The Evening Standard has London voting intention figures based on the aggregated data from the YouGov daily polling over the last week or so (I should add that the raw data is aggregated as if it were all one poll, and then collectively weighted to London targets – so it is the equivalent of doing a London poll, just with the sample invited in lots of little chunks rather than one big go).

The topline figures are CON 39%, LAB 35%, LDEM 17%. I’m not sure what figures Joe Murphy is thinking of when he says the lead has halved in six months – at first glance I can’t find any London polling from last summer/autumn – but a YouGov poll in April 2009 showed a Conservative lead of 12 points, so it has dropped by 8 points since then. YouGov national polls were showing a Conservative lead of 18 points at the time, so if anything thing have narrowed slightly less in London than elsewhere.

The four point lead represents a swing of 5.5%, so slightly more than the swing suggested by YouGov’s national polls. On a uniform swing the Conservatives would gain 8 seats from Labour and 3 seats from the Lib Dems (depending on the notional figures you use – on Rallings and Thrasher Poplar and Limehouse would also go).

84 Responses to “YouGov voting intention for London”

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  1. First!

  2. Interesting.

    Anthony, am I right in saying that when the lastest YouGov Daily Poll is added to the WMA Labour is at 32% as opposed to 31%. If so, can we extrapulate anything with regard the situation in London?

  3. […]

    Back to the poll; so how many (London) seats would this transfer to, for each of the main parties – were it to be reproduced at the GE?

  4. @Roland.

    It’s more to do with style rather than message. (you do have a way with words) ;-)

    On the polls; I think the Lib Dems would keep their three seats and it would be good to extrapolate the number of seats gained by the conservatives on each % swing from 1%to 5.5% I would expect the swing to reduce as the election revs into full gear.

  5. I think the London Conservative lead of just 4 points adds weight to the other side of the ‘fulcrum’. The average UK lead appears to be in the 7 point area but, marginals in the 12 point lead vicinity.

    Large polling areas like London add a fairly sound set of figures to an overall balance of small, medium and large leads.

  6. The results are certainly looking better for the Lib Dems. When you add in the the incumbancy factor and the extra publicity of the debates I think it will leave only Susan Krammer in real danger and that will depend on how the voters of Richmond Park react to the Goldsmith millions. Could go either way.

    For Labour it offers hope but still a lot of danger – Too many seats will remain vulnerable at this figure.

    For the Conservatives this represents another reason to be nervous. Boris should be delivering a much better than average rating in London. If things stay the same DC had better have damn good debate advisors. He is going to need to give GB a knock out blow.

  7. Sorry guys, I don’t understand how a 4 point lead can be good news for the Tories? Is it because It’s lower than the rest of the countryh normally, so 4% is the equivalent to say 6 or 7 elsewhere? Don’t get it.

  8. Also as it’s made up of so many marginals, shouldn’t the swing be higher?

  9. Perhaps the increased polling data for marginals has a degree of inbuilt flexibility:
    “Oh, we didn’t mean those marginals, we meant these ones.”

  10. How many more seats would the Conservatives win in London if their lead over Labour was 12 points instead of four?

    I have recently posted on a number of LibDem seats about that party’s apparently heavily targeted use of resources. I don’t think that the LibDems target as heavily in London; but all the same it would be unwise to assume that the Tory/LibDem swing will be the same in currently LibDem seats as in London generally. Particularly as the seats concerned are all contiguous to each other in South West London.

    Even more, a regional poll is little guide as to what will happen in the Labour/LibDem marginals: Hampstead and Kilburn and Islington South and Finsbury.

    My recollection is that London is usually more volatile in terms of political swings than England generally, so if the Conservatives are only doing the same in London as they are nationally perhaps they ought to be disappointed.

  11. I work in central London but live in the Home counties and I think this is actually very representative of what’s going on in the capital. I would agree I don’t think its great for the Conservatives.

    All I ever hear on the train on the way in, is people want change etc. etc. But when in London its a lot more even. There is strong Conservative supporting borough’s in some areas (West generally) but in the inner London borough’s its a lot more “up in the air” as it were. I find as I know people who live in the capital they seem to be waiting, also I don’t think the recession has driven as hard in London which I think helps Labour. Their minds are not made up, unlike mine!

    I would actually of thought the Conservatives would have done better than this, although I do think the Liberals will lose those seats.

    In terms of Boris, the one thing that does wind Conservative supporters up in West London is the fact that the Western extension of the Congestion zone has not been removed.

  12. I still don’t know what to expect in London.
    On the one hand, it has a number of issues which help Labour – more international/ethnic, more dependence on services like public transport, but on the other a more aggressive attitude perhaps to business, and a track record of large swings when government’s change (certainly in 1997 and 1979).

    Some good posts here to read properly later.

  13. 1979 swing 6.4% to Con (5.3% national)
    1997 swing 13.2% to Lab (10.2% national).

  14. @ Sue Marsh ‘Sorry guys, I don’t understand how a 4 point lead can be good news for the Tories? Is it because It’s lower than the rest of the countryh normally, so 4% is the equivalent to say 6 or 7 elsewhere? Don’t get it.’

    The swing is compared with the 2005 GE, when the Tories got 32% in London and Labour 39%, so there’s a relative change of 11% between them since 2005 (Labour down 4, Tories up 7), so swing is 11/2 = 5.5 %. Apologies for not having picked up your query on previous thread, but thanks for directing me to this one.


    “the Western extension of the Congestion zone has not been removed.”

    Is this a devolved issue in London? If so, do people in London understand the difference between UK and devolved matters?

  16. Mike Smithson and the usual suspects on PB seem to think this not at all bad for the Cons. However no one is over the moon about it either. To compare with last April is obviously to see a big Tory slide. However GB has stopped falling over in public for some time now and a lead of 46 to 33 in London is not really feasible.

  17. @Joe James B

    Those figures suggest that there tends to be more of an anti-government element in London than in Britain as a whole.

  18. What’s likely to happen to the Respect MP as Galloway is standing down?

  19. @Oldnat

    I have no doubt people are quite clear whose responsibility the congestion zone is, as Boris had made a very public commitment to remove it, during the mayoral election period.

    But we see every year in local council elections, how the voters try to give the national government a kicking even though the poor councillors may well be doing a good job. I always use this as a counter-point to the Tip O’Neill adage that ‘All politics is local’,

  20. @ OLDNAT

    Well I understand but then I keep a good eye on politics and I am a bit of a geek when its comes to these matters – much to the disgust of my friends!!

    In terms of London, its interesting it is a devolved issue, but when I talk to colleagues, friends some don’t really understand what the Mayor has influence over and what central government influences.
    A lot are not bothered, some say I will vote Labour as I feel comfortable as I am, others do not like Labour and what they have done and would like a change. The odd thing is as I work in retail I meet a variety of different people from different backgrounds, everyone and that’s from management to team members have completely different views.

    The reason I say this is odd is if you come to where I live and ask the same questions it is quite clear GB and Labour are not wanted for another five years.

    This is not scientific but I would like to think I meet a lot of different people, from the train, to the underground to the retail stores and unlike the home counties London seems very different, which I have to say surprised me.

  21. Mr Haines. Please quote me properly.

    I wrote in my header “So not a bad poll for Cameron’s party but not a good one either.”.

    That is somewhat at odds with your comment

  22. @Derek Pierson

    In Bethnal Green and Bow, Labour have a strong local candidate in Rushanara Ali (if elected, she’d be the first Bangladeshi woman in parliament).

    Respect have not got Gorgeous George’s star power, plus a lot of the anger (but certainly not all) from the Iraq war has faded. Remember, Respect only won by a few hundred votes, so Labour is quietly confident of winning back the seat. Although of course, this may be cancelled out by losing Poplar next door.

  23. Anthony – will YouGov be doing this (weighted regional aggregates) for other regions?



    My suspicion was that a devolved administration without legislative powers would be seen as part of Local, not National, Government.

    Would you agree?

  25. @ OLDNAT

    Yes I think that’s a fair point. I think (only speaking from my opinion) no one has really set out clearly who run’s what, so I think the average person just assumes rather than taking the time to find out. A good example is roads and highways for example.

    One thing I think will change this election and I think will make the result harder to predict will be the leader debates. I am not entirely convinced this will be great for DC. Its just a feeling, not sure why.
    Another thing that has come up is the fact that Londoner’s think there should be a leaders debate in London because of London’s impact to the economy and its population.

  26. As this poll covers the London marginals, as well as the safe seats, the 5.5% swing (represented by CON 39%, LAB 35%, LDEM 17%) would probably be exceeded in at least some of the marginals that have been heavily targeted by the Tories for the past 3-4 years.

    So, even if they wouldn’t get all 3 LD gains, presumably they would pick up more than the eight Labour seats predicted by a UNS. I’d be interested to know anything about these local battlefields from those living/working in them.


    I think you pose a very interesting thought. I think Dagenham may fall to the Conservatives. I also think Hampstead and Kilburn may fall, but that is a bit of a complex seat from what i gather.

    Just my thoughts…

  28. Conservatives to get in with small majority, circa 6 seats.
    Brown will struggle badly on the live debates, despite hours of practice with Mandelson.

  29. I agree that Boris will be associated with the CONS more then Ken was with LAB.

    Every promise Boris reneges on, will cost the CONS.

    Roll on 10pm & we’ll see what today’s YG says about the UK as a whole.

    I dont think my quote is very far from yours, but in any case I was including general feeling from PB posters not you alone. I am very sorry if the slight difference in words is so important.

  31. @Danbuck

    Hampstead & Kilburn is not very complex at all. The Lib Dems have 21 out of 30 Councillors in the new constituency, while the Conservatives have eight and Labour one. There have also been three council byelections since May 2006, all won by the Lib Dems.


    “Another thing that has come up is the fact that Londoner’s think there should be a leaders debate in London because of London’s impact to the economy and its population.”

    Sorry, you can’t have that. Londoners are just part of the fringe in the UK, and Londoners don’t stand throughout the UK.

    You didn’t read the rules!

  33. @ OLDNAT

    I was born in London, but don’t live there anymore so it makes no difference to me, its just the opinions of others on that. I certainly have not read the rules yet, your right!

    @ ROBERT C

    Very interesting, so do you think that will be a Liberal gain?

  34. Amber

    Have you made a prediction for tonight?

    Mine’s Con 37 Lab 33 LD 19

  35. @Danbuck

    Thanks for your thoughts – interesting!

    I would have thought that Jon Cruddas’s strong name recognition and favourable profile would protect him against an 8.3% swing in Dagenham, but I don’t know the area, nor have any feel for how the BNP may do at Labour’s expense.

    Hampstead and Kilburn looks rather like Watford – in principle a Labour-held, Lab/LD marginal, but actually very nice potential for the well-positioned Tory in 3rd place: with the other two are slugging it out, the question of anti-Tory tactical voting wouldn’t arise.


    Its only because I know people who live in the area, so as I say its hardly scientific, but then sometimes I think there is so much put on national polls and not enough focus on regional differences.

    Most of the BNP wards I am lead to believe are in the neighbouring constituency, so there is a chance for the Conservatives. I think however in Hampstead maybe ROBERT C is correct and it will go Liberal.

    Certainly where I live now (Home counties), a lot of whom commute into London they have clearly decided anything except Labour, but oddly this area has had a Labour council for the last twenty years, bucking the trend locally.

  37. @Robert C

    Thanks for that clarification on Hampstead and Kilburn. It looks as if it would have to be an awful night for the LDs and/or brilliant for Labour for the LDs not to gain it.

  38. Amber can’t wait for 10 pm.

    Don’t say that, I know some colleagues (on councils I served on) who got very het up about developments but by the time they were resolved they were no longer with us.

    Is there really such a homogeneous nature to ‘London’ that this aggregation could be significant – I mean is there a reliable geographical spread in the survey taken? The electoral map itself looks disparate in its demographics.


    Andy Cooke had an interesting analysis over on PB about UNS – the last time it worked was 1987 apparently.

    Political analysis in GB seems to me to be pretty sloppy normally. The commentators live in a Westminster bubble, and it’s easier for them to assume that what matters there is just as important in Plymouth or Newcastle – not to mention the devolved nations.

    Of course the dragons living to the North and West may discourage them from finding out.

  40. I do not see how – ”Mike Smithson and the usual suspects on PB seem to think this not at all bad for the Cons. However no one is over the moon about it either.’

    differs from

    ‘not a bad poll for Cameron’s party but not a good one either’

    But then I am sure Roland is not thin skinned enough to take offence.

    Brown has now finally missed the boat on March 25. Seems according to the Indy he wants till May 6 to prepare for the debates. Well no one can say I did not warn him.

  41. @ OLDNAT

    Well I am no expert, and I just follow it because I am interested and it effects the business I am in ultimately.

    Thanks I will have a look at that on PB.

    I do think that the commentators are as bad as the politicians (what ever colour) sometimes. But I do think your spot on.

  42. London does have enough marginals that if the ‘out performing in the marginals’ line were true, then I would have expected a much greater differential against UNS.

    Perhaps it is now ‘Outperforming in key marginals’?

  43. When I asked my Q earlier, even I know that YouGov tries to even out the possible bias from demographics to which I referred, but since that was not the object in the local sense in the polls that were conducted for national purpose, I just wondered if that aspect had been taken into account when extracting the ‘votes of the London jury’ subset?

  44. Jay Blanc,

    London has safe seats as well as marginals

  45. So am I right in saying there has been a big swing back to Labour in London,in the last six months, some of which are the so called marginals that people are saying are swinging away from Labour significantly and not falling back.

    This will be one complex election.

  46. Cap’n Scooby, I think if that is Labour’s view on Bethnal Green and Bow then they are being complacent. Rushanara Ali is not as well known in the seat as Respect’s candidate, plus there is widespread anger not just at British foreign policy but also Labour’s domestic agenda and record. When people no there’s a viable non establishment party standing they are more likely to lend their support.

    I predict an Respect hold (albeit by a small margin).


    “London does have enough marginals that if the ‘out performing in the marginals’ line were true, then I would have expected a much greater differential against UNS.

    Perhaps it is now ‘Outperforming in key marginals’?”

    If at all…..

    We only have the one AR ‘marginals poll’ to go on.

    The field work for their last national poll was on the same day as a YG poll: AR showed a 7.5% swing whereas YG showed a 4.5% swing.

    Expect a similar differential in any marginal polling.

  48. The difference between polling companies is irrelevant. Its the differential between national and marginal polling by an individual company that matters.

  49. We need a reliable poll in the marginals. I think they will show a decresed swing to the Tories. People are starting to see through Cameron, and are listerning to the economists and the IMF who say that Cameron’s plans for the economy are wrong and that Brown is right.

  50. Whens tonights poll result due out?

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