By Mark Wallace
Follow Mark on Twitter.
The first of the Sunday newspaper polls to land in my inbox is that done for the Mail on Sunday by Survation.
As some close followers of political polling may recall, Survation dropped a mini-bombshell earlier in the week when they reported the Conservatives on 24% and UKIP snapping at their heels on 22%. As with any outlying poll there were suggestions it was a blip.
Tomorrow's MoS poll, though, repeats the pollster's earlier finding:
Conservative: 24% (no change)
Labour: 35% (-1)
Liberal Democrat: 10% (-1)
UKIP: 22% (nc)
Another Party: 9% (+1)
Within Survation's panel and methodology the surprisingly close gap between the Tories and UKIP is consistent.
The methodology is worth a mention. While most polls only mention the three traditional parties upfront, requiring respondents to volunteer UKIP as their choice, Survation prompt UKIP in a four-party choice. They also weight the results based on respondents' likelihood to vote – given UKIP's higher support among older voters, that boosts their Survation results further.
The detail buried in the tables is interesting, too. (They're here in PDF format if anyone's interested). As Mike Smithson of Political Betting points out, UKIP's support includes a massive gender divide – 27% of men to 16% of women. It's very possible Farage's blokey image is contributing to that by deterring female voters.
The poll also includes questions about the aftermath of the Woolwich terrorist attack. Encouragingly, it shows that the public are opposed to the possible return of the Snoopers' Charter by a margin of 47% – 40%. It seems the days of kneejerk introduction of legal restrictions on our freedom in the aftermath of such atrocities may be behind us.