Following on from the ICM and Ashcroft polls yesterday showing small Conservative leads, tonight’s YouGov poll for Sun shows Labour and Conservative neck and neck on 34%. The full topline is CON 34%, LAB 34%, LD 8%, UKIP 15%

127 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 34, LAB 34, LD 8, UKIP 15”

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  1. The last two YouGov polls are very much in line with other polls showing that the Labour lead has disappeared or is very small. The Conservative vote looks very firm and is possibly rising a little and it is Labour that is dropping. The Euro’s now look very interesting and it is hard to pick a winner. The Sunday YouGov looks to be an outlier now.


    Agree with your comments on the latest Labour idea. That and their recent PPB’s make them look more like the “nasty” party than the Tories.

    Re your last paragraph, I expect that switch to occur as the improving economy trickles down to those in work in the private sector as it is now starting to do.

  3. A lot of talk about the effect of the Euro campaign. It may be having some impact though I’d think the locals might be a bigger explanatory factor. Where they are taking place this year people will have received extensive leafleting from their local parties and probably had the chance to speak to canvassers on the doorstep. Research suggests this has a real impact and that the Tories are better at doing this at local elections. In many of the places where locals are taking place this year Labour have control and so the tables will be turned on the national picture in some ways.

    It is also increasingly clear that Labour’s negativity is starting to grind now that the economy is improving and people are feeling more positive. A leaflet I received yesterday went on about various crises – cost of living, NHS, housing etc. – but I’m not sure these are being felt by as many voters any more. In the context of the Euros they also seem more determined than anyone to avoid the issue at the moment.

    Overall, people will have received far more political literature over the last fortnight or so than they usually do and the polls would suggest that the CONs have done better with this.

  4. The thought of having to actually vote in the Euro elections is probably having some impact on the current crop of opinion polls.

    That’s the trouble with real elections. Why can’t they do away with them and just have opinion polls? That would be much better.

  5. I don’t think the ‘real election” card can be played in the run up to Euro’s as it’s such an unusual election.

    What is becomingly apparent is how difficult Opposition is where:
    (a) of the three main UK
    wide parliamentary parties, 2 are in concert against you, rather than the cobentional 2 v 1 advantage from which most UK Oppositions benefit;
    (b) your party is living its first few years in Opposition after 13 years in government, and consequently many of today’s ills can easily be blamed on you;
    (c) the residual protest vote that usually falls to the Opposition has been usurped by a new(ish) entrant; and

    This does not mean Labour cannot or should not be doing better. It does mean that Labour has to overcome unusual challenges to do so.

  6. Labour should be worried. Their support looks very flaky. they have a year to go. even though the hurdle is very low indeed for them to become the largest party, they are looking quite doubtful at the moment.

    Miliband is clearly a very big weakness.

  7. @daodao

    Yes you are being offensive. If your only defence is that you have no evidence for your statement (it is “unspoken”) then you are on very shaky ground.

  8. @RAF

    I am not sure. We’re in unusual Parliamentary territory with both Government (widely and, apparently, irrevocably, mistrusted by, if not a majority of voters, certain a significant proportion of them) and the Opposition (equally mistrusted and, furthermore, still only four years since they were comprehensively booted out by the electorate).

    Whilst it is all splendid knockabout fun for partisans to claim the other team should be doing far better and the fact that they aren’t merely proves that should be drummed out of public life and that should be immediately dropped in favour of , the fact is we’re faced by a Government that the electorate didn’t much want and an Opposition nobody much wants either and I’m pretty sure that come next May, someone is going to be elected who is going to be dreadfully unpopular very quickly. I think it is almost certain that whoever wins in 2015 will lose in 2020, and quite possibly lose big. The Euro referendum is going to cast an enormous, astonishingly boring shadow over everything, whether it goes ahead or not, and then we have the continuing fun over ‘austerity’ (not that I expect it to actually happen) . If the Tories win, that portion of the population cross at contentious policies on education, the NHS, housing and marketisation of stuff are going to get very loud indeed (and they are not just Lefties) and are going to be very hard to placate.

    If Labour win, they’re going to face the same loud voices on education, the NHS and marketisation (just from the other direction, and we’d very soon be treated to angry Guardian pieces from ex-Labour members who’d accuse Miliband of betrayal for not nationalising everything), with the added extra bonus of a ferociously angry Right-wing Press on a 5 year smearathon. Indeed, I’d say the polarisation of the UK has got to the point where the Tories can’t get elected and Labour won’t be allowed to govern. We’re in a bit of a bind.

    Under the circumstances, the existence of an alternative protest party is not at all a surprise – my only real surprise is that there’s isn’t one on the Left doing the same sort of things; that is tempered by the experience that as soon as you get two Lefties in a room who agree on nearly everything a vicious fight will break out over the one tiny issue they don’t agree on.

  9. I think these recent polls reflect what will happen near May 2015. As elections come closer, people focus more on politics and come to a view about the party which best represents their interests.

    What I expect will happen is that for the next month or so, Labour and Tories will both be around 35%. Then between say July and March next year, I expect Labour to have larger leads over the Tories of average 4% or so. Then once the 2015 budget fires the start of the election campaign I expect Labour and Tories to be neck and neck again. The Tories might have a small poll lead going into the election.

  10. R Buckle

    The only way Lab and Con can stay this close is if UKIP continue to poll at 10-15%. Do you expect that to continue?

    Or you believe that Scotland will vote YES.

  11. If this is, as I suspect it might be, a drop in Labour support it is likely down to the rise in UKIP and some Labour supporters deciding to vote UKIP in next weeks election.

    I doubt it will last much beyond June and won’t change the fact that UKIP will hurt the Tories more than Labour.

    The reason I have for thinking this is last weeks poll on who people think would be best on each issue.

    On the two issues that have featured most in the Euro debate and which UKIP have worked hard to link, EU membership and Immigration, UKIP scored well, being up alongside or ahead of Labour and the Tories.

    Indeed the shares for each of the three were not unlike their predicted shares in the Euros next week.

    However on the other main areas of importance, the Economy, Health, Education, Environment and I think Transport, UKIP didn’t get into double figures once.

    To be getting less than 10% on everyone of the bread and butter General Election issues isn’t a good sign for a party hoping to make a breakthrough at Westminster.

    I doubt we will get a clear picture till the Autumn but even if UKIP win the by election I think they won’t do well in 2015 and will still hurt the Tories far more than Labour.


  12. DaoDao,

    You’re talking nonsense. Most people don’t know that Ed Miliband is Jewish and those who do don’t seem to care. The typical response I get when I’ve mentioned it is “Oh, really?” and a mildly interested shrug.

  13. My previous message was directed at R Huckle. Auto correct lives in a world of its own.

  14. I suspect that UKIP is hurting Labour more than the Tories, but more through soaking up dissatisfied Tories. Actually, a grand irony is that UKIP may hurt the LibDems most of all after a fashion.

  15. It seems that Labour have learnt nothing from their disastrous performance at the Crewe & Nantwich by-election when they similarly tried to portray the Tories as toffs. If they have nothing better to say they do not deserve to be elected.

  16. Amazing employment figs. Unemployment at a half decade low. Its taken some time, but the economic plan is working.

  17. “@ TheSheep


    Yes you are being offensive. If your only defence is that you have no evidence for your statement (it is “unspoken”) then you are on very shaky ground.”

    I don’t think daodao is being offensive. Unfortunately, he is dealing with the reality, that a portion of the UK electorate would only vote for a party led by a white Briish person. We know there are people that hold views about race and immigration. These are just the people who have openly spoken about it. There are significant numbers who hold the same views in my opinion, based on experience.

    I would love it, if the UK had a black or Asian PM. I don’t care about colour of skin or ethnicity. The only thing that is important is the quality of the Man or Woman.

    Always a controversial subject and probably best not debated on UKPR. I think pollsters try to stay clear of asking people questions to see if they hold racist views. Whether they would get honest answers on such senstive questions is something they would have to consider. Why stir up a debate on race issues, when you are uncertain whether people polled would be honest.

  18. @Robert Newark: “This kind of half baked idea (like road pricing a few years ago)…”

    Unlike some random unattributed story in the Times, road pricing is a sensible idea whose time will come. It’s no more a Labour than a Tory policy, though.

  19. Apart from the bizarre amount of sex, this Danish cartoon is actually very good. We should run something similar:

  20. “@ RAF

    R Huckle

    The only way Lab and Con can stay this close is if UKIP continue to poll at 10-15%. Do you expect that to continue?

    Or you believe that Scotland will vote YES.”

    UKIP will stay around 10-13% range. Lib Dems will increase to 12-15% range. Labour and Tories around 35%. I think UKIP will do much better than 2010, as I think a good number of people have gone over to them and are not just loaning their vote to them outside of a GE. In 2015 UKIP will fight a bigger election campaign, with much more spent. Farage will also take part more in debates.

    Scotland will vote NO, but only very narrowly. Could be 52 -48 in favour of NO. Too many unanswered questions will hurt the YES campaign and I think that people may decide not to take the risk. But the NO campaign have got to get people out to vote, as some will be less keen to vote, than a YES supporter.

  21. Ah, it seems my clever use of brackets to make satirical references to partisan tropes has fallen foul of the great god HTML, with the result that my monster post above is even duller and more nonsensical than usual.

  22. Anthony

    Do you have a link for today’s YouGov tables? They don’t appear to be on the archive.

  23. Anyway, it would take a heart of stone not to laugh at the finding that the lifting of restrictions on Bulgarians and Romanians has led to a net fall in their numbers in Britain.

    I am not sure the intrusion of actual data into the ‘debate’ will be welcomed

  24. There were 30.43 million people in work for January to March 2014, …These increases in employment are partly due to more self-employed people.

    Average weekly earnings excluding bonus payments rose by 1.3%, ….average weekly earnings excluding bonus payments were £449 in March 2014….up from £444 a year earlier. ONS

    that is still below the 1.6% inflation rate for March.

    In March alone the increase was only 1%. Wages still rising less than inflation for most people

  25. It’s my day off and this morning I ‘tret’ myself to a cup of tea in bed and thinking about the recent polls…I know, I’m a sad nerd, I’m happy to admit it. I was thinking about some long winded, erudite way of describing what I think is going on. I thought, how do I say ‘UKIP has moved the whole country to the right and being left wing is becoming so last year’… without sounding too simple and using that horrid cliche phrase? I couldn’t be bothered, answers on a post card please.

  26. R HUCKLE
    “But the NO campaign have got to get people out to vote, as some will be less keen to vote, than a YES supporter.”

    Prof C seems to share your concern whilst talking up the new monthly TNS BRMB poll. No tables yet.


  27. @R Huckle:
    I am sincerely curious as to why you expect the LDs to increase in the polls. I know a boost has happened at each of the last few elections, but that was also in the context of the LDs being the biggest protest vote party (not to mention being a “protest” party that often wasn’t a completely wasted vote).

    My takeaway from looking over each cycle’s polls (I did a quick glance-through) is that usually one of the major parties fouls up and votes bleed to “elsewhere”…and that “elsewhere” has tended to mean “LibDem”…but until relatively recently, the LibDems would have two things going for them:
    -Until 1992/97, they were often the only party contesting more than 150 or so seats, save for the National Front. 1997 was a watershed as Referendum contested a ton of seats, and as the deposit’s effect was eroded by inflation, letting UKIP in afterwards (and then the BNP as well, at least for a moment, and the Greens).
    -Also, very rarely did anyone else have a reasonable amount of funding. Again, 1997 was a watershed in Referendum having a big donor throwing money at the campaign.

  28. I can’t help but suspect that the UKIP support is overstated in the same way Lib Dem support was in the run up to 2010. I think a lot of people who don’t normally vote (and aren’t even registered) are saying they will vote UKIP; whether they turn up on the day is another matter…

  29. AW

    I know they sometimes ask about likelihood to vote but do any pollsters ask whether respondents are actually registered?

  30. “I am not sure the intrusion of actual data into the ‘debate’ will be welcomed”

    UKIP won’t mind. As evidenced by their 70% (or is it 75%?) claim, they won’t let facts get in the way of a good story.

  31. My sense of Labour’s PPBs is that they’re homing in on the question that the current cabinet do not understand ordinary people, which is a consistent problem for Cameron and co. if polls are accurate. It is a clear and demonstrable weakness underscored by easy slogans like ‘tax cut for millionaires’ that are impossible to deny. Miliband would be remiss if he did not keep punching that bruise. And I speak (type) as someone towards whom many Tory policies are aimed.

    As for Clegg, it looks like they’re trying to repeat Spitting Image’s ‘tiny David’ image, which worked wonders at the time if you weren’t David Steele.

    The PPBs made me chuckle. I’d rather be mildly entertained than have the bejeepers scared out of me by stories of Romgarians taking my job etc etc.

    Yes, the polls have tightened, but it’s something of a minor miracle that Labour are even in this position. The press has been largely suspicious of them, with a few out-and-out howlers like the Mail’s piece on Ralph Miliband. The noise with which two polls showing a minuscule Tory lead has been greeted would make you think Labour hadn’t been ahead in hundreds of polls over the last two years. If after the 2010 drubbing you’d offered them poll parity with a year to go, and the prospect of winning the 2015 GE, they’d have snapped your hand off. So let’s keep a little perspective.

  32. CL1945

    “Good Late evening all.
    I did tell everyone this in 2011.”

    Yes: I think you’ve covered every eventuality in your various “predictions” Chris……………

  33. Tark,

    “If after the 2010 drubbing you’d offered them poll parity with a year to go, and the prospect of winning the 2015 GE, they’d have snapped your hand off.”

    Yes, but if you’d told them that this was the context of having an open field on the left, they might be a little disappointed.

    One wonders what trouble Labour would be in if the Tories had won a majority in 2010 and the Lib Dems never went into coalition…

  34. @Bill Patrick
    A valid point, but counterfactuals about a Tory OM in 2010 are just that. Fact is that the Tories did not win, they coalesced with the LDs, and that is where we are.

    I’m not sure about the open field on the left if UKIP are attracting Labour voters. If we define ‘left’ as concern for people struggling at the bottom of the pile.

    All parties are guilty of this. It’s a shame Alan Johnson crashed and burned. There are so few credible voices outside of the Oxford PPE circles.

  35. A quick question. The recent polls have seen a Labour VI collapse with no real increase to the Tories, UKIP or LibDems.

    So are we seeing non-voters recruited into the UKIP camp, and is this diluting the % seen for Labour without neccesarily taking large numbers of votes?

    I ask because the +6% and -12% drops on ICM sound unlikely in the context of 1/3 the Labour EU vote going to UKIP between one poll and the next. But if its effectively non-voters coming back in and going UKIP, could this make the difference? Labour lost millions of voters to noone during its years in office. Are pollsters now picking up these ex Labour voters for UKIP and assigning the weightings accordingly?

  36. Tark,

    The point is that, while I think that Labour will win in 2015, it looks like it will be with a whimper rather than a bang, much as in 2005.

    Anyway, I notice that David Cameron is coming up to Scotland to promote the Union, and perhaps unintentionally increase the chances of a Tory majority post-2016…

  37. @Floater – “There were 30.43 million people in work for January to March 2014, …These increases in employment are partly due to more self-employed people.”

    More than partly – 183,000 out of 283,000, so that’s 65% of the increase from self employment. SE is now at an all time record of over 4m, and the rate of increase is quickening – last year it increased by 375,000, with just about half of this in the first quarter of 2014 alone.

    Strong wages growth was expected by analysts, so these figures are a major surprise. As you say, basic wages are still falling behind inflation – they are running at around half the RPI rate.

    I think these figures are positive, but nothing in these suggests that Labour’s ‘cost of living’ line is dead. There is a great deal of optimism around in certain quarters, but it is still not being converted into similar results on the ground.

    Also – house prices and sales have been easing back in recent months, with quite a sharp fall in mortgage approvals. This is thought to be largely due to the new tougher regulations on lending that came in in April. Add to this this morning’s first hint from Carney that rates will rise soon, and I wonder if we’ll see mortgage costs beginning to edge up.

    A smooth subsiding of the housing market would be a good thing, but traditionally the UK doesn’t manage soft landings. If house prices are seen to be stalling, a key question is going to be what this does to consumer optimism.

    Was May 2014 the Tories best bet?

  38. @Norbold – “That’s the trouble with real elections. Why can’t they do away with them and just have opinion polls? That would be much better.”

    Asimov wrote a good short story about that:

  39. I’m very surprised to see Daodao’s comment has not been moderated.

    Come on Anthony – it IS offensive & what’s more, it is factually wrong because EM is as English as you probably are !

  40. @Bill Patrick
    Yes, I agree, I think a Labour OM in the low double figures is most likely. I think we got spoiled with easy landslides in 97 and 01. A win is a win is a win, and if Labour do win next year it will be 4 out of 5, during which time the Tories have not managed a single OM.

  41. Hasn’t Daodao established that he is of EM’s ethnicity? I suspect that he honestly believes that EM’s ethnicity is a liability, and that he also believes that it is a bad thing that EM’s ethnicity is a liability.

    Certainly it is true that a lot of references to EM in segments of the right-wing press carry many of the traditional anti-semitic coded euphemisms.

    I don’t see any grounds for moderation for saying something true that might offend others. There are people who are offended by the idea of evolution – should references to evolution be censored?

  42. A few quick notes on the recent polling excitement:

    1. We don’t have crossover because the Tories are improving, we have it because Labour have fallen off a cliff. This is especially obvious with Opinium, where 34% isn’t even a particularly good Tory score, but you can see it with YouGov too: they’re having a good week but nothing spectacular. I don’t think anyone predicted this except T’Other Howard.

    This is in itself fairly interesting- this year the Tories are retaining last year’s Ukip defectors in the run-up to the European elections, whereas Labour are now having the same problem the Tories did last year. Possibly their horrible sub-30 polling last spring and the subsequent Crosby claw-back has inoculated them from the Ukip migration. Voters who have already been won back once may be reluctant to stray again.

    2. Labour meanwhile are suffering a major drop in retention and in LD -> Lab defection. I can see why they were campaigning against Clegg, but I think they miscalculated because those former Lib Dems haven’t gone home, they’ve gone over to Ukip. (The minds of voters are a mystery.)

    I did a quick churn analysis so you can see what a mess they’re in. That retention is the lowest they’ve had this Parliament, which explains why their vote share is the lowest they’ve had this Parliament. I’m sure they’re hoping all these people will come home after the European elections, but that’s the kind of “It’ll be all right on the night” reasoning we’ve been mocking for the past year from Team Blue.

    3. What hasn’t really happened is any increase in Lab -> Tory switching, or LD -> switching, or Ukip -> Tory switching, or people being won over by the Tories’ splendid economy recovery/Cameron’s wonderful leadership properties. We still seem to be in a voteless recovery, although of course that may change in the lead up to the general election.

  43. peter crawford

    “Labour should be worried. Their support looks very flaky. they have a year to go”

    Help is at hand.

  44. I have looked at the two polls this week vs jan 6th -10th in terms of where from the 2010 voter ID each party’s vote comes from.

    2010 Con – + 0.8%
    2010 Lab + 0.4%
    2010 LD – + 0.7%
    2010 Con – + 0.2%
    2010 Lab – (1.7%)
    2010 LD – (0.3%)
    2010 Con – (0.2%)
    2010 Lab + 0.1%
    2010 LD – (0.4%)
    2010 Con – (0.8%)
    2010 Lab + 1.0%
    2010 LD – + 0.0%

    So Labour has lost 1.7% of their VI from 2010 Labours voters, with 59% going to UKIP and 24% going to the Conservatives.
    In this period the Conservatives have got back 0.8% from UKIP.
    I will post the graphs this evening…

  45. @Alec

    have a look at these links about the wages of the self employeed


    h ttp://

  46. Labour still pushing the cost of living line, blended with the “one-percenters” angle…

    “Labour reveals tax data showing UK economic growth ‘only helps top 1%’

    Party cites HMRC figures showing bottom 90% of taxpayers share less post-tax income but top 300,000 have more”

    “Over the past year, the share of national post-tax income of the top 1% of taxpayers –just 300,000 people –has risen from 8.2% in 2012-13 to 9.8 % in 2013-14. Over the same period, the bottom 90% –a total of 27 million taxpayers –have seen their share of post-tax income fall from 71.3% to 70.4%, according to estimates contained in the latest Income Tax Liabilities Statistics published by HMRC. They cover the year when GDP growth returned and the top rate of income tax on earnings above £150,000 was reduced from 50% to 45%.

    Labour will use the figures to argue that there has been no recovery for middle Britain… “etc. etc…

  47. “@ Gray

    @R Huckle:
    I am sincerely curious as to why you expect the LDs to increase in the polls”

    Lib Dem local election results since January. They have done quite well in some areas and have taken seats off the Tories. There was one result in Cambridge, where the Labour vote collapsed and most appeared to go to the Lib Dems. Therefore where Labour can’t win, a good number of Labour support will vote tactically for the Lib Dems.

    Also I think where the Tories can’t win, I expect some Tories to back the Lib Dem candidate, in the hope of stopping Labour. Tories would prefer another coalition with the Lib Dems, rather than Labour getting back into power. I don’t believe Cameron when he says that he does not want another coalition. Of course he would prefer a majority, but this is unlikely given Labours advantage under the current boundaries/seats.

    Plus I think that Lib Dems are very strong in some parts of the country and this is not picked up in national polling;.

  48. Stephen Sutton has died, aged 19.

  49. So people won’t vote for Miliband cos he’s of Jewish descent..
    Is there any evidence that voters are anti-Semitic?

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