This race couldn’t be closer. That is the conclusion suggested by BMG Research’s latest election poll for May2015 – their second and final poll before this Thursday’s election.
The polls open in less than 36 hours, and BMG is the latest pollster to suggest a very close race, in contrast to half a dozen phone polls which last week showed the Tories were now polling 34-36 per cent and Labour only 30-32 per cent.
Those figures never aligned with online polls, which have shown an effectively tied race for the past five days, past fortnight, past month and past six weeks. (Before that they showed a slight Labour lead.) And a trio of new phone polls have now indicated that phone and online polls may be aligning, or never diverged; ComRes’ two most recent polls have shown a tie, with Ashcroft today putting the Tories ahead by 2.
Only two pollsters’ most recent poll has given the Tories lead a greater than 2 points.
Only two pollsters’ most recent poll – ICM’s for the Guardian and Ipsos MORI’s for the Evening Standard – has given the Tories lead a greater than 2 points. All other polls are suggesting a closer race, as reinforced by BMG’s poll tonight.
BMG’s poll is also the third of the past four to put the Lib Dems in double-digits. It gives the Lib Dems 10 per cent. The past five national polls have given the party 9, 10, 10 and 11 per cent. They seemed to have escaped the nadir of 7 per cent they fell to earlier this year, when some lone polls put them as low as 5.
Ukip are on 12 per cent, which matches YouGov’s most recent averaged figures for the party, and is close to the 11 per cent recent phone polls have given them. Some newer pollsters – Survation, Panelbase and TNS – still suggest Ukip on at least 15 per cent, but BMG’s findings suggest the party really has faded.
BMG’s poll is also the third of the past four to put the Lib Dems in double-digits.
And yet Ukip’s dip has not handed the Tories a clear lead over Labour. We looked at this in depth this weekend. BMG’s poll fits the model suggested by more than 340 polls published since September. A Ukip share of 12 per cent translates into a Tory share of around 34 per cent.
But Labour’s share remains resolutely above 32 per cent. BMG’s poll is the sixth in a row to hand them at least 33 per cent. If Labour poll that high on Thursday, David Cameron will need a strong incumbency boost for first-time MPs to win enough seats to keep power.
Full electronic tables for BMG’s poll are available here. We’ve also reproduced them below. More findings from BMG’s research will be released here on May2015 over the next 24 hours.
BMG Research is not yet a member of the British Polling Council – they published their debut poll on May2015 last week – but abided by BPC rules in carrying out their poll and is recognised by the BPC as a market researcher.