There is a YouGov poll in tomorrow’s Sunday Times which, according to Sky, has topline figures of CON 39%(nc), LAB 33%(+1), LDEM 17%(-1). Unsurprisingly there is no great change from Friday’s figure, but the lead does still seem to be shrinking and this is the smallest gap from YouGov since 2008.

More to come later when we see what other questions the Sunday Times asked. There is also a rumor about of a second poll showing the Conservatives with a 10 point lead – I have no idea what that is, or if it is true. We shall see.

UPDATE: There are twitters that the 10 point poll is from ComRes. I’ve no confirmation of that, but they did a poll for the Sunday Mirror at about this time last month, so we shall see. If it is them their last poll was an 11 point lead, so 10 points would likely be little change.

135 Responses to “YouGov show their smallest Tory lead for 14 months”

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  1. @ John B. Dick – “If you still don’t understand that, ask your carer to explain.”

    I understand that you, Amber Star and your fellow leftists believe that Labour needs to shift to the left. But then you would think that. I’m not at all convinced and neither, it seems, is Labour HQ which is carefully treading a line where it tries to appease leftists like yourself while not scaring away the much larger number of broadly centrist voters.Thus we get a degree of lip-service to some vaguely leftist principles accompanied by moves intended to reassure everyone else that it’s just lip-service. The response to the City is a case in point, as is the dilly-dallying over inheritance tax and so on.

  2. @neil A – “I find it curiously touching that you have enough faith left in politicians to believe that they would never jeopardise the interests of the electorate for short-term political advantage!!”
    There is a difference between trying to keep difficult decisions until after the election (Tories as guilty as Labour over this) to actually stating your opponents are deliberately cruxifying the national finances in order to make your life difficult after you have won the election. The first point is it is supremely arrogant – it’s not the first time Hague has stated he think the Tories will win the election. Second, it just isn’t believable. After from having 60 top economists agreeing with him, whatever we think of Brown (and I would be saying the same if he was a Tory) he is not waging a vendetta with the public purse strings in order to get at Cameron. Besides, I’m sure Brown still thinks he can win, which rather undercuts Hague’s comments.

    I hate to say this, but I do recall predicting polls at 5 or 6% back in January. The Tories have got to get going soon. Osborne’s latest wheeze for subsidised bank shares is a return to the old Tory days. Why give cheap shares to middle class voters with spare cash to invest? Why not give some free shares to everyone if you really want a ‘people’s bonus’. It’s another weak and outdated soundbite that adds to the feeling that they are floundering in the critical policy arena.

  3. This thing about Bank Shares is just potty.

    Even the BBC asked Hammond about the security of them and what would happen if there was another bank crisis.

    Sorry but another flop policy lol

  4. ALEC :-

    “Why give cheap shares to middle class voters with spare cash to invest?”

    You folk just love to trot out the old “middleclass” routine don’t you. No wonder this country has such a dreadful reputation for “class consciousness”.

    This is what was reported from George Osborne :-

    (From The Sunday Times interview February 21, 2010)

    Cheap shares would be offered to small investors when the government’s £70 billion stake in Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group is sold, George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, said last night.

    The shares would be offered through the Isa scheme, so any dividends and capital gains would be tax-free. Even cheaper deals would be offered to young people and families on low incomes. There could also be special discounts for parents saving for their children.

    Osborne said: “To get a large public offer off the ground like British Gas and British Telecom you want to make a special offer to all people.

    “But there were back then, and there can be in the future, special ways of targeting particular groups of people.

    “It fits in with an argument you have seen made within the Conservative family in the past few years about ‘recapitalising the poor’. We will look at special offers, discounted share sales and the like.”

  5. @AL J
    I personally have done very well indeed out of bank shares. So have very many other investors. You may remember that British Banks have over many years not made a habit of collapsing. I cannot give reasons for the present debacle, as it would be seen as partisan. However Barclays recent figures did’nt look to dusty I am sure you would agree.

  6. ALJ

    All investment in equities involves risk.

    It is for the individual to decide what level of risk is appropriate for them.That will shape the mix of their savings investment vehicles.

  7. @COLIN
    The trouble is brother C, this class warfare thing is given traction on a daily basis with “programmes” like The One Show, and the glorification of anyone who came from a very poor background (except David Davis.) I have always believed the old Yiddish proverb,
    there is no shame in being poor, but its no great honour either.

  8. Colin & Roland

    Thanks for your replies, but your shares not doubt did well before the current crisis. Even the news person stated it was unfair to encourage people to invest their hard saved money in a bank that needed saving just recently.

    You obviously know more than me about these things -but from a lay persons view it doesn’t seem very sensible.

    btw I am not against share ownership. I have some of my own. I’m not saying this from a partisan point of view.

  9. ALJ

    I think you can assume that when the Government decides it is appropriate to try & sell it’s Bank shares, two factors will have been established

    a) That those entities are saleable enough to put a Prospectus together.

    b) The Market will be willing to buy the shares.

    As to the future performance of those Banks-they join the profile of risk associated with all other companies in that sector.

  10. This post is more suitable for PB. But as my posts always “await moderation” there and I find the site quite unpleasant unless you are prepared to admit that Gordon Brown eats babies !

    I have actually gone through the “Punter’s Vote” [ PV ] in each of the vulnerable seats. This may not be in line with opinion polls but nonetheless will have a relation with what punters are prepared to fork their cash out for.

    According to the vulnerable seats [ 123 ] guide in Electoral Calculus, which, by the way has a split of 322 -249 – 45 – 13 [ SNP/PC ]. The votes split they currently have is:

    C 39.3
    Lab 29.85
    LD 18.65
    NAT 2.22

    This give gains and losses as follows:

    C 114
    Lab – 97
    LD -22
    NAT 5

    However, according to Ladbrokes’ betting in individual constituencies, the gains are as follows:

    C 106.5
    NAT 4

    Labour is joint favourite with the Tories in Copeland. LD is joint favourite with the Tories in Richmond Park and Berwickshire, R&S.

    Greens winning Brighton Pav instead of CON. The Liberals holding on:

    Leeds North West
    Portsmouth South
    Westmoreland and Lonsdale

    LD winning Oxford East from Labour

    The 39-30-19 split is no longer credible. But even so, according to punters , which, PB posters put so much faith in, the Tories will have won no more than 314 seats against 322.

    The analysis only concerns the top 123 vulnerable seats.

  11. ROLAND-

    I remember another Scottish Champion of the “working class”; Dr. John Reed, when he was Health Secretary, described smoking as “one of the few pleasures left for the poor on sink estates and in working men’s clubs”. According to the Guardian, he also described controls on smoking as “an obsession of the learned middle class”.

  12. @John B Dick

    “Rob Sheffield


    Yes, I remember him. didn’t he nationalise the railways?”

    er,…….no,,,,,,,that would br Atlee actually.

    But Churchill did send the troops in against striking railway workeds in 1926 if thats what you are getting confused with.

    Like I said the Tea Part’ esque Jeff Randalls of this world think that Cameron and Osborne could win a massive majority if they stopp beeing such sissies abd gave the electorate some Chrchillina / Thatcherire hard right red meat.

    Its precisely the same type of argumant that the Bennite Trots gave in the late 1970’s/ early 1980’s vis a vis Labour in the late 1970s when they said they were not left wing enough.


  13. Mmmm-A lady from something called The National Bullying Hepline has just dropped a small bomb on Mandelson’s toes.

    I wonder if this has Polling legs?

  14. **Mmmm-A lady from something called The National Bullying Hepline has just dropped a small bomb on Mandelson’s toes**

    This is beginning to look like character assassination. Presumably any calls to a helpline would be in confidence.

    This will backfire Colin – relish it while you can

  15. ALJ:-

    I don’t think any confidentiality has been broken has it?
    No individual has been named.

    Mrs Pratt has complained that PM should not say there is no problem in Downing Street on this issue, when her charity has received calls from staff working there.

    What is unreasonable about that?

    I don’t know what you mean by “relish” ALJ.

    I have my views about GB & about bullying too.

    Presumably you have come to your own conclusions as well.

    As ever, neither are relevant-it’s what the public think which matters & we shall find that out in due course.

    Incidentally Andrew Rawnsley is a very highly respected journalist. ….and a Labour supporter.Why would he want to “assassinate” GB’s character do you suppose?

  16. @COLIN


    I don’t think any confidentiality has been broken has it?
    No individual has been named.”

    WHAT ??!!

    Having dealt with this organisation a couple of years ago as a claimant I can tell you that both yourself and the party you are making allegations against are guaranteed anonymity unless and until you move to a formal allegation and tribunal/ hearing scenario.

    I am not aware of any formal proceedings entered into on this alleged behaviour by a certain ‘Gordon Brown’……..

    Once again with you Colin you have managed to both get your facts wrong and actually made a mis-statement: all in one and all for a cheap Tory point !

    This at best will be a Hoon Hewitt moment that will be a dead story by next weekend after a ‘mea culpa’ on the stress and demanding personality is again communicated.

    Voters (as opposed to Conservative supporters and members) are interested in the Parties policies and proposed way forward. Indeed, THAT is why- as they have started to take a close look at the Conservatives in the last few months- there has been a remorseless narrowing in the polls.

    It’s understandable why people like you go on about Gordon Browns personality all the time and other frothy occurrences that distract voters from looking at your policies !!!

  17. ………….and perhaps I could remind you ALJ that the first person to cast doubt about Mr Brown’s “psychological” characteristics was Alastair Campbell .

    As Benedict Brogan says in the Telegraph this evening :-
    “Of course it was Mr Brown who made character the litmus test of his premiership. The talk about the ‘moral compass’, that dig at David Cameron about it being ‘no time for a novice’, all that guff about experience and his father’s Victorian rectitude,”

    So ALJ-Gordon Brown laid out the rules of this particular game. If he is found not to have been keeping to them, it is surely reasonable that we all know about it so that we can make our judgements.

    I am sure you would wish David Cameron to keep to the standards he has set out for himself.

  18. Toby Perkins,
    I find your comments far fetched and over optomistic to say the least. As a former hard core Labour voter and Blairite, I believe the biggest burden on the party is Gordon Brown. Like it or otherwise, he is associated with ineptness, incompetence, lacklustre and has the most horrendously washed out and tired appearence of any politician in recent history.

    Personally I will vote for Cameron, he has drive, determination and vision, I see comparable qualities with Tony Blair.

    I can state almost with certainty that the Conservaitves
    will win, not on a landslide aspired to by Cameron but on with a majority of between 10 and 50. This scare will allow Labour 4-5 years to re-organise and ditch the dead wood. For the record, had the H-H coup at the start of the year been a success, I believe the polls would now mirror those of 1992.

  19. I just Googled latest Comres poll and found the one in the Mirror – apologies if it was Jan 24th – I assumed that it was this week.
    Well Cameron’s slide continues, and he seems to be panicing with silly ideas. I am sure that there is talent in his Party that could help, but I wonder if he has aliented them so much that are refusing to assist.
    Nicholas Winterton did not help either
    I still think that his failure to present realistic polices to provide home care for the elderly is his greatest tactical error.

  20. “I can state almost with certainty that the Conservaitves
    will win,”

    As a matter of interest George-why?

  21. “all for a cheap Tory point ”

    Rob – Quite so, but I think you miss the motive behind this form of political attack (from The Tory party, that is, not those on sites like this)

    A reading of the rules of rhetoric (go on Colin, that will keep you quiet for a while!) as set down by the Greeks will show that anger is the enemy of electability. Winding your opponents up to anger will be the order of the day in live debate, and (unfortunately) the failure by all sides to appreciate what the Greeks meant will turn a potentially moving and civilised campaign into one barren of truth, merit and progress.

    In other words, they’d be better off telling us how well-meaning each other is, and we’d all be better off if they chose to do so.

  22. Colin

    Gordon Brown, that is why.

    Even today, more allegations surface regarding his apparent conduct. Brown’s legacy will hang over the party like myserable grey storm clouds.

    The polls at this time in 1992 had Labour 1-2 points behind the Conservatives and they won with a majority of 21. The lowest poll so far shows a Conservative lead of 6, only last week we had a ComRes lead of 11 and YouGov varying between 7 and 10. At absolute best it will be a hung parliment for Labour, I’m sticking to a small Conservative majority in the 10-50 region.

  23. Colin

    I had this feeling it would back-fire.

    Nick Robinson BBC latest
    First, some are asking why Christine Pratt risked compromising the confidentiality of her callers.

    Christine Pratt has strong links with the Conservative Party and has breached confidentiality by stating 3 staff contacted her.

    Too much more to type -but I knew it would come to no good.

    Anne Widdecombe is Patron and is alarmed at the breach.

    Colin it is character assasination.

    Lets see what happens.

  24. So we are due for another 5 years of Gordon on our tv screens.

  25. Regarding my above posting, should have read “Conservatives won” as opposed to “they won”.

  26. From BBC News website

    “Downing Street is pointing out that they were never contacted by the helpline despite the fact that the Civil Service has “a no tolerance policy on bullying. Ms Pratt’s motives are being questioned- Some have pointed out that the helpline website shows a supportive statement from David Cameron and that it lists Conservative MP Anne Widdecombe as a patron. ”

    Well what a surprise: ANOTHER misstep from the Conservatives.

  27. Rob Sheffield

    Another bad mistake for the Tories

  28. @Georger Gardiner

    “The polls at this time in 1992 had Labour 1-2 points behind the Conservatives and they won with a majority of 21. The lowest poll so far shows a Conservative lead of 6, only last week we had a ComRes lead of 11 and YouGov varying between 7 and 10. At absolute best it will be a hung parliament for Labour, I’m sticking to a small Conservative majority in the 10-50 region.”

    In 1997 at this stage (February) they showed Labour between 18 and 22 points ahead- they went on to win in May by 13 points.

    So- on your logic- that means the Tories lead is going to shrink from 7 – 10 points now by between 5 an 9 points at the time of the expected election.

    Making it a range betweem a Labour lead of 2 to a Tory lead of 5……….!!!

  29. Further point before somone gets the wrong end of the stick:

    I was applying the logic of this argument correctly. Namely that- aside from us geeks and politicos- the vast majority of voters who decided to vote are voting NOT for ‘Labour’ or ‘Conservative’ but for the current government or against the current government.

    They are “voting for a change” or they are “not voting for a change because I am scared of what that might mean”. The latter is- arguably- a stronger influence at a time of global economic chaos.

    Furthermore, polls that show oppositions leading in the midterm always close between then (i.e. the numbers of mid 2008- mid 2009) and the election itself. This is a political science and political historical fact- look at the numbers.

  30. James Ludlow

    @ John B. Dick – “If you still don’t understand that, ask your carer to explain.”

    One more try. I don’t need to be left right or centre to see it.

    The Labour party saw that they were too far to the Left to get elected and moved to the right. The electorate didn’t change, but Labour overshot the mark and needs to go back a teeny bit to be where they were aiming for in the first place.

    You need to be a fantacist on the looney right not to see that that fits the facts Amber quoted. You don’t need to like it, and if you think the electorate are wrong to be anywhere to the left of Thatcher, you are entitled to think that, but you are not entitled to dismiss me as a partisan leftie just because you are in denial of Amber’s evidence and interpretation and can’t think of any argument against what she says.

    Nor will you find one however hard you look for it is plain enough that she is right. It’s not any more palatable to a real Socialist than it is to you either, but I don’t suppose you realised that.

  31. Rob Sheffield

    Re Churchill:

    You are right it was after the war, but in his Liberal period in the 1920’s he was in favour of nationalisaton.

    He was around for so long and changed parties that as times changed he was for many things he was previously against, though he could have done more to keep up.

    I entirely agree with you about the fundamentalist zealots of both right and left.

    Whatever happened to the Primrose League? Is the Monday Club still in existence?

  32. john tt

    “anger is the enemy of electability”

    Scottish Labour doesn’t know that either.My SNP MSP used to work for IBM as do my daughter and son in law and they all know, as does anyone with the barest minimum of sales training that bad mouthing the competitor loses sales.

    However if you see parliament as an extension of Oxbridge and public school debating societies where there is no electorate to impress, and technique is more important than content then you can just enjoy the fun.

    Now and again when people are getting killed in a war they turn it down a bit momentarily.

  33. this is a significant poll I think

    up until now I haven’t been too interested because there appeared to be a ceiling for Labour of 32% and a floor for the Conservatives of 38%

    now that Labour have hit 33% if this can be maintained we are for the first time I believe starting to get into hung parliament territory. Of course it is just 1 poll and it is yet to be seen how damaging the revelations in the Observer (of all papers!) may prove to be. I see the Sun is sharpening the knife this morning for example, but it is all looking interesting nevertheless.

  34. John B Dick – the debate about content versus technique hasn’t changed much in 2300 years.

    While we have a system that rewards the prevailing argument rather than the truth, we’re stuck with people who don’t appreciate the damage they do (to the financial systems, judicial system and political system)
    by pursuing the killer argument irrespective of the truth.

    “Swearing an oath” is no longer quite the thing it was meant to be!

  35. @STEVE

    “Of course it is just 1 poll and it is yet to be seen how damaging the revelations in the Observer (of all papers!) may prove to be. I see the Sun is sharpening the knife this morning for example, but it is all looking interesting nevertheless.”

    They’ll be stabbing themselves in the chest soon- an update for you:

    “The Patron of National Bullying Helpline resigns over Mrs Pratt’s behaviour, damning speaking out as “wholly inappropriate”. BullyingUK is “horrified” by NBH’s “confidentiality breach”.

    The head of the National Bullying Helpline, which yesterday said it had received calls regarding bullying from staff at Number 10, prompting much speculation in this morning’s newspapers, has now gone on Radio 4’s Today Programme and said Gordon Brown is “absolutely not” accused of bullying or intimidation himself.

    The backtrack comes as Christine Pratt also admitted that she’d been in touch with the Tories over her initial claims, who gave her support for her actions yesterday. “

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