Tonight’s daily YouGov poll has topline figures of CON 43%, LAB 36%, LDEM 14% – quite a change from having the two main parties equal on 39% yesterday. Technically of course it doesn’t have to mean anything – both are within the margin of error of the average of YouGov’s recent polls which is around about CON 41% or 42%, LAB around 38% and the Lib Dems around 12%.

My guess is that part of today’s poll is probably a Lib Dem gain from conference coverage – 14% is at the top of their current range in YouGov’s polls – but that the high Tory lead is probably just a outlier. Of course, it could be the other way around, with yesterday’s 39% a piece being an outlier and this being a true reflection, but yesterday’s was at least in line with the general trend of a shrinking Tory lead. We’ll see tomorrow.

374 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – 43/36/14”

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  1. Amber

    I accept your challenge.

    Shadow Cabinet as a football team :-

    Labour Disunited AFC

    Own Goal. John Prescott

    Centre Left Back. Yvette Cooper
    Left Back. John Cruddas
    Lefter Back Michael Meacher
    Far Left Back Ed Miliband

    Left Midfield Dennis Skinner
    Further Left Midfield John McDonnell

    Centre Left Forward David Miliband
    Striker Ed Balls
    Striker ( in the hole) Bob Crowe ( on loan )
    Far Left Forward Jeremy Corbyn.

    Manager Andy Burnham
    Physio/Masseur Ben Bradshaw.

  2. Can I point out that, before the Bandwagon for Boris starts waving victory flags, he was extremely lucky to win last time. The final result was Boris 53%, Ken 47% – a reasonable margin you might think. But it took place at a time when the YouGov poll for May 2008 showed Con 47% as against Labour 23%. Even if this contained some boost from Boris’s victory, the previous month was Con 44%, Lab 26%.

    Unless we assume Boris can somehow build up a really enormous personal vote and the Conservatives manage an enormous mid-term lead against all predictions, Mr Johnson may well find himself begging for guest slots on HIGNFY by Summer 2012. The London mayoral elections may carry a larger personal and regional component than a lot of other contests, but the national trend still matters. The last time was at the Tory high water mark in the polls and the margin wasn’t that great. Whoever the candidates are, especially remembering that the London swing was lower than expected this May, the Conservatives will be lucky to retain the Mayoralty.

  3. Colin,

    Labour’s internal party democracy isn’t too bad, and over the years it has probably hindered the party in Government.

    I seem to recall that in living memory, a new Tory leader ’emerged’ from a secretive meeting of party grandees….where was the democracy in that?

  4. Amber

    Thanks for the info on the London Electoral College.

  5. @ Éoin

    Men who call themselves straight have been known to get urges …… because they are still breathing? ;-)

  6. Amber

    Goalkeeper – Harriet Harman
    Central Defense- John Prescott
    Central Defense- Gordon Brown
    Right wing back- Blair
    Left wing back- Andy Burnham
    Defensive Midfielder- Alan Johnson
    Playmaker- Balls
    Left winger- Yvette Cooper
    Right winger- Mandleson
    Left striker- Ed Miliband
    Right strike- David Miliband

    Left back in the changing rooms: Hain, Liam Byrne and Murphy

  7. It was 1965 when all Tory MP’s voted for the leader

  8. @ Colin

    ROFLOL :-)

    I am sooo happy there is no right-winger on ‘your’ team. 8-)

  9. Garry K

    “I seem to recall that in living memory, a new Tory leader ‘emerged’ from a secretive meeting of party grandees….where was the democracy in that?”

    But fading fast, now it is done with AV-which as evry skoolboy kno is very democracy.

  10. @ Éoin

    Another hilarious contribution to the Miliband’s 11. :-)

    These will have me chuckling until Saturday. Will anybody configure a Blue/ Yellow team to line up against the opposition? ;-)

  11. Amber

    Blue/Yellow team

    Goalkeeper Mark Reckless
    Central Defence Liam Fox
    Sweeper- William Hague
    Right Back- George Osborne
    Left Back- Vince Cable
    Right Winger- Clegg
    Left Whinger- Simon Hughes
    Playmaker- Oliver Letwin
    Centrefield- Cameron-
    Up Front- Ken Clarke
    Attacker- Adam Boulton

  12. Oh go on then Amber-here you are.

    ConLib Gender Balanced Extremely United AFC

    formation 4-2-4

    Goal. Greg Hands

    CEntre Back SArah Teather
    Centre Back Baroness Warsi
    Centre Right Back Caroline Spellman
    Very Right Back Theresa May

    Mid Field Left ( a bit) D Cameron
    Mid Field Right ( a lot) N Clegg

    Right Winger IDS
    Striker ERic PIckles
    Striker ( in the hole ) Alan Duncan

    Far Right Winger J REdwood

    Manager. David Davis
    Motivational Coach Vince Cable
    Physio & Masseuse Lynn Featherstone.

  13. “Left Whinger- Simon Hughes”

    Brilliant Eoin-full marks :-)

  14. Colin,

    That midfield of your looks very soft…I think you need a midfield Rottweiller, sorry terrier – Norman Tebbit

  15. Truly outstanding teams – I have not laughed so much since John Prescott became a Lord! ;-)

  16. @ Amber Star

    I think we should have a reality check here. Many gay people do have children. The dirty little secret is that many states that ban gay marriage allow for gay adoption. Why is this? Because there are so many unwanted children out there who don’t have families or parents who will adopt them and raise them and care for them in loving, stable, and supportive homes. In the U.S., so many of the children put up for adoption are black and Latino. Most of the parents who want to adopt though are white and want white children. So when you approach some wealthy white heterosexual couple who want to adopt a child, usually they are not going to be interested in taking in a black crack baby (who’s biological parents have had their parental rights terminated). But gay white couples have been there to pick up the slack. Often the most needy of children are taken care of by gay parents.

    This is why the same legislatures who outlaw same-sex marriage also allow for adoption by gay parents. And why many courts that have upheld same-sex marriage bans have also been the same courts that have allowed for second parent adoption (by gay partners) or struck down gay adoption bans.

    Of course, there are also gay parents who have children through surrogacy (where it’s legal) and through artificial insemination (it’s a constitutional right). And of course there are gay parents who had children through previous heterosexual relationships before making the realization that they were in fact gay. But we shouldn’t pretend as if gays don’t have children and are not raising them.

    Any study that tries to pretend that gays and lesbians make up less than 1% of the population is automatically not credible. I think that any right Christian organizations can fund any type of “scientific study” they want in order to show results that they desire. The fact is, gays and lesbians do exist and they’re not going away.

  17. @ Eoin

    Jim Murphy (or Seamus O Murchu as you would refer to him) being left behind in the changing room sounds kinda hot. But also sounds kinda sad for him. Do you think he’ll return as a Shadow Cabinet secretary?

    I kinda feel sorry for both Miliband brothers. They have to run against each other and both can’t be winners. It’s one thing to have to face a colleague who defeats you later on in the same field (that’s pretty tough) but I’d imagine it’s even worse when you have to face each other at family reunions and holiday events. Perhaps if one of the other candidates won it’d be easier for them to deal with.

  18. Also, I’m sorry Oona King won’t be the Labour candidate for Mayor of London. I always liked her. She may still have another comeback in her.

  19. SoCalLiberal

    “Jim Murphy ….. Do you think he’ll return as a Shadow Cabinet secretary?”

    Only if D Milliband wins, I’d have thought. The principal supporters of the losers aren’t likely to get any favours – punishment by proxy!

  20. SocCalLib,

    I can confirm your Gay dad position. A friend of mine and his husband are the father’s of two children. Two dads works a little diff to a mum/dad setup. But then of course it does. Inf act they practice (meidcal) in Southern California as it happens…

    as for Jim Murphy- he most certainly has a future in the cabinet. He was in DM’s campaign team…..

  21. Hmm… Looking at the results for the last three YouGovs… It does look a lot like 22nd’s 43/36/14 was a smaller than normal sample set that produced a rogue result. Because of YouGov’s overlapping samples, this might mean the latest result is a little over-inflated in the Conservative’s favour as well.

  22. YouGov doesn’t have overlapping samples

  23. @Roland Haines

    Rollers, old bean, I’m dismayed. I’ve only just returned to this fine debating forum after a few days breathing the heady oxygen of a normal life away from cyberspace and I’ve noticed on a previous thread that you apparently “don’t give a stuff about cricket”. Does this mean that the only thing we have left in common now is a penchant for the public birching of dole scroungers, illegal immigrants and benefit cheats? Tell me it ain’t so, Rolly! I feel I’m losing a soul mate.

  24. Sorry, I’m perhaps a little confused about YouGov’s methodology. Do you mean that two seperate samples were taken for the 22nd for each poll that covered it? Or do you have a rolling sampling with a cut-off that’s mid-day, so providing a ‘noon to noon’ 24hr sample instead of ‘midnight to midnight’ day sample?

  25. Roland “The latest research seems to suggest that “same sex”
    urges apply to about 1% of the population.”

    Good grief, I’ve been living near Brighton too long! I thought it was closer to 90% ;)

  26. Jay – the latter (except the cut off is about 4pm, not noon)

  27. Could you pass on that it might be worthwhile putting that on the “Fieldwork” line of crosstabs, so it’d be “Fieldwork taken from 16:00 22nd to 16:00 23rd, September 2010” to prevent the assumption that it’s a two-day sample.

  28. Tut, I’ve just realised who Jim Murphy is. Saw him speak recently and he was very funny, even did a little jig :)

  29. @ Old Nat

    I love the term “Punishment by Proxy.” He might have an independent following though to pull through if Miliband, D. loses.

    @ Eoin

    I was the National Equality March almost a year ago last fall. I was struck by how many middle aged gay parents there were with their kids.

    I was also struck by how many married heterosexual parents there were who brought their young children with them at the National Equality March (I was also surprised at how many I saw a year before that at protests against Proposition 8).

  30. SocCalLib,

    Hypocrisy at tis best.

    I am in favour of both but if there were one I would pause for a rethink it would be gay adoption not gay marriage. The latter dudes are quite frankly none of my business.

    Kevin Mack won’t mind me posting his name… he is a clinical psychologist in San Francisco… he currently is conducting a study into sexuality and transgender…. “who do they identify with”. I am looking forward to his findings and to him visiting Ireland. He had an interesting anecdote about explaining to an italian family that his children had two dads….

  31. SoCalLiberal

    “He might have an independent following though to pull through if Miliband, D. loses.”

    Actually, I agree. Though Amber will correct me, if my observation is mistaken, Murphy seems to have taken control of Labour in Scotland almost as thoroughly as Brown did previously.

    Mind you, Labour up here would reach for their crosses and garlic if anyone linked the word “independence” with them! :-)

  32. @ Sue

    Ever been to West Hollywood, CA? It’s about 75% gay, 10% single straight women, and then 15% Russian immigrants.

    Never been to Brighton but perhaps I should visit someday. :)-

  33. @Eoin Clarke and SocCalLiberal
    I agree with you on homoparentality (this is the term we use in French). Still I don’t understand this whole story about percentages. Since when are human rights a matter of percentage? If a country has 1% of black population, does this give it permission to ignore their rights? If such a country bans marriage between black people on the grounds that only whites can form stable families, is it racist or not?

  34. SoCalLiberal – Brighton is Ace :)

    Cool, cosmopolitan, by the sea and the gay capital of Europe.

    On shopping trips, I often feel quite guilty for being straight.

    I’ve been to Hollywood, but no idea if it was west or not. We went to San Francisco too. Much more Brightonian than most of the US we visited.

  35. Being pretty much a life-long Vegetarian (with some Vegan phases), Brighton has some stunning Vege/Vegan food too…

  36. Roland (wet sponge)
    Howard (he’s almost continental)

    Laszlo (goal, sees the whole game)
    Sue, Amber (back pair, they’ve got the telepathy thing)
    Colin (holding midfeild)
    Roger Mexico, Alec (playmakers)
    Neil A, Matt (running the right wing, young legs)
    Rob Sheffeild (center forward, intimidating)
    Mike N (left touchline)
    Left winger is a problem, will try Eoin if only for his disconcerting tendency to drift out of position.

    Forget the ameteurs, with so much talent on the bench UKPR will always be in contention.

  37. As far as the SNP team are concerned, I’ll content myself with suggesting that there aren’t any half-time pies. Alex ate them all. :-)

  38. When Roland was talking about being persecuted by non-existent homosexuals, he was referring to the figures in the most recent ONS Integrated Household Survey (IHS). This is the yearly survey by which the government finds out how we all live and it is enormous, both in size – about a quarter of a million people are asked; and in complexity – the form has 38 pages and needs an index. The main link for the survey is here

    ht tp://

    Because the survey is so complicated to fill in, with special coding for machine reading, it is carried out by trained researchers in people’s own homes. This was obviously the first year they asked about sexuality (though they may have included Civil Partnerships in the relationships questions before) and with this method they got the following figures:

    Heterosexual/Straight 94.8%
    Gay/Lesbian 1.0%
    Bisexual 0.5%

    Hence Roland’s 1%

    However if you look at the figures in the special report they did on the question:

    ht tp://

    You’ll see that 2.8% refused to answer or said don’t know and another 0.5% made no response. (A further 0.5% made another valid response eg asexual) In addition you’ve got to remember that people are in their own homes with family around and may find it difficult to say the truth face to face (what would David Laws have said?) There is the addition problem that some people may indulge in gay sex without thinking of themselves as gay. This sounds weird, but AIDS researchers discovered this early on, which is why you have phrases like “men who have sex with men” used a lot.

    There’s an additional problem with the IHS. Because of the large sample size, as with the census, there is a real risk that the researcher knows the interviewee, which might also inhibit frankness in this matter. One woman on the Guardian discussion on this topic was interviewed by the woman four doors away. Told her she was bisexual and she hasn’t spoken to her since.

    This all has some relevance for opinion polling. If you think about it, the “shy Tories”, shy Labour” etc problems that there have be in the past are similar; and I seem to remember Anthony saying that the one pollster that still interviews people at home, gets them to enter their replies into a computer with the screen out of sight of the researcher.

    So 5-7% may still be a good estimate for the LGB population (depending on how B you have to be to get included). I don’t think anyone accepts Kinsey’s 10% now – his sampling technique was dreadful (to be fair he was an expert in parasitic wasps not a statistician). Also he was sampling in the years after the Second World War when a very high proportion of the male population would have spent a lot of time in single sex institutions. And you know what these military types are like. ;)

  39. @Billy Bob,

    Young legs, me? They are slightly older than my teeth. Which is to say quite old indeed.


    Surely the SNP team would be a) always on the verge of something great b) not quite up to it and c) resentful of the English team for being better than them?

    Or is politics not really like football at all?! ;)

  40. Apologies Antony for my over-colourful description of the Miliband brothers.

  41. Neil A

    “Surely the SNP team would be a) always on the verge of something great b) not quite up to it and c) resentful of the English team for being better than them?”


    Nope. Just recognising that we are a wee country, and just as we don’t need to willy-wave WMD, we don’t need to dominate the world in sport. Mind you, if the English want to send up a team to compete in a real sport like shinty or curling …… :-)

    (The wipe-out of our teams by Ireland in shinty/hurling composite rules in 2009 was simply an aberration). :-)

  42. @ Old Nat

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens. UK politics are fascinating. I’m also wondering if a nationwide primary or conversely a leadership election just among MPs would have changed the outcome.

    @ Eoin

    It is hypocrisy. Just yesterday, a Florida Appeals Court unanimously affirmed the decision of a trial court to strike down a Florida law prohibiting gays from adopting as unconstitutional. There are two fathers in south Florida who took in two children who nobody else wanted several years ago. Basically, the kids were in such bad shape (parents were drug addicts who left their children living in their own filth) that the 4 year old was feeding and putting diapers on his newborn baby brother. The kids have seen their lives dramatically improve. The fathers wanted to adopt and Florida law prohibited this. One of the appeals court judges wrote a concurrence where he expressed in a footnote that he hoped this decision would be the final word since this family had been put through enough already.

  43. Neil A – The young legs are Matt’s… was going to put PeteB in the blocking role, but he is still on a red card :)

  44. SoCalLiberal

    “UK politics are fascinating.” and that includes the fact that a word like “nationwide” has totally different meanings to different political strands – which nation/nations in the UK (incidentally, as well as English, Scots, Welsh and Irish – there are the Brits)?

  45. @Eoin Clarke

    Thank you

    @Anthony Wells

    Thank you

    @Roger Mexico

    You covered everything I was going to say.


  46. @ Virgilio

    I agree. I do like to correct misperceived notions though.

    @ Roger Mexico

    I think that results vary among researchers. I think though that when research on sexuality in animals has been done, usually around 10% or even slightly more are attracted to the same sex.

    I think that you make a good point about research studies. I don’t think most people are going to mark down on government papers that they are gay or lesbian. Especially not among sex conscious and privacy conscious Brits. Plus British definitions of sexual orientation may be different…….

    @ Sue Marsh

    The next time I’m in the UK, I’ll try and visit Brighton. I’ve not been to San Francisco since I was very young (I don’t even remember the trip). I need to go back but don’t have enough time.

    Hollywood is a neighborhood within the City of Los Angeles (and then there is East Hollywood and North Hollywood, both of which are separate neighborhoods). West Hollywood is its own independent city (surrounded by Los Angeles on all sides except for the shared border with Beverly Hills). Street signs are the best way to tell which Hollywood you’re in but a better way for a foreigner is what you were doing. If you were shopping at a boutique, going to a high end spa (not a whorehouse), staying at a nice hotel, eating at a fine dining restaurant, or visiting an art gallery, you were probably in West Hollywood. The streets were probably relatively clean and there were probably parks.

    If you were in a rundown neighborhood of slum tenements mixed with theaters with dirty streets and lots of homeless, you were probably in Hollywood.

    Funny story about West Hollywood. It is the first city in the U.S. (and probably in the universe) to elect a city council that was majority gay. They did this when they incorporated as a city back in 1984. Their was a restaurant, Barney’s Beanery, located in the city. It used to post a sign in its entrance way that said “FAGOTS-STAY OUT.” This sign caused controversy for a very long time. Residents protested it for years. The restaurant refused to take it down. One of the first acts of business of the new government in 1984 was to enact a Human Rights Act which included an anti-discrimination provision in public accomodations. The sign clearly violated the statute. Then the elected officials of the city followed by a large crowd of residents marched over to the restaurant. With full on media coverage, the mayor took the sign down herself to cheers from the crowd.

  47. SoCal Liberal

    “With full on media coverage, the mayor took the sign down herself to cheers from the crowd.”

    I’d never heard that story. Fabulous. Thanks.

  48. Billy Bob
    “was going to put PeteB in the blocking role, but he is still on a red card”

    :) Thanks – I thought I’d been overlooked for a minute there. Perhaps I’m the Joey Barton of the site – only occasionally available because of red cards, prison etc. :)

  49. @ SoCalLiberal

    Re Gays & Bi-Sexuals – I was yanking Roland’s chain; I’m sorry if you didn’t ‘get’ my Scottish sense of humour & found it offensive (or ignorant). 8-)

  50. Amber

    Any comment on my suggestion above that Murphy has become the dominant figure in SLAB?

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