No sooner I write comments about things appearing to settle into a pattern of Con & Lab neck and neck it is almost inevitable a poll will come along to contradict me. Such is life! Anyway, tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 37%, LAB 42%, LDEM 9% – the highest Labour lead YouGov have shown since before David Cameron’s veto in December.

Usual caveats about any poll showing unusual movements apply – sure, it could be a sign that the narrowing of the polls has passed and we are headed back to the Labour leads of 5 points or so that we got used to last autumn… or it could be normal sample error, and we’ll be back to neck-and-neck tomorrow. Right now we can’t tell.

117 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 37%, LAB 42%, LDEM 9%”

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    I think the 2010 figures aren’t voting recall, but YouGov’s record of people’s party identification.

    As such the totals for any party will include those who identify with that party, but may not have voted at all, or have voted for another party tactically, out of pique, by mistake or any other reason.

  2. leetay & Amber

    You’re both wrong (you knew I was going to say that).

    YouGov don’t weight to how people voted in 2010 but which Party they identify with[1]. This should produce roughly the same result as the General Election for the 2010 vote, but it’s often going to be a few points out one way or the other. Those however are how the (adjusted) sample actually voted in 2010[2] not what their Party-ID is, which might be different for the reasons OldNat points out.

    [1] It’s actually much more complicated than that, but that what it’s based on not past vote.

    [2] Or at least how they said they voted. YouGov did ask existing panellists how they voted soon after but some may have lied (especially about if the voted) or already forgotten. And of course as new people join the panel YouGov has to rely on what they said at the time of joining which will grow progressively more unreliable.

  3. @Oldnat

    I’m sure I’ve seen Anthony refer to them as a vote recall on numerous occasions and I’d be puzzled as to why they would call it ‘2010 vote’ if it were anything but.

  4. @ Roger Mexico, Old Nat

    Yes, I should’ve been clearer in my comment. I checked that the arithmetic was correct from the party id to the weighting to the schedule. If you remember, there was the problem of the wrong column copying when the Tories had their 5% lead so I just checked that this was consistent with previous YG polls.

  5. @ Lee Tay

    My apologies :oops: I misunderstood what you’d done before you put your workings up.

    But your spelling definitely was wrong. ;-)

  6. One of the almost incontrovertible laws of this parliament has been that when the NHS gets back in the news the govt suffer, so these numbers may be reflecting that, or may be an outlier (the NHS has only just got back in the headlines so I think any real VI move will be later this week).

    Similarly, when the news is on the Euro crisis, benefit cuts, or unions, Labour suffers.

    The one wild-card is economic performance – if there is an official recession it will benefit Labour, if there is slow to zero growth with the fear of Europe driving an embracing of austerity, then the Cons seem to do well.

  7. Adrian B,

    What would be interesting is one of Anthony’s timeline graphs with key dates for NHS and EU story dates added to show if the fluctuations were indeed issue based.

    If there was an apparent link it would be keys to establishing the battleground for elections. Having said that it would be easier for Labour to act Eurosceptic, than for Tories to back down on the NHS.

    For Cameron he can’t risk delays on NHS reform if he needs it to bed in and work before 2015 or he risks Labour rerunning their “24hrs to Save the NHS” campaign.

    Cllr Peter Cairns (SNP).

  8. I think this poll is possibly an outlier with perhaps a small Labour lead…The NHS issue is also important because people feel Cameron is breaking one of his poll promises…Regarding an earlier post about Labour leads not getting coverage,The Sun to my surprise have mentioned it online quite prominently

  9. The good news for all on here of course, is that there are only another thousand or so polls to deliberate over until the next election. A thousand opportunities to proclaim, with some degree of certainty, that the Tories, or even Labour, are the people’s choice. Can’t wait. :-)

  10. @ Anthony Wells

    “The 1968 Democratic convention delegates there were all sorts of unpledged delegates as Robert Kennedy had been assassinated and Humphrey hadn’t run in states with primaries, but in the event Humphrey won easily on the first ballot.”

    That convention was basically a real life version of Fight Club. I think Delegates spent most of the time brawling with each other (as well as reporters and student protesters outside). One of the Chicago Seven later represented me in the California Legislature.

    @ Crossbat11

    “In defence of the US system, although I think the four year electoral cycle is too short, forever condemning their politics to eternal campaigning, the primaries do harden the candidates and expose them to real democratic accountability. An intriguing question. Would Miliband have been elected Labour leader had he had to go through a similar process?

    I leave that thought hanging in the air!”

    But your electoral cycle is technically longer! And you guys often have elections every 4 years. Without fixed election dates, your politics involve a lot more constant campaigning and preparation too.

    If you think about primaries, it’d be hard to see Ed Milliband being in Parliament in the first place. Primaries really make it difficult to air lift people into seats and for politicians to shop districts (oh it happens, but much more rarely in Britain where it’s common place).

    The primary system is great except when it comes to picking a President. It’s not conducted in a way that allows for full accountability to voters even as it pretends that it does.

  11. @ Lefty Lampton

    “Of course it was THREE losing incumbents. I forgot about Ford, although those circumstances were perhaps the most unusual in American history.”

    We like re-electing our presidents, what can I say? You’re forgiven btw on Ford as he was unelected in the first place.

    @ Chris Lane

    “Good Morning from a very cold south coast in England.

    I welcome Mr Santorum’s victory in the three primaries.

    Although I would vote Obama every time, of course, being a JFK generation man, aged 8 when he died and being told by my Irish Father to kneel down when Cardinal Spellmann said the requiem mass,
    I am pleased that the voice of people who believe in old values is being expressed by an uptogether politican”

    I don’t need any politician or any government official to give me lectures on morality and religion or tell me how I need to live my life. Also, if you do some homework on Santorum, you’ll recognize that he’s not as upstanding as he seems. (Well compared to Gingrich and Romney, he’s a pretty upstanding individual but that’s not saying much).

  12. @ Alan

    “Missouri was an non-binding affair, what happens with Colorado and Mississippi? Are the delegates free to follow their own consciences (if anyone can actually discover the republican conscience it’d probably be second only to discovering the Higgs’ Boson) and completely ignore the vote and just “get in line” with whoever leads the contest at the convention? IF Santorum is still in the running are they obliged to pick him? split their vote in a proportional manner? Pick whoever is polling best vs Obama?

    I guess the real answer is “who the hell knows”

    For a meaningless vote, it’s probably one of the more important ones as nooone can ignore Santorum now, I guess it’ll be his turn to face the spotlight of examination and see whether his campaign wilts in the face of that. If anything, it’ll only serve to extend the contest which is good news for those who are enjoying this rollercoaster. The longer it goes on the more clear it is no candidate is suitable for the job.”

    What happenned to Missouri is that they have a state law mandating the primary be held yesterday. But the RNC warned the Missouri GOP that if they went before a certain day, they would lose half their delegates. They tried to change their law but were unable to so they decided to have a caucus instead. The caucus isn’t binding though and instead delegates will get picked at a statewide convention. So that’s why yesterday was a big beauty contest.

    Now as for the caucuses, they sorta count. Instead of electing pledged delegates, they serve to elect countywide delegates who will then pick national delegates for the national convention. So it counts, just not as much as a regular primary would.

    Santorum’s victories complicate things for Romney and I think create an opening for Gingrich. Romney’s comments about not caring for the poor along with some of his other whoppers (how he enjoys firing people) I think have hurt him fairly badly and these contests demonstrate that.

    I think the next big primary contest that will be heavily contested and is up in the air is Arizona.

  13. It’s looking like the GOP are stuffed now. Obama might have looked weaker a couple of months ago but it’s now looking plausible that he only loses NC and Indiana.

  14. There’s been some fairly positive economic news in the past few days with regards to activity in January, The growth index for the services sector, which accounts for 70% of the UK’s GDP, showed relatively strong growth for January and today has seen the Recruitment and Employment report an increase in the amount of permanent staff in 6 out of 8 sectors of industry. Indeed some economists have predicted growth for the first quarter of the year of 0.5-0.7%. This would blow many predictions out of the water.

    I think it’s reasonable to say that the economy is the one issue on which most people appear to place the highest importance and if we get an annualised rate of growth of around 2-2.5% then this would appear to vindicate current policy and leave the Labour party with very little room to carry on claiming that the cuts are too far and too fast. We might even see sustained Tory leads. Would anybody here think that this would propel the parliamentary Labour party to do the unthinkable and seriously consider oustin EM?

  15. @KSwift,

    Nope. I think if we have an unexpectedly good Q1 growth figure, Labour will simply say it’s “not enough” and claim that it would have been much better under Alastair Darling’s original plan. If growth rates were stronger than expected throughout 2012, Labour would switch and point to some other statistic to argue that the government is “failing”.

    Of course, if Q1 growth is negative and we’re technically in recession again, Tory supporters (including me) will be saying that it’s not all about growth, and that borrowing and spending more money might slightly elevate current GDP growth but will be damaging in the long run.

    Nothing from Q1 contraction of 1% to growth of 1% would make the slightest difference to people’s entrenched positions…

  16. Oh, and I don’t recognise your name. If you’re a new contributor here, then welcome!

  17. YouGov/Sun

    Con 40% Lab 38% Lib 10%

    Labour lead an outliner as I suspected but this is too in my view.

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