Category Archives: Polls

Latest Ashcroft polls of Lib Dem seats: MP incumbency protects party in 10 out of 13 constituencies

Michael AshcroftThe Conservative peer and pollster Lord Ashcroft has released the results of his latest polling of key seats for the next general election, including 13 seats currently held by the Lib Dems and one (Watford) which the party is actively targeting. These seats are ones with bigger majorities than those he’s previously surveyed, and include MPs who commentators have speculated are under threat, such as Ed Davey in Kingston and Surbiton.

Across all Lib Dem / Conservative battleground seats, 11 of the 13, the standard voting intention question (“If there were a general election tomorrow, which party would you vote for?”) shows the Lib Dems trailing the Conservatives significantly: Con 33%, Lib Dem 22%, Ukip 20%, Lab 17%. Based on this, the Lib Dems would lose all the seats polled.

However, as is his tradition, Ashcroft has also asked the really important voting intention question: “And thinking specifically about your own parliamentary constituency at the next general election and the candidates who are likely to stand for election to Westminster there, which party’s candidate do you think you will vote for in your own constituency?”

This produces a very different result: Lib Dem 36%, Con 27%, Ukip 17%, Lab 13%. On this basis, the Lib Dems hold 10 of the 13 seats surveyed:

Tagged | 27 Comments

40% of the British public wants the Lib Dems to poll higher than now at the general election, YouGov finds

Here’s an interesting survey finding via YouGov. The pollster asked the following (slightly awkwardly worded) question:

The Lib Dems are currently between 6% to 11% in the opinion polls. At the next general election, might the Lib Dems get closer to their previous several elections? Their average for the past five elections is around 19%. AND, do you personally wnat them to do better than where they are now, or not?

You can see the full spread of results below. But bundled up here are the two key findings…

First, 78% of the public thinks the Lib Dems will poll around either …

Tagged | 31 Comments

The ‘nowcast’ for May 2015 which gives the Lib Dems 28 MPs

Over at the polling website May2015 (part of the New Statesman stable) Matt Singh has asked the straightforward question, ‘How are the Lib Dems polling and will they survive in May 2015?’ Except it isn’t all that straightforward…

First, there’s the issue that the different polling companies don’t agree on what the current Lib Dem rating actually is. In the last fortnight, the party’s been rated as low as 5% (Opinium) and as high as 11% (ICM): that’s a difference outside the margin of error you might expect.

Tagged , , , and | 77 Comments

Six months from 7th May 2015: how the polls are looking and what to look for

There are three key things about opinion polls.

The first is what matters are trends, not individual poll fluctuations.

The second is they’re snapshots, not forecasts. (A point made by Lord Ashcroft, to his credit, every time he publishes his latest poll finding.)

The third is the next general election won’t be decided by national party vote shares but by who wins in 650 individual seats. (A point often made by PoliticalBetting’s Mike Smithson.)

Here are the trends…

Here’s a graph which focuses solely on the first of these. It shows the result of every single opinion poll – courtesy Mark Pack’s invaluable spreadsheet – in the 12 months from October 2013 to September 2014 (incl.):

poll trends 2014

Tagged , , , , and | 69 Comments

Champagne corks popping at party HQ?

Champagne cork popping photo by Brent SchneemanTim Farron was on Radio Four’s Today yesterday morning. He was talking about Norman Baker’s resignation. In passing, when interviewer John Humphrys mentioned the party potentially losing lots of MPs at the next election, Tim mentioned that the Lib Dems went up by three percentage points in this week’s Lord Ashcroft poll.

When Humphrys said he would mention that this was just one optimistic poll for the party amidst many pessimistic polls, Tim joked that “at party HQ they might not hear you above the sound of champagne corks popping”.

Tagged , and | 15 Comments

Immigration: are you more clued-up than the British public?

immigrationHere’s your starter for three:

People sometimes talk about ‘net immigration’, meaning the difference between the number of people coming to Britain each year to live, and the number leaving Britain to live in another country. What do you think is the current level of net immigration into Britain? If you are not sure, please give your best guess.

More than two million a year
Between one and two million a year
Between 500,000 and one million a year
Between 400,000 and 500,000 a year
Between 300,000 and 400,000 a year
Between 200,000 and 300,000 a year
Between 100,000 and 200,000 a year
Between 50,000 and 100,000 a year
Less than 50,000 a year

Tagged , and | 36 Comments

Mori’s Sir Bob Worcester increases his forecast for Lib Dem seats in May 2015

Sir-Robert-WorcesterYes, you read that headline right: founder of MORI, Sir Bob Worcester, increased his forecast of how many seats the Lib Dems would win in May 2015 when asked for a prediction at last week’s Lib Dem conference.

I’ll be honest, though: I don’t think he meant to.

Last year, you may recall he predicted the party would win 24 seats. I certainly remember: Bob Worcester forecasts Lib Dems to be reduced to 24 seats in 2015. I’ll run naked down Whitehall if that’s the result (17th Sept 2013). I …

Tagged , , and | 39 Comments

ICM has Labour ahead, Ukip moving into 3rd place, Lib Dems on 11%

The Guardian published its latest ICM poll — commonly regarded as the ‘gold standard’ — this week. The top-line (with changes on the previous months) was: Labour 35% (=), Conservatives 31% (-2), Ukip 14% (+5), Lib Dems 11% (+1) and Others 10% (-3).

icm poll - oct 2014

Polling in September/October tends to fluctuate, as the noise of conference season often leads to spikes in support for each party in turn which soon fade. There have been two additional events which may have further confused matters: the Scottish independence referendum and last week’s Clacton by-election.

Tagged , , and | 72 Comments

Ashcroft’s poll of Lib Dem battleground seats: incumbency is alive and well but 2015 will be a survival election for the party

Tory peer and pollster Lord Ashcroft has published his latest set of constituency findings. He polled some of the key Lib Dem / Tory and Lib Dem / Labour battlegrounds in the summer – he’s now followed that up by looking at a further 22 seats. Of these, 2 are Lib Dem targets, 15 the party is defending against the Tories, and 5 against Labour. You can see the full results here .

Here are the headline findings:

  • Of the 20 Lib Dem-held seats polled, the Lib Dems would retain just 6.
  • The Tories would gain 7 and Labour would gain 4. The other 2 would be a tie (though actually a further 5 are statistical ties within the margin of error).
  • The Lib Dems would win neither of their two targets.
  • Tagged , , , , , , , , , and | 37 Comments

    The ‘Favourability Index': the Tories and Cameron lead, Lib Dems half as popular as Ukip

    I’m a fan of polling firm ComRes’s ‘Favourability Index’ which asks of political parties and their leaders ‘How favourable or unfavourable are you to X?’ For sure it’s a simplistic binary. But, then, so’s voting.

    It gives a much more accurate read-out of perceptions, I think, than asking (for instance) if people think X is doing a good job as leader of Y. After all, it’s quite possible to think that Nigel Farage is doing a pretty good job for Ukip while still never, ever wanting to vote for him.

    The latest index has been published today across the Independent and Mirror. The (perhaps) surprising result is that the winners are the Conservative Party and David Cameron, both viewed more favourably than their rivals.

    The bad news for Lib Dems is that the party is viewed favourably by just 13% of voters, half the proportion which view Ukip favourably.

    20 Comments

    ICM poll: Labour leads Tories by 7%, Lib Dems in third place on 12%

    What a difference a month makes. In July, the Guardian’s ICM poll – the ‘gold standard’ – showed a narrow 1% Tory lead over Labour. Fast forward to August and Labour enjoys a solid 7% lead over the Tories, by 38% to 31%. The Lib Dems are in third place, unchanged on 12%, with Ukip trailing on 10%.

    icm poll - aug 2014

    Three brief points:

    Tagged , and | 55 Comments

    Ukip may well win a seat in May 2015. But the least likely person to get elected is Nigel Farage

    Nigel Farage, Leader, UK Independence Party (UKIP)This week saw the latest in Lord Ashcroft’s polls of the marginal battleground seats that will decide the result of the next general election. This crop focused on 14 marginal Conservative-held seats where Labour are in second place.

    The overall news was half-encouraging for Labour. As it stands, Ed Miliband’s party is poised to win 11 of these 14 seats next May. The average swing from Tory to Labour of 4.5% would be enough to win 53 Tory seats, which, as as Ashcroft notes, “combined with the 17 seats my recent polling suggested they could gain from the Lib Dems, would be enough for a small overall majority”.

    Of course, this poll is a snapshot, not a prediction (as Ashcroft repeatedly stresses). A similar exercise conducted by Ashcroft for PoliticsHome in 2009 pointed to a Tory majority of 70 seats and we all know how that turned out a few months later. Usually the governing party picks up support as the election nears, while the opposition party loses support. We’ll see how that historical pattern bears out in Coalition conditions and as voting becomes yet more fragmented between five national parties, as well as the nationalists in Scotland and Wales.

    But the most newsworthy finding from Ashcroft’s poll was that Ukip would win two Conservative-held seats, Thanet South and Thurrock.

    Also posted in News | Tagged , , , and | 21 Comments

    Good news: Voters places themselves and the Lib Dems in the centre. Bad news: that doesn’t mean they’re liberals

    “There’s no future for the Lib Dems as a party of the centre,” goes the cry from radicals on both wings of our party. So I was interested to see this polling data from YouGov (hat-tip Adam Corlett) looking at where voters place themselves on the left-right axis and where they place the parties and their leaders. And yes, I know we don’t buy into the idea of a binary left-right axis, but it can’t be entirely dismissed.

    As YouGov explains, “tracking data compiled over as many as 12 years gives a clear sense of how the main parties and their leaders have been perceived as shifting on a left-right scale. The two charts below shows mean scores based on 100 being “very right-wing” and -100 being “very left-wing”.” I’ve super-imposed onto YouGov’s graphics where, on average, voters currently place themselves:

    voters left right spectrum you gov 2014

    Three quick points:

    Also posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , , and | 59 Comments

    The Lib Dems’ ‘bedroom tax’ U-turn: new poll on what the voters think about it

    Spare Bedroom Photo by Flack JackThe Lib Dems announced a few days ago the party’s 2015 manifesto would propose reform of the ‘bedroom tax’ / ‘spare room subsidy’, which would means no tenant would have any of their housing benefit withdrawn unless they had turned down an offer of a smaller property.

    It was a long overdue climbdown – as I wrote in April 2013: “The principle of the ‘bedroom tax’, then — to try and maximise the availability of social housing and reduce the chronic waiting lists — is

    photo by:
    Also posted in News | Tagged , , and | 15 Comments

    ICM poll: Tories edge ahead of Labour, while Ukip collapse to 4th behind Lib Dems

    Amidst all the reshuffle excitement, I didn’t get chance to report the latest ICM poll – regarded by pundits as the ‘gold standard’ – for The Guardian, published on Tuesday. It shows the Tories a nose ahead of Labour, 34% to 33%, with Ukip slumping to fourth place (9%) behind the Lib Dems on 12%.

    icm poll - july 2014

    The collapse of the Ukip vote is the most dramatic story in the poll – Nigel Farage’s party topped the nationwide Euro-elections just a few weeks ago. However, the pattern is a …

    Tagged and | 19 Comments

    What links Jeremy Hunt and Peter Lilley? (Tip: If you’re not sure who they are, that’s the clue.)

    Who’s the most famous cabinet minister? And who’s the least famous? That’s what YouGov set out to find out by inviting its representative sample of the public to type in the name, unprompted, of the post-holder of six senior cabinet positions. Here’s what they found…

    identifiable cabinet ministers - yougov

    So Iain Duncan Smith (36% correctly naming him as Work and Pensions secretary) and Jeremy Hunt (28% as health secretary) are the least famous cabinet members. Though, to be honest – like John Rentoul and with due respect to Mike Smithson …

    Tagged , , , , , and | 4 Comments

    Ashcroft battlegrounds poll: Lib Dems set to lose four marginal seats to Labour

    lib lab Labour Liberal Democrat logoThe second of Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft’s polls of Lib Dem marginal seats was published this week, focusing on four of our battlegrounds with Labour: Norwich South (held by Simon Wright), Bradford East (David Ward), Brent Central (Sarah Teather standing down, Ibrahim Taguri selected), and Manchester Withington (John Leech). Also included was Brighton Pavilion, which Caroline Lucas won for the Greens from Labour in 2010.

    Also posted in News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , and | 41 Comments

    Poll of school leaders and governors: Don’t like Coalition’s education policies – BUT do like Lib Dem Pupil Premium and infant free school meals

    05192014 - AD - Hartford 87A couple of findings worth highlighting from a major survey of more than 2,000 school leaders and governors, commissioned by The Key, and carried out by polling firm Ipsos Mori.

    It probably won’t come as a surprise to discover that the Coalition’s performance on education is viewed unfavourably: three-quarters of school leaders (75%) are dissatisfied with almost half (46%) saying they are very dissatisfied. However, drill down a level and it’s clear there are some policies which are popular – two of three most …

    Also posted in News | Tagged , , , and | 13 Comments

    Ashcroft battlegrounds poll: both Tories and Lib Dems down on 2010, but it’s the Tories who’d make gains

    lib toryLord Aschroft, the Tory peer and pollster, has published the results of a large survey of 17 Lib Dem / Conservative battleground seats. Six are Tory-held seats where the Lib Dems were runners-up in 2010; 11 are Lib Dem-held seats where the Tories were runners-up.

    Across those seats the voting intention (compared with the 2010 general election) is: Con 33% (-8%), Lib Dem 28% (-15%), Labour 14% (+5%), Ukip 18% (+14%). However, that conceals a lot of individual seat-by-seat variation. Here’s the constituency overview. The headlines are that:

    Also posted in News | Tagged | 64 Comments

    ICM poll: No revival for two-party politics, even as Lib Dems drop to 10%

    State of the parties, 17 June 2014.The Guardian has published its latest ICM poll, the ‘gold standard’ survey most eagerly awaited alike by political junkies (because ICM has the best track record) and Lib Dems (because it tends to give the party higher ratings). It shows Labour on 32%, a nose ahead of the Tories (31%), with Ukip (16%) and the Lib Dems (10%) trailing in third and fourth.

    Two points stand out. First, the combined Labour/Conservative shares, at 63%, are the lowest ever recorded by ICM using the phone method. No sign of a reversion to two-party politics.

    Secondly, the Lib Dem share of 10% is also the lowest ever recorded by ICM using the phone method. As Anthony Wells notes, “ICM were responsible for the Lib Dems lowest ever score of 3% back in 1989, but this is the lowest ICM have ever shown for them since they switched to phone polling in the 1990s”.

    Tagged , , and | 47 Comments

    New ICM poll: Do you want the okay-ish news or the bad news?

    Let’s start with the okay-ish news… ICM, the ‘gold standard’ pollster, has the Lib Dems at 13% in the Guardian’s latest monthly survey. That wouldn’t usually be much to write home about – it is after all 10% lower than the party scored at the last general election – but after a string of polls showing the Lib Dems in single digits, there will be something of a sigh of relief from Great George Street.

    icm poll - may 2014

    In fact, there’s a second bit of okay-ish news, which I’ll come …

    Tagged and | 49 Comments

    Latest Euro election polls: Ukip take the lead, but what about the Lib Dems?

    It’s the last day of April, a month which began with the second ‘Nick v Nigel’ debate and has seen 11 polls asking specifically about voting intentions in the European elections on 22nd May. Here’s what they show:

    euro election polls april 2014

    Quite a lot of movement, but the trend appears now to be that Ukip are in a clear first place above 30%, followed by Labour around 25%, then the Tories on 20%. The Lib Dems are some way back in fourth place, at or around 10%, with the Greens fluctuating …

    Also posted in Europe / International | Tagged | 50 Comments

    Latest ICM poll: Lib Dems at 12% for Westminster, but just 6% in the Euros

    As I’ve mentioned before, The Guardian’s ICM poll is the one I wait for each month. The latest figures are now up, and the figures are… well, I’m not sure what to make of them really.

    icm april 2014

    In the snapshot of Westminster voting intentions, the Lib Dems are unchanged from last month on 12%, ahead of Ukip on 11% (+2%). Labour lead the Conservatives by 37% (-1%) to 32% (-3%). All the figures are within the margin of error. The party will be relieved to see that there’s …

    Tagged and | 49 Comments

    Nick v Nigel: the polls call it for Farage. Disappointing, but don’t panic! Here’s 3 reasons why you shouldn’t…

    Farage cleggLast week we had one post-debate poll. It showed Farage won overall, but the split was more interesting: Labour and Lib Dem voters went for Nick, Tory and Ukippers for Nigel. As you’d probably expect.

    This week we had two post-debate polls, and their results are remarkably similar. ICM says Clegg was reckoned to have won by 31% of viewers, Farage by 69%. YouGov says 27% preferred Clegg, 68% Farage.

    ICM has released the breakdown of its poll. This week, Labour voters split (narrowly) in Farage’s favour, by 57% …

    Also posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 56 Comments

    So how’s my scenario 3 – a Tory lead of 6% by May 2015 – working out then?

    Time to dust down a post from last December looking at scenarios for the 2015 election based on current polling – two of which pointed to the Conservatives being likely to take a poll lead in the next year.

    (NB: as then, please note my huge caveat – “the extent of the polling science on display here is me playing around on an Excel spreadsheet.”)

    In particular, I was curious what might have happen to my third scenario in the meantime. So pasted below is what I wrote in December, but I’ve updated the graph to add the last four months’ average poll leads to see how they fit the trend-line. (The answer is pretty well.)

    Scenario 3

    File this under the heading “a bit of fun… probably” – let’s look at the whole parliament and insert a polynomial trendline to take us through to May 2015. Here’s what happens:

    tory lead in may 2015 scenario 3

    Under Scenario 3, then, the Conservatives bounce back from their mid-term slump to lead Labour by 6% come the next general election. It couldn’t happen – could it?

    Also posted in News | Tagged , and | 20 Comments

    Latest Euro poll shows how, in this May’s elections, every %-age point matters for the Lib Dems

    clegg farage lbcInterest in the outcome of May’s European elections is picking up, at least judged by the number of polls the newspapers are commissioning – four have been published in the last fortnight. Here’s the average support for the parties:

      Labour – 30%
      Ukip – 26%
      Conservative – 24%
      Lib Dems – 9%

    Converting that into seats using EuroElection predict’s online gizmo would produce the following figures:

    Also posted in Europe / International | Tagged and | 27 Comments

    New poll: Voters credit low-earner tax-cuts to Lib Dems, Clegg’s ratings spike following Farage debate challenge

    Here’s a poll finding that will relieve Lib Dems and worry Tories – according to Ipsos-Mori more voters (45%) credit the Lib Dems with the Coalition’s tax-cuts than credit the Tories (33%):

    tax cuts lib dme credit ipsos mori

    Also posted in News | Tagged , , and | 31 Comments

    Four-in-10 voters would never consider voting for the Lib Dems – but it’s not all bad news…

    Some interesting poll data from Ipsos-Mori who were asked by British Future to look at attitudes towards voting for the four main political parties. Here’s three points that stood out for the Lib Dems:

  • Four-in-10 voters would never consider voting for the Lib Dems, Conservatives or Ukip. Labour is less unpopular: one-in-three voters would never consider voting Labour.
  • Lib Dem supporter are the most anti-Ukip: 62% say they would never consider voting Ukip. This compares with 43% of Lib Dems saying they would never consider voting Conservative, and 38% saying they would never vote for Labour.
  • The feelings mutual… Ukip supporters
  • Tagged , and | 4 Comments

    Another Coalition? 1-in-5 of the public likes the idea, but is divided between Lib-Lab and Lib-Con pact

    Nick Clegg sparked a flurry of Coalition speculation this week, with his (relatively) warm words towards Labour on a BBC Radio 4 documentary this week. Everyone’s had their say – but what does the public think? YouGov has polled them to ask…

    The first question asked which option folk would like to see after the next general election…

    yougov coalition feb 2014

    So a Labour majority government is the preference of most (31%), narrowly ahead of a Tory majority government (29%). A coalition government involving the Lib Dems would be favoured by …

    Tagged and | 20 Comments

    Official: Lib Dem voters least bothered about penis size

    Kudos to YouGov for coming up with the most outrageously crow-barred poll finding to mark Valentine’s Day – that Lib Dem voters are least likely to think that penis size matters.

    yougov poll - 14 feb 2014

    The findings are not surprising. After all, we’ve always wanted proportional representation. We’ve always been wary of sudden swings to the left or right. And throughout the Coalition, Lib Dems have argued it’s not the size of our parliamentary party that matters, but what we do with our honourable members. We must now gird our …

    Tagged | 13 Comments
    Advert



    Recent Comments

    • User AvatarAmalric 29th Nov - 3:27am
      @ Richard Dean The immigrants have money to spend here because they are mostly in work. If there were 3.2 million more children in the...
    • User AvatarAmalric 29th Nov - 2:30am
      It is very disappointing to see that 49% of the party is satisfied with Nick Clegg as leader and 56% say the party is on...
    • User AvatarAmalric 29th Nov - 1:46am
      The government has been informed that in England (only) there are 1.8 million households on the local authority waiting lists. It was expected that in...
    • User AvatarHywel 29th Nov - 12:45am
      Errrrm: https://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/3463/Support-for-EU-membership-highest-for-23-years-even-as-UKIP-rises-in-the-polls.aspx
    • User AvatarDavid Allen 29th Nov - 12:18am
      All this argument about whether net inward migration is good for the economy, whether people really resent it all that badly, and whether or not...
    • User AvatarDavid Evans 29th Nov - 12:07am
      The question is does Nick have the courage to bite the bullet and take us out of the coalition on this issue now? If he...