Today’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 44%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 7% – so the 6 point Labour lead in the Sunday Times certainly looks as though it was an outlier.

As I mentioned yesterday, YouGov also asked a hypothetical “how would you vote if Vince Cable was Lib Dem leader” question. YouGov’s control question naming the current leaders had figures of CON 33%, LAB 43%, LDEM 8%. Asked how they would vote if Cable became Lib Dem leader the figures switch to CON 33%, LAB 39%, LDEM 11%.

Both ComRes and YouGov show the Lib Dems doing better with Cable, and by roughly similar amounts (3 or 4 percentage points). The difference is that ComRes found it coming equally from the Conservatives and Labour, YouGov find it effectively coming straight across from Labour.

Still, while the speculation is fun, all the usual caveats about these sort of hypothetical questions apply. While Cable is quite well known and people can give some sort of educated opinion, they will be making complete guesses about what sort of leader he would be, what policies he would pursue, what the narrative would be around the appointment and so on. Most of the time hypothetical leader polls are probably more important for the impact they make on the Westminster village than what they actually tell us about how leaders would perform.


147 Responses to “YouGov on how people would vote with Cable”

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  1. Phil

    Thank you so much for the reply. I don’t understand it (yet) but will persevere.

    I did get one thing – of course! Nick Clegg is someone who actually does not do anything, any more than John Prescott did. That’s four. Now to discover the fifth.

    Earlier I congratulated Ken Clarke on getting a job with no responsibility. Clever lads, these non portfolio types.

  2. @Lefty L

    “Did you hear about Jim Smith’s team talk at St Andrews during that run?”

    I did indeed and the Tarantini anecdote is a much cherished one around these parts! He was a very good player in fact, and his descent into temporary mediocrity during his short stay at St Andrews reinforced the hapless Blues’ image as a bit of a music hall joke at the time. They became known as the Bermuda Triangle of football; many a good player entered their environs only never to be heard of again!

  3. RedRag

    Probably a smart phone auto-correct. (Mark Hancock is the chap’s real name by the way. No, me neither.)

    Got me thinking though. There are some words that you wouldn’t expect a phone to have in its cyber dictionary when it is shipped from the factory. But of course, if you use a word often enough, the phones learn and update the dictionary…

  4. @Statgeek

    “I wonder if the polls will narrow just a tad. Change is almost always seen as a positive thing.”

    I’m not so sure, although the next couple of polls will be interesting. I’m a bit with Anthony on this; unless there is a real “night of the long knives” with big Cabinet beasts felled all around, I don’t think the general public pays much attention, to be honest. The real impact, if there is any to be had, will be if what Cameron has done today produces a better government. If he achieves that, then he’ll pick up the political dividend at a later date. In the short term, however, I see no real benefit accruing to him.

  5. @Allan Christie

    That line was quipped in the recent re-run of the Feb 1974 election.

  6. I suspect it’s the dogs that didn’t bark that are the real questions in this reshuffle. Osborne stays – when the majority want him to go. IDS stays, when many people like him but Cameron wants him to go. The revelation last night that IDS refused to go and Cameron didn’t have the strength to move him suggests an inherent weakness. Cable remaining also demonstrates the weak control of government – why not shift him for another Lib Dem?

    The Hunt move to health is indeed interesting. I’m assuming there isn’t much risk from Leveson, as the protagonists have already been informed of any criticism coming their way, so that should be a known position.

    I’m personally annoyed that someone who is on the record as believing homeopathy works is now in charge of the NHS. I’m with Brian Cox on this one – people who think homeopathy works don’t have brains – just the memory of the shape of brain cells in a watery solution between their ears.

    Most disappointing is Owen Paterson at Environment. Paterson is no environmentalist, has displayed a very anti environment mindset on a wide range of issues, and appears to support traditional vested interests in the face of solid research evidence.

    I never was a supporter of Cameron, so my view probably doesn’t count, but I really do despair of the integrity and calibre of leaders who just mouth the words, and think that keeping to pledges doesn’t matter. Are we seeing the greenest government ever? Are we opposed to a third runway? Will we resist top down reform of the NHS? Can we have a cast iron pledge on the Lisbon Treaty?

    Expenses wasn’t the real reason that politics was broken. What broke it was the endless ability of politicians to slither away from promises. I see no change from this government.

  7. These polls show the maximum Labour vote of 44%. This seems to imply that that is all the best they can expect at an election unless something really catastrophic happens to the Tories. The Tory minimum appears to be 30%. So the next election could rest on the votes of just 7% of voters (ignoring the fact that the Tories are hampered by votes in some constituencies being worth much less than in others).

  8. I’m sensing an emerging consensus among the commentariat that the reshuffle falls short of imposing authority on the party – I’m wondering if it any longer serves the purposes of a Tory MP to associate themselves too closely with Cameron/Osborne.

    In Ming Campbell’s opinion Danegelt has been paid to the right of the party, but they will keep coming back for more.

    In other news, Michelle Obama will be addressing the Democratic convention in Charlotte tonight. Barak has been countering head-on Republican attacks on “Obamacare”:
    “I like the name, I do care.”

  9. @Sandy Winder

    Don’t forget that turnout might just be on the up again. It has risen in the last three elections, and many more folk might turn out if the result is in the balance (this assumes that the polls narrow on the run up 2015, which is obviously unforeseeable). I hope that turnout hits the low 70% region once more.

    The half-time team talk is in progress and the second half will get under way in a week or two.

  10. @Corkscrew

    Even in 1974 they were calling it an old cliche. :lol:

  11. @ lcfreitasf

    The continuity Liberals are tiny, and are pretty irrelevant, so won’t be a beneficiary. I’m no expert, but from what I’ve seen of them ie their participation in the left-wing No2EU – Yes to Democracy coalition in the 09 Euro’s, and their standing under a no-cuts label in the local elections, they seem to be further left, and left of centre.

  12. @Howard
    Just got home. Sorry you were sent into ‘outer darkness’. Meanwhile Crossbat11 was moderated into ‘oblivion’.
    Time was when AW simply put us onto the naughty step but now we really have to be careful !!

  13. @LCFREITASF

    You said “…A question for you guys: I live in Ireland so I don’t know much stuff about british politics. I know that there’s a fringe “Liberal” party who contest some seats, and according to wikipedia this was formed by Lib-Dem dissents. What is their position in the left-right spectrum when compared to Libdem? Are they relevant at all? Is there any chance of they gaining anything from dissatisfacted liberal voters?…”

    Lcfreitasf, hi!

    Taking your questions in order as follows

    What’s their positions when compared to LibDem?
    Measuring the political positions of political parties can be done in an objective manner: you take the votes cast by each elected member on a range of votes, compare those votes to all the other members, treat it as a whacking great n-dimensional matrix problem and seek the equilibrium solution. A lot of work has been done on this by oh-god-i’ve-forgotten at Trinity College Dublin but the work I’m most familiar with is by The Godlike Simon Hix at the LSE. But unfortunately the rump Liberal Party has too few elected members to measure, so I don’t have an objective statement for you. Loking at the Wiki page, they appear to me to be more left-wing on the left-right axis and more Eurosceptic on the Europhile-Eurosceptic axis. That’s a subjective view by me but it’s all I have for you.

    Are they relevant at all?
    No, to be blunt. Without prejudice to the goodness or badness of their stance, they are entirely electorally irrelevant at the UK Parliament level

    Is there any chance of they gaining anything from dissatisfacted liberal voters?
    Similarly, there is no chance of them gaining anything at the UK Parliament level.

    Hope that helps, regards, Martyn

  14. Corkscrew

    PAUL CROFT/ALLAN CHRISTIE

    I was hoping against hope that no one would dare drag out that worst possible old cliche…….. Can’t believe Salmond stooped so low
    ___________

    Well I suppose he only stooped so low so he could be at the same level as Jon Sopel.

    Still I suppose Salmond could had stooped even lower and come out with “Calm down dear”
    Now that really was the lowest of the low… :)

  15. Craig

    @Allan Christie

    That line was quipped in the recent re-run of the Feb 1974 election
    ._____________

    Well maybe so but it’s the first Ive heard of it!!!

  16. Con 34 (+1), Lab 40 (-4), LD 10 (+2)
    Lead reduced back to 6 – although this time caused by massive drop for Lab.
    All within margin of error for a 8-9% lead, but odd to see it bounce around so much.

    Instability caused by end of school holidays/reshuffle in the news/etc or shift in VI? Wait and see.

    How I think the reshuffle will affect public opinion – a shift to the right could really help the Conservatives win back lost voters, but I can’t see how a shift to the illiberal right could help the LibDems win back lost voters or retain their current crop.
    I realise that it’ll help the ‘differentiation’ strategy – but it runs the big risk that they’ll have to ‘own’ any policy that comes out.

  17. The first Lab 40% since April on YG and follows Sunday’s 41% perhaps yesterdays was at the top of Moe and Lab has dropped a point or 2.
    If so not immediatley obvious why, could be being out of the news or perhaps the real Economy is a tad better in August; signs are that Q3 2012 will be the end of the second dip of the recession.

    Matt Hancock BTW. (although now I will think of him with his new surname)

  18. Looking at the figures, I don’t think Lab need worry.

    Unless you count a very small sample of youngsters, Con are miles behind in every age and place except 60 plus rest of the southers.

    If you only speak to pensioners in Surrey, you’d think the whole world was Tory.

  19. It looks like the lead has narrowed, which runs against the media coverage with the exception of Tales of Labour Strife. It does seem like Labour have dipped a little. Perhaps we are now at the point where Labour need to start framing some outlines of policy as @Rob Sheffield says, rather than waiting for good things to come their way?

    @Jim Jam – “Economy is a tad better in August; signs are that Q3 2012 will be the end of the second dip of the recession.”

    Not really sure where you get that from? Manufacturing is still contracting, as is construction, retail spending posted quite a sharp faall, and the service sector, while technically showing above the contraction level is effectively stagnating, with hiring figures appearing to show a stagnant or shrinking workforce.

  20. Shapps well into the new role on R4 this morning.

    Fallon & Hancock to Business gone down well in Times Financial pages-also Deighton, Javid & Clark in the Treasury team. Looking for real progress on infrastructure delivery & business friendly stuff ( despite the Sec of State :-) )

    THe clearout at Transport is very intriguing. Hints in the Times that neither Greening nor Villiers would even allow discussion on Heathrow expansion. Also guarded hints that Greening did not do that well at Transport.
    Shapps said two things this morning-no reneging on the Heathrow pledge ” this parliament”-and there will be a wide debate. Looks like the long grass before a policy change if they win next time.

    I still think Hunt is a mistake at Health-though I like Millar at CMS.

    I think the changes reflect what DC said a day or so ago-clearlng the bottle necks out of the way etc.

    Let’s hope-but there is still the biggest bottleneck of the lot-our Civil Service-where are the changes there?

    Polls are intriguing-Labour not quite sure where it’s level is ?

    No cause for Con joy though-they have to improve their own VI-there will be time in due course to attack Labour’s.

  21. Alec – I said ‘perhaps’ the real Economy is a tad better in August.
    As you know I take the view that economic statistics rarely change VI except in the GE campaign itself as people have already experienced the reality behind the Economic numbers and any affect on VI is at that time not when the numbers come out.

    I do expect that Q4 will show an end to GDP contraction and quite possibly a little positive growth and that a we will see modest growth up to the GE subject to any major Economic shocks.

    I don’t believe the level of growth will be enough to produce a cons OM or to lead to a significant LD recovery but we will see.

  22. The appalling Naughty excelled himself this morning-playing tapes of uncontrollable giggle fits by some announcer who is leaving………..oh it won’t be the same without her etc.

    It will actually-Naughtie is an inveterate giggler himself-at anything he can sneer at of course.

  23. JIM JAM

    sorry I didn’t reply to you last night-anyway you bit your lip & went to ConHome-brave chap :-)

    Your reply to Alec above is an(other) example of why I enjoy & respect your contributions here so much .

  24. NICKP

    Looking at the figures, I don’t think Lab need worry.

    Unless you count a very small sample of youngsters, Con are miles behind in every age and place except 60 plus rest of the southers.

    If you only speak to pensioners in Surrey, you’d think the whole world was Tory
    ___________

    It’s the same in Scotland..

    If you only speak to the unemployed in Glasgow then you’d think the whole country was Labour.

  25. ALEC

    Would tend to agree with you that a reduction in the Lab lead could be down to lack of a clear alternative strategy. The Tories and possibly even the Lib Dems will ultimately get credit for at least trying, if Lab cannot articulate a clear alternative economic strategy soon.

  26. Slightly off topic..

    “The separatist Parti Quebecois has won Quebec’s regional elections and will form a new government there, once again raising the possibility of a referendum on independence being held in Canada’s French-speaking province”

    “Should PQ win a majority it will make it easier for them to call a referendum on independence. Quebec has held two referendums in the past – one in 1980 and another in 1995- with the last narrowly rejecting independence from Canada”

    “However PQ claim their short-term priority would be picking the economy up off its knees, instead of pushing for a separation vote straight away”
    …..
    Och it all sounds very familiar..Liberals being wiped out, student protests, economy crashing, referendums and Nationalists to the rescue.. ;)

    http://rt.com/news/parti-quebecois-win-quebec-389/

  27. Slightly off topic..

    “The separatist Parti Quebecois has won Quebec’s regional elections and will form a new government there, once again raising the possibility of a referendum on independence being held in Canada’s French-speaking province”

    “Should PQ win a majority it will make it easier for them to call a referendum on independence. Quebec has held two referendums in the past – one in 1980 and another in 1995- with the last narrowly rejecting independence from Canada”

    “However PQ claim their short-term priority would be picking the economy up off its knees, instead of pushing for a separation vote straight away”
    …..
    Och it all sounds very familiar..Liberals being wiped out, student protests, economy crashing, referendums and Nationalists to the rescue.. ;)

  28. Labour lead slightly down. Maybe they flocked to the Greens after Natalie Bennett’s election as leader…

    :D

  29. Crossbat11

    I admire your honesty. Anthony did you a huge favour – you are forever in his debt.

  30. The Labour lead has not really reduced. This is another outlier and will be proved to be, over the next few weeks. There is no reason for Labours VI to reduce. They have had a very quiet summer.

    The coalition are going to have a very difficult Autumn/Winter, with many challenges to their relationship. The Tories appearing to moving to the right and there will be moments of conflict, between the parties.

  31. A lot of people seem to have been trying to watch iplayer/Parliament/C-Span coverage, having failed to watch it live at 2.00 am… best wait till the traffic dies down.

    Ted Strickland clearly enjoyed his opportunity to make a speech at the Democratic convention. Judging by the string of violations and subsequent edits on his wikipedia page this morning, the way he dealt with Romney must have annoyed one or two Republicans.

  32. @STATGEEK Good point.

    YouGov poll today showing 6 point lead for LAB:

    40-34-10

    http://cdn.yougov.com/cumulus_uploads/document/r38q2xiy9b/YG-Archives-Pol-Sun-results-040912.pdf

    Day before, 11 point lead for LAB:

    44-33-8

  33. “Shapps well into the new role on R4 this morning.”

    Was I the only one who heard him clearly answer ‘Yes’ to a question about considering a 3rd runway, before cutting himself off when he realised what he was saying? I was half expecting them to go back to Zac Goldsmith for his announcement of a by-election.

    My earlier comment about this reshuffle having the ability to turn into another omnishambles got moderated, but the reaction so far has hardly been positive. The focus has been on Greening and the runway, the reduced profile of women, Warsi’s demotion (her position was referred to as ‘token’ on Women’s Hour this morning). PMQs is going to be interesting.

  34. I think the reshuffle might reassure the right of the Tory party, possibly clawing their way back to their 2010 vote share. As long as the anti Tories stay with Lab, they’ll stay in majority territory.

    Things will get more polarised and the right wing LDs Clegg, Laws and Alexander will be increasingly isolated.

    Election next year? Can they sit tight till 2015 just to get wiped out?

  35. Ozwald

    You are mixing posts – I was not moderated (-the idea!)

    I’ve just thought of a 5th candidate for a non-portfolio minister – the PM!

    I belive JimJam is possibly correct in his analysis of a possible relaxation in Lav VI. However, whether this is holiday effect or genuine increased wealth is not yet certain, as he points out.

  36. Lab not Lav (I am getting further in the mire with typos).

  37. VVD (34), PvdA (26), PVV (17), CDA (13), SP (28), D66 (13), GL (5), CU (5), SGP (2), pvdD (3), 50+(4).

    This is a recent poll in the Netherlands for next week’s GE.

    The only possible outcome would appear to be a ‘purple’ government of VVD, PvdA, D66 with possibly the middle of the road Christians (CU) or the moribund CDA. One needs 76 seats in the Lower House to form a majority (from 150 seats).

    The real problem is that VVD under present PM Rutte is at odds with the PvdA leadership over the agreement to keep within Budget which was sent into the EU as a promise and which the PvdA (Labour) would not sign up to at the time. You will remember that the ‘real EU’ (the Eurozone) countries have promised to reduce deficits to 0.5%..
    The UKIP type party of Wilders (PVV) seems now to be on the skids.

  38. I should explain that the 50+ refers to the ‘Saga’ party. People get older younger in the Netherlands.

  39. If its down to anything then my guess is invisibility for Labour and headlines for Tories: people probably are that easily influenced…………

  40. Can see Cameron’s “butch” soundbite coming back to haunt him in the way “calm down dear” did.

  41. I don’t understand that.

    Di he really tell off Ed for buying his own coffee…”not very butch”? Should he get a lackey to buy it for him?

    Surreal.

    Maybe I’m missing the point.

  42. NICKP

    @”Maybe I’m missing the point.”

    Afraid so

    You obviously didn’t read the scurrilous suggestions that EB still thinks EM works for him , ignores him at SC meetings,generally acts in a bombastic fashion ( the very idea !!)…….and still shouts ( like he did when EM worked for him)-“coffee time! “, whereupon EM still goes & gets it.

    Gave DC an open goal-but it can’t possibly be true :-)

  43. I’m sure “not very butch” is a sure fire winner.

  44. Colin

    You obviously didn’t read the scurrilous suggestions that EB still thinks EM works for him , ignores him at SC meetings,generally acts in a bombastic fashion ( the very idea !!)…….and still shouts ( like he did when EM worked for him)-”coffee time! “, whereupon EM still goes & gets it.

    Gave DC an open goal-but it can’t possibly be true
    __________________________________________

    Not sure it was an ‘open goal’ seemed pretty desperate and childish stuff from DC. Displaying his Flashman side again – he does himself no favours IMO.

  45. You may be right-depends how much you want to navel gaze at every word he uses, PC Manual in hand.

    If you go in for that sort of thing-& there are those who do-no doubt you can find lots to witter on about.

    If you don’t-like most people-it’s entirely unremarkable-one of those daft things they say to each other.

  46. As ever, can we please not have PMQs discussion here. It is wholly unenlightening to have a tired parade of Labour supporters saying how badly Cameron has done and vice-versa.

  47. Anthony: I missed the vice versa: has Cameron been banging on about Labour supporters?

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