Tonight’s YouGov poll has topline figures of CON 36%, LAB 42%, LDEM 10%. Back to a six point Labour lead, but still below the sort of 7-9 point Labour lead we had been seeing.

Perhaps whatever caused the narrowing of the polls is fading again – a purely short term boost, and we’ll have 8 point leads again before long. Alternativly this is just normal margin of error variation around a Labour lead of 4 or 5 points. Time will tell.

154 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 36%, LAB 42%, LDEM 10%”

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  1. Chrislane1945

    “Tory Governments have more than one full term in Office at a time.
    except for
    1970-74 (for very special reasons)”

    And you don’t think 2010- 2013/15 are ‘special circumstances’ ?!

    If we are into “history-as-foretelling” then we’d be better off looking at the early 1920’s and the last time there was economic chaos, a LibCon coalition government and an unconvincing Labour leader (two in fact- the two preceding McDonald).

    The 1920’s was a period of instability within parties (and coalitions) and of inconclusive general elections.


    “The critical factor will be whether Labour has a plausible alternative. ”

    Yep I agree with the policy lite approach till the end of 2011 but from early next year Labour have to have a succession of major policy initiatives all the way through the year.

    But that would be a risky strategy and I am not sure the leadership are risk-takers.

  2. R Huckle
    “So you base your opinion on leaders mainly on perception. I don’t vote based on the party leader who would make the best PM. I vote based on the local candidate and the basic thrust of the partys agenda for the country as detailed in their manifesto.”

    You misunderstand me. I was not stating how I base my own opinion, but that perception of party leaders’ characteristics are a significant factor in elections. Many voters will be more familiar with party leaders than their local MP for instance.

    The electorate is not entirely made up of rational people cooly evaluating each candidates’ abilities.

    @Bill Patrick
    “It’s true that Foot was doing better than Ed in 1981, but he had the advantage of being leader of the opposition during a deep recession that was clearly primarily the result of government policies.”

    I’m not sure that’s true. As I remember it, the recession was blamed by many people on the economic mess left by the previous Labour government (20%+ inflation if I remember correctly).

  3. @ Tinged Fringe

    I do think they’ll find Gadaffi soon – and I hope they put him through the same sort of trial they did Saddam, rather than shooting him when they find him.
    What?! Saddam Hussein’s trial was an appalling spectacle. I thought the ‘good guys’ had won, until I witnessed that travesty of a trial.

    I have never watched the footage of the execution but I’ve heard from people with pretty strong stomachs that the recorded footage was both sickening & barbaric.

    IMO, this is one of the main reasons why Gaddafi & some of his sons have sworn to fight to the death… they have nothing to loose: The alternative is being treated like animals in a circus & then cruelly killed for ‘entertainment’.

  4. @ Chris Lane

    His [Ed Miliband’s] middle class supper party response to the riots went down badly I think…
    Really? Because this is a polling site & – if I remember correctly – Ed M came out slightly ahead of DC regarding their responses to the riots.

    I’m sure that Anthony will correct me, if my memory has let me down.

  5. The link below is to the ALC’s aalysis of all the local authority by elections this year. Does it tell us anything at all that we did’t know already?


    Interesting tables.

    Though shame they don’t have one with vote share changes: understandable though from the LD perspective. !!

  7. @Amberstar – agreed. I recall Cameron fighting a defensive battle throughout the immediate aftermath with Ed being seen as surprisingly precient with his earlier attack on irresponsibility and being able to tweak this to attack the looters. I also recall reporting of Ed’s out of hand dismissal of any excuses for rioting and forthright condemnation of the violence as being at variance with Labour’s tradition of ‘trying to understand’ criminals and getting a good hearing in the right wing press.

    Cameron came late and got his skates on to a degree, but I see people linking the Bank Holiday poll blip to a good riot season as being slightly fanciful after the event.

    @Rob Sheffield – While I think Labour can be quite patient on actual policy committments, I do think the time is fast approaching when the public needs to have some clearer understanding of the direction of travel, if not the policy specifics.

    Cameron was good at this up to a point. His problem was that while he defined a general direction well, he kept changing it. This is what cost him the credibility he needed to win outright.

    There are opportunities for Milliband to draft a radical yet still reassuring platform in these current turbulent times, but it will be a tough ask.

    On former miners as MPs – try Ian Lavery (Wansbeck, Lab) Looks like a miner, sounds like a miner and by all accounts is well respected locally.

  8. I think Labour should remain policy lite as much as possible – the tories stayed policy lite through the entire campaign in 2010 – Had their health and higher education policies actually reached the public consciousness prior to the election – I rather suspect they would have been rightly mauled.

    Clegg had also decided on cuts – demanding these from Labour during coalition talks – in the first year yet again he forgot to inform us of this still insisting he did not support any – again up to polling day and beyond

    Hide the truth from the voters [snip] or failing that, just lie [snip]

    Both might work for Ed!

  9. I am :-) at the discussion about Ed M v DC.

    Doesn’t anybody share my perception: Ed M went up significantly before falling back a bit & DC went down significantly before rallying a bit. Their Parties’ share of VI failed to correlate with these movements…

    …again, Anthony can correct me, if I’m wrong & I will cease smiling about it. 8-)

  10. Amber – Ed Miliband’s ratings went up after Hackgate, and there was also a small but genuine increase in the Labour lead from Hackgate (from around 7 point leaders to around 8 point leads). Clearly at best a quite a substantial shift in leadership perceptions had only the smallest impact on VI, and correlation should not imply causality anyway, but there was some move at the same time.

  11. Iceman – how much policy oppositions should have is always tricky. Once you announce policies, the other parties can attack them if they look unpopular, or steal them or undermine them if they look popular,

    On the other hand, if you remain too policy light other parties can attack you for not offering anything and not having any solutions or ideas, and it’s hard for the public to see what you stand for.

    For the early years of opposition, the traditional “we are reviewing our policies” which Miliband has gone for is almost certainly the best thing to do.

  12. @Iceman – all parties tend to be less specific about policies pre election rather than in government. That’s only natural, as policies need to undergo formal consultation and implementation and are likely to change as a result.

    However, while the specifics of many government policies weren’t explicitly detailed, the intentions in many areas were quite clear.

    I know many of you will come forward and cite examples of policies that have come from nowhere, but in many cases it can be argued that people (and journalists) didn’t bother to read the manifestos and are now complaining about things we were actually told about in general terms, if not in specifics.

  13. Certain to Vote

    Constiuency poll for SP

    SNP 49% : Lab 28% : Con 13% : LD 7%


    SNP 42% : Lab 33% : Con 15% : LD 6%

    I may permit myself a quiet smile – :-) :-) :-)

  14. @ Old Nat

    Wake up call for Labour re: Westminster.

    No independence questions/outcomes – yet. That’s a disappointment.

  15. Choenlai
    “Funny thing you are a Tory, yours is the first interesting comment I have read all day. You do not predict a Tory win, because that is what you would like to happen, you make an intelligent none partisan statement.
    I can only believe certain anti government posters live and work in Labour strongholds and probably as teachers or civil servants/ local government at that. The adamant statements about the death of Toryism and the never ending rise of socialism does not fit in with what I see and hear. Lets face it, it does not fit with a poll of polls either.”

    Thanks for the comments. I do try and keep to the comments policy & write intelligent remarks!

  16. @Old Nat

    A comment on News Net Scotland from doonhamer.

    According to the Scotland Votes calculators, these numbers would provide the SNP with 65 constituency seats, Labour with 5, Cons 1 and LibDem2 at Holyrood.

    At Westminster, the SNP would rise to 34 seats leaving Labour at 21, LibDem collapsed to 3 and Cons still at 1.

    A majority of seats in both Houses indicate that it is time for a declaration of independence.

  17. MORI leader satisfaction in Scotland

    Sat, Dis, DK, Net, Leader
    30%, 61%, 9%, -31%. Cameron
    26%, 62%, 12%, -36%, Clegg
    35%, 49%, 16%, -14%, Miliband
    17%, 32%, 51%, -14%, Rennie
    62%, 28%, 9%, +34%, Salmond

  18. Anthony
    Can you explain why in Scotland Labour have a 14% LEAD (37-23) over SNP in the latest YG poll, compared with a 9% deficit (33-42) in the MORI poll ? There is an enormous difference (mainly in the SNP and Tory votes). The recent Parliamentary by election and local elections in Scotland suggests the position may be somewhere in between, but that’s just my guesstimate. Very peculiar.

  19. Allan Christie

    Thanks. That saves me the trouble of putting the data into Scotland Votes.

  20. Welsh Borderer

    YouGov haven’t done a Scottish poll since May (when they got it pretty badly wrong). This is the first Scottish poll we have had since the election.

  21. @ Anthony

    Re: Leadership & VI
    ….but there was some move at the same time.
    Not enough to make me think it is worth the ink expended on it… & I don’t think you disagree with me.

    But still, debate about leaders here is always a cut above the quality anywhere else so maybe I will cease pouring cold water on it.

  22. OLDNAT

    Usually a new leader enjoys a honeymoon period so Rennie at -14% must be a good result for his personal approval ratings..oh dear!!! ;)

  23. @ Old Nat

    Thanks for the Mori tables: When I have a month free, I will look at them in detail! Honestly, why can’t they ‘adopt’ the summary format from YG?

  24. OLDNAT

    Thanks for your helpful (!) intervention, but you have missed my point.


    I asked if you could explain the difference between the latest MORI poll in Scotland and the figures from the Scotland sample in yesterday’s YG poll which gave

    Headline Voting Intention – Scotland
    Con 27
    Lab 42
    Lib Dem 7
    SNP 23

    I know the YG sample is much smaller, but there have been similar results in many/most recent YG polls. I think we need some advice from a strictly non-partisan source !

  25. Chrislane 1945,
    Your Iron Law has ignored the 1924 – 29 Tory Government.. Despite Bakdwin having won a 200 majority in 1924 the Tories were defeated in 1929 with Labour becoming the largest party for the first time ,and Ramsay Macdonald forming his second Government.

  26. Welsh Borderer

    Anthony has given the answer many, many times with regard to the meaningless nature of sub-samples. Size isn’t the most important thing, but the sub-sample isn’t representative of the underlying demographic.

  27. Anthony

    Sorry I misquoted the YG Scotland figures which should have read

    Con 27
    Lab 37
    Lib Dem 7
    SNP 23

  28. @ Allan Christie

    A majority of seats in both Houses indicate that it is time for a declaration of independence.
    So why are the SNP dragging their feet on this, I wonder?

  29. Amber

    You are Wendy Alexander, and I claim my £5!

  30. OLDNAT

    Sorry I thought I asked a non-partisan question to Anthony…..
    Sub-samples cannot simply be ignored – if they are so inaccurate why publish them at all ? If they show the same pattern day after day in Scotland are you claiming that is still wrong ? I wonder what you would say if the figures were the other way round !!


    I copied that comment from another poster as I stated at the top of that post but in any case a good question..however!!! The power to call a referendum lies with Westminster (although the SNP will call it) so why don’t the Unionists call the referendum?

    After all it is them who have made a bigger case of the SNP losing the vote than the SNP have said about winning the vote. Erm what were the words again? Bring it on lol. ;)

  32. Welsh Borderer

    I gave you a non-partisan answer, based on what Anthony has said on a regular basis.

    I have learned much about polling from Anthony – usually by just reading what he writes!

    As to why, sub-samples are published at all is a question I have often asked too.

  33. “Hide the truth from voters or just lie” I know that Iceman
    was joking or being sarcastic when he said that ,but one
    of the reasons I have such respect for EM is that I do not
    believe he would do that.Time of course will tell.

  34. Oldnat did correctly relay what my answer would have been!

    Regional crossbreaks for voting intention are really not worth looking at – to start with they have a small sample size, but even if you aggregate them together to solve that problem, GB polls are sampled and weighted so they are representative *overall*, so the crossbreaks are not necessarily representative. In a perfect world it would all even out in the wash, but I wouldn’t count on it.

    For many other questions, they can still give you something useful – if 70% of people approve of something in Scotland and 40% do in England, you can take that as showing there is a difference! For something like voting intention where a couple of percentage points really matters, regional crossbreaks are best ignored.

    Scottish cross-breaks in particular I’d be wary of given there is a partially different party system. Politically weighted Scottish polls will have the SNP properly weighted for. For GB polls, the political weighting will be aimed at getting Con, Lab, Ld right.

  35. Anthony

    Thanks for the explanation of why you publish the crossbreaks.

  36. Very scary figures for Labour in Scotland. They need to get their act together. No leader no policy platform, no visibility – no wonder that they are vanishing before our eyes.

    Sad thing is is that this does not surprise me. Figures seem a bit ott, but thought that in May – and was proved spectacularly wrong. To be fair so was everyone else.

    As for independence and the referendum. I don’t believe that independence will be voted for at any time. But my beliefs have been proved very wrong this year so what do I know!

    The timetable is key – Alec has two choices it seems to me. Go in the next six months: he might win with the opposition utterly invisible – though the prospect of the referendum ought to galvanise them, And if he loses he will be well out of the post referendum blues and win again in 2016 with a significant move forward at westminster in 2015.

    Or wait until after 2015 westminster election and gamble on the return of a Tory government to use people’s utter frustration to give independence a go.

    If he goes pre 2015 but close to it then the Labour party will be in some kind of shape and a defeat would dampen his vote both in 2015 and 2016.

    I should, of course, offer no advice to Alec Salmond – he , himself, is the great tactician on these things.

  37. Welsh Borderer

    One trouble with regional sub samples is they are not weighted according to the demographics of the region by by Britain as a whole. This causes problems with Scotland in particular. If you look at the figures in the daily YouGov polls, they always tend to over-represent both Labour and the Conservatives in Scotland.

    Scotland also has a comparatively small population, so the size of the sub-sample will be small usually in the 200-250 range with YouGov. This would give your VI figures margins of error of +/- 6 or 7.making it very difficult to compare them.

    For other pollsters with smaller total samples, you’re often talking of Scottish samples of 100 or less, so the margins would be even bigger.

  38. These Scottish poll figures seem a bit odd – certainly not consistent with the Inverclyde by election result or recent local by elections where Labour has been doing quite well!
    Bank holiday poll?

  39. @ Ann

    yes I was joking. There was a touch of bitterness in there in AW’s snips ( probably fair enough)

    I would expect some significant vision from Ed ( I did vote for him) and considerable detail. Contrary to what has been said abotu him – Ed is a conviction politician with a clear vision of a more responsible and inclusive society.

    In fact my fear is that he may give too much detail pre-election rather than too little.

    I like Ed – he is a bit geeky, earnest and sincere. He is not self serving or self-seeking. he must learn the pr game though – hehas not mastered any of the soundbite stuff or the importance of appearance.

  40. Iceman

    I’m not greatly surprised by the Holyrood figures, but I am by the Westminster VI.

    I always recognised that FPTP for Westminster raised the theoretical possibliity of the SNP gaining a majority of Westminster seats, but that always seemed a remote possibility, as long as Scots voted for Westminster based on their view of which UK party was preferred (and not much doubt about that)!

    My thesis has always been that it is the prism through which politics is viewed that determined the differential voting patterns between Westminster and Holyrood. That it was possible that the same prism would be used for Westminster as for Holyrood was but my hope!

  41. Graham – fieldwork was Thursday to Monday, so it did encompass the bank holiday weekend.

    I’m always slightly wary about that – us pollsters worry it might come up with odd things, but I’m not sure it’s really justified. It’s possible to find examples of bank holidays producing wacky figures (most infamously the Populus polling on the May bank holiday weekend in 2005, which produced a huge Labour lead and threw off their rolling poll for three days right before the election)… but equally, there are plenty of rogue polls out there that weren’t conducted on bank holiday weekends, and there are also examples of polls conducted over bank holiday weekends that are perfectly normal.

    Hence, while I’d advise caution, I’m not actually sure I’m right to!

  42. Graham

    These Scottish poll figures seem a bit odd – certainly not consistent with the Inverclyde by election result or recent local by elections where Labour has been doing quite well!
    Bank holiday poll?

    Not too sure what you mean? The SNP have just won a local by-election in Edinburgh central and a stunning by-election in Aberdeen Donside. The Inverclyde by-election saw the SNP increase their vote by 13% in what was one of the safest Labour seats in the UK.

    The SNP also lost two Westminster by-elections before last Mays vote but look at the outcome of the May vote!! I don’t think you can read anything into a by-election and national opinion polls.

  43. Anthony

    Thanks for that explanation (I’d assumed you’d gone down the pub so I answered a bit for you). If the Scots sub-sample is not weighted separately on Party-ID that you explain why the Conservative figure in particular is always higher.

    If anyone wants a good recent example of when the Scottish column can give you an interesting result, there’s a very recent one here:

    where the Scottish view is very different from the rest of Britain. (Cue OldNat pointing out that the view of the rest of Britain was completely irrelevant as it was a matter for the Scots to decide)

  44. Iceman,agreed up to a point.Just thinking of Churchill ,he
    was certainly his own man but looked like a bull frog.But
    people trusted him because he was true to himself.I still
    think that Camerons main problem is that people do not
    really trust him for whatever reason.Ed is only geeky because the media portray him as so .I have met him and
    he is not.

  45. *Correction.

    Can’t compare a by-election to Nat oppinion polls!!

  46. Anthony,
    I do agree – though MORI tends to be rather volatile anway with its 100% certainty to vote figures. Add in the Bank holiday and – who knows?

  47. Allan,
    The fact remains that Labour’s vote remained very solid at Inverclyde – and last week Labour did win with relative ease a seat in Ayrshire widely expected to go SNP.

  48. There was no bank holiday in Scotland this weekend. Schools are back. Seems a fair time to me to poll.

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