Labours press office seem to have made great things of the cross breaks of the last YouGov poll, since it showed a whopping 17 point lead amongst female voters. I’ve seen various articles by commentators* who have been briefed about it showing how women has defected en masse to Labour. Is it true?

The graph below shows the Labour lead in all YouGov’s polls this year – the black line is their overall lead, the blue line the lead amongst men, the pink line their lead amongst women.

graph

As you can see, the lines bounce about a bit – they have only half the sample size of the overall figures, so that’s to be expected – but generally speaking Labour has had a LOWER lead amongst women over the last 9 months. Those last figures stick out like a sore thumb – it could be a sudden surge in Labour’s support amongst women, but I suspect it’s more likely to just be the result of it being a snap poll with half the normal sample size. You should be careful about reading too much into the internal breaks in polls anyway, if you see something really strange and unusual in the internal breaks of a poll, the chances are its wrong.

That aside, the early election speculation rumbles on. The Guardian’s coverage of this poll included the news that “Some party whips were also claiming that an early poll might mean the contest could be fought on old parliamentary boundaries, a way of preserving as many as 15 seats for Labour”. If they are claiming that they’ll be sorely disappointed, the boundary changes went through almost three months ago now.

Plus, over on the UK Polling Report Election Guide, I’ve added an article on what could be some key seats to watch at the next election.


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