YouGov’s weekly poll for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 39%, LAB 41%, LDEM 10%. It’s the first time YouGov have shown Labour ahead since the conference season.

The normal caveats apply – it is just one poll, and it could be just as much of a blip as the 5 point Conservative lead we had earlier in the week – but it does come after a week when the coalition’s unpopular policy on tuition fees has been very much in the forefront of the news.

340 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – 39/41/10”

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  1. Well that makes a change I was spot on!

  2. blue have been below 40% on 5 separate occasions pre-Child Benefit announcement. [YG]. This is their first time below 40% since then. Hooded will tell you that they have been threatening to dip below 40% for a little while now. Equally reds have been knocking on the door of 40% on a regular basis. This 41% is a slightly surprising uplift, and may be down to Tuition fees. It will be interesting if reds can hold it.

    i must point out that Mike N posted yesterday morning predicting that tonight’s poll might show ‘crossover point’. It appears he was correct. Howard’s 40% 40% 10% is porbably a more accurate reflection of how the week will pan out, but sure, let’s wait and see.

  3. Little by little….

  4. One tiny swallow but there will be bigger leads in the new year and significnat ones in the summer and autumn. Big enough though, I doubt to win in 2015.
    Speaking as a red of myself.

  5. @ PamF

    Spot on – well done :-) 8-)

  6. Certainly can’t be entirely dismissed, as it has a psychological effect given that YouGov have been the pollster showing the worst numbers for Labour since the election. The margin is very small though. Perhaps a few more undecided and LD-leaning students have drifted over into the red column.

  7. And coalition on 49%

  8. And swingometer would give a majority of 20,. No doubt it will swing back and forth but seems to be a slow trained which is encouraging for those so inclined.

  9. Slow trend .

  10. @PamF,

    I thought it was a typo of “slow train” which would have been a more visual image!

  11. Both Labour and the Tories can take positives from this, Labour has been consistently above 37% in most polls, and the Tories have always been around 40%, there’s very little between them, both have small leads or ties either way.

    The ones that should be still rather concerned are the Liberals, Nick needs to watch his habit

    All to play for yet, polls don’t count for nothing until 2015 :P

  12. This is an oddity, I reckon (obviously, I’d prefer it to be cross-over & the start of a trend).

    The swing to Labour didn’t come out of the Dems score, so can it really be about tuition fees?

    Were there Tory voters unaware that their kids would be paying treble for their Uni places until the riots brought it home to them?

    I’m inclined to think it is moe, more’s the pity.

  13. Congrats PamF and others who even a day ago predicted the crossover. I predicted it last week but a few Events muddied the waters, as they are apt to do.

    I know it’s a cracked record but the measures. about which we all get so exercised here, have yet to be implemented (some in 2013 and requiring a non-wobbling coalition vote).

    We could also do with some other polls so we can get an average between them.

  14. Neil A

    I replied to you on the previous thread about whatever his name is for whom we voted for LD president.

  15. Pam F,

    You do the best typos… the visual imagery is great. Toilets of snow & slow blue trains puffing uphill & being gradually over-taken by red ones. :-)

  16. I suspect they’ll keep swapping leads, I can’t see this as the beginning of a permanent Labour lead. Main thing is that Cameron isn’t matching Tony Blair’s poll domination which was only ended in 2001 due to the fuel crisis

  17. Certainly looking at Anthony’s figures, Labour leads previously have had the Libs higher. Cautious optimism for reds.

  18. Normal random sampling error, just like the recent 3 and 5 point Tory leads, I reckon.

    Regardless, I fully expect Labour to open up a big lead within 12 months. I think even most Tory voters and MPs do; I read somewhere that rumour has it that the Tory policmakers fully expect Labour to open up big leads in the pre-election polls.

  19. @PAMF I also got it spot on, I think Labour might be ahead for some time…

    How long did it take the Tories to overtake Labour after 1997?

  20. Has it been considered what a polarisation of voters could mean in a GE in 201 5 (especially ironically under AV?).

    The collapse of LD seats, could only mean a Tory landslide in my view. Perhaps others, may have models that could tell us.

  21. I’m not that surprised about this – quite a lot of local by-elections have shown sharp increases in the Labour vote consistent with a small lead in the country, including 2 on Thursday 2 days ago. Of course it’s just one poll though and things may change. Interesting that it’s occurred with Ed Miliband temporarily out of political action.

  22. Labour stayed in front until 2003 (except for a small blip during the fuel crisis in 2001)..

    Not looking good for the blues..

  23. I do not think this is an outlier. I’ll tell you why…

    Thursday night’s was a 40 40 10
    Tonights is a _______ 39 41 10

    In between the full impact of Hatie’s demolition of Clegg as well as studnet’s protests would have sunk in…

    Women have tended to stick with the coalition in higher numbers than men. I think because they are more consenual and open to biparisan politics. But equally, they dont like to see trouble on their TV. The riots would have moved them I think to the view, that the gov was being a bit rash..

    whatever else you say about Labour, it was 13 relatively quiet years on our streets. Before reductionists pipe up to list street altercation after street altercation view Blair’s first 6 months with DC’s first 6 months to get what I mean…

    I am aware of the Stop the C/ RCA/ and Fuel protests..

  24. Well done to you as well then Gary, I am usually wrong so maybe it is a blip…. But I think the trend is there, very slow though.

  25. @ Gary

    Yes, you were spot on too – And I am hoping you are correct that it is set fair to continue.

  26. @ Barnaby

    Interesting that it’s occurred with Ed Miliband temporarily out of political action.
    Isn’t it great ! If it’s not a blip, it shows that Labour itself is a force to be reckoned with & the leadership cult thing is slipping into the past, where it belongs.

  27. Interesting it has taken 6 months to reach a reasonably consistent even point. Following the 79, 83 and 87 elections, the Tories fell away, whereas this time around they have increased their share and Labour have roughly equalled it, both scenareos as a result of haemoraging LibDem support.

    For what its worth, Id personally hedge bets on the Conservatives rallying round and pulling it off in 2015, people don’t have the short memories Labour wish they had.

  28. As the polling took place on Thursday and Friday this just about fulfils my prediction of a week ago that crossover would take place this week. That said, around Monday/Tuesday I have to admit that prediction did seem to be looking very dodgy and I was kicking myself for having been so rash.

    @ Amber
    The Tell YouGov site seems to be proving its worth as a means of confirming issues that are in the news, and therefore what will be in the public’s mind when forming a voting opinion. It has had tuition fees up there as the key issue throughout the latter part of the week and it is still up there tonight. I think this answers your point.

    The increased Labour polling may also reflect the fact that Woolas has all but disappeared as an issue. IDS is moving up with relatively positive scores, but as (I think) Eoin has already pointed out, Douglas Alexander seems to have responded skilfully enough for Labour to defuse that trap for now.

  29. This is a part of the long-term edging up by Labour and down by the Tories. If Labour are to beat the Tories, the incumbents and any possible give-away budget with the economy vastly improved in 2015, then they will need to be seeing double digit leads mid-term.
    I don’t doubt there will be double digit leads but we’re talking in the next couple of years, not months.
    The LDs will only get lower IMO.

  30. @Eoin,

    “whatever else you say about Labour, it was 13 relatively quiet years on our streets.”

    True, but only because of the growing world economy IMO. We are in for social unrest around the world – not just the UK – over the next 10 years IMO because people’s lifestyles are going to take a big hit.

    The Tory term was always going to be tricky as the economic situation is far from ideal. There just isn’t the money to go on spending public money endlessly.

    Just ask Obama how difficult it currently is, and he is without doubt the best person to be American president (much better than any of the right-wing republicans IMO).

  31. @AMBER -“… the leadership cult thing is slipping into the past, where it belongs.”
    As we seem to do so much better without a leader, can we arrange for EM to go on extended paternal leave?
    Say 5 years? ;)

  32. Fust. Voter,

    Yes, I fully agree with both points. Obama is the best thing to happen to the US ever! :) In Ireland we might have to start taking down our JFK pictures, to make room for him. [I was a Hilary fan lol]

  33. @Julian Gilbert,

    “This is a part of the long-term edging up by Labour and down by the Tories. If Labour are to beat the Tories, the incumbents and any possible give-away budget with the economy vastly improved in 2015, then they will need to be seeing double digit leads mid-term.”

    I agree. If Labour isn’t hitting double digit leads by early 2013, I think they’d have cause for concern.

    Of course, a lot also rests on the economy and whether we experience a double dip recession. If the Tories are proved right in making sweeping cuts (and we don’t experience the double dip), then I’d expect them to claw it back by the next GE in 2015. If not, then I’d expect Labour to get a majority. It all depends on the economy really.

  34. @PAMF sorry I forgot to congratulate you too.

    @AMBER STAR I can not see things improving for the coalition.

    The coalition have often mentioned Ireland’s huge cuts as an example we should follow. Nick Clegg is not an hate figure for the NUS who are now keen to decapitate the LibDems.

  35. @Eoin,

    Yeah, he deserves to be president on the health bill alone. The republicans make the Tories look like a bunch of left-wing Communists!!! :)

  36. hattie is the man

    er woman

    you know what i mean

  37. @Gary Gatter,

    “AMBER STAR I can not see things improving for the coalition.”

    I agree. I think Labour will be hitting double digit leads within the next few years, as Julian said. Whether Labour will win the next GE, of course, is another matter entirely.

  38. Fust Voter,

    The nuke arms deal in Prague
    The reawkening of protectionism
    The health care bill
    And we don’t bomb brown people anymore

    amazing development in two years!

    I agree it all depends on the economy. It’s worth remembering that cutting government spending is not just a measure the Tories are using because we’ve hit a crisis in the economy. For most Tories it’s what they consider to be the ight thing to do anyway, smaller government and all that.
    Any blues here please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.
    I would therefore doubt there would be much increase in spending or reversals of spending cuts even if the economy improves. How that go4s down with swing voters remains to be seen.
    Expect tax breaks and tax cuts a plenty though in 2015, although again whether they will be able to resist making headlines with a lot of tax cuts for high-earners will also be a key to whether they are relected.

  40. eoin

    he is still bombing brown people(Astan & Pstan)

    but he’s not making a song and dance about it

  41. RiN,

    Yes, true :(

  42. gator

    are you sure that clegg is NOT a hate figure for the NUS?

  43. Richard in N, Fust Voter

    This is what we almost had in the white house
    [see link]

    h ttp://

  44. Unlike some posters I simply don’t think this coalition will lasdt until 2015 regardless of ther changes in electoral law. More and more Lib Dems activists will begin to wonder whether their brand will be so devalued that they will find themselves back in their 1960s position votewise and seatwise or worse. Will they want to spend another 60 years not only without parliamentary power but also having to claw there way back in local government?

    I think that many Lib Dem activists might calculate that being seen to break the coalition and create the circumstances where some of the more perverse Tory policies can be broken and disrupted would give them more crerdit with a very disillusioned electorate than soldiering on to semi-oblivion.

  45. When it comes to herd mentality it is important not to frighten the horses.

    Dawning realisation that one way or another we are all in this together.

  46. Back in 1994, all 4 major EU countries had conservative/ center-right governments and many predicted the end of European social democracy. Then, in 1995 the first Berlusconi government collapsed in Parliament due to infighting and in the GE of 1996 the Italian center/left came to power with R. Prodi. In the next two years, Major was replaced by Blair, Juppe by Jospin and Kohl by Schroeder. Now, in 2010, after the UK GE all 4 major EU countries are again conservative/center-right. And guess who will be the first to go?? That’s right, Berlusconi!! In a few days he will be defeated in Parliament due to the defection of Fini, and then he will lose the GE (probably next year). And in a few years, Martine Aubry, Siegmar Gabriel and EM will be the next European leaders. And a new political cycle will begin.

  47. david B

    i’m still wondering when the one nationers are going to retake control of the conservitve party, but maybe they don’t exsit any more

    i gotta admit that i don’t like all this workfare propaganda. it’s divisive. the policy might be right but the langauge is wrong. the old school blues knew this

    what’s that french saying that means that the powerful have a duty to the weak. i feel that pre MT the blues had some of that.

  48. @ RIN

    Nobless Obligation… or something like that ;-)

  49. Julian Gilbert

    Where have all the blues gone?

    they don’t like it up them

    strangely not as much gloating as i would have expected, and it starts to look like the blue’s are taking the hit rather than the dems

  50. @Eoin,

    Yeah, shame a lot of Americans don’t see it the way we do.

    @Julian Gilbert,

    True, though a lot of the cuts are necessary. Even under Labour, one reporter discovered that the cuts figures they were bandying around prior to the GE would have meant that instead of cutting circa £80 billion a year, they would have cut £60 billion, or something like that. So a majority of the cuts that we are currently seeing were also planned by Labour – though obviously we don’t know which ones.

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