This morning’s YouGov poll has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 40%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 7%. This is the second YouGov poll in a space of a week to show the Labour lead down to six points. After yesterday’s YouGov poll showed a Labour lead back to eleven points following the six point lead at the weekend I had rather dismissed the YouGov/Sunday Times poll as just an outlier. This poll suggests there may be more to it.

Of course all the YouGov polls over the last week or two have had the Conservatives within two points of 33% and the Labour party within two points of 42%. While two six point leads after months of nine to ten points leads is rather a big co-incidence, strictly speaking there isn’t actually anything that couldn’t be explained by normal sample variation. Let’s wait and see a bit longer before looking for explanations.

There is also a new Opinium poll out today which has figures of CON 31%(nc), LAB 42%(+2), LDEM 8%(-2), UKIP 9%(-1). There is certainly no sign of a narrowing Labour lead there.


167 Responses to “New YouGov and Opinium polls”

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  1. Outbreak of political unity in Scotland!

    A consultation on plans to reduce the drink-driving limit is to be launched by the Scottish government.

    The current UK limit of 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood has remained unchanged since 1966 and is the highest in the world.

    By proposing the lower level of 50 millilitres, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said he believed the change would save lives.

    Powers to alter the limit were given to Holyrood under the 2012 Scotland Act.

    Ministers have made it clear they want to bring Scotland in line with most of continental Europe as soon as possible.

    And there is unlikely to be political opposition to the move, with Labour, the Tories and Lib Dems all supporting it. (BBC)

  2. @ Old Nat

    I am having visions of folks having a few pints in England driving half way home, leaving their car at the border, & walking the rest of the way. :-)

  3. CORKSCREW
    Struggling to see how the Tories moving to the right will erode Labour support?
    Protecting British workers against job losses through movement of industry overseas (e.g. the cotton industry in the 50’s) or by immigration of low wage labour, has always been on the right wing union and LP agenda, so not necessarily a cause of movement of supporters to BNP. As the Obama campaign against Romney’s supposed export of US jobs demonstrates, it’s an issue at the centre ground.

  4. Labour lead back to 12:

    CON 33%, LAB 45%, LD 8%, UKIP 7%; APP -38

  5. Latest YouGov/The Sun results 5th Sept – CON 33%, LAB 45%, LD 8%, UKIP 7%; APP -3

    It’s the YouGov roller coaster!

  6. Has anybody been tracking the question of ‘What sort of government would you prefer?’?
    I can’t find a tracker for it on the YouGov website..

    Currently it is (with DKs removed – figures may not add up exactly to 100..):
    Lab Maj: 38.75%
    Con Maj: 37.5%
    Lib-Lab: 16.25%
    Lib-Con: 7.5%
    Lab: 55%
    Con: 45%
    Which seems fairly normal as far as Lab vs Con governments go [1] but the Lib-Con coalition figure seems low.

    45% (for VI) today is joint highest Labour figure since the election, but given that we’ve had a 40% and now a 45%, with most leads around 9%, I suspect that the ‘true’ Labour figure is closer 42%.

  7. Missed out my [1] note, haha.
    [1] Perhaps the 37.5% for a ‘Con Majority’ shows that Cons can pull back voters if it looks close/Labour is massively ahead closer to the general election.

  8. So Lab is about 40-45% and Con between 32 and 35%?

    So what would be telling would be 46% or 31% starting to appear. None yet.

  9. or alternatively (to show balance) Lab going under 40% or Con creeping to 36%

  10. Looks like the 40 and 41 may have been 2 Lab scores at the bottom end of moe afterall.
    So those of us (including me) who started looking for reasons why Lab may have dropped were probably a bit premature. Normally I reckon on 3 out of 4 to confirm a movement better so should have not broke my rule.

    I have had a quick scroll back and on You Gov it is mid April since Lab scored below 40% and March since the Tories got more than 35% with the occassional high Lab score or 45% in that period and low for Tories of 31%.

    It really is polldrums until the conference season when surges will not be sustained of course but will give some indication of potential.

  11. Balls is reported to want to adopt the mansion tax as Labour policy and to start a liaison with “sensible Lib Dems” on the issue. I suspect that this is more a reaction to polling on the policy and/or wealth taxes in general rather than a move to compromise relationships in the coalition, although there may be a bit of the latter thrown in.

    As someone who’s been banging on on this site about the need for Labour to do something of this kind for the last six months, I’m delighted by the news.

  12. Chuckled when I read this from the Sun:

    “One of Britain’s top bosses has savaged ministers over the economy — and told to them to axe public sector skivers. Peter Hargreaves of fund manager Hargreaves Lansdown said politicians are too obsessed with re-election to make hard decisions. Mr Hargreaves, 65 — who is worth £1billion – told Sun City: “The economy is knackered and the problem is government expenditure. You get that idiot Nick Clegg talking about a tax on the rich. He’s probably got five staff who do nowt.”

    Just five staff? It crossed my mind he could have said the entire bloc of LD MPs…

  13. Sun headline: Fund Manager complains about non productive jobs irony!.

    the billionaire “fund manager” who kept his money when the fund managers bankrupted the world is against a wealth tax, which might get back some of the tax payers’ money he’s hoarded.

    quelle surprise!

  14. NickP

    lol

  15. Latest YG. Labour 12% lead.

    Lab 45%
    Tory 33%
    LD 8%
    UKIP 7%

    So a few recent polls showing a Labour lead of only 6% are clearly outliers.

  16. Electoral Calculus predicting a 92 seat Labour majority.

    Con (2010: 36.97%, 307 seats) 32.67%, 227 seats

    Lab (2010: 29.66%, 258 seats) 41.13%, 371 seats

    LD (2010: 23.56%, 57 seats) 10.81%, 18 seats

    Prediction based on opinion polls from 11 Aug 12 to 31 Aug 12, sampling 7,788 people.

    Probability of possible outcomes:

    Conservative majority 3%
    Labour majority 78%
    Con/Lib coalition 2%
    Lab/Lib coaliltion 7%
    Lib choice of coalition 0%
    No overall control 10%

  17. @Jim Jam – ” …low for Tories of 31%.”

    Tories do seem to have staged a mini-recovery since the string of 31s in April/May/Jun. There was an exceptional 29% in a YouGov/ST at the end of April.

  18. The regional figures really show up the North-South VI divide. Doesn’t this mean that slight shifts in the regional weightings could account (at least partly) for the roller coaster figures ?

  19. It’s possible that Con’s support in the South (excluding conurbations) could continue to plie up with no effect whatsoever on the number of MPs they would get.

    Getting 95% of the vote in Reigate isn’t going to get any more seats than 45%.

  20. John Pilgrim – ” …immigration of low wage labour”

    Union campaigns have been geared towards upolding local agreements… ie a percentage of workers in a plant should live locally (in Merseyside for example) irrespective of the nationality/migration status of the worker. In other instances Union action to combat the undercutting of pay scales has enabled visiting teams of Italian “posted workers” to claim considerable amounts of back-pay.

    Scurrilous attempts in the media – to portray union action as somehow xenophiobic – have failed.

    In some cases employers have even resorted to segregating “posted workers” from other employees.

  21. Ozwald

    The regional figures really show up the North-South VI divide. Doesn’t this mean that slight shifts in the regional weightings could account (at least partly) for the roller coaster figures ?

    Not really. The point about weightings is that they are meant to iron this sort of thing out. The volatility problem only happens when you have a part of the sample that is small and consistently and severely under-represented. Only the 18-24s in the age split are like this at the moment.

    There is a slight problem in that the “working-class” (C2DE) group are usually under-represented a bit compared to the “middle-class” (ABC1). But in each poll you are still getting about 600 C2DE panelists responding, so there’s not the variability you can get in a much smaller sample – there are usually fewer than 100 under-25s who reply (only 52 in the latest poll).

    YouGov usually seem to manage to get the right balance across their Regions, though of course there will be variation day-to day. For example there were too few Scots in the latest poll, so their view will have been up-weighted a bit, but yesterday there were too many and the opposite adjustment would be made.

    Meanwhile, to prove my most recent comment wrong, the under-25s in the latest poll are actually the most “certain” group with only 14% Non-Voters (still doesn’t keep them out of italics). But that just illustrates the volatility of small groups – they had 42% Non-voter in Sunday’s poll.

  22. @Roger Mexico
    Thanks. I guess it underlines AW advice about cross-breaks. I used to have a spreadsheet running which gave me a weekly YG average and I took less notice of individual polls. However, I have lost the link to YG archives and I have not kept it up to date.

  23. Thinking further about shifting to the right and appealing to the Tory core. yes, they’ll win back waverers that voted in 2010, but will the voters in Corby vote Tory now? in a seat they took in 2010?

    Look at the latest initiative that was characterised by Clegg on the BBC as allowing people to construct bigger conservatories in their garden due to relaxed planning laws. That might appeal to homeowners with cash to spare. Many of them are Tories anyway.

    But people aren’t putting up conservatories for two reasons: lack of cash and/or uncertainty about the future. Relaxing the planning laws does nothing to address that. In fact if it did work, you are really asking people to borrow and spend on conservatories.

    There’s no demand and nobody wants to borrow to spend. Money in pockets, secure jobs.

    Rest is tinkering.

    As I said before, poll boost in the Shires, losing votes everywhere else. Look at the Midlands/Wales crossbreak yesterday.

  24. I think if the two Eds go with a tax on millionaire properties it would be very popular with everybody but millionaire property owners.

    So the Tories won’t like it!

  25. @phil

    Balls is reported to want to adopt the mansion tax as Labour policy and to start a liaison with “sensible Lib Dems” on the issue. I suspect that this is more a reaction to polling on the policy and/or wealth taxes in general rather than a move to compromise relationships in the coalition, although there may be a bit of the latter thrown in.

    _____________________________________________

    A mansion tax is probably a bit safer than a vague “wealth tax”. More specific, so fewer liable to be scared.

  26. @crossbat11

    I’ve never been convinced that there is much in the way of an electoral dividend for the Tories in veering right,

    _________________________________________

    True, it may only gain a few percent at the risk of losing some elsewhere. Unfortunately though, if they move left they risk losing more to UKIP. There are potentially more votes in moving to the centre, but in practice there is both Labour and LDs to contend with for those votes.

    The interesting thing in this though is the combined effect. If tead of the conundrum of trying to appeal to the right and centre at the same time, Tories hoover up more votes from the right while LDs take votes off Labour in the centre…

  27. A snippet from a new article on the BBC News website which includes worse figures for UK :-

    “According to forward-looking indicators, the loss of momentum at the G7 level may persist through the latter half of this year, with the recession in the euro area and associated trade and confidence headwinds enduring,” said the OECD.
    ——————————–
    Phew! I can’t make my mind up whether this reads like some Mervyn King waffle, or a weather forecast, or even something from a fortune teller. “And you will meet a tall dark stranger “

  28. NickP – on planning relaxation there is another political risk for the government. It’s all very well making it easier for people to build conservatories / extensions and housing estates, but for NIMBYs (of which not a few are Tories), it’s a red rag to a bull.

    Here in Rugby the Tories lost a seat after a councillor turned Ind in protest at the Planning Law changes earlier this year. He topped the poll in the May elections.

    I am also like you unconvinced that it will do much to boost the economy, even with ‘insurance’ (read ‘pre-arranged bailouts) for housing developers.

  29. In think is is unlikely that the cons would have a strategy of shifting rightwards to leave space for the LDs to differentiate with the idea the (LDs) can take votes off Labour.
    The Cons need Centre Right votes to win an OM and DC knows this. The prospect of a Lab win (or taking most seats) could well as CL reguarly postulates shift some Anti Lab LDs to Cons particularly in marginal seats, tack too far right and this is less likely.

    Also the UKIPPERS have no where to go and whilst DC will throw them the occassional bone (to make sure) it is unlikely more than 3% will remain UKIP at the GE and probably lower in marginals.

    Any shifts to the right are partly because they are doing what they believe and they think will reep electoral benefits (Grayling appointment) Also, though, because DC has to hold his party together and the risk of losing a few centre-right wing votes is not as big in their calculations as the damage being disunited causes.

  30. I know Anthony hates us discussing PMQs on here, but I wonder, having just heard a short discussion about Women’s Hour about it, whether Cameron’s coffee-fetching jibe will come back to bite him.

    Imagine in how many offices and workshops someone will be making an “I’m too butch to make coffee” joke and then explaining it to those who don’t get it. I suspect it will spread the perception of Cameron as someone who is out of touch with ordinary people – though given that only 6% currently think he is:

    http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/4rxhn3nhqa/YG-Archives-Trackers-Leaders-060912.pdf#page=11

    it may not be possible for that to fall any further. It may however that people start to see him as someone who has always had coffee (and everything else) made for him, they will also see him being out of touch with the real world.

  31. Iirc, AW had a post some time ago on perceptions about David Cameron being much closer to the centre, in contrast to his party. But that was before the 2010 general election.

    Since then, the perception has moved to him being right of centre, more in line with his party.

    The fact remains that the large intake of new MPs in 2010 has shifted the balance of Tory party further right, continuing a decade long bias towards Thatcherite, eurosceptic candidates in the selection process.

    In previous general elections UKIP has been content to act in a manner akin to a pressure group, with their policy of standing down candidates when an avowed eurosceptic Tory is on the ballot.

  32. Anthony. Why is YG showing such huge swings in daily polling?

  33. tingedfringe

    Has anybody been tracking the question of ‘What sort of government would you prefer?’?
    I can’t find a tracker for it on the YouGov website..

    If it’s the If you had to choose, which of the following options would be best for Britain? question you want, it’s hidden away under Approval:

    http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/ddl8vhwtuy/YG-Archives-Pol-Trackers-Approval-060912.pdf#page=19

    (Though I’ve a feeling it used to have its own file). YouGov seems to have the same problem as you as they forgot to update it with the 21-22 August data (though they have with today’s)

  34. OECD now predicting a retraction in the UK economy of -0.7% during 2012. They previous predicted growth of 0.5%

    Has anyone noticed that the crisis in the Eurozone has gone quiet recently. Is this good or bad news ?

  35. Polling Day is beginning to creep on us – no more tha 2 years and 8 months left now.I find it striking that we are at least as close to the next election as to the beginning of January 2010! It seems such a short time ago.

  36. @Oldnat

    “Outbreak of political unity in Scotland!”

    Isn’t it saddening that ‘unity’ in politics is either for restricting the people to ‘make the people safe’, or giving themselves a wage increase?

    I fully agree that the limit should be 50ml rather than 80ml, since I am a proponent of 35ml. 50ml is close enough.

    @ All

    Strange poll. London and Scotland’s cross breaks are very small, and the weightings on the last page look very odd.

    More yoyos today then.

  37. Jim Jam

    In think is is unlikely that the cons would have a strategy of shifting rightwards to leave space for the LDs to differentiate with the idea the (LDs) can take votes off Labour.
    The Cons need Centre Right votes to win an OM and DC knows this. The prospect of a Lab win (or taking most seats) could well as CL reguarly postulates shift some Anti Lab LDs to Cons particularly in marginal seats, tack too far right and this is less likely.
    ____________________________________________________

    Sure, I don’t think Cammers would be all that keen on shifting much to the right in practice. He’s already gone pretty far to the right as it is. And what a good number of the UKIPers want – significant action on EU and immigration – he’s unlikely to be able to deliver. So to some extent it may be a sop.

    The problem remains though, that if he DOES now try and move to the centre, not only does he risk losing votes to UKIP, but he is more in competition with LDs as well as Labour than before with LD having shifted rightwards.

    In other words, moving to the centre isn’t an automatic panacea, and Cameron’e electoral fortunes are rather bound up with the Lib Dems, as has been true ever since the rise of the SDP…

  38. Mmmm-looks like Ed might be having secret talks with IDS before long :-)

    http://www.politicshome.com/uk/story/29160/

  39. Today’s YG back to normal. Well a bit the other way actually, Paul Croft has his 45. he doesn’t have his Con 30 though, does he?

    As I wrote yesterday, one needs three or four polls, plus a few other pollsters to confirm trends before jumping around, as Jim Jam pointed out.

    Can we remember when we would be lucky to get a poll more than once per fortnight? What did colleagues find to discuss? Oh, I know, we all argued with Roland about being brave, butch, and such.

    Ah now, butch, there it is again!

  40. I’ve always held the view that DC is very right-wing in ideology but deliberately crafted a centrist position for presentational purposes.

    The shift right (or change in presentation, if any) is surely atttributable to shoring up the right wing vote (social security, work, immigration, to name a few issues that are ‘popular’ with some voters).

    I think DC will be much more comfortable displaying his real ideology.
    Whether this will achieve an improved Con performance at the next GE remains to be seem.

    Re the ‘butch’ comment…I’m presuming this was scripted. I recall reading two or three months ago that No 10 and DC were seeking some line of attack to discomfort and discombobulate EM (I paraphrase!). Is this it? Have focus groups indicated that they view EM was ‘weak’ and/or effete?

    When a person resorts to insults they are surely at risk of being seen as losing or having lost the argument.

    So, it’s either despreation / anger from DC, or some strategy derived from focus groups?

    Just discovered Lord Ashcroft has a place in the Privy Council. Clearly a peace offering from DC, to get him onboard for the next GE?

    ((Hopefully typo free))

  41. No sooner had I hit submit than I noticed the typos….

  42. Carfrew wrote snipped
    ‘what a good number of the UKIPers want – significant action on EU and immigration – he’s unlikely to be able to deliver’.

    Indeed, DC is confined to gestures (by the Agreement) but such a gesture did give the poll Bounce last December. I confidently predict that in the run up to 2015 GE there will be another gesture and a few also on immigration. There always are such soundbites then and there may be a few from Labour too (still cringing over Mrs Duffy). I’ve noticed not a few wobbles from (e.g.) Cable on the EU and Euro.

  43. @ Colin

    I really don’t see much difference between New Labour and centre right Tories. If there is a difference it is marginal. So if people vote, they will essentially be voting on who they trust to be most competent.

    I am not sure the parties really know what the economic/political debate will be in 2015. If they were being really honest, they are making it up as they go along, without any idea whether policies would work or not. This is the same in virtually all the old western economies, while the emerging economies are doing really well. Example Phillippines airlines has just signed a £5bn deal with Airbus, as they are experiencing a 16% per annum increase in passenger numbers.

    What the UK needs to do, is invest in high tech and science, but keep the jobs in the UK. Don’t allow the jobs to moved to Asia, as they will just grab the technology and you could then lose market years down the line, as they manufacture similar products under different branding. This is why China has done so well. Western businesses have given them the technology and funding to build factories, to use their cheaper labour. The Chinese are now producing pretty much the same products, but under different branding at a cheaper cost.

  44. Re: “Coffeegate”

    It’s hardly a giant blow… But it does play into the perceptions of Cameron as someone from the Lofty Upper Classes who still have servants. It also pretty much opened him up to a new round of allusions to Eton. (I’m going to guess that the F word, even in referral to the traditional under-classman errand boy role, would go into moderation.) In a year, people probably won’t remember it, but it will have added on to their general perception of him.

    I really don’t understand how someone who worked in PR can go on to do things like this. It’s rather like watching someone who you know has experience of poker, consistently play unsuited Ace-Three hands.

  45. I’ve just had a mate on the phone frothing at the mouth at having “that tea lef Laws” in his Department. Which made me think.

    Personally I was disgusted that Hunt wasn’t sacked and that Laws is back in cabinet. But how widespread is that? I seem to remember polling showing that 2/3rds wanted Hunt out. But now he is in health instead…could that feed into voting intention? Or is it just mood music for partisans, and hardly anybody else cares?

    Maybe tonight’s YouGov might suddenly see a widening gap?

  46. jayblanc

    the “not very butch” could work either way. Maybe it will stick in people’s mind the image of a non-butch Ed making the coffee…but then how many people thought he was butch anyway? Or it may play against Cam as you say.

    Or it might be forgotten almost immediately.

  47. I think the Hunt was rewarded for ‘supporting’ DC during Leveson and holding to the ‘line’.

  48. mike n

    That may be true…but what will voters think? I know what I think, and if most people feel the same Con ratings will fall off the cliff, but I suspect not everybody was as disgusted as me.

    I still think it is an egregious booboo though.

  49. R Huckle

    Thanks……………is EM’s Labour still New Labour then?

    I thought Ed said that was history-moved on etc.

    I agree that voters will be confused-but not until EdnEd actually say what their policies are.

    Then there will be fun. :-)

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