Weekly polling review: Labour surge ahead in London

Written by David Bowers on 27 February 2015 in Opinion
Despite a stalemate in the national polls, there is good news for Ed Miliband as his party increases the gap over the Tories in the capital

Ten UK-wide polls have been published so far this week (there’ll be a Populus poll out later today) and once again there’s not much difference between the two big parties. The average of this week’s numbers gives the following for each party (change from last week’s figures given in brackets):

  • Con: 32.4 (+0.7)
  • Lab: 33.4 (NC)
  • LD: 8.1 (-0.2)
  • UKIP: 14.6 (-0.2)
  • Green: 6.3 (+0.3)

Very little change on last week, with Labour recording exactly the same score and only the Conservatives moving by more than half a point (and then just barely). Needless to say, that means our projections still put us on track for a hung Parliament come May.

Projected seats

  • Conservatives:  275 (47 short of majority)
  • Labour:             287 (35 short of majority)
  • LD:                    17
  • SNP:                  48
  • Other:                23

In addition to their five national polls YouGov have also released a London-only poll this week which makes much better reading for Labour. The poll found that Labour enjoy an eight point lead over the Conservatives in the capital, a much bigger gap than the national figures.

More than that, this represents a distinct improvement over the 2010 general election. Labour got the most votes in London back then, but only managed a 2.1 per cent lead over the Conservatives. If Labour can do as well as these polling figures suggest then they could pick up around 10 seats or so. Of course, that won’t be enough to make up for their loss of support in Scotland (no new polls on that this week), but it will improve their chances of being the biggest party post-general election and thus put them in poll position in coalition talks.

UK Polling Report has an interesting piece on the decline in support for UKIP, which notes that a slight decline in the party’s fortunes may be the only meaningful trend currently we can observe from current polls. A moving average of UKIPs polling figures does seem to indicate that their support peaked in late 2014/early 2015, but looking back beyond that I also note that they’ve declined and recovered before, so it’s possible that the trend might reverse itself.

More importantly, even if I strip out UKIP and re-run the election projections based on the party only polling the 3 per cent or so it achieved in 2010 we’re still on course for a hung Parliament. Only if ex-UKIP supporters return to one of the two main parties will there be any appreciable impact on the election’s outcome.

Tags: General Election 2015, Labour, Polling

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