Tonight’s YouGov poll shows the Lib Dem boost continuing. The topline figures are CON 32%(-1), LAB 26%(-3), LDEM 33%(+4), so following on from BPIX yesterday we now have YouGov putting the Lib Dems in the lead. The 32% is the lowest the Conservatives have been with YouGov since the election-that-never-was in 2007, 26% is the lowest Labour have been since the Conservative party conference boost last year.

The poll was conducted on Saturday and Sunday, so with the “Lib Dem breakthrough” dominating the media and the election narrative. It’s quite hard to guess what is going to happen next – on one hand the Lib Dems are likely to face a concerted attack from the other parties and hostile newspapers, on the other hand if they stay at this level there will be a snowballing effect of them being seen to be on a roll, the Lib Dem’s normal weaknesses of being seen as a wasted vote will be whittled away, and if the two main parties start focusing their fire upon the Lib Dems it may well backfire by making them seem negative and the Lib Dems as the real challenger.

840 Responses to “YouGov show Liberal Democrats ahead”

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  1. A better poll for the Tories IMO. They are at least now 6% ahead of Labour, albeit with 1% less than the Lib Dems!

  2. I was just preparing to write this when this poll appeared:

    In late September when Lib Dems were polling between 23 and 25% Labour were polling between 23 and 26%

  3. Maybe, after all these years, it really is time for the Lib Dems to go back to their constituencies and prepare for government!

    In truth, we’re in uncharted territory here.

  4. Hmmm the Lib Dem lead seem to be increasing (at least in YG polls) when many thought it would be decreasing.

    All bets are off. No question.

    If Clegg does well in this next debate…….

  5. I was not expecting the surge to continue. I am actually quite surprised. Had they fallen back to 27%, I would have said that was that. But now…

  6. Blimey. I never thought I will see the day ;)

    It could be a temporary blip though or a sample error. Is that possible with YouGov. But as I said, with sucsess comes scrutiny and I think that there will now be a LOT of scrutiny.

    Alarm bells ringing on HMS Tory! Man the lifeboats! :)

  7. As I just wrote some minutes ago I expect the Lib Dems to get at least 30% but that the Cons will be the bigger party because Labour will get between 25 to 27% in the GE, according to my assessment.

  8. We’re definately getting into uncharted territory now. If Clegg ‘wins’ the next debate the cat will be well and truly amongst the pigeons.

    Trouble is, we are in hung Parliament territory and neither of the ‘big two’ can afford to upset the LibDems.

    Should be a very interesting week if the LibDems can sustain their polling figures.

  9. Eoin:

    “The Tories will be over 34 within the hour”. [7.03 pm]


    I was also wrong about Labour not falling well below 30% but it wasn’t quite such such a definite predicttion.

    Anyway, nice to see the Lib Dem bubble bursting, as predicted by so many.

    [It was my 25 quid membership fee wot won it]

  10. @ David W

    Feigned attack by GB IMO. He knows he is better off with a Lib Dem surge than one from the Tories. Expect to see GB concentrate his attack 90% on the blue corner.

  11. “Alarm bells ringing on HMS Tory! Man the lifeboats! :)”

    Very true, though I expect Labour headquarters will also be extremely worried now. On this poll, it would be too close to call who will be the largest party i.e. it would depend on the marginals and individual seats.

    In the very least, it suggests that the movement towards the Lib Dems may not have been as much Tory-driven as we first thought!

  12. Seat projections based on poll

    LD: 132

  13. Well that “lets all wait untill next weekend” consensus seems to have already ended ;-)

    I am still waiting for the debate and the several days of polls after that.

  14. I note from the Yougov data:

    68% certain to vote
    11% 9/10 likely.

    It looks like this election will have a turnout 70%+ ?

    If so I think we can all agree it’s good news to see less voter apathy.

  15. According to Sky News it translates into these seats;-


  16. This emotional response to Thursday night is likely to fade as time goes by. How many of these “new” LibDem supporters will actually vote?
    We could see this new found support disappear like snow off a dyke. If it does’nt we could be in a right mess.

  17. Why does the swingometer not work (at least on my computer)? Can it not cope with a LibDem lead? Please fix it.

  18. We are in uncharted territory. If this applies also in Scotland, the LibDems would win an extra 11 seats… ALL seats in Edinburgh, Midlothian, East Lothian, both Aberdeen, Stirling and Glasgow North.

    Even if [as I expect] there is a fallback, its now hard to see this being to close to the 2005 level.

  19. It seems to me that the Liberals are rising mainly at the expense of Labour (down 4).

    This could create a 1983 effect ie the centre left parties split with tories ahead allowing the tories to win a majority. The rise in the Liberal vote could get the tories the majority they wouldnt have got if Labour had been in early 30s.

  20. We now know the debates – particularly the last one just before the GE – will decide this election. They could even give Labour or the Tories a healthy majority, it’s that crazy now!!

  21. These polls are making me laugh – not sure if it’s excitement or hysteria :O

    AL J – the way percentages translate into seats (on UNS anyway) gets more shocking every time. What a mess.

  22. Shows whats happen when Labour abandons it’s core voters and principles, to try and appeal to the centre-right and the Mail readership, give them a choice between two liberal parties and the people will choose the real one.

  23. @Dave,

    We just don’t know how individual seats are behaving. We need to wait til we see some marginal polls.

    Very exciting stuff!!!

  24. If reds and blues have any sense, they will both turn their fire on the Lib Dems now. This isn’t about one election any more. It’s about the long-term future of their duopoly.

  25. √Čoin

    Where are you? You’ve got some explaining to do lol


    @James -it’s given the shakes (a lol especially for Paul) ;-)

  26. well this is hung parliament central. With these numers Electoral Calculus gives us:

    228 Con 222 Lab and 168 LibDem – basically a stalemate of colossal proportions, if that makes any sense ;) (had to have my simely)

    was that ever remotely conceivable???

  27. I must say this surprises me somewhat. I guess all we can do is wait to see if further polls are similar or the tide starts to recede somewhat. If the latter, where do the LD votes predominantly go?

  28. None of this translates into significant vote gain.

    Certainly a majority is near nigh impossible for the Libs.

    Thus, my advice for the bewildered is to concentrate on the blue-red gap.

    In which case, Matt is correct to view this a better poll for blue than red.

    For the first tiem, red will have to contend with the fact that they made have contributed to creating something over which they have no control.

    Not to take away from yellow of course who in their own right have garnered popularity.

    Will rage against the machine buying, make poverty history/ lance armstrong weilding braclets, x factoring voting/ flocks make it to the booths…. that is the question.

    I would not be surprised if mummy and daddy did not discretely start binning a few polling cards.

  29. @ I meant me the shakes

    Any comments from Sue & Amber?

  30. “If the latter, where do the LD votes predominantly go?”

    That is a very good question. At the moment, they seem to be going from both Labour and the Tories!

    It just shows how important the next 2 debates are, and how they could make or break this election for all 3 parties!

  31. These kind of polls are the dream scenario for the Lib Dems.

    A few more % points and they can start to genuinely argue that they might win, especially if they start to get close to 40%.

    Will the snowball / bandwagon effect work to their advantage?

    And how much of this support is based on the debate and how much is based on people just wanting a huge tax cut?

  32. I agree with Rob Sheffield, it is amusing how everyone is moving the goal posts on this Lib Dem surge. First it was let’s wait until the day after the debate, then it was wait until Sunday and so on. I can’t see it lasting myself but every day has been a new joy.

  33. Labour has a problem.

    The Tories have obvious policy attacks on the LibDems on Europe, crime, immigration and cuts.

    Labour don’t really have anything. So, if voting LibDem doesn’t put the Tories in, why vote Labour?

    Of course, if Cameron cannot fight back effectively (and I have doubts if Dave BuzzWord can) LibDem plus Labour = majority. But at some point Labour end up as junior partner. If I were Clegg, I’d say 134 seats be damned, I got more votes. I want the big job!!

    In these circumstances, Labour will shift from AV, which now would not favour them. They’d prefer FPTP or proportional representation. AV is great when they are the bigger party picking up LibDem second preferences – not if it shifting to the other way round.

    The other permutation is that a hung Parliament will give a Cameron an excuse not to resign. However, I imagine most in Tory cnetral office are inwardly giving him the “L” sign.

  34. I’m really unsure that we can use existing models for seat projection. It is suggested that they tend to break down when a 3rd party exceeds 30% of the popular vote.
    This is a whole new ball game.
    Prediction: Several professors of government scrambling to their computers tomorrow to tweak their projection models.

  35. God news for labour, tatical voting is the answer to keep tories out.there are few llabour/ib Dem marginals than labour/Con. Hung parliment is confirmed

  36. It is rather like a dam bursting.

    Substantial parts of the UK electorate have wanted to do something different but haven’t really believed it was possible.

    Now they do and the genie is out of the bottle.

    DC and GB may try very hard to get the genie back in the bottle but neither of them appears to have the authority or capacity to do it. I’m tempted to call it a Ceau?escu moment in British politics.

    DC and GB may want to say, to the great British electorate, “go back…go back”…but how do they say it with any realistic prospect of being listened to?

    What makes it so fascinating is that the format of the debates makes them (DC and GB) the undisputed champions of their respective parties. And there is a delicious irony…how their parties wish that wasn’t the case.

    So if the LDs and NC’s remarkable advance in the polls is going to be reversed DC and GB are going to have to find qualities and arguments that they haven’t been able to display to date.

    The remaining debates will be a quite extraordinary test of the qualities and abilities of all three party leaders. I suspect that almost all of those who post here cannot wait.

  37. The other interesting question is whether the increase in Lib Dem support is evenly dispersed over the whole of the UK. If it’s higher in the wealthy safe Tory seats in the South east, it would be better for the Tories (i.e. they would still hold their seats on the whole). If it’s in less safe Tory territory, however, it could damage the Conservative party more.

    At the moment, it’s impossible to say which it is (if any).

  38. If this continues the Lib Dem mantra will be:

    “Go back to your constituencies and prepare to panic”.

  39. Kyle Downing

    Seat projections based on poll

    LD: 132


    A travesty isn’t it. Mind you, the polls haven’t settled yet and there are two debates to go. Anyone who put money on LD to win before last week must be getting a bit excited now.

  40. I haven’t studied the polls and reults of previous elections as much as I’m sure a lot of people here have, but given the massive changes from the norm in these recent polls, surely the models used to predict seat gains and losses (even the more advanced ones) cannot be operating in the regions they were designed for? How accurate has using a uniform swing been in predicting previous election results? Is it possible that these polls are so different to what everyone’s used to that all current methods of predicting the seat distribution at a general election are completely useless?

    I know that’s a lot of questions, but this is the first general election I’m old enough to vote in (I was a couple of months too young in 2005) and from everything I’ve read we just seem to be in completely uncharted territory.

  41. After this POLL

    If Con drop just one point to 31%..
    If Lab drop just one point to 25%
    and Lib em rise by three to 38%……not impossible

    the seats for each party will be equal…..207 204 206…
    possibly after thursday?

  42. What a hit Conservative have taken. They were on 40+ with YG now banging around 32/31. Unthinkable a week ago maybe. Labour have been 26-28 in several other polls. Cameron will not recover from this. He is no longer, if ever was, the alternative to Labour. That is Clegg. And it is not just the debate. Clegg has got some good policies on breaking up banks and fair tax. He was having a good campaign before the debate

  43. Suppose the tories did better in the marginals than they are doing nationally.
    In addition -the polls exaggerate labour ratings as they usually do.
    And the Liberal surge comes mainly at the expense of Labour not the tories as this poll suggests.

    If all those things happen you could have a tory majority. The Liberal rise could have the opposite effect to what they want as in 1983.

  44. I really can’t see the Lib Dems winning with the current electoral system i.e. their vote is too dispersed/not concentrated enough. They’d have to finish well ahead i.e. more than the Tories need to. However, they could gain loads of seats!

  45. LADNAR

    If your right then the trend could well continue (and maybe gain momentum?).

    I agree with everyone that has said the arguments for the current voting system are being blown out of the water by these polls (particularly if we get a result like that suggested)

    If the Lib Dems win (a big IF) but end up as the smallest party there will need to be a political revolution in the voting system.

    Politics in this country has become surreal. Who would ever have forecast thi scenario?

  46. “And the Liberal surge comes mainly at the expense of Labour not the tories as this poll suggests.”

    This poll suggests both Labour and the Tories have suffered at the hands of the Lib Dems. However, it depends where this ‘suffering’ occurs i.e. which region/seats.

  47. *thump* (sound of Sue hitting the floor)

  48. As a fully paid up, card holding member of the Tories. I can say “The alarm bells are starting to give me a headache”

    A left wing split like in 1983 would be helpful, I agree, but this is new stuff.

    Deflated, I may be, however this is very interesting…

  49. This just keeps getting better and better, I had really thought the Lib Dems would be falling back by now but apparently not. There’s every chance this could snowball towards 40% and overall majority territory…

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