Finally confirmed – YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun is confirmed as showing topline figures of CON 39%(nc), LAB 33%(nc), LDEM 17%(nc). So no shift at all from the poll conducted on Friday – the figures reported last night elsewhere across the internet seem to have been based solely upon Twitter rumours – it does not, to say the least, seem to be a particularly sound source for polling info.

The poll was conducted between Sunday afternoon and Monday afternoon, so entirely after Andrew Rawnsley allegations about “Bully Brown” had hit the media. So has, it clearly hasn’t damaged Labour though it is perhaps too early to conclude that it won’t – the story was still all over the media last night. One thing that daily polling may help us to understand over time is exactly the timescale over which events events impact voting intention.

164 Responses to “Labour unscathed in new YouGov poll”

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  1. Anthony,

    I think you may have the wrong figure in the ‘Latest Voting Intention’ table for labour

  2. Missing a crucial ‘not’ there Anthony!
    Wonder if the Tories will take a lesson from this poll – they are in danger of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

  3. I found the Tories’ in PB almost hysterical – that is putting it mildly – to accept any crumbs on offer after the demolition job yesterday. The twitter rumour being fed from one of their own websites.

    This was a dress rehersal for the Quick Response Unit ! Passed with flying colours !! Looked like Pros vs Amateurs.

  4. Erm, the figures on the right show Con 39, Lab 36, LD 17…

  5. This makes much more sense to me. I really don’t believe the polls move significantly in response to day-to-day events.

    I would just say that whoever spread the 12% and 14% rumours on Twitter, it was unlikely to be anyone with the Tories’ interests at heart. Tories will have course seized on the rumours and spread them around once they were started. Didn’t Labour sack someone for setting up a cyber-dirty-tricks operation? ;)

  6. The number for Labour should be 33 not 36 in latest poll

  7. While this would tend to suggest Labour are in the clear, I would say we need to wait a few days longer – as Anthony implies, sometimes poll effects take time to sink in. Having said that, at present the collapse of some of the allegations and the difficulties that Christine Pratt is now in have really taken the steam out of this story, so perhaps there won’t be any backwash for Brown.

    One point I am watching for after Cameron’s ill advised venture into the affair will be if any hard evidence of Tory party involvement is found – this would be very serious for them. So far all we have seen is a number of individuals and some local council support – not a serious connection, but odd nonetheless that they all appear to be Tory rather than mixed parties. What I didn’t know until last night was the fact that the charity and the local Tory campaign office are next door neighbours. They may never talk to each other. But then again…

  8. It could be that “Bullygate” stopped the rot for the Tories.If that is so and they can get their act together from now on, it will have been a big plus.

  9. LDs down to 17 in 2 polls recently. Margin fluctuations or Labour squeeze?

  10. I think, before we get excited we should look at the latest YouGov poll taken after “Bully Gate”.

    Tories 41 Labour 29

  11. Lets be honest, the Lib-Dems are NOT going to poll anything less than 20% in the general election are they? Who will that 3% come from, thats the question that decides the election. That and can the Tories get the 2% of UKIP vote back that they lost over Lisbon.

  12. What poll Glen? This poll is a YouGov poll. Not heard anything else about another one.

  13. Glenn – where did that one come from?

  14. GLENN OTTO – where is this poll? Have you not been swept up in the false rumours?? The latest, and as far as I am aware, only poll after Bullygate is this one – which shows a 6 point gap…

  15. ChrisC – I think OTTO is actually on about the latest YouGov poll, but before it was re-worked.

  16. GLENN OTTO – Ring your sources at CCHQ and tell them not to give you duff info. You are looking foolish here !

  17. I think conservative home should be more careful at what they put on their website i dont understand why they did not wait for an official source. However it still baffles Me how labour are doing well without merit and the conservatives are doing so badly without doing anything that bad. Im sure the conservative problem as always is fighting against themselves. If you have a tory paper like the telegraph always having a go at cameron what good does it do them? I bet you never see the mirror saying how awful brown is.

  18. Does anyone else think that, once the fact that Labour are ‘closing’ in on the Tories in the polls sinks in with the public, this may drive more swing voters to end up siding with the Tories?

    There seems no real enthusiasm for Labour. I don’t believe they’re suddenly going to become popular again. I suspect many have made up their minds that they want them gone.

    If people begin to believe that they might ‘hang on’ as either outright winners or as part of a coalition then it might make them more likely to ‘bite the bullet’ and vote Tory after all.

    In a week or two I see the Conservative vote beginning to nudge up again slowly.

    I think about 60% of the populace would like to see Labour gone for sure. Only about a quarter will have ideological opposition to voting for them so that leaves about a 45% share in my mind.

    My guess for the election then; 45. 27. 20

  19. As I said yesterday i did’nt think the ‘Bully Brown’ story would have much effect (although this poll MAY a little early).
    At the moment thosewho dislike Brown will believe the story and those who don’t won’t. I think to see a fundamental shift in the polls an event would have to really shake the public and its core beliefs about an individual or party.

  20. @glen – last night the Tories (Eric Pickles, ConHome) were twittering that this poll showed 41/29 with the 12% lead. When the actual poll came out, which is what we are discussing here, they were forced to apologise. I think this is what Dave was refering to when he famously said ‘too many twitters make a twat’.

  21. I think, before we get excited we should look at the latest YouGov poll taken after “Bully Gate”.


    As others have said, THIS is the latest YouGov poll and it shows

    Con 39
    Lab 33

    How things may change over the next few days may, of course, be a different matter..

  22. It’s beginning to look as though the Tories have peaked too early. Their “fresh start” message is no longer having traction, and the media are bored with bashing Brown. Indeed, he’s turning into Teflon Tony.

    There are clearly a lot of people out there who have been desperate to find a reason to vote Labour and whose desertion of the party over the last few years was due to despair not conviction. Now they are returning to the fold, it is feasible that Labour will emerge the largest party.

    If the Tories can’t win an election against a Borwn-led Labour party, it’s hard to see them ever winning without a seismic shift in political allegiances.

  23. “and the media are bored with bashing Brown. Indeed, he’s turning into Teflon Tony.”

    New there is a sentence I never thought I’d see myself reading and believing.

    Gin is probably right, LDs are in a good position for the campaign, it was just a thought though.

  24. Leslie – Time for change will eventually get the Tories in if nothing else does. The next GE is hardly going to be a great one to win anyway, and IF Cameron manages to lose it, I can’t see the Tories imploding in confusion any more than the Labour Party did after 1992.

    Big IF still mind.

  25. Thanks to those who spotted it – the figure in the sidebar should now be correct.

  26. @jOHN tt – while it is far too early to talk of the Tories losing, as a thought experiment it is quite interesting. I don’t share your view that they could survive it, at least not in a recognisable form. There are already immense strains within the coalition, and if moderniser Dave fails to deliver there will be carnage. There is highly likely to be carnage if he wins, as he has promised so much to the competing wings of the party anyway – lose, and it would be so much worse.

  27. Hurrah for the good sense of the British voting public. Voters ought to take serious note of the Party – the Tories – whose supporters indulged in the most despicable smears against an innocent man yesterday. Hopefully the dawning of just how nasty most Tories remain might knock a couple more points from their Party’s poll share. They have proven themselves unfit for office.

  28. Gin poses 2 good questions.
    First re the LD’s I agree they will not poll below 20% but more pertinently will still (despite the generality due to expenses) ) have an incumbency advantage as the best non-Con or non-Labour plus most of their MPs seem to do a good job locally. As such I think they will hold on to most of their seats in England; Scotland may be trickier but we have ‘experts’ who may comment.
    As a result, as some of us have identified before, the Cons will need to go deeper in to Labour gains than UNS would suggest, wiping out some of their undoubted advantage in marginals in terms of reaching an out-right majority.
    Second point, I think that the Anti-Con vote seems to be coalescing earlier than the ant–Labour vote, probably helped by some Tory gaffes and general drift.
    Just as many ant-cons will hold their nose and vote labour most UKIP supporters will end up back with the Tories on GE day. (who knows about BNP supporters?).
    Just like ’92 a couple of narrow polls even some with Labour leads firmed up Tory votes so the narrowing may force UKIP supporters to make a choice sooner than GE day.
    Unlike ’97, 01 and 05 when protest could be made costs free any one living in a Labour/Con marginal really needs to focus on who they want to run the country.

    I have had the view for some time that this GE is more like ’79 than ’92 as Brown is less popular than Major was and I thought Cameron better than Kinnock in Electoral terms and less saddled by his political past.
    The only way for the Cons not to win is to make a mess of things.
    I still think they will come though with a narrow majority but Dave and George are doing their best to make it tight and some of the recent narrowing has been 2-4% looking at the cons in more detail and thinking – no thanks.

  29. There certainly is fluctuation in the Lib Dem vote but it looks to me to within the margin of error of various pollsters. ICM and Angus Reid clear show a higher average for the LDs than YouGov and MORI and within that I dont see much movement. Even the Consare only marginally lower and their average is in bottom end of the 38-42 bracket rather than the top. The real sustained difference is the recovery of Labour. It seems real and to be coming from everywhere. Any poll expected on how nationalist votes are holding up in Scotland and Wales?

  30. Could it be that the 41-29 figures were the unweighted ones which were then revised to 39-33?

  31. The lack of polling reaction to the Brown Bully story in the polls just confirms that the concerns of the media & the chattering classes are different from those of your average Joe Bloggs, In fact I would say that the Tories in particular don’t seem to know what would swing it for them, now that the “what a nice guy Dave is” push has run out of steam.

  32. Yes too early to say whether the Pratt Rawnsley has had any impact but it may be the Conservatives are beginning to suffer the googly effect-where the spin goes in an opposite direction to that which was expected.

  33. There is clear uncertainty about the LibDem vote – this poll (unlike ICM) seems to be giving 3% of it to labour.

    ‘smears against an innocent man’? Every lobby journalist knows the stories are true – as Finkelstein said on Newsnight, they have confirmed them with their own sources. If you along with labour think that shooting the messenger is the same as disproving the stories then that is your fantasy.

    BTW someone said – ‘One point I am watching for after Cameron’s ill advised venture into the affair …’ I think you will find Clegg called for an enquiry as well.

    Some are wondering why the poll is not better for the tories and poorer for Labour.
    The figures are an improvement for the Tories following the expenses scandal, and a better improvement for labour.
    The reason why its a better figure for labour is that they are in power and are insulating the country from the fruits of their incompetence. We are in the middle of a pre-election boom – the govt are spending scores of billions they (we) do not have and promising more. Labour are succeeding in their purpose – propping up their vote.

    Meantime – The expenses scandal has undermined the political structure, people who might be saying they will vote conservative, if only in protest are unsure about how to vote at all. I do not think we should underestimate how it has affected the political landscape – tarring everybody with the same brush.

    Given the way polls seem to weight on (amongst many things) certainty to vote then we must ask if this uncertainty is skewing the polls. We are told the figures are ‘more tory’ in the marginals. Might this be that in the marginal voters know their vote counts and they are thinking with more determination?

  34. I would like to know if you think the new item in the Falklands saga could boost the Conservative vote.

    Another question: do you think there is any strong evidence that some elements within Labour are “sabotaging” this election in order to become leader/part of the new leadership?

    Thank you for your insight and precious commentary!

  35. @Trevorsden – “BTW someone said – ‘One point I am watching for after Cameron’s ill advised venture into the affair …’ I think you will find Clegg called for an enquiry as well.” I think I said this, and the reason why I didn’t flag up Clegg was because as yet there is no hint of any LibDem connection to the story. The danger for Cameron will be if any evidence comes forward to back up Mandleson’s claim of a politcially inspired plot. There are certainly lots of links between Pratt and various Tories, but I was surprised to find out that her charity HQ is next door to the local Tory party campaign HQ. One shred of evidence that Tory HQ is connected to this and cameron will really struggle for deniability now – that is his potential danger, and a potential game changer at that. A number of journalists are already commenting that this looks like the kind of thing Coulson would do, but no one has the evidence.

  36. The public see GB being Prime Ministerial and getting on with things. It could be that for a time he has risen above the tittle tattle. The cabinet has come out strongly to support him.
    DC is wobbling and is still playing the man and not the ball. Public may be fed up with all that. It has been a DC theme for months. Coming down so strong on bullygate did seem so optunistic.
    George Os welcomed the 20 econ but was shot down by 60 econ. Where is the policy.
    DC on JR last night said we must get the econ in order we need a change of gov. He did not say how. no policy
    DC and george Os have to lose the novice and just a PR man jibes.
    If the labour rise is firm by weekend a lot of opinion has shifted. It could take some time for the mood to swing back if it ever does. One thing is sure labour will be very careful from now on not to rock the boat again.

  37. Still in a phoney war.

    He has to fire the starting pistol at some point.

    He will delay & delay so they can head off Con policies whilst in power & pre-manifesto-like yesterday’s scrapping of the Prison Release Scheme ( without enough prisons) & today’s Pick your own school provider ( from Ed Ball’s list of 20). This is all part of the plan.Cameron is right to hold his fire-it’s High Noon.

    But when it is fired it’s a proper election campaign-manifestos-debates , interviews, the lot.

    That will be different.

    Cons can pick up in that scrap-provided they:-
    a) Fight like the bruisers they’re up against & stop being too polite.
    b) Tell people why they should vote Conservative
    c) Ask UKIPER’s if they want a warm feeling-or shot of Labour.
    d) Stop the cock-ups

    Meanwhile-they’re in the lead-just.

  38. BTW – this poll also asked a question about whether brown was a ‘bully’ or a strong leader (or something to that effect). ‘Bully’ got 24% to 28% for the alternative. A suggestion that even when prompted, the furore has had little traction?

  39. @BENM
    The “British Voting Public” have yet to speak Mr M. A tracker poll has been published is all.

    That is probably about the strength of it Raj.

  40. It seems inconcievable that bulygate will not damage the government – we need to see some more polls.

    However for now WMA is 39:31:18 and all the time periods (except, interestingly, “one month raw”) show convincing downtrends in the CLead. The most robust measure – over the time to the election, has an R2 of .71 and if this trend continues the CLead at the election will be 5 points.

    I still expect to see a 10-15 point lead, but there is no sign of the trend reversing yet.

  41. On another topic bloggers on a Daily Mail site were less than impressed by Osborne’s offer of shares in the banks. People want to know from Osborne exactly how he is going to cut the deficit.
    Regarding Brown using Mandleson to defend him is probably more damaging than the stories themselves.

  42. Ben M

    I thanked you for your sterling work at PB yesterday. I don’t think it will be published as all my posts “await moderation” over there.

    Considering the place is full of loons – and many of the posts libellous – I find my predicament slightly baffling.

    The sea change that has taken place in public perception since Sunday afternoon when that twinset and pearls appeared from “nowhere” is difficult to comprehend. The Tory machine, if they have any, must be considered inept at the moment. Of course, they will also learn from yesterday’s shambolic display. They should have checked out the lady first.

  43. Don’t-tell-em-Pike
    “At the moment thosewho dislike Brown will believe the story and those who don’t won’t.”

    100% agree with this. Talking to various friends and colleagues over the last couple of days, the only people who are really up in arms about the alleged bullying are people who were going to vote Tory anyway. All the Labour tribalists are unsurprisigly dismissing the entire thing and most of the people in the middle are just shrugging their shoulders.

    On a wider basis, I agree with some other comments here that there have been so many personal attacks on Brown that further attacks have no real impact.

    Still think Conservatives will get an overall majority though.

  44. ‘JOHN T T
    Leslie – Time for change will eventually get the Tories in if nothing else does.’

    I agree that time for a change will work against Labour; but it will not axiomatically go to the Tories. At the moment there is a distinct lack of what Tories now ‘are’. For example I saw one of the Tory posters the other day and it said something like ‘I’ve always voted Labour but I really like the Troy policy on families’. Other than saying – and backtracking – over helping married couples what is the policy? You get the idea; ‘time for a change’ will hurt Labour but as yet there is no real support for the Tories.

    It’s the ‘vision thing’; we don’t need more policies as we are all suffering from policy overload in our jobs. Here the ‘New Labour’ mid 1990s was an excellent example (although the reality of New Labour is obviously different). The term implied a new vision so as the Tories suffered from ‘time for a change’ there was reason to go with Labour.

    At the moment we have people being tired with Labour but there being no real reason to go to the Tories. In fact the Liberals have better ‘vision thing’; they have a name which implies a ‘vision brand’. (By contrast, of course, how many people see being conservative as an exciting brand?)

  45. Alec – are the bullying stories invented?
    The Times has this report …

    ” Most civil servants working at the heart of Gordon Brown’s Government are afraid to challenge the way Downing Street is run, it emerged last night.
    Despite claims of a “zero-tolerance” attitude to bullying, an internal survey of Cabinet Office staff seen by The Times shows that a third want to leave, and 6 per cent want to quit “as soon as possible”. Less than half of staff said that they felt it was safe to speak up. ”

    The Guardian published a source confirming this as well.

    The stories are true – it is not a Tory invention. So why centre on Cameron and not Clegg? The point of course is that both were right to call for an enquiry.

    In respect of polls I see the Election Commission have complained about labours handling of postal votes…

    ‘The commission said an unusually high number of last minute postal vote applications were made in Glasgow North East, with 1,800 forms submitted less than three days before the registration deadline – more than a quarter of the total number received.
    The SNP lsaid they believed Labour had deliberately held back up to 1,100 postal vote applications to make it far harder for its opponents to identify and then lobby Labour supporters.”

  46. First the “he insults our dead soldiers with bad handwriting” smear backfired, now this “everyone knows he’s a bully but we can’t find anyone to say they’ve been bullied” one seems to have fallen flat. It seems to me there’s a simple reason these tactics keep falling apart.

    The “forces of conservatism” – meaning hte cheerleaders of that particular party and a large section of the news media who are inclined toward a change of government – are trying to influence opinions in a way that belongs to the pre-internet age.

    Every time a lie is told or insinuation made, or a some fishy detail goes uncommented on by those spreading a story, the public can go investigate themselves and find out the incovenient facts and alternate interpretations within seconds at the click of a switch and have it all around their offices and neighbourhoods before the late edition hits the streets.

    It was members of the public online who drew attention to the multiple links between this Pratt woman and the conservative party by looking her up where tv journalists didn’t bother. Bloggers and twitter users who noticed the uncommented on fact that there is no deputy prime ministers office from which she claimed to recieve complaints etc etc. The TV men, and more reluctantly the press, have to play catch up and by the addition of these new details, which in previous times they’d have not bothered our pretty heads with, the story, and the smear start to fall apart.

    A large enough section of hte public meantime grow more and more cynical of any negative story about GB because all previous ones are so unreliable or downright malicious. The ability to fool or direct a sufficiently large percentage of the general public is considerably harder than it once was.

    But they keep on blindly trying. Next Campaign – the Chilcott enquiry. Here are the prepared scripts for all eventualities:

    Brown indicates he supported Blair in going to war = he’s just as guilty as Blair in sacrificing our young men in an illegal war.

    Brown indicates he opposed the war = he’s a self serving coward, leaving questions as to why he didn’t resign as chancellor and speak out.

    Brown indicates he didn’t oppose the war, didn’t support it, but was just uncomfortable and had some doubts, but not enough to resign over = he sticks the knife into his former friend Tony, distancing himself and implying criticism. Judas.

    Place this handy cut out and keep guide next to your tv set next week. Perhaps you could even have a sweepstake.

    My posts on this site face moderation on a virtual daily basis. That, however, is this site. What on earth do you say on PB to get moderated to the extent you suggest?
    Forgive me, thats a stupid question, if its unprintable there, it certainly ain’t gonna show up on here.

  48. @JACK
    “I really like the Troy policies on families”
    Thats why Labours doing better Jack, people dont want to live in a wooden horse under the Conservatives.

  49. Trevorsden – From the FT to-day :

    A survey last year found 7 per cent of staff in the Cabinet Office had been bullied, lower than the 10 per cent Whitehall average.

    it’s horrifying, but not paticularly relative to other Whitehall depts.

    In other words, bullies abound, but Brown’s dept (the Cabinet Office) contains less bullying than elsewhere in Whitehall.

    No doubt your figures re wanting to leave ar ean accurate reflection of the Cabinet Office staff, but I reckon it’s much worse in other Depts.

  50. Barbary Ape

    “Does anyone else think that, once the fact that Labour are ‘closing’ in on the Tories in the polls sinks in with the public, this may drive more swing voters to end up siding with the Tories?”

    Ther is no reason except partisan wishful thinking why anyone might think that and if there is a swing to the Tories it will be for some other reason.

    It is far more likely that former Labour voters who would have been too disheartened to vote would see it was close enough for their vote to matter and might just make a difference, increasing the turnout and the Labour vote.

    There is some logic to that, there is none in your scenario.

    The Con vote is at 40. On a bad day they slide all the way down to 39 and on a good day they breathlesssly struggle up to the giddy heights of 41.

    The narrowing of the gap is LibDem and Others being squeezed. It’s nothing to do with anything Lab or Con have done or said.

    We know that after the campaign and consideration of local tactical issues the LibDem share will increase but we don’t know how that will affect the Lab/Con balance, if at all. It may be that the LibDems are being squeezed where they don’t stand a chance and in their Celtic heartlands incumbents are safe or even likely to improve their position.

    There is no enthusiasm for Conserative policies. People aren’t impressed with Labour or their leader either but in a forced choice they would prefer a chastened and perhaps hung Labour government to a cocky, brash and trumphant Con government who are deluded into thinking that the election result has shown that there is support for doctrinaire policies and that the public are now all believers in their credo.

    One thing is certain. The Conservatives cannot win this election. The question is to what extent Labour have lost it.

    A Scottish poll found 75% thought Labour were “tired and failing” and that must include many former Labour supporters, but despite that 19% preferred a “tired and failing” government to a Conservative. That’s as many as support the Conservatives.

    Youcan’t blame the leader. He’s more popular than the party.

    So nearly a fifth of Scottish voters think Labour is rubbish and the Conservatives are worse.

    There’s the killer slogan for Labour: “We know we are crap but the other lot are even worse, vote for us!.”

    In Scotland we are spoilt for choice. No only do we have a fourth party, but there are many constituencies held or winnable by the LibDems. Were it not that Labour are losing votes, the constiuency I live in would be a four party marginal with Labour in third place in its target seat 65.

    If there is a change at all, the fourth placed SNP will be the winner. If there is no change, he will merely reduce the LibDem majority and change places with Labour.

    There is no need for dissatissfied LibDem voters to vote for the second placed Conservative or the “tired and failing” Labour Party. They havn’t been afraid to vote for a third party in the past, so they are not voting for a mandated representative in a quasi-presedential election, but for a Constituency MP though since most constituency issues are devolved, it would be understandable if they did.

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