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. @Fandango

    “Swing” is the result of relative change between the parties, not the ‘gain’ for one party. Labour have actually improved their polling much more than 3%. So they’ve had to get more votes than just from Others.

  2. I think the last posts on the Con 43 and where it comes from raise good points. We should rmember ‘swing’ is half what the effect is. Thus it does not take much for small party support to drift (including now Lib Dems) to produce a big efffect on the major parties. Perhaps we should be expressing the current situation as Con 43 Lab 38 Others 19%.

  3. @ Colin

    :-) I do think Tony Blair is ‘ordinary’. That was his appeal to voters; but it takes an extraordinary person to be leader of the Labour Party. We want our leaders to put principles above venality, populism & vanity. But not to be so principled that they cannot compromise; & negotiate; & take cognisance of others views or ideas.

    Is that too much to expect from a politician? ;-) 8-)

  4. @Jay

    Let’s look at now vs election:

    Con +6.5%

    Lab +8.5%

    Lib -12%

    Other -3%

    It is clearly entirely statistically possible for all of Con and Lab’s gains to have come only from Lib and Others. How do you ‘know’ that 3% of Labour’s has come from Con?

  5. @ Martyn

    Yes Labour use an AV-esque system to choose a leader. I don’t think it’s perfect by any means, but in the context of an internal party leadership election it’s not a bad system. Your assertion seems to suggest that my comments on AV equate to subjects other than the UK Parliamentary elections, they don’t.

    My subjective viewpoint is that a significant number of people who support electoral reform do so to the end of wanting a more proportional system, such as STV. AV in 1997 potentially would have given Labour an astronomical majority with the Tories reduced to a tiny rump – a fair system? So it could be argued that it is a step in the wrong direction for those who want more proportional representation. I appreciate that this would not be the effect in every election, but nonetheless it is a strong argument against AV.

    The issue is a salient one for the Liberal Democrats. Under AV their potential gains in terms of votes would probably be negligible, under STV (which I accept they wouldn’t have achieved) they could have afforded to lose half their support an still retain seats. For many their voters, AV is very much a “half baked” policy.

    I’m not trying to start a debate on electoral reform, just questioning the narrative that any kind of electoral reform is a good thing. Unless I’ve been mistaken some of the polling on AV has indicated a moderate decline in support for it – if/when a Yes campaign begins, they are going to need to sell it a lot better than they have thus far.

  6. Jay,

    The gap between red blue in May 2010 was 7%

    the gap between red blue in Aug 2010 is 5%

    To my mind, that is a swing of 1%.

    Now can you tell? How in the of bejayus is that the swing, or bad news for blue that you paint it to be?

    The last party to poll 43% at a GE was many many many moons ago.

  7. Both Labour and the Conservatives are in a reasonable position poll-wise. Lib Dems are the only ones who should be worried at this point. As a Labour supporter I find the current VI encouraging, but not much else. Could go either way, and given that we have a coalition government the variables that impact on government support increase significantly.

    @ The Last Fandango

    Very sensible point – the only situation I would foresee a snap election occurring would be 20 point poll leads for the Conservatives again, even then it would be risky…

  8. Amber

    No-of course not.

    But that wasn’t the source of my amusement. Your post contained more general assumptions which were.

    It is of no import.

  9. On the latest YouGov poll the swing from Con to Lab is 1%. Clearly polls vary – on the UK polling average on the sidebar the swing would be 1.5%, on the most positive recent poll for Labour (the ICM one that showed them neck and neck), the swing was 3.5%.

    Under all shifts, there is a lot of churn. There will have been some movement in all directions, some Labour to Con, some Con to Lab, some LD to Con and so on. An awful lot of movement is also in and out of don’t know and won’t vote. The only way of actually judging what the movements are is to look at pollsters who give cross breaks by 2010 recalled vote. Looking at the last ICM poll, there is a small amount of churn between Labour and Conservatives, but it generally cancels out – most of the shift is from Lib Dems to Labour and Conservatives.

  10. Re my point about the number of Lib Dem ministers and the frothing of imminent coalition collapse.

    There are 645 seats in the HoC (excluding the Sinn Fein 5) and so you need 323 for a majority.

    There are 16 Lib Dems ministers in the HoC.

    307 (number of Tory seats) plus 16 gets you to 323. Just a coincidence? I think not…

    (This fact has probably been pointed out before)

  11. Colin,

    Yes do get ore right as you get older wouldnt you agree? Gee I dread to think where I’ll end up?

    On Amber’s point- Cameron has blended charisma with principle so it is possible. Given the choice between him and the other cahoon, I’d pick the blu eeejit any day

    As a case in point, i got my wee man to do Rob S’s quiz… he had 77% for Abbot and 19% for D Mili. In forty years time it will probably be the other way about.

  12. @Fandango

    If the Liberal Democrat Party as a whole decide to exit the coalition, the Liberal Democrat ministers will certainly be expected to leave Government or Leave the Party.

    This leaves them a handful of options,
    * Stay with the party, and eventually join the nays in a confidence motion.
    * Leave the Liberal Democrats, and beg for a safe conservative seat in order to join the conservative party.
    * Leave the Liberal Democrats, remain in their current seats, and hope they can win as a Conservative.
    * Accept their political careers are over and they will not be re-elected.

    I certainly wouldn’t bet on every single one of those sixteen ministers liking their chances for defection.

  13. @ Eoin

    “Cameron has blended charisma with principle so it is possible. Given the choice between him and the other cahoon, I’d pick the blu eeejit any day”

    Whether he will be viewed in this manner after he leaves power (as opposed to 100 days of it) is an entirely different matter… If his premiership is short he might be able to keep this image intact, to do so whilst serving long terms (i.e. Blair or Thatcher) would be a significant achievement. I imagine himself and his advisers have meticulously analysed where Blair went wrong and also what he did well, in order to create the right image.

  14. @ The Last Fandango

    “307 (number of Tory seats) plus 16 gets you to 323. Just a coincidence? I think not…”

    It may have been prudent to include a few more Libs in the government to increase this figure. Preferably ones from Lib/Con marginals who would have a vested interest in joining the Tories should a split occur.

  15. I must say I’m very disappointed. Nobody has yet pointed out that this is a Bank Holiday poll and therefore should be ignored. Come on chaps and chapesses this is a UKPR tradition. :D

  16. @Jay

    You might be right. Who knows. But the arithmetic is no accident and my money is on the coalition lasting its agreed term. I have seen nothing so far that makes me think I won’t collect. Even losing the AV referendum is survivable – after all the Libs will need some considerable time thereafter to work out their subsequent direction of travel.

    @Michael V

    I have wondered the same. But there was enough discontent on this issue on the Tory backbenches as it was. There still is. Cameron and Clegg had a difficult balancing act to undertake.

  17. @The Last Fandango – “307 (number of Tory seats) plus 16 gets you to 323. Just a coincidence? I think not…”

    I think not as well, largely based on the fact that the Tories have 306 seats.

  18. The 323 point should mean that NC has all the cards. In fact, for DC to get power, they were already all played and won. All four points of the LD manifesto were conceded with alacrityy except nuclear power ( a small element of the green agenda) and Trident, which looks to me to be going NC’s way anyway.

    It’s interesting that Con voters do not seem to have taken umbrage at this caving in, so i imagine that the 13 years out of power had worked its effect on what they are prepared to tolerate.

    I imagine it’s the forlorn hope of an eventual IT that has encouraged them.

  19. ‘IT cut’ last sentence

  20. howard

    could you refresh our memories, just what was it the dems got in exchange for spending cuts which were inevitable anyway

  21. Michael,

    Wise words.

    Let’s wait and see eh? For fun you should read the mail and telegraph. I have read the latter for years. If Roland is online he will confirm that they rarely have a good word to say about Cameron and his Blairism.

  22. Eoin

    I think you do become more conservative ( small c)-which may or may not be the same as “more right”.

    I agree with Amber on that.

    It was this comment which made me smile really:-

    ” 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.”

    It implied that TB’s key New Labour ideas have changed with his age-become more “conservative”.
    It seems to me that the key elements he outlines in the papers today , are exactly those which he always espoused-and precisely those which he called New Labour as distinct from Labour.

    It was those ideas & thoughts which persuaded me & others like me to vote for him in 1997.

    They are those which he now says-in terms- GB resisted-like supply side reform of Public Services & Reform of Welfare.And they are those which he says have been abandoned-like not taxing higher incomes penaly, and appealing to the middle class, and business votes.

    The last part of Amber’s remark implies that “The Labour Party” was never part of those ideas-which given the three GEs it won with them, describes a deafening silence in some quarters for thirteen years.

    But -it is not for me to say whether TB is correct in his opinion as to the reasons labour lost in 2010.
    That is what your leadership election is all about.

    The differences TB alludes to have been evident in the hustings. They are not a product of Blair’s age.

    He clearly thinks EM will ditch his central New Labour ideas-that much seems uncontroversial.

    He clearly think such a move, if EM were leader, will jeopardise Labour’s chances of victory next time round-that is clearly disputed -or EM would not be so close to victory.

    He clearly thinks that DM will be most likely to carry forward the reforms & ideas he espoused-that is the sixtty four thousand dollar question.

  23. Howard,

    I admire your cool head and ability to view things over the Long Dureé.

    On this one, however, I strongly feel you are wide of the mark.

    NC/DL/DA/VC/CH are a walking, talking all singing and dancing disaster.

    They are a quer cry from the days of MO, SM, MC, CK etc.

    The student vote used to be your growth area. Do you realise how much of an anethema the ‘establishment mafia’ are to the hypies on campus?

    For me it all boils down to this: I find little evidence to believe that Nick Clegg is to the left of David Cameron.

    Was Michael Howard more left than Charlie Kennedy?
    Was Major more left than Ashdown?

    Ted Heath makes Nick Clegg resemble a Thatcherite and even the latter wouldnt dream of levying tuition fees.

  24. i have been thinking about dear old tony today, i was planing to share these thoughts with you all, but TB is not the topic today. somehow i never manage to guess the right topic, probably cos “it’s the labour leader, stupid!” everyday. at least until king david has his coronation

  25. Colin,

    Yes- I agree with you.

    The fault lies with reds who regard themselves as lefties. They didnt interrogate Blair they did not test his ideas out in practice. They never knew what they were buying. Obama went through 24 TV debates before becomming president. Blair did not do one…

    It is th emain reason I used to try hard to get people to examine the current contenders policies before I gave up.

  26. Colin,

    Mandelson, Johnson, darling and now Blair himself have made it clear. DM is the man they feel most likely to continue Blairism.

    The question reds have to answer is quite simple: Do they want Blairism to continue?

    for what it is worth: they will almost certainly decide no. I cannot see D Mili winning.

    He intimates he will quit politics if he loses. What is it about him, Reid, and Purnell when do not get their way?

  27. An Ipsos Mori poll (non VI) If anyone is interested

    h ttp://

  28. @Amber Star

    You said “…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?…”

    Amber, I am deliberately not telling you the outcome of a UK AV GE, because I don’t know. I do not *know* what the outcome of a UK GE under AV will be and I cannot sign off on a prediction. All I can tell you is:

    * The BBC have publicised some models which estimate the outcome of the 83?,87,92,97,01,05,10 elections under AV. Under those models, AV is proportional in close/close-ish cases but emphasises majorities in landslides: so the 80’s were good for the Conservatives and the 00’s good for Labour. Under these scenarios, LIBs do better than FPTP.
    * In Australia, AV has produced majorities and preserved the two-party system *but* has pushed both major parties towards the center. Under these scenarios, LIBs do worse than FPTP (the third party in Oz has either disappeared or been absorbed).
    * The ERS says that AV is better than FPTP, and that AV is more proportional than FPTP in most cases, but less in some.

    I dug out the BBC links and the ERS links in a previous post some weeks back, but they were stuck in moderation hell for many hours: you can finde them if you look (I’m working tonight and so will not be able to find them for you until after midnight). The Australian experience has been covered at ConHome and the Times: I can dig out the former for you but (paywall) not the latter.

    The only honest prediction I can make of a UK GE under AV would be that people will alter their voting behavior to get the result they want and that this will be easier to do under AV than FPTP.

    If it makes you feel better, I do not know and do not care whether AV will benefit the LIBs or not. Ditto for LAB, CON, Green, UKIP, whoever.

    You said “…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…”

    Tell me what will, Amber… :-( I am in a quandary: most people want partisan reasons for voting “Yes” but I cannot provide one, because I cannot predict who will gain under AV and I suspect that no-one will. I am horribly frustrated by the CBTMYBOIFYU approach of Labour partisans who believe that AV will benefit the LIBs and so will oppose it purely on that basis, because a) it’s a sadism argument that cannot be countered rationally, and b) I cannot vouch that AV will benefit the LIBs (I suspect it won’t, but do not know). So I am faced with people acting sadistically to inefficiently achieve an undemocratic and counter-productive outcome – not good.

    I keep pointing out logical errors but (as you point out) this is interpreted as an attack. The best I can do is list partisan advocates for AV (so, for example, Gordon Brown has advocated AV and the Miliband bros have/will advocate AV) but that’s as far as I go. As I keep saying, this isn’t a partisan issue and I don’t want to use partisan arguments – not because I am noble and good ( :-) ), but because I cannot vouch that AV will benefit any given political party and I suspect that it will not.

    You said “…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…”

    I am ignorant (it’s usually more polite to use the word “uninformed”) of the differences you mention. To try and keep track of this farrago over the past few months I have had to read the Liberal and Conservative manifestos, the papers that Anthony keeps dishing out, ERS and Welsh Assembly Government papers, and the polls back to 87 (83 when I get round to it: thank you, Eoin). Every time I think I’ve covered all the bases, somebody comes out with something (Labour manifesto, Coalition agreement) that I thought I knew but did not. So in mitigation, I plead info-overload. I must note in passing that I doubt procedural differences make a difference to the principle involved.


  29. A TNS-BMRB (non VI) If anyone is interested

    h ttp://

  30. @Anthony Wells

    Can you delete the post of mine (September 1st, 2010 at 11:19 am) that’s currently in moderation? More light, less heat…

    Regards, Martyn

  31. eoin

    while you were at the telegraph, did you notice the story about foreign workers thinking about returning home, the headline had the words “brain drain” in it

    importing skills is a dangerous business

  32. Richard,

    I tried finding it. Will you post the link for me?

  33. eoin

    i don’t know how

  34. eoin


    ht tp://

  35. I see some ‘scandal’ appears to be emerging around William Hague. The Beeb say an adviser to WM has resigned and that WM has denied his marriage to Ffion is in trouble.

  36. Richard,

    Thanks for that. I hate to be spoilsport (I do) but we cant pay much heed to the stats. Put it this way, are you ‘considering’ moving to the UK? or Australia ? or wherever? I am also mindful of the fact that 4100 were questioned from a 100 countries (41 ex-pats per country)? It might mean that 8 ex-pats in Britain said they ‘might’ go home. Lastly we do not know the Provenance of the research…. methodology, internal weighting etc.. In short… interesting topic but voodoo research.

  37. mike n

    yes, i’ve heard the one about “sharing hotel rooms” before, many tories have been caught out that way

    but the miscarriage problems ring true

    so i think this is just malicious mischief

  38. Richard in Norway

    “i think this is just malicious mischief”

    If it is then it is awful.

  39. eoin

    i agree voodoo research

    i’m just interested cos of the potential problems in human capacity that brain importing countries could find themselves in

    put simply, you need brains to grow your economy but you need a growing economy to attract brains

    i belive that the UK is a net exporter of brains, but maybe i’m just jingoistic

  40. “UK is a net exporter of brains”

    Now I shall be more careful when someone says that they want to pick my brain.

  41. Richard,

    It is a fascinating topic. Ideally we would all be free to export and import brains as our economies required them. Old fashioned free market thinking seems logical enough here…

    One problem: what do we do with our working class and under class who are denied the means whereby they compete with our brainy cousins from overseas. Until they feel they have nothing to fear from 100,000 Russians living in London or Foreign Stockbrokers populating the London mile, then we have a problem.

    To my mind, (and I have only recently arrived at thi sopinion)- both arguments are valid.

  42. mike n

    politics are awful

    it might be that the telegraph is flexing its muscles again, i’m sure they expected to have more influence on the govt than they have

  43. eoin

    you put your finger on the socail problem

    my worry is supply/demand imbalance leading to inflation followed by fiscal tightening and so on

  44. Mike N/Richard

    I am sick of seeing public persons’ careers’ ruined by faceless pseudonym characters. Every since the false reporting of Mathew Kelly BBC “Stars in your eyes” i vowed not to pay a heed to them again. The night before the police arrested the ipswich murderer of the six women, police press etc had us believe it was a local saddo. Noone every apoligised to him afterwards. My advice is to ignore it and let the man get on with his life. I dont care if Gordon Brown takes a sleeping tablet or any other political trivia that these senseless gutterpress seek to drag up.

  45. eoin

    i don’t like it either. i always ask why, who have they upset so much of this is about power struggles i feel, ie david laws and CGT

  46. Amber – As ever, you understand me.

    I am very tired indeed of working for a party that had forgotten (or ignored) how to engage me, forgotten (or ignored) how to listen to me, had forgotten (or ignored) my constituency.

    If this doesn’t change, the Labour Party is no longer my party – the party of Keir Hardy.

    What’s more, if this doesn’t change, imo all of politics is dead and the people we most want to engage with get more and more disillusioned with us.

    I really don’t want another TB leadership cult.

  47. Re the brain drain and potential adverse effect on the economy – this is why arbitrary immigration limits are not feasible/desirable IMO.

  48. mike n

    that what the buisness comunity feels, because if you can’t import the skills you need then you have to pay enough tax to pay for educating the workers you need

    having educated them, they are free to go where ever they like, not a risk free investment

  49. Sue ” another TB leadership cult”

    I never thought of him as a cult figure. And still don’t.

    He is IMO charismatic, articulate and pragmatic.

  50. Sue ” another TB leadership cult”

    I never thought of him as a cult figure. And still don’t.

    He is IMO charismatic, articulate and pragmatic.

    and a used car salesman

    that is what i thought back in 94

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