Two new polls tonight – the daily YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 42%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 6%, so no significant change there.

There is also a new TNS BMRB poll, which has almost identical topline figures of CON 32%(+2), LAB 42%(nc), LDEM 10%(nc), Others 16%(-1). Changes are from their last poll a month ago.

264 Responses to “New YouGov and TNS BMRB polls”

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  1. Discussion about if boundary reforms are beneficial to one party or the other, are hugely misleading. In reality, the benefits of “rebalancing” boundary changes are minimal, and in regards to a party that has seen a slow but steady generational decline in it’s vote share, somewhat a case of “rearranging the deck chairs”.

    The hard truth is that First Past The Post defers disproportional ‘bonuses’ to certain parties. The biggest, is of course the one awarded to the lead party in vote share, due to maximising their ‘win’ when translating that to seats. But the “smaller” ones are more decisive in that they have great effect in closer elections.

    FPTP benefits parties that can competitively contest the most seats. At the moment, this is Labour.

    FPTP benefits parties that have high turnout in seats that are competitive offensives, and low turnout in seats that are defensive. At the moment, this is Labour.

    FPTP discounts parties that “stack up” a high proportion of their vote share in safe seats other parties are not competitive in. At the moment, this is Conservatives.

    Now, that last one is sometimes partially fixed by “boundary reforms” that split up those safe seats to move the votes out to other competitive seats. (And historically has done in the UK) However, this is in essence “accidental”, and if the process that keeps concentrating the vote of a party is ongoing, then FPTP will continue to discount that party’s vote.

    The social and economic pressures that cause this countries distribution of Labour and Conservative voters does not appear to be about to change any time soon, and that is what causes the major discounting of the Conservative vote. And because boundary reforms are only ever a snapshot in time, it’s impossible to “correct” in any way, and in our circumstances even should you deliberately try to maximise the conservative vote it won’t work.

    One important thing to remember is that the Conservative, and any other party, does not inherently “deserve a fair chance at government”. Paradoxically, FPTP is, as shown by the majorities that Labour were able to deliver, the best chance for middling sized plurality vote share to become strong majority government. And there is no inherent “fairness” in a party that represents less than half the voting population having a majority government. And fiddling around the edges to hold on to a better chance is doomed to eventual failure if the underlying problem of people not wanting to vote for your party isn’t addressed.

  2. @chrislane1945

    If it is a manifesto commitment beforehand.

    Yes, since we have no codified constitution.

  4. Interested to see the reaction to the drop in GCSE pass rates. A London head teacher was explaining that pupils who sat the same subject in January and June and got the same % could get different grades, due to the change in grading. Sounds odd.

    In general, I’m one of those who believe that we have had grade inflation and exams have been devalued, but oddly enough, seeing both English GCSE and A level pass rates fall this year leads me to have less, rather then more, confidence in the exam system.

    Clearly there seems to have been a practical response to the political situation, and I have little confidence in the process leading to these changes. Gove is known for deliberately conducting official business via personal email accounts, in order to avoid FoI requirements, and a more transparent and open revision of the exam systems and marking regimes would have been far more preferable than this sticking plaster approach.

    The whole story seems to imply political interference in exam marking and grading, whether from a minister, the regulator or the exam boards. I don’t think this is a great way to build credibility in the education system.

  5. ALEC.
    i AGREE!

    we need one exam board, IMO.

    When I were a lad, the University Professor wrote the papers for O and A Level

  6. @ChrisLane

    But what of provider choice and valuable input and involvement from Private Sector companies like Edexcel? You can’t be saying that we need to nationalise and centralise something under a single government authority can you! That’s just not the way things work you know…

  7. Martyn said, “[1] although i’m willing to revisit if the boundary changes go south”

    It’s a very interesting question as to what will happen with the vote in Parliament. In the House of Commons, I think that the Conservatives will be able to get it through by neutralizing many of the minor party MPs. I think then that the numbers will be so close that the result will hinge on whether those parties in favour or those against get more of their MPs through the lobbies. These leaves aside the possibility that the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats may patch up their differences before the vote, at the very least allowing the Liberal Democrats to abstain, in which case the vote is carried.

  8. It doesn’t matter whether the boundary changes go through. It will just reduce the size of Labour’s landslide by a seat or two.

  9. @Charles Stuart

    If Clegg can’t deliver on his threat, then he’s probably toast and will be pushed out of leadership in his party within months. And that’ll be the end of the coalition entirely.

    So it comes down to if Cameron wants to play chicken on this. Sure Cameron might be driving the bigger car, but even if he wins and Clegg ditches, he still loses when the coalition collapses.

  10. “There seems to be a misconception by many on this site that the LDs are a “left-of-centre” party. True liberalism stands for freedom and the market economy, tempered by a concern for social justice, in contrast to the domineering state-centred approach of Socialism/Marxism, as represented by Labour. It has far more in common with DC’s liberal conservatism, although I don’t understand DC’s support/sympathy for the murderous fanatics trying to overthrow the Syrian government and establish a Sunni fundamentalist state, who are backed by the criminal Saudi regime and Al Qayda and who abhor Western liberal democracy.”

    Everything at the left of UKIP is far left. UKIP is social democrat, and BNP, center.

  11. @CharlesStuart

    Thoughtful reply, thank you. Although I am fascinated by the prospect of Conservatives “neutralizing many of the minor party MPs”. Curare? Land mines? T-1000? How?

    Regards, Martyn

  12. @Chrislane 1945 – Indeed. As with G4S, the results of the privatised exam board system has not been a great advert for private sector provision.

    In this regard I am in some agreement with Gove, but his approach to the solution has led to even less credibility being attached to the exam system, in my opinion.

  13. @Martyn

    Bringing in the former Governor of California as a politician consultant?

  14. ““neutralizing many of the minor party MPs”. Curare? Land mines? T-1000? How?”

    By buying them off with promises. Both Callaghan and Major did this a lot when they were leading minority governments. There’s always something a small party wants, that’s not anathema to the government, that the government can find the legislative time to allow but wouldn’t under normal circumstances.

  15. @Jay Blanc

    Interestingly… “The Labour general secretary, Iain McNicol, has written to Labour branches in the wake of Clegg’s announcements, saying plans to reorganise Labour constituency parties in England and Wales will not now go ahead.”

    More along the lines of your reasoning here:


    And regarding your previous post a little bit from Lewis Baston:


  16. Carfrew – from page one!
    I’m sure more read your output than it appeared from your name-checks. If you have a website, fill in the field above so you can check referrals – it can be re-assuring! I did respond to your piece a couple of threads ago -etiquette prevents me from repeating…

    Reticence is a big factor in poolls. Who would now admit to backing Labour because of Brown’s “Not, Flash, Just Gordon” campaign? But they did. The Tories will not be worrying until their polling results show a figure below the Margin of Error below their 2010 result. 32-34 is recoverable. 28? Nope. Watch this space…

  17. Is today’s poll just delayed or is it news worthy? Has the bad news on the deficit fuelled a rise in UKIP? I know UKIP has been ahead of LDs before but I’m not sure that the Sun made a big deal about it at the time; maybe this time they will.

    Any thoughts, everybody? Is the consensus it’s just a delay?

  18. @JayBlanc

    Well he did say he’d be back… :-)

    Hasta la vista, Martyn

  19. @CharlesStuart

    Thank you.

    Regards, Martyn

  20. @Howard

    “All we need to do with our system was not to record data that could be thus misused.”


    With names like ‘Yitzhak Moskowitz’, even one’s name might be too much information for ID cards.

    I don’t think I can ever be sold on the idea of ID cards. I know who I am. You don’t know who I am. If I want you to know who I am, I’ll introduce myself. I like that arrangement.

    ID Cards shift the presumption of innocence to the presumption of guilt, as ‘only those who don’t carry an ID card have something to hide’, which is plainly wrong. Once adopted voluntarily, there will come a point where they become compulsory, then it will be standard practice for people to request said card for all sorts of situations.

    After that, it just takes one little dictator to get elected and the whole lot is lost.

  21. @Billy Bob

    @carfrew – ” …what a Tory government would offer for post-2015.”

    The 38 strong Free Enterprise Group of MPs who brought you After the Coalition: A Conservative Agenda for Britain – are about to expand on their “the British are among the worst idlers in the world” theme in Britannia Unchained: Global Lessons for Growth and Prosperity.


    Yeah, it’s a bit of an eye-opener, eh? I was wondering what the Tory members on here would say about this possible future of their party…

    Some Tories are taking heart from this bit of the article:

    “In radical right circles, it is strikingly common to hear comparisons between Cameron’s government and that of his Tory predecessor Edward Heath: narrowly elected in 1970, briefly tough before a chaos of U-turns, replaced in 1974 by an often equally beleaguered Labour administration – before the right’s big moment finally arrived in 1979, with Thatcher’s election. If history repeats, which it rarely does exactly, we should expect the Unchaining of Britannia to commence in 2019.”

    I was thinking things had been pretty well unchained already, but it seems like things won’t be properly “unchained” until we revert to feudalism.

    Although not for the boomers, of course.

  22. @Amber Star

    Delivery drivers will already be revving up their trucks at the Broxbourne printing works. If it is something big it will be on Sky/BBC 24 newspaper review about now (unless they really keep something like that for a later edition) – otherwise YouGov had a power outage or something – but that is just my guess.

  23. Absolutely right Statgeek.

    Data itself may be neutral, but people certainly aren’t. Data can be used misused, twisted, selected, falsified, exaggerated, or dismissed, depending on the wishes of the user.

    And the user of centrally-collected data is the government and its agencies.

    Mercifully our governments(of both stripes) have been relatively benign in recent decades (at least to the bulk of its own citizens; the citizens of faraway countries we have invaded may think otherwise).

    However, a brief look at goverments worldwide now, and our own governments over history, should leave us VERY wary of allowing the gratuitous collection of personal data.

  24. @carfrew

    There was a piece about how Cameron is planning to promote MPs from the 2005 intake – those who “did the heavy lifting in opposition.

    I think he’s finding the 2010 intake too hot to handle.

  25. Amber
    Delayed until 7am.

  26. @ Billy Bob

    If it is something big it will be on Sky/BBC 24 newspaper review about now…
    I will watch to see whether it gets mentioned. This is quite intriguing… or it isn’t & I should get a life.

    Speaking of which, the big ‘event’ of my week was attending a QA session with Harriet Harman, Margaret Curran & Andrew Burns. It was an activists meeting & it was packed out; which is quite impressive given it was a Thursday afternoon during the Fringe!

  27. @ Tinged

    Yes, we’re speculating about why it’s delayed. Sensible folk think it is technical or vacation reasons. Idiots (well me, myself & I actually) are hoping it’s being held back because it has something juicy. :-)

  28. @Amber Star – “I should get a life”

    Earlier today I was thinking… when I’m famous they might invite me to make a guest appearance in the Lenzie convenience store:


  29. Labour have been > 40% for months – Clegg saved the Labour Party from themselves in 2010 .

  30. @AmbivalentSupporter

    “Of course, the cynic (i.e. realist) in me says that is why Labour politicians and many Labourites on here secretly favour the status quo i.e. in politics, people believe that democracy should only be appled along self-interested partisan lines. The same goes for the Tories wanting the changes and the Libs rejecting them. It’s politics. Every party is trying to manipulate the system in their favour. It’s why the Libs now reject the equalisation of boundaries but like PR – PR would produce many more Lib MPs!!!”


    Well, Labour could actively do things to manipulate things in their favour the way the Tories have, but they haven’t have they? I mean, what if they enacted compulsory voting? Or changed the numbers of MPs to suit themselves more? Or changed party funding to favour themselves more? Or had gone for transferrable vote system to hoover up all the leftie LD votes (not so necessary now, of course).

    Tories cannot make a clear-cut case for saying that reducing the number of MPs by fifty is fairer, any more than they can say that changing the voter registration system is unambiguously fairer. Both measures unambiguously favour the Tories however. ALL the measures favour the Tories.

    Meanwhile, when change was required, haven’t some on here pointed out that Labour implemented a proportional system in Scotland even though not necessarily in their favour? (Of course, they seem reluctant to risk more than that an apply it wholesale…)

    Tories are arguing for more proportionality when it comes to voters-per-seat, because it suits them, but strangely do not want a properly proportional system itself, nor do they want it for the Lords. Nor did they allow a referendum on a reasonable selection of alternative voting systems. Just another non-proportional system, in fact, that even Clegg thought a miserable compromise.

    Even though not a fair system, LDs still went for it because they thought it might suit them.

    And even the issue of equalising constituencies is suspect in itself as Anthony recently pointed out, because it is in the nature of FPTP to be inherently unfair in this regard. As a party’s share of the vote increases, the votes-per-seat thing improves in their favour. It’s a moving target!!

  31. @ Billy Bob

    I’ve never listened to that show – but from the website description, it sounds brilliant. :-)

  32. @Amber Star

    You’ll be hooked. Unless as I imagine, it is just standard slice of life stuff for north of the border. ;)

  33. I sometimes wonder where we would have been if those TV debates had not happened, NC had not got popular then into coalition, and we would now have a Conservative government with a slim majority. LD’s would now be pretty popular, 20% easily. Possibly rather like the 80’s post Labour split. I think NC has saved Labour from another long period in opposition.

  34. The Sun:

    45/23 ……

    Oh…. hang on. That’ the beginning of some young lady’s measurements.

    She seems nice.

  35. I saw Eric Holder speak tonight. Thrilling experience. He’s a great Attorney General and gave a great speech (also happens to be one of my favorite Ronald Reagan judicial appointees).

  36. @KeithP

    “I sometimes wonder where we would have been if those TV debates had not happened, NC had not got popular then into coalition, and we would now have a Conservative government with a slim majority. LD’s would now be pretty popular, 20% easily. Possibly rather like the 80?s post Labour split. I think NC has saved Labour from another long period in opposition.”

    Except that wouldn’t have happened. The LibDems gained very few seats, and mainly from Labour. They only took three seats from the Conservatives. And current polling evidence strongly suggests that increased popularity for the LibDems did not draw people who would have otherwise voted conservative.

    So there still would have been a hung parliament, but possibly with Labour in better position to be in coalition.

  37. Good Morning All.
    Naughty comment PAUL CROFT.

    Has anyone here seen the comments about Asil Nadir’s money by Lord McCalpine?

  38. Good Morning with a 12% lead; hence the delay maybe?

  39. 32/44/10/7

    I’m assuming the Chrislane is surprised at the high showing for the LDs.

  40. Good Morning THE SHEEP.
    Wow, how did you guess?
    How do you explain their high showing?

  41. @ Crossbat11

    “Yes, it looks like I’ve upset Henry. I pulled his leg about moving over to the Tories now he seems to have become disillusioned with the Lib Dems but he appears to be a rather thinner skinned fellow than I first thought. I will leave well alone from now on.

    How do you think this US presidential race is shaping up? Romney looks to have made an astute choice of running mate, certainly in terms of firing up the Republican base, but is Paul Ryan a divisive figure who will eventually play into the hands of the Democrats? From this side of the pond, it looks to be a predominantly negative campaign so far with attack ads flying from one side to the other. Polls indicate a tight race, but I shall be greatly looking forward to your posts from now until November, giving us, as they always do, a fascinating insight into US politics in general, and the presidential election in particular.

    I hope you’re well, by the way.”

    Well remember to play nice. Just remember that you’re more Bertrand Russell than you are Arthur Scargill. :)

    It’s late and nearly bedtime for me but I’ll point out that Romney’s decision to pick Ryan wasn’t so much astute as it was a really, really, really bad idea. In the short term, it gets Romney a bump in Wisconsin….but Obama still leads there and the truth is, most Wisconsin voters aren’t familiar with Ryan, they’re just flattered by the Wisconsinite pick.

    Ryan’s budget plan was very unpopular, a remarkable fact considering that most Congressional plans aren’t well known enough by the public to actually be unpopular! It cost the GOP a House seat in a 2011 special election.

    Ryan wants to do three things that are ultimately unacceptable to large majorities of the American public: (1) he wants to end the highly popular Medicare program, (2) he wants to get rid of the home mortgage interest deduction (though he won’t admit it), and (3) he wants to impose a national sales tax.

    A quote from Margaret Thatcher (and Nino Scalia) sums up the attitude of the American public to Ryan’s plans: “No! No! No!”

    Anyway, Romney could run away from Ryan’s plan but can’t do that now that Ryan is on the ticket.

    Ryan’s also got problems with his far out views on abortion. They finally got off the Medicare debate this week only because of Todd Akin’s craziness and shocking comments. But that has only made things worse because all of Akin’s bills in the House have been co-sponsored by Ryan and Ryan agrees with all of Akin’s positions.

    So Akin’s bill to try and introduce a definition of ‘forcible rape’ into the law? Ryan is a co-sponsor. Akin’s bill to define any fertilized egg as a person with full rights? Ryan is a co-sponsor. Akin’s bill to ban abortion funding in cases of rape or incest? Ryan is a co-sponsor. While Ryan is now claiming to take a different position where he and Romney claim they support abortion in cases of rape and incest and Ryan claims that “rape is rape”, Ryan’s name is still on all of these bills. Also the position that no abortions should ever be permitted even in cases of rape and incest is in the official Republican Party Platform.

    Also, Ryan’s line about how his positions don’t matter because he’s running on the Romney ticket really aren’t selling well. Cause the whole point of having a Vice President (as opposed to let’s say, a Deputy Prime Minister) is that if something happens to the President, the Vice President will step in. So if Romney is god forbid have a tragic blimping accident or is bucked from his dressage horse Rafalca or accidentally rams his luxury yacht into a visiting British naval warship, we’d have President Ryan. So yes, Ryan’s views and his political history do matter.

    As for Akin, I think Nancy Pelosi was right when she suggested that the GOP needed a lecture on the birds and the bees. I now have to wonder who is the craziest member of Congress. Allen West (R-FL), Todd Akin (R-MO), Jeanne Schmidt (R-OH), Michelle Bachmann (R-MN), or Joe Walsh (R-IL)? You gotta admit, it’s a close competition.

    Anyway, as for myself, I’ve honestly been better but I’m doing okay. I’m looking forward to attending the Convention in Charlotte and to volunteering more for the campaign in the fall.

  42. @chrislane

    I explain it this way: 10% of people YG asked said they would vote LD… I’m also presuming that the Labour lead is irrelevant until they release policies, that voters won’t vote for EM, that the Scottish cross breaks show that Labour is a centrist dictatorship, and that YouGov is part of an international Marxist conspiracy for not prompting for UKIP and putting them first when reporting the numbers.

  43. @daodao

    “There seems to be a misconception by many on this site that the LDs are a “left-of-centre” party.”


    The misconception, perhaps, was that the Lib-Dem MANIFESTO was to the left of the Tories. But the Lib-Dems helpfully cleared up that confusion real quick in government…

    @john tt

    Carfrew – from page one!
    I’m sure more read your output than it appeared from your name-checks. If you have a website, fill in the field above so you can check referrals – it can be re-assuring! I did respond to your piece a couple of threads ago -etiquette prevents me from repeating…

    Reticence is a big factor in poolls. Who would now admit to backing Labour because of Brown’s “Not, Flash, Just Gordon” campaign? But they did. The Tories will not be worrying until their polling results show a figure below the Margin of Error below their 2010 result. 32-34 is recoverable. 28? Nope. Watch this space…


    Thanks John. I don’t have a website, but I have replied over in the other thread.

    Brief synopsis:

    1) Tory cuts to investment and proper jobs and to benefits while upping taxes on consumers all conspire to stifle demand for products and services by reducing the means to pay for them.

    2) Hence Tory supply side measures to try and stimulate recovery – cuts in corporation tax, red tape, regulations and employment protections – are of rather limited value in encouraging growth because there is little point in either investing your corporation tax savings in selling more stuff, orin hiring, when there will be too few to buy your products for the foreseeable future owing to cuts for years and increased consumer VAT/income tax.

    Regarding Tories’ concerns on getting re-elected, one is tempted to consider the idea that they might not care for now. The aim being to change the game once and for all…

    @Billy Bob


    There was a piece about how Cameron is planning to promote MPs from the 2005 intake – those who “did the heavy lifting in opposition.

    I think he’s finding the 2010 intake too hot to handle.


    Yeah they’re blowing his cover. Cameron doesn’t announce his policies (to return us to the halcyon days before Labour existed). He announces the opposite. No reorganising the NHS, honest!! Not from the “top down” anyway. But he declines to say anything about what he’s really planning. Then when in power, he does what he meant to do all along, and says that, well, he didn’t say he wouldn’t do something SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT that amounts to the same thing anyway.

    If Cameron planned to rid us of the scourge of the minimum wage (which some Tories consider to be so bad that it has clearly been the ruin of us and is responsible for everything from the financial crash to global warming, cholera, Nadine Dorries and the Cameron Olympic jinx), he would probably NOT say he was going to abolish it. He might well be at pains to impress upon us just how much he really WASN’T going to abolish it.

    THen he could simply cut it to 20p and say that he didn’t say he wasn’t going to do THAT….

    One wonders what else Cameron hasn’t said. But maybe the 2010 intake are doing some expectation management so we’ll be relieved if he only sells us into slavery?

  44. @ Crossbat11

    And for your amusement, here are the 5 members of Congress I mentioned as competing for the title of craziest member of Congress. They each seem to represent distinct wings of crazy.

    Todd Akin (R-MO):

    h ttp://

    Jeanne Schmidt (R-OH):

    h ttp://

    Joe Walsh (R-IL):

    h ttp://

    Allen West (R-FL):

    h ttp://

    Michelle Bachmann (R-MN):

    h ttp://

    Really, I guess it’s not all that surprising to think that these 5 and their supportive colleagues (Paul Ryan) thought it would be a really good idea to send in the United States voluntarily and completely unneccesarily into default.

    And when it comes to Romney, I get why David Cameron, like McKayla Maroney, is not impressed.

  45. @ Henry

    “I like you too ; however because of the time difference you may miss some of the posts. The baiting of Henry (out of the blue so to speak) ”

    Probably. No one should purposely bait you or insult you on your feelings on your party.

    Of course, it can be hard to tell sarcasm and witty banter apart from insulting comments on the internet. I think I’m fortunate in that most of my comments designed to poke fun in a way that would elicit a negative partisan response are so out there and wild that no one really understands what I’m talking about in the first place and just ignores it. See, e.g., my recent joke about Maggie Thatcher and Harrod’s.

    Many thanks for your vg posts.

    44% for Labour, if sustained, is a game changer, I think.

    A long way to go however.

  47. Can’t believe that a 12 point lead is so sensational that the Sun held the results back – well within MOE for polls for the last year. Could it be something to do with the sensational “Privates on Parade” on front page? Nothing allowed to steal the thunder of Murdoch’s republican iconoclasm?


    It seems to appeal to one section of society
    rather than to the whole country
    Applies most to the Conservatives 53%

    The Tories have constantly been seen by over 50% of those asked to appeal to one section of society – The wealthy.

    This is a pretty damaging stat, as if the Tories want to win the next election with a majority, they have to appeal to the whole country, not just the constituences where the wealthy reside.

    My reading of the current polling, is that Labour may have the chance of increasing their lead. Ed Miliband and his team have been pretty quiet over the summer. If in the Autumn, they can take the attack to the government and offer an alternative vision, then I can see Labours polling nearing 50%. I am not sure whether the Tories VI has reached the bottom where the core vote is. I think that Labour and the Tories during bad times, have a core vote of 28-30%. I think the Lib Dems VI may increase, as they look more independent from the Tories and they may creep up to around 12-14% range.

  49. I wonder if the 12 point is an adjustment because of the economic news?

    The two really big, pyschological marks are 30% for Con and 45% for Lab. Although it could be normal variation, this takes Con within 2 points of horror and Lab 1 point from glory.

    We’ll see.

    Amazing that people are interested in Harry..

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