A new YouGov poll in the Sunday Times shows Labour maintaining the small lead they pulled out in the last YouGov poll, while the Lib Dems recover slightly, but remain well down in the mid-teens. The topline figures with changes from YouGov’s last poll are CON 37%(-2) LAB 39%(-1) LD 15%(+2).

The Liberal Democrats have recovered slightly, perhaps due to fading memories of the scandals that engulfed them during January, perhaps because of more positive news coverage of their respective leadership candidates – a small proportion of the fieldwork would have been done after news of their by-election victory in Scotland, but probably not enough to make a difference.

YouGov continue to show a significantly lower level of Lib Dem support than the other pollsters and, perhaps consequently since the Lib Dem collapse co-incided with a Labour advance, they are showing a Labour lead whereas other pollsters have the Tories ahead. This is probably because of the way the polls are weighted by past vote (or in the case of YouGov by party ID) – I will come back to this in a later post.

The poll also asked about the Labour and Lib Dem leaderships – 41% of people now want Tony Blair to stand down as soon as possible. In a forced choice question, asking people to chose between a Labour government lead by Brown or a Conservative Government led by Cameron (with no Lib Dem option) 43% prefered Labour/Brown to 37% for the Conservatives/Cameron (the way some of the Sunday papers report this implies it was a voting intention question – as far as I’m aware they are wrong, and it was a straight forced choice between the two).

On the Lib Dem leadership, 56% of people still don’t know who they would like as Lib Dem leader, with Ming Campbell the most popular choice of those who do (18% think he’d be the best leader), Chris Huhne does seem to be increasing his public profile – 10% of the public think he’d make the best leader, compared to a few weeks ago when the percentage of people who knew who he was was in single figures. Amongst Liberal Democrat voters Simon Hughes is the most popular candidate with 34% support, followed by Ming Campbell on 21% and Chris Huhne on 13%. Remember that this is amongst Liberal Democrat supporters, not the actual members who cast votes in the election.


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