Tonight’s YouGov/Sunday Times poll has voting intentions of CON 37%, LAB 41%, LDEM 10%. A four point lead is the lowest YouGov have shown this month.

Of course it’s possible that the government have recovered a bit – Cameron has spoken out against the prisoners voting, shut down the forestry commission issue and launched their universal benefit reform – but I’ll just add my normal caveat about being cautious about any poll showing a shift until it’s confirmed by other polls. It may be a sign of the lead narrowing a bit, or it may just be an outlier.

195 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 37, LAB 41, LDEM 10”

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  1. Anthony

    Please can you start snipping?

  2. @Eoin Clarke

    “You wouldn’t ever be guilty of that of course. You’re much too objective an rational. In fact any budding analyst could learn much from your pearls…”

    If we avoid the sarcasm for a minute, and I confess that I’ve employed this dastardly low form of wit before when responding to some of your bon mots and insightful observations in the past, you should recall that I’ve stated many times on these pages that I think YouGov is probably overstating support for BOTH of the major parties whilst understating the Lib Dem position. This hunch that I have has been endorsed by every other pollster in the last three months or so, with YouGov the only poll consistently showing the combined total for the Tories and Labour at over 80%. I don’t recall ever having cried out “outlier” when I’ve seen Labour at 42%, either.

    By the way, beyond wishing it to be true, what empirical and objective data exists to support Cameron’s claim that “YouGov is the most consistently accurate polling organisation”?

  3. I apologise if my comments come across as vicious.
    I thought Tony Blair made use of his baby son in a similar way .

  4. Oldnat – I have snipped one comment and have put one person on moderation. I think we should draw a line under this topic of conversation, barring anyone who wishes to apologise for anything.

  5. What I said was:

    “Compare the political capital that DC has made out of his son’s death to the Brown”s demeanour. I really think the loathing of all things Brown has been an orchestrated and largely unfounded campaign. And much of it from Blair’s cronies.”

    I then said that I didn’t think it was controversial…that is, I didn’t think that any reasonable person could argue that DC hasn’t made political capital out of his son’s death.

    I’m a father of two (daughters). I can’t see why this is a “sickening accusation” or even “offensive”, as AW says.

    But I will bow out of the subject and everybody can carry on with their righteous indignation if they want.

  6. Nick Hadley,

    Your personality transcends monikers.. you could virtually choose any handle you wish and your light would shine through it…

    YG done well with the Ed Miliband election, the London Mayorals… there record pre-May if you measure it not on the final poll which is a naff way of doing it, but in calculating deviance from the mean… in the run up to May they come out much more favourably…

    I look forward to seeing how they perform in the AV referendum…

  7. Before people become to scathing about Nick P, Robin & Val, here is a comment reported in the Guardian today (yes, today).

    Explaining his motivation for the [NHS] reforms, Cameron described the frustration he and his wife, Samantha, felt when caring for their disabled son, Ivan. “I never understood why local authorities had more control over the budget for his care than Samantha and me,” he said.

    Contrast with David Cameron’s pre-election comment:
    “When your family relies on the NHS all the time – day after day, night after night – you know how precious it is.”

    Some may consider David Cameron’s comments to be “spectacularly unappealing”; & I can understand why some Labour supporters – especially those who actually live in areas which will be affected by the NHS reforms – are feeling rather bitter.

  8. Eoin, is there a reason why you are not showing up with rosy red colours any more? Have you been got at ? :-)

  9. @ Anthony

    I posted my comment before the scissors came out. Mine is current & about the NHS reforms, in addition to the ongoing barred topic, so I’m hoping it doesn’t warrant a snipping.

    I don’t make a personal judgement; I just try to see it as others (voters) might.

    If it does require snipping, my apologies.

  10. okay, moving on from children, it seems that the protests in Libya are beginning to take effect, Gaddafi might be on his way out too. If this “Arab Spring” continues we could see disruption in some major oil-producing countries and further increases in the price of oil due to speculation.

    You have to wonder where we are headed, who is next, etc. The more oil goes up the bigger the case for the oft-talked about “fuel price regulator” becomes. The coming UK Budget will be much more important than many I have seen.

  11. Pam,

    Lol… I just haven’t signed in…. Twas my intention to concentrate on work

  12. Thanks Amber.

    I have no doubt that the loss of a child is the worse thing that can happen to anyone.
    My mother lost her first born aged 9 months. She never got over it

  13. or else we can talk about changing the clocks. Could that be popular?

  14. Happy to move on – having made my contribution I’ve already bit my e-tongue several times to avoid inflaming things [and just snipped myself again…]. So…

    Predictions for tonight anyone? I go for 36/44/10/-25

  15. At this stage the 4% lead by Labour appears to be a outlier; and labour should expect some sort of boost as central government and local government cut backs reduce staff.

    However, the move towards decentralisation of local government, and improved local democracy on planning policing etc, should prove popular.

    If the economy looks up in about three years time and given the reforms on democracy and freedom being introduced by the Coalition, it could be a further five years of either Tory or Coalition Government.

    In addition, I suspect many of the electorate will come to treasure the increased democracy, freedoms and transparency when the time comes for a change of Government the return to the centrist Whitehall control of recent years will be difficult if not impossible to re-impose.

  16. Anthony – Any chance of a thread on the Irish election polling? I know it’s not the UK, but it’s already generating a bit of discussion on here.

    Re: The Green Benches’ summary – the Workers Party are not part of the United Left Alliance; they are standing their own candidates and are very unlikely to win a seat. The ULA say they are hoping for three or more – I think they have a chance.

    SF’s view of itself as the government of Ireland basically ended in 1986, when their elected TDs first took their seats. That was the apparent reason for the Republican Sinn Féin split, and the tiny movement still claims to be the legitimate government!

  17. Anthony

    I note that Londoners didn’t seem over keen on changing the clocks either. Is that because they don’t actually know what daylight is? :-)

  18. WarofDream,

    Check the Workers’ Party showing in Waterford… c.2007…

    But thank you for the correction on Garland’s rump.. gees they really don’t know when their number is up do they…

  19. @oldnat

    ‘That Scots and Irish see nothing unusual in the Ipsos-MORI affluence/VI data is what I would expect.’

    RE the comments about the SNP getting the poorest voters, that may be the case in Edinburgh for example but I didn’t know that was the case overall in Scotland because I thought the SNP were also getting some affluent voters in Perthshire etc.

  20. I find it is surprising that Labour is not further ahead in the polls, although the recent Yougov may be out by a few %tage points.

    2011/2 will be particularly tough for the coalition, but if it survives with most of its support in tact, it should be all set fair for 2015.

    It has to be recognised that LDs have lost alot of support and membership, possibly the old SDP. This of course means that LD may be much closer to the Liberal ideal, which fits in well with their current and proposed democratic and freedom reforms. DC may well be leading another coalition government in 2015.

  21. Nick P (and supporters if any)

    “I then said that I didn’t think it was controversial…that is, I didn’t think that any reasonable person could argue that DC hasn’t made political capital out of his son’s death.

    I’m a father of two (daughters). I can’t see why this is a “sickening accusation” or even “offensive”, as AW says.”

    No but can’t you take a hint and accept that what you think might not be correct? If you had I would have drawn a line as you requested.

    The fact is , that to those of us who are actually human and have at least a little compassion hidden underneath our sceptical political skins, it would have been a big surprise if Cameron had not referred to Ivan on regular occasions – these are lifechangingexperiences that really do influence the path you tread in life.

    I have a brother and his wife who twice unexpectedly lost a child; they have never got over it.

    If you are a man with a sense of public mission like Cameron anyway, it is even more bound to affect your ‘political’ mission.

    I am in fact surprised DC does not refer to Ivan MORE often – showing what a sensitive matter it is, though I would have been inclined to disappointment if he had referred to such a profound matter less.

    Also don’t forget Dc’s devoted care to his son all his son’s life, not just the grief at his death. Clearly these experiences added depth and softness to Cameron’s character for those not too blinkered to see it.

  22. War of dreams – yes, I’m going to try and do one this week if I get chance.

    BT says – can we stop the discussion please, it’s only going to lead to more back-and-forth on the subject.

  23. AW


    My YG prediction for tonight:

    C 37
    L 42/43
    LD 9/10

  24. A Brown

    I think you are misdirecting your comment. The data I was looking at suggests that Labour and SNP both draw considerable support across the affluence spectrum (we actually need more data to know if the apparent slight advantage that Labour have in the most affluent areas and the SNP in the least affluent, has any substance.)

    My assumption (and I’d like to know if this is true or not) was that English readers of the data would not expect to see such a strength of Labour support in the wealthiest areas in their own country, and would anticipate a much greater skew in VI between one party “for the rich”, and one “for the poor” – to put it very crudely!

  25. OldNat (or anyone expert in Scottish politics)

    Why has Labour support appeared to have dropped in Scotland and the SNP increased. Is it just a correction after a massive swing to Labour in Scotland in recent months?

  26. Davey

    Obviously it is possible that the Feb MORI poll is a rogue, but most observers here put it down to Scots simply focussing on Holyrood rather than Westminster.

    It’s been known for many years that a section of the population votes differently for Westminster and Holyrood.

    (I would say that SNP voters lend their votes to Unionist parties in a Union election. Unionists would say that their supporters lend their votes to Scottish parties in a Scottish election. Neither is right, of course! Voters are cussed creatures who insist on doing what they think is righty)

    All that has really happened so far is that 4-5% of voters who switch their votes between Labour and SNP are now focussed on Holyrood and see Alex Salmond as a far better choice as FM than poor Iain Gray (whover he is).

  27. OLDNAT

    Very informative. It will be interesting to see how the actual election pans out.


  28. Davey

    The words of a notable Irishman Arthur Wellesley will probably describe the Scottish GE –

    “It has been a damned nice thing — the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life.”

    (just like last time!)

  29. @All

    Looks like it all passed me by. And if I hadn’t been on my way back to work, I wouldn’t have even noticed it had passed me by.

    Ah, well, maybe it never happened…

    I like the idea of GMT+2 in summer. Although, as Ramadan is in August this year, i’m having second thoughts.

  30. RAF

    I’m told by muslim work colleagues that ramadan is a lot easier in winter. The difference must be a lot more noticable in Scotland where winter days are shorter and summer days longer than in southern England. That’s where the problem with moving the clocks forward lies.

    Sumer days are so long in the far north that moving the clocks by an hour (or two) makes little difference. Scotland and Northern Ireland can easily make the change that benefits those in the south east the most. Winter is quite different. Daylight hours are so short that dawn can be at 9:30 in places. That would be 10:30 at GMT+1. I understand this is the reason we SWITCH from GMT in the winter to BST in the summer. The SE of England benefits from later summer hours but NW Scotland benefits from earlier winter hours.

    Perhaps there could be a compromise of setting BST to GMT+2?

  31. RAF

    “as Ramadan is in August this year, i’m having second thoughts.”

    Does that make a difference? Only the clocks would change not reality.

    I’ve been looking for information on Muslims who live in Shetland, where in June its always daylight, but haven’t found anything.

    Does anyone know how they allow the rules to vary for such a circumstance?

  32. @Colin Green
    Much easier – yes. But you also feel much colder.

    I understand the winter mornings argument for Scotland. And as you poont out, it is a very strong one. Account should also be taken of poorer winter weather in Scotlamd, creating much worse natural light.

    All in all, any attempt to move the clocks forward is a non-starter. The only possible soluion is to go for GMT+2 throughout the UK, but give the Scots and N Irish parliaments the power to set their own clocks.

  33. @OldNat

    Yes they do allow for that sitiation. There are different views on the matter but essentially it comes dowm to whether an individual believes that the fast is so long it jeopardises their health. In that situation they have two options – fast according to the nearest daylight times you can do, or wait until after.ramadan and make up the days you missed at some point before next year’s ramadan.

  34. RAF

    Thanks for that. I was sure that some sensible answer would have been created – just couldn’t find it.

    Mind you, a Muslim with limited conviction would find it very easy to make up the days in a Shetland December!!!

  35. Raf – when I was a student over 25 years ago Ramadam was in June one year right in the middle of important exams.
    One of my Muslim fellow students said he was allowed to observe the daylight hours as they were in Mecca which being much closer to the equator would have been 13-14 hours I guess.
    He did say some families would not allow this.

  36. Apologies Ramadan.

  37. @ Old Nat

    I think this is my fault for bringing this up. You know me, I’m a big Gordon Brown fan. And that anecdote about his wife was hilarious. Cherie Blair might not have liked the monarchy but Sarah Brown knew how to show disrespect to them in the nicest and most innocent sounding way possible. I love it.

    I had no idea that this would spark a conversation that devolved into…..well I don’t know what.

    I seriously doubt that either the Browns or Camerons exploited the deaths of their young children for political gain. To lose a child is a horrifying tragedy, not something that one turns to as a moment of political gain.

    @ Anthony

    I’m sorry about the conversation. It was definitely NOT my intention. Please accept my apologies.

  38. I think the agenda switch from welfare to mass privatisation of services is going to send the Lab up and Con down.

    Might not start to show until later in the week though. Back over 10 pt lead by next week?

  39. I still think we’re reading too much into the polls. The picture is still LD stable (a little above their nadir), Con gradual decline, Lab gradual increase. We are just seeing a wobble around that basic pattern. I’d guess the lead is probably currently around 7-8% and rising. So I’d go for C 36 (or less), L 43 (or more), LD 10 or thereabouts.

  40. @JImJam

    Yes, many in extreme daylight areas adopt the Makkah/Mecca times as a compromise. And most people would accept this as OK.

  41. I’m new to these polls. They seem to fluctuate in line with policy discussions and faux pas.

    But that may well be illusory.

  42. SoCalLiberal

    Disrespect for the monarchy is always fair game – though Jim Murphy’s office (oops, another of those you like!) went a bit far in leaking the maps of the paths on the Balmoral Estate. HM apparently was concerned that her security was threatened by that.

  43. @ Old Nat

    I like Jim Murphy a lot more than I like Gordon Brown and probably in additional ways as well. But that’s another subject. :)

    I doubt that his office meant to disrespect the monarchy, it was probably inadvertent and sounds more like an attempt to show off a royal landmark in Scotland. It’s not like Harriet Harman’s decision to omit Margaret Thatcher from the Women’s History page (I like Harriet Harman….not in the same sort of way I like Jim Murphy….but omg what was she thinking?).

    “Disrespect for the monarchy is always fair game”

    I was happy when Michelle Obama touched the Queen. When I heard about it, I said “It’s taken 220 years but America has finally elected a black president AND a first lady willing to disrespect the Queen.” I also noted that Michelle Obama wasn’t doing anything that Martha Washington and Abigail Adams wouldn’t have done if they had had the opportunity. Of course, Michelle Obama wasn’t intentionally trying to disrespect the Queen or offend Cameron’s voter base who revere the monarchy.

  44. On the subject of Brow-haters, I saw that UKIP man ranting about Brown selling off UK gold cheap on question time the other day.

    Why were they not bothered about Austin Rover or all the other sell off cheap privatisations? Is it because the sale wasn’t to their backers?

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