Independent statistician- Nigel Marriot:
The chart above shows the Conservatives are making a small recovery from their post General Election dip and have now opened a small lead over Labour. Otherwise, there has not been any dramatic shifts in public opinion. The graph includes the 1st five months of 2010 so that the polling volatility of the 2010 general election campaign can be seen.
Labour have been slipping in recent months but are still ahead slightly from where they were in the 2017 general election. The dominance of the 2 major parties is still holding strong.
One point to be aware of is that the Conservatives current lead over Labour would be higher if it were not for a strong outlier from Survation. Survation was the most accurate pollster in the 2017 general election so it is natural to ask who is right, Survation or the other pollsters? The 9 polls making up my latest rolling average are listed below (only CON & LAB votes shown)
- CON 41 LAB 42 – YouGov 27th February
- CON 43 LAB 42 – ICM 4th March
- CON 41 LAB 43 – YouGov 6th March
- CON 43 LAB 42 – IpsosMori 7th March
- CON 38 LAB 45 – Survation 8th March
- CON 42 LAB 40 – Opinium 15th March
- CON 42 LAB 39 – YouGov 15th March
- CON 44 LAB 41 – ICM 18th March
- CON 43 LAB 39 – YouGov 28th March
There has also been a Poll released by YouGov that was not included in the rolling average. This was not included in the rolling average due to the fact this is March’s poll tracker.
Con 42 Labour 41 – YouGov 5th April
I have written a separate post to answer the question “who is the best pollster?” so if you read that, you will be able to make up your own mind. For myself, this is why I focus on 9 poll rolling averages and I prefer to go with those figures rather than looking at individual polls.
Commentary from Iwan Doherty- Editor in Chief
Labour’s lead has been eroded by the Conservative Party throughout 2018 and Labour will need to do something to stop its slow decline in public opinion. The local elections may just be the stimulus Labour need, if they can get the public interested.
Corbyn has spoken of using the elections as a message to the Conservative government on austerity but so far the party’s media strategy, for the elections, has been lacklustre. Labour’s lack of focus on issues have not helped their polling. However, one advantage of an election for Labour is it gets its huge membership out on doorsteps. In my opinion, this was a large factor for their rise in popularity before the general election and we may see similar effects towards the end of April, if and only if Labour can convince people that Labour councils will make a difference to their lives.
However, polling for Parliamentary elections 4 years away from the next election is just like a long range weather forecast, almost meaningless in an ever-changing environment.
When predicting the results of the local elections we must remember the difference in turnout. Labour will be without large amounts of its student support yet and the turnout is much lower than in the generaly election. In council by-elections in March Labour clocked a 2 point lead, at 31.5% of the vote. I do expect Labour to make gains across the nation but mostly in London, where they have a 20 point polling lead. Labour needs to get back to fighting austerity to see their polling lead return.