Following the ten point lead from ComRes yesterday tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 43%, LDEM 9%. This is the first time Labour have managed a double point lead from YouGov since March last year.

With any shift in the position in the polls it’s natural to look for an explanation, and there’s always a tendency to read what you want to see into the change. Far too often I see people in the comments here confidently ascribing any change in the polls to their own pet issue, or to what they’d most like the public to feel strongly about.

Right now we don’t really now what the cause is, though there are some obvious candidates. First we should consider the longer term trends – it’s always tempting to assume whatever has just happened explains movement, but remember there was already a trend towards Labour before the budget, be it the unwinding of the European “veto” effect, an improved performance by Ed Miliband or the increased prominence of the NHS as an issue.

Secondly there is are the issues in the budget, the two most unpopular being the 50p tax rate and the “granny tax”. Thirdly is the cash for access story that sprang up over the weekend. Fourthly there is the combined affect of all them, the culumulative image of a government in trouble you get when lots of bad news stories come all at once (take for example Labour’s “Black Wednesday” in April 2006 when they were hit with the foriegn prison scandal, John Prescott’s affair and Patricia Hewitt being heckled by nurses in a single day).

Right now we don’t really have enough evidence to judge by – you can’t ask people why they’ve changed their vote as most people are very poor at understanding or reporting their motivations. The best measure is proper tracking data on whether more people see the government as sleazy or corrupt, or close to the rich, or distant from pensioners than they did before. Hopefully that will come in time.

Personally my guess (and it’s not much more than a guess at this stage) is that the “granny tax” has done the most damage. Most people already saw the Conservatives as being more interested in the rich than people like themselves, and people have a low opinion on all the parties on issues of sleaze and favours for donors. In many ways these would only have confirmed and entrenched existing negative perceptions (the Pope does not suffer an anti-Catholic backlash when he talks about God, people tend to already see him as Catholic). However, in the past comparatively comfortable pensioners have been a bedrock of Conservative support – a tax hike specifically hitting a natural group of Conservative supporters who probably did see the Conservative party as one which looked out for people like them is liable to do damage… and lo and behold, in YouGov’s polls since the budget we’ve seen significantly lower Conservative leads in the over 60s break than we are used to (today the Conservatives have a six point lead amongst over 60s, better for them than yesterday, but before the budget double-point leads were the norm). That said there is never a single cause – I’m sure the other factors have made their own smaller contributions too.

592 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 33%, LAB 43%, LDEM 9%”

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  1. ‘Can’t work out’. Reading Labour internal documents is clearly bad for the grammar.

    However for sleep deprivation….

  2. @nickp – ” …LD zilch.”

    Fwiw the consensus among the usual suspects is that LDs will save their deposit, but finish where among the scrum of minor parties?

    Behind Respect and Ukip… they’ll be relieved if they beat the Green candidate though. If they also lose to the Dem Nats, Nick Clegg will have to say “It was a bad night for us, but we are not in this for short term electoral advantage.” ;)


  3. Lab has a big lead on the Mid-Wales cross break.

  4. 60+ 43/36/5

    Blimey that was quick-or is that the wrong way round ?

  5. @ Roger Mexico

    Yes, being a ‘serious’ member of the Labour Party is a full-time job & only genuine insomniacs need apply.

    We had a discussion paper about how to make meetings more interesting so that folks would enjoy attending them. I couldn’t get to the end of it without Zzzz.

  6. The tables have approval at -36 again. Presumably th headline is wrong.

  7. Re BRADFORD,yes it is odd how little attention it has received.Let us hope that people are not seduced by the
    cynical GG.

  8. th! Another mitsake.

  9. Good Evening All, after a wonderful 11K beach run on a starry night.

    The TIMES reports that the Lib Dems are keeping a low profile, in order to not be contaminated by the opprobrium attached to GO and DC. Sadly silence – consent.

    On the economy:
    Seems to be flat at best, except for jerry cans.
    Down are:
    Housing mortgage approvals
    House Prices

    Up are
    Fuel prices for cars and home.

    ED has no need to be complacent.

    I think he should make a serious speech telling UNITE to go to binding ACAS arbitration. Be brave ED, UNITE have nowhere else to go.

    On Nick.
    Has anyone else heard about his 2014 EU job, and the arrangements to stop the Coalition for 12 months before the GE?

  10. That’s three successive ten point leads…is that the new polldrums?

  11. Is this the first time more LibDems disapprove (45%) than approve (41%)?

  12. Further proof that the increased Labour lead is more due to dissatisfaction with the Conservatives comes from the responses to the Party Image trackers. ‘Applies to none of them’ scores new highs on The kind of society it wants is broadly the kind of society I want and It is led by people of real ability. Indeed it now leads the latter with 45%.

    A slight consolation for the Tories comes with them scoring 50% (a slight increase) on Its leaders are prepared to take tough and unpopular decisions. But then the question doesn’t ask if you think the decisions are the >correct ones.

  13. Re:Bradford West. The swings may be quite wierd and counter-intuitive. Predominantly Asian seats can have quite distinct local effects. It seems the Labour vote has been artificially depressed for some time, for sectarian reasons, the retiring Labour MP is a Sikh and the various Conservative candidates since 1997 have been Muslims in the kind of seat where that matters. The Labour candidate is Muslim and seems to have been the strong local choice for selection. Galloway may well eat into the Labour lead, but I think the Conservative vote will still fall. The Greens came ahead of the Lib Dems, before, in 2001. These long ballot papers amuse me these days just to see how low the Lib Dems can go ;-).

  14. I’ve found the Guardian’s stance on Bradford West a bit bizarre.

    First they run a story announcing that a bookie had stopped taking bets on George Galloway (neglecting to mention that at peak he was still 10:1 compared to the Labour 1:25).

    Then they ran a story that George was announcing that he was going to win – as if candidate declaring that they were going to win was news…

  15. Nick

    “That’s three successive ten point leads…is that the new polldrums?”

    It would appear so. Until it gets worse.

  16. -36 for two days in a row; it’s a Coalition & ought to have two Party support. Now I am trying to remember: Was it Government or personal approval of -43 which signalled the beginning of the end for Tony?

  17. Would someone please lend me a revolver? I can’t cope with any more bad news. This past week has been thoroughly depressing. :-(
    Unless someone has any straws I can clutch.

  18. Ken

    SLab’s complaint about Alex Salmond giving the Weir’s a cup of tea is somewhat ironic since the complaint has been raised by Paul Martin MSP (son of the former HoC Speaker Michael Martin – though we shouldn’t assume that transgressions travel through the generations!)

    Of more interest, perhaps, are the reports circulating here that SLab had not intended to raise the issue, considering it too petty, but that they were persuaded by the Telegraph to raise the complaint so that they could keep the story going.

  19. @chrislane1945

    Those sort of stories started appearing soon after the coalition was formed. Even before the discussion about a “formal electoral pact” for 2015 had got started (and then quickly dropped) I read a peice on an LD site about there was a conspiracy in No 10 to install another Tory friendly leader in time for the election.

    Ed Davey’s promotion to Chris Huhne’s old job has led to speculation that he is “the annointed”.
    Btw, other posters on here have mentioned how “interventions” by certain right-leaning newspapers have had an effect on previous LD contests.

    On NN recently Rachel Reeves put it to Danny Alexander that the coalition would be dissolved in 2014… and he remained silent, staring at the floor.

    Here is a story from December 2010, with quotes from No 10 “sources”:


  20. In the words of David Brent………” Bring the guitar” :-)

  21. Glad to see Newsnight is picking up the really big story of the day – Eon and NPower pulling out of the big nuclear investment program.

    We really do have a looming energy crisis, and this just made it a whole lot worse. We are rapidly running out of energy and the envelop of options to avoid blackouts by 2018 – 2020 is rapidly shrinking. Crisis time.

  22. Now Francis(Jerry can)Maude is claiming that his timely
    intervention,making the whole country panic by,has forced
    the craven union Unite to try to agree to call off the strike.
    dIfficult to believe but there it is.

  23. NickP

    I hope you are right. I am just being cautious. GG is such a wild card.

  24. @Oldnat and John B Dick

    Cut the sanctimonius sh*t and stop abusing AWs comment policy.

  25. @ Swan Arcadian & Old Nat

    Unless someone has any straws I can clutch.
    The Telegraph is becoming a Labour paper. That would surely cheer you up. ‘Cos with ‘friends’ like the Tele, who needs enemies. ;-)

  26. Amber

    I see that Labour branch meetings are as bad as they were when I was a member!

    If it’s any comfort, SNP branch meetings aren’t much better.

    The old Liberal Party branch meetings in 1960s Aberdeenshire were a bit more convivial – as the chairman frequently served booze! :-)

  27. A CAIRNS

    Ooh! We are an angry wee soul, aren’t we! :-)

  28. @swanarcadian

    “Unless someone has any straws I can clutch.”

    Well, Mad Frankie Maude has boosted the sale of jerrycans, by all accounts. Halfords have reported a 500% increase in sales today.

    Could Mad Frankie have single-handedly lifted the retail sector out of recession? lol

  29. BILLY BOB.
    Thanks for your interesting points.

    I remember the Rachel v Alexander debate on NN

  30. SWANARCADIAN……………What’s the problem ? 3 yrs to recover, from a media sh**storm………when the going gets tough…etc. In the bar of the Blackheath golf club, all is well with the world, we’ve seen it all before, one word of encouragement……..Kinnock. :-)

  31. @ Old Nat

    Labour don’t even do coffee… :-( That’s why we are envying the Weirs’ cup of tea. (I have no idea what that story is about or who the Weirs are, but tea would be nice, milk, no sugar & a biscuit if there’s any, thanks).

  32. This froma a Labour blogger at Bradford West count:

    Sky News’s Jon Craig predicts the following “Labour win, George Galloway 2nd, Tories pushed into 3rd place after fuel blunders.”
    Not sure if that’s based on info from the ground, but it tallies with what I’ve heard.

  33. I forgot I had a login! Been so long since I posted here, but still read every day, how sad is that?

    But I was wondering if this was the first time the LibDems who disapprove (45%) is greater than those who approve (41%)?

  34. AMBER STAR………You’ll get to meet the family Weir, soon, now that they’ve won £161 million, they’ll obviously be able to afford a house in your street. :-)

  35. How’s Brick Lane?

  36. @ Ken

    LOL :-) I’ll invite them round for tea when they do.

  37. Always slightly cautious about new polldrums. These numbers aren’t dissimilar to the Labour performance in December ’10, and those faded. Time to wait and see, methinks.

  38. @ Top Hat

    3 swallows don’t make a summer…

  39. George bloody Galloway doing well according to reports from Bradford West. Oh dear. That man back as an MP. I would have preferred a tory.

  40. Sorry, should have been new “potential” polldrums.

  41. @Graeme Hancocks

    I have nothing against Galloway, but what does he seriously hope to achieve in a parliamentary system with a party of 1MP?

    Not a Labour man, but the organisation of Labour in Bradford, Blackburn and other related areas really is a matter of some concern.

  42. Twitter rumours that Lab close to defeat in Bradford W.

    Galloway saves Cameron?

    Interesting week!

  43. Three consecutive 10% Labour leads and it appears that Anthony has gone into the same Tory bunker as Roly!! lol

  44. Sky News reporting that politicians of all parties are forecasting that GG is going to win Bradford W

  45. I’m amazed!

  46. @PeterBell

    2 hrs in advance of the expected result. He must have won by a street. Make that two!

  47. This week might yet have a tiny shred of redemption if Galloway pulls off that victory…….remarkable if it’s true……

  48. @Hooded Man

    His victory in Bethnal Green and Bow was even more unlikely.

    Bradford West is more fertile ground for GG, and he was always a realistic challenger.

  49. @Raf – “Galloway saves Cameron?”

    I doubt he’s really relishing the prospect – or Bercow for that matter.

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