No change from YouGov

YouGov’s monthly poll for the Telegraph shows no change at all since their last poll – support remains at CON 41%(nc), LAB 31%(nc), LDEM 17%(nc).

As a whole the polls really are looking very static; after a period of volatility things seem to have settled down to a Tory lead of between 10 and 12 points (which is, incidentally, almost exactly the lead they would need to get an overall majority on an uniform swing from 2005).

61 Responses to “No change from YouGov”

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  1. Well there’s no doubting it Labour have dropped 4 points in the last 3 months. I’m expecting Labour to drop a further 4 points in the following 3 months.

  2. Boo, static polls are boring.

    Well, I guess they can’t just make it up, and static polls aren’t necessarily bad, but I follow politics partially for the interesting parts (Dean Scream, Moment of Madness on Clapham Common, Sheffield Rally and so on), and this isn’t providing me with what I want.

    Cheers for the update anyway Anthony.

  3. To all you Tory boys and girls who seem to dominate this site – folks this lead and barely 40% of the vote at this stage is simply not good enough. It is quite clear that the Tory vote has hit a ceiling and I also suspect there is a hidden Labour vote out there, similar to the ‘hidden conservative vote in 80s and early 80s. Alan W

  4. @Alan W

    You may “suspect” many things. I also may suspect many things (like you have voted for our expense-fiddling ministers).

    However, the question is “Where is the EVIDENCE for your suspicion?” Unless you provide evidence for your “suspicion”, I would conclude that your prejudices are clouding your analysis.

  5. Not surprising, too be honest nothing much has changed over the last few weeks.

  6. @ Cynosarges

    Sorry to play devils adovcate

    Several Mp’s of all parties have been caught out over expenses, to see this solely as a Labour “Problem” is a little biased.

    Anyway as we all should know our democracy is built on the voting for local Mp, not the party as a whole.

    10-12 pts is hardly shocking, and slightly underwhemling looking at how bad Labour have been both in scandal and the handling of the current crisis.

  7. the onlt thing the tories have to watch out for is ken clark and he must shut up or the party may lose the next electon again an lets be honest the slight slipage in the polls could turn into a landslide if he (ken) is not kept quite over his pro EU, pro higher tax mandate, know one will vote for any party that looks like it has a crack in the middle of it and althoe labour are down at 30-31% it would only take one thing and the thick people of this country will vote labour again, poor deluded children.

  8. @ Cynosarges – lets leave suspicions aside – do you seriously think that the numbers tonight and indeed the running average are good enough for the Tories to win a Commons majority come 2010? Previous polling evidence throughout the years suggest otherwise – it is there for all to see – as is your own prejudice !

  9. Stuart Gregory:

    “it would only take one thing and the thick people of this country will vote labour again, poor deluded children.”

    I find that comment offensive just because people vote for a certain political party it doesn’t make them thick, this is for non-partisan comments, that statement quite frankly doesn’t meet the criteria.

  10. I totally agree Jackr – the Tory nerves are jangling tonight. But expect more of this as we move into the ‘business end’ of this Parliament. It is quite clear that the polls are again not fitting into the narrative large sections of the conservative media, party and supporters would have us accept. There is still all to play for in this election.

  11. @Alan W – Actually alan the previous election always show a shift to Tory away from the Polls. Although the pollsters have changed their weightings a little, you can still be sure that will happen this time as well. Especially as you are looking at a government long in power and the people as they always do – looking for something greener – personally I think in this case the grass is greener under Tory rule, but that’s just my oppinion as are your comments. As like you I have no Evidence to present so will say no more (I hope you take the hint)

  12. I note nobody is dealing with or challenging my central point – the relatively low Conservative % share and the relatively low % Conservative lead at this stage. These figures are fact……… I think !

  13. Stuart Gregory:

    Ken Clarke with his clear and open views on all issues is, if anything an electoral asset! He’s more popular than most of our eton boys club that passes as a front bench. God I miss the days of working boy Major and a diverse bunch at the top.

    We tories do lead, but the polls are telling us that we are failing to make any progress to winning a landslide- and if anything i’m thinking that we ought to worry.

    1. Our policies (or lack of) is becoming a real problem since floating (or anti-labour) voters now have a clear liberal policy direction (i.e. tac cutting and public spending stringency). What on earth do we aim to move towards?
    2. Labour are enjoying the G20 and Brown across the world grand standing, by Nov 2009 this will be definitively over and the pols shall start to better reflect the real situation of voting intention.
    3. most polls are still overestimating labour popularity- they’re prob. closer to 28%- making the lead feel much better in fact.

  14. Ah but the question is, young Anthony, can we expect a uniform swing in the marginal-packed areas like the South East and the Midlands?

  15. What on earth is happening? Has everyone just forgotten the rules of this forum?

  16. Alan W,

    If it is eviden that the Tory vote has hit the 40% ceiling, is it not also then eviden that the Laboutr vote has hit the 30% ceiling? ;-)

  17. @ Alan W

    Am I to take your response to indicate that you have NO evidence for your “suspicions”?

    The only “hidden” Labour vote I’m aware of is the well-hidden Marked election register from the Glenrothes by-election. Strange how it went “missing” from Labour custody. Of course, the “loss” made it impossible for the SNP to investigate whether fraud had taken place.

  18. @ Alan W – lol, are you looking for a new career as a spinmeister? Recent polls indicate a stable 10-12 point lead for the Tories. If Tory nerves are “jangling”, Labour nerves must be entirely shot to pieces by now. It must be like an explosion in a nerves factory at Labour HQ, synapses popping everywhere like firecrackers.

    Recent polls suggest that the idea that a substantial part of Tory support is “soft” is wrong. That 40-42% seems very solid and if some additional “soft” supporters vote Tory on the day, all to the better.

  19. @Matt Hurst March 26th, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    “Anyway as we all should know our democracy is built on the voting for local Mp, not the party as a whole.”

    And when the Commons has voted to keep Parliamentary election candidates’ addresses secret, upon what then is democracy built ?

  20. okay being new to this i was wondering if someone could help. looking at the tories target seats there are 190 seats that would fall to the conservatives on a 10% swing derby north target 130 signals the conservatives are on there way to a majority of 50. Why then is the swing calculator only giving a majority of 20?

    I appreciate that seats like twickenham are unlikley to fall because of popularity of mp etc but surely this a gross underestimation of the possible tory majority.

    ps. much as i hate to say it i still think Labour will win with a small majority based on gut feeling not analysis

  21. sorry as well have just seen other comments this is not the place for gut feelings i retract the last part of my previous comment

  22. Onthejob

    To answer your question, it is because you are confusing a 10% lead with a 10% swing.

  23. Interesting details in the Telegraph (that commissioned this). Tories ahead on almost all key indicators, most notably the economy and the best leader. Even on the NHS Tories only a little behind (which is an extraordinary achievemnt for cameron). The worst news for the Labour bunker is that the majority of people do not want any more “fiscal stimuli” that racks up more debt.

    So, no Alan W, I doubt very much that Tory nerves are jangling, and you are Derek Draper and I claim my £5!

  24. The big question now is: are the polls favourable enought o go for an election this year – say June?

    The Scottish polls are showing a swing back to Labour from before the credit crunch et al – important for them if they are to survive in any shape or form at Westminster.

  25. “To answer your question, it is because you are confusing a 10% lead with a 10% swing.”

    What is the current swing then? How do i work that out. I know i am coming accross as a bit of a dumbass but i honestly don’t know

  26. Judging by previous elections, Labour will need to close this gap some time soon to build on in time for an election.

    If the G20 creates some positive spin for Brown then things could get very interesting and a hung parliament might be a possibility.

    To be honest though, given how ‘driven’ the Tory movement is at the moment I just can’t see their 40-42 polling reducing much come what may.

  27. On the job –

    The swing is the increase in the Conservative share, plus the decrease in the Labour share, divided by two (or vice-versa for a swing towards Labour).

    So here it is (41-33)+(36-31)/2 = 6.5%

  28. thankyou anthony that is extremly helpful

  29. If Gordon Brown does call an election he’ll most likely call it in December as people are generaly in a better mood around Christmas and he will be hoping that the stimulus will have started to take effect.

  30. JackR – it is true that the lower socioeconomic groups vote disproportinately Labour. It is also true that the lower socio-economic groups have a lower level of education (on average). So it may be blunt and offensive to say “thick people vote Labour” but it is not without a germ of truth.

    Another point people miss is how an election campaign would alter the vote. Gordon Brown is not a good campaigner and would wear badly during a month long campaign. Cameron is better at campaigning (not as good as Blair was) so I don`t see Labour closing the gap during the campaign.

  31. Well I am a Labour supporter and I don’t count myself to be thick and I wouldn’t be so rude as to suggest someone is thick for voting for a political party. We are free to vote as we choose without putting up with petty insults.

  32. Tom – i’m reminded of a story about an old guy from the US whose family looked up his CIA file for fun when he retired. They were shocked to find anything on there of any substance, and he was horrified to discover that his career had been affected by falling under suspicion at some point in his student days.

    One of the file entries read :

    “this man has had far too much education, and become sociaalistic as a result”.

  33. “He’s more popular than most of our eton boys club that passes as a front bench. God I miss the days of working boy Major and a diverse bunch at the top.”

    You set me looking for a few facts Dean.

    John Major’s website lists all the members of his administration.

    They include three Etonians & one Harrovian-Hurd, Young, Aitken & Portillo.

    Cameron’s Shadow Cabinet includes-let me see Two Etonians-Cameron & Letwin.

    Am I wrong-or have you got your diversity knickers in a twist Dean?

  34. I thought the comments were supposed to be non-partisan
    While my above name sums up my feelings I think comments of

    “it would only take one thing and the thick people of this country will vote labour again, poor deluded children.”

    are hardly non-partisan

    I think Labour’s best chance of a recovery – unless the Tories drop a big blooper – must be the economy improving
    Today’s Guardian article does not suggest that is happening at present so I can only see Labour’s support dropping – and polls always overestimate their strength anyway

  35. I am biased, trying to be unbiased here. Without doubt I would prefer that we (Labour) had the ten point lead. Although not a huge lead, its longevity is impressive. The caveat remains about mid-term unpopularity for most Governments. I believe that the next election is still up for grabs, and I think that the state of the economy is key.

    The biggest worry for Labour is the inherent reticence of large sections of our support to actually make the effort to vote. I still think that most Tories take their civic duty to express their suffrage for more seriously. This is why postal voting is so popular in my party.

    As to sleaze: we all know that there are those whose stretch the rules on both sides of the House. Recently is has all been Labour bad news. It is galling for candidates like me who have never made a penny from politics as we all get tarred with the same brush. The Government has to take decisive action to stamp this out.

    I have mixed thoughts about Ken Clarke. He is gaffe prone, but he also a heavyweight. I cannot see Cameron ditching him, but I can imagine a quiet word or two passing between them.

  36. @AlanW

    “I note nobody is dealing with or challenging my central point – the relatively low Conservative % share and the relatively low % Conservative lead at this stage. These figures are fact……… I think !”

    Back in late January there was a week when the banking crisis was particularly dismal and I wrote at the time that this would probably represent a (temporary) nadir in economic sentiment. That seems to be the case as I think there was a recent poll saying that sentiment while still bad is better than it was. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to me to suggest that this uptick in sentiment is correlated with an improvement in the polls for the government.

    That raises the obvious question of whether the improvement in sentiment is justified on economic grounds or whether it’s because, say, the sun’s come out and the weather’s nice.

    I, personally, don’t believe that the economy will start to improve until the summer of 2010 and when I look over at the US, I see an electorate that seems to be getting angrier by the day about the economy, unemployment and the bail outs and they’ve been in recession six months longer than us, so may represent where sentiment here is headed. Of course, I may be completely wrong but when I listen to Mervyn King and Alaistair Darling I wonder whether I’m being pessimistic enough.

    So, would I be twitchy if I was Cameron? Yes, because a 10 point lead isn’t enough and if Brown can have a good G20, pull a rabbit out of the hat in the budget and avoid the sky falling in before June then he could call a snap election and win a small majority of seats because he doesn’t have to win the popular vote to do so. Does he have the bottle? Probably not.

  37. Angusa – what could Brown/Darling do to pull a rabbit out of a hat. The deficit this financial year will be >GBP100 billion. That is a huge sum which elinimates any scope for gimmicks (not that they usually stand up to scrutiny in years past). Also Labour’s normal election campaign m.o. of saying Tory cuts will not fly because when you have a deficit that large you have to either raise tax, cut spending or a mixture of the two. So if they say “Tory cuts” the Conservatives can come back and say OK how will you close the deficit – what taxes would you raise and we know (in 1992 for example) Labour tax rises are no a popular position for them.

  38. Tom, the answer is that I don’t know what they can pull out of the hat. But I’m fairly sure it’s worrying Tory Central office regardless. The proximity of budget day to when an election would have to be called for a June 4 election is very suspicious.

  39. @ Colin:

    Rubbish, Major’s cabinet was diverse: and not all Oxford/Cambridge boys- know oyur facts before going toe-to-toe with me son.

    Rikind: Edinburgh University
    Tom King: Rugby School
    William Waldgrave- Harvard University
    Virginia Bottomley: University of Essex
    Brian Stanley Mawhinney: Belfast University

    I’ll go on, as your nickers seem to be covering your eyes:

    John MacGregor: University of St Andrews
    John Patten: Wimbledon college
    James Mackay: St. Andrews University.

    You see, they were a rather diverse bunch compared to D.C.’s lot. Get it Colin my son?

  40. Although the overall financial situation remains deeply worrying, one thing that will be helping Labour at present is the sharp decline in the cost of tracker mortgages (for those lucky enough to have them). The additional helpful factor for Labour is just about to happen: the increase in pensions based on last September’s peak in inflation at over 5%. A significant minority of the population will therfore be enjoying a feel-good factor over the coming months which will enable them to be quite “philosophical” about rising unemployment and future tax rises that, although inevitable, are not yet specific.

  41. I agree with Angusa to an extent.

    I’ve already stuck my neck out before on here on my view that this summer would be Labours best bet.
    As has been mentioned though Brown does have some form when it comes to ducking tricky decisions.

    Surely though, unless one takes a very optimistic view of the economy, a big ‘giveaway’ (more printed money- too hell with prudence) in the budget and going to the polls sooner rather than later must make sense.

  42. By the way, I always had a certain sympathy for John Major, but the idea that anybody should be nostalgic for the “good old days” when he was prime minister suggests that the sale of rose-tinted spectacles is holding up well in the recession.

  43. Interesting party split on the “Overall, do you think the Government’s measures for tackling Britain’s recession” question. If you weight the answers 1 to 5 (5 being most confident) the averages for the different parties are Labour 3.4, Lib Dem 2.4, Conservative 1.8.

    On “How do you think the financial situation of your household will change over the next 12 months” it is Lab 2.8, LD 2.4, Con 2.3 so a more consistent picture in terms of personal confidence.

    I suspect putting the word ‘government’ in the question brings out the party politics in people but when just asking about the individual, people seem to forget they’ve just said that e.g. they think the government is going to make things worse.

  44. Dean old stick, Colin and I rarely see eye-to-eye, but I leap to his support here. He was describing the jolly old alma mater, not the university. To mis-read his comment and use the arrogant tone in dismissing him shows you to be educationally challenged yourself. Clearly not a scholarship boy. Fee-payer were you,old man?
    Only a bit of fun – I promise not to lead this thread astray any more. Apologies.

    re this poll and others – is the consensus that people are not changing their minds at the moment, or that one group of switchers are counter-balanced by other groups switching? It’s quite bizarre that the volatility has vanished.

  45. Can I assure everyone I am NOT Derek Draper – so your £5 down Nigelj. I am a Labour supporter in the Ayr,Carrick & Cumnock constituency, trying to bring at least some balance to the regular pro Tory/anti-government comments on this excellent website. Could I ask contributors to consider some wider historical facts e. g the capacity of governing parties to recover in the polls (even if they dont win) eg 1964, 1970, 1974 and again in 1979. Look at how governments in more recent times can be re-elected when economic indicators seem dire 1983,87 & 92.

  46. @John TT – people have nothing to change there minds over. What we may be seeing is Brown’s media epidemic holding the labour support afloat (even though his campaigning is with taxpayers money). I cannot see it continuing for long which is why I suspect Ivan is correct in his veiw that someone (may not be brown himself) is angling for a June election on the back of G20 / Budget and currently stronger than expected Labour support.

    However I do not believe the G20 will go well and the budget will a lame duck in terms of campaign ideas that won’t imediately backfire. This will equate to Brown bottling it again and waiting till June.

  47. @Alan W – dude there is no need for balance, this is a none partisan website (sheesh)

  48. Keir @4.18 – have you no shame? :)

  49. People in wait and see mode, little churn I think.
    Slight Labour improvement perhaps Trackers and no council tax for 2 months maybe Obama being left of centre rubs off a litlte as well.
    I reckon both Parties nervous as 3% swing is a big problem for either; leading to NOC or Labour melt-down.
    We are in unchartered territory so anyone on this site who says with confidence things will turn in their favour are unrealistic.
    Intuitively as the Economy worsens through the year and early next Labour support will dip but with so much at stake the ‘devil you know’ rather than the ‘Toffs’ party with a weak shadow chancellor may come in to play (not me but a common perception Cammo is aware of which is why Clarke was brought back and he in turn raised IHT)
    What seems to be the case though is that the Gov’t is not yet hated as much as Tories pre-97 and that Cammo is not as popular as Blair was.
    If Labour pull off a big surprise and scrape home this time they will be punished big style in 2014/5 as they will be hated like Tories pre-97.
    Not GB position, of course, but many Labour activists would not think a narrow defeat (possibly even forcing Cam and Cleggo to work together – Cable as Chancellor of course) would be a disaster.

  50. The prospect of a June election is alarming. On present showing, neither of the major parties could muster a majority in excess of 20. This would hardly represent a ringing endorsement of their position and would not provide the political authority to back the massive structural changes that are going to be needed – in terms of public expenditure cuts and tax increases – to get us out of the current mess.

    In 1979, Margaret Thatcher could increase taxes despite the manifesto, to improve the public finances, because she had the inpetus of a new-broom election win. In 1997, Tony Blair could face down the public sector unions with impunity because of the size of his majority. But anything less than a 60 or 70 seat win this time around will leave us with a lame-duck administration, either one bereft of ideas as a result of their unexpected win, or a Tory government with no real mandate for change and facing public sector unions determined to protect their members.

    Sounds like a 2009 election will be one to lose.

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