results). Topline figures with changes from December’s online poll are CON 30%(+1), LAB 35%(-1), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 19%(+1).

ComRes also asked if people had favourable perceptions of each party and their leader. We get the usual pattern for the Tories and Labour: David Cameron is seen more favourably than his party (27% are favourable towards Cameron, 48% unfavourable – a net rating of minus 21 compared to the Conservative party’s minus 25), Ed Miliband is seen less favourably than his party (a net rating of minus 31 compared to his party’s minus 19). Cameron is seen more favourably than Miliband, Labour are seen more favourably than the Tories.

So far nothing new. The interesting findings are UKIP. There is an assumption that UKIP are a bit like marmite – love em or hate em. Their supporters are very positive (and vocal) but are vastly outnumbered by detractors. The ComRes results however paint a more positive picture for UKIP – 27% had a positive opinion of the party (so marginally higher than Labour (26%) and the Tories (25%)). Only 38% had a negative opinion though, which was significantly lower than the Conservatives or Labour, giving them the most positive net figure. The other interesting finding was that Nigel Farage polled significantly less positively than his party – a net rating of minus 18, compared to minus 11 for UKIP.

We should also have an Opinium poll tonight in the Observer, and tomorrow morning the weekly YouGov poll in the Sunday Times.

UPDATE: Opinium figures in the Observer are CON 30%(nc), LAB 36%(-1), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 17%(nc)

Friday polls

We have no fewer than four voting intention polls out today. Populus’s twice weekly poll has topline voting intention figures of CON 33%, LAB 40%, LDEM 13%, UKIP 9%. Full tabs are here.

Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor for the Evening Standard has topline figures of CON 30%(-3), LAB 39%(+2), LDEM 13%(+4), UKIP 11%(+1). The increased Labour lead seems to be mostly down to likelihood to vote – last month MORI’s results for all voters had a seven point Labour lead, which became a four point lead when they took only those certain to vote. This month their results for all voters had a five point Labour lead, which became a nine point lead when they took only those certain to vote. Full details are here.

MORI also had some interesting questions on coalitions. 60% of people now think it was a bad thing that we had a hung Parliament in 2010, 32% a good thing. This compares to 40% good, 52% bad when it was asked in May 2010. Looking forward, only 26% think it would be a good thing if we had another hung Parliament at the next election, 65% see if as a bad thing (thought 51% of people think it is very or fairly likely). MORI also asked if people would support the party they support going into a coalition in the event of a hung Parliament.

  • 70% of Tory voters would support another coalition with the Lib Dems, only 40% would support a coalition with UKIP.
  • 62% of Labour supporters would support a coalition with the Lib Dems, 63% would support a coalition with the Greens
  • 65% of Lib Dems would support another coalition with the Tories, 53% would support a coalition with Labour

Moving on, YouGov’s daily voting intention poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 39%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 12% (full tabs are here.

Finally, Sky News have a Survation poll with topline figures of CON 30%(-1%), LAB 34%(-1%), LDEM 12%(+1%), UKIP 18%(+2). Full tabs for that are here

As well as the normal Sun voting intention poll, they also had a YouGov poll on the European elections this morning. Topline voting intention figures were CON 23%, LAB 32%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 26%, Greens 5%. Labour in first place, UKIP in a strong second and the Conservatives in third, the Lib Dems way behind. Full tabs are here.

Looking at only those certain to vote puts UKIP in an even stronger position – they would be on 30% to Labour’s 32%. I’m somewhat cautious about European election polls more than a month or two out – in 2009 polls done in January bore very little resemblence to what the result turned out to be, with UKIP advancing strongly in teh months leading up the election (though to sonme degree that was down to the expenses scandal breaking). These figures already look very positive for UKIP.

Worth noting is if these were the results there is a chance that the Lib Dems could be wiped out. On a uniform swing this give Labour 28 MEPs, UKIP 23 MEPs, the Conservatives 15, the Greens 1, SNP 2, Plaid 1 (and three in Northern Ireland). In practice it would be very close, who gets the final seat in constituencies with a large number of MEPs can come down to fractions of percentage points and the Lib Dems would just miss out in the South East and South West, but a wipe out is a realistic possibility. (The reason, if you are wondering, for the slightly odd suggestion that the Greens could get a seat with far fewer votes than the Lib Dems is because the strongest Green region is the South East and the Lib Dems strongest region is the South West – you need fewer votes to win a seat in the South East).

Finally, for methodology anoraks amongst you, YouGov’s question prompts for all the parties in the European Parliament – so including UKIP, Green and the BNP. This is a change from 2009 that we pondered for a while. In 2004 YouGov prompted for all the parties, and overestimated UKIP support. In 2009 we only prompted for Con, Lab, Lib Dem and SNP/PC and got UKIP pretty much right (our last poll had them on 18%, in the event they got 17%). However, given they came second last time (and on that basis the broadcast media will presumably be required to give them as much coverage as Labour and the Conservatives during the run up to the election), and the media focus is very likely to be on how well UKIP do and whether they win, we thought it more appropriate to put them in the main prompt for the European elections. Peter Kellner has written more about it here.