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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  1. First or second?

  2. well its an odd one that the polls have been showing neck and neck LAB-CON polls for sometime. my own thinking is that the effects of the veto that was not is washing off and the prospect of a ressesion is hurting the conservatives.

    are we due for the polls table to be updated soon as is was last updated around two weeks ago.

  3. 5 point lead? Next election’s in the bag!

    Congratulations, Mr Miliband – you pulled it off, by Jove.

  4. Probably exagerrates lab lead which is 1-2% on average over the last week or 2.
    Hope I am wrong of course.

  5. Right on queue. Labour voters getting all excited over one poll.

    I don’t know why Anthony bothers to point out the caveats because you lot predictably ignore it time and time again.

    Back to normal tomorrow I suspect.

  6. I think until something changes on the wider political stage or one of the two main parties does something radical we will be stuck in the doldrums.

    The public don’t like the state of the economy or the cuts and indeed aren’t that keen on the government.

    At the same time they aren’t that keen on Labour either or think it would be any better or indeed given recent policy changes do anything different.

    Two decades of triangulation have left us with two parties that seem to argue more and more about smaller differences between them.

    If you look at budget plans it was all about starting later or cutting deeper or fast over a shorter period. Compared to the size of the problem the differences were not that great.

    It was the same the election before last, a huge debate over devastating cuts or reckless spending when in actual fact the difference between the two was about £8bn out of annual spending of over £400bn.

    All a bit “Angels on the Head of a Pin”.

    Oddly enough in Scotland it is the SNP who have benefitted most of any UK party from changes in voting since 2010.

    Nice as it is I am not sure why…Discuss?

    Cllr Peter Cairns (SNP).

  7. This feels more like it should be just now.

    The close finish scenario , with a possible hidden Con advantage, looks right-but that really ought to be preceded by Labour leads as the reforms & fiscal tightening are implemented.

  8. @Colin – “… a possible hidden Con advantage”

    Conservative gains from LD will doubtless outnumber Labour gains from LD… but, the outcome will be decided in the seats Conservatives took from Labour in 2010.

    The last round of Ashcroft marginal polling (August 2011) showed a larger than national swing to Labour in Con/Lab marginals. (National: Con=Lab=37%. Marginals: Con 35%, Lab 44%.)

  9. It’s Anthony wot dun it! No sooner do we have a thread devoted to the subject of “Should Labour be Doing Better?” and, what do you know, they are!

    My first reaction is that, rather like the weekend poll of 8 days ago showing a 5% Tory lead, this is a bit of an outlier and, by tomorrow, we shall revert to neck and neck or thereabouts. I mean, if this really is a Labour lead of 5%, what’s happened between now and yesterday to cause a 3% swing to Labour in 24 hours? Nothing, would be my observation. Sample error and MOE more than likely, but heartening to a Labour man nonetheless.

    Changing the subject completely, I’ve just been watching an item on ITN’s 10 o’clock news about the Greek economic crisis. Up pops a vision of absolute female loveliness to comment on the crisis who subsequently turns out to be a Socialist MP. Before I realised who it was, I was wondering what Miss World was doing expressing her views on the European Sovereign Debt crisis!! If Miliband could call upon party spokesmen like this, forget about 5% poll leads, May 2015 would be in the bag!!

    Or is this the comment of a sad, unreconstructed old philanderer? I fear it might be and shame on me for the ungodly thoughts.

  10. …and the comments on the last poll regarding the North’s approval ratings and Con VI are out the window again.

    Unless it’s an outlier of course. I see that’s two small samples for London in a short period of time, and both gave Labour a bigger lead.

    Sampling issue or one to watch for bigger samples?

  11. I agree with Colin. This is more the sort of figures I was expecting yesterday.

  12. Cameron,s reached the stage where blaming other people doesn;t wash any more.

  13. It does look like a favourable sample for Labour. In terms of 2010 voters in the sample there are 15% more Tories than Labour, actual GE there were 25% more. The rest of the week will reveal more no doubt but tonight looks like an outlier…..

  14. Just finished watching Newsnight and I particularly enjoyed the discussion at the end of the programme on the Syrian situation. It involved Paxman, Rory Stewart, the Tory MP, and Lord Owen. It was a thoughtful, reflective and highly informed discussion between two cerebral politicians who were clearly expert in the subject they were discussing. No point scoring, no interruptions, no name calling, just intelligent and, to this ear, very informative debate on a serious and important issue. Paxman was on his best behaviour too and it was one of those very rare occasions where we witnessed politicians giving politics a good name.

    Rory Stewart may well be a Tory politician to watch, I think. As for David Owen, obviously a yesterday’s man, but he gave a poignant reminder tonight of the very substantive politician he once was.

  15. I suppose this indicates that support for both main parties is both wobbly and patchy (why expect anything else?) which makes uniform swings a bit iffy when things are close like this. It’s tempting to write this one off as an outlier, but then again a week or two ago it seemed Labour were creeping into a tiny lead.

    Perhaps the doubt thrown on the veto is eroding the Conservative vote? It appears they will have to fight to keep their vote over 37-38% or so. Next time there’s a veto or similar, it will have to stick.

    As for blaming other people, I expect that to continue until it becomes absurd. We are not at that point just yet.

  16. Hooded Man

    The “I’m ashamed to admit I voted Tory” complex emerges once again!

  17. Lefty,

    Still a thumping 20 point lead in the South :-)

  18. Good Late evening from a frozen bournemouth.

    OMG as they say, about the 5% lead.

    The Lib dem figure seems very high though, I think, at 9%

  19. Hooded

    Aye well. You Southerners have no shame.

  20. Lefty, i thought you were joking when you said that all Tory voters should be “slapped down”. You didn’t actually start today, did you ?

  21. Probably just MOE stuff, but a great poll for Labour nevertheless. Would give them a reasonably decent working majority!

  22. By the way Hooded. It’s clear from YG’s figures over the last 12 months that the only part of the demographic that regularly has a Tory lead is 60+ voters in the South.

    When the 15 election results in a Lab/SNP coalition and subsequent Scottish independence, I’m going to press for the entire south coast to be auctioned off to redress the psephological balance.

  23. Hooded.

    I’ve been far too busy at work, otherwise…

    By the way. I agree 100% with your comment about the balance if this poll. I suspect it’s at the outskirts of MoE Land and we’ll see normal service resumed later in the week.

  24. I see UKIP are holding up at 5%, but it I would be happy to see them do better.

    Both Labour and the Tories have the same sort of pro-EU, banker-bashing, tax-the-rich, support windfarms, quantitative easing and borrowing more policies. As a true Conservative (one who no longer supports the Tories) I have little cofidence that David Cameron’s Government will stop Britain going bankrupt, stop Britain returning to recession, stop massive power blackouts by 2015 or indeed prevent the irrevocable loss of our national sovereignty to a mighty European Superstate.

    I wish more people would look at UKIP, which I believe offers what Britain really needs to prevent an economic crisis- lower, flatter tax rates; proper funding of our Armed forces, leaving the EU and sensible energy policies (i.e nuclear power).

  25. The poll movements have probably something to do with the fact the Tory biased media have stopped personally attacking Ed Miliband and or the public are now wise to what they are doing for Cameron. If this is the case the Tories are on a very slippery slope.

  26. Ian P.

    Amen to that. I fervently wish that about, oh let’s say, 10% more of the folk on the Right would wake up to where their spiritual home truly is.

  27. Lefty,

    You’d miss us too much…………

    (I’ll keep my options open on moving back to Scotland, on the assumption Germany will be the highest bidder…)

  28. Ian Pennell
    “loss of our national sovereignty to a mighty European Superstate.”

    Absolutely – exemplified by the inability to deport an Arab rabble-rouser (Abu Cattarrhda or something) because Europe says we can’t. Why don’t we just deport him anyway? What’s it got to do with the Europeans? Signing up to that European court was a bad move by whichever government did it.

  29. @ LeftyLampton

    I don’t get that mentality. Like okay, I know a number of Democrats who don’t want to admit to their wealthy clients and business partners, their golfing buddies at the country club, their sailing buddies at the yacht club, or their friends at the Rotary Club that they voted Democratic. I’ve seen such spinelessness first hand on a number of occassions. Sometimes it bugs me. But the reason for it is not that they’re ashamed of who they voted for. It’s because they want to avoid conflict with others and remain in good graces of those who they spend time with.

    These same people who might sit quietly at a dinner party and not say anything while the loudmouth Republican host launches into some obnoxious hatefilled rant against Clinton or Obama are going to be honest to pollsters when polled. They don’t know the pollsters and don’t worry about what they think.

  30. @SoCal,

    You’ve seen how some people on this blog react to Conservatives and right-wing viewpoints. And this is just about the most civil place you’ll find for a political discussion in the whole of the UK.

    Any wonder some Tories don’t like to brag about it?


    “I wish more people would look at UKIP”. I think a lot of Scots have – which is why they rank along with other “others” in Scotland at 1%.

  32. SoCal,

    Lefty was only joking about the “I’m ashamed to admit….”

    Although I suspect he wasn’t about auctioning off the South of England…… ;-)


    Of course, as an Aberdonian, I’d still consider you a southerner if you moved back to Dundee. On the other hand, that mighty Dundee Utd humbled the Brits of Rangers makes you wholly acceptable. :-)

  34. Old Nat,

    Don’t wind me up. I have an equal ‘lack of affection’ for Arabs and Huns………

  35. Better news for the Libs on the provisional list. They now need a mini-bus, mind you they will have plenty of leg room!

  36. Hooded/SoCal.

    I SO was not joking about the Tory shame. Knowing that the comes existed was some meagre consolation through the dark days of the early 90s. If it comes back again, well, hey – plus ca change.

    As for the South Coast, that was serious an all. I’ve got a Stihl saw and a couple of dozen blades. That should be enough to make a symbolic first cut.

    I wasn’t joking about slapping down Tories either. I remember back in my early teens hearing some Old Etonian on the box waffling on about how Tories were clubbable types. It’s been a thought I’ve held dear in the intervening years.

  37. @leftylampton

    Heard the phrase “north-south migration” on the radio the other day. I have no idea if there are reliable figures for this phenomenon.

    It is not something I’ve thought about before… but then I started running through the people living in my street – people I chat to round and about – who come over a bit eh up chuck :) , quite a big number.

    Plenty of places down South where they can bolster the Lab vote if that is their persuasion… but when they realise the Con/LD marginals are now really Con/Lab marginals – the sky’s the limit.

  38. Comes= condition, somehow or other. Bloody iPhone.

  39. Billy Bob

    It’d be interesting to look at the polling figures for southern constituencies back in the 60s, when the Liberals were all but irrelevant. When Labour polled neck and neck with the Tories, how many seats did they win darn sarf back then?

    Labour has a strong message to peddle that the LDs have been snake oil salesmen for two generations, and have now been smoked out. With some skilful positioning, I see no reason why Labour shouldn’t expect to at least replace the LDs as main challengers across large parts of the south.

  40. Lefty,

    Fair enough on the ‘Tory shame’ comment. I meant you weren’t being serious with reference to reasons for the poll change, but I suppose SoCal’s ‘country club Dems’ was the point you were making…..

    Never experienced the blue shame thing myself. After many an evening out in Scotland with the only other two Scottish Tories we would always sit in A&E at the end of the night having our wounds dressed, and vow to go out again the following weekend….. :-)

  41. The LDs would probably hold more seats at 9% than 7%

  42. Hooded.

    Nice one! If ever I get round to writing a modern version of “My Country, Right or Left”, it’ll be self-deprecating humour that is seen as the glue that binds us all together.

    Actually, that was the cultural schism that left such raw wounds in the 80s, when we found that a set of faux-confident barrow boys who eschewed the very British art of self-deprecation had taken over the economy.

    If there’s a Cultural Revolution required in this country, it’s the re-assertion of the power of those who are quietly confident in the fact that they do a bloody good job, and are able to make light of it. Less of Fred the Shred and more of Fred Dibnah.


    “The LDs would probably hold more seats at 9% than 7%”

    That depends on how they are distributed. UNS in GB is rather irrelevant given disparate political systems and FPTP for Westminster elections.

  44. @leftylampton

    Well, the MP for Eton (and Slough) used to be Labour.

    “Moving from third place to first…” the title of just one of the articles on this site:


  45. @ Crossbat11

    “It was a thoughtful, reflective and highly informed discussion between two cerebral politicians who were clearly expert in the subject they were discussing. No point scoring, no interruptions, no name calling, just intelligent and, to this ear, very informative debate on a serious and important issue.”

    Don’t you love when that happens? It’s so rare these days. You get so many politicians and pundits looking to just score points. I don’t blame politicians for doing that. But like you, I enjoy it when they don’t and think they should get credit.

    It’s actually one reason I’ve come to enjoy Jon Stewart interviews when he has on right wing guests. They actually engage in intelligent and thorough conversations without the loudness and point scoring.

  46. @ Neil A

    “You’ve seen how some people on this blog react to Conservatives and right-wing viewpoints. And this is just about the most civil place you’ll find for a political discussion in the whole of the UK.

    Any wonder some Tories don’t like to brag about it?”

    Yeah, I suppose. I think the mindless aggression here is limited to just a few posters and seems equally divided amongst both sides of the ideological spectrum.

    I could understand not saying you were a Tory if you worked in a labor union, especially a public services employee’s union. But there’s something different when a pollster calls you I think. And is it shame or is it fear?

  47. SoCal

    If I recall correctly, the Tories taking on the St Peter role came about in the early 90s. The Tories won the 92 Election, predominantly on the fear of what a Kinnock-led Labour Govt would have done to the economy.

    Within 6 months, we’d had the utter turmoil of Black Wednesday, when the whole Tory economic policy was blown apart by Soros & Co.

    Thereafter, Smith, then Blair led Labour to leads of 30-40% over the Tories. Helped by the self destruction of the Tories in a series of lurid sexual affairs and sordid financial fiddlings. By 94, you were more likely to find someone admitting to sexual relations with small mammals than admitting to being a Tory supporter. And the piling companies found that only 30-ish% of people said they had voted Tory in 92, when the Tories had polled 41%.

    I seem to recall AW saying something similar a year or do ago – that only 18% of people in recent polls admitted to voting LD in 10, when they actually polled 23%.

    As an Old Testament-stylee, Nemesis/Karma nasty bugger, I quite like the idea that these people are full of self-loathing for what they have done.

  48. A 5% lead for Labour. What – no tweets? No rushing it out early? No coverage on the BBC & other media outlets! How surprising :twisted:

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