YouGov’s weekly poll for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 41%, LAB 36%, LDEM 9%, Others 14%. The five point Conservative lead is the YouGov’s highest since October 2010 and the Labour score the lowest.

Normal caveats about outliers apply – while Thursday’s YouGov poll also showed a 3 point Tory lead, tonight’s ComRes poll still showed the parties neck-and-neck. The YouGov polls could be the start of the Tories opening up a small lead, or could just be an outlier.

I’ll do a full update tomorrow morning when the tables are published.

188 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 41, LAB 36, LDEM 9”

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  1. Um.
    From the Tables –
    Lab 2010 –
    Con – 5, Lab – 85, LibDem – 1, Other – 8
    LibDem 2010 –
    Con – 17, Lab – 4, LibDem – 1, UKIP – 29, SNP/PCY – 32, Green – 7

    We have our explanation for the headline figures?

  2. And if those cross-breaks are to be trusted (they always have to be taken with a pinch of salt), then the explanation isn’t Lab>Con switchers ‘they proved that the Cons were responsible’ but down to Ex-Lib-Now-Lab abandoning Labour over Labour’s change in tone.

    So I suspect a massive outlier – because if it sticks then it just proves that the only way Labour can expect to win in 2015 is if it tries to unite the left/centre-left/centre/liberal vote and chasing Tory votes is futile.

  3. And I don’t necessarily mean uniting those groups under one party – an electoral alliance or finally the acceptance of PR would also work.
    This has the obvious benefit that a LibDem recovery (or Green growth) can still mean that Labour sits in coalition with it’s natural allies.

  4. Tinged Fringe

    And if those cross-breaks are to be trusted (they always have to be taken with a pinch of salt), then the explanation isn’t Lab>Con switchers ‘they proved that the Cons were responsible’ but down to Ex-Lib-Now-Lab abandoning Labour over Labour’s change in tone.
    So I suspect a massive outlier – because if it sticks then it just proves that the only way Labour can expect to win in 2015 is if it tries to unite the left/centre-left/centre/liberal vote and chasing Tory votes is futile.

    Of course anyone listening to both Question Time and Any Questions this week will notice the positive reaction to Mark Serwotka and Caroline Lucas, and the lack of support for the position of the two Ed’s over their recent acceptance of the Austerity agenda.

    I was recently told this week by a regular poster on this site that “leftist/socialists/greens” do not attract the support of more than 8% of the Electorate.

    Utter baloney and poppycock.

  5. TingedFringe,

    “So I suspect a massive outlier – because if it sticks then it just proves that the only way Labour can expect to win in 2015 is if it tries to unite the left/centre-left/centre/liberal vote and chasing Tory votes is futile.”

    Agreed- but I don’t think that the Labour leadership/agitprop department know how to do anything else. They’ve spent nearly 30 years doing nothing but the strategy of winning over that soft 10% of Tory votes who were willing to vote for Blairism.

    I don’t think that anyone of importance in the Labour party knows how to appeal to the left anymore. Twigg’s attempt at wooing Caroline Lucas on QT was painful.

    I suspect Caroline Lucas hasn’t stopped laughing and smiling (and she does have a beautiful smile!) since Ed Balls made that speech. He probably saved her seat for 2015.


    RE: Crossbreaks…yes they are a little suspect, aren’t they (Scottish)?

    Con 24%
    Lab 24%
    Lib 6%
    SNP 38%
    Green 4%

    The Lab VI is down 9-18% depending on which other (unreliable) crossbreak you want to compare it to. Con up 5% or so. No change Lib and SNP up 5% or so. Others up 3% or so.

    Scotland Votes?

    Con 7 (+6)
    Lab 12 (-29)
    Lib 2 (-9)
    SNP 38 (+32)

    Nahhhh! (well not until we see five on the trot of similar results) :)

    If we even assume that there’s something in that crossbreak, it’s interesting that none of Labour’s losses are transferring (back?) to LIb Dem.

    Not sure if I’ll bother adding that one to my spreadsheet. Lib Dems aside, the rest are outliers in my averaging calcs.

  7. Atmanjeff,

    I’d say that there are a lot of Labour voters who don’t like the party very much, but tolerate them as the best alternative to the Tories. When given opportunity, they can defect en masse e.g. in Scotland there is always the possibility, in even the safest Labour seat, of a mass defection to the SNP of supposedly “loyal” Labour voters.

  8. Just looked at the tables and this is definitely an odd poll. From the 2010 LD vote 1% say they’ll vote LD and 4% Lab (both typically in the high 30a). Con 17 (usually about 10). Most surprising is SNP/PC 32 and UKIP 29. It’s just a bit too implausible.

  9. Bill,

    You are right.

    In England and Wales FPTP is a serious impediment to smaller parties developing. That is why Labour is as wedded to FPTP as the Tories – they both know that it gives them a disproportionate power they would lose under a fair electoral system.

    I really wish people did vote for the principles they support and not the least bad party.

  10. I think that cross-breaks teach us never to read too much into one poll. Polls are only reliable, if at all, through trends in polling. So the trend over the last three months tells us something; 41-36, in itself, doesn’t tell us anything, because samples will sometimes be very weird and unpredictably so.

  11. Notice the approval ratings folks? No change on the last poll (although Scottish ratings are up 6 from -37 to -31).

    One would expect the approval ratings to move if the poll was not an outlier.

  12. The Labour cross breaks are damning for Ed. 63% think he should step down before the next election and 26% think he should stay.

  13. Isn’t it easier to depose a sitting Labour opposition leader than a Labour PM? Gaitskill had to handle two leadership challenges in two years back in the early 1960s!

  14. Ed is now less popular than Nick Clegg:

    “Doing well or badly?”

    Total Well: 18 (-2)
    Total Badly: 71 (+5)
    Net: -53

    Total Well: 21 (N/C)
    Total Badly: 71 (+1)
    Net: -50

    Although Nick Clegg is very unpopular among Lib Dems with minus 76 net score. One strange poll.

  15. Good Morning all, from beautiful bournemouth beach.

    i. Benn was not in the centre left ground in 1971-1983 period, when he changed his name, read Marx for the first time, according to him, and the Manifesto of 1983 was similar to the CPGB. Wilson said that Benn ‘immatured with age-unlike good red wine’

    ii. Bevan after 1951 was also until 1958 ish well to the Left of the leader and the voters. 250 Companies to be nationalised etc.

    iii. The 1945 Manifesto stood in the popular mainstream, and then the govt re defined the centre when in power.

    iv. The Feb 28 1974 GE win would not have happened if Heath had not betrayed the Unionists by insisting on civil rights in the North of Ireland.

    v. Wilson told his close friends that the October 1974 result was a disaster; cf Haines and Donoghue, and that the ‘Hard Left’ had snatched a proper victory from him against a weak tory opposition. Labour’s NEC had already abolished the Proscribed List of groups- enemies of this country- having members in the British Labour Party, under the Bennite slogan ‘NO ENEMIES TO THE LEFT’

    vi. Yes Lansbury at the 1935 Conference was attacked by the giant Bevin for the leftist nonsense which had vitiated recovery after 1931

    vi. Attlee’s ‘GREAT CONTEMPORARIES’ has a brilliant essay on the damge done by what he called ‘Bevan-Foot’ left wing policies. His review of Foot’s biography of Bevan is brilliant and succinct, and sad also.

    Blair was a winner, as TOM MOLLOY has also pointed out, the first convincing centre left winner since 1966, when as a geeky 10 year old I gave out leaflets in Wallington/Carshalton: memories!

    And yes, most working class people are not left wing, so Hardie warned people all the time, as did Ramsay Macdonald and Attlee

  16. On the bright side for Ed, only 54% want to see him go. Unfortunately, that’s 54% of TORIES- 66% of his own party want to see the back of him.


    The case rests, then on ED

  18. I’m presuming that Anthony isn’t back at work again. This question in the YG poll seems dreadful.

    “Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, recently
    announced that if Labour won the next election,
    they would not reverse the Government’s
    planned 1% cap on public sector pay. Do you
    agree or disagree with their decision YO NOT REVERSE the 1% cap on public sector?” (my caps)

    The split infinitive is bad enough, but a double negative question must have sown some confusion among respondents.

  19. My misspelt caps!

  20. Statgeek

    Scottish cross tabs

    Given that the sample here seems a bit skew-whiff judging by VI, I’m not suggesting we should generalise anything from the attitudinal answers. A quick scan down them, however, suggests that this particular sample are more likely to think –

    The UK party leaders are c**p.
    The UK economy is c**p.
    Their own financial situation will be fine.
    Money should be spent on offshore wind farms instead of London.
    Their local parking charges are about right.
    The Falklands aren’t British.
    ER shouldn’t have a new boat.
    Spending on ER’s party should be rolled back.

    What an optimistic lot! They don’t fit the stereotype of Scots at all! :-) Although, their wish to spend the bawbees carefully, fits, I suppose.

  21. This is all Anthony’s fault for being a modern father and taking time off. He should have done it the old-fashioned way and not bothered to see the baby till it needed pocket money or university fees or something. Meanwhile standards have clearly slipped while the cat’s away.

    The 2010 Lib Dem column is not just odd, it is clearly wrong – you can’t have the Lib Dems on 9% with just 1% of their previous vote, the figures don’t match the rest of the table. It makes you wonder what else has been miscalculated.

    As OldNat has already pointed out the questioning is confusing in some cases and loaded in others. Mixing up the armed forces cuts and the Falklands questions is definitely loaded, ameliorated by the incompetence of underlining(!) “its territories” without explaining that the Falklands is one.

    It’s all gone wrong and clearly the master’s touch is required to set things back in order.

  22. It begs the question “Who deputises for AW in his absence, and do they read his blog?”

    Any confessions? Go on, we’ll be gentle!

  23. “The 2010 Lib Dem column is not just odd, it is clearly wrong – you can’t have the Lib Dems on 9% with just 1% of their previous vote”
    They do add up, if LibDems suddenly got their votes from non-voters and from Others.

    I’d like to know about the SNP voters in London – do they want to declare London part of Greater Scotland during independence so they can keep the tax revenues?

  24. Roger.

    The LD column is clearly wrong. According to that column, 124 people who voted LD in 10 now support SNP/PC. But only 68 peoole in the entire survey say they support SNP/PC.

  25. Quite a night of introspection for Reds-here & elsewhere.

    They do have a schism simmering away under the surface.

    It could all get very nasty (again) if this poll is in fact an indicator of change-rather than the outlier being suggested by some.

    There are good reasons to suppose it does signal a Labour retreat-but lets wait & see.

    If it does settle into a pattern, my thought would be that the Eds have destroyed any chance of differentiation.

    I see where Rob S is coming from & I agree with him.
    It had to be done-it was always going to be neccessary, even when Brown started the “investment vs cuts” stuff.

    But once it is done-where is the difference?

    Rob S says 10% to 20% of the cuts.

    Is the voting public sensitive to that sort of gradation?-even if/when you explain the detail.

    And then there is all the other stuff on which there seems no difference-schools, welfare reform.

  26. Quick question – Let’s say that the headline VI is wrong (I don’t think it is – just that someone’s muddled the tables) and yougov correct it, will the public relations damage already have been done to Labour?

    Given that the press often take polls out of the context of the trends (which do show a falling Labour VI) and enjoy big ‘Labour down to 36!’ headlines.

  27. Tinged Fringe

    If the Lib Dems were suddenly attracting hordes of uncommitted voters, I’m sure we would have heard about if from Henry. :) I think even if you worked these figures out they wouldn’t add up but I’m too lazy. In any case, as leftylampton has pointed out there are other ways of pointing up the error such as the SNP vote.

    The problem is that there such an obvious error, you don’t know if it’s only affecting that section or if other things in the table are more subtly altered.


    Was this poll mentioned in the English edition of the Sunday Times?

    If it appeared anywhere in the Scottish edition, it must have been buried deep.

  29. Tinged,

    The SNP (or PC) have had votes in the London column for three out of the last five polls, including last weeks ST. Not sure why, but it doesn’t cast any more doubt about this poll. As you say the headline VI looks perfectly feasible given the trend over the past week, but someone has clearly lashed up the numbers in the LD 2010 column……..

  30. Hooded Man

    1% SNP/PC in London appears quite often. Human error? Scots living in London temporarily? Even a couple of people would give you that.

  31. Tinged,

    …….it is reasonable to suggest that the 29 and 32 were transposed in error from L/LD to UKIP/SNP. However, the 5% that has gone from LD to BNP seems somewhat unlikely!

  32. Roger – the column that should be LD 2010 voters appears to be 2010 “other” voters. The wrong columns were probably deleted when formatting the tabs!

  33. Old Nat,

    Yes, it is very regular, there must be some London-based exiles trapped in the panel. I suppose the YG VI question leaves that option open, rather than other pollsters who ask the “in your area” derivative…..
    I know more than a handful of people myself who live in London and would say SNP…. :-)

  34. Hooded Man

    People can also have a vote on each of two registers – students for example. The “in your area” question would mean they had to choose which area to prioritise in their answer.

  35. Anthony

    But we still need you back there to format the questions properly.

  36. Chrislane,
    ‘Blair was a winner’
    He was also a war criminal and thoroughly evil human being who since leaving office appears to have been concerned with little beyond personal enrichment..If the public had known at the time what has since become obvious Blair would not have been a winner.

  37. Old Nat,

    Fair point.

    (although how many nationalistic 18-24 year olds from Scotland would choose to pay tuition fees to live and study in London :-) )

  38. Oldnat,

    I think that, given their policies, the SNP could do surprisingly well if they stood in English seats (and not just in a “Yeah, we’d like to see the back of the Scots” way.)

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