The daily YouGov poll for the Sun tonight has topline figures of CON 36%, LAB 38%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 11%. The two point Labour lead is the lowest that YouGov have shown since October, and 36% is the highest they’ve shown since October. Usual caveats of course apply – it could be a further narrowing of Labour’s lead, or could just be normal margin of error. It does, however, underline the narrowing of the Labour lead that we saw in YouGov’s daily polling last week.

Meanwhile, as if to illustrate how much of the daily back and forth of polls is just random variation, this morning’s twice-weekly poll from Populus shows movement in the other direction. Topline figures there are back to CON 33%, LAB 40%, LDEM 13%, UKIP 8%. Tabs are here.

Finally there is another batch of UKIP donor Alan Bown’s Survation constituency polls, showing high levels of UKIP support in most of the seats selected – even compared to Survation’s national polls, which tend to show the highest levels of UKIP support to begin with. All four constituencies surveyed have much higher Con=>Lab swings than national polls imply, to a extent that looks somewhat doubtful to me. Swings at general elections aren’t uniform… but it’s a fair guide, parties perform a little better in one seat, a little worse in another seat, but if you’ve got a series of polls showing swings that are *all* substantially better than the national average, almost regardless of marginality, who holds the seat, etc, something’s not right. Somewhere or other they need to average out.

These seats where presumably selected as ones where they thought UKIP were doing particularly well, so perhaps that’s the reason – where UKIP are doing particularly well it results in a bigger swing (in which case they would by definition not be typical of other seats – so do be careful of extrapolation) but I’m dubious about constituency polling so far from the national picture, especially without political weighting. We shall see.

The most interesting thing I actually found there was the difference between the increase in the UKIP vote in the three coastal towns polled (up 23, 20 and 25 points) and in Crewe and Nantwich where it was up only 8. Now, leaving aside the prompting and the weighting and whether it’s a good measure of the actual level of UKIP support, all four were done on the same basis so should be comparable to each other. One interesting question about UKIP support at the next election is how uniform it will be – UKIP got comparative few council seats in 2013 for the level of support they achieved because it was spread so evenly, they just ended up coming second a lot. If their support in 2015 is the same they would struggle to translate support into any actual MPs. In terms of winning seats it’s much better to have areas of strength and weakness. Seaside towns were some of their better areas in the 2013 locals, and the contrast here between Crewe & Nantwich and the seaside towns suggests their support may be clumpier than thought… but again, don’t read too many conclusions into that single poll.

115 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 36, LAB 38, LD 8, UKIP 11”

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  1. @Howard,

    I imagine the aggregrate “worriedness index” score of UKIP supporters is almost as high as our Alec….

  2. Economy: -8.62
    Liberalism: -5.33

    The first one is not too surprising. The second one is a bit. Perhaps not enough questions where my authoritarian traits could have come out.

  3. lefty/toh

    ““Look at ToH! He claims to think that the Cameroons are a bunch of commie infiltrators”.

    “A bit of an exaggeration I think”


    I like that understated response Howard.

  4. R and D have worked out a “compass” thingy for me [too complicated for you lot] and I come out of it as:

    “very lovely all-round person.”

    Which is nice.

  5. Just for fun I did the long test:

    Cosmopolitan 48 (after all I live in a foreign country)
    Secular: 62 (wonder what you have to say to be 100… Better not going there)
    Visionary: 42
    Anarchist 20 (still not enough questions that tease out my authoritarian tendencies)
    Communistic: 70 (what do you have to answer to get a 100?)
    Pacifist: 26
    Anthropocentric: 41 (I don’t know if my dog agreed with it)

    But then it says, you are a Trot… They have then don’t know what a Trot is (or the Trots don’t know what Trotskyism is…). In any case I have to start to write now my self-criticism speech…

  6. I did the political compass test and came out libertarian\left which I am pretty sure is accurate. Along with Ghandi, Dalai Lama, Mandela all the good folk are libertarian\left.

    What suprises me is Ed Miliband is Authoritarian\Right. Really? I dont think his politics are much different to mine at least I hope not.

  7. @Couper

    As you confessed in a previous thread, only 14% of people like you, so you at least have that in common with Ed M.

    And yes, red Ed being a swivel-eyed loon in relation to TOH seems a touch unlikely!

  8. I thought, silly test, basically. Questions of the format, ‘given a,b,c and d (or as many other givens as you want), do you agree or disagree with e, are always going to be unanswerable. They exhibit, or thinly conceal, moral issues which – being qualified in the way they are – confront us with ends and means situations, answerable only in the particular, not the general. Not all of the questions were like that, clearly, but many were – so there’s a thin line between useful statistics and preposterousness, I guess.

  9. @Pups

    “very lovely all-round person.”

    Does this mean you’re a Flump?


    The chart reckons he is right economically, or was when someone did his dot, which might been before the energy price freeze issue.

    Is Miliband Authoritarian? He’s pro-regulation (control), but that might be a right/left issue more than auth/lib.

  10. statty

    dans un mot


    ps more free xmas tips coming up soon.

    “how to get rid of carol singers.”

    “how to make a profit from presents.”

  11. Whether this is a rogue poll or not-trends like this are interesting :-

  12. I was brought up in a seaside town, the support for UKIP in such places does not surprise me. Such towns have a tendency to be islands bearing very little similarity to the country etc. that they happen to be in. They will also have a high degree of retired people who have nothing much else to do but group together and moan about how yesterday was so much better, classic UKIP territory.

  13. “I was brought up in a seaside town…….. Such towns have a tendency to be islands”

    Only when they are flooded though.

  14. Colin

    I agree about trends being much more important than absolute voting preference at this stage in a parliament. I have been watching the same trend with great interest.

  15. Quite right. Survation always come up with ludicrously pro-UKIP results. Would be interesting to see what Populus, Yougov or ICM would have got if they had polled the same seats. I’d bet good money it would have been dramatically worse for UKIP.

  16. Guymonde

    The test is not meant to identify if anybody is a swivel-eyed loon as you put it. After all your own score makes you an anarcho-socialist using the alternative chart. As I said above I am happy to be perceived as progressive by the same chart.

    I do agree with you though that the scores for politicians do look very odd especially those of Blair, Brown and Cameron

  17. LASZLO
    Economy: -8.62
    Liberalism: -5.33

    -You have left me feeling like a wishy washy Liberal I will have to try harder!

  18. Economic Left/Right: -7.12

    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.13

    I’m slightly disappointed as I’m sure that I’ve done the test before and got scores in the -8s. I thought I was in Penzance and I was really in Weston-super-Mare. A lot of the difference may depend on whether you go with the strongly dis/agree options or not and that may vary from day to day.

    It’s clear that the test suffers from US assumptions about where the political centre of gravity is – I seem to remember even Colin ending up (just) in the SW quadrant. The fact that our political Parties and leaders end up NW may be another indication of just how far disconnected the Westminster establishment is. Though, as none of the individuals would be daft enough to actually do the test publicly, that may be in part the assumptions of the site.

    While today’s YouGov is almost certainly as much an outlier as the 12 point lead one was, there does seem a bit of the narrowing in the last week. Some of this may be the 2 points or so who are “weak UKIPs” who tend to revert to the Conservatives fairly frequently (and will in any election except possibly the Euros) But I’ve spotted two other things in the last week which are a slight increase in 2010 Lib Dem to Con movement and a slight decrease in the Others (ex UKIP). Spearmint’s the expert here and will no doubt be able to say if these actually exist and how significant they are

  19. Strange YG poll in Scotland (with changes to 10 prior poll averages in brackets):

    Con 14% (-6.0%)
    Lab 32% (-7.6%)
    Lib 6% (-2.8%)

    SNP 31% (+6.0%)
    UKIP 10% (+6.6%)
    Green 3% (+0.4%)
    Others 4.0% (+3.4%)

    More UKIP VI in Scotland than in London today. Small sample of 136 unweighted though, so that will probably be part of the reason for such a strange cross break.

  20. @AW

    I was wondering what date would be the last poll of December? Will we have a Sunday Times poll on the 22nd or not, and will it be the last?

  21. @TOH
    “the scores for politicians do look very odd”
    Do you think they answered truthfully?

  22. @TOH/Colin

    I looked at the YouGov article and graph that you brought to our attention and was amused to see this comment amongst the twelve posted under the article: –

    “Something fishy about a poll with so little supplementary information. Not one don’t know. Looks like the stakeholders need to be keep interested here or the commissioning might dry up.”

    I don’t know if it was a rogue response or not, but it did rather tickle me.


    ” Small sample of 136 unweighted though, so that will probably be part of the reason for such a strange cross break.”

    I know it sorts of adds to the gaiety of the nation, but why do you highlight polling micro-detail that has the statistical validity of an ITN phone poll.

    You’ll be telling me soon that 99.5% of Scots are in favour of the restoration of capital punishment, based on a survey of four middle-aged, white over 65s conducted in the members bar at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club in St Andrews (after 11.00pm on a Saturday night!)! lol

  23. @CB11

    If nothing else, it discourages non-polling folk from claiming anything from said poll, while perhaps reminds AW that Scottish cross break samples are woeful. I’m sure he’s more than aware, but it with five polls per week, even an average sample of 200 per poll would be a great improvement. It would lend a little more credence to five-day analysis.

    Anyway, it’s non-partisan, which is more than can be said of some of the poll highlighting / analysis done on here. :-p

  24. Just tried this compass thing and it turns out I’m just west of Bradford.

  25. Peter Kellner writes an interesting article in the Grauniad on the gender gap:

    “Since 2010, women have shifted towards Labour more than men. If we combine all the polls we at YouGov conducted in November, we generate a total sample of more than 37,000. This provides robust data from different sub-groups. Last month we found that Labour enjoyed an eight-point lead over the Conservatives among women (40%-32%), compared with a five-point lead among men (38%-33%). The gender differences aren’t large, but they are consistent: the contrast between men and women was much the same in September and October.”

    As I remember, he said the gender gap was 2% last time he wrote (last year?). Now it’s 3%.

  26. Re Peter Kellner’s comment: “If we combine all the polls we at YouGov conducted in November, we generate a total sample of more than 37,000. This provides robust data from different sub-groups.”

    Based on Anthony Wells’ past guidance, I thought that the effect of reweighting for nationally representative polls meant that there were a lot of other problems with analysis based on sub-breaks, even when the issue of sample size is overcome by aggregation.

    A bit of guidance from AW is in order, surely, given that PK’s pretty unqualified comments seem at odds with his own.

  27. @crossbat

    There’s another comment amongst the twelve that is also salient:

    “…the cuts aren’t about reducing the deficit so it’s a bit of a misleading question.”

  28. ” among women (40%-32%), compared with a five-point lead among men (38%-33%).”

    I thought it’s more or less (especially 8% range for f and 5 for m) within MoE. Also does it account for the gender specific willingness to vote.

    I don’t say that it is wrong but it sound methodologically unsound.

  29. Oops – IPad cut out half of my post (or rather my clumsy fingers did). So, the previous post in this form doesn’t make sense. Apologies.

  30. CB11
    @“Something fishy about a poll with so little supplementary information. Not one don’t know. Looks like the stakeholders need to be keep interested here or the commissioning might dry up.”

    Interesting that you picked this comment-whose writer doesn’t appear able to read.

    The latest poll on that question showed 21% DKs

    The writer appears incapable of simple arithmetic too-100-( 42 + 37) =21

  31. Statgeek and others

    Could you redo your political compass and put in a question as to religion? I have just seen an archived article that basically says that all left wing libertarian voters are Christians whilst all aetheists are right wing authoritarians. I questioned such remarks especially the basis on which these claims were made – Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and Nick Clegg.

    (On second thoughts putting such a question in might get quite funny results.)

  32. TOH

    I agree-you need the bricks in place to make the wall stay up.

    Confidence seems to be rising here-the “French Model” seems to be producing different results & reactions .

  33. Want to see a gender gap?

    How the 25-34 age group voted in 2010:

    Con 42%(+13), Lab 23%(-10), LD 30%(+3)
    turnout 56%(+7).

    Con 27%(+6), Lab 38%(-5), LD 27%(-1)
    turnout 54%(+6).

    This will have been the generation who had no real adult memories of a Tory goverment… but why such wide divergence?

    All age groups:
    Con 38%, Lab 28%, LD 22%, Other 12%
    Con 36%, Lab 31%, LD 26%, Other 8%.


  34. Colin

    Agreed, French socialism seems to be having a very negative effect on the French economy.

  35. Phil – it should be fine for gender breaks (not least because YG’s age and gender cross-breaks are interlocked and there are no reliable political targets for the political views of men and women so you’d not really have anything to weight them too if you wanted to)

  36. TOH

    Sgnr. Draghi seems to think so.

    I imagine GO is relieved he is not receiving that sort of comment from Mr. Carney.

  37. Does PK have any polling evidence that women have shifted towards Labour more than they have shifted towards men?

    Agreed, French socialism seems to be having a very negative effect on the French economy.

    -Chinese Socialism doesn’t seem to be doing too badly when it comes to the Chinese economy.

    Vietnam which also has a Socialist Government has achieved 30% Growth in GDP since 2008 which also looks a tad better than the -2% of our own Capitalist Utopia.

    Closer to Home Albania ,Socialist Government,has achieved 20% Growth since 2008.

    It is perhaps unwise to associate Growth with your favoured party politics as there is almost always an example where the reverse is true.

  39. AW – doesn’t that depend on whether YG recruits men and women to its panel in the same way? I’m guessing it probably doesn’t. The weightings for today’s poll show a big difference: the 18-24 males are weighted up by more than 300%. Is there a problem recruiting younger men to the panel?

  40. @Colin/TOH

    “Agreed, French socialism seems to be having a very negative effect on the French economy.”

    Steady on. If Cameron and Osborne were still blaming the last Labour Government for the state of the economy after three years in office surely Hollande has still got a lot more mileage in bemoaning Sarkozy’s legacy, hasn’t he? The poor devil’s only been in office for 16 months or so. By Cammo and Ozzy standards, there’s at least two more years of the “cleaning up the mess we inherited” mantra.

    Or was France booming in 2012? I could well be missing something here.

    Mind you, he could have been really lucky and inherited Berlusconi’s golden legacy! lol

  41. Reg,

    It’s an interesting theory, because one could assume a lot of right wingers are atheists based on the “I’m the only one in control of my destiny” mindset.

    Having said that, I’m a left-wing libertarian and technically agnostic but basically atheist. I’ve got views like a Christian Socialist without the God part.

  42. CB11 et al,

    The main fact about France is that it is in the eurozone. The previous Sarkosky administration signed up to the “growth and stability pact”, which, like one of Baldrick’s cunning plans, ensured a lack of growth and threatens financial instability. The pact bans the use of a budget deficit to stimulate demand when in fact this was/is exactly the measure required to get out of recession.

  43. Reg

    “….all aetheists are right wing authoritarians…”

    It would be my guess that an overwhelming majority of Trotskyists are atheists.

  44. So we look at polling data for 4 seats with a big UKIP swing. And UKIP win none of them.

  45. MrNameless,

    I agree that it is interesting but I do not think it is very valid. What you say sounds quite reasonable although I am still not sure how much religion affects your politics.
    Bad example though it is, I think I am right in saying there are less aetheists on the Government benches than there are on the opposition benches. This probably doesn’t mean anything as your religion could well have an effect on how easily you become an MP. You are a better theorist than me so you will probably have a better idea than me.

    Another interesting question might be whether a party candidate’s religion affects how readily people vote for them. It is all fairly complex I think.


    Why? Trotskyists of the past were forced to be aetheists by the narrow thinking of the time but why would they have to be now.

  46. Lord Ashcroft has some thoughts on polling

    I found this comment interesting “Most pollsters continue to judge that naming UKIP in the initial voting intention question has the effect of exaggerating the party’s score”

    I don’t understand why that would be the case?

  47. All the dates have gone wrong in the listing of polls – last 25 polls all listed as 13 Dec – the year and the date in the month have all been mixed up – today’s YouGov shown as 13 Dec 2016 instead of 16 Dec 2013 – ditto all other polls.

  48. CB11

    Draghi’s view seems pretty clear & simple-you can’t solve France’s competitiveness & public finance problems with more & more tax rises.

  49. I’ve missed the regler updates on the French economy.

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