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. UK_John
    “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.”

    I hold the opposite view – they allow tactical voters to use their ballot to best effect. Under PR it might be another story

  2. Martin Williams “In fact I’ve been toying with the thought that it might have been deliberately staged…”

    I’ve wondered the same, but then decided against it as it’s impossible to predict or even control how these things will develop and calculate their immediate and lasting effect.

    But, and I’m sure other posters has said the same, I’m thinking that none of the parties wants to win this GE outright. Who would want to be in gov making savage cuts and increasing taxes! A coalition is one way to spread the blame.

    Of course, if Duffygate WAS planned, then GB must be really angry as it doesn’t seem to have worked: Lab might still be in power.

    I’m going dark now, and settling in for the debate.

  3. @Eoin,

    “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”

    True, but such calculations will be skewed by the polls earlier this week, when it seems the lead was tighter. We have had a good 5 or 6 polls no in the past 2 days, which all suggest a lead of around 7% IMO.

  4. @Matt,

    Sorry but they wont….

    ComRes and Populus both posted a 36% for blue they will be included

    YG posted a 31% yellow, they will be included,

    The only cut ff is that the feildwork dates need to have been Tuesday / Wednesday or today

    I have (if ComR’s rumours are true)

    T34.5 La 28.1 Li27.8

    but lets wait and see- they might not be…

    ps… make no mistake about it 27% in two polls by YG both including duffygate fieldwork is a set back from the 29% on Tuesday.

  5. The biggest lead in week 4…for blue is the Populus fieldwork of 8%…

    Auld Angus produces historical documents, not polls.

    Had he produced on the day the feildwork finished it would have been different. The same goes for TNS. The same goes for Harris. As they in your capital city-‘they’re avin a larf’. :)

  6. I find it hard to believe that Brown hasn’t alienated a considerable number of normally Labour voting white working class voters. Of course, those on these panels have probably become almost professional voters by now, so that may change things.

    Perhaps the real trouble will be on election debate with the turn out. To us political nerds, not voting is a deliberate, cold blooded choice. But there are many for whom it is just a matter of whether they could be bothered.

    Anyway, for months people on this site (myself included) have predicted this or that change in the polls. We’ve all been more wrong than right!!

    I asked earlier what comments people like you would make had Cameron lost his marbles and bad mouthed a single mother on a sink estate, when he thought no one was listening except his minders. No bloody answer was the loud reply. Your double standards as with all things Labour suit Gordon Brown very well.

  8. @Dave,

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

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


    Point 1) Prescott was assaulted at close range. The ‘voter’ deserved all they got. It was a natural reaction.

    Point 2) Thatcher is a legend :-). The sort of strong leader we need now.


  9. @ HOWARD

    RE: Mrs Duffy – You are correct to take a bow :-)

    Some Tories were gleefully predicting a meltdown (& seem to still be hoping for a delayed reaction)

    Labour supporters – myself included – were frantically awaiting the YG Duffy poll results.

    Your prediction – & you rarely make predictions – gave me hope that it would be okay. :-)

  10. @Eoin,

    I missed most of the Duffy debate last night.

    I am assuming you are revising your final predictions now. I am..

    I have a feeling tonight will be irrelevant, but can’t say why.


  11. Richard O,

    With all of these events my confidence in 36/34/22 increases.

    I will put a bet on it this evening. :) (before the debate)

    let me state it clearly….. Gordon Brown will remain the PM of GB and NI :)

  12. @Richard O
    If it was Cameron I would have thought the same. What right has the organisation to record and broadcast private conversations in the back of a car? This was not any kind of public meeting. Anyway its over now. Hope Brown stays solid tonight and finally gets some credit in the polls next few days. Tories 1% up on 2005 GE?

  13. @ Amber – “Some Tories were gleefully predicting a meltdown”

    I’m not sure that Labour can really get much more melted down than 27%. The Duffy Effect may not be to further decline this at-or-just-below-bedrock figure but rather to seal Labour’s fate to stay there.

  14. Everyone is talking as if these polls were gospel – for all we know the last 27 was a MOE low and todays is a MOE high. The LDs drop is an indication of how that works.

    There is just a whole load of whisteling in the dark here. Given that its inevitable that the debate is going to skewer just when people start to make up their minds, we should remember that polls adjust for determination to vote. So the figures we see are, well, just plain twisted. So I would not bet your grandmothers house on knowing whats going on out there.

  15. Thanks for the graph again Colin. Still plateaus, perhpas Amber’s poll prector will tell us which way it will go next.

  16. @Éoin………………After such a good run, you fall at the final hurdle. :-)

  17. the blue average is 34%
    the red average is 28%

    What would a good debate from Brown do to those averages?

    38/1. That will get you more than £1000 if you put £30 quid on GB to remain Pm with a majorityt. :)

  18. @ Richard O

    “Thatcher is a legend ”

    So is Medusa

  19. Remember if Labour lose by 2% GB still gets his majority. :)

    I have always told you that you are a very special woman. You are Scots. You will have the usual blinder north of the Mason Dixon Line, but Labour will be 3rd in England and Wales. I cannot make this nice, it will be a rout. Start drinking the IRONBRU TODAY.

  21. @Eoin,

    sorry mate. I can’t agree now, I really can’t.

    Anyway, get some money on, as odds are as follows now, much longer after yesterday;

    Labour most seats 7-1.
    Labour to win majority 38-1.

    Deep down, if I was a Labour or Conservative supportor, and looking long term, you would probably want to lose this election, as I have a feeling whoever wins, will get smashed to pieces in 5 years. It will be a horrendous parliament with huge cuts, lots of strikes, probably a double dip recession, and all this with a tiny majority.

    The classic pyric victory!

  22. @Roland

    us gaels feel free to drop vowels

    tis IRN BRU

  23. @Eoin

    “Remember if Labour lose by 2% GB still gets his majority.”

    Not if the result is 30/28/28 ;)

    Disclaimer: I am *not* predicting that result!! ;)

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

    She had her fair share of gaffes – e.g. no thing as society and how she used private medicine because she was too important to be kept waiting.

  25. @Richard O,

    I could not agree more. This poisoned chalice is the stuff on Piontus Pilot… i would not take it if it was given to me…

  26. Aha!!! Now CH 4 talking about sympathy for Brown and overkill in the press in relation to the YouGov results.

  27. Thatcher called my family all sorts :)

  28. @ RICHARD O

    Given Tories anti-Europe & anti-immigration pose, if Cameron had called Mrs Duffy a bigot I’d either:

    a. Have thought he was a complete hypocrite; or
    b. Considered voting for him!!!

  29. @EOIN
    You are all Her Brittannic Majesties children Eoin, yes even the Celtic tribes of the North and West. Therefore, I observe the quaintness of your tongue.

  30. Eoin

    “With all of these events my confidence in 36/34/22 increases.

    I will put a bet on it this evening. (before the debate)

    let me state it clearly….. Gordon Brown will remain the PM of GB and NI”

    I admire you still being so resolute with your prediction Eoin, and hope you are right.
    I just can’t see that result for Lab and the Libs myself, especially now.
    If you get chance, please can you post a few reasons as to how you think the Lab vote will jump to 34% in the last week.

  31. @Au Contraire! Although I do wish your sitting MP the best of luck! He is one of my favourite politicians. Why wont you vote for him?

  32. @richard o
    Governor of BoE said that whoever wins this 1 will be out of power for a generation

  33. @Amber,

    lol, might really have been a vote winner for Cameron!


  34. @Roland,

    It is people like you I admire. Without you I would find it difficult to explain the cultural significance of a Celt to my son. The cultural demarcation that is Buckinghamshire makes my job of juxtaposing you lot with us very very easy!

    :) that is two good deeds you have done the Irish :)

    Did I ever tell you I was offered a job in buckinghamshire? Teaching your little blighters Politics/History? For the good of all concerned I declined :)

  35. Roland – You are quite right, if DC had called a woman on a sink estate names I would have made much of it, but surely a more comparable example would have been calling a yummy mummy a toff?
    The double standards of those so outraged today were evident I assure you.

  36. @ ROLAND


    :-) :-) :-)

  37. @Richard O,

    What odds are Ladbrokes giving on a Labour majority?

  38. @Eoin
    Re the apparent last-minute ‘rebounds’ by blues which produced unexpected GE wins on at least two occasions, do they have a monopoly of this devious ploy? If not could you conjure one up for reds please? I don’t want to compromise your impartiality but I do think it’s our turn!

  39. Richard O
    “Deep down, if I was a Labour or Conservative supportor, and looking long term, you would probably want to lose this election, as I have a feeling whoever wins, will get smashed to pieces in 5 years. It will be a horrendous parliament with huge cuts, lots of strikes, probably a double dip recession, and all this with a tiny majority. ”

    I agree.
    It makes you wonder, looking at their campaigns, whether Lab and Con are deliberately trying to let the Lib Dems win, or atleast force a situation whereby the Lib Dems have to have a place in govt. so the larger party can then put the blame on their coalition partner when things start going pear-shaped !

    Get over the first few days and weeks of having lost the election, regroup, and then realise, actually, it might be quite fun being in oppostion for the next couple of years !

  40. @Andrew H,

    Brown to win debate..
    high turnout
    polling booth jitters
    slip in LD share
    undecideds are not undecided they just dont have the spine to admit they are sticking with what they have got…
    It is why ICM gives shorter leads for the Tories

    They are six good reasons

    2 bad reasons

    1. Tories are still not liked by sufficient numbers
    2. Double dip fears…

    They are the eight main reasons i see a Labour majority

  41. Anyone else have a strange, creeping feeling of upcoming anti-climax after the debate this evening?

    I dont know if many Irish would feel that way about an old Para.
    Other than those who will support the Conservative & Unionist Party after the GE.

  43. @Eoin,

    I only use betfair as I have an account with them. It’s 38-1 with betfair. I imagine ladbrokes odds are far less generous as with them you are not matching money against other punters, so in essence they will lower the odds and take a margin. If I had to guess, I would say 25-1.


  44. @Cozmo see the post to Andrew H

    :) :) :)

    I’m off to the bookies……

    chat later

  45. I’m not convinced that the debates make much difference but, just for the hell of it, my prediction for YouGov is Con -3, Lab +2, LibDem, +4, UnD -3.

    Incidentally, when YouGov conduct their polls earlier in the day could that affect their sampling?

  46. @ Eoin

    “With all of these events my confidence in 36/34/22 increases”

    I admire your resilience and unbridled optimism. The news channels tonight have been ‘reminding’ viewers (not that I ever knew this) that Labour tend to poll 2% fewer votes than the polls say as the election approaches. That makes your 34% even more of a challenge :)

  47. @EOIN
    Gentle reminder that LD were meant to be down to 25% by 5.00 p.m. tonight.
    Was Mrs Duffy really from a sink estate? Didn’t look like it to me.

  48. I have been giving further thought to the possibility of constructing a swingometer model to more accurately use polling data to generate predictions. Rather than starting with the concept of swing and other more mathematical approaches I have tried with simple examples to look at how people may actually decide how to vote.

    I have come to some disturbing conclusions about the limits to what might be achieved by any methodology, whether it be UNS, Electoral Calculus or whatever.

    Consider this situation.

    A country is about to hold an election, it has only 3 equal sized constituencies, each contested by only two parties, LABYRINTH( the Government) and CONSERVATION – all former MP’S are seeking re-election.

    Results at previous election
    Constituency A LAB 64,000 CON 36,000
    Constituency B LAB 56,000 CON 44,000
    Constituency C LAB 40,000 CON 60,000
    Total votes LAB 160,000 CON 140,000

    A poll conducted on the eve of the election showed that the final national result will be LAB 144,000 CON 156,000 (polling is perfect – nobody lies and everybody always votes)

    Supplementary polling questions show that this is a one issue campaign – The MP’s Expenses Scandal (all MP’S were equally greedy, and the government was incompetent in dealing with it. The very poor (the lowest tenth, i.e. 10%) were particularly enraged and the moderately poor (the next lowest twelfth, i.e. 8.333%) were almost as angry. Both parties have identical manifesto measures for dealing with it apart from one additional measure from LABYRINTH of a supertax on the wealthiest tenth i.e. 10%, to fund all MP’s expenses in future. Nobody likes the supertax idea.

    So everybody thinks these same things 1) I am quite angry with the LABYRINTH Government for allowing this to occur 2) I am very angry with my own MP 3) I don’t like the idea of a supertax.

    With these thoughts held by all electors consider these two different final conclusions that the electorate as a whole might come to in making their voting decision

    SCENARIO 1 – On balance I will stay loyal to my party – but if I were in the top income range I would selfishly vote for CONSERVATION whatever my former allegiance.

    SCENARIO 2 On balance I will stay loyal to my party – but if I were in the very bottom (10%) income range I would be so angry I would vote against my greedy former MP whatever party they belonged to, and if I were in the next lowest (8.333%) income range (being slightly less angry) I would change and vote against my greedy former MP only if they were also a member of the governing LABYRINTH party which failed to deal with the problem.

    Note both LABYRINTH and CONSERVATION draw proportionate support evenly from all income ranges.

    Election Night Result in Scenario 1
    Constituency A LAB 57,600 CON 42,400 LABYRINTH HOLD
    Constituency B LAB 50,400 CON 49,600 LABYRINTH HOLD
    Constituency C LAB 36,000 CON 64,000 CONSERVATION HOLD
    Total votes cast LAB 144,000 CON 156,000
    LABYRINTH Government re-elected with comfortable 1 seat majority

    Election Night Result in Scenario 2
    Constituency A LAB 52,267 CON 47,733 LABYRINTH HOLD
    Constituency B LAB 45,733 CON 54,267 CONSERVATION GAIN
    Constituency C LAB 46,000 CON 54,000 CONSERVATION HOLD
    Total Votes cast LAB 144,000 CON 156,000
    CONSERVATION Landslide, LABYRINTH almost wiped out.

    This shows that you can have a situation with perfect polling, knowledge of the relevant issue(s) to the electorate, and some idea of what personal factor(s)that may influence a change of allegiance (income in this case) and yet still not be able to model an accurate calculator to predict the outcome.

    Don’t be misled into seeing this as an incumbency issue. It is possible to set up other situations that don’t rely on that aspect. They just require, for example more than one issue to affect voting intention or for the respective parties support to not be uniformly distributed from the general population e.g. one party has disproportionate support amongst the old, wealthy, sick, etc.

    I will make a prediction

    When the election is over and the actual share of the national vote is known, a retrospective calculation of seats forecast to be won compared to those actually won will suggest that the MOE inherent in most swingometers is of a similar magnitude to the 3% MOE in pre- election polls.

    Conclusion – don’t agonise over extrapolating poll data to that final decimal place before you feed the numbers into any swingometer.

    A question was raised yesterday related to how low the conservative vote can be and yet still have the Conservatives with an overall majority. Based on the figures I have looked into I feel it is perfectly possible for this to happen with a Conservative vote share as low as 36% (assuming others at 10%)

    Hope this is of interest to some of you. Sorry it’s so long. It took me ages to trim it to this length.

  49. @Mike P

    I think at the last election is was 1%. The polling methods are getting better all the time – might be down to 0.5% this time.

  50. “I imagine ladbrokes odds are far less generous as with them you are not matching money against other punters”

    Well you are, just not directly. Ladbrokes will adjust their odds to ensure their margin. Betfair take a straight cut of the stakes so it’s less opaque.

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