Labour lead by seven points in the latest Ashcroft National Poll, conducted over the past weekend. The party is up two points since the last ANP at the beginning of August to 35%; the Conservatives are down two at 28%, and the other parties are unchanged: UKIP on 18%, the Liberal Democrats on 8% and the Greens on 6%.
Five YouGov and Populus polls published over the last week have shown Labour leads of between two and six points. As was the case before the summer break, the notable difference between these online surveys and the ANP, conducted by telephone, is the combined total for Labour and the Tories: 63% in my poll today, and 68% to 70% online.
UKIP voters (56%) and Labour voters (52%) were the most likely to say they would definitely vote for their chosen party. Overall, just over half (52%) of those naming a party said they might end up voting differently when the election comes.
David Cameron remains the leader about whom voters as a whole feel the most positive (or the least negative: on a scale of -100 to +100 he averaged -9.27, compared to -13.24 for Ed Miliband, -18.98 for Nigel Farage and -25.83 for Nick Clegg.) Cameron was also the only leader to achieve higher ratings than his party. Of the established parties, he also received the highest scores from his own voters (+48.75, compared to +27.50 for Miliband among Labour voters and +33.96 for Clegg among Lib Dems). George Osborne scored better overall (-12.74) than Ed Balls (-17.24). Scores for all parties and leaders were lower than when I last asked this question in May, with the single exception of Nigel Farage, whose rating improved fractionally from -19.30 over the last four months.
Over that time I have also found the proportion saying they think the economy is recovering from recession up from 58% to 63%. However, the number saying they feel better off as a result was unchanged at 12%. Just under one in five (19%) say they thought the economy was still not recovering; the same proportion said the recession did not really make them any worse off in the first place. More than half (51%) said they thought “the economy is recovering from recession but I do not feel any better off.”
UKIP voters were the most likely to say they thought the economy was still not recovering (24%). Swing voters, along with Labour voters (56%) were slightly more likely than others to say the economy as a whole was doing better but that they had not felt any benefit.