Channel 4 news has a new YouGov poll of marginal seats. The poll covered Labour held Conservative target seats that require a swing between 3% and 7% to capture, the logic being that those “low hanging fruit” are certain Conservative gains in the present environment, so the battleground becomes those seats the Conservatives need to win to obtain an overall majority.

It showed support of CON 45%, LAB 32%, LDEM 13%, which suggests a swing to the Conservatives of 12 percent, enough to easily capture all these seats and, if one assume they are doing as well in more distant marginals – not necessarily a given – would suggest a Conservative majority of around 150. There is also an attempt to estimate what the effect of tactical voting might be – people were also asked how they would vote if they thought only Labour or the Conservatives could win in their seat. This reduces the swing to 10.5%, suggesting there is still some anti-Conservative tactical voting in these seats by Liberal Democrat supporters.

Other questions in the survey (the full results are here) asked the 59% of people who recorded a negative opinion of Brown why people had such a low opinion, the most popular answers were that he was out of touch (66%), indecisive (60%), incompetent (52%) and gloomy (50%). Asked what he could do to improve their opinion of him, taking more radical steps to protect people from the economic crisis (44%) was the most popular answer, followed by being more frank and honest (37%). 33% said none of the things suggested would improve their opinion of Brown.

David Cameron is interestingly still seen as a lightweight by 55% of people, but at the same time, people clearly don’t thing this is a major problem, as 71% have a positive opinion of how he is doing his job.

Turning to the state of the economy, only a minority (29%) blame the government for causing the problems, but they do seem to think the government’s reaction has been ineffective or counter-productive. Only 12% think the actions Gordon Brown has taken, or is planning, will improve maters. 24% think they will make things worse. 75% think the government are out of touch with how the economic problems are impacting ordinary people

Finally the survey asked about Gordon Brown’s future and potential leadership challenges. Perhaps surprisingly a majority of people did not want Gordon Brown to stand down as Labour leader, with 53% wanting him to stay until the election. Jack Straw and David Miliband were, as usual, the favoured replacements for Brown but, as usual, tiny proportions named them (14% and 12% respectively) with most saying don’t know. Asked to compare Gordon Brown and David Cameron, and David Miliband and Gordon Brown, the only really significant difference was in the level of don’t knows.


9 Responses to “YouGov show a 12% swing in key marginals”

  1. Is it fair to assume that a lot, if not all, the 45% who said they’d vote Tory also want Brown to stay on, as many feel Brown’s survival makes a Tory victory more likely?

  2. it is true to think that brown will gift the conservative victory in the next election as long as he stays eader of his party. next year the local election in county areas take place and brown is not exspecting to do well as you would think but he must hang on to his countys if he is to remain leader untill the next GE if he makes a big loss in the elections he will be finished, the EU elections are also coming next year and voter may vote labour out in that as well, alot to whtch in the next year but very intresting that labour are doing badly in their own areas, when the hartlands go the leader goes.

  3. Yes some people may want Brown to stay to doom Labour. Although a Conservative I think that the utter collapse of Labour would be a bad thing, unless the LibDems replaced them as an effective opposition. Also Brown can do a lot more damage to the country, and the world, by clinging to power for the next 22 months.

  4. I’m surprised that the LDs polled as high as 13% across all these Lab/Con marginals – this shows wider resistance to tactical voting than I’d expect in an election where a change of government is likely.

    In fact nothing within this poll shows any endorsement of either Labour or Conservative – questions 29 and 30 show that more people state their voting intention is motivated by opposition to either or these parties and the desire to keep them out.

    I think it would be intresting to try to draw a comparison with LD targets to understand whether there is more positive feeling towards the third party, or if indeed all politicians are tarred with the same brush of cynicism.

  5. This is an excellent poll for the Tories, when you consider they still haven’t really given people a reason to vote for them.

  6. I took part in this YouGov POLL and i must say that I was one of them that thought Brown should stay on – one of my reasons for that is that this country is sinking fast – even though the captain of the ship and his cabinet colleagues are complete incompetents – we can well do without a distraction of a Labour leadership challenge during these terrible times – someone in charge is better than no one at all !

    Why does the 12% swing in marginals and a predicted Tory landslide of 150+ seats still surprise everyone ? It’s going to happen and i have been predicting this since August 2007 !

  7. mike- when you talk about majroity in terms of the conservatives i did a poll of polls last night and found that over ten polls the conservatives in all areas were ahead, in fact so far ahead in some areas of the country that somehigh profile MPs would be in shite street if an election was called tomorrow my bet is keep an eye on places like leicester and nottingham at the next election as if the poll of polls i did was right it should mean labour hang on but only by a few votes doted hear and their in this area maybe 300-500 in some parts, ow yes i only live 25 miles from nottingham and 12 miles from leicester, and the feeling is from what i can pick up is that the polls are somewhere near at this time and high profile MPs are at risk as the muslim vote and indian vote start going blue.

  8. Well Mike neither the poll swing in the marginals nor the predicted Tory landslide comes as a surprise to me. But the vote figures won’t be quite as predicted. For one simple reason. Outside of Scotland I just don’t see the minor parties achieving any significant vote if as is likely they lack candidates other than from UKIP.And UKIP are in decline.
    I don’t agree that Mr Brown should stay-he is so out of his depth. Instead I would like to see a caretaker government under Jack Straw to see us through until next spring and then an election.

  9. Anthony,

    I’ve got that same problem again with the link to the full results, could it because I use a Mac as others don’t seem to have an issue with it. That or I am just a moaner.

    Peter.