Category Archives: Polls

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:

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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.

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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:

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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:
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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 …

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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 …

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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.

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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 …

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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:

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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”.

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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% …

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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?

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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:

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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

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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
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    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 …

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    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 …

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    Must-read analysis from Peter Kellner on where the 5 million missing 2010 Lib Dem voters have gone

    A fascinating piece of polling research from YouGov’s Peter Kellner in today’s Guardian, looking at how votes have churned since the 2010 general election.

    My working assumption looking at the headline poll ratings has been that there’s been relatively little movement between Labour and the Conservatives, with most of the movement from the Lib Dems to Labour and from the Tories to Ukip. YouGov’s research shows how simplistic that assumption about votes lost/gained in the last four years is:

    vote churn peter kellner - feb 2014

    Three quick points drawn from this table:

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    Lewis Baston on the polls and ‘How the Lib Dems will actually do’

    I wrote last October about election expert Lewis Baston’s forecast for the next election, based on his analysis not only of the polls, but also of the trends in the ‘swing seats’, the battlegrounds which, in a first-past-the-post voting system, actually matter. His forecast for May 2015 was that Labour would edge the Tories by 36% to 34%, with the Lib Dems on 16%, and relatively few seats changing hands.

    Over at Progress Online, Lewis has returned to the fray, and asked the question, ‘How will the Lib Dems actually do?’. Here’s his conclusion:

    It is always troublesome to translate

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    First Euro poll of 2014 shows Lib Dems at 7%. Can we make being ‘The Party of IN’ work for us by the time of the real election?

    The first poll this year asking how people will vote in May’s European elections has been published today by YouGov. It gives the following headline ratings compared with the last elections in 2009:

      Conservative 17% (-11%)
      Labour 24% (+8%)
      Lib Dem 7% (-7%)
      Ukip 19% (+2%)

    Feed these numbers (plus those for the Greens, SNP/Plaid and others) into euroelection.co.uk and here’s what it means for numbers of seats:

    euro results forecast 2014

    The Lib Dems would be reduced from 11 seats to just 4, if these numbers are to be believed. The Tories number of MEPs …

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    And the winner of our Liberal Voice of the Year award is… Edward Snowden

    liberal-voice

    It's a fortnight since we launched our search for the Liberal Voice of the Year with the aim of finding the individual or group which has had the biggest liberal impact in the past 12 months. This is LibDemVoice's seventh such annual award, and as is our tradition, we looked beyond the ranks of the Lib Dems to find the liberal who’s most impressed our readers and is NOT a member of our party.

    We unveiled the shortlist here on New Year's Day. In total, 363 readers cast a vote in the past two weeks using a preferential voting system. The final (13th) round of voting gave the following result:

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    Latest ICM poll shows Lib Dems at 14%. I’d call that “mildly encouraging”

    guarian icm - jan 2014The latest ICM poll for The Guardian is published today. Its topline figures show Labour on 35% (-2%), the Tories on 32% (n/c), with the Lib Dems on 14% (+2%) and Ukip on 10% (+1%).

    The changes from last month are all within the margin of error, so nothing too dramatic can be read into it. The ratings are mildly encouraging for the Lib Dems. The ICM poll at the equivalent point in the parliamentary cycle – January 2009 – had the party at 16%. ICM’s poll is the one most eagerly awaited by poll-watchers, as the company has the best historic track record. It also tends to give the Lib Dems better ratings (than, say, YouGov) because of its methodology – but it’s a methodology which has yet to be tested under Coalition conditions.

    Input the figures into Electoral Calculus’s online prediction software and you’ll see they’d give Labour a majority of 24, with the Lib Dems reduced to 35 seats. In reality, I think the Lib Dems would do a little better than that on 14%, owing to the incumbency boost of our MPs’ (and local activists’) hard work – which would also likely eat into Labour’s seat tally, as it’s the Lib Dem-Labour battlegrounds where we’re most vulnerable.

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    Have you voted in our Liberal Voice of the Year poll yet? Today’s your last chance!

    liberal-voiceIt’s one week and six days since we launched our seventh annual search for the Liberal Voice of the Year, as voted for by you, our readers. That means you have only a day left if you haven’t yet made your choice.

    You can read more about the short-list – as chosen by party members via our latest survey – here. And you can cast your votes in order of preference using the electronic ballot paper below. Many thanks to the hundreds of readers who’ve already done so.

    The poll closes tomorrow, 14th January, with results to follow…

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    NEW POLL: Who is your Liberal Voice of the Year?

    liberal-voiceToday’s the day we launch our search for the Liberal Voice of the Year to find the individual or group which has had the biggest impact on liberalism in the past 12 months. This is the seventh annual award, and as is our tradition, we’re looking beyond the ranks of the Lib Dems to find the greatest liberal who’s not a member of our party.

    The list of 14 nominees appears below. These were sought from Lib Dem members via our most recent survey; some 250 nominations were submitted, and each of those short-listed needed to clear a threshold of four separate mentions.

    To vote, please use the poll below to rank the nominees in order of preference.

    This year’s shortlist for Liberal Voice of the Year is as follows

    (in alphabetical first-name order):

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    Three scenarios for the 2015 election based on current polling: which do you think looks most plausible?

    In 18 months we’ll know the result of the 2015 general election.

    Forecasting is a mug’s game – especially because there are an even greater number of variables this time than usual: a governing coalition of two parties with one established centre-left opposition, Labour, and an insurgent right-wing party, Ukip.

    But plenty are having a go at it anyway. Lib Dem MP Sir Nick Harvey reckons Labour has the next election in the bag. Psephologist Lewis Baston thinks we’re headed for a second hung parliament. And pollster Sir Bob Worcester believes the Lib Dems are destined for meltdown.

    Here’s my quick ‘n’ dirty analysis based on the polling trends. What I’ve looked at is Labour’s lead over the Conservatives according to the monthly average of opinion polls under three different scenarios.

    (Huge caveat straight off: the extent of the polling science on display here is me playing around on an Excel spreadsheet.)

    Scenario 1

    The Conservatives hit rock bottom in May 2012. The omnishambles budget and its desperate U-turns were followed by a poor set of local election results. There have been dips since then, notably when it looked like the economy might plunge into what was being billed as a triple-dip recession at the start of 2013, but never quite matching that period.

    Taking May 2012 as the peak of Labour’s lead, what would happen if the linear trend since then were to continue through to May 2015? This is what:

    polling trends 2015 - ST 2

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    Should we ban opinion polls from being published in the lead-up to election day?

    One-third of MPs (including a third of Lib Dem MPs) say yes – but more are opposed. At least that’s the finding of a ComRes survey of 159 MPs in the wake of the Indian Election Commission banning exit polls in the five states holding elections this month, plus a ban on any opinion polls in the final 48 hours of campaigning.

      Would you support or oppose a ban on the publication of opinion polls for a defined period prior to General Elections?

      Support
      All 30%

      Con 25%
      Lab 35%
      LibD 32%

      Oppose
      All 45%

      Con 49%
      Lab 39%
      LibD 38%

      Don’t know
      All 25%

      Con 26%
      Lab 26%
      LibD 30%

    Here’s what Andrew Hawkins, chairman …

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    YouGov: Nick edges Vince on economic trust

    Which politician (or combination of politicians) would the public most trust to run the British economy? That’s the question YouGov asked, and here are results courtesy the PLMR blog:

    economic trust

    Overall David Cameron has the single best economic trust figure (35%) followed by Ed Miliband (30%). As you might expect this breaks broadly on party lines: 91% of Tory voters trust their party’s leader; 76% of Labour’s trust theirs. The current Coalition partnership – Cameron and Clegg – are trusted by 29%, with Tories less enthusiastic and Labour supporters overwhelmingly hostile.

    Intriguingly …

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      Another 'pledge' *sigh* I think the issue of safe standing should be left until the Hillsborough inquests have been completed.
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      Simon F ; "Every political party gets mocked by the media" Of course- but the Tory/Labs get support by their own media.
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      If It shows, the very difficult situation the country was in at that time- and the way the Lib Dems were prepared, and very capable-...