Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 42%, LDEM 8%. The eight point lead is the lowest Labour lead for a week from YouGov, but it’s well within the normal margin of error for the ten point leads that YouGov have been typically showing since the budget and cash4access story.

Also out today was some new polling for Lord Ashcroft (which I assume was conducted by Populus, certainly the cross-breaks match Populus’s house style). This has topline figures, with changes from Populus’s poll a week ago, of CON 32%(-2), LAB 41%(+3), LDEM 11%(nc), Others 16%(nc), producing a nine point lead for Labour.

Ashcroft also reasked the Populus party image questions from a week ago, finding some sharp drops in perceptions of the party. The proportion who thought the Conservatives were “honest and principled” was down 6 points to 27%, “competent and capable” down 9 points to 37%, “for ordinary people, not just the better off” down 8 to 23%, “has clear ideas” down 7 points to 37% and “has a good team of leaders” was down 9 points to 37%.

Slightly more surprisingly most of Labour’s ratings were also down – including a 7 point drop in the people who think they have a good team of leaders and the proportion who think they are united. They also fell on being honest, competent and having clear ideas. Perhaps the people who responded to the survey were just a more cynical lot than Populus’s sample a week ago, or perhaps stories about party funding just re-inforce negative perceptions of all parties.

163 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 34%, LAB 42%, LDEM 8%”

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  1. News24 reporting that a BBC poll among GPs shows a
    decreasing minority of GPs supporting the NHS changes. As far as I could see all polling figures (Mar 2010) for various aspects of NHS performance following the changes are lower than in the previous poll (not certain of its date).

    As I only caught up with the news items after it had started I am not sure as to how relevant it is. However if it was conducted on the same basis as the previous poll then GPs (the group responsible for carrying out the changes) are becoming less and less convinced of the value of the changes.

  2. sergio i didn’t say 100% would go from ld back to labour just a large part.

  3. Roly1,

    now there’s a far more interesting prediction. How many bottles of rouge will you have dispatched by GE 2015?

  4. @ Old Nat

    “Fascinating about Obama!”

    I just found it funny. I think that’s the first time this has happenned in this Primary season.

  5. “The only reasons I can see for them staying the course, are denial about their prospects for recovery, and the fact that it may have reached a tipping point where the bulk of their Parliamentary party stand to lose their seats whatever they do, and are thus incentivised just to keep the music playing as long as possible.”

    I think we are already at this stage for certain, Hannah. As you said, the NHS was their one chance of breaking out on a wholly populist cause. The only hope for LDs as a party now is to show that Coalition “works”. They have to hang on in there and hope things get better, it’s the only thing they can do. This could of course make the situation a whole lot worse for them than it is now but they are caught between a rock and a hard place.

    There is no alternative to showing that there is no alternative.

    That’s not to say that there might not be a disorderly break-up of some kind, but from my reading of the political scene and from dialogue with my LD MP there is no chance of any organised split from the Coalition before 2015.

  6. Sergio
    ” I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a rapid resurgence in LD VI at Labour’s expense as the GE approaches ”

    That seems to be based on a rather sweeping assumption. Namely that there is some “natural” level of LD support, below which their VI levels are currently, temporarily depressed.

    There’s an alternative assumption. Namely that the LDs are currently somewhere around their natural level of support, and punched above that level for much of the last 30 years because centre-left “liberals” saw them as a liberal alternative to either a leftist Labour party, or an illiberal centrist Labour party.

    I’d suggest that analysis of poll movements over the last 3 decades gives more weight to the latter assumption than it does to the former. When Labour has appeared to move much either side of a position of 4-ish (on a scale of 0=far left, 10=far right), or when it has taken on an illiberal stance on foreign affairs and civil rights, the LD support had increased. Now, of course, that constituency of a couple of million centre-left liberals has had a dreadfully rude awakening in realising that the apparently nice, liberal, vaguely left-ish LD party that gave them a viable alternative to the buts of Labour that they didn’t like was in fact nothing of the sort.

    Why then should these people vote LD in future?

  7. @LeftyLampton

    “Why then should these people vote LD in future?”

    To keep the Tories out, I’d imagine. Ask Nick P.

  8. Sergio.

    Like they did in 2010 you mean?

  9. If, after 5 years supporting Tory policies, the only reason that the LDs can find to attract centre-left votes is that “we are not the Tories” then I fear that they are whistling in the wind. And that’s putting it politely.

  10. @Woodsman
    ” LDs ……. I fear that they are whistling in the wind”

  11. @Woodsman

    I posted an url of an image of Clegg whistling in the dark but unfortunately it is under moderation. You can see the image on Tim Montgomerie’s twitter site which he says should be LD logo for local elections. I think you might appreciate the image.

  12. COLIN.
    Good Evening from a very sunny Bournemouth after a day of mass, tutoring, tennis, 10 K run and tea with the family.

    reference to public sector= reference to the fact of non ‘pc’ comments are not allowed, lol/rofl and lm*o

    Please explain, to what joke are you referring to the 8% being too high for our Lib Dems?

  13. @ Lefty Lampton (6.01 pm)

    “Why then should these people vote LD in future?”

    While I agree with much of your comment re your second assumption being more likely I believe it is more complex than you suggest. It all depends on what you call “core vote”. If you mean “would always vote for the party come what may” then you are probably correct in that the LDs are down to their core vote.

    Until the last year I would have considered myself as a core LD voter having voted LD since they first fielded a candidate in my ward/constituency. Subsequently I worked for the party delivering Focus leaflets etc for a number of years then joining the party about four years ago. Following the NHS debacle I returned my membership card and will not be voting for them in 2015.

    IMO, in 2010 there were essentially three types of LD voter :- a small number of centre right (who unfortunately currently control the party) ; a large number of people like myself who have consistantly voted LD as a centre left party; a number of people who left Lab in the years following Iraq for the reasons you mention.

    We can assume that in 2015 the centre right will vote LD and the ex-Lab will revert to Lab. This leads us to the centre left group which IMO is the largest of the three groupings. In response to your question, “Why then should these people vote LD in future?” I can only answer from a personal perspective and suggest that it would be if Clegg, Laws, Alexander resigned and the Lib Dems again became left of centre. I currently believe that this is what it will take for me to return and I suspect it is true for many people in that centre left grouping.

    As I don’t forsee those resignations then it will be a spoilt paper in 2015 for me unless there is a Green or Independant who I can support. Hopefully in 2020 or whenever the Lib Dems will have reverted to type (in the absence of Clegg et al) and I can once again vote Lib Dem.

  14. The discussions here show how difficult it is to predict the outcome of the next GE, whenever it may be.
    What will happen in marginal seats if people perceive tory and LD coalition candidates to be interchangeable?
    If the tories and LDs enter an electoral pact to avoid splitting the “coalition” vote, would that mean the end of the LDs as a third party?
    If the NHS is still toxic, what will be the effect of independent “Save the NHS” candidates standing in selected seats?
    Will SNP, PC and other Others be able to emulate the Galloway effect and be successful “none of the above” parties?
    I suspect that so many localised factors mean that national polling will become less meaningful. It could even influence voting more than it reflects it, as people interpret it as a popularity chart or a validation for supporting an “Other”.
    It will definitely be interesting.

  15. @Peter Bell
    My own situation is very similar to the one you describe, though I let my membership lapse a long time ago when I lost patience with the petty squabbling over the name of the merged Liberal and Social Democratic Parties. (FWIW I thought we should have called ourselves The Alliance Party of Liberals and Social Democrats, and then simply continued to campaign as The Alliance). At least we’re not Salads anymore.
    I too have always voted Liberal in an instinctive non-socialist left-of-centre kind of way.
    However, living in a safe-ish Conservative seat (Eddisbury), I suspect that my vote will go to Labour now rather than be wasted (no digs about a Labour vote being a wasted vote) on a candidate with no chance of election. I’m even reluctant to vote LD in local elections as I feel that any local support will be wilfully interpreted as national support. I’ve never liked tactical voting as I believed it masked the need for proportional representation, but since the buffoons at the top of the LDs have blown the chances of that for a generation then I shall have to give it a try.

  16. Peter Bell

    Interesting post. I fully accept your critique and I was being somewhat overly simplistic.

    Your comments on the (majority) of LD supporters pre-2010 being centre left do raise a crucial issue for the future of the party though: what is the point of the LDs as a political party? (and I don’t mean that as a perjorative question).

    If the party is, at heart, a centre left third party then what purpose does it have in a FPTP system, other than to split the left vote and clear the path to power for the Tories?

    If, on the other hand, it is an broad centrist church, why should someone who leans Left or Right vote LD and run the risk of letting the other main party in with LD support?

    These are not meant to be judgemental comments. But they do seem to me to raise existential questions for the LDs.

    Failure to secure PR was a catastrophic blow for the LDs, but (even as someone who voted for it last year) I cannot see how they ever thought they were going to secure it. Whoever they went into coalition with in 2010, the LDs were clearly going to be reviled by a large proportion of the electorate. And so opposition to PR would be greatly strengthened. As it now stands, PR is off the agenda for a generation. So what precisely can be the point of the LDs?

  17. LizH

    Thank you.

  18. PEEWEE.
    Labour held Edisbury under TB

  19. Sergio
    ” I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a rapid resurgence in LD VI at Labour’s expense as the GE approaches ”

    That is an assumption that is as reasonable or unreasonable as those who decry what you say. We simply don’t know at this stage.

    Historically, since 1974, the Libs and then LDs haveconsistantly proved by their performances that where they win seats has almost nothing to do with how popular or unpopular they are in VI or even national vote share in elections. LDs tend to win for bizarre local campaigning reasons which bear almost no resemblance to traditional Lab/Con perceptions of UNS affecting seats changing hands. In each case where LDs win – other than a handful of “traditional” LD areas in the Celtic fringe – all their seats are islands, or for example in SW London, groups of islands in surrounding similar demographic territory that looks wholly unpromising for them.
    This being the case they seem to have both a glass ceiling of what they can win, and since 1974, a glass bottom where they are incumbents. They often under perform when they are popular,and fail to gain seats they should win on UNS, but likewise cling on when UNS should wipe them out.
    Interestingly between 1971 and 1974 Sir Trevor Jones (‘Jones the vote’) who masterminded their win in Liverpool City Council from nowhere in 1973 taught them how to leaflet to achieve a squeeze of Labour voters to support them tactically against Tory candidates. Prior to this in the 1970 GE they did not have this technique developed and were as a result almost wiped out, only Thorpe and 5 others clinging on by tiny majorities. It could be argued that if the squeeze of Labour votes in their incumbent seats doesn’t work, as it has since 1974, then they are toast. However, a Labour voter (rather than a Labour activist who for reasons of sheer anger with the LDs would rather see the Tory win than a LD win in a particular seat) faced with a realistic choice of a Tory or their sitting LD MP might be persuaded to hold their nose and vote tactically again? We simply don’t know at this stage do we?
    It will be fascinating to see.

  20. Sun Politics tweeting “Grim news for David Cameron in latest YouGov poll for The Sun – more details later…”

    Place your bets please…….

  21. HM

    “Place your bets please…….”

    I’d say it could be

    1) Tories to 30 or below

    2) Labour to 45 or above

    3) Tories less trusted on economy than Labour

    4) ConLib government net approval at -50 or worse

  22. Ed M more popular than Jesus?

  23. NickP
    “The logic part is that Con won’t be able to increase vote share while in Government. It just doesn’t happen.”
    I just want to correct this with some data – it *could* happen, but it’s all about turn-out.

    1979 – Vote share – 43.9%, Electorate share – 33.4%
    1983 – VS – 42.4% – ES – 30.8%
    1987 – VS – 42.2% – ES – 31.8%
    1992 – VS – 41.9% – ES – 32.6%

    So clearly, in GB, while vote-share decreased 1983-1992, the share of the electorate voting Tory increased so it was turn-out that distorted the figure.
    If Labour voters hadn’t turned out 1983-1992 (20% to 26.7% Lab ES), then vote share would have increased for the Tories in government.

    You also see this distortion effect 1997-2001, where Tory VS goes from 30.7% to 31.7% which makes it look like William Hague did better than John Major when in fact Tory ES goes from 21.9% to 18.8%.
    The 1997-2001 turn-out dropped from 71.4% to 59.4% – a drop of 12%, 6.7% coming from Labour voters not turning out.

    So there’s nothing to stop Tory VS increasing in 2015, even if less of the electorate vote for them, if turn-out drops – which could happen if ex-LD-now-Lab aren’t convinced by Labour moving toward the illiberal-right in order to attract Tory voters.

    Scenario – Labour does drop Tories back to 2005 levels and gains all those juicy voters but LD-now-Lab (let’s say 40% of the 2010 LD vote) go back to the LibDems. Turn-out remains the same.
    Warning – Rounded figures may not add up to exactly 100%.
    ES –
    Con – 19.9, Lab – 22.5, LD – 15, Other – 7.7
    VS –
    Con – 30.6%, Lab – 34.5%, LD – 23%

    Let’s say that the 40% of LD-Now-Lab just don’t turn out in this scenario –
    Turn-out hits the record low of 59.1 (just lower than 2001) –
    VS –
    Con – 33.6%, Lab – 38%, LD – 15.1%
    Relatively similar to current polling figures.

    But let’s re-try scenario A again – this time Con vote staying where it is and Lab grabbing the 40% ex-LD-now-Lab voter.
    ES –
    Con – 23.5, Lab – 24.9, Lib – 15
    VS –
    Con – 36.1%, Lab – 38.2%, Lib – 13.7%

    The Scenarios that could increase Con VS –
    Lower-turnout but requiring Labour to not make gains from the Cons.
    Or higher-turnout but requiring Non-Voters to become Tory voters – since they’re unlikely to gain from 2010 LDs or Lab voters.

  24. NICK P.
    Lol and ROFL for that last statement on ED and JC.

    Today of all days.

    (JC not popular in his time)

  25. NICKP

    That’s it – I’ve been struggling for months for who Ed M reminds me of – you see average folk don’t like someone who looks and smiles as if he is about to deliver the Sermon on the Mount!

  26. The fortnightly YG/Sun Wednesday questions that are due up tonight are:

    Which of these would make the best Prime Minister?

    If you had to choose, which of the following options (for Govt) would be best for Britain?

    Grim news for Cameron? He was leading Milliband by 38-18 on the first question before his Fortnightus Horribilis.

    I wonder…

  27. “Place your bets please…….”
    Con – 32%, Lab – 45%, Lib – 8%?

  28. Lab – 45

    Con – 31

    Lib – 9

  29. Con 29 Lab 50 LD -1?

  30. My hunch
    Con – 31
    Lab – 45
    LD – 9

    14% Lab lead

  31. NICK P.
    I think your estimate of the Liberal Democrats seems a bit high.

  32. Red Rag – great minds think alike?!?

  33. @NickP
    “Con 29 Lab 50 LD -1?”

    Great minds think alike :-)

  34. “Con – 23.5, Lab – 24.9, Lib – 15”
    Should read the same but “Lib – 8.9”, Doh.

  35. Nick/Chris/Liz

    If you talk the LDs down too low you will make only 599 narrowly lost deposits look like a good result for them! LOL

  36. And what may have been lost in that huge post of random numbers – 2015 will probably be decided by turn-out and, in the long-term, Labour and Tories really need to attract non-voters in order to likely break 40% again.

    Labour’s most likely way of winning is to grab ex-LDs, but hope that non-voters don’t turn out for the Conservatives and the Conservatives’ most likely way of winning is to hope that Labour goes rightward and fails to attract any voters.
    But either party attracting current non-voters will go on to dominate in the future.

  37. TONY DEAN.

    Partisanship danger I think.

    In deference to good men like HENRY on here, they were in a difficult posiiton in 2010 after the GE.

    I think they did not realise the pickle into which they were going to be placed.

    Not convinced by ED M though, all to play for in the GE three year race, but I think the LD’s will separate themselves from the Coalition in 2014 after the Party Conference season.

  38. “Sun/YouGov poll: only 30% say Cameron would “make best PM” – down EIGHT pts in last 2 weeks and lowest since May 2010″

  39. @ TingedFringe

    Are there not far fewer left-leaning ex-LDs in Labour target seats than there are nationally per constituency since most left-leaning LDs will have been weaned to vote Lab tactically in tight Lab/Tory contests already? Agreed there must be more given the LD VI collapse, but not as great as national VI average would imply? I don’t know the figures, but my hunch is that the Labour vote might soar in areas where the LDs came a healthy but non-striking distance second place last time (ie. where its useless for winning seats), but only climb fractionally where it matters?

  40. “Sun/YouGov poll: Ed Miliband fails to cash in on Cam crisis. Only 19% say he would be “best PM” – up just one pt in last 2 weeks”
    So similar to other polling/approval questions – Cameron falling, but Ed failing to gain from it.

  41. Both Cameron and Milliband numbers can be explained by this Sun tweet:

    “Sun/YouGov poll: 46% “don’t know” who would make best PM – up 8 pts in last fortnight and highest since May 2010.”

    I can’t give a definite answer on this – I’d have to go over more localised figures (I have a huge spreadsheet by local area), but my hunch is that while Labour would almost completely fail in the South, it’d still gain enough in the Midlands to go on to win under that scenario.
    And given that even in 1997, the Tories still absolutely dominated the south, Labour don’t necessarily need to win there.

    `So similar to other polling/approval questions – Cameron falling, but Ed failing to gain from it.`

    That`s the last two weeks in a nutshell…Ed really needs to up his game…Quite disappointed that he failed to set out Labour`s vision in his local elections speech,rather than banging on about how the government was out of touch…I think the electorate has already accepted this at the moment,and he needs to strike while the iron is hot.

  44. Lab: 42%, Con: 32% LibDem:9% UkiP: 8%

  45. Actual Poll:

    Lab – 42

    Con – 32

    Lib – 9

    Ukip – 8

  46. Lab 42%, Con 32%, L/D 9%, UKIP 8%
    Looks like UKIP might start to be reported in headline figures?

  47. @ ChrisLane1945

    “Partisanship danger I think.”

    Not really – just having a good chuckle at the incongruity of NickP’s poll prediction of -1 for the LDs!!!

    Having once been a Lib activist and later employee, I too sympathize more than most with their pickle!
    Oh, but what a pickle VI and strategy wise for them. However, as per my previous posts I think they will surprise us all and cling on in far more places than we expect at this stage given their habit of bucking UNS.

  48. Sun/YouGov poll: Lab 42%, Con 32%, L/D 9%, UKIP 8%

    UKIP at 8%…..

    Rise of the “far left” anyone??!!


  49. That 32% for Con must worry them.

  50. “Sun/YouGov poll:

    only 5% say Clegg would be “best PM” – down 1pt in last 2 weeks”

    I almost feel sorry for the poor chap…

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