This week’s YouGov poll for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 36%, LAB 42%, LDEM 11%. Eleven percent is actually the highest Lib Dem score that YouGov, who tend to show the lowest figures for the Lib Dems, have shown for just over a month. Nevertheless, it is less than stunning for a conference boost. As ever, I’ll post a full report when the tables appear tomorrow morning.

In the Sunday papers there are also some figures from a YouGov poll for IPPR in the Observer*, which asked how likely people were to vote for each party, giving us an idea of the core vote and the ceiling for each party. For the Conservatives 19% of people would always vote Tory, 42% would never vote Tory; for Labour 24% say they would always vote Labour, 30% would never vote for them; for the Lib Dems just 5% would always vote for them, 36% would never vote for them.

(*and for those somewhat surprised to find YouGov conducting telephone polls, it’s just a mistake in the Observer. It was an online poll as usual!)


134 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 36, LAB 42, LDEM 11”

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  1. Am I first?Surely not!

  2. The LD’s must be very disappointed with this, although to be fair the conference wasn’t a ra ra to the country, it was much more about showing themselves as being a responsible part of the coalition government.

  3. ANN (IN WALES)

    You are a lady. Obviously, the gentlemen amongst us will open the door for you. :-)

  4. It has to be a serious disappointment though. Nick Clegg put a lot of effort into his speech, and they got plenty of coverage, but hardly any benefit. The Labour lead has been very steady over the last few days but it’s likely that it will fluctuate again in the near future with first their conference then the Conservatives’ coming up.

  5. @ Robert

    I don’t think we’ll be losing much sleep over this. Conference was about laying the foundations for long-term recovery, not generating an instant poll-bounce.

  6. Old Nat,You are too kind!

  7. 24% will always vote Labour, yet in 2010 they only got 29%.

    That might be as bad as they CAN get, at least at the moment.

  8. Bluejock’s comments (on a previous thread) about YG being the best source for understanding the effect of short term events seem to be justified.

    A marginal increase in LD support (I’d guess not in Scotland) on the back of increased publicity maybe gives some credence to the concept of a conference blip, but the LDs seem to have achieved only the lowest level of blipness.

  9. Ann
    Old Nat,You are too kind!

    You are obviously a lady. Regrettably, too many of your gender nowadays, would refer to we gentlemen as patronising, for such a comment. :)

  10. Robert

    I was only holding the door open for Ann, because she didn’t have a hand free – carrying all my luggage and shopping, as she was. :-)

  11. I can’t see the Lib Dems recovering much beyond 13% at the next GE. Even if they signed many pledges, because of the student fee issue, nobody would believe them. I think they still have pockets of strongish support around the country, but they will lose votes to nationalists in Scotland/Wales, Tories in S.England and Labour in N.England. Labour voters who voted tactically won’t back them again, leaving the Tories more change of winning some seats.

    Many people who are not political, will not understand what the Lib Dems stand for. Some will have thought that they were socialist liberals but now many will think they are Conservative Liberals. Perhaps they have always been a mixture. The same can be said of other parties who house a broad range of political views. But the point is that the Lib Dems will need to start thinking about how to present themselves, as a party offering a different propostion, whatever the outcome of the election. i.e a few red lines will be required which are not negotiable.

  12. Robert,I was brought up to value courtesy,but I cannot be
    held responsible for the things girls get up to today.But
    perhaps it was ever so!

  13. D ABRAHAMS

    “I don’t think we’ll be losing much sleep over this. Conference was about laying the foundations for long-term recovery, not generating an instant poll-bounce.”

    I agree. NC must be quite pleased with how it all went. His nightmare as to how he might have thought it would go, back in May has gone. He is safe as leader I reckon until the GE in 2015. He only has two possible credible challengers; there are still question marks over Huhne re; his wife’s allegations on the motoring issue and Farron has categorically ruled himself out as a challenger for the foreseeable future.

    IMO Farron will be the next leader eventually. He has the charisma. Huhne doesn’t .

  14. ANN (IN WALES)

    I rather appreciate that young females (and males) tend to hold doors open for me nowadays, as I limp towards them. Like you, I value their courtesy.

  15. Old Nat, for the last few days I have been at the Caerleon
    Campus in Wales.To get there I have been using the bus
    service along with crowds of students.What has been truly
    heartening is the number of students who have given up
    their seats for the elderly or infirm.Courtesy and good
    manners are not completely forgotten,thank goodness.

  16. Clearly there is absolutely no Clegg speech/ conference bounce for the Lib Dems on this evidence.

    Now: can EdM do any better (he said unconvinced…).

  17. ANN (IN WALES)

    Good, isn’t it? I find the constant denigration of the young, that I see in the media, utterly disconnected with my own experience.

  18. @R Huckle – “Many people who are not political, will not understand what the Lib Dems stand for.”

    An undertaking from LDs not to vote down the Tory government, in return for an AV referendum and one or two other policies besides, would have allowed them to retain their identity.

    If the party had followed Charles Kennedy’s lead by voting against the coalition deal but for confidence and supply, perhaps there might even have been a partial schism with Clegg/Laws/Alexander etc going into government, the rest staying outside.

    This would have been more the kind of deal Labour would have offered if possible… and (ironically) much kinder to LDs in the long run.

  19. Reports that BAE systems (UK’s largest manufacturer) are on the brink of announcing 3,000 job losses. I guess this could be a big story in conference season after Osborne’s ‘march of the makers’, but it just adds to the general sense of gloom.

    @Colin – not sure if you’re out there, but you posted this on the last thread; “But I am genuinely torn on this one [responsibility for sub prime loans]. On the one hand , the inevitable repossession causes stress & family breakdown-on the other hand I believe that people should be responsible ( with the above listed caveats) for their actions in borrowing money & spending it, and they suffered no material loss-having paid only for the temporary occupancy of a house.”

    I think if you read up on what happened in the sub prime scandal you’ll find poor home owners were sold mortgages fraudulently with false promises about future interest rates, and many lenders and loan arrangers have gone to prison for this.

    I also think your notion that the borrowers ‘suffered no material loss’ is quaint nonsense. These people may be poor, but many of them don’t lack pride, and the stories of the sacrifices some of them made to try and meet mortgage payments to hold on to their dreams are heart breaking. And then there is the impact on whole communities of the empty, unsold repo homes that has ripped the heart of of whole neighbourhoods, blighting many more lives than the unfortunates who were sold mortgages illegally.

    I’m sure you’re a lovely chap, but I do sometimes wonder quite which planet you live on. ‘No material loss’. Hmmm.

  20. BILLY BOB

    I wouldn’t bet on their not being a schism in the LDs in Scotland (nor in the Tories and Labour).

  21. @ Billy Bob

    At the risk of repeating myself:

    Tory minority government in May 2010 = Tory majority government in October 2010 (with Lib Dems rightly punished by the electorate for flunking their opportunity).

    The Lib Dems knew that a second election would be a disaster for them. That’s why the Coalition got overwhelming backing from MPs. Laws records the vote as 50 in favour, 0 against ( I think Kennedy abstained).

    Opponents and pundits have been waiting for the Lib Dems to shatter into pieces ever since. They will continue to be disappointed.

  22. D Abrahams

    “Opponents and pundits have been waiting for the Lib Dems to shatter into pieces ever since. They will continue to be disappointed.”

    You are a Federal party (in theory). You may well be right that the Scottish Party won’t schism – but simply hemorrhage members and voters to other parties. At this late stage in the constitutional debate, your leadership here has made a decision – to set up another Commission to decide whether the Steel Commission, or the Calman Commission had the “right” (see! I can use Nick Clegg’s language).

    By the time you have decided on your approach, the debate will have been concluded, and your party even more of an irrelevance here.

    In England, I wish you well.

  23. Rob Sheffiled

    Clearly there is absolutely no Clegg speech/ conference bounce for the Lib Dems on this evidence

    All to put it another way, there is a conference bounce but it is only a small one the usual 9 rising to 10 rising to eleven. Of course this could be an outlier and there is no bounce at all , or just as likely there may be a slightly larger bounce. I was hoping for 12%. So it just fell short.

    I agree with D Abraham that the speech was directed more to laying foundations, and in particular carrying the Party and countering any internal opposition rather than appealing to the outside world. My view is that he succeeded.

    In doing so he seems to have done his own image no harm.

  24. Ed Miliband would be a fool if he goes for a poll bounce in the current conference. He would also be a fool if the Labour party conference is a carefully calculated, New Labour-style affair.

    Thus far, he’s understood he’s in it for a long game. The 2011 conference should be a time for airing differences and for establishing authority within the party. He should be talking primarily to his party, not the country.

    There will be time for rousing pre-election speeches in 2013-2015. Now is the time to lay the groundwork for 2015.

  25. A bounce from 10 to 11 is an increase of 10% a bounce from 9 to 11 is an increase of more than 20% to put into perspective DC and EM would have to get at least 4 points in VI to match NC and nearer 8 to match the move from 9 to 11

  26. RIn

    And a bounce from 10.4 to 10.5 is? A bounce from 9.4 to 10.5 is?

  27. Robert

    IMO Farron will be the next leader eventually. He has the charisma. Huhne doesn’t

    I agree the charisma bit. I do not think CH has much of a chance.

    I would not vote for TF as leader, although I respect his ability to appeal to the public. I do not think there is a future for a second social democratic Party (I see New Labour is the first).

    IMO we have got our strategy wrong; we are either a truly independent Liberal Party (neither left or right wing) or we are a left of centre SD Party, in which case we must replace not work with Labour.

    I would be happy with either. But if we adopt the second route then it should be war.

    The first thing is to eliminate Labour’s financial advantage and change the law on political donations. The second is to attack Labour as outdated and obsolete, and driven by class hatred (I am not suggesting that this is (or is not) the case).

    This won’t happen, amd I suspect that is why we will not become one of the two major parties.

  28. RinN

    A bounce from 10 to 11 is an increase of 10% a bounce from 9 to 11 is an increase of more than 20% to put into perspective DC and EM would have to get at least 4 points in VI to match NC and nearer 8 to match the move from 9 to 11

    I agree, although this was not IMO the major aim of this Conference, whereas future years it will be.

    I think NC will be a very happy deputy PM at the moment.

  29. A truly independent Liberal Party in the Gladstonian sense is not really so different from what the modern day Conservative Party is. Gladstone believed in laissez-faire and the Benthamite principles, much as the free market element of the modern Conservative Party do. The only difference between Gladstonian Liberalism and the Conservatives is that the Conservatives have an authoritarian streak to them Gladstone did not – and even then, whilst Gladstone did not, you could argue that was represented by the Whigs. In fact, calling Cameron and the frontbench Peelites and the backbenchers Whigs is a fairly accurate analogy.

  30. Old Nat

    You have to go and prick my bubble, when I was just trying to put a partisan gloss on the figures. And give me complicated maths as well. You could have a least waited a while before wiping the smile from Henry and david’s faces

  31. @D Abrahams

    Admittedly by October 2010 LDs were polling badly, but Labour were already showing signs of parity with the Conservatives.

    The years when there were two elections (1910 and 1974) do not yield any conclusive pointer to the outcome of a putative Oct 2010 campaign, except perhaps that it would have been a more low key affair (with perhaps more scrutiny of Conservative plans).

    Labour polling had been on an upwards trend since before May 2010, and that continued. The decision by LD to enter coaltiion was without doubt the reason why their vote share plummeted.
    It is debatable whether another million or two from Ashcroft would have achieved more net gains than previous millions over the years.

    There were credible rumours that Cameron was planning an election earlier this year (as part of a twin track… either a 2015 Con/LD electoral pact *or* a snap election in May), but again, parity with Labour in the polls gave him pause for thought.

    Perhaps you are saying LDs (“The Lib Dems knew that a second election would be a disaster for them”) were putting party first. ;)

  32. RiN

    I was being nice! I only quoted the numbers to one decimal place! :-)

  33. The Daily Mail is “reporting” (I can’t think of an alternative word that wouldn’t offend ChrisLane :-) ) a BPIX poll

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2041298/Labour-picked-wrong-Miliband-say-voters-believe-Ed-failed-miserably-David-Cameron.html#ixzz1Yufm3Z51

  34. Top Hat

    A truly independent Liberal Party in the Gladstonian sense is not really so different from what the modern day Conservative Party is

    Gladstone promised to abolish income tax if re-elected (he wasn’t on that occasion), and I am not sure whether one could call DC Gladstonian.

  35. Buried within the Mail’s incoherent ramblings is the following

    “the BPIX poll shows Labour is ahead overall on 40, followed by the Conservatives on 37 and the Liberal Democrats on 10.”

  36. If I was a Lib Dem supporter I’d be mightily relieved that their poll ratings haven’t slipped further back after their recent conference. Alright, there’s been no discernible bounce, but after what the public witnessed in Birmingham last week (if indeed many were watching), I’m surprised that they haven’t leaked support. From what I saw they appeared a party devoid of ideas, energy and vitality and bereft of charisma, star names and personalties. Their leader appeared to be a Conservative too.

    Hardly a spectacle to woo back the support they’ve lost to Labour, was it?

  37. OldNat
    Buried within the Mail’s incoherent ramblings is the following “the BPIX poll shows Labour is ahead overall on 40, followed by the Conservatives on 37 and the Liberal Democrats on 10.”

    The ramblings basically say that EM is a disaster as leader, and miles behind the other two leaders on most things.

  38. I like the core voter analysis. It gives a nice base figure to work out the future with!

  39. Henry

    I came across this when I wanted to remind myself of Gladstone’s attitude to Scottish Home Rule (ie whether his party is the equivalent of the modern Tory party) from a group that describe themselves as the “Liberal Democrat History Group”

    http://www.liberalhistory.org.uk/item_single.php?item_id=21&item=history

    I have to say, as a historian, that I would cringe and immediately dissociate myself from a group that distorts history for their own advantage 9there are quite enough of those in the SNP :-) , but few of them try to describe themselves as historians!)

  40. Crossbat11

    From what I saw they appeared a party devoid of ideas, energy and vitality and bereft of charisma, star names and personalties. Their leader appeared to be a Conservative too.

    I do not think Clegg was trying to appeal to you.

    I do not think you are right on public perception about charisma; I think they recognise the charisma in the likes of Clegg himself, Cable and (love him or loathe him) Tim Farron. I do not think they recognise charisma in EM, although he appears a nice enough sort of guy.

  41. @ Billy Bob

    ‘Perhaps you are saying LDs (“The Lib Dems knew that a second election would be a disaster for them”) were putting party first.’

    On this occasion the best interests of party and country happily coincided. :)

  42. Henry

    Congratulations on reading through it all! I couldn’t be bothered. However, that conclusion isn’t surprising.

    Labour has no leader in Scotland – sorry, that’s wrong. Ed is their glorious leader here. The crossbreaks might be interesting.

  43. Old Nat
    Henry – Congratulations on reading through it all! I couldn’t be bothered. However, that conclusion isn’t surprising.

    Thanks but I am still working on it

  44. @D Abrahams

    Good answer. ;)

  45. The blue propaganda machine has decided that ed is the weak link for labour. There is going to be a drip drip campaign comparing him to DC lots of questions about his suitability for pm and try to keep the “betrayal” of his brother in the public mind. They want any election to be about personalities not policies.

  46. Crossbat11
    “Hardly a spectacle to woo back the support they’ve lost to Labour, was it?”

    I would think that most of that was Labour supporters who voted tactically anyway. I doubt if they have lost much of their core support. The only ‘true-yellow’ supporters they will have lost will be those who never wanted to be in government anyway – the beard and sandals brigade. I would think these would be more likely to go Green than Labour.

  47. Richard in Norway
    “The blue propaganda machine has decided that ed is the weak link for labour.”

    If they try to undermine him too much, they risk him being replaced with a more effective leader. If they are at all bright they will try to undermine him but stop short of making him look so useless that Labour have to ditch him.

    It’s not hard to think of other targets – e.g. the economic mess that was inherited.

  48. Pete B

    ” the beard and sandals brigade”

    I’ve always found that description not only unimaginative, but also wholly inaccurate.

    Now, it may well be that you are accurately describing the English Liberal Party section of the Federal LDs – I wouldn’t know.

    However, the core of the old Scottish Liberal Party that was subsumed into the modern LDs was actually the Crofter’s Party.

    It is true that most of them were bearded rather than shaven, but sandalled?

  49. Oldnat
    I wasn’t saying that all LDs are ‘beard and sandals’, just that it is a convenient shorthand for a section of the party. In a similar way one can suggest that there are “hang’em and flog’em” Tories and perhaps “string ’em up” Labourites.

    (The “ems” referred to being different groups of people of course)

    I’m not sure what the SNAT equivalent would be. “Flower of Scotland” Nats perhaps?

  50. Pete B,

    There are some in the SNP to whom the sobriquet “Tartan Tories” certainly applies. A slightly less provocative term for them would be “National Party folk”. I’ve met others who are variously green Georgists, socialists, and social democrats. Like the old Ulster Unionist party, it’s somewhat of a broad church (or kirk, rather).

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