The full tables for the Labour leadership poll are now up on YouGov’s website here (for members), here (for Trade Unionists) and here (as a nice summary). There are a couple of other notable findings.

1) How perceptions of the candidates have changed during the campaign. Ed Miliband, Andy Burnham, Ed Balls and Diane Abbott are all perceived by party members as being more left wing that they were in July. In July 30% of members saw Ed Miliband as centrist (22%) or right of centre (8%), that has now dropped to 21%. In contrast to the other four candidates, David Miliband is seen as increasingly right wing – in July 33% saw him as centrist and 19% as right of centre. That has now risen to 36% centrist and 26% right of centre.

2) Party members and trade Unionists still see David Miliband as the leader more likely to win the next election and as making the better Prime Minister. Despite the shift in voting intentions, amongst members David leads Ed by 55% to 25% as likely to lead Labour to victory, 45% to 28% on making best PM, and 44% to 21% on being an effective leader of the opposition. Ed Miliband still leads his brother on being likeable and sharing members political views. Amongst trade unionists David Milibands leads are smaller, but the pattern is the same. This implies many Labour members and trade unionists are voting for the candidate whose views they approve of, rather than the one they think has the best chance of winning the next election.

3) Labour’s future strategy. 51% of Labour members think the New Labour strategy is wholly (5%) or largely (46%) right and should be retained. 47% think it is largely (36%) or wholly (11%) wrong and should be abandoned. In regard to the coalition’s planned cuts, 25% of Labour party members think the party should oppose them on principle, and 56% think they should accept the principle, but oppose their scale or timing as damaging to the country. Only 17% think Labour should accept the scale of cuts and offer alternate cuts when they oppose specific coalition savings. An insignificant 1% think they should support the coalition cuts wholesale.

4) YouGov’s regular poll for the Sunday Times also asked the general public who they think would make a better Labour leader if they had to choose between David and Ed Miliband. 30% backed David, 16% Ed, but the majority (54%) said don’t know – a reminder that the two men still have a relatively low profile amongst the general public. (Not, it has to be said, that this is necessarily a bad thing. Leaders of the opposition do rapidly become known to the public, and having a blank canvas when it comes to public perception is better than having a negative image).

76 Responses to “More from YouGov’s Labour leadership poll”

1 2
  1. Sorry that figure from Cuba should be 1 000 000 – 500 000 in the next six months.

  2. Wolf
    True (yawn) that’s why I turned to the LA times for the poll on Obama;s immigration policies.

    With a sample of 1900 they claim 2.3% MOE.

  3. Populous poll being reported by Times twitter

    CON 39 (nc)
    LAB 37 (+4)
    LD 14 (-4)
    OTH 10

    Terrible for Clegg

  4. Jack/Howard,

    As much as non-labour do not appreciate the length of the contest there are three good reasons why it was necessary.

    1. Even if you are a green or an LD there is a good chance a red will be leading this country sometime in the future. Now if this is a democracy you want to think that they have learned at least some of their lessons. Hence, a period of reflection on past mistakes is the no.1 most important reason.

    2. The political consensus all three parties have around cuts may or may not be a good idea. At present 59% of the country are giving it a bash- good luck to them. Reds need to consider if they want to back that strategy in principle and continue with the progressive what I loosely term Americanisation of our services and economy. Labour may well choose they do but the debate or consideration needs to be had

    3. We live in an era of personality politics. To get the ordinary folk half interested in politics again we have to usher in a new generation. Peter Mandleson wrote Kinnock’s 87 manifesto. He has done great things for the Labour party but it was 23 years ago. The 13 year olds of today will look at him, Blair, brown, Johnson, Harman in 2015 and think ewwww… We will look at them and think zzzzzzzzzz. Either way they will not reengage the disheartened, disaffected, and disenfranchised. In five years time Miliband senior will be 50. Abbot will be 64/5 and Balls and Ed M will not be far behind them. In 1997, David Cameron was under 30 (correct me if I am wrong). But the point is that a break is required to examine the talent (or lack of) in the labour party.

    Boring it might be but it is a necessary process that even non-Labour supporters benefit from.

  5. YouGov; government approval minus 8 !
    37% approve, 45% disapprove

  6. …and YG daily party numbers

    CON 41%, LAB 38%, LDEM 12%

    There has been an increase in the intensity of the debate in the media about cuts the last week

  7. Sorry should have said “Osbornes savage ideological cuts” ;-)

  8. Holey, moley…. -8 approval.

  9. @Amber

    unfortunately over on the new thread AW has-rightly- pointed out that GB never even made it that HIGH (!)- best his administration did was -22.

    Now I am reminded why I was never one of those who thought he could pull it off in May/ either as a majority or largest party !

  10. Given that approval was +2 it is basic common sense to wait until tomorrow nights.

    Saying that, VI is broadly what we would expect so if this is the same sample for both it is a bit weird.

    -2% for LDs is prob a bigger story together with their -4% on Populus’

    It will be a hairy conference for Clegg but he will get through it.

  11. What do you expect – a 10 point lead in approval? It will get a lot worse than this before it gets better, if it ever does. Backbone required.

  12. @ Rob

    unfortunately over on the new thread AW has-rightly- pointed out that GB never even made it that HIGH (!)- best his administration did was -22.
    That was then, this is now. That was a single Party government after 12 years; this is a fresh faced coalition.

    So, I hear what you say… but Holey, moley anyway.

  13. @Amber

    True True- its still a big event: but the reminder of Browns utter dismal performances took a little of the shine off it. For me anyway.


  14. Guardian reorting this: “John Prescott throws his weight behind David Miliband”

    Speccie blog stating: “This weekend’s YouGov poll showing Ed Miliband ahead in the Labour leadership contest is the talk of Westminster today. One David Miliband backer told me that he thought it was flawed as it assumed that MPs’ second preferences would split evenly between the two brothers when David had the advantage. I was told that nearly all Andy Burnham’s parliamentary backers would put David second, that most of Balls’ would do the same and that Ed Miliband could only rely on Diane Abbott’s parliamentary backers’ second preferences. But Ed Miliband’s supporters dispute this

  15. @ Rob

    Mandelson, Blair, Skinner… & now Prescott.

    They should all leave it be. They are not helping David one tiny bit. Crikey, I’m starting to feel sorry for him! It’s like when all the same faces were lining up to support Brown but secretly thinking “we’re doomed”.

    They are just making things worse. 8-)

  16. No lessons learned. Not one iota. How very sad.

  17. Detail of the YouGov poll could be significant. Amongst those who have ALREADY VOTED, E Miliband is leading on 1st preferences for both members and trade unionists. Doesn’t seem to have been picked up in the press (yet).

  18. @Phil

    Doesn’t seem to have been picked up in the press (yet).

    From Rentoul in Indie and blog:

    “One small point, however. YouGov’s figures suggest that 34 per cent of eligible trade unionists have already voted, with a further 40 per cent saying that they “will definitely vote”. These figures compare with the 8 per cent who actually voted in the 2007 deputy leadership election (which Harriet Harman won by the even smaller margin of 50.4 to 49.6 per cent), and with the 19.5 per cent who voted in the last leadership election in 1994.

    I have no idea what explains that difference, or whether the explanation favours either of the leading candidates. But it ought to sound a note of caution.”

  19. @ Howard

    Anyone born in the United States gets automatic citizenship. Birthright citizenship is not a proposed change, it’s been around for almost 160 years. It’s in the Constitution. Those who “oppose” birthright citizenship this are merely ignorant f***tards.

  20. @Rob Sheffield – “…nearly all Andy Burnham’s parliamentary backers would put David second, that most of Balls’ would do the same”

    I had been guessing this might be the case. Balls is the only one of the non-Milibands who has actually picked up supporting MPs during the campaign.

    Sky is reporting Ed Balls to have been in fine form at the hustings, and talk at the TUC about a deal with David Miliband over Shadow chancellor/Chancellor.

    If recent polling is correct then it will be MPs who decide this. Pescott’s endorsement will do no harm.

  21. What to make of a poll that puts coalition Govt policy approval at -8% but the Conservatives still +3% ahead?

    It says to me that Labour are still carrying an awful lot of baggage. Despite the net opposition to the coalition’s policies, the electorate also anticipates that it would disapprove of whatever it imagines a Labour-led Government would be up to. And that view must be grounded in the experience of the latter years of the Blair/Brown era.

    So is the poll a confirmation that, whoever wins the leadership, they need to be seen to put a lot of distance between them and the latter days of New Labour, if Government disapproval is to be translated into electoral support in the 40%+ range?

  22. @ Rob Sheffield:

    You state that more trade unionists have voted this time than last time.

    That may well turn out to be true – but this poll does not prove it.

    Back in June 1989, when I worked at MORI, I recall an opinion poll that was conducted between Euro election polling day (on a Thursday) and the counting of votes (on the following Sunday evening).

    Some in the polling industry were a bit perplexed because the poll showed that a significantly greater proportion of respondents had claimed to have voted than were actually shown to have done so by the official turnout figures.

    This doesn’t necessarily mean that people who say they have voted are lying: it may simply be that the respondents who were interviewed fall into those categories that make them more predisposed to vote. (For example, the fact they are available to take part in a market research survey means that they are also available to vote – and have time to do so – unlike some other electors who might be away on holiday, in prison, or in some other way detained and therefore less likely to vote).

    This is why polling companies will often make strenuous efforts to repeatedly call back people who are out, in order that their sample is not too heavily skewed in favour of respondents whose life styles make them easily contactable. A sample that is skewed towards one lifestyle type might also be skewed in other ways too.

    In short, we will not know for sure what the turnout is in the leadership election until the result is announced in two weeks’ time.

  23. @Robin Hood

    You state that more trade unionists have voted this time than last time.

    Er, no I didn’t!

    I copyied in what Rentoul was blogging as @Phil said no one in the media had picked up on it. But Rentoul had.

    Rentoul’s point?? Whether correct or not just the whiff of it is one of the (several) reasons why I believe in OMOV of Labour Party members only: with Unions and MP’s not having any extra ‘collegiate’ voting power 8-)

  24. @Rob Sheffield
    For clarification. My point is that YouGov’s poll says that E Miliband is ahead on 1st preferences amongst those who have already voted. Rentoul’s point is different, his is just that more tu members overall are voting this time (whoever they voted for). (Note also, as the shares of the electoral college are fixed, a higher union turnout doesn’t make any difference).

  25. @Phil

    a higher union turnout doesn’t make any difference

    OMOV would mean they didn’t have any influence at all (i.e. the Union executives and bandwagon machines financed by their membership fees) other than as one member with one vote/ first-second preference. Ditto MP’s/ MEP’s.

    As Robin Hood points out Rentoul is alluding to the rather strange large difference in numbers of TU members saying they already voted (or saying they are certain they will vote) compared to previous (and recent) similar contests.

  26. Sorry, Rob Sheffield, you’re right – it wasn’t you who made the remarks about increased turnout – you were merely quoting Rentoul.

    I really don’t think TU turnout will reach 74%, but it’ll probably be higher than in 1994 as there is a perception now (not then) that it could be close.

    Like I say, polling for turnout in this situation is very difficult – but I think there probably is something significant in what Phil alludes to: namely, that more of EM’s supporters have already voted than have DM’s. It’s difficult to think of any sampling problems that could have brought this finding about, so it probably has some basis in reality.

    The reason for this? My guess is greater enthusiasm among EM’s supporters, possibly combined with their higher political awareness (because he is, after all, the less well known of the two brothers). All a bit worrying for DM.

1 2