The Evening Standard are reporting a new YouGov poll in London for ITV. The topline figures are CON 40%, LAB 31%, LDEM 18%.

This represents a hefty 8 point swing in the capital, significantly more than the figures YouGov have been showing nationally (the poll was conducted between the 19th and 21st, so at the same time as the 7 point national lead; a five point national swing compared to an eight point London swing).

So, good news for the Conservatives here, but of course a given the lower national swing a disproportionately large swing here must be being cancelled out by a poor performance somewhere else.

144 Responses to “YouGov shows an 8 point swing to the Conservatives in London”

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  1. Sorry, Roland and Simon – I know it’s been said before, but I live in a South East marginal too and find the Labour vote holding well and GB is never mentioned. Horses for courses don’t you think?
    As I’ve also said before, I do come across rather a lot of “Hold your Nose Labour” but they seem determined that they don’t want to see a Conservative government.
    I suspect all three of us are right.

  2. Sometimes YouGov polls make me sigh with relief. Sometimes they make me tear out clumps of my hair and run wailing into the garden. Lately, whichever way they point, they just give me the hiccups. When the general election finally comes, my quavering hand will probably sketch a wobbly X in the Rage Against Marmots Party box. Does YouGov weight for that, eh?

  3. Rob
    Well, it’s still an 8% swing from 2005 GE (what was the April 2009 one again?).
    ITN says (no Standard says) it’s good for 12 seats

    ‘or more’).

    Is that what Cons need?

  4. @Paul Goddard

    “So unlike the rest of the country Labour has lost 4% since March 3rd, and has even lost 2 % since Labour’s low point of April 2009 when there were 20 % behind nationally according to You Gov. I think I’ll take this poll with some caution until I see some more for London”

    That was my main inference- this has all the qualities of roguishness so we need to see if another London poll repeats the contra national poll trend.

    Though it is also worth saying that the W/E midlands and north west marginal’s need polling as well because I fully anticipate- especially if you look at the council by-election results thus far in 2010- the assertion that labour votes are piling up in the only in Celtic, north east and south yorkshire “strongholds” is (intellectually speaking) ‘for the birds’ !

  5. @Sue,

    Which one is yours out of curiosity…?

  6. @Howard,

    an 8% swing accross London ‘could’ see the Tories claim 13 additional seats..

  7. @Howard

    “it’s good for 12 seats”/ ” Is that what Cons need?”

    Given SF don’t attend….they need 128 gains for a majority of 1.

    Churchill said after the 1951 election that “Workable Majority” is more than 20 as anything less then that means the government is continually in jeopardy to various factors including cabals on its back benches holding it to ransom and ‘effective governing’ is impossible. Let’s just recall the Major regime for that !

    So for a majority of 20 they need 147 gains: IMHO it’s not looking like that for the last 2 months and this evenings London poll does not alter my view.

  8. Not surprising, but good for the cons that it is the expected.
    @ANT, not hugely important I imagine, but your copyright on the lefthand side is out of date.

  9. If we accept that tonights poll flies in the face of a UNS. Below is my own ‘mythical’ variable natioanl swing VNS. It supposes big gaisn in London, Midlands and Wales… but less gaisn in North East and Scotland…

    The south remaining fairly steady at a 5% Tory swing.. As you can see it brings out a tory gain of 70+ seats but leaves them considerably short of an overall majority…. An 8% swing equates to a national poll of 40% tory 27% labour I dont think anyone is predicitng the Tories will get greater than this….

    6% swing in Wales = 7 seats
    8% swing in London = 13 seats
    5% South east = 10 Seats
    -2% swing in Scotland = labour gaining 2
    5% swing East Anglia= 6 seats
    3% Northern England= 7 seats
    6% Central England = 26 seats
    5% Southwest England = 7 seats

  10. Rob Sheffield agreed.

    I have also found this

    2001 National L 40.7 C 31.7 LD 18.3
    2001 London L 47.3 C 30.5 LD 17.5

    2005 National L 35.3 C 32.3 LD 22.1
    2005 London L 38.9 C 31.9 LD 21.9

    Conservative shares and LD shares similar to national, while Labours is greater, although that receded by half by 2005. Perhaps it will continue to recede and that there will be a greater swing in London, but we need more polling to be sure.

  11. The earlier theory on this thread that SNP voters will vote Labour to keep the Tories out is unfounded tripe.

    I live in Stirling, it is one of the very few Con/Lab marginals in Scotland. We were Con from ’79-87, Lab’87-92, Con’92-97 and have had a shoestring Labour constituency majority ever since.

    I revile both, however I personally would sooner see the Conservatives win the election over Labour. (which I think they will narrowly manage to do this time) .

    Labour have a stronghold in Scotland, hence their reluctance to let it go. Cameron on the other hand knows fine well the likleyhood of the Tories having more than 3 seats here is slim to none, hence would be less restrictive on Alex Salomnd- everything devolved- ie up to but NOT full indipendance.

    In my opinion, GB has neither the commitment or the interest in giving Scotland the changes it desparately needs.

  12. At present, and reading these rather detailed breakdowns from people, it seems apparent that the Conservatives are likely to be short of an overall majority.

    I would whether they are holding anything back until when the election is announced, probably next week.

    I just can’t gauge it at all.

  13. Rob S
    Yes the expression I used was whether the 12 (now 13 thanks Eoin) is what they needed when added to the rest needed!!

    So according to Eoin it isn’t in fact it does not contribute enough to bring the total to not many over half the 128 needed. That;’s assuming it’s not a rogue. I think the answers to other questions I raised (sample size etc) are needed to make a balanced judgement.

    By the way, in addition to the evidence reported here I rang an old friend of mine in London and his milkman is still solid Labour! So there you are Otto.

  14. MORI 35/30/21

  15. Thisfrom Twitter – Kevin Maguire

    Ipsos Mori poll for Mirror puts Tories on 35, lowest since July 2007: Con 35(-2), Lab 30(-2), Lib 21(+2)

  16. Mori: No kidding. Tories on Suicide watch !

  17. Of the 128 most vulnerable seats (approx 6.5% swing), 31 are either LibDem or SNP ans 4 are Labour held Scottish seats. Given the stickiness of LibDem vote, I’d say they will be lucky to gain 15, which means to reach the 128 they will need a swing nearer 7.5%.

    Oh, just seen the MORI numbers. C 35 – ouch. L won’t be too happy with 30 though.

  18. New Mori Poll for the Mirror gives conservatives 5 point lead but have dropped 2 points to 35%, Labour also down 2 on 30% and Liberal democrats up 2 on 21%. A bit worrying for both main main parties I would have thought. May not br anything to do with the lobbying row though.

  19. David Cameron’s performance in his video interview for Gay Times (which was broadcast on Channel 4 News tonight) was very poor. He was dithery, evasive and frightened. The camera zoomed in on his eyes and he looked to be welling up… Floundering, even though the interviewer seemed to be quite sweet to him.

    This suggests he won’t do terribly well in the coming TV debates, so there may be no Tory bounce then.

  20. Any idea when the mori poll was conducted? Doesnt look to good for the main parties at all

  21. 35 – 30 is much better for Labour than, say, 40 -35.

    21 Lib means 14 Others. That is 4% more than normal.

  22. James ‘May not be anything to do with the lobbying row though.’

    I suppose it depends when the survey was done James.


    Though it is also worth saying that the W/E midlands and north west marginal’s need polling as well because I fully anticipate- especially if you look at the council by-election results thus far in 2010- the assertion that labour votes are piling up in the only in Celtic, north east and south yorkshire “strongholds” is (intellectually speaking) ‘for the birds’ !

    Well you had better call me tweedie pie, because I am one of the birds.

  24. That Mori total is very low for the Conservatives.

    I wonder what is going on here.

    If nothing changed at all now, I feel Brown might get back in.

    I feel however that there may be a few game changers left being kept under wraps.

  25. @SINDEL
    I really would not know about the Gay Times, but I do know the one thing Cameron can do is perform on telly.
    I think your is thinking on the wishful side of things.

  26. Richard – without speculating on the issues, which of the parties in your opinion is most capable of keeping their powder dry when it comes to game-changing revelations?

    Of course, the thrust of your point is that events outside the control of politicians might change the game, but in terms of the positioning, strategy and dark arts, plus the allegiance of trusted media, and bearing in mind their history,who is in the spwinning position?

  27. ‘poor performance somewhere else’ — Glasgow perhaps, where the mafia party are polling well.

    Who do you think should take over from Brown, Sue? Don Corleone?

    MORI = ‘others’ up 2. As I have said – all this sleaze puts everything up in the air.
    Funny though, innit, YG give a massive boost to Tories putting them on 40, and the left ignore it. MORI show no change and the left ignore the drop in labour numbers.

    Funny ….

  28. Tonights tracker:

    37% (+1)
    33% (+1)
    18% (-2)

  29. @Roland – you may change your mind after watching the interview.

    I’d post a link but it’d go into moderation – try PB YouGov London poll thread, item 41.

    For the first time I actually felt sorry for the man…

  30. Sindel & Roland

    I too saw the interview -it is exactly as Sindel describes it.
    Roland visit the Ch4 News website -you can see it there.

  31. John TT,

    Fair question, but not sure, I hope Tories don’t spin themselves in to a tiz.

    I quite despise spin full stop to be honest. The likes of Alastair Campbell represent eveyrthing I see as bad in politics, as effectivelly its unelected people with more power than most of the MPs.


  32. @Roland – the interview was awful. Over on ConHome they are getting the yips about the TV debates, and posters are now wondering whether their man is actually very good on TV. The marraige tax fluff, Randall interview and now this are being conflated with alarm. It was a shockingly inept performance – quite unbelievable for any seasoned politician to be left with his head in his hands unable to say anything, even a meaningless platitude. I predict a massive Youtube hit.

  33. Rich – it came as a shock when he was hired in the first place, and even more so that he looks likely to carry weight in Brown’s campaign.

    I’ve nothing against him personally, but I’d thought him unsuitable for Blair, and that he’d be not first choice for a Scot

    Perhaps it’s his surname?

    Anyway, I suspect the Labour Party has more dry powder than the Tories, but I agree that spin is not good I’d prefer them all to read Aristotle’s Rhetoric in its entirety and be prevented from applying his principles selectively.

  34. Anthony – I’d be interested to know which word offended your filters – the bowdlerised version says virtually the same thing as the original, but with a couple of innocous phrases cut.

  35. I’ve lived in London all of my life and while there are London specific traits, it’s probably the least homogenous place around. That makes extrapolating seat numbers from polling percentages (particularly this far away from an election) a hazardous activity.
    That said, I think YouGov is right. And one reason for this is the Evening Standard and its sister Metro. Both are strongly pro-Conservative and read by millions (particularly as both are free). The ES lead a strong and successful anti-Livingstone campaign in 2008, and its is already in Conservative capaign mode this time around.
    P.s. in my constutuency they may as well weigh the Tory votes rather than count them, as it will be the shock of all time if Bromley and Chislehurst falls to the Lib Dems.

  36. John TT – So am I – I couldn’t work it out!

    Raf – the Evening Standard and Metro are no longer stable mates (or at least, the Evening Standard is no longer majority owned by Associated Newspapers, I’m not sure if they still have a minority stake).

    My impression is that they are no longer as gung-ho pro-Conservative as they were during the 2008 election.

  37. Steve Kingson

    “The earlier theory on this thread that SNP voters will vote Labour to keep the Tories out is unfounded tripe.”

    Polling evidence, however, suggests differently. For example, we know that in Galloway , that the SNP is strong (10,000 + in 2007) yet in the 2005 election the SNP only garnered 6,000 votes in the larger constituency, and it is clear that a significant number voted Labour to keep the Tories out.

    In different constituencies, voters will react differently to the local dynamics, and in Stirling will be different from the far south. But your post makes a claim that can’t be substantiated as a general truth.

  38. @ Anthony

    Yes, I am aware of that. But have you read it lately? It’s politics hasn’t really changed.

  39. Most days – I think it’s less Conservative. After all, just before the 2008 election it was VERY Conservative (verging on “Livingstone’s head in a lightbulb” Conservative)

  40. RE freebie London papers – Metro, ES and City A.M are unlikely to reccommend their readers vote anything other than Tory.

    It’ might be chicken egg thing, but I can’t see a gap in the market for a left of centre freebie rag.

  41. Cameron’s style fits well in london marginals.

  42. Frank Dobson was on the BBC a couple of weeks ago and he thought the Labour vote was picking up. He also said that it wouldn’t matter if the Tories got a few thousand more votes in Hampshire ,whatever that may mean.

  43. Wolf,

    Nice to see that Dobson is as ill-informed as ever. [Sorry but even since he shaved he reminds me of uncle arthur from only fools & horses.]

    A few thousand votes each in Eastleigh, Portsmouth, Southampton and Winchester (all in Hampshire) would come in very handy – better than a few thousand votes in Hackney, Harringey, Islington or even Dobson’s Camden .

  44. Eoin,

    I think your regional breakdown of gains is conservative (as opposed to pro-Conservative), but what it does show is what a mountain Tories need to climb to have even a paper majority.

    Personally I think the raw national shares and UNS are misleading too many people.

    If the national polls are accurate, this probably means that the Lab vote has recovered among their traditional core support which collapsed in 2005. However, Labour could easily add a million votes to its 2005 tally without winning more than a handful of seats if that vote is concentrated in its “heartlands”.

    As it is, I doubt that Labour will get even as many votes as they did in 2005, possibly down as much as 1m or more overall. But, that will not be a uniform drop of 1000-2000 votes per seat. Far more likely that Lab will see its vote rise by 2-5k in 100-150 seats it already holds comfortably, while seeing its share drop by 2-5k each in the 150 or seats which are vulnerable to Cons.

    For Cons, I think there is little doubt that the actual vote will rise by 1.0-1.5m from 2005. An average gain of 2-3k per seat. Much of that will be in the 200+ seats already held, while the gains in Lab strongholds are likely to be modest. For England & Wales, the battlefield is Lab seats with a majority of 4-8k.

    If I were a Lab MP defending an English or Welsh seat with a majority below 5k I would be very worried. Maj of 5-7.5k I would be nervous. The further south the seat, the more worried I would be.

    Note that I treat Wales same as England. Scotland is different – but should not be written off by anyone since it could really make the difference between what coalitions are possible / viable if we do have a hung parliament.

    Final point, a high vote for others now looks very likely. This means that the actual number of votes needed for Cons / Lab to win / retain a seat are lower than they would otherwise be.

    For Lab supporters who somehow believe that Brown can retain apower with 34% of the vote – sorry. It ain’t enough – unless Cons are down at 32%. How likely is that ?

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