Most voters think Labour’s pink Woman to Woman campaign bus patronises women, according to a ComRes poll for The Independent on Sunday. The poll found that 57 per cent of women and 55 per cent of men agree that “by travelling around Britain in a pink bus to try and attract female voters, the Labour Party is patronising women”.
The bus – which Harriet Harman, Labour’s deputy leader, described as “magenta” – aims to reach the nine million women who didn’t vote at the last election. But the choice of colour has been criticised by campaigners against gender stereotyping.
Some female Labour MPs who support the Let Toys Be Toys campaign against gender-specific marketing have been privately embarrassed by the row.
Our poll also found that women voters support the campaign against the marketing of toys and books, often colour-coded pink and blue, at either girls or boys.
The poll found that 44 per cent of people agree that “shops should put less emphasis on aiming some toys at girls and others at boys”; 33 per cent disagree. Just over half of women polled agree (52 per cent), compared with 36 per cent of men. More men disagree (39 per cent) than agree.
Experts' predictions for the general election
Experts' predictions for the general election
1/10 Andrew Hawkins (ComRes)
Just as the polls in 2010 pointed to no overall majority for any party, the overwhelming evidence points to Labour either being the largest party or getting a small majority, probably below 20. The Lib Dems and SNP should each win between 25 and 35 seats, with single-figure wins for both Ukip and the Greens.
2/10 Joe Twyman (YouGov)
I predict it will be close. I predict a few tremors, though earthquakes are unlikely. I predict the eventual winner may not be the direct result of public opinion, but instead the outcome of political negotiations. It’s too early to predict numbers given all the uncertainties surrounding (among other things) Ukip, the SNP and the Lib Dems. It is possible that it will be close between Conservative and Labour in terms of both votes and seats. The Lib Dems might retain 20-30 seats and the balance of power, despite small gains for the SNP, and at most half a dozen Ukip seats. Gun to my head? Labour minority government.
3/10 Ben Page (Ipsos MORI)
A mug’s game for this election months away, but my predictions in order of likelihood: most likely a hung parliament or coalition of some kind, closely followed by either a small Labour majority or an equally small Conservative majority. Given how close the parties are, the unknown performance of Ukip in key marginals, the effect of incumbency on Lib Dem losses, the final size of SNP surge and so on, to be more precise is simply foolish! Professor Tetlock, who found that forecasts by experts were only slightly better than throwing dice, weighs heavily upon me!
4/10 Rick Nye (Populus)
I can see a hung parliament, where Labour is the largest party in terms of seats – though not necessarily in terms of votes, with the Lib Dems having 30 seats or fewer, the SNP having up to 20 seats and Ukip having no more than five seats. In short, it’s going to get messy and stay messy for some time to come.
5/10 Nick Moon (GfK)
I can’t recall there ever being an election more difficult to predict than this one. I’m confident no party will have an overall majority, with the Tories probably the largest party but no single partner for a viable coalition, with the Lib Dems on 25 seats, the SNP 20, Ukip three, and the Greens one.
6/10 Damian Lyons Lowe (Survation)
We might have expected a workable Labour majority, were it not for the wild-card rise of the SNP in Scotland. Survation’s December Scottish polls suggest an almost complete wipeout by the SNP in Scotland and result in 40+ seat gains – mostly at Labour’s expense. My current predictions are: Labour the largest party by 40-50 seats over the Tories, no overall majority; Tories 235-255 seats; Lib Dems 20-30 seats; SNP 30-40 seats – maybe held back from potential support level by opposition incumbency and tactical voting by pro-unionist voters. Finally, Ukip, 5-10 wins from Conservatives, including Rochester and Clacton, and potentially a single Labour-seat surprise.
7/10 Michelle Harrison (TNS)
The battleground over the next three months is at the kitchen table – the difference between what the statistics tell us about the economy, the experience that Britons are having of managing their household budgets, and where – and if – they believe politics can make a difference. In this regard, the disconnect with the major political parties is more interesting than the horse race.
8/10 James Endersby (Opinium Research)
Our first poll for 2015 shows Labour one point ahead [see above], but polls four months out from an election are snapshots, not predictions. It would be extremely unwise for a pollster to make a firm prediction now. At the moment, Opinium’s estimate on polling day would be the Tories slightly ahead on vote share, but Labour slightly ahead on seats. These numbers are based on a uniform swing, with tweaks to Green and Ukip numbers based on local information: Labour 320 seats, Conservatives 271, Lib Dems 20, SNP 16, Plaid Cymru three, Greens two, Ukip four. A hung parliament with Labour potentially closer to a majority coalition than the Conservatives.
9/10 Martin Boon (ICM)
I’ve not recovered from the Scottish referendum campaign yet, and here we go with another wildcard strewn nail-biter. For me, Labour on 30 per cent will only fractionally nudge past their woeful 2010 showing – behind the Tories on 33 per cent – but enough to secure more seats (290 for Labour, 280 for the Tories) on boundary wackiness. The Lib Dems will secure 14 per cent of the vote and 35 seats; Ukip will also get 14 per cent, but that only gets them a couple of seats. As for Scotland, I’m bewildered, but as you asked I’ll say 30 seats for the SNP, which wipes out a breathing-space victory in seats for Labour.
10/10 Lord Ashcroft (Lord Ashcroft Polls)
Declined to take part. His spokeswoman said: “As he has said many times, his polls are snapshots not predictions.” Health warning: when The Independent on Sunday carried out a similar exercise in April 2010, at the start of that year’s election campaign, eight out of eight pollsters predicted a Conservative overall majority.
The poll shows little change in overall voting intention, with Labour’s two-point lead and the slight decline in Ukip support since last month reflecting the current average of all polls.
After the row in the Commons last week about tax avoidance, 41 per cent say the Government could do more “to stop large companies from moving their profits overseas to avoid paying tax in the UK”, whereas 36 per cent say there is “little the Government can do”.
But Ed Miliband’s attack on the Prime Minister for taking donations from tax avoiders has failed to find decisive support. Asked who would be “more effective at cracking down on tax avoidance and evasion”, opinion is equally divided: 31 per cent for Miliband and 31 per cent for David Cameron, with 38 per cent saying they don’t know.
Asked to choose between Mr Cameron and Mr Miliband on a number of statements, the Prime Minister has the advantage on “the qualities needed in a leader” (a 25-point lead), “managing the economy” (23 points), “managing immigration” (16 points) and even “would be more likely to raise standards in schools” (3 per cent).
Mr Miliband is ahead by only one point on “would make me and my family better off”. “Managing the NHS”, however, gives him a decisive 10-point advantage.
Asked to say who was likely to be prime minister after the election, 40 per cent named Cameron and only 22 per cent Mr Miliband, despite Labour’s lead in the polls, although 38 per cent chose “don’t know”. Only 49 per cent of Labour voters expect Miliband to be prime minister in May, compared with 80 per cent of Conservatives who expect Cameron to stay at No 10.
The poll also asked about Ukip and the Green Party, whose rising support in the run-up to the election threatens to destabilise the three established parties. Asked if these parties have “some good ideas about how to run the country”, 41 per cent say that Ukip does and 35 per cent say the same about the Greens. But more voters (42 per cent), disagree that Ukip has good ideas, and 55 per cent say that “Ukip would be dangerous if it had any power”.
The figures for the Greens are lower because people are more likely to say they don’t know about them, but even so, more voters agree that the Green Party would be dangerous in power (37 per cent) than disagree (29 per cent).Reuse content