Tonight’s YouGov/Sun voting intention figures are CON 39%, LAB 41%, LDEM 10%. A two point lead is smaller than we’ve seen of late from the daily trackers, but I’ll urge my usual caution about odd findings – it’s still well within the margins of errors of YouGov’s recent polls.

This is, of course, the first poll whose fieldwork was conducted wholly after the new GDP figures showed the economy shrinking, although much of it was before all the coverage and political arguments about the economy today. So far it clearly hasn’t damaged government support, but there’s plenty of time yet.

Note also that the Lib Dems are, once again, in double figures. It looks as though they’ve recovered slightly from mid-December when YouGov were consistently showing them at 8% or 9% – my guess it that it’ll be because the issue of tuition fees has dropped down the political agenda.


52 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – 39/41/10”

1 2
  1. Thanks AW – I just posted this on the previous thread now my prediction is outdated.
    I predict a stand out poll tonight!!!! Antony is always about ready to post the results of stand out polls right on 10:00.

    Labout double digit lead? Tories suprising returned lead (Labour cut the Tory lead in the middle of the last recession, so not a crazy idea)

  2. First!

  3. So far it clearly hasn’t damaged government support, but there’s plenty of time yet.
    These kind of immediately-after-something-significant type polls tend to have some delay, I find – much to disappointment of those looking for their party to capitalise off of it!

    I’ve started to become more interested in the one-off questions, which I’m hoping has been prompted by the news – perhaps even a ‘are the cuts unavoidable?’ type question.

  4. This looks like the tie on 13th January.
    8-)

  5. Oh heck, I suppose I’ll have to comment sensibly now. Oh, I know: internal problems (marches, riots, etc) decrease Yellow votes and drag down Blue with it, but external problems (other governments) increase Blue votes and drag Yellow up with them. We haven’t had any riots for, ooh, days now and the Ireland and Tunisia governments have fallen, so that may explain it.

    Regards, Martyn

  6. My take is that the GDP figure is old news in the real world.
    The impact of the 4th 1/4 GDP fall has already been felt and contrinuted to the emerging Lab lead in through the quarter.
    Clearly the Gov’t response will have further impact down the line. There must be a real worry of Japan style stagflation as what we are seeing now as well as the real average wage deterioration (again tell us something we don’t know from experience Eddy) is people saving more due to fears of losing their job and not being able to find one leading to a further drop in demand. This too quick too soon debate will run and run and my view is.. better not go there til later in thread.

  7. My typing dreadful should read:
    The impact of the 4th 1/4 GDP fall has already been felt and contributed to the emerging Lab lead through the quarter.

  8. Anthony,

    For a while LDs were showing up 7s.. is 11% more likely than 9%? It seems the former.. Its a solid recovery alright….

  9. old nat

    scotish GDP was +0.5 and you didn’t shout about it

    you really are too kind

    and very polite

  10. RiN

    I’m not really kind or polite – I just know that the Scottish figures take a long time to disentangle from the mess that Westminster calls “accounts”, so that our Q3 data comes out around the same time as the UK Q4.

    Additionally, Scotland has a different economic profile and it operates on a different cycle.

    I don’t like to compare cider and perry (my cousin makes strong versions of both, from my Grandad’s trees, so i never get a chance to compare appleas and pears). :-)

  11. Interesting – I think it’s a blip, but I was really expecting a Tory drop.

    Is it possible that, unlike the consensus here, the public equate bad economic news with the need to tighten belts?

    When you’re worried about the future you don’t spend money. Maybe if you’re worried about the future you don’t want the government to spend money either?

  12. Neil A

    “Maybe if you’re worried about the future you don’t want the government to spend money either?

    Probably depends on how much you earn, how secure those earnings are, and whether government spending on whatever is in the news benefits or costs you.

    The reason I stress the news, is that few of us know what cuts are/aren’t being made, and (with the appalling laziness of reporting in the UK) only those in England can be fairly sure that any cuts being talked about apply to them).

  13. @Oldnat,

    But are people’s instincts that nuanced? I often think that people take a broad brush view of politics, which is sometimes not that attuned to their own interests (look at the Tea Party supporters in the US).

    After all, if the Q4 figures had been a shock 5% growth, the clarion call would be “we don’t need cuts, we can grow ourselves out of the deficit”.

  14. Neil A,

    If you tot iup every blue score with YG since January, they are between 38-9. Dont let a few low ones, distort your perspective.. blues are still up on May.

  15. Neil A

    “the clarion call would be”

    Exactly my point. The clarion call wouldn’t be coming from the local Nursery Group, or the Rotary. It would be coming from the media, and that’s all most people would hear.

  16. I fee like the economic figures aren’t going to impact polls overnight. Also, how people feel about the economy may already be set, independent of the GDP figures.

  17. @ Old Nat

    “I’m not really kind or polite”

    I must vociferously disagree!

  18. Lib Dems in doubles figures in 4 out of the last 5 YouGov polls.

    Up in the latest Welsh poll.

    On 15% in latest ICM poll.

    Evidence of a modest recovery perhaps?

    Like others I expected that the bad GDP figures would boost Labour and hurt the Coalition parties. Maybe that will come in the next few days…

  19. @ Neil A

    “Interesting – I think it’s a blip, but I was really expecting a Tory drop.

    Is it possible that, unlike the consensus here, the public equate bad economic news with the need to tighten belts?

    When you’re worried about the future you don’t spend money. Maybe if you’re worried about the future you don’t want the government to spend money either?”

    I think that a bad economic figures report is not something that will overnight produce major poll shifts.

    I think though you’ve identified why it’s been so easy to attack Keynesian economic policies. They are counterintuitive and explanation of why and how they work tend to be long and intellectual. And the average voter doesn’t want to sit there and listen to an economics lecture for a few hours.

    That’s kind of why I liked Obama’s deficit line last night about how the importance of not taking the engine out of a plane just to make the plane weigh less. It kind of took all the Keynesian economic arguments and condensed it down into one understandable and relatable line.

  20. How ironic would it be if big headlines over phonehacking were to keep the GDP figures out of the news and thereby protect the government’s economic reputation?!

  21. @RICHARD IN NORWAY

    “scotish GDP was +0.5 and you didn’t shout about it”

    No snow in Scotland in December then?

  22. SoCalLiberal

    You trying to destroy my reputation? Certain parties (well actually one) love to portray any independista on the internet as a “cybernat” and the fount of all evil.

    I’m quite proud of the label, but you want to remove my street cred? You would make Barney uncomfortable if he was seen to be attacking a nice guy – and we can’t have that!

    Obama’s analogy of “taking the engine out of a plane” was quite brilliant.

    Whether or not he has been effective (and I bow to my son’s verdict that he has been and he’d rather have an effective one-term President than an anodyne two-term one) his use of language is superb.

  23. No employed Transport Ministers either.

  24. Gary Gatter

    “No snow in Scotland in December then?”

    Of course there was, and as I followed the story on radio Scotland while I was in the USA, BBC Scotland decided that it was entirely the fault of our Transport Secretary, and nothing to do with the traffic on the roads who had listened to the weather forecast on BBC.

    Clearly, there would have been no snow in Scotland if the BBC’s preferred party had been in power.

    If they win in May, I look forward to sub-tropical conditions next winter. :-)

  25. I know we get a bit YouGov-centric on this site, for obvious reasons considering their omni-presence and almost daily occurrence, but we need to acknowledge other polling too. As I’ve said before, all the other pollsters, albeit surveying less regularly and using varying methodologies, are consistently telling another story. Only as recently as today, an ICM poll in the Guardian has the Tories at their lowest rating for many months and the Lib Dems as high 15%, yet tonight’s YouGov tells us that the Tories are gaining support and the Lib Dems are just creeping into double figures.

    I’m putting this crudely, I know, but more or less ever since the election the polling pattern has been thus: YouGov regularly polling the Tories 4 or 5% HIGHER and the Lib Dems 4 or 5% LOWER than all the other polling organisations. Labour appears fairly consistent across all the polls, although YouGov may be slightly overstating their ratings too if the other pollsters are to be believed. Moreover, these discrepancies have been apparent for a long time now and I think there’s something amiss here. Coulson fall-out, negative growth figures published, inflation rising, unemployment up and yet today’s YouGov poll tells us that the major governing party is putting on support!! I’m not buying it. It’s a rogue for sure from a polling organisation that appears to be specialising in them! Maybe the MOE has expanded to plus or minus 10%!!!!

  26. This may be within the margin of error but I think it may be an outlier, tomorrow will tell. My prediction 36/45/9 and my predictive margin of error is plus or minus 9%.

  27. All within a margin of error, as quite rightly stated.

    I’m not sure whether the GDP figures will make much impact on voting intention, for the moment at least.

    Most people probably still thought we’re in recession anyway.

    In my view the government should firmly state it’s sticking to it’s strategy on the cuts,
    but it does need to go back to the drawing board on getting credit to businesses.

    If they do fall a long way behind, it could be because they lost confidence in their plans and panic.

  28. I’m watching Scottish Questions at the moment. What appallingly rude behaviour from MPs.

    I’m not surprised that so many have been done for criminal behaviour – most of them appear to deserve antisocial behaviour sanctions. I thought the behaviour of the Labour backbenchers in Holyrood was bad, but MPs are much much worse.

  29. Obama’s aeroplane analogy was clever, but how pertinent it is depends on your definitions. In the UK at least, much (most?) of what is being “jettisoned” is not part of the engine.

    If your plane is falling out of the sky because it’s carrying 400 lbs more than it can lift, then you certainly don’t jettison the engine.

    But if you don’t jettison the duty-free, the makeup bags and the three fattest cabin crew then you’re an idiot, and you’re going to crash and burn…

  30. @ Old Nat

    “You trying to destroy my reputation? Certain parties (well actually one) love to portray any independista on the internet as a “cybernat” and the fount of all evil.”

    Lol. There may be cybernats out there. I can’t claim to have had too much experience with them. In fact, prior to posting here, the only UK bloggers I ever dealt with really were Lib Dems. So I need not resolve whether cybernats exist or not but assuming they do, I don’t think you’re one of them.

    “I’m quite proud of the label, but you want to remove my street cred? You would make Barney uncomfortable if he was seen to be attacking a nice guy – and we can’t have that!”

    I think you have plenty of street cred even if you’re not a “cybernat.”

    “Obama’s analogy of “taking the engine out of a plane” was quite brilliant.”

    I agree. The State of the Union is really an exercise in propoganda because nothing he said last night will be automatically implemented (I am not a cynic, I’m an eternal optimist, but most of the proposals he made last night will not be enacted by Congress in the next two years).

    “Whether or not he has been effective (and I bow to my son’s verdict that he has been and he’d rather have an effective one-term President than an anodyne two-term one) his use of language is superb.”

    I agree with your son’s assessment on his effectiveness. I don’t want him to be a one term president though.

  31. @ Old Nat

    “I’m watching Scottish Questions at the moment. What appallingly rude behaviour from MPs.

    I’m not surprised that so many have been done for criminal behaviour – most of them appear to deserve antisocial behaviour sanctions. I thought the behaviour of the Labour backbenchers in Holyrood was bad, but MPs are much much worse.”

    Are these questions in Westminster and the ones that take place before the main PMQs?

    Your comment reminds me of a conversation I had the other night. A friend of mine from the Bay Area who went to grad school in the UK and I were texting the other night (we hadn’t chatted in a very long while). I told her about how much I had become a follower of UK politics. Her response was “Their political arena is more akin to a crazy circus.”

  32. @SoCalLiberal,

    I respectfully submit that you have far more clowns, acrobats and animals in your politics than we have in ours ;)

  33. SoCalliberal

    “cybernat” – the best way to deal with an opponent’s term of abuse is to enthusiastically embrace it.

    In the Central Belt of Scotland, my (and Barney’s) football team (Aberdeen) supporters are considered to enjoy close relationships with sheep (I think the same suggestions are made by some urban Americans about their rural fellow- citizens).

    The best banner I ever saw at the Home End at Aberdeen’s stadium read “We’ll support ewe ever more”.

  34. Got news for you deep-thinking people. Your average voter doesn’t give a s .. omething about GDP – the majority of the population don’t know what GDP is. And I made a point of asking ten people I met this week if they’d even noticed the rise in VAT. Two mentioned petrol and the other eight said no. Analysing polls is fun, but what people read in the red tops is what drives their opinions sadly. The other day I asked someone who said they weren’t voting Lib Dem any more why. They said it was because they’d read in a popular paper which I won’t name that only 7 per cent were voting Lib Dem now so they were switching to Labour. It’s not deep thinking – it is, as the ad says, Simples.

  35. SoCalLiberal

    Yeah. Those are the ones. Fortunately for the Unionist parties, these images of disrespect are only shown in late night segments watched by political geeks.

    I suspect that one of the reasons that they are so opposed to the kind of News that you are used to – each station takes a “national” programme or determines its own priorities between international, state (ie UK), national and local news – is that UK Parliamentary behaviour might actually get publicity.

    The behaviour of those MPs is exactly the kind of selfish nonsense that teenagers exhibit – and need to be sanctioned not to repeat.

    (I made that point – very forcibly – to a Labour MP visiting my school. he was visibly embarrassed, but continued to be one of the worst offenders).

  36. @ Neil A

    “I respectfully submit that you have far more clowns, acrobats and animals in your politics than we have in ours.”

    Lol. You’re probably right.

  37. @ Old Nat

    “Yeah. Those are the ones. Fortunately for the Unionist parties, these images of disrespect are only shown in late night segments watched by political geeks.

    I suspect that one of the reasons that they are so opposed to the kind of News that you are used to – each station takes a “national” programme or determines its own priorities between international, state (ie UK), national and local news – is that UK Parliamentary behaviour might actually get publicity.

    The behaviour of those MPs is exactly the kind of selfish nonsense that teenagers exhibit – and need to be sanctioned not to repeat.

    (I made that point – very forcibly – to a Labour MP visiting my school. he was visibly embarrassed, but continued to be one of the worst offenders).”

    Are they on Youtube at all?

  38. SoCalLiberal

    You Tube? You are asking someone who deliberately calls himself OLD Nat? :-)

  39. @ Old Nat

    ““cybernat” – the best way to deal with an opponent’s term of abuse is to enthusiastically embrace it.”

    I suppose so. Is Pete Wishart a cybernat?

    “In the Central Belt of Scotland, my (and Barney’s) football team (Aberdeen) supporters are considered to enjoy close relationships with sheep (I think the same suggestions are made by some urban Americans about their rural fellow- citizens).

    The best banner I ever saw at the Home End at Aberdeen’s stadium read “We’ll support ewe ever more”.”

    Urban Americans don’t really talk that way about rural Americans. If anything, the insults are the other way around.

  40. @ Old Nat

    “You Tube? You are asking someone who deliberately calls himself OLD Nat?”

    Well you’re a blogger and a historian, I mean, it’s not totally out of the realm of possibility. :)

  41. SoCalLiberal

    My YouTube expertise is limited to clicking on a link someone else posts. :-(

  42. @ Old Nat

    “My YouTube expertise is limited to clicking on a link someone else posts.”

    That’s fine. I consider myself practically technologically illiterate. I wish I could make YouTube videos myself. YouTube though has allowed me to watch several past UK elections and a lot of the latest PMQs.

  43. The Conservatives continue their recent month average at 39 or below (on YG). When- for the post election period till December- they were consistently above on 40 and above on average.

    Lib Dems continue to be at an average of 10% on YG (now for over two weeks)- absolutely steady i.e. no recent or ongoing “recovery” (on YG).

    Furthermore the Lib Dems have been at 7% a mere TWICE!!!

    Two numbers (and days) which are clearly- if you care to look properly at the pattern of the data- outliers and with retrospect should be completely ignored rather than fixated upon.

    Tonight’s YG story has *absolutely nothing* (…again…) to do with the Lib Dems remarkably steady performance.

    It is whether this is the start of a narrowing of the lead between Labour and the Conservatives. Perhaps the furore over GDP Q4 has meant that voters have taken a closer look at the rival economic policies/ positions and explanations of the two main parties.

    Or perhaps it’s just an outlier…we will know by Saturday night :-)

  44. YG’s Jan avg.

    Con 38.3 (-2.2 from Dec)
    Lab 42.2 (+1.5)
    Lib 8.9 (-0.3)
    Oth 10.4 (+1.0)

    The Libs were losing on average about 1% each month, whereas the Tories only lost 1% on one occasion – November – and otherwise were up and down a quarter %. So it seems the observation that the Libs have hit the buffers, and it’s now the Tories losing out rings true – although it has to be said Others profited more than usual this month, so movement to UKIP can account for a fair share of it .

  45. It does appear that the Tory (would-be) vote is remarkably resilient.

  46. A disappointing poll from the red perspective. Apart from the MOE/rogue poll excuse, the only rational explanation that I can think of is this:

    The poll follows a day when the Government were clearly on the ropes over the economic impact of their policy. Nonetheless, while Labour put in a credible performance, whatever points were scored may have been more than cancelled out in polling terms by shifting the public focus back to issues of general economic competance, on which the Conservatives are still ahead. This shifted the focus away from more specific concerns such as VAT, the effect of cuts and tuition fees for example, on which the Conservatives are behind.

  47. @Virgilio (if you’re there)
    There’s a new poll on the YouGov site which asks which international leader would be most preferred as UK prime minister. It may surprise you to learn that your mate Berlusconi is the preferred choice of as many as 1% of us here. I blame Scots and Lib Dem supporters, of whom 2% prefer him.

  48. Reuters/IPSOS Mori poll shows Labour on 43%, Conservatives 33%, Liberal Democrats 13%

    h ttp://www.forexlive.com/162407/all/reutersipsos-mori-poll-shows-labour-on-43-conservatives-33-liberal-democrats-13?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+forexlive-rss+%28Forex+News+by+ForexLive.com%29&utm_content=Twitter

  49. Thanks Colin. Here’s a link to the MORI poll with more detail. Survey dates 21-24 Jan.

    h ttp://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE70Q18L20110127

  50. Just Lab two points ahead of the Cons? That’s disappointing and frankly incredible. I mean, what has happened to that joe public would ‘abandon’ Lab in favour of the Cons (and/or LDs)? This doesn’t make sense – so it must be down to MOE, IMO.

    The Reuters/Mori poll showing a ten point Lab lead is much more to my liking. But this size lead at this stage seems incredible, too.

1 2