Here’s the effect of Labour’s leadership infighting: Sky are reporting that the Sun has fresh figures from YouGov in tomorrow’s paper and show a shift back towards the Conservatives. The topline figures with changes from yesterday’s poll prior to Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt’s attempted coup are CON 42%(+2) LAB 30%(-1) LDEM 16%(-1).

The changes themselves are within the margin of error, and furthermore conducted when Labour’s infighting was splashed all over the TV and newspapers, but nevertheless I expect it will be taken as a salient reminder of the damage that party infighting can do to support.

I’ll update later when the Sun story comes out and we see what other questions there were.

UPDATE: The exact timings of the poll are between 4pm yesterday and noon today. Sample size was 2,832.


63 Responses to “YouGov’s first post Hoon-Hewitt poll”

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  1. are we having a sun/yougov poll every 3 days?

  2. I’m not sure that YouGov’s back-to-back polling like this is a great idea. Don’t like today’s poll, wait for tomorrow’s, the margin of error will likely give you a better result.

  3. “Don’t like today’s poll”

    I do -I like it quite a lot.

  4. Thats the highest Tory % in a YouGov Poll since 9th October

  5. Anyone offering any explanations as to why Labour infighting should affect the Lib Dems equally badly?

  6. C.L.A.D

    It may be nothing to do with the Labour problem.

    Since YouGov normalise their demographics across the whole GB, it could be that they have simply polled more from within 4 party systems than previously, or that the change is no more than a shift from 16.5% to 16.4% (rounding makes that a 1% shift) , or that it’s simply the normal margin of error.

  7. A sample of 2832 people suggests that they’ve turned two polls in to one.

  8. If 42% and a 2 point bump is the best Cameron can manage after the failed coup, then Labour will probably be pretty happy.

    I don’t think we should get too excited either way though, 117 days to go to polling day and I’m sure that we’ll see a lot of fluctuations.

  9. “or that it’s simply the normal margin of error.”

    As is the Conservative 42%, and the Labour 30%. The figures presented tonight could very easily have been the figures last night, and vice versa. In other words this poll tells us nothing really. I think we are to close to the event to find any meaning. in much the same way as I do not believe the Cameron gaffe as had time to settle.

  10. It will be interesting to see if this is repeated in the next few polls. I’m struck by the minimal movement in the Labour vote – on this score you would have to conclude that the ‘coup’ hasn’t had any real effect. It may be too early to make this judgement, but the story has pretty much died off now, so this might be as bad as it gets for Labour.

  11. You seem prepared to update increases in the tory majority at first mention of the poll. Decreases however have to wait until you’ve looked at the data.This looks to me as if you are biased.

    I don’t mind what you do as long as its consistent.

  12. C.L.A.D

    I agree. People tend to be like Roman augurs searching for meaning in chicken entrails!

  13. I too expected worse figures than this from a Labour point of view, when I heard there was a poll out tonight. Mind you it would clearly wrong to be that happy about such a poll, too.

  14. The “coup” occurred 20 minutes into the main news bulletin. I doubt anyone “normal” (and no-one posting here is) noticed.

    The much bigger news item was of course, it is winter and we are having a cold snap.

  15. right ill have a look through the yougov data for the last few polls and see how the numbers come up should be intresting

  16. Lib Dem supporters must be tearing their hair out, if this is accurate.
    Perhaps we’ll get another LD 12 or 13% poll before too long.

    Geoff Hoon, who is quite a good chap, seemed to be indicating on Newsnight yesterday that he and Patricia Hewitt are neutral, and are simply inviting those who had been complaining about it to settle the matter. Trouble is, you can’t suggest something like this and then say it’s nothing to do with me.
    It is an attack on the PM.

    But it hasn’t been taken up, and so I wouldn’t expect the effect on the public to be too dramatic. But it’s not helpful.

  17. Did they do this poll so soon after the last to get the ‘right’ result – bearing in mind their Tory allegiance?

    For once I will not say a poll is as bad as it could be for Labour

    However they’ll still be slaughtered in May/June

  18. PAUL (BROWNOUTIN2010)

    You might have inadvertently revealed some partisanship in your user name.

  19. I think Labour will be not unhappy that their vote seems to be holding steady at 30%.

  20. I think that Labour would be quite happy if that’s all the damage this act did to them.

    Perhaps the perception of Labour MPs being repeatedly but incompetently treacherous is just considered “par for the course”?

    I think we need to wait for the whole set of major pollsters before we can assess any impact. Until then with this poll, Brown will be relieved, Cameron mildly diappointed and Clegg wondering if YouGov has something against him.

  21. Old Nat I don’t disguise my opinion in the name – but I was actually arguing the other way just this once
    I try to be non-partisan in commenting unlike many – just give my humble opinion on the polls

  22. PAUL (BROWNOUTIN2010)

    It was a joke!

    However, there is a difference in the Sun’s partisan position (which the Scottish Sun struggles to cope with), and YouGov who are simply a business conducting polls on behalf of their clients. You weren’t clear as to who had a Tory allegiance. I presume you meant the Sun?

  23. “BROWNOUTIN2010” could be an opinion on what is going to happen. I think it quite likely correct.

  24. Perhaps the minimal changes in this poll are because the electorate isn’t particularly interested in or even aware of the coup attempt. I think most people have pretty well made their minds up by now whether they want to keep this government or not. The polls have been pretty consistent for about a year now – the Tories have varied between about 38 and 45%, and Labour between about 25 and 32%, and no other party could form a government. Please don’t correct me on exact percentages, because I’m working from memory.

    Barring something extraordinary happening, the Tories will win the next election though it might be by a small margin.

    I would be interested to know how much posters to this blog would expect a story like the coup attempt to influence public opinion.

    As an aside, and putting my cynical hat on, is it possible that Brown put H & H up to it in order to kill the leadership debate once and for all? If so perhaps he has more courage than he is sometimes give credit for.

  25. ok let me just put this ball into the court lets say labour get cut down at the next election to say 20% at worst, they would still be the second party on a UNS model but it could be a close one,on the vote shere below is the percentage votes the lib dems would need to overtake labour in terms of seats

    CON 40% (ASUMED PERCENTAGE AT ELECTION)

    LIB DEM 34% (VOTE NEEDED TO WIN MORE SEATS THAN LABOUR ON THE UNS MODEL

    LAB 20% (SET AS MNIMUM VOTE)

    CON 40% (353 SEATS)

    LIB DEM 34% (137 SEATS)

    LAB 20% (129 SEATS)

    OTH 6% (32 SEATS)

  26. stuart gregory

    If Labour are that low, then “Others” are going to be massively higher.

    At 20% (UK) Labour are going to be virtually wiped out in Scotland – or the UK Government is going to be negotiating with a Labour/SNP coalition over Scottish Independence!

    UNS is dubious in England. it is totally meaningless applied to GB.

  27. I suspect Stuart’s been playing with a UNS calculator to see, hypothetically, just how stacked against the LibDems the FPTP system is. Very, very stacked is the answer…

    FPTP benefits Labour quite considerably. Mind you, so would AV. I don’t think we are likely to see a proposal for STV from Labour anytime soon.

  28. Having provoked my own curiosity I put the numbers from the last poll into Anthony’s pretty UNS calculator. Wow things don’t look very nice for the LibDems on 16%. Leaves them with a total of four seats in the whole of the West Country. No seats in Devon and only 1 in Cornwall (where they currently hold all six). I can’t believe in a month of Sundays things could get that bad for them, but if they did it would be a Tory rampage in the south of England.

  29. Shows how low Labour has sunk that so many here think the party will be “happy” with 30% …

  30. The tories need to stress that lib dems would back brown in a hung parliament allowing brown to stay on even if labour had less seats than the tories in a hung parliament. I’ve noticed on some blogs when people find out lib dems would be backing brown in a hung parliament are turned off by that. This was recently in the news when there when brown was asked about a lib dem partnership on bbc.

    Lib dem mp’s would never go for the tories so cameron needs a majority and needs to stress vote for lib dems mean brown stays in power. He might get back some tories who don’t think cameron is trustworthy and like clegg better but would vote tory to get Brown out. I see Clegg appealing to some high minded tories who like clean politics but really want Brown out.

    The 30 doesn’t do much for Labour if the tories get up to 42. In this poll the tory majority is 62. Where as if tories are at 40 labour at 28 and lib dems at 20 tory majority is only 28.

  31. Not too bad a result for Labour!

    This poll was at taken at the peak of reporting activity around the plot and if it’s only impacted by 1% the Cons have far from capalised from it. Yesteday and today there has been very little coverage of this, so I predict this ‘impact’ will be nilled out by the next poll.
    Another point the result is well within a margin of error, especially as only a day had past between their previous poll.

    Still see the Cons as having the poorest week, with Cameron’s disatrous performance at PMQ and campaign launch.

  32. I don’t think the challenge story is dead. If hoon and Hewitt have been made to look stupid because some cabinet ministers backed out of a challange then I think this will filter out espicaly as one or both of them are standing down at the next election. I can’t believe they just did this with no cabinet contact/backing , still skeletons in the closet I think and if these come out in the next few weeks this could all flare up again.

  33. @JamesLudlow

    I don’t think that suggesting Labour will be happy with 30% is due to how low Labour has sunk but rather a comment upon how surprisingly little effect the attempted Hoon-Hewitt coup had upon voting intention.

  34. What makes you think that Jason? There’s no indication that I can see that Clegg would do that. In fact, one of the main arguments against a “tactical” LD vote where I live in Richmond is that if a Labour-inclined voter votes for Susan Kramer, he or she will get a Tory-led government anyway.

  35. I think that the dust needs to settle. If there any polls this weekend, perhaps we will see if there is an effect. More interesting are the rumours of the “cost” of the Cabinet’s loyalty and the effect of the possible de-Ballsing the campaign.Personally I think the message is no change with the Labours and the Liberals swapping the odd percentage point ( ie the soft left ) dithering.

  36. @ Barnaby JL Marder

    I wonder what impact the proposed mansion tax initiative would have had on Lib Dem votes in Richmond. An awful lot of £1,000,000 houses there. I fear for the Lib Dems in Richmond as i do for them in Carshalton & Wallington where Tom Brake will almost certainly lose and also for Paul Bairstow in Sutton & Cheam. He could easily lose there to.

  37. Isn’t the margin of error on a poll of N = 2,800 going to be smaller than on a poll of N = 1,000? I’m no statistician, though.

  38. Philip –

    Yep, but not vastly so. A poll of 2,800 has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.85 (for 4000, the size of the previous poll, it is about 1.5%)

  39. If Cameron can maintain a 12 point lead going into the election campaign then he should be reasonably satisfied.

    Although the seat prediction models say differently, in real terms this should give them a 90-100 seat majority which would be a tremendous result given where they started from.

  40. @ Stefan – I’d say it was both a reflection of how low Labour has sunk AND relief that it isn’t sinking even further. 30% is solid bedrock territory. It tells us that disaffected Labour supporters have returned to the flock, no doubt panicked by the prospect of a Tory government, and that they are staying on board come hell or highwater. But it also tells us that Labour expectations now are reduced to seeing even maintenance of its bedrock as some sort of triumph.

  41. Brown operates from such a low base that even putting in a competant performance is greeted by some as a truimph.

    Chris, love the blind love of Labour but Cameron wasn’t ‘disastrous’ at PMQs. Sounds like you have been reading from Ed Balls autocue again.

  42. When’s the next Angus Reid poll due? We could do with a laff in this cold weather!

  43. @Jay Blanc

    With even further polls showing a steady tory vote of 40% how does this fit in with your model which you claim shows a steady tory decline?

  44. @James Ludlow

    I think you’re right that Labour support has solidified at 30%, while Tory support appears to have solidified at 40%. The result of the election is going to be determined by how the remaining 30% of the vote splits. If the LDs get more than 20% then it will be very difficult for either party to get enough seats for an overall majority.

  45. Can anyone genuinely see Labour polling higher than 30% in May? Brown’s election strategy seems solely aimed at shoring up their core support, hence Mandelson’s criticism of them the other day.
    On the other hand, the Tories keep bouncing back. Surely, all Cameron has to do between now and the G.E. is to stay gaffe-free.

  46. @ LESLIE

    There is always the possibility that if the Lib Dems increase to 20% that could be at the expense of Labour though and pull them down below 30% again. I still tjhink the Labour vote is still on sticky ground and not as solid as a couple of recent polls suggest ( not sure the revolt in the Labour camp as fully hit home yet). I could be wrong but just another analogy to bring to the debate. Cant see many Tory votes defecting to the Lib Dems.

  47. If one was to infer anything from this poll alone, it would be that the coup has had less effect than the Tory “We’ll cut the national debt, not the NHS” campaign. In other words, a case of the Tories gaining ground rather than Labour losing it. I certainly think that, at this point, any gains for the Tories will have to be fought for via positive campaigning, which seems to be the opinion in the Tory HQ as well.

    However, as has been so often said by the experts on here, one poll does not a comprehensive-analysis-of-a-political-event make and we can’t really infer anything from this poll alone.

  48. Keith,

    I can imagine no modality where Brown ISN’T out this time next year. Even if Labour were to somehow win a majority, I think Brown would be put into honourable retirement. There’s too much water under that bridge for it to last another winter.

  49. SHOPKEEPER MAN is so right, between the snow and the resignation of Wossy from the BBC, the Gordon out coup was about the last item mentioned. Also there have been so many attempts the public are bored with it.

    @ CHRIS
    [Snipped – please don’t start arguments – AW]

  50. I wonder what the percentage probability is of Brown still being PM on, say, June 15th this year?

    Anyone care to hazard a guess?

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