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. COLIN

    Point taken — I am sorry — I realise that the correct expression is ‘right wing extremists’.

    It all started when I bought two pairs of cargo pants through the Guardian website. £30 per pair, buy one get one free. Cannot go wrong I thought, but when I wear them I want a Milliband to take my life over. Also I dream that Gordon Brown was a great man and worst of all I get the hots for Harman. They will have to go on the bonfire even though hardly worn.

    Worried of Bucks.


    A man after my own heart who clearly believes in the virtues of one or two snifters on a Sunday afternoon.

    I’m just back from the Falkland Isles – they’d love you down there.

    If you are interested in joining the English Democrats please let me know and I’ll post the details.

    Well blow me down, Glenn Otto another member of the brotherhood. I have admired Glenns posts over the months and know he did sterling work during the GE as a canvasser. On the other hand, no names no packdrill, but there are a number of male posters I would be astonished to find had ever been soldiers let alone Airborne soldiers, know what I mean nod nod, wink wink.

    My son is a Captain in the Parachute Regt. He currently commands a mortar support group.

  5. @ARCHIE
    I have not imbibed strong drink since Friday night. I write garbage like this when totally sober, ask the Labourites on the site. Thank you, but I have interest whatever in joining The English Democrats. They are not sufficiently right wing for me.


    Sorry I can’t tempt you over and I assume you must be a member of the Conservative Party although somewhat on their right wing?

    Couldn’t help seeing your posts about army connections. It’s really great to see people with a forces background on a message board like this – I was in the SBS about 30 years ago and although I can’t say anything about what we got up to (even after all this time) I’m sad that my work around the world since I left the forces has meant that I’ve lost touched with all my old comrades. Still, being an English Democrat activist is some compensation and thinking about the underlying purpose of this board, it would be so interesting to find out what the potential vote for us would be if people (a) actually knew we existed and (b) knew what we stand for.

  7. @ARCHIE
    Between you and me I am very much a One Nation bloke. The constant whining from certain circles about the wicked Tories just induces responses from me which some people find non conducive to the “centre ground” metro sexual outlook of the early 21st century.


    Music to my ears – in my SBS days we’d have eaten metro-sexuals for breakfast, though I don’t think we called them that in 1980! Come to think of it, I remember being in London during the early 1980s, on leave with some of the lads, when we encountered a demo coming over Waterloo Bridge and, I suppose, fuelled by one or two bevies at lunchtime, we waded in and duffed up a couple of Trots who’d got a bit behind the main group and ended up overnighting in police cells for our troubles!


    “Point taken — I am sorry — I realise that the correct expression is ‘right wing extremists’.”


    You are clearly from the intellectual strand of left wing thinking David.

  10. ARCHIE

    Admire your honesty but I very much hope you now regret this unpleasant violence aimed at a couple of innocent demonstrators even if it was 30 years ago and a youthful indiscretion.

  11. DAVIDB

    We certainly did regret it as we got into terrible trouble when we got back to camp.

    I have to say that duffing up a couple of Trots was nothing compared to some of the action we saw in th SBS. We were never quite sure on some missions whether we were knocking off the goodies or the baddies!

  12. @DAVIDB
    Archie’s winding you up. ;)
    A serious question. What would the Tories have to do to get you back onside?
    Would you call me a spineless leftie if I said your post of 5.31 is actually quite funny?

  13. BTW. Isn’t DC a bit of a metrosexual? And NC for that matter?

    You were getting a bit to close for comfort regarding my real political views earlier. Therefore I invented that trouser story.

    I was afraid that the truth was out regarding my wife and I being called Karl Liebneckt & Rosa Luxemburg by the locals.

  15. I note the President of Pakistan is coming to England on Wednesday. Perharps the novelty of a brown Muslim leader hearing a senior British politician speak the truth, rather than the politically correct slurp of kissing butt attracts him.


    Just between you and I wasn’t winding DAVIDB up – in the SBS you really were never absolutely sure about anything!

    As for coming over to the Conservative Party, I really think iwould if David Davies had got the leadership but as things stand, not a chance.


    I think your comment about the Pakistani President’s visit is very distasteful.

    When I was in SBS we did several exercises in interesting parts of the world with our equivalents from the Pakistani forces and they were wonderfully brave chaps.

  18. Who are these idiots who are taking overe the commentary on this site. Paddy Ashdown was in the SBS so is he a metrosexual (is that an term of abuse?) The Engllish Democrats success so far has to have elected a member as Major od Doncaster – a failing council.

  19. I have heard the word metrosexual before, but can anyone explain what it actually means?
    By deduction and context, I assume it means an effeminate male Londoner, but is there anything more to it?
    If my deductions are correct, and one of the millipedes gets the Labour leadership, will all 3 parties be led by metrosexuals?

  20. @A LIB DEM -“Who are these idiots who are taking over the commentary on this site?”
    Lighten up a bit. :) Your other point is interesting though – “The English Democrats success so far has to elected a member as Mayor ..”
    Peter Davies only won because it was an AV vote (I think). He would have lost in a FPTP vote (I think).
    Does that mean that English Democrats support AV? Archie, perhaps you can enlighten us?

  21. PETE B -“…one of the millipedes gets the Labour leadership, will all 3 parties be led by metrosexuals?
    Yes. They are taking over. :)

  22. Julian,
    Do you think we can get them on a course of testosterone injections or something?

  23. Whatever anyone thought about Gordon Brown, he wasn’t a metrosexual by any stretch of the imagination. :)

  24. @Roland

    Why ‘brown’ Muslim leader?

    Why not ‘pink’ senior British politician?

    I’m curious

  25. “I have heard the word metrosexual before, but can anyone explain what it actually means?”

    Congess on the Tube?

    Bunk up on the buses?

  26. @John Fletcher: “It is worth remembering that the 1922 committee was formed to voice oposition to another Con-Lib coalition.”

    No it wasn’t. It was formed by new MPs elected in the election following the break-up of the coalition and initially served largely as a new boys’ club. It only became a body for the full parliamentary party a few years later.

  27. Julian
    “Whatever anyone thought about Gordon Brown, he wasn’t a metrosexual by any stretch of the imagination”

    Very good point. Perhaps they’re not so bad after all.

  28. Colin


  29. Olly – I think you made a really good point. (1.36pm)

    I feel much the same about the LibDems as I always did, but Clegg really did seem to work as hard as he could to alienate Labour at every stage.

    If he’d just seemed a bit more torn, a bit less keen to work with DC, he could have trodden a line where it seemed more convincing that he was coalescing with the Tories for the National Interest rather than his own.

  30. A LIB DEM

    The point was that people like Paddy Ashdown were definitely not metrosexual. When i joined the SBS Paddy was a legend and he wouldn’t just have the odd metrosexual for breakfast, he’d have them for lunch and tea as well.


    I may be an English Democrat but my experience in the SBS lead me to have great respect for the Pakistani militaryand indeed and many were very very brave fellows. I agree with you that Roland’s comments were over the top.

  31. Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Grubb.

    So, all you Tories are military fellows too….. hmmmmm.

    Roland, remember a conversation we had months ago? You’re all indoctrinated, institutionalised, that’s what it is ;)

  32. Interesting to see the total Conservative+Labour at 80%, haven’t seen that in a GE regularly since the 60’s. Besides that there’s a small swing (1-2%) Conservatives to Labour hidden in the rush from the LibDems.

    Unless the coalition collapses this year, probably no polling is particularly meaningful until early next year. We need the next Labour leader installed and whatever bounce over and done before reality hits. Just in time for the VAT rises and cuts to be noticed.

  33. @ All the Tories who are liking the coalition 8-)

    How will you feel, post AV, when your 2nd prefs get Dems elected & they do a deal with Labour?

    That’s looking more & more likely now because, in the medium term, it’s the only way that Dems can assert their independence.

  34. Amber,
    That’s a very interesting point, that the LibDems are likely to go with Labour next time there’s a hung parliament. It sounds very probable.

    I do wonder about how AV will work (if it comes about). I suspect that a good many UKIP-sympathising Tories will put UKIP first, Tories second; perhaps some Libs will vote Green as first preference, and Lib second and possibly some Labour voters may put BNP or Respect or something else first, Labour second.
    The exact parties don’t really matter, it’s just my theory that AV would make people more likely to vote for a minority party as first preference, and this would make results less predictable than people think.


    Military folk and ex-military folk have either fought for their country or been prepared to fight. They care about their country and many of them, therefore, care about politics.

    In many ways it’s a pity that most of the military appear to be right wing in one form or another, maybe that’s something to do with the sort of person who enters the forces.

    So there we are; I am right wing in a non-conventional sense, proud to be an English Democrat, proud to have stood for the English Democrats in the Genersl Election and proud to have got nearly 2% of the vote in my constituency.

  36. Great post Pete B. Very thought provoking.

  37. Sue. Thanks. It makes a pleasant change not to be thought silly.

  38. Archie – Hello. I was having a little joke with Roland really, but I think a military career would certainly nurture a Conservative outlook, but in the best sense.
    You would stake your lives on such things as resilience, self-control, self reliance, responsibility and endurance.

    I can see that some aspects of left-wing thinking might seem self-indulgent and “wimpy” (for want of a better word!!).

    I suppose on the other side of the coin, you all have to be fairly strong physically and therefore might find it harder to empathise with weaknesses.

    Fascinating really.

  39. Pete B – Lol ;)

  40. Sue,
    Interesting thoughts on the military. To some of us, it sometimes seems that the only part of Britain that still works properly is the military.
    On a personal note, I sometimes feel less of a man because I never served. I missed out on National Service by a couple of years, and unlike my father, grandfather, and other relatives back to at least the Charge of the Light Brigade, I never joined up.
    You can see why those who served or wish they had, have little time for those who can’t even get off the sofa to get a job, let alone defend their country. These are often perceived as Labour voters, rightly or wrongly.

  41. @PETE
    I reckon that the Libs have the most to gain from AV as it allows voters to express a preference for red or blue as second, thus avoiding the arguement that they’ll let the other party in to an extent. This is what I believe that posters on here have often referred to as the third party squeeze

    Where I think that AV is likely to fails is in the number of MPs representing the other parties at Westminster. I fear that their number is likely to continue to be very small compared to their share of the national vote.

    Even under AV, with the current 2.5 party set up I expect the overwhelming majority of MPs to come from red and blue.

    I was wondering just what Clegg is going to do once the AV questions is resolved one way or another, as he seems to have led the party in an altogether different direction to his predecessors. Other posters on here have pointed out that in theory AV would allow the Libs to split into free market liberals and social democratic liberals, and by doing so enjoy more representation under an AV system by getting more second votes overall. So maybe that is his plan…

  42. Does any one think that AV Referendum is going to be won by the YES camp now that Clegg and co are seen to be in bed with the Cons?

  43. @ Zeph

    I am number crunching the 2010 election results when I have time.

    Would it surprise you to know that Con & Lab together have 202 seats where they have > 50% of the vote?

    There are 138 seats where Con + Lab have >45% which are very likely to become >50% seats.

    340 seats out of 600 where Dems are unlikely to get a sniff at the seat.

    There’s a further 152 seats whether either Con or Lab have >40% of the vote.

    So 492 seats out of 600 where the Dems don’t have much chance. Unless Dems take 50% of the remaining 108 seats, the Dems will have fewer MPs under AV than they have now.

    I reckon that somebody in the Dem camp got their sums wrong when they asked for AV to be in the coalition agreement. It likely won’t help the Dems as much as they think, IMO. 8-)

  44. Amber – I have absolutely no idea how you go about your number crunching. My seat has thousands of Lab voters who voted Lib as an anti-Tory vote and I’m fascinated to know how AV would change our results.
    Where on earth do I start?

  45. PETE B

    Interesting this connection today between the military and the right wing as it certainly wasn’t the case at the end of WW2 in the 1945 election when it was generally felt that the military vote gave Labour a huge boost.


    Your posts this evening have been very interesting, annd it’s a pity you can’t tell us a bit more about your activities in the SBS. Regardless of our politics, I think we all would like to have an insight into these secret worlds.

  46. DAVIDB

    Well I can’t talk about any particular operation and a lot of people wouldn’t believe me if I could. All I can say is that I personally was involved in operations in 14 different countries between 1979 and 1986 but I can’t tell you which ones.

  47. @Zeph

    “I reckon that the Libs have the most to gain from AV “

    I’d have to say I think the two parties who will benefit the most in terms of second preferences are the Green Party (from Labour and Lib Dem first preference voters) and UKIP (from Conservative first preference voters).

    Of course second preferences will only impact the result in a minority of seats and even then to a very minor degree. Greens/ UKIP having (even) massive second preference vote tallies will not translate into even a tiny increase in their seat total (Green) or even one seat (UKIP). As far as LD gains well @Amber has shown the minor impact there as well.

    But that of course is an argument against AV as a so-called ‘proportionate’ voting system. Of course it is not really- it is just more proportionate than FPTP and that is one of the reasons that the deal Clegg accepted in such an unseemly hurry was so disappointing to all those of whichever party who favour electoral reform.

    A referendum on FPTP v AV v STV would have been the obvious one to have secured by proper negotiation: but he blew that opportunity…

    @Chris Lane

    “Does anyone think that AV Referendum is going to be won by the YES camp now that Clegg and co are seen to be in bed with the Cons?”

    I think it is going to be very very close. Anti coalition but pro PR voters are going to be torn between- on the one hand- this rare chance to achieve some reform (and give Cameron and co who will be campaigning for a ‘NO’ a bloody nose); and on the other holding their own noses to vote for something that will inevitably- if successful- be defined (mercurially) by Lib Deems as ‘proof’ that ‘in real elections that matter’ people still vote for us/ liberal democrat beliefs and values.

    Whilst I have no desire to give Nicholas more opportunities to exhibit that ‘born to rule/ Westminster school’ smarmy-smirk, I shall be voting ‘Yes’ nonetheless.

  48. I know that proportional representation fans think the AV is a poor substitute for the real thing, but it might be that Clegg knew that the Tories simply would not stomach full PR, and AV could be seen as a step in the right direction.

    Surely genuine Libdems (as opposed to Labour voters lending their support to keep Tories out) will be pleased to have the opportunity to influence policy and have a referendum on some kind of electoral reform. It must be better than minor opposition mustn’t it?

  49. @PETE B
    Saying AV is a step in the right direction to full PR is like saying marrying the girl you love’s best friend is a step in the right direction to marrying the girl you love. :)
    If the referendum is won, there won’t be another referendum on full PR.
    If it’s lost, there won’t be another referendum on full PR either.
    At least not for a long time.

  50. One month or so after the Spending Review and cuts become a reality…..

    h ttp://

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