YouGov have a new poll in the Sunday Times, the topline figures with changes from their last poll are CON 40%(+3), LAB 24%(+2), LDEM 18%(-1). It was conducted on Thursday and Friday.

Both Labour and the Conservatives are up slightly – in YouGov’s polls you need to go back a month or so to get the Conservatives up at 40 or Labour into the mid-twenties. Perhaps this suggests the beginnings of a decline in the “other vote” now the European elections have passed, though it is just the one poll. Even it is, it’s only a small decline: others remain up at 18%, with UKIP taking the largest share with 8% (the Greens are on 4% and the BNP on 3%).

As with Populus’s poll in the week, there is an increase in economic optimism. The net percentage of people who think the economy is doing badly is minus 80 – an atrocious figure in itself, but up from minus 86 a month ago and minus 91 back in February.

On other questions 60% of people said that Brown should step down prior to the election, and 73% wanted an election this year (49% now, and 24% in the autumn). Interestingly, while David Cameron’s ratings remain very high with a net popularity rating of plus 25, there was less enthusiasm for the team behind him: only 36% thought he had “the right team” to tackle Britain’s problems, with 50% disagreeing.

UPDATE: There’s also a Scottish YouGov poll in the Scottish edition of the paper, though I have only seen partial figures: the SNP are on 31% in Westminster voting intentions, the Conservatives on 17%. No doubt someone with access to the Scottish paper will leave the results in the comments section.

87 Responses to “New YouGov/Sunday Times poll”

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  1. Chris,

    Were Churchill or Benjamin Disraeli brainwashed by the Mail or Express too? Or perhaps Major or Thatcher or, over the pond, perhaps Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Regan were spoon fed ‘media bias’ too?

    Pehaps some of the greatest minds of our time were also only parroting what ‘Murdoch’ wanted them to? Or writers and economists of note such as Ayn Rand, Arthur Koestler (a recent convert no less!), William F. Buckley, Milton Friedman and a million others (hard to remember names when you want to!)?

    I would suggest that if the only line of defense to what you believe in is the supposed ‘evil’ or ‘stupidity’ of those that don’t then you’re destined to fail.

    If the mouthpiece for the left in this country (the Labour party) spent more time developing and conveying it’s own beliefs rather than attempting to diminish those of others they would be performing rather better than they are.

    What do YOU believe in Chris? If it’s just the destruction of Fleet street then I’m afraid you’ll find there are only a few votes with you mate.

  2. @ Chris – “Before Brown became PM, there was similar – obviously not as bad, figures on Brown and he quickly turned them round.”

    But he didn’t. He enjoyed a period of grace during which the public – primed by the media to see Brown as the “good cop” contra Blair’s (by then) “bad cop” – decided to give him a fair chance to show us what he could do. Well, he’s shown us and it’s been more or less downhill ever since. Even the subsequent “Brown bounces” weren’t enough to put Labour ahead and there’s really no chance at all of another significant bounce by this stage in the game.

    He’s a massive electoral liability and the Labour Party’s major problem now is that it currently lacks any alternatives of sufficient stature, courage and vision to replace him. Last year we saw Milliband the Smaller flagged up as a potential saviour, which never seemed very plausible. More recently it’s been Johnson, but he proved to be a damp squib and meekly fell into line with Mandelson’s Brown-rescue scheme. It’s a pitiful picture all round.

    Brown’s survival, such as it is, is testament not to his strength but rather to his party’s weakness, and voters know that very well.

    As for Cameron’s personal rating – it’s 75 points higher than Brown’s. 75!!!!

  3. Pete B / Keith – re UKIP voters in Euros

    Analysis of the 2004 Euros relative to national polls and previous Euro- elections in 1999 indicates that approx 90% of UKIP’s gain in 2004 came at expense of Cons except in E Midlands – where presumably Kilroy-Silk pulled in ex-Lab votes.

    By 2005 GE the bulk of UKIP votes had drifted back to Con, but residual share retained by UKIP was enough to cost Cons 10-20 marginal seats.

    This year UKIP have improved slightly on their 2004 results in terms of seats, but not in votes, where they were virtually unchanged (-0.1%), probably due to a swathe of other anti-EU parties clutterring the field. But Cons increased their share of votes by 1.0%, notwithstanding the undoubted effect of the expenses fiasco.

    If one looks at the regional breakdown, the UKIP success in seats is because whereas their share was down in three regions where they polled highest in 2004 (E Mid, SW, SE – but not East) it rose considerably in W Mids, Yorks and North. This would suggest that UKIP did indeed pull a large number of votes direct from Lab – though it is possible that some of the increase in these regions was from Con, but compensated by Con gains from Lab.

    The question is what Lab switchers to UKIP at Euros are likely to do in a GE. There are five possibilities:

    1 – stay with UKIP
    2 – return to Lab
    3 – stay at home
    4 – switch to Con
    5 – switch to some other party

    I would hazard a guess at the above order in the ratio 30:25:20:15:10, but it is only a guess.

    What I do think is likely is that any UKIP vote in marginal seats will get squeezed. This will be particularly true in Tory targets seats. The danger for Lab is that in some seats not seen as marginal they do not recover their Euro defectors, and so end up losing seats with majorities of 25-30% on above average swings.

  4. ‘Even the subsequent “Brown bounces” weren’t enough to put Labour ahead.’ – think you find Labour were enjoying 10+ per cent leads upto Autumn 07 – it was the fluffing of the election that was the turning point, and I admit he has never fully recovered but not to say that he can’t! He just needs to be told that media presentation isn’t his strong point, but after Blair the public don’t even want this.

    It’ll be fascinating how Cameron will react under policy scrutiny – since the 10% cut story broke he’s been very quiet hasn’t he?

  5. My Poll Predictions:

    ICM Con 41 Lab 23 Lib 20

    IPSOS Con 41 Lab 21 Lib 21

  6. @ Chris – “It’ll be fascinating how Cameron will react under policy scrutiny – since the 10% cut story broke he’s been very quiet hasn’t he?”

    If you were employed to advise Brown, it would certainly help explain why he’s proving such a disastrous PM. The
    ” Mr 10%” silliness is being rightly derided in the press, for the very obvious reason that everyone knows that 1) Labour is already making public spending cuts and 2) the debt Brown has accumulated leaves no government much choice but to cut public spending.

    Still, it’s fun hearing “the prudent Chancellor” attacking Cameron for … prudence.

  7. For Dean Thomson.

    While I accept that the FPTP system is very disadvantageous for the SNP, I find it difficult to believe that if the SNP polled 31% to Labour’s 28% that they would fail to win more seats than you suggest.

    I base this on the fact that the SNP won 11 seats (out of 71/72 admittedly) in Autumn 1974 when Labour polled 36% to the SNP’s 30%.

  8. I don’t get the LDs, do people just not want to vote for them, or is the entire party full of fools who waste the electorates time? This is surely as close to a perfect storm of conditions as they can expect, and yet they are stubbornly stuck below 20%, not even gesturing towards 25% or otherwise breaking through to be the 2nd party in this system. Do the public just not like what they offer, so there is a glass ceiling for their support, or is the party leadership so poor it can’t take advantage of anything, no matter what is sent it’s way?

  9. Also, is there a reason my comments now await moderation? I don’t remember saying anything outrageous on these threads? Are all comments on these threads being moderated since the BNP arguing?

    I’m not too bothered by it, mainly curious and bemused.

  10. Quincel – it’s because you used a new email address. The software treats you as being a brand new person, so waited for me to approve you.

  11. @ Quincel

    Actually, people do vote for the Lib Dems, Thats why they run more big cities than any other party. People do vote for them on a local level, im not sure why this doesnt translate into a national share though.

  12. It’s worth remembering that Labour didn’t do very well at the last election- about the same as Kinnock in 1992 in share of the vote. The issue is whether they can hold onto most of that support next year and also how many votes the Tories can pick up. If they poll below 40 and Labour can get its 2005 voters back then it’s all to play for. It was amusing watching Cameron get at Brown for trying to switch the voting system- the current system is massively helpful for Labour.

    Some posters on here seem to think that because most people don’t like the government, that’s some kind of bar to them being re-elected. When Thatcher was in, it felt like everyone hated her, but with a divided opposition she kept romping home to victory despite being nowhere near a popular majority.

    Labour will certainly lose the popular vote and almost certainly have fewer seats than the Tories- but will the Tories really get an overall majority? They’d better watch out if they do get a small majority, as presiding over years of spending cuts and tax rises won’t do much for their popularity. It’s a good election to lose (unless you’re G Brown)

  13. Steve – “It’s a good election to lose (unless you’re G Brown”

    I don’t know if that’s so, but it might explain the strategic manoeuvring that has allowed him to stay where he is. If I were Milliband or Johnson I’d perhaps be calculating on the basis of how popular the next Govt could possibly be given the lag between recovery and increased employment.

    The reasonable conservatives’ problem could be that being so far ahead in the polls, silly, old, extreme ideas might come to the fore and lead them back into the dark days after one term.

  14. It’s early days, but perhaps we’re now seeing the main parties regain some support after recent traumas, and the others fading.

    I don’t wish to diminish the importance of the expenses or suggest the public will easily forget it though – it still needs to be sorted out.

    I’ve been through the County Council elections quite extensively, and the Conservatives did do well on votes – can’t make sense of the projected shares which I think are easier to do on more urban councils which rotate their elections.

  15. I was out canvassing on Saturday and there was widespread anger at the expenses, but I did detect a willingness to accept not all politicians are like that and a need to move on.

  16. Tom Robinson:

    I understand your point but if you run the percentages on, say electoral calculus for example the numbers are stark, they would only hold 6 and gain two.

    But this shouldnt be viewed as SNP failure, due to the reduction in the numbers of scottish MP constits. and that they are fighting from lower positions across most seats they would need more than 31% to make a breakthrough into double figures if labour hold 28%

    And that is according to electoral calculus (not myself, Im not being partisan. Its just my point that we all risk talking up the SNP whereas they dp have a hell of a mountain to clime).

  17. dean,
    the tories have had 3 recent polls at 28%.

    as there is tory bias on this site they hardly got a mention.

    how many seats would they win with that level of support?

  18. Dean,

    So you are saying that the Scottish Tories, up from 15.8% to 17%, will gain East Renfrew, three border seats, South Ayrshire and seats in Edinburgh, while the SNP, up from 17.7% to 31%, will gain only two seats???

    For 31%/28%/17%/16% Electoral Calculus gives me 16/29/3/11 seats, which sounds more realistic.

  19. Dean / Christian,

    Do not rely on Electoral Calculus for Scottish projections.

    In Scotland, it is slightly easier to predict where Tories may / may not make gains than for the SNP when looking at actual results and trends in individual seats, while for LDs any “national” assumptions are of little use. There are several reasons for this, but basically the 2005 figures in Scotland were driven by a combination of (a) new boundaries and (b) less well-informed tactical voting, which means that the 2005 baseline is not necessarily the best guide to the swings requried, while as we all should know, Scotland is prone to strong regional variations which even a Scotland only poll will not necessarily pick-up, let alone extrapolating UK-wide polls or the Scottish sub-samples thereof.

    Tactical voting could result in Lab losing many seats (in all directions) – or it could mean fewer changes than expected.

    It is a shame that the recent Euro-election results were not published by parliamentary consituency. This would have given a far better baseline for the contest next year – though we would still need to adjust for impact of the large “other” vote (22%) and low turnout.

    FWIW, both SNP and Cons will make gains at next election, and both Lab and LDs will emerge with fewer seats. There may be some LD gains at Lab expense, but also losses to SNP / Con to give a net reduction.. It is difficult to see how Lab could make any gains, other than in possibly recovering one or other of their by-election losses.

  20. @ Jamie Smith – “the tories have had 3 recent polls at 28%.”

    For the general election? I really don’t think so. Are you confusing GE polls with local election/Euro ones?

  21. “Cons 10% public service cuts”

    Chris he isn’t talking about cuts in public service.
    He is talking about cuts in public expenditure.

    The two are different Chris.
    Public Expenditure doesn’t always result in Public Service, and Public Service doesn’t alway require Public Expenditure.

    The two are linked Chris-by something called productivity. This is a factor Brown never talks about.

    And just recently Chris ONS have shown us why :-

    This is why Cameron is saying “more for less”.

    Just so you understand this Chris , that means more Service for less Expenditure;something that , -as ONS demonstrate,- is very much overdue.

  22. I think he was refering to Scottish samples of UK national polling.

  23. @ Quincel
    No, I don’t think the LDs are full of fools. However, at the very moment when they could have made hay, Menzies Campbell had some bad press over the expenses scandal AND the LDs always fare under-par at Euro-elections because everybody knows they want to join the Berlin-Paris Lovefest that the EU has become, and it is difficult to find a single Englishman or woman who agrees with that! So, just at the moment of potential “lift-off” voters were diverted to assorted “others”. This may sound mad, but I think some of the UKIP vote may actually go LD at the GE!

  24. ICM poll being reported on Political Betting:

    Con 39 (-1), Lab 28 (+6!), Lib Dem 18 (-7).

  25. ^^ gah!

  26. JACK & Dean re SNP

    Christian is quite right about electoral calculus and the Scottish poll suggesting 16 SNP Westminster seats. Of even more interest is the precarious majorities in the Labour seats that are left.

    YOUGOV has now also published the Scottish Parliament results for the same poll. They are 39-26-14-14 for the first vote SNP-LAB-TORY-LIB and 34-26-14-13-7 (greens) for the second vote.

    Far from being not above their 2007 share this 13% lead points to SNP landslide on current trends as does the Euro results.

    No other party -save the greens- is making any progress of note while Labour are falling like a stone..

  27. Richard B. It’s on the Guardian website now

    C 39% nc
    L 28% -1
    LD 18% -2
    Oth 15%+1

    Figures from last months guardian poll.

    Also 52 % support electoral reform, 43% opposed.

    Guardian is making the point that there clearly has been no implosion in Labour support, despite all that has happened

  28. @ Joe. The equivalent national vote share takes into account the fact that the English local elections this year took place mostly in those areas where the Conservatives are strongest. It can be difficult to interpret ENV in terms of Westminster voting intention, particularly since this is the first time since 1993 that the shire county election cycle has not coincided with a general election and there has been an unusually high level of support for Others in opinion polls.

  29. @Anthony

    Fair enough, hope I didn’t sound too indignant, but I was just very surprised.

  30. Chris

    You have previously called readers of the Daily Mail -which includes my wife-cretins- which is on a par with idiots and you have more than once had your remarks ‘snipped’ by Anthony as you well know.
    The manner in which you sneeringly referred to myself and James as ‘Tory Boys” says more about you than either of us.

  31. I just put Alexanders figures in to Scoland Votes and with a little guess work for the smaller parties, for Holyrood it gives;

    Labour 36 (-10), SNP 51 (+4), Libdem 16 (0), Tory 15 (-2) SSP 1 (+1) Green 8 (+6), Ind 2 (+1).

    THe SNP would be strengthened and in a position to form a majority government with the LibDems (or even Labour or the Tories whichever is the more unlikely), but not the Greens.

    If this was the result I suspect we would stick with a minority government as the only thing that could defeat us would be a grand unionist coalition of Lab,Lib & Tory.


  32. Thanks to Duncan Keith.
    Yes I was discussing this on the seat threads quite a bit, and agree with you.
    In 1997/2001/2005 I don’t think anyone really tried to calculate a national share from the County Council elections as there was no real point with General Elections to look at anyway.
    It was done in 1993 (when the tables were turned the other way) but it was easier then because all these unitaries hadn’t yet been carved out of the counties.
    Also, I suspect national shares do go a bit wrong working with rural wards where often they’re not fully contested, and probably more variation to do with views of the local authority etc.

  33. Looking at the Scottish figures in more detail the SNP sem to be doing best amongst the over 55’s. This might have an impact on the final result as these are the most likely to vote.


  34. @ Nick Keene, I made (and still stick by for now :) ) that prediction thinking of the august average, not a ‘few weeks’. IIRC you asked for predictions for 5-9 weeks ahead.

  35. Wood

    That’s fine by me. Just after the Norwich North by election will do nicely.

  36. Interesting comments about the SNP vote share in polls and the Euros. Important to bear in mind that SNP polled almost 30% despite the presence of many smaller parties.

    The real contest for the Westminster vote will be much more interesting because of FPTP. The Westminster vote will see a re-distibution of some of the smaller party votes to parties that are challenging to win (or hold) seats.

    For example the Greens polled 10% across Glasgow in the Euros – higher than either the tories or liberals. However they are unlikely to mount a challenge for any seats. How their votes are used may make a difference to marginal seats such as Glasgow South (currently labour at Westminster but held by SNP for Holyrood and won in the Euro popular vote by the SNP).

    And there will be several seats where there will be three way contests – including parts of Edinburgh, East Renfrewshire, the Highlands and parts of the Borders.

    Interesting times indeed!

  37. Paul,

    > Do not rely on Electoral Calculus for Scottish projections.
    > …
    > Tactical voting could result in Lab losing many seats (in all directions) – or it could mean fewer changes than expected.

    I know. As in the last Scottish elections, there are likely to be surprises galore in Scotland. (Lab holding Aberdeeen Central but losing Edinburgh East, who would have thought.) Yet overall in 2007 the SNP gained exactly the same number of constituencies they would have got with a uniform swing.

    On the other hand, tactical voting did work for the SNP – they gained more seats than they would have had with a uniform swing.

    From these elections is seems that tactical voting has a bigger effect when the overall picture is stable compared to when the overall picture is one of big changes. And my interpretation of the polls for the next Westminster election is that we can see big overall changes in Scotland, with the SNP easily doubling its share of the votes from 2005.


    The Scottish Greens will stand in all Edinburgh and most if not all Glasgow seats (plus E Kilbride, Highlands, Dundee and other areas with strong local parties, about 20 all together).Already in 2005 they scored more than 5% in Edinburgh North, East, South and Glasgow North.


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