A second poll out tonight comes from YouGov in the Sunday Times. The topline figures, with changes from YouGov’s last poll taken the day of the pre-budget report, are CON 41%(+1), LAB 35%(-1), LDEM 15(+1). The poll was conducted on the 11th and 12th December.

While there is a slight increase in the Conservative lead, there is no significant change here. The Tory lead is in he same sort of ballpark as Populus’s 4 point lead last week and along with Populus it suggests that, if those big double-point leads from ICM and Ipsos MORI were meaningful and not just a co-incidence, then any boost the Conservatives got straight after the PBR faded away once the agenda moved on to Damian Green and other matters.

48 Responses to “YouGov show a 6 point Tory lead”

  1. i see a slow build up of labour surport again from its own surporters however the lib dems seam to still be losting votes to the conservatives, if we were to go into an election with the sort of polls we are seeing at this time then a hung parliment would be almost a 100% odds on bet unless a merical saved both leaders from being bettern by the lib dems why you ask simple the lib dems would hold the ballance of power in any hung parliment and if lib dem proposals are put in place you can say good bye to first past the post . so dangerous times for both labour and the conservatives if things continue as they are.

  2. hung parliament – who would the lib dems back?

  3. It looks like this 4-5-6 pt lead is probably about accurate at the minute.

    Brown dare not cut and run on those figures that is for sure so I guess it is still 2010.

    If I were a Tory….which I am I must confess, I would be reasonably happy. Once the financial reality hits home with the electorate and labour start printing more money to pay the bills like they always do, then we should be home and dry.

  4. Neither,

    As with Scotland and the Tories a better way forward is “Support and Supply”.

    We’ll vote with the party who’s programme we like best to form a government but after that it’s bill by bill.

    If a bill falls then the party decides on merit what it will do; vote to keep it in power as it’s still the best bet or vote it down.

    Where we might also have something new is if a government fell and we had the possibility of new government without a general election.


  5. Have we seen the limit of the Brown Bounce?

    Recent polls seem to be fairly steady, suggesting Tories vote of around 40% and Labour at around 35%.

    My view is that whatever the next political jump is could decide the election. If it’s another Brown Bounce, early election and a Labour win. If it’s a Brown Bust, he’s going to be struggling to catch up by 2010, Conservative win. If nothing major happens (highly unlikely, we’ve seen 3 jumps since Brown became PM) , it’s a hung parliament.

    Tory lead of 5%, 18 months until the election deadline. All to play for.

  6. Time to take ComRes out of your rolling poll average until you/we can understand them.

  7. Stuart, I think, in reality, if the Tories polled 41% they would win a small, but outright majority. Reason being Labout wouldn’t hold up on 35%. They would drop back to low 30’s and the Lib-Dems of course will poll higher than 15% – More like high teens.

    All along I have thought the election result would be something like;

    Con 42% Lab 32% Lib 18%, which gives the Tories a small, but workable majority. I see nothing in the polls right now to change my mind.

  8. Another two good polls for Labour, but they still need to get a string of polls giving them 36% or above if they are to win the next election. A few months ago I was certain we would have a Conservative or hung parliament, now I am not so sure. I still think the change is due to the Conservatives big idea of ‘let the recession run its course’, people want more than that.

  9. SALLY C
    Time to take ComRes out of your rolling poll average until you/we can understand them.

    You didn.t say that when ComRes were showing the Tories 24% in front! Time to take you out of commenting?

  10. No surprises here: WMA 41:34:16 as expected.
    The idea that the latest Brown Bounce will survive the palpable onset of the recession is quite fanciful. The £ has dropped 5% in the last week and as the FT put it “eat that Gordon (we saved the world) Brown”.

    Labour cannot “win” the next election with a significantly lower vote than the Tories: democracy just doesn’t work that way.

  11. Re ComRes – I understand that past vote weighting would not be done to the result of the 2005 GE due to false recall.

    But surely the point is that false recall is not going to change dramatically between November 2008 and December 2008. So ComRes should be using the same weighting now as they did last month.

    If they are changing the weighting by such a large amount, is it possible to consider what they are doing as weighting in the normal sense of what would be meant by weighting? If not, should you change your weighting of ComRes in your Polling Average?

  12. “Labour cannot “win” the next election with a significantly lower vote than the Tories: democracy just doesn’t work that way.”

    Yes, they can.


  13. Sally I take it if we are using Yougove as the base, you would want Mori and ICM taken out as well, as Mori is just as far apart from Yougov as COM Res and ICM is alot more.

    What, do not take them out because they show the Conservatives in a better light.

    Anthony can you please have a poll of averages that only show the Conservatives with double figure leads as the rest are obviously useless. In fact if all of them show non-double figure leads or perish the thought a Labour lead, can we stop reporting polling altogether untill the double digit leads re-commence then we can start reporting them again.

  14. TONY JONES & GARY GATTER – I see still holding on for that fourth election victory – in vain i am afraid guys !

    The comment ” I still think the change is due to the Conservatives big idea of ‘let the recession run its course’, people want more than that.” by GARY GATTER is just the sort of ridiculous statement that Labour have been very successful in conning the public with to get them up in the POLLS – poor Gordon himself knows that he will be a big loser at the next election whenever it’s called – that’s why he’s trying the old – “I’ll travel the world and get on the news” as much as possible – the man does not make good TV.

  15. It is quite striking that the polls have moved towards Labour over the autumn just at the time that the most dramatic part of the economic crisis hit. This is due to Labour’s success at portraying themselves as the party of economic stability and the Conservatives inability to show that they have some convincing alternative. I think Mandleson’s return has also given some sort of order to Labour’s chaotic performance.

    Having said that , the worst of the economic downturn is yet to come. More high street giants like Woolworths will disappear, our currency will remain weak, job losses will accelerate and more companies like Vauxhall will go to the government cap in hand. This miserable corrosive bad news will I think cut Labour’s support to previous levels and double digit Tory leads will retun by the middle of next year.

    Stand by for an early spring election, Labour will go asap if they have any sense. They won’t win but they might just avoid annhilation. For all our sakes we need a government with a mandate and we certainly need a debate about the way we are hanging trillions of pounds worth of debt around our necks for years to come.

  16. I agree we need a debate on debt. The Government don’t see to realise that the economy could contract by 4-5% before this recession is over and it might be 10 years before GDP reaches the level it was in early 2008.
    No one really knows.

    The Goverment have announced small cuts in public sector spending plans for 2010-2011 and beyond but they haven’t addressed the fundamental problem of how to get a balance between probable future tax receipts and public spending.

    Basically Government spending is too high and unless this is addressed we will be runnning budget deficits for the forseeable future which in turn will hurt the pound and the ability of the Government to sell gilts to fund its debt.

    Either future public spending will have to be cut more substantially or tax will have to increase substantially and that’s the debate we need to have .

    By the way the YouGov poll feels about right – I don’t believe the Comres poll that shows a 1% gap anymore than I believe the other recent ones which shows double digit tory leads.

  17. Nbeale – your wma remains unchanged (Con & Lab) at 41:34, from 8th December, whereas the subsequent polls show changes – Lab at 35 & 36. How is that possible?

  18. Labour have clearly being playing the “better the devil you know” card with their attack on team Cameron as the do nothing party and it has worked to a point.

    The gamble for both Labour and Tories is when the great british public see thier houses worth even less next year, higher unemployement (and a higher fear of it), the cost of imported goods going up and their annaul hols to Spain costing a whole lot more…

    Will they still stick with the known devil or take a chance?? I believe as in 1979 they will take a chance.

    Btw, despite the media (and Labour) denouncing George Osbornes warning on the £, he appears to be well founded in his warning!

  19. how odd it is,and obama win by 4% was a landslide,

    a conservative 5% lead is a hung parliament.

    as mentioned in this bolg site before,if and probably when cameron wins,this crazy built in bias against the conservatives will go,and the rump of scottish socialists will not be allowed to vote on english devolved matters.correct,as in elgland,a right leaning country their services are superior to scotlands.

    not commented at the moment,the game for labour is nearly up for decades.
    they had the 70’s and blew it,they had 97 to 2010 and blew it.

  20. KTL-agree with every word.

    We have become a nation addicted to lives built on debt & dependence on the State.

    The message & the solutions are uncomfortable, but Cameron is at least setting them out now.

    I suspect that a fair chunk of the electorate do not want to hear them & I think that resistance will actually firm up as the recession deepens.How big the “hanging on to Nurse” vote is remains to be seen.

  21. Colin – I don’t ever see Labour taking the medecine of properly cutting public spending to an affordable level. They are too beholdent to the unions and high public spending is their main raison d’etre. If they stay in power they will go down the other route of higher taxes .

    Now the higher rate has effectively been raised to 45% , for some, I expect this to rise to 50% and the threshold to be lowered before too long if Labour cling to power after the next GE.

    I also predict that even as early as the Budget in March 2009 Darling will be raising his predictions for debt levels and lowering his predictions for growth and tax revenues that he has only just made in the PBR.

  22. Colin & KTL – can we go back to discussing the polls please, not how much you dislike Labour.

    Tony – can you assume good faith from other posters please? There is no point having a site for discussion for supporters of different parties if they dismiss the views of supporters of other parties with cheap jibes about them being partisan. Sally raised a question based on the clarity of their political weighting, which is a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

    Sally – everyone goes into the rolling average, the question is, if the formula factors in whether a poll has political weighting, what counts as political weighting. While I don’t understand what ComRes are doing with their political weighting and, from my understanding of their tables, I struggle to see how it can compare to the sort of weighting ICM and Populus do, I am taking them at their word. Their published methodology says they weight by past vote in much the same way as ICM or Populus, so I’m treating them the same way.

    I can’t see how they are doing it based on their tables… but the formula for the average is based on pollsters’ published methodologies, not on what I understand!

  23. Bewildered by recent polls, battered by the economic storm (well, not really … but sympathising with those who are), it strikes me that polls right now mean very little with regards the almost mythical Next Election. The country is going to take an economic pounding over the coming months and possibly years and what the polls will be saying in 6 months’ time or even 2 months’ time is anyone’s guess.

    The one thing that seems consistent is that even in the most favourable polls for Labour, it’s still trailing the Tories. Though even that could change.

    All’s a-tumble.

  24. I can probably answer my own question on the wma, having thought about it more carefully. Presumably a good result for Labour has dropped off the other end of the series, offsetting the effect on the wma of the recent good results for Labour.

  25. There are a lot of people in the UK who stand to benefit from a drop in cable; not everybody is a mortgage banker hooked on equity-withdrawal consumer spending. Essentially the whole of the North, West Midlands (if Vauxhall and Ford of Europe don’t keel over before the J-curve kicks in), and the Cambridge-to-Guildford techie belt stands to gain, because they’re export-oriented.

    This is, after all, essentially what happened between 1992 and 1997; the “golden legacy” was, in fact, the devaluation. There are reasons why Mandelson is stumping the country talking about industrial exporters.

  26. A number of Tory sympathizers here – not just Mike Richardson – keep repeating that the narrowness of the Tory leads in the polls is unsustainable, and that when the public realises the full extent of the recession they will flock back to Cameron. This may be true, but it is worth reiterating that before the recession struck the Tories had an enormous lead. If voters don’t agree with Cameron’s answers to current economic problems it is a serious problem for the Tories and the possibility that the large Tory leads will not reappear is surely present.

  27. @Barnaby Marder

    I think the reason Tory supporters are so confident of a decline in Labour support is because they can’t comprehend why anyone would want to vote Labour in the first place. They assume it’s some form of temporary insanity that’s bound to subside eventually.

  28. that’s about it Jakob, I sometimes think. Since Labour’s recovery is born of the recession, it doesn’t necessarily follow that, if the recession deepens, the Tories will shoot miles ahead again. But obviously the situation is fluid, and it could happen.

  29. I still expect a spring election based on what the polls are showing. The tories simply picked the wrong leader and his equally weak best mate who he is determined to hold onto whatever the cost.

    Whilst we can all find fault with what Gordon is doing the ordinary voter on the street can see him doing something in respect to the economy which is what is driving these poll results.

  30. Conservative supporters often misread the real reason why they are aften rejected at times when the electorate really has to think about the choice of direction of our country.

    At times when the country has had to face up to the need to move in a new direction (not just “change for the sake of change” because they are bored with the same old faces) they have tended to elect the left-of-centre party – e.g. 1906, 1945, 1964, 1974,1997. (But sometimes the Labour Party looked unelectable, as for a while in the 1980s). The main reason why the left-of-centre was not in government for even more of the 20th century is that it has always been fragmented: Labour, Lib Dems, and many small break-away parties.

    Whereas the Conservatives have (mostly) managed to accommodate the ultra-right within their party… except at times when UKIP has presented more than a mere irritant.

    It is, of course healthy for democracy that, (even under our defective “first past the post” system), both “sides” get an opportunity to form governments. Maybe the next election will be a “time for change”, as Cameron hopes – or maybe it will be a time when people want the country to pull together as a community (as Brown hopes). At present there does not seem to be a clear answer from the polls.

  31. I think as Anthony says in the main post, there should be some agreement that these two polls now confirm the gap to be six points or below, rather than the 10 – 15 seen previously.

    Any General Election that takes place with that kind of gap going into a 3 and a half week campaign has got to be up for grabs, and the outcome dependent on either the short term events of that campaign (largely as determined by the media), or the medium/long term view of the electorate.

    Under current economic circumstances the question is whether the voters will see Gordon Brown as the best to lead through and out of a recession (the medium term decision), or Cameron as the candidate of change (the long term decision).

    As Barnaby says, the Tories led before the recession when the polls reflected a desire for change, I think the indicators both in the headline voting figures and the economic trust questions suggest the former might win out.

  32. I have just looked back at the comments on here from July to September.

    “The Labour Party is dead,” “once the recssion kicks in”,” if it is 24% now what happens when the economy turns really bad”.

    I like to compare these to the “wait till after Christmass” and the ” should we not get rid of ComRes in the poll of polls”.

    Hindsight is a great thing. A blinkered view of the polls is another thing.

    This messageboards most outspoken predictor made two quite large mistakes in 48 hours, I thought that would have tempered the blinkered approach.

    It seems to have made it worse.

  33. Jakob –

    That’s probably right. I’m a Tory supporter and I really can’t get my head around why anyone would vote for Labour. I even have Labour friends who I ask why and I still don’t understand. On a policy-by-policy basis I don’t disagree with everything (minimum wage for instance, I am for) but in general, most things they do seem completely wrong to me (using tax to attempt to discourage perfectly legal smoking and drinking).

    Still, the fact is that people do support them and the recent polls suggest it’s around a 40:35:15 split. Election to come after the next big Labour swing (as I said before, economy seems to have levelled off) or 2010.

  34. “Maybe the next election will be a “time for change”,….. or maybe it will be a time when people want the country to pull together as a community .”

    “or” in this sentence could equally as well be “and”.

    ie people might well feel that it is time for a change so that the country can pull together as a community.

    It all depends what you mean by “pull together” & “community”

  35. “want the country pull together”.The problem is people do not see the Conservatives pulling the country together. Where do I get this from, ConHome where a number of poster have said that Scotland doesn’t really matter, as they will not get many seats.Labour are gainging ex voters from the north, so if the Conservatives can carry the Midlands and part of Wales and the most of the South, that is all that matters.

    Or as one poster on ConHome posted.”We should go for the local government employees.They vote Labour, most are from the north and it is here we should cut back as much as possible.It is not as if they would vote for us anyway.”

    That is why most people do not consider the Conservatives as people who would unify the country.

  36. Is this the best its going to get for Labour?

  37. Do parties that devalue win elections? Labour lost in 1950/1 and 1970 , the Tories lost in 1997. 1979 wasn’t a good year for the pound either.

  38. May I suggest a possible alternative reading?

    Wars are recognised as providing increased support for the group in power (nationalism is the last refuge of the scoundrel) so note the way Brown shouts about the economy, is in Pakistan and the pointless ‘war on the part of the part of speech’ (terror). A ‘war hero’ wins votes (if he brings the economy back)–but he needs to watch he doesn’t get too nauseating about the military dead.

    The game for the Conservatives is to remove Brown from the ‘war’ mantle (consider the support for Bush now when he has no ‘war ‘ support). The ‘war’ has worked for Labour; the polls have got closer. The Conservatives need to focus on the economy; who has time when you are unemployed to care about rights for politicians?

  39. On Osborne and the £.

    With the economy on the slide and the BoE cutting interest rates the £ was sure to go down, so when Osborne said that it was Browns fault, what he was trying to do was blame Brown for something that he knew was going to happen and knew wasn’t really much of Browns fault.

    What Labour did in response when it condemned Osborne was essentially the same thing. They knew fine well that the £ would drop to and were looking for the blame to be put on the Tories. So they said it was osbornes fault because he was talking the £ down.

    Both were spinning Like mad, or as a friend said “toffs throwing snowballs on the deck of the Titanic”.


  40. With reference to “Labour cannot “win” the next election with a significantly lower vote than the Tories: democracy just doesn’t work that way.”

    Jakob’s link to the 1951 election results needs to be read with caution. The Conservative vote was deflated by the electoral pact with the National Liberals i.e there were no conservative candidates in the seats which the National Liberals fought, so to get a better comparison you would need to sum the Conservative and national Liberal votes which shows them in a more or less a dead heat with Labour.

    Of course they did get a clear majority with very slightly fewer votes.

    That is in itself no different than the last general election where in England the Conservatives got a few more votes than Labour overall but a lot fewer seats.

    What you will not find is a historical example at national level where comparing like with like, between the two main parties the one that was a clear percentage point or more ahead in the popular vote ending up with fewer seats , which is what I suspect Nbeale was implying.

    Of course with first past the post such an outcome is entirely arithmetically possible, it just has not happened yet, and 1951 does not make the case.

  41. The only poll I am waiting for is “should we call for a General Election now” it would save an awful lot of time and money instead of these silly monthly polls.

  42. It’s surprising to see Labour polling around 35%, which is only 1% less than the last election. I can only assume that quite a lot of people who usually vote Labour who voted LD in 2005 over the war in Iraq have come back to the party.

  43. It is interesting to read comments such as …..’Whilst we can all find fault with what Gordon is doing the ordinary voter on the street can see him doing something in respect to the economy…..’ because as PM he can hardly do anything else!
    Also, no matter how feasible or more appropriate for the economy the Conservative policies are, there is nothing they can do until they are re-elected.
    If people discern action as proof of a competent PM, no matter how disastrous for the economy that action is, then, to use a comparison, that action is no better than deciding rather than avoid a brick wall it is more appropriate to slam straight into it – with Brown believing that if he is going fast enough, then the wall will just disintegrate around him!
    Blind action is not the proof of competency but a more considered approach is.
    It all depends whether or not people are prepared to listen to Cameron or not, as opposed to the messianic proclamations coming out of number 10!

  44. OddJob,

    You’re right. I didn’t notice that the conservatives didn’t contest every seat.

    According to Wikipedia, the Tories got 1% more of the popular vote than Labour in the 1929 election, but won less seats. The Tories contested 21 less seats than Labour though so maybe this is not an example either.

  45. @ Tony Jones – of course when the recession really does start to kick in, you may look back on your own comments above with the benefit of hindsight and wish you’d never made them …

  46. ipsis mori reported in Mirror as Con 41, Lab 35, LD 11

  47. Jakob –

    “According to Wikipedia, the Tories got 1% more of the popular vote than Labour in the 1929 election, but won less seats. The Tories contested 21 less seats than Labour though so maybe this is not an example either.”

    FEWER seats, not less :)

  48. Mark M,

    There is nothing wrong with less.