YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 39%, LAB 44%, LDEM 8%. As expected, the 2 point Labour lead in yesterday’s poll did indeed turn out to be an outlier and the daily tracker continues to show a steady five point lead for Labour.

83 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – 39/44/8”

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  1. But 44 is as high as they’ve been…

  2. Labour have been on 44% a few times before. But i have a feeling they might hut 45% or even 46% soon.

  3. So much for the Lib Dem revival…anyone for Clegg resigning after the May Local Elections and the defeat of the AV referendum??

  4. Or to put it another way, they’ve been below 42 once in 13 polls.

    It’s starting to look like the LD ‘recovery’ was a short-lived blip, which seems to have followed the Coulson resignation. (It seems odd to me how that translated into some Con-LD churn, not sure that I understand how that came about.)

    Apart from that blip, nothing has changed in several months. There’s monthly swing from Con to Lab over ~1%, with an additional slower drift from LD to Lab. As has been noted elsewhere, that trend has been rock-solid, Cleggmania aside, for over 18 months, and there’s no sign of any ceiling having been reached yet.

  5. @Robin – “It seems odd to me how that translated into some Con-LD churn, not sure that I understand how that came about.”

    That would be fairly understandable for voters who don’t like Labour bouncing between the coalition partners depending on which one looks worst in the day to day media.

  6. My take on this is that Labour’s poll surge is slowing as voters come to terms with the idea that they are paying too much tax and Labour do not (cannot) represent a credible alternative on this front. People are getting seriously annoyed about tax and this is becoming part of the narrative, breaking the media driven monologue about cuts in public spending that has damaged the Tories’s polling position. Things are about to change.

  7. Question for Anthony.

    Anthony, I read on yougov’s website Peter Kellner calling a 5% puny and that it should be much higher. What are your thoughts?

    Revd Graeme Hancocks

  8. @ALEC

    That may be true but I think Labour needs to keep up the pressure on both parties in the coalition, what other option do they have? And it seems to be working; or at the very least does not seem to be helping the coalition. this poll is in line with a Labour lead of 5% or 6%, while other pollsters apart from one are showing a 10% lead. YouGov seem to have a high value for the Tories and a low value for the LibDems. If you move 4% from the Tories to LibDems you get very close to the other pollsters.

  9. Sergio – Hmmm. Seeing as one of the main taxes people are complaining about is VAT, I’m not sure that the Tories will benefit greatly from such a ‘trend’.

    Seeing as most of the cuts have not yet translated into facts on the ground (an example: my area will see a Fire Station close later this year that was announced in June, and the town’s last public care home will also close – but both of the policy changes by the County Council pre-date the CSR), and no-one looking at the economic indicators can be celebrating too much, I think it’s wishful thinking to assume that suddenly all this will be forgotten and the Tories will start to claw back support.

    If next quarter sees another fall in GDP, putting us officially into a double-dip, people may well think that Labour did have a viable alternative.

    Saying that, I think that the current Labour poll lead is fairly soft, and there are no guarantees. It would be simple partisan wishful thinking to be sure that you can predict a change to the current trends, IMO

  10. @ Sergio & DanIvon

    FYI – YouGov has been polling on issues. Here’s some of the tracker results on taxes.

    Question: “Here is a list of problems facing the country. Could you say for each of them, which political party you think would handle the problem best?”

    Labour have been leading the Tories on taxes – granted, by only 1% – since Dec19th.

    Page 7 of the below file:

  11. Have Labour actually announced any tax policies, other than in general they would shift the balance of deficit reduction from 80/20 Cut/Tax to 60/40 Cut/Tax?

    Surely favouring Labour over the Tories on tax is simply a registration of protest, rather than a positive endorsement of Labour’s position on taxes.

  12. Anyone know what UKIP are polling tonight?

  13. is this the highest joint Labour-Tory score for a while?
    Also fourth 8 in a row? Will Lib Dem conspiracy theorists start to suspect?

  14. approval rating back down to -25. Yesterday’s poll clearly an outlier.

    Lib Dem’s will be very worried at this poll – with the student protests dieing down and not quite as much in the public eye, they’d expect some slight improvement, but instead they’ve gone back to these levels.

  15. Hello to all the contributors on UKPR, been a while since I was on here as I’ve emigrated to Australia. There are some interesting parallels to be drawn between the political situations i.e. Coalitions, struggling government message, etc.

    But what I wanted to ask was, really, at what point would the Coalition begin to worry on polls?

    As far back as the middle of last year, I recall an Andrew Rawnsley story which quoted a senior government figure predicting that Conservatives would fall to 25% with the Lib Dems on 5% by this time.

    Now, the Lib Dems are fast approaching that level although the Conservative vote has been much more resilient.

    And yet, and yet….can we honestly say that any signs of panic are percieved in government? The answer I think is no, for all of this bad news has been heavily anticipated and factored into the political outlook of the Coalition/ Tory-led govt/ whatever you call it.

  16. I don’t know how reliable One Poll are but there is a poll by them regarding who is to blame for the economic mess…

    [OnePoll do not provide sufficient information to judge whether their methods are likely to provide representative data, however there is anecdotal evidence from members of their panel that imply their polls are open access to all panellists. Of course, they may do things differently for political polling, but given the lack of clarity and their woefully inaccurate pre-election voting intention poll, I generally ignore them – AW]

  17. Why did Liberal Conspiracy choose OnePoll, I wonder? I think the findings are a no-brainer, mind.

  18. Also looking at yesterday’s outlier, when it came to rating each leaders quality, I see only 22% of Labour voters are prepared to give Clegg anything other than “None of these”.

  19. @ Rev Graeme Hancock

    Anthony, I read on yougov’s website Peter Kellner calling a 5% puny and that it should be much higher. What are your thoughts?
    I’m not Anthony (obviously) but here are my thoughts:

    If Peter Kellner, one of YG’s top chaps, wants to see Labour doing much better than a “puny” 5%, he should look at the other polling firms’ results instead of his own. ;-)


    Here is the article you were talking about, it was only one comment from one LibDem and the prediction was for Tories on 25% and Libdems on 5% by September 2011, so still 8 months or so to go:

  21. Somebody has just pointed this out on the Guardian comments:

    England –
    Tories – 298 seats (55.9%), 39.6% of the vote, 33,325 votes per seat.
    Labour – 191 seats (35.8%), 28.1% of the vote, 36,871 votes per seat.
    Liberal Democrat – 43 seats (8%), 24.2% of the vote, 141,306 votes per seat.

    Looks to me that on average the bias of seats per vote is biased toward the Tories. So what we should do is make it more biased?

  22. And he/she added this:

    I was showing that English voting under FPTP is biased toward the Tories – because they’re the party with a geographically spread plurality of votes (see my original post).

    The reason that the Tories need a higher percentage for the whole of the UK is that they do not do well outside of England.
    The reason they cannot win a majority on such a small percentage (like Labour could) is because they’re hated in Scotland and the north.

    While Labour was able to hold the north and win the midlands – hence their win with a small percentage of the vote. Because FPTP benefits the party with the geographically spread plurality of votes.

    Take South East England –
    Tories get 49% of the vote but 89% of the seats.
    Or take North East England –
    Labour gets 43.6% of the vote but 86% of the seats.

    That is because the Tories hold a plurality in the South and Labour a plurality in the North.

    So England is biased toward the Tories – simply because the Tories hold a plurality in England.
    The reason they cannot win in the UK (to reiterate) is because the system is biased toward Labour in the North and Scotland.

    Changing boundaries will mean that the Tories would probably win a majority of seats in the UK – even on a ridiculous 36% of the vote. Broken and broken.

    This cannot continue forever – people in the North will not accept Tory rule and people in the South-East will not accept Labour.

    Why do you think the Scottish and Welsh nationalists exist?

  23. Nick – they are talking rot, look at the academic papers on the issue rather than the partisan crackpots in the Comment is Free section.

    Essentially, FPTP heavily discriminates against third parties and gives a “winners bonus” to the party that comes top.

    Hence votes per seats misleadingly suggests the system isn’t biased against the Conservatives because they got the most votes in 2010 – the bias from turnout, seat size and vote distribution was largely cancelled out by the winners bonus. In contrast, were Labour 7 points ahead they would have a storming great majority, since in that case the bias from turnout, seat size and vote distribution would be added to the winners bonus.

    (Looking only at England also rather misses out the point that one of the components of the bias is the different seat size in the different nations of the UK)

    The legitimate way to measure bias in the system is to compare how the electoral system would treat the two main parties if they received an equal share of the vote. In a perfect world, it would give them much the same number of seats (although, as critics of FPTP will point out, there is certainly no guarantee it will, but that’s a failing of FPTP itself).

  24. Hello Amber and Danivon

    I don’t expect many on this site to agree with my prediction, which is based on what I hear people saying and on gut feeling.

    Income and business taxes are two of the biggest issues facing the economy – it is a widely held view that the economy can’t grow with such high levels of revenue/profit taxation.

    VAT is a tax on (mainly) non-essential consumption and I don’t think it makes a great deal of difference either way to people’s spending habits. Income tax does.

    Faced with the choice of which party is most likely to cut taxes there is no credible alternative to the current incumbent.

  25. Nick

    As Anthony Wells said “The legitimate way to measure bias in the system is to compare how the electoral system would treat the two main parties if they received an equal share of the vote.” I seem to recall that in the run up to the last election, it seemed for a time that Labour would win more seats than the tories but with a smaller share of the vote.

  26. Colin – perhaps. That could well have happened if the Conservative lead had been less than 3 or 4 points, but there were very few points in the election campaign when it looked as though the Con lead could be that low.

  27. @ NEILA

    “Have Labour actually announced any tax policies, other than in general”

    I thought EM has said he favours the 50% rate as being permanent?

    Not sure what EB has said on it-his ex post facto explanations of his own speeches tend to be somewhat flexible.

  28. Regarding ‘satisfaction ‘ levels. Is there any information concerning figures excluding committed voters?
    i feel that these voters opinions (or changes) may be more significant. than partisan thoughts.

  29. Hi,
    Regarding Peter Kellner’s comments, I think Labour’s lead is smaller than it would otherwise be simply because the General election was such a short time ago, and not just because it is too early for mid-term blues.
    I believe that with the exception of left-leaning Lib Dems who feel let down (I admit to falling into this camp), most LD and Con voters would be reluctant to admit so soon after the event that they might have made a mistake.
    I am sure that unless the most optimistic predictions of economic performance materialise, the situation in the polls will only worsen for both coalition partners.

  30. Colin

    I don’t know whether Labour in Scotland have a similar tax policy to their pals in the UK Parliament.

    Here, however, they
    suggest no increase in income tax (as proposed by the Greens)
    oppose a tax on the big out-of-town retailers (as proposed by SNP and supported by the STUC)
    propose an increase in Council Tax.

  31. Historically the difference in the number and size of constituencies within the component parts of the Union was a political decision made by the English Parliament and government during the various Acts Of Union….they also made Irish Peers English Peers in 1801….a bribe if you will….

    I guess in a sense this found echo in the creation of the US senate where every state had two Senators – regardless of size – (appointed by the state Governor in the original consitution.)

    It is easily forgotten but UK isn’t a unitary state in the true political sense rather its a union of nations and interests under a single Head of State.

    The question for the English component is what political price they’re willing to pay for the continuation of the arrangement.

    If the answer is none it may well be that smaller entities in the Union will seek to make themselves more powerful through another means….devolution then will truly be a staging post to Independence.

    It’s foolish to think it can’t happen when it has already…in Ireland…

    Once component parts of England see confederal localism as a sauce for one or two geese, it will quickly becomes appetising to all.

    To make political systems of governance and representation a function purely on ‘population’ or worse a function of ‘registration’ is no more legitimate than the existing system with its entreched bias built around perceived mutual advantage.

    I suspect however this settlement, like many consitutional adjustments that appeal to numeric logic, will be neither as durable as its proponents imagine in their current pomp nor ‘fair’ to local and regional geographical identity as their foolish pride leeds them to now assert is no longer of equal importance in a constuency based system of representation.

    I recall the 1971 reforms of Peter Walker made appeal to that same principle….look how well stood the test of time…

    On another point, whatever Mr Kellner thinks about the YouGov lead of 5% I’m pretty impressed by any party that puts on 15% to its vote 7 months after a general election. In recent times any party polling well clear of 40% mark has been thought to be doing very very well.

    And this is before both the majority of tax rises are felt and any significant cuts have impacted on services and employment.

    Rather than being content if I were in the coalition I’d wonder how bad it’s going to get if it’s this bad before a shot’s been fired.

    But they’ve 4 and a half years and they’ll hope like all those before them that opinion will change and run in their favour before they need to face the country again.

    Of course they may well be right.

    But then last November who’d have thought the middle east would be in the throws of revolution?

    When Obama was elected who’d have thought the Tea Party insurgents would take over the Republican Party and win a big majority in the House of Reps?

    Sometimes if the people find their voice the politicians will hear whether or not its what they’d like to be told.

    I’d venture that these polls take us no further than the end of the beginning….the rest is still unknown and unknowable….

  32. Old Nat


    Jan PMIs

    Manufacturing 62.0 up from Dec 58.7 ( as revised upward)

    Construction 53.7 up from Dec 49.1
    Markit said that for the first time since August, all three construction sub-sectors reported an increase in activity — including housebuilding, ending four months of contraction

    Services tomorrow.

    “In a sign the central bank is inching closer to tightening policy, Deputy Governor Charles Bean said it may be forced to raise rates if commodity prices continue to climb and inflation becomes embedded, while long-standing board member Andrew Sentance said the bank risked losing its inflation-fighting credibility if it did not act soon.”


  33. @Cap’n Scooby – “… any signs of panic?”

    Insecurity perhaps:


  34. John Murphy: “The question for the English component…”

    Elides the fact that the primary schism in the UK does not fall at the Scottish and Welsh borders, but in a line from Hull down to Bristol.
    The real question for the English component in any “secession” would be: how on earth do you run a nation divided so starkly? How would a voter in Newcastle feel where a government in Edinburgh shared their aspirations, yet a government 300+ miles away in the South East corner would never have to acknowledge their existance?
    It would have to be one heck of a tasty goose to overcome that one…

  35. Anthony,

    Is there somewhere where you can get a list of the electorate sizes for each constituency?

    I am trying to calculate which seats fall into the 10%+ category, that is now being talked about as a compromise on the previous 5%?

    Many thanks in advance,

  36. IFS Green Budget forecasts 2010/11 deficit will be £146bn vs GO Budget £ 149bn.

    Urges GO to bank it & not give it away & stick to the fiscal tightening plan.

    h ttp://

  37. If interest rates go up, what happens toalready stagnant house prices?

    If they start to fall we might see a whole lot more “toxic” debt close to home.

    It’s a balancing act. I can’t see rates going up until they see the growth figures for Jan-Mar 11. If there is no growth an interest rate rise would be economic suicide, surely?

    I still suspect innflation is part of the debt and deficit reduction game plan.

  38. @The Cheesewolf:

    I agree…it was the point I was trying to make….if the periphery nations head out of the Union then I’d regional government may become more attractive to all the English regions…..and rather than solving the consiutional problem they’ll have exacerbated its political, financial and economic component….

  39. No, interest rates have to go up sooner or later, or else the whole idea (and it is a good idea) of having the Bank of England independently controlling inflation looks stupid. That we can’t afford. However, this is hardly a great time to be pushing up interest rates.

    As far as electoral fairness is concerned, I am still far from convinced AV will be any better than FPTP. If it were STV or something I’d be interested.

    As far as the lead is concerned, the Conservatives have nearly always had the slowest swings against them whilst in office: “incumbency fatigue” is the lowest ie swing per years of office. That does not include 1992-1997 which is clearly the highest.

    So, ignoring the effect of the rush from the LD’s, we would expect Conservative support to leak only fairly slowly, but somewhat faster with “hard times” as at the moment.

  40. You know that term we’re not supposed to use to describe the coalition government?

    Conservative Central Office are now using it.

    To launch the new crime maps. Story at h ttp://

    It’s like someone with a double-barreled surname constantly re-marrying.

    Where will it end? ;-)

  41. One of the regular themes I’ve seen on this site is speculation as to at which point the Lib Dems might pull the plug on the coalition. Up to now I’ve agreed with those who believe they won’t – current polls suggest they risk near-wipeout at a general election effectively tying them to the coalition unless their polling figures improve, at which point the case for pulling out diminishes.

    However it strikes me that the one measure intended to give the coalition stability, the 55% required to force an election, could ironically be the measure that leads to the coalitions demise. Once Cameron no longer has the ability to pull the trigger unilaterally, the Lib Dems have much more scope to withdraw from formal coalition and support the Tories on a supply and confidence basis, a position that makes them masters of their own destiny again.

    I very much doubt Clegg, Cable etc would consider ending the coalition, they have too much invested politically to go down that route, but if the Lib Dem polling figures remain this poor it does open the way for a leadership challenge and subsequent withdrawal leaving a Conservative minority government.

  42. Greenbenches.
    With a google search for ‘constituency sizes’ (I think), i found a list on Wikipedia.

  43. Eoin – not sure when the wikipedia figures date from. The boundary commission sites have the most up to date figures – currently for October 2010. The December 2010 figures (the ones that will eventually be the basis for the boundary review) are due to appear there towards the end of this month.

    I would be surprised if the government agreed to go to 10%, I think they’d see it as undermining the core purpose if the Bill.

    If there was a deal on that I’d expect a compromise somewhere inbetween – possibly at 7.5%, but perhaps more likely some form of soft 5% limit, with a hard 10% limit for seats where special circumstances demanded it.

  44. @thegreeny

    It’s very hard to see how a minority Conservative government could force through its economic prgramme, so I would think Cameron would have to call a general election pretty shortly after the LDs withdrew.

  45. I think this has been discussed previously but do we have an educated guesstimate on a GE result (using last May’s result) for AV and 600 seats?

  46. @sergio

    My take on this is that Labour’s poll surge is slowing as voters come to terms with the idea that they are paying too much tax and Labour do not (cannot) represent a credible alternative on this front. People are getting seriously annoyed about tax and this is becoming part of the narrative, breaking the media driven monologue about cuts in public spending that has damaged the Tories’s polling position. Things are about to change.


    I dont quite follow this.

    The Conservatives have just put taxes up by a pretty hefty amount.

    Most voters know this.

    So how would the issue of tax be to their advantage at this point in time?

  47. @ Sergio

    Faced with the choice of which party is most likely to cut taxes there is no credible alternative to the current incumbent.
    The polls say otherwise. Labour is 1 point ahead of the incumbent’s on this issue – unless you are using ATTAD rather than the Tory score.

    To continue to argue against the polls makes you seem a tad partisan; & we can’t have that. ;-)

  48. Howard, I haven’t seen an official estimate but suggestions are that Labour would have lost the bias in different seat sizes. Lib Dem would have gained 30 or 40 under AV. Fewer seats should treat all parties equally so I’d go for Lib Dems with a greater share of seats, Labour with a lesser share and Con a few less. Enough that a Lab Lib or Con Lib coalition would have had enough for a majority.

  49. @ Woodsman

    You know that term we’re not supposed to use to describe the coalition government?

    Conservative Central Office are now using it.
    LOL :-)

    Almost as funny as the Big Society Tsar who is cutting his hours because he wants to be paid for his work.

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