Tonight’s YouGov results for the Sunday Times have topline figures of CON 31%, LAB 43%, LDEM 8%, Others 17% (including UKIP on 8%). It looks as though the rather unexpected 8 point Labour lead on Thursday was indeed a bit of an outlier, nevertheless, Labour’s post-local-election boost does seem to have abated a bit – last week Labour’s average lead in YouGov’s daily polls was 12.6 points. This week it has been 10.6 points.

There are also new figures from TNS-BMRB (although the actual fieldwork for the poll was done over last weekend, so while it’s newly published, it was done the same time as the ICM and Populus polls earlier this week). Their topline figures with changes from their last poll just after the local elections are CON 30%(nc), LAB 42%(-1), LD 12%(+2), Others 16%(-1).

As usual, I’ll do a proper post on the YouGov/Sunday Times poll tomorrow.

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

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  1. First?

    I’m waiting for a Greek opinion poll so I can go ????? (from babelfish)

  2. Ah- the Greek translation didn’t cut and paste properly which ruined the already poor joke.

  3. Hoooooooooooooooraaaaayyyyyy !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Please can someone tell me what the rationale of having UKIP reported as others is?

  5. @Jim

    I believe AW has posted on this subject in the last 7 – 10 days with a link expressing why and wherefore…


  6. If the purpose of the poll is to provide a reading of public opinion then either no parties should be prompted for or all parties should be prompted for. If someone does not answer one of the parties without prompt then they would be “don’t know”, it would be helpful to know just how aware the public are and so this would be a way to accurately measure this. Asking “Lab, Con, or LD?” does not achieve this because those that do not know may just pick one at random to try and get the survey over with.

    Of course I understand the argument about poll performance and voting intention variations if prompted vs unprompted etc.. and how this affects accuracy, but that would seem silly to me if that where the purpose of a poll three years prior to an election.

    So my question is (and still has been left unanswered despite my asking it several times): Is the purpose of this poll to predict poll results or public opinion?

  7. @JIM

    But how would you know if it had predicted public opinion if you had nothing to compare it with? Prompting may be sub optimal from a theoretical point, but it improves accuracy against the only measure you can have.

  8. The purpose is to **ACCURATELY** gauge public opinion. The only time accuracy can be gauged is at election time, so generally speaking, the method that accurately gauges public opinion just before an election is also the right one to gauge public opinion away from an election.

    If you don’t prompt at all, then polls underestimate actual levels of Lib Dem support when compared to elections… hence pollsters prompt by the Lib Dems. If you prompt by minor parties, then polls overestimate actual levels of support for minor parties… hence most pollsters don’t do it.

  9. Interesting one. I’m slightly surprised at the 12% lead because I thought that there were tentative signs in the last two or three polls that the consistent double digit Labour lead was receding and that the omnishambles effect might have been unwinding. Of course, tonight’s poll might be an outlier but these low 30s for the Tories are starting to get mightily repetitive in all the polls now and we may have to conclude quite soon, if the run continues for much longer, that they’ve shed 6 or 7% of support as a result of their recent woes. It might not have gone forever, but it’s certainly gone for now.

    Maybe the assumption that their 36-38% post GE ratings were “solid” as opposed to the rather more “soft” composition of Labour’s 40%+ support might need to be revisited. Sure, it stayed loyal for 20 months or so but some of it appears to have melted away rather quickly once things started to go a little pear-shaped.

    Just a thought, but I wonder if the lost 5-6% might comprise those relatively unaligned voters who just wanted to get rid of Brown’s Government in May 2010 and saw the Conservatives as the best, maybe only, vehicle for doing so. I suspect that they didn’t have much of a clue about what either Cameron or his party stood for but he they thought he had sufficiently detoxified the Tory brand and made a decent enough pitch to their sense that it was time for a change.

    Floating voters, I think they call them; definitely not Tory loyalists or ideologues. It’s quite possible that they may now be regretting the way they voted.

  10. @ Anthony Wells, thank you.

    Kind of like the search for accuracy in a scientific manner actually leads to inaccuracy in the real world because we all know the minor parties suffer from wasted vote fears. It is very interesting, perhaps exit polling regarding voters votes versus their hearts could disprove or confirm this?

  11. More confirmation of the 2+2 party current politics…

    We should remember that all of the individual figure are within MoE (including the YouVov/Sun poll that gave a 8 point Labour lead – MoE of plus of minus 3 points for each figure gives a 6 point MoE for the lead).

    Anthony, sorry if this question is one you can’t answer but if my memory is correct the MoE on proportions is dependent on the proportion and is greatest at p= 0.5 am I right here and if so what is the MoE for the LibDem and UKIP figures/? If my recollection of the theory is correct it should be smaller than the MoE fir the Lab and Con figures.

    Continuing on from the fall out from my comments last time about the Greens. I am very, pleasantly, surprised that the ‘left’ LD vote appears to have gone mostly to Labour and not the Greens. I do totally accept that Europe exercises the public mind considerably more than the environment but is that really true among the former LD left? I have to say I doubt it. Also I cannot see them moving to Labour because Labour are a party likely to be in power because I really cannot see why this would be a consideration of a former LD supporter. After all they chose a party with no chance of getting national power until 2010 and they don;t like what the LD leadership is doing with its share of power.

    Sorry if that is a little rambling!!!

  12. That assumes that national elections reflect accurately on public opinion. It could well be that unprompted is closer to actual opinion but not closer to election results (which for reasons of tactical voting amongst other things) may not be an accurate reflection of public opinion.

    I suppose the truth is polls judge how an election result would be not what public opinion is. There is an acceptable level of fudging it that works but if a polling agency found a technique that was perfect predictor but got the Lib Dem vote, say, exactly half the true vote, how would you feel about just doubling their vote share?

  13. or to say it more clearly, perhaps exit polling regarding who people voted for versus who they wanted to vote for.

  14. Paula,

    You have to multiply the MOE by 2* square root( p(1-p)). For p=0.08 for LD or UKIP this is 0.54.

    So if the MOE is 3 for the big parties it is 1.6 for the small ones.

  15. Jim – the question is always “who would you vote for” or the equivalent, not who people would support if all things were equal.

    At past elections there have occasionally been polls asked on “if the Lib Dems could win in your seat how would you vote” which always showed the Lib Dems doing very well (the Lib Dems have made billboard posters based on the results of them!) though frankly it’s a bit of a ropey question that pushes respondents towards the Lib Dems – it would be better asked “if all parties could win in your seat”)

  16. UKIP have been floating around the 8% mark for a while now but how many seats would this translate into if they polled the same % at the general election?

    Is there a part of the country where they are strong? Even 8% for the Libs would still see them pick up around a dozen seats in the South West!!

  17. @ AW

    Out of interest has anyone done a ‘if all parties could win’ survey?

  18. Matt Hodgson – a question asking how people would vote is supposed to find that – how people would vote.

    In your hypothesis, ideally one would work out why you were consistently underestimating the Lib Dems and address the cause, rather than making an arbitrary adjustment. I believe, however, that there was a time when many French pollsters did make that sort of arbitrary adjustment for the Front Nationale’s support – they knew they underestimated it, knew the reason was probably people being unwilling or embarrassed to admit voting FN, but made an artificial adjustment to deal with it.

    I suppose to a certain extent the reallocation of don’t knows is that sort of artificial adjustment, though obviously a far better evidenced and less crude adjustment that just shoving a couple of points onto party X.

  19. Billy – not that springs to mind (other than the “if the Lib Dems could win in your seat”).

    Allan – on a uniform swing none. There is no region where UKIP are particularly strong. If one ignores the unusual case of Buckingham, their best performance was Boston & Skegness where they got 9.5% of the vote, 40 percentage points behind the Conservatives… so to win there they’d need a 20 point swing from Con to UKIP… on a uniform national swing that would be something like Conservatives 17%, UKIP 23%… and that’s for their best seat!

    In reality were UKIP to do really well it might not be uniform, they might advance in a particular type of seats, or in a particular area, but we can’t tell. They haven’t built up areas of strong local support like the Greens have in Brighton and Norwich, so there is not an obvious point where they would break through. Without that sort of groundwork in place, it would be incredibly difficult for them to breakthrough to win even if they did secure a lot of extra support at the next election.

  20. @ AW

    Re your loaded question technique prompting for Lib Dem support. You said they did very well in the poll but you didn’t say whether this was accurate in the result (however dodgily loaded it was).

    Personally I think the polling organisations are incredibly accurate these days- I still have a query though on some, especially ICM, assuming a historical boost for the LIb Dems at election time in their winnable seats that may no longer exist and a question such as ‘if the Lib Dems had a chance in your constituency’ would be very interesting to see if there was the same potential for them to pick up votes as there has been in the past.

  21. @ Anthony Wells

    Thanks for that.

    In reality were UKIP to do really well it might not be uniform, they might advance in a particular type of seats, or in a particular area, but we can’t tell”

    Yes this is what I have been thinking, UKIP are too thinly spread throughout the country to make any advances on winning a seat/seats so the party would probably be better to concentrate in a core area of the country and try and build from there.

    So the 8% might look healthy but in reality it would mean little or no returns for UKIP.


    Would it make sense to put UKIP into the swingometer?

  23. Given what AW just said, presumably not? If they aren’t going to win any seats on a UNS they make more sense to stay as Others on it surely?

  24. it seems Baroness Warsi is in trouble with expenses now, according to the Telegraph. Here we go again.

    As for the 8% for UKIP – they might just scrape a seat somehow. However I can’t see any major party rushing to form a coalition with a party offering just one seat. However, unless their core issue vanishes, that might help them get more. I just would not expect that much given how many councillors they have.

    If we do get the new boundaries then it will be even tougher for them to get a seat – they will have to concentrate even more votes in one place. Some small parties can do it, some cant.

  25. @SHEVII
    Greek VI poll by VPRC
    SYRIZA 28.5 (+11.5 from May 6)
    ND 26 (+7)
    PASOK 12.5 (-0.5)
    IND. GREEKS 7 (-3.5)
    DEM. LEFT 7 (+1)
    NAZIS 5.5 (-1.5)
    KKE 5 (-3.5)
    Others 8.5 (-10.5)
    This is the company that came closer to the result of May 6. 3 more companies give SYRIZA ahead with a margin from 0.5 to 4, whereas 4 others give ND ahead with a margin from 1 to 5. For all intents and purposes, it is a neck to neck situation, with ND and SYRIZA growing at the expense of almost all other parties.

  26. @KEITHP

    “it seems Baroness Warsi is in trouble with expenses now, according to the Telegraph. Here we go again.”

    Not quite accurate:

    h ttp://

  27. God, not another enquiry. Can’t we just vote them all out instead?

  28. Mike Smithson reporting approval ratings as (no tables up on yougov yet) – (with change on last week) [change since two weeks ago]

    Miliband -23 (+4) [nc]
    Cameron -26 (+4) [+3]
    Gap -3 (nc) [+3]
    Clegg -55 (+1) [-1]

    So Miliband still maintaining the lead, but potentially the trend is a closing gap.

  29. Good Morning all.
    Very hot here already, and I am meant to be running a 10K race at 2.00 in Poole- madness.

    LIZH: Chablis might be nice for this heat.

    A question on the 8% figures: How many seats can be expected at this stage for this figure?

    I still believe that there will be a ‘dead heat’ between Lab and Con.

  30. Tables up –

    Interesting question on Monarchy – Who should succeed –
    Charles – 38 (+1)
    William – 44 (nc)
    Republic – 11 (-2)
    DK – 7 (nc)
    Anybody know of any historical values for the support for Republicanism? Has it been shrinking with the royal wedding and jubilee or is 10-15% it’s long-term value?


    Sundays press is pretty bad for the Tories. Allegations of sleaze and attacks on senior members of their party.

    Predict a drop in the Tory VI to below 30% next week. Labour may not increase their VI as a result, but the others including UKIP will increase.

    Good Morning to you.
    Are many people concerned that the royals did not invited GB and TB to the wedding in 2010, but did invite some dodgy heads of state. I know William Hague cancelled the syrian invite.

    Republicanism remains weak here, even in the nationalist part of Northern Ireland.

  33. Chris,
    I know that Republicanism [1] has always been a minority sport, but I was after some figures over time.

    Seems that according to Ipsos-MORI, it’s peaked at 21%, generally stable at around 18 and as low as 13% this year (5% lower than last year).
    So it seems like the wedding did nothing for the Monarchist cause, but this Jubilee has (although the Jubilee a decade ago didn’t dent the Republican figure).

    [1] We couldn’t even do it right after the English civil war – ‘we’ offered Cromwell the crown, which he turned down to become defacto Monarch anyway. Talk about failing at republicanism. Thank God the Americans got it right a hundred years (and a bit) later.

  34. I am surprised that the Lab lead is still pretty firm. But IMO serious lasting damage has occurred to DC and the Cons. No one can predict with accuracy what might occur at the next GE, but IMO the Cons will not achieve the same level of support thae got at the last GE.

    On top of everything, eg double dip, poor Budget, posh boy tag, etc, there is Leveson…

    In today’s Observer, Andrew Rawnsley discusses the efefct of Leveson:

    “Originally designed to shine a pitiless light on the sins of the press, Leveson has turned into an inquisition into the ethics and conduct of the Tory leader and some of his closest friends. As a result of the inquiry, the cabinet career of Jeremy Hunt hangs by a thread that grows thinner with each new piece of evidence brought into the public domain. The inner workings of Number 10 are being subject to hideous, from their point of view, exposure. Worst of all from Downing Street’s perspective, the integrity and judgment of the prime minister are being put in the dock. Little wonder that one senior Conservative calls Leveson: “An unmitigated disaster… yet another spectacular own goal.””

    A great article…

  35. Nice to see Tories coming round to Charles… he should succeed and will make a good King.

    Okay, it is a long time ago now, but you used to see regular articles in the Telegraph etc calling for Andrew (titter ye not) to be made next-in-line, leaving Charles with more time to talk to his plants and pursue other cranky notions.


    It was reported that William has a (quite possibly irrational) dislike of Tony because of the intervention into family affairs at the time of Diana’s death – thus Gordon had to be snubbed too, using the garter knight excuse. Understandably, Will has many Tory connections, and could do with widening his circle.

  36. Milliband doing better among Conservative supporters(-66) than Cameron amongst Labour supporters(-87),though Cameron is doing better amongst Lib Dem supporters(+1) compared to Milliband(-42)…

    It would be interesting to see leadership figures amongst UKIP supporters as that might indicate whether they plan to return to vote Conservative in 2015.

  37. @BillyBob
    ” – – – leaving Charles with more time to talk to his plants and pursue other cranky notions.”
    Ouch! I am now embarrassed about talking to my tomato plants, although it does not seem to increase my crop, and when I ask if they are “true reds” they don’t don’t reply. Maybe they just don’t have political opinions.

  38. Mike N
    Perhaps that’ll change when Blair gives evidence tomorrow?
    I can’t see the embarrassing questions being very helpful to Labour’s political image.

  39. @Ozwald – “… they don’t don’t reply.”

    But are you *really* listening? ;)

    `I can’t see the embarrassing questions being very helpful to Labour’s political image`

    Can`t see Blair`s testimony being too damaging…For one,he`s not the leader and I don`t believe sleaze will emerge.

  41. TF
    You may be right about that.

    This week will be v interesting.

  42. Anthony,

    Mathematically what would be more likely to be accurate, 7 polls of 1000 responses or 1 poll of 7000?

  43. CS

    The results of the one large poll would be more reliable than each of the seven smaller polls. I expetc I’ll be shot down in flames immediately…

  44. BILLY BOB.
    Good Morning. Pentecost.
    I had heard that about Prince William’s attitude to Tony Blair.

    On the attitudes of the monarchy, I have always found it quite moving to read George V’s defence of Ramsay Macdonald; when a courtier complained that Ramsay was a socialist, the King replied that if he, George, had been brought up in a hovel in Lossiemouth, he would have been a socialist too.

    The King’s diary entry for the day of the ‘kissing of hands’ ceremony in January 1924 by the first Labour Cabinet members is also a nice read, when he records that ‘twenty three years ago today, dear Grandmama died: I wonder what she would have thought of a Labour Government…They are good men and mean to do well.

    A generous man, with great social awareness, witness his attempts to bring the Irish conflict to an end. Badly let down by King Edward V111.

  45. We need a bit of feel good factor to drag us back to level pegging.

    Another sunny day today and the forcast looks good for june, so all we need is the economy to recover.

    Should be a small Conservative lead by July then…. :)

  46. Billy Bob,

    “It was reported that William has a (quite possibly irrational) dislike of Tony because of the intervention into family affairs at the time of Diana’s death – thus Gordon had to be snubbed too, using the garter knight excuse. Understandably, Will has many Tory connections, and could do with widening his circle”

    The snub came over as petulant, and very unusual for an event that would normally be planned at Diplomacy Max. But there seems to be any number of reasons why William might not like Tony Blair and few would be considered ‘irrational’……….

    ……and your last sentence is odd. Does that apply to all the Royal Family or just Will ? Does Charles meet your requirement of acquaintance with a wider circle of non-Tories ?

  47. Good interview by Clegg this AM,Seems to quietly return to the natural LD position on issues…And calling the recession`bank`s mess` rather than Labour`s mess…Maybe he understands that his anti-Labour stance was alienating centre-left voters.

  48. SMUKESH.
    However, I also think that the sight of Nick C and his colleagues laughing and appearing to support the PM in the House of Commons seems to be damaging to them.

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