The latest polls: think what you like of Labour and the Conservatives, you know what you get with them

Here is a summary of some of the latest opinion polls, a timely remember with ten weeks to go of where we are.

The headlines are that little has changed. But, there are some small movements, and the table below shows both the recent polls, and the averages when I last looked [] at this.

Con Lab LD UKIP Grn
14 February 2015 Populus 31 33 10 15 5
15 February 2015 Ashcroft 30 31 9 16 8
15 February 2015 ICM 36 32 10 9 7
16 February 2015 TNX BMRB 28 35 6 18 7
19 February 2015 Populus 31 32 9 17 6
21 February 2015 Opinium 35 33 6 15 7
21 February 2015 YouGov 33 34 8 13 6
23 February 2015 Populus 32 32 9 15 6
23 February 2015 Ashcroft 32 36 7 11 8
23 February 2015 ComRes 34 32 8 13 8
24 February 2015 Survation 28 34 10 19 4
24 February 2015 YouGov 35 33 6 14 7
average 32.1 33.1 8.2 14.6 6.6
averages at 17 December 2014 31.4 33.1 7.9 16.0 5.6

It is a story of no change for Labour. There have been slight improvements for the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, and the Greens. UKIP support is weakening.

What does this all mean for the next seventy days? Judging by the trends it looks like a tightening race between the top two. UKIP are falling back a bit, which will be cause for some relief in Tory HQ. As for the battle for fourth (in terms of votes rather than seats) the gap is narrowing, but the increasing scrutiny placed on the Green Party will certainly test the resolve of those pledging allegiance.

At the moment, judging from my personal experience, I think that there are still many voters who have yet to make up their minds – enough in my opinion to potentially change the outcome.

Prediction? I have been thinking that we are in hung parliament territory for some time. However, I am beginning to think that a majority government is becoming a stronger possibility – and I put this down to the increased scrutiny being directed at the alternatives. I am going for a narrow Labour majority for the moment, but I know that this could all change in the days and weeks ahead.

Few voters use a General Election as a time to cast a protest vote. As we near the first Thursday in May, voters will think on their jobs, their mortgages, the pensions, their prosperity, their children’s future. Think what you like of Labour and the Conservatives, you know what you get with them – the alternatives are just too big a gamble.

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6 Responses to The latest polls: think what you like of Labour and the Conservatives, you know what you get with them

  1. Think what you like of Labour and the Conservatives, you know what you get with them – the alternatives are just too big a gamble.

    What a dismal prospect! A record of failure and a promise of more.

    The “others” have been gaining not necessarily because of inherent qualities, but because “think what you like of Labour and the Conservatives”, they seem to be dinosaurs not able to get a grip on a world where global forces are greater than national voices. We need new ideas – and that may make people inclined to gamble to ensure “none of the above” failed elite parties get unrestricted power.

  2. Failure? I am afraid I find that only half true. As regards real change, we need electoral reform for that to happen.

  3. As regards real change, we need electoral reform for that to happen.

    There I agree with you, but unfortunately the Tories aided by the Lib Dem’s naivety have put back electoral reform a generation – unless we change the rules of the game.

    To change the rules we may have to go through a volatile period of government as the current lottery electoral system can:

    either:
    – deliver the status quo with classical scare tactics – “vote Green and get Cameron” or “vote UKIP and get Miliband” – to drive people towards the left-right old parties
    or:
    – say “to hell with the current system, let’s kick the elite parties in the nuts by voting for the minority party most likely to win” – irrespective of our political views. The objectives is merely change rather than a particular ideology. The two elite parties are the block on the road to change (as we saw during the AV campaign) so they have to be targeted.

    Once the Conservatives and Labour (with say only 25% of the seats each) realise that even a Grand Coalition cannot give them the sort of secure power that they think is their God given right they may realise that the current system is corrupt and has corrupted them and has to change.

    For most of us outside the marginals, the only way that our vote could make any difference at all is by precipitating shock lottery results and hoping that the shocks will bring down the current “voting” system. Then with a reformed voting system like STV all seats will be far more marginal and our votes (and not those of the incumbent parties’ selection committees) will matter.

    So my choice is
    1) a pointless vote (or the apathy of abstention) and see my constituency stay in the same hands for a century or
    2) vote for the minority party most likely to win and thus bring about the desired shock (a see-saw between the elite parties is self-defeating). Where I am, that probably means holding my nose and voting U***. Elsewhere you may vote for them or nationalist or Green.

  4. The problem is that although I want a fairer system, I also want a Labour Government. This means I will campaign for reform (and reform is about more than PR vs FPTP), but I will also encourage all to vote for my party.

    I do not see Labour as an elite party. It is a successful party, and that is because it is for the many, not the few. I ultimately believe that reform is not just good for voters, it is good for Labour too.

  5. The (!) problem is that if you just concentrate on “getting Labour back into Government” you don’t slay the dragon and it survives to live again. (And no doubt Conservatives take the exact opposite line).

    To slay the dragon of unrepresentative tribal government you either have to:

    1) Change the system, or
    2) Leave the Westminster system (the SNP solution)

    Leaving the system looks like the more likely!

    Changing the system involves as you say reform – comprehensive reform, but changing the voting system enables so many other reforms because:
    * All voters can become engaged because they have a genuine stake in an election because our votes will have an effect
    * If more voters vote for a party it will gain seats (and vice versa) – which should make them more responsive
    * All parties have something to campaign for in every part of the country. The benefit of STV as a voting system is that with multi-member constituencies it is possible for parties in a regional minority to win seats and offer representation to minorities. E.G. in a four member seat if you can amass 20%+ support you should win a seat. So more Labour MPs in the likes of Essex and more Conservative MPs in the likes of Durham – which has to be good for both parties.
    * Non list PR systems (like STV) mean that party mavericks can stand without splitting votes – which means that parliamentary parties look less like teams of clones doggedly following a dogmatic party line
    * Parliament will be more representative of the diversity of views in the country
    * Parliament will be more representative of the groups defined by traditional discrimination
    * Parliament (rather than Government or the dominant sect within the governing party) becomes the place were issues are thrashed out and coalitions become the accepted norm.

    With a reformed House of Commons surely other reforms become much more likely.

  6. I do not see Labour as an elite party.

    But together with its blue twin it has a vice-like grip on government and both have a tribal determination to exclude other views from a share of government. Many MPs within those two parties (with some honourable exceptions) come from very narrow backgrounds that seek to select in their own image.

    They also have a rather arrogant view about their right to be elected and even respected members of those parties seem to view that being an MP gives them an entitlement to perks like £5000/day consultancy second jobs.

    Sounds pretty elitist to me. Sorry.

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