YouGov’s fortnightly tracker of AV voting intention is in the Sun tomorrow. Voting intention is YES 34%(-3), NO 41%(+3), changes are from the last poll a fortnight ago.

Back then YouGov was showing a sharp tightening of the race, with Yes and No neck and neck (we suspected at the time it might have been a rogue poll, so ran it two days in a row. They both showed the same picture, so the tightening of the race was probably true). That was before the formal launch of the NO campaign, before Clegg and Cameron’s speeches and before the media started giving the referendum campaign some attention… and together it appears to have given the No campaign a boost.

We saw a similar pattern in ICM’s poll earlier this week. YouGov tend to show better results for NO than ICM do because YouGov’s question is prefaced by an explanation of what AV and FPTP are (something Populus also found when they asked two versions of the question to a split sample), but the trend in both YouGov and ICM is the same – a move towards No in the last fortnight.

UPDATE: YouGov daily figures are CON 37%, LAB 43%, LDEM 9%. The six point Labour lead is the same as yesterday’s.


226 Responses to “YouGov show NO campaign 7 points ahead”

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  1. @ Tony Dean

    Thanks.

    I’m surprised that a majority of MPs went along with the idea that they should reduce the number of Parliamentary seats they have. Since the end game of most politicians is to stay in office for as long as they possibly can, I’m kinda surprised they’d go along with a plan that might end their careers.

  2. @Tony Dean

    Sorry, but that idea would be a complete disaster.

    Let’s suppose I’m a Labour voter in the Tory heartlands. Should I vote? Under your system, all non-Tories should fail to vote, so that at the next boundary review there are fewer seats in Tory areas.

    Elections would become a farce.

  3. @ Old Nat

    This conversation reminds me of this one time in college that I went to this panel discussion on Iran and the Middle East (I can’t remember what it was actually for) and this pseudo-intellectual student began her questing by stating with gusto and annoyance “First of all, it’s not ‘I ran’, it’s ‘E-ron!'”

    Or a Supreme Court opinion by Justice Shoemaker where he spelled the word “enquire” instead of “inquire” and in dissent, Justice Scalia reffered to the correct spelling of the word as “inquire” and criticized use of the word “enquire” no less than 18 different times.

  4. @ RAF

    “poorer people in inner cities need more MPs”

    Is that not patronizing, and undemocratic in principle? In most European democracies that use list systems they count the votes actually cast (no problem with differential turnout with national allocations like Germany, even if then “farmed out” to Lands for actual seats. Every vote counts, above the 5% threshold, and they do not add a few votes for the SPD for voters who don’t bother!).
    To build in representation within the electoral system so that votes cast don’t really count, but instead guarantee representation for a head count of those eligible is a funny definition of democracy IMHO.

  5. I’m surprised that no one is taking issue with the idea of equal numbers of voters as a basis for equalised sizes. We’re a representative democracy, and its the job of our MPs to represent everyone in their constituencies, voters and non-voters… In fact you could argue that there is an additional onus to represent those who don’t have a vote (specifically the under 18s)

  6. @ Tony Dean

    “I have wondered all through this process why the focus has been on equalization.”

    Here’s why. Because if you have unequal districts, then individual votes no longer count the same way. If you don’t have an equality between voters and some votes count more than others, you no longer have democratic self-government.

    As for having districts drawn based upon turnout at a prior election, that’s a terrible idea. First of all, it’s impractical because you would require frequent redistricting based on an election. You would also artifically increase and decrease the power of individual voters based upon whether others in their constituencies decided to vote. Moreover, while there is criticism that redistricting based on voter registration skews districts in favor of the wealthy, a system like this would almost certainly skew districts in favor of the wealthy. If you look at the constituencies (sorry I keep saying districts) that have the consistently highest turnout, they are the wealthiest. If you look at the constituencies that have the consistently lowest turnout, they are often the poorest.

    Finally, such a system would actually make it so that the electorate in an election is reflective of the previous election, not the current one, diminishing the potential accuracy of the results to match the wishes of the voters.

  7. @Tony Dean
    It’s unfair as a single election sometimes hands down an exceptional result. Like 1997, or even 2010 (both exceptional in terms of number of lost seats by the governing party). If turnout, or “electors” are to be used, then it would be fairer to.base this on a coefficient of the last 3 GE’s.

  8. @ Robin and Socialliberal

    I accept your criticisms of my badly thought out idea.
    However, how, in a constituency (rather than national vote tally) system do you make people’s votes cast of equal value when differential turnout in different constituencies favours one party whose supporters are not as good about turning out. Even with dead equal electorates, we could still end up with the party that wins the popular vote coming second – most likey the Conservatives. This is one of the reasons I have before advocated a very tiny AMS top-up of 10% of parliament to iron-out differential turnout results under the 90% FPTP.

  9. @ The Sheep

    “I’m surprised that no one is taking issue with the idea of equal numbers of voters as a basis for equalised sizes. We’re a representative democracy, and its the job of our MPs to represent everyone in their constituencies, voters and non-voters… In fact you could argue that there is an additional onus to represent those who don’t have a vote (specifically the under 18s)”

    Well I have a problem with it. But I don’t really have any say in the matter. And I don’t want to sound like a loudmouth, illmannered, imperialist, Yankee. Might make Brits more supportive of this kind of system.

    Notwithstanding all that, I completely agree with your point. And F.Y.I., U.S. legislators are constitutionally prohibited from drawing districts in this way (of course this peice of paper also prohibits having a queen or a king as well as titled nobility and has a number of other funny provisions that Brits don’t follow).

  10. @TD

    Why is turnout an issue? If people wish to make their vote have zero value, then that is their choice. It doesn’t make anyone else’s vote more valuable.

  11. @Tony Dean
    Well, i’m an STV supporter and if we had that system your problem would not arise.

    My comments apply to non proportional systems.

  12. @ Tony Dean

    The act of voting is an act of individual expression. Your expression as to who you want to see in power. It’s rare that an election is decided by one vote. But that’s kinda irrelevant, it’s your expression as to who you want to see in office.

    Under the principle of one man, one vote, everyone’s vote is an equal one with the same amount of power. Turnout is irrelevant. Because voters in an FPTP system are voting to elect one MP for one single constituency, equal constituencies ensure that every voter’s potential vote is equal.

  13. SoCalLiberal

    To be honest I was a bit surprised at the lack of restiveness from MPs over the numbers reduction too. Labour opposed anyway of course and I presume the Lib Dems kept quiet as it was a quid pro quo for AV (also it was sort-of in their manifesto). I presume most Conservatives assumed that the measure was aimed at Labour and wouldn’t affect them.

    Of course the majority may well be hit by some sort of boundary changes and hence the possible need for reselection. But I think Anthony said that the Tory whips were using this as a way of controlling potential rebels, by implying that anyone objecting might not get Conservative Central Office backing for their reselection.

    You’ve also got to remember that nearly half of all Conservative MPs are what you would call ‘freshmen’ and most of them are eager to become ministers. They wouldn’t want to antagonise the whips too early.

    Given that Scalia is such an originalist, you would have thought he wouldn’t have minded some Eighteenth Century spelling.

  14. @all,

    I note the discussion about whether the new constituencies constitute gerrymandering or not. A few weeks ago, Anthony reposted a link to a video from University College London which discussed the new constituencies. I repost that link here: h ttp://vimeo.com/13757407

    Regards, Martyn

  15. Labour back up to 8 point lead at the same time approval rating shoots up 10 points!!!!! Sounds like a rogue to me.

  16. Chris – whoever updated the widgetty thing must have made a boo-boo.

    Goverment approval is the same as yesterday, minus 23 yesterday, minus 23 today.

  17. Thanks Anthony – we’ve all done those boo-boo’s

  18. Roger Mexico / SoCal Liberal

    “Given that Scalia is such an originalist, you would have thought he wouldn’t have minded some Eighteenth Century spelling.”

    Such erudition in a conversation between two of my favourite posters is why I keep coming back here!

  19. @Roger Mexico

    ‘The EC cannot be asked to anticipate population movement’

    I agree that that is a choice which by definition is immediately wrong as constancy would negate any need for boundary changes. All you can do is take a snapshot and act accordingly. Asking the EC to guess those variations is a bridge too far IMHO for , frankly, marginal gains. The whole process took just over 12 months in 1954 in the first periodic review; the subsequent reviews have taken 4-8 years making them obsolete at birth.

    I agree that the rigidity enforced on the new system is problematic and unnecessary. I would prefer a system where there was a lower and upper trigger point at which a constituency was automatically reviewed. eg the electoral roll falls below 65k requires a review. It would also encourage councils/parties to boost the registration process. Breaching the upper limit, say 85k, could be reviewed and the local views taken into account. If the IoW wants one MP to represent all 115k then that’s democracy.

  20. @AW,

    Including bits of SE Cornwall in a cross border Plymouth seat would be one way of doing it. The other would be to create a “Tamar Valley” seat covering bits of SE Cornwall, bits of N Cornwall and bits of Devon West & Torridge. As Cameron put it, the Tamar isn’t the Amazon. There are plenty of places that are cheek by jowl with one another and would fit naturally. Bude/Holsworthy in the north. Gunnislake/Tavistock in the middle. Difference is, as always, exaggerated.

  21. @ Roger Mexico

    “To be honest I was a bit surprised at the lack of restiveness from MPs over the numbers reduction too. Labour opposed anyway of course and I presume the Lib Dems kept quiet as it was a quid pro quo for AV (also it was sort-of in their manifesto). I presume most Conservatives assumed that the measure was aimed at Labour and wouldn’t affect them.

    Of course the majority may well be hit by some sort of boundary changes and hence the possible need for reselection. But I think Anthony said that the Tory whips were using this as a way of controlling potential rebels, by implying that anyone objecting might not get Conservative Central Office backing for their reselection.

    You’ve also got to remember that nearly half of all Conservative MPs are what you would call ‘freshmen’ and most of them are eager to become ministers. They wouldn’t want to antagonise the whips too early.

    Given that Scalia is such an originalist, you would have thought he wouldn’t have minded some Eighteenth Century spelling.”

    I think that by reducing the numbers of MPs, the Tories see a way to dramatically redraw constituencies and give themselves a majority. I think political ploys like that can be dangerous when they backfire.

    Scalia is usually only an originalist when it benefits him.

  22. @ Old Nat

    “Such erudition in a conversation between two of my favourite posters is why I keep coming back here!”

    Thanks.

  23. THESHEEP
    “I’m surprised that no one is taking issue with the idea of equal numbers of voters as a basis for equalised sizes. We’re a representative democracy, and its the job of our MPs to represent everyone in their constituencies, voters and non-voters… In fact you could argue that there is an additional onus to represent those who don’t have a vote (specifically the under 18s).”

    Discussions on UKPR on this issue have ebbed and flowed over the past eight or so months, with a few like myself arguing the same point you have made.

    I’d like to see this genuinely democratic principle introduced in the UK.

  24. “I agree that the rigidity enforced on the new system is problematic and unnecessary. I would prefer a system where there was a lower and upper trigger point at which a constituency was automatically reviewed. ”

    That’s exactly how the German boundary commission works. Seats must be within 15% of the average when drawn and when any seat deviates by more than 25%, a review is triggered. The 5% threshold and 5 year reviews which the commission have proposed are way too rigid. Better would be to have a rule that constituency boundaries in a particular area must be reviewed every 15 years or whenever any constituency in the area deviates by more than 25% from the overall average, whichever is earliest. That would be far more workable, would prevent persistent and unnecessary tinkering with seats within 10% of the quota, would produce more natural constituencies than the cross county horrors we’re likely to see in the next review and most important of all, would allow voters to develop some kind of identification with their constituency and local MP, something which the commission’s constant shunting of them around will hinder.

  25. Interesting and unexpected comment about Powys (Wales), implying that there is a possibility that it could be mixed in with English constituencies.

    The political consequences of this would be huge – Powys is not a nationalist area by any means, but I’m certain there would be a major outcry across all the political parties in Wales if ever the territorial integrity of Wales was ever compromised in this manner.

    A far more likely scenario (although very unpalatable) would be merging Brecon & Radnor with Montogomeryshire, to create a new seat of “Powys”, co-terminous with the county boundaries.

  26. Carwyn – no, that’s one thing that definitely can’t happen. The new legislation specifically bans seats from crossing the national boundaries between England, Wales, Scotland and NI.

    (Besides, in practice it couldn’t anyway, as once the allocation of seats for each country is decided the four Boundary Commissions carry out entirely seperate reviews)

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