Tonight’s weekly YouGov poll for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 31%, LAB 43%, LDEM 9%, Others 17% (including UKIP on 8%). Fieldwork was, as usual, conducted between Thursday afternoon and Friday afternoon and, in practice, the large majority of the fieldwork would have been conducted before results to the local elections were known, so it’s too early to see any impact.

As usual, I’ll do a full update in the morning.

205 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 31, LAB 43, LDEM 9, UKIP 8”

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  1. Thanks AW

    12% lead is highish for labour, and 31% VI low for Con. UKIP still hanging in there on the Libdem coat-tails.

  2. Good Evening All.
    Is this an example of discrepancy between polls and voting in actuality?

  3. ….. and this was done before any effect from the local elections.
    We will have to wait until Tuesday night then for any sign of influence of the Locals on the National VI.

    Goodnight all !!


  4. Be interesting to know what election results we’d get with compulsory voting, given the discrepancy between these and actual voting figures when only a third or so bother to vote.

    Conservatives seem to be stuck around their core figure of 30% and will need:

    1/ An amazing economic turnaround [assuming the coalition lasts long enough] by 2014/15

    2/ A rather more compelling narrative to offer at the next election than “we could be even more right wing without the Lib Dems”. The question: how will you be different alone, is bound to be posed over and over again surely?

    Still, what do I know?

  5. Broadly what I would expect based on the Local Election scores with perhaps Labour at top end of MoE. I think the LDs are underestimated by a couple of % but we are seeing a consistent lead.

    I would be interested to know AW views on the accuracy of the projections based on the LE results – I assume that they are calculated using specific constituencies but would like to know the view on MoE.

  6. Chrislane 1945

    I think the received wisdom is that Labour under-perform in Locals compared to Nationals, and LibDem outperform in Locals over nationals. Adjusting the Locals result (Con 31, Lab 38, Libdem 16 ??) for this and accepting that this latest YouGov Poll might be on the high-side of MOE, might put YouGov National VI Polls and Local actuals in about the same ballpark at the moment.

  7. @Virgilio

    As ever, thank you for your contributions: it’s on-the-ground observations from non-UK people that make this site such an useful resource (as well as Anthony Wells, of course)


  8. @AndyO

    “12% lead is highish for labour, and 31% VI low for Con. UKIP still hanging in there on the Libdem coat-tails.”

    Not so sure. It isn’t surprising that Labour have got a bounce from the post local election positive publicity that they received. It’s a sort of winners magnet that, while it might not last long, tends to benefit election winners in the immediate aftermath of a successful campaign. The Tories had a bit of this souffle effect after May 2010.

    Besides, local election vote shares rarely replicate national opinion polls where the question is who would you vote for if there was a General Election tomorrow. It’s quite compatible to have a 7% lead in a local election result and still be, legitimately, 12% ahead in national opinion polls.

    That’s why, in my views, there’s a bit of complacency in the Tory spin that Labour should have got well over 40% in the Thursday’s elections. If there was A GE tomorrow, they might well do so on the basis of these polls.

  9. Now that UKIP have performed better than polls in the local elections where they ran, can UKIP now be prompted for and seperated from others when it is 8 %?

  10. Bazsc

    You just said more succinctly what I said, and got in there first !!

    I agree :-)

  11. Bloody hell, just read Anthony’s note in full about some of the fieldwork being done before the local election results were widely known! Accordingly forget the first paragraph, for now, in my earler post but I stand by the rest!

  12. A run of 31-33% scores for the Conservatives over the last month.

    For anything comparable on YouGov you would have to go to 2005.

    It’s beginning to look like it could be back to square one for David Cameron.

  13. This could just be the electorate giving the government a good kicking…. we’ll know in a few weeks….Libdem may not recover but don’t underestimate the Con
    Lab needs to be careful they don’t blow their advantage, its a long haul to 2015.
    EM ratings have to improve!

  14. CROSSBAT11

    I think the fieldwork for this poll is before any effect of the locals would be manifest.


  15. ANDYO et al.
    Good Night and thanks.

    Now Citeh go to Newcastle and United play the Swans tomorrow

  16. Over to Anthony to explain, why there would be any differences between the recent elections and with polling.

    The Lib Dems have always complained that YouGov underestimate their vote by atleast 5%.

    I thought that the outcome of the recent elections showed the share of votes as Labour 38%, Tories 31%, Lib Dems 16%.

    So the Tories on 31% or thereabouts is about right, with Labour being on a minimum of 38%. I suppose in the recent elections, UKIP and also other parites did not field candidates for every seat, so people would have had to vote for the party candidate on offer they preferred. With polling, you could express the party that you would support at a GE. This may be why Labours vote in polling is higher that the recent elections.

  17. @AndyO

    You may be right but if YouGov sample evenly over time (Anthony?) and concluded their sampling on “Friday afternoon”, wouldn’t the sample include a decent proportion of respondents who had watched Friday morning bulletins, and seen newspaper headlines, signalling Labour’s successes? I remember listening to radio bulletins at 6.30am on Friday morning talking about “sweeping Labour gains and Tory losses”.

  18. To summarize — I believe the Locals Actuals, and this Yougov Poll are compatable with each other, and we’ll have to see next week what effect, if any, the locals have.

    Thankyou to all who have worked so hard to make these elections a success for the democratic process in these countries of ours, and if I can be a bit partisan, well done to all the new labour councillors !!

    Good night all !


  19. cb11

    I agree — there probably is some effect from the locals reporting in this poll.

  20. @crossbat11 – “… evenly over time?

    Anthony does say “in practice, the large majority… “, so I’m assuming there are more reponses in the evening than during the day.

  21. As Yougov was the nearest to the London result, and they always showed the narrowest Boris lead, (although it was actually narrower) they emerge with their credibility intact.

  22. If Con VI is currently 31%, then you can compare that with their projected national share from the locals.

    Here is what Gary Gibbon had to say yesterday about turnout in the locals:

    “… for every 10 people that voted Labour in 2011 council elections, about eight or nine voted Labour yesterday. But for every 10 that voted Tory in 2011 only six did the same thing again yesterday.

    This all suggests that Labour isn’t converting ex-Tory voters in great numbers but that 2010 and 2011 Tory voters are staying at home.”

    Which begs the question about what they are doing on YouGov… voting Ukip?

    Perhaps they will drift back to (or turnout for) a more overtly rightwing Conservative party, but might that not scare away the crucial centrist swing vote Cameron recruited for the 2010 GE?

    Then again, it could be a case of why bother voting for an omnishambles.

  23. “omnishambles”

    That was brilliant wasn’t it? Gonna stick.

  24. So this means we won’t see any post-election effect for approval ratings until next week?

    So if Ed’s approval falls back down this week, we should expect a narrative of ‘no post election approval bounce’.

    Looks like the Tories are shifting right in to their ‘natural’ ideological territory, if the talk of things like dropping gay marriage are true. Should at least please the core and stifle internal party issues.
    Also might start to recover some VI from UKIP soon.

  25. ChrisLane – only if there was a general election in the last few days that no one spotted! Compare polls on general elections with questions on general elections, local elections with questions on local elections. People vote differently in them, and answer questions on them differently.

    Bazsc – well, there isn’t really a margin of error as such – the key wards used are not a random sample of wards, but picked because all three parties contested them this time and last time. They aren’t attempting to poll a real event – there never are local elections across the country at the same time – just create a nice uniform measure that we can use to compare one set of local elections to the next (and I think they carry out that role very well!)

    Jim – In the past prompting for smaller parties has lead to inaccurately high scores, while at the last election the pollsters all got UKIP about right using existing methods. Pollsters set their methods according to what produces accurate results, not what seems “fair”. In the only directly comparable results this Thursday (the London mayor and London Assembly, since there were no election polls) YouGov overestimated UKIP support, so there certainly doesn’t appear to be a case for making a methodological change that would increase their reported support.

    Crossbat – the way YouGov sample these days is more even than before daily polling began, but the majority of the fieldwork still takes part overnight. On most days about 1100 responses come in between 4pm and 9am (mostly evening, rather than the middle of the night!), 600 between 9am and 3pm.

  26. I’d like some views on this:

    The Tories were counting on a Boris win and all that late shenanigans and the sheer bloody closeness of it in the end..

    I think that is going to scar.

    Tory supporters? Am I kidding myself? Do you think they’ll shrug it off?

  27. “4pm and 9am (mostly evening, rather than the middle of the night!),”

    I was about to say, surely that would make you pretty unpopular?

  28. AW…………….I’ll be accused of being a fair weather contributor if you consign me to the naughty step when I comment, I understand the rules of course, but don’t want to be branded for a lack of resilience………I am particularly happy at the moment what with Boris and Chelsea……….! :-)

  29. Hannah – that’s when people choose to respond, rather than when we send out the emails! ;)

  30. Ken – some people (not you in particular, but you did it in your last comment) seem to think that putting “in my opinion” after a partisan expression of their own opinion suddenly makes it non-partisan. It really doesn’t!

    If you find yourself writing “in my opinion, of course” after a comment, then (a) well done on being polite and considerate to other commenters and (b) it will still, alas, probably provoke partisan responses from other people, so best you delete whatever your opinion was before submitting it.


  31. I wonder if the tectonic plates of opinion are changing.

    Until about a fortnight ago, all but one major bookie had the Tories as (narrow) favourites to be the biggest party in GE15. Now the bookies are pretty much split 33/33/33 on making Tories or Lab slim favourites, or having both at equal odds. That suggests that over recent weeks, some folk have been backing with real dosh the hunch that Labour will be the largest party in 15.

  32. AW………….Thanks for the steer, as ever, given and taken in the right spirit. :-)

  33. Anthony: In my opinion you are dead right.

  34. @AW

    Sorry, that was just me being dim. I’d forgotten that you were and internet rather than a telephone pollster.

  35. Whilst Labour undoubtably done well in the locals and the coalition parties struggled I think the opposition doesn’t always deliver when it comes to actual voting and Ed Milliband still has weaknesses despite the results and Cameron and his party can still fight back.

    Whilst their record is mixed disappointed the Liberal Democrats are still in a weak position but at least their share of the vote was constant and critics of Nick Clegg such as Lembit Opik not likely to prevail. I certainly accept that the party has consistently done better in local elections but belive that You Gov does underestimate them when it puts them in single figures. One poll specifically on local elections was fairly accurate putting them on 15%, whilst ii gave them 12.5 for a General election.

    As far as UKIP is concerned they did poll 13% in areas they stood but if they had a greater presence it wouldn’t have been so impressive and whilst they can affect the outcome in specific seats don’t think they’ll be polling that well by 2015.

  36. @nickp – “Tory supporters?”

    Not guilty, but I think the media storm about how Boris was going to trample Ken into the dirt has rather backfired… the reporting today was more along the lines that he squeaked it.

    Ditto that Labour would get 800 seats (ooups, they did), lose Glasgow (no), Ed is a loser. All eyes on Tory victory.

    Boris retaining the mayorality was said to be essential to reinforce the belief that Cameron can win again in 2015.

    Instead the media are comparing him unfavourably to his chum… first the Boris biographer is all over City Hall telling everyone not believe him when he says he doesn’t want to be PM, then his dad pops up in the morning with similar heavy hints.

  37. AW et al

    Re: Partisan responses. Despite our ( frequently “my”) lapses, at least our partisanship generally remains relatively civil.

    Have a look at the bottom of this article to see what Paul Krugman has to deal with o’er the pond. We are, by comparison, quintessentially British in the gentility of our disagreements.

  38. billybob

    I think that was I was getting at was that, if Boris had LOSt, that was worst case scenario for the Tories. But they knew it wasn’t going to happen.

    And then, for an hour, it suddenly looked likely…and the figures when they came showed how close they were to meltdowm

    It was a glimpse of mortality, of their own death.

    How bad has that shaken them up? Who knows. But the Government was already panicked, I don’t think it will have helped much.

  39. This will be the ballpark VI for the foreseeable future: until UKIP drifts back to Tories at the very least.

    Also not very likely in the immediate term we’ll see much change if any in EdMs PM ratings- that’s a much longer job and not something that will be impacted that much in the short term by votes that were anti-ConLib rather than pro Ed or pro Lab = Thursday was clearly about a HUGE 2 fingers to ConLib rather embracing Labour!

    EdM needs to seal the deal if possible with UK voters over next 18 months; and EdB needs to produce detailed economic policies in order to protect these recent Lab voting levels.

    If neither of these happen combined with UKIP drift back we’ll be returning to 3-5% leads for Labour in the medium term.


    UWE politics academics excited by possibilities of successful pro- Mayoral vote provides for that core city. Local press in Bristol already discussing a series of potential high profile and high calibre well known local candidates. No monkeys or obscure anti immigrant candidates…..

    We should expect to see it and Liverpool lead the way for what will be a decade or so gravitation of most (if not all) core cities towards utilising this model.

    A no-brainer and rejection was obviously part of the general anti ConLib and anti ‘more politician’ dynamic of the night. But Bristol and Liverpool will confound that p*sspoor lazy reasoning in the coming years ;-)

  40. james

    I certainly agree that the Lib Dem overall vote share exceeds YouGov polling when they actually get to vote.

    Two possible reasons (apart form YouGove being wrong):

    Tactical voting by Tories a la Oldham & Saddleworth; or

    Large-ish votes in very few places and a major slum elsewhere.

  41. Rob S

    I think levenson and omnishambles at the Border have potential to shred the Tory vote a great deal more.

  42. I like to think (self delusion?) that the rejection of Mayors was a rejection of Personality Politics in favour of policies.

  43. So…
    an opinion poll with Labour 5% higher than what they actually scored in the ballot box 2 days ago.
    Pretty standard.

  44. jjb

    I expect the turnout for a general election would be a lot more too.

  45. Rob S
    “EdB needs to produce detailed economic policies in order to protect these recent Lab voting levels.”

    I asked a few days back and I don’t recall receiving an answer: When has a Shadow Chancellor ever won an election by laying down an early gauntlet? EdB already has a string message. It is: “We TOLD you what Austerity would do to growth.” What he, and every other member of the Shadow Cabinet, should do for the next 18-24 months is to repeat this mantra at every opportunity.

    We are still in the period of the war of ideas. Granted, very much granted, Labour has waged that war poorly in recent years. But it is crucial that, between now and 2014, Labour hammers home the message that there is, and always was an alternative to Austerity Now. Winning that argument would win some room for a “but given the circumstances, we will now have to…” policy stance in 2014-5.

    The alternative seems to be to say “Yep. We were wrong in 10. Austerity Now was the only way, and here is how WE would have done it.” Me, I don’t see a great deal of electoral attraction in such a policy stance.

  46. Rob S

    “UWE politics academics excited by possibilities of successful pro- Mayoral vote provides for that core city”

    Meanwhile, in the real world……………

    Toodle pip old boy.

  47. I wonder if this poll prompted for UKIP or if it asked ‘Con, Lab, Lib or Other’? As UKIP have been consistently very close to Lib in the polls for some time, they should be given equal treatment, which might give them an even higher showing, if they are not prompted for at present. I suppose we’ll see when the full results are published.

    Several people are discussing the widespread rejection on elected mayors. My experience, based on talking to several people who had a vote on the matter, is that it was rejected because they didn’t like change, and didn’t want an extra tier of bureaucracy and politicians.

    This shows the innate conservatism (note the small ‘c’) of the British people.

  48. Nicks

    I think the chances of the combined Conservative and UKIP vote (a majority of which will hold its nose for blues or simply returns to the blue fold at next GE) shredding much more is as likely as Labour getting to and staying at 44/45 for any elongated evidential period of time i.e. pretty unlikely.

    The country is- and has been since the summer/ early autumn of 2010- effectively split right down the middle: the ‘right’ and ‘left’ blocks have hardly changed since then!

    They fluctuate within each sphere but not much between them- so Blues lose to UKIP and in some localities other rightist and ratepayer type parties; labour leach vote to greens and leftist parties when it eventually produces its economic policies which will inevitably include spending cuts and service reductions (alongside the growth and employment support and longer term curve for deficit reduction).

  49. Lefty
    ‘The alternative seems to be to say “Yep. We were wrong in 10. Austerity Now was the only way, and here is how WE would have done it.” Me, I don’t see a great deal of electoral attraction in such a policy stance.’

    Perhaps my memory is defective, but didn’t Darling have his own austerity plans?

  50. Crossbat

    Nice to see that you are *still* seething

    Very telling. But go on- keep showering yourself in the brown stuff (“tee hee”)


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