Today’s YouGov poll has topline figures of CON 36%(-2), LAB 32%(+1), LDEM 20%(+1). The Tory lead is back down to four points (in fact the figures are the same as YouGov were showing on Wednesday and Thursday last week) and it looks very likely that the 7 point lead YouGov recorded over the weekend was just a result of sample error. Clearly there is no sign of the current lobbying row having damaged Labour yet.

This poll actually makes rather more sense to me than the YouGov and ICM polls that were showing the same figures over the weekend. For the last month or so ICM have tended to show Conservative leads a couple of points higher than YouGov’s, so while nothing to write home about (after all, all polls are subject to margin of error) it was rather unusual to find ICM showing a 6 point when YouGov were on 7. With ICM on six points, I’d expect to find YouGov on four.

While it’s normally impossible to precisely identify the reasons for differences between polls (there are so many different variables: the mode, the sampling, the wording, the weighting, etc) one obvious explanation is likelihood to vote – ICM weight people by how likely they are to vote, YouGov do not.

273 Responses to “YouGov’s lead goes back to 4”

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  1. Note: the above figures are only for tax payers. The true figure is, undoubtedly, much higher.

  2. Let us not forget that even if this often threatened and seldom carried out ‘Exodus’ of ‘The Best People’ *did* happen, it wouldn’t be all bad.

    Yes, there would be less income tax to collect, and less VAT and stamp duty to collect (although not of a decrease as some people would have you believe).

    But you would also see the beginnings of a reversion in the upward skew in prices for goods, services and property that have so damaged the lives of the less well off in this country for the last 30 years or so. In London especially so.

    It woudn’t be all bad. And I’d sooner see the back of these folk than put up with their incessant whining.

  3. Moses Humberstone,

    Well, since the wealthiest 5% contribute nearly 50% towards the UK government’s total spending – I’m baffled that you could say that it would be a good thing if the rich left the UK!!!

    Everyone – and I mean everyone – would be severely crippled financially, even, as I said before, if a fraction of the rich left. Even left-wing economists concede on this point. Taxes would have to be raised substantially (for everyone), and benefits would have to be severely cut. Not sure how even the real left-wingers can say that it would be a good thing.

  4. Also, I wonder how many of the true socialists would give all their millions away if they were rich? How many do the national lottery?

    Because if you answer yes to any of the above (and are a true socialist i.e. detest the rich) that would make you a hypocrite.

  5. @ Matt,

    Political ideology is a bit more nuanced than that…

    I’ll try and find you a link someone posted a while back.. you answer about thirty qustions and they give you back your position on the spectrum…

    so on social issues I go down as quite conservative , on foregin policy quite liberal and on economic quite liberal

  6. True, but my main point was that people who detest the rich, but do the national lottery/wouldn’t give their wealth away, if they accumulated any, are merely hypocrites.

    Let’s be honest, we would all want to be rich given the chance. And very few who claim otherwise, would redistribute their wealth to the UK government/others. That’s the reality.

  7. “@ Matt,

    Political ideology is a bit more nuanced than that…

    I’ll try and find you a link someone posted a while back.. you answer about thirty qustions and they give you back your position on the spectrum…

    so on social issues I go down as quite conservative , on foregin policy quite liberal and on economic quite liberal”

    True. According to an online political compass, I am neither left or right wing. I have a mixture of political views, depending on whether it’s about economics, social policy etc. Overall though, I’d definitely say I’m a centrist.

  8. WRT rich people emigrating, I imagine it would be more likely to be the well-qualified young who went, if opportunities were to gradually become less attractive here. That could be down to having tax rates that were out of line with other countries, and/or economic growth slowing down sharply.I doubt if it would be a sudden surge of people leaving, but more of a continuous drift.

    Over the long term, that would be demographically damaging, and harmful to the economy, but undoubtedly, there would be people who’d be happy to see them go.

  9. @ HOWARD. I’ll say ‘Welcome’ to you mate! So ‘WELCOME’!! I think maybe the reason these fairly minor hiccups Labour are experiencing aren’t seeing them dip in the polls may be because it’s just voters that were normally Labour but who ‘deserted’ in the last European elections ( Where I think they polled about 24%!) coming back to the fold? And these voters aren’t dissuaded from voting Labour by these relatively trivial issues recently? Just a thought.

  10. “Over the long term, that would be demographically damaging, and harmful to the economy, but undoubtedly, there would be people who’d be happy to see them go.”

    Until they realise the harm it was doing to the UK, that is!

    I mean, who would want to be an entrepreneur i.e. invest most/all of one’s personal wealth, if the potential returns are meagre and the risks high? Where would new businesses/companies therefore spring from? You have to make it attractive for people to invest their own time and money in business/the country, otherwise they’d think what’s the point of investing all my money/time when the potential returns are not that high! There wouldn’t be any point in getting a well-paid job/studying if socialism/the inequality argument is taken too far!!

  11. @Matt,

    There are relatively few havens for the rich who dont wish to have their money snatched up for social services and such things. With the US passing its health bill even they are heading that way.

    Where would you have them go- I’m sure we could put on transport if necessary (tongue in cheek I hope you know)?

  12. Of course, as I said earlier, some degree of socialism is needed in any civilised nation i.e. I believe strongly in an NHS, everyone being housed etc. However, if you take it too far (i.e. towards communism), it saps all the creativity and motivation from people. Whether you like it or not, with all of capitalism’s imperfections – it is the only way to motivate people to work and better themselves. No other system known to mankind would.

  13. “There are relatively few havens for the rich who dont wish to have their money snatched up for social services and such things. With the US passing its health bill even they are heading that way. ”

    But it’s widely documented that the US has much lower rates of tax than the UK. In fact, with all taxes taken into account, the rich in the UK are taxed some of the highest of any country in the world. Ironically, I’d be a strong Democrat if I lived in the US because I believe the US needs a stronger dose of socialism (i.e. have you seen their taxation rates/health service even after the reform, public services etc.) I think really low taxation is never a good thing.

    Ironically, I’m from a very working-class background. My father earned less than £20,000 a year, but I have never considered myself poor. We just went without. However, I must admit that, I just don’t understand this hatred of rich people. I always think (except for the greedy bankers) ‘good for them, they did well’. I just think that most people are jealous. Ironically, my Chinese friend asked me the other day why ‘ the British people are jealous of the rich?! He couldn’t understand it.

  14. With these poll figures (36-32-20) the calculator on this stite still gives labour a 25 seat lead.. Lets say this is cut to 10-15 due to Ashcroft money effecting marginals.. but we still have the party 4 pts behind as the largest party

    And still the conservatives are against any electoral reform?

  15. Yeah, if you base it on the YouGov poll only and assume a universal swing. However, this would be neglecting other polls/factors.

    In short, with all the polls out there, some suggest the Conservatives are fairly comfortably ahead as the largest party (i.e. via a hung parliament), whereas at the other extreme, the YouGov suggests that Labour would be the largest party by a smaller margin. It remains to be seen which is correct!

  16. Eoin Clarke

    No torture for me to talk about Scottish politics!

    Aberdeen South

    In England this would be a safe Tory seat! Tactical voting has always been normal there since I cast my first vote (which was tactical anti-Tory) there in 1966.

    My guess is Lab will hold easily. Significant numbers of LDs will go SNP?Lab/Con (in that order).

    Ochil and South Perthshire

    Everyone was surprised that Labour won this in 2005. Should be an SNP gain.

    Dumfries & Galloway.

    I know of a number of people who vote SNP for Holyrood, who will vote Lab to keep the Tories out – also some in Dumfriesshire next door who will vote Lab to remove the Tory.

    Glasgow East

    Who knows? Logic says Labour will take it back easily, but Mason still seems popular, and the corruption stories are not going to make Lab popular in the aspirational voters areas where the SNP strength is strongest.

  17. @Oldnat,

    Thank you kindly,

    You thoughts on Dumfries and Glasgow East are very informative

  18. I was looking out for the Scottish subsample for this poll to see if the SNP had got a boost from their weekend Campaign conference in Aviemore.

    At 27% the SNP seem up but as they have been at both 29% and 31% but are averaging 22% we will need another couple of polls to see if it is more than sample error.

    What makes it look dubious is that in this poll has the Tories at 23% in Scotland but labour at 24%…. Prior to this in 24 polls they hadn’t been below 34% (although as that was the last poll it might be a true drop) and were averaging 41%.

    It hasn’t been a good few days for Labour in Scotland and the UK, but Brown could be caught eating babies and not drop 10% in one poll to close to half the polling average.


  19. Bill Roy

    “The chances are that the SNP could well take seats from Labour in Scotland, thus giving rise to a quandry for Labour, they have already lost the Scottish Parliament to the SNP, and the SNP are a real threat to Labour north of the border as they have now proved they can govern. What would Labour be able to offer them?”

    If Labour proposed any such thing, the SNP should look at it very carefully. The opportunities to confuse Scottish Labour (or do deals with UK Labour behind their back that commit Scottish Labour without their prior knowledge) would be so numerous that the SNP couldn’t take advantage of most of them.

    For those who want to break the two party system, a Labour SNP arrangement in a hung UK parliament now, followed by a coalition with the Conservatives in the Scottish Parliament next year is what they should wish for.

    Sadly, that kind of entertainment is unlikley because the SNP will only have 10 MP’s at most.

    If, however, we have a short hung Conservative government and a demoralised Labour opposition destroying itself in factional blame attribution, the SNP could, with a very modest swing from Labour, reach the tipping point where FPTP works in their favour, with not ten seats, not AS’s target twenty, but
    30 or more MP’s, half the Scottish seats and fifteen more than their proporionate share.

    Who would doubt that Labour if in opposition will self destruct? Brownite NewLabour would blame the Blairites, and vice-versa, Old Labour would blame both.

    If you are a Scottish Conservative should you vote tactially for the SNP?

    The choice is:

    (a) a “wasted vote” for your own party

    (b) vote for the SNP and hasten independence. This would free the Scottish party from ties to the UK party enabling it to enter government in Scotland while the removal of Scottish MP’s (Dr James Gordon Brown and at least 30 others) would bring about a near permanent Conservative government in the English parliament. or

    (c) vote Labour to preserve the Union.

    Isn’t 4+ party politics much more fun?

  20. Despite all Labour`s bad press the Tories still cannot break away in the polls. A sure sign that they are still not trusted with too many people still remembering Margaret Thatcher.

  21. Mark Topping:

    ” Brown regularly gets the better of Cameron at PMQs which seems to me to be a ‘teacher and pupil’ exchange?”

    That’s because of the way it is set up with the PM getting the last word, nad he has better briefing resources, party, ministerial and civil service

    In a different context, there could be surprises – good and bad – on all sides.

  22. Bill Roy

    “The SNP will take votes from Labour in Scotland”

    Without any doubt. They may even get more votes than Labour and still have no more than ten seats in total.

    Eoin Clarke

    There will be very few changes altoether. Maybe only 2, most likely about 6

    Ochil and South Perthshire

    SNP gain.

    Dumfries & Galloway.

    This is the Cons best hope. If they don’t win this they will have one MP at most. Oldnat is right. It could easily be fewer than that.

    If Scotland sent no Con MP’s to Westminster, and 34 Labour, where Labour was the largest party by fewer than 34, what would the English think?

    Glasgow East

    It’s normal fo bye-election gains to be reversed, but not nearly as normal as it is for huge majorities for Labour in Glasgow to be stable. I still don’t understand it.

    The voters in this consituency enjoyed the attention, and enjoyed giving Labour a kicking. There are a lot of non-fun aspects of living in one of the most unhealthy and deprived parts of Glasgow (but there is an Italian deli worth a half hour drive).

    Labour will get another kicking.

    Argyll and Bute is one to watch.

    Here are my predictions for the count in order of confidence:

    Result after Lunch
    Labour 4th from 3rd
    Conservative still 2nd with marginally smaller share
    A second recount
    Fewer than 1000 votes beween the first and third

    All that is very likely. The winner? Too close to say, but one of many which will fall to the SNP next time around if not this time.

  23. @ JOHN B DICK. ‘That’s because of the way ( PMQs) is set up…’ Yep, fair point mate. Maybe ‘they’ should change the format? Having said that, am I not right in thinking the PM has a disadvantage in that he can’t quiz the opposition on what it would do differently? I still believe GB is by far the more astute and basically much more intelligent politician.( As opposed to Cameron.) I think this will become even more apparent at the debates? ( Famous last words!?)

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