Tag Archives: peter kellner

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”.

Posted in Polls | Also tagged , and | 47 Comments

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:

Posted in Polls | Also tagged and | 40 Comments

The double dip recession that never was?

Did the double-dip recession ever happen? It looks increasingly possible that it didn’t — the BBC reports the latest revision to the data:

A revision by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has cast doubt on the UK’s double-dip recession last year. Revised growth estimates now suggest the construction industry shrank in the first quarter of 2012, but by less than previously thought. Analysts say the revision may be enough to mean the overall economy narrowly avoided falling into recession for a second time. The ONS is due to give official confirmation of this in June.

In fact there was a …

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Three things we’ve learned from today’s opinion polls

Three interesting and important poll findings to report today…

Big lead for Labour according to ICM

polling station -  Some rights reserved by Simon Clayson
First, the Guardian’s monthly ICM poll is out, showing the biggest Labour lead in almost a decade:

    Labour 41% (+3%)
    Conservatives 29% (-4%)
    Lib Dems 13% (-2%)
    Ukip 9% (+3%)
    Others 8% (+1%)

The movements are more or less within the margin of error. Still, the Tories will be pretty disappointed to see the party get no bounce at all from David Cameron’s promise of a post-2015 EU referendum. Perhaps unsurprisingly it …

Posted in Op-eds, Parliamentary by-elections and Polls | Also tagged , , and | 131 Comments

So, about that Lib Dem wipeout in 2015 then…

GB-election-map2Ask most commentators about Lib Dem prospects at the next general election and a couple of words are sure to crop up sooner or later: either ‘wipeout’ or ‘annihilation’.

I understand why. Look at the opinion polls and the party is bobbing around the 10% mark. Compare that to the 23% we won in 2010, get your uniform national swing slide-rule out, and you can see why many folk, even quite sensible ones like Peter Kellner, will say something like this

The Liberal Democrats are facing political extinction with

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 130 Comments

Did you know the Lib Dems have lost half a million voters to Ukip? Here’s what I think it means.

UKIP logoConservative peer Lord Ashcroft — who, as ConservativeHome’s Tim Montgomerie has noted before, spends more on polling than all three parties combined — has today published the latest survey looking at the timely issue of the threat of Ukip. Nigel Farage’s party is now regularly polling around the level of the Lib Dems, seemingly taking voters disproportionately from the Tories, contributing to lengthening Labour poll leads.

Posted in News and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 51 Comments

Your essential weekend reader — 12 must-read articles you may have missed

It’s Saturday evening, so here are twelve thought-provoking articles to stimulate your thinking juices culled from the 50+ I’ve linked to from my Delcicious account this last week…

Groundhog year – Peter Kellner examines the polls to find how 12 months’ political turmoil has shifted popular opinion. The answer — not at all: ‘public reaction this year to Britain’s continuing economic troubles has been remarkably static. 2012 has been groundhog year.’

What next? Osborne needs a change of direction – Adam Posen, a former …

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Your essential weekend reader — 8 must-read articles you may have missed

It’s Saturday morning, so here are eight thought-provoking articles to stimulate your thinking juices…

Three big things I’ve got wrong since I’ve starting blogging and commenting – ConservativeHome’s Tim Montgomerie confesses to a trio of big errors on the NHS, higher-rate tax and equalities: “One of the many reasons I don’t want to be an MP is that I think this sort of ability to think openly and reflectively is probably impossible when you are standing for office.”

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David Cameron: the pro-Europeans’ secret weapon

Writing for the European Council on Foreign Relations, YouGov’s Peter Kellner highlights an important polling finding:

In July this year, YouGov asked this question: ‘Imagine the British government under David Cameron renegotiated our relationship with Europe and said that Britain’s interests were now protected, and David Cameron recommended that Britain remain a member of the European Union on the new terms. How would you then vote in a referendum on the issue?’…

Posted in Europe / International and Polls | Also tagged , , and | 11 Comments

A response to Peter Kellner: yes the Lib Dems need a narrative, but they should reject the tired left/right division

Peter Kellner, the President of polling company YouGov, has written a typically thought-provoking piece analysing – using recent polling figures – what he believes to be the reasons behind the Lib Dems’ current difficulties, and suggesting some solutions to overcome them.

The piece is a good one, and worth reading in full, though I have some reservations, not primarily about his conclusions but about how he reaches them. One of the key polls he cites asks voters to place themselves, the main parties and the party leaders on a spectrum of right to left. And while voters overall place both …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 34 Comments

The 15 words that mean the Coalition won’t fall, no matter what happens to Lords reform

There’s a very simple reason why — even if enough Tory MPs inflict the Coalition’s first defeat on a key plank of the Coalition Agreement which appeared in their last three manifestos — the Government will not fall tomorrow. It’s these 15 words from the May 2010 Programme for Government:


The deficit reduction programme takes precedence over any of the other measures in this agreement.

There is also, of course, the small matter of the current opinion polls: neither the Tories nor the Lib Dems will relish a rush to the ballot box at the moment. A Coalition once held together by radicalism and conviction is now bound together by a pact of mutually assured destruction.

The inconsistencies in Tory backbenchers’ position on Lords reform are legion. I won’t unpick them here, as Nick Thornsby has already highlighted six examples on his blog here.

What the Lords fracas reveals about the Tories’ mood

More interesting than trying to pick through the rubble of Tory excuses is to try and understand why a policy on which the two Coalition parties officially agree should be showing up so clearly David Cameron’s inability to lead his party.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 38 Comments

Peter Kellner’s advice to the Lib Dems: ditch boundary changes, and get a new leader before 2015

Chairman of polling firm YouGov, Peter Kellner, has a must-read article over at his firm’s site analysing the big challenges facing the Lib Dems at the next election. I know some Lib Dems might baulk at reading it: Mr Kellner, husband of Labour peer Baroness Ashton, is a self-declared non-Lib Dem, and YouGov’s daily polling consistently shows the party’s ratings to be significantly lower than other polling firms do. But get beyond those facts, and it’s clear we need to take on board the stark questions he has for the Lib Dems — even if we disagree with his …

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Is the Coalition Government’s honeymoon really over?

Forget the Lib Dems’ current poll-ratings for a moment – though today’s 19% from ICM will have done a fair amount to repair nerves frayed by YouGov’s poorer recent scores – and let’s focus on the Coalition Government as a whole.

Last week, YouGov’s Peter Kellner stated categorically: The honeymoon is over. His logic was simple enough:

Over the past four weeks, the coalition’s approval rating has slipped slowly but remorselessly. Our latest figures report a net rating of plus four (approve 41%, disapprove 37%). In just over two months, the coalition’s rating has declined to levels that were not

Posted in News, Op-eds and Polls | Also tagged , , and | 39 Comments

Is it a progressive majority or a progressive minority?

Interesting thoughts from Peter Kellner:

During election week, YouGov asked people where they placed themselves on the Left, centre or Right. We offered three variations of Left and Right: “very”, “fairly” and “slightly”. At first sight, Labour and Lib Dem supporters look fairly similar, and very different from Conservative supporters. Labour supporters divide: 54% Left, 23% centre and 5% Right, while Lib Dem voters divide: 43%-29%-9%. Contrast those figures with the Tories: 5%-21%-57%. If that were the only evidence we had, then the conclusion would be irresistible: most British voters belong to one of the two tribes on the left bank

Posted in News | 6 Comments

YouGov admit debate polling started whilst Nick Clegg was still speaking

YouGov have come in for a fair amount of flack online following last night’s instant debate poll for The Sun. Some of the criticism has been wrong or misplaced. Yes, one of their senior figures has Labour roots. But then one has Conservative roots  and other staff support the Liberal Democrats. They’ve even done polling for the Lib Dems in the past.

But – and it’s an important but – that was not the whole story. In amongst all the chaff were claims that YouGov’s polling started before the debate had actually finished and that it was collecting people’s verdicts on …

Posted in Polls | Also tagged and | 10 Comments

YouGov ‘push-polling’ mystery deepens

Earlier today Lib Dem Voice published a post asking the question, Are YouGov and Murdoch ‘push-polling’ for the Tories? This followed internet reports that the online pollster had been posing deliberately leading questions designed not simply to test public opinion, but to lead it.

Liberal Conspiracy picked up the story and put the question direct to Peter Kellner of YouGov, whose elliptical reply stated:

As with all agencies, we ask all kinds of questions for all kinds of clients; some public, some private. For purposes of testing theories, messages or policies we will often test statements phrased one way

Posted in General Election and Polls | Also tagged and | 7 Comments

Opinion: Attack YouGov if you want to – but at least say who you are

Last week’s Daily Telegraph article attacking YouGov’s polling raises some disturbing issues about the quality of political debate as we fast approach the general election.

Firstly, the article’s authors seem to have no understanding about how polls should be conducted. They complain that the raw data in one large aggregated survey “were…‘weighted’ using an undisclosed YouGov formula which reduced the lead to sex per cent .” But all reputable pollsters know that their sample will not usually be representative of the population, for example by having too few women or too many Guardian

Posted in Op-eds and Polls | Also tagged , , and | 4 Comments



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    "Of course, it may be that you’re an English nationalist and don’t want to preserve a working union. Fair enough." I certainly am not. :)
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    The further comments by McMillan-Scott, did only further to offend. I would say to anyone who is being paid a generous amount out of the...
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