Opinion polling for the United Kingdom general election, 2005

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

In the run up to the general election of 2005, several polling organisations carried out opinion polling in regards to voting intention in Great Britain (i.e. the UK excluding Northern Ireland, which is usually excluded from such voting intention surveys). Results of such polls are displayed below.

The election took place on 5 May 2005. The previous general election was held on 7 June 2001.

Details of opinion polling[edit]

Since each MP is elected separately by the first past the post voting system, it is impossible to precisely project a clear election outcome from overall national shares of the vote. Not only can individual constituencies vary markedly from overall voting trends, but individual countries and regions within the nation may have a very different electoral contest that is not properly reflected in overall share of the vote figures.

Therefore, the first past the post system means that the number of MPs elected may not reflect the overall popular vote share across the parties. Thus, it is not necessarily the party with the largest share of the popular vote that ends up with the largest number of MPs. (See details of the elections in 1951 and February 1974) Since 1935 no party has achieved more than 50% of the popular vote in a British general election. The voting system favours parties with relatively concentrated support: a widely distributed vote leaves a party at risk of getting a large vote share but doing poorly in terms of numbers of seats (as the SDP-Liberal Alliance did in the 1980s), whereas parties with localised votes can win seats with a relatively small share of the vote.

That said, in previous elections, approximate forecasting of results were achieved by assuming that the swing in each individual constituency will be the same across the country. This system, known as uniform national swing (UNS) is used by much of the media in Britain to assess and extrapolate electoral fortunes from opinion poll data, though there has been criticism that such predictions may be naive and unreliable, even from providers of such data.[1]

Normally governments can easily survive for a full parliamentary term on a majority of more than 20 seats over all other parties. Below that level there is a danger of by-elections and MPs crossing the floor of the House reducing the government to a minority such that it would be at increased risk of losing a vote of no confidence.

Election battleground[edit]

The 2001 general election, which had the lowest turnout of any general election for more than 80 years, saw the Labour government of Tony Blair re-elected with a second successive landslide majority, which left the political landscape almost completely unchanged. William Hague resigned as leader of a Conservative opposition which failed to make any real progress from its heavy defeat in 1997, and was succeeded by Iain Duncan Smith.

The Labour government remained ascendant in the opinion polls, but its popularity began to suffer from March 2003 as a result of Tony Blair's decision to send British forces to collaborate with the American forces in their invasion of Iraq, which led to the end of Saddam Hussein's dictatorship, as well as his eventual capture, trial and execution by a new democratic Iraqi government. However, there was a public outcry that the invasion of Iraq failed to uncover weapons of mass destruction which had long been believed to exist in Iraq. By the summer of 2003, several opinion polls were showing a narrow Conservative lead, and the Liberal Democrats were also shown to be enjoying a surge in support, largely seen to be the result of Charles Kennedy's anti-war stance.

However, opinion polls showed that Iain Duncan Smith was not a popular choice with voters as a potential prime minister, and there was also the fact that Labour still had a huge parliamentary majority, while the Tories would have to almost double their share of seats in parliament to form a majority. Duncan Smith was ousted as leader in October 2003 following a vote of no confidence by his own party, was succeeded uncontested by the former Home Secretary Michael Howard, who helped the Tories keep close behind Labour in the opinion polls and oversaw strong showings in the local council and European parliament by-elections of 2004.

A general election was called for 5 May 2005, with Labour winning for a third successive time, but its majority dropped from 160 seats to 66 seats, with both the Conseratives and Liberal Democrats enjoying substantial gains.

Tony Blair had already decided that the 2005 general election would be the last he would contest as Labour Party leader if re-election was achieved. Michael Howard announced his resignation shortly afterwards, feeling that he was too old to lead the party into the next general election (knowing that it was unlikely to be held until he was almost 70 years old), and Charles Kennedy stepped down eight months later following revelations about his personal life.

Graphical Summary[edit]

Graph of Polling

Poll results[edit]

Poll results are initially listed in reverse chronological order showing the most recent first, using the date the fieldwork was undertaken, as opposed to the date of publication.

The figure given in the 'lead' column is the lead held by Labour or the Conservatives over the second placed of the two parties.

Date(s) Conducted Polling Organisation/Client Sample Size Labour Conservative Liberal Democrats Other Lead
5 May 2005 2005 Election Results (GB only) 36.2% 33.2% 22.7% 7.9% 3.0% over Con
3–4 May 2005 Ipsos MORI/Evening Standard 1,164 38% 33% 23% 8% 5% over Con
2–3 May 2005 Populus/The Times 1174 38% 32% 21% 8% 6% over Con
1–3 May 2005 ICM/Guardian 1,178 38% 32% 22% 8% 6% over Con
29 April – 2 May 2005 Populus/The Times 866 41% 27% 23% 9% 14% over Con
27–30 April 2005 Populus/The Times 863 42% 29% 21% 8% 13% over Con
25–28 April 2005 Populus/The Times 853 40% 31% 22% 7% 9% over Con
24–27 April 2005 Populus/The Times 841 40% 31% 21% 8% 9% over Con
24–26 April 2005 ICM/Guardian 1,209 40% 32% 21% 5% 8% over Con
23–26 April 2005 Populus/The Times 835 40% 31% 21% 8% 9% over Con
22–25 April 2005 Populus/The Times 831 40% 31% 21% 8% 9% over Con
21–24 April 2005 Populus/The Times 819 41% 33% 19% 7% 8% over Con
20–23 April 2005 Populus/The Times 798 41% 32% 20% 7% 9% over Con
19–22 April 2005 Populus/The Times Online 798 41% 33% 20% 6% 8% over Con
18–21 April 2005 Populus/The Times 806 40% 33% 20% 7% 7% over Con
17–20 April 2005 Populus/The Times 836 39% 34% 20% 7% 5% over Con
17–19 April 2005 ICM/Guardian 1,163 39% 33% 22% 7% 6% over Con
16–19 April 2005 Populus/The Times 863 39% 33% 21% 7% 6% over Con
14–17 April 2005 Populus/The Times 586 40% 31% 21% 8% 9% over Con
10–12 April 2005 ICM/Guardian 1,169 39% 33% 22% 7% 6% over Con
1–3 April 2005 ICM/Guardian 973 37% 34% 21% 8% 3% over Con
1–3 April 2005 Populus/The Times 812 37% 35% 19% 9% 2% over Con
18–20 March 2005 ICM/Guardian 716 40% 32% 20% 7% 8% over Con
4–6 March 2005 Populus/The Times 831 39% 32% 20% 9% 7% over Con
18–20 February 2005 ICM/Guardian 1,013[2] 37% 34% 21% 8% 3% over Con
4–6 February 2005 Populus/The Times 814 41% 32% 18% 9% 9% over Con
21–23 January 2005 ICM/Guardian 1,000[2] 38% 31% 21% 9% 6% over Con
7–9 January 2005 Populus/The Times 848 38% 33% 20% 9% 5% over Con
16–19 December 2004 ICM/Guardian 1,002[2] 40% 31% 21% 7% 8% over Con
3–5 December 2004 Populus/The Times 826 37% 33% 20% 10% 4% over Con
12–14 November 2004 ICM/Guardian 830 38% 30% 22% 10% 8% over Con
22–24 October 2004 ICM/Guardian 1,011 37% 31% 23% 9% 6% over Con
21–23 September 2004 YouGov/Daily Telegraph 2033 36% 34% 21% 9% 2% over Con
17–19 September 2004 ICM/Guardian 1,005 36% 32% 22% 10% 4% over Con
2–5 September 2004 Populus/The Times 608 31% 30% 26% 13% 1% over Con
13–15 August 2004 ICM/Guardian 1,005 36% 33% 22% 9% 3% over Con
30 July – 1 August 2004 Populus/The Times 570 32% 32% 24% 12% Tie
16–18 July 2004 ICM/Guardian 1,007 35% 30% 25% 10% 5% over Con
2–3 July 2004 Populus/The Times 556 33% 29% 24% 14% 4% over Con
18–20 June 2004 Ipsos MORI/Financial Times 966 32% 27% 22% 19% 6% over Con
11–13 June 2004 ICM/Guardian 1,009 34% 31% 22% 13% 3% over Con
10 June 2004 2004 European election
4–6 June 2004 Populus/The Times 589 31% 29% 22% 18% 3% over Con
20–23 May 2004 ICM/Guardian 1,001 39% 34% 20% 7% 5% over Con
7–9 May 2004 Populus/The Times 578 32% 36% 22% 10% 4% over Lab
16–18 April 2004 ICM/Guardian 1,002 38% 33% 22% 6% 5% over Con
10–11 March 2004 ICM/Guardian 1,014 37% 35% 21% 7% 2% over Con
5–7 March 2004 Populus/The Times 573 36% 34% 22% 8% 2% over Con
20–22 February 2004 ICM/Guardian 1,006 36% 34% 21% 8% 2% over Con
6–8 February 2004 Populus/The Times 580 36% 31% 25% 8% 5% over Con
16–18 January 2004 ICM/Guardian 1,007 39% 34% 20% 7% 5% over Con
2–4 January 2004 Populus/The Times 566 40% 35% 18% 7% 5% over Con
12–14 December 2003 ICM/Guardian[3] 1,001 38% 33% 21% 8% 5% over Con
5–7 December 2003 Populus/The Times 557 35% 33% 22% 10% 2% over Con
14–16 November 2003 ICM/Guardian[3] 1,002 38% 33% 21% 8% 5% over Con
7–9 November 2003 Populus/The Times 554 35% 31% 24% 10% 4% over Con
17–19 October 2003 ICM/Guardian[3] 1,004 38% 33% 21% 8% 5% over Con
3–5 October 2003 Populus/The Times 524 36% 28% 27% 9% 8% over Con
23–25 September 2003 YouGov/Daily Telegraph 2306 31% 32% 30% 7% 1% over Lab
19–21 September 2003 ICM/Guardian 1,002 35% 30% 28% 8% 5% over Con
5–6 September 2003 Populus/The Times 511 37% 35% 20% 8% 2% over Con
15–17 August 2003 ICM/Guardian 1,001 37% 32% 22% 9% 5% over Con
1–3 August 2003 Populus/The Times 564 35% 33% 25% 7% 2% over Con
22–24 July 2003 YouGov/Daily Telegraph 2219 34% 37% 22% 7% 3% over Lab
18–20 July 2003 ICM/Guardian 1,003 36% 34% 22% 9% 2% over Con
20–22 June 2003 ICM/Guardian 1,001 38% 34% 21% 7% 4% over Con
13–15 June 2003 Populus/The Times 513 36% 34% 21% 9% 2% over Con
16–18 May 2003 ICM/Guardian 1,000 42% 29% 21% 8% 13% over Con
2–4 March 2003 Populus/The Times 565 35% 34% 23% 8% 1% over Con
22–24 April 2003 YouGov/Daily Telegraph 2390 40% 32% 21% 7% 8% over Con
17–19 April 2003 ICM/Guardian 1,000 42% 30% 21% 7% 12% over Con
26–27 March 2003 YouGov/Daily Telegraph 2282 40% 33% 20% 7% 7% over Con
19 March 2003 Invasion of Iraq
10–12 March 2003 Populus/The Times 540 42% 29% 22% 7% 13% over Con
14–16 March 2003 ICM/Guardian 1,002 38% 32% 24% 6% 6% over Con
7–9 March 2003 Populus/The Times 498 34% 34% 24% 8% Tie
14–16 February 2003 ICM/Guardian 1,003 39% 31% 22% 8% 8% over Con
7–9 February 2003 Populus/The Times 555 35% 34% 25% 6% 1% over Con
28–30 January 2003 YouGov/Daily Telegraph 1949 36% 32% 24% 8% 4% over Con
17–19 January 2003 ICM/Guardian 1,002 43% 30% 21% 6% 13% over Con
3–5 January 2003 Populus/The Times 565 38% 31% 25% 6% 7% over Con
13–15 December 2002 ICM/Guardian 1,006 41% 27% 23% 8% 14% over Con
15–17 November 2002 ICM/Guardian 1,000 42% 29% 22% 7% 13% over Con
18–20 October 2002 ICM/Guardian 1,001 43% 32% 20% 6% 11% over Con
11–13 October 2002 Populus/The Times 1,001 42% 30% 21% 6% 12% over Con
20–22 September 2002 ICM/Guardian 1,000 39% 34% 20% 7% 5% over Con
5–7 September 2002 Populus/The Times 610 39% 33% 21% 6% 6% over Con
23–25 August 2002 ICM/Guardian 1,003 41% 32% 21% 6% 9% over Con
26–27 July 2002 ICM/Guardian 1,002 42% 33% 20% 4% 9% over Con
21–23 June 2002 ICM/Guardian 1,002 42% 32% 20% 7% 10% over Con
17–19 May 2002 ICM/Guardian 1,003 42% 34% 19% 5% 8% over Con
20–21 April 2002 ICM/Guardian 1,000 45% 29% 18% 8% 16% over Con
15–17 March 2002 ICM/Guardian 1,001 43% 34% 17% 6% 9% over Con
15–17 February 2002 ICM/Guardian 1,003 47% 30% 18% 5% 17% over Con
18–20 January 2002 ICM/Guardian 1,003 45% 30% 19% 6% 15% over Con
14–16 December 2001 ICM/Guardian 1,000 44% 29% 20% 7% 15% over Con
16–18 November 2001 ICM/Guardian 1,004 46% 29% 19% 6% 17% over Con
19–20 October 2001 ICM/Guardian 1,000 47% 29% 19% 5% 18% over Con
14–16 September 2001 ICM/Guardian 1,007 46% 29% 20% 5% 17% over Con
17–19 August 2001 ICM/Guardian 1,004 46% 30% 17% 7% 16% over Con
13–14 July 2001 ICM/Guardian 1,001 46% 30% 18% 6% 16% over Con
31 May - 1 June 2001 Ipsos MORI/The Sunday Telegraph 1,021 50% 27% 17% 6% 23% over Con
7 June 2001 2001 Election Results 42.0% 32.7% 18.8% 6.5% 9.3% over Con

References[edit]

  1. ^ Predicting Results UK Polling Report
  2. ^ a b c The number of responses used to calculate the voting intention was not provided; the total number of participants in the poll is therefore listed.
  3. ^ a b c The responses to the questions on voting intention are not included in this document; they have therefore instead been taken from Guardian/ICM polls: every one since 1984.

External links[edit]