Tom Newton Dunn at the Sun has just tweeted out tomorrow morning’s YouGov figures for the Sun. Topline voting intention figures are CON 36%, LAB 36%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 12%.

It’s the first time that the Conservatives have caught Labour in a YouGov poll since March 2012 (during that period between Cameron’s European “veto” and the omnishambles budget), although ICM also had a poll showing them neck-and-neck a few months back.

I will obviously add all my usual caveats about any unusual poll – sure, it could be that the Tories have actually caught up with Labour after a couple of polls showing the lead down to three or four points… but just as likely that it’s just a bit of an outlier. It’s the trend that counts, so keep an eye over the next few days to see if there are more very small (or absent) Labour leads…

283 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 36, LAB 36, LD 10, UKIP 12”

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  1. Also, Keynesianism isn’t particularly left wing, indeed Keynes is often regarded as having saved capitalism after it had rather taken a hit following the Wall Street Crash.

    There’s nothing stopping right wing governments using Keynesian principles and they do at times, even the Tories in this government with their various measures to stoke demand, most notably in housing.

    Basically Keynes realised that if for some reason that consumers are unable to spend or are fearful of it, then this lack of demand means that private sector business is liable to also spend or invest less, having knock-on effects to other businesses.

    Or, as in the crash, the private sector is unable or unwilling to invest because banking is screwed up. Either way, you get less economic activity, which can then persist because less activity results in further loss of consequence.

    Keynes then advocates that the government step in to inject demand and get things moving again, encouraging business to be more active, whereupon the government can scale back as confidence and demand return to the private sector, and consequently growth etc.

    That’s all it is really. It’s the government stepping in to support the private sector when it’s stuck in a liquidity trap.

    But it can be conflated with left-wingery because some of the ways you can inject demand also happen to serve other purposes, eg welfare provision, public services, state industry etc.

  2. further loss of “confidence”, not “consequence”…

  3. NEIL A

    Experience of 3 member wards under STV gives a huge advantage to the 2 biggest parties, squeezes the 3rd party and (by definition) cuts out anyone else.

    In some places, geography means that you compromise proportionality in more rural areas, but the larger the number of members, the greater chance of getting results which can be described as PR, as well as a system called that.

  4. This poll was so interesting that there were nearly half a dozen comments about it in just two pages.

    Anyway, this poll isn’t THAT out of line with the other Yougov polls. If it’s an outlier, it’s a mild outlier. We’ve seen Labour at 37/38% a lot with Yougov and the Tories at 33/34%, so it would only take a slight shift for them to be neck-and-neck.

    Currently it still looks unlikely that the Tories can win the next election but also somewhat more unlikely that Labour will win it either.

    One thing that this does suggest is that we’ll see even more bogus reporting on swings in polls than normal during conference season!

  5. Times headline should be:

    “Parties REALLY neck and neck in latest poll.”

  6. Well this raises the pressure on Miliband to deliver again now, after the marginals poll seemed to land him in the clear.

    The knives from the old guard are definitely out for him, they continue to publicly speak out:

    “I sometimes worry that our policy review resembles a pregnant panda – it’s been a very long time in the making and no one’s quite sure if there’s anything in there anyway”
    Jacqui Smith 17 Sept

    Along with Darling, Blunkett, Prescott and more

    The fact that so many senior members are so prepared to speak out publicly does beg the question – are things really that bad? Labour supporters keep speculating that they are just keeping the powder dry, and you don’t announce your policies this far in advance of a general election. But what if there really are no policies?

  7. Although this poll seems to clearly be an outlier:

    Tom Newton Dunn [email protected] 5h
    …YouGov/Sun: Tories and Labour also level pegging on female vote – tied on 34% each. Cameron’s female problem going, or Ed’s

    Tom Newton Dunn [email protected] 5h
    …YouGov/Sun: Tories have a two point lead among 18-24 year olds; Cons 34%, Lab 32%. Generation Y hurt most by debt crisis.

    We know both of those are clearly wrong. Tories have consistently been behind with both females and the young in polls across all companies.

    Page 10 here shows it quite nicely:

    You don’t make up a 20 to 30 point gap like that in one day with a free school meals policy.

    Or do you? Would be quite funny if the LD’s flagship policy turned around the fortunes of the Tories!

  8. While I think that the Conservative VI is increasing a bit, this really does feel like an outlier.

    I can’t see anything that that has happened in a few weeks that has dropped the Labour lead of 5,6 or 7 to zero.

    Labour’s reluctance to offer more policies hasn’t changed in that time, and I don’t think anything has occurred that would the Conservatives a significant boost either.

  9. Perfectly explainable under MOE and when you dig down and look at the details it does feel like an outlier.

    However, the political impact at the half way point of the Tory conference will be real. The Tories will feel like their policy announcement on free school dinners has worked, Labour worriers will apply yet more pressure on Ed in their aim to have him replaced by (insert Blairite name here), and the LibDems will keep focused on a hung parliament. A poor showing by Ed, or loud mutterings by the usual splitters will make life very interesting, even if tomorrows poll does show a +6 again….

  10. “Iran’s new President Hassan Rouhani has said that his country would never build nuclear weapons.
    Mr Rouhani also told US broadcaster NBC he had full authority to negotiate over Tehran’s controversial uranium enrichment programme with the West.
    And he described a recent letter sent to him by US President Barack Obama as “positive and constructive”.

    This may not justify direct linkage with the Syrian agreement on the giving up of chemical weapons, but the timing is significant , and together they go a long way towards detente in the ME and to having Iran’s involvement in helping towards and ending of the Syrian conflict

  11. I have been tracking the Conservative/UKIP VI vs the Labour/LD VI.

    I know these cannot be assumed to be totally different groups, and some crossover occurs, but the link below is the graph of the data from mid June to now:

    h ttps://

    It does appear that VI for the traditional ‘right’ parties is strengthening, whereas the more traditionally ‘left’ parties has decreased.

    I’m not certain it says anything significant but it was just an observation. It could just be the Conservatives and UKIP have the wind in their sails, and this is what is being picked up, rather than an electorate shifting to the right per se.

  12. I have a problem with this poll being described as neck and neck, it makes me think of rope! Level pegging might be a less suggestive term

  13. John

    One thing that isn’t being picked up by western media either deliberately or by oversight is Russia and Syrian attempts to link Syrian disarmament with Israeli disarmament, I would see the Iranian announcement in that context

  14. I’ll assume my last post’s sarcasm won’t get past moderation and rewrite it…

    Whether this one is MOE or not and gets replaced by a +6 tomorrow, the political impact will probably reverberate much longer. The LibDems came across as united at their conference, brushing things like Vince’s rebellion under the carpet as the activists seem to have parked their attack lines from previous conferences. There is a Tory boost on this poll not a LibDem one, so are we seeing one government party boosted from the other’s conference?

    Labour’s reaction is probably predictable. The Blairite old guard will continue to mutter, the Ed is Carp narrative will keep rolling, and then I expect that as last year we will get a big speech which will “surprise” most people because its out of line with the carp narrative.

  15. I’m surprised to see the polls so close actually. I would imagine that this weakens Ed somewhat. If this poll is tied, the idea of a Labour victory at the next election can’t be considered a forgone conclusion. I’m curious what drives this. Has there been any economic uptick of late?

  16. That is progress-if sustained.

    It might bring the carp fisherman out in numbers too.


    My plumber came yesterday to finish a job he started a month ago. Apologetic , he said he is inundated with work & having to turn some down now. He can’t arrange cover because the other tradesman are seeing the same thing.
    Business is changing from emergency repairs, to discretionary spend on new systems, and moving from domestic to small business & private rented sectors.
    He said-there is definitely a recovery underway.

  17. Suspicious opinion poll.

    Wait to see other polls over the coming days.

  18. The trend over the last year is the Con/Lab gap has narrowed, what these polls don’t tell you is where the inflated UKIP vote will go because even Farage wouldn’t expect over 5% vote at the election.

    I suspect it will be a damage limitation exercise for Miliband at the conference, he needs though very soon to make some big changes, less false unity and more policy and more importantly some big changes in his shadow-cabinet. Changing Balls for Darling would be a great move, replace Burnham as well. He needs more help he can’t keep sending Ummuna out forever.

    Dare he do it though, I think he has to or his great ambition to be PM, will drift away.

  19. @SoCalLiberal

    Carolyn Quinn interviewed “bigoted woman” Gillian Duffy this week for the BBC. She’ll be voting Labour in 2015, but “Ed needs to pull his finger out… no one knows what Labour stands for, not round here any road.”

    Incidentally, Gillian admitted that Gordon thought she swore when she said “flocking here”. In the immediate aftermath of the incident she phoned her daughter to ask what “bigot” meant, her daughter diplomatically told her “someone who holds strong views”.

  20. @Colin

    Same thing happening down here in Surrey, local tradesmen very busy. Only anecdotal of course, but it all adds up.

    Latest poll looks a biy of an outlier but there does seem to be a further reduction in the lead as shown by Andy JS above.

  21. Whereas in Wigan you can normally get a plumber at an hour’s notice if you are willing to pay an extortionate rate of £20. This hasn’t changed recently (although anecdotal of course :-) )

  22. Morning Everyone,

    Mmmm – while I obviously welcome this latest poll I think I would have preferred something like Con 35 Lab 37 with a 2 point gap because ‘we’ are going to be so deflated when tomorrows poll bounces back to 5 or 6% Labour lead -lol
    Also perhaps the LDs conference boost will not filter through until the weekend and then Labour are bound to get a boost during their conference.

  23. Colin

    Your right about small business beginning to pick up the builder we use for repairs around the farm has just taken on an extra Labourer and a brick layer.

    Nice to see the two main parties running so close it looks like running with a leader the public see in a particular light is beginning to effect VI. But as ever it’s one poll but there have been other polls which show how close things have become since last year.

    I think sometimes because we have a interest in polling we always look for a single point that will shift VI and forget the majority of the general public see politic’s as a series of sound bites from the media and press and that goes a long way to form public opinion.

    So when people who post here say they can’t understand why VI has changed because nothing has happened in the last few weeks, the truth is it has, the press has continued it’s attack on EM and the economy continues to be reported in positive terms and these things do effect VI as much as a single event.

  24. @Billy Bob
    Carolyn Quinn interviewed “bigoted woman” Gillian Duffy this week for the BBC. She’ll be voting Labour in 2015, but “Ed needs to pull his finger out… no one knows what Labour stands for, not round here any road.”

    Has Labour still got a vacancy for a campaign strategist? A working class woman to tell the political careerists what they still can’t see even when it’s staring them in the face.

  25. Why all this talk of STV? As OldNat describes it is a horrible system – a sort of preferences all over the place nightmare, and not very proportional in outcome unless you have enormous constituencies returning 5 or more MPs – an AV on speed if you like!?

    Much better is to keep single member constituencies, FPTP or SV perhaps, with a small list top-up. Say 90/10 or 85/15. Labour or Tories could “live” with that, thus much more likely to be successful in a negotiation between LDs and one of the Big Two.

  26. It’s an outlier, I believe.

    The interesting thing is that, while a few weeks ago outliers were showing 3 or 4 percent poll leads for Labour, against an average of 6 or 7 percent, this outlier shows the two parties neck and neck.

    The polls are narrowing, and it looks like the Labour lead has dipped below 5 percent.

  27. Of course we need to ignore MOE oscillations about a mid point, and the next OP will probably be a small Lab lead. But the trajectory of the YouGov poll graph has been pretty clear for some time.

    And I think that Con supporters on this site need to compare the Laws of Politics & Economics promulgated by some of the contributors here , with emerging facts:-

    This morning’s Poll , and it’s recent predecessors do not support the Rule that Con & Lab VI cannot ever reach these levels.

    This morning’s reports of BoE upgrade of it’s Q3 GDP growth forecast , do not support the assertion that UK GDP will decline in the second half of 2013.

  28. Still think a coalition is unlikely in 2015 under FPTP, especially if the third party loses even a few seats. Perhaps someone will be able to tell us how likely?

    Unless you are in Germany – or Norway of course.

    Away for a few days – will catch up on return.

  29. By promising t o stick to the conservative spending policies labour have affectedly admited they were wrong and lost the argument. And lost the 2015 election. Their support has been falling since that announcement

  30. And for a dose of reality:-

    36/36/10 in UKPR basic swingometer +
    Hung Parliament-Lab largest Party=Lab/Lib Coalition.

  31. shevii

    Your anecdotal evidence is as good as Colin’s or mine and supports the view I have that the economic pick-up is very patchy across the country. However as it broadens out, which i think it will do we will see what effect that has on polling.

  32. Colin

    Absolutely, we all know the current boundaries are biased against the Tories so they have much more to do.

  33. Colin labour are not going to poll 36 percent in an election not with their record on immigration

  34. TURK

    This chap’s history is interesting-made redundant in the recession-turned reluctantly to self employment -signed up to Checkatrade ( plug) , from where I found him-now with a two month order book & turning work down.


    Indeed-noses to the grindstone down to the wire.

  35. Nick – regards the idea fptp relatively benefiting Lib Dems with these vote shares, since they may not lose as much as one might think in seats terms – in fact, though, even if they were to somehow poll 10% at the General Election and *gain* 9 seats, they still wind up with a smaller seat share than vote share. ..

  36. RiN
    “I have a problem with this poll being described as neck and neck, it makes me think of rope! ”

    Yes, whenever I go horse racing, I feel like hanging myself as well!

    On the poll movement:
    Ed has done two specific things recently, which have probable cost him. He has effectively caved into the unions on removing their block voting influence from the party, having picked the fight, he should have gone for the jugular as Kinnock did in his fight with Hatton & as Blair did over clause 4. Secondly his politicking over the Syria vote has, in the cool light of day, been seen for just that.

    Being frit of the unions & of his MP’s has made him appear weak & unprincipled.

    I agree that the next poll will more than certainly show a labour lead again but the trend is definitely towards closing the gap, which may transpire into a blue lead in the fullness of time.

  37. I thought someone on here would have spotted this already. Before the weighting is taken into account, the poll actually gives Labour an 8% lead…….just saying.

  38. What is the relevance of an unweighted opinion poll?

  39. This poll isn’t exactly wholly unexpected….if the Labour lead with Yougov is currently around 5% or so, it’s inevitable that you are going to get the odd 8-11% lead, as well as polls in the 0-3% range. This week the Labour leads have generally been a bit on the lower side of the average of 5%.

    The worry for Labour is that its vote has been on a gradual downwards trajectory for some time….will this continue in the months ahead, or will it solidify now that the Libs are seemingly stuck on 8-11% and UKIP don’t seem to be leaking support to the Tories?

  40. Colin – Thought I would just add it into the mixer.

  41. ROBERT

    @”the next poll will more than certainly show a labour lead again”

    Yes-and there will be a Conference boost for Labour -or should be.

  42. @Red Rag,

    All political polls from all pollsters are weighted. If they weren’t, they’d be meaningless.

  43. RED RAG

    But why?-does an unweighted OP have any significance?

  44. Colin – Because it doesn’t state in any of the rules above that you cannot.

  45. RiN
    “One thing that isn’t being picked up by western media either deliberately or by oversight is Russia and Syrian attempts to link Syrian disarmament with Israeli disarmament, I would see the Iranian announcement in that context”

    Yes, that struck me after I posted. It is an important development, partly because Israel has been ratcheting up its declared defense weaponry against an Iranian attack. The Iranian leadership appear to be defusing the supposition both that it intends to make nuclear weapons or that it intends to use them in any attack on Israel. Given that much of the hostile exchange engendered under the previous leadership may have been provocative but psychological, the experience of a real war crime and the responses of Russia and the UN diplomatically and America, the latter with a realistic intent to use what would have been a significant air strike – “the US military doesn’t do pin pricks” – we be leading to some more genuine intent to seek a rapprochement.

  46. Ofcourse the are Ambivilent – I just thought I would post the information. We are not going to get all thought police on here are we?

  47. RED RAG

    If it keeps you happy!-why not try an unweighted Poll of the current regular contributors to UKPR-it will really make you smile.

  48. we may be leading….

  49. “@”the next poll will more than certainly show a labour lead again”

    Another poll in the 0-4% range would be another welcome poll for the Tories, I expect. If we get a poll of 5%-8%, I expect Labourites everywhere will be mightily relieved.

    As for me, I don’t take the results of one poll too seriously….after all, it’s the trend that counts…however, it is clear from Yougov polling that Labour’s lead has been gradually shifting downwards over time. Until now, even 1 neck-and-neck Yougov poll would have been extremely unlikely.

  50. Colin – I didn’t realise you knew all the current posters political leanings. How do you know it would make me smile?

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