The Sun politics team have tweeted tonight’s YouGov poll – the topline figures show the same five point Labour lead as yesterday: CON 32%, LAB 37%, LD 9%, UKIP 14%.

There’s more interesting electoral news though, Patrick Mercer has resigned in Newark triggered a by-election in what would normally be a safe Tory seat. The timing could hardly be worse for the Conservatives – it is too late for the by-election to be held on the same day as the European elections, so the by-election will presumably come fairly soon afterwards, at a time when UKIP will almost certainly be enjoying a big publicity boost from having done well in the European elections…

131 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 32, LAB 37, LD 9, UKIP 14”

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  1. Neil A

    Just wondering what your post was based on. AFAIK this is the first YG Scottish Euro poll.

  2. One important consequence of the Mercer “resignation” is that Chris Huhne, previous Crown Steward and Bailiff of the three Chiltern Hundreds of Stoke, Desborough and Burnham, has been sacked – which given his moonlighting as a (pretty useless) commentator at the Grauniad is more than deserved.

  3. PostageIncluded

    LOL. It had never occurred to me that the Chiltern Hundreds operated under the old Trade Union motto of “Last in, first out”.

  4. ooookay, I’m gonna try and introduce a new concept here, or at least it’s new to me anyway, that of “residual salience”, or “latent” salience, you get a choice!!

    If you look at the Mori issue tracker, immigration is vying with the economy for the number one spot.

    But when you look at the previous yougov polling, and the questions asking if you would only ever vote for a party if you agreed with them on a particular issue…

    Then we see that 53% say they would only ever vote for a party if they agreed with them on immigration…

    …whereas 64% say they would only ever vote for a party if they agreed with them on the NHS.

    Which is higher even than the economy, on 60%.

    Currently, the NHS is fourth on the issue tracker, behind the economy, immigration and unemployment. But it has the potential to eclipse all of them if a party gets it wrong.

    They didn’t ask about Thorium though, which is a missed opportunity…

  5. Slightly more Libdems want fewer European regs on British business than Tories. Who’dathunkit?…

  6. Slightly more LDs than Tories want fewer EU employment regs too. Carry on like this and they’ll make Tories look soft…

  7. Good Morning All.
    We live in interesting times, as we approach the merry month of May.

  8. I think its pointless to compare previous poll movements to what we are seeing now – the lib dem defection and the rise of ukip have created completely new polling waters.

    What would be interesting would be to compare the degree of ‘swinging’ between tory/lab and in the past – as it seems to be very low.

  9. Reggieside,

    “The tories only got just under 37% in 2010 against a very unpopular government.”

    That could be because:
    1. The outgoing government may not have been as unpopular as we’ve been constantly told. (Their 29% result suggests otherwise, of course.) Or, perhaps, not unpopular enough for people to switch to an alternative party.
    2. The Tories really do have a limit on the level of support they can reach because of a widespread dislike of them as a party and people. (There is some polling evidence for this.)
    3. There’s a combination of 1 & 2.

    In any case, the Tories’ inability to achieve an OM in 2010 must be a worry to them as a constant reminder of their limitations.

  10. I think the timing of this makes Newark (for the byelection) a three way marginal. UKIP will weaken the Tory vote, LIbDems will shore up the Labour vote.

    If Farage stands he has a chance, and it would potentially be a game changer for UKIP. They would have their first MP. They would maintain publicity after the Euros. They would be able to claim that a vote for them in the GE wasn’t wasted. That might be worth the risk (and there is no requirement for Farage to defend Newark at the GE!).

  11. @Oldnat,

    I was comparing the poll with the actual vote shares from 2009.


    Thanks. The best part is that my brother is now a big fan of Obama because the Affordable Care Act means that the health insurers are now obliged to offer him healthcare in the future.

  12. The question of why the Tories only got 36% in 2010 should be at the heart of their deliberations.

    Think about it…there only chance in 2015 to improve on that would have been to persuade those who didn’t vote for them in 2010 that they had changed from the toxic Tories. But it appears that the only way to stop votes leaking to UKIP is to BE toxic.

    For a tribal Labour voter, it’s funny to watch.

  13. The Tories actually polled 37% in GB in 2010 – Labour managed 29.7%.

  14. So, as Farage has decided not stand in Newark is this a ‘peace’ offering to the Tories?

  15. He’s bottled it. Again.

    Is boris tempted I wonder?

  16. It would have been mad for NF to stand here. He is not in anyway local to the seat. He would appear to be a carpet-bagging opportunist, which he may well be, but it would have been too blatant.

    As Ken Clarke, who is local to the area, said, Nigel is not stupid.

  17. The idea that it has to be Farage who stands in Newark for them to have a chance does give a bit of a clue to one of UKIP’s main weaknesses….

  18. @Oldnat – the WoS stuff about UKIP is very interesting. They are obviously desperate to show UKIP in the strongest possible terms, as this is central to the entire notion of independence, so they must be one of the few sections of the media actively promoting the notion of a rising UKIP tide. Clearly there is a deal of bias in their general tone of reporting, which needs to be taken into account.

    Someone linked to another WoS article discussing the threat from UKIP which I thought was completely wrong in it’s analysis. They were trying to claim that UKIP voters won’t do anything to jeopardise a Tory GE victory, which they are clearly hoping for, but I think they misjudge the dynamic between UKIP and Con.

    Polls and by elections suggest that UKIP voters will be happy to hurt Cons, and at present, the main likelihood is for UKIP to hand Lab the victory, but of course WoS can’t say this.

    Like any good scare tactic, there is an element of truth in what WoS say, but we need to be wary of negative campaigning here, and this seems to be the nationalists version of Project Fear in action.

  19. Not that great a by-election for Labour really. I think they have a chance BUT if they were to win then it will add credence to the Tory election slogan which will no doubt be vote UKIP get Labour.

  20. @Postageincluded

    Before he became an MP, Chris Huhne was an award-winning journalist.

    Petty digs at him ‘moonlighting’, when he has actually returned to an old job he remains rather good at, are juvenile.

  21. Farage won’t stand in Newark because he won’t win, it’s as simple as that.

    I think it’s reasonably good odds that he won’t be an MP next Parliament. He won’t stand unless there’s a good chance he might win, and even where there’s a chance, he is unlikely to be favourite.

    There’s a risk to his Euro income there and Farage won’t want that.

  22. Euro poll:

    TNS BMRB gives UKIP a 9% lead:

    UKIP 36%
    Lab 27%
    Con 18%
    LD 10%
    Others 9%

  23. I’d be amazed if Farage doesn’t stand somewhere and win in 2015. His profile is as big as any of the other party leaders now except the PM.

  24. CARFREWda
    ““residual salience”, or “latent” salience, you get a choice!!”

    Being latent would it not work within a latent and long term agenda rather than the current on? E.g the NHS or education, in both cases addressing the need for wider reform which would require more integration,, so a concern with the skills supply and unemployment, in the context of social housing and the construction industry. It would also operate within an informed population rather than one which laps up the flavour of the month, so it would be salient to the interests and VI of people within those industries who are aware of where these policy areas connect.

  25. Farage will probably stand in either Folkestone & Hythe or Thanet South.

  26. UKIP is a big bogeyman for Scotland. The idea of voting No in Sept and in May waking up to a UKIP and Tory government – which is possible – is far more frightening than anything Project Fear has come up with.

    The problem for BT is that the Euros which UKIP will win gives momentum to UKIP. There is nothing that points up the differences between Scotland and rUK than attitudes to UKIP. In addition it will drive non-English Scots based immigrants to the Yes camp.

  27. Bloody hell that’s a big poll boost. I’ve now joined AW’s camp in believing UKIP will win the EU elections. Labour might just squeak it if they’re saved by higher turnout in local election areas (their strongholds).

  28. The rules are quite clear: any MP can move the writ in the commons to set the date of a by-election.

    There is a convention that the party holding the seat does it, for quite practical reasons. Usually, there is a funeral, then a candidate selection, which takes time to organise.

    Of course the other parties could make this difficult by moving the writ early, but then they would have it done to them when it is their turn. So they don’t, usually. However there have been occasions where other parties move the writ.

  29. One thing to note re TNS BMRB is that their headline number is only on 10/10 certain to vote… The equivalent numbers from YouGov were actually very similar to these (and very different – read UKIP higher – from the YouGov headline).

    This technical difference doesn’t seem that significant for Westminster but seems huge here… Will be very interesting to see which approach is ‘right’ on the night.

  30. UKIP got 3.6% in Easteleigh in 2010, and 3.8% in Newark. The Media has all reason to be hyped up about it.


    New polling on taxes and equality just out. Apparently 38% would support 80p in the pound on £300,000 plus. 44% would oppose it.

    I wonder if any polling exists from the post-War era, when tax rates actually were that high? It’d be interesting to compare responses between then and now.

  32. The highest tax rate on investment income was 75% as recently as 1985 and not until 1988 was the top tax rate reduced from 60%.

  33. No-one has risen to the Salmond fishing bait, so I will… He didn’t threaten to block through passage to Norwegian waters. He owns a map. And it shows that those waters can be reached many other ways. He was referring to the fact that the EU fishing agreement with Norway is reciprocal and Scotland’s waters are the most profitable bit on the EU side. So if Scotland isn’t in the EU,then the EU deal with Norway would fall. This would be quite clear to an educated audience in Brussels but obviously not to the UK MSM and voters reliant on them.

  34. Don’t forget that Eastleigh was probably the best possible LD prospect for a by-election , and they only won it by chucking the kitchen sink at the campaign(half a million leaflets, zillions of activists from all over the country).UKIP could win this if they can find a decent local candidate with NO baggage, a test of the party’s mettle rather than Farage’s.

  35. Newark went for Labour once right, in 1997? It’ll be fascinating to watch that special election.

    @ Roger Mexico and Billy Bob

    So, I figured I should give you both the latest update in the made for HBO reality tv series “District 33.” I’m starting to get mailers from Wendy and I see ads for David Kanuth and Matt Miller, who are unknowns. Matt Miller’s lawn signs are almost billboard sized (matching his ego). The Republican is running ads too. I’ve also been getting mail from licensed joyologist Marianne Williamson. But truthfully, the race is kinda boring.

    Really the most entertaining thing is the SD-26 race which seems to have devolved into a war of attrition for local Democratic Club endorsements, mailers, and dual endorsements……and has developed all the psychodrama of the Blair-Brown soap opera.

    One of the Senate candidates is half-British and speaking at the Westchester-Playa Democratic Club on Saturday afternoon (where all the candidates spoke), he referred to the backyard meeting as the “hustings.” That was Saturday.

    On Monday night, Betsy Butler waltzed into the Stonewall Democratic Club, almost certain to receive the club’s endorsement. She needed 60% of the club’s members to vote for her but she looked close to getting it. She’s bought a lifetime membership, she’s on the board of Equality California, she’s been endorsed by the club before, and she’s a member of the Los Angeles Gay Men’s Chorus. Of her three main opponents, only one showed up and he asked members to vote for “no consensus.” That motion was defeated and another was quickly entertained to endorse Betsy.

    That motion was defeated and another was quickly entertained to endorse Betsy.

    Well, funny story (sorta). One of the members of this club (full disclosure a friend of mine) is a young lawyer trying to build a career working in politics. He recently got a job at a political organization that’s pushing for progressive statewide ballot measures. He decided to not back Betsy Butler in the State Senate race. In act of retribution, Betsy attempted to get him fired from his job.

    At this club, when there is a motion to endorse, there are three speakers for each side, each alternating. Betsy spoke first for herself. My friend went last, in opposition, where without warning, he bore all and informed the audience about Betsy’s attempt of retribution, shocking the auditorium. Debate then ended and voting commenced.

    Betsy failed to get the endorsement.

    A majority of the club’s members voting against her. Quite a scene. Very high school.

    Tonight, all these people were back in the same room together at a candidate debate held by the Pacific Palisades Democratic Club featuring Betsy, two of Betsy’s main opponents (Sandra Fluke and Ben Allen) and two minor candidates. Fluke turned in the best and strongest debate performance. But Allen received the club’s endorsement. Betsy’s third main opponent, Amy Howorth, was unable to attend. But she was most happy over the fact that in her capacity as Mayor of Manhattan Beach on Saturday, she got to meet Bono and got a selfie with him.

  36. @Henlaw – understand your point, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that Norway would pull out of the deal at all. At worst, a renegotiation would seem likely. As someone once said, ‘these things will all be negotiated’.

    I still think it’s quite funny threatening the largest trading block in the world with wet fish. When there are already senior people within the EU and European capitals suggesting that they call the UK’s bluff and let the worlds sixth largest economy walk away from the EU if it wants to, I really don’t think they’ll be particularly frightened about Scottish fish.

  37. Carfrew,

    “In a poll a little while back, over 40% of UKippers were in favour of renationalising public services. How right wing would one consider such a cohort to be?

    The split in the left, then the right is not a given. With the left now reunited in terms of LDs, Labour are now suffering a UKip split, as are Tories of course.”

    This is a good point. When trying to understand UKIP’s appeal, simple right-left theory breaks down, which ought not to be too surprising since the world is under no obligation to obey Revolutionary French seating patterns.

    For me, the way that UKIP has eaten into left wing parties’ support is the single most interesting political lphenomenon of this parliament. There have been adequate explanations of why the LD vote collapsed and why the Tories have suffered from UKIP’s rise, but I think that a full explanation of why UKIP have won over so many WWC voters is yet to be given, though much good sense has been spoken on here.

    Neil A,

    “Happy birthday big brother!!”

    “But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.”

  38. Renationalisation, particularly of the railways and utilities, has support across the political spectrum – 52% support among Tory voters. It’s no longer a left-wing POV.

  39. This bit of Nineteeneightyfour always makes me think of the Daily Mail for some reason:

    The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretence was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp.

  40. @Alec. Absolutely. It’s ALL negotiable. And that was Salmond’s point. Wet fish was just one thing in a long list of points he raised. The MSM had a tough job to trawl the speech for anything that could remotely be spun as negative. And then they just lied. As per…

  41. Simple answer for UKIP appeal – UKIP people live in the past. Hence no EU, renationalise everything, grammar schools, caning, hang people who are different and so on (I may exaggerate a little here for effect). But this is mainly a right-wing appeal as the past was more conservative than now.

    Note the normal supporter for UKIP are the elderly, less well educated people who live in slightly poorer areas than average. Hence the rose coloured glasses aspect of the past…

  42. “but I think that a full explanation of why UKIP have won over so many WWC voters is yet to be given, though much good sense has been spoken on here.”


    Well, I gave an explanation in the rest of that post, Bill!!

    i.e. lots of people worried about immigration and impact on jobs etc.

    Where previously, they weren’t quite so worried when we had immigration, ‘cos we had closer to full employment.

    In that post, additionally, I pointed out that the continued decline is not a given… the split in the left due to LDs has been fixed, but now both Labour and Tories are split by Ukip.

    If the immigration problem gets fixed, or maybe the employment issue gets fixed, then votes could return from Ukip to the main two parties, and we could see both polling over 40%, as indeed both have done at some point this Parliament.

    As an aside, additionally, I also suggested that if indeed UKip gains are largely a protest vote, then while some Ukippers may return to Tories, many of the over-40% of who want renationalisation may be inclined to vote Labour in the GE.

    Something I didn’t actually mention, is that with more immigrants and their higher birthrate, over time that could demographically improve Labour’s prospects Obama-stylee. Unless some other party caters to them…

  43. @Carfrew/Bill,

    I think the uncomfortable truth for the Tories is that there were probably always quite a few WWC voters who supported them despite holding fairly left-wing economic views, simply because the Tories were the most socially conservative, anti-modernist party then available. Tory support was an alliance of social and economic conservatives. It is almost literally true that some of their WWC support was because they were the “nasty party” not despite it. I suspect the current UKIP voters who say they favour nationalisation used to be Tory voters who said they favoured nationalisation.

    Like in the US, that alliance is now breaking down, but in our case it is taking the form of schism rather than entryism. That’s part of the reason I would like to see PR – so that new alliances are possible.

    There is a potential landmine there for the left, too, in that some of their rainbow patchwork of support are not necessarily natural supporters of a socially liberal, economically left-wing party. In the long run it may not be possible to keep orthodox Muslim business owners and gay socialists in the same party. But for the left it is a lesser, and less pressing, problem.

  44. The fact that Farage decided not to stand indicates that UKIP are not all that confident of winning Newark. That’s probably justified – a lot of it is standard-issue, Tory countryside & small towns & I don’t think it’s prime UKIP territory. That isn’t to say that the Tories are certain to hold it though; we all know that strange things can & do happen in by-elections. Although the right-wing vote is likely to be very split, it still looks unlikely that Labour could come through the middle & win given the limits to their potential vote in the seat as it is now drawn (it’s much less favourable to Labour than it was in 1997, excluding Retford but including Bingham).

  45. As last night much speculation here. I suggest one just looks at the headline of last night’s poll and then say after me ‘nothing has changed’.

    So Farage irrelevant, Scotland – EU irrelevant, or any other flotsam of politics that tends to wash up on the UKPR shore.

  46. @ROGERH

    “Renationalisation, particularly of the railways and utilities, has support across the political spectrum – 52% support among Tory voters. It’s no longer a left-wing POV.”


    I can believe the railways, but the other utilities? Got a link to polling so I can check? ‘Cos if that’s true…

  47. Last died in the wool active Tory I chatted to wanted all utilities and transport renationalised INCLUDING telecom.

    He was probably livid about the Royal Mail privatisation.

  48. I don’t know which Tories they’re polling for that because all the ones I know think nationalisation will make all the trains explode.

    There is a divide on RM privatisation, opposition mainly stemming from the tradition vs. capitalism debate that rages within that party.

    A perfectly illustrative example is that one of them wants to re-establish the British Empire through military power while the other wants to scrap the armed forces and just hire PMCs as necessary for foreign conflicts.


    You’ve found the world’s most left-wing Tory then, since a good chunk of Labour supporters don’t want telecoms renationalised, including me.

  49. Number Cruncher – doesn’t have to be either. The inbetween is to weight by likelihood to vote in the way ICM or Populus do in their Westminster voting intention polls.

  50. @Neil A

    “I suspect the current UKIP voters who say they favour nationalisation used to be Tory voters who said they favoured nationalisation.”


    Well, it’s possible. Privatisation has not panned out entirely wonderfully. But this can mean that these are voters some of whom are prepared to switch from Tory to Labour, only now Ukip are around, they have hoovered them up becuz immigration is the bigger deal. Labour were polling 45% at one point…

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