Pollsters will be in a good mood this morning after French sondages got the presidential first round pretty well spot on (or alternatively, the people supposedly rigging the polls failed miserably…) In all seriousness, this was an excellent performance.
We had plenty of British polls over the weekend, and as has been the case lately, it required a few trips to the record books:
Opinium/Observer showed CON 45 (+7) LAB 26 (-3) LD 11 (+4) UKIP 9 (-5). This is a sharp swing compared with their poll last week, but compared with their previous moves are basically the same as everyone else’s.
ComRes produced their highest ever vote share for any party in their Sunday Mirror poll, which had CON 50 (+4) LAB 25 (=) LD 11 (=) UKIP 7 (-2). It’s also the highest level of support for a Conservative government since January 1991, the biggest lead since June 1983 and the third biggest ever, according to Mark Pack’s PollBase.
YouGov/Times showed little change from its poll earlier in the week, with CON 48 (=) LAB 25 (+1) LD 12 (=) UKIP 5 (-2). This was their Lowest UKIP share since 2012.
Survation/Mail on Sunday was much closer: CON 40 (+2) LAB 29 (=) LD 11 (+1) UKIP 11 (-2). The Mail didn’t write it up very well, suggesting it was a big reduction compared with ICM’s polls earlier in the week, whereas the like-for-like comparison with Survation’s prior poll actually found an increased Tory lead.
And finally an ICM poll for ITV had CON 48 (+2) LAB 26 (+1) LD 10 (-1) UKIP 8 (=), making it four polls with the Conservatives on 48 per cent or higher.
But why is Survation so much closer? At first glance, there are a couple of things. Their retention rate for 2015 Labour voters seems to higher than elsewhere, but additionally, they also have UKIP’s current higher than other pollsters (as they always have). That means fewer defectors to the Conservatives and therefore a lower Tory share.
And after these polls, all regular pollsters now have the Lib Dems in third place ahead of UKIP.
There were also two Scottish polls. Survation/Sunday Post had SNP 43 (-9) CON 28 (+12) LAB 18 (-3) LD 9 (+3) and Panelbase/Sunday Times was even closer: SNP 44 (-3) CON 33 (+5) LAB 13 (-1) LD 5 (+1). The Panelbase poll was the Tories best in Scotland since May 1983, and would probably net Ruth Davidson a dozen or so seats.
Elsewhere, John Curtice has dug into the detail of the Scottish polls and Steve Fisher explains why Labour’s Scottish meltdown isn’t likely to repeated down south, though Chris Hanretty finds some other problems for Labour. And finally, Anthony Wells has had a look at the battlegrounds.
Mondays used to be peak time for poll releases, but with much less fieldwork being done at weekends these days, that might not be the case today. But one well-telegraphed poll we are expecting is YouGov’s quarterly Welsh poll for ITV News and Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre. Roger Scully has been strongly hinting that it has the Conservatives in the lead, which would be the first time since July 2009 and only the second ever…