The polling YouGov did on Gordon Brown’s gaffe yesterday is up in full on the website here. 44% sympathize with Mrs Duffy, 23% with Brown. 50% think its a storm in a teacup, 46% think the worse of Brown. 26% think that Brown was genuinely sorry, 56% think he wasn’t.

The imporant bit though (especially given we are a week away from an election), is whether it changes votes. 9% said it made them less likely to vote Labour, 3% more likely to vote Labour – the rest no difference. My regular readers will know I am not a fan of questions like this – people use them to signify approval or disapproval regardless of whether it will actually change their vote. Lo and behold – that 9% of people who say it will make them less likely to vote Labour, is made up of Conservative and Lib Dem supporters. Most of those who say it will make them more likely to vote Labour, are voting Labour anyway.

Of course, the better test of whether it changes any votes will be whether voting intention changes. We’ll have the normal YouGov poll tonight, beyond that most polling will probably be after the third debate, so it will be difficult to distinguish any Mrs Duffy effect from a debate effect.

76 Responses to “The effect of Brown & Mrs Duffy”

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  1. Just read 25% said it made no difference and they would vote Labour anyway.

    This suggest a 1% of naive blues and yellows. And further evidence of Labour being in the mid twenties.

  2. Nearly everyone Ive spoken to today were of the opinion that Gordon Brown was right to call her a bigot, that Brown came across as more human, that he is being picked on and set up by the media.
    I dont think it will make any difference to the polls .

    I expect Cameron tonight to exploit the bigot incident with a few soundbites :”its not bigoted ,,,,,this, and its not bigoted that….”

    At the end of the day though I think we are approaching that point fast when historically when analysis of the existing polls becomes irrelevant and there is a panic return to the tories. I expect within 5 days the tories to have hit 39% in the polls and Labour 25%.
    I also expect Cameron to have a majority of 10 to 20 confounding all the experts and number crunchers,

  3. @Mike,

    I accept that….. apoligies.

    Do you have any comments on the veracity or authority we should afford to old Angus’ UK recipes? Is it like Lloyd Grossman in a jar?

  4. South Londoner,

    there are quite a few places where postal votes are really high because of an experiment a couple of years ago – Newcastle for one as I recall. It is so easy to get a PV these days that they are not the committed voters they used to be (I remember making a special trip to the electoral office in town to pick up a form one time!)

    In Bradford East I know there are 11000 postal votes –

  5. @Tony Dean

    The Angus Reid Labour figure is unchanged from last week.

  6. @ Chris D

    Yes Chris I know – and it was way out of kilter with other polls then. In my post I was saying that at first glance I thought it must be post Duffy, but that when I read the survey dates I realised it wasn’t. AR may be consistant, but so out of whack with everyone else?

  7. This AR poll were it to be the final result, still puts the Cons 40 short. Allowing for a bit of marginal lift perhaps 25 short. Not the best performance from our side considering the fantastic ammo situation. Of course, in a democracy where people get to vote without the slightest idea what they are voting for, I suppose anything is possible. Tonight, will produce sympathy for GB, lust for NC, trembling (hope, not lust ) for DC, and a great deal of could’nt give a toss.

  8. @ MIKE

    I definitely agree with point number one, although I don’t know the figures of postal voting. Do a lot of people vote this way?
    Point two could very well be of signficance, we shall see.
    In regards to point three, I think the subject of immigration actually bodes the worst for the tories. I say this because the tories have posed themselves as the party strictest on immigration, and yet as we all know, immigration is pretty much controlled by the EU, which the tories have admitted they will have to work in line with. So I think if anything, immigration is likely to really rattle tories, who will feel betrayed (re: iron cast guarantee etc.), and will vote UKIP.
    I don’t believe Labour will lose support to the tories over immigration, but perhaps they will to the BNP. Perhaps there will be a loss of Labour support, but I don’t think there will be gains to the tories. I know this isn’t what you were suggesting though, but it’s worth adding.

    I guess we’ll find out soon enough!

  9. @ Roland Haines

    sympathy, hope and lust……which is the greatest human motivator of these three?

  10. Last thursday YouGov poll was released early (just after 5pm) well before the debate. I am wondering if Anthony will release them early again.

  11. @Dave

    I expect within 5 days the tories to have hit 39% in the polls and Labour 25%.


    It’s hard to resist that type of conclusion given recent events. I really think we have to wait on the effect of the Duffy saga and the type of boost (if any ) Clegg can get in this last debate.

    Tonight’s polls/debate will point us firmly where we’re headed.

  12. Ash – not my call, the Sun decide their own embargo time. I won’t be releasing them either way, since I’m about to go out!

  13. @Dave

    I agree with your forecast – but only on the basis that pre the first debate I too thought CamCon would get to 331.

    My original forecast took into account that I felt Tory would get 39/40% and Lab would sink below 29% with LD around 25 but taking more Lab ppotential voters than tory.

    Things have become more volatile since debate 1 but in the end it’ll revert to type!

    This is at odds with Eoin’s original forecasts who considered red & blu would converge with reds taking c 34%.

  14. New thread available

  15. @Roland…………….This is, ‘New Politics’ as illustrated by three oddballs, vieing for position to commit political suicide, by winning an election. Mervyn King quoted today as saying, the winning side will be out of power for a generation. :-)

  16. S.Londoner
    “I agree with your analysis. I would add, though, that if someone is interested enough in politics to register for a postal vote, I doubt they’d be rash enough, on the whole, to vote as a result of one news story.”
    You would think so, wouldn’t we.
    Today on World at One in a marginal they were asking folk what they thought about theincreased number of postal votes. They were generally in favour but the only complaint made (several times) was that they might receive a leaflet or a candidate might say something which they liked but would be unable to change their vote.
    An in-depth analysis of why and how the electorate decide their vote would be quite terrifying.

  17. I am still trying to make out how the other 2 are going to counter the Lib Dems re-alignment of the tax system from favouring the few to favouring the many.

    You know this £10k threshold is a reflationary instrument though the Lib Dems want to do it for entirely different reasons. The side effects is spending, growth and further tax receipts etc

    Leaving more money with the vast majority of tax payers, taking part time and low earners completely out of the system , whilst giving everybody up to a £100k is a very powerful argument.

    How many % in the polls we shall see?

  18. Oh look! John Fletcher, another Tory telling us how the working classes will react!

  19. The ECONOMIST came out for the Tories????
    No Way!!
    Who owns them then?
    Anyone who’s read the economist (as I have) for the last year or two will know why I’m very surprised! I’d got the impression they thought the Tories would be hard pushed to organise some festivities in a place that makes liquor!!

  20. @Jack
    Raising threshholds used to be a Labour policy of old. It does tend to favour low paid workers who are then more likely to go out and spend the money thus boosting the economy as you say. I don’t know what the LibDems have said about how they will finance the tax cut?

  21. Tonight’s YouGov prediction given by Sky about 6.15pm was

    Blue 34
    Red 27
    Yellow 28

    So don’t know which one is right. They said LD was down 3, Tory and Labour no change, and all 3 points from LD went to ‘others’ (I would suggest short term change to BNP or Independent Party due to Duffygate, but coming back to the LD’s before election day).

  22. Eoin and Mitz – As we are all parent’s of boys, I’ll tell you now, mine’ll be asleep by 8.30 due to the enormous dose of night nurse I’ll give ’em (joke before anyone calls social services)

  23. Roland – You are, as ever, tremendous.

  24. I recommend you all read Nate Silver’s analysis on his blog.

    Whilst I don’t think he has done this British model with the same rigour he created his US model he has consistently proved himself to be a master at interpreting polls and making accurate predictions. He won’t be far off unless the polls swing madly after tonight.

  25. I’m not convinced about polling when results are so close and the effect of three parties being in with a chance of winning (or at least making big gains).

    The big question for me is whether one party get ‘squeezed out’ or whether the results are genuinely spread evenly.

  26. Find it rather strange that the balance of power is spread not between the three major parties, but through UKIP and the BNP if they gain candidates for the UK paliament – I do not include Plaid Cymru or SNP as they are fighting for their own countries and not to make the UK a better place for all.

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