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”

1 2
  1. Apparently Max Clifford is sticking his oar in, trying to get Duffy to give an exclusive to a hostile tabloid. If he suceeds and the papers go for Brown’s jugular I think it will play to Brown’s favour. So, I think this needs to be factored in, which won’t be in tonight’s polls, despite being fully after the event.


  2. A little bit of sanity in a crazy crazy world.

  3. If this pans out in tonight’s polls there’ll be no need to call for Super Blair to save the day!!!

  4. @Dave,

    bringing Blair back for some campaigning would finish Labour in this election, even more so in the light of a mistake from Brown.

    I doubt we’ll see him again.


  5. Angus R, Economist

    Tory 33, LD 30 & Lab 23

  6. Brown said it and got caught out, I am sure Cameron and Clegg have also said very similar things about us ‘ordinary’ voters, but without the microphone on. If anything, it will just make more people apathetic about the whole political picture in the UK, which is sad.

  7. @Leon,

    I agree with you, but just think what some of the very string Labour supportors on here would have said if that comment was made by Cameron. It would be ‘nasty’ Tories etc.

    Lucky in a way that the debate has come round quickly after, as at least the papers will change to that tmr. Today’s headlines in all papers made for awful reading for Labour!


  8. Funny that we will all be glued to the debates tonight wondering not just how the debate will play out but also the extent of the ‘Duffy’ effect. And potentially there might belittle or no effect…we just don’t know.

    In one weeks time it will all be nearly over.

  9. Presumably, if they follow last week’s approach, we’ll get the Yougov poll a little while before the debate, so as to avoid it being overshadowed. It’ll be a better demonstration of what, if any, effect bigotgate has had, but it’s not going to make any front pages tomorrow.

  10. Cannot understand for the life of me, why YouGov do not list in their research the opinions of undecided voters and parties other than C, L and LD? Don’t they count?

  11. Angus Reid puts LibDems 3% behind Tories! That is a great result for LD, no?

  12. Like I said yesterday, anti-Brownites will saty anti-Brownites, Gordon Lovers will be galvanised, don’t knows won’t become decideds up because of something like this.

    Thank goodness for a bit of sanity.

    Fast forward the next 3 hours please.

  13. I feel like I’ve commented on this enough, but as there is a thread on the subject, I’ll say one last thing. I think the British public is more intelligent than the media gives them credit for, and can see through Murdoch spin. Brown may be in the wrong here, but the endless viscious attacks by the media have done him no harm.
    If he has a good performance tonight, I expect Labour to level out as they were previously due to, as I have stated in another thread, an “actually I think he did quite well” effect. If the Duffy story is continued, as has been suggested via Clifford, I expect to see a boost in Labour’s poll ratings, similar to what happened with the soldier letter scenario. If there’s anything we’ve learnt from the polls in the last six months, it’s that media spin no longer washes with the public, and negative press does little to harm Brown.

    But I could well be wrong. The whole Duffy scenario invokes mass subjectivity, in its wider theme of truth.

  14. That is -3% for LD. No change for Lab. Up 1% for Tory.

    Given the recent frequency of Angus Reid we should hear from Angus Reid on the 7/8th May. Maybe they’ll call it an exit poll.

  15. AR/Economist poll conducted 23 to 26/4


    Yes but don’t forget LD were ahead of the Tories in previous AR poll.

  17. Anthony,

    The Orange ad simply isn’t running on my Firefox browser, so isn’t causing any problems! Can I respectfully suggest you contact the people who supplied the Orange creative and get them to have a look at it as I’m not the only one who has encountered problems.

  18. The ‘Bigot’ incident, however unfortunate, was the final nail in Labour’s coffin. If there had been more bravery from within their ranks ,either late last year or earlier this year, in replacing Brown with Miliband, they would have won this election. David Cameron, I think, will be Prime Minister, and for all our sakes let’s hope that he backs up the rhetoric with action. In this next week, and particularly tonight, its his election to lose.

  19. @ TONY E

    Despite the YouGov tag, sadly YG are not performing a public service – so we get what the SUN pay for.

    Therefore the answer to your question is:
    As far as the Sun is concerned, the opinions of undecided voters & parties other than C, L & LD don’t count.

  20. @Mitz,

    I’m galvanised :)

  21. @MITZ

    Mrs Duffy expressed the views of a very large number of working class traditional vothers particularly in the Midlands and the North.

    His verdict on Mrs Duffy given in the car, is the one that will stick with them and they will see it as GB’s attitide towards their opinions as well.

    They may well not be converted to vote for another party but like Mrs Duffy they will probably choose not to vote at all.

    Theirs are the votes that Labour rely on to win seats and so therin lies the danger for them

  22. Novices question: why have AR figures been so low for Labour? 23% last two polls seems they’re out of whack with others.

  23. I see from Angus Reid details that there is still a far greater uncertainty to vote in respect of the LibDems than for the other two parties. That could yet help Labour. But otherwise it is a dark poll for Labour and another that shows that the significant boost for the LibDems is not subsiding and I think it is now unlikely to do so to any great extent.

  24. Éoin……….Final AR poll for PB is on 5th May.

  25. It is the first time Political Betting have never put the Angus Reid poll result before everybody else….

    Is that because Economist commissioned it.

    If so, why are political betting no longer commissioning polls from AR.

    Am I the only person that think sthis is odd?

  26. John F,

    Seems that a net 6% are less likely to vote Labour, even with the inevitably leading nature of the question taken into account. And that is in the heat of the moment immediately after the story broke. Tonight and over the next week there will be plenty more important stuff for people to consider. By May 6th the importance of yesterday’s frenzy will be diminished to as close to zero as makes no difference.

  27. @Ken,

    Go raibh maith agat :)

  28. DAve

    Answer is they’re doing it wrong! They’ve got Others at 14 including UKIP at 5 and Other Others at 3.

    Do me a favour!

  29. Éoin,

    The Economist came out in favour of the Tories today, if that makes any difference.

  30. @Mitz,

    It does. But in what way- I dare not say. :)

  31. NICK OK

    Yes it is possible that Brown could get some later benefit from the Duffy story but also look at some of the potential downside for Labour:-

    1.Labour may currently slip back in the polls at a time when postal votes are going in.
    2.The BBC & other channels have spent such a lot of time on the “Labour” Duffy story they are required to devote more time to the Tories & the LDs over the next few days – and some of it could be good publicity for these parties.
    3.Immigration – a weak subject for Labour – may become a much bigger issue in the campaign.

  32. the US site 538 has modified the UNS model into something more regional, ref

    their current projection

    Tories: 299
    Labour: 199
    LibDem: 120

  33. @Éoin……….De nada. :-)

  34. The 26% who actually believed Brown’s apology was genunine probably reflects the percentage of people still inclined to vote Labour.

  35. Anyone else hearing new YouGov as:



  36. I have never bought or read the Economist since they ran a cover story that basically said all Scots were anti-English bigots!!!

  37. @Phillip, whilst that corresponds, don’t bet on that…..

    There are some nice blue and yellow folk out there who are just as trusting as red’uns.

  38. @Dave

    Could be because headline figures are only for those certain to vote?

  39. @Amber………………That was a quote from Gordon when he forgot to turn his mic off………. :-)

  40. Sorry, ignore that last post of mine. Yesterday’s poll. Going a little do-lally over here in anticipation of tonight’s debate.

  41. Matt75
    Anyone else hearing new YouGov as:




    yes I heard that Matt, but it is most likely last nights :)

  42. @Matt75
    Those are last night’s YG figures.

  43. Off home now. On a mission to get the boys in bed by 8:30 so that I can watch the whole thing in the right order.

    See y’all later.

  44. I know it’s only a small sample, but interesting that, of the Labour voters, 92% say it will make no difference, and 7% say it will make them more likely to vote Labour !

  45. @Mike

    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. I think many postal votes will be posted tomorrow, after the final debate!

  46. I wouldn’t assume the 500 polled had been indoctrinated by MSM when poll was conducted.

    I hadn’t and didn’t think it would run, now that I have seen it and heard it etc. its a different story. We shall see in the polls conducted today whether there are any damage.

  47. Angus Reid does look very odd given that the field work was done before Mrs.Duffy….at first I thought it must be a knee-jerk to that incident…..but no…..AR just don’t seem to find Labour voters – other polls suggest they are out there if you look!!!

  48. Enjoy Mitz,

    That will be a challenge… better to let them watch it ;) ;)

  49. @ Howard; GreenGrass…

    Thanks for your explanations re AR.

  50. Eoin

    “It is the first time Political Betting have never put the Angus Reid poll result before everybody else….”

    Not true the Sunday Express & I think another newspaper have previously appointed them.

1 2