There is a new YouGov poll in today’s People newspaper. Topline figures, with changes from YouGov’s last poll, are CON 40%(+2), LAB 24%(-1), LDEM 17%(-1). As with YouGov’s Friday poll, the changes are all within the margin of error and given that the fieldwork for this must have taken place only a day or two later than YouGov’s last poll, I expect that’s all the difference it down to.

40 Responses to “New YouGov/People poll”

  1. New poll (not voting intention) in the Sunday Times Scotland:

    ‘Opinion split over Lockerbie bomber’s fate’

    The survey by Cello MRUK for The Sunday Times found that while 49% of those who expressed an opinion want Abdelbaset Ali Mohamed al-Megrahi to remain in Scotland, 51% thought he should serve the rest of his sentence in Libya or be freed.

    The poll of 1,040 adults across Scotland found that 40% of those with a view believe Megrahi should be transferred to Libyan custody while a further 11% think he should be freed on compassionate grounds, another option MacAskill is considering. Just under a quarter of those polled were undecided.

  2. @ Anthony
    “I expect that’s all the difference it down to”

    But there have been a number of developments in the last couple of days which could affect opinion, including;
    Mervyn King’s announcement.
    Cameron’s position on State control and individual privacy.
    Even the BBC expenses could affect opinion by causing the view that everyone with an opportunity abuses their expenses.

  3. A split between the Brown loyalists and the rest of the Cabinet on cuts won’t help. Liam Byrne said Labour will spend less on building schools and hospitals – Ed Balls said today they would spend more. I

  4. Wolf makes a good observation. That is why I expect the news agenda to increasingly turn back against Brown and the New Labour party; which ought to see a recovery in tory support back to 42-5% in the coming months, with the Liberals back to challenging for second place in the low 20’s.

    But who knows I suppose. It just seems that the news is set to turn irreconcilably against Brown; especially over the artificial dividing lines (which people are smart enough to see through; just listen to the emails to daily politics on wednesdays).

  5. Not so sure about the rush to the Conservatives: I think it’s more a case of “anyone but labour” (and “anyone but Labour and the Conservatives in some places) rather than “yippee the Conservatives are fabulous let’s vote for them”

    in that case, UKIP/BNP/Greens will get some support in the exodus from Labour. Not enough to significantly reduce the expected Conservative majority at the next GE, though.

  6. It must be worrying for Labour that they don’t seem to be recovering as we move away from the European elections. They need to be closer to 30% than 20% very quickly to have much chance of avoiding a catastrophic result at the next election.

  7. New ICM/BBC Scotland poll (not voting intention):

    ‘Devolution backed by 41% of Scots’

    It found that 46% of people felt it made no difference at all, 9% believed it was a bad thing and 4% had no opinion.

    … question asked whether devolution had made the health service in Scotland better, worse or not made much difference either way. The results showed that 33% thought its condition had improved, 9% thought it had deteriorated and 52% felt it had flatlined. The remaining 6% did not know.

    We asked if you think standards in Scotland’s schools have gone up – or declined as a result of the Scottish Parliament? The results showed that 29% said schools had improved, 12% believed they could do better and standards had slipped and 41% said they thought standards had remained the same. The remaining 18% did not know.

    The survey, carried out by ICM for BBC Scotland, spoke to 1,010 people between 22 and 24 June.

  8. if we follow the trends in the polls, it points to a 140-150 conservative majority at the next election, but what is also becoming clear is that the others may only drop a few points and if that happen depending on the party there vote goes to the conservative majority could be higher, labour will lose a lot of seats at the next election and could drop to 20-22% of the vote it not out of the question that that will happen, it’s also not out of the question that the lib dems will make up the 2nd party and the shadow govenment in the proscess.

  9. Boo, polls are increasingly static again, whatever happened to all those resignations and Labour collapse, that was much more fun.

  10. The polls have been presenting a fairly stable picture for quite a while now. Sometimes the Tories slip to 39 or up to 45, and Labour moves between the low and mid 20s but the overall picture of a very solid double figure lead for the Tories remains the same.

    I don’t see it changing very dramatically between now and the General Election unless some completely seismic political event occurs.

  11. First, we had MPs abusing their expenses, now, BBC executives. Could this story run on into the rest of the public sector? Watching a BBC executive modestly declare that he could earn 4 times more in the private sector was staggeringly unedifying.

    I’m wondering if, with this and the YouGov poll showing 80% support for public sector cuts, the Tories are actually suffering more from the MPs’ expenses in the polls than Labour; perhaps the “undecideds” are many that want spending cuts, yet which are repelled by duck-houses and moats?

    If so, Cameron might be able to depend on far more groundswell support for cuts in the next parliament than a small-ish majority might suggest.

    Nota Bene: I say this as a Tory, and I currently expect a 120+ majority in 2010.

  12. Richard,

    I’ve been interested in the turn of events as regard public sector pay myself. For Labour to be picking public sector spending as the battleground just at a time when the electorate are beginning to suspect that half the public sector employees in this country are mere parasites is an interesting development. Themes are important. If the Tories can present their “cuts” as aimed mostly at fatcat managers like Jana Bennett and the rest (even though this is wildly far from the real truth, a bit like Labour pretending tax increases only affect the rich) then it could really attract support.

  13. ‘It must be worrying for Labour that they don’t seem to be recovering as we move away from the European elections. They need to be closer to 30% than 20% very quickly to have much chance of avoiding a catastrophic result at the next election.’

    The only way they are going to achieve that is with a new leader. Brown is completely delusional if he thinks that he can lead the party to victory at the next GE.

  14. @ Stuart Gregory

    It is daft to say the Lib Dems will form the Shadow Government after the next election, a swing to produce that is simply unachieveable. If they were going to be in 2nd place it would have happened in many polls of recent but it hasn’t! Clegg has failed to capitalise on voter anger at Labour and to some extent the Tories.
    Labour may get close levels of popular vote with the Lib Dems but the Lib Dems will be down on their 2005 performance which was bloated due to Iraq War outrage so their seats will drop and will not take over Labour.

  15. Ashley Wise – Whilst that makes sense at the moment, the question surely is what happens after the election? If Labour loose badly, then the whole New Lab project could fall apart as the factions within the party fight a battle royale. That is the real time for the Lib Dems to make their move to replace Labour. Wales & Scotland both offer other left of centre parties, England has the Lib Dems to fill that role.

  16. WMA 38:24:18 no change really over the last couple of weeks.

    If Brown’s blatant lies about spending catch up with him then almost anything could happen at the next election- Labour were 19 points ahead of the LibDems (WMA) at the beginning of the year – they are down to 6 now. Admittedly they were only 3 ahead at the start of the month, but that’s still a 6 point Lab:LibDem swing in 6 months and another swing like that is not impossible.

  17. ashley wise- the lib dems would need to be 14pts ahead of labour at the ballot box to form the 2nd party but i think they will need less than that in the north of england, i do not see the tories getting as many seats in the north as they would like and could see the lib dems making big gains.

  18. @ Andrew Myers

    I feel that GB is there to stay; the Blairites have thrown their cards onto the table around the European election, and Brown survived. Purnell, I believe, is off to Demos to form new ideas for a future Labour government.

    I don’t believe he does think that he’ll win; this insane trotting out of maintenance of spending increases is madness in front of YouGov’s poll, unless you realise that Brown already knows that the 80% against spending increases are lost to him in the next GE; after the Euro elections, he may simply be planning to galvanise the other 20% to ensure Labour’s long-term survival.

    @ Stuart Gregory

    I point to the Lib Dem’s results in the Euro elections; a drop on last time. I cannot see the Lib Dems challenging Labour this time (much as I’d want them to); I’d reckon the best bet is another Labour/SDP-style split, but the Alliance failed to replace Labour last time, perhaps potential splitters will be even more weary.

  19. ‘Normal service’ is now resuming again with the Tories back on 40%, which means landslide territory at the General Election next May. So much for the ‘expenses’ scandal! The great British electorate, having had their chance to register protest votes at the recent Local and Euro elections failed to bother, with record low turn-outs in both; the notion that hordes of people are going to troop to the polls to vote for a load of ‘independents’ next May is fanciful in the extreme!

  20. @Richard Manns “I feel that GB is there to stay”
    Ed Balls is positioning himself to take over as leader, I believe with agreement from Brown. Maybe as soon as the labour conference.
    This is the reason for his recent high profile.

    New ICM/BBC Scotland poll (not voting intention):
    ‘Devolution backed by 41% of Scots’
    It found that 46% of people felt it made no difference at all, 9% believed it was a bad thing and 4% had no opinion.’

    So name a country once 40% of the people want their colonial masters to go which remained part of that power’s empire? (Not quite my view but I think the point is made; Scottish independence is a question of when, not if.)

  22. @Jack.

    You’re assuming that those Scots who back devolution would also support independence. There is a perfectly good argument that many Scots back devolution as a more acceptable alternative to independence. In both cases they get much of (Tory) England off their backs but with devolution they still get the benefits of UK-wide spending on defence etc. I personally do not buy the slippery slope argument – I think that the case for independence still has minority support in Scotland and will for some time to come.

  23. @Jack,

    Given that Devolution has cost quite a lot of money, the fact that over half the Scots electorate thinks its either made no difference or made things worth is actually pretty damning.

  24. @ Steve Cooper

    That plan sounds insane, although extremely Brown-like so I could just about imagine its success!

    I’d guess it would be the delicately balanced sides of “Anyone But Brown” vs. “This is Brown Mk. II/Another Coronation/Mass Rebellion”. That would enliven the next Labour Party Conference no end!

  25. @ Jack

    I can name several regions where nationalists have around 40% off the top of my head, and have done for a while:

    The Basque Country

    I thus refute your rhetoric.

  26. I believe we will be in the eye of the hurricane over the next couple of months for Labour,the calm before the storm.

    Millions of Brits already being taxed to death are shorlly going to find out the one thing they look forward to is going to be a lot more expensive than ever before,their Summer holidays.

    Millions of us know but havn’t yet experienced the devaluation of Sterling.

    A lot of Grumpy brits are going to be prevelant in September,just about the time the USA through borrowed money will post positive GDP growth sending OIL prices to around $90-100 barrel.

    September-October,petrol will be £1.10p a litre,Summer over,2.75m unemployed,and then the power companies will start talking about raising their prices just in time for Winter.

    Not to mention that little thing called the Irish 2nd vote on the LIsbon Treaty.

    I do believe Labour will drop into 3rd place for a prolonged period leading up to Conference season perhaps forcing the trigger to be pulled on Brown.

  27. Rich – great deal of assumptions there.

  28. First on this whole labour:liberal swing debate:

    it is entirely plausable for a modest swing to take place away from labour; splintering between liberal and others which would bring the labour share down to levels which see them level pegging with the liberals. And given the norwich by election this might be the catalyst for further labour vote exodus- in that scenario it is hardly impossible for the liberals to fail to overtake labour (even if it is within the polling margin of error of 3%).

    Remember the local elections for all those saying the liberal 2004 vote share is unsustainable. In the locals they only dropped 3 councellors net total; which would seem to this tory mind to indicate they are able to hold onto a core vote base the size of 2004 (which is concerning to my lot as the liberals pipped us to the post in Bristol, and made up their losses in Devon etc elsewhere).

  29. The Polls seem to be fairly static at the moment. It will be interesting to see if/when others start to drift back and where they will go to.

    Does anyone know whether there are any more polls before the end of June ?

  30. CHRIS N

    Not really,i can see why you assume that,cast your mind back to pre-recession UK,or even before the credit-crunch had hit the USA,it was OIL prices that put Labour on their lowest poll ratings since Foot 25%,it was in fact the credit crunch that gave Brown his famous bounces.

    Darling has hiked duty when Oil was a $30 a barrel,in fact if Oil went to $150 again(not saying it will) instead of paying £1.30p a litre,we would be paying £1.40p or higher,on the hikes alone,without future rises now the Labour Government has brought back the fuel escalator.

    When the Utility bills increased they were doing so with Sterling at $2.00-$2.10.Sterling is now in a range of $1.55-$1.65 as commodities are priced in Dollars this could also see a spike in UK utility bills.

    With our deficit Sterling could get left behind by a run up of other currencies against the dollar,such as the Euro.

    During the run up of Sterling last time there was a difference between Euro-Sterling against the Dollar of about $30c to Sterlings favour,now it is 10c.

    Now with the USA in recovery you just watch that OIl price go,it has gone from $30 to $70 in the blink of an eye with the US posting two 6% drops in GDP for two consectutive quarters,if the US resumes growth in the next quarter oil will spike.(USA USE’S 25% OF THE WORLDS DAILY OIL SUPPLY)

    Labour’s claim to be for the poor will once again be shown up,with brits with pre-payment meters and the less well off elderly being hit the most,Labour’s traditional voter.

    Unemployment at 2.75m i think is fair conclusion,

  31. By the way, Brian Taylor, BBC Scotland’s political editor, says that there will be “more tomorrow”.

  32. Mike Smithson of says that this ICM/BBC poll “only has validity if it was past voted weighted”.

    Seems a tad draconian! Surely it still has some validity, even if it is only weighted by the usual factors, such as age-group, socio-economic group, gender and probably educational status and newspaper readership etc?

  33. I do and I don’t agree with David Jones that “Normal Service is resumed”.

    I do agree in that I suspect we are setteld for the Summer, with the Conservatives on 40% or a little less, and the LibDems on about 17/18%. To be honest, this represents a disappointing lack of progress for these parties, because of what I do not agree about.

    What is new is the high level of support for Other Parties, notably the Greens but also UKIP. And we really do need to have firues quoted for significant Other parties now. These parties benefited in June from “a plague on all your houses” reactions to the Commons expenses scandals, and it looks as though these others, having shaken perceptions as to what is on offer, are hanging onto much of their newfound support.

    Over recent years, Labour have persistently floored at about 28/29%. It looks like they have a new, even lower floor.

    I don’t see that Labour’s internal splits will get worse. I suspect that those who would jump have jumped, and that the Brown/Blair-Mandelson camps are at an uncomfortable stand-off. However, I suspect that events are more likely to go against Labour than for them. The Autumn is traditionally a bad time for economic news (see Rich’s news). Also, I wonder whether the Government can really increase VAT at the start of next year. They have to for their accounts, but the economy may not be strong enough.

    The newspaper campaign about MPs’ expenses was quite unprecedented. Labour and MPs generally did not investigate enough in response. I wonder what attacks on Labour can possibly be in store in the immediate run-up to the election. Think Zinoviev Letter. At the simplest, Labour looks as though it is going to be heavily outgunned in terms of the finance available for the election campaign and surrounding matters.

  34. Doesn’t seem as though there’s much in Brown’s statement. We,ve had these make-work schemes for 30 years without much change. I would agree with Rich – petrol has gone up from 80p/litre to over £1/litre and is definitely affecting spending power.

  35. Report of a new ComRes poll due tonight.

  36. The results for this are up on the web site and it has the tories well down on the position they held a month or so back of over 20%.

    Indeed this poll the last three YouGov polls and most importantly the Sunday times Scottish poll all show them avergaing about 17%.

    So far some reason over the Euros the Tories seem to have lost ground while the SNP has pulled ahead of Labour.

    Theories anybody.


  37. Responding to others; of course the only valid example is Ireland (or the Irish Free State for the unionist party supporters) so all the assorted examples were actually logically wrong.

    The other non-relevant examples given are more than outweighed by what happens by those countries which got freedom when the Empire collapsed and earlier. countries such as India, Pakistan, Australia, South Africa etc which show what happens when people get a feel for their freedom. These are more than the equivalent of the examples others have used.

    The point I was making actually was a simple one–once enough people get a taste for independence / freedom then it can not be stopped. Look at the recent polls for increased powers for Scotland. In the 1960s SNP was basket case politics; now it is in government. The issue of independence is now a mainstream argument issue and will not disappear .

  38. Jack, you seem to imply that there is an inevitable and unstoppable move towards pro-Independence sentiment as some sort of “natural law”. There have been many periods of history and geographical areas where the pull has been in the opposite direction. There is no doubt that Scottish Nationalists are on a historic “upswing” and that their star is brighter than it has been in many decades. That doesn’t for a second mean that a continuing increase in their support is guaranteed. Even though they form the government, the likelihood is that if they succeeded in organising a vote on independence the Scots people would currently reject it. And that’s just the electorate living in Scotland. What the hordes of Scots-born residents of England and elsewhere would have to say is something else. History teaches us that any political force that rises high will inevitably sink back down at some point. The question is will the SNP be able to push independence support up to the magic majority figure before an eventual anti-incumbency movement pushes them back out of favour.

    I say this as an English Unionist, but one who is entirely relaxed at the prospect of Scottish independence if that is the genuine will of the Scots.

  39. The full datasheets of the ICM/BBC Scotland poll are now available:

    ‘Salmond ‘more popular’ than Brown’

    The Scottish first minister is considerably more popular in Scotland than either Gordon Brown or David Cameron, a BBC poll has suggested.

    The poll, commissioned from ICM, found more than half of those questioned thought Alex Salmond was doing a “good” or “very good” job.

    But only 37% believed Mr Brown was performing well as UK prime minister.

    Tory leader Mr Cameron fared even worse, with only 21% thinking he would make a good prime minister.

    The poll of 1,010 people was carried out by ICM between 22 and 24 June to mark a decade of Scottish devolution.