YouGov’s weekly results for the Sunday Times are out here and show Labour continuing to enjoy a boost from their conference. Topline voting intention figures are CON 31%, LAB 42%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 13%, the first double-digit Labour lead this month. Ed Miliband’s own ratings are also up – 30% now think he is doing a good job as Labour lead, up from 22% last week. In YouGov’s polls at least there appears to be a real change from Labour’s conference – what remains to be seen is whether it lasts, or is rapidly cancelled out by the Conservative conference next week.

For now though let’s look at the post-Labour party conference polling. 50% think it is true to say that Miliband has moved his party to the left, but they are divided over whether this is a good or bad thing – 23% see it as a positive, 27% see it as a negative. More empirically (since people aren’t very good at comparing their views now to their views in the past), YouGov asked people to place the parties on a left-right scale, from very left wing to very right wing. 34% now see Labour as very or fairly left wing, up from 26% last year and the highest since YouGov started asking this question back in 2006 (under Blair and Brown it tended to be around 20%). Note however that the Conservatives are seen as very or fairly right wing by 39%, so Labour may been seen as having moved more to the left, but it does NOT mean they are seen as less centrist than the Conservatives are.

Looking at some of the specific policies Labour promised at their conference, 63% support the energy price freeze, but the most widely supported policies were actually increasing the minimum wage (71%) and increasing corporation tax for big companies and cutting rates for small firms (71%). There was majority support for seizing land from developers who don’t use it (53%) and making firms offer an apprenticeship for each immigrant they employ (52%). The only major announcement from the conference that people did not support was giving the vote to 16 year olds, opposed by 61%.

Looking more specifically at the energy promise, while people support the principle of it, there are some doubts about whether it would actually work. Asked it if would actually deliver better value and no big prices rises for ordinary people 42% think it likely would, 47% that it’s unlikely it would. While only 27% of people thought it likely there would be power cuts and shortages because of a price freeze, 58% thought it was likely that it would lead to less investment in renewable and green energy. 53% did think it would likely reduce the profits of the energy firms (while the poll made no judgements as to whether that was a positive or negative outcome, I suspect many respondents would have seen it as a plus!)

Another worry for Labour is while people support the policy announcements, there seems some doubt about whether they are actually affordable – 52% think Labour are making promises the country can’t afford, 23% disagree. To put that in context only 35% think the Conservatives are making unaffordable promises, 36% do not (though who knows what they’ll announce in the week ahead that might change that).


321 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 31, LAB 42, LD 9, UKIP 13”

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  1. Big business clearly not popular with the general public..

  2. And the Tories are so hard up that they have decided to start monetizing Thatcher, personally I find that distressing but perhaps it what she would have wanted. I wonder if they saved some of her hair to sell?

  3. Lovely day here, as Richie Benaud used to say when we were allowed to watch cricket. Morning All. Ed’s women and men will be happy, while Lib Dems and Cons will be concerned.

    Maybe tory policy on marriage and boosting demand for houses will help them this week.

  4. “@ wolf

    Big business clearly not popular with the general public..”

    People perceive that they are being ripped off. When they see the profits, executive salaries/bonuses and then stories about tax avoidance, you can understand this.

    One of the problem with privitisation of such things as energy markets, is that you lose control over these, often to foreign investors/corporations. People then think that Britain is losing control over its essential services. The privitisation of the Royal Mail may at some point lead it being foreign owned.

  5. So the whole mantra of ‘occupying the centre ground’ and ‘triangulation’ being essential to winning an election increasingly looks like an idea that is past its sell by date (that date being 2008 – the banking crash).

    Also the hysterical media reaction to Labours pretty mild policy to intervene in the energy cartel has failed to resonate with the voters – and left them looking partizan and out of touch.

    As several people on here have argued – Labour lost support from the left – to the lib dems and others – and its best chance of being elected is winning them back – rather than winning over tory voters.

    And has a party conference ever made such a big difference in the polls?

    Milliband is starting to look like a very astute politician and I increasingly feel his nerdy, goody goody image will end up being an asset. Is there polling on which leader is the most trustworthy? I think Ed might be seen as more honest and trustworthy than Dave and Nick.
    Labour strategists should go on the Clark Kent vs the Tory Spiv Man angle – with Clegg as Dodgey Dave’s slippery side kick (sort of grima wormtounge to his sauraman – or something)

  6. Andrew Marr – disgrace

    Talking to a PM behind in the polls and he is asking questions about school uniform policy – how is that deemed a subject important enough to discuss? The introduction to the show would have made you think he was Blair in 1999 heading for an easy win!

    The Tory problem I see is that whenever Miliband gets a chance to give his side he does pretty well – Murdoch, Labour Conferences, Riots, Syria etc.

    He seems to be more liked when he is in the limelight than when he stays out of it. Both his last two conference speeches have been pretty well received. This suggests that the Tory hope of using him during the campaign is misguided. His approval figures aren’t great but then neither Cameron or Clegg are liked either.

    This bump he has seemed to have received is useful as it provides a buffer and the Tories have to start again in narrowing the gap. They are not helped by the fact of being in Coalition means that they are always vulnerable to poorly thought out policies that try to say too much to too many people.

    In the ned though, I think UKIP are the biggest problem for the Tories. The boost they will receive next year from the Europeans and the effect on the Tories will be significant I think. There is also the possibility of the LD coming so low that there is panic in their ranks as well. It could be these elections have a massive effect on 2015 as the Coalition starts to show its incoherence.

    Labour’s bar to winning is set much lower than the Tories. In a review of the 2010-2015 Parliament that will be seen a Cameron’s biggest political strategy error. Not delivering on the (in my view ill-conconceived) boundary changes bill was a massive mistake

    The Tories do have the fact that, with few thanks to them, the economy has started to grow. It, however, grew throughout Major’s time in office but the effects need to be felt outside the South by 2015. Not guaranteed to say the least.

    There is also the possibility of the one-off event making a big difference. I do not see what this event could be though and it is just, if not more, as likely to go against the Government.

  7. @BCrombie

    Marr asked Cameron outright to admit he has no chance of winning a majority – that seems a pretty blunt refence to polling to me!

  8. Very thoughtful piece from Ryan Shorthouse, David Willetts’ former policy advisor and a shrewd man, in the Guardian.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/29/tories-optimism-economic-growth-election

    Makes uncomfortable reading for Tories, though as it all but admits the election is lost and a major party reform is needed. I tend to agree that the Tories have lost the knack of appealing outside their base, but this is an unusually clear distillation of why it has happened.

  9. Back of the net.

  10. Chris Riley

    and when he said yes he did there was no incredulity as when he is interviewing Miliband – it is move on the the next slow, full toss.

    And on the Olympics ‘this Government’ – most of the planning , contracts and building was done under the last one.

  11. Headline results aside, this is a rather mixed set of results. It looks to me as if a sizable chunk of the public likes Labour’s policies but has serious doubts about how realistic they are. The latter matters immensely when it comes to the crunch at election time and there’s still a lot to be done for Labour to convince the public that their policies are workable and won’t reap the whirlwind.

    Personally I’d prefer to see the major parties coming up with truly radical plans that reduce people’s energy bills by reducing our need for energy itself – more energy-efficient new-builds, more grants to insulate existing properties and shift to lower consumption domestic systems. Reducing the cost of energy will only encourage consumption, making us more dependent on dodgy countries and global conglomerates while further adding to global warming.

    It’s sad how tediously conventional and lacking in innovation all our mainstream politicians are. The great innovators of the Victorian era must be spinning in their graves (and, no, I am not suggesting we bring back workhouses and child labour – just that spirit of innovative problem-solving).

  12. Wait to see how the right-wing took Marr’s interview – if the left think that he was too hard on Miliband and too easy on Cameron, but then the right think he was too easy on Miliband and too hard on Cameron, he probably had the right sort of position.

    I agree with Chris – Marr really pushed the question about not being able to win an outright majority and it’s something that all parties will have to answer as we approach the election.
    There can’t really be a repeat of ‘We want to win a majority’ as an answer to ‘How will either coalition work’, if it’s obvious that a hung parliament is the most likely result.

    Double pressure on the LibDems because, unlike Labour or the Conservatives, they’ll be expected to pick a side.

  13. Chris Riley

    I thought it was a pretty lightweight article

  14. Tinged Fringe

    Why cannot Labour say they want to win a majority – their poll ratings indicate so at the moment.

    What indicators are that there will be a Coalition in 2015?

    The party who have to answer questions about a Coalition are the LD who see it as their ambition -unless you think they are going to win a majority?

    I think in this case they should make it clear what is their position – for the other two parties I see it as being pretty irrelevant as their ambition is to win a majority.

    There is a question to Cameron himself whether HE would prefer another Coalition rather than being beholden to his right-wing

  15. In my opinion the question a Lab/LibDem coalition is a complete non-starter. Labour won’t do it. They’d rather take office as a minority government if it came to it.

    Also, how can the LibDems retain any credibility at all if they go into coalition with Labour? The first things Labour will do is repeal the bedroom tax and repeal the Health & Social Care Act, both flagship policies of the Coalition, which the LibDems voted for and which they would now have to vote against.

  16. BCrombie
    Labour can say that they want a majority (which polling indicates they may likely get) but they have to still be clear on what they would do in the event of another hung parliament – what the red lines are, which policies they’re in agreement with, etc so people have a clear view of what they’re voting for.

  17. “Tories are so hard up”

    “Clark kent v tory spiv”

    “The Tories do have the fact with few thanks to them”

    “Andrew Mar a disgrace” (because he didn’t attack enough).

    Blimey and people think I’m partisan .

  18. Considering Labour have basically repositioned to the point on the Political Spectrum that the Lib Dems used to inhabit I don’t see any fundamental difficulties in a Coalition, it might require a leadership change at the LD’s.

    From the AM interview it would appear that Cameron still sees High House prices as the Solution not the Problem,I wonder if the my house has gone up £000’s this week agenda actually resonates with the public any more?

    When the Majority even of the better off in the South East and London can’t actually afford to buy and when 90% of all new build in London is being purchased by Overseas buyers (why not charge them a mansion tax Mr C they aren’t paying any other taxes?)

  19. Tinged Fringe

    They don’t have to be clear at all unless they are aiming for a coalition as an outcome. Why should they start that hare running?

    The only party who ‘has’ to answer a question on a coalition is the LD as they want one as it is their only realistic chance to govern

    The Tories also can legitimately avoid the question, but I think those advocating a UKIP deal need to be clearer on what that means and it is a legitimate question for Cameron himself to a certain point.

    We have seen one coalition since the war so why should this be seen as the likely outcome in a FPTP system that makes them unlikely?

    Turk,

    I compare Marr with his performance last week against Miliband- I detect the partisanship is not on my side but on his. He was also much harder on Clegg than Cameron

  20. I’m quite chuffed. Last week I predicted a 42 for Labour by Friday and was a little disappointed when Friday morning emerged with 41. However, despite the fact that I admit it was that poll I had in mind, as the fieldwork for this one is done from Thursday evening until Friday afternoon, I shall now bask modestly in my proven perspicacity.

    It was, as an OP astutely pointed out, within ‘MOH’ anyway. I will await the full basket of sweets being doled out by GO and DC before making a prediction for next Friday.

  21. @BCrombie

    [Snip – AW]

    Interviewers may just have figured that asking him things is a bit pointless, as he has a script, and come what may, he is going to deliver it. He is far too disciplined to react to anything off-piste.

    Miliband and Clegg are more likely to go off-script, so there’s a point trying to make them.

  22. CHRIS RILEY
    A problem with the kinder conservatism that Ryan Shorthouse is advocating is that the electorate would be resistant not so much to the Party or to this policy, but rather to the institutions and their behaviour with which the Tories are now firmly associated.
    So, “Conservatism is at its most inspiring and inclusive when it places social mobility at the core of its purpose: a dream of a society in which anyone, no matter their background or identity, can achieve a better life if they work hard and act responsibly”may be true historically. But it may not ring true in the light of the inequality of opportunity which has been brought about, on the one hand, by the effects of austerity, and on the other hand, by the greed, elitism and self-serving behaviour of big business and their representatives in politics, with both of which they may, given the very clear message of neo-liberalism, link the Conservative brand for some years to come.

  23. I think we can expect the same diet of it’s all Labours fault and we feel your pain from the Tory Conference.

    However the Elephant in the Room is that in 38 out of 39 Months of this Government real average incomes have fallen and the only significant gain is for those earning over £150K a Year.

    This is a fertile area for Labour and the fundamentals aren’t likely to change before 2015

    Bringing forward a help to buy scheme for pre-owned homes while not addressing the housing shortage at all and really doesn’t help anyone to buy either should at least ensure that properties become even less affordable than now.

    No doubt the Press will give the Conference it’s thumbs up but any gain it will produce in VI will IMO be very short lived.

  24. Can I AGAIN, encourage people to follow the comments policy and attempt to post in the SPIRIT of non-partisanship, such as keeping your negative opinions of party leaders or party policies you personally don’t like to yourself, trying to use neutral and non-value laden language, not making comments whose main purpose is to criticise or defend a a party or policy, not cherry-picking and skewing evidence to suit your political prejudices, etc, etc.

    A good rule of thumb, as ever, is that a newcomer to the site should not be able to immediately tell what your own political views are.

    I trust people to moderate their own behaviour, but if there are people who constantly fail to reward that trust they go on pre-moderation.

  25. AW
    I thought your note on the strictly psephological factors in the likelihood of a Tory-UKIP pact was flawless: of real value to policy analysis and to the history of 2010 to 2015 politics.
    Congratulations on a piece of work which had the ring of elegance.

  26. @STEVE

    “Considering Labour have basically repositioned to the point on the Political Spectrum that the Lib Dems used to inhabit I don’t see any fundamental difficulties in a Coalition, it might require a leadership change at the LD’s.”

    The fundamental difficulty is the utter contempt and hatred felt by the Labour Party for the LibDems. It was palpable at Conference last week. I think most Labour Party members would be more prepared to go into coalition with the Tories than the LibDems. And a change of leadership won’t change anything. I can’t remember who it was but after laying into Nick Clegg,one of the shadow cabinet members added, “and as for Vince Cable he talks the talk all right but he walks the walk straight into the Government lobbies.” This was met with a huge cheer and applause.

    In my opinion it would not be possible for Labour to enter into coalition with the party who brought us the bedroom tax, who voted for the reorganisation of the NHS, who voted for the privatisation of Royal Mail and so many other things. The membership just would not wear it. Rather a minority Government than that.

    Note to AW, this is not meant to be a partisan comment just a how it is comment.

  27. I never watch the political programme on Sunday morning (correction, I never, in common with nearly the whole population, ever watch any of them). That’s the point; they have no value in determining changes in VI.

    Marr follows MOTD and by then I am ready for my full English.

  28. I can’t help comparing the headline policies of the two main parties and seeing a difference: the Conservative Married Tax Break and Mortgage help is good, but only helps certain people – they’re no use if you’re a single person renting. Whereas nearly everyone uses energy (whether you believe Miliband’s idea is workable or no) and would welcome a freeze or reduction in the bill.

    Perhaps the Conservative ideas will change fewer minds, but change them more firmly? That’s probably not as good as changing more minds less firmly.

    Also you have to consider where those minds being changed are. As you go north, as a rule of thumb, the more energy you need to keep warm in winter. I’m thinking Miliband’s idea will help attract votes in more northerly swing seats, whereas DC’s will be too evenly spread to help where it matters.

  29. Keith p
    Spot on

  30. The tory press will praise to the skys any new tory policies – but, seeing as their collective fit of hysteria over ‘red ed’ had no effect, it may be that this will have no noticeable effect on the electorate either. Indeed it my simply serve to further highlight just how blatantly partizan the print media is in the public mind.

    RE: my comment ‘clark kent vs the tory spiv’ – I suggested that this might be a useful propaganda angle for the labour party – not whether it is ‘true’. What the argument should be is whether that would resonate with a significant section of the voters with regards to their perceptions of Ed M.

  31. @ Norbold

    I agree. If Labour is the largest party after the 2015 GE but has no absolute majority, I am convinced it will choose a minority adminstration over a coalition. Howeer, if the Tories are in the same situation, a continuation of the existing coalition would be very likely.

    There is a fundamental ideological divide between the liberal (with a small “l”) parties of the centre/right, who believe in the fundamental principle of the market economy, and socialists who believe that the nanny state knows best. A good illustration in the past week has been EM’s proposed freeze on energy prices. Taken to extremes, this leads to a disastrous mis-shapen economy, as in Venezuela.

    I presume the conflict between left and right is part of the reason why the “grand coalition” in Italy has just fallen apart. It also puzzles me why the SDP wishes to govern with the CDU in Germany, rather than form a SDP/Green/Left coalition.

  32. Norbold

    I doubt it is likely to be an issue anyway as the polls indicate a clear win for Labour.

    However, let’s be honest having the LD’s in Government hasn’t prevented the Conservatives pursing their own agenda and frankly the presence of a weakened LD party in Coalition with Labour (especially as the overwhelming majority of the LD Grass Roots would prefer it ) would be unlikely to effect the Labour Governments policy decisions.

    It might mean however the difference between struggling on as a minority administration and getting nothing done and maintaining office for a full term.

    I think the level of antipathy displayed at Conference isn’t actually representative of the Party as a whole.

    The primary objection of activists was that LD’s allowed the Tories into power, what actually allowed the Tories into power was the worst performance by Labour at a GE since 1983 the Second worst since 1922 and it will be an improved performance that is the key to getting them back in office

  33. DAODAO
    “There is a fundamental ideological divide between the liberal (with a small “l”) parties of the centre/right, who believe in the fundamental principle of the market economy, and socialists who believe that the nanny state knows best. ”
    Except for the small matter that there is no such ideological divide, if you are describing the political parties in the UK, all of which have for several decades worked within and supported a free market economy.

    A good illustration in the past week has been EM’s proposed freeze on energy prices. ”

    Except for the equally small matter tha it isn’t – t this is a regulatory measure, which commentators on all sides of the spectrum support.

    Taken to extremes, this leads to a disastrous mis-shapen economy, as in Venezuela.

    Except that you probably though this one up after eating too much Gorgonzola.

  34. I think a hung parliament is highly unlikely. It’s all about how big the Lab majority is going to be.

  35. @AW

    “Looking at some of the specific policies Labour promised at their conference, 63% support the energy price freeze, but the most widely supported policies were actually increasing the minimum wage (71%) and increasing corporation tax for big companies and cutting rates for small firms (71%). There was majority support for seizing land from developers who don’t use it (53%) and making firms offer an apprenticeship for each immigrant they employ (52%). The only major announcement from the conference that people did not support was giving the vote to 16 year olds, opposed by 61%.”

    Is it just me, or are we seeing a “take take, but don’t give” attitude?

  36. @STATGEEK

    “Is it just me, or are we seeing a “take take, but don’t give” attitude?”

    I don’t understand that comment at all.

  37. I think this poll goes to show how ridiculously unrepresentative (and right-wing) our media is.

    I found the Do you think the Conservatives have governed
    better as a coalition with the Liberal Democrats,
    or would have governed better if they had a
    majority and could govern alone?
    question jars horribly with what the press would have us believe, too:

    31% Would have governed better as a single party with a
    majority
    29% Have governed better in a coalition with the Liberal
    Democrats
    28% No difference
    12% Don’t know

  38. I liked the economic questions – most people still say the economy is the main issue, but we have had mixed polling results on which party is the best party to heal our economic woes. If the word jobs and unemployment are added to the question labour wins, if it is a deficit question, Tories win.

    So in line with the Ashcroft poll, we are seeing that reducing the deficit is no longer peoples’ main economic concern, restarting growth, reducing unemployment, reducing the cost of living are becoming far more important.

    As we head into the election it would be good to get “which party is best” at those broken down economic questions to see who is really winning the economic argument.

  39. @ Statgeek

    I agree. The fundamental problem in this country is a failure to realise how deeply indebted it is and how much it is living beyond its means. The per capita foreign debt is larger than that of any other major country in the world. The population as a whole thinks in terms of rights and entitlements rather than responsibilities. Labour doesn’t even recognise that there is a problem – hence the policy announcements at their recent conference. The ConDem coalition seems to recognise that there is an issue, but has failed to do much about it in the last 40 months, possibly because the measures required would make it even more unpopular. Some of their recent measures, e.g. helping with mortgages, will make matters worse.

  40. The main stream media were mainly very negative about the temporary proposed freeze in energy prices.

    Even the BBC were showing picures of lights going out all over the country.

    So it is surprising that Labour achieved any bounce in the polls.
    All parties will now notice the decline in the influence of especially the print media in the polls in the short term .

    Therefore the long continued drip drip effect will be the tactic deployed,and a reluctance for the PM debates to go ahead.

  41. STATGEEK

    Just human nature I think.

    People naturally think of their own interests & those of their family -as they perceive them anyway.

    Some of the answers to the subsidiary questions this morning indicate more objective thinking though-as Adam C says above.

  42. I’ve looked at Ed’s poll ratings – doing well/badly – end of August vs today’s poll, given his poor ratings being seen as an issue that might impact Labour’s chances in 2015.

    End of August

    Party – Well – Badly

    Con – 11 – 86
    Lab – 51 – 44
    LD – 12 -72
    UKIP – 4 – 91

    Last Poll

    Party – Well – Badly

    Con – 9 – 87
    Lab – 68 – 25
    LD – 21 – 76
    UKIP – 11 – 83

    Change

    Party – Well – Badly

    Con – (2) – 1
    Lab – 17 – (19)
    LD – 9 – 4
    UKIP – 7 – (8)

    ———————-

    If Ed’s mission is secure his position as Labour Leader, he seems to be heading the right way.

    I suspect that many Labour voters may not consider him the greatest statesman in the history of the party, but I think that is irrelevant.

    Most Labour voters would prefer anyLabour Leader as PM, rather than vote Conservative, just as Conservatives who criticise Cameron would still prefer him to any Labour PM.

    All opposition leaders are limited in the coverage they can get, so I think Ed’s challenge will be to keep in the media spotlight on him, in terms of his own making.

  43. @ Reggieside,

    The tory press will praise to the skys any new tory policies – but, seeing as their collective fit of hysteria over ‘red ed’ had no effect, it may be that this will have no noticeable effect on the electorate either.

    It did work on Syria, though. Miliband took a position that should have bolstered him and Labour, and the Tories were able to spin it into a defeat.

    I think the jury is still out on how effective the rightwing press is at shifting public opinion.

    There may be an advantage to concrete pledges like the energy price cap in that they’re harder to spin. People don’t actually know what happened in the lead up to the Syria vote, and believe the papers when they say Miliband wobbled (it doesn’t help that Labour never did put forward a firm opinion on the merits of military involvement), but they can see perfectly well that Centrica’s power cuts scaremongering is bullshit.

  44. I think DC’s policy announcements, trailers will have some effect in firming up Tory VI and luring some DKs into the Tory fold. He may even be able to smoke a few stray Kippers.

    Also, I do not agree that Labour has a larger base/idealogical reach than the Tories. So far in this parliament we’ve seen the Tories struggle to reach 35%, and latterly Labour struggle to reach 40%. That doesn’t really indicate a wide disparity between the two in potential voters.

    At the end of Conference season therefore, I suspect that we may be back to Lab +4/5 leads.

  45. Another interesting set of poll questions here looking at the conservative party and David Cameron

    http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/veojcgbs71/YG-Archive-Pol-Sun-results-230913-Conservatives.pdf

    The most interesting section for me was this question:

    People often see political parties as being close,
    or not close, to various sections of society. How
    close do you see the Conservatives being to
    each of these kinds of people?

    Working-class people Close 14%/ not close 78%
    Women (amongst women – Close 27%/ not close 54%
    The poor (amongst C2DE) – Close 12%/not close 12%
    Ethnic minorities – Close 25%/ Not close 61%
    Old people (amongst 60+) – close 24%/ Not close 74%
    People like yourself – close 23%/Not close 70%

    They fared better amongst the:
    Rich – Close 88%/ Not close 6%
    City dwellers – Close 58%/ Not close 29%

    Those figures represent the hurdle they are facing. The people they are not close to represent the majority of voters. The shocking one was the old people – isn’t that their core vote?

  46. @DaoDao

    Perhaps we wouldn’t be as indebted as we are if business and the rich understood their responsibilities (that includes the politicians who continually legislate in their favour)? This country loses billions each year because of it, the rich have never been taxed so little, and the ‘minimum’ – long become the standard – wages are below subsistence so government has increasingly had to top them up. Oh and take back our utilities, and build council houses, stopping irresponsible profiteers from making what are vital services increasingly unaffordable.

    No doubt you couldn’t give a monkeys about that responsibility.

  47. raf

    “Also, I do not agree that Labour has a larger base/idealogical reach than the Tories. So far in this parliament we’ve seen the Tories struggle to reach 35%, and latterly Labour struggle to reach 40%. That doesn’t really indicate a wide disparity between the two in potential voters. ”

    I note that you exclude the lower figures per party and that your “latterly” gives the game away about your use selective figures.

    It’s easy to “prove” a point if you exclude data that doesn’t fit of course.

  48. @ Raf,

    We know Labour have a larger pool of considerers, though- usually between 10-20% of the electorate, depending on the poll.

    In any given election it may not matter, because no party ever wins its entire pool of considerers. And certainly a comparison between 1997 and 2010 suggests that the Tory and Labour bases were of comparable size prior to Clegg. But I think it’s wrong to say they’re starting from the same place. Labour is fishing in a deeper pool, however weak their fishing rod or unappealing the bait in any given year.

  49. @RAF @Spearmint

    http://www.ippr.org/press-releases/111/7999/new-poll-shows-labour-has-biggest-pool-of-potential-voters-but-electoral-mountain-still-to-climb

    The poll shows the potential pool of voters that Labour could attract is 70 per cent, compared with 64 per cent for the Lib Dems and just 58 per cent for the Conservatives. The polling also shows that Labour now has the fewest voters out of reach of the major parties, with just 30 per cent of voters saying they would ‘never’ vote Labour, while 36 per cent say they would never vote Lib Dem and 42 per cent say they would never vote Conservative.

  50. A very interesting poll, CATMANJEFF.Thank you.

    It also shows that Voters who will always vote for the same party are:
    24 per cent Labour
    19 per cent Conservative
    5 per cent Lib Dem

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