YouGov’s weekly poll for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 36%, LAB 44%, LDEM 10%. This doesn’t tell us a huge amount. It’s within the margin of error of the smaller Labour lead of around 6 points that YouGov’s polling of the last week has suggested may be the case… but it would also be in line with Labour’s lead growing again. I’ll post tomorrow on some the other questions in the Sunday Times polling, once the tables go up on the YouGov website.

UPDATE: There’s also some sort of poll in the Observer tomorrow. No details, but it has a headline claiming “poll reveals suge of sympathy for the far right”

UPDATE2: It’s a large Populus poll for the Searchlight Educational Trust to be released here on Monday – I’ll put a post up here once the full report is out.

94 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON36 LAB44 LD10”

1 2
  1. You Gov tonight is

    CON 36%, LAB 44%, LDEM 10%

    Yep- those Lib Dems are *definitely* NOT moving from their medium term average of TEN per cent.

    Yet another false dawn called on here this last week.

    While Labour back to medium term lead over the main Government party of 7-8%


  2. **Irish first preference Counts are now complete**

    All fascinating stuff. Some observations.

    On the subjects of “poor opinion polling” and ‘incumbency claw back’ here is the average of *every poll* result conducted since the one in the ‘Sunday Business Post’ on January 31st 2010 and culminating with the RTE exit poll of 26th February 2011.

    So a nice *12 month* spread gives us the following average:

    FG 34%
    FF 19%
    ILP 23%
    SF 11%
    IGP 3%
    OTH 12%

    An average FG-FF differential of 15%

    The average of the election campaign itself is

    FG 34%
    FF 16%
    ILP 23%
    SF 11%
    IGP 3%
    OTH 12%

    An average FG-FF differential of 18%

    Whilst the 26th February RTE Exit Poll was

    FG 36%
    FF 15%
    ILP 20.5%
    SF 10%
    IGP 3%
    OTH 15.5%

    A FG-FF differential of 21%

    The highest differential between FG and FF in the last 12 months was the 26% on 18th February plus the two 24% alluded to earlier on UKPR that were two separate polls both on 23rd February. I think these three polls can be safely regarded as rogues/ outliers as the average FG-FF differential of all polls since the campaign began is 20.6%.

    If you round that up you get an average FG-FF differential over the campaign itself of- wait for it- *21%*. Which is precisely what the exit poll predicted…

    There are now (at 22:25) finished first preference counts in all 43 constituencies.. The voting numbers are

    FG 36.1%
    FF 17.4%
    ILP 19.4%
    SF 9.9%
    IGP 1.8%
    OTH 12.6%

    That is a real (not polling) FG-FF differential of 18.8%- a % point higher (NOT lower) than the average polling differential over the campaign !!

    So absolutely no evidence whatsoever of a “polling disaster” ;-)


    Secondly- The Irish General Election of 2011 has produced NEGATIVE incumbency claw back (between polling 12 months out and the final voting figure) of around- subject to last first count numbers- of ELEVEN per cent.

    The first poll of this series was the one taken on January 31st 2010

    FG 34%
    FF 27%
    ILP 17%
    SF 8%
    IGP 5%
    OTH 9%

    It’s not surprising at all to those who check the numbers closely and know their history. As the UK over the last 35 years illustrates negative claw back happens almost as much as a positive claw back (however small that positive claw back often is). You can look at US presidential elections too and get the same observed fact that positive clawback is never a certainty.

    Rather than being a Newtonian law the potential for incumbent claw back is concerned with what Macmillan called ‘events dear boy events’ and also an incumbents own effectiveness (or incompetence) with the levers of power.

    It is also incredibly hard for an incumbent to ‘claw back’ a position that reaches a certain level- @Amber has suggested for example (correctly IMHO) that if Labour make it to 50% in this parliament than it is almost inconceivable that Cameron will recover from that.

    The worm will have turned in too many voters minds- as it did for FF during the events of late summer/ early autumn.

  3. Rob S

    “There are now (at 22:25) finished first preference counts in all 43 constituencies.. The voting numbers are

    FG 36.1%
    FF 17.4%
    ILP 19.4%
    SF 9.9%
    IGP 1.8%
    OTH 12.6%”

    Something’s wrong here – you’re missing nearly 4%.

  4. The exit poll was

    FF 15%
    FG 37%

    the last poll of the election campaign was 14% FF 40% FG


    “those Lib Dems are *definitely* NOT moving from their medium term average of TEN per cent”

    There is certainly a 10 theme going on but look a little more closely. There have been a couple of 11s recently and a lot of 9s before the current extended run of 10s. Mathematically is fits well with a slow but steady rising trend. 8.5 at the beginning of the year, a 10 average now. There’s no sound reason at this stage to say the numbers have *definitely* stalled.

  6. @Far Easterner

    Straight from Irelands finest…..

    It’s 2.6% thats missing actually ;-)

    12.6% are actually classified as ‘Independents’ and 2.6% classified as ‘others’ that were not in the previus list.

  7. 2.8% actually – but sorry I couldn’t count the first time! :)

  8. Th exit poll was out 3.5% on the FF-FG gap. by exit poll standards thats the worse it my memory…

    The last poll was out 7.3% on the FF-Fg gap by Irish polling standards, that’s the worse in my living memory.

  9. My own predition was 0.4% out on the final result in the gap between FF-FG

  10. Looking at the final polls from the three Irish pollsters RedC and Millward Brown had FG and FF slightly outside the margin of error, and both got the FG lead over FF as too large.

    Ipsos-MBRI did exceptionally well, getting every party within 1% after rounding, so hats off to them.

    RedC FF 15%(-2.4), FG 40%(+3.9), LAB 18%(-1.4), Grn 3%(+1.8), SF 10%(+0.1)

    Millward Brown FF 14%(-3.4), FG 38%(+1.9), LAB 20%(+0.6), Grn 1%(-0.8), SF 11%(+1.1)

    Ipsos-MRBI FF 16%(-1.4), FG 37%(+0.9), LAB 19%(-0.4), Grn 2%(+0.2), SF 11%(+1.1)

  11. the last poll of the election campaign was 14% FF 40% FG”

    Yep- that’ll be the Paddy Power poll from 23 February that I included and reported!!

    The *exact numbers* for the 26 February RTE exit poll conducted by Millward Brown Lansdowne were actually:

    FG 36.1
    FF 15.1
    ILP 20.5
    SF 10.1
    IGP 2.7
    OTH/ IND combined 15.5

    I simply rounded.

    I have no idea where you came up with yours!

    Check it out


  12. Far easterner

    “2.8% actually – but sorry I couldn’t count the first time! ”

    It says 2.6% on the RTE website ;-)

  13. My mate’s just got elected to the Irish Parliament,for the Labour Party-wonders will never cease!

  14. The average polling differential between FG-FF throughout the campaign was 18%.

    The difference in tonights first preference vote count is:


    Thats a great performance across the pollsters ;-)

  15. Anthony,

    As ever, you are spot on with the maths…

    the exit poll being that out will be a big worry.. espec on the FF/FG gap..

  16. Some said that the pollsters overstated the FG-FF differential- that we had shy FF voters

    Whereas the pollsters actually understated the differential between FG-FF by almost a percent.

    No sign of “shy incumbant voters” in THIS election

  17. @Rob Sheffield

    you would not really expect much of a incumbent clawback after what happened in November last year – the bailout – I was in Ireland at the time, the sense of national betrayal and “the last straw” was obvious, adding to the already large sense of disgust & anger with FF and politicians generally.

  18. forgot to mention this, it seems that Nick Clegg has had not such a good week than of late, some confusion about who was running things while DC was on tour. It might send the LD’s down again.

  19. @KeithP

    Precisely – have a read of my post above and you’ll see that is one of my main points: about why notions around ‘iron laws of incumbancy claw back’ are so utterly flawed as a basis for prediction!

    Add to that non -existent “shy incumbant voters” and you get yourself into a right pickle !

  20. With a final result of 19,4, Labour narrowly beats its own record of 19,3 (1992). So we have three parties at all-time high: Labour, SF and Socialist. One would think that this is a rare occurrence, yet it is the FIFTH time that this is happening in less than 3 years in the EU. It happened in 2008 in Slovenia (SD, SDS and DESUS at all-time high), in 2009 in Germany (FDP, Linke, Gruene), in 2010 in Latvia (V/Jl, SC and ZZS) and again in 2010 in Sweden (M, MP and SD). And this goes to show the extreme volatility of the electorate all over Europe. The only difference with today’s Irish GE is that all three parties that achieved this are left-wing.

  21. It seems the Irish Green Party’s 6 incumbent TD’s have all been defeated. Unless they can squeak something elsewhere, not impossible but very difficult since their vote has also collapsed as FF’s has – then no green TD’s in the Dail this time.

  22. There is no chance of green representation in the Dail.
    Even the Senate is looking suspect as both FG and Labour are committed to political reform in one shape or another.

    Listening to the various politicos of from FF on RTE the state of denial was astonishing. One reckoned that they would be back in government within a few years….

    FG to pick up 4 seats in Mayo. And no FF representation in Donegal by the looks of things.

  23. @ Richard Westwood

    My mate’s just got elected to the Irish Parliament,for the Labour Party-wonders will never cease!
    Hooray! Please pass on congratulations & my best wishes to your friend. :-) 8-)

  24. @Colin Green
    Yougov weekly averages (starting Jan)-
    8.2, 9, 9.4, 8.8, 9.6, 10, 10.2
    So clearly an upward trend for the LibDems.
    Whether that continues or if that is just averaging out, I don’t know.
    Tory + Lib vote has stayed roughly 47 though, so I don’t know if that gain has been from previously Tory voters.

  25. @Richard Westwood
    Congratulations also from me. A great day for the socialist family, especially after the victory in Hamburg last Sunday. Let us cross our fingers for the upcoming elections.
    As for the disappearance of the Greens, it is the second time that this happens, after their eviction from Czech Parliament last year. Participation in center-right governments is definitely toxic for the Greens.

  26. @TheGreenBenches

    * Dá ainneoin sin, go raibh maith agat (courtesy of Google Translate).
    * cough cough “fadhb ar bith”, not “faibh ar bith” cough cough
    * Results at 11pm: FG 32, LAB 19, FF 7, SF 5, SP 2, INDs 8.
    * Questions of the hour: will FG coalition with LAB, with INDs, or go it alone? Will FF have more seats than SF?

    Regards, Martyn

  27. Anthony

    Your list of Scottish polls seems somewhat out of date. Any chance of updating it? It’s a real pain having to go and search elsewhere for the data.

  28. quote from the guardian:

    A Populus poll found that 48% of the population would consider supporting a new anti-immigration party committed to challenging Islamist extremism, and would support policies to make it statutory for all public buildings to fly the flag of St George or the union flag.

  29. KeithP

    48% of the population would seem to be spectacularly stupid if they think it would be a good idea to fly either of these flags in Derry.

  30. Searchlight Educational Trust commissioned the polling organisation Populus to explore the issues of English identity, faith and race.
    So that should probably be 48% of the population [of England].

  31. Amber


    Though it wouldn’t surprise me if a lot of those assumed that what they were being asked about applied equally to any variation of what is in teir heads when they are asked about England (or “this country” as the UK political leaders insist on calling it for some peculiar reason!)

    England – the geographical expression that dare not say its name! :-)

  32. Here’s what Searchlight Educational Trust ( a registered charity) do:

    SET regularly trains police, probation and prison officers about recognising and dealing with race hate and extremism. More recently it has given presentations and advice to councils and police forces in dealing with the English Defence League.
    Let’s wait to see what the questions were, before we get too excited about the answers.

  33. Amber

    It would also be interesting to know just who Populus asked (and what SET asked them to ask) given the geographic confusion in the Guardian.

    “Huge numbers of Britons would support an anti-immigration English nationalist party”

    “The report identified a resurgence of English identity, with 39% preferring to call themselves English rather than British. Just 5% labelled themselves European.”

    You are right. We need to see the actual poll details given the shoddy reporting by the Grauniad, it’s very difficult to know just what is being asked or answered.

  34. @ Old Nat

    “This is not the politics of the BNP, but of a reframed English identity politics that includes various ethnic groupings. Moreover, lazy arguments of English island ‘exceptionalism’ and moderation are questioned. Put simply, unless political parties step up and provide a new language of material wellbeing; of identity and belonging then these political forces might refract into more malign forms. As such, the political class has been warned.”
    This has a feel of what Frank Fields & John Cruddas say whenever the over-liberal lefties in the Labour Party get too pro-Europe & multi-cultural. ;-)

  35. Amber

    But it is a reasonable position to take.

    While the “powers that be” still assume that British Nationalism (of the Imperial, not ethnic variety) is the reserve position, and that other identities are just something for these strange Celts to engage in, that does leave a gap in the English spectrum.

    SNP in Scotland, Plaid in Wales, Mebyn Kernow in Cornwall (and arguably Sinn Fein in NI since it abandoned the gun) all provide alternative non racist/ethnic civil nationalisms/political idenities that are inclusive rather than exclusive. While the English Democrats might get there eventually, they are currently horribly reminiscent of the views expressed in the SNP in the 50s.

    Party leaders down there may care to reflect that taking your voters for granted does not ensure continuity of your priviliged position – as Scots Tories know to their cost.

  36. @OldNat.

    Seems the interviews were conducted in England:

    “Arguably it amounts to the most systematic study of contemporary attitudes to race, identity, nationhood and extremism available in England. It certainly is in depth, including a total of 91 questions covering 5054 discreet interviews systematically spread across the length and breadth of England.”

    However, there are the same references to British society and British people in the executive summary. Full results to be posted Monday night.

  37. @Oldnat,

    Not sure I’d call Mebyon Kernow “inclusive” but I agree with your general thrust.

    There is currently no outlet for “English Nationalist” sentiment that isn’t inextricably linked with a wider “British Nationalist” one (heart thudding with pride in your chest as you watch the Band of the Royal Marines marching down the High Street, blah, blah..)

    Personally I’d rather carry on with Englishness being the nationalism that dare not speak its name and try to wean a few more of you Celts back to a love of the Union, but I can see that we part company at that point….

  38. Looking at the seat count so far in RoI, is there any chance that FF could even drop below SF to finish fourth? Or is the current SF lead due to urban seats counting faster and earlier than rural ones?

  39. Neil A

    You may be right about Mebyn Kernow – I don’t really know much about them, I must admit.

    “try to wean a few more of you Celts back to a love of the Union”

    Ah the sweet love of youth has gone.

    This is a piece penned by a friend.

  40. Meanwhile back regarding John Bull’s other island, a quick word in praise of dotski at Anthony’s imitator Irish Polling Report. Last night based on the polls and his own calculation and adjustments he put up his prediction here:

    before the exit poll was released. He summarised his prediction as follows:

    % seats [actual %]
    FF 16.3% 20 17.4%
    FG 37.9% 73 36.1%
    LP 19.5% 42 19.4%
    GP 2.0% 0 1.8%
    SF 9.8% 10 9.9%
    oth 14.5% 21 15.2%

    Seats won’t be decided till late today, but you must admit it’s looking pretty good so far.

    Despite what Eoin was saying before I thought all the polls were pretty good especially if you take the ‘spiral of silence’ (shy FFs) into account. Actually this was surprising small considering the enormous drop in the FF vote, mainly because most ex-FF voters were all too keen to say exactly who they would be voting for – and it would never be FF again.

    One interesting demonstration of the toxicity of the FF brand is the almost complete lack of transfers they are getting from any other Party. Dotski’s estimate of 20 seats for them looked unrealistically low and others were estimating high twenties. But FF are not getting the last seat to be elected in a lot of constituencies which they might have expected and 20 is looking realistic. However dotski’s LP figure is a bit high and SF a bit low.

  41. @OldNat,

    Check out the headline on the cover of this
    h ttp://

    Substitute the word “English” for “Cornish” and shiver at the “National Frontness” of it.

  42. @Roger,

    What’s confusing me is that SF have already exceeded that and have 11 seats elected, yet FF are behind them with only 9.

    Are we expecting there to be no more SF gains, and a rush of late FF gains? And if so, what are the political-demographic-geographical reasons for this pattern?

    I’ve no dog in the fight particularly, just grasping for a better understanding of the way their system works (as it’s pretty much the model of STV that is my preferred option – although I think their seats are a little small).

  43. Roger Mexico

    I’ve been keeping an eye on Louth (partly because there is a slight difference between Scots and Irish methodology in the mechanics of vote counting) and FF’s failure to accept change by putting up too many candidates and splitting their own vote is somewhat reminiscent of a number of Scotland’s Council seats in 2007. Labour held all 3 seats under FPTP, and none of them were standing down. Consequently Labour lost more seats than they needed to.

    It looks as if FF are doing the same here.

  44. Martyn,

    I am dyslexic [did I spell that right?] in many languages :) :) :)

  45. Neil A

    Had it been the English Nation, I suppose it would have had an Archbishop in the same pose in even more outlandish garb!

    What a strange publication! Actually I couldn’t see much wrong with the content of the magazine, but I have no idea of what the cover is supposed to represent!

    MK clearly have as much to learn about marketing as Hague!

  46. ENGLISH NATION – Promoting English Identity And Culture.

    Perhaps it’s a Pavlovian response, but it has me reaching for my CS Spray….

  47. TGB

    That makes you a poylgolt.

  48. Neil A

    I have exactly the same response to

    BRITISH NATION – Promoting British Identity And Culture.

    probably because it’s connected to (heart thudding with pride in your chest as you watch the Band of the Royal Marines marching down the High Street, blah, blah..)

    Oh and to Blair/Brown/Cameron as well!

  49. Oldnat,

    Being old I figure you have wisdom to offer…

    I’m serious…

    should I a) go look up that word you typed [poly something]

    or should I b) be honest about the fact I don’t know what it means..

    be careful about you response because I’ll apply it to multiple scenarios

  50. Neil A

    FF are looking like a minimum of 18, SF a maximum of 14-15, so almost certainly not, though it could be close and is still mathematically possible. SF’s current lead is more because of their strength being in constituencies already counted in full, while FF’s last refuges tend to be in the big rural constituencies which haven’t finished yet.

    Of course one FF seat is the Ceann Comhairle (pronounced rather like ‘camcorder’) who is the Dail Speaker. He automatically gets his seat (not an extra seat – his usual one), even if he isn’t going

    One interesting point is not just the number of independents elected, but their political composition. There are still a few of the ‘I want lots of goodies for my constituency’ type but a lot are left-wing (including 5 for the ULA) and even many who aren’t tend to be opposed to the banking settlement.

1 2