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. Barney

    I thnk that what people will want to know is whether you are New Labour, Old Labour, Socialist Labour and preferably which of the the several variants of each.

  2. I don’t think people get irritated about things they have zero interest in. Apart from isolated places like East Cornwall, the process of boundary change might as well be taking place in Honolulu for all most of the public care.

    That’s why complex issues get boiled down to simple (and often misleading) headlines. The public don’t care how the NHS is organised. They do care about 50,000 job cuts.

    As for Wales, the whole point of the the new boundary rules is to reduce the “unfairness” of the previous system. Massive over-representation for Wales was unfair, and it’s natural that they are hard hit. It may generate a few simple, negative headlines in Wales, but even there I don’t think people will be that bothered.

  3. Anthony,

    Regarding the new electoral quotas, don’t you need to subtract the electorate of the three excluded areas from the UK total first. This would give a quota of 76,641 with a minimum of 72,809 and a maximum of 80,473.

  4. On Council “non-jobs” recently discussed, the BBC has this:

  5. That statistics link has so much information I’m not sure where to start!

    Does anyone think that southern England seats are likely to see much change or are the majority of seats here already at the right size? I’m particularly interested in any possible changes to London seats.

  6. KevinL – I thought I had, but I may well have got my sums wrong!

  7. @ Neil A
    “Massive over-representation for Wales was unfair, and it’s natural that they are hard hit.”

    Forgive me if I am wrong, but I thought historically, Wales was deliberately over-represented (as Scotland was before it had a Parliament with tax raising powers, and thus had a seat cut from 71 to 59), and NI used to be deliberately under-represented when it had 12 seats because it used to have Home Rule by Stormont before the troubles began in the 60s. After this was suspended and it had direct rule from Westminster it was increased to 18 on a parity qualification with English constituencies.
    To sum up therefore, representation of the different kingdoms, princedoms and provinces of the UK have been adjusted according to the extent of self-government. Given that Wales does not have the same degree of self-government as does Scotland and NI, does not reducing Wales’s enhanced represenatation before the result of the tax-raising powers referendum is known, pre-empt the result of that referendum – and thus the current Act break a longstanding constitutional convention?

  8. KevinL – You are correct, I hadn’t, so I make the actual figures =

    England, Scotland and Wales are 72810 to 80473.
    Northern Ireland are 70583 to 80473.

    (My lower boundary for ES&W is one different from yours because I’m assuming a seat with an electorate of 72809 wouldn’t technically be allowed because it was a tiny, weeny fraction below the 5%. I guess we’ll see soon enough what the boundary commission actually quote.)

  9. @Tony,

    Just because something is deliberate doesn’t mean it’s fair.

    Equally, just because something is unfair doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

    I was just pointing out that the stated purpose of the reforms was to bring about a more fair (by which in this context I mean equal – a individual voter’s share of the pie being as close as possible to an other voter’s share) distribution across the UK. On that basis it was inevitable that Wales would be one of the “big losers”.

  10. @ Neil

    Understood! But the principle behind this Act is an evolutionary departure from hitherto constitutional convention, despite whether it is considered fair or unfair, that was my point.

  11. Conveniently enough the allocations to the English regions when divided by the quota do sum up to 500 neatly.

    This gives:

    South East 81 plus 2 for the Isle of Wight, so 83 (down 1)
    South West 53 (down 2)
    London 69 (down 4)
    Eastern 56 (down 2)
    East Midlands 44 (down 2)
    West Midlands 54 (down 5)
    Yorkshire and the Humber 50 (down 4)
    North East 26 (down 3)
    North West 69 (down 6)

  12. Thanks AW for details of how England will likely split

  13. @ Neil
    A barrister at work has just told me a small but interesting fact. The 1536 Wales “Act of Union” is actually a series of Acts in none of which is there a minimum stipulation as to the number of Welsh MPs. The 1707 Act of Union with Scotland stipulates a minimum of 40MPs. The current Act will not breach that. However, many MPs were calling for a 500 strong chamber, and that would have caused difficulties with the Scots. I wonder if that is why Cameron went for a more modest reduction?

  14. This is really exciting! I hope I have time to look at it today. Once I’ve sorted through all the data on the website, I am going to push it through my spreadsheet that calculates the likely changes in constituencies & the possible political impact of the changes.

  15. Thanks Anthony for the regional breakdown – fascinating stuff!
    With regard to the South East Region, as the IoW has effectively gained a seat, does this mean the South Eastern English mainland will lose 2 seats?

  16. Carmarthen/Pemrokeshire.. combined = c.114k electors/ 2 blue MPs. 1 to go?

  17. Tony – yep, that’s correct for the South East.

    Starting to look region by region

    In the Eastern region:

    Essex fits into the quota neatly for 17 seats (down 1)
    Suffolk fits into the quota for 7 seats (no change)

    Hertfordshire cannot be split into seats within quota so will need to be paired, almost certainly with Bedfordshire in a similar position. Between them they would have 16 seats (down 1)

    Norfolk also requires pairing. Cambridgeshire does not require pairing in theory – but that would require 7 seats all 4.9% above quota, so in practice would be impossible. Hence it is likely they will be paired and recieve 16 seats (no change)

  18. Anthony,
    Sorry to be picky again, but those English region numbers when rounded sum to 502 + 2.

    North East 25.72 26
    North West 68.54 69
    Yorkshire and The Humber 50.22 50
    East Midlands 43.85 44
    West Midlands 53.70 54
    East of England 55.85 56
    London 68.72 69
    South East 80.80 81
    South West 52.75 53

    Total 500.16 502

    I suspect the commission will have to use Sainte-Lague to allocate the regions.

  19. London down 4 seats, eh? I wonder which ones will be up for the chop? Any ideas? One of the Lewisham seats perhaps?

  20. Kevin – Oh dammit. I was summing the numbers before rounding them.

    That’s a pain. I expect you are right on them using Sante Lague, but we won’t know until they say. What a pain.

  21. By my reckoning [which should not count for that much], 76 MPs in England hold seats where the electorate size is more than 10% below the minimum…

    2 in Notts, 2 in Wirral 2 in Bradford, 2 in Walsall, 2 in Dudley, 3 in Wolverhampton, 3 in Liverpool, 2 in Northhampton, 2 in Luton, 2 in Leeds, 2 in Newcastle…

    Thus, my surmising is that each of these places could be in line to lose 1 MP especially Liverpool and Wolverhampton

  22. @ Kevin L

    “I suspect the commission will have to use Sainte-Lague to allocate the regions.”

    If they use D’Hondt it might avoid having to chop London by 4. On my reckoning it would then be 3 instead!

  23. @ Kevin L

    Actually re-D’Hondt and London, no it won’t, it is still a chop of 4 – I was using Anthony’s figures which had 2 too many seats overall for England.

  24. Right! Dishing out 500 seats to the English regions by Sante-Lague gives me one less seat for London and one less seat for the North West – so

    South East 81 plus 2 for the Isle of Wight, so 83 (down 1)
    South West 53 (down 2)
    London 68 (down 5)
    Eastern 56 (down 2)
    East Midlands 44 (down 2)
    West Midlands 54 (down 5)
    Yorkshire and the Humber 50 (down 4)
    North East 26 (down 3)
    North West 68 (down 7)

    Given the ropey state of my maths today, treat these as provisional until Kevin corrects them!

  25. “By my reckoning [which should not count for that much], 76 MPs in England hold seats where the electorate size is more than 10% below the minimum…
    2 in Notts, 2 in Wirral 2 in Bradford, 2 in Walsall, 2 in Dudley, 3 in Wolverhampton, 3 in Liverpool, 2 in Northhampton, 2 in Luton, 2 in Leeds, 2 in Newcastle…
    Thus, my surmising is that each of these places could be in line to lose 1 MP especially Liverpool and Wolverhampton”

    Right. So, I guess Walsall, Dudley and Luton will all be represented by a single MP each. I think the latter would be a fairly easy Labour hold but I’m not sure about the other two.

  26. @ KevinL

    You used to work for the Boundary Commission, didn’t you? ;-)

  27. @akmd

    “I guess Walsall will be represented by a single MP”

    The West Midlands north of Birmingham need to lose 2 of their 13 seats. Dudley N and S are the smallest two so I’d be tempted to get rid of one of them rather than one from Walsall. That said, Aldridge-Brownhills is the smallest one, so giving some to Wolverhampton and some to Walsall would bring their numbers up.

  28. @AmberStar

    No, but I have taken a close interest in their work since the 1983 review.

  29. The East Midlands should go from 46 to 44 seats.

    Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire all fit into the quota quite neatly and Nottinghamshire reasonably well. Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire would both lose a seat, Lincolnshire would retain 7.

    Northamptonshire however is too small for 7 seats that are within quota, so it would need to be paired with another county. If the Boundary Commission want to avoid crossing regional boundaries this would need to be Leicestershire (well, or Rutland, but at present I’m shoving that in with Leicestershire as we don’t have seperate figures for it).

    Together this would give the two counties 16 seats within quota, but that would give the East Midlands only 43 seats, rather than the 44 Sante-Lague would seem to entitle them to, so they might be given 17 anyway (which, again, could be within quota). It remains to be seen how the Commission handle this.

  30. By my reckoning…. [comes laced with caveats not least my allergic reaction to a calculator]

    45/50 MPs are to go in Celtic areas, North of M25 or London city.

    Basic conclusion Tory Heartlands escape the chop.

    That is not to say blues won’t lose Celtic seats [think Carmathen/Pembrokeshire] but that overwhelmingingly this is redsitrbutive victory for the home counties…

    That English Soccer song the Comediasn sing “football’s coming home” I can hear Tory heartlands singing ” Westminster’s coming home” as I type..

    In NI an MP that takes the labour whip is very high up the list to go [south Bel]

    of the 7 in Scot I reckon 2 LD 1 SNP and 4 LAb

    of the 10 in Wales I reckon 1 blue 3 Lib/Plaid 6 Lab

    of the Eng seats.. I reckon

    Liverpool/Wirral to lose at least 2 MPs
    Newcastle/Sedgfield/South Shields to potentially to lose 2
    Wolverhampton to lose at least 1

    I expect all of these to hurt Labour -5MPs..

    The Bradord, Leeds, Sheffield cull will hurt reds most likely.. har dot say how many will go there but each of those areas have at least 2 seats 15% or more below the national average electorate..

    Dudley, Walsall, Northampton Luton may also come under the firing line for similar reasons as will Nottingham…

    My crude mathematics tells me reds will lose up to 25MPs… Yellows c.6 c.6 for the Celts the rest are a toss up but I expect blue to lose 8ish heading towards 10…

    On these figures blues would have been very very close to a majority at the last Ge although I don’t think they would have quite made it…

  31. North East looks very difficult to predict any pairings or pattern. Northumberland needs pairing, County Durham needs pairing.

    In theory they could do it by pairing up the Tyne & Wear boroughs and the rest, but that wouldn’t necessarily be a sensible thing to do and there are plenty of alternatives.

  32. @TGB

    “Basic conclusion Tory Heartlands escape the chop.”

    Do you think that perhaps the Tories did this calculation beforehand and picked the number of seats to give them the maximum benefit?

  33. London Boroughs (apologies for formatting)

    Borough(s) (Current Seats) Electorate Quotas (@76,641)

    Barking and Dagenham-Havering (4) 295,760 3.86
    Barnet (3) 222,379 2.90
    Bexley-Greenwich (5) 329,064 4.29
    Brent-Camden (4) 319,828 4.17
    Bromley-Lewisham (6) 402,696 5.25
    Croydon (3) 243,641 3.18
    Ealing (3) 208,701 2.72
    Enfield (3) 196,049 2.56
    Hackney (2) 148,558 1.94
    Hammersmith-Kensington (3) 195,750 2.55
    Haringey (2) 150,040 1.96
    Harrow-Hillingdon (5) 355,921 4.64
    Hounslow (2) 163,769 2.14
    Islington (2) 136,390 1.78
    Lambeth-Southwark (5) 372,501 4.86
    Merton (2) 133,010 1.74
    Newham (2) 177,931 2.32
    Redbridge-Waltham Forest (5) 351,376 4.58
    Richmond-Kingston upon Thames (3) 236,461 3.09
    Sutton (2) 133,615 1.74
    Tower Hamlets (2) 154,500 2.02
    Wandsworth (3) 207,888 2.71
    Westminster-City of London (2) 131,076 1.71

  34. Robin,

    Not my position to say… from what I see of DC, and from reading his School Maths report, I think he simply rounded down.

  35. Is it possible that Labour could benefit from the constituency changes, if Labour attracted more votes in areas which are more denseley populated ?

    Labour has tended to do better in more populated areas e.g London, Birmingham, Manchester.

    I am thinking that if there were more seats in or around these denseley populated areas, that actually Labour might benefit more than the other two main parties.

  36. @ Anthony W

    John Fletcher – October 2013 is the target date.

    Thats very interesting. So assuming a NO vote to AV Cameron will have to hold the coaliion together for another 2 and a half years.

    How do the boundary changes and MP reductions affect the LD’s? Are they likely to be proportionally better off or worse off?

  37. Robin – no. The changes are due to the equalisation of electorate – if the number had been 650 then the partisan effect would still have been much the same (you’d just have had regions in the South gaining and regions in the North losing).

    Obviously at the margins there will be differences between the outcomes at 610 seats, 600 seats, 590 seats, etc, and with various counties or seats falling just above or below margins it will have a partisan effect. However, this depends so much on the unpredictable decisions of the boundary commissions that it would have been impossible to predict with any certainty in advance and absolutely impossible to model without the figures we’ve only got today.

    RHuckle – short answer is no. There will be less seats in the densely populated areas as (with the exception of areas undergoing massive redevelopment and another few oddities) their population is falling rather than rising.

    John Fletcher – Lib Dems are harder to predict because their heartlands don’t correspond so closely to areas of growing and shrinking population. The expectation is however that they will lose out in some of their seats where they are effectively a little yellow island in a sea of blue or red.

  38. The North West currently has 75 seats. It will have 68 if distributed by Sante-Lague, or perhaps 69 if not and the boundary commission deducts seats elsewhere to get to 500 for England.

    All the counties fit into quota – 26 seats for Greater manchester (minus 1), 5 for Cumbria (minus 1), 13 for Merseyside (minus 2), 15 for Lancashire (minus 1), 10 for Cheshire (minus 1). However, this has two problems – one, this would require Lancashire seats to be over 3% under quota on average, so would be tricky for the Boundary Commission and, two, it would add up to 69.

    If there was a cross boundary seat between Greater Manchester and Lancashire it would bring Lancashire seats much closer to quota and mean the two counties had 40 seats between them, instead of 41 treated seperately. This would give the North West 68 overall, as suggested by Sante-Lague.

    Note that there is no need for a cross-Mersey seat. The Wirral could have 3 seats within quota, the rest of Merseyside 10 seats within quota.

  39. Looking at these figures posted by KevinL, I reckon these London boroughs will be the most likely to lose seats:

    Bexley-Greenwich (5) 329,064 4.29
    Bromley-Lewisham (6) 402,696 5.25
    Enfield (3) 196,049 2.56
    Hammersmith-Kensington (3) 195,750 2.55
    Redbridge-Waltham Forest (5) 351,376 4.58

  40. Ming Campbell looks like he might have a fight on his hands to keep his seat…. I suspect Danny Alexander is almost sure to go also…

  41. Ming Campbell looks like he might have a fight on his hands to keep his seat…. I suspect Danny Alexander is almost sure to go also…

    I suspect Ming would retire but perhaps the Orange bookers would like to remove Kennedy.

  42. Which party will lose the 2 seats in the SE England mainland – and where do folk think the losses will fall?

  43. South East is very straight forward. Putting aside the Isle of Wight, it should have 81 seats, down from 83 at the moment.

    The counties that lose seats are Kent and Hampshire, one each. All other counties retain their present number. No county *needs* pairing, but it may be easier for the boundary commission if East Sussex is paired with West Sussex (or possibly if the pairing of Brighting and Hove is switched over, we don’t have figures yet).

    Oxfordshire will need seats about 3.5% over quota which may be tricky without splitting wards.

  44. Tony – the Kent seat will, by definition, be a Conservative one.

    Hampshire is trickier to predict, there are many different possibilities there. Remember it is not just the case of one seat disappearing, there are all the knock on effects that can, in turn, change the political balance of other seats.

    Romsey, for example, looks very vulnerable – it’s undersized and the New Forest seats will need to expand into it to come up to size. However, if that was the seat that was dismembered it doesn’t follow that the Lib Dems would lose out – it would have a knock of effect of more Con/LD bits getting added to the north of Southampton, which could mean Labour losing a seat.

    In most cases it is impossible to predict with any certainty the exact results.

  45. My first attempt to act as boundary commission had one too many seats – that was pretty easy to do, just pairing (or in a couple of cases trio-ing) appropriate next-door neighbours. To lose the extra seat makes it a lot harder, especially if splits across the Thames are avoided (which I think they must be).

    It might be easier with a breakdown on individual boroughs, but here is what I ended with:


    Barnet (3) 222,379 2.90 (3)
    Hackney (2) 148,558 1.94 (2)
    Tower Hamlets (2) 154,500 2.02 (2)
    Haringey (2) 150,040 1.96 (2)
    Richmond-Kingston upon Thames (3) 236,461 3.09 (3)

    Paired but unaffected overall:

    Islington (2) 136,390 1.78
    Brent-Camden (4) 319,828 4.17 (6)

    Ealing (3) 208,701 2.72
    Hounslow (2) 163,769 2.14 (5)

    Barking and Dagenham-Havering (4) 295,760 3.86 (6)
    Newham (2) 177,931 2.32

    Here are the losses:

    Enfield (3) 196,049 2.56
    Redbridge-Waltham Forest (5) 351,376 4.58 (7 total – lose 1)

    Hammersmith-Kensington (3) 195,750 2.55
    Harrow-Hillingdon (5) 355,921 4.64
    Westminster-City of London (2) 131,076 1.71 (9 total, lose 1)

    Lambeth-Southwark (5) 372,501 4.86
    Wandsworth (3) 207,888 2.71
    Merton (2) 133,010 1.74 (9 total – lose 1)

    Sutton (2) 133,615 1.74
    Croydon (3) 243,641 3.18
    Bromley-Lewisham (6) 402,696 5.25
    Bexley-Greenwich (5) 329,064 4.29 (14 total – lose 2)

    Let me emphasise, I was completely party-blind when doing this. I started by identifying boroughs that were already OK, and tried to leave them alone. The SE corner was a real problem to deal with

    How something like this translates into seat losses is anybody’s guess, the devil will be in the detail.

  46. Remind me, somebody, why the reduction to 600 seats?

    Was it to save money?

  47. Very interesting, Robin. It seems that the seat losses in London will be mostly south of the river rather the northern side. Question is which seats are the most likely to go and which of the three parties would be most affected?

    AW, regarding Oxfordshire, are Oxford East and Oxford West likely to remain as they are?

  48. @NickP

    Gerrymandering IMHO. Without a change in the number of MPs there would not have been the need for a wholesale redrawing of constituency boundaries. The change in the boundary criteria would only have had a marginal effect, and the Tories wouldn’t have been able to rely on any significant benefit.

  49. Robin

    But what was the stated reason? I hardly think DC was going to admit to any such cheating.

  50. These are the London seats who electorate size is 15% or more below the national average.. my guess is they’ll start here…

    Bexleyheath & Crayford London 65,015
    Bromley & Chislehurst London 65,427
    Chingford & Woodford Green London 64,831
    Edmonton London 63,904
    Eltham London 62,590
    Enfield Southgate London 64,139
    Greenwich & Woolwich London 65,489
    Leyton & Wanstead London 63,541
    Old Bexley & Sidcup London 65,699
    Putney London 63,371
    Walthamstow London 64,625
    Wimbledon London 65,723

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