There is a YouGov/Sun instant reaction poll of people who watched the debate (weighting to be a representative sample in terms of party support and attitudes to EU membership). Result was a pretty comfortable win for Farage: 57% think Farage did better, 36% think Clegg did better.

UPDATE: A long day, but a few thoughts about the Nick v Nigel debate. First up, remember that the vast majority of people didn’t watch it – to get 1000 people for our poll of people who were watching it we had to ask tens of thousands of people. Of course, that will be multiplied by people who didn’t watch the debate seeing the subsequent media reporting… but remember, most people didn’t see it.

Secondly, remember that this was not a zero game and in many ways it is not impossible for Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg to both come away with positives. While there is some crossover between UKIP and Lib Dem voters (the Lib Dems used to be the natural recipient of the “plague on both your houses vote” that now more naturally rests with UKIP), this wasn’t really a debate between two politicians seeking to win the favour of the same groups of voters. They had different reasons to be there.

Nigel Farage was there seeking to look like a serious figure leading a party that deserves to be taken seriously and be ranked along the other large parties. He was staking a claim for UKIP’s place at the top table. Clegg meanwhile was tying to put forward a positive reason to vote Lib Dem – Euro-enthusiasm is very much a minority pursuit in the UK, but there are a minority who are positive and enthusiastic about Europe and for a Lib Dem party hovering around the 10% mark in the polls it’s worth trying to appeal to them.

Meanwhile, tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun had topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 37%, LD 9%, UKIP 11%

249 Responses to “Clegg v Farage debate poll”

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  1. Catmanjeff

    Fascinating answer – I’m just a tad confused as to what post of mine you were answering!

    Kilmarnock by-election where the LDs didn’t stand in 2012, maybe?

    Impressed by your knowledge of the calendar though! :-)

  2. @Oldnat

    I responded to this:

    Does that mean Lab & Con are necking in GB? Seems reasonable after they did on the welfare cap. :-)

    I am sorry to inform I have no special powers of memory – just graphs with a date on!

  3. @ALISTER1948

    “…You can probably tell I am trying to change the subject as I have never heard of Thorium…”

    It’s between Odinium and Lokium on the periodic table.


    I’ll get me coat…

  4. @Carfrew

    Happy (?) memories. The man from NPower called at my door and I fell for his story. Of course they put their prices up by far more than what I’d saved a week or 3 later so I have never bothered since.

    However I’m a bit puzzled by the gov saying they’ve made switching easier. I remember it being completely seam less, and that must be well over 10 years ago.

  5. @Oldnat

    Not sure, but they had a snog in the BT strategy room.

    (sorry folks)

  6. PS changing broadband supplier (or changing address with the same one) is another matter entirely. Happy memories of standing in my flat talking on the phone to the Virgin media person who told me that flat didn’t exist whilst I informed him I was standing in it and looking at the Virgin modem left behind by the previous occupant.

  7. I wonder how much of Clegg’s 36% is down to general dislike of him and his party, as evidenced by the low poll ratings for the last 4 years? Could it be a case of people not just disliking the argument, but also not liking the arguer?

    The Conservatives’ poll bounce from the budget seems to be sticking thus far.

  8. Catmanjeff

    Ah! You confused a joke with a polling point, but still got it wrong, I’m afraid.

    The reference was to the Labour MPs voting “shoulder to shoulder” with the Tories & LDs on the welfare cap.

  9. BBC QT

    I haven’t come across antidisestablishmentarianism since my days as a history student.

    Not surprising that archaic ideas appear on QT.

  10. Like him or loathe him, GO is a great tactician, and this seems to have been a very clever budget, in terms of shoring up the Tory vote.

    IF, and it’s a big if, they can stay on 35%, it’s not a massive pre election push they’ll need to get the majority.

    As in the next six months, I shall move from being a student in Sheffield, to a full time worker in London, does that mean I should shift from Red to Blue in that time as well?

  11. @Jack R

    Aside from anything else, London is a Labour town (and we are going to win back Brentford and Isleworth!)

  12. Jack R

    “Like him or loathe him, GO is a great tactician”.

    Maybe that depends on which electorate he is being tactical about.

    Consensus of commentators on his currency union speech is that it’s had, a best, a zero effect in Scotland for his side.

  13. We’re getting to a situation where it may well be quite appropriate to be talking about Labour and Tory being “neck-and-neck” in the polls. The weekend ones, presuming there are to be some, will be interesting, especially if they detect a reduction in the Labour VI that is reflected in this latest YouGov. I can’t think that Labour have been on 36% in too many YouGov polls of late.

    Interesting. Things may well be on the move.


    “Happy (?) memories. The man from NPower called at my door and I fell for his story. Of course they put their prices up by far more than what I’d saved a week or 3 later so I have never bothered since.”


    Yeah, it’s hopeless. You might save a bit, briefly, if you’re lucky. If you’re paid by the hour it’s probably not worth your time. These companies didn’t get to invest all these billions in hoovering up assets by offering cracking deals…

  15. I’m no longer surprised by UKIP taking votes off Labour, but what I find a little bizarre about this is that they jumped in with a whopping 28% and the Tory vote actually went up.

    St Anne’s (Sunderland) Result:
    LAB – 48.1% (-24.0)
    UKIP – 28.2% (+28.2)
    CON – 17.6% (+3.5)
    GRN – 6.1% (-5.0)

    via @ColumnistElects

    I see turnout was 23%. I’m not really sure how that differs from normal.

  16. @Alistair

    “…You can probably tell I am trying to change the subject as I have never heard of Thorium…”


    You have now!! Personally, I come here for the stuff I haven’t heard about. Like, it takes ToH an hour longer to do his allotment than to cross the Atlantic by Concorde. Who knew?

    Such things as Thorium, might be considered geeky, but energy supply dwarfs many other concerns that get debated day-to-day, it’s just that more human issues are easier to relate to. Energy issues can cause wars in a way that a pasty tax probably wouldn’t; the implications of energy abundance are profound.

  17. @ STAN J

    Yes, very odd. The circumstances of the by-election as set out in the Sunderland Echo provide some clues…

    “Former Labour councillor Lisa Smiles (pictured below) resigned just days before she was due to be thrown off the council for failing to attend meetings for six months.

    She was convicted in September of fraudulently claiming £2,318 in housing and council tax benefits, having failed to declare income including her councillor’s allowance.”

  18. @Guymonde

    Aha! Thanks. Now I’m just wondering if the UKIP candidate had some kind of Labour connection (or whatever) which put Conservative vote beyond her. I suppose it doesn’t matter in the great scheme of things but I still find it strange how she didn’t eat into it at all.

  19. @ STANJ

    I agree with GUYMONDE the UKIP vote here is probably nearly all Labour protest voters. The Tories have very few but loyal supporters in Sunderland,, even though the it looks like they had a respectable rise in the vote share it was only 6 more than they received in the 2012 election.


    “Happy (?) memories. The man from NPower called at my door and I fell for his story. Of course they put their prices up by far more than what I’d saved a week or 3 later so I have never bothered since.”


    At the time, I remember reading accounts in the press of people being duped into signing switching contracts… sometimes they got put down to switch without signing anything. And then the mobile phone companies got hold of the same methods, and it started over again. They would portray themselves as if from your provider, and tempting to believe them because they knew your details, knew when your contract was up. When actually, someone had sold your details on…

    Wonderful world, this customer-focused, private-sector efficiency thing. I used to be able to use my landline, not any more with all the robocalls. It’s just there for broadband, oh the irony…

  21. Rounding error report.

    This time there’s none – it is a genuine 1% gap.

  22. @ Ewen Lightfoot

    “Welcome back, anything we should know abt the ’16 presidential yet, especially how is Hils positioning herself ?”

    You know what’s funny? I have been so busy and overwhelmed with 2014 races that I haven’t even thought about 2016.

    About 9-10 weeks ago today, my worst nightmare came true. My Congressman of 40 years, the great Liberal icon that he is, announced that he was retiring. It took me by surprise. He’d already announced he was running for reelection. And the news devastated me really. I mean, I get why he’s going and he’s done so much that I hold no resentments. But it’s still sad. He is one of the all-time greats and he’s done so much for the country and we still need him in Congress. And so I went through a slight period of mourning (which is actually quite weird when you stop and realize, the dude ain’t dead yet, in fact he’s still in office till January 3rd, 2015).

    Anyway, everyone and their mother decided to jump in and run for the seat (I think 21 candidates in all). That included a State Senator who represents a large part of the Congressional District which meant his State Senate seat (which he was running for) became open with a whole lot of other people jumping into that. An Assemblyman nearly got into the race too meaning his Assembly seat was going to vacate (and I thought about running for that myself, which was a slightly insane idea but not the craziest scheme I’ve ever come up with given the circumstances…..sadly I don’t have the ability to run for Congress or the State Senate seat) but then he chickened out of running. This was odd because he apparently indicated to the Congressman he was thinking of running and quite honestly, he would have had the best chance. We could have had three different open legislative races (actually we already have an open County Supervisor’s race).

    Meanwhile, even though the Congressional seat is supposedly safely Democratic, we might actually lose the seat due to new electoral system. In fact, there’s already an independent candidate in the race (she was running against the current incumbent) who’s a very wealthy and nationally well-known licensed joyologist. She’s got a huge, cult-like following and lots of money to spend. And the two main Democrats are rather weak candidates. So it’s kind of a mess. And, as you might imagine, rather distracting from 2016.

    Anyway, the good news is, I’ve got two clients out of this as I look to practice political law: one candidate for the Congressional seat and one for the State Senate seat.

  23. Thank you to Martyn, Carfrew and anyone else who has enlightened me as to Thorium.

    I wish I’d paid more attention to Archie Andrews and Doc Harris in class now – mind you Doc H. did set the lab on fire. Probably phosphorus.

  24. Socal
    Love your updates from the land of the free ! What in the name of all that’s holy is a Joyologist ? (Licensed or otherwise).

  25. Colin Davis

    “Privatising all the now private ‘stuff’ (energy, the utilities, rail, phone, mail, health, heaven help us) turns out to be have had the worst possible outcome for consumers”

    That looks like a subjective view to me. If not could you show me figures that prove that in the examples you quote please.

  26. CB11

    @We’re getting to a situation where it may well be quite appropriate to be talking about Labour and Tory being “neck-and-neck” in the polls.”

    Tautological heaven -& a joy to read.. lol.

  27. Colin

    Indeed, and the Labour 36 is the lowest since September and the average for the last five YouGov polls is 37.2 so perhaps 38 not written in stone.

  28. TOH

    Yes- I never did believe all those “written in stone” rules.

    It certainly looks as though a Budget bounce of a couple of points or so is enduring.

    Would like to see Net Approval declining towards 0 though. I have a strange belief in it. !

  29. @ John Murphy

    “Mr Milliband might watch his back if there’s a second debacle in Scotland – and oddly the more likelihood there is of a Conservative majority government the more likely that is.
    I still think Milliband is more ruthless than he appears – were I Ed Balls I would not be counting my chickens…”

    The guy ran against his own brother. He removed Jim Murphy (Labour’s best choice for a leader) on a whim. I think he’s established that he’s pretty ruthless. Perhaps not in the Frank Underwood sort of way (but even Underwood had some laughable moments in debate).

  30. @Colin

    “Tautological heaven -& a joy to read.. lol.”

    Always happy to oblige my large and loyal readership! lol

  31. @ Ewen Lightfoot

    “Love your updates from the land of the free ! What in the name of all that’s holy is a Joyologist ? (Licensed or otherwise).”

    Did I mention the election is in June? There have already been two different court battles over one Republican candidate attempting to get on the ballot in the State Senate race. I’ve even had my own conversations with the Secretary of State’s office on what a candidate could designate himself profession wise on the ballot.

    As for this candidate who I term a “licensed joyologist”, well, she’s really more of a faith healer. She’s basically this woman who is a best selling author writing these spiritual self-help books that are quasi-religious in nature promoting a lot of bs. More of a scam artist really with a lot of followers (including Oprah). My mother refers to her as “that wacko woman.” Anyway, with her massive amounts of money, her fame, her devoted followers, and now a top rated (though lousy) political consultant who’s infamous for slinging more mud than just about anyone, she’s decided to take on the two party system. She announced her bid in October against the incumbent. However, as I discovered (accidentally), she’d actually been planning this for quite some time (since before the last election actually). Now, she’s kind of a left winger but she is pro-life (which she’s trying to backtrack on).

    A licensed joyologist is someone who looks for joy in everything and generally promotes it among people who need it and looks for ways of creatively finding it.

    I checked tonight. There are 18 candidates running. 1 Libertarian, 1 Green, 10 Democrats, 3 Republicans, and 3 Decline to State. So because they all appear together on the ballot, there is a risk of a vote split.

    One interesting thing is that the closeted Republican who ran last time pretending to be an Independent and spent 10 million dollars of his own money is not running this time, shocking nearly everyone.

    I thought it would have been interesting if this guy and the licensed joyologist had gotten into it, they could have spent millions on ads lecturing each other on what it means to be an “Independent.” Side note: in California, there is no such thing as an ‘Independent.’ We have Decline to State voters who do not wish to register with a political party. There is an ‘American Independence Party’ but they are in fact a neo Nazi party.

    Oh and you’ll find this fascinating, there’s a candidate in my State Senate district who’s name is Barbi. Who names their kid Barbi? I mean, really.

  32. Colin Davis

    Further to my question. I keep detailed financial records and have done since 1993. I have done a quick check on those items it is easy to get at and would comment as follows.

    sewage, water, telephone and electricity costs below the cumulative inflation rate (used RPI) over the period since 1993. Gas well above.

  33. CB11

    The “joy” derived from the change in tone of a source who has been such a strong advocate of “The Slow Death of The Tory Party “.

  34. @ Guymonde

    I was lucky- when the bloke called he said “yeah we can beat your current price” but when I asked what the rates were so I could check with my current bill he just kept waving a piece of paper at me to sign and still wouldn’t provide them just storming off in a huff when we reached an impasse.

    I guess it was pretty full employment in those days and the slick salespeople had better things to do.

  35. Colin

    May Euro election now looks very interesting. Labour have dropped four so we now stand at

    Labou 28
    Cons 24
    UKIP 26

    Who will win?

  36. TOH

    Yes- I saw that .
    It looks like a close run thing,

    I must say I see it as a completely meaningless election-but UKIP’s performance will be the focus of attention.

    I noted that both NF’s & NC’s closing remarks in the debate were essentially requests for votes in the Euros.
    Despite the debate being billed as a discussion about EU membership.

  37. Labour on 36% and the Tories on 35% is well within MOE for what seem to be the underlying averages.

    Namely Labour on c.37.5% and the Tories on c.34%

    I wouldn’t get too excited about probable outliers.

  38. Scotland’s CB seems to be part of the culprit this time. After me saying that Lab VI firming up, it dropped from 40% to 32% (1% nationally) on the previous day. Con is up 2% (0.25% nationally).

    I think we got so used to 6% leads and the cross breaks that made them, that we see anything else as odd.

  39. T’other H
    Gas always used to be thought the cheapest option as far as home heating was concerned, l wonder if , once this was established in the public consciousness and heating systems installed, that then the unit price was increased ?
    I used to be a teacher for many years and we would keep an eye on changes and innovations in the kids names, never had a Barbi , although there were plenty of Chardonnays and even a Chanel or two. Victorian names that were making a comeback included Agnes and Wilfred but sadly no sign of Agatha, Gladys or Albert. Oscar yes, Mable no.

  40. Oh and UKIP’s 5-poll average of 2% in Scotland jumped to 6% in the most recent poll, while the LD’s VI did not drop. Interesting results, if the debate did this.

  41. An extra i in Socal and a missing ‘ in kid’s ! Sorry.

  42. I have a feeling that the polls will be affected by the EU elections coming up in May. Some of the Labour polling may be dampened by support going to UKIP, whereas I suspect that an optimum amount of Tories are already with UKIP.

    Once the EU elections are over, we may see polling go back to the previous trend, with Labour holding say a 5% lead, until a few months before the general election.

    Rupert Murdoch tweeted yesterday to say that he expected ‘ radical Labour’ to win the general election in 2015.

  43. Wrong position for the ‘ too !
    Bloody i-phone, (cough ,cough).

  44. Populus:

    Lab 37 (+2)
    Cons 35 (+1)
    LD 8 (-2)
    UKIP 12 (-1)

  45. Forgive me for asking someone else better equipped (now now I don’t mean that!!) than me to work out.

    How much of the Lab drop in the last week or so 1-1.5% I reckon been due to 2010 Con WV/DKs returning as notional turnout increases.
    I suspect Labour has lost few supporters after churn.

    IMO – this was always probable but does not dent my view that Labour VI and retaining the ‘SDP’ 2010 LD switchers is the biggest factor in the 2015 GE.

  46. I think we have only been able to call those the ‘underlying averages’ very recently.

  47. Osborne “the great tactician” presented the worst budget in 50 years in 2012…”omnishambles” entered the Oxford English Dictionary and the tories still haven’t fully recovered from the status quo before March 2012, when they were sometimes ahead in the polls.

  48. New thread

  49. “Osborne “the great tactician” presented the worst budget in 50 years”


    Following that budget, it’s just possible that it was Crosby’s tactics on welfare immigration that got Tories within striking range in the first place… and that in turn required a media willing to push the message…

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