This morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 39%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 11%. The four point Labour lead follows a lead of seven points yesterday and three points on Monday. Normal caveats apply about taking a single poll out of context – a four point lead is clearly towards the lower end of YouGov’s current range – but the underlying average does appear to be falling. Full tabs are here.

While I’m here, I’m seen comments on twitter getting excited/concerned about today’s poll showing the Conservatives ahead amongst under 25s. This is something I wrote about last month. The brief version is that age cross breaks are only small so have large margins of error, especially for under 25s which tends to be the smallest age group with the largest proportion of don’t knows or wouldn’t votes. This means figures for under 25s are extremely volatile, and will swing about wildly from day to day. Taking just one unusual looking one is extremely misleading! Looking at the trend in YouGov’s recent polls it is very clear that, on average, Labour still enjoy a solid lead amongst under 25s.

225 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 35, LAB 39, LD 8, UKIP 11”

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  1. Bill the very latest poll on Scottish independence was conducted amongst the under 18’s as this referendum allows those over 16 to vote.

    The opinion poll of Scottish teenagers suggests that under-18s will heavily reject independence in next year’s referendum, after only 21% of those surveyed supported leaving the UK.

    The poll is the first major study of likely voting intentions among Scottish 14 to 17-year-olds, some 16 months before more than 120,000 16 and 17-year-olds will be given a vote for the first time in next year’s independence referendum.

    The study, overseen by academics at Edinburgh University for the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) found that 60% of the 1,018 teenagers surveyed believed that Scotland should stay in the UK, with 19% undecided.
    -Clearly they were on another street too.

    Maybe you are in an alternative reality Scotland?

  2. @crossBat,

    Have a nice trip! I’ve always wanted to visit Aussie. 4 weeks sounds awesome.

  3. @ Dave and @ on gaps closing or not

    Dave, thanks, it makes a lot of sense to me.

    I looked volatility (not true ones, but simplified ones) since March.

    While it may appear that Labour is stable in the high 30s, actually it became more volatile since the 3rd of July and has roughly the same value as the Conservatives (where the assumption is that they are creeping up). This increase happened in the Tory figures a week earlier.

    While it is true that the Conservative voting intention is more volatile than Labour’s: notable period since mid-March are: 9th April 18-19th of April and 7th till the 13th of May. The first one is not matched by a similar change in Labour vote volatility, but the second, although at a smaller scale is. The first one is “probably” related to the budget and the second one to the local elections.

    However, Labour also has unmatched (by the Conservatives) volatility – 28-29th of May to 3rd of June and June 26 to July 4).

    The point is, however, that the Labour VI figures are currently almost as volatile as Conservatives and therefore could be an indication of a possible overestimation of the stickiness of Labour vote.

    **** Please note, the “high Labour volatility” is about 5% of the VI (this is roughly the current for both parties) and the highest Tory volatility since mid March was about 6%.

  4. One of the problems with the referendum campaign is salience. Talking to people about it the most clear thing to come across is just how uninformed and un engaged the general public are.

    Right now despite the media in Scotland talking about nothing else and two very active campaigns most Scots aren’t really talking about it.

    As Anthony has repeatedly pointed out, asking people how they would vote if there was an election tomorrow is limited by the fact that there isn’t going to be.

    I don’t actually think that Scots will fully engage till after the Euros in June and the Commonwealth Games in the summer.

    As to how it will go, the Yes camp needs to hope to close the gap to within 10% with more than that undecided by next June for it to be game on.

    When you do talk to people you tend to get string of questions and by and large if you give straight honest answers and ask them what they think they really seem quite open to the idea.

    Some people are strongly anti of course but most just want their questions answered. We really are in the phoney war period right now.


  5. As to Labours “Real” lead isn’t it more likely to be the holiday effect. Pollsters tend to avoid polling at bank holidays and I suspect there is a similar if smaller effects during the summer.

    I’d put the recent movements down to summer sample volatility and the silly season more than anything else.


  6. Once my holiday is over, I WILL (against my better considerations) recalculate the headline figures by accounting for the don’t knows and won’t vote, because these volatility figures (I mentioned in the previous post) reinforces my suspicion that the headline figures cannot be derived from simply the movement of them.

    @ Anthony Wells

    I understand that the headline figures are statistically valid. Is it the same for DKs (i.e. are they also meant to be within MoE)? Otherwise I won’t bother.

  7. @RiN

    Clegg was ineffectual in the debates he only managed to increase the lib dem vote by 0.5%

    Not how I remember things:

    Clegg was very effectual in the deabtes, as the polls were greatly affected (and were a bit off in predicting the results). The election results were less affected. The point I make is that Clegg shored up the results that would have otherwise went Con. Looking at that graph, you can see how the Con VI falls from 37% to 34% then rises to 36%.

    I suggest that without Cleggmania the Con VI would have gone from 37% to 39-40% or more on the debates. LD VI would have been 19-21% (in essence, closer to the March polls in that graph).

    A 3% swing from Con to LD would have given the Conservatives 325 (I think, based on some crude calcs). Certainly close enough for a DUP coalition.

    My memory of the election was that GB was sunk after the bigotgate affair, and that things such as the 50% PAYE band was smoke and mirrors. I guess that many Lab voters became DK, rather than another party.

    Then move forward to the boundary commission, and then on to 2015. Clegg fairly messed up the Conservatives’ plans. :)

  8. @ Statgeek

    Labour started to pick up support in the very last few days of the campaign (Brown started to speak freely, but probably also a reservation towards a Conservative government).

  9. @Roger

    I did some calcs and came out with Cons at 325 (+18) for the 3% swing. Prior to the calcs, I had it around 25 in my head (OM of about 5-10).

    Not sure that ‘the seats would have stayed the same’. Nothing ever does (with the exception of the 2010 election in Scotland – indeed, the 3% swing would not have affected that either!).


  10. The word on the streets according to *BT & UWL is that Scottish independence activists are becoming more strident (possibly because they are well behind in all the polls which aren’t self-selecting).

    Amongst the “no” camp, Tories & Libdems are concerned that the “yes” vote might make a late surge. Labour, having considered the demographics of potential “yes” voters think it is unlikely. In the past, Labour have been shown to have huge support amongst the potential “yes” demographic but they either weren’t registered to vote or didn’t turn out on the day – so perhaps Labour activists are being a tad cynical.

    That said, Labour activists may be cynical but they are certainly not complacent & are doing by far the highest volume of “no” campaigning.

    * BT = Better Together; UWL = United With Labour.

  11. I suspect that without the debates we would have ended up in 2010 with a national vote share of the orfer of Con 40 – Lab – 32 -LD18.. Tories probably would have managed 315 – 320 – Labour 260 – 265 – LD 40 – 45.

  12. order!

  13. @Bill

    I’d like to see those opinion polls. The SNP’s own site has the following (I assume they would be delighted to put a poll with your claims on their site):

    h ttp://

    Lord Ashcroft poll. SNP article date is March. Fieldwork done in January.

    Note the devil in the detail:

    “The Westminster voting intention figures in the 11 Scottish Lib Dem seats (with the 2010 figures in those seats in brackets) is SNP 31% (+16%) : Lab 26% (+6%) : LD 20% (-21%) : Con 16% (-5%): Other 7% (+4%).”

    Overall though:

    Lab 47%
    SNP 30%
    Con 14%
    Lib 5%

    …but that’s six months ago.

  14. On recent national polls, I again note that the increase in VI for Tory is almost entirely in RoS. I suppose the question is whether the Lib Dem seats in RoS hold up. In North, Labour on 50%. Given that the cuts have fallen most heavily on local authorities, and that those cuts have been most in the north and Labour seats, this is probably not surprising. (Haringey cuts of £271 per head, Tory-run Richmond £39 per head).

  15. Populus poll with changes from last week

    Lab 39 (nc)
    Cons 32 (nc)
    LD 11 (-1)
    UKIP 10 (+1)


  16. Statgeek

    I did some calcs and came out with Cons at 325 (+18) for the 3% swing. Prior to the calcs, I had it around 25 in my head (OM of about 5-10).

    But presumably that’s assuming uniform swing. If those ‘tactical Tories’ were mostly in safe Labour-held seats it would make less difference. There may be some evidence in the BES or elsewhere, but at only 2% or less of the electorate it could be a difficult group to analyse.

    RiN is right though that it makes Clegg’s 2010 performance even less impressive.

    As far as the strange prognostications about the referendum result, I can only assume that some people are taking the latest poll which was the panelbase one in May:

    and showed Yes 36%/No 44%, a better result than most previous. Presumably they are then drawing a line through this and projecting that it will be Yes 2000% or whatever come September 2014.

  17. Graham – kind of thing I was suggesting probably not enough for con OM but enough to justify governing as minority, maybe Unionists could have had some fun?

  18. @Peter Cairns
    The problem with what you describe is that it only benefits the “No” side.

    In most referendums, the “status quo” tends to win, and with most people un-enthused by independence, if these people vote, it will be for No.

    Yes can only hope that there is a low turnout (ie most of those who are unenthusiastic and currently saying they will vote No dont bother to turn out).

    If the SNP want to win the referendum, they really need to make a better case. If they fully utilised the current powers, and demostrated that they wernt enough, then they would have a much more powerful case to make. If they actually gave a direction to where they wanted to go with an independent Scotland, rather than trying to be all things to all people, they could win many over to their cause. Triangulation only really works in elections – and then only for so long.

  19. Statgeek

    For all,the hullabaloo about Clegg mania, it’s still a fact that compared to Charles Kennedy in 2005 Clegg only added.a few votes and lost 5 seats, was there talk of Charlie mania in 05? Clegg should have done much much better, the media were more sympathetic to him and he even had a newspaper declare for him plus he had his secret weapon of Vince cable who was the most trusted man on the economy and was the most popular choice for chancellor. I think is worth asking, could the lib dems have done better on 2010 with a different leader, I think the answer is yes

  20. John,

    “If they actually gave a direction to where they wanted to go with an independent Scotland, rather than trying to be all things to all people, they could win many over to their cause.”

    That is the exact opposite of what they need to do. It is about you can go where you like in a way you can’t now rather than you will go the way we want.

    Firstly although with four times the support of the other “yes” parties the SNP dominates the debate, it is a cross party and indeed non party political campaign.

    The objective isn’t to get people to vote for any one party’s vision of Independence but to get people to take control of their future and shape it for themselves.

    It would also play into the “No” campaigns hands.

    They want to make it about the SNP and Alex Salmond in particular to get out their own supporters. As the “No” parties have between them at Holyrood 60% of the vote making it a vote against the SNP and Salmond is what they want to do.

    A lot of Tory and Labour voters who didn’t particularly like FPTP or were ambivalent about electoral reform voted “No” to give Clegg a kicking. The Tories in particular did a good job of making it Clegg’s proposal and getting their vote out to hurt their coalition partner.

    I suspect a fair number of Labour tactical voters who felt betrayed by the coalition saw the AV referendum as pay back time for the coalition.

    A regular on the doorsteps is I am not voting for Salmond from committed Labour voters. Once you say that post Independence they can have a Labour government if they want, they immediately stop being negative and start to talk about the issues.

    All referendums are a balance between the merits of the proposal and the proposer and if you can make it about the proposer and make them unpopular you can defeat their proposal.

    That’s why Blair Jenkins is leading the “Yes” campaign and Nicola Surgeon the
    Governments campaign and not Alex Salmond.

    And if you are a betting person you might consider putting a few quid on the Moses Option!


  21. Peter

    When you do talk to people you tend to get string of questions and by and large if you give straight honest answers and ask them what they think they really seem quite open to the idea.

    In the words of a famous song

    And when you tell them how wonderful thing will be. they’ll never believe you.they’ll never believe you.

  22. @ John Ruddy

    Yes can only hope that there is a low turnout (ie most of those who are unenthusiastic and currently saying they will vote No don’t bother to turn out).
    The “no” camp has the voting demographics on their side, tho’. It’s the “yes” camp which have appeal for the voters within the demographic which have enthusiasm for change but aren’t registered to vote or don’t turn out.

  23. And – New thread!

  24. @all

    Quick question: are populus doing regular weekly polls now?


  25. @Peter Cairns
    No, the problem is with the all-things to all-people strategy. It allows the other side to run rings around you claiming you are being contradictory.

    As for telling people they can have a Labour Government after independence if they want to – they can have one now – but they havnt chosen to. Independence is not a route to having a Labour Government – in fact quite the opposite, at least at first, as Labour (and the other parties on the loosing side) will be dented.

    That doesnt mean that some of the other left-wing/socialist parties wont pick up seats post-independence, but their impact will be minimal. I think I can safely guarantee another SNP majority government in 2016 if Scotland votes Yes. I would also say its a safe bet for a SNP Government in 2021 (albeit maybe another minority one, or in coalition with Greens/Socialists). The Better Together parties will be out of contention for a generation, or more, until enough people have forgotten what side they were on – assuming the SNP dont keep reminding people!!

    In the AV referendum, I think its safe to say that no one “got their vote out” – turnout was very poor – except in places where there were other elections. Yet despite that, the result in Scotland was very, very similar to that in say London.

    The outcome of the referendum will be based on persuading those Labour voters – and to do that you need a coherent vision of a progressive Scotland. You wont do that by being all-things to all-people, or using the “its a cross party , indeed no-party group” excuse. You need to give people a reason to vote for it, and saying that they can vote for the party they beleive in wont cut it – they can do that now!

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