Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 38%, LAB 42%, LDEM 9%. We are back to a four point Labour lead, and it looks as though the Conservative veto boost has indeed begun to fade away. The full tabs for the Sun also have the regular questions on leader perceptions, which show the boost Cameron recieved in his own ratings also beginning to fade.

I was expecting the monthly Populus poll for the Times to appear tonight as well, as I understand the fieldwork was done over the weekend, but so far nothing has appeared on their website. Perhaps it will be in Wednesday’s paper.

55 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 38, LAB 42, LDEM 9”

1 2
  1. First again. Still nothing worth saying about the return to polldrums.

  2. Presumably, few people (other than us geeks) are thinking about politics at this time of year anyway.

    Maybe that’s why the SLab leadership voting numbers were so low?

  3. @ Old Nat

    Unless it keeps moving in the left direction; then there will something to say. :-)

  4. Primero?

  5. @ Old Nat

    Maybe that’s why the SLab leadership voting numbers were so low?
    Have they been published, already?

  6. Not even close.

  7. Will there be an EU summit in the first week of May 2015?

    If it is in April, Cameron will have to do something spectacular to make the bounce last.

  8. Glad to see Tory vote still up on general election and that the government still out poll Her Majesty’s Official Opposition* though.

    *That’s Labour for cloud spotter’s benefit.

  9. As predicted.

    Still, I’d rather live in a world where C38 L42 is a bad poll for the Tories. Better than back when this would have been a breath of fresh air…

  10. Amber

    The publication of the SLab data is about as likely as the acceptance of alternative posts on Labour Hame (they did have an “Arab Spring” for a wee bit, but now seem to have reverted to” military rule”! :-) )

  11. Neil A

    Surely you were alive in the early months of 2010?

  12. Not quite a return to polldrums though. The Conservatives still seem to have held the two or three points taken from UKIP. That said in any real election that would almost certainly happen in any case, so it’s probably just a more realistic starting point than anything else.

    The other change that seems to have been retained from last week’s flurry in the polls is something that someone (tingedfringe?) already picked up on – the switch in Government Approval from general support among Lib Dems to being against. The usual provisos on small numbers apply, but it seems pretty consistent over last 5 or 6 YouGovs and on an anecdotal level you can see it reflected in some unease among firm Lib Dem coalition supporters such as Henry.

    We could well see increased restiveness among Lib Dems at all levels over the next few months. It may be that Cameron’s ‘veto’ is another example of him being tactically clever but strategically foolish and gaining short term popularity while undermining his position in the long-term.

    There’s also the possibility that actual consideration of the issues can change opinion. The most dramatic example of this is the response to how people would vote in an EU withdrawal referendum. This has move from roughly 50-30 for leaving to 40-40 in two weeks (why isn’t there a smiley for ‘told yer so’?). More discussion of the EU at a level more elevated than making rude noises may perhaps cast doubts on Cameron’s judgement in the minds of some.

  13. @ Old Nat

    On Saturday at the new leader meet ‘n’ greet (both meanings apply), I was invited to write an article for Labour Hame. I think not; why go to all that effort for about 5 readers?

  14. Credit to Anthony Wells again: he’s said before its about salience… the fact is that Europe isn’t an issue most people fuss too much about, except some odd balls on the far right…. hence any bounce was only ever going to last a week at most.

  15. @ Roger Mexico

    (why isn’t there a smiley for ‘told yer so’?).
    I tried :smug git: but it didn’t work. ;-)

  16. Amber

    “meet ‘n’ greet (both meanings apply),”


  17. Polldrums? Not at all. Looks very much like the Tory bounce is on it’s way back to earth (a whole 10 days poll boost for Cameron after his ‘veto’), and there is an interesting question as to whether there will be some residual benefit, or if it will go all the way back down (or further).

    It’s been a very illuminating example of the potential temporary impact of a single issue.

  18. Robin – the Labour lead was usually larger than this in May 2011.
    The Tories won the national vote in the local elections.

    In 1983, despite a very difficult period in 1979-81,
    the Government was re-elected.

    E M will stay in place.


    In 1983, despite a very difficult period in 1979-81,
    the Government was re-elected

    1982 Falklands War.
    1983 election anti-Tory vote split by the SDP.
    2015 anti-Tory vote united, Lib Dems dead in the water.
    No comparison at all.

  20. So the current bounce seems to have been even briefer than the last one (the end of Ghaddafi and the response to the riots), which was briefer than the one before the one before that (the Budget and Labour’s woes back in April/May) which was briefer than the one before that (the post-GE honeymoon).

    Why am I left with the idea of a slo-mo video of tennis ball rising more briefly on every bounce until it finally flat-lines?


    By the way Labour gained 800 seats in the 2011 Local Elections.
    The Tories gained 400 mostly at the expence of the Lib Dems.

  22. 800 was respectable one year into a Parliament.
    But the point I’m putting to you is the Tories made gains, and won the national vote,
    after a strong result in 2007,
    despite the opinion polls.

    How do you know the Tories wouldn’t have won in 1983 without those factors?
    It’s perfectly possible they would have done – it could have gone either way.

  23. @ Old Nat (from the last thread)

    “I wasn’t being threatened! The guy just made assumptions that because I was “a Brit” (little did he know!) that I would share his view of Anglo-Saxons being alone against a sea of enemies.”

    Lol. That makes the situation all the more funny. He probably had not met a Scots Nat before or even knew what the SNP was or stood for. Even if he wasn’t threatening you, it’s still uncomfortable.

    I think the whole idea of “being alone against a sea of enemies” is a very unhealthy perspective on the world. It’s an even unhealthier driver of foreign policy.

    “Just as offensive, are all the people who, in casual conversation, assume that because I am male, I’ll agree with their derogatory comments about women – etc etc.”

    I’ve had that happen to me too quite a lot. I don’t like it but I find it very informative.

    “I suspect that such people are simply mental eunuchs – lacking the essential bits to relate to other people. Unfortunately some such people get elected to political office.”

    Unfortunately, I think that there are a lot of mental enuchs out there who do know how to relate to other people. It’s often the highly intelligent who have difficulty relating to the electorate.

  24. Joe James B – “The Tories won the national vote in the local elections.”

    Do you mean The Tories won the Rawlings and Thrasher notional national projection? BBC popular vote projection went the other way, and I’m how reliable these kind of calculations? R&T’s predictive methods are not without critics.

    There was also a swing away from the Tories of 9.25% at the by election on that day, in Leicester South – probably just as much relevance if not more, to the Westminster picture.

    @Stockport Red

    Councillors: Con +86, Lab +857, LD -748


    The Tories made gains from their partners in Govenment, not by and large from Labour.
    I obviously don’t know what would have happened in 1983 without the Falklands War and the anti-Tory vote being split at the election.
    I am merely stating the obvious the anti-Tory vte was split.
    It is not likely that it will be next time so the comparison does not apply.
    Incidentally I was canvassing for Labour in 1983, so I do know what I am talking about.

  26. BILLY BOB,

    Thanks, I was obviously over estimating the size of the Tory ” triumph” and the dismal Labour performance!

  27. Obviously it was split in 1983, and they would have had a much better chance of getting themselves back into government (earlier) had they not allowed a take over of left wing loonies.
    If they’d stuck with the centre ground, they’d have done much better.

    But it’s also quite possible the Tories would have won anyway – inflation was in sharp retreat in 1982/3, and interest rates fell rapidly aswell.

    The EU may like to blame the British Tories for the fact that we were right stay out of the Euro, and their total lack of leadership could yet damage our economy, but if there is a recovery in the middle/later stages of this Parliament there is just as much time as in 1981-3 to turn things round.

  28. @ Old Nat

    “Presumably, few people (other than us geeks) are thinking about politics at this time of year anyway.”

    Well I do, like all the time. But I have a passion and love for it. I admit it.

    I’m trying to develop other topics of conversation that don’t consist of politics, law, and their effects as to public policy. It can get boring and repetitive. Especially for others.

    That’s why I was so happy a few months ago when I had a date with a navy officer and we got to talk about guns, military life, academics, food, shopping, dogs, etc. Politics really didn’t come up. It was kinda refreshing for a change.

    As for this time of year, people are busy with Christmas and New Year’s celebrations and shopping and all that. Politics doesn’t enter the equation. I even had a politics break on Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday of the year). I was too busy thinking about the food.

  29. @SOCAL

    “It was kinda refreshing for a change.”

    Have to agree with that. The Christmas shopping and some small DIY jobs have kept my mind well away from politics. I generally think about it when I sit down at the PC with no particular purpose. Have a peek at the news, this place a few other sites.

    I’m fiddling around with a general election spreadsheet for the future, but it’s really an exercise in spreadsheets and web design that politics (although, admittedly geeky!).

    After Wednesday I’ll be in Christmas mode, and with the exception of a little driving on Thursday and Monday coming, I’ll have plenty of time for Christmas cheer (the 40% variety).

  30. @ Amber Star

    “Unless it keeps moving in the left direction; then there will something to say.”

    It’ll be interesting to see if any other polls show the Tory bounce continuing (like in the ICM poll) or reversing back into a Labour lead as YouGov shows.

  31. @ Statgeek

    “Have to agree with that. The Christmas shopping and some small DIY jobs have kept my mind well away from politics. I generally think about it when I sit down at the PC with no particular purpose. Have a peek at the news, this place a few other sites.

    I’m fiddling around with a general election spreadsheet for the future, but it’s really an exercise in spreadsheets and web design that politics (although, admittedly geeky!).

    After Wednesday I’ll be in Christmas mode, and with the exception of a little driving on Thursday and Monday coming, I’ll have plenty of time for Christmas cheer (the 40% variety).”

    What’s funny is that I am no good at statistics or spreadsheets (I’ve never done web design but it does not seem like something I’d be good at) but for politics, all that melts away and I suddenly become very good at it (or at least mediocre).

  32. You know what sucks?

    Watching the Rachel Maddow show tonight, I learned that the U.S. was going to announce today a major deal between the U.S. and North Korea where we would send them hundreds of tons of food in exchange for slowing their nuclear program. Because of Kim Jong Il’s untimely death, this has been called off. :(

    And of course no one knows if this deal can be recussitated because no one really knows who’s in charge there.

  33. The big difference between now and 1983 (apart from the anti-Tory vote being united) is that in 1979 Con had a majority and 43.9% of the vote. In 1983 they managed to retain most of that (42.4%) but Lab lost a big chunk to SDP.

    But this time, to get an overall majority Con need to improve their 2010 performance by anything from 2% to 5%.

    Does that ever happen to incumbent Governments in the UK?

  34. NickP
    ‘Does that ever happen to incumbent Governments in the UK?’

    Not sure about ever but definitely not in the modern era (whatever that is).

    I wonder whether the circumstances are any different from past elections. Firstly, although DC was riding high for a while, by the election I think doubts had crept in, and 36% was not a good vote. Will the fact that the Govt has been in power for 5 years remove the fear of the unknown, and result in a boost. Alternatively disappointment of the ‘known’ (if austerity does not give a 2015 payback) may cancel this out.

    Also where will the excess LD vote go? Although I am hoping there will be a recovery I would expect say a 5% plus smaller LD vote.

    Lastly it is a matter of timing and I think DC is quite good at that. Will the GE occur, just when there is an ‘upblip’,such as the EU meeting?

    I would not bet against an overall Tory majority; however I would not bet for it either at this time.

  35. @Joe James B – I don’t think anyone on here minds a bit of wildly optimistic drum beating for a poster’s favourite party, but in general they do call for a bit of common sense in making ones assertions and assumptions.

    You may well be correct to think the Tories will win in 2015/whenever, but clinging on to the example of 1983 is not helpful to your case. Clearly, as others have already pointed out, the anti Tory dynamic was totally different back then.

    There is also a second critical factor, which I’m surprise @Oldnat and others haven’t pulled you up on. You talk about national vote share in the 2011 locals, but conveniently forget that Scotland wasn’t included. If it had been, it’s a racing cert that Labour would have won the popular vote.

    Then go back to 1983. Thatcher won 21 seats in Scotland back then – quite astonishing to think about that from a modern perspective. Now, I think they might get one or two, but by 2015 I would say probably none.

    As I’ve said many times before, try building a Tory majority with no Scottish seats – it’s never been done before in British electoral history.

  36. Why was it suddenly news that the Tories had a lead in the opinion polls, but not news when Labour are consistently in the lead?

    It wasn’t I – but you do make an interesting strategic point.
    Had, in 2010, the seat numbers been secure and Clegg tried to take his party in to coalition with the Cons, he would have faced an almighty party rebellion.
    If those remaining pro-coalition LibDems become more anti-Tory and the seat maths says they could go in to coalition with either side, he faces the same again (if there was good feeling between both sides, it’d be a no-brainer to continue the coalition).

    I suspect that this could be good for a LibDem recovery however – if the LibDem leadership matches the mood of the grassroots (as opposed to feigning the mood) they may push harder for more fundamentally left-wing changes.

    I doubt it’ll cause a formal split, only the Cons benefit from such a split – but it might be the turning point for the LibDems.

    “Do you mean The Tories won the Rawlings and Thrasher notional national projection? ”
    And how reliable is that when comparing local to national elections anyway? (Which are broadly different – and we only had local elections in parts of the country).

    Would this be the same figures that had 2009 as 35/22/25? With 2010 (actual GE) being +2/+8/-1
    Or 2000 being 38/30/26 and 2001 (actual) being -5/+12/-7?
    Or 2004 being 37/26/27 and 2005 (actual) being -4/+10/-4?
    Or 1991 being 35/38/22 and 1992 (actual) being +7/-4/-6? (and the local equivalent in that year being 46/30/20, compared to GE of 42/34/18 so -4/+4/-2)

    Perhaps comparing the national equivalent for local elections (where people vote for different reasons) to the actual votes isn’t the greatest way of judging how a general election would actually go.
    Many people would want a party running their council but wouldn’t dare let them touch the national government.

    “Does that ever happen to incumbent Governments in the UK?”
    1950-1951 Labour increased their votes by 1.63% of the electorate but lost due to FPTP.
    1964-1966 Labour increased their votes by 2.38% of the electorate.
    1987 and 1992, Cons increased their vote by 0.95% and 0.78% of the electorate, but Lab made gains of 3.13% and 3.54%.
    A repeat of 1987 or 1992 (those dastardly Kinnock years) would put Labour just below the Tories.

    So it is possible – but given the circumstances of 2010, the gains would have to come from UKIP and would be minimal (but due to FPTP still give the Tories OM).

  38. @ Joe James B/Stockport Red/Billy Bob etc

    I think you may all be missing another factor that differentiates the 1983 election from present political circumstances. That factor can be summed up in two words: Michael Foot.

    Now, as a political figure, I loved dear old Michael to bits but it was manifestly obvious to all but his most deluded admirers at the time that he was, in Prime Ministerial terms, totally unelectable. Throw in the infamous “longest suicide note in history” and Labour’s goose was well and truly cooked.

    Whilst some of his detractors think that Miliband is a nascent Foot, I’m not so sure, and I certainly can’t envisage Labour putting a manifesto in front of the electorate in 2015 that comes close to the 1983 masterpiece of self destruction.

    All in all, I’d say that similarities with the 1979-83 Parliament are virtually non-existent. That doesn’t mean Labour are a shoo-in for 2015, far from it, but Conservative supporters may be disappointed if they are looking forward to that period of history repeating itself.

    I’ve always subscribed to the view that history doesn’t repeat itself, only historians! ChrisLane 1945 would no doubt disagree!

  39. @Richard Deimel -“Why was it suddenly news that the Tories had a lead in the opinion polls, but not news when Labour are consistently in the lead?”

    First of all – hello – I don’t think I’ve seen you here before.

    I think the answer isn’t particularly sinister – just that it’s a change, so somewhat noteworthy. Whenever either side gets a poll boost we notice a tendency for that parties supporters to get happy and get active on UKPR, and that’s only natural. Over this last year or so the word ‘polldrums’ has been used a lot on here to denote rather boring, static polls. We like to have something different to argue about, hence this was newsworthy.

  40. @Alec – “national vote share in the 2011 locals”

    Someone will correct me if I am wrong, but don’t Rawlings & Thrasher, and the BBC for that matter, pick a (representative) sample of results in the local elections, and then extrapolate from there to a notional national picture? Anyway they came up with different results – I wonder how much value we should place on them in any case.

    I for one was disappointed by the lack of analysis after the local elections. Wales, Scotland, London, and other parts of England did not vote (for local councillors) on that day. Conservatives were defending a collosal number of their safer territories – compared to other cycles of local elections.

    As Phil pointed out at the time, there is no equalisation of constituencies, so one Lab councillor in Birmingham is worth any number of Tory councillors in the Wallops (Little, Nether and Whatnot).

    There is also the question of turnout, with Tories energised to vote no in the referendum (threat to our democracy headlines), and perhaps their demographic favours turnout in the locals as well.

  41. Billy bob

    That because the BBC is a Tory propaganda machine :smile:

    Having lit fuse run like buggery for the hills!!!!!



    Actually, I haven’t looked, but don’t expect to find them.
    It’s nothing sinister…other than just a media that predominantly leans to the right. ;-)

  43. Crossbat

    EdM is not Foot but he is a Kinnock (IMHO).

    Having said that as Stockport red correctly points out we have a left of centre clear for Labour now, given that the Lib Dems made their Faustian pact (I should imagine the few ‘leftists’ there are will be voting green or Trot).

    Even with the ‘summit walk-out’ boost the Tory numbers were never better than a hung parliament. And that- far from Joe James B bluey optimism- is exactly the trajectory we are clearly on at the moment.

    The battle is currently over who will have most seats and first dibs: the current wild card looks very likely to be the post GE SNP MP total.

  44. Billy Bob

    Yep- no one can with any real confidence say who won the vote share.

    The only real hard data/ metric is the changes in councillors and councils.

    On that Labour did very well; Tories did quite well and the ‘poor old’ Lib Dems did disastrously.

    As they will again in 2012 ans 2013 whereupon I fully expect the rank-and-file to finally blow a gasket and lose their nerve. Whatever the Parliamentary Party may think or feel about ‘staying in this till 2015’…

  45. @richard in norway

    Thanks, I’m the fool on the hill as it is, and intend to stay put.

    Detest everything about Franco, but he had a major conspiracy/paranoia issues with the Beeb… don’t we all to some extent? ;)

  46. @Rob S

    “EdM is not Foot but he is a Kinnock (IMHO).”

    I know I’m not as pessimistic as you are about Ed Milliband’s prospects, but I harbour some of your doubts and don’t rule out the possibility that there may come a time when it’s clear that the electorate have come to a settled view about his non-electability. I just don’t think that we’re there quite yet and, as for the Kinnock comparison, I think he has a few advantages that the old boyo Neil never enjoyed. Firstly, Kinnock was being compared to a very strong and, until 1989, popular PM in Thatcher. Then, just as the tide was turning, the Conservatives ditched Thatcher and replaced her with Major, who, up to 1992, was remarkably and mysteriously popular. Kinnock was subsequently back to square one and, sadly and regrettably, don’t forget the Welshness factor too. Swathes of southern England, many of whom fell into Blair’s embrace a few years later, just wouldn’t and couldn’t countenance voting for him. I was electioneering actively in 1992 and, quite frankly, was shocked at the toxicity of the Welsh Windbag label. At the fringes, the personal hostility towards him, almost hatred of him, was alarming and, I thought, quite unwarranted. Miliband is an altogether more emollient politician.

    I’m with Alec on this. I think relative not absolute levels of popularity are the key. This equation is favouring Cameron at the moment, but Miliband might find there comes a time when his stock rises in direct relation to Cameron’s falling, even though, in absolute terms, he still remains relatively unloved. Remember too that Cameron will be falling from the foothills and not the summit! A modest decline for Cameron accompanied by a sort of mild Hackgate-type boost for Miliband and they then start to reside in similar popularity country. Disdain in equal measure, if you like!

    Only thoughts and I could well be misreading it.

  47. I would tend to agree that ed is not a good leader of the opposition, neither was thatcher if I remember right. But that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be a good pm, I rather think he would be, trouble is getting there. Brown was a terrible pm but he would have been the bees knees as a opposition leader imo

  48. Miliband is probably on course to take Labour to
    35-37% in 2015 but it will take a real heave to get more than that, the tories may well revert to more populist themes on immigration and showing ‘bulldog spirit’ in the run up to 2015 if the economy is not doing well and Labour will have to have something to counter that.

  49. Is it perhaps not just a question of leader, but also of the leader/chancellor (or shadow chancellor) combo?

    Blair/Brown worked well perhaps because of the all the tension. Cameron would really be nowhere without Osborne.
    Thatcher, admittedly had something different going on with out of cabinet economic advisors and a string of task oriented chancellors.

    A number of sources suggest Ed was desperate to keep Balls away from the shadow chancellor post… implicity offering the job to his brother before Alan Johnson, and then again when Johnson insisted on resigning. How would the public have reacted to Miliband and Miliband I wonder?

    Balls has great expertise, but for any problem Miliband has with media acceptance, Balls has it in spades. Like it or not, a sympathetic media hearing is absolutely essential, and needs to be painstakingly cultivated.

  50. IMO I agree that Ed will take Labour to 35-37% anything beyond will be tough as too soon. The big question is the one Nick P asks above can the Cons get 2-5% more.
    As he says no Gov’t in ‘modern’ times after a proper term have done this but the difference is that the cons are not in Government on their own and a ‘give us a mandate’ campaign may resonate with some voters. Also, as most of Labour’s increase will come from left leaning ABT ex LD voters, some right leaning ABLabs will switch to Cons. In short I think the cons will increase their vote share and Con 38-40%, Lab 35-37% and LD 14-18% is a decent prediction even this far out.
    How they fall in to these bands and some local factors plus possibly the SNP reaching the tipping point in Scotland will determine the seat distribution.

1 2