The latest voter intention polling by TNS UK reveals the following:
- LAB 32% (0) CON 33% (0) LIB DEM 8% (+1) UKIP 16%(-1) GREEN 5% (+1) Other 7% (0)
- Most favour a referendum on the EU
- Survey compares voter engagement 50 years apart - only 19% say there is a good deal of difference between the parties today compared to 36% ahead of the 1964 General Election.
London - 31 March - A new poll by TNS UK reveals that Labour and the Conservatives are neck-and-neck on 32% and 33% respectively. The survey also re-visited questions asked 50 years ago ahead of the 1964 General Election and reveals that faith in politicians is significantly down compared to the Wilson era.
The full voter intention figures are as follows: LAB 32% (0) CON 33% (0) LIB DEM 8% (+1) UKIP 16%(-1) GREEN 5% (+1) Other 7% (0).
When asked about the European Union, most of those surveyed (55%) favoured a referendum on membership of the EU and there is a narrow lead (35%) for staying in the European Union if a referendum was held, (compared with 34% who would vote to leave).
With several of weeks of campaigning ahead, the latest TNS research also shows that almost three quarters (69%) say they have a ‘good deal’ or ‘some interest’ in politics, with 31% saying they have no interest in politics.
When asked about the likely outcome of this General Election there is uncertainty, with a third (33%) saying they don’t know who will be running the country after May 8th. However, while the two main parties are neck-and-neck in the latest TNS poll, over a third (36%) think the Conservatives will either have an outright majority or be the biggest party, compared with 26% for Labour.
The survey also looked back 50 years to compare responses ahead of the 1964 General Election to attitudes to politics today. TNS re-visited a set of questions asked in 1963, when over a third (36%) of the public thought there was a ‘good deal of difference’ between the parties, with 20% saying there was ‘some’ difference and 34% believing there was not much difference. In contrast, today fewer than one in five (18%) say there is a good deal of difference between the parties, with 39% saying there is some difference, and a third (33%) saying there is not much difference in 2015.
Also in 1963, almost half (46%) said having elections makes government pay ‘a good deal of attention’ to what people think, with a quarter (26%) saying they paid some attention as a result of elections, with just 9% thinking the government paid ‘not much’ attention. However, in 2015 only 15% think elections make governments pay ‘a good deal of attention’ to what people think, with 42% saying they pay ‘some’ attention, and over a third (36%) believing they pay ‘not much’ attention to what people think.
Commenting, Jamie Willard, Director at TNS UK, said “The latest TNS research paints a picture of a Britain in flux, with all to play for in the next few weeks. There is real uncertainty about who to vote for and who will win amongst voters.
“Whilst the collapse of trust and faith in politicians is much documented, this latest research shows just how marked the decline is since the 1960s and the Wilson era. It in part explains the rise of smaller parties as the traditional parties fail to connect with voters.”
Notes to editors
Detailed tables for this survey can be found here.
TNS Omnibus interviewed a representative sample of 1,197 adults in Great Britain between the 26th March and 30th March 2015. All interviews were conducted as online self-completion.
The TNS Omnibus uses the Lightspeed Research access panel as its sample source.
The data was weighted to match population totals for age, sex, working status, presence of children, 2010 General Election voting patterns and region.
The voting intention results exclude respondents who told us they would not vote in the next General Election, those that refused to say for whom they would vote, those that refused to say how likely they were to vote and those that reported not being registered to vote. Once these groups of respondents are removed the sample size for the voting intention figures is 802.
For the voting intentions, a Likelihood to Vote (LTV) model based on data from the 2010 British Election study was applied after the weighting. Voters that intended to vote for UKIP, BNP or the Green party but that live in a constituency where this party does not have a candidate standing have been reallocated to their second choice party.
The 1963 data
In 1963 the British Market Research Bureau, now TNS BMRB, conducted a survey on political change for David Butler (University of Oxford) and Donald Stokes (Princeton University). This data was used in the book “Political change in Britain”.
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