YouGov have a new European poll out in the Sun this morning, the fieldwork was done over several waves of daily polling, so has a chunky sample size of 5000 or so. Topline European figures are CON 22%, LAB 29%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 28%, GREEN 8%. Unlike the ComRes and TNS polls earlier this week YouGov still have Labour and UKIP almost neck and neck for first place. Note also the Greens, just a single point behind the Lib Dems in the race for fourth place.

YouGov also asked people who were going to vote UKIP to say why in their own words. Now, I should start with a caveat here – as I often say, as people we are not very good judges of what drives the decisions we make. The non-political example I always give is that empirically we know that in supermarkets it increases sales if a product is put on the middle shelf… yet if we asked people what drove their grocery buying decisions I doubt many would say “well, I always go for the stuff on the middle shelf”. Asking people why they vote seems like the obvious and easy way to understand voting intentions, but it’s really a lot more complicated that that. Hence things like this are interesting, but don’t take it as gospel.

Answers essentially fell into three groups. The biggest was the issue of Europe – I’d urge some caution here, it’s obviously an important driver (especially it seems to those people who would vote Conservative at Westminster but UKIP at the European election, who were significantly more likely to cite Europe amongst their reasons for splitting their vote in this way – back in 2009 there were significant differences between committed UKIP voters, and those who voted UKIP only at the Euros. I expect we’ll find similar this time), but it’s also the “correct” answer in way. If we ask people why they are voting as they are in the European election, the party whose European policy you agree with almost seems like the “right answer”. The other two things very commonly cited were immigration, and disillusionment with the main parties (sometimes that came across as “don’t like the other three”, “can’t do worse than those three”, “need to shake up the establishment” sort of expressions, sometimes people specifically said it was a “protest vote against the main parties”). Whatever the relative levels of those three things, it’s what I’d expect to find as the main drivers: anti-immigration, anti-establishment, anti-EU.

290 Responses to “YouGov/Sun European poll – CON 22, LAB 29, LD 9, UKIP 28, GRN 8”

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  1. But will City drop points against Everton and let the Pool back in the hunt?

  2. If three polls in to days can show such different result then surly their MoE is too large or perhaps we just give them to much credit for their reflection of public opinion. It will be very interesting to see if these polls get anywhere close over the next four weeks to the actual election results.

  3. I knew Anthony would do that as soon as I commented in the previous thread. I reckon he had it waiting. Anyway here it is again stripped of some duplication

    It’s a big sample of 5331, which is presumably the combined last three daily YouGovs (27-30 Apr). The figures are:

    Con 22% (+3) (-)
    Lab 29% (+1) (-1)
    L/D 9% (-) (-1)
    UKIP 28% (-3) (+1)
    Green 8% (-) (+2)
    SNP/PC 3% (-) (-)
    BNP 1% (+1) (-)
    Other 1% (+1) (-)

    But for likelihood to vote (LTV) of 10/10 they are:

    Con 20% (+4) (+2)
    Lab 28% (-) (-3)
    L/D 8% (+1) (-3)
    UKIP 32% (-4) (+2)
    Green 8% (-1) (+2)
    SNP/PC 3% (-1) (-1)
    BNP 1% (+1) (-)
    Other 1% (-) (-)

    First changes are since the YouGov poll in the Sunday Times (24-25 Apr); second since the one previous to that (21-22) about a week before this one. The latest looks as if the Conservatives are pulling back voters from UKIP, but the two changes together show it is not so dramatic.

    There may be an increase in enthusiasm among Tory voters though as shown above and though they are still the least enthusiastic (LTV=10 of 53% as opposed to UKIP’s 66%), it’s not as bad as it was. You would expect that this would increase nearer the election date anyway, but it may also be a reaction to some of the negative coverage as Conservative voters who might have been tempted think that UKIP “Aren’t our sort of people”.

  4. Unlike the ComRes and TNS polls earlier this week YouGov still have Labour and UKIP almost neck and neck for first place.

    Er, up to a point Lord Wells. You have to compare like with like and the ComRes and TNS polls were quoting the figures for LTV=10 rather than all voters which is what the YouGov ones are.

    Comparing for all voters:

    ComRes(25-27Apr)[1]: UKIP 32%, Lab 28%, Con 20% L/D 8%, Green 5%

    TNS(24-28Apr)[2]: UKIP 32%, Lab 30%, Con 21%, L/D 10%, Green 3%

    YouGov(27-30Apr): UKIP 28%, Lab 29%, Con 22%, L/D 9%, Green 8%

    And for LTV=10:

    ComRes: UKIP 38%, Lab 27%, Con 18%, L/D 8%, Green 4%

    TNS: UKIP 36%, Lab 27%, Con 18%, L/D 10%, Green 3%

    YouGov: UKIP 32%, Lab 28%, Con 20%, L/D 8%, Green 8%

    which still shows a bit of a difference, but not as dramatically and which could derive from timing or possibly even MoE.

    [1] Actually LTV=5-10, but probably not much different

    [2] Own calculation. Rather than use an LTV scale of 1-10, TNS give options of “Would not vote for a party” and “Prefer not to say” in their VI question and only if people then choose a Party do they ask their LTV question with the four ‘Definitely/Probably’ plus ‘will/will not’ combinations. At that stage they also get the chance to say they ‘Don’t know’ or ‘Prefer not to say’ (how likely they will vote) but there doesn’t seem to be any way you can say you will vote but haven’t decided who for yet.

  5. So liking Nigel Farage is the least popular reason for supporting UKIP at 1% – indicating that attacking Farage or individual Kippers in pointless – it the issues of EU, Migration and ‘the political elite’ that are at stake.

    On the EU most are set in their ways, apart from the wall of CONs who will switch side if there is a ‘renegotiation’

    I doubt if anyone can change attitudes on migration – even though net EU migration is virtually zero (i.e. as many of us go there, as they come here)

    And dislike of the ‘elite’ well only the ‘elite’ can change that

  6. I’m curious about turnout, given how divisive a lot of the campaigning has been and given the additional media attention (debates if nothing else – but it feels like there is more coverage than usual, even if it’s hard to judge for those of us interested in it).

    I’ve seen some ‘liklihood to vote’ numbers implying extremely high turnouts (or panels containing too many voters) but I’m curious how good they’ve been at prediciting elections (especially european elections) in the past.

  7. @ericgoodyer

    “And dislike of the ‘elite’ well only the ‘elite’ can change that”

    Indeed. AW’s description of the ‘need to shake up the establishment’ is a fair one. When they start listening to people (not pretending to listen, or listening in campaigns and then ignoring the electorate for 2-3 years), then people might start voting for them again.

    Telling us “we are listening to you” is the worst response imho. Show us you’re listening by demonstrating your actions.

  8. Number Cruncher – “I’m curious how good they’ve been at prediciting elections (especially european elections) in the past.”

    They’re rubbish. People who are likely to vote are probably more likely to answer polls, people certainly tend to overestimate their likelihood to vote.

    Relatively they are quite accurate – people who say they are 10/10 certain to vote are more likely to vote than people who say 9/10, who are more likely than people who say 8/10 and so on. But as an absolute it’s rubbish – there’s no really good way of predicting turnout from polls.

    (Even comparing to past years is dicey, as it tends to get higher as the election approaches)

  9. The Greens need to pick up in the polls to at least keep their seats in the South-East and in London. At present these seats look in the balance.

    The Greens did manage to pick up support last time round, but the UKIP surge then was perhaps not intense.

  10. ‘ it’s what I’d expect to find as the main drivers: anti-immigration, anti-establishment, anti-EU.’ (AW)

    Interesting; if I was attacking UKIP I’d be asking them for ‘positives’ to vote for them. By this I mean if you are anti the EU can we see the set of costed policies as to what will replace it? Whts proof do you have the EU will allow British Exports in if we removed ourselves from the EU club and so on.

    Being ‘anti’ just strikes me as pathetic.

    Mind you I do see one ‘positive’ for voting UKIP – I have a strong feeling it will encourage the Scottish vote for Independence (the view there that the English are nuts will be further confirmed)…

  11. Interesting piece in the Guardian on likelihood to vote in the Scottish referendum based on SAS data which suggests it could boost Yes vote by several.points.

  12. @Jack

    Please can you explain why the EU would no longer want free trade with one of its largest importers?

    Or for that matter why the UK would be denied a free trade agreement while Canada and South Korea are allowed to enjoy one?

    If trade barriers were to go up it would hurt the EU financially a lot more than the UK, in fact it might even help the UK with its balance of payments and hinder Europe’s further.

    Quit the scaremongering please, both Scotland and the UK as a whole, rUk w/e are perfectly able to stand on their own 2 feet, and going independent from their respective unions will harm neither.

  13. I suspect it is highly unlikely that anyone would give as reason to support UKIP that it was because they were Racist or Xenophobic or Homophobic

    Even if that was their real reason

  14. I suspect it is highly unlikely that any witch would give as their reason to support satan that it was because they were an Apostate, Blasphemer or Heretic.

    Even if that was their REAL reason.

  15. I’m hearing about a Survation poll of London local election voting intentions. Lab 42%, Con 26%, LD 14%, UKIP 11% (of course not everyone will get the chance to vote for the last 2 named parties). That would be very good indeed for Labour if borne out in the election & certainly Hammersmith & Fulham would be seriously in play. So too probably Barnet. I don’t have further details yet.

  16. That’s certainly very good for Labour and I’m wondering if it may be the European elections depressing the Tory vote.

  17. There’s also a YG poll for Channel 4 on Scottish indy.

    While YG is usually one of the pollsters showing the highest No lead, this one at 14% seems to be the lowest lead yet.

    From a purely polling point of view, it’s going to be fascinating to see on 19th Sept, which pollster’s methodology seems to have been closer to the mark.

  18. We also, finally, have the tables for YG/Cardiff Uni poll on Euro VI and “best stands up for the interests of Scotland” (similar to the English one published earlier).

  19. @Barnaby

    @MSmithsonPB: New Survation/Standard Westminster voting intentions poll for London has
    LAB 42%
    CON 26%
    UKIP 16%
    LD 13%

  20. @Old Nat

    Interesting that the only Scottish region where more of those polled would vote to leave the EU than stay is Highlands and Islands, which includes the only 3 areas in the whole of the UK (Shetland, Orkney, and Western Isles, [as it still was then :)]) which voted No in 1975.

  21. on – I think you are right but only in the sense of which is closest in the last week and there is some moe luck involved there.

    All the weighting and adjustments that the polling companies make to GE polls are inappropriate to the referendum and we can not know how views may have firmed, changed etc.

    So whichever is closest with their final poll wont tell us which one was more accurate with current ones for example.

    Like for Westminster all we can do is look at the trend and a steady trend down in the No lead has been evident in all polling companies.

    Probably not enough to end up with Yes being ahead in the polls but none of us know how accurate these are so and in that sense there is all to play for.

  22. “Being ‘anti’ just strikes me as pathetic.”

    I had an uncle who fought in the war and had some uncomplimentary views about the Italians.

    He was antipasta.

  23. That London poll looks very encouraging for Lab.

    Compared to the GE that’s +5% for Lab, -10% for Con, -9% for LD and +14% for UKIP.

    I would imagine that would deliver a few seats to Lab and be a serious blow to Con hopes, but it is Survation so perhaps needs caution?

  24. Kitsune

    I noted that.

    On the other hand, there’s always the problem of making judgments based on a cross break that isn’t weighted to its own demographics.

    There’s an example of that in the two YG Euro polls (taken only a couple of weeks apart).

    VI (Scotland as a cross-break within GB)
    Lab 31% : SNP 25% : UKIP 14% : Con 13% : LD 9% : Grn 8%

    VI (Scotland weighted to its demographics)
    Lab 31% : SNP 33% : UKIP 10% : Con 12% : LD 7% : Grn 6%

  25. Just seen UKIP’s TV broadcast – not aimed at the bright and intelligent. Not very coherent either – film of a curry house complaining about European regulations.Begs the question – why do EU regs affect UK firms so much? BBC East had Miliband in Cambridge – a black man from London appears to have been the only person he talked to – in their various ways a certain contempt for the voters was displayed. Miliband always strikes me as a bit simple
    in public..Farage as ever looks like a encyclopedia salesman who’s found where the rich and gullible people who don’t know about the Internet live.

  26. Wolf

    “Miliband always strikes me as a bit simple”

    The man has a Degree in PPE from Oxford, a Master of Science Degree from the LSE and was visiting Professor at Harvard!

    I wonder if he can add 2 and 2 together! ( Or maybe 29 plus 6 which equals 35 and is the percentage vote of Labours’ core Vote in 2010 and the bare minimum from Lib Dem defectors which equals 35% and means he will be PM in about 12 months time!)

  27. Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher have published an analysis of the 2014 locals in the LGC (Local Government Chronicle) titled:

    The Lib Dems are in the line of fire
    with a byline
    Quite how well Ukip will do is harder to gauge.

    The rest is behind a paywall…

    @Neil A

    If you’re lurking…

    Here’s a prediction for the East of England:

    According to their analysis, LD will get an MEP and Green won’t.

    Looking at their projected d’Hondt quotas, wouldn’t a smallish boost for Labour secure them a second MEP and deny Ukip a third?

    Ukip 2.60 (3), Con 1.85 (2), Lab 1.55 (1), LD 0.79 (1), Green 0.41 (0).

  28. @Billy Bob,

    Thanks. I’ll pass it on to my anti-UKIP friend.

    Does anyone know the London vote shares at the 2010 GE? What would today’s poll represent as a Con to Lab swing?

  29. @Neil A

    I wouldn’t pay much attention to it. There’s no way UKIP will do so well in London and the Tories so badly, in the General Election.

  30. @ericgoodyer
    “On the EU most are set in their ways, apart from the wall of CONs who will switch side if there is a ‘renegotiation’

    I doubt if anyone can change attitudes on migration – even though net EU migration is virtually zero (i.e. as many of us go there, as they come here)

    And dislike of the ‘elite’ well only the ‘elite’ can change that”

    Maybe the ‘elite’ (who’re obviously ‘someone else’, I’m one of ‘us’, not ‘them’, by definition), should stop telling people what they think & lying.

    “Being ‘anti’ just strikes me as pathetic.”

    Anti-death penalty?
    Anti-fox hunting?

  31. Gah, I never know what it is that gets a post awaiting moderation, especially annoying when presumably the posts I’m replying to will be manually moderated at the same time as mine.

  32. @Neil A

    London vote shares in 2010

  33. That Survatoin poll for the London local elections looks suspicious to me. The Scottish cross-breaks seem particularly dodgy.


  34. There is an appaling lack of understanding as to what EU Regulations or Laws (if you prefer) are. The vast majority relate to consumer proetction and product safety. These are not new and predate the EU – prior to harmonisation by the EU exporters had to cope with 27 different sets of regulations, now we just have 1 harmonised code. Far from being a problem, this has reduced manufacturing costs across Europe. Leabing the EU willnot change anything – these regulations (e.g. do not use lead in paint on children’s toys) – would still exist. The only Free Trade Area on offer is the EEA (EU + Norway, Iceland + Turkey). To join you have to adopt all EU regualtions anyway, but cannot influence them AND you have to pay into the EU a share of administering the singlemarket. So any claim that we can leave the EU and still have free trade is simply not true.

  35. So, Survation poll showing better swing from Tory to Labour than UKPR average, but not a massive difference. Still alarm bells, but slightly more muted perhaps, for the Tories.

  36. It is clear that pollsters and the electorate forget that the origins of the EU were not economic.After the Second World War the First World War and three hundred years of war in Europe including Russia it was thought that an integrated Europe would stop future wars.
    If we look at the situation on Russian borders we might think that the only thing which will stop another war is a strong NATO and for all it’s faults a strong united Europe


    I didn’t watch the Clegg / Farage debates but my understanding is that Clegg failed to engage on the level you just did. Would it have been any more effective had he done so though?

  38. Howard –
    probably not – I am not a fan of these TV beauty contests; it maskes the issues and policies

  39. @ericgoodyer

    Britain isn’t really anymore now that our rivers aren’t all stone dead. What’s more, the EU deprives us of the right to swim amongst our own turds at the seaside.

  40. really *great*

  41. steve

    I suspect it is highly unlikely that anyone would give as reason to support UKIP that it was because they were Racist or Xenophobic or Homophobic

    Oddly enough in the ComRes poll:

    people were asked if they agreed or disagreed with the statement “UKIP are a racist party”. 32% agreed. Including 5% of those who said they were voting UKIP in the EP poll. Though whether that was because of or in spite of, they didn’t get a chance to say.

  42. As there’s no thread for it yet, could I beg forgiveness and ask for AW’s commentary on the latest YouGov Scotland poll? His common sense is needed before the uneducated mass of MSM ‘journalists’ follow C4’s misleading lead…

  43. @Roger Mexico

    One of the reasons why opinion polls should always be viewed with some healthy scepticism is the conspicuous lack of self-awareness of many of the respondents, particularly when questioned on sensitive issues like racism, morality and sexuality.

    Actually, when I say self-awareness I really mean honesty.

  44. Paul A

    You need to look more at the minimum level that the Toru vote could fall to. 31% in 1997 and 32 in 2001. Cameron won’t be dropping to near those levels, whereas Miliband will be facing a hard examination over the next 12 months with the economy improving.

    I would see 31-32 as his most likely percentage return.

  45. kitsune

    Interesting that the only Scottish region where more of those polled would vote to leave the EU than stay is Highlands and Islands, which includes the only 3 areas in the whole of the UK (Shetland, Orkney, and Western Isles, [as it still was then :)]) which voted No in 1975.

    Actually Orkney voted Yes and by 68-32, a bigger margin than most places in Scotland.,_1975

    the oddest thing is how low the turnout was in all three Island groups, the Western Isles in particular is normally quite enthusiastic. You suspect that many voters may have felt conflicted between local and national interests and just not voted.

  46. Pressman
    Your last sentence does not make any sense (to me) – I mean in English?

  47. A survey of EE VI polls in 27 EU countries (no polls in Luxembourg) shows than only in 13 of them there is a clear prospected winner. I consider as such a party that has a lead bigger than MoE in all VI polls. These parties are:
    Italy: PD-PSI
    Latvia: SC (Harmony Center)
    Lithuania: LSDP
    Portugal: PS
    Romania: USD (PSD-UNMR)
    Slovakia: SMER-CD
    Sweden: SAP
    (In Romania and Slovakia the SDs have a double-digit lead. The SMER-CD has a record lead of approx. 30%, which is not observed in any other country).
    Cyprus: DISY-EVROKO
    Germany: CDU-CSU
    Hungary: FIDESZ
    Slovenia: NSI-SLS
    (Double digit leads for all)
    Czech Republic: ANO
    Belgium: NVA (Flemish separatists, members of the EFA).
    In the remaining 14 countries there is no clear winner (I count among these the UK). Furthermore, in 4 of them there is a 3-way tie (Austria, Denmark, France, Netherlands). Yet if we aggregate the scores of parties that belong to the same political family, ALDE has a clear lead in Denmark, Netherlands and Estonia and EUL/NGL in Greece. The most uncertain lead is actually observed in France, where the average of recent polls shows the UMP and the FN tied with exactly the same score (23%, which means a -5 for UMP and a +16 for FN), with the Socialist Party a close third at 19.5 (+3 from 2009)

  48. Sorry pressman, mine contained a superfluous question mark.

    “I would see 31-32 as his most likely percentage return.”

    I don’t understand that sentence.

  49. @ pressman

    And this is based on what?

    So the lib dem defectors who have stuck with labour for the past 3.5 years are going to suddenly go drift back to clegg?

    Because of a ‘hard examination’ of milliband? By the sun and the mail? Hes the squeakiest cleanest leader of the lot of them – so what are they going to throw at him? Red Ed? His evil dad? His ‘Stalinist’ proposals for three year tenancies?
    You haven’t noticed that millibands ratings go up when he gets attacked?

    In the real world – the fundamentals of the polls have shifted very little in 3 years. The people who found the tories too toxic in 2010, are unlikely to like them anymore in 2015.

  50. Survation tables are here:

    Rather amusingly Survation asked separate LTV questions for the Euros and the Locals, even though they are on the same day (I suppose you could refuse one set of ballot papers, but still…). The locals were more popular by two points

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