Tonight’s YouGov/Sun poll has voting intentions of CON 36%, LAB 44%, LDEM 11%. Back up to an eight point lead after several polls in a row with a lead of 6 points or less (though this doesn’t tell us much – if the average lead had reduced to 6 points, you’d still get an 8 pointer now and again). Note also that this is the second YouGov poll this week to show the Lib Dems up to 11.

50 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 36%, LAB 44%, LDEM 11%”

  1. The Lib Dems seem to be having a slow but steady recovery in YouGov polls. The week before Christmas averaged 8.5 and the last week averaged 10. Is it that the NHS and Forrests have put the heat on the Tories or that people are getting used to the facts of coalition?

  2. Average labour lead of 6.7% so far this week. The Tories on 36% Labour on 43% and the LibDems on 10% I would say.

  3. disapproval is -23, widget shows error, at -13 !

  4. less bad news, bit of positive coverage (AV) or, as you say, a slow increase back to 15%

  5. @Colin Green
    If the LDs can get up to 15% within by the AV referendum, a 20%+ at the next election is still possible.

    I suspect though for this to happen they will need to find another leader by then.

  6. Two 11%, one 9% for the yellows, not really enough info to say we have a trend developing.

  7. @Anthony Wells, @Valenciano, @KevinL, @akmd, @Tony Dean, @TGB, @robin, etc

    Sorry to carry this across from the previous thread, but…

    You’re calculating new constituencies on the assumption that they won’t cross the English region boundaries. But the Government Offices are going to be/have been abolished, so the Government Office Regions in England will presumably fall into abeyance, in the same way that the 90’s Statistical Regions did. So is there any reason why you’re assuming they won’t cross GOR boundaries? I can think of good reasons why they shouldn’t cross (consistency, line up with European Parliament constituencies), but are there any legal reasons?

    Regards, Martyn

  8. And the Libs back to 11%…

    It was obvious the 9% yesterday was at the low end now of what we’d expect for the Libs….

    ICM and YG both record different patterns for the yellow vote but it is little chance indeed that the gap would be that big..

    I think a YG 12 for yellow would be on the horizon now that the tide has turned…

    Those 7%s seem so far away now.

  9. @ Colin Green

    Sorry if it disappoints you but isn’t this a classic “Dead Cat Bounce”? There is really no measurable national Libdem recovery just minor variations in the trajectory along the trough-bottom. There are clearly significant regional variations (as the weekly council by elections suggest) where Libdems are receiving derisory numbers of votes in many urban/North or Midlands/blue collar areas, but maintaining some semblance of electability in wealthier Southern areas where they can retain or attract Conservative minded floaters. What this will mean for the Libdems in the end we wait to see. Without AV it could mean a reduction to the numbers of MPs they had in the 60s and 70s ie very few.

  10. Martyn –

    Yep – rule 5(2) of the rules for redistributing seats says the Commission may take account of the European election regions.

    Obviously it only says *may*, not *must*, but the rules for public hearings strongly imply that the Boundary Commission for England should make recommendations on a regional basis (it compels them to have between 2 and 5 hearings in each English region, and between them for the hearings in each region to cover proposals for the whole region).

    I think the boundary commission for England has also indicated that it is minded to do things this way, though we won’t know for sure until March.

  11. @ Colin Green

    “The Lib Dems seem to be having a slow but steady recovery in YouGov polls.”

    I agree. We hadn’t seen 11% from YG since January. Now we’ve had two 11s in 3 days. Things slowly moving in the right direction for the yellows, in my view.

    Labour will be pleased with another 8 point lead.

  12. @Rob Hepworth

    “Without AV it could mean a reduction to the numbers of MPs they had in the 60s and 70s ie very few.”

    It’s a bit early to be speculating on the outcome of the 2015 General Election. However, in 1997 Paddy Ashdown won 46 seats with 17% vote-share. That’s 1% below the latest ICM figure for yellow.

  13. Once again, my expert opinion has been proven right – Sunday’s 4-point lead WAS an outliner.

    Basically, there is nothing happening that is likely to make a significant net change to the current poll configuration of a Labour lead in the mid-to-high single digits.

  14. Others down to 9 – they’ll be disappointed!

  15. @Anthony Wells

    Thank you for the rapid response. The reason why I asked was because that UCL video mentioned they may have difficulty in fitting them in, so I assumed they’d cross. Given what you said above, plus the EP constituencies, plus absolutely zero appetite for redrawing region boundaries, I’ll assume they’ll stay uncrossed for now.

    Regards, Martyn

  16. Given the dramatic changes in the middle east and poor press coverage of the Foreign Office response to British Nationals in Libya are you planning to poll on this?

  17. “The Lib Dems seem to be having a slow but steady recovery in YouGov polls. The week before Christmas averaged 8.5 and the last week averaged 10. Is it that the NHS and Forrests have put the heat on the Tories or that people are getting used to the facts of coalition?”

    The facts of coalition? And what might they be?!

    I expect Lib Dems reaching the mighty heights of 11% is dead cat bounce …or should I say dead parrot bounce! My prediction is that the Lib Dems will not recover significantly and they will ultimately split. We’ll see.

    Seriously, this is good news for Labour. Back at around 43% on average. Very solid polling 40+% for months now even in a situation when Ed M has yet to really impress.

    The jury is still out on whether the British people can really take the cuts. It is not yet clear how bad things are going to get. We just can’t tell. That said, I think the polls show how worried and negative people are feeling about the future.

    This polling also shows that Labour is far more popular in reality than you could possibly believe on any neutral reading of the large majority of newpapers and the blogosphere.

  18. Clearly there has been a minor Lib Dem recovery, to perhaps around 1.5% above their nadir in Dec and Jan, although that’s hardly saying much.

    IMO this is down to the following causes.

    Firstly, Clegg is now less of the centre of unpopular attention in the absence of another issue such as tuition fees and more recently VAT where an unpopular coalition policy goes hand in hand with a broken Lib Dem pledge.

    Secondly, for the first time to date Clegg has taken a stance against Cameron (on AV) and in doing so has said something which some of those left leaning former Lib Dem defectors will agree with.

    Meanwhile given that the dominance of foreign issues in the news seems to have temporarily taken the heat off the Government’s domestic woes, it bodes well for the Labour lead that it’s still holding up at something around the 6% mark, pending the resumption of normal service.

  19. Under STV transfers are everything.

    It is known as “transferability”

    Now it has many problems, not least because voters seem reluctant to work their way down the ballot paper..

    I spoke a couple of days ago how Sinn Féin manage a higher % of transferability than any other northern Irish party…

    Interestingly, south of the border, they struggle to get the same transferability between even their OWN candidates…

    Take Cavan-Monaghan….. the race is on for Sinn Féin to nad a second seat in the constit, and they might well do it… but the transferability between one SF candidate to another is only 80%.

    of course voters are fully entitled not to use their vote, or indeed to transfer to someone else.. but I post to to illustrate that party to party transfers are not a given..

  20. @IanAnthonyJames
    You’ve got to remember that 8/11 of the daily papers are Tory.

  21. @IanAnthonyJames

    “dead parrot bounce”

    It was Mrs Thatcher who pronounced the Lib Dems to be a dead parrot in the midst of the post-merger doldrums (1989?)

    Twenty years later the party has won more than 50 MPs at three successive general elections and is in Government for the first time in 65 years. Love it or loathe it, the parrot appears to be alive and kicking.

    I predict that the current round of ‘dead parrot’ predictions will prove about as accurate as Mrs T’s was.

  22. Those “foreign issues” will cause trouble in due course for whoever is in charge.

    No, I don’t think this is the start of a slow but steady LD revival. Nick Clegg has much to answer for and cannot be in charge next time if they don’t to be completely hammered. Without him they might just escape with a severe beating. Then again, he did get them into office.

    Again the march towards a stonking great labour lead is stalled. it may well come, but now seems too soon.

  23. Martyn – the current figures look as though Northamptonshire will be a bit of pain without crossing regional boundaries… but I’m sure it’s possible. My guess is that the Boundary Commission will not cross them.

  24. @Colin Green

    “Is it that the NHS and Forests have put the heat on the Tories or that people are getting used to the facts of coalition?”

    Another 8 point lead and the Conservative back to 36%.

    I’d say the pattern of the last 6 weeks has a lot to do with the tactical decision to focus attention on the government….which is overwhelmingly Conservative in terms of the key SoS and of course the Prime Minister. Arguably the policies are overwhelmingly Conservative as well but I digress.

    So not too surprising that the increased focus on the Conservative brand- negatively- is costing them support and that both the Lib Dems and Labour have benefited over the last two months (Labour more so than the Lib Dems).

    I am sure in the week before Christmas when the decision was taken, EdM’s inner circle would have taken a 1.5% increase in the underlying Lib Dem YG number for a corresponding 3% decrease in the underlying Conservative number over the same period. ‘Taken’? They’d have bitten your hand off.

    Furthermore- that decision to disavow the panicking premature advice of some Labourites that ‘we must get our policies sorted out NOW’?

    We’ll that’s panned out pretty brightly as well hasn’t it?


  25. February’s YG average:
    Con 36.2 (-2.2 on January’s)
    Lab 43.3(+1.0)
    Lib 9.7 (+0.9)
    Oth 10.7 (+0.3)

    Given the Libs had been losing about 1% each monthly average since June, this is the first month they’ve reversed the trend – gaining 1% point. So there’s definitely been an improvement in Lib Dems’ fortunes, but I regard any talk of marching on to 15% as very premature.

  26. “If the LDs can get up to 15% within by the AV referendum, a 20%+ at the next election is still possible.”

    Well, they’ll have to replace the student vote, because they’re almost certainly not getting that back.

  27. Is there a Labour tweet campaign going on re: UK intervention in Libya? Politics Home ticker has Denis McShane and Harriet Harman both “having a pop”. Are they really suggesting we send troops into Libya??

  28. Doesn’t the former head the Labour friends of Israel group? Maybe he wants to setup a nice, Israel-friendly, Libya? :roll:

  29. @Chelsea Tractor – despite the fact that the NUS say the policy is ‘progressive’ and far better than the old one. Students of all people have the finest brains.

  30. @Hunty

    The NUS leader has unexpectedly stood down instead of seeking an other term. Perhaps because with statements like that he knows he has no chance of winning an election?

  31. Porter has already said he was not going to stand for re-election last weekend: if he has now also stood down fully then it is because he is sick of the verbal and physical intimidation deployed by the ( ‘we like human beings honestly we do’ ) loon jew-hating trots (mostly but not all SWIZZERS) who may well now win the NUS leadership…..and lead the union to another of those Scargellite-Bennite glorious catastrophes.

    On Libya- Jenkins in the Guardian said it right: Mr Cameron you can either call for human rights in North Africa / the Middle East OR sell arms to that region.

    But you cannot do BOTH.

    Another banana skin sniffed out by No 10 !

  32. Is there an inherent conflict between human rights and arms sales? Surely it depends on who you sell them to?

    But the criticism wasn’t to do with BAE etc, it was that insufficient military gusto was being applied to the crisis.

  33. @Rob Sheffield

    Sorry, I did mean that he has announced he is not standing again.

    As to the reasons, I couldn’t say, but your comments bring back such lovely memories of running the gauntlet of Socialist Organiser ‘comrades’ in the 80s.

  34. @Neil A

    “Is there an inherent conflict between human rights and arms sales? Surely it depends on who you sell them to?”

    That’s certainly a factor. But given that a lot of our arms sales are to repressive regimes, it doesn’t seem to figure very highly. “Don’t ask don’t tell” seems more the order of the day. And after Cameron’s comment about Kuwait being a democracy, perhaps we could add “don’t think”?

    Seriously, that’s what he said:

    “The idea that we should expect small and democratic countries like Kuwait to be able to manufacture all their means of defence seems to me completely at odds with reality.”

    Not that foreign arms sales is likely to have the slightest effect on the polls. People who care about it aren’t likely to be voting for the Tories anyway.

  35. So far as I’m aware, Kuwait is fairly democratic (certainly by the low standards of the Middle East) and has no recent record of using force to oppress it’s population.

    I’m all in favour of only licensing arms sales to countries that we don’t think will misuse the arms, but I’m not convinced that having trade reps from arms companies in the UK delegation in any way invalidates Cameron’s message on human rights and democracy.

    After all countries that are democratic and respect human rights can still wage war, when circumstances dictate. The UK was at war with Finland for several years on a “my enemy’s enemy is my friend” basis.

  36. Using the existing regional boundaries is interesting, not least because even more than the counties these are arbitrary units.

    For an interesting alternative regional map look at this research by MIT
    H ttp://

  37. “Is there a Labour tweet campaign going on re: UK intervention in Libya?”

    THe most sensible left wing comment I have seen was on Left Foot Forward under the banner
    “The British left should engage in serious self-reflection over Gaddafi ”

    Some of the commentary on Libya from the left has the distinct whiff of hypocrisy, and denial.

    I only hope the Lybian people can get him before he kills too many more of them. An appearance at the Hague ICT would be a fitting end .

    Talking of Hagues, why are our efforts to get people out so mired in problems compared with other nations ?

  38. Net gov aproval -13%….wow! But checking the YG site it should be -23%.

    So, NGA holding broadly steady at around/near to the 25% mark – reflecting the steady state of VI I think.

    The apparent small increase in the LD share of VI might seem to stem from the change in Lab focus (eg referring to the gov as Con-lead). If there has been a decline in Con support has this gone to the LDs?

  39. Twitter is reporting a MORI/Reuters poll

    Lab 43%, Con 33%, LD 13%

    Yes 12 points ahead of No

  40. @Colin – “… why are our efforts to get people out so mired in problems compared with other nations?”

    Over reliance on the private sector perhaps (two charter companies refused to go, another provided a faulty jet)?

  41. @Anthony:

    sorry to drag you back to the ICM but this discussion on the rise of LibDem vote since the New Year…undeniable before anyone shouts!….but YouGov 11% is hell of a way from ICM 18%….is it likely that the ICM was a bit of a rogue even though I know they always show LIbDem higher? You may weell have answered this already and if so I apologise but I’ve not been as dilgent as some in reading all the comment threads over last week.


  42. I don’t quite know how Kuwait can be made out to be democratic, even by Middle East standards. Some individual rights are a little less awful than Saudi Arabia, but it’s still virtually feudal with a bit of window-dressing.
    There have been 2 polls with what one would call narrow Labour leads, but it has widened a little bit again it seems, to I’d say about 7%. The narrowing coincided with a Labour failure to win a council by-election in Brent, North-West London though other factors could have been in play there. There has been a bit of a seeming lack of action from the opposition front bench during this time. The Budget however could be a very tough time for the Tories.

  43. Billy Bob

    I don’t think the UK UK Government owns a fleet of aircraft does it?

    One of those off balance sheet PFI contracts perhaps?

    I’ve just read a list of countries who have got their people out in hired ferries, &planes.

    I think it’s quite simple really-our Civil Service is incompetent, and William Hague has been a semi-detached member of the government ever since he was appointed. A disastrous combination.

  44. @Colin

    I’ve not been impressed by Hague – his comments about Gadaffi fleeing to Venezuela were just farcical. However, the difficulties in getting UK citizens out of places that are in difficulties has been going on for some time now. It does appear that we have a different attitude to other countries on this one.

    Back to the polls: I would expect that a focus on the world stage is a good opportunity for Cameron – if he plays it right. His trip to Egypt as the first foreign leader etc… was an interesting move.

  45. The Sheep

    I agree.

    They have found some Herculese -operation underway now.

    FCO didn’t want to act too quickly for fear of “inflaming” the situation reportedly !

  46. John – very likely. There is no obvious methodological reason why ICM’s Lib Dem score should be so out of line with all the other companies (for example, only 1 point of the difference was down to their reallocation of don’t knows).

  47. @Colin – Just listening to a UK resident flown from Tripoli to Warsaw courtesy of the Polish president’s plane.

    @TheSheep – “… good opportunity for Cameron”

    He will need to shift the focus from the arms trade though.
    Just read that Cable signed off on sniper rifles to Libya in November.

  48. Remember Saint Vince was at Shell when Ken Sarowira was executed.
    Apologies could not resist.

  49. Just to be clear, we are talking about a handful of deactivated sniper rifles for a trade demonstration.

  50. Colin,

    You said “..I don’t think the UK UK Government owns a fleet of aircraft does it?…”

    Ahem. h ttp://


    You said “..For an interesting alternative regional map look at this research by MIT
    H ttp:// …”

    Outstanding! Thank you for that, I’ll use that at work.

    Regards, Martyn