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. What are Brown’s approval ratings in this poll? By the way are you aware Paddy Power had a market for Brown’s approval ratings ‘to be settled using UK Polling Report’?

  2. Looks like another small boost fro the “others” which could be good news for us “McOthers”……


  3. Very foolish of them :)

    I like to think I’m pretty much gospel on voting intention polls, but there are certainly some leader approval figures I miss!

  4. But were there any figures for this poll? The bet was Browns approval rating of the first YouGov poll in June.

  5. Slightly disappointing for the LD’s after last nights ICM poll, but YouGOV has often been the pollster who gives the party the lowest score. To be within 4% of Labour in a YouGov poll is still noteworthy. Does anyone have access to the raw data? Do we know if ICM weighting had been used whether the LD’s would be ahead of Labour?

    Polls currently have 20% voting for others in a GE- I am certain that this will not happen come May 2010, the key is how they break…. I expect a sizeable chunk of the UKIp vote to go back to the Tories- and a sizeable chunk of the Greens vote to go to the LD’s- where will Labour’s recovery come from?!….

  6. Six out of ten voters apparently want a general election.

  7. Given the zig-zagging of the polls in recent days, this one feels more like what is going on – It’s pretty much halfway beween the two weekend polls.

  8. Leslie, Conservative and Labour are actually very close in three polls. Tories somewhere around 40%, Labour somewhere around 22%. The big differance is with the Lib-Dems, with ICM having a MUCH higher Lib-Dem share than YouGov or Populus. But keep in mind ICM has historically handeled the Lib-Dems much better than all the other pollsters when it comes to final election result, which is the reason ICM have the best record off calling general election vote shares.

    Now, I doubt the Lib-Dems are as high as 25%, but if there was a general election tomorrow, they would poll higher than YouGov or populus suggest, in my view.

  9. Andrew Levin – YouGov don’t weight by past vote or give breaks by past vote, so you can’t, no (even if you could – and some people insist on trying to do so – it’s rather artificial, you’d also need to take into account the different approaches to don’t knows, different likelihood to vote filters, different questions and the mode effect of asking online rather than using an interviewer. In short, it’s impossible. Much easier to just assume they’d have been a couple of points higher).

    Noisy Summer – probably will have, but I don’t know yet. You’ll have to check the wording of the bet anyway. This poll will be first published on a June 1st newspaper, but the fieldwork wall all done in May.

  10. Gordon Brown has apparently declared that he won’t be standing down no matter how bad the elections are. Maybe saying that is a mistake from his point of view because Labour may do even more badly as a result since people might perceive his comments as rather arrogant.

  11. …sounds like a peculiar and unnecessary attempt at a pre-emptive strike.
    I can’t see what anyone would have to gain from challenging him now the expenses thing has hit – perhaps would-be challengers will wait a while, so they can try and turn him into a whopping scapegoat.

    If anything, a statement like that shows fear rather than arrogance. I can’t see how it can affect his polling either way, until and unless a *clean* challenger pops up.
    It’s things like the closure of large companies and factories that are surely more likely to affect Labour’s polling: they make the government look helpless and irrelevant.

    I wonder what it means for other members of his cabinet though?
    Does anyone really believe that any of the reported potential challengers would change much? It’s arguably “new Labour” that’s down in the polls; an “old Labour” coup might have a more convincing effect on Labour’s polling.

  12. GB arrogant, mmm, I think most people have come to that conclusion already. But it may well fuel frustration and anger in some so that they make the effort to go and vote against Labour. It might even include a few of Labour’s backbenchers. Now there’s a thought :-)

    This poll by Yougov. actually makes good sense to me. The ICM poll regarding the Lib Dems and in a sense regarding Labour’s 22% was rogue. What I mean is this – I think ICM accurate poll regarding Labour was good luck and inaccurate regarding the Lib Dems was due to bad luck.

    When we compare this Yougov poll to the last several polls I think we may safely conclude it to be completely accurate.

    I’m expecting the Cons and Lib Dems to improve by July at the expense of the others. I’m less confident this will be case with Labour.

  13. Perhaps I should add for accuracy this polls is completely accurate to 1%, I believe.

  14. @Phillip JW

    It seems that even the highest echelons are not yet free from the mire:

    I’d suggest that, if this rolls on with the Chancellor, a cabinet shuffle won’t be a tactical move post-Thursday, it’ll be a necessity.

    In more polling-related areas, I’m wondering how the targetted LibDem campaigning is going: in short, for LibDems to make serious gains in 2010 with their increasing projected share, they need to defy Uniform Swing et al.

  15. @ Philip

    Agreed, if they do as well in the Euro elections as the polls suggest, some may defect back to them, but by how much is the question, i reckon we could see Con and LD have their average scores go up by 2-3 point (puting conservative vote upto about 42-43 and LD go upto about 20-21/2 on average) and labours to go down by 1-2 points, your thoughts?

  16. @Michael,

    I agree with the estimation of the Cons rising to 42-43 by July. Lib Dems and Lab is more tricky, I think. This is because the race for the second place in the Euro Election is so close. If the Lib Dems can clinch second place then we could see them polling as high as 23% on a regular basis and Lab 20 to 22%. If Labour clinch second place then the reverse is more likely to happen.

    I would not say that I am fantastically confident about this. For we are in unchartered waters. But this is my best guess.

    A different point: CAN ICM POLLS BE TRUSTED?!

    Well, of course, generally speaking yes. However, as I pointed out in my comment on the 26th of May ICM have a built in caution regarding fluctuation in their methodolgy which resulted in their last 5 polls before the last General Election showing an overestimation of Labour’s lead by 3%

    Over the same period Yougov. overestimated Labour’s lead by less than 0.3%

    It seems to me that ICM’s bias towards assuming that people tend to vote for the party they previously voted for causes them to overestimate this party’s position when a real, large and lasting dip in this party’s position has actually occured.

    Tonight I looked at the polls from last July and August to see if my view was supported by this data. This is what I found:

    In July and August ICM took 3 polls showing Labour to be 28%,29%,29%.

    During the same period Yougov. took 7 polls showing Labour to be 25%,26%,25%,26%,25%,26%,26%

    Again there is a 3% difference between ICM and Yougov. The problem is that according to ICM methodology for a party to drop from 36% to 26% from one election to the next is impossible! But obviously it is not!

    If in reality Labour drop to 20% we are likely to see ICM still showing them to be on 24%. There are rogue polls, which any company can have. Therefore by luck it is possible for ICM to be accurate regarding Labour’s position. I think this is what happen last time!

    @ Anthony Wells, I am really a novice compared to you, so I would welcome any criticism of my analysis you may have.

  17. Weighted Moving Average 40:23:19. If we compare this with the WMA one month ago (43:28:18) we can see that the expenses saga seems to have hit both parties but Labour’s decline appears inexorable. At the beginning of this year the position was 40:34:16.

    I suspect that UKIP will be the big beneficiary of this scandal later this week (and that Murdoch, Rothermere and the Barclays will not be weeping about this) but that once national politics takes centre stage these voters will go back to Conservative.

  18. Beale,
    My suspicion is that some voters will remain with the “fringe” for some time. Once election time comes many may well return “home” to the main parties, but I think UKIP will be polling decently well for the next few months, at the very least, particularly if they get a good run in the EU elections. Naturally, that doesn’t guarantee them anything (look at their comparative performances in ’04 and ’05), but I’d not put it past the “other” blob to remain at least in the upper teens for some time.

  19. Disgruntled voters wanting to register a protest about the expenses scandal can best do so by voting Green on Thursday but to vote for UKIP is nonsensical. With member in the clink and one in danger of joining him UKIP are clearly not a proper receptacle for a protest vote.
    Of course the Greens have so few elected representatives that are that they much less likely to be caught with their snouts in the trough.

  20. The Guardian is reporting this polls results for the Thursday elections as:

    Conservatives: 27%
    Labour: 17%
    UKIP: 16%
    LibDem: 15%


    42% of voters want a general election this autumn and 18% want one within the next few weeks

    Two-thirds are content with our existing constitution “provided MPs are honest and competent”.

  21. I think the Tories could outmanouevre Labour still further if Cameron makes it clear that all of the dead beats who are not standing at the next election because of the expense scandal should stand down now and not take advantage further of the taxpayers by clinging until the next election with all the golden goodbyes they will collect.. Although this might mean expensive by elections, Cameron could make it clear that unless the local electors wanted it otherwise, the seats could remain vacant until the election. After all, one has to question the value of representation given by some of the awful people like Anthony Steen………….

    Cameron would really demonstrate just how much he gets the public anger and his approval rattings would go through the roof.

  22. You know, that there is an interesting idea. The main problem is that you would probably need a new law passed to allow the seats to remain open (otherwise, some minor party would likely sue to force a by-election).

    Forcing immediate stand-downs might also prove harder than one thinks. Yes, Cameron can throw them out of the caucus, but in most cases these people are at the end of their political careers. They have little, if any, incentive to stand down now for just the reason you suggest Cameron should push them out: They can take their “golden goodbye”, milk the expense system for another GBP25,000 plus their salary, and then leave Parliament as a disgraced wreck with the extra cash to show for it. All Cameron could really do in retaliation is kick them out of the caucus as far as I know, and seeing as non-caucus MPs can still milk the system that’d solve nothing.

    I’m not saying it wouldn’t look good on camera, and that one or two might not go for the good of the party, but I do think there are at least a few that would give Cameron the finger and stick it out for the rest of the session. The one downside is that if Cameron tries to push them and a bunch won’t go, he might end up looking a bit weak.

  23. James,
    Two questions:
    1) Any indication on who the other 25% are backing? That “other” number feels a little high; even if you give the Greens 10% and the SNP/PC 5%, you’ve still got 10% to pass around.
    2) Are the 18% subsumed in the 42%, or is it 42%+18% (i.e. 60%)?

  24. Browns performance with Marr was his best yet I thought. Not really any good but his best yet all the same.

    Is Brown going to offer electoral reform on the lines of PR in Labours manifesto pledge for re-election I wonder?

    This, he doubtless thinks, would get around the problem of seeming opportunistic by implementing it now but would also perhaps snatch some Lib Dem votes?

    If the Libs are seen as having a shot at second spot anyway though, why not vote for them if you want PR?

    I have to say that the naivete of Brown and his inner circle is astonishing. It’s like a production line, good product or bad, but with absolutely no quality control at all.

    Poor political skills. They really do ‘deserve’ to lose.

  25. BNP on 7%? This is way above all other polls and looks very suspect- they were just 1% last week in the Guardian poll. Reality is they wil probably poll less that 2004

  26. You Gov let you ‘vote’ rather more anonymously than the traditional pollsters so I would be more inclined to believe this figure to be honest.

    I have noticed a fair bit of activity from the BNP over the last few weeks and I think it will pay dividends for them.

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they get a seat.

  27. Agreed with Ivan re Brown’s performance on Andrew Marr’s show yesterday morning – and that’s coming from a die-hard Tory who would never vote for him.

    Sad thing is that it has come three weeks too late – why didn’t he do this the weekend after the MP expenses scandle broke?

    Will be interesting on Thursday / Sunday since:

    (i) Labour is actually unlikely to lose very many seats given that it only polled 22% at the last Euro elections in 2004 and the election is being held under the D’Hondt method which mitigates the landslides FPTP can provide; and

    (ii) even with, say, 18% of the vote, Labour could still scrape second place (marginally ahead of UKIP and the Lib Dems).

    In those circumstances, what with the PLP do? A vote as low as 18% would in normal circumstances spell the end for a sitting PM, but these are abnormal times. If Labour (just) beat out UKIP and the Lib Dems can an arguement be made for Gordon to hang on? It’s not as if there is a huge personality waiting to take over (Johnson? Milliband? Harman? etc etc) is there?

    PS I have always been a strong believer that YouGov is currently the pollster most likely to accurately reflect the state of the parties. Nothing I have seen over the last few weeks has changed that for me.

  28. Gray – that 42% and 18% are different people, so 60% together want an election this year.

    Jim – not really way above others. In their latest polls ICM and Populus both have them on 5%, so all the polls in the last week had them on 6% +/- 1.

  29. Gordon Brown has just given the BNP one hell of a boost today by pleading people not to vote for them.

    I think the BNP are going to do really well now!

  30. One of the things that will hold back “A list” challengers to Gordon Brown this summer is the perception that they would have to step down after a GE defeat even if by taking over they reduce the scale of that defeat.

    Does anyone know when was the last time that a defeated party leader (Labour or Tory) stayed on to fight another day? And indeed, whether such a person has ever won subsequently? It does seem like a modern phenomenom that a single defeat requires a leader to fall on his or her sword.

  31. @Hardpressedtqy – I would suggest a little bit of caution over the idea that a party leader throws out sitting democratically elected MPs. That is a dangerous precident – MPs authourity comes from electors, not party leaders, and if a leader can remove an MP (which they can’t anyway) it would be seriously bad for democracy. The best they can do is remove the whip. Oddly enough, this is what Brown has done in two cases, while Cameron hasn’t (except for the earlier Conway case). Brown hasn’t received any credit for this, largely as he is being swamped by events anyway.

    On the polls, if these polls are anything like reflected on Thursday Labour must move against Brown if he doesn’t walk. He won’t, and they probably won’t, and that sadly just about sums up the state Labour have allowed themselves to get into.

  32. @Leslie

    Didn’t Neil Kinnock fight (and lose) the ’87 and ’92 elections?

  33. The euro-election figures suggest that it is too close to call between Lab / LD / UKIP for 2nd-4th place. The implication must be that the further south one goes in England the more likely Lab is to be in 4th place – and possibly in single figures.

    Despite d’hondt, this probably means Lab will lose seats in Europe. In 2004 they were 7 seats clear of UKIP and LD. If they fall behind either in actual MEPs that will be even more damaging than being 1% below second place. There is also the possibility that they may end up with no representation in one or two English regions – which would be more shocking than losing the odd MEP further north.

    Sunday evening looks to be most interesting !

  34. @Antony – sorry but i’m afraid your being far from consistent in allowing partisan and biast comments to be entered – I

  35. @ Alec

    Sadly, I agree. Labour can see themselves sinking in to the myre, and seem unable and unwilling to do anything about it. Not even fight to climb out.

    I’m reminded of the story of dropping a frog into hot water, and him jumping out. But putting a frog into cold water and heating it up, he just sits there until it is too late…….

    Anyone heard any “ribbit” noises coming from GB lately?

  36. @Antony – sorry but i’m afraid your being far from consistent in allowing partisan and bias comments to be entered – I know i’ve been guilty in the past of such offences for which you’ve moderated myself – so please justify comments from Oliver, Ivan, Andrew Kennedy – ignoring them only rubbishes your anti-partisan tirade and invites counter arguments!

    Just want consistency!

  37. Prime example Antony – is it the partisan debating you don’t like or the comments themselves?

  38. @ Gray – no idea with regards your first question. Re: your second question – it’s 42% who want a general election in the autumn PLUS 18% who want one in the next few weeks.

  39. @ Leslie – party leaders can survive defeat to fight on another day if they are understood to be building the party up (eg Kinnock). For obvious reasons, that’s not going to apply to Brown who seems to be driving the Labour Party into the ground.

  40. [Lord Mandleson] was defending the govenments record yesterday and with his normal bright eyed look he said that the govenment could not avoid the fact that the economy has failed in the way it has but he stopped short of blaming the labour party say, that were all in this together and it was a global problem not just an EU or UK problem, this will not help labours ratings in the polls.

    as we now move back to the drip drip effect on labour the tories maybe able to take advanage of this by saying we will hold by-elections inthe seats where mp’s have proved them self’s to not be in compliance with the rules of the house or the sprit of the rules, this would put brown on the back foot and maybe turn him into something worse than foot.

    if there were an election called tomorrow the effect of that could be two fold one labour fall another 4-5% and the tories rise a few points with the lib dems in second place or labour stay on 23-25% the lib dems feel the pinch and the tories not only gain labour seats but lib dem ones as well in a maga landslide the last one was around 79 years ago in the 30’s when the tories got over 425 seats it could happen again if camoron play’s it right or it could all go wrong if he dose not, but one thing is clear brown is doomed.

  41. @ Anthony

    I’m not going to rise to the bait of getting into a fight with certain people’s perceptions of fairness

    I regard that I am fairly objective when it comes to making comments on your here, and I just call it as I see it. If I see politicians making mistakes, or bad judgements I will happily say so, regardless of which party they represent.

    It is pretty much a free for all at the moment (certainly regarding the main parties), and all sides are having to tread carefully and are making judgements, and I have criticised all sides in the past.

    The fact that some people take a couple of my comments out of context when compared to other comments where I have criticised a different party, leads me to question the impartiality of the complainant.

    I hope you don’t mind if I continue to comment and criticise ALL sides where I think that criticism is due.

  42. James (and others):
    I was wondering who the 25% not listed were going to (i.e. if there was a further breakdown between the Greens, BNP, etc.) in the Guardian poll.

  43. Anthony if you update Brown’s approval rating with these figures so I can win that would be great!

  44. The ‘others’ percentage seems rather steady in the nation-wide polling; on 3%, but how accurate is this figure versus the regional polling from Scotland (for Wales it’s clearly a bigger problem to know due to the lack of regular polling there)?

    One thing is clear, the Liberal percentage is in the range of 19-22% and I’d suggest that this is perhaps the most accurate representation of their current strength; as they are neck and neck with New Labour (which is around 21-24%). 25% must surely have been symbolic of the stronger threat posed by Clegg (who can nw be associated with good PR events and successes rather than the pensions-gate etc).

    One big thought on this is the UKIP percentage, in places them on 16%, only just missing out on second place by 1% (well within the margin of error which ought to worry not-so-new Labour!). But this seems unbelievable, since the Conservatives remain set to repeat their rather impressive 2004 Euro elections and return their last 24 MEPs, and given the resiliance of the UKIP support indicated from this poll can we honestly say entirely truthfully that vulnerability to UKIP is only a big Tory worry?

  45. Anyone know when the next lot of polls are due?

  46. “My economics is based on advice from qualified economists and the FT”

    Actually you mean *certain* economists. Yeah, Paul Krugman.

    Or do you mean *certain* FT columnists? Like Martin Wolf who keeps insisting he is a free marketeer while he talks about laughable schools of thought like Keynesianism as if they are gospel.

    I hope you reconsider leaving John. I will stop posting if you promise to come back and write some more of your stuff! But if you dont then thank you for the lols anyway.

  47. Leslie –

    Losing party leaders

    2005 – Howard – resigned
    2001 – Hague – resigned
    1997 – Major – resigned
    1992 – Kinnock – resigned
    1987 – Kinnock – stayed on
    1983 – Foot – resigned
    1979 – Callaghan – resigned 1980
    O1974 – Heath – attempted to stay, ousted a year later
    F1974 – Heath – stayed on
    1970 – Wilson – stayed on
    1966 – Heath – stayed on
    1964 – Home – resigned 1965
    1959 – Gaitskell – stayed on
    1955 – Attlee – resigned
    1951 – Attlee – stayed on
    1950 – Churchill – stayed on
    1945 – Churchill – stayed on

    Since 1979 the only party leader to stay on is Kinnock, who never became PM. Before that it was far more common for party leaders to stay on after defeat – in fact it was the norm. Churchill, Heath & Wilson all stayed on after defeat and became Prime Minister (again) at a subsequent election.

  48. @ Matt – I agree I prefer to trus YouGov, for one thing I believe that provide a pore accurate reflection on Scottish voting habits among other competor pollsters.

  49. People apparently are against PR in UK according to this poll: good news for Cammie baby-

    There is nothing fundamentally wrong with Britain’s constitution, providing that our
    MPs are honest and competent in the way they act:

    Agree 61
    Disagree 27
    Don’t know 12

    Seems clear that the people of this fair island want decent MPs, and not an end to HRH Elisabeth II (& I) royal perogative. As a firm and devout Cavalier I sigh with relief (checky chuckle..)

  50. In a related subject of leaders staying on/retiring/being ousted following election defeat, has there ever been a case of Prime Ministers being replaced twice with or without going to the country? Obviously Brown, Major and Callahan (in my memory) have been beneficiaries of a single replacement. Have there been more?

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