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. Richard,

    Don’t worry mate, just pulling your leg. It’s happened to us all!

  2. @Interesting

    “Certainly interesting, however wouldn’t you agree the last election wasn’t last Monday, but in 2005?”

    it gives a clearer ilustration of the current volatile movements in the polls- these are all polls BTW ;-)

    So gives some clearer info on- over the last week- who is gaining from who and who is losing the most and the change in the differential between the two main parties.

  3. Rob,

    John Craig was on Sky News the other night saying LD surge terrible for Tories, questions being asked about DC pressing for the debate etc.

    Personally, I think Sky reasonably well balanced and I am a Labour supporter. If any broadcaster is of doubful balance it is ITN and Tom Bradbury but Alistair Stewart was good the other night I thought.

  4. One thing I haven’t seen any comments on is the question of who becomes prime minister. Given the nature of leaders debates are to turn the whole thing presidential, I cannot see how Clegg could accept Brown as PM if Clegg decisively won the popular vote.

    If the election went something like Con 33 LD33 Lab28 it seems to me almost inconceivable that the LibDems could be the minor players in a Labour led government. Surely the most likely outcome would be that the LibDems would refuse to support anyone unless a referendum on a new voting system took place asap to be followed by a fresh election. Anything else would seem peverse.

  5. For anyone interested in STV there is a good account including a worked example of a count here:

    http://www.votescotland.com/stv/39.html

    To get proportional results you need seats with5 or 6 elected but with 3 it is much better than FPTP

    Apologies to folk in Scoland who probably know this! You are leading the way on this issue for sure!

    Andrew

  6. @Mitz,

    Try me….

    A few weeks ago Labour were trailing Tory 11%… 13% (with AR) 8.9% on average…. I said I fancied a labour majority…. but under polling UNS had labour 70odd seats short of a mjoirty… 8 experts predicted a tory majority.

    Now consider this…

    Noone can say the Blues are getting a majority. it is game over for them. Labour are now 40-50 short, less by some polls. thus, the net result is that the two great obstacles to Labour gettign a majority are now gone. DC’s bubble has burst and the Tories magic 40 is history.

    That leaves only two possibilities… Hung or Lab majority….

    Now having seen of DC and the big 40%, what challenge can Nick Clegg pose?

    the Liberal vote is so spread that it favours incumbents… they make it very likely that little seats will change hands…. You can go round an electoral map constituency by constituency and it gets pretty embarassing for the Libs. They have a Porn director standing for God’s sake…. Even if this 30 comes true and Labour do poll 28.. I have them taking 17 seats from labour. Thus, we then swtich to the Tory-Labour gap… this poll has that at 4%.

    I have and stand by my prediction that it will be 2% by election day.

    Congratulations Gordon Brown on winning a fourth term for Labour.

    By my rational it is now the most likely outcome.

    That is, unless a Royal Blue populist manifesto from the Blues knocks the whole lot of us for six.

  7. What will be the fight of the next weeks?

    Con – LibDems or
    Lab – LibDems ?

    What do you think?

  8. @ Rob Sheffield.

    Yes, fair points :)

  9. @Mitz,

    Try me….

    A few weeks ago Labour were trailing Tory 11%… 13% (with AR) 8.9% on average…. I said I fancied a labour majority…. but under polling UNS had labour 70odd seats short of a mjoirty… 8 experts predicted a tory majority.

    Now consider this…

    Noone can say the Blues are getting a majority. it is game over for them. Labour are now 40-50 short, less by some polls. thus, the net result is that the two great obstacles to Labour gettign a majority are now gone. DC’s bubble has burst and the Tories magic 40 is history.

    That leaves only two possibilities… Hung or Lab majority….

    Now having seen of DC and the big 40%, what challenge can Nick Clegg pose?

    the Liberal vote is so spread that it favours incumbents… they make it very likely that little seats will change hands…. You can go round an electoral map constituency by constituency and it gets pretty embarassing for the Libs. They have a **** director standing for God’s sake…. Even if this 30 comes true and Labour do poll 28.. I have them taking 17 seats from labour. Thus, we then swtich to the Tory-Labour gap… this poll has that at 4%.

    I have and stand by my prediction that it will be 2% by election day.

    Congratulations Gordon Brown on winning a fourth term for Labour.

    By my rational it is now the most likely outcome.

    That is, unless a Royal Blue populist manifesto from the Blues knocks the whole lot of us for six.

  10. Sorry – tried to post this but it is under moderation, so I’m trying with the link slightly broken

    For anyone interested in STV there is a good account including a worked example of a count here:

    h ttp://www.votescotland.com/stv/39.html

    To get proportional results you need seats with5 or 6 elected but with 3 it is much better than FPTP

    Apologies to folk in Scoland who probably know this! You are leading the way on this issue for sure!

    Andrew

  11. Xiby,

    Thanks very much for your post. All very logical, and I’m struggling to find anything with which I disagree. In fact, I wholeheartedly agree with most of your assertions.

    However, my question was slightly different. Éoin has repeatedly and forcefully asserted his view that Labour are looking good because a comparison with history shows that the only possible way forward from here leads to a Labour majority. Now Éoin is a professor of history and I don’t presume to doubt his credentials, but I am failing, still, to see two things:

    1) Why everything must always necessarily follow the same path as what went before.
    2) How the current situation can be said to closely mirror anything from history anyway.

  12. @Mitz.

    gee I am no professor! You’ll get me hung :) :)

    I have to be 40 before I can be one of those thast 10 years away :) :) lol

  13. You can look at the electoral scene another way:

    Labour at 28 – 30%. The other two splitting the opposition vote and Labour marching through.

  14. @Xiby,

    You speak a good deal of sense my friend

    @Paul….

    we shall see….. the Daily Telgraph has a good swingometer you should go put 30% into it and see what it gives you…

    I must warn you- you will be looking your money back

  15. @Eoin Clarke
    The other possibility you don’t mention is that Clegg preforms well in both further debates and strenghtens LibDem support by a further surge of +9%. Not an impossible amount. That would give him 41/42% at which point about 100 further seats tip into his lap. LD absolute majority! I don’t think he’ll make it – but you cannot rule it out in our modern X-factor style election system!!

  16. Has anyone considered the disappointment these youngsters will feel when they go into the polling booth only to find Nick Clegg’s name is not on the ballot?

    Has anybody explained that to them?

  17. @Mitz

    “Are you sure? Personally, I would have thought that Clegg would be especially looking forward to the foreign affairs debate, given that the LibDems were the only one of the three main parties who were right about Iraq,…”

    CORRECTION: The Lib Dems were the only one of the main parties who were [very, very] wrong about Iraq – and I hope GB (and DC) succeeds in exposing their naive and callously populist take on it.

    Maybe then the polls will show who the public believe are the real leaders in times of crisis and conflict.

  18. Yougov/London Evening Standard poll of Londoners has a poll out showing:

    Con 39 (+1)
    Lab 33 (-2)
    L Dem 22 (+6)

  19. Should we not call the current distribution the Mandelson settlement ?

  20. @Interesting,

    That is more like it! :)

    It shows the last polll whcih shows an 8% swing back down to 5% was slightly out..
    this 6.5% swing will cheer the Tories up no end…

    Expect them on in a little bit…

    It is the highest margianl swing of sorts they have had in a while

    It also indicates that this 30% lib vote is safely tucked away in la la land… 5% came from others for Libs..

  21. @Mitz

    I am no history professor and so will not try to answer that, apart from the fact that i am slightly Marxist/Hegelian in my assessment of historic events (even though i am captivated by the foucualtian idea of histio-scapes). Whilst i do not whole heartedly accept the arguement that history always repeat itself, and i do subscribe to a progressive notion of history, we can extrapolate prediction of cause and effects and responses to a set of events from the study of history.

    The new variable was the debates…. we now have the answer to that new variable. However as i tried to show in my previous post, anything short of a 9/11 event, the remainder of the campaign is pretty predictable, and the forthcoming events are by and large Lab positives. i can state this having assessed and experience previous elections, campaigns and voter response.

    In conclusion on only variable in this election has served to neuter the Cons. The rest is Lab positive…. thus a Lab majority or a Lab short of one by 5-10 seats, and this for all the reasons given in my previous post.

  22. @eoin

    “Has anyone considered the disappointment these youngsters will feel when they go into the polling booth only to find Nick Clegg’s name is not on the ballot?

    Has anybody explained that to them?”

    Class :-)

  23. @Surbiton
    Are we talking ash or seats?

  24. @Eoin

    “Has anyone considered the disappointment these youngsters will feel when they go into the polling booth only to find Nick Clegg’s name is not on the ballot?

    Has anybody explained that to them?”

    I like it!!

  25. @Eoin,

    You are misreading the swingometer I fear… The boundary changes have already reduced the labour majority to 38 seats, so the Tories only have to gain 20 seats from labour to remove their majority. this requies a swing of 1.65% compared to 2005. So in any scenario where the Tories are 0.38% ahead of labour (irrespective of absolute numbers), they will do enough to deny GB a majority – and that is before you factor in any gains by Lib Dem from Labour, which on UNS as you say are likely to be in the 10-25 range depending on Lab-LD swing.

    It is actually virtually impossible for GB to get an absolute majority unless he gets ahead of DC in the popular vote…

    Andrew

  26. @Amber

    Thanks for the encouragement. ”It’s steady as she goes”. ;-)

  27. On that Standard poll …

    Some of the pollling was done pre-debate so that might explain Tories up 1% to 39% and relative paucity of Lib Dem surge at only 6%.

    Where is the Lib Dem 6% increase coming from? Labour down 1% but only other movement is BNP down 2% and UKIP down 4%. A swing straight from the far-right to the liberal left??

    Still, key Tory targets from Lib Dems in London just wouldn’t fall …

  28. This London poll has the Liberals on the EXACT same % they got in 2005.

    Now do people get where I am coming from?

    If the polling was a week old like the last cross breaks it may no have the full affect of the debate… lets wait and see.

  29. ICM Poll

    Conservative: 33%

    Labour: 28%

    Liberal Democrats: 30%

    Others: 9%

    From the BBC

  30. @Eoin
    If the London poll shows the LDs so low in the capital they must be racking it up elsewhere! I would’nt want to be the Tory candidate for rural la la land at the moment!

  31. @ Eoin Clarke

    I’m not at all familiar with the political landscape down south, so couldn’t possibly comment. I’m a northerner myself, and were it not for an election I would generally tend to ignore them ;)

  32. What do you think of this?

    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2010/04/yougovmurdoch_d.html

    Apparently yougov asked this question before the voting intention question “Nick Cleggs says the other parties are to blame for the MP scandals, he has taken money from a criminal on the run, many of his MPs have been found guilty of breaking the rules and his own party issued guidance on how to fiddle the expenses system?”

    It might be worth looking into.

    [Looked into it, didn’t take long. The voting intention questions for the Sun/Sunday Times polls are ALWAYS asked first. This was not a question on any YouGov poll for the Sun/Sunday Times – AW]

  33. Im still going for Cameron as Prime Minister. Alot can happen in 4 days as shown and we got weeks left and a hell of a lot can happen in that time. I believe as soon as Lab-Con start criticising the Lib Dems polices thats it. The fact is people dont like Europe and Immigration and Lib Dems is the most pro Europe out of the main 3. I believe the Conservatives will start climbing back up as early as tonight maybe by 1% tonight. I also believe Labour will come 3rd in the populer vote as people will see that voteing Lib Dem is the only way of getting Brown back in power so all voters who switched to Lib Dems will switch back to Cons on election day to get him gone. Cons to get the most seats in a hung vote is my prediction.

  34. @ Tony Dean

    “If the London poll shows the LDs so low in the capital they must be racking it up elsewhere! I would’nt want to be the Tory candidate for rural la la land at the moment!”

    South west and south central perhaps?

  35. @Interesting-

    you are interesting indeed! :) :)

    @Tony….

    I have not watched Balymory since 2002, so I cant remember where its recorded….. Oh what Id give to have Roland on explaining the geography of these sunny meadows…. Nick Clegg will have to learn Jurusalem if he want sto make the votes stick there….

    He’ll have to learn the full monty if he wants to make headway in Tyne and Weir bu tthen he’s a home grown Sheffield lad so he’ll be fine ;)

  36. Eoin, I have followed your posts over the past couple of months with interest and amusement, and have learnt much and laughed at your humour in the wee small hours on more than one occasion. Thank you.

    I have particularly enjoyed your trend analyses. Please would you be so kind as to let us have your latest one, begging your pardon if you’ve already put it on this thread, but I hope you’ll agree that 760 is a helluva lot of posts to plough through, even in search of your own, very dear, blessed pearls of wisdom.

    And after that, could you please be kind again and show us how your trend analysis and your latest forecast of a Labour majority correlate with each other.

    And then, maybe, we would be in a position to discuss…

    Thanks in advance for your indubitable kindness.

  37. Re 2nd Debate

    Iraq is mostly forgotten and a non-issue this election (unfortunately – this is one area i completely disagreed with Lab on). And Iraq is by and large associated with Blair and not GB (cons tried to stick it to him aswell and failed miserably, but reminding people that they where more pro war then Lab in the process).

    On the other hand immigration and EU are big in terms of foreign policy and her the Libs are miles away from popular opinion. This is why i predict a minor loss of support for the Libs after next Thursday, but nothing big and drastic as their surge. Lets call it a mini dip (i smiley would fit perfectly here)

  38. Yougov/London Evening Standard poll of Londoners has a poll out showing:

    Con 39 (+1)
    Lab 33 (-2)
    L Dem 22 (+6)

    **YouGov polled 1,103 Londoners and weighted the data. The survey may understate the Clegg surge as some of the research came before the TV debate.**

    @Interesting -it’s not your fault -the paper should have had the caution in it’s headline instead of in small print.

    ;-)

  39. Anthony
    When was the YouGov London poll conducted? The LD level of support doesn’t make sense in the current climate – unless you accidently skipped the SW London LibDem strip?

  40. I think the fieldwork on the London poll was from before the debate.

    Do the Tories have friends in high enough places that they could get all their candidates’ names changed by deed poll to Nicholas Clegg in time?

  41. Where’s a decent set of marginal polls when you need them?

  42. EOIN:
    Has anyone considered the disappointment these youngsters will feel when they go into the polling booth only to find Nick Clegg’s name is not on the ballot?

    Has anybody explained that to them?

    Patronsing???? Why should young people not understand, have we let them down then?

  43. @ Al J

    “@Interesting -it’s not your fault -the paper should have had the caution in it’s headline instead of in small print.”

    Yes, I had thought those were fairly low figures at first glance. I generally tend to just glance at the figures from the south, as I said, it’s outside of my usual area of interest ;p

  44. EOIN:

    Has anyone considered the disappointment these youngsters will feel when they go into the polling booth only to find Nick Clegg’s name is not on the ballot?

    Has anybody explained that to them?
    ______________________
    ..Patronsining..? Have we let them down then…???

  45. Tony Dean, I think you need to take with the London Standard poll. As the report explains: “YouGov polled 1,103 Londoners [for the Evening Standard and the results]… may understate the Clegg surge as some of the research came before the TV debate.”

  46. @Pam F

    “EOIN:
    Has anyone considered the disappointment these youngsters will feel when they go into the polling booth only to find Nick Clegg’s name is not on the ballot?

    Has anybody explained that to them?

    Patronsing???? Why should young people not understand, have we let them down then?”

    Given the education they may well have received at Labour’s hands the last 13 years, it is quite possible they won’t understand.

    Anyway, where’s your sense of humour?!

  47. Sorry, seem to have posted twice, it said there was a CAPTCHA code fault, keeps happening..

  48. @Eoin
    “Home grown Sheffield lad” – love the irony! Eoin we agree on the analysis more than you know. I just feel a counter-balance “Devils Advocate” is needed to the majority on this site who think the surge is dappy! Dappy it may be, but we now live in an X-factor type world (ugh!) and Clegg could romp it despite many of us thinking the reason for it is bonkers. I still haven’t made my mind up yet what to do on May 6.

  49. @Interesting – no problem. ;-)
    I think the paper just wanted a headline though the poll is a bit dated.

    However some good news for LD supporters (and the fact that I quite like Susan Kramer) Here is a quote:

    **The poll suggests Lib-Dem MP Susan Kramer can hold Richmond Park, which environmentalist Mr Goldsmith, a rising star of the Tories, looked set to win last week.**

  50. @ Eoin

    Calm down. As stated above the Evening Standard/YouGov straddles the debate and the reaction to the debate was at least as effective in changing the figures. YouGov normally seem to complete polls pretty quickly, so I reckon most of the polling was done before the full force of the debate was felt.

    I actually feel slightly sorry for the Standard sitting on a poll all weekend realising it was already out of date

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