Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 43%, UKIP 9%, LDEM 8%. The poll is surprising for two reasons – firstly the eleven point Labour lead is unusually high, for the last week YouGov’s daily polls have been showing a steady six point Labour lead, suggesting that the bigger leads we saw post budget had faded. Today we are back up to a double-point lead, and the largest one YouGov have shown since March.

The other interesting point is actually less surprising – UKIP have overtaken the Lib Dems for what I think is the first time. In recent weeks YouGov have often shown the Lib Dems and UKIP quite close in voting intention, there have been several instances of but a single point separating them, so in many ways this seemed inevitable sooner or later, if only due to normal random sample error.

Nevertheless, it highlights a real trend in support. While Lib Dem support has remained pretty much static in recent months there has been an increase in UKIP support. There are various possible reasons for this. One is them becoming a beneficiary of protest votes – in the past people who didn’t like either of the main parties and wanted to cast an anti-establishment “plague upon both your houses” vote may well have voted Lib Dem, now the Lib Dems are a party of government that is hardly an option and UKIP seem to be becoming one of the main beneficiaries. A second reason will be right-wing Conservatives disheartened by the compromises of coalition, a third, more short term cause is probably the granny tax: we’ve seen significant drops in Conservative support and increases in support for UKIP amongst over 60s since the budget and older people have always been by far the most likely group to vote UKIP.

Anyway, before wasting too much time on analysis I should end the post with my normal caveats about any unusual poll – sure, it could be the sign of a beginning of a trend, of new record Labour leads and UKIP moving into third place… or it could be a rogue poll, and tomorrow we’ll be back to a lead of 6 points or so with the Lib Dems in third place. The benefit of daily polls is that we only have to wait 24 hours to find out.

47 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 32, LAB 43, UKIP 9, LD 8”

  1. Lib Dem + Tory = the approval rating in negative figures

    First time that’s ever happened I think

  2. I predicted a fall in Tory support earlier and I think it could go down to 30% at some point.

    Over the next week or so, we will see a number of u-turns in government policies. These are bad, as in the minds of some voters it shows a weak government and one that is incompetent. Of course some people will also see u-turns as a positive, if ministers explain that they have listened to argument and have changed their minds.

  3. @John Fletcher

    I’ve answered your question on the previous thread on the previous thread.

    Regards, Martyn

  4. @AW

    “The benefit of daily polls is that we only have to wait 24 hours to find out.”

    Only 24 hours!!!!! :)

  5. That UKIP protest vote may be rising as people now have their poll cards for local elections and are seeing some UKIP literature for it. Perhaps UKIP votes will rise during election campaigns in future as the Lib Dems did in the past as some ‘Don’t Knows’ switch to the new ‘protest option’. If pollsters asked the question: ‘How do you normally vote?’ before they ask the hypothetical General Election question they would capture more data from this sort of late deciding protest/consumerist ‘Don’t know’ voter.

  6. One swallow..
    Suggests the 6% lead or so is firm at least even if not repeated.
    Expect this poll to be mentioned plenty in the media tomorrow, not least by the Right wing that doesn’t like the coalition.

  7. Absolute Cleggtastrophy

    Either Cameron will ramp up the anti-EU rhetoric before May3 or he’s in for a beating at the local polls.

    Clegg’s in for a beating whatever happens.

  8. UKIP: Farage to make a “Go back to your constituencies and prepare for government” comment soon?

  9. RHuckle,one might also suggest that if the govenrment
    gave more consideration to their policies before
    announcing them,they might not to have so many
    consultations,aka,u turns.

  10. @MJones

    If DC ramps up anti-UK sentiment, won’t that just encourage UKIP and slit the Tory vote?

    Also watch the UKIP vote in London. They are already on 5% on the List poll (which would guarantee them a seat). If they get a few more percentage points and the LDs fall, they could get 2, and become the third Party on the London Assembly.

    As a pro-European former LD I don’t want this to happen. But it certainly could.

  11. Although the size of the lead is probably a blip, I’d say the trend to a larger lead than just 6 points is likely firstly from the fact that UKIP have been growing and they always grow at the expense of the Cons. Secondly, because the run of poor headlines on the Charity Tax (did you see what I did there … catchy isn’t it!) is not only bad for the govt it reminds people of the terrible budget coverage (GO and DC must have thought “OK we’ll get a week of bad headlines but then we can get over it” now it’s been going on for three weeks!).

    Problem for Labour is that because elections are looming, there’ll be more coverage for EM and that never serves him or them well …

  12. @RAF

    Not on past evidence. ‘Veto’ (that wasn’t a veto) at start of the year gave Tories a massive boost.

  13. I suspect this is a random swing from Con to UKIP. Part of a trend, certainly, but a spike. UKIP would be well advised to wait until tomorrows result before making a lot of noise, but I doubt that good sense will stop them.

  14. @ R Huckle,

    Don’t think I can ever remember a U-turn being appreciated by the public and that boosting a govts ratings. I do know of ones that had little effect on VI in the long run (e.g. Blair changing his mind on a EU referendum).

    The problem with the Con U-turns is they all stem from poorly thought through policy that no-one likes.

  15. ADRIAN B
    `Problem for Labour is that because elections are looming, there’ll be more coverage for EM and that never serves him or them well …`

    He seemed to have improved presentationally in yesterday`s Andrew Marr I thought…He`s on ITV`s Agenda tonight,so we`ll see

  16. @ RAF,

    Why would DC ramp up anti-UK sentiment?

  17. This poll is an obvious outlier – Scotland : SNP 46%, Lab 28%.


  18. Well UKIP are shooting the Con2010 vote to pieces. For the first time I can remember, Lab have a lead in the over-60s.

    The other interesting thing is the continued gender gap in Lab support. More F than M yet again, 5% more tonight. It is definitely a real effect now.

  19. I think anti-Tory movement in Scotland now tends to go to SNP. I fear Scotland is lost until there is some hope of kicking out the Tories from Westminster.

    You can hardly blame the Scots for wanting self determination when Westminster is being run by the City.

  20. @MJones

    I agree in part. But the Tory exodus to UKIP on this occasion is not due to EU issues (OK, maybe partly), but is instead an anti-Coalition vote. UKIP are seen as a genuine Conservative Party (albeit, one that probably.never actually existed!).

    Perhaps Lab can lose the referendum and still take the Rest of the UK.after all!

  21. The Times giving headline coverage to the Populus poll…The winds of change,do I sense?

  22. I was just thinking, what would UKIP call themselves if Scotland gained independence?

    And does UKIP back independence for Scotland?


    Do you think any papers will back UKIP come the next election?

    I’m not surprised that the Labour lead is larger today. Yesterday’s 6 pointer was very low in LibDem to Labour switchers.

  24. @OLDNAT

    Not sure, following the Economist’s article. Perhaps an anti-London backlash there.


    Surely if Scotland were turning nati-Tory, they would flock to Labour and the SNP (but perhaps not the LIb Dims this time)?

  25. I’ve been banging on for a while now about the similarity in socio-politico-economic conditions between now and the mid 70s. And the polling VI figures are almost spookily following the trends from Oct 74 onwards.


  26. AW.

    I appear to have fallen foul of the multiple links mod-bot. I’ll carve up the post into separate links instead.

    I’ve been banging on for a while now about the similarity in socio-politico-economic conditions between now and the mid 70s. And the polling VI figures are almost spookily following the trends from Oct 74 onwards.


  27. Well off to bed … will sleep soundly after a great polling day for Labour – if only we could turn it into actual votes!

    `Do you think any papers will back UKIP come the next election?`

    If the Tories go to election with Cameron at the helm,I think quite a few papers will support UKIP

  29. @Cloud Spotter

    The Daily Express could well do. The Telegraph might. Can’t really see any of the others following that path.

  30. Anthony

    Have Ukip reached the point when they should be moved from “others” into mainstream in opinion poll questions?

  31. @Adrian B – “Don’t think I can ever remember a U-turn being appreciated by the public and that boosting a govts ratings.”

    Slightly longer memory perhaps, but abandoning the poll tax was a great help to John Major, I recall.

  32. We are getting close now to that crop of 12 point leads from way back in 2002 that mark the upper limit of Labour leads over the Tories in the entire history of YG polling…

  33. …I believe there has never ever been an 13 point YG lead?!

    It’s difficult to calculate whether the bunch of 6 leads were outliers and this is a return to post budget cataclysm; or vice versa. Nothing really seems to have happened in the last few days to shift OP numbers by 80 % or so?

    Again though- dine out on these numbers as they are unlikely to last past a suite of Labour policy announcements…whether these are ‘ultra blairite’ (whatever that is) or motherhood and apple pie platitudes.

  34. @RAF

    “As a pro-European former LD I don’t want this to happen. But it certainly could.”

    Yes, it could happen, and you would respect the democratic wishes of the people if it did.

  35. lots that is fascinating here. The rise of UKIP in the polls must be worrying to Cameron, and there are only so many vetoes and cast iron guarantees that can be announced without actually committing to a referendum in an attempt to get them back on board… if a too-much lefty Labour party doesn’t scare them back without that.

    If UKIP really are hitting this level of support then the seat calculators will have to be rejigged to account for a 4th party. 9% ought to give them some representation in the HOC, I guess low single figures and uncomfortably not much less than the LD’s.

    Bring on the apple pie and motherhood and we shall see that whoever is lumbered with government will be doing pretty much as the current incumbent, with little difference in popularity. Perhaps EM will be quietly hoping that the coalition continues for a bit.

  36. Lefty,

    It seems the principal difference is that there are more Lib-Lab transfers now than there were Lib-Con transfers in the 70s.

    The economy was completely different, though. Inflation and industrial relations were the main issues then.

  37. The working tax credit bombshell letters will have dropped on doormats throughout the land these last two weeks.

    That may explain it.

  38. it’s worth noting that it’s not just UKIP doing well, the other “others” seem to be doing better than usual too. Not that they’re about to get an OM, but enough to get perhaps some more “Respect” style results.

  39. “I was just thinking, what would UKIP call themselves if Scotland gained independence?”

    They will still call themselves UKIP. the UK is more than just Scotland. There will still be English, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs in the UK Parliament.

    If, in the unlikely event that the Scottish people vote for total independence, then it will be Scotland leaving the UK, NOT the UK ceasing to exist.

  40. “Do you think any papers will back UKIP come the next election?”

    The Daily Express is the most likely paper to do that. They are strongly Eurosceptic and are strongly in favour of an in-or-out EU membership referendum.

    Depending on how badly the coalition shafts Murdoch with the Leveson inquiry… and so far Leveson appears to be ignoring wrong-doing at the Mirror, Guardian, Daily Mail and Daily Star, and focusing on hammering Murdoch, Ther is the tiniest possibility that The SUN may come out in favour of UKIP too, however that is very unlikely, unless UKIP’s current support in the polls trebles at the expense of labour and conservative, because The SUN really want to back the winning party each time and take the credit for it.

    I cannot imagine the Daily Mail or any of the Broadsheets supporting anyone outside the top two same old parties.

  41. What more and more people I speak to are now, uncomfortably realising, is that Cameron really is a Blairite, heart and sole. They are realising that the tories really are having to implement policies that they do not like, because of EU directives on tax and competition and data retention.

    It will be the same whatever current main parliamentary party gets into power, because they all are obligated to implement EU directives, hence Post Office privatisation and deregulation, NHS privatisation, Intrusive snooping into electronic communications, not becoming able to remove VAT from pasties once it has been levied. ALL because of EU directives.

    We used to support the tories because of their values and beliefs and how these created and drove policies which we agree with.

    Now there is no difference at all between tories, labour and liberal democrats and a big reason is a combination of field-testing the same types of market sectors for policies and having to implement EU directives.

    The tribal supporters of each party refuse to see that and remain in denial, but more and more people are realising it.

    Given that all three main parties now are the same and will keep implementing what the EU tells them to implement, this country is going to the dogs.

    Knowing that the current coalition and labour will utterly refuse to make the changes to economic, social, environmental, defence, law and order policies to save this country from going to the dogs, many people are leaving these old, discredited parties altogether.

    In the case of the conservatives, they have an alternative and OH BOY, WHAT an alternative.

    If you were to ask any long-term. loyal conservative who voted conservative from Thatcher’s first election win to today to put all pragmatism to one side and write down their ideal, almost perfect manifesto… they tend to come up with UKIPs manifesto.

    When these people are given a choice between watching the country go to the dogs, a nation broken up and swallowed by the EU and the vast majority of our policies dictated to us by the EU and seeing the conservative party blamed for the ensuing constitutional, economic and social catastrophe, OR would they rather vote for all the policies that they would LOVE to have and see labour blamed for the EU wrecking our nation… then they choose UKIP.

  42. You neglected to mention the biggest reason of all for the surge to UKIP – the elephant in the room that is the undemocratic, communitarian EU.

  43. I am extremely surprised, as well as happy, to see the labour lead this high. The UKIP results are more of a sign of LD support than UKIP support IMO. Personally I’d expect a much lower percentage if we were to have a general election tomorrow (and thus a higher percentage for the tories).

  44. I am very surprised to see 6% of those who voted libdem now voting UKIP. Is it just me, or does it seem that these people have absolutely no idea what they are talking about if they went from voting for the(what they though was) left libdems to the far-right UKIP? I’m also wondering why Labour disenchantment (which frankly must be in abundance) isn’t resulting in better figures for the greens.

  45. @David

    “far-right UKIP”

    Independence from the EU is an issue which transcends the political spectrum. A recent poll for the Guardian newspaper (24/10/2011) revealed that 44% of Lib Dems would vote ‘out’ in a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU.