Today’s YouGov poll is up on the website here. Topline figures are CON 36%, LAB 41%, LDEM 10% – this is pretty typical of YouGov polls of late, but if the elections were to have a big impact on public opinion we wouldn’t necessarily see it yet anyway – the fieldwork for the poll would have been conducted between Thursday afternoon and Friday, so not really in time to pick up any effect.

Looking through the discussion yesterday there were lots of questions about vote shares in the locals – here’s a brief summary of the various different figures that will emerge, and what they mean

Firstly there is the BBC’s Projected National Share – which I think ended up at CON 35%, LAB 37%, LDEM 15%. This is based on a selection of key wards across the country, not the sum of all votes, and are plugged into a formula to produce a projected national share of the vote if there were local elections across the whole of the country. It is important to note, therefore, that this is NOT skewed by there not being any local elections in Scotland, London or Wales – it is adjusted to take account of this. It’s also important to note that it is a projection of local support across the country, not Westminster support across the country – people do vote differently in local elections (and indeed, if you poll people on their voting intention in Westminster and local elections they give significantly different answers – in YouGov’s final pre-election poll they asked local voting intention and found the Lib Dems on 15%, compared to 11% in the standard Westminster question).

Secondly there is Rallings and Thrasher’s National Equivalent Vote. This is calculated on a similar basis to the BBC’s projection, and is intended to give a picture of what the vote shares would be if there were local elections across the whole country (i.e. it is adjusted to take account of there not being elections in London, Scotland, Wales etc). All the caveats about the BBC one also apply here – it is not intended to be a projection of Westminster vote and is not comparable to Westminster polls. Ralling & Thrasher’s NEV does not come out on the night – it normally takes them a few weeks to collate the data. (Actually, they’ve produced it already! CON 38%, LAB 37%, LDEM 16%. It is normally slightly different to the BBC’s due to different wards being used and different formulas being used for the projection).

Thirdly there are the actual shares of the vote, the sum of all the votes cast in all the local elections. This is again done by Rallings and Thrasher and takes a considerable amount of time to collate. In many ways this is the least useful data, since it is skewed by things like there not being local elections in London, Scotland and Wales and (depending on how the figures are calculated) people in councils with all out elections will often have three times as many votes as people in councils that elect by thirds.

UPDATE: More on the difference between the BBC’s PNS and Ralling & Thrasher’s NEV. The reasons seem to be the number of wards used (NEV apparently uses a larger number of wards from councils declaring on Friday, since R&T have an extra day to work out the numbers), different baselines (R&T base the figures on change from previous years election results, I think the BBC’s PNS does much the same, but over time the two baselines will diverge).

As well as adjusting for the different parts of the country having elections each year, the BBC’s PNS also attempts to adjust for the different pattern of candidates standing, so is a projection of what would happen if the whole country had elections that day, and if every ward had candidates from the three main parties and one other standing. I’m not sure if R&T’s NEV tries to do this or not.


320 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – 36/41/10”

1 5 6 7
  1. @Eric Goodyer
    “Interesting to hear that Germany’s economy is racing ahead, even though they have a bigger National debt than the UK.”

    And even more interesting to hear that Germany is racing ahead even though it only has a budget deficit of 3.5% or that Sweden is too, with a budget SURPLUS. It just goes to prove that if your economy was well managed in the run up to the recession, it doesn’t need massive injections of debt to grow now.

    Moving back on topic, I think the Tory local vote was probably boosted considerably by the turnout for the No vote in the referendum. Anyone else agree or have any evidence about this?

    Report comment

  2. DoCalLiberal

    The reference to Pat Harvie was simply in reference to the fact that he is the only opposition party leader still standing (unless you count Margo as leader of the Margo Party).

    As to your analysis of the Scottish election, it can be summarised as “The SNP focused on Scotland’s needs. The others didn’t”.

    As to the future of Labour, their one remaining newspaper (Daily Record) describes the rancour already developing because Miliband has overruled Gray on the conduct of the review, and is taking control of it.

    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics-news/2011/05/09/holyrood-election-2011-ed-miliband-orders-london-led-review-of-scottish-labour-after-disaster-at-polls-86908-23117973/

    “”But the role of the UK party in the review has angered a section of the Scots party. One defeated MSP said: “We don’t really need to bother with a review, it’s obvious what went wrong.

    “We need to be a federal party, run from Scotland. We need to keep Ed Miliband out of it.

    “Scots don’t take kindly to being run from Westminster.”

    There’s a delightful irony in that last sentence.

    Report comment

  3. SoCalLiberal

    “DoCalLiberal” Oops! That sounds rather like a plaintive plea from the LDs to have someone (anyone) talk to them!

    Report comment

  4. Scottish Party leaders are dropping off one at a time as if they were one of the also rans in Kenenisa Bekele’s Olympic 10,000m race.
    Although to be fair to Bekele, he lead from the start.

    Report comment

  5. OldNat

    EM has to intervene. Iain Gray is in no position to lead the review. It wouldn’t be surprised at all if EM and SLAB decide to.go federal.

    As technically I am still a LD Home Rule/federalist, I certainly hope they do. However, SLAB have to stop deluding themselves that this was EM/Westminster.Lab’s fault. It was not. SLAB brought this upon themselves for tribal Scottish reasons – ie their hatred of all things SNP. They wanted to be the polar opposite and got rumbled for being rudderless

    Report comment

  6. RAF

    I agree. But my point was how that will play within SLAB.

    For some career politicians (especially current councillors) in Labour, jumping ship may be an attractive prospect.

    Report comment

  7. @ Old Nat

    Ed Milliband is very popular within SLAB. He was 1st choice for the leadership of many MSPs & MPs in Scotland.
    8-)

    Report comment

  8. Actually, I think Mark & Malcolm were amongst the first MPs to ‘declare’ for Ed M.
    8-)

    Report comment

  9. The latest updated ALDC net seat changes are now:

    Con +35
    Lab +873
    LD -808
    Green +21
    BNP -12
    Ind -62
    Other -70

    Coming to a grand total of -23?

    But if the Lib Dems are prepared to concede 873 Labour seat gains then why argue? That’s 15 more than their previous figures.

    The figures also seem to exclude by-elections on the same day e.g. 2 net Lab gains in county council elections last Thursday.

    Report comment

  10. It’s entirely proper that the review of Scottish Labour should be conducted independently and that requires the reviewing panel to be appointed independently. Miliband is showing some leadership and has once again made the right call. Good for him.

    Report comment

  11. Amber

    Just because EM may have been the most popular from the selection on offer, it doesn’t follow that either he,or any of them, have more than the most superficial understanding of Scotland.

    As soon as we see the names on the review panel, we will know whether it will make matters worse or not.

    Who would you pick? Who would be the worst possible choice?

    Report comment

  12. @Amber S
    My impression from your many postings is that you don’t, unlike John Dick and his colleagues, claim to have a monopoly of wisdom on all things Scottish.

    So maybe there’s no point in rising to his bait.

    Report comment

  13. Phil

    “a monopoly of wisdom”

    I see you have been listening to Alex Salmond! :-)

    Report comment

  14. Phil

    I suspect that the ALDC will probably prove to be the best figures in the end. They will keep on updating and they keep running totals of councils’ political make-up, presumably cross-referencing with the results to double check.

    That said they will also be advising on new situations on a number of councils as well as coping with mass Post Traumatic Stress among their members, so it’s probably not their top priority.

    The negative total is probably valid. There will be seats vacant because of the death of candidates during the campaign (with tens of thousands of candidates it’s bound to happen) which will be held later. Like Thirsk and Malton after the GE, they’re technically not byelections.

    Eoin

    About women’s votes in Scotland, if you look at the YouGov Election Day Polling figures you can see that the SNP has men v women as 47% v 38% on the Constituency though significantly only 44% v 39% on the regional vote. Women are more likely to back the smaller Parties – Labour attracts both sexes equally.

    I wondered if this was because man like to ‘back the winner’, but those voting SNP were least likely to have made their mind up in the week before polling day. That said a lot of the last minute decisions may have been due to people making complicated decisions on how to split their two votes to best advantage, rather than altering their usual Party.

    Of course this comes with the usual provisos about the YouGov panel, most notably that 83% of them voted rather than the 50% of the general population. But then apathy is the hardest thing to get an answer on (I have decided to stop teasing Amber about her belief they all want Holyrood abolished and she should lead the campaign :) )

    Incidentally there are some interesting figures on the reaction to bin Laden’s death in Pakistan on the YouGov archive as ‘Pakistan Poll’ with some interesting gender differences (mainly that they could only get a sample of 118 women as against 921 men). Further back there’s an Egyptian poll by YouGov Siraj here:

    http://today.yougov.co.uk/sites/today.yougov.co.uk/files/ygs-archives-yougovsiraj-egypt-200411.pdf

    which managed a more equal sample and has some unexpected gender difference (women seem much more cynical).

    Report comment

  15. John B Dick

    “The SNP shouldn’t be too coy though, there is lots of hard work ahead.”

    I thought Alex Salmond put it well –

    “But Thursday was not our winning post. Now is a time to pause and to celebrate and then, tomorrow, our journey continues.”

    Report comment

  16. Susan Deacon is the best potential leader. It would be worth doing whatever it takes to get her as party leader.

    I know little about the two MP’s other than the attack on Positive Action in Housing.

    The way asylum children were treated by agents of the state made me ashamed to be British.

    If an independent Scotland can have ministers like Fiona Hyslop I’ll take independence irrespective of any adverse economic consequences SLAB may imagine even if they were real.

    I will have assurance that when I am no longer here, my grandchildren will be growing up in a country governed by people of compassion and integrity, willing to accept the personal sacrifices that were involved in finding a solution to the Dawn Raids issue..

    Report comment

  17. @ Old Nat

    “The reference to Pat Harvie was simply in reference to the fact that he is the only opposition party leader still standing (unless you count Margo as leader of the Margo Party).

    As to your analysis of the Scottish election, it can be summarised as “The SNP focused on Scotland’s needs. The others didn’t”.

    As to the future of Labour, their one remaining newspaper (Daily Record) describes the rancour already developing because Miliband has overruled Gray on the conduct of the review, and is taking control of it.”

    I think some rancor is normal because people have egos and people always want to be in charge. I don’t know if you’ve ever worked on a campaign but when you do, you always get a number of volunteers who come in and don’t want to do the actual work that needs to get done (canvassing, phone calls, etc.). Instead, they want to run the campaign and criticize every little aspect of it. Now most of these armchair quarterbacks may not have a clue as to what they’re talking about but they’ll expect to be in charge. But often times campaign workers and campaign strategists have ego themselves. They become insular, often arrogant, and ignore good advice they receive.

    I would imagine this dynamic is happenning now with a proposed review. Everyone wants to be in charge, everyone wants to armchair quarterback, and everyone wants to criticize. And you definitely have bruised egos. Add in the anxiety aspect to the mix and you’ve got more potential for rancor because Ed Miliband cannot become Prime Minister (if he has a chance in the first place) without winning a majority of Parliamentary seats in Scotland.

    Report comment

  18. @ Old Nat

    ““DoCalLiberal” Oops! That sounds rather like a plaintive plea from the LDs to have someone (anyone) talk to them!”

    Lol. Well you wouldn’t be the first to get my name wrong. :) The LDs are really being unfairly tainted by this. I think maybe Labour should back off a little bit….if only so that they don’t wind up letting the Conservatives gain Lib Dem seats and make up for what they lose to Labour.

    Report comment

  19. SoCalLiberal

    Your pessimistic analysis is all too likely.

    In the Westminster tradition, two alternating teams take turns to play opposing roles as in cricket. It is understood that the other side has to get its turn from time to time. An unquestioned fact is that one party government is bad. That’s what the communists did so it must be unworkable mustn’t it.

    You may get the chance to vote for the team captain, but thereafter you must do what the team captain orders.

    SLAB, thinking in Westminster terms, presumed that if they had to take a turn out in 2007, then they would alternate again in 2011. They may still assume that in the natural course of events, the SNP will be judged to have failed in their second term, and it will be Labour’s turn again.

    In that case they will be not acknowledge the mistakes of the past and continue to repeat them. That’s to nobody’s benefit in the long run, not even their political opponents.

    Report comment

  20. @ John B Dick

    “Your pessimistic analysis is all too likely.

    In the Westminster tradition, two alternating teams take turns to play opposing roles as in cricket. It is understood that the other side has to get its turn from time to time. An unquestioned fact is that one party government is bad. That’s what the communists did so it must be unworkable mustn’t it.

    You may get the chance to vote for the team captain, but thereafter you must do what the team captain orders.

    SLAB, thinking in Westminster terms, presumed that if they had to take a turn out in 2007, then they would alternate again in 2011. They may still assume that in the natural course of events, the SNP will be judged to have failed in their second term, and it will be Labour’s turn again.

    In that case they will be not acknowledge the mistakes of the past and continue to repeat them. That’s to nobody’s benefit in the long run, not even their political opponents.”

    I hope I don’t sound pessimistic (I’m an optimist!). Wasn’t my intention.

    You know, I’m not so certain one party government is a bad thing. I guess it’s different in the U.S. sense than the UK sense because in the UK, a majority in Parliament equals one-party government. I’ve noticed Obama was far more productive and did far better things when Nancy Pelosi was the Speaker of the House. Bill Clinton did the same when Tom Foley was Speaker of the House. FDR was able to accomplish much with the New Deal under one party government. Lots of people dislike one-party government because they feel that with different parties controlling different branches, the government is more constrained and restrained. A government that can do less is better. I’m not sure I agree because I’m not sure this really understands how government operates but even if I agree under normal circumstances, there are certain times when things simply have to get done. And gridlock and partisan bickering are ineffective.

    I think Labour in Scotland expected to return to power because the driving force behind the SNP’s victory in 2007 was disgruntlement with Tony Blair. And the very strange regional ballot system. Labour figured that without Tony Blair or Gordon Brown around, they’d rebound. But that analysis did not take into account that different issues and circumstances affect different elections.

    In terms of a team captain, my feeling is, someone has to be in charge at the end of it. They have to be accountable to the public, they have to respect individual rights, they have to be limited by applicable laws, they cannot be above other citizens. That of course is for a government leader. When it comes to leading a campaign, taking different voices and opinions into account is the mark of a great leader but in a campaign, someone has to make a decision (and with any luck, that person is qualified).

    Report comment

1 5 6 7