We have details of two more polls – YouGov‘s poll for the Sunday Times has topline figures, with changes from yesterday, of CON 35%(+1), LAB 27%(-2), LDEM 28% (-1). BPIX in the Mail on Sunday have figures, with changes from a week ago, of CON 34%(+3), LAB 26%(-2), LDEM 30%(-2).

Taking a wider look at the polls, the Conservatives do seem to have recovered slightly over the week. After the first debate the pollsters seemed to be consistently putting them in the 31%-33% range, the polls conducted over the last two days (seven of them!) all have the Conservatives between 34%-36%.

The Lib Dem surge looks as though it may have peaked too. The Ipsos MORI poll showing a huge drop is probably meaningless, it looks like a rogue, and a lot of the fall will just be down to the sample being less-Lib Dem inclined (10% of the survey reported voting Lib Dem in 2005, compared to 13% in MORI’s previous poll. Unlike most other companies MORI do not weight by past vote, so it varies from sample to sample). However, the other polls still seem to be showing a slight drop – after four polls in a row showing them over 30%, YouGov have now had them below 30% for three in a row… not, of course, that we don’t still seem to be headed towards the Liberal Democrats best ever performance.

There is also a OnePoll survey in the People which has figures of CON 32%, LAB 23%, LDEM 32%. I do not have any information on whether OnePoll surveys use proper sampling or appropriate weighting, so cannot vouch for whether this is meaningful at all.

UPDATE: The YouGov poll figures have been corrected – the Lib Dems are actually at 28%, not 29% (I’m having a weekend off, so only got the official figures at 9pm like everyone else!)

728 Responses to “Sunday Polls 2 – YouGov & BPIX”

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  1. putting aside the other polls that have come out today, im sure that onepoll will turn out to be doing the right fieldwork.

    on the matter of the tories coming back from there low of 31-33% yes this is a meaning full increase in there vote at last, labour im now sure will not win this election.

  2. Well its a slow slide, but there seems to be a transition towards a more familiar look and feel to the polls. Heading in the direction of a couple of weeks ago (although far from there just yet)

  3. @ Stuart Gregory

    ‘putting aside the other polls that have come out today, im sure that onepoll will turn out to be doing the right fieldwork.’

    and how did you figure that one out Stuart?????

  4. So:

    (A) today’s YouGov poll on Electoral calculus (without Tactical Voting tool) that gives us

    CON 283
    LAB 241
    LIB 94

    Combined Lab-Lib total is 335: majority figure required (as SF don’t take seats) is 322.

    This result means a Lib-Lab coalition under PM Clegg and with Labour spending first three months electing a new leader.

    It may also have some nationalists in it specifically on things like voting reform (a referendum of *options* for which type of reform NOT the ‘do we or don’t we referendum which is what the Conservatives offer); plus also on sensible staggered spending cuts.

    (B) The weekly averages are thus tonight (all published polls including the YG and BPIX):

    The average over the week 17th – 24th is

    Con = 33.1 (-4.3 compared to average 9th -16th)
    Lab = 26.9 (-3.5)
    LD = 29.7 (+9.3)
    Oth = 10.3 (-1.5)

    So that weekly average 17th-24th April on Electoral calculus (without Tactical Voting tool) gives us

    CON 269
    LAB 246
    LIB 103

    Combined Lab-Lib total is 349: majority figure required (as SF don’t take seats) is 322.

    This result means a Lib-Lab coalition under PM Clegg and with Labour spending first three months electing a new leader.

  5. It looks like Clegg would probably preferred to have had one debate, and for it to have taken place one week before the election. Then he might have actually won 30% in the election.

  6. Another question that seems to be becoming relevant, it has be posed to Clegg “who would you support if Labour were the largest party, but the tories have the most votes”

    A question that he has always ducked, saying that he would support the party with the largest mandate (clear as mud methinks)

    However, which party would he support in a hung parliament with the tories with the most votes AND the most seats (as proposed by Rob Sheffield above)

    If he is true to his PR roots, he should support the tories (largest mandate on both counts)… but I can’t see it, can you?

  7. @Adam

    To be honest I can’t see him supporting Brown either, but he’ll have to hold his nose and go with one of them.

  8. LD must still be laughing; 30% at this stage. The odds must have been 100/1 a month ago to be at this level.

    The key issue is LD are still the news in this election; they are the ones generating the news impact. Who cares about other people’s polices; that’s not the news.

    (New PM must have an election inside 6 months. Why? Arent we the ones who elect parties? Or does Cameron think we he is one of the Presidents in waiting? What about Major?) Silly idea; why not 9 moths? A Year? 3 months? This sounds like policies on the foot… Nobody cared about this idea. People do care about longer lasting issues like having a full democracy in this country and so an elected upper house like all the rest of bicameral governments in the world.)

  9. Unless it’s a Lab/Con coalition I suppose. I’d giggle myself stupid if it was.

  10. @Rob Sheffield – your optimism knows no bounds. It is very hard to envisage the politics of a LD/Lab coalition if labour are 40 seats behind the Tories. It’s perfectly possible and thoroughly constitutional, but I somehow doubt Clegg would go for this. The only option would be if Cameron set his face against voting reform, but that is now equally flying in the face of the poltical currents so I expect a Con/LD deal in these circumstances that would include voting reform.
    The weekend polls are basically bad for Labour and it looks like their time is well and truly up with a poor third place in the popular vote. There is time for things to change, but the news on the economy was effectively their last chance, and it wasn’t very helpful.

    Personally, I find this a shame. On top of everything else the announcement today of Cameron’s idea of an election within 6 months if a sitting PM is deposed shows just how poor the Tory party has become. Making it up of the hoof in response to the media situation is not the kind of government we need right now, and while I wouldn’t object outright to a Tory government, a Tory government led by such a bunch of buffoons is going to be a disaster.

    Sorry AW – I know it’s a bit partisan, but in mitigation I would argue its not partisan in party politics, just against a few individuals.

  11. I’d love to see a Lab/Con coalition, just to see the stunned look on Clegg’s face :) “huh? what went wrong?!?!”

  12. ‘ADAM C
    Another question that seems to be becoming relevant, it has be posed to Clegg “who would you support if Labour were the largest party, but the tories have the most votes”’

    Hypothetical question; is democracy about votes or seats. Tories also don’t know which they believe in–otherwise they would have got rid of FPTP which always magnifies winners seats. But they didn’t so they may well be hoist on their own petard. Tories could easily have institutes PR or preferential voting but didn’t- so this time they may lose because they didn’t believe in the principle of FPTP is a nutty system.

  13. I think it will make sense for Clegg to support the Tories in the case of them winning the most seats, if he can get the concession of PR. They WILL clearly have the strongest mandate to govern, although under a FPTP system it’s debatable how strong that mandate actually is. But Clegg could argue that “strongest mandate” means a coalition vs a moniroty government.

    Personally, as a Lib Dem who marginally prefers abour to the Tories, if the Tories win the most seats ni a hung parliament I’d prefer to see Clegg & co give it a shot in coalition with the Conservatives. There may be more fundamental disagreements, but the honeymoon period for a LibCon coalition will be a damn sight longer than a LibLab one, and it’s critical that the Liberals are seen to be effective in government in order to be able to dispell the myth. That would be much less likely with Labour – as soon as something went wrong, the whole thing would unravel rapidly.

    I hope Clegg offers Cameron first dibs on a coalition with the caveat of electoral reform; if Cameron turns down the offer, he can go over to Labour with his head held high and offer them the same deal.

  14. It’s funny that all the Tory papers have polls with Labour miles down, i.e. consolidating the Con vote in the eyes of the readership, and saying that LibDem is the only viable alternative so as you’re all right wing don’t bother.

    Meanwhile, the Murdoch tabloids have the LibDem surge gone, i.e. Dear previously Labour-readership, it’s between Con and Lab and we all know we hate Lab cos that’s what we’ve told you.


  15. The more DC makes policy on the hoof like this PM must have an election inside the 6 months the sillier he is starting to look… Policies are meant to be part of the debate.. nut not policy on the run…

  16. Depends what you mean by support I guess.

    The sequence is that if it is hung, regardless of whose first second or third, then GB will be asked by the Queen if he is forming the government. He would therefore IMO be bound to talk first to Clegg (given the economic proximity) and see if a rapprochement exists.

    The terms of that from Clegg would presumably be PR plus a review before Trident and maybe something on the £10K tax rate. None of those would be totally unpalatable to Labour IMO.

    Assuming Lab has more votes than LD then GB would be looking to remain PM. It would not necessarily be a coalition, just and agreement not to vote against on the Queen’s Speech items.

    If LD has a bigger % than LAB it’s more problematic as then GB may not be able to form a govt. But if GB and NC are agreeing re a rapprochement then they just sit tight while DC parades up to the Queen and admits he can’t form a governemnt, then NC has his turn and he is PM with a similar arrnagement as in the GB PM option.

    That’s the way I see it

  17. Well I must admit, having just seent the weekend polls I’m not feeling very good.
    I need some reassurance from my friends Amber & Sue & Rob S Surbiton, Jim Jam and Co :-)

  18. Interesting fact in the BPIX survey is that 20% intend to vote by post and most would be expected to do so shortly. Shares for these voters are very similar to the main poll, though Labour one point higher at 27 and Conservative and Liberal Democrat exactly the same.

  19. Clegg has said that he would support the largest party. If the Conservatives are the largest party in terms of votes and seats, he will support the Conservatives. If he doesn’t he would have lost all credibility.

  20. Lib Dems WILL hold the balance of power & rightfully so.

    Totally out of order for Adam Boulton to make reference to the

    Daily Torygraph in the Leaders Debate.

  21. RogerH, at April 24th, 2010 at 5:43 pm you said:

    “…I do find it odd how people claim to see trends in polls that show no trends. Face it, the polls aren’t offering anything consistent and any predictions are more hope than objective analysis…”

    OK, let’s have a look at the numbers:

    The last 22 poll scores (18th-24th April) for the Tories are:


    The same 22 poll scores for the Labs are:


    The same 22 poll scores for the LibDems are:


    The same 22 poll scores for the max(Labs,LibDems) are:


    So the same 22 poll leads for the Tories over max(Labs,LibDems) are:


    So, yes: the Tories are starting to pull away and the LibDems are stable/gently declining. It’s beginning to look like 1983. Are the LibDems going to *do* anything about the popular perception that they’re unilateral disarmers, or are they just going to keep slouching towards polling day like they just don’t care?

  22. I should have said tin the last para the sequence is GB says he can’t form a govt, DC says he can’t then NC says he can.

  23. @Scotty Dog

    You are making the assumption that labour wins most seats (in order for the queen to ask him to for a government)

    The way that things are looking at the moment, this is FAR from certain

  24. @Alec

    “It’s perfectly possible and thoroughly constitutional”

    -is the key relevant clause of your post.

    This result gets LD’s a larger vote share but FPTP puts them almost 150 seats less than Labour.

    This result if repeated on election night gives impetus and momentum to whoever is willing to hand Clegg *at the least* a referendum on WHAT PR system (not ‘whether’) and with Labour in third place if there is a PR/ Constitutional reform based coalition then Clegg has to be PM.

    On this result the best the LD’s can hope for from a DC minority government is a referendum on WHETHER we go to PR- and that could be lost i.e. its a political gamble not a certainty.

    That is also ignoring the LD’s and Cons have fundamentally different approaches to economic policy: LD’s and Labour don’t.

    So- for me- the KEY number on May 7th/ May 8th is the combined seat tally of yellow and red and whether that is a majority or not…..

    ….at the moment the trend and the daily averages say they do.

  25. Al J
    Just think back to the Labour landslides of 1997 and 2001 when everything was going in Labours way and the Tories were in melt down. 1983 works for me. :)

  26. Another question is why on earth should anyone who votes Lib dem pay any tax ? No taxation without representation.

    As opposed to Ashcroft, Murdoch etc who have represntation with minimal taxation.

  27. I love the use of words; connotation and denotation are important. It’s a bit like the difference between a house and a home- same building, different emotions.

    Let us consider the words ‘ hung’ versus ‘ coalition’ or minority’; those who dislike minority governments will use’hung’. Some of us who have lived in other countries will use ‘coalition’ and places like ‘Scotland’ who have happily had a minority government’ will accept that term.

    To readers of this blog be aware that if people use ‘ hung’ they are trying to emotionally way your view as are the others. Only those who refer yo such terms ‘no overall majority’ should be viewed as more likely to be analytical.

  28. Another question that seems to be becoming relevant, it has be posed to Clegg “who would you support if Labour were the largest party, but the tories have the most votes”

    Why would or should he answer? He wouldn’t be much of a politician if he did as either answer risks alienating some potential voters. For now he needs to concentrate on maximising his vote. After the election he’ll naturally want to align with the party that offers the best chance of implementing policies with which he agrees. Or would you expect him to support policies he doesn’t like just because of some mathematical equation?

  29. There wont be a lib-lab coalition. There wont be a lib-con coalition. There will be a tory government with a majority.

  30. All I can say is that the trend is going back to the Conservatives and that the Clegg bubble has burst.

  31. @ Rob Sheffield – YAWN !

    Sorry Rob, I’m afraid CamCon has it in the bag and will form a maj government.

    These polls (ok so they have MoE) are all returning to start of campaign position for ConCam.

    Which is to be expected really . . . . .

  32. @ Martyn

    Except the Conservatives are now 8 points lower than they achieved then. The Liberals/SDP were nowhere near where the Lib Dems are now and they also were coming from a much lower base in terms of MPs.

    The Lib Dems now have 63 MPs, which they are almost certain to improve on this time, but only had 23 after the 1983 election. Labour are forecast to come out with around 240 or more MPs even on current polls, versus 209 in 1983.

    So not very much like the 1983 election then.

  33. Am cheering myself up with Britain’s got Talent.

    Fully expecting David Cameron singing Common People, Gordon Brown pulling some rabbits out of hats and Nick Clegg on a high wire doing a terrific balancing act.

  34. Jack

    How do you know that those who use the phrase “no overall majority” are likely to be more analytical than those who use “hung”? Have you met them?

  35. @andrew k

    From the Institute of government website

    The incumbent government remains in place until it is clear who will form the next government. In this period there is an expectation that the government will avoid taking controversial decisions without consulting the opposition, under the ‘caretaker convention’.The Cabinet Office is now clarifying the conventions for such a period (See CM Ch 6, para 20).

    Who negotiates this formation of government?

    It is for the political parties to determine and communicate who is likely to be able to command confidence. If a majority of political parties declare in advance that they would definitely not support a particular government being formed then that party cannot reasonably claim to be likely to command confidence. The political parties will negotiate amongst themselves, but this process can be supported in practical terms by the Civil Service, on the authorisation of the Prime Minister of the Day. The Queen’s Private Secretary, the Cabinet Secretary, and the Prime Minister’s Principal Private Secretary all play a role in ensuring that conventions are adhered to and that developments are clearly communicated.”

    Assuming you mean the DC has most seats scenario, my understanding is that GB still goes first unless DC has an absoulte majority. If he can do a deal with LDs then it is on the basis that they have more than 50% of the country behind them – he’d have no problem presenting this.

  36. Said it before – public have the memory of goldfish.

    A 9 day wonder is 8 to 10 days – Young Nick has had exactly 9 days and now its over.

    I am not a UK voter, I am a channel islander living in Cyprus – never voted in Uk never will.

  37. @ Dave

    I hope you are right Dave.

  38. @Scotty Dog

    Until 7 May then . . . when DC will be asked to form maj govt!

  39. The institute site also says this:

    The Election Result

    So if no single party has a majority and there is a hung parliament, what happens next?

    If no party has an overall majority, the incumbent Prime Minister is entitled to remain in place until a new government is formed. If the party in power believe they can form a government they will have the first opportunity to do so by seeking approval for their programme in the Queen’s Speech debate. Other parties will not have the opportunity to attempt to form a government unless and until the incumbent Prime Minister resigns. (See The Cabinet Manual (CM) chapter 6, paragraphs 16-20)

    Doesn’t the leader of the largest party automatically become Prime Minister?

    No. That’s a common misconception. Strictly speaking it is the party which can command the confidence of Parliament that is invited to form the government. This may be the second largest party,

  40. “It’s beginning to look like 1983.”

    It looks nothing like 1983 and there’s not the remotest chance that it will.

    “You are making the assumption that labour wins most seats (in order for the queen to ask him to for a government)”

    The queen won’t ask him to form a government because Labour is already in government and Brown is her PM. It’s for Brown to go and say he can’t form a government. Until such time (or a defeat on a vote of confidence) he remains in office.

  41. Now that we are agreed Libs are declining, the important thing is the Lab-Tory gap.

    Cameron successfully pulled blues back from yellow by explaining that it was really a vote for Brown.

    The onus is on Brown to call the soft red back into the fold. That is if he still wants a majority.

    Millibands article in the Guardian today would suggest that this has already begun..

    expect this to shed a further 2-3% of Liberal Deomocrat with th emajoirty of them going to red..

    So, by Thursday 8pm (ie just before the debate) we will have labour on 30%.

  42. Rob S

    for me to believe in your scenario (which I want to) I have to see NC declare that if he found himself in a position to form a government to implement ‘fair votes’ he would regardless of previous announcements because he was ‘now convinced that was what the British people want’.

    That sort of announcement (compare that one with DC’s conversion to presidential government) is dependent on a last minute decision. Up to now, NC’s whole game plan is not to discuss hung situations. Such is the only thing now I can envisage as a game changer other than GB scrabbling back a few points with his ‘steady as she goes’ line.

  43. Aren’t we all missing the obvious?The “rogue” MORI poll more or less mirrors their recent poll of 57 Lab/Con marginals and therefore lower Lib Dem percentages.It does beg the question whether MORI duplicated data,made a mistake or did not indicate how representative the sample was to please the requisitioner…What we can deduce is that it is clearly out of line with other polls in the clutch and is certainly out of date with all of the field work done on 23rd April.

  44. Can I say that I think it is good that the blues are posting again. In the last FPTP election there will ever be your party stands an outside chance of a majority.

    Good Luck!! :) :)

  45. i can not see labour getting more than 30ish% at this election maybe even less, the lib dems as some on this page have come up along way since last election but i can see them getting 26 to 28% with the tories getting 37-39%

    tonights polls (so far) six reported

    CON 34.3

    LD 28.8

    LAB 26.7

    OTH 10.2

    CON LEAD 5.5% over the lib dems and 7.6% over labour

  46. Assuming a balanced parliament, here is my take:

    Going into coalition with anyone requires a mandate from Lib Dem members – there would be no coalitions in the short term since a vote of members with proper time for consideration would take at least a month.

    It is more likely that the Lib Dems would agree to support a programme of specific measures for a limited period. Minority government like this is what happens in Scotland. The largest party in parliament would probably be the first to try and form a minority administration – it is not up to Clegg to choose more seats or more votes as the criterion. However at present it looks more likely to be the Tories on both counts. Clegg has made it clear that support would depend on moving towards the Lib dem position on the “4 principles”. You can read this on the Lib Dem manifesto website if you want. It may be that the initially dominant party would try and push through something that did not have majority support in parliament and would be defeated. Then the next party might have a go. It might be a while before this happens. It is not too clear who has the “right” to call a general election in these circumstances….

    It is also possible that the Nationalists may be able to keep a minority goverment in power without the Lib Dems.

    It is unreasonable to expect Clegg to box himself in to a response to every possible throw of the electoral dice – it is not entirely up to him since the Lib Dems are actually a “one person one vote” political party where the membership have quite a say


  47. The Conservatives will never agree to changing the voting system. If they’re in charge of a minority government, they’ll wait a few months and then call another election just as Labour is imploding. They’d probably win a majority then, even if the LD vote holds up.

  48. Adam C If he is true to his PR roots, he should support the tories (largest mandate on both counts)… but I can’t see it, can you?

    He’ll think it nice to have the choice. If the Tories gave in on PR, then I could quite see it.

    Given that Lab and Tory have failed to put the Lib Dems back in their box over the last 3 elections – and if LDs reached the magic 100 seats, the Tories might well think that three party politics was now part of life and embrace it.

  49. Well, on 7/5 just how many will be fed up with the promises from the LDs coming to nothing YET again and this time likely to drag Lab down too far!

    LD (or whatever they used to call themselves) have variously been the millstone around Con or Lab for too many years.

    Full of promise, never quite delivered but ruined many a party on the way!

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