Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 42%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 7%. Tonight Lord Ashcroft has also released a new batch of polling – I haven’t looked through it in detail yet myself, but you can read it yourself here.

57 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 34, LAB 42, LD 9, UKIP 7”

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  1. Ashcroft polling is interesting, makes it look like an easier job for the Tories to be the biggest party – the chance of them pulling off the ultimate balancing act to get a majority seems next-to-none, though.

  2. The Ashcroft report format is incredibly well thought through.

    What an asset for DC

  3. Interesting report from Ashcroft but I think there is an error in the last graphic. The ALL split should be 31% Con, 12% ConLib, 18% LabLib and 39% Lab. Rather than 39% Con, 12% ConLib, 18% LabLib and 39% Lab (which is 108%).

  4. Just read Kellner’s article over at YouGov on valence (disagreed with the wording of the valence options, but that’s probably me picking holes in something that I disagree with!).

    His point on the difference between politicos (the kind of people that read – and comment! – on sites like this) and most other people is a good one. Some people can’t deal with the fact that many people don’t view issues in the same way as them.

    I think the most extreme version of this is amongst UKIP voters. They frequently appear like quasi-religious evangelists – constantly railing against ‘bias’ in the media, in polls, in just about everything, when what they really can’t accept is that most people don’t care that much about the EU and UK sovereignty.

    Witness the mad Telegraph columnist recently who claimed that UKIP were polling around 13 points, with no evidence to support it. Witness too the people that comment on this site complaining about non-coverage of UKIP, when they are, in all honesty, fairly irrelevant.

  5. It would be interesting to know who the Joiners (in Ashcroft’s report) voted for in the last election. If they are the Orange Bookers, are there enough of them to make a difference to the Tories’s numbers?

  6. Mike – I know where that 13% for UKIP came from. It was the average share they got in council wards they contested at the local elections.

    Naturally, it doesn’t mean they are on 13% nationally (even setting aside people voting differently at local and national elections) as parties tend to contest the wards where they’ll get more support, and those wards are also far more likely to have been worked by UKIP than those that they didn’t contest.

    Hence while it is wrong, it is not plucky entirely from fantasy!

  7. LizH – I believe Lord Ashcroft is counting as joiners people who didn’t vote Tory last time but now say they would, so they are already included in the Conservatives’ current level of support.

    It’s his “considerers” who may yet vote Tory but aren’t currently saying they would.

  8. I’m not certain Conservatives being the largest party next time would help them that much, if they are as far adrift from an OM as this time, would the LD’s bite again? Would they have enough seats to see them over the line? If they did, what would that do to the LDs?

    It’s that or hope they do a bit better next time and cobble something together with the unionists and/or someone else.

    Whatever happens, it is vital for them to get more votes than 36% or else hope the LD/Labour vote splits more evenly. I think Ashcroft is underestimating the difficulties, and relying on the opposition leaders being unpopular, when that might not matter so much as usual.

  9. Anthony, Orange Bookers (LibDems) would not have voted for the Conservatives last time so they may be the ones saying they are impressed enough to vote for them next time. I am wondering if this group are the Joiners.

  10. @Mike Hartley – “Witness too the people that comment on this site complaining about non-coverage of UKIP, when they are, in all honesty, fairly irrelevant.”

    I post as a green, but I would disagree that UKIP are irrelevant. They will continue to exert great pressure on the Tory vote, making Cameron’s balancing act much harder, especially if they remain polling up towards 10%.

    As a good example of this, he has come in for almost unrelenting criticism on ConHome for saying yesterday that he would never campaign for UK to come out of the EU in a referendum. The critics are arguing, reasonably logically, that he has surrendered any serious negotiating power in his policy of renegotiating our EU membership, as he has eliminated the main sanction we would have to deploy to get what what we want.

    UKIP is not going to go away as far as the Tories are concerned, and will remain a key issue for them.

  11. Problem that Con has is that of its 2010 voters, they have leaked near enough 20%. They have gaines some Lib Dems to prop them up though.

    Reading Ashcroft’s analysis I would conclude that they need a miracle to get anything near a majority next time.

  12. Interesting addendum to yesterday’s debate about the apparent contrast between employment data and GDP figures, with some really quite poor June retail sales. These were stagnant on the month, but falling by 0.7% on the quarter, so really don’t look very good at all.

    This tends towards Q2 also being negative, despite the headline employment data so far this looking quite good.

  13. I would imagine that during the salad days, perhaps many right wing voters could get more xenophobic than they already are, but I did not see Lord Ashcroft’s polls as harbouring any threat to the Miliband steamroller. It is (topically) rather like Bradley Wiggins’ constant tempo over the French mountains. It’s not spectacular but is a winner. The challenge for my party is to find a new but essentially Labour-sycophantic image.

  14. It is an interesting report but I think it will be difficult to please all four groups. My feeling is that the NHS and maybe some of the Welfare reforms will make it difficult to recruit Considerers.

  15. I can’t really see economic recovery without any demand in the economy.

    That means announcing no more job losses in the public sector for at least a couple of years (to remove fear and begin to restore confidence) actual real (or printed) money into infrastructure and employment and probably some other stimulus to get some cash into pockets (VAT cuts, fuel duty cut, basic rate tax cut….higher rate tax increased).

  16. Credit to Anthony – seems to have an answer to everything.

    Would like to get people’s view on this article over at YouGov

    Specifically this:

    Looking at the detailed questions in the New Statesman link, the ‘valence’ option in the tax and spending questions seems a tad unfair. Whereas, the ‘right’ view, has only one option “tax less”, the ‘left’ view has competition in the ‘valence’ option.

    What I mean is that, the valence option in both the first two tax and spend questions talks about “distributing fairly”. Surely, in wording like this, progressives may be tempted to pick the option. Right-wing leaning voters, meanwhile, won’t – the wording sounds a bit, well, leftie. This may have the unintended consequence of splitting the progressive-leaning respondents, thus reducing the overall ‘left’ score on these measures.

    Sure, I guess Anthony Wells’ response now: that I am willfully misrepresenting a poll to suit my views. I genuinely don’t do that normally, and on this I think I may have a point.

  17. Well. our Colin thinks the report offers salvation to his party (which he apparently does not quite support ???).

  18. Mork calling Orson, come in Orson. Mork calling Orson, come in your boob-tubeness.

    Mork? My voice is coming to you from out of deep space in the Conservative universe.

    Talk about bad connections. You’re sounding very fuzzy… I thought I was the one who was out of touch.

    Have you been smoking your socks again? What’s the matter with you?

    Sir, I’ve lost my polling lead.

    Pull yourself together Mork! Persuade Ukip, Labour, Lib Dem, and Other party supporters to support you.

    And the Tories?


    Nanu, nanu. ;)

  19. @Mike Hartley

    As Alec said, they’re very relevant to the Tories. It would be worrying enough if UKIP had already found their ceiling but no one really knows where that is.

  20. @ Billy Bob

    That was ROFLOL funny :-)

    I’ve got used to everybody speculating about how soft Labour’s lead is. But reading that >20% of the Tory VI are “joiners” – i.e. people who didn’t vote Tory in 2010 – it was a revelation to me!

  21. Billy Bob

    Hilarious – Thank you!


  22. Lord Ashcroft’s polling & analysis is basically saying:
    1. Don’t let the boundary changes slip away; &
    2. Don’t rule out an electoral pact with the LibDems.

    I know that both Parties have said there won’t be an electoral pact but they have been known to change their minds occasionally. ;-)

  23. @ Virgilio (and anyone else here who resides in France)

    I’d like your opinion on the following news item.

    I am calling bs on the excuse that led to this French woman not being arrested or fined. I have ridden on the Paris Metro, throughout the system, the RER, AND on the TGV. I cannot recall a single station where to get to the tracks heading in the opposite direction, one ever crossed over the actual tracks.

    But perhaps I’m wrong. My brother is convinced that there are parts of the RER Chatelet where transit riders can or have to walk across the tracks (and that it’s fairly common at non-high speed surface rail stations). Insights are appreciated.

    I’m am glad she wasn’t hurt though.

  24. @ Amber Star

    “Lord Ashcroft’s polling & analysis is basically saying:
    1. Don’t let the boundary changes slip away; &
    2. Don’t rule out an electoral pact with the LibDems.

    I know that both Parties have said there won’t be an electoral pact but they have been known to change their minds occasionally. :)”

    Well I think that would be an epic mistake, compounding an initial mistake by taking it even further. I mean, it’s like having a hookup with someone you hate, having it go really badly, and then deciding that a one time deal just isn’t enough so it’s time to enter into marriage. Let me tell you, BAD IDEA.

    Actually, this was something that my dad’s best friend used to do. Explains why he’s on marriage #6. :)

    And in all seriousness, I don’t think it would work out. I don’t think anyone in either party, save for David Laws, is particularly happy with the current arrangement. The Orangebookers aren’t Tories and the Tories aren’t Orangebookers. There may be some overlap with David Cameron and Nick Clegg but there isn’t much else that overlaps.

    Now as for the boundary changes, is the plan to reduce the number of seats still going through? (Has anyone suggested simply enacting a temporary freeze on the current number of seats in Parliament?).

    Also, with the whole proposed HOL reforms, is there some thought that those people who lose their Parliamentary seats will get back into Parliament by being placed on the ballot for the new upper house HOL seats?

  25. @ Amber

    Side rant here. I like the large size of your Parliament and its continual ability to expand. The Australians and Canadians appear to do this as well.

    For some bizarre reason in 1921, the United States enacted a permanent freeze on the number of House seats. We are now suffering the consequences and slowly screwing ourselves out of democracy because the population size for a House seat is becoming widely varied by state. We’re also screwing ourselves out of effective governance and good representation.

  26. So, if the LDs could consider an electoral pact with the Cons…why would they not consider one with Lab instead?

    I may be wrong, but aren’t there more seats where LDs and Cons are first/second compared to seats where Lab and LD are first/second?

    And would the purpose of an electoral pact be that in seats where one party cannot win (ie they are in poor third position) that party advises their supporters to vote for the pact partner?

  27. Graham, (FPT)

    – “I remain far from convinced that we will have ‘the debates’ next time – certainly not in the same format as 2010.. Nobody will formally reject them- merely a failure to agree on the form they should take.”

    Spot on.

    The Leaders Debates (funnily enough omitting the leaders of the largest parties in 2 out of 4 of the members of the UK) of 2010 will go down in history as one of the biggest foot-shooting exercises in modern political history. On so many different levels, and for all 3 participants.

    The biggest loser on a personal level was Cameron, who deprived himself of a majority in the HoC.
    The biggest loser in a historical context was the entire Liberal Democratic party. Funnily enough it was them that were most cockahoop about the entire leaders debate concept when it first seemed likely in 2009. One ought to be careful what one wishes for.

  28. Good Morning all.
    Anthony: thanks for the work again; great stuff.

    SOCALLIBERAL: Thank you very much for the 1921 Information about the House.

    On the Lib Dem and Tory deal: Nothing would surprise me, it is amazing what can happen; similarly for a potential Lab-Lib deal after the 2015 GE.

    Off to see Chideock memorial now.

  29. Amber, (FPT)

    – “They voted [SNP] for continuing:
    Council tax freeze
    Free university education
    Free NHS focussed on UK NHS patients, with Scottish hospitals not topping up their income by having 49% to (in theory) 100% of capacity being available to the private sector.
    Free prescriptions
    Free care for the elderly
    Free roads & bridges
    Public ownership of water

    University tuition, privatisation of the NHS, care for the elderly were all hot subjects during the 2010 GE & immediate aftermath.
    So yes, IMO, Scots voted with their wallets”

    Interesting, and brutally honest, point of view and summary from a Scottish Labour activist. Thank you. It does make one wonder why Iain Gray & Co could not come up with an equally or more attractive policy portfolio.

    What package of “wallet” policies can Johann Lamont and her team manage to come up with before the next Scottish GE in May 2016. The first GE post-independence (maybe).

  30. HOWARD

    @”Colin thinks the report offers salvation to his party (which he apparently does not quite support ???).”

    No he doesn’t. If you can read , he said it is well thought through & formatted-and an asset for DC.( well he thinks so anyway-but what does he know?)

    “Salvation ” it is not.

    Ashcroft makes it clear what a daunting task lies ahead for the Conservative Party.

    “If the Conservatives can keep the Loyalists and the Joiners, win back the Defectors and persuade the
    Considerers, an overall majority at the next election is possible. Put like that, David Cameron’s task
    sounds daunting, particularly given the head start for Labour that follows from the collapse in Lib
    Dem support. It is not surprising that no sitting Prime Minister has increased his – or her – party’s
    vote share in a general election since 1974.
    The mission seems all the more formidable when we look at the apparent differences in political
    outlook between the four groups”

    I loved your comment :-

    ” The challenge for my party is to find a new but essentially Labour-sycophantic image.”

    Bit late wouldn’t you say?-the Labour sycophants amongst your former group of so-called LibDem voters, having sycophanted off in large numbers.

    Isn’t the “challenge” for your party to find a reason to exist at all as a participant in government?

    Isn’t the “challenge” for your party to recognise that if it is not a permanent repository for the political protest of opposition-it is nothing at all?


    @”They frequently appear like quasi-religious evangelists ”

    Funny you should say that- UKIP held a meeting in our village pub. I didn’t go, but friends did.

    It was generally thought to be a hopeless flop-and one person told me that it was “like a religious meeting” !

  32. @woodsman, Amber Star

    Considering the state of my internet connection last night, I’m surprised any of that got through.

    Thanks for sharing the joke. ;)

  33. Mike –

    The wording of the questions looks perfectly fine to me. However, its possible that even with perfectly fair wording a moderate “depends on the results” response could be more attractive to people on the left than the right.

    I don’t think it does though. I think it’s just a case of the questions asked. On things like the European Union, welfare and crime the balance of public opinion tends to be on the right-hand side of the scale, so that moderate valance answer is going to look quite lefty and attractive to people on the left.

    On the other hand, take an issue where the balance of public opinion tends to be on the left hand side of the scale like privatisation or the NHS and that moderate valance answer is going to look quite right-of-centre and attractive to people on the right and – lo and behold – scroll down to those two questions and Conservative supporters are more likely than Labour supporters to pick the valance option.

    Basically I suspect on issues like the NHS or privatisation people on the left are more likely to have a strong ideological view than people on the right. On issues like like Europe or Welfare people people on the right are probably more likely to have a strong ideological view. And – the core purpose of the survey – people who are not political anoraks like us are unlikely to have strong ideological views on anything.

  34. I don’t agree that UKIP are irrelevant. I believe they are beginning to emerge as a 4th party For 2, possibly 3 reasons.

    The first is while only scoring a meager 3% in the election of 2010, that 3% actually played a big part, there are many close marginals where the Tory’s lost by a percentage that if Ukip’s VI was added, or some of it, they would have won. According to Anthony’s Swingometer on the old seats, Ukip cost the tory’s around 20 seats. They would have been only 4 off an OM, which when taking out Sinn Fein would’ve led to a majority government, albeit very small. If they were still just short, an alliance with the DUP would be much more palatable to the Tory’s than the current pact.

    2ndly they are important because, while the public may not care about European elections, they are becoming increasingly significant. More and more legislation comes from the EU parliament and is just rubber stamped by the Commons. Also it sends a message to our European neighbours, because not only did our independence party come 2nd, but the main EU grouping wasn’t even represented in the UK (though this is down to Cameron, not Farrage) it reinforces that message of Eurosceptism set out by placing UKIP 2nd. Also, I think there is a strong possibility of UKIP coming 1st in 2014 European elections, as Labour is generally out of step with the public on the EU, and people are furious with the Cons for being in government, and can see them losing support, especially to UKIP as people see it as

    a) A protest vote
    b) A vote they do actually want to vote, and can do because they see the outcome as insignificant.

    The 3rd reason is not a reason yet, but were HOL reform to go through, under a proportional system, that’s truly proportional and not the poor excuse that is AV, UKIP could hold the balance of power in an elected Lords. Assuming as with most proportional elections their is a minimum bar of 5%, and using the rather erroneous method of applying todays national polling, to HOL.

    The percentage of seats would be…

    Lab 45% of seats (to 0.dp)
    Con 37% of seats (to 0.dp)
    Lib 11% of seats (to 0.dp)
    Ukip 9% of seats (to 0.dp)

    Now obviously that’s not accurate as it doesn’t include the Nationalists, and I assume people would vote different in a HOL election to a HOC election. But that is seen as even more significant as if it was truly proportional then more people would be inclined to vote for UKIP as they wouldn’t see their vote as being wasted. Look back at the European elections (obviously Europe is a strong issue for UKIP, so again not 100% accurate) UKIP won 16% of the seats up for grabs, I’d expect that to be lower in a HOL election as the issue of Europe isnt there to boost them but still a big percentage that could have influence on the balance of power.

  35. Perhaps the government should be happy that unions in the UK, do help negotiate on behalf of their membership.

    To describe actions by unions as shameful and unpatriotic, is in my opinion a mistake. The Home Office have been talking to the union since June 2010, but have been unable to come to an agreement. If parties are not willing to negotiate, then strikes will happen.

    In my opinion, meetings between government departments and unions should be recorded, with details made available online for everybody to see. If this was the case, then people can come to judgements about the actions of the parties involved.

  36. We had a UKIP person doorstep us at the last GE. He was going on about Europe and then started on the ‘lie of climate change’. Being a climate scientist I was able to put him right. It gave me great pleasure. What a bunch of nut jobs.

  37. Academic – please don’t describe supporters of other parties as nut jobs, even if you think they are! It’s not conducive to non-partisan discussion.

  38. Ok fair enough Anthony. Perhaps a better description was that he was addicted to irrational views that were not backed by any scientific evidence. A bit like Aids deniers and people who think the moon landings never happened. Better :)

  39. @Anmary

    There should be a huge caution that a simple vote share for poll on a FPTP election should not be simply transferred over to what might happen in an STV election.

    Surplus vote transfer has a major effect, and minority parties can still lose out on seats if they don’t receive enough transfers. In STV if you’re a minority party candidate, you need to pick up enough transfers from already elected major party candidates to get past the vote-quota. Otherwise, you remain unelected, while vote transfers remain in-party, or to larger third parties.

    UKIP are probably not best placed to pick up surplus vote transfer.

  40. Jayblanc, but STV isn’t considered is it?

    What electoral system is the proposed House of Lords under exactly? People I talk with occasionally about politics are under the impression that it is AV that is being proposed for the Lords, but everything I read says it would be a regional party list system like the European elections , and now you have said STV.

    Can anyone offer any clarity on which system is being proposed? STV is horribly complex, the Yes Campaign had trouble explaining AV, trying to explain STV to the average man or woman on the street is a non starter. I’m not even sure myself if I completely understand it, I think I do, I could be wrong however.

  41. Anmary – on the proposed voting system for the House of Lords UKIP would not have won any seats there at the last three elections if people voted the same way as at General elections*.

    Remember only 120 are elected at a time, and they are elected by region. Depending on what vote shares other parties get 5% could just about scrape a seat in a region with lots of elected HoL members like the South East (16), North West (14) or London (14). You’d need a higher level of support than that to get an elected member in other regions.

    (*Obviously they probably wouldn’t, but we don’t have any other data)

  42. Anmary – it is an open list proportional system, elected by region, with seats being allocated according to d’Hondt.

    People can vote for a party, or for an individual candidate on a party’s list (votes for individual party candidates count towards the party’s total, but if an individual gets more than 5% of the party’s vote they go to the top of that party’s list)

  43. Colin

    I agree with all that you wrote. I suspect that Simon Hughes could achieve the sycophantic Labour stuff.

    Too late? Well, a week is a long……..etc.

    BTW I’ve got you down as a ‘hard considerer’. :-)

  44. Academic
    I don’t know if you have ever joined a political party but you would soon learn that each has its fair proportion of nutcases. In fact I may be one, but of course I would be unaware of that.

  45. So similar to the European elections except that the public has some influence over who is at the top of the list? But if there is a 5% barrier, would that mean say a party member who scored 4.9% of his partys total votes, but was ranked lower than a member who only got 3% of the total votes, would lose out to the man who got 3% as his party rated him higher.

    Would it be a fair comment to say that the system may help UKIP get some seats? Obviously you’ve already mentioned that in General elections if people voted the same way they wouldn’t have got any seats. But what that obviously doesn’t factor in is that in a proportional system, people tend to vote more freely for who they actually want rather than just, Vote Party X to keep out Party Y. This effect is even greater when the elections outcome is not seen as being very important, European elections are not seen as important, and I don’t think elections to a House that can’t actually do much apart from make a few edits (even then they can be overturned by the commons) would be seen as having an important outcome.

    Obviously Europe is a strong point for UKIP, in the general election they scored 3%, whereas the year previously in the Europeans they scored 17% Are we saying that 14% jump was entirely down to the Europe effect, or is it not plausible that some of it was down to people who usually vote Tory, or possibly another party feeling more free and able to vote for the party they would actually like to vote for?

    I don’t support UKIP, I’m Pro-European, and have voted many parties in my life, they have never been one of them, but I do fear that the mainstream do underestimate them. Cameron calls them nut jobs, Labour tries to portray them as racist, and while I don’t agree with UKIP’s policies, I can see those attacks are just unfounded smears, and seeing mainstream parties go after a minor party like that seems to only be strengthening UKIP, as we see from polling on this site, they could be about to break into being 4 main parties. They’ve even been instances where they have come 3rd in polling. Depending on how badly things go for the Lib Dems from now until May 2015, this could actually happen (unlikely, but not so unlikely)

  46. Howard,

    – “I don’t know if you have ever joined a political party but you would soon learn that each has its fair proportion of nutcases”

    Very, very true. There are great people in most parties, and some people who very clearly have serious mental health and/or substance (primarily alcohol) or addiction problems.

    Most parties are wise/competent enough to sideline people with serious social skill problems or outlandish ideas, usually at a very local/low level within the organisation, and usually very quickly. However, newer and smaller parties have a much harder task in this respect, eg. UKIP, Greens, SSP (eg. Tommy Sheridan) the early-years of the SNP and Labour party, etc etc

  47. Stuart I don’t agree that someone who’s ideas are seen as radical or out there, necessarily makes them a nutjob or insane. Just because someone does not share many of your views does not make them insane. I don’t agree with UKIP, I wouldn’t call them insane.

  48. Anmary,

    Howards point was a general one. As was mine. Nothing especially to do with UKIP or any other political party, merely a problem that ALL organisations must face up to (eg. employers -> just ask any HR managers you know about alcohol problems for example, which are a massive issue throughout all levels of society).

    Being skeptical of climate change propanganda does not, of course, mean that a person is mentally ill (the meaning behind the word “nutjob”), but it does indicate that the UKIP canvasser had very poor judgement and/or social skills. It is not the job of canvassers to push their own wacky theories upon poor folk who answer the door. They are there as representatives of their party, and should treat both the people they talk to and their own party colleagues with respect, eg. by sticking to core topics/messages, and not wandering off into goofyville.

    (I am a bit skeptical of much climate change stuff myself, but I tend to keep my big trap shut in public forums.)

  49. There has been the occasional discussion on UKPR threads about the policies of the new French President Hollande.

    I found a report today about an interesting development regarding overtime. Apparently, Hollande’s predecessor, Sarkozy, introduced several years ago some tax relief scheme for overtime in order to reward industrious workers. Hollande has moved to scrap this tax relief as it discourages engaging new employees and also some employers were exploiting the measure to avoid social security contributions.

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