I am away from a computer tonight, so feel free to use this thread to discuss the YouGov poll later – and possibly the debate polling (depending on if the site copes by itself with the surge of traffic when the debate finishes!)

I take that back – the Sun have already released tonight’s YouGov poll. The topline figures are CON 34%(nc), LAB 27%(nc), LDEM 28%(-3). No obvious effect from the Mrs Duffy affair (much as the “does it make you more or less likely to vote” question suggested for once!). The Lib Dems are down, but I expect that’s just random variation – yesterday’s 31% was a bit higher than YouGov had been showing lately anyway.

325 Responses to “Tonight’s YouGov poll and the debate thread”

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  1. I’ve always wanted to be first.

  2. YG poll on Sky
    Con 34
    Lab 27
    LD 28 -3

    Others +3

  3. Of course it had no negative effect despite gutter press best efforts. Also the new marginals poll today showing Labour ahead 3%, Brown best in crisis, swing to Con not enough. Its a good news day for Labour

  4. The calm before the storm?

  5. Yes the last three YGs had LDs going 28 -> 31 ->28… I know there are floating voters but that seems a bit extreme :)

  6. had = have

  7. EOIN re AR


    As explained by Anthony and others there is a good technical reason why they understate Labour compared with the other pollsters. I think they are still overstating “others”.

    However normally Labour does better in polling than at the ballot-box. Other pollsters may be making adjustments to reflect the patterns of polling at the last GE which may not apply this time round.

    I don’t think we should ignore AR’s strong performance in Canada. Also AR’s UK polling results so far have been less erratic than those of some of the other pollsters.

    If AR in it’s final poll is still showing a bigger gap between the Tories & Labour compared with the other pollsters I am likely to place more reliance on AR than the others. I don’t think this view is significantly due to my political bias but it may be.

  8. Put’s the LDs at the average of yesterday’s Comres and Yougov. I’m guessing 28 is reasonably accurate then.

  9. @ I would hardly say 27% is a good news day is that how desperate labour supporters are now?

  10. @Ben

    we pretty much are ;)

  11. @Ben – I think it’s more a sigh of relief.

  12. From the tweeters:
    “According to Comres, Labour has, for the first time, hit 30%…”

  13. Neil

    I think a lot of us thought that yesterday’s events would not damage Labour unduly, but the fact is the Conservatives have now been put at 7% ahead of Labour in 4 consecutive polls. If you include Angus Reid, then the margin there is 10%. The Mori marginals poll shows a slight movment towards the Conservatives. Brown needs a stonking good debate tonight but he had a good one last time and he still didn’t really shift the Labour vote.

  14. Seats based on that:

    Con 276

    Lib Dem 86

    Lab 259

    Wowzer. Boot in the bollards for the blues.

    Game on…………..

  15. I think in the face of media onslaught 27% is a triumph!

  16. Yesterday at the height of duffy mania I made one of my rare predictions that I am feeling chuffed about now (you can find it back along if you do not believe me of course).

    I predicted Con nc, lab + 1, LD -2

    Not bad eh! My fees to you betting types are very reasonable.

  17. @EoinClarke
    Strangford candidate Mike Nesbitt explains why people in Northern Ireland should vote to elect Conservative and Unionist MPs

    h ttp://playpolitical.typepad.com/

  18. Before yesterday’s business ( I refuse to use the suffix -gate) I thought the best Lab could hope for was to prevent a Tory majority. I also think these things take time to percolate into the electorate. Just as NC wasn’t destroyed in a day by the tablods, so GB won’t be either. However the story is still running and unlike in the past the videos are there on the web for all to see for eternity so there may be a decline n the Lb vote yet and a week of Clegg-bashing from now till next Thursday might also have an effect. Though if the Tories looked likely to win easy the tabs would have a rush of pro-Clegg stories to help him cement second place.

    But it is the pernicious effect of years of bad stories – the 84-year-olds dying in bad conditions in a hospital which, according to the Mail, seem to happen only under Labour governments and are the direct responsibility of the PM, which really affect opinion. Witness the decade-long vilification of Neil Kinnock and the preparation already under way to turn Ed Balls into the new Scargill/Benn/Livingstone.

    So while it looks as if little if any damage has been done to GB at the moment I’d give it over the weekend – and any possible tabloid ‘revelations’ before determining just how bad it is. By then of course it is too late to reverse any damage.

  19. Well, I was totally wrong about the effects of “Brown’s gaffe”. Will stop trying to predict polls from now on! Funny, because my personal reaction was unusually negative, possibly because politicians showing contempt for the electorate is a pet hate of mine….

    Last week I thought worrying about the papers put Clegg off in debate 2; I suspect the same will not be the same for Brown who is more used to it. I do expect a better performance from Clegg tonight though, as apparently he has gone for a long walk again and certainly has not had to worry about the press too much today (apart from some ancient stuff about Euro-MP expenses in the Sun!). Pity he lost the draw for poll position over on the left, apparently

  20. Does anyone know when the first debate polls will be out?

  21. Conservatives stuck on 34%.

    As the Governor of the Bank of England has said, the incoming government will have to introduce spending cuts and tax increases on a frightening scale. Whatever the allocation of seats, no single party with only 34% support, should form a government on its own – especially with a totally inexperienced Chancellor.

    I’ve never thought this way before, but we need a coalition.

  22. I owe an explanation for my insufferable post.

    I reasoned that NC and DC would be out of the news. Both had experienced good campaigning days but were under-reported to put it mildly. So I thought that the only effect would be to stall the Con recovery from 32, as originally predicted by Éoin, (he thought tonight’s debate might see Con on 38 by now) and poor NC’s failure to keep his party in the limelight would toll.

    Anyway, that was my reasoning and I feel chuffed, so there.
    Duffygate what Duffygate?

  23. As I expected the Duffy affair made no difference. Frankly, I think that people are not so dumb as not to realise that this was a right wing media hitting Brown below the belt.

    The current poll figures of 27% are of course catastrophic sub Foot 1983 figures normally but of course these are not normal times. It is more disastrous for the tories to be only 1% above their 2005 level after 13 years in the wilderness when they were 20 points ahead only last year and widely predicted to romp to victory.

    I would really really love to be wrong on this but I think every single opinion poll up to now is going to be out of date within 5 days as lukewarm tories panic back to the tories in the dying days of the campaign.

  24. I think this might actuallyhave been positive for Brown. It shows he’s a falible human being just like you and me – very diffrerent from the plastic twins, Clegg & Cameron.

    In fact I’ve been toying with the thought that it might have been deliberately staged…

  25. During the course of this week, readers will recall that I

    1. Forecast LD would see themselves hit 27%.
    2. Forecast LAB would hit 30%

    Comres aside, not to dismiss them or anything, i think it is fair to say we did see a recovery in Labour and a slide in LD.

    there is no Doubt Duffy stunted the momentum of the Labour campaign. Lets not forget Labour were 29 on tuesday.

    If Comres shows a 30 tonight, it will be for yesterdays fieldwork, and it may have been with people who little about Duffy.

    Thus better to stick with YouGov.

    34/27/28 with others on 11% we probably saw a slight spike in BNP. It will be interesting to see. There is proably a bit of rounding down going on as well.

  26. Wow – and I guess that shows that all the political commentators and press coverage in the world doesn’t guarantee a parties poll rating will suffer (or indeed improve).

    Pressure rises for the debate.

  27. Re Duffygate/bigotgate….early days, but you get the impression Brown the Survivor has just found another of his 9 lives to spend (surely that’s the ninth?!).

    Twists and turns, twists and turns….

    No, we don’t need a coalition.
    A coalition cannot work in the UK.
    (and it’s not working in countries like Germany, too)

  29. If that ComRes rumour is true I’ll giggle. Can’t see it though, given the wild variation from yesterday.
    Still, I will NOT be able to resist the post Brown Bigot Bounce, I’m warning you now……
    (Anyone who witnessed my implosion earlier will feel it a mild reaction!)

  30. Joe5 – Doesn’t work in Italy either (oh how spectacularly it doesn’t work) but it seems to work OK in the Scandinavian countries

  31. The reason 1983 was so bad for Labour was that unemployment was above 3 million under Thatcher who had been extremely unpopular (before the war) and savaged state services.
    Even if Labour poll near that figure , it comes after 13 years of Govt and a severe recession.
    I think Labour would have a lot to thank GB for if it polled 28% or more in this election.

  32. No collaps in labour support? No meltdown? No brown has blown it? No armies of labours core voters feeling personally vilified and turning against them?

    Gosh, who would have predicted that?

    Bring back Polly Ticks and co, says I.

  33. So the Tory lead over Labour is now anywhere between 7-10% (all the polls over the last 2 days show this). That’s certainly a lot better for the Tories than a week ago!!

    Tonight is the key for all parties though. A good debate will shift public opinion IMO.

  34. @Howard,

    I always find the blueys harder to call. I wonder did the Duffygate send UKIPPERS back from whence they came? Others climbed significantly……

    quite a few have blueys on 36…. YG have them on 34…… it is for people do decide how they view blue… I am quite abitrary about it I admit, I simply split the difference…

    thus even if comres do show a 30% labour I will still read 28% since the feildwork is a bit older..


    is a fair call

  35. Joe5

    “A coalition cannot work in the UK”

    A coalition won us the second world war.

  36. It seems to me that, apart from the 1st debate there is a good 48 hours delay between the events and the effects on the polls.

    The only explanation IMO for the 3% drop in the LD figure today is the concerted attack by the Tories on the dangers of the hung parlament on Monday and Tuesday.

    That would also explain why their has been no noticable effect in this poll because of bigotgate.

    I believe we would have seen the effect of bigotgate over the weekend, but GB will be hoping tonights debate will overshadow that and so he will get away with his mistake.

    If so well done him for apologising in person. He will have got something right in the end.

  37. As a libdem supporter it’s a littler hard to accept falling back to 26-27%; but that’s a pretty big gain on last time, it must be said. More than the Cons seem to be getting in the polls in fact.

    Election night will be very interesting indeed.

  38. @Joe5
    “A coalition cannot work in the UK.”

    It already does

  39. Neil_
    Of course it had no negative effect despite gutter press best efforts. Also the new marginals poll today showing Labour ahead 3%, Brown best in crisis, swing to Con not enough. Its a good news day for Labour
    It will have some negative effect, just not as bad as the right wing press would have you believe.
    No matter what anybody says, a sitting Prime Minster can’t call a voter with genuine concerns a bigot!!

    I guarantee if that had been Cameron, you would have been sticking the knife in!


  40. Joe5
    Well you are going to get one so better get used to it Joe. Any polling evidence to indicate that people in the germanic countries do not believe their coalitions ‘work’?

    Our friends in Netherlands have their election in June. Didn’t know? Well you would never find out if relying on UK journalists. I follow their debates but at no stage have I heard even a smidgen of an opinion that people do not think coalitions work.

  41. If Comres does show 30% for Labour (and of course it is at this stage a rumour) then the fact that the fieldwork is old will be missed – the ITV headline will be Labour recovers despite bigotgate. especially if GB has a decent debate.

  42. Hey HOWIE baby,
    If you’ve got it, flaunt it.

  43. I would disagree that there was no effect from Bigotgate. these three points went to ‘others’ and by that I think that means BNP or Ind Party. So I would say it did have a shot term effect.

    I expect it to be short-lived with the LD’s getting those points back pretty easy (assuming no disaster at tonight’s debate!). I would also make the same point yet again, that without knowing the ‘don’t knows’ nobody can say if Bigotgate had no effect. For all we know it sent the not knowns up from 30 to 40%, meaning more likelihood of pollsters getting out of touch with reality of situations.

    In fact, I think certain info is not getting out on those underlying questions an think more than the Sun are holding pack polls that don’t suit the message.

    The more I think about it, the more polls don’t seem to be a good thing for our democracy when it comes to General Election time.

  44. I keep saying this but no-one seems interested – I feel like the woman in the Fast show must have felt.

    Here’s a slightly different take.

    1/ Tories have not been above 36% in two weeks. They are averaging just 34%.

    2/ There are enormous numbers of voters yet to decide.

    3/ For the Tories to get OVER 34% at the general election therefore, these undecided voters will have to split fairly heavily towards them, probably at least 4 out of each 10.

    4/ It has always seems to me that, if they haven’t decided that by now, it’s less likely for them to come to that decision in the next few days.

    If I’m right – I repeat IF – and the figure is much less that, the main story will be how somewhere around 70% of the other, non-tory voting undecideds split their vote – Labour, Lib Dem, UKIP, not voting etc. and to the extent that they do so with the aim of keeping the Tories out.

    I’d say that is very hard to predict at the moment.

  45. Really thought Labour would fall further but looks like Biggotgate has run its course, and I suppose most people know what Brown’s like anyway! A bit surprised that all the Lib Dem drop has gone to the smaller parties but of course Clegg had little publicity yeterday and some of it may be due to sampling anyway.

  46. Anyone trying to calculate % leads for blues needs to be honest.

    Only three companies have reported fieldwork results for week four in national polls that is


    I’ll do up the calculations and post the week 4 averages

  47. I think we can safely say the Tory lead pre-debate is somewhere between 6-8% on recent polls. What will happen post-debate – that is the crucial question. Will it be a stalemate with little if any movement, or will one party make significant gains?

  48. Richard 0

    Bear in mind that a sitting deputy prime minister thumped a voter and went on to win a landslide.

    Bear in mind too that the tory home secretary in waiting was recorded telling another bigoted voter that it was ok for B and B owners to turn away gay couples.

    Bear in mind that Margaret Thatcher a sitting prime minister never called anyone a bigot.

    She WAS a bigot.

  49. This is testament to the ability of most voters to concentrate on what is important in this election, something which seems to escape those in the blue camp on this site.

  50. “As you were” seems to be a running theme in the polls. Another “no real change”. Take a look at this graph as an illustration.


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