Archive for the 'Pollsters/polling' Category


Does this explain the Tory optimism about May

Friday, March 6th, 2015

“Labour voters are also generally lukewarm about their leader in a way that Conservatives are not about theirs.” – Opinium

The above chart shows how well Dave and badly Ed do among their own supporters, as other pollsters generally find as well. I’m of the view, that Ed’s poor ratings are priced into the voting intention, and that the voting intention is largely correct.

We’re going to find out in nine weeks time if it is priced in or not. These types of findings might well explain why particularly on betfair, the prices are much more bullish on the Tories doing better than the current polling suggests.

Opinium have also been tracking this “For a while now we’ve been asking voters to predict the 2015 election with the options being majorities for either big party or a hung parliament with either Labour or the Conservatives as the largest party. We defined a “win” as a party winning a majority or being the largest party in a hung parliament.”

This probably also probably explains the Tory optimism and expectation about May and feeds through to betfair.

Back in 2013, when Labour was routinely recording 10-point leads, 54% of voters expected Labour to ‘win’ vs. just 24% for the Conservatives. Now that both parties are at parity, Labour’s figure has dropped to 33% while the Conservatives’ has risen to 49%.

Among Labour voters themselves, the proportion predicting a win was 82% in 2013 but just 67% do so now. Conservative voters have gone from 60% expecting a win to 82% now.

To an extent this is just voters reading the polls and coverage of them which show that, even if momentum may not exactly be with the Tories, Labour have bled support across the country to the SNP, UKIP and more recently the Greens.

This also feeds into who they expect to be prime minister after the election. Overall Cameron leads Miliband by 46% to 23% but while 75% of Conservatives expect their leader to stay at No. 10, just 47% of Labour voters expect Ed Miliband to replace him.

The full data is available here



The latest batch of Ashcroft marginals polling finds some good news for Labour in the Con/Lab Marginals

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

But the SNP surge continues as even Gordon Brown and Charles Kennedy’s seats goes to the SNP but Jim Murphy holds on.

Labour will be delighted that the swing to then in the English marginals is more than the national polling implies

I’ll update this thread as we get more information, there’s an 8,000 strong national poll out as well.



Some interesting poll findings

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

As we await the next batch of Lord Ashcroft marginals polling at 5pm, here’s some appetising hors d’oeuvre from other pollsters appear that go against what most people perceive to be true.

An Ipsos-Mori polling analysis in the Guardian finds

Election 2015: support for Ukip among Gen Y voters doubles in a year. Think younger voters don’t like Nigel Farage? Think again – Ukip is polling nearly as well as the Green party and is almost level with the Lib Dems

Gen Y

Meanwhile YouGov polls on whether people become more conservative as they age.

During PMQs the Leaders’ debates were raised, and here’s what the great and the good think.



Whatever could this mean? – Updated with the figures

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

The next twenty-four hours is going to be fascinating, as well as this YouGov poll, at 5pm on Wednesday, Lord Ashcroft publishes his latest batch of constituency polling from both England and Scotland as we approach the General Election campaign proper starts shortly and we’re 15 days away from possibly the most political budget of all time.



February 2015 Issues Index

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

The NHS remains the most important issue facing Britain despite falling 4% in the last month.

Issues 1

Ipsos Mori note

Those who are more likely to mention the NHS include those aged 55+ (51%), ABC1s (45%) and those in the South East outside of London (56%) compared with Londoners (34%), C2DEs (36%) and those aged 18-34 (24%).

Could Ed Miliband’s plan to make the NHS central to the General Election have an effect, as the older age groups see the NHS as the most important issue, and generally they vote Tory, so any concerns about the Tories and the NHS could affect a key component of Tory support.

How the different age and social groups see the most important issue facing Britain

Issues 3

For those who think the election will all be about the economy, as the most important issue it appears to be on a downward trend.

Issues 2

The full data tables are available here.



February’s PB Polling Average: Crossover

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

The mid-term effects look to be finally wearing off

Two months out from the election and from the Politicalbetting Polling Average, the Tories look to be coming into form at the right time. I say ‘look to be’ because there is a little more to it than meets the eye, but first the numbers for February, which are:

Con 34.0 (+2.5), Lab 33.6 (+1.0), UKIP 12.0 (-2.5), LD 7.6 (-0.4), Grn 7.0 (-0.3), Oth 5.8 (-0.3)

While we should be cautious about excessive hyperbole, these are pretty spectacular figures: the first Tory lead since Jan 2012, the highest Tory share since March 2012, the lowest UKIP score in a year, the lowest Lib Dem share of the parliament and the closest the Greens have been to fourth place.

What’s caused them? Well, here is where we need to exercise that caution. The most extraordinary poll of the year so far has been ICM’s February one, which gave the Tories a four point lead on a share of 36%; the highest share and highest lead reported by any company. And the Tories’ lead overall rests solely on that poll – had ICM been level-pegging, Labour would have been just ahead in the Average, though the Conservatives would still be up by a four full points since December.

So is crossover a rogue-poll effect? This is where I’m a bit confused. The PBPA is a weighted average of the monthly averages of the five pollsters to have consistently reported since the start of 2011: YouGov, ICM, Ipsos-Mori, Comres (phone), and Opinium. This gives the index consistency and allows us to compare movement over the length of the parliament without having to worry too much about methodological issues or fluctuating composition. The other pollsters have either been sporadic, have significantly changed methodology or are newcomers. Strangely, however, while all five in the index have shown increases for Con, four of the five not in it have shown declines (the other, Ashcroft, is near enough no change). Indeed, Populus has virtually every party travelling in the opposite direction to those in the Average, though their divergence from the rest can at least be in part explained by their starting to prompt for UKIP in February.

Even so, the Average contains those firms which it does because of their consistency and track record, so while some caution might be due given the other companies’ findings last month, it’s only caution; we shouldn’t dismiss them entirely.

What does seem to be happening is the mid-term protest effect is wearing off. UKIP slid for the fourth consecutive month, after a difficult time in the media. While minor parties can get away with poor likability scores if they have a strong enough core, it does appear that UKIP’s and Farage’s declining approval ratings are now feeding through to their VI scores.

Significantly, that decline does not appear to have fed into an increase in another minor party but to the Big Two, which are up 3.5% on the month and 5% since December (I’d be very sceptical about equating the 2.5% drop in UKIP and the 2.5% increase in the Con share; it’s more complex than that). However, while we’re still a very long way away from where we were in 2010, we are at least heading in that direction. But with only two months to go, the polls imply that Labour’s lead is gone, the Tories wouldn’t have most seats, the Lib Dems would be annihilated, UKIP is on the slide and the Greens won’t break through. Interesting times.

David Herdson


The great methodology divide: All the CON leads are from phone polls – all but one of the LAB leads are from online surveys

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Greater certainty to vote amongst CON voters puts the blues back into the lead with Ashcroft


The latest Ashcroft weekly phone poll is out and show a move back to CON and a 5% decline in the LAB vote. The figures and trend are in the chart above.

    The CON lead is almost totally down to turnout weighting. Before that was applied LAB was ahead by a small margin. Problem for them is that its voters are less certain to vote so they are marked down.

What is really striking about the current polling is that the phone firms are the ones showing the CON leads and the online ones have LAB ahead. Just why that should be is hard to say.

The only phone poll not with a CON lead, Ipsos, is the oldest from nearly a month ago.

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


If the early March polling this year is as good a pointer as March 2010 then the outcome is on a knife-edge

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

The above chart shows the CON lead in the polls from the first week in March 2010 and compares them with the actual election result nine and a half weeks later.

As can be seen the polling at this stage proved to be a reasonably good pointer and in some cases better than the final polls.

Of course past performance is no guarantee about what’s going to happen but it’s interest to look at.

It is perhaps worth pointing out that five years ago all the betting pointed to a working CON majority – which is not what happened.

Coming up at 4pm the weekly Ashcroft national poll that last week had a LAB lead for the first time in 2015. Will that revert?

Mike Smithson

For 11 years viewing politics from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble