This morning’s YouGov/Sun daily polling results are here. Topline figures are CON 33%, LAB 38%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 13%. Two noteworthy things in the regular trackers – one, the gap between the people blaming the government for the cuts (29%) and the people blaming Labour (33%) is the lowest YouGov have had so far. Two, people appear to be getting less worried, the 63% of people who say they worry about having enough money to live on is the lowest they’ve shown since the election, so is the 53% who worry about losing their job or having difficulty finding work. Both are presumably a sign of economic optimism continuing to creep slowly upwards.

Meanwhile the twice-weekly Populus poll yesterday had figures of CON 32%, LAB 37%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 15%. Full tabs are here.


590 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 33, LAB 38, LD 10, UKIP 13”

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  1. Five points seems set in stone by this point. Nice to have a new thread at last.

    “63% of people who say they worry about having enough money to live on is the lowest they’ve shown since the election, so is the 53% who worry about losing their job or having difficulty finding work.”

    Good to hear they’re moving in the right direction, but those seem shockingly high figures.

  2. I see the Worker’s Party is still 5 points behind.

    I like Rob Halfon and think his ideas would help reinvigorate his party, but I’m not sure now is quite the right time to advance that particular scheme.

  3. Since we’ve mentioned the Worker’s Party I might take the opportunity to introduce this Very Amusing Image (TM) I made: https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/t1/549078_4051500262972_975410008_n.jpg

  4. the tories are still in the game, but it’s looking increasingly difficult for them. as smithson points out, labour can get a majority even being ahead by just 1 or 2 points.

    The media and commentariat etc. certainly don’t seem that numerate. When they say that the tories will be the largest party, they seem to think that beating labour in the popular vote will somehow guarantee more seats than labour. It just doesn’t. By most calculations. The tories need to be 3 points ahead to finish up ahead in the seat tally. There is still a degree of “disconnect” on the scale of the challenge facing the tories.

    I have commented about constituency betting before. odds on individual seats seem to suggest some kind of slim labour majority, where the media and the more general betting is focusing on a hung parliament.

  5. peter crawford

    I don’t agree. I think that there will be a latish and quite large swing back to the Tories as we go to the polls in 2015 as the electorate face up to the question of who they want running the economy. So all to play for in my opinion.

    This is of course based on an assumption that the economy is steadily improving. If that proves to be wrong then it will be very hard for the Tories to win although i still think it possible.

  6. Here’s an interesting possibility: we saw in the last election how minor parties do better in campaigns, as they get more exposure. So the LDs were looking at doing significantly worse in 2010 than before and did badly in the Euro elections in 2009, but ended up increasing to the highest third-party vote since 1983.

    What does that imply for UKIP? If they gain >5% to their current VI at the GE, which is perfectly plausible, then that could totally swing the result, but we can’t say know HOW it would do so. If, for example, they pick up a lot of the Tory vote, that would change matters from Labour having a small-to-medium majority (I’ve been predicting a Labour majority with a relatively small majority in the 15-30 range) to a 1997-style landslide.

  7. […] people appear to be getting less worried, the 63% of people who say they worry about having enough money to live on is the lowest they’ve shown since the election, so is the 53% who worry about losing their job or having difficulty finding work. Both are presumably a sign of economic optimism continuing to creep slowly upwards

    I’m not really sure this is true. The odd thing about these tracker questions is that they all show a significant jump in optimism – even ‘suffer ill-health’ and ‘be victims of burglary’ which have little relationship to the economy. Maybe YouGov just had an unusually Pollyanna-ish sample, maybe it’s the coming of Spring, but we do need to see if this is one-off. These figures usually move very slowly, mainly because people always love a moan, so a coordinated shift like this is strange.

    [Reposted due to hidden l-word. This is geting silly]

  8. Of course even if there is an increase in economic optimism, the government may not benefit and may still be blamed for other things. The fact that the gap between the people blaming the government for the cuts (29%) and the people blaming Labour (33%) is the lowest YouGov have had so far might indicate this.

    I do however wonder if there isn’t a seasonal element here as well, though. If you look at the tracker file:

    http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/dodad15y73/YG-Archives-Pol-Trackers-Government%20Cuts-250214.pdf#page=13

    there was an increase in the percentage blaming the government this time of year in 2013 too. I suspect that with cuts hitting local authority services hardest and this being the time of year council charges are being set and future cuts announced, that people will be more aware of the topic through local papers etc. But the percentage blaming Labour is definitely down long-term, so the Government may find that a less fruitful line to take except with its core votes.

  9. Or it could be that falling unemployment and good growth figures do actually improve people’s financial outlook. Who’d have thought it?

  10. @Neil A

    “Or it could be that falling unemployment and good growth figures do actually improve people’s financial outlook. Who’d have thought it?”

    This is one of those classic chicken and egg conundrums, isn’t it? The figures and metrics as such do nothing for people’s sense of well being but you do hope and presume that if more people are getting jobs and GDP is increasing, then this feeds through eventually to key “feelgood” measures like economic optimism and levels of disposable income.

    Then the question is, do those people benefiting from these economic improvements thank and reward the government or do other voting determinants like health, education, transport, welfare, crime and immigration supersede their gratitude. At the moment, the current government doesn’t appear to be reaping any sort of political dividend from the economic recovery and whilst posters like Colin, JimJam and TOH are convinced that they eventually will, I continue to be both intrigued and surprised by how the voters are behaving in local elections and by-elections and what the opinion polls are continuing to tell us.

  11. I’m new here but phew, thanks for starting a new thread.

  12. @Bramley

    Welcome. You’re the apple of my eye!

  13. Cor!

  14. @Norbold

    I wonder what old Bramley’s like on his Blackberry.

    Or do you think he’s an Iphone man?

  15. CB – I think you misread me a little as to why I think the underlying positions of the ‘big 2’ are close.
    That there is GDP growth and that there will be real earnings growth is beyond much doubt I suggest but how this will affect VI is uncertain.
    I believe it is likely that the Tory part of the Government will benefit as real earnings grow later this year on the back of current GDP improvement.
    However, I have asked (rhetorically) many times to what extent the dividend will be moderated by a feeling that this is despite the Government not because of it and is it too little too late fort much of the swing electorate.

    Also Howard has a point imo that the ‘don’t let labour put our hard work and your sacrifice’ line will carry some back from DK/WV to Cons. (Even if I disagree).
    I believe, therefore, but not stridently that there will be a small swing Lab-Con (after churn) by the time of the GE starting late this Autumn.

    My stronger view which I accept is a minority on this board is that contrary to Bill I believe the UKIP vote will fall to 5-6% at the GE with a net gain Con v Lab of approx 3% which added to the low hanging DK/WV returnees to the Cons gives Lab a small lead at present if the GE was a mythical 4 weeks away.

    So I expect the Tories to get most votes but with Ashcroft unwind countering incumbency and LDs holding up better in their ‘Tory’ targets it will be close for most seats.

  16. What do we think of the Tories’ possible manifesto commitment not to form another coalition in 2015?

    I’m increasingly convinced Cameron et al. are trying to get out of politics in time to send their children to private school. It seems like the only possible explanation for many of their strategic decisions…

  17. @Spearmint

    It looks to me as if the Tories have essentially conceded the election and have concluded that they have to stop the party splitting.

    I am not so sure that the threat of mass defections to UKIP is particularly serious, personally, but Cameron seems to be sacrificing electability for the serious business of trying to keep his noisier activists quiet.

    I’m seriously worried about the Tories becoming a navel-gazing, madly-Europhobic irrelevance come a defeat in 2015.

  18. Spearmint
    “What do we think of the Tories’ possible manifesto commitment not to form another coalition in 2015?”
    ChrisRiley
    “It looks to me as if the Tories have essentially conceded the election and have concluded that they have to stop the party splitting.”

    I think you are both reading it wrong. I think the Tories are moving forward on a clear Election agenda (rightly or wrongly) that will be basically saying anything but a clear Tory majority would be an economic disaster for the country.

  19. Jim Jam

    Wrong Howard cited I am afraid. :-)

    Also your last two words do need a ‘marginal’ between them do they not?

  20. @ Chris Riley,

    I’m sure you’re right, that must be the calculation, but it’s not at all clear to me that stopping Peter Bone defecting to Ukip is even a good idea. If you accept (as Cameron once did and most reasonable commentators do) the premise that the Tories haven’t won an election in 22 years because they’re perceived as too rightwing, sloughing off some of the more extremist elements seems like a good strategy for navigating back to the centre.

    Maybe Rob Halfon will come back after the election and save them from themselves. Mind you, he’ll need a new seat first.

  21. Sorry Howard is t’other Howard of course I was naming (but not shaming).

    Re last two words no I actually mean the GE result close for most seats between Lab and Cons.

  22. @ T’Other Howard,

    Wouldn’t that be a tacit concession that the current government has been an economic disaster?

    [snip]

    (More seriously, you may be right but if so I think it’s a horrible strategic error, because it invites the Lib Dems to direct all their fire at the Tories. A big part of Labour’s economic credibility problem in this Parliament has been the way they’ve been attacked by both coalition parties, making it look as if they’re outside the establishment position on deficit reduction. A move to attack the Lib Dems on the economy positions Osborne as the extremist candidate instead of Balls.)

  23. Spearmint

    Sorry don’t see how that positions Osborne as an extremist candidate. I think the Tory argument is clear “we have done a good job clearing up Labours huge mess but there is much left to do and only we can do it”. Having said that it might be a strategic error. We shall see…………in 2015.

  24. 5 points in it.

    Barnaby Marder, for one, will be really happy you didn’t update the tracker.

    If we can get it down to a week of 4 points, that could be exciting enough for polldrums to be well and truly over.

  25. @Spearmint

    I agree. Clearing the Tory Augean Stables of the types who will always be malcontent is what is needed to get them back to proper electability and to restore a measure of health to the country’s body politic.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if, in the event of them shedding the more intractable, socially-illiberal activists, they gained members from the Lib Dem Right, which might be a much more attractive party to centrist voters.

  26. I posted on the “No More Coalition” announcement on the previous thread, and won’t repeat that in full. In brief, there are no disadvantages for Cameron in 2015 and some political gains that can be had now.

    As yet he has just made the suggestion, not done the deed. But Oh, the power of suggestion! Why commit yourself in the manifesto when everbody already believes you’re committed?

    One of the smarter bits of Tory spin recently.

  27. postageincluded

    Agreed.

  28. Assuming the LDs are reduced to around 25-30 MPs (which seems a reasonable assumption) it seems likely that a coalition with them wouldn’t form a stable government in any event.

    I’ve made this point in relation to Labour (after Clegg’s alleged Olive Branch) but I think it’s equally true for the Tories.

    Can anyone imagine how a Tory-LD coalition with a majority of 20 would function? There are at least that many Tories who’d vote against anything the LDs voted for on principle!

    Tory-LD coalition is only possible if the LDs are big enough to provide a 50+ majority (in my opinion). As I think that is virtually certain not to happen, I don’t think Cameron is giving too much away.

  29. There are pros and cons for both sides in nailing one’s colours to the mast and saying “It’s him or me”. On one hand you scare tactical and protest voters back in one direction or the other, but you also make yourself a hostage to fortune if you monster potential coalition partners too much.

  30. I agree with jim jam and other howard in saying it will be closer than at present. I don’t think anyone really thinks, or is saying, that labour will win the election by 5%.

    Jim Jam is clear at least in saying the he believes that UKIP will get down to 5-6%, and that the Tories will secure more votes than Labour.

    What he is less clear about is whether they will win more seats than labour.

    The Other Howard’s position remains unclear to me. Is he saying a) the polls will close from where they are now or b) the tories will poll more than labour or c) the tories will be the largest party in the post 2015 house of commons or d) the tories will form a majority government after the 2015 General Election.

    I think most people would agree with a) but disagree with d)…you can believe a) and b) and still think Ed Miliband gets into no. 10.

    I am between a) and b)… i still think labour will edge the popular vote…what does the Other Howard think? will the tories beat labour by enough to be the largest party?

    Of course, it’s all speculative, blah, blah and it’s too early to say and, of course there’s the economy, but that ‘s what i love betting markets. the market, in the form of people placing actual bets, takes all these factors into account.

    To all those out there who think the Tories will get back in as the largest party, I would implore you to try your convictions in the actual betting markets. There are great deals to be had, especially in the constituency bets, since the market doesn’t seem to be agreeing with you at all, at the moment.

    You guys are clearly smarter than the betting odds and should be making lots of money come May 2015.

  31. Ann in Wales,
    Interesting article just been posted by Melissa Kite in the Guardian,on just this
    Subject.

  32. The no coalition I mean.

  33. @Neil A

    You’ve got a point: it doesn’t sound feasible even though I think the LDs could get more seats than that. Is a LibLab Coalition any more workable? I don’t see it.

    Fortunately, on past experience, the chance of a hung parliament is about 1 in 9 – so it may never happen.

  34. T’other Howard

    “I think the Tory argument is clear “we have done a good job clearing up Labours huge mess but there is much left to do and only we can do it”.”

    Whether the argument is ‘clear’ or not is neither here nor there but do electors believe it? And, if they don’t accept it now, why should they change their mind between today and the general election? Is there any evidence to suggest that polling participants have somehow failed to grasp the arguments up til now but will do so by May 2015 and do so in favour of the Tories?

  35. @Ann
    Thanks for the tip off. I hadn’t thought that this might be an attempt to bounce Cameron rightwards but the rest of the piece sounds spot on to me.

    Hope you’re not needing too much Gaviscon at the moment btw.

  36. Good Evening All.
    NEWHOUSET.
    Labour fear a repeat of what happened in 1992, when voters made late decisions to the effect that Labour could not be trusted with the tough economic conditions facing the UK.

  37. The polling implications of this ‘no coalition’ promise could be interesting.

    I find it difficult to imagine that this will make many Lab/Lib Dem waverers in Lab marginals or targets move back to the Lib Dems and thereby threaten Lab seats. Although there might be some reasoning for this – eg Lib Dems won’t be propping up a Tory government – I think disquiet with the LDs runs too deep on the left to win many back. And besides, ‘no coalition’ doesn’t mean no support – LDs can still keep a minority Tory group in power, and I don’t think they are trusted on the left.

    Possibly of some benefit to Lab might be Con voters in Lab/LD marginals. If they no longer see LD’s as potential friends, will they think less of anti Lab tactical voting? What would be the point?

    My real interest though, is in Lab voters in Con/LD marginals. There is some evidence that Lab are picking up votes in no hope seats, from people who used to lend their votes to LD as a tactical anti Tory vote. If Cameron commits to not being friends with LDs, then this might encourage Lab tactical voters to return to LD in an attempt to make life tougher for Cameron.

    Then of course, we need to consider if this is another of Cameron’s ‘cast iron’ promises, like no plans to raise VAT, or no top down reform of the NHS.

  38. @ Chris Lane,

    It’s not clear that actually happened, though. The Labour VI basically remained constant through all of 1991-92 in the polls, while the Tories fell from their post-Thatcher-defenestration peak and then recovered to around parity.

    I don’t think Labour could have lost their economic credibility in a week, no matter how much people disliked the Sheffield rally or seeing Neil Kinnock’s head inside a lightbulb. It seems much more likely the polls were overestimating their vote share all along.

  39. The LibDems won’t go into Coalition with a party that’s pledged to withdraw from the ECHR and to hold an in/out referendum on the EU and I can’t see Labour going into a formal coalition with the Tories’ former governing partner. I reckon Miliband (who I expect to have the most MPs) will, if necessary, lead a minority government. Fairly likely he’ll have an overall majority, though (IMO, of course!).

  40. @CL1945 – “Labour fear a repeat of what happened in 1992, when voters made late decisions to the effect that Labour could not be trusted with the tough economic conditions facing the UK.”

    Or as some of us never tire of reminding people – “Labour fear a repeat of what happened in 1992, when opinion pollsters got the polls badly wrong throughout the parliament, thereby overstating the case that voters made late decisions to the effect that Labour could not be trusted with the tough economic conditions facing the UK.”

  41. Is it another 92, or another 97?

    It has some resemblances to each.

    The rapid rise of Labour and consistent nature of their lead say “1997”.

    The very tepid nature of that lead for most of the last year says “1992”.

    I see more similarities to 1997 than 1992, myself, but with better quality opinion polling, combined with an unpopular Labour leader, showing a rather narrower lead.

    I still think 2015 will see a narrowing of the lead, but I don’t think it will be enough to keep Cameron in No 10.

  42. @CHRISLANE1945: “Labour fear a repeat of what happened in 1992, when voters made late decisions to the effect that Labour could not be trusted with the tough economic conditions facing the UK.”

    Not aware of any evidence that happened. And what tough economic conditions was the UK facing?

  43. Chris,

    You have interesting opinions.

  44. Sorry if this has already been said, but I’m just wondering, given the speculation of a Tory surge just missing the target as we get to the next GE, how much they regret the fiasco over Lord’s reform. If they hadn’t annoyed the LDs so much on that one they would have had the boundary review and, maybe, another 20 seats.

  45. ChrisLane
    Voters don’t give a fig for anything so general as ‘UK economic conditions’ tough or otherwise. They do care about their own conditions. As a returning ex-pat, in my leafy area, they were all hoping for a recovery from the house price slump, which they thought the Conservatives would be more likely to achieve. A return to 1985 -1989 boom was dearly wished for. This country is dominated by people’s obsession with house prices.

  46. I see the most parallels to 1974, myself:

    “Who governs Britain?”

    “Not you, mate.”

    “Fine then, do you want a Labour government?”

    “Not especially.”

  47. And also, Labour might well have had 20 fewer. Does anyone have credible figures on what effect the boundary changes would have had?

  48. @ Mr Nameless

    I explained on p7 of last thread why Rosie and Daisie can understand the emotions of the people around them but not on this thread. Thought you’d be interested since you posted a link to the Yougov poll.

  49. I think the idea of a late Tory surge is just fantasy (or merely wishful thinking). I also expect Miliband to benefit most from the debates.

  50. I’ve actually just complained to the BBC over their coverage of the Harman non-story.

    It’s part of a trend. They often lazily follow the lead of the gutter press but I’m genuinely stunned at how low they have stooped this time. To give it second billing on the Radio 4 news is unbelievable.

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