Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 40%, LAB 42%, LDEM 9%. The small Labour lead in YouGov’s daily polling looks like it’s being consolidated. Meanwhile net government approval is down to minus 19, the lowest the coalition government have recorded so far.

UPDATE: There is also a new Angus Reid poll, topline figures are CON 35%(nc), LAB 41%(+1), LDEM 9%(-4). I think that six point lead is the biggest Labour have recorded so far this Parliament, and it’s only the second pollster to show the Lib Dems in single figures. Others are presumably up to around 15%, which I think is also the highest any company has shown so far this Parliament.


197 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – 40/42/9”

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  1. I wonder how ‘Cable-gate’ (pun intended) is going to affect the Libdem’s position in polls.

  2. And a new Angus Reid poll as well
    Con 35 Lab 41 LD 9

    (= Others 15?)

  3. Angus Reid/ 20/12/10 35 41 9

    Labour’s lead is solidifying. Tories beginning to suffer and the cuts haven’t even started yet. A very bad day for the coalition.

  4. So why is falling Government approval not translating in to falling support for the Conservatives, who seem stuck at 40%? Is this Tory voters who disapprove? Anyway nice to see Vince Cable being honest in his opinions

  5. The Lab lead is looking like it’s starting to stick and the LD’s 9 is a permenant feature too. I can’t help but think that Lab should be doing a lot better than they are given the circumstances.

    As for Cable, he’s getting a fair amount of praise for speaking the truth, even if he shouldn’t His highlighting the differences and arguments between Con and LD may well cancel out his “gaffe”.

  6. @Ian C
    And if Angus Reid are to be believed, a pretty good day for at least one of the SNP, PC, UKIP, Greens etc. Possibly UKIP given the fall in the Conservative vote.

  7. @eric Goodyear – “So why is falling Government approval not translating in to falling support for the Conservatives, who seem stuck at 40%?”

    Only on Yougov – elsewhere they’re on 35 and 37%.

  8. Eric – govt approval is still very strongly correlated with voting intention, the overwhelming majority of Con voters approve, the overwhelming majority of Lab voters disapprove (though in both cases there are small dissenting minorities).

    These new lows will be largely a reflection of the newly consolidated Lab lead – at the moment they go hand in hand.

  9. But on reflection, the Cons were already on 35% so it doesn’t follow that UKIP have gone up further with AR. Maybe the Greens are up if the LDs are down 4% and Lab is only up 1%?

  10. Indeed a bad day for the coalition. Not for the UK coalition, though (I think the worse for it is yet to come), but for the German one. The Forsa institute shows the Liberals there at 3% (14,5 in 2009 GE and 4-6% in all polls for some months now). Even if it’s an outlier, it might indicate not just a disaffection towards the FDP, but a total annihilation. The Christian Democrats are slightly up, at 35% (34% in 2009 and 30-33 in recent polls), but this is useless for them, because with 3% the FDP gets zero seats (5% threshold), so 35+3 = 35 (and not 38), i.e. OM for the SPD-Green alliance. And it must be noted that the FDP voters knew beforehand that their party would be in alliance with CDU. It seems that all the somewhat “popular” measures of the German government benefit to chancellor Merkel and her party, whilst all the clearly unpopular ones hit the FDP. Of course if Mr. Westerwelle breaks the coalition now, he will just seal his doom. So what will it be? Sudden suicide or a slow and painful death?

  11. @ Anthony

    Are you going to make time to update the tracker in the near future?
    8-)

  12. @ Anthony

    Wow, that was like magic. I posted then clicked refresh & it was done. :-)

  13. Then it’s either co-incidence, or I have superhuman website updating abilities.

    Considering how regularly I remember to do it, you can probably dismiss the second option ;)

  14. Earthquake in Cumbria

  15. @Virgilio

    Always a pleasure hearing from you, but it does have to be pointed out that the next German federal election won’t be until August 2013 at the earliest.

    Regards, Martyn

  16. Can someone explain something to me.

    After the events of today if we presume the Tories if an election was held tomorrow would gain a lot of the southern LD seats and Labour a lot of the more northern urban seats.

    How many Tory marginal seats would labour gain based on a LD to LAB swing and small tory loss in votes ?

    Thanks

  17. How’s this for a headline from the first edition of tomorrow’s Times: “Cable’s Power Cut”

  18. Who was it who questioned the role of cruelty in the dynamics of the coalition? I am afraid I am a bit of a Labour outlier here. I think the coalitionwill survive but the Lib Dems? Also just more degradation for the Cables etc? On the other hand Kennedy just might act?

  19. @Martyn
    You are right, 2 and half years are a long time in politics, nevertheless it will be extremely difficult for the FDP to reverse the trend. Moreover, in 2011 there are elections in 6 out of 16 German states (Germany is a federal country) and according to all polls in none of them the CDU+FDP alliance will get a majority. it will be, according to the various configurations per state, either a SPD+Green OM, or a SPD+Green relative majority (with external support from the Left) or (in the case of Saxony-Anhalt) a great coalition. If this happens, the road to the 2013 election will be a via crucis for the ruling coalition, as the center-left opposition will have achieved, already in 2011, absolute control of the Bundesrat (Federal Council consisting of the representatives of the various States and able to block legislation voted in the Bundestag/Pariiament).

  20. @Ian C

    On May 7th:
    Conservative 307seats, 36.48%, +4.57% (compared to 2005)
    Labour 258seats, 28.99%, -6.20%
    Lib Dems 57seats, 23.03%, +0.98%

    I’m guessing Ashcroft’s marginals are all vulnerable. (And I’m hoping someone can give a more reasoned answer to your question. :) )

  21. *Ian*

  22. @ Ian

    I think at the 2010 election, the swing was pretty universal & seat calculators like Anthony’s weren’t actually that far off the mark, over-all.

    Yes, there were some unexpected outcomes for individual seats but taken as whole, they pretty much cancelled out.

    So, you could probably do a lot of messing about with spreadsheets & micro adjusting marginals to end up with the same answer as Anthony’s calculated 34 seat majority for Labour.

    This, of course, is without boundary changes or AV in the mix.
    8-)

  23. I would say the Tories are holding up fairly well for the negative government approval rating. But perhaps the 9% for the Lib Dems also disapprove of the government even with the Lib Dems in it.

    @ Amber Star

    When do boundary changes take place and who winds up in charge of boundary changes?

  24. @Socalliberal

    The Tories can usually rely on 40%+ no matter how unpopular their government is (see 1980’s) if it’s a straight leftist-Labour vs rightist-Tory fight; things only changed in recent years because Blair courted the right over with his New Labour ‘experiment’; now Ed’s rejected New Labour, called himself a socialist (something Blair wouldn’t do) and is the unions choice, (all of these things are questionable, by the way, but they’re significant to a Tory who might’ve voted for Blair in the past) and the Lib Dems are out of the race it’s a straight left-vs-right battle for the voters. Personally I was never expecting the Tories to fall below 40% – it was always a case whether the left could unite to match it, or better it.

  25. Craig,

    I am with you imo the Tories will get 40% or better next time even if their poll rating drops below 30% mid term which I expect. They will adopt the ‘keep enough people happy approach’ of Thatcher, Tebbit et al.
    Will Labour score 40% next time? Personally doubt it reckon 35%, with the LDs around 15%.
    Will be close between a small Con OM and another hung/balanced parliament.
    I am assuimg that the Conservatives are successful at achieving their stratgegy but hope I am wrong.

  26. @Craig:

    I’m puzzled by your analysis. The conservative vote was 36.5% in the last election. It’s been below that in ’97 and 2001. Throughout the late 80s and 90s in was below 40% much of the time.

    During that time the LibDem Vote consolidated…to particualrly letha leffect in 97 and 2006. the Labour vote slowly crept up from it’s nadir in 83 to arounf the mid foties from the time on from 94 to 2001. It then too trailed down….

    The conservatives haven’t polled in the 40s plus in a general election since the ’92 election.

    During the 1960s both Labour and Conservatives regularly polled 40% + even when losing an election. The rise of the Liberal Vote gradually changed that. In ’74 Labour ‘won’ two elections without achieving the % it achieved in losing the 1970 election. Since then only one or other of the main parties has usually got over 405 and then has usually had a much larger working majority than they’d have obtained with a similar vote in the heyday of the two party system in the post war peiod.

  27. @ JimJam
    I hope you’re wrong as well. I’m finding it all far too difficult to tell at the moment – there are just so many things that will hugely effect where we’re at in 2015 – only thing I dare predict is the Tory vote will be 40%+. :)

    Anyway, Angus Reid figures are up.

    @ Phil
    (= Others 15?)
    Yep

    And if Angus Reid are to be believed, a pretty good day for at least one of the SNP, PC, UKIP, Greens etc. Possibly UKIP given the fall in the Conservative vote.
    The conservatives haven’t fallen – they’ve been remarkably consistent in their 35%. The 4% splits between Labour, UKIP, SNP and Other.

    Leaders approval:
    Cameron -7 (-4)
    Miliband -8 (-4)
    Clegg -28 (-11)

  28. @ John Murphy
    I don’t know how any of that contradicts with what I said?

    Unlike every election after ’79, the Liberals became a serious alternative for the left, and in May, a serious alternative for Tory voters as well. Labour had to deal with this issue of losing a third of their vote by appealing to the Tory vote with Blair/New Labour, which helped further cement the left to Lib Dem leaking. Post Blair, Brown’s Labour lost its appeal to Tory voters and they returned to the Tories. With Labour having alienated the soft-Tory vote, and now Liberals alienating the left-vote, we’re looking at a return to two-party politics, hence 40%.

  29. @ Craig

    “The Tories can usually rely on 40%+ no matter how unpopular their government is (see 1980?s) if it’s a straight leftist-Labour vs rightist-Tory fight; things only changed in recent years because Blair courted the right over with his New Labour ‘experiment’; now Ed’s rejected New Labour, called himself a socialist (something Blair wouldn’t do) and is the unions choice, (all of these things are questionable, by the way, but they’re significant to a Tory who might’ve voted for Blair in the past) and the Lib Dems are out of the race it’s a straight left-vs-right battle for the voters. Personally I was never expecting the Tories to fall below 40% – it was always a case whether the left could unite to match it, or better it.”

    Interesting take. I don’t know that New Labour rises and falls with one leader. And I’m not sure that New Labour was an appeal to right wing voters as it was to middle class voters who traditionally voted Tory. I think that even as he disavows New Labour, Ed Miliband continues its tradition by continuing the appeal to the middle class. If there is a straight fight between Labour and Conservatives, I think Labour wins because the Lib Dem vote won’t divide them and Labour’s majorities under Blair were enhanced by Lib Dem success but did not rely on it. If the Lib Dems hadn’t gained a single seat in 1997, Labour still would have had 419 seats.

  30. I have seen Lid Dems on the news explaining that in a coalition government you have put through policies that you disagree with, while continuing to argue your case in private.

    While I can see this as being no different to arguments within one party in government, this forgets that the Lib Dems will have to fight local and national elections with an increasingly fed up party in the country.

    This must be behind Cable and other Lib Dem ministers making these off the record comments. Is this deliberate in putting pressure on Tory colleagues, as well trying to comfort Lib Dems supporters? Probably, but will it do any good ?

    Personally I think the Lib Dems made a mistake in going into coalition and would have been better off supporting a minority Tory government where necessary. They would have actually excercised more power in parliament and have obtained more concessions from government, than actually being in government. This would have massively increased the popularity of the Lib Dems and they would be doing very well in the polls. But instead they chose the option of being in government for the first time in 90 years, putting short term interests first and ending up in the position that they are. Will this change before the next GE ?

  31. @ Socalliberal
    I don’t know that New Labour rises and falls with one leader.
    You only need to look at the recent history of Labour to see the difference a leader can make within a party.

    And I’m not sure that New Labour was an appeal to right wing voters as it was to middle class voters who traditionally voted Tory.
    It was a bit of both – New Labour dropped any mention of socialism and replaced it with a passion for the markets, but they also become very reactionary with their social policies as well. Both of those are appealing developments for a rightist.

    I think that even as he disavows New Labour, Ed Miliband continues its tradition by continuing the appeal to the middle class.
    That’s a very good point, but he also talks about the ‘lower and middle income’ voters; I think New Labour totally abandoned the lower, as if everybody was middle-class by now. To me Ed’s striking a balance, but I’m well aware he could turn out to be another continuity New Labour in all but name.

  32. Socalliberal

    “And I’m not sure that New Labour was an appeal to right wing voters as it was to middle class voters who traditionally voted Tory.”

    Just to explain, in the Uk, typically, rigth wing voters often would be, as you put it, “middle class voters who traditionally voted Tory”.

    So Craig’s comment is not really nullified by what you say, if you see what I mean.

  33. @ocalliberal – “When do boundary changes take place and who winds up in charge of boundary changes?”

    The Boundary Commission.

    The Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill allows for both the AV referendum and a reduction in the number of constituencies from 650 to 600 (MPs).

    Traditional county boundaries etc will be disregarded in the push to equalise the number of registered (as opposed to eligible) voters, though there will be some Scotish exceptions (limits on geographical size). Also the public enquiry process appealing Boundary Commission decisions will be ended so that the process to be completed by:

    October 2013… in time for the 2015 election.

  34. R Huckle

    I also think that NC made a big strategic mistake in entering coalition. I believe there are many in the LD party recognising this too and indeed some openly voicing concerns. I think it was Paddy Ashdown who a week or two ago commented that in future more time is needed to work on a coalition agreement rather than putting it together in five days as in May this year. (I paraphrase.)

    IMO, the LD party was bounced into the coalition by NC. I cannot see the LDs allowing this to happen again (should they ever get the chance!).

    As regards VC…his position is untenable. But paradoxically he is in a very strong position. DC does not have the power to sack him as this seems to require NC’s agreement. Yet NC is also powerless as VC’s dismissal could precipitate widening of the schism in the LD party.

    And then there’s the Con MPs and party to consider. If VC remains in post IMO they will be furious. Many I imagine will be content to run a minority gov or to chance another early GE before the worst of the effects of the cuts are felt

    IMO we are moving towards collapse of the coalition.

  35. Another problem for Ed is that he won the Labour leadership with union support and having made a play for it. Now, he seems to be going in the other direction e.g. slapping down McCluskey for being “irresponsible”. Ed can’t have it both ways can he?

    He can’t voice opposition to the cuts, take the union votes/money and then refuse to support the real fight against the cuts (which will inevitably take the form of lawful industrial action).

  36. @Mike N – “I think it was Paddy Ashdown… ”

    Lord (David) Steel more likely… Paddy on the other hand appears to be more emotionally identified with Nick Clegg and the idea of the coalition imo.

  37. Sorry if this has already been done here, but surely the correct name for this is ‘Cable versus satellite’?…

    Looks to be reasonably even at the end of the year, but things turning towards labour.

    Regarding the coalition. In general I have no opposition to coalitions, and I think they can work very well. The problem in this country (as with so many things) is an extremely myopic view of ‘how things work’. The press are used to their 24 turn around, old PM out, new PM in. They were in hysterics at the thought that there was no clear winner, and absolutely rushed the coalition into this. If we had a proper transition period, or even a moment to reflect that this is perfectly normal in many highly successful countries, we might end up with better deals and better policy.

  38. Billy Bob

    Yes, you’re right it was Lord Steele and it was several months ago!

    I searched the web for both PA and DS.

    Thanks

  39. @Mike N – Glad to be of service. Waiting to hear from Ming and CK though. ;)

  40. I am a leftie but i am not comfortable with the idea that a newspaper can shape our political landscape by using underhand methods. OK you could argue that politicians must choose their words more carefully but they are human after all ( well some of them ). I want my lot back in power – – but maybe not just yet. I don’t mind us lending Number 10 to the other side for a while, if only to dispel some myths about their capabilities and aims.

  41. @Craig

    “The Tories can usually rely on 40%+ no matter how unpopular their government is (see 1980?s)…”

    Like John Murphy, I’m somewhat baffled by your analysis and I’m not sure it can be supported by the psephology of the last 30 years. As John M rightly points out, the Tories haven’t polled 40% in any nationally convened election since 1992 and in the 1980s their support was based on their popularity, not hampered by the unpopularity that they encountered later on. Like her or loathe her, Thatcher was a hugely popular figure amongst large sections of the electorate for most of the 80s. She also, like Blair later on, had the luxury of a weak opposition, split evenly between an enfeebled Labour Party and a buoyant Lib/SDP Alliance. A perfect political storm, aided by growing affluence for most, swept her and her party to two landslides on 40%+ support.

    Actually, I take an almost diametrically opposed view to yours. Whilst not impossible, I find it almost inconceivable that the the Tories will reach 40% again. Evolving demographics, entrenched regional voting patterns, changed voting systems (possibly) and, the history of the last 20 years all point to a distinct unlikelihood that they will ever enjoy that level of support again.

    In summary, like John, I’m intrigued as to why you think that a party that hasn’t exceeded 37% in an election for 20 years “can usually rely on 40%+”. Maybe not intrigued actually – more nonplussed!!

  42. I notice Other got 1% in both AR and YG polls last night; I’ve inquired about this before, but where are these directed at – or is it usually all over the place? I see they’re asked to specify the Other in the AR tables, so they must know.

  43. Is there any commentator here who normally supports LD who thinks coalition wasa bad idea? Is there a Con supporter who thinks so?
    All the comments about the coalition being a mistake *by the LDs* seem to come from Lab supporters on this list. Always by LDs note, not the other party.

    Now I wonder why they keep on about it? I suppose we may also have a Telegraph reader who thinks so too (Richard?), but he/she will indeed think it was a mistake for the Conservatives instead.

  44. @Cozmo – “… but maybe not just yet.”

    If the opportunity to determine the fate of the coalition presents itself it would be a tough strategic call, and an interpretation of what is in the national interest would have to trump other concerns, however, it might well be other actors who take any decision about that out of the hands of the Labour leadership.

  45. @Cozmo

    I totally agree. I am no lover of Vince Cable, but democracy is damaged if MPs fear to talk openly with their constituents.

    The reporters seems to consider entrapment a valid tool. The courts in this country and most of the democratic world will throw out any case that is based on entrapment for good reason – and yet we are allowing our opinions to be manipulated by its’ use.

    When the dust settles I think that the world cup bid will be seen to have been hindered because evidence presented by the UK was discounted as it was obtained in this way. The UK media seem to be the only people in the world who accept entrapment – they seem as drunk and blinded by their own power as they are accusing Vince Cable of being.

  46. @ Craig:

    I get your drift but its based upon a restoration of a two party 40% consensus….and I’m like Nick Hadley unsure that there’s any evidence of this yet….indeed we really need to see if this ‘collapse’ in the LibDem vote is real; how works out from region to region; and whether the AV referendum turns into a referendum upon the LIbEms. I guess we’ll have a better sense come May.

    Whatever one thinks about the last government it did do quite a lot for the less advantaged: mainly through the so called stealth taxes and increasing public spending on health and education. It may have done less than it should, could or ought; but it probably did a lot more than another Major led govcernment would have……and I guess Brown/blair both bought into the orthodoxy of markets knowing best as well as the only way to keep all taxpayers on board with a public health education and benefits sytem is through universalism which gives the better off as much a stake as the poor. I think Keynes argumment holds good still. But it’s a personal opinion and I realise an unfashionable one these days.

  47. @Billy Bob
    “- – however, it might well be other actors who take any decision about that out of the hands of the Labour leadership.”
    —————-
    A tantalising thought. The undercurrents always fascinate me. Trying to work out what the real drivers are is beyond me. Are we witnessing the ancient powers of old-school blues at work? Those who maybe have not forgiven DC for failing to win outright?
    Would they rather wreck the coalition and take their chances at a new GE in the hope that their own “natural party of Government” will be back holding the reins more firmly, and under a new leader?

  48. @Nick Hadley
    As John M rightly points out, the Tories haven’t polled 40% in any nationally convened election since 1992 and in the 1980s their support was based on their popularity, not hampered by the unpopularity that they encountered later on.
    We haven’t had a two-party system for that long, either. As I’ve already explained many natural Tories were quite happy to lend Blair their vote in ’97, ’01 and ’05. Once Brown got in this all changed, and the Tories were polling 40+ for a long long time, and the only reason they were denied it then was because of ‘Cleggmania’.

    Like her or loathe her, Thatcher was a hugely popular figure amongst large sections of the electorate for most of the 80s.
    She was hugely popular amongst Tory voters; the exact same people who won’t be troubled by this coalition’s reforms. Which is why I said, no matter the unpopularity of this government, like hers it’ll still attract the 40% it appeals to.

    Actually, I take an almost diametrically opposed view to yours. Whilst not impossible, I find it almost inconceivable that the the Tories will reach 40% again. Evolving demographics, entrenched regional voting patterns, changed voting systems (possibly) and, the history of the last 20 years all point to a distinct unlikelihood that they will ever enjoy that level of support again.
    They’ve been achieving it in the polls for the past how many years now? You’re predicting they’ll never got 40% whilst looking at daily polls showing 40% Tory for how many months? If anything changing demographics work in the Tory’s favour – an aging society weights us towards a more conservative electorate.

    In summary, like John, I’m intrigued as to why you think that a party that hasn’t exceeded 37% in an election for 20 years “can usually rely on 40%+”
    Because in those elections are fair segment of their vote was voting for another party – Labour (’97, ’01, ’05) and Lib Dems (’10). In a straight Labour/Tory fight which is what 2010 is looking to be, I don’t think many Blair voting Tories will be voting for Red Ed.

  49. Virgilio
    I looked for the Forsa poll but could only find their web site that had nothing on it. Could you supply the link to the polls please?

    Interesting that the Orange-Bookish FDP has suffered too while in coalition. It’s different, it seems to me, between a party, previously thought of as progressive left, but now seen as toadying for power (LD), and a party that always could claim to stand on its own merits whatever the exigencies of the moment

    In NL, the VVD has never wavered from Orange Book stance with a touch of right wingish tendencies (see Wilders and Verdonk history) and is thriving having delivered a PM.

    I get the impression that if Berlusconi had not behaved quite so badly, that his version of OB would still be thriving too?

  50. Craig – we don’t normally inquire further about “other others”, but when we occassionally do they are as you’d expect if you look at all the “other other” votes at the last election – raving loonies, scottish socialists, national front, whatever the SWP is calling itself this month, english democrats, independents like Richard Taylor, etc, etc.

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