A new YouGov poll for the Sunday Times has voting intention figures, with changes from YouGov’s previous poll at the end of October, of CON 41% (nc), LAB 35% (-3), LDEM 13% (+2). No dates yet, but the poll would probably have been conducted between Thursday and Saturday.

After some incredibly volatile polls over the last few months I think we are at last beginning to see a clear picture in the polls. With the exception of Populus who have them slightly lower, Conservative support seems to have steadied in the low fourties – YouGov have had them at 41% for three polls in a row, Ipsos-MORI at 40-41 for three polls, ICM at 40-43% for three polls. Interestingly thir support seems to have settled at a higher level than before the Blair to Brown handover, the reason that they are not recording larger leads than they were back then is that is has also increased Labour’s support. All the pollsters have Labour in the mid-thirties, whereas during Blair’s long goodbye they were languishing in the low thirties – of course, Labour are still falling, we don’t know if trend will continue downwards, stay in the mid-thiries, recover or whatever.

Finally, the increase in Lib Dem support from YouGov’s poll means that all the polling companies have shown the Liberal Democrats recovering slightly, presumably thanks to the publicity of their leadership election – their ratings are still very low compared to the past few years, but their trend is upwards. Obviously it remains to be seen what happens to their support once their new leader is chosen.

UPDATE: Looking at the rest of the figures, Gordon Brown’s ratings have slumped – down from +30 the last time YouGov asked the question using this wording to -10 now, David Cameron’s are also down slightly at +15 rather than +20 in the last poll, which was done straight after his conference speech.

The poll also asked about Gordon Brown’s relationship with President Bush. An overwhelming 74% of people think Brown is less close to Bush than Tony Blair was, and they tend to approve of this. Only 10% think he is too distant from President Bush, 45% think he has the relationship about right. 21% would like him to be still more distant.

YouGov also asked about expectations of house prices next year – 33% expect them to continue rising, 25% expect them to drop.

There is surprisingly little here compared to the amount of polling the Sunday Times normally do – in the past they’ve done a nice series of consistent questions about preceptions of Gordon Brown’s and David Cameron’s characters, I didhope they’d do them again. More likely they’ve done something that isn’t time sensitive that they can publish at a later date.


114 Responses to “YouGov put the Tories 6 points ahead”

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  1. The public have a natural aversion to a hung parliament. Charles Kennedy was supposed to have told his MPs to play the possibility down, not just because it raised the “with whom?” question but because he recognised it as a turn off.

    If the outcome of the next election remains uncertain, the inevitable publicity and spectulation about the possibilty of a hung parliament may drive voters away from the Lib Dems regardless.

    With reference to Clegg, I have to agree with the previuos comments. He has not impressed. He made critical remarks about Cameron’s “off by heart” speech at the Tory Con. I think the LDs would be secretly pleased if he came anywhere near it. I have taken a look at their blogs and some of them are decidedly underwhelmed:I quote “not a patch on Cameron/where are his famous presentation skills?”.

    And there in lies the problem. We shall see how he gets on at PMQs. Remember Cameron had to do it as Leader of the Opposition and against Blair – and he put Blair off balance first time out. Has there been any evidence that Clegg will make the same impact in for easier circumstances?

  2. John T: There was a hilarious Comment piece in the Telegraph Wednesday, while everyone else was writing about the billions the Treasury is liable for with Northern Rock, or the millions of people’s private records lost . . . Charlie Whelan was writing that things aren’t bad for Brown (due to the non-election), that the present furore (of the non-election) would blow over and indeed that “things can only get better” (for Brown).

    If I didn’t know better, I’d think it was a B’stard-style joke, or something written months ago: link

  3. Nick , as you say we shall see , the way things are looking at the moment Labour are heading back to the very low 30’s if not into the 20’s , where is their support going to go , you believe no doubt the bulk will go to the COnservatives , I believe to the LibDems but time will tell .
    Sally C where is the evidence for your statement that the public have an aversion to hung parliaments , I think there have been 1 or 2 polls on this at times and the evidence is not so conclusive , perhaps Anthony can help us here . Re Clegg , he may not have impressed Conservative supporters no surprise there , but having seen him in the flesh , I think he is winning the contest with Huhne .

  4. I see no reason why Labour can’t lose about 7 points from where they are now, to be split between both other main parties. Or simply lose the votes to nobody, ex-Labour becoming a non-voter . . . which would proportionately increase all other parties support.

  5. John T

    The reason why you are surprised is because you seem to have no understanding of the Conservative party or the type of people in it.

    I have been on and off for 30 years. In my opinion your views are not based on reality they are based on 1950s socialist bullshit and even longer BBC propaganda.

    The Tory party never has been in my experience anything like what you seem to indicate.

    Please try to understand these basic FACTS

    David Cameron was elected by the membership by a record percentage of the members. This in spite of the FACT that his main opponent was also very popular indeed.

    This happened because David Cameron represents the Conservative party membership almost perfectly. He does not have to keep hardly any of the membership on side because they are almost entirely on his side already.

    THATS WHY HE GOT ELECTED BY OVER 70%.

    Whats more interesting. Most of the people including myself who voted for Davis, now are very pleased we got Cameron instead. Never has the Conservative Party membership been more confident, united and contented with their leader.

    The problem the Conservative party has is that a very small but important minority vote Tory because they like what the BBC has brainwashed them into believing the Conservative Party is like.

    It gos with out saying that this long term BBC miss representation is not David Cameron’s fault, and he needs every single vote in working class marginal constituencies he can muster.

  6. I have no idea why Atlas addressed that to me – there are no references to “surprise” in any of my comments, and only tangental reference to anything I might have expressed. Perhaps he meant some-one else?

    I re-iterate, for clarification, that Cameron has moved to the centre ground, and taken his MPs with him, without anything like as much opposition as Major faced from within.

  7. Also, it would be difficult for any news organisation to exist if it were committed to “brainwashing”, let alone one that sits alongside rival news organisations (eg ITN, Channel 4, Five SKYnews etc) who broadcast much the same news. Any “brainwashing” would be immediately discernible when juxtaposed – unless of course Atlas thinks that all new organisations are brain-washers?

  8. Atlas:-

    “Most of the people including myself who voted for Davis, now are very pleased we got Cameron instead.”

    Yes I agree-including me.

    I wonder if the Labour Party members/MPs who wanted rid of Blair so they could get a proper socialist believe they made the right choice?

  9. The “time for change” aspect kicked Blair very hard. 10 years is a long time for one person, especially as things do tend to go wrong from time to time (deliberate bathos!).

    Brown’s problem is that he is so familiar from his days at the Treasury that he already looks like he’s been there a very long time. Major didn’t have that problem.

    There aren’t many Old Labour people who thought Brown would instigate socialist policies, and he won’t. There were once calls to re-nationalise the railways,for instance, but they seem very distant.

  10. One increasingly gets the impression that Atlas would be happy arguing with himself given his aptitude to address arguments that have not even been made by anyone. His continuing obsession with the BBC which ironically seems to define his very existence is equally laughable.

    On the matter of Cameron, I would simply say that as with all politicians he will be treated according to his success. Thus all those on the right of the Tory party are happy for now to tolerate his talk of green taxes and his acceptance of Labour’s profligate and immoral (to adopt the language of the DT) spending plans if ultimately he wins the election. If he loses (and by that I mean that Brown is PM after the next election), the Tory right will proclaim his one nation Toryism a failure and will leave a set of steak knives in his back. Atlas and Mike R will be at the front of that queue.

    As a Labour supporter, I happen to think that Cameron’s instincts thus far have been right and that it is absolutely critical that he does not allow himself to be pushed by his party to the right if he is to win. The comparisons with Blair, while somewhat facile, do bear some truth but his greatest threat is actualy from within his own party.

    Fortunately for moderate Tories (and the British people in general), Cameron does not share the views of the Tory right and their hopes that he will, in power, dust off a right wing agenda are as misplaced as those socialists who thought Blair was their gateway to socialist government. He may well send the odd dog whistle to them from time to time to keep them happy but he is not one of them.

  11. The problem with making predictions-are you reading this Messers Richardson,Senior and Gatter-is that they make you a hostage to fortune and once you have closed down the alternatives you have nowhere else to go really. Too many contributors to this site only see the world as they would like it to be and not as it is. Peversely when it comes to a general election I tend to bet on the party I don’t want to win so if it does I collect and if the party I support turns up trumps then of course I am more than happy to kiss goodbye to my money for what I perceive to be the greater good.As for predictions I will confine myself to just one which is that if government ministers continue to throw the ball to one another and drop it as they seem to do almost daily then Labour will face the risk of a very similar defeat to that of the John Major administration in 1997.Along with many voters I suspect-I judge ministers not just on their policies but on their competence in carrying out those policies whether I agree with them or not. Blunkett,Reid,Cook, even Blair himself were all on top of their game when in post which is not what you can say about most of the present cabinet. I don’t particularly want an early election as I wish to see this government pay the full price for its sins but the sooner the electorate has the chance to vote them out the better. If by some misfortune they choose not to throw them out well so be it -at least they cannot complain later. Anyone for a May election?

  12. I think the problem with much of Brown’s newer team is that they lack any real experience: Of either the real world, or opposition. Which is why politics is cyclical, when in government too long the politicians get out of touch, that seems to have happened now.

    What I wonder is what’s going to happen to Labour when this government does fall. Who is there to pick up the pieces? What do they stand for?

  13. When ever a government is in power for a long time it eventually becomes too long, WHATEVER the colour. They can’t remember what they wanted power for other than for its own sake. It must be hard to give up the ministerial car etc. and the feeling that everyone is queuing up to hear from you.
    Opposition is a thankless empty role, but it forces you to reassess what you are doing and why….eventually.

    The signs this Govt have run out of steam started much lower down the chain than this “Cabinet of pygmies”[The Inde}. It comes from the lack of enthusiasm, energy and passion at grassroots level. “New Blood” is career new blood not idealistic or empassioned.
    Have you looked in on Labourhome over the past few months? Its dead. There is little innovative discussion and, even more tellingly, major problems happening in the news and materially affecting Labour are often completely ignored.
    Go on Tory home and they are debating everthing from the education systems of the world, Iran, nuclear power, civil liberties. For Lib DemVoice Voice its Trident, environment etc…
    All Labour home does is with what little energy it has left is complain about everyone else.
    They recently copied Toryhome’s “Why are we Conservative?” They slagged of the Tory’s many answers and then asked “Why are we Labour?”.
    Hardly anyone repied. They can’t remember or they have given up on achieving it.
    Its just the way of the world.

  14. Sally C

    Those comments are to do with leadership.

    For the first time for many years the Conservatives have a leader who has learned the art. Tories of every hue will follow him.

    Cameron began by making his followers scratch their heads (his initial PMQ’s were bathetic with a capital B, and he bemused his followers almost as much as he bemused his enemy with his apparent deference to Blair). Policies re the NHS were bang on New Labour (plus “we’ll spend ‘better'”). A big tax cut for the wealthy (IHT), paid for by foreigners, was bang on Old Tory (minus nastiness).

    I won’t harp on about the issues – and I’ll remenmber this is about polling performance- but I hope you get the point that leading is about knowing what to say to whom and how.

    My main point is that energy comes from the top.

    Brown’s strategy lacks recognisable, traditional leadership qualities. He pre-announced the Queen’s speech contents with the laudable intention of trying to engage debate before policies were formed, but with the effect that the Queen announced things we felt we’d heard before. That’s enervating, not innovating, and who can blame pro-Labour websites for lacking enthusiasm in the face of such wilful “anti-Blairite-spin” nonesense. An open goal for Cameron.

    Brown appears to have adopted an appproach that is the opposite of Blair, and thrown Leadership out in the mistaken belief that he was throwing out “spin”. Cameron meanwhile has hired a (former tabloid) spin-meister in Coulsden and embraced Blair’s high octane winning formuula.

    The Labour grass roots are still wick. Plenty of difference between the centre-right and centre-left, and we all, wherever we lean, would benefit from Brown focussing on the way forward rather than trying simply to improve slightly on his predecessor’s way. He has until May 2010.

    I profoundly disagree with any statements along the lines of “it’s just the way it is”, simply because I believe that attitude leads to complacency, and ultimately war. Positive leadership really can change things. Cameron has proved that; perhaps Brown might just learn something from the last two months and change himself. If he doesn’t follow others’ arguments, he must surely follow the polls.

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