There aren’t normally many polls on Sunday night – YouGov’s Sun poll will be out later – but I’ve had chance to look at more of the YouGov/Sunday Times data from yesterday/this morning, including that article from Peter Kellner on marginal data.

Looking at the rest of the YouGov/Sunday Times results, Nick Clegg continues to enjoy his “Churchillian” approval ratings – 77% think he is doing a good job as Lib Dem leader, 14% a bad job. Asked which party poses the bigger risk to the recovery, respondents were evenly split – 34% thought Conservative spending cuts were the biggest risk, 35% thought Labour’s National Insurance rise posed the bigger threat.

There were a series of questions about hung Parliaments – 37% thought a hung Parliament with the Lib Dems holding the balance of power would be a good thing, 41% disagreed. As you might expect, Lib Dem voters overwhelmingly thought it would be good, and not particularly surprisingly Tory voters overwhelmingly thought it would be bad. Interestingly a substantial minor of Labour voters (36%) thought it would be a good thing (presumably part of that will be people considering it the alternative to a Tory majority!). People were evenly split when asked whether they believed a hung Parliament could result in Britain turning to the IMF – 32% agreed and 33% disagreed.

Asked whether they thought Conservative claims that voting for Nick Clegg could result in Gordon Brown remaining Prime Minister were true, 40% thought they were true, with 30% disagreeing. Most of that 40% said it made no difference to how they would vote (they would either vote Lib Dem anyway, or weren’t going to anyhow) – however, 14% of Lib Dem voters said they it might effect their vote, and they would not want to risk keeping Gordon Brown in power.

YouGov also asked if various election results would delight or dismay respondents. 24% would be delighted by a Cameron majority government, the highest figure, but 47% would be dismayed. As you might expect, most Conservatives would be delighted, most Labour and a significant majority of Lib Dem supporters would be dismayed. Asked about a Brown majority goverment 17% would be delighted (since almost a third of Labour supporters said only they wouldn’t mind), 50% would be dismayed.

Now it gets interesting – asked about a Cameron led Con/LD coalition, it is less popular than a Conservative majority. Only 8% would be delighted, and 52% would be dismayed (the highest figure). The reason is 53% of Lib Dem supporters would still be dismayed by such a result, and only 6% delighted, while 33% of Conservative supporters would be dismayed by such a result. What about a Gordon Brown led Lab/LD coalition? This is slightly more popular, 10% would be delighted and 49% dismayed, but still less popular than a Labour majority. Contrast this with a Lab/LD coalition under a different Labour leader – 11% would be delighted (including 24% of Lib Dem voters), and only 43% dismayed.

Finally 21% would be delighted at a majority Lib Dem coalition, with just 32% dismayed (since 31% of Tories and 40% of Labour wouldn’t mind). 8% would be delighted at a grand coalition, 45% dismayed.

In the Times Peter Kellner also has an article based on the aggregated YouGov data, broken down to look at marginal seats. There the Conservatives have a swing of only 4%, compared to a national swing of 4% across the same period – so this poll shows the Lib Dem bounce cancelling out the Conservatives previous outpermance in marginal seats. Two caveats need adding to this – firstly it’s just one poll, and we’ve had a MORI marginals poll in the same period showing the Conservatives continuing to do better in marginals. Secondly, my understanding is that the aggregated data is all of YouGov’s polling between the first and second debate, so it’s during the peak of the Clegg boost, rather than the modest Conservative recovery we’ve seen since then.

Finally, I’ve had little chance to keep track of Scottish voting intention polls during the election, but there was also a YouGov poll of Scottish voting intentions this morning. Topline figures were CON 15%, LAB 36%, LDEM 24%, SNP 22%. What strikes me the most there is how close it is to the 2005 election result compared to GB figures – the Conservatives are down 1 since 2005, Labour down 3, the Liberal Democrats up 1, the SNP up 4. If the general election result is anything like that, I would not expect many Scottish seats to change hands.

76 Responses to “More from YouGov/Sunday Times”

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  1. David Owen just gave a very spirited defence of Commons Reform and Clegg’s position on Coalitions on the Beeb. The best PM we never had ?

  2. Tony Dean
    @ Christopher

    What is arrogant about saying that a party coming third in the popular vote has no moral authority to provide the PM?
    I agree Tony. There are a few people on here that think that Labour coming third in the popular vote and say 30 seats behind the Conservatives, would still make for them staying in Govt and providing the PM.

    There simply is no moral authority. It is like something from Zimbabwe!

  3. Junior partners in coalitions normally take all the balame and none of the credit, of course.

  4. The ‘ dismayed’ stats suggest that whilst there are of course anti-Lab soft LD’s there are currently more anti_Con LDs.

    Labours tactics has get to be to try to get some of these to vote Labour at the GE esp in marginals.

    It seems Mandelson already started.

    I am a Labour supporter and agree about finishing 3rd in pop vote and expecting to be the mainn governing party.
    Second in votes but more seats than cons in the debatable position and the one that Clegg did not address.
    Reckon GB stays on for few months with tacit LD support but no coalition whilst successor Elected by Labour and a new GE using AV October or next March latest.
    Think unlikely anyway as believe conswill be largest party just seats count in doubt.

  5. I’m surprised any Conservative voters would be anything less than ecstatic about a Conservative majority! Likewise, Labour voters being less than mega-chuffed if Brown wins a majority. That in itself shows either that polls are weird or the electorate are somewhat strange….

  6. The scenario where Labour is 3rd in the popular vote but has the largest number of seats is currently just as likely as various other scenarios and is the outcome which would pose all parties very considerable dilemmas – I don’t think anyone has any idea at the moment how his scenario would play out.

    In the meantime, anyone with a bit of time for examining the further reaches of Conservative ideology could do worse than taking a ramble through John Redwood’s diary which he ha been publishing on line for some time. There are some real gems in what amounts to a daily, sometimes twice daily, expose of his thoughts. To will lead you to some start you off the following link will lead you to Redwood’s ruminations about how to run education.,

  7. The Scottish results are interesting. Assuming that the Scottish (and Welsh) electorates who are used to PR and the Lib Dems as a potential party of government don’t share in the current bounce, does that mean that the bounce in England is even more substantial than already thought. What impact would that have?

  8. Simon, some supporters of other parties will vote tactically for in their seat (my labour supporting sister voting LD in her LD/Con marginal.

    If polled she would repond LD as voting intention but not be happy about an LD victory – similar for many LD supporters voting Lab or Con.
    Also some voters may want a hung parliament as they favour one party slightly but would be happpy if they did nit get an overall majority.

  9. Anthony

    Is there any way of working out how many people have already voted through the post?

  10. It could be that some supporters of parties realise that the economy is in such a terrible state (far worse than either party is admitting), that whoever wins will have a poisoned chalice, and will have to make some very unpopular decisions.

  11. A new factor comes into play from today; postal votes. I’ve voted today so even if clegg keels over or we find a sleezy skeleton in anybodies cupboard it won’t make a difference to mine or my families votes. This ‘postal too late to change’ vote needs to be factored in: or does it? A fascinating election and I am still waiting for the punditd to articulate what i’m hearing from my colleagues and in my local ( Birmingham)…anyone but….Cameron ( yes surprisingly not Brown!).

  12. @Richard – is it more acceptable for one man to define what’s a governable mandate? Huge tactical error to make from Clegg won’t get any more votes from it and only risk alienating current soft voters.

    This is current electoral system and consistution and only the Cons are saying this is ok.

  13. the conservatives will be sick to the core if they dont get a straight , working majority

    believe me , friends of mine who are tory expected a cameron victory …easy

    its moved from that , to a possibility of a small majority , which will leave them very fragile the probability of a tory majority in a minority government

    and it could be worse than that

    anthing other than an outright tory victory , with a safe working majority , will be seen as a complete disaster , given what we were seeing a few months ago

    the rise in liberal vote has been enough to scupper this

    I think that there will also be enough labour voters who were irked by cleggs comments for the labour viote to get a bit of a boost ..but not enough to affect the steady liberal vote in the liberal tory marginals ..I think enough liberal vote will be there to keep cameron away from the keys on may 6th

    what happens after that ….??

  14. Reposted from previous thread (Why am I always the last to leave? It happens at parties too):

    Xiby et al

    There should be a new regional breakdown tomorrow of the YouGov figures from this last week (including the poll expected tonight).

    It’s published at Politics Home UK. The figures from 11-18 April are on the Politics Home website but for some reason not in the YouGov archive (and the previous week to that has the wrong date).

    Note that these regions are smaller than the daily ones, so you can split SW from SE etc.

    If Xiby’s figures are anything like correct they will be extremely interesting indeed.

  15. Thanks Jim Jam, yes you are right. I need to look beyond the immediately obvious. Still it’s Sunday evening so my brain is not at its sharpest!

  16. Saying “Clegg is doing a good job as LD leader” is not the same as saying “I approve of Clegg”. Someone might well think Clegg is completely wrong on (say) the jobs tax, the Euro, the EU and energy policy (no to nuclear power – yes to blackouts) but nevertheless concede that he is doing an excellent job as LD leader.

  17. Also, has Clegg said he wouldn’t support Brown as PM, or he wouldn’t support Labour in the instance of Labour coming 3rd in the popular vote? Big difference.

    (hi everyone, been reading the threads for the last couple of weeks, finally deciding to post)

  18. @Simon

    “I’m surprised any Conservative voters would be anything less than ecstatic about a Conservative majority! Likewise, Labour voters being less than mega-chuffed if Brown wins a majority. That in itself shows either that polls are weird or the electorate are somewhat strange….”

    Or they might just be disillusioned?

    I’ll likely be voting tory on the 6th, but I certainly won’t be delighted about a tory overall majority. I mostly just view them as least worst option.

  19. Hi Chaps.

    I’m a little confused here:

    According to the above, the lab-con swing is 4% in the uk marginals and the lab-con swing in Scotland is very small.

    If the average uk swing is 4% similar to that of the marginal seats but the swing in Scotland is tiny, does this mean there is a greater swing somewhere else in the uk to compensate this? If so, where could this be?

    Any ideas?

  20. the presenter on Sky News just said “lots of polls coming out later”. Was this just lazy journalism or are there more than the yougov poll out tonight?

  21. sky news IS the definition of lazy , biased journalism

    have they picked up on kellners article ?

    have they by heck as like

    kay burley ?……..are they having a laugh ?

  22. @WanderingWelshman

    I’m sure they’d be like Fox News / The Sun if broadcasting rules allowed it

  23. Tonights You Gov

    Con 34
    Lab 28
    LD 30

  24. Kay Burley is a Sun jornalist that’s just found herself on TV.

    Have to say ITV have been far worse throughout the campaign than SKY.

  25. I no longer have the strength to read some of these posts, but if there are any Lab/Lib supporters on site who think that Tories will stand still for 24 hours more of Gordon Brown once he and his party have been defeated by 20, 30, or 40 seats, you have another think coming. As things are we will probably scrape a majority, but if we dont and Cameron has won the support of a greater number of voters, running into many thousands, Brown and Labour will go. Rely upon it. Do not kid yourselves.

  26. RJK

    Remember that almost all these English regions have rather larger populations than Scotland so it is not as simple as a like for like comparison…

  27. I think Clegg’s interview will have done some harm to the Lib Dems in the polls. Acting like a king-maker before his time is only going to irk the electorate; particularly Labour supporters.

    And the Tories, far from being ‘relieved’, will use it as ammunition for further attacks to try and wrest the polls away from a hung parliament.

    A tactical blunder of the classic Ashdown pre-’92 variety.

  28. But, of course, the result in Scotland will be nothing like what Yougov suggest.

    I don’t know what planet they are on with their weightings but anything other than a substantial Labour lead from the samples they always seem to use would be incredible.

    There are other pollsters which tell rather different stories and I think they are more credible in a Scottish context.

  29. Oscar – can you provide some recent Scottish voting intention figures?

  30. @Mark

    Are you sure about that? There was a rumour on Twitter with those figures that turned out to be traced back to a link that didnt work..

  31. Tonight’s YouGov poll shows Labour in the lead for the first time since early 2008. Labour 33%, Conservatives 32%, Lib Dems 27%.

    And yet another Twitter rumour. now

  32. Just had a bizarre thought which isn’t new this election, but which might be more relevant because of the closeness of it and the increase in postal votes. If the Cons, say, win a seat with a majority of 3 over the Lib Dems it could be because four people who voted Tory by post have died in the ten days or so between posting their votes and election day. If that happened in ten or so seats the election could be decided on the votes of people who have died. That can’t be right can it?

  33. “I think Clegg’s interview will have done some harm to the Lib Dems in the polls. Acting like a king-maker before his time is only going to irk the electorate; particularly Labour supporters”

    Clegg was in an impossible situation and how could he indicate support for Brown if he came third. He didn’t actually rule out working with either Con or Lab. He has to try to avoid “vote clegg get brown” or now Mandleson has suggested “flirt with Clegg, marry Cameron”.

  34. *Rumour on Twitter*

    “Tonight’s YouGov poll shows Labour in the lead for the first time since early 2008. Labour 33%, Conservatives 32%, Lib Dems 27%. ”

  35. Is it too late to put an extra ballot paper in with the existing GE and local election papers for May 6th?

    I’m thinking that people should be asked how they would vote in the event of a hung parliament and electoral reform (ie on a PR basis)

    It would save a lot of time and money and would be preferable to a six month impasse and more interminable campaigning. Alternatively you could go French and have a second round on May 13th.

    Other than the regular hacks on this site, do you really want to do all this again when the leaves begin to fall?

  36. Hi Guys

    Can anyone say what a good majority is. Someone on Sky said less than 20 seats, however I recall Wilson in 1964 governed with a majority of 4 for two years before calling and winning a subsequent election in 1966.

    If EITHER Con or Lab get a majority of less than 10 one can deduce that this is not a mandate and they would need to broaden their support and form a National Govt to confront the huge problems we face. To be to narrow minded and insist their policies are “right” for the country smacks of arrogance of the worst kind whether it is Tory or Labour. Whoever wins need to build strong consensus and broad support.

  37. I’m not convinced yet that the Clegg poll will harm LDs more than help, I’ll wait and see.
    It’s possible that it may annoy some soft Lab, but equally it may attract back some soft Con who were put off by the idea of LD keeping GB in power. I won’t pretend to know which factor will be larger, imo it could go either way or have a neutral net effect overall – though perhaps changing some marginals?

  38. If there is a hung Parliament there is nothing necessarily wrong with Labour coming in third on votes and Brown being kept in by the LibDems coming second in terms of votes.

    If the Tories had the most votes, but can’t command a majority, then they can’t come in. If Labour and the LibDems can do a deal, whoever is PM will be of a party that did not have the most votes. There is no sense that it cannot be Brown. No one else in Labour has an alternative mandate. Clegg would have a good claim, but undermined by having fewer seats, no doubt.

    What is good politics, is another matter.

    The real problem is that, with everyone so coy about what they would do, the solution is likely to come as a surprise and a disappointment to many of the voters who gave the coalition its mandate.


    Am tempted to suggest that DC, NC or GB might think that 2 would be agood majority to have in the current situation!!

  40. I felt that NC sated his position so confidently that it must be an LD decision.

    Perhaps they had data that the “Vote Clegg – Get Brown” message was working and this was a counter.

    They gain soft Blues, but lose soft reds… So I can only assume they feel their LD/LAB Marginals are in the bag…

    Is it also the beginning of the negotiations? If you want Lib/Lab Pact then GB cannot be PM – it must be NC (if LAB 3rd in popular vote)…

  41. New YouGov poll: CON 34% (-1), LIB DEM 30% (+2), LAB 28% (+1)

  42. @Joseph1832

    I just cannot agree with you Joseph1832.

    If Labour come third in the ‘Popular’ vote AND get less seats than the Conservatives they just couldn’t get away with it on pure moral grounds.

    Nick Clegg and his Lib Dems just couldn’t help prop up a Labour Government and GB when the country had resoundingly rejected them!

    Lets just hope DC gets a working majority to avoid all the mess that is looming which would be very bad for the country and especially the economy.

    I don’t think some Labour people give a toss about what would happen as long as their party stayed in power – unelected/twice sacked Mandelson for one!

  43. Cons 34, LD 30, Lab 28 are the figures bring reported on both Tweetminster and The telegraph. Nothing up on Yougov ye tthough.

  44. Dead people in Chicago allegedly won Kennedy the Presidency in 1960.
    Nice conundrum though Martin.
    What about voteres who send in their postal vote and change their mind, before 5/6 can they?

  45. On postal votes:

    Remember, the vast majority of people with postal votes are those who regularly or always vote. They are people who have taken the time to fill in forms and make sure they don’t lose their right to vote. There are also large numbers of elderly and disabled who exercise a postal vote though they too are among those who regularly vote.

    Parties have done their best to take advantage of the modern rules to make sure their supporters have a postal vote.

    In short postal voters are frequent voters and the most likely to be committed to a particular party. They are not the new registrants we’ve heard so much about over the past few days – and btw downloading a form does NOT equal filling it in and submitting it – and they are NOT the pencil-hoverers making up their minds at the last minute.

  46. @ James they are the right numbers. YouGov Twitter account just confirmed them.

  47. New Statesman is reporting tonight’s Yougov as
    Con 34 / Lib 30 / Lab 28

  48. If LD are slightly ahead of LAB on % of vote, are LD going to ignore the fact that many LAB voters will have voted LD to keep the CONs out?

    It’s a bit much for NC to be claiming 2nd party status if he’s relying on LAB TV to get his party into that position!

  49. Jim Jam


    Won’t happen – AV is Labour’s plan and nobody elses – it is not proportional and the Lib Dems won’t buy it.

  50. It’s on You gov now Con ahead on 34%; Lib Dem in second place at 30%, Labour in third with 28%

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