YouGov’s monthly poll for the Sunday Times, one of the the first voting intention polls since the budget, has quite startling topline figures: CON 43%(+3), LAB 27%(-6), LDEM 16%(nc). The poll was conducted between the 13th and 14th of March, so after respondents would have seen the newspaper reaction to the budget.

The 16% Conservative lead is the largest YouGov have ever recorded and the largest any company has produced since October 1987. There are people old enough to vote who weren’t born the last time the Tories were this far ahead. If repeated at a general election it would produce a Conservative landslide majority of 122.

It’s tempting to automatically assume that such a massive shift this must be a rogue poll. My guess is that it will indeed prove to be an outlier – the shift is just too large- but a second poll, this time from ICM in the News of the World, confirms a significant shift towards the Tories since the budget. ICM’s topline figures, with changes from their last poll, are CON 40%(+3), LAB 31%(-3), LDEM 20%(-1). The ICM poll was conducted between the 12th and 13th of March.

More later when details of the polls are available.


77 Responses to “Biggest Tory lead for 20 years”

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  1. Brown needs to stop trying to impress the Daily Mail, and start being New Labour again. With Blair we knew what he stood for. No one knows what Brown stands for except for trying to do well in the opinion polls.
    People want politicians to follow their beliefs and changes things for the better, not to crave power for the sake of power.
    I fear Cameron may win the next election. I also fear his party wouldn’t let him stick with the moderate agenda he’s putting forward right now.
    Dump brown and get David Miliband as leader, he seems to have a way with communicating with people and putting his vision across that this current front bench lacks.

  2. NBeale – always first.

  3. Steve Wheeler
    As a bit of an activist, I will put in a request that the first thing the newly elected Tory Government do is give you a medal.
    I hope that prospect cheers you up.

    ‘Services Above and Beyond the Call of Duty’ do you?

    A stering supporter. I hope they deserve you.

  4. Sterling supporter that is…

  5. Steve Wheeler

    Don’t give up yet – remember the recent couple of polls with low single digit leads. One or two of our conservative’s here were getting just a little worried. But it IS a bit scary :(

    Marc
    If you have another look at the budget, you’ll see that, within the severe constraints,it was in some ways a good Labour budget – with wealth redistributed to continue the reduction of child poverty as a key feature. Few middle class votes in that but well worth doing; and hardly “trying to do well in opinion polls”. (Although that is surely the ultimate aim of all politicians, and not in itself ignoble).

  6. John Curtice, analysing this poll in The Independent, says “Every post-war opposition that won the next election secured 50 per cent in the polls at some point.”

    Is this true?
    And more to the point, it it relevant?

  7. Toby – to the second part, not really. If you go back to 1979 or times previous to that when the government changed hands the Liberals and fringe parties took a tiny proportion of the vote, it was much easier for a party to get to 50%.

    There is only one example of an opposition winning power in the age of real two and a half party politics we’re in these days: Labour in 1997. It’s true in their case, but I probably wouldn’t extrapolate any rules from a single instance.

  8. Why would Labour want to hold on until 2010? Egotism or desperation (a’ la John Major, 1997)…?

    Bear Stearns has just Northern Rock’ed, and markets are crashing. PWC’s worst case scenario (published in this weeks “The Economist”; probably as reliable as Master Darling’s economic projections) would imply a long recession in 2008/9. House-prices expected to fall at a faster rate in 2009 (following negative growth in 2008). What is it that makes politicians hang-on…?

    These polls makes my gut-instinct, that June is the right time to call an election, less likely to be realised. But with the public-finances tight, it is better to take a fall now, and not wait for a bigger one later? Cannot see how anything will be better in 2010, and forcing the opposition to handle the fall might improve New Labour’s chances in 2013/4.

    I can only assume that New Labour see their beer glass containing a full 284 millilitres. Unfortunately my pint glass in 10 fluid-ounces empty…. :(

  9. Marc I agree with you some of Browns antics since he has become Prime Minister has led me to belive he is just so desperate to be liked by the public
    I was not happy with the way Blair was ousted then forgotton there should have been a proper vote for a new leader by the Labour as that didnt happen Brown should have called an election at the Labour party conference after putting his vision forward what has happened since is down to him and rather the Labour party beliving Brown was their saviour he will be the one that will make them unelectable not Blair

  10. Glenn Benson, I am starting a petition to get you some punctuation! ;)

  11. Fair comment Alasdair but in fairness some people may not of had education like yourself, I will try next time but im sure you get point I was trying to make.

  12. Something on this site eats punctuation and spelling. I have a special aversion to the “grocer’s apostrophe” but one crept into my last posting! (Maybe I was distracted by the pain of seeing a very slight decline in Labour support after a few more hopeful poll results).

  13. It’s true. I make tonnes of mistakes in my posts here.. I think it’t the quick typing and posting. Also, I find I make more mistakes typing from a laptop.

  14. I think I noticed an extraneous “very slight” in your last post JohnH!

    I think the lack of ideological diffference is helping Cameron get across the “time for change” message. There won’t be any inflationary tax cuts, or wholesale public spending cuts, apart from cuts in so-called waste. Many people will of course have their jobs categorised as “waste”, but the political difficulties won’t arise until the redundancies start to kick in.

    I think Glenn has a point in that Brown’s position would have been improved by a proper leadership election (though to be consistent with his next post Glenn should’ve said “should of” and not “should have”.

  15. Without any personal criticism: please can YouGov use a polite decorum forum for communications and etiquette…? The following does not add value, and should – dare I say – be relegated to local counsel/council…!

    “Glenn Benson

    Marc I agree with you some of Browns antics since he has become Prime Minister has led me to belive he is just so desperate to be liked by the public
    I was not happy with the way Blair was ousted then forgotton there should have been a proper vote for a new leader by the Labour as that didnt happen Brown should have called an election at the Labour party conference after putting his vision forward what has happened since is down to him and rather the Labour party beliving Brown was their saviour he will be the one that will make them unelectable not Blair
    March 17th, 2008 at 10:07 am
    Alasdair Cameron

    Glenn Benson, I am starting a petition to get you some punctuation! ;)
    March 17th, 2008 at 12:30 pm
    Glenn Benson

    Fair comment Alasdair but in fairness some people may not of had education like yourself, I will try next time but im sure you get point I was trying to make.
    March 17th, 2008 at 1:41 pm”

    As a frequent visitor to the following blog I have found it even with administered rules. Could we contributers not employ a similar system…?

    Thanks, these rules seem to work…. http://www.defencetalk.com/forums/rules.php

  16. John H,

    I agree with what you say about there being some small redistributive efforts in the Budget but I can’t help but agree with what Marc said about grabbing the Daily Mail vote. I understand Browns tactic about holding the middle ground and “the goverment of all the talents” stuff but I think he’s gone too far and allowed Cameron to convince the public that the Tories are the party who care about the NHS and the elderly and the under-privileged.

    I do trust Gordon Brown and I do think he cares about the same things I care about but I think he needs to start arguing the case for Labour on traditional Labour values.

    At the end of the day if a person cares most about lower taxes, inheritance tax etc they’ll vote for the Conservatives anyway.

    Sally,

    Thanks, that would be ace! I’ll put it with my “Last Social Democrat (nearly) in The Labour Party” award. :)

  17. William Rees-Mogg says in The Times today :-

    “….I have looked up the table at the end of Colin Rallings’s and Michael Thrasher’s Media Guide; this converts voting preferences into seats. I found that the authors had not even included a column in which Labour has only 27 per cent; this YouGov poll has gone off their scale.”

    terra incognita.

    Steve-please keep the faith & post on.Without different views there is no politicsyour”bravery” much appreciated !;-)

  18. Steve Wheeler and co.Have faith still plenty of time yet.

    Just think what it would be like on Conservative Home,sorry,I mean this messageboard if the polls swing back around.It’s not like it has not happened before.Think back to 8 months ago.

    Keep the faith…tic toc…tic toc.

  19. Just as a rule of thumb I tend to almost make a paragraph out of a sentence because it’s just easier to read on a screen.

    After all it’s not like paper that you need to pay for, screen space is free.

    Peter.

  20. Brown’s “political genius” is bailing out – about time someone left with 5 ministers gone already. Meanwhile the Evening Standard Mayoral poll gives a similar C support in London to the YouGov tables. Let’s see what the next polls bring.

  21. The BBC news website says that ICM are reporting a 13point lead to the Conservatives?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7301163.stm

    Is this there anything in this or are they just trying to rub it in?

  22. Oh I see now :(

  23. STEVE WHEELER – I had more faith in you than to run for the hills as some past Tories on here have done with a bad POLL.

  24. Following the ICM poll this YouGov one looks accurate, not an outlier.

    The financial crisis of the last week, and the pathetic budget that showed Labour’s lack of control over the UK’s fate, appear to have caused a shift similar to that the Tories suffered over withdrawal from the ERM.

    Perhaps it is a bigger surprise that we have not had polls like this ever since Northern Rock, but the Tories’ own history perhaps helps explain.

    As usual, the reports underplay Other repsonse. There appears to be a shift to “Others”.

    It will be interesting to see the voting intentions analyses according to reported voting at previous elections. Mu suspicion is that Labour vters are desrting to both Lib Dems and Tories, but the voters the Lib dems are gaining are being offset by Lib Dem voters switching to the Tories. This is bad news for the Lib Dems, because they would lose the many Southern seats they hold from the Tories by a narrow margin, whilst picking up votes in Northern Lib Dem/Labour marginals, of which there are fewer.

  25. Fluffy; So I will watch with interest the value of your contributions to this site, apart from slatig other people!

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