This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 31%, LAB 43%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 11%. The poll suggests an increase in UKIP support on the back of the EU summit, the child fostering row and the coverage of Michael Fabricant’s calls for a Con-UKIP pact. YouGov has occassionally shown UKIP ahead of the Lib Dems in the past, but their support in YouGov polls over the last month has typically been at around 7% or 8%. 11% is the highest they have shown them to date.

On the subject of the UKIP fostering row, YouGov also asked some more detailed questions about fostering children. 50% of respondents thought that people with extreme political views should not usually (32%), or never (18%) be allowed to foster children.

However, this was clearly not thought to apply to UKIP. Asked if people who were members of several named political parties should be allowed to foster children only 4% of people thought that UKIP members shouldn’t be able to foster (55% said there was nothing wrong at all with it, 27% said they disliked UKIP’s views but it shouldn’t be a block to their members fostering children). Figures were very similar for the Respect party, with 4% saying a Respect party member should not be allowed to foster children.

In comparison 36% of people said that members of the BNP should not be allowed to foster children (and only 18% said there was nothing wrong with a BNP member being a foster parent). As a control YouGov asked about the three main parties too – the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats. Only 1% of people said that their party members should not be able to foster children.

Yesterday we also had the weekly TNS BMRB poll. Topline figures are CON 31% (nc), LAB 41% (+2), LDEM 8%(-3), UKIP 8%(+1), OTHER 10%(-1).

Finally I’ve been meaning to write something about Leveson and polling on press regulation for a week or so, but have been distracted by gay marriage, UKIP and so on. Luckily Peter Kellner has done it for me here.

435 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 31, LAB 43, LD 9, UKIP 11”

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  1. @ Billy Bob

    Ventura County also finished counting today and finally certified its results too. Not as interesting a race but here are the final numbers:

    Strickland, Tony, the Conservative Party candidate (Republican): 122,334 votes (47.2%)

    Brownley, Julia, the Labour Party candidate (Democrat): 136,998 votes (52.8%).

    And I hereby declare that Julia Brownley has been duly elected to serve said constituency. Would have never thought in a million years that she would get a lower share of the vote (by a tenth of a percentage point) than Raul Ruiz.

  2. hmmm

    Not a bad night for Lab. They haven’t exactlt stormed the barricades, but I think the Eds will be happy enough to see Tories not only voting UKIP, but possibly even choosing to vote UKIP tactically as they think they might have more chance of winning.

    Whether these circumstances are unique or not remains to be seen. But a rise in UKIP support seems to me both bad news for Con (for obvious reasons) and bad news for LD (a new home for the none of the above protest vote?).

  3. YouGov –
    Con 32, Lab 42, Lib 10, UKIP 10
    Are Labour ever going to be shifted from 42+-2?

    Rotherham result is pretty dreadful for the Conservatives – behind the BNP is going to make good headlines.
    But overall a pretty good night for UKIP and Labour.

    UKIP really get to use this as a good PR move and I’m sure the press are really going to hammer this over the next few days – so we’ll have to see if there’s going to be a UKIP bounce.

  4. “behind the BNP is going to make good headlines.”
    Should read “not going to make good headlines” – it’ll only make good headlines for newspaper editors.

    And the big question for UKIP/Cons now is – what happens if the “Vote UKIP, Get Labour” argument fails? In the same way that LibDem voters have generally been aware that splitting the vote has let in the Tories – but they’ve voted LibDem anyway.

  5. I think this illustrates the Con-LD problem. They are behaving like the oppostion when it comes to electioms, basically their whole campaign is an anti-Labour one.

    The problem is that last time out (2010) as few people voted Lab as will ever do so. There just aren’t that many 2010 Lab voters for Con or LD to win, and the evidence is that anti-Government votes will go to Lab mostly, and even if they don’t they ain’t gonna vote Tory or LD.

    So to win, Tory need to enthuse the non-voter, woo the next generation, strike up a big idea. But they are in Government and they failed to get enough on their bandwagon in 2010.

    I know I’ve daid it before, but as far as I can see the only way that Lab can fail to win the next election is if they commit suicide.

    Not that that is impossible. But so far it looks unlikely.

  6. Put it another way…

    there was a lot of commentary after 2010 about Lab being out of power for a generation, that they had lost the trust of the electorate, that they should aim for 2020 and prepare for a long period of opposition. It was the accepted wisdom of the commentariat. Like austerity, coalition was the only game in town. The two handsome suitors holding hands in the Rose Garden, it was like a rose garden.

    Then we had a spending review and all those anit-Tory Lib Dems switched to Lab and by-and-large they have stayed there.

    So here’s what people missed. Polling said that Lab had its heart in the right place and had lost its way.

    Basically people not only still tink that Labour are capable of Government, they also want them back in Government (not with great enthusiasm, admittedly) and worst of all for the Tories, people now not only expect Labour to win next tiem but they certainly don’t fear it. 1992 don’t apply because they know a Labour government isn’t a risk. More austerity looks more like a risk.

    I can’t see any tactic that will win the next election for the Tories except to magically transform the economy and England winning the World cup in Brazil with Cameron ans Captain and Osborne as manager.

    Not going to happen. Olympics are over. Boris is not even an MP.

    All over bar the shouting.

  7. “…it was like a rose gardene”

    doesn’t make sense, should have read, “it was like a Royal Wedding”.

  8. @NickP
    ” bad news for LD (a new home for the none of the above protest vote?”.)
    Good point. A boost for UKIP. A disastrous night for LD, coming 8th in Rotherham and losing their deposit. Is it time to lump their VI ratings in with ‘Others’ ?

  9. @ Amber Star

    “Shame about the low turnout. Labour % of vote increased in all 3 seats. Croydon North was a particularly good result for Labour.”

    Congrats. So now in all these by-elections, Labour has pretty much won everything haven’t they? All the seats having been vacated pretty much being Labour. Except for that one seat they lost to George Galloway. And then I think last week or two weeks ago, there was that other special election where Labour gained from the Tories.

    @ Old Nat

    “26% turnout in Middlesborough. :(”

    Yeah, that is pretty sucky. Though it feels like par for the course in local and municipal elections in my neck of the woods.

  10. @NickP,

    Complacent, much?

  11. neil a


    I can’t see the coaltion parties making any gains anywhere next time out. But as we’ve seen in Oldham & Saddleworth and Corby, where it’s close it’s going to go red.

    It’s not like I’m changing my tune on this, it’s just that the actual polling backs it up whenever there is any.

  12. Yes SoCalLiberal you are correct in every respect. It’s odd how so many vacancies have occurred during this parliament in Labour seats, and only the one in a Tory one (Corby).
    There’s supposed to be a by-election in Mid-Ulster, since Martin McGuinness is leaving his (not taken up) seat at Westminster to concentrate on his duties in the Northern Ireland Assembly. Does anyone know when it is likely to happen?

  13. @ Nick P

    “Not a bad night for Lab. They haven’t exactlt stormed the barricades, but I think the Eds will be happy enough to see Tories not only voting UKIP, but possibly even choosing to vote UKIP tactically as they think they might have more chance of winning.”

    Somehow I feel like that those UKIP voters will come back for the general election. They might vote tactically for the Tories too in certain seats.

  14. Some interesting results for the smaller parties:

    UKIP had a good night, and if they could only get their heads around a sensible electoral strategy (I.e. not just being a pressure group for the Tories) then they might be able to make a breakthrough.

    Respect are cementing their position as a one man band. Where George goes they can win, but without him they are nothing. They are really missing Salma Yaqoob as an alternative.

    LibDems have had a terrible night. I had wondered if Nick Clegg’s defiance of Cameron over Leveson would encourage their voters, but alas it appears not. It will be worth seeing if they gain anything in the polls over the next few weeks. At this rate they won’t be able to afford to stand candidates at the next election for fear of losing deposits.

  15. Leveson is pretty damning about Alex Salmond considering the way elsewhere he pussyfoots around the police and other politicians’ shenanigans.

    “Mr Salmond’s duty to promote the Scottish economy and Scottish jobs cannot sensibly be understood as requiring irrelevant submissions to be made to a quasi-judicial decision maker.

    The evidence does not go so far as to show either an express or an implied deal between Mr Salmond and James Murdoch trading newspaper support for assistance with the bid. What it did reveal was the way in which Mr Salmond was expressly seeking the support of The Sun in the same conversation as he was repeating an offer to assist with the bid. That occurred in the context of a relationship between Mr Salmond and News Corp which had been warming since 2007 and was continuing to do so.

    Mr Salmond’s readiness, when the subject was first raised in November 2010 and thereafter, to stand ready to assist News Corp is striking.

    I’d be interested to hear Oldnat’s views on this. Leveson being braver about more distant politicians, or is Salmond more culpable?

  16. @NickP,

    Well I suppose I should be grateful. Labour Party complacency is one of the scarce silver linings for the Tories at the moment.

    As for the “out of power for a generation” remark. That was Mervyn King, talking about “whoever wins the next (ie 2010) election”. Definitely a good one to lose. And I think a debt is probably owed to the likes of John Reid who warned against trying to cobble together a Labour-led coalition.

    As for 2015, well the odds have clearly shifted in favour of an outright win, but it is 2 1/2 years away and a lot can happen in that time. The Tories’ original timetable for recovery (ie strong economic growth by 2014) has been thoroughly overtaken by events but that doesn’t necessarily mean Labour can walk it. It will all depend on where the electorate really stand on austerity and economic policy. They tend to prefer Tory over Labour in elections where the economy is in crisis. Has Labour done enough to win that argument? Too early to tell.

  17. @ Ozwald

    ” Is it time to lump their VI ratings in with ‘Others’ ?”

    The most ridiculous partisan gloating. If a party can get 10% even in its darkest days, mid term and at a time when people’s living standards are under the most severe pressure in the post war period, then the answer is “no”.

  18. @Robert C

    I was about to post that I was a bit worried that this further set of disasterous LD by-election results might finally shake the LDs out of their willingness to put up with Clegg. I am a bit less worried after reading your post.

  19. @Robert C
    “If a party can get 10% even in its darkest days,” etc etc
    Since LD VI is regularly within single figures and they were beaten into 8th place ( securing fewer votes than the local vicar), then I expect that LD strategists will be less confident than you about their future. .

  20. I’m not the Labour Party, just one voter.

    Is it me that is complacent…or is it you? The figures seem to suggest that DESPITE not winning the argument over the economy. Lab is polling over 40% and Con is struggling to reach its 2010 mark.

    Which of us is not facing facts?

  21. By the way, Neil, if you want a real Tory silver lining, Mervyn King has a track record of being wrong about nearly everything, so I wouldn’t worry too much about his prediction, if I were you.

  22. I didn’t learn anything from lst night’s results but I am pleased for Nickp that he did. The YG poll and the two previous shew no benefit for any party following recent events. A more significant result is the poll not the by-election results. To get a breakthrough as a minor party, you really need to pull off major shocks as my party did in Orpington, for instance. Respect has numerically achieved that, but just the images of the cheering ethnic minority supporters tell that particular story to be a false dawn.

    If Respect could win a predominantly WASP seat, we would be in new territory.

  23. “The most ridiculous partisan gloating. If a party can get 10% even in its darkest days, mid term and at a time when people’s living standards are under the most severe pressure in the post war period, then the answer is “no”.”

    That’s not the case though. In Middlesbrough they managed 9%, but in the other two byes they go 2 and 3% respectively.

    That’s a cliff, and the days of 20%+ in the polls must seem a very long way away.

  24. The thing about the by-elections that surprised me the most last night was Lee Jasper getting absolutely creamed in Croydon North. After Bradford West, I was expecting a high-profile candidate to at least have a credible stab at pole position.

    Difficult to say what this tells us, but my suspicion is that it’s down to what happens when the voters have previous experience of a candidate. George Galloway had never served the people of Bradford West before (and there’s indication his popularity is falling now that he’s actually representing them). Lee Jasper, however, had served the people of Croydon North as part of Ken Livingstone’s administration. Clearly they didn’t have fond memories of him.

    Or it might have been down to Gorgeous George and his, shall I say, “unconventional” views on rape. Either way, this doesn’t bode well for Respect keeping any kind of foothold in UK politics.

  25. Nick p

    Mr king is purposely wrong about everything, its his job, OBR follows the central bankers code “when it gets serious, you lie” however in the wiki leaks documents he was right on the money

  26. I wonder how much the ukip vote was influenced by the foster parents kerfuffle. I think the press is taking the line that the ukip vote is a one off but is it really?

    When oh when will clegg go!!!!!!

  27. @RIN

    “When oh when will clegg go!!!!!!”

    It looks increasingly likely that we’re looking at a Friday in early May 2015.

  28. The sheep

    Doesn’t he understand that he has to die for our sins???

  29. howard

    What I “learnt” was that the LD and Tory vote collapsed in favour of UKIP in Rotherham and Middlesborough but that was nowhere near enough to challenge Labour.

  30. @SoCalLiberal – “… duly elected to serve said constituency”


    My thanks to the returning officer, election officials, the other candidates, and of course the police…

    I thought it may have been uploaded somewhere but sadly not. On November 7th the weather presenter for a Bedford local radio station launched into a great long riff – “People of Bedford we have been through a lot of difficult times together, it doesn’t matter if you are black or white, rich or poor , gay or staight, able or disabled, I have to tell you it is going to rain on you today… but I just know deep in my heart that we can get through this together etc, etc.”

    The news anchors were totally dumbfounded and eventually exploded into guffaws… to be honest the guy sounded more Bill Clinton than Barack Obama, but it was brilliantly done nonetheless.

  31. NickP
    But Nick, these were by-elections with poor (miserable) turnouts in ultra safe seats.. The number of voters extra who will turn out in 2015 GE in those constituencies form the largest party!

    The YG poll is representative and a good guide to the general picture. Surely the purpose of this site is to follow real measured opinion. The three by-election results are in the category of ‘I met a few blokes down the pub and…’

  32. But Howard, coming in 8th place is a real kick in the teeth. Do we really believe that the GE will be much different? It does look like the opinion polls are flattering for the lib dems, it could be that folk say lib dem out of habit but when they actually get in the polling booth…………….

  33. Conclusions from yesterday’s by-election results?

    – Poor turnouts, local factors and the multiplicity of fringe candidates make it difficult to read too much into these mid-term elections, but I think it’s safe to say that it’s steady as she goes for Labour, and further building blocks for Miliband as he tries to navigate a route back to power for his party. Only a curmudgeon seeking dark clouds from silver linings could argue that these weren’t pretty decent results for Labour.

    – The Tories and Lib Dems are deeply unpopular and leaking votes to UKIP, in the Tories case, and to Labour and abstention in the Lib Dems case. No tipping point yet, but worry beads aplenty as 2013 approaches and that fateful appointment with the electorate comes into view on May 2015. It’s still recoverable, but these are desperately poor results for the governing parties.

    – We can now see Galloway’s triumph in Bradford, seized on gleefully by the Tories at the time, as a complete one-off. Respect offer no plausible threat to Labour.

    – UKIP may, and I stress may, be becoming more than a single issue repository for protest votes. I sense a self confidence and a distinctive identity forming that could well provide a happy resting home for right wing and traditional Tory voters alienated by Cameroonism. It’s a lazy assumption that they’ll all return home in 2015 to prevent a Labour Government being elected. I really don’t think it’s that simple and straightforward anymore. Politics is changing fast and cosy old assumptions need to be laid to rest.

    – Some interesting new Labour MPs now join Miliband’s team. Two of them, apparently, are marked out for much bigger and greater things. The talent pool increases.

    No great triumph for Miliband last night, but worst case scenarios were avoided and he has a few more little reasons to be cheerful (Pat IV! lol)

  34. I wonder how much of the UKIP performance yesterday and their 8-10% is a protest vote, the votes that the LD’s used to get before they went into coalition. Perhaps if UKIP were a properly centre party we could compare the two, but I doubt things will ever come to that.

    Or just a case of government parties down, opposition up, aka normal mid-term unpopularity?

  35. The bad news for UKIP is that they got good results in two constituencies where it didn’t matter in the slightest who you voted for as Labour would win anyway. This meant it was easy to cast a protest vote for anyone you liked, safe in the knowledge there was no chance of letting in someone you didn’t like.

    It will be harder to repeat that at a general election, where you stand to lose a lot more from protest voting.

  36. I agree NICKP on this.

    I am more and more certain that the lib dems are going to be absolutely creamed at the next election.

    They’re have been 12 bi-elections this parliament – the lib dems have lost their deposit in 6 of them.

    This is not ‘mid term blues’ – they have been fundamentally deserted by a huge chunk of their former voters. Their poll rating plummeted to 10% within 6 months of the 2010 general election – and has stayed their ever since.

    In addition the idea that a ‘lib dem vote is a wasted vote’ will have even greater traction and they will struggle to fund a national campaign. I suspect UKIP will outspend them in 2015. Post 2015 the lib dems will cease to be a national party and will only be a force in a few regional strong holds.

    As some of is keep pointing out – these means that their is a strong argument that labour can adopt far less right wing policies – it will help keep the lib dem defectors and maybe attract back the many voters who became bitterly disillusioned with Nu-Labour tory-lite policies.

  37. We didn’t learn anything new about the Lib Dems last night that we didn’t already know. Where they are not defending seats they are likely to finish 3rd or lower. Where Labour are 1st or 2nd to the Tories former Lib Dem voters will mainly switch to Labour.

    Those predicting LIb Dem doom though need to have a certain caution concerning the seats they already hold. We really do not have any data on how tactical Lib Dem voters and people who had Lib Dem as their first preference will vote in those seats next time. Some of the local elections show they can still get councillors elected even if they are losing a lot. Also if the UKIP vote keeps up then Lib Dem lost votes may also be offset by Tory lost votes.

    Just one poll in sitting Lib Dem constituencies is all we need to tell us the answers- where is Lord Ashcroft when you need him?

  38. Howard….

    All the problems facing the LDs were predicted by many who posted on LDV in 2010 shortly before, during and after the GE, it’s all there in the archives unless they have been removed…

    I can remember most of the comments towards these people who voted for LDs and then were criticised for their opinions, which have turned out to be fairly accurate so far, the only prediction that has not happened is the predicted LD low of 6%. (That was mine by the way).

    The problem is still there, heads in the sand, rear ends in the air, we are right and those who voted for us are wrong, enlightenment will come to the masses because we know we are right…

    I still drop into LDV just to see if anything has changed, if anyone has faced reality yet… nope
    No I am not gloating I feel a weird kind of sympathy……well let’s leave that there…

  39. The failure to get any kind of electoral reform or an elected house of lords means that 40 years of careful build up has been thrown away in one parliamentary term. Even an ineffective but PR elected HoL would have given the libdems a reasonable chance of a quick rebound but without that a further 80 years in the wilderness is inevitable, if the party doesn’t die altogether

  40. @SHEVII

    There was a local by-election in one of the wards in Simon Hughes’ constituency, Bermondsey and Old Southwark, last night. The ward in question, East Walworth, is Labour’s strongest in that seat and while they did hold on, the Tory vote collapsed to allow the LDs to come within 250 votes to Labour. If that is also seen in the 2014 locals there and in other London LD targets like Brent Central and Hormsey & Wood Green, then Labour are going to have a tough time gaining those seats at the next GE.

  41. Is it only us that are interested in by-election results there’s seems to be a complete lack of interest from the media, it was tucked at the end of the BBC news this morning with no detail, maybe their so taken up with Leveson, or maybe because there was no real upset’s and the usual low turn out, there not that bothered.
    Maybe if UKIP had won there might have been a bit more interest.
    It’s sad to see that Politic’s and Politician’s generate such a lack of interest unless there’s an element of conflict ,corruption or salacious scandal which is a pity as there’s some good work done on all sides of the house.

  42. Think I agree with Sevii here.

    Out of the 12 by-elections so far, only one of them was one where the Lib Dems had a chance of winning. The remainder were either Con/Lab battleground with Lib Dems out the running or safe Labour seats where any opposition party would walk it mid-term.

    The votes that matter are where Lib Dems are defending actual seats, which is mainly Lib/Con battlegrounds. So far, we haven’t had any by-elections to try this out. However, the 2012 local elections weren’t too bad. They took a hammering in Labour-leaning areas (where they’re generally not defending seats anyway), but against Conservative opponents they held up reasonably well. And, crucially, they managed to stem the flow of votes from Lib Dems to Tories which was a problem in the 2011 election (when people still hadn’t quite worked out the illogicality of blaming the Lib Dems over the Tories for Tory policies).

    Trouble with you lot is you’re putting your blind faith in the pundits, the same pundits who were predicting in 2009 an imminent massacre of Labour. Listen to the nerds. They always have the last laugh.

  43. I don’t see that anything I posted this morning disputes that, as things stand, the LDs will be ‘creamed’.

    At 10% (YouGov) the LDs will be creamed. What has that got to do with by-election results in safe Labour seats being no guide to the general trend?

    I think some people do not read posts but just assume they say something on the basis of the background colour.

  44. Oldham & Saddleworth, I say to you OLDHAM & SADDLEWORTH!!!!

    Yeah Lib Dems will do better in Con/LD marginals especially if UKIP sap Tory votes. But enough to get more than a rump of seats?

  45. “At 10% (YouGov) the LDs will be creamed.”

    Depends what you mean by “creamed” or “rump of seats”. At 10%, assuming a uniform swing, they get 22 seats. Not great, but the LDs have recovered from worse more quickly than you think.

    If it’s not a uniform swing, and instead it’s weighted towards labour-leaning areas (where the Lib Dems are defending only a minority of their seats), they will probably hold more than 22, even with just 10% of the vote.

    The only disaster scenario I can see is if the General Election translates to a proportional swing instead of a uniform swing. I’ll have a proper look at some point, but my initial thought is that this would be very bad news.

  46. NickP You have just proved everything I said about people not reading posts. I don’t know whether I should feel justified or exasperated.

    Try this. I agree that as things stand the Lib Dems are heading in the direction of a taxi load or two of members in 2015. This view is based on the polling facts, not by election results in safe Labour seats.


  47. @ Akmd

    Thanks for the info. It’s only snippets like this that form a picture. I used to live in Ed Davey’s constituency so keep an eye on locals there. There have been two wards- one strong Tory ward which the Lib Dems never targetted and they improved their percentage vote there, presumably simply because they did some work there in a by-election where they have time on their hands to do some canvassing. In another ward which was strong Lib Dem they and a large student population the Lib Dems very nearly lost it to the Tories with a big increase in the Labour vote. So very unclear what the outcome for Ed Davey is going to be.

    To be honest I tend to agree with Nickp that the Lib Dems will suffer but very little hard evidence to confirm that. However Oldham & Saddleworth was a by election where people deserted the Lib Dems because they had Labour to go to plus add on the protest vote and that doesn’t necessarily tell the picture for sitting Lib Dem Mps.

  48. howard

    don’t be touchy. We are agreeing.

    If we disagreed at all, it was only on what we could learn from last night’s results. I thought they showed that UKIP could damage both Con and LD, and probably will, while Labour (not being in power) is relatively unscathed.

    Even if you already knew that, it’s nice to have some actual results to confirm it.

  49. @CROSSBAT11

    I think that is a very fair summary of the state of the parties at the moment. I still think the next election depends on the state of the economy in 2014 & early 2015 but Labour will be happy so far especially as the YouGov polls seem to have settled at 10% +.

  50. It will be interesting to see if these results and the currently relatively high profile for UKIP starts to seep into the “Wisdom Index” (WI).

    That would perhaps be the first indication of a real sea change in attitudes.

    The WI measures not how people will vote but how they think others will, so it could wel help to settle who is right about the real level of LibDem support, YouGov or ICM.

    For what it is worth, I think the WI will gradually show the the LibDems slipping lower as the election approaches.


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