The daily YouGov poll for the Sun tonight has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 36%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 14%. Putting them all together today’s four Westminster polls are:

YouGov/Sun – CON 35%, LAB 36%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 14%
Populus – CON 35%, LAB 36%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%
Ashcroft – CON 34%, LAB 32%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 15%
ICM/Guardian – CON 33%, LAB 31%, LDEM 13%, UKIP 15%

Two very small Labour leads, two very small Conservative leads. Levels of Conservative support are actually pretty similar across these polls, as is the level of UKIP support (though other pollsters show contrasting figures), there’s the usual higher level of Lib Dem support from ICM and there’s significant variation in the level of Labour support shown. What is consistent across all four polls is that Labour and the Conservatives are very close to one another in support. In terms of narrative and political impact a poll showing a one point Labour lead looks very different to one showing a one point Conservative lead. Statistically though really isn’t much difference between them in polls with a margin of error of about three points. On today’s polls the parties are looking neck-and-neck, let’s see if it stays that way…and what political impact those polls showing a Tory lead have…

226 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 35%, LAB 36%, LD 9%, UKIP 14”

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  1. Fraser

    How do you know that bookies don’t have secret underground meetings?

    You never see large groups of them out in the open.

    I bet they do.

  2. Interesting breaking news ‘re UKIP. Not sure whether it will play well or badly for UKIP!

  3. Panther
    IMO it was ‘well alriiiight’. I expect there is a youtube of it.

  4. Definitely “Well all right,” Howard.

  5. @ Roger Mexico

    “This week I will publish the first in a new series of weekly telephone polls taking us up to the big day. Over the year I will hold regular focus groups with undecided voters to add colour and context to the numbers. And at the Conservative Home Spring Conference later this month I will unveil the first round of battleground polls to track the state of play in individual marginal constituencies. My plan is to return to each set of seats – those most closely contested between the Conservatives and Labour, the Conservatives and Lib Dems and the Lib Dems and Labour – throughout the year to measure movement on the ground compared to the national headline figures.”

    Lord Ashcroft deserves a medal for this because IMO such polling is the only type that will really tell us who will win the next GE.

    Its a shame no other polling company will do the same so we can compare methodology but at least with there being a weekly Ashcroft national poll we will be able determine a house effect over time.

  6. Its a shame no other polling company will do the same so we can compare methodology but at least with there being a weekly Ashcroft national poll we will be able determine a house effect over time.

    -Probably Haven’t got Ashcroft’s deep pockets

  7. Today has been such a relentlessly bad day for Labour that I can only draw comfort from the fact that it is so over the top freakishly bad as to make it all a bit suspect!

  8. @GRHINPORTS, Roger Mexico et al

    Just a pity Ashcroft doesn’t seem interested in following the marginals north of the Border. They could become crucial in a very tightly fought GE and if Ashcroft doesn’t take account of them his contribution to the polling information, however valuable, will still be flawed unnecessarily.

  9. Am I the only person in the UK who has managed to avoid all the PPBs so far? Also no sign yet of a Labour leaflet through the door. We’ve had UKIP and SNP and Green.


    @”I wonder if that election broadcast by the labour party is ed millibands “were alright” moment”

    I wondered if that had been a factor-but there didn’t seem to be any OP questions on it.

  11. Just going back to the original poll, YG have the Tories ahead of the SNP in Scotland. YouGov have been showing a gradual decline in SNP support over the past month. Interesting? Anyone any ideas as to why this should happen?

  12. Colin
    It could not have been because there was no ‘we’re alright’ moment, as Norbold and I have pointed out.

  13. JOHNB

    @”Also no sign yet of a Labour leaflet through the door. ”

    Had mine today, with the Green one.

    Greens mention Europe on the front page.

    Labour doesn’t. Their front page says ” Only Labour will tackle the cost of living crisis.”

    Inside is stuff on their “local candidates”. One of them is pictured talking to people who are “struggling with housing costs”. Thus far you might imagine these people & issues are related to a UK election.

    On the back page one is informed that this is a European Parliament Election-with a copy of a ballot paper…..above which is a list of things on which “Labour will act to deal with David Cameron’s cost of living crisis”.

    The message seems to be vote Labour in the EP election so we can sort out the UK” cost of living”crisis”.

    Still-I expect they have thought it through before printing this stuff & shoving it through my letter box.

  14. HOWARD

    I take the point -at least not in a Kinnockian sense.

    But there was an implied ” we’re alright”-but the evil Tory Toffs aren’t .

    And I took Panther’s phrase ” ed millibands “were alright” moment” to be less a direct literal reference, and more a metaphor for a political mistake which puts people off.

  15. @John B

    The obvious reason is SNP=Yes and the No campaign is winning and all the negative Alex Salmond headlines are having an effect OR its sampling and weighing in the cross breaks and meaningless AW will know.

    Only 9 days and we will have real votes to pour over and speculate about.

  16. Colin
    On my SW leaflet Labour claimed to have solved the mobile phone roaming fee scam, but according to me (with my inevitable Dutch connection interest) it was Neelie Kroes (was Smit-Kroes until she divorced Smit), the Commissioner, who was the heroine on that one.

    She’s what is known as a ‘formidable woman’. As a VVD nomination (she is a right wing liberal who makes such as Laws look like a socialist) she has been very successful in consumer protection issues.

  17. Colin Panther
    Er Ed Miliband didn’t feature in the PPB.
    Have you seen it?

  18. I forgot to mention that at least it was a bit about EU stuff, so well done Labour. I don’t recall the Tory or Lib Dem SW leaflets saying a dicky bird about EU (except about staying in or otherwise which was not at issue in this EP election).

  19. Valerie

    You are being too literal.

    The question raised is-Did EM authorise & release a PPB which gave rise to a fall in support for Labour?

    We don’t know because OPs haven’t asked how people felt about it.


    Well at least you could tell that the leaflet is about Europe wide regulation.

    Doesn’t everyone claim credit for good news ?

  20. Valerie

    “Er Ed Miliband didn’t feature in the PPB.”

    I’m always surprised by the number of posters who haven’t decided on their first word before they begin typing..

    This is NOT how Geoffrey Archer became a great novelist: he was up at 7 am with all his pencils sharpened and ready to go.

  21. Ditto Howard. My Conservative Leaflet said nothing about their Euro policies. Simply they will hold a referendum. Not sure how relevant that is to these elections. Jumping the gun a bit. Have had zilch from the lib Dems. I think they are a spent force in these parts.

  22. Er well you see pups, er I think Ed is very handsome and er should have starred in the er er PBB.

  23. Yes Valerie – we get your point.

  24. @Statgeek: “The SNP are making a lot about an Ipsos Mori poll….”

    Yes, Twitter’s going bonkers about this, too. It seems to me to be one of the stranger outbreaks of indyref hysteria so far.

    As far as I can make out, there was a letter printed in the Scottish press – allegedly from an Ipsos-Mori employee claiming that the Cabinet Office has recently commissioned a poll which was then suppressed because it showed the No vote collapsing. (MORI have denied any knowledge of the signatory – unsurprisingly, I guess. Even if genuine, the whistleblower would hardly be likely to use their real name).

    Alongside that there’s a Cabinet Office transparency report from January showing that the department paid Ipsos-Mori £46k or so for research into attitudes to independence.

    The madness just seems to have taken off from there and is now deep into tinfoil hat territory.

    My assumption is sound and fury signifying nothing. I’d be very surprised if a Government department was sponsoring research into political voting intentions. And even if it did, I’m not sure what it would tell them that the other January polls were saying publicly already.

    IMO, the spending is much more likely to be qualitative research or “market intelligence” – focus groups and the like – and/or less politically explosive surveys looking at people’s understanding of independence issues.

    There’s an FOI request ( ) which will presumably illicit some more reliable info. Still, it’ll be fun to watch the egregious fussing while it lasts.

  25. Amber

    I agree with you.

    Darling has not been sacked. Indeed the Mail story doesn’t suggest that – simply that the Westminster leadership of BT have decided that he isn’t good enough, so he is being “re-inforced” by Douglas Alexander.

    I suspect that that phrase will lead to some interesting cartoons on social media.

  26. @JamieJay

    As is our custom in the courteous and ever good-natured world of UKPR, may I wish you a warm welcome to these pages. I’ve only been speed-reading this thread after a long day at work, oiling the wheels of industry as ever, but your name and, more particularly, this comment, caught my eye: –

    “The fact that both Labour and the Conservatives are both polling in the low 30?s, with a large contingent for ‘Others’ indicates reinforcement of the long term trend of the decline in ‘Two Party’ politics. It may also be an indication of a sentiment among much of the electorate towards both Labour and Conservative especially as ‘a plague on all your houses’ to borrow a phase.”

    You’ve noticed what a lot of people have been missing about these quite extraordinary opinion polls. I have too, but in the binary world of two party politics, a world inhabited by a lot of us on these pages, the obsession with who’s nose is in front in this race of old nags rather than thoroughbreds, masks the real message of these polls.

    And that message is this. Neither of our two old political Leviathans are getting through to the electorate. They’re fast resembling traditional grocers battling in the age of on-line shopping, holding p*ssing contests with each other over their declining market shares while the “others” eat their lunch. What else explains this polling conundrum of voters seemingly liking a party’s policy but declining to consider voting for the said party. And what else explains a governing party presiding over a growing economy getting practically no political dividend from so doing?

    These recent polls show Labour’s lead in the nags race declining/disappearing, but for those who take a more academic and less partial view of these matters, the conclusion must be that they are quite unspeakably bad for both Labour and the Tories. In the ghastly world of corpo-speak, they are quite clearly both contaminated brands.

    34 v 32? 33 v 31? 35 v 36?

    How soon before we see 29 apiece? That’ll be a thriller come May next year!

    :-) (I wish I could get my little smiling man to get up, the lazy blighter)

  27. Sorry, typo. That should be: “…*weren’t* saying publicly already.”

  28. Muddy Waters

    Social media froth is frequently precisely that.

    As I understand it, pollsters are bound by commercial agreements not to reveal poll details without the client’s agreement, although, as you point out an FOI may (or may not) reveal something.

    However, there seems to be something of a conflict between your ” I’d be very surprised if a Government department was sponsoring research into political voting intentions.” and the fact that the UK Government has been commissioning polling on “attitudes to independence”.

    That Governments do commission polls into public attitudes to policy positions is neither new nor unexpected.

  29. ” (I wish I could get my little smiling man to get up, the lazy blighter)”

    Oo-er Missis.

  30. FWIW I enjoyed the LP PPB. It would have fitted seamlessly into the ‘Now show’ on R4 and was certainly no more hard hitting.

    IMO it bears no resemblance to the embarrassing Kinnock moment. I didn’t squirm once presumably because it was professionally made and funny. Nor did I, at any point, labour under the illusion that David Cameron really wanted the cat to eat Nick Clegg… I think a lot of other people probably got that too.

  31. Oldnat – my understanding is that these things are FOI-able.

    The only polling I’ve ever done for govt departments has been stuff that was intended for publication anyway, but I’ve had discussions about internal polling that never went anywhere and people were always very conscious that while it was for internal purposes, it would be FOI-able so couldn’t actually be secret.

  32. “Nor did I, at any point, labour under the illusion that David Cameron really wanted the cat to eat Nick Clegg…”

    Oh…. you’ve spoiled it for me now.

  33. Crossbat

    The nadir figures for the Tories were 31/32 under Major and Hague and 27/29 for Labour under Foot and Brown.

    I find it hard to believe that the big boys will poll less than those ratings next year. We have begun to see the decline in Labour support to the low thirties mark that I expect next year, it then depends on how many Kippers decide not to go thru with it and back Cameron.

  34. Oldnat

    Indeed departments commission research into perceptions of of policy and programme issues all the time, but that’s different from doing a poll on voting intentions. Of course there’s a grey area where voting intentions could be inferred from attitudes. But still, from personal experience I really would be surprised if they’d done anything so overtly political as a VI poll of the kind which has got Twitter so excited, especially when there’s so much publicly available polling data on indyref VI already.

    More likely in my view that Ipsos-Mori were commissioned to do the kind of segmented market research used to define and target government communications on policy and programme issues, rather than to do overtly political opinion polling.

  35. I think Labour should do a PPB where they make up with the LDs by having Rosie&Daisie chase David Cameron & Socks (the cat) up a tree. :-)

  36. I don’t know why Twitter is caring about the poll. As we know one poll in isolation tells us nothing and as we also know there will be another poll along in a min.

    But I am suprised that tax payer money can be spent on polls for party political advantage.

  37. Anthony

    Thanks.I thought that was the case. However, FOI requests can be refused by Governments under certain circumstances, I believe.

    In this case, the results were either meant for publication, though delayed for some reason – in which case the SNP have pulled a neat political trick by suggesting that Westminster is acting in an underhanded fashion.


    The polling might have been the type that was designed to test public responses to specific policy lines – in which case, publication of the questions themselves might be slightly embarrassing, much less the results.

    It’s not a major story – but it is a polling story – so quite unusual on a polling site! :-)

  38. @Crossbat,

    How about 37 v 30? (2010)

    Or 35 v 33? (2005)

    Tory/Labour hegemony (in vote share at least) has been dead for quite a while. It saw a brief resurgence after the 2010 GE, when the LD vote collapsed, but it’s gone again with the advance of UKIP.

  39. @Amber

    One of those smiley things!

  40. Oldnat: “Thanks.I thought that was the case. However, FOI requests can be refused by Governments under certain circumstances, I believe.”

    In this case I’d imagine the most likely grounds for exemption would be the rule that allows departments to withhold documents relating to the formation of government policy. But, I doubt they could justify withholding the research on those grounds to the Information Commissioner unless there’s explicit civil service policy advice in the findings – rather than just information and data on which policy choices could be made. Even then, they might still have to redact the policy advice bits whilst publishing the data.

    More info on FOI exemptions here, in case you’re interested:

  41. I preferred this site when we could do emoticons, I used them all the time because I’m quite artistic. :-)

  42. @Couper

    Half the furore is because it’s supposedly being suppressed, and was at the cost of the taxpayer.

  43. CB11

    You have to think that in a PR system, 33% would be seen as a near landslide. In Germany Merkel got 42% and that *is* a landslide in PR terms. Unfortunately she took votes from the FDP (right wing liberals) and so lost her effective majority.

    Be careful for what you wish, would seem to be the moral of that.

  44. I think if both main parties are sub-35% in this general election it will raise serious questions about their futures.

    I’m of the view that a complete restructuring, rebranding and 100% policy review is necessary for both parties. By the end of the process neither the Labour Party or the Conservative Party would exists as we know it. In their places would be the Progressive Party and the People’s Party (or something similar).

    Labour and the Tories, to stomp all over CB11’s grocer metaphor, are like two stately homes, both with a rich pedigree and history within their walls, but falling apart at the seams. They can keep papering and boarding over the cracks but eventually the whole structure is going to fall apart. Better and more attractive to burn them both down and rebuild in their place.

  45. @JamieJay & Crossbat11

    Whilst agreeing with you about the decline in the two Leviathans, we need to be careful about getting too ecstatic in these ‘interesting times’. The lower the two big parties score, the less clear the outcome of a GE, the more impossible it gets for anyone to plan ahead – civil servants and the markets for a start. Could our system really function when the governing party (or parties) scored less than 33% of the vote? Where would any sense of ‘mandate’ come from? And how would the HofLords behave in such circumstances? The whole edifice could come crashing down around us….

    I suppose the last time anything like this took place was when the Lords and the Commons were battling it out 100 years ago and the Irish were causing big upsets (but then stayed away from Parliament). The more I look forward into the next twelve months or so the less I can see where we’ll end up. There are rather terrifying possibilities circling around. Not that I wish to dampen anyone’s enthusiasm, of course!

  46. Probably nothing will change. It usually takes either revolution or invasion to effect significant change, otherwise we tend just to muddle through. Not having suffered either for longer than most we put up with the most muddled system of all.

  47. It is approaching that time again predictions?

    Lab 37
    Con 30
    UKIP 20
    LD 9

  48. CON 34%, LAB 34%, UKIP 15%, LD 8%.

    Howard’s rule will start to apply soon.

  49. Haha totally wrong prediction drat
    @MSmithsonPB: Tonight’s YouGov Sun poll has CON & LAB level pegging
    CON 34
    LAB 34
    LD 8
    Ukip 15

  50. I did try and explain on here last week we were probably already in crossover and a small Tory lead even. I was mocked but now who looks silly !!

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