The weekly YouGov/Sunday Times poll is up online here. Topline figures are CON 31%, LAB 36%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 15%. UKIP at 15 is high by their recent standards, though we’ve seen a couple in recent weeks. Also worth noting is that the Greens are on 4%, once again, high by recent standards but something that’s popped up a couple of times this week. I suspect in both cases there is something of the impending European elections boosting parties outside the traditional big three. This also happened at the last European elections, though back then it was impossible to confidently distinguish it from the effect of the expenses scandal.

There is even better news for UKIP and the Greens on European election voting intention. YouGov have been showing UKIP challenging Labour for first place since the debates, they’ve now overtaken – topline European VI stands at CON 19%, LAB 28%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 31%, GREEN 8% – UKIP in first place, Greens challenging the Lib Dems for fourth.

The strong UKIP showing at the European elections does NOT mean people support leaving the EU. Asked how they’d vote in a referendum on EU membership 40% say they would vote to stay, 37% say they would vote to leave. While the lead is only three points, YouGov’s regular tracker is now consistently showing a lead for staying in. In the event David Cameron managed to renegotiate Britain’s membership people would be almost 2-to-1 in favour of remaining within the EU. This raises the question of what counts as a successful renegotiation – the thing people would most like to see is, by some distance, a limit on EU immigration, picked by 56% of respondents. Presented with Cameron’s actual renegotiating priorities 42% say they don’t go far enough, 15% that they go too far, 25% that they are about right.

Cameron’s own position doesn’t seem to be under much risk as a result of the EU elections or the Scottish referendum. As we discussed with the Maria Miller issue, on resignation questions political opponents tend to say people should resign *anyway* – the relevant thing to look at seems to be more the supporters of a politician’s OWN party. So as things stand 44% think Cameron should remain Tory leader and PM (including 88% of Tories), 27% think he should go (mostly Lab, Lib and UKIP). Asked what should happen if the Tories come third in the European election 40% think he should stay, 35% think he should go (amongst Tories 15% think he should resign, 76% think he should stay). If Scotland votes to become independent 49% think he should stay, 26% think he should go (amongst Tories 6% resign, 87% think he should stay). Of course, this is just public opinion, and hypothetical opinion at that: if Scotland votes YES (which would be the far more unprecedented and unpredictable event we don’t know how Westminster opinion would react, or how the public would react to it actually happening.

Turning to UKIP, most people do tend to see UKIP as a protest party (57%) rather than a serious party (20%) – but amongst UKIP voters themselves 71% think they are a serious party with workable policies. Only 25% of people say the UKIP posters this week are racist – 66% do not. Asked about Nigel Farage personally 27% think he is racist, 50% do not. Judging by this and the European election voting intention figures the fuss over the UKIP posters is more likely to have helped their support than damaged it.

Asked about the leaders debates at the next election half of people now want Nigel Farage included. 13% would prefer debates between just Cameron and Miliband as the only potential Prime Ministers, 19% to have three way debates with Clegg like last time.

There was also the fortnightly Opinium poll for the Observer last night – they had topline figures of CON 32%(+2), LAB 34%(-2), LDEM 7%(nc), UKIP 18%(nc)


378 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 31, LAB 36, LD 9, UKIP 15”

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  1. @AW at 3.28pm

    I know you can’t defame the dead, but are there really living individuals – speaking hypothetically – who have such poor public reputations that they are incapable of being defamed? Of course, it might have been satire. Or you have a very, very good lawyer…

  2. I have to say I find all this debate about how so and so will be excluded from any TV debates next time quite amusing.

    My view is that if Con and Lab manipulate the situation to exclude either LD or UKIP it will do the latter parties more good than harm as the public (in the current anti-politics mood) will see right through the manipulation.

    A good way for Nick and Nigel to add votes without even opening their mouths. That would be a first.

  3. @GRHINPORTS

    The LDs cannot be excluded as the bar is set according to performance at the last applicable elections – in this case 2010. UKIP can and will be excluded for the same reason.

  4. Nigel yes, Nick no, nothing will help.

  5. GRHP

    “I have to say I find all this debate about how so and so will be excluded from any TV debates next time quite amusing.”

    You must have a low humour threshold.

  6. R.and D,
    My ex,thankfully ,mother in law always used to put me down when I found things funny ,by saying imperiously “Well your are obviously easily amused.”
    As for the debates will they not be based on the parties manifestos so what they have done in goverment will not count,as it were ?

  7. @Ann in Wales

    I suspect the Coalition parties will treat the debates as an end of term review and seek to trumpet how spiffingly they have performed.

  8. “As for the debates will they not be based on the parties manifestos so what they have done in goverment will not count,as it were ?”

    That really does give the coalition an unfair advantage!

    Peter.

  9. YouGov/Sun poll tonight – Labour lead by five points: CON 32%, LAB 37%, LD 10%, UKIP 15%

  10. the labour lead is probably at least 2%, maybe as high as 3-4%…the tories have to move to 3 points ahead in little more than a year to have a stab at largest party.

  11. The formal election campaign usually favours the Opposition – which effectively means the Tories have 11 months to build up a lead.

  12. Notable perhaps that after Ukip, Tories are next most-likely to favour a four-way debate. 53% of Tories think there should be a four-way, compared to 42% Labour and 40% LD.

    (Unsurprisingly, 92% of Ukippers want Farage included…)

  13. “@ peter crawford

    the labour lead is probably at least 2%, maybe as high as 3-4%…the tories have to move to 3 points ahead in little more than a year to have a stab at largest party.”

    I have mucked around on the electoral calculus prediction site with numbers and from what I could see the Tories would need to be between 4 and 5% ahead of Labour in votes to achieve a majority. I am not sure this is possible because UKIP are likely to do better than in 2010 and because of tactical voting.

    If you look at the seats Labour need to win to achieve having the most seats, the majorities are pretty small. There are 50 Labour target seats with majorities held of less than 3000. In those seats in 2010, Labour would not have been popular with some, after 13 years in government, just having a major financial crash. In 2015, after 5 years of coalition, people may think differently.

  14. GRAHAM.
    That is very interesting on the normal effects of GE campaigns.
    THE TIMES had a pessimistic article about Norwich North, a seat I knew well. (It was pessimistic for Labour)

  15. YouGov/Sun poll tonight – Labour lead by five points: CON 32%, LAB 37%, LD 10%, UKIP 15%

    UKIP are starting to get into that band of support, 15%+, where I think any further increases for them will start to eat into the Labour vote at the same sort of rate that it is eroding the Tory vote. The low hanging fruit, which they’ve now more or less plucked, was essentially disaffected Tories and this took their support into the early teens. These polls are starting to suggest that they may now be nibbling into Labour’s support.

    If they get to the magic 20% in the polls after the Euro elections, I wonder if we might start to see some configurations around the Lab 33 Con 28 LD9 UKIP 20 mark.

    Cats amongst pigeons and all that.

  16. Another group of voters of interest are don’t knows and disgruntled semi-Tories who previously had no-one else to vote for. Now they find at an EU election there’s a party for them, winning seats, and thus are tempted to keep on voting UKIP.

    Shall we see the UKIP effect after the EU elections? The cats are beginning to look at those pigeons and meow in anticipation.

  17. CB11,

    ” … I think any further increases for them [UKIP] will start to eat into the Labour vote at the same sort of rate that it is eroding the Tory vote.”

    Up til now, UKIP seem to be taking votes from Tories and Labour in the ratio of between 4 to 1 and about 7 to 1 respectively. Why do you think that soon they will take them equally from each? Is it based on polling evidence or something else?

    ” These polls are starting to suggest that they may now be nibbling into Labour’s support.”

    Not ‘starting’, surely, it’s been going on for ages at the ratios quoted by me above. Nothing’s changed – UKIP have been ‘nibbling’ at Labour support and ‘biting great chunks’ out of Tory votes.

    Unless you know different?

  18. CB11,

    On UNS, that would give a Labour majority of 62 and no UKIP seats. Yes, FPTP is rubbish.

  19. Not quite sure why posters are so keen to imagine GE
    Scenarios other than the one from the last polls which show a comfortable
    Labour majority of >50. UKIP’s vote is certain to fade after protests are registered next month. Given that it’s core appeal is to older, disillusioned
    Right Wingers, it is also reasonable to predict that Labour will very gradually climb back towards 40% unless there is a much stronger feelgood factor amongst wage earners AND this is attributed to the Coalition. If Labour start this mini ascent in June-Sept, it may also damp down the nationalists – it’s already started in Wales where Plaid are set to lose their only seat in the European Parliament and are unpopular in most of the country ( and will poll well below UKIP next month).

  20. Now that politics in England seem to be changing, I wonder if anyone on here has reconsidered their view at the time of the AV referendum?

  21. I find it amusing to see UKIP supporters bemoaning the unfairness of FPTP as I seem to recall they were the most opposed to AV.

    but then AV represented change from tradition so hardly a plus for UKIPers.

    Peter.

  22. @ oldnat

    Now that politics in England seem to be changing, I wonder if anyone on here has reconsidered their view at the time of the AV referendum?

    I voted for AV, in the hope that if it was accepted, we would eventually move to a PR system.

    In my opinion, the coalition may have made people more eager to retain FPTP. Before 2010, I think polling suggested that coalitions were popular and now most people are against. With AV or PR, you will get mostly coalition governments.

  23. there are many Tories in the south of England who will vote UKIP next month but return to the fold come the election.
    for that reason alone one should be wary of relying too much on current opinion polls comforting as they may be to labour. I see the comment that the opposition increase their vote towards the election. this puzzles me because I regularly see the opposite view expressed. could this be a selective view depending on whom one supports.

  24. PETER CAIRNS (SNP)
    “I find it amusing to see UKIP supporters bemoaning the unfairness of FPTP as I seem to recall they were the most opposed to AV.”

    Your recollection is incorrect, Peter. UKIP were pro AV and had PR as an aim in their 2010 campaign. I didn’t download a copy of their manifesto for fairly obvious reasons but I recall that at the time I was mildly but pleasantly surprised that Farage does seem to be a democrat.

    See “Farage: AV is the thin of the wedge, that’s why we support it” at http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2011/05/farage-av-is-the-thin-of-the-wedge-thats-why-we-support-it/

  25. Well, now we know where political power lies[1].

    Miliband on TV leader debates – the TV companies will “ultimately determine who is invited”.

    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2014/04/miliband-calls-camerons-bluff-tv-debates

    [1] With CBI members.

  26. @Crossbat

    The rise in Ukip’s vote and the 1% drop in Labour’s support in recent days doesn’t necessarily mean Ukip are nibbling away at Labour’s vote. It could simply be that Ukip are bringing people into the active electorate who were previously planning not to bother voting. That would nudge down the other parties’ share of the electorate without them necessarily losing support.

    The prospect of Ukip making major inroads into Labour’s support is generally overblown and doesn’t worry me. It’ll only be a problem if Labour panic and think it’s a problem, and start trying to pander to Ukip voters. That could test the loyalties of some of Labour’s existing supporters, particularly Lib Dem defectors.

  27. I find this type of situation very funny.

    http://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/news/11177158.Illogan_councillor_with_fake_MBE_will_resign/?ref=var_0

    It reminds me of Dads Army, where Mainwaring is keeping a secret that he was never really a captain previously.

  28. @AMBER STAR

    Yes IDS does have that affect. He always sounds like he is on the verge of a cough !

  29. Chrislane

    Interesting! I live in Norwich North – though not sure I would rely on The Times or any other newspaper when it comes to psephology! Most simply have not got a clue.

  30. @PETER CAIRNS (SNP): “I find it amusing to see UKIP supporters bemoaning the unfairness of FPTP as I seem to recall they were the most opposed to AV.”

    As has been pointed out, UKIP campaigned in favour of AV. However there must be more than a few Tories questioning why they didn’t do the same.

  31. @Oldnat

    I was against the AV referendum at the time, but was pro-AV in general. I just didn’t like the idea that one party, with circa 10% of the vote was pushing for something because it suited them.

    Said party was not for the boundary changes, despite their insistence that they are for fairness in electoral situations etc.

    In other words, let’s have a different system when the current one is proven to be a failed system (two or three GEs I think).

  32. I voted for AV, despite disliking the AV system, as it was a potential chink in the armour of FPTP. Like Farage and others what I really want is PR of some description (ideally not regional lists..)

  33. Your kind of missing the point people,

    Just because UKIP supported AV didn’t mean their supporters voted for it.
    They didn’t.

    The Tories support the EU but I suspect close to a majority of their supporters would vote to leave. I am also pretty sure a majority of Labour voters weren’t keen on Invading Iraq.

    There is a difference between what a party wants and what it’s supporters do, one of the reasons Party’s sometimes produce Manifestos that lose them elections.

    Peter.

  34. @Statgeek

    The LDs wanted STV – a genuinely proportional system (compared to AV in single member constituencies which isn’t).
    The Tories would not allow them to have it. So they pushed for AV+. Again, no deal. So they settled for AV – something even they did not really want. So I would disagree that the LDs tried to force AV on the electorate for partisan gain.

    Although I support STV, I voted for AV because I thought it might encourage Westminster to progress to a proportional system.

    As for the boundaries issue, the LDs voted against use of the new boundaries in 2015 as the Tories failed to support them on House of Lords reform.

    Of course you know all of this anyway!

  35. “There is a difference between what a party wants and what it’s supporters do, one of the reasons Party’s sometimes produce Manifestos that lose them elections.”

    ————

    Sometimes, it’s the other way around… parties produce manifestos their supporters want, but then don’t deliver the manifesto…

  36. @David Englehart

    GE VI pollsters already include weighting (of some kind) for past vote. Many do this by reallocating DKs in proportion to who they voted for last time.

    I suspect if UKIP continue to poll at 15%+, some pollsters (if they do not do so already) will underweight UKIP and overweight the Tories to account for likely partial rollback.

  37. TV debates don’t really tell you a great deal, beyond shallow sound bites and who’s been coaching who on body language.

    Cameron seemed rather nervous during the extended job interview with Jeremy Paxman conducted on the empty floor of an office block. Curiously I can find no record of it on YouTube, though there are bits of the ones with Brown and Clegg… plus the “you’re the man with the bucket who walks behind the horse” interview which meant George Osborne took no further part in the election campaigning.

    Gary Gibbon gave them all a good grilling for C4, but didn’t get the same amount of time.

    Focusing entirely on the personality of the leader distorts things… the 1997 campaign was more a case of Blair being first among equals in a gifted shadow cabinet.

  38. The evidence is that campaigns rarely change anything and when they do it’s by very little. Debates or no debates, good press or bad press, regardless of manifesto contents, PPBs, posters or flyers, at the end of the election campaign almost everyone will vote exactly the same way they were going to vote anyway.

  39. RAF – you’re confusing two different things. Weighting by past vote is about getting an accurate sample, about correcting for any skew in your sampling that leads to too many Labour, Conservative, UKIP or whatever supporters.

    Past vote doesn’t mean it’s making any assumptions about people voting as they did before, or that they’ll return to their old habits, it’s just that the results of the 2010 are known. People’s current support may change, but how they actually voted in 2010 can never change (their memory of it might, but that’s a different story). Hence if you get a sample where 50% of people say they voted Labour last time then, false memory aside, you know that your sample was biased towards Labour and needs correcting by weighting.

    The reallocation of don’t knows is a completely different thing, with completely different aims. That is based on the observation that different parties supporters have different levels of don’t knows – for example, you might get a situation where only 5% of people who voted Tory last time say don’t know, but 25% of people who voted Lib Dem. Previous practice was to just ignore don’t knows, but if the people saying “don’t know” are disportionately former Lib Dems that risks rather skewing things, as they are presumably more likely to go back to voting Lib Dem. To deal with that ICM reallocate a poportion of those people back to the Lib Dems (Populus used to do the same, they don’t anymore). Unlike past vote weighting, past vote allocation DOES make the assumption that don’t knows are more likely to vote for the party they did last time than anything else, so does move results back towards what happened last time.

    No companies really weight in the way you suggest, nor are likely to. Weighting schemes are designed to get a sample that accurately reflects the current situation, not what pollsters guess will happen. If we think UKIP will decline as the election approaches we’ll just wait and see if it happens in the actual figures, we won’t bugger about with the weighting to make it happen, that would rather defeat the object of polling.

  40. “In other words, let’s have a different system when the current one is proven to be a failed system (two or three GEs I think).”

    Good grief. Haven’t the last fifty years provided enough proof already? The problem with the AV referendum was those who saw it primarily as a Clegg referendum. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

  41. I think the current system has more than proved to have failed.

    We need PR and we need it now.

  42. We need to keep an eye on Pfizer’s mooted takeover of AstraZeneca. I’m ex- pharma and all my old colleagues see this as potentially disastrous for UK science.

    Pfizer pulled R&D out of the UK despite having the UK’s largest private sector R&D facility at Sandwich, and there is perfectly good reason to believe, post an AZ takeover and with a Treasury not considered keen on public spending on science, that ultimately they’d pull AZ’s research out of the UK as well. There would be hollow laughter from Alderley Park, but it would still be very bad news for the UK’s status as a centre of scientific research.

    We need an industrial strategy in this country.

  43. @rogerh – “… at the end of the election campaign almost everyone will vote exactly the same way they were going to vote anyway.”

    Polling evidence suggests that a fair proportion of the electorate don’t actually know how they will vote (haven’t made up their minds), so perhaps the campaign just brings it out, or confirms nebulous intentions? I think there is plenty of random activity which can seem like an even flow, but it can also be quite erratic under certain circumstances.

    I know you have posted a link to a study which backs up your assertion, but is it true for every election?

    The the potential for late switching between Lab/LD, Con/Ukip etc makes the dynamics of the 2015 campaign uncertain imo.

  44. @R Huckle,

    These were the results for that ward on Cornwall Council in 2013:
    Conservative 29%
    Mebyon Kernow 25%
    UKIP 23%
    Liberal Democrat 14%
    Labour 10%

    Rydhsys rag Kernow lemmyn!

  45. ” GDP increased by 0.8% in Q1 2014 compared with growth of 0.7% in Q4 2013.
    • Output increased in three of the four main industrial groupings within the economy in Q1 2014
    compared with Q4 2013. In order of their contribution, output increased by 0.9% in services,0.8% in production and 0.3% in construction. However, output decreased by 0.7% in agriculture.
    • In Q1 2014 GDP was estimated to be 0.6% below the peak in Q1 2008. From peak to trough in 2009, the economy shrank by 7.2%.
    • GDP was 3.1% higher in Q1 2014 compared with the same quarter a year ago ”

    ONS
    Gross Domestic Product
    Preliminary Estimate, Q1 2014

  46. Qi 2013 to Q1 2014 GDP growth by sector :-

    Production ( 15.2% of GDP) .2.5%

    Construction ( 6.3% of GDP ) . 5.1%

    Services ( 77.8% of GDP):-
    Distribution, hotels & restaurants 4.9%
    Transport, storage & communication 1.4%
    Business services & finance 3.6%
    Government & other services 1.5%

    Agriculture ( 0.7% of GDP ) .1.8%

  47. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-27203433

    Colin

    GDP growth below what was expected and the economy is still below its peak in 2008. I expect growth will be maintained at similar levels until May 2015, but taking into account adjustments, the economy may only be just above where it was in 2008.

    The coalition parties will no doubt say that the economy is in the process of recovery, don’t let Labour wreck it. But Labour will no doubt say something like, you have had some of the pain, but no gain.

    Much of the cuts to state spending are still to be made after May 2015. There will be massive pressure within public and private sector for pay rises, as most people have had no increase for years. People are going to look at the parties, thinking who will offer the best chance of making them better off. A programme of more austerity, job cuts and pay rises 1% or less may not be very attractive. It will interesting how the parties deal with this. One man tax cut is another mans job loss.

  48. @”Rydhsys rag Kernow lemmyn!”

    Cornwall County Council Election 2013

    MK-4.8%

  49. R HUCKLE

    @” It will interesting how the parties deal with this. ”

    Yep :-)

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