Tonight’s YouGov/Sun poll has topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 43%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 9% – very much the norm for YouGov’s polls in the last week or two.

On a completely unrelated point, given my readership contains an awful lot of councillors, candidates, activists and other politicos, Michael Thrasher (of Rallings and Thrasher fame) has asked me to pass a message on to people who stood in the local elections this year. Over to him:

“Since 2006 The Elections Centre, based at Plymouth University, has been conducting annual surveys of candidates that stood in the May round of local elections. Candidates are selected at random from the published nomination lists and are asked a range of questions about themselves, their motives for standing, their experience of the campaign and also attitudes towards different aspects of local government, particularly the numbers of women, younger people and members of Black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups sitting on local council benches. These survey data are invaluable in providing a profile of who stands (and, of course, who doesn’t stand), the type of local election campaigning that is being conducted and other information that expands our understanding of the local electoral process.

More than six thousand candidates (a one in two sample) were sent a letter in May inviting them to participate in this year’s survey. If you are one of those candidates but has yet not found the time to participate in the survey then there is still time to do so. Simply, locate your reference number on the letter that you were sent and follow the instructions for completing the survey. Many thanks to all those that have or are about to participate!”


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

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  1. We seem to be suffering from another outbreak of magical psephology on UKPR. Rummaging in the entrails of past elections may be great fun for some but it’s about as reliable a way of predicting the future as using chickens – and with no prospect of a roast dinner.

    Past behaviour is a good guide to reminding us of the possibilities of the electoral system and its results, but it’s not as good at telling us what can’t happen. Because there’s always a first time for everything.

    And past behaviour is pretty useless at actually predicting what will happen. Though oddly the result always seem to coincide with what the predictor would like to happen. This seems to be the same if you use chickens too.

  2. Just a sort of heads up for Anthony and everyone else, you can either join in or hide.

    As the Independence Yes Campaign is launched in Edinburgh on Friday it would be surprising if there wasn’t at least one Scottish poll at the weekend.

    I haven’t had anything from YouGov yet but that doesn’t mean they aren’t doing one.

    It will be interesting to see what the numbers, are although I don’t think polling people when the launch is in the news is that good an idea if you want an unskewed result.

    Peter.

  3. The question of detailed policies for an opposition is always one of balance.

    On one hand, being policy light means your own policies cannot be criticised, stolen, rendered obsolete or held against you when situations change. You have allow voters to project their hopes upon you and you can sit on the fence on awkward issues where taking a side may infuriate your supporters.

    On the other hand, being policy light means you can be attacked for not having ideas of your own, risks looking opportunistic and negative, makes it more difficult to look like a government in waiting, brim full of ideas, and leaves you unable to answer the question of “well, what would you do?”.

    It normally works that it is advantageous to be policy light early in opposition, and gradually move towards developing a full slate of policies later in the Parliament. The question is judging how quickly to make the transition – you don’t want to do it too early or you limit your room for manoeuvre, end up with time-bound policies that are either stolen, torn to shreds or rendered obsolete. Leave it too late, and you look flimsy and out of your depth.

  4. Roger Mexico – “but it’s not as good at telling us what can’t happen. Because there’s always a first time for everything.”

    Indeed. Heed the sad tale of Dr David Carlton, lately of Warwick University, who back in the day was a political pundit. In 1997 he stood firm against other polls and pundits and their predictions of Labour landslides, since history told us that the scale of swing that Tony Blair would require for Labour to get a majority was impossible. With history on his side Dr Carlton predicted a hung parliament.

  5. Buckingham will be held by [John Bercow – AW] as long as he keeps his job. Thereafter, it will go back Tory, officially it is counted as Tory now, but you know what I mean.
    UKIP will reduce in support as soon as Cameron has a blazing row with Europe and stands up to them, EG prisoners vote.

  6. After all the talk of how difficult it is for the government to do austerity/ deficit reduction, you’d think spending would be easy. But spending on infrastructure isn’t easy.

    Big projects take ages to plan & start-up, if you want them to be successful. The Government are not going to see much benefit to the economy in this term. And they will be leaving a golden opportunity for the next guy. If the projects work, in themselves & as a stimulus, the incomers take the credit; any problems can be blamed on the last government.

    The Government could resurrect some of Labour’s projects which were cancelled because many were almost ready to launch.This would require a u-turn too far from the Government, I think. The glee from the Labour benches would likely be excessive, even by my standards!

    Micro-projects which can be launched quickly are the other option. This is what the Government will do, I’d think. The problem is, announcing all these little projects may look like frantic fiddling whilst Rome burns. They can forget taking any credit for the projects themselves (the upside is, they won’t take much damage, if they don’t go well); the Government will only get credit for the general effect on the economy, if there is a discernible impact amongst the other cuts which are planned.
    8-)

  7. I’ve been looking at where the UKIP vote has been coming, using the last week’s five YouGov polls, including the latest. I estimate this would give you a sample of around 570 people who are currently saying they will vote UKIP. Obviously it’s not separately weighted or anything, but it will give some broad brush indications.

    About 44% voted Conservative in 2010. And these were people who voted Tory against an unpopular Labour government. Not even all of them may be regular Conservative supporters.

    About 14% voted Lib Dem. This may seem odd, with the Lib Dems traditionally being the most pro-Europe Party, but many will be “a plague on both your houses” voters.

    Only about 5% voted Labour. This rather points out the error of those who claim that UKIP attracts traditional, older working-class voters from Labour. They may well pick up voters from that demographic but it will be mainly from working-class Tories.

    And about 37% voted for other Parties or not at all. Obviously this will include some long-term UKIP supporters (though the smaller the Party, the bigger the ‘churn’) and I suspect they may be picking up some right-wing votes from the BNP. But a lot will also be those who didn’t vote last time – and may not this.

    All of this shows that Conservatives would be foolish to believe that the UKIP vote will somehow magically transfer back to them in 2015. Most weren’t theirs in the first place and many are unlikely to go back to an unpopular government. And even if they still got them all, it wouldn’t be enough to overcome the current Labour lead.

  8. @John Murphy
    Given all these elections and innumerable VI polls this year, we are anything but bored. Speaking of which, the latest VI poll for French GE (June 10) by institute IFOP (the one that most accurately predicted the outcome of PE) has the following numbers:
    Socialists (+satellites) and Green: 39% (+8 from 2007GE)
    Right (UMP+satellites) : 33 (-12.5)
    National Front: 16 (+11.5)
    Left Front : 7 (+2.5)
    MD (Center): 4 (-3.5)
    Far Left: 1 (-2.5)
    On the basis of these numbers, and given the configuration of the constituencies, there will be a comfortable left-wing majority. The only unknown is whether the Socialist, Green etc. alliance will have OM by itself or with the addition of the seats of the Left Front.

  9. @ Roger Mexico

    And about 37% voted for other Parties or not at all [in 2010].
    ————————–
    Amongst that 37% could be where Labour ‘leaners’ who are now voting UKIP might be found, though. Or did you consider that possibility already & eliminate it?
    8-)

  10. Following last night’s YG LD surge, I ran the swingometer on provisional boundaries (I don’t look at the presnt boundaries any longer, is this premature?) and discovered that my party is racing up to almost two taxi loads.

    However, with UKIP one point above, I did wonder whether the program would need adjusting for UKIP spoiler voting or perhaps the odd seat even.

    Does our host (or colleagues) have any insight on this?

    I am not admitting the possibility of, say, 5% tactical return, but I recognise that does come into it, plus how anti EU, anti-immigrant, or just plain anti, the candidate under FPTP will be.

  11. Amber Star

    Agree that spending WISELY on infrastructure is difficult.

    Get it right and the improvement to the economy will be slow and lag behind the spending. Botch it and you’ve “wasted public money”. Look at the Millenium Dome, public opinion of it was pretty much “It’s a silly vanity project”. I doubt many people know if it was worth the money invested after the resale and rebranding as the O2.

    You can still keep to the plan of reducing the deficit to nothing in 7 years and frontload infrastructure spending over those 7 years. Only the smaller projects can be done like this, there isn’t really a conceivable way to get HS2 up and running in the next 3 years.

    Ultimately people will be neutral toward most projects, it’s the effect they have on the economy that matters (the whole point of frontloading is to try and generate an economic impulse that will have a lasting responce)

    Most people won’t care about house building projects far away from them. The only people who will care will be people who already own properties in the area whose “assets” will lose value due to a surge in supply and people who need housing.

    Ultimately those who own a house (or multiple properties) already will lose less “happiness” than someone who gains access to new “affordable housing”. Summed over a community, building houses right now makes a lot of sense even if the Nimbys shout loudly to try and maintain the status quo.

  12. Howard – “I did wonder whether the program would need adjusting for UKIP spoiler voting or perhaps the odd seat even.”

    No, it has no impact at all. Any spoiler effect is fully reflected in a drop in the Tory vote (in terms of losing Tory seats, it doesn’t matter if the voters go to UKIP, Greens, BNP, another party or just stay at home), and on a uniform swing UKIP would need to be far, far higher than that to actually win any seats.

  13. @ Howard

    If Labour and the Tories both go into the GE promising a referendum on membership of the EU, we could see the UKIP vote collapse back to around 5%.

    In my opinion, how the Lib Dems do at the next GE, could depend on how well they perform at local elections before the GE. If they lose many more Councillors and they struggle to raise funds to fight the GE, we could see them back at 1992 levels i.e about 20 seats.

    Could the Lib Dems ditch Nick Clegg say a year before the GE and reposition themselves policy wise. ?

  14. @Roger Mexico – “About 14% voted Lib Dem.”

    There could be some 2010 anti-Lab tactical voters among them.

    “… picking up some right-wing votes from the BNP.”

    There has been some suggestion that asylum and immigration are just as important to Ukip voters as EU concerns.

    “About 44%… who voted Tory against an unpopular Labour government. Not even all of them may be regular Conservative supporters.”

    Anecdotal, but one of my neigbours – who really doesn’t follow politics much, but enough to know that 2010 was ‘time for a change’, and enough to know that she would never vote Conservative – cast a vote for Eng Nat without knowing anything about them. If she is still around next time (here’s hoping), I guess she might vote Labour again.

    In short, there may well be something in your “a plague on both your houses” hypothesis. “Certain to vote people” do so because that they know that is what is expected of them, but there is nothing to say they cannot cast their vote in a capricious way.

  15. The UKIP effect is possible to predict at the moment. If Europe falls out of the political spotlight, UKIP’s polling ratings will almost certainly fade, but the way things are going at the moment, the EU could be just as divisive an issue in 2015 as it is now, possibly more so.

    Other wildcard is where UKIP’s vote appears. If we assume a uniform swing, UKIP have next to no chance of getting a single seat even with a stunning showing in the popular vote. But will it be a uniform swing? At the moment, there isn’t enough polling data to tell one way or the other.

    Then there’s the big question of how people say they’ll vote and how they’ll really vote. We know from 2010 and the Lib Dems’ showing that voters can change their mind at the last moment and vote to stop another party getting in government. I suspect UKIP are worried about a “Vote UKIP get Labour mentality”, so it doesn’t surprise me they’re so keen to portray all three main parties as bad as each other.

    In short, we’ve still got three years of events to account for. And if you consider what happened between 2007 and 2010, there’s still everything to play for.

  16. Clegg’s interview in the FT is very curious. Apparently

    “The stronger emphasis on growth was agreed by a handful of senior ministers in Downing St earlier this month, in a tacit recognition that François Hollande’s election as president of France had changed the terms of Europe’s economic debate.”

    So what has really brought that about? I don’t buy the line that an election in France leads to a change of UK economic policy. The UK economic situation has hardly changed recently. Maybe it is down to the dive in the opinion polls for the government since the budget backfire?

    It is certainly going to be interesting to hear the spin and the public reaction…

  17. Thanks AW.

    I put into the revised boundary version

    32 43 8 17

    and got 212 356 10 6

    I then gave back 4% from UKIP to Con so

    36 43 8 13

    and got 238 334 6 6

    I then tried a more balanced return shift from Others

    36 43 12 9

    and got 233 333 12 6

    I conclude, as you pointed out, that the next election will not fundamentally be about Greens and UKIP, but about how far above 40% Labour gets. On 40, it has a bare OM, but above that, comfortable.

    Con cannot get above 38% in my view unless a total disaster befalls Lab and I just do not see where that can come from, when it is in opposition.

    Yes, a really serious falling out over Gibraltar would come in very handy as last year’s veto bounce proved.

  18. Has anyone seen much evidence of UKIP campaigning activity?

    I don’t actually see much sign of of them campaigning either at elections or getting themselves in the papers- even with just a quote from UKIP at the end of an article about the EU or whatever.

    Presumably they would have money to fight a campaign- I just wonder if they are geared up to target individual constituencies such as the Lib Dems have always been good at doing and like the Greens did in Brighton last time. That needs activists either from the area or willing to be shipped in.

    It seems to be this 7-9% they are getting is simply because they have the name UKIP.

  19. YouGov from 2009:

    Voted Ukip in EU elections… GE voting intention:

    Con 38%, Lab 5%, LD 6%, Ukip 47%, Bnp 2%.

    h
    ttp://iis.yougov.co.uk/extranets/ygarchives/content/pdf/Megapoll_EuroElections.pdf

  20. One of the nice ironies about the new converts to UKIP is that I suspect many of them voted against that funny, foreign electoral reform nonsense last year. But now they are voting for a Party that suffers more from FPTP than any other I can think of – even the SDP.

    Chris Neville-Smith asked if there was much data on the evenness of UKIP’s vote. There isn’t from polls but there is from elections. If you look at the 2010 GE where they got 3.2%, their best result apart from Buckingham[1] was 9.5% in Boston and Skegness[2]. To get only 6 points more than average in your best constituency argues for a very evenly spread vote.

    In a sense this is what you would expect. If your main recognised policies are UK and international then they are going to gather support without much regard for locality. But it makes getting people elected very difficult. Even at local level UKIP’s increased support brought it no extra councillors this May.

    This used to be the Liberal’s problem until the success of community politics from the Seventies on and the Greens and even the BNP have had some success with a similar strategy. But it may be more difficult for UKIP.

    [1] And even there with all the publicity of Farage standing they only got 17.4 and came third behind a pro-Euro ex-Conservative.

    [2] There were even special circumstances here as the popular previous MP (Con), Richard Body, joined UKIP after retiring. But even this result was down on 2005’s 9.6% Gained incidentally by a candidate (Richard Horsnell) who in the Isle of Man 2011 Election ran the campaign of the LI-affiliated Liberal Vannin. Funny old world Manx politics.

  21. Sorry about being shouty. HTML fail. Again :(

  22. @ Roger Mexico

    One of the nice ironies about the new converts to UKIP is that I suspect many of them voted against that funny, foreign electoral reform nonsense last year. But now they are voting for a Party that suffers more from FPTP than any other I can think of – even the SDP.
    —————————
    The above is an enjoyably ironic comment :-) but do you have actual evidence that UKIP supporters voted “no” or even voted at all in the AV referendum?

  23. EVEN the far left of the Labour party are working on detailed policies

    You can ‘put your name to it’ here: or *not* as in my case
    :-)

    http://www.johnmcdonnell.org.uk/2012/05/radical-alternative-to-austerity.html

    “I am asking people to consider putting their name to it so that we can continue to circulate it to the movement”

  24. AW

    “It normally works that it is advantageous to be policy light early in opposition, and gradually move towards developing a full slate of policies later in the Parliament. The question is judging how quickly to make the transition – you don’t want to do it too early or you limit your room for manoeuvre, end up with time-bound policies that are either stolen, torn to shreds or rendered obsolete. Leave it too late, and you look flimsy and out of your depth.”

    My point but made far more eloquently !

  25. “One of the nice ironies about the new converts to UKIP is that I suspect many of them voted against that funny, foreign electoral reform nonsense last year.”

    And the real irony is that UKIP was supporting it – a fact that I suspect the Mail and Express et al tried their hardest to bury.

    Except that the even bigger irony is that as a result 1) it is now more advantageous for UKIP to turn fire on the Tories than they would have under AV; and 2) if the UKIP vote holds, the Tories will be the big losers – to Labour. Coupled with the damage done within the coalition by the way the Tories behaved during the referendum, there is a possibility that the Tories AV referendum victory will cost them the general election.

  26. @SHEVII

    “Has anyone seen much evidence of UKIP campaigning activity?

    I don’t actually see much sign of of them campaigning either at elections or getting themselves in the papers- even with just a quote from UKIP at the end of an article about the EU or whatever.”

    The only time I’ve seen UKIP paraphernalia drop through the door is in the run up to the 2010 general election. They’ve run once in my ward since but It’s like they’re really just getting their name on the ballot.

    The Funny thing is that I kind’ve agree with your last comment but in 2010 a woman in the next voting booth asked who UKIP actually were. Normally I’d think that odd since she was at least interested enough to turn up, but Liverpool is quite Labour obsessed!

  27. Ukip vote share in 2009 EU election (16.5%, 13 seats), where candidates were elected:

    East Midlands 16.4%
    East of England 19.6%
    London 10.8%
    North East England 15.4%
    North West England 15.8%
    South East England 18.8%
    South West England 22.1%
    West Midlands 21.3%
    Yorkshire and the Humber 17.4%
    Wales 12.8%

    In 2010, as well as Buckingham, Ukip also came third in North Cornwall, North Devon and Torridge, and West Devon… but with 4-7% vote share. Under a fully proportional system their 3.1% would have given them 20+ seats.

    Incidentally… if the YouGov sample of Ukip EU election voters from 2009 had been representative/truthful, then Ukip would have polled 7.75% (47% of 16.5%) at the GE.

  28. Billy Bob,

    And UKIP’s share in Scotland?

    I only ask because a week or so back someone said they were making progress here too and. I couldn’t see any evidence for it.

    Peter.

  29. The PM calling the shadow chancellor a `muttering idiot`…I do hope Youguv asks a polling question on this important question of national interest. :)

  30. Smukesh

    “Do you think Ed Balls is a muttering idiot?”

    I’m not sure it’s a relevant enough question that anyone will fund it.

  31. UKIP do seem to have one issue though; their strongest issue is Europe, so the more Europe comes up the better one would expect them to do. However, Europe is ALSO Cameron’s best card to play (veto bounce etc), so conversely playing up European issues will shore up Conservative VI which will make it harder for Farage to make inroads. Damned either way, perhaps?

    I think UKIP’s strategy last time sucked, though. The “head-taking” idea of taking on Bercow had been previously attempted in various forms (including by the Libs at least once I think?) and failed miserably; it shouldn’t have been hard to realise that the same would happen. UKIP really need to be trying to put boots on the ground in Eastern and Southern areas I suspect, out in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex there are probably a fair few places where they could genuinely do some damage to the Cons if they played their hand well.

  32. Why did Cameron pick on Ed Balls ? They all sit there muttering, also the cap fits all equally well.

  33. Roly

    I think the issue wasn’t one of accuracy but of unparliamentary language, even if he is an idiot you aren’t allowed to call him one.

  34. Roland
    I would imagine that he fears balls most?

    In chez Howard we mute when PM Qs sound bytes on the News come on.

    We refuse to have our minds polluted. I have once or twice watched PM Qs throughout and if one does this, interesting questions are put, but never broadcast on the summaries.

    I resent hugely that media interpreters are influencing voters (or attempting to) by these snapshots. It is an injustice and my solution is to abolish it. It has no relevance to informed debate. I look forward to the first political party that so proposes.

    It’s all so shameful and I cringe that foreigners are seeing this.

    Do we really want people to think this is a nation of schoolboys?.

  35. @PeterCairns

    UKIP – 57,788 (5.2%) votes in 2009 EU elections Scotland.

    9% Dumfries & Galloway
    8.5% Orkney
    Borders 7.4%
    W Isles 5.2%

    h
    ttp://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/8089445.stm

    Fwiw there was a YouGov poll last year which seemed to suggest the profile of SNP voters was more eurosceptic than Labour or LD.

  36. Howard

    It could be worse! The Japanese Parliament (Diet) gets a lot more heated, sometimes decending into fist fights.

  37. @ALAN
    `Do you think Ed Balls is a muttering idiot?”`

    I would say the relevant polling question is whether the PM was right to lose his temper and use unparliamentary language in HOC.
    I have seen sledging in Aus vs Eng cricket matches but now I know HOC is far worse.I look forward to seeing the two sides in full gear including helmets,guard and pads next time.

  38. Smukesh

    I didn’t think he lost his temper at all, I think it was a calculated attack, even when he knew he’d have to retract the word idiot.

    I can assure you what happens on the cricket pitch is a lot harsher than “idiot”.

  39. @ALAN
    I meant Balls` sledging.

  40. ALAN

    At least these parliaments may be fighting about something.

    Our PMQs are just a pretentious foppish shame.

  41. Howard,

    “Do we really want people to think this is a nation of schoolboys?”

    Agree with you – ‘idiot’, ‘bully’, ‘geek’, ‘toff’, and the rest. All (primary school) playground stuff. Yet uttered by our senior politicians on a daily basis……..even it was acceptable it’s so unimaginative ! :-)

  42. @HOODED MAN
    “.even it was acceptable it’s so unimaginative !”

    Keating (ex Australian PM) had a real way with words. I remember him calling Howard a feral abacus.

  43. Amber

    …do you have actual evidence that UKIP supporters voted “no” or even voted at all in the AV referendum?

    Well my comment applied more to those who voted Conservative in 2010 and have now changed to UKIP. Longer-term supporters will presumably be aware of the Party’s policy and indeed problem.

    About 15% of then-Tory voters supporters (37%) voted for AV when UKIP were only getting 4% in the polls, so it’s just possible that UKIP’s rise has been caused by them all exiting for a more PR-friendly Party. But somehow I doubt it. :P

  44. Anthony,

    Just trying to pick your brains.

    Do we have anything that might indicate on how tactical voters might stay at home. I seem to remember something a long time back about higher turnout in marginals than safe seats that might indicate what percentage are motivated to come out when they think they can make a difference.

    There is also something somewhere on turnout being higher when an election looks close.

    My reason for asking is that how people who voted tactically for the LibDems in the last election or Libdems who voted tactically might split next time.

    By and large I would suggest;

    Labour supporters who voted tactically LibDem are the most likely to stay at home instead.

    Tory voters who voted LibDem might still come out for the LibDems unless they thought the Tories could win without them.

    As to how LibDem supporters who voted Labour or Tory would split I am open to suggestions.

    Another possibility is the Scottish dimension with those from the three main UK parties who voted tactically having the option to vote SNP.

    Peter.

  45. LizH,

    It was Hewson rather than Howard, but a very good line nonetheless.

    Separately, I can’t imagine Hewson enjoys his birthdays much these days ;-)

  46. Billy Bob,

    Thanks for that, it seems the Highest UKIP shares in Scotland were stil below there lowest result you showed in London.

    They are unlikely to even sway a seat in Scotland let alone win one.

    Peter.

  47. Peter Cairns

    UKIP support seems low-level across Scotland – they didn’t even fight the majority of seats in 2010. The one exception was on Billy Bob’s list which is Orkney. They got 6.3% in Orkney and Shetland in 2010 – by far their best result in Scotland.

  48. PM getting bad coverage on SkyNews for seemingly resorting to abuse when rattled. Apparently Mr Yvette Cooper was advising the PM to “chillax” just before the PM let rip. He also had another go at Skinner, calling him a parliamentary “ornament”. Skinner could well have retorted by reference to his comparative longevity in the Commons that he’d rather be an ornament than a fly by night cowboy.

  49. @RAF
    `PM getting bad coverage on SkyNews for seemingly resorting to abuse when rattled. `

    I suspect the `muttering idiot` jibe is split down party political preference,but if I had to guess I would say it would play badly with women.But I could be wrong.

  50. The serious point is that the PM was boosted by a likeability factor during his infancy as leader of the Cons and then PM. Days like today will cause that factor to erode pretty rapidly.

    The actual exchanges at PMQs were pretty even, but he really lost it with the insults.

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