Following the big shift towards the NO in yesterday’s ICM poll, the weekly YouGov AV question for the Sun shows an identical picture – adjusted for likelihood to vote and excluding don’t knows, the NO campaign leads by 58% to 42%.

This pretty much confirms that there has indeed been a sharp shift towards NO over the last few days. There are just over two weeks left till the referendum day, but part of that is the Easter weekend, followed by several days when the news agenda will be swamped by the Royal Wedding. There is increasingly little time for the trend towards NO to reverse.

123 Responses to “Now YouGov show a 16 point NO lead”

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  1. “I wonder whether the coaltion cabinet will be on speaking terms after May 5th.”

    On R4 one political commemtator described Clegg and Cable as united only by their hatred of Huhne.

  2. R Huckle
    “If the Lib Dems lose the ref, I suspect that they will seek revenge by making the Tories agree to changes, particularly on NHS reforms.”

    Resentment between LD and Con ministers and the parties is going to continue increasing. At some point soon IMO the Con party are going to say to NC and the LDs ‘enough is enough’. The two parties will each seek to find a suitable cause to justify divorce to the electorate.

  3. Craig

    “indeed, as a Tory you’ve nothing but praise for the man.”

    You miss my point entirely.

    I dislike JR & his politics intensely.

    But I have huge respect for his strength of conviction & ability to communicate a message in simple down to earth terms.

    That the No campaign can bring together DC & JR-two politicians so unalike in both style & beliefs-is in stark contrast to the YES campaign.

    I am a huge fan of Eddie Izzard as a comedian-have most of his DVDs-but I dislike his politics & I sure aint going to vote YES because he thinks I should.

    The whole point about Eddie Izzard is that he sees & communicates life’s contradictions so well.

    The point about JR is that he communicates life’s certainties with conviction ( well his own list of certainties that is :-) )

  4. I see the usual list of Labour supporters queueing up to tell the LDs what’s in their own (and not Labour’s, oh no, perish the thought) best political interests.

    Wishful thinking, chaps.

  5. Anthony,

    Ipsos-Mori have just posted their of a new poll

  6. Neil A

    Actually, I’m not sure that a GE this year/soon would be the right time for Lab.

    As regards your comment, perhaps as a Con supporter you recognise the pressures that must be evident in the coalition and that break up could threaten continuance of a Con gov?

    But it would be wrong of me to suggest that this would motivate you.

  7. Which “usual Labour supporters” would these be ?

    I’m not and the question of Clegg’s leadership and the future of the Lib Dems is one which arises naturally from two polls which say the No vote is now the easy favourite to win.
    Even Nick Clegg would be hard pushed to claim electoral reform hasn’t been a centrepiece of Lib Dem policy for years. Unless the polls reverse spectacularly very soon then it’s loss will obviously cause huge repercussions.

    Labours best political interests would be for Clegg to fight the next general election. I’ve no doubt Labour want a GE as soon as possible but whenever they fight it they want to fight it with Clegg as leader.

  8. Mike N

    “Resentment between LD and Con ministers and the parties is going to continue increasing. At some point soon IMO the Con party are going to say to NC and the LDs ‘enough is enough’. The two parties will each seek to find a suitable cause to justify divorce to the electorate.”

    That’s an interesting idea. The tories calling time on the coalition is perhaps the most likely way it will end. The Lib Dems paid a very high price entering coalition and it can only be worth while by getting significant policies into law in each of the 5 years of coalition. Many think that even 5 years isn’t enough to repay the initial cost. It’s hard to conceive of a set of reasons for bailing early.

    If AV fails then reform of the Lords, with elections under STV is likely to be pushed up the agenda. Pressure on NHS reforms too. I can see that getting the most out of government will be the unrestricted aim after May.

  9. Colin Green

    I may be wrong about this but wasn’t a fully elected HoL in the Lib Dem manifesto and something NC promised ? If it was then that can hardly be chalked up as a win if, as seems likely, Cameron is going to water it down to partially elected chamber.

    NHS reforms too show no sign of slowing.
    Indeed the “pause” is looking more and more like public relations relaunch number 3 before going ahead with only minor cosmetic changes to the Bill, if any.

    “Doctors have been told to press on with NHS reforms despite David Cameron “pausing” legislation to bring in the changes. Dame Barbara Hakin, the Department of Health’s national managing director of commissioning development, has written to GPs urging them to keep up the “momentum” of the reshaping of the NHS.”

    “The day after Health Secretary Andrew Lansley was humiliated by an overwhelming vote of “no confidence” by nurses, Dame Barbara wrote to groups of GPs setting up “pathfinder” consortiums to buy health services”

  10. For what it’s worth, I suspect we might now be approaching the end of the worst period for the Lib Dems VI-wise. The general consensus is the drop in support is down to the loss of the left leaning voters and anti-Tory tactical voting, but it’s easy to turn your back on a party when there is no election imminent. As polling day approaches, people will have to face up to the fact that refusing to vote tactically carries the real risk of allowing the Tories to win.

    Personally I don’t think it will make a massive difference on May 5th, most of the lost vote will use this chance to ‘kick Clegg’, so the results will still be horrible for the Lib Dems (although probably not as bad as the worst case scenario). But a lot of former tactical voters will wake up to find they now have a Conservative councillor, the question has to be how will that influence their voting intentions in future?

    It’s fair to assume a decent chunk of the lost vote will never return to the Lib Dems, but maybe as much as half will. And it certainly won’t return in a big chunk immediately after the election, trickling back over the course of this parliament and probably the first couple of years of the next. However I do expect Lib Dem support to start slowly creeping upwards. Of course this only applies to the lost tactical and left leaning voters, the performance of the party can still pick up and lose core support (a likely ‘No’ in the referendum could hit them further). But barring a catastrophe this could be the darkest hour for the LDs with a dawn (of sorts) just around the corner.

    If true the next question is – how much of this support will come back from Labour and what will that do to their current lead in the polls? Assuming Labour get a ‘winners boost’ from the Local Elections to offset any losses, will any increases for the Lib Dems appear to come from the Tories – and how will this affect Coalition dynamics? Interesting times ahead.

  11. Sorry, meant to add – this applies to England only, I don’t know how things work in other parts of the UK

  12. The Greeny

    A lot of that will apply in Scotland as well, but the result will be even worse as their are four other alternative homes for them – SNP, Labour, Tory, Green, depending on their political priorities.

  13. “I am definitely pro-PR (in my case have been a proponent of STV for a good 15 years now) and anti-AV. So vote no now and get a yes later? Risk-laden yes, but a better gamble for me than lies to sell a move to a system that noone in the yes camp wants.”

    I could understand someone who supports a change to say, AMS or list PR, voting No on that basis but I honestly can’t understand why anyone who supports STV would vote no to AV since the latter *is* STV (albeit in single member districts.)

    There are two changes STV would bring: preferential voting and multi member districts.

    If no prevails one of those will have been rejected. In those circumstances is it really likely that further down the line the politicos will say “yes oh small c conservative electorate, we know you rejected preferential voting last time but this time you can have two changes: preferential voting AND multi member districts!”

    On the contrary if AV had passed then we’d already be halfway to STV.

    It’s much easier to imagine the politicians and press saying in 2015 “we already had the referendum on PR and it was rejected.” Even if such a referendum did take place, the electorate as we saw in the case of the Oldham or Winchester by-elections are easily swayed by the concept of rejecting bad losers who didn’t get the message first time round.

    Furthermore if AV passed, half the arguments of the no campaign would be made redundant through practice. There would be no BNP MPs or electronic voting machines and the implication that people are too thick to write the numbers 1 to 4 on a ballot paper instead of an X wouldn’t sell.

  14. Andy C

    I have a constituency MSP who has been assidious in dealing with constituency matters and with issues I have had personally as one of his constituents.

    Despite the ministerial workload he hs been amodel constituency MSP and whoever succeeds him is very unlikely to reach the stadsard he has set.

    I also have Regonal MSPs. Half a century ago I was trained by the Father of the Nation how to use them.

    One of my list MSP’s has a particular interest in road and rail safety. Had I an issue of that sort, I would take it up with him (always with CC to my constitency MSP).

    After the election I expect to have a Green Party MSP. If I had an environmental problem, I would raise it with her because I would expect a higher priority of interest.

    As Donald Dewar advsed me to do, I make a point of helping my MSPs where I can. I sent one a timely briefing on a subject which I have information not readily available. The wide and diverse circulation of my email to his colleagues was evidence of the sincerity of his thanks and that the natural conclusions from the information was well taken. That must have strengthened resolve to do the right thing.

    I happen to have met three ministers personally and have been helpful to two. I can email them (or their staffs) personally.

    An advantage of having two kinds of MSP and an MP of different parties is that If I don’t get a response from my MP, I can CC to his MSP colleague but I also write in support where unexpectedly they do the right thing.

    CC to the emails of those who stand against the successful candidate are also a great way to prompt a reply.

    I could understand someone who supports a change to say, AMS or list PR, voting No on that basis but I honestly can’t understand why anyone who supports STV would vote no to AV since the latter *is* STV (albeit in single member districts.)

    Excellent post with which I entirely agree. But it’s worth adding that both AMS and list PR are systems which preserve and promote the party system in general and the hegemony of party bosses in particular. STV levels the playing field, allowing independents a fair chance while giving party supporters the option of choosing between the candidates their party puts forward.

    Additionally, as I demonstrated some threads ago, AV would not stop strong independent candidates like Martin Bell or Peter Law from being elected, nor of smaller parties like the E&W Greens gaining representation.

    In any event, for an STV supporter to campain against AV whilst supporting AV by-elections is oxymoronic.

  16. The ‘yes’ campaign should have got people like Martin Bell arguing their case rather than Eddie Izzard or Billy Bragg.

  17. BZ

    I have forgotten why Donald Dewar didn’t fancy open party lists. Maybe it was too complicated.

    In an open list system you could vote for the party of choice and rank the candidates therby being spared the distasteful task of voting for someone like John Reid or Helen Liddle who are party loyalists in the Communist authoritarian style.

    In an open list system you could vote for the party of choice and rank the candidates therby being spared the distasteful task of voting for someone like John Reid or Helen Liddle who are party loyalists in the Communist authoritarian style.

    True, but first the parties would opt to offer a closed-list system in order to minimise Westminster opposition, as the majority of countries adopting such systems have done.

    Second, if AV is “too complex” for English voters, how could the poor dears possibly cope with rankings within a list?

  19. If AV is lost Cameron will have to placate Clegg. The Lib Dems have for a long time said they would like an IN or OUT referendum on the EU. Agreeing to that would satisfy the wishes of the majority of the UK population as well. So that is what Cameron should offer the Lib Dems. But of course he won’t because he knows what the outcome would be.
    What sort of democracy do we live in ?

  20. @Barbazenzero agree with you totally on the merits of STV versus list and AMS systems. I’m a supporter of STV, not “PR.” I’d actually vote for the status quo if the alternative was AMS or list systems.

    @JohnBDick the problem with all list systems is that start with the automatic assumption that voters are motivated by voting for parties. Your vote in a list system is therefore counted first and foremost as a vote for the party and then secondly and subordinately as a vote for your preferred candidate. That means that it can help your party while being of no use to your preferred candidate. There’s every chance that even if you vote for “Independently minded candidate X” on the Labour list, it could still help John Reid to get elected instead.

    STV (and to be fair FPTP) doesn’t contain that assumption. Your vote only helps the candidate(s) that you vote for. Of course you can still blindly vote for the candidates of your party and no others in exactly the order that they dictate and the majority do. But those who don’t want to don’t have to. If you’re motivate by views on Europe then you can put the LibDems or UKIP first and then mix and match the Labour and Conservative candidates according to their views. Alternatively you can vote for candidates of one gender, one race or one political belief (abortion say)… whatever blows your hair back. STV covers all bases.

  21. Valenciano

    You can have a Regional list of one candidate in one region. Denis Canavan would have got a seat that way had he not won Falkirk West.

  22. John, you can but it’s not very common and doesn’t contradict the point that, under list voting, your vote is treated as a party vote and quite often will help someone that you are apathetic or antpathetic to.

  23. Take a look at the TNS research agency poll of 1318 adults 18+ (online, I have to admit) in the Independent this morning – 34% oppose AV, 32% support AV. A change from -16% to -2%.

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