YouGov’s voting intention figures for the Sunday Times tomorrow are CON 42%, LAB 38%, LDEM 12% (!). That is YouGov’s lowest score for the Liberal Democrats since October 2007 (and for the record, October 2007 saw them at 11%, immediately before and after Ming Campbell’s removal as leader).

Of course while we give a lot of attention to polls showing extremes, almost by definition they tend to be the outliers. That said, looking at the broader picture of YouGov’s daily polling the Liberal Democrats are definitely upon a downwards trend. In early July YouGov were putting them around 16-17%, in mid July they were pretty solidly on 15%, in the last week and a half we’ve frequently seen polls putting them at 14%, this is the second to put them below that.

I doubt this poll reflects a sudden drop in Lib Dem support – they’ll probably be back up around their current YouGov average of 14% on Monday – rather it’s a continuation of that downwards trend. Lib Dem ministers still don’t seem too worried about their position in the polls, commonly dismissing it as just what happens to a junior coalition partner until they find their voice, but presumably it will become a cause of concern for some point (not just for the Lib Dems, but presumably also for Conservatives who fear it placing pressure upon the coalition.


181 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – 42/38/12”

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  1. @Amber: Many Conservative and Labour voters may not give a second preference or, CON’s could nominate UKIP [ who would have been eliminated anyway ] and Labour voters could nominate Green.

    You are right, it does not necessarily mean that the second preference automatically goes to the Liberals.

  2. @ Surbiton,

    Indeed – UKIP, Green etc. 2nd prefs are likely to be counted before Dem, Con or Lab. And many Con & Lab voters may eschew a 2nd preference & simply vote their own candidate.

    If second preferences count ‘from the bottom up’, there would likely be at least 500 seats won by Con or Lab before 2nd pref votes by/ for Dem have any relevance whatsoever (based on the 2010 election results). 8-)

  3. @AMBER STAR

    There is a simple reason why for many LD’s PR is an article of faith. Only PR systems offer a genuinely representative reflection of votes cast nationwide. Of course, it depends which version of PR you chose (Party List PR being the most proportional, STV being the fairest).

    What your post shows is that the for GEs in the UK (currently), AV is a joke, as most constituencies are very safe seats. Will they be less safe with larger contutuency boundaries? I doubt it.

  4. Is there anything in the coalition agreement about candidates for the next GE? Will the Conservatives run against incumbent Lib Dems? I’d assume that Clegg would hold S Hallam against Labour, even if the LibDem vote plummets.

  5. @ SHEPS

    There’s nothing in the coalition agreement about candidates for the next GE. As far as anybody is aware the parties will contest independently of each other.

    Nick Clegg’s seat could be affected by Labour voters being ‘pushed’ into his constituency due to boundary changes but I am fairly sure he will hold.

  6. @sheps in pyrmont

    “I’d assume that Clegg would hold S Hallam against Labour, even if the LibDem vote plummets.

    It will be difficult to shift Nicholas: only way I can see it- whether he stands as a Conservative (as many are predicting) or as a LD under a ‘coupon election’ unchallenged by an official Tory candidate- is thus:

    that Labour, Greens, the lost LD third-half of their 2010 vote, leftists vote for a single challenger and many Tory voters sit on their hands, vote for the unofficial candidate (in the coupon scenario) or vote UKIP.

    In a Clegg versus an anti-Clegg candidate (with wild card spoiler of UKIP/ unofficial Tory candidate) contest I can see Clegg being decapitated (to use the Conservative shorthand from May 2010).

  7. @ Sue

    Which constituency are you in, please remind me. I’ll take a look at the likely permutations of boundary changes, AV etc. & post my conclusions.

    Of course, they will be based on crunching the numbers – we cannot all be as naturally brilliant as Wayne. ;-)

  8. ROB SHEFFIELD

    “it is just more proportionate than FPTP”

    The very useful Electoral Reform Society website gives , in its description of AV, one of the “Arguments used against AV” as :-

    “•It can be less proportional than First-Past-the-Post.”

  9. Sue Marsh

    “So, all you Tories are military fellows too”

    er….no!

  10. Colin – As of last night your are the exception that proves the rule ;)

    Amber. My seat is Worthing West and it will stay Conservative as he has very close to 50% of the vote. I also don’t think the boundaries will change will they? No seats are to go in Sussex are they? (lol, that always makes me chuckle)

    It is, however, a classic Lib tactical vote seat, I estimate that more Lab voters voter Lib than Lab now. Possibly around 5-6 thousand!!!! Surely Green will do tremendously well here too (especially if the Libs are still faring badly??)

  11. @VALERIE
    Being pink is not an advantage on Planet PC. One can be pink and wrong, pink and dishonest, pink and murderous ect ect. However, if you are brown and particularly Muslim and brown you cannot ever be less than a perfect human being. I hope that answers your question. For a senior British politician to be critical of a nation which a Muslim land, inhabited by brown skined people it is a great novelty, but then as you say, Dave is pink.

  12. I’d like to speahead a write campaign for PR not AV…

    I wonder if I’ll be allowed broiadcast time????

  13. John Murphy – Really? I think that’s terrific. I’m feeling I will vote against AV. It’s rubbish and I feel if we get AV real ER will be dead and buried.
    Some passionate advocates of AV have told me that’s silly, but I’m not convinced.
    Would you not offer all systems and let the public decide? Or at least AV, STV and PR (I really want to keep a constituency link and PR might fail on that issue alone???)
    I’m amazed Labour aren’t doing this, but I’d happily support your campaign!

  14. Roland – Hmmm, TB, GWB pretty “critical” of Muslim lands weren’t they??. No-one’s cosying up to Iran at the moment are they? Your comments go way too far this time IMO

  15. @DAVID B
    I find it very interesting that our new poster Archie, finds my comment about British politicians smarm, regarding countries such as Pakistan offensive. Indeed, in the light of his political affiliations I think it is most unlikely that he has understood what I have said. The criticism is of British politicians not Pakistanis.
    Therefore, having served with Special Forces in the past, and having a particular friend now, who served with them as recently as 5 years ago, I very much doubt, from his lack comprehension of the writtern word , that Archie was ever part of the SBS.

  16. @SUE MARSH
    You mention Iran, whilst there are a tidy number of Iranians in the UK, I am not aware of any Labour safe seat which relies on the “Persian vote”. This clearly is not the case where Pakistan is concerned. Already a Milliband has been having plenty derogatory to say about Camerons comments. I genuinely do apologise for all this military stuff over the last 18 hours (not all my fault) but from what I hear regularly, the PMs comments are very well founded indeed.

  17. @ A LIB DEM
    I, you may remember, am the idiot that wrote the word metrosexual on the post yesterday. I understood this to be common currency these days like “flaky” “dodgy”
    “gay” ect. It seems to have caused you some disquiet.
    Many apologies for that, however what the bloody hell has Paddy Ashdown and the SBS got to do with it?

  18. @COLIN

    Sue Marsh

    “So, all you Tories are military fellows too”

    er….no!

    This ‘Labour Fellow’ spent his 18th and 19th summers in the Glosters.

  19. @ROB SHEFFIELD
    Trust you to have to have TWO cap badges.

  20. Rob – Officer or fodder?

  21. Metrosexual – A Metropolitan Heterosexual. Phrase initially used to describe David Beckham and others who take pride in their appearance, enjoy taking care of themselves but are not gay.

  22. @Roland

    “@ROB SHEFFIELD
    Trust you to have to have TWO cap badges.”

    You made that point when this issue cropped up in easter !

  23. @Sue M

    Army Officer after A levels having done ‘cadet junior leader’ during my O levels (a cousin who I admired was injured in the Falklands war- that was the motivation).

    I “bought mysefl out” a year before my initial ‘three’ to go to Uni- largely via assisting with OTC in my frst two Uni years !

  24. Sue Marsh
    It is almost certain that there will be boundary changes to the Worthing seats ( I live in Worthing West also ) . The equalisation of electorates necessary in Brighton and Hove will have knock on effects throughout Sussex .
    One possibility is the creation of a Worthing seat coterminous with the council boundaries and which would be a much more marginal Con/LD seat than either Worthing East or Worthing West .
    Your estimate of the number of LD voters who are really Labour tactical voters here is pure fantasy .

  25. @ Rob Sheffield

    “coupon election” …

    At this rate we could start refering to this one as the National Government …

  26. @Sheps in pyrmont

    At this rate we could start refering to this one as the National Government …

    Some say that is Cameron and Cleggs ultimate objective– if not national government a unified centre right party.

    Argument goes: jettison the beard and sandals brigade from Cleggs left flank and the emblazered loons from Camerons right; kick political football into permanent majority in HoC open goal.

    There is another prediction of how that strategy might end though…

    :-)

  27. ugh messed up the format

    **
    @Sheps in pyrmont

    At this rate we could start refering to this one as the National Government …

    Some say that is Cameron and Cleggs ultimate objective– if not national government a unified centre right party.

    Argument goes: jettison the beard and sandals brigade from Cleggs left flank and the emblazered loons from Camerons right; kick political football into permanent majority in HoC open goal.

    There is another prediction of how that strategy might end though…

  28. @Shep in pyrmont

    Indeed this just now on ConHome website:

    Now, a new survey by ConservativeHome, has found that 55 per cent of Tory members are open to a “non-aggression pact” between the coalition partners in seats where they are first and second-placed, with 11 per cent describing such an agreement as “ideal”. But a significant majority — 35 per cent — are opposed to any pact with the Lib Dems.

  29. @Rob in Sheffield.

    Good on yer! I love it when people don’t conform to stereo-types – it shows they are capable of thinking for themselves and making their own minds up. :-)

    @Roland
    FWIW I agree with what DC said.

    I don’t know if you meet many brown muslims in your rural idyll but I think you may find many in this country who are opposed to the Pakistan Govt policy. And I’m sure there are many who are good, bad, clever or thick. That is what humans are like, regardless of skin tone.

  30. Mark Senior – Do you have any figures for why my estimates of how many Lab voters vote Lib are “Pure Fantasy”?

  31. Labour at 38%, without a leader and only three months into a government’s life!

    This bodes well for a Labour comeback. The Tories haven’t even gone into the mid-term unpopularity yet (although if the government only lasts two years then the mid-term blues are only a few months away).

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