There have been quite a few polls in recent days. Ipsos MORI/Evening Standard had the Conservatives 13 ahead (+2), ComRes/Independent/Mail on Sunday had a gap of 17 (+2) and Opinium/Observer was unchanged at 13 points. So after a slight narrowing it may be that the Conservative lead is edging wider again, although interestingly it seems to be more that the Tory vote share is going up, than the recent trend of Labour’s vote going down.
Part of that seems to be that UKIP is slipping and the two big parties are benefiting. Three of last week’s four GB-wide polls had Paul Nuttall’s party fourth behind the Lib Dems, with an average vote share now dipping into single digits. None of the moves have been dramatic – it’s more a story of incremental decline – but it’s worth keeping an eye on.
Likewise everyone will be keeping an eye on Scotland, where we have another independence poll, Panelbase/Sunday Times finding a 2 per cent swing towards No since January (now 56-44) and a narrow majority of Scots against second plebiscite “in the next few years”. This is pretty much in line with the bulk of the other recent polls, all of which are within a few points of the 2014 result.
The Panelbase poll also contained a Scottish Westminster voting intention question, which had the SNP on 47 per cent (unchanged from January, -3 from 2015), the Conservatives on 28 (+1 and +13) and Labour on 14 (-1 and -10).
It took a dig into the archives, but it turns out that 28 per cent is the highest poll share for the Scottish Conservatives since a System Three poll for (what was then known as) the Glasgow Herald put them on 32 per cent in May 1983. It’s also the lowest ever Westminster poll share for Scottish Labour.
It does feel like psephology has taken a back seat to politics lately, but there’s an interesting comment piece from Tim Bale in the Guardian on democratic participation.
And we should get the fortnightly ICM/Guardian poll at some point today.