Sunday, 17 November 2013

The Opinion Polls With 18 Months To Go

One thing that I realised recently that if we were still following the normal-ish pattern of 4 years between general elections, then this would be the stage when the parties would be really looking to it. Manifestoes prepared. Government introducing populist legislation....

But instead we know the next election will be May 2015, and so we are now in the final 18 months.

With that in mind, it's time to look at the opinion polls. I have provided details of how I do this and - in order to get a larger data set - I have been combining opinion polls, with this now being the time to add a fourth poll - namely ICM.

ICM divides Great Britain up in a different way to Populus and YouGov, and we can compare these:

Region/Nation Populus YouGov ICM
Scotland Scotland Scotland Scotland/North
North West England North England North North
Yorkshire & Humberside North England North North
North East England North England North North
Wales Wales & South West Midlands & Wales Wales/Midlands
West Midlands Midlands Midlands & Wales Midlands
East Midlands Midlands Midlands & Wales Midlands
Eastern England South East Rest of South Midlands
South West England Wales & South West Rest of South South
South East England South East Rest of South South
London South East London South

Note that for ICM, both Wales and Scotland appear in two regions - which we can see if we look at the latest poll, and consider the figures for Plaid Cymru and the Scottish National Party. To get the numbers for the North (without Scotland) and the Midlands (without Wales), it is a logical step of subtracting the Scottish and Welsh figures.

The second poll we look at is the one from ComRes.

Thirdly we look at Populus, which involves combing two recent polls:

Date C Lab LD UKIP
Friday 8 - Sunday 10 November 31% 39% 11% 10%
Wednesday 13 - Thursday 14 November 31% 40% 11% 10%
Average 31% 39.5% 11% 10%

And this brings me fourthly and finally to YouGov. Due to the frequency of their polls, we have 5 to consider:

Date C Lab LD UKIP
Tuesday 12 November 33% 40% 9% 11%
Wednesday 13 November 32% 42% 8% 10%
Thursday 14 November 31% 39% 9% 13%
Friday 15 November 32% 40% 10% 13%
Sunday 17 November 33% 39% 10% 12%
Average 32.2% 40.0% 9.2% 11.8%

The result of the 2010 general election is:

  • Conservatives - 306 (including 1 Deputy Speaker)
  • Labour - 258 (including 2 Deputy Speakers)
  • Liberal Democrats - 57
  • Northern Ireland parties - 18
  • Scottish National Party - 6
  • Plaid Cymru - 3
  • Greens - 1
  • The Speaker - 1

As before, I will assume that there is no change of Speaker of the House of Commons, so John Bercow would be re-elected in Buckingham as Mr Speaker seeking re-election.

As a result of the opinion polls:

  • Labour gains 73 seats from the Conservatives and 18 from the Liberal Democrats, but lose 2 seats to the Scottish National Party - a net gain of 89 seats
  • The Scottish National Party gains 6 seats from the Liberal Democrats and 2 from Labour - a total gain of 8 seats
  • Plaid Cymru gains 1 seat from the Liberal Democrats
  • The Conservatives gain 31 seats from the Liberal Democrats, but lose 73 seats to Labour - a net loss of 42 seats
  • The Liberal Democrats lose 1 seat to Plaid Cymru, 6 to the Scottish National Party, 18 to Labour and 31 to the Conservatives - a total loss of 56 seats

This gives a result of:

  • Labour - 347 (including 2 Deputy Speakers)
  • Conservatives - 264 (including 1 Deputy Speaker)
  • Northern Ireland parties - 18
  • Scottish National Party - 14
  • Plaid Cymru - 4
  • Liberal Democrats - 1
  • Greens - 1
  • The Speaker - 1

In terms of share of the vote, Labour would be on 36.3% (their best result since the June 2001 general election, and slightly higher than their May 2005 general election result), the Conservatives on 31.7% (their worst result since the May 1997 general election - but only just doing better than then), UKIP on 11.6% (the best result for any party not winning any seats, and the lowest third-party share of the vote since the Liberals in the June 1970 general election) and the Liberal Democrats on 10.8% (their worst result since 1970).

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