New YouGov poll

The YouGov/Telegraph poll I expected last week is in Monday’s Telegraph. The topline voting intention figures, with changes from YouGov’s last poll, are CON 39%(nc), LAB 22%(-1), LDEM 18%(-1).

Evidently there is no major change here from YouGov’s last poll a fortnight ago. More interesting will be European voting intentions (if they were asked) as we head into the final days before voting.

UPDATE: The European voting intention figures, with changes from YouGov’s last poll, are CON 27%(+1), LAB 17%(-4), LDEM 15%(+1), UKIP 16%(nc), Green 9%(nc), BNP 7%(nc), SNP & PC 4%, Others 6%. This suggests a further weakening of the Labour vote. It’s worth noting that the poll had an unusually large sample size – 5000 – so has a lower margin of error than usual (though given that these figures are only based on those saying they are certain to vote, it isn’t that low), but even so, with Labour, the Lib Dems and UKIP within a point of two of one another, the battle for second place really could go any way. I’ll do a round of all the European polls in the next day or two.

81 Responses to “New YouGov poll”

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  1. Constitutional reform is a massive subject that includes but is in no way limited to electoral reform. I’d hazard a guess that

    a) most people don’t really know most of the things it entails so didn’t care less and were happy for the status quo
    b) the question is extremely leading, as most people just want un corrupt MPs and so would have more than likely agreed
    c) if the question was actually on voting reform, talking about a fairer system, there would be huge support, as it’s clearer

  2. The House of Commons could vote to expell members – it hasn’t happened since (IIRC) the 1940s, but it certainly possible. Whether they would is a different matter, I doubt it, since they’d all be worried that it set a nasty precedent and they could be next.

    Regarding leaving a seat open, it isn’t like local council by-elections, the public have no ability to force a writ to be issued for a by-election. Seats could be left vacant for as long as the Commons wished, as long as no one forced and won a vote in the Commons to issue a writ (in fact, if the Commons really wish for a seat to remain vacant, if a motion that the writ for a by-election is moved and defeated, then it cannot be moved again in that session of Parliament. So if the government moved a writ for a by-election and then voted it down, that seat would have to remain empty at least until after the next Queens speech.

    Dean – look at the other questions in the poll, there is one specifically on PR which gives a somewhat different answer…

  3. I’m interested in the list of defeated party leaders. I think it’s very difficult for any party leader from the main two parties to stay on these days after losing an election, mainly because of the media. Anyone who loses an election is subject to such a negative press that it’s almost impossible to retain the confidence of those people who any party leader needs to be able to carry on. And with 24 hour news coverage the very fact of defeat is repeated ad infinitum which almost forces a resignation. When the news was only on a few times a day – and presented in a less sensational manner than today – the fact of defeat had a far less damaging effect. Kinnock in 1987 may prove to be the last time a Tory or Labour leader carries on after defeat.

    I had thought for a while that if Cameron were to lose the next election he would be able to carry on, but once again the pressure of expectation on him to win is now so large that I don’t think he would be able to survive defeat.

  4. Dean – UKIP’s support is mainly a Tory problem. The Conservatives poll 27% in the Euro elections and 39-40% in Westminster elections. A difference of 12-13%. UKIP polls around 16% in the Euro elections and probably 2% in Westminster, a difference of 14%. It is reasonable to say that around 90% of UKIP voters will either not vote in the General Electiuon or will vote Conservative.

    Paul H – I agree with you that Labour could easily lose any representation in several regions of England (South West, South, East Anglia, East Midlands). The BBC and others make a big thing about the Tories having no councillors in Manchester, but not having any councils or MEP’s in whole regions is a bigger disgrace for a “national” party.

  5. Andy:

    I agree with that in general, but I would add only one caveat that may make a defeated leader able (in political terms) to stay on- which is if he leads his party to a performance far better than anyone expected but still loses. So for example if Hague in 2001 had reduced Labour’s Majority to (say) 20 from 179. Indeed, if we see a Tory landslide in a year the same opportunity might be available to the next Labour leader if he overperfoms in a well-nigh impossible situation.

    In these cases the media narrative would be good for the overperfoming loser- we often see this in by-elections where a huge dent is made in a stronghold by an opposition party that is nonetheless defeated.

  6. The full tables are up on the YouGov web site;

    Scotland (sample; a better than average 460, but still small).

    Lab 26%, Tory 17%, LibDem 14%, SNP 29%, Others 14%….. ( I doubt others would get 14% in a general election and think that is partly a boost from euro coverage).

    Scottish Euro figures;

    Lab 24%, Tory 13%, libDem 13%, SNP 29%, UKIP 5%, Green 7%, BNP 4%, Others 5%.

    On this basis compared to Westminster it is labour and the SNP who are holding their votes and the Tories and LibDems who are losing out to the likes of UKIp and the Greens.

    Even though at 4% it’s below the 7% for the UK I am hugely disappointed to see the BNP this high in Scotland.

    having said last week that I thought that the Tories in Scotland would be on about 19% or so for Westminster and 15% for the Euros this , in the absence of a proper Scottish poll, looks like that was pretty close, although It is still only one poll.

    It does however fit in with what i sort of suspected that the expenses effect in Scotland would unlike in the UK hurt the Tories more than Labour and that the SNP and not the LibDems or other small parties would be the main beneficiary.

    Oh and having said all that….. Hi Dean……


  7. I note that the Rep. of the people act says:
    “Section 106 makes it illegal to publish any false statement of fact in relation to the candidate’s personal character or conduct, unless he can show that he had reasonable grounds for believing that statement to be true. It is also illegal to publish a false statement of a candidate’s withdrawal from an election.”

    Does it say anything about vacant seats or electing a non-human (i.e. animal or object)?!

  8. On the question of defeated party leaders, there is no constitutional reason why a party leader should resign if they fail to win an election, but it does depend on expectations.

    It is probably fair to say that Major would have carried on as leader of the Conservative party had he lost in 1992. In 1997 he was already a lame-duck leader and was expected to resign even if the result had been close. He certainly showed no signs of wanting to hang on.

    Arguably Hague did not have to resign in 2001, but given that he managed to lose almost as many seats as he won, and had not effectively closed party divisions on Europe, he was right to pass the baton.

    Howard always intended to be an interim leader, his mission being to reunite the party after the chaos of IDS. Had he won, it is likely he would have stood down around when Blair did anyway.

    Kinnock resigned in 1992 because he had “blown” an election Labour expected to win. In 1987 nobody expected Labour to win, and he clearly still had more work to do in rebuilding the party after the divisions of the early 1980s.

    Going further back, Callaghan did not resign because he had lost the 1979 election, but because the Labour party had become ungovernable.

    Heath certainly did not want to retire, and resented being ousted by Thatcher for years – long after it was clear that she achieved in the 1980s many things he would never have even attempted.

    Wilson was vindicated in not retiring in 1970, seeing as he won the subsequent elections in 1974.

    Alec Douglas-Home, an earlier unelected PM, was also clearly a temporary solution – after all, he wasn’t even an MP when selected as Leader.

    To answer Andrew Kennedy’s earlier question, Ming and IDS were the last party leaders never to face an election, but I am not aware of any PM who never did so (win or lose) as party leader.

    Unless there is a major change in the polls such that Brown actually wins, then I would expect Cameron and Clegg to still be leading their respective parties at the subsequent GE, but Labour to have a new leader.
    Of course, Brown may not go willingly, but it easier to remove the leader when Labour is in opposition, and if he does not go of his own will, he will be forced out.

    As to who will lead Labour from 2011, who knows ?

  9. There seems to be a big battle for 2nd, 3rd and 4th places which according to YouGov puts Lab on 17%, UKIP on 16% and Lib Dem on 15%.

    Who comes 2nd, 3rd and 4th I believe will depend on how well these three parties get out the vote on Thursday.

    If the result is as YouGov suggests all three will be able to claim some sort of victory. The Lib Dems and UKIP because they will have got the same percentage of the vote as in 2004, and therefore will have done no worse then that, and Labour because they will have managed to retain 2nd place.

    I suppose it will depend on how the seats are distributed region by region. But even here, because of a reduction in seats in most regions, these parties could claim that a small reduction in their seat tally was a success by arguing that they would have achieved the same result, or no worse a result then this, had the 2004 elections being fought on these new boundaries.

    In any case an ICM poll in yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph had, I think, the Lib Dems on 20%, Lab on 17%, Greens on 11% and UKIP on 10%.

    As I said earlier it depends on which party does best in getting its vote out this Thursday.

    In the battle for 2nd place I think there is still everything to play for.

  10. There is a possibility that the Labour, LD and UKIP could all win about 17%, with both the Greens and the BNP taking 10%, so Labour could just come 4th by a very small margin. The Tories will be hoping to win at least 30%. 28% or 29% won’t look as good even though it’s not much different from 30% in reality.

  11. Anthony / Others

    Does anyone know when we are gettting an IPSOS Mori Poll ? We haven’t had one for May ?

  12. All their other polls this year have come out between the 13th and 19th of the month. Maybe they’re holding back their latest polling so that they can publish a poll on the eve or day of the elections.

  13. Yes – I recall reading they were holding to back to be nearer the election, so I’m hoping for something in the next day or two.

  14. Ladbrokes have closed the betting on the BNP winning a seat this tells me they could be in line for far more .

  15. Andy / Anthony,

    Many Thanks

  16. Thanks Anthony and others for the very interesting info on past leaders. I’d forgotten about Neil Kinnock. It does appear that failed leaders are not given much of a second chance these days, even if the failure is a near-miss against the odds.

    I suspect that if Brown is pushed this summer – and I don’t rate the odds on that very highly – it would be a caretaker leader not an Alan Johnson. Jack Straw seems the obvious choice.

    On an unconnected subject I wonder how many people – if a general election is called this year – will end up voting for three different parties in the same year (Euros, County and GE)? I suspect quite a few e.g. UKIP/Green/Tory. We’ll never know of course, but it’s an interesting speculation!


  17. @ craig

    It seems that a number of bookies are now predicting the BNP to get 3-4 seats looking at the way they have ajusted there odds.

    i think its fairly predictable that if 7% of the population openly admit to voting BNP then you would expect that figure to be nearer double that, as many will not admit it. This would fall in line with the results they have been getting in local elections.

    As has been mentioned already, the more Cameron and Brown tell people not to vote BNP, the more the electorate are likely to.

  18. IPSOS MORI POLL – report from SKY NEWS

    CON 40
    LAB 18
    LIB 18

  19. @ Paul H-J

    Thanks for a great answer

  20. Is that poll for Westminster of the Euro elections? The Tory share suggests Westminster but the Labour share suggests Euro elections.

  21. Westminster

  22. It must be for Westminster. the Conservatives are 22% ahead of Labour! That’s with UKIP still on a rather high 7% (an effect of Euro campaign that will subside and give a few % back to the Tories in time I suspect).

    Full results;

    Lab-18 (-10!)

  23. This will not be a good day for labour, below 20%, a huge dip in support, atleast these drops are going to show us how big Labours true core vote is.

  24. I don’t often comment on the main thread but this is wild enough for me to want to express my suprise.

    Is this the first poll for labour in the teens ever?

    What would this do to the number of seats?


    Good Lord!!

  25. The fact that “A quarter (26%) are satisfied with the way Gordon Brown is doing his job as Prime Minister ”
    is an indication that these very low levels of support for Labour will be short lived.

    I think some of Labours ‘hardcore’ are just ‘hiding’ rather than gone away for good!

  26. I think Brown’s declaration that he will stay on no matter what happens is almost encouraging voters to see how bad it might have to get for him to change his mind.

  27. Put the Mori figures through electoral calculus, LIb dems lose a few on 51, labour collapse to 140 and the Tories more than double their seats. More interestingly others win 6. Is this the lowest Labour have ever received in a poll and did Major even receive as little as this? any euro figures?
    Brown will be challenged after thursday either by a stalking horse or some kind of plot from a few ministers. However he will win but will also lose his reputation which will surely lead to oblivion in 2010 and after that I wouldn’t rule out a complete split in the Labour party.

  28. @ Ivan the terrible

    Obama got 52-53% of the popular vote in november but he has about a 62% approval rating.

    In other words what im trying to say is, just because some people think your doing a good job doesnt mean you popular.

    Now that i think about it, Churchill in the 1945 election would probably be a better example for what im trying to say.

  29. @ Ivan the Terrible

    I think that some of the Labour hard-core are hiding too, but Labour areas are well-known for low turn-outs; who can say that they’ll turn out in the GE, given the current record?

    Given the anecdotal and real evidence for Labour votes, enough hard-core might not vote for anyone, rather than vote for Brown or another. But, on the other hand, Labour’s highly geographically-concentrated votes will mitigate much of such loss.

  30. Paul i agree the more the Labour party play the race card the more people will vote BNP.They dont understand the white working class anymore, its all about minorites they have lost touch with the people who put them in power .

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