Tonight’s YouGov voting intention has topline figures of CON 43%, LAB 38%, LDEM 11%. This is the lowest Liberal Democrat level of support recorded since straight before and after the resignation of Menzies Campbell, back in 2007. I’m slightly wary about focusing too much on extremes in polls, almost by definitions they are likely to be outliers, nevertheless, the downwards trend in Lib Dem support is there, slow but relentless.

337 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – 43/38/11”

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  1. Rob S,

    Oldsters? I dread to think what I’d have got if John McDonnell was included.

    Nice to have a tool examining policy :)

  2. Gary

    You said “…I’m pro electoral reform (I prefer proportional representation though not AV)…But I will still vote against just to protest against the Lib Dems stitching up the current coalition, abandoning their principles and not pushing for genuine reform…”

    Please note the following:

    * If you are manufacturing reasons to vote against electoral reform when you are offered it, then you are not pro-electoral reform, you are anti-electoral reform.
    * Voting in a referendum just to punish an individual party is [ his own decision, and not for debate here – AW]

    Regards, Martyn

  3. @Gary,

    “Just to play devils advocate I will also say that in 1984 / 1988 / 1993 / 1998 / 2002 and 2006 the opinion polls could all have been used to predict the next election result. (the party with the largest number of seats)”

    I put this mainly down to the law of averages. Many short-term polls do not predict long-term polls (and GE results), but the law of averages means that sometimes, naturally, they will.

  4. EM 65%
    EB 64%
    DM 48%
    DA 28%

  5. Mike,

    Well done! You are the first not to have Diane in first place and D Miliband not in last.

  6. (voodoo) (Questionable, simplistic methodology.) Andy Burnham was correct not to participate in this farce.

  7. DM 72%
    EM 60%
    EB 51%
    DA 45%

    Bit of fun, not exactly a voting barometer as people are also moved by personalities and electability.

    @ Martyn

    It’s a bit of a stretch to say that because someone feels generally pro reform, they should vote for any half-baked system they are presented with.

  8. Billy Bob- bit of fun though eh ?!

    Also it does examine policy positions rather than personalities….

  9. Eoin

    Eh, is that good or bad?

    Pity AB hadn’t offered his views.

  10. Mike N,

    That’s your voice it cant be either good or bad. Simply unique! :)


    I am surmising you did it and David M was not your no. 1? :) It need not matter, since your intuition overides meer policy positioning :)

  11. As a non-labour supporter mine came in as ;

    D Miiliband
    E Milliband
    E Balls
    D Abbot

  12. RussG,

    Ach Russell, give us your %s pal?

  13. DM 61%
    EM 57%
    EB 45%
    DA 42%

  14. Russ,

    Ta for that. Maybe you are just the type of voter D Mil aims to attract. Yours and I’s are almost a mirror image of each others, which perhaps indicates why I fail to be enamoured with him.

  15. @Rob Sheffield – fun perhaps. :) But it annoyed me. :(
    (Push button machines usually serve up an undrinkable brew.)

  16. Well I can assure you he is waisting his time with me….strangely the only ones I like a bit are Abbot and Burnham but wouldn’t vote for them.

  17. @Neil A

    You forget to account for “honeymoon effect”, and that the majority of the Conservative’s rise is against the Liberal Democrats, while they have *lost ground* against Labour. It’s

    In the First Past The Post system, this is *very bad news* for the Conservatives. It only needs a very small swing back to labour for them to lose position as largest party in the commons.

  18. Russ,

    Yes- he would be similarly wasting his time with me. I joined when Labour were in the low 20%s because I believed in Gordy. A freind in need was a friend indeed. The subsequent rise of this character would be a kick in the teeth.

  19. Eoin,

    Who do you think would be best to get you re-elected though ?

  20. There is a small Conservative to Labour swing hidden amongst the effects of the collapse of LibDem support. It’s just not that big – 1 to 2%, enough to knock over a couple of dozen Conservative seats with small majorities and just about make Labour the largest party.

    I still say single figure support for the LibDems is probably coming, but I doubt they will vanish as a party. Maybe there is an electoral cycle for third parties as well as between the two main parties?

  21. RussG,

    Good question.

    My turly honest answer in Andy Burnham.

    He would lead a united party, with slightly left of centre policy. He is an honest decent man who does not seek power simply for the limelight. He judges people by how they are not who or what they are. I think he would appeal to decent hard working families that just want to get on.

    A lot of David Cameron’s criticisms are valid about our society. I think Burnham knows that and is prepared to do something about it. On crime social order, care fo rth eelderly he seems to have his head screwed on.

    He will not win- nor will he ever be PM. To do that you either a) have to be in the pockets of the Unions (EB/EM) or b) have to annointed by the elitest cabal (DM).

    It is all rather sad.

  22. It is remarkable how Jay Blanc finds a way to make every statistic “very bad news for the Conservatives”.

  23. I’ve been doing some modelling on the recent polling.

    Should there be a snap-election following some kind of meltdown at the LibDem conference, we’d be in the position of an election that would not only result in another hung parliament… But possibly one in which the no feasible coalition could claim a working majority!

    Interesting times ahead I fear.

  24. @Fandango

    3 point swing from Conservative to Labour based on a moving average. I can’t see that being good news for the Conservatives.

  25. Eoin,

    Yes the Union vote must be a bit frustrating for the ordinary party worker on the street who does much of the foot work at an election. Do all the members vote individualy or as a block from each union ?

  26. Lol, If Ed Miliband gets any further left during this campaign we’re going to need binoculars to see him at all.

    Penny dropped for me that the timing of TBs book launch must be making some spit.

    h ttp://

  27. For what its worth as a non-Labour voter.

    DA 79
    EM 57
    EB 30
    DM 25

    I don’t think any of them would win my vote though and whilst I might have some repect for DA, she’d be an electoral disaster for Labour at the moment.

  28. @Jay Blanc

    The poll results on Lib Dem Voice suggest that the prospects of a ‘meltdown’ at the Lib Dem conference are not high.

    I am wondering at what point in this Parliament all this tedious “if X, then Y, then Z = snap election results” is going to stop.

    The Tories are polling 43% – within touching distance of their 2008 highs. Catastrophe is hardly looming for them.

  29. TonyOTim,

    You and I are remarkably close… Do I hear the Greens calling? ;)

    The sooner we have STV in this country the better.

  30. Fandango:

    Do we need to explain what a Voodoo poll is again?

  31. Russell,

    I think amber worked it out that a union vote was 1/30 of the ordinary member. In saying that I must point out that DM would probably win the ordinary member vote. If we elected by open primary (which they do in some parts of the US) Andy Burnham would stand a much better chance.

  32. @Eoin,

    I’m with you on STV. Was slightly dismayed I scored above 50% for EM – nothing he’s done so far hs impressed me at all.

    As a neutral, AB would be my pick – still wouldn’t win my vote though.

  33. It isn’t a true voodoo although certainly it doesnt have the rigour of a YouGov, ICM etc.

    However I suspect it is a more accurate reflection of what Lib Dem members think than your speculative wishful thinking.

  34. @Sue Marsh

    Endorsement from a majority in the shadow cabinet is significant. Anyone who cannot command that level of confidence will have a difficult time.

    Watched the televised hustings on BBC Parliament (yet again). At one point Burnham referred to NHS reforms he had pushed through with no support from cabinet colleagues. The look of surprise and outrage on the face of Ed Balls was a picture, as was the questioning glance he directed at D Milliband. Dispite their differences these two respect each other. Vital.

  35. I agree with the last fandango. I don’t think the current polls are a disaster for the Tories – quite the opposite, in fact. At this stage, I would have expected the Tories to have been polling much lower than the low 40s.

  36. @Michael V

    You said “…It’s a bit of a stretch to say that because someone feels generally pro reform, they should vote for any half-baked system they are presented with…”

    Fair point. But, although there are legitimate arguments against AV, “half-baked” isn’t one of them. Other countries use it and use it successfully. Even Australia, which just got a hung parliament out of AV, isn’t going “Hey, let’s go back to FPTP, ‘cos there’s not enough f***wittedness in the world”. Would you feel better if I told you (truthfully) that both Millibands want AV? They get it from their father: see this week’s “New Statesman”.

    Regards, Martyn

  37. @ Colin

    There’s a good reason for not discussing Tony Blair too much. Like ‘ordinary’ people everywhere (going by polling) he has become more conservative as he has grown older. His life experiences; the people he has (chosen?) to mix with; the changes in his personal circumstances have all altered him beyond the recognition of many who liked or respected him when he became leader of the Labour Party.

    To see the New Labour project, through the eyes of the aged Tony Blair, is to view it from so far right* that you’d need binoculars to see the Labour Party as being any part of the ‘project’ at all.

    Those who continue to have affection or respect for Tony Blair are thinking of the man he was, not the man he has become.

    To his credit, David Miliband seems to believe in the New Labour project of 1997 not 2005. He’d like to go back to 1997 & begin again from there; who in the Party wouldn’t? That position is largely why DM appeals to so many Labour MPs, imo.

    But it isn’t 1997 & we are where we are. 8-)

  38. Some people also forget that the coalition arithmetic is pretty good. It would take something pretty major to break up the coalition, especially with the Lib Dem’s interests so tied up in it. A few nightmare polls will not achieve this IMO. Even the dissenting Lib members will realise how important it is for this coalition to last. Labour experienced some pretty awful poll ratings during their last period in office and survived because they realised the importance of not giving the Tories a GE (and, hence, massive majority). For the Libs, this coalition is ,perhaps, even more vital to the party’s long-term survival.

  39. @Amber,

    If TB is right-wing, you’ve convinced me to become a socialist right away.8-)

  40. Matt/Last Fandango,

    You are correct. You woul dneed to be a lunactic to interpret recent VI polls as bad for blue.

  41. Amber – Sadly, emails not the point of my test.

    All still failing abysmally, DM just tiny bit less abysmal than the others so far. :oops:

  42. @Matt

    The other point that people seem to forget is that NONE of the parties actually want an election anytime soon.

    Labour is close to bankruptcy (see Prescott’s article in the Guardian recently). The Lib Dems are living hand to mouth. Neither can afford another general election campaign for some while yet.

    The Tories probably could afford one but my guess is that even they would much prefer to wait until their coffers have been replenished too.

    Plus lots of MPs quite like their jobs and would prefer not to put themselves out for re-tender again so soon. This goes particularly for the newbies, of whom there are quite a large number.

    Oh, and more than 1/4 of Lib Dem MPs are Ministers. We all know how keen Ministers are to leave office once they get their greedy mits on the levers of power…

  43. I scored DM 68%
    EM 58%
    EB 55%
    DA 36%

    If Neil A does it and he and I score roughly the same, then that is a good indication that the most feared leader should be DM.

    I hope Neil A will not mind me classing him as ‘soft liberterian Tory’ and me as ‘soft libertarian Lib Dem’.

    The soft does not mean weak (I hope) but open-minded.

    DM needs our votes (and could get them if he embraced PR) whereas Colin and Roland are lost causes for him.

  44. @Michael V

    You said “…It’s a bit of a stretch to say that because someone feels generally pro reform, they should vote for any half-baked system they are presented with…”

    …Are you telling me that AV, the system under which the Labour party leader is elected, is “half-baked”? In which case, should we also describe the person elected as “half-baked” too? The “half-baked” Miliband D? The “demi-risen” Miliband E? The “you’ll need to give him 30 minutes more to drain off the lard” Ed Balls? I have to say, you’ve given the phrase “to serve Labour” a whole new meaning… :-) :-)

    Regards, Martyn
    (sorry, I missed it – bad Dobby, bad Dobby)

  45. @Matt, Eoin, Clarke

    It’s not hard to understand this… The current polling shows a 3 point swing from Conservatives to Labour. The Conservative figure is high only because of gains from the Lib Dems, they have gained nothing against Labour.

    If an election happened with these “great” recent figures for the Conservatives, they would simply tread water while Labour made big gains.

    And Labour have a clear upward momentum, while no one seriously expects the Conservative post election boost to be sustainable.

    It’s hard to present “treading water in face of huge labour gains even when at their highest point in years” as good news for the Conservatives. Worse when you look at the momentum.

  46. @ Martyn

    Are you trying to tell us that under the proposed GE AV system we won’t get a half-baked, demi-risen, anything-for-power coalition government?

    It’s your perogative (unless Anthony snips you) to make a half-baked, hypocrisy ‘attack’ on Labour members/ voters. It’s hardly likely to endear you or your cause to Labourites.

    It also shows you up as being ignorant (or pretending to be ignorant) of the differences between the Labour leadership election rules & the proposed GE AV rules. 8-)

  47. @ Matt

    If TB is right-wing, you’ve convinced me to become a socialist right away.
    He is. You have? Hooray!!! ;-)

  48. @Jay

    Surely the swing to Labour could just as well have come from Others as from the Conservatives (Others are down from 11% at the GE to 8% in the latest YouGov – equal to your missing 3%)?

  49. @ Sue

    I’m guessing that your test is grassroots involvement. They all talk a good game on this but DM has actually got the community activist training project off the ground.

    Is my guess of your criteria closer than Éoin’s e-mail reply test? 8-)

  50. Amber

    “There’s a good reason for not discussing Tony Blair too much. Like ‘ordinary’ people everywhere (going by polling) he has become more conservative as he has grown older.”

    This gave me the biggest laugh in a week-thanks ;-)

    The Labour Party’s choice-of course-the electorate then gets a say .

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