Polls: phony war causes little collateral damage

Hardly any changes in the average of the YouGov daily polling this past week. Labour maintains a small but consistent 1% lead over the Tories, Ukip and SNP are both stable. The only noticeable shift has been from Greens to Lib Dems. The latter have enjoyed their highest ratings for three months, a whole one percentage point above their dismal lowest rating achieved last month.

More encouragingly for Clegg, they’ve been ahead of the Greens in three polls running, the first time that’s happened since back in November. Could this be the beginning of that long-awaited shift back from the challenger parties to the old Westminster consensus parties? The movement is small and may not be sustained. We’ll need at least two or three week’s polling to detect any trend.

But the slight rise may be connected with publicity garnered by a surge of candidate selections for the Lib Dems this week, bringing their total of declared candidates up to 478, from 394 this time last week. They’ve now overtaken the Greens who have 465 candidates declared and are homing in on Ukip’s 494.

Current polling can be compared with YouGov’s daily polling at the same stage of the 2010 campaign (although their methodology has changed a little). Here it is …

2010 2015 change
Conservatives 39.0% 32.4% -6.6%
Labour 31.7% 33.4% +1.7%
Lib Dems 17.7% 7.4% -10.3%
Ukip 4.3% 14.6% +10.3%
Greens 2.0% 6.6% +4.6%
SNP/PC 2.7% 4.4% +1.7%
Others 3.0% 1.0% -2.0%

The really spectacular change is north of the border. In 2010 in the third week of February in Scotland Labour held a 25 point lead over the SNP in Scotland. This week that’s been reversed and the SNP continue to hold on to their 16 point lead over Labour.


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