Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Increase in support for independence expected as another new poll suggests the Tories are heading for victory in next year's UK general election

It seems that GB-wide polls showing the Tories in the lead are like First Buses - you hope against hope that none will ever turn up, and then after a couple of years two of them arrive at the same time and make you feel very depressed. Just hours after the appearance of the landmark Ashcroft poll showing a 2-point Conservative lead, the Guardian published this poll from their regular ICM series -

Conservatives 33% (+1)
Labour 31% (-6)
UKIP 15% (+4)
Liberal Democrats 13% (+1)
Others 9% (+1)

This is much more significant than numbers based on the entirely untested Ashcroft methodology.  The ICM/Guardian series is the longest-running and most trusted set of regular polls in the UK, meaning that this 'crossover' moment must be taken extremely seriously.  It's particularly striking that the collapse in the Labour vote has coincided with a 4% increase in UKIP's support.  That's unlikely to mean that ex-Labour voters are switching to UKIP in droves, though - probably something odd is going on beneath the surface, such as Tory voters switching to UKIP at roughly the same rate as Labour voters are switching to the Tories.

But the real sting in this poll's tail is provided by the European election voting intention figures -

Conservatives 27% (+2)
UKIP 26% (+4)
Labour 24% (-12)
Greens 10% (+4)
Liberal Democrats 7% (+1)
Others 7%

If that was the result on May 22nd it would be a potentially fatal blow for the anti-independence campaign in Scotland, because it would send the most powerful possible signal to the Scottish electorate that the Tories are going to win the UK general election, and that there's no escape from the nightmare for us other than to choose our own governments in future.  In reality ICM are probably underestimating UKIP a touch, because most telephone polls do.  But in a sense that doesn't matter - if the Labour opposition can't even outpoll the Tories (or finish higher than third) in a relatively meaningless mid-term contest, then they might as well not bother getting out of bed for the real thing next year.  And if by any chance this poll is exactly right and the Tories do win the Euro popular vote, then the anti-independence campaign won't even enjoy the temporary benefit I've long anticipated of Labour's (now non-existent) poll lead increasing by default as a result of a UKIP honeymoon that draws off Tory voters.

For "Better Together", this poll is about as bad as it gets.


  1. There's little reason to suppose that Labour have dropped 12 points in a month. It also seems improbable that *both* UKIP and the Tories have recorded a rise.

    If Labour somehow did come third, though, surely Miliband would have to go?

  2. We shouldn't get trapped in the PB tory bubble of thinking that a mere two polls are going to decide the election and the public at large are bound to notice them. If the tory lead continues then it's going to get noticed but until then it's not going to impact massively on the Indy referendum.

    It's wonderful how much tory hysteria those two polls have generated and how none of the herd doing the shrieking have the faintest idea why they polls are as they are. The out of touch twits grasp of politics is as laughable as ever. To give the tory simpletons a clue, the tories VI certainly hasn't jumped hugely and just because the right-wing lunatics seem to think little Ed is Marx and Stalin reborn doesn't actually make it true, or, more to the point, what Labour voters think.

    You're bang on about the Euro poll though. That's a real kick in the balls to Labour which they have been courting for quite some time.

    I can understand why some are being wary of the 12 point drop for Labour but these are EU elections where protest votes are usually king. Nor are such big shifts unprecedented. It's simply that most of the polling changes have been gradual of late. There have been big shifts many times before and will be again. That said it does need another poll or two to confirm that Labour really are heading for third in the Euros.

    Labour doing badly in VI as elections approach is most definitely not a new thing though. I'll say it again, look at last May in the all polls VI trend when they were hammered down before.

    BTW James, I had a brief look at PB this morning and burst out laughing after only a couple of minutes. Hugh (who was banned for no reason by the cowardly TSE the last time he was 'guest editing') hit the nail squarely on the head.

    "I don't know if Mike Smithson is aware of what some of his Moderators are up to. Or whether it's deliberate on the part of mods, or they're simply unable to put their political biases to one side.

    Either way, it's clear that PB's Rightwing moderators are discouraging or (in my case) actively preventing left of centre / non-Tory posters.

    As a result PB is now nothing more than a sterile Rightwing talking shop."

    PB really is nothing more than a right-wing circle-jerk now and it's blatantly obvious after looking at the hilarious threads. Of course that wouldn't matter at all were it not for the fact that Smithson only gets invited to talks/radio and panels because he and his site are thought of as non-aligned. Good luck maintaining that fiction while the right-wing moderators are busy turning the site into an even more amusing version of conhome.

    Lest we forget the out of touch tory twits were also forever assuring us that Darling was a formidable opponent and 'better together' was in safe hands.


    Good call PB tories, good call.

    Now wee Dougie has had to get drafted in. Presumably because he did so well in 2011. ;)

  3. I believe there is another poll out tomorrow. Kevin Pringle has mentioned it on his twitter.

  4. Indeed Marcia and he says it's "encouraging" which would tend to indicate it's yet more signs of the gap continuing to narrow in the Indy polling.

  5. I'm wondering if it might be the monthly Survation poll for the Record - that's due (or overdue, even).

    Anon : It's an interesting question about Miliband - history shows that Labour tend to be much less ruthless than the Tories in situations like that.

  6. There's no chance of little Ed going after a terrible EU election result. Fact of the matter is Labour have no other options, the EU elections by themselves just aren't thought of as that important, boundary changes booted and kippers well above 5% are going to matter just a touch in 2015, and finally, though he's clearly sh*t, little Ed has the good fortune to be up against two other sh*t leaders in Cameron and Clegg.

    It's Clegg and the lib dems who are the ones who should be fearing the elections the most. They are facing the kind of hammering from the electorate that even Clegg's ostrich faction won't be able to ignore. Clegg has also made 100% certain he can't wriggle out of the blame with his Farage debate incompetence and stupidity.

    Don't take my word for it however, have a look at the comments here.


    That's the level of unhappiness with Clegg even on LibDemVoice, where the most loyal of the Cleggites can still be found trying to ineptly spin for him. Does that sound like a bunch of lib dem party members unconcerned with Clegg's calamitous incompetence and idiocy?

    No surprise that you won't find Clegg's blatantly obvious toxicity a common subject inside the PB bubble of ignorance. (I wonder why? LOL) Good luck keeping that pretence up if the voter delivers yet another absolute pasting to the lib dems on the 22nd.